prayer

DON’T LET FEAR DOMINATE YOUR LIFE!

(May 14, 2019) Carol Round encourages us to move on in life unafraid…

On April 29, I found myself huddled in a closet with my dog. Tornado sirens were blaring for the second time that evening. I took deep breaths, and then exhaled prayers for safety, not only for myself, but for everyone who was in the path of the storms relentlessly barrelling across several states that day.

According to the news, at least 18 tornadoes were sighted across Oklahoma this past Monday, leaving behind destruction and flooding with the torrential rains that also fell. Two people were killed and 22 injuries were reported. While there have been deadlier tornadoes and destruction, living in a state known as tornado alley can lead even the most fearless person to shelter when the sirens go off.

When fear governs your life
I’ve overcome most of the fears from my past – the ones holding me hostage, the ones keeping me from stepping outside of my comfort zone and the ones denying me a joy-filled life.

Before a tornado hit my previous house in Claremore in 2016, I never feared stormy weather. Growing up in Louisiana, I survived multiple hurricanes during my 16 years living there. I can’t recall being fearful. We always had plenty of advance warning to prepare or evacuate.

Although I know God watches over me, I can’t stop racing to my hidey-hole when I hear the warning sirens. Even though I prepare in advance with pillows and blankets piled on the floor of my closet, the sound of approaching danger rules my human heart, which threatens to jump out of my chest. (more…)

BRIDGING THE GAP

(February 15, 2019) Missionary statesperson Dr George Forbes reminds us that God needs heroes…

Believe it or not, God – yes, Almighty God – has a particular need, a big one!

Ezekiel 22:30 tells that he reveals his heart cry: ‘I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.’

Throughout the history of God’s people, both in Old Testament and New Testament times, God has sought for a man or woman to be his voice, to stand in the gap before him for the land. All too often he has not found even one.

Yes, there have been many times in decades past when someone has responded, someone who heard God’s call and obeyed it. But in our generation, our day, he is still looking for men and women who will stand in the gap for a nation, a land, a people.

Heroes of faith, lights in darkness
Some such heroes of bygone times are named in scripture… in the Old Testament and the Acts of the Apostles and other New Testament records: They belong in God’s Honour Roll!

In recent generations of Christian faith there have been other such heroes of faith… many are not listed here, but we can think of –

  • William Carey
  • Hudson Taylor
  • Adonorim Judson
  • Gladys Aylward
  • David Livingston
  • Mary Slessor
  • Amy Carmichael
  • Jim Elliot
  • And so many others…

(more…)

‘RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTETH PEOPLE’!

(February 15, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage readers to go the Matthew 5:41 extra mile…

One never knows where a thought, an encounter, an incident, a new link, an observation, a happening, an event, something seen in real life, a movie, on TV or in a movie can lead to further thoughts.

We enjoy good movies, especially great old black and white film noir ones. Watched a detective one recently – 1948’s He Walked by Night – depicting how ‘real’ police-work is so often laboriously painstaking and lengthy before the offender is located let alone caught.

Highlight no 1
One interesting scene showed the entrance to Los Angeles’ city hall where some of the police work begins. This led to ‘other thoughts’ when we saw highlighted above the following great quotation…

Obviously those who chose this inscription knew Proverbs 14:34. Although the ‘old KJV’ reads ‘a nation’ the Hebrew word also infers ‘people’ as its base indicates a ‘massing.’ In any case the second part of this wise declaration and encouragement reads, ‘but sin is a reproach to any people.’

‘Coincidental’(?) highlight no 2!
Drafting this article we had zeroed in on righteousness, exalting, sin, reproach and how Solomon was talking about ‘doing the right thing’ thereby lifting up people up in their own eyes and those of others around them… whereas offensive behaviour – sin – is bad news observable by others.

Imagine our amazement when we received Jim McClure’s this month’s Teaching article Advance Australia… Where? and found he had quoted this same profound scripture! Better and clearer than we could, Dr Jim challengingly expounds these Proverbs 14 issues and the importance of godly righteousness! This is more than a coincidence, it’s timely! Do read it prayerfully.

Here we simply draw attention to the fact that it’s no wonder verse 35 is so punchy… ‘The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causes shame’ or as the Message reads, ‘Diligent work gets a warm commendation; shiftless work earns an angry rebuke.’

Favour, warm commendation. Words indicating God’s delight and pleasure. Yes we want that, not and ‘angry rebuke’ (missed blessings?), don’t we? (more…)

VICTORY IN 2019 – ENCOURAGEMENTS FROM JOAB

(January 15, 2019) Brian Bell reflects on winning tactics against an enemy

We’re two weeks into 2019 already!

Over past months I’ve been reading and meditating on Old Testament scriptures and have been encouraged and challenged as the Lord has reminded me of encouraging  truths I can apply to my own life as I seek to victoriously move ahead in 2019 – as can the body of Christ, those believers who make up the church.

In particular I’ve been reminded of spiritual warfare and, knowing my own battles and that if the Lord tarries the enemy will continue to be active in 2019, I share some brief thoughts based on 2 Samuel 10: 6-13 that I trust may be helpful.

I won’t include a historical overview other than to say that Joab was King David’s general. In the verses I mention here, Joab has been sent by David to meet a large army made up of Ammonites, Arameans and others. The story opens as Joab approaches the place of battle… let me share from his winning tactics what I see as lessons for the church.

1) Appraisal
This thought is in the words of verse 9: ‘When Joab saw he would have to fight on two fronts…’

It’s good to be wise and not underestimate the approach and tactics of an enemy – as believers we need to remember that the ‘enemy’ is not ‘people of flesh and blood’ (as the apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12). So, for example, people with whom we may disagree even on some point of doctrinal theology should not be seen as enemies!

We can be sure the enemy will always seek to display his best and most subtle attack formation – the word ‘appraisal’ is a way of describing how Joab sized up the situation. (more…)

ATHEIST PILOT MOCKED GOD, UNTIL HE RAN OUT OF FUEL IN A SNOWSTORM

(June 14, 2018) Mark Ellis shares how danger led to salvation…

Raised in the secular Seventies, completely un-churched, he had no room for God until he ran out of fuel in an Alaskan storm, miles from his destination.

‘I was a God mocker,’ says Mark Rose, founder of Genesis Alive, and author of Last of the Long Hunters, a story of the pilots who fly the Alaskan Arctic.

Rose learned to fly at 16, and by age 22 had become a bush pilot who helped take care of a fleet of helicopters that worked on the Alaska pipeline. ‘My ego meter was on 101,’ he admits.

Low on fuel

 

Mark Rose with helicopter

One day he flew some hunters to the upper part of a large river on the Arctic. But on his return flight, carrying one passenger, several things went wrong.

First, herds of caribou had moved in, covering his first and second choices for a landing spot. Then he began to run low on fuel, so he called ahead for a weather check at the small airport near Kotzebue, on the Baldwin Peninsula.

‘Come on in, the weather’s fine,’ the FAA flight service operator told him. (more…)

FLIES-ON-THE-WALL AND THE SECRET LIFE OF SAINTS

(February 22, 2018) Stuart Reynolds challenges …

Flies-on-the-wall’ documentaries are not new – if our television broadcast schedules are anything to go by, we can’t get enough of them!

And with the rapid progress of camera technology, such broadcasts have become deeper, clearer, even truer, spawning a whole new breed for our watching – from The Secret Life of Pets  to The Secret Life of 4 & 5 Year Olds,’ and, if you really want it, The Secret Life of Books and even of Buildings!

What about The Secret Life of Saints? What would ‘flies-on-the-wall’ learn and admire… or be unimpressed by?

Watchman Nee wrote: This is the test. How much of my life is seen? When men look on the surface, have they seen the whole, or is there more? Have I, in the unseen, a secret history with God?’ (more…)

21st CENTURY CHALLENGES

(August 11, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes issues a relevant challenge…

Last century a group of sixty one Charismatic /Pentecostal leaders met in the United States to seek the face of God for the future. At the conclusion of this time in prayer, repentance and seeking the face of God, they made a statement about eight things they felt God was calling them to do.

I have chosen five for this article – believing they are even more relevant today in this 21st century!

1. God is calling us to transform society
I will attempt here to open the challenge they placed last on their list.

They agreed that western culture was becoming increasingly hostile to the Christian faith. That they must not run from their calling to transform culture but engage in a kingdom mission to effect change. They agreed that Christians for too long have viewed politics, education and the financial realm as evil, when we must see those arenas as mountains to claim for Christ. (more…)

THEBUZZ

GLEANINGS (May 19, 2017):

  • ALBANY, OR – Healing power of prayer
  • GROVE, OK – Forgiveness and healing
  • VIETNAM/ENGLAND – 25 years of caring for orphans
    _____________________________________________________________________________________THE STUNNING SCIENCE BEHIND THE HEALING POWER OF PRAYER
    Dr Don Colbert (https://drcolbert.com/the-stunning-science-behind-the-healing-power-of-prayer/) shares good news…Even a mere 30 seconds of prayer, acknowledging God and giving thanks for all the blessings in your life, can have a powerful effect on your body, mind, and spirit.If you have a regular practice of prayer, then you are well aware that benefits are very real and wide-ranging. Many people who engage in these activities report psychological and spiritual benefits such as a sense of greater clarity, purpose, gratitude, presence, sense of connection, and overall well-being. However, these sorts of subjective benefits can be hard to measure scientifically.A beneficial ancient practice
    Interestingly, despite the difficulty in quantifying the spiritual effects of prayer, there have been many studies looking at the physical benefits of this ancient practice. (more…)

LIVING IN FAITH

(April 6, 2017) Tim Edwards brings another timely kingdom word…

When we hear from God to move ahead in something new and we obey, we take a step forward and we become more conscious of our personal growth and development in the Lord.

And guess what?

At that exact time we can be assured that many of us will start to face trials and tests in our lives. Why? Because it is often at times of growth in our lives that we find ourselves being stretched!

Anyone in that category right now?
As we stretch and grow – which is ultimately fantastic by the way – and as we are tested and find ourselves in new and strange situations we need to know what is holding us together; what is sitting in our foundations. We need to look more closely at what is happening in our heads and hearts and ask ourselves what we believe and what exactly we hold to be true. (more…)

THE BUZZ

GLEANINGS (February 17, 2017):

  • TEN WAYS TO LOVE – No commandment greater
  • MIRACLE AND SALVATIONS IN VIETNAM – Prayer and  Christian love
  • MOVING ON – From dream to reality!

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NO OTHER COMMANDMENT IS GREATER!

Carol Round(February 17, 2017) Carol Round, Special to ASSIST encourages…

‘”And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” The second is equally important: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” No other commandment is greater than these’ (Mark 12:30-31NLT).

For over 11 years, I’ve sat down at my computer each week to write this column. It wasn’t part of my retirement plan after leaving education in 2005. But God had other plans. (more…)