friendship

SPIRITUAL HOONS… WHEELS SPINNING, GOING NOWHERE!

(September 11, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan bring a timely challenge…

Hoon is a derogatory term often used  to refer to anyone, especially  young people, who engages in loutish activities that can include speeding, burnouts, doughnuts or screeching tyres. In other words… irresponsible behaviour.

Commitment lacking
We were talking recently with a mature young friend about dependability – or the rather the lack of it – in some church circles.

Now our insightful friend is not only dedicated to his commitment as a husband and father, he’s a highly reliable but ever so busy businessperson. And yet he’s also totally committed to doing whatever is required of him by the both the Lord and his pastor to help build his home church.

And as we shared, he pointed out his observations of a major problem with many Christians, particularly the younger ones – although they claim they want to serve Jesus and their church through their talents and skills but they have no concept of commitment.

Actually this observation came up when we shared that we grew up in a day when one’s word was their bond. That if you said you would do something, then you did it no matter what it cost you… time, energy, personal expense especially if your promise – your commitment – involved doing something for your pastor and local church. And you answered letters and as phones with call-back messages became the in-thing, you replied to them! (more…)

WORDS OF LIFE (#G2) LOVE WITHOUT LIMITS – AGAPE

(May 11, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, continues his series on selected Greek words…

The word ‘love’ is a very busy one in the English language and is used to cover many things. We can say that we love our car, dog, fish and chips, our parents, children, wife or girlfriend/boyfriend.  We describe that warm fuzzy feeling for people we like as ‘love.’ Or we may use the word to describe a raging emotional or sexual passion.

Clearly ‘love’ is used to describe a wide range of experiences. But the Greeks used at least four words to describe some of the things we call ‘love.’

(i) They used the word philia, which is a word that expresses friendship (The verb is phileo). God did not make us to be socially self-existent – we need to have friends. But there is also a selfish element in philia – it is largely based on the premise that if you like me, I will like you! This mutually positive attitude is the basis of friendship. That is not to deny its value as friendship is an essential ingredient to enrich our lives and without it we are impoverished. Therefore philia is a love that we all need for friendship and is vitally important. (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.

(more…)

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…)

WORDS OF LIFE (#3) – PEACE (SHALOM)

Jim McClure(September 15, 2016) Dr Jim McClure, respected theologian, continues his series on some scripture words…

The Hebrew word shalom is familiar to many people apart from Jews.  Most people would say that it means ‘peace,’ and they would be right – up to a point! However, to consider shalom only in terms of the absence of war is to put severe limitations on this great word. For example, two nations may not be dropping missiles on each other, but they may still vent such hostility towards each other that the citizens of both nations may live constantly under the sense of threat and uncertainty.  This would not be a definition of shalom.   Shalom’ means so much more than that.

When we examine how the word shalom is used in the Bible, we discover that ‘peace’ is a widely embracing word which has a plethora of meanings.  It is a word of interaction – with God, between people and, indeed, with all of life. It has to do with harmonious totality.  This study explores some of the depth and breadth of this most positive of Hebrew words. (more…)

GENUINE FRIENDSHIP

dr-robert-and-maureen-092016(October 12, 2016) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share some observations…

Every now and then someone’s blog runs photos of groups of people (supposedly in company with each other!) looking intently at their mobile phone screens but not at each other! Young people – particularly in restaurants, kids – even in church, lovers on a date, even seniors are depicted.

The one thing they have in common is that they’re ignoring one another and are oblivious to their surroundings. And these pics are usually accompanied with a quotation credited to Albert Einstein: ‘I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.’

Reality
Although there is no substantive evidence that Einstein made this statement (For example, there’s no mention of it in the comprehensive collection highlighted in The Ultimate Quotable Einstein (Princeton University Press 1), nevertheless such depictions are a reality today! (more…)

RAISED BY GAY PARENTS, HE SHOCKED THEM BY BECOMING A CHRISTIAN – AND A PASTOR

Mark Ellis
Mark Ellis shares a great story of God’s love and grace …

When he was two-years-old his university-professor parents divorced and his father and mother entered the gay lifestyle. His lesbian mom and her partner took him to gay pride parades, LGBT clubs, parties and campouts, while his father remained ‘closeted’ for several years.

‘Mom was a political activist,’ says Caleb Kaltenbach, author of Messy Grace (Waterbrook Press). At gay pride parades, Caleb witnessed Christian demonstrators spray homosexual marchers with water and urine. When he asked his mom why they were doing this, she said, ‘Because Christians hate gay people.’ (more…)

THE VOICE SAID, ‘I AM – WITH YOU’

Maureen McQuillanMaureen McQuillan recalls last month’s memorable baptism of a converted Muslim:

Ali, a converted Muslim from Iran, had recently expressed his desire to follow his Saviour Jesus through the waters of baptism.

A humble and most sincere man who loves the Lord Jesus and doesn’t hesitate to share his faith in Christ, Ali had this wish fulfilled in a most magnificent, heart-touching water baptism service last month at the Barrabool Hills, Highton congregation of Moolap and Barrabool Hills Baptist Church, Geelong, Victoria. (more…)

MAKING DISCIPLES – GOD’S PRIORITY

George Forbes 2010

Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes asks: ‘Are we counting decisions or making disciples?’

When one considers the matter of evangelism and church planting the question of counting decisions or making disciples comes into centre stage. Some have, and still do, only count decisions. This tendency is not exclusive to evangelists and big crusades, but also to local churches, mission agencies and individual ministers or missionaries.

It is easier in some respects to count decisions. To only count the hands raised or the names entered on decision cards. It is perfectly understandable when you consider crusades with vast numbers in attendance and thousands coming forward at the closing invitation. I have been there and seen these moving minutes and hours at the conclusion of great crusades. A majority of recognised evangelists have in place good systems of counselling and follow up, though they recognise the difficulty of discipling new converts in that context.

Making disciples is a long-term task
My focus however in this article is the question of making disciples, as this is what Jesus commanded. It is my belief that the majority of disciples are made in a one-on-one context of daily life. This is where character is developed and the word of God worked out in life situations. The Great Commission in Matthew chapter 28:18-20 makes it absolutely clear that Jesus placed the imperative on ‘making disciples’ and not on counting decisions.

Jesus’ words still motivate many to this great and primary task of the church. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’

It isn’t done in a couple of briefing sessions or instruction times, but over a good length of time, including both the good times and the difficult experiences of growing in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ.

When I came to Christ many years ago, I made a decision to repent of my sin and call on the name of the Lord, in a Salvation Army gospel service in Box Hill, Melbourne. I thank God for the faithful preaching of the gospel of Christ that night by Major David Hewitt. I was born again that evening with life-transforming experiences immediately following.

I thank God too for the young man who knelt beside me and invited me to be his friend and who offered to help me in my new walk with God. He arranged to meet me the next day, after work, and talk to me as we walked to my home. He spoke of what it meant to be a follower of Christ, encouraging me to read the Bible and pray daily.

Immeasurable impact
That journey continued each evening that week and for the following months. By the Friday of the first week I shared my testimony publicly as I stood with the Salvation Army Band outside the local theatre.

My mentor guided me in no time to study the major doctrines of the Christian faith, using RA Torrey’s What the Bible Teaches as my daily textbook. His impact on my life was immeasurable. This young man who discipled me was Kevin Conner, who later served the Lord for many years with distinction as a great Bible teacher and pastor. I count his ongoing friendship as special.

Disciple Making

 

 

Disciple making is still God’s priority! The task is long-term and it calls for long-term commitment by those who would obey Christ’s commission.

May we not fail in this priority for the advance of the kingdom of God. It’s acknowledging and accepting our responsibility. As the Message version of Matthew 28:19 says, ‘Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life…’

Dr George Forbes is internationally recognised as a missionary statesman with a heart for the lost of the nations. With a wealth of missionary knowledge and a unique ability to communicate the global picture, he is widely known as the ‘story-teller.’ Link: georgeforbes2@gmail.com