John 13:34-35

FAITH IN A TIME OF FEAR

(January 15, 2022) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, shares insights regarding 2022 confusions and questions…

We have entered into a New Year with many Old Year questions unanswered and many more being asked. There is a lot of distress, deceit and confusion in today’s world. 

This isn’t new.  About 2600 years ago Habakkuk was confused and disturbed by many of the things that were happening in his world which was evil and violent and full of fear. He was confronted by the political, social, moral and religious collapse that was taking place around him and he could not make sense of it.

Habakkuk was totally baffled and began to question if God really cared. Where was God while all this injustice and corruption and disaster was happening in the world? If God was truly loving and caring, why was the world falling apart and why wasn’t God doing anything about it?

So he addressed God directly. In Habakkuk 1:3 we read, ‘Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.Habakkuk was calling out, ‘Where are you, God?’

Have you ever felt like that? I have! As we read the newspapers and watch TV and witness the corruption, deceit and violence that is intensifying worldwide, we can identify with Habakkuk’s appeal to God.

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THE ‘GIFT’ IN THIS VIRUS

(August 1, 2020) Charles Schwab challenges Christians to consider a different aspect to the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected so many lives worldwide …

The ‘Gift’ in This Virus – isn’t that an utterly crazy and irresponsible use of words?

How can the Covid-19 pandemic that has killed multiplied thousands throughout the world, disabled economies leading to job losses along with stress and strain, forced countries and regions into lockdown, thrust normal living into a mess… horrendous for many, decimated tourism and freedom of travel… causing such pain and pandemonium be considered a ‘gift’ from God?

Sounds crazy
How in the world could this idea of ‘gift’ possibly be true from a biblical perspective? Sounds like heresy, the babblings of a religious zealot, the sign of a demented mind, the ramblings of a soul in a theological desert and, at face value, devoid of any biblical warrant.

What madness is this ‘gift’ notion?  Or… could it be a surprising reality for good in the midst of horror? The phrase, ‘the gift of this virus’, came unexpectedly to mind as I emerged from sleep well before dawn… and I knew within to what this strange phrase referred.

The use of ‘gift’ in association with ‘virus’ does not appear in scripture… but I suggest that the idea and its potential are biblical. While illness, fear, death and economic disaster are widespread and accompany this awful Covid-19 virus, God is giving us – Christians and churches – the ‘gift’ of opportunity.

The real ‘gift’
This ‘gift’ of opportunity is one to carefully and prayerfully…

  • Reconsider some things
  • Keep some things
  • Axe some things
  • Discover some new things or new ways that will be effective now and into the future.

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CONNECTING – CARING CONTACT!

(July 17, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan caringly – and concernedly – encourage connecting …

Wandering along a beach one time we unexpectedly met an old friend. In the ensuing chitchat she expressed how difficult it was to connect with people in her church. Yet she had done her best in reaching out to various folk but, despite promising, they hadn’t got back to her.

The result was that no meaningful contact has been established and this friendly, insightful lady was thinking about finding a more amicable church.

On another occasion, when we were in our local library a lady from yet another church recognised us and shared something similar: ‘There are so many lonely women in church that can’t seem to make a close relationship. It is so hard.’

Connecting widely
We’ve also come across men who haven’t been able to connect in church life and be able to share their feelings with other guys.

And then there are ministers of busy churches who do not have real friends to confide with. Some wrongly feel they can’t even share with their denominational leaders in case the ‘upper echelon’ thinks they aren’t spiritual enough or not capable of dealing with things. (Side comment here: We’re delighted to now know Kelvin, a great guy dedicated to reaching pastors, priests and ‘lay people’ who need the connection of ‘a friendly ear’).

Seniors too can have their difficulties – but the biggest shock is when a precious child confides with you that he or she feels they cannot share their heart secrets with anyone, not even their dad or mum. Kids too need reaching and blessing, as our brother-in-law Ken Gardiner of Life4Kids, kendor.life4kids@gmail.com will tell you. (more…)