More Stories from The Hole in Our Gospel 2011

When my wife challenged me mid way through the service this morning to leave my shoes, the first thing that came to my head was “my favorite shoes, NO WAY!!!” As you continued on, my next thought was “they’re just shoes” and placed them in the tube without regret. Then as I walked across the very cold, wet parking lot, my feet started to ache and by the short time it took to get to the van, my feet had started to turn purple. As I sat in the seat waiting for them to warm and the pain to go away, I finally realized how fortunate we are.
I wanted to tell you I wasn’t going to leave my shoes yesterday thinking these are one of my favorites, and then I got to feeling guilty and left them. Thanks for giving us such a wonderful object lesson. We normally go out for lunch and had to go through the drive through since we couldn’t be served without shoes. Also I thought my feet were getting cold after they got wet, again what a great reminder of what it would be like. Thanks for showing me how selfish I really am. This entire series has been a great reminder of how blessed I really am, Thanks.
Wanted to take some time to write and thank you for this very special series you are doing on “The Hole in the Gospel.” I’ve personally been so excited about it and my family is completely on board now too! We sat down as a family unit last night (kids ages 5 & 8) and went over (1) What this book is; (2) What Fairview is doing; (3) What we want to personally do individually and as a family with this information.

It was a really great meeting and I was amazed at how on board our kids were and the ideas they had. They came up w/ cutting our grocery budget to increase our giving and also help us understand the meal portions they are use to. We will be having an African meal night each week. (I’m really trying to find excitement about our rice and beans tonight and hopefully the Holy Spirit will work w/in me soon ๐Ÿ™‚ Many other great ideas came up and we will be praying and discussing them in the next few weeks to come before we make a final decision.

I personally had the privilege to visit Africa (Tanzania) with missionaries about 20 years ago. What we are learning about through this beautifully written book, I had the ability to see with my own eyes. I’m wondering why it took me 20 years to really grasp that we Americans can make a difference? Trying to replace shame or guilt with movement and action. You and your staff are doing an amazing job with the planning and implementation of this series. Thank you for the dedication to doing this with inspiration, integrity and truth. I am thankful that you allowed me to take the books needed for our small group that is held outside of Fairview – Wow – it is contagious. They want more information every week. I’m sharing some facts & info that you are giving us each week. My guess is there will be several more individuals and possibly churches in Fort Wayne areas and Ohio that take hold.

I’m trying not to be bummed out that we will be missing two weeks of this series in March due to a Missions trip. As much as God speaks about helping the poor, he also expresses the need to help the orphans and widows. We will be working with Orphans in Jamaica but will be back in time to package the 60,000 meals and hear the last two series. I’ll be anxious ๐Ÿ™‚

We are so blessed and I’m so thankful to have this challenge given to us. It will be a wonderful privilege to use our own personal resources (time, money and talents) to help reduce poverty, hunger and thirst in our world. Thank you for making it happen!
I want to start out by saying that I am trying to make personal the issues raised in the book (The Hole in Our Gospel). I very well may not have had salvation “sewed down” due to my lack of good deeds for the down trodden and poor (as commanded by our Lord and clearly highlighted early and often in this book).
As for the material that I have read to date, two bible verses have jumped out at me { Jeremiah 22:3 and Exodus 22:21 – 23 }. Both refer to treatment of ‘aliens.’ My question: Does the person (alien) extend to also include the persons (illegal aliens)? If it does, I may have difficulty with this.
Today after church before returning home the kids and I stopped to get a few groceries. I had promised to take them each to pick out a pair of shoes to add to the ones we are donating. As we left the church my daughter’s sole came loose on her shoe. I will just buy you a new pair I said. Then I stopped and thought about what I just said. I will just buy you a new pair, so many are not even able to buy one pair, and I make this sound like its no big deal. How fortunate we are, how much we need to give! This sermon series makes me see in my daily life although I think I don’t have much, I am blessed many times over. And although it doesn’t really tie directly to this, I came home and checked my email and received this. Its just one of the little reminders that we need to greet everyone, and help everyone we can. Have a great week!
In todays service my 15 year old daughter made a great offering. She gave up her favorite pair of shoes. Silver sequence with rainbow shoelaces. The laces meant more to her than the shoes. Her cousin gave her those laces when she was visiting him at the navel base over thanksgiving. By the way, she bought those shoes with her own money she saved from babysitting. When her aunt saw her start taking the shoes off she did the same, a chain reaction. I started writting this to thank you for inspiring her but then I realize I should be thanking the Lord. Thank you for everything you do. Keep up Gods work.