VALUE OF A CENT

(March 22, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share personally from the heart on some experiences re honesty…

Value of a cent? Unusual title this month! Carol Round writes passionately about the value of a dear friend this month… a great little article Value. George Forbes writes of the value of focused missions.

‘Value’ is a word indicating worth. Among other meanings is importance and beneficial. Our article relates to benefiting – and more, such as the importance of being honest and thankful, challenging others, blessings others… and delighting God. Here’s the background, beginning with a mere cent …

I (Robert) delight to find Salvo type stores where I can go hunting for old DVDs. A couple of weeks back we went to one about an hour away in a suburb we hadn’t been to before.

By coincidence there was a great carpet store next door and as we passed by Maureen, a top decorator, noticed the most unusual rug in the open doorway entrance and instantly knew it would look magnificent in the foyer of our new home. We had never been to this store before but found the owner very friendly, pleasant and helpful.

 

Tale of a cent
His price for this newly arrived rug was good but as we didn’t need it immediately (our new home won’t be finished for some months yet) we simply said we’d bear it in mind. But back home we decided we should get it and on googling the item found it in another store $50 cheaper. However as we had really liked the gentleman we had first chatted to, we phoned and mentioned this Google ad. A family business storekeeper, he had no hesitation in immediately agreeing to reduce his price and on Monday past we popped back to purchase.

The owner greeted us with news that another rug, same as we wanted and still in its plastic wrapping, had come in and as he had got it at a better foreign exchange rate he was quite happy to sell at the lower price. But as we were about to pay I (Robert) added that I’d omitted to say that the cheaper price I’d found was actually one cent dearer that I’d first told him, and that we wanted to pay in full ie plus a cent. (more…)

VALUE OF MISSIONS FOUNDED ON THE WORD, FOCUSED ON THE WORLD!

(March 22, 2019) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us as we approach and embrace the celebration of Easter next month, to also embrace and activate our Saviour’s very clear great after Easter command…

In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus gave very clear direction to his followers: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

  • Mark (in Mark 16:15-16) also wrote of Jesus’ direction – ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’
  • But Matthew’s gospel records the command of Christ in more detail than Mark by adding the authority of this command as well as the task of making disciples for Christ.
  • All true missions’ work is founded on the word and focused on the world because that is what the command of Christ embraces. It is a result of Christians believing and obeying the word of God.

God’s word is very clear
I believe that the word of God is our ultimate authority and it is so clear – our Lord Jesus commissioned his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. That he would be with them to the ends of the earth. That the power and presence of the Holy Spirit would provide supernatural support to their testimony and ministry. (more…)

THE VALUE OF A FRIENDSHIP

(March 21, 2019) Carol Round reflects on the great value of having a friend…

I still think of my friend Sonya throughout my day, relishing the memories we made through our common bonds as well as adversity. Proverbs 17:17 (ESV) says, ‘A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity’ – that’s the value of a friendship!

We bonded over our love of animals, landscaping our yards and fried chicken livers. But, our friendship grew through adversity.

Sonya, 12 years my senior, moved into my neighbourhood in 2010. After leaving Georgia, she purchased the house next door to me. I welcomed this tiny woman as my neighbour but, as so many of us are apt to do; I judged her first by her appearance.

Quickly connecting
In her late 60s at the time, Sonya dressed more like a teeny bopper, even when doing yard work. However, as I grew to know this precious woman, my spirit couldn’t help but connect through our mutual love of Jesus. (more…)

YOU FIND WHAT YOU SEEK!

(February 15, 2019) Carol Round reflects on the need to know God intimately

While cleaning house recently, I tuned my TV to a local news broadcast. My attention wasn’t completely focused on the interview of a woman who writes book reviews.

I heard bits and pieces of her remarks as I dusted the furniture. It seems I don’t multi-task as well as I used to.

The following statement, which ended the segment, did grab my attention: ‘You find what you are looking for.’

Several scriptures came to mind, including Jeremiah 29:13, ‘You will see me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Seeking God wholeheartedly
In Jeremiah 29, the prophet sends a letter to the Jewish exiles in Babylon. His words to those who had been taken captive by the Babylonians were meant to comfort, to encourage and reveal God’s plans for his people if they wholeheartedly sought the Lord and fulfilled his purposes.

I thought about the times I’d drifted away from the Lord’s plans for me. (more…)

ADVANCE AUSTRALIA… WHERE?

(February 15, 2019) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, considers Australia’s future…

Recently Australia Day, January 28, resounded with the singing of our national anthem, the last line of which the first verse is ‘Advance Australia fair.’

However, in reflecting on Australia – its past and present, and thinking about its future – I sense that a more appropriate final line is not a statement but would be a question – ‘Advance Australia where?’

So the question is… As a nation where are we going? In what direction are we heading?

Before Australia had been put on maps, for over 1500 years many people had speculated that there was a large continent in the southern hemisphere for which there was no documentary evidence. Then, just over 400 years ago in 1606, the Portuguese explorer Fernández de Quirós sailed into the southern waters and, discovering that large landmass, called it La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo which means ‘The Southland of the Holy Spirit.’

The Southland of the Holy Spirit
What a great name for a country!  How wonderful it would be if the Spirit of God really had sovereign authority over this nation! (more…)

BRIDGING THE GAP

(February 15, 2019) Missionary statesperson Dr George Forbes reminds us that God needs heroes…

Believe it or not, God – yes, Almighty God – has a particular need, a big one!

Ezekiel 22:30 tells that he reveals his heart cry: ‘I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.’

Throughout the history of God’s people, both in Old Testament and New Testament times, God has sought for a man or woman to be his voice, to stand in the gap before him for the land. All too often he has not found even one.

Yes, there have been many times in decades past when someone has responded, someone who heard God’s call and obeyed it. But in our generation, our day, he is still looking for men and women who will stand in the gap for a nation, a land, a people.

Heroes of faith, lights in darkness
Some such heroes of bygone times are named in scripture… in the Old Testament and the Acts of the Apostles and other New Testament records: They belong in God’s Honour Roll!

In recent generations of Christian faith there have been other such heroes of faith… many are not listed here, but we can think of –

  • William Carey
  • Hudson Taylor
  • Adonorim Judson
  • Gladys Aylward
  • David Livingston
  • Mary Slessor
  • Amy Carmichael
  • Jim Elliot
  • And so many others…

(more…)

‘RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTETH PEOPLE’!

(February 15, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage readers to go the Matthew 5:41 extra mile…

One never knows where a thought, an encounter, an incident, a new link, an observation, a happening, an event, something seen in real life, a movie, on TV or in a movie can lead to further thoughts.

We enjoy good movies, especially great old black and white film noir ones. Watched a detective one recently – 1948’s He Walked by Night – depicting how ‘real’ police-work is so often laboriously painstaking and lengthy before the offender is located let alone caught.

Highlight no 1
One interesting scene showed the entrance to Los Angeles’ city hall where some of the police work begins. This led to ‘other thoughts’ when we saw highlighted above the following great quotation…

Obviously those who chose this inscription knew Proverbs 14:34. Although the ‘old KJV’ reads ‘a nation’ the Hebrew word also infers ‘people’ as its base indicates a ‘massing.’ In any case the second part of this wise declaration and encouragement reads, ‘but sin is a reproach to any people.’

‘Coincidental’(?) highlight no 2!
Drafting this article we had zeroed in on righteousness, exalting, sin, reproach and how Solomon was talking about ‘doing the right thing’ thereby lifting up people up in their own eyes and those of others around them… whereas offensive behaviour – sin – is bad news observable by others.

Imagine our amazement when we received Jim McClure’s this month’s Teaching article Advance Australia… Where? and found he had quoted this same profound scripture! Better and clearer than we could, Dr Jim challengingly expounds these Proverbs 14 issues and the importance of godly righteousness! This is more than a coincidence, it’s timely! Do read it prayerfully.

Here we simply draw attention to the fact that it’s no wonder verse 35 is so punchy… ‘The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causes shame’ or as the Message reads, ‘Diligent work gets a warm commendation; shiftless work earns an angry rebuke.’

Favour, warm commendation. Words indicating God’s delight and pleasure. Yes we want that, not and ‘angry rebuke’ (missed blessings?), don’t we? (more…)

2019 – SURELY THE HARVEST IS VAST!

(January 16, 2019) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us that …

A heart for the harvest is essential to this great spiritual task in the world! Every believer needs a heart that is sensitive, responsive and obedient to the word of God, about gathering this massive harvest.

The Lord Jesus uses terms from the natural world of harvesting to show us the will and the way of God in the primary spiritual ministry of bringing people to Christ. As we embrace 2019, I encourage readers to think with me of such terms! They need to be burned into our memory, written on our hearts and fulfilled by the grace of God.  

Identifying important harvest terms

  • ‘The harvest is vast’
  • ‘The labourers are few’
  • ‘Do not say four months’
  • ‘The harvest’
  • ‘Lift up your eyes’
  • ‘Look on the fields’
  • ‘They are white to harvest already’
  • ‘He who sows’
  • ‘He who reaps’
  • ‘Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.’

The following three texts from the words of Jesus identify each one of these important terms above…

  • John 4:35
    ‘Do you not say, It is yet four months, and the harvest comes? Behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white to harvest already.’
  • John 4:36
    ‘And he who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit to life eternal, so that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.’
  • Mat 9:37-38
    ‘Then he told his disciples, “The harvest is vast, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest”.’

(more…)

VICTORY IN 2019 – ENCOURAGEMENTS FROM JOAB

(January 15, 2019) Brian Bell reflects on winning tactics against an enemy

We’re two weeks into 2019 already!

Over past months I’ve been reading and meditating on Old Testament scriptures and have been encouraged and challenged as the Lord has reminded me of encouraging  truths I can apply to my own life as I seek to victoriously move ahead in 2019 – as can the body of Christ, those believers who make up the church.

In particular I’ve been reminded of spiritual warfare and, knowing my own battles and that if the Lord tarries the enemy will continue to be active in 2019, I share some brief thoughts based on 2 Samuel 10: 6-13 that I trust may be helpful.

I won’t include a historical overview other than to say that Joab was King David’s general. In the verses I mention here, Joab has been sent by David to meet a large army made up of Ammonites, Arameans and others. The story opens as Joab approaches the place of battle… let me share from his winning tactics what I see as lessons for the church.

1) Appraisal
This thought is in the words of verse 9: ‘When Joab saw he would have to fight on two fronts…’

It’s good to be wise and not underestimate the approach and tactics of an enemy – as believers we need to remember that the ‘enemy’ is not ‘people of flesh and blood’ (as the apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12). So, for example, people with whom we may disagree even on some point of doctrinal theology should not be seen as enemies!

We can be sure the enemy will always seek to display his best and most subtle attack formation – the word ‘appraisal’ is a way of describing how Joab sized up the situation. (more…)

2019 – ONE QUALITY MOST LIKELY TO HELP SUCCEEDING

(January 15, 2019) Ed Delph shares a helpful 2019 challenge…

As we embrace 2019 the following idea moves us forward, onward and upward!

Most everyone these days is looking for success in one way or another. Here’s a life-changer for youa spiritual and natural principle applied in a practical way.

The marshmallow test
One of my one of favourite writers, James Clear, offers this idea in his latest book, Atomic Habits. Read on…

‘In the 1960s, a Stanford professor named Walter Mischel began conducting a series of important psychological studies. During his experiments, Mischel and his team tested hundreds of children, most of them around the ages of four and five years old. It revealed what is now believed to be one of the most important characteristics for success in health, work, and life.

‘The experiment began by bringing each child into a private room, sitting them down in a chair, and placing a marshmallow on the table in front of them. At this point, the researcher offered a deal to the child.

‘The researcher told the child he was going to leave the room and if the child did not eat the marshmallow while he was away, they would be rewarded with a second marshmallow. However, if the child decided to eat the first one before the researcher came back, they would not get a second marshmallow. The choice was simple. One treat right now or two treats later. The researcher left the room for 15 minutes. (more…)