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
(November 18, 2022) S. Sam Selva Raj encourages troubled hearts…
During times of adversity, when we ask friends or doctors for counsel, they may console us by saying, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be all right.’ Comforting words… but we can receive even greater comfort from God!
But, when we experience times of sorrow, pain and affliction, and our problems multiply, we can lose hope.
We shouldn’t… but it can happen.
If we’re not clear about God’s leading in our lives, we can worry much.
Contemplating some sorrowful event, we could wrongly think, ‘Has this happened without God’s knowledge?’
We must remember that nothing happens in our lives without God knowing!If we trust Him, our present sorrow will surely be turned into joy!
So don’t be afraid! Jesus spoke about sorrow and weeping in John 16, adding in verse 20, ‘… your sorrow will be turned into joy.’ He also promised in Matthew 5:4, ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.’
We might think that blessed people are those who enjoy all sorts of material comforts. But the Lord says that even those who mourn are blessed! He who knows everything, knows that He can turn our mourning into joy!
Sorrows may arise due to unemployment, sickness, lack of money, problems at work or in the family, worries about the future, and so on. Whatever our sorrow, the Lord says that all of us who pass through such difficult times are blessed and that we shall be comforted, difficult situations being turn into joyful ones.
Although promised this a long time ago, this is still relevant today! Henceforth be happy and rejoice. ‘Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time’ declares 1 Peter 5:6.
(November 15, 2022) Richard Winter suggests we reflect on some numbers…
Numbers? Why numbers, you wonder? Well, numbers come up in life in general, don’t they? –
Grades at school.
Dollars in the bank.
Your FICO score.
KPL in your car.
Numbers are even important to us in our relationships. Relationships with people and institutions; who loves us, cares for us; who we can rely on and trust; how many really ‘follow’ us on Facebook, Instagram, and such.
In reflecting about numbers, think also of these ones – the world population is now about8 billion and is still growing year by year. Of this number, sadly not even 10% are saved, Bible-believing Christians!
Andamong those millions of true Christians, here’s another sad reflection… the varying degrees of intimacy and closeness with the Lord!
The number of Christians who have failed to develop an intimate relationship with their Lord, read their Bibles, know and trust God’s word, and to reach out to unsaved friends, neighbours and contacts sharing their testimony and the gospel is shameful!
(November 10, 2022) Carol Round reflects on Psalm 46:8-10…
‘Attention, all! See the marvels of God! He plants flowers and trees all over the earth . . .”Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God . . . above everything”’ – challenges the Message version.
Traffic in the community where I live continues to grow. When one of the many trains travelling here daily passes through, traffic comes to a halt. Complaints abound because we experience two different railroad lines interrupting our daily lives.
However, I’ve let go of the need to complain about those interruptions. I leave early enough for appointments, and I always have a book in my car to read. Exploring the scenery and noticing the people around me also makes the train seem to pass by faster. If I see a homeless person, I pray. I also pray for the individuals in the car next to me, especially if they appear impatient.
November 11, 2022) Elizabeth Kendal requests urgent prayer for Ethiopia…
On Saturday night October 22, gunmen believed to be from the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA – formerly known as ‘OLF-Shene’) stormed the Midre Genet St. Mariam Church in Gebre Guracha.
Inside the church – which is located around 160km north-west of Addis Ababa in North Shewa Zone, Oromia Region – were priests, deacons and a church administrator who had gathered for an all-night prayer service.
Murder and abductions One deacon was killed in the attack and 11 others were abducted. By November 4, one priest and the church administrator had been ransomed. To date, the whereabouts and condition of the other nine captives remain unknown. North of the capital, Addis Ababa, with three sides adjoining Amhara Region, North Shewa Zone (Oromia) is 84 percent Oromo, 15 percent Amhara, 5.3 percent Muslim and 94 percent Christian.
(November 05, 2022) Brian Bell shares about King David’s handling of despair while ‘on the run’…
Since his days as a shepherd the wilderness of Judea was a place known to David because he had spent much time there with his father’s flocks.
If you are familiar with the life of David before and after he became king of Israel, you will remember he also spent time in the wilderness ‘on the run.’
For David this was a literal experience as he first sought to stay away from the murderous intentions of jealous King Saul, and later in his life and reign when he ran from the rebellion of his wayward son Absalom.
Here I share a few encouraging thoughts from Psalm 3NLT, which I believe give us a look into David’s heart experience as he was on the run from Absalom.
David’s despair Verses 1-2 tell of David’s concerns – ‘I have so many enemies…so many are against me… so many are saying…’
Recalling David’s attitude as he faced Goliath – running towards the enemy – we may find despair a strange place for him to be and yet it is echoed in these words, particularly the use of the word ‘many.’
Despair is a very real emotion for us in our human experience, even for God’s children. It is not a place any of us plan to be, it is not where we would wish to be, and certainly not a place in which we would choose to stay.
I believe despair it is not a lack of faith on our part but rather a reflection of how our natural weaknesses may be exploited by the circumstances of life or the enemy of souls so that we may be brought to a place where we feel overwhelmed.
(November 05, 2022) Richard Winter highlights that there is no excuse for concealing wrong actions!
On the spur of the moment one day, my good friend Ray and I decided to ditch school and play golf. It was an easy decision; the golf course was behind a pine forest right that was itself behind our high school and we wouldn’t be seen from the school.
So Ray and I rode our bikes through the pines, retrieved some old clubs and balls from the golf shed, and took off our school blazers and ties that identified our school – and away we went.
We had only played five holes when conscious struck us, and we decided we’d better go to school. So, ties and jackets back on, we cycled down the hill and joined others who were going into the next class, hoping that no one had missed us.
What we didn’t know was we were seen ditching school by a passing driver who went to our school office and reported us! Suddenly an announcement came through: ‘The two boys seen riding through the pine forest this morning – come to the office.’
Well, Ray and I stood up and off we marched. But not bravely, we were really scared and everyone was watching us. What could we say, as we were ushered into the principal’s office – we were completely rumbled.
‘Excuses’ don’t excuse! There it got scarier. The principal kept doing whatever he was doing, writing apparently. Occasionally he would look up, glare and start writing again. Minutes went by and soon we were perspiring!
(October 29, 2022) Hope Flinchbaugh, reflecting on Nehemiah’s commission from God, shares challenges in respect of ‘A Leader’s Response to Opposition’(Part 2).
Like all leaders, Nehemiah faced opposition – but he did not cower!
As he and his friends (men and women) are making mortar, finding usable stones, they were reproached by their enemies, non-Jewish local governors…
Nehemiah 2:19 tells us of their challenge – ‘But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshamthe 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?”
Verse 20 tells of Nehemiah’s bold response – ‘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.”’
Expect opposition When you begin to build where no one’s built before or you rebuild what was torn down by an enemy, you can expect some opposition. Somebody somewhere is going to say to your face or behind your back, ‘I am very displeased that you have come here to seek the welfare of these people.’
The discouraging thing about Romania was not the breadlines. It was the utter lack of hope!
Even after communism fell, the leftover lifestyle was colourless – work, work, work. Ovidiu Rusu (right), because he had read widely, dreamed of greater things and despaired of a life assigned by socialism of being just a part of the machine to support the state.
‘When I was a child, I was not aware of how bad communism was. But as I became a teenager and then a young man, it was a struggle not seeing a future. There were no opportunities. All the doors were closed,’ Ovidiu says on a Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast. ‘I told my friends, “If the end of the year catches me here, I’m going to kill myself. I don’t want to live this life.”’
Walking on eggshells lifestyle Life in Brasov under communism, according to Ovidiu, was characterised by:
Fear of authority. ‘Anybody with any measure of authority wants you to feel that they are the boss. Authority is there to harm and humiliate you. You live walking on eggshells.’
Poverty and boring food. ‘You have just five options to eat and you cycle through them. I remember being tired of beans and rice. You have one pair of shoes, one pair of pants, one coat. You sew it to fix it.’
You as an individual don’t count.
Thinking is squelched. ‘Because people who think for themselves are dangerous.’
Even the fall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in December 1989 did not immediately usher in a change of life. Though freedoms were introduced, life continued to appear pretty dull and opportunity-less.
The legacy of communism was atheism. His parents had never attended the Eastern Orthodox church much, but a lot of other Romanians did as a passive resistance to communism. Ovidiu didn’t believe in God because that’s what they had taught in school.
Thinking that if life were to change, he would need to do something himself, Ovidiu decided to flee the country with some of his young adult friends. Their plan was to make their way to France and join the French Foreign Legion. They had heard that the pay was good, and you could apply for citizenship in France.
Crying out to God But they got caught and gaoled.
‘I was very, very distraught,’ he says. He kept trying to escape Romania, but nothing worked. That’s when he decided on suicide to escape Romania. During the last two weeks of 1992 he stayed in his room, pacing and smoking. He avoided his friends and his girlfriend. He was stewing.
Though he didn’t believe in God, he cried out to Him. ‘If you exist you have to do something,’ he said.
On December 31, his mom sent him to the bread lines at 4am. You had to get up early to get the special bread that is customary for New Year’s Eve. ‘It wasn’t a line, it was a mob, and I’m right in the middle of it,’ he remembers. ‘I was standing there frustrated, angry, desperate, no hope.’
He noticed a young guy working his way through the crowd. ‘Excuse me, excuse me,’ he pushed gently through, coming straight over to Ovidiu, whom he addressed. ‘I know you from the neighbourhood,’ the young man said. He began witnessing to him about Jesus.
‘I had cried out to God three days earlier, and the first time I step out of my house, God sent this guy to talk to me,’ Ovidiu marvels.
What hit him was the young man assured him that God would take care of his future. ‘That was my struggle,’ Ovidiu says. ‘That was what I was fighting with inside. I could not get his words outside of my head. God was working in me.’
(Above: The church in Brasov)
Ovidiu went to church that very night. The Christians were praying, thanking God, in a circle. Ovidiu accepted Jesus into his heart.
Growing in the faith ‘The factor in my salvation was the feeling of desperation, the lack of hope for a future. I was feeling trapped. Living in a communist country, you know this is the place I was born, this is the place I will die. I wanted to do more. I wanted to be part of something’ he added.
At the time, there was a revival among young people sparked by missionaries from Germany and elsewhere. ‘I was 23, and I was one of the older people getting saved,’ Ovidiu says. He attended a church led by Richard Brooks, who preached hope and faith, an enticing novelty for Romanians.
‘I was just amazed at the preaching,’ Ovidiu says. ‘I was open. Pastor Brooks was the right man at the right time. He was a man of faith. He was an exciting man, he was happy. He had an attitude that everything is possible. That’s exactly what we needed because we grew up in communism in which nothing is possible and all the doors were closed.’
Ovidiu grew in his faith and knowledge of the Bible. Today, he is a pastor in Brasov.
(Left) Street outreaching with Pastor Ovidiu
If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here
GodReports.com, founded by Mark Ellis in 2009, is devoted to promoting Christian missions by sharing stories and testimonies from missionaries and mission organisations.Reporter, Pastor Michael Ashcraft is also a financial professional in California. _________________________________________________________
(October 27, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to a concerned friend…
Dear Dr Robert
You’ve helped me before and I want to share something with you that has me confused. I really love the church I’ve been attending for the last few months… the preaching is great, the teaching is soundly Bible-based, and the pastor really cares! Nothing is wacky! But recently I’ve felt somewhat uneasy. Nothing wrong with the church, but I don’t feel to become a member, or to be involved in any ministerial way that would commit me. I started thinking what’s wrong? Then last week while enjoying the service, I heard that ‘inner voice’ whisper one word… ‘Transition.’ Transition? Would you please help me here. Harold
Hi again Harold
Yes, I believe I can. I’ve come to know you and suggest you take a step back and see the bigger picture. I believe what’s happening to you gels with what has happened to some certain others in their Christian experience, even myself. Let me paint the picture as I see it.
The word ‘transition’ means the ‘process of changing, or a change from one from or condition to another.’ Now you won’t find the word in scripture – unless you read the Message version of Hebrews 9, that chapter that talks about the Calvary death of Jesus and the new covenant. It actually combines verses 16 and 17 as one, and begins ‘Like a will that takes effect when someone dies, the new covenant was put into action at Jesus’ death. His death marked the transition from the old plan to the new one.’
Scripture tells of God transitioning chosen ones into new positions or locales… Abraham, Moses, Gideon (His being supernaturally called by God, such as in Judges7:9 is very interesting).