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Summer Reading Picks 2012!

I believe reading broadly is foundational to good leadership. It widens our lens through which we serve and feed people. Take a look!

Behind The Beautiful Forevers. This was my favorite read of the summer. Very well-written. Brilliant insights into a Mumbai slum where Boo spent years researching. Anyone involved with the poor, both in North America and globally, needs to read this book (e.g. those involved with our New Life Community Development Center). See her outstanding interview with Bill Gates.

Julian of Norwhich. God continues to come to me through her revelations on the love of God. Julian of Norwich has been called, by some, the greatest spiritual writer in the history of the church. I never understood it till now.

Poland. This one by Michener was fascinating to illumine both Poland and Eastern European history, especially their long history with Russia and Germany.

Disturbing The Peace. Havel was the last president of Czechoslovakia (1989–1992) and the first president of the Czech Republic (1993–2003). He wrote more than 20 plays and numerous non-fiction works. Great read of his gift of integrating the arts into leadership/politics.

Seeing Gray. This book looks at a number of difficult issues in the church today from a mainline church perspective– from hell, to the liberal/conservative split, to homosexuality, to doubt,  to abortion. While I do not agree with him on a number of points, it is filled with helpful insights, is thought provoking and well-worth reading.

The Bridge of Love. This is a wonderful true story about an American man and Japanese woman who marry in 1919, and live through WW 2 in Japan. Someone should make a movie about this book! It is a beautiful, faith-filled story. Their integrity and service for Christ was amazing — over decades.  What was particularly fascinating was the power dynamics of the Emperor of Japan and the military leadership of Japan at the time. He did not see himself as divine nor did he favor the war. Fascinating look into culture and history.

Practicing the Presence of Jesus.I read this devotionally through the summer. She uses the riches of the Ignatian tradition (and the pain of her life) to place herself in gospel stories in a powerful way. Great to integrate into your times with God.

Transforming Conversion. At NLF we have begun a more intentional process of integrating baptism into our services. This is the best theological work I have read on conversion in Scripture, church history, and theology

Spirituality and the Awakening Self. I enjoy all of David Benner’s writings. Again, while I may not agree with all the details of this book, I always leave challenged and hungrier to spend time with Jesus.

Thoughts? Additions? Comments?

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