Posted tagged ‘Bible class’

A Week in Review

September 5, 2014

Old Union Church of Christ MeetinghouseSunday, August 31, Bonnie and I worshipped with the Old Union Church of Christ, whereupon I taught Bible class and preached in the absence of the preacher Mike Schmitz. During class, I taught about “Pain and Suffering.” For morning worship, I preached about “The Ministry of Angels,” and that afternoon, I spoke about “The Tabernacle: A Type of the Church.” Everyone present enjoyed finger foods between the worship periods.

Throughout the week, routine duties at the World Evangelism Building offices consumed our days. I worked diligently on the September issue of Gospel Gazette Online. I lack one page of two articles to complete and publish that edition. Hopefully, the authors will get those submissions yet this week.

Thursday, Bonnie had an appointment with our doctor to address a probable kidney infection that has been adding to the pain she experiences every day. A laboratory test will confirm the diagnosis in about three days, but the low-grade, on and off fever as well as the location of the back pain points toward kidney infection. She began a regimen of antibiotics later in the day.

Friday, Bonnie and I departed Winona, Mississippi just before 8:30 a.m. for downtown Memphis, Tennessee. There, we met with the purchaser of our 10-bin collator and transferred the unit from our van to his Tahoe. Our correspondence had been frequent over the last couple of weeks, and I told him that we might be obligated to add one another to our respective Christmas card lists. He publishes a multi-community weekly newspaper in Illinois and operates a printing business. I had brought some of our printed material for him, and he likewise brought me his printing product, too. We enjoyed some tea together at McDonald’s – only fair since we used that eatery’s parking lot as a transfer station. We really enjoyed our interaction with him, and noted that he could have been my brother in two senses and I would be happy about that.

Next, we headed in the direction of home, but paused for hours in Southaven, Mississippi. We gassed up the chariot, ate a light lunch and bought groceries – mostly for our soon and upcoming 9-week jaunt to four Asian countries. We lingered longer than necessary so we could meet our daughter for supper after she finished teaching school for the day.

We finally arrived back in Winona around 6:30 p.m. Bonnie faces daily chronic pain, and today was no exception. Eating is a tremendous challenge for her, and it was more so today. The little bit that Bonnie ate nauseated her. She rises and falls with the ailments.

Sunday evening, we will begin a week and a half road trip to Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, plus parts in between. Earlier Sunday, I will be speaking for the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, Mississippi. Along the way on the typical assembly days, I will be speaking in Ohio and West Virginia. The days between will afford us opportunity to visit family and friends.

Shortly after returning to Winona, Mississippi, we will be flying to the opposite side of the planet to Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India and Singapore, with stopovers in China, Thailand and Japan. We know we will be ready to leave when we are on the plane (planes!). Bonnie and I will seize the moments (i.e., 30 hours) of our journey to finalize our lesson plans. There is a lot to do before we even approach the airport; I don’t know how we are going to attend to it all. Brethren, please remember us in your prayers.

Catching Up!

December 12, 2011

Catching up the blog – three weeks’ worth! Catching up with the workload awaiting our return to Winona, MS. Alas, though, catching up is not the same as caught up! I’m not sure I ever want to be caught up, for I might become bored too easily or feel unneeded.

November 27’s Sunday morning appointment was rescheduled the day before as Bonnie, Rebecca and I were en route from North Carolina to Mississippi; Robert Johnson from the 10th Ave. Church of Christ in Columbus, MS bumped my Bible class and preaching back two weeks. I decided to take a hotel in Northport, AL, which would permit us to worship with the Northport Church of Christ that I had wanted to visit; we went as visitors, students to the Bible class and worshippers. We were edified in both circumstances, and we left some copies of The Voice of Truth International and Beverage Alcohol. I look forward to the possibility of speaking for the congregation at some future date, either about our mission work or biblical lessons.

Sunday evening, we kept my appointment with the Starkville, MS Church of Christ, whereupon I delivered my lesson What Is Jesus’ Plan for My Life? Bonnie set up a table of free materials (e.g., The Voice of Truth International and Beverage Alcohol) as well as books for sale. Afterward, we headed for Collierville, TN to take our daughter home, so she could teach school the next day. Later Monday, Bonnie and I arrived back in Winona, MS for the first time since September 29 when we left for Asia.

Thursday, we were out of the office again in Jackson, MS for dental cleanings. We left The Voice of Truth International and a couple of new titles there, along with two worn out suitcases, which will eventually make their final excursion out of the country carrying medical supplies – after which they will be discarded. Friday, I made a special PowerPoint presentation at Rebecca’s school about samples of culture in three Asian nations. (Each PowerPoint presentation and every lesson presented anywhere requires behind the scenes preparation, and I have spent many hours working on these PowerPoint and others lessons since our return to the USA.)

Sunday morning December 4, I presented the PowerPoint of our 2011 mission trips, Into All the World,  to the Collierville, TN Church of Christ for Bible class; during worship, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. That evening, I showed Into All the World to the Elliott, MS Church of Christ. Three days that week I worked feverishly on producing the next issue of the Rushmore Newsletter, and we got it into the mail.

Saturday, a new Christian visited the office of World Evangelism in Winona, and we gave him the grand tour as well as provided him with his very own empty cardboard box – into which we invited him to place some books from our repository of good Christian literature. Madolyn and Gene Gibson operate a student center at Moorhead where they came in contact with the young man and taught him the Gospel of Christ.

Sunday morning December 11 was a short trip. We arose early enough to travel the hour and a half between Winona and Columbus, MS. It was my pleasure to present Into All the World during Bible class and preach Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. After a quick lunch, Bonnie and I drove to the Florence Blvd. Church of Christ in Florence, AL for a meeting with its mission committee, followed by a special presentation via PowerPoint at the worship hour of our visit to foreign mission works in which the congregation has invested prayers, moral support and financial assistance. Afterward, we hooked up with Janet and Wayne Barrier who had been speaking at another congregation in the area, and we enjoyed a tasty meal at a restaurant Bonnie and I had not experienced previously. Then, there was the three plus hours drive back to Winona, arriving after midnight!

Outgoing Pallet of LiteratureOver these three weeks, including today (Monday), packages were prepared and shipped to various locations through the States. Delivery vehicles from time to time brought us packing and office supplies, and one day we loaded a pallet of literature on a tractor trailer, which literature will eventually along with other pallets of literature awaiting this final pallet board an oceangoing ship destined for ports overseas; from there, the literature will make its way to non-Christians and Christians who have requested it. Besides this, many odds and ends in behind the scenes necessary work to the overall program of evangelism to which we devote ourselves required their share of attention.

It is fair to say that we are catching up, but it would be a serious overstatement to suggest that we have or are even close to being caught up. The December issue of Gospel Gazette Online has not been begun yet – late, late, late! I need to update the online book catalog of new titles available – and inactivate one or more titles that are now out-of-print. Oh, No! The next issue of The Voice of Truth International is supposed to go the printers the first week of January, and we are a long, long way from having it that far along. Phone calls and more phone calls I must make to schedule additional weekend appointments. Etc., etc., etc. I’m just glad that the solid bed of pine needles on the lawn and the cooler weather overrules the need to mow the grass (and equally delightful is that the Mississippi climate precludes the need to shovel the driveway).

Polishing the Pulpit

August 18, 2011

Saturday, August 13 was a long, tiring day of traveling from northwestern Pennsylvania to Sevierville, TN. Of course, this was a three-state day: Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Tennessee. We arrived about 10 hours after we departed the home of Bonnie’s brother Jim (and his wife Kay) at the convention center – at about 7:00 p.m.  By 9:00 p.m., we had the two tables set up in the exhibit hall – one table promoting The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest magazines, as well as tract samples and my book Beverage Alcohol. The display behind these offerings touts colorful pictures of mission work from around the world in which the World Evangelism Team is involved. The second table hosted numerous books for sale (see the online book store at http://store.gospelgazette.com/). Next, we went to Pizza Hut for supper and bumped into some of the elders and their wives from the North Lexington, KY Church of Christ. After parting company, Bonnie and I went shopping for breakfast and lunch foods for in the hotel room, and so we arrived back at our lodging by 11:00 p.m. Finally, by a little after midnight, we turned out the light for a much needed night’s rest.

Sunday, morning we realized that we forgot to buy milk and bowls for the cereal; so, breakfast was a cereal bar apiece. Then, Bonnie and I traveled about an hour away to Greeneville, TN where I taught the Bible class in the auditorium and preached during the morning worship. My PowerPoint The One True Church of the Bible in the class was followed in worship with the PowerPoint Beverage Alcohol. A year earlier, one of the elders had come across my book by the same name and had ordered a case for the congregation. Now, it was my privilege to expound on the subject live, too. Following worship, we were treated to a fine meal at Ryan’s and enjoyed good company. Sunday evening, we returned to Polishing Pulpit (PPT) for evening lessons.

Monday, Bonnie and I taught classes of children; I taught 6- through 9-year-olds and Bonnie taught 10- through 12-year-old girls. Later, we taught a combined class with about 100 little ones in attendance. Tuesday and Wednesday was more of the same. We taught a combined 10 hours in three days to precious youngsters – one child stating that I have been teaching her since she was 6-years-old and she is now 10; she also says that I am famous for my (Bible) maps that I teach annually. Young ones smile and wave as we see them pass in the halls. We also taught this year Buckets of Bible Time besides Bible Maps and miscellaneous information about Bible Geography. Bonnie taught an outreach class for the girls. She also talked to them about our foreign mission work, and the young ladies especially enjoyed trying on Bonnie’s clothes from India and Myanmar (Burma).

Thursday morning before heading out, children’s classes provide a little fun and games for them. As a part of that, Bonnie worked the cotton candy machine. She said she ruined the first batch, but she got the hang of it by the second batch. Also Thursday morning, on behalf of World Evangelism/J.C. Choate Publications literature, I handed out to future preachers (10- through 14-year-old boys) who made speeches The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest magazines, Beverage Alcohol book and a sermon outline book or other book of their choice.

PTP is one of the finest programs within the churches of Christ, and it is a time to maintain and develop rapport with fellow Christians, besides being edified by the many good lessons from which to choose. PTP is heavily pointed toward Christian families, so much so that nowhere else in the brotherhood have I seen such a high attendance by families with children. After Thursday morning lectures, it is time to help tear everything down before heading homeward. The frog fountain was just part of the décor, much of it with water themed, of PTP.

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Mission Trip to Linden, Guyana in South America

July 23, 2011

Friday, July 15, Bonnie and I departed Winona, MS for Collierville, TN to ready ourselves for boarding the first of several airplanes to Guyana, South America. Around 3 a.m. Saturday, we left Rebecca’s home, the three of us, for the Memphis airport, and our plane flew out at 6:35 a.m. – flying to Charlotte, NC. There, we caught another plane to Miami, FL so we could board yet another plane headed toward the equator. We flew U.S. Airways from Memphis to Miami whereupon we changed carriers to Caribbean Air. Our plane landed en route in Trinidad to let off passengers, take on more passengers and refuel before continuing to Georgetown, Guyana. From there, we rode an hour to Linden, Guyana. Fifteen hours after leaving our daughter’s home, the three of us and nine additional team members arrived at our quarters for the next week.

We were part of a team from the Collierville Church of Christ. Our daughter goes each year to Linden with young people from the congregation, and besides the good work accomplished, the young people grow spiritually. This year, the team was short a couple of people, and we were invited to participate. Last year, Rebecca accompanied Bonnie and me to Myanmar (Burma) for two weeks in addition to her going to Guyana, and so this year, we added Guyana in addition to our scheduled foreign trips. Our team consisted of Christians ranging in age from 10-year-old Jada (exceedingly mature, helpful and related to other team members), 16-year-old Kristian (no less a mature, young Christian man) and the balance of the team ranging from 18-year-olds to twenty-somethings to 40-somethings through the 50’s that Bonnie and I bear.

Jada received this special commendation by our daughter: “Jada, the 10 year old that was with us, did a great job. Jasmine [preacher’s wife at Amelia’s Ward] commented that she was the youngest campaigner ever. I think Jada was the only one the whole week who never made any complaints with words or actions. She did everything she was asked to do, helped with the 2-3 year old class during VBS, helped with the door knocking, and did a great job the whole trip. We are very proud of her and will willing take her again (she says she wants to go again next year).” I wholeheartedly concur.

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Sunday, Randy Gaddy, team leader, preached and taught for the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ, and I preached and taught for the Burnham Church of Christ. Wednesday, I taught the midweek class for Amelia’s Ward congregation, while Randy taught the class for the Blueberry Hill Church of Christ in Linden. Thursday, I taught the midweek Bible class for the Dora Church of Christ in the jungle about an hour away; half of the crew visited families via boat, and the other half of our team traversed muddy jungle trails (with some slipping, sliding and plopping in the mire due to the rain – in the rainforest) to make visits before Bible class.

VBS materials had preceded our arrival and were prepared by the sisters in Christ of the Burnham Drive Church of Christ in Linden. Our ladies and young men taught Vacation Bible School Monday through Friday and were assisted by our Guyanese brethren. Afternoons, the team and Guyanese brethren canvassed neighborhoods in Linden, setting up Bible studies for the group from the States following us the next week (and we conducted several studies as well); one day, I spent hot, sweaty hours canvassing with the preacher for the Blueberry Hill congregation. Evenings, Bonnie taught ladies’ maturity classes, and I taught men’s maturity classes for a second congregation, the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ.

By design, we did not leave much time to waste. We endeavored to redeem the time and were mindful of the investment required to be here. The highest attendance for VBS was over 300 youngsters; the attendance climbed daily, peaking on Friday. Over 30 studies were set up, and five studies were conducted. One of the sisters in Christ present in Linden this year was a new convert from last year’s studies, though she obeyed the Gospel after our team left for home last year. Our goal this year was to conduct VBS, set up Bible studies and especially encourage or edify our Guyanese brethren; we were successful in each of these areas.

Our primary contact, minister for the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ, is Nigel Milo; Cy Walker is the minister for the Burnham Church of Christ, and Sheldon Jones is the young evangelist for the Blueberry Hill Church of Christ. We also met the preacher for the Dora Church of Christ, but I have forgotten his name I’m sorry to admit. Another Christian brother with whom I partnered almost daily in door knocking is Christopher Rose. Brother Nigel informed me that there are about 95 congregations in Guyana, served by about 50 evangelists. I agreed to increase the number of copies of The Voice of Truth International going into the country to provide for the four congregations with which we worked on this trip, and since our return to the US, we have prepared 50 boxes of books and tracts for the preachers in Guyana. Some foreign works are more exemplary than others, and brother Nigel Milo and his labors for the Lord fall in this category; I plan to assist Guyanese brethren evangelize their nation through networking with brother Nigel. Please pray for our brethren throughout Guyana.

Eldridge, Alabama

July 11, 2011

Louis Rushmore at Eldridge, AL Church of ChristSaturday after lunch, July 9, Bonnie and I headed for Eldridge, AL where I would speak three times on the Lord’s Day. The brethren arranged for us a hotel room at the Winfield exit to US 22. We ate supper at a local eatery, and the food was very good. Bonnie and I drove for miles to survey what our choices might be for supper, and we opted for the restaurant that by far had the busiest parking lot – judging that this was the best indicator available to us as to how much we were likely to enjoy the food. Except for fast food some miles away, all the restaurants were locally owned and unfamiliar to us. Nothing fancy by any means, we selected Yamptown for supper. The meal was one of the tastiest we have experienced.

Littlest Song LeadersSunday, I met for the first time the Eldridge Church of Christ. It was my pleasure to teach during the auditorium Bible class What Is Jesus’ Plan for My Life? and to preach during worship What Is the Mission of the Church? Following, we enjoyed a fellowship meal, after which was singing and a devotional that I led. We distributed a case of my book Beverage Alcohol to the families. Again, we made new friends, not the least of which was a cute, 2-year-old girl who flirted with me. Then there were two little, song leader boys without any bashfulness who willingly led songs not only during the singing, but happily during the meal and later in the empty auditorium. They are sweethearts!

Only two and a half hours from the house, the bonus for Bonnie and me was to get home not only before midnight, but to get home before dark! How often does that happen? Saturday night in the motel and after returning home, Bonnie and I worked on our lessons for Guyana, South America as well as on The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online. Remember those dueling, twin laptops that Bonnie and I have? Our office is truly mobile!

Monday, we finally finished The Voice of Truth International and readied it for shipment to the printing company. It takes us about a quarter to get the quarterly magazine ready! We are about a week late getting it to the printer this time. We also completed the July issue of Gospel Gazette Online and sent out the email notifications that it is ready for use. Besides these tasks, other smaller matters received some much needed attention, too. Overall, today was a good day.

June 28 through July 6, 2011

July 7, 2011

June 28 through July 6, 2011. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, our son Raymond worked during the day with his Coast Guard unit at Camp Lejeune; he arrived back at his rental home each afternoon. In the interim of his absence, Bonnie, Rebecca and I explored the strand of sand between the condos on the other side of the road and the Atlantic Ocean. Behind Raymond’s home away from home is the Intracoastal Waterway. We gathered shells and shark teeth on that beach (and on the Camp Lejeune beach as well). Since there was little public access to the beach on this part of the island and the homes were populated chiefly with families, there were few people on the shoreline, and nearly everyone was dressed in shorts and T-shirts – a far cry from the density of people and skimpy attire characteristic of spring break type destinations. The water lapping the shore and caressing our feet, the sound of the sea and salty breeze were pleasant and mitigated the searing sun. With such natural scenery, Bonnie and I walked miles for hours on the eastern edge of North Topsail Beach, NC. My sinuses must agree with the seaside climate as I could breathe without the assistance of my prescription. Raymond and the other three of us occasioned some meals out, enjoying seafood, pizza and burgers; one day, Raymond grilled burgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob – in the spirit of family, good food and holidays. We watched the simultaneous firework displays of several landside communities July 3 and 4, and we watched them all from the second story perch of Raymond’s home.

Raymond became our scout and tour guide as we traveled to the North Carolina Aquarium and near to that an earthen fort dating back to the Civil War. We saw more crawling-along traffic than we ever hope to see again, but that was forgotten especially in view of the gators, snakes, other reptiles, sharks and fish we observed at the aquarium. We all enjoyed ourselves.

There seems to come a time in life when children begin acting more like the parents and the parents begin to assume the psychological posture of the children. I think I had one of those moments (or more) during the week. Once when I suggested (and I suggested more than once during the week) that we stop and get some ice cream, Raymond essentially rebuked me for proposing we eat ice cream before supper; it sounded like a parent correcting the child – and I was the child! Raymond, though, did introduce us to a very nice and tasty little ice cream cone shop – and I saw that we availed ourselves of its wares on two occasions.

As earlier in the year, Bonnie and I plus Rebecca this time assembled with Laura and Thaddeus Ferguson on Wednesday evening and on the Lord’s Day in the hall rented from the women’s club in Hampstead, NC. This couple has been trying for three years to establish the church in the community in which they live, and they continue to face disappointment for the lack of lasting success in such. Thaddeus graciously permitted me to speak three times on Sunday. Laura and Thaddeus opened their home to us as they do to any Christians in the area each Friday evening for refreshments and fellowship. Tuesday, Rebecca’s birthday (July 5), was a travel day, as was the following day, too. I made sure that brother and sister Ferguson received some biblical books and pamphlets for their personal enrichment and encouragement.

We faced some inclement weather coming and going. The day we arrived at Raymond’s, we had to pass through a violent storm with severe winds, torrential rain and widespread cloud to ground lightning. Both times we have visited Raymond, there have been forest fires in the area. Wednesday on the way to Bible class, a bad thunderstorm forced the soot from the forest fire downward, gummed up our car windows and destroyed by windshield wipers; at other times, even without rain the smoke was so dense and heavy and low to the ground that breathing was impaired even inside the house.

Bonnie and I travel a lot of places stateside and abroad, and we enjoy the travel and the brief occasions along the way to stop and smell the flowers. Yet, we do not often take days off or go on a genuine vacation. This delightful visit with our son and providing Rebecca an opportunity to see her brother was more of a vacation for Bonnie and me than to which we are accustomed, and though I do not often do well without directing my attention to work and activity, Bonnie and I both enjoyed the temporary slower pace and relaxation afforded us that week.

We were not, however, completely forgetful of tasks awaiting our attention. We worked on The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online, besides working some on our lessons for our upcoming mission trip to Guyana, South America. Of course, I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and preaching for the Hampstead Church of Christ.

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Two-State Hop

May 16, 2011

Leaving Maywood Christian Camp (the annual Maywood Missionary Retreat) Saturday morning, Bonnie and I headed for Georgia and Florida for weekend speaking appointments. We had an eight-hour drive ahead of us (plus brief necessary stops) to Dasher, GA – just south of Valdosta. Our accommodations, courtesy of the Dasher Church of Christ, were superb, among the best we ever have anywhere at our disposal. Finding brethren at the meetinghouse Saturday night, we set up books, tracts, newsletters, etc.

Sunday morning, I presented the PowerPoint Motivated by the Cross in Bible class. During worship, I presented the PowerPoint Bible Archaeology. This congregation and some of its members help make our foreign mission work possible, including providing funding for the distribution of tracts and Bibles abroad in the respective languages of the peoples to whom Bonnie and I go.

Following worship and after Bonnie and I took lunch at Cracker Barrel, we pointed the car south along I-75. Next stop, Jacksonville, FL. We were wonderfully received by most of the members of the Chaffee Rd. Church of Christ, where I presented Motivated by the Cross. Karen and Mary Fox treated us to a superior fish supper at a local eatery; Mary Fox surrendered her master bedroom for Bonnie and me for a few nights. We have a Wednesday evening appointment with the Riverview Church of Christ, also in Jacksonville.

Over the next many days, appointments will take us to another location in Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. Between stateside travel and overseas mission trips, we are on the road over 40 weekends annually. We may be coming to a congregation near you soon, and if not now scheduled, arrange a visit by contacting me: rushmore@gospelgazette.com.