Monday, 27 July 2015

The toilet roll


They say that life is like a toilet roll; the nearer it gets to the end the faster it goes round.

How often do we speed busily through life from one thing to another and rarely have the time to stop and enjoy what life is all about.

Let's slow down a bit and make happy memories for tomorrow.


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Finding Jesus

 
A man is stumbling by the riverside totally drunk pulling his horse behind him. He is just too drunk to even be able to ride the horse, having tried several times and fallen off within minutes.

As he walks by the river with his horse he comes upon a preacher baptising people in the river and shouting in a loud voice "Repent you sinners. Repent and find Jesus!"

He staggers to the river’s edge and subsequently he falls in dragging his horse behind him. 

The preacher turns around and is almost overcome by the smell of alcohol. He asks the drunk, “Are you ready to find Jesus?”

The drunk answers, “Yes I am”.

So the preacher grabs him and dunks him in the water. He pulls him up and asks the drunk, “Brother, have you found Jesus?”

The drunk replies, “No, I haven’t”.

The preacher shocked at the answer, dunks him into the water again for a little longer this time. He again pulls him out of the water and asks, “Have you found Jesus, my brother?”

The drunk answers again, “No, I haven’t”.

By this time the preacher is at his wits end and he dunks the drunk in the water again, but this time he holds him down for about 30 seconds, and when he begins kicking his arms and legs, he pulls him up. 

The preacher again asks the drunk, “For the love of God, have you found Jesus?”

The drunk wipes his eyes and catches his breath and says to the preacher, “Are you sure this is where He fell in?”

There’s a message in this joke for us Christians. How often, whilst well-meaning, we try to tell others about our beliefs and end up confusing them and perhaps, un-wittingly, driving them away from God rather than towards Him.

It is worth remembering that not everyone is at the same stage of knowing God as perhaps we are. You wouldn’t feed a new-born baby pizza or French fries; would you? So let’s go easy with new Christians or people who have yet to know the Lord as we do.

The best way to teach Christianity is by living it as Jesus would want us to.

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” St Francis of Assisi.

Monday, 20 July 2015

The wall of Jericho

Once upon a time a newly appointed Religious Instructions teacher at a school asked her class "Who broke down the wall of Jericho?"

Tom sitting up front said "It was not me, Miss!"

The teacher was so appalled at the level of ignorance of her new class, that she reported the incident to the Head Teacher.

The Head Teacher took the matter seriously and asked Tom's parents to attend the school for an explanation. He told them what Tom had said and asked them if they had anything to add. Tom's mother burst out crying and said "My Tom is a good boy. He never lies. If he said he never did it then I believe him!"

The Head Teacher was furious and turned to Tom's father.

Tom's father was more pragmatic about it all. He said "Let's treat this whole thing like grown-ups shall we? You get the wall fixed and I shall pay the costs involved."

When the parents had left, the Head Teacher called the Religious Instructions teacher, to explain what had happened.

She said "Really? Is that what Tom's father suggested?"

"Yes," replied the Head Teacher, "let's get a builder in to fix the wall quickly before he changes his mind!"

Personally ... I think the father was too hasty to offer to pay the costs without knowing how much it would be.

What do you think?

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Perception

Some years ago I put up a notice in my office at work saying: PERCEPTION IS TRUTH.

A number of my staff asked me what it meant.

I explained that no matter how clever you are, how hard-working, conscientious, diligent and self-motivated. If others get the impression that you’re not really that good then, in their mind at least, that image of you is correct.

You’ll have to work really hard to convince others that you’re not really as they perceive you.

The same applies to us Christians. We may think whatever we may think about ourselves – but what image of Christianity are we portraying to others?

Friday, 17 July 2015

Octo Facts

In my research I have uncovered a number of facts which probably you did not know about Octopuses. For a start, the plural of octopus is in fact octopuses and NOT octopussies as some people believe. But that aside, let's consider some really interesting facts.

Scientists have discovered that the octopus is in fact a very intelligent creature. It has several "brains" which are located in their arms or tentacles and not in the head as you would imagine. The reason for this is that each tentacle has several suckers which are controlled independantly. So the creature needs some sort of reflex action/reaction in the arms or tentacles to control all those suckers. Thus the "brain" in the tentacles does this.

However, apart from that form of "low level" intelligence based on reflex actions scientists have discovered that the octopus can actually be taught just as we can teach a child or a pet dog.

For instance, after years of trials and experiments marine biologists have taught an octopus to count up to eight.

Despite several attempts to teach him to count further, all efforts have failed, and it is therefore unlikely that any octopus will become an accountant any day soon. This is because accountants have to count higher than eight, and also they have the benefit of calculators to help them in this respect.

Scientists have given the octopus several calculators - eight in fact. All that the animal did was juggle them over his head with great alacrity.

At this point I must confess that I had to look up the word alacrity as I did not know what it meant. The octopus picked up my dictionary and juggled it too with audacity and gusto. Audacity and Gusto were not too pleased about it though.

Anyway, the scientists took the calculators away and gave the octopus tennis balls. He promptly juggled them above his head and managed up to eight balls at a time. The octopus was given a tennis racket but he was completely useless with it. Which explains why no octopus has ever won Wimbledon or any other world tennis tournament.

It is said that if you are ever stung by an octopus on the beach the best way to counteract the sting is to pour urine on it. The acidity of the urine neutralises the sting.

This happened to me once on the beach and someone suggested the remedy to me. Unfortunately, despite the fact that many people were there at the time, no one volunteered to oblige and come to my aid.

As I'm sure you can imagine, it was not physically possible for me to self-administer this cure whilst standing on one leg. Which is where the octopus has an advantage on us humans.

In many countries the octopus is a delicious delicacy enjoyed in many upper-class restaurants. Unfortunately the dish is very expensive because the octopus runs so fast with his eight legs that no human can catch him quickly enough. Which is another reason why the octopus has been banned from entering any Olympic races or any running tournament for that matter.

On the rare occasion an octopus is caught and taken to the kitchen he wrestles with the cook and throws all the knives and kitchen utensils all over the place. When he is sometimes over-powered and put into a large pot of water, (with a little salt, pepper, and a hint of origano), the octopus uses his free tentacle to turn off  the cooker.

Another intimate and somewhat delicate fact is that male octopusses find it very difficult finding a girl-friend. This is because whenever they meet, their arms are all over the place which is somewhat upsetting for the lady octopus. I mean ... can you imagine sitting at the back of the cinema and feeling an arm coming round behind your neck for a cuddle? And as you remove one arm another moves forward to replace it?

(Thinks ...) (I tried that once in the cinema and I got a black eye! I'd forgotten she was a wrestler by the name of Ten Ton Pye).

And that's all about the octopus for now. A creature with eight legs because eight brains are better than one; and mine hurts right now having written all this for you. I hope you appreciate the length and sacrifice I go to to inform and educate my readers.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Thank you Lulu

Once again, I am very grateful to one of my most loyal and kind readers - LULU.

Lulu blogs HERE and I would recommend you to visit her and say Hello. You'll enjoy what she writes about.

I am grateful to Lulu because she has just posted a very nice review on AMAZON about my book "The Priest and Prostitute".

This is what Lulu had to say about my book:

"A man of many talents, Victor, entertains us with a "Who Don It" in this offering! What I liked MOST about the story---the reminder to not jump to judgement based upon circumstances! Victor tells a story with a touch of tongue in cheek--always--and adds a lesson in morality and faith while weaving an intriguing tale of murder and mystery. The faithful stand by Father Ignatius, but most fall away and even call for heads to roll--reminiscent of the last days of Christ. A talented writer, Victor, has once again used the infamous Father Ignatius to keep us on the edge of our seats--while at the same time gently reminding us of important life lessons. A Great Read!"

See the Review HERE.

Thank you so much Lulu for your generosity and kindness. God bless you.

If any other of my readers has posted a Review on AMAZON please let me know so that I may thank you publicly here. Reviews posted in one country are not always shown on other countries' websites; so I may well have missed what you wrote. If so, sorry and thank you most sincerely.

God bless.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Reflections for the Soul



REFLECTIONS FOR THE SOUL
Victor S E Moubarak 
ISBN-13: 978-1514851210
Paperback and Kindle formats

A selection of readings to help you reflect and meditate when praying or when in need of inspiration.

This book asks pertinent questions such as:

Does God exist? Who is Jesus? What is the Holy Spirit?

Can we really trust God? What happens when we lose all hope and our Faith falters?

Why do some people pray to Saints and the Virgin Mary? Is it idolatry? How does God view such prayers?

Why does God appear to be angry and vengeful in the Old Testament yet we are told He is a loving caring Father in the New Testament? Was it a change of strategy and tactics?
 
These and many other questions are explored and explained in easy to read short chapters. You can read the reflections in chronological order or just open the book at any page and read what is there. Hopefully, it will help you in your prayers.

The author uses humour where appropriate to help deliver a memorable message. You may find a hidden gem in what he writes.

AMAZON LINK HERE

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Christ's wobbly table

If I may quote Martin Luther King: If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures.

Many people go through life enduring their job from day to day and treat it as a means to earn a living – and no more. And as time goes by, so does the pride they have in their work, and inevitably their standard of performance deteriorates.

Whatever job we have to do in life, whether it is an influential position of power or a carpenter like Christ, it is our duty, surely, to give it all the attention and skill that we possess. Can you imagine Jesus making a table with a wobbly leg?

No!

Then why should we? Whatever task we have been given to do – let’s make sure it is not wobbly.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Recorded for posteriority


You know, I read the other day that if you drive non-stop for 23 hours and 55 minutes you’ll be 5 minutes from Tulsa!

Anyway … as I was about to tell you before I interrupted myself, what an eventful day today has been.

I started the morning by visiting my doctor.

The poor man was not well and I thought it’s kind to visit the sick.

As soon as I entered the doctor’s surgery he asked me to lie down on the couch. I asked him why and he said: “I want to vacuum clean just where you’re standing!”

Then he looked at me and asked “Do you get severe headaches in the morning, followed by stomach pains and trembling of the knees?”

I replied “No … why?”

“Because I’ve been getting these symptoms for a week and I wondered if you knew what they were!" he said.

“Anyhow … what are you here for?” he continued.

I showed him my arm and said “I’ve hurt myself in three places.”

He replied, “Stop visiting these places!”

“And another thing doctor,” I went on, “when I drink tea I get this very sharp pain in my eye.”

“Take the spoon out of the cup before drinking!” he said.

I hesitated for a bit and then told him what I was really there for.

"You see, doctor," I started, "sometimes I feel I am a dog."

"How long has this been going on?" he asked.

"Ever since I was a puppy!" I replied.

"OK ..." he said, "get on the couch."

"I'm not allowed on the couch," I replied. He sighed a little and threw his pen in the corner of the room. "Go and fetch it yourself," I said, "I'm not your dog!"

As I got off the couch the doctor asked me, “Tell me, do you have a horse?”

“No I don’t!”

“Pity,” he said, “I have some horse pills I got from a vet … you wouldn’t like to try them do you? You’ll soon be off at a gallop!"

When I returned home I found the postman in my front garden.

“Is this letter yours,” he asked, “the surname’s obliterated.”

“My surname is Moubarak” I replied.

He gave me the letter. It was from a lawyer. I had been left two valuable items in Aunt Matilda’s last will and testament.

I took the items to an antiques dealer and he confirmed them as a genuine Stradivarius and a Rembrandt.

Unfortunately, Rembrandt was bad at making violins and Stradivarius was a terrible painter!

As I was heading back home, just by the beach, a seagull flew above me and emptied its load on my head. I asked a passer-by if he had a paper handkerchief. He said "It's too late mate. The seagull must be miles away by now!"

When I got home I was asked what's this stuff on my head. I told them it's a new style hair gel I got from the shops.

Anyway, that's how my day was today. What was yours like?

Thursday, 9 July 2015

DARE TO WATCH VIDEO

WARNING 

If like me ... 

You have a nervous disposition ... 

please don't see this video more than ONCE !!!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Predicting whether the weather ...

It has been very hot in the UK lately. Apparently, it's been hotter than many other places which are known to be hot. Some days it was over 40 Degrees C in the shade. I was clever though and did not stay in the shade.

The weather forecast woman on TV said it's been the hottest day "since records began".

This set me thinking ... when did records begin?

I researched and found out that a long long time ago a man wrote down on a piece of paper "Phew ... it's hot today. Records have begun."

The next day, he wrote on another piece of paper "Wowie and double phew ... it's been even hotter today. It's been the hottest day since records began yesterday."

This went on for some time with the man writing every day how hot, cool or cold it was. Then, years later, another man called Thermo, invented the thermometer. It was a small tube filled with coloured spirit and with markings on the side. He could therefore measure how hot or cool it was by reading how far the liquid expanded in the tube.

He reasoned that if he put the thermometer in his mouth for a few minutes he could tell how warm or hot it was outside, or inside a house for that matter. Unfortunately, after a few days of such measurements he realised the temperature he was measuring was somewhat similar every day; regardless of wether it was sunny and hot, or cloudy and cool outside.

His wife scoffed at his invention and suggested he might as well stick his thermometer somewhere else. He tried that for a few days but the readings were still similar to the ones he took before; regardless of the weather outside. He therefore reasoned, quite rightly as it happens, that there was some connecting channel between his mouth and the other place.

He threw the thermometer aside and gave up on the whole idea.

His wife, however, whilst doing the cleaning everyday, noticed that the coloured spirit in the tube moved to different locations depending on how hot, cool or cold it was.

And that's how weather measurements began. As often happens, it was a man's idea improved by a woman. Which also explains why the weather forecast on TV is always more interesting when it's a lady presenter rather than a man.

Like everything else I write here, this is all factual and true.Who are you going to believe? Your common sense, or what I tell you?

Monday, 6 July 2015

A Tail of Two Fishes.


This is a true story.

Years ago we had two fishes in a tank in the living room. They were of the goldfish variety. They swam to and fro happily in their tank and all was well.

Well ... not that well really. Because every week I had to empty the tank, clean it, re-fill it with fresh clean water and put in all the necessary tablets that fish require in a tank to live happily and swim to and fro.

After a long period of this weekly tank cleaning I'd had enough. So I put the two fishes in our newly dug pond at the end of our back garden and left them to it. They had to swim or sink as it were!

It's a lovely pond. Much larger than the tank they were in previously, with freshly planted pond weeds and floating flowers of various varieties which I could not name. I guess the pond is no bigger in volume than a couple of bath tubs; (depending on the size of bath tub you have in your bathroom of course; but then you wouldn't admit it here would you?)

Anyway, I left the fish there and every so often we threw in a few fish-feeding pellets which you can get from the pet shop in case the fish survived and were waiting there at their dinner table to be fed. This went on for about a year.

One day I was sitting there by the pond and noticed little one-inch sized silver-coloured fishes floating around in the pond. I looked carefully and yes ... they were small fishes all right. The original two gold-fishes which were about five inches or so big, were also there. I'd recognised them by their large almost transparent tails. The small fishes were swimming around very fast. There were between 6 and 6000 fishes, depending on how quickly you can count moving fishes.

The whole family was over-excited that the two goldfish had survived and now had a family of babies. Over time, the babies grew up to become lovely goldfishes which we can now count easily. There are now exactly eleven fishes in the pond, including the original two; depending of course on how good you are at counting moving fishes.

All this happened some ten or so years ago; and the eleven fishes are still there.

One thing I've often wondered though. Are the original two fishes still there, or have they died and been replaced by new fishes?

I really don't know. But I can tell you this. And this is the honest truth, my friends; believe me!

When I sit by the pond and call the fishes, as I used to when they were in the tank in our living room. I call them saying: "Hey fishy fishy ... hey fishy fishy fishy ..."

Believe me it's true. The fishes totally ignore me just like the original two did when in the fish tank!

Friday, 3 July 2015

The Leaning Tree



Father Francis Maple in one of his sermons makes a good point about our relationship with God by referring to a leaning tree. Here's what he says:
 
I think of a life as a tree. If a tree leans in one direction when it dies it will fall in that direction. It is not going to fall in the opposite direction. So, too, with our lives. If all the time we are leaning towards God, very likely, with God's grace we shall fall into His arms when we die. But if our lives never point to God, it is very likely that when we die we shall die in enmity with God.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Space - The Final Front Ear



I often write about humorous situations which happened to me which I suspect amuse you no end at my expense.

This time however it is different. This is a very serious and true story.

I was yesterday evening abducted by aliens. It happened just like in all the stories you hear and read about alien abductions. Usually you don’t believe such stories and you suspect they’re all made up. Well. For me reality actually happened. I saw a UFO and I was abducted by its occupants.

I can imagine a few of you sniggering already, but I wish you wouldn’t, because I have not quite recovered from this horrendous and frightening experience.

I was out in our garden at about midnight, having finished viewing a movie on TV, and I was there counting the stars as I usually do whilst the dog does his last business for the night.

I had counted up to 976 when suddenly; out of nowhere, there was this huge cigar shaped thing up in the sky, about 30 or so feet above me.

It was glowing red at first, then an orangey colour, then it turned green, and then after a while it turned red again. It took me a while before I realized it was the reflection of the traffic lights nearby.

The dog didn’t seem to have seen it and continued sniffing around as he often does.

Then a little white aperture appeared on the underside of the cigar; like some door opening. Then a light from the aperture shone on me, like the spotlight you get in the theatre when it shines on a performer on stage.

I was very frightened and I must have cried a little because tears ran down my legs.

I felt myself rise up from the ground, as if I was being lifted gently by my whole body. Not like having a belt tied to your waist or a harness on your chest and shoulders; there seemed no upward lifting pressure on my body whatsoever. I was just floating gently upwards.

It lasted a few seconds and then I was inside this large room with bright lights everywhere.

I was led gently towards a large bed by two humanoid shapes. They must have been females because they had well developed chests.

I moved along, almost gliding, with them and next thing I was tied by these big metal clamps to the bed. Clamps round my arms, wrists, legs, waist, chest and neck. I could not move and a bright light shone above me.

They placed a metallic helmet with lights going on and off and a lot of wires and tubes attached to it on my head.

“Let’s test for signs of intelligence” said a voice which sounded knowledgeable and authoritative.

The process took a second or two and then the lights above me went out and the clamps set me free.

Everyone left what must have been an operating theatre or lab and I was alone with just one individual.

“Hello” he said, “I am Captain Fragment. The Captain of this ship. We have just studied you and analysed every biological, physical, mental, emotional, psychological and every other possible detail about you. Now would you like a tour of the spaceship?”

It wasn’t long in my tour when I realised that whenever things went wrong or a little difficult Captain Fragment always fell to pieces and burst out crying uncontrollably. This was somewhat disconcerting for the crew who relied on strong leadership, decisiveness and courage to thrust them ahead to new frontiers where no man had ever gone before.

Soon enough one of the crew announced that there was a vortex up ahead, leading to a black hole with a singularity several times stronger than the ship’s warp drive engine could withstand before imploding on itself.

"We're done for Captain!” said a crew member, “We'll be crushed like a nut in a ... in a ... whatever crushes nuts!"

It was then I noticed Captain Fragment begin to sniffle as he pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket and raised it to his eyes. 

"Number One ... You have the bridge!" he said mumbling in his handkerchief as he left for his Ready Room.

I never understood why he called the other man Number One. I looked at his uniform and noted that the badge on his chest said "Happy Birthday - Now you're 1".

"How long before impact?" Number 1 asked an anaemic faced android who knew everything there is to know in the whole universe except how to boil an egg.

"There is no such thing as impact, Commander", replied the android, "technically speaking we are due to get drawn in at great speed inside the vortex and go round and round several times before we travel through the black hole to our eventual destiny at the other side. It is a bit like going down the bath tub hole when you empty your bath and the water goes round and round and ..."

"I get the idea ..." interrupted Number 1, "how long before all this happens?"

"I estimate it will be three hours, twenty minutes and thirteen seconds, Sir!" replied the android, "Give or take an hour or so either way depending on which way the wind is blowing!"

Then suddenly, just as he was talking, the threatening vortex vanished from the big screen in front of us. All was normal again.

Captain Fragment came out of his Ready Room with a cup of Darjeeling tea in his hand and suggested we take some souvenir photos together with him and the crew.

“You’ll be able to show these to your leaders,” he said. “You humans never believe that we exist unless you have well developed photos to prove it. Well this time you’ll have all the proof you need.”

We said our goodbyes and the next thing I was in my garden and the cigar shaped space ship disappeared.

I rushed to the authorities and told them what happened. They did not believe me.

I pulled out the photos out of my pocket. Those clever aliens had magically turned them into square pieces of toilet paper.

I have a sneaking suspicion that you don’t believe me either!
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