trusting God

UNSEVERED ROOTS AND GOOD SPRING GROWTH

(September 1, 2021) Robert McQuillan ponders…

It’s Wednesday September 1, Australia’s first day of spring – and what a beautiful warm day it is, with happy walkers and chirping birds flying around, some even landing to bathe in our backyard fountain!

Actually, all round it’s been a pretty good winter here but now we can look forward to really warmer days and a good season of gardening time ahead!

Gardening! Umm… I must confess that I’m not a gardener!  Now we do have a beautiful garden but it’s the result of Maureen’s handiwork! I delight to see the flourishing new plants she has planted and the healthy growing trees that she has been well trimmed. And many more of Maureen’s gardening creations around our attractive property.

Gardener’s misinterpreted comments
Yesterday we watched that 1979 satire classic, Being There with Peter Sellers brilliantly playing Chance, a simpleminded, uneducated gardener.  After being accidentally hit by the car of Ben Rand, an advisor and confidant of the American president, he’s taken to Rand’s luxurious home to be cared for.

There he’s mistakenly called Chauncey Gardiner and assumed, from his oldish but expensive attire, that he’s an upper-class, highly educated businessman. In actual fact, his old employer/benefactor had just died and Chance, always allowed to wear some of the old man’s clothes, has walked out into a world he’d never, ever been in before.

Repeatedly, Chance’s simple words are misinterpreted, especially in a first meeting with the president who regards Chance’s words as being profound, especially his simplistic utterances about gardens and the weather. He and his confidant Rand, soon to die himself, interpret these as allegorical statements of the state of their country’s economy and business in general.

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KNOWING GOD’S WILL

(August 15, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to a concerned couple…

Dear Pastor Maureen
We have to make decisions on certain important matters. How can we know what God wants us to choose, to do? How can we be certain we’ve made the right decisions? Morris and Hilda.

Dear Morris and Hilda

I can understand your apprehension as I’ve had to make many important decisions myself over the years. Still do. Here’s what I’ve learned to do… Call these keys if you like.

1. Firstly I remind myself of that encouraging scripture which assures us our God won’t let us down if we ask trust him to help us‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ (Proverbs 3:5). Verses 6-7a go on to say ‘in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes.’

The Message Bible is very strong on this great truth – ‘Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.’

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MORE DOORS THAN KEYS

(August 11, 2021) Robert and Maureen McQuillan remember and honour…

Mid last month, Dr James McConnell (84) – fondly known to his church, Metropolitan Tabernacle, Whitewell, Northern Ireland, friends and others as ‘the Bishop’ – passed on to glory (See Tribute to the Late Dr James McConnell and Whitewell Thanksgiving Service Dr James McConnell).

On-fire for Jesus
James McConnell was an outstanding man of God! Saved at a very young age and powerfully filled with the Spirit, he was so in love with his Saviour that he wanted everyone to discover what he had found. He was God’s instrument in thousands around the world finding Christ, not just his beloved Northern Ireland.

James McConnell powerfully preaching the gospel at Metropolitan Tabernacle

One of the great keys in his ministry was that he was always obedient to the Lord, even when it seemed a crazy thing to do.

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MOVING ON FROM A BAD RELATIONSHIP

(July 28, 2021) Bonnie-Jane shares an encouraging word from her heart…

That 10 Year Challenge Photo/Image Meme phase was popular a while back, and had people reflecting on their past.

As I reminiscence myself, I feel to share some things from my heart and trust they will help someone else who has gone through similar hurtful and damaging experiences in the past as I did. So here goes…

Suffering from a broken heart
Just over some 10 years ago I met someone who at first seemed to be interested in me and a relationship began. But as the months went by he proved to be most insincere and the relationship became an abusive one.

It was a hard and grim time for me. Always considered a gentle-spirited person, easy-going, thoughtful and kind, able to deal with situations, my heart was being broken and even my very personality was changing.

I praise God for his strength to make a most important decision… with his help I decided that enough was enough and broke that relationship!

From depression to renewed confidence
That decision was so important… but now I was feeling that I would never find anyone who genuinely cared and whom I could trust.

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LORD, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?

(July 20, 2021) Carol Round challenges us to ask God’s will for our lives…

Most of us are familiar with the story of Saul, the persecutor of the early Christians, how he was struck down struck down on the road to Damascus.

Acts 9:3-6 NKJV records that ‘Suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord? …What do you want me to do?’

After being struck down on the road to Damascus, he was used by God and eventually became the apostle, Paul.
 
Paul discovered God’s gospel truth and God’s will for his life. He then spent the rest of his days spreading the message of the good news and planting churches throughout the Mediterranean world.  
 
The apostle determined God’s will for his life with one important question: ‘What do You want me to do, Lord?’

It’s the question every one of Christ’s followers should be asking.

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WE DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING – BUT WHY WORRY?

(August 11), 2020) Life Focus Ministries’ Robert and Maureen McQuillan remind us that God has his mysterious ways…

It’s only natural to wonder what’s going on, not just regarding this pandemic time but about other life issues and incidents. We’re human after all! Our July article I Don’t Know About Tomorrow led to some folk asking, ‘Well, what do you really think about all that’s going on in the world? And win the future of the church – a cleansing time? And what about…?’

Hey… we’re like our state and federal’s leaders: we don’t know everything… but like them we’re concentrating on living one day at a time! With thanks to the Lord for each new God-given day, we commit it to him, asking his blessing and protection – and then get on with it, however the day works out.

But… a question: You ever asked the Lord, ‘Why?’ or ‘What’s going on?’ and didn’t get an answer… or the answer you expected?

And did you ever come to the conclusion that it’s better to appreciate and enjoy the benefits God gives us daily rather than query him about how he works things out? Hmmm?

Worrying? Relax and trust God
Jesus told us (Matthew 6:25NLT), ‘…I tell you not to worry about everyday life.’ And, verse 29, he asked a question, ‘Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?’ Of course not!

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I DON’T KNOW ABOUT TOMORROW, I JUST KNOW…

(July 26, 2020) Robert and Maureen McQuillan bring a timely challenge…

Every day TV news in our state of Victoria (and worldwide for that matter) announces more new covid-19 cases and people are talking either about the next stage of lockdown, the loss of business, revenue and jobs.

And the big questions: ‘Where’s it all going to end, what’s next, and what will tomorrow bring?’

Tomorrow?
It’s a matter of living one day at a time – and making the best of every day! The reality is that none of us what tomorrow will bring.

Oh we can make plans for each new tomorrow and believe we can/will accomplish them… and most times we will without any hassles, especially when we rely on the Holy Spirit’s help.

But… life is life and every now and then something goes amiss and we can get thrown for a sixer, sometimes a catastrophe, some horrible disaster that can ruin us in some or several ways hits us.

And when that happens to Christians, our faith can be so shattered that we could easily lose confidence in ourselves, even our trust in our caring God. We can even feel that life isn’t worth living or caring about, that we don’t want to go on because we can’t work it out. (more…)

MARY’S KEY – WILLINGNESS

(December 10, 2019) Geri B reminds us of a special lady who willingly trusted God to fulfil his word…

Almost Christmas! 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.

And that’s as it should be at Christmas for it’s the real Christmas message way beyond the tinsel, sparklers, crackers and gifts! 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.

In Luke 1:29-37 we read the conversation Mary had with Gabriel and her willing acceptance of God’s plan for her life – ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered.  ‘May it be to me as you have said’ (v38). (more…)

ARE YOU SEEKING THE LORD’S PURPOSE?

(November 13, 2019) Carol Round encourages us to seek God’s purpose for us in life…

‘Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails’ declares Proverbs 19:21.

Never doubting God
In 1975, I graduated from college and was immediately hired to teach in the public school system. While I never doubted my life’s calling as a teacher, God steered me from majoring in elementary education to that of a secondary educator.

And, because I was surprised by this unexpected turn in my path, I’ve never doubted it was God’s plan for me all along.

During my 30-year teaching career, God repeatedly reminded me through the relationships I had with my students, both during and after their high school years, that his purpose had prevailed.

Even after my retirement from education, God has used me to encourage, and to minister to, my former students.

Redirected by the Holy Spirit
But while I had post-retirement plans, God had a greater one. (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…)