Archive for the ‘Gospel Meeting’ category

Busy, Busy, Busy!

August 7, 2017

Thursday evening, August 3, Martha and I hooked up the cargo trailer and returned to the World Evangelism Building just an eighth of a mile from our residence. We loaded just under 1,500 pounds of literature. We selected two different editions of The Voice of Truth International plus some reclaimed songbooks and a communion set.

Friday morning, after visiting the office briefly, Martha and I left Winona, Mississippi and headed for Nashville, Tennessee and an agent of Caribbean Shipping Service. Instead of taking I-55 northward to Memphis, Tennessee to connect with I-40, we took an alternative route—a little slower and more leisurely with less traffic. After unloading the trailer around 4:30 p.m., we headed to our wayside rest at Rebecca’s home in Collierville, Tennessee. Saturday, we made our way back to Winona.

Sunday, Martha and I drove the short distance from Winona to the outskirts of French Camp, Mississippi and the Huntsville Church of Christ. About half of the congregation, including its preacher, was away at family camp. Hence, I was afforded the opportunity to speak for the Bible class period (“World Evangelism Media & Missions”), morning worship (“Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ”) and evening worship (“Imitating the Focus of Jesus Christ”).

Monday morning, Martha and I, along with the help of Paula Bates and Betty Choate, began processing the July edition of the Rushmore Newsletter. Tuesday, we will finish up and mail it. Squeezed in amidst preparing the newsletter were a few other necessary activities, including purchasing $1,500 of airline tickets. Martha and I will fly to Guyana, South America on September 2 for two weeks of teaching church leaders.

Monday evening, Betty Choate, Martha and I attended the Gospel meeting hosted by the Old Union Church of Christ. Brother Paul Franks spoke to a full house of brethren from several area congregations. We hope to return Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for the Gospel meeting.

We still need to finalize our itinerary for our fall mission trip to Myanmar or Burma, India and Singapore. We may possibly also visit Sri Lanka. Of course, we need to make sure that we are ready for teaching various lessons in South America and Asia. There is never enough time!

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!

Gospel Meeting

September 30, 2016

96-dpi-4x6-polk-farm-1Saturday, September 24, I made my way from my daughter’s home in Collierville, TN to the residence of sister Melissa and brother Garry Polk outside of Center Ridge, AR. Friday evening, I had traveled to Rebecca’s house in Collierville from my abode in Winona, MS.

Complications with my rental car delayed my trip so Rebecca and I missed the opportunity to dine together. Seldom have I encountered such intense smoke as thoroughly saturated the rental, and no amount of off the shelf air fresheners was going to change that. Besides, the couple of days I had the car started to make me sick – sinuses, throat and chest, which would hamper me speaking in the upcoming Gospel meeting for the Center Ridge Church of Christ. Finally, late in the day I was able to contact the dealer 30 miles west of Winona and exchange the car for another one.

96-dpi-4x6-crane-in-a-treeBrother and sister Polk have been and continue to be a great encouragement to me. Aside from that, they lodged and fed me Saturday through Friday. I joked that they fattened me up with all of that good cooking, and I had to escape back home before these beef cattle farmers carted me off to the sale barn, too.

96-dpi-4x6-gospel-meeting-1I was privileged to preach in a Gospel meeting for the Center Ridge congregation Sunday through Thursday. Members from several area churches of Christ attended, and the Jerusalem Church of Christ let out their Wednesday classes to join with Center Ridge in the Gospel meeting. The theme for the week was “Come Meet Jesus as…” Lessons presented via PowerPoint and narration were “…an Historical Person,” …Pre-Incarnate,” “…Lawgiver and Prophet,” “…High Priest,” “…Mediator, Intercessor and Advocate,” “…Head of the Church, Head of His Body and Head of His House or Spiritual Family” and “…Messiah and King.”

I expect to teach these same lessons in October and November for fellow Christians in Myanmar (Burma) and India. In addition, when teaching for two weeks in the Hmawbi Bible School in Myanmar, Lord willing, I will be presenting lessons on “Sermon Preparation and Presentation” and “Bible Geography, Bible Archaeology and Sacred History.”

It is my earnest hope that God was glorified and that all auditors during the Gospel meeting at Center Ridge were edified. Any praise forthcoming for the same belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ. I’m thankful to be just a lowly servant in that regard.

After another home cooked breakfast at the hands of sister Melissa, I headed homeward. I paused long enough in Horn Lake, MS to meet my daughter on her way home from work for supper at Texas Roadhouse. We each selected our preferred menu item – “Road Kill” – a specially prepared chopped steak, which we complemented with a house salad adorned with honey-French dressing and a baked potato. Happy that our homebound paths crossed – she going east and me going south, we each proceeded to our respective homes – our temporary abodes as we make our pilgrimage toward our permanent home with God above.

P.S. – Sister Polk “threatened me twice.” On a prior visit in a previous year, I photographed the Polk bootjack outside their home. She warned me of items not to photograph and include in my blog. “You better not put __________ in your blog, and I don’t want to see __________ in your blog either!” 😉

As Long as I Draw Breath

September 19, 2016

Today (Monday, September 19, 2016), I prepared 125 letters with enclosures and mailed them. They were sent to congregations of the Lord’s church in several states to apprise them of my impending trip to Myanmar and India. In the letter, I requested prayers, encouragement and financial participation. I am looking forward to being with Christian friends in Asia once more.

I also packaged and shipped several parcels of tracts and books. In addition, I copied receipts and filled out medical paperwork relating to my car accident to send back to the insurance company.

Twelve days have passed since my car and I were rear-ended at a traffic light, and my insurance company by its unresponsiveness and lack of any progress has heightened my frustration level all the way up to my eyeballs. (Please, no more opportunities to acquire additional patience.)

I really may have to rethink my decades-old relationship with this company since it appears to be a whole lot more willing to take premiums from me for renter’s and auto insurances and car loan premiums than it is to awaken from its zombie-like, deadened posture to perform due diligence in its contractual responsibilities. It appears that I need to act like the oppressed widow of Luke 18 on a near daily basis just to rouse those rascals from their slumber. The only problem with that is that for nearly two weeks now, each time I call (they never call me), I get a different claim’s person with a completely different and contradictory batch of instructions and information. It’s even more incredulous when in a single phone call with the same person that the specialist on the other end of the phone line contradicts himself or herself. How do they stay in business?

Tonight, I prepared “Thank You” cards to acknowledge and show appreciation to donors who sent funds last week for my efforts to serve our Lord Jesus Christ stateside and abroad. A little this morning and mostly this evening, there’s the ever present household duties – “I’m my own maid, chief cook and bottle washer.” One day this week – maybe – if I feel up to it and my back doesn’t bother me too much, I just might get to the yard work that’s been calling my name for a couple of weeks or so now.

Life goes on until it doesn’t. In the meantime, there are things to do, not the least of which is to seek opportunities to serve our Lord. This includes making preparation for an upcoming Gospel meeting as well as for my trek overseas in about a month. If the world still turns on the morrow – and I do too, I hope to apply myself in an honorable way before my God and each day as long as I draw breath.

Between Then and Now

July 27, 2016

The Sunday following the workday in Winona courtesy of the Booneville, MS Church of Christ on Friday, the Old Union Church of Christ in rural Carroll County, Mississippi (did I say rural – smothered in the woods and Kudzu traversed only by multiple gravel roads) hosted a Gospel meeting through Wednesday. I purposely did not schedule any appointments that weekend so that I could contribute my moral support to the Old Union congregation. I worship with that group of Christians Sunday mornings when I am not traveling stateside or abroad, and the locale has the meetinghouse sitting in the edge of a cemetery going back over 150 years. My dear Bonnie rests there in one of the most peaceful and picturesque settings on earth.

Friday, July 22, I reluctantly transported my loving daughter Rebecca back to her domicile in Collierville, TN. She needed to get back in place to attend training on Monday for the new school year, as well as put her classroom back in order before she has to return to work on August 1. Rebecca teaches 6th grade special education in the Desoto County, MS schools.

On the way, of course, we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants for a little Road Kill – a glorified hamburger, complemented with a house salad and a baked potato – at Texas Roadhouse in Horn Lake, MS. We did a little shopping afterward before proceeding to her house. I returned to Winona on Saturday, after Rebecca and I dined at another favorite eatery – Cracker Barrel.

Sunday, I once more taught class and preached in the morning for the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS. In class, I spoke about “Redemption, Forgiveness, Justification and Sanctification.” During worship, I preached, “Come Meet Jesus Christ as Creator.”

Otherwise, I have been working diligently, along with others, on Volume 90 of The Voice of Truth International, which will be shipped in January 2017. I have been working on four additional printing projects and securing quotes for a fifth printing of Gospel literature for use on a South Pacific island. Gospel Gazette Online has garnered some of my time, but not nearly enough as the calendar pages turn relentlessly when it comes to the monthly publication of GGO. More than usual, triage has been the name of the game over the past few weeks and will be into the foreseeable future. One of the items to which I need to turn my attention immediately is the preparation for mailing of the July edition of the Rushmore Newsletter. Within two weeks, I need to apply for a visa to Myanmar (formerly Burma) and scout out airfare for my trips to that country and India.

Anyone tagging along on my blog of personal expression and life’s journey, I solicit your prayers. My journey is not ended yet, but I struggle onward – mostly struggling with myself – as long as life is in me. May we travel together on our respective excursions throughout life toward a city whose builder and maker is God.

Sunday to Tuesday

July 13, 2016

96 dpi 4x6 laundrySunday, July 10 it was my good pleasure to speak for the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS. During Bible class, I made my PowerPoint presentation about “2015 Asia & 2016 South America Mission Trips.” Neither visas nor passports were required! I’m almost positive that no one suffered jetlag, and anyone who might have fallen asleep did so based on other issues. For morning worship, I preached with the aid of PowerPoint once more, “The Deity of Christ.”

96 dpi 4x6 ceiling lightsTuesday evening, I was privileged to speak for the Huntsville Church of Christ outside of French Camp, MS. Various speakers are participating daily in the congregation’s Gospel meeting this year, and I was delighted to be one of them. Brother Nathan Wright, preacher of the church, texted me to make sure everything was set for me speaking and to invite me for supper. I replied, “Tonight?!” I briefly considered texting additionally, “I’m in Alabama!” However, instead, I assured him that I was looking forward to supper and to the meeting. I was accompanied by sister Betty Choate as well as brother Jerry and sister Paula Bates; we are fellow team members of World Evangelism in Winona. Rebecca, my daughter, is still with me and attended the supper and Gospel meeting.

96 dpi 4x6 flashlightThose were the highlights over the past few days. In addition, I’m up to my elbows if not also up to my eyeballs in behind the scenes efforts for our Lord (e.g., printing projects, The Voice of Truth International, etc.). There is no lack of purpose in my life (and eternity), without which I would be adrift on so many levels.

96 dpi 4x6 frog signWhat? No pictures? There are not necessarily pics for every occasion. Nevertheless, there crop up from time to time as I travel around the country some photo opportunities that bring about a pause and some idle reflection. Take for instance the outdoor, motel Laundromat wedged between a soft drink machine and an ice machine in a breezeway. At a remodeled Dairy Queen along the byways traveled recently, Rebecca and I deliberated about the advisability, esthetics and safety of hanging electric cords from ceiling lights throughout the establishment tied up and shortened with garbage bag twisties. I guess someone’s car suffered a burned out license plate light, which the driver resolved by taping a flashlight to the trailer hitch and aiming it at the car tag. Finally, I parked my car adjacent to a private driveway sign that reads, “Frog Parking Only! All Others Will be TOAD!” Smile.

World Evangelism Annual Team Meeting & Such

July 9, 2016

96 dpi 4x6 annual meeting 1Tuesday evening July 5th, Rebecca and I pulled into my driveway in Winona, MS around 4 p.m. She had spent her birthday in the car with me traveling back from two Sundays of my preaching appointments in Florida. Wednesday was a catch-up day on so many levels and in so many ways. Thursday began the 2-day World Evangelism Annual Team Meeting in Winona. Several brothers and sisters in Christ traveled hundreds of miles to share field reports and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow stateside and foreign missionaries. Among the diverse efforts discussed to disseminate the Gospel at home and abroad were jail and prison ministries, radio, TV, Internet, foreign Bible schools, and overseas campaigns.

96 dpi 4x6 annual meeting 2Among those present were Betty Choate, Paula and Jerry Bates, Rebecca and Louis Rushmore, Barbara Oliver, Gordon Hogan, Larry Murdock, Janet and Wayne Barrier, James Lee, Barbara and James Jones, Joey Barrier, Baron Vander Maas, Ellen and Collin McKee, Madolyn and Gene Gibson, Robin Dunaway, Sadie and Therman Hodge, Dennis Larson, JoAn and L.T. Gurganus, and Gay and Byron Nichols. We are loosely affiliated, besides all being faithful members of the Lord’s church; amenable to the respective elderships under which we serve Jesus Christ in our various capacities and labors for the Lord, we nevertheless cooperate as opportunities present themselves to further the spread of the Gospel worldwide. Directly and indirectly through foreign brethren alongside of whom we work for the Lord, this crew makes the Gospel of Christ available to approximately two-thirds of the world’s population and participates in thousands of conversions each year.

96 dpi 4x6 annual meeting 3Virtually every get-together for special occasions (and often without any special occasion) among Christians involves eating with one another. The Annual Meeting was certainly no exception to that norm. On Thursday evening, we carpooled 18 miles away to the Carmack Fish House – a longstanding, yearly tradition for us. Of course, lunches and breakfasts back at the World Evangelism Building were delightful as well.

96 dpi 4x6 annual meeting 4In addition to general meetings in which field reports were presented and we encouraged each other, there were two special meetings in which core members of the World Evangelism Team participated. One of those was regarding The Voice of Truth International quarterly magazine that we publish in English and several foreign languages. The Editor, Byron Nichols is now 79-years-old, and he has opted to slow down some. Consequently, he has chosen to transfer much of his responsibilities to others. The outcome was that brother Nichols will become Editor Emeritus, Louis Rushmore will become the Editor and Jerry Bates will be the Associate Editor. These adjustments in duties will become effective with the publication of The Voice of Truth International volume 90; issue 89 is at the printers now. Brother Byron Nichols has edited VOTI for 25 years, and he will remain active with it for the foreseeable future.

96 dpi 4x6 annual meeting 5The second special meeting concerned the Into God’s World curriculum effort that has been in the works for some time. Four quarters of Teen study books – a year’s worth of lessons – have been completed, and they are ready to print. The writer for the series is brother Kevin Cauley; Robin Dunaway is project manager and Louis Rushmore is responsible for layout and production. Initially, one copy each of the first quarter book will be sent out to hundreds of congregations to acquaint them with the study and elicit orders for use in 2017.

Saturday, I completed the July edition of Gospel Gazette Online for publication to the Internet, and Rebecca finished proofing it. For a change, the holdup this time was me! I was the last one to have his or her article ready.

Looking ahead to the new week, Sunday I will speak for the Bible class and morning worship of the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS; two weeks later, I will speak at the same times again. Monday, I must attend to details for printing The Voice of Truth International volume 89 in Hong Kong, printing of Into God’s World literature, etc. in Minnesota and price thousands of tracts and Bibles for another mission work that intends to saturate 100% a South Pacific island nation. Tuesday evening, I am to speak in a Gospel meeting for the Huntsville Church of Christ outside of French Camp, MS. I’m sure I will find enough worthy undertakings to fill the balance of my hours and days – so I won’t get bored!