Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Love Your Neighbor Bundle

“ ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”—Matthew 22:36-39

It is clear that Jesus calls us to love our neighbors, but often we find ourselves wondering: Who is my neighbor? how do I show them love? what if they don’t want me around? where do I begin? and the list goes on and on.

Through July 5 you can get the Love Your Neighbor Bundle for just $3.99 and you’ll save 79% on two ebooks all about how to be a more loving neighbor.

Each ebook takes a different angle of on how to truly love our neighbors:

1. How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird by Amy Lively

In How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird, Amy Lively unpacks what it means to form meaningful relationships with our neighbors and how to love those strangers next door even when you’re fearful.

Lively writes from experience, saying, “I’ve knocked on hundreds of doors. Every time I invite my neighbors for coffee I learn something new.” This book is a candid compilation of both her mistakes and successes.

You’ll find hands-on tools and ideas that will help you share the Gospel, explore how to use social media to form real-life relationships, and give you the courage to take the first step of faith to reach out to that neighbor whose name you don’t yet know.

2. The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside your Door by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon

Discover The Art of Neighboring with words of wisdom from Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon, they write to ecnourage readers to move from strangers to acquaintances with their neighbor, then from acquaintances to an actual relationship with the people who live closest to them.

This unique and inspiring book asks the question: What is the most loving thing I can do for the people who live on my street or in my apartment building? Through compelling true stories of lives impacted, the authors show readers how to create genuine friendships with the people who live in closest proximity to them. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter make this book perfect for small groups or individual study.

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Save 79% and get the Love Your Neighbor Bundle for only $3.99 through July 5!

 

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Free Ebook: How Can I Possibly Forgive?

Get Sara Horn’s ebook How Can I Possibly Forgive? Rescuing Your Heart from Resentment and Regret for free, when you sign up for July’s daily deals email list! Your free ebook will be sent to you in an email once you subscribe.

About your free ebook:

How Can I Possibly Forgive

Is it really possible to forgive?

Join Sara Horn as she identifies the struggle of forgiving those who have wronged us in the past and then works through what forgiveness means and how choosing to forgive can truly impact your life. Helping you identify the battles worth fighting and the ones that aren’t and how to tell the difference.

Life isn’t about holding on to destructive and painful experiences. It’s about letting go. And it’s about letting God work in our trying situations so we can see him more clearly on the other side.

Add How Can I Possibly Forgive? to your Vyrso library for free today!

 

About Vyrso’s daily deals:

Daily Deals

Each weekday through July 31, Vyrso will send an exclusive ebook deal straight to your inbox.

You will get up 90% in savings on best-selling ebooks by John Piper, Eric Mason, Jared Wilson, Gloria Furman, and more!

But the best way to get these deals is to sign up for the email list. You’ll be the first to know about the daily deal.

 You have nothing to lose and a free ebook to gain! Sign up today and get How Can I Possibly Forgive? right away, then receive more ebook deals in your inbox starting Wednesday, July 1.

 

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Jared C. Wilson’s Gentle Manifesto against the Status Quo

The Prodigal Church

Today’s post features an excerpt from Jared C. Wilson’s newest release, The Prodigal Church: A Gentle Manifesto against the Status Quo.

In The Prodigal Church, Wilson challenges church leaders to reconsider their priorities when it comes to how they “do church” and reach people in their communities, arguing that we too often rely on loud music, flashy lights, and skinny jeans to get people in the door.

Add The Prodigal Church to your Vyrso library!

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 The wider evangelical church is suffering terribly from theological bankruptcy. Brothers and sisters, we ought to recover the roots of real Christianity before those who care are too few to do anything useful about it. Part of that recovery will involve identifying some of the factors that contribute to the problem. Some of these will be difficult to consider, but we ought to consider them anyway. Some of the problems we might explore are these:

1. Pastors are increasingly hired for their management skills or rhetorical ability over and above their biblical wisdom or their meeting of the biblical qualifications for eldership.

Our shepherds are increasingly hired for their dynamic speaking or catalytic leadership rather than their commitment to and exposition of the Scriptures, and for their laboring in the increase in attendance rather than the increase of gospel proclamation.

Now, of course, none of those contrasted qualities are mutually exclusive. Pastors can be both skillful managers and biblically wise; they can be both great speakers and great students of Scripture; and they can both attract crowds and proclaim the gospel. The problem is that, while they are not mutually exclusive, the latter qualities in each contrast have lost priority and consequently have lost favor. We have not prospered theologically or spiritually when we emphasize the professionalization of the pastorate.

2. The equating of “worship” with just one creative portion of the weekly worship service.

The dilution of the understanding of worship is a direct result of the dilution of theology in the church. The applicational, topical approach to Bible understanding has the consequence of making us think (and live) in segmented ways. The music leader takes the stage to say, “We’re gonna start with a time of worship.” Is the whole service not a time of worship? Isn’t the sermon an act of worship?

Isn’t all of life meant to be an act of worship? [Click to tweet!]
 One reason we have struggled to develop fully devoted followersof Jesus is that we incorrectly assign our terminology (equating worship with music only) and thereby train our people to think in truncated, reductionistic ways.

3. The prevalent eisegesis in Bible study classes and small groups.

“Eisegesis” basically means “reading into the Bible.” It is the opposite of “exegesis,” the process of examining the text and “drawing out” its true meaning. Many leaders today either don’t have the spiritual gift of teaching or haven’t received adequate training, and the unfortunate result is that most of our Bible studies are rife with phrases like, “What does this text mean to you?” as opposed to, “What does this text mean?” Application supplants interpretation in the work of Bible study, so it has become less important to see what the Bible means and more important to make sure the Bible is meaningful to us.

4. The vast gulf between the work of theology and the life of the church.

We have this notion that theology is something that takes place somewhere “out there” in the seminaries or libraries while we here at home are doing the real work of the Christian faith with our church programs. In many churches, theology is seen as purely academic, the lifeless intellectual work for the nerds in the church or, worse, the Pharisees.

5. Biblical illiteracy.

Our people don’t know their Bible very well, and this is in large part the fault of a generation of wispy preaching and teaching (in the church and in the home). Connected to this factor is the church’s accommodation and assimilation of the culture’s rapid shifting from text-based knowledge to image-based knowledge. I’ll say more about that in the next chapter, but when it comes to the text itself, I suspect that a lot of the superficial faith out there results from teaching that treats the Bible like Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Fortune-cookie preaching will make brittle, hollow,syrupy Christians.

6. A theologically lazy and methodologically consumeristic/sensationalistic approach to the sacraments.

The rise of the “scoreboard” approach to attendance reporting, some of the extreme examples of spontaneous baptism services, the neglect of the Lord’s Supper or the abuse of it through fancifulness with the elements or lack of clear directives in presenting it—these are all the result of evangelicalism’s theological bankruptcy. We don’t think biblically about these matters, because we’re thinking largely along the lines of “what works?” and consequently we might make a big splash with our productions but not produce much faith.

Don’t treat the Bible as an instruction manual. Treat it as a life preserver.[Click to Tweet!]

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Get Jared C. Wilson’s The Prodigal Church for just $8.50!

Content adapted from The Prodigal Church by Jared Wilson, ©2015. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Il 60187, www.crossway.org.

 

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Happy Father’s Day: 5 Life Lessons for Dad

Life Lessons for Dad

A bond between a father and daughter is both a blessing and a mystery. Girls often adore their fathers, their dad is their prince and hero. When fathers treat their daughters with compassion and respect, their daughters tend to step out into life confident and filled with love.

This Father’s Day, celebrate by sitting down to enjoy Life Lessons for Dad: Tea Parties, Tutus and All Things Pink. Author Michael Mitchell pairs touching photographs with hundreds of plainspoken parenting truths and pieces of advice that are uniquely funny, wise, heartwarming, mind blowing.

Here are five, of many, lessons from Life Lessons for Dad: Tea Parties, Tutus and All Things Pink:

1. Always be there.

Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she adds years to her life . . . add life to her years. [Click to Tweet!]

2. Love her mom.

Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big, heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.

3. Learn to say no.

She may not like it today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.

4. Tell her she’s beautiful.

Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.

5. While there’s no such thing as the perfect dad, if you’re present in her life, apologize when you screw up, and shower her with affection, you might get pretty close.

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Add this heartwarming ebook to your digital library today!

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The Next Great Move of God

The Next Great Move of God

Today’s guest post is by Jennifer LeClaire, director of the Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, co-founder and president of Christian Harvest International and Strategic Prayer Action Network, author of several books, and an internationally-known speaker.

Today, LeClaire focuses on themes from her newest release The Next Great Move of God: An Appeal to Heaven for Spiritual Awakening.  

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A Divine Crisis. . .

Natural disasters are claiming lives in America. Economic disasters are driving poverty in America. Agronomists are predicting famine in America. Politicians and schoolchildren are being shot in America. Pastors are falling into sexual immorality in America. Violent protesters are taking to the streets in America. All the while some Americans are arming themselves for another Civil War.

Christians are meeting with persecution in the marketplace.

“Without divine intervention, what we call America will be gone within the next couple of years. It’s that critical,” says Evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne, pastor at The River at Tampa Bay. “The handwriting is on the wall. Only God can save us now. This is not a game. If we don’t see a turn in the next two or three years, America as we know it will sink into the abyss and will be gone forever.”

No politician can fix the problems our nation is facing. We need another Great Awakening.

The good news is God wants to bring another spiritual awakening to America [Click to Tweet!].

Making an Appeal to Heaven. . .

The revelation of making an appeal to heaven as it relates to taking back our nation for God unfolded to Dutch Sheets, an internationally recognized author, teacher and conference speaker, through several prophetic encounters over the course of about 12 years—and it’s igniting fires of revival and awakening in the United States and beyond.

Many, including myself, believe that it relates directly to a Third Great Awakening in America.

One of those prophetic encounters was a dream a young man named Thomas shared with Sheets.

In the dream, Sheets was a boxer facing five giants in five rounds. One by one, he knocked out those giants with a single punch, alternating fists. One of the boxing gloves said “Everlast,” which is a common brand name for boxing gloves but nevertheless prophetic. The other glove said “Evergreen.” Sheets knew God was talking to him about taking out the giants in America.

“When I look at the giants in America, I get overwhelmed,” Sheets says. “I have to get my focus off the giants and get my focus on the Lord. He can do this. This is not too hard for God.”

Transforming Revival Is Possible. . .

Transformation is possible in America and indeed transforming revival has broken out in communities around the world.

A transformed community is a neighborhood, city or nation whose values and institutions have been overrun by the grace and presence of God; a place where divine fire has not merely been summoned, it has fallen; a society disrupted by supernatural power; a culture that has been impacted comprehensively and undeniably by the kingdom of God; and a location where kingdom values are celebrated publicly and passed on to future generations.

Transforming revival starts with an appeal to heaven [Click to Tweet!].

It’s time to make an appeal to heaven and many are responding to the call in what some are calling the next great move of God.

In my book, The Next Great Move of God: An Appeal to Heaven for Spiritual Awakening, I was struck by how so many voices from so many camps in the body of Christ—Sheets, Greg Laurie, Reinhard Bonnke, Mike Huckabee, Kenneth Copeland, Howard-Browne, Cindy Jacobs, and the list goes on and on—are essentially saying the same thing. America is a nation in crisis—and God wants to wake us up, bring us in line with his heart and heal our land.

For all the doom and gloom prophecies over America, there is yet a rising cry from respected voices from various streams of the body of Christ that sense God’s heart—and God’s hope—for America even in the midst of discipline.

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Want to know more about this topic? Get The Next Great Move of God today,  featuring Dutch Sheets, Reinhard Bonnke, Jonathan Cahn, Billy Graham, and others.

You can learn more about author Jennifer LeClaire at JenniferLeClaire.org.

 

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Limited Time Offer: 3 Free Ebooks

Vyrso has created a way for Christian readers to enjoy personal reading anywhere! With affordable ebooks, a free ereader app, and one-touch bible references, Vyrso is dedicated to helping you get the best ebooks for the best price.

And through June 19, you can add these three ebooks to your library for free!

Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp

Relationships

“Even though relationships are messy, they are also what God uses to rescue us from ourselves,” say Tim and Paul.

While skillfully identifying the deeper issues that keep relationships less than they are designed to be, Tim Lane and Paul Tripp show readers how to experience the great relationships as well. They convincingly testify of the power of God’s presence to bring believers to the place where conflicts actually get resolved, tough conversations turn out positive, forgiveness is granted and real love is expressed and shared.

 

 

To My Sons: Lessons for the Wild Adventure Called Life by Bear Grylls

To My Sons

Bear Grylls demonstrates his love as a father in To My Sons by offering his sons a collection of wisdom about the risks, tumbles, and victories of a well-lived life.

Bear Grylls knows a thing or two about adventure from mountain climbing, to setting world-records, and being known internationally as a reality star. The greatest adventure he’s experienced, though, is raising his three boys. In To My Sons, Grylls shares the quotes, Scripture verses, and spiritual wisdom he has learned through the literal ups and downs of an exciting life.

 

 

Enough: Contentment in the Age of Access by Will Samson

Enough

In Enough Will Samson opens up a thoughtful dialogue; a recent conversation was about social justice. Samson addresses the idea of finding contentment in this age of excess and outlines the ideas that drive a consumeristic mindset; the effects those ideas have on ourselves, our communities, and the earth; conclusions about the situation; and practical solutions for negotiating everyday life once we understand that our abundant God is, in fact, enough.

 

 

 

 

Don’t wait—these deals ends June 19!

Get Vyrso freebies sent straight to your inbox so you don’t have to miss any more great deals!

Subscribe to the Vyrso Freebies email list today:

    

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3 Things We Can Learn from Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot was a true servant of the Lord! She impacted many through her lifetime and found God at every bump in the road. She is a true inspiration to all men and women looking to serve the church.

There are so many valuable lessons we can learn from her example, including:

1. Take a leap of faith

Elisabeth grew up in a home where the gospel was preached and as she developed a deep love for Christ, she saw it as her calling to spread his Word.

She didn’t waste any time—her adventure began upon graduating from Wheaton College in the 1940s. She took a leap of faith and moved as single woman to Ecuador so she could reach out and spread God’s love to the Quichua Indians.

2. Don’t quit when times get hard

In Ecuador, Elisabeth not only spread God’s love in the tribal areas, she also developed a relationship with Jim Elliot and they were soon married. They were given the opportunity to minister to the unreached Aucas tribe. Jim and four missionaries entered the area and met with the Aucas, unfortunately their tribe was fierce and the five men were speared to death.

Elisabeth didn’t quit, pack her bags, and go home. Instead she and her ten-month-old, Valerie, stayed in Ecuador and continued to build relationships with the Auca people, the very ones that murdered her husband.

3. Share your experiences

Eventually Elliot and her daughter, Valerie, returned to the U.S. When they were back, Elisabeth wasted no time in reflecting on her experiences and sharing them through various writings and speaking engagements.

She shared her experiences and expressed God’s great love for her at all times in the good and the bad. She has written many influential books that will continue to inspire those after her and encourage us to follow in her legacy.

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Elisabeth Elliot‘s life was dedicated to serving God and building up his kingdom. Christ calls us to follow in her footsteps, to take that leap of faith in order to more fully serve him, to preserve through times of suffering and love those who we have every reason to hate, and most importantly to  share our experiences and encourage others to follow in God’s footsteps.

Elisabeth Elliot Quote

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Finding Friendship: An Interview with Dr. Leslie Parrott

Soul Friends

We had the privilege to speak with Dr. Leslie Parrott, a family and marriage therapist and speaker who has co-authored many books with her husband, Dr. Les Parrott, including the New York Times best-seller, Saving Your Marriage Before it StartsMaking Happy, and many others.

What are “soul friendships” and why are they important for women looking to grow in their faith?

I don’t think that there is a woman out there that would be surprised by the thought that as women, we deeply desire great friendships . . . . In general what sociologists have discovered is that women fear a rupture in a relationship more than they fear a loss of independence. Most women I know resonate to their core that, yes, relationships matter to me.

I think of a soul friend as a deep-spirited friend. We know intuitively what it means to be a deep-spirited friend, where it isn’t just based on shared lifestyles or shared interests or the same quirky sense of humor. There’s a sense that there’s a connection that’s soul-to-soul. . . .We’re acknowledging the journey that we’re all taking and we’re walking through it together.

You’ve written and co-written many titles on relationships and marriage. What called you to write Soul Friends and focus on friendship rather than romantic relationships?

This book is different in that what I’m talking about is not just that we need friends, but how to create great friendship, which is an important thing. I myself started a small group 12 years ago that has been a central thing in my life and I can’t imagine traveling the last dozen years without the company of the sisterhood. The depth of our spiritual growth is accelerated by the gift of sharing it with a friend. [Click to tweet!] [In the book, I’m] talking about the beauty of friendship and the importance of spiritual growth, and how those two things go hand-in-hand.

 

What do you think are some of the greatest challenges for women looking to develop and maintain these deep and spiritual friendships?

There are a lot of challenges. One of those is we’re all so completely aware of our failings and there’s a timidity in [reaching out to other women] that comes from that.

Also, I think there are stages and seasons of life where we feel kind of lonely. For example, if you’ve got an infant, your life is ordered around the needs of that baby and that can be a monastic experience sometimes. Or if your work schedule is demanding and you don’t feel as if you have one inch of margin for some optional activity with girlfriends.

There are sacrifices we all make on the alters of our heart where friendship feels like it doesn’t get nurtured because life doesn’t make room for it in this season, and there are also private insecurities that hold us back sometimes from risking connecting with friends.

In the context of Bible study and devotional time with God, often times there is encouragement to break off into individual “quiet time” to reflect and pray. How do you see this interacting with the importance of community and friendships?

Gary Thomas who wrote Sacred Pathways, really influenced my thinking about spiritual growth—it’s one of my favorites because I think he nailed it when he talks about how God has hardwired us all differently to lean into certain things to grow spiritually. Some of us are relational, and if we try to pray on our own we fall asleep or lose track, but if you put us in a small group we can pray for hours and our spirits come alive because we’re hardwired to grow relationally. Other people aren’t hardwired like that, they might be hardwired to grow intellectually or out in creation. All of these ways are biblical, but we each have our own growth pathways. I love that concept. It freed me up for the richness of diversity in how to grow [spiritually.]

The small group I started wasn’t a devotional, we didn’t read a book together. Our structure was that we’d come together and someone would ask one opening question. We’ve prayed together and grown together, been immersed in Scripture, and read together out of those questions. Community is important but I don’t think there’s a formula that works for every woman on her Jesus journey.

I would encourage women to open their eyes—there might be ways to connect around them that they never even thought were points of connection that turn out to be these beautiful, deep-spirited places.

How can women and moms begin to fit time for friendships in to a busy life to start creating those deep friendships? Where can women and busy moms begin to find friends?

Be willing to join a MOPS group or small group at church. Volunteer for something where you know you’re likely to connect with people who have the same values. Women are longing for this and even if they aren’t able to say, “Yes,” because of the season of their life, it leaves them feeling encouraged that someone actually cared enough to reach out and invite them.

I took a big risk when I was in that season [as a mom]—it was a season for me where my mom had some major health concerns,  I was professionally in a demanding season, I had a toddler who was a one-pound, pre-mature baby and had special needs, and I discovered I was pregnant. Life just felt undoable for me.

The surprising thing I did was not cut back, but I felt that I needed to start a small group, which felt absurd at the time. I invited six women I knew, none of whom knew each other, and I thought they would all turn me down because they were all so busy, but we were all so hungry for it that we made it work. We tried scheduling our time together and in the beginning we could only meet once every three weeks. But we did it! We would start at night after the kids had gone to bed and we’d meet until midnight. It was an unbelievable thing to make it work, but 12 years later the fruit of that is unmistakable. I would encourage anyone, even though it doesn’t seem easy, or convenient, or make sense, to risk it!

Women might have friends from different places—other moms, a friend at church, a few connections at work—but they don’t coalesce so you don’t feel this synergy with your friends. Be a little risky—don’t think in terms that [all of the people in a potential group] have to already fit together or click or connect. Don’t feel limited by what’s already happening—create a way to get together!

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Check out Dr. Leslie Parrott’s, Soul Friends: What Every Woman Needs to Grow in Her Faith to learn more about friendship, spiritual growth, and the importance of deep-spirited friendships.

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The Importance of Urban Ministry

Chicago resident Dr. John Fuder has served for over 30 years working in urban ministry, and currently trains and coaches the broader body of Christ to engage more deeply in contextualizing the gospel in their local communities.

What should the Church’s urban mission look like?

Dr. John Fuder answers in this episode of Faithlife Today:

In urban ministry it is essential that we don’t look to engage just one type of culture or one type of ethnicity, rather it is important to demonstrate Christ’s love to all communities. Urban ministry forces you to step out of your comfort zone and interact with people of varying cultural backgrounds and socioeconomic standings.

Eager to learn more about the Church’s urban mission? Get equipped with Dr. Fuder’s numerous works written on urban ministry including A Heart for the City: Effective Ministries to the Urban Community, A Heart for the Community: New Models for Urban and Suburban Ministry, and more!

Browse all books by Dr. John Fuder.

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See more interviews and lectures with authors, speakers, and scholars on Faithlife Today, a new video series showcasing powerful insights, biblical inspiration, exclusive interviews, and more—all from your friends at Faithlife.

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No Fear in Love: An Interview with Andy Braner

Andy Braner

Today we have the pleasure of interviewing our Author of the Month, Andy Braner. Andy is an author, blogger, speaker and founder of Ahava Ministries, a nonprofit youth ministry for teens and college students. We were able to talk with him about his newest release, No Fear in Love: Loving Others the Way God Loves Us.

This ebook encourages readers to trade condemnation for compassion.

From founding to Ahava Ministries to driving influence through blogging, you seem to be busy and full of energy. Tell us more about what drives you.

I think what drives me is part biological, part spiritual, and part environmental.

I come from a family who works hard, and helped me understand the value of work early in my life.  I believe that we’ve all been given a certain number of days on the earth, so I try and make those count. [Click to Tweet!] And, as I look around the world, I like to be involved in interesting discussions.

What ignited your desire to write your newest release No Fear in Love

I’ve been working in and around the Middle East for the last decade.  It was my own fear of Islam that forced me to investigate what Islam really stands for.  As I developed deep friendships in Muslim countries, I found much of my fear was based on something I was trying to defend, rather than on something I wanted to grow and flourish.  I found that people were people, not objects of my own apologetical mission.  And to that end, I found some of the most important friendships of my life.

So when I sat down and looked at the landscape of faith, I believe fear has a lot to do with how people set up their faith, and how they practice their faith in their own communities.  I wanted to help people identify their fear, and then be encouraged to jump over the fear keeping them from some important friendships.

In the foreword you write, “My whole life I’ve been taught how to be right and how to point out someone else’s wrongs.” Do you see a lot of Christians further launching themselves into the “I’m right and you’re wrong” camp still today? 

Of course there are. It’s kind of how we are created. We need that assurance that we’re right, and everyone else is wrong to develop our tribes, no matter what segment of society we’re living in. Just take a little individual survey and look around in your community. Why are there churches on every street corner? And—if there are—ask yourself, do they work together for the common good?

My experience has been that the churches in a particular town are as competitive as the the small restaurant businesses vying for business during the week. So the only way a certain church can stand out is by making sure they are on the “right” side, and everyone else is on the “wrong” side. If that’s the case in our own faith circles, then how much more is it when you encounter someone outside of your faith circle?

How do you define fear as it relates to the Gospel?

I’m deeply discouraged by people who use the gospel message to fear monger people to faith.  They use the old fire and brimstone message to compel people to accept the gospel, but to what end? To just go to heaven instead of hell?  Any well-healed person will choose heaven, but the Kingdom Jesus speaks of is so much more intricate than the heaven/hell question.

I find it interesting when Jesus decides to use deep personal relational care with people to lead them to God’s Kingdom. [Click to Tweet!]  He doesn’t “scare the hell” out of anyone, but rather; gives people hope, especially to people who have been disenfranchised from the “normal.”

Chapter four in No Fear in Love discusses different worldviews and says that oftentimes “fear drives us to the shadows of ignorance.” What are practical ways we can safely rid ourselves of our fears in order to be more understanding and loving of other cultures?

We’ve got to stop living in these echo chambers where people just inform us what we already lean toward as truth. [Click to Tweet!]  We need to challenge our ideas, wrestle with tough concepts, and stop being satisfied with soundbites on the news. Fear is a place where we just don’t know.

I believe when we sit down with people who are different than we are, and learn the how’s and why’s that make them see the world the way they do; relationship emerges, and it’s tough to be afraid of someone who is your friend.

How do you see your readers’ lives being transformed by this book?

My hope is people will read stories that will give them hope. We don’t need to be afraid of a majority of things we’re fearing now. We can step out in faith, and develop a friendship with our next door neighbor, or the people down the street who are from a different faith background than we are.

We don’t need to get all riled up every time a political decision seems to threaten our way of living. We don’t need to create anxiety where there is none. I believe we can trust in the hope that God is still on the throne of heaven and earth, and we can live life in freedom not in fear.

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Don’t wait—read Andy Braner’s newest ebook, No Fear in Love: Loving Others the Way God Loves Us, today!

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