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, 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: OnlinerConnect@gmail.com

THE MISSIONARY TASK HAS NEVER CHANGED!

(January 24, 2021) As we move ahead into this new year of uncertainties and changes, we rerun this 2017 article by the late missionary statesperson George Forbes, as it is an especially important reminder that  missionary endeavour never changes!

Christian Missions operate in a wide range of areas of ministry internationally, service and aid!

  • Some are big enough to incorporate many activities and ministries.
  • Others specialise in one field of service such as humanitarian aid, education or medical.
  • Significant numbers specialise in language translation and their provision to nations.
  • Most missions that prioritise on evangelism, Bible training and church planting also open schools, medical clinics and other services.

Such services are crucial!
Early in my thirty years of active mission organisation leadership, I discovered that these services were often crucial to our acceptance by indigenous leaders in developing countries. Biblically they were an evidence of Christian love and compassion to people in need.

The missionary task has always been about ‘making disciples.’ Jesus commanded the early church ‘to make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew. 28:18-20). He commanded his disciples to ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel’ (Mark 16:15). Matthew adds the important dimension of the Great Commission by quoting the words of Jesus, As you go, make disciples.’ (more…)

RUNNING OUT OF FUEL IN A SNOWSTORM

(January 24, 2021) Mark Ellis shares how a snowstorm led to a pilot’s salvation…

‘I was a God mocker,’ says Mark Rose, founder of Genesis Alive, and author of Last of the Long Hunters, a story of the pilots who fly the Alaskan Arctic.

Raised in the secular Seventies, completely un-churched, he had no room for God until he ran out of fuel in an Alaskan storm, miles from his destination.

Rose learned to fly at 16, and by age 22 had become a bush pilot who helped take care of a fleet of helicopters that worked on the Alaska pipeline. ‘My ego meter was on 101,’ he admits.

Low on fuel
One day he flew some hunters to the upper part of a large river on the Arctic. But on his return flight, carrying one passenger, several things went wrong.

First, herds of caribou had moved in, covering his first and second choices for a landing spot. Then he began to run low on fuel, so he called ahead for a weather check at the small airport near Kotzebue, on the Baldwin Peninsula.

‘Come on in, the weather’s fine,’ the FAA flight service operator told him.

Rose decided to take the chance that his fuel would hold out, but then weather conditions changed dramatically. ‘I ran into a snowstorm at night, and I couldn’t see the terrain, so I had to follow the grey ribbon of river below.’ In the days before satellite weather imaging, the man had given him bad advice.

‘All my options were evaporating as fast as I could fly.’ (more…)

PROPHETIC INTEGRITY

(January 23, 2021) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, highlights ‘prophetic words’ false and genuine…

Well, it happened.  Donald Trump  failed in his bid to be re-elected as President of the United States.

While many media outlets have almost ecstatically delighted in reporting this fact, many people in America (and in other countries) are profoundly concerned about the policies that a Biden administration will pursue.

I mention this not to give a personal evaluation of recent political events in America but to draw attention to a related issue that needs to be considered by Christians – ‘prophetic words.’

Forthright prophesying
Let me make clear this fact – I believe in prophecy!

I believe that the prophetic gift was expressed by the prophets of the Old Testament at two levels: (more…)

DETERMINED DECEPTION

(January 20), 2021) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share…

Lately we watched reports inferring that aftereffects/possible side effects of certain proposed medicines aren’t always fully explained. That it’s yet another case of ‘Following the Money’ as so many more millions are spent of advertising medicines than on the actual research! Ie: An inferred sort of deception due to insufficient information.

Something similar happened yesterday when we tried paying a utility account by phone. Despite several calls to different supposedly ‘helpful consultants’ none would accept payment, each insisting we use an automated service. This auto-service we tried repeatedly but it (no ‘real person’) kept refusing our data. On complaining by email finally an authority figure explained that as all operators are working from home due to covid-19 and couldn’t be accept phone payments. Not one ‘consultant had explained this!

  • Disinformation was a Nazi WW2 deception weapon – today it’s Satan’s big trick! Let’s talk about spiritual disinformation…

(more…)

WHAT A SHEPHERD, WHAT A TABLE!

(January 16, 2021) Maureen McQuillan shares…

In these trying days of the worldwide covid-19 pandemic, its associated troubles, and regular TV bad news, it’s great to relax. Even to take a short break away from home driving around the refreshing open countryside minutes from where we live and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Often, I spot sheep relaxing round the paddocks, those fleecy animals that cause me to reminisce about them, about shepherds and David’s refreshing Psalm 23.

Reassurance
Some folks have wrongly associated Psalm 23 with death … often Robert has its reading requested by non-churchgoers at funerals. But I see it as an encouraging psalm about life – a good life here and now not just in eternity, filled with the love and kindness of God!

David had been a shepherd in his youth. Although he’s talking about God removing doubts and fears, I see verses two to four of this psalm as reflecting on his own responsibility to ensure the flock under his care would be at rest, need of food and water supplied and, when frightening disturbing threats came along, his promptness to defend using shepherd’s weapons (and muscles as in 1Samuel 17:34-36a).

A thoughtful and fearless shepherd, David knew to care for these emotional animals (Yes, not only are humans emotional… a 2009 report published in Animal Welfare describes sheep are capable of experiencing a whole range of emotional feelings from fear to anger, despair, boredom and happiness). (more…)

WHAT ON EARTH DO WE NEED THE BIBLE FOR?

(January 13, 2021) Erica Grace, ex-missionary to South America, challenges Christians to value and uphold God’s word!

A pastor was announcing the coming marriage seminar to his congregation.

To encourage his people to come along, he said: ‘Don’t worry! The seminar won’t have anything to do with the Bible so it’s safe to bring your friends along. there will be no Bible bashing!’

How misguided can you be! Four important issues to note here…

1. The Bible teaches God’s word, not humanistic reasonings…
This young pastor erred in having such a Bible centre-less seminar in his church.

  • People can get humanistic teachings (that is, based on human reasoning) anywhere else.
  • But the function of the church is to teach God’s word, not humanistic teaching. (Well, isn’t it?)

(more…)

JESUS CAN MAKE ALL THINGS NEW… EACH NEW DAY

(January 11, 2021) Carol Round encourages us to reflect on a major choice for 2021…

Revelation 21:5 declares: ‘He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true”.’

The New Year is here! After the stresses of 2020, I doubt anyone wants to cling to the past. With the turning of the calendar to January 2021, sighs of relief were probably expressed by many.

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?

While I used to, I don’t anymore. My list used to look something like this: lose weight, eat healthier, save more money, and so on. Those are also some of the more common resolutions made each January 1. (By the way, most people fail at keeping their New Year’s resolutions).

I quit making resolutions as I grew in my relationship with Jesus. Looking back, I cannot recall the last time I made a list of things to change in my life. However, I began to choose a focus word for the year. In the past, I’ve prayed and chosen words like trust, focus, and hope. My 2020 word was embrace – embrace more of God in my life. I would write the word at the top of each page in my daily prayer journal. Each time I do, I was reminded of my spiritual growth word for that year. (more…)

GOD’S GREAT RESET

(December 19, 2020) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, reflects on attempts to remove Almighty God from society…

This has been a difficult year and a phrase that we are beginning to hear more frequently in the media is ‘The Great Reset.’ This refers to the goal of a worldwide coalition of big business and big tech working in association with the unelected members of the World Economic Forum whose goal is – to use their own words – ‘improving the state of the world’ and ‘to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.’ In their attempts to ‘improve the state of the world’ we have already experienced the loss of many of the freedoms we once enjoyed and took for granted.

1984 totalitarian society
Today we are seeing so many parallels with George Orwell’s novel 1984 which was written almost 70 years ago. It is an almost prophetic book that gives a vision of a totalitarian society where individuality is stifled, and basic freedoms are forbidden, and dissent is prosecuted.

On top of this we have experienced the promotion of corrupt and distorted morals in which what –

  • has been acknowledged for centuries to be wrong, has now become right,
  • was once recognised as corrupt, is now considered acceptable,
  • was denounced as immoral is now accepted as normal,
  • was once regarded a thing of shame, is now a cause for celebration.

(more…)

IT CAME TO PASS!

(December 19, 2020) Brian Bell challenges our moving into 2021…

A nearby retailer’s Christmas catalogue included interviews with several local personalities and one of the questions asked was to reflect on 2020 and what they had learned ie ‘The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was…’ Interestingly one young woman’s reply was ‘This too shall pass…’

Now whether she was aware or not, those words have a scriptural basis. There are times in scripture we read ‘and it came to pass…’ and while the context such as in Luke 2:1 (KJV, Darby) relates to fulfilment of an event, I have heard believers use them in the sense that ‘difficult’ or ‘bad’ times will pass.

Hope for 2021
I’m sure for many, the fact that 2020 is going brings some relief and the hope for something better in 2021. Its true 2020 proved an exceedingly difficult year, as we remember those who lost their lives to the virus; grieving families; for the organisations which collapsed for financial reasons; the loss of jobs and the impact on livelihoods; loneliness for many who live alone. We applauded, of course, frontline health and other workers. (more…)

THE DAY SANTA GOT ‘SAVED’

(December 17, 2020) Robert and Maureen McQuillan remind readers of the real reason for the season – lost people needing to be found!

For decades, the jovial fat man dressed in red has replaced the advent of our Saviour Jesus as the central focus of Christmas. Christmas became ‘Xmas’ – as if Christ has been cancelled out and without meaning. Generally, people have always regarded Christmas as a special time of family, fun, food, cards and presents… but the birth of Jesus is still central for Bible-believers!

Christmas memories
We ourselves particularly recall some Christmases as special and precious…

  • Weeks of carols played in shops and expressions of genuine well wishes for Christmas.
  • Christmas Day mornings back home  awakening early to faithful carol singers from a local church gathering in the snow under a streetlight and warmly heralding the birth of Jesus.
  • Then the traditional gleeful opening of presents and the excitement following.
  • Soon we’d be hurrying off to early church for a down-to-earth service that highlighted the arrival
    of the Saviour of the world who came to bring peace to earth.
  • The Christmas Day luncheon and family fun together.
  • And, most especially, that best Christmas Day morn of all when our beautiful darlin’ daughter Wendy was born!

(more…)