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WORDS OF LIFE (#G5) AMAZING GRACE – CHARIS (Part 1)

(August 29, 2017) Dr Jim McClure noted theologian, continues his series on selected Greek words… 

‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.’

These are familiar and well-loved words from the hymn written by John Newton.  What else did Newton say about grace in that hymn?  He wrote,

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.  …
Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.’

A transforming life-changing experience
Newton knew what he was talking about.  As a young man he was the ruthless and brutal captain of a slave ship.  But one night he discovered the reality of God, experienced his grace and was transformed from a cruel slave-ship captain into a preacher of the good news about Jesus Christ. Grace had made a dynamic impact on his life.

I believe that Newton understood something about the grace of God that we today largely fail to grasp.  We are confused about the meanings of the words love, mercy and grace in relation to the gospel.  We tend to think they all mean the same basic thing; but love leads to our acceptance by God,  mercy leads to our forgiveness by God, and grace, I believe, leads to a life-changing experience through God. (more…)

PENTECOST – CHANGED, CHARGED, CHALLENGED, COMMITTED, COMMISSIONED!

(June 1, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan comment on some Pentecost realities…

Acts 2:2-4 Message records an amazing breakthrough that the frightened, uncertain early church 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.’

Wow! This was out of the blue! But it was something more than just worshipping God in new languages! It mightily changed those first disciples and 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!

This Sunday, June 4 – is Pentecost Sunday this year and many churches ( not just Pentecostal) will be celebrating it as the…

  • Fulfilment of Jesus’ promise to everyone who follows him (Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:45)
  • Supernatural occurrences of how that promise was fulfilled – flames of fire resting on everyone and a mighty wind (Acts 2:2)
  • Additional manifestation of the Spirit causing Jesus’ followers to speak in tongues that not only centred on declaring the wonderful works of God but so confounded unsaved people outside that it led to many salvations! (Acts 2:5-13)
  • First ever public pronouncement of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:31, 32, 36)
  • Confirmation that the promise of the Holy Spirit is for every born-again believer, not just a chosen few or a particular church group or only leaders! (Acts 2:38b)
  • Ground-breaking declaration that repentance is the only way to forgiveness of sin and to gaining salvation – not like many of today’s weak pleas of ‘All you have to do is just give your heart to Jesus, nothing else’! (Acts 2:38a).

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THE POWER OF HOPE

peggy-kannaday(January 9, 2017) Peggy Kannaday reflects on a great biblical truth… 

Hebrews is a very informative New Testament book. For example Hebrews 11:6 makes it clear that it is impossible to please God if we do not have ‘faith.’

What is faith? The writer of Hebrews tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). In short, without hope; there could be no faith. Why? Because faith is based on the content of what the person is hoping to experience or attain.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12), and a hopeless person is very sad, depressed and ill. We must keep our hope strong at all costs because hope is a key to a healthy mind and life! It is a required prerequisite to activate God’s power in your life. (more…)

COMMIT YOUR 2016 PLANS TO GOD

Carol Round 2016Carol Round shares meaningfully re 2016 resolutions…

The apostle gives good advice in 3 John 2: ‘Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.’

A New Year has arrived and with it the usual resolutions to lose weight, get in shape and quit smoking. Some look for quick fixes through crash diets, new exercise crazes or so-called ‘magical’ pills while others seek a solution through surgery, bringing with it a host of possible complications and side effects.
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THEBUZZ

Disclaimer: Articles and links, as well as the source articles linked to, do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ConnectingwithYou! Our thanks mainly to Dan Wooding and ASSIST News Service link: www.assistnews.net (and to other news sources)
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MOUNT HERMON, CA
Peanuts movie: Good grief…plus fun…in 3D!
Rusty Wright
Rusty Wright
, Special to ASSIST, suggests… Fasten your seat belts, Peanuts fans. It’s a wild ride as the beloved comic strip characters hit the big screen in 3D. Charles Schulz‘s whole gang’s in this one.

Will Snoopy shoot down the Red Baron? Will Charlie Brown introduce himself to the Little Red-Haired girl? Will Lucy pull the football? You’ll have to see for yourself. But it’s fun. Lots of fun. (more…)

PENTECOST – ‘TONGUES’ AND MORE!

Dr-Robert-&-Maureen-McQuillan_PhotoRobert and Maureen McQuillan share:

It’s Pentecost Sunday this weekend!

This used to be a yearly highlight in most denominations, let alone Pentecostal ones – a celebration of when the Holy Spirit fell on the first Christians as described in Acts 2. That was when Christians were filled with the Spirit and joyfully worshipped God in ‘new tongues’ – untaught languages or glossolalia (V8-11). (more…)

RESPONDING TO PENTECOST

Murray Capill

Murray Capill, author and Reformed Theology College’s principal, challenges…

There are three ways we can respond to the central themes of the narrative in Acts and especially its focus on the Holy Spirit.

1. Seeking repetitions

One way is to continually seek repetitions of the day of Pentecost. Charismatics and Pentecostals treat the events of that day as normative and so they look for spectacular signs as manifestations of the Spirit today and for the baptism of the Spirit as an experience subsequent to conversion. (more…)

MORE?

Robert and OliverTwist_6957Maureen McQuillan challenge:

‘Please, sir, I want some more’ from Charles Dickens’ second novel Oliver Twist are words so famous that virtually everyone remembers them. The workhouse supervisor Mr. Bumble’s outraged response is well known too.

The musical Oliver portrays Bumble’s enraged reaction as ‘More? You want more?!!’ In other words, what you have already received is enough, more than enough!

Twenty years ago ‘More. I want more’ became the catchcry in church circles. Today as we minister around various denominations and pastoral care/mentoring, we still hear a cry for more from not just a mere few Christians. Unsettled hearts and lack of contentment in current circumstances results in Dickensian type expressions. (more…)

BEYOND DEPRESSION

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab, having served as a staff associate pastor for lengthy periods in two major churches, shares from experience:

The ‘D’ word – Depression – is extremely relevant to Christians today! Depression is real, and the church needs to face that reality appropriately.

‘Mental illness and Christians’ is a subject that continues to pop up in the media both secular and Christian. Last year it was sad to learn that Matthew Warren, youngest son of Saddleback’s high profile mega-church pastors Rick and Kay Warren, had taken his own life after a long struggle with unrelenting depressive illness. Interestingly reports indicated he had received the best medical, counselling and pastoral support available.

Later, Matthew’s grieving father Tweeted caring supporters, ‘Grieving is hard. Grieving as public figures, harder. Grieving while haters celebrate your pain, hardest.’

Beyond the fact – Positive care stemming from understanding
The church and Christians have often failed to understand depression and how to deal with it. Consequently there are some shocking and demeaning views held by people who ideally should be able to show positive care, understanding and help towards the mentally afflicted. So often, for various reasons, this has not been the case.

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The Power of Prayer

Robert and Maureen McQuillan write:

A good friend called asking us to pray for her sick husband and also regarding their need for a new rental accommodation. The first matter was of top priority as the future was looking bleak, the second would be a great homecoming blessing from hospital.

We prayed, knowing that this couple value prayer; that they know their God is interested in everything to do with his spiritual children’s daily life journey. Prayer immediately brought God’s miraculous touch into action and he continues to bless them one step at a time, one day at a time, one miracle at a time.

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