Posted tagged ‘Gospel Gazette Online’

Another Long Day

June 8, 2017

Sunday morning, June 4, Martha, Rebecca and I awoke in our rented room in Ashland, Ohio. After our hotel breakfast, we transferred our luggage and whatnot from our tiny room to our cram-packed minivan; all available area was taken, and only necessary space for the car’s occupants remained. Nevertheless, especially Martha persistently finds one more little thing to acquire for me to strategically place in mass filling both the automobile and the 5’x8’ trailer being pulled behind!

Shortly thereafter, we assembled with the Ashland Church of Christ. We set up a display as well as some books for sale. During Bible class, I presented my PowerPoint, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.” We were well received. Martha’s son Bob Noland and his family regularly worship with that congregation. In addition, Martha spent some of her childhood in Ashland and surrounding villages, and so, the area has some sentimental memories for her.

After lunch in the home of Bob and Carla Noland with their family, we parted with travel to our evening venue in mind. First, though, we drove by the children’s home in which Martha had been a resident as a child. Next, we scouted out a local destination, Grandpa’s Cheese Barn, whereupon Martha Lynn acquired another package to add to our baggage in the burdened carriage.

Finally, we pointed the Chrysler Pacifica northward in the direction of Vermilion, Ohio. Arriving a little early, we drove to the little “Main Street Beach” on the shore of Lake Erie. Wearing hose and wanting to be presentable for evening worship is all that prevented Martha from allowing the sand to come up between her toes on the way to wading in the waters’ edge.

Arriving at the meetinghouse of the Vermilion Church of Christ, Rebecca and Martha arranged the display material and books for sale. I set up the computer and projector for presenting the PowerPoint, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.” I have a long history of friendship and fellowship with the congregation. For a few years, it was my overseeing congregation in my mission work. As always, we were well received and encouraged.

Following worship, we had some ice cream and cake that was for the celebration of the preacher’s daughter graduation from high school. Then, we stopped by a fast food restaurant before leaving town.

We had in mind spending the night and the next few days with my son Raymond in Newark, Ohio—over three hours away. Conferring with him by phone, we decided to head that way in the night—arriving around midnight. It was a long day, and by 12:15 a.m. we were in bed.

Upon waking the next morning, we discovered that Raymond’s dog ate four of our microwavable meals. He cleaned up after himself, leaving only the debris from the packaging! He acted just like a dog!

Raymond is at work; he left around 3 a.m. For the next few days, we will relish time spent with him before we continue on with speaking appointments and visiting family members. Too, I am spending time on Gospel Gazette Online and other miscellaneous office work—at the kitchen table. It is raining, which might affect some of the outside sightseeing we might otherwise do while visiting Raymond. Lying ahead of us are appointments in various congregations in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky; we plan to visit family in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and maybe New York. We are and will be bouncing around these states like a fast-moving, mad Ping-Pong ball ricocheting off the boundaries of these several states!

Oh, by-the-way, Martha went for a little ride with her son Bob on the back of his motorcycle. I wonder if next she’ll be shopping for tattoos!

On the Road Again

June 3, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, Martha and I assembled for Bible class with the Siwell Road Church of Christ in Jackson, Mississippi—our overseeing congregation. We took down some more items from our trips abroad for placement in the display case we have set up to represent our foreign missions. In addition, I provided two new PowerPoint kiosk presentations for the ongoing video display of our endeavors for Christ. It was a good and an encouraging visit and our last opportunity to do so for a while as we were preparing for a foray through several states over four weeks or so.

Sunday morning, May 28, my daughter Rebecca, who had joined us in Winona, Mississippi, as well as Martha and I made the 2-hour jaunt southward to Clinton, Mississippi. Heavy rains battered us and hampered unloading materials and displays once we arrived on the grounds of the Clinton Church of Christ. I made my PowerPoint presentation, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions” during the Bible class time, and for worship, I preached, “Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ.” There, we also collected several boxes of used or leftover Christian literature and songbooks, which we will ship to English-speaking brethren overseas.

We were well received and encouraged. Afterward, we were hosted for lunch with one of the elders and his family in their home. One can never get too much of that!

For the balance of the afternoon, though, we traveled diligently over three hours to our next appointment in Mobile, Alabama. Sunday evening, I presented “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions” to the Creekwood Church of Christ. Once again, we were graciously received by precious brethren.

Monday was a long day of travel to Martha’s Ocala, Florida home. We were pulling a 5’x8’ trailer behind the van. In it, among other things, was a bed that we removed from my Winona, Mississippi home for use in Ocala. Also in the trailer was a second bed that was destined for the home of Martha’s son Bob in Ashland, Ohio.

Tuesday was a busy day of various hurried activities. Being only one day in town, Martha and I had numerous things that had to be done with haste (e.g., amending a utility bill with my name on it, buying a couple pair of trousers because I forgot to pack some, adding me to Martha’s AAA program, taking care of a billing issue for Martha on a past phone company device with Verizon, getting a new phone for Rebecca from AT&T and buying some supplies for maintenance at her house). One big task was to load to the max the trailer with a curio cabinet and miscellaneous items that Martha wants at our Winona home back in Mississippi. Added to that, we crammed into the trailer luggage for three of Martha’s grandchildren and their mother, our baggage and the literature and display materials for use in upcoming appointments.

Wednesday started early and was a long and arduous day as we journeyed from Ocala, through Georgia to Cleveland, Tennessee. I captained my ship with demands on my passengers such as no eating in the car, bottled water only to drink and assigned seats. The car was burdened under its load of Martha, Rebecca and me, accompanied by grandchildren Kaylynn, Shawn and Lauren plus their mother Denise—not forgetting the loaded trailer, too. The tire sidewalls were threatening to kiss the pavement and the car groaned as it climbed the rollercoaster of Appalachian hills along Interstate 75 across the multi-state landscape. Allotting two hours for stops along the way was not enough as we doubled that for bathroom breaks, eating and fueling the car. Still, we arrived in time to check into our hotel before meeting with the Central Church of Christ.

What I failed to realize was that assembly time was 6:30 p.m. rather than 7:00 p.m.! Nevertheless, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.” As always, we were wonderfully received and encouraged by these good brethren. As in the case of recent congregations visited, there too, Martha was introduced for the first time as the new “Mrs. Rushmore”—though I have been known to say, “She doesn’t look very new!” Of course, that works both ways.

Thursday was another extremely long day of travel from Tennessee to Ohio. Between travel and necessary stops, we traveled for 12 and a half hours! Finally around 10 p.m. EST, we met the other set of grandparents in Mansfield, Ohio to deliver Denise and her three children to their custody. The younglings behaved the best that I had ever observed of them; I was proud of Kaylynn, Shawn and Lauren. Therefore, we amended the rules to (1) soft drinks permitted and (2) turn off the sounds of their electronic games, in part, so I could distinguish between automobile warning tones and their amusement devices.

Friday, we unloaded the bed destined for Ashland. Without the four passengers we deposited in Mansfield the day before and the bed, the Chrysler Pacifica sighed relief. Maybe its gas mileage will improve just a little, too.

Over the next few weeks, we are scheduled to meet with brethren on Sundays and Wednesdays in Ashland, Vermilion, Zanesville, Hanoverton, Gallipolis and Marietta—all in Ohio. In addition if the Lord wills, we will visit congregations in Sandyville, Grafton and Belington—all in West Virginia. Homeward bound, we will assemble with a congregation in Lexington, Kentucky. Between appointments, we purpose to visit family—Bonnie’s family, my family, Martha’s family and Bob’s family in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. If this is a vacation, it certainly is a working vacation. By the way, I’m still working on the May edition of Gospel Gazette Online.

I Passed My Test!

May 15, 2017

I passed my test! Friday, May 12, I had a colonoscopy. Evidently I studied sufficiently for my test since I passed it “with flying colors,” as the idiom is. Of course, Thursday and Friday were consumed primarily leading up to, for and traveling to and from the medical procedure.

Saturday, Martha Lynn and I traveled from Winona, Mississippi to Tuscumbia, Alabama. We arrived at the home of our hosts, sister Joan and brother Daniel Counts. They befriended me several years ago and have encouraged Bonnie and me previously and now Martha and me. Per usual, we were treated to supper out on Saturday and Sunday lunch after worship.

Sunday morning, I made my PowerPoint presentation about missions during Bible class for the Leighton Church of Christ. During worship, I preached about “The Conviction of Jesus Christ” that brought Him down from heaven to earth to procure human redemption.

Between morning and evening appointments, we stopped at Walmart. There we did some shopping, but more importantly, we got an oil change for the car. Everything in stride, catch as catch can wherever we are whenever possible. That’s our life.

Sunday evening, a little more than an hour away, we assembled with the Barn Creek Church of Christ. It’s out in the woods between small Alabama towns, and GPS got confused. Whereas in the morning, my computer initially fussed about having multiple USB ports in use, then, I was able to convince it to play nicely for my presentation. However, while using the computer equipment of the congregation with which we were worshipping in the evening, we had a complete system failure—at least regarding my PowerPoint file. I quickly went from “Plan A” to “Plan D.” Plan D is when nothing else works as planned, and I simply stand up front and talk!

Afterward, Martha and I pointed the van toward our Mississippi home. We drove into the driveway about 10:30 p.m. By 11:30, we had the car unloaded and were able to bed down for the night.

Monday, I was finally able to complete and publish to the Internet the April edition of Gospel Gazette Online. Rebecca Rushmore, my daughter, does my proofreading, and she won’t be able to get to it until the weekend. As the school year is nearing its end, as a schoolteacher, she is buried under finalities respecting it. Of course, I need to begin immediately to compose the May issue of Gospel Gazette Online now. Shortly, I must begin also working on the next The Voice of Truth International magazine. The trouble with a monthly is that it comes around monthly. The difficulty with a quarterly journal is that it takes a quarter to get the next quarterly ready for printing. Volume 91 just arrived a little while ago, and 92 is at the printers. It never ends!

Numerous other duties and whatnot demand their due attention as well. Fortunately, there is always enough for me to do that I never have to fear getting bored! I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Visitors from India

April 29, 2017

Thursday, April 27, dear Christian friends from India paid a visit to Winona, Mississippi. Two of the Gootam brothers, their respective wives and two young ones joined sister Betty Choate as well as Martha and me for supper at our local Mexican restaurant. The food was good—as always—but the fellowship was even better and sweeter.

Otherwise this week, Martha Lynn and I labored tirelessly, though exhausted and aching, to interweave some of her household belongings from her abode in Ocala, Florida into our Winona residence. Who would have thought that an 8×10 trailer and a van load of miscellaneous items could have created a warehouse out of multiple rooms while trying to sort it all out? We can move through the home once more!

Tonight (Saturday), we are in a motel room in Tupelo, Mississippi. Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will worship with the Bear Creek, Alabama Church of Christ in the morning. Tuesday and Wednesday, we expect to assemble with other missionaries to India at the Hamilton, Alabama Church of Christ, and on Thursday and Friday we plan to commune with other missionaries to various sites abroad who will be gathering for the annual World Evangelism Missionary Retreat. This year, it will convene in the Florence, Alabama area.

In the meantime, I’m still working out some kinks in volume 92 of The Voice of Truth International with printers in India. Yes, the April issue of Gospel Gazette Online is still a no show, but I have good intentions. Finally, I skimmed through months of newspapers, etc. that had piled up while we were out of town. Goodnight world; it’s time for me to get a little shuteye.

Over the Past Several Days

April 26, 2017

It has been a while since my last blog entry; several days have passed between then and now. Over the past several days, Martha and I made our way back to Winona, Mississippi from Ocala, Florida. We discovered that pulling an 8×10 trailer packed to the utmost and loading the van from window to window and from floor to ceiling exacts a terrible toll on the Pacifica’s gas mileage—dropping to as low as 15 mpg from the usual of up to 28 mpg!

Friday, April 21, we drove into the driveway of Sadie and Therman Hodge of Meridian, Mississippi around 9 p.m. Saturday was a pleasant repose during which we visited with these dear Christian friends. Sunday morning, I spoke during Bible class and a.m. worship for the Union, Mississippi Church of Christ. After lunch with several of the members at the local hospital cafeteria, Martha Lynn and I proceeded to Winona, arriving at our residence at about 3 p.m. Not long after disconnecting the trailer from the car, we headed to the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, Mississippi for evening worship, and as it turned out, to their Gospel meeting already in progress.

Monday, Martha and I proceeded to the office, whereupon we canvassed weeks’ worth of mail and prepared to send off the Rushmore Newsletter. The newsletter went out later in the morning.

We devoted ourselves on Tuesday and Wednesday to trying to put our house in order, and we’re not done yet! One bedroom and the living room look like warehouse space with everything stacked therein, and the laundry room is impassible! Two bedrooms, the den and the kitchen have been tamed, with the culling of a daybed, a full size bed and miscellaneous smaller items. Once more we visited the West President congregation to attend its Gospel meeting in lieu of midweek Bible class.

Maybe Thursday we will be able to complete the basic and fundamental straightening and cleaning of our Winona home. Being absent for months as well as construction mess from repairs while we were gone have added to the task at hand.

Looking ahead, Sunday coming, we will be with the Bear Creek, Alabama Church of Christ in the morning. Tuesday and Wednesday, if our Lord wills, Martha and I will attend the annual India Workshop, this year hosted in Hamilton, Alabama. Wednesday night, we will travel to Florence, Alabama for the annual World Evangelism Missionary Retreat to be conducted on Thursday and Friday. This year, these two events overlap each other.

Gospel Gazette Online is running late, still; the April edition is not complete yet. Our calendar is slowly filling up with spotty appointments through October 20. The busyness with which we have shrouded our lives can get a little hectic, sometimes frustrating and often stressful. The yard is crying for attention, which I cannot give it right now—more pressure. Some sprigs are a foot high, and grass has grown through the carpet of pine needles to form a mesh blanket across the lawn. The 20 or so mature pines have contributed branches and pinecones as well.

Volume 92 of The Voice of Truth International was recently prepared and provided to the printing company in India. I get bored easily, and so I like to keep busy, but a little respite is certainly needed—and soon!

Providence, Maybe

April 4, 2017

Since Martha Lynn and I arrived in Ocala, Florida the evening of Sunday, March 19, the days have come and gone with a flurry. We have camped out in Martha’s Florida home and upended somewhat the lives of her son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren as well as ourselves as we all dwell together in the 3-bedroom ranch-style house. In addition, we have experienced a plumber’s dream come true as both bathrooms, the kitchen sink and the septic tank have all cried foul at the same time! If the residence were a boat, we might sink with the kitchen and bathroom leaks, and I don’t believe that there’s supposed to be a brown spring gurgling up in the yard either.

We have assembled with brethren of the Central Church of Christ and the Woodland Place Church of Christ in Ocala; the Wildwood, FL Church of Christ; and The Villages Church of Christ in Lady Lake, FL, too. The Woodland Place congregation and I pondered if God’s providence was unfolding as its preacher was unexpectedly unable to be present the day Martha and I happened to show up for Sunday a.m. class and worship; I taught class and preached. The church and I stopped short of supposing that God’s providence might also have been behind the two flat tires the preacher suffered hours away from Ocala.

Finally tonight, Rebecca and I were able to complete corrections for the March edition of Gospel Gazette Online. Thus, I published it to the Internet and sent around 1,800 notifications to subscribers around the world.

On a disappointing note, FedEx did it again—again didn’t do what it claims to have done! Once more this particular freight company claimed to have delivered packages to me, which in fact it did not. The packages apparently were delivered somewhere—where I know not—but they were not delivered to me at our Florida address. Remarkably, the useless phone menu answering system at FedEx and two different FedEx employees all tried to convince me that I had actually received the three boxes of printed material (i.e., Rushmore newsletters, etc.) and that they were on the front porch—on which I was standing while talking to FedEx employees! Then, he asked me, “Have you checked with your neighbors?”—throughout the subdivision of the extensive bedroom metropolis of Ocala! Within two days, FedEx hopes to get back to me about the packages. I hope that my poor little packages are safe and dry—as we experience relentless rain and thunderstorms!

Martha and I postponed our long anticipated couple of days to ourselves away—whatever that means—until next week because of doctors’ appointments this week. However, amid a frustrating moment or two yesterday, at Martha’s insistence, we drove to the shore of Lake Weir. We walked on the beach, and yes, Martha strode barefoot through the sand and waded all the way up to her ankles in the little waves of water. Cautiously, we scouted out the menu and prices for a possible supper meal at Gator Joe’s there at the beach.

We dined on the deck above the sandy shore at water’s edge. The wind from the lake blew our menus away twice and knocked over Martha’s glass once; other debris occasionally flew from table to table and from patron to patron. I never before over the years in my dining experiences had to hold down my wax paper in my plastic serving basket to devour my victuals! It was great, though! It was just what we and especially I needed. You guessed it, upon my first experience to eat alligator, I found that it tasted just like chicken—peppered chicken. Not sure about ordering that as my entrée, I sampled Martha’s supper and ordered a very tasty fish dinner for myself. We’ll be back.

Back at the makeshift office, sometimes the dining room table and sometimes atop our bed with computers on our laps, we work at a myriad of matters (e.g., Gospel Gazette Online, The Voice of Truth International, etc.). Martha was quite proud of herself, as was I of her, too, as she completed another good article for use in one of the publications we publish or for which we write. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Martha’s like a sponge, a fast learner on everything new with which I acquaint her from mission work to publishing. She’s truly my helper in every aspect of my life.

Sleeping State to State!

March 17, 2017

Kentucky Barn with Character

Wednesday, March 15, Rebecca, Martha and I drove to Benton, Kentucky. I prefer to show up early at speaking appointments, and I am usually the first one to arrive. I want to be early enough to set up displays and materials as well as to make preparation for a PowerPoint presentation. I thought that we were arriving an hour or so before Bible class time at the Walnut Grove Church of Christ, but I discovered shortly that assembly time was 6:30 p.m. rather than 7:00 p.m. Nevertheless, everything worked out just fine.

Children in this congregation periodically send me cards of encouragement. In addition, brother and sister Hunt extended to us the hospitality of their home, capped off with a wonderful breakfast, too.

Thursday, we drove to Nashville and deposited 1,900 pounds of literature and some new clothes with an agent for Caribbean Shipping Service. These items will be sent by container ship to Guyana, South America. Once there, brother Nigel Milo and his congregation will distribute especially the books to every congregation of the Lord’s church in the nation.

After returning Rebecca to her home in Collierville, Martha and I proceeded back to Winona, MS and arrived around 8 p.m. It had been a long day.

Friday, we reloaded the van and headed toward Valdosta, Georgia. We made it as far as Montgomery, Alabama before securing lodging for the night.

For the past several evenings with the travel we have been doing, we have slumbered in a different state nightly: Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama. The next two nights, Lord permitting, we will lodge in Georgia and Florida! We are not traveling for the sake of traveling, but to be about the Lord’s business (i.e., speaking appointments, delivering literature for foreign shipment, etc.). Along the way, we set up office wherever we are and tend to that sort of thing also (i.e., Gospel Gazette Online, The Voice of Truth International, printing, etc.). This very night, though, Martha is searching out somewhere that we might find some respite from our overseas and stateside travels thus far this year—and we might even call it an abbreviated honeymoon!