Thursday 22 October 2015

Genesis - Without Phil Collins

GENESIS Chapter 2 Verse 18-19

God took some soil from the ground and made the birds and animals and brought them to Adam so he can name them.

At first, Adam was very hesitant, and as each animal passed in front of him he mumbled monosyllables: "Ant, bee, cat, dog, cow, pig ..." and so on.

In time, he became more adventurous and used longer words, "giraffe, horse, llama, tiger, panther, zebra ..." and so on.

But there were many animals and birds, not to mention all the fishes in the sea, still to be named. So Adam grew tired and he could hardly keep his eyes open. When the next animal walked by him he said "Hippopotamus amphibius or Choeropsis liberiensis or Hexaprotodon liberiensis depending on the size of the animal."

At which point God hit Adam on the head with a dead bat and said "Don't be too clever, lad!"

And that's how we got the word Hippopotamus.

Make sure you spell it correctly.

And don't abbreviate it to Hippo. For Adam's sake!

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Christ's Prayer for us

Just before He was arrested, Jesus prayed for His disciples. (John 17).

Then He prayed for us – yes, you and me. He said:

“I pray not only for them, (the disciples), but also for those who believe in me because of their message. I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me.” John 17: 20-21.

Let me repeat the last bit and write it in bold:

"May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me."

Two thousand years later Christians are still disagreeing with each other. The more we dispute on minor things the more we throw doubts and confusion on the Christian message to this world.

You may wish to Donate A Prayer HERE

Saturday 17 October 2015

Everything I Own

You sheltered me from harm 
Kept me warm, kept me warm 
You gave my life to me 
Set me free, set me free 

The finest years I ever knew 
Were all the years I had with you And... 

I would give anything I own 
Give up my life, my heart, my home 
I would give ev'rything I own 
Just to have you back again 

You taught me how to love 
What it's of, what it's of 
You never said too much 
But still you showed the way 

And I knew from watching you 
Nobody else could ever know 
The part of me that can't let go 


(Repeat chorus) 

Just to touch you once again

Friday 16 October 2015

Embarrassing Shopping

When you go shopping at the supermarket and you are pushing your trolley along, putting something in every now and then according to your shopping list, do you cover up some items, the cheap ones perhaps, with more expensive ones until you get to the checkout?

I do hate to meet people in the supermarket when I am shopping, don't you? I mean, people I know, not just ordinary shoppers.

You have to stop and say hello and pretend to be interested when all you want to do is get your shopping done and get out of the shop as quickly as possible. And worse still when you see their eyes looking downwards at your trolley and noticing that you bought some cheap item or other instead of the best brand available on the shelf. And you're such a miser that you bought the "buy one get one free" offer of coffee which is no more than burnt horse manure and not one coffee bean has been used in its making.

Or even more worse still, when I get to meet the priest at the supermarket and he eyes the brand of whisky I have just bought, or the quality wines and beer; and I always pretend that I don't drink really. "It's just in case someone visits us at home, Father. Honestly! And don't take that as a hint of an invitation. This whisky is mine and mine alone. You can have the cheap one when you visit us. I always decant it into an empty bottle with an expensive label on!"

Anyway, where is all this leading to, I hear you ask. Yes ... I can hear you all right.

Well, the other day I was at the supermarket and I bumped into a lady friend from work. She's a lively young thing of about thirty or so, always bubbly and laughing. We stopped and talked, about work ... what else. As we're standing there chatting I notice that in her trolley there were no fewer than six packets of condoms of various types and quality/flavour (???)

She had made no effort whatsoever to hide them under the large packet of cornflakes or the super big box of energy drinks cans.

Six packets containing five condoms each equates to quite a lot of exercise for her and her husband or boyfriend, I thought.

As we were talking inanely about work she noticed from my eyes that I had noticed what was lying there on top of her trolley.

She picked up a packet and said "These are our favourite brand, if you were wondering! Which ones do you use?"

As I said ... I hate meeting people in the supermarket. Whether I know them or not.

Which supermarket do you go to and when, so I can avoid meeting you?

Monday 12 October 2015

... And then we die ...

OK ... let's face it. The two things we can't avoid are paying taxes and death. Although avoiding taxes can perhaps be illegal and get us in deep trouble. Death on the other hand is quite natural and comes to all of us sooner or later.

The problem is how do we dispose of the remains when a creature has died.

Normally, if you happen to have a small pet like a budgie or a hamster or such like, and it dies on you, the thing to do is to bury it in the garden and say a little prayer. It's a simple and perhaps gentle way to introduce young ones to the inevitability that we all die. You tell them that their budgie is now in Heaven where mirrors are bigger and never get dirty and you never have to clean the cage because in Heaven budgies no longer poo. Or their hamster is in Heaven enjoying the biggest wheel he could ever imagine.

If it is the goldfish that dies the simple way is to flush it down the toilet and say that it has now gone to a watery Heaven were water never needs to be changed and the tank is as big as eternity itself. Or lies to that effect.

A word of warning however: never try to flush large items down the toilet. I tried it with a dead cat once and we had the biggest blockage you could imagine. Cost us a lot in plumbers' fees.

Whatever you do; death must be treated with dignity at all times.

I remember once I went to the funeral of a friend of mine who throughout life was a clown at the local circus. When he died, they dressed him up in his clown outfit and painted his face just as he always looked when performing; big smile and all.

Although dignified in appearance, unfortunately his funeral was not so in execution. When they drove him to church the hearse he was in kept honking every few minutes, the engine went "bang" every now and then, the doors fell off, the steering wheel came off in the hands of Coco the clown driving it, and smoke came out the back.

When they laid him in his coffin they could not put the lid on because his big feet protruded upright from the box.
The funeral cort├Ęge consisted of other clowns following him, as well as an elephant, a zebra, a juggler juggling and a half-naked woman carrying a large python amongst other circus type people.

At the cemetery, when they lowered him into the ground, he kept popping up and down like a toy clown in a box.

Most people, of course, decide that when they die they will either be buried or cremated. Some decide to leave their bodies to science or donate their organs; which is a generous and laudable thing to do. Others prefer to be buried at sea. Whatever is decided it is always done in a dignified way.

How about being somewhat adventurous, however, and have a memorable funeral? Like being catapulted at speed from a mountain top and far away into the sea? Or being tied to a strong elastic band and bounced up and down from a platform into a shark infested pool? Inventive and very memorable I should say.

And one more last thing. When you get to meet Our Lord, as surely you will, take with you a book of jokes to put Him in a good mood before He pronounces on your fate.

Finally ... here's a short video I made which treats this whole subject with real dignity.

Friday 9 October 2015

Eating Healthy

I don't know what it's like where you happen to live, but over here in the UK we've been encouraged for some time by health experts to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. This has lately been increased to seven portions a day because of inflation.

Personally, I think seven, or even five, portions of fruit and vegetables is far too much for anyone to take. Can you imagine munching on a carrot, an apple, a piece of broccoli or spinach, a banana perhaps, (that makes four) and a box of chocolates with fruit centers? That's only five! Still two more portions of this healthy food and I won't have any room for steak and french fries, or pizza or a burger in a large bun.

Obviously the thing to ask these health experts is what do they mean by a portion. Apparently it is the amount of fruit or vegetables which you can hold in the palm of your hand.

So having a large watermelon or a pineapple is OK then; is it?

But before we scoff at this advice given to us in order to lead long and healthy lives, let us look at the science behind the advice.

According to studies carried out by nutriologists and such like boffins the proof of healthy eating is overwhelming.

They had two groups of 50 people. One group of 50 was fed seven portions of fruits and vegetables daily for a period of five years; and the other group of 50 were totally deprived of these items for the same period.

At the end of the five years, out of the group who ate fruits and vegetables daily, two were hit by a bus and died, one drowned when he fell off a bridge, and another broke his leg when he fell off a ladder. The rest did not live any longer than those who did not eat fruits and vegetables, but it sure seemed like it.

Yet the scientists do not relent in their advice to eat fruits and vegetables.

They say the advantage of eating so much vegetation will make us live long enough for our families to despise us and put us in an old peoples' home.

And once there, the staff will care for us so that our relatives don't have to. And to humour us, the staff will no longer force us to have seven portions of fruits and vegetables daily; which will eventually shorten our longevity proving once again that scientists were right in recommending so much fruits and vegetables in our diets.

So there you are. You can either accept experts' advice on this subject or not. Personally, I think it is dangerous to read too much between the lines, especially if you are standing in a railway station.

Thursday 1 October 2015

The Wedding Reception

I know that you dear readers often smile, or laugh at, my misadventures. But last week's was one of my worst, I tell you.

Last Saturday we were invited at the wedding of some friends of ours. We had not seen them for some years, and they live a distance away - but hey ... we received the invitation by post and we accepted. After the marriage ceremony in Church we jumped in the car and drove to the appointed hotel where the reception was to take place.

I tell you ... this was the biggest and largest hotel in the whole world. If you could transplant it from its position and put it somewhere else it would cover the whole of Texas. That's how big it was. When we entered the main entrance hall it was so huge you could see for miles around. The chandeliers hanging from the ceiling were as big as planets.

Anyway, as we entered the hotel, I decided to go to the rest room. I asked the family to go on ahead to the reception and I would join them later.

FIRST MISTAKE - When I got out of the rest room I took the wrong turning and went to the wrong reception. Did I tell you the hotel was huge? Well, there were two wedding receptions taking place at the same time; and I didn't know, did I? So I went to the wrong one.

As I entered this big hall where the reception was, I looked left and right for my family. Obviously, I could not find them, because they were not there. They were at the proper wedding reception we had been invited to; somewhere else in this big hotel.

I walked around the wedding guests trying to find my family and I bumped into two colleagues from work. A husband and wife. What were they doing there? Obviously, by coincidence, they had been invited to the other wedding taking place in this hotel.

They said "Hi" and we started chatting about work; what else. I thought I was at the right wedding reception and thought nothing was wrong.

We discussed various projects we were involved in and whether we would save money if we bought large paper clips instead of small ones and save by buying fewer of them. This of course depended on how many bits of paper we have to clip together at a given point in time. But who cares? Whilst talking I was surreptitiously looking left and right for my family and pretending to be engaged in conversation.

Moments later a man in uniform asked us in a loud voice to take our seats at the tables. He explained that there were no set places. We could sit where we wanted to. Tables were set for groups of six and there were plenty of them to sit at.

My work colleagues, thinking I was alone at the wedding, invited me to sit at their table. They said I could meet their new friends who were into nude skiing in the Alps. Quite invigorating, they said.

Thinking that my family was also sitting with other friends, I decided to sit with my work colleagues. The discussion, as expected, was about naked skiing and how liberated they felt coming down the mountains and airing their differences. I sat there politely wondering about the risk of frostbite to one's extremities with all that snow and icy winds blowing around the Alps. Perhaps I should have asked them whether they ski with all the other people, or whether there is an area reserved for nudists who want to expose their bits to each other as well as the elements. 

The meal was OK I suppose, except I did not particularly enjoy the ice cream for dessert. The very thought of all that naked skiing in the snow sent a chill down my spine.

It wasn't until the best man stood up to toast the newly weds that I realised I was at the wrong wedding. Did I mention it was a big hotel?

Our table was right at the end of the hall; so I could not see the top table very well from where we were sitting. So when the best man stood up and asked for silence, then he toasted the newly weds, I realised that the names he mentioned were not our friends' at all. I suddenly got a brain freeze. Must have been the ice cream, I suppose. For a moment I could not work out what was going on.

SECOND MISTAKE - I made an excuse to leave the table.

My first thought was that we'd come to the wrong hotel. No one had told me there were two weddings here in the same hotel, did they?

I went to the Reception Desk and asked if my family had left a message for me. They hadn't.

I phone home. No reply.

I phoned all the cell-phones in our family. All switched off. What's the use of switched off phones? I ask you.

For some stupid reason, I went back to the reception hall I'd just left and looked around. What's the point? I was at the wrong wedding anyway, so my family wouldn't be there would they? Unless they had made the same mistake as me; which they hadn't. At this point, conscience I suppose, I felt guilty for having eaten a meal at a wedding which I had not been invited to. Do I have to confess this, I thought. Well, I hadn't finished the ice cream, for reasons already mentioned. So that must diminish my sinful culpability somewhat. However, the conversation about naked skiing, and my imagination running wild at the time, must really tip the scales as far as sins are concerned.

I went back to the Reception Desk again and asked if there was a message for me. The kind assistant lady looked at me as if I was an imbecile and assured me that no one had left a message for me.

I asked her if this town had another hotel with a similar name. She smiled politely and said "No."

I mumbled incoherently that I'd attended a wedding meal just now and the married couple, for some inexplicable reason, had different names to what I expected them to have.

The Receptionist was a quick thinker and realised what had happened. She explained that there were two wedding receptions in the hotel at the same time; and politely directed me to where I should have been all along.

I found my family. The wedding meal at the reception I should have been at was already over and all the speeches had been done.

My family has still not forgiven me for all this. It wasn't my fault, I tell you.

Did I mention it was a huge hotel? And to make matters worse, the proper reception I should have been at did not have ice-cream for dessert. They had my favourite forest gateau which I missed by not being there.