Monthly Archives: September 2019

Artificial flowers

We were visiting friends yesterday and we admired pots of flowers on the coffee table.

It was only when I reached out a hand to touch a leaf that I realised that the flowers were artificial. Hypocrite flowers my friend called them. They looked just like real flowers but as soon as I interacted with them, I knew. They felt different, they had no smell and most importantly, they had no life. They couldn’t grow or enrich the world by getting rid of carbon dioxide and making oxygen. If I came to visit in a year’s time, they would be exactly the same, no change in them and no impact on the world.

In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees were the epitome of religiosity. They quoted the word of God, they obeyed the law to the letter, they gave alms, they prayed. a lot. Jesus talked about hypocrites. In Matthew 6:5a He said, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray, standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.”

Our prayers to God are based on a relationship. He is our loving Father and, just as little children relate to their father, telling him about their day, their hurts, their dreams, their needs, so we can come to God and tell him all our concerns, mistakes, dreams and longings.

God sends His Spirit into our lives causing us to grow, to serve others and, most importantly, to have life so we can never be like artificial flowers, merely a semblance of the real thing.

Bananas, Spiders and Lies


Dr Kent Hovind tells the story of how his older brothers lied to him and he believed them. When he was six, he came down to breakfast one morning before anybody else and found there was only one banana left in the fruit bowl so he grabbed it, pleased that he was the first to see it. When his two brothers came down they asked, “Is that the last banana?” He nodded, feeling very pleased with himself. They then proceeded to put him off bananas for three years by lying to him. They told him bananas formed when spiders died. Their legs hung down and mould started growing around them, forming the banana. To prove it, they showed him the black dots on the inside of the banana. “That’s the remains of the spiders legs, they said.”

We all believe lies of some kind. Those of us who were around in the fifties and sixties believed what the government told us about the threat of Communism in South Africa. There were even those who believed that Apartheid was biblical, based on God’s commandments to the Israelites not to intermingle with other nations. Nowadays we don’t need to rely on the government to feed us misinformation, advertising and social media can do it just fine.

I’ve been reading books by Dr Caroline Leaf. She explains how thoughts influence the workings of our brain which controls all bodily functions. In her book, Toxic, she says toxic emotions arise from three negative and incorrect beliefs (ie lies that we believe.)

  1. I must do well.
  2. You must treat me well.
  3. The world must be easy.

It is not only necessary to examine what we believe and decide if we want it to be part of who we are, it is also necessary to replace it with a truth. John 17:17 says, Thy Word is Truth.

Some examples are:-

1) 2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life…. It is not a matter of us having to do well, God has provided the resources we need to live His way.

2) John 16:3 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. Jesus knew very well that people will not treat us well and that life is not easy. Nevertheless, he has overcome the world and we can have peace even when people treat us badly and life is a mess.

3) Psalm 16:5 and 6 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundry lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

So, before believing bananas are mouldy dead spiders, let’s examine what we believe and if we find it to be a lie, replace it with the truth.