Archive for the ‘Good Friends’ category

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!

Playdate in Georgetown

March 8, 2017


Sunday, March 5
, Martha Lynn and I worshipped once more with the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ in Linden, Guyana, South America. Again, it was my good pleasure to teach the morning Bible class for the congregation. Outside of assembling with the saints, I diligently worked on the next issue of Gospel Gazette Online. Likewise on Monday, I applied myself throughout the day to preparation of the February edition of GGO, as well as working some on a future quarter of The Voice of Truth International magazine.


Tuesday
, Martha and I had a playdatedouble-date plus one—a day off together—with brother and sister Milo and their 10-year-old son, Zab. Around lunchtime, we five headed into Georgetown, about an hour and a half away. However, before we could eat lunch, we stopped at a tire shop to have a tire changed for the church bus; each action and every direction traveled must be exercised by soldiers of the cross so as to extract as much benefit from the minutes (Ephesians 5:16)—even when on holiday.

Next stop, we were off to the new Chinese restaurant atop the new America-like grocery store—which has become a favorite of ours nearly every time we passed through Georgetown these past six weeks. After all, it was only a 1,000 feet off of our necessary route of travel between Linden and Georgetown.

The five of us climbed the stairway to the second story eatery and were taken aback by the elegance of the panorama that unfolded before us. Everything was pristine, ornate and immaculate. Real tablecloths and cloth napkins adorned each table, and the staff was costumed in fine and culturally appropriate attire for a Chinese backdrop. This was neither a café nor a diner, but it was destination fit for royalty—and a little pricier than some neighborhood haunt. The food was delicious, and the fellowship that we enjoyed was to be cherished forever. On the way back down to ground level, Martha, Zab and I discovered and used the glass-walled elevator that clings to the outside of the building as it escorts its passengers between floors.

Next, we went shopping in the grocery for the last time prior to our return to the USA. I’ve hooked Martha on Cadbury chocolate bars—to go with our Coke Zero, cereal bars and Pringles potato chips. As always, Martha managed to find several discarded coins on the ground, which she will take home for souvenirs for herself, for grandchildren and for young ones along our stateside travels. Patrons of the store throw the coins away because they have no significant value, but the store gives them out in change anyway just to be honest and fair.

Parting from there, we headed to “the Giftland Mall.” We most looked around, and none of us made any noteworthy purchases; Martha and I bought a cheap plastic bowl to safeguard the Amerindian headdress we bought while in Monkey Mountain. The highlight of that stopover was Dairy Queen for four of the five of us; brother Nigel doesn’t like sweets.

By now, most of the day was spent. Nevertheless, we scurried over to a series of two home wares businesses, looking for an area rug and floor mats for the Milo kitchen. Just in time before the metal gate descended to secure the department store for the night, we made our purchase and stuffed it into the small Toyota family car in which we were riding.

Granting Martha’s expressed wishes, a little before dusk, we made our way to the narrow ribbon of beach on the far side of the seawall so my dear wife could feel the sand between her toes and wade in the surf, which was a distance from the shore owing to the low tide. Making good use of her tetanus shot before leaving the United States, Martha promptly stepped on a board with a nail in it! That little incident hardly slowed her down, and she was not seriously injured.

Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, we stopped at Pizza Hut before leaving Georgetown for Linden. As far as eating goes, it doesn’t get much better: tasty Chinese food, Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait and Peperoni Lover’s Pizza—besides the breakfast sister Jasmine fixed for us hours earlier. I informed brother Nigel and sister Jasmine that with treatment like that, I might decide to stay and not go home!

The journey back to Linden seemed much longer than it had earlier or at any other time we had passed that way many times over six weeks. The ride was much more taxing, not only because we were packed into the small, 5-passenger auto, but because of the wheel and tire in the trunk, along with the carpet, four mats, groceries, and satiated, contented, slightly heavier car occupants doubtless taxed the suspension as it battled bad spots in the roadway. In addition, we were all tired, and Zab fell asleep, leaning on the shoulder of his recently acquired additional grandma—Martha.

It was a good day! We double-dated, more or less, plus one very fine young man. Days don’t get much better than spending quality time with beloved Christian friends such as the Milos. Of course, I enjoyed being with Martha, too!

Wednesday, I reworked the newsletter and postcard files, and then, I resubmitted them electronically in a different way to a printing company in Michigan; I hope the files are satisfactory this time. Having received the last article for the February Gospel Gazette Online, I was able to publish it to the Internet and apprise subscribers that it is ready for viewing. I continued to work on the March 2017 issue of GGO. At 5 p.m., we participated with local hospital visitation, before attending the Wednesday evening Bible class of the Amelia’s Ward congregation. Tomorrow morning, Lord willing, Martha Lynn and I will start our journey back to the USA, aboard Surinam Airways from Georgetown to Miami. From there, American Airlines should deposit us in Memphis a little before midnight, whereupon our daughter Rebecca will retrieve us. Two hours difference in time zones between our starting and ending points, plus changing the clocks for Daylight Savings Time, will likely keep us a little confused for a few days.

By the blessings of Almighty God, we do what we do, intending it all for His glory. We serve a risen Savior and endeavor to follow the Spirit’s Guide Book—the Bible—as our roadmap from where we are to where we want to spend eternity. Please make that pilgrimage with us to a city whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10).

Another Lord’s Day in the Ward

January 29, 2017
preacher for the Coomaka Church at Amelia's Ward

preacher for the Coomaka Church at Amelia’s Ward

The Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ in Linden, Guyana, South America assembled for Bible class and worship today—from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (local time). That’s four hours—non-stop! Martha and I were privileged to be among that number. Though no count was taken, the large, modern auditorium was well populated with members of the Lord’s church from two congregations and visitors. The preacher and some of the members of the Coomaka Church of Christ attended, and the minister preached during morning worship; his lesson was thorough, timely and well presented.

Louis Rushmore

Louis Rushmore

Prior to that, I taught Bible class, presenting my lesson, “Come Meet Jesus Christ as a Historical Person.” That evening for the 6 p.m. worship, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “Come Meet Jesus Christ as Mediator, Intercessor and Advocate.”

The day was accented with a fine meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes, carrots, corn, homemade bread sticks and chocolate cake; sister Jasmine and her mother sister Bernadine made the sumptuous feast. Martha and I topped the afternoon off with a nap—trying to recoup some much needed rest from the past week’s early starts, as well as trying to bank away rest for the upcoming dark-of-night forays to new, distant haunts as our nationwide seminars resume on Tuesday.

Martha teaching at Paramakatoi

Martha teaching at Paramakatoi

Monday morning through lunchtime, Martha and I intend to accompany brothers and sisters on door knocking and home studies. Monday evening, Martha is slated to teach the weekly ladies’ Bible class. Tuesday, Lord willing, we fly by small plane to the border of Brazil at Lethem, Guyana—where we will be for a few days.

Happily, Martha is enjoying Guyana and the brethren here as much as I have through the present. The joy we derive from serving the Lord abroad amongst such loving brethren who relish every opportunity to immerse themselves in deeper Bible study is all the reward that either of us want. We are having a blast! Martha and I are undergirding each other’s spirits and experiencing happiness that we had not known for quite a while since the passing of our beloved spouses. All of this and having been friends already for about 25 years, it seems as though we have been married for years rather than less than a month, and we have found our niche in harness for our Lord.

Collierville, Tennessee

January 22, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-martha-louis-1Sunday, January 22, 2017 Martha and I worshipped with the Collierville, TN Church of Christ where our daughter Rebecca has been a member for decades. Consequently, the Collierville congregation is one that I have visited frequently over the years, and it is also one of my supporters in my stateside and foreign ministry. I say, “Our daughter,” because upon marrying the former Martha Lynn Noland on New Year’s Day, I added to the lot three additional sons and their wives, 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren (plus one on the way). Martha added two sons, a daughter and two grandchildren from me. Hence, Rebecca is “our daughter.” In no way, though, do we intend to diminish in the least my dear late wife Bonnie—the mother of my daughter and her two brothers.

During the Bible class time, I made my current PowerPoint presentation about my ministry, entitled, “2016 World Evangelism Media & Missions.” For the two worship periods, I preached PowerPoint lessons respectively, “Come Meet Jesus Christ as Pre-incarnate God” and “Come Meet Jesus Christ as Lawgiver and Prophet.” It was a good day of Christian fellowship as we worshipped God “in spirit and in truth.”

Later, Rebecca, Martha and I set up displays in the facilities of the Somerville, TN Church of Christ in advance of the congregation’s “World Missions Workshop.” Monday, I will participate with other speakers and attendees in a mission program. Many are the Christians and their congregations who maintain a genuine interest in lost souls at home and abroad.

Whew! I Mailed It!

December 15, 2016
Martha Lynn Noland

Martha Lynn Noland

Long hours over two days, but Martha and I stuffed, labeled and tabbed 1,029 Rushmore Newsletters. Yesterday morning (Wednesday, December 14), we hauled the three 2-foot trays—just under 60 lbs.—of missives to the Winona, Mississippi post office. In addition, email notifications for electronic subscribers to obtain a digital copy of the Rushmore Newsletter were sent to another 669 folks.

Later that day, it was our good pleasure to visit the Siwell Road Church of Christ for Wednesday evening Bible class. Brethren Gary Hampton and Derek Broome serve the congregation as its able evangelists. Martha and I were wonderfully greeted by many dear brothers and sisters in Christ. We capped off the visit with a meeting with the church’s bishops.

Otherwise, Martha and I did some shopping—more on that later. Of course, the 2-hour trip itself each way between Winona, MS and Jackson, MS consumed some significant time as well.

Stayed tuned Dear Brethren. Updates, etc. will be forthcoming soon.

December Weekend

December 13, 2016

96-dpi-4x6-crocket-cocOver the weekend, I managed to publish the December issue of Gospel Gazette Online (Website: www.gospelgazette.com). That marked the completion of 18 years of continuous publication on the Internet. Thousands of articles by Christian men and women remain available for free use to anyone around the world to access. Each month, a new 16-page edition adds just under three dozen additional articles. Please acquaint your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, fellow students and even your enemies with this great resource. It is our desire that all who make use of the website imbibe in the rich edification obtainable there. To God only be the glory.

Sunday, December 11, I was the evening guest speaker for the Crockett, MS Church of Christ. Hardly could one expect a better reception than what I was privileged to receive by the good brethren assembling there. I made my PowerPoint presentation “2016 World Evangelism Media & Missions” where I detailed the various activities for our Lord Jesus Christ in which I am involved: Editor of The Voice of Truth International & Gospel Gazette Online magazines, author of books and tracts, and foreign missionary. I was accompanied on the day’s outing by sister Martha Noland, my late wife’s best friend.

Since I Returned

December 8, 2016
Martha Noland & Bonnie Rushmore

Martha Noland & Bonnie Rushmore

Monday, November 21, I returned to the USA. While only one calendar day from New Delhi, India to Memphis, TN, nevertheless, travel time between three flights and layovers totaled around 30 hours; altogether, I was up for about 48 hours.

Besides the dreaded travel and probable jetlag, I had developed bronchitis; I introduced my international version to the domestic edition plaguing family, friends and brethren upon my arrival in the United States. Being sick compounded the discomfort of long hours and lengthy flights. As it turned out, I was in the beginning stages of illness as I returned to the USA, and I was sufficiently sick for two weeks as to impede catching up on work back at the office. I even missed one all-day preaching appointment as well as worship, too, as I stayed inside for a few days.

My daughter Rebecca, off from teaching school, not only retrieved me from the Memphis airport, but she returned me to my Winona home. There, we enjoyed one another’s company over an otherwise less than noteworthy Thanksgiving holiday. She and I were able to prepare the next edition of the Rushmore Newsletter, and I sent it electronically to a printing company for production.

Toward the end of my illness, I received a visitor; Rebecca and I picked up sister Martha Noland at the Memphis airport and brought her to Winona. She was Bonnie’s best girlfriend, and of course, a Christian friend of mine as well. She just had to “get out of Dodge,” as the proverbial expression goes. December is an especially bad month for her as the one-year anniversary of the passing of her husband Bob occurs on the 16th, and their anniversary is the 29th. The national holiday of Christmas falls on the 25th, too, which was my wife Bonnie’s birthday also. Some other Christian widow ladies and I have been helping each other limp through our emotional minefields, and Martha needed some extra crutches in December. We have developed a special long-distance friendship as sounding boards and sources of encouragement during difficult times of reoccurring grief over the loss of our spouses.

By day, Martha helps out at the office, and by night she resides in the warehouse/office apartment down the road from my residence. This past weekend, she traveled with me to my speaking appointment in Ooltewah, TN, and as it turned out, while I slept in Chattanooga, TN, she slept nightly in Ringgold, GA. We each lodged with a different elder and his wife of the local Church of Christ.

Martha and I visited Bonnie’s gravesite twice at the meetinghouse of the Old Union Church of Christ in rural, tree covered and Kudzu slung Carroll County, MS. On one of those occasions, we changed out the flowers on Bonnie’s grave with fresh, new plastic flowers to reflect the winter season. We both shed tears respecting our sorrow over losing our best friend on earth.

To my dismay, my wrecked automobile was not yet repaired upon my return, though the body shop had it for nearly two months. After getting my car back, I still had to return it – two counties beyond the county in which I live – to have some adjustments made; there remains two unrectified issues with the Town and Country van. Since my medical bills related to my accident – the hit and run – ran around $10,000 dollars, besides an equal amount to fix my car, I amended my auto insurance coverage upward.

Try as I might, I am far from catching up on work back at the office. I did manage, however, to ready the December issue of Gospel Gazette Online for publication. As soon as my daughter completes the proofing – later this week, I will publish and advertise it to subscribers and readers of my blog and Facebook postings. Tomorrow, a tractor-trailer is scheduled to deliver several pallets of literature to the World Evangelism Building in Winona, MS. Incoming are copies of volume 90 of The Voice of Truth International, the next issue of Global Harvest and tracts; these items were printed in India this time. Brethren from three area congregations have been enlisted to help unload and place in the warehouse these tens of thousands of literature. We are thankful for all of the help and the encouragement. Our prayer is that everything that we do will lead to glorifying God and edifying our fellow man.