“How to have a merry May”, Newsletter 01 May 2020

The first thing to say this week is a very hearty “thank you” to everybody who responded to my plea for help last week. I was looking for answers to some questions on Psalm 122. You significantly enriched my sermon. Thank you very much. You not only helped me, but you blessed the Watford church!

I’m continuing with the theme of greater collaboration in lesson preparation by asking you for some similar help for my next sermon on 10 May. More on that elsewhere in the newsletter and on my website. Suffice for now to say that the focus is the following Psalm, number 123.

This week has seen fewer videos made. I have focused on continuing the daily Psalms of Ascent devotional podcasts. It seems they are are finding their place. I’ve had a number of people message me saying how helpful they are. I’m very grateful that they are having a positive impact.

As mentioned last week, I’ve been doing my best to make sure that I am concentrating on the most important priorities. In line with that, I took some extra time to pray on Monday and do some planning for the month of May. I felt much more at peace and clearer having done that. Funnily enough, as I have attempted to get less done each day by focusing only on one, two or at most three major tasks, I have found myself getting a myriad of other things done by the by.  Strange but true.

The biggest project this week was to write and record a song – continuing with my participation in the “12 Song challenge”. I wrote a song called “Loving God” using words from the Christian Aid website. We will use it in the Watford and Thames Valley church services this Sunday. It could do with a bit more refining, but I think it’s pretty much there. I might dare to release it to the general public in the near future!

As for my Bible study, I have been focusing on Psalm 23. I had thought that by now after studying it for a few weeks I would have exhausted it. Nothing could be further from the truth.  It’s reinforced my conviction that there are profound unexplored depths in even the most familiar texts. I plan to continue my study in Psalm 23 for a good while yet. I’m not sure when the sermon series will be ready, but when it is I am confident it will have a good deal of richness to it.

Tomorrow morning I’m meeting with some teacher-type friends to discuss plans for an online teaching day. We’ll be discussing potential topics, format and suchlike. What topics would you like to see addressed at a teaching day? Please let me know. And, not only the topic, but why it matters. And also, what impact you might hope it would have.

In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful weekend, stay safe, keep your distance from people not of your household, but get close, as close as you can to our wonderful Shepherd.

God bless, Malcolm