Every now and again I like to share with you the books that I am reading.  This was a suggestion from my wife who is an avid reader.  It is because of her that my kids like to read, and I am pleased to say that the tradition continues with my granddaughter.  Lucy will be often found by her Mommy in her room “reading” the books she pulled down from her bookshelves.  She is only one year old, already taking after her mama and grandmama for sure.  

Reading is a discipline that I confess that I have had to develop.  It was too hard for me to sit still and read a book.  That’s why I preferred comics and books with lots of pictures.  When I could not go outside to run around, those are the books I preferred to thumb through waiting for the bad weather to pass on by.  

Now, I spend time reading scripture pretty much every day.  The danger for us preacher types is to think that since we are constantly studying the word of God for sermons and lessons, that is enough.  No, it is not.  I read scripture for the purpose of hearing from God. And I read scripture for the purpose of learning about God and about myself and about how He wants me to live for Him.  

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)

These past few weeks I have been reading the letters from the apostle John.  John was one of Jesus’ closest friends.  He was one of the ‘Sons of Thunder’ early in his life because of his quick temper and light-trigger finger when it came to wanting to bring down the wrath of God.  But after years of following Jesus and the radical life change that brings, John, the Son of Thunder, became John, the Apostle of Love.  The letters he wrote were most likely written in his later years when John lived in Ephesus and served as the shepherd of the church there and in that whole area.  His letters in our bibles are 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation.  John’s unique writing style is big on imagery and deep on meaning.  Read these letters and you will be encouraged to keep first things first – love God and love people.  Love not with words but in acts of obedience to God’s commands for life.  Live by the light of the truth.  Revelation is a letter of encouragement to the church under persecution.  John writes from his prison on the island of rock, Patmos.  The simple message of Revelation is this – God is on the throne even when it seems things are falling apart.  Jesus will make things right with the evil one.  Christians need to be faithful in waiting for His return in sharing the good news with a lost world.

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.Then he placed his right hand on me and said:“Do not be afraid.I am the First and the Last.I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”Revelation 1:17-18 (NIV)

I also like to read at least one chapter a day of other kinds of books.  I have a preference for books on leadership and history.  So I force myself to branch out to try other genres. I read some time ago that the genius of America is the embrace of the competition of ideas.  Sadly, this does not seem to be the case these days.  Ideas that don’t walk in lock step with the dictates of the powers that be are canceled, shut down, and demonized.   So I like to try and read in order to be challenged to think, to weigh perspectives, and to measure things against what God has made known to us through His communications captured in scripture.  

“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.” Sir Francis Bacon

So here is what I have been reading other the last few months.

The Real Anthony Fauci – Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.  

Robert Kennedy, Jr, the son of Bobby Kennedy.  Bobby Kennedy, the younger brother of JFK.  He is a lawyer who has taken on the role of going up against the big corporations who would use their power allegiances to exploit and hurt the common person.  I have not read the entirety of this book yet.  But so far he makes a compelling case on how the government agencies created to protect public health now promote the agendas of those they are supposed to oversee all for profit and power.

To Rule The Waves – How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World by Arthur Herman.

I love well-written history, and I found this book to be very enjoyable and thought provoking.  Herman details how the little island of Great Britain became the center of the largest Empire in history through her naval might.  Hermon argues that the concepts of free trade and a world of cooperative sovereign nations can be traced back to the British Navy.

The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

This would make like my 5th or even 6th time reading this story.  I just had a hankering for a story about good overcoming evil.  I took my time to read and enjoy every word – even the songs and poetry sections!

The Art of War – Illustrated – by Sun Tzu.  Translated by James Trapp. 

My son, Christian, recommended this book for me to read.  It contains the principles of war from the ancient Chinese general, Sun Tzu.  There are various historical battle accounts included that serve as illustrations of his teachings at work.  I found this fascinating in terms of leadership principles to be learned in facing whatever challenges (battles) that I might face.

The Man Called Cash – The life, love, and faith of an American legend by Steve Turner.

I have just started this book. I like Johnny Cash’s music and have always been intrigued by his story.  Here is one who struggled with God’s Grace.  But what Amazing Grace it is!  Ask me in a couple of weeks if you want to know what I thought of the book.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons