Books & Blogs from Adrian Hawkes Blog

0

Kids singing

Kids singing on the rules of learning in Kenya last year.  Saw today and made me smile. 🙂

Another coincidence

Another coincidence

Another coincidence

Those of you who read my blog will know that for a while now I have been going on about the difference between coincidences and answers to prayer.


More recently I have been checking through my memory banks to bring to mind some of those ‘answered prayers’ / ‘coincidences’ that happen to those who pray and follow Jesus.  Looking back, I regret not keeping mementos of some of those incidents.  Perhaps from now on I will do, however in life you often just say,’ thank you God’ and move on, though I hope I am grateful and really thankful and have regard for these specific answers.


The memento I could have kept of the story I am about to tell you, could have been copies of my bank statements, and even though I didn’t its still, nevertheless, a great answer to prayer and true.


This answer to prayer (or coincidence depending on your perspective) took place before UK decimalisation, so young readers might struggle with the figures, not understanding the notion of 240 pence making one pound.  Anyway, at this time I was living in the North of England, my salary was the grand total of £8.10s or for younger readers £8.50p.  My wife was the full time secretary for a local school and earned a grand total of £5.00 per week;  to put these amounts into perspective my rent was £5.10s per week (£5.50p), as you can see there was not a great deal of financial elbow room, there was very little money left over for frivolities.


Unfortunately for us we had somehow run up a deficit at the bank to the tune of £31.12s 32d and the bank unfortunately had allowed us to go overdrawn by this amount without any permission.  Now, however, they had called me in and wanted their money back.  I, of course, had said, yes, I would sort it out.  When I arrived home I told my wife that I had no idea what to do and that we had no chance of funding the deficit.

My wife suggested writing them a cheque, explained that would not work as that was where the money came from in the first place. We agreed that we needed to pray for God to help us, we needed a £31.12s 32d miracle, and frankly I had no idea where such a miracle could come from. In these situations, I find, that you always want to provide God with the answer that you have trusted him, in prayer, to sort out; I hope you know what I mean.


Later that week, I had a letter from an old friend, he wrote to me enclosing a cheque made out to myself and Pauline; the letter went something like this.


 As you know some years ago I had a serious motor accident, it’s taken years for the insurance company to make a settlement to us, but finally it has come.  I wanted at this time to say thank you to friends who helped me and my wife during this awful time, and so now I have the financial settlement I thought I would like to send you all a monetary thank you.  So enclosed is a cheque.  I know you will think that this is a funny amount £31.12s.32p but just to explain that for you, I had quite a few friends who helped us at that time so what I have done is taken the amount of our settlement, deducted 10%, I then divided that 10% between all the friends who helped me at the time and so that is why it is such a funny thank you amount.


Well of course my friend wanted to explain his reasoning behind the division of the thank you money, but what my friend did not know was that that cheque was to the exact £sd (pounds, shillings and pence for younger readers) amount of my unofficial overdraft.


When I think about this, it’s totally mind boggling, how everything came together in such perfect sync; the accident years before, the insurance company taking its time, the amount of friends my friend felt had helped them at the time, the long period of time it took to sort the settlement, that my friend was writing out the cheques during the week that I was concerned about my overdraft, the prayer my wife and I prayed that week, and that very week the letter arrived containing a cheque for the exact amount. 

It’s all just coincidence I hear some say, well how about a Father God who loves his children, knows their need and answers prayer.  How about that for an answer?

Adrian Hawkes

For adrianhawkes.blogspot.com

W 800

Edited by Technicolour Text

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind

The answer, my friend, is blowing in
the wind  

Many years ago, when my children were only 7 and 8 years old;
talking about coincidences was in vogue, it seemed that every other
conversation was about this subject.   Then,
as now, I…

Advertising an Independent Sector School

Advertising an Independent Sector School

Advertising an
Independent Sector School

We are so persuaded by the ‘normal’ and what is perceived to
be the right approach that those of us who do it differently always expect to
have to swim upstream, to move against the odds to climb the mo…

Adrian’s Blog

Adrian’s Blog

Adrian’s Blog

I just thought you might find it interesting to know a little more about the Blog you read.
Why write a BLOG, and I guess that people do it for all sorts of reason, to tell friends, to advertise their wares, to just put their thought out there.  I guess for some people it’s almost therapeutic.
But for me, well yes I would like to put my ware out there, I have six books I would like you to read, but that’s writing as well isn’t it.  I guess the real reason for writing is that I want to see change in certain things.  I also think that I would like to use the words to make the world a better place. I also actually like to introduce lots of people to ‘the Word’ because I know having met the Word, that it changes life, our outlook, our culture perspective, and our value stem in fact everything for the better.
The other thing that I though you would like to know is who reads this Blog, that is quite fascinating to me, I am sure you know that these days with the internet you can track and analyse all sorts of things, and my Blog is no exception.  Here are some of the interesting data to date, well I think it’s interesting anyway and I hope you might too.  As you would expect as I live in the UK most readers come from that area of the world, on today statistics it’s so far to date 1877 of you in the UK have had a look at it.  The next country, which probably isn’t such a surprise as we speak the same language and I have many friends there, but I suppose what does surprise me is how many, as of today’s date the stats tell me that in the USA  1409 of you have taken a peek.  Not so far behind the UK. 
What really does surprise me is country number three and four a long way behind in terms of numbers but hay welcome all of you from Russia, and South Korea who have had a look Russia is 189 and South Korea is 135.  I would really love you to click that comment button and just tell me what you think. 
I will of course say thank you to those of you who have joined my discussions and journey from Germany, Brazil, Slovenia, Slovakia, Kenya, Taiwan, Netherlands, Norway, France and Switzerland.  Thank you all for joining me and for reading my comments, now all I need is for you to join the discussions. So far almost 5,000 have joined me at some point thank you for that.
It is also interesting to see what you are all reading, and the stats tell me that the most read Blog is the one put up in October 2009 on the subject of woman, and I didn’t even write that one baa!  It was written by my good friend Dan Wooding of Assist News Service, he is a professional news hound so I guess I am happy that you like to read his stuff. For those who like tit bits, he was also our best man when we got married.  Check out his news service at www.assistnew.com  it is worth the time.  It also fun to note that my second most read is the one entitled Beer and bandits which I posted in May 2010 does that tell me something about you or about what I write about?
Venezuela 
I like the fact that you are still reading those Blogs that I posted some time ago, again thank for that.
I could go on and tell you which search engines and what referring sites you use, but I won’t enough already.  Just to say again thank you, hope you enjoy, and most of all I hope together we can effect change for the better. Don’t forget would love to hear from you.
Adrian Hawkes
For Adrian Hawkes Blog spot www.adrianhawkes.blogspot.com
W. 677
Edited By: Technicolour text

Leadership – Vision

Leadership – Vision

Leadership – the book, Vision

Talks for UCB 3 min

 I always  feel sad when I come the end of my chance  to talk with you. I hope you have found our times together helpful, as I have chatted about the subject of leadership. I have written a book on the subject and in it I cover many other areas that I haven’t had time to talk to you about in this series.   I looked through allthe subjects in my book, ‘Leadership and…’ to decide what to share with you during this last talk, should I tell you about decision makers or small groups of people, or perhaps the platform? Goals? Work or loyalty? And I was very tempted by the chapter on Solomon’s clothes,  there’s one I wish I had time for right now,  but as I pondered it became very clear what should I talk about  during our final time together.  I decided it has to be vision.

Scripture says that where there is no vision, people perish.  Now maybe it’s just the people I mix with but there has been a bit of a backlash against vision.  Maybe you are not aware of that and if not don’t let it worry you.  The thing is that people, and I understand why they do, react against the fact that leaders want everyone to buy into their vision, and sometimes   they exhaust people in trying to see things achieved and the vision reached, and why their vision anyway? Why not mine?

Well here are some answers; firstlydo you have a vision?   People regularly   come and chat with me, seeking advice about the direction their life is taking, or not, as the case may be, they may say things like, ‘ I don’t have a vision, I really would like one, what should I do?’  I’m sorry but I have a stock answer which is, ‘get on board someone else’s vision!’  Don’t forget that scripture says, without one people perish

Secondly   as leaders, aren’t we all called to lead?  Yes we are, but we are also called to follow. Scripture statesthat we should be under authority, and if we are all practicing servant leadership then things will work really well.  I would also hope that as a leader you are following  a vision God has given you,  one that reflects what Jesus would say,  ‘I must be about my Father’s business.’ Or let’s put it another way, the Father’s vision is what I plan to accomplish. 

So let’s think again about those who have no vision, if it is the Father’s vision that your leader is following, why not get on board? A key point to bear in mind is that the Father’s vision is broad enough to encompass other visions.  For the church community to function smoothly and effectively, you will all be following a God given vision but that does not eliminate the possibility that God can also give you a vision, at which point  you should be able to say to the leadership, ‘ hey I really want to do this and accomplish what I believe God has shown me,’   and if we are all under authority, in close relationship with the Father and his purposes, it should be equally possible for the leaders to say, ‘That’s great! That extends the vision in this area and makes things work better in that area. How  fantastic that we are going in the same direction.’   Often when we cannot respond in that way, then  perhaps what is wrong is that the vision is too small.

In many ways God has given us the broadervisions, outlining them several times in scripture. He wants us to catch His vision, the top priority he give us is to ‘seek FIRST the Kingdom of God  Then we are told, ‘tell the good news.’ I know you know it, but let me say it again, the good news is about a person and that person is Jesus. He is the good news. We are told to, ‘tell it in Jerusalem, in Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the world.’  That’s a big job, a big vision isn’t it? 

Finally we are told to, ‘make disciples of the nations.’  I think that gives most of us enough to do for the rest of our lives don’t you?

A vision keeps you fresh; it actually keeps you alive and moving forward.  I have a little saying that some puzzle over; it goes like this ‘the worst enemy of better is very good.’  The thing is that when things are bad you can usually see that there is a need for some vision to make them better, but when things are going well that can put you in thedanger zone.  Unless you are alert, you could end up settling down and dying off.  Don’t do it!  We have not arrived; the kingdom has not yet come, there are still dreams to dream and a vision to have. 

Get a vision of leading, forging ahead,keeping going and kingdom seeking!  If you haven’t got one then get on board with someone who has.   There is a promised land to be possessed, there is a Kingdom to be found and we have the power to bring it to earth if we know our God, that’s why he told us to pray and work, ‘your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’  Happy seeking!  Thank you for listening God bless you as you dream and vision His plans.

Adrian Hawkes

Editor A Brookes

For UCB 3 min Script

W 941

Leadership – Getting it Wrong

Leadership – Getting it Wrong

Leadership – Getting it wrong

Talks for UCB

3 min.

I hope you have remembered what I said at the beginning of this series which was that all of us are called to be leaders; or to put it in Bible language, we are prophet’s priest and kings.

Alongside this universal calling there are always several people in each churchcommunity who take special responsibility for others, and that brings with it all sorts of pressures. One of those pressures is the problem of being right.  I guess you have all seen that joke that sometimes sits on a manager’s desk which says, ‘Rule number one. The boss is always right’.  ‘Rule numbers two, if the boss is wrong, refer to rule number one’.  The reality is that being in leadership does not always mean that you are right.

That in itself presents another pressure, one of our culture and our age.  Generally people do not like or expect anyone in leadership to be wrong.  Just watch what happens when a politician tries to admit to being wrong and misses the mark; the response is rarely,   ‘that’s great they have admitted theyare wrong, lets forgive them and move on’. Usually it is quite the reverse immediately there is a flurry of frantic digging in order to reveal further failings  and  we demand they resign, no that’s not enough, die, andeven that is not enough, we want to dance on atheir grave.

 Coupled with the possibility of being wrong, there is also thecultural pressurewhereby we want our leaders to know the answer to everything.  I am a leader, and sometimes I am wrong and sometimes I do not know the answer and what is worse sometimes I can see a problem, which I am sure everyone else can see. I know this because they come and tell me, often inconspiratorial tones,‘there is a problem’.  I know there is problem and I didn’t need anyone to tell me what I already know,  what I  need is for someone to give me an answer to the problem, as I don’t have one.

So what canwe do?  Firstly I think that it is very helpful to admit we are wrong as quickly as possible and learn to put up with people’s reactions and disappointment. Weshould also look for help both from God and our fellow travellers; perhaps when they see us admit that weare wrong  it might encourage them in their own struggle to get things right.

Secondlyall of us need to treat those who lead us with respect when they say that they do not have an answer to some particular conundrum; maybe accepting and believing that they simply do not know.

Thirdly, and this is a hard one, I am convinced we need to learn to say ‘I am sorry,’ that can be a great help to all.  But isn’t it a hard word to use? 

Let me finish by telling you a positive story to illustrate what I mean.

For more than thirty years I have been involved in running independent Christian Schools and in two of them I hold the role of principal. A while ago a young lady of around twelve years old was brought to my office for some misdemeanour, it was my job to tell her off; I did so, very sternly and the young lady ended up with tears running down her cheeks.  She left my office very, very subdued and quiet, so I thought I had down my job well.   The next day, to my horror, I discovered that I had reprimanded a totally innocent person, who wasin no way guilty of any wrongdoing.  What should I do?  I asked a member of staff to find the young lady and bring her to my office as quickly as possible.  Shewalked in with fear in her face, I asked her to sit down and she did so, very carefully, her hands folded meekly in her lap.  I explained to her that on the previous day I had made a terrible mistake when I told her off and I said I wanted to apologise. I looked into her fearful eyes and said, ‘I’m sorry, please forgive me’.  The transformation was instantaneous, the fear disappeared and the young lady burst into the largest smile I have ever seen, I was afraid that her face would come apart if she smiled any more.

Suffice to say   she went away very happy, and I must admit that I also felt good.  Being wrong and saying sorry really made my day and I think it made her day too. I am pretty certain thatthe story got repeated many times to her schoolmate’s. 

Did being wrong in that case make me a lesser person?  I don’t think so; I think dealing with being wrong after the event in the right way made a positive difference don’t you?  Unlike how some of us react to our fallible politicians she didn’t want to kill me, itwas just the reverse,I think she thought shehad a receiveda fantastic present. Don’t kill people for being wrong, be like our God; full of grace and forgiveness.

Adrian Hawkes

For UCB 3 min talks

Editor A Brookes

W 887

Leadership In The Big Wide World

Leadership In The Big Wide World

Leadership 8 – In the big wide world

3 min script for            UCB

I have been looking at leadership in these short talks in the context of those who are followers of Jesus.  However I  hope that I  haven’t give the impression  that these skills of servant leadership are  only relevant and appropriate to the church community.  If I have given that impression let my try and correct that today.

I have spent a large chunk of my life establishing some independent schools, we have two in North London, one in Sri Lanka and one in Nakuru, Kenya.  When people ask me what is their purpose, I answer that I am interested in affecting the thinking of young students, but also I want to produce tomorrow’s national and international leaders.

I hope you don’t think what I say next is too strange, but even if you do, I believe it to be so. If you really are a follower of Jesus, and you are walking with him then certain things will apply.  First of all you are in touch with wisdom, I do not believe that wisdom comes from any other source but from God, he is the source of wisdom. Knowledge on the other hand can come from a variety of sources.  If you are a follower of Jesus then you should have a world view that gives great credibility to any leadership role into which you enter. Followers of Jesus also have a clear perspective about the future,where it’s all going, why we are here and what is our human purpose is.  You are also in touch with the ultimate law giver, ruler and therefore understand what it means to have a moral base.  Scripture talks about our thinking producing who and what we are, and that can, should and does reflect into the wider culture locally, nationally and internationally.

I learned a lot of my leadership skills as a follower of Jesus rather than from management training, or other training schemes. But I have discovered that it is very easy to transfer those skills into what we sometimes call the secular world, although I don’t like theword secular, as I know that the Kingdom of God can be found in every area of life and do not like the false dichotomy of secular and spiritual. I have been able to use the leadership skills obtained as a follower of Jesus in social service, education and business to name but a few.


Just the other day I was listening to a discussion about an emerging economy and they were talking about how the country could be improved by business, by politics, and by new laws.  But there was an element that was missing from the debate, there was no mention of how people think, the philosophy of a nation if you will.  In the UK, whilst I would never want to call us or think of us as a Christian nation we do have a strong Christian heritage which can be seen in our laws and the way the country works.  This heritageis, I believe, currently being rapidly squandered, but some of it is this is still there, which tends to make us generous and caring; and affect levels of honestyand corruption. If you look at nationalcultures in other parts of the world then you will see clear differences to the UK culture, due to theunderlying philosophy, for some there is a lack of concern for others outside of their own country, some place a low value on human life and some have very corrupt systems.  Now I am sure business, law, politics and education can all help those things if they are wrong, but ultimately you don’t really change things unless you change the thinking and the underlying philosophy.

As one American president once said, ‘if you educate an evil man who was stealing from the railway, it doesn’t change his actions it just makes him clever, so instead of stealing from the railway he steals the whole system’.  What we often see as requiring astructural change actually needs a change of heart, or from my point of view, Jesus style leadership in all areas of life.  So how about you, where do you lead?

Adrian Hawkes

Editor A Brookes

W 727

3 min Script for UCB

Leadership And The Cost

Leadership And The Cost

Leadership and the cost – in time and space

It seems to me that there is a great gulf in our understanding of Biblical style leadership. In many ways those of us who think of ourselves as follower of Jesus are more often than not influenced by Greek thinking and philosophy than we are by Judeo-Christian thinking and  influence.  What is worse is that we think that the Greek way of thinking and its philosophy is actually Judeo-Christian and it isn’t!
We are talking at this time about leadership, and the whole Judeo-Christian Greek thing is another issue, but I have mentioned it now because of the way that Jesus led and I contrast that with what is often perceived when we leading in today’s world.  What we tend to do is preach, or perhaps we would use the words teach or even lecture.  Usually that takes place from the front of some building and what is really happening is information is being passed from someone’s brain though their vocal cords out of their mouth and into, they hope, their listener’s ears.  This then is regarded as leading, and of course it is, but actually it’s a Greek style of leadership.
In contrast the Judeo-Christian style of leadership is much more involved, and we see it very clearly in the servant leadership style of Jesus. From out of his many disciples he choose twelve of them, then said ‘follow me’, and for three years they followed him, or if you like followed His leadership.  That ‘following’ is very involved, for Jesus and for the disciples; they are living together, walking together, eating together, watching what Jesus does, sometimes helping him do it, like distributing baskets of bread and fish, and then sometimes Jesus will say ‘off you go and do it by yourself’, and then when they hit problems, they go back to Jesus and say, ‘we can’t seem to do this, please help’.  Jesus also regularly spends time in what perhaps we would now call a tutorial group, talking to them and answering some of their questions, often to our modern frustration, with new questions.  Yes, Jesus occasionally preaches, but actually that is quite rare, most of the time he is walking, talking, doing and showing.
Here is a couple of my stories to illustrate what I’m talking about; some years ago one of our leaders said to me ‘why does so and so do what you ask them to do, but they often don’t when I ask them, and yet I am a leader just like you’.  I didn’t go into detail about leadership but responded, ‘well actually they lived in my house for two years, I saw them every day, they had breakfast with me almost every morning, they came home at night and I was there, in fact I was probably with them more than they were with anyone else so perhaps my life input to them has influenced them strongly and they are therefore willing to help me, or to do what I ask’.  The leader replied, ‘Oh but I don’t want other people living in my house and to be involved with them to that extent.’  To which I replied, ‘well then you don’t get the response from them that I do, which is how it works!’
The second story happened some years ago, a young lady came to me and said, ‘this is my brother’, I said, ‘Hi,’ and then she said, ‘I want to give him to you.’  I looked a little surprised and said as polity as possible, ‘that’s fine  but thank you I don’t want him.’  ‘No,’ she said, ‘you don’t understand he has been to a Christian camp and he has become a Christian.’ I said, ‘I think that is great, fantastic!’ ‘No, no!’ she said again, ‘you still don’t understand, that happened to him last year and the year before and the year before that, and two weeks after he gets home he is a bad as ever, I know that because I am his sister.’ By now I was very curious and said,   ‘so what do you want me to do?’, she told me, ‘I want you to look after him and take him with  you wherever you go. ‘
And so I did, much to the disgust of my girl friend at the time,  because every time we went out the guy was in tow, it was a pain, but I did try to share with him what little bit I knew, and so wherever I went he went too.   And just in case you’re wondering,  he isn’t following me around anymore but he is still a strong follower of Jesus, and leading others.
Now what I am trying to say, and hoping you get it, is that this kind of Judeo-Christian leadership has at its heart the servant lifestyle to start with, but also it is quite costly, costly personally I mean, for it will take our time, our commitment, and to have people  us a lot can sometimes be a real pressure.  What you are really giving to the  people that you are leading is, in fact, your life. When you think about it the person we so often claim to be following did just that, gave us his life, that we might live, and lead others.  Do you want to be a leader? Can you give your life?
Adrian Hawkes
For UCB Leadership 3 min scripts
W. 918
Editor A Brookes