David and Karen's 2014 Bucket List
In addition to everything else, a
long-needle biopsy has indicated that Karen may have thyroid cancer,
and she is scheduled for a thyroidectomy next month. Consequently, we
have put together a “bucket list” for 2014—things we believe the Lord
would have us accomplish (with your prayers and support) this year. Notice that "David's BLACK HOLE book published" is at the top.
is there anything more gratifying than hearing good news—particularly
after a season of such bad news—our son Jeremy's death, a month
later Dr. Doug Mains, my brother's death, Karen's fall on January 12 in
which she dislocated her shoulder, tearing the four muscles attached to
the rotater cuff. A goiter was discovered in her pre-op exam and
a long-needle biopsy determined she had "suspicious papillary cells"--a
sign of thyroid cancer. So this word from an acquisitions editor
affirmed that all was not bad in the world.
“David, great news. Your book has been formally accepted by
the Morgan James publication board. Your acceptance package
is attached. … Well-done and congratulations.”
acquisitions editor at Morgan James informed us that only 3% of the
books submitted to this house are accepted, so I feel fortunate to be
counted among that small percentage.
When I was in the local pastorate in Chicago,
I made an amazing discovery:
My sermons were much improved
when I invited laypeople to help plan them.
addition, a pastor’s class held after every preaching/worship event
allowed for valuable input and questions from the same laypeople.
the years, I’ve taken great joy in teaching pastors this
delightful methodology of brainstorming sermon themes and the service
tie-ins with laypeople. Listeners have great ideas! Listeners do eager
research! Listeners provide sermon illustrations, quotes from books,
great cultural references as well as personal spiritual-growth
anecdotes! Other houses have said they would accept this book if I
would address it to preaching pastors. They just didn't get my point:
The viewpoint of the layperson is important. There are thousands of preaching books for pastors.
Why wouldn’t preachers love to utilize this extraordinary tool?
ANSWER: They don’t know how. ANOTHER ANSWER: Seminaries have taught
them how to be commentary-dependent—finding sermons from other
preachers or insights from published scholars. All well and good, but
it is the people in the pew (or chairs) who have dynamic contemporary
ideas and practical how-to suggestions.
goal is to raise enough extra funds to send a book and video that demonstrates this dynamic approach to sermon planning to every
preaching department for every denomination in the country. I
think this problem of sermon amnesia can be addressed by challenging a
change in seminary teaching and by training laypeople as to their
That's at the top of our bucket list.
The Aprons Are Coming! The Aprons Are Coming!
have an order for 60 aprons that never got paid for! The women in the
sewing center in Nairobi, Kenya made the aprons but the organization
from which the order came cancelled this contract. So a friend is
carrying 40 aprons made from West African kanga-cloth home in a
suitcase. This is a traditional cotton fabric that, when washed gently
and touched up with a hot iron, looks good as new.
Mother's Day Is Coming! Mother's Day Is Coming!
May 11, 2014
think these beautiful aprons with a global touch would make perfect
Mother’s Day gifts—a gift for mothers that will help mothers who are
willing to work hard to lift themselves above the poverty line. The
aprons normally sell for $25 each, but if you buy in quantities of
three or more, we will reduce the price to $20 each plus shipping and
handling. Order as soon as possible, so we will have time to ship to
you before Mother’s Day (or ship to your location of choice).
David with his kanga-cloth apron
*Use these when company comes as a kitchen fashion statement.
* Tie one over your head as a sunshield if you get stranded on a deserted island with no palm tree shelter.
* Order in quantity for those servers for an all-church event. Remind everyone to think globally.
* Buy one for a husband or son or son-in-law who need a reminder that help is welcome in the kitchen.
* Buy a set (probably different designs and colors) that says team labor is always better than solo work.
* Protect clothes from food spills.
TO ORDER (RIGHT AWAY):
Contact email@example.com. We will figure S&H on your
order and get back to you with e-mail instructions.
In Need of a Hairdresser? – Karen Mains
I discovered that after surgery I couldn’t lift my right arm high
enough to do my own hair, I had my stylist cut it as short as possible.
The ideas was to make it as messy as possible, scrunch in styling goop
and let it fly any which way. David became so proficient at it that I
received all kinds of compliments on my shorter hairdo. Now that I am
two months away from the February 12 operation, I am able to do my own
“Oh, you did your own hair,” my husband said in
disappointment. “I kind of enjoyed fixing it every day.” We’re thinking
of opening up another branch of the ministry: Hair styling for seniors
in their seventh decade who trip over a kitchen throw run, fall on the
open dishwasher drawer and hit their forehead on kitchen cabinets. What
do you think?
David as hairdresser
The Soulish Food e-mails are
posted biweekly on the Hungry Souls Web
site. Newcomers can look that over and decide if they want to
register on the Web site to receive the biweekly newsletter. You might
want to recommend this to friends also. They can go to www.HungrySouls.org.
David R. Mains
David with buckets for list.
“I think this problem
of sermon amnesia can be addressed by challenging a change in seminary
teaching and by training laypeople as to their incredible value.”
The Question That Never Goes Away: Why
By Philip Yancey
all the amazing gifts and compassionate love that has come our way
since Jeremy died on November 5, 2013, Philip Yancey’s book The Question That Never Goes Away: Why
helped me most to grab onto the perspective I’d been struggling to
achieve. Philip, always an excellent journalist and thinker, explores
the tragedies that have shrieked from our news headlines: The Boston
Marathon Bombing, for instance, the attack on the Taj Mahal hotel in
Mumbai. The tsunami that slammed the coastland of Japan. The slaughter
in Sarajevo, the senseless shooting of first-graders and teachers in
Sandy Hook school.
In his role as journalist, Philip happened to
be visiting, speaking or reporting in all of these places, so his
accounts are firsthand. As the title maintains, this is the question
that never goes away: Why? I am too old, and have walked with the Lord
too long to ask Where is God? Or even Why? What I was determined to
achieve was compassion for others while we were in our own deep grief,
an unflinching believe of the Presence of God in the midst of our
unexplainable sorrows, and an empathy for those in the world similarly
havocked by the Enemy through death, overwhelming loss, starvation or
ravaging war with its ruthless way of displacing millions.
The epigraph at the beginning of Phil’s book says it well:
“My heart did heave, then came forth, O God!
By that I knew that thou wast in the grief…”
— George Herbert
am convinced that God is with us in our sorrows. Hurting over many
things last week, I said to David, “How does God bear the suffering? Is
He just in pain continually over the evil and horror in the word?” If
you are hurting, or as Philip wrote to us in the book he sent, “For
David and Karen, In the land of suffering—“, Yancey’s book helps to put
individual pain into perspective. With great integrity, he struggles
with the imponderable questions, and refuses to settle for simplistic
answers or unsatisfactory platitudes. Highly, highly recommended and a
great comfort to me.
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