Hearts for the Kingdom Author Interview




When I finished reading Hearts for the Kingdom last week, I contacted the author, Cho Larson.   We talked about the book and he graciously agreed to be my guest today.  Together we hope to inspire you in your journey of faith to pursue God with a heart that is alive and beating for the Kingdom of God.


Mary:  Cho, when I finished your book, I felt loved and very close to my Savior.
Cho:  I’m overwhelmed at the encouraging response to it.

Mary:  How long did it take to write this book?
Cho:  God works in mysterious ways. As I’ve observed God’s hand at work, it’s easy for me to picture Him as the Great Conductor, orchestrating everything in perfect harmony. Hearts for the Kingdom wasn’t my original plan, but after I sent another manuscript I was working on to my editor, while waiting for him to edit, the need became clear for a foundational book. This book required about six months to complete.

Mary: as an author, what is the message you hope your readers will take away?
Cho:  God has given me a passion for His church. Not the buildings or church organizations, but His people. My passion is for people to know and experience firsthand the living, active presence or our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Mary:  I read my copy of this book with my journal opened for examining my own heart.  How would your book benefit a small group setting?
Cho: You’ve touched my heart of hearts with this question. The inspiration for the three books of the Kingdom Series began in a home Bible study group. I asked them what they would like to study next, and one gal suggested we do a study on the Holy Spirit. As I began to prepare something woke up in me and took me back to my faith roots. This all began as a Bible study and the material is designed for study groups, to help them dig into God’s Word.

Mary:  You repeat throughout the book “On our own, impossible; depending on the Lord, possible”.   Explain.

Cho:  God has given each of us a special work to do. (Ephesians 2:10). But too often we attempt to do this work in our own strength and by means of our natural talents and abilities. On our own, this work is impossible to accomplish. The prophet Ezekiel makes this point clear. “[T]hey do not distinguish between the holy and the common” (Ezekiel 22:26). We are called to accomplish an impossible mission — the Great Commission, and the Spirit of Jesus gifts us and empowers us to accomplish the work we are called to complete.

Mary:  You engage the reader with humor.  I found the chapter on Fasting amusing describing indulgent Americans.  Your thoughts?
Cho:  Now your questions are getting personal! Fasting is a Christian discipline that is challenging for me. When my stomach growls, I start to growl. But fasting is about more than growling stomachs. Above all else, fasting is a picture of our walk with Jesus. Fasting is not so much about going without, but about feasting on the bounty of our Lord Jesus.

Mary:  I noticed your passion explode in the chapter about repentance.  As a teacher in the Kingdom, explain your strong feelings about a repentant heart.
Cho: Repentance is an elementary truth and a foundational truth. Repentance prepares the way for God to renew, restore and refresh His people. Apart from repentance, we get stuck in a hopeless quagmire of our own making. My hope and earnest prayer is that God will bring our hearts to repentance, not only for our own sins, but also for the sins of the church, so that He may begin a good work in our hearts — giving us Kingdom Hearts.

Mary: What was your favorite chapter to write in this book?  Why?
Cho: The first chapter is my greatest passion. So many people are searching, but don’t know what they are searching for. They have an empty feeling inside; but by hearing God’s Word — truly hearing and giving ascent to the words of Scripture — the seed of faith is planted in their hearts and the void is filled. Their lives will be changed for all eternity. Without this change of heart, none of the other chapters in this book will be of any value.

Mary:  of the Christian disciplines you write about, which challenges your own heart?
Cho:  Expressing thankfulness when life throws its challenges at me is one of my greatest tests requiring me to refocus on the good things God is doing. As I wrote the three books of the Kingdom series, life threw some major curve balls at me. My faith was tested, and my weaknesses came to the surface. Many times, I prayed, “I can’t do this.” But finally, in Christ, it became possible. I’m incredibly thankful for all God has done in me and through me, as He accomplished His good work in me.

Mary: Are you available to teach or speak to groups?
Cho: Where there are two ears to hear, I’m willing to speak what the Good Lord gives me to speak. I have a yearning to teach the topic of my books to small gatherings, Bible study groups, Sunday school classes, Sunday morning messages, and seminar groups; from one to a thousand, call me and I’ll be there to teach.  


Thank you, Cho, for stopping by my place and sharing your vision for the Kingdom.  I highly recommend your book.  Christian principles are crystal clear!





Cho Larson lives in the Verde Valley of Arizona with his wife, Susie.  He is a father and grandfather.  Cho’s powerful gift of teaching and down-to-earth writing style inspires and educates the reader with humor and warmth.  Cho can be reached at his website:  www.cholarson.com as well as Facebook.

Comments

  1. Love your new blog header picture :) Sounds like a very good book; I'm definitely going to put it on my to read list. How gracious of him to give you an interview too; you came up with great questions to ask him too!

    betty

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    1. Whether one just met Jesus or knew Him for decades, these foundational truths touch your heart and encourage! I like authors who are real and write from that place in their faith journey. Header pic is west Sedona, Betty, as you probably know.

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  2. Wow! What a wonderful interview! You certainly caught my interest and made me want to read this book! Thank you ever so much for introducing us to this wonderful author and book! God bless you, dear friend. :)

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    1. I'm a lot like you when I read and jot down my questions and thoughts. I am fortunate that he gave me the time to answer and explain to me! He's approachable that way. Blessings to you this week, my sister.

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  3. That's a beautiful header. What's the story behind it?
    Great interview too. The books sounds interesting.

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    1. This is our view as we head into Sedona, Lux. There is something about this photo which Tom took in 2004 that grabs me. I'm thinking it grabs you too? I highly recommend this book! Love and hugs to you.

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  4. Mary, I am not familiar with this author or book but I will definitely be getting it soon. I really enjoyed your interview with the author. Your questions were perfect at getting to the heart of the book and author. Again, thank you for sharing this book.

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    1. You're going to love it Nancy. My favorite chapter was the one about worship. Let me know how you like it! Have a great week!

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  5. This book sounds wonderful. I'll have to look for it. How wonderful to be able to interview the author here.

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    1. It's one I will re-read, Melanie. The author is down to earth. You can write to him; he will write you back. Love you, dear sister.

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  6. What an insightful read! In particular, I like envisioning God as a Great Conductor, orchestrating everything in perfect harmony.

    I'm guessing Mr. Larson was honored to share his message ... you are such a gift to others, Mary!

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    1. Myra, I thought that too and your comment sparks thoughts I have about this very thing. Thank you! I'm going to ask Cho more about the way he talks about this in his book. You're a gift to me, girlfriend!

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  7. What a great interview, Mary, and your new header is gorgeous and captivating! :)

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    1. Thanks, dear Linda. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead. Looking forward to stopping by real soon.

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  8. Hi Mary! What a great thing to reach out to an author because you liked his book. I'm sure you made his day!
    It sounds like Mr. Larson in 'on fire' for writing, and for lighting a fire in all of us too. What an inspiration he is! Thank you for your interview, and for introducing me to this book too.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. He is an inspiration for sure, Ceil. Yes about igniting us too. The term "fellowship" describes how I felt when I read this book. I wanted to talk to him about it because how else would he know I was shaking my head in agreement, right? I would love to be in a small group reading it or reading it with someone. Maybe I need to contact my old book club, the Yada Yada Girls.

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  9. Wonderful interview!! Really enjoyed it. This line: "Expressing thankfulness when life throws its challenges at me is one of my greatest tests requiring me to refocus on the good things God is doing."

    That totally resonated with me as I am entering this new year with my new word - grateful. And focus and refocusing are key. An intentional choice to look at the blessings is difficult, and we have an enemy that would directly battle against an attitude of gratitude. But I am finding that looking for the good for 18 days now is seeping into my soul...

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Oh yeah, Sharon, I can see how his answer would build you up with that 2016 word the Lord gave you. You must feel cheered on to develop muscles of gratefulness. We're all in this together!!

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  10. Great interview. Thank you.

    It was very good of you to contact the author for an interview. Christian authors need all the publicity they can get. Well done.

    God bless.

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    1. Oh thanks, Victor! I hoped my interview would do his book justice. It is his first book and first one in the series. He mentioned the second to me and it sounds wonderful!

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  11. Thank you for this interview. Inspiring. I will be keeping this book in mind, and like that it could be a bible study. And also was inspired by how you kept a journal on your thoughts as you read.

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    1. Lynn, it got me in the Word every single chapter with a lot of the author's insights and stories to expound. I like practical teachings and he writes very clearly. Yes, you will need your journal for sure.

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  12. This book sounds like one every christian should read! Your interview was great with lots of insight. I am putting this on my "must read" list.

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    1. I agree that it's great to have a book about the basics of our faith and this one with a flare of a teacher's example in life makes those principles applicable. You're a book worm; I know you'll like it.

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  13. Thank you. You shared very wonderfully and spread the eyes and ears and hearts around. Bless you, Dear. AND when seeing the "rocks" and the clouds with that wonderful photo just grabbed me strongly. Love things like that. Bless you much!!

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    1. Thanks, Joanne, for stopping by and grabbing some strength, both from words and rocks! Luv ya.

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  14. Looks like you had a wonderful interview. Sounds like a very good book too! I appreciate you sharing. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Hugs back, Cindy. Wishing you an awesome week.

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  15. Great interview. I'm gonna check out Cho's book. Thanks for sharing, Mary.

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  16. Your interview caused us to look into the heart of a man of God. Awesome post Mary. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

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  17. A wave of blessing washing over me--this is what I felt while reading the comments and feedback from your friends. Thank you, Mary.

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