Posted tagged ‘potluck’

St. Joseph Church of Christ, Dyersburg, TN

March 30, 2012

Sunday, March 25, Bonnie and I were with the good brethren of the St. Joseph Church of Christ in Dyersburg, TN. We are always enthusiastically received, and my sermon Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear stirred brothers and sisters in Christ to a renewed and recommitted emphasis on worshipping God in His own appointed way. This has been perhaps the most popular sermon I have ever preached – abroad and stateside.

Following Bible class and worship, we enjoyed a potluck fellowship meal together. Bonnie and I didn’t know brethren were gathering to eat together after services, but we also delight in such occasions. That was the first time we had been in the church’s multipurpose hall.

Sunday evening, Bonnie and I imposed once more on our daughter Rebecca and stayed the night at her home. Monday morning, Bonnie and I stopped briefly at Chick-fil-A for breakfast on the way out of Collierville. After some shopping, we made our way back to Winona, MS – our base of operations. That evening, we waded into overgrown brush and bushes to retrieve a couple of azalea bushes for transplanting in our backyard. That was almost too much for me, and the sweat endlessly rolled down my face.

By day, Bonnie continued to work on the upcoming issue of The Voice of Truth International throughout the week. I worked on the March issue of Gospel Gazette Online – running late as usual. Numerous other activities interrupted our respective efforts on those magazines – which is pretty much the way every day goes.

Tuesday afternoon visitors began arriving: Ruth Orr and Jane George from Tennessee; by suppertime, Prissy Sellers, her daughter Hope Stringham and granddaughter Amelia from Missouri also arrived. Bonnie fixed supper at our house for them, Betty Choate, Jerry and Paula Bates and us. We used the good dishes, on which we put our roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, miniature homemade loaves of bread and pumpkin cake for dessert.

Tuesday through Friday, our visitors constructed boxes and packed them for future overseas shipments to the Philippines, Malawi, Ghana and Nigeria. This group was self-starting and self-perpetuating – meaning that unlike most groups that come in to work from time to time, we did not have to leave other functions to work with them. Before they left, they had packed 15,000 books for destinations abroad. We will ship the boxes to various locations stateside for placement in containers or introduction into the US Postal system foreign mailbags.

Amelia either played by herself or watched children’s videos to amuse herself most of the time. The evening before, following supper, she asked me to teach her to play checkers; she spied the old, homemade checkerboard handed down through Bonnie’s family. She did well for a 4-year-old. At the office/warehouse, I acquainted her with the Bible maps (as I often do with small children in congregational settings) and taught her how to work the chairlift – a make do tame substitute for an amusement park.

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Finally, Friday evening I finished the March issue of Gospel Gazette Online and sent out the email notifications to over 1,200 subscribers. Saturday, unlike most Saturdays when we are traveling for a Sunday appointment, we slowed down a bit at home. That is, if one doesn’t count the planting of dozens of flower bulbs and digging up and replanting numerous hostas. We have also planted four rose bushes. All of that was a lot like work! The work we ordinarily do doesn’t make my back hurt and I don’t have to perspire as much! I may need to go back to work just to get some rest!

A Big, Big, Slow Circle

March 6, 2012

Ray & Charlotte WeddingtonSunday, March 4, 2012, Bonnie and I worshipped with the Pleasant Cove Church of Christ outside of McMinnville, TN. Dear friends and coworkers in the kingdom of Christ, Charlotte and Ray Weddington, introduced us to this fine congregation. Each year, Charlotte and Ray give us the royal treatment as we stay overnight with them, and they get to (or are forced to) see all of our pictures from trips abroad the previous year. For Bible class, I gave my PowerPoint presentation about our work in four countries abroad in 2011. My sermon later in the morning was Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. Per usual, after morning worship, we were the excuse this time for brethren to enjoy a fellowship meal together; Christians don’t need much of a reason to gather and eat!

That evening, we searched out with the help of Miss GPS the Claxton (TN) Church of Christ. There, we reunited with our dear friends Audrey and Dave Amos. Once more, Bonnie had to endure my PowerPoint Into All the World in 2011. We made new friends from among brethren as well as rekindled old friendships. We left some books for the church library and introduced the congregation to The Voice of Truth International magazine.

East Tennessee School of Preaching & MissionsLater that evening, we caught up with Evelyn and Jody Apple at the night session of the East Tennessee School of Preaching & Missions Lectureship in Karns, TN (a suburb of Knoxville). Each year, the Apples kindly loan us sleeping accommodations for the duration of the lectures. Bonnie and I set up two tables of books, tracts, magazines and displays to acquaint attendees of the lectures with our stateside and foreign missions ministry. When we were not tending to the exhibits, we enjoyed some outstanding biblical lessons. We always enjoy greeting both old Christian friends and making new acquaintances from among good brethren.

CabinWith no lodging reserved, we somewhat aimlessly pointed the van toward Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN. Finally, we opted for a one-bedroom cabin perched on a knob amidst pines just west of Pigeon Forge. It’s a good thing that the cabin was no higher up the mountainside, because our Town and Country, laden with literature, displays, equipment and luggage was unable to get enough traction on the gravel to climb further; I had to back down a stretch of ridge, thankfully to where I should have turned to our cabin.

There we unwound and slowed down for two nights between appointments. No Internet, but there was a hot tub. With less interruption or diversion than typical, I devoted several hours toward completing a book that I was writing; I finally finished the book days later (after returning to Winona, MS) around midnight.

Smokey Mountain StreamBy day, Bonnie and I enjoyed some unrushed time together, enjoying some meals out and doing a little shopping. As always, we did more window-shopping than made purchases. However, we did buy ourselves each a new pair of leather, moccasin slippers, and we were able to find a couple pair of dress shoes for Bonnie that didn’t fall off her feet when she walked. Small narrow feet are difficult to fit, but the strap across the instep trapped her feet and compensated for not being able to find footwear that fit better than that.

Sunday, March 11, Bonnie and I worshipped in the morning with the North Lexington (KY) Church of Christ. I spoke during worship, preaching Into All the World in 2011. The night before, we lodged with Linda and Wick Moore, as we did last year, too. Following Sunday morning worship, two of the elders and their wives treated the two of us to lunch at Cracker Barrel.

The time change for Daylight Savings Time, being in Eastern Time instead of Central Time, our 6:30 a.m. alarm made it seem like we were getting up at 4:30 a.m. All day I was dragging myself through the day; it was all I could do not to take a nap along with Bonnie as I guided the car that afternoon in the direction of home – about seven hours away. Finally, I succumbed; Bonnie took over driving for a few hours and I napped. Refreshed and going on, we arrived at our daughter’s home in Collierville, TN around 8:30 p.m. Central Time; Rebecca’s home is our bed and breakfast, overnight lodging many times as we travel. Monday, we bought groceries and other necessities before arriving back in Winona, MS.

This week, we have a newsletter to publish, an overdue oil change and inspection for the car to have done, thank you cards to send to contributors, bank deposits to make, proofing of the magazine Global Harvest that must be done, boxes for overseas shipment that need packed and unloading a tractor-trailer of books to place in the warehouse. We have appointments to make, a backlog of emails, letters and phone calls to field, yard work calling our names, preparation for attending and speaking for lectures in April in Indiana, plus miscellaneous things, too. In addition, advance preparation needs to be made for a group of 28 coming on Friday to work in the warehouse; then, of course, we will need to participate alongside of them in what they do while here.

In all over the past 10 days, Bonnie and I made a big, big, slow circle through Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. We travel by car about 3,000 miles monthly (I was 800 miles past time to change the car’s oil). These days, we are trying to attend to the car’s complaints: plugs & wires, brakes, shocks, alignment, transmission maintenance. Anytime now, it appears that we will need to change the tires and replace the ailing power steering pump. There is no telling what a car having over 130,000 miles might think that it needs next!

Two Tuckered Out Pilgrims

January 23, 2012

Sunday, January 15, Bonnie and I worshipped with the Lake Forest Church of Christ in Walls, MS, where David Fisher is the preacher. During worship, I presented Into All the World in 2011 PowerPoint presentation about our mission trips abroad. Imitating some black Gospel preachers that I have heard do this occasionally over the years, I finally uttered aloud before the assembly, “Amen, walls!” What made it amusing to me was that I was standing in Walls, Mississippi when I said it; I had secretly wanted to do that ever since I first spoke at the Lake Forest congregation. Of course, I explained myself and the unlikely dialogue to the congregation present that morning. David Fisher, Gary Wilburn and a couple from the congregation shared lunch with Bonnie and me at a country buffet in Horn Lake, MS.

After a little shopping, Bonnie and I headed for Batesville, MS where I was to speak for the Sunday evening worship of the Lord’s church there. Since we were early, we did a little more shopping and followed that up by resorting to Cracker Barrel for dueling hot fudge sundaes. Still early, we waited in the car at the meetinghouse for the Batesville Church of Christ for the key holder to let us in. I was getting a little antsy while we paused before evening services were to begin, anticipating the arrival of the audio/visual person to facilitate lining up my PowerPoint, Into All the World. Honestly, Bonnie and I do not – I repeat, do not – plan our annual visit to the Batesville congregation based on what time of the month it hosts an evening fellowship meal. However, every year we come, the church is having a fellowship meal, to which we are invited to stay and enjoy. Some of the members are joking about and suspecting that our visits purposely coincide with their potluck feasts. In our defense, this was not the church’s regularly scheduled evening for the fellowship meal, and so we had no way of knowing about it.

New Face on an Old KitchenMonday morning, Bonnie and I began deconstructing the kitchen at the house. We have undertaken painting the wood paneling and cupboards; our aim is to lighten the walls so that what little light makes it through the roof-shaded, single window reflects better. Doubtless, the overhead light will be more effective, too, with lighter walls. In addition, we plan to lay porcelain tile on the kitchen floor and sink countertop. We are doing everything ourselves, which in some instances makes for some new experiences.

To be frugal, we used leftover paint from painting bedrooms, the hall, living room and dining room for the base coat. Consequently, the kitchen walls and cabinets were indiscriminately pink, blue and peach at the same time! (The kitchen has been in total disarray for a week during the painting and repainting process, but it is beginning to come together.)

We put progress on hold temporarily to meet and greet guests at the warehouse/office for World Evangelism. Arthur and Shirley Burnett from Hamilton, MS called me that they were on their way to Winona to pick up some books for their ministry. Pleasant interaction concluded after a while, they left and Bonnie and I resumed putting a fresh face on an old kitchen back at the house.

Tuesday, Bonnie and I finished tweaking Volume 71 of The Voice of Truth International magazine. Wednesday, we turned the digital material over to Betty Choate for her final adjustments before being sent to the printing company. I find myself behind again respecting Gospel Gazette Online; I am working on the January 2012 issue – the commencement of year 14 of publication on the Internet. Thursday, we loaded a trailer full of literature to be taken by Jerry and Paula Bates to a container in Texas, which will eventually make its way to Tanzania.

Friday afternoon, Bonnie and I drove nearly four hours to Killen, AL to be in place for the School of Missions on Saturday, hosted by the Killen Church of Christ. We chanced to make a last minute arrangement with Wayne and Janet Barrier to enjoy supper together as they were out and about in Tuscumbia. We retired for the night to a little Indian-run motel on the threshold to Killen. Saturday morning, we were at the School of Missions by 8 a.m. Perhaps 50 or so missionaries and would be missionaries were crammed in a little room where we edified each other respecting missionary preparation. Several men presented interesting and uplifting lessons over the course of the morning and through 12:30 p.m.

Bonnie and I lunched at a fabulous and affordable restaurant (Demos) in Florence, AL. The food is terrific, reasonably priced and the service is courteous as well as efficient. We did a little shopping (as we customarily do when out of the anti-metropolis of Winona, MS) and defended ourselves from the cool midafternoon with hot chocolate drinks and Crispy Crème doughnuts. Shopping and eating establishments plus more spoils me when I am in Florence; I feel like a little boy in a candy shop!

Antioch Church of ChristSunday, January 22, Bonnie and I spent the day with the Antioch Church of Christ, which assembles in the countryside outside Killen. For Bible class, I made my PowerPoint presentation of Into All the World in 2011 about our mission trips abroad. For morning worship, I preached What Is Jesus’ Plan for My Life? Sunday evening, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. Between services, we were hosted to a tasty country plate dinner on the outskirts of Rogersville, AL. Thereafter until time for evening worship, I worked on the January issue of Gospel Gazette Online.

About four hours after worship services of the Antioch Church of Christ concluded, Bonnie and I rolled up into the carport of 705 Devine Street, Winona, MS. It was nearly 11:00 p.m. Just when we thought that we would transition for an hour before going to bed by watching a little television, an explosion outside our home simultaneously signaled the loss of electricity – so we went to bed! What else was there to do on a dark, stormy night for two tuckered out pilgrims?

Eldridge, Alabama

July 11, 2011

Louis Rushmore at Eldridge, AL Church of ChristSaturday after lunch, July 9, Bonnie and I headed for Eldridge, AL where I would speak three times on the Lord’s Day. The brethren arranged for us a hotel room at the Winfield exit to US 22. We ate supper at a local eatery, and the food was very good. Bonnie and I drove for miles to survey what our choices might be for supper, and we opted for the restaurant that by far had the busiest parking lot – judging that this was the best indicator available to us as to how much we were likely to enjoy the food. Except for fast food some miles away, all the restaurants were locally owned and unfamiliar to us. Nothing fancy by any means, we selected Yamptown for supper. The meal was one of the tastiest we have experienced.

Littlest Song LeadersSunday, I met for the first time the Eldridge Church of Christ. It was my pleasure to teach during the auditorium Bible class What Is Jesus’ Plan for My Life? and to preach during worship What Is the Mission of the Church? Following, we enjoyed a fellowship meal, after which was singing and a devotional that I led. We distributed a case of my book Beverage Alcohol to the families. Again, we made new friends, not the least of which was a cute, 2-year-old girl who flirted with me. Then there were two little, song leader boys without any bashfulness who willingly led songs not only during the singing, but happily during the meal and later in the empty auditorium. They are sweethearts!

Only two and a half hours from the house, the bonus for Bonnie and me was to get home not only before midnight, but to get home before dark! How often does that happen? Saturday night in the motel and after returning home, Bonnie and I worked on our lessons for Guyana, South America as well as on The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online. Remember those dueling, twin laptops that Bonnie and I have? Our office is truly mobile!

Monday, we finally finished The Voice of Truth International and readied it for shipment to the printing company. It takes us about a quarter to get the quarterly magazine ready! We are about a week late getting it to the printer this time. We also completed the July issue of Gospel Gazette Online and sent out the email notifications that it is ready for use. Besides these tasks, other smaller matters received some much needed attention, too. Overall, today was a good day.

Yes, We Are on the Road Again

March 6, 2011

Pleasant Cove Church of ChristBonnie and I left the School of Missions in Double Springs, AL a little early in order to meet up with Charlotte and Ray Weddington for a Cracker Barrel supper that evening in Manchester, TN. Brother and sister Weddington are always so gracious to us, great encouragers and contributors to our missionary labors. Further, they lodge us in their home each time we come to McMinnville, TN. Sunday morning, Bonnie and I were with the Pleasant Cove Church of Christ, where I updated the congregation on our overseas trips in 2010 for the Bible class and preached during the worship. Bingo! A fellowship meal followed morning worship; only a few weeks ago we happened on two congregations that had fellowship meals on the same day. Sunday evening, we were received well by the Centertown Church of Christ, who coincidently, also had a fellowship meal following evening worship. Bingo! We don’t really plan our appointments around fellowship meals despite what some brethren jokingly say.

Moral support, prayers and financial participation, large or small, frequent or infrequent, make what we do for the cause of Christ possible. At around 8:00 p.m. CST, Bonnie and I headed for Knoxville, TN and the home of Evelyn and Jody Apple; we arrived at 11:30 p.m. EST. Jody is one of the faculty members of the East Tennessee School of Preaching and Missions, whose annual lectureship Bonnie and I were attending. Staying in the homes of dear brethren is cost effective (for us as well as the church) and it permits us to deepen our bonds with brothers and sisters in Christ.

Good Time with Good Friends

February 14, 2011

Bob & Martha NolandFollowing the Freed Hardeman University Lectureship, our good friends, Bob and Martha Noland, came to visit us in Winona, MS for a few days. Friday evening our daughter, Rebecca, came down from Collierville, TN to visit with the Nolands (and us); she left for home Saturday so she can teach the classes to which she has obligated herself on Sundays at the Collierville Church of Christ. Sunday, we drug Bob and Martha with us on my speaking appointments in Mississippi. For the morning, we were with the Huntsville Church of Christ near French Camp, MS; there, I presented my Motivated by the Cross PowerPoint presentation about our overseas mission trips in 2010 (Bible class), and I preached my PowerPoint, Bible Archaeology, for the worship hour. Afterward, we enjoyed a potluck meal with the congregation; we always find the Huntsville brethren very friendly. We may do some physical work together soon at the World Evangelism Building in Winona, MS.

Louis & Bonnie RushmoreAfter a couple hours rest stop at our home in Winona, we headed for Batesville, MS where I was to speak about mission work for their evening service. Apparently, we didn’t leave the house as soon as we needed so we could arrive ahead of time to make ready for the PowerPoint presentation and set out literature. Not only were we running later than we wanted to be, but I forgot where the meetinghouse was located. That error on my part had us arriving five minutes before the worship hour was to begin. Everything worked out satisfactorily, though. To my surprise, the Batesville Church of Christ was having its monthly potluck meal following evening services. What is the likelihood of stopping in on two congregations on the same day and enjoying a potluck dinner with each of them? At the latter congregation, I was accused (in jest) of planning it that way!

Between appointments and after returning that evening to Winona, I worked on the February issue of Gospel Gazette Online. I have been running late with GGO since our overseas travels in the fall of 2010. Maybe I can catch it up this month.

Louis & Bonnie Rushmore

Bonnie didn't want me to post this one!

Monday, after doing some necessary work at the office (i.e., providing volume 67 of The Voice of Truth International computer files to brethren in India for printing there, helping prepare nearly 20 packages for shipment stateside and abroad, taking the packages and their customs forms to the Post Office), the Nolands and we headed for Jackson, MS for a pleasant meal together and to do some necessary shopping for things unavailable in Winona. We opted according to Bonnie’s suggestion earlier to eat at the Cock of the Walk overlooking a reservoir into which the Pearl River flows. The rustic surroundings of the log house restaurant was complemented by eating from pie tins and drinking from tin cups. We feasted on catfish fillets, corn bread in iron skillets, cole slaw, french fries, hush puppies and fried pickles. Everything was delicious, and the service was outstanding! The weather was a pleasant 70 degrees and sunny. What could be better than good health, good weather, good friends and good food, that is, this side of eternity? Surely, a good time was had by all! It didn’t hurt that Bob and Martha insisted on buying our meals (over our protest, for after all, it was Valentine’s Day, and I ought to have bought Bonnie’s meal). Not infrequently, though, when we invite someone out to eat, they end up buying our meals. Anyone care to be invited by Bonnie and me out to dinner somewhere?