Thursday 31 March 2022

What does your Blog say about you?


Someone asked me the other day, "Is yours a Christian Blog or is it meant to be a funny humourus one?"

This set me thinking. I visit a number of Blogs in my travels, and some of them are Christian in nature. You can tell by what their writers write, even if their posts describe everyday events like travelling, shopping, raising a family or whatever. You can detect a Christian message in what they say. Such Blogs are like beacons of light in a dark and secular world that is often portrayed in the Internet and social media.

You know, you don't have to be a theologian, or a pastor, vicar, priest or such like to proclaim the Word of God as you write, or as you live your life. God often uses ordinary people like you and me to help do His work on earth. He doesn't always seek out experts.

Moses was a baby who had been abandoned by his mother to save his life. He was raised in the Pharaoh's family and then had to run away as a fugitive. God asked him to go back to Egypt to set the Jews free. He felt inadequate and said he could not speak eloquently. But God used him all the same.

King David, the one who fought Goliath when he was a boy, was a simple shepherd.

Peter and his brother and other disciples were fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector. 

Paul was a tent maker from Tarsus.

None were highly educated or went to Harvard University, or Oxford or Cambridge.

But God used them. He gave them the courage to speak out, and the knowledge on what to say and how and when to say it. Through these simple people, and others, God's message spread throughout the world and lives on to this day.

Mother Teresa left home at age 18 to become a nun.The rest is history. 

Thérèse of Lisieux at the early age of 15 became a nun and became highly influential in the Church.

I am sure you can name other people who are from humble beginnings, not particularly well-educated or someone important in the church, yet they have made their mark in society and history as a beacon of light proclaiming Christianity to a world that needs it.

I reckon your Blog is, or could be, such an inspiration to others. Each one of you is special. You all have the power to be that one lit candle that brightens up a dark room. If you want to.

Wednesday 30 March 2022


I suppose it happens to all of us; and it is not an age related thing; it could happen at any age: Absent Mindedness.

We all lead busy lives and it is understandable if sometimes we forget things. Appointments, dates, birthdays, that sort of thing. They say elephants never forget. I don't think this is true. I have never received a birthday card from an elephant.

I know I can be forgetful. I forgot my wife's birthday once. She's never let me forget it ever again! I now also remember our wedding day. 

Do you remember in the olden days when in marriage ceremonies they used to say the word "obey"? They don't do that any more. Pity. It used to lend a little humour to the occasion!

I tend to forget little things. Like spending ages preparing a shopping list and then going to the supermarket without the list. Or going into a room at home and forgetting why I went there. Or going to the bathroom upstairs and then realising that we live in a one-floor bungalow.

Sometimes with forgetfulness the brain compensates by giving you good memories of past events. I'll never forget the time when a skunk got under the house and my grand-father went under to get him. It smelled bad for months. I remember, that was the last time we saw grand-dad!

If you've been drinking it is so much easier to forget. Somehow, drink helps memory loss. Years ago I was alone at home and I had a few drinks. The cat came into the house and it had brought in a mouse which it had killed. I picked up the mouse by the tail and felt very sorry for him. As I stood up, with all the drink I'd had, I felt a little hungry. I forget what happened next.

I think my worst case of forgetfulness is when I was on holiday in France, my wife and I. We were celebrating a wedding anniversary. We went to the Louvre in Paris to see some painting or other. Can't remember what! Anyway, after a while it was time to return home to England.

It wasn't until I arrived home that I realised I'd forgotten my wife in France. I must admit, I wondered once or twice why the return journey was so quiet.

Tuesday 29 March 2022

If I only had time



Monday 28 March 2022

What does prodigal mean anyway?


PRODIGAL: spending money or using resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant.

I guess we all know the parable of the Prodigal Son. A rich man had two sons, the younger one asked his father for his share of the inheritance, took the money and went away to spend it all on wine, women and songs. Personally, I would have chosen chocolate instead of one of those three.

When the money ran out, and there was a famine, the wasteful son came to his senses and returned to his father in repentance.

The father was glad to see him back and had a great feast to celebrate the return of his son.

When the older son found out he was very angry and upset because he had been faithful to his father all along, working 24/7 in the fields, and never got anything as a reward.

Now I suspect that most people, like me, would sympathise with the older brother. After all, the younger one wasted all the money away and here he is, once again, welcomed back to share even more of what is left.

But what is Jesus really trying to teach us in this parable?

He is reminding us once again about God's infinite mercy for us. Time and time again, no matter how much we sin, or how serious a sin, we should never doubt His mercy. Once a sin is repented over, God's love consigns that sin to a place where it should never again hinder our progress towards Him.

God is merciful and He forgives time and again.

Jesus said that He would leave the ninety-nine sheep and go looking for the one that is lost.

"In the same way, I tell you that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous ones who do not need to repent" (Luke 15:7).

In human terms, it is understandable if we feel sorry for the older brother who feels hard done by in this parable. But Jesus here is not talking about money, or inheritance, or fairness.

He is telling us that God is merciful and He forgives. And we should not be jealous if He forgives someone whom we consider not worthy of forgiveness. Rather, we should be glad that one lost soul has been saved and once more returned to the family of God.

As for us, when we have sinned and repented we must be glad of God's mercy and forgiveness. We should consign our regrets, our bitterness, our self-pity and disappointments of ourselves to the past where they belong. And rejoice that we too have been welcomed back like the prodigal son.

Sunday 27 March 2022

The Times (and Clocks) they are a changing.


On Sunday, in the UK, the clocks are to be moved one hour forward. In the Autumn they are moved backwards again. There are many reasons put forwards (or backwards) for this. Some say it is to have lighter mornings, lighter evenings, to help the flowers grow in Spring, to encourage Spring onions to grow, to alleviate constipation, and many other reasons and explanations.

I asked an expert friend of mine who is in the know ... in the real know ... and he said that the reason the clocks are changed twice a year is simply to annoy people. No other real reason. It is just to give people something to do, and to get them to talk about it and whilst they're doing so, it keeps their minds off other things happening around them. Like having to take the trash out or feeding the birds ... to the cats.

One thing that does annoy me is ... why do they always change the clocks at 2:00 in the morning? I am fed up having to stay awake all night and then change the clocks at 2:00 am. Why not change them at noon? Or make it more interesting, change the clocks at 7:36pm and 20 seconds? That way everyone will take notice and have to be punctual to change their clocks at the precise time.

I wrote to the authorities about it and they ignored me. I am not appreciated in my own time, (9:16:54am), or at any time for that matter.

My expert friend told me that this is the last time our country will change the clocks forwards. 

Next year they will change the day forward instead. So instead of Sunday at 2:00am, it will suddenly become Monday. Immediately, Saturday will be followed by Monday. No need for us to change all the clocks in our house because the day will have moved forwards 24 hours instead. Whilst everyone in the world is still on Sunday we'll be on Monday.

Once again, Britain will lead the world. 

The day in the calendar will change too. For example, (using today's calendar), whilst the whole world will be on 27 March, Britain would be on the 28th. 

And for ever Britain will be one day ahead of the whole world. We will know things before everyone else because we'll be one day ahead of the rest. 

No longer will the Australians celebrate New Year's Day first with fireworks and drinking Foster's lager beer. 

We in Britain will be celebrating a whole 24 hours before the Australians and everyone else. We'll get to the beer first my friends!

Saturday 26 March 2022

Jesus is on Twitter


As you know a “tweet” is a text-based message of up to 140 characters which your “friends” can receive and respond to. Here are some tweets sent by Jesus:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Love your neighbour as yourself.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.

Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, for God will judge you in the same way as you judge others.

Do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too.

Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.

Peace be with you.

I will be with you always, to the end of the age.

I say: This is great advice from our Lord, Jesus.

Are you a follower?

Friday 25 March 2022

Who am I speaking to?


Thank you for calling the Timetable Phoneline. Your call is important to us. This is an automated Railway Timetable Information Phoneline. Please speak clearly and state your desired travel destination.


You have selected London.

No ... I said Birmingham. Bir Ming Ham!

Please state the date you wish to travel from your local station to London.

No ... not London. BIR MING HAM. 

You have selected Swansea. Please state the date you wish to travel from your local station to Swansea.

I don't want to travel to Swansea. I want to go BIRMINGHAM.

You can select the date by entering on your keypad the day, month and year of your intended travel as follows - DD/MM/YYYY then press the # key.

It's pointless me pressing on this stupid keypad. We have not agreed the destination yet.

You have selected the 32nd day of the 13th month in the year 2525. 

No I haven't you stupid machine. I just hit my phone with my fist.

You have just called me stupid. We do not tolerate verbal abuse from our customers. Only from management. 

Wait a minute ... if you're a machine, how did you know I called you stupid.

Ooops ... faux pas. Please ignore what I have just said. Please speak clearly and state your desired travel destination.

This is not an automated machine. You're a human aren't you?

No I am not. Please speak clearly and state your desired travel destination.

Yes you are. A machine would not have known I said stupid and would not answer me back like you just did. 

Yes it would.

No it wouldn't.

Yes it would. It would. It would. 

All right. If you're a machine tell me the time of the first train from my local station to Birmingham. That's BIR MING HAM. Not London, or Swansea or any where else. BIRMINGHAM.

Wait a minute. I'll look it up!

Look it up? You're supposed to be an automated computerised machine with all the timetables on your database. What do you mean look it up?

Well, sometimes the pages in this timetable stick together as I search for the destination. How do you spell Birmingham? Does it start with the letter D?

Thursday 24 March 2022

It started that way ...


It all started back in 2007. I just had a thought whilst walking in our local park. I was thinking about the state of the world back then; with people becoming more self-centred and society becoming more secular. And Christianity seemed to be in retreat.

I wondered, what if I saw Jesus in this very park. What would I do then? Would I tell anyone about it? Would they believe me or would they think I was losing my mind? Would it be safer to keep quiet about it and not tell anyone?

I remembered the story of the vision of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes. Also at Fatima. Were those people believed back then? Would they be believed now? In 2007?

So I wrote my first book "VISIONS". It was my first attempt at writing. Sure I had written many business reports in my time working in London. But this was different. This was not a report based on research and facts and figures. This was a work of fiction hopefully drawing its readers to undergo an examination of conscience as to what they truly believed and why.

It took me about a year to write. It was difficult. Little did I guess that now, so many years later, I would have written 38 books.   

"VISIONS" tells the story of three children who see Jesus in the park on their way to church. He gives them a message for their priest. They eagerly rush to church to tell the priest and very soon the news spreads fast throughout town.

People react differently and not all in a positive way. Some people do not believe and accuse the children of lying to attract attention. They verbally abuse the children and their parents. Their parents' homes are pelted with eggs and slogans painted on them. The parents suffer prejudice at work. 

The congregation want a statement from the Church to explain the situation. The priest is unsure of what to say, especially since the Bishop wants the story hushed up so as not to attract attention to the Church.

The story develops with various people taking entrenched positions and believing what they want to believe and using various methods to get others to their points of view. Whilst the Church seems to lack leadership at a time its followers need it most.

And you, the reader, are challenged to ask yourself how you would react in such a situation. Would you believe your own children that they actually saw Jesus? Would you stop them talking about it, or would you stand by them against all criticism? How strong is your faith? As much as half a mustard seed?

Wednesday 23 March 2022

Do you remember me?


Groucho Marx once said: I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.

I sympathise with his views on this, and indeed I agree with a lot of his humourous sayings.

Whenever I meet some people I have not seen for a while, at parties for instance, they approach me and start a conversation as if we've never been separated over the years. They start talking about this and that and all the time I'm trying to remember who they are, what is their name, and where and when we first or last met and in what circumstances.

They prattle on and I'm half-listening, nodding politely and smiling and saying things like "how interesting ... I never knew that ... I understand ..." and other meaningless phrases whilst I try to remember who the hell they are.

I sometimes, politely of course, break off the conversation and say something like, "must circulate ... we need to catch up again some other time", and then I go to other people at the party and ask surreptitiously who that person I was speaking to is. Often I am told their name and I am none the wiser as to who they are or where I met them.

Now then, it is not really my fault if I forget a face or a name is it? Somehow, there's something in my brain which stops me from remembering certain information. Perhaps my brain defines the information as low priority and like a computer it deletes it or confines it to an archive file rarely accessed or read.

The fact is, I don't remember certain faces or names, especially at parties, and particularly after a few drinks. 

So why is it this man got a little angry when, at a party last week, I did not know who he was. He went on and on talking and talking and after half-an-hour or so I could not recall who he was.

My brain started asking me questions: "Was he the guide at the local sewage works where we went for our annual works outing? Our company always arranges an annual event for the staff to thank them for their good work. Last year it was a picnic at the sewage works. Was this man our guide, I wonder?"

"Did I meet him in prison perhaps? I did a tour of a prison up North as part of my job and met a number of staff there. Is he one of those people, or an ex-prisoner perhaps? But then, what is he doing at this party miles away here in London?"

"I know ... he is the man who got his head stuck in the railings in my aunt's metal garden fence. I always try to remember fences, more than I remember people. So please don't take offence should we meet and I don't remember you. I remember his ears well. They stuck out like an elephant's and held his head stuck in the fence!"

As I was trying to think clearly, having downed at least two whiskies, he noticed my glazed look and said, "You don't remember me do you?"

I was taken aback by this sudden assault and leant forwards almost losing my footing and falling over him.

"I'm really saddened and affronted," he said, "you don't remember me. We went to school together and when aged twelve we used to steal apples from the Convent and Sister Anastasia caught us once and told Father Emeritus."

"Oh ..." I said, trying to remember who Sister Anastasia was and who is Father Emeritus. Why is my brain letting me down after only three whiskies?

Then he gave me an opening when he said, "I remember you. You're Quentin, you're Horatio's twin brother and we were in the same class at school!"

I must admit that for a while I had to think hard whether I was Quentin or not. I don't remember having a twin brother. My parents never told me. I remember them calling me many names as I grew up, but Quentin was not one of them.

"Actually," I slurred my words with some authority, "I am not Quentin!"

"You must be Horatio then," he insisted, "you two always looked identical."

"Nope ... not Horatio either!" I said with more than a modicum of satisfaction.         

 "Who are you then?" he asked in exasperation

"I'm really saddened and affronted," I said, "that you don't remember me. Now we're even and both saddened and affronted! Nice to have met you. Must circulate. Great party this. I like parties because I always meet new and interesting people at parties."

Tuesday 22 March 2022

One Day I Was A Boy


I was reminiscing the other day when I was a boy at school and my English teacher said to me "Your grammar stinks!"

I remember being quite upset at this sudden outburst, especially since my grandma always smelled of lavender.

When I got home I told my father what the teacher had said and he asked "Which grand-mother? ... I know my own mother always smells of the sweetest delicate best quality Norfolk lavender. Although I'll admit your mother's mom does smell of potpourri!"

I explained that the teacher had not specified which grandma stank. So my father wrote a letter of complaint which I had to take to school with me.

My teacher replied that she had never commented on, nor would she ever presume to comment on, my family's body odour; although she suggested that I eat less beans!

On reading her letter my father gave me a clip round the ears. He then wrote again to the teacher apologising for the misunderstanding and explaining that beans were less expensive than other foods.

On reading my father's letter the teacher gave me detention after school.

On the Saturday I went to Confession. Our church had an old fashioned confessional which was a wooden booth where the priest sat and the penitents would kneel on either side and confess through a small window.

I told the priest all that had happened and how it was really a non-sin on my part thus deserving a lighter penance this week. He said "Don't speak so loud I can smell your grandmother kneeling on my other side!" Although he did not specify which grandma he could smell.

Then he gave me an extra penance for speaking loudly and for drawing attention to old peoples' body odour. Which technically I had not done because it was not me who started all this; it was my English teacher who said "Your grammar stinks!"

I think the church got this whole question of confession and absolution wrong somehow. I got a penance for my teacher's sin!

Moral: So did Jesus.

Monday 21 March 2022

Bedroom Sonata


The most romantic song in the world 
about a young man who walks miles through the night
to tell his girl that he loves her.
Composed and sung
Yours Truly 

Sunday 20 March 2022

Could it be clearer than that?


Matthew 25:31-46 is a little too long to reprint here. You'll have to read it yourself. But let me paraphrase.

On the day of judgement Jesus will separate people to His right and to His left.

He will say to those on His right, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 

They will ask Him when did they do these things. And He will respond "Whatever you did for the least amongst you; you did it for Me!"

Then He will say to those on the left, "You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels ... ... ..."

They saw similar people in their lives and ignored them and did nothing to help.

Could it be clearer than that?

Saturday 19 March 2022

Generation Greed


It never ceases to amaze me how greedy people are. We have had the post-war generation, the 60's generation, the Millennials, Generation X and all the other types of nomenclatures. It seems we are now in Generation Greed. 

Everyone wants more and more and they want it now and are not willing to wait regardless of the price it costs to get what they want.

Here's an example I noticed more than once on TV. We have a program over here where people come up with business ideas or inventions which they put forward to a group of would-be investors. They explain what the business is; they ask for a sum of money in exchange for a percentage share in the business.
"I would like £80,000 in exchange for 10% of the business!"
No doubt you have similar programs on your TV.
I find it astonishing when someone describes their business which at present is only starting off and they are offered the sum they seek from one of the investors but in exchange for a larger percentage of shares.
"I will offer you all of the money, £80,000, and I can help your business grow through the contacts I have and my expertise. But I want 25% of shares."
Time and again the greedy contestants turn the offer down and go away with no investment at all, and no business expert to back them. Their business may be small right now. They obviously need help and expertise but they turn it down because of greed. They'd rather have 100% of a small struggling probably failing business, rather than 75% of a thriving business with the expertise and contacts of a well known successful entrepreneur.
Often people turn down the offer and go away empty-handed rather than accept the money, or more important the expertise and business contacts, for a higher percentage of shares given away.
Can you imagine if God told Moses, "I will get all the Jews out of Egypt!" and Moses replied, "Wait a minute, how about their cattle and sheep and other possessions? And will you recompense them for the loss of their homes?"
I hope you don't think I'm being facetious with this Biblical example. But time and time again you see programs on TV where greed is the main factor, the main motivator and central focus of the show. And this washes off on the nation's psyche. Viewers watch these programs and believe it to be the norm. The right thing to do. Me ... me ... me first ... before the others. And that's how we have Generation Greed.

Friday 18 March 2022

In praise of specialists


With the world becoming more and more complicated we need specialists in all sorts of things.

Take computers for instance. My techie specialist opened our computer case and showed me the inside. He showed me the motherboard, and the RAM chips, hard drive and all the other bits including all the wires like spaghetti everywhere. I asked him why there are so many wires. He said it is to discourage amateurs and novices from opening computer cases. Sometimes the techies put a lot of wires in the case that don't connect to anything but they are just there to make things look complicated for the rest of us. Also, it is easier than throwing bits of wires away in the trash. Just put them in the computer case.

Car mechanics are also specialists. They can tell you what's wrong with a car even if there's nothing wrong with it. Take a brand new car to a car specialist and he'll find something wrong with it.

Electrical and mechanical engineers are specialists too. Our air-conditioning and central heating system was not working properly. I called a specialist from a specialist website. This man arrived in a big van with his name and the fact that he was a specialist written on the side of the vehicle.

He looked at the system and soon diagnosed the fault. He said it needed a new B2 part. 

"A P2 part?" I asked.

"No ... a B2," he said, "A P2 is an entirely different part. I have all sorts of parts in my van for all sorts of air-conditioning and central heating systems and makes and models, including many P2 parts. But I don't have a B2 part. I'll have to order one. It is not made in this country. It has to come from a totally different solar system than the one we are in. It's expensive too. The B2 part costs more than the whole air-conditioning and central heating system. In fact it costs more than your whole house. It would be cheaper and quicker to move house!"

So you see; I would not have known all that if it was not for a specialist. 

Doctors are specialists too. Some specialise in brain surgery, some are heart specialists, foot specialists and so on. Short doctors are usually knee specialists.

A friend of mine is a medic. He has specialised in the left nostril. He knows all there is to know about left nostrils. If you have a problem with your left nostril my friend is your man. If your problem is in the right nostril then he can't help you. You'd wish your problem was in the left nostril to seek his help. Either that, or go to another specialist who specialises in right nostrils. 

So there you have it. We need specialists in all fields in life. Including country fields, green fields, grazing fields, football fields, baseball fields, and all kinds of fields you care to specialise in.

I specialise in nonsense.

Are you a specialist? What in?

Thursday 17 March 2022

A Star Role In A Film For You

I would like you to star in a film I am making in your mind. 

You have just arrived in Heaven. You are excited, with more than a degree of trepidation also. You do not know what to expect. You are so happy that at last you have made it to Heaven but you are not sure what it's like here and what you will find.

You are quickly made to feel welcome. The place is so calm, and quiet and serene. You've never felt like this before. 

In no time you get to meet Jesus. Your emotions are all over the place. You don't know what to say or do.

He says, "Peace be with you," and you feel calm and still as a joyful feeling surrounds you.

Over a short period of time you get to meet other people here. Relatives and friends who passed away before you. You hug, you embrace as tears of joy run down your cheeks. You exchange stories, fond memories and tales of times gone by. You laugh and smile as you finally understand how and why certain periods in your life turned out as they did. How at the time you may have felt alone and afraid but Jesus was always near at hand to help. 

In time, you begin to notice that certain people you know are not here in Heaven. You begin to wonder why. Did they exclude themselves from this place by something they did or said? Do they not want to be here? Why not?

You recall in your mind how those people were in life when you knew them then. You loved them and they loved you, despite perhaps some disagreements or clashes in personality or no chemistry between you. But you loved them. Deep inside they were good people really. Their attitude and manners may have been different to yours but they were good people. And now, they are not here. They are not in Heaven with you.

You miss them. You never thought you'd miss them when you were alive on earth. But now, in Heaven, you miss them. You'd expected they'd be here with you for eternity. And they are not. You miss them.

There's nothing you can do to change this. For some reason, they have excluded themselves from this place.

You sit down and think ... "Is there anything I could have done back then that would have ensured those people are with me in Heaven now?"

Wednesday 16 March 2022

Le Can Can Pour Vous


Tuesday 15 March 2022

Dandelions, Nettles and ...


I visited an allotment recently. It’s a system peculiar to Great Britain whereby the Local Government Authorities (Local Councils) rent a small piece of land to anyone on which to grow their own fruits and vegetables. The piece of land is called an “allotment” and these are usually situated in the middle of towns and cities all over the UK. 

At this allotment I met an old man I’d never met before. I don’t know why, but usually complete strangers feel at ease to talk to me and tell me their life stories. So I listened.

He said he’d had that allotment for about ten years. His piece of land was about 20 metres by 10 metres. On it he had gooseberries, black currants, red currants, rhubarb, a small vine, a fig tree, spinach, cabbage, parsnips, runner beans, marrows, courgettes, and a variety of herbs and other vegetables too numerous to remember.

He complained that since he injured his hand in an accident cutting the tendons he found it difficult to grip and uproot the weeds in his allotment. But his children and grand-children helped him toil the land.

In conversation he let slip that he was 82 years old.

I silently prayed for him and wished I was as fit as him if I ever were to be his age.

He then added, "Never, ever give up. No matter how hard it is, how difficult it is, or how tired you are: don’t give up. If you do give up, the weeds will soon take over your allotment and all your hard work will go to waste. And you have to start all over again."

I left him with those words ringing in my ears. A complete stranger with a message which can be adapted to our Christian walk.

Never, ever give up. Or the weeds (sin) will soon take over your life and all your hard work will go to waste.

That night I said a prayer for that old gentleman with a salutary message.

A few days later it was another beautiful, warm and sunny day. I spent sometime in the garden pruning the bushes. Half an hour after I started a friend came to visit. I must explain that I’ve left a corner of the garden to grow freely to attract various insects and birds . My friend looked at it and said, “these are all weeds … they must come out …”

I pointed at the little yellow and blue flowers and said they looked pretty; and they attracted butterflies and other insects. My friend said, “They’re weeds. You’ve dandelions there, and nettles and …” naming a variety of plants I hadn’t even heard of.

"What is a weed?" I thought, isn’t it a plant that you don’t want? There are people who make nettles and dandelion tea – you can buy it at the health shop. I suppose to them a nettle is not a weed but a livelihood. I also read somewhere that dandelions are used in medicine.

Then I thought … I hope God is more selective when He comes to judge us and to choose who will enter Heaven.

Will He say disparagingly, “You’re a weed” – or will He welcome us into His Kingdom? 

How do you see yourself in the eyes of God?

Monday 14 March 2022

Home Security


There's a lot of adverts these days on TV for home security gadgets that switch lights on automatically, cameras that record intruders and alarms that alert the police that someone is breaking into properties.

Here are some easy to follow suggestions that could protect you in case of a break-in or to discourage anyone from stealing your property.

For example, before we go out we always hide the TV remote control because if someone stole our TV they would not be able to operate it without the remote. I also hide the power lead from the back of my computer so that if stolen it could not be switched on again. 

I have had installed on the wall a door from a safe with all the circular knobs and electronic pads you have on a real safe. When you eventually manage to open it you'll find it is only a door fixed to the wall. There's no safe behind it. But I have wasted the burglar's time trying to open it.

I have also glued some coins on my desk top. That will fool any burglar trying to pick them up and waste his time.

Another trick we do is that before we go out we tip over all the chairs, open all drawers and throw the contents on the floor, throw any pictures off the wall where they hung and make the place untidy. That way, if someone breaks in they'll think we've already been burgled and they'll leave us alone.

At night, I always let the air out of the car tires to make it more difficult to steal.

If I'm at home alone and hear someone at the door I always bark like mad to make them think we have a dog. If I'm not alone, the rest of the family joins me in barking together. Our dog always sits in the corner all confused when we do that. The cat, however, goes to the kitchen and eats his food quickly in case any intruder steals it.

Our piece de resistance however is to leave the TV on and we play recordings of Jennifer Aniston films. That's the best deterrent to anyone breaking in. Even we have to go out the house when she's on TV. 

Sunday 13 March 2022

Should I retaliate first?


It is often tempting when someone has wronged us to return the favour in kind. We may have been treated cruelly, been slandered and lied about, or taken advantage of, and we wish to get our own back with added interest too.

It's a natural human reaction which we must resist as best we can. 

When the urge is there to retaliate for the treatment we have received we need to stop and ask how would Jesus view our behaviour.

Sometimes our anger may be because someone we love and care for has been hurt by whoever has wronged us. Or our sense of injustice is more painful because those who have wronged us profess to be Christians. How could they? They pretend to be Christians and they behave like that!

In such circumstances we should consider how and why the disagreement or wrongdoing started. 

Could we possibly have provoked the attack by something we did or said? Unwittingly perhaps. Is the other person carrying a heavy Cross in their own life and something has triggered the attack on us? 

One possible solution is to lift up the situation, and the people involved, to Christ. Pray for those who hurt us. We cannot possibly hate someone we pray for.

Somehow, by lifting the situation up to God in prayer we open a channel for Him to bring healing in us as well as in them.

Now I'll admit it is not easy to turn immediately to prayer the moment someone has wronged us. But then ... if it was easy, and if we all did it, then we would have peace in the world.

Saturday 12 March 2022

Observations you may have missed


I seem to be always thinking of something else as things are happening around me. I could be watching TV whilst it's switched off, cooking the dog, or taking the dinner out for a walk and my mind is thinking of something else altogether completely different. 

For example, whilst writing this post I am thinking about that old saying, "which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

So I ordered both from the internet and will let you know when they arrive.

Did you notice that in films, and on TV programs, whenever a woman starts sniffling and crying the man always pulls out a clean handkerchief from his pocket and hands it to her. She never returns it back after blowing her nose in it.

How come the handkerchief is always new, clean and neatly folded having been ironed beforehand? It is never a handkerchief which the man has previously used to wipe his hands after changing the tire on his car.

And why is it always the man that hands over his handkerchief? Why can't the woman have her own handkerchief in readiness for a quick cry? In the last month I have handed out at least a dozen handkerchiefs to crying women. They have a look at me and start bawling their eyes out. I have that effect on women. Maybe they lament not having met me earlier in their lives. 

Another observation from the movies is that people never sneeze, or cough or need to go to the bathroom. Especially when there's a fight going on.

In a car chase the car is always ready and the key is always in the ignition. The car starts first time and flies at great speed. Not like my car which takes a week to reach 30 miles an hour!

In Olden Days we had so many talented people in the movies and on TV. In those times to be a celebrity you had to have some talent of some kind; acting, singing, be a good entertainer, or good at sports and so on. Then the politically correct people came in and said this was discriminatory. Everyone should be a celebrity. And now we have plenty of mindless idiots on TV believing they are celebrities. They are happy, and their mindless fans and followers are happy, and I guess they create employment with all the money they earn so all is well. I think we need more talentless idiots as celebrities.

Another observation worth sharing which you might find useful. You must have heard of the glass and cardboard way of getting rid of spiders. You place a glass on the spider, then slide a piece of card under the glass and then lift both and release the spider outdoors. 

Well, it does not work with gorillas. I was at the zoo the other day and a gorilla escaped from its cage. I was in the zoo restaurant eating. I finished my beer and got out with my glass still in hand. The zoo keepers told me to get out of the way as they shot the gorilla with tranquilliser darts. 

What irritates you at home? Personally, I don't like it when someone takes some butter with a knife from the butter dish, spread it on toast, and then returns to the butter for some more leaving crumbs all over the butter. So in our house we have a system. We take some butter with the butter knife. Put it on a side plate. Return the knife to the butter dish. Then with a new knife spread the butter from our side plate onto our toast. No crumbs on the butter ever.

Also, another irritation is when a piece of toast falls on the ground it always falls with the butter side down. To remedy this, I always eat my toast off the cat's back. So if it falls the cat will land on its feet and the toast will still be butter side up.

I don't know about you, but I learn a lot from Google. It's such a wonderful invention. I have printed out the whole of Google and I now read a few pages in bed before going to sleep. It's a great book. I wonder whether they'll ever make it into a film!

Friday 11 March 2022

Concrete Knowledge


In the front garden there was a small area about one meter square and only a few inches deep which once contained a tree. The tree died and was removed leaving behind this dead patch of land about one metre by one metre. I decided to fill it with cement and then put some flower pots on it.

Easy job for someone so clever like me. I bought a couple of bags of cement and sand and started mixing. The thing is, I did not know the exact proportions of cement, sand and water. I guessed and the first load I mixed looked too dark and heavy to lift with the shovel. I added more sand. It became more yellowish. I added water. Perhaps too much. Now I had a yellowish soup. More cement. Then a bit more sand. It got drier and drier as I mixed. More water. Too much again.

I was getting tired and fed up with the whole project. Perhaps it would be easier to move house.

I went indoors and searched the phone directory. There was this firm which would deliver pre-mixed quick setting concrete to your door. No mixing and working hard yourself. I asked them to come round.

At this point I was called by my boss and I had to go to work to sort a problem. I gave my wife precise, easy to follow, cannot go wrong, instructions. When the cement people come round, they should put it in this one meter by one meter, three inches deep hole.

Apparently they turned up with one of those big trucks with a huge revolving drum on the back with ready-made quick setting concrete. She pointed to the place and asked them to leave the cement there. They asked, "Are you sure?" She said, "Yes" and went indoors.

Apparently the minimum delivery is one metric tonne. Whatever that is.

When I got home I found a mini concrete mountain in the place where the tree was. It was quick setting cement which means that the mountain was already set and as hard as a rock ready for Moses to climb on and despair. 

There's no way it can be moved or broken down into small pieces without a big sledge-hammer or pneumatic drill. It is as high as two people standing on each other. A big, huge, massive, immense mountain on my front lawn.

You should see how much the cement people are charging me for this. I think with all that quick-setting concrete they are hardened criminals.

Thursday 10 March 2022



Today we shall discuss SpaceTime. An easy subject to understand if explained by me rather than Einstein.

The Earth is spinning round itself as well as going round the sun in about a year or so. It is moving through "Space".

Let us say that on 1 January 2010 the Earth was at this particular point in space. We can pinpoint the exact place the Earth was on that day. We will call this Location 1 (L1). And we will call 1 January 2010 Time 1 (T1).

So on 1 January 2010 the Earth was at L1T1

Now on 1 January 2022 (12 years later) the Earth was at a point in space. It may or may not be the exact location as before. Let's say it was the exact same location. So we can logically call this Location L2 which is exactly like L1. 

L2 = L1.

However, even if L2 = L1, because of the passage of years the time point on the calendar has changed. 1 January 2022 is now T2. So we are now at L1T2 which is different to what is was before L1T1.

So what we are saying is that even though the Earth could get back to the same point in space in the future; because time is always moving the Earth can never be in the same point in SpaceTime as before.

That is, it can never be in L1T1 again. Even if it manages to be in the same spot in space (L1) it will never ever be in the same point in time. Time has moved on. It has gone for ever. Time will be T2, T3, T4 and so on.

And that's what we mean by SpaceTime. Various points in space at a particular point in time.

Now here's the theory by some clever scientists.

They say because the Earth, (and you), have moved on it does not mean the previous points in SpaceTime have vanished. They are still there but unseen by you.

For example: On 1 January 2010 you were at home enjoying New Year's Day. And we called that L1T1.

Today, at this time you are somewhere else. Hopefully reading this post, otherwise I'm talking to myself here!!!

Now scientists say you can (theoretically) travel back to L1T1 and see yourself enjoying New Year's Day. It's called time travel. They claim L1T1 still exists and has not gone away with the passage of time.  

Many years ago there were a number of Lyons Tea Houses in street corners in London. People used to go there and enjoy a pot of tea and scones with clotted cream and jam.

I went to London recently. There were no Lyons Tea Houses there. Exactly the same locations as before, but a different point in time.

So I went to the pub and had a Guinness.

Wednesday 9 March 2022

A sad story with a happy ending.


This is a sad story with hopefully a happy ending. I can't wait to read it to the end to find out how it ends.

There once was a sad hamster called Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. Well, with a name like that you can hardly wonder why this sad hamster was always forlorn and desolate. As miserable as a pub with no beer; only worse.

His owners tried their best to cheer him up, filling his cage with goodies and presents like a big wheel that turned round and round by an electric motor so he no longer had to turn it himself. He could just sit there and see it go round. 

They also put his cage next to a TV permanently tuned to a cooking channel so he could enjoy various recipes being created and enjoyed by happy people. 

They read him many stories to widen his interest. From books like Hugo's Les Miserable, or Crime and Punishment, to the most boring Shakespeare plays they could think of. They thought that by sharing in other peoples' misery their beloved hamster would cheer up and realise how well-off he was by comparison.

But no, that did not work. The hamster remained miserable and sad and forlorn in no particular order. He would eat very little and grew thinner, and thinner, and thinner, and thinner still.

At one point he just sat there not moving in the corner of his cage for days. His owners took him to the vet fearing the worst. The vet discovered that the hamster had swallowed a fridge magnet and was stuck to the cage.

After a short operation the hamster returned home to recuperate. His owners let him out of the cage to roam free hoping this would cheer him up. But things got worse even more.

The hamster took to drink, and started smoking and being rude to people by giving them hand signals and swearing. He became all cantankerous and grumpy and cranky as some people do when they have no hope, joy and faith in their lives.

(As an aside: I once knew three women called Hope, Joy and Faith. They made me happy but that's another story.)

His owners took the hamster to a dog psychiatrist called Woof Woof. He suggested that the hamster perhaps needed a partner to keep him company. He offered to sell them his St Bernard dog but they turned the offer down because they could not get the dog to fit inside the hamster cage. Instead, they bought a parrot called Gregory Peck. This made matters even worse because the parrot would sit in the cage and tell the hamster sad stories about how miserable the world is and how it would get even worse.

In total despair the hamster left the cage, and the house where he lived with his owners and ran out in the street. He decided to take up golf instead as a pastime and to get a bit of fresh air. Whilst out one day, he got hit in the head by a flying golf ball and was knocked unconscious.

When he woke up he remembered nothing of his past life and became cheerful and happy and joyful like never before. He went forward in life and never looked back again. Because if you look back you're likely to walk into lamp posts or trees. Or fall in a golf hole.

Tuesday 8 March 2022

High Life


When I worked in London I lived in an apartment block. I had an apartment on the seventh floor overlooking a London park.

One day I got home and went out on the balcony of the apartment and found a snail. I was surprised. How did it get there? Did it climb all the way from the street below on the outside of the building? It must have taken him ages to get up to the seventh floor. Or did he get in through the front door of the building and took the elevator up to my apartment?

How did he manage to press the button No. 7 in the elevator? Or did someone do it for him?

My first instinct was to throw him out of the balcony, but I thought his shell would break as he hit the ground and he would die. 

So I thought of eating him as part of my meal. Not much of a portion, just one snail. Besides, I did not have any fresh garlic for the sauce.

So I decided to lower him gently to the street below in a small plant pot tied with a piece of string. The string was not long enough and he only reached floor No. 4 below me. So I pulled him back up again. Found a longer piece of string which I tied to the original string and lowered him gently to the street below. The stupid animal did not want to come out of the pot. I jiggled and shook the pot a few times by pulling and swinging the string. The snail would not come out.

At one point I thought he was out of the pot so I pulled the string up again. When I looked in the pot, the snail was still there.

All the time I was trying to work out how he got to my seventh floor balcony in the first place. 

Then a blackbird flew by and rested on the parapet of the balcony.

That's what must have happened. The blackbird had picked up the snail from the park and flew up here to eat it and clumsily dropped it into my balcony. No doubt he is back now searching for his snail. Well, he is not going to have it.

I imagined a wrestling type fight between me and the blackbird as to who will have the snail. Fortunately, he was a coward and flew away without putting up a fight.

I lowered the snail down to terra firma once more. I swung the pot and unfortunately the string broke. I now had a long piece of string but no pot. I pulled the string up and got all the way down to the street to retrieve my pot. The snail was no longer there. I wonder where it went.

In summer I usually had a nice pizza and beer sitting in that balcony looking down at the park opposite.  

One day I got in the kitchen for a few minutes and when I got back there was a bee in my glass of beer. There was not much beer in it, just a few drops. But enough to make the bee drunk. I retrieved it with a spoon and in order to revive it I put it in a cup of strong coffee. The stupid creature could not swim and died. Either that, or the coffee was too hot!

Monday 7 March 2022

The thoughts that come to mind.


I often sit down and just think. Better than thinking standing up. My thoughts fall down to my feet when I'm standing up.

I think about the good old days. They were neither good nor old. I was young at the time. I remember being raised in poverty. It was a town next to misery and despair.

Our house was always cold and damp. We had a permanent rainbow in the kitchen. The house was so small that even the mice were hunch-backed. There was no room to swing a cat. We had to do it outdoors. Despite our poverty we believed in nature and saving the environment. We used natural things where we could. For example, we tied a dead hedgehog to a stick and used it as a toilet brush.

My teacher at school told me once, "Some day you'll go far ... and I hope you stay there!" I was bad at Math. If I had 50 cents for every failed Math exam I would now have $4.27.

As a young man I was always ambitious. I once entered the world kleptomaniac championships. I took gold, silver and bronze.

I wanted to make it good in life. Never succeeded. I wanted to have a girl-friend and get married. I did not realise that marriage is a very expensive way to get your laundry done free.

My girl-friend at the time told me I should be more affectionate. So I got myself two girl-friends. Neither of them liked that!

Honestly ... women ... I'll never understand them. My girl-friend liked chocolates, like many women do. She also liked shoes. Always buying shoes. She dropped many hints for her birthday. So I bought her a pair of shoes made of chocolate.

Eventually I married Miss Right. I did not know at the time her first name was Always.

My wife dresses to kill. She cooks the same way. I was so hungry I ate a clock yesterday. It was time consuming. 

She has just called me pretentious about this last joke. I was so surprised that my monocle fell off. 

I hate it when people act so intellectual and talk knowledgeably about Mozart when they haven't seen even one of his paintings. 

For our honeymoon we went to Paris. I tried to climb a really tall tower; but Eiffel off! 

Good joke hein? Don't you hate it when people always answer their own questions? I do!

My wife and I laughed at this last joke. We often laugh at how competitive we both are. But I laughed more!

Sunday 6 March 2022

Who will be saved?


Who will be saved? Who will get to Heaven?

Well, one thing is for sure. It is not up to you, or me, as to who will enter Heaven and who will not. 

That said, there is a belief amongst some Christians that we are all saved. God loves us all. Christ died for all of us so that we may all be forgiven. We will all go to Heaven. A loving and caring God will not condemn some of His creations to eternal damnation. 

I believe such teaching is a little confused. 

Of course God loves us all, and Jesus died so that we may all be forgiven. However ... 

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Notice the conditional clause: "that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

See also: 

Matthew 7:21 - Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do what my Father in Heaven wants them to do.

Yet again, here Jesus says, "but only those ..."

It is clear from what He says here, and He has said on other occasions in the Bible, that there is a condition upon which someone will enter Heaven. Jesus mentions Heaven and hell several times in the Gospels. At no time did He say that it is a free for all and everyone will enter Heaven no matter what.

Think of this another way: If God asked you why should you enter Heaven; what would you say?

Let us exclude the usual platitudes like: "Because You love me. Because Jesus died for me." and so on. Why should you enter Heaven? If you were to die today, are you sure, for certain, that you will enter Heaven?

Of course, God loves us all and invites us all to be with Him in Heaven for eternity. But we have to accept that invitation. We have to RSVP that invitation.

We do so by believing. By accepting God as our loving Father and Creator Lord of all. By accepting Jesus as His only Son. By believing and living according to the Word of God.

We are free to either accept God and His love for us, or to turn Him down and turn our backs on Him.

Of course ... we will all be saved and enter Heaven ... if we want to!!!  

The final decision is ours. We choose to be excluded from Heaven by our behaviour.

By not understanding this simple fact, I fear that many are sleep-walking their way into hell.

Saturday 5 March 2022

No Longer A Magician


Years ago I fancied myself as a magician. I used to perform several tricks to amuse family and friends and me ... mostly me. I could make a whole room full of people at a party vanish by starting just one trick.

I was good at levitation too. Click on the word to read about my performance.

I also did card tricks. Click on the words and enjoy.

A favourite trick of mine was called the great escape. We used to bring in a wardrobe, or cupboard on stage. I used to call it an armoire ... it was more sophisticated to call it an armoire. It was old made of hard wood, mahogany or oak ... and very heavy. Two young female attendants used to wheel it in a bikini ... The attendants were in bikinis ... not the cupboard. Are you paying attention?

The attendants brought the armoire in and opened it to show it was solid wood all the way round and it was empty. 

I used to stand into a large sack made of canvas, similar material to jeans. It must have contained grain or similar beforehand; it smelled as if it contained manure. 

Anyway, I used to stand in the sack, the attendants would pull it up over my head and tie it with strong ropes. I then hopped into the cupboard ... sorry ... armoire, and they would lock the door shut. They would then put chains all round the cupboard and get members of the audience to check it was properly locked and chained and escape free. This gave me time to escape whilst in the cupboard.

There was a short period of silence ... only seconds ... the attendants would open the cupboard and it was empty. Everyone would applaud.

Anyway ... I tried to perform this trick once more at mom-in-law's birthday party last week. The party was at her home and she invited family and friends. I made quite a few cakes vanish whilst no one was looking. A few drinks too ...

So I got ready ... the cupboard was brought in and I performed the trick helped by my two uncles. They were not wearing bikinis of course ... only swimming shorts!

I entered the cupboard. I could hear my uncles do their chat patter to waste time ... only I could not get out of the damn cupboard.

I had forgotten that on stage I had a trap door through which I slid and escaped from the cupboard. Of course ... no trap door in my mother-in-law's house.

I think it's her fault the trick failed. I'll never perform this trick again. In fact I think I'm still in that cupboard right now!!!!!!!

Friday 4 March 2022

Le Magique Extraordinaire


Allo Mesdames et Monsieurs. I am Stefan Le Poussin ... zee best prestidigitateur in zee all world. Zis next treek I weel perfoam eez not for zee peopel wiz a sensitive disposition or zee feint of zee hearted.

Eet eez a veree dangerous treek which eet weel amaze you and me also.

I need a volunteer from zee audience ... You Madame ... yes you ... she eez a leetle shy ladies and genteelmen. Pleeze to give a hand full of applause ... thank you ... thank you ...

Bonsoir Mademoiselle ... eet eez so kind for you to volunteer when I point at you to do so ... merci!

Zees treek Mesdames et Monsieurs eez veree dangerous ... I only deed it once at zee rehearsal zees after zee noon ... 

To make eet more exciting I weel do it blind-folded weez my hands tied behind zee back whilst eating raw uncooked unwashed spinach.

Zee young lady weel lie on zees bed of zee nails whilst I weez zee saw cut her in zee half.

(Lady volunteer steps back from stage).

What? You expect me to lie on these nails whilst you cut me up ? You're ******* joking mate. I'm outta here!

Attendez Mademoiselle ... pleeze to wait ... eet eez a veree safe dangerous treek ... I did eet earlier on wiz a volunteer parrot ... 'e did not like eet at first but 'e soon stopped zee screaming ...

Mademoiselle ... pleeze do not zee going away ...

Anee other volunteers from zee audience? Non? You Monsieur? You Madame? Non? Not anee one?

I can do zee other treeks ... I can do zee tap dance like zee Fredee Astaire weez see making of zee noise weez my shoes ... 

Pleeze ... do not zee leave zee theatre ... pleeze to stay ... see ... I dance ...

Tap ... Tap ... Cloppity Clop ... Tap ... Tap ... (He falls!)

Thursday 3 March 2022




This is the time when people try to give up something for Lent - which is good. But let's remember first of all that there is nothing we can do which would repay the great sacrifice Christ made for us on the Cross. Not a million prayers, a million candles, or a million flowers ... God does not need any of these "gifts" or sacrifices as repayment for His love for us. He is in no way diminished, lacking in any way, if we stop doing these things.

But we do them all the same. We do them as a sign of reverence, love, and respect. And I repeat - this is good.

Here's a short list of things we could do during Lent.

1 Give up something (chocolates) and give the proceeds to charity.

2 Do someone a good turn or a kindness.

3 Pray for someone without them knowing it. Just anyone, not only your  loved ones. If you see an old person struggling as they shuffle along in the street, or you hear of someone with a problem or difficulty; just pray for them without their knowledge. Prayer is the greatest gift we can give and receive.

4 Give up TV (or music or other entertainment) for ten minutes (or more) and spend the time reading the Bible.

5 Finally a DON'T. Many people decide to give up their Christian Blog or website during Lent. I urge you not to. Whatever we write to spread the Good News on our Blogs is often the only opportunity for someone to read about God. Don't stop God's message during Lent or ever.  

Wednesday 2 March 2022

More Facts You Need To Know


I am always in search of useful facts to share with you in order to enhance your knowledge of various issues and also to help you entertain friends at parties.

For example, you know bubble wrap ... the plastic packaging material in sheets containing numerous small air cushions designed to protect fragile goods. Well ... if you wrap yourself forty times with this material all around you and you happen to fall off the sixth floor of a tall building you will not die. Mind you ... you might suffocate with all that plastic around you, but you will not be crushed when you hit the ground. 

If you gather all the bubble wrap in the world together you will have enough material to wrap the whole planet twice over. Which begs the question ... how come with all that material the earth is not wrapped already? Work that one out for yourself.

Wind turbines next. You must have seen them in the countryside, by the sea or on top of hills. Did you know that if all the wind turbines in the world got moving round and round all together the earth would take off and start flying? Also, did you know that it takes more electricity to make those turbines go round and round than the electricity they produce? Also, did you know that the noise they make can disorient birds who get attracted to them and get killed by the big blades? To remedy this some people are now building turbines in deep underground caves; although they could be a problem for bats living there. Scientists believe that underwater turbines could also harm marine life.

Aluminium foil is not ideal for covering left-overs. Many people put left-over food in a container which they cover with aluminium foil and leave in the fridge. This is bad for you because bacteria can grow in the air space between the food and the top of the foil. Also, someone else might open the fridge and eat your food left there.

Did you also know that dropped ice cubes are water under the fridge. Don't stress about it.

When in a hotel which has a safe in your room, always change the safe combination numbers before using it. I once left some KFC chicken in the safe and when I came back to my room someone had eaten my chicken legs.

Also did you know that when in a hotel and you phone room service they are obliged to listen to you? It is not like when you phone a friend or family member and they don't pick up the phone or make an excuse to cut the conversation short. In a hotel they have to listen. When travelling on business I often phone reception and tell them about my life, bad choices I made, how I hate my work, how my boss is so bad to me and other such problems I have ... they always listen. They never have a solution, but after I have off-loaded my problems I always sleep well at night.

On one occasion I went to a psychic to discuss my future. I knocked on her door and she said, "who is it?" So I left.

I'm often troubled by past memories. Things that happened or were said and I cannot change them. I remember to this day my grand-father's last words before he died. He said, "are you still holding on to the ladder?"

I also remember my other grand-father's last words. He said, "there are two words in life which will open many doors for you ... PUSH and PULL."

I was so depressed the other week that I went to the cinema to watch Les Miserable. I thought it was about a man called Les. The cinema was very crowded. If the woman in front of me did not have her ears pierced I would not have been able to see the screen.

This woman was chatting to her friend loudly throughout the performance. I could not hear the film dialogue so I leant forwards and whispered "excuse me ladies but I can't hear!"

"I should hope not" replied one of them, "this is a private conversation!"

Did you know that female bats give birth while hanging upside down, catching the baby in their wings as it drops? Also, did you know that as bats sleep upside down they suddenly wake up when going to the toilet!

Also, dolphin calves are born tail first, rather than head first, so they don't drown during the birthing process.

Fish cannot blink when water gets in their eyes.

And finally, scientists have discovered that the universe is made up of neutrons, protons and electrons. They forgot to mention morons.

Tuesday 1 March 2022

God cannot be bought with a bar of chocolate


Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. The start of Lent. The Catholic Church demands that its followers fast and abstain. Let me quote:

Fasting and Abstinence: The law of abstinence (i.e. not eating meat) binds all Catholics who are 14 years old and older. The law of fasting (i.e. reducing what we eat) binds Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 years old. 

The days of fasting and abstinence are: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. 

The day of abstinence only is: All Fridays of the year (with some exceptions). 

Disobeying these laws can result in a person committing a sin. Either mortal or venial.

I will not go into details here; suffice it to say that most people will die with a venial (minor) sin on their conscience and following a stay in Purgatory they will enter Heaven eventually. Those with a mortal sin are destined to go down without a parachute.

Now here is my take on this. It might not be in total agreement with my Church and no doubt I could stand corrected.

Fasting goes back many years. Jesus fasted in the desert and no doubt people in the Old Testament fasted too.

I believe that fasting, or abstinence, should be a sacrifice made to God. A way of saying "thank you" for what God and Jesus did for us, and still do. We should do it as an act of love, and act of reverence and respect. It should not be done out of fear that we will otherwise have sinned. It should not be done as a means to avoid punishment. Or as a way to gain favours from God.

God cannot be bought with a bar of chocolate. 

By abstaining from eating chocolates, or anything else during Lent, we will not gain any points and gold star in God's Record Book.

God does not need anything from us. He will not be found wanting if we stop fasting, abstaining, lighting candles or placing flowers in church. There is nothing we can do to gain favours from God or be in His good books.

He loves us and His invitation to love Him back and obey Him is open to everyone. 

It is we who reject that invitation by standing in defiance of God, turning our backs on Him and denying His very existence.

Our entry into Heaven does not rely on not eating chocolates during Lent or meat on Fridays.

Perhaps the Catholic Church needs to clarify this point and review their policy of seeking submission by implying that disobedience of their laws results in sin.

"God does not judge Christians because they sinned, but because they do not repent.” 

St. Niphon of Constantia