Newsletter podcast, Episode 56, 01 August 2020

My parents celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary last weekend. We were unable to celebrate their 60th and 61st anniversaries due to illnesses in the family. We were determined to do it this year, even though social distancing made the event a little awkward! As my parents said, we must celebrate while we can because we do not know about tomorrow. So true. Let’s take time to celebrate when we can – and that goes for the small things as well as the big things.

You will have noticed there was no newsletter last week. That’s because Penny and I were on holiday and I just didn’t have time. I decided that celebrating some time away with my wife was more important. Please forgive me if you missed the newsletter, but I think I made the right choice!

We holidayed in Essex. If you’ve never spent much time in that county, I can thoroughly recommend it. We spent most of our time reading, walking amongst salt marshes and soaking up the history of the area. If you look very, very closely at the picture below you might just see my bird watching wife observing the local wildlife.

The lack of a newsletter last week means that you have more material than usual in this week’s edition. Pretty much double the podcasts and videos.

In other news, I had a wonderful time speaking for the combined Birmingham and Leicester congregations this last Wednesday. They welcomed me warmly. It was a delight to catch up with old friends, some of whom I have not seen for years. I shared my lesson on the Spirit, Antioch and Barnabas which I have also shared for the east London congregation, Watford, the Thames Valley church and the Uppsalla group. 

The Watford Church of Christ are feeling very blessed at the moment I must say. Not only was Simon restored earlier this year, and Jane baptised into Christ earlier in July, but Richard was also baptised in our local river on Thursday evening. We don’t know why God gives fruit when he does, but we will celebrate it whenever he chooses to give it to us!

Upcoming projects for the next few days and weeks

  • A pre-recorded sermon to go out on the 2nd of August for the Singapore Church
  • The final few sermons on the Psalms of Ascent for the Watford church
  • Beginning a new series on prayer for the Thames Valley church (based on the Lord’s prayer from Matthew 6)
  • An article on the mission (hint, it’s not about evangelism)
  • A meeting with a group of brothers hosted by Eddi Balian in Canada
  • Our 35th wedding anniversary. Not really a project! But certainly something to celebrate!

Solution focused coaching

Over the last few months I have been in training as a solution focused coach with the Academy of Solution Focussed Training. It’s been very demanding but also rewarding. I will share the details another time. I’ve now completed the training and happy to offer my services as a trained coach. I’ll be grateful if anybody would let me practice my newly acquired coaching skills on them. I need to rack up enough hours to be able to apply to the ICF for certification. Let me know if you would like some coaching. Sessions can be as short or as long as needed. I can offer some pro bono coaching, but you can certainly pay me if you like!

Until the next time, I hope and pray that you would notice what God is giving you to celebrate and that you do so with all your heart!

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John