Archive for the ‘Back at the House’ category

Fill-In for a Fill-In Preacher

August 3, 2017

Sunday, September 30, Martha and I made an early morning departure from Winona, Mississippi to assemble with the Quitman, Mississippi Church of Christ. We left town about 6 a.m. and arrived about 9 a.m.—three hours later and in time to set up equipment and display materials. As often is the case, we were the first ones there and had to wait for someone to arrive to unlock the building.

Brother Therman Hodge was the designated fill-in preacher in the absence of Quitman’s preacher, Stephen Higley. He was away, speaking for a congregation of the Lord’s church in Benton, Kentucky. However, it wasn’t convenient for brother Hodge to speak due to some matters to which he need to attend, and so, I happily agreed to fill-in for the fill-in preacher.

For class time, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “World Evangelism Media & Missions.” During morning worship, I preached, “Imitating the Conviction of Jesus Christ,” whereas for the evening worship, I preached, “Imitating the Focus of Jesus Christ.”

We were guests at the only restaurant in Quitman I was told—but a good one! That afternoon, we lazed and relaxed in the home of brother Austin and sister Robin Dickerson. We were well received as always is the case, and we met knew friends from among brethren we had not previously met.

After evening worship, Martha and I made the long, 3-hour ride back to Winona. Along our homeward path—a 4-lane derivation from our earlier, morning course—we banqueted at the McDonalds along US 45 on the outskirts of the metropolis of Macon, Mississippi.

Wednesday night, we met with the Coffeeville, Mississippi Church of Christ for the final day of this year’s Gospel meeting. Brother Joe Ruiz was the able speaker, and five souls responded.

Between Sunday and Wednesday, we busied ourselves with office work day and night, at home or in the office (e.g., The Voice of Truth International, etc.). Monday, we spent all day tending to yard work and car care. In addition, parts of Monday and Tuesday were spent painting and applying decals to Martha’s new toy—Pittsburgh Steelers decorated corn hole boards.

Thursday, I have devoted myself to corresponding with foreign brethren. I’m trying to line up missionary efforts in both South America and Asia among five countries. Tentatively, we will spend the first two weeks of September in Guyana, South America teaching college-level classes to church leaders. Then, Lord willing, we will travel to Asia for up to eight weeks, possibly laboring in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Singapore and India. Dates are already set for three weeks of instruction in Myanmar and one week in India. Martha has been typing for The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online. This and that is sandwiched between everything else. It remains with me, “I long way to go and a short time to get there!” Do you know from what movie that is a quote? Oh, yes, our next Rushmore Newsletter arrived today from the printing company. As soon as possible, we need to get it processed and mailed.

Courtland Church of Christ

July 10, 2017

Thursday and Friday, July 6-7, the annual World Evangelism Team Meeting convened in our office/warehouse facility in Winona, Mississippi. Brethren from Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida assembled for two days of fellowship, good food and sharing updates as well as future plans in service of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I devoted Saturday largely to working on volume 93 of The Voice of Truth International. Martha and I also affixed some of her family photos to walls in two rooms. Every adjustment to our living quarters involves changing or moving something from the way things were before when each of us was happily married to our former partners, who sadly have passed. It was raining outside, and it was drizzling a little bit inside, too.

Sunday, it was our good pleasure to meet for Bible class and worship with the Courtland, Mississippi Church of Christ. I presented for class, “World Evangelism Media & Missions.” During worship periods, I preached, “Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ” and “Imitating the Focus of Jesus Christ.” This small congregation makes a big impact on our missionary endeavors with ample encouragement and generous financial participation with us. In addition, we were guests of their monthly fellowship meal. Last week, we also enjoyed a fellowship meal with brethren in Nile, Mississippi. Brethren can cook, and they are not afraid to do so!

This evening late into the night, I managed to catch up on some of my recordkeeping of monetary gifts, sermon and lesson register, and pending appointments to confirm. While I was attending to all of that, Martha and Rebecca were baking and icing cupcakes—white ones with vanilla topping and chocolate ones with, yes, chocolate frosting. I played Nehemiah the food taster and sampled them. Somebody had to do it! In addition, Martha made some more peanut butter as well as chocolate fudge. All of this was in preparation for a youth group coming to work with us in the World Evangelism Building on Monday and Tuesday.

Aside from that, I need to complete the packet of Martha’s application for a visa for India. I need to make numerous phone calls tomorrow throughout the day and evening to make speaking appointments for the next couple of months. There is never a shortage of things to do, and there is a long list of tasks awaiting their turn for much needed attention. Alas, we have job security as long as we live—that is, something worthwhile to do irrespective of whether it is monetarily feasible. You and I—all we who are Christians—serve our Master, Jesus!

Moving Right Along

July 2, 2017

Mahdia, Guyana, South America 2017

Wednesday evening, May 28, Rebecca, Martha and I assembled with the North Lexington, Kentucky Church of Christ. For many years, this congregation has been an encourager and a participant with me in my foreign missions. This was my first visit to the congregation since my dear Bonnie passed away in 2015 and I subsequently remarried her best friend, Martha, on New Year’s Day in 2017. As always, we were wonderfully received by those who are dear friends as well as Christian brethren and helpers in our evangelistic labors.

Thursday was a very long travel day back to Winona, Mississippi. Rebecca said the poor ole van sighed relief after we parked the trailer at the World Evangelism Building. Friday was divided between unloading the trailer both at the warehouse and at the house, as well as spiriting Martha away to a follow-up eye appointment in Grenada, Mississippi. Saturday, we reloaded the car for our next outing and put away some of the debris from unloading the trailer at the house.

Early Sunday morning, we departed Winona for the remnant of Nile, Mississippi. All that remains of the village is the meetinghouse of the Nile Church of Christ. During Bible class, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “World Evangelism Media & Missions.” For worship on either side of a fellowship meal at the church house, I preached, “Imitating the Conviction of Jesus Christ” and “Imitating the Focus of Jesus Christ.” I had not been to this congregation before, but several of the members knew me from my Internet online presence, etc. Someone said I looked just like my picture. Interestingly, our recent visit to the Belington, West Virginia Church of Christ resonated with Christians at the Nile church. Once again it has proven true that Christians that I have not met previously are merely friends with whom only now I am acquainted.

We got to sleep in our own bed last night and tonight, too. That hasn’t happened much since we were wed January 1 between stateside and overseas travels. Six weeks we were abroad in Guyana, South America, and we just returned from 31 days on the road. Other appointments have kept us away from home off and on the balance of the first six months of 2017. Is it any wonder that Bonnie had and now Martha has as the ringtone for their phones, “On the Road Again,” by Willie Nelson?

Over the Weekend

May 23, 2017

Over the weekend, Martha Lynn and I traveled far, far away from our Winona home. Really, not so much! Sunday morning, we worshipped with the Old Union Church of Christ in Carroll County, Mississippi—a little less than 25 miles from the driveway, tucked in the woods and accessible by a series of brown, gravel roads. For the Bible class time, I made a PowerPoint presentation about Martha and my recent foray into Guyana, South America over six weeks. It took three hours to assemble the PowerPoint slides, replete with pictures; I finished the construction process about midnight. For worship, I preached about the conviction of Jesus Christ that led him to depart from heaven and come to earth to effect human redemption. Afterward, the congregation and we enjoyed a fellowship meal.

Our evening appointment was less than 20 miles away in Grenada County, Mississippi at the Elliott Church of Christ. Whereas for the morning trip we went mostly west, in the late afternoon, we traveled primarily north. (Since we were close to our residence for the day, I was able to do the unthinkable with our schedule—take a Sunday nap between service times at the respective churches.) Sunday night, I presented an overview of our stateside and overseas endeavors for our Lord Jesus Christ.

Recently, Martha and I had supper at a 50’s diner, after which traveling to nearby Grenada Lake. It was nearly sunset when we took some pictures with our digital phones! A few days prior to that, I attempted—unsuccessfully—to train my rabbit-bush yard ornament to work the riding lawnmower. Martha got a photo of my best efforts to no avail.

Good news today, our vision has remained the same, and we do not need any adjustment to our prescriptions for eyeglasses. We keep on, and with each other, it is a much better journey with less sorrowful moments than otherwise was occurring separately and alone.

I Passed My Test!

May 15, 2017

I passed my test! Friday, May 12, I had a colonoscopy. Evidently I studied sufficiently for my test since I passed it “with flying colors,” as the idiom is. Of course, Thursday and Friday were consumed primarily leading up to, for and traveling to and from the medical procedure.

Saturday, Martha Lynn and I traveled from Winona, Mississippi to Tuscumbia, Alabama. We arrived at the home of our hosts, sister Joan and brother Daniel Counts. They befriended me several years ago and have encouraged Bonnie and me previously and now Martha and me. Per usual, we were treated to supper out on Saturday and Sunday lunch after worship.

Sunday morning, I made my PowerPoint presentation about missions during Bible class for the Leighton Church of Christ. During worship, I preached about “The Conviction of Jesus Christ” that brought Him down from heaven to earth to procure human redemption.

Between morning and evening appointments, we stopped at Walmart. There we did some shopping, but more importantly, we got an oil change for the car. Everything in stride, catch as catch can wherever we are whenever possible. That’s our life.

Sunday evening, a little more than an hour away, we assembled with the Barn Creek Church of Christ. It’s out in the woods between small Alabama towns, and GPS got confused. Whereas in the morning, my computer initially fussed about having multiple USB ports in use, then, I was able to convince it to play nicely for my presentation. However, while using the computer equipment of the congregation with which we were worshipping in the evening, we had a complete system failure—at least regarding my PowerPoint file. I quickly went from “Plan A” to “Plan D.” Plan D is when nothing else works as planned, and I simply stand up front and talk!

Afterward, Martha and I pointed the van toward our Mississippi home. We drove into the driveway about 10:30 p.m. By 11:30, we had the car unloaded and were able to bed down for the night.

Monday, I was finally able to complete and publish to the Internet the April edition of Gospel Gazette Online. Rebecca Rushmore, my daughter, does my proofreading, and she won’t be able to get to it until the weekend. As the school year is nearing its end, as a schoolteacher, she is buried under finalities respecting it. Of course, I need to begin immediately to compose the May issue of Gospel Gazette Online now. Shortly, I must begin also working on the next The Voice of Truth International magazine. The trouble with a monthly is that it comes around monthly. The difficulty with a quarterly journal is that it takes a quarter to get the next quarterly ready for printing. Volume 91 just arrived a little while ago, and 92 is at the printers. It never ends!

Numerous other duties and whatnot demand their due attention as well. Fortunately, there is always enough for me to do that I never have to fear getting bored! I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Over the Past Several Days

April 26, 2017

It has been a while since my last blog entry; several days have passed between then and now. Over the past several days, Martha and I made our way back to Winona, Mississippi from Ocala, Florida. We discovered that pulling an 8×10 trailer packed to the utmost and loading the van from window to window and from floor to ceiling exacts a terrible toll on the Pacifica’s gas mileage—dropping to as low as 15 mpg from the usual of up to 28 mpg!

Friday, April 21, we drove into the driveway of Sadie and Therman Hodge of Meridian, Mississippi around 9 p.m. Saturday was a pleasant repose during which we visited with these dear Christian friends. Sunday morning, I spoke during Bible class and a.m. worship for the Union, Mississippi Church of Christ. After lunch with several of the members at the local hospital cafeteria, Martha Lynn and I proceeded to Winona, arriving at our residence at about 3 p.m. Not long after disconnecting the trailer from the car, we headed to the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, Mississippi for evening worship, and as it turned out, to their Gospel meeting already in progress.

Monday, Martha and I proceeded to the office, whereupon we canvassed weeks’ worth of mail and prepared to send off the Rushmore Newsletter. The newsletter went out later in the morning.

We devoted ourselves on Tuesday and Wednesday to trying to put our house in order, and we’re not done yet! One bedroom and the living room look like warehouse space with everything stacked therein, and the laundry room is impassible! Two bedrooms, the den and the kitchen have been tamed, with the culling of a daybed, a full size bed and miscellaneous smaller items. Once more we visited the West President congregation to attend its Gospel meeting in lieu of midweek Bible class.

Maybe Thursday we will be able to complete the basic and fundamental straightening and cleaning of our Winona home. Being absent for months as well as construction mess from repairs while we were gone have added to the task at hand.

Looking ahead, Sunday coming, we will be with the Bear Creek, Alabama Church of Christ in the morning. Tuesday and Wednesday, if our Lord wills, Martha and I will attend the annual India Workshop, this year hosted in Hamilton, Alabama. Wednesday night, we will travel to Florence, Alabama for the annual World Evangelism Missionary Retreat to be conducted on Thursday and Friday. This year, these two events overlap each other.

Gospel Gazette Online is running late, still; the April edition is not complete yet. Our calendar is slowly filling up with spotty appointments through October 20. The busyness with which we have shrouded our lives can get a little hectic, sometimes frustrating and often stressful. The yard is crying for attention, which I cannot give it right now—more pressure. Some sprigs are a foot high, and grass has grown through the carpet of pine needles to form a mesh blanket across the lawn. The 20 or so mature pines have contributed branches and pinecones as well.

Volume 92 of The Voice of Truth International was recently prepared and provided to the printing company in India. I get bored easily, and so I like to keep busy, but a little respite is certainly needed—and soon!

Sleeping State to State!

March 17, 2017

Kentucky Barn with Character

Wednesday, March 15, Rebecca, Martha and I drove to Benton, Kentucky. I prefer to show up early at speaking appointments, and I am usually the first one to arrive. I want to be early enough to set up displays and materials as well as to make preparation for a PowerPoint presentation. I thought that we were arriving an hour or so before Bible class time at the Walnut Grove Church of Christ, but I discovered shortly that assembly time was 6:30 p.m. rather than 7:00 p.m. Nevertheless, everything worked out just fine.

Children in this congregation periodically send me cards of encouragement. In addition, brother and sister Hunt extended to us the hospitality of their home, capped off with a wonderful breakfast, too.

Thursday, we drove to Nashville and deposited 1,900 pounds of literature and some new clothes with an agent for Caribbean Shipping Service. These items will be sent by container ship to Guyana, South America. Once there, brother Nigel Milo and his congregation will distribute especially the books to every congregation of the Lord’s church in the nation.

After returning Rebecca to her home in Collierville, Martha and I proceeded back to Winona, MS and arrived around 8 p.m. It had been a long day.

Friday, we reloaded the van and headed toward Valdosta, Georgia. We made it as far as Montgomery, Alabama before securing lodging for the night.

For the past several evenings with the travel we have been doing, we have slumbered in a different state nightly: Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama. The next two nights, Lord permitting, we will lodge in Georgia and Florida! We are not traveling for the sake of traveling, but to be about the Lord’s business (i.e., speaking appointments, delivering literature for foreign shipment, etc.). Along the way, we set up office wherever we are and tend to that sort of thing also (i.e., Gospel Gazette Online, The Voice of Truth International, printing, etc.). This very night, though, Martha is searching out somewhere that we might find some respite from our overseas and stateside travels thus far this year—and we might even call it an abbreviated honeymoon!