summer reading.

My brother had to read the incomprehensible, boring, required summer reading texts for his AP English class this summer. I finally got to read what I wanted to read! Here's a few of them:

Praise Habit: David Crowder
While I have not actually finished this book yet (I didn't realize it was going to be a devotional-type book), I have already come to appreciate what Crowder does. As in his music, his writing draws the reader into a time of personal worship and reflection. He brings in the Psalms and urges the reader to take 30 days and to pray through these selected Psalms using the tradition of Lectio Divina. Crowder follows each day's Psalm with a reflection of his own. A powerful way to start the day.

The Last Best League: Jim Collins
Collins followed the Chatham A's through their 2002 summer season. I only picked this up because Tim Stauffer was a classmate of mine at the University of Richmond, but this read made me want to make a visit up to the Cape Cod League. It is the only summer league sanctioned by the NCAA, and gives the best of the best college baseball players a chance to show off their stuff to a full slate of Major League scouts. Collins spent endless hours hearing the stories of each player and coach, and painting a picture of summer life in Chatham.

Directionally Challenged: Travis Collins
It is not often a book will reach out across generational lines and be successful. Dr. Collins writes of the call that Christ followers have on their lives, and meets people where they are at: in high school or college, just beginning to plan out their career path; post-college, in the midst of a career and sensing a change in calling; and past retirement, seeking a way to continue serving God's Kingdom with more free time. A great read, and a lot of good insight on following your life's calling. And he mentions me (not by name.) in the Intro -- but the review is impartial.

When It's Rush Hour All Day Long: John W. Tadlock
Tad is a good friend, and someone whom I greatly respect. Somehow, I had never heard mention of his book until we were handed copies in class this summer. A fairly short read, but a good reflection on the pace at which we live our lives. Honesty is often absent in today's church, but Tad lays it all on the table and opens up his heart and his life so that others may avoid the same pitfalls he has found. If your life is too fast-paced, or you're headed that way, find a copy to read.

Letters To A Young Evangelical: Tony Campolo
Campolo writes to a modern Timothy and Julia seeking to lay out for young Christians what it means to follow Christ in today's world. He writes of the building blocks of faith, evangelism, the Scriptures, Jesus and the Church, hot button topics of war, homosexuality and environmental awareness, along with politics, fundamentalism, loving Muslims and women in the church. He calls on today's generation to be aware of their surroundings and how their faith impacts every part of their lives. A great read, and a book I'm using as the basis for a Bible study with college students.

My Faith: Mark Oestreicher and Kurt Johnston
The first of the Faith/School/Family/Friends series for middle school students. A nice, easy read that reaches out to middle schoolers hearts and minds as they ride through the early teenage years.

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