(December 5, 2017) Geraldine Brandt reminds us of a special lady who willingly trusted God to fulfil his word…
May I bring a particular aspect to the Christmas story – the biblical Mary that I see!
When we think of Christmas we naturally think of Jesus Christ, born of Mary, a virgin – born in a manger, born to die on a cross for the sins of the world. That’s as it should be! There is no greater message to be proclaimed, nor any other focus that should be given.
But can I add that one of the greatest messengers of this truth is the mother of Jesus, Mary herself.
Mary does not preach this message, she lives it! When we take time to go through the gospels and study this woman of God we find a very humble woman, great in faith, persistent in prayer and steadfast in her trust in God, specifically trusting that what he said about her son, Jesus, would come to pass.
Willing to obey
From the very beginning – Mary’s encounter with Gabriel, the archangel of God Most High – we see a woman who is willing to do the will of God, and to do that will without fanfare, complaint, or requested recognition. (more…)
(October 11, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan challenge all who feel something is missing …
Some time ago we read somewhere a very meaningful observation of Know the Truth blogger Philip De Courey, Kindred Community Church’s pastor, Anaheim.
He wrote that ‘The average Christian is a theological kindergartner lacking a basic knowledge of Christian doctrine … When it comes to doctrine; this is a day of the lowest common denominator. Congregations want preachers to play on their hearts not to tamper with their minds.’
Our own observation is that the line following is still so relevant in October 2017: ‘Ours is a time when people want to feel God and know God without having to think biblically about God.’
Christianity playacting Often we find ourselves pointing out to congregations that we live in a day when many Christians are playacting,not participating – that they have problems simply because they can’t trust God and don’t (to use an often quoted expression church/business) move forward! (more…)
(August 8, 2017) Maureen McQuillan encourages all who feel unappreciated …
There’s a tale that’s been around since my Sunday school days – an unsourced homecoming story that’s been told and retold over the years in various ways. Basically it goes something like this…
A missionary couple, old and wearied, was returning home to the States to retire after toiling many years in what we were told back then to capture our imagination was ‘Darkest Africa.’ Not overly successful in their missionary service they were unknowns compared to such ‘greats’ as Dr David Livingstone.
But they’d been faithful to their calling and had shared God’s love and the gospel of Jesus in many caring ways. They had reached to neighbours – strangers – not only to preach but to help in practical ways. And they would pray for the sick and needy and witness miracles – and over many years had known the joy of seeing several indigenous people accept Christ as Saviour.
This couple had grown old together as they laboured on despite many difficulties, opposition from demonic forces, misunderstandings from locals including other ministries, and even lack of meaningful prayer and financial support from their church back home. (more…)
(August 6, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage renewed confidence and not quitting…
Confidence – typical dictionary definition:
Quality or state of being certain;
Feeling or consciousness of one’s powers;
Faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way.
How we yearn for abundant confidence when challenged to do something new, especially for the Lord and in church life. And how we can feel so disappointed when things don’t work out, or we feel – even wrongly believe that we’ve missed it, we’ve failed – and unfortunately are not aware of, do not discover what we have achieved because we were determined to be faithful no matter what price we had to pay.
The reality is that in our limitation as humans we’re unable to visage the ultimate bigger picture’s ongoing and end results. We’ll never know all we’ve achieved when we even willingly offer a mere glass of water in Jesus’ name… but as the Message Bible says, ‘Count on it that God will notice’ (Mark 9:41). (more…)
(July 23, 2017) Maureen McQuillan encourages any who feel discarded …
An impossible task!
That’s what the project that I had set myself suddenly seemed as I looked down at the pile of rocks – or to be technical – large pieces of cut or sawn stones.
I had been working on the back garden we had some years ago and, being creative, had envisioned an attractive dry stone wall. And I had decided that I could build that wall by myself and save costs.
The various shaped stones arrived, several quite heavy. But I wasn’t desponded, even though I had never built a dry stone wall before and had neither instruction manual nor helper – Robert was away ministering.
Well, here goes, I thought (plus ‘Help, Holy Spirit’ and similar prayers!). In my mind I planned it all out and then began to build so creatively. And all went well until a certain point …
I just couldn’t find the right piece of stone for the next joint. Nothing would fit the breech in the design. I searched and searched to no avail. There just wasn’t a beautiful shapely stone that would fit in. (more…)
(July 21, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes challenges the church:
‘If the Lord delights in us, then he will bring us into this land and give it to us’ (Num.14:8).
These words of Caleb and Joshua, spoken on their return from spying out the Promised Land, are powerful and true. When ten of the twelve men chosen to investigate Canaan returned with a negative report, Caleb and Joshua demonstrated a different heart and mind.
They did not allow the difficulties in the land to cause them to despair, as the ten other spies did.
Another of Caleb’s God honouring statements was ‘Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcomeit‘ (Numbers 13:30). (more…)
(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…)
(January 10, 2017)Stuart Reynolds brings a timely 2017 challenge…
Thirty-five years ago the media outlets in the United States carried a most unique story about a 33-year-old man called Larry Walters. Perhaps approaching an early mid-life crisis, Larry decided he wanted a new perspective on life where he lived.
He came up with an ingenious plan – he purchased 42 weather balloons which he inflated, having friends attach them to his securely anchored lawn chair.
Along with some refreshments for the journey he also took a pellet gun, so he could shoot each balloon as he would make his descent. Walters thought the balloons would only take him a few hundred feet in the air – the reality was that they launched him some 15,000 feet and into the flight traffic pattern for the nearby Los Angeles International Airport!
Realising his dilemma, he frantically started to shoot the balloons, but in his panic dropped his gun. After two hours of ‘flight’ it finally took an Air Force helicopter to bring him down.
When the ‘Lawn Chair Pilot’ (as he became known as) was safely back on terra firma and charged by the police, he faced the music of the news reporters. He was asked, ‘Were you scared?’ His response was, ‘Yes, I was, but wonderfully so!’
When asked ‘Why did you do it?’ he replied ‘Because you can’t just sit there.’
(November 17, 2016) Stuart Reynolds calls for Bible-based Christian living…
For years Lights! Camera! Action! has been the call on the movie sets of our world as the crew begin another ‘take.’
Christians live on a world-stage where the performance is not make-believe but the profession of a living testimony where Christ is ‘clearly portrayed’ (Galatians 3:1).
The context in which Paul wrote was one of …
Disappointmentof wasted effort in what stands undone because it was abandoned – ‘I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you’ (Gal. 4:11).
Distractionof worldly wisdom, so subtle yet so strong to close God’s voice in favour of ‘other’ voices – ‘After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?’ (Gal. 3:3).
Deceptionof wickedness in plundering and poisoning the masses, calling what is good, ‘wicked’ – ‘Who has bewitched you?’ (Gal. 3:1).
Desertion of workers who once toiled for the gospel – ‘I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ’ (Gal. 1:6).
We too, in our day, face the same pressures and suffer the same challenges: We need another ‘take’…our own version of ‘Lights! Camera! Action!’ Not a new call – but arenewed, rediscovered callto attention, concentration and demonstration.(more…)