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

‘GOD’S SMUGGLER’ BROTHER ANDREW PASSES TO HIS REWARD

(September 29, 2022) Mark Ellis honours this late servant of God.

The legendary Dutch-born Bible smuggler, Andrew van der Bijl, fondly known as Brother Andrew, who used his VW Beetle to deliver Bibles into closed communist countries at the height of the Cold War, is now with his Saviour. He was 94.

In 1967, he published God’s Smuggler, which tells the story of his conversion to Christ and adventures as a Bible-smuggler behind the Iron Curtain. When he crossed heavily-guarded checkpoints into closed countries, he was known for praying, ‘Lord you made blind eyes see. Now I pray, make seeing eyes blind.’

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JESUS STANDS AT THE DOOR OF YOUR HEART

(September 28, 2022) Norman Moss tells a children’s story – and invites you to share such Bible-based stories with boys and girls as you have opportunity, encouraging them to know about Jesus and accepting Him as Saviour and caring friend. (The subheadings below are a guide).

As D. L. Moody was so concerned to reach children in his troubled day, more than ever so should we be in these desperate times. Remember Matthew 18:14GNB! ‘… your Father in heaven does not want any of these little ones to be lost.’

Hi boys and girls… as you know, we all have a heart inside us. It’s what we call an organ. And a healthy heart keeps us alive by pumping blood around our body.

Now it’s hard to draw a picture of a real heart but often you’ll see it drawn something like this…

Good! You’re all so attentive, boys and girls.

A very special organ
Now then… the heart I want to talk about to you is something very special, very important. You know… those feelings, emotions and desires inside us, especially with which we love people.

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GOD IS A BIG GOD… SO KEEP IT SIMPLE

(September 27, 2022) Maureen McQuillan shares and challenges…

Okay, Robert wrote about me this month… Now I’ll write about him!

In his article Robert admitted to doing something stupid. Here’s another example… I needed a towel rail fitted upstairs. A simple towel rail, mind you, but a frustrated Robert (I know… he’s human!) was having difficulty with this job and, a bit edgy, finally gave up.

Finding me downstairs, he reported – no, moaned: ‘How am I ever going to get those two rails into their holding brackets and fitted to the wall! I’ve followed the instructions… there’s no leeway I can manipulate everything into position.’ 

God assists
Instantly I saw the simplicity of the solution to his ‘problem.’ (Or rather God the Holy Spirit was assisting by showing me the answer, one which Robert had missed). And so I casually shared it with him.

Well, Robert just stared at me. I, naturally, didn’t say a thing! Then, wordless, he snucked off back upstairs. A few minutes later he was back with me all smiles and happy, job completed. I smiled too and we laughed at the simplicity of it all.

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NEHEMIAH – GOD’S CALL TO BUILD THE WALL (Part 7)

(September 24, 2022) Hope Flinchbaugh, sharing more insights on Nehemiah’s commission from God, now reminds us of A Leader’s Response to Opposition’ (Part 1).

Nehemiah was called by God to rebuild and restore Jerusalem. He had the king’s permission and visas to pass through all the territories on the way. He even had a letter from the king that gave him permission to order a supply of the best lumber for the rebuilding – (all paid in full!).

On his way to Jerusalem, two men tried to stop Nehemiah.

Resistance
In Nehemiah 2:9-10NKJV we read, ‘Then I went to the governors in the region beyond the River, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of it, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.’ 

Verse eleven says that Nehemiah made it to Jerusalem despite the resistance of Sanballat and Tobiah and he stayed three days.

Interestingly, he didn’t tell anyone in Jerusalem why he was there. Imagine being this important in the kingdom and embarking on this amazing prophetic journey and yet not letting everyone know the importance of your mission when you arrive!

Nehemiah was definitely working for heaven, not seeking permission from people. His responses to opposition?

Response 1 – Trusting God
Verse 12NASB tells that ‘… I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. I did not tell anyone what my God was putting into my mind to do for Jerusalem and there was no animal with me except the animal on which I was riding.’

  • Nehemiah didn’t blow a trumpet he wielded a flashlight.
  • He only took a few trusted men with him – and scouted out the land.
  • He went out at night without fanfare – but with the presence of God.

We might wonder why he so casually points out that there was no other animals along with them. Think about it. Sanballat and Tobiah, his opposers, couldn’t have been that far away. Nehemiah was keeping things as quiet as possible that night, avoiding any unwanted noise, until he had seen for himself the damage of the Jerusalem walls, what he was up against.

Well, that’s like you or I writing, ‘I went out to check out an old, abandoned building in the ghettoes of Los Angeles in the middle of the night, but I didn’t bring the police, my wallet, or my cell phone! I don’t have an escape route planned, I just need to get out there and see what God says to me.’ 

Nehemiah was determined not only to be unobserved, but that he would do some observing! And, in seeing what lay ahead of him… hear from heaven regarding his challenge and commission!

‘The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work’ (Nehemiah 2:16).

Response 2 – Choosing the right moment!
We don’t know if Nehemiah reported his mission to the men who were with him that very night or if he waited until morning. But while inspecting the walls that night, he knew what they didn’t know – the king had given him permission to rebuild.

Imagine holding that secret! But there are times we must hold such a secret until the moment that God releases us to explain our purpose and bid others to join us. Finally, that moment came.

Nehemiah records: ‘Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.” I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, “Let us arise and build.” So they put their hands to the good work’ (Nehemiah 2:17-18NASB).

Response 3 Refusing to cower
And so Nehemiah dives in! He and his friends are making mortar, finding new stones and recovering old ones, some of them burned and not usable. Even then, his enemies immediately reproach him!

But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they laughed at us and despised us, and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Will you rebel against the king?” So I answered them, and said to them, “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no heritage or right or memorial in Jerusalem’ (Nehemiah 2:19-20).

When faced with opposition, Nehemiah did not cower. He did not explain that he carried visas, he had the king’s lumber, and he definitely had the king’s favour.

Response 4 – Knowing your authority
In fact, Nehemiah didn’t even mention King Artaxerxes! The first statement he made was that he was there under the authority of God Himself! Boldly he declared, ‘The God of heaven Himself will prosper us, therefore we His servants will arise and build.’

Can you sense the confident tone of his voice here? You too can be confident in building your ‘Jerusalem wall’ if you really know that God Himself is your covering, your source, your authority!

My friend, whatever God has called you to do, go fearlessly and do it under the authority of God. You may have permission from a committee or from a king, and you will have opposition – but ultimately your authority comes from heaven. Hallelujah!

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Hope Flinchbaugh, editor-in-chief of Hope Editors, a special team helping publishers and authors, has written three historical fiction novels and two nonfiction books. Hope’s love for children is evident in her delightful Baby Babbles series… available from Amazon Author Page or International Orders Here.  

I Come to the Garden Alone… Jesus is waiting – come and talk to Him, is Hope’s inspiring daily devotions booklet. Hope’s Amazon Author Page. Link: OnlinerConnect@gmail.com
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PROBLEMS!

(September 24, 2022) Robert McQuillan shares a recent incident… er…problem.

Problem – situation, person, or thing that needs attention and needs to be dealt with or solved (Cambridge Dictionary).

A few weeks back I had a problem, to me a big problem!

Don’t exactly know how it happened, exactly what happened… but suddenly it had and I was rocked for a moment! Blood was flowing unstopped from the long slice in my middle right finger. No pain but unstoppable bleeding!

Peace
I had been feeling so relaxed after encouraging a friend on the phone. My mobile had buzzed when I upstairs about to change into my pyjamas and intending to return to Maureen to enjoy some old (Yes, those who know me have guessed it!) John Wayne DVD before retiring for the night. (No doubt Maureen would sighingly comment, ‘Not John Wayne… again.’ But, bless her, agree to watch).

Anyway, I took the call, sitting on the edge of the bed to relax as I listened to my friend’s concerns… and to drink from a cold glass of juice that I had with me, as our conversation went on.

I spent some time encouraging the caller, giving wise advice and counsel – and biblical explanations and examples. Then I prayed and he had felt becalmed and released and we’d said goodnight. And I stepped into the ensuite to place the now empty, heavy glass on the vanity bench top.

Panic
I was feeling quite at ease – maybe I was feeling too at ease with myself having been used by the Holy Spirit to help someone at a late hour and wasn’t watching what I was really doing– I don’t know. But suddenly I was aware of the noise of breaking glass – a resounding racket to me – and that I was only placing half a glass on the benchtop, that broken glass was ‘everywhere’ on the floor at my feet and blood was running from my finger!

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FROM FAMILY MIRACLE TO FAITHFUL MINISTRY

(September 23, 2022) K.C. Dipak from Nepal shares about his journey in Christ.

Although I was born into a Hindu family in Nepal, my mother used to go to church every Sunday. But my sister Shanti and I never accompanied her. There came a time when my father left us alone and went to India without telling his whereabouts. Sadly, he has never returned to us.

Mother had to work so hard as a domestic to fed us all… they were difficult times. One day, during my early teens, Shanti got very sick, and although Mother took her to many doctors and government hospitals, she did not respond to treatments.

Miracle
Extremely concerned, Mother decided to invite her pastor to pray for Shanti. Instead of just praying in the church, he came to our home and prayed over my sister and within two weeks, she fully recovered, praise God! This was a great miracle for my family and in May 2013 my sister and I started going to church regularly. 

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WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?

(September 23, 2022) Robert McQuillan responds to a friend despondent about caring for someone.

Dear Dr Robert

I’m having trouble with a friend. Well, I better explain it this way… he keeps on doing wrong things, believing wrong things and isn’t living his life as he should. And he’s a Christian! Over and over I’ve pointed out to him that he’s not thinking straight, he’s being blind to so much. He’ll say that he’s sorry and won’t do such things again. I’ve even prayed with him. But again and again he phones me or calls and tells that he’s either done some ‘old thing again’ or made some other mistake. I find myself praying each day for him but it’s heavy on me. What else can I do? Harold

Hi Harold

I know what you’re expressing above. I’ve found myself in the same situation at times – even recently – sharing commonsense, scriptures, giving warnings and, what I know from experience, is good advice. And just as you did, I’d pray with the troubled brother or sister-in-the-Lord. But although the person I’ve talked to would agree (even nod their head if present with me), either they would come back later to confess not having done as we’d discussed, or I’d hear it from another source.

  • Harold, I’ll keep this reply as short as I can… because the truth is that you’ve done all you can.
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WHAT IS THE TRUE CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE?

(September 19, 2022) Sabrina McGuire, 14-year-old daughter of missionaries to Romania, shares her first mission camp experiences…

The title above is a question I’ve asked myself many times before… and recently found some answers.

I had a great opportunity to go to a YWAM Christian camp where there were teachings on spiritual warfare, prophecy and many other subjects. Great teachings… but yet my heart  hungered for more. I never truly knew how to really practise Christianity in the real world… and I wanted to!

Blessing people
Fortunately we campers were told that our second week of camp was a mission trip to different locations in Romania. During that week we did volunteer work for churches, kids and food bases… and it proved to be a great way of blessing people as well as being blessed ourselves.

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WHY DID QUEEN ELIZABETH WANT TO SEE JESUS RETURN IN HER LIFETIME?

(September 17, 2022) Charles Gardner reflects…

Queen Elizabeth based her entire life, and her extraordinary 70-year reign, on Jesus, the Jew, the rock and guide of her long reign. Yet though she has travelled the world more than most, she never set foot in Israel, the land which gave birth to the Christian faith she so devoutly followed.

Every year at Christmas, in a broadcast to the nation watched by millions worldwide, the Sovereign shared her personal Christian faith as key to all she does.

Some years ago, for example, she quoted a verse from the Christina Rossetti and Gustav Holst carol, In the Bleak Midwinter:
‘What can I give Him, poor as I am,
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man, I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him, give my heart.’

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KEEP YOUR COOL!

(September 17, 2022) Richard Winter reminds us that, like Timothy, we too have an obligation to finish the race.

Keep your cool is great advice for all of us in trying moments, testing times, troubling escapades, upsetting incidents… and when we just don’t know if we’ll get through, if we’ll make it.

It’s our modern phraseology for the great advice the apostle Paul gave young Timothy in respect of fulfilling his ministry obligations: ‘… keep your head in all situations…’ (2 Timothy 4:5a).

I would draw your attention to 2 Timothy 4:5-8 in full… ‘But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.’

Remember Graduation Day when you have finished your educational journey? In the above verses Paul is talking about his own soon-to-be graduation day and exhorting his young son-in-the-faith regarding his future one. He highlights what Timothy  must be about, especially in view of the fact he must soon take his mentor’s place. And that must have been a frightening prospect to the young man.

Note a reality here: All of us, followers and servants of Jesus, must pass on eventually to our own graduation day, and leave kingdom work to others. That is what we have before us in this passage.

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