Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Interview with Barb Roose about her new book "Breakthrough"

We have a special guest whose book, Breakthrough, releases today! Join me in wishing Barb Roose a "Happy BOOK birthday!" Read on for a proper introduction message and video before diving deep into a Q&A with the author. 

Introduction: Barb Roose is a speaker, author and host of Better Together Facebook Live Show. She is passionate about teaching women to live beautifully strong and courageous in spite of fear so they experience God's great adventure of faith and purpose. 

Breakthrough–A Women's Bible Study by Barb Roose Promotional Video

An Interview with Barb Roose about her book,

For some, Christianity is a long list of rules to be followed, and it’s hard to be a “good Christian” because it always seems you’re breaking one of those rules. In Breakthrough: Finding Freedom in Christ, popular women’s conference speaker and author Barb Roose wants to help readers let go of the feeling they are not a “good enough” Christian and find freedom in Christ by studying Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

In this six-week study, Roose shows women that even the believers in the early church struggled to let go of rule-keeping and performance in order to embrace God’s free gift of grace. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul pours out his heart and faith to set them straight, addressing so many of the same questions and problems we still face today such as: Who has led you to believe you have to follow rules and “measure up”? Why do you think you have to be perfect for God? Does God only show up or love you when you “get it right”?

Read on for this pre-made Q & A with Barb Roose ...

Question (Q): You wrote the Breakthrough Bible study to celebrate God’s amazing grace and unconditional love, especially for Christians who are afraid that they have disappointed God or feel like they have to earn God’s favor or blessing. Did you struggle with this?

Answer (A): Oh yes! I grew up in a religious tradition of lovely people, but there were a lot of rules! While I heard about the gospel at an early age, I remember hearing more “dos” and “don’ts” from Christians around me than God’s love for me.

As a result of their influence and my own thinking, I spent decades judging myself as a Christian by how well I followed the “good” Christian rules such as never miss church, read the Bible every day, and others. Of course, there were seasons of life when I did miss church, I didn’t read the Bible, and I made mistakes. During those times in life, I feared that God was disappointed in me and I felt like a terrible Christian.

Years ago, I shifted my mindset. Instead of focusing on my performance, I decided to ruthlessly believe God’s promises about me and watch out for how He was working in my life. As I noticed where God was working in my life, I stopped feeling the pressure to earn His blessing and favor because I could already see Him giving them to me.

What is the spiritual breakthrough you hope readers will experience by diving into your new Bible study?

A: In a word: FREEDOM! I’m so excited about the opportunity for readers to experience the freedom that comes from knowing that our God is at work in us and that we don’t have to jump through hoops to earn His approval, love or favor. He’s already given it to us in every promise that He’s made to us!

While spiritual breakthrough isn’t a term in the Bible, it is reflected in God’s promise to change and transform us by renewing eternally us in Christ (Galatians 2:20). I’ve seen a lot of descriptions of spiritual breakthrough that put the responsibility for spiritual growth or freedom on human effort, but only God can rescue us from the prisons of our pain, our past and our problems. We might be able to push against the prison bars on our own, but only God can break us free!

In fact, one of the key features of the Breakthrough study is the weekly Spiritual Breakthrough Exercise with unique tools to identify where God is at work. It’s been so much fun listening to women celebrate seeing where God is at work and their confidence in knowing that God is transforming them, and they don’t have to try to make it happen on their own.

Q: We hear a lot about having freedom in Christ, but what does that actually mean for a Christian?

A: In the Breakthrough study, I define “freedom in Christ” as living free from fear and fully alive in God’s joy and purpose.

One of the most tangible examples for me is Jesus’ encounter with the immoral woman in Luke 7. While we don’t know where she came from or what she went through, we know that she cried enough tears at Jesus’ feet that she needed to use her hair to wipe them away. I can relate to that woman’s anguish at certain times in my life.

I love Jesus’ words to her, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” She didn’t say any or to do anything to earn Jesus’ forgiveness. He gives her peace just because she came humbly to his feet and Jesus set her free.

This is a powerful lesson for us, especially when we’ve got big regrets or the whispers from the pit of hell try to remind us of our mistakes. Jesus died to bring us freedom and we don’t have to earn it, only receive it and live in it.

Q: What are your six freedom principles?

A: As I studied Paul’s letter to the Galatian church, I created six Freedom Principles to capture the main themes of his letter. I pray that readers will use these principles as tools to apply to their lives when they feel like they need to do more to earn God’s love or blessing.

1. The gospel is based on God’s perfect promises, not our performance.

2. A relationship with God means that we receive from Him rather than follow rules for Him.

3. Your freedom in Christ cannot be shaken or taken away by anyone who chooses not to live like Christ.

4. Freedom in Christ is living free from fear and fully alive with joy and purpose.

5. Spiritual breakthrough is an ah-ha moment when we recognize that God is at work within us, receive what He’s doing, and respond to it.

6. You are God’s beautiful, loveable, capable daughter. You are confident in Christ and worthy of God’s best.

Q: Oftentimes we are hesitant to start the hard conversations about diversity at the risk of offending someone or making a situation worse. What are some ways we can start (and continue) discussions with the correct heart?

A: As part of Paul’s dialogue with the Galatian church, he emphasized that Christ came to break down the divisions between believers, but that doesn’t mean that God intends for us to ignore our differences. God intentionally created humans with differences in color and culture. In Galatians 5:13, Paul writes that we should use our freedom to serve one another in love.

The best way that we can love people who look differently than us is to love them through listening, especially when we don’t know them. Listening begins with inviting people who look differently than us to share their life stories. I like questions like, “Would you tell me about your life?” or “How did your family celebrate special holidays?” or “What’s been hard for you lately?”

When we’re willing to listen to others, it’s a demonstration of humility that we care and respect the other person and their story.

How can we be more supportive rather than judgmental Christians, especially with a friend that has fallen into sin?

A: This is such an important question! I’ve heard from so many hurting Christians who’ve walked away from the church because they made a mistake and Christians were quick to criticize.

We all make mistakes. All have sinned. Paul taught us that our role as believers is to gentle and humbly help those who’ve fallen. We’re not to add to someone’s guilt by telling them how badly they messed up and we’re gossip about them because Paul also taught in Galatians 6 that we’re all prone to faltering.

So, we gently and humbly help people when we follow in Jesus’ footsteps like he did with Zacchaeus the tax collector or the adulterous woman. First, we go to them, not avoid them. Then, we don’t shame them, but rather listen to their story. Finally, we affirm God’s truth and pray with them. We don’t have to save them or force them back on the right path again, that’s God’s job, but not ours.

Q: Can you give us some examples of legalism that hold us back from freedom?

A: In Breakthrough, I tell the story of my conversation with a lovely young believer who felt like she was a bad Christian because she saw other Christians who seemed to read their Bibles more and never miss church. She told me, “Well, I forget to read my Bible sometimes, and I still smoke. I feel like I’m disappointing God.”

My heart hurt for that young believer and so many other Christians who feel exactly like she does. Legalism wants us to believe that we have to earn God’s love and favor by reading our Bibles a certain number of times a week or never missing church. Legalism’s focus is on “what are we doing for God” and the problem is that when the focus is on us, we miss out on receiving what God wants to give us.

When we read our Bibles because we know that God’s truth gives us life, that’s freedom. But when we read our Bibles because we think that will make God happy, that’s legalism. When we go to church because the sermon and music focus us on Jesus’ love, that leads us to freedom. But, when we go to church because we think that God will punish us if we don’t, that’s legalism.

Q: There was a season of your life when, even though you were saved, you decided to disconnect from God because of religious rules. What made you decide to reconnect with God?

A: My mom explained the gospel to me when I was eight years old. I accepted Jesus as my Savior and was baptized when I was nine years old. I was so happy that Jesus saved me that I wanted to be a good Christian and make God happy. I had my list of religious “to-do” rules and worked hard to make God happy. I thought that following all the rules would make me more faithful to God, but I spent so much time in fear. I always wondered if I was doing enough for God and kept pushing myself to jump through those hoops, always trying to do more and do better.

When I got to college, I saw all the other students having fun. I wasn’t having fun while following all of the rules, so I decided to stop. The only problem was that when I abandoned my “good” Christian rules, I felt like I was abandoning what I called my faith.

When I eventually messed up my life so badly that there was nothing I could do to fix it, I experienced an ah-ha moment that changed my life. That moment was realizing that God’s love for me is based on His perfect promises, not my performance. This was when I finally understood the freedom that comes from God’s grace, not following religious rules.

Q: Where can participants access the videos that correspond with each week?

A: In response to the different ways that groups are meeting, I love that my publisher, Abingdon Women, has made a three video formats available: DVDs, digital download, and streaming media. There’s a solution for everyone!

Readers can order DVDs and access to digital downloads from cokesbury.com/barbroose or use the Amplify Media platform for streaming video access at amplifymedia.com.

If you’d like more information on those options, I recorded a video with my friend and fellow Abingdon Women author, Melissa Spoelstra that gives a demonstration of them all at barbroose.com/groupleaders.

Author Bio: 

Barb Roose is a speaker and author who is passionate about teaching women to live beautifully strong and courageous so that they experience God’s great adventure of faith and purpose for their lives. 

She is the author of five Bible studies including Breakthrough: Finding Freedom in Christ, Surrendered: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus, Joshua: Winning the Worry Battle, and three books including Surrendered: 40 Days to Help You Let Go and Live Like Jesus.

Barb lives in NW Ohio and is proud mother of three adult daughters. Whenever possible, Barb prefers to eat dessert first. Visit Barb’s online home at barbroose.com

Back cover copy for Barb's book, Breakthrough:

Let go of feeling like you are not a “good enough” Christian and find freedom in Christ by studying Paul’s letter to the Galatians in Breakthrough by Barb Roose. 

Have you ever felt that being a good Christian means you’ve got to follow a bunch of rules and measure up?

If so, you aren’t alone! In this six-week Bible study of Galatians, Barb Roose shows us that even the believers in the early church struggled to let go of rule-keeping and performance in order to embrace God’s free gift of grace.

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul pours out his heart and faith to set them straight, addressing so many of the same questions and problems we still face today, such as…

- Who has led you to believe you have to follow rules to be right with God?
- Why do you think you have to try to be perfect for God?
- How do we stay free in Christ?

If you’ve ever struggled with these questions or felt trapped by rules or religion, this study will provide a path to discover your freedom in Christ.

Through this study women will learn to:

- Stop trying to measure up and embrace God’s grace
- Distinguish between lies and truth
- Embrace God’s promise of freedom

Components for this six-week Bible study, each available separately, include a Participant Workbook, a Leader Guide, and video sessions with six 25-minute segments (with closed captioning).

Buy Barb's book on Amazon

Connect with Barb:
Website: https://barbroose.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barbararoose/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/barbroose/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/barbroose/

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