July 22, 2019

I love summer because it’s usually when I have the chance to catch up on my reading list. This summer season has already afforded me an opportunity to explore several books I have found both informative and inspirational that I wanted to share with you.

Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath provided some fresh insights on the famous Bible story by challenging how we think about obstacles and disadvantages. He offered new perspectives of what it means to be discriminated against, cope with a disability, lose a loved one, attend a mediocre school, or suffer from apparent setbacks. He demonstrates how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity.

I read Lincoln’s Sanctuary—Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers’ Home by Matthew Pinsker (Mae Belle and I are going to tour the cottage in Washington, DC where Lincoln spent over a quarter of his presidency). The book provided glimpses into Lincoln’s life and character not covered in biographies of his life. Some examples: after a long and exhausting day he was impatient with a man who came to him for help but the next morning Lincoln sought the man out and apologized to him; he saw the withdrawal of Lee’s forces at Antietam as a sign of God’s will to move forward with the cause of emancipation; he visited the camp of escaped slaves several times and was moved to tears by their spiritual songs and prayers; he was frequently observed reading the Bible in the morning; and he told his life-long friend Joshua Speed in the summer of 1864, “take all this book (the Bible) upon reason that you can, and the balance on faith, and you will live and die a happier and better man.”

Warren Wiersbe’s 50 People Every Christian Should Know includes the lives of inspiring women like Katherine von Bora (Luther’s wife), Fanny Crosby (blind hymn writer), and Frances Havergal (hymn writer who knew six languages and memorized the Gospels, Epistles, Revelation, Isaiah, Psalms, and the Minor Prophets!). In addition, Wiersbe inspires us with leaders from the 1600’s to 1900’s—with just 3-4 pages on each personality and ample resources on each if you desire to dig deeper.

This past week I “streamlined” my library at Cherrydale in preparation for my new role as Senior Pastor Emeritus. As a result, I have set aside hundreds of books for our church family that are free for the taking. If you have not browsed the offerings in the Go Center, please do so this week before they are all gone!