“Ten Books for Summer” has become an annual tradition. I read a lot and love to recommend books to others. So, why not share? Here are my favorite books for summer of 2015. They are not always religious but they are interesting. The list is in no particular order. With each book there is information provided by Amazon.com followed by, “Why I like this book.”
Who Is This Man? The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus by John Ortberg. Jesus’ impact on our world is highly unlikely, widely inescapable, largely unknown, and decidedly double-edged. He is history’s most familiar figure, yet he is the man no one knows. His impact on the world is immense and non-accidental. From the Dark Ages to Post-Modernity he is the Man who won’t go away. His life and teaching simply drew people to follow him. He made history by starting in a humble place, in a spirit of love and acceptance, and allowing each person space to respond. His vision of life continues to haunt and challenge humanity. His influence has swept over history bringing inspiration to what has happened in art, science, government, medicine, and education; he has taught humans about dignity, compassion, forgiveness, and hope.
Why I like this book: “Leadership, says Harvard’s Ron Heifetz, is the art of disappointing people at a rate they can stand. In the last week of his life, Jesus exceeded the disappointment rate. He explained his refusal to wield the power the crowds wanted: ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ His vision would change human kingdoms. But first, it got him killed.” (Who Is This Man) If you want to learn who Jesus was and is and how he impacted our world, this is an excellent book to read.
The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity by Kory Kogan, Adam Merrill, Leena Rinne. Every day brings a crushing wave of demands: a barrage of texts, emails, interruptions, meetings, phone calls, tweets, blogs – not to mention the high pressure demands of our jobs – is overwhelming and exhausting. The sheer number of distractions threaten our ability to think clearly and make good decisions. If we react to these stimuli, moving mindlessly from one task to another, we will fail to accomplish the things that matter most in our professional and personal lives. In this book, readers will learn how to make the five fundamental choices that will increase their ability to achieve what matters most to them. Backed by science and Franklin Covey’s years of experience and research in this field, The 5 Choices helps readers increase their productivity and develop an inner sense of fulfillment and peace.
Why I like this book: “It has never been easier in human history to accomplish great things. A big part of that is the dramatic increase in the power of technology to make us more productive. Yet, paradoxically, these same technologies can make it harder than ever to accomplish the things that are important to us.” (The 5 Choices) This is a fresh new approach to managing your time filled with stories and examples that will challenge your thinking and expand your vision.
Joy Boosters: 120 Ways to Encourage Older Adults by Missy Buchanan. Know an elderly person who needs a little encouragement? Missy Buchanan, an older adult advocate and a former creativity educator, offers you a bounty of ideas for lifting the spirits of older adults. Her passion for and sensitivity to the needs of elderly persons shine through in this practical book that’s chock-full of simple, creative ways to boost the joy of older adults. JOY BOOSTERS is perfect for families and friends of older adults, caregivers, senior residence facilities, and churches wanting to minister effectively to older adults. Don’t miss an opportunity to make someone’s day … or week.
Why I like this book: “One tip for churches: Don’t just pop in for a visit. Generally it is best to contact an older adult to determine the best time to visit. If she is easily confused, call a family member instead.” (Joy Boosters) This is one of the better “How-To” Manuals, I’ve seen when it comes to caring for older adults. Simple, practical and full of doable ideas that can add quality and joy to the lives of our older adult population.
Revival: Faith as Wesley Lived It by Adam Hamilton. Wesley’s message and his faith continue to speak to 21st-century Christians—calling for a revival of our hearts and souls so that our world might be changed. Wesley’s story is our story. It defines our faith and it challenges us to rediscover our spiritual passion. “This is a gracious gift that we will benefit from reading. The commentary is written by a superb preacher who has a pastor’s heart and knows how to make the past come alive to strengthen our own experience. Prepare to be transformed.” – Richard P. Heitzenrater.
Why I like this book: “In 1730, at age twenty-seven, Wesley read William Law’s, “A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life.’ It convinced Wesley ‘of the absolute impossibility of being half a Christian.’ He was determined to be ‘all devoted to God,’ what he called an ‘altogether Christian.’” (Revival) John Wesley was more than the founder of Methodism; John Wesley was a deeply spiritual influence on millions of Christians throughout England and the United States. Adam Hamilton says it best: “I believe that by reclaiming the faith, heart and practices of John Wesley and the early Methodists, we can rediscover the best parts of our own hearts and churches and in so doing we might help spark a revival of Christianity in our time.”
Why Nobody Wants to Be Around Christians Anymore: And How 4 Acts of Love Will Make Your Faith Magnetic by Thom and Joani Schultz. “They judge me. They’re just a bunch of hypocrites. If they’re an example of who God is, I don’t want anything to do with God.” This is what many people are saying about Christians. Why do they feel this way? And is there anything you can do about it? How can you help give Christians a reputation makeover? Why Nobody Wants to Be Around Christians Anymore gives you more than just answers. Inside you’ll find practical helps and real-life examples of what it means to glow your love the way Jesus did. You’ll learn how to avoid pushing people away…and how to be a magnet for God’s love instead.
Why I like this book: “The word “Christian” means many things to different people. Some of those connotations are positive. But, for many the word is highly negative. Like it or not, recent studies and surveys tell us the majority of people view Christians as judgmental, condemning, hypocritical, and in too many ways to count – unloving. We can all wring our hands or make excuses or try to defend ourselves. Or we can change it.” This book is a sequel to “Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore.” More than just seeking to change our churches, the 4 Acts of Love are expanded to include family, workplace and other relationships. Christians can and should be known for acts of caring, love and grace as taught and modeled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Next week: Five more books to recommend. Meanwhile, send me your comments or suggestions for other books to: LarryDaviies@PrayWithYou.org