John 3:16

FIVE RELIABLE REASONS TO REJOICE THROUGH UNEXPECTED TEARS

(May 18, 2022) Mama Lava shares personally and deeply from her heart…

I got down on my belly, forehead to forehead with him. I petted him and spoke softly to him, reassuring him and telling him how much he was loved. I texted my son and husband to come quick, but I felt his last breath on my cheek before they got downstairs.

I am surprised how hard this hit me. Makali’i (AKA Maka) had just turned 12 and because of his breed, pug mixed with Japanese Chin, he’d already exceeded lifespan expectations and had been slowing down. I knew this was coming, yet is anyone ever really prepared?

(Photo right: Maka, on our first snowy walk, in our new hometown)

As sad as today has been, I have found five reliable reasons to rejoice through the many – oh so many – unexpected tears.

1. God’s Timing
‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…’ (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a).

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HOLY – EMPHASIS HOLY – COMMUNION

(April 08, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to a friend troubled by certain ‘pushed’ teaching…

Dear Dr Robert

I always delight to take communion. But many times our ministers talk so much about receiving ‘other blessings’ beyond being forgiven of our sins, rather than solely remembering and honouring God and the Lord Jesus Christ for His tremendous sacrifice of paying the debt on our behalf. It seems to me that they just keep pushing other blessings, not what communion is all about. As it’s almost Easter, please comment on this. Kelvin.

Dear Kelvin

Yes, you’re right… Easter is a special time to Christians when we should remember and honour our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. But then we should always do this. You’re right too about communion… it’s a momentous time when He should be honoured for all He has done, especially securing forgiveness of our sins, and not other blessings alone being constantly pushed (or ‘constantly hammered’ to use a current catchcry).

Communion… Holy Communion, The Eucharist, Last Supper, Lord’s Supper, The Sacrament. Holy Sacrament or whatever name your church may use for this special service is indeed a very precious time.

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STUPIDIEST QUESTION EVER ASKED!

(April 07, 2022) Maureen McQuillan shares that Jesus truly cares…

When good friend Hope Flinchbaugh (Nehemiah-God’s Call to Build the Wall 2) enquired last month how Robert was going after several sleep-interrupted nights, he shared that he was now sleeping right through each night.

Hope then sent this note: ‘It sounds like you’ve learned to sleep in the boat when the big storm is on you!’ Robert had replied along the lines of ‘Not as restful as Jesus was… but I fully trust in Him.’

With various storms of life round us at this time, one needs to be at rest by knowing and trusting our Lord. Meditating on being at rest by trusting Jesus had me reflecting on Mark 4… Jesus asleep in a boat when a huge storm hit.

Jesus needed rest Himself
Verse 35 tells us that one evening Jesus had requested His disciples to take Him across the lake by boat.

He’d already had a very busy day teaching kingdom truths to crowds lined up along the shore. Now He was not only tired (Yes, ministry can tire us!), but maybe His mind was on the next day’s even busier one of supernatural ministry… finding and freeing that poor Gerasene man bound by many evil spirits, travelling dust roads, raising a little girl from the dead, and encountering that desperately troubled woman who would dare to boldly touch the hem of His robe believing to be healed, not to mention more criticisms (Mark 5).

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FINDING JESUS WHILE STUDYING FOR HIS BAR-MITZVAH

(April 06, 2022) Charles Gardner shares…

An innocent question about Jesus from a primary school classmate set a 10-year-old Jewish boy from London on the road to discovering his Messiah.

Gerry Cohen, now 63, looks back on the monumental effect this has had on his life, and why he is still passionate about the need for fellow Jews to find Jesus for themselves.

Searching
In an interview with Jane Moxon for the CMJ (Church’s Ministry among Jewish people) website, Gerry recalled that time, 53 years ago, when his friend Nigel asked him: ‘What’s Jesus when you’re Jewish?”

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TITANIC ‘IF ONLYS’

(April 06, 2022) Robert McQuillan shares some April thoughts…

110 years ago on Sunday 14 April 1912, the massive White Star liner RMS Titanicstruck an iceberg. That catastrophe is generally reported as happening at 23.39… Three hours, one minute later, at 2.40am Monday morning the so-called unsinkable, luxury liner was gone in the calmest but coldest seas (28 degrees under).

Only 750 were plucked from the frigid sea. Sadly, 1523 had perished.

 It was indeed, as the Walter Lord‘s prolific 1955 book and subsequent 1958 movie called it, A Night to Remember.

Titanic’s ‘If Onlys’
Among other beliefs – and ‘believed mysteries or conspiracy theories’ – the following have been associated with that horrifying disaster.

If only…

  • The British Board of Trade ruling had called for more lifeboats.
  • The crow’s nest spotters binoculars hadn’t disappeared.
  • Iceberg warnings had been taken more seriously.
  • Bruce Ismay, White Star managing director, hadn’t pressed for a speedier (24k) crossing.
  • First officer Murdoch hadn’t reversed the main engines, handicapping the turning ability.
  • The ship had had a double hull.
  • The watertight doors had been higher than three metres (and there had been more doors).
  • There had been more red flares on board.
  • The mysterious ship nearby had responded to the distress signals
  • The Carpathia hadn’t been so far away to steam to the rescue (four hours away).
  • ‘We’ hadn’t booked on the maiden voyage.
  • Morgan Robertson’s 1898 romantic novel The Wreck of the Titan or, Futility had been taken seriously. (Later this book would be regarded as ‘prophetic’ as it centred on ‘the largest craft afloat… unsinkable, indestructible she carried as few boats as would satisfy the laws’ being sunk by an iceberg. ‘Fourteen years before the greatest civil maritime disaster of all time, this story eerily prefigured the actual calamity’ of the Titanic).

That’s 12 ‘If Onlys.’

Thirteen is often regarded as unlucky. Christians don’t believe in ‘luck’ as we trust God (or should!), but here’s a thirteenth ‘If only’, a sad one…

  • God hadn’t been mocked! Seems it was mockingly, jokingly claimed that even God couldn’t sink Titanic (not that He would have!).
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GOD STILL LOVES ALL THE NATIONS!

(April 01, 2022) Honouring the memory of the late missionary statesman Dr George Forbes, we run one of his blogs, bringing an Easter reminder that God still loves the world…

Nations around the world have experienced so many troubles these past few years – and still are! But God truly loves them all!

God cares for all nations, just not Israel
David, who knew his God’s heart wrote, ‘O let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for you [God] shall judge the peoples righteously and govern the nations on earth’ (Psalm 67:4).

When this short psalm was written and then sung in Israeli households and other places, the truth of God’s love for all nations, as well as His eternal purpose for them was expressed well.

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REMEMBERING CALVARY

(April 01, 2022) Brian Bell challenges us to remember and really know that God loves us…

In the United Kingdom last week, we ‘put our clocks forward’ a reminder that for us we are moving into the spring season.

If you’re anything like me, your memory may have good recall in some things, not so good on others. God knows our human tendency to forget and takes steps to help us remember.

One example of this is found in Deuteronomy 15:15ESB: ‘You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you.’

As we approach this Easter season, I offer some very simple thoughts from this verse to help us remember.

1. A season to remember
In Ecclesiastes 3:1KJV the writer tells us that ‘To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.’

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MR BEAN – AND GOD’S MYSTERIOUS WAYS

Robert and Maureen McQuillan remind us that we don’t know everything … but that God does! 

Experienced those moments when we want to ask God, ‘Why?’ or ‘What’s going on?’ or ‘How come You answered my prayer as You did, not how I had prayed and expected?’ 

Did you get an answer to certain prayers? Or did you conclude that it’s better to appreciate and enjoy the benefits than to query God about His ways? 

We forget that God is God! 
The reality is that often we get so caught up with asking (in faith and trust which is good and necessary, of course!) and expecting God to bring about the answer exactly how we asked. And we forget that He is God who sees everything outside the box and knows what the best course of action should be! 

Yes… He is God – almighty God! God full stop! As such He doesn’t have to explain anything – we’re merely His creation. 

But, hallelujah … He’s also the heavenly Father who loves us so much that He does sometimes kindly  explain things – as in (Genesis 18:17NLT, ‘”Should I hide my plan from Abraham?” the Lord asked’). 

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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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OUR DAYS ARE ALREADY DETERMINED

(January 01, 2022) Carol Round reflects…

I know, I know… Christmas is over!  But on Christmas morning, as I was reading one of my daily devotionals, something I’d never thought about grabbed my attention. Forty days and forty years are significant in the Bible. However, while reading my devotional, the number forty weeks was mentioned.

The devotional, written by O.S. Hawkins, appears in his book titled, The Believer’s Code. He writes, ‘Jesus came to earth as a helpless, tiny seed planted in the womb of a young Jewish virgin. Forty weeks later, Jesus was born in a filthy stable.’

When I googled the length of a pregnancy, I discovered differing opinions for this gestation time. Some sites base the time period on the number of days in a month. However, according to several sites, the average length of pregnancy is counted at 40 weeks.

Jesus wasn’t average!
We know, however, that Jesus wasn’t your average child. Born of a virgin as God’s only Son,
He came to save us from ourselves. ‘Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!’ (2 Corinthians 9:15).

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