(March 21, 2019) Carol Round reflects on the great value of having a friend…
I still think of my friend Sonya throughout my day, relishing the memories we made through our common bonds as well as adversity. Proverbs 17:17 (ESV) says, ‘A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity’ – that’s the value of a friendship!
We bonded over our love of animals, landscaping our yards and fried chicken livers. But, our friendship grew through adversity.
Sonya, 12 years my senior, moved into my neighbourhood in 2010. After leaving Georgia, she purchased the house next door to me. I welcomed this tiny woman as my neighbour but, as so many of us are apt to do; I judged her first by her appearance.
In her late 60s at the time, Sonya dressed more like a teeny bopper, even when doing yard work. However, as I grew to know this precious woman, my spirit couldn’t help but connect through our mutual love of Jesus.(more…)
(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.
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…)
(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…)
(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.
(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…
Yes, 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…)
(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…)
(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.’
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…)
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…)
Maureen 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 andBarrabool Hills Baptist Church, Geelong, Victoria. (more…)