Posted tagged ‘The Church in Prophecy’

Arkansas X 2

January 9, 2017

Saturday, January 7, my wife Martha and I traveled from Collierville, Tennessee to Imboden, Arkansas. We had gone from Winona, Mississippi to Collierville on Friday evening and lodged with our daughter Rebecca. Martha and I had just popped into Winona around 8 p.m. Thursday from our 2-day trip from Ocala, Florida. We did not have much more time at our Winona home than to unload the van and pack it again for the weekend.

Our host and hostess Saturday night and half a day Sunday were brother Gevan and sister Sharon Murphy. Martha and I were comfortably tucked away in the newly refurbished guestroom. As usual, sister Murphy cooked a delicious supper for us.

The next day—the Lord’s Day—we all worshipped with the Imboden (AR) Church of Christ. I made a PowerPoint presentation during Bible class about my ministry and missions, while for worship, I preached via PowerPoint, “The Church in Prophecy.” Martha and I were very well received and encouraged. After a sumptuous lunch at the new and local Mexican restaurant, we pointed the vain toward my evening appointment to speak.

Sunday night, I preached for the Center Ridge (AR) Church of Christ with the aid of a PowerPoint, “Come Meet Jesus Christ as Savior.” As always, the brethren were very gracious and kind.

All day Monday was a travel day back to Winona in Mississippi. Traveling with my good friend and new wife Martha made for a pleasant day through an otherwise bleak, winter landscape and a very lonely jaunt had I been by myself. In just two weeks if the Lord wills, we will take our travels together to a new height as we labor for the cause of Christ six weeks in Guyana. South America. Though there are no pictures today to accompany this post, pictures will be forthcoming, especially upon our return from South America. Thank you for permitting me to speak extensively stateside and abroad for our Lord Jesus Christ.

Closer than It Sounds

September 5, 2016

The first Sunday in September, I spoke for Bible class and two worship services at the Huntsville Church of Christ. Now, that was a lot closer to Winona, MS than one might think. This Huntsville Church of Christ is not in Alabama, but rather its meetinghouse is outside of French Camp, MS – only about 35 minutes east of Winona.

As has been the case several times this year during my stateside travels, the congregation’s minister was absent, and I was filling in for him. During class, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “2015 Asia & 2016 South America Mission Trips.” For a.m. worship, I spoke about “The Church in Prophecy”; that evening, once more I preached about “The Deity of Christ.”

The Huntsville congregation is a vibrant and friendly country church of down to earth brothers and sisters in Christ. One brother gave me a proverbial, left-handed compliment. He praised my presentation, and then said something to the effect that it was a whole lot better than the last time he heard me preach. Thanks, I think! I asked him if he had been drinking, because according to one country song on the radio, all of the women get prettier closer to closing time – after one is drunken from much drinking.

This French Camp fellowship participates with me financially in my foreign endeavors, for which I am heartily thankful. In addition, several times over the year, various members help us in one endeavor or another at the World Evangelism Building in Winona.

Sometimes I get to sleep in my own bed the night before preaching. The Huntsville, MS assembly is close enough to my residence to permit that, and that is a good thing.

Clarksdale Bound

August 21, 2016

96 dpi 4x6 Clarksdale CoC 2Often, I do not have the indulgence of sleeping in my own bed when traveling to stateside speaking appointments because many times those destinations are too distant from my residence. However, today was an exception. About 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 21, 2016, I departed Winona for Clarksdale, MS, just under two hours away.

Mr. GPS (mine has a male voice) took me through Greenwood, with which I am familiar, and through Webb, Tutwiler and Dublin to Clarksdale, all of which were new to me. Not far off the track of today’s trek through field after field in the Mississippi Delta were the towns of Shellmound, Minter City, Glendora, Sumner and Mattson. It was a dreary, overcast day with spitting rain from time to time.

96 dpi 4x6 Clarksdale CoC 1Upon arrival in Clarksdale, a city of over 17,000 people, a one-way street confused my GPS – and me, too, as despite my best efforts I still found myself greeted at the end of one street with a sign indicating that I had gone the wrong way! To add a little challenge to the episode, the church sign was gone – leaving me to wonder if I had found the correct meetinghouse for the Lord’s people who were expecting me. Happily, indeed, I had arrived, and not long afterward some members came along, too. (A few weeks ago, a stolen Cadillac Escalade impacted the church sign, which had been implanted in a brick flowerbox, and carried it through the lawn until it was pinned between the front of the now demolition derby automobile and the brick church building.)

A grand building of some years ago yet it appeals to visitors today. Only a handful of brethren remain at the Clarksdale Church of Christ, who undauntedly continue to assemble to worship Almighty God in spirit and in truth. For Bible class, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “The Church in Prophecy,” and during worship, I presented the PowerPoint, “The Deity of Christ.”

Afterward, most of the congregation that morning reconvened at the local Mexican restaurant for lunch in one of the most ornate such restaurants I have ever visited. As expected, the food was excellent as well, and I enjoyed the fellowship with the local saints.

Brethren at hitherto not visited congregations are often Christian friends that I had not previously met yet. I felt at home with the Christian family that meets at the corner of Lynn and Choctaw streets in Clarksdale, MS.

As a sidebar, I observed something beside the highway that I do not recall ever having seen before – retrofitted grain silos with house windows that have been converted into dwellings. How unusual and intriguing!

Huntsville Bound

April 5, 2016
Bonnie in better days in someone's home on a stateside trip

Bonnie in better days in someone’s home on a stateside trip

On Friday, April 1, I delivered Bibles, books and tracts to a shipper in Nashville, TN, which will arrive by freighter weeks later in Guyana, South America. Before leaving the city for my next destination, I decided to return to an outstanding eatery to which I was introduced on a previous occasion to ship out of Nashville. Jack’s Bar-B-Que (http://jacksbarbque.com/) on Trinity Lane is the place. As soon as one open’s the door, even before crossing the threshold, a whole lot of mouthwatering aromas overwhelm a person – almost like an invisible force. My barbeque pork sandwich with or without the sauce is unquestionably the best I’ve ever encountered. With about half a dozen different sauces from which to choose, it only gets better. This trip, I tricked out my sandwich with the restaurant’s own unique coleslaw and pecan pie. The barbeque pork, though, is better than dessert.

Happily and sufficiently fed, next, I headed south out of Nashville on I-65 toward Huntsville, AL. A couple of hours later, I arrived at my hotel in preparation for Sunday preaching appointments at two churches of Christ. Saturday, I fueled the car, had the oil and windshield wipers replaced and did a little shopping. Of course, back in my room, I fired up my mobile office – have laptop, will travel.

Though I brought food and drink with me on the journey and acquired more along the way, I did opt to eat out one meal. It was my first time to experience Five Guys, Burgers & Fries (http://www.fiveguys.com/). Simplicity fine-tuned, that’s what this restaurant is! Just a cheeseburger, fries and a soft drink, but tasty indeed.

Sunday morning, brethren at the Mastin Lake Church of Christ were kind enough to permit me to speak during Bible class and worship. For class, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “The Church in Prophecy,” and for worship, I preached, “Desiring and Striving for Growth.” Brethren were very gracious to me, and I was first in line for the meal afterward. It’s beginning to sound like eating is an important endeavor to me – as it is to most Christians who otherwise use a very small brush when they proverbially paint the town red. Out amusements as Christians are tame and lawful, in contrast to the general populace oftentimes.

Sunday evening, I was privileged to speak to the Farley Church of Christ on the south side of Huntsville. There, I presented my PowerPoint about my recent four months of mission trip to four Asian countries and my more recent five weeks of mission trip to a country in South America. Later, one of the elders and I dined at the Burger King nearby and lost ourselves in conversation.

Leaving Huntsville and 20 miles down the road to my Winona home I asked my car to phone my daughter Rebecca, and it talked back to me, saying, “Phone not present.” A U-turn at the next exit off of the Interstate and back to the church building I went. Fortunately, I had a piece of paper in the car with me with an elder’s phone number on it, and so I borrowed a phone at a convenience store and gas station. I had used a countdown timer on my phone while preaching, and I had laid it down and forgot to retrieve it.

Now, I was really in a quandary with it being around 9 p.m. with a nearly 5-hour journey home ahead. To my surprise, with a few necessary stops to walk around and wake up, I was able to arrive home safely by about 1:30 a.m. Monday.

Tuesday brought its own challenges, the chief of which was to interact with the Social Security Administration regarding the passing of my dear wife Bonnie. The problem was not with the agency, but rather, the hour and a half telephone appointment finalizing matters regarding her death was almost as unsettling to me as her funeral. It was nearly as if she died again, today! Then, I had to drive to the third county west of where I live to present our “original” marriage license to the Social Security office; it made me wonder what was the advantage of the phone meeting since I still had to appear in person with evidence that we were married.

Before returning home, I comforted myself with a cheeseburger, fries and tea at a very old and locally famous diner – The Crystal Grill (http://crystalgrillms.com/) – in the heart of Greenwood, MS. Again, not a fancy place, but good food; since everyone has to eat, it might as well be delicious. Yes, I had another cheeseburger and fries; I just haven’t had too much beef yet, I suppose in contrast to the chicken and other foods that I experienced for more than a quarter of a year in Asia and South America. No, my world does not revolve around food, but I know what I like and where to find it stateside.

Between Thursday and very early Monday morning, I made a very large circle from Mississippi to Tennessee, to Alabama and back to Mississippi. Literature and preaching, that’s my life. Thank you, those of you, who make that possible.

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.

X-Rays, CT Scan, Plus Secular and Religious Appointments

December 6, 2015
Mobile Office Aboard an Express Train in India (2015)

Louis Rushmore’s Mobile Office Aboard an Express Train in India (2015)

Thursday, December 3, I rendezvoused with my doctor once more this year – again regarding pain in my back and side. At the start of the year, intense pain led to emergency surgery for a severe gallbladder attack. Three times now later in the year I sought relief for a different malady – nagging, reoccurring, sometimes acute back pain. Once in the spring and again while aboard a flight between India and France I could barely move at all due to intense pain. This summer I also fell in the bathtub and severely bruised my ribs on the tub side. So Thursday, the doctor sent me for x-rays to determine the source of my ongoing pain.

Friday, began with a fast, except for the two bottles of contrast liquid I drank in preparation for a CT scan. Leaving the local hospital where both the x-rays and the CT scan were obtained, I headed up the Interstate toward Horn Lake, MS. Arriving at the school where my daughter teaches at about 1:30 p.m., I happily acquainted a couple of classes and staff with foreign culture through a PowerPoint presentation and a display of foreign clothes, money and other items. I had just returned from eight weeks abroad in the Asian countries of Singapore, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India.

Following the close of the school day, I followed up on missed phone calls that came in during the PowerPoint presentation at school. The results are in! My medical tests confirm that I have degenerative arthritis in my lower back and pelvis. For the next 30 days at least, I will continue to pursue the least powerful over-the-counter pain medicine that can address most of my pain. In one month, my doctor and I will reassess my circumstances and decide how we will move forward. In any case, I do not intend to voluntarily stop moving and working for the Lord as long as I can push through. Yet, I realize that I am going to have to stop helping to load and unload tractor-trailers of literature at our World Evangelism warehouse, and a truck is due any time! I am going to have to find some serious help with yard maintenance, especially the embankments. It will all work out.

Sunday, it was my pleasure to assemble with the Collierville Church of Christ, one of my supporting congregations and where my daughter Rebecca has worshipped for nearly two decades. I made my PowerPoint presentation about my 2015 fall mission trip to four Asian nations. During morning worship, I preached my PowerPoint sermon, “The Church in Prophecy.” After lunch and prefacing afternoon worship, I worked with young people through my novel approach to learning Bible maps and my Buckets of Bible Time. Then, during afternoon worship, I preached, “Did Dinosaurs Really Exist?” We considered biblical and extra-biblical historical evidence respecting the coexistence of mankind and dinosaurs. The conclusion was that one’s confidence is correctly and well placed in the Bible – God’s Word, which does, in fact, speak about dinosaur-like creatures.

Sunday night, I slogged through some sluggish websites to purchase airline tickets for my next overseas trip – this time to Guyana, South America. Lord willing, I leave January 30 and return to the USA on March 8. Over those five weeks, typically I speak in 15 seminars distributed throughout that country, preach two Gospel meetings, teach in a high school boarding house, tape television programs, teach Bible classes and preach on the Lord’s days.

Monday, I will make my way back to Winona. On the way though, I look forward to visiting brethren and enjoying their company over a meal out together. However, it will be a working lunch as we collaborate on ways to be of better service in the cause of Christ.

Next Sunday, I will be with the Old Union Church of Christ in rural Carroll County, MS, whereupon I will make my mission presentation and preach during worship. The following Sunday, I long for the renewed opportunity to do the same with dear brethren of the 10th Avenue Church of Christ in Columbus, MS. I covet your prayers as I travel stateside as well as overseas, endeavoring to glorify God and edify all with whom I have contact, especially brethren.

Singapore—Island/City/Country

September 27, 2015

Flower in SingaporeSingapore the island/city/country and its people impress me. This time upon visiting Singapore, I was afforded the opportunity to see some of it by car and on foot in daylight instead by the dark of night traveling between the airport and a hotel and back again. Simply put, I am mesmerized by the ultra-modern, pristine clean super-city that pushes boundaries in so many ways: available land surface and determined to fill in the sea to expand its island mass, super skyscrapers, cultural and convention centers, expansive multi-story shopping malls everywhere, ethic eateries galore, economic prowess even in the absence of natural resources, extent of its cultural diversity, universal quest for ultimate education and sheer determination. Singapore reminds me in my limited exposure to the computer game SimCity of that type of predisposed disposition to succeed and prosper.

In addition, my incomplete exposure to Christian brethren Singapore is no less invigorating. This visit was the second time I have been afforded the opportunity to speak for the Lavender Church of Christ. The first time about two years ago, I was accompanied by my wife Bonnie (who since has passed away) and brother Therman Hodge; presently, though, I am traveling alone.

Friday evening for a couple of hours or so, it was my good pleasure to speak to youth and some of their parents about external evidences: the age of the earth, carbon-14 dating, missing links and dinosaurs. I was surprised and pleased both by the willingness of young people to come together for a special event such as this as well by their election to have me speak on evidences. Around 25 were present.

Saturday, one brother gave me a car tour of Singapore, and we walked along the eastern seaside. We also talked for a while, me fielding religious questions and supplying some biblical answers.

Sunday morning, I was permitted to preach during worship, at which time I made my PowerPoint presentation, “The Church in Prophecy”; at the Lavender congregation, worship precedes Bible class, and there is an intermission between the two occasions for “tea,” though I saw plenty of eating going on of rice and various sweets. Interesting also, the worship period is scheduled for an hour and a half, and the preacher is expected to preach for 40 to 45 minutes. Ah, a preacher’s paradise! Bible class is an hour long, and at that time I presented my lesson, “From Creation Until Now.”

Following worship and class, several of the local members and I dined at the second floor food court in the multi-level mall next door. I could tell from the fare that I wasn’t in Dixie anymore! Later for supper, I ate at Burger King across a side street from the V Hotel where I have been lodging. With some difficulty because I didn’t know how to read my travel itinerary correctly, I checked in online from my hotel room for my flight tomorrow afternoon to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). A front desk employee helped me print my boarding pass from my computer thumb drive.

I distributed tracts of numerous titles to both the youth on Friday and to the congregation on Sunday. Still, I have additional literature for some of the places to which I will be traveling over the next seven weeks in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India. Your prayers and moral encouragement are greatly appreciated. Through me some of you are my partners in the Gospel as I go to four Asian nations this fall with the Gospel.

The picture gracing this episode of my missionary travels is of a curious looking flower in the perimeter foliage lining the edge of the 4th floor outdoor restaurant where I have been eating my breakfast daily. Wish you were here to enjoy the experience of worshipping with fine brethren on this side of the planet (around 12 time zones away) as well as experiencing the sights and sounds so wonderful.