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picture of man rolling rock

This past week has been difficult in many ways. I'll spare you the details, but I have been über-busy with all sorts of responsibilities on top of my regular teaching load. In addition to all those responsibilities, our church had funerals three days in a row — Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In case any of you formerly lived in Greenville and know any of the deceased, they are Becky Alderson, Alex Chakeris, and Joyce Garland.

All of last week's events left me exhausted physically and emotionally. Hence today's post is one that is more serious than most of what you read on my blog. What I am posting is something I received from a missionary with whom we worked in France on one of our mission teams. She shared it as part of her testimony of what the Lord had brought her through personally in her personal life and in their missionary service. Here's a short version of her testimony:

After their language studies in France, they left for the Cameroon where the husband taught in a Bible school. Early on, the wife contracted malaria. She fought it for as long as she could, and after nine months, they had to return to the US for treatment. When she finally had her health back together, they left for Benin, having been told that perhaps there might be a different strain of malaria there that wouldn't affect her. After fifteen days there, she tested positive for malaria again (the incubation period is 14 days), and they knew they would have to leave Africa again. This time they went to France for treatment, and since they already knew French, they began their ministry there. In the spring of 2000 she discovered that she had cancer, went alone to the US for surgery, returned to France, and then the whole family came at the end of the kids' school year to be with the wife through her chemo. When that was completed and she was given the go-ahead, they returned to France. She shared with us that during these trials she learned total submission to God's will, though at times it was not easy.

As part of her testimony, the wife read the Rock Story to us. I asked her to send it to me so that I could share it with you all.
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The Unstoppable Virus

picture of virus warning

I thought my readers would like to know about an e-mail virus that may hit them. There's no real cause for alarm — I share this warning mainly so that you will know what has happened when it inevitably hits your computer. Unfortunately even the most advanced programs from Norton or McAfee cannot protect you from this one!

It may have originated in Egypt and seems to affect mainly those who were born prior to 1960. Since there seems to be no remedy for this virus, it has been aptly nicknamed:

picture of unstoppable

Here are the ten most common symptoms of infection:

1. It causes you to send the same e-mail twice.

2. It causes you to send a blank e-mail.
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The Household Handyman’s Guide

picture of handyman

With temperatures dropping, people start doing more things inside than outside. That results in more indoor projects, including home repairs. Everyone knows that we guys thrive on "honey-do lists" and the like. Today I'm posting a list of ten helpful hints for the household handymen out there. For some jobs, wouldn't you love to have as many arms and hands as the cartoon figure on the right?! :-)

The Household Handyman's Guide

1. If you can't find a screwdriver, use a knife. If you break off the tip, it's an improved screwdriver.

2. Try to work alone. An audience is rarely of any help.

3. Above all, if what you've done is stupid, but it works, then it isn't stupid.
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What’s in Chinese Walmarts?

picture of Chinese Walmart

What would life be like without Walmart? Loving Walmart's low prices, in our home we have a saying, "If Walmart doesn't have it, we don't need it." Some people are snooty about shopping at Walmart, and others object to shopping there because of some of their corporate practices or because so many things they now sell are made in other countries. We will not discuss all that in this post, please, but we'll focus rather on some interesting things available at Walmart in China.

Earlier this week my wife forwarded an e-mail to me that she had received from her office mate and that served as the basis for this post. It had pictures of Chinese Walmart products that are either unusual or that most Americans would not even think about finding at Walmart.

It's not surprising that the Walmarts in China would have a large selection of chopsticks.

picture of a Chinese Walmart product

Bulk rice is available. (Actually, we saw the same thing in other supermarkets in China. We never got to shop at Walmart over there during either of our summers.)
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Pumpkin Pi

picture of pumpkin pi

Do you like pumpkin pie? It's something I look forward to every year at this time ... and we have not had one yet. (Hint, hint....) :-) In our house we have found that we like pumpkin pie made with winter squash about as well as we do pie made with real pumpkin. Pumpkins have come to my mind often lately not only because they are almost everywhere you look, but also for several other reasons, the image below from my recent blog post on being mathematically challenged.

picture of pi equals pie

I found another interesting equation along the same line. Here's the picture:
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