More Soulish Food | Hungry Souls Home

Issue 13-1

David and Karen's 2014 Bucket List

Dear friends,

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.

Bucket List

However, 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.”

The 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.
In addition, a pastor’s class held after every preaching/worship event allowed for valuable input and questions from the same laypeople.

Through 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?

THE 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.

Our 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 incredible value.

That's at the top of our bucket list.


The Aprons Are Coming! The Aprons Are Coming!

We 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

We 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
David with his kanga-cloth apron

Aprons—remember these?

*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.

    Contact We will figure S&H on your order and get back to you with e-mail instructions.

In Need of a Hairdresser? – Karen Mains

When 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 hair.

“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
David as hairdresser


The Soulish Food e-mails are being 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

David R. Mains David Mains with buckets for list
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

The Question That Never Goes Away: Why

By Philip Yancey

Of 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

I 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.

Buy From

Copyright 2006-2014 Mainstay Ministries. All rights reserved.

More Soulish Food | Hungry Souls Home