June 2006

I love this letter and the encouragement our story has brought to so many lives…

Well after all that has happened, to see a genuine relationship for the Lord is refreshing and also challenging. I am 23 years old in the Air Force, grew up in a Christian home the typical story you have heard thousands of times. I grew up in a home with a sister that has cerebral palsy and severe mental retardation. That was tough I guess because in a Baptist church in Texas it was not normal so to speak. At the time I wanted a childhood like others to fit the molds of religion, to live this so called normal life, but what I failed to realize is that nobody is normal, religion and the world in general paints this picture for so many people to pursue.

I spent 22 years of my life trying to love God out of agendas, programs, formulas. Needless to say, Wayne, my life came crashing down in the Air Force, everything that acted like a religious glue that held together what faith I thought I had fell apart in the hurricane of life. When I lost everything is when I started to replay my past and God started speaking to me, and he brought light to a lot of areas that I had not seen or did not deal with in the past cause of my pride. He started speaking to me about love and relationship, and how that has to be the epicenter of our relationship cause if we miss Him, we miss everything.

I have to say that your book has inspired me and my Family to endure the trials of life with joy and a new understanding that the intentions of God are pure of perfect. He lets us go through trials to bring us closer to Him. Well I just want to say keep on learning and loving. I know that you guys are way more seasoned in life, I guess I only said that because God is revealing that I am going to have let him teach me how to die to myself every day and letting his love shine forth through my death…..every day.  That realness has touched me forever.

I’m sorry I’ve not been able to keep this updated of late. Way too busy with lots of other projects. But I thought you’d enjoy reading a few letters I’ve received in the meantime..

I’ve been on a journey for 25 years now with God following Him all over the place. The struggles of how to frame the local church has been an internal conflict for years now. My ways and beliefs threaten those around me sometimes and I wonder if I’m way off base somedays with God. Your book was comforting to read and reminds me that my journey with God can look different then others and it’s OK.

– Fred

Your book has been used by God to change my life. Several months ago I was reffered to you by a man at a online book store. I had told him some of my story of comming out of the institutional church and how I was confused about who to listen to or read. You responded to my emails and were helpful. Then I found your book the other day and I cannot stop reading it. I just wanted to ssay thank you. This book answered many of my questions as well as opened up a multitude of new ones. But God will answer them in time.
I had the opportunity to give out a few of the Jake books on a recent trip to Asia. I talked to a few missionary folks who are on a very similar journey as mine. I thought you might enjoy some comments one of them made concerning the book:
“Loved the book. absolutely loved it. Finished it on the plane coming back from Chengdu and handed it off to Jon. It’s marked up bigtime; I also wrote a ton of notes on the back pages, highlights from the book that really jumped out at me. Perhaps the biggest thing for me that the book did is underline the importance of avoiding all reactive thinking. House church can easily morph into just another institution. What really matters is people connecting with Jesus and each other and that can happen in many different formats and venues. I was also impacted with the fact that its about pointing people to Christ, not guilt inducing them through accountability structures, etc. Man, I could say much more but I’m far behind in my email and would rather talk about it person.”