empowered

THE ‘OTHERS CAN BUT YOU CAN’T’ CHALLENGE!

(May 6, 2021) Robert and Maureen McQuillan reflect…

Sunday May 23 this year is regarded by many churches as Pentecost Sunday, especially Holy Spirit-filled ones, celebrating the outpouring of God’s Spirit on those humble first disciples.

Since that Acts 2 experience the church has grown – about 2.6 billion adherents globally in early 2020. Testimonies, Christian books, even secular encyclopedic history, record demonstrations of Holy Spirit assistance, miracles, emboldened men and women anointed by him to move in the Spirit and speak forth genuine prophecy, words of knowledge and wisdom, cast out demons… and more!

Praise God for churches that have been open to the Holy Spirit… and for individuals who have been bold in allowing the Spirt to use them to brighten darkened lives. But… sadly, many churches, many bold Christians have not been regarded or respected for their service (See Erica Grace’s heart-touching April article True Fruit – From Unsung Heroes).

The reality is that it isn’t always been easy to be bold for Jesus and allow the Spirit to take one down a different road to others… yet remaining humble and down-to-earth!  Indeed, for all of us, there is the constant challenge to allow the Holy Spirit to keep us under control so that we don’t get bigheaded and move beyond our station – unless of course it’s God directed, and he gets the glory in all that’s achieved for the kingdom.

The challenge
Such recollecting reminds us that some 40 years we came across the following challenge by the late Bill Britton, entitled Others May, You Cannot)… still fresh, challenging, and meaningful, especially if you’re sold out to the ministry call of Christ on your life.

(more…)

‘AMEN’ (AND OTHER MEANINGFUL WORDS)…

(December 14, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share Christmas and beyond-centred thoughts…

Had interesting phone calls last week from Israel – very early in the morning(!) being evening up there – from a Bible college in Jerusalem inviting me (Robert) to be involved in one of its language programs.

That’s timely, I thought, especially as a Middle-Eastern church had recently suggested I take on the deanship of a proposed Bible college and I was aware that language knowledge/interpretation would be involved there too. In both cases understanding and explaining certain words would be important; especially as some countries’ grammar is limited whereas English is so expansive!

That affirmative ‘Amen’
Now Hebrew is the language most commonly used in everyday life in Israel and this Israeli lady (let’s just call her Sarah) asked me if I knew what certain biblical words really meant in modern everyday Hebrew language. I didn’t have a chance to say anything for she promptly reeled off ‘Do you know what “Amen” really means, Dr Robert?’ And before I could say that I did, ‘Sarah’ went into an in-depth explanation… to which I quickly got in an ‘Amen’ indicating my agreement.

Some people have wrongly considered the word to indicate a soft, quiet ‘Selah-type pause’ or merely the right thing to say after prayers… but it’s actually quite a strong word, meaning ‘to agree.’

It’s a declaration of affirmation, used colloquially to express strong agreement, thus affirming that we firmly believe in what has just been said.

For example the ’Amen’ of the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20 indicates vigorously agreeing with Jesus to get the gospel ‘out there.

That popular ‘Noel
Of course one thing leads to another!  Later we were tinkering with our new versatile Google Home musical unit and heard the most beautiful rendition of that well-loved The First Noel Christmas carol. (more…)