John 3:16


(May 24, 2023) Robert and Maureen McQuillan comment on some Pentecost realities…

It was an amazing day for the early church!

Scripture records the incredible breakthrough those frightened, uncertain 120 believers experienced on the Day of Pentecost – ‘Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force – no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them’ (Acts 2:2-4 Message).

In reality, they were changed, charged, challenged, committed, commissioned!

More than just worship
This was something more than just worshipping God in new languages, glossolalia! It mightily changed those first disciples – they became daring men and women of faith who immediately witnessed the gospel and saw many converts genuinely repent of sin and turn to Jesus for salvation!

May 28 is Pentecost Sunday and many churches (not just Pentecostal) will be celebrating it as the…



(May 22, 2023) Richard Winter enquires…

If asked the above genuine question, how would you answer?

Some of us might say: ‘Not too bad’ – with a fragment of truth in our answer. But the asker’s quick rejoinder probably might be ‘So you’re not too good, eh?’

And if they were to hear ‘I’m great, everything’s fantastic!’ they might doubt the veracity of that response.

An apt answer
In reality most of us are learning life lessons, so a more apt answer to the question ‘How are you?’ most probably would be: ‘I’m learning and growing.’

Now there’s nothing to be ashamed of about growing and learning – we all process life at different speeds, and with some different responses. Sometimes we learn quickly, at other times it is slow and possibly downright painful. It could look like three steps forwards and two steps back.

Being a Christian is not like going to a spiritual Disneyland –

  • You don’t get every prayer answered your way.
  • You don’t always get a miracle when you ask for it.
  • But you do get to pray for God’s will to be done!

Spiritual flaws
Life is not always easy and you can wonder does anyone else ever have it like me?



(May 15, 2023) Dr Jim McClure shares on 1 Timothy 6… 

One of our favourite shows TV shows is the old British comedy series, As Time Goes By (1992 – 2005). In various ways it demonstrates how different life was then compared to today.

But can you imagine what life would have been like 2000 years ago – no cars, trains, planes, TVs, mobile phones, computers or credit cards! Basic comforts would have been minimal, food scarce and dining with friends at a local café or restaurant not even a consideration. There were no government welfare schemes, health benefits, or public schools.

In Jesus’ day, houses were generally very small, very basic with dirt floors, and extended families often lived under the same roof. At night oil lamps provided the lighting. Life was very difficult and often very brutal. The poor were frequently exploited and intimidated.

And this was the world into which the early church was born. The first Christians were confronted with the enormous challenge of impacting that world for God.  That was what Jesus was saying when He preached, ‘You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden’ (Matthew 5:14).  If we are followers of Jesus Christ, truly Christians, there must be some visible evidence in the way we live and in the values we hold.  The challenge Jesus gave 2000 years ago continues – to us today in 2023.

Personality challenge!
Of course, meeting that challenge becomes very personal! It requires us individually to address our own characters and to ask ourselves, ‘What do I need to change in my attitudes and behaviour?’ When we become Christians, we are forgiven but we are not made perfect human beings! In His relationships with others Jesus gave us an example to follow.  Sometimes we forget that! Jesus’ ministry and mission was not just about securing for us personal salvation. It was also particularly about changing the world for good and for God. Who we are and the way we live has a significant role to play in that challenge.



(May 13, 2023) Mama Lava caringly shares a great truth…

Desperation will cause us to do crazy things! I have an embarrassing, but poignant, case in point.

Remember when Covid first hit? I saw an opportunity to do something I’d been wanting to do for a long time. I would begin baking my own bread. Not only would it be healthier than the alternative, but it would also save money and trips to the grocer. If you remember, the lines outside stores were long and cold, as they allowed only a few people in at a time.

I already had the ingredients I needed. Well, all except one. I needed yeast.

But… my grocery store didn’t have any. I realised many people were thinking like I was, spurred by the fact that bread had become difficult to find. The shelf was completely bare, and there was no assurance it would be restocked any time soon.

I went to Amazon for yeast. Also sold out? Interesting! I looked at my Sam’s Club (warehouse club for wholesale prices on top brands) app. They didn’t have any either. I started to panic a bit.



(April 18, 2023) Carol Round encourages us to reflect on the depth of God’s love…

In a recent devotional I read – Billy Graham’s book Hope for Each Day: Words of Wisdom and Faith – Dr Graham opened one day’s devotional with the following words: ‘God’s love did not begin at Calvary.’

The opening paragraph continued. ‘Before the morning stars sang together, before the world was baptised with the first light, before the first blades of tender grass peeped out, God was love.’

God loved us before the creation of the universe! How do we know? Because God is love! Ephesians 1:4NLT tells us ‘Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.’

He chose us before creation
Do you ever think about how much God loves you? Have you ever considered you don’t deserve the fullness of His love? Sometimes, I do.



(April 09, 2023) Dr Robert McQuillan challenges…

War between Russia and Ukraine is still sad news! Great news today though that Ukrainian children in Russian occupied territory have been returned to their parents! So many declarations of joy this Resurrection Sunday among happy parents and kids!

I was reminded of other Ukrainian declarations decades ago in the first church we planted. A Ukrainian member brought communion one Resurrection Sunday and shared how years ago the communists would take great delight in trying to re-educate village Ukrainian peasants.

Hearing of an outbreak of Christianity in one particular village, the authorities moved in with two university educated scholars, calling a mandatory meeting to which all the villagers had to attend. The humble villagers were afraid of what might happen.

Those clever scholars started by telling those simple villagers of the Soviet regime’s latest conquests and then quoting so-called ‘hard evidence’ that put an end to that religious myth of a ‘raised dead God.’

1. The greatest declaration
After a couple of hours building their case, they threw the meeting open for villagers to come forward and debate with them. But people were afraid for they knew full well the consequences to anyone daring to oppose the communists. People would disappear in the middle of the night, ending up in Siberia!



(April 03, 2023) Richard Winter highlights the deeper meaning of Calvary’s cross…

Anyone who has ever attended a wedding should be familiar with centrepieces. They tend to be the focus or centre of attention… it is the central or most important feature. The centrepiece of the wedding is the bride; the centrepiece of the reception is the couple.

In other arenas of life we can see that the centrepiece of –

  • Philosophy is the love of wisdom.
  • Science is knowledge
  • History is facts.
  • Most religions is works.

God’s centrepiece
The most important centrepiece of all time is the centrepiece between the Old and New Testaments – the cross of Calvary where our Saviour Jesus hung between two thieves.

That cross is the centrepiece of the gospel. And why? It focuses our attention, especially on Good Friday, on Jesus who alone is our salvation!

In Jesus’ day crosses were seen as death and defeat. But Jesus wasn’t defeated! The blood that spilled from His wounded side –

  • Drowned death,
  • Extinguished the flames of hell, and
  • Completely covered the accusations of our enemy the devil!


(April 02, 2023) Richard Winter reflects…

It’s often said that in the olden days things were different. Some will remember in those olden days that we had a garden at the back of our home… we grew most of our vegetables, some flowers and some fruit trees.

Everybody loves a garden. Whether you like to work in a garden, whether you plant it, or just like walking through one that somebody else has done all the work in, there is beauty in a garden.

The Holy Bible has a lot to say about either gardening or planting, or sowing and harvesting. Gardens feature in scripture from the beginning of Genesis to the last chapter of Revelation. All of them are important to God’s plan… three on this earth, one not.

The three earthly ones were places of sadness, although the third became a place to rejoice over! And the fourth? Well let’s look at these four pivotal biblical places that have changed the way God’s people live… and can live.

The first garden was creation…



(February 28, 2023) Brian Bell shares a timely meditation…

Standing Somewhere in the Shadows (that 1943 once very popular number by E J Rollings) came to me afresh recently…

Are your crosses too heavy to carry,
And burdens too heavy to bear;
Are there heartaches and tears and anguish
And there’s no one who seems to care?

Standing somewhere in the shadows you’ll find Jesus,
He’s the friend who always cares and understands.
Standing somewhere in the shadows you will find Him,
And you’ll know Him by the nail prints in His hands.

Overshadowing darkness
Christians are called to carry crosses (Matthew 10:38, Matthew 16:24, Luke 9:23) and as we do so, life can be shades of shadows at times! Praise God that our Saviour is there for us!

The reality is that it is not Jesus who is standing in the shadows, it is us – men and women ‘lost’ in the dark shadows of life.



(February 5, 2023) David McGuire, ‘the missionary with a camera’ to Romania again uses his camera to ‘write’ reports on his latest trip to Ukraine…  

Once again I and other concerned Christians ventured going up into Ukraine to share the love of Jesus with  heartbroken and needy Ukrainians.

Many Ukrainians have practical needs! Sharing the gospel message of love doesn’t mean preaching only – it begins with fulfilling Jesus’ command to ‘love thy neighbour’ (Mark 12:31)!

As I reported last year – Sharing the Gospel With Words and Deeds with other photos – on a number of times caring Romanian Christians have made several dangerous trips up there to bring groceries, practical supplies and other goods to dear, distressed people who have seen their homes and towns destroyed by Russia. And to pray about needs!

Just recently, some Ukrainians were blessed by yet another such venture up there by a Romanian team… despite dangers.


Groceries were purchased that could be distributed freely to needy Ukrainians. Here’s Chris and me loading up bread and other grocery items.

Then practical provisions were obtained, such as desperately needed woodburning stoves and generators as there is no electric or gas where we were daring to travel. And not only no heat but no water!