5 Questions With Johnnie Moore

Welcome to 5 Questions With.....

It's been awhile but I'm back with another interview.

Today's guest is Johnnie Moore.

Johnnie is the 29 year-old Vice President of Liberty University. He is an author, commentator, advisor, professor, faith leader, university public relations executive, and humanitarian whose work has garnered the attention of leaders around the world.

His latest book is “Dirty God: Jesus in the Trenches” which just released with Thomas Nelson on January 1, 2013.  I recently reviewed his book here: Dirty God

OK, let's get to it:

1. Your new book, Dirty God,  has just been released.  Who would you say is the target audience?

The book is written for Christians and non-Christians alike, and is for all ages. While I primarily minister to college students, and most of my experience is with college students, I've written the book for everyone and I'm hearing from a surprising amount of middle-aged, and older, adults.

2. Why did you want to take on a book about grace?

My book deals with grace, given and gotten, through the lens of Jesus' humanity. While lots of people have written on the subject very few people have written on it from the perspective of Jesus' everydayness. I believe Jesus, who was both fully God and fully man, came as he came for a reason, and it's within his humanity that we find out how to live the life he has designed us to live. So, this book deals with the Jesus who lived in a village of 400 people called Nazareth and the Jesus who hung out with vagabond bunch of disciples who had personalities that drove him up a wall. It's a book about Jesus' occasional temper and his temptation to give up, and the tenderness with which he approached the woman at the well. It's grace through the lens of the Jesus - who was the God who chose to look like a man on the chance that men would follow a God that looked like them.

3. Do you think Christians have a harder time receiving grace or giving grace?

We love receiving God's grace, but we're not so good at giving it. We have to aggressive combat this selfishness, and that's why I spend the second half of the book really unpacking why we must, and why we don't live lives of grace. I also paint the picture of what could happen if we did.

How do you balance grace and truth? 

Grace - properly understood - is a friend with truth, and they contribute to one another. There's a whole chapter on this in the book.

5. What do you want readers to take away from your book?

I just want them to understand and love Jesus more, and then become vessels of his kindness to world in desperate need of it.

Thank You Johnnie!

 I would encourage you to check out Johnnie's website here and to pick up a copy of Dirty God today.


Reckless Faith

Embracing a life without limits.

That is the tagline for Kevin Harney's new book, Reckless Faith.

I have to say, a life without limits sounds very appealing.  I have tended to be a more cautious kind of guy when it comes to taking risks.  The idea of taking a risk sounds exciting but in practical applications, I tend not to take the leap I so want to take.  A risk always seems fraught with a bit of danger and to me danger also means I could get hurt.  Since I am not a fan of pain, I tend to limit my risk taking.

Though I tend to be cautious when taking physical risks, I am the opposite when it comes to matters of faith.  I am much more willing to take a risk in this area.  Reckless Faith seeks to address those spiritual risks head on.

The author challenges the reader to count the cost, take a chance and to live a life of reckless faith.  He shows the reader how to have reckless love, generosity, service, relationships, prayers and words.  I found myself even more encouraged to step into the grand adventure God has for us.  I have heard people say that we should be bold for God, take risks and try for the "impossible".  In all of these calls to action, I very rarely hear wisdom spoken of.  Kevin Harney writes frequently of the Responsible Recklessness Matrix in this book and it is one of the best pieces of wisdom I have seen when it comes to taking risks in our spiritual life.

The matrix is broken into 3 parts: Prayer, Perspective and Patience.  He breaks these 3 down and applies it to taking risks.  We can apply this matrix to any aspect of our decision making process and I believe if more Christians did so, we would not only impact the world around us in new and exciting ways but would also minimize the glaring mistakes that tend to be made when we charge ahead like a bull in a china shop.

This is a book I highly recommend.  If you read this book and don't feel the impetus to take risks for God, you may want to check your pulse!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. It is available at your favorite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing group.


Do You Feel Loved Today?

Do you feel loved today?  Do you think that if people knew the real you they would still love and care about you?  Maybe you have never felt loved. I think, rather we would admit it or not, all of us long to be loved unconditionally.  We want to know that, even if we mess up, we are still cared for.

Well I have good news!

Romans 8:35 asks, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

The answer comes a few verses later: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:38-39)

Jesus Christ offers that.  He offers that unconditional love.  You are going to mess up.  You WILL make mistakes and you will encounter hardships in this life.  So many of us feel unloved and/or unlovable.  We might feel that we have gone too far to turn back from the bad choices we have made.  The good news is that it is never too late.

God loves us and He loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to take it all of our mistakes and bad choices on the cross.  (John 3:16)  This is not a license to do what we want. This is a call to accept His love.  Who else loves you enough to die for you?  To forgive you unconditionally and to not hold your past, present or future against you?  Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The choice is yours.  Will you accept that love or will you walk away from it?  Only you can answer that.  Jesus Christ is waiting with open arms.  Why not run to Him today? 


Dirty God - A Book Review

Dirty God: Jesus In the Trenches.  

Catchy title isn't it?  I thought so.  To me a title should hook you in and make you want to know more.  I was intrigued by the title and excited by the book itself, a book about grace.

The book is divided into two parts.  Part one is called Getting Grace.  Primarily this section could be described as explaining grace.  Frankly, I think as Christians we often misinterpret grace.  The author, Johnnie Moore, spends the first half of the book defining grace and showing what it is and what it isn't.  His conversational writing style, stories and balanced look at Scripture makes for a compelling read.

I found myself picking up my Bible and looking deeper into the passages mentioned and the book sparked more than one conversation on grace with my family and led to one (so far) sermon at church as well.

However it is in the second half of the book that I think Johnnie Moore really makes an impact.  That section is called Giving Grace.  This to me is the key the body of Christ as a whole should seek to practice.  We all want to receive grace from God and others but how often do we extend it to those around us?  I found this section challenging and compelling.  The author really encourages the reader to look for ways to extend grace to others and he bases his stories and thoughts in the Word of God.

He ends the book with a clear challenge and it's one I plan on taking up.  I want to challenge you as well to read this book.  Your life could be forever changed. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


What Does Grace Look Like? - Just A Thought #55

When I look for an example of grace in the Bible, I invariably go to the parable of the prodigal son as found in Luke 15:11-32.  You probably recall the story.  Kid asks for his inheritance, leaves and parties hard, blowing his money and life in wild living.  He eventually runs through his funds and a famine hits.  He takes the lowest of jobs and is so hungry he decides to go home and throw himself at his dad's feet and beg for any work he has to offer.  His dad, seeing him coming, runs out to meet him with open arms and celebrates his lost son's return.

Grace: Unmerited Favor.

I prefer a different definition.

Grace: Unconditional Love.

 In this story, I see the unconditional love of a father.  Dad could have turned his back and turned his son back out to the streets.  He would have been justified.  Yet love won out.  His son turned from his past and returned to his Dad, who was ready to receive him.  Unconditionally.

He not only welcomed him back; he threw a party.  His other son got jealous and self-righteous.  Dad wasn't having any of it.  He had love enough for everyone but never shied away from speaking truth.  He pointed out to his older son that this party was needed.  The lost was now found. 

Unconditional love.

Do we set aside our pride and "right to justice", to love our friends, family, neighbors and enemies unconditionally?  God loved us enough to send His Son; Jesus loved us enough to die; can we love the people around us without reservation?

Grace - Unmerited favor; unconditional love; radical Christianity.