(October 20, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, shares…
The 1968 comedy movie, The Odd Couple, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau centred on two men, Felix and Oscar, who decided to live with each other after their wives left them. Felix was neurotically obsessed with tidiness and cleanliness while Oscar was a messy and quick-tempered layabout. They made an odd couple indeed.
Odd couples come in many shapes and forms!
A real life odd couple is Joelison Fernandes da Silva and Evem Medeiros from Brazil. Joelison is 7 feet 8 inches (2.36 meters) tall and his wife is just 5 foot (1.5 meters).
Joelison said, ‘The day I saw her I think it was love at first sight.’
Six oddly coupled but significant Greek words
Recently as I was reading 1 Thessalonians, I particularly noticed what Paul wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica. He stated that he continually remembered ‘before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3 RSV).
It struck me as odd, or at least unexpected, that in these three phrases are found words that normally one would not put together, that is… (more…)
(October 20, 2018) Dr Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage making the best of our ‘time’…
The 1948 film noir movie, The Big Clock, is about a tyrannical magazine tycoon (Charles Laughton) who, having just committed murder, is trying to frame an unknown, innocent man for his dastardly deed. Innocent Ray Milland tries to solve the murder himself.
But time is against our hero and every now and then viewers are drawn to the ominous tick tock and vision of ‘the big clock’ – the largest and most sophisticated clock ever built, dominating the lobby of Laughton’s New York media industry building – reminding us that time is fast running out for the innocent Milland.
And there’s a quote in itself about time… ‘The clock is ticking and time is running out.’ One can think of several other well-known quotations about time… Google indicates that it can give us at least 8544!
Scripture has several too… for example Ecclesiastes 3:1GNB, ‘Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.’ (more…)
(September 10, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straightshooting theologian, shares…
Every now and then I hear these condemning words from a sad, heavy-hearted Christian, ‘I’ve heard that there’s a sin that God can’t forgive… “the unpardonable sin.” I feel, I think I’ve committed it! God couldn’t possibly forgive me…’
What such a tormented person is really thinking in his (or her) troubled mind is this – ‘Is it possible that I committed such a big sin, or so many sins, that I’ve gone beyond the point where I can’t be forgiven, can’t be saved?’
The good news of the gospel
I feel for such people (incidentally some non-Christians also often believe their sins are too great to be forgiven!). And if they’d share with me I hasten to point out that the gospel – the good news – of Christ is that our sin, whatever they are or how big or many, cannot exceed the love, grace and mercy of God. (more…)
(September 10, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, reflects on the call of God…
The best-known evangelist of our time the late Dr Billy Graham was not a missionary serving long term on a specific field.
He was called by God to be an evangelist to the world. A gift ministry to the church and the world, his faithfulness, influence and love for the lost is beyond question. His example to many other servants of the Lord has been exemplary.
I believe this includes thousands of serving missionaries around the word. They have been encouraged by his faithfulness to God and to the gospel by his… (more…)
(September 9, 2018) Tim Edwards shares a challenging thought…
Paul’s great challenge in Ephesians 5: 15-17 should hit home to Christians of every generation! The apostle warns, ‘Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.’
What do these verses say to us today?
- What does Paul, indeed any pastor, want Jesus’ followers to know? To realise that no matter how long we’ve been following and serving Jesus, God has more in store for us!
- And what does Paul, again any pastor, want Christians in any age to do? To understand that we should be asking God for more of himself and what is his plan for our life!
I have a little thought to share here that I trust will both bless and challenge those who are truly aware that the days are indeed evil and that there is still much kingdom work for us to be involved in before the return of our Saviour, King Jesus. My little thought? There is more! Let me share…
Relevant relationships today
Ephesians is such a great Bible book to read and meditate on – in fact it is just so good, and there is a huge amount we can learn, even from the text above. Basically the book is a letter to the church at Ephesus in which Paul is endeavouring to – (more…)
(September 9, 2018) Ed Delph shares another timely thought-provoker…
One of the most famous stories in the Bible is Luke 15. Although generally known as ‘the prodigal son chapter’ it is about putting three lost things back into circulation. It’s about…
- A restoration of dignity and purpose.
- Lost people getting back to the main road again after lengthy delays and detours.
- How God’s compassion never gives up.
- Seeing the essence of a person, not just the behaviour of a person.
- Having the love to accept people for who they are but not letting them under achieve perpetually.
Lost… and without a good future
The chapter starts with Jesus talking to a crowd of people about a lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son… being lost they had no future. (more…)
(September 7, 2018) Carol Round shares on a precious gift…
‘Sweet friendships refresh the soul and awaken our hearts with joy, for good friends are like the anointing oil that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence’ (Proverbs 27:9 TPT).
‘What are we celebrating today, ladies?’
When our waitress asked this question, I immediately said, ‘Our friendship.’
‘That’s a good thing to celebrate,’ she replied.
Friendships are forged
For over 12 years, I’ve been friends with a woman whom I call my soul sister. We are not related by human blood, but by the blood of Jesus Christ. (more…)
(September 7, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage blessing others…
Proverbs 16:24NLT makes a great statement: ‘Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.’ ‘Kind words’ – noam emer in the Hebrew speak of suitable, delightful speech. A reality of life is that everyone needs to hear a suitable delight-bringing kind word at some point! Such contacts are blessings, precious connections.
In respect to making contacts, in our May and June articles (The Inverted T Principle and Waiting at the Railway Station Called the Church) we emphasised the need to reach out – to connect – with people both inside and outside the church, that…
- All Christians can do something to assist their pastor build their church!
- The baptism of the Spirit is just not to enable us freely worship God in an unknown language, but supernatural enablement for kingdom service!
- The principle of what Jesus said about his followers would be able to do if we ever came up against magistrates because of our faith can be applied to sharing the gospel: ‘Don’t worry about what you’ll say. When the time comes, say what’s on your heart – the Holy Spirit will make his witness in and through you’ (Mark13:11Mge).
(August 29, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, shares…
‘Whenever I ask anyone about Jesus’ second coming, I seem to be given an answer that differs from other answers I’ve received from others.’
So wrote a concerned reader, adding, ‘Can you please give me an easy answer to my question: What can we know for sure about the return of Jesus?’
Easy answers can be suspect!
I wish I could give an easy answer to your question… but, like many things theological, an easy answer is often suspect!
The problem is that in the Bible God reveals to us many things that are not easy to grasp but he nevertheless wants us to be aware of them. To help us he uses what theologians call ‘language of accommodation‘ – that is – terminology with which we are familiar to give us some insight into things that are unfamiliar.
The matter raised by this perturbed reader is in the area of eschatology, or concerning the doctrine of ‘last things.’ With reference to the return of Jesus Christ…
- We know generally what is going to happen but –
- We do not know precisely how it is going to happen.
(August 26, 2018) Jeff Benson brings a challenge…
There’s a lot to love about being part of one’s church community!
One of the things that I enjoy the most is engaging with people who have only recently come to faith in Jesus. One example is a particular young lady who gave her life to Jesus about 14 weeks ago… it’s been really exciting to see her come alive through experiencing God at work in her life.
Discovering God’s love is infectious!
As she’s come to understand God’s love for her and has been sensing his voice and guidance, she’s come alive with an enthusiasm that’s actually quite infectious. Here’s a snippet of something she posted on Facebook recently (She’s allowed me to use it):
‘Through the blood of Jesus Christ we have been saved, we’re free of sin and justified by faith! So many blessings have been just poured over me since I came to faith and it’s so overwhelming at times but I am so thankful because of how much my life has changed! God shined so much light into my life and knowing that I have a God who loves me so much, who is always there and has the best plans for my life is just so amazing.’
Note how much this new Christian used the word ‘so’: So many blessings, so overwhelming, so thankful, so much light, loves me so much, so amazing! (more…)