Friday, 30 October 2009


It's that time of year again, loved by children and dreaded by older people and pets - Halloween. A night when the next knock to the door will bring a fresh batch of pint-sized ghouls collecting ‘treats’ under the threat of a ‘trick’ if the goodies are not forthcoming. This might be considered the relatively harmless side to a festival that owes much of its modern aspect to the influence of our American cousins, the pumpkin, ‘trick or treat’ etc,.The origins however go all the way back to the Celts who celebrated Samhain when they believed that the line between this world and the world of the dead was at its finest, and spirits freely moved abroad revisiting their old homes and sometimes even communicating with the living. Halloween was essentially a festival of death which the Christian church tried to redeem by renaming it the feast of All Souls or All Hallows. There are many who think that this compromise with the Pagan worldview ultimately sapped the church of its spiritual distinctive and its power and authority. In the Old Testament God commanded His people to abstain from the pagan and occultic practises around them, “For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

So we are left with the current mishmash of Halloween ,ancient and modern, sinister and benign. For those of you who might think I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill in this regard, modern Pagans regard this time of year as their most sacred and special. The grotesque masks, the eerily lit pumpkins and the blood-curdling shrieks may all seem tame enough but there is an underbelly to Halloween that feeds into our fear of the unknown and our fascination with the ‘other-side’. The Bible warns us to Test everything. Hold on to the good” (1 Thes 5:21) Here in Limerick on Halloween a Psychic Fair is setting up shop in a local hotel offering free admission for children with lots of ‘fun and games’. And while the little ones are occupied, ma and pa can mingle with Ireland’s ‘top mediums, psychics and clairvoyants’ Amongst the services offered are tarot, angel and tea-leaf readings, aura photography and crystal therapy, all occult practises presented as innocently as if they were nothing more than an exotic foreign cuisine. The problem with the Psychic Fair menu is that there is no adequate ‘spirit’ ingredient list and each and every one of these ‘crafts’ should carry a spiritual health warning. For the curious and the adventurous take heed of this Scripture, “Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret." ( Eph 5:7-12) .

In fact Halloween itself is a bit of con job with the upfront burlesque of theatrics and cant veiling something altogether more ancient and sinister. The world of the occult is hidden for good reason, it is prohibited territory for man in his present fallen imperfect state. It may hold out the prospect of enlightenment or even revelation but in truth it is nothing more than a delusion that can lead the unsuspecting on a perilous journey that will surely end in spiritual ruin and destruction. The cult of death is already too present in our beleaguered country with deaths from suicide alone having risen by 40% for the first three months of this year. Jesus calls us to life and light , removing our fears with His perfect love, and offering us His peace to calm our inner turmoil..Whoever penned this old Scottish prayer got it just about right when he asked,

'From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-legged beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us! '
Gerard O'Shea

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


This is taken from a blog by Yaakov Kirschen who expresses his
take on life in the troubled Middle East from his own unique
Jewish perspective. I think his illustrations are superb and his
commentary is often (like this example) spot on and cuts
straight to the chase. ~GOSh.~
You can visit at

Sunday, 25 October 2009


Oh dear, these are some of the worst jokes ever unearthed !


An archaeologist was digging in the Negev Desert in Israel and came upon a casket containing a mummy. After examining it, he called the curator of a prestigious natural history museum. "I've just discovered a 3,000 year old mummy of a man who died of heart failure!" the excited scientist exclaimed. To which the curator replied, "Bring him in. We'll check it out." A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist. "You were right about the mummy's age and cause of death. How in the world did you know?" "Easy. There was a piece of paper in his hand that said, '10,000 Shekels on Goliath'."

Most mothers tell their daughters to marry doctors... I told mine to marry an archaeologist because the older she gets, the more interested he will be in her.

A tourist is travelling with a guide through one of the thickest jungles in Latin America, when he comes across an ancient Mayan temple. The tourist is entranced by the temple, and asks the guide for details. To this, the guide states that archaeologists are carrying out excavations, and still finding great treasures. The tourist then queries how old the temple is."This temple is 2503 years old", replies the guide.Impressed at this accurate dating, he inquires as to how he gave this precise figure."Easy", replies the guide, "the archaeologists said the temple was 2500 years old, and that was three years ago."

A German archaeology team digs down 50m and finds traces of copper wire. Afterwards the German government proclaims that 2000 years ago the Germans obviously had developed a telephone system.
Later an English archaeology team digs down 100m and finds traces of glass strands. Afterwards the British government proclaims that 3000 years ago the English obviously had developed a fibre optic based telephone system.
An Irish archaeology team digs down 200m but finds nothing at all. Afterwards the Irish government proclaims that 4000 years ago the Irish invented mobile phones!!!.

An archaeologist is a person whose career lies in ruins!

Friday, 23 October 2009


The couple at the centre of the storm

Hotel owners Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang were charged with a criminal offense under public order legislation in the UK this week. Their crime was to enter into a religious discussion with a Muslim guest at the hotel who reported to the police that she had been ‘offended’ by remarks made to her concerning Muhammad the founding ‘prophet’ of Islam. The couple, both committed Christians who run the Bounty House Hotel near Aintree racecourse are due to appear in court in early December and could face a fine of up to £8,000 as well as a criminal record if found guilty. No reasonable person could stand by belittling or insulting anyone because of their religious affiliation, but sharing the Gospel to somebody of another faith is a different matter entirely. The Gospel faithfully preached always gives offence if rightly understood ,as it cuts across not only ‘religion’ and cultural norms but it even topples the worldly ego and every conceit of the human heart. In recent times Muslim sensibilities were offended by the publication of cartoons depicting Muhammad in an unflattering light which resulted in worldwide protests of an often violent nature resulting in several deaths. We also remember back in 1969 the ‘fatah’ issued against Salman Rushdie over his book ‘The Satanic Verses’ which questioned the reliability of the Koran and the character of the ‘Prophet’

Christianity has long been fair game for satirists and critics from the hugely popular Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ to the recent Dan Brown anti-Christian tirade ‘The Da Vinci Code’. Despite these and countless other provocations no one to my knowledge has been harmed or threatened by Christians, certainly there have been rebuttals and heated debates but no mob rule reactions or acts of violence. I suppose living in a Western democracy we have become accustomed to freedom of speech and the entitlement to individual expression. How ironic then that these freedoms borne out of our Judeo-Christian heritage should now be used to stifle the free sharing of the Gospel. The case of the Liverpool couple is an important landmark for all lovers of freedom and religious liberty and we should support these two believers whose only crime was to share the message of Jesus with a lady from the Muslim faith.
Gerard O'Shea

Thursday, 22 October 2009


Christianity began as a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ.
When it went to Athens, it became a philosophy.
When it went to Rome, it became an organization.


When it went to Europe, it became a culture.

When it came to America, it became a business.

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defence of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Philippians 1:15-18

Sunday, 18 October 2009


Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For through from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
Alfred Lord Tennyson

This poem grew from one of Tennyson's experiences while waiting for a boat to cross the Solent to his home on the Isle of Wight. Tennyson directed that this poem should always be placed last in any collection of his work. A musical setting was sung at his funeral at Westminster Abbey in 1892 and is still found in some hymnals. The illustration here, "Crossing the Bar," was published in Punch on 15 October 1892, nine days after Tennyson's death.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009



When your heart hurts, when its in your stomach… its breaking..its empty..its not beating DONT have to feel that way really really dont..i promise you that.. I think maybe everyone knows how much it hurts..I sure do..its hard to feel lonely and think no one cares, its hard to have someone hurt you deeply over and over again.
But you know there’s a WAY...there’s a WAY that will make you so happy..its like unexplainable...sometimes life’s confusing..its tough...but all temptation and desire to be someone you’re not or completely give up goes away..and you mean it when you laugh and smile and do GOOD things..not like just clean your room or walk the dog..but like make someone else SMILE.or just make yourself feel grateful for life....
I wish everyone could know that feeling. I wish you could feel the way I feel now compared to the way I felt before..its incredible..yeah I’m still looking forward to tough times because they make you the person you are and you learn a lot from tough times..but choose to be happy..choose to live your life with a SOUL purpose. you are wonderfully created by God to do marvellous works.
Start living that way.. start living life to the extreme..make choices that will forever change your life and others lives in an awesome way!!! Gods there for you..he’s not a million miles away..hes not an unreachable, mean, uncaring God..he’s a loving father ready to help you out and make life so much better for you. All YOU have to do its SEEK HIM! :)
"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, I will bless you with a future filled with hope, a future filled with success not suffering" Jeremiah 29:11 (take time to read it)

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged; For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" Joshua 1:9
c'mon LAUGH with me now :) :)

Rayne Molsten
Rayne Molsten lived in the Seychelles , her father a Missionary there was killed (Pastor Nolan Molsten, 1962-2005 )along with her unborn sister in a car accident caused by a drunken driver. The remaining family then moved back to Victoria in South Africa. For a couple of years Rayne wrote a powerful blog called ‘I Am Understood - Driven by God’. Last I heard of Rayne she had folded her blog and headed to India to do missionary work.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


When the midnight cry goes up
Above all we have and hold
And a thousand rushing winds
Swirl about the soul -
When stout hearts break for fear
At this sudden visit down
A King of glory to descend
A world to bend beneath his crown-
When all the seas will vomit
Their briny store of dead
And earth itself surrenders
Those long interred in it…
Then as old is conquered
And new is blossomed out
This aching world will weary bow
And find all mysteries out -
When lion and lamb lie down
When gun and bomb dissolve
And stony hearts become
Bounding hearts of love
Wont that be the day
That will
Wont that be the day.
Gerard O'Shea

Monday, 12 October 2009


A Hutterite mother with child
Those who turn their thoughts away from the physical world and set all their hopes on life after death are counterfeiters of truth. The new redemption is intended for us. The new will is to be realized here on earth! Many people over the centuries—most decisively, Jesus—have shown this to be true. But he was murdered, and this was bound to happen. He was killed by the military, by the most organized legal system in history, by the most religious people that have ever lived, by the leaders of the church and the voice of the people. And this was no accident. He was murdered because people, bound by their possessions, could not tolerate his witness for truth.
Still today we cannot bear his truth, and so we twist it every way possible
We no longer dare to accept the clarity of his words about loving
our enemies, even though everything he taught is contained in his simple
words, “What you wish for yourself, do to others.

Eberhard Arnold

Eberhard Arnold , his wife and children along with a few other couples began to live in Christian community in the central German village of Sannerz in 1920. Arnold had been influenced by his reading of the New Testament and believed that authentic Christianity could only be expressed when believers lived as the early church did, in community. By 1926 the little group had outgrown the Sannerz farm and moved to the Fulda district establishing the Rhon Bruderhof where they continued to live according to Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. As well as sharing of goods, pacifism and adult baptism became hallmarks of the movement which much later aligned itself to the older communities of the Hutterite Brethren that still existed in North America. The Bruderhof was briefly disbanded by the Nazis in 1930. Today there are several communities around the world including one in Robertsbridge in England which I visited some years ago.~GOSh.~

Friday, 9 October 2009


* Your visa card and your belt both hit their limit.
* She's been wearing an engagement ring for three weeks, but you don't recall proposing to her.
* She just started a night class that meets seven evenings a week.
* She says she has to tell you something... on Jerry Springer.
* Whenever she introduces you it's always "I would like you to meet an old friend of mine..."
* She leaves a message on your phone and identifies herself by both her first and last names.
* The dartboard behind your photo on her wall.
* Her girlfriends look at you, tilt their heads, and say, "You haven't got a clue, do you

Thursday, 8 October 2009


The current National mood !
There is a preoccupation at the moment with financial accountability in the body politic in the light of John O’Donoghue’s resignation as Ceann Comhairle (Speaker of the House). Is it just me or does anyone else out there feel there is a hint of hypocrisy in the attitude of the nation towards the lavish expenditure of our senior legislators. To my knowledge we have never been particularly noted for our rectitude and transparency when it comes to handling money, either in household budgeting or in the wider business world. When times were good (it seems such a long time ago) we spent money like water and so what if most of it was borrowed or advanced courtesy of the nice people at Visa and MasterCard ! Now that the credit well has truly dried up a new Puritanism in matters of finance has engulfed the once spendthrift Irish and not only are we counting the cents for ourselves but we are intent on noting every coin earned and spent by anyone on the island. Before, we tolerated a certain latitude in expenses etc., by our politicians and high earners as there was lots of lolly sloshing about and we weren’t that concerned with words like ‘Value’ or ‘Accountability’. Now though not a solitary coin jangles in the greasy till or a note unruffles from a clinched fist without a committee of enquiry being formed to ascertain its origin, destination and purpose. Too little too late methinks, these are the actions of desperation by a public sector (of which I am one) fearful of a 5% pay cut, a private sector envious of public sector ‘Rolls Royce pensions’ (Ha !) and a genuinely nervous social welfare section waiting for cuts to their basic payments. Let’s be honest and admit that we are all culpable of a nod and wink culture when it comes to our relationship with money and it’s all too easy in these straitened times to scapegoat politicians, bankers, and speculators for doing exactly what we might have done if we thought we’d have got away with it. It seems to me that never has the old maxim that we get the politicians we deserve been so true and never in our recent history have so many living in the proverbial glasshouse been so eager to throw stones.

Gerard O'Shea

Friday, 2 October 2009


The preacher said, "There's no such thing as a perfect woman. Anybody present who has ever known a perfect woman, stand up."
Nobody stood up.
"Those who have ever known a perfect man, stand up."
One elderly gentleman stood up.
"Are you honestly saying you knew an absolutely perfect man?" he asked, somewhat amazed.
"Well now, I didn't know him personally," replied the little old man, "but I have heard a great deal about him. He was my wife's first husband."

Thursday, 1 October 2009


There was a robust reaction to the
last Lisbon result by the EU officials.


Once again tomorrow I will join my fellow countrymen and cast my ballot in the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. That I have done so already over a year ago is of no consequence it seems to my government or to the powers that be in the European Union. The last time the Irish voted to reject this Treaty, much to the political embarrassment of our national leaders who then came under severe pressure from Europe that another referendum was required until the desired result (from their point of view) is obtained. Already the people of Holland and France have rejected the forerunner of Lisbon at the polls while our nearest neighbours, Britain have not yet allowed their people to have their say at a referendum. If this is how democracy operates at EU level it does not bode well for the future, and only confirms my fears that already the European project is getting a little too big for it’s boots and is in danger of turning into another superstate with its own President and Parliament. A union of European countries forging common markets for trade and commerce is one thing but an endeavour to blend them into one big state is , for many a bridge too far. The Lisbon Treaty seems to have been designed to obfuscate and bewilder ordinary citizens and is written in indecipherable Eurocratese making an intelligent appraisal of it almost impossible. Asked last time around to vote for this ’pig-in-a-poke’ Treaty the Irish delivered a resounding NO, but on this occasion if opinion polls are to be believed the outcome of tomorrows ballot will be entirely different. Of course the bad state of our economy is the one variable since the last outing and YES campaigners have effectively frightened voters into the their camp by indicating that a NO vote would spell curtains for our economic recovery. This of course is nonsense as the hard nosed captains of industry and commerce are not usually driven by ideology so much as a desire to turn a profit and get a return on their investments. The fate of this island is yet to be determined but one thing is certain, the Lisbon Treaty will not affect that outcome one way or another.
After the Lisbon result last year the result from Ireland was hailed by ordinary Europeans many of whom were never allowed to express any opinion on the adoption of the Treaty. The London Times enthused
“ Slainte…Toast them in lager, Sancerre, slivovitz or ouzo but this weekend raise a glass to the Irish. Or, at the very least, acknowledge that by voting “no” to the Lisbon treaty the people of the Irish Republic have brought searing clarity to a process hitherto shrouded in jargon and pushed along by the civil servants who invented it.” Another rejection of Lisbon by Ireland will cause ordinary citizens around the Union to rejoice whilst their governments and the Eurocrats will rage, this democracy thing can be a messy business especially when the people are given their say ! So, as Irish Times columnist Vincent Browne advised in his piece during the week, lets repay the people of Europe for their largess over the years by delivering a resounding verdict tomorrow - 'Vote NO and rejoice !'


Gerard O'Shea