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God's Favorite Place on Earth Paperback – May 1, 2013
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"In Frank Viola's hands, the story of Lazarus--like Lazarus himself--once again comes to life. In a world where hope is battered and life can so easily beat down the human spirit, we are reminded once more of the possibility of becoming a host of Life."
John Ortberg, pastor and author of Who Is This Man?
"God's Favorite Place on Earth realigned my heart toward Jesus and His mysterious, confounding, surprising, beautiful ways. It's not often I learn something new when reading a book, but Frank Viola's sharp storytelling and insightful interpretation made me hunger for more of the real Jesus."
Mary DeMuth, author of Everything: What You Give
"God's Favorite Place on Earth is the kind of book I've discovered I need to periodically find and read. Frank Viola's pen and voice are consistently both penetrating and trustworthy. Beyond his invitingly beautiful writing skill--which makes reading a joy and a sight-seeing tour that brings God's Word into 3-D when he relates narrative passages, I'm grateful for the depth of his themes."
Pastor Jack Hayford, Chancellor of The King's University, Los Angeles
"This is a masterfully engaging book that distills the vision of the Christian life into one focused quest: To be God's favorite place on earth today. I recommend this little volume to all Christians and Christian leaders."
Mark Batterson, New York Times bestselling author of The Circle Maker
"Combining masterful storytelling, historical knowledge, biblical insight and practical wisdom, Frank artfully uses the Gospels' depiction of Lazarus and the small town of Bethany to lay out a beautiful and compelling vision of a God who longs to make every human heart and every church 'His favorite place.' This is a beautifully written, timely, prophetic work all would benefit from reading!"
Greg Boyd, pastor and author of Benefit of the Doubt
"A lot of people write books, Frank writes stories and in this one we once again see why he's such a master. Honored to call him a friend, excited to call him an author I love to read."
Jon Acuff, bestselling author of Start and Quitter
"Frank Viola surpasses himself in his best book yet—a work of serene, soaring magnificence. Part novel, part biography, part theology, part Bible study, Frank’s imaginative touch and command of prose haiku leaves the reader resolved more than ever to be a Bethany—God’s favorite place on earth."
Leonard Sweet, Drew University, George Fox University
“Reading God's Favorite Place on Earth by Frank Viola, my soul began to burn from Chapter One. To delve into Lazarus' heart and thoughts ... I received a beautiful glimpse into the life of Christ on earth. Lazarus' stories make a perfect foundation for God's truth, God's intimacy. I can't wait to share this book!”
Tricia Goyer, USA Today best-selling author of 35 books
"In spite of my Ph.D. in Theology, I had never considered the importance of Bethany in the life of Jesus."
Phil Cooke, media consultant and author of Unique
"Reading God's Favorite Place on Earth illuminates the story of Jesus in such a new and captivating way that it's bound to impact your life. Read this powerful book and reconnect with the Lord's heart for every Christian, every church, and every city. "
Pete Wilson, pastor and author of Plan B and Empty Promises
About the Author
Top customer reviews
It presents a clear, whole, beautiful vision of Christ in and with His people.
There is narrative, scripture and commentary.
It is more than adequate to create savor for real fellowship with the Lord, according to His terms, rather than ours.
May those whose heart's burn for such, find themselves equipped by the Lord, who hears the cries of His little ones.
Those craving more narrative beware, lest they idol 'story and fiction' above time with the Lord Himself.
Great as a stand alone read, greater still, to serve as part of a unifying vision for groups sharing life together.
Frank's narrative through the eyes of Lazarus really made the amazing episodes that occurred in "Bethany" come to life. There are many wow moments in this book... valuable insights into these episodes that you will not easily find elsewhere.
The practical instruction after each "narrative" section was very valuable. I will be referring to this book again and again in the future.
God's Favorite Place on Earth is a timely book, I happen to have gotten the audio messages before the book arrived May 7th, I listened to the set three times in three days. I read the book faster than it took to listen to the trio MP3.
I am no longer a Martha, even though I too started there. I loved how Frank brought out the traditions of the time and relationships of the family with Jesus. The book was thought provoking.
This book is on a different scale From Frank's other books. I wouldn't say better just different. When something is already perfect the bar can't be raised.
Join Lazarus as he retells the stories, scene by scene, of Jesus' encounters with Lazarus and his family in the village of Bethany. As you hear the history, culture, and events of Bethany from Lazarus' vantage point, as well as some life lessons that Frank unfolds, you will be amazed at Jesus once again and your spirit will cry out, "What a Lord!"
Buy one for yourself and for a friend, or pass on your copy to someone else when you're finished reading. You will enjoy this book as I did!
However, I had never heard the story from Lazarus' perspective. God's Favorite Place on Earth gave me that perspective. I learned many things about Lazarus and his family I never knew as well as their relationship with Jesus.
"In the Gospels, Lazarus never speaks, Mary speaks once, and Martha speaks six times. This is probably reflective of their personalities."
I can imagine Lazarus thinking this, "Living after you have died is strange."
I also like the way the author provides the scriptures underlying the story.
If you think you know the story you might be pleasantly surprised like I was in reading God's Favorite Place on Earth. I am glad I did read it and think you will be too.