What better way to prepare yourself for the trials and tribulations of life than to arm yourself with the Word of God. One man is on a mission – to bring God’s Word to the world, every single day, via podcast.
Early one December morning, 2005, Brian Hardin woke up to a thought he had never had before – to podcast the entire Bible. His first reaction to this odd idea was, “I would never do that.” But the compelling desire to act out this thought never left him; instead, it continued to grow as the days went by. After intense prayer to the Lord about the task being pressed upon him, he obeyed. On his website, Brian humbly shares his shock when he received emails from several hundred people stating that they would be following along with his podcast premiere of the Daily Audio Bible in the beginning of 2006. By June of that year, the Daily Audio Bible had been downloaded 200,000 times! At the end of its first year that number of downloads jumped to over a million.
Brian calls those who are involved in and listen to the Daily Audio Bible a family – people who want to seek the counsel of the Bible on a daily basis and who want to have an intimate walk with God. I recently met up with Brian to discuss the Daily Audio Bible, where he feels God is leading him at this time and to learn more about Coffee. Justice. And You. and its role in fighting human trafficking – an issue close to Brian’s heart. Here is what he had to say:
Good News: If a stranger approached you and asked you what exactly the Daily Audio Bible was, how would you describe it to them?
Brian Hardin: I’d tell them that the Daily Audio Bible is a 365-day, all expenses paid, epic journey into the life they’ve been looking for. It’s an adventure through the entire Bible done in community with tens of thousands of other listners looking for the same thing. It’s also an invitation to never feel alone ever again and it’s the bedrock of what we place our hopes in. Each day we meet via podcast and go through a portion of Scripture from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. We process it together, reflect upon it, and have the opportunity to pray for each other. The website www.dailyaudiobible.com is designed to quickly allow anyone to integrate into the community experience, whether it be through the discussion forums, groups or chat rooms. It’s a global community, so there’s always something going on day or night.
GN: For someone who was in the music industry and the arts, how did the Daily Audio Bible come to fruition?
BH: Basically I just started reading the Bible. It changed everything. I wasn’t expecting this. I didn’t plan it but the Bible is just that radical. If you stick to it and go through the whole thing it changes the way you look at everything.
GN: Tell our readers about Coffee. Justice. And You.
BH: Coffee. Justice. You. is not an organization we teamed up with. It’s the Daily Audio Bible community in action; we do many things together. This is our ongoing efforts to raise awareness of and combat human trafficking. This came on our radar in late 2009 and we’ve used coffee as a means to keep the issue alive.
GN: How would you define love?
BH: I would define love according to Scripture. Love is patient and kind. It isn’t envious or boastful. It’s not proud. It doesn’t dishonor others. It’s not self-seeking. It isn’t easily angered. It doesn’t hold things against people. It doesn’t get excited about evil or injustice but rejoices when truth prevails. It protects, it trusts, it hopes and it perseveres. Love never fails.
GN: How is taking part in Coffee. Justice. And You. an act of love?
BH: There are little girls, as you read this, who are doing things that you would find despicable. They don’t have a choice in doing those things. There are women, as I write this, who have been forcibly addicted to drugs and broken down psychologically to the point that they can’t remember what dignity might actually be. They are locked in a back room somewhere waiting for the next man to invade them. As individuals, we can be outraged, but we can do little to stop what has been going on for hundreds of years. Collectively, we may not be able to battle against something this treacherous, but love would try. Love would rejoice in each victory. Love would celebrate each rescue. Each life that gets restored is one more story of redemption.
GN: What are the differences and the difficulties in loving those you don’t know versus loving those you do.
BH: It’s easy to love a concept or an idea of a person. It’s much harder to expose your heart to someone and remain present and in love with someone close. It’s a lot harder to know and be known than it is to love from afar because disagreement and conflict from afar has little hope of irreparable damage. Close combat can kill you. In the end, true love can put you back together again. True love can raise the dead and heal the broken heart. True love is worth it. The Bible says that real love never fails.
GN: Describe your concept of love before you were saved compared to how you love others (and yourself) now.
BH: I think it’s easier for me to think in terms of when I started to take Scripture seriously and when I didn’t as opposed to being a Christian or not. I can’t really remember a time in my life that Jesus wasn’t a reality. I was raised in a pastor’s home. Scripture has forced me to realize that a life of faith is an all or nothing proposition and that to live by faith is to surrender my rights (and my wrongs.) I believe that love conquers all. I believe the Bible when it says that in the end there will be faith, hope and love remaining. These are the last things standing and the greatest of these is love. I believe if Christians would sincerely grapple with this truth everything would change.
GN: What has God been teaching you lately?
BH: To retreat. To move behind Him and allow Him to clear the way.
GN: How would you introduce a non-believer to our loving God? What would you tell him/her about Jesus.
BH: I would say that Jesus is the kindest, most sincere man you will ever meet. He’s playful and loving and is in no way weak. He has no problem standing up to injustice. He has no fear. He knows who He is and He’s offered His life to us. We can live like this. We were made for it. This is what life is supposed to look like and it can be found only in Him. It’s a trade of all of us for all of Him and the trade is grossly counterbalanced in our favor. No matter how hard we try, we will never make life work on our own terms. It will always end up hollow in the still of the night when everything is honest. Jesus is the model of what life can be.
To learn more about the Daily Audio Bible, please visit: www.dailyaudiobible.com
Marisa Zeppieri-Caruana is a contributing writer for The Good News and can be reached at: [email protected]