Bubble Gum Alley and a Meeting with John

Those of you that have read So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore will recognize the above photo. It was taken in San Luis Obispo, CA where the first chapter of the book was set. John disappears down this alleyway as Jake goes looking for him.  We were there awhile back and thought I’d post a picture of it. In case you didn’t believe it, people have been sticking their gum (and other things) to this wall for multiple decades. It is a bit creepy to be sure.

I am incredibly grateful at how this little book has touched lives around the world. I get email every week from people who found this story pivotal in their own journey. One of the more unique ones came in last week from Pooja and I wanted to share a bit of it with you.

I do not know where to begin thanking Jesus for your books and your life. I was born and raised Hindu and changed to Christianity at the age of nineteen. Thereafter for 18 years I was the most “faithful and committed Christian” that you could hope to find. My husband and I served our congregation in any which way that we could. He was both the deacon and the treasurer and I would not miss any opportunity to sing, teach or pray. However the spiritual emptiness that built inside of me caused me great depression and made me question my belief in Jesus.

To make a long story really short, I was on my way to agnosticism/atheism when the Lord met me in my closet in my home (My testimony starting from Hinduism leading up to this point is recorded in my book, And Then There Was Jesus.). Following this moment there was a very painful exodus from my church/community. The Holy Spirit kept on leading me to be like the apostle John. I felt like it meant taking a break from all religious activities and just spending the time to love and get to know the person of Jesus better and to start writing about Him.

I really doubted this inner voice. It was against everything I had been taught and whenever I missed my church friends the doubts would creep in. One day I prayed to the Lord to validate the thought that he wanted me to be like John and you cannot imagine my shock when I found your book So You Don’t Go to Church Anymore! Your book sits by my bed and reading it one time has not been enough. Whenever doubts creep in I go to different sections of this book and read it randomly and feel peace! You are an example of what God can do with just one person who follows their inner convictions no matter what the cost. I cannot say thank you enough!

Thank you, Pooja, for taking the time to write and let me know. I am honored that this book would be such a source of confirmation in your own journey and pray he will continue to lead you onward in his life.

3 thoughts on “Bubble Gum Alley and a Meeting with John”

  1. Love what she says! Your book was also a pivotal point for me as well. Although my husband and I had already left the church, we still where floundering in our walk. We knew that we did not want to be in the “box” anymore because we where not finding Father in it. At a time when we were searching for Him, Father came to us through both John and Jake in your book. Through Jake I saw the “Atta Girl” pat on the backs that I was thirsting for from in the church as well as the horrible frustration of emptiness and anger that came from where I was. Through John I ask myself the same questions that he ask Jake and through him I found the peace of Living in Fathers Love. It has been over 5 years since that point and both my husband and myself have grown so much closer to Him it is amazing. Thanks for all you do Wayne in sharing your experiences! Hugs!

  2. I know of a number of folk in our city (Port Elizabeth, South Africa), including myself and some family members, who were hugely helped by your book when we left the traditional church to walk the road less travelled (I had pastored denominational churches for 38 years – that was 9 years ago). Many thanks Wayne!

  3. I am a 84 year old widow. I have just finished reading, “So You Don’t Want To Go To CHURCH Anymore” for the 3rd time. It has made a humongous difference in my life. I come from a church of Christ denomination in which I was a member for 53 years. Although I no longer believe in much of what they teach, the deep grooves caused by so many years of enduring the shackles of religious bondage are very difficult to overcome. Also, most of my life I have tried to “FIX” people. I thought I was doing what was right. Coming face to face to all those short comings, is very disconcerting. But I feel more free than any time in my whole life. I am looking for more help in your things to read. I have no one else who is on the same part of the journey as myself. Thank you so much for the book I have read. It has helped me tremendously.

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