commitment

THEBUZZ

GLEANINGS (May 19, 2017):

  • ALBANY, OR – Healing power of prayer
  • GROVE, OK – Forgiveness and healing
  • VIETNAM/ENGLAND – 25 years of caring for orphans
    _____________________________________________________________________________________THE STUNNING SCIENCE BEHIND THE HEALING POWER OF PRAYER
    Dr Don Colbert (https://drcolbert.com/the-stunning-science-behind-the-healing-power-of-prayer/) shares good news…Even a mere 30 seconds of prayer, acknowledging God and giving thanks for all the blessings in your life, can have a powerful effect on your body, mind, and spirit.If you have a regular practice of prayer, then you are well aware that benefits are very real and wide-ranging. Many people who engage in these activities report psychological and spiritual benefits such as a sense of greater clarity, purpose, gratitude, presence, sense of connection, and overall well-being. However, these sorts of subjective benefits can be hard to measure scientifically.A beneficial ancient practice
    Interestingly, despite the difficulty in quantifying the spiritual effects of prayer, there have been many studies looking at the physical benefits of this ancient practice. (more…)

THE TEST OF TRUTH

(April 8, 2017) Stuart Reynolds brings Easter challenge …

Last month as I listened to BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show my interest was piqued by one of Chris Evans’ guests – Israeli historian Dr Yuval Noah Harari, talking about his book, Sapiens.

Harari contends that Homo sapiens (‘the only extant human species’) rule the world as the dominant species because of our unique ability to believe in things which exists only in the imagination: nations, money, human rights, and, of course, religion. Evans concluded the interview by asking Harari what is the most important piece of advice he could give for the future well-being of the human race.

His response? That our paramount need is to do our best to differentiate between what is fiction and reality:  ‘Humans find it very difficult to know what is real and what is just a fictional story in their own minds, and this causes a lot of disasters, wars and problems… The best test to know whether an entity is real or fictional is the test of suffering. A nation cannot suffer, it cannot feel pain, it cannot feel fear, it has no consciousness. Even if it loses a war, the soldier suffers, the civilians suffer, but the nation cannot suffer. Similarly, a corporation cannot suffer, the pound sterling, when it loses its value, it doesn’t suffer. All these things, they’re fictions…’

I immediately said to my wife, Helen, ‘He has just defeated his own argument!’ If it be so – ‘the best test to know whether an entity is real or fictional is the test of suffering,’ then the greatest undisputed statement of truth in the whole universe, never mind in human history, must the person of God in his only Son Jesus Christ, of whom the Bible says is ‘The Suffering Servant.’ (more…)

MARTYRS BY PROXY?

(March 8, 2017) Stuart Reynolds brings another timely challenge …

A pig and a hen were walking down the road when they saw a poster advertising the forthcoming Harvest Supper. It reported that bacon and eggs would be served. The hen said to the pig, ‘How nice it is that we can help the church.’

The pig replied to the hen, ‘It’s all very well for you – you’ll be making a contribution, but I’ll be making a sacrifice!’

It was Alexander MacLaren who wrote: ‘Martyrs by proxy, who have such strong convictions that they think it somebody else’s duty to run the risk for them, are by no means unknown.’

A location considered
We rightly pray much for the ‘Persecuted Church’ – often feeling small and inadequate alongside them because of what they are living out and proving in the midst of oppression and we’re not. (more…)

THE MAKING OF A MISSIONARY CHURCH

George Forbes 2010(March 6, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes shares from experience on a successful mission’s strategy…

Missionary churches do not just happen!

They are born of a vision, founded by a pastor who has heard from God and grow to become a missionary church over a good period of time. They do not simply or suddenly appear. They are the outcome of multiple factors in the plan and purposes of God for the extension of his kingdom. (more…)

‘YOU CAN’T JUST SIT THERE!’

stuasrt-reynolds(January 10, 2017) Stuart Reynolds brings a timely 2017 challenge…

Thirty-five years ago the media outlets in the United States carried a most unique story about a 33-year-old man called Larry Walters. Perhaps approaching an early mid-life crisis, Larry decided he wanted a new perspective on life where he lived.

He came up with an ingenious plan – he purchased 42 weather balloons which he inflated, having friends attach them to his securely anchored lawn chair.

Along with some refreshments for the journey he also took a pellet gun, so he could shoot each balloon as he would make his descent. Walters thought the balloons would only take him a few hundred feet in the air – the reality was that they launched him some 15,000 feet and into the flight traffic pattern for the nearby Los Angeles International Airport!

Realising his dilemma, he frantically started to shoot the balloons, but in his panic dropped his gun. After two hours of ‘flight’ it finally took an Air Force helicopter to bring him down.

stuart-01-17a

 

 

(Link: https://alchetron.com/Larry-Walters-789956-W)

When the ‘Lawn Chair Pilot’ (as he became known as) was safely back on terra firma and charged by the police, he faced the music of the news reporters. He was asked, ‘Were you scared?’ His response was, ‘Yes, I was, but wonderfully so!’

When asked ‘Why did you do it?’ he replied ‘Because you can’t just sit there.’

(more…)

WAKEY, WAKE-AAAAY…LET’S BUILD TOGETHER

Dr Robert & Maureen 0816August 6, 2016 – Robert and Maureen McQuillan challenge both ministers and churchgoers…

Recently we’ve heard Christians comment that they feel God is giving them, their church, our nation, America and the world a wake-up call. Wake-up calls are meant to be acted on!

Decades ago, English bandleader Billy Cotton was particularly known for his rousing catchphrase intro to his BBC radio and television shows – ‘Wakey, Wake-aaaay!

A London choirboy, Cotton was awake to living life. Not yet 19 he had seen action in World War 1, become a pilot, worked at several jobs and commenced his own orchestra (even though he couldn’t play an instrument or read a word of music).

Billy Cotton

 

Billy Cotton went on to become a boxer and a racing driver and lived life to the full.  His was a life regarded as ‘a life less ordinary.’

This first August Encouragement article is a wakey,wake-aaaay call to both ministers and churchgoers!

Don’t miss out
Paul encouraged Jesus’ followers not to miss out on life: ‘So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded’ (1 Thes. 5:6NLT). (more…)

TIME A-WASTING? SEIZE THE DAY! (July 11, 2016)

Dr Robert & Maureen (2)Robert and Maureen McQuillan reflect on ‘time’ …

We humans are definitely creatures of time! We’re preoccupied with it… measuring our days in time, wearing watches to keep check. At some point each day, we wonder ‘What time is it?’ Or ‘How much time do I have left to do this task?’

We may even lament ‘Gosh, time goes on’ or comment to someone, ‘Seems time stood still since we last met’ or ‘It’s been a long time, where did it go?’… and so on.

It’s been said that the concept of time has been problematical for philosophers, even biblical scholars in the divine scheme of things. (more…)

FEELING HELPLESS? KEEP PRESSING ON – BUT NOTE…

Dr Robert & Maureen (2)Robert and Maureen McQuillan share…

February already! If God were to judge our 2016 life achievements by a row of 12  candles that had been lit in anticipation, he’d be reminding us that one is already snuffed out and we’ve only eleven more before the year is gone.

It’s the proverbial case of tempus fugit (line 284 of book 3 of Virgil’s Georgics, where it appears as fugit inreparabile tempus: ‘It escapes, irretrievable time’). We usually say ‘time is on the wing!’ (more…)

2016 – A GOOD TIME TO SURRENDER AND DO SOMETHING FOR GOD!

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan looks forward to a good 2016 future and challenges…

The events of Genesis 1:14 – ‘And God said: “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky…
and let them serve as signs to mark seasons, and days and years”’ – obviously happened quite some time before January 2016!

But we can see in the first book of the Bible that even as he created this world, God had a plan for it… one including seasons, days, years. Indeed God’s plan includes our lives – yours and mine. I believe that this new year of 2016 is a significant one of opportunity for us as we hear from God and obey. (more…)

COMMIT YOUR 2016 PLANS TO GOD

Carol Round 2016Carol Round shares meaningfully re 2016 resolutions…

The apostle gives good advice in 3 John 2: ‘Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.’

A New Year has arrived and with it the usual resolutions to lose weight, get in shape and quit smoking. Some look for quick fixes through crash diets, new exercise crazes or so-called ‘magical’ pills while others seek a solution through surgery, bringing with it a host of possible complications and side effects.
(more…)