Wednesday, 25 November 2009

10 Things

I thought I might publicly state 10 things I love about Jesus.

1. He became a human being. No other God is worth worshipping. Apart maybe for Mithras, who I was told also incarnated. But Mithras is a myth. If Jesus isn't God, he should be.

2. He completely demolished his enemies in debate. The political and religious leaders were totally trounced. Sometimes I wonder if King Herod took on fox characteristics after Jesus called him a 'fox'. Maybe the Pharisees began to hiss their 's's after Jesus called them snakes.

3. He is highly imaginative.

4. Admittedly he needed to appear serious in his life on earth or no-one would have taken him seriously. But being as he created all types of humour and appeared to be serious... how cool is that of him?

5. He created some amazing things. Like octopuses (there may be a few other things).

6. In a dark, gritty, loveless world, he introduced love, miracles and magic.

7. His gentle side. He healed anyone who came to him and treated animals and children with thoughtful kindness.

8. He was a storyteller. Admittedly his parables were a bit on the brief side. But why be critical of this? His parables were short but they were incredibly deep. 'Bread' is symbolic of all material things, for example. 'Man cannot live by bread alone'. How about the parable of the tenants in the vineyard - dynamite! A parable with a purpose.

9. His love.

10. His freedom-loving heart and that he was no fan of false-peace.

I think it needs saying now and then.

Thursday, 20 August 2009


"This house is full of rats! Would someone like to call the council!"

That was the forlorn cry from one of my Muslim neighbours (not one with a 'can-do' attitude perhaps). Hey, someone has to listen to these people. Well, I just walked on by (she can call the council herself).

I currently live in a largely Muslim area. There is a mosque on my road. The shopkeepers won't sell anything with pork in it (although sometimes you can get sausages with beans if you're lucky and they have forgotten to purge the shelves of all pig product).

It's not all bad here. There was a Hindu lady who would always stand at her window and watch whatever was going on. She was always there whatever was happening. I really warmed to her when I walked past her house down to the shop and back. In the end I decided that I would pluck up the courage to smile at her. So I walked down the road and she was there at the window as usual. I smiled my nicest smile. She looked back at me with a look of disapproval. Oh well, I tried.

There is a Christodelphian church near the shop. They put up weekly signs which usually read: 'The truth about the trinity', or something like that. Sometimes they will have an interesting sign, but I always think it is a little sad that most of the people around here don't realise that the Christodelphians aren't exactly Christian enough to believe in the trinity.

It is very multicultural. In all the time I've lived here the worst abuse I've had was for one Asian youth to shout "English!" at me. They seem to resist all urges to plant a terrorist bomb in my flat. Some of them are really quite friendly.

So, you see, when I watch the news and see how militant and violent my Muslim neighbours are, I can only admit that I must be incredibly naive. Because I think that the portrayal of Muslims (at least in this country) is almost as ridiculous as the portrayal of Christians.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The Good Terrorist (a story)

The Good Terrorist

Once there was a man who was out walking when he fell down into a steep, muddy pit. Try as he might, he found that he couldn't climb out of it. Eventually, exhausted, he gave up and sat cross-legged at the bottom of the pit.

Now, it happened that a preacher was walking by the pit and he saw the man sitting there.“Oh…He-lp me!” groaned the man when he saw the preacher.“Stop groaning,” said the preacher, peering down, “Praise God that you are in a pit. Praise him despite the pit. Start thanking God for your pit. Speak to the pit and command it to move in Jesus’ name.”“Huh?” replied the man.But, sadly, the preacher had walked on by.

A few hours later a motivational speaker passed by the edge of the man’s pit.
“He-lp me ple-ase!” begged the man in the pit.
“It’s not the pit keeping you down there, it’s you,” said the motivational speaker (who had written a series of highly popular self-help books.
“You need to get your thinking right. Visualize yourself out of the pit. Better still, try not to think of the pit at all. Don’t moan and groan about having to be in a pit but speak positive affirmations 16 times a day about how you can overcome your pit.”
“Are you going to help me or not?” asked the man (who was getting a little fed up with all this advice) The motivational speaker reached into his bag and threw a book down to the man.
“Read this and put it into practice indefinitely and you will be happy and successful.” Then the motivational speaker walked on by, whistling to himself as he went.

“Prat,” murmured the man in the pit. But he picked up the book and began to read anyway (there being not much to do when you’re stuck at the bottom of a pit).It was getting dark by now and the poor man was beginning to feel cold. Worse, it had begun to rain and at the bottom of the pit a huge puddle was forming. The man had to stand up because of the puddle. He shivered and tears filled his eyes.

A long time later the man heard some shuffling noises at the edge of the pit.
“He-lp me-ee!” croaked the man into the darkness above.
A face looked down at him. It was a terrorist. The terrorist laughed at the man.
“Please help,” said the man (not too keen on being laughed at).
The terrorist said: “Look at the foreign policy of your government. It is your government keeping you in that pit.”
“Can’t you let your heart be filled with compassion towards me or something?” said the man.
The terrorist shrugged.
Suddenly he jumped and skidded down to the bottom of the pit and stood next to the man.
“You idiot!” exclaimed the man.
“At least I didn’t walk off,” replied the terrorist.
“You stupid idiot. You should have given me a hand out. Now we’re both stuck.”
“I just wanted to experience pit-life in solidarity with you,” said the terrorist.

Three days later the preacher returned and helped both men out of the pit.
“Sorry about that,” mumbled the preacher who had had a crisis of conscience.
“You know nothing of pit-life,” scolded the terrorist and they all went their separate ways.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Secret Smallprint

According to the popular book 'The Secret', if you ask the universe for anything and write this down you will receive what you have asked for. It is similar to Norman Vincent Peale's positive visualization techniques (except that Peale suggests you ask and thank God whilst 'The Secret' (by Rhonda Byne) suggests you ask and thank the universe).

'The Secret' asserts that if you think positively, positive things will happen. But it also says that if you think negatively, negative things will happen to you. In the book this is called 'The law of attraction'. It suggests that if you think negatively you also attract sickness into your life.I think the problem with this is that when you are sick you already have to cope with the imminent pain and a very unruly imagination (which usually plays over every horrific scenario).

If you are then told that your sickness has come about because of negative thinking the logical conclusion is that the sickness is your fault.That is the last thing that someone who is sick needs to hear. 'The Secret' is not the only self-help or new-age book which propagates this idea. And you know what? It stinks to high heaven. Thanks a lot Rhonda- do try to stay healthy.