Posted tagged ‘Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?’

Winding Down the Days

January 23, 2014
Mississippi School of Biblical Studies

Louis teaching at Mississippi
School of Biblical Studies

Bonnie and I are winding down the days before our next trip out of the country; we depart the USA on February 1 for Guyana, South America—where we will be for the entire month of February. We have a rigorous schedule that will place our seminars within reach of every Christian in the country.

Saturday, January 18, we made our way to a new venue for us—the Oil Trough, AR Church of Christ. A few weeks ago, Bonnie and I passed through the small community of Oil Trough on the way back from a Sunday appointment, but we had never visited brethren there. It was our good pleasure to be welcomed into the home of brother Garland and sister Shirley Ann Hankins. Shortly thereafter, we were joined by brother Terry and sister Shirley Ann Brady, in whose home Bonnie and I would lodge Saturday night. It is always so good to make personal friends of Christian brethren hitherto before we had not met, and such was the case especially regarding these two couples.

Sunday for Bible class, I made my PowerPoint presentation about 2013 Mission Trips. During worship, I preached “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” Saturday night and Sunday, Bonnie and I were fed better than we deserve! Further, we thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship, encouragement and financial participation with which the congregation lifted us up.

Monday being a holiday, Bonnie and I worked from the house in the comfort of our dual reclining, overstuffed loveseat. That’s the kind of office furniture I really like! Dual laptop computers a blazing away resting upon identical lapboards, we prodded ahead on a number of things. Monday and Tuesday, Bonnie and I collaborated, with the help of Jerry Bates’ assembling a file to upload, to publicize over a hundred tracts added to the online book store.

Wednesday was a busy day! We drove from Winona to Jackson, MS in the morning for two doctors’ appointments for Bonnie; she passed in flying colors checkups at both the Women’s Hospital and Jackson Oncology Associates. She has the green light to leave in just over a week for the tropical excursion to the jungles and remote areas of Guyana—though the oncologist cringed when we explained our itinerary. That evening, I continued teaching the Book of Job to the adult auditorium class of the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson. We stayed over again in the home, enjoying the kind hospitality of one of the elders and his wife, the Leggetts.

Thursday morning, Bonnie and I made our way to the meetinghouse for the church and commandeered an office for the day. Bonnie worked on lessons for the classes she will teach in Guyana, and I worked on the online book store, my lesson for the Mississippi School of Biblical Studies that night and on a lesson for one of my classes in Guyana. From 6:25 p.m. to 7:25 p.m., I taught, “The Mechanics of Preaching: Organization & Word Choices.” We managed to arrive back in Winona, MS by 9:15 p.m. (Bonnie did get excited on I-55 in the construction zone at Madison, MS when a tractor trailer ran us off the road; I have a hard time finding the horn on my car, but apparently once I did find it the driver heard it and returned to the passing lane where he was so that we could resume our travel likewise in the slow lane.)

Saturday, our daughter and a group of Christians from the Collierville, TN Church of Christ will conduct a workday at the World Evangelism Building; they come annually and help us with cleaning, trimming the shrubbery, maintenance, packaging books for overseas shipment, preparation of mailings, etc. That congregation sends families, so the youngest attendees will be about 4-years-old and the oldest will be—we don’t talk about that! Besides everything that gets done that we cannot accomplish easily by ourselves (Betty Choate, the Bates and us) while attending to other matters, helping brethren are a great encouragement to us. They also get to see some of the behind the scenes aspects of what goes into mission work. It’s a win-win situation for them and us, too.

Yes, we’re winding down the days! One day and one week to go before we depart the USA for Guyana, South America for an entire month. We solicit your prayers.

Barreling Up and Down the Natchez Trace

December 29, 2013

Train Museum

The alarm on my Blackberry phone sounded at 6 a.m., and we were out the door, in the car and headed for Sunday worship in Glen, MS by 6:35. Bonnie, our daughter Rebecca and I were on our way to the
Strickland Church of Christ, two and a half hours away. It was our pleasure to be with these brethren on December 29 for Bible class, morning worship, fellowship meal and afternoon worship. I was privileged to speak three times: PowerPoint presentation on “2013 Mission Trips,” “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” and “The Purpose of Preaching.”

96 dpi 3x5 Corinth Rail2

The saints at Strickland were a great encouragement to Bonnie and me. Throughout the year, the ladies have been sending cards of encouragement to Bonnie as she was recovering from cancer treatments. The Strickland Church of Christ is the sponsoring congregation for our coworkers Jerry and Paula Bates.

96 dpi 3x5 Corinth Rail3

Before leaving the nearby Corinth, MS area, we made a brief stop at the old railroad station, now a museum. We visited one of the famous rail “crossroads” in America, at least two of which are in Mississippi (i.e., a second is found in Moorehead, MS). The museum was open, but Louis “Scrooge” Rushmore valued the admission fee more than looking at one more gallery.

On the way back to Winona, we paused in Tupelo, MS for buying sewing needles and miscellaneous, fed the car (i.e., with gas, of course) and supper at Olive Garden. Then, we barreled down the Natchez Trace Parkway at the top legal speed of 50 MPH! (Bonnie and I have spent many hours over recent years traversing the Natchez Trace through Mississippi and Alabama.) We left that morning in the dark, and we pulled back into the driveway after dark. In for the night, awaiting the daylight, tomorrow we will apply ourselves to the duties of the day, endeavoring to serve the Lord.

Sunday in Mississippi

December 22, 2013

Sunday morning, December 22, Bonnie and I, with our daughter Rebecca along for the ride, left the house in Winona, MS at 7 a.m. We were bound for the Clinton, MS Church of Christ, where we would worship with the saints there. During 9 a.m. Bible class, I presented my PowerPoint “2013 Mission Trips.” There was good interaction with the class as well following worship. Later, I preached “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” It, too, was well received. I had one of my tracts on that very subject available in the foyer.

Afterward, the preacher John Allan and his wife Erin and their 3-year-old boy Seth treated the three of us to lunch at McAlister’s. Seth is so smart and the most well-manner little one I have ever observed. I enjoyed him as much as we enjoyed the Christian fellowship with his mother and father.

Next, we three ventured into the foray of holiday shoppers at the new outlets mall in Pearl, MS. Rebecca was on a quest to find a pair of shoes. Bonnie and I had visited the shopping center for the first time about a week earlier and noticed several shoe stores. Our daughter views shopping as a miserable experience and from her teenage years she wearied all who accompanied her on her shopping adventures. This time, though, was different! We went into one store, she found shoes that fit and that she liked, and she bought two pair of shoes! Neither the abundance of shoppers or disappointment over the shopping experience dampened the outing.

After refueling the car for our trip home later that night, Bonnie spied a Dollar Tree store. We visited it, and she bought some empty tins in which she planned to package some homemade cookies to give a way. In addition to the mob of dollar shoppers, complications at checkout with inept employees prolonged our visit. It would be amusing if it were not pathetic that counter employees sometimes these days can’t count to “8” or refrain from asking for payment when instead they are supposed to be giving back the change for what was already handed them for payment. However, it does remind me of those occasions when I walk into a room and simply cannot remember why.

Sunday evening, it was our good pleasure to worship with the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ on the south side of Jackson, MS. I again made my PowerPoint presentation about my “2013 Mission Trips.” This congregation is our sponsoring church. The elders and preacher, especially as well as many members, are supportive and encouraging.

After worship, W.E. and Judy Walker, plus two of their granddaughters, treated us to supper at Burger King. We delayed our inevitable return to Winona for some time while once more we enjoyed good fellowship with the Walkers and two other couples from church with whom we dined. Our next stop was Wal-Mart in Madison, MS along our homeward route up I-55. We often buy groceries or other commodities on our way back to Winona. Bonnie also picked up some more containers for homemade, kitchen-made holiday gifts (e.g., cookies, candy and caramel popcorn).

Bonnie and Rebecca had the options of sleeping or reading from their electronic Nook readers as I drove in the early morning or on the return trip through the darkness to home. On the other hand, I am the designated driver. Last night, I was growing very tired and my driving skills were depreciating before we finally pulled into the driveway. I was exhausted by the time we arrived home around 10:30 p.m. We three stayed up a little longer after putting groceries away. Though the alarm sounded and was silenced at 6:30 a.m., I was too tired to rise and shine just yet. I’m not stopped, but I am slowing down just a little. The real rest on which I am counting is out of this world.

Foray into Arkansas and Back

December 1, 2013

Table Hanging from CeilingSaturday, November 31, Bonnie and I drove from Winona, MS to Batesville, AR. We spent the night in a local motel in preparation for worshipping on the Lord’s Day (on December 1) with the Southside, AR Church of Christ—as the name indicates, just south of Batesville. We opted for supper at Arby’s and dessert at Dairy Queen—about a block apart from each other.

Sunday, I made a PowerPoint presentation of my 2013 foreign mission trips during the Bible class time. We visited vicariously through my trips Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in Asia and Guyana, South America.

Normally, Bonnie and I spend up to two months in Asia in any of four countries and up to one month in Guyana; this year, however, without Bonnie at my side due to her illness, I stayed three weeks in Guyana and three weeks in Myanmar this year. Happily, Bonnie has recovered and will be traveling with me to Guyana for the entire month of February.

During worship, I preached, “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” About 80 were present. Bonnie and I are always graciously received by our brothers and sisters in Christ at the Southside, AR congregation. We feel at home or comfortable there.

After worship, we dined with brother Bob and sister Shirley Harris, preacher and his wife for the church. We ate at a quaint, rustic restaurant across the street from the meetinghouse. The food was good, which is always a plus at an eatery, and the companionship was grand. An interesting oddity was that among the other items tacked on the walls and ceiling was a complete table, chairs, dishes, cups, etc. hanging upside down from the ceiling. Sister Harris said she never sits at the table under the hanging table because she doesn’t trust it not to fall while she is eating.

While we were at the restaurant, two other preachers from neighboring communities greeted me. One brother was from Oil Trough, AR; he highly praised Gospel Gazette Online and my most recent editorial in The Voice of Truth International magazine. Encouraging words are always appreciated and help us keep the momentum going to accomplish those things.

After lunch, Bonnie and I headed for Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. We will stay over two nights before returning to Winona, MS. Tomorrow, Bonnie and I will put on our annual demonstration, with a PowerPoint presentation, about foreign culture at the school where Rebecca teaches. Tuesday, Bonnie and I pick up sister Marilyn LaStrape at the Memphis, TN airport before returning to Winona. More about those two events later. Wednesday, I begin a 6-month class on Wednesday evenings at the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson, MS. More about that later, too. We keep ourselves busy in the service of our Lord, with the help and financial underwriting of our Christian brethren and churches of Christ. Thank you!

Weekend in Florida

November 12, 2013

Saturday morning, November 9 Bonnie and I left Winona, MS and headed for DeFuniak Springs, FL to worship with the Liberty Church of Christ. About eight hours later, we arrived at the Best Western hotel in that city. We had crossed through parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and we were both exhausted. We shared a chopped steak and baked potato in the hotel restaurant, and then, retired to our room to rest in preparation for the Lord’s Day. Immediately after finishing review of our respective lessons for the next day, Bonnie became seriously sick, but by morning she was well again and rested.

Sunday morning, Bonnie taught the ladies during Bible class, and I taught the men. She taught her chapter from her book Living Principles about “Mrs. Peter”; near the conclusion of the class, Bonnie also answered sundry religious questions. I taught my lesson “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” During worship, I preached my sermon “The Purpose of Preaching.”

Brother Harold and sisters Rita and Ashley Bigham treated us to a buffet lunch. We spent awhile after we had surrendered our eating utensils enjoying one another’s company and talking. Afterward, Bonnie and I resorted to the hotel for some afternoon rest before evening worship. At 5 p.m., I presented two years’ worth of PowerPoint lesson to catch up the congregation on our foreign mission work to Asia and South America.

The small congregation is one of our supporters, and nearly every member personally encouraged us on this visit. The Liberty Church of Christ holds up our hands in foreign mission work. We are dear to each other in the service of the Lord and for His cause.

Monday, we spent the day making our way back to Winona, MS—through parts of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. I think Bonnie held up better on the return jaunt than I did. We opted for an alternate route back that avoided metropolitan areas and that was very scenic. An hour from home, we stopped to buy groceries in Starkville, MS. Finally, we pulled into our driveway at 7 p.m.

(One of the reasons we opted for the route we pursued going back home was to try to find one of Bonnie’s missing earrings. Upon my return home from Myanmar a few weeks ago, I gave Bonnie a pair of pearl-shaped jade earrings for pierced ears. Sunday night, she discovered that one of them was missing from her ear. That night and the next morning, we searched the motel room. In the morning, we searched the car. Before leaving DeFuniak Springs, we checked with the hotel staff, personnel at the restaurant where we had had lunch on Sunday and at Arby’s where we had eaten supper. Lastly upon leaving town, we stopped back by the grassy parking lot of the Liberty Church of Christ to look there. Neither one of us expected to find a little earring lost in a big world, but Bonnie did find it outside the meetinghouse.)

Tuesday found us refreshed from the previous night’s rest. I did my exercises, and Bonnie resumed exercising some on the exercise bicycle. We had breakfast, after which we readied ourselves for the day and went to the office. There is much work to be done on every side and in every place to keep us busy for Jesus Christ. We are thankful that friends and brethren are willing to keep on Sending the Light of the Gospel, whereby Bonnie and I are permitted to keep on Taking the Light of the Gospel abroad.

Our Separate Ways

November 3, 2013

Bonnie's Ladies RetreatThis past weekend, Bonnie and I parted company and attended different functions before converging at Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. Friday, I stayed in Winona and attended to the ongoing preparation and mailing of the current issue of Global Harvest. Rebecca took a day off from teaching and took Bonnie to her final chemotherapy treatment in Jackson, MS. Afterward, Rebecca drove Bonnie and herself to a ladies’ retreat in northern Alabama. Bonnie taught Friday evening and Saturday morning. This was quite an adventure for Bonnie since she had become anemic, the length of the trip that day and because of the chemo session. Cancer has slowed us down, but to date it has not stalled us; we have hardly paused.

 After the ladies’ retreat concluded, Rebecca and Bonnie returned to Rebecca’s Collierville residence. I drove from Winona to Collierville.

 Bonnie's Ladies RetreatSunday, we worshipped with the Collierville Church of Christ. I made a PowerPoint presentation about my recent three-week mission trip to Myanmar for the auditorium Bible class. For worship, I preached, “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?”

Bonnie's Ladies Retreat We three were invited by Jay Jones of the church there to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. Thereafter, we returned to the meetinghouse for its 1:30 p.m. second worship period. We heard a young man preach who was interviewing for the pulpit work with the Collierville Church of Christ.

 When we returned to Rebecca’s house, Bonnie took a nap for nearly two hours due to her extreme tiredness and ill feeling. Finally, we made our way back to Winona—the home base—warehouse/office of World Evangelism. Though we had planned on attending a preachers’ luncheon and meeting in the Jackson, MS/Clinton, MS area on Monday, we opted to remain in Winona. This was prudent owing to two things: Bonnie had been feeling poorly on Sunday, and we needed to help with the ongoing preparation and mailing of the current edition of Global Harvest magazine.

 This past weekend, we separated to be more effective in the Lord’s work. We came back together and represented our work to the Collierville congregation. We may not be living up to our name as much as previously—“Rushmore,” but we still put forth a fair effort of activity for the cause of Christ.

Fly-Over, Drive-Through

September 9, 2013

airlinerFriday morning, September 6, Bonnie and I began by loading our car for our impending absence for a week and a half. One suitcase was for our night in Collierville, TN with Rebecca that night in preparation for our departure by plane from Memphis on Saturday morning; also included therein were clothes for the night of our return by air to Memphis and lodging with our daughter once more. Bonnie and I also packed two checked bags, two carryon bags and two computer bags. The last stop in Winona, MS before leaving town was the World Evangelism Building, whereupon we loaded empty spots in the two checked bags with tracts, copies of The Voice of Truth International, ballpoint pens, etc. (Later Friday night, we had to shift literature between checked bags to bring one of them within the allowable weight.)

With Winona in the rearview mirror, Bonnie and I headed south on I-55 to Jackson, MS for her weekly chemotherapy. Hours later (around 3 p.m.), we retraced our route north on I-55 toward Memphis and Rebecca’s home in Collierville. Having made provisions ahead of time, we dropped our van at the Chrysler dealership in Collierville for repair over the several days we would be gone.

Saturday, Rebecca dropped us at the Memphis International Airport on her way to Saturday School (for her and other teachers’ errant students). Our flight path took us from Memphis to Atlanta to Pittsburgh. Tiring as the journey was, especially for Bonnie, it was less tiresome than had we driven (in a sick car) from Mississippi to Ohio. We flew over numerous states (e.g., Alabama, Tennessee, etc.), and upon landing in Pittsburgh, PA, we picked up the rental car we had reserved. Then, we proceeded to drive from western Pennsylvania, across the northwestern panhandle of West Virginia and through northeastern Ohio to Hanoverton. There, we proceeded to lodge with our dear Christian friends Martha and Robert Noland.

Sunday a.m. we were with the Hanoverton Church of Christ. For Bible class, I taught Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship? During worship, I made our PowerPoint presentation of 2012-2013 Mission Trips. After Martha’s crockpot lunch of roast beef, potatoes and carrots, the Nolands and I (minus Bonnie who remained behind to rest) went to a nursing home in Lisbon, OH. It was my pleasure to speak to the residents in attendance. Then, I was delighted to preach at the Hanoverton congregation’s 4 p.m. worship my lesson, The Purpose of Preaching. Afterward, the Nolands carted Bonnie and me to the Massillon, OH Church of Christ whereupon I again presented 2012-2013 Mission Trips. I spoke five times in three cities!

Monday morning and afternoon, I worked on the late September issue of Gospel Gazette Online. The four of us paused for lunch at our favorite regional Mexican restaurant in Salem, OH. Upon our return to the Noland home, Bonnie rehearsed the lesson she had prepared for teaching a ladies’ class in Hanoverton that evening. While Bonnie and Martha participated in the ladies’ Bible study session, Robert and I attended a Gospel meeting in East Liverpool, OH; I greeted brethren with whom I have been acquainted for decades and from whom we have been parted for years. Each place, including East Liverpool, to which we have gone and to which we will go, I am leaving sample tracts, The Voice of Truth International copies, newsletters and pens to promote our good work and encourage participation by other brethren.

Our four-day weekend was filled to the brim! There was little time squandered, and the variety of things encountered and the places to which we went were plentiful, too. We don’t usually have to concern ourselves with the likelihood of becoming bored. We wouldn’t have it any other way.