Mike Cope's blog

Thursday, November 10, 2005

We had some amazing stories last night. At the end I had a roving microphone for people to share stories about Narnia. One university student said she read the Chronicles for the first time last year after her dad died, and they ministered to her in every book. Another student said that his two parents were artists, and so, in addition to reading him the books, they painted Narnia--Aslan, Peter's sword, etc.--all over his walls. (For those who've been to Zoe conferences, do you have any guesses about who those two artists might be?) More stories came in afterward. One is from a friend whose family was reading through the Chronicles of Narnia last January. Just before the wreck, they had come to the part where Caspian is told to take Susan's horn and to blow it if he ever desperately needed Aslan's help. When they got word of the wreck--that Brody had died and that other broken bodies were flown out--they knew the only thing they could do was to blow the horn and ask for help. (By the way, I vaguely remember seeing him as I arrived at the emergency room at Cook's. How he got there before me, I don't know. Or maybe the timing is off a bit in my mind.) "It is said that whoever blows it shall have strange help - no one can say how strange. It may have the power to call Queen Lucy and King Edmund and Queen Susan and King Peter back from the past, and they will set all to rights. It may be that it will call up Aslan himself. Take it, King Caspian: but do not use it except at your greatest need." I like this passage from Alan Jacobs' The Narnian: The LIfe and Imagination of C. S. Lewis: "Lewis could make Narnia because the essential traits of Narnia were already in his mind long before he wrote the first words of the Chronicles. His reading and his other experiences had formed him that way. He was a Narnian long before he knew what name to give that country; it was his true homeland, the native ground to which he hoped, one day, to return."


  • Now those are impressive parents--reading and painting Narnia. Couldn't they make a living doing children's bedrooms in Narnia themes? A Lucy theme, an Edmund theme, a Susan theme, and a Peter theme?

    I think it's time to pick the books back up. Thanks.

    By Blogger Emily, at 11/10/2005 04:08:00 AM  

  • If we would only blow the horn when we need help! I remember reading the Chronicles witht he kids while traveling in the car. That brings back good memories. Keep up the good work, Mike.

    By Blogger Paul, at 11/10/2005 04:09:00 AM  

  • my wife makes a point of reading the entire set of The Chronicles of Narnia every summer. She says it gives her the most accurate depiction of the heart of God that she has ever seen in literature. Thanks for using something that many include in their personal canon. shalom!

    By Blogger Krister, at 11/10/2005 04:35:00 AM  

  • My wife, Phyllis, taught six grade in the public schools for many years (she teaches third grade now). Each year she read "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" to her class. I read the Narnia series when I was at Harding as part of a reading assignment for Children's Literature taught by the one of the kindest and loving teachers I ever had, Dr. Betty Watson. Hopefully, Phyllis' students have some great memories associated with reading about Narnia. I know I do.

    By Blogger David Michael, at 11/10/2005 06:00:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    Thank you for helping people in your church hear the story where Mr. Beaver, in response to Lucy's question of whether the great lion Aslan is "quite safe," explodes, "Safe? Safe? Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn't safe. But he's good."

    You taught us that long before you started a series on Narnia.

    You are loved.

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 11/10/2005 06:34:00 AM  

  • It has been several years since I have read through all of the books. Over the summer, while I was working with some missionaries in Uganda, I stumbled across an audio-book collection on their shelf. I listened to them during my downtime. It was a great time to relive those books.

    If anyone is interested, I HIGHLY reccommend this collection. It is done by Focus on the Family's Radio Theater: the same organization that has put out such childhood favorites as Adventures in Odyssee and McGhee and Me. This audio book collection is very good -- the best I've heard. It is a book on tape, so it is not a lifted story. However, they utilize a narrator, different voices, and sound effects, so it has a unique feel to it. It was so easy to sit back and close my eyes, letting Narnia come to life again. I definitely recommend this version if you are looking for a powerful way to relive this experience or make it more fun for kids. (Not that I have anything against reading.)

    By Blogger Daniel Gray, at 11/10/2005 06:44:00 AM  

  • Just finished the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe yesterday for the first time.

    By Blogger Tammy M., at 11/10/2005 07:09:00 AM  

  • I'm envious. I would love to be able to read that book again for the first time.

    As someone who spent all day yesterday blowing the horn, thank you so much for your post.

    By Blogger Thurman8er, at 11/10/2005 07:30:00 AM  

  • After all the talk of the upcoming movie I picked up the Chronicles of Narnia series a couple of weeks ago, having never read it before (only having see the BBC movie version). I have finished the Magician's nephew and am just into the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

    I already see how Lewis has integrated God, Heaven, & Chrisianity into his stories, making them come alive. It has taken me back to the wild imagination I had as a kid. Can't wait to read the rest, and then see the movie.

    By Blogger Matt Warren, at 11/10/2005 08:10:00 AM  

  • Mike,
    Because of your talk on Narnia, I have begun reading the stories with my 4 year old daughter. Every night I am able to experience memories that the two of us will carry always.

    By Blogger Scott Freeman, at 11/10/2005 08:16:00 AM  

  • Inspired by a thought on someone else's blog, I think we should play "Back to Cope", a copy off of "Back to Bacon", the 6 Degrees of Separation Game. Anyone want to play?

    I'll start: My pastor is a college friend of Mike Cope's - is that 2 or 3 degrees of separation? I can't remember, but i think it's 2.

    By Blogger Beaner, at 11/10/2005 09:28:00 AM  

  • How close does this have to be? We're not counting a casual meeting are we? Then . . . I have a friend who has a friend who dated Mike a couple times in college. Is that 3?

    By Blogger Emily, at 11/10/2005 09:56:00 AM  

  • As a freshman at Harding some, #$@ years ago, this new young minister (minister #1) came to the College Church in Searcy. He helped ease along a transformation that continues to have my righteousness be inside out vs. the legalism that I had grown up with. I still have the tape series on the Sermon on the Mount and Luke that I listen to and use as needed when asked to speak. I also recall a very funny sermon once on Noah and all the rabbits that you could assume were produced on the ark. I think that one might have gotten him in some hot water if I recall.

    #@$ years later, when in the midst of being worn out, run down, and generally fed up by the narrow minded dogma where we were attending, we made a decision to drive 40 miles to another town to church and found minister #1's high school/grad school buddy (minister #2). He and this church where minister #2 has been for 25 years have healed us and fed us and made us whole again in our relationship with God.

    These two guys from Neosho, Missouri are the best. Minister #1 is Mike Cope and Minister #2 is Larry Sharp. To have learned from both has been a great reward for me. I have been blessed.

    By Blogger Paul W, at 11/10/2005 10:24:00 AM  

  • I really hate it that I missed last night at Highland - I was out of town. I would have loved to listen to those stories.

    What I especially hope people saw, and what I would hope to have re-discovered myself, is that it ultimately isn't just C.S. Lewis that can do this. "Ministering" isn't only for preachers and counselors and musicians. It has a "right brain" aspect to it as well. It can come (and even thrives) in the form of art, literature, and non-"worship" music.

    By Blogger Matt, at 11/10/2005 10:41:00 AM  

  • In the later half of the 80’s I ministered with a brilliant college professor who was away from Harding on leave working on his Ph.D. and this guy was a FOM. Little did I know what that would come to mean to me.

    A couple of years later I would meet Mike and have a particularly funny experience with him. And then a few years later when we both (by chance?) happened to be in Toronto he would minister to me during the time of my divorce.

    I saw him most recently in August under more pleasant circumstances.

    So I guess I am one or two degrees away and proud to be a FOM.

    By Blogger J A Pierpont, at 11/10/2005 11:14:00 AM  

  • Laura Herridge is a friend of mine who is (I think still is) on staff at Highland with Mike. Two!

    By Blogger Amy, at 11/10/2005 11:24:00 AM  

  • Kevin Bacon was in Stir of echoes with Nelson Coates as the Production Designer and Nelson attended ACU and I think Highland, though I could be wrong where Mike works.

    And I can link Mike to me, too.

    By Blogger Kyle, at 11/10/2005 06:18:00 PM  

  • I'm actually in Abilene today through Saturday showing my oldest daugher around ACU and I talked with an ACU employee today who attends your church and she was very touched by the "Narnia experience". These wonderful books remind us of the need to tell stories, not fibs or lies, but the stories of our lives and the movement of God's Spirit as he recreates us and opens up His world in a way we never thought possible.

    I'm sitting in the Bean as I'm writing and I have to say that the conversations around me are interesting??? I guess I didn't think today's students ask any of the same questions my generation did.

    By Blogger Steve Puckett, at 11/10/2005 06:30:00 PM  

  • Heh. Amy Grant knows me.

    Okay, not THAT Amy Grant...

    By Blogger LauraH, at 11/10/2005 07:16:00 PM  

  • My dad was a youth minister in Hobbs, New Mexico in the early '70s. Ross Cochran was in his youth group. Ross knows Mike from way-back-whenever... I guess from Harding.

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 11/10/2005 07:24:00 PM  

  • I am not familiar with the game but I am from Neosho. Mike's dad was my Bible class teacher. His mom and dad were a huge help to me. They took me to Harding for Spring Sing. My freshman year I joined Knights and Mike was the president. My senior year I was the president. Mike went to HU and well, excelled. I went to ACU and dropped out. Ok, I couldn't keep up with him! Mike is the best communicator I know in the CoC. I am proud to have learned much from him. How does that score?

    By Blogger Paul, at 11/11/2005 04:00:00 AM  

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was my favorite book to teach when I taught 5th grade here in Abilene. The discussions were great. A simple question like, "Does this story remind you of any other story you have ever heard opens the door."

    By Blogger Nancy Kirk, at 11/11/2005 10:55:00 AM  

  • Oh, and yeah, I can guess who the two artists are. When we all lived in a different town I rode up with them to Abilene for Sing Song. My daughter (around 2 at the time) was entertained by the mom drawing flowers and horses for her. Needless to say, when my daughter climbed back into the back seat with me and asked ME to draw for her I was in big trouble. "Mommy, that's not a horse, that is"

    By Blogger Nancy Kirk, at 11/11/2005 11:02:00 AM  

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