Posted tagged ‘From Creation Until Now’

Singapore—Island/City/Country

September 27, 2015

Flower in SingaporeSingapore the island/city/country and its people impress me. This time upon visiting Singapore, I was afforded the opportunity to see some of it by car and on foot in daylight instead by the dark of night traveling between the airport and a hotel and back again. Simply put, I am mesmerized by the ultra-modern, pristine clean super-city that pushes boundaries in so many ways: available land surface and determined to fill in the sea to expand its island mass, super skyscrapers, cultural and convention centers, expansive multi-story shopping malls everywhere, ethic eateries galore, economic prowess even in the absence of natural resources, extent of its cultural diversity, universal quest for ultimate education and sheer determination. Singapore reminds me in my limited exposure to the computer game SimCity of that type of predisposed disposition to succeed and prosper.

In addition, my incomplete exposure to Christian brethren Singapore is no less invigorating. This visit was the second time I have been afforded the opportunity to speak for the Lavender Church of Christ. The first time about two years ago, I was accompanied by my wife Bonnie (who since has passed away) and brother Therman Hodge; presently, though, I am traveling alone.

Friday evening for a couple of hours or so, it was my good pleasure to speak to youth and some of their parents about external evidences: the age of the earth, carbon-14 dating, missing links and dinosaurs. I was surprised and pleased both by the willingness of young people to come together for a special event such as this as well by their election to have me speak on evidences. Around 25 were present.

Saturday, one brother gave me a car tour of Singapore, and we walked along the eastern seaside. We also talked for a while, me fielding religious questions and supplying some biblical answers.

Sunday morning, I was permitted to preach during worship, at which time I made my PowerPoint presentation, “The Church in Prophecy”; at the Lavender congregation, worship precedes Bible class, and there is an intermission between the two occasions for “tea,” though I saw plenty of eating going on of rice and various sweets. Interesting also, the worship period is scheduled for an hour and a half, and the preacher is expected to preach for 40 to 45 minutes. Ah, a preacher’s paradise! Bible class is an hour long, and at that time I presented my lesson, “From Creation Until Now.”

Following worship and class, several of the local members and I dined at the second floor food court in the multi-level mall next door. I could tell from the fare that I wasn’t in Dixie anymore! Later for supper, I ate at Burger King across a side street from the V Hotel where I have been lodging. With some difficulty because I didn’t know how to read my travel itinerary correctly, I checked in online from my hotel room for my flight tomorrow afternoon to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). A front desk employee helped me print my boarding pass from my computer thumb drive.

I distributed tracts of numerous titles to both the youth on Friday and to the congregation on Sunday. Still, I have additional literature for some of the places to which I will be traveling over the next seven weeks in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India. Your prayers and moral encouragement are greatly appreciated. Through me some of you are my partners in the Gospel as I go to four Asian nations this fall with the Gospel.

The picture gracing this episode of my missionary travels is of a curious looking flower in the perimeter foliage lining the edge of the 4th floor outdoor restaurant where I have been eating my breakfast daily. Wish you were here to enjoy the experience of worshipping with fine brethren on this side of the planet (around 12 time zones away) as well as experiencing the sights and sounds so wonderful.

Rounding Out 2014

December 30, 2014

96 dpi 8x10 Bonnie RebeccaSunday, December 21, we worshipped with the Old Union Church of Christ in the morning as we like to do when we are in town and not on the road. Our car’s GPS even assumes that is where we are going Sunday mornings without me even consulting it. Sunday evening, we worshipped with the West President Church of Christ of Christ, which we are prone to do when not traveling stateside or abroad.

Christmas was quiet and relaxed at our home in Winona. Our daughter Rebecca has been with us for the break from school – she is a teacher. It has been and is a real pleasure as well as a great assist to Bonnie and me to have her with us. December 25 also happens to be Bonnie’s birthday. We don’t exchange gifts anymore, but we count each other as the best possible gift of all. Frankly, I was at a loss what to buy for her after she advised me that she doesn’t want any more jewelry; we get whatever we need throughout the year, and really, we don’t need or desire anything much. After all, the walls are plastered with hanging things, and the floor space is exhausted. Though not divulging her age, Bonnie will still be three years younger than me when I turn 61-years-old on January 3, 2015.

Friday was the occasion of another chemotherapy in Jackson, MS. Sunday all day, Bonnie and I with Rebecca in tow were with the Indianola, MS Church of Christ. Brother Gene Hill who preaches regularly for the congregation was away, and I was filling in for him.

Saturday night, I found a PowerPoint lesson on which I had worked previously and amended it for use in the Sunday morning Bible class. I must have been cross-eyed when I was working on it as I carelessly and unintentionally merged two lines in a chart contrasting the Old Testament with the New Testament.

For morning worship, I preached From Creation Until Now, starting with the created universe that evidences a Creator/Designer and moving to His written, revealed will in the Bible – comprised of Patriarchy, Judaism and Christianity. That evening, I preached about Rearing Children, to a smaller crowd of mostly elderly folks! Grandparents, aunts and uncles likewise have the potential of favorably influencing the childrearing of grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, etc.

Once more, Bonnie and I, this time Rebecca, too, were guests of James and Deanie Bradshaw. They had a house full of family and Christian brethren. Two couples who formerly lived and worshipped in Indianola were back visiting. There were 10 of us.

After evening worship and in the cold rainy night, we started our 1-hour trek along US 82 back to our Winona home. First, though, we stopped to fuel the car and ourselves at the new Love’s gas station/restaurant. When I walked into Hardee’s to find my wife and daughter after I gassed the car, a truck driver seated there intercepted me with a hearty welcome and asked how services were. At first I didn’t know to what he was referring, but he pegged me for a preacher I suppose because I was wearing a suit and long-sleeved, white dress shirt (minus the tie that I had already jettisoned). So, I gave him a million dollar bill tract with the plan of salvation on the back of it and proceed to head for the men’s room after locating my family. Bonnie said that I caused a little disturbance (she called it a riot) over the million dollar bill; it has the plan of salvation on the back of it.

Monday and Tuesday, I worked on the January issue of Gospel Gazette Online while Bonnie worked on volume 83 of The Voice of Truth International. We also shipped just under 4,000 copies of The Voice of Truth International to Christians stateside and in some US territories. We expect to enjoy a quiet New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at home, joined by Rebecca. Her last chore before heading home will be to help us dismantle our Christmas decorations and get them tucked away again in the attic; Bonnie cannot help me get the boxes into or out of the attic anymore. Friday, January 2 Bonnie will have chemotherapy again, and on Saturday I will have my birthday.

Bonnie has good days and bad days; she still manages to put in half days at the office. We think that she is having better days than what she has experienced most of the time over the last few months. That being the case, I need to put plans in high gear for my planned 5-week mission trip to Guyana, South America. January 16, 2015, Bonnie will have a CT scan to help the oncologist determine our next steps in combating Bonnie’s pancreatic cancer. I have misgivings about planning anything presently and hardly no which way to go. Thank you for your interest, well-wishing and prayers, which come to us daily in snail-mail and email boxes, as well as by texts and phone calls. 

Serene Setting

December 16, 2012

ChurchSky 96 dpiSunday, December 16 found Bonnie and me that morning at the serene setting of the Old Union Church of Christ in Carroll County, Mississippi. Tucked back in the woods, accessible via that day by some soupy muddy roads a full house assembled to worship Almighty God. The weather outside was dismal at best with a steady and relentless rain, but the quiet scenery was graced by classic, old, white frame meetinghouse accented with an old fashioned cemetery. Bonnie and I are pilgrims with no special place to call our own, sometimes like fish out of water, and we have been wondering lately where we will lay ourselves to rest on this celestial ball. Like the Patriarchs who were wanderers themselves, I suppose we will inter one another along our route of travel. If we still reside in Mississippi when life for either of us comes to an end, shaded by green, leafy trees and beneath the lawn of the Old Union Church Cemetery, visited daily by deer and squirrel, our idled bodies lying dormant there will be quite satisfactory.

For Bible class, I presented my 2012 Mission Trips PowerPoint presentation. During worship, I preached From Creation Until Now. Following the assembly, all present enjoyed a fellowship or potluck meal together. Admittedly, some present probably came for the proverbial bread and fishes, like many of those who followed our Lord, but that is a start and an opportunity for both them and Christians to favorably interact with them.

Siwell Road Church of Christ, Jackson, MSNext, we made our way through the raindrops over wet highways to Byram, MS for evening worship with the Siwell Road Church of Christ, which is our sponsoring congregation for our missions ministry. We met briefly with the elders prior to the assembly, and once more I made the PowerPoint presentation 2012 Mission Trips. This congregation, too, had a finger foods get-together after worship, for which we stayed, mostly to commune with friends and brethren.

Graciously, Dana and Andy Dulaney lodged us overnight in their home. Their youngest daughter dutifully vacated her room to permit Bonnie and me to occupy her bed for the night. We are so fortunate to enjoy the hospitality of so many brethren worldwide with such frequency. This overnight stay afforded us greater convenience for attending to Bonnie’s dentist appointment on Monday in Byram. It was another good day!

New Mission Presentation

December 2, 2012

Sunday, December 2, Bonnie and I worshipped in the morning with the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS. I presented my newest PowerPoint, “2012 Mission Trips,” during the Bible class. Wow! It was the shortest mission presentation I have ever prepared, but it’s early yet. By September of next year when I conclude presentations before going on our fall mission trip, it could be much longer. For worship, I preached “From Creation Until Now.” Sunday evening, we worshipped with the Elliott, MS Church of Christ. During the afternoon between assemblies, I tweaked the PowerPoint presentation, adding one slide and some biblical references. See, it has already started getting just a little longer. That night was the first time also that this particular presentation was made during a worship service. Our 2012 PowerPoint presentation about foreign missions recounts trips to Guyana, Myanmar, Singapore and India, plus it introduced our plans for going to Guyana in February, 2013.

Both congregations received us well. The brethren in Greenwood had a fellowship meal following morning worship, which we enjoyed. Afterward, we worshipped with our brothers and sisters at West President Street congregation in an early afternoon service. We are currently making appointments for visiting churches in Alabama and Mississippi in December and January. Let us know when it is convenient to visit your congregation.