Books & Blogs from Adrian Hawkes Blog

Nutty Newspaper Nonsense

Nutty Newspaper Nonsense

I reached the ultimate in surprise this week when I was asked if I knew that black people are able to receive a free oyster (bus and tube pass) if they live in London.  Come on all my black friends if you did not know this – get one – problem is I do not know where from.

The young lady who was telling me this story went on to tell me that the person who had told her this great piece of news, when told, “No, that is not true”, looked at her with that knowing look that says “Oh, that’s what you think”.

It really is nutty nonsense from people who read certain types of newspapers that come out with this stuff, and then when you tell them no it’s not true, prefer to believe their fairy tale rubbish rather than any real facts.

Some of the other apocryphal stories I have been told are as follows, usually by wide eyed people who when, like my friend who told me the story of free travel, are told “no, it’s nonsense”, look at you as though you are the stupid one.  Here are just some of them.  ‘Did you know that they now give foreigner’s free cars’ ‘It’s terrible that you can only get a house on the council if you are not English’  ‘Did you know that immigrants get £120.00 per week unemployment allowances’ and so on, I have heard lots more, I must admit that I had not heard the one about black people getting free travel until this weekend.  Nutty stuff or what?

Pick and Mix

Pick and Mix

Follower of Jesus

I am slightly puzzled by various people I meet up with of late, and some I hear speaking publically, who seem to want to stress to me that they are ‘people of faith’, that they ‘love God’, that they ‘are Christians’ or that they ‘are followers of Jesus’.  I suppose some of those statements could be understandable, but ‘follower of Jesus’, seems a bit harder for me to swallow.
Is it the Jesus who says ‘do whatever you like as I don’t mind’? I don’t know that one.  Is it the Jesus who says ‘whatever values you think fit you, that’sok, as long as you say you are following me, that’s fine’?  I don’t know him either.  Is it the one who says ‘we are all going in the same direction and it does not matter what you believe’? I’ve never met him.

Yes or No?

Our sound bite age is impatient with answers that take more than two minutes.  We want it simple and we want it quick and we want it to be correct and all encompassing.  Our culture may be in that ‘want’ position, but it’s unrealistic, unhelpful, untruthful, unfulfilling and just does not work.
I am reminded of the story of the old farmer, with a horse and cart riding through the country lanes with his dog by his side and a load of hay on the back.  A sports car came around a bed far too fast and crashed into the old farmer causing considerable damage an loss.  Eventually the farmer and the driver had their day in court and of course the farmer was trying to get compensation for his loss; on the other side the defence for the insurance company were trying to settle for as little as possible.


SexSex and the Robbery that takes place in our CultureHow to write this? It’s not an easy one; realising as I write that to say what I believe to be going on, in terms of robbery, will be both...

Why Christian Education – History

Why Christian Education


Why Christian Education
We need to remember that Education was originally not a state or secular idea but rather one that those who are followers of Jesus thought Learning_alt_provisionof.  The invention of the so called Sunday school (1736 to 1811) was by Robert Rakes whose statute stands in such places as Victoria Embankment in London, Gloucester Town Centre and Queens Park Toronto On. Canada.

I say so called Sunday school because this was not as we often think of it today. What Robert Rakes was really doing was seeking to educate young people to read and write and do maths, and because Sunday was the only day that children in those days did not work it was, of course, called Sunday school.
By 1831, Sunday schools in Great Britain were teaching weekly 1,250,000 children, approximately 25 per cent of the population. One need to remember that there was at this time no such thing as ‘state education’ the gradual take over by the state probably began

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


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