Archive for the ‘Rushmore Newsletter’ category

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.

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.

Work Day, Load Day, Boy Song Leaders

March 31, 2016

loaded vanWednesday, March 30 was a multifaceted day. First thing, brother Jerry Bates and I loaded my van from the back bumper to the front seats with literature and Bibles; the seats fold completely under the floor, and I readied them for this purpose before I left the house. Included in the load were about 2,000 copies of volume 86 of The Voice of Truth International, the one with memorial information for Bonnie Rushmore on the back cover. These will be distributed to every congregation in Guyana, South America and used for outreach among non-Christians. Also, thousands of tracts and 40 Bibles are in the mix, and these are being sent on behalf of a congregation in Florida to a missionary they support in Mabaruma. Thousands of additional tracts, hundreds of books (mostly for preachers and church leaders), songbooks, lectureship books, miscellaneous Christian books, communion cups and suchlike are aboard as well. My little freighter will haul all of it to a shipping company in Nashville, TN for shipment to Guyana.

Rushmore Newsletter March 30Around 10 a.m., several Christians from the Huntsville Church of Christ outside of French Camp, MS arrived at the World Evangelism Building to help prepare the Rushmore Newsletter for mailing. Counting sister Paul and brother Jerry Bates and myself, there were a total of eight of us. Ages ranged from a precocious 10-year-old to “none of your business.” Together, we made short work of the job, enabling me to get it to the Post Office the same day. We rewarded ourselves with takeout pizza that I fetched from the local Pizza Hut.

In addition, I rewarded myself with a little nap back at the house, though I didn’t actually go to sleep. I was unable to sleep very well the night before, and besides, I wanted to clean up after the day’s activities, especially loading and reloading my van. The tire sidewalls were touching the pavement and the tires were rubbing the car body sometimes. I unloaded some things – not my shipment – and Jerry and I redistributed the weight more evenly. I still drug the bottom of the car in a parking lot later in the day.

West President Boys SongleadingWednesday evening, I assembled with the saints at the West President Church of Christ. The evening was dedicated to young boys practicing being in front of the congregation and “leading” some songs. I snapped a picture of a cutie with my camera phone. A Christian youth also presented the devotional and extended the Lord’s invitation. It’s good being with God’s people, irrespective of the occasion for the coming together. Of course, it is good to groom young people for future service and devotion to the Lord’s church.

Thursday, I start out for a several-day road trip, making a huge circle, to Tupelo, MS; Nashville, TN and Huntsville, AL. Have computer, will travel and set up my office anywhere I please. The workday and the place varies, but I live to serve irrespective of the task at hand or where it may be. Thank you for making that possible.

 

Bored, I Am Not!

March 27, 2016

March.pubI’m not a numbers man; numbers are not my friends. I much prefer alphabet characters – literary things. However, I’m about to drown in that, too. A few days ago, I published to the Internet the March edition of Gospel Gazette Online, and I am working on the April issue now. A day or so ago, the March Rushmore Newsletter arrived from a printing company, and on Tuesday the postcard inserts are scheduled to arrive from another printing company. I plan to prepare the newsletter for mailing and send it out later this week to about 1,100 readers; tonight, I published to the Internet the March issue of the Rushmore Newsletter and apprised over 600 digital recipients of its availability. In addition, I have been working on other literary projects, and it will soon be time to layout another issue of The Voice of Truth International. Volume 87 is on its way from Hong Kong, while Volume 88 is being printed now.

Later this week also, I plan to take thousands of copies of The Voice of Truth International to Nashville to a shipping company. Thousands of tracts and hundreds of books, too, will need to be hauled to Nashville. Three or four shipping barrels will be laden with Bibles and Gospel literature for Guyana, South America. Furthermore, along the way, I will be driving to stateside appointments for speaking on Sundays; first, I will be going to Huntsville, Alabama. Presently, I am populating my calendar with appointments over the next few months.

Jerry Bates has been overseas for weeks, and Paula lately went to visit grandchildren in Arkansas; Betty Choate is still globetrotting around Asian countries, and I have been in and out of the office here in Winona. One thing I refuse to do is to get or be bored!

Homeward Bound

November 15, 2015
Church of Christ (Bangalore, India)

Church of Christ (Bangalore, India)

September 23rd, I left my homeland for Asia, stopping first for parts of three days in Singapore. Upon leaving there, to Myanmar (Burma) I went, whereupon I stayed for three weeks. From there, I traveled to Sri Lanka and was there parts of three days. Lastly, I flew to India, whereupon I traveled by car, train and plane to various locations. Now on November 15th, I am on the verge of returning to the USA; I am homeward bound. Strangely, it took parts of three days to arrive in Asia, but it will only take one calendar day to return to the States – with no less hours involved than when I came to this side of the planet.

My homeward route of travel will have me circumnavigate the world – travel all the way around the earth. In addition, upon leaving Bangalore, India the plane on which I’m to be a passenger is scheduled to fly to Paris, France – the site of a recent terrorist attack and the subsequent closure of France’s borders. If everything works according to my itinerary, I will fly from Paris to Atlanta, GA, before continuing onward to Memphis, TN. That one long, long day is supposed to be November 17th. I’m ready to return home, though shortly, I must prepare for my next overseas foray, this time to South America for five or six weeks.

Brother P.R. Swamy

Brother P.R. Swamy

Today (the Lord’s Day, November 15, 2015), I met with the Lord’s church in Bangalore for Bible class, followed by worship just as Christians observed in accordance with divine instruction nearly 2,000 years ago. I was afforded the opportunity to preach (“Worshipping Almighty God with Reverence and Godly Fear”). Afterward, brother P.R. Swamy and I dined at his favorite Chinese restaurant (and one of the few eateries in India that does not necessitate setting my taste buds and stomach on fire with Indian spices). Don’t tell anyone, but we each (both of us diabetics) treated ourselves to one scoop of Baskin Robbins ice cream before returning to his home.

For the balance of the day, I expect to open my mobile office – working on the December edition of Gospel Gazette Online, working on my December newsletter and making a PowerPoint presentation to highlight my work and the recent 8-week endeavor in four Asian nations. My first appointment upon my return is the very first Lord’s Day after I get back to the United States. Of course, I will have to at least think about packing for the flight home. Hopefully, a package of Chin language Bibles will arrive Monday so I can take them back with me, as a precursor to taking them with me next year to Myanmar for distribution; my second checked bag will, then, be a box of Bibles.

Thank you friends, brethren and churches who not only have sent me abroad, but who also have made it possible for me to return home, too. In another sense, I am homeward bound, not to the USA, but the residence of our Heavenly Father. Let none of us become so attached to God’s green earth that we could better be characterized as homesteaders instead of as pilgrims on the march, looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. Let’s go to our Father’s home together!

Prisoner on Earth

August 21, 2015

old songbooksIn a sense, sometimes I feel like a prisoner on earth when I think about the fact that my dear Bonnie has gone on from this world. The real “left behind” pertains to loved ones whose departed friends and family have left them behind. The good news, of course, is that there is a heavenly reunion toward which I and others like me look for with earnest. Yet, I’m sure that even such a longed for reunion will be sufficiently overshadowed by the bliss of eternal habitation with the Godhead Three, the angelic host and the redeemed of all ages. Still the time of her leave from me has been so recent that her (and my) headstone hasn’t been chiseled and set yet. There is no pain like it, and this pain excels all others because it wracks havoc both internally and externally. This, too, I know will pass – or at least deaden over time.

The “earth” that I experience isn’t really prison-like. I have everything that I need and more than I want. My health is fairly good. There is more food available than I desire. I have an abundance of clothes and other physical blessings. I live on a relatively peaceful part of the planet. How silly of me to imagine that I am a prisoner on earth!

In the early morning moments before full consciousness I was still making as it were new memories of Bonnie and me. I dreamed that we were together on some foreign field, some place to which we had not previously gone, but ever so familiar a scenario. For a moment, we were together once more making our way to acquire some literature for our overseas brethren. Then, I awoke and began a new day because I must. Duty calls.

It was my good pleasure this past Lord’s Day to be with the Batesville, MS Church of Christ for their evening worship. I felt right at home. I was privileged to make my PowerPoint presentation “Overview & Update” about my participation in World Evangelism and a little later to offer the Lord’s invitation. Some of the brethren of this congregation participate with me materially in my efforts to serve our Lord Jesus Christ.

I’m happy to say that the next issue of The Voice of Truth International (volume 86) is ready to send to the printing company, and I am well underway working on the next edition, too. Both of these issues need to be ready for the printing company before I leave for Asia for two months beginning on September 23. In addition, I have started working on the September edition of Gospel Gazette Online. Beyond that, I mailed the August issue of the Rushmore Newsletter today. Over the next few days, I will be out of the office – out of Winona, MS at least. Since I have a mobile office, any place I happen to be is my office. For a few days I intend to resort to my daughter’s home for some family time and some away time before the balance of my Sunday and Wednesdays are taken up with appointments with churches of Christ before departing the USA on September 23. I will continue working on The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online.

Finally, my schedule abroad is firm. With Delta Skymiles and a little cash, I purchased flights to Singapore and later from Bangalore, India back to the United States. I have accepted an itinerary with a travel agent for the balance of the flights between and in four Asian countries and will purchase those tickets as soon as the fares are presented to me. Now I need to concentrate on getting the lessons lined up to teach in the various locations to which I will be going in Singapore, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India. Teaching is almost the easiest part of foreign travel.

Besides distributing literature stateside and abroad, World Evangelism of which I am a part receives useable leftover Bible class and VBS literature, used songbooks, excess Gospel Minutes and House to House, old communion sets, etc. for repackaging and distribution abroad. Recently, we received some old, paperback songbooks. We cannot use them for overseas brethren, but we hate to dispose of them. They date back to 1935, 1937 and 1942. The titles are, Everlasting Praises, Number Two; Best of All Songs; and Sunrise in Glory. I placed one copy of each in my home alongside of some other old books that I have on display. If anyone out there would like to have these songbooks, I will send them to you for the price of postage and packaging; just let me know (Email: rushmore@gospelgazette.com).

Thank you for your encouraging words and any prayers offered on my behalf. Have a blessed day.

Nearly a Fortnight in Florida

June 30, 2015

Glass-Bottom Boat at Silver Springs, FLFriday, June 26, Rebecca and I lumbered along a route resembling the flight of a drunken crow as we drove from Winona, MS in a southeasterly direction headed for Florida. The Gospel chariot was laden down with Bonnie’s clothes (for Martha Noland in Ocala, FL), display material, literature and luggage. Picture Rebecca and me wedged in the command module of our little black space shuttle with barely enough room for ourselves. We paused en route the next two days to consume homemade tuna sandwiches that we had prepared for our lunches.

Weary from the first day’s journey, we lodged in Troy, AL at the Best Western Inn. Rain greeted us throughout the day as well as when we left the hotel for supper. The trip that day was uneventful except for a couple vehicles that seemed to want to play bumper car, but we resisted.

Saturday afternoon, we arrived at the home of our host and hostess in Jacksonville, FL where we would linger for the next two days; brother Jeff and sister Sherri White made us comfortable and fattened us up a little with good cooking. They worship with the Chaffee Road Church of Christ, which is one of my supporters and for which I was to speak Sunday morning. For Bible class, I presented my “Overview & Update” PowerPoint about World Evangelism and my labors therewith. During worship, I presented my PowerPoint “The Church of Prophecy.”

Sunday evening, we worshipped with the Riverview Church of Christ, and I gave my “Overview & Update” PowerPoint once more. Both congregations received us well, and the latter made a special financial participation with me in my mission endeavors.

Following worship, Rebecca and I traveled to the home of Bob and Martha Noland in Ocala, FL. He has served for many years as an elder and a Gospel preacher, and of course, Martha has been a valuable component, too, in their service to our Lord Jesus Christ. Just before our arrival, we received a mobile call as we were driving that Bob was having a medical crisis. When we got to their home, EMS personnel were assisting them, and finally, they placed Bob in Bob and Martha’s van for a trip to a cancer hospital an hour away in Gainesville, FL.

Rebecca and I rode along. Test after test was performed on Bob. However, after spending hours in the Emergency Room with no progress toward admitting Bob to the hospital, Rebecca and I returned to the Noland home in Ocala. We got to bed finally between 4:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Later in the day Monday, we gathered up the Noland’s granddaughter who had been deposited at Christian brethren and friends of the Nolands. The three of us, then, proceeded to return to the hospital in Gainesville. That evening, we returned to Ocala.

Tuesday, Rebecca and I went to a nearby Florida State Park where we rode a glass-bottom boat at the headwaters – 120 natural springs – for the Silver Springs River. Thunderstorms daily have lashed us with wind and rain; while on the boat, a ferocious storm battered land and water. Yet, beneath the surface of the river, we could see through the glass bottom of the watercraft that neither deep water nor aquatic life were the least disturbed by the turbulence above. (Incidentally, the most recent edition of the Rushmore Newsletter, which we mailed on Friday, June 19, finally arrived at residences here in Florida. I beat the mail down here. Imagine that!)

The water was crystal clear, and the depths were deceptively deeper than they appeared. We saw the bluest freshwater fish we had ever observed, plus turtles, gar and other fish. Later while walking adjacent to the river, we spied an alligator at water’s edge. We also saw monkeys, regionally appropriate birds and lizards.

So, we “played” a little – or smelled the roses somewhat. However, Rebecca and I worked as well. Finally, Tuesday evening, we completed entry of articles in a database, chronicling articles already used in The Voice of Truth International so we can distinguish them more easily from articles that have not yet been used in VOTI. We entered articles for over 300 pages encompassing three recent editions of the magazine. I also worked on Gospel Gazette Online a little plus other office work (in my mobile office – on my lap).

Saturday, Rebecca and I will travel to DeFuniak Springs in preparation for speaking all day Sunday for the Liberty Church of Christ. Between now and then, we will continue to work especially on VOTI and GGO. Monday, we will begin our return trip to Winona, MS.

Thank you for your interest in my efforts for the cause of Christ. I continue to make appointments both for stateside travel as well as overseas venues in five countries for this fall and into next year. Please pray for me, and let me know what dates you would like me to visit your congregation (mission report, preaching, Gospel meeting, etc.).