Margaret: For readers who aren’t familiar with your book, what do you want to resonate in their hearts and minds after reading?
Frank: I tried coming up with ways to answer this, and I kept deleting them. I’d feel better if I let a few others answer based on what they came away with after reading the book. It reflects what I’d want for all readers.
“God’s Favorite Place on Earth is the kind of book I’ve discovered I need to periodically find and read; thereby keeping ‘the fallow ground’ of my own soul plowed, re-sown and watered, in order to continue fruitfulness and to deepen the root system of my spiritual walk and growth in Christ.” —Jack Hayford
“God’s Favorite Place on Earth realigned my heart toward Jesus and His mysterious, confounding, surprising, beautiful ways. It’s not often I learn something new when reading a book, but Frank Viola’s sharp storytelling and insightful interpretation made me hunger for more of the real Jesus.” —Mary DeMuth
“Frank Viola’s new book God’s Favorite Place on Earth couldn’t have reached me at a better time. I’ve been grappling with the pain of being rejected, misunderstood, and judged by other Christians for a few years now. I had no idea how dangerously bitter I’d become. Frank’s book spoke directly into my heart, giving me much-needed perspective on the way God reconciles these difficult experiences, both in Jesus’ life in the flesh and in ours. I realized how I had slipped into the modern church’s focus on the self and success, and how that set me up to be bitter instead of forgiving, cynical instead of surrendered. I had forgotten that God’s greatest work comes in and through my weakness and brokenness. This book is a timely and poignant reminder, through the story of Jesus’ life and His one safe place, of the way God can redeem the pain of rejection by fellow believers and do amazing things through our own weakness when we embrace our brokenness and surrender to God.” —Joy Bennett
M: Where did you get the main idea for God’s Favorite Place on Earth?
F: I got it from the Gospel narratives of Jesus in Bethany. Three people lived there that the Bible repeatedly say Jesus loved in a special way: Mary of Bethany (who is my hero), her sister Martha and their brother Lazarus.
In the book, I put the whole story together in chronological order, and I tell the narrative through the eyes of Lazarus. So the book is part fiction and part nonfiction. Your readers can read one of the most emotionally moving chapters, here.
M: Who should read God’s Favorite Place on Earth and why?
F: Anyone who wants to be jarred out of their Christian rut and be given new eyes to see EVERYTHING differently. Anyone who is bored with hearing the same Bible stories, the same teachings, the same narratives, and wants to be given a fresh look at Jesus and the Gospels that touches both heart and head. Anyone who wants to escape into a good story, and at the same time, learn how to defeat doubt, discouragement, fear, guilt, bitterness, spiritual burnout, and/or spiritual apathy.
M: How does God’s Favorite Place on Earth fit in with the other books you’ve written? Is there a main theme you seem to stick to in your writing?
F: My ministry is called “The Deeper Journey.” The common thread in all my books is the deeper, higher, and richer aspects of the Lord Jesus Christ and His body. This comes through in all my books.
God’s Favorite Place is no exception. But it’s different in that it’s very short, very easy to read, and it blends fiction with non-fiction. Lazarus tells the story, and then I draw principles out of the story. I could be completely wrong, but I predict that this will become my best known book. I regard it to be my “life’s work.” So if I had to give someone one book that’s come from my hand, it would be God’s Favorite Place on Earth, hands down, walkin’ out.
Finally, if people order the book between May 1st and May 7th, they will receive 25 free books & audios by 15 different authors, including Leonard Sweet, Jeff Goins, and many others. They just have to go to GodsFavoritePlace.com for instructions.
Check out the book trailer for God’s Favorite Place on Earth. (RSS Subscribers, click here to view.)
To win one of THREE copies of Gods’ Favorite Place on Earth, comment on this blog post. Winners will be announced Friday.
Congratulations to the winners: Duane Scott, Aaron Lindsey, and Kathy
What is your favorite story in the Gospels? If you could witness the life of Jesus through anyone’s perspective, whom would you choose?