Shadows & Dust / Vol. IV, Issue 10

Like so many others, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Houston right now. Amazing to see so many people respond with selflessness and courage to the terrible flooding brought about by Hurricane Harvey! May the Lord bless and keep each one in need and each one seeking to help with rescue and recovery efforts in the coming days and months and years.

Things have been so busy with my family’s transition to the school year that I didn’t read any books last month. That is to say, I didn’t read any, but I listened to a bunch while I was doing other stuff. That’s called multi-tasking, baby! (My reading-tutor wife calls what I did “ear-reading,” so I’ll start referring to it properly from now on.)

Check out the following recommendations for your eye or ear reading pleasure (and search the free Overdrive or “Hoopla” apps for the titles below if you enjoy listening to books instead of eye-reading them):

What is the Bible? How an ancient library of poems, letters, and stories can transform the way you think and feel about everything by Rob Bell — I recently listened to Bell’s How to Be Here, a good book about finding our bearings in life, but I’m especially excited to read this book about the Bible. A good friend of mine recommended this book to me. The reason why that’s important is because this particular friend has for years been dealing with a severe “allergy” to reading the Bible. So it means a lot when he says this book has inspired him to pick the Bible back up again.

The Crucifixion of the Warrior God: Volumes 1 & 2 by Greg Boyd — This could be the magnum opus of this controversial yet persuasive pastor-writer.

American Indian Liberation: A Theology of Sovereignty by Tink Tinker — Just this week I flipped through my friend’s copy of this classic of native liberation theology, and can’t wait to read it!

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi — A novel that wins as many awards as this one has is worth a read.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson — Stevenson’s TED talk about injustice has gotten half a million views, which might be part of the reason I’ve heard him referred to as “today’s Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Killing From the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War by Robert Emmet Meagher — Did you know that in the wake of every major U.S. war since Korea, more of our veterans have taken their lives than have lost them in combat? This book attempts to unpack why.

Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpau — Short stories on the resilience of children in the midst of a turbulent world.

“Compassion and Kindness” — Another TED talk, this time by Fr. Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. His explanation of the “circle of compassion” is well worth watching.
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