Archive for the ‘Good Eats’ category

Winding Down and Winding Up

September 26, 2017

Recently, Martha and I dined with some of her children (Jim, Denise and family) at Gator Joe’s on a Florida lake. What a beautiful sunset graced our suppertime delight! Of course, Martha had to get sand between her toes and wade in the water.

This past Sunday morning, September 24, Martha and I assembled with the Wildwood, Florida Church of Christ. This was my second visit to the congregation and my first opportunity to speak for this church. During Bible class, I presented my “World Evangelism Media & Missions” PowerPoint presentation. At the worship hour, I preached “Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ.” We felt right at home with Wildwood, and everyone paid rapt attention. It was a pleasure to worship God in spirit and in truth together.

For lunch, Martha and I treated ourselves to some deluxe Angus cheeseburgers and trimmings. Not only were they delicious, but we won’t have any such favorites for several weeks as we are abroad for eight weeks in three Asian countries. We drove a few miles thereafter to what turned out to be a dying, indoor mall. We idled at a franchise bookstore café and enjoyed the air conditioning while doing digital jigsaw puzzles on our electronic tablets.

When it was time, we made our way to the meetinghouse of the Village Church of Christ in Lady Lake, Florida. This was my second visit to this little church, and we worshipped with them.

Tuesday was a mobile office workday. I was able to publish the September edition of Gospel Gazette Online to the Internet and sundry other matters were addressed, too.

Thursday, Martha and I fly from Orlando, Florida to Los Angelos, California. From there we will fly for about 16 hours to Taipei, Taiwan, and then fly on to Yangon, Myanmar (also known as Burma). We will arrive on Saturday after nonstop traveling by jet airplane.

Three weeks later, we will fly to Singapore for about four days, before flying to India. For five weeks, we will travel to sundry places. Finally, November 21, we will return home from New Delhi to New York to Florida—all on the same day, though the same number of hours as traveling to Asia! I am looking forward to sharing some of the beautiful pictures of our travels from time to time during the eight weeks we will be gone. Please remember us in your prayers.

On the Alabama-Georgia Line

August 22, 2017

Saturday, August 19, around 2 a.m., I was busy buying tickets to fly around Asia and back to America. After sunrise with a little intervening sleep, Martha Lynn and I pointed the Pacifica toward the east and drove out of Winona, Mississippi. We were headed for the outskirts of Piedmont, Alabama and to the home of Stan and Carrie Rogers. They were my innkeepers last year, too. His father and mother have kept Bonnie and me in their home for many years before I started staying with Stan and Carrie.

Being a big farming community, it was normal for residents to congregate on the lawn outside of an antique building for a home-style meal and local musical entertainment. Several members of the Lord’s church, themselves farmers, were present—and hence facilitated us being there. Martha got to drive a simulated cotton picker and milk an artificial cow! The festival was dubbed, “Field to Fork Dinner.”

Sunday morning, Martha and I assembled with the Highway Nine Church of Christ. During class, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “World Evangelism Media & Missions,” and for worship, I preached, “Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ.” Some of the members and we dined at the local Chinese restaurant. One couple bought our lunch.

Sunday evening, we worshipped with the Piedmont Church of Christ. Here, too, Martha and I were well received. Martha has discovered that the brethren to whom I introduce her are like old, familiar friends.

Both churches not only encouraged us, but they helped us along financially in preparation for our upcoming trips to South America and to Asia. Parting from the latter congregation, we aimed for Winona and accelerated in that direction—over five hours away on a dark, Sunday night. We tired long before arriving back home in Mississippi, but we shared the task of driving and kept each other awake. We parked the car in our carport about 12:30 a.m. After showering the sweat of a southern, summer day away, we happily slumbered in our own bed at around 1:30 a.m.—completely tuckered out!

Looking ahead can be about as exhausting as looking behind ourselves. We are packing for Florida speaking appointments, our soon trip to Guyana, followed by our 8-week jaunt through three Asian nations. Whew!

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?

Bouncing between West Virginia and Ohio

June 18, 2017

Covered Bridge (Sandyville, WV)

Wednesday, June 14, Martha, Rebecca and I drove to Sandyville, West Virginia. There, we lodged with sister Sue and brother John Balis. Many times over the years, they have been gracious hosts, formerly for Bonnie and me and sometimes for Rebecca, too. Now, they have opened their home to Martha, Rebecca and me. He is one of the elders of the Sandyville Church of Christ, for which I spoke Wednesday evening.

Thursday, after a hearty and tasty breakfast, which rivaled supper the prior evening, we three proceeded to Gallipolis, Ohio. We drove to the meetinghouse of the Chapel Hill Church of Christ. We experienced difficulty climbing the single-width lane up the mount due to water pipeline construction where mounds of dirt and construction equipment occupied the pavement. Nevertheless, we dragged the 5×8 foot trailer to the summit. Brethren at Chapel Hill donated about a dozen boxes of mostly songbooks plus some Bible class material. Along with the several hundred pounds of literature already collected on this circuit, it will make its way overseas to English-speaking brethren.

Defective Motel Ironing Board

Friday, we visited brethren in Hanoverton and Minerva, Ohio. We tried to tend to some business in Salem, Ohio, which didn’t pan out. However, we met with another family member of Martha for lunch at a familiar Mexican restaurant. That night and Saturday, we primarily stayed in our motel room in Alliance, Ohio, whereupon we opened our mobile office and worked on various duties.

Sunday morning, Martha, Rebecca and I drove to Hanoverton for class and worship. During class time, I made my PowerPoint presentation about Martha and my 6-week mission trip throughout the South American country of Guyana. I preached about the conviction of Jesus Christ at the worship hour. Afterward, we were treated to a fellowship meal on our behalf. Martha and her late husband Bob had worked with this church for years previously. There was much fraternizing, sharing and encouragement. The Hanoverton Church of Christ have become precious friends over the years.

Despite stormy weather, we drove to Calcutta, Ohio to visit the grave of Robert (Bob) Noland. Martha hadn’t been there since his burial because she has lived in Florida for a few years now. Of course, tears as well as rain was falling. Next, we headed for Chester, West Virginia. First, we stopped by McDonalds to visit with Martha’s grandchildren.

Sunday evening, we assembled with the Virginia Avenue Church of Christ in Chester. It was my pleasure to listen to the preaching of a young, talented preacher. The elders were kind to me and requested that I lead the opening prayer. Martha has many friends among Christians at Virginia Avenue and compared it to a homecoming.

Finally, we headed for our next destination of Meadville, Pennsylvania. It was our intention to lodge there, some 2-hour’s drive. Extremely bad weather altered our plans, and we took lodging at a hotel in Pennsylvania along our route. Tomorrow, we plan to spend some time with some of my family and some of my late wife Bonnie’s family. This is a little excursion amidst our series of appointments. Sunday coming, Lord willing, I am to speak for congregations in Belington and Grafton, West Virginia. The following Wednesday, I am to speak for brethren in Lexington, Kentucky. We expect to arrive back in Winona, Mississippi on June 29—a month since we left on this expedition. Irrespective of where we are, it is our purpose to glorify God and edify our fellow man.

Around Ohio Still

June 12, 2017

Sunday, June 11 dawned with us in Ohio still. Martha, Rebecca and I have been lodging for a few days with my new in-laws (the consequence of marrying Martha this year). J.D. and Denise Conley have been hospital hosts.

We departed Marietta early on our way to the Norval Park Church of Christ in Zanesville, Ohio. Once there, I made my PowerPoint presentation about mission work during the Bible class time, and I preached about the urgency with which Jesus Christ left heaven and came to earth to effect human redemption. We were graciously received, and after worship, we three were the guests for lunch of sister Barbara Harris. She made homemade bread and cooked roast beef, potatoes and carrots. Completing the meal coleslaw were coleslaw, broccoli and strawberry pie.

Next, we retraced our route from earlier in the week by returning to my son’s home in Newark, Ohio to retrieve some items we left behind unintentionally. Almost immediately, we boarded our minivan to return to Marietta to be with the saints at the Harmar Hill Church of Christ for Sunday evening worship. There, too, we were cordially appreciated following again presenting our mission program. I did happen upon a rocking, stuffed recliner in the back of the church auditorium, from which I was tempted momentarily to preach with the aid of a wireless microphone.

Monday, we drove to Moundsville, West Virginia to the Hillview Terrace Church of Christ and the West Virginia School of Preaching. We delivered three boxes of new books for the library of the school and a box each of The Voice of Truth International for the congregation and the students and faculty. However, we added four boxes of excess or recovered literature, placing it in our trailer behind the van with other like material. These items will make their way to foreign sites where overseas brethren will welcome them.

The day was pleasant enough from inside the air conditioned automobile as we drove on either side of the Ohio River between locations. The sun was shining, and the blue skies accented with puffy white clouds were pleasing to view. Our health was good; we enjoyed our meals. I attended to some of the workload pending and requiring attention. Tomorrow, we must do some serious work from our mobile office atop the dining room table in our borrowed living quarters. May God be praised always.

Middle Ohio

June 9, 2017

Tuesday, June 7, Martha, Rebecca and I rode with my son Raymond from his Newark, Ohio home to Amish country for the day. On the way to and returning from Berlin and Sugar Creek, Ohio, we passed an iconic, old, dilapidated combination one-room school and church house. I took some digital pictures for later use; the sight prompted me to write an article with which I will put this photograph probably in a future issue of The Voice of Truth International.

I always enjoy a meal in Sugar Creek at Dutch Valley Restaurant. We all ate from the expansive salad, main meal and dessert buffets. It was delicious! Afterward, we wandered around in various tourist traps and antique shops throughout a 15-mile stretch of highway.

Wednesday evening, we assembled with the Pickerington Church of Christ for midweek Bible class. Following the devotional with which the church began, I spoke to the “mission team,” which was preparing to travel to Switzerland for a couple of weeks.

Rebecca, Martha and I enjoyed some precious moments from late Sunday night through Wednesday night. Thursday, we traveled to Mineral Wells, West Virginia to meet up with Martha’s family. Friday, we three caught up with family of Martha’s late husband, Bob. In both instances, we rallied at the Cracker Barrel in Mineral Wells. On Friday, we also visited one of Bob’s brothers and his wife in their home nearby the same location.

Friday and Saturday, brother J.D. and sister Denise Conley—with whom we are lodging these few days—and we are gathering literature, songbooks and communion ware to load in the trailer behind our minivan. Along with material already collected and other sites yet to be visited, we will recover additional materials, which we will ship to English-speaking brethren overseas.

Over the next couple of weeks or so, we will continue to visit congregations in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. Also, between meeting days, we will visit more family members—namely, my family and my late wife Bonnie’s family in Pennsylvania. We might even get up to New York and visit one of my brothers who I have not seen for years. There is work to do, for which we are thankful.