On Orphans & Widows

“The spiritual service which is pure and stainless in the sight of our God and Father is to visit fatherless children and widowed women in their time of trouble, and to keep one’s own self unspotted from the world.”

~ James 1:27

In line with my previous posts on helping the poor and oppressed, I want to introduce you to Mike Krick of World Orphans. Here’s my interview with Mike.

What is a unique aspect of World Orphans that sets you apart from other worthy orphan care organizations?

Mike Krick: When a typical American hears the word “orphan,” most automatically assume we run “orphanages.” I personally used to combine the two words.  But this couldn’t be further from the truth.  We don’t run orphanages, and quite frankly we don’t think that an “orphanage” is what God intended for His children.  The biblical model of orphan care, we believe, is family.  God designed children to thrive in families, which we believe is the best way to holistically care for them.

World Orphans cares primarily for orphans by partnering with international churches around the globe.  These churches vary in size, have national pastors and leaders who have great knowledge of their culture, know the language, and have healthy relationships established in their communities.

Everything we do is through the church. By partnering with these international churches, children are cared for, communities are positively impacted, and the church grows in making disciples of Jesus.[Continue Reading...]

A Look Inside My Toolbox & The Best Electronics for Your Money

Some of you have asked me what tools I use for writing, blogging, speaking, and podcasting. In answer to that question, I just put together a Toolbox page that lists all the major tools I use.

Click here to check out my tools.

A few months ago I told you that I was involved in two new projects that serve others.

I’m excited to announce that GadgetInspector.org just went live yesterday.

This is a website that features the very best electronics at the best prices.

Based on Consumer Reports and Amazon’s highest rated products, Gadget Inspector features all things electronic ranging from electric toothbrushes, iPhone speakers, HDTVs, sound systems, leaf blowers, dust busters, vacuums, and other gadgets.

Get the best electronics for the best value.

Also, if you have expertise in an electronic product, you can write a short article for the site and your blog will be featured on it.

GI

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Cold-Case Christianity

J. Warner Wallace has just released a new book on apologetics called Cold-Case Christianity.

You may remember J. (Jim) Wallace from the interview he did with me on Pagan Christianity. I caught up with Jim to interview him on his new book. Check it out.

What inspired you to write Cold-Case Christianity?

J. Warner Wallace: I’ve been training young Christians for many years, both as a youth and lead pastor. We often take trips to the University of California at Berkeley in order to engage atheist groups and interact with non-believers. A few years back, I partnered with Sean McDowell on one of these week-long trips to Berkeley. After one of my training sessions (addressing the reliability of the gospels), Sean asked me if I’d ever considered writing a book. I was buried at the time in three cold-case homicide investigations and couldn’t imagine finding the time to write anything, but with the encouragement of my wife, I sketched out a proposal.

Much of the book flowed naturally from my own experiences as a cold-case detective. The principles I use in my criminal cases are applicable to the investigation of any event in the past, so the book nearly wrote itself as I retraced my own investigation of the gospel accounts and I provided many examples from my criminal case work.[Continue Reading...]

THE LAZARUS PROJECT

As most of you know, my new book God’s Favorite Place on Earth came out of the gate with a bang.

The book hit #13 on Amazon.com and stayed in the top 50 on Amazon for eight days straight. A hearty thanks to all who got a copy during release week!

However, Amazon quickly ran out of stock and this killed momentum.

To add to the problem, most readers are just now getting the book, a month after it released. Thus people couldn’t tell their friends about it because they hadn’t read it yet.

But that’s all changing since Amazon finally has the book in stock.[Continue Reading...]

God’s Favorite Place – 2012 Conference Message Part II

The 76th episode of my podcast has just been published.

Frank Viola

Episode Overview

  • The second talk from the 2012 God’s Favorite Place Conference.

Listen to the Episode

Blogging for Income – An Interview with Michelle Shaeffer

As you know, part of what I write about here is blogging, since I’m a professional blogger.

I don’t profit personally from my book sales, so this blog is where much of my personal income comes from (via advertisements and affiliates).

Michelle Shaeffer is an accomplished blogger who helps others in their blogging and business ventures.

I interviewed Michelle recently to introduce her to my readers. If you’re someone considering starting a blog, I outline how to start one in 10 minutes.

Once you do that, Michelle can take you further.

Tell us a bit about yourself, including how and why you started blogging?

Michelle Shaeffer. Hey, I’m Michelle Shaeffer, and I appreciate the opportunity to “meet” your readers, Frank.

I live in beautiful, snowy Alaska with my family and our two cats. On a typical day my time is divided between homeschooling, other wife/mom duties, and running my business (including my blog). I’ve been working from home since 2000 in various ventures.

My blog launched in March of 2008 to have a place to put answers to the questions I constantly got from clients and friends about doing business online (from websites to social media to marketing). I figured if more than a few of my clients were asking, I could save time by putting my answers in one place, and others were bound to have the same question, so I could help them, too.

Looking back on 5 years of blogging, I love what my blog has evolved into as I’ve continued with it. It’s definitely gone a different direction than I expected and taken on a life of it’s own.[Continue Reading...]

UPDATE: After 29 Days, It’s Finally In Stock Again!

Update: On May 1st, when God’s Favorite Place On Earth released, Amazon went out of stock immediately. Only today . . . May 30th . . . is the book in stock again! If you ordered the book on release week, you will receive it very soon. If you haven’t ordered it yet, you can order from any of the following retailers, including Amazon.com now. If you read the book already, let us know what you thought about it in the comments.

instock

Amazon (paperback) - free shipping if you buy 3 copies

Amazon (Kindle)

ChristianBook

Family Christian

Barnes and Noble

Books a Million

Family Christian Local Store

LifeWay Local Store

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Getting Naked Later: An Interview with Kate Hurley

Kate Hurley is a musician, blogger, author, and a friend. She’s written a pretty amazing new book called Getting Naked Later: A Guide for the Fully Clothed. In it, Kate describes what it’s like to be a single Christian in today’s world.

I have to tell you. This book surprised me. It surprised me because it’s so incredibly well written. It contains gems . . . gems of humor and insight.

This is a book that every single and married believer will find of great interest. Married Christians will better understand the struggles that single Christians face today. Single Christians will be encouraged and helped.

Kate writes with both humor and candor. I believe this is a book that will help many people, so I want to see it do well! Enjoy the interview. 

Getting Naked Later: A Guide for the Fully Clothed

Frank Viola: Why did you write this book?

Kate Hurley: Besides being an author, I am a touring musician. In all of my travels, I came across many singles with similar trials. I realized that there are only a few good resources for the people that are trying hard to be content in their singleness but who still struggle with fear and loneliness. Singles often feel overlooked in church culture, and I wrote the book with them in mind.[Continue Reading...]

The Release of the Spirit

When I was in my early 20s, I read Watchman Nee’s book The Release of the Spirit. The content of the book came out of a long period of silence from Nee, after he was grossly mistreated by fellow Christians.

Nee was someone who never defended himself or justified his actions.

He was teachable, humble, and broken. He recognized the cross when it came into his life, and wanted God to waste nothing.

In the same way, he never defended when under false accusation and personal attack. He, like Jesus, was silent at such times, entrusting himself to God as 1 Peter 2 commands.

Nee was a broken vessel who knew the cross and thus he was qualified to preach it in all its ugly depths.

Release of the Spirit: The Breaking of the Outward Man for

Nee suspended his ministry for a number of years. When Nee resumed his ministry, however, he delivered a series of powerful messages on brokenness.

Those messages are contained in the book, The Release of the Spirit.

I’m re-reading this book, some 20 years after I first read it as a young man. And it awakened in me an instinct for the cross. Something that only God can teach another mortal.[Continue Reading...]

The Difference Between Persuasion and Manipulation & Is Business Incompatible with Being a Christian?

Today I interview Ray Edwards. Ray is a Christian businessman – a copywriter by trade. There’s a lot of confusion today among the Christian community on the matters of having a business and the ethics of marketing.

I caught up with Ray to ask him some questions about these topics, as he’s a seasoned expert in the field.  For those of you who are like me and give much of your income to the poor, you’ll want to learn how you can help others more by having a business of your own.

I hope you’ll read the interview and check out Ray’s resources.

Ray, you are a professional copywriter. Many of my blog readers are bloggers, authors, pastors and/or teachers in some capacity. What exactly is a copywriter and how can your services be of help to my readers?

Ray Edwards: Copywriting is persuasion in print. These days, “print” can mean ink on paper or more likely words on a screen.

The copywriter’s job is to tell a story that persuades the reader to take action. This skill is really about more than mere advertising and marketing. It’s about impacting human behavior.[Continue Reading...]