Posted tagged ‘Literature’

Busy, Busy, Busy!

August 7, 2017

Thursday evening, August 3, Martha and I hooked up the cargo trailer and returned to the World Evangelism Building just an eighth of a mile from our residence. We loaded just under 1,500 pounds of literature. We selected two different editions of The Voice of Truth International plus some reclaimed songbooks and a communion set.

Friday morning, after visiting the office briefly, Martha and I left Winona, Mississippi and headed for Nashville, Tennessee and an agent of Caribbean Shipping Service. Instead of taking I-55 northward to Memphis, Tennessee to connect with I-40, we took an alternative route—a little slower and more leisurely with less traffic. After unloading the trailer around 4:30 p.m., we headed to our wayside rest at Rebecca’s home in Collierville, Tennessee. Saturday, we made our way back to Winona.

Sunday, Martha and I drove the short distance from Winona to the outskirts of French Camp, Mississippi and the Huntsville Church of Christ. About half of the congregation, including its preacher, was away at family camp. Hence, I was afforded the opportunity to speak for the Bible class period (“World Evangelism Media & Missions”), morning worship (“Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ”) and evening worship (“Imitating the Focus of Jesus Christ”).

Monday morning, Martha and I, along with the help of Paula Bates and Betty Choate, began processing the July edition of the Rushmore Newsletter. Tuesday, we will finish up and mail it. Squeezed in amidst preparing the newsletter were a few other necessary activities, including purchasing $1,500 of airline tickets. Martha and I will fly to Guyana, South America on September 2 for two weeks of teaching church leaders.

Monday evening, Betty Choate, Martha and I attended the Gospel meeting hosted by the Old Union Church of Christ. Brother Paul Franks spoke to a full house of brethren from several area congregations. We hope to return Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for the Gospel meeting.

We still need to finalize our itinerary for our fall mission trip to Myanmar or Burma, India and Singapore. We may possibly also visit Sri Lanka. Of course, we need to make sure that we are ready for teaching various lessons in South America and Asia. There is never enough time!

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!

Winter Wonderland—Temporarily!

March 14, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017, Rebecca, Martha and I awoke to a temporary winter wonderland in Batesville, Arkansas. After breakfast in the hotel lobby, we proceeded to the meetinghouse of the Southside Church of Christ. There, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.” The night before, I updated it to include our New Year’s Day wedding and our recent 6-week foray into the tropical flora of Guyana, South America. During worship, I preached one of my recently seminar sermons, “Emulation of Jesus Christ: His Urgency.”

As always, we were well received by the good brethren at Southside. Afterward, several members and we three dined across the highway at a quaint, country eatery; I’d eaten there before, and at that time I photographed some of its décor, including a fully set table and chairs hanging upside down from the ceiling.

Later in the day, Rebecca, Martha and I assembled with the brethren at the Oil Trough Church of Christ. This small church and we three enjoyed one another’s company as once more, during worship this time, as presented “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.”

Leaving our appointments in Arkansas, we journeyed to my Winona, MS home, arriving at 11 p.m. Immediately, it became apparent that we were going to have to enact “Plan B.” Some repair work to the interior of the home was not complete, but instead in full swing. It was not feasible for us to lodge in the midst of ongoing construction, and so, we resorted to the apartment at the office and warehouse for World Evangelism just down the road.

Monday was filled full with trying to catchup on a number of things (i.e., going through six weeks of mail, paying bills and working on volume 92 of The Voice of Truth International). Tuesday, we packaged and shipped book orders as well as loaded about 2,000 pounds of Christian literature into a trailer. We will haul it to Nashville on Thursday, the day after our Wednesday evening appointment in Benton, KY with the Walnut Grove Church of Christ.

We traveled Tuesday to Rebecca’s home, but I stopped in Batesville, MS to get a haircut. Had I not gotten “my ears lowered,” I would have needed a dog license for as much unkempt I had become. Thursday we will travel finally back to Winona, depositing Rebecca at her home in a suburb of Memphis, TN—Collierville. Friday, Lord willing, we reload the car and leave for Valdosta, GA for next Sunday’s appointment. If not the night before, Monday, we will drive to Ocala, FL, where we will remain for about four weeks—using it as a base of operations for visiting churches of Christ.

Tired we are. Rest we need. We hope that we are glorifying God ad edifying our fellow man.

Air Brakes and Diesel Engine

December 9, 2016


96-dpi-4x6-freight-1Thursday, December 8, we were listening for air brakes and a diesel engine—circumstantial evidence that the tractor-trailer bearing 8 pallets of literature had arrived at the World Evangelism Building in Winona, MS. Onsite were Jerry and Paula Bates, Betty Choate, Martha Noland—visiting me from Florida—and members of three area congregations of the churches of Christ; of course, I was present, too.

96-dpi-4x6-freight-3Naturally, we had home cooking while awaiting the freightliner. Paula made chili and “mystery soup,” while Martha whipped up some very tasty and hearty potato soup. Betty added cornbread to the mix.

96-dpi-4x6-freight-4Two of the youngest helpers—elementary school age—did their share in unloading and carting literature into the warehouse. I entrusted them with a box knife to free the pallets of literature from plastic wrap and strapping; they excelled, and there was no bloodletting! Previously while waiting for the truck to arrive, the young men and pored over the photos of my recent mission trip to Myanmar and India. Besides that, I enjoyed interacting and discussing with them things that matter to them. These are fine, promising young men—certain to be assets to the body of Christ in the present and in the future.

96-dpi-4x6-freight-2The shipment consisted of Volume 90 of The Voice of Truth International, Global Harvest, tracts and books. Now, our attention turns to distribution, especially of The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest to subscribers. In addition to individual subscriptions, many congregations order bulk subscriptions for use in their churches as well as in their communities.

Quiet Week

May 14, 2016

It’s been a quiet week. Sister Betty Choate has not returned to Winona, MS yet from her extended world tour and visiting family in western states upon reentering the USA. Brother Jerry and sister Paula Bates have been out of town for over a week as they travel to family and church appointments stateside. Just myself with whom to interact locally, I’m proud that I’ve not entered into any arguments or disagreements! The few book orders that have come in were easily enough to handle, though there remain a couple of The Voice of Truth International subscription inquiries that await Paula’s attention.

I have worked on volume 89 of The Voice of Truth International, and shortly after all the gang returns home, it should be ready to commit to the printing company. Wednesday, I spoke for the Courtland, MS Church of Christ; I made my PowerPoint presentation about 2015-2016 Mission Trips. I was graciously received by the small band of Christians, and they posed more questions than a dozen congregations to which I go with mission reports. The Courtland Church of Christ as well as individual Christian families that worship there participate with me financially and make it possible for me to do what I do abroad. I’m thankful for their encouragement and partnership.

Yesterday, I had a trailer hitch, trailer lights and spring assisted overload shocks installed on the Town & Country van. I resisted for about two years, but the last haul of literature and Bibles to a shipping company for shipment to Guyana, South America placed an enormous strain on the vehicle. Hence next time, I will pull a trailer loaded with The Voice of Truth International magazines, books and tracts instead of ruining the car.

Today, I finally published to the Internet the May edition of Gospel Gazette Online. Anyone who happens upon it can use the monthly journal freely and the thousands of archived articles preserved there over the past 18 years of publication. In addition, around 1,600 subscribers across the world will receive notifications via email that the new issue of GAZ is ready.

The upcoming week, Lord willing, will see me speaking for the Elliott and Crockett churches of Christ on the Lord’s Day. Both congregations are in Mississippi. Tuesday, I plan to leave town for a few days and spend them with brother Therman and sister Sadie Hodge outside of Meridian, MS. They have been gracious enough to agree to coddle me for the few days surrounding the first anniversary of Bonnie’s passing. My sorrow is slow departing, and especially this month has been emotionally challenging already.

May God bless each Reader. May you and I relentlessly move forward on the narrow, pilgrim pathway, between the ditches of sin, ever mindful of the heavenly horizon toward which we trudge.

Staying Local – Almost

December 22, 2015
Rebecca, Louis, Bonnie (Myanmar 2010)

Rebecca, Louis, Bonnie (Myanmar 2010)

Friday, December 18 I completed most of the January 2016 edition of Gospel Gazette Online, now beginning its 18th year of publication on the Internet. Furthermore, I directed my attention to two new books of mine to be published over the next few weeks, and I also worked on preparation and layout for some articles to be published tentatively in volume 88 of The Voice of Truth International. Volume 86 just arrived a week or so ago, and volume 87 is at the printers now. So, it is time to work on the next edition. Not only so, but due to my absence again from the States January 30 through March 8, as well as Betty Choate’s absence from the Winona office February 8 through May 15, we may have to prepare for publication up to three future editions of VOTI before we respectively leave the country. Sister Betty is headed abroad to Asian countries, New Zealand and Tasmania, while I on the other hand am heading, Lord willing, to Guyana, South America for five weeks of seminars throughout the entire nation.

Friday evening, my daughter Rebecca finished up teaching school until after the holiday break. She left from school and came to my house, where she will be for the duration of her off days. Monday evening, my son Raymond surprised me by driving all the way down to Mississippi from Ohio. Tuesday, we three cleaned up the massive yard debris contributed by around 20 mature pine trees dotting the property – about five wheelbarrow loads of branches and numerous bushels of leaves and pine needles. While my children raked, I pulled a lawn sweeper behind my tractor lawnmower. That’s the most physical activity I have had since my nearly debilitating back pains had curbed all unnecessary physical exertions. Fortunately, after four months of increasingly heightened pain, finally it has subsided to the point I am hardly taking any pain medicine presently, and only over-the-counter meds are needed right now.

Most of Monday was consumed first by a bone scan at the hospital in Grenada, MS and secondly by grocery shopping, also in Grenada. The store in Winona burned down a few months ago, and it is scheduled to reopen a completely rebuilt structure on the same site in the middle of January. Not wanting to get tangled up in the retail melee at Walmart this time of year, we opted to forgo that venue for a couple of other grocers; we visited Save-a-Lot between my 9 a.m. injection with a radioactive substance and later returning for an hour bone scan beginning around 1 p.m. We purchased non-perishable items and surveyed whether we were content with its offerings. Following my procedure, we bought perishables and some additional grocery items at the Grocery Basket. We drove by Spain’s grocery earlier, but we decided not to stop there because it was one big, chaotic traffic snafu of cars in the lot, and the walkways were awash with a sea of shoppers. Evidently, many people are enamored with that store, but I was far from impressed on this occasion at least with the crush of fellow humans – which is what I was trying to avoid by distancing myself from the Walmart Supercenter at this time of the year.

Sunday morning, I had an appointment with the Tenth Avenue Church of Christ in Columbus, MS. It was my good pleasure to make my PowerPoint presentation about my mission work during the Bible class session. At the worship hour, I preached, “The Church in Prophecy” through the use of another PowerPoint presentation. I have always been well received by these brethren and I have always felt completely at ease and at home with them. When brethren who love the Lord commune together in worship, the fact that they are black and I am white does not even enter into any equation. Everyone with whom I work overseas is of a different race than me, and on one occasion after having spent a month all day and all night with some of those brethren, I identified with them so thoroughly that when someone leveled unwarranted verbal abuse on their race and nationality, I was offended, too – ever so briefly forgetting that I looked more like the misbehaving man than did I resemble the brethren with I was enjoying such an intimate relationship – in Christ.

Sunday evening, Rebecca who accompanied me on my appointments this weekend and I made our way to Baldwyn, MS. We arrived way early for my appointment at the Hillcrest Church of Christ. Part of the time awaiting time for evening worship, we rode through the town of Baldwyn, which really didn’t take very long at all. Back in the parking lot, I fired up my computer and did some office work. Once more, I made my PowerPoint presentation about my mission work, specifically updating the congregation about my recent 8-week mission trip to four Asian nations. Here, too, we were wonderfully received and encouraged.

Every segment of travel on the Lord’s Day was from two to two and a half hours – Winona to Columbus to Baldwyn and back to Winona. We arrived home around 10 p.m. Rebecca is a sports fan, and so we watched her beloved Pittsburgh Steelers win over the Denver Broncos; she had recorded the game that occurred earlier in the day.

One might observe that we stayed local, comparatively speaking, this past Sunday – at least traveling within a relatively close circuit all inside Mississippi. Often and recently, too, I travel out of state on my weekend speaking appointments.

What’s Not to Like?

October 3, 2015
Burmese, Rwang & Lisu language literature

Burmese, Rwang & Lisu language literature

What’s not to like? Nearly every day since I have been in Asia so far (i.e., Singapore and Myanmar) I have eaten French fries! With a stomach like mine, nursed daily with medicine, the anticipation of spicy Asian diet and sometimes doubtful hygienic food preparation can give rise to some personal anxiety. To date, I haven’t dipped heavily into my store of cereal bars and Ritz crackers.

What’s not to like? I sleep in an air conditioned room; when the electric fails, a generator restores power to the hotel. I have a hot shower at my disposal – and a western-style flush toilet. Someone else washes my clothes, unlike at the house when that is my job. Besides tasty meals in local restaurants and the home of sisters Winsome and Sheila, the grocery store is a short walk from my lodging, where just last night I bought all I could carry. Of course, I just got the important stuff, like Coke Zero, orange juice, Myanmar tea, washcloths, professionally packaged cashews and one of the biggest Cadbury milk chocolate bars I have ever seen – enough to last for days!

More importantly, I am here for a reason in service of our Lord, and it has been a sheer pleasure to interact with dear, familiar brethren in both countries visited as of yet; I look forward and long also for the sweet friendship of more Christian friends in Sri Lanka and India in the weeks to come.

Upon my arrival Monday, September 28, I was greeted by Asia’s Phoebe, sister Winsome; she is the go to person for arrangements for so many foreign and domestic brethren to facilitate our comings and goings for the cause of Christ. The landscape of the Christian endeavors of so many brethren would not be the same at all without her. Tuesday, I was greeted at the hotel by brother Jay Ahti who had traveled an hour to see me, bearing for me more fruit than I could eat in the three weeks I will be in this country; we lunched together nearby at a café in Oceans mall. Wednesday, brother Kyaw Sein from Hmawbi sent a car for me to usher me to his home about an hour away, where we had lunch together and mapped out a strategy for teaching in his neighborhood two weeks from then.

Thursday, Jay Ahti returned in a taxi to retrieve me and take me to his home far, far away through thick motorcar traffic in Yangon, a city of many millions. Following lunch, study and provision for participation in his ongoing godly labors, we trudged back to my hotel. Friday, brother Damon Vincent arrived at the hotel and we communed in the lobby for a while, along with Winsome and Jay Ahti; Saturday morning, brethren Damon and Jay departed for the far northeastern corner of Myanmar to present a series of weeklong lectures to fellow Christians. Saturday, Winsome and I made my annual trek to Scott’s Market in the downtown, whereupon I buy small gifts each year to give away to stateside brethren who extend to me their hospitality as I travel, giving mission updates and presenting biblical lessons. I look forward to the jaunt, and there is always so much more to take in and view beyond what meager purchases I make.

Punctuating the above throughout the week, I have set up my mobile office in a corner of my hotel room and applied myself to preparing the October edition of Gospel Gazette Online and beginning to work on a new literature project. Most of the time, the Internet at the hotel works and is barely fast enough to upload html pages for GGO and retrieve my email. As soon as I receive the last two articles for which I am waiting from writers, I will publish the new issue and notify subscribers.

This week, too, through the funds made available by my supporters, I have empowered Burmese brethren with hundreds of dollars to continue printing various pieces of literature; I also gave them new tracts that they may consider for publication in four national languages of Burma.

Sunday, as I pen this, I am anticipating worshipping with brethren at two house churches in Yangon, where on each occasion they graciously will permit me to teach God’s Word. Monday through Friday, Lord willing, I will teach four hours daily at the Hmawbi Bible School in a jungle setting. Next Sunday, I am scheduled to speak for the congregation that assembles in the home of Kyaw Sein. Monday through Friday of that week, I will teach two hours in the Hmawbi neighborhood of brother Sein and two hours at the school each day. The following day, Saturday, I fly to Sri Lanka.

If it isn’t working for the Lord, it is not something that has much meaning to me, especially these days. Slowly, my grief is becoming a little more manageable, particularly as I devote myself to the tasks outlined above that lie before me. I’m on a journey, and this earth is not my home. Sometimes I stray from the pilgrim pathway (like any other mortal), but I am determined to maintain my focus on the heavenly horizon toward which I am marching. There are persons there who I earnestly long to embrace – Bonnie Sue Rushmore, but more so, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the angelic host and the redeemed of all ages. Come, go with me – hand in hand!