THE DAY JESUS WAS DISAPPOINTED

(February 19, 2021) Robert and Maureen McQuillan zero in on an attitude problem…

December’s article Time-of-Confusion-and-Uncertainty highlighted how so many are touched on getting a smiling ‘Thank you.’

Often, it’s someone with problems blessed on hearing such expressions of gratitude… their mind being distracted from issues heavy on the heart.

Gratefulness
The reality is that we humans really do expect to hear a thank you when we help someone (we even make a point of teaching our kids to say thank you).

After all, it’s kind, thoughtful and courteous to honour whoever has touched our life in some way, small or nor not so small.

With that thought in mind, have you ever considered how Jesus must have felt when after he touched lives in a big way, he wasn’t immediately thanked? Such as that occasion when he miraculously helped ten lepers and they chuffed off thanklessly (Luke 17:12-19).

But wait… one did come back, expressing gratefulness with thanks and praising God!

This thankful outcast had such a grateful heart that he…

  • Returned ‘…shouting his gratitude, glorifying God (v15Mge).
  • Was so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough’ (v16Mge).
  • Unreservedly ‘…threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him’ (v16NIV).

Gratefulness is a matter of attitude! Being grateful, saying thanks indicates a right attitude, a characteristic Christians are supposed to have – and demonstrate! (more…)

MOVING OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONES IN 2021

(February 08, 2021) Maureen McQuillan shares …

Carol Round shares this month how important it is to drop hindering baggage in following the Lord’s leadings and moving ahead (See Recover-Your-Life-With-Jesus-Help).

Spot on, Carol!

Yielding to God
I believe that in this new year of 2021, God is wanting to move many of us out of our comfort zones – and I would encourage us not to hesitate.

Let’s be bold and allow the Lord to stretch us further and not be afraid of taking hold of opportunites ahead (whatever they may be!). You’ll be amazed at the results as well as the joy and satisfaction your ‘leap of faith’ will bring.

Now, I know, I know… we’re very human when it comes to change – we don’t generally like it! But life is all about change! Now we don’t change from fundamental biblical Christianity principles but we may need to change our attitude regarding yeilding to God’s directions!

Comfort zones and change
Comfort zones… Admit it: We all know what these are – and how we love feeling comfortably
safe and at ease because they require little effort. But, sadly, comfort zones don’t always yield results that God wants.

Change… now this requires determination, a turnaround in our thinking. Dictionaries tell us that change basically means to alter; it’s likewise in scripture!

So… if we’re going to move on, move ahead this year, change can mean altering our attitudes when we’re called on to move out of our comfort zone(s)! (more…)

MOVING ON… AND NEW STEPS IN FAITH

(February 21, 2021) David McGuire, missionary to Romania, shares a memory of God’s encouragement and challenges…

In the autumn of 2011, a new step of faith and direction from God was forming when I was asked by the Manna church to attend the national leaders’ conference in the west of Romania.

Now, to be honest, I was a bit out of my usually ‘energised drive’ to serve God, so I listened to the speakers intently, wondering what God might be saying to me.

Serving God isn’t about ‘titles’
Among many things I’ve learned about serving the Lord as a missionary is patience! Now I was relearning as it was six months later before a new direction in our ministry began to open up. It started with the church asking me to be an elder and my wife Rodica entering joint worship leadership.

Now I didn’t feel anything different generally as I just did what serving God wanted me to do, ‘title’ or not. But slowly I received more prophetic dreams and words from the Lord… and new responsibilities came across my path.

I was commissioned to run a men’s group at a particular centre which, as well as being a Bible study, would offer food… meat and chips with some pop, tea and coffee. I consented, but the first week no one came along – nor the next!

Nevertheless, I enjoyed doing deeper study with God on my own, even if no one else turned up. Rodica thought that if no one came third week, I should just come back home instead of waiting around as I had been doing. As it happened, no one came that week either and so I did as my wife had suggested… but I had no peace at home.

Commitment means being committed
Then I sensed God was teaching me something important… How could I expect commitment if I were not committed myself? (more…)

PREMA – A MEANINGFUL ENCOUNTER   

(February 07, 2021) Erica Grace, ex-missionary to South America, recalls a memorable Holy Spirit-blessed occasion and encourages us to sensitive to others…

Prema (not real name) first caught my attention when, through an interpreter, I was speaking to students in India about creation and marriage, and how God had made everything perfect.

Meaningful news
When I began teaching about Eve and why God made her and how special her creation was, I noticed a spotlight over Prema’s face; she was beaming, and the rest of the class was a blur.

In a culture where girls are second class citizens, she was hearing good news and was furiously taking notes as fast as I was speaking.

When my class finished, we began pairing off with someone and praying for each other, and I went looking for Prema. On finding her, we just stood facing each other and just smiled; then I took her hands and began to pray for her.

Meaningful prayer
Suddenly, she pulled me to herself and began to pray and weep – so here we were, neither one knowing what the other was saying, but feeling remarkably close as the Holy Spirit was ministering to both of us. We were both a blubbering mess, crying and praying on each other’s shoulders! (more…)

RECOVER YOUR LIFE WITH JESUS’ HELP

(February 04, 2021) Carol Round, having experienced an exhausting moving home time, encourages us to relax in Jesus…

Packing! Moving! Unpacking! I questioned, once again, Why did I have so much stuff?’

It’s not the first time I’ve moved in almost 20 years, it’s the sixth! I know others who have moved more times than I have, and I don’t envy them. I’m still trying to recover from my latest move.

I’ll confess! If I’d had my way, I’d still be in the first place I moved to four years before retiring from my 30-year teaching career in 2001. My post-teaching career plans included freelance writing for area newspapers and continuing my 20-year photography business that exploded when I went digital.

But Jesus had a greater plan for me. That’s the reason behind my many moves. Although it took him nine months to convince me to move the first time, I’ve learned to say, ‘I want your will, not mine.’

Obedience means surrendering
Each time I’ve moved, it’s been in obedience to his calling on my life.

I don’t take it lightly. For someone like me, who was used to being in charge, and thought she was in control of her life, it meant surrendering. Even though I still struggle sometimes, I’ve learned his way is the only way to live freely and lightly. (more…)

KJV OR NIV?

(February 02, 2021) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, shares…

Recently I was asked to give an evaluation of the KJV and NIV Bibles.

1. Reality
Firstly, we do not have a handwritten original portion of any part of the Bible.

At best we have handwritten copies of copies of copies (and so on) of the texts that have been handed down to us. Thus, neither the KJV nor the NIV nor any other translation is perfect as the underlying texts are not perfect for a variety of reasons.  The best translation is, at best, only a translation!

Nevertheless KJV-only proponents strongly argue that the only reliable translation of the Bible is the KJV and that all modern ones set out to deceive. However, there is no conspiracy among authentic Bible translators to delete words and phrases or to modify the test with the intention to dishonour God and corrupt his words or mislead Christians.

The translators of the NIV, for example, have attempted to express the original Hebrew and Greek of the Bible into contemporary English that accurately reflects the meaning of the original languages.

Furthermore, it must be recognised that the manuscripts used by the translators of the KJV were based on very late manuscripts.  For example, the KJV translators did not have the benefit of ancient copies of many Old Testament books.

Indeed, the earliest version of many of the Hebrew texts before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947, (which were written around the 2nd century BC), was the Masoretic Aleppo Codex dated A.D. 935 AD. Likewise the earliest Greek texts used to translate the New Testament were largely based on 12th century AD (and later) manuscripts.

  • Since the translation of the KJV took place in 1611, many thousands (and significantly older) manuscripts have been found which modern translators rightly have considered.
  • Also, since the first version of the KJV was published in 1611 it has been revised several times (eg 1629, 1638, 1657, 1762, 1769) and over 100,000 changes have been made to the 1611 version! So, one must question which KJV version  is considered the truly inspired version!

(more…)

THE BRAIN LIZARD’S BIG LIES

(January 29, 2021) Robert McQuillan shares on Satan’s reptilian lies…

Don’t you feel very disturbed within when you discover someone, especially someone you’ve always trusted, someone you’ve believed in, has lied to you?

Whether it’s a work colleague, business associate, salesperson or worst a best friend or child, our ‘little boat’ gets rocked as if in a storm!

Lying indicates trickery and deception – no one likes lies and being lied to. Hence, we teach children to value truth (and set personal examples by never lying!) and that one’s word is to be regarded as a person’s bond.

Unfortunately, because of sin, lying and lies are part of the human nature resulting in broken or unfulfilled promises (Something else we must warn their kids about).

Lying is not of God!
Lying is not in God’s character. The Bible is the word of the God who never lies (Psalm 33:4; John 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 John 2:27; Hebrews 6:18) and has several warnings and important things to say about lies and lying. For example, the Bible speaks against lying –

  • Vanities (Jonah 2:8)
  • Lips (Psalm31:18)
  • Ways (Psalm 119:29)
  • Words (Jeremiah 7:4)
  • Divination (words, witchcraft – Ezekiel 13:6)
  • Hearts (Acts 5:3,9)
  • Wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Note this one well, gullible Pentecostal/charismatic-oriented Christians. Test everything!

God detests lies!
‘Lying’ – that’s shehkar in the OT Hebrew – indicating falseness, sham, untruth, wrong, deceit, feigning. The NT Greek pseudos says it all in one word – falsehood! (more…)

PROMISES, PROMISES…

(January 29, 2021) Brian Bell shares some precious seed thoughts…

It has been said the scriptures contain 366 promises, one for every day of the year, including a leap year. I have not tried to ‘prove’ that piece of information however, reading in 2 Peter 1: 1-11, I believe the Holy Spirit showed me a some lovely ‘seed thoughts’ which spoke to me about God’s promises.

Nature
Verse 4 ‘…rich and wonderful…’

Rich speaks to me about value these are promises worth having; wonderful in the context here speaks to me about satisfying. Surely, we all appreciate things which have value and bring satisfaction.

I believe Russell Kelso Carter captured the nature of God’s promises in his 1886 hymn Standing on the Promises. The second verse says –
‘Standing on the promises which cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.’

The nature of God’s promises is not to keep us from difficulties or sickness but to be with us in every situation of life. (more…)

THE MISSIONARY TASK HAS NEVER CHANGED!

(January 24, 2021) As we move ahead into this new year of uncertainties and changes, we rerun this 2017 article by the late missionary statesperson George Forbes, as it is an especially important reminder that  missionary endeavour never changes!

Christian Missions operate in a wide range of areas of ministry internationally, service and aid!

  • Some are big enough to incorporate many activities and ministries.
  • Others specialise in one field of service such as humanitarian aid, education or medical.
  • Significant numbers specialise in language translation and their provision to nations.
  • Most missions that prioritise on evangelism, Bible training and church planting also open schools, medical clinics and other services.

Such services are crucial!
Early in my thirty years of active mission organisation leadership, I discovered that these services were often crucial to our acceptance by indigenous leaders in developing countries. Biblically they were an evidence of Christian love and compassion to people in need.

The missionary task has always been about ‘making disciples.’ Jesus commanded the early church ‘to make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew. 28:18-20). He commanded his disciples to ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel’ (Mark 16:15). Matthew adds the important dimension of the Great Commission by quoting the words of Jesus, As you go, make disciples.’ (more…)

RUNNING OUT OF FUEL IN A SNOWSTORM

(January 24, 2021) Mark Ellis shares how a snowstorm led to a pilot’s salvation…

‘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.

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.

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
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.

Rose decided to take the chance that his fuel would hold out, but then weather conditions changed dramatically. ‘I ran into a snowstorm at night, and I couldn’t see the terrain, so I had to follow the grey ribbon of river below.’ In the days before satellite weather imaging, the man had given him bad advice.

‘All my options were evaporating as fast as I could fly.’ (more…)