An interview with Margaret Feinberg

An interview with Margaret Feinburg

My friend, Margaret Feinberg [www.margaretfeinberg.com], has a new book and 7-session DVD Bible study called Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God [www.margaretfeinberg.com/wonderstruck] (releasing Christmas Day)—a personal invitation for you to toss back the covers, climb out of bed, and drink in the fullness of life. As you may or may not know, I’ve been a fan of Margaret Feinberg and her books for the last few years.

I recently received the insider’s scoop about Margaret’s new book. Here are some highlights from the interview:

Where did the inspiration for the Wonderstruck book and Bible study come from?

Have you ever had one of those seasons where everything goes wrong, and when you think it can’t get worse, it somehow finds a way? My husband, Leif, and I had just gone through one of the roughest years of our lives. In the aftermath, as we processed the pain and loss, I had an unexplainable desire in my heart. I began praying for the wonder of God. In essence, I said, “God reveal yourself, your whole self to me. I want to know you as Wonderful. I want to know you as I’ve never known you before and see you in places I’ve never recognized you before.” God did not disappoint.

What do you mean by “the wonder of God”?

Sometimes talking or writing about wonder feels like tying kite strings to clouds. It’s ethereal, and you can never quite get a grip on it. But if you look in the dictionary, the two main definitions of wonder are: “being filled with admiration, amazement, or awe” and “to think or speculate curiously.”

Those definitions come together beautifully in our relationship with God. That’s why I define the wonder of God as those moments of spiritual awakening that create a desire to know God more.

In other words, the wonder of God isn’t about an emotional experience or having some cool story to tell your friends, but the wonder of God makes us want more of God—to go deeper and further than we’ve ever been before.

Why do you think we so easily lose the wonder?

It’s amazing how quickly we can grow numb to the wonder of God in our lives. I think there are a variety of reasons. Paying bills. Getting that degree. Providing for a family. Raising kids. Caring for aging parents. The list goes on.

All too often we find ourselves head down, pushing ahead, just trying to get through. Somewhere along the way, a gap begins to develop between God and us. A drifting takes place. We’re not only less aware of God’s presence in our lives, we’re less expectant. And so even when God does show up, we miss him. We pass by unaware. We’re spiritually asleep and we don’t even know it.

Yet I believe that as followers of Jesus we’re meant to live wonderstruck. We’re invited to live on the edge of our seats in wild expectation of what God might do next. I want to live with this kind of divine expectation, that wide awake spiritual hunger, searching for God in how ever he may want to reveal himself.

Why you do you encourage people to pray for wonder?

This is an incredibly powerful prayer, because praying for wonder invites us to change the posture with which we live our lives. When we pray for wonder, we’re asking God to expand our capacity to see and savor the divine gifts all around and take us deeper in our journey with Christ and in the Scripture than we’ve ever been. A prayer for wonder essentially says, “God, I want more of you! Take my breath away!” And leaves us living expectant for how God will answer.

What do you hope people will gain from the Wonderstruck book and Bible study?

My hope is that you will be awakened to the imminent presence of God in your life. We do not serve a God who is far off, but One who is near, ever present, and intimately involved in the most minute details of our lives. I think we can so easily forget this.

So my prayer has been that you will begin seeing God in unexpected ways right in the midst of your routine, that your passion for God will be reignited, and you’ll find the Scripture coming alive in a whole new way.

Follow Margaret’s snarky, funny, and inspirational posts on Twitter [www.twitter.com/mafeinberg], Facebook [www.facebook.com/margaretfeinberg], or her blog [www.margaretfeinberg.com]. You can learn more about this great book by visiting www.margaretfeinberg.com/wonderstruck where she’s offering some crazy promos right now with up to $300 of free stuff. I’ve seen the book for as low as $7.95 ($14.99 retail) on Barnes & Noble [http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wonder-struck-margaret-feinberg/1110904808?ean=9781617950889] for all you savvy shoppers.

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The vision of i-61 explained in 7 minutes

“i-61”is a ministry that endeavors to provide structure, support and training for church bodies that share a common heart for justice, compassion and mercy ministry both in their local communities and through their international missions outreach. It is a ministry designed to support and enhance the many church planting partnerships that are so effectively expanding the Kingdom worldwide.  The following is a seven minute video that explains how i-61 works and what it hopes to accomplish.

What is i-61? from Vineyard Boise on Vimeo.

 

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“Rooted in Good Soil” – Now released by Baker Books

Now released on Amazon by Baker Books

A number of years ago while teaching through the gospel of Luke I took a seven week detour and taught a series that I entitled, The Good Soil. While preparing my normal forty-five minute Sunday message on chapter eight, the Lord showed me something that caused me to stop what I was doing for the sake of gaining a deeper revelation on Jesus’ parable of the sower. I had read this passage and taught through it many times. (The parable of the sower is repeated in all three synoptic gospels.) That morning as I read through the chapter there was a revelation that illuminates just how miraculous the scripture can be. It was as if the Lord had challenged me to take a deeper look. This book reveals what the Lord began to show me, and the depth of understanding that came from taking that detour to find out more about the good soil.

Rooted in Good Soil interweaves three uniquely different themes. The first is the parable itself. In the parable Jesus speaks of four different soil conditions. He tells us that the seed (God’s truth) didn’t take root in the first three types of soil (hard path, rocky soil and the thorn infested soil.) In each of these cases the seed never matured and was eventually lost altogether. It was only in the good soil that it took deep root and matured to a place of fruitfulness, producing a great harvest. At this point it dawned on me that I had previously focused on the poor soil conditions rather on what takes place in good soil. The revelation came to me that I had to understand the miracle of good soil if I ever intended to lead people to this place of authenticity and maturity in Christ.

The second theme incorporates my personal love for the land. I not only love to farm and garden, but I also taught biology for twelve years before entering full-time ministry. My education had in part been in ecology and I was fascinated in organic agriculture for years. As I began to study the parable I even took out some of my old text books in an attempt to rediscover what magical things take place in rich organic soil that cause seeds to flourish. In my discovery, both through research and prayer, I felt inspired to take poetic or prophetic license in an effort to discover what Jesus meant when he said, “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Luke 8:15)

The third theme is my own story of Christian development. Much of the story I share concerning Nancy and my discipleship journey took place growing up as a young Christian couple at the Lancaster/Desert Vineyard in southern California. In reality the whole point of the book is about moving towards mature and authentic Christianity. It is about true discipleship and how it is more of an organic process than a structured program. And with my passion to see others come into this deep meaningful relationship, it is my hope that Rooted in Good Soil will motivate all who read it to go deeper with God for the purpose of reaching greater maturity and participating in productive harvest.

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