Rediscovering Unity in Our Ancient Values
Leading Democrat and Republican both urge us to meet David, again
COVER STORY—In the midst of our deeply divided nation, an ancient voice is rising once again with wisdom that is drawing together Americans from across our political and cultural divides. That ancient voice comes from the life of King David—a world-class hero for defeating Goliath and also a beloved writer of Psalms that millions of us remember in daily prayer and Bible readings. The new book, 30 Days with King David on Leadership is written by Larry Buxton, whose professional career spans both Bible study and leadership consulting.
The proof of the bipartisan appeal of this new book is in its opening pages. Today, as the book appears on Amazon for pre-launch orders, we are publishing—as our ReadTheSpirit cover story—the remarkable Foreword and Preface to the book. These are remarkable because of the two political leaders who came together to write these two letters to readers.
HERE IS the Foreword by U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine—a Democrat who represents Virginia, a state where he once served as governor. He also is a former vice presidential candidate. Kaine, like his Republican colleague Andrew Card, explains how deeply the Bible shapes his daily life and invites readers to return to that source of wisdom that can bring people together, once again.
THEN, HERE IS the Preface by Andrew Card—a Republican who has played many roles in industry and in education. During both Bush administrations, Card served in key posts, including as Chief of Staff for President George W. Bush. Card closes his Preface urging: “Read this book. You will have new context to help form and launch the leaders of character we so urgently need to send into our world today.”
See the movie, too!
AUTHOR, pastor, educator and leadership coach Larry Buxton also appears this week in a short video about this new book, created by our marketing director Susan Stitt. In our Front Edge Publishing column this week, you can enjoy seeing the King David video—and Susan explains how easy it is for anyone to create such inspiring videos.
And, Speaking of Our Shared Sacred Values …
Calling Americans to ‘A Most Sacred Right’
ABRAHAM LINCOLN is the subject of the first volume in our 30 Days With series of books with a month’s worth of wisdom that all of us can share. In his weekly Quiet Fire series for public radio in Maine—as well as for the readers of ReadTheSpirit online magazine—Lincoln scholar Duncan Newcomer explores the wisdom that so valiantly struggled to lift up throughout his life. “Struggled” is an apt term, because—as Duncan explains in this week’s column—Lincoln often was reaching for sacred truths even when he was unable to see how powerfully they would grow throughout his life … and in the years beyond. Please, read Duncan’s column, this week, about Lincoln’s view of “a most sacred right” and share it with friends. These books and weekly stories—from Lincoln to King David—hold the rare potential of drawing together deeply divided Americans.
Holidays & Festivals
One of the World’s Most Colorful Festivals Goes Online
IN INDIAN COMMUNITIES around the world, creative adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic are moving colorful Indian festivals online in elaborate new ways. Earlier this month, the observance of Raksha Bandhan—in which family bonds are symbolized by bracelets and gifts—was marked virtually in many families. However, in the second half of August, the heart and soul of Ganesha Chaturthi is public gatherings and processions. This year, many elements of those festivals will be streamed online. Stephanie Fenton has the story about the holiday and the need for creative adaptations this year.
Care to see all of our Holidays & Festivals columns? It’s easy to find our annual calendar of global observances. Just remember the address InterfaithHolidays.com
FAITH & FILM
ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.
Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are these films available for streaming now.
- JOHN LEWIS: GET IN THE WAY—Ed writes, “Director/writer Kathleen Dowdey does a fine job encapsulating John Lewis’s long life in its short running time of less than an hour.” (5 out of 5 stars)
- WHAT YOU GONNA DO WHEN THE WORLD’S ON FIRE? Ed gives this film 5 stars and writes: “Italian-born documentarian Roberto Minervini has added to my list of essential films for understanding racism. Clearly, he is fascinated with America’s South, because this is his fifth film shot in that region. His newest film is an impressionistic weaving together of four groups of Southern Blacks, including a Mardi Gras Indian tribe called the Flaming Arrows, a New Orleans bar owner who has fallen behind on her rent, and a beleaguered family of two brothers Ronaldo and Titus and their single-parent mother.”
- CLEMENCY—Ed writes, “Director/writer Chinonye Chukwu has given us a prison film unlike most anything you have seen, in that her focus is not on a condemned prisoner, but on the person in charge of the execution of prisoners, the warden.” (5 out of 5 stars)
- HIROSHIMA—Ed reaches back to 1995 to recommend this movie, writing: “This riveting account of the days leading up to and immediately following the atom bombing of two Japanese cities is a joint Canadian/Japanese production for the Showtime TV network.“
- THE BROKEN CHAIN—And, from 1993, Ed recommends this movie co-starring Pierce Brosnan. “Director Lamont Johnson’s film gives us a different perspective on Native Americans and the American Revolution in this cable film about the Iroquois Confederacy.”
- RANGOON—”Director Vishal Bhardwaj’s Hindi film is set during WW 2, mostly in a Mumbai movie studio and at the Burmese border where British-led Indian troops are fighting the Japanese invaders.” (4 stars)
- HAMILTON—Ed gives 5 out of 5 stars to the film version of the award-winning Hamilton play.
- THE HALF OF IT—Ed writes, “If you are looking for a feel good movie that is also insightful, then director/writer Alice Wu has just the film for you. Centering on three high school seniors, this coming of age film stands far above most others about teenagers that I have seen.”
- GREYHOUND—Ed gives 4.5 stars to Tom Hanks in Greyhound. Ed writes, “Hanks turns in an excellent performance as the rookie commander who feels the pressure of his baptism by fire.”
- THE RESISTANCE BANKER—“Dutch director Joram Lürsenfor shows us one more way in which an occupied people resisted Nazi tyranny. I love the way in which through the years such filmmakers manage to present a fresh view of WW 2 and of Nazi persecution.” (4.5 stars)