Brimstone and Fire

Brimstone and Fire

I have often heard of the ‘brimstone and fire’ preachers. Definition:- “an idiomatic expression of signs of God’s wrath in the Old and New Testament. In the Bible, they often appear in reference to the fate of the unfaithful. This term is also used to describe a style of Christian preaching that uses vivid descriptions of judgement and eternal damnation to encourage repentance.” Brimstone is the archaic name for sulphur. I have also often heard people say that we need more of the brimstone and fire preachers today so that the people can repent of their evil and turn to God. I beg to disagree. I don’t think that telling someone how bad he is will make him change his ways. One reason for that is because he already knows he is doing things which aren’t right. Even if a person grows up with the Bible and biblical principles, or parents who teach right from wrong, he grows up in a country with certain rules and laws. These laws are there to protect the citizens and normally reflect the norms and culture of the people of that country. And then also every person is born with something called a conscience. There are a few people who have psychological problems, whose conscience apparently doesn’t function as it should, but they are a very small minority.

Romans 2:14 and 15 puts it into a nutshell: “for the Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law unto themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them…”

Romans 2:4 “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” To me that means that people do know when they are doing things that are wrong, and the God’s goodness (love) will cause them to repent. Preachers or people who tell others how bad they are and condemn them are not going to make much of an impression. If we love people we will be reflecting the nature of God and we will attract people instead of pushing them away with judgemental attitudes. I don’t think we pray for people because we feel sorry for them. We pray for them so that God can work in their lives. If you are perfect you don’t need anyone to pray for you. Jesus uttered some very profound words

 in Matthew 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,”

I don’t think fire and brimstone or even brimstone and fire are going to get us anywhere. You catch many more flies with honey than with vinegar.



Romans 1:16 is a beautiful verse in which Paul says that he isn’t ashamed of the gospel of Christ because of its power of salvation. In Verse 17 he says the famous words, “The just shall live by faith.” That phrase was first said in Habakkuk 2:4, – “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by faith.”

Then I read verses 18 – 32 and they contain some of the scariest stuff in the whole bible. Paul begins by saying that God’s wrath (anger, exasperation, fury, indignation, ire, passion, rage, temper) is against people who know the truth about Him, but suppress it. The Amplified version makes it very clear: ‘For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth, because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them.’ I read the verses that follow and it looked as if it meant that people who fail to acknowledge God are given over to all kinds of wicked behaviour, and it may well be so, but Chapter 2 starts off with the word ‘Therefore’. Therefore (for that reason; consequently; accordingly), a wonderful word that tells us to look at what went before. Romans2:1 “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.’ Ouch!! We are very good at judging and drawing conclusions about people’s behaviour, but whatever people are doing is not our business. It is our job to love people, not to judge or condemn them.

Matthew 22:37 – Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the law and the prophets.” Let us start practicing to love people with the same love that God shows us. 

Preach the gospel

The Gospel isn’t a dead historical account. It is a living, vibrant account of the Good News of Salvation

This morning I started reading thee letter Paul wrote to the Romans and I noticed something very interesting. In Chapter 1, verse 8 Paul says that he thanks God for them and that their faith is spoken on throughout the world. I take this to mean that this group of believers is strong in their faith and therefore a solid church. Then he goes on to say in verse 9 to 11 that he always makes mention of the Romans in his prayers and that he is asking that God make a way for him to visit them again in order for him to impart a spiritual gift to them so that they may be established. This seemed to be a little inconsistent because if everyone is speaking of their faith surely they are already established. But when I read verse 15 the penny dropped. Paul says that he is ready to preach the Gospel to them. I realised that it doesn’t matter how established a church or a believer is, it doesn’t matter how spiritually mature you are, it doesn’t matter if you are a graduate or a street sweeper, you can never get enough of the Gospel. I looked up ‘gospel’ in the dictionary and in short it says:

  • The teaching of the revelation of Christ

  • The record of Christ’s life and teaching in the first four books of the New Testament

  • Good News

So! We are never too good or too spiritual to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful thought. Don’t try and complicate things. When you are searching and you feel that God is far away, go back to the Gospel. Read the book of John where the life of Jesus is clearly portrayed. David says in Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.” Let us spread the Good News that Jesus brought. Have a blessed day. 

Like and share

Sharing a post and forwarding a message has become the order of the day. On any given day you are likely to receive at least one request to either forward or share some information. Ranging from the ridiculous to some very serious and even potentially dangerous messages, some people just keep sharing without discerning the content. The message that Angus Buchan sent out for the prayer gathering in Bloemfontein was shared by thousands upon thousands of people and the meeting was extremely well attended. Social media is very powerful and is a wonderful tool to create awareness.

In April thousands of people prayed with ‘Oom Angus’ and he seems to have become a national treasure to the Afrikaans speaking sector, which I think is great. He is very English and to be accepted and respected by people in all walks of life from multiple cultures is no mean feat. People who attended the meeting came back saying that they believe prayer can change South Africa. The next serious call was Black Monday where everyone was asked to wear black in remembrance of the murdered farmers. It was also very well supported.

What’s bugging me though, is that the same people who said that prayer is the only way forward, are now sharing messaged asking for petitions to be signed so that President Donald Trump can do something to stop the farm murders. Seriously? He has that kind of power? And what happened to praying? Is President Trump more powerful than God now? Just wondering.

God loves you

Don’t you just love it when something suddenly just makes so much sense that you can’t believe you never saw it that way before? I was looking for the verse that says ‘ God is for us, who can be against us?’ just to make sure that I got the wording right. It’s really easy for me to write a verse in my own words, and in doing that, possibly corrupt the meaning. I found the verse I was looking for – Romans 8:31 – ‘What then shall we sat to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?’

Yaaay!! I got the words right for once. I continued reading that piece and verse 35 hit me like a ten ton truck and stopped me dead in my tracks.
Romans 8:35 ‘Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or nakedness, or distress, or persecution, of famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?’ Paul goes on to say in verse 38 and 39 that nothing can separate us from God’s love.

Therefore!! I love that word – Therefore, it doesn’t matter what state we are in, God loves us. That knowledge is so liberating. If I am sad God loves me. If I am really hurt god loves me. If I am hungry, or angry, or lonely God loves me. When someone has broken my heart with their words or their actions God loves me. When life is unfair and I feel like I’m always drawing the short straw God loves me. When my friends or family let me down God loves me. When I’m sick, or just sick and tired, God loves me. If I lose everything I own God loves me. If I suffer from stress or depression God loves me.

That’s just such and absolutely awesome truth I had to share it. Therefore, remember the next time something bad happens or someone lets you down – GOD LOVES YOU!

Black Monday

The call went out for South Africans to wear black on Monday 30 October 2017 in protest against farm murders, and to stand in unity with the farmers who are the backbone of any country’s economy.  The mere fact that violence against farmers now has a name ‘farm murders’ shows how widespread and intense it is. I am wearing black today. I am wearing black for the farmers and for the victims of all violent crime. For the women and girls who are abused and raped and don’t have a voice. For the innocent children who are killed in gang violence. For everyone who in this diverse, beautiful county of ours who is a victim of senseless crime and violence.  My heart breaks for every wife who is now a widow and every child who has lost their father or even both parents due to violence. That is why I am wearing black.

Filter those words

How much of what we hear daily is simply people’s opinions? And on what are those opinions based? Are they based on hard facts, cold evidence, emotional experiences or just something that they randomly thought out? How much of what they say is actually based on God’s word?

How do we react to these opinions? They have they have the ability to totally upset our emotional apple cart! We take these words, these ‘tasty trifles’ ask it says in Proverbs 18:8 and ingest them. We invite them into the parlour of our souls and entertain them.

Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a tale bearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.

We grant them an audience and mull over their significance. We devour the emotions they stir up and enjoy the torment they often cause. These tasty trifles that bring heartburn to our soul should never go past our front door. They should not even be able to have a glimpse of our hearts. They are able to cause so much pain and grief because we allow them to. We are guilty of bringing so much sadness over ourselves because we allow the opinions of others to touch our hearts.

Proverbs 4:23 – Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

2 Corinthians 10:5 says Take every thought captive. So, if we have to filter our own thoughts, how much bigger should the filter be that we use when people speak? Philippians 4:8 states that we must only think about lovely and noble things. Lovely, good, just, noble and true. Let us practice using the filter of God’s peace. If someone upsets us with their words, we must just remember that our God is bigger than anything the enemy can bring against us. Bigger, bolder, brighter and more powerful than we can ever start to imagine. The best of all is that this awesome God loves us and values us and even allowed His only Son to die for us.


I have discovered that if I don’t do something creative at least every second day I am not able to function as a productive human being. By creative I mean something like crafts, art, writing or even baking. Baking, if it’s something that I’m creating and not just making from a recipe. If I don’t do things that speak to my soul I start to feel lethargic and unmotivated. When I was teaching at the nursery school it was never a problem because being creative is all in a day’s work. Now, running a shop and doing the admin does not always include creative activities. One is not allowed to be creative when doing bookkeeping. Creative bookkeepers usually end up in prison and I have no intention of going there.

I think because of the way people were created there is something that was placed inside each person that makes him (or her) need certain things to be fulfilled. Obviously there are the usual things like shelter and food and love but then just one step further there’s that thing that calls to your soul, to the inner part of you that you can’t see with your eyes but you can feel it. I have friends who have the need to be neat and tidy and orderly and that’s who they are. I love going to their houses and seeing that everything has a place and everything is in that place. I do wish that I could be that tidy but I really don’t see it happening. When I feel the inspiration to create something and I know exactly what I want to do, I can’t see dishes that aren’t washed. Seriously, they become totally invisible. There’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve tried. Often.

Another thing about being creative is that sometimes I will go shopping with a clear idea of what I want to buy but then I will see something else that totally and completely takes my breath away and I forget what I really wanted. Like when I received a gift voucher for my birthday. I went to the store knowing that I wanted mascara and hairspray. Then I saw eye shadow. Not just any old eye shadow. The colours were so beautiful that I had to buy it. Two weeks later I remembered what I was actually going to buy!!

Then a few weeks ago my husband and I went to Makro to buy stock for our shop. I quickly wandered (is it even possible to wander quickly?) around the stationery department and I saw a pad of pink cardboard. Not just normal pink though – 5 shades of pink. Even though pink isn’t my favourite colour by a long shot, I fell head over heals in love with this pink card and I had to have it.   Strangely enough it never happens with a dress or shoes or groceries…

Most of my family are also very creative so they accept me the way I am. I thing mostly my husband endures me the way I am but he has also realized that after 29 years of marriage there’s never a dull moment. He definitely doesn’t know what to expect next.

There’s a quote that I really love.It’s attributed to Rod Siltanen,but if this isn’t really his quote please forgive me. One cannot even trust Google these days.

Here’s to the crazy ones.

The misfits. The rebels.

The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules.

And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them,

glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

Because they change things.

They push the human race forward.

And while some may see them as the crazy ones,

we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough

to think they can change the world,

are the ones who do.

Fiery Darts


I’ve been grappling with the concept of ‘fiery darts of the evil one’, and this is my conclusion:
When God says to me that He will never leave me or forsake me He means exactly that!
The word forsake means:
vb (tr) , -sakes, -saking, -sook (-ˈsʊk) or -saken (-ˈseɪkən)
1. to abandon
2. to give up (something valued or enjoyed)
Hebrews 13:5 – [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
So if I am a child of God He will never abandon me, or give me up. He won’t decide that I’m not good enough to play on His team. He won’t mock me because I don’t have ball skills or I don’t listen to the ‘right’ kind of music. It won’t matter that I can’t run as fast as all the others and He won’t tease me because I’m not good at making friends or because I like to sit and read instead of playing ball.

He isn’t going to tell me I’m on my own when I mess up. He isn’t going to turn His back on me and pretend He doesn’t know me. He doesn’t mind that I don’t do what everyone else is doing just so that I can fit in. And when I do try to fit in (which I’m not very good at) He patiently waits for me to realize that He didn’t make me to fit in. He made me to be exactly the person He wanted me to be. He made me to feel comfortable in the situations He wants me to be comfortable with and He gives me His grace to survive those I’m not comfortable with. He doesn’t require of me to pretend to be part of things which He hasn’t made me to be part of. He won’t decide that I don’t have the right skills and dismiss me. He won’t force or manipulate me to do things that I am not at ease with. He will prepare me patiently for things that He wants me to do so that when the time comes for me to do those things I am completely happy to do them.
When the evil one shoots those fiery darts at my heart He tells me that I must have my shield of faith in place to quench them. Ephesians 6:16 – ‘above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.’ Above all says to me that it is very, very important. And then, ‘with which you..’, means I will be able to quench them, not God, but me. I will be able to do it because my faith will carry me. I must have the kind of faith that when someone says something hurtful, I don’t fall apart or fight back, I just stand on my faith and know that it’s an attack from the devil. Understanding things is very important to me and when I grasped ‘fiery darts’ it was a lightbulb moment for me. It was a revelation to know that all the hurts which people have spoken (and to me it’s usually the spoken word which hurts the most) are just attacks from Satan and I don’t have to bother with them because God told me He would never leave me or forsake me. He also told me in Isaiah 51:12
“I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you should be afraid
Of a man who will die,
And of the son of a man who will be made like grass?”
That plainly tells me that I don’t have to be worried about what people say. Even when they say hurtful things about my children, and mother’s are always way more sensitive about their children than even themselves, I can just go back to God and tell Him about it. He always listens and He will always calm my heart. Actually the very next verse in Isaiah is so profound. Isaiah 51:13
“And you forget the Lord your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth;
You have feared continually every day
Because of the fury of the oppressor,
When he has prepared to destroy.
And where is the fury of the oppressor?”
Then the Lord goes on to say how much more powerful He is than any other force. I seem to forget how powerful God really is. I can crumble into a heap of misery at the smallest insult that gets hurled my way. When stones are thrown I retreat and hide, instead of keeping my head up and facing the storm. Psalm 23 tells me that God is with me even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. My goodness! What a statement. I don’t know of anything that could sound worse than walking through that valley. And then He prepares a table for me in the presence of of my enemies. He adds insult to injury because the evil forces then have to realize that they cannot do anything to me as long as I am holding onto my faith in God.
Psalm 18, which is one of my favourite psalms says in verse 6:
‘In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple.
And my cry came before Him,
even to His ears.’
That must be one of the most comforting verses I know. If I call out to God He will hear me. He knows I’m here, He knows I exist and He cares. What more can I ask?

I love this picture. I found it at

Restore Factory Settings

Have you ever done a “factory reset” or formatted your phone so that all the information you stored on it is gone? Forever! It is such a scary process. Well, it was for me. I got a new phone and I want to sell my old one because I need the cash to buy Microsoft Office for my Notepad. I’ve been using LibreOffice and although it’s user friendly I have been having issues when I save my work and send it. If I receive documents that have been save in ‘Word’ I can open them but I can’t edit them. I end up redoing and it just wastes my time. So, I formatted my phone. A big part of my life was on that phone. I saved recipes and quotes and passwords etc. etc. Pressing the button that said ‘Are you sure?’ was quite a moment. What if I look for something and I forgot to copy it off my old phone? What if? What if? I’m just going to have to say it’s too late now. Pressing that button was like erasing a part of myself.

cell 1

When we accept Jesus to be our Savoir He says that He removes our sins as far as the East is from the West. (Psalm 103:12) Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 – ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’ That is quite profound. It means that everything that we were before we invited Jesus Christ into our hearts has been formatted. Factory settings have been restored. We become the blank canvas or the restored cell phone and we are ready to receive a new simcard. This simcard I see as the Holy Spirit leading and teaching and guiding us. Just like the apps which are downloaded. These apps determine the way in which the phone is going to be used. Just like the Holy Spirit who will tell us which way to take. Isaiah 30:21 ‘Your ears will hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” …’

cell 4

Once the format has been performed, everything that existed on the phone is gone, forever. If I tell myself I used to have Facebook or Pinterest or whatever on my phone it won’t bring them back. If somebody tells me their number was stored on my phone it will serve no purpose at all because it isn’t there anymore. Everything has effectively been removed as far as the East is from the West. Just like our sins if we give our lives to Jesus. It won’t do any good to remind yourself or even be reminded by someone that you used to do things which made you a ‘bad’ person. Those things don’t exist anymore, and they don’t exist in the mind of the One who really matters. God is not going to judge you on those things because He had formatted them on the cell phone of your life. You are a new creation and you should be living as one. Not like someone who is defeated, but like someone who has everything to live for.