Do you want to find fulfillment in your life through faith? A new year can energize believers to take steps to find a way out of daily despair, and Dr. Bruce L. Hartman's book, "Your Faith Has Made You Well," can provide a pathway on using your faith as a guidepost. The Christian author and storyteller offer new ways of connecting with God, by using Biblical and modern heroes and giving a clear and practical path to living a life of hope and peace.
Hartman is an author and Christian advisor committed to "walking with people into a brighter future" as they navigate life. Bruce's first book, Jesus & Co., received the Readers' Choice Award in the fall of 2018. Prior to entering the world of ministry, he was a Fortune 500 CFO where his skill with working with people created many changed lives. He graduated in 2013 with a Master of Divinity from Drew University Theological School, earning the Daniel P. Kidder Award for excellence in Pastoral Care, and received a Doctorate degree from Drew in May of 2018. He presently serves on the on the boards of Drew University and United Methodist Development Foundation.
For more information visit www.brucelhartman.com.
Q: Dr. Hartman, thanks for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself: before you entered the world of ministry, you were a CFO of Fortune 500 company, tell us about your season of life then.
During this period of my life, I was known as a very succesful turnaround specialist for corporations. In that I was able to make struggling companies profitable. I was the CAO at this time for Yankee Candle and had just successfully guided them through the "Great Recession." In fact, unlike many other American companies, we actually generated cash during this very difficult time in American business.
At the same time, I was able to mentor a number of executives who went on to become CEO's and CFO's in other public companies. Besides being good at my job, this was an aspect of my business life that gave me great joy; helping others achieve their goals.
Q: How did the Lord lead you in ministry?
I was terribly conflicted in my life's purpose. As it says in the Bible, you can only serve one master. I had two, business and God. I had to give one up. I could choose to continue to pursue my career or follow God's direction for my life.
I knew the answer was to pursue a life with God, but just saying and thinking that wasn't enough. It was a very emotional period for me, the crisis hit fully in early May of 2009 at one AM in the morning. Under great duress and by a streetlight on a deserted street, I made the decision to give myself fully to God.
From there I entered Drew University's theological school. For three years I pursued getting a Masters in Divinity and graduated in 2013 with a 3.7 GPA and won the Daniel B Kidder award for Pastoral Theology. My professors and the dean encouraged me to continue and study for a Doctorate degree.
For another four years I studied to obtain this degree and in May 2018 graduated with my Doctorate.
During my studies, I was able to identify my calling. Not to go into traditional ministry, but to use media to spread the message of the Good News about Jesus. In fact, my thesis was constructed on how to accomplish this direction.
Q: Tell us a little about your ministry now.
My ministry now is about "informing and inspiring" using media. When I say media, I mean all forms; books, social media, articles for print, podcasts and videos. This year I am just beginning a podcast and videos and I am so excited about its potential impact of spreading the "Good News."
My ministry today is very "Jesus-centric." Most of what I write, and produce is to help people know Jesus and the Words of the Gospel. 2019 was a wonderful year for my ministry. Over 2 million messages were viewed and the ministry grew to over 40 thousand followers.
At the same time, I completed two books, "Your Faith Has Made You Well" and "Spend A year With Jesus." 2020 is shaping up to be even better, my goal is to spread the word so that 4 million messages are viewed, and our followership grows to 85 thousand.
I am launching four podcast series; The Bible and Its History, Great Ancient Christians, Inspiring Christian's of the 21st century and A Sunday with Jesus.
I have filmed a series based on my book, Jesus & Co and hope to have that released by June 2020. Finally, one book is underway, called "The Battle between Christianity and Socialism: Do we trust God or Trust Rulers?" Each day is filled with work to serve our Lord and Savior, from which I get all my inspiration.
Q: You have a brand new book out. Tell us briefly what "Your Faith Has Made You Well" is about.
Simply put, the book helps people to answer the compelling call of Jesus and acquire a relationship with Jesus. In doing so, through their faith they become healed, not just physically, but spiritually. No longer will the world create hopelessness, but a new vision of hope.
Q: What prompted you to write this book?
In my research, I noticed Jesus said eight times in the Gospels; "Your Faith Has Made You Well." At the same time, I noticed there wasn't much writing on why Jesus made this statement. So, I started to explore its meaning and conducted several interviews with people regarding this statement. What I discovered was both Biblically and through my interviews, that God is not 'Genie", but rather our source of life and truth that with whom we must be a participant.
A new and different way to approach Jesus, not to just hear the Gospel, but to also become the Gospel with Jesus.
Not surprisingly, during my interviews about this statement, I discovered that those who have a strong faith and a strong relationship with Jesus; are healthier and more optimistic. Life doesn't get them down, rather they stay centered. These people also can see God working in their lives and as a result gain a greater sense of control over the aspects of their lives.
Q: In the book, you talked about how using faith as the guideposts of our life. What do you mean by faith?
Faith is a belief in God and the resurrection. Faith that our true-life direction is to be with God. Faith that pursuing our self-worth and not our net-worth is our purpose. Faith that when the storms of life brew we are protected. Faith is putting our trust in God and not in the world.
Q: How can faith be our guidepost in life? Can you give us an example?
Each one of his will hit valleys and milestones in our lives. Our faith helps dictate what we do during this time. For instance, how do we view setbacks; as losses of what we want or as lessons of where we should go. People that view the natural setbacks that will occur in all lives; as periods of preparation pick themselves up and move forward. Those who don't get mired in grief. Life isn't about how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up. Our faith in God is a driving force in being able to respond to these times.
Likewise, we will always have a choice to follow God's will or the ways of the world. Our faith helps us make the choice to follow God.
Q: How will your new book help us in our daily lives?
It allows us to ignore the headlines of the day and to "control what we can control." In other words, do we let far distant event scare us or do we choose to help our neighbor? Do we choose to judge those we hear about or do we choose to pray for the downtrodden? By doing this, we become kinder, more generous, more civil and loving. All which will raise our self-esteem. By continually practicing our faith, our spirit becomes more joyful.
Q: Besides your books, you also do write devotionals. Tell us about these devotionals and where can our reader read them?
Simply visit www.brucelhartman.com. On the website we have devotionals and starting January 20th Podcasts. Also, our books can purchased on the site.