Archive for the ‘Biblical Lesson’ category

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?

On the Road Again

June 3, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, Martha and I assembled for Bible class with the Siwell Road Church of Christ in Jackson, Mississippi—our overseeing congregation. We took down some more items from our trips abroad for placement in the display case we have set up to represent our foreign missions. In addition, I provided two new PowerPoint kiosk presentations for the ongoing video display of our endeavors for Christ. It was a good and an encouraging visit and our last opportunity to do so for a while as we were preparing for a foray through several states over four weeks or so.

Sunday morning, May 28, my daughter Rebecca, who had joined us in Winona, Mississippi, as well as Martha and I made the 2-hour jaunt southward to Clinton, Mississippi. Heavy rains battered us and hampered unloading materials and displays once we arrived on the grounds of the Clinton Church of Christ. I made my PowerPoint presentation, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions” during the Bible class time, and for worship, I preached, “Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ.” There, we also collected several boxes of used or leftover Christian literature and songbooks, which we will ship to English-speaking brethren overseas.

We were well received and encouraged. Afterward, we were hosted for lunch with one of the elders and his family in their home. One can never get too much of that!

For the balance of the afternoon, though, we traveled diligently over three hours to our next appointment in Mobile, Alabama. Sunday evening, I presented “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions” to the Creekwood Church of Christ. Once again, we were graciously received by precious brethren.

Monday was a long day of travel to Martha’s Ocala, Florida home. We were pulling a 5’x8’ trailer behind the van. In it, among other things, was a bed that we removed from my Winona, Mississippi home for use in Ocala. Also in the trailer was a second bed that was destined for the home of Martha’s son Bob in Ashland, Ohio.

Tuesday was a busy day of various hurried activities. Being only one day in town, Martha and I had numerous things that had to be done with haste (e.g., amending a utility bill with my name on it, buying a couple pair of trousers because I forgot to pack some, adding me to Martha’s AAA program, taking care of a billing issue for Martha on a past phone company device with Verizon, getting a new phone for Rebecca from AT&T and buying some supplies for maintenance at her house). One big task was to load to the max the trailer with a curio cabinet and miscellaneous items that Martha wants at our Winona home back in Mississippi. Added to that, we crammed into the trailer luggage for three of Martha’s grandchildren and their mother, our baggage and the literature and display materials for use in upcoming appointments.

Wednesday started early and was a long and arduous day as we journeyed from Ocala, through Georgia to Cleveland, Tennessee. I captained my ship with demands on my passengers such as no eating in the car, bottled water only to drink and assigned seats. The car was burdened under its load of Martha, Rebecca and me, accompanied by grandchildren Kaylynn, Shawn and Lauren plus their mother Denise—not forgetting the loaded trailer, too. The tire sidewalls were threatening to kiss the pavement and the car groaned as it climbed the rollercoaster of Appalachian hills along Interstate 75 across the multi-state landscape. Allotting two hours for stops along the way was not enough as we doubled that for bathroom breaks, eating and fueling the car. Still, we arrived in time to check into our hotel before meeting with the Central Church of Christ.

What I failed to realize was that assembly time was 6:30 p.m. rather than 7:00 p.m.! Nevertheless, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.” As always, we were wonderfully received and encouraged by these good brethren. As in the case of recent congregations visited, there too, Martha was introduced for the first time as the new “Mrs. Rushmore”—though I have been known to say, “She doesn’t look very new!” Of course, that works both ways.

Thursday was another extremely long day of travel from Tennessee to Ohio. Between travel and necessary stops, we traveled for 12 and a half hours! Finally around 10 p.m. EST, we met the other set of grandparents in Mansfield, Ohio to deliver Denise and her three children to their custody. The younglings behaved the best that I had ever observed of them; I was proud of Kaylynn, Shawn and Lauren. Therefore, we amended the rules to (1) soft drinks permitted and (2) turn off the sounds of their electronic games, in part, so I could distinguish between automobile warning tones and their amusement devices.

Friday, we unloaded the bed destined for Ashland. Without the four passengers we deposited in Mansfield the day before and the bed, the Chrysler Pacifica sighed relief. Maybe its gas mileage will improve just a little, too.

Over the next few weeks, we are scheduled to meet with brethren on Sundays and Wednesdays in Ashland, Vermilion, Zanesville, Hanoverton, Gallipolis and Marietta—all in Ohio. In addition if the Lord wills, we will visit congregations in Sandyville, Grafton and Belington—all in West Virginia. Homeward bound, we will assemble with a congregation in Lexington, Kentucky. Between appointments, we purpose to visit family—Bonnie’s family, my family, Martha’s family and Bob’s family in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. If this is a vacation, it certainly is a working vacation. By the way, I’m still working on the May edition of Gospel Gazette Online.

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!

Robert’s Bush

March 4, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-roberts-bush-3Friday, March 3 was spent in earnest labors on the next Rushmore Newsletter, the February edition of Gospel Gazette Online (yes, I’m late) and a forthcoming issue of The Voice of Truth International. I finalized the efforts of Rebecca (back in the States), Martha and me on the Rushmore Newsletter, and I sent it digitally to a printing company in Michigan. Subsequently, I sent our newsletter information over the Internet to over 700 persons, some of whom responded almost immediately with congratulations on our marriage, which took place on New Year’s Day this year.

96-dpi-4x6-roberts-bush-1I also prepared and sent the next color postcard to be printed by the same firm. One side of the card shows Martha and me in a flat-bottomed boat, wearing ponchos in a pouring rain, with the tide out and experiencing difficulty getting to shore; the back of the postcard contains information about our mission work.

96-dpi-4x6-roberts-bush-2Saturday, March 4 marked the final 2017 Annual World Evangelism Guyana Nationwide Workshop for this year. It was hosted by the Robert’s Bush Church of Christ. It assembles about an hour from our base in Linden. That was Martha and my 16th seminar this year and over the past six weeks.

96-dpi-4x6-roberts-bush-4Several congregations were represented. Nigel Milo, Martha and I, as at other locations, taught all those present. Brother Milo and I took turns teaching the combined classes as well as classes for the men. Martha taught the ladies classes.

Though this year’s workshops throughout Guyana have just ended, we are already anticipating next year when we will do it all again, Lord willing. Martha has turned out to be a natural, consistently placing the teaching of the Word of God above what is unfamiliar and challenging to her in the surroundings and backdrop of an overseas destination. I think that brethren we encountered have benefitted from the effort of all three of us. However, we are edified and uplifted as much or more than anyone we have visited in Guyana. In any case, to God be the glory!

Lima Sands

February 26, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-4Friday February 24, throughout the day, I worked relentlessly on The Voice of Truth International, volume 92. Though I much prefer working with the alphabet over working with numbers, immersed in proofing and layout all day non-stop, nevertheless, leads to extreme dreariness. It was a relief of sorts that evening when Nigel Milo, Martha and I boarded the Toyota and headed toward our next World Evangelism Nationwide Guyana Workshop. At Georgetown, we took a left to cross the Demerara Harbour Bridge. Guyanese know what rivers are, and the Demerara is a good specimen of a real “river”—one and a quarter miles wide. The bridge spanning the Demerara River is a floating (i.e., anchored on barges) toll bridge with a peaked portion to permit small watercraft to cross beneath it and an additional retractable section to grant passage to larger river traffic (e.g., freighters).

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-11On the other side and not far from crossing the river, we proceeded to lodge at a “resort hotel” in preparation for continuation in the early morning (just a few hours later) onward toward Lima Sands, Guyana on the other side of mammoth Essequibo River—20 miles wide at its mouth!

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-9Friday night was a restless one for Martha and me as we made use of the modest accommodations (hot water not included). Noisy roomers adjacent our quarters and light leaks over the wall between the two rooms, from the hallway and above the curtains only contributed to our anxiousness as we awaited our 3:30 a.m. alarm to rouse us in anticipation of our 4 a.m. departure.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-7Saturday, Brother Nigel drove the remaining 30 minutes or so to Parika, a river port on the eastern bank of the Essequibo River. By 5:10 a.m., we were aboard a car ferry as pedestrians and on our way for the approximately one hour transit across the big river, weaving through a sprinkling of islands. After disembarking and selecting a taxi, we headed over an hour away to Lima Sands, reachable for the last many minutes with extreme care over a muddy, rutty, gouged and grooved sand road.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-6Doubtless, daily rains hampered travel for all attendees. Eventually, the little church building literally overflowed with Christian brothers and sisters. People were seated on the porch and in the yard, too! Attendance by several congregations swelled the attendance to over 100.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-16Nigel, Martha and I presented lessons; Martha spoke to the ladies for the last hour. The program was punctuated with a lunch and snacks also. Brethren appreciated the program and look forward to repeating it next year, Lord willing, at a sister church in the area.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-14Making a few stops along the way, we retraced our path back to Linden. We arrived, completely exhausted, about 8:30 p.m.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-15Sunday back in Linden, we worshipped once more with the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ. Again, I taught the morning Bible class in the auditorium, and then, I preached during the evening worship assembly.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-13Saturday we completed 14 of the 16 scheduled programs at the various venues. Two more sites this week will complete the nationwide workshop for 2017. However, there remain some locations on which we are waiting to hear back about even more seminars before Martha and I return to the USA on March 9.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-12There is no better “tired” than being tired for the Lord and in His service. Personally, I’m planning on resting when I’m dead!

Canal #2

February 18, 2017

96-dpi-4x7-canal-two-2Friday evening, February 17, Martha Lynn and I were guests of the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ “Marriage Class.” Brother Nigel imagined that since between us Martha and I have 90 years of marriage (Martha, 48 years to Bob; Louis, 42 years to Bonnie) that we could offer some useful advice and tips for better marriages. We rambled on a little bit, and perhaps we provided some useful information.

96-dpi-4x7-canal-two-4Saturday, brother Milo drove Martha and me to the meetinghouse of the Claybrick Road Church of Christ in Canal #2. Several brethren from a number of congregations gathered for a morning through midafternoon program—the annual World Evangelism Guyana Workshops. We three delivered about eight lessons in total. Everyone seemed to enjoy the biblical lectures, fellowship and eating together. Both we and they look forward to next year.

96-dpi-4x7-canal-two-3We are holding up fairly well, and we are thoroughly enjoying ourselves as we crisscross the country encouraging and edifying our Christian brethren throughout Guyana. We have a few sessions of our mobile workshop to go yet before we conclude the 16-venue program. Thank you for your interest in our travels and labors for our Lord Jesus Christ.