for goodness' sake

Friday, March 30, 2007

Free Hugs

Check out this cool story of a hug-athon gone global. After you've smiled and felt the love a little bit, go to YouTube and watch the video, cum Kleenex!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Heimlich Dog

Maryland canine, Toby, saved his owner by doing the doggy version of the Heimlich maneuver when she choked on a piece of apple. Debbie Parkhurst and Toby have now been invited to be on loads of talk shows around the US, but I doubt she's showing everybody the doggy-footprint bruises on her chest. Debbie's living and breathing, though, so she probably really doesn't mind those black and blue marks! In fact, she said, "'They say dogs leave a paw print on your heart. He left a paw print on my heart, that's for sure.'"

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

That's So Cheesy!

Cheddar is one of my favorite foods of all times, and now you can log on to a Web site and watch a hunk of the stuff maturing at a not-very-rapid rate. This site has already had 400,000 visitors from around the world, if you can believe that. The description of the final product as "the color of an old gravestone" doesn't make it sound very appetizing, but the yummy colossal slab will be auctioned off later for charity.

Homeless to Home-full

Genshiro Kawamoto is one of Japan's richest people, and has recently decided to spread the wealth to some native Hawaiians who have hit hard times. Kawamoto is letting eight families stay in eight of his multi-million dollar homes in Honolulu, saying they can stay for up to ten years. Everybody's happy (except for the neighbors, but they can get over it)! Read more about it here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Going Bananas

I know it's been a couple of weeks since I posted last, but that doesn't mean good things haven't been happening!

Usually I write small snippets about positive stories I've found elsewhere on the Web, but today I wanted to share a few good things that have been going on in my own life recently.

My little family unit has had a visitor from Bethel Church in California staying with us the past week. April came to our area of Japan with about fifteen others to bless people here (and I think I was one of the most encouraged).

The Bethel team saw many miraculous healings and people set free from mental and spiritual bondage. If that isn't good news, I don't know what is! April prayed for a woman who actually hadn't been able to hold her own eyes open (due to a muscular-atrophying disease), and after the prayer, the lady was ecstatic to be able to see through eyes held open by healed muscles.

One night the group went to downtown Osaka to walk around and pray for people on the streets. April plus two others were in a small separate group, and they met a guy skateboarding by himself. April prayed for words to build him up and encourage him, and what came out of her mouth was exactly what he needed to hear. His face lit up in surprise that she knew what he was thinking and feeling. Only the true God can do such miracles as these.

Personally, I saw God today at the supermarket (which is something April prayed over me before she left - another miracle in itself - and she also prayed we would meet angels). Have you ever cried at a produce stand? No, I haven't either - until today.

Matthew, my one-year-old son, and I were out on a walk, and after we stopped at the post office to pay some bills (which is what you do in Japan), I stopped at the Co-op grocery store to pick up a few things. The lobby of the store has a few small shops: a flower shop, small cafe, and vegie and fruit stands. I was in line at the fruit stand to buy some strawberries and lemons, and the elderly man paying for his things at the counter kept looking at Matthew and telling me how cute he was.

This man was full of contrasts: His face was all smiles and his eyes crinkled when he talked, but his clothes told another story. He wore plastic flip-flops (though it's really cold today) and dirty worn-out jacket and trousers.

While I was paying, I turned around and noticed the stroller-bound Matthew was holding some bananas, which I thought maybe he had pulled off the shelf, but the banana section was farther away than Matthew's little arms. The old man told me he loves children and wanted to get the fruit for Matthew. Before I knew what he was doing, he quickly paid the lady at the register and was out the door before I could properly thank him. He must not have even waited for a receipt, it was all so fast (he was mighty spry for such an old guy). I just stood staring after him, with tears in my eyes. I should have been buying his food for him, but instead, I was blessed with a beautiful gift!

Was he an angel? I'll probably never know, but that incident certainly pulled me out of my self-contained reverie and focused my eyes on God in a way they haven't been focused in a while.

You know what else is strange about all this? Up to now Matthew hasn't even liked bananas, but he gobbled some up at lunch today after we got home.

Truth is stranger (and better) than fiction.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Cool (Kidney) Beans

This is way inspiring: A Methodist minister in Philly has given a kidney to a Jewish rabbi! They're both ambassadors for an organ-donor organization, and this was one heck of a way to promote their mission.


This is a big week for captive animals being released into real-nature settings. It was the manatee father-and-son pair the other day, and now seventeen captive-bred gazelles have been set free in Saudi Arabia.

Pretty wild!


Did you know that the sun, moon, and earth lined up last week? I knew it was coming, but sadly, we couldn't see it from here in Japan. I hope we'll be able to partake of the next eclipse in August!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Man Oh Manatees!

Being from Florida, it just so happens that manatees are one of my absolute favorite animals of all times. They're big, they're blubbery, they're slow, they're vegetarians, and they are soooo adorable.

Gene and Dundee, father and son, have just been released back into the wild after more than thirty years in captivity. I've been swimming at Blue Springs State Park (where Gene and Dundee now reside), have seen some of these massive mammals there, and really wanted to take one home.

But my bathtub is just my size, and actually sounds really inviting right now.

Toddler Finds Cashola in Book

Another reason to teach your children to love reading from an early age. Read more here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Colorized, Not Polarized

I found the love story of Rudy and Kafi Carrasco deeply moving, profoundly encouraging, and wonderfully powerful.

When Rudy, a Mexican-American from LA, and Kafi, an African-American who grew up in Brooklyn, met several years ago, they spent hours discussing a paper of Rudy's about injustice. Now they are living in a racially tense area of California, and their marriage is a beautiful example of intercultural unity.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Audrey's Dress

The sale of the late Audrey Hepburn's famous black dress from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" has funded the building of fifteen schools in India, HappyNews reports. Two-hundred children will be able to attend just one of the schools recently built.

As she was a UNICEF ambassador, I think Ms. Hepburn would've been proud.