Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Reading Recommendations

I'm writing today from northern Oklahoma, where Marsha and I are spending some quality time together at the family wheat farm. This land of small towns and big skies is special to us. The pace of life slows here. My hope is that each of you, too, have been blessed with renewal as you spend time connecting with family and friends this summer.

Summer is also a time for me to enjoy reading. Some of my favorites this summer have been:

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown

While Hitler was taking control of Germany and planning the 1936 Berlin Olympics to showcase his Nazi regime, a strong, young Joe Rantz was working to survive the Great Depression, earn an engineering degree from the University of Washington, and make sense of a troubled relationship with his father. This true story tells how nine young men from Seattle won the gold medal in rowing and stole some of the spotlight from the Nazi public relations effort. What you learn about rowing will make you wish for a rowing team here at LETU.

Called by Mark Labberton

This book by the president of Fuller Seminary reminds us that in our quest to find God's call in our life, we shouldn't miss the clear essential charge he has given us: to love God and to love others. LETU has been equipped with a unique calling to claim the workplace for Christ. Yet, we only understand that calling in the context of our mission to love God and the neighbors God has given us.

My Promised Land by Ari Shavit

From the chaos of the holocaust to the present danger of Iran with nuclear arms, the history of Israel is more complicated  than I had understood. This narrative history of the modern nation of Israel is written by Israeli journalist and commentator Ari Shavit from interviews, personal diaries and letter, as well as historical documents that tell a compelling story of the Israeli-Arab struggle. Shavit writes:

"The act of concentrating the Jews in one place was essential but dangerous. If another historic disaster were to strike here, it might be the last. The founding fathers and mothers of Zionism realized this. They knew they were leading one of the most miserable nations in the world to one of the most dangerous places in the world." This dramatic story is still being written in the headlines of our daily news coverage.

Many of you may have read other great books you have enjoyed this summer. Send me your favorite books. I always keep a list of what to read next.