Quite time coaching episode 80: “I have seen the Lord”

I find great spiritual benefit in the writings of David Adam. One of his books, “Tides and seasons”, is a collection of modern prayers in the Celtic tradition.

Today I bring you my musical setting of the prayer “I have seen the Lord”. You might like to find yourself quiet spot, close your eyes and meditate on the words of this song.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

God bless, Malcolm

PS: If you would like some coaching in spiritual disciplines, look me up here

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

Tuesday Teaching Tips 148, “Brilliant Barnabas – Acts 4”

Barnabas is brilliant. But what is it that makes him so “effective” as a speaker (Acts 14:1)?  We don’t know much about his technique, but we know a lot about his character and his spirituality.

In this series we will investigate brilliant Barnabas in the book of Acts and beyond. In doing so I hope we will all gain insights which will help us to be as effective as him.

We start today in Acts chapter 4.

Thank you for listening to this recording. You can find more teaching tips here and on the on the YouTube teaching tips playlist

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 
Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org

Thanks again for listening. Have a terrific Tuesday, and a wonderful week.
God bless,

Malcolm

“Awesome Antioch”, Acts 11.19-30. Sermon for the Watford Church of Christ

1. sPeak words of encouragement, vv22-24 

A. Notice what God is doing

B. Speak words of encouragement 

C. God brings the increase

2. Partner with a friend, vv25-26

A. Find a partner not a problem

B. Someone different from you

C. Active in service together

3. Provide practical help vv27-30

A. Listen to needs

B. Respond

C. Sacrifice

“What this means for me is……………………………….……”

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

God bless, Malcolm

PS: If you would like some coaching in spiritual disciplines, look me up here

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

The Sunday Sample: Episode 74. Another new song: “I have seen the Lord”

Buying a new keyboard seems to have brought out more creativity from within me.  I love the poems of David Adam. Here’s one from his book, “Tides and seasons: modern prayers in the Celtic tradition”. I’ve set it to music as a meditative quiet time experience.

I’d love your feedback. How could it be improved?

Do you have any projects of your own you’d be willing to share with me and this community? Come on everyone, let’s get bold and creative!

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

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

God bless, Malcolm

PS: If you would like some coaching in spiritual disciplines, look me up here

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

“Who are you?” Quiet Time Coaching, episode 79

Who do you think you are? Who do you think God thinks you are? How do you reconcile those two views when they differ?

I read an article today in Premier Christianity Magazine which shed some light on these questions. It was written by Claire Musters. Check her out at www.ficm.org.uk.

She offers a number of phrases taken from Scripture that can help us to believe that we are accepted, secure and significant. As she said in her article,

“When I first encountered the “Who I am in Christ” list from the Freedom in Christ course, I was encouraged to read it out loud every day. Initially I cringed, as it felt like brainwashing, and yet, as I reflected, I realised that everything on it is biblical truth.”

You might like to try meditating on some of these phrases. If you do, please let me know what you learn and share it with all of us.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

God bless, Malcolm

PS: If you would like some coaching in spiritual disciplines, look me up here

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

Tuesday Teaching Tips 147, “You’re not trying to win”

I was listening one of my favourite podcast recently (Kermode and Mayo’s film review). They were discussing a film called “Fighting with my family”. The true story involves a family from Britain whose daughter broke into WWE wrestling in the United States. You might not think there are many parallels between WWE and preaching, but I beg to differ.

Since the results of wrestling bouts are fixed ahead of time, the only thing a performer is in control of is whether they can win the crowd over.  In a similar way, we are best off in preaching and teaching when we’re not trying to win the argument against our opponents (listeners), but trying to persuade them of a biblical point of view and thus win them over.

It makes a huge difference to the open heartedness of an audience if they sense we are trying to win them over with healthy persuasion rather than push them into a corner proving them wrong.  How do you feel about this perspective? Do you think it significant that we attempt to win our audience over? If so, what are the best ways to do this?

Thank you for listening to this recording. You can find more teaching tips here and on the on the YouTube teaching tips playlist

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org

Thanks again for listening. Have a terrific Tuesday, and a wonderful week.

God bless,

Malcolm 

“How to be a Barnabas”, Malcolm Cox, Watford Church of Christ

I led a discussion on the fascinating New Testament character of Barnabas.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

God bless, Malcolm

PS: If you would like some coaching in spiritual disciplines, look me up on coach.me.

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

The Sunday Sample: Episode 73, “How to persuade people to participate in corporate worship”

I read a section from Craig Douglas Erickson’s book “Participating in worship” today. He was considering the significance of the whole body of Christians coming together to worship – even when they don’t want to.

It created in me some interesting conflicting emotions.  Let me share why that was with you.  Then I have two questions for which I would love your answers.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

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

God bless, Malcolm

PS: If you would like some coaching in spiritual disciplines, look me up here

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

Quiet Time Coaching Episode 78: “Call and answer”, Jeremiah 33.3

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’”

(Jeremiah 33:3 NIV11)

Quotes are from the Celtic Daily Prayer (inspirational prayers and readings from the Northumbria community) published by Collins.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review.

God bless, Malcolm

PS: If you would like some coaching in spiritual disciplines, look me up on coach.me. 

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

“What to do when your nerves get the upper hand”, Tuesday Teaching Tips 146

You might have heard the advice given to a first time highly nervous speaker, that they should imagine their audience naked and this would remove their sense of being intimidated. This is terrible advice.

It came to my mind because I heard it again yesterday albeit in a fictional context. One of my favourite television programmes is “Call the midwife”. The reasons I like the show I’ll have to reserve for another time.  On last night’s programme one of the midwives was tasked with giving a talk to new mothers on how to bathe their baby. She declared she was too nervous to do so. Another midwife passed on the old adage that she should imagine her audience naked and that would calm her nerves.

There are many reasons why this advice is not the most helpful. For one, it places our attention on the audience as objects not people. Secondly, imagining people in our audience as naked is more distracting than helpful! Thirdly, it takes our attention off the material, and plays havoc with our ability to focus.

Being nervous is not a sign and that you are not cut out for public speaking. I have covered this issue in other recordings, but it seems appropriate to revisit it. It is one of the most common questions I get asked on Quora where I post regularly about public speaking. Here are my top three tips:

  1. Clarity. You will handle your nerves on the day better if you have prepared well in advance. The key issue with preparation, is to be completely confident that your key point is relevant to your audience and clear to yourself. Do not leave the preparation phase until you can state your main point in one sentence. Then, when you are in the middle of your presentation, if nerves get the better of you, you can always simply state your main point once again. An important point will bear much repetition!
  2. Rehearsal.  Take some time and find a place where you can rehearse key parts of your talk. This might involve sitting quietly closing your eyes and visualising the venue, your audience and yourself successfully delivering your presentation. It may also involve finding somewhere where you can practice parts of your presentation out loud. In particular, the first few sentences, the conclusion and your main point. It really helps if you verbalise this. Say it out loud. I go to the woods early in the morning to do this.
  3. Personal.  Keep it personal. You are not giving a presentation, you are having a conversation. You are not talking to a crowd, you are talking to a person. Assume they want to hear what you have to say. In fact, you will find that this is almost always the case. 

Thank you for listening to this recording. You can find more teaching tips here and on the on the YouTube teaching tips playlist

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org

Thanks again for listening. Have a terrific Tuesday, and a wonderful week.

God bless,

Malcolm