Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Wednesday Stuff

Just a few random things to pass along:

The Beauty of the Philippines

Some of you may be familiar with Ganns Deen's blogs, Superblessed and Ganns Deen Online. Ganns lives in the Philippines, and he happened to mention on his blog that he is taking his wife Cathy on a birthday trip to the island of Palawan. I expressed my congrats on the trip and said something about hearing that the Philippines is a lovely country.

Ganns e-mailed me a reply that was so cool, I felt I should share it: "The Philippines is a beautiful, God-blessed place. Like any other nation, it has its pros and its cons, but there is no denying that my homeland is a breathtaking archipelago of indescribable wonder. I remember being 23 on a blustery day in Tagaytay City, looking down on Taal Volcano, a spectacular volcano within a lake, the fog gathering around the volcano's mouth, the cloudy sky above, and the still lake waters below, miles and miles of rainforest around me... I thought to myself, "Lord, I KNOW You exist. But now I BELIEVE it." That was the start of my journey to salvation. :)"

Beautiful, Ganns.

I missed Lefty Day

My left-handed friend Randy missed the official Left Handers Day on Monday...and I forgot to mention it to my left-handed son, Jonathan. Randy has some interesting thoughts on left-handedness.

(By the way, Randy's blog, Reflections in Life, is well worth checking out on a regular basis. He just started blogging recently, and his posts are always an interesting and engaging read.)

I was amazed when, at a very early age, Jon started showing a definite preference for using his left hand. No one in my family had been left-handed,although there are a few lefties scattered throughout the Swanson clan. In fact, it's said that Grandpa Gust Swanson (who died at the age of 103) was ambidexterous.

If you're a southpaw (that's a funny word, isn't it?!), any thoughts on how it's affected you? Is it a pain, or do you wear your lefthandedness proudly?

Strange Sign

My daughter and I were driving in our city the other day when we were puzzled by a sign that looked like it was hastily thrown up on a pole in a residential neighborhood. (I infer the hastiness because it was rather sloppily written.)

Anyway, the sign reads something to the effect of "The Bible says it is a sin to mark your body with tattoes."

Oh-kay. As my daughter observed, "Why, if you were going to put up a sign proclaiming a message from the Bible, would that be the message you chose? Why not something like, 'The Bible says God loves you and wants you to be saved?'"

Good question.

Quote o' The Day

Author B.J. Hoff on the literary trend of "stories without hope": "I can handle unhappy endings, even tragedy. I don’t read a novel expecting a stereotypical happy ending. Unhappiness and tragedy are all too realistic, too true to life. But the flatline character who senses no desire for connection with the world around him, who shows no awareness of the need for at least a touch of redemption–woven through a novel that’s more consumed by the author’s need to reflect his 'art,' his own brilliance, than a writer’s integrity to the story–why give it valuable hours when, having become all too accustomed to the format by now, you know you’re simply facing the same familiar emptiness at the end?"

(I couldn't agree more.)

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