My daughter and I had a glorious morning on the beach. We swam in the ice cold water and enjoyed every minute. I say ice cold, but as we live in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, ice cold is obviously not freezing, but it was cold. We swam until a bluebottle passed my daughter’s face too close for comfort. We decided to call it a day and went for a walk on the beach. Bluebottles are really beautiful. I was surprised to learn that bluebottles are siphonophores, an odd group of colonial jellyfish. Rather than being a single organism like the jellyfish. These are actually made up of several colony members called persons. These members include feeding persons, reproductive persons and stinging persons. They have a gas filled bladder (which is another person). This bubble is what we recognise bluebottles by. Together this colony contains male and female parts so are able to reproduce asexually, meaning the bluebottle makes clones of itself. If you come into contact with one of their tentacles in the water, they reflex release nematocysts or stinging cells. The sting can be excruciatingly painful. Bluebottles are best avoided.


We often encounter beautiful and enticing things in everyday life that are best avoided. In the book of Proverbs, which is ascribed to Solomon, he warns over and over against the wiles of wanton women. As it turned out, his love of women were his destruction. 1 Timothy 6:10, ‘For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pieced themselves through with many arrows.” That happens. Temptations creep up and take hold of people and if they don’t recognize the schemes of the enemy in time, they get trapped. Then verses 11 and 12 say, “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Then follow instructions to the rich that they should not be haughty and shouldn’t put their trust in their riches, but in God. To do good with what they have and rather store up a good foundation in Christ so that they can have eternal life. Verse 20 – 21, “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoid the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge – by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.”


This last admonition is very interesting and I know of people who having been professing Christians before, found some so-called intellectual teachings and decided that they were true, and in that way strayed from the faith. We have to remember that the Bible was written by normal, down-to-earth, God-fearing people. It was not written by philosophers and intellectuals. If the authors of the Bible had been super clever learned people with a string of degrees behind their names, it would be off-limits and outside the grasp of most people. As it is, everyone who can read, and who can understand spoken language can, with the help of the Holy Spirit understand the Word of God. The Holy Spirit gives us the wisdom to be able to understand scripture.


1 Corinthians 2 :6-12. However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not he wisdom of this age, not of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: Eye has not seen, not ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes the deep things of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”


In order to understand scripture, we need the Holy Spirit. Although there isn’t anything wrong with getting a degree, but avoid people and teachings that say higher learning and degrees are the only way you can understand the meaning of the Bible.

Weather the storm

Psalm 1:3 says, “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither:

And whatever he does shall prosper.”
That sounds great, I mean really, really awesome. Imagine always being positive and prosperous. Sounds like a dream. It must be possible because it says so in the Bible. I believe that. But what about the times that aren’t so great? What about the storms and the drought and the famine? There are times in everyone’s life where we just aren’t on top of the world and when everything around us seems to be falling apart. What about those times?

We went to the beach this morning and despite the fact that the weather here in town is unbearably hot, it was quite windy and cool at the beach. Not so bad I couldn’t take a dip in the cool water, but certainly not an ideal beach day. After I came out of the waves I noticed that on top of one of the high rocks there were plants growing. It’s actually quite a famous rock called Carriage Rock and it has a hole going all the way through.

As I looked at the plants struggling to survive on the top of that rock I wondered whether I would be able to survive in such harsh circumstances. There is absolutely no shelter whatsoever from the wind, rain and sun. The soil that there is can only be extremely shallow. So with almost no room for roots to grip, and not shelter from the elements how do these plants survive? I think it is by shear willpower. For the seeds to germinate in the first place is a miracle and now they are growing despite everything being against them. There are people like that. People who survive against the odds, who just press on and keep on going despite everything that life throws at them. They don’t look to others to sustain them, they don’t ask for handouts. They are the survivors, the salt of the earth, the overcomers.

Carriage Rock

Just like those plants on to of the rock they have built the houses of their lives on the rock and the winds and the rain cannot wash them away because they have found the Rock who is their firm foundation. In spite of their circumstances not being ideal when you see them you would think that they are the trees planted beside the waters because they are bearing fruit. They are positive and they are thriving. 

Let us all be like these plants on the rock and not allow our circumstances to determine our attitude.

Invest in your future

Audrey Hepburn is quoted as saying “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”.  To plant a garden is definitely a long term project.  Seeds don’t just germinate overnight and bear fruit in a week.  You need to be patient and consistent.  You need to keep the soil wet so that the seeds can germinate and then you have to nurture the little plants that have developed out of the seeds.  Keep the soil damp, protect them from frost and weeds.  Mulch around them so that the sun doesn’t scorch them.  Give them the necessary nutrients to ensure that they will become happy, mature plants that bear good fruit.  Oh  yes, and keep them free from pests!


Spinach plants with a mulch of fallen leaves





My onions are ready to be transplanted and I’m planning to do that on Monday.  They are going to go well with the cabbage plants I’m getting from my mom.  Apparently they are good companions.  The whole process from planting to harvesting is different for every variety.  Some plants like radishes mature very quickly and can be harvested in no time at all.  They are ideal starter plants if you’ve never had a garden but others like pineapples take two years before they bear fruit.  Its really easy to grow a pineapple.  You just take the top that you have cut off a pineapple, put it into the soil, and make sure it stays moist until you’re sure its growing.  Within a week or so you’ll see the new leaves appearing at the centre of the top you planted.  The sweetest pineapples are the small Queen variety with small tops.


Here is a pineapple growing amid the mulch of leaves. In two years I should be able to eat a fresh home-grown pineapple.

Now while you wait for your pineapples to grow make sure that you invest in your own future as well.  Make sure that you eat healthy food, get enough exercise and get enough rest.  Take some time out to do things that make you happy.  Two weeks ago my husband and I took advantage of having the weekend off and had a picnic on the beach on the Sunday.  The weather was lovely (in winter we actually have some days that the wind doesn’t blow) and the tide was very low.  We walked across the beach and had lunch in a little cove.  Things like that are the things that memories are made of.  That is the kind of investment that makes sense to me.  Memories are something that no-one can ever  take away from you.  You can get robbed and lose your possessions, your car can get stolen and you can make a bad investment and lose all your money but memories are forever.



My daughter and I recently painted some signs for my garden on some roof sheeting.

So, plant pineapples in your garden and in your soul.  Invest in your future and nurture the people you love.