trust

FIVE ‘Ts’ OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

(October 18, 2022) Richard Winter shares comfort and a challenge…

Do you know who this is?

I’m sure you have seen him on an old TV show… it’s Mr T.

Mr T is known for his distinctive hairstyle inspired by Mandinka warriors in West Africa, his gold jewelry, and his tough-guy image. He is also known for his catchphrase, ‘I pity the fool!’

Today Mr T is a Christian who stopped wearing the gold jewelry and acting tough because it’s a contradiction to what he believes.

As we grow in Christ we begin to realise that our Christian maturity has many facets, just like  beautiful diamond and I want to make mention of five of them today that all start with T so that we can become a Mr T in Christ!

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‘HELP, HOLY SPIRIT!’

(August 30, 2022) Maureen McQuillan recalls a bad incident, and shares her favourite prayer…

Dear Pastor Maureen
This is a thank you for your article,  brrr-baby-its-cold-outside. It so encouraged me. Caroline.

Hi there, Caroline

So glad to hear that my little article blessed you. The Holy Spirit is always there to help us, encourage us. Many times something comes up out-of-the-blue, so unexpectedly and it’s great to know that we can call on Him to help.

This reminds me of a really unexpected catastrophic incident I encountered when visiting Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania quite a few years back…

Our very hospitable hosts had taken us to their favourite Rotary restaurant and afterwards decided to show us a few local sites. One was the famous Duquesne Incline and we really enjoyed travelling up and back down, seeing the beautiful panoramic night views of the city.

Unfortunately, as we were walking back to their car chatting away, I stumbled over some uneven paving I hadn’t noticed and had a very painful fall! My ankle immediately swelled up and I hurt so much.

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KEEP STANDING ON THE PROMISES

(March 11, 2022) Brian Bell shares a great encouragement  …

We’re already halfway through the third month of 2022!

Despite the general unrest and uncertainty which still prevails across the world, I believe the encouragement from God’s word is to keep standing on His promises.

Let me draw you back to the words God spoke to Moses in Exodus 33:14 – ‘My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.’

Now I am sure we would not be envious of the task God asked Moses to carry out. To go back to his place of failure in Egypt, face Pharaoh and bring God’s people out of captivity! It was because God knew the enormity and difficulty of the task that He spoke this promise to Moses.

I have three little thoughts of encouragement to suggest. God’s word is –

A Personal Promise My presence’
(i) Personal in its source
In Romans chapter 1, the apostle Paul lists the many ways in which sin has impacted on humanity and included in the list, he uses this phrase ‘break their promises.’

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NEGATIVITY… TIME FOR A CHANGE IN THINKING!

(March 11, 2022) Maureen McQuillan challenges:

Negativity… it can be so rampant among many people but we Christians don’t need to be negative!

The reality is that if we talk negatively we’re dishonouring God… and also causing others to be wrongly influenced.

We mustn’t dishonour the Lord!
The reality is that if we talk negatively we’re dishonouring God… and also causing others to be wrongly influenced.

Off all people, Christians should know scripture and be living a life of trusting God. We’re meant to be living above and beyond all negativities!

Oh I know, life has its negatives and reversals but, with the Holy Spirit’s supernatural help and by trusting God’s word – even as our greatest example, Jesus, did – we too can overcome such blues and be a good influence on others.

Afterall, it’s not good for any Christian to be acting, talking or even thinking negatively. Doing so must hurt and disappoint our loving heavenly Father God who expects us to fully trust him (as Robert wrote about last month: Trusting God in Everything)!

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TRUSTING GOD IN ‘EVERYTHING’

(February 20, 2022) Robert McQuillan challenges:

Seems that our main theme this month is on trusting God… and how vital that is as further disasters hit our already troubled world and people, including Christians, have many concerns, such as –

  • Storm Eunice hitting the UK, Ireland, and parts of Europe, following its predecessor Storm Dudley.
  • variants of viruses including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 and can/ may change over time.
  • Strange times, as some have put it, with strange things happening.
  • Possible war between Russian and Ukraine.
  • Hospital staff shortage and other medical concerns.
  • Matthew 24:8’s ‘All these are the beginning of birth pains’ mentioned by Jesus?
  • Possibility, maybe probability of really being close to that hour (known only by Father God – Matthew 24:36) when Jesus Christ returns as THE GREATEST KING OF ALL AND THE MOST POWERFUL LORD OF ALL (to quote capitalised Revelation 19:16NIrV).But prior to this, a one-world-government and currency, and the revealing of the anti-Christ (Read Daniel’s prophecies).

Worried? Well… remember how Jesus encouraged His troubled, worried disciples.

John 14:1GNB tells us: ‘Do not be worried and upset. Believe in God and believe also in me.’

That’s what faith and hope are really all about! Trusting God!  No wonder the Message Bible puts it even more pointedly: ‘Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me.’

So let’s treat ‘this’ as ‘anything’ and not be ‘thrown’ as Jesus encourages. Why? Because it’s easy to think that Christians can’t be thrown by life’s curves – but it happens! Indeed, in life there are many things that throw us… if we let them.

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CHRISTMAS TIME TRUSTING

(December 14, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan bring Christmas comfort…

Forget about timewasting debates about when Jesus was actually born, the day, the month… no one knows! The point is that he was born and for many years the church has traditionally been celebrating this historic event of good news from heaven on December 25 and calling it Christmas Day!

With joy we praise our caring heavenly Father for his special  ‘Christmas gift.’ For Christians and the church the carol Tis the season to be merry is very relevant! Thank God for his love and goodness in sending Jesus!

Let’s be as happy as Mary and Joseph, the astounded shepherds and the faithful magi who came along later would have been. Precious people who were trusting God in uncertain times.

This is the month when one sees posters everywhere advertising cherry Christmas carolling either in churches (organised by churches) or in local parks (organised by councils or community-minded organisations)… a time of expected good cheer, family fun and caring friendship. Even several stores are playing pleasant traditional Christian carols relaxing their customers.

Christmas is indeed meant to a joyous time, especially for Christians and the church of Jesus Christ. But, sadly, we’ve been hearing from some folk that it won’t be so for them as some tragedy has hit them or their family hard… such as unexpected lost jobs, passing of loved ones, ministry upsets or abrupt changes, marriage problems, lack of godly pastoral wisdom/counsel, strange health issues, sleepless nights, troubled minds. And other nasties …

Some friends have also expressed concern over Christians being harassed, bullied, even imprisoned in India, North Korea and elsewhere – and about the increased crime rate in our so-called ‘Lucky country.’

Christmastime concerns can steal Christmas joy
Yet while we hear many people wishing one another ‘Merry Christmas!’ – as yet we haven’t heard one add the traditional ‘And a Happy New Year.’ Neither from Christians or non-churchgoers. It’s like the 2018 catchphrase of ‘moving ahead’ has done a back-flip with some people and a vision for 2019 just isn’t there. Yes 2019 will reveal fresh satanic attacks on Christianity and churches but our hope is always in the head of the church, Jesus, the one we praise God for at this Christmas season.

Personally we feel for everyone with heavy hearts at this time, who have lost their joy due to dwelling on negatives, unable to find comforting answers and good advice. These concerns can be so side-tracking and destructive. This week we ourselves had what immediately seemed a disaster drop on us out-of-the-blue that could have thrown us! (more…)

‘GOD COULDN’T POSSIBLY FORGIVE ME…’

(September 10, 2018) Dr Jim McClure, straightshooting theologian, shares…

Every now and then I hear these condemning words from a sad, heavy-hearted Christian, ‘I’ve heard that there’s a sin that God can’t forgive… “the unpardonable sin.” I feel, I think I’ve committed it! God couldn’t possibly forgive me…’

What such a tormented person is really thinking in his (or her) troubled mind is this – ‘Is it possible that I committed such a big sin, or so many sins, that I’ve gone beyond the point where I can’t be forgiven, can’t be saved?’

The good news of the gospel
I feel for such people (incidentally some non-Christians also often believe their sins are too great to be forgiven!). And if they’d share with me I hasten to point out that the gospel – the good news – of Christ is that our sin, whatever they are or how big or many, cannot exceed the love, grace and mercy of God. (more…)

57TH ANNY… GOING FOR 67 AND BEYOND!

(July 7, 2018) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share  some personal matters…

Noticed that our granddaughter, Bonnie-Jane Phillips, whom we married to Matthew Hoseini, a great young man three weeks ago, had happily Facebooked the following: ‘21 days ago I married my best friend! Cannot believe how quickly the time has gone by already.’

We’d Facebooked back: ‘Cute, cute. Only 21 days? Just wait until it’s 20805 days plus a few extra leap years’ days – that’s about 21000 days – as it’ll be for us come July 7! Then you can really rave!’

 

Blissfulness: A happy Matthew and Bonnie-Jane, only 21 days married

That, and some other happenings, led to sharing the following…

Asked last Monday what we were doing this weekend, we quietly said that on Saturday (today) we’d be happily celebrating our 57th wedding anniversary, some 21000 days if we count from the moment we first met (engaged within two weeks of blissfully falling in love!) but couldn’t get married being underage and unable to immediately win parental permission. Our friend’s eyes popped open wide and she remarked she couldn’t believe it! (more…)

HOPE – AND GDPR!

(June 19, 2018) Norman and Margaret Moss share a great reflection…

Ah, what tangled worldwide webs we weave!

There’s a new acronym around: GDPR… which can, among other explanations, mean General Data Protection Regulation (European Union), Global Defence Posture Realignment (DoD Transformation Plan), Gross Domestic Product per Region, Group of Deputy Permanent Representatives (on the public disclosure of NATO documents), Graduate Degree Progress Report (Southern Methodist University; Texas) – or how about this one… Grateful Dread Public Radio (Baltimore, MD internet public radio station)!

 

But, Christian readers, sons and daughters of Almighty God, disciples of Jesus, GDPR does not stand for Get DePRessed – though I almost thought so when I first heard about it.

The Christian GDPR
Now this acronym stands for a great Bible truth of… God’s Deep Presence Rewards! (more…)

KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS

(April 21, 2018) Carol Round asks …

Do you find it difficult sometimes to keep your eyes on Jesus? I know I do.

When we find our lives spiralling out-of-control with unexpected illnesses, the death of a loved one, family dysfunction or worldwide uncertainty, it’s often easier to wring our hands in despair than to turn to the one who gave his life for us.

Jesus never promised us a life of luxury or one without pain and heartache. Look at his life, lived simply and ending in an agonising death. But he did promise to be with us during our trials.

Smiles from a servant’s heart
Recently, I was blessed to have lunch at an assisted living facility with a friend who will turn 90 later this year. As each of her table companions joined us to eat, Josie introduced me. I’m certain my friend is the oldest of the five women, but you wouldn’t have guessed it by her actions.

Before the others arrived and I could assist her, Josie had parked her walker and moved a chair from a nearby table and placed it next to hers – for me. When I realised her intent, I admonished her and said, ‘Josie, you should let me do that.

Then, when the last of our tablemates joined us, Josie rose to help manoeuvre her friend’s walker and pull back her dining room chair so she could be seated. When she returned to her seat, I said, ‘Josie, you have a servant’s heart.’ She just smiled. (more…)