(November 11, 2018) Ed Delph shares another timely thought-provoker…
A burglar who needed money to pay his income taxes decided to rob the safe in a store. On the safe door he was very pleased to find a note reading, ‘Please don’t use dynamite. The safe is not locked. Just turn the knob.’
He did so. Instantly, a heavy sandbag fell on him, the entire premises was lit by floodlights, and alarms started clanging!
As the police carried him out on a stretcher, he was heard moaning, ‘My confidence in human nature has been rudely shaken.’
Watchful godly fear
This story illustrates what I would like to introduce us to today. We may stifle it; we might quench it; hurt it or even defile it. However, we will never be able to escape it. It will always be there attaching itself to the highest standard we know. Everyone has heard it talk to us, congratulate us, convict us, remind us or try to guide us. (more…)
(November 11, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, shares on the missionary calling…
As mentioned in August, although not classified as a missionary, Billy Graham was certainly called by God to be an evangelist to the world!
I do praise God that many have responded to God’s calling to be missionaries… but in doing so I remember that Matthew 22:14 states, ‘Many are called, but few chosen.’
Called but unprepared
This text has been interpreted in different ways; however I wish to write about the fact that though God calls those whom he has chosen, many are unprepared to activate their full response to the call of God because they have yet to complete the essential preparations for cross-cultural ministry.
Sadly for some, it is more to do with personal growth in Christ and learning how to walk in the Spirit. (more…)
(November 10, 2018) Jeff Benson shares from the heart…
Like most people, I have many weaknesses. My greatest weakness by far has been my ‘fear of man.’
Such an inbuilt thing for me… a bit like when it comes to a fear of heights, when you walk up to the edge of a cliff or lean over a guard rail from up on top of a tall building and instantly feel that fear …
The fear of man can be the same. There’s often no conscious thought associated with it, we just feel that fear…it just happens … you just automatically and instantaneously feel that fear.
For me this feeling fear has been a huge issue… (more…)
(November 10, 2018) Tomorrow, Sunday, is Remembrance Day and Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, reminds us to remember some important matters we should never forget…
100 years ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, World War 1 came to an end following a signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany. After four and a half years of bitter fighting, which directly involved 32 countries and in which around 100 more participated in that bloody conflict with countless tragedies, peace was finally agreed.
Horrendous destructive trail
The war had lasted for 6 years and was now over. But what a horrendous trail it left in its wake. There was destruction everywhere. The human toll was truly overwhelming. It has been estimated that the total number of military and civilian casualties was around 40 million. Life would never be the same again for countless people whose families were torn apart, whose homes were reduced to ruins and whose countries were almost wiped off the face of the map. Wars had always played a gruesome role in human history but no war had ever before been more devastating than World War 1. It was truly the first global war.
Woodrow Wilson, the United States President at that time described it as ‘The war to end all wars.’ But it wasn’t! Twenty one years later and World War 2 began with even more sophisticated weaponry and once again Germany engaged the Allies and again another horrendous cacophony of hatred, lies, violence, inhumanity and destruction was visited upon the earth. Before it ended, around 80,000,000 people were dead. (more…)
(November 10, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan bring a challenge…
Dr Jim McClure’s Teaching article this month is timely as tomorrow is Remembrance Day – which remembers that the horrific WW1 came to an end a century ago and the tragedy of the sacrifice of so many lives so young and not so young!
Yes WW1 freedom came at a staggering price… Dr Jim also reminds us that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, willingly paid the greatest price of all in dying for every sinner.
In our modern society many may not be engaged in outright war but there is a great enemy that grips many, even Christians – fear! Pastor Jeff Benson in his article encourages us that God can set us free from personal fears and weaknesses.
(October 20, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, shares…
The 1968 comedy movie, The Odd Couple, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau centred on two men, Felix and Oscar, who decided to live with each other after their wives left them. Felix was neurotically obsessed with tidiness and cleanliness while Oscar was a messy and quick-tempered layabout. They made an odd couple indeed.
Odd couples come in many shapes and forms!
A real life odd couple is Joelison Fernandes da Silva and Evem Medeiros from Brazil. Joelison is 7 feet 8 inches (2.36 meters) tall and his wife is just 5 foot (1.5 meters).
Joelison said, ‘The day I saw her I think it was love at first sight.’
Six oddly coupled but significant Greek words
Recently as I was reading 1 Thessalonians, I particularly noticed what Paul wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica. He stated that he continually remembered ‘before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3 RSV).
It struck me as odd, or at least unexpected, that in these three phrases are found words that normally one would not put together, that is… (more…)
(October 20, 2018) Dr Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage making the best of our ‘time’…
The 1948 film noir movie, The Big Clock, is about a tyrannical magazine tycoon (Charles Laughton) who, having just committed murder, is trying to frame an unknown, innocent man for his dastardly deed. Innocent Ray Milland tries to solve the murder himself.
But time is against our hero and every now and then viewers are drawn to the ominous tick tock and vision of ‘the big clock’ – the largest and most sophisticated clock ever built, dominating the lobby of Laughton’s New York media industry building – reminding us that time is fast running out for the innocent Milland.
And there’s a quote in itself about time… ‘The clock is ticking and time is running out.’ One can think of several other well-known quotations about time… Google indicates that it can give us at least 8544!
Scripture has several too… for example Ecclesiastes 3:1GNB, ‘Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.’ (more…)
(September 10, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straightshooting theologian, shares…
Every now and then I hear these condemning words from a sad, heavy-hearted Christian, ‘I’ve heard that there’s a sin that God can’t forgive… “the unpardonable sin.” I feel, I think I’ve committed it! God couldn’t possibly forgive me…’
What such a tormented person is really thinking in his (or her) troubled mind is this – ‘Is it possible that I committed such a big sin, or so many sins, that I’ve gone beyond the point where I can’t be forgiven, can’t be saved?’
The good news of the gospel
I feel for such people (incidentally some non-Christians also often believe their sins are too great to be forgiven!). And if they’d share with me I hasten to point out that the gospel – the good news – of Christ is that our sin, whatever they are or how big or many, cannot exceed the love, grace and mercy of God. (more…)
(September 10, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, reflects on the call of God…
The best-known evangelist of our time the late Dr Billy Graham was not a missionary serving long term on a specific field.
He was called by God to be an evangelist to the world. A gift ministry to the church and the world, his faithfulness, influence and love for the lost is beyond question. His example to many other servants of the Lord has been exemplary.
I believe this includes thousands of serving missionaries around the word. They have been encouraged by his faithfulness to God and to the gospel by his… (more…)
(September 9, 2018) Tim Edwards shares a challenging thought…
Paul’s great challenge in Ephesians 5: 15-17 should hit home to Christians of every generation! The apostle warns, ‘Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.’
What do these verses say to us today?
- What does Paul, indeed any pastor, want Jesus’ followers to know? To realise that no matter how long we’ve been following and serving Jesus, God has more in store for us!
- And what does Paul, again any pastor, want Christians in any age to do? To understand that we should be asking God for more of himself and what is his plan for our life!
I have a little thought to share here that I trust will both bless and challenge those who are truly aware that the days are indeed evil and that there is still much kingdom work for us to be involved in before the return of our Saviour, King Jesus. My little thought? There is more! Let me share…
Relevant relationships today
Ephesians is such a great Bible book to read and meditate on – in fact it is just so good, and there is a huge amount we can learn, even from the text above. Basically the book is a letter to the church at Ephesus in which Paul is endeavouring to – (more…)