I enjoy reading about what others are reading for a summer. I think it says a lot about a person. I also find great books that I might otherwise not find. So, here is my list of intended reading for the summer of 2015.
I will also be spending a lot of time in Psalm 119 this summer in study and reading. Will you read with me? I’ll try to put some thoughts and meditations from Psalm 119 on the blog this summer. Don’t let other things (even other reading) take the place of your Bible reading and Bible study. Consider using the following resource to help with your reading and study.
Journible Through Psalm 119. You will be writing the Bible text only on the right hand page of the book. This should make for easier writing and also allows ample space on the left page to write your own notes and comments. From time to time a question or word will be lightly printed on the left page; these questions are to aid in further study, but should not interfere with your own notes and comments. ($4.00)
SUMMER READING LIST (And Some Suggestions)
Scott Sauls. Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who Are Tire of Taking Sides.
Amazon Blurb: Whether the issue of the day on Twitter, Facebook, or cable news is our sexuality, political divides, or the perceived conflict between faith and science, today’s media pushes each one of us into a frustrating clash between two opposing sides. Polarizing, us-against-them discussions divide us and distract us from thinking clearly and communicating lovingly with others. Scott Sauls, like many of us, is weary of the bickering and is seeking a way of truth and beauty through the conflicts. Jesus Outside the Lines presents Jesus as this way. Scott shows us how the words and actions of Jesus reveal a response that does not perpetuate the destructive fray. Jesus offers us a way forward – away from harshness, caricatures and stereotypes. In Jesus Outside the Lines, you will experience a fresh perspective of Jesus, who will not (and should not) fit into the sides.
David Murray. The Christian Ministry.
After 20 years of pastoral ministry, 12 years of training pastors in seminaries, and many years of blogging and writing about pastoral issues, pastor and professor Dr. David Murray has published this book of almost 250 articles and conference addresses divided into four categories: pastoring, preaching, counseling, and leading.
PASTORING: Celebrity pastors, pastoral visitation, rookie pastors, pastoral joys (and miseries), call to the ministry, leaving a church, evangelism, social media, church discipline, hate mail, caring for your body, etc. PREACHING: Sermon preparation, teaching tips, balanced preaching, evangelistic preaching, preaching without notes, and numerous articles on preaching Christ from the Old Testament. COUNSELING: Counseling training, the sufficiency of Scripture, hospital visitation, pornography, mental health, depression, stress, suicide, etc. LEADING: Church meetings, hiring, administration, workaholism, leadership types, control-freaks, etc.
Michael Reeves. Rejoicing in Christ.
Amazon Blurb: If we want to know who God is, the best thing we can do is look at Christ. If we want to live the life to which God calls us, we look to Christ. In Jesus we see the true meaning of the love, power, wisdom, justice, peace, care and majesty of God.Michael Reeves, author of Delighting in the Trinity, opens to readers the glory and wonder of Christ, offering a bigger and more exciting picture than many have imagined. Jesus didn’t just bring us the good news. He is the good news. Reeves helps us celebrate who Christ is, his work on earth, his death and resurrection, his anticipated return and how we share in his life.This book, then, aims for something deeper than a new technique or a call to action. In an age that virtually compels us to look at ourselves, Michael Reeves calls us to look at Christ. As we focus our hearts on him, we see how he is our life, our righteousness, our holiness and our hope.
Graham A. Cole. Engaging with the Holy Spirit: Real Questions, Practical Answers
Amazon Blurb: Despite the growth of the charismatic movement and Pentecostal churches, people still have questions-and even troubling concerns-about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. These real questions are the burden of this book, which seeks to sequentially address from throughout Scripture six crucial questions that affect a person’s relationship to the Spirit: What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? How does a person resist him? Ought we to pray to the Spirit? How do we quench the Spirit? How do we grieve the Spirit? and How does he fill us? Each chapter is devoted to one question and challenges readers about their relationship with the Spirit and about Christian living in general. Readers are also given key elements for thinking theologically and implications for their belief and behavior. It’s a brief, reader-friendly book full of solid, reassuring answers.
Tim Chester: You Can Pray: Finding Grace to Pray Every Day
Amazon Blurb: “This book is not about the steps you can take to become a great pray-er. The message of this book is that you already are a great pray-er in Christ. Through Christ, you can pray.” Tim Chester shows us how we become great pray-ers who pray great prayers simply through knowing three foundational truths about God:
• God the Father loves to hear us pray
• God the Son makes every prayer pleasing
• God the Holy Spirit helps us as we pray
When these truths are in place, we discover why prayer is easy, why prayer is difficult, and the arguments and priorities of prayer.
Erik Larson. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Amazon Blurb: On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack.Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.
Thomas Asbridge. The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones.
Amazon Blurb: A thrillingly intimate portrait of one of history’s most illustrious knights – William Marshal – that vividly evokes the grandeur and barbarity of the Middle Ages. This knight’s tale lays bare the brutish realities of medieval warfare and the machinations of royal court, and draws us into the heart of a formative period of our history, when the West emerged from the Dark Ages and stood on the brink of modernity. It is the story of one remarkable man, the birth of the knightly class to which he belonged, and the forging of the English nation.
Edward Welch. Side By Side: Walking With Others in Wisdom and Love
Amazon Blurb: Practical Guidance for Loving Others Well. Everyone needs help from time to time, especially in the midst of painful circumstances and difficult trials. In this short book, a highly respected biblical counselor and successful author offers practical guidance for all Christians—pastors and laypeople alike—who want to develop their “helping skills” when it comes to walking alongside hurting people. Written out of the conviction that friends are the best helpers, this accessible introduction to biblical counseling will equip believers to share their burdens with one another through gentle words of wisdom and kind acts of love. This book is written for those eager to see God use ordinary relationships and conversations between ordinary Christians to work extraordinary miracles in the lives of his people.
For some other books that you may enjoy, and will get a lot out of…
David Murray. The Happy Christian: Ten Ways to Be a Joyful Believer in a Gloomy World
David Murray. A Bundle of Joy: Six Books on Christian Happiness (2.99 Kindle)
Vaughan Roberts. True Friendship: Walking Shoulder to Shoulder