I once returned to one of my former congregations. The service was fun. I felt special. Old friends slapped me on the back, I found a box of chocolates on my pillow, and food was brought to me at regular intervals. I think I’ll come back again. I also learned something about feeling special.

A family welcomed us to church that morning, and their older son led a prayer. They spoke of a recent holiday abroad. Lo and behold if a family from our another of our congregations was not in the same resort. They recognised one another from a…

We are fans of free stuff. Both giving and receiving. A short story….

Our son’s bed broke and we were planning to move house, so did not want to buy a bed that might not fit in the new home. Solution? Source a free bed.

What you need to know is that my wife has a special hot-line to God. Just about anything she prays for she gets (for a fee she will pray for whatever you want — just kidding). She prayed, searched local online resources and turned up a fabulous Lewis’ sofabed only walking distance from our house…

The Library at Ephesus

The car insurance was up for renewal recently. Nice surprise — the renewal was less than last year’s premium. Every year I have paid more. Reversing the spiral of higher renewals is a relief.

Much time and energy is spent attempting to reverse losses (hair, weight gain). When successful, reversing a bad trend brings great joy. How can we reverse when we’re in a spiritual rut? Here are three ideas:

  1. Remember. It pays to reflect on times when we were filled with spiritual energy. When was the last time you were carried along by a sense of hope? What about…

The oscars are coming. In a year or two very few people will remember who won what. Except the winners, and those they love. Parents of Oscar recipients will be bragging about their children’s success for many a long year. And why not? We’d all do the same. Well, I would.

Bragging has its bad side and its good side. Someone once said we should gossip the gospel. I think we should also ‘brag’ the gospel. How do we do that? There are potential pitfalls. We are not to boast about ourselves, “so that no one may boast before him.”…

Have you heard of the BBC radio broadcast a programme called “Witness”? I came across it only recently — and love it. Eye-witness accounts are used to illuminate significant historic events. The first one I listened to was that of a British soldier captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore in 1942. His name is Maurice Naylor. The whole story is captivating, but one incident stood out to me.

His health was failing due to malnutrition and the many tropical diseases from which he suffered. His best friend appeared one day with three eggs — an unimaginable luxury…

According to this article, two children racked up a whopping £3,200 bill on their father’s iPhone. That puts my own children’s bills into perspective. We once had to pay for a fire extinguisher to be re-filled. But that’s a story for another day.

The big phone bill story puts me in mind of my ‘bill’ with God. It’s a bill I can never hope to pay. But it has been paid for me.

“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance — now that he has…

This headline caught my eye, “‘Bionic legs’ for military amputees” (BBC website). The courage of these men and women inspire me. They have sacrificed so much for little personal gain. Soldiers of war have much in common with soldiers of the cross. What can we learn from them?

  1. Recognise the True Enemy, “Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil…

We bought a house in Croxley Green. A frustratingly slow process. Croxley is a lovely spot, and we love living there, but it is not often in the national news.

However, a story caught the attention of many last year. Someone made a noise complaint against All Saints Church. The bells were silenced, and much controversy ensued. The church considered appealing, but according to the Watford Observer they are dropping the case.

Whatever our personal views about church bells, all Christians can agree that our witness needs to be ‘clear as a bell’. What does this look like? …

My friend Ben is a Villa fan. For those of you not interested in English association football, that’s a team from Birmingham. They are rather poorly at the moment.

Anyway, in a more serious way my friend Ben is not too well himself. After two brain tumour operations he has a number of health challenges. I spent a weekend with him in Edinburgh, where he serves his local church.

I can’t help but write about his courage. Not once during my visit did he complain about his limitations or fears for the future. His demeanour was one of joy. …

I am a wheat-free person. And I am a hopeless optimist. Hence I found myself on a train from London to Edinburgh anticipating that train buffet cars might have moved on a little. 5 hours of travel requires a little refuelling along the way. Lunchtime found me at the buffet bar searching in vain for wheat-free sandwiches, jacket potato options, even chips. But no.

Making the best of a bad job I set about putting together a wheat-free selection of whatever was at hand. Lunch consisted of: porridge, crisps, popcorn, a nut bar and coffee. Not my normal repast. …

Malcolm Cox

Author, speaker, musician & Solutions Focussed coach: http://www.malcolmcox.org/ Minister to http://www.watfordchurcofchrist.org.

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