Author: Life Focus Ministries

Who are we? Dr Robert McQuillan is recognised as an inspiring encourager, counsellor, mentor to ministries and Bible teacher ministering meaningfully on the prophetic edge. Robert and Maureen, 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: OnlinerConnect@gmail.com

HELPING WHEN HELP ISN’T ASKED FOR

(July 30, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to a challenging situation where someone wants to help a friend but that person just can’t receive help at this time…

Dear Pastor Maureen
A good friend on mine is in quite a state… her husband walked out on her, ending the marriage. I want to help her but she doesn’t want to talk about it. What can I do? Sonya.

Dear Sonya

I sense your heart… but the truth is that if your friend won’t open up and talk with you, you just can’t help, nobody can. At least not at this moment.

It’s going to take time for her to adjust to what’s happened… she’s in shock, probably thinking she’s failed as a wife, trying to work out what went wrong that this has happened, how did it come about and why? She’s obviously closed up inside and needs some space.

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MOVING ON FROM A BAD RELATIONSHIP

(July 28, 2021) Bonnie-Jane shares an encouraging word from her heart…

That 10 Year Challenge Photo/Image Meme phase was popular a while back, and had people reflecting on their past.

As I reminiscence myself, I feel to share some things from my heart and trust they will help someone else who has gone through similar hurtful and damaging experiences in the past as I did. So here goes…

Suffering from a broken heart
Just over some 10 years ago I met someone who at first seemed to be interested in me and a relationship began. But as the months went by he proved to be most insincere and the relationship became an abusive one.

It was a hard and grim time for me. Always considered a gentle-spirited person, easy-going, thoughtful and kind, able to deal with situations, my heart was being broken and even my very personality was changing.

I praise God for his strength to make a most important decision… with his help I decided that enough was enough and broke that relationship!

From depression to renewed confidence
That decision was so important… but now I was feeling that I would never find anyone who genuinely cared and whom I could trust.

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BENEFITTING OVER 2.8 MILLION PEOPLE

(July 27, 2021) Caloundra, Queensland. Diane Rickard
International Media Relations Manager, Mercy Ships shares Mercy Ships good news…

Global health charity, Mercy Ships, reports that after a completion and acceptance ceremony on June 16, followed by a handover celebration at the Tianjin Xingang shipyard this past week, the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, Global Mercy™, has successfully been delivered and the charity has taken possession of their brand-new vessel.

Dream come true
‘This day is a dream come true – not only for us, but for those we serve,’ stated Don Stephens, Mercy Ships founder who spoke via video to those attending. ‘African heads of states and ministers of health have often expressed a desire for more of their healthcare professionals to be trained in-country. This ship will do exactly that. Many who suffer from disability and disfigurement will have access to surgical treatment and whole-person care in healthcare systems that will enable them to reach their God-given potential. We hope that this new vessel and the volunteer crew who serve on her will bring hope, healing and transformation for the next 40-50 years,’ he added.

Per Westling, CEO of Stena RoRo, said ‘We are very proud to take delivery of this special ship. The activities to be carried out on board have placed special and high demands on the construction of this ship. For the yard, it was the first time this type of vessel was built – a challenge that they managed very well. For Mercy Ships, delivery means that their capacity to help more than doubles. And at Stena RoRo we are happy to be a part of their fantastic work through Global Mercy.

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FREE WILL

(July 25, 2021) Robert and Maureen McQuillan discourage blaming God and others…

Free will… there’s a catchphrase that often come up conversations with Christians over concern about the evil in our world and wars, bad judgments, murders, family distresses, terrorism, Holocaust type atrocities, drug taking, alcoholism, the quickness to sin, Christians including ministers falling from grace, the current covid-19 crisis… and other sad happenings.

Regarding bad choices, so often, when trying to offer explanations, hope and comfort, Christians usually say, ‘Well it all gets back to God allowing us to have free will… in our humanity we either choose to do or say the right thing or not.’

Now that’s true… but at times it comes across that we’re blaming an unthoughtful creator! The reality is that when God created humanbeings in his own image back in Eden, Adam and Eve could have made the right choice, and sin would not have become a dangerous reality and the world would not be in the mess it’s in!

Hold it…
Even as we mustn’t even consider accusing God, let’s not dump blame at Adam and Eve’s feet either!

Their big slip-up is in the past, decades ago… we’re in the present and need to readily accept our responsibilities to make the right choices today!

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TRUTH OR DARE?

(July 25, 2021) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, dares every Christian to be a Daniel today…

Have you ever played the party game Truth or Dare

It can be very funny or very embarrassing!  Some ‘Truth’ questions could be, ‘What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done?’ or, ‘When did you last tell a lie?’  If you do not like those questions, you may choose ‘Dare’ instead of ‘Truth’ and may, for example, be dared to ‘Eat a really hot chilli’ or ‘Try to touch your nose with your tongue.’ Consequently you can be confronted by all kinds of humiliating and challenging tests.

I have chosen that title for this article because I want to draw attention to something which is vitally relevant and challenging to Christians today. We are, I believe, at a time in history which is quite unlike any other. And I’m not referring to the Coronavirus but to something that is significantly more serious and invasive and dangerous – especially for Christians.

In so many ways we are at a crossroads today religiously, socially and morally.

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ONE VITAL SOMETHING REMINDED ME OF MY VALUE AND STOPPED MY TAILSPIN!

(July 24, 2021) Mama Lava shares an important realisation…

My eyebrows threatened to send me into a tailspin a few minutes ago!

I thought I’d write about it… just in case anyone else is in a tailspin and needs to be reminded of their value.

Tailspin horrors
So here’s what happened… I had just returned from a quick lunch date with my husband, Michael; nothing fancy, just a quick burrito at the place around the corner. I glanced into the mirror and noticed that my eyebrows really needed reshaping.

Suddenly, I heard the voice of one of my friends echo in my head about how vitally important it is for a wife to look ‘put together’ for her husband. I saw her beautifully kempt face in my mind’s eye, and I felt so inferior. ‘My poor husband must not feel as honoured by me as my friend’s husband does by her.’

Also in the mirror, I could see the shower door. It had water spots on it. The voice of another friend quipped up about how vital, and easy, it is to keep a clean house.

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WHY MISSIONS IS PERSONAL TO ME

(July 23, 2021) Erica Grace, ex-missionary to South America, shares a personal reflection…

What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Missions’?

You’ll probably say: the ‘lost’ and that would be right.

A lost man
There was a young man who was totally lost.

He had lost his career, his home, his future, his dreams. He was so lost people had given up on him. He drank himself to oblivion every day and often had wild fits of violence. Friends would bring him to his desperate wife each night, where she would endure his frustrating beatings. She had resorted to hiding money so she would have enough to feed her son.

One night this wild he met a humble missionary. He was reading the story of the Prodigal Son with a very heavy accent.

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READY TO HANG MYSELF, BIBLE APPEARS IN MY CELL

(July 22, 2021) Scott Bailey (prison I.D. left) shares his testimony…

‘I’m not going to survive this. There’s nothing left to live for. I give up!’

Through tears I fashioned a noose from the bed sheet, eyeing the light fixture at the top of my cell. It should hold me I thought. What was there left to live for? I had failed in every area of my life, withdrawal from drug addictions would probably kill me anyway. I prepared to end my life. I had become a prisoner of my own making.

Cancer death sentence
Years earlier, I had received a blow that changed my life forever… My doctor told me, ‘Scott, you have a rare cancer called Mucadermal Carcinoma. Due to the rapid growth of the tumour in your lymph nodes, you have one to three years maximum to live.’

He had removed a large tumour located near my brain, nerves had been nicked and the right side of my face was paralysed. All I could hear echoing in my ears was the death sentence. Reeling from shock, I recounted the beginning of my drug addiction 15 years earlier.

What was once a ‘party addiction’ of heroin, cocaine and pills now became a way of life, massive amounts. It didn’t matter; I was going to die anyway. I pushed away those who loved me. I became so strung-out that I kept a syringe of heroin in the drawer waiting for me so that when I woke up in cold sweats in the middle of the night.

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LORD, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?

(July 20, 2021) Carol Round challenges us to ask God’s will for our lives…

Most of us are familiar with the story of Saul, the persecutor of the early Christians, how he was struck down struck down on the road to Damascus.

Acts 9:3-6 NKJV records that ‘Suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord? …What do you want me to do?’

After being struck down on the road to Damascus, he was used by God and eventually became the apostle, Paul.
 
Paul discovered God’s gospel truth and God’s will for his life. He then spent the rest of his days spreading the message of the good news and planting churches throughout the Mediterranean world.  
 
The apostle determined God’s will for his life with one important question: ‘What do You want me to do, Lord?’

It’s the question every one of Christ’s followers should be asking.

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ABIDING IN THE VINE

(July 19, 2021) Geraldine Brandt shares from her heart graciously on a vital issue…

Jesus made it clear in John 15: 1-2,4-5 that the Father wants his children to be fruitful… ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful… Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  I am the vine and you are the branches.  The one who remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.’

We tend to skip over ‘while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes …’! But three things are outstandingly clear –

  • If we remain (abide, an action verb!) in him, we will bear fruit.
  • Although bearing fruit, the Father will prune us so we’ll be even more fruitful. 
  • A twice-mentioned warningremain in him otherwise we cannot bear fruit, do nothing!

More abundant than before
Have you ever seen a pruned grape vine? It is quite brutally cut back to the main trunk so that it would appear there are no branches at all remaining, just the main trunk.  You would be forgiven for thinking the pruning was too much, the vine dresser had gone too far and there would be no fruit for the coming hasrvest season.

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