trusting God

NEHEMIAH – GOD’S CALL TO BUILD THE WALL (Part 4)

(June 22, 2022) Hope Flinchbaugh shares some more thoughts about Nehemiah’s wall building journey, challenging us to know that God has a plan for us…’

It’s hard to leave our comfort zone! And that was the initial challenge Nehemiah faced in moving on from his comfort zone to fulfilling God’s plan for his life.

Being cupbearer to the king – a  noted position – meant Nehemiah was in and out of the king’s presence several times a day. He had money, a position that clothed him well and gave him personal honour, a position where he enjoyed a small realm of trust and influence before the king.

When he learned that the exiled survivors of Israel were living in appalling conditions, that the walls of Jerusalem were rubble and the gates of the city were in cinders and ashes, Nehemiah was deeply touched. He immediately fasted, prayed, wept, and was willing to move…  but what was the next step?

Waiting patiently
That must have felt so anticlimactic!

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ST PATRICK – RADICAL DISCIPLE AND MISSIONARY

(March 17, 2022), Alan Higgins brings a timely challenge…

It’s St Patrick’s Day today and I recall what our patron saint did with discipleship and mission.

The main scriptures – familiar to many – that I have chosen are Jeremiah 29:11 and Matthew 28:16-20 … scriptures, I believe, that must have been on Patrick’s heart.

What can we learn from them… and what do they tell us about Saint Patrick, the Irish legend?

1. Patrick’s life exemplifies Jesus’ command to reach the lost     
The gospels give us the following messages from the heartbeat of Jesus, not just Patrick, on the importance of fulfilling the great commission.

Matthew 28:16-20 is what Patrick set out to do in Ireland – to make disciples in this nation. His life and ministry teach us to be open to the call of God in our lives.

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OWING GOD?

(March 16, 2022) Maureen McQuillan responds to a someone who’s concerned about ‘owing God’…

Dear Pastor Maureen

I know I owe God so much for all He’s done for me… salvation through the gift of His Son Jesus and so much more. How can I pay Him what I owe? Yours, Jane.

Dear Jane

Owing God? Yes, we owe Him so much… but it’s impossible to pay God back for anything He’s done! At least not financially.

Look up the word ‘owe’ in the KJV and you’ll find that the only place this word is mentioned is Romans 13:8, Owe no man any thing, but to love one another…’

‘Owe’ here is opheilō… to be under an obligation and we could easily think in terms of money owed to someone or an organisation, especially when we recall that Jesus had something to say about owing people! (Matthew 18:28, Luke 16:5. And Leviticus 25:53 instructs business owners to pay workers what they owe them).

But nowhere does scripture require us to ‘owe God’ financially! What scripture does encourage us to do is support our local church. By extension this can also be some purposeful evangelist, missionary, or other genuine ministry God has directed us to support.

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JOURNEY INTO THE UNKNOWN

(March 13, 2022) Robert McQuillan shares about an intrepid missionary’s bold decision…

When I received a brief email a few days ago from missionary to Romania, David McGuire, I was immediately reminded of that old snowclone intro to the original 1966 Star Trek TV episodes – Where No Man Has Gone Before (Changed in the Next Generation series to the gender-neutral Where No One Has Gone Before).

Why? Why was I so thrown that I reminisced about that old classic intro? Well, with all the reports on TV news programs about what Ukraine is suffering from Russia’s invasion, likened unto Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland back in 1939, one wonders ‘Who would want to travel to Ukraine at this time!’

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says Russia might use chemical weapons following its invasion of Ukraine and that such a move would be a war crime, according to an interview in German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

He added that although the Ukrainian people were resisting the Russian invasion with courage, the coming days are likely to bring even greater hardship.

‘That’ brief email
Let me tell you some things about my friend David McGuire. He doesn’t waste words, preferring to be about the Lord’s business! Consequently his short email simply said this…

‘About to leave home with medical and humanitarian to go and join with team from Cluj YWAM. From there we will travel up into Ukraine overnight to base ourselves where we can serve many needy people.

‘Pray for strength love and courage to bless and strengthen these we meet and have needs. The team will be led by Pastor Alin who will decide how and which way we travel and in what from Cluj. I travel with Project Romania van to Cluj and from there we see how leadership want best to go with vans.

‘For Jesus we live and love. Thank you for prayers.’

Let me tell you more about David…

Firstly… straight to the point
As intimated above, he’s not really one for words (so with pleasure I’ve reworded some lines, adding capitals… although his mission Reachout articles are great, such those mentioned below).

Rather David (right) uses his camera to let supporters and interested people like myself know how the Lord is leading him and what, with the Holy Spirit’s help, his missionary activities are achieving practical as well as spiritual needs (Read the article link highlighted below).

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DIVINE, NOT FAITH, HEALING!

(February 14, 2022) Robert McQuillan shares…

Personally, I strongly believe in God’s power to heal whoever calls on Him when sickness strikes.

It used to be common that Christians testified on Sundays about having asked God for healing and how He had answered them! They wanted to share how trusting God and His word had resulted. But for many years trendy music, overdone announcements and tithing mini-sermons have been more important!

Today, in many churches it’s a rarity to invite slickly people to respond to an altar call for prayer in respect of needed miracles.

Don’t church leaders believe in the power of God’s word regarding healing? Have they forgotten how to pray with confidence? Has the great truth of divine, not faith, healing by God’s power been forgotten, no longer understood?

Positive power words
Maureen
and I delight to pray positively for sickly folk, having experienced several divine healings – and miracles – ourselves over a lifetime.

Example: Years ago we were asked to teach a church camp about healing and praying for the sick. But… Friday I suddenly developed a severely sore throat, and couldn’t talk.

Now I could have phoned and hoarsely whispered a negative ‘I can’t come Saturday.’ But I didn’t. Instead we stayed overnight enroute with good friends who made me a cosy bed on a comfortable couch before a roaring log fire. Feeling so ill, I enjoyed a hot drink, sucked honey and relaxed.

Appreciating the comforts, I prayed positively to God, asking in Jesus’ name that He graciously heal me, confirming that I trusted Him to restore me. Even claimed a healing scripture that means so much to me… 1 Peter 2:24b: ‘By His wounds (stripes) you have been healed,’ and endeavoured to fall asleep.

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DOES GOD ‘THINK’ ABOUT THINGS?

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(January 23, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to an unusual question…


Dear Pastor Maureen

This will probably seem to be a silly question… but I’m asking it anyway. I was watching a good TV family movie the other night and in it a little boy was saying his prayers. Cute. But as he was asking a special blessing on his dad and mum, he finished off this way: ‘Will you please think about it, Lord?’ Well, it had me wondering if God has to think things through as we do. What do you reckon? Sarah.

Hello, Sarah

How unusual a question indeed! But I think I know which movie you mean. Sounds like one we recently watched in which the above happened and, for a moment or two, with smiles we thought as you did.

Well then, I’ve never been asked your question before but, on reflection, a few thoughts come to mind (See what you think)…

Firstly, we believe that as God is Almighty God, He knows everything, indeed knows everything already. His word (the Bible) is His mind and His word doesn’t change.

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HEARING AND ACTING

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(December 15, 2021) Maureen McQuillan answers a question a little differently this month…

Pastor Maureen… I need your advice about… Yours ‘Somebody’

This person (let’s call her ‘Somebody’) is but one of a number of Christians who have asked me for advice, help, direction expecting me to have the mind of God on their situation.

Many times I give commonsense guidance but become aware that they’re hearing but not really listening and I learn later that they never acted and still have the same old problem! So I’ll start this way…

Dear Somebody
I understand your problem and I want to encourage you to relax and trust the Lord. Life is life… and many times problems come up out-of-the-blue and we have to make decisions. Now I’m not referring to normal everyday decisions such as what do I wear or make for dinner. As we automatically decide on those matters, so we often can do the same with bigger matters that arise… if we relax and give it all over to the Lord, at the same time sensing what ‘our heart’ is directing us to do.

I suggest if you don’t immediately know in your heart what to do, then pray (remember how prayer is the Christian’s secret FTE weapon!) Here’s how the threefold ‘FTE secret’ outworks –

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MIRACLE IN THE MANGER… MIRACLE IN THE SINK

(December 12, 2021) Maureen McQuillan reflects…

Trust you’re looking forward to Christmas Day as much as we are. Once again our family will be with us, especially our great-granddaughter Avaleigh Grace for her first Christmas.

And, of course, our precious daughter, Wendy, who was born on Christmas Day… Wendy who when younger always reminded me, ‘Two pressies, Mummy; Christmas and my birthday. Not together, Mummy, but given separately.’

The real Christmas present
This is the one discovered in the Bethlehem manger by those shepherds who’d been so scared by the angelic visitation…

‘An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests”’ (Luke 2:9-14).

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THE BIBLE ISN’T BANNED READING

(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 (natoffice@acl.org.au) 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).

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TRUSTING GOD, SURVIVING CANCER AND COVID

Mark Ellis shares a heart-warming testimony…

In 2020 Geane Prado, 51, was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. She started chemotherapy and had a bone marrow transplant. But when she went for her second round of chemotherapy, doctors discovered Geane had covid-19, according to a report by Aleteia.

Admitted to the hospital, her condition deteriorated rapidly. After the second diagnosis, she fully surrendered her life to God.

Strong faith
God gave her a strong faith, but prior to being intubated, she wrote goodbye letters to her family. She sent them all to a friend and asked her to deliver the messages if she died.

In one of the letters, Geane (right today) gave the following exhortation to her children:

  • Under no circumstances separate from each other. Be united, live for each other. Take care of your spiritual life, educate your children in the fear of the Lord, be strong, and continue to be beautiful, loving children of good character. There are no words to describe how proud I am of you. Never abandon your father, take care of him with love.

Geane’s condition got worse!

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