This morning’s post comes from JR Woodward who describes himself as a dream awakener and co-founder of Kairos Los Angeles, a network of neighborhood churches in the Los Angeles area. He serves on the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council as well as on the board for the Ecclesia Network and GCM. He founded [nlcf] a church at Virginia Tech, and The Unembraced, a ministry to orphans in the Turkana region of Kenya. He is also the co-founder and director of The Solis Foundation that awards micro-grants to help start small businesses in Kenya. JR enjoys coaching and consulting with a number of churches and church planters. He is a sought out conference speaker, a writer, as well as an avid blogger.
He blogs at Dream Awakener. Last year I had the delight of participating in the blog series that resulted in the book Viral Hope that JR talks about below.
A VIRUS WORTH SPREADING
Go to your favorite news sources and you will see that bad news captures the headlines faster than good news. Not only do we face the onslaught of personal and local bad news, we daily digest bad news from around the globe – the latest disasters, the financial crises and the horrifying crimes against humanity. It’s surprising that more of us don’t drown our sorrows at the local pub.
Tragedy and pain is common. The one thing we need in the midst of bad news is hope. I’m not talking about positive thinking, but a stubborn hope that has the capacity to be embodied in people and communities in such a way that it spreads quickly around the world, a hope that is based on the love of the Father, the faithfulness of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit. A ViralHope.
This hope virus spreads like seeds blowing in the wind as we share the ways that God is working in and through us. The hope virus can be caught by paying attention to the ways the kingdom of God is manifesting itself in our world and sharing that with others.
This can even happen through a blog series or a blog series that morphs into a book, like the book ViralHope: Good News from the Urbs to the Burbs. As the editor of this book, I have been greatly encouraged how God is using this book to engage people with the gospel, renew people’s hope, and give inspiration for people to spread hope. The book has landed in the hands of mayors, professors, actors, musicians, to students and people on their deathbed. Listen to some responses found from reviews on Amazon:
“I started to read this book on a train ride to Chicago and couldn’t put it down. The words jumped off the page to inspire my heart. They spoke about the Gospel in a way I’ve never heard before, but really loved to hear articulated again.” – Alan Hable (Champaign, IL)
“Reading this book left me with one profound conviction: I need to find ways to love my community more deeply.” – Jill Barrett (Independence, VA)
“This is a deeply theological book, the focus of which is the Gospel content itself, the reclamation of a message that truly is Good News. It puts the ‘Good’ back into the ‘Good News.’” – Paul Glavic (Seattle, WA)
“This is a book I really needed to read… because I need the continual reminder that the message of our God is GOOD, transformative, particular yet diverse, imminent, and infecting.” – BrascoBall (Los Angeles, CA)
“The stories captured here given an inspiring glimpse into what is happening around the globe today. It is current, refreshing, and eye-opening. The hope offered here is contagious.” – Lisa Hawkes (Edmonds, WA)
“Viral Hope was such an easy book to keep reading. All of the different points of view were refreshing and gave an interesting cross section of the variety that is seen in the church today. Viral Hope was also a hard book to keep reading. It doesn’t allow you to passively ponder what good could be done through the work of the true gospel. It challenges you to step up and join the fray.” – Paul Johnson (Ames, IA)
This creative video illustrates the spreading of this hope. It’s a virus worth spreading!