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…)

‘AND THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT …’?

(July 24, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, brings another wake-up call…

Recently I watched Britain’s Got Talent.  The act that won was of a ‘comedian’ whose whole routine was about his homosexuality. The judges thought it was hilarious! The audience stood and applauded! And the voting public declared him the winner! (In another performance a man demonstrated his ‘skill’ by removing his clothes in a provocative way.) The show was concluded by a female guest singer who sang about wanting to kiss girls.

Another popular singer, Ariana Grande, has a new sexually explicit song on the market called God is a Woman. Some of the lyrics are a mockery of Christianity, such as, ‘Baby, lay me down and let’s pray’, ‘So, baby, take my hand, save your soul’ and ‘And boy, if you confess, you might get blessed.’ In her music video of the song Ezekiel 25:17 is misquoted. And Grande is portrayed in a flesh-coloured body suit with multiple breasts at which men suckle.

Disrespect for spiritual beliefs and standards
Sadly in recent years we have seen a disintegration of social principles and disrespect for spiritual beliefs and standards that have established a sound foundation for many nations for hundreds of years (more…)

‘AS IS’ – FLAWS AND ALL

(July 18, 2018) Carol Round shares a comforting truth …

Have you ever purchased a product labelled ‘As is’?

We trust the lowered price of the item we’ve bought will be worth whatever hidden flaws might emerge later on.

One secret to overlooking flaws
On her 50th wedding anniversary, a woman revealed the secret of her long and happy marriage. She said, ‘On my wedding day, I decided to make a list of 10 of my husband’s faults which, for the sake of the marriage, I would overlook.’

One of her guests asked her what some of the faults she chose to overlook were.

‘To tell you the truth,’ she replied, ‘I never did get around to making that list. But whenever my husband did something that made me hopping mad, I would say to myself, “Lucky for him that’s one of the 10!”’

Paul’s advice was good: ‘Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other. This will bring honour to God’ (Romans 15:7ERV). (more…)

TENTMAKERS, BUSINESS, WOMEN AND CHANGES IN MISSION

(July 18, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, reflects on these four important aspects of missions today…

1, Tentmakers in mission
A respected and decisive part of missions in the 20th century was filled by ‘tentmakers.’ I expect that time will prove that this support to long-term ministry missionaries has continued into the 21 century.

The term comes from the Bible – Dr Luke wrote about Paul in Acts 18:3, ‘Because he was of the same trade, he stayed and worked with them; for they were tentmakers by occupation.’  These were men and women using their professional skills in self-support, as they worked as much as their time permitted while fulfilling the ministry God had given them.

  • Over the centuries there have been missionaries who also were ‘tentmakers’ – and ‘tentmakers’ who were not missionaries, however they all supported themselves in practical and active roles in their ministry.
  • Many excelled in literature, radio, and other specialised support areas to release missionaries to their primary role as church planters and Bible teachers.
  • I met many such ‘tentmakers’ and valued them as worthy servants of God in their field of commitment. I became a friend from Australia as we shared fellowship, meals and worship together.
  • Some were builders; others were teachers, printers, literature and Bible distributors. There were pilots, mechanics, engineers, artisans and other occupations.
  • All were committed to the kingdom of God and the growth of national churches.

(more…)

TROUBLING TIMES? KNOW THE POWER OF HOPE IN GOD!

(July 17, 2018) Tim Edwards shares on some scriptures he found challenging…

So what guides us through tough times? How should we focus and navigate the journey?

A couple of weeks ago in my daily Bible reading a particular verse really caught my attention – ‘Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help’ (Ezekiel 29:16).

False hope
The Israelites were having their difficult times – aware that they could not match the power of the advancing Babylonians. But they did something which ultimately they would regret – they chose to put their hope in Egypt to save the day for them.

It was false hope, misplaced hope – a hope in politics and economics, not in their God. And God didn’t want his people trusting in, hoping in, and putting their confidence in anything, anyone other than him. Nor does he want us to do likewise!

So, how am I going to move forward with God in my life in my troubled times? How are you? (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…)

HOPE – AND GDPR!

(June 19, 2018) Norman and Margaret Moss share a great reflection…

Ah, what tangled worldwide webs we weave!

There’s a new acronym around: GDPR… which can, among other explanations, mean General Data Protection Regulation (European Union), Global Defence Posture Realignment (DoD Transformation Plan), Gross Domestic Product per Region, Group of Deputy Permanent Representatives (on the public disclosure of NATO documents), Graduate Degree Progress Report (Southern Methodist University; Texas) – or how about this one… Grateful Dread Public Radio (Baltimore, MD internet public radio station)!

 

But, Christian readers, sons and daughters of Almighty God, disciples of Jesus, GDPR does not stand for Get DePRessed – though I almost thought so when I first heard about it.

The Christian GDPR
Now this acronym stands for a great Bible truth of… God’s Deep Presence Rewards! (more…)

WAKE-UP CALL… OR ‘HOW THE TEXT WAS CONNED’

(June 18, 2018) Stuart Reynolds challenges all Christians – preachers, church leaders and church attenders…

Here’s a sign giving good advice re punctuation – and a grammatical warning!

 

 

 

 


Contextually misused scripture misquotes
If misused punctuation can cause misunderstanding and trouble, so can misused contextparticularly in respect of reading and quoting Bible verses out of context!

Here’s an example. You can read in the Bible that ‘There is no God.’ However, when read in context, here’s what the Bible actually says: ‘The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”’ (Psalm 14:1).

In being prepared for ministry, it is rightly and repeatedly hammered home to prospective preachers – and needs to still be remembered by those more experienced – ‘a text without a context is a pretext!’ (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.

(more…)

ATHEIST PILOT MOCKED GOD, UNTIL HE RAN OUT OF FUEL IN A SNOWSTORM

(June 14, 2018) Mark Ellis shares how danger led to salvation…

Raised in the secular Seventies, completely un-churched, he had no room for God until he ran out of fuel in an Alaskan storm, miles from his destination.

‘I was a God mocker,’ says Mark Rose, founder of Genesis Alive, and author of Last of the Long Hunters, a story of the pilots who fly the Alaskan Arctic.

Rose learned to fly at 16, and by age 22 had become a bush pilot who helped take care of a fleet of helicopters that worked on the Alaska pipeline. ‘My ego meter was on 101,’ he admits.

Low on fuel

 

Mark Rose with helicopter

One day he flew some hunters to the upper part of a large river on the Arctic. But on his return flight, carrying one passenger, several things went wrong.

First, herds of caribou had moved in, covering his first and second choices for a landing spot. Then he began to run low on fuel, so he called ahead for a weather check at the small airport near Kotzebue, on the Baldwin Peninsula.

‘Come on in, the weather’s fine,’ the FAA flight service operator told him. (more…)