Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween was a blast last night, with my three little nieces and their parents joining us for the traditional Halloween night spaghetti. This tradition goes back to Searcy days when Matt and his cousin Kari would trick-or-treat together, along with Megan (dressed in her little pumpkin costume). Apparently a couple years we had spaghetti. It wasn't intentional; it was just fast. Then the next year, we were starting to prepare something else, and Matt said, "Where's the spaghetti? We ALWAYS have spaghetti on Halloween?" Can you hear Tevye in the background? "TRADITION!" My favorite trick-or-treaters last night were seven high school students who were a punk band -- guitars, singing, wild outfits, and all. They were having a blast together. I just put the bucket in the middle of them and said, "For that performance you can have all you want." - - - - A little audience participation today. Anyone out there have a story involving the "Chronicles of Narnia" -- maybe about being read them by your parents, or enjoying them as a teen, or reading them to your kids? (Has it come to this? A preacher looking for stories from his blog? I'll try not to make a habit of it.) As a little C. S. Lewis bonus, here are words from The Four Loves: "Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a friend. . . . In some ways nothing is less like a Friendship than a love-affair. Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; Friends hardly ever about their friendship. Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest."


  • Hi from a fellow Harding alum.

    The Narnia Chronicles hold for me deep memories of reading to my kids when they were little, doing all the voices of all the characters ("No, Dad, that's not the voice of the Marsh Wiggle!").

    When we got to the scene in the Last Battle where out heroes were mounting up into the true Narnia, seeing people long lost, I suddenly and uncontrollably burst into tears myself, looking forward to seeing my Dad in heaven. The emotion comes surging back even now as I write this.

    Narnia is powerful. Aslan is not a tame lion!

    By Blogger TWD, at 11/01/2005 05:11:00 AM  

  • My now 14 year old son fell in love with reading while in the 3rd grade reading the Chronicles of Narnia series. I loved seeing my sons eyes wide with excitment eager to tell me about the last chapter read! He couldn't wait to tell all the details. My son has this wonderful physical reaction of his eyes watering when he tells something he finds really exciting or really scary. I would smile as he told me the stories in his precious 3rd grade voice with eyes watering with excitment and sometimes just a bit scared too!
    I've always hated for beloved books like these to be made into movies because it takes some of the wonder from our imaginations and memories that we hold in our minds from reading the books. What we build in our minds is always way more exciting that what movies show.

    By Blogger Snapshot, at 11/01/2005 05:44:00 AM  

  • I read the Chronicles of Narnia in Jr High after a cousin gave me the boxed set for Christmas. It is the first time I remember faking sleep and turning the lights back on to read into the wee hours of the morning. Late in High School I heard Tony Ash reference the Chronicles of Narnia. He talked about the book where one of the chracters gets new skin and Aslan helps scratch off the old as being one of the best metaphors for Christianity in literature. I remember thinking...those stories were supposed to some how be Christian? I re-read the entire series and developed a deep respect for CS Lewis. I think the fact that he didn't draw tidy conclusions or talk about Jesus by name and yet still was able to write one of the greatest series of literature that is also Christian literature is what I admire most. I'm looking for that old box set. I want to reread it before the movie comes out.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Someone at Highland audio stream Mike's sermons on the web. I would love to hear this CS Lewis series!

    By Blogger SG, at 11/01/2005 06:04:00 AM  

  • My Narnia story is a more of a non-story. Since C. S. Lewis wasn't a real Christian because he wasn 't from THE CHURCH, I didn't hear much about him. However, my mother, a rogue Christian at times, suggested that I read the Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

    I didn't. Why? Why read books when there is baseball to be played?

    I am in the middle of A Horse and His Boy with my kids and we are on the edge of our seats for he movie to come out. These are good times. My daughter (7) is really getting into the stories. My son (5) jumps off the couch, spins in the center of the living room, and falls over as I read, but I still he's getting some of the story.

    I guess the point here is that I am getting to have an experience with my kids that I didn't get when I was a kid. This is a real treat as we are getting ot have this experience for the first time together.

    By Blogger Fajita, at 11/01/2005 06:08:00 AM  

  • About audio streaming: Is the Copester podcasting?

    By Blogger Fajita, at 11/01/2005 06:10:00 AM  

  • Our youngest daughter, now 24 years old!, was not much of a reader when she was young. Her dad thought it a good idea to read "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" with her.

    Not much became of that but she did become a reader, finally!

    Last Christmas she gave her dad the whole series of "The Narnia Chronicles" because it had meant so much to her for him to have read them with her. She had fond memories of that and wanted him to have those same fond memories!

    Just goes to show you, you never know how and when you are touching a precious life. We have listened to the whole series while traveling. We love it! Can't wait for the movie.

    By Blogger pegc, at 11/01/2005 06:21:00 AM  

  • Anyone who ever went through Mrs. Mary Helsten's 4th grade class at Harding Academy has a special appreciation for Narnia. Everyday after lunch and recess, she would sit in her rocking chair and read from C.S. Lewis. It took the entire year, but she read every book.

    I remember being amazed by the story. Obviously as a 4th grader, I didn't quite understand the Godly wisdom that was contained within. As I read more of Lewis now, I realize that the Chronicles hold magnificent truths in them. I look forward to reading them to my children.

    By Blogger Keith, at 11/01/2005 06:27:00 AM  

  • Well, at almost 30 years old, I'm finally reading The Chronicles. My sister got the whole set at some point when we were growing up (they are actually in the original published order, rather than the chronological order that is sold today), but I was never interested. After hearing so much hoopla from friends (and in anticipation of the movie to come), I decided to read them. Such fun! I'm just at "The Silver Chair" - I can't imagine why I wasn't interested before!!

    By Blogger Jenni, at 11/01/2005 06:32:00 AM  

  • Our older son has had trouble learning to read, partly because of a hearing problem. When he was in First Grade my husband decided to share The Chronicles with him. He would beg us, with puppy dog eyes, to read some more. When we just didn't have time, he would try his hardest to read the pages. It would take an hour to get through 2 pages, but he was determined. His desire to learn to read came from The Chronicles. We owe Mr. Lewis quite a lot for that feat! Because of the hearing difficulties though, Edmund will forever be Egg-man to us. 2 years later we are rereading the series in anticipation of the movie.

    By Blogger Angel, at 11/01/2005 06:48:00 AM  

  • Not really a story, but these books have been a part of my life for the last 33 years. My 3rd-grade teacher brought me her copies from home because I needed something more challenging to read than what the (public) school reading curriculum offered. I was immediately hooked. Then when I was a senior in high school, my oldest brother gave me the set for Christmas. My senior English paper focused on all the symbolism and religious parallels in the books.

    I was a bit upset when they renumbered the series to put the stories in chronological order. Lewis did not write the stories in chronological order, and for me, it makes more sense to read them as he wrote them. I'm slightly reminded of Spielberg's Star Wars series, and how we began and started in the middle. Anyhow, there is a good argument here for choosing a particular order in which to read them.

    I still tend to read the whole series once a year. We have the BBC live-action versions of the 1st 4 (original numbering) books, and my kids watch them nonstop. My 5yo is listening to me read The Lion... at bedtime. I'm looking forward to getting to the other books with him.

    By Blogger Karen, at 11/01/2005 06:51:00 AM  

  • Tell you my feelings about the Chronicles of Narnia? I may as well try taking a swimming pool of water and try to fill up a thimble without spilling any. I came to Nigeria as a 9 year old in 1965 and realized I may as well have been on another planet. A most wonderful planet, I might add. In addition to all the other adjustments I was making, there were all these other Farrar and Bryant missionary kids running around that I had to get to know. I noticed they did a really weird, nerdy thing everyday just after lunch.....they had quiet time where they all were very still and read books. Not only that, but they were all reading the same books by some Lewis guy. I didn't want to be still, and I SURE didn't want to read! Ahh...peer pressure. The Bryants gave my sister and I the Narnia series, and my life changed.
    No, I mean REALLY changed! I had never really read much (see Classic Comic books) but once I got into these wonderful books, I was hooked on them....and on reading. I remember telling my mom one evening that the first person I wanted to meet in Heaven was C.S. Lewis. I don't know if he is still the first, but the line in front of him is not very long. Just last week I reached up in the top of a closet and pulled down the original set the Bryants gave us in Onicha Ngwa, Nigeria. I took them out of their little case and looked thru each one, and then smelled the empty case so I could travel back to a quiet room under a mosquito net with the only sound being the rain hitting a tin roof.
    Tears came as I recalled very special months with two wonderful sets of friends.....the Farrar and Bryant children whom I played with daily amongst the ant hills and Palm Trees of tropical Africa, and the second set of Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy who took me with them on all their adventures in a land called Narnia. 40 years later both sets of friends are still very precious to me, as are the countries where I encountered them. My mind visits both countries quite frequently!

    By Blogger David U, at 11/01/2005 07:04:00 AM  

  • My dad used to read The Chronicles of Narnia to my brother and me every night before bedtime. I don't remember exactly what age I was, but I remember always being upset that a chapter would end with a cliffhanger and I would have to go to sleep without knowing what happened to my Narnia friends until the next day. I have precious memories of those reading times with my dad. As a freshman, I had Tony Ash for both semesters of freshmen Bible, and he begins every day of Life and Teachings of Jesus by reading a little from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and he begins every day of Acts-Revelation by reading a little of the Last Battle. It was a great time to relive those memories and to understand the stories in light of the Christian story we studied in Dr. Ash's class!

    Also, I must comment on the trick-or-treating scene, too. We didn't have too many come by our little house, but there were three boys that my roommate used to baby-sit who stopped by. The oldest one, about Chris's age, was dressed in a T-shirt and jeans and told us he was supposed to be a missionary on Casual Monday. LOL. We got a big kick out of that! :)

    By Blogger Heather A, at 11/01/2005 07:14:00 AM  

  • I remember wondering how a fictional book featuring a lion could make Jesus feel so much more real to me. And I remember crying during the final scene of The Lion King when Simba goes out to the edge of the rock and all the animals bow down to him. I felt like I was getting a glimpse of Jesus' return to Earth when all of creation will bow down to worship Him. Silly, I know, but a beautiful memory none the less.

    By Blogger Lisa McD in FL, at 11/01/2005 07:22:00 AM  

  • As a 13 year old, I fell in love with Narnia. I loved some of the books, just liked others. But the momentum of the series built so greatly that I couldn't wait to read "The Last Battle."

    One Sunday after church, the rest of the family laid down for naps. I opened "The Last Battle" and started reading. I can still remember the old black couch I was laying on, the fact that it was autumn, how quiet the house was. Later that day was one of the few times that my mom let me miss dinner. She saw my need to finish what I had started.

    That was the first, and still one of the few, times that I read a book in a single sitting. I couldn't stop until everybody had gotten home.

    By Blogger Thurman8er, at 11/01/2005 07:49:00 AM  

  • My first-grader loves the Narnia books, but I think she loves the Turkish Delight we learned to make even more...

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 11/01/2005 08:36:00 AM  

  • My parents gave me the Chronicles of Narnia when I was about eight, but I didn't read them until middle school. I read The LW&W, and made the correlation with Jesus and I've been hooked ever since. The entire set of stories is fabulous. They are just about THE only books that I will read over and over again. My husband had never read them so I read The LW&W aloud to him on a road trip. I could barely get through all the stuff with Aslan at the end. The story of Jesus is amazing (no duh). Lewis' version of it is just the icing on the cake.

    By Blogger Jana, at 11/01/2005 09:36:00 AM  

  • I remember vividly my dad reading all the books to my brother and me, always dressed in our PJs and ready for bed (which followed immediately!). It was like traveling into another world/dimension/whatever...those books are so magical.

    By Blogger Steve Jr., at 11/01/2005 09:46:00 AM  

  • Hey- Truman was a devil...he was quite the hit. So tell Chris that about his most favorite dog. :) Much love.

    By Blogger Crista, at 11/01/2005 11:12:00 AM  

  • My favorite Narnia memories go back about 18 years when my two sons were 5 and 3. My oldest, Corey, had asked me to read the Narnia books to them but I thought they were too little and wouldn't understand...but he was persistent and so we started. Every night before bed...yes, Steve...all bathed and pjed and sitting in a comfy spot...sometimes in Corey's top bunk and sometimes Drew's bottom bunk, sometimes with pillows all pushed up against their beds and all piled on top of each other. Those two little boys took in every word of the world that C.S. Lewis built. They knew immediately that he was talking about the kingdom of God and they knew that Aslan was showing them so much about Jesus. Okay, I was wrong...they did understand it and no, they weren't too little.
    I now have a daughter named Lucy and I hope she is brave enough to travel into the wardrobe to find out about Jesus in a real and true way.
    By the way Mike, I was working while those kids were trick or treating at our house. Tim also loved the band of boys...he said they sang a Christmas song rock style. Sorry I missed them.

    By Blogger julie, at 11/01/2005 11:14:00 AM  

  • My favorite Lewis memory occurred when I was teaching a Sunday School class on "The Screwtape Letters" a few years back. Before class one Sunday, one of the ladies from our class, who was known to be quiet and shy, approached me before we got started.

    "I thought you might be interested in this," she said.

    That's putting it mildly (as was her habit). It turns out that after reading the Chronicles as a child in the late 50s, she had written Lewis to express her appreciation and to ask him some questions. Lewis and his brother attempted to answer every child's letter they received; there in my hand was Lewis' reply, complete with his signature and the envelope with an Oxford postmark!

    I gladly yielded the podium, and with great animation, my friend regaled the class with the story of how her favorite author had honored her with a reply to her letter.

    Talk about sacramental moments...

    By Blogger mike the eyeguy, at 11/01/2005 11:36:00 AM  

  • I just finished reading The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time (at age 41!). Great, great reading.

    Now my son (fifth grade) is getting ready to embark on the journey.

    By Blogger Jeff Slater, at 11/01/2005 12:05:00 PM  

  • I once worked with a woman who was part of a reading group. She was telling me that the group had read "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"and had spent two hours discussing it at the last meeting. I mentioned something about the parallels to Christ's life and the Christian struggle, and she said "What?" I don't know how her reading group discussed the book for two hours without knowing what it was really about. She became a fan of Lewis, though, and I recommended "Mere Christianity" to her. Later she asked where in the world she could find the book, she had looked everywhere for "Mirror Christianity" with no luck.

    I just thought it was kinda funny.

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 11/01/2005 12:47:00 PM  

  • Question first... could someone post the recipe for Turkish Delight, please?

    Favorite part of one of the Chronicles (BY FAR!!!)-- Chapter 7 of Voyage of the Dawn Treader when Eustace, who has turned into a dragon because of his dragonish behavior, has an encounter with Aslan. Aslan has him enter a pool of water and peels off his dragon skin so he can become a boy again. If there is a more wonderful picture of God's mercy and His desire to CHANGE us in literature, I've yet to find it.

    Favorite story from reading the Chronicles-- When I was teaching 2nd grade in Dallas many years ago, there was a beautiful girl from Finland in my class on the first day of school. She spoke NO English and cried every day of school for the first couple of weeks. She was a very gifted child, and much to my amazement, had pretty well mastered English by October. About that time, I started reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe to my class. She was awestruck. She begged for me to read more. After Christmas (4 months after stepping foot on Americas soil and learning to speak and read in English) she read the entire Narnia series. Ya think Lewis is a captivating writer, OR WHAT?!?!!?

    By Blogger Amy Boone, at 11/01/2005 12:47:00 PM  

  • Tony Ash. I can distinctly remember Dr. Ash reading to his freshman bible class every morning at the start of class. The tenderness in his voice was piercing. I'm sure I was finishing up my sleep some mornings but I sure look back on that time with great thanksgiving.

    On a different note: just had lunch with Larry James and was reminded of your tender heart. Miss you brother.

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 11/01/2005 01:22:00 PM  

  • I remember sitting at my Dad's feet as he read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to me and my sisters at night before bed. I remember the smell of Mentholatum under my nose. I guess I was fighting a cold.

    By Blogger Angie, at 11/01/2005 01:41:00 PM  

  • OK so Amy remembered that part "new skin" Tony Ash talked about better than I did. It has been 10 or so years though! Now..... Where are those books?

    By Blogger SG, at 11/01/2005 02:55:00 PM  

  • The Chronicles of Narnia are a part of our home. I have read them all to my daughter and am now reading them to my son. The baseball playoffs have slowed us down some but we are ready to pick up where we left off at the Dufflepods in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

    My favorite book as an adult is The Horse and His Boy. I didn't appreciate it as much as a child. I can't wait to read it again.

    Here is how I think Lewis might write the screwtape letters today:
    screwtape blog

    By Blogger Steve Duer, at 11/02/2005 06:08:00 AM  

  • My favorite Narnia memory is taking a class on C. S. Lewis at Pepperdine. I convinced our professor on several occassions to have class outside.

    By Blogger Lynn, at 11/02/2005 07:02:00 AM  

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