Dear Pr Maureen

DOES GOD ‘THINK’ ABOUT THINGS?

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(January 23, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to an unusual question…


Dear Pastor Maureen

This will probably seem to be a silly question… but I’m asking it anyway. I was watching a good TV family movie the other night and in it a little boy was saying his prayers. Cute. But as he was asking a special blessing on his dad and mum, he finished off this way: ‘Will you please think about it, Lord?’ Well, it had me wondering if God has to think things through as we do. What do you reckon? Sarah.

Hello, Sarah

How unusual a question indeed! But I think I know which movie you mean. Sounds like one we recently watched in which the above happened and, for a moment or two, with smiles we thought as you did.

Well then, I’ve never been asked your question before but, on reflection, a few thoughts come to mind (See what you think)…

Firstly, we believe that as God is Almighty God, He knows everything, indeed knows everything already. His word (the Bible) is His mind and His word doesn’t change.

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HEARING AND ACTING

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(December 15, 2021) Maureen McQuillan answers a question a little differently this month…

Pastor Maureen… I need your advice about… Yours ‘Somebody’

This person (let’s call her ‘Somebody’) is but one of a number of Christians who have asked me for advice, help, direction expecting me to have the mind of God on their situation.

Many times I give commonsense guidance but become aware that they’re hearing but not really listening and I learn later that they never acted and still have the same old problem! So I’ll start this way…

Dear Somebody
I understand your problem and I want to encourage you to relax and trust the Lord. Life is life… and many times problems come up out-of-the-blue and we have to make decisions. Now I’m not referring to normal everyday decisions such as what do I wear or make for dinner. As we automatically decide on those matters, so we often can do the same with bigger matters that arise… if we relax and give it all over to the Lord, at the same time sensing what ‘our heart’ is directing us to do.

I suggest if you don’t immediately know in your heart what to do, then pray (remember how prayer is the Christian’s secret FTE weapon!) Here’s how the threefold ‘FTE secret’ outworks –

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SHARING AN INNER WORD FROM GOD

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(November 27, 2021) Maureen McQuillan encourages an anxious ‘Sarah’…

Pastor Maureen… you’re great at answering questions in a very clear way, and easy to understand. Please help me with this query I have… How do I know that I’m really hearing from God? Sarah (Not real name).

Well, ‘Sarah’, to put it briefly… You’ll know that ‘you know that you know that you know!’  Here’s the key: As we grow in the ways of the Lord, we learn to become so sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, to his gentle voice. And we’re aware that it’s he who is guiding us and that we’ve nothing to be afraid of.

Let me share something that I felt in my inner being to say to… oh, let’s call her ‘Jean.’ This lady, a Christian too, had determined to move on in life, leave her suburb and start afresh as it were. But as she was telling me that she didn’t think she would get much for her old home as it needed work done to it, I immediately felt to say, ‘No, I believe you’re going to get an amazing price for it, Jean. You believe it too.’

A simple word of encouragement but I felt was from the Lord and didn’t hesitate to speak it… in faith, Well, she couldn’t quite take it on board at first as it seemed impossible… but guess what happened? Yes, her home sold quickly and for many, many thousands of dollars more than she had perceived! Jean is now a changed lady, with great hope in her heart for a much better lifestyle.

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THE BIBLE ISN’T BANNED READING

(October 22, 2021) Maureen McQuillan encourages a concerned person…

Pastor Maureen… I’m hearing from America, England and even here that there’s a rapidly growing conspiracy to demean, indeed block Christianity, cancel church and other Christianity charities, that Christian schools will be forced to accept non-Christian teachers, and such. I’m particularly concerned to hear that any Christian who seeks to help someone find Jesus as Saviour by sharing the gospel with them and pointing out that we’re all sinners and need to repent could be taken to court, fined and even imprisoned… if the person doesn’t like what they hear. Does this mean that we will be banned from sharing about God, Jesus and the things we hold dear? Marie (Not real name).

Gosh, ‘Marie’… whoa, wait a minute, hold it there. Sounds like you’re panicking! Yes, all that you mention sounds very concerning but we mustn’t be afraid… or deceived by any satanic ploy. Australian Christian Lobby (natoffice@acl.org.au) in particular and praying Christians/churches aware of such subversive ‘conspiracies’ are endeavouring to counter such matters (as are others speaking out in America and elsewhere).

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IRRESPONSIBLE, THOUGHTLESS AND DISRESPECTFUL!

(September 6, 2021) Maureen McQuillan shares a concern…

Not a response to a question this month, but simply my thoughts about someone overseas that we were informed made the following comment – ‘Well, I’m not getting covid-19 vaccinations! It’s all a hoax. If God wants to take me home to heaven by covid-19, then that’s okay with me.’ Straight off, I thought along these three lines…

1. How irresponsible!
That’s what I immediately thought. Would this person (Let’s call him ‘Mr X’) walk out onto a busy road without looking right or left because of an attitude of ‘Well, If God wants to take me home to heaven by a terrible car crash, then okay.’ I doubt it!

2. Thoughtlessness regarding others!
Scripture is very clear… Jesus commanded us in various passages such as Mark 12:33 to love our neighbours. Leviticus 19:16 is very strong: ‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbour’s life. I am the Lord.Paul wrote in Romans13:10 ‘Love does no harm to a neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.’

But people like Mr X have no consideration for others and local government requirements! If such careless people catch covid-19 there would be concerned relatives, not to mention already overpacked hospitals and flustered, over worked medical staff. A major concern with the current Delta strain is that people in our communities (especially those who won’t wear masks) could catch this virus unknowingly and be spreading it before it’s caught on. And oh what covid-19 sick hospitalised people are suffering! No wonder we hear of many pleading from their hospital beds that we be wise and not only wear masks but get vaccinated as our governments require!

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KNOWING GOD’S WILL

(August 15, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to a concerned couple…

Dear Pastor Maureen
We have to make decisions on certain important matters. How can we know what God wants us to choose, to do? How can we be certain we’ve made the right decisions? Morris and Hilda.

Dear Morris and Hilda

I can understand your apprehension as I’ve had to make many important decisions myself over the years. Still do. Here’s what I’ve learned to do… Call these keys if you like.

1. Firstly I remind myself of that encouraging scripture which assures us our God won’t let us down if we ask trust him to help us‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ (Proverbs 3:5). Verses 6-7a go on to say ‘in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes.’

The Message Bible is very strong on this great truth – ‘Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.’

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HELPING WHEN HELP ISN’T ASKED FOR

(July 30, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to a challenging situation where someone wants to help a friend but that person just can’t receive help at this time…

Dear Pastor Maureen
A good friend on mine is in quite a state… her husband walked out on her, ending the marriage. I want to help her but she doesn’t want to talk about it. What can I do? Sonya.

Dear Sonya

I sense your heart… but the truth is that if your friend won’t open up and talk with you, you just can’t help, nobody can. At least not at this moment.

It’s going to take time for her to adjust to what’s happened… she’s in shock, probably thinking she’s failed as a wife, trying to work out what went wrong that this has happened, how did it come about and why? She’s obviously closed up inside and needs some space.

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SLEEPLESSNESS

(June 12, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to a distressed lady …

Dear Pastor Maureen
I know God will help us sleep but I still have great difficulty falling asleep. Any suggestions? Carolina.

Dear Carolina

Yes, there are comforting scriptures such as Psalm 3:5, ‘I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me’ and Psalm 127:2, ‘he (the Lord) grants sleep to those he loves.’

But, I’m wondering, Caroline, is there something you’re anxious about and dwelling on. Maybe you need to change your outlook.

Let me share my simple ‘5-step secret’ if I can’t sleep…

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DEMANDING GOD ALWAYS DOES IMMEDIATELY WHAT WE WANT?

(May 28, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to a concern about certain demandings…

Dear Pastor Maureen
I repeatedly hear scriptures quoted in a way that sounds like a demand that ‘God must do it (whatever) because his word says… (some scripture is then quoted). I’ll try to explain what’s troubling me.

For example, 1 Peter 2:24 is repeatedly quoted when someone requests prayer for healing. Now admittedly people have got healed, but I feel like God is being belittled in that he must do whatever we want or else… this isn’t word for word, but almost like: ‘God, you must heal immediately because your word says so in 1 Peter 2:24!’ And if the person doesn’t get healed, it’s said that their faith isn’t strong enough. Sorry, Maureen, if I’m not making myself clear enough. Kelvin

Dear Kelvin

I understand exactly what’s troubling you… and agree that God is not some pinball machine!

Regarding healing, yes, we should believe that God is the miracle-working God. Countless times he has responded to our asking for healing… or a miracle or whatever! We praise him for many documented testimonies confirming his goodness and demonstrated love, such as those in GodReports – example: God had Other Plans for Covid-19 Lost Cause.

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TITHING TO THE CHURCH

(April 16, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to a lady who queries giving…

Dear Pastor Maureen
Must I give offerings only to my denominational church? ‘Sarah’

Dear Sarah

As Robert points out in his question-answer this month, we should be generous in our giving… but the query that comes to my mind is ‘Are we Christians because we’re Anglican, Baptist, United, Pentecostal denomination – aren’t we simply Christians because we’ve accepted Jesus as our Saviour?’

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