Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year…….

Today, at the start of a new year,  I feel like expressing my gratitude for all the years of my life as I prepare to face what's in store for me in the new one starting……and the best way is to say:
‘‘Thanks be to God!’’
Thanks...     for everything God gives us abundantly -
                       health, happiness, and prosperity.
Thanks...      for the hard lessons that 
                        have helped me to know 
                        myself and others better.
Thanks…    for the failures I have stomached – they have taught
                       me humility,
                        the obligation to never sleep on my laurels,
                        and the necessity
                        to understand the failures of
                        other people who, just like me,
                       at times do need a helping hand.
Thanks…   for the opportunities to
                      cultivate patience, tolerance, and
Thanks…   for multiple discoveries of
                      reality and truth.
Thanks…  for good things I’ve grasped
                     and bad things I’ve dodged,
                     for solutions I’ve found and talents
                     I’ve grown,
                     for victories I’ve earned and beautiful days I’ve
                    for the parents who loved me and the friends I’ve met,
                   the teachers who taught me and the books I’ve read.
                  And for You too reading this blog at the start of a New Year!
                 for the journeys I’ve made and the meals I’ve had
                 for the sceneries I’ve admired and the sun I’ve watched,
                the flowers I’ve gazed at and the air I’ve breathed.
                 for the growing awareness that God is tending me despite
                 my mistakes,
                 protecting me despite my weaknesses,
                 loving me despite my flaws,
                 and finding solutions for me despite my stubbornness.
Thanks…for the joy oh so simple of feeling that I am
And thanks be to God…
               ... for every morning that I wake up
                   to find yet another day to live
                  …. and love.

Thank you God…. for the breath of life!

Have a Wonderful Year with Him who matters!
May your God bless You too!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Only 2009 years ago....

Tonight is Christmas Night, when all good things happen.  When we give/receive the magical gift of our love to each other.  It is really the celebration of the birthday of one of history's great personages, Jesus Christ,  for some a good man who offered His life so that others could be saved; for others, one of the greatest teachers mankind has seen.  Yet for others He is God made man. 

On a night like tonight - but 2009 years ago, and probably on a Spring (not winter's) night - He was born into a typical Hebrew family in a moment when they were caught travelling in the wilderness as they fulfilled their Roman masters' orders to register themselves for a national census. I think we can picture the scene clearly because you've probably read the nativity story hundreds of times in your life. I picture it with some detail too because I actually was there, in Bethlehem, not so long ago.  Among the things that remained impressed in my mind was what is called The Shepherds' Fields, the site where they

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Greatest of Buddhas too?

We are literally at the doorstep of Christmas, a great annual family feast that brings us together every year. It is also one that has actually seen world wars stop on such a hallowed day as happened between Allied and German forces facing each other in the muddy trenches of 1914. Soldiers put down their weapons, walked out into the desolation of no-man's land and shook hands. In a unique moment of respite from the horrors of the First Wold War, the troops exchanged gifts, looked at each other's family photographs and played games of football (photo above).

The real message of this Christmas day has today lost much of its power and meaning today mainly due to consumerism. It has become a social event more than a spiritual one, where the giving materialistically is greater than the giving of one's real love for each other. And where we have even forgotten that the name itself of this feast should remind us of Christ's birth.

Christmas has today also come into the spotlight of those who claim it is an infringement of their basic human right to believe in another religion, albeit one that probably also believes in - or points to - the same God. Christians are trying to tell themselves that they must not offend others through their Christmas celebrations and in so doing they do not practice what they preach. They publicly hide their beliefs to allow others to continue to live in theirs comfortably. They call this compassion for others but, in reality, it breaks down their own beliefs as they do not celebrate their own salvation, and that of all humankind.  In this way we all do not celebrate the birth of this Great One who came into this world to bring us back to our rightful home, to our Heaven, to our new Jerusalem, our Paradise, our Nirvana ....he who died for us so that we can be freed from the bondage of our worldly lives and live as one with Him who created us. This may, of course, sound like very Christian thinking to some yet is it that especially Christian after all?

Saturday, December 12, 2009


How often have we spoken about going through life as if we are sailing on a breeze? Many times we actually do relate to life as if it is a sort of cruise. Remember that famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that spoke of our relationships as if we were ships passing in the night? 
Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; 
So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another,  only a look and a voice,  then darkness again and a silence.  

How true. Our life is like a sailing trip, sometimes battling into the wind, sometimes with the wind at your back pushing you along easily. To some extent Rod Stewart immortalised this concept of life in the Seventies with his song "Sailing" (, a wonderful song that has created more than the expected reaction in the has somehow been associated with funerals! It seems that people have started to play it for their dearly departed because it reminds them of their loved ones but whom, though gone, we believe are now in a better place. (Just read viewers' comments beneath the video of the Youtube link above! )    

But without wishing you to think that I am in a morbid mood today, note that I particularly chose this theme today because December 12th is the 20th anniversary of my father's passing away in 1989 and I fondly remembered that this was one of his favourite songs. (that's us in the pic here, taken at least 54 years ago...seems like yesterday!) But there's more to Rod Stewart's "Sailing" than meets the eye......

Friday, December 4, 2009


You must have realised how irritating it is to find out that someone has been phoning you and you missed the call and didn't realise that you were being called. Especially if it was someone you particularly wanted to speak to. Missed calls are part of our modern life. In the not so distant past we were not so lucky to have the phone register the fact that someone was calling us...and so we were ignorant of who really wished us well or had something important to tell us.

Today one easily thinks "what would we do without the mobile phone?" and to some extent its use has become more of an intransigence in our life than a help. Yet the mobile phone actually goes back quite a long way. Indeed, I found out recently that the immediate precursor of the modern phone could be considered to be the radio telephone developed for battlefield communications during the Second World War though the concept had to wait until the Sixties before serious development began and which shot off in the Seventies.... and the rest, as they say, is history.

The fact that today we are able to be called wherever we may be in the world is, nonetheless, something that should make us think. Our lives are equally full of missed calls of a different nature, mostly from the One that Matters, the I Am Who Am, Yahweh. Call Him what you wish...probably God is by far the easiest title. But have you ever imagined what it might be like to have our mobile phone registering all His attempts to get in touch with us every day? And that is leaving His e-mails and other communications out of the equation.  

Friday, November 27, 2009

"What a wonderful world"

Remember that song which Louis Armstrong immortalised for one of the early James Bond films?

"What a wonderful world" has become a standard both for its simple yet refined music but all the more for its message.  Hit this link if you want to see a clip of this well known song  Yes, the world we live in is wonderful.

Doesn't it make you wonder sometimes how all this beauty around us came to be?  How did it start? Where did it come from? Evolution has been wonderful indeed (or so they say) and we now live in a world so distant from the dinosaurs yet which couldn't really exist hadn't those monsters existed in the first place, well before man appeared on this planet.  It makes you wonder where it all came from (accident?) or if someone actually thought it all up and had anything to do with creating it all.  Someone like The Force (of "Star Wars") or Gandalf (the Wizard of "Lord of the Rings"). Perhaps Frodo, the free spirit of Tolkien's "Rings", may have been involved too. Interesting thought.

These characters from modern literature and filmography, have led us to believe that there is a Greater Good around us constantly battling the not-so-great Bad who wants nothing better than to see us destroy ourselves and our lives.  Superman and The Joker all over again? But don't you think that the Good Life deserves more respect than  this?

Friday, November 20, 2009

In His Footprints...anew

If, like me, you're on the internet often you probably receive dozens of e-mails that are being circulated and re-circulated – one friend actually calls then regurgitated e-mails! They come from whoever to wherever, their original author well and truly lost. A favourite of mine....which has popped up countless times... reminds me that The Almighty Good's way of doing things is different to mine, always, yet He has my best interests at heart, always. That's why I should learn to see Him in everyone around me and then, hopefully, they will see Him through me. So....

I asked God for a flower…..He gave me a garden.
I asked for a tree…..He gave me a forest.
I asked for a river…….He gave me an ocean.
I asked for a friend……He gave me "YOU."

Friday, November 13, 2009

"How low can you go?"

  "How low can you go?" was a central part of the Sixties hit by Chubby Checker called "Limbo Rock" which changed a lot of ways of how people danced in those days. (If you want to listen to it hit this link  But in reality I was really thinking of "How low can you go in the wilderness of Ein Gedi?"  Emmm...where?

Bear with our imaginary coach bobs along the road that snakes along the 76 km shoreline of the lowest spot on earth.  We look out onto the northern part of the Dead Sea, 1,373 feet below sea level. Psychologists would have loved to be with us….wow, we are on the way to see deepest depression in any part of the earth.

Depression?   Well, with her sister Desparation, they are the targets we love to point all our fingers at for the way society at large is today.

And a Dead Sea?   Yes, I suppose that clearly indicates that there’s nothing left. Everything has come to an end. Finished. Death, in this case, means that no fish or marine life can possibly live in this very Salty Sea, as the Hebrews call it, Yam Hamelach….. the Bahr el-Miyet of the Arabs or Devil’s Sea of the Crusaders. Yet this very death has become a novelty, a newfound lifeline as today’s tourists to Israel like us quickly find out, the sea with the marvellous quirk where everyone can float without much effort due to its high concentration of salt.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I’m looking for someone to change my life

From “Question” composed by Justin Hayward and performed by The Moody Blues

Over the past 45 years that I have been writing professionally as a journalist, public relations man and copywriter, I have penned many articles of a business, social or religious nature for the media according to the demands asked of me. Yet deep down I have always wished to be able to apply my talents to a project of my own choice, not requested by anyone and definitely not with monetary interests in mind.

Various projects are now on the drawing board as I enter my Sixties and look forward to reduced working hours in the office. This blog is one of them and has been ongoing in the undefined back rooms of my mind in recent years. It is the result of a small journal of thoughts and reflections, some even of a spiritual nature, aimed at unravelling some of the most common questions we tend to ask in our lives, the Why’s, the Wherefore’s, the But’s.

Monday, November 2, 2009


hooded origins

The best place to start anything creative(!?) is to set it firmly on its proper feet, so a few words on the title is more than a valid place to start. The word cappuccino needs little to define and is now well and truly a household name around the world. This Italian coffee drink, prepared with espresso and milk, is generally described as 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 frothed milk. Another definition would call for 1/3 espresso and 2/3 microfoam. A cappuccino differs from a latte macchiato, which is mostly milk and little foam. (A "dry cappuccino" has less milk!)  In Italy it is consumed almost exclusively early in the day for breakfast; in some other countries it may be consumed throughout the day or after dinner.With typical Italian culinary finesse, a cappuccino is ideally prepared in a ceramic coffee cup, which has far better heat retention characteristics than glass or paper.

The Last Word?

Make yourself at home here, come back and read some of the older cappuccino posts too, relax, reflect.... and comment if you wish....there's a comment button at the end of each post!
I hope to see you again in a few days time. Enjoy.