Saturday 30 April 2022

Technology and I (Me)


 I have to admit I am no good at technology and all those new devices available on the market. I've still to master the cell-phone. Whenever it rings I always press the wrong button and take a photo of my ear.

A friend of mine has a little gadget in his ear and he talks to himself and apparently he is in conversation on the phone. I did not know that. He was talking to himself and I asked him if he was all right. He said be had Bluetooth. I advised him to visit a dentist before it gets worse.

Some years ago we were at our friend's house enjoying a lovely barbecue in the garden with his family. It was warm and sunny and all was well and wonderful.

Until I asked my friend if he had a newspaper.

"Join the 21st Century," he laughed, "we don't have newspapers in this house. Here have my Kindle!"

Well ... that wasp certainly did not know what hit it as it went to meet its maker.

For some reason my friend became furiously angry as bits of plastic broke off from his Kindle and started flying all over the place. He started calling me all sort of unrepeatable names.

Everyone stopped what they were doing in shock and amazement.

He calmed down a little when his 4 year old child asked innocently what some of the words meant.

When he'd calmed down once again he explained what a Kindle was and its purpose.

"Oh ..." I said, "I thought it was a mouse mat for the computer, or a fly swatter. It looks the right size to be both!"

He thought I was being funny ... which I wasn't, I assure you.

I calmed him down by offering to buy him another Kindle.

He then went on about the number of books on his Kindle and other documents and pictures which were now lost forever and had to be "downloaded" again.

I guess one can transfer books from a broken Kindle to a new one? Can you?

Friday 29 April 2022

The Holy Spirit


I make no apologies for returning to this subject, but it seems from what I read in social media and on TV that many do not understand what, or Who, is the Holy Spirit.

Just before Jesus was raised to Heaven, after His Resurrection, He promised His disciples that He will send them the Holy Spirit to help and guide them. They probably did not understand what He meant; but a few days later, at Pentecost, they experienced the Holy Spirit descending on them.

The Holy Spirit is a living spiritual Being. He is not an "it"; but  "He". God is a living Spirit. Jesus is a living Spirit and has always existed. He became visible in human form on earth when He was born of a virgin. But He always existed as a Spirit. The Holy Spirit has always existed too.

Don't try to work it out. It is not a puzzle and there's no prize for the right answer. It is a mystery of the Christian faith and we are asked, (invited), to believe it without explanation. Not in this life at least.

The Holy Spirit, let's call Him the very soul of God as an explanation, descended on the disciples and transformed them by giving them Christ's peace in their hearts, the courage to speak up and proclaim the truth they had witnessed about Jesus, and the knowledge of what to say and do and when to do it.

Today, the Holy Spirit can descend on an individual and guide and help them through life; heal them also. All you have to do is ask earnestly and honestly for God to send the Holy Spirit upon you.

I have seen it happen. I have known people with the Holy Spirit. They are usually very calm, serene and peaceful. Nothing seems to stir them and they are confident that God is in control of their lives and of everything.

Would you not wish to be always calm, and at peace with yourself and the world, totally sure that God is by your side and whatever happens all will be well with you and yours?

These days the message of Pentecost has been confused or deliberately obfuscated through time. I guess it is partly because the world has become more secular and unbelieving.

I say more about the Holy Spirit in my latest book, "Searching for God".

Thursday 28 April 2022

Haunted House


It was late evening when I got off the train at a coastal town in Northern England. It was dark and misty as I walked down the empty street trying to  find somewhere to stay for the night. The pungent acrid smell of coal-burning fires hung in the air and made my eyes water. An owl cried in the distance followed by a cat screeching in an alleyway. This desolate town looked as if nothing had changed from the 18th Century. The dark wooded fronted buildings seemed deserted, and even the traditional tumble-weeds did not bother to come rolling down the street, preferring instead to hide in a huddle in street corners. A bell far away tolled gently its funereal peal every few seconds. "Ding ... Ding ... Ding ..."  Fear must have gripped my every senses as I felt tears rolling down my trouser legs.

I wondered what this town's motto was, if it had any on its Coat of Arms, traditional in many towns around this parts. "Reversing back into the past with despondency". I bet it had a suicide pact with the devil.

I eventually reached a dimly lit building with a "Bed and Breakfast" sign by the door. I entered what looked like a pub with a dozen or so people sitting at various tables nursing their sorrows in their customary drinks. The room was totally silent and I felt their gaze burn into my back as I approached the bar.

"What will you have?" asked the barman as he wiped the bar with a dirty old cloth.

"Whatever they are having!" I replied with a nervous smile as I turned round only to discover the bar room totally empty. I felt my knees knocking with terror. I had butterflies in my stomach and their knees were knocking too.

"Are you a stranger in town?" asked the barman as I noticed for the first time that he had a vulture perched on his shoulder.

I nodded silently and then, finding my voice again, I asked him if he had a room for the night, and regretted making the request almost instantaneously as the bird of prey emptied its load on the man's shoulder.

He cleaned his jacket with the bar cloth and said, "That will be £20 payable in advance."

"Why is that bell tolling in the distance all the time?" I asked as I paid him.

"That would be the buoy, that would," he replied as he spat some chewed tobacco on the ground.

"A boy?" I asked innocently.

"Yes ... a buoy ... a floating thing on the sea with a bell to warn ships to keep away from the rocks. Years ago, there were a terrible shipwreck out there. A merchant ship hit the rocks and it went down with all hands on deck. Not a soul was saved that night. Although we did recover many casks of whisky and port. Some town folks believe the whole town is haunted because of them sailors dying like that. Some nights one can hear the howling of their anguished cries as they gasped for their last breath in the icy cruel sea. Personally, I think it's just the wind but some folks will hang on to their beliefs like a snot from a child's nose."

I nodded silently, not knowing what to say.

"Will you be wanting supper?" he asked, as he cleaned the bar top again with the same cloth, spreading the remains of the bird's faeces all over the place.

"Yes please ..." I gulped.

"Well ... we haven't got any!" he replied, "I have to go to the church grave yard shortly. So I'll bid you good bye!"

"To ... the grave yard?" I asked, "at this time of night?"

"Yes ..." he said as he spat again, "I double up as the town's grave digger and I have to get ready for a burial tomorrow morning."

"Has someone died?" I asked rather stupidly, but for something to say.

"He'd better be ..." he said, "or else we'd be burying him alive. And Hubert would not be happy. Considering the big size of the grave I have to dig. Huge it'll be!"

"Was Hubert a big man?" I asked again.

"We ain't burying Hubert ..." he said in exasperation, "at least not yet. We are burying his horse!"

"His horse?" I heard myself say and not believing my ears, "in the church grave yard?"

"Where else would you want me to bury him?" he asked, "out at sea? A naval burial on a night like this? He wasn't a sea horse, you know!"

I nodded and said nothing.

"There will not be any breakfast in the morning," he said as he left, "but the price is included in the £20 you paid!"

I made my way up to my room in the dark. I entered the damp and dank smelling room lit by one candle. At least it had hot and cold running cockroaches.

I saw one of them on the wall by my bed. I used a folded newspaper and killed it squashing its remains all over the wall. Within minutes the room was infested by other cockroaches who had come for the funeral.

I pulled the bed away from the wall and they pulled it back to hide where they were holding the remembrance reception.

I decided to spend the night sitting on an old armchair instead. I must have been very tired because my eyelids soon got the better of me as I dozed of for a while.

I semi-awoke by the sound of the cockroaches partying. In my stupor I saw a ghostly figure of a woman standing by my bedside. She reminded me a little of Gloria Gaynor.

At first I was afraid, I was petrified ...
Thinking ... Oh no, not I, I will survive.
Oh, as long as I know how to run,
I'll stay alive ... I will survive.

And right now I am imagining all your faces as you are reading this!

Wednesday 27 April 2022

Never Give Up




Tuesday 26 April 2022

Life's Dilemmas


There are times in life when we are all faced with dilemmas and have to make a decision that may affect us or others. But which are the correct decisions? What would you do in these circumstances?

You're in a park and you see the spouse of your best friend in an amorous embrace with a stranger. It is obvious they are cheating on their marriage. What do you do? Do you tell your best friend what you've witnessed and that their spouse is unfaithful? Do you keep what you saw a secret? 

The priest has noticed that one of the church helpers is stealing from the collection plate. He confronts him, and the helper confesses and repents profusely. The priest consequently learns that this helper has applied for a job at Bishop's House working for the Bishop. What should the priest do? Tell his boss of the potential problem, or keep quiet?

What if the Bishop asks the priest for a character reference?

You are on a cruise ship enjoying a holiday. A passenger falls off the ship into the water and shouts for help. Should you video the event with your cell-phone or take photos with a good SLR camera with automatic telephoto lens?

Monday 25 April 2022

My Real Bad Times


Years ago my wife went to look after an elderly relative all of a sudden and I was left at home alone with young children aged under seven. (Say AAAAHHH!)

I had a lot of work to do and a report which needed writing and e-mailed to the office as soon as possible if not earlier. I did not have time to do any shopping and there was very little food in the house. The kids were hungry and I did not know what to feed them. They'd had enough of sandwiches and they wanted something warm inside them.

I put the children in the car and decided to drive to town. We could go shopping or we could go to their favourite fast food outlet where they always serve nourishing meals full of vitamins.

It started raining heavily. The car would not start. Try as I may I could not get the engine to start.

In desperation, I decided to get the children back in the house and phone for pizzas to be delivered.

As soon as I opened the car door the dog ran out of the car and into nearby fields. I called him back. His name was Sit. I shouted, "SIT ... SIT ... SIT ..." but he would not come back, or sit because it was too wet underfoot.

I was getting drenched. Soaked all over.

I decided to ignore him and get the children indoors.

A few steps further on and my shoe got stuck in the heavy mud. I tried to pull it out and the heel from my shoe came off altogether leaving a gaping hole in my shoe letting in even more water.

That's when I sat there on the muddy ground, took out my guitar, and started singing:

You picked a fine time to leave me loose heel
With four hungry children
And a dog in the field.
I've had some bad times
Lived through some sad times
But this time your hurtin' won't heal.
You picked a fine time to leave me loose heel.
In a bar in Toledo across from the depot
On a barstool, she took off her ring
I thought I'd get closer so I walked on over
I sat down and asked her name
When the drinks finally hit her she said "I'm no quitter
But I finally quit livin' on dreams
I'm hungry for laughter and here ever after
I'm after whatever the other life brings"
In the mirror, I saw him and I closely watched him
I thought how he looked out of place
He came to the woman who sat there beside me
He had a strange look on his face
The big hands were calloused, he looked like a mountain
For a minute I thought I was dead
But he started shaking, his big heart was breaking
He turned to the woman and said
"You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille
With four hungry children and a crop in the field
I've had some bad times, lived through some sad times
But this time your hurting won't heal
You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille"
After he left us, I ordered more whiskey
I thought how she'd made him look small
From the lights of the barroom
To a rented hotel room
We walked without talking at all
She was a beauty but when she came to me
She must have thought I'd lost my mind
I couldn't hold her 'cause the words that he told her
Kept coming back time after time
"You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille
With four hungry children and a crop in the field
I've had some bad times, lived through some sad times
But this time your hurting won't heal
You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille
You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille
With four hungry children and a crop in the field
I've had some bad times, lived through some sad times
But this time your hurting won't heal
You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille"

Sunday 24 April 2022

That Thomas Thing


 John 20:19-31

You know what it's like in life! You do one thing and it remains with you all the time. People always talk about it when referring to you. I bet there's an incident in your life that people remember about you.

Peter is always remembered for having denied knowing Jesus. No matter what else he did in life after that and how he set up Christ's Church on earth; that incident is what he's remembered for.

Paul is remembered for falling off his horse on the way to Damascus and how this changed his life after he found the Lord - or the Lord found him.

John the Baptist is remembered for living in the desert eating locusts and having his head cut off for being outspoken.

And poor Thomas, well he is not only remembered for what he did but he has become a nomenclature ever since for anyone who is not so sure and doubts before making up their mind.

There is nothing wrong with doubt. Doubt helps us assess what we've been told and often strengthens our faith. By questioning, we understand and we come to believe more.

Let us consider the Bible passage above a bit more.

Unwittingly, Thomas did Christianity and the Church a great favour by what he did. And I believe that it was all Divinely planned.

"Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." After He said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord."

Note that Jesus did show the disciples his wounds in order to help them believe that He had been raised from the dead.

"But Thomas, (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came."

Jesus must have known that Thomas would not be there. He could have come another day when Thomas was present, but He didn't. In doing so, Jesus set in motion what happened next.

The disciples told Thomas and he doubted the Resurrection. He said what we will always remember about him, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in His side, I will not believe." 

He doubted ... but then, so must have the disciples because Jesus did show them His wounds.

A week later Jesus appeared again and invited Thomas to check His wounds; and Thomas believed.

And that's how Thomas did a great favour to our Faith. Had He not doubted, had he been there the first time Jesus appeared, Jesus would not have appeared again, and the whole episode would not have happened, and it would not have been recorded. As it happens, the episode was witnessed by the disciples, and written about for us to read and believe.

As Jesus said to Thomas, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."

See how blessed you are!

Thursday 21 April 2022

Searching For God


Let us be honest friends, this book is not for you.

It is for someone who perhaps does not believe in God, or is not sure what to believe. It is for someone who wonders what life is all about. Why are we here and how did we get here? Were we created, or are we just a product of evolution and natural circumstances? 

This book is also for someone who at some stage may have been a believer but somehow, over time, they have drifted away. 

This book is for someone "Searching For God". 

We all know somebody who fits this category. People who either don't believe, or don't know what to believe, or believed in something sometime ago and no longer do so.

I have written this book because I know people who fit this description. They believe they'll go to Heaven yet don't know why, or where it is, and what they would do if they get there.   

On reflection, this book is for you and for me. Because we can pass it on to that someone in our life who perhaps needs a nudge in the right direction to find God in their lives.

The book tackles in simple language those basic questions that may have crossed our minds from time to time.

What is the argument for and against evolution as opposed to a Creator living God who made everything happen?

How do we know there is God anyway? What does He look like? A ghost, a spirit, or a physical entity like us? How does He communicate with us; and we with Him? What does He want anyway?

These and other questions are tackled in easy to understand terms in the hope to spark interest and further research in our "Searching For God". 

An easy to read, step-by-step journey in search for the living Creator God.

Whether you are already a believer or not, this book will help you meditate and reflect on what you truly believe, and on what you base those beliefs, and why.

The book will be of particular interest to those enquiring about their role and mission in life and how it fits in with the will of God.

Why did God create us and create the Universe? What is the purpose of life here on earth? Is there really another life after death? Why and where is it and who is destined to go there for eternity?

Please promote this book and pray in the hope it lands in the hands of someone who is truly "Searching for God".

It is only 58 pages long to keep the price down and make it easy to carry in a handbag or a pocket. Reasonably priced to cover production costs.

Available in Paperback and KINDLE from AMAZON - HERE

Wednesday 20 April 2022

Unexpected Encounter


It was a long time ago, I was young, I was out travelling like some students do, discovering the world and all that.

It was in the mountains. Mount Everest I think, or was it the Pair O'knees? No ... Ben Nevis, that was the name of the hotel keeper. Or the mountain ... or ...

Anyway, I met this hermit. A man who lives alone in the middle of nowhere eating berries and locusts ... or is it licorice? Something beginning with L anyway. Linguine? No that's not it.

He was naked in a barrel. He called me and said, "Wisdom is acquired and not found!"

I nodded and said nothing. I was tired so I sat down on the ground whilst he dried himself up and wrapped his scrawny skeletal body in a toga type outfit. Maybe it was in Italy ... do they have mountains in Italy?

He said, "Imagine, young man, you are walking on a beach and you see footprints. One set of feet, the left ones, are bare, whilst the others, the right, distinctly show that the foot is wearing a sandal. What would you deduce from that?"

"I guess the person has lost one of his sandals," I replied.

"No necessarily so, my not-so-wise friend" he smiled, "it could be that the person has just found a sandal, not lost one!"

I nodded again and said nothing.

"Let us say," continued the toga-wearing hermit, "that later on you find a sandal; what would you deduce from that?"

"I guess it is the sandal that the wearer lost," I said.

"Again, not necessarily so," he chuckled, "it could be that the walker got fed up limping with one bare foot and one with a sandal, so he threw the sandal he found away!"  

After a few moments' silence he spoke again.

"We often deduce things from limited information," he said, "and our deductions are based on our attitude to life. You said the man had lost a sandal; I said he had found one. You were negative in your deduction. You assumed the sandal was the one that was lost, I said it was the one he had found and he threw it away."

I smiled. He had a point. I was somewhat negative in my thinking; but life tends to make you so sometimes.

He continued, "A man in the sea is always wet. A wet man on the beach was not necessarily in the sea!"

Another good point, I thought. It could be raining, or he got wet by some other way.

"A river never flows up the mountain," he added after a pause.

I decided it was time to go. I got up, smiled and waved him goodbye. 

"Remember," he said as he waved back, "the dogs in the desert run much faster because the trees are further apart!"

And the moral of this story:

If you ever walk your dog in the desert never use one of those extendable/retractable leads. They'll never be long enough.

Tuesday 19 April 2022

Father Ignatius Learns A Lesson


Father Ignatius had an old radio which, despite its age, was in good working order. He really didn’t need it anymore because a kind parishioner had given him a newer model. So he asked around if anyone wanted it.

Mrs Davenport, his housekeeper, turned down his generous offer. She had no need of another radio in her home.

He asked a few parishioners whom he knew were too poor to own a radio but they said they didn’t need one.

So he put a little notice in the weekly Church Newsletter and … three weeks later, there were still no takers for this free radio seeking a good home with someone, somewhere.

On a sunny summer afternoon Father Ignatius put a small table at the end of the church’s car park, just by the gate, on the sidewalk. On the table he placed the old radio and a sign which read: “This radio is yours for FREE. Help yourself.”

He then went to his office on the first floor of Parish House and got on with some work. Every so often he looked out of the window and there, on the table, was the poor radio waiting to be taken away.

A few passers-by stopped, looked at the radio, some picked it up to see if it was broken, then they placed it back on the table and walked away.

An hour later and the radio was still there even though some fifty people must have passed by.

“Perhaps people can’t believe such a beautiful item is given away free!” thought the priest.

So he went out to the table, took away the notice and put another one saying: “Radio for sale. Only £10. Please call at the Parish House to pay.”

He thought to himself as he went back to his office, “If anyone offers to buy it I’ll give it to them for free!”

Moments later he looked out of the window and the radio was still there. Some people picked it up, examined it for a while, and then put it back again on the table and left.

The priest was about to give up when he noticed two youngsters approach the table.

“They look interested!” he thought.

They picked up the radio, examined it carefully, looked around to see if anyone was watching them, then ran away with the radio in hand.

Father Ignatius turned back into his office and looked at the large Crucifix hanging on the wall and said: “I don’t know about You … but sometimes I despair with the human race!”

Monday 18 April 2022

What shall I write about?


You can imagine what it's like. I sit at my computer day after day ignoring all distractions just to write something interesting, educational or informative for you my readers to enjoy and be entertained.

It is not easy you know. Sometimes I wonder what else I can write about to ensure that you continue to visit me here; and also that you encourage and invite others to venture here too.

Do you realise that if each one of you encouraged just one more regular visitor here then there would be more readers to this Blog than there are empty pizza boxes in the kitchen.

Anyway, c'est la vie, as they say. It seems the road to my success is always under construction.

It reminds me of that day long ago when I met a beautiful woman in the museum in Paris. I thought I was in Louvre! Turned out I was in Seine as she pushed me in the river.

But I am much wiser now years later having learnt a lot about love and marriage. Did you know that behind every angry wife there is a man with absolutely no idea what he did wrong?

That's the thing about married life. One day you're the best thing since sliced bread; and the next moment you're toast.

Perhaps you wise people can advise me about this. I can't seem to get anything right. If you deliberately try to fail, and you succeed; which one have you done? 

I married my wife for her looks; but not the ones she is giving me right now!

The other day she said, "I asked you to take the trash out many times and you've still not done it!"

I replied, "Thank you my dear for explaining the word many to me; it means a lot!" She was not impressed by my wit.

She always complains that I never listen to her ... or something like that! She said, I'm forgetful. When I told the doctor I'm forgetful he made me pay in advance.

She often corrects me in discussion or when talking to friends. Does anyone know how to disable the auto-correct function on a spouse?

The other day my wife complained that I was useless at fixing electrical equipment. When I discovered that our toaster is not waterproof I was quite shocked.

Anyway, as you know, I often like to end up with a Christian story to make us all try to be better and lead a good life. This one is about stealing and cheating.

Once upon a time there was an unscrupulous painter who was very interested in making extra money if he could. He often thinned down his paint with turpentine to make it go a bit further. Sadly, he got away with this for some time.

One day he was painting the outside of the Church Parish Hall white. So he set about erecting the scaffolding and got up to start the job. 

Sadly, like always, this cheating man had thinned the paint with turpentine.

As he was painting away, the job nearly completed, there was suddenly a horrendous clap of thunder, the sky opened. The rain poured down washing the thinned paint from all over the Parish Hall walls, and knocking the painter clear off the scaffold to land on the lawn among the gravestones, surrounded by tell-tale puddles of the thinned and useless paint.

The thieving painter soon realised that this was a judgement from above … ... ...

He got on his knees and cried, “Oh God … oh God … help me … what should I do?”

And just then a thunderous voice replied:

“Repaint !!! Repaint !!! And thin no more !!!”

Sunday 17 April 2022

Easter Sunday




Saturday 16 April 2022

Easter Saturday


Friday 15 April 2022

Good Friday


In our church, on Palm Sunday, (last Sunday), everyone is given a poster like the one above to put prominently on their front window so it can be seen from the street.


Thursday 14 April 2022

Washing of feet


This week, many churches re-enact the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet before the Last Supper. The priest washes the feet of 12 people representing the disciples. You can bet that the chosen 12 have ensured that their feet are as clean as could be, to avoid embarrassment during the re-enactment.

At the time of Jesus, however, things were different. Streets were not as modern and clean as they are now in our towns and cities. They were dusty, muddy if it rained, and no doubt full of deposits from horses, camels and cattle. People wore sandals or even walked in bare feet.

So when they entered a house as guests washing their feet must have been an essential task rather than the symbolism it is in today’s churches. A task left to the servants to undertake.

When Jesus offered, insisted even, in washing His disciples’ feet He was teaching them, and us, a very important lesson.

Here is God Himself, born in poverty, raised in poverty, living in poverty, submitting Himself to perform a task reserved for servants.

Perhaps the disciples didn’t understand the significance of what Jesus had just done. Maybe we don’t understand it ourselves right now.

Yet, He was preparing for an even greater submission and humiliation for us.

Dying a most horrible and painful death on the Cross.

Just for us.

Wednesday 13 April 2022

Thou Shall Not Judge


Jesus said: "Do not judge, and you will not be judged". Luke 6:37

But is this really possible? We all judge one another and we are judged. By judging other people we form an opinion of who is good and who is bad. Who we can befriend, and who we should avoid. We all meet many people throughout life, in the street, in shops, at work, in church, in the pub or wherever. Whenever we meet people we sub-consciously judge them and form an opinion as to whether we like them or not.

That's how the world turns. That's what dating is all about. That's life. Meeting, forming an opinion, getting closer or further away from an individual, being friendly or not.

There are many criterias to judging people. (Criteria is already the plural of criterion - get your grammar right!).

As I was saying before I interrupted myself. There are many criteria to judging people. Some judge by the way you speak grammatically and don't split the infinitive like, "To boldly go where no one has gone before!"

Others judge people by their accents. By their looks or by their clothes. Some judge others by their backgrounds, education, race, colour, professions, religion, whether they smoke or drink or not, by their marital status, and many other criteria which feed our sense of discrimination and prejudices.

I think one way we should judge people is by their criminal record. When I was young and dating pretty ladies I always asked them straight-away, "Have you got a criminal record?" Everyone of them avoided me from then on. One even slapped my face. I don't know why.

Eventually, I dated a lady in prison. It didn't last long. She was a prison warden and did not like my character. She was obviously judgemental about something or other.

These days I have grown up and matured. I am now much wiser and only judge people by their distance. The further away they are from me the more I like them.

Take the mother-in-law for instance! She lives 150 miles away. I like her very much from that distance. I would like her even more if she moved further away. I would definitely love her even more than that if she moved to another country or continent altogether. It's like loving the sun from afar. No one wants the warmth of the sun only inches away from them!

So you see ... judging others is good. We all judge and we are all judged.

I wonder how God would judge me?

What do you think?

Tuesday 12 April 2022

The Reset Button


Imagine you had a reset button. Like the one on computers and electronic equipment that resets the program to the original settings as when the item left the factory.

Imagine you pressed the button and you got back to a moment in your life when it was perfect; whatever perfect is. That moment in life when youth combined with innocence and hope to make you see the world in a totally different light, and made you confident that all problems could be solved, and you could be part in solving them to make the world a better place. You remember that moment, when you felt everything in life was crystal clear and it was either this way or that, and as a young person you could not understand why others were not as bright, or as clever, as you at seeing things.

Now imagine that having pressed the reset button and gone to that place and time in your past, you also have all the experience and wisdom that you have now. 

You are at what you thought and described as the perfect place back then, but you have the added advantage of all the experience and wisdom you have accumulated over the years up to now.

How do you see things differently? 

Is there anything you did or said back then that you would do or say differently now that you have the added experience and wisdom?

There's no point in regretting what you did back then. Life is a movie film with no playback function. You can see the past but you cannot alter it. 

But what have you learnt from the past; from the reset button? 

Was what you did and said then inevitable? It had to be said. It had to be done that way. Not necessarily for your own good but for that of others. You acted then with pure motives and no matter how often you press the reset button you would still do it again the same way.

That's the true purpose of the reset button in our lives.

Not to change the past. But to learn from it, or to re-affirm that what we did back then was the right thing to do.

Monday 11 April 2022

Horror Movie


Every now and then there is a horror movie on TV. For some reason they put them on very late at night to scare the viewers into a sleepless night. They all seem to follow the same pattern. So I thought, why don't you and me get together and make our own horror movie. Not for real, but in our heads. Let our imaginations run wild and together we could make a major blockbuster that would win all the Oscars and other awards going.

Let us start with an old rickety very large house in a remote out of the way place that no one ever dares to go to. No supermarkets, discos or restaurants anywhere in the vicinity. There's no vicinity either. This place is so remote and out in the wildest wild that it seems to have a suicide pact with the devil himself.

It is night, there's a full moon, and a cold whistling wind blowing through the leafless trees creating haunting shadows all over the nearby graveyard. There are bats flying in and out of the broken attic window of the old house that no self-respecting realtor estate agent would even bother to put on the market.

Are you scared yet? I am in my head ... and the story hasn't begun yet.  

As you enter the house there's a haunting music like you often hear in horror films. The camera pans round the entrance hall displaying antique furniture and various ancient portraits paintings on the walls. The camera then moves up the stairs to the floor above. A door is seen opening slowly with a creaking ominous sound as it is blown gently by the wind entering through a broken window. The window shutters are flapping in the wind blowing the floating curtains like threatening ghosts seeking revenge and retribution. A large spider is seen scurrying up the wall and hiding in a large web in the corner of the ceiling.

The camera enters the room. It is a bedroom with an old fashioned four-poster bed covered in nettings like shrouds surrounding a corpse.

A woman is seen lying on the bed. She is startled by the sound of the window shutters and the howling wind. She gets up and is seen to be wearing the flimsiest of transparent nightdresses you can imagine.

Why is it in horror movies women are always young, beautiful, vulnerable and no matter how cold it is, and no matter how windy it is, blowing a hurricane gale force out there, they are always wearing tiny, see-through nightdresses? 

This woman gets up from her bed all scared and frightened and she rushes down the stairs. The music becomes more intense.

No one seems to ask why is there a woman living alone in this broken down house in the middle of nowhere. But it all adds to the horror and fear doesn't it?

As she gets down the stairs the young woman hears a sound from the cellar. It is a howling sound which makes one's blood curdle and a frisson run up and down one's spine at the same time. 

What could there be down there? A wolf? A ghost? Or a hoard of zombies intent on striking fear on the most courageous of viewers watching this movie so late at night. 

The cellar door is seen being forced from within. Whoever is down there is determined to come out and wreak death and destruction. The woman stares at the cellar door. First she is afraid, then she's petrified. All alone with no one by her side!

This is the bit where your imagination comes in. You can help with creating more suspense and horror to the story so far.

Does the woman run outside in order to escape the impending doom and a horrific ending? 

Does she open the cellar door to see what is there in case it is a lovely little puppy waggling its tail and wanting to be her friend? 

Or does she go in the kitchen and have a tub of ice cream?

What do you think? 

What would add more tension and suspense and broken suspenders even to this frightening horror movie to end all frightening horror movies?

Personally, I vote for having the ice cream. 

There is nothing more horrific and blood curdling than going to the freezer and finding that the ice cream tub is empty and no one has bothered to buy another one. Or worse still, opening the tub and finding the tiniest minutest bit of ice cream there that would not fill even half a tea spoon.

Why do people do that? Why not finish the whole damned tub? 

Why keep such a tiny bit back in the fridge to entice you to go there full of expectation only to find there's nothing inside? 

Who are these evil sadistic monsters who would do such a thing? 

Why put an empty container back in the fridge?

That is the most cruel and evil horrific act that you can imagine in any horror movie ever made.

An empty tub of ice cream. A great title for a horror movie.


I'll stop here and challenge you to think of a more horrific scenario for this film.

Sunday 10 April 2022

When I'm dead and gone


Father Ignatius was at the monthly Any Questions Meeting held at St Vincent Parish Hall, whereby parishioners and their guests asked any questions which he and Father Donald would attempt to answer and teach about the Catholic Faith.

The discussion centred about death and our achievements in life.

Father Ignatius said, “Imagine you are dead and resting in your open coffin. Your family and friends pass by to pay their last respects. What would you want them to say?”

Someone hesitantly said that she’d like people to say that she was a good wife and mother and that she always attended Mass on Sunday.

Another person added that he was a good doctor and did his best for his patients.

A third parishioner went on to say that she was a good teacher and cared for all the children in her care.

Father Ignatius noted that Theodore Luxton-Joyce, the eccentric millionaire and generous donor to the church, was scribbling away in his notepad and was somewhat uninterested. He’d only attended the Meeting to accompany his lovely wife Rose.

So the priest asked him, “How about you Theodore? What would you like people to say when they see you lying in your open coffin?”

“I’d like them to say ‘I’ve seen him move …’ ” came the swift reply as everyone laughed.

As the laughter died down Father Ignatius continued, “I’m sure they’ll say you had a great sense of humor too …

“But on a more serious note … how exactly will we be remembered?

“A parishioner once told me that it was hypocritical to always speak well of the dead. If a person had been nasty and bad in his life, the only difference is that he is now a dead nasty and bad person. And to pretend otherwise would be insincere.

“This is a little uncharitable perhaps; but that parishioner had a point.”

Father Ignatius stopped, as he often did, to punctuate the importance of what he had just said.

He then continued, “Now is the time to ensure that people will be honest when they speak about us.

“We do this by remembering Christ’s commandment to love one another. And to practice that commandment.

“The best gift we can offer each other is our presence. We all have a part to play in other people’s lives. Just think for a moment how many people rely on you … your spouse, your children, your elderly parents, your neighbours perhaps … if you’re a teacher or a doctor the children in your school rely on you, as well as your patients …

“I need not go on. But the point I’m making is that we should be generous with our time with these people. Our very presence on this earth can be a source of great joy and happiness to others.

“When Jesus was raised to Heaven, His disciples missed Him and were sad to see Him leave them. They were totally devastated and confused.

“Missing someone is a sure sign that their presence affected your life in a good way.

“So let us be remembered not for who we were but for what we have done; and how we made a real difference for the good in someone’s life.

“And even though we might not move in our open coffin, as Theodore hopes, at least our lives will have moved others".