Interview with Frank Viola about his new book “God’s Favorite Place on Earth”

What is this book about?

I’ve written 14 books so far and God’s Favorite Place on Earth is different than anything I’ve ever penned. It’s a work of biblical narrative that combines story with non-fiction. It’s a quick and easy read.

The premise of the book is simple and 100% Biblical: when Jesus was on the earth, He was rejected everywhere He went . . . from Bethlehem, to Nazareth, to Jerusalem. The only exception was the little village of Bethany.

The curtain opens with Lazarus, who is now ready to die, telling the incomparable story of Jesus’ interactions with him, Martha, and Mary. God’s Favorite Place on Earth blends drama, devotion, theology, biblical narrative, and first-century history. Within each narrative, the common struggles that we Christians face are addressed and answered. 18 specific ones in fact.

These are struggles that I’ve faced in my own Christian life, so I offer solutions that I’ve discovered in my own spiritual journey. The struggles are on the subject of How To . . .

  • Gain God’s peace and presence in the midst of your worst storm.
  • Grow to the place where you are beyond being offended.
  • Truly forgive and release those who have rejected you.
  • Learn how to live life without fear of anything.
  • Trust God when He doesn’t meet your expectations or doesn’t appear to fulfill His promises.
  • Increase your faith and overcome doubt.
  • Defeat discouragement with a new perspective on Jesus.
  • Find out what Jesus means and doesn’t mean by the command, “Follow Me.”
  • Be set free from a guilty conscience and delivered from spiritual burn-out.
  • Learn how we’ve been misinformed about Mary and Martha and why this is important for your own walk with God.
  • Handle rejection, misunderstanding, and unjust criticism, especially from fellow Christians.
  • Be set free from bitterness.
  • Discover what God is looking for beyond everything else, solidifying the vision for the Christian life into “one thing.”
  • Identify what touches the heart of Jesus the most. (It may surprise you.)
  • Be inspired to serve the Lord with renewed vigor and zeal.
  • Have your heart awakened with newfound love for Jesus by seeing Him afresh.
  • Find deliverance from materialism (consumerism) and discover the meaning of “wasting yourself” on Jesus.
  • Respond wisely to well-meaning friends when they give you poor advice during your suffering.

What motivated you to write the book?

The message of the book changed my life. So I wanted to put it into print so it could do the same for others. In addition, the narrative of Bethany and what it meant to Jesus is little known today. I believe it’s an inspiring story whose time has come.

What do you hope readers will take away from the book?

Besides helping them to tackle those 18 struggles with new tools and perspective, it’s to jar them out of their Christian rut wherein they are given new eyes to see EVERYING differently . . . especially Jesus.

One person said they never felt so close to Him as when they read the book. Others said they were delivered from bitterness. Others said that they saw Jesus’ humanity like never before and it enabled them to relate to Him more easily.

How can readers get a taste of the book?

Readers can go to GodsFavoritePlace.com and read a book smaller that contains 20% of the book, a short video trailer, and the reactions from 47 different authors, including you. ;-)

Plus, if your readers order the book between May 1 and May 7, they will receive 25 free books and audios by 15 different authors, including a joint article that you (Andrew Farley) and I wrote, an amazing audio series by Pete Briscoe, books by Bob Christopher, DeVern Fromke, Leonard Sweet, and many more.

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