Posted tagged ‘2015 – 2016 Mission Trips’

Batesville, Mississippi

September 12, 2016

The Batesville, MS Church of Christ and I become more familiar with each other the more often I visit it to acquaint these brethren with my foreign missionary labors. Once a year, it is my good pleasure to make such a visit, and last night (9/11/16) was my appointment for this year. A few days ago while I was having a bite to eat in Grenada, MS, a Christian brother from Batesville happened upon me and bought my supper.

Sunday night, I made my PowerPoint presentation about my 2015 Asia and 2016 South American mission trips. Very few in the audience suffered jetlag and fell asleep! Several brethren were not only very welcoming but also encouraging.

Monday, I was moving slowly due to a restless night with a backache from my Wednesday night auto accident. At the office, I packaged three book orders, and subsequently I mailed them. I prepared and made a bank deposit from funds received Sunday. I drove to Grenada, MS to get price quotes from and to inquire about a printing company that we have not previously used. I prepared for mailing “Thank You” cards for money received Sunday and for the scans of checks received at my sponsoring congregation, the Siwell Road Church of Christ in Jackson, MS.

Regarding my wrecked car, I find myself in a quandary. I am hamstrung between my insurance company insisting that I use its designated estimator at a local collision repair shop and an automobile dealer. There’s around $5,000 difference between the two regarding the cost of repairs, owing to two things. The local shop will use “recycled” (i.e., junkyard salvage) parts and the dealership will use new parts. In addition, the local shop did not disclose the cost of labor in its estimate. Theoretically, I can opt to have my car repaired at a place of my choosing, but the insurance company with its checkbook is trying to force me to go the cheap route. On top of that, the local shop wants a month to repair the car! All of that considered, I want to trade the automobile, but the insurance company is complicating any consideration of that. Even if I repair the car, it will be depreciated by $2,500 just because it was in an accident. All of this, the result of being the last car in a line of cars at a red light when someone drove a pickup truck into the back of my van, and then fled first in the vehicle before abandoning it and fleeing on foot. Ah, such is life, plenty of opportunities to refine one’s patience and perseverance.

To Piedmont and Back

August 7, 2016
Fitting cabin decor for a cattle farmer

Fitting cabin decor for a cattle farmer

Saturday, August 6, after I burnt breakfast, I headed out on nearly a 300 mile trip each way to Piedmont, AL. I’d fire the chef (me), but I’d starve! I fixed sausage (all I had to do was heat the precooked patties and brown them a little), frozen diced potatoes and two, small, round waffles; the only thing I didn’t manage to blacken were the waffles, which were heated in the toaster.

Mister GPS (mine has a male voice) put me exactly in the driveway of my host and hostess for Saturday night, Stan and Carrie Rogers. I had never been to their home before. They have a beautiful vista of a series of rolling hills framing pastureland as their log home sits atop one of those majestic bluffs.

Aside from the hour wait (mitigated by the fellowship with each other), Stan and Carrie, along with John and Daphne Rogers and I enjoyed a delicious meal in a quaint setting in Cave Springs, AL. Stan and John are elders, one each from the two congregations in Piedmont that I was visiting and that support me.

Though I lodged with Stan and Carrie, Sunday morning I left their residence and proceeded to the Piedmont Church of Christ, the other congregation in town. There, it was my good pleasure to make my PowerPoint presentation in Bible class about my most recent missionary adventures in Singapore, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India and Guyana. For worship, I preached about the Deity of Christ, which by the way was a live broadcast to local radio, too. I was very well received by these good brethren; I look forward to getting to know them individually better each year when I visit.

After worship, I rushed over to the Highway 9 Church of Christ not far away. Church members had already gone through the line, loading their plates for a fellowship meal. I went straight from my car to filling my plate as well. It was an exceptional spread; everything was to the liking of my palette. I enjoyed the meatloaf and baked beans so much that I got a second helping on those items.

For a 1 p.m. worship service, earlier than usual to accommodate another area wide activity, I once more made a PowerPoint presentation about my recent mission work in Asia and South America. Here, too, I was well received by brethren who I have been visiting annually for many years now.

Following worship, I made my way home, four and a half hours or so driving time plus stops along the way. I arrived home a little after 8 p.m. CST. Next week, Lord willing, I will be Center Ridge, AR for Bible class and two worship periods. The following week, I am scheduled to speak for the Clarksdale, MS Church of Christ. I will be making additional appointments between now and the middle of October, when I leave for my next mission trip. Sometime, I need to haul about 2,000 pounds of literature, etc. to a Caribbean Shipping Company agent in Nashville, TN. Between weekends, I expect to finalize volume 90 of The Voice of Truth International, readying it for the printing company. I’m sure that a few other matters will demand my attention also. By the way, next week my new book, Biblical Diversity: God’s View of the Roles of Men and Women, will ship from the printer; it is a mere 75 pages, half written by my late wife Bonnie and the other half penned by me.

May God bless each reader of my blog entry. One of these days it may be your congregation that I visit and from you that I enjoy Christian hospitality, at which time you can read about it in some future blog entry.

Long Day in Jacksonville, Florida

July 3, 2016

Sunday, July 3, 2016 found my daughter Rebecca and me in Jacksonville, FL. We started the day out in Ocala, FL, where we had been from Monday evening last week until this morning. We spent some quality time with our dear friend and sister in Christ, Martha Noland. She was my late wife Bonnie Rushmore’s best friend, aside from our daughter Rebecca – and perhaps me, too. Martha was widowed about six months ago; her husband Bob had been an elder and a preacher over the years, and he was a friend of mine also.

On Wednesday, we three worshipped with the Central Church of Christ in Ocala. Otherwise over several days, we dined out, made abundant use of the pool – a first for me since I am skittish of more water than needed to shower – and did a little work around Martha’s home.

Sunday morning, though, Rebecca and I left at 7:23 a.m. and headed to Jacksonville, nearly two hours away. First, we met with the Chaffee Road Church of Christ. I made my PowerPoint presentation “2015—2016 Mission Trips” for Bible class and later preached with the aid of PowerPoint once more, “The Deity of Christ.” We were privileged to enjoy with these brethren a fellowship meal, preceding a second worship period, whereupon one of the elders presented a lesson.

We were wonderfully received. The Chaffee Road Church of Christ participates with me in my mission work, and it is a great encourager as well.

Sunday evening, Rebecca and I worshipped with the Riverview Church of Christ, where again, we were received so well. I presented “2015—2016 Mission Trips” for a second time during that congregation’s evening worship service. In the case of Riverview, individual families came forth to fund my mission efforts.

Incidentally, I spoke at both congregations today in the absence of their preachers. Last week I also spoke in the absence of the preacher with the church with which we worshipped outside of DeFuniak Springs, FL; next week and one additional week in July, I will be preaching for a Mississippi congregation in the absence of its preacher.

Tomorrow, on July 4th – Independence Day, Rebecca and I will begin our trek back to Winona, MS; we will divide the journey over two days. I hope that the holiday traffic is bearable and that we travel safely. July 5th, while we will also be traveling, Rebecca will experience an uneventful birthday, riding as front seat passenger alongside of me. We have been out and about for more than a week, and it’s time to return to Winona. Besides, we have guests coming to my home in connection with the annual team meeting of World Evangelism associates. Yes, I’m still working on the July edition of Gospel Gazette Online, and there are other activities calling for my attention – like preparation for speaking in a Gospel meeting next week, too. Never time to get bored, I press on and forward.

Bouncing Around Ohio

June 11, 2016

My daughter Rebecca and I have been bouncing around Ohio like some kind of accelerated Ping-Pong ball careening off the interior walls of one humongous, irregular-shaped box. We drove from Pennsylvania, where we had visited family, to Ohio on Saturday, June 4. Quality Inn in Elyria, OH provided us lodging that evening, and on the morrow, we completed our journey to be with the Vermilion, OH Church of Christ. This congregation stepped forward to be the initial sponsoring congregation for Bonnie and me regarding our mission work. It was always intended to be a temporary arrangement, but that congregation received funds on behalf of our missionary labors for about three years. To this day, these Christians continue to be a great encouragement to me as well as to participate with me financially in my endeavors for our Lord Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for all that this church has done and continues to do in relationship to me; these brethren got in on the ground floor of my mission activities.

We were wonderfully received in Vermilion on Sunday. I made my PowerPoint presentation for Bible class Sunday morning about my “2015 – 2016 Mission Trips” to Asia and South American, entailing 13 weeks abroad in five countries. During worship, I preached about “The Church in Prophecy”; a technical glitch midway through my sermon necessitated disregarding the PowerPoint presentation of this lesson and resorting to narration alone. When “Plan A” fails, I move on to “Plan B.” I’m just glad we didn’t have to resort to plans “C” or “D”! Following worship that morning, we enjoyed a fellowship meal in our honor; brethren will use any excuse to eat together and to enjoy one another’s companionship!

Loaded!

Loaded!

I wish that I had had time to drive by the shore of Lake Erie at Vermilion, but we needed to leave town immediately for my evening appointment with the Norval Park Church of Christ in Zanesville, OH. Under ideal circumstances, my GPS said we needed three hours and fourteen minutes for the trek between the two locations; Google Maps, though, claimed that we only required two hours and forty-three minutes for the journey. In reality, in part due to traffic congestion because of a broken-down motor home ahead of us, a construction detour and nasty weather, we had little time to spare upon arriving in Zanesville.

Initially, we paused just a few minutes at the Zanesville home of sister Barbara Harris, ever an encouragement to me and a participant with me in my foreign labors. If we had arrived earlier, we would have been her guests for a fine meal that she had prepared, but that we were unable to enjoy before time for evening worship.

This was my first visit to the Norval Park Church of Christ, and I must say that no congregation of the Lord’s church has ever been more gracious and kind to me than this church. I was honored to extend a devotional invitation and afterward to narrate my PowerPoint presentation, “2015 – 2016 Mission Trips.” Many Christians commented favorably, and the minister and elders interacted sympathetically with Rebecca and me following worship. At least on this occasion the congregation opted to participate financially with me in my efforts for Christ.

Rebecca, her Nook book & Raymond's cat

Rebecca, her Nook book & Raymond’s cat

Within an hour of leaving Zanesville, Rebecca and I arrived at the home of one of my sons, Raymond, in Newark, OH. Since he was off from work on Monday and Tuesday, this was an ideal opportunity to spend precious time with him – and mooch off of him for lodging! We spent most of one day perusing and cruising through the Amish countryside between Millersburg and Sugar Creek. Bonnie and I always ventured into Amish country each time we came to Ohio, and I still enjoy doing so. Whenever I buy a belt, I buy a good leather belt in one of the many shops scattered in town or rural area, and I bought another one on Monday. My pass through Amish land is never complete until I feast at the Dutch Valley Restaurant in Sugar Creek; I left that establishment filled and satisfied, as well pleased with the good company of Raymond and Rebecca.

Not in Kansas anymore!

Not in Kansas anymore!

As a sidebar, it was evident, as Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz” uttered, ‘we were not in Kansas anymore’ once we entered Amish-land. The horned fish seemed to be a little bizarre. We also paused in our passage to muse over the longest covered bridge in Ohio; motorized vehicles are prohibited under penalty of a hefty fine, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some horsepower traipsing across it. We three took a timeout at a display of the vestige of the old Erie Canal. Raymond and Rebecca were as interested in a large catfish swimming near the canal boat.

Horsepower!

Horsepower!

If I spent money daily like I did that day and sometimes recently, I’d be broke in short order. I convinced myself to make an investment in a small curio cabinet for the purpose of displaying in the foyer of the Siwell Road Church of Christ some of the artifacts relative to my foreign mission work. This congregation oversees my missionary work, and in a very fine way, too. Desiring to maintain a good rapport with the congregational members despite my frequent absence, the elders, the associate minister and I have arranged for a television in the large foyer to keep brethren abreast of my mission trips and destinations overseas. Tuesday, Raymond, Rebecca and I adapted the Amish made curio cabinet into a display case also to place in the Siwell congregation’s foyer beneath the TV. A drawer on top will exhibit foreign currency and coins, whereas lighted shelves below that will highlight carved items (e.g., elephants), a parasol, bowls and jewelry, among other possible objects. Rebecca and I will carefully haul the display back to Mississippi and set it up at the earliest opportunity. Of course, we had some family time, too; we made a point to have a meal out together once more, especially since there is nearly 1,000 miles between us, and visits are infrequent. Rebecca and I also did some shopping respecting our return trip shortly down south, and I had the oil changed in the Town & Country as well as some other minor service work.

Long covered bridge

Long covered bridge

Wednesday, Raymond left for work around 4 a.m., and later, Rebecca and I drove to the Hanoverton, OH Church of Christ for me to address the evening Bible class about my mission work. Once more, I showed the PowerPoint formerly shown on this trek in Vermilion and Zanesville. The minister for the congregation and his wife graciously invited us to dine with them at their supper table preceding class time. Several families encouraged Rebecca and me, as well as participated financially with me regarding my mission work. These brethren are dear to me also for the hospitality they have shown me repeatedly over the years, including inviting me into their homes and notes of encouragement.

Erie Canal Boat

Erie Canal Boat

Incidentally, I purchased a compact, lighted travel mirror, especially for use in foreign travels by which to shave when neither mirror nor light are available. I’m accustomed to few purchases in life working as well as advertised, but this buy was a complete flop. Not only does the mirror portray a fuzzy image, but no matter how the mirror is held or turned, the image is upside down! Granted, I may be a little out of focus at times, but I have not mastered standing on my head yet. Return and refund coming! That’s when I found out that magnified mirrors require one to nearly touch them with one’s face for the reflection to show properly. Nah, I don’t think that will work well for my purposes.

Erie Canal

Erie Canal

With management’s permission, just before 2 p.m. on Thursday, Rebecca and I left the Comfort Inn in which we lodged. That gave us time to do a few office things (e.g., Gospel Gazette Online, catch up finances, etc.). Besides our next appointment wasn’t until 6 p.m. only about an hour away, and we needed to be somewhere during the day. Still, we were afforded time for two detours along our route of travel. One of those was to walk around Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron, OH. A tourist trap for sure these days, there are lots and lots of things to see – new merchandise of all kinds from over the past three centuries and many, many antiques. We didn’t buy a thing, but the side excursion was pleasant as well as taking up some slack in our day.

Lehman's Hardware

Lehman’s Hardware

We rendezvoused with the Rodney and Julene Nulph family (including Joshua, Brielle and Steven) at the Pizza Hut in Wooster, OH. He is the Associate Editor for Gospel Gazette Online, Julene also writes for the Internet journal. In addition, sometimes I place their writings in The Voice of Truth International. We had a very pleasant time together, and especially the children were much interested in my mission trips. Therefore, I set up my laptop on a table, borrowed a little electric and reviewed my PowerPoint presentation “2015 – 2016 Mission Trips.” Afterward, we resorted to the parking lot where the Nulphs pored over foreign language and Braille books with amazement. The whole family likes to read, and so I made sure that each family member had his or her books to read in the days ahead. It was my pleasure to leave a couple of jade bracelets and a miniature dugout canoe in their hands before continuing my journey.

It could have been worse!

It could have been worse!

All that remained was to wind our way back through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi to my Winona home. Friday, Rebecca and I traversed parts of Ohio and Kentucky in a southwesterly slant across those states, finally coming to rest for the night in Cave City, KY. Heavy rain hampered travel and doubtlessly contributed to a couple of traffic accidents that we passed – one of which involved a tandem tractor-trailer and two cars. Fortunately, we traveled safely. Finally, we drove into blue skies and sunshine, and the temperature increased over 20 degrees!

Incidentally, the elevator in the hotel in which we stayed – every time its doors opened or closed – sounded how I imagined that a banshee would screech! Aside from that, after supper, we resorted to our room, and I spent my time laboring on the still unpublished June edition of Gospel Gazette Online.

Saturday was an uneventful, daylong ramble through the balance of Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi all the way back to Winona. After unloading the Town & Country van, we restocked it with literature for the next day’s appointment, visiting a congregation in Mississippi whereupon I will speak at the three service times.

Jerry and Paula Bates have left the country, and there is much physical labor to which I need to attend back at the warehouse. I missed unloading the truck that arrived recently, but I must tend to some of the mailing of the newest issue of The Voice of Truth International. Hopefully, in the upcoming week I will also publish to the Internet the June edition of Gospel Gazette Online. A few other matters cry for attention, too.

Wild, Wonderful West Virginia

June 4, 2016
View out Balis' Bay Window

View out Balis’ Bay Window

The State Motto for West Virginia is “Mountaineers Are Always Free.” From 1975 to 1991, the official slogan of West Virginia was “Wild, Wonderful West Virginia”; that sentiment still persists on sundry official sites as well among the residency in general. Wednesday afternoon, June 1st, Rebecca and I arrived at the home of brother John and sister Sue Balis outside of Sandyville, WV.

As we entered the grounds of the Balis family farm, I spied sister Sue mowing the lawn astraddle a riding mower. It was then that I recalled from having lived in West Virginia that mowing grass in that state is “women’s work”!

Brother and sister Balis have hosted me before, along with Bonnie, of course, and at least once my daughter, too. Once more, Rebecca and I were graciously received, lodged and amply fed. Besides this, the Balis’ are an ever encouragement and participants with me in my missionary efforts.

That evening, it was my good pleasure to speak to the Sandyville Church of Christ. I made my PowerPoint presentation about my “2015-2016 Mission Trips” to four countries in Asia and one country in South America.

96 dpi 4x6 WartherThursday morning, after breakfast, Rebecca and I once more mounted the Town & Country and traveled onward. We stopped en route to northwestern Pennsylvania in Dover, OH to have our paring knives sharpened at Warther’s Museum, Gift Shop and Knife Factory. The company will sharpen our knives, which we bought from them, for life.

Finally, we arrived in Hadley, PA at the trailer home of my 86-year-old father for a short visit, which included being bitten on the leg by his little housedog. For a moment I had passing thoughts of playing football with that toothy fur ball and punting him toward some unseen goal post! He broke the skin, which eventually drew blood to the surface, right through my jeans.

After leaving my dad’s home, we dropped by my brother Mike’s (and Donna his wife) home between Greenville and Jamestown, PA. He is confined to a bed or a chair; he only gets out for doctor’s appointments usually. We happened to stop by on a day between appointments. Recently, he had another stroke. He is my youngest brother, four years my junior.

Next, we dropped by the home of my brother Martin (and his wife Mary and his daughter Sammy) in Jamestown. The five of us enjoyed dinner in a local eatery. Afterward, Rebecca and I resorted to our lodging in Meadville, PA.

Friday morning, we slept too late to sample the hotel breakfast. Hence, we “forced” ourselves at Cracker Barrel to share pecan pancakes, crisp bacon and cheesy hash brown casserole, accented for me with orange juice and with chocolate milk for Rebecca. With time on our hands, we headed to the first oil well, which birthed the oil industry, in Titusville, PA. It was a pleasant day (the snow melted about two weeks earlier), and the visit to the museum and grounds was equally pleasant.

For about an hour we rested back at the hotel, once we returned, before visiting some of Bonnie’s family at the home of James and Kay Reed in Cochraton, PA. Bonnie’s brother Larry Reed and his wife Donna also stopped by, and all of us had a home cooked meal together.

Saturday morning, we checked out of our hotel and moved toward the next venue. We reserved a room in Elyria, OH and headed that direction. Sunday morning, I am scheduled to speak for the Vermilion, OH Church of Christ; that evening if our Lord wills, I will speak for the Norval Park Church of Christ in Zanesville, OH. Monday and Tuesday, we will visit my son Raymond in Newark, OH, and Wednesday, I will speak for the Hanoverton, OH Church of Christ. Thursday evening, we will have supper with the Rodney Nulph family; he is the Associate Editor of Gospel Gazette Online, an Internet Gospel magazine now in its 18th year of publication. Friday and Saturday, Rebecca and I will return to Winona, MS. All day Sunday, I will speak for the Indianola, MS Church of Christ.

Life in general can be wild and wonderful. West Virginia proudly embraces that slogan.

Mississippi Weekend

May 16, 2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016 found me visiting two Mississippi congregations a couple hours distance from each other. In the morning, it was my pleasure to speak during the Bible class time and worship period for the Elliott Church of Christ.   I made two PowerPoint presentations, “2015-2016 Mission Trips” (Asia & South America) and “The Church in Prophecy.” I was well received. The Elliott congregation is one of my regular supporters.

In the evening, I spoke once more for the Crockett Church of Christ. Speaking only once, I presented “2015-2016 Mission Trips” there as well. Not only was I well received as usual, but this was the occasion of the congregation’s monthly fellowship meal; that made the visit even more personal as we shared homemade cooking and camaraderie as brothers and sisters in Christ.

I am in the process of making appointments for the next several weeks that, Lord willing, will take me to congregations of the Lord’s church in Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia and Florida. In the weeks ahead, I will try to schedule appointments in Georgia and Arkansas. I could be coming to a congregation near you, especially if you act as my advocate and help me make an appointment with the church of Christ where you worship.

Huntsville Bound

April 5, 2016
Bonnie in better days in someone's home on a stateside trip

Bonnie in better days in someone’s home on a stateside trip

On Friday, April 1, I delivered Bibles, books and tracts to a shipper in Nashville, TN, which will arrive by freighter weeks later in Guyana, South America. Before leaving the city for my next destination, I decided to return to an outstanding eatery to which I was introduced on a previous occasion to ship out of Nashville. Jack’s Bar-B-Que (http://jacksbarbque.com/) on Trinity Lane is the place. As soon as one open’s the door, even before crossing the threshold, a whole lot of mouthwatering aromas overwhelm a person – almost like an invisible force. My barbeque pork sandwich with or without the sauce is unquestionably the best I’ve ever encountered. With about half a dozen different sauces from which to choose, it only gets better. This trip, I tricked out my sandwich with the restaurant’s own unique coleslaw and pecan pie. The barbeque pork, though, is better than dessert.

Happily and sufficiently fed, next, I headed south out of Nashville on I-65 toward Huntsville, AL. A couple of hours later, I arrived at my hotel in preparation for Sunday preaching appointments at two churches of Christ. Saturday, I fueled the car, had the oil and windshield wipers replaced and did a little shopping. Of course, back in my room, I fired up my mobile office – have laptop, will travel.

Though I brought food and drink with me on the journey and acquired more along the way, I did opt to eat out one meal. It was my first time to experience Five Guys, Burgers & Fries (http://www.fiveguys.com/). Simplicity fine-tuned, that’s what this restaurant is! Just a cheeseburger, fries and a soft drink, but tasty indeed.

Sunday morning, brethren at the Mastin Lake Church of Christ were kind enough to permit me to speak during Bible class and worship. For class, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “The Church in Prophecy,” and for worship, I preached, “Desiring and Striving for Growth.” Brethren were very gracious to me, and I was first in line for the meal afterward. It’s beginning to sound like eating is an important endeavor to me – as it is to most Christians who otherwise use a very small brush when they proverbially paint the town red. Out amusements as Christians are tame and lawful, in contrast to the general populace oftentimes.

Sunday evening, I was privileged to speak to the Farley Church of Christ on the south side of Huntsville. There, I presented my PowerPoint about my recent four months of mission trip to four Asian countries and my more recent five weeks of mission trip to a country in South America. Later, one of the elders and I dined at the Burger King nearby and lost ourselves in conversation.

Leaving Huntsville and 20 miles down the road to my Winona home I asked my car to phone my daughter Rebecca, and it talked back to me, saying, “Phone not present.” A U-turn at the next exit off of the Interstate and back to the church building I went. Fortunately, I had a piece of paper in the car with me with an elder’s phone number on it, and so I borrowed a phone at a convenience store and gas station. I had used a countdown timer on my phone while preaching, and I had laid it down and forgot to retrieve it.

Now, I was really in a quandary with it being around 9 p.m. with a nearly 5-hour journey home ahead. To my surprise, with a few necessary stops to walk around and wake up, I was able to arrive home safely by about 1:30 a.m. Monday.

Tuesday brought its own challenges, the chief of which was to interact with the Social Security Administration regarding the passing of my dear wife Bonnie. The problem was not with the agency, but rather, the hour and a half telephone appointment finalizing matters regarding her death was almost as unsettling to me as her funeral. It was nearly as if she died again, today! Then, I had to drive to the third county west of where I live to present our “original” marriage license to the Social Security office; it made me wonder what was the advantage of the phone meeting since I still had to appear in person with evidence that we were married.

Before returning home, I comforted myself with a cheeseburger, fries and tea at a very old and locally famous diner – The Crystal Grill (http://crystalgrillms.com/) – in the heart of Greenwood, MS. Again, not a fancy place, but good food; since everyone has to eat, it might as well be delicious. Yes, I had another cheeseburger and fries; I just haven’t had too much beef yet, I suppose in contrast to the chicken and other foods that I experienced for more than a quarter of a year in Asia and South America. No, my world does not revolve around food, but I know what I like and where to find it stateside.

Between Thursday and very early Monday morning, I made a very large circle from Mississippi to Tennessee, to Alabama and back to Mississippi. Literature and preaching, that’s my life. Thank you, those of you, who make that possible.