(August 7, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan ask a question that leads to a serious challenge…
It’s a simple question really: What does the word ‘choice’ mean, either in a dictionary or in the Bible? Well, it’s an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.
The reality of life is that every day we make choices. We have to! Begins each new morning… arising from slumber, deciding what to wear, what to have for brekkie. And that’s before we hit the street!
One thing is for certain… every day decisions have to be made in respect of our job, marriage, family, holidays, movie to see, TV program to watch, the home, purchases, clothing, meals… then along comes new car or home. The list goes on!
In reality very day we’ll all be making choices, hopefully good ones!
Let’s share a choice that I (Robert) made recently that proved a bad one… although there was a funny side to it! (more…)
(August 12, 2018) Brian Bell reflects on an ‘old’ but relevant truth…
You may be familiar with the words of this ‘old’ children’s song…
‘I may never march with the infantry; ride with the cavalry; shoot with artillery;
I may never zoom o’er the enemy but I’m in the Lord’s army – YES SIR!’
In recent times to help it ‘relate better’ to a more contemporary generation a verse has been added which speaks about Superman, Spiderman and Indiana Jones!
A vital fact On the surface, the lyrics may seem to have little ‘spiritual’ content – I certainly was of that view… for a time, that is.
On reflection, however, while the song may not mention the Bible or characters within its pages (such as Joshua) that we would associate with the Lord’s army, as believers we are in the Lord’s army and this is a vital ‘spiritual’ fact.
This was emphasised to me recently when looking at Deuteronomy 20, a chapter dealing with instructions Moses gave to the Israelites about going into battle. (more…)
(August 11, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, challenges…
In Luke 19: 11-27 Jesus shared a powerful principle shortly before his crucifixion.
He told his listeners the parable of the ‘Ten Pounds’ and spoke of a prince who gave each of his servants the same amount of money with the instruction to ‘invest’ on his behalf. And that he made it clear he expected a return from each of them.
Then Jesus told his servants that the people of the prince’s country hated him and had sent messengers to say they did not want him to be their king.
After the prince’s appointment as king he returned to where he had left his servants to invest on his behalf. He called for them to appear before him to see what the investment had returned and asked each one, ‘How much have you earned with the money I gave you to invest?’
(July 24, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, brings another wake-up call…
Recently I watched Britain’s Got Talent. The act that won was of a ‘comedian’ whose whole routine was about his homosexuality. The judges thought it was hilarious! The audience stood and applauded! And the voting public declared him the winner! (In another performance a man demonstrated his ‘skill’ by removing his clothes in a provocative way.) The show was concluded by a female guest singer who sang about wanting to kiss girls.
Another popular singer, Ariana Grande, has a new sexually explicit song on the market called God is a Woman. Some of the lyrics are a mockery of Christianity, such as, ‘Baby, lay me down and let’s pray’, ‘So, baby, take my hand, save your soul’ and ‘And boy, if you confess, you might get blessed.’ In her music video of the song Ezekiel 25:17 is misquoted. And Grande is portrayed in a flesh-coloured body suit with multiple breasts at which men suckle.
Disrespect for spiritual beliefs and standards Sadly in recent years we have seen a disintegration of social principles and disrespect for spiritual beliefs and standards that have established a sound foundation for many nations for hundreds of years –(more…)
(July 18, 2018) Carol Round shares a comforting truth …
Have you ever purchased a product labelled ‘As is’?
We trust the lowered price of the item we’ve bought will be worth whatever hidden flaws might emerge later on.
One secret to overlooking flaws
On her 50th wedding anniversary, a woman revealed the secret of her long and happy marriage. She said, ‘On my wedding day, I decided to make a list of 10 of my husband’s faults which, for the sake of the marriage, I would overlook.’
One of her guests asked her what some of the faults she chose to overlook were.
‘To tell you the truth,’ she replied, ‘I never did get around to making that list. But whenever my husband did something that made me hopping mad, I would say to myself, “Lucky for him that’s one of the 10!”’
Paul’s advice was good: ‘Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other. This will bring honour to God’ (Romans 15:7ERV). (more…)
(July 18, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, reflects on these four important aspects of missions today…
1, Tentmakers in mission A respected and decisive part of missions in the 20th century was filled by ‘tentmakers.’ I expect that time will prove that this support to long-term ministry missionaries has continued into the 21 century.
The term comes from the Bible – Dr Luke wrote about Paul in Acts 18:3, ‘Because he was of the same trade, he stayed and worked with them; for they were tentmakers by occupation.’ These were men and women using their professional skills in self-support, as they worked as much as their time permitted while fulfilling the ministry God had given them.
Over the centuries there have been missionaries who also were ‘tentmakers’ – and ‘tentmakers’ who were not missionaries, however they all supported themselves in practical and active roles in their ministry.
Many excelled in literature, radio, and other specialised support areas to release missionaries to their primary role as church planters and Bible teachers.
I met many such ‘tentmakers’ and valued them as worthy servants of God in their field of commitment. I became a friend from Australia as we shared fellowship, meals and worship together.
Some were builders; others were teachers, printers, literature and Bible distributors. There were pilots, mechanics, engineers, artisans and other occupations.
All were committedto the kingdom of God and the growth of national churches.
(July 17, 2018) Tim Edwards shares on some scriptures he found challenging…
So what guides us through tough times? How should we focus and navigate the journey?
A couple of weeks ago in my daily Bible reading a particular verse really caught my attention – ‘Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help’ (Ezekiel 29:16).
The Israelites were having their difficult times – aware that they could not match the power of the advancing Babylonians. But they did something which ultimately they would regret – they chose to put their hope in Egypt to save the day for them.
It was false hope, misplaced hope – a hope in politics and economics, not in their God. And God didn’t want his people trusting in, hoping in, and putting their confidence in anything, anyone other than him. Nor does he want us to do likewise!
So, how am I going to move forward with God in my life in my troubled times? How are you? (more…)
(July 7, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share some personal matters…
Noticed that our granddaughter, Bonnie-Jane Phillips, whom we married to Matthew Hoseini, a great young man three weeks ago, had happily Facebooked the following: ‘21 days ago I married my best friend! Cannot believe how quickly the time has gone by already.’
We’d Facebooked back: ‘Cute, cute. Only 21 days? Just wait until it’s 20805 days plus a few extra leap years’ days – that’s about 21000 days – as it’ll be for us come July 7! Then you can really rave!’
Blissfulness: A happy Matthew and Bonnie-Jane, only 21 days married
That, and some other happenings, led to sharing the following…
Asked last Monday what we were doing this weekend, we quietly said that on Saturday (today) we’d be happily celebrating our57th wedding anniversary, some 21000 days if we count from the moment we first met(engaged within two weeks of blissfully falling in love!) but couldn’t get married being underage and unable to immediately win parental permission. Our friend’s eyes popped open wide and she remarked she couldn’t believe it! (more…)
(June 19, 2018)Norman and Margaret Moss share a great reflection…
Ah, what tangled worldwide webs we weave!
There’s a new acronym around: GDPR… which can, among other explanations, mean General Data Protection Regulation (European Union), Global Defence Posture Realignment (DoD Transformation Plan), Gross Domestic Product per Region, Group of Deputy Permanent Representatives (on the public disclosure of NATO documents), Graduate Degree Progress Report (Southern Methodist University; Texas) – or how about this one… Grateful Dread Public Radio (Baltimore, MD internet public radio station)!
But, Christian readers, sons and daughters of Almighty God, disciples of Jesus, GDPR does not stand forGet DePRessed – though I almost thought so when I first heard about it.
The Christian GDPR Now this acronym stands for a great Bible truth of… God’s Deep Presence Rewards!(more…)
(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 context… particularly 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…)