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The James Chipwete interview

Nick Whittome and James Chipwete

November 27, 2019 • James Chipwete

On this episode, MPOWER are in conversation with James Chipwete about the book of Jonah. James is a doctor, and he is one the elders at Birmingham City Church. They talk about why Jonah runs away, and why blokes in general can sometimes run away from responsibility or equally from fear of failure. James suggests that Jonah may not have received the best role modelling and that this could be why he disappears off towards Tarshish to begin with. Role modelling is such a help for men when it is available, and equally destructive when absent. We also explore what the captain says to Jonah when he is asleep – to wake up and call on his God. Jesus could sleep despite a storm because He was within the centre of God’s will, whereas Jonah was perhaps asleep in a rebellious place and the cause of a storm. Jonah seems to represent those men who have to get to the very end of themselves before turning to God, where all other options have been taken off the table. This inturn leads to a turnaround moment for Jonah – and listening and acting more quickly in response to God next time around. We look at how receptive the Ninevites are to Jonah’s rather terse outreach message because God has been doing work on them in the background – and deeper than this that Jonah’s outreach work perhaps lays the foundation for the later exile of Judah to Babylon. If blokes have blown it with things, the message of Jonah is that we worship a God of second chances. They unpack whether blokes sulk, like Jonah, and our tendency not to share our feelings, and how narrow Jonah’s perspectives really are, and its lack compared with the other people in his world. The Ninevites also seem to be so much quicker in their spiritual turnaround than Jonah is in his geographical about-face. We round up with this thought: that God sees us as men where we are, and if we need someone to walk alongside us, God can do this; and James closes by praying for everyone listening.

In conversation with Billy Vunipola

Nick Whittome with Billy Vunipola • September 6, 2020 • Billy Vunipola

Discipleship For Busy Blokes podcast had a great opportunity recently to catch up briefly in conversation with Billy Vunipola, rugby player for Saracens and England. Originally from Tonga, Billy and his family are now resident in England. He plays at Number 8 at the back of the scrum, and although he shares about notable games, tries scored and man of the match awards, he’s keen to stress how much it’s all about the team as a whole working together to gain victory. He also shares about the special bond he has with his brother Mako, who is also in the same two teams, and how they sometimes chat in Tongan.

In conversation with Chris Cartwright

Nick Whittome with Chris Cartwright • July 24, 2020 • Chris Cartwright

MPower's Nick Whittome is in conversation with Elim’s national leader Chris Cartwright. Chris briefly outlines his journey in faith and ministry, up to his current role as the General Superintendent of the Elim Pentecostal movement. We ask the million-dollar question: how can really busy blokes manage all the different priorities they are confronted by? We all get pushed into an extraordinary level of ‘busyness’, but we mustn’t beat ourselves up about that! Chris shares that he has been slowly working his way through the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer, along with a couple of really helpful principles for really busy blokes.

In conversation with Maldwyn Jones

June 6, 2020 • Maldwyn Jones

In this Elim MPower podcast episode, we discuss why men find it hard to face mental health problems. Maldwyn Jones shares about a time when he himself suffered a mental breakdown at the age of 27, which took him several months’ recuperation to overcome. He points to several factors that helped him get better: his wife Ruth acknowledged the struggle without letting him slip into a morass of depression; he had a daily routine supported by a mutual friend; he talked with the psychiatrist referred for him by his GP, and he spent a period of time doing physical work on a church building project, which helped him not just to feel useful but which also gave him better sleep at night. Maldwyn talks about struggling with self-confidence, and with battling his own self-esteem for much of his ministry. He credits the increased confidence of his later years both to Jesus and also to the strong love and support of his wife Ruth. He also describes the terrible issue of suicide particularly among younger men – and points to the love of God for us as men as the foundational starting point of who we are and for a strong sense of worth.