Archive for the ‘Literature’ category

Banshee Hotel

June 28, 2018

Arriving back in Winona, Mississippi from weeks in Florida, we commenced June by processing and mailing our newsletter. June 10, Martha and I worshipped with the Oil Trough Church of Christ in Arkansas; it was my privilege to speak twice on Sunday morning. We also recovered boxes of used songbooks, which we will ship to Guyana, South America for our brethren throughout that nation.

The following Lord’s Day, we assembled with the Quitman Church of Christ in Mississippi. Once again, I spoke for Bible class and preached during worship. The next day, Martha and I, along with my daughter Rebecca, headed for West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Of course, we traveled through Tennessee and Kentucky on the way.

Martha’s sister-in-law, through her late husband Bob, slipped into a coma before we could get to her home in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Only a few days before, Martha was able to talk with her sister-in-law Shari on the telephone. We visited the family for parts of two days, after which sister Shari passed away.

Wednesday, June 20, we met with the Harmar Hill Church of Christ in Marietta, Ohio, whereupon I was delighted to teach Wednesday evening Bible class. Martha’s sister and brother-in-law labor with that congregation, and we lodged with them.

Thursday, we were also afforded an opportunity visit one of Martha’s brothers in New Cumberland, West Virginia. Currently, he is battling cancer that has invaded his body. The same day, we visited the grave of Martha’s late husband, Bob Noland, in Calcutta, Ohio. We set flowers and changed the batteries in the ‘eternal flame’ lamp. We also met up with another sister in Christ and longtime friend of us both, Vera Groves.

Friday, Martha, Rebecca and I drove north to visit my father in Hadley, Pennsylvania. We also visited two of my brothers and their wives respectively in Greenville and Jamestown, Pennsylvania.

Saturday, June 23, we three spent the day with my son Raymond and his wife in Ohio. We rendezvoused with them in Berlin, Ohio—a major destination in the largest Amish settlement in the USA. We went together to a few sites in the area before dining at the Dutch Valley Restaurant in Sugar Creek, Ohio. Each trip to the region, I am elated if we can visit Amish country, especially if I can eat at Dutch Valley—an eatery that is a destination itself. Repeatedly and astonishingly, we kept bumping into brother Garry and sister Melissa Polk at the hotel in which we spent a night and at various tourist stops. He serves as an elder of one of the congregations in Arkansas which participates with us in our mission work, and I have roomed with them several times when I visited the church there.

It was at Dutch Valley that we met up with Martha’s son Bryan and his wife. The seven of us investigated more of the area before Raymond and Bryan returned to their homes.

The Lord’s Day on June 24, we gathered for Bible class and worship with the Church of Christ in Hanoverton, Ohio. Martha and Bob Noland labored with this country church for several years, and through my friendship with the Nolands, I have been speaking there from time to time since 2008. This little congregation participates with us in our mission work, and they in the past as well as on this occasion gave us used songbooks for distribution to English-speaking brethren abroad. The Hanoverton congregation had a fellowship meal especially for us. I spoke three times; the second worship began at 4:00 p.m. in this farming community. Sunday night, we rendezvoused with another of Martha’s sons at a fast-food joint in Mansfield, Ohio. We also used the stop for our supper break.

Monday, we started for home. Our return route to Mississippi took us through Cincinnati, Ohio. Immediately across the Ohio River lies Newport, Kentucky. There we paused for a few hours to go through that city’s Aquarium. Then, we continued homeward.

Tuesday afternoon, we stopped in Collierville, Tennessee to visit with the Gootam family. Ronnie Gootam recently completed theological training at a nearby school of preaching, and not long ago, Ronnie and his wife marked the birth of their first child. Though mother and father are citizens of India, through birth in the USA, their baby is an America citizen—making for some interesting circumstances in preparation for and upon the family’s return India. Visiting with them are Ronnie’s parents, Joshua and Kabita Gootam from Kakinada, India. All of the Gootams, including Ronnie’s brothers Ricky and Robin back in India, are outstanding and hardworking fellow-laborers in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday evening, we three weary travelers arrived back at my parsonage in Winona, Mississippi. We had made a whirlwind trip to West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and back to our Mississippi home.

Wednesday, brother Therman and sister Sadie Hodge dropped by for a brief visit on the way back to their home in Meridian, Mississippi. Also on Wednesday, coworkers and I finalized Volume 97 of The Voice of Truth International magazine and made the files available for the printing company in India. Volume 95 is the most recent edition to be circulated, and Volume 96 is in transit from India to Winona.

Thursday, Rebecca and I devoted the day to lawncare, while Martha busied herself indoors with preparing a very nice supper and other household duties. We’re bushed—tuckered out!

Throughout our travel, we lodged mostly in hotels—some satisfactory and at least one that we want to cross off doubly from our mental list of lodging places. We don’t ever want to stay there again! We slept in Mineral Wells, West Virginia; Calcutta, Ohio; Alliance, Ohio; Dover, Ohio; Grove City, Ohio; and twice in Cave City, Kentucky. Not its real name, we dubbed the lodging in Cave City as the Banshee Hotel because the elevator there screeches each time and on every floor when its door opens or closes. Not a bad stay, the Banshee Hotel provides a little extra via that amusing oddity. Incidentally, a former hotel once stood on the footprint of the current inn before it burnt in the night!

Back in Mississippi

June 1, 2018

Martha and I arrived back in Winona, Mississippi around 10:30 p.m. CST on Thursday, May 31. Over the next two hours, we unloaded the van and the utility trailer, showered and retired for the night.

Earlier in the day, we paused in Meridian, Mississippi to spend time with our dear friends, Therman and Sadie Hodge. It happened again! I invited them to accompany us to supper out—and they treated us. I told Therman that the next time I wanted to eat out, I’d invite him again!

We departed Ocala, Florida on Wednesday morning for Martha’s medical appointment an hour away outside of Gainesville. On the way, we received a phone call that her doctor was called away for an emergency surgery. Fortunately, we were able to reschedule the appointment for a little later in the morning. Consequently, Martha arranged a chiropractic session with another doctor just a few blocks away. So, she managed to work in two appointments—literally on our way out of town and out of the State of Florida.

Wednesday evening, we lodged in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. Two congregations in that area support our mission efforts. A sister with the College Avenue Church of Christ passed away on Friday from the same illness that claimed the lives of my Bonnie and Martha’s Bob. We felt a special connection with Pam Bradford and her husband John Bradford. Therefore, we took opportunity to attend the memorial service for sister Bradford on Wednesday night. The next day—a long day—we continued onward toward Winona.

 

During our stay in Ocala, we witnessed a granddaughter graduate from high school and another granddaughter be promoted from 5th grade. Martha underwent a battery of medical tests, and all seems to be well for our ages. I was able to nearly complete two Gospel magazines, Gospel Gazette Online and The Voice of Truth International, as well as our next Rushmore Newsletter. We maintained our office duties, and we visited some congregations of the churches of Christ in the surrounding area.

Over the next few months, we will continue visiting congregations out from Winona in Mississippi and surrounding states. Our annual Team Meeting will transpire in July, and at least by the first week of October, Lord willing, we will return for many weeks to two or more Asian nations. We covet your prayers.

Printed Literature, Gospel Gazette & Maywood

May 2, 2018

Monday, April 30, Martha and I drove to Nashville, Tennessee. There we unloaded many thousands of Christian books, Gospel magazines, biblically relevant tracts and such like. We place the literature into five shipping barrels. The agent for Caribbean Shipping Service will haul them to Miami, whereupon they will be placed on an ocean freighter. About a month after leaving port, the drums will arrive in Georgetown, Guyana, South America. Brother Nigel Milo and the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ in Liden, Guyana will retrieve the materials and distribute them to churches of Christ throughout the tropical nation.

Tuesday, May 1, Martha and I finished driving to Maywood Christian Camp outside of Hamilton, Alabama. For two days, others and we helped make ready for the beginning of our annual missionary retreat. As important as cleaning, etc. is the fellowship we experience with those especially devoted to carrying the Gospel abroad.

Wednesday evening, Martha and I made an unannounced visit with the Bear Creek Church of Christ in Bear Creek, Alabama. These good brethren support the original World Evangelism work as well as the labors for Christ in which we engage.

For several days, I have been putting together the May edition of Gospel Gazette Online. Rebecca Rushmore, my daughter, proofs it for me, finding several mistakes that I miss. Finally, late Wednesday night, Gospel Gazette Online was officially published for the world to see and to use. It is available without charge to the user for anyone and everyone around the world who has access to the Internet. Now in the 20th year of continuous online publication, thousands of pages are preserved in the Archive besides the content of each new monthly issue of the journal.

We keep busy, and we like it that way. Martha and I want little else than to be useful tools in the hands of our Almighty God.

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!

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.

Sun in My Eyes, Twice!

July 20, 2017

Jokingly, Old Timers are said to claim when talking to younger folks that things were more difficult when they were children. For instance, the standing joke is that things were so bad that they had to walk to and from school each day uphill both ways—in the snow. While that may be hard to believe, today, I drove for six hours and the sun was in my eyes coming and going. I assure you that it was so! Martha, Rebecca (our younger back) and I drove from my daughter’s home where we lodged last night from metropolitan Memphis, Tennessee to Nashville, Tennessee and back. Hence, the sun was in our eyes this morning as we drove east, and it was in our eyes this afternoon as we drove west.

Martha and I were pulling a trailer of about 2,500 pounds of literature and Bibles to an agent for the Caribbean Shipping Company. Yesterday, we were still adding Bibles to the stash. We bought about a hundred in north Mississippi, and last night, we bought another 120 Bibles in southwest Tennessee. Not all plans work as well as imagined, for trying to back the trailer into Rebecca’s driveway to load the cases of Bibles didn’t work out perfectly. The van as well as the trailer made hard contact with the concrete drive. No big problem—just had to carry the boxes a little further.

Martha was the designated picture-taker, and so she does not appear in any of the photographs. I told her that she was our cheerleader! Rebecca, Lennox Parris (shipping agent) and I unloaded the trailer and stacked boxes on two pallets. They will leave the USA from Miami on August 7 and arrive before September in Guyana. From there, brother Nigel Milo and the congregation with which he labors will see to the distribution of songbooks, class material, religious books and Bibles to congregations of the churches of Christ throughout the nation.

That was the second shipment that I pulled to Nashville so far in 2017. We may haul one more load later in the year. Brother and sister Bates with whom we work daily in World Evangelism hauled a trailer load of literature last week to Texas. Tens of thousands of pieces of literature ship from Winona, Mississippi and World Evangelism annually to Asia, Africa and South America. In addition, World Evangelism prints literature in Asia and in Africa, too.

All of this is made possible by individual Christians and churches of Christ. Recently, from one congregation, between members and the church, $1,500 was given for Bibles—over $1,000 of which we spent for Bibles in the last two days. We would have bought more, but we bought all we could find of the particular item in two stores in two states. The cost of shipping the two pallets above to Guyana is $1,340! Our fall trip to perhaps as many as four Asian nations will soon be upon us, and we may return for two weeks in September to Guyana for a special series of classes. Thank you brothers and sisters for making it possible for me to have the absolute best job to be had—as far as Martha and I are concerned—in service to our Lord Jesus Christ and His followers, as well as non-Christians, too.

Read It before You Can Hold It

July 16, 2017

The trouble with a monthly magazine, like Gospel Gazette Online, is that it comes around every month. I haven’t published the July edition of GGO yet. The trouble with a quarterly journal, like The Voice of Truth International, is that it takes a whole quarter to get the next issue ready to submit to the printers. Volume 92 of VOTI recently arrived at the World Evangelism Building in Winona, Mississippi, and subscription fulfillment occurred last week.

On Friday (July 14), I completed preparation of Volume 93 of The Voice of Truth International and made it available digitally to the printing companies. English language editions will be printed by the thousands in India, Nigeria and Ghana; most of what is printed in India will come back to the USA for distribution in that country. (VOTI will be printed in several other languages also, but in smaller numbers.)

Although it will be a couple of months or so before the next edition of VOTI arrives in the United States, I placed PDF digital editions of volumes 92 and 93 on the Internet. Therefore, anyone with a fast enough Internet connection can access them now—without charge. So, you can read it (volume 93) before you can hold it by going to:

http://www.gospelgazette.com/Library/Voice%20of%20Truth/VOT_093.pdf

In addition, by going to the following URL, one can access 93 volumes of The Voice of Truth International as well as dozens of other books, etc. in PDF—also without charge.

http://www.gospelgazette.com/library/

These links are available through Gospel Gazette Online, which has thousands of archived religious articles. New content is added monthly. Enjoy!