Posted tagged ‘Into All the World in 2011’

We’ll Sleep When We’re Dead!

August 22, 2012

Displays at Polishing the PulpitSome days, our workdays are traveling all day to an appointment on Wednesday evening. We did just that on August 15. Just before lunch time, we started driving from Winona, MS to Portland, TN – about six hours of driving plus necessary stops. However, before making this leg of our journey, we had to load the car for a two and a half week tour – including loading the van for 16 feet of displays at the Polishing the Pulpit (PTP) program in Sevierville, TN. In addition, following that lectureship, we are traveling to Pennsylvania and Ohio, before going to Jacksonville, FL in a roundabout way back to Winona. Thus, we had a lot of packing to do.

Buckets of Bible TimeWednesday, we were with the Fountain Head Church of Christ outside of Portland. That night, we lodged once more in the “Corn Crib,” a cottage that has been remodeled from an actual corn crib, on a farm near the Kentucky state line.

Bible MapsThursday morning, we drove toward Sevierville, around four hours away. Friday afternoon, we set up our mission work display and the literature display of hundreds of books. Saturday, we drove to Ooltewah, TN – a little over two hours southwest toward Chattanooga, TN. It was our good pleasure once more to lodge with Winston and Kathy Stringfield. Sunday morning August 19, I presented to the Ooltewah Church of Christ the PowerPoint Into All the World in 2011 for the Bible class (as I had done Wednesday at Fountain Head). During the worship period, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. Sunday afternoon, Bonnie and I returned to PTP for the evening lessons.

Bonnie as Queen EstherMonday through Wednesday, between the two of us, Bonnie and I taught three children’s classes daily. Thursday, we taught two children’s classes. Not able to attend day sessions, each night Bonnie and I attended the night programs. We had much good interaction with brethren interested in our efforts for the cause of Christ. Bonnie and I renewed acquaintances and friendships, sometimes with brethren we had not seen for several years.

In some of the in between moments throughout the week, I was able to finalize some upcoming appointments stateside. After speaking at two congregations Sunday, August 26 in Ohio, the following Sunday, we will be with a church in Florida. In addition, we were able to work out some of the details for our soon trip to Asia for about two months.

I must be tired. Often by end of day and by the time Bonnie and I get in bed for the night, we are exhausted. In addition, even in the early morning often brethren tell me, “You look tired!” Well, if we fail to get all the rest one might think we need in this life, we are planning to rest eternally from this world’s labors once we lay down our bodies in the earthly clay. We’ll sleep when we’re dead!

The Days of Our Lives

July 31, 2012

Preaching Recently in Guyana, South AmericaSaturday, July 29, I went for a very long drive with my best friend, my wife – Bonnie. Our health was good, and the day was sunny. The otherwise oppressive heat was defeated by the air conditioning in our car. About 10 hours after leaving Winona, MS, we arrived in Valdosta, GA. Along the way, we enjoyed sufficient and pleasant food. It was a good day.

Sunday morning, we arrived at the meetinghouse of the Dasher Church of Christ by around 8:30 a.m. for the 9 a.m. Bible class, followed by the 10 a.m. worship period. Bonnie set out some books, newsletters and display material while I attended to getting the PowerPoint presentation about our work ready for the class and preparing for the sermon I was to deliver during worship. As regulars to our blog have long ago figured out, I don’t usually preach a different sermon weekly; I just change congregations to which I speak. You guessed it; for Bible class I presented Into All the World in 2011, and for worship I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. We were wonderfully well received and encouraged by brethren, and we made tentative arrangements for speaking appointments by Bonnie to Christian ladies and me to children in a private school in the future.

Sunday evening, we failed on three occasions to find a congregation with which to worship. We traveled northward toward Atlanta, GA, but apparently many of the Lord’s church in Georgia have early afternoon services or suspend night services on the fifth Sunday of the month. We took a motel just south of Atlanta for the night, arriving in time for free hotdogs, mac and cheese, baked potato, chicken strips and soft drinks. That was the first time we have found a stateside hotel offering supper, though most of them make some effort at offering a continental breakfast.

Monday, Bonnie and I had an appointment with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Department in Atlanta. We had to have personal interviews to complete our application for trusted traveler status to permit us expedited reentry into the United States when we return from our foreign trips. The balance of Monday involved the long, three-state drive back to Winona, MS. Tuesday, it was back at the office, as well as back to scraping and painting the exterior of the mission house in which we live.

Travel by car or by plane is a part of the work and almost as routine as breathing. Working in the office on literature and publishing or speaking about the work or preaching are the common place facets of the days of our lives. May God use us up in His service anywhere and everywhere on the planet. Invite us to your congregation, and we might be communing with you soon.

On the Road Again!

July 4, 2012

On the Road Again! That’s the ring tone for Bonnie’s phone, and we live it, too. Arriving back in the States Tuesday, June 12 from Guyana, South America, we have hit the road again. Thursday, Bonnie and I drove almost two hours south to Byram, MS for our semi-annual dental cleanings. Oh, that’s when Bonnie was informed that she needed to have two wisdom teeth extracted and two other teeth drilled and filled at subsequent appointments.

Saturday the 16th, we dropped Betty Choate off at the Memphis International Airport on our way to Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. Sister Choate was unable to persuade Delta at curbside to overlook her overweight luggage, and so as we pulled away from the curb, she was redistributing items between checked bags and her carryon bag. She was on her way to San Francisco, CA to babysit grandchildren as her son Brad and his wife went away to celebrate their anniversary.

At our own private bed and breakfast (Rebecca’s house), we were positioned for our Sunday, June 17 afternoon appointment with the East Frayser Church of Christ in the metropolitan Memphis area. We had a wonderful time with these brethren as I presented the PowerPoint Into All the World in 2011.

Back in Winona, MS, Monday through Thursday, brother Lester Grimmet and his helper Tommy made some much needed repairs on the missionary house in which we reside. Besides hundreds of disturbed wasps (and about six cans of wasp spray), they found rotten soffit and fascia plus rotted roof joist ends and porch sheeting. Replacing and repairing these items was the beginning of necessary maintenance to preserve the integrity of the structure. Roof repairs are imminent. Later, we will paint the exterior wall panels, etc. to prolong replacement of the deteriorating paperboard sheets.

New Floor TitleInside the house, Bonnie and I invested in the replacement of the kitchen flooring and sink countertop. We opted for ceramic tile for both. Already, we had painted the dark paneling and cabinets to brighten the dungeon. Of course, as long as the kitchen was inaccessible, we were forced to eat out.

New Floor Tile & Counter TopSunday morning June 24, we visited the Courtland, MS Church of Christ. For Bible class, I presented Into All the World in 2011, and for worship I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. For those of you who follow our blog, you see that I do not preach a lot of different sermons over the course of a year. I just go to different congregations and present the same material over again. Poor, poor Bonnie; she has to endure the same lessons often twice weekly for many months before I change them out for another set and repeat our circuit.

After worship, we followed a family to the next county and into the woods. We were supposed to be going to a restaurant for lunch, but I was almost certain that we were following the wrong car and that we were about to pull up into someone’s driveway. However, finally, we arrived at a local, out of the way eatery in a narrow gravel lot adjacent to a boat storage facility. Above the door for the diner was simply the word, “CATFISH.” Inside the homey setting, in the backroom, six of us surrounded a round table. Bonnie and I shared the best and the largest country fried steak we have ever eaten. Everywhere we go, one thing is for sure. Brethren know where the good food is, and they enjoy eating together.

Sunday evening, I spoke for the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS. Their preacher Nathan Wright was away at camp with the youngsters from the congregation. Bonnie and the brethren heard me preach Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. After worship, several brethren and we ate at an upscale Mexican restaurant in Greenwood near J.C. Penny. I found my new, favorite Mexican restaurant, and all Bonnie and I ate was an appetizer that we shared.

Tuesday the 26th, we were again in Byram, MS for the extraction of two of Bonnie’s wisdom teeth. By far, it took longer to get there from Winona, MS than it did for brother Andy Dulaney to remove the teeth. I had chipped a front tooth on the backside the previous Sunday, and it left an annoying bur that brother Dulaney smoothed for me.

East Side Church of ChristWednesday morning, we began a new trek to Cleveland, TN, where that evening I made my PowerPoint presentation Into All the World in 2011 to the East Side Church of Christ. We lodged that night with Rick and Fay Hinson; he is the Deacon of Missions for that congregation. We always enjoy this couple, and they make us feel right at home.

Thursday morning, we struck out aimlessly for Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN. Our next appointment was also to be in Cleveland, TN on Sunday night; so, we took a couple of days to relax and work without interruption in the Smoky Mountains. The first order of business upon arriving in the area was to eat lunch at the Old Mill Restaurant. We were seated almost immediately in rustic, watermill-like building overlooking the nearby river. Not something I would choose for myself, nevertheless, I enjoyed the corn chowder with clam broth that came with the meal, and the meatloaf was exceptionally good. The prices were moderate, and the service was stellar. Bonnie and I both agree that the Old Mill Restaurant deserves a repeat visit in our future when in the area.

Cabin View of the Smoky MountainsA couple of phone calls later, we had arranged for a cabin for a couple of days outside of Gatlinburg. The paperwork required to rent this place was reminiscent of that required to buy a house! Upon arrival at our cabin getaway, we couldn’t wait to get away from it; I called the rental office and said that it was unacceptable for a number of reasons, including peeling wallpaper in the bathroom and water damage on walls and floor. Within the hour, we arrived at a second cabin, which was more to our liking. It was the most buggy cabin rental that we ever experienced, but otherwise the porch provided a pleasant view of the blue mountains. The accommodations were satisfactory. Part of the time we relaxed; some of the time we walked the main drag of Gatlinburg, TN – window shopping the curios that we mostly resisted buying. We did, though, bump into the Steve Choate family in a store into which we just happened to wander. Steve is one of Betty Choate’s sons; he lives in Searcy, AR. (Though we did not encounter them, afterward we learned that J.D. and Denise Conley from Marietta, OH were in a Gatlinburg cabin at the same time we were in that area. He is a Gospel preacher and the son-in-law of Denver Cooper; Denise is sister to our dear friend Martha Noland.

TramAfter lunch at Texas Roadhouse (we shared Road Kill and added an extra baked potato), as we were wandering about, we came to the tram that takes up to 120 passengers at a time to the top of the mountain. The fare not too steep, we boarded the standing room only vehicle and winged our way over five towers to the mountaintop. We explored some shops and bought a few trinkets, including some marble top fudge. We had indulged on some fudge the day before, too, at the Old Mill Candy Shop and found it better tasting than the more recent acquisition. Of course, the better tasting candy cost twice as much as the other; perhaps that ought to have been an indicator.

During our two-night stay in the cabin, we dispatched spiders, ants, a millipede, one scorpion and another, unidentified bug. Two wasps that stung me got away. Each time we go to the Smoky Mountains, we have stayed in a different cabin, and I suppose we will continue the practice the next time we steal away a day or two.

Mountain MusicWe also enjoyed some mountain music as we strolled the streets and alleys of Gatlinburg, TN.

Central Church of Christ (Cleveland, TN)Saturday, June 30, Bonnie and I traveled back to Cleveland, TN where I was to speak the next day for the evening service of the Central Church of Christ. First, though, we stopped at Tanger Outlets to buy me some dress shirts. Many of my shirts are decades old and in dire need of replacement. The temperature was 107 degrees! We walked, and we walked. Then, we walked some more. Finally, we found some shirts that were nearly like what I wanted and at a price I could afford. Along the way, Bonnie bought a couple pair of footwear, too.

About 5:00 p.m., we arrived at the home of Robert and Barbara Wright. They are brethren, friends and our benefactors. They lodged us and fed us to the point of bursting over the next two days. They have worked hard over the years, and they freely utilize their resources for the cause of Christ; they do a good work for the Lord.

Sunday evening, I presented Into All the World in 2011. We had some technical difficulties since my software with which I made the PowerPoint presentation is newer than what the church is using. With some trial and error behind us, we were able to present the material for the congregation. We were well received. Bonnie and I had a few moments to meet with two of the elders regarding our work in which they invest for the church there.

Monday was consumed in our return trip to Winona, MS. A flurry of phone calls between Wednesday and Monday populated our upcoming calendar for Sundays and Wednesdays. We have some long stateside trips ahead of us in July and August. Bonnie labored on the next issue of The Voice of Truth International as I steered the car homeward.

After spending all day in the office Tuesday trying to catch up on things we could not do while traveling, we left Winona, MS again in the early evening. We met Rebecca at the Collierville Church of Christ property for refreshments and to watch the Collierville city fireworks. Wednesday is the 4th of July holiday. Thursday is Rebecca’s birthday, and later that afternoon, we will pick up Betty Choate at the airport and return to Winona. Saturday, we will point the car toward the panhandle of Florida for our Sunday appointment. Appointments already scheduled for July and August will take us to the states of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky. Truly, we are on the road again!