caring

CHRISTMAS TIME TRUSTING

(December 14, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan bring Christmas comfort…

Forget about timewasting debates about when Jesus was actually born, the day, the month… no one knows! The point is that he was born and for many years the church has traditionally been celebrating this historic event of good news from heaven on December 25 and calling it Christmas Day!

With joy we praise our caring heavenly Father for his special  ‘Christmas gift.’ For Christians and the church the carol Tis the season to be merry is very relevant! Thank God for his love and goodness in sending Jesus!

Let’s be as happy as Mary and Joseph, the astounded shepherds and the faithful magi who came along later would have been. Precious people who were trusting God in uncertain times.

This is the month when one sees posters everywhere advertising cherry Christmas carolling either in churches (organised by churches) or in local parks (organised by councils or community-minded organisations)… a time of expected good cheer, family fun and caring friendship. Even several stores are playing pleasant traditional Christian carols relaxing their customers.

Christmas is indeed meant to a joyous time, especially for Christians and the church of Jesus Christ. But, sadly, we’ve been hearing from some folk that it won’t be so for them as some tragedy has hit them or their family hard… such as unexpected lost jobs, passing of loved ones, ministry upsets or abrupt changes, marriage problems, lack of godly pastoral wisdom/counsel, strange health issues, sleepless nights, troubled minds. And other nasties …

Some friends have also expressed concern over Christians being harassed, bullied, even imprisoned in India, North Korea and elsewhere – and about the increased crime rate in our so-called ‘Lucky country.’

Christmastime concerns can steal Christmas joy
Yet while we hear many people wishing one another ‘Merry Christmas!’ – as yet we haven’t heard one add the traditional ‘And a Happy New Year.’ Neither from Christians or non-churchgoers. It’s like the 2018 catchphrase of ‘moving ahead’ has done a back-flip with some people and a vision for 2019 just isn’t there. Yes 2019 will reveal fresh satanic attacks on Christianity and churches but our hope is always in the head of the church, Jesus, the one we praise God for at this Christmas season.

Personally we feel for everyone with heavy hearts at this time, who have lost their joy due to dwelling on negatives, unable to find comforting answers and good advice. These concerns can be so side-tracking and destructive. This week we ourselves had what immediately seemed a disaster drop on us out-of-the-blue that could have thrown us! (more…)

THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY FRIEND

(May 2, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan comment on some realities:

‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’ is a saying quoted every now and then. Particularly when we hear of certain nations – normally considered enemies, or could-be enemies, that no one ever envisaged working together – suddenly becoming friends against a possible new enemy.

Actually it’s ancient proverb going back to the 4th century BC, suggesting that two opposing parties can or should work together against a common enemy. Evidently, the first recorded use of the current English version was in 1884.

A classic example was the tension in WW2 Europe common between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. Both US President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill were wary of Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union leadership. But despite their inherent differences, they recognised a need to work together to meet the threat of Hitler’s leadership and Nazi aggression. They developed foreign policies with an understanding that Soviet cooperation was necessary for the Allied war effort to succeed.

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TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY – OR IS IT?

Dr Robert & Maureen (2)(December 12, 2016) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share …

The traditional Deck the Halls Christmas carol of possible Welsh origin is heard on radio, in department stores, certain old movies (if you’re into watching them) and Christmas Morning Melodies theatre shows (such as the one we attended last week).

Overall this popular carol encourages us to be happy at this season of expressing joy with lines such as Follow me in merry measure, Fa la la la la, la la la la. While I tell of Yule tide treasure, Fa la la la la, la la la la… Sing we joyous, all together…

encouragement-12-12aYes, Christmas is indeed meant to a joyous time, especially for Christians and the church of Jesus Christ. Carol singing services began at the weekend and are generally well attended whether in local parks, churches or their grounds. The Christmas spirit is indeed evident in several other ways too… (more…)

CAN YOU HEAR THE CRY OF THE CHILDREN? (June 14. 2016)

Erica Grace
Erica Grace, ex-missionary to South America, pulls no punches!

What do you think is the largest and most urgent mission field today?

Did you say Syria? Iraq? Iran?

What if I told you that by far the largest mission field today is one that is most easily overlooked: It’s the children! (more…)

THE TYRANNY OF PASTORAL VISITATION! (May 3, 2016)

Jim McClureDr Jim McClure, noted theologian, challenges a modern pastoral attitude…

Before you read further, I hasten to say that I wrote the title of this article with ‘tongue in cheek.’ It does, however, reflect what now appears to be the attitude of many pastors today regarding the pastoral work of ministry.

There was a time when pastoral visitation was a central pillar of the ministry of many pastors. But, sadly, not any longer.  Many reasons can be given to justify the trend among pastors for not visiting their ‘flock.’ But, frankly, such reasons are usually nothing more than excuses – especially for the lazy pastor!

The position taken by some is this – pastoral visitation is not necessary if a person attends church every Sunday; and, if they don’t attend church, they clearly are no longer interested in belonging! (more…)