(December 4, 2021)Brian Bell seriously considers some 2022 resolves…
As we enter the month of December 2021 with its Christmastime highlights, I find it exceedingly difficult notto think beyond Christmas to the New Year. One reason for that is because January 1 is my birthday – perhaps someone else reading these words shares this birth date.
Another reason is those traditional New Year ‘resolves.’ Despite the title of this meditation, it has never been my practice – as some like to do – to make ‘New Year resolutions.’ But that does not mean I am without resolve.
Let me begin with these thoughts…
As we approach 2022, maybe you look back on a difficult life experience in 2021. Amid the uncertainties of life perhaps a situation injured you, people may have hurt and or disappointed you. Do you feel you have failed the Lord in some way or that you made a poor decision and think he won’t forgive you?
(October 22, 2021) Maureen McQuillan encourages a concerned person…
Pastor Maureen… I’m hearing from America, England and even here that there’s a rapidly growing conspiracy to demean, indeed block Christianity, cancel church and other Christianity charities, that Christian schools will be forced to accept non-Christian teachers, and such. I’m particularly concerned to hear that any Christian who seeks to help someone find Jesus as Saviour by sharing the gospel with them and pointing out that we’re all sinners and need to repent could be taken to court, fined and even imprisoned… if the person doesn’t like what they hear. Does this mean that we will be banned from sharing about God, Jesus and the things we hold dear? Marie (Not real name).
Gosh, ‘Marie’… whoa, wait a minute, hold it there.Sounds like you’re panicking! Yes, all that you mention sounds very concerning but we mustn’t be afraid…or deceived by any satanic ploy. Australian Christian Lobby (email@example.com) in particular and praying Christians/churches aware of such subversive ‘conspiracies’ are endeavouring to counter such matters (as are others speaking out in America and elsewhere).
(September 6, 2021) Maureen McQuillan shares a concern…
Not a response to a question this month, but simply my thoughts about someone overseas that we were informed made the following comment – ‘Well, I’m not getting covid-19 vaccinations! It’s all a hoax. If God wants to take me home to heaven by covid-19, then that’s okay with me.’ Straight off, I thought along these three lines…
1. How irresponsible! That’s what I immediately thought. Would this person (Let’s call him ‘Mr X’) walk out onto a busy road without looking right or left because of an attitude of ‘Well, If God wants to take me home to heaven by a terrible car crash, then okay.’ I doubt it!
2. Thoughtlessness regarding others! Scripture is very clear… Jesus commanded us in various passages such as Mark 12:33 to love our neighbours. Leviticus 19:16 is very strong: ‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbour’s life. I am the Lord.’ Paul wrote in Romans13:10 ‘Love does no harm to a neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.’
But people like Mr X have no consideration for others and local government requirements! If such careless people catch covid-19 there would be concerned relatives, not to mention already overpacked hospitals and flustered, over worked medical staff. A major concern with the current Delta strain is that people in our communities (especially those who won’t wear masks) could catch this virus unknowingly and be spreading it before it’s caught on. And oh what covid-19 sick hospitalised people are suffering! No wonder we hear of many pleading from their hospital beds that we be wise and not only wear masks but get vaccinated as our governments require!
(January 24, 2021) As we move ahead into this new year of uncertainties and changes, we rerun this 2017 article by the late missionary statesperson George Forbes, as it is an especially important reminder that missionary endeavour never changes!
Christian Missions operate in a wide range of areas of ministry internationally, service and aid!
Some are big enough to incorporate many activities and ministries.
Others specialise in one field of service such as humanitarian aid, education or medical.
Significant numbers specialise in language translation and their provision to nations.
Most missions that prioritise on evangelism, Bible training and church planting also open schools, medical clinics and other services.
Such services are crucial! Early in my thirty years of active mission organisation leadership, I discovered that these services were often crucial to our acceptance by indigenous leaders in developing countries. Biblically they were an evidence of Christian love and compassion to people in need.
The missionary task has always been about ‘making disciples.’ Jesus commanded the early church ‘to make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew. 28:18-20). He commanded his disciples to ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel’ (Mark 16:15). Matthew adds the important dimension of the Great Commission by quoting the words of Jesus, ‘As you go, make disciples.’ (more…)
(July 17, 2020) Carol Round challenges us to shine for Jesus…
In Matthew 5:15-16, Jesus challenged ‘Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father’ (NLT version).
Have you found it difficult to let your light actually shine lately? I have. It’s not just the continued increase in Covid-19 cases, either. The pandemic has divided us a nation.
Those who wear a mask to hopefully prevent the spread also follow social distancing guidelines. Then, there is the opposing side, the ones who don’t wear a mask in public or observe social distancing guidelines. I fall into the former group. However, I’m not going to take sides. It does no good because most of us have our mind made up.
This division has led to ugly confrontations. A recent video recorded a woman who was asked to leave a shoe store because she wasn’t wearing a mask. Angry at the employee who confronted her, the shopper threw several shoe boxes at her before exiting the store.
Can we let go of the anger? I’m angry!
Angry at the division in our country (and other nations!).
Angry at the way people on both sides have expressed their views.
Angry at friends on social media who continue to encourage strife with their divisive posts… I’ve ‘unfollowed’ them!
Allowing the negativity to affect me, I’ve struggled to write my weekly blog posts. I’ve prayed, asking God for help so I can continue to use my gifts for his glory. Sometimes, the words won’t flow. Other times, his Holy Spirit takes over and my fingers fly across the keyboard! (more…)