Saturday 30 August 2014

When all hope is lost

Perhaps one of the most tragic and damaging thing that can befall anyone is the loss of hope. Whatever our situation may be, if we lose hope, if we cannot see the prospect of our situation changing for the better, we are in danger of shutting down completely and accepting the inevitable outcome.

We live in difficult times. Financial crises are affecting many people. Millions are losing their jobs, their homes and their livelihood.

Those aged fifty or more would find it very difficult to find a comparable job again, if indeed they can find any job at all. More tragically, the thousands of youngsters leaving colleges and universities with good qualifications, and little prospects of employment. They feel cheated. They did what they were advised to do. They stayed in education, they worked hard, they probably amassed large debts and loans to help sustain them whilst they studied – and now there are no jobs to go to.

There are of course other circumstances which can lead us to lose hope, besides lack of work. Illness for instance, broken relationships with no prospect of reconciliation, addictions, failures etc … all can lead us to the temptation to just give up.

Where’s all this leading to? – I hear you ask.

I’d like you for a moment to consider some facts.

Whatever happens in life one thing is for certain: God is still in control. He is not hiding away behind the settee crying: “Woe woe … look at what is happening out there!”

He is in total control of the situation which He has allowed to happen, and which, in most circumstances, we have created for ourselves.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews knew what he was saying when he wrote: To have Faith is to be sure of the things we hope for … (Hebrews 11).

And the important thing, whatever our circumstances, is to hold on to that Faith and to believe, in all certainty, that God is in control. And to thank Him and praise Him for being in control. To re-affirm and acknowledge our belief that He is in control.

By doing so, somehow, we open a channel for God to turn our situation to the good. I’ve seen this happen several times.

Think of the alternative. By turning our back on God, by ignoring Him, blaming Him even for our situation – He will hardly feel inclined to help us. Will He? Of course, He’ll remain in control, waiting for us, with Fatherly patience, love and understanding, for the moment we return to Him like the prodigal son and be welcomed in His arms.

But what do you do if someone else has lost hope – even though you may not have yourself?

Preaching will not help. It may drive them further away.

Love, sympathy, compassion, whatever practical help you can offer may well help a little.

But most important is prayer. Silent prayer even. Without them knowing about it.

Let your Faith and your hope work for them. Even though they may have little or no Faith at all, your Faith is enough.

The best listened to and answered prayers are those we pray for other people. They show God our generosity of spirit, our love, our compassion, and most of all, our Faith in Him.

Don’t suggest solutions to God; like: “Please help him find a job”, "let him get better soon", and so on - but earnestly and in all Faith hand the situation over to Him. He knows what to do, in His time and in His own way.

Just say: “Thy will be done” and mean it.

And watch His miracles at work.

Thursday 28 August 2014

The soup waved at me ...

My latest book ... 

The soup waved at me!” is a unique book in many respects. It is a collection of amusing short stories aimed at making you smile, laugh, or knock your socks off – the choice is yours. The book is unique in that it has been written slowly to help readers who cannot read fast. 

It also contains a generous serving of punctuations to enable readers to stop and take a rest in long sentences. I have also introduced the never used before double comma which looks like this ,, and allows you to stop reading a little longer and take a rest. 

This is the book which some people are talking about. The others are either still reading it or have not yet read it.

The soup waved at me!” can be equally enjoyed whilst lying comfortably in a hot bubble bath listening to your favourite music, or standing in a warm shower holding your electronic tablet in your hand. Assuming of course that it is waterproof – the tablet, not your hand. So sit back, or stand up, relax, and be prepared for an experience you’ve never imagined possible. 

Download your FREE copy ... yes FREE ... from HERE.

Kindle Version HERE.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

At the Hospital ...

One time I got sick and landed in the hospital. There was this one nurse that just drove me crazy. Every time she came in, she would talk to me like I was a little child.
She would say in a patronizing tone of voice... "And how are we doing this morning?"
Or... "Are we ready for a bath?" Or... "Are we hungry?"

I had had enough of this particular nurse. One day at breakfast, I took the apple juice off the tray and put it in my bedside stand.

Later I was given a urine sample bottle to fill for testing.

So you know where the apple juice went! The nurse came in a while later, picked up the urine sample bottle, looked at it and said... ‘My, my, it seems we are a little cloudy today.”

At this, I snatched the bottle out of her hand, popped off the top, and gulped it down, saying... "Well, I'll run it through again. Maybe I can filter it better this time!"

The nurse fainted... I just smiled!

Monday 25 August 2014

Ladies ... Please Fight Fair !!!


It says so in the Bible.

If two men are having a fight
and the wife of one
tries to help her husband
by grabbing hold of
the other man's genitals,
show her no mercy ...
So there !!!

Friday 15 August 2014

Infallible Pope?

So ... is the Pope infallible or not? Does he really not make any mistakes? When I was young at school and we were taught about the Pope's infallibility in Catechism class, we assumed that it meant he was good at Maths and he knew all the capitals of the world. He was also good at science, languages and everything; and never made mistakes. Because he is infallible.

The Pope's infallibility is a subject sometimes raised by non-Catholics when discussing our Faith and beliefs.

What we have perhaps not made clear is what we mean by the Pope's infallibility.

In effect it means that he is totally dependable and fail-safe when pronouncing Catholic dogma which we are to accept and believe. This is known as speaking "ex cathedra" - that is, when in the exercise of his office as pastor and teacher of all Christians he defines, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.

In all of our Church's history this speaking ex cathedra has only happened twice.

In the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December 1854, Pope Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary "in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin."

That is to say, the Virgin Mary was born without original sin.

This is not in the Bible, but a dogma of the Catholic Church.

About 100 years later, by promulgating the Bull Munificentissimus Deus, on 1 November 1950, Pope Pius XII declared infallibly that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was a dogma of the Catholic Faith.

That is to say that she was raised to Heaven both body and soul. Her body did not decay in the ground as would happen if buried.

Again, this is not in the Bible, but Catholic dogma.

At no other time did a Pope speak ex cathedra.

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Welcome to hell !!!

Not much is spoken about the devil these days. When’s the last time you heard speaking of him in a sermon on Sunday?

His job description is easy: Keep people away from God.

And by keeping silent about him, is not the Church unwittingly complicit in the devil’s attempts to make us believe he does not really exist?

Our world is full of temptations to lure us away from God and all it takes is a slight diversion of attention, a momentary loss of focus, and we can so easily drift away.

If the devil had the audacity to tempt Jesus we should not be much of a challenge to him. 

When Jesus was tempted, several times, He prayed to His Father as we should too, using His words:

“And lead us not into temptation … but deliver us from evil.”

Monday 11 August 2014

Hello Sinners!

Hello Sinners ... how are you?

I've often wondered if I held a Sinners Convention how many people would turn up. Not many I suppose and I'd lose a lot of money hiring the venue and having refreshments ready.

The reason I suppose is because most of us don't consider ourselves to be sinners. Not big ones anyway. For the most part, we all believe we're good people deep down and we will eventually go to Heaven, because we're good really! It's all a matter of time.

I mean ... when is the last time you killed someone?

Or robbed a bank?

Or embezzled from your employer or business?

Or coveted your neighbour's wife/husband, or ass? (I must admit I'm very envious of my neighbour's roses. Why does he grow better flowers than me?)

OK ... I know ... some people do cheat on their partners and think nothing of it. It's their right to be happy in life is it not? (Or so they think!)

And that's where the problem lies ... "or so they think".

They believe that a slight flirtation is OK. They think that having a fixation on materialism is harmless really. What's wrong with having a big house, car, plenty of jewellery or whatever? What's wrong with gossiping and telling tales about other people? It's harmless fun. So what if they don't have time to look after elderly parents living alone? They live too far anyway, and life is busy these days with work, looking after the kids and so on. Don't tell me that taking the odd bit of stationery home from work is wrong. Or some other bits and pieces from our employers. It's not stealing is it? Not like robbing a bank. And what's wrong with having a long lunch hour? Or getting to work late or leaving early? Really!

And anyway ... these are all small sins, if sins at all. Not like killing and really stealing which are in the Ten Commandments.

No wonder not many would attend my Sinners Convention ... or so I'm told.

Perhaps some people are sleep-walking their way into hell.

Saturday 9 August 2014

Buoy ... oh buoy

Imagine you’re a child taken by your parents to the beach, or the swimming pool. You’ve never been near so much water before. But it’s time to try … hesitantly, encouraged by a grown up, you splash water everywhere in a panic, and you hold tight to the buoy they’ve given you for safety.

Clever thing the buoy – a ring filled with air able to hold you up when you’re drowning.

Every rescue boat has some on board and every ship is equipped with several – just in case.

But what about when we’re on terra firma so to speak? When we go about our way throughout our lives.

We often encounter many dangers and difficulties, be they of our own making or they “just happen” as they often do.

Crises like sudden illness, loss of work, relationship breakdowns, financial hardships and so on. You name it, most of us have encountered it.

We panic, we splash about, we try to hold tight to someone for help – a relative, a friend, just anyone before we loose control and drown in the depth of our own personal crisis.

And as we struggle to keep our head above water we forget what we should do instinctively … reach out to God.

A drowning man instinctively reaches out to a buoy for safety. So does a child in a pool.

And so should we – instinctively, in full confidence, we should know in every crisis that He is there, ready to help.

Every hesitant minute which delays our reaching out to Him is a wasted minute drifting us away from His omnipotent presence.

Oh ... and one more thing ...

When Peter got off the boat and walked towards Jesus on the waves he succeeded for a moment or two because he was focussed on Christ. The moment his focus moved away to the waves and the sea he began to sink.

What's the point having a Leader who walks on water if we are not prepared to follow Him?

Thursday 7 August 2014

Fragile Faith


Some people have great Faith and no matter what may befall them, their Faith does not waver. It is as strong as ever.

Other people however are different. They believe alright, but at the first sign of difficulties they hesitate, and doubts take over, and shake their Faith somewhat.

How does God view these latter people? Does He despair, as Jesus did when His disciples hesitated and could not drive out a demon from a sick child? Matthew 17: 14-21.

Let’s imagine you’re a parent of several children. One of them is academically gifted and does well at his studies; he is also very athletic and excels at many sports. The other child is more pedestrian; a slow learner who is neither academically gifted nor interested in much in particular.

Do you love them equally? Do you pay as much care and attention to both? Do you encourage the gifted one more than the other? Or do you nurture and look after the slower child more to help him gain confidence and improve?

God loves us all equally; yet He knows our abilities and our limitations. He knows that some of us have a fragile Faith that may well falter under pressure. Yet, like Jesus, He may well raise His eyes to Heaven in frustration, but He never stops loving us. He never stops encouraging us to do better, and increase out trust in Him. He allows incidents to happen in our lives to give us an opportunity to trust Him more and more.

It’s the outright rebellious and disobedient He disapproves of – not the hesitant “tryer” who tries his best yet his weak Faith lets him down.

“I believe, Lord; help my unbelief.” Mark 9:24.

Monday 4 August 2014

Rabbit cat and dog