About a month ago, I was getting ready to go on vacation with my family. I mentioned to one of my co-workers, Norman Flowers, that I needed some good books for summer reading.
Norman is fairly new to our convention and serving as our campus evangelism specialist. He has a great passion for students to reach lost youth in their schools. He is in charge of our Youth Evangelism Conference that will take place in August. (for more information, you can go to www.skopos.org)
Before I knew it, Norman was back in my office with a stack of books. They all seemed like a good read to me, so I gladly accepted his offer for me to borrow them.
The first on the list was one I read on the plane to Miami. It’s called “The Three Big Questions for a Frantic Family” by Patrick Lencioni. I’ve read a few of his other books that deal with leadership and team building. I squirmed in my seat the whole time because I think Lencioni has been in my house and listening to our conversations. If your family seems out of control, then it’s a good read.
The second book just about did me in though. While it’s been popular for awhile, if you haven’t read “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan, run to the nearest bookstore and grab a copy. I read it every morning when I went down to the beach for my quiet time. I honestly did not have a morning that I did not weep as I read through the chapters. If you need to fall in love with Jesus all over again, I can’t say enough about “Crazy Love.” In fact, even though I read Norman’s copy, I went ahead and bought a copy for myself because it’s just that good.
I’m on the fourth book now and it is “Starving Jesus.” I’ll be honest. Some of it may seem harsh and crude. But it is a good kick in the pants for those of us who have grown comfortable in the pew and soft in our faith. It’s by Craig Gross and J.R. Mahon who are both leaders of the XXX Church. I’m not finished with the book, because I’m trying to really let God speak to me through some of the concepts. Last night I was ready to quit my job and figure out a way to minister to low income women. Seriously, it’s that convicting.
So, Norm…I’m not sure I like you very much right now. You’ve cause me to think way too much this summer and clean out some cobwebs in my heart. I’m being challenged to re-prioritize and consider how we are going to reach others with the Gospel. But while I can tease and say I don’t like you, I really want to say “thank you.”
I hope your summer reading is just as challenging! What are some of your best reads this summer?