Encouragement

FEELING INCONVENIENCED? PERHAPS THERE’S A BIGGER PICTURE!

(November 16, 2019) Maureen McQuillan shares encouragingly…

Inconvenienced’… now there’s a word that even sounds like trouble! Basically it indicates problems or difficulties caused by someone or something – and often we can be left wondering ‘What’s going on here?’ Or ‘Why me?’

We Christians are certainly not immune! We have our disappointments too – but many times we need to see a bigger picture, recognise God’s ways and timings.

Let me share such an incident…

When ministering interstate one time we borrowed our host’s car and took a short Saturday afternoon break. And, after some relaxation on a local beach, we visited a nearby shopping precinct.

Car problem inconvenience
All enjoyable but on returning to the car we found it wouldn’t start! Now we had been warned that the key only turned a certain way but Robert tried every way for almost an hour.

Nothing happened – except that he got sore fingers and was almost frustrated. And the happiness of that afternoon was quickly vanishing.

Then Robert (I’ll be cheeky and add finally) got a bright idea! Phoning a local pastor he knew, he shared the problem.

‘No worries’ responded the pastor, ‘I have a helpful mechanic in our church and I’ll ask him to drop by.’ Jonny did so, very promptly, and soon had the car going. And as we stood by the vehicle, we had some precious fellowship with this new brother and encouraged one another. (more…)

GOD SHOWED UP!

(November 13, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage expectation of the unexpected…

Remember the ‘The Spirit showed up!’ catchcry of a few decades ago when the Holy Spirit had freedom to move in any meeting he chose… and did?

A catchcry, yes, but an acknowledgement that God had moved in the church service and blessed his people through supernatural actions by his Holy Spirit! And Jesus was glorified.

At times it seemed that if the blessed Holy Spirit hadn’t ‘showed up’ the pastor, Bible teacher, evangelist, guest speaker or whoever would have floundered over whatever he or she was presenting!

And also at times, it all seemed a big surprise when the Spirit ‘did show up’ and a miracle or a healing happened, or prophetic words and words of knowledge were uttered (spoken genuinely and meaningfully!) and a wonderful dimension of heavenly bliss descended.

Others sayings come to mind… for example, ‘God shows up when you least expect it’ and ‘Everything was lost but out of the blue God showed up and saved the day.’

Yes we confess that we too have used the ‘God showed up’ expression… but only in the sense of acknowledging and confirming that God the Holy Spirit had done something wonderful, not us or any church leader or preacher alone.

Actually the reality of church life is that we should always be expecting the all-powerful third person of the Godhead to ‘show up’ with power at every meeting, not just Sunday morning, and bless us as we worship our Saviour Jesus and exalt our heavenly Father. (more…)

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN

(October 24, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share…

Funny title again this month too…  just to get you thinking!

A few weeks ago an email article arrived from a stranger – obviously a minister pf the good news of Jesus Christ – expressing his delight to be in good health once again and able to post encouraging blogs. Evidently he’d been ‘out of ministry circulation’ for a couple of years and was now knowing a release within and sensing fresh purpose in God.

Something very important too… he felt that he really knew that he had something important to say, to share in his new blog writings that would bless people.

(Robert shares from here…). Must say that the other Sunday in ministering at a great church I had similar feelings! After not having ministered in a church for a couple of years I felt, I knew in my heart, that I had something important to share that was timely in God and would challenge, bless and encourage.

And that’s what happened… as confirmed not only in my heart by the Holy Spirit but several times by the inviting pastor and his wife. And by those receiving not just from me but from the Holy Spirit!

Oh, what a feeling!
That jovial line may be the catchcry of a certain motor company but it describes what I sensed in my spirit that Sunday – and in a church where English wasn’t the common denominator! (more…)

THIEVING – WORSE THAN MURDERING?

(September 25, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share some ‘Food for thought’…

Well – did that this blog’s title get your attention or not? Probably did. So what’s it all about? Let’s share the background – and then bring out some challenges…

It’ll soon be two months since we moved into our new home in Melbourne and a thoughtful man called the other day to do some maintenance just as we were going out to an appointment that couldn’t be cancelled.

Now we’d already meet this chap and ‘liked what we’d seen’ – so we made a decision to allow him to work away in our home even though we wouldn’t be there. Asking him to kindly lock up, we quipped, ‘Of course security cameras are everywhere so our “millions of dollars” will be safe!’

We were joking of course – but his response blew us away! Looking us straight in the eye he said very seriously: ‘You know what… I’d rather be caught as a murderer than as a thief. Thieving is a terrible thing!

Wow! Thieving worse than murder in his vocabulary and he’s not a churchgoer! Our new friend got us thinking… of wrongdoing from God’s point of view! For example… a lie of any kind, big or small, is still considered a lie by God and any crime is a crime. In his eyes a sin is a sin whether it’s murder or stealing.

Thieving – it’s off grounds for God’s people!
Dictionaries described this word to mean the activity of stealing. That’s thieving in a nutshell! (more…)

OTHERS AND YOU – THE CHALLENGING VESTIBULE

(August 25, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan bring some challenging reflections…

Vestibule – now there’s a word that indicates a chamber or channel opening into another. Hmm.

As we follow Jesus many times doors open that lead into new discoveries and adventures in God as we hear and yield to the Holy Spirit’s soft whispers to our heart. In this connection we recall the following challenge that speaks of discovering an important vestibule leading to heaven’s riches…

Others May, You Cannot … over the years there have been a number of items, tracts or articles based on this challenging thought and its relating issues.

Some 40 years we were handed the following thought-provoking piece that we were told was written by Bill Britton – one that’s still fresh, challenging and meaningful, especially if you’re sold out to the ministry call of Christ on your life. 

‘If God has called you to be really like Jesus, he will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians.

‘And, in many ways, he will seem to let other good people do things that he will not let you.

‘Other Christians (and ministers), who seem very religious and useful, may push themselves, pull strings and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot, and if you attempt you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

‘Others may boast of themselves, their work, success and writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. And if you begin to, he will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

‘Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or have a legacy left them, but it is likely that God will keep you poor because he wants you to have something far better than gold, namely a helpless dependence on him that he may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury. (more…)

CONNECTING – CARING CONTACT!

(July 17, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan caringly – and concernedly – encourage connecting …

Wandering along a beach one time we unexpectedly met an old friend. In the ensuing chitchat she expressed how difficult it was to connect with people in her church. Yet she had done her best in reaching out to various folk but, despite promising, they hadn’t got back to her.

The result was that no meaningful contact has been established and this friendly, insightful lady was thinking about finding a more amicable church.

On another occasion, when we were in our local library a lady from yet another church recognised us and shared something similar: ‘There are so many lonely women in church that can’t seem to make a close relationship. It is so hard.’

Connecting widely
We’ve also come across men who haven’t been able to connect in church life and be able to share their feelings with other guys.

And then there are ministers of busy churches who do not have real friends to confide with. Some wrongly feel they can’t even share with their denominational leaders in case the ‘upper echelon’ thinks they aren’t spiritual enough or not capable of dealing with things. (Side comment here: We’re delighted to now know Kelvin, a great guy dedicated to reaching pastors, priests and ‘lay people’ who need the connection of ‘a friendly ear’).

Seniors too can have their difficulties – but the biggest shock is when a precious child confides with you that he or she feels they cannot share their heart secrets with anyone, not even their dad or mum. Kids too need reaching and blessing, as our brother-in-law Ken Gardiner of Life4Kids, kendor.life4kids@gmail.com will tell you. (more…)

FIVE C’s OF PENTECOST

(June 6, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share serious kingdom thoughts/concerns about some Pentecostals today…

Pentecost Sunday this weekend – the church’s Easter celebration now seems so long ago!

Oh we can never forget the real Easter story… of a Saviour who loved us so much that he freely gave his life for us at Calvary, paying the price of sin, offering everyone full salvation and a way back to our Father God!

Scripture speaks the love that flowed that from Calvary’s hill …

  • ‘He [Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world’ (1 John 2:2).
  • ‘If you continue in the teaching of Christ, you will have fellowship with both the Father and the Son’ (Romans 8:10, 17).

But… now it’s almost Pentecost Sunday! We need to remember, to joyfully celebrate that the good news of God’s love continues beyond that extraordinary Passover event we call Easter.

Why? God had a further free gift to give to all who believe in his Son Jesus – the outpouring of his Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts 2 to enable us to not only praise him in tongues but to serve him in powerful (dunamis) ways and touch the world!

Yet, as shared on Facebook last weekend we had found it dismaying that we hadn’t at that point come across any adverts or articles mentioning this coming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. Not even the Pentie church we attended last week highlighted it! Hmm! Let’s look at what we’ll term The 5 C’s of PentecostCarpeting, Correction! Celebration, Cenacle and Challenge. (more…)

WHAT’S GOING ON, LORD – THOSE ‘SO…’ INCIDENTS

(May 14, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan reflect on one of those unexpected ‘what’s going on’ times…

So… a fortnight ago we had such great interest in something we shared briefly on Facebook. As it links with articles we’ve posted recently about being bold and flowing with the Holy Spirit, we’re running it here too… but with some additional comments.

Really it begins as ‘a Robert incident’… as you’ll immediately realise (He may begin tongue-in-cheek as it were but do note that it’s an encouragement to rise above our circumstances, die to self, and bless others as we allow the Spirit to use us) –

So… For me that Wednesday was a case of ‘So…’ hospital incidents – ‘So…’ followed by other ‘so-es!’ How often people loosely use that little word ‘So…’ as they begin a tale! Actually it’s a word that has several applications – one, when used loosely as a sentence-initial to the words following, uniquely makes the connection more conceptual than grammatical.

‘So…’ conceive (imagine, vision) the following scenarios…

  • So… after much fiddling around, several phone calls, cancelations/reschedulings I finally get confirmation of a booking for a minor operation/biopsy – but I must be chauffeured!
  • So… my bro-in-law, Life4KidsKen Gardiner, kindly escorts me to a hospital some distance away, one I’ve never been to before.
  • So… the receptionist says, ‘So we’re running quite late, Robert. So you’ll be here for some six to eight hours.’ Duh! I think (but with a weak ‘Christian’ smile at the receptionist).
  • So… as Maureen is expecting me home earlier than that time frame, I ask Ken to phone her the latest.
  • So… Ken goes off to phone – and also to the local shopping precinct intending to chattily converse with strangers in his usual ever-so-affable way, finding openings of bringing Jesus into the conversation.
  • So… meantime back at the ranch (the waiting area) I relax with several others. But suddenly, unexpectedly, I begin to feel queasy with troubling chest palpitations and some pressure.

(more…)

THE BLESSING OF THOSE UGLY ἧλος – THOSE GRUESOME HĒLOS!

(April 11, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan reflect on Easter…

We were just recalling this morning that we’re now in our eighth month here – our new territory in the beautiful Doreen suburb Melbourne – where our new home is being built overlooking Plenty Gorge!

Eight is a good number… with its spiritual significance of ‘new beginning’ and ‘resurrection’ (Genesis 17:12; Exodus 22:30; Leviticus 14:10-23; Matthew 28:1; John 20:26; 1 Peter3:20).

Easter – an attention-grabbing reminder found
Thinking beyond our new beginnings, the significant word ‘resurrection’ naturally led us to remember that Easter Sunday, Resurrection Sunday, is next week… when Christians and churches will celebrate the historical fact that Jesus Christ did rise from the dead, that  ‘death could not hold him down.’ And what a blessing Jesus is as Saviour and Lord! We can all be so encouraged and move forward, following and serving him! (See George Forbes’ article about remembering the commission of Jesus, the Hope of the World).

But… back a moment while we explain the intriguing title of this article – ἧλος (hēlos) being a blessing.

So much has happened since we made our move to here, led by the Holy Spirit! So many new contacts, so many opportunities to pray with and bless people in the marketplace– especially those who haven’t yet discovered Jesus, share a word of knowledge that blows them away, to encourage… and more.

And among travels around picturesque parts of our local territory, there’s a shopping precinct we delight to visit, not only for groceries but for lunch served by great staff (good friends now too) and a wander through some interesting shopping precincts.

Easter – a reminder of helos
One store, our friend Maria’s Raging Earth, South Morang/MillPark, had some items we needed for our new home and as we were purchasing them, we noticed the most unusual cross that stood out among many other ‘general’ types. This particular one so grabbed our attention… reminding us of what Jesus suffered for us before and on Calvary’s hill, the racking pain caused through hanging on that ‘old wooden cross’ as he died for our sins, our shortcomings that offend a Holy God.

Check this pic! (Sorry…it’s not too clear). It’s the wooden cross with the centre display of – not Jesus, he’s risen, hallelujah! – but a cross comprised of… (more…)

VALUE OF A CENT

(March 22, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share personally from the heart on some experiences re honesty…

Value of a cent? Unusual title this month! Carol Round writes passionately about the value of a dear friend this month… a great little article Value. George Forbes writes of the value of focused missions.

‘Value’ is a word indicating worth. Among other meanings is importance and beneficial. Our article relates to benefiting – and more, such as the importance of being honest and thankful, challenging others, blessings others… and delighting God. Here’s the background, beginning with a mere cent …

I (Robert) delight to find Salvo type stores where I can go hunting for old DVDs. A couple of weeks back we went to one about an hour away in a suburb we hadn’t been to before.

By coincidence there was a great carpet store next door and as we passed by Maureen, a top decorator, noticed the most unusual rug in the open doorway entrance and instantly knew it would look magnificent in the foyer of our new home. We had never been to this store before but found the owner very friendly, pleasant and helpful.

 

Tale of a cent
His price for this newly arrived rug was good but as we didn’t need it immediately (our new home won’t be finished for some months yet) we simply said we’d bear it in mind. But back home we decided we should get it and on googling the item found it in another store $50 cheaper. However as we had really liked the gentleman we had first chatted to, we phoned and mentioned this Google ad. A family business storekeeper, he had no hesitation in immediately agreeing to reduce his price and on Monday past we popped back to purchase.

The owner greeted us with news that another rug, same as we wanted and still in its plastic wrapping, had come in and as he had got it at a better foreign exchange rate he was quite happy to sell at the lower price. But as we were about to pay I (Robert) added that I’d omitted to say that the cheaper price I’d found was actually one cent dearer that I’d first told him, and that we wanted to pay in full ie plus a cent. (more…)