Tuesday, August 23, 2016

“We got a life to live, not to survive. Do the things you always want to and be the person you always desired to be. Don't let other people change who you are and how you live and love.” ― Keith McDow

     Karen does not have pleurisy, but her X-Ray did show what twenty years of second-hand smoke can do to your lungs.  Her father chain-smoked Camels until lung cancer killed him.  Her brother, Don, died the same way.  The X-Ray of Karen’s lungs should be required reading for anyone who has to put up with second-hand smoke.  The doctor was happy with the results, but when Karen came home, she said, “Well, I’m not going to die, dammit!”  I told her, well, I’m not going to tell you what I told her, but all is well, now.  She is still having pain and will until the kidney stone passes, but otherwise, she is healthy.  She made some very easy peanut-butter fudge last night and Rachel and Shaban thought it the closest to heaven they have ever come.  Shaban is going to have Karen teach his wife to make it.  He loved that you only ate a tiny bit because it was so rich.  I like it for much the same reason—and it tastes really great.
     Karen and I watched the Closing Ceremonies for the Olympics and couldn’t help but be encouraged for the future seeing all those countries together and happy.  If you haven’t seen them and can, please do.  Not only will you old folks be reminded of Carmen Miranda, but everyone will be impressed with the color and the pageantry—especially the large image of Christ portrayed, wow, it was awesome!  We can live together in  peace if we work at it.  It may just take sharing a whole lot of peanut-butter fudge, but we’re up for helping to make it.
     Some good friends in Jonesboro, Arkansas, with help from Cherokee Village started a scholarship program ten years ago to allow poor, Christian students the opportunity to attend the two years of teacher’s college and to become permanent teachers for Tanzanian schools.  Since that time, over 70 students have graduated and are teaching thanks to these wonderful gifts.  We were afraid this terrific mission project was going to come to an end with the graduation last May of our last three students.  We were very happy to hear that Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Jonesboro wanted us to continue with three more students this year.  We are just now identifying the students (have to verify that they are needy and not relatives of teachers at the college), but Karen has worked out a very good way to do that.  It may not seem like much, helping three Christian students to become teachers but think about how many thousands of children those three will influence, guide, teach, and touch.  At $500 a student for each year, it is not such a great cost, but it has a great reward.  Thank you and God bless all the good folks at Cornerstone UMC.  
     Still working on finalizing our residence permits and need to replace the front shocks on our car.  Unlike American roads (which are mostly paved), the ones here mean that shocks, brakes, tires, and windshields need to be replaced almost once a year, so it is no surprise to us.  
    In closing today, I urge you to find a recording of “What A Wonderful World” and listen to it more than once.  There’s a marvelous version by the late Louie Armstrong that I listen to almost once a week.  Now would be a good time, don’t you think?
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