Posted tagged ‘Gospel Gazette Online’

Fill-In for a Fill-In Preacher

August 3, 2017

Sunday, September 30, Martha and I made an early morning departure from Winona, Mississippi to assemble with the Quitman, Mississippi Church of Christ. We left town about 6 a.m. and arrived about 9 a.m.—three hours later and in time to set up equipment and display materials. As often is the case, we were the first ones there and had to wait for someone to arrive to unlock the building.

Brother Therman Hodge was the designated fill-in preacher in the absence of Quitman’s preacher, Stephen Higley. He was away, speaking for a congregation of the Lord’s church in Benton, Kentucky. However, it wasn’t convenient for brother Hodge to speak due to some matters to which he need to attend, and so, I happily agreed to fill-in for the fill-in preacher.

For class time, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “World Evangelism Media & Missions.” During morning worship, I preached, “Imitating the Conviction of Jesus Christ,” whereas for the evening worship, I preached, “Imitating the Focus of Jesus Christ.”

We were guests at the only restaurant in Quitman I was told—but a good one! That afternoon, we lazed and relaxed in the home of brother Austin and sister Robin Dickerson. We were well received as always is the case, and we met knew friends from among brethren we had not previously met.

After evening worship, Martha and I made the long, 3-hour ride back to Winona. Along our homeward path—a 4-lane derivation from our earlier, morning course—we banqueted at the McDonalds along US 45 on the outskirts of the metropolis of Macon, Mississippi.

Wednesday night, we met with the Coffeeville, Mississippi Church of Christ for the final day of this year’s Gospel meeting. Brother Joe Ruiz was the able speaker, and five souls responded.

Between Sunday and Wednesday, we busied ourselves with office work day and night, at home or in the office (e.g., The Voice of Truth International, etc.). Monday, we spent all day tending to yard work and car care. In addition, parts of Monday and Tuesday were spent painting and applying decals to Martha’s new toy—Pittsburgh Steelers decorated corn hole boards.

Thursday, I have devoted myself to corresponding with foreign brethren. I’m trying to line up missionary efforts in both South America and Asia among five countries. Tentatively, we will spend the first two weeks of September in Guyana, South America teaching college-level classes to church leaders. Then, Lord willing, we will travel to Asia for up to eight weeks, possibly laboring in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Singapore and India. Dates are already set for three weeks of instruction in Myanmar and one week in India. Martha has been typing for The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online. This and that is sandwiched between everything else. It remains with me, “I long way to go and a short time to get there!” Do you know from what movie that is a quote? Oh, yes, our next Rushmore Newsletter arrived today from the printing company. As soon as possible, we need to get it processed and mailed.

This Week

July 27, 2017

Sunday morning, July 23, Martha and I assembled with the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, Mississippi. During the Bible class hour, I made my PowerPoint presentation about “World Evangelism Media & Missions.” During worship, I preached about “Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ.” In the evening, we visited the Elliott Church of Christ, also in Mississippi.

Wednesday, Martha and I drove nearly an hour from Winona, Mississippi to Kosciusko to meet with the South Huntington Church of Christ. We were well received and pleased to audit the Summer Series session that night. We were surprised to see brother Andy Dulaney, an elder of my overseeing congregation—the Siwell Road Church of Christ in Jackson, Mississippi. We had seen him on Tuesday at his dental office when we were there for routine cleaning, but Wednesday, he was teaching the special class. Brother Andy spoke about “Shepherding,” a very edifying and unique biblical presentation. Also on Wednesday, I finally was able to publish to the Internet the July edition of Gospel Gazette Online. We continue to receive new, free subscription requests as well as comments from around the world; thousands of articles appear in the Archive in addition to numerous new articles added monthly.

Last week, Martha completed preparation of the next Rushmore Newsletter. This week, it went into production at a printing company in Minnesota; read it before you can hold it by going to it digitally on the Internet. A printing company in Michigan was contracted to reprint a postcard concerning the vast array of books, magazines and tracts that we produce at World Evangelism. Incidentally, The Voice of Truth International is printed currently in India. Other printers in Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Missouri print titles for us from time to time.

Today was an office day for sure. Numerous differing activities occupied our hours (e.g., planning for the 2018 India Missions Conference, adding subscriptions for The Voice of Truth International, preliminary preparation for the next issue of The Voice of Truth International and many small tasks). A lot of little stuff behind the scenes transpires every day that backs up and leads to the more visible aspect of our ministry. There is nothing we would rather do with my life, stateside and abroad, than serve our Lord in every way we can. Many Christians and congregations make it possible for us to do what we do. Thank you.

Morgantown, West Virginia

June 24, 2017

Pymatuning Spillway

Monday, June 19 Rebecca, Martha and I spent a little time with several family members. First, we dropped in on Mike and Donna Rushmore between Greenville and Jamestown, Pennsylvania. My brother is bedfast (or chair-fast if “up”). One of their daughters came by with two of her children. Together, we enjoyed one another’s company and feasted on a couple of Pizza Hut pizzas that we brought with us. Next, we made the little drive to Hadley, Pennsylvania to visit with my father in his home; my mother passed away many years ago. (Last year, his furry, little friend bit a whole through my trousers into my leg; this year, we sufficed with just mutual restraint!) Leaving Hadley, we three moseyed up to Meadville, Pennsylvania and rented a motel room and cleaned up for our pending rendezvous with other family members.

Pymatuning Spillway

Cracker Barrel was our designated venue for the get together. It almost wasn’t our meeting and eating place because a charter bus patron pushed her way in front of us to demand her entire bus be seated before us, and the restaurant complied. We were close to and had already discussed choosing another eatery when we were ushered to our table. (Some people need to be muzzled and put on a leash!)

Pymatuning Spillway

Altogether, there were 13 of us comprised of one of my brothers and part of his family, one of Bonnie’s brothers and part of his family, Bonnie’s sister and her husband as well as Rebecca, Martha and me. My side of the family and Bonnie’s side of the family had never seated themselves at a table together before; this was a first, but it also helped us visit one another more expediently in the limited time available up north.

Cooper’s Rock

Tuesday, we drove to Pymatuning Spillway outside of Linesville, Pennsylvania—where geese, ducks and fish (carp) compete for bread pitched into the water by tourists. We threw three long, fresh loaves of bread over the railing to the waiting wildlife. Thousands of fish and flocks of birds gobbled it all up. Fish were so thick that several were atop their fellows and had to flail about to submerge themselves again. Some sadness, particularly experienced by Martha, was spirited away for a while and replaced with smiles and a giddiness.

Cooper’s Rock

Afterward, we drove to Morgantown, West Virginia and once more rented a motel room. Here we were to lodge through Sunday morning. We worked diligently in our mobile, motel office/bedroom—three computers up and running—on Gospel Gazette Online, The Voice of Truth International, finances, thank you cards, etc.

Wednesday night, we assembled with the University Church of Christ in Morgantown—not far from our motel as it turned out. We renewed and made new acquaintances among good brethren there. Thursday, though, we went on a little expedition to Cooper’s Rock State Forest. We enjoyed ourselves, got some exercise and found out that we can spend money even when deep in the woods! Next, we traveled to Prickett’s Fort State Park, whereupon we stepped back into the history of the early American frontier. Friday, it was back to the office, as well as Saturday, too. I published to the Internet the June edition of Gospel Gazette Online, and we worked diligently on The Voice of Truth International.

Cooper’s Rock

We did laundry twice—a necessity, and I ironed my shirt for Sunday. Last week I procrastinated only to find that the ironing board was hopelessly broken; I didn’t iron my shirt a week ago very well—on a hand towel on top of the bathroom sink!

Cooper’s Rock

The trailer has been unhitched from the car for a few days now; it has been affixed for nearly three weeks as we pulled it everywhere we went. I almost didn’t know how to drive the van anymore without the trailer tugging at it from the aft! Shortly, we will hook up the trailer once more, after we pack the clean clothes in the suitcases and stuff them into the car. Our journey of four weeks is nearing its end. We are longing for familiar beds and surroundings. Lord willing, we will arrive back in Winona, Mississippi sometime on Thursday, June 29—in time for Martha to go to a doctor in Grenada, Mississippi on Friday. Sunday, we will be out for the day at Mississippi preaching appointments. Praise God that we can be found in His service here and there.

Prickett’s Fort

Prickett’s Fort

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.