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

WHY DO WE COMPLAIN SO MUCH?

(September 4, 2021) Carol Round challenges us about grumbling…

Most people probably aren’t aware of how much they grumble!

James had something to say about complaining – ‘Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner’ (James 5:9Mge).

I used to laugh when my dad used that expression, which originated, according to some sources back to medieval times when people had to be hung with a new rope to ensure it didn’t break. The idiom became a satirical way of chastising those who tend to complain even about the most trivial things.

Thus, the irony of complaining about the roughness of new rope around the neck when one should be really worrying about the much more important matter of being executed.

Without realising it, griping can become a habit, leading to overlooking the good in life and in others.

(more…)

FINISHING WELL

(September 2, 2021) Brian Bell encourages finishing the race of life…

Exciting and yet in the current climate, challenging as the 2020 rescheduled Olympic Games in Japan may have proved, they may not have been your favourite ‘must watch’ event of 2021 to date.

In 1 Timothy 4:8, Paul tells Timothy that ‘Bodily exercise is of some benefit, but godliness with contentment is of greater gain.’

While I believe the apostle’s words about bodily exercise were specifically directed to Timothy’s situation, as with all scripture we too may benefit from its general exhortation.

Paul’s words remind us about priority (a common theme in scripture) our aim as believers is for ‘God likeness’ in our attitudes and daily living but if we are able to take physical exercise, it is good to do so within our limitations.

Keep going
At the 1968 Olympic Games held in Mexico City, Tanzania was represented in the marathon by John Stephen Akhwari. Part way through the race, Akhwari fell and was injured. He decided to get bandaged up and continue, which he did, finishing in last place over an hour behind the other runners.

 When interviewed later Akhwari was asked, ‘Why did you bother to get up and finish the race’ to which his reply was ‘My country didn’t send me to Mexico to start the race, they sent me to finish.’

(more…)

UNSEVERED ROOTS AND GOOD SPRING GROWTH

(September 1, 2021) Robert McQuillan ponders…

It’s Wednesday September 1, Australia’s first day of spring – and what a beautiful warm day it is, with happy walkers and chirping birds flying around, some even landing to bathe in our backyard fountain!

Actually, all round it’s been a pretty good winter here but now we can look forward to really warmer days and a good season of gardening time ahead!

Gardening! Umm… I must confess that I’m not a gardener!  Now we do have a beautiful garden but it’s the result of Maureen’s handiwork! I delight to see the flourishing new plants she has planted and the healthy growing trees that she has been well trimmed. And many more of Maureen’s gardening creations around our attractive property.

Gardener’s misinterpreted comments
Yesterday we watched that 1979 satire classic, Being There with Peter Sellers brilliantly playing Chance, a simpleminded, uneducated gardener.  After being accidentally hit by the car of Ben Rand, an advisor and confidant of the American president, he’s taken to Rand’s luxurious home to be cared for.

There he’s mistakenly called Chauncey Gardiner and assumed, from his oldish but expensive attire, that he’s an upper-class, highly educated businessman. In actual fact, his old employer/benefactor had just died and Chance, always allowed to wear some of the old man’s clothes, has walked out into a world he’d never, ever been in before.

Repeatedly, Chance’s simple words are misinterpreted, especially in a first meeting with the president who regards Chance’s words as being profound, especially his simplistic utterances about gardens and the weather. He and his confidant Rand, soon to die himself, interpret these as allegorical statements of the state of their country’s economy and business in general.

(more…)

SALVATION – WHAT AN INEXHAUSTIBLE MINE OF TREASURE!

(August 28, 2021) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, explains an important aspect of the Christian faith…

The Hebrew and Greek words of scripture are like inexhaustible mines and one finds new treasures each time the words are examined. 

I have selected an important one to reveal just some amazing truths – salvation.

Firstly – by way of introduction, salvation as found in the Old Testament is a great salvation – ‘yasha.’

The Hebrew word moshia, which is usually translated as ‘saviour’ in the Old Testament, comes from the Hebrew root yasha, which has been translated as avenge, defend, deliver, help, preserve, rescue, and save, has the meanings of opening wide, being large in capacity, living in abundance, being free, safe, helped, rescued, victorious and being made whole.

It is a word that contains amazing riches and is found around 180 times in the Old Testament.  When we consider that in the New Testament the noun Saviour, sōtēr, is found 24 times and the verb sōzō meaning to save, deliver, heal or make whole is found 110 times, it becomes evident that not only does the Bible say a lot about salvation – it is scripture’s dominant theme.

(more…)

EARRINGS, NOSE-RINGS, ‘YOU’RE A JEZEBEL’ AND UNIQUE GOD-ORDAINED FEMALE CARING

(August 26, 2021) Maureen McQuillan reflects…

Sounds quite a mouthful of a title! But allow me to lead up to something I consider very important…

Firstly…
What a joy pre-lockdown when our darling granddaughter, Bonnie-Jane Hoseini would pop round with our precious little great-granddaughter, Avaleigh Grace.

It was great to catch up and see how quickly she is growing and developing.

Now five months old, Avaleigh is at the grabbing stage… spoons, whatever. Last time I saw her, as I held her in my arms, after a high-five (yes, a high-five!) she reached out and grabbed my left hoop earring.

Mesmerised with the bright gold colour, she was endeavouring to get it off!

Jezebel shock
Yes, it was fun. But it reminded me of a confronting incident that happened many, many years ago that wasn’t funny.

Let me share something personal here…

We happened to find a recent YouTube Sunday service of the church back home in Northern Ireland that I attended for years when I was young.

(more…)

SALT OF THE EARTH TO OUR GENERATION

(August 24, 2021) Martyn Iles, ACL Managing Director challenges Australian Christians to reach more people with God’s truths…

Never lose faith that God is still working, even in contemporary Australia.

I’ve seen it at The Truth of It – LIVE meetings. The electricity in the air, the enthusiasm in people’s hearts, the unity among churches, age groups, and ethnicities. The genuine love of Christ. I’ve never seen anything like it.

The challenge is not only to keep those fires burning but to send sparks flying into more places – so others will hear God’s truth and come to know Christ. And those sparks fly through people like you.

Serve as ‘salt’ in this generation
God’s truth is made known through you as you stand up for Christ in your local community and resist unjust laws. That’s what it means to be ‘salt’, as the Bible says – to stop the rot and decay that’s all around us (Matthew 5:13).

Today, I’m asking for your help to raise up more men, women, and young people like you to be the salt our nation needs.

Your partnership makes a big difference – because now there are over 2,000 volunteers and over 200,000 people who invest and pray – but there is so much more we can do together. Your investment today will grow this movement by helping to:

(more…)

WOMEN WHO MINISTERED TO – SERVED – JESUS

(August 20, 2021) Brian Bell shares an insightful meditation…

Dr Robert McQuillan’s recent article (What? Some Women Still not Permitted to Minister Today) in which he gave a wise, brief answer to this question, set me thinking about the many scriptural references in which women are mentioned in relation to what I would describe as ‘ministry.’

I feel that too often the word ‘ministry’ is considered only in a narrow context, for example, ‘the ministry of the word’ – that is the preached word of God or the readable Bible itself.

Actually the word ‘ministry’ is diakonia, which basically means to aid, serve. In church circles, we think of the deacons who assist, serve in various ways – I myself am a member of such a group in my own church.

In a scriptural context I believe every believer is in effect called to ‘minister’ not just a particular group … however the nature and place of ministry is as varied as the Lord’s people are with our different personalities, gifts and abilities.

Divine design
Scripture tells us God made Eve as ‘…a companion who would help…’ Adam (See Genesis 2:18ff…noting that ‘help’ is ezer, to aid, assist).

Clearly God has given specific attributes to both women and men which, while they may in some ways be different, are complementary in working together, assisting each other. To me this is clearly a ‘divine design’… not some random or evolutionary trait and not something to be ignored.

(more…)

KNOWING GOD’S WILL

(August 15, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to a concerned couple…

Dear Pastor Maureen
We have to make decisions on certain important matters. How can we know what God wants us to choose, to do? How can we be certain we’ve made the right decisions? Morris and Hilda.

Dear Morris and Hilda

I can understand your apprehension as I’ve had to make many important decisions myself over the years. Still do. Here’s what I’ve learned to do… Call these keys if you like.

1. Firstly I remind myself of that encouraging scripture which assures us our God won’t let us down if we ask trust him to help us‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ (Proverbs 3:5). Verses 6-7a go on to say ‘in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes.’

The Message Bible is very strong on this great truth – ‘Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.’

(more…)

MEDICAL EMERGENCY: VISION OF HEAVEN AND HELL

Mark Ellis shares a good news story…

As a self-made man focused on providing an abundant lifestyle for his family, Jim Woodford had no place for God in his life.

However, Jim is married to a strong Christian, Lorraine, who prayed for him diligently, according to a report by CBN. ‘God please change his heart,’ she prayed. ‘Bring him to know Jesus Christ and just make a change in him and deal with this materialistic way.’

‘Break him or remake him’
Jim was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome at age 61, a rare, incurable autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system erroneously attacks the peripheral nerves and damages their myelin insulation.

The syndrome results in ‘unremitting, electrical current pain in every part of my body, accompanied with paralysing inability to move,’ Jim (right. Photo: CBN screenshot) told CBN. Lorraine saw changes in his personality as the condition worsened. ‘He was just getting to be a very angry person. The pain was just consuming him.’

Despite the ordeal, Jim refused to turn to God. At a certain point, Lorraine began to get impatient. She said, ‘God, I’ve been praying, but I haven’t seen any change. Maybe you just have to break him to remake him.’

In April 2014, Jim went to inspect a field he wanted to sell. To manage his pain that day, he had taken four times the normal dosage for his medication. As he sat in his truck, he felt a burning sensation in his legs.

‘Forgive me, God’

(more…)

MORE DOORS THAN KEYS

(August 11, 2021) Robert and Maureen McQuillan remember and honour…

Mid last month, Dr James McConnell (84) – fondly known to his church, Metropolitan Tabernacle, Whitewell, Northern Ireland, friends and others as ‘the Bishop’ – passed on to glory (See Tribute to the Late Dr James McConnell and Whitewell Thanksgiving Service Dr James McConnell).

On-fire for Jesus
James McConnell was an outstanding man of God! Saved at a very young age and powerfully filled with the Spirit, he was so in love with his Saviour that he wanted everyone to discover what he had found. He was God’s instrument in thousands around the world finding Christ, not just his beloved Northern Ireland.

James McConnell powerfully preaching the gospel at Metropolitan Tabernacle

One of the great keys in his ministry was that he was always obedient to the Lord, even when it seemed a crazy thing to do.

(more…)