Wonderstruck: An Interview with Author Margaret Feinberg

Wonderstruck Bible Study series may be as beautiful as it is inspiring

“The first time I saw a snippet of the footage, I thought this must be CGI. If I hadn’t actually been there, I would say, “That’s not real!” It’s truly breathtaking and awe-inspiring.” -Margaret Feinberg

by Gary David Stratton • Senior Editor

Author, blogger, speaker, and two-handed warrior, Margaret Feinberg
Author, blogger, speaker, and two-handed warrior, Margaret Feinberg

Margaret Feinberg is a popular Bible teacher and speaker at churches and leading conferences such as Catalyst, Thrive and Extraordinary Women. Her books and Bible studies have sold over 600,000 copies and received critical acclaim and extensive national media coverage.

Margaret’s latest book, Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God recently premièred at No. 1 on Amazon.com’s ‘Hot New Releases’ in Christian Living. It’s Margaret’s first book since Christianity Today named her to their 50 Women You Should Know list and one of her most significant.

The book invites readers to recognize the presence of God in the midst of your routine, develop a renewed passion for God, identify what’s holding you back in prayer, and rediscover the joy of being a child of God.

With the release of Margaret’s Wonderstruck Bible study series this week, we thought we’d ask Margaret what makes this series special.

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 An Interview with Wonderstruck author Margaret Feinberg 

THW: ‘Wonderstruck’ is such a great title. What does it actually mean?

Margaret: I think that living wonderstruck is about recognizing that God is busting at the seams to display His glory, might, and power in our lives—and live on the look out.

 

THW: Why do you think it’s so important for people to live wonderstruck?

Margaret: If you look in the Gospels, what you’ll discover is that those who encountered Jesus were left in wild amazement. They were awestruck by the teachings of Christ, the healings of Christ, the mind-bending miracles of Christ. Within the Gospel of Luke we see words like “awe” and “wonder” and “marvel” at every turn. If this is the natural response to encountering Christ, how much more should it be for you and I—who are invited to live in relationship with Christ as sons and daughters of our God Most High?

 

THW: Sounds like there is a personal story behind that Biblical application.

Margaret: There is. The Wonderstruck book and Bible study were born out of one of the toughest years of our lives for my husband Leif and I. We were getting pounded in all directions—and the prayer that emerged wasn’t for greater faith or trust or even strength, but a prayer for wonder. In the midst of pain and loss and hardship, I longed to recapture the wonder of God and be astounded by Him again.

 

THW: What can church leaders do to begin rekindling their own sense of wonder?

So I would counsel them to do what Leif and I did and start praying for wonder. Every day. What we discovered is that as you pray, it changes the posture of your life and begin looking for how God wants to answer. You begin to see the divine fingerprints of God in your schedule, your “chance” encounters, your conversations.

Before you know it, you’ll begin pausing by details you once walked by—the soft light of the setting sun, the brightness of an infant’s eyes, the particulars in Scripture you may have once rushed by. Praying for wonder asks God to reveal Himself and again and places us in a posture of seeing and savoring God and His handiwork all around.

 

THW:  The Bible study series you wrote to accompany Wonderstruck doesn’t seem like a typical Bible study. What makes it different?

Margaret: Well, Wonderstruck does have similar elements to lots of Bible studies—20 minute video teaching segments ranging, discussion guides, and even five nights of homework for those who want to dive deeper, and fun, engaging experiential activities.

But a few things make Wonderstruck unique. First, it’s filmed near Banff, Canada—at Lake Louise, Lake Bow, Lake Morraine and surrounding area. The first time I saw a snippet of the footage, I thought this must be CGI. If I hadn’t actually been there, I would say, “That’s not real!” It’s truly breathtaking and awe-inspiring. The wonders of God as displayed through creation are mesmerizing and the Lifeway team did an incredible job in filming.

But this study isn’t just about diving into the Scripture or discovering something new about God (though that’s included!), but it’s about changing the posture of the way we live so we’re ready to encounter God in ways we’ve never expected.

 

THW:  That certainly sounds exciting.  Can you give our readers some examples of what that might mean for them?

Margaret: Since the release of Wonderstruck on Christmas Day, we’ve had emails pour in from readers of how they’re encountering God. One woman was struggling to find a job. She began praying for wonder—asking God to give her those moments of spiritual awakening that stir her hunger for God. She went in for yet another job interview and this time was extended an offer. She wrote us let us know that it was like God had gone before her and all she had to do was show up. Her response was one of gratitude and thanks to God.

Another person began praying for wonder and stepped outside one evening. She sat in awe as seven shooting stars illuminated the sky above her. Her response was one of praise at the nearness of God and celebrating God as Creator.

Another reader began praying for wonder. As a stay-at-home mom surrounded by laundry and a million to-do’s, she thought, “How can God reveal his wonder in this?” Later that day, she received a text with the news that they had lost a loved one. She was able to respond with words of comfort, and prayers on their behalf. In that moment, she was reminded that even with toddlers in tow, God wanted to use her.

 

THW:  Are such results “typical?” (I sound like I’m interviewing a doctor who discovered a cure for a disease.)

Margaret: Well, I hope so.  I am certainly offering a ‘prescription’ for anyone experiencing a ‘boring’ walk with God, or who is feeling overwhelmed by the challenges they are facing. Through the book and Bible study, I offer a “30-Day Wonder Challenge” that invites people to take time through specific activities—including journaling, snapping photos, embracing silence, prayer, and study, that are designed to rekindle the wonder of God.

I believe that genuine wonder awaits awaits anyone willing to start looking for it in their relationships, schedule, Sabbath, and so much more. 

 

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Margaret Feinberg’s latest book, Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God and 7-session DVD Bible study are available on her website or amazon.com

You can follow Margaret on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mafeinberg, or click the image to learn more.

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Margaret’s Winter Schedule

January 12, 2013
Chase Oaks Church Leadership Forum
Plano, TX

January 17, 2013
Children’s Pastors’ Conference
Orlando, FL

February 3, 2013
Cherry Hills Community Church Weekend Services
Highlands Ranch, CO

February 19, 2013
Children’s Pastors’ Conference
San Diego, CA

March 1-2, 2013
Extraordinary Women Conference
Tulsa, OK

March 3, 2013
Simply Youth Ministry Conference
Indianapolis, IN

March 15-16, 2013
Extraordinary Women Conference
Greenville, SC

April 5-6, 2013
First Baptist Jackson Women’s Retreat
Jackson, MS