Archive for the ‘Preaching Appointments’ category

Team Meeting and Such

July 24, 2019

Sunday, July 14 Martha and I assembled with the Wildwood, Florida Church of Christ. I presented my PowerPoint “2019 Guyana, South America” for the Bible class hour. That morning, I preached, “Youth Ministry Begins in the Home.” Later in the day, I preached, “A Lost Generation.” About 1 p.m. the next day, Martha and I left for Winona, Mississippi. (Rebecca had already departed in the morning for her home outside of Memphis, Tennessee.) Though Martha and I would like to have traveled farther, we lodged Monday night in Demopolis, Alabama.

Tuesday afternoon, Martha and I had dental cleanings in Jackson, Mississippi. Later, we arrived in Winona and were guests of brother Jerry and sister Paula Bates through Friday morning. I had worked with them from day to day in Winona for 11 years. Martha, of course, joined me in the work following our marriage a little over 2 years ago.

Wednesday evening, Martha and I met with the Elliott, Mississippi Church of Christ. I showed those present the PowerPoint, “2019 Guyana.”

Thursday and Friday, other missionaries and we gathered at the annual World Evangelism team meeting in Winona. We encouraged each other, told of what we had been doing and shared our plans for the coming year.

Friday night, Martha and I traveled to Meridian, Mississippi to the home of brother Therman and sister Sadie Hodge. They weren’t there, but they opened their home to us. Martha and I rested on Saturday and were treated to a superb supper at the home of brother Bill and sister April Koch.

On the Lord’s Day, Martha and I assembled with the Union, Mississippi Church of Christ—about an hour away. Once more, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “2019 Guyana,” and for worship, I preached my lesson, “Youth Ministry Begins at Home.” We were pleased to share a fellowship meal with the congregation following worship. Afterward, we returned to the Hodge Lodge and awaited the arrival of brother and sister Hodge. Monday, we returned to our home in Ocala, Florida.

For me at least, returning to Winona and spending time with coworkers resulted in a rush of eye-moistening emotions. The earthly remains of my late wife Bonnie lie about 30 minutes west of Winona in the cemetery of the Old Union Church of Christ—only a small clearing in the kudzu-covered woods permitting the presence of the meetinghouse and the graveyard. In addition, some of our fellow missionary families are battling cancer and other maladies; this too, is a little unsettling. Several associates have passed away in the last dozen years.

During the week, I managed to get the files for the next Rushmore Newsletter to the printing company in Minnesota. Further, I was able to get all of the files for my next book to the same printing company. My books are the result of studies over decades that occasionally make their way into print.

We were looking forward to sleeping in our own bed. We had only been home for about two weeks from our last trek before making this trip. Tuesday was a down day; we relaxed. However, I was able to do a quick mowing of the yard before the rains began. Later, Martha’s son and daughter-in-law shared our afternoon and a meal with us. That was pleasant.

Wednesday was punctuated with doctor appointments for both of us. We received the results of recent lab tests. I’ve flunked my AC1 test twice in a row, and so, I will begin taking diabetic medicine again. In the afternoon, I had a biopsy on my thyroid.

There is always something to keep us busy and give us purpose in life. We hope that by what we say, where we go and what we do stateside and abroad that we can glorify God and edify our fellow man. Hence, among other things, I need to feverishly work on the next edition of Gospel Gazette Online, and soon I must devote primary attention to a future issue of The Voice of Truth International. Shortly, I need also to arrange travel plans for our anticipated trip to Myanmar and India. It hardly seems that we’ve slowed down any since we moved from the daily activities at the World Evangelism Building in Winona, Mississippi to my office in our Ocala, Florida home. Martha and I are driven in the service of our Lord no matter of where we reside. We are fortunate to be associated with some of the most enthusiastic servants of our Lord, and we are thankful for good brethren who make it possible for us to devote ourselves fully to the cause of Christ.

16 Days on the Road

June 15, 2019

Tuesday, June 11, Martha, Rebecca and I returned to Ocala, Florida from 16 days on the road; Rebecca was 18 days on the road, counting her 2-day journey to us in Ocala. During the 16 days, we met with brethren and family in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. Whew! We were like an out of control ping pong ball, crisscrossing our own travel in Ohio.

Bobby’s wedding on Saturday, June 1 to Sharon, both members of the Ashland, Ohio Church of Christ, proceeded as planned. The following day, we three travelers assembled with the Vermilion, Ohio Church of Christ for a.m. class and worship; there I spoke about missions and presented a biblical lesson. Without delay, Martha, Rebecca and I made our way to Hanoverton, Ohio for a 4 p.m. worship with the Lord’s church in that farming community. The Hanoverton Church of Christ is vibrant with young offspring populating the pews; corn and cows aren’t the only avenues of farming there. That evening, we met with Martha’s grandchildren in Chester, West Virginia.

Monday and Tuesday, we visited with my father, my brothers and one of my late wife Bonnie’s brothers in Pennsylvania and New York; James and Kay Reed and we three, per Martha’s request, visited a causeway where we fed fish and geese that congregate near a spillway between sides of a large lake. Wednesday we made the second of two visits to the grave of Martha’s late husband Bob Noland in Calcutta, Ohio. That evening, we assembled with the Chester, West Virginia Church of Christ, whereupon I spoke about missions again.

Thursday, June 6, we three drove to Mineral Wells, West Virginia to meet with several of Martha’s siblings and a brother to Bob Noland. Friday through Sunday afternoon, we lodged with my son Raymond and his family in Pickerington, Ohio. Sunday morning, we assembled with the Pickerington Church of Christ. That afternoon, we all enjoyed the combined birthday party for two of Raymond and Crystal’s children—our grandchildren, of course. Our visit to Ohio also afforded us the opportunity to see, hold and spoil our newest grandchild of about four months.

Sunday afternoon, Martha, Rebecca and I began our return journey to Ocala. Finally, we arrived Tuesday afternoon.

Whenever and wherever we go, Martha and I make sure that we visit brethren, even if we are also traveling to spend some time with family members. We are ever conscious of being a servant to our Lord Jesus Christ, at home or while traveling stateside or abroad.

The grass was really high and thick upon our return to our home. Between spurts of rain, finally, I was able to bully it back into being a law and flowerbeds. Maybe sometime soon Martha and I will able to establish a routine in our new home, but interruptions of foreign and domestic travel over the last six months has prolonged our adjustment in that regard.

I continue to submit myself to a battery of medical tests and examinations; most of my ailments thus far are simply inconvenient rather than serious. Martha is experiencing significant pain beyond the ordinary daily pain. We hope to have some satisfactory diagnosis and remedy soon.

Our next stateside travels are planned for July, whereupon we return to Winona, Mississippi for the annual World Evangelism team meeting. We will plan excursions to congregations within a radius of there or along our route of travel. Lord willing, we are still looking forward to foreign travel beginning in late September and through most of October. We are to travel to be with brethren in Myanmar (Burma) and India.

Of course, we remain diligent in the production of Gospel Gazette Online and The Voice of Truth International. Others and I are working currently on volume 101 of VOTI. We rely on Christian families and the churches of Christ for underwriting financially our livelihood and labors for God. Thank you.

Onward and Northward

June 1, 2019

Monday, May 27, Martha, Rebecca and I briefly met with some staff members of the Central Church of Christ in Cleveland, Tennessee. Primarily, we left some newsletters and pens bearing our contact information. We are indebted to this congregation for its continued moral support and financial participation.

Wednesday, we three assembled for Bible class with the North Lexington Church of Christ in Lexington, Kentucky. Afterward, we met with a couple of the elders, who were very encouraging. This church also makes possible what Martha and I attempt to do for our Lord stateside and abroad. We are thankful for these two churches of Christ as well as for all fellow Christians and congregations that send us abroad with the Gospel.

Thursday, we briefly visited my son Raymond in Pickerington, Ohio. Next, we traveled to Ashland, Ohio to be with Martha’s son Bobby.

Saturday morning, Rebecca and I finished proofing and correcting the June edition of Gospel Gazette Online. Subsequently, I sent email notices to over 2,100 subscribers that the June issue was ready for their use. Aside from subscriptions, anyone can access the current Gospel Gazette Online or the thousands of archived pages by going to the URL address www.GospelGazette.com.

Later today, Martha’s son Bobby will wed his bride to be in the facilities of the Ashland Church of Christ. Afterward, Martha, Rebecca and I will travel onward in readiness for worshipping with and speaking for another church tomorrow—on the Lord’s Day.

It would be more convenient to have stayed home rather than to have driven thousands of miles by the time we return to Ocala, Florida. Nevertheless, it is appropriate and prudent for us to visit family and Christian friends. Especially our fellow Christians deserve to hear firsthand about the foreign labors in which they invest their prayers and funds. We are happy to make ourselves available to them.

16-Day Trek

May 26, 2019

Sunday, May 26, Martha, Rebecca and I began the first day of a 16-day trip to Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. We will be passing through Kentucky and possibly visiting the State of New York, too. This morning, we assembled with the Middleburg, Florida Church of Christ for Bible class and worship. During the latter, I made my PowerPoint presentation “2019 Guyana.” We were well received. My son Robert worships there; he cooked us a delicious lunch meal before we continued our trek.

That evening, we worshipped with the Dasher Church of Christ in Valdosta, Georgia, whereupon I went over Bible maps with youth and adults prior to worship. Once more, I was privileged to discuss World Evangelism missions and team members, as well as present the same PowerPoint as I had done in the morning at the former congregation. Church members encourage us each time we visit. Monday, we will continue northward.

Traveling

May 8, 2019

The morning of Sunday, April 28, Martha and I worshipped with the Siwell Road Church of Christ on the south side of Jackson, Mississippi, and that evening, we assembled a few miles away with the Clinton Church of Christ. In the a.m., I made my “2019 Guyana” mission presentation, followed during worship with my sermon, “Youth Ministry Begins in the Home.” Well, at least, I tried to use a PowerPoint, but the church’s system failed me about a quarter of the way through the series of pictures. Without incident, Sunday night, I made the same PowerPoint presentation.

Leaving Clinton, Martha and I traveled a couple of hours to the home of our dear friends and Christian brethren Therman and Sadie Hodge—otherwise dubbed “The Hodge Lodge.” Really! There is a sign on the garage wall that says so. We enjoyed some time before retiring for the night and all of the next day with Therman and Sadie; we four also dined with brother James and sister Gail Bragg at a local Chinese restaurant.

Tuesday, Martha and I departed from the Hodge Lodge and drove to Hamilton, Alabama. A group of us on Tuesday and Wednesday participated in prepping the Maywood Christian Camp outside of town for the annual missionary retreat. Wednesday evening, Martha and I drove to the Leighton Church of Christ, whereupon I made my PowerPoint presentation. Thursday and Friday about 60 or so of us who came for the event enjoyed both physical and spiritual food. I was privileged to be one of the speakers. Everyone recharged his or her proverbial battery.

Saturday, we drove to Attala, Alabama where we lodged for the night. Two of the elders and their wives from the Piedmont Church of Christ hosted us at a pleasant Chinese restaurant with multiple food bars in Gadsden. We relished our time together as well as the tasty vittles.

Yes, we were still pulling the utility trailer stuffed with the residue of our office and personal belongings; the car was full, too. (However, that didn’t stop Martha from buying things for the house along the way! I’ve got to stop eating at Cracker Barrel, since we have to walk through the “store” upon entering and leaving.)

Sunday, May 5, Martha and I met with the Piedmont, Alabama Church of Christ for Bible class and worship. Once more, I presented my newest PowerPoint and preached “Youth Ministry Begins in the Home.” Perhaps owing to a recent Windows 10 software update and possibly an update to my Microsoft suite of programs, PowerPoint began acting quirky. By the time of the 12:20 p.m. worship period with the Highway Nine Church of Christ, also near Piedmont, PowerPoint would not function; I had to borrow a computer from the preacher—which had not been updated recently.

After worship, Martha and I drove toward home. Tired and weary, we were unable to make it all the way to Ocala, Florida, and so we lodged adjacent to I-75 at Cordele, Georgia. Monday, we drove the rest of the way to our Florida home. Then, we began the process of integrating the contents of the trailer and the car into our house/office.

We are already planning our next excursion to Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Without the trailer in tow this time, we leave on this journey on or about May 29. We may not be traveling nearly every week as I have been doing for years, but we are still on the move! In July, we return to Mississippi for the annual World Evangelism team meeting. The end of September, we are to travel to Myanmar and India. We travel enough that sometimes I still don’t know whether I’m coming or going. I promised Martha six Saturdays a week, but we haven’t quite achieved that yet.

By the way, Wednesday, I published with the May edition of Gospel Gazette Online to the Internet. My daughter Rebecca proofed the pages and guided me via phone in making the corrections; she is invaluable, and with her education degrees, we apply her skills to our literary efforts.

Eagle Lake Church of Christ

April 18, 2019

Last night (April 17), it was our pleasure to assemble with the Eagle Lake, Florida Church of Christ for the first time. Martha and I were so well received by humble and friendly brethren that it seemed as though we had  been friends with them for many years. It is so wonderful to meet Christian brethren and instant friends in so many instances as we travel stateside and abroad. After all, we all expect to experience an eternal reunion in Heaven. Our connection with the Eagle Lake congregation was our interaction with brother Samuel Singh who preaches for the Asylum Street Church of Christ in New Amsterdam, Guyana, South America. Brother Samuel was my co-speaker for our World Evangelism Team seminars and workshops throughout Guyana in February.

DeFuniak Springs, Florida

December 5, 2018

This past Sunday, Martha and I visited two congregations in the vicinity of DeFuniak Springs, Florida. In the morning, we worshipped with the Liberty Church of Christ, and that evening, we assembled with the College Avenue Church of Christ. Both churches received us very well, and I was privileged to speak for each of them. We were greatly encouraged.

After evening worship, Martha and I enjoyed a carriage ride around the lake in the heart of town. The shore, surrounding homes and even in the lake itself were decorated with Christmas lights. The weather was just about perfect, and Martha and I enjoyed it all as well as one another’s companionship.