Mark Martin

Guest Host, Martin's Must-Reads

Mark Martin (also known as Mr. Betty Martin) was born in Midland, Texas. In 1979, after graduating from Texas Tech University, he worked as a financial analyst for Conoco. Upon graduating from Concordia Seminary with a Masters of Divinity degree in 1993, he began his ministry at Trinity Lutheran Church in Egypt Mills and later moved to the Associate Pastor position at St. Andrew Lutheran Church. In November of 2019, he began a new career as an Intentional Interim Pastor, currently for Concordia Lutheran Church in Sikeston. When he's not pastoring, he's watching sports, reading, or riding his BMW motorcycle. His reading tastes gravitate to nonfiction: history, sports, science, biographies, and the human condition. As a monthly guest reviewer, he adds another dimension to Martin's Must-Reads.

“Chika Jeune was born three days before the earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010.  She spent her infancy in a landscape of extreme poverty.  When her mother dies, Chika is admitted to the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage which Albom operates in Port-au-Prince.”

So begins the story of Chika Jeune , one which Mitch Albom recounts in his book Finding Chika, a little girl, an earthquake, and the making of a family.  I’m Mark Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads."  Full disclosure, I can’t review the book without spoilers.

When a crisis or tragedy strikes, some people will cave under the pressure of the situation. Others rise beyond all expectations and show the better side of themselves and humanity.  Such is the situation with Jon Mooallem’s book This is Chance! The Shaking of an All-American City, A Voice that Held It Together; a book about the 1964 earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska.

“Even before rescuers could pluck all the dead from the oily Hawaiian waters following Japan’s December 7, 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, American war planners started work on an ambitious counterassault, a strike not against an outlying enemy base in the far flung Pacific islands but against the heart of the Japanese  Empire: Tokyo.”

I’m Mark Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads." James M. Scott reveals a great deal of new information on a well-known story in his book Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid that Avenged Pearl Harbor.

“The first baseball games were played in open fields, but the first baseball park—the first place constructed specifically for the game, with places for paying customers and surrounded by walls to keep non-paying customers out—was constructed in Brooklyn, New York.” 

I’m Mark Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and so begins a book that every baseball fan should read, Ballpark: Baseball in the American City by Paul Goldberger.

'"Do you know something?" he [Rev. Henry Gerecke] asked brightly, "I got the idea today I’d like to join the Chaplains Corps."  More silence.  Henry kept eating.  Still nothing from his wife.  "I have asked you something," he said.  "I heard you," Alma said finally."'

I’m Mark Martin with Martin’s Must Reads.  Tim Townsend, in his marvelous book Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis, tells us the story of one man’s humble service in a horrible situation.