20011223 Brigada Today

In this issue….

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1) FEEDBACK ON CHRISTMAS GREETINGS/”12 DAYS”

Thanks to all those who gave feedback to improve the multi-language holiday greetings that appeared in last week’s _Brigada Today_. Next year’s greetings will presumably be better because of it. We’ve also updated the web version of the item at:

http://www.brigada.org/today/2001/bt20011221.shtml

A couple of participants found fault with the “12 Days of Christmas” story, pointing to sites like:

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/twelvedaysofchristmas.htm

(Thanks Doug and John!). My “take” is that even if the origin of the story isn’t very well-supported, it’s still a fun way to view the “12 Days.” Doug and John are probably right though. You wouldn’t want to bet your farm on its truthfulness. As a result, we won’t feature it again and it’s been removed from the web version.

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2) NET-ROAMER

If you are a serious road e-warrior and need internet access, Net- roamer offers the iPass Network of more than 14,000 local call access numbers in 150 countries. Your first half-hour is FREE. Your email address will not change and you keep your regular Internet Service Provider. User-friendly software for Laptops and most PDA’s including Macs. With Net-roamer you surf, send and receive email exactly as you would when at home or office. Click on http://www.net-roamer.com .

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3) OKAY, OKAY… AN ANSWER FOR “SULFNBK” SUFFERERS

Okay.. okay… sorry if we seemed insensitive and unkind last week to those having been fooled by the Sulfnbk “un-virus” (in which unknowing users were tricked into erasing one of their actual Windows files by some vandal virus-writing maniac). If you need to restore your file, go to the fix on this page and everything will be all better:

http://netsquirrel.com/msconfig/sulf.html

(Thanks Joel and others… Sorry Michelle. Once again, my apologies. I suppose I was only reacting negatively because I’ve been getting so many of these un-virus-laden emails in at work, in an already over-zealous schedule.)

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4) IF YOUR MISSION TRAVEL BUDGET IS FALTERING…

Check out videoconferencing. ViaVideo has the midpriced Polycom ViewStation unit for $4000 or a low-end camera for $595 that you can hold in your hand. It even comes with magical software which actually works well, if you have a fast Internet connection.

http://www.polycom.com/products/viavideo.html

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5) OMF BAY AREA MISSION CONFERENCE

The conference is coming, “The Heart of China” April 26-27, 2002, at Peninsula Covenant Church (Redwood City, CA). Annual bay area mission mobilization conference featuring 4 plenary speakers and 11 workshops. Web site: http://www.us.omf.org/northwest Cost $25/person ($20 if registered by April 19). Group rates are available. For registration info, contact Julie Hamiter (925) 459-0734 or <omfregisteratyahoodotcom  (omfregisteratyahoodotcom)  >.

Plenary Speakers:

  • 1. Dr. Eugene Choi, Med. Services Int’l (MSI)

  • 2. Dr. Neil Thompson, OMF US National Director,

  • 3. Elizabeth Lowe, China Program

  • 4. Rev. Doug Vavrosky, OMF Coordinator for Chinese Ethnic Ministries

Subscribe to the OMF Bay Area Mission Update (quarterly email notice): omf_bayarea-subscribeatyahoogroupsdotcom

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6) HURRY! LAST CHANCE TO TRY STAR OFFICE FOR FREE

If Microsoft has priced itself too far outside your budget… or if you’d simply like to prove to yourself that they’re not the only player in the software industry, try:

www.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/6.0beta/get.html

It’s free! Better hurry though. The beta program ends on Dec. 31st!

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7) HEALTH COVERAGE FOR THE FREQUENT INTERNATIONAL TRAVELER

If you travel outside the USA 3-4 times a year you can save money and also avoid filling out repeat health applications for each trip. For $210 a year you can get $1,000,000 in coverage, medical evacuation, $25,000 AD&D, emergency dental, emergency reunion, repatriation of mortal remains, trip cancellation coverage etc. For information contact: <jeffatgninsurancedotcom> or call 480/813-9100; Toll free in USA: 866/636-9100. Check out http://www.gninsurance.com and http://www.missionaryinsurance.org.</jeffatgninsurancedotcom>

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8) FOR A GOOD DEAL ON A DATA PROJECTOR

Try these sources:

www.projectorpeople.com — where you can finally get a 5-pounder, with 1024×768 resolution, and 1000 lumens of brightness (which I personally believe should be the minimum acceptable threshold) for $2795 while supplies last — the Toshiba TLP-B2.

If two extra pounds won’t bother your back, save even more at…
www.warehouse.com — click on “hardware” then “projectors” to view the latest… including an Epson 50c with 1000 lumens, 6.8 pounds, 800×600, for $1999.95.

www.avmarketplace.com — which is featuring an 800×600 res. unit by Mitsubishi (the SA51), also at 1000 lumens, weighing in at 7.5 pounds, for just $1699.

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9) CENTRAL PRESBYTERIAN BACKS BRIGADA

What a tremendous encouragement it is to see Central Pres. Church (in Baltimore, MD) back Brigada with a $250 sponsorship gift for the new year! Would you do us a favor and, in your prayers, would you just pause even for a *moment* and ask God to bless them dearly throughout 2002? Thank you so much. Doug

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10) FOR A DEDICATED VIDEO-EDITING SOLUTION, AT A GREAT PRICE

Try Applied Magic’s ScreenPlay for less than $4000. Check it out at:

http://www.applied-magic.com

Running on a PowerPC chip, it does real-time nonlinear editing with an incredibly easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. This is a dedicated system… so you don’t have to piece together PC components or worry about operating system incompatibilities. Write <sbeanataxxisincdotcom> at Axxis in Louisville for a good price. (You might mention you heard about him from brigada.org, though he’s never heard of us.)</sbeanataxxisincdotcom>

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11) FIND OUT WHAT’S EATING YOUR HARD DRIVE (FOR FREE)

Have you been wondering where all your space went? Find out at:
www.pcmag.com/utilities

Search for DiskPie 2 and download a free solution you can use for life!

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12) DON’T FORGET: “EAT THE CORN AND LEAVE THE COB”

As you read and discover various resources in Brigada Today, be sure to verify that those sources are in agreement with your own beliefs, principles and practice. For example, if, while studying a course that you see featured in Brigada Today, you see references to a doctrine that you don’t believe in, we recommend that you simply ignore it. As we mention weekly in the “Closing Stuff” featured at the end of each Brigada Today, there’s no way we can personally screen each and every course or item featured here. Besides, if we did, you’d probably get a pretty narrow view of the tools and courses out there — namely, my own. :-) Though I personally believe I’m always right, sometimes my friends (and enemies) remind me otherwise. :-) So please, as my college history teacher from Kentucky used to tell me, remember, “Eat the corn, leave the cob.” :-)

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13) HEALTH COVERAGE FOR THE FREQUENT INTERNATIONAL TRAVELER

If you travel outside the USA 3-4 times a year you can save money and also avoid filling out repeat health applications for each trip. For $210 a year you can get $1,000,000 in coverage, medical evacuation, $25,000 AD&D, emergency dental, emergency reunion, repatriation of mortal remains, trip cancellation coverage etc. For information contact: <jeffatgninsurancedotcom> or call 480/813-9100; Toll free in USA: 866/636-9100. Check out http://www.gninsurance.com and http://www.missionaryinsurance.org.</jeffatgninsurancedotcom>

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14) THE BACKPAGE: YOU *DO* MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Last weekend, I was trying to gear up my mind for a trip I have to make soon to a certain Central Asian nation torn by war and strife. I was lamenting the fact that I felt oh-so-small when compared to the awesome needs in that faraway land. Hospitals with no medicines, electric companies idle for lack of fuel, government offices with no workers, illiteracy at 95%, 1 out of 5 infants perishing for lack of food, ongoing violence, decades of misery, prophets of doom… the list is endless.

In the face of all that, it was my wife, Penny, who spoke magical words, surprising me, as she so often does. Though she’s deeply conservative and outwardly shy, she has a way of capturing one’s attention when she chooses to speak up. “Just remember the story of the starfish,” she said. “Starfish… starfish… How’s that go again?” I knew I had heard the well-worn story before… but seeing the chance to hear her repeat it somehow gave me hope.

“You know. The old man is walking along the beach and sees the little boy throwing something back into the sea? He gets closer and closer and realizes there are hundreds of starfish littering the beach, stranded by high tide. Then he realizes… the little boy is approaching them, one by one, picking them up and hurling them back into the ocean. And remember… the old man says, ‘Little boy, this beach is miles and miles long, and there are hundreds… maybe thousands of starfish.”

I was remembering now. But I hung on her every word.

“Remember, the man says, ‘Do you really think you can make a difference with a problem as big as this one?’ And then the little boy picks up another one, studies it for a moment, then, without looking at the man, throws it back into the sea, saying to the man, ‘Well mister, I reckon it makes a difference to this one.'”

Suddenly I noticed my eyes were just a bit more moist than they had been before. I put my spoon back in my oatmeal and thought for a moment. She was right. I had been looking only at the big problem… failing to remember that… Jesus didn’t call us to minister to the masses. He called us to reach out to men and women who would in turn reach out to others. Maybe we can’t change a whole nation but if we change just one family of open hearts, then … well I reckon it’ll make a difference to them.

So as you ponder the new year and consider what kind of impact you can make today and throughout 2002, invest your life as effectively as you can… but realize that in the end, all we can ask is that God would empower us to change even one family . . . and if we can do that… we’ll make a difference.

May God bless us every one.

Doug

PS. Just the same, would you pray that God will guide me as I try to figure out how our organization can make an impact in that war-torn land? Lord willing, four of us from Team Expansion will travel there within the next two weeks. I’ll have to admit… it seems premature to me. But God has used a good friend and colleague (Tim) to open the doors. I dare not tell him no at this critical time in this new nation’s life. Please pray that God will now go before us and smooth the pathway. Thank you.

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