Posted tagged ‘Rearing Children’

Rounding Out 2014

December 30, 2014

96 dpi 8x10 Bonnie RebeccaSunday, December 21, we worshipped with the Old Union Church of Christ in the morning as we like to do when we are in town and not on the road. Our car’s GPS even assumes that is where we are going Sunday mornings without me even consulting it. Sunday evening, we worshipped with the West President Church of Christ of Christ, which we are prone to do when not traveling stateside or abroad.

Christmas was quiet and relaxed at our home in Winona. Our daughter Rebecca has been with us for the break from school – she is a teacher. It has been and is a real pleasure as well as a great assist to Bonnie and me to have her with us. December 25 also happens to be Bonnie’s birthday. We don’t exchange gifts anymore, but we count each other as the best possible gift of all. Frankly, I was at a loss what to buy for her after she advised me that she doesn’t want any more jewelry; we get whatever we need throughout the year, and really, we don’t need or desire anything much. After all, the walls are plastered with hanging things, and the floor space is exhausted. Though not divulging her age, Bonnie will still be three years younger than me when I turn 61-years-old on January 3, 2015.

Friday was the occasion of another chemotherapy in Jackson, MS. Sunday all day, Bonnie and I with Rebecca in tow were with the Indianola, MS Church of Christ. Brother Gene Hill who preaches regularly for the congregation was away, and I was filling in for him.

Saturday night, I found a PowerPoint lesson on which I had worked previously and amended it for use in the Sunday morning Bible class. I must have been cross-eyed when I was working on it as I carelessly and unintentionally merged two lines in a chart contrasting the Old Testament with the New Testament.

For morning worship, I preached From Creation Until Now, starting with the created universe that evidences a Creator/Designer and moving to His written, revealed will in the Bible – comprised of Patriarchy, Judaism and Christianity. That evening, I preached about Rearing Children, to a smaller crowd of mostly elderly folks! Grandparents, aunts and uncles likewise have the potential of favorably influencing the childrearing of grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, etc.

Once more, Bonnie and I, this time Rebecca, too, were guests of James and Deanie Bradshaw. They had a house full of family and Christian brethren. Two couples who formerly lived and worshipped in Indianola were back visiting. There were 10 of us.

After evening worship and in the cold rainy night, we started our 1-hour trek along US 82 back to our Winona home. First, though, we stopped to fuel the car and ourselves at the new Love’s gas station/restaurant. When I walked into Hardee’s to find my wife and daughter after I gassed the car, a truck driver seated there intercepted me with a hearty welcome and asked how services were. At first I didn’t know to what he was referring, but he pegged me for a preacher I suppose because I was wearing a suit and long-sleeved, white dress shirt (minus the tie that I had already jettisoned). So, I gave him a million dollar bill tract with the plan of salvation on the back of it and proceed to head for the men’s room after locating my family. Bonnie said that I caused a little disturbance (she called it a riot) over the million dollar bill; it has the plan of salvation on the back of it.

Monday and Tuesday, I worked on the January issue of Gospel Gazette Online while Bonnie worked on volume 83 of The Voice of Truth International. We also shipped just under 4,000 copies of The Voice of Truth International to Christians stateside and in some US territories. We expect to enjoy a quiet New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day at home, joined by Rebecca. Her last chore before heading home will be to help us dismantle our Christmas decorations and get them tucked away again in the attic; Bonnie cannot help me get the boxes into or out of the attic anymore. Friday, January 2 Bonnie will have chemotherapy again, and on Saturday I will have my birthday.

Bonnie has good days and bad days; she still manages to put in half days at the office. We think that she is having better days than what she has experienced most of the time over the last few months. That being the case, I need to put plans in high gear for my planned 5-week mission trip to Guyana, South America. January 16, 2015, Bonnie will have a CT scan to help the oncologist determine our next steps in combating Bonnie’s pancreatic cancer. I have misgivings about planning anything presently and hardly no which way to go. Thank you for your interest, well-wishing and prayers, which come to us daily in snail-mail and email boxes, as well as by texts and phone calls. 

A Day with the Hanoverton, Ohio Church of Christ

September 14, 2014

96 dpi 5x7 Tractor at Hanoverton CoCSunday, September 14, 2014, Bonnie and I had the good pleasure of worshipping with the Hanoverton, Ohio Church of Christ. During Sunday morning Bible class, I made my PowerPoint presentation about our 2014 Guyana Mission Trip. For the morning worship period, I preached “Understanding How God Communicates with Mankind, Today.” Following lunch, I attended a devotional conducted by the Hanoverton congregation at a nursing and personal care home in Lisbon, Ohio. Brother Bob Noland and I left our wives back at the Noland home to rest; Martha Noland was coughing, and Bonnie was tired. That evening, I preached about “Rearing Children”; I went overtime, which I promised I wouldn’t do next week – that is, in Hanoverton! That lesson lays out biblical and practical applications for childrearing; I have presented it overseas and in various venues in the USA, for which someone always expresses enthusiastic appreciation.

Hanoverton, Ohio is a farming community – dairy and beef cattle, with the accompanying necessary crops to feed them. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, then, that one of the members – a farmer – drove up for evening worship on a farm tractor. I was happy that he was there irrespective of the mode of transportation or farm clothes. As Bonnie and I travel to foreign countries, we see even more diverse cultural manifestations differing from American norms (e.g., longyi on men and women plus bare feet in worship). The tractor was a nice, amusing touch to rural Ohio parking lot amongst other vehicles delivering their worshippers to the meetinghouse.

P.S. I have never had better hamburgers and meatloaf than derived from the family Angus cattle farms among members of the Lord’s church there. Umm, good!

Until We Pass over the Threshold into Eternity

August 26, 2014

screened porchThursday, August 21 and Friday brother Lester Grimmett, his helper and I applied lumber and fiberglass screen to make a screened-in back porch at our borrowed, Winona home. Mosquitoes and other repulsive creatures just love me – to bite me, that is. This year especially, mosquitoes around our house rival any Bonnie and I have encountered in the tropics of Asia and South America. They are so bothersome that they populate the inside of our house daily, too. I am a virtual mosquito magnet! Maybe now when the heat and humidity retreats a little again, Bonnie and I will be able to enjoy our backyard escape into our miniature garden without the prickly little boogers that leave welts all over me.

volunteers vs. 25,000 booksOne little detour to the satisfactory putting everything back on the little screen patio slab was a minor accident I had Friday afternoon. For many months, particularly in heavy heat or when standing after stooping down, I have been getting lightheaded momentarily. It always passes, except on Friday. Who would believe someone could hurt so much from simply falling from a standing position – as I did on Friday. I have the scrapes and bruises to satisfy that little bit of painful research. Fortunately, I didn’t do any serious damage to myself or to anything else when I passed out and keeled over. The bottom number on my blood pressure was still “47” 40 minutes after the incident. However, Saturday morning, I was able to do some things around outside that were necessary before I resorted to the AC inside for the balance of the day.

volunteers vs. 25,000 booksSunday morning, it was our good pleasure to worship with the Clinton, MS Church of Christ. Since class began at 9 a.m., we had to leave Winona about 7 a.m. – the beginning of a long day in the making. It probably sounds like the proverbial broken record, but I made my PowerPoint presentation for Bible class about our 2014 Guyana Mission Trip; during the worship period, I again preached “Understanding How God Communicates with Mankind, Today.”

volunteers vs. 25,000 booksAfterward, Bonnie and I kicked around Jackson, MS for the afternoon, first dining at and sharing a meal at Olive Garden; despite sharing the meal, we still carted away enough for another meal back at the house for another day. Bonnie cannot eat much at a time, and I have reduced my intake, too, as we share meals; I really like the money-savings bonus that comes along with that strategy. We shopped at Hancock Fabrics and then paused for a couple of hours in comfy seating at a nearby air conditioned mall. We bought gas, some other things at Wal-Mart, of course, and an ice cream cone apiece and a cold drink – as we waited for it to be time to head to our evening venue.

volunteers vs. 25,000 booksSunday evening, we worshipped with our sponsoring congregation, the Siwell Road Church of Christ on the south side of Jackson. I slipped up and got us there about an hour ahead of time; worship began at 5:30 p.m. I preached about “Rearing Children.” Services concluded, Bonnie and I headed in the direction of home – two hours north on I-55. However, on the way, we made two detours and brief stops. First, we visited Kroger in Madison, MS to buy groceries. Secondly, we grabbed sandwiches, shared a fry and soda at Arby’s in Canton, MS along the highway. Upon arriving back in Winona, we retired to bed as soon as we got the car emptied and cold items in the refrigerator or in the freezer. We were bushed.

volunteers vs. 25,000 booksMonday, Bonnie spent a lot of time on the phone trying to pin down the delivery of eight pallets of literature to the World Evangelism building in Winona; we have been waiting for over a week for the shipment to make its way from a dock in Los Angeles to us. It already travel all the way from Hong Kong where we had it printed in color throughout – mostly the new Bible class curriculum. There was ample office work to keep us both hopping – accounting, packaging book and tract orders to take to the Post Office, trying to hammer out our itinerary for our upcoming travels abroad, and doing all that is necessary to apply for our visas to Myanmar.

volunteers vs. 25,000 booksTuesday, a tractor trailer finally pulled up out front. Eighteen volunteers representing three congregations (West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS; Liberty Church of Christ in Dennis, MS – three hours away; and Huntsville Church of Christ outside of French Camp, MS) showed up just in time to help me unload and put away 25,000 books – in the blistering hot, highly muggy Mississippi summer day. It’s dark as I compose this, but without all that help, I’d still be working on that job!

Some boxes were damaged in shipment, but we only lost about eight books. Several ladies came along with men, and so they collated several different pieces of literature to ready it for shipping out, beginning on Thursday. Some congregations will be beta testing two different age groups of material this fall.

Otherwise, we shipped book and tract orders. We prepared for doing our mail out of the August edition of the Rushmore Newsletter; it arrived from the printing company the day before. Wednesday, we will attempt to fold, stuff, tab, label and mail nearly 1,000 pieces. Perhaps by Wednesday, Bonnie and I also can send out the numerous “Thank You” cards from those who recently sent monetary gifts to fund our labors stateside and overseas.

There are dozens of additional tasks just begging to be addressed, too. In due time, they all will move to the forefront and receive our attention (e.g., preparation of lessons for the seminars and Gospel lessons we each will present over nine weeks abroad, making appointments for stateside travel before and after our fall overseas mission trip, working on Gospel Gazette Online, working on The Voice of Truth International, etc.). We are making progress on all fronts, but we don’t expect to be done or wholly caught up until we pass over the threshold from our earthly existence to our heavenly reward. Come go with us!

Highway Tic Tac Toe (across Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia)

June 28, 2014

Warner Robins, Georgia was our destination on Monday morning, June 23, 2014. Specifically, we pointed the car toward the home of Tim and Betty Childs; he is the preacher for the Church of Christ there. I didn’t remember, but we were first acquainted years ago through the Internet as he submitted articles for use in the pages of Gospel Gazette Online. Then a few years ago, we met in person at a preachers’ meeting in northeast Mississippi. From that time, Bonnie and I annually visited the Hillcrest Church of Christ in Baldwyn, MS where he preached.

We were to be guests of brother Tim and sister Betty in their Georgia home for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Bonnie and I tried to interrupt their duties and daily schedules as little as possible. That afforded us the opportunity to work on some office stuff from the comfort of their living room. I was able to complete and publish to the Internet the June edition of Gospel Gazette Online (www.gospelgazette.com) – yes, a little late.

Lane's OrchardTuesday, the Childs and we stole a little time between life’s assignments to visit Lane’s Peach Orchards for lunch. Of course, we managed to eat out a couple of more times over the three days in Warner Robins, sometimes just with one or more of the Childs and once with one of the elders and his wife. Christians today put the “e” in “fast” – “feast”! Actually, we Christians seem drawn to fellowship over food; after all, we don’t use a very big brush or much paint to “paint the town red.”

Lane's OrchardThe reason for our presence in Warner Robins, GA was for me to speak on Wednesday evening in the Summer Series of the congregation of the Lord’s church in that city. The Warner Robins Church of Christ dedicated the Wednesday night series to nurturing the family. I spoke on “Rearing Children,” presenting biblical and practical material to help parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. in childrearing. Bonnie and I are not perfect parents, but we are battle-scarred or experienced, as well as acquainted with divine instruction in the Scriptures.

Thursday morning, Bonnie and I headed back to Winona, MS. It was an all-day trek, arriving home at around 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, Paula Bates, Betty Choate and I unloaded three pallets of The Voice of Truth International (Volume 80) from the back of a tractor trailer. Jerry Bates was in Africa, and Bonnie is excused permanently from warehouse duty owing to her past and pending surgeries related to her recovery from pancreatic cancer. Saturday at about noon, Bonnie and I along with Rebecca who drove in to join us, pointed the Gospel chariot toward northeast Alabama, where I have Sunday appointments; we will return to Winona after dark Sunday night. Just maybe when I get up on Monday, it will not be raining and I can mow the hayfield where my lawn used to be!

A 3-State Leisurely Drive

June 24, 2014

meetinghouse of the Westside Church of ChristSaturday, June 21st, Bonnie and I embarked on a leisurely, 7+ hours, 3-state drive from Winona, Mississippi to Griffin, Georgia. Saturday and Sunday, we were the guests of brother John and Laura Youmans; he is an elder of the Westside Church of Christ in Griffin, GA. It was as though we had known these good Christians for decades – we clicked.

Brother Youmans had prepared his specialty pulled, barbeque pork, and sister Youmans fixed a legion of trimmings. We four were joined by brother James and sister Patsy Lane; brother Lane is another elder of the congregation there.

One of the reasons for my appointment that weekend in Griffin was for them and us to compare notes on our respective mission works in Guyana, South America. The Westside church sponsors the congregation in Tuschen, Guyana.

Our visit also coincided with the vacation absence of their preacher. I presented my PowerPoint presentation on our “2014 Guyana Mission Trip” during Bible class on Sunday morning. For morning worship, I preached “Understanding How God Communicates with Mankind, Today,” and that evening I preached about “Rearing Children.” I presented both of those lessons repeatedly in February while in Guyana for a month. The latter lesson is also my assignment for an upcoming Summer Series session on Wednesday elsewhere in Georgia.

Bonnie and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves among these brethren. Apparently, the saints at Westside enjoyed our presence as well since there was talk of us visiting again next year. We look forward to that occasion in 2015.