2018… and 21st CENTURY MISSIONS

(January 23, 2017) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, shares some missions-centred truths…

We’re definitely into 2018!

But more importantly we are well into the twenty-first century and it’s important to review where we are heading in our mission to the ends of the earth!

  • There have been major eras in the history of Christian mission in the world. Each has had its distinctives and its time… in 2018 and beyond.
  • I join with many who thank God as we remember the fruitfulness of past eras in this great task.
  • However… at the same time I and others are looking to God for his plan and will for our time.
  • A mistake that has been made more than once is to perpetuate a strategy that worked well in the past, without fully considering God’s time and his plan for now… in this 21st century!

Great mission’s thinkers such as Ralph D Winter, founder of the Centre for World Mission in
Pasadena California, raised his voice before he graduated to glory, about vital issues in mission that could make or break what is done and how.

The famous evangelist, Dr Billy Graham said, ‘Ralph Winter was a man of God who gave a vision to many Christians of a world in need of the gospel. I used to meet with him on many occasions, often in small group prayer. Some of my vision for world evangelisation came from my interaction with him, and I am grateful.’ (more…)


(January 22, 2018) Stuart Reynolds shares an interesting concept …

Muriel (not real names here) was a small town local church gossip. Unmarried, she was the self-appointed monitor of the church’s moral behaviour and was sure to keep an eye on people, sticking her nose into where it did not belong. Several church members were unhappy and uncomfortable with her extra-curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.

And so, Muriel continued undeterred in her presumptions… until the incident with new church member, Harold. One evening just before the prayer meeting, she accused him of being an alcoholic… she’d seen his car parked in front of the town’s only bar that afternoon.  Before several others she sternly told Harold off, saying that everyone seeing his car there would know what he was doing!

Harold, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment, then turned and walked away. He didn’t explain, defend, or deny anything. He said nothing… but later that evening he quietly parked his car in front of unmarried Muriel’s house… and left it there all night!

Contrast that with this: Your car breaks down and you find yourself unexpectedly stranded at midnight in an unfamiliar, intimidating, dimly lit city back street. As you try to get your bearings, you hear the noise of voices from some young men who have just exited a building and appear to be loitering. Then they notice you, look at one another and start coming your way, their footsteps noisy on the cobbled pavement…

Wouldn’t it make all the difference in the world to know whether this ‘gang’ had just left a night club – or an anointed, exhilarating Bible study?

Two striking examples of loitering with intent – one presumptuous, the other pressing.

Loitering… legally, society deems loitering with intent’ to be a crime, but scripturally, it is about a claim – God’s claim. It’s not about stalking but seeking. Loitering with intent for God’s purposes comes from… (more…)


(January 22, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, shares on understanding an important scripture…

Recently Pope Francis suggested that in the English version of The Lord’s Prayer  the phrase, which is usually translated as ‘lead us not into temptation,’ should be revised to ‘do not let us fall into temptation.’

He maintains that the phrase ‘lead us not into temptation’ implies that God tempts humans.  One can understand such reasoning in view of what is found in James 1:13-14 which states ‘When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.’

So it states that God does not tempt. Consequently it would seem that the Pope’s suggestion (‘do not let us fall into temptation’) is a good one since it suggests that God will help us when we are tempted… and this seems to be in line with what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:13, ‘When you are tempted, he (God) will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.’

While that seems to settle the matter in favour of the Pope’s suggestion, let’s look more closely at the actual text of The Lord’s Prayer which is found in Matthew 6:9-13 and a shorter account in Luke 11:2-4.

Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
‘This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from the evil one”.’

The following line is often omitted (See *Footnote):  ‘For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’  (more…)


(January 20, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share a 2018 encouragement…

Well we’re right into 2018! It’s so obvious from the way that so many people – including church leaders – are acting and talking about moving forward this year, that 2017 with its disappointments as well as highs has been forgotten about. There’s an enthusiasm about this new year, a decidedly good spirit in many people, a fresh happiness, and a feeling that we are moving ahead this year with a determination that good things are going to happen.

Incidentally… we’re picking this up among unsaved people, not just Christians! But we Christians particularly should be even more determined to move forward in 2018… after all we have the Holy Spirit of God – the all-powerful CEO of the church of Jesus Christ within to assist us!

Safe in Jesus in a dark world
Admittedly the world is still a dangerous place… the media’s bad news continues to tell of troubles in our own nation as well as in other countries. Increased crime, unstable governments, crazy governmental decisions, rumours of war, horrific mudslides, sicknesses… the list goes on.

Of course good news comes through too we admit… but we long to hear the real good news, the gospel of Christ, being heralded in the media! We’re seeing thousands attend the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne and encouraging their stars… how wonderful it would be to see thousands longing to attend churches and acknowledge Jesus Christ!

It’s good to discover Christians who are determined to honour Jesus in 2018, are seeking God’s will for their life and desire to move forward no matter what goes down or comes against them or their churches. (more…)


(January 20) Carol shares a revelation that leads to reaching out beyond ourselves…

In 2013, the word ‘selfie’ gained international recognition when it was named the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year.

Their definition follows: ‘A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

Selfies abound on social media, especially Facebook. Although the younger generation is more likely to post self-portraits, I’ve seen others, from their 50s on up, post photos, not of their faces necessarily, but of wounds they’ve accrued through accidents or after surgery.

The first ‘selfie,’ according to different websites I checked out, was posted on Facebook by a 22-year-old Australian man who had suffered a busted lip after tripping and falling face-first at a party. The man apologised for the somewhat blurry photo of his lower lip when he said, ‘Sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.’ (more…)


(December 19, 2017) Dr Jim McClure respected theologian, shares a Christ-centred Christmas word…

Today millions of Jews around the world are almost at the conclusion of the celebration of Hanukkah – which relates to something that occurred 2156 years ago.

It celebrates the recapture of Jerusalem and the rededication of the temple after the Syrian ruler, Antiochus, killed thousands of Jews, banned Jewish worship, prohibited the reading of the scriptures, sacrificed pigs on the altar and refused the Jews to practise the ceremonial laws of their religion.

A group of Jews, under the leadership of Judas Maccabeus, formed a band of guerrillas to fight against the much stronger and larger army of Antiochus – and they won! Jerusalem was liberated, the temple was cleansed, a new altar was built and the temple was rededicated in 139 BC. A new lampstand had to be made as the beautiful golden lampstand had been stolen from the temple by the Syrians.

Only pure fresh olive oil was ever used to provide the light on the temple’s lampstand… this is where the story gets really interesting. Only a small jar of pure olive oil could be found, sufficient for keeping the lamp lit for only one day. But apparently, miraculously, it burned for eight days until new oil was again available. That event is still celebrated over an eight day period today and it is also called The Festival of Lights. That eight day period this year is celebrated between the 12th and 20th of December.

I mention this because of the proximity of the Festival of Lights celebration to the Christian celebration of Christmas, and also because, while Hanukkah celebrates the miraculous gift of oil that provided light in the temple for eight days, at Christmas we celebrate the inexpressible gift of Jesus Christ, who is the light of the world. (more…)


(December 16) Ed Delph shares a Christmas thought-provoker…

1. Here’s a Christmas-linked thought. ‘I opened two gifts this morning. They were my eyes.’

2. Here’s a Christmas-linked question: ‘What good is sight without light?’

Sight requires light. The same is true with insight.

Insight requires the light of revelation
A definition of revelation is when something that was or is hidden in darkness comes into the light. It’s a ‘reveal-a-tion’ and it could be physical, mental or spiritual.

Prophesies from God’s prophets given 750 years before the birth of Christ were fulfilled in the birth of Christ at Bethlehem.

Please read the account described in the first two chapters of Matthew and Luke…

  • Suddenly light appeared, leading to the  revealing of the presence of the greatest ever freely given ‘Christmas present.’
  • Information given 750 years earlier became revelation.
  • Knowledge became understanding.
  • The ‘Word of God’ became the ‘God of the Word’ now in flesh appearing.
  • Truth hidden by time and darkness became truth highlighted by the light.
  • Chronos (progression of time) became kairos (the right time) – the future became the present.



(December 14, 2017) Maureen McQuillan brings an encouraging Christmas linked thought…

Worrying doesn’t solve our problems or lift our burdens! In fact it causes us to ‘stew’ over matters and they hang around causing additional headaches and trouble minds and hearts!

Thought: It’s almost Christmas… think of young Joseph and the burdens that he could have been carrying some 2000 years ago and worrying over…

  • Newly married… to a young girl with whom he’s never been sexually intimate and discovers she’s pregnant!
  • Then has a strange notification by an angel that the baby was conceived by the very Spirit of God!
  • Has to take the pregnant Mary with him to Bethlehem to register for a census!
  • This approximately 160km trip would have taken them 8-10 long days of walking.
  • Probably a scary, uncomfortable journey for the young pregnant Mary, but what about Joseph?
  • Then at Bethlehem, he’s unable to find lodgings as the time of her delivery of this babe draws so close!

Joseph’s attitude
I like Joseph’s attitude to his uncertainties when he first contemplated what lay ahead if he honoured marriage with his beloved… like his forefather, David, he too was obviously a man after God’s own heart. (more…)


(December 8, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share …

Great! It’s almost Christmas! And what a joyous time it can be!

This Sunday several churches with present their Carols by Candlelight evening, believing for a grand turnout of joyous Christians to celebrate the birth of the Saviour of this fallen world – and to worship our gracious God from full hearts.

Of course many Christians are aware that ‘Christmas’ as such isn’t mentioned in scripture, that no one really knows the exact date, let alone month, when  Jesus was born – but that’s okay for those who really know what this season is truly  all about and celebrate from the heart, not the head!

We’re really celebrating God’s incredible love for every sinner in willingly giving us his Son, born incarnate of the virgin Mary and destined to become our redeemer by dying on Calvary’s cross as our substitute for sin’s penalty (John 3:16).

Traditionally Christmas is a 5F matter… food, family, fun, fellowship and freebie gifts. But the genuine Christian aspect is all about our celebrating that God so loved the world that he freely gave us the greatest gift of all – Jesus – and that forgiveness and full salvation is available on repentance of sin to everyone who accepts Jesus as Saviour.

What an amazing event that so-named ‘first Christmas’ was!
No wonder the angelic host heralding that first good news declaration proclaimed to the bewildered shepherds: ‘Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Saviour has just been born in David’s town… Glory to God… Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.(more…)


(December 8, 2017) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, shares some biblical Christmas truths…

As we near Christmas once again I am thinking of missionaries who will not be home for Christmas.

The primary reason is because they are away from home, serving God in mission to the nations. Their primary task is to make Jesus Christ known as the Saviour of the world.

Yes, they will of course celebrate Christmas, away from home, and their loved ones. Perhaps they will sing the lovely carol, What Child Is This?

Ever popular, this carol was written in 1865 by William Chatterton Dix (an insurance company manager who had been struck by a severe illness. While recovering, he underwent a spiritual renewal that led him to write several hymns, including lyrics to this carol).

An important question
This precious old carol raises a very important question: What Child is This? (more…)