Shadows & Dust, Vol. IV, Issue 7

Having just completed “A Pilgrimage to Sand Creek 3.0,” I have a few things in particular on my mind. Continuing to dig into deeper into the story of the American West and gearing up for summer. Here’s what summer means to me: extra daylight, time to read, and time to fish and camp and spend in the outdoors. So check out the following suggestions for your summer reading and viewing pleasure:

  • The Fragrance of God by Vigen Guroian — Many people connect most fully with the sacred through the experience of nature. If you’re an aspiring or veteran gardener, as well as a person of faith, pick up this memoir of Guroian’s move from Maryland to Virginia, when he left behind his old garden and began to cultivate a new one.
  • American Copper by Shann Ray— A work of fiction based on real life, American Copper weaves together the stories of three lives and events from our collective past, including the Sand Creek Massacre.
  • Books on seminal years in American history — 1421: The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzies; 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles Mann;  1493: Uncovering the World Columbus Created by Charles Mann — Many of us learned in school that “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” These three books examine our closely held assumptions about world history and the consequences of exploration and globalization.
  • Native American Testimony: A Chronicle of Indian-White Relations from Prophecy to the Present, 1492-2000 by Peter Nabokov — Not often heard in retellings of Western history are the stories of Native Americans. This oral history attempts to correct that oversight, and includes a contribution from George Bent, a Cheyenne-American man who was present at the Sand Creek Massacre.
  • 1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History by Charles Bracelen Flood — This work of historical non-fiction traces one of the most pivotal years in American history and the challenges faced by its central figure.
  • Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion by Robert Morgan — Westward expansion didn’t begin on the Great Plains. It began the moment the first pilgrims and Puritans set foot on the American continent. Morgan highlights the contributions for good and ill of “great men” Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, John Chapman (aka “Johnny Appleseed”), David Crockett, Sam Houston, James K. Polk, Winfield Scott, Kit Carson, Nicholas Trist, and John Quincy Adams.
  • “A New Kind of Apologetics” — Couldn’t pass up sharing with you this sermon by my friend Chris Bollegar. It’s well worth your time!
  • Dog Song by Mary Oliver — Oliver’s deft touch draws out the meaning of the special four-legged friends in our lives.
  • JWW Lectureship Series — First Congregational Church of Colorado Springs recently hosted a weekend with philosopher Peter Rollins.
  • “Now is the Time”: Healthcare for Everybody — This recent documentary examines the need for and possibility of creating a more viable healthcare system.
  • “Longmire” — Looking for a good new TV series to watch? Try this Netflix original.
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