Summer ReadingSummer is here and for many that means that life becomes a little slower. We as a culture are not great at Sabbath, so when we have the chance to breathe some, we should take advantage of this time. You may be wanting to catch up on some reading. Below are a few selections that I have read or that are on my list. Take a look, read one and let me know what you think. I’d love to get a cup of coffee with you (I’ll buy) and discuss further.

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Stevenson is a lawyer and advocate for those on death row. His book centers around the case of Walter McMillan, wrongfully imprisoned on Alabama’s death row for 6 years. Wrapped around McMillan’s saga are other stories of those who suffered at the mercy of a flawed justice system. Stevenson’ work and experience points out how injustice is too often dealt by our systems of justice. You will finish this book with empathy for those wronged, appreciation for those who give them voice and a nagging feeling that our justice system is deeply flawed

The Road to Character by David Brooks

Brooks begins his book by making the distinction between the virtues that make it into a eulogy versus the virtues that make it onto a resume. We have become too attached to the “resume virtues” in our culture today. Brooks takes an engaging look at the lives of several people who live in a manner that bears fruit for others. In the golden age of the selfie, Brooks uses wisdom and humor to encourage us to take a deeper look at our lives.

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans

An ode to the past and a nod to the future of the church, from one of the newest leading voices in Christianity. in her millennial years, Rachel Held Evans did not want to go the church anymore. Her struggle was her view that the life of the church was so far removed from the ministry of Jesus. She had an unshakable feeling that she had not only a place in the church, but a gift to offer it as well. This is the story of the journey from and back to the church.

Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray and Still Loving My Neighbor by Jana Ries

Thanks to Russ Peterman for this suggestion. I am looking forward to diving into this journal of one person’s year-long attempt to master 12 different spiritual challenges, including items such as praying at fixed times of day, exhibiting gratitude, and keeping the Sabbath. Many of us struggle with the notion that we are not spiritual enough and carry this guilt around. As you can imagine, nothing goes as planned during this 12 month period. Falling short does have its advantages. As one reviewer writes, “is surprising and freeing; it is fun and funny; and it is full of wisdom. It is, in fact, the best book on the practices of the spiritual life that I have read in a long, long time.”

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

David McCullough is a master storyteller when it comes to capturing the unseen side of history. The Wright Brothers believed that flight was possible and refused to give up hope in pursuing this dream. You will immediately be engaged in the tale of two brothers who designed the first airplane in their bicycle shop in Ohio before flying it on the beach at Kitty Hawk. You will come away with a greater sense of hope about what is possible through dedication to a dream.

Those are some of my suggestions. I would love to know what you are reading this summer.

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