encouraging others

EFFECTIVE GOD-GIVEN DAYS

(October 25, 2021) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share an encouragement…

We had a tear in our eyes when reading a comment by Henry Winkler last month. Renowned for his iconic role as the Fonz in the hit TV series Happy Days, after years as Arthur Fonzarelli, he questioned whether his career effectively used his ‘God-given talents.’

According to www.movieguide.org, having been trained as a classical actor, he had always meant to be a ‘serious’ actor – doing drama, not comedy.

‘Occasionally I would wonder: Was playing the character of Fonzie doing anybody any good? I’d been raised in the Jewish faith and still felt a real peace and closeness to God when I worshipped in a synagogue,’ he said. ‘Was I doing what I was really meant to do? Was I using my God-given talents in the best possible way?

One day an answer came in the most unexpected way. Back in the 80s Henry Winkler had been chairperson of an annual event called the Special Arts Festival held at the Music Center in Los Angeles. Children came there with mental and physical handicaps come to perform in their own amateur theatrics, to show their talents, and exhibit their artwork.

‘Children are there from all backgrounds and all walks of life, and as I walked through the crowds, I’d do a lot of hugging. I’d hold the hand of a little girl in a wheelchair. I’d joke with a young boy without a leg,’ he said. 

‘Fonzie!’
In a  www.guideposts.org 1985 article, Henri Winkler said he remembered one interaction with one of the children that confirmed for him that faith and entertainment were not separate. He wrote: Several years ago there was such a racket that it was amazing I heard the voice at all. ‘Fonzie,’ someone said. A small, shy voice in all the hubbub. ‘Fonzie!

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A TIME OF CONFUSION AND UNCERTAINTY

(December 6, 2020) Dr Robert McQuillan, drawing on his current article in Counselling Australia journal, encourages taking windows of opportunity (Note: Although the article was aimed at encouraging professional counsellors, it’s full of Bible-based principles that every Christian should employ)…

Seems that newscasts share more bad news daily about the worldwide pandemic, increasing crime, rebellion against authorities, government opposition groanings instead of encouraging support… it’s rare to hear good news that makes you laugh, even smile.
So I’m urged to begin this article with a simple, good-news story that a friend shared with me (whether true or not, the point comes home)…

Courtesy
Evidently, a 93-year-old Italian wept when told his hospital ventilator one-day usage bill was 5,000Euro (approx. $8100AUD).
A doctor kindly advised him, ‘Don’t cry over it.’ To his surprise the old man responded, ‘I’m not crying because I have to pay. I cry because I’ve been breathing God’s air every day for 93 years and never had to pay anything. But for one day’s use of your ventilator, I must pay EU5000! I realise now how much I owe God… I’ve never courteously thanked him before for his free air!’
Doesn’t that makes you smile – and think? (more…)

MEANINGFUL KICK-STARTS

(September 17, 2020) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share…

Seems that every day TV newscasts share more bad news stories either about the current worldwide pandemic or crime, rebellion against authorities, government opposition groans instead of encouraging support… it’s rare to hear some good news, something to makes you laugh, even smile.

So let’s begin this article with a good news item!

Zimbabwean friend Raviro emailed a very touching story about a 93 year-old Italian being told the hospital bill for ventilator one-day usage was 5,000Euro (approx.. $8100AUD).

As he suddenly began weeping a doctor kindly advised him not to cry over the bill.

To his surprise the old man responded, ‘I don’t cry because I have to pay. I cry because I’ve been breathing God’s air every day for 93 years and never had to pay anything for it.’

He added, ‘But for using a ventilator in your hospital for just one day, I have to pay EU5000! I realise now how much I owe God… I never thanked him before for his free air!’

Now doesn’t that makes you smile – and think?

Powerful kick-start
Genesis 2:7 confirms that God himself gave his creation the ability to breathe and live life – ‘he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live’ (GNB). (more…)

‘RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTETH PEOPLE’!

(February 15, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage readers to go the Matthew 5:41 extra mile…

One never knows where a thought, an encounter, an incident, a new link, an observation, a happening, an event, something seen in real life, a movie, on TV or in a movie can lead to further thoughts.

We enjoy good movies, especially great old black and white film noir ones. Watched a detective one recently – 1948’s He Walked by Night – depicting how ‘real’ police-work is so often laboriously painstaking and lengthy before the offender is located let alone caught.

Highlight no 1
One interesting scene showed the entrance to Los Angeles’ city hall where some of the police work begins. This led to ‘other thoughts’ when we saw highlighted above the following great quotation…

Obviously those who chose this inscription knew Proverbs 14:34. Although the ‘old KJV’ reads ‘a nation’ the Hebrew word also infers ‘people’ as its base indicates a ‘massing.’ In any case the second part of this wise declaration and encouragement reads, ‘but sin is a reproach to any people.’

‘Coincidental’(?) highlight no 2!
Drafting this article we had zeroed in on righteousness, exalting, sin, reproach and how Solomon was talking about ‘doing the right thing’ thereby lifting up people up in their own eyes and those of others around them… whereas offensive behaviour – sin – is bad news observable by others.

Imagine our amazement when we received Jim McClure’s this month’s Teaching article Advance Australia… Where? and found he had quoted this same profound scripture! Better and clearer than we could, Dr Jim challengingly expounds these Proverbs 14 issues and the importance of godly righteousness! This is more than a coincidence, it’s timely! Do read it prayerfully.

Here we simply draw attention to the fact that it’s no wonder verse 35 is so punchy… ‘The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causes shame’ or as the Message reads, ‘Diligent work gets a warm commendation; shiftless work earns an angry rebuke.’

Favour, warm commendation. Words indicating God’s delight and pleasure. Yes we want that, not and ‘angry rebuke’ (missed blessings?), don’t we? (more…)

EXPECTING FANTASTIC ADVENTURES IN 2019

(January 15, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encouragingly share…

Incredibly this is now our fourth month since journeying away from Geelong to Doreen our new territory, discovering much of its surrounds and meeting new folk… as we’ve been sharing on Facebook. Our ‘fantastic adventures’ seem to be intriguing readers who insist they look forward to hearing our latest news/who we’ve met/opportunities we’ve taken to bless strangers and been blessed in turn/ and more.

In all our these ‘adventures’ we’ve simply been allowing the Holy Spirit to direct us each new day… as we exercise our faith and trust our Lord. And things have been happening, including unusual ones! Even the other hot arvo… we blessed a young Turk who then blessed us with a bottle of needed icy cold water (no space to give all details but we now have four new friends!).

We like what Hope Flinchbaugh, our insightful good friend from Pennsylvania, wrote us: ‘It’s like you’re opening a large gift package from heaven with many little extra gift boxes inside! God is blessing your new beginning!’

Right on… and we’re expecting to make more fantastic discoveries. For years we’ve called the Christian life one big Indiana Jones adventure… one never knows what’s round the corner! But it’s God ‘making it up’ not Indy! Never a dull moment it seems as we trust and follow Jesus in faith. And we’re believing it all to continue as we embrace more of 2019.

2019! Almost two weeks gone already!

‘Where does the time go?’ becomes so much more relevant as one grows older. Life is an incredible God-given gift and, as we’ve always encouraged folk, we should all make the best of it every day! Despite media bad news daily naming new troubles in our cities and around the world, we Christians can still enjoy life and make every day count as we…

  • Adventure onward (not looking back to what was or could have been)
  • Make new discoveries (assignments, places and people)
  • Responsibly serve our God (whatever our calling)
  • Continually let the Spirit lead us (new territory, job, church, decisions, relationships…)
  • Have faith in – and trust – Jesus (essential!).

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