April Reading List

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings

I know it is weird to want to read a book all about the love of geography, but that is exactly why I read it. I love old maps and I could study them for hours on end. This book plays right into that love. Ken Jennings of Jeopardy fame, goes into detail about why we are drawn to maps in our youth, but usually fall out of love with them as we age. It was a very insightful read, but I would not recommend this to everyone. The topics are relevant to everyone as it deals with everything from searching for belonging to our strong senses of curiosity and adventure, but the geographical roots make it a tough read for anyone to pick up and read on a bus.

Each chapter delves into a different aspect of map culture: highpointing, geocaching, road atlas rallying, even the “unreal estate” charted on the maps of fiction and fantasy. Jennings also considers the ways in which cartography has shaped our history, suggesting that the impulse to make and read maps is as relevant today as it has ever been.

Christians Get Depressed Too by David Murray

This was a find on my Kindle as I was writing on depression for a project that I am working on. The cover caught me I am not going to lie, but the content was surprisingly helpful for numerous reasons. First off, it is a look at why Christians can get depressed, but it is not written by a specialist. That makes reading the content and the facts that he cites easier to read as he talks about depression in a casual, yet informed way. Think of it as a depression 101. The book is just over 100 pages and chapters include.

In six short chapters Murray carefully and concisely writes about the (1) Crisis, (2) Complexity, (3) Condition, (4) Causes, (5) Cures, and those who (6) Care for those who are depressed.

There are also great references to additional material on depression from both Christian and secular material. I really enjoyed the look at depression through the lenses of mental, spiritual, emotional and physical contexts. A great quick read for anyone in ministry to get an understanding of depression and its roots.

Re-Read The Nehemiah Factor: 16 Characteristics of a Missional Leader by Dr. Frank Page

The layout of the book is very logical as it takes the reader on a journey from an original calling to ministry to the final victory of a successful ministry and relationship with God, with all the Godly steps needed to fill in the holes of any wishful missional leader. For myself, the chapter entitled A Missional Leader is a Person of Christlike Concern establishes itself well beyond the rest. It creates an atmosphere that the reader can call into question – motives, callings and purposes of vision – without making one feel overwhelmed or inadequate in their leadership skills. Instead, it allows the reader to make personal connections into the missional ideals of Nehemiah and Jesus in order to enhance the skills and hindsight with which they entered the chapter. The book, primarily, does a fantastic job at clearing up questions about the whole missional movement. Answering these questions that many leaders have about the whys and hows of a true missional church will only further understanding. For instance, I have used the chapter on communication for my camp staff to help them understand the importance of it in a leadership position within a missional driven ministry.

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