Encouragement

EXPECTING FANTASTIC ADVENTURES IN 2019

(January 15, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encouragingly share…

Incredibly this is now our fourth month since journeying away from Geelong to Doreen our new territory, discovering much of its surrounds and meeting new folk… as we’ve been sharing on Facebook. Our ‘fantastic adventures’ seem to be intriguing readers who insist they look forward to hearing our latest news/who we’ve met/opportunities we’ve taken to bless strangers and been blessed in turn/ and more.

In all our these ‘adventures’ we’ve simply been allowing the Holy Spirit to direct us each new day… as we exercise our faith and trust our Lord. And things have been happening, including unusual ones! Even the other hot arvo… we blessed a young Turk who then blessed us with a bottle of needed icy cold water (no space to give all details but we now have four new friends!).

We like what Hope Flinchbaugh, our insightful good friend from Pennsylvania, wrote us: ‘It’s like you’re opening a large gift package from heaven with many little extra gift boxes inside! God is blessing your new beginning!’

Right on… and we’re expecting to make more fantastic discoveries. For years we’ve called the Christian life one big Indiana Jones adventure… one never knows what’s round the corner! But it’s God ‘making it up’ not Indy! Never a dull moment it seems as we trust and follow Jesus in faith. And we’re believing it all to continue as we embrace more of 2019.

2019! Almost two weeks gone already!

‘Where does the time go?’ becomes so much more relevant as one grows older. Life is an incredible God-given gift and, as we’ve always encouraged folk, we should all make the best of it every day! Despite media bad news daily naming new troubles in our cities and around the world, we Christians can still enjoy life and make every day count as we…

  • Adventure onward (not looking back to what was or could have been)
  • Make new discoveries (assignments, places and people)
  • Responsibly serve our God (whatever our calling)
  • Continually let the Spirit lead us (new territory, job, church, decisions, relationships…)
  • Have faith in – and trust – Jesus (essential!).

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CHRISTMAS TIME TRUSTING

(December 14, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan bring Christmas comfort…

Forget about timewasting debates about when Jesus was actually born, the day, the month… no one knows! The point is that he was born and for many years the church has traditionally been celebrating this historic event of good news from heaven on December 25 and calling it Christmas Day!

With joy we praise our caring heavenly Father for his special  ‘Christmas gift.’ For Christians and the church the carol Tis the season to be merry is very relevant! Thank God for his love and goodness in sending Jesus!

Let’s be as happy as Mary and Joseph, the astounded shepherds and the faithful magi who came along later would have been. Precious people who were trusting God in uncertain times.

This is the month when one sees posters everywhere advertising cherry Christmas carolling either in churches (organised by churches) or in local parks (organised by councils or community-minded organisations)… a time of expected good cheer, family fun and caring friendship. Even several stores are playing pleasant traditional Christian carols relaxing their customers.

Christmas is indeed meant to a joyous time, especially for Christians and the church of Jesus Christ. But, sadly, we’ve been hearing from some folk that it won’t be so for them as some tragedy has hit them or their family hard… such as unexpected lost jobs, passing of loved ones, ministry upsets or abrupt changes, marriage problems, lack of godly pastoral wisdom/counsel, strange health issues, sleepless nights, troubled minds. And other nasties …

Some friends have also expressed concern over Christians being harassed, bullied, even imprisoned in India, North Korea and elsewhere – and about the increased crime rate in our so-called ‘Lucky country.’

Christmastime concerns can steal Christmas joy
Yet while we hear many people wishing one another ‘Merry Christmas!’ – as yet we haven’t heard one add the traditional ‘And a Happy New Year.’ Neither from Christians or non-churchgoers. It’s like the 2018 catchphrase of ‘moving ahead’ has done a back-flip with some people and a vision for 2019 just isn’t there. Yes 2019 will reveal fresh satanic attacks on Christianity and churches but our hope is always in the head of the church, Jesus, the one we praise God for at this Christmas season.

Personally we feel for everyone with heavy hearts at this time, who have lost their joy due to dwelling on negatives, unable to find comforting answers and good advice. These concerns can be so side-tracking and destructive. This week we ourselves had what immediately seemed a disaster drop on us out-of-the-blue that could have thrown us! (more…)

CHRISTMAS – A TIME OF EXPECTANCY

(December 9, 2018) Maureen McQuillan shares a Christamas reflection…

December – this mad month of packed shops – many playing unassociated loud, ear bending music (like certain churches!) – are busily selling Christmas decorations and presents. It’s great to note that some stores are season-minded and resound with timely precious carols such as Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

Christmas – the time to be joyful, give gifts, demonstrate love, and especially for Christians to celebrate with thanks the gift of God of his Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Overall Christmas is a time of expectancy, even down to ‘Where to park, what gifts to get’ and later ‘What will be inside my parcel Christmas morn? What Christmas lunch?’

It’ll be fun in our home… we’ll have our precious daughter Wendy who was born on Christmas Day – I was certainly expecting that Christmas quite some time ago! – and family members for lunch, even though our rental is on the small size! (Our new home is being built so our furniture is packed away and we only have a tiny four-place table to work around).

But it’ll be fun though, a time of love shared in jovial companionship, caring for each other and good tasty food – I’ve been busy working on a well-planned spread that will ensure we all enjoy our time together! Our expectation?  A day well shared together.

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VICTORIOUS SPIRITUAL ASSISTANCE

(November 10, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan bring a challenge…

Dr Jim McClure’s Teaching article this month is timely as tomorrow is Remembrance Day – which remembers that the horrific WW1 came to an end a century ago and the tragedy of the sacrifice of so many lives so young and not so young!

Yes WW1 freedom came at a staggering price… Dr Jim also reminds us that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, willingly paid the greatest price of all in dying for every sinner.

In our modern society many may not be engaged in outright war but there is a great enemy that grips many, even Christians – fear! Pastor Jeff Benson in his article encourages us that God can set us free from personal fears and weaknesses.

 

 

 

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GOD’S BIG CLOCK

(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…)

EVERYONE LOVES – NEEDS – A KIND WORD

(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.

Connecting
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).

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CHOICES

(August 7, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan ask a question that leads to a serious challenge…

It’s a simple question really: What does the word ‘choice’ mean, either in a dictionary or in the Bible? Well, it’s an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.

The reality of life is that every day we make choices. We have to! Begins each new morning… arising from slumber, deciding what to wear, what to have for brekkie. And that’s before we hit the street!

One thing is for certain… every day decisions have to be made in respect of our job, marriage, family, holidays, movie to see, TV program to watch, the home, purchases, clothing, meals… then along comes new car or home. The list goes on!

In reality very day we’ll all be making choices, hopefully good ones!

Let’s share a choice that I (Robert) made recently that proved a bad one… although there was a funny side to it! (more…)

57TH ANNY… GOING FOR 67 AND BEYOND!

(July 7, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share  some personal matters…

Noticed that our granddaughter, Bonnie-Jane Phillips, whom we married to Matthew Hoseini, a great young man three weeks ago, had happily Facebooked the following: ‘21 days ago I married my best friend! Cannot believe how quickly the time has gone by already.’

We’d Facebooked back: ‘Cute, cute. Only 21 days? Just wait until it’s 20805 days plus a few extra leap years’ days – that’s about 21000 days – as it’ll be for us come July 7! Then you can really rave!’

 

Blissfulness: A happy Matthew and Bonnie-Jane, only 21 days married

That, and some other happenings, led to sharing the following…

Asked last Monday what we were doing this weekend, we quietly said that on Saturday (today) we’d be happily celebrating our 57th wedding anniversary, some 21000 days if we count from the moment we first met (engaged within two weeks of blissfully falling in love!) but couldn’t get married being underage and unable to immediately win parental permission. Our friend’s eyes popped open wide and she remarked she couldn’t believe it! (more…)

WAITING AT THE RAILWAY STATION CALLED THE CHURCH?

(June 18, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share a reflection…

Recently I (Robert) was waiting in the church prayer room for someone I’m counselling to arrive.

As usual midweek I was casually attired, wearing my leather jacket, chinos and, not my Fedora, but my Greek fisherman’s cap. As time was going on I decided to stand  relaxedly looking through the room’s large down-to-the-ground windows onto the pleasant garden outside.

A young pastor happened by: Stopping, he commented, ‘For some strange reason, Robert, I had the impression you were casually waiting for a train!’

No, I wasn’t: I was just waiting for someone who wasn’t showing up… and waiting, expecting…

Christians waiting around for that good old gospel train?
Suddenly I had reminiscences of old glory ‘gospel train to heaven’ songs – and lines such as those from David Meece’s Gospel Train that declare ‘All aboard for the gospel train, my seat’s reserved, and my ticket’s paid.’

Then a picture came to me – one of many Christians from different churches waiting at that station called The Church, all confident that they were all right and would definitely be on board when the ‘gospel train to heaven’ eventually came along.

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‘GRANDMA, GOD MUST BE POOPED!’

(June 13, 2018) Maureen McQuillan brings an encouraging word…

What a wonderful day last Saturday was!

It was the wedding of our precious granddaughter Bonnie-Jane Phillips to Matthew Hoseini in The Farm Yarra Valley boutique venue in Victoria’s beautiful Warrandyte area and Robert had the privilege of marrying the couple.

Matthew is a handsome young man, very special indeed – and Bonnie looked the perfect happy, beautiful bride!

 

Romantic dinner with my husband!’ (Bonnie’s posting later on Facebook)


Happy memories

Some days before I was joyfully recalling many delightful happy memories we have of Bonnie – we’ve always had an incredibly close relationship with her; throughout her childhood she would often spend a lot of time with us and even this year – her 29th – she confessed that she still loves to come visiting us.

I reflected on how even when very young she would always be quietly observing things. Even while enjoying a Maccas she wouldn’t rush eating the food like so many other kids but would sit with us slowly and properly digesting her chosen burger and quietly observe people both adults and children around her. (more…)