Posted tagged ‘2012-2013 Mission Trips’

Weekend in Florida

November 12, 2013

Saturday morning, November 9 Bonnie and I left Winona, MS and headed for DeFuniak Springs, FL to worship with the Liberty Church of Christ. About eight hours later, we arrived at the Best Western hotel in that city. We had crossed through parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and we were both exhausted. We shared a chopped steak and baked potato in the hotel restaurant, and then, retired to our room to rest in preparation for the Lord’s Day. Immediately after finishing review of our respective lessons for the next day, Bonnie became seriously sick, but by morning she was well again and rested.

Sunday morning, Bonnie taught the ladies during Bible class, and I taught the men. She taught her chapter from her book Living Principles about “Mrs. Peter”; near the conclusion of the class, Bonnie also answered sundry religious questions. I taught my lesson “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” During worship, I preached my sermon “The Purpose of Preaching.”

Brother Harold and sisters Rita and Ashley Bigham treated us to a buffet lunch. We spent awhile after we had surrendered our eating utensils enjoying one another’s company and talking. Afterward, Bonnie and I resorted to the hotel for some afternoon rest before evening worship. At 5 p.m., I presented two years’ worth of PowerPoint lesson to catch up the congregation on our foreign mission work to Asia and South America.

The small congregation is one of our supporters, and nearly every member personally encouraged us on this visit. The Liberty Church of Christ holds up our hands in foreign mission work. We are dear to each other in the service of the Lord and for His cause.

Monday, we spent the day making our way back to Winona, MS—through parts of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. I think Bonnie held up better on the return jaunt than I did. We opted for an alternate route back that avoided metropolitan areas and that was very scenic. An hour from home, we stopped to buy groceries in Starkville, MS. Finally, we pulled into our driveway at 7 p.m.

(One of the reasons we opted for the route we pursued going back home was to try to find one of Bonnie’s missing earrings. Upon my return home from Myanmar a few weeks ago, I gave Bonnie a pair of pearl-shaped jade earrings for pierced ears. Sunday night, she discovered that one of them was missing from her ear. That night and the next morning, we searched the motel room. In the morning, we searched the car. Before leaving DeFuniak Springs, we checked with the hotel staff, personnel at the restaurant where we had had lunch on Sunday and at Arby’s where we had eaten supper. Lastly upon leaving town, we stopped back by the grassy parking lot of the Liberty Church of Christ to look there. Neither one of us expected to find a little earring lost in a big world, but Bonnie did find it outside the meetinghouse.)

Tuesday found us refreshed from the previous night’s rest. I did my exercises, and Bonnie resumed exercising some on the exercise bicycle. We had breakfast, after which we readied ourselves for the day and went to the office. There is much work to be done on every side and in every place to keep us busy for Jesus Christ. We are thankful that friends and brethren are willing to keep on Sending the Light of the Gospel, whereby Bonnie and I are permitted to keep on Taking the Light of the Gospel abroad.

The Day Is Done!

November 9, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013 has been a full day. Bonnie and I drove eight hours from Winona, MS to DeFuniak Springs, FL. Tomorrow for Bible class and both worship assemblies of the Liberty Church of Christ, I will teach and preach—including making my PowerPoint presentation about foreign missions trips for 2012 & 2013. Bonnie will teach ladies in the morning, too.

The final article for the November edition of Gospel Gazette Online (Website: www.gospelgazette.com) from one of our writers arrived tonight as we are in the motel room. I was able to insert it into the journal and publish it to the Internet. In addition, notification was sent to about 1,500 subscribers that GGO for this month is now ready.

We have both gone over our respective lessons for tomorrow. Now all that remains is for us to get some rest so we can be refreshed when we worship God with fellow saints on the Lord’s Day. We have prayed already thanking God for our safe travels today, as well as for the lessons we will present tomorrow. As we turn in for the night, our prayers will include the same in addition to all those brethren throughout the world for whom we pray daily. We solicit the prayers of Christians on our behalf, too.

The Next Three Days

September 12, 2013

Rodney Nulph FamilyTuesday, September 10, Bonnie continued to work on the next issue of The Voice of Truth International that will go to the printing company. We need to get it done before I go overseas October 3 so I can put the finished product into the form needed by the printers. However, we are running out of time. I proceeded to prepare additional pages of Gospel Gazette Online for September – obviously late by now; it seems apparent that the October edition and maybe the November edition as well will be late. I must also prepare lessons for my upcoming three weeks abroad in Myanmar (Burma) plus six months of Wednesday evening Bible classes beginning in November.

Bonnie and Martha Noland also attended a ladies’ class hosted by the Lisbon, OH Church of Christ. Around 3:30 p.m., we drove two and a half hours to Columbus, OH. We met our son Raymond at a restaurant, whereupon we enjoyed his company for a couple of hours before returning to the Noland residence in Hanoverton, OH. We were saddened that our daughter-in-law and grandchildren opted not to accompany Raymond.

Wednesday morning and afternoon, Bonnie and I continued to work on The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online. About 3:30 p.m., Bonnie and I traveled to Medina, OH, whereupon we met up with brother Rodney and sister Julene Nulph with their children at the local Pizza Hut. After enjoying good fellowship and tasty pizza, we all made our way the block or two to the meetinghouse for the Medina Church of Christ. I made my PowerPoint presentation on our 2012-2013 Mission Trips; we were very well received. Rodney Nulph is an outstanding young family man and preacher – worthy of inclusion in many a congregation’s future Gospel meeting plans.

BIG KNIFE!Thursday morning, the Nolands and the Rushmores headed for Ohio Amish country – Sugarcreek, Berlin and Kidron. This trip has become, I think, our annual pilgrimage when in this part of the USA. On the edge of the Amish realm, in Dover, we paused at the gift shop for the Warther Museum. There, Martha purchased one of their famed knives made on premises. Next, we drove to our favorite gift shop in Berlin, mostly window shopping, though we purchased some small things. (We don’t really need anything, and we are flying between this region and our southern home, so we can’t take anything substantial on the plane.) Of course, we stopped at Heinis Cheese Chalet outside of Berlin; Bonnie bought some cheese as well as some Amish cake mixes.

The little shopping we did behind us, we drove to our true destination – the Dutch House Amish restaurant at Sugarcreek. This is one of our favorite places to eat of anywhere we travel in the world. German-American, old-time country cooking at its best! It was all the better with two of our dearest and longtime friends Bob and Martha Noland with us. The large sumptuous salad bar (including German, sweet mustard potato salad), the equally large hot food bar (including pulled beef cooked long and just right) as well as desserts (i.e., chocolate cake and bread pudding) were sheer delight to our taste buds. Exceptionally good service in an environment trimmed in finished oak everywhere one looks complemented the experience.

Lehman's HardwareFinally, we headed for Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron, OH. To our surprise, the established significantly recast itself since our last visit into an extravaganza of shopping intertwined with antiques. Like the other stops on Thursday, truly Lehman’s is a destination in itself. Once serving the Amish communities with new wares comparable to what our forefathers used generations ago before modern times, Lehman’s serves a world community now with merchandise seldom seen elsewhere, nevertheless which is serviceable to Amish and country folks across the planet. The several thousand square feet of building with unique items interspersed with antiques would take days to adequately survey, but we did not have that kind of time at our disposal.

We four eventually headed back to Hanoverton, OH so we could ready ourselves for a Gospel lecture in Lisbon, OH. Our good friend Rodney Nulph was the speaker, doing an admirable job with his assignment, “Overcoming Apathy.”

The days are full and the night’s rest is precious and all too brief. Tomorrow is another day (Lord willing) which I am sure will prove no less filled to the brim with this and that. Bonnie continues to do well, snoozing in the car if necessary along the way to bolster her strength.

Fly-Over, Drive-Through

September 9, 2013

airlinerFriday morning, September 6, Bonnie and I began by loading our car for our impending absence for a week and a half. One suitcase was for our night in Collierville, TN with Rebecca that night in preparation for our departure by plane from Memphis on Saturday morning; also included therein were clothes for the night of our return by air to Memphis and lodging with our daughter once more. Bonnie and I also packed two checked bags, two carryon bags and two computer bags. The last stop in Winona, MS before leaving town was the World Evangelism Building, whereupon we loaded empty spots in the two checked bags with tracts, copies of The Voice of Truth International, ballpoint pens, etc. (Later Friday night, we had to shift literature between checked bags to bring one of them within the allowable weight.)

With Winona in the rearview mirror, Bonnie and I headed south on I-55 to Jackson, MS for her weekly chemotherapy. Hours later (around 3 p.m.), we retraced our route north on I-55 toward Memphis and Rebecca’s home in Collierville. Having made provisions ahead of time, we dropped our van at the Chrysler dealership in Collierville for repair over the several days we would be gone.

Saturday, Rebecca dropped us at the Memphis International Airport on her way to Saturday School (for her and other teachers’ errant students). Our flight path took us from Memphis to Atlanta to Pittsburgh. Tiring as the journey was, especially for Bonnie, it was less tiresome than had we driven (in a sick car) from Mississippi to Ohio. We flew over numerous states (e.g., Alabama, Tennessee, etc.), and upon landing in Pittsburgh, PA, we picked up the rental car we had reserved. Then, we proceeded to drive from western Pennsylvania, across the northwestern panhandle of West Virginia and through northeastern Ohio to Hanoverton. There, we proceeded to lodge with our dear Christian friends Martha and Robert Noland.

Sunday a.m. we were with the Hanoverton Church of Christ. For Bible class, I taught Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship? During worship, I made our PowerPoint presentation of 2012-2013 Mission Trips. After Martha’s crockpot lunch of roast beef, potatoes and carrots, the Nolands and I (minus Bonnie who remained behind to rest) went to a nursing home in Lisbon, OH. It was my pleasure to speak to the residents in attendance. Then, I was delighted to preach at the Hanoverton congregation’s 4 p.m. worship my lesson, The Purpose of Preaching. Afterward, the Nolands carted Bonnie and me to the Massillon, OH Church of Christ whereupon I again presented 2012-2013 Mission Trips. I spoke five times in three cities!

Monday morning and afternoon, I worked on the late September issue of Gospel Gazette Online. The four of us paused for lunch at our favorite regional Mexican restaurant in Salem, OH. Upon our return to the Noland home, Bonnie rehearsed the lesson she had prepared for teaching a ladies’ class in Hanoverton that evening. While Bonnie and Martha participated in the ladies’ Bible study session, Robert and I attended a Gospel meeting in East Liverpool, OH; I greeted brethren with whom I have been acquainted for decades and from whom we have been parted for years. Each place, including East Liverpool, to which we have gone and to which we will go, I am leaving sample tracts, The Voice of Truth International copies, newsletters and pens to promote our good work and encourage participation by other brethren.

Our four-day weekend was filled to the brim! There was little time squandered, and the variety of things encountered and the places to which we went were plentiful, too. We don’t usually have to concern ourselves with the likelihood of becoming bored. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

East Tennessee Outing #1

August 19, 2013

Bonnie and I arrived at the comfortable home of Robert and Barbara Wright on Saturday afternoon. Predictably and to our pleasure, Outback Steakhouse was our supper venue. We are indebted to brother and sister Wright for their tireless hospitality and participation with us in our ministry for our Lord.

Sunday morning, it was my pleasure to make our PowerPoint presentation about our 2012-2013 Mission Trips during the Bible class of the Central Church of Christ in Cleveland, TN. During worship, I preached Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship? This is a lesson needed periodically for a number of reasons (e.g., newer, younger generations need to be taught; all of us need to be reminded; central to the sermon is an emphasis on biblical authority and correct biblical interpretation as well as the relationship of the testaments to each other). We were well received by the minister, elders and members.

After morning worship, we accompanied the Wrights to lunch at Olive Garden – our second visit to the chain in three days, when we haven’t visited it previously for maybe a year or so. We finally found a meal there that we really like – and like to divide between the two of us. Also present for lunch was brother Scott Medlin, deacon of missions.

Bonnie and I spent the afternoon relaxing at the Wright home prior to making our way to our next appointment. Immediately before parting company with them, they treated us to pie. When brethren spend time together, they eat! We have found this to be true stateside and abroad.

Bonnie and I arrived at the meetinghouse of the Ooltewah Church of Christ around 5:30 p.m. in preparation for 6 p.m. worship. As usual, Bonnie set out the display and gifts of tracts, books, newsletters, magazines, etc., while I set up PowerPoint equipment in the auditorium. Once more, I narrated our 2012-2013 Mission Trips. Brethren here, too, were ever so kind to us. Then, we supped with Winston and Cathy Stringfield in their home, where we also lodged for the night.

Both congregations and members from both congregations not only encourage us greatly, but they make it possible for Bonnie and me to do what we do for the Lord by their financial participation. We are extremely grateful for each member of both churches.

Monday, we spent all day driving back to Winona, MS. We had completed a big, big circle when we passed the Natchez Trace junction with US 82. We have a short week in Winona, as we leave Thursday afternoon for Jackson, MS in preparation for an early morning PET scan for Bonnie, followed by her chemo treatment. Then, we will head back to Tennessee for the Polishing the Pulpit program, in which both of us will be participating. Therefore, Tuesday through Thursday, we will be preparing for our trip, to include packing the van with books, magazines and displays. This weekend was East Tennessee Outing #1, which will be followed on the next weekend with East Tennessee Outing #2 for August 2013.

It is no wonder that our poor car is blinking dash lights at us and bucking a little; one would think we were sailing instead of driving as we are taking on (AC) water, too, and the local garage cannot correct that issue. I suppose at about 172,000 miles we can expect the repair list to increase from time to time. Bonnie and I may be slowed a smidgen with her illness, and our car too with wear and tear, but we and our Gospel chariot will persevere until the end.

Working Lunch & More

August 16, 2013

India Missions ConferenceFriday morning, Bonnie and I left Winona, MS at 8:25 a.m., bound first for Florence, AL. That was over a three and a half hour drive. It was our purpose to meet up with Janet and Wayne Barrier, which we did at noon for lunch at the Olive Garden restaurant. The occasion of our get-together was to plug into the schedule the speaker names for the 2014 India Missions Conference. The World Evangelism Team, of which the Barriers, others and we are a part, has accepted responsibility for hosting the next India Missions Conference.

First things first, though. We had a sumptuous meal with pleasant company; Bonnie and I shared an Italian sampler of lasagna, parmesan chicken and creamy fettuccine. The male server excelled, too – even bringing us fresh drinks and finally to-go cups an hour after we had finished our meals and paid for them, too. Essentially, we monopolized the table after eating, turning it into a workstation.

It took quite a while to fill in the schedule on which previously World Evangelism Team Members had agreed at our annual meeting a few weeks ago. In addition, we had whittled down potential speakers to a pool with which we were working today. The next undertaking will be to invite the various speakers and attempt to confirm their participation in the various slots as speakers, panelists, moderators and master of ceremonies.

Before parting from the parking lot, we delivered two packages to the Barriers, one of which was a case of Global Harvest magazine. Afterward, Bonnie and I pointed the car toward Cleveland, TN, where we will lodge Saturday evening with brother Robert and sister Barbara Wright; each year, they graciously open their home to us and extend the sweetest hospitality to Bonnie and me. Sunday morning, I will speak during the Bible class and worship for the Central Church of Christ. That evening, I will speak for the Ooltewah, TN Church of Christ, and we will lodge Sunday with our dear friends, brother Winston and sister Cathy Stringfield.

Friday night, though, we are lodging at the Best Western in Huntsville, AL. We ate supper at Jason’s Deli, a chain restaurant with which we were not familiar. It turned out to be an excellent choice! The sandwich we shared was superb, only out performed by the exceedingly friendly good service of every employee we encountered. That was a far cry from the interaction I had with a Wal-Mart employee a couple of days before in Mississippi, when I inquired about the price of a HP Photosmart printer; the pricing was neither on the shelf nor on the box, which was high on the top shelf. The “associate” told me to take the box to a counter and have the price checked; the item yet sits where I found it, and it can sit there forever as far as I am concerned. It is always a delight to find persons who decide to own their jobs and serve both their employers and the customers in an admirable way. My confidence was restored and bolstered today at Olive Garden and Jason’s Deli.

We are at rest. Tomorrow, we resume our journey. We pray for safety on our trip and hope that the car doesn’t strand us. The engine light is on, and the Town & Country van jerks and bucks. Of course, something is whining as well, and has done so now for two years. In addition, the air conditioner is leaking inside on the floor at Bonnie’s feet. We attempted three times to have the AC problem fixed in Winona, but to no avail. We tried to have the engine light, jerking and AC problems addressed at a Chrysler dealer on Monday, but the shop wanted me to drop the car off so that maybe on Wednesday someone could look into the problems, and that days after that perhaps it could be repaired; they were willing to rent me a car! Subsequently, we tried again to have these problems addressed in Winona, but unsuccessfully. Somewhere along the line, between travels and not in the county where we live, we need to leave the car with a Chrysler dealer. The Town & Country has over 171,000 miles on it, and little things (and maybe some expensive things also) are breaking down. We kept the last car 10 years, but we are wearing this one out more quickly with our extensive travels. We prayed for the last car every time we went on a trip, and it must be about time to start praying for this one, too!

Bonnie is doing well; she always has fallen asleep if not doing something as we ride along the highways, but our drive affords her ample opportunity between respites to rest and recharge. The real rest for which we both long is in heaven – eternally.

Accidentally Watered the Artificial Plant – at Church!

August 11, 2013

water fountainOur appointment Sunday morning, August 11 was with the Charleston, MS Church of Christ – not a very far jaunt from where we live. Within an hour of leaving Winona we arrived early at the meetinghouse; we always try to arrive about half an hour early so we can be among the first in the doors permitting us to prepare literature giveaways and set up the projector and the laptop.

It was our pleasure again this year to worship with this small congregation. Though few in number, they are big in heart when it comes to their encouragement and financial participation with Bonnie and me in our mission work.

For Bible class, I made the PowerPoint presentation covering foreign mission trips in parts of 2012 and 2013. During worship, I preached Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship? Following the assembly, we enjoyed fellowship and a potluck meal. After that, we all concluded with a devotional before parting from the building.

On one of the occasions that I visited the water fountain in the foyer to wet my throat for speaking, I had a minor mishap. One never knows what to expect upon depressing the button on a water cooler. Sometimes the flow is so pitifully meager that one would nearly need to give mouth-to-mouth to the orifice to obtain sufficient moisture. This time, though, the stream was robust – shooting far, far away – watering the artificial plant in the corner of the vestibule! The first press of the button was just to see where the stream would go and what I had to work with to get a drink. The second push of the button, with a little timidity, was timed to get my face in front of the burst of water, and yet not desiring to wash either my face or my hair at that time and in that place. Pet peeves often amass, but this was one of those surprising moments of amusement, and in a place and on an occasion unexpected.

A Sunday in McMinnville, Tennessee

August 5, 2013

Saturday, August 3, Bonnie and I made our way from Winona, MS to McMinnville, TN. Light to moderate rain punctuated the latter half of our trip through Alabama into Tennessee. Nevertheless, we concluded our 7-hour journey and deposited ourselves in the Best Western Inn. The distance between Winona and McMinnville is a little longer than six music CDs play.

After a slight rest of only 30 minutes, Bonnie was again ready to continue the adventure of the day. Our dear friends and brethren Ray and Charlotte Weddington picked us up at the hotel, and we proceeded to the local Subway restaurant. We gathered our sandwiches of choice, some chips and soft drinks before retreating to the Weddington’s home. Sister Charlotte and brother Ray stole a couple of hours away from caring for his ailing mother to spend a few moments with us. Then, they dropped us back at the hotel, where I looked over my Sunday lessons and we retired for the night.

Sunday morning, Bonnie and I worshipped with the Pleasant Cove Church of Christ. At the 9 a.m. Bible Class, I presented my PowerPoint about 2012-2013 Mission Trips. For worship, I preached Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship? Following worship, Bonnie and I enjoyed a congregational fellowship or potluck meal.

It is a rarity these days when we do not make a Wal-Mart run, and Bonnie and I did make a brief excursion to the local manifestation of the colloquial Wally World. With four hours before we needed to head for our evening appointment, Bonnie came up with the brilliant idea of camping out in the lobby of the local hospital; we have spent a lot of time in hospitals lately, and Bonnie’s notion provided for us comfortable seating and solitude as we were the only guests as well as reprieve from the heat of the day in the air conditioned lounge.

McMinnville, TNAfter two hours or so, we made our way to the meetinghouse of the West Riverside Church of Christ, also in McMinnville. Shortly before arriving there, we paused briefly at a riverside park and snapped some pictures. We were hardly dressed for a stroll, not to mention to cool our feet in those waters as several others opted to do that afternoon. Still early for the evening worship, we parked under the ample shade of trees, adjacent to a well-populated flower garden in the center of the asphalt lot. We opened the doors to let a gentle breeze sooth us as it passed through, and Bonnie rested.

It wasn’t long before brother Dorris Hughes, preacher for the congregation, arrived and admitted us to the meetinghouse. That evening, I again made my PowerPoint presentation about 2012-2013 Mission Trips. With the encouragement and financial participation of brethren such as those with whom we were at the two congregations in McMinnville that we visited, Bonnie and I are empowered to serve our dear Lord stateside and abroad with the Gospel.

Too far from Winona to make the trip that night after evening worship, we traveled in that direction anyway. We stopped for a burger meal at Dairy Queen in a town along the way; of course, we had to have a pecan cluster parfait apiece, too. Then, in Decatur, AL, we stopped for the night at the Best Western Inn.

Sunday, and then on Monday, the car had been bucking or jerking. We were unsure whether we would arrive in a timely fashion back in Winona or be stranded along the way. The van has 170,000 miles on it, and some things don’t work correctly any more. The engine light had come on for several days, though we had not a convenient time to address it, yet. However, we arrived back in Winona without incident around 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon. We both rested.

One day to get there. One day in McMinnville. One day to get back. That’s how we often spend our weekends, but doesn’t everybody?

These Summer Days

August 1, 2013

Today, August 1, I officially announced the publication of the new monthly edition of Gospel Gazette Online (Website: www.gospelgazette.com). It was actually available two or three days ago. The hurdle of a monthly publication is that it comes around every month! Several days go into the preparation for each monthly issue and involve in one way or another dozens of brethren.

Now, Bonnie and I are working diligently on the next quarterly issue of The Voice of Truth International that we will need to send to the printing company. Like the monthly Internet magazine, the chore of a quarterly magazine of 116 pages (including inside and outside cover) is that it takes nearly a quarter to put it together digitally before we send it off. Again, dozens of brethren from writers, to layout persons to proofreaders invest themselves in VOTI.

Actually, volume 76 is in print; volume 77 is at the printing company as I write this, and we are working on volume 78. Few would realize the lead time involved in the production of literature of this nature – long enough each quarter to approximate the length of a book.

Tomorrow, most of the day will be consumed in Bonnie’s chemo treatment. That is so by the time we travel to and from Jackson, MS from Winona, MS – plus the time spent waiting for or receiving the treatment. Add to that a meal or two and maybe some shopping. Typically, we leave between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to drive back into the carport often between 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday, will be consumed in traveling to McMinnville, TN for Sunday appointments at two congregations in that area. Lord willing, we’ll use Monday for our return trip to Winona.

Jerry Bates is in Tanzania on a mission trip. Betty Choate is in California visiting family. That leaves Paula Bates, Bonnie and me to hold down the fort! This includes processing and mailing book and tract orders, etc. Almost immediately, Bonnie and I must finalize preparation for teaching classes at the upcoming Polishing the Pulpit program in Sevierville, TN. Bonnie needs to work on lessons for the 2-day ladies’ retreat in which she will be teaching later this year. I am attempting to finalize my mission trip plans to at least Myanmar (and possibly to India and Singapore, too). Please remember us fondly in prayer before our Heavenly Father.

Week in Review

June 25, 2013

Steadily, Bonnie and I as well as our coworkers in Winona, MS have worked last week on various publications. All of us have worked on several new tracts soon to be sent to the printing company in Hong Kong. All of us have worked on the next issue of The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest magazines (the former is printed in South Carolina, and the latter is printed in Hong Kong, too). Bonnie and my daughter Rebecca have worked in addition on the July issue of Gospel Gazette Online; it is now ready to be officially published to the Internet. We feel nearly blinded from typing, formatting and proofing hundreds of pages of literature! It is a wearisome project to produce teaching material in whatever form it ultimately takes.

Old Union CoC

Of Course, we had to eat a little, too!

Besides the forgoing, one or another of the Winona team of which we are a part receive, package and mail out book and tract requests daily. Bonnie and I attended Wednesday evening Bible class at the West President St. Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS, but on Thursday night, we participated in special men’s and women’s classes hosted by the Old Union Church of Christ deep in the woods and traversed by dirt roads outside of Carrollton, MS. The ladies are using Bonnie’s book Living Principles.

96 dpi 3X5 Bonnie2This was Bonnie’s off week for chemotherapy. As she would say, the side effects are minimal, though they are often inconvenient and sometimes unpredictable. She is a trooper! Bonnie hasn’t lost any of her hair and may not with the particular regimen in her treatment, but she is supposed to be mindful of the sun, including donning the loathsome hat (she doesn’t like hats).

Saturday, Bonnie and I traveled to the home of Bob and Peggy Rogers outside of Piedmont, AL; they are always gracious hosts and friends to us. Their large family farm is in high gear right now, and all of the extended family members locally and hired help, too, work from predawn to dark. In one particular field, the combine harvesting the wheat was followed by a tractor and a rake, which was followed by another tractor lugging a baler to bale the straw, which was followed by other equipment to snatch the straw bales from the field. Back at the farm garage, the youngest Rogers were greasing and pressure washing equipment. Never really done, upon leaving the field there was the task of moving house-sized equipment along roads and streets to additional fields as well as unloading tractor-trailers of grain.

The whole family, though, paused along with the rest of the local family of God to worship on the Lord’s Day at the Highway 9 Church of Christ. I made my PowerPoint presentation about our 2012-2013 mission work during Bible class time and preached “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” during worship. After lunch at the local Mexican restaurant, courtesy of one of the elders and his family, Bonnie and I headed for our evening appointment with the Austinville Church of Christ in Decatur, AL.

Austinville Church of Christ

Austinville Church of Christ, Decatur, AL

We arrived two hours early but happened on brethren at the building who opened it up for us. Bonnie and I set up some copies of Global Harvest, Rushmore Newsletters, tracts, pens, etc. for the members to take home with them. In sufficient time before commencement of worship, the brother and his son arrived to help me set up for my PowerPoint presentation. Afterwards, the deacon of missions treated Bonnie and me along with his family to supper at Subway.

Bonnie and I had good intentions of driving the remaining four hours back to Winona, MS, but we reserved the option of stopping for the night if we became too tired. Hence, we lodged for the night at the least expensive motel we could find – excluding the flophouses that have proved unsatisfactory too many times previously, and we bedded down for the night around 10:30 p.m. in Tupelo, MS.

In the morning, we dilly-dallied too long to eat the continental breakfast, and so not disappointed at all, we had brunch of pecan pancakes, bacon, hash browns and juice at Cracker Barrel; we shared a meal as often we do, and still it was more than we could eat.

Since we were in Tupelo, we shopped at Sam’s club for groceries, putting perishables in a freezer bag. We got a little more fuel and opted for the carwash also to knock off some of the road dirt and bugs from our Gospel chariot.

Later in the day, we arrived back in Winona, not too much worse for the wear. This was Bonnie’s second weekend out with me for appointments since her surgery and commencement of chemotherapy. Chiefly, tiredness is a culprit we have to monitor, because it can lead to additional minor complications and inconveniences. I used to content myself with arriving back in Winona by midnight or a little later if necessary, but it is getting to the point where midnight driving is not good enough for me, and perhaps in sympathy with Bonnie, my tiredness necessitates consideration of finding a place to bed down a little earlier – like we did Sunday night.