Posted tagged ‘Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear’

Weekend on the Road

January 27, 2013

Harold ReddTim McCarter

Michael BatesSaturday, January 26, 2013 found us arising earlier than we might have otherwise so that we could attend the annual Delta Enrichment Seminar. This year, it was hosted by the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS. The theme, “Allowing God to Answer Our Challenges,” was ably address by three speakers in four sessions from 8:45 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. Tim McCarter from the Cleveland, MS Church of Christ led off the program and did an outstanding job of presenting his lesson about “Challenges of Worldliness in Our Lives.” He was followed by Harold Redd from the Midtown Church of Christ in Memphis, TN; he also concluded the program later. Respectively, he preached “Challenges in the Church” and “Challenges of Faith and Commitment.” The third lesson addressed “Challenges in the Family,” and it was delivered by Michael Bates from the Batesville, MS Church of Christ. Following the program, all who stayed afterward enjoyed a sumptuous lunch of barbequed, pulled pork sandwiches, barbequed beans, coleslaw, chips and desserts. Brother McCarter’s sermon alone, besides all the other good teaching and fellowship, certainly was worth getting out of bed early on a Saturday morning. Next year, the Delta Enrichment Seminar will be conducted by the Cleveland, MS Church of Christ.

Robert Rawson Crockett CoCBefore we made our way from home in Winona, MS to Greenwood for the seminar, we had to pack an overnight bag. You see, upon leaving Greenwood we angled the car northeastwardly toward Grenada, MS to intersect Interstate 55 north. Our next venue was to be in Crockett, MS for the opening of the 43rd year of the Training School for Better Service under the direction of Robert Rawson. This program provides a combination of classroom and Internet resources for brethren to improve their knowledge and skills in Christian service.

Some teenage young men first read Scripture, preached and led hymns. Around 6 p.m., it was my turn to present a sermon under the theme of “Challenges Facing the Church Today.” After noting several different directions a lesson could take by either addressing challenges from within or from without of the Lord’s church, I spoke about the seriousness of embracing the mission of the church that Jesus Christ assigned to it (“What Is the Mission of the Church?”). In addition to those present, the lesson will be added to numerous webpages on a variety of subjects to which one can turn via a computer connection to the Internet. Visit www.tsfbs3-edu.com for more information.

Following the program, everyone enjoyed cake and ice cream. Robert Rawson, his wife and sister-in-law as well as Bonnie and me made the short jaunt to Senatobia, MS for a late supper. Bonnie and I resided overnight in a local motel so we could attend Bible class and worship in the morning with the Crockett, MS Church of Christ. For class, I showed my PowerPoint about 2012 Mission Trips, and for worship, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. Once more, brother Robert Rawson as well as his wife and sister-in-law treated Bonnie and me to a fine meal before we returned to Winona, MS. On the way home, we stopped at Wal-Mart in Grenada, MS to pick up some groceries to prepare a meal for visitors coming Monday to the office/warehouse to help prepare a mailing of Global Harvest magazine. Sunday evening, we dropped in on the West President Street Church of Christ for worship since I did not have an appointment anywhere. Hence, we enjoyed another weekend on the road, howbeit, we did not travel as far and we were not out as late Sunday night as often is the case.

Disappointing, Lonely Drive

December 9, 2012

Saturday, December 8th around 10:30 a.m., I aimed my car toward Alabama from Winona, MS. Unlike other weekend preaching appointments, I was traveling solo. To my dismay, Bonnie had not recovered sufficiently from her gallbladder surgery on Wednesday to make the trip with me on Saturday. Friday, though, I had taken her to the office, about an eighth of a mile from our residence, because on one hand I could not leave her alone due to her recent operation and on the other hand I was expecting a delivery at the office. Not knowing when the delivery would come, I needed to be there all day. Of course, Bonnie resumed office duties; she did lie down for a while on one of the couches. However, three of her four incisions had now bled by Friday evening.

Taj Mahal

Bonnie had been resting in bed Friday evening when she came to the living room to inform me that she had texted Rebecca to come down for the weekend and stay with her while I went to my appointments. Of course, that was the correct thing to do, but I was disappointed that she would not be traveling with me Saturday and Sunday. We had not been separated from each other for a day for decades, maybe between 25 and 30 years. Especially now that our children are grown, she goes everywhere with me stateside and abroad. We work in the same small office space. For years, it has been nearly impossible to buy her a card or a gift without her knowing ahead of time, since she and I are always side-by-side.

Naturally, I found my journey on Saturday and Sunday a lonely one. Standing at the door greeting churchgoers exiting the auditoriums where I had spoken, I found myself thanking brethren for having “us” on the Lord’s Day.

The David and Kelli Barker family lodged me Saturday night in their home. Especially their daughter Anna was familiar to me since I have been teaching her in Bible Geography classes for years at Polishing the Pulpit. It was a pleasure as well to renew acquaintance with her older sister Kayla, too. Reesey, the Barkers’ miniature Dachshund was a new friend, once the initial barking at a stranger subsided. Not long after my arrival, my new four-legged friend took a nap in my lap.

Midway Church of Christ

Midway Church of Christ

Sunday morning for Bible class, I made my 2012 Mission Trips PowerPoint presentation for the Midway Church of Christ in Trinity, AL. For worship, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. After lunch out at the local countryside eatery, I headed toward my next appointment near Jasper, AL. That evening, I made my 2012 Mission Trips presentation to the Blackwater Macedonia Church of Christ. Both congregations received me well and offered words of encouragement. The latter church does not support Bonnie and me regularly in our mission endeavors, but it subscribes to The Voice of Truth International magazine and helps with foreign radio programs. Blackwater Macedonia has been working with J.C. and Betty Choate for many years, but since the passing of brother J.C., Bonnie and I report to these brethren regarding the work that they continue to embrace.

Sunday evening, I made my three and a half hour journey back home to Winona. Both Saturday and Sunday, Bonnie not being with me, I opted for sandwiches and brief stops at mealtimes instead of choosing something such as Cracker Barrel. Things are different when by oneself as opposed to being with one’s better half. We both dread the day when illness or death will prevent us from traveling the highways and byways of life together in the service of our Lord. (Some years ago while aboard an airliner with Bonnie and Rebecca returning from overseas, I remarked that perhaps Bonnie and I will die together – maybe on an airplane. Our daughter immediately objected, saying, “Wait a minute! I’m on this airplane!) I am so happy that Bonnie and I are making our pilgrimage together toward the heavenly hereafter!

Rushmore-ing!

September 12, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, Bonnie and I fellowshipped with the Charleston, MS Church of Christ for evening Bible Study. I presented my PowerPoint Into All the World in 2011. Individual members of this congregation have for years encouraged us and participated financially with us in our mission work. This occasion was no exception to past experiences.

Saturday, September 8, Bonnie and I motored to Huntsville, AL where we lodged the night with Lindell and Sharon Smith. He is one of the elders of the Farley Church of Christ where I spoke twice on Sunday morning. Brother and sister Smith introduced us to a new restaurant experience at Cheeburger. It was a 50’s setting and good cheeseburgers and onion rings. I wish I had gotten the milkshake pictured. For Sunday class, I made the Into All the World in 2011 PowerPoint presentation. For worship, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear; this is the most important sermon I have ever preached, and everywhere I present it, brethren remark how timely and necessary it is. The small Farley Church of Christ is not a regular contributor, but some of its members are. Each of the elders participated with us financially and publicly encouraged the congregation to do the same. For lunch, Paul and Gladys Clements took us to yet another restaurant to which we had not been, though it, too, is a chain restaurant – Ruby Tuesdays. The food was good and the fellowship was even better. We had quite a protracted interaction with our server and the manager. I gave each of them our Million Dollar Bill tract with the plan of salvation on the reverse. I gave the young lady serving our table a business card with us in Indian dress on one side and the URL for Gospel Gazette Online on the other side. Paul invited her to worship with the Farley Church of Christ.

On the way back to Winona that afternoon, we stopped in Tupelo, MS for some light shopping and a long overdue carwash. Still, bugs aplenty pepper the front bumper, hood and mirrors. Being in the right place at the right time, we worshipped for the first time with the Gloster Street Church of Christ in Tupelo. The lesson was edifying and the congregation was very friendly. I spoke briefly with one of the elders, James Segars, who is brother to an elder (Doug Segars) of the West President Street Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS. Bonnie and I left a case of The Voice of Truth International and some Global Harvest magazines with the Gloster Street congregation.

Gospel Gazette OnlineMonday, Bonnie and I finished the production and preparation for mailing of our September Rushmore Newsletter. Tuesday, we were able to mail numerous thank you cards to contributors over the past week. In addition, I was able to complete and publish to the Internet the September issue of Gospel Gazette Online. Between the time we left the office and resumed office work in the living room, Bonnie and I raced against impending darkness to continue painting the exterior of the Mission House in which we live. Just maybe, we will able to complete that undertaking before we leave the country on the 27th of this month.

Wednesday morning, I was able to craft and send out the email notifications for both the September editions of the Rushmore Newsletter and Gospel Gazette Online. Though we mailed 557 copies of our newsletter, we apprise hundreds more via email where they can obtain a PDF version of the newsletter. The notification of the new edition of Gospel Gazette Online provides a handy Table of Contents whereby readers can go directly to articles of interest. In this issue, 26 writers penned 28 articles, plus there is an audio lesson as well.

Bonnie has been working feverishly on the next issue of The Voice of Truth International, which must go to the printers before we head overseas in a couple of weeks. Now, I can devote more of my time to helping her with the layout, etc. Still ahead today is getting the files for the current issue on a DVD for overseas, whereupon brethren abroad will publish copies for distribution in India. Tonight, of course, we will fellowship with a congregation during Bible Study. We are Rushmore-ing!

Kinfolks Holler

September 2, 2012

Years ago, Loretta Lynn sang about “kinfolks holler.” Well, following the Polishing the Pulpit program in Sevierville, TN, Bonnie and pointed the Town & Country toward our own kinfolks holler in western Pennsylvania. Late Friday afternoon, Bonnie and I stopped in to visit my dad in Hadley, PA. Later, we went to my brother Mike’s home outside of Jamestown, PA where my brother Martin and his family convened as well. Saturday, Bonnie and I drove to Cochranton, PA and plopped down at her brother Jim’s home, and her other brother and sister came by for a picnic. The greater occasion for the gathering of these and some of their children was the celebration of the birthday by Jim’s wife Kaye.

Saturday evening, Bonnie and I drove to Hanoverton, OH and lodged with our good friends Bob and Martha Noland. Sunday morning, we drove to Medina, OH where I spoke for the Bible class (Into All the World in 2011 PowerPoint presentation) and worship (Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear). After lunch with the Rodney Nulph family at Pizza Hut, Bonnie and I headed back to Hanoverton. We arrived just in time for me to set up our PowerPoint equipment to present Into All the World in 2011 to the congregation there.

Dennison, OH Railroad DepotMonday we accompanied Bob and Martha to their respective doctors’ appointments. Of course, we ate out, too. Tuesday, we visited the railroad museum in Dennison, OH. Since we were relatively close to the largest Amish community in Ohio, we drove to Sugar Creek, OH for lunch at one of the best restaurants anywhere as far as Bonnie and I are concerned – the Dutch Valley Restaurant. Briefly after stuffing ourselves, we visited the knickknack stores and Amish bulk foods grocery before returning to Hanoverton.

Wednesday, August 29, Bonnie and I drove to Sandyville, WV and lodged the night with Sue and John Balis. Sue fixed us a sumptuous country meal of homegrown specialties, including the tender beef steaks. After Wednesday evening Bible class, I presented the PowerPoint presentation Into All the World in 2011 for those brethren who chose to remain for it.

Cass Scenic RailroadThursday morning, Bonnie and I took an excursion to Cass, WV and rode the Cass Scenic Railroad. It is an old logging train, powered by Shay engines, navigating the steep inclines and switchbacks to the top of Bald Mountain 11 miles each way. Bonnie and I have been talking for years about going on this trip, and we finally did so. However, we were ready for it to conclude by the time we got back down the mountain. We miss mountains as we reside in Mississippi, but we certainly got our fix of mountains in West Virginia.

Friday and Saturday, we drove south through West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia while on our way to Jacksonville, FL. Did we ever get our fill of mountains!

We lodged in motels along the way, each one costing too much and having some aggravating defect in the room, too. In Jacksonville, we lodged with Mary Fox – former missionary with her late husband and children to Thailand. We took Mary and her daughter Karen to supper. Sunday, September 2, I presented the PowerPoint Into All the World in 2011 for the Bible class and preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear for the worship. After a congregational fellowship meal, we pointed the car toward Winona, MS for the first time in several weeks. We had passed by it many times, but Sunday evening we were afforded the opportunity to worship with the Hamilton Crossroads, AL Church of Christ. Afterward, we continued to Troy, AL where we took lodging for the night. Five hours to go, but Monday – Labor Day – we should arrive back in Winona.

We have so many things to which we need to attend before our departure later this month for two months abroad in Myanmar (Burma) and India. The to do list includes on it: get the next issue of The Voice of Truth International to the printer, publish the September issue of Gospel Gazette Online, finish painting the exterior of the Mission House in which we reside, wash weeks of dirty clothes, mow the grass, print stationery for Betty Choate, publish and mail the Rushmore Newsletter, help Betty Choate produce and mail her newsletter, package and ship books, prepare our overseas lessons, etc., etc., etc. Time is running out! We will still be working on our lessons inflight to Asia!

We’ll Sleep When We’re Dead!

August 22, 2012

Displays at Polishing the PulpitSome days, our workdays are traveling all day to an appointment on Wednesday evening. We did just that on August 15. Just before lunch time, we started driving from Winona, MS to Portland, TN – about six hours of driving plus necessary stops. However, before making this leg of our journey, we had to load the car for a two and a half week tour – including loading the van for 16 feet of displays at the Polishing the Pulpit (PTP) program in Sevierville, TN. In addition, following that lectureship, we are traveling to Pennsylvania and Ohio, before going to Jacksonville, FL in a roundabout way back to Winona. Thus, we had a lot of packing to do.

Buckets of Bible TimeWednesday, we were with the Fountain Head Church of Christ outside of Portland. That night, we lodged once more in the “Corn Crib,” a cottage that has been remodeled from an actual corn crib, on a farm near the Kentucky state line.

Bible MapsThursday morning, we drove toward Sevierville, around four hours away. Friday afternoon, we set up our mission work display and the literature display of hundreds of books. Saturday, we drove to Ooltewah, TN – a little over two hours southwest toward Chattanooga, TN. It was our good pleasure once more to lodge with Winston and Kathy Stringfield. Sunday morning August 19, I presented to the Ooltewah Church of Christ the PowerPoint Into All the World in 2011 for the Bible class (as I had done Wednesday at Fountain Head). During the worship period, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. Sunday afternoon, Bonnie and I returned to PTP for the evening lessons.

Bonnie as Queen EstherMonday through Wednesday, between the two of us, Bonnie and I taught three children’s classes daily. Thursday, we taught two children’s classes. Not able to attend day sessions, each night Bonnie and I attended the night programs. We had much good interaction with brethren interested in our efforts for the cause of Christ. Bonnie and I renewed acquaintances and friendships, sometimes with brethren we had not seen for several years.

In some of the in between moments throughout the week, I was able to finalize some upcoming appointments stateside. After speaking at two congregations Sunday, August 26 in Ohio, the following Sunday, we will be with a church in Florida. In addition, we were able to work out some of the details for our soon trip to Asia for about two months.

I must be tired. Often by end of day and by the time Bonnie and I get in bed for the night, we are exhausted. In addition, even in the early morning often brethren tell me, “You look tired!” Well, if we fail to get all the rest one might think we need in this life, we are planning to rest eternally from this world’s labors once we lay down our bodies in the earthly clay. We’ll sleep when we’re dead!

The Days of Our Lives

July 31, 2012

Preaching Recently in Guyana, South AmericaSaturday, July 29, I went for a very long drive with my best friend, my wife – Bonnie. Our health was good, and the day was sunny. The otherwise oppressive heat was defeated by the air conditioning in our car. About 10 hours after leaving Winona, MS, we arrived in Valdosta, GA. Along the way, we enjoyed sufficient and pleasant food. It was a good day.

Sunday morning, we arrived at the meetinghouse of the Dasher Church of Christ by around 8:30 a.m. for the 9 a.m. Bible class, followed by the 10 a.m. worship period. Bonnie set out some books, newsletters and display material while I attended to getting the PowerPoint presentation about our work ready for the class and preparing for the sermon I was to deliver during worship. As regulars to our blog have long ago figured out, I don’t usually preach a different sermon weekly; I just change congregations to which I speak. You guessed it; for Bible class I presented Into All the World in 2011, and for worship I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. We were wonderfully well received and encouraged by brethren, and we made tentative arrangements for speaking appointments by Bonnie to Christian ladies and me to children in a private school in the future.

Sunday evening, we failed on three occasions to find a congregation with which to worship. We traveled northward toward Atlanta, GA, but apparently many of the Lord’s church in Georgia have early afternoon services or suspend night services on the fifth Sunday of the month. We took a motel just south of Atlanta for the night, arriving in time for free hotdogs, mac and cheese, baked potato, chicken strips and soft drinks. That was the first time we have found a stateside hotel offering supper, though most of them make some effort at offering a continental breakfast.

Monday, Bonnie and I had an appointment with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Department in Atlanta. We had to have personal interviews to complete our application for trusted traveler status to permit us expedited reentry into the United States when we return from our foreign trips. The balance of Monday involved the long, three-state drive back to Winona, MS. Tuesday, it was back at the office, as well as back to scraping and painting the exterior of the mission house in which we live.

Travel by car or by plane is a part of the work and almost as routine as breathing. Working in the office on literature and publishing or speaking about the work or preaching are the common place facets of the days of our lives. May God use us up in His service anywhere and everywhere on the planet. Invite us to your congregation, and we might be communing with you soon.

On the Road Again!

July 4, 2012

On the Road Again! That’s the ring tone for Bonnie’s phone, and we live it, too. Arriving back in the States Tuesday, June 12 from Guyana, South America, we have hit the road again. Thursday, Bonnie and I drove almost two hours south to Byram, MS for our semi-annual dental cleanings. Oh, that’s when Bonnie was informed that she needed to have two wisdom teeth extracted and two other teeth drilled and filled at subsequent appointments.

Saturday the 16th, we dropped Betty Choate off at the Memphis International Airport on our way to Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. Sister Choate was unable to persuade Delta at curbside to overlook her overweight luggage, and so as we pulled away from the curb, she was redistributing items between checked bags and her carryon bag. She was on her way to San Francisco, CA to babysit grandchildren as her son Brad and his wife went away to celebrate their anniversary.

At our own private bed and breakfast (Rebecca’s house), we were positioned for our Sunday, June 17 afternoon appointment with the East Frayser Church of Christ in the metropolitan Memphis area. We had a wonderful time with these brethren as I presented the PowerPoint Into All the World in 2011.

Back in Winona, MS, Monday through Thursday, brother Lester Grimmet and his helper Tommy made some much needed repairs on the missionary house in which we reside. Besides hundreds of disturbed wasps (and about six cans of wasp spray), they found rotten soffit and fascia plus rotted roof joist ends and porch sheeting. Replacing and repairing these items was the beginning of necessary maintenance to preserve the integrity of the structure. Roof repairs are imminent. Later, we will paint the exterior wall panels, etc. to prolong replacement of the deteriorating paperboard sheets.

New Floor TitleInside the house, Bonnie and I invested in the replacement of the kitchen flooring and sink countertop. We opted for ceramic tile for both. Already, we had painted the dark paneling and cabinets to brighten the dungeon. Of course, as long as the kitchen was inaccessible, we were forced to eat out.

New Floor Tile & Counter TopSunday morning June 24, we visited the Courtland, MS Church of Christ. For Bible class, I presented Into All the World in 2011, and for worship I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. For those of you who follow our blog, you see that I do not preach a lot of different sermons over the course of a year. I just go to different congregations and present the same material over again. Poor, poor Bonnie; she has to endure the same lessons often twice weekly for many months before I change them out for another set and repeat our circuit.

After worship, we followed a family to the next county and into the woods. We were supposed to be going to a restaurant for lunch, but I was almost certain that we were following the wrong car and that we were about to pull up into someone’s driveway. However, finally, we arrived at a local, out of the way eatery in a narrow gravel lot adjacent to a boat storage facility. Above the door for the diner was simply the word, “CATFISH.” Inside the homey setting, in the backroom, six of us surrounded a round table. Bonnie and I shared the best and the largest country fried steak we have ever eaten. Everywhere we go, one thing is for sure. Brethren know where the good food is, and they enjoy eating together.

Sunday evening, I spoke for the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS. Their preacher Nathan Wright was away at camp with the youngsters from the congregation. Bonnie and the brethren heard me preach Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. After worship, several brethren and we ate at an upscale Mexican restaurant in Greenwood near J.C. Penny. I found my new, favorite Mexican restaurant, and all Bonnie and I ate was an appetizer that we shared.

Tuesday the 26th, we were again in Byram, MS for the extraction of two of Bonnie’s wisdom teeth. By far, it took longer to get there from Winona, MS than it did for brother Andy Dulaney to remove the teeth. I had chipped a front tooth on the backside the previous Sunday, and it left an annoying bur that brother Dulaney smoothed for me.

East Side Church of ChristWednesday morning, we began a new trek to Cleveland, TN, where that evening I made my PowerPoint presentation Into All the World in 2011 to the East Side Church of Christ. We lodged that night with Rick and Fay Hinson; he is the Deacon of Missions for that congregation. We always enjoy this couple, and they make us feel right at home.

Thursday morning, we struck out aimlessly for Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN. Our next appointment was also to be in Cleveland, TN on Sunday night; so, we took a couple of days to relax and work without interruption in the Smoky Mountains. The first order of business upon arriving in the area was to eat lunch at the Old Mill Restaurant. We were seated almost immediately in rustic, watermill-like building overlooking the nearby river. Not something I would choose for myself, nevertheless, I enjoyed the corn chowder with clam broth that came with the meal, and the meatloaf was exceptionally good. The prices were moderate, and the service was stellar. Bonnie and I both agree that the Old Mill Restaurant deserves a repeat visit in our future when in the area.

Cabin View of the Smoky MountainsA couple of phone calls later, we had arranged for a cabin for a couple of days outside of Gatlinburg. The paperwork required to rent this place was reminiscent of that required to buy a house! Upon arrival at our cabin getaway, we couldn’t wait to get away from it; I called the rental office and said that it was unacceptable for a number of reasons, including peeling wallpaper in the bathroom and water damage on walls and floor. Within the hour, we arrived at a second cabin, which was more to our liking. It was the most buggy cabin rental that we ever experienced, but otherwise the porch provided a pleasant view of the blue mountains. The accommodations were satisfactory. Part of the time we relaxed; some of the time we walked the main drag of Gatlinburg, TN – window shopping the curios that we mostly resisted buying. We did, though, bump into the Steve Choate family in a store into which we just happened to wander. Steve is one of Betty Choate’s sons; he lives in Searcy, AR. (Though we did not encounter them, afterward we learned that J.D. and Denise Conley from Marietta, OH were in a Gatlinburg cabin at the same time we were in that area. He is a Gospel preacher and the son-in-law of Denver Cooper; Denise is sister to our dear friend Martha Noland.

TramAfter lunch at Texas Roadhouse (we shared Road Kill and added an extra baked potato), as we were wandering about, we came to the tram that takes up to 120 passengers at a time to the top of the mountain. The fare not too steep, we boarded the standing room only vehicle and winged our way over five towers to the mountaintop. We explored some shops and bought a few trinkets, including some marble top fudge. We had indulged on some fudge the day before, too, at the Old Mill Candy Shop and found it better tasting than the more recent acquisition. Of course, the better tasting candy cost twice as much as the other; perhaps that ought to have been an indicator.

During our two-night stay in the cabin, we dispatched spiders, ants, a millipede, one scorpion and another, unidentified bug. Two wasps that stung me got away. Each time we go to the Smoky Mountains, we have stayed in a different cabin, and I suppose we will continue the practice the next time we steal away a day or two.

Mountain MusicWe also enjoyed some mountain music as we strolled the streets and alleys of Gatlinburg, TN.

Central Church of Christ (Cleveland, TN)Saturday, June 30, Bonnie and I traveled back to Cleveland, TN where I was to speak the next day for the evening service of the Central Church of Christ. First, though, we stopped at Tanger Outlets to buy me some dress shirts. Many of my shirts are decades old and in dire need of replacement. The temperature was 107 degrees! We walked, and we walked. Then, we walked some more. Finally, we found some shirts that were nearly like what I wanted and at a price I could afford. Along the way, Bonnie bought a couple pair of footwear, too.

About 5:00 p.m., we arrived at the home of Robert and Barbara Wright. They are brethren, friends and our benefactors. They lodged us and fed us to the point of bursting over the next two days. They have worked hard over the years, and they freely utilize their resources for the cause of Christ; they do a good work for the Lord.

Sunday evening, I presented Into All the World in 2011. We had some technical difficulties since my software with which I made the PowerPoint presentation is newer than what the church is using. With some trial and error behind us, we were able to present the material for the congregation. We were well received. Bonnie and I had a few moments to meet with two of the elders regarding our work in which they invest for the church there.

Monday was consumed in our return trip to Winona, MS. A flurry of phone calls between Wednesday and Monday populated our upcoming calendar for Sundays and Wednesdays. We have some long stateside trips ahead of us in July and August. Bonnie labored on the next issue of The Voice of Truth International as I steered the car homeward.

After spending all day in the office Tuesday trying to catch up on things we could not do while traveling, we left Winona, MS again in the early evening. We met Rebecca at the Collierville Church of Christ property for refreshments and to watch the Collierville city fireworks. Wednesday is the 4th of July holiday. Thursday is Rebecca’s birthday, and later that afternoon, we will pick up Betty Choate at the airport and return to Winona. Saturday, we will point the car toward the panhandle of Florida for our Sunday appointment. Appointments already scheduled for July and August will take us to the states of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky. Truly, we are on the road again!

Wonderful Day!

May 28, 2012

Sunday morning, May 27, Bonnie and I with our daughter Rebecca in tow made our way from Winona, MS to Jackson, MS to be with the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ. Always want to be a little early and for sure not late, I inadvertently arrived at Siwell Road much before time. I had wanted to be there a half hour before Bible class began to set up items for display, etc. However, we arrived an hour early, and the doors were locked. Not long after, though, along came one of the elders to grant us entry.

The two roses accompanying this thorn from Winona to Jackson caught up on a little beauty sleep. They both objected when I suggested that I might do the same. After all, I was the designated driver! About the time for me to get up and preach during the morning worship period, I found myself yawning and maybe in need of a little nap, too.

I’m sad to say so, but involuntarily I preach more enthusiastically for larger gatherings of God’s people than I do for smaller groups. It must be a psychological thing. Sometimes with a little more effort I can heartily belt out the message. It does make a big difference in that both the biblical material and the mission presentation that I make are lessons about which I am excited.

Sunday morning, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. It was one of my better presentations, and the elders and several brethren appreciated the encouragement to worship God earnestly and as He stipulated in Scripture.

We can nearly predict where we will eat depending in whose custody we are at mealtimes in various places to which we travel. Sunday lunch was at the Chinese restaurant in Byram, MS. It is a family run establishment, and I remembered the little girl there. Last year I gave her a million dollar bill tract. She is still arguing with me that it is not real!

For the afternoon, we were guests of W.E. and Judy Walker in their home. We talked and talked about mission work. Sitting there, I received some email messages on my phone, and one of them caught me completely off guard. I received feedback on my morning sermon from eastern Tennessee! How was that possible? Unknown to me, the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ installed a camera in the auditorium since I was there a year ago, and they stream their services live on the Internet. Imagine my surprise!

Sunday evening, I gave my PowerPoint presentation Into All the World in 2011. Despite having worked out all of the kinks in the morning in preparation for the evening lesson, we had technical difficulties. First, there was no signal to the projector. Then, the clicker to advance the images did not work. I reverted back to voice cues to a brother in the back at the computers, and everything thereafter proceeded satisfactorily. We traveled 30,000 miles round trip in about 30 minutes! Fortunately, everyone held on to their pews and no one spilled out on the floor.

Several brethren expressed an interest in our books that the three of us displayed in the foyer. We received much encouragement from many brothers and sisters. We leave June 1 for Guyana, but another team from Siwell was leaving on Monday for a foreign mission trip.

Bonnie and I are members of the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ, though we reside in Winona, MS when not on the road traveling or abroad. The elders are our sponsors in our mission work, and two deacons assist us as well. This is a good congregation with a bright future in the kingdom of Christ.

After evening worship, once more we were graciously fed by the Walkers. Finally, we returned to Winona, arriving shortly after 9 p.m. If we had been anywhere else, we could have been arriving home around midnight as we often do, or further away, we would have arrived on Monday.

Monday, Memorial Day, we went into the office anyway. Bonnie and I are still trying to finish preparation for teaching in Guyana, South America. Time is running out!