Author: Life Focus Ministries

Who are we? Dr Robert McQuillan is recognised as an inspiring encourager, counsellor, mentor to young ministries and Bible teacher ministering meaningfully on the prophetic edge. Robert and Maureen, also a gifted communicator with an uncanny insight into knowing 'where people are at', delight to bless and encourage God's people and ministries... and touch the hearts of the unchurched in the marketplace. Contact: connectingwithyou333@gmail.com

A RESTRAINING HAND; A PROTECTIVE GOD

(October 20, 2020) David McGuire, missionary to Romania, shares a testimony about God’s protection…

‘We don’t want you to go down there and help them other people,’ a short, dark man stormed threateningly.

On that warm Monday afternoon in the spring of 2000, my construction crew and I had just finished work on homes in this poor Gypsy settlement called the Valley, at the edge of the village of Albesti, Romania. Now we were being threatened by this irate man. His wife, brothers and cousins were all echoing his words.

‘If you go and help them people at the far end of the Valley, like you’ve been helping us, we’re going to beat you up,’ the angry Gypsy man told me through my interpreter.

To Romania with love
I’m an Englishman, born in Manchester and raised in Glossop, a small town nearby.  Being a builder, when God called me to serve him in Romania, I responded with a desire to use my skills to help in every way I could and for over 20 joyous years I’ve been doing so. It was here that I had met and married Rodica. We have a lovely daughter, Sabrina.

House building for the poor has been since 1998 and spread over many villages. Dreams from the Lord about running a ‘feeding with Bible stories to kids’ program in several villages and linking with local churches became part of our outreach. We would buy Bible cartoon DVD stories DVDs for kids showing them as we would feed them in local buildings. Watching these cartoons was a first exposure to the Bible for kids from non-Christian families. And, we praise God, they responded well!

 

 

 

David, Rodica and Sabrina

Poor parents were also being touched by God and we would move on from village to village. But… well do I recall one dangerous day in the Albesti village when I was threatened by the man mentioned above! (more…)

STORMS OF LIFE? JESUS CARES!

(October 24, 2020) Robert and Maureen McQuillan remind readers that Jesus truly cares…

Life is like a terrifying storm to several at this pandemic time – including some Christians!

And not just because of uncertainties regarding loss of income, delayed/postponed desperately needed operations, increased crime, unruly behaviour in our streets and beaches, lockdown, and such.

Many, including some church leaders, are concerned about the future… and seemingly unanswered prayers. We’ve had some share feelings of ‘I don’t know what I’m meant to be doing… now or in future days. Doesn’t Jesus care?’

Doesn’t Jesus care?
What an audacious, unwarranted question! Of course, he cares!

Remember the Mark 4 incident where Jesus directed his disciples to cross over the lake by boat to a different region?

Verse 37Message recounts that ‘A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it.’  Verse 38a appears to casually mention that in all this fury ‘Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping!’  Then we read that the obviously frightened disciples ‘woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”’

See the bigger picture here… Jesus’ friends are accusing him of not caring! And with the storm raging around them, they would not have been gently whispering in his ear! No, this would have been a harsh, possibly screaming frantic, ‘Hey! Don’t you care?’ And no acknowledgement of his status as either Rabbi, Teacher or Friend! (more…)

IN DEFENSE OF ‘WHINGERS’

(October 19, 2020) Erica Grace, ex-missionary to South America, challenges us to really care for others.

As we were waiting for the bell to ring, the children were running all over the school playground. Suddenly ‘Adam’ (not real name) tripped and fell down the concrete steps, right by my feet.

 I reached down to help him but his mother stopped me, saying, ‘He’ll be right. I don’t want him to be a whinger.’  Then she turned to Adam and said, ‘Get up, Adam. Men don’t cry!’

My eyes followed little Adam as he got up and limped behind a bush to rub his little knees and wipe away his tears.  Yes, little Adam will never become a whinger.

People need to share!
A few days later I sat waiting for a bus at the Ringwood station. We were having a heat wave and even the shade was hot. Suddenly an elderly lady came from nowhere and sat right next to me, so close to me that she was in fact sitting on the edge of my dress!

In my heart I felt annoyed, she had so much bench space; why sit so close on such a hot day.

I admit that I was thinking of pulling my dress from under her… but that first reaction was to change quickly when she suddenly turned her deeply lined face to me and said in a loud, anguished voice: ‘I just came from my nephew’s funeral. He was only 26. If only he had been able to talk to someone, he wouldn’t have committed suicide.’

(more…)

THAT CLEVER GOD

(October 11, 2020) Jerry Wiles shares…

In 1967 in Kabul, Afghanistan, I was introduced to some new and different customs and cultural dynamics.  Being stationed at an Air Force base in a neighbouring country, I had the opportunity of traveling to several surrounding countries in that part of the world. 

During those years, I became somewhat aware of the geo-political issues in the region.  In subsequent years I got connected with people doing business and mission work in the region. 

The Lord was using those experiences and relationships to prepare me for something I could not have foreseen at the time.

God’s mission strategy
Most of the decade of the 1980s I worked with an international publishing and broadcasting ministry. 

During the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan, we were involved in some mission work in the same region.  In partnership and collaboration with medical and relief organisations, we were able to distribute Bibles and gospel literature among the Mujahideen freedom fighters and in the refugee camps of Northwest Pakistan. 

Over the course of those efforts we made some encouraging and amazing discoveries. 

Surprised by the work of God
The USSR was assigning known Christian troops to duty in Afghanistan, which was the most undesirable place of service in their military complex at the time! (more…)

MASKS, RESTRICTIONS AND GLORIOUS ASSURANCE

For some of us, face masks trigger old memories. 

As children way back in WW2 days we were so pleased to receive our gasmasks.  It was comforting to carry your mask with you, but to wear it was a different matter.

Yes, you felt more secure and it was comfortably shaped when you put it on,  but immediately you put the mask on the visor steamed up, which meant you couldn’t see much and although you could shout through it your voice was muffled, so it was hard for anyone to understand what you were trying to say!

There are times when life imposes restrictions on us. Today we find ourselves in another time of masks needing to be wore – different masks admittedly, but with restrictions. (more…)

IS YOUR TREASURE IN HEAVEN?

(October 10, 2020) Carol Round shares…

‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’

Have you ever wondered where this idiom originated? According to the English Language and Usage website, the earliest example is found in Hector Urquhart’s introduction to 1860’s Popular Tales of the West Highlands.

 The intro reads: ‘Practical men may despise the tales, earnest men condemn them as lies, some even consider them wicked; one refused to write any more for a whole estate; my best friend says they are all ‘blethers.’ But one man’s rubbish may be another’s treasure, and what is the standard of value in such a pursuit as this?

Scriptures, more than 100, address the pursuit of worldly possessions. While God doesn’t disapprove of his children owning earthly goods, he doesn’t approve when earthly possessions have us. Heaven is our home. However, we’re often tempted, and forget to resist the temptation to hoard those things that will fade away. Colossians 3:22 reminds us to set our ‘minds on things above, not on earthly things.’

Resisting buyer’s remorse
Who doesn’t love a bargain? There’s nothing like saving money on a purchase, especially when it’s a good deal. But have you ever been tempted to buy something just because it’s a bargain? I have and it’s not because I really needed the item in question. Later, I’ve had buyer’s remorse. (more…)

GOD’S ‘REPAIR’ SHOP

(October 10, 2020) Brian Bell shares…

Recently I’ve been in hospital undergoing surgical procedure. In these days of Covid-19 when we’ve been thankful for nursing/medical staff it gave me a ‘ringside’ seat as I received such excellent care. I believe the skill and knowledge these folk display is a gift from God.

Reflections
My need for a surgical ‘repair’ caused me to reflect on a local BBC television programme titled The Repair Shop. People bring what very often are precious yet old, broken, well-worn deteriorated items for repair – the most recent catching my attention was a RAF chaplain’s WW2 travelling communion set.

A team of master craftsmen and women lovingly, carefully, and painstakingly use their skills to repair and restore these items. In some cases, the repair work is of such high-quality that the owners are brought to tears at the results.

My own recent days of ‘restoration’ had me reflecting on Ezekiel 34: 16, ‘I will seek that which was lost and bring again that which was driven away and will bind up that which was broken and will strengthen that which was sick.’

(more…)

FORTUNETELLER’S DAUGHTER KIDNAPPED BY MUSLIM FOUND JESUS

(September 11, 2020) Eva Carmichael shares a Central Asian testimony…

Anim* remembers the day when an old fortune teller told her mother that Anim had the gift of sight. ‘My mother and grandmother were both fortune tellers,’ Anim tells, ‘so my mom wasn’t surprised when the gypsy confirmed it.’

What did surprise her was the old woman’s declaration that Anim would pay a high price for this gift if she wanted it. The fortune teller said that if she continued to use this gift, it would cost Anim the life of someone she loved. Yet her mother decided it was worth the price.

Not long after, when Anim was 12, her father disappeared under very strange circumstances. ‘I decided right then that I didn’t want to follow in my mother’s and grandmother’s footsteps. I would not try to speak to the spirits if they would demand the life of a member of my family in exchange for their help,’ Anim said.

Kidnapped bride
Later, Anim studied law and found a job she enjoyed. However, after working for a while, she met a young man who wanted to marry her and, in Central Asian tradition, kidnapped her to make her his bride. (more…)

SUBMISSION TO THE AUTHORITIES?

(September 28, 2020) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, brings a timely challenge…

I’m sure that we are all weary of the unavoidable and unrelenting news about Corona-19 and the responses to it by various political leaders in Australia. So many questions have been raised concerning the limits of political authority and police functions and personal rights.

Inconsistent political positions and, at times, authoritarian and uncompassionate directives, have not only created confusion but have also stirred the deep concerns of many loyal citizens – including many committed Christians.

This has raised questions such as:

  • ‘What principles should guide Christians when we see political leaders lying or abusing their position of trust or promoting values that stand opposed to biblical values or pursuing policies that suggest self-aggrandisement rather than the benefit of the people they lead?’
  • ‘Should they be challenged and their policies be opposed or should we meekly, quietly, uncomplainingly submit to and support their dictates?’

Recently I’ve read a number of articles by Christians who have expressed profound concern and have challenged many of the political decisions that some of our leaders have been making.  And I have also read many responses from other Christians who rebuke those who express their concern and dare to criticise those leaders whose government policies and pronouncements with which they disagree. Often they quote Romans 13:1-7 (particularly the first two verses) in support of their rebuke.

So what should be the Christian position in regard to political leaders when their guidelines, strategies and directives run contrary to democratic values, and more especially to biblical values?  Obviously both sides cannot be right!  Does Roman 13 endorse a position of acquiescence and impassivity when confronted by overreaching and, at times, tyrannical government officials and policies? (more…)

MEANINGFUL KICK-STARTS

(September 17, 2020) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share…

Seems that every day TV newscasts share more bad news stories either about the current worldwide pandemic or crime, rebellion against authorities, government opposition groans instead of encouraging support… it’s rare to hear some good news, something to makes you laugh, even smile.

So let’s begin this article with a good news item!

Zimbabwean friend Raviro emailed a very touching story about a 93 year-old Italian being told the hospital bill for ventilator one-day usage was 5,000Euro (approx.. $8100AUD).

As he suddenly began weeping a doctor kindly advised him not to cry over the bill.

To his surprise the old man responded, ‘I don’t cry because I have to pay. I cry because I’ve been breathing God’s air every day for 93 years and never had to pay anything for it.’

He added, ‘But for using a ventilator in your hospital for just one day, I have to pay EU5000! I realise now how much I owe God… I never thanked him before for his free air!’

Now doesn’t that makes you smile – and think?

Powerful kick-start
Genesis 2:7 confirms that God himself gave his creation the ability to breathe and live life – ‘he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live’ (GNB). (more…)