Ephesians 4:32

CAST OFF UNWANTED 2023 BAGGAGE

(January 19, 2023) A. Richard Samuel challenges ‘new year resolutions’…

Whenever we enter a New Year we think of resolutions. But, someone once jokingly said, ‘New Year resolutions are made to be broken.’ In effect, we must realise that we can do nothing without God’s help.

Jesus pointed out that ‘apart from me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5). So as we travel further into 2023, let’s look to Him and seek His help! But note…

Hindering baggage
Many would have seen signboards like the one below in railway stations and in major bus stands.

In our life journey, this statement makes sense. Any unnecessary load is cumbersome and burdensome.

In Ephesians 4:31-32, Paul detailed six pieces of unwanted luggage that hinders our travel… Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.’

Paul also suggested that we carry only necessary luggage that will make our travel comfortable and pleasant – as well as our co-travellers… Kindness, compassion and a forgiving nature.

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WHEN LOVE CAME DOWN AT CHRISTMAS

(December 6, 2022) Carol Round reflects on Christmastime…

Paul gave us all good advice in 1 Corinthians 16:14 – ‘Do everything in love.’

One of the things I love about this time of the year is the music, including the hymns and the contemporary versions of those songs. It’s interesting to read the stories of the songwriters and what inspired the lyrics they wrote.

Love Came Down at Christmas is one of my favourite hymns. Written by Christina Georgina Rossetti in 1885, the lyrics capture the essence of Christmas in one word – love.

One of the most well-known scriptures on love is John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’

The essence of Christmas
In his book titled Christmas Gifts That Won’t Break, author James W. Moore, writes, ‘Well, of course, the essence of Christmas is love. God’s incredible love for us, expressed when He sent His only Son into the world to save us. “Love Came Down at Christmas”– that’s how the hymn writer puts it. That’s the answer to our question. Whenever and wherever we receive God’s sacrificial love, whenever and wherever God’s love is accepted and shared, Christmas comes once again.’

Moore explains it this way. ‘When we, like the shepherds, fall down in awe, wonder and commitment before the manger of God’s love, there is Christmas! When, like the three wise men, give our best to the Master, there is Christmas! When we, like Mary and Joseph, trust and obey God and try our best to do God’s will, there is Christmas.’

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JOURNEY INTO THE UNKNOWN

(March 13, 2022) Robert McQuillan shares about an intrepid missionary’s bold decision…

When I received a brief email a few days ago from missionary to Romania, David McGuire, I was immediately reminded of that old snowclone intro to the original 1966 Star Trek TV episodes – Where No Man Has Gone Before (Changed in the Next Generation series to the gender-neutral Where No One Has Gone Before).

Why? Why was I so thrown that I reminisced about that old classic intro? Well, with all the reports on TV news programs about what Ukraine is suffering from Russia’s invasion, likened unto Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland back in 1939, one wonders ‘Who would want to travel to Ukraine at this time!’

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says Russia might use chemical weapons following its invasion of Ukraine and that such a move would be a war crime, according to an interview in German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

He added that although the Ukrainian people were resisting the Russian invasion with courage, the coming days are likely to bring even greater hardship.

‘That’ brief email
Let me tell you some things about my friend David McGuire. He doesn’t waste words, preferring to be about the Lord’s business! Consequently his short email simply said this…

‘About to leave home with medical and humanitarian to go and join with team from Cluj YWAM. From there we will travel up into Ukraine overnight to base ourselves where we can serve many needy people.

‘Pray for strength love and courage to bless and strengthen these we meet and have needs. The team will be led by Pastor Alin who will decide how and which way we travel and in what from Cluj. I travel with Project Romania van to Cluj and from there we see how leadership want best to go with vans.

‘For Jesus we live and love. Thank you for prayers.’

Let me tell you more about David…

Firstly… straight to the point
As intimated above, he’s not really one for words (so with pleasure I’ve reworded some lines, adding capitals… although his mission Reachout articles are great, such those mentioned below).

Rather David (right) uses his camera to let supporters and interested people like myself know how the Lord is leading him and what, with the Holy Spirit’s help, his missionary activities are achieving practical as well as spiritual needs (Read the article link highlighted below).

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