There are no restrictions on God’s grace (page 36, The qb, Feb 2013)
Paul could confidently assert: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13 NKJV). How did he attain such a standard?
Surprisingly, it was through weakness.
On one occasion, he was transported to the third heaven in a vision, or in some other manner (2 Corinthians12:1-4). Then, to keep him from becoming proud, God allowed Satan to afflict Paul with ‘a thorn in the flesh’ (2 Corinthians 12:7-8). It’s impossible to say exactly what this was. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul reminds them that it was because of an illness that he first preached the gospel to them (Galatians 4:13). It may, therefore, have been a sickness of some kind.
What we can be certain of is that it was deeply humbling; it crushed Paul and drove him to pray earnestly for its removal (2 Corinthians 12:8). Surprisingly, the Lord refused to grant his request –but it was a qualified refusal: ‘My grace is sufficient for you,’ God replied, ‘for my power is made perfect is weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9). Continue reading God’s Vibrant, Powerful Promise
‘1+1 does not always = 2! (page 26, The qb, Feb 2013).
One plus one doesn’t always equal two! I’ve done the sums and I can see a great flaw in this mathematical equation that we’ve been taught from the moment we started to learn our 1-2-3s.
Here is my evidence. I am one person—one human being, currently living on this planet inhabited by seven billion others. I have only one brain, one heart and one soul. I have only one life to live and after my one-and only life, I will only have one physical death. After I die my one death, I will only get one chance to kneel before the Creator of heaven and earth, receive my once-in-eternity judgement, and give account of my life.
Now, here is where ‘one plus one equals two’ fails. Almost 11 years ago I had another birth, that of a spiritual kind, when I was born into a new family and received new life. From the moment I became a daughter to a King, my advocate Jesus Christ has been my ‘plus one’. He is with me when I sit up and rise. He is with me on my path and when I lie down. He is behind me and before me. If I were to go to heaven, he would be there; if I were to descend to Sheol, he would be there. Not even the uttermost parts of the sea would keep him from being my ‘plus one’ (Psalm 139). He is my constant companion. Continue reading 1 + 1 = 2?
Enjoy today and sacrifice for tomorrow (page 6, The qb, Feb 2013)
I was intrigued with a short comment by Philip Yancey I read recently about the irony of the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes being side by side. That started me thinking. While both books largely encapsulate the Wisdom of Solomon (hence their juxtaposition), they each have a very different slant on life.
The message of Proverbs
Proverbs is full of wise advice on living successfully. It presumes an ordered world in which wise actions will produce significant benefits and careless, lazy, immoral ways will end up in disaster. While God is not absent, his main contribution is setting up a just world that rewards those who live his way. Continue reading Living between Proverbs and Ecclesiastes
Want to make a difference? Check out Global Exposure (page 30-31, The qb, Dec 2012).
In a world made accessible by technology and affordable air travel, the Mission Field is no longer a one-way journey or even a large commitment, but accessible to almost everyone. Enter the “Short-term Mission Trip”. Once the very idea of “short-term mission” would have been an anathema, as “cross-cultural mission” required a whole of life commitment. Now the amount spent on quick visits and projects from the West to the developing world has reached billions annually.
Continue reading Short-Term Mission: A dangerous endeavour or a God-given opportunity?
What helps us run the race and finish our Christian lives well? (p 6, The qb, December 2012).
These days, I seem to get asked to speak a lot on maintaining your passion for Christ and finishing well. I can’t understand why they ask me when I’m only midway through the journey! It must have something to do with my bald head, greying hair and, hopefully, a little of my passion. These requests certainly are motivated by concerns that many Christians are not finishing well. I think that finishing well has a lot to do with healthy theology. It’s difficult to stay long-term in Christian service without a good understanding of God and how he works. Here are a few of the thoughts that I have been sharing—healthy theologies that I believe are important for longevity in Christian service. Continue reading How to finish well
Baptist beginnings, a compilation of the series of articles written by D Morcom (Malyon College) is now available. First appearing in The qb magazine in 2009, the series was written to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Baptists worldwide, and the 150th anniversary of Queensland.
All Intentional Ministry articles that appeared in The qb magazine during 2012 are now available in one document.
Sue Peters reports on the recent round of She is … conferences (pages 28,29, The qb, October 2012).
I’m a big fan of stats … I love a good set of numbers, pie charts and graphs. So I thought I’d share a few interesting statistics from the last few months of She is…
The She is… team travelled 21,014 km to bring God’s message of love. In five different locations around Queensland, over 1200 women gathered. We ate 712 lollipops and 472 cake pops; we hung more than 150 metres of bunting, five times; we released 3.5 kgs of confetti from 35 massive balloons—and spent eight hours cleaning it up! We drank 3,728 cups of tea and coffee and then used 36,000 metres of toilet paper!
Twenty women gave their lives to Christ, and countless women were challenged to show God’s love to others.
Through their incredible generosity, the women who attended She is… raised an amazing $27,598.75 to help support the work of Freeset in Kolkata, India, in partnership with Baptist World Aid. Continue reading Hearts are stirring
Two examples of QB churches who are seeking to meet the needs of their local communities through intentional ministries can be found in the latest qb magazine (pages 18-19, The qb, October 2012).
Sending a clear message
Over lunch in the Brisbane CBD, QB Regional Consultant, Emil Rahimov, spoke with David Toma, Pastor at the Bethel Romanian Baptist Church in Kingston, Brisbane. The church has recently made significant changes to their ministry in order to be more intentional in reaching their community.
‘David, you were born in Australia of Romanian parents and now you are pastoring a Romanian church. Are you more Romanian or Australian?’
‘Definitely Australian. We spoke English at home, and I grew up in this country. Romanian is certainly a strong part of my heritage, and it was within the Romanian community that I heard the call of Christ and answered his call to ministry. I love the Romanian community, but I am more Australian. In fact, I have never been to Romania and Australia is my home.’ Continue reading Intentional Ministry
QBC centenarians offer words of wisdom (pages 36-37, The qb, October 2012).
We are proud to have 14 centenarians living in our Queensland Baptist Care aged care centres. They have managed to defy the statistical odds, and blow out 100+ candles on their milestone birthdays.
Nearly all of our centenarians are women (only one man makes the list), and 106-year-old Evelyn Vigor may be our oldest resident, but she still retains a youthful zest for life. This optimism seems to be a common trend among the group, coupled with living an active, healthy life and a strong faith in God.
Having lived for over a century, this special group have picked up a few words of wisdom along the way. Some shared their secret to a long life with Queensland Baptist Care’s PR Officer, Mary Earls.
Continue reading Words of Wisdom