Newsletter 23 October 2020: Episode 66

I am lucky to have friends who refresh my spirit. One such is Douglas Jacoby. We’ve known each other for 36 years.

I first met Doug at a Wednesday night meeting of the, then, Central London church of Christ. It was at the Methodist Mission, Lambeth North, and the topic was the Old Testament. To this day I remember the blend of shock and delight as I heard Douglas make sense of the Old Testament and reveal ways it applied to real life – mine, in fact. I knew this was the church for me from that point on. If I could receive life-refreshing teaching like that, I knew I’d be in a good place spiritually.

Douglas and his wife Vicki left the UK many years ago, but moved to Edinburgh recently. I was very fortunate, especially in these COVID-19 times, to be able to pop up to Scotland for two days earlier this week. Douglas and I spent many, many hours talking, walking, eating and drinking coffee. We caught up on life, church issues, theology and much more. 

I feel towards Doug as Paul did towards Philemon:

“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.”

(Philemon 1:7)

We all need ‘refreshers’, like Jonathan: “Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.” (1 Samuel 23:16) Who is your ‘refresher’? I hope you have many. Make the most of them.

If I might be allowed to make a plug on my friend’s behalf, could I encourage us all, if we haven’t already done so, to sign up to his newsletter (scroll to the bottom of the page), his podcast feed, and the premium access facility of his website. The basic materials on the website are free, but there are a lot of helpful extras to those who take up premium access. 

One other unrelated matter for this week. Did you see this news? “Vindolanda Fort: Remains of Christian chalice found.” I find it fascinating that the more we dig, the more we discover about not only the world of the Bible, but also early Christianity.

On that note, let’s keep digging. Digging spiritually to deepen our relationship with God and digging deeper into God’s word to nurture our spirit’s journey towards Christ-likeness.

“There is No Longer Jew nor Greek”: Dialogue on Christianity and Race

Tomorrow! 112 people registered at the time of writing…..

Together with some friends I am working on an event called, ‘There is No Longer Jew or Greek: Navigating the Dialogue on Christianity and Race’. Andy and Sandra Ezeilo will be speaking as well as Mike Desouza, Elleen Okotie and Rachael Corson. Dr Andy Boakye will be teaching from the Scriptures.  

Details can be found on eventbrite. The event will take place on zoom with an opportunity for breakout rooms and feedback from the discussions. The format will be similar to the “message in the mayhem” event. Sign up to register and receive updates as we approach the day in question.

The week ahead

If you’d like to pray for me I’d be very grateful. Here are some of my plans that you could include.

  • A sermon for the Watford Church on Sunday – the third instalment of looking at Paul in lockdown. This week – “How to grow in captivity”. The Wokingham location of the Thames Valley churches of Christ will be joining us.
  • A visit to my elderly parents to help them out with a few things beyond their current capacity.
  • Meeting with the Renovare Book Club (on zoom) for our next session discussing Pete Greig’s book (above).
  • A second Tuesday teaching tip in a new series – “Surprise, not shock”.
  • The next “What we are reading episode” based on “Finding God in the Psalms” by N. T. Wright.
  • The fifth quiet time coaching episode from the series based on Pete Greig’s book, “How to pray”. We will be looking at petition – how to ask God.
  • Working on a teaching series for January and February 2021 on the character of Abraham and those connected with him in the Scriptures. 

Until the next time, 

God bless, Malcolm