The Unscripted & Surprising Talk

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By Luke Cawley

After several hours of careful preparation, I had my talk down to perfection.

I was ready to share with a room full of parents how following Jesus affects my parenting.

Almost none of the parents were Christians and I was keen to communicate that though I struggle with all the same aspects of parents as they do, taking Jesus seriously has at least pointed me in a more helpful direction with some of these struggles.

I printed off the talk and put it in my bag.

The person organizing the event, which was a children’s Easter party, picked me up in her car and as I put on my seatbelt I thought I heard her say that I was not addressing the parents.

I was to speak with nine and ten year-olds.

Panic hit, as I haven’t done any kids’ work for over a decade.

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Funding or Prayer: What Are You Raising?

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By Luke Cawley

How’s your budget looking? Do you have all the money you need to fund your ministry for the coming year? If the cash isn’t there, do you have a plan to try and raise the cash that makes your work possible?

I am thinking a lot about money these days. I was recently involved in setting up a new organization called Chrysolis. I am hoping to move with my wife and kids to Romania soon and begin developing the work of Chrysolis in Eastern and Central Europe. Like most such pioneering work it needs money to make it happen. We don’t need piles of cash, but we would like enough to house and feed our family, and also to cover the general costs of our work. So, I do think about money fairly frequently and, like you with your ministry, I do have some thoughts about how we might be able to raise it.

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Kevin Costner Lied To Me

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[this is part of the series "A.P.E. in the Movies" read the other post here]

This is a post by Luke Cawley

Kevin Costner. It turns out he lied to me.

I’d come to trust him as he busted Al Capone in The Untouchables, exposed the conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy in JFK, and wooed Maid Marian in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. So it was natural for me to keep trusting  him when I watched Field of Dreams. I was just a teenager when I first saw it. And I must have watched it over a dozen times.

If you’ve never seen the movie, Kevin Costner hears a voice whispering in his ear that “if you build it, they will come”. He takes this to mean that he must build a baseball field on his farm and that people will come and visit as a result. He obeys the voice, adventures ensue, he reconnects with the ghost of his father. Normal everyday stuff. The film ends with streams of cars driving towards his baseball field. He built it and they are coming.

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Go Be A Gandalf

 

UNITED KINGDOM CIRCA 1998 A stamp printed in Great Britain shows image of The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien circa 1998.

A stamp printed in Great Britain shows image of The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien circa 1998.

[this is part of the series "A.P.E. in the Movies" read the other post here]

In three weeks time, the first of a new trilogy based on JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit will be released in cinemas. If the film is anything like the book, then it will be a great movie to go see with an emerging leader you might be mentoring.

In the first chapter of the book, Bilbo Baggins is relaxing at his home and blowing smoke rings as he enjoys his pipe. He is completely unprepared for the arrival of the wizard Gandalf:

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Get to Know the A.P.E. Writers…Luke Cawley

Homeless Guy

[This is a series designed to bring you into the the unique A.P.E stories of each writer on this blog. We hope each one of you can find a little of your A.P.E story inside of one of us. Read the other stories]

Growing up, my sisters and I were the only kids in our school openly from a churched background. My family went to a small church of about thirty people, and there was only one other bible-believing church in our whole town. It’s the kind of background which programs into you the assumption that most people don’t know about Jesus and unless you talk to them they won’t get to know him.

Initially I had just a dull awareness of the need to speak about Jesus, but as my teenage years wore on I became increasingly frenetic in my attempts to talk with others about Jesus: I would bring him up in conversation with friends, I initiated a regular street outreach in my home town and I spent every summer involved in short-term mission projects.

The strange thing was that for all my activity and enthusiasm I didn’t see a single person open their life up to Christ.

Shortly before leaving for university, I read a book called The Cross and the Switchblade written by a man from rural Pennsylvania who nervously stepped into the heart of New York’s gangland and saw hardened criminals hand their lives over to Jesus. The book amazed me because it was told by somebody who actually seemed to know God.

It began to slowly dawn on me that for all my efforts to introduce others to Jesus, he was really little more than an idea or a doctrine for me.

I realized that the person most in need of God’s transforming power was me.

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