One of the many great joys of deaning is getting to meet amazing alums. I recently had lunch with Tom Gehring ('79) and was spellbound to hear about how Tom has fused Pepperdine's twin pillars of excellence and faith in his 42-year career as embodied in his two books:
Settle It! ... And Be Blessed:
There comes a time in your life when you have to settle it. Be done with it. It’s time. Do not let things drag on. Weigh you down. Stop you from progressing. Stop you from proceeding with your mission in life. It’s not worth it. It never is. It never will be. You, who are reading this, are a precious person. Your potential is real. Your potential is unfathomable. You have much to give. Whatever it is in your life that you need to settle, a lawsuit, a dispute with a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a business partner, a personal problem, a bad habit, an addiction—do it now. You will be blessed if you do. And you will be a blessing to others. Settle It! Now. And get back to your blessing.
Tom has worked tirelessly with my son, Matthew, and me for the last fifteen years at the
Dream Center. I've seen the results of his work in our outreach programs, on the streets of
Los Angeles, and in some of the most sophisticated and complex courtrooms in the country.
Read this book and understand what he means when he says, Settle It! ...and be Blessed.
-Pastor Tommy Barnett, Founder of the Los Angeles Dream Center
Columbo and Atticus Finch meet Jesus Christ...and they are a powerful team...in and out of
court. Get ready to meet Lukewarmers, Blue Angels, Tunic Collectors, Assyrians, and a whole cast of characters in this parable, yet 'journaling' life story. Tom Gehring's journey from secular to Christian lawyer reads like a mystery novel...you can't wait for the next clue. It's a story of despair yet faith, perseverance yet resignation and ultimately the triumph of the soul. A must read for both believers and non-believers. Christians 10, Lions 0.
-California Congressman David Dreier
In 1945, C.S. Lewis wrote: 'I believe that any Christian who is qualified to write a good
popular book on any science may do much more by that than by any direct apologetic work.
What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians
on other subjects-with their Christianity latent.' One would be hard pressed to find a book
on law, economics, or business that has taken Lewis' advice seriously. Gehring's book,
Settle It!...and be Blessed, does.
Rising above obvious trivialities, this book makes a deep and invaluable case for the practical wisdom of consciously choosing to not waste one's life in anger, greed, hatred, idleness, vengeance, and myopic self-absorption. The only genuine path to peace in life is for one to actively be a peacemaker, whatever the circumstances. For anyone involved in a legal, personal, or organizational dispute, this lawyer's insightful book will save you unfathomable amounts of suffering, and transform your life. For many, reading this book will be the first time that the new life offered by following Christ makes sense-literally more sense than anything in this world.
-Dr. Greg Jesson, Luther College Director of the Center for Ethics and Public Life Professor of Philosophy
Tom Gehring has written a completely different kind of trial lawyer book, and one that I highly recommend. The reason it takes such a very distinctive path is largely because of the identity of his most unique 'Senior Partner', and that changes the entire dynamic of his relationship with his clients, his approach to his work, and the results ultimately experienced.
-Ronald Phillips, Senior Vice Chancellor, Pepperdine University School of Law
The Problem Solver:
There once was a hurt and broken person who had experienced a lot of pain and suffering in his life. He was at his wit’s end. Indeed, he wanted to end it all. What was the point of going on? Why bother? He was ready to give up. He was done.
But, he decided he would take one more crack at solving his problems before ending it all. What did he have to lose?
The man decided to look for the ultimate problem solver.
One just had to exist. A counselor, a psychiatrist, a preacher, a teacher, a brilliant philosopher, the ultimate friend. Someone.
And so his new journey began.
The Problem Solver was quite a deceiving book--I mean this in a good way. The way that the story reads, it's vague to an extent--not offering too much detail or insight as to who people are or what they are dealing with, but it is so well written that it's intriguing and truly made me more interested than other books I've read that used this approach to telling their tale. I actually kept reading nearly hoping that the blanks wouldn't be filled in too soon because I rather enjoyed guessing what I thought may be taking place and applying my beliefs to the situations in the book. Don't worry--the book isn't boring, hard to follow or coy in any way. The author allows readers to connect to these characters, relate to circumstances, and read into the situation enough to yearn to continue. I was eager to read every bit of this book.
Mr. Gehring wrote a very inspirations, but also grassroots and fundamental book that will have any reader feeling more grounded and solid in their faith. I highly recommend it for anyone walking in faith to reconnect, affirm, inspire and share.