The magnificence of a glowing grasshopper

Newsletter 16 October 2020 – Episode 65

I took the picture at the top of this newsletter with my phone. It has not been filtered or edited in any way. I know – it looks like a painting. It is, in fact, a grasshopper on the other side of the bathroom glass glowing in the light of the sun. Beauty surrounds us. Do we notice?

I’ve been thinking about the beauty of creation and meditating on how good everything is that God (Genesis 1 & 2).

My latest devotional activity each morning is to sit looking out of the window at a pyracantha bush festooned with resplendent red berries on which sparrows gorge themselves. Whilst this scene is before me I listen to the Lectio 365 devotional for the day. To say that everything God made was good is a gross understatement! Everything he made is magnificent!

I came across this quote in my research for this week is quite some coaching podcast:

“First of all, my child,
think magnificently of God.
Magnify His providence; adore His power,
pray to Him frequently and incessantly.
Bear Him always in your mind.
Teach your thoughts to reverence Him in every place
for there is no place where He is not.
Therefore, my child, fear and worship and love God;
first and last,
think magnificently of Him!”

—PATERNUS, ADVICE TO A SON

The focus in this week’s podcast is adoring God. How do we adore him healthily? I hope this week’s podcast will give you some insight, but more than that, I hope you are convinced of the magnificence of God. And the magnificence of everything he has made. Including you. Yes – you. You are magnificent. Are you weak? Yes. Do you struggle? Yes. Do you sin? Yes. Does that make you any less magnificent? No. No, no and yet no. 

How much might your times of quiet with God change if you were willing to accept that you are a magnificent creation of a magnificent God?


There is No Longer Jew nor Greek: Dialogue on Christianity and Race – this coming Saturday!

Over 60 people registered so far…..

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 second instalment of looking at Paul in lockdown. This week – “Prison Hospitality”!
  • Helping put together the next class for the Thames Valley teaching series on inspiration in lockdown – looking a Biblical characters who faced circumstances similar to our ‘lockdown’ and responded in faith.
  • A new Tuesday teaching series of speaking tips. The first one is, “Make people dream”.
  • A midweek meeting for the men of the Watford church. We will be spending a second session talking about how we deepen our friendships.
  • A meeting with the wonderful location leaders of the Thames Valley church, discussing plans for 2021 amongst other things.
  • On Saturday the, “There is No Longer Jew nor Greek: Dialogue on Christianity and Race” event mentioned above.
  • Lunch with our good friends, Adrian & Maureen Hill.
  • The fourth quiet time coaching episode from the new series based on Pete Greig’s book, “How to pray”. We will be looking at adoration – how to worship God.
  • The next “What we are reading episode” based on “The Gospels and Rabbinic Judaism” A book by: Michael Hilton & Gordian Marshall
  • Working on a teaching series for January and February 2021 on the character of Abraham and those connected with him in the Scriptures. 
  • Travelling to Edinburgh on Sunday to spend a couple of days with my good friends Douglas and Vicki Jacoby.

Until the next time, 

God bless, Malcolm