(March 17, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan challenge…
Hic sunt dracones – Here be dragons!
Some people think that ancient globes depicted dragons as warnings of the unknown ahead in unexplored territories. Not so! Well… one did – the tiny copper European 1510AD Hunt-Lenox globe.
Paper maps were different. It was the medieval practice to depict sea monsters, beasties and other fearsome mythological creatures beside uncharted areas: cartographers of ancient maps adapted this to indicate possible dangers ahead.
Hic sunt dracones – Here be dragons! was the warning to brave explorers, adventurers and land pioneers who, like our modern Star Trek heroes, dared ‘to boldly go where no one has gone before.’
Ancient dragons were mere mythical fantasy!
But as the church determinedly moves forward in 2018 – ‘boldly going where no one has gone before’ (or should have gone by now!) – Christians will do well to remember the general warning of dangers ahead in that ancient line, Here be dragons! (more…)
(February 28, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan write…
Like this Gypsy Smith quote below? It’s from the cover of Stuart Reynold’s latest book, Getting Ready for Revival.
A challenge for every Christian, not to think ’Maybe I’ll do something later’ but to act on now!
One of Oxford Dictionary meanings of ‘Revival’ is: ‘A reawakening of religious fervour, especially by means of evangelistic meetings.’
It’s been many years since the days of genuine ‘religious fervour’ in churches with regular testimonies of sinners saved, lives changed, growth in one’s faith, sick people healed at everymeeting.
Somethinghas been missing for some time; church life has definitely changed! We’ve become too sophisticated, too locked into restricting ‘in-house’ systems, and the absence of the unchurched.
That golden oldie, Give Me That Old Time Religion, declaring salvation being good enough for everybody; loving one another; taking us to heaven; and ‘it’s good enough for me’ had something going for it!
In respect of something being missing in many churches (not all of course, praise God!); perhaps the following is on your mind too … (more…)
(January 20, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share a 2018 encouragement…
Well we’re right into 2018! It’s so obvious from the way that so many people – including church leaders – are acting and talking about moving forward this year, that 2017 with its disappointments as well as highs has been forgotten about. There’s an enthusiasm about this new year, a decidedly good spirit in many people, a fresh happiness, and a feeling that we are moving ahead this year with a determination that good things are going to happen.
Incidentally… we’re picking this up among unsaved people, not just Christians! But we Christians particularly should be even more determined to move forward in 2018… after all we have the Holy Spirit of God – the all-powerful CEO of the church of Jesus Christ within to assist us!
Safe in Jesus in a dark world
Admittedly the world is still a dangerous place… the media’s bad news continues to tell of troubles in our own nation as well as in other countries. Increased crime, unstable governments, crazy governmental decisions, rumours of war, horrific mudslides, sicknesses… the list goes on.
Of course good news comes through too we admit… but we long to hear the real good news, the gospel of Christ, being heralded in the media! We’re seeing thousands attend the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne and encouraging their stars… how wonderful it would be to see thousands longing to attend churches and acknowledge Jesus Christ!
It’s good to discover Christians who are determined to honour Jesus in 2018, are seeking God’s will for their life and desire to move forward no matter what goes down or comes against them or their churches. (more…)
Worrying doesn’t solve our problems or lift our burdens! In fact it causes us to ‘stew’ over matters and they hang around causing additional headaches and trouble minds and hearts!
Thought:It’s almost Christmas… think of young Joseph and the burdens that he could have been carrying some 2000 years ago and worrying over…
Newly married… to a young girl with whom he’s never been sexually intimate and discovers she’s pregnant!
Then has a strange notification by an angel that the baby was conceived by the very Spirit of God!
Has to take the pregnant Mary with him to Bethlehem to register for a census!
This approximately 160km trip would have taken them 8-10 long days of walking.
Probably a scary, uncomfortable journey for the young pregnant Mary, but what about Joseph?
Then at Bethlehem, he’s unable to find lodgings as the time of her delivery of this babe draws so close!
I like Joseph’s attitude to his uncertainties when he first contemplated what lay ahead if he honoured marriage with his beloved… like his forefather, David, he too was obviously a man after God’s own heart. (more…)
(December 8, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share …
Great! It’s almost Christmas!And what a joyous time it can be!
This Sunday several churches with present their Carols by Candlelight evening, believing for a grand turnout of joyous Christians to celebrate the birth of the Saviour of this fallen world – and to worship our gracious God from full hearts.
Of course many Christians are aware that ‘Christmas’ as such isn’t mentioned in scripture, that no one really knows the exact date, let alone month, when Jesus was born – but that’s okay for those who really know what this season is truly all about and celebrate from the heart, not the head!
We’re really celebrating God’s incredible love for every sinner in willingly giving us his Son, born incarnate of the virgin Mary and destined to become our redeemer by dying on Calvary’s cross as our substitute for sin’s penalty (John 3:16).
Traditionally Christmas is a 5F matter… food, family, fun, fellowship and freebie gifts. But the genuine Christian aspect is all about our celebrating that God so loved the world that he freely gave us the greatest gift of all – Jesus – and that forgiveness and full salvation is available on repentance of sin to everyone who accepts Jesus as Saviour.
What an amazing event that so-named ‘first Christmas’ was!
No wonder the angelic host heralding that first good news declaration proclaimed to the bewildered shepherds: ‘Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Saviour has just been born in David’s town…Glory to God… Peace to all men and women on earthwho please him.’ (more…)
(November 30, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage those going through challenging times, especially leaders who teach solid scripture truths…
Ever wonder which unrealistic idiot came up with ‘Just trust Jesus and everything will be absolutely fine in life’ or ‘The Christian life will be like a bed of roses so no worries’ or led new converts to think Christianity is ‘Easy Street to heaven’ – or that ‘Ministry’s great… all fame and glamour, no hassles.’
Probably some dodo man, think you wise realistic ladies!
The reality is that …
Life is a gift from God, to be appreciated each new day and lived to the full as best possible.
Ministry is a privilege, not to taken carelessly or irresponsibly as it must honour the Lord.
Unfortunately we have a lying, distracting enemy!
Although we can fully trust God and his word for our needs, we live in a fallen world.
Life itself – not just Satan – can unexpectedly unleash furious storms against us!
(October 11, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan challenge all who feel something is missing …
Some time ago we read somewhere a very meaningful observation of Know the Truth blogger Philip De Courey, Kindred Community Church’s pastor, Anaheim.
He wrote that ‘The average Christian is a theological kindergartner lacking a basic knowledge of Christian doctrine … When it comes to doctrine; this is a day of the lowest common denominator. Congregations want preachers to play on their hearts not to tamper with their minds.’
Our own observation is that the line following is still so relevant in October 2017: ‘Ours is a time when people want to feel God and know God without having to think biblically about God.’
Christianity playacting Often we find ourselves pointing out to congregations that we live in a day when many Christians are playacting,not participating – that they have problems simply because they can’t trust God and don’t (to use an often quoted expression church/business) move forward! (more…)
(September 11, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan bring a timely challenge…
Hoon is a derogatory term often used to refer to anyone, especially young people, who engages in loutish activities that can include speeding, burnouts, doughnuts or screeching tyres. In other words… irresponsible behaviour.
We were talking recently with a mature young friend about dependability – or the rather the lack of it – in some church circles.
Now our insightful friend is not only dedicated to his commitment as a husband and father, he’s a highly reliable but ever so busy businessperson. And yet he’s also totally committed to doing whatever is required of him by the both the Lord and his pastor to help build his home church.
And as we shared, he pointed out his observations of a major problem with many Christians, particularly the younger ones – although they claim they want to serve Jesus and their church through their talents and skills but they have no concept of commitment.
Actually this observation came up when we shared that we grew up in a day when one’s word was their bond. That if you said you would do something, then you did it no matter what it cost you… time, energy, personal expense especially if your promise – your commitment – involved doing something for your pastor and local church. And you answered letters and as phones with call-back messages became the in-thing, you replied to them! (more…)
(August 8, 2017) Maureen McQuillan encourages all who feel unappreciated …
There’s a tale that’s been around since my Sunday school days – an unsourced homecoming story that’s been told and retold over the years in various ways. Basically it goes something like this…
A missionary couple, old and wearied, was returning home to the States to retire after toiling many years in what we were told back then to capture our imagination was ‘Darkest Africa.’ Not overly successful in their missionary service they were unknowns compared to such ‘greats’ as Dr David Livingstone.
But they’d been faithful to their calling and had shared God’s love and the gospel of Jesus in many caring ways. They had reached to neighbours – strangers – not only to preach but to help in practical ways. And they would pray for the sick and needy and witness miracles – and over many years had known the joy of seeing several indigenous people accept Christ as Saviour.
This couple had grown old together as they laboured on despite many difficulties, opposition from demonic forces, misunderstandings from locals including other ministries, and even lack of meaningful prayer and financial support from their church back home. (more…)
(August 6, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage renewed confidence and not quitting…
Confidence – typical dictionary definition:
Quality or state of being certain;
Feeling or consciousness of one’s powers;
Faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way.
How we yearn for abundant confidence when challenged to do something new, especially for the Lord and in church life. And how we can feel so disappointed when things don’t work out, or we feel – even wrongly believe that we’ve missed it, we’ve failed – and unfortunately are not aware of, do not discover what we have achieved because we were determined to be faithful no matter what price we had to pay.
The reality is that in our limitation as humans we’re unable to visage the ultimate bigger picture’s ongoing and end results. We’ll never know all we’ve achieved when we even willingly offer a mere glass of water in Jesus’ name… but as the Message Bible says, ‘Count on it that God will notice’ (Mark 9:41). (more…)