I don't really celebrate summertime so much, since I am no longer classified as a student, at least in the going to school sense of the word. I do like the concept of "summer reading" though, like I can knock out a few books during some free moments here and there. This is what I am currently reading or have finished this summer...
What is the Gospel?
by Greg Gilbert
We are studying this on Wednesday nights with our students. Seems like such a simple question, but you would be surprised how difficult it can be for Christians to give a definite answer to "what is the Gospel?". This is an easy read and I have greatly enjoyed it. It is actually the second 9Marks book I have read recently. Their stuff seems very well done and not tedious like a textbook, but practical for learning as a believer.
Just Do Something
by Kevin DeYoung
Kevin DeYoung may be one of my favorite bloggers. This is actually my third reading of this book. I have been reading with two of the girls I disciple, along with a study of 1&2 Timothy. I would probably recommend some reading in Proverbs while reading through this book. This is another short book, but great insight from God's Word concerning His will. I think we spend way too much time talking about God's will instead of actually carrying it out. This book actually goes well with the first one. Get a good grasp on the Gospel and then go out and do it. I actually love DeYoung's emphasis on Matthew 6:33 in this book. It is referenced quite a few times. The key to finding and doing God's will is not an enigma. The Word tells us how to live. This book is a fantastic reminder that God's Word has all we need for life, if we would just practice it!
by Andrew Murray
Another short book. I just pulled this off my shelf a few days ago. It's been looking at me for a long time. I don't really know too much about Murray. I did a search on him and found out that he was a missionary to South Africa in the 1800's-early 1900's. The book has been quite challenging so far as it looks at the example of Christ who demonstrated perfect humility. I will try to break down some of this book on the blog soon. The chapters are short, but quite convicting.
The Organized Heart
by Staci Eastin
This would be my must read recommendation for ladies this summer! This book bothered me and still continues to do so. The first chapter challenges women to put aside our idols of leisure, busyness, perfectionism, and possessions. As I read through each chapter, I realized that we try so hard to organized our lives, but fail to begin with the motives of the heart. I am not even going to attempt to put into words just how challenging this book is. It takes the truths of Scripture and tears down the idols that we so easily build in our lives. Who knew that perfectionism was an idol in my life? "Not by way of eyeservice as people pleasers, but as servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart." -Ephesians 6:6. The thoughts and ideas of this book continue to challenge me. I cannot recommend it enough, for the busy person, it is only 103 pages. You are without excuse! Read this book.
Son of Hamas
by Mosab Hassan Yousef
The first two chapters of this book were enough to keep me reading. The different accounts in this book are unbelievable to my Americanized, Christian mind. It is an amazing story and one that will burden your heart as you think of those who are so blinded to the truth of the Gospel. A tough read with intimate details, but worth it.
Choosing to See
by Mary Beth Chapman
Steven Curtis Chapman is definitely someone I have listened to since my introduction to Contemporary Christian Music. I think the Chapman's advocacy for adoption is amazing and they have played an important parents with their adoption organization Show Hope providing grants for those adopting parents! You wonder what happens when tragedy strikes a seemingly "perfect life." I like this book for the realness of it. It is their life and their family. It is a good reminder that Christians are not always promised the easy road, but Christ offers hope in our darkest hour. They chose to "Taste and see that the Lord is good..." (Psalm 34:8).
And last but not least, the book of Luke. (I couldn't find a picture for it.) He is without a doubt my favorite Gospel writer. I know the other Gospel writers are just as significant in the Word and we often see the Apostle Paul as the grand writer in the New Testament, but for me there is something about Luke. Historical records find that Paul and Luke were friends, even traveled together as we see in the book of Acts. (Seems like Luke chose good company to keep.) It has been a fresh look for me at the ministry of Christ from His miracles, parables, revelation of who He is, and culmination with the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior. I like Luke's attention to detail along with his convicting statements. My challenge would be to read one of the Gospels this summer. A closer look at the Savior would be my highest my recommendation for the summer!
What are your reading this summer? I would love for you to share!