Tag Archives: Napoleon

The Greatest

The teacher said, “I’ll give $2 to the child who can tell me who was the most famous man who ever lived.”

An Irish boy put his hand up and said, “It was St. Patrick.” The teacher said, “Sorry Sean, that’s not correct.”

Then a French boy put his hand up and said, “It was Napoleon.” The teacher replied, “I’m sorry, Pierre, that’s not right either.”

Finally, a Jewish boy raised his hand and said, “It was Jesus Christ.” The teacher said, “That’s absolutely right, Maurice, come up here and I’ll give you the $2.”

As the teacher was giving Maurice his money, she said, “You know Maurice, you being Jewish, I was very surprised you said Jesus Christ.”

Maurice replied, “Yeah. In my heart I knew it was Moses, but business is business.”

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Have you ever tried to make a prediction? Here are some predictions from the past. All from people who were trusted individuals:

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, in 1943 said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”

There was an inventor by the name of Lee DeForest. He claimed that “While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility.”

The Decca Recording Co. made a big mistake when they made this prediction: “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” That was their prediction in 1962 concerning a few lads from Liverpool. Their band was called the Beatles.

As the disciples walked out of the Temple in Jerusalem Jesus paused with his disciples, looked back at the Temple an predicted, “Do you see all these great buildings. Not one stone will be left on another.” To the disciples this was bedrock. Nothing could bring down these walls. “Look, teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” they said to Jesus.

The smallest stones in the structure weighed 2 to 3 tons. Many of them weighed 50 tons. The largest existing stone is 12 meters in length and 3 meters high, and it weighed hundreds of tons! The stones were so immense that neither mortar nor any other binding material was used between the stones. Their stability was attained by the great weight of the stones. The walls towered over Jerusalem, over 400 feet in one area. Inside the four walls was 45 acres of bedrock mountain shaved flat and during Jesus’ day a quarter of a million people could fit comfortably within the structure.

You can then understand the disciples surprise. As they walked down the Kidron valley and up mount olive Peter James and John wanted to hear more.

Jesus’ prediction that a structure so immense would be levelled to the ground seemed implausible. But they pressed Jesus for more information. They wanted to know when. What would be the sign that this was about to take place. In their voice was fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear that their lives were about to change forever. Jesus had not made any predictions like this one. This was different. This, they could understand.

Forty years later Jesus’ prediction came true. In 70 AD the Temple was destroyed by Rome.

But the Church of Jesus Christ – founded on the bedrock of faith – still stands.

Despite persecutions, despite divisions, despite criticism, opposition and mockery, despite all the forces the world can muster against it, the Church still stands,

It may lose direction at times; it may appear to have suffered setbacks; it may have been considered to have made grave errors of judgement – but it still stands, and still seeks to do God’s will and realize Christ’s divine manifesto.

Napoleon, writing in exile on St Helena, wrote these famous words:

“Alexander (The Great), Caesar, Charlemagne and I have founded empires.  But on what?  On force!  Jesus alone founded his empire on love; and at this hour, millions of men would die for him.  He is everywhere proclaimed, loved and adored and his sway is extended over all the earth”

The Church still stands – and it always will…as long as there are people ready to profess their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

It has been predicted that the Church of Scotland, if present trends continue, will cease to exist by 2030 or thereabouts*

But the Church world-wide is growing and expanding, and as long as there are people receptive to the good news, it will survive, rooted and grounded in the one who said “I am with you always, even to the close of the age”


* I used to be a member of Lothian Presbytery (which lies adjacent to the Presbytery of Edinburgh.  We once had a talk from someone from Church HQ who talked about statistics showing decline in membership of the Kirk.  To much amusement (!) he said that, if present trends continued, our larger neighbours would cease to exist by 2029.  But then added, “And you will disappear the following year”  Silence  

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The Pope and Napoleon

Pope Francis’ informal style got the better of him when he telephoned a Vatican receptionist directly and was told: ‘And I’m Napoleon.’

The new pope, according to Croatian religious website Bitno.net, had announced himself when he called a Jesuit residence in Rome on Friday and got through to the switchboard.

He had been trying to contact Adolfo Nicolas, the superior general of the Pope’s old Jesuit order.

But the baffled receptionist – identified only as Andreas – thought someone was playing a trick on him and quipped back: ‘Oh yes? And I’m Napoleon.’

His holiness eventually got through, after managing to convince the receptionist he was genuine saying: ‘I really am Pope Francis.’

One Vatican expert explained: ‘You can’t really blame the poor man.  No other pope would have picked up a telephone to make their own calls.  An official usually calls a secretary who places the call.

‘The receptionist is extremely distraught but I think the new pope has a good sense of humour and will laugh it off,’ they added.

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March 19, 2013 · 09:18