Malcolm Cox

Malcolm Cox

Synopsis

Malcolm Cox. Prayer coach (http://www.coach.me/mccx). Enjoying communicating the depth & relevance of the Bible to life today. Author of 'An elephant's swimming pool' about John's gospel. Twitter: @mccx See: www.watfordchurchofchrist.org & www.tvcoc.org

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Episodes

  • 25: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 25
    25: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 25
    Duration: 03min | 23/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 25 Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.   These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.  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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful s

  • 24: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 24
    24: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 24
    Duration: 03min | 22/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 24 Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.   These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.  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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful s

  • 191: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 191: What is a sermon?
    191: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 191: "What is a sermon?"
    Duration: 21min | 21/01/2020

    Today another episode inspired by my reading of Dr D Martyn Lloyd-Jones' book, “Preaching and preachers”. Let’s look at some thoughts from the fourth chapter of the book entitled “The form of the sermon”. We will talk about the form, but the form comes from an exploration of what a sermon actually is. Why is this important? It’s important because if we don’t know what we're trying to deliver we're unlikely to have the impact that we would desire and God’s word could produce. Of course, a recording like this is not about whether you agree with Lloyd-Jones or whether you agree with me. The point is to examine these ideas, and come to our own conclusions.  Some of the thoughts we're considering today are those of Lloyd-Jones, and some are mine. What a sermon is not It is not an essay. An essay explores ideas. A sermon proclaims them.  An essay plays with ideas. A sermon attacks them. “Repetition in an essay is bad, but I would stress the repetition in a sermon is good. It is a part of the very essence of teachin

  • 23: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 23
    23: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 23
    Duration: 03min | 21/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 23 Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.   These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.  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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful s

  • 22: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 22
    22: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 22
    Duration: 03min | 20/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 22 Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.   These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.  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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful s

  • 21: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 21
    21: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 21
    Duration: 03min | 19/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 21 Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.   These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.  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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful s

  • “Kingdom Come” Sermon on the Mount Series: Fifth Lesson = Blessed are the merciful
    “Kingdom Come” Sermon on the Mount Series: Fifth Lesson = "Blessed are the merciful"
    Duration: 31min | 18/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” Sermon on the Mount Series: Fifth Lesson “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7 NIV11) QUESTION: What impact is the series having on your faith so far? Poor-Mourn-Meek-Hunger-Merciful 1. Old Covenant hesed: steadfast love, Psalm 89.28 hanan: undeserved help, Psalm 103.8 raham: empathic love, Isaiah 13:18; 49:15; Psalm 18:1 God is ‘the Father of mercies’ - 2 Cor. 1:3; Ex. 34:6; Ne. 9:17; Pss. 86:15; 103:8–14; Joel 2:13; Jonah. 4:2. 2. New Covenant Salvation: Ephesians 2:4; Titus 3:5 Jesus: John 11.33, 38 Discipleship: Luke 6:36; Matthew 18:21ff; Colossians 3:12; James 2:13 “Grace answers to the undeserving, mercy answers to the miserable.” QUESTION: What Biblical examples can you think of? 3. Tolerance 1 Samuel 15 QUESTION: What is the difference between patience and tolerance? 4. Living Mercifully QUESTION: What does mercy look like in daily life? G P E C G P R How can we develop a merciful spirit? Reflect Repent Notice QUESTION: How will this verse affect the wa

  • 29: Devotion in all weathers, Newsletter 17 January 2020
    29: "Devotion in all weathers", Newsletter 17 January 2020
    Duration: 08min | 18/01/2020

    Devotion in all weathersA few days ago I was taking a later than usual prayer walk through Cassiobury Park. I came across a site I had not expected.  A group of people playing croquet. In January. In Watford. I enjoy croquet. My father bought a set back in the '70s, and we grew up playing it on the lawn. Evidence supplied in the photo below. I took the picture on my first camera. Playing croquet are my parents and younger sister. Not sure of the exact year, but between '70-75. We are fair-weather croquet players. Not so the Watford tough guys. Wrapped up in wooly hats, gloves and thick coats they were out there in the cold. I couldn't help but admire their dedication and hunger. As I reflect on the beatitudes in advance of the Watford teaching day (details below), I keep coming across illustrations that illuminate some aspect of those beatitudes. The Watford mad-men and women were hungry and thirsty for croquet. Freezing conditions were not going to stand in their way. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst

  • 20: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 20
    20: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 20
    Duration: 03min | 18/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 20 Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.   These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.  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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful s

  • 117: The value of theming your service, The Sunday Sample, Episode 117
    117: "The value of theming your service", The Sunday Sample, Episode 117
    Duration: 17min | 17/01/2020

    Do you ever theme your services? A thread weaving its way through the service. It might be a topic, a Bible verse, or a spiritual idea bonding the different parts of the service together. I'd like to share with you an example of one I put together for the Thames Valley Church of Christ and the reasons for doing so. First, reasons for doing so Discipline. It provides a focus for every speaker, and the person putting together the songs. Creativity. Restrictions are an aid to creativity rather than a barrier. Variety. When we have a theme it stretches us to explore new ideas and sing songs we might not otherwise sing. Flow. A unifying idea helps each part of the service to flow from one to another. It enables greater concentration on the topic at hand since there is less interruption. Depth. When we pray about, preach on, sing about, commune and fellowship around a common idea we get deeper into that topic. Stickiness. A service with one main theme will be easily remembered. A church gathering with four or five

  • 19: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 19
    19: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 19
    Duration: 03min | 17/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 19 Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.   These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.  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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful s

  • 18: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 18
    18: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 18
    Duration: 03min | 16/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 18 Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.   These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.  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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful s

  • 17: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 17
    17: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 17
    Duration: 03min | 15/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 17 Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.   These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.  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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful s

  • 16: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 16
    16: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 16
    Duration: 03min | 14/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 1 6 Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.   These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.  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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful

  • 15: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 15
    15: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 15
    Duration: 03min | 13/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 15   Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.     Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.    These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.   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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joy

  • 191: “Kingdom Come” Sermon on the Mount Series: Third Lesson - Blessed are the meek
    191: “Kingdom Come” Sermon on the Mount Series: Third Lesson - "Blessed are the meek"
    Duration: 39min | 12/01/2020

    “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) QUESTION: What impact is the series having on your faith so far? Psalm 37 and Context Beatitude position significant: Poor in spirit - mourn - meek - hunger & thirst for righteousness Paradoxical blessing. How do we resolve the paradox? Psalm 37:11 – recognised as messianic 1. Meekness ‘praus: ‘gentle, humble, considerate, courteous’. 2 Cor 10:1, Gal 5:22, Col 3:12, 1 Pet 3:15f, (Isaiah 61.1, see also Luke 4.16-30). Jesus Humble and strong Matt 11:28f (translated ‘gentle’) & 2 Cor 10:1; See also Jn 18:11.  QUESTION: How does Jesus display meekness? What examples can you think of? What does meekness look like in the life of a follower of Jesus?  Us Secure humility Christians have all things in Christ (2 Cor 6:10, 1 Cor 3:21-23). No self-pity, self-defence, no feeling sorry for self, no retaliation, 1 Pet 2.21-25, Rom 12:19. The meek are strong but do not feel the need to display that strength, Lk 14.11. The meek see themselves as unimportan

  • 14: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 14
    14: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 14
    Duration: 03min | 12/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 14   Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.     Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.    These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.   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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joy

  • 28: Looking forward to crucial conversations, Newsletter 10 January 2020
    28: "Looking forward to crucial conversations", Newsletter 10 January 2020
    Duration: 12min | 11/01/2020

    Looking forward to crucial conversationsYesterday I booked flights to San Antonio. I'll be attending the teachers' conference there in early March. The title "Conversations: exploring the teaching ministry" is intriguing. It sounds open and non-threatening. A place to listen and to be heard. That's the kind of conference I like most. Somewhere to gather with passionate people who are as committed to learning as to teaching. At least, that's my hope and, I think, reasonable expectation of what might happen. The more I study, teach and broadcast on the beatitudes, the more I see that well-handled conversations are part of what it means to live in harmony with God and my fellow-humans. One can learn helpful techniques for healthy conversations. The book, "Crucial Conversations (https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?asin=B005K0AYH4&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_VZAgEbY5MKVWA) " was a game-changer for me a few years ago. I thoroughly recommend it. However, the heart, attitude and spirit of the intern

  • 13: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 13
    13: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 13
    Duration: 03min | 11/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 13   Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.     Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.    These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.   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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joy

  • 12: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 12
    12: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 12
    Duration: 03min | 10/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 12   Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.     Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.    These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.   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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joy

  • 11: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 11
    11: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 11
    Duration: 03min | 09/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 11   Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.     Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.    These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.   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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joy

  • 10: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 10
    10: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 10
    Duration: 03min | 08/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 10   Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.     Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.    These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.   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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joy

  • 190: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 190: How to preach for a change
    190: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 190: "How to preach for a change"
    Duration: 24min | 07/01/2020

    Welcome to the year 2020! This is our first Tuesday teaching tip for the new decade. Before I get into today’s topic let may explain a change to the teaching tips schedule. This coming year I shall be posting a new tip every other week instead of every week.  I reflected on last year and the lessons learned from frequent posting. I’m glad that I learned how to generate meaningful material so frequently.  However, thinking about the year ahead I felt God developing a conviction in me to raise the standard. I need more margin in my life for study and reading to take things higher.  I am taking the same approach with the weekly (now every other week) Sunday sample episodes for corporate worship matters. I hope you won’t be too disappointed by receiving fewer episodes, and that you will find them to be higher quality.  Please pray for me at I am able to do this with God’s strength. Now on to today’s topic. I’m continuing to read “Preaching and Preachers” by D Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I’m in the chapter called “The ser

  • 9: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 9
    9: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 9
    Duration: 03min | 07/01/2020

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 9   Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.     Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.    These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.   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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyf

  • 8: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 8
    8: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 8
    Duration: 03min | 06/01/2020

    Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7. These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life. 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 (mailto: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 (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 (http://www.bible

  • 7: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 7
    7: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 7
    Duration: 03min | 05/01/2020

    Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7. These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life. 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 (mailto: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 (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 (http://www.bible

  • 27: How to flourish in 2020, Newsletter 04 January 2020
    27: "How to flourish in 2020", Newsletter 04 January 2020
    Duration: 09min | 04/01/2020

    Flourishing in 2020Not long after we moved into our present home Penny planted me a small olive tree. She told me that one day it would grow to be quite sizeable. This week I noticed some olives on the tree. Now, just like many people in the Bible, I have my own olive tree! “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.      For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name,” (Psalm 52:8–9 NIV11) In our climate I'm not sure the olives will survive the winter. However, they are a visible symbol of the way in which I would like to flourish this year. How  will that come about? Just like psalmist wrote, it will happen if I am "in the house of God" spending time in his presence, learning to seek his face. It's the time of year for New Year's resolutions. I've taken time out to think through 2019 and plan for 2020. I have a number of hopes, aspirations and a few goals. But only one

  • 6: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 6
    6: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 6
    Duration: 03min | 04/01/2020

    Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7. These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life. 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 (mailto: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 (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 (http://www.bible

  • 116: The Sunday Sample, Episode 116: Write a new song in 2020
    116: The Sunday Sample, Episode 116: "Write a new song in 2020"
    Duration: 07min | 03/01/2020

    Happy new year! My biggest challenge for 2020 is to write 12 songs. I’ve joined the “12 song challenge” at Resound Worship (https://www.resoundworship.org/) . In today’s recording I ‘review’ the booklet, “How to write worship songs” (https://www.resoundworship.org/store/product/how-to-write-worship-songs) by Joel Payne and Sam Hargreaves. That’s all I’ll say in the show notes. The video and podcast have the details. Question for today: “Will you join me in committing to write a new song in 2020?" 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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Wor

  • 5: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 5
    5: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 5
    Duration: 03min | 03/01/2020

    Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7. These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life. 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 (mailto: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 (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 (http://www.bible

  • 121: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 121. My devotional theme for 2020
    121: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 121. "My devotional theme for 2020"
    Duration: 08min | 02/01/2020

    Happy New Year! I’ve decided on my devotional focus for 2020.  With all the preparation I’m doing for the sermon on the mount teaching series and the beatitudes teaching day, I’ve been soaked in those scriptures.  God has laid the beatitudes on my heart as a devotional aid. I’ve been praying through them daily for a few weeks. They thrill me and challenge me! “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.      Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.      Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.      Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.      Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.      Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.      Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.      Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 5:3–10 NIV11) I’ve decided to use them as my devotional ‘lens’ for 202

  • 4: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 4
    4: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 4
    Duration: 03min | 02/01/2020

    Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7. These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life. 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 (mailto: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 (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 (http://www.bible

  • 3: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 3
    3: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 3
    Duration: 03min | 01/01/2020

    Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7. These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life. 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 (mailto: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 (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 (http://www.bible

  • 2: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 2
    2: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 2
    Duration: 03min | 31/12/2019

    Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.    Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7. These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life. 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 (mailto: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 (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,

  • 189: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 189: Preaching and teaching hopes for 2020
    189: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 189: "Preaching and teaching hopes for 2020"
    Duration: 09min | 31/12/2019

    As of the time of recording the new year is almost upon us. Do you have a big hope for your preaching and teaching in the year ahead? We cannot predict the ways in which God may refine us, teach us and shape us in our preaching and teaching in 2020. But there’s no harm in settling on at least one main hope for the future 12 months. As someone once said, “If you aim as nothing you are sure to hit it”. Have you noticed that I have not asked for your main goal? I’ve used the word “hopes” because it’s broader and leaves room for God to work. I have nothing against goals, and you will need to be specific and practical in the application of your hopes, but let’s begin with hopes. How do we clarify our hopes for the year ahead in preaching and teaching? Let me offer three suggested steps that will take us from imagination to application: Imagine that your preaching and teaching in 2020 is by far the most effective you’ve ever produced. What does it feel like? What responses are you noticing? What is happening? What’

  • 1: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 1
    1: “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 1
    Duration: 03min | 30/12/2019

    “Kingdom Come” podcast, episode 1   Would you like to know more about the heart of Jesus? If so, you’ve come to the right place.     Welcome to the “Kingdom Come” podcast of the Thames Valley churches of Christ. For two months we are diving deep into the “Sermon on the Mount”, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7.   These podcasts are designed to help us take these amazing words of Jesus and apply them to our devotional life.   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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyfu

  • 26: Take Time To Review, Newsletter 28 December 2019
    26: "Take Time To Review", Newsletter 28 December 2019
    Duration: 05min | 28/12/2019

    Reflection on 2019 A short bit of script this week - the details are in the podcast. Are you taking time to reflect on the lessons God has taught you this year? I heartily recommend you do so. This was my task on Friday. The podcast contains more information about how I conducted this review. I hope my podcasts and other materials this week will help you to reflect on what God has been teaching you, and to prepare well for the year ahead.. Prayer request For the lonely at the New Year and all who have lost a loved one this year. For me as I prepare lessons and plans for 2020 for the Watford church (http://www.watfordchurchofchrist.org) . Thank you for reading this far, and encouraging me in my endeavours to support our times of quiet with God, our corporate worship experiences, and the effectiveness of our preaching and teaching. If you know anyone who might enjoy these materials, please send them a link to my website (http://www.malcolmcox.org) and encourage them to sign up for this newsletter. God bless, Ma

  • 115: The Sunday Sample, Episode 115: Corporate worship hopes for 2020
    115: The Sunday Sample, Episode 115: "Corporate worship hopes for 2020"
    Duration: 06min | 27/12/2019

    As of the time of recording the new year is almost upon us. Do you have a big hope for the corporate worship in the year ahead? Whilst we cannot predict the ways in which God made refine us, teach us and shape us in our leading of corporate worship in 2020, there’s no harm in settling on at least one main hope for the future 12 months. As someone once said, “If you aim as nothing you are sure to hit it”. You may notice I have not asked your main goal for next year? I’ve used the word “hopes” because it’s broader and leaves room for God to work. I have nothing against goals, and you will need to be specific and practical in the application of your hopes, but let’s begin with hopes. How do we clarify our hopes for the year ahead in leading corporate worship? Let me offer three suggested steps that will take us from imagination to application: 1. Imagine that your leading of corporate worship in 2020 is by far the most effective you’ve ever produced. What does it feel like? What responses are you noticing? What

  • 120: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 120. Hopes for times of quiet with God in 2020
    120: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 120. "Hopes for times of quiet with God in 2020"
    Duration: 09min | 26/12/2019

    As of the time of recording the new year is almost upon us. Do you have a big hope for your times of quiet with God in the year ahead? Whilst we cannot predict the ways in which God may refine us, teach us and shape us in our relationship with him in 2020, there’s no harm in settling on at least one main hope for the future 12 months. As someone once said, “If you aim as nothing you are sure to hit it”. You may notice I have not asked your main goal for next year? I’ve used the word “hopes” because it’s broader and leaves room for God to work. I have nothing against goals, and you will need to be specific and practical in the application of your hopes, but let’s begin with hopes. How do we clarify our hopes for the year ahead in our times of quiet with God? Let me offer three suggested steps that will take us from imagination to application: 1. Imagine that your times of quiet with God in 2020 are by far the most meaningful you’ve ever experienced  What does it feel like? What responses in your own heart are

  • 188: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 188: How to assess your preaching and teaching in 2019
    188: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 188: "How to assess your preaching and teaching in 2019"
    Duration: 10min | 24/12/2019

    This year God has used you in your teaching and preaching. Other people have been blessed by what you have shared. But, what has God taught you about teaching and preaching? It’s important from time to time to pause and reflect. Moses reminded the people of Israel that they must not forget what God had taught them: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” (Deuteronomy 4:9 NIV11) God knew how important it was that his people did not forget what he had done. He hoped they would pass the lessons on to the next generation.  How can we make sure we have noticed what God has done this year in teaching us about teaching and preaching? Let me offer three suggestions: Highs and lows. What would you consider to be your most effective lesson this year? And what would you consider to be your least effective lesson this year? The “popularity” or

  • 25: Welcome to love, The weekly newsletter, 21 December 2019
    25: "Welcome to love", The weekly newsletter, 21 December 2019
    Duration: 09min | 21/12/2019

    Welcome to loveI love a warm welcome, don't you? I saw the sign above on Monday when I went to pray in a new place - Phillipshill Wood in Chorleywood. It was part of my preparation before popping off to  Rootz (https://www.facebook.com/RootzCafe/) Café to finish writing the last of the sermon on the Mount class series. I would have enjoyed my walk in the woods without the sign, but it added something to my day to know that somebody had bothered to make and erect the sign. It's Christmas season and we are celebrating not only the greatest gift that's ever been given, but the most profound and significant "welcome" that's ever been offered to humankind. God beckons us into his presence with the open arms of the warmest welcome we can imagine. Whether in this season, like me, you are welcoming neighbours, relatives and friends into your home, or not, let's not forget to celebrate the ultimate welcome! I hope my podcasts and other materials this week will help you to feel welcomed into God's love and to offer his

  • 114: The Sunday Sample, Episode 114: Lessons from 2019
    114: The Sunday Sample, Episode 114: "Lessons from 2019"
    Duration: 08min | 20/12/2019

    This year God has used you in your leading of corporate worship. Other people have been blessed by the way you have served. But, what has God taught you about leading corporate worship?  It’s important from time to time to pause and reflect. Moses reminded the people of Israel that they must not forget what God had taught them: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” (Deuteronomy 4:9 NIV11) God knew how important it was that his people did not forget what he had done and that they were prepared to pass those lessons on to the next generation.  How can we make sure we have noticed what God has done this year in teaching us about leading corporate worship?  Let me offer free suggestions: 1. Highs and lows. What would you consider to be your most effective worship event this year? And what would you consider to be your least effective

  • 119: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 119. Lessons from 2019
    119: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 119. "Lessons from 2019"
    Duration: 10min | 19/12/2019

    It’s important from time to time to pause and reflect. Moses reminded the people of Israel that they must not forget what God had taught them: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” (Deuteronomy 4:9 NIV11) God knew how important it was that his people did not forget what he had done and that they were prepared to pass those lessons on to the next generation.  How can we make sure we have noticed what God has done this year in teaching us about our times of quiet with him? Let me offer three suggestions: What has been different about your last week’s times of quiet with God compared to a year ago? It might not be easy to compare specifically with such a long time ago, but perhaps as you reflect, and pray about it, it will become clear what is different now compared to a few weeks or months ago. Why have things changed? There’s a le

  • 187: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 187: The power in preaching is in the Word
    187: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 187: "The power in preaching is in the Word"
    Duration: 05min | 17/12/2019

    Last night I finished reading a booklet by Nicky Gumbel. A paragraph moved my spirit and I thought I’d share it with you today.  We don’t have so much of the teaching focus today as an inspirational focus. It is vital we remember how precious this book is that we speak and preach from. Here below is a quote from the booklet: “About 16 years ago I was on holiday with my family in Central Asia, part of the USSR as it then was. At that time Bibles were strictly illegal there, but I took some Christian literature, including some Russian Bibles. While I was there I went to churches and looked for people who seemed from their faces to be genuine Christians. (At that time the meetings were usually infiltrated by the KGB.) On one occasion I followed a man, who was probably in his 60s, down the street after a service. I went up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. There was nobody about. I took out one of my Bibles and then handed it to him. For a moment he had an expression of almost disbelief. Then he took from hi

  • 113: The Sunday Sample, Episode 113: Is corporate worship meant to be a sacrifice?
    113: The Sunday Sample, Episode 113: "Is corporate worship meant to be a sacrifice?"
    Duration: 08min | 14/12/2019

    We know our entire lives are an act of worship and a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-3). But is our corporate worship meant to be a sacrifice?  Today I'm bringing you some thoughts inspired by the book “for the audience of one” by my Mike Pilavachi. In the book he references 2 Chronicles 7:1-6 and the extraordinary corporate worship experience at the dedication of the temple. As Mike writes, “This is some worship session.…The labour force topped 153,600 men, there was enough gold inside to sink the Titanic and the dedication service didn’t disappoint. The king offered a sacrifice of 22,000 cows and 120,000 sheep and goats.… All this meat was, for want of a better word, wasted. They burnt it up and that was that; no nibbles, leftovers or packed lunches. The size of the sacrifice was so great that it would have had a drastic effect on the economy.… Worship is meant to cost something. In Solomon’s case, it was a significant dent in his Treasury.” Pages 12-13. There is no place for animal sacrifice in our worship t

  • 24: Learning to be family, newsletter podcast 14 December 2019, episode 24
    24: "Learning to be family", newsletter podcast 14 December 2019, episode 24
    Duration: 10min | 13/12/2019

    Learning to be familyPenny and I and our son Fred made a quick trip down to Bristol last weekend. We went to see our daughter Lydia and her husband in their new home. It was our first time seeing them together in their own place. What a joy! "Thank you" to Lydia and Bintesh for welcoming us and putting us up in such style. We were also very blessed to spend time with his brother, Ketul, and his mother and father, Paresh and Bhavna. Indeed, Bhavna cooked some authentic Indian dishes including Idli and dal. Delicious! Now that we have our own ready and waiting Airbnb and local Indian restaurant in the West Country, I'm sure we will be back time and time again. The experience reminded me that learning to be family takes an investment of time and energy. It was a long way to drive there and back for one night. But it was worth it. We are learning how to relate my daughter as the wife of our son-in-law. Were learning how to relate to our in-laws and extended family. We want to be friends, but none of this is guara

  • 118: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 118, Three lessons from the Apostle Paul to help us unload the overload
    118: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 118, "Three lessons from the Apostle Paul to help us unload the overload"
    Duration: 15min | 12/12/2019

    Today I bring you a reflection on renewing our inner world based on chapter 9 of the book “Unloading the Overload: Stress management for Christians” by Chris Powell and Graham Barker. Do you ever feel overloaded? Are you feeling it right now? Is it having a positive or negative effect on your times of quiet with God? Let's look today at how renewing our inner world can make all the difference. Perhaps the key Scripture for this principle is found in Romans chapter 12: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2 NIV11) In the context he is stressing that we not be conformed to "the pattern of this world”, and this cannot simply mean our mind needs to be changed. It’s about transforming the whole way we view the world from the inside out. The inner world must be changed if we are going to cope well with the challenges of the outer world. Let’s see how

  • 186: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 186: How Preaching Builds the Christian Community
    186: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 186: "How Preaching Builds the Christian Community"
    Duration: 13min | 10/12/2019

    I’m reading “Preaching and Preachers” by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. In the second chapter he makes the claim that part of preaching’s effectiveness is its unique role as a shared learning experience. He attacks the misguided notion that individual learning can replace corporate learning. Let’s examine this topic today. He writes: “Cannot all you want to be done equally well by reading - reading books and journals? Cannot it be done by television or radio…?” p42 Of course, today we need to add “online, YouTube et cetera”. Undoubtedly there is much of great value in podcasts and other media. I myself listen regularly to sermons by Tim Keller and media put out by Worship Central, The Bible Project and others. However, can this not so much supplement as supplant the need for the local sermon? Lloyd Jones goes on to say: “I suggest that the result [of purely individual learning] is a disappointing one, and I think I can give the reasons for this. The first is that this is a wrong approach because it is too individuali

  • 23: Find the Beauty, Newsletter Podcast, 07 December 2019, Episode 23
    23: "Find the Beauty", Newsletter Podcast, 07 December 2019, Episode 23
    Duration: 12min | 06/12/2019

    Inspired by the beauty around me As you probably know I'm preparing a teaching and preaching series on the Sermon on the Mount for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org) in the first two months of 2020. Getting the lessons written to a good standard and on time is the biggest challenge I'm facing right now. Of course, it's also the greatest privilege!  The plan has been to devote Monday mornings to writing. I get up early, go somewhere special to pray, and then sit, crucially, somewhere not in my house and write all morning. Aided, of course, by cake and coffee!  One of my favourite places is Dunstable Downs (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunstable-downs-and-whipsnade-estate) . But this week I felt I needed to go somewhere different. What a good choice I made. I went to Rickmansworth and walked round the Aquadrome (https://www.threerivers.gov.uk/egcl-page/rickmansworth-aquadrome) including the nature area known as "Stockers Lake (https://www.hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/st

  • 112: The Sunday Sample, Episode 112: Halel to start worship
    112: The Sunday Sample, Episode 112: "Halel to start worship"
    Duration: 07min | 06/12/2019

    Are you familiar with Dave Eastman’s work at Life Changing Worship (https://www.lifechangingworship.com/) ? There’s some really helpful material there including some video teaching on the word ‘halal'. I dowloaded a video on the Hebrew word “Halal” and used it to introduce our corporate worship this last Sunday in the Thames Valley churches of Christ. Then we song two songs connected with that word: “Hallelujah, Hallelujah” followed by “Lord we sing your praises loud”. The video & podcast demonstrate how this was done and the chords I added to the first song. Watch or listen to those to find out more about what happened. Question for today: “What innovative ways have you seen corporate worship introduced?" 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 (mailto:malcolm@malcolmcox.org) . If you’d like

  • 117: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 117. Beatitudes series: Summary of the beatitudes
    117: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 117. "Beatitudes series: Summary of the beatitudes"
    Duration: 11min | 05/12/2019

    In this series we are immersing ourselves in the beatitudes - Matthew 5:3-12.  We're trying to figure out what each beatitude means for us practically and how that affects our relationship with God, and in particular, our times of quiet with God. The reason this is on my mind is because I am preparing a teaching and preaching series for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org/) , and a teaching day for the Watford Church of Christ (http://www.watfordchurchofchrist.org/) based on the sermon on the mount. Join me today as we conclude the Beatitudes series by looking back over the first twelve verses of Matthew chapter 5. The first four beatitudes see the godly person on their knees in humility before God. As a result they are close to the heart of God.  This being the case they are changed in their dealing with others. ““Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.      Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.      Blessed are the meek, for they will in

  • 185: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 185: The purpose of preaching is to remove ignorance
    185: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 185: "The purpose of preaching is to remove ignorance"
    Duration: 18min | 03/12/2019

    I’m reading “Preaching and Preachers” by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. In the second chapter he makes the claim that preaching’s aim is to replace ignorance with knowledge. How does that fit with your view of preaching’s purpose? I include teaching with preaching in this regard. Let’s examine this topic today. It’s undoubtedly the case that humankind’s preeminent problem is ignorance. Ignorance of our spiritual state, of the love of God, of the purpose of the cross, of the power of the resurrection, of how to be ‘born again’, and much more.  Paul reminded Timothy that’s God wants, “all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4 NIV11) That same Paul spoke to Gentiles about their ignorance when he proclaimed, “you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.” (Acts 17:23 NIV11) Commenting on this pattern, Lloyd-Jones writes this, “If this is the greatest need of man, if his ultimate need is something that arises out of this ignorance of hi

  • 22: Who is my neighbour? Newsletter 30th November 2019, Episode 22
    22: "Who is my neighbour?" Newsletter 30th November 2019, Episode 22
    Duration: 10min | 30/11/2019

    Applying the Bible to real life I've had a rough week of health. A throat infection and stomach bug. Hence a shorter newsletter today. If you've been a subscriber for a while you will know I'm studying the Sermon on the Mount in depth in preparation for a teaching series next year and a teaching day in February.  The following passage was my focus earlier in the week: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 NIV11) I noted that a similar formula is used later in the gospel: “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:40 NIV11) In that teaching block Jesus reminds his hearers of the greatest commandments: love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself. As I contemplated the application of loving my neighbour as myself and treating them as I would wish them to treat me, a chord resonated in the back of my mind.  As I explored it, I realised that I had been putting o

  • 111: The Sunday Sample, Episode 111: How to lead worship so as to edify the church
    111: The Sunday Sample, Episode 111: "How to lead worship so as to edify the church"
    Duration: 16min | 29/11/2019

    “Let’s lead worship in such a way as to edify the church.” Have you heard that phrase, or something similar? Sounds noble. It’s got a nice Biblical ring to it. But what does it mean? And how does it inform the way we lead corporate worship? Let’s have a look today at what it means to lead worship to edify the church. First, what does the word mean? The Greek word translated ‘edification' is, “oikodomeœ”, as in, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (Romans 14:19 NIV11) Here are all uses of the word in the New Testament: Matthew 24:1; Mark 13:1–2; Romans 14:19; 15:2; 1 Corinthians 3:9; 14:3, 5, 12, 26; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 10:8; 12:19; 13:10; Ephesians 2:21; 4:12, 16, 29. You’ll notice that the word is variously translated, 'build' = 2; 'building' = 6; 'buildings' = 3; 'builds' = 1; 'built' = 2; 'edification' = 1; 'edified' = 2; 'strengthening' = 2; 'up' = 8. Second, what might this look like? The IVP "Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (https://www.amazon.co.u

  • 116: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 116. Beatitudes series: the persecuted receive reward
    116: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 116. "Beatitudes series: the persecuted receive reward"
    Duration: 17min | 28/11/2019

    “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10–12 NIV11) What does it mean that persecuted people receive a reward? And how is this connected to the kingdom of heaven? In this series we are immersing ourselves in the beatitudes - Matthew 5:3-12.  We're trying to figure out what each beatitude means for us practically and how that affects our relationship with God, and in particular, our times of quiet with God. The reason this is on my mind is because I am preparing a teaching and preaching series for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org/) , and a teaching day for the Watford Church of Christ (http://www.watfordchurchofchrist.org/) based on the sermon on the mount. Join me toda

  • 184: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 184: How to deliver a meaningful sermunion
    184: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 184: "How to deliver a meaningful 'sermunion'"
    Duration: 13min | 26/11/2019

    The 'sermunion’ has become more and more popular. In case you are unfamiliar with the phenomenon, it involves combining the sermon and communion. Most commonly ending with a prayer before taking bread and wine. I would guess that we do something like this once a month or so in the Watford Church of Christ. The topic came up in conversation last week with my friend, Rudie and I thought it would be timely to record some thoughts on it. Today I will not argue for the merits or otherwise of the 'sermunion’. There is no scriptural command concerning the form of sermons and communions in detail, hence we cannot be definitive. Instead, I’d like to touch on a few principles and practicals to consider when planning a ‘sermunion’ (more detail is contained in the video/podcast version). Text - how appropriate is it?  Hybrid - consider a separate person for the sermon and post-sermon communion thought. Length - tendency to make the lesson longer. May find it harder to keep listeners engaged. Motive - not to save time. Hi

  • “Should Christians be involved in politics?”, Watford church of Christ
    “Should Christians be involved in politics?”, Watford church of Christ
    Duration: 33min | 24/11/2019

     “Should Christians be involved in Politics?”  SCRIPTURES  (1 Timothy 2:1–8 NIV11) (Romans 13:1–5 NIV11) (Luke 20:21–26 NIV11) (Titus 3:1–2 NIV11) (1 Peter 2:12–17 NIV11) (Matthew 28:18 NIV11) (Colossians 2:9–10 NIV11)  Discussion  “Christians should be involved in politics” “Christians should not be involved in politics”  Politicians of christian faith  William Wilberforce:  “Never, never will we desist till we have wiped away this scandal from the Christian name, released ourselves from the load of guilt, under which we at present labour, and extinguished every trace of this bloody traffic, of which our posterity, looking back to the history of these enlightened times, will scarce believe that it has been suffered to exist so long a disgrace and dishonour to this country.” Lord Shaftesbury:  “My religious views are not very popular but they are the views that have sustained and comforted me all though my life. I think a man's religion, if it is worth anything, should enter into every sphere of life, and rul

  • 21: Go back to go forward, Episode 21, Podcast version of my weekly newsletter, 23 November 2019
    21: "Go back to go forward", Episode 21, Podcast version of my weekly newsletter, 23 November 2019
    Duration: 13min | 23/11/2019

    When to cut and run Not long ago it rained heavily during the night.  I went out for my morning prayer walk as usual. The ground was sodden. I decided to take one of my less commonly used routes through the conservation area on my way back to the house. I like it because it's particularly quiet. It's rare to come across another human being. However, I was aware that it often floods after heavy rain. Mind you, I was wearing good waterproof clothing and a proper stout pair of walking boots. Undaunted, I walked through the meadow as the water on the ground became deeper and deeper. At one point an inner voice said, "This is not going to end well. Turn back and go home by another route."  My stubbornness got the better of me. I pressed on,my feet getting wetter and wetter. Finally, I came to the scene in the photograph above. I probed the shoreline trying to find a path through or across the deeper water to the path just beyond. None presented itself. Again the voice said, "Turn back. There is no shame in admitti

  • 110: The Sunday Sample, Episode 110: What is worship?
    110: The Sunday Sample, Episode 110: "What is worship?"
    Duration: 09min | 22/11/2019

    I visited an old friend, Harry Hardy, last week. It was great to catch up over a cup of tea. It had been too long! I came away with several blessings. Sweet fellowship, personal encouragement and a boot load of books. Harry was clearing out. One of those books has the title, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God”, by Andy Ritchie Jr.  On pages 4 and 5 of the first chapter (“What is worship?") the author has included a prose-poem. I reproduce it here in its entirety. Why not read through it, pray through it, meditate on it and discover what God may say to you about worship? Is there something here for you to take to your own personal worship and when you lead others in worship? Might there be useful thinking with which your worship team could be inspired? “What is worship?” It is the soul searching for its counterpart. It is the thirsty land crying out for rain. It is a candle in the act of being kindled. It is a drop in quest of the ocean. It is a man listening through a tornado for the Still Small Voice. It i

  • 115: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 115. Beatitudes series: the peacemakers are Gods children
    115: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 115. "Beatitudes series: the peacemakers are God's children"
    Duration: 15min | 21/11/2019

    “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9 NIV11) What does it mean that peacemakers are children of God? And how is this connected to the kingdom of heaven? In this series we are immersing ourselves in the beatitudes - Matthew 5:3-12.  We're trying to figure out what each beatitude means for us practically and how that affects our relationship with God, and in particular, our times of quiet with God. The reason this is on my mind is because I am preparing a teaching and preaching series for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org/) , and a teaching day for the Watford Church of Christ (http://www.watfordchurchofchrist.org/) based on the sermon on the mount. Join me today as I examine what it means to be a peacemaker. Before we look forward, let’s look backwards.  The previous beatitude is about being pure in heart. Peacemaking can only be done by the pure in heart, for impartiality is necessary. So this beatitude follows on from the former. Peacema

  • 183: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 183: The case against sermon-centric Sundays
    183: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 183: "The case against sermon-centric Sundays"
    Duration: 14min | 19/11/2019

    This week I read an article in Premier Christianity magazine with the title, “The case against Sermon-centric Sundays”.  To quote from the subtitle, “Skye Jethani explains why digital technology is disrupting our 500 year old emphasis on lengthy Sunday sermons”. Skye reviews the way in which technology has historically influenced communicating the gospel. Scrolls became codices which became printed books - and now we have the plethora of digital media options.  In the not-too-distant past, good quality Bible teaching was restricted to a particular building, by a particular person and at a particular time. Not so these days.  Whilst much teaching online is of questionable quality and accuracy, it’s not hard to find teaching and preaching online superior to that we may find in our local congregation. Does this mean that the delivery of a Sunday morning lesson is unnecessary? I wouldn’t take that approach. But, I would suggest that we think carefully about the purpose of the teaching and preaching we offer. What

  • 20: How to get un-stuck, Podcast version of my newsletter 16 November 2019
    20: "How to get un-stuck", Podcast version of my newsletter 16 November 2019
    Duration: 11min | 16/11/2019

    The value of inspirational locations I'm developing a teaching series on the Sermon on the Mount. It's awesome. Exciting. And overwhelming! My procrastinatory tendencies have been heightened by the enormity of the task. A task, I might add, that I set myself!  Fortunately I have a friend. She (Karen) helped me reconnect with a similar past task successfully completed. A key component of that success (writing my first book) was that I had a specific writing place outside the home. Hence, this Monday I heid myself to one of my favourite spots on earth. A regular 'Sabbath' day prayer and thinking place. The Dunstable Downs are a delightful location in which to talk things over with God. The National Trust cafe on the site makes it an ideal place to read and write. My goal was to write the outline of three classes. I completed twelve. Twelve! Such is the value in noticing what has worked in the past, and of good friends who can help us get unstuck so that we can do something important for the kingdom of God. Are

  • 109: The Sunday Sample, Episode 109: Christmas Carol Service Plans 2019
    109: The Sunday Sample, Episode 109: "Christmas Carol Service Plans 2019"
    Duration: 08min | 15/11/2019

    I have been thinking about this year's carol services for the Thames Valley churches of Christ and the Watford Church of Christ for several months. However, I sat down to write out a draft order of service more recently. I’ll share with you what we are doing this year (you can access the TV service here, and the Watford service here), but I'd like to know what ideas you have. Our format is based on the tried and tested template we've use for a few years now. A number of popular carols interspersed with readings by preteens and teenagers along with one or two newer songs. The two Carol services I'm involved with this year in Thames Valley and Watford will be almost identical. Here are a few highlights. We're singing the song “He shall reign forevermore (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRVs0HikGeM) ” by Chris Tomlin and Mat Maher. We learned it last year. In the Watford congregation when we sing “Away in a Manger” we'll begin with one of our preteens, Leah, playing the tune on her flute whilst I’ll support her

  • 114: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 114. Beatitudes series: Pure people see God
    114: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 114. "Beatitudes series: Pure people see God"
    Duration: 15min | 14/11/2019

    “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NIV11) What does it mean that the pure hearted will see God? And how is this connected to the kingdom of heaven? In this series we are immersing ourselves in the beatitudes - Matthew 5:5:3-12.  We're trying to figure out what each beatitude means for us practically and how that affects our relationship with God, and in particular, our times of quiet with God. The reason this is on my mind is because I am preparing a teaching and preaching series for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org/) , and a teaching day for the Watford Church of Christ (http://www.watfordchurchofchrist.org/) based on the sermon on the mount. Join me today as I examine what it means to be pure in heart. Showing mercy needs a pure heart because it must be done altruistically.  Although the merciful will be shown mercy, the reward is not something that a merciful person thinks about.  What is purity of heart? The heart is the source of our struggles w

  • 182: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 182: How to speak so that people find strength in God
    182: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 182: "How to speak so that people find strength in God"
    Duration: 21min | 12/11/2019

    I am continuing to receive very helpful feedback from the three-part series I taught recently for the Thames Valley churches of Christ. Here is a second excerpt from an email I received from Celia Forbes of our sister congregation in Birmingham: "2) Why do I speak? I speak to help people to find strength in God (Romans 1:11; 1 Samuel 23:16). I appreciate that we absolutely need close relationships in the church, but I feel that we all (not just the full-time ministry staff and the leaders) need to grow in our knowledge of the Scriptures so that we can do better at helping each other to find strength in God."  Let’s have a look at the Scriptures she references to see in what way they might help shape the way we speak. “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” (Romans 1:11–12 NIV11) “While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. And Saul’s

  • “The Most Important Memory”, Luke 22.14-23
    “The Most Important Memory”, Luke 22.14-23
    Duration: 32min | 10/11/2019

    “The Most Important Memory” Luke 22.14-23 Introduction Why do we remember events?  Why did God give us a memory? Assertion: To enable us to create a better future A better future depends on a healthily remembered past Question: What methods did God use to help his people remember the right things in the OT?  Question: What methods did God use to help his people remember the right things in the NT?  The Lord’s Supper, Luke 22.14-23 “When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God.” After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after

  • Remembrance Sunday: Newsletter 09 November 2019
    "Remembrance Sunday": Newsletter 09 November 2019
    Duration: 09min | 09/11/2019

    Where did the time go? On Thursday this week we went out for a Chinese meal to celebrate my son's 30th birthday. It prompted all the usual clichés such as "where did the time go?" As you can imagine, my post on Facebook regarding the birthday garnered many comments. Some flattering, some scary and some rather cute. "Thank you" for all of them. Our son doesn't like cake (I know - how does he cope with life?). But he does like bread. My wife works in a Jewish area of North London where they make spectacular breads. She ordered a challah bread (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Challah) in the shape of a three and a zero (picture above). We took it to the restaurant last night, inserted three candles, lit them and sang "Happy birthday". The unique nature of the birthday 'cake' caused many a conversation in the restaurant. We all want to remember the right things. Penny's creativity will help us remember Fred's 30th birthday. Remembrance is on my mind because it is Remembrance Sunday this coming Sunday. Whatever our

  • 108: The Sunday Sample, Episode 108: How to Inspire everyone to participate in worshipful singing from the start of the service
    108: The Sunday Sample, Episode 108: "How to Inspire everyone to participate in worshipful singing from the start of the service"
    Duration: 13min | 08/11/2019

    Do you ever encounter the following situation? The worship team are ready, the lead worshipper asks the congregation to move to their seats and prepare to sing, the song begins, people in the congregation continue to chat and we don’t have full participation until the third verse, or even the second song. What’s your reaction as a leader of worship? Frustration? Confusion? Even anger? Or perhaps it doesn’t really matter. In every congregation I’ve ever been part of this has been a consistent challenge. Different solutions have been tried, some more successful than others. It’s also become obvious that there is no one solution that fits all congregations. What do we do? Last night I was at a meeting with the men of the Watford Church of Christ. We spent some good time in prayer and then discussed plans for next year (2020). Part of our discussion was about how to take our musical worship to the next level.  The issue of the start of the service came up.  We had a very fruitful conversation, and are contemplati

  • 113: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 113. Beatitudes series: the merciful receive mercy
    113: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 113. "Beatitudes series: the merciful receive mercy"
    Duration: 13min | 07/11/2019

    “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7 NIV11) What does it mean that the merciful will be shown mercy? And how is this connected to the kingdom of heaven? In this series we are immersing ourselves in the beatitudes - Matthew 5:5:3-12.  We're trying to figure out what each beatitude means for us practically and how that affects our relationship with God, and in particular, our times of quiet with God. The reason this is on my mind is because I am preparing a teaching and preaching series for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org/) , and a teaching day for the Watford Church of Christ (http://www.watfordchurchofchrist.org/) based on the sermon on the mount. Join me today as I examine what it means to be merciful. First, what is mercy? “Mercy is compassion for people in need.”   “…whereby one is moved to pity and go to the relief of another in misery … cause(ing) its possessor to make the case of another his own, so that he is grieved by it, … we weep with tho

  • 181: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 181: How to speak so that people feel loved
    181: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 181: "How to speak so that people feel loved"
    Duration: 15min | 05/11/2019

    I am continuing to receive very helpful feedback from the three-part series I taught recently for the Thames Valley churches of Christ. Here is an excerpt from an email I received from Celia Forbes of our sister congregation in Birmingham: Good morning Malcolm, Thank you so much for your inspiring and truly thought-provoking lesson. I'm deeply impacted by the idea that God prefers to speak through people than directly to people. Wow! I intend to meditate on that. What a responsibility, but also what an honour and privilege! I also loved that you highlighted that we speak FOR God. It helps me to deepen my conviction that whatever I say (or do) is NOT for my benefit, it's for God's glory (Colossians 3:23; Matthew 5:16). 1) Why do I think that God chooses to speak through people? I think it's due to the power of an interactive conversation, where thoughts, feelings, questions and, very importantly, non-verbal communication can be exchanged rapidly, leaving people feeling like they have truly been listened to and

  • 18: Praying in two cathedrals, Newsletter 03 November 2019
    18: "Praying in two 'cathedrals'", Newsletter 03 November 2019
    Duration: 06min | 04/11/2019

    The tale of two cathedrals Penny and I took a few days away in the north-east of England this last week. We were visiting her aunt and uncle as well as getting a few days away to ourselves near the quaint town of Filey. Having been away there's a lot to catch up on, so forgive the short newsletter this week. What I will say however is that I had the blessing of praying in two different kinds of cathedral. The first was a side chapel in York Minster. Whatever you think of traditional modes of Christendom and buildings like cathedrals, there was something special about reading and praying through a Psalm whilst in a building where Christian prayers have been said for over a thousand years. My other 'cathedral' was the beach near Filey. Praying whilst walking on the beach listening to the gulls, seeing a grey seal, enjoying the crashing sound of the waves and the brilliance of the low autumn sun was a truly spiritual experience! I hope you manage to get times of recreation and refreshment both for your body and

  • 107: The Sunday Sample, Episode 107: Sing because you love
    107: The Sunday Sample, Episode 107: "Sing because you love"
    Duration: 05min | 01/11/2019

    In the first chapter of his book “Sing!”, Keith Getty argues persuasively that we are designed by God to sing. The quality is not the issue, nor the competency. If we can speak, we can sing. Both forms of sound are simply airwaves moving over vocal chords. He lays out several good reasons for all Christians to sing congregationally (regardless of musical talent), but I won’t go over those now. Buy a copy of the book and read it for yourself! However, I would like to quote a summary statement from the end of the chapter (location 394 from the Kindle edition): "Don’t sing primarily because you love singing, or keep quiet because you do not. Sing because you love who made you, and formed you, and enables you to sing.." Getty, Keith. Sing! . B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. Worship leaders should not only be those people who seem to most enjoy singing, but those who most enjoy inspiring and educating the congregation in singing.  Perhaps congregations on occasion do not wholeheartedly engage in the singing b

  • 112: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 112. Beatitudes series: hungry and thirsty
    112: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 112. "Beatitudes series: hungry and thirsty"
    Duration: 17min | 31/10/2019

    “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6 NIV11) What does it mean that hungry people will be filled? And how is this connected to the kingdom of heaven? In this series we are immersing ourselves in the beatitudes - Matthew 5:5:3-12.  We're trying to figure out what each beatitude means for us practically and how that affects our relationship with God, and in particular, our times of quiet with God. The reason this is on my mind is because I am preparing a teaching and preaching series for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org/) , and a teaching day for the Watford Church of Christ (http://www.watfordchurchofchrist.org/) based on the sermon on the mount. Join me today as I examine what it means to be hungry and thirsty for righteousness. This beatitude aims at the heart of the Sermon on the Mount. Righteousness (and the kingdom, which is what the SOM is about) is the priority: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and a

  • 180: “They Spoke So Effectively”, Class 3: “How to speak”, Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 180
    180: “They Spoke So Effectively”, Class 3: “How to speak”, Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 180
    Duration: 24min | 29/10/2019

    “They Spoke So Effectively” Acts 14.1 Class 3: “How to speak” Delivery; dealing with nerves; use of A/V; voice; style QUESTION: “What are the most challenging aspects of presentation?” Personal  Nerves  Exodus 4.10-12 “I’m e…………” instead of, “I’m frightened” God is with you: Acts 18.9-10 Unworthiness: Isaiah 6.5-9 Practical Voice Notes Impact Personal sharing Audiovisual Titles Practicals God-focus Conclusion Develop a plan for one personal issue Develop a plan for one practical issue to be improved at the next time you speak Send me questions/suggestions Resources: Tuesday Teaching Tips (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLssKYNRlLIE_A3ckUf7NrtJEqNVbft98J) 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 (mailto:malcolm@malcolmcox.org) . If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplin

  • 17: Salt and Light, Malcolms Magic Moments, 26 October 2019, Episode 17
    17: "Salt and Light", Malcolm's Magic Moments, 26 October 2019, Episode 17
    Duration: 09min | 26/10/2019

    Salt and lightThe more I study the Sermon on the Mount, and especially the Beatitudes, the more it's changing the way I view my responsibilities as a Christ-follower. The quote above from the book "Fearfully and Wonderfully" by Philip Yancey and Dr Paul Brand, reminds me of the way God works. He does not come to us in a way which compromises choice. He speaks through people more than he speaks directly to humankind. He sends us evidence of his love (in Jesus) rather than simply telling us of his love. And then he sends us, disciples of his son, to make the invisible visible. In what way can we make the invisible visible? By being salt and light. We are called to be salt and light.  I must confess that I don't always feel my life is very 'salty', or bright.  Yet, if we realise we are the light and salt of the world then we know we are powerful - if not by the methods of the world, yet more powerful than any force in the world. I offer my recordings this week in the hope that they will help you to be as bright

  • 106: The Sunday Sample, Episode 106: How did the congregation sing?
    106: The Sunday Sample, Episode 106: "How did the congregation sing?"
    Duration: 08min | 25/10/2019

    What’s one of the tell-tale signs a worship leader has understood their role? It’s revealed by which of these two questions they ask themselves at the end of church service: Question one: “How did I sing today?” Question two: “How did the congregation sing today?" While the first question has its place (especially if you saw people wincing!), the second question is more relevant and, in fact, more scripturally informed.  Consider what Paul tells the Ephesians: “...be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:18–20 NIV11) His instruction is not to worship leaders. His instruction is to the congregation. We don’t know exactly how they organised their singing and whether they had what we would recognise as a leader of worship. However, whatever their methods, the priority was the spirituality of their congr

  • 111: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 111. Beatitudes series: Blessed are the meek
    111: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 111. "Beatitudes series: Blessed are the meek"
    Duration: 17min | 24/10/2019

    “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5 NIV11) What does it mean that meek people will inherit the earth? And how is this connected to the kingdom of heaven? The blessing is paradoxical.  The proud, boastful and pushy seem to inherit the earth in our experience. In this series we are immersing ourselves in the beatitudes - Matthew 5:3-12.  We're trying to figure out what each beatitude means for us practically and how that affects our relationship with God, and in particular, our times of quiet with God. The reason this is on my mind is because I am preparing a teaching and preaching series for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org/) , and a teaching day for the Watford Church of Christ (http://www.watfordchurchofchrist.org/) based on the sermon on the mount. Join me today as I examine what it means to be meek. Overview Jesus seems to be quoting Psalm 37:11, or at least have it in the back of his mind. You might want to read the rest of the Psalm as backgroun

  • Tuesday Teaching Tip Episode 179, “What to speak about”
    Tuesday Teaching Tip Episode 179, “What to speak about”
    Duration: 20min | 22/10/2019

    “They Spoke So Effectively”, Acts 14.1 Class 2: “What to speak about” How to pick a passage/topic; text or topic; lesson planning tips. QUESTION: “How do we know what to speak about?”  Intersection of:  C………………  C………………  1. Text Different types: Word Verse Passage Narrative Exegesis / Eisegesis  What …….it mean? What …….it mean?  2. Topic  Biographical Doctrinal Lesson planning tips Templates Question: “Why is it important to prepare well in advance?” P…… it L…… it Conclusion Next week: “How to speak” - delivery; dealing with nerves; use of A/V; voice; style. Homework for next time:  Use one of the templates or make up your own to prepare a welcome, hope talk, communion or lesson. Bring it next time to share.  Send me questions/suggestions (malcolm@malcolmcox.org (mailto:malcolm@malcolmcox.org) )  Resources: Tuesday Teaching Tips (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLssKYNRlLIE_A3ckUf7NrtJEqNVbft98J) Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.  Do you have a que

  • “The Excitement of Bewilderment with God”, Acts 16:6-10, Sermon for the Watford church of Christ
    “The Excitement of Bewilderment with God”, Acts 16:6-10, Sermon for the Watford church of Christ
    Duration: 29min | 20/10/2019

    “The Excitement of Bewilderment with God”, Acts 16:6-10  How might bewilderment be necessary and helpful? 1. God closes and opens doors A. Negative information B. Positive information Discussion: “Have you ever had a ‘strange’ experience of God opening or closing a door?”  What did you learn from it? 2. How to respond with faith “How did Paul and his companions respond to God opening and closing doors?” A. E…………. PERSONAL QUESTION: “What is God leading you to e………..…..?” B. P………….. PERSONAL QUESTION: “Where is God leading you to p…………..?” C. D…………. PERSONAL QUESTION: “What d………….… is God placing before you?” All three are an expression of faith - trusting God that he has a purpose Conclusion Bithynia, 1 Peter 1:1 Galatia, Galatians 1.1-2 Troas, 2 Corinthians 2:12 SUMMARY THOUGHT:  “Bewilderment is ………….. and ………… because it makes us ……….. and keeps 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 theologi

  • 16: Malcolms Magic Moments, 19 October 2019, Episode 16
    16: Malcolm's Magic Moments, 19 October 2019, Episode 16
    Duration: 09min | 19/10/2019

    The podcast version of this week's newsletter In celebration of the future A slightly shorter note this week since I'm in a season of more frequent teaching, preaching and preparation. The future is unknown. We don't even know if we will have tomorrow (James 4:14). But that doesn't mean we can't look forward to the future with joy. Someone said, and I'm sure I'm paraphrasing with errors here, "We don't know what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future".  How are you viewing your future at the moment? If you're anything like me there are times when you find life to have lost its sparkle. The projects you are involved in seem to lack lustre. However, right now I have an abundance, perhaps even an over-abundance, of exciting projects. The, "They spoke so effectively" series for Thames Valley is something I'm finding particularly stimulating. Talking about the basics of why we speak in our church community and how to do so is refreshing my enthusiasm. I'm also preparing for the "Sermon on the Mount"

  • 105: The Sunday Sample, Episode 105: The connection between the spoken word and the sung word
    105: The Sunday Sample, Episode 105: "The connection between the spoken word and the sung word"
    Duration: 07min | 18/10/2019

    Last week the title of the Sunday Sample was, “The worship leader is pastor and prophet (https://www.malcolmcox.org/the-worship-leader-is-pastor-and-prophet/) ”.  We discussed the way in which we viewed our role. Musician? Worship organiser? Worship leader? How about Pastor (Shepherd)? How about prophet? I was really pleased to see a comment on this broadcast from my old friend Reeta. Truly this is a global community - she sent me her thoughts from Ghana. Here is her post from Facebook: "In point no 2 he should specifically contact the preacher for his message for the day and choose songs which will reflect and enhance the word of God for the day to allow for an enhanced understanding.” This is a great point. It set me to thinking about the connections between the spoken word and the sung word.  Coordinating songs with the message is easier if you follow, as some denominations do, a lectionary with set texts for each Sunday of the year. Even then, some topics are harder to coordinate with songs and hymns than

  • 110: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 110. Beatitudes series: Blessed are those who mourn
    110: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 110. "Beatitudes series: Blessed are those who mourn"
    Duration: 20min | 17/10/2019

    “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4 NIV11) What does it mean that mourners will be comforted? And how is this connected to the kingdom of heaven? In this series we are immersing ourselves in the beatitudes - Matthew 5:3-12.  We're trying to figure out what each beatitude means for us practically and how that affects our relationship with God, and in particular, our times of quiet with God. The reason this is on my mind is because I am preparing a teaching and preaching series for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org/) , and a teaching day for the Watford Church of Christ (http://www.watfordchurchofchrist.org/) based on the sermon on the mount. Join me today as I examine what it means to mourn and to be comforted. 1. Overview This second beatitude follows naturally from the previous one. When we recognise our poverty, and the poverty of the world, it will cause us to mourn.  Is mourning appropriate for a Christian? Shouldn’t we be people characterised b

  • 178: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 178: Why do we speak?
    178: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 178: "Why do we speak?"
    Duration: 09min | 15/10/2019

    As mentioned last week, I started a new series for the Thames Valley churches of Christ on “effective speaking”. Our first class, last Friday, was focused on the topic of why we preach. At the beginning of the class I asked the group for reasons why they think we preach or speak in church? Here are some of their comments:  “To lead the spiritual atmosphere of the meeting”; “passing on the message”; “to inspire people”; “to make sure everyone gets something spiritually beneficial from the time together”; “to share something personal, from the heart”; “God’s Word needs to be proclaimed”; “to see things from different people’s perspectives”; Coincidentally, the following day, Saturday, I attended an event in central Watford for preachers of all different denominations. We had, essentially, a discussion about our different approaches to and understanding of the significance of preaching. At one point the leader of the session, Helen Roberts, asked me my views on why we preach. I said the following: “We preach bec

  • “They Spoke So Effectively” Acts 14.1 Class I: “Why we speak”
    “They Spoke So Effectively” Acts 14.1 Class I: “Why we speak”
    Duration: 18min | 14/10/2019

    “They Spoke So Effectively” Acts 14.1 Class I: “Why we speak” Our motivation, aims, purpose in speaking. The activity of God in speaking. Find a God-inspired motivation and you will find something to say, and the motivation to say it. Introduction QUESTION: “Why do we speak in congregational gatherings?”  Biblical ‘speaking’ QUESTION: “What are some of the ways God ‘spoke’ to humankind in scripture?” 2 Corinthians 5.19-20  Romans 10.15 QUESTION: Since God is perfectly capable of speaking for himself, “Why does he choose to do so through humans?“ Summary  God speaks through …………  It’s the ………. way to communicate his truth and love  Response and question and answer session Responses? Questions? Conclusion Next week: “What to speak about” - How to pick a passage/topic; how to exegete; lesson planning tips. Homework for next time:  Write a one sentence summary of whyyou speak - share next time  Send me questions/suggestions  Resources: Tuesday Teaching Tips (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLssKYNRlLIE_A3ck

  • “Courageous Humility”: Malcolm Cox, Sermon for the Watford church of Christ
    “Courageous Humility”: Malcolm Cox, Sermon for the Watford church of Christ
    Duration: 29min | 13/10/2019

    Courageous Humility “Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.” (Acts 16:1–5 NIV11 1. The courage and humility to be trained Why does it take courage and humility to be trained? How do you feel about being trained? In what area of life and following Jesus could you use some more training? Are you passing on your experience to others? 2. The courage and humility to be refined Why does it take courage and humility to be refined?  1 Corinthians 9:19-23. Why do you think Timothy agreed to be ci

  • 15: Watch out for that leak! Magic Moments from the week, Episode 15, 12 October 2019
    15: "Watch out for that leak!" Magic Moments from the week, Episode 15, 12 October 2019
    Duration: 13min | 12/10/2019

    Many of you will know that we are building a wildlife pond in our garden. I had thought the hard part was over. The pond had been dug, lined with carpet and underline with the UPVC liner on top. It was three quarters filled with rainwater. All seem to be going swimmingly well. Then, the next morning, we noticed the water level had dropped. Only one explanation. A leak. On Wednesday we emptied all the water, took off the liner, folded it took it back to the shop and exchanged it for a replacement. When we returned to the garden we put even more carpeting and padding at the bottom and on the side of the pond before putting in the new liner. Backbreaking work and very frustrating! It's just as well we noticed the leak now, not after finishing the edging and filling it with pond plants. I think it was Dwight L Moody who said, when asked why he talked about being refilled with the Spirit since we received it when we were brought into Christ, "Yes, I was filled with the spirit, but I leak." That statement is not th

  • 104: The Sunday Sample, Episode 104: The worship leader is pastor and prophet
    104: The Sunday Sample, Episode 104: "The worship leader is pastor and prophet"
    Duration: 07min | 11/10/2019

    How do you see your role? Musician? Worship organiser? Worship leader? How about Pastor (Shepherd)? How about prophet? In Mike Pilavachi's book “For the audience of ONE” the final chapter includes a section called, “Before leading, think”.  In it he emphasises the significance of thinking about the congregation before thinking about which songs to choose. Let me quote, “I think that the worship leader in a sense should be both pastor and prophet. As a pastor he/she should be asking during the days before a meeting: “What is going on in the congregation that needs reflecting upon and needs to be expressed in worship?”" For sure, our lives are busy. Reflecting on needs and listening to God takes time. However, there’s nothing more frustrating, or perhaps more sad, than coming away from a time of worship knowing that our selection of songs did not meet the need. What can we do to create the best possible opportunity for us to be both someone who can meet the needs of the congregation pastorally and prophetically

  • 109: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 109. Beatitudes series: Blessed are the poor in spirit
    109: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 109. "Beatitudes series: Blessed are the poor in spirit"
    Duration: 17min | 10/10/2019

    “Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:1–3 NIV11) What does it mean to be “poor in spirit?" And how is this connected to the kingdom of heaven? In this series we are immersing ourselves in the beatitudes - Matthew 5:3-12.  We're trying to figure out what each beatitude means for us practically and how that affects our relationship with God, and in particular, our times of quiet with God. The reason this is on my mind is because I am preparing a teaching and preaching series for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org/) , and a teaching day for the Watford Church of Christ (http://www.watfordchurchofchrist.org/) based on the sermon on the mount. Join me today as I examine what it means to be “poor in spirit”. An alternative translation of this verse reads: "“Happy are the oppressed, because to them belongs the ki

  • 177: Dominate the Subject: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 177
    177: "Dominate the Subject": Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 177
    Duration: 17min | 08/10/2019

    This Friday I’m starting a new class series for younger speakers in the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org/) . Recently I posted asking questions about what younger speakers would like to learn about and what more experienced speakers would like to have known when they started out. I’m very grateful for everybody who provided feedback. Today’s teaching tip is inspired by a response from Alberto Rioja who posted the following on my YouTube channel: "One tip I would give: Prepare yourself as much as possible, dominate the subject and let God use you. The preparation is not something for us to perform as robots or memorising the lines, but for us to dominate the subject and be sharp tools for God to use us. Use bullet points, and let God do His work with you :)”  (I have done little editing since English is not his first language) I like the phrase, “dominate the subject”. What does he mean?  Is he advocating jettisoning your notes? Someone once did suggest to me that the ultimate goal in pre

  • 13: The blessings of knowing your limits, Malcolms Major Moments, 05 October 2019
    13: "The blessings of knowing your limits", Malcolm's Major Moments, 05 October 2019
    Duration: 13min | 05/10/2019

    Sober Judgment “I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”  (Romans 12:3 NRSV) Knowing our limits is one thing. Accepting them is quite another!  We are building a wildlife pond in our garden.  I lifted the turf for the hole using a hand turf cutter and spade. Having dug the hole, it was time to take off the turf around the edge in preparation for laying flag stones. In between we had several downpours. Now the turf was much heavier. Reluctantly, I accepted the need to hire a turf cutter.  It was humbling to need the mechanical turf cutter.  It was humbling to need the help of a kind man at HSS hire to help me get the turf cutter into and out of the car. It was still more humbling to experience how difficult I found it to use the blessed machine as it slipped on the wet grass and I wrestled it around the hole in two concentric circles. As you can see, the humbling was

  • 103: The Sunday Sample, Episode 103: How to overcome obstacles to Koinonia
    103: The Sunday Sample, Episode 103: "How to overcome obstacles to Koinonia"
    Duration: 18min | 04/10/2019

    Koinonia is a key element in Christian community. Where is this word found? And what does it mean? Koinonia: To contribute; to have in common, share, Heb. 2:14; to be associated in, to become a sharer in, Rom. 15:27; 1 Pet. 4:13; to become implicated in, be a party to, 1 Tim. 5:22; 2 Jn. 11; to associate one’s self with by sympathy and assistance, to communicate with in the way of aid and relief, Rom. 12:13; Gal. 6:6; Phil. 4:15*  participate in; share. sharing (13x)  G2842 (19x) [Mounce Greek Dictionary] Let’s consider the most important use of the word for our purposes connected to corporate worship: “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing (koinonia) in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing (koinonia) in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Corinthians 10:16–17 NRSV) Paul’s point, amongst others, is that, since we share in Christ, and we share in the wine and bread (communion), this

  • 108: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 108. Using technology to remind us of the presence of God
    108: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 108. "Using technology to remind us of the presence of God"
    Duration: 14min | 03/10/2019

    On Tuesday I took a morning to pray and talk things over with God. It was one of my monthly 'sabbath' days.  I went walking and praying in Denham Country Park (https://www.colnevalleypark.org.uk/visitor-centre/) . I picked the location for two reasons.   The first was that it was a delightful spot with open countryside, rivers, a canal and wooded areas. The second was because it is close to the location for the group spiritual retreat I’m planning for March 2020. I wanted to go to the area, pray and ask God for wisdom and guidance in the preparation and planning of the retreat amongst other things.  I certainly felt God answered my prayers. More on the retreat later, but something else also happened that morning.  As many of you will know I am preparing a teaching and preaching series on the sermon on the Mount for the Thames Valley churches of Christ, as well as a teaching day on the same topic for the Watford Church of Christ.  As I wrestle with the study of and application of the sermon on the Mount, one a

  • 176: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 176: Comparisons are odious
    176: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 176: "Comparisons are odious"
    Duration: 09min | 01/10/2019

    I heard someone say the other day that we should not compare ourselves to other people. Instead we should compare ourselves to who we were yesterday. There is much wisdom in that statement.  Especially when it comes to teaching and preaching in our church congregational context. I don’t know who first said that comparisons are odious, but it goes back to at least 1440. Shakespeare used a comic version in his play, “Much ado about nothing” when he has Dogberry mistakenly say, “Comparisons are odorous”. Actually, perhaps they are. Comparisons leave a bad smell in your own 'nostrils’. What’s the problem with comparing yourself with other speakers? Comparing yourself against someone with greater experience, or strengths where you have weaknesses, will only leave you insecure, feeling inadequate and, if you’re not careful, even angry. You are not meant to be the other person. You’re not meant to speak exactly like them. You are called to be the best speaker you can be - and only you can be. We don’t hear of Paul,

  • 12: All Things Worship Great And Small, Malcolms Major Moments 28 September 2019
    12: "All Things Worship Great And Small", Malcolm's Major Moments 28 September 2019
    Duration: 10min | 28/09/2019

    One in voice and joy I enjoy singing when we have house church. That's probably what it was like for Jesus and his disciples - “When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” (Matthew 26:30 NIV11).  It doesn't matter how big or small the group, the quality of our worship can remain the same. However, I have to say that occasionally singing with close to a thousand people or so is something else! That's what happened this last Saturday and Sunday at our UK and Ireland conference in central London. One of the great joys in leading others in worshipful singing is the ability to see everybody. To see them singing. To see them moving. To see their smiles! It was my privilege to lead a couple of songs on the Saturday of the conference. It really was a privilege. The energy, the zeal, the overflowing joy was palpable. Perhaps the reason this is so inspiring is because it gives us a glimpse of what it must be like in that other realm which will be joined to ours one day:     “Then I looked and hear

  • 102: The Sunday Sample, Episode 102: Watch and Learn
    102: The Sunday Sample, Episode 102: "Watch and Learn"
    Duration: 07min | 27/09/2019

    Something different this week. I spent Saturday and Sunday last weekend at our UK/Ireland annual conference in central London. I was privileged to participate in leading worship on Saturday evening, but on Sunday I was a humble congregant! I enjoyed being able to sing along with everyone else and not having any responsibility for a change. I loved many things about the atmosphere, the content and the attitude with which the musical aspects of the worship were conducted. I took some video of the final song led by my old friend Morris Ximinis. He is a leader of worship I respect and who leads me into the joy of God like few other people can. I have no comments this week, simply an offer and a couple of questions. I’m going to show you a clip of the final song, "I want to see Jesus lifted high”, led by Morris. Then I’d like to ask you what you see in this clip which you would consider to be healthy, admirable, worthy of imitation and the reason why the congregation responded with such enthusiasm.  Now, if you’re

  • 107: Beatitudes series: Introduction and Retreat Update, Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 107
    107: "Beatitudes series: Introduction and Retreat Update", Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 107
    Duration: 24min | 26/09/2019

    I’m diving deep into Matthew 5-7.  it’s all in preparation for a teaching and preaching series for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org/) , and a teaching day for the Watford Church of Christ (http://www.watfordchurchofchrist.org/) based on the sermon on the mount.  Today I want to bring you an overview of the Beatitudes based on chapter 8 of the book “Unloading the Overload: Stress management for Christians (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unloading-Overload-Christian-Managing-Stress/dp/189974617X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=%E2%80%9CUnloading+the+Overload%3A+Stress+management+for+Christians%E2%80%9D+by+Chris+Powell+and+Graham+Barker.&qid=1557228534&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0) ” by Chris Powell and Graham Barker.  The podcast contains the full commentary on my thoughts of their approach to the Beatitudes. For these show notes, I’ll content myself with inserting the text of Matthew 5:3-12, and a few choice quotes from the book.  ““Blessed are the poor in spirit,           for theirs is the kingdom of

  • 175: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 175: Use Your Imagination
    175: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 175: "Use Your Imagination"
    Duration: 13min | 24/09/2019

    Preaching and teaching without using your imagination robs your listeners of the power in God’s word. It looks to me as if Jesus used his imagination in his speaking. Considered the parables.  Stories with a powerful point informed by Jesus’ imaginative reflecting on old covenant themes illuminated by new covenant realities. This is on my mind because of a book I’m reading. This one is called, “Wilderness Time (https://www.amazon.com/Wilderness-Time-Guide-Spiritual-Retreat/dp/0060633611) ”  by Emilie Griffin.  it’s a book about taking a spiritual retreat, not speaking, but a point she makes under “The discipline of meditation” on page 28 caught my…er…imagination! The section is too long to quote in the show notes here, so go and listen to the podcast or watch the video. But she makes excellent points connected with meditating on Mark 3:1-5.  What helps your imagination come to life? How does it benefit your Bible study and speaking? What are the limits of using our imagination? Not too long ago I heard someon

  • 12: Tambourines, Dancing to Bob Dylan and Connectedness, Malcolms Major Moments, 21 September 2019
    12: "Tambourines, Dancing to Bob Dylan and Connectedness", Malcolm's Major Moments, 21 September 2019
    Duration: 10min | 21/09/2019

    The importance of not getting above ourselves Last Sunday I had a fun experience. Bill plays guitar with our church in Walford, but he also plays tambourine on occasions with a band called "The Zimmermen" - a Bob Dylan tribute band. They play now and again at a pub called "The Horns" in Watford. I discovered they were performing last Sunday afternoon. Danny and I went along to support Bill as he played his tambourine with great vigour accompanying, of course, "Mr Tambourine Man". The band were excellent. Energetic, tight, musically competent. Everything you could want. Yet there was something extra that made the event special. It was the atmosphere. An atmosphere of intimacy, closeness, connectedness and a lack of pretension. The pub was full of people. Quite a variety. Younger and older, tattoos, clean-skinned, porkpie hats, smart and casual, different cultural backgrounds, some sitting silently, others singing along lustily, some dancing (yes, I now know that it is possible to dance to Bob Dylan). At one po

  • 101: The Sunday Sample, Episode 101: New Harvest Songs
    101: The Sunday Sample, Episode 101: "New Harvest Songs"
    Duration: 06min | 20/09/2019

    Do you have a “Harvest” service in the autumn?  If not, might you consider it? It’s not healthy to get too removed from the reality of God’s provision. It seems to me rather healthier to stop every now and again and consider the fact that we should not take for granted what we eat and drink. This is one of the reasons I really love our outdoor allotment service twice a year in Watford (spring and autumn). We have an autumn harvest service in Thames Valley which has also become a focus for an annual food bank collection. However, we do not have many songs with a harvest connection. I found two new ones this year which we used in Watford earlier in September, and we will use in Thames Valley on October 6. The links are below.  Let me know what you think of them. "God the maker of the heavens” (https://www.resoundworship.org/song/god_the_maker_of_the_heavens) . "We see the fruitful harvest" (https://www.resoundworship.org/song/we_see_the_fruitful_harvest) . Both songs use familiar tunes, and one adds a new choru

  • 106: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 106. The story of my first overnight personal spiritual retreat
    106: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 106. "The story of my first overnight personal spiritual retreat"
    Duration: 24min | 19/09/2019

    In today’s quiet time coaching episode I tell you the story of my first overnight personal spiritual retreat which I took in 2003. This might be my most vulnerable and personal podcast yet. Truthfully, I feel nervous about sending it out into the world. However, I have benefited so much from taking these kinds of retreats that it would be wrong of me not to be transparent about the circumstances for that first retreat.  The other reason for telling you the story is to make it clear why I’m planning to lead This a small group on an overnight spiritual retreat. I’ve considered doing this for many years, but it never seemed to be the right time. For some reason, and I can’t explain exactly why, I sense that God has laid it on my heart to plan a group retreat.  More details forthcoming in the future, but for now I’m thinking of a two night retreat (Friday and Saturday nights) for a small group, perhaps a dozen, at the end of March 2020. I’m going to look at a potential venue tomorrow (as of the day of recording).

  • 174: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 174: What All Younger Speakers Need To Know
    174: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 174: "What All Younger Speakers Need To Know"
    Duration: 09min | 17/09/2019

    Are you a relatively inexperienced speaker? Are you younger than many of the people to whom you speak? I have a class series coming up that might be useful for you.  In the month of October I shall be teaching a three-part series in the Thames Valley churches of Christ for relatively young and relatively inexperienced speakers. The series will cover the basics of speaking in a church congregational context. Provisionally, the three classes will be as follows: Why we speak What to speak about How to speak I would be very grateful for your input into this class series. If you are an experienced speaker, please answer these questions: What would you liked to have known when you started speaking? What one tip would have made all the difference? Now that you have the experience you have, what would you tell a speaker starting out? If you are an inexperienced speaker, please answer these questions: What would you like to know? What is the greatest challenge you face in speaking? What kind of support would help you

  • 11: Malcolms Major Moments, 14 September 2019, Digging Deeper
    11: Malcolm's Major Moments, 14 September 2019, "Digging Deeper"
    Duration: 10min | 14/09/2019

    Digging deeperWe encourage the wildlife in our garden. Bird and bat boxes are up on trees and poles. Plants have been selected for their benefits to butterflies and bees. Nuts and fat balls are displayed for our feathered friends to enjoy. What's next?  What's next is the need to dig deeper. All our current wildlife offerings are primarily aboveground. But Penny wants a wildlife pond. Newts, frogs (to eat the slugs), insects, a place for a hedgehog to take a drink, damselflies, dragonflies and much more will be attracted into our garden. What do we need to do? Dig. Dig deeper. I spent all Saturday afternoon and all Wednesday afternoon digging. Saturday was about removing the turf. Wednesday was about beginning the serious digging. The photograph above shows you what I had achieved partway through the afternoon. I spent five hours digging on Wednesday. This is the result… It doesn't look like much. That's five hours of work! My elbows, knees, lower back, shoulders, well, and everything else in my body aches an

  • 100: The Sunday Sample, Episode 100: When to lose the leader
    100: The Sunday Sample, Episode 100: "When to lose the leader"
    Duration: 03min | 13/09/2019

    We tried something different this Sunday in Thames Valley. A song with no leader!  How did that work? And why? Have a listen to the podcast for the details. How do you decide the right context for a ‘leaderless’ song? What works for you? 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 (mailto: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 (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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool" (https://dqzrr9k4bjpzk.cloudfront.net/images/9167082/379662794.jpg) , a devotional l

  • 105: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 105. Why You Need Friends That Make You Pray
    105: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 105. "Why You Need Friends That Make You Pray"
    Duration: 08min | 12/09/2019

    I have just got home from having breakfast with some friends. I wanted to record immediately some reflections on the significance of that breakfast and its impact on my prayers. You see, as I walked home from that breakfast I spent most of the time praying. Praying about our conversation. Why is this? Let me give you the context. Once a month on a Thursday morning I meet with three other church ministers from West Watford for breakfast. Alice, John and Richard. We’ve been doing this for about three years. We are very different people from different backgrounds and different denominations. Our conversations are fruitfully varied. For example, this morning we covered recent holidays, personal life, our own spirituality, things causing us delight and stress, vision and mission, discipleship, books we are reading, death and resurrection, salvation and universalism, the future of Christendom in a secular society, and even Brexit!  We asked each other questions, listened and even gave advice. There was more, but th

  • 173: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 173: Illustrate From Experience
    173: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 173: "Illustrate From Experience"
    Duration: 11min | 10/09/2019

    Illustrations are the secret missiles of speaking impact. What makes the best illustrations? Illustrations which pack the right emotional punch to clarify and reinforce your point such that people take action.  These are often stories and anecdotes from past experiences. However, it’s often the case that the best illustrations are rooted in our areas of expertise.  Let me show you how Joe used his area of expertise on Sunday at our biannual ‘allotment’ service. He is a professional horticulturalist and knows his fuchsia from his fruit tree. As you watch the clip, what do you notice? I’m guessing you saw at least these three things: He didn’t need notes He was able to communicate the illustration while staying engaged with his audience He was at ease using the illustration Watching Joe gave me pause to consider whether I’m using enough of my areas of expertise as the source of my illustrations.  As an example, I wonder if I am using my music expertise enough. There are so many potential illustrations within th

  • 6: Reasons to be cheerful, Malcolms Magic Moments: 7th September 2019
    6: "Reasons to be cheerful", Malcolm's Magic Moments: 7th September 2019
    Duration: 09min | 07/09/2019

    When you believe in love, when you have experienced love, when you trust that love never fails, you always have a reason to celebrate. No matter what is going on. Many of you will know that my mother had a hip replacement operation six weeks ago. It was a long and tortuous journey from diagnosis to surgery with many barriers to overcome. However, since waking up from the operation she has not had one scintilla of pain. It's like a miracle. She does, however, still experience significant pain from the results of a lifetime's suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. Despite all this, can she rejoice? Oh yes! My mother's middle name is "Joy". You can see in the photograph above that she is living up to her name. It's her birthday. Penny and I went to celebrate with my mother and father this week. The hip pain is gone. Other pain remains. But we celebrate life, the abundance of glory contained within God's creation, and family. Oh yes, the rather nice lunch put together by my wife did also help! I hope and pray that

  • 99: The Sunday Sample, Episode 99: When is it right to change a song on the fly
    99: The Sunday Sample, Episode 99: "When is it right to change a song on the fly"
    Duration: 06min | 06/09/2019

    Today I share an incident from our service on Sunday in the Thames Valley churches of Christ.  CJ made a helpful suggestion about changing the final song - during the service.  Let’s talk today about how we decide when it is appropriate or not to change a song on the ‘fly’. 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 (mailto: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 (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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool" (https://dqzrr9k4bjpzk.cloudfront.net/images/91

  • 104: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 104. Jesus Never Said Goodbye
    104: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 104. "Jesus Never Said "Goodbye""
    Duration: 12min | 05/09/2019

    I hate saying “goodbye”. It feels so final. Yesterday Penny and I visited my mother to help celebrate her birthday. We had a lovely time, but it was very painful when it came to saying “goodbye”. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Where to look, what to do. Goodbyes are hard at the best of times, but especially when it’s someone you love deeply.  What about with Jesus? Do you realise that Jesus never really said “goodbye”? What does that mean for our times of quiet with God? This is on my mind because I heard a Renovare Institute podcast including reference to a song by Carolyn Arendes: “Never Say Goodbye (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_LGwaII0-M) ”. Arends wrote this song after her mother was diagnosed with cancer.  In an interview with Christian Music Today she said: "This Easter she had been in the hospital for four months straight with no end in sight, and she was so discouraged. She's always loved Easter services, and she was too ill to even get out of her bed, let alone go to church. She called me

  • 172: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 172: What to do when you dont know what to preach
    172: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 172: "What to do when you don't know what to preach"
    Duration: 10min | 03/09/2019

    Sometimes we’re given a topic or text to preach. Sometimes we’re following a series we’ve already selected. But, from time to time, we have freedom to choose. What happens when you have this opportunity, but do not know what to speak about? Here are three tips: 1. Go ask  Pray to discover what is troubling you or exciting you. Ask God for insight as to what's going on in your own life and heart. 2. Go serve Get involved with people.  Then reflect on what God is teaching you and showing you. 3. Go repent Is there something nagging at your conscience? Repent, get refreshed (Acts 3.19), and share the joy of your repentance. What do you do when you don’t know what to preach on? Do you have a tried-and-tested method? Please share it here. 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 (mailto:malcolm@malc

  • 6: Open Your Eyes - God is Amazing!, Malcolms Magic Moments: 31st August 2019
    6: "Open Your Eyes - God is Amazing!", Malcolm's Magic Moments: 31st August 2019
    Duration: 08min | 31/08/2019

    Podcast Version of the Newsletter The Feast Is Free This time last year I was regretting not having done some blackberry picking. The area in which we live is blessed with many blackberry bushes. In order to harvest this free food, all we need to do is walk out of our house turn left, left again and we are confronted with bush after bush bearing beautiful fruit. This year I decided not to pass up such a good opportunity.  When Ben Dannatt rang me yesterday for our weekly discipling phone call, I grabbed two plastic bags and my airpods. Whilst we talked about many and various deep spiritual issues I picked two bags of blackberries. They are now washed and cooked. Some in the fridge for festooning my breakfast porridge. Some in the freezer for a taste of summer when winter comes. How sad it would have been to miss out on this free food! There's a line in song we sometimes sing, "shall they starve and famish while a feast is free?".  I wonder how often I, and many of us, miss out on the richness of God's offerin

  • 98: The Sunday Sample, Episode 98: Heaven is the Homeland of Music
    98: The Sunday Sample, Episode 98: "Heaven is the Homeland of Music"
    Duration: 07min | 30/08/2019

    From “For the Audience of One” by Mike Pilavachi and Craig Borlase, this quote: “Heaven is revealed to earth as the homeland of music.” Christina Rossetti     “Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the centre of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying:     “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the eart

  • 103: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 103. Father God as Rescuer
    103: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 103. "Father God as Rescuer"
    Duration: 18min | 29/08/2019

    Today we explore the topic of Father God as ‘rescuer’. What comes to your mind when you think of a rescuer? These podcasts are my attempts to think through how to have a deeper walk with God. To enjoy more satisfying and meaningful times of quiet with him. As I explore topics on these recordings I hope they help you, and that you can reflect back what you are learning so that we can all grow and learn together. The reason Father God as rescuer is on my mind is because I am reading my friend Andy Boakye's book: “Death and Life (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0792MYXJ7/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1) ”. His explanation of the connection between the Exodus (as well as the return from exile) and the new life offered by God through Jesus as detailed in Galatians has been inspiring me. I will preach on the following passage this Sunday 1st September 2019 for the Watford church of Christ (https://watfordchurchofchrist.org/) . I’ll share a few thoughts here today, and then I’d love your ideas too. “Paul,

  • 171: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 171: Why Hard Learning Makes For Better Lessons”
    171: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 171: "Why Hard Learning Makes For Better Lessons”
    Duration: 10min | 27/08/2019

    Desirable difficulty is an established aid to learning  https://youtu.be/nlzvM1wf8mc https://learningspy.co.uk/featured/deliberately-difficult-focussing-on-learning-rather-than-progress-2/   Learning slower  Making learning harder  What do you professional educators think?  True for our hearers, but also ourselves as we prepare to speak.  Today we’ll focus on reading  Paul knew his Old Testament  And other writers…..  “‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’” (Acts 17:28 NIV11)  “One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”” (Titus 1:12 NIV11)  Are we reading widely enough, and, just as importantly, material we find intellectually challenging?  Indeed, challenging enough to make us read slowly  I have a book like that at the moment: Andy Boakye's book: “Death and Life" (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0792MYXJ7/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1) I’m reading it slowly because I nee

  • “34 Years and Counting”, Malcolm’s Major Moments, 25 August 2019
    “34 Years and Counting”, Malcolm’s Major Moments, 25 August 2019
    Duration: 05min | 25/08/2019

    A short recording this week, because I’m away with Penny celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary! You will find all the usual posts on my website (https://malcolmcox.org) : Teaching Tips; Sunday Sample; Quiet Time Coaching. God bless and see you soon, Malcolm

  • 97: The Sunday Sample, Episode 97: Songs With Stories
    97: The Sunday Sample, Episode 97: "Songs With Stories"
    Duration: 07min | 23/08/2019

    Some songs have the most amazing stories behind them. If we shared them with our congregations, might we find greater engagement with the meaning of the songs? Take the hymn, “What a friend we have in Jesus”, as an example. Written by Joseph Scriven in the 19th Century, it is a heartfelt cry of faith from a man who had seen more than his fair share of tragedy. His fiancee was accidentally drowned the day before their wedding. He moved from Ireland to Canada and lived as a broken man for many years. Hearing of his mother’s illness he wrote the words of what we now know as this hymn to comfort her.  When you are aware of the story, these lyrics have more impact: 1. What a friend we have in Jesus, All ours sins and griefs to bear, What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer! 2. Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; Take it to the Lord

  • 102: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 102. Learning to Relax
    102: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 102. "Learning to Relax"
    Duration: 15min | 22/08/2019

    These podcasts are my attempts to think through how to have a deeper walk with God. To enjoy more satisfying and meaningful times of quiet with him. As I explore topics on these recordings I hope they help you, and that you can reflect back what you are learning so that we can all grow and learn together. We continue our series today based on the book, “Unloading the Overload: Stress management for Christians” (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unloading-Overload-Christian-Managing-Stress/dp/189974617X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=%E2%80%9CUnloading+the+Overload%3A+Stress+management+for+Christians%E2%80%9D+by+Chris+Powell+and+Graham+Barker.&qid=1557228534&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0) by Chris Powell and Graham Barker. Today we explore the issue of learning to relax. The Bible does not teach directly about “relaxing”. But, we are urged to “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Easier to say than to do. The key phrase is, “because he cares for you”. It requires some deliberate focus to be remind

  • 170: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 170: How to avoid the skills trap
    170: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 170: "How to avoid the skills trap"
    Duration: 11min | 20/08/2019

    I was asked a very good question this week.  “How can I avoid depending on my skills as a speaker, instead of on God?" Any speaker worth their salt will be adding to their skills as training and experience take affect. Skills are not the problem as such, but the temptation to depend on them is real. What to do? We began the discussion by considering how we might notice this tendency. Then we considered our best defence. Here are the fruits of that conversation. Personal devotional times with God. These suffer when we’re in “I’m relying on my gifts” mode. How are your times of quiet with God? Are you learning, listening and growing? Telling or taking along? When we're self-focussed the tendency is to start telling others what they should be doing rather than urging/inspiring them to help one another (including yourself as a speaker) to follow Christ. Are you telling, or taking your hearers along together with you as a family learning and growing together.  Frustration or compassion? We’re likely to get frustra

  • 96: The Sunday Sample, Episode 96: The right song in the wrong place
    96: The Sunday Sample, Episode 96: "The right song in the 'wrong' place"
    Duration: 05min | 16/08/2019

    Have you ever selected a song for a time of worship that was the right song, but in the wrong place? By the way, it’s just a  short episode this week, because my daughter is getting married on Saturday! Let me report on something which happened at church today. I asked one of our worship team to select the songs this week (it’s always good to get different people to select from time to time, but that’s for another episode). On this occasion it was Wale. One of the songs he picked was, “sanctuary”. A reflective, devotional song.  He placed it just before the sermon - the part of the service when we normally get people to sing more energetically before they sit down to listen for 30 minutes or so. I asked him why he had selected a more reflective song and he said that it was in hopes that it would help the congregation to prepare their hearts to receive the Word of God. I really liked his thinking. I suggested that he explain this to the congregation when we sing the song. He did this on Sunday saying something

  • Wedding Fever, “Malcolm’s Major Moments”, Week of 16th August 2019
    "Wedding Fever", “Malcolm’s Major Moments”, Week of 16th August 2019
    Duration: 10min | 16/08/2019

    The Joy and the Pain Flow Together Our daughter is getting married on Saturday! Hence a short newsletter and sent ahead of normal schedule. Just a couple of things to mention. First of which is to reflect briefly on the companionship of joy and grief. Lydia our daughter has been staying with us for the last few weeks. She left the parental home for the final time yesterday lunchtime. Off she went to Bristol to make final preparations for the big day on Saturday. My wife and I stood outside and waved until she was round the corner. Then I put on my walking shoes and went for a prayer walk. Boy did I need it! This time of my life is one of the most confusing ever. I'm delighted for her. She's getting married, starting a new life, opening a new chapter, fulfilling her dreams and, indeed, mine. Yet.  The grief! As I prayed down the country lane I told God that I felt as if part of me had been ripped away.  Never before have I felt such a mixture of elation and desperation. No doubt, God understands. Although it i

  • 101: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 101. Access All Areas
    101: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 101. "Access All Areas"
    Duration: 09min | 15/08/2019

    These podcasts are my attempts to think through how to have a deeper walk with God. To enjoy more satisfying and meaningful times of quiet with him. As I explore topics on these recordings I hope they help you, and that you can reflect back what you are learning so that we can all grow and learn together. Today I’m in Buckinghamshire on one of my prayer walks and I’ve come across a sign. The sign reads: “This is a protected site under section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. Trespass on this site is a criminal offence.” The sign has a picture of a man with a red line across his body, indicating no admittance. Underneath it continues:  “The Chequers Estate is monitored by security cameras. Thames Valley Police.” What is going on here? I had found myself walking along a footpath crossing the borders of Chequers. For those of you who don’t know, Chequers is the location of the country residence of the British Prime Minister, currently Boris Johnson. This is where he might come to entertain

  • “Abba, Father”: Romans 8.15-27
    “Abba, Father”: Romans 8.15-27
    Duration: 30min | 14/08/2019

    “Abba, Father”: Romans 8.15-27 Praying in the Spirit - Part 2 Intro “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.” John 14:16–17 “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13–14 NIV11) “And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:22 NIV11) 1. “Abba” dadda  A Christian is someone who wants God  “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” Jn 14:23 Matt 6 - hypocrites pray to be seen  2. “Father” Not starting with “Lord” etc.  God honours you as if you have done everything Jesus has done  Start with “Our father” to remember your position Conclusion What do each of these four points mean for you & your ‘group’? We

  • 169: Tuesday Teaching Tip Episode 169: Thats a good question
    169: Tuesday Teaching Tip Episode 169: "That's a good question"
    Duration: 07min | 13/08/2019

    Just a short one this week because my daughter is getting married this weekend. Exciting and busy! I want to share with you something I learned from a lesson I taught this last Sunday for the Watford Church of Christ. It’s about the significance of asking good questions.  I taught from Romans 15 about “Abba, Father”.  It was a sermon with a good proportion of discussion and sharing -  interactive. As part of getting the discussion going I asked a couple of questions. You can have a look at those in the video of the sermon or by listening to the podcast version. The first question was something along the lines of, “What does ‘abba' mean to you?”  You will notice in the recording that I had to keep repeating and rephrasing the question many times before I got responses. This happened when I asked a similar question about the word ‘father’.  On reflection, I realised that I’d been lazy about framing the question. It wasn’t precise enough. It didn’t immediately engage the heart and/or the mind. It was too general

  • Malcolms Major Moments, Week of 10th August 2019, Access All Areas
    "Malcolm's Major Moments", Week of 10th August 2019, "Access All Areas"
    Duration: 10min | 10/08/2019

    Access All Areas August began last week, but for me it began this Monday. On the first Monday of each month I take more of the day to pray, read and plan. It helps me to reflect on what God has been teaching me over the previous month, and fix my spiritual eyes on the right priorities for the month ahead.  This week I made a trip to a place called Ellesborough in Buckinghamshire. I parked by the side of the road and went for a walk along some marked footpaths. I ascended a hill with a tremendous view over the Vale of Aylesbury and spent some good time praying and praising.  Walking on from there I came across a sign (detailed in my quiet time coaching episode for next week).  It indicated that access was barred beyond the point at which I was standing. I had unwittingly stumbled across Chequers - the countryside residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The encounter reminded me of all the ways in which access is restricted. I've come across a few of those recently. The recent hospitalisations of

  • 95: The Sunday Sample, Episode 95: A cappella for a change
    95: The Sunday Sample, Episode 95: "A cappella for a change"
    Duration: 07min | 09/08/2019

    This last Sunday we tried something a little different. We had a song service with no instruments. Actually, that’s not quite correct. The only instruments in use were human. Vocal cords were vibrating, but no guitar strings etc. It was a good example of a situation enforced upon us leading to a refreshing change. For some reason we were not able to get into our usual venue in time to set up for the use of instruments. Therefore we decided to go for voices only. What a  delightful alteration to what we normally do! Have you tried a voices only Sunday recently? The tradition in which I’ve been ministering for many years has an a cappella background. We moved away from that a number of years ago. But, those of us who knew that tradition well also know that we have lost something. There’s a special sound the congregation makes when it is fully dependent on the voice for producing the sound of corporate musical worship. And there’s a special sound that comes when people are singing from the heart. Why don’t we do

  • 100: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 100. The Value of Constant Use
    100: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 100. "The Value of 'Constant Use'"
    Duration: 05min | 08/08/2019

    Today I am out and about on the first Monday of August. I spend a bit more time on the first Monday of each month praying and planning and thinking about last month's lessons. I ask myself what God has taught me, and do some planning for the month ahead - looking at what’s coming up and what God might want me to be focusing on in my personal life, my relationship with him and my ministry responsibilities.  So I’m walking around Butler Hill near Aylesbury and reflecting on something I heard yesterday from my good old friend Tony Heath. He preached in Lower Early on Sunday on the topic of spiritual maturity. One verse in particular stood out to me -  it’s Hebrews 5.14,  “Solid food is for the mature who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil”.  The key phrase there is "constant use”.  Spiritual disciplines is at least part of what he is talking about here. This is how we gain spiritual maturity. Implementing God’s commands in our daily life, and in our times of quiet with God. The

  • 168: Tuesday Teaching Tip Episode 168: How to use self-deprecating humour
    168: Tuesday Teaching Tip Episode 168: "How to use self-deprecating humour"
    Duration: 10min | 06/08/2019

    Self-deprecating humour can be marvellously useful in effective speaking.  On the other hand, it has the potential to be unhelpfully distracting if used poorly. Let me me bring you some tips about how to use self-deprecating humour from someone who may be the master of this genre, my friend Tony Heath.  He preached one of his typically straightforward and human lessons this last Sunday in Thames Valley.  He spoke on the topic of “spiritual maturity” from Hebrews chapter 5 and 6. I’m going to use one of his illustrations as an example of the effective use of self-deprecating humour.  This illustration about playing badminton was used to bring his point, "Able to teach/Able to learn, Hebrews 5.11-12) to life. Have a look at this clip and then we will tease apart what makes it work. I believe there are three aspects to self-deprecating humour which make it work. Emotionally engaging not overwhelming.   Tony helped us to understand how we felt, and we were able to feel his embarrassment along with him. He came al

  • “We Cry”: Romans 8:15–27. Praying in the Spirit - Part 1
    “We Cry”: Romans 8:15–27. Praying in the Spirit - Part 1
    Duration: 31min | 05/08/2019

    “We Cry”: Romans 8:15–27 Praying in the Spirit - Part 1 “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.” John 14:16–17 “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13–14 NIV11) “And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:22 NIV11) 1. “We”  “our father”, not “my father”, Matthew 6.9 Ephesians 2:22; 1 Corinthians 12.26; Acts 4; 2 Thessalonians 3.1; James 5.16 “How does the “we cry” help your life of prayer?” “What is meaningful for you from this point?” 2. “Cry” “cry” - deep emotion, in distress (see all NT refs to ‘kratzo' below)*  Matthew 14.30; 9.27; Mark 6.49; John 19.12; Luke 19.40 Creation groans, Romans 8.22  We groan, 8:23 Spirit groans, 8:26–27 “What kinds of life situations have we enc

  • Malcolms Major Moments, Week of 3rd August 2019 Three Hospitals and a Wedding
    "Malcolm's Major Moments", Week of 3rd August 2019 "Three Hospitals and a Wedding"
    Duration: 08min | 03/08/2019

    The Power and Pain of "threes" When I was a youngster I vividly remember my father complaining that bad luck always came in "threes". On that occasion it was the freezer, television and washing machine which all broke down at the same time. This week the Cox household had its own version of the same phenomenon. The difference being that this was people, not household appliances. On Saturday my son went into hospital via A & E. On Monday my mother went into hospital for a hip replacement. On Tuesday my mother-in-law went into hospital for treatment on an infected foot. All are on the mend, but It's been a bit crazy round here as a result. For a day or two we had three different relatives in three different hospitals in three different counties. Shuttling between them became quite the art for Penny and I.  As a result, this week's newsletter is shorter than normal. Please forgive the brevity, but I'm sure you understand. Due to pre-recording a number of posts last week, I have managed to put up material on the

  • By the Spirit” - Class 4: The Unity of the Spirit
    "By the Spirit” - Class 4: "The Unity of the Spirit"
    Duration: 33min | 03/08/2019

    “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace”  (Ephesians 4:3 NIV11)  1. Pre-Jesus  Phase 1, Oneness Enjoyed: Genesis 1.26; 2.25  Phase 2, Oneness Destroyed: Genesis 11  Phase 3, Oneness Misemployed  2. Jesus  Love, John 13.34-35  Oneness, John 17, John 14.17, 23  3. Early Church  Acts 8.14, 11.2, 15.1-2ff  4. Ephesians  References to unity/oneness  Eph. 1:10; 2:14–16, 18; 3:6; 4:4-6, 13; 5:31  References to the Spirit  Eph. 1:13, 17; 2:18, 22; 3:5, 16; 4:3–4, 30; 5:18–19; 6:17–18  References to one another / each other / together  Eph. 2:21–22; 3:6; 4:2, 32; 5:19, 21  Conclusion  The unity of the Spirit  Initiated  Relational  Strength  Action  “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”  (Ephesians 4:13 NIV11)  What do each of these points mean for you and your ‘group’?  How will you adjust the way you live to maintain the unity of the Spirit?  Please add your comme

  • 94: The Sunday Sample, Episode 94: What to do when the congregation isnt with you.
    94: The Sunday Sample, Episode 94: "What to do when the congregation isn't 'with you'."
    Duration: 07min | 02/08/2019

    Have you ever led worship and the congregation just weren’t “with you”? What did you make of it? This happened to me recently and I found myself uncertain about what to do.  In the end, we ran the church service through to its conclusion. The worship was not terrible. It just wasn’t as engaged as usual. And not as engaged as would be healthy. There was a listlessness in the room. A sense of distraction.  The congregation appeared to be struggling to focus on God and enjoy worshipping him. Rather than stop and try and address it at the time, I decided to let it ride and reflect later. Hence this Sunday Sample. I don’t have answers even now, but I thought I’d record this and test out some ideas. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say about anything similar you’ve experienced. Here are the options I came up with: Do nothing. This is a good option if I’m not sure what to do, or if I think it is likely that it’s something to do with the song selection et cetera. I might as well let it go and make some

  • 99: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 99. How to stay motivated in your relationship with God
    99: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 99. "How to stay motivated in your relationship with God"
    Duration: 12min | 01/08/2019

    I'm recording this on the hottest day of the year in the UK so far. Possibly the hottest ever day since records began.  Sensibly, I went out nice and early for my morning prayer walk. I noticed something unusual. Most days I see the occasional cyclist and a few joggers. Today, well before 7 AM, I was dodging between powerwalkers, joggers, runners and cyclist of all shapes and sizes. I couldn't work it out. It's Thursday morning. There's nothing special about today. Why so many more people exercising than usual. Then it hit me.  They all know that it's going to be too hot to exercise later. They're getting the lunchtime run or evening jog in whilst they can. They've adapted. For the last three months I have adopted a more intentional and extensive exercise regime. More time on the bike, and regularly going through a strength training set of exercises developed for me by Debbie Bishop. Both innovations have been tremendously helpful to my energy levels, sense of well-being, and hopes for a healthier old age! Ho

  • 167: Tuesday Teaching Tip Episode 167: Why you need to prepare in advance
    167: Tuesday Teaching Tip Episode 167: "Why you need to prepare in advance"
    Duration: 10min | 30/07/2019

    How far in advance do you prepare your lessons? A conversation I had with a friend comes back to mind. His opinion is that,”The best sermons come straight from the heart and don't need much preparation." To be fair he has a point in that over-prepared lessons can be dry. And indeed, we shouldn't need preparation to be able to take advantage of a situation that suddenly presents itself. The book of Acts shows us many such incidents. However, such sudden events are rare when it comes to what happens in most congregational speaking opportunities. I can think of multiple reasons why being well prepared is advantageous, but I would like to explore just the one today. Preparing your talk well in advance means you can live it. There is a different quality of authority attached to a lesson which has been lived by the speaker. Why is this? Here are a few of the reasons:  The truth has time to sink into your own mind and heart You have time to work out how to live it In living it you can experience the struggle and bri

  • Malcolms Major Moments, 27 July 2019
    "Malcolm's Major Moments", 27 July 2019
    Duration: 07min | 28/07/2019

    Adapt to thriveThursday this week was the hottest day of the year and one of the very hottest ever in UK history since records began. We were all complaining about the heat, whilst simultaneously feeling guilty that we were complaining about the heat! An odd thing happened that morning that gave me pause to think. I took my customary prayer walk through Cassiobury Park in Watford starting about 6:45 AM. As I made my way through the park I noticed far more people out exercising than usual. I was almost run over several times by power-walkers, joggers, runners and cyclists. I see some every morning. But not this many. There must have been three or four times as many fitness fanatics than usual. What on earth was going on? It wasn't some special day. Just an ordinary Thursday. Then it hit me. They all know what was coming. The heat. They were aware that their mid-morning run, their lunchtime jog, their evening cycle-ride wasn't going to happen. It would be too hot. So what did they do? They did not abandoned the

  • By The Spirit, Class 3, Walk By The Spirit, Thames Valley churches of Christ, Malcolm Cox
    "By The Spirit", Class 3, "Walk By The Spirit", Thames Valley churches of Christ, Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 30min | 27/07/2019

    "By the Spirit” - Class 3 Walk by the Spirit 1. Walk Away, 5:16-21 Romans 7 - to which Romans 8 is the answer - a Spirit-guided response - 8:27 Rom 8:9 - we are in the realm of the Spirit, v12-13 we can put to death the old life All I dislike about this world will be improved by a more Christ-like version of me. One of our aspirations: “always free but spiritual”, Galatians 5:13 Solution provided by God so that we can walk in the right direction, Rom 8.26-27:  Spirit is on our side Spirit prays for us Spirit moves us towards the will of God Question: “What helps us to walk away?” 2. Walk Towards, 5:22-25 Matt 7:15, fruit makes us recognisable for who we are, 7:19-20. Not ‘normal’ levels of human qualities - but Jesus-level! That’s why we need the Spirit’s life in us (Spirit of Christ, Rom 8.9), 2 Cor 3:17-18 Direction, not arrival; Process, not product; Lifetime, not year John Mark - from hindrance to helpful: Acts 15:37–38 / 2 Timothy 4:11 Question: “What helps us to walk towards?” 3. Walk With, 5:26; 6:1-2

  • 93: The Sunday Sample: Episode 93. Posture in Corporate Worship, Part 11 - Folding of hands. Malcolm Cox
    93: The Sunday Sample: Episode 93. "Posture in Corporate Worship", Part 11 - Folding of hands. Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 05min | 26/07/2019

    What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the 11th in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson. Today we look at the issue of folding of hands.  What do you do with your hands when you pray? Do you hold your hands together? Do you interlace the fingers, hold palm to palm, steeple your fingers, pull the hands together and point them to "heaven”?  As Eriksson says, “despite modern popularity, the joining or folding of handful prayer is a posture that is unknown in biblical and early Christian traditions. It likely originated from feudal rights in which vassals joined their hands between the hands of their Lord. Consequently, folded hands may be understood to express submission to God’s will.” I rather like this image. As I place my hands together I can imagine God placing his hands around mine. In that posture I am weak. I am surrendered. My hands are within his hands. But, of course, that is where they

  • 98: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 98. How to Redefine Yourself
    98: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 98. "How to Redefine Yourself"
    Duration: 12min | 25/07/2019

    We continue our series today based on the book, “Unloading the Overload: Stress management for Christians” (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unloading-Overload-Christian-Managing-Stress/dp/189974617X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=%E2%80%9CUnloading+the+Overload%3A+Stress+management+for+Christians%E2%80%9D+by+Chris+Powell+and+Graham+Barker.&qid=1557228534&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0) by Chris Powell and Graham Barker. Today we explore the issue of redefining ourselves. How does our view of ourselves and the ways others think of us effect our times of quiet with God? We will never grow to maturity in Christ unless we deal with the inner life. Our times of quiet with God are our primary opportunity to help us become develop the inner life and become more like Jesus. At times we have to deal with external barriers to this development, but a more common and pervasive challenge is what is going on internally.  In other words, we can be our own worst enemy. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Our times of quiet help us to devel

  • 166: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 166: How to use your imagination in preaching and teaching, Malcolm Cox
    166: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 166: "How to use your imagination in preaching and teaching", Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 16min | 23/07/2019

    Today’s teaching tip is inspired by a question I received from my friend Johnson in India. Paraphrasing his question he asked: “Do you have any videos about Jesus' life between the ages of 12 and 30?” A friend asked him what Jesus was doing in these years and he did not have a handy reply. Today I would like to answer the question, but also use it as a springboard to help us discern the difference between using our imagination in teaching and preaching as opposed to performing unhelpful speculation. First, let’s deal with the actual question. The simple answer is that we do not know what was happening in those 18 years.  We see Jesus in the temple at the age of 12: “When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and frien

  • “By The Spirit”, Class 3 Information, Thames Valley churches of Christ, Malcolm Cox
    “By The Spirit”, Class 3 Information, Thames Valley churches of Christ, Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 02min | 22/07/2019

    What’s happening this Friday, 26 July 2019. It’s our third class in the series on the Holy Spirit. This time looking at Galatians chapter 5 and walking by the Spirit. 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 (mailto: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 (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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool" (https://dqzrr9k4bjpzk.cloudfront.net/images/9167082/379662794.jpg) , a devotional look at the Gospel of John mccx, Malcolm Cox, Watford, Croxley Green, te

  • Malcolms Major Moments This Week, 20 July 2019
    Malcolm's Major Moments This Week, 20 July 2019
    Duration: 11min | 20/07/2019

    My summary of the week's events. 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 (mailto: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 (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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool" (https://dqzrr9k4bjpzk.cloudfront.net/images/9167082/379662794.jpg) , a devotional look at the Gospel of John mccx, Malcolm Cox, Watford, Croxley Green, teaching, preaching, spiritual disciplines, public speaking, corporate worship, Sunday Sample, Corporate Worship Matters, Tuesday Teachi

  • By The Spirit, Class 2, Praying in the Spirit - Part 2, Thames Valley churches of Christ, Malcolm Cox
    "By The Spirit", Class 2, "Praying in the Spirit - Part 2", Thames Valley churches of Christ, Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 36min | 20/07/2019

    “By The Spirit” Praying in the Spirit - Part 2 “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (Jude 1:20–21 NIV11) The Spirit is on our side, Rom 8.26a A primary work of the Spirit is to convince us of and help us experience the love of God. When you live with a sense of shame you know this is not from the Spirit.  “..hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5 NIV11).  The Holy Spirit opens a channel so that God’s love may be made real to us. “For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Eph 2:18 NIV11) In light of this truth, the difference this will make to my prayer life is…………….. The Spirit prays for us, Rom 8.26b A primary work of the Spirit is to help us pray.  “The Spirit, however, makes our groaning his gro

  • 92: The Sunday Sample: Episode 92. Posture in Corporate Worship, Part 10 - Laying on hands. Malcolm Cox
    92: The Sunday Sample: Episode 92. "Posture in Corporate Worship", Part 10 - Laying on hands. Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 05min | 19/07/2019

    What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the 10th in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson. Today we look at the issue of Laying on hands.  The most common example of laying on of hands in my fellowships is for the commissioning of elders. It is moving, reverent and meaningful. But do we restrict this acts unnecessarily? Could it have other applications in our times of corporate worship? What are some Biblical instances of the significance of hands? Hands are very expressive (Psalm 46:1; 97:8; Isaiah 55:12). Hands are meant to be pure (Exodus 30:19-21; Psalm 23:4; James 4:8; Matthew 15:2, 20; 27:24; Mark 7:2, 5). Hands are involved with sacrifice (Exodus 29:10-25). They are laid upon people to confer power and authority (Deuteronomy 34:9; Acts 6:6; 8:17-19; 19:6; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6). Jesus himself lays hands on children (Matthew 19:15) and on people who needed healing (Mark 6:5; 8:23; 16

  • 97: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 97. The difference between moaning and groaning
    97: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 97. "The difference between moaning and groaning"
    Duration: 23min | 18/07/2019

    What is the spiritual difference between “moaning” and “groaning”? Is it important?  Biblically, moaning looks super-dangerous  (think Israel complaining in the desert), whilst groaning looks meaningful. But, is this accurate?  We need to get it right. This is on my mind for two reasons.  First of all because I’m teaching a class series on the Holy Spirit for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org/) on Friday nights. In the first class (which can be found here (https://www.malcolmcox.org/by-the-spirit-praying-in-the-spirit-part-1/) ), we looked at Romans chapter 8 and the fact that there’s a lot of groaning going on! Creation, ourselves and the Spirit: “...the whole creation has been groaning...we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly...the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Rom 8:22–23, 26 Secondly because Monday of this week gave me cause to groan and temptation to moan. In the podcast I detail what happened regarding my mother’s hip op

  • 165: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 165: Why You Need Keynote Stories
    165: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 165: "Why You Need Keynote Stories"
    Duration: 14min | 16/07/2019

    I used a ‘keynote’ illustration in a recent sermon (https://www.malcolmcox.org/where-does-your-gate-lead-malcolm-cox-thames-valley-churches-of-christ/) . It was about my encounter with an epileptic. The reaction I experienced prompted last week’s teaching tip. Today I’d like to talk about the significance of having a body of ‘keynote’ stories which you have ready at hand for the right occasion. What is a ‘keynote' story? A story with an emotional connection for you A story you can tell without notes A story containing a punchline A story most often containing a laugh and a gasp A parable Not an anecdote. Anecdotes are fine, but they don’t contain a narrative arc. They make a point, but don’t take you on a journey. ‘Keynote’ stories have a shape. What does a typical ‘keynote’ story look like?  It answers three questions and leaves you with an opportunity…. Where did you start? Where did the story take you? (Usually through a challenge or bad place.) Where did you end up? Opportunity: What is the point you can

  • “What Happens When You Go With God”, Acts 14.20-28
    “What Happens When You Go With God”, Acts 14.20-28
    Duration: 31min | 15/07/2019

    “What Happens When You Go With God”, Acts 14.20-28 Introduction, v20 Themes • Numbers converted, word spread • Making disciples everywhere • Opposition / setbacks • “Firsts’ all over the place! • Overall feeling: Undiminished enthusiasm for the things of God • Resulting in…. 1. Bear God’s Fruit • By bringing God’s Word to all kinds of people A. Converts - variety • Flexibility of approach: Jews / Gentiles / Pagans • Undiminished enthusiasm for winning disciples for Jesus B. Elders - leadership • Evangelism and strengthening • All churches need both • That’s whey we need to meet up • Leaders are not the most gifted, they are committed to strengthening • Brave to go back to where persecuted • High level of compassion for young Christians / new churches • Undiminished enthusiasm for the strengthening of disciples 2. Bear With Setbacks • Persevered despite these …. A. External Setbacks • Opposition; Poisoning; Persecution • Brave to go back to sites of pain • Compassion for young Christians drove them • Undiminis

  • Malcolms Major Moments, 13th July 2019
    Malcolm's Major Moments, 13th July 2019
    Duration: 12min | 13/07/2019

    Of barking dogs and pneumatic drills - disturbing the comfortable and comforting the disturbed. Information about this week's posts, experiences and personal reflections on what God has been bringing to my attention. God bless, Malcolm

  • By The Spirit, Class 1, Praying in the Spirit - Part 1, Malcolm Cox
    "By The Spirit", Class 1, "Praying in the Spirit - Part 1", Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 27min | 13/07/2019

    “BY THE SPIRIT” Praying in the Spirit - Part 1 John 14:16–17; Ephesians 1:13–14; Ephesians 2:22; Romans 8:15–27 1. “We” - we cry  Question: “How does the “we cry” help your life of prayer?” 2. “Cry” ‘kratzo’ - see all NT references below: Matt 14.30; 9:27; Mk 6:49; John 19:12; Luke 19:40 Creation groans - v22 We groan  - v23 Spirit groans - vv26-27 Question: “What life situations have caused you to “cry” to God in the Spirit?” Romans 8:28–29 Question: “How does the “we cry” help your life of prayer?” 3. “Abba” dadda - John 14:23 Question: “How does the “we cry, “Abba”” help your life of prayer?” 4. “Father” Not starting with “Lord”  Question: “How does the “we cry, “Abba,Father.”, help your life of prayer?” Conclusion What does each of these four points mean for you and your ‘group’? We - communal Cry - real Abba - relationship Father - safe How will you adjust the way you pray as a result of what the Spirit has made possible? Suggestion: Use Romans 8.15 as a prayer frame for a week - “We cry, “Abba, Father.”

  • 91: The Sunday Sample: Episode 91. Posture in Corporate Worship, Part 9 - Kissing. Malcolm Cox
    91: The Sunday Sample: Episode 91. "Posture in Corporate Worship", Part 9 - Kissing. Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 04min | 12/07/2019

    What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the Ninth in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson. Today we look at the issue of kissing.  In many cultures kissing on the cheek once, twice or even three times is a culturally normative method of greeting.  It’s not how I grew up, but even in my circles close friends would exchange a kiss of greeting. Peter encourages Christ-followers to: “Greet one another with a kiss of love.” (1 Peter 5:14 NIV11) Here the word “love” can also be translated “peace”. We see the same activity encouraged in: Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Th. 5:26. Are we missing something by not incorporating a “kiss of peace” either as part of our services, or in the fellowship?  When I first came to the fellowships in which I now serve, we simply shook hands. Later that developed to hugging. I love hugging-now. Not when it started. But the tangible physical experience of getti

  • 96: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 96. Exercise and Diet
    96: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 96. "Exercise and Diet"
    Duration: 20min | 11/07/2019

    We continue our series today based on the book, “Unloading the Overload: Stress management for Christians” (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unloading-Overload-Christian-Managing-Stress/dp/189974617X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=%E2%80%9CUnloading+the+Overload%3A+Stress+management+for+Christians%E2%80%9D+by+Chris+Powell+and+Graham+Barker.&qid=1557228534&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0) by Chris Powell and Graham Barker. Today we explore the issue of exercise and diet. How do our nutrition and fitness effect our times of quiet with God - or not. I should begin by stressing that none of the advice here is given by a medical professional. I’m simply speaking from my own experience and reading. That having been said, let’s explore this topic. Does what we consume and how we look after our bodies make a difference to the quality of our connection with God? I’ll lay my cards on the table. I believe the answer is, “yes”. It is insofar as it is within our control to choose what we eat and drink and how often, and have any significant in

  • 164: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 164: What to do when illustrations arent received as expected
    164: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 164: "What to do when illustrations aren't received as expected"
    Duration: 11min | 09/07/2019

    Illustrations are an essential part of effective preaching and teaching. Jesus used them all the time. However, sometimes they aren’t received in the way we expect. What do we do in those circumstances? This happened to me recently. I was preaching for the Thames Valley churches of Christ (http://www.tvcoc.org/) and using one of my “keynote” illustrations (more on the significance of “keynote” illustrations in next week’s teaching tips episode).  The story is about my encounter with an epileptic. Here are the links to the sermon (website (https://www.malcolmcox.org/where-does-your-gate-lead-malcolm-cox-thames-valley-churches-of-christ/) , YouTube (https://youtu.be/xXh1A47YwgA) , podcast (https://audioboom.com/posts/7304430-where-does-your-gate-lead-malcolm-cox-sermon-for-the-thames-valley-churches-of-christ) ).   Without spoiling the story, there is a twist which usually evokes great surprise and laughter. And I got those this time, but something extra I’d never experienced before. Which was an attitude of sy

  • Jesus the Life-Whisperer, Wellington Service 2019, Thames Valley churches of Christ
    "Jesus the Life-Whisperer", Wellington Service 2019, Thames Valley churches of Christ
    Duration: 14min | 07/07/2019

    We are designed for an adventurous life. Why settle for a rocking horse when a real one is available? We take a look at why going through life with Jesus is better than doing it alone. 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 (mailto: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 (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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool" (https://dqzrr9k4bjpzk.cloudfront.net/images/9167082/379662794.jpg) , a devotional look at the Gospel of John mccx, Malcolm Cox, Watford,

  • Malcolms Major Moments, Week of 6th July 2019 A Sabbath Day On Pulpit Hill
    "Malcolm's Major Moments", Week of 6th July 2019 "A Sabbath Day On Pulpit Hill"
    Duration: 11min | 06/07/2019

    Taking time to pray and plan I've made it my habit to set aside extra time on the first Monday of each month to pray and plan. I call it a "Sabbath Day" (inspired by the writings of Gordon McDonald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gordon-MacDonald/e/B001IR1KBM?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1562310199&sr=8-1) ).  I have some regular spots like Dunstable Downs. But every now and again I like to go somewhere different. A new experience of an unfamiliar place can lead to fresh thinking.  This Monday I went to "Pulpit Hill (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chilterns-countryside/trails/pulpit-hill-and-the-grangelands-and-rifle-butts-nature-reserve) ". I didn't know anything about it, but it seemed appropriate for a preacher and teacher! Turns out it's an ancient iron age fort with a network of footpaths criss-crossing several nature reserves with splendid views over the Aylesbury Vale.  I had a good walk, worked on my suntan, and saw a number of birds including five Red Kite at the same time. There's a special delight in seei

  • 90: The Sunday Sample: Episode 90. Posture in Corporate Worship, Part 8 - Sitting. Malcolm Cox
    90: The Sunday Sample: Episode 90. "Posture in Corporate Worship", Part 8 - Sitting. Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 04min | 05/07/2019

    What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the Eighth in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson. Today we look at the issue of  sitting. We take sitting for granted, of course. But should we consider that there may be some aspects of our Christian worship that benefit most specifically by the fact that we as a congregation and/or those leading worship, singing and preaching might be seated.? Jesus sat among the teachers in the temple (Luke 2:46;) and he taught while seated (Luke 4:16-20; John 8:2). Mary sat at Jesus feet (Luke 10:39). Sitting was permitted during the delivery of prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:30). Sitting whilst praying is unknown in the Bible. Instead, the many postures recorded for prayer vary from prostration and kneeling to standing. For some reason, sitting seems to have been avoided. It is, however, our most common posture for prayer. Are we missing something here? There is, clearly

  • 95: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 95. With A Little Help From My Friends
    95: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 95. "With A Little Help From My Friends"
    Duration: 15min | 04/07/2019

    We continue our series today based on the book, “Unloading the Overload: Stress management for Christians” (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unloading-Overload-Christian-Managing-Stress/dp/189974617X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=%E2%80%9CUnloading+the+Overload%3A+Stress+management+for+Christians%E2%80%9D+by+Chris+Powell+and+Graham+Barker.&qid=1557228534&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0) by Chris Powell and Graham Barker.  Today we explore the issue of friends. What can we learn from Jesus? How does friendship effect our relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit?  Humankind is not designed to be alone, Genesis 2:18. Indeed, a problem shared is a problem halved. We need friends and we know it. However, for some of us developing deep friendships can be tricky. Early formative experiences and family background play a part in us developing healthy soil in which to form friendships or creating barriers to mature adult friendships, and a friendship with God.  Fortunately, we have Jesus as our model. When he appointed the 12 (Mark

  • 163: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 163: How to Preach a Visionary Lesson
    163: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 163: "How to Preach a Visionary Lesson"
    Duration: 13min | 02/07/2019

    It should be taken for granted that God is visionary, and speaking about him should inspire vision. Before saying anything else - we need to have this in our own hearts! That’s the reason we have times of quiet with God - even on a Sunday morning! It is possible to speak on love, prayer and even the cross without really talking about God. One of the most frequent pieces of advice I give young speakers is to talk more about Jesus.  I have benefited recently from reading the short booklet, “Living in the vision of God” (http://www.dwillard.org/articles/individual/living-in-the-vision-of-god) by Dallas Willard. This teaching tip is too short to do justice to his brief but masterful exposition of how vision goes astray. However, I would quote him about the significance of a God vision: “The love of God, and only the love of God, secures the vision of God: keeps God constantly before our mind.”  Why is this so important? Willard again: “Vision of God secures humility. Seeing God for who he is enables us to see our

  • Where does your gate lead?, Malcolm Cox. Sermon for the Thames Valley churches of Christ
    "Where does your gate lead?", Malcolm Cox. Sermon for the Thames Valley churches of Christ
    Duration: 32min | 01/07/2019

    Looking at two ‘gates’ today and what they mean for us and the world….  1. Gate of Confusion, Gen 11.1-9     “Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”     But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel —be

  • Malcolms Major Moments: Week ending 28th June 2019
    "Malcolm's Major Moments": Week ending 28th June 2019
    Duration: 09min | 29/06/2019

    This last Wednesday was Penny's birthday. We both had a day off and went out for a nice long stroll at the Dunstable Downs (plus cake!). We parked and began our walk near something called the "Tree Cathedral (https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/whipsnade-tree-cathedral-awarded-grade-ii-listing) ".  Here is the description from the National trust website: "Whipsnade Tree Cathedral was the vision of Edmund Blyth, who served in the infantry in World War I and suffered the loss of dear friends Arthur Bailey and John Bennett, who died in the March retreat of 1918. Edmund wanted to create a lasting legacy for his comrades-in-arms who were no longer with him and so began the idea of a unique First World War commemoration. Situated on the edge of Whipsnade Village green, the Tree Cathedral is composed of different varieties of trees and shrubs laid out to the plan of a cathedral, with a nave, transepts, chancel, cloisters and chapels. The idea of a Cathedral constructed with trees and plants is original and it'

  • 89: The Sunday Sample: Episode 89. Posture in Corporate Worship, Part 7 - Prostration. Malcolm Cox
    89: The Sunday Sample: Episode 89. "Posture in Corporate Worship", Part 7 - Prostration. Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 04min | 28/06/2019

    What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the Seventh in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson. Today we look at the issue of prostration.  We might have reached the most challenging of all postures! As uncomfortable as I feel about raising hands, the idea of prostration is on a whole different level. However, the Bible mentions prostration as a posture of prayer more than any other! Here are some Old Testament references: Deuteronomy 9:8; Psalm 37:6; 43:25; Genesis 18:2; 19:1; Judges 13:20; Daniel 8:17; Genesis 17:3; Joshua 5:14; Ezequiel 1:28; Isaiah 49:23; Psalm 94:6; 2 Chronicles 7:3; Numbers 22:31; Genesis 23:7; 42:6; 43:26; 1 Samuel 20:41; 24:8). The New Testament tends to translate the word for prostration as “worship”. We see that as Jesus prays in Gethsemane he is worshipping/prostrating himself in Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:35. After his resurrection the followers of Jesus “worship/prostrate"

  • 94: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 94. Sharing the Load
    94: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 94. "Sharing the Load"
    Duration: 15min | 27/06/2019

    We continue our series today based on the book, “Unloading the Overload: Stress management for Christians” (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unloading-Overload-Christian-Managing-Stress/dp/189974617X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=%E2%80%9CUnloading+the+Overload%3A+Stress+management+for+Christians%E2%80%9D+by+Chris+Powell+and+Graham+Barker.&qid=1557228534&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0) by Chris Powell and Graham Barker.  Today we explore the issue of sharing the load. What can we learn from Moses, Nehemiah and Elijah? How does delegation effect our relationship with God?  To quote from the book: “Somehow on the solitary path that he has followed, Elijah has come to believe that everything depends on him. He has been living as though he is the Managing Director of the universe. He should have known that there were others still faithful to Yahweh, because he had met one loyal follower, Obadiah, just prior to the contest on Mount Carmel. But no, he carries the weight of, “I’m the only one left”. There’s a fair bit of “poor me” in E

  • 162: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 162: Why You Need a Centralising Theme
    162: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 162: "Why You Need a Centralising Theme"
    Duration: 10min | 25/06/2019

    Recently I heard two lessons which contained lots of good truth, but lacked clarity. My own sermons have often been guilty of the same flaw. Mark Kermode mentioned a film that had lots of good ideas. He admired those ideas but they didn't form a coherent whole. Therefore the film lacked focus - it was a confusing. Rather like a film or TV show which has so many characters you struggle to remember names and who they all are. I experienced this when watching "Avengers Endgame”. So many characters! Not a problem if you are already invested (like my son), but not if you are new to the franchise. Our new-to-the-faith listeners need less information well delivered. Interesting that Jesus's lessons seem to be so clearly focused on one particular idea: note the parables. How do we decide that central theme? Intersection of three things: Pastoral needs Prayer Passage What do you do to focus in on one theme? Thank you for listening to this recording. You can find more teaching tips here and on the on the YouTube teachi

  • 88: The Sunday Sample: Episode 88. Posture in Corporate Worship, Part 6 - Bowing. Malcolm Cox
    88: The Sunday Sample: Episode 88. "Posture in Corporate Worship", Part 6 - Bowing. Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 03min | 21/06/2019

    What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the Sixth in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson. Today we look at the issue of Bowing.  Yes, bowing. I know, and seems a bit strange. Why do we bow? As an expression of honour and reverence. Psalm 94:6-7 reminds us of the value of bowing as a gesture of reverence: What does bowing do for us? A number of things: An expression of thankfulness (Psalm 137:2). An acknowledgement of the presence of the holy (Psalm 21:9; 44:11). An attitude for worship and adoration (Genesis 24:26; Exodus 12:27; 34:8; 1 Chronicles 29:20; 2 Chronicles 29:29; Nehemiah 8:6). Posture of lament (Psalm 34:14;). Gesture of supplication (Exodus 11:8). Reverential greeting (Genesis 33:3, seven; 43:28). Ultimately, Jesus bows his head on the cross, John 19:30. To quote Erickson, “The bow is a reverential gesture that acknowledges the presence of God as mediated through objects and people.

  • 93: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 93. Why Memory Lane Matters
    93: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 93. "Why Memory Lane Matters"
    Duration: 15min | 20/06/2019

    Attending two funerals in Kent gave me the opportunity to take a stroll down Ram Lane - a spot with special memories for me. But it served a larger purpose than simply a reminder of events linked with that lane.  Walking down that lane helped me reflect on many of the ways God has been with me over several decades of journeying to Him and with Him. Take a walk with me to consider the significance of deliberately accessing places conducive to spiritual reflection.  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 (mailto: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 (http://www.malcolmcox.org/) . Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. God bless, Malcolm PS: You might also

  • 161: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 161: The Sermon as Participation, Malcolm Cox
    161: Tuesday Teaching Tips, Episode 161: "The Sermon as Participation", Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 10min | 18/06/2019

    Public speaking is a two-way experience. Even though it is often one person doing all or most of the speaking, it is better to conceptualise the event as a conversation. The people to whom you are speaking are not meant to be passive. They are meant to be participating. Some greater clarity was brought to my thinking on this by reading the book “participating in worship” by Craig Douglas Eriksson. In the chapter “fresh from the word”, he has this to say: “Sermons should be designed and delivered in such a way that listeners will respond - thinking, doing, feeling, deciding for themselves. Preaching that consists of conclusive pronouncements can reduce the congregation into quiet submission and become a form of coercion that hampers participation.” Page 106 An extreme but positive example of this can be seen in Festus’s outburst during Paul’s “sermon”, “At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”” (Acts 26:24 NIV11)

  • Adoption by our Abba. Fathers Day 2019, Malcolm Cox, Watford church of Christ
    "Adoption by our Abba". Fathers' Day 2019, Malcolm Cox, Watford church of Christ
    Duration: 26min | 17/06/2019

    “Adoption by our Abba”, Father’s Day 2019 “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behaviour from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love.” (Ephesians 5:1–2 MESSAGE) Questions:  “Who were/are the important father figures in your life?” “What did you learn from them?” 1. God our Heavenly Father Adopted Us “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (Ephesians 1:3–6 NIV11) He chose us What does this mean…….? 2. We have a real relationship with our Father “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; r

  • 87: The Sunday Sample: Episode 87. Posture in Corporate Worship, Part 5 - Kneeling. Malcolm Cox
    87: The Sunday Sample: Episode 87. "Posture in Corporate Worship", Part 5 - Kneeling. Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 04min | 14/06/2019

    What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the Fifth in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson. Today we look at the issue of kneeling.  What is the value of collective kneeling in corporate worship? First of all let’s have a look at Scripture: Solomon’s prayer of dedication for the temple (1 Kings 8:54) Adoration and praise (Psalm 94:6). Christ in Gethsemane (Luke 22:41). Stephen’s prayer for his persecutors (Acts 7:60). Peter praying for Tabitha (Acts 9:40). Prayers of departure and blessing (Acts 20:36; 21:5). Paul in prayer (Ephesians 3:14). We tend to associate kneeling with an especially powerful awareness of our sinfulness before God. However, this is not particularly biblical. It’s something that came into the church consciousness later. This in many church traditions kneeling is reserved for penitential prayer or acts such as receiving communion. Does this mean that, in our tradition where th

  • 92: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 92. How to be enabled by God
    92: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 92. "How to be enabled by God"
    Duration: 15min | 13/06/2019

    Today we explore the issue of how God enables us. How does he enable us to be all we can be for him? In what ways can we cooperate with him to enable him to bring us to maximum Christlikeness? What is the place for prayer in this challenge?  We look at insights from Acts 14 and Acts 4.  “So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.” (Acts 14:3 NIV11) “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” (Acts 4:29–31 NIV11)  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, pract

  • “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”, Acts 14.1-7, Thames Valley churches of Christ, Malcolm Cox
    “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”, Acts 14.1-7, Thames Valley churches of Christ, Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 28min | 12/06/2019

    “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”, Acts 14.1-7 Introduction, v1a • Modern Konya, 90 miles east of Antioch.   • Abundant water, a genial climate, rich vegetation, and great prosperity. • “Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.” (Acts 14:19 NIV11) • “They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch,” (Acts 14:21 NIV11) • “The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.” (Acts 16:2 NIV11) • “what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.” (2 Timothy 3:11 NIV11) Results of effective speaking 1. Enabled by God, vv1b-3 A. Belief B. Opposition • “refused” - a choice C. Perseverance • “considerable time” • “boldly” • Message of his grace - wonderful phrase • God with you • God enabling you - ‘didomi’ • How? • Prayer - “Now, Lord, consider their th

  • “High Drama in Lystra”, Acts 14.8-20, Watford church of Christ, Malcolm Cox
    “High Drama in Lystra”, Acts 14.8-20, Watford church of Christ, Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 29min | 12/06/2019

    “High Drama in Lystra”, Acts 14.8-20 “In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and

  • 160: Tuesday Teaching Tips 160, Brilliant Barnabas - Colossians 4
    160: Tuesday Teaching Tips 160, "Brilliant Barnabas - Colossians 4"
    Duration: 06min | 11/06/2019

    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 move on today to Colossians 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,

  • Tuesday Teaching Tips: Bonus Episode, Why did God ask Moses to make a bronze snake in Numbers 21:8?
    Tuesday Teaching Tips: Bonus Episode, "Why did God ask Moses to make a bronze snake in Numbers 21:8?"
    Duration: 12min | 08/06/2019

    My old friend Johnson sent me this question all the way from India (I have rephrased it slightly). "Why did God ask Moses to make a bronze snake in Numbers 21:8? In Exodus 20 he gave ten commandments and Exodus 34:17 warned them against making idols. Was God asking Moses to make an idol? Later we see Israel worshiping the bronze snake. King Hezekiah only got round to destroying it in 2 Kings 18:4." Let’s look at the passage in question: “The people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”      Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.  The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.”  So Moses prayed for the people.      The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; an

  • 86: The Sunday Sample: Episode 86. Posture in Corporate Worship, Part 4 - Raising Eyes. Malcolm Cox
    86: The Sunday Sample: Episode 86. "Posture in Corporate Worship", Part 4 - Raising Eyes. Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 04min | 07/06/2019

    What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the Fourth in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson. Today we look at the issue of raising our eyes.  According to Jesus, our eyes are windows of the soul (Matthew 6:22). Biblically eyes are connected with: God’s favour (2 Kings 12:2; Isaiah 49:5). Human religious knowledge (Genesis 3:6). Pride and last (Psalm 17:27; 2 Peter 2:14). Remembrance of the saving acts of God (Exodus 13). Spiritual blindness or insight (Isaiah 6:9-10; John 12:40; Acts 28:26-27). What about Jesus? He “looked up to heaven” when praying over the five loaves and two fish (Luke 9:16). He prayed for the oneness of the church with lifted eyes (John 17:1). He lifted his eyes to pray at the raising of Lazarus (John 11:41). Quoting Erickson, “The lifting up of eyes is a naturally integrating posture for prayer. As eyes are lifted, one’s whole being is turned toward God. The lifting up of eye

  • 91: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 91. How to set limits like Jesus
    91: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 91. "How to set limits like Jesus"
    Duration: 19min | 06/06/2019

    We continue our series today based on the book, “Unloading the Overload: Stress management for Christians” (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unloading-Overload-Christian-Managing-Stress/dp/189974617X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=%E2%80%9CUnloading+the+Overload%3A+Stress+management+for+Christians%E2%80%9D+by+Chris+Powell+and+Graham+Barker.&qid=1557228534&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0) by Chris Powell and Graham Barker.  Today we explore the issue of setting Did Jesus set limits? What is the place for prayer in this challenge?  Is it more virtuous to work ourselves into the ground? Was Jesus a workaholic? He does not appear to carry any neurotic guilt about his limitations. Did Jesus ever say no? I think we know the answer to that, but how did he handle it? There is something in his relationship with the Father which gives him discernment about healthy limits whilst avoiding self-indulgence. To quote from the book: “For Jesus, central weight is given to the question: “What does my Father want to do here? That’s what I want to be

  • 159: Tuesday Teaching Tips 159, Brilliant Barnabas - Galatians 2
    159: Tuesday Teaching Tips 159, "Brilliant Barnabas - Galatians 2"
    Duration: 06min | 04/06/2019

    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 move on today to Galatians 2. 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,

  • Should I Stay, Or Should I Go? Acts 14.1-7, Malcolm Cox
    "Should I Stay, Or Should I Go?" Acts 14.1-7, Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 30min | 03/06/2019

    1. Enabled by God, vv1b-3 A. Belief B. Opposition C. Perseverance  God enabling you - ‘didomi’ How? Discussion…… Prayer - “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” (Acts 4:29 NIV11) Suppression of ego: “for the Lord”, v3 Focussed on preaching a person, not a religion: “for the Lord” Preaching a positive message - “his grace”, not negative one Results of perseverance.... 2. The results of god’s enablement, vv4-6 A. People make a choice B. Opposition C. Moving on Discussion Cynics - pigs simply devour - ““Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6 NIV When other opportunities present themselves - “Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”” (Mark 1:38 NIV11) Summary Expect people to choose Expect the negative people to oppose you Move on when to stay would pre

  • Three Big Questions, Class 3: “Why would a good God allow suffering?”, Malcolm Cox
    "Three Big Questions", Class 3: “Why would a good God allow suffering?”, Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 26min | 01/06/2019

    Three Big Questions Class 3: “Why would a good God allow suffering?” Introduction “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect….” (1 Peter 3:15–16 NIV11) Before you begin Note: this is a sensitive and difficult topic - avoid simplistic answers Ask what it is about this topic that interest them Ask what kind of evidence they would need in order to trust in a good God Ask if they would be open to revising their opinion if convincing evidence/arguments were presented to them Do not trivialise suffering Introduction: deal with your elephant If we are going to help people with their questions about suffering, it presupposes that we have worked through our own and found our own perspective on suffering that makes sense to us. You have to make peace with your own suffering if you're going to help other people understand suffering and God. Questions needing an answer God could have created a world without sufferin

  • 85: The Sunday Sample: Episode 85. Posture in Corporate Worship, Part 3 - Praying with uplifted hands. Malcolm Cox
    85: The Sunday Sample: Episode 85. "Posture in Corporate Worship", Part 3 - Praying with uplifted hands. Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 05min | 31/05/2019

    What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the third in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson. Today we look at the issue of praying with uplifted hands.  I’ll admit it, this one makes me uncomfortable. I occasionally lift my hands during private prayer-when I’m confident no one else can see me. I understand that it is a biblical posture for prayer. But the something about it which I find resistance. To which I find myself resisting. Why is this? Perhaps it is something to do with vulnerability. Nonetheless, let’s examine the relevance of uplifted hands in corporate worship. First of all, the Biblical perspective: 1\. A gesture of invocation - Exodus 9:29 2\. A plea for God’s help - Psalm 27:2; 87:9; 142:6 3\. A blessing of the Lord’s name - Nehemiah 8:6; Psalm 62:4; 133:2. 4\. A blessing of others - Luke 24:50. 5\. Dedicating things into the Lord’s service - 1 Kings 8:22. 6\. Indicating the

  • 90: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 90. How to handle praise and criticism
    90: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 90. "How to handle praise and criticism"
    Duration: 36min | 30/05/2019

    How do we handle the twin pressures of praise and criticism? What is the healthy spiritual response? What inspiration can we derive from Jesus and the scriptures? We delve into my teenage memories and an old appraisal…... “Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.” (John 6:15 NIV11) More Scriptures referred to in this episode: Luke 4.1-11; John 2.25; Proverbs 27.6; Jeremiah 31.3; John 13.35; Revelation 3.9. 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](mailto: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](http://www.malcolmcox.org). Please pass the link on, subscribe, leave a review. God bless, Malcolm

  • 158: Tuesday Teaching Tips 158, Brilliant Barnabas - 1 Corinthians 9.6
    158: Tuesday Teaching Tips 158, "Brilliant Barnabas - 1 Corinthians 9.6"
    Duration: 04min | 28/05/2019

    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 move on today to 1 Corinthians 9.6. 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](mailto: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](http://www.malcolmcox.org).  Thanks agai

  • Three Big Questions, Class Two: “Did Jesus Rise?”, Malcolm Cox
    "Three Big Questions", Class Two: “Did Jesus Rise?”, Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 30min | 25/05/2019

    Three Big Questions Class Two: “Did Jesus Rise?” “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Peter 3:15–16) Before you begin Ask what they think of the resurrection of Jesus Ask what kind of evidence they would need in order to believe Jesus rose from the dead Ask if they would be open to revising their opinion if convincing evidence were presented Reminder: Something happened or we would not have 2,000 years of Christendom Why this matters  Jesus: Matthew 12:38-41  Church: Acts 1.3, 22; 2.24, 31, 32; 3.15, 26; 4.2, 10, 33; 5.30; 10.40; 13.30, 34, 37; 17.18; 23.6; 24.21; 25.19  Faith: 1 Corinthians 15:12-19  See also 1 Peter 121; Psalm 16.10; Matt 17.22-23; Rom 1.4; Acts 17.31; Rom 4.25; 6.4-5; 1 Thess 4.14; Heb 7.24-25; Matt 12.38-41 Objections Tomb Occupied Wrong To

  • 84: The Sunday Sample: Episode 84. Posture in Corporate Worship, Part 2 - standing. Malcolm Cox
    84: The Sunday Sample: Episode 84. "Posture in Corporate Worship", Part 2 - standing. Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 05min | 24/05/2019

    What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the second in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson. Today we look at the issue of standing.  We are very well used to standing in church services. But how we thought about its purpose? Do we know why we stand? There are many postures for prayer, but the most common in the old Testament is standing: Exodus 33:8, 10; 1 Samuel 1:26; Psalm 134; Matthew 6:5; Luke 18:11-13. Jesus stood to pray and expected that his followers would do so also (Mark 11:25). The people of God stood to listen to God as he spoke to them (Exodus 19:17; Nehemiah 8:5). Jesus stood up to speak and to read in the synagogue (Luke 4:16). Why do we stand? I would suggest that we stand to indicate three things: 1\. Respect. It’s customary to stand when someone to whom you wish to show respect comes in to a room. Military personnel stand at attention when receiving orders. Those in a cour

  • Three big questions. Compelling Evidence - What is the single most significant piece of evidence?
    "Three big questions". Compelling Evidence - "What is the single most significant piece of evidence?"
    Duration: 01min | 24/05/2019

    This Friday’s question is: “Did Jesus really rise from the dead?” We’ll tackle common objections to the resurrection. However, my question today is this: "What is the single most significant piece of evidence as far as you are concerned?" Send me your thoughts and come, if you can, to Bracknell Leisure Centre this Friday 25th May, 8pm. Let’s learn together. 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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool", a devotional lo

  • 89: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 89. Praying for what you dont really want
    89: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 89. "Praying for what you don't really want"
    Duration: 15min | 23/05/2019

    We continue a new series today based on the book, “Unloading the Overload: Stress management for Christians” by Chris Powell and Graham Barker.  Today’s episode is not based on material in the book, but inspired by its theme. Let's explore the issue of praying for things we don’t really want. What is the place for prayer in this challenge? Jesus spent time praying for God’s will to be done in his life, even when it was tough to do so. We see him doing so in Gethsemane. If he wrestled in praying for the strength to do the will of his Father, then so might we. Can we learn from his example? I share my own realisation of ceasing to pray about assertiveness and diligence and why this is the case - that I don’t really want to grow in them! At least, not in my flesh. What part does vision play in this dynamic? Are you praying for things you don’t really want? If so, or not, how do you resolve the matter? Scriptures referred to in this episode: Matthew 26.36ff; Hebrews 5.7; Galatians 5.22-23. Please add your co

  • Three big questions. Objections to the resurrection 4 - Jesus body was taken away
    "Three big questions". Objections to the resurrection 4 - "Jesus' body was taken away"
    Duration: 01min | 23/05/2019

    This Friday’s question is: “Did Jesus really rise from the dead?” We’ll tackle common objections to the resurrection including today’s, which is: "Jesus' body was taken away” How would you answer this objection? Send me your thoughts and come, if you can, to Bracknell Leisure Centre this Friday 25th May, 8pm. Let’s learn together. 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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool", a devotional look at the Gospel of John

  • Three big questions. Objections to the resurrection 3 - Jesus never really died
    "Three big questions". Objections to the resurrection 3 - "Jesus never really died"
    Duration: 01min | 22/05/2019

    This Friday’s question is: “Did Jesus really rise from the dead?” We’ll tackle common objections to the resurrection including today’s, which is: "Jesus never really died” How would you answer this objection? Send me your thoughts and come, if you can, to Bracknell Leisure Centre this Friday 25th May, 8pm. Let’s learn together. 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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool", a devotional look at the Gospel of John

  • 157: Tuesday Teaching Tips 157, Brilliant Barnabas - Acts 15
    157: Tuesday Teaching Tips 157, "Brilliant Barnabas - Acts 15"
    Duration: 07min | 21/05/2019

    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 move on today to Acts 15. 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](mailto: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](http://www.malcolmcox.org).  Thanks again for list

  • Three big questions. Objections to the resurrection 2 - The disciples hallucinated a risen Jesus
    "Three big questions". Objections to the resurrection 2 - "The disciples hallucinated a risen Jesus"
    Duration: 01min | 21/05/2019

    This Friday’s question is: “Did Jesus really rise from the dead?” We’ll tackle common objections to the resurrection including today’s, which is: "The disciples hallucinated a risen Jesus” How would you answer this objection? Send me your thoughts and come, if you can, to Bracknell Leisure Centre this Friday 25th May, 8pm. Let’s learn together. 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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool", a devotional look at the Go

  • Three big questions. Objections to the resurrection 1 - The disciples went to the wrong tomb
    "Three big questions". Objections to the resurrection 1 - "The disciples went to the wrong tomb"
    Duration: 59s | 20/05/2019

    This Friday’s question is: “Did Jesus really rise from the dead?” We’ll tackle common objections to the resurrection including today’s, which is: "The disciples went to the wrong tomb” How would you answer this objection? Send me your thoughts and come, if you can, to Bracknell Leisure Centre this Friday 25th May, 8pm. Let’s learn together. 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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool", a devotional look at the Gospel

  • Allotment Service, May 2019, Watford church of Christ
    "Allotment Service", May 2019, Watford church of Christ
    Duration: 29min | 20/05/2019

    Excerpts from our "Allotment Service". Songs, a lesson, worms, wood lice, planting, Isaiah, the FA Cup Final, prayer, communion and more.....! Thank you for listening to this podcast. You can find more episodes in our feed. Our web site is http://www.watfordchurchofchrist.org.  Join us in our adventure: 10.30 AM on most Sundays at Laurance Haines School, Vicarage Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 0DD.  Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.  Do you have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send us your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: thewatfordchurch@gmail.com. Thanks again for listening. Have a super day.  God bless,  Malcolm

  • Tuesday Teaching Tips: Bonus Episode, Were Adam and Eve created at the same time?
    Tuesday Teaching Tips: Bonus Episode, "Were Adam and Eve created at the same time?"
    Duration: 12min | 18/05/2019

    "In Genesis 1.27 it says God created mankind male and female and he created them, which appears to suggest they were created at the same time. Some online sites suggests that Adam had a first wife Lilith. Then in Genesis 2 it explains that God created Eve from Adam as his helper." Judaism * Lilith is a figure in Jewish mythology, developed earliest in the Babylonian Talmud (3rd to 5th century AD). * Alphabet of Ben Sira is considered to be the oldest form of the story of Lilith as Adam's first wife. 8th-10th centuries CE. Mud before rib. “Desert creatures will meet with hyenas, and wild goats will bleat to each other; there the night creatures [lilit] will also lie down and find for themselves places of rest.” (Isaiah 34:14 NIV11) * Cannot form a doctrine from one word in one verse which has nothing to do with Adam & Eve Gen 1 - big picture Gen 2 - zooming in to a place “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27 NIV11)

  • 83: The Sunday Sample: Episode 83. Posture in Corporate Worship, Part 1 - physical movement
    83: The Sunday Sample: Episode 83. "Posture in Corporate Worship", Part 1 - physical movement
    Duration: 04min | 17/05/2019

    What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the first in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson. Today we look at the issue of physical movement.  In many church traditions movement can involve a procession in and out of the main building, movement to the communion rail or to a baptismal font. In my congregational context such movement is not practised or, perhaps, even relevant. However, I believe there is value in physical movement. Many of us are kinetic learners. There is something about doing things with our hands and moving our feet and bodies which helps us to learn and remember. Have you seen movement used to good spiritual effect in your worship context?  Here’s one example I tried in the Thames Valley church a year or so ago and again recently in the Watford Church of Christ.  In a special service focused on the nails of the cross the week before Easter, Patricia and Emma laid out string

  • 88: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 88. Time: energy, faith and the character of Christ
    88: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 88. "Time: energy, faith and the character of Christ"
    Duration: 23min | 16/05/2019

    We continue a new series today based on the book, “Unloading the Overload: Stress management for Christians” by Chris Powell and Graham Barker.  Today’s episode is not based on material in the book, but inspired by its theme. Let's explore the issue of time and the need for energy, faith and the character of Christ in making the best use of the time God has given us. What is the place for prayer in this challenge? Jesus seemed to have enough time for the purposes of God in his life. His energy, faith and character were adequate to the tasks laid before him. Can we learn from his example? 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](mailto: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.mal

  • Tuesday Teaching Tips: Bonus Episode, Question about John 10.8
    Tuesday Teaching Tips: Bonus Episode, "Question about John 10.8"
    Duration: 07min | 15/05/2019

    My old friend Johnson sent me this question all the way from India. In the passage below, who is Jesus referring to when he mentions “thieves and robbers”?   Therefore Jesus said again, “All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them.” (John 10:7–9 NIV11) Who did he have in mind? Three possibilities come to mind. 1\. Unspiritual shepherds There may be an allusion here to OT passages like Jeremiah 23:1–8 and Ezekiel 34, in which the prophets pronounced judgment upon the shepherds of Israel for their failure to care for the people.      ““Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the LORD. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the c

  • 156: Tuesday Teaching Tips 156, Brilliant Barnabas - Acts 14
    156: Tuesday Teaching Tips 156, "Brilliant Barnabas - Acts 14"
    Duration: 07min | 14/05/2019

    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 move on today to Acts 14. 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](mailto: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](http://www.malcolmcox.org).  Thanks again for list

  • Jonah: The story of a prophet who hates God for loving his enemies, Malcolm Cox, TVCoC
    "Jonah: The story of a prophet who hates God for loving his enemies", Malcolm Cox, TVCoC
    Duration: 31min | 12/05/2019

    Jonah The subversive story of a rebellious prophet who hates God for loving his enemies * Why does Jonah run? * Why does Jonah tell the sailers to kill him? * What was it like for Jonah in the fish’s stomach? * Why does he not say sorry? * What is odd about Jonah’s message? * Why does God provide the shade and then take it away? * In what ways is Jesus like Jonah? * In what way is Jesus different from Jonah? * In what ways are we like Jonah? * How can we be more like Jesus? Conclusion Are you OK with the fact that God loves your enemies?  ““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are

  • Three Big Questions, Class One: “Did Jesus Exist?”
    "Three Big Questions", Class One: “Did Jesus Exist?”
    Duration: 30min | 11/05/2019

    (1 Peter 3:15–16 NIV11)   1\. Procedure   a. Ask what they think of Jesus   b. Ask what kind of evidence they would need   c. Ask if they would be open to revising their opinion   d. Clearly, something happened or we would not have 2,000 years of Christendom 2\. Tacitus - 55/56-c.118 CE   a. Annals: 116-117   • “Neither human effort nor the emperor's generosity nor the placating of the gods ended the scandalous belief that the fire had been ordered by Nero. Therefore, to put down the rumour, Nero substituted as culprits and punished in the most unsual ways those hated for their shameful acts ... whom the crowd called “Chrestians.” The founder of this name, Christ [Christus in Latin], had been executed in the reign of Tiberius by the procurator Pontius pilate ... Suppressed for a time, the deadly superstition erupted again not only in Judea, the origin of this evil, but also in the city [Rome], where all things horrible and shameful from everywhere come together and become popular.”   • QUESTION: WHAT

  • 82: The Sunday Sample: Episode 82. Variety is the spice of worship. Malcolm Cox
    82: The Sunday Sample: Episode 82. "Variety is the spice of worship". Malcolm Cox
    Duration: 06min | 10/05/2019

    How do we avoid the corporate worship rut? How many people are involved in influencing your song selection and arrangement?  Today I’m sharing what we’re doing in Watford and Thames Valley, as well as some thoughts from “One Heart, One Voice” by Andrew Maries. 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](mailto: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](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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool", a devotional look at the Gospel of John mccx, Malcol

  • 1: Three big questions, gentleness and respect
    1: Three big questions", gentleness and respect
    Duration: 02min | 10/05/2019

    Information about the new series in the month of May. We’ll be tackling “Three big questions”. “Did Jesus exist?”; “Did Jesus rise again?”; “If there is a good God, how can he allow suffering?”. 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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool", a devotional look at the Gospel of John mccx, Malcolm Cox, Watford, Croxley Green, teaching, preaching, spiritual disciplines, public speaking, corporate worship, Sunday Sample, Cor

  • 87: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 87. How to prioritise like Jesus
    87: Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 87. "How to prioritise like Jesus"
    Duration: 15min | 09/05/2019

    We start a new series today based on the book, [“Unloading the Overload: Stress management for Christians” by Chris Powell and Graham Barker.](https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unloading-Overload-Christian-Managing-Stress/dp/189974617X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=%E2%80%9CUnloading+the+Overload%3A+Stress+management+for+Christians%E2%80%9D+by+Chris+Powell+and+Graham+Barker.&qid=1557228534&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0) Today we explore the issue of prioritising. How did Jesus decide wat to do with his time and energy? What is the place for prayer in this challenge? Jesus had clarity about his long-range goals, day-to-day priorities and yet had the heart to be flexible. Scriptures referred to: Matt 4; John 11.50; Mark 10.45; Mark 5.21-34; John 11.6; Mark 6.45; Mark 5.24; Mark 9.30-31; John 5.30; Mark 6.31-46; 2 Timothy 1.7. 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

  • Three big questions, what will we be looking at?
    "Three big questions", what will we be looking at?
    Duration: 01min | 09/05/2019

    Information about the new series in the month of May. We’ll be tackling “Three big questions”. “Did Jesus exist?”; “Did Jesus rise again?”; “If there is a good God, how can he allow suffering?”. 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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool", a devotional look at the Gospel of John mccx, Malcolm Cox, Watford, Croxley Green, teaching, preaching, spiritual disciplines, public speaking, corporate worship, Sunday Sample, Cor

  • Three big questions, suitable for friends?
    "Three big questions", suitable for friends?
    Duration: 01min | 09/05/2019

    “Three Big Questions” - suitable for friends? Information about the new series in the month of May. We’ll be tackling “Three big questions”. “Did Jesus exist?”; “Did Jesus rise again?”; “If there is a good God, how can he allow suffering?”.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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool", a devotional look at the Gospel of John mccx, Malcolm Cox, Watford, Croxley Green, teaching, preaching, spiritual disciplines, public sp

  • Three Big Questions - suitable for teenagers?
    "Three Big Questions" - suitable for teenagers?
    Duration: 01min | 07/05/2019

    Information about the new series in the month of May. We’ll be tackling “Three big questions”. “Did Jesus exist?”; “Did Jesus rise again?”; “If there is a good God, how can he allow suffering?”. 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: You might also be interested in my book: "An elephant's swimming pool", a devotional look at the Gospel of John

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