(January 15, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encouragingly share…
Incredibly this is now our fourth month since journeying away from Geelong to Doreen our new territory, discovering much of its surrounds and meeting new folk… as we’ve been sharing on Facebook. Our ‘fantastic adventures’ seem to be intriguing readers who insist they look forward to hearing our latest news/who we’ve met/opportunities we’ve taken to bless strangers and been blessed in turn/ and more.
In all our these ‘adventures’ we’ve simply been allowing the Holy Spirit to direct us each new day… as we exercise our faith and trust our Lord. And things have been happening, including unusual ones! Even the other hot arvo… we blessed a young Turk who then blessed us with a bottle of needed icy cold water (no space to give all details but we now have four new friends!).
We like what Hope Flinchbaugh, our insightful good friend from Pennsylvania, wrote us: ‘It’s like you’re opening a large gift package from heaven with many little extra gift boxes inside! God is blessing your new beginning!’
Right on… and we’re expecting to make more fantastic discoveries. For years we’ve called the Christian life one big Indiana Jones adventure… one never knows what’s round the corner! But it’s God ‘making it up’ not Indy! Never a dull moment it seems as we trust and follow Jesus in faith. And we’re believing it all to continue as we embrace more of 2019.
2019! Almost two weeks gone already!
‘Where does the time go?’ becomes so much more relevant as one grows older. Life is an incredible God-given gift and, as we’ve always encouraged folk, we should all make the best of it every day! Despite media bad news daily naming new troubles in our cities and around the world, we Christians can still enjoy life and make every day count as we…
- Adventure onward (not looking back to what was or could have been)
- Make new discoveries (assignments, places and people)
- Responsibly serve our God (whatever our calling)
- Continually let the Spirit lead us (new territory, job, church, decisions, relationships…)
- Have faith in – and trust – Jesus (essential!).
Faith plus trust!
Journeying on through life and achieving much not only for ourselves but for Jesus’ kingdom before our ‘life visa’ expires means trusting Jesus completely.
The reality is, of course, things can go amiss…
(1) Spiritual warfare enemy Satan can subtly work on our minds and con us into thinking we won’t succeed (as Brian Bell reminds us xxx).
(2) Unexpected strange illnesses can drop us suddenly as with me (Robert) two Sunday back, and Dr Jim McClure late last year (xxx highlights confidence in God when things aren’t going good).
(3) Life itself can throw some nasty curves as happened to the actor below.
Really want to move ahead in 2019? If so we need to be determined and make the ‘atomic habit’ of our willpower work for us as Dr Ed Delph shares (xxx).
If we’re going to have and enjoy fantastic journeys in 2019, we must exercise real faith… this means trusting and ‘letting go and letting God!’
An acronym re ‘FAITH’
It was very interesting to hear what the aging yet still active but obviously ill actor Gary Busey highlighted on Channel Seven’s The Morning Show this week – even though his illness, immediate physical needs weren’t being understood nor his genuine intentions of encouraging others appreciated!
We liked what he did manage to say about his new book Buseyisms (eg his B.I.B.L.E – Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth). Although the interview was panned and criticised by the press (Buseyisms) as bizarre – and admittedly it was – something Busey said made sense to us…
Badly injured in a motorcycle accident some 30 years ago – his skull was fractured, and although time proved he had suffered serious brain damage, Busey still achieved much in the intervening years! And despite difficulties as were so obvious on the show, he is determined to move ahead in 2019 and encourages people to understand things they have difficulty with by using the acronymic principle, and that sometimes bad things happen to give us a new, wider prospective on life.
What was so clear to us but was missed by the hosts is why Busey uses the acronym principle of learning to assist himself and wants others to gain from it too… he makes an abbreviation (formed from the initial letters of a word) and pronounces it as something else.’ Why? ‘Because it helps me understand the meaning of one word with a sentence,’ he says.
At one point Busey (who unashamedly professed Christ to Hollywood back in 1996), without ‘preaching’ made this meaningful acronymic declaration about trusting in 2019: ‘Faith is F.A.I.T.H – Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him.’ His book adds: ‘Replace the word fear with faith and no weapon used against you will prosper.’ Newspaper reports may have stated ‘Australian TV viewers were left scratching their heads…’ but we weren’t on this point and trust others weren’t either!
Are we really trusting Jesus?
No weapon prospering against us as we move ahead? Sounds good – and scriptural (Isaiah 54:17) – as we move ahead this year into our own fantastic adventures with Jesus trusting him!
Now this article is not all about highlighting Gary Busey or his book, one that aims to encourage readers. But he has a point here about faith producing fantastic adventures… especially for Christians who are meant to be followers who really trust their Lord. Christianity was never meant to be dull, uninteresting, boringly religious, some dead-end track called ‘the Road to No-Town.’
Jesus assured us that he came to give us life ‘and life more abundantly’ (John 10:10). ‘More abundantly’ is perissoss – superabundantly, superior, excessive, ‘beyond’… That doesn’t sound dull and boring to us – despite whatever troubles a new day might bring. The Message puts Jesus’ promise this way: ‘I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.’
From the rest of this chapter, it’s obvious that he was talking not only about eternal life in the hereafter but also about a great life here and now despite life’s hiccups! He declared himself to be the Good Shepherd who would give his life for his sheep, that good sheep know their good shepherd’s voice, listen and trustingly follow him wherever.
In John 17:3 Jesus asked ‘And what is eternal life?’ His answer? ‘It is knowing you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.’ And when/where do we get to know Jesus (really know, deeply, personally)? Now… in the midst of fantastic life adventures we allow him to take us into and through!
Sheep trust the shepherd they know… think of this principle in terms of faith in Jesus our great shepherd as we determine to journey adventurously this year.
As we mingle with unchurched folk in these early days of January we sense that last year has been happily forgotten and they’re embracing 2019 with bright hopes of expectancy, achievement and fulfilment. But they’re also longing for meaningful words of kindness and encouragement… which opportunity-taking Christians can give.
The Bible is the greatest encouragement book of all – if we read it! It has much to say about encouragement and being encouraged eg serving the Lord (2 Chronicles 35:2); saying and doing what is good (2 Thessalonians 2:16 -17)… check your concordance!
Jeremiah 17:7’s promise reads: ‘Blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God’ (Message). Doubtless we all want to know God’s favour, his blessings… so we must trust him if we’re daring to state we have faith in him, his promises, his word! This may mean ‘hanging in there’… as was the case for that great example, young Joseph. Or Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Daniel, Paul… And what fantastic adventures they had each new year as they trusted in faith!
2019 will, we sense, be a year which will bring great challenges as well as great victories. But it means willingly following Jesus our good and great shepherd into whatever he asks of us. Faith in Jesus means trusting him if we’re going to enjoy exciting adventurous journeys this year.
Hopefully we won’t have to go through some traumatic life experience and challenge to awaken us like some have. But if such does occur, know that it doesn’t catch God unawares… our Good Shepherd will be there for us and we’ll come out stronger to venture forth into further fantastic adventures that will bless and encourage others as we share with them.
Selah! (Often considered to mean ‘Calmly pause and think’).
Dr Robert and Maureen McQuillan’s link is firstname.lastname@example.org (Scripture and other emphases in this Onliner ours). Relating links: Victory / God the Fairy Godmother? / Marshmallow Test / Buseyisms