Tuesday, 30 August 2016

A Plethora of Advice


It's amazing that nowadays on TV, radio, the internet and in newspapers and magazines there is a plethora of advice on what you should and should not do, what you should eat or not eat, wear as the latest fashion and every other conceivable advice you can think of.

Why can't we be left alone to make our own decisions without feeling somehow guilty that we are not trendy enough to suit other peoples' lifestyles?

The latest advice on TV is that a Mediterrenean diet is much more healthy than taking a variety of medecines to ward off heart problems and other illnesses. That may well be so. We don't know whether it is diet alone that contributes to good health or whether it is also one's attitude to life and the level of stress we create for ourselves. But the fact is, not anyone can afford a Mediterrenean diet; so pointing it out as a universal panacea is hardly helpful. Especially if you live too far away to go to the Mediterrenean every day for your groceries.

We're advised that we should do a lot of walking to remain healthy. What nonsense. My grand-father, at the age of 70, took that advice to heart and went for a five miles walk every day. He is now 85 and we don't know where the hell he is.

We're told we should diet and lose weight. I agree up to a point. But we are not warned of the consequences of losing weight.

A friend of mine was well-rounded, to put it mildly. So large that he could not see his ... feet! He went on a strict diet and indeed lost a lot of weight. But the result is that he had a lot of loose skin hanging about his body in the chest and lower area. They suggested surgery where they would cut off the now extra un-required skin. He declined that offer.

Then he went to a new treatment center where they "pull up" the loose skin up his body a bit at a time, and eventulally they stretch it so much that any extra skin is then somehow tied up and hidden behind the back of his neck. This requires no surgery. Just pulling up the extra skin by some sort of rollers and then tying it up behind his head. It worked so well that now he looks twenty years younger. Unfortunately, his bellybutton (navel) is on his forehead. He has an unusual tie too.

So much for dietary advice. But it does not stop there does it? We are told by advertisers and those with vested interests on what we should wear, what type of cars we should drive, about our concerns for the environment, care for endangered species, even the kind of furniture we should have in our homes.

Did you know that in the UK 1 in 3 babies are conceived in an IKEA bed? Which is amazing considering that IKEA shops are usually well lit.

Well, I don't know about you ... how could I know about you ... I've never met you and hardly know you ... but as I was saying ... I don't know about you but I have decided to stop taking all this well intended advice from so-called experts on TV and the general media. I believe that every one who gives you advice has a hidden agenda, a personal interest in giving you that advice. They usually quote research done by this and that expert to prove their point, but they don't tell you who financed that research do they? They also quote various statistics to frighten you into action. Well, let me quote you some statistics to prove my point.

Did you know that six out of seven dwarves are not Happy?

So take my advice - don't take any notice of any advice you are given!

Monday, 29 August 2016

Strange Goings On

Something strange happened the other day. As I was asleep in bed someone turned the whole room around. The window which is on my left was put on my right and the door on my right was put on my left.

I got up from my bed at night and I fell out of the window into the fish pond below, which I might add, had just been dug out, as we do not happen to have a fish pond by the house.

As I got out of the pond totally wet I discovered that the miscreants who did all this had also transported me to a hotel several miles away from my home. To confuse me further, they had also brought my chauffeur-driven firm's car and parked it in the hotel car park. The chauffeur was nowhere to be seen at that time of night.

Fortunately, I remembered that I had a business meeting at that very same town the following morning.

The hotel receptionist who let me back in the hotel, and accompanied me all the way up to my room to open the door with her master key, said she'd been in the industry for many years, and had had many experiences, but she'd never seen anything like it before!

Has your bedroom layout ever been changed whilst you were asleep?

Thursday, 25 August 2016

A Life Well Lived

 
I was born at an early age in hospital in Wards 1, 2 and 3. I was a big baby.

My earliest memories as a child are about playing hide-and-seek with my parents. We used to wake up early and go to the woods before the trees got there. I used to close my eyes and lean against a tree and count to 100. My parents used to hide and then I'd have to find them all over Europe. I could never guess which country they had run to; but eventually I always found them.

As I grew up their attempts at teaching me the spirit of adventure never waned. I used to come home from school and find they'd moved house. My father used to take me out fishing and then let me swim all the way back to shore. He also used to encourage me to climb up a tree and then cut it down whilst I was still on top.

For my birthday one year my mother bought me a saucepan. She said it was a helmet for when I get a bicycle. I waited for ages for a bicycle and in time my head grew and got stuck solid in the saucepan.

As a child I had a dog as a pet, but it didn't move much. It was called "Sit". It wasn't as active as a pet snail I had which followed me everywhere. My favourite hobby back then was doing nothing. As a teenager I was good at doing nothing whilst standing up, sitting down or lying on my back. Whilst lying on my back doing nothing I sometimes passed out and lost consciousness. When I eventually opened my eyes I found that some time had passed. Sometimes an hour or more.

In my early twenties the priest in church encouraged me to volunteer and visit old people in an old peoples' home. Old people are funny, aren't they? They say there's no place like home and then when you put them into one they complain.

I used to visit an old lady called Dot. It was back in the days before the Internet and computers. I took her out for a walk by the beach and we took a photo by some fishing boats which were on the beach with their fishing nets drying out. I stood beside her with the nets as a backdrop. Basically it was Victor Dot Net. Which became my website address.

One day when visiting Dot I noticed she had something in her ear. I came closer to her and discovered it was suppository. 

I pulled it out and said: "Dot, you had a suppository in your ear."

She replied: "I wonder where I put my hearing aid!"

Anyway, I met a young nurse in that old people's home. She eventually became my wife and we had 4 happy years of marriage, out of 25. Not bad I suppose.

I remember one Sunday the sermon in church was from Matthew 16:21-27 where Jesus says to His disciples: “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me”.

When I got home I thought I’d do something nice. I gave my wife a big hug and a kiss, and carried her indoors.

Startled she snapped "What’s wrong with you, have you gone crazy?"

"No my dear,” I replied. "Didn’t you hear the sermon? Jesus said pick up your cross and follow Me".

I got a slap in the face and severe backache. No Sunday lunch either!

That's all folks. For now at least.
MORE MEMORIES - CLICK HERE

Thursday, 18 August 2016

VISIONS

ISBN 978 1536 976076

My first book, VISIONS has been re-launched with a new publisher and is available at half the price it was previously on sale - paperback and KINDLE. CLICK HERE

Imagine your own child, whom you love and who you have brought up well, one day tells you that he or she has seen Jesus in the park. What would you do? Would you believe them? Or would you dismiss the story as childhood fantasy? What if the child insists the story is true? Would you tell them not to repeat it for fear of ridicule or worse? Or would you stand by your child and proclaim your belief in their story.

When June, Helen and Tim see Jesus in the park news soon spreads throughout town. People react differently, some negatively. The children's parents are subjected to malicious gossip and vicious attacks. Their Parish priest has a crisis of faith. The Church wants the story hushed up. Whilst the children insist that it is true. Especially when Jesus appears again and again.

This book challenges its readers to undergo a reality check and to re-affirm their Christian beliefs. A must for every Christian.

READ SOME EXCERPTS FROM VISIONS - CLICK HERE

As the old version of VISIONS is withdrawn by AMAZON and replaced by the new book, I will lose the readers reviews that have already been made. Here's what some kind people have said:

***** A Wonderful and Powerful Spiritual Book

I found this book to be written very well. There was a "realness" to the Characters and a pertinent message for all of us. I found myself becoming friends with the Characters and feeling their emotions and becoming drawn into their lives. I also found that the spiritual message was a deep message and one that can be contemplated in our own lives.

This book definitely falls into the category of one of those books that once you begin to read it, you become captured and cannot set it down. I have told many people about the book and the message that it contains and all have enjoyed it tremendously.

You will not be disappointed with this wonderful Book.

Deacon Patrick Kearns
Roman Catholic Deacon
Sacramento Diocese, USA

***** A Must Read

I have read Visions and found it to be a book of faith, love and trust. Father Ignatius believed in the children, trusted his parishioners and respected his superiors. As a former catechism teacher I kept thinking what a wonderful book this would be for students. My niece loved the story, this book provided the opportunity for her to ask questions which her mother and I could answer making her journey of faith a little bit easier to understand.

I recommend this book to all those who want to read a wholesome story with many lessons that any age could benefit from.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Father Ignatius and his parish and certainly look forward to more stories of this wonderful priest written by Victor S.E. Moubarak, who has become a favorite author of mine.

Bernadette Wood

***** Visions

This book is captivating. The author has a wonderful way of drawing us into the story and allows us to feel emotions of compassion, understanding, and awe. The story becomes believable with every turn of the page. I was drawn into the story completely and find that it is a book full of lessons we all still need to learn.

Catherine Keller

***** An inspirational book that makes you question what you really believe

Just got done reading Visions. Whether you are a skeptic, a believer or somewhere in-between you wont be able to put this book down. Victor has a warm and inviting writing style that is filled with both humor and knowledge. I found myself laughing at all the "across the pond" sayings, which only made me love the book more. Came back to order another, but just had to write a review first.

JustKiminNC 

It's really a pity that I will lose these and other readers' reviews from AMAZON as the old version is withdrawn and the new one replaced. 

But there's good news. How about you writing a nice review of VISIONS for me to encourage other people to read it? 

To buy VISIONS and to write a review please CLICK HERE


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

On Being Invisible

It's amazing how, as we go through life, we happen not to see certain people or certain situations right under our nose. It's as if some people are totally invisible.

Let me explain.

I could be sitting on a bus, or a train, peacefully reading my newspaper when people sitting around me start talking as if I am not there. This happened the other day.

I was on a long train journey and I sat in one of those old fashioned trains where they have small compartments seating six people, with a sliding door which you can shut for privacy. I was alone in the compartment reading in peace. At the next station stop, the door of the compartment slid open and in entered two women; I would guess they were in their thirties. As the train moved on they started talking. It was obvious they knew each other from work because the conversation started about their supervisor and how they did not like him. Then the conversation moved on to how they spent their weekend. Then it became more personal as they discussed their respective boy-friends. Then it got even more personal as one declared that she had an itch somewhere private.

I shuffled my newspaper a few times, turning the pages hurriedly to make my presence obvious. To no avail. They continued chatting away totally oblivious, or un-caring about me being there. This went on for a good 45 minutes or so when eventually one of them got off at her home station. The other then turned to me and mentioned how it's been good weather lately. This is an inane comment we usually make in the UK when we have nothing to talk about. But I was pleased she spoke. It confirmed that I was not totally invisible.

On another occasion, some years back, I helped a friend of mine who owned a restaurant by serving at tables. I took food orders and served people their food.

You know how waiters can often become invisible? Well, it happened to me.

There were these two men discussing something or other political. One thought this way, and the other felt it was another way. I took their order whilst they continued their discussion. I served them their food, and as I came to their table many times, they just generally ignored me, gave me a cursory glance and thanked me when I poured them some wine, but continued discussing their political view-points.

When I had served their whole meal and they were eating and still discussing; I pulled up a chair and sat at their table and joined in the conversation.

I sided with one of them and said he was generally right in his opinions. To my surprise they both welcomed my view and I found myself joining their debate. At one point one of them asked me to get a glass and have some wine with them!

The other day I was in an elevator going up a block of offices. On the second floor the elevator stopped and a young couple, man and woman, came in. It was obvious they were lovers because as soon as the elevator door shut they started kissing. Why is it the young generation these days think nothing of kissing and cuddling in public? Back in the day, if you wanted to kiss your girl-friend you had to send her a written notice a fortnight in advance. No anymore. Nowadays, apparently, you have to be spontaneous and be friendly with your girl whenever and wherever you want.

They'll never let us in that supermarket again! 

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Doubts

Doubts are necessary to strengthen our Faith.

When God asked us to love Him, He didn’t want to force us in anyway. He wanted us to choose freely whether to love Him or not.

That’s why He allows doubts to creep in our minds from time to time. They help us to get to know Him better. We ask questions, we learn from the answers we find, we get closer to Him. Just like any other relationship; the more you know about the other person the closer you get to him or her.

Of course, too much doubt can make us lose our Faith altogether. The devil would be glad of that. That’s why he plays with our doubts and adds more to them; in order to confuse us and lead us astray.

We must learn to control our doubts, and use them to our benefit not the devil’s. When we have doubts about our Faith, we should not fear them but we should pray for guidance from our Lord.

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

Friday, 5 August 2016

Curve Ball


No doubt many a priest has faced a complicated or perhaps a trick question from time to time from a member of his congregation. Never mind … it’s part of their job I suppose.

Remember that Jesus faced many a curve-ball by His opponents trying to catch Him out.

Father Ignatius is no exception.

He was visiting one of his parishioners in hospital the other day and quite unexpectedly came the curve-ball. It wasn’t meant in a malicious way at all; but more as a cry of help from a tired old body.

“You know Father,” said the patient lying in his hospital bed, “this is the third time this year that I’ve landed in hospital. It’s one check-up after another … and these wretched doctors can’t find what’s wrong with me!

“I sometimes think that God has it in for me.

“Do you think he loves all people the same? Because I can’t see it myself. Here I am in hospital yet again … whilst others are OK and walking out there freely.

“I think He has favorites and He looks after them better than others.

“What do you think Father; does God love every one the same?”

“No.” said Father Ignatius firmly.

The patient laughed.

“Now there’s a surprise … I thought you’d give me a lot of platitudes about us all being equal in the eyes of God; we’re all His children, and He loves us all the same … and yet you agree with me. Bravo Father Ignatius. So God does not love us the same. He has His favorites.”

“I did not say that,” replied the priest sitting by his friend’s bedside.

“Explain yourself then,” said the patient jovially.

“God does love us all,” continued Father Ignatius, “and His love has no favors towards one individual as opposed to the next. He loves us all equally in the sense that He created us all and He loves us even though we might sin and distance ourselves from Him.

“Yet His love is not the same towards everyone.”

“How so …” asked the patient with a glint of humor in his eyes.

“He loves each one of us according to our needs,” said Father Ignatius gently, “like an earthly parent would do.

“You have three children Fred; and I’m sure you love all three of them. You have no favorites.”

Fred nodded silently.

“However,” continued Father Ignatius, “let us imagine two of your children were very bright and would one day follow in your footsteps and manage your business. Whilst the third is perhaps less business minded, not very academic, and interested in doing his own thing … you’d still love him would you not?”

“Yes, of course. You know that Father!” said Fred sitting up in his bed.

“I know you would … but let’s take the analogy a little further. Suppose for instance one of your children had been born with an incurable illness … you would not love him any more, or any less than the other two; would you? You’d love them all the same but differently. If you see what I mean.”

“I think I do …” said the man with a smile.

“God loves all of us according to our needs.

“For example, some people are born very bright, and are well educated whilst others are not.

“I see them in church every Sunday. Some of our parishioners are well versed about religion and their walk with the Lord; whilst others, through a variety of circumstances, perhaps related to their background and up-bringing, are poorer in spirit. Their Faith and knowledge of the Lord is not as advanced as say, a theologian.

“Sure they believe and love the Lord; but their spirituality is simpler compared to others’. Because that’s all they know; that’s all they are able to comprehend.

“They love God, and pray as simply as they’ve been taught; and they try to obey His Word as best they can.

“Does God love them any the less than say an educated priest, a bishop or cardinal who have studied incessantly and are, supposedly, more pious?”

Fred laughed heartily at the mention of more pious clergy.

“I suppose not … He must love them all the same amount,” said Fred.

“Exactly … He loves them the same amount; but differently … each according to their need.

“And one more thing …” continued Father Ignatius, “He expects more from those who are educated and should know better.

“To those who have been given much, more is expected of them.

“So the educated clergy are expected to set a particularly good example to those they are meant to guide to Heaven … so I’d better watch out I suppose.”

Fred smiled as a nurse approached and interrupted the discussion.

“I have the results of your tests, Mr Temple,” she said indicating a private conversation.

“Oh don’t mind him …” chuckled Fred, “he’s a priest. He can always give me the last Sacrament before you dispatch me off!”

“Well sir … you are a little anemic and you need a lot of rest. It’s nothing serious and we’ll have you on your feet and out of here in no time” she said.

“That’s great … thank you” replied Fred as the nurse left.

“You see Fred,” said Father Ignatius, “God does love you differently. He obviously thought you needed to listen to a private sermon.

“One to one personal attention. You can’t have better than that!”

MORE FATHER IGNATIUS STORIES IN THIS BOOK

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