WAITING AT THE RAILWAY STATION CALLED THE CHURCH?

(June 18, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share a reflection…

Recently I (Robert) was waiting in a church prayer room for someone I’m counselling to arrive. As usual midweek I was wearing my leather jacket and Greek fisherman’s cap and was casually relaxed. But time was going on so I decided to stand looking through the room’s large down-to-the-ground windows onto the pleasant garden outside.

A young pastor happened by: Stopping, he commented, ‘For some strange reason, Robert, I had the impression you were casually looking out there, waiting for a train!’

No I wasn’t, I was just waiting… and waiting, expecting…

Christians waiting around for that good old gospel train?
Suddenly I had reminiscences of old glory ‘gospel train to heaven’ songs – and lines such as those from David Meece’s Gospel Train that declare ‘All aboard for the gospel train, my seat’s reserved, and my ticket’s paid.’

Then a picture came to me – one of many Christians from different churches waiting at that station called The Church, all confident that they were all right and would definitely be on board when the ‘gospel train to heaven’ eventually came along.

(more…)

‘GRANDMA, GOD MUST BE POOPED!’

(June 13, 2018) Maureen McQuillan brings an encouraging word…

What a wonderful day last Saturday was!

It was the wedding of our precious granddaughter Bonnie-Jane Phillips to Matthew Hoseini in The Farm Yarra Valley boutique venue in Victoria’s beautiful Warrandyte area and Robert had the privilege of marrying the couple.

Matthew is a handsome young man, very special indeed – and Bonnie looked the perfect happy, beautiful bride!

 

Romantic dinner with my husband!’ (Bonnie’s posting later on Facebook)


Happy memories

Some days before I was joyfully recalling many delightful happy memories we have of Bonnie – we’ve always had an incredibly close relationship with her; throughout her childhood she would often spend a lot of time with us and even this year – her 29th – she confessed that she still loves to come visiting us.

I reflected on how even when very young she would always be quietly observing things. Even while enjoying a Maccas she wouldn’t rush eating the food like so many other kids but would sit with us slowly and properly digesting her chosen burger and quietly observe people both adults and children around her. (more…)

WAKE-UP CALL… OR ‘HOW THE TEXT WAS CONNED’

(June 18, 2018) Stuart Reynolds challenges all Christians – preachers, church leaders and church attenders…

Here’s a sign giving good advice re punctuation – and a grammatical warning!

 

 

 

 


Contextually misused scripture misquotes
If misused punctuation can cause misunderstanding and trouble, so can misused contextparticularly in respect of reading and quoting Bible verses out of context!

Here’s an example. You can read in the Bible that ‘There is no God.’ However, when read in context, here’s what the Bible actually says: ‘The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”’ (Psalm 14:1).

In being prepared for ministry, it is rightly and repeatedly hammered home to prospective preachers – and needs to still be remembered by those more experienced – ‘a text without a context is a pretext!’ (more…)

ATHEIST PILOT MOCKED GOD, UNTIL HE RAN OUT OF FUEL IN A SNOWSTORM

(June 14, 2018) Mark Ellis shares how danger led to salvation…

Raised in the secular Seventies, completely un-churched, he had no room for God until he ran out of fuel in an Alaskan storm, miles from his destination.

‘I was a God mocker,’ says Mark Rose, founder of Genesis Alive, and author of Last of the Long Hunters, a story of the pilots who fly the Alaskan Arctic.

Rose learned to fly at 16, and by age 22 had become a bush pilot who helped take care of a fleet of helicopters that worked on the Alaska pipeline. ‘My ego meter was on 101,’ he admits.

Low on fuel

 

Mark Rose with helicopter

One day he flew some hunters to the upper part of a large river on the Arctic. But on his return flight, carrying one passenger, several things went wrong.

First, herds of caribou had moved in, covering his first and second choices for a landing spot. Then he began to run low on fuel, so he called ahead for a weather check at the small airport near Kotzebue, on the Baldwin Peninsula.

‘Come on in, the weather’s fine,’ the FAA flight service operator told him. (more…)

MONEY FOR MISSIONS

(June 12, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, challenges…

At last, I have got onto the subject of money for missions. This is a big subject because the need is big.  I mean really BIG!

Regrettably, it sometimes becomes a point of confusion and even conflict, when the amounts of funding for global mission are seen as diverting, or reducing the funding for local church needs.

Personally, I say, ‘Thank God for the pastors who understand this problem area and ensure good balance and understanding is maintained in their church. I belong to such a church, for which I gave thanks to God every day. I especially thank him for my pastor.’

I recognise that just as some missionaries may not manage money well, the same is true of some local churches. The better way is surely to help those missionaries who are not money managers and partner with them in sound, wholesome ventures for people in need and projects that are worthy.

Focusing on progress, not projects
Pastors who believe in the vision of a missionary, can partner with them, encouraging members who are experienced in money management, as well as people who are good project managers to work with their missionary.  Some great work is done this way to the glory of God. (more…)

‘LAUREL OR YANNI’ – A THEOLOGICAL CHALLENGE?

(June 10, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, brings a topical wake-up challenge…

Imagine that you are returning home late one night. As you pass your neighbour’s house, you see that it is on fire. You are really very fond of those neighbours whom you consider as very close friends. They have two bright, friendly little children who are like family to you. Obviously those neighbours are fast asleep in their comfortable beds and are unaware that they are in such danger.

You are confronted with a problem – what do you do? You have two choices. Should you let them sleep and not disturb their comfort, or should you race towards the house yelling to awaken them and warning them of their danger even though their comfort will be disturbed?

What is the loving thing to do? What is the right thing to do?

Laurel v Yanni
Over the past few weeks there has been an audio clip on the internet that we could describe as the ‘Laurel v Yanni’ argument. Apparently while listening to this audio clip some people clearly hear the word ‘Laurel’ while others clearly hear the word ‘Yanni.’ (more…)

AVOIDING SPIRITUAL FAINTING SPELLS

(May 14, 2018) Ben Godwin brings a friendly encouragement …

My first hospital visit was a fiasco!

I was a teenage preacher and had never been in an Intensive Care Unit. The man I visited had open heart surgery and was on a ventilator. As I prayed for him, I was overcome by the sights, sounds and smells and became dizzy.

The room started spinning so I stepped into the hall to gather myself. I saw his wife, called her name, tried to shake her hand but blacked out and hit the floor!

Moments later, I regained my senses via smelling salts. So much for being God’s man of faith and power!

Fainting is ‘a loss of consciousness due to abnormal blood circulation.’ In a spiritual sense, to faint means ‘to lose heart or courage, to give up, or to quit.’ Many believers today suffer from spiritual fainting spells –they abandon their faith and give up on God.

 

 

 

 

Here are six main culprits: (more…)

JESUS MIRACULOUSLY HEALED WOMAN’S ‘INCURABLE’ CANCER

(May 11, 2018) Mark Ellis shares…

She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow, which is considered incurable. But with Jesus-centred faith, prayer, and a powerful dream, God brought a miraculous healing that confounded her doctors.

‘They said I had three to five years to live,’ says Tecla Miceli. ‘It was dreadful and I was scared to death.’

Tecla grew up in Sicily and came to the USA as a 16-year-old with her parents. Fortunately the cancer was caught at an early stage. As she was opposed to chemotherapy doctors agreed to monitor the progression of the cancer with bone surveys and blood tests every 60 days.

‘The oncologist did a spinal and it came out at 17 blood plasma level and the threshold is 5,’ says Gary LaFerla who accompanied his mother to the doctor visits.

Alarming cancer cells increase
At 17%, doctors were willing to wait on the chemo. But after three years of monitoring Tecla, doctors noticed an alarming increase in cancer cells. ‘It was full blown cancer, at least 27% in her blood,’ Gary says.

Raised as a nominal Catholic, Tecla was born again through the influence of Gary and his sister Laura, who were involved at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, California.

Nicky Cruz, the former gang member, was speaking when Tecla visited Calvary Chapel for the first time. Moved by his message, she felt compelled to go forward. (more…)

THE CHANGING ROLE OF MISSIONARIES

(May 11, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, raises an issue…

This could be the first time I’ve raised the fact that the role of missionaries is rapidly changing.

I believe the change is the result of the good work done by the thousands of missionaries who served with great fruitfulness over past centuries.

And I think especially of the 19th and 20th centuries when missionaries were sent virtually worldwide to make disciples. Their work was very fruitful with great numbers of churches planted.

Initially the missionaries by necessity were the pastors and Bible teachers of the churches they planted. Then, gradually and eventually in a great surge, national pastors were trained and went out to plant many more churches.

Recognition of emerging indigenous leadership
Experienced missionaries rejoiced to see what God was doing, yet they felt the change that progressively happened as they stepped back in recognition of the emerging indigenous leadership. (more…)

GOD WANTS YOU TO BE RICH – REALLY?

(May 8, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, openly shares from his heart…

Recently I received a blog from an Indian friend who is pastoring in India: a young man whom I taught for a short time in a Bible college in Tamil Nadu. He was very committed in his Christian faith and very passionate in sharing the gospel.

However, his most recent blog troubled me. It was titled, ‘God wants you to be rich!

The following is part of what he wrote:
Yes, God wants us to be rich. We all know and believe that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, died on the cross to buy our salvation, healing, blessings and deliverance; but I want you to know on the same cross Jesus also died to make us rich.

‘You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich’ (2 Corinthians 8:9 NKJV). (more…)