Archive for the ‘Magazines & Books’ category

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.

Redneck Band & More

May 6, 2017

Sunday morning on April 30, Martha and I traveled from our Tupelo, Mississippi motel room to the Bear Creek, Alabama Church of Christ assembly. I presented the PowerPoint “World Evangelism Media & Missions” during Bible class time, and for the worship period, I preached about “The Focus of Jesus Christ.” Following lunch at the meetinghouse, Mrs. Rushmore and I retreated to the home of brother Royce and sister Helen Mann for a while and to wait out some bad weather that was passing through the area. Not as pretty as if it were sunshiny, nevertheless, brother Mann gave us a tour of his tree farm. Shortly after breaching the gated and fenced little forest, we forded a small creek in the club cab pickup truck. Pressing onward, our host fed wildlife and fish in the pond as we trekked about amidst the mostly pine trees.

That afternoon, we departed and drove around the larger rural area of that part of Alabama. We located the church building for the Gravel Hill Church of Christ and made sure we were present when the first car arrived for the 6 p.m. evening worship. Bonnie and I had been the beneficiaries of a gracious donation in 2014 toward our foreign excursions, and now Martha and I had an opportunity to visit the congregation for the first time. Happily, the elders of the church invited me to make my mission presentation, and everyone was friendly and encouraging.

(Between the meeting times of the two churches mentioned already, we happened on a couple of sisters who were cleaning the church house of the Hackleburg Church of Christ. We left some copies of The Voice of Truth International and some Rushmore Newsletters with them.)

Tuesday and Wednesday, Martha and I attended the India Missions Conference, hosted in the facility of the Hamilton Church of Christ. We continued to lodge in Tupelo to take advantage of the hotel group rewards associated with Choice Hotels. That location also afforded us convenient shopping and a variety of restaurants.

Thursday and Friday, we were present for the annual Missionary Retreat, this year held outside of Florence, Alabama. Repeatedly, brethren commented favorably about recharging their batteries. Following the program, everyone in attendance yet was treated to folk or to country renditions of a variety of songs by our very own redneck band.

Saturday, Martha Lynn and I traveled back to Winona, Mississippi. After all, it must be time to do laundry and to restock the suitcase!

Visitors from India

April 29, 2017

Thursday, April 27, dear Christian friends from India paid a visit to Winona, Mississippi. Two of the Gootam brothers, their respective wives and two young ones joined sister Betty Choate as well as Martha and me for supper at our local Mexican restaurant. The food was good—as always—but the fellowship was even better and sweeter.

Otherwise this week, Martha Lynn and I labored tirelessly, though exhausted and aching, to interweave some of her household belongings from her abode in Ocala, Florida into our Winona residence. Who would have thought that an 8×10 trailer and a van load of miscellaneous items could have created a warehouse out of multiple rooms while trying to sort it all out? We can move through the home once more!

Tonight (Saturday), we are in a motel room in Tupelo, Mississippi. Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will worship with the Bear Creek, Alabama Church of Christ in the morning. Tuesday and Wednesday, we expect to assemble with other missionaries to India at the Hamilton, Alabama Church of Christ, and on Thursday and Friday we plan to commune with other missionaries to various sites abroad who will be gathering for the annual World Evangelism Missionary Retreat. This year, it will convene in the Florence, Alabama area.

In the meantime, I’m still working out some kinks in volume 92 of The Voice of Truth International with printers in India. Yes, the April issue of Gospel Gazette Online is still a no show, but I have good intentions. Finally, I skimmed through months of newspapers, etc. that had piled up while we were out of town. Goodnight world; it’s time for me to get a little shuteye.

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!

Providence, Maybe

April 4, 2017

Since Martha Lynn and I arrived in Ocala, Florida the evening of Sunday, March 19, the days have come and gone with a flurry. We have camped out in Martha’s Florida home and upended somewhat the lives of her son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren as well as ourselves as we all dwell together in the 3-bedroom ranch-style house. In addition, we have experienced a plumber’s dream come true as both bathrooms, the kitchen sink and the septic tank have all cried foul at the same time! If the residence were a boat, we might sink with the kitchen and bathroom leaks, and I don’t believe that there’s supposed to be a brown spring gurgling up in the yard either.

We have assembled with brethren of the Central Church of Christ and the Woodland Place Church of Christ in Ocala; the Wildwood, FL Church of Christ; and The Villages Church of Christ in Lady Lake, FL, too. The Woodland Place congregation and I pondered if God’s providence was unfolding as its preacher was unexpectedly unable to be present the day Martha and I happened to show up for Sunday a.m. class and worship; I taught class and preached. The church and I stopped short of supposing that God’s providence might also have been behind the two flat tires the preacher suffered hours away from Ocala.

Finally tonight, Rebecca and I were able to complete corrections for the March edition of Gospel Gazette Online. Thus, I published it to the Internet and sent around 1,800 notifications to subscribers around the world.

On a disappointing note, FedEx did it again—again didn’t do what it claims to have done! Once more this particular freight company claimed to have delivered packages to me, which in fact it did not. The packages apparently were delivered somewhere—where I know not—but they were not delivered to me at our Florida address. Remarkably, the useless phone menu answering system at FedEx and two different FedEx employees all tried to convince me that I had actually received the three boxes of printed material (i.e., Rushmore newsletters, etc.) and that they were on the front porch—on which I was standing while talking to FedEx employees! Then, he asked me, “Have you checked with your neighbors?”—throughout the subdivision of the extensive bedroom metropolis of Ocala! Within two days, FedEx hopes to get back to me about the packages. I hope that my poor little packages are safe and dry—as we experience relentless rain and thunderstorms!

Martha and I postponed our long anticipated couple of days to ourselves away—whatever that means—until next week because of doctors’ appointments this week. However, amid a frustrating moment or two yesterday, at Martha’s insistence, we drove to the shore of Lake Weir. We walked on the beach, and yes, Martha strode barefoot through the sand and waded all the way up to her ankles in the little waves of water. Cautiously, we scouted out the menu and prices for a possible supper meal at Gator Joe’s there at the beach.

We dined on the deck above the sandy shore at water’s edge. The wind from the lake blew our menus away twice and knocked over Martha’s glass once; other debris occasionally flew from table to table and from patron to patron. I never before over the years in my dining experiences had to hold down my wax paper in my plastic serving basket to devour my victuals! It was great, though! It was just what we and especially I needed. You guessed it, upon my first experience to eat alligator, I found that it tasted just like chicken—peppered chicken. Not sure about ordering that as my entrée, I sampled Martha’s supper and ordered a very tasty fish dinner for myself. We’ll be back.

Back at the makeshift office, sometimes the dining room table and sometimes atop our bed with computers on our laps, we work at a myriad of matters (e.g., Gospel Gazette Online, The Voice of Truth International, etc.). Martha was quite proud of herself, as was I of her, too, as she completed another good article for use in one of the publications we publish or for which we write. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Martha’s like a sponge, a fast learner on everything new with which I acquaint her from mission work to publishing. She’s truly my helper in every aspect of my life.

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).