Fighting Against God

Paul of Tarsus was a disciple of Gamiliel, the famed Jewish rabbi.

This story in Acts 5, following the divine judgment enacted upon Ananias and Sapphira, has always been both chilling and instructive to me.  It says,

Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death.

But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men.[Continue Reading…]

How to Properly Receive Jesus Christ – It May Surprise You

The 73rd episode of my podcast has just been published.

Frank Viola

Episode Overview

  • Bob Crittenden of Faith Broadcasting pelts me with questions about how to properly receive Jesus Christ and why the story of Jesus in Bethany is so critical for Christians today.
  • Christian Book Distributors (CBD) discusses with me how the message of God’s Favorite Place on Earth changed my life.

Listen to the Episode

A New Book From My Friend Jon Acuff

Update: My new book, God’s Favorite Place on Earth has already reached #13 out of all 7 million books on Amazon.com. I want to thank you all for making this happen, as unbelievable as it is. If you haven’t picked up the book yet, do so now. Click GodsFavoritePlace.com.

My friend Jon Acuff also has a new book out. His book released a week before mine did. And since we be down wit friendship and all, yo, I’m pimpin’ his book in my blog hood. :-)

img-book-start-small.png

I met Jon Acuff for the first time when we were speaking at a conference together in Colorado. Jon works with the Dave Ramsey organization, the famed radio host and financial guru.

Jon has a great sense of humor, which is in short supply among Christians today. So for that alone, I love the guy. He’s my kind a peeps, you know.

Johhny A’s  new book is called Start. Here’s a description.

“Jon Acuff used to be a Serial Quitter. He had eight jobs in eight years, constantly hoping the next one will be different. From writing advertising for The Home Depot, to branding for companies like Bose and Staples, he’s no stranger to the cubicle. This book is the result of that 12-year adventure in closing the gap between a day job and a dream job, something Jon did when he joined the Dave Ramsey team in 2010 to become a full-time author.”

Click here to order Start by Jon Acuff

Making It Easy to Share on Your Social Networks

As you know, on April 17, I decided to part ways with the very “conventional” idea of putting together a small “book launch team.” And instead, I broke all custom by making ALL OF YOU part of my launch team – whoever wants to be.

So you all made the cut!

Some of my friends are saying, “Frankie V., this idea will never work. People won’t spread the word about your book unless you give them something in return.”

Perhaps I’m a fool, but I choose to believe differently.

One of my friends, Mike Morrell, is just as foolish as I am (maybe). He told me over the phone the other day, “Frankie V., there are tons of us who want to help you promote this great book on launch week. But many of us are busy and lazy. So make it easy for us. Give us some short updates that we can copy and paste on our Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, LinkedIn, our blogs, and some photos for Pinterest.[Continue Reading…]

Why Mary of Bethany is My Hero

This story of Mary of Bethany’s extravagant act of anointing Jesus for burial holds many profound lessons for every genuine Christian today.

The narrative contains the only sermon that Judas ever preached. Listen to his three-word protest. 

“Why this waste?” 

When Judas saw Mary’s worshipful act, he exploded with criticism, saying, “Why are you being so wasteful? You could have helped the poor with this small fortune!” 

But Mary stepped out in faith. Her act of extravagant love was shameless, selfless, and risked both embarrassment and the sneers and jeers of harsh criticism.[Continue Reading…]

Rejected in All Quarters But One

From the Lips of Lazarus . . .

It’s been more than thirty years since I met Him. The day He first entered our home is etched in my mind forever. I shall never forswear those memories.

My sisters, Mary and Martha, are no longer with us. Neither is my father, Simon, whom Jesus healed of leprosy.

Most of the Teacher’s close disciples, all of whom I had the privilege of knowing, have rendered their lives for His Name’s sake.

A number of them committed to the written page their own encounters with Him. Words that I’ve read and consider to be God-breathed. Since I am not sure how much longer I have left on this earth, I wish to leave behind the story of the times Jesus came to my hometown, Bethany, and of all the people He forever changed while He was here.

The One who lived before the earth existed spent only thirty three years on the planet. And God gave me the unique honor of sharing some of those years with Him.

I did not know it at the time, but the Galilean prophet was rejected everywhere He went. When I discovered this, the irony dawned on me.[Continue Reading…]

I’m NOT That Frank Viola!

In July 2012, I wrote Not Being Frank for a Moment . . . this post is a postscript to that one.

Warning: The photo captions contain V-bonics . . . just to brighten your day. :-)

I Be Not Dis Frank Viola

I’m just a young kid with a dream . . . but my childhood dream of pitching in the Majors didn’t quite pan out.

anthonyfrank

I Be Not Dis Frank Viola Either

My middle name is Anthony, by the way. Can you believe that? :-( Please tell me I’m better looking than this guy.

FrankVioladark

Dis Frank Viola Be Me

So to put any confusion to rest, as God is my witness –

I have nevah evah played baseball for the Major Leagues.

And as God is my witness –

I have nevah evah committed a sexual offense.

I am the other Frank Viola . . . just a kid with a dream. The Italian guy who loves the Lord Jesus and whom Jesus loves back with great affection. The guy who is trying to glorify God with my life, my words, and my heart – however imperfect and frail they may be – the best I know how.

Just a kid with a dream, my friends, just a kid with a dream.

Two sad cheers for mistaken identities.

This message has been approved by the real Frank Viola . . . a.k.a. Frankie V. :-)

Anointed for Burial

From the lips of Lazarus . . .

Living after you have died is strange.

You appreciate life like never before. Martha’s lentil soup never tasted so good. Even the capers, which I had never relished, were suddenly exquisite.

It had been months since Jesus brought me back to the realm of the living. And as was His custom, the Teacher visited us once again on His way to Jerusalem.

We did not know it at the time, but this visit would mark the last week of His earthly life. That entire week, He would visit the holy city in the day and retreat in the evening to our home, where He and His disciples lodged overnight.

When we received word that Jesus was coming, my father decided to host a private dinner party to celebrate my resurrection. Jesus would be the guest of honor.

As usual, Martha served as hostess and Mary assisted. Before the banquet began, Martha insisted that I sit next to Jesus, which I gladly did. My father sat at the head of the table with Jesus at his right hand in the place of honor.

Our house was packed to the brim that evening. Voices rose to the roof. Bright colors of clothing dotted the public room. Some of our closest friends were present, including relatives from Bethany and Jerusalem. It was a reunion of everyone we held dear.

The dinner party was held six days before Passover. And Jesus brought all of His disciples.[Continue Reading…]