October 27, 2022) Elizabeth Kendal requests urgent prayer for the following…
1. CHINA’S SEVERELY PERSECUTED CHURCH [RLPB 667 (19 Oct)] As reported by Bitter Winter (17 Oct), government-controlled religious organisations contribute to the National Party Congress by presenting reports on their activities. Pastor Xu Xiaohong, the Chairman of the Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) Committee, presented a report entitled, ‘Ten years of sharpening a sword and continuing to advance the sinicisation of Christianity.’
Interestingly, Xu admits much work needs to be done to sinicise the Chinese Church so that it will willingly serve the CCP, support all its policies, and unite around the Party with Xi as its ‘core.’ Xu laments that the promotion of sinicisation is ‘hot at the top and cold and the bottom’: i.e. it is embraced by CCP-appointed technocrats/administrators, but not by grassroots teachers, preachers, or believers! As such, the TSPM Committee is working on a new five-year plan for 2023-2027 which Xu hopes will remove people’s doubts and ‘guide religion to adapt to socialist society.’ TSPM’s focus will be educating teachers and preachers, providing sermons to be delivered from pulpits, and establishing a ‘theological ideology of the Chinese Church.’ Five volumes of approved sermons have already been compiled! Xu maintains the Church will be fine so long as she ‘adapts.’
(October 07, 2022) Carol Round reminds us that life’s detours are survivable…
A family in our church has had their life upended by an unexpected health issue affecting their youngest son. The health issue is rare, and most don’t survive.Colton has! However, it has left him and his family struggling to overcome the obstacles along the path of recovery.
Because I attend a large church with two campuses, I don’t personally know this family from the other campus. But we’ve connected on social media, and I follow their updates as they share Colton’s journey of recovery, including physical and speech therapy. The youngster is a fighter, and his parents are fighting along with him so he can hopefully return to a normal life someday.
Life has its detours! Reading about the struggles they face each day. I can’t fully imagine the impact this has had on their family, including Colton’s twin sister and an older brother. But I continue to pray daily for them. And I know this… this young family’s faith in God keeps them going.
(August 10, 2022) David McGuire, the missionary to Romania who uses his camera to ‘write’ reports, shares an update…
With the Holy Spirit’s help and protection the thoughtful, caring team here is continuing to transport food to Ukraine, and to Ukrainian refugees here in Romania asisting them also.
Open doors Indeed it’s been a weekly event to Ukraine, involving collecting from five different food depot locations in Romania and transporting to four in Ukraine! But our caring team members delight reaching out to our needy ‘neighbours’ as it’s a vital part of being a Christian (Luke 10:27).
(March 07, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillanhas been blessed by Dr Jim McClure’s answer to something that was troubling him recently in the midst of recovering from some illnesses. So here’s the background and Dr Jim’s theological response…
Dear Dr Jim
In the middle of recovering I’ve been deeply troubled! And all over a verse that I sensed the Lord gave me two nights ago… Psalm 37:7a, ‘Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.’ Great verse, I thought, that sounds just right… I have tocontinue to be patient in patiently trusting Him for my full recovery.
But, then, strangely, I was greatly disturbed last night Why? I felt to read this verse in various other Bible versions that I have and noted that with the exception of one, they also use ‘patiently.’ I was then led to look up what the Hebrew really meant.
Frankly, when I found that my e-Sword version explains patiently as chûl chı̂yl – twisting and whirling, writhing in pain – it really threw me! I couldn’t get back asleep right away! And not being up to reading any of my theological books to check further at this time, I ask that you, as the renowned source of theological explanation that you are, please email me your thoughts, thanks. Blessings. Yours, Robert.
I have read and reflected on the verse that you quoted that both comforted you and troubled you, particularly when you read some things about the meanings of the Hebrew word translated as ‘patiently.’ I hope the following helps to give you some further understanding and peace.
A rough year He excelled in academics and sports during high school and was elated when he got accepted to his dream college: UCLA. He felt a euphoria unlike any other, but as he tried to push the ‘Accept’ button on the electronic offer letter, Justin (at right, in front of UCLA’s mascot) was held back. God had told him to attend college elsewhere.
‘Something was holding my hand back from pressing that button,’ he remembers. ‘I started crying and bawling my eyes out. I wanted to go there. This was my ticket to my career. I was trying to press this button and God wouldn’t let me do it.’
He finally pushed the button. What could go wrong? He had a beautiful girlfriend and an ideal institution of higher learning. God’s blessing was evident. Only not everything was as it seemed. Secretly, he and Trina had fallen into temptation together, and both were feeling intense conviction.
(December 14, 2021) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share a Christmastime reflection…
Watched yet another great Christmas-centred Hallmark movie the other night in which it was mentioned that one never knows the final effects of a pebble dropped in a pond.
Now there are many variations of how this old saying really goes or what is means… but basically it is saying that one never knows what helping someone achieves, how your attitude of doing something well affects others, even people you’ll never meet. In other words, where the subsequent rippling effect finishes.
We first realised this when ministering in northeast South Australia… enroute to Adelaide, we stayed overnight at a particular motel and in the morning noticed a lake nearby. As we viewed the splendour of the surrounding scenery, I (Robert) casually picked up a pebble and cast it into the very calm water. We were mesmerised as we watched the ripples spread across the lake, realising we’d never see exactly how far they’d go as we couldn’t see the far side of the lake.
The thought came to us that one never knows how something we do, say, or teach has ongoing meaning or results or blessings. Such as a kind word. A treat. Helping hand. Piece of advice. Warning. Blessing and kindness shown… the list goes on.
(November 15, 2021) Robert McQuillan reminds readers of an ongoing challenge…
Every now and then, in ministering to Christians, I feel to quote DrToyohiko Kagawa(1888–1960) who not only wrote and taught about the teachings of Jesus Christ but lived them outevenin a troubled society and world itself, often at great personal cost.
In 1938, in The Challenge of Redemptive Love he wrote declaring that the world was full of rebellion against God, that the human race has gone morally insane: it has lost sight of standards of integrity… that evil was proclaimed as good, and wrong is right… that class morality was not the least concerned for any other class. He could have been writing about 2021! (See Geri B’s Cancel, Condemn or Cherish?).
Kagawa likened this situation to that of the first century Roman Empire, adding the good news that ‘… but just the time when God, undismayed by the corruption of the human race, in order to reconcile man to himself, opened the way of redemptive love… Christ paid the price with his blood.’
He wrote much about the blindness of human corruption and rebellion against God, wanting every person to know about the one who allowed himself to be placed under the death penalty on the cross, paying the price of righteousness by a unique act of redemptive love. He would set an example by reaching out himselfat great personal cost to the down and outs, to criminals, to the weary, to those shedding tears in distress, the needy around him.
And possibly this brilliant but ever so humble man of God’s greatest challenge was ‘Are you going about doing good… or just going about?’
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