Summertime often entails change. Restaurants open up their patios, families swarm beaches, and school’s out! Summer offers extra time to wind down and relax. Last year, my friend challenged me to use my summer to grow. She recommended I read books to learn more about faith, having a relationship with God, and widening my perspective on life. Now I’m encouraging you to step out and take the initiative to learn more about walking with Christ as well.
Here are five books I recommend adding to your summer reading list:
Last summer, my friend recommended Just Do Something to me. I had just graduated from university and was in the heat of making long-term decisions. With an abundance of opportunities around, I quickly purchased the book. I’m so glad I did. DeYoung offers concise and relatable narratives and advice. He touches on how the plurality of options, combined with pursuing our own interests, can lead to confusion. DeYoung also includes narratives of his friends’ and family’s experiences with making decisions on everything from career to marriage. My favourite thing about this book is that DeYoung shows us how obeying God and worshipping him actually helps us make solid long-term decisions.
I picked up this book for two reasons: 1) My favourite author wrote it and; 2) I heard great things about it. Ann picks up where she left off with One Thousand Gifts, her first novel on counting grace. In this book, Ann explores how we can live in a broken world, within the brokenness of ourselves. Reminding us that she is only human, Ann opens up about failure, rejection, and the challenges of living all out for Christ. My favourite thing about Ann is that she encourages us to give ourselves time, help, attention, and resources, during hardship when we’re more inclined to shut people out, or forget about those in need. All together, the book shows us a way to fill ourselves with the grace of God and how to pour out that grace to others.
Sadie’s book totally surpassed my expectations! In it, she walks with the reader, sharing her own struggles with battling fear and how she combats it. What sets this book apart from the rest is Sadie’s raw journey from battling anxiety and toxic thoughts to sharing the gospel with people on the streets. In this journey, we learn the importance of having a mentor, how to captivate your thoughts with scripture, and how we can pray through difficulties. She offers a fresh perspective on tackling fears by looking at biblical characters like David, and showing how to apply their stories in our own life. This book brought a ton of clarity for me when it came to understanding how fear works and what we can do to prevent it from hurting us.
Ever wondered what it means to be a Christian? Or what the church is for? Platt’s book offers foundational information for the everyday Christian. He explains the gospel with scripture and then goes into common Christian terminology (like disciple, evangelism, mission, etc.) as it pertains to the Christian life. I love how Platt’s explanations help us to discover and restore our understanding of what it means to be Christian. This book breaks down common aspects of the Christian life, including traits of a Biblical church, what it means to live on mission, and how we identify and reach the unreached.
Keller writes this book in hopes of closing the gap between people and joy. Through research and cultural dissection, Keller digs into the main reasons that we struggle with unhappiness and low self-esteem. I love Keller’s method of showing how, when we forget about ourselves, we actually obtain more joy and fight sin at the same time. The book enters into a fresh dialogue that opens our eyes to what we naturally do, and how we need to take up other habits in order to pursue a pure heart and peace of mind.
I highly recommend reading these books! They are packed with much needed wisdom and will help widen your perspective on life in Christ. This summer, set aside time to invest in your walk with God, grow in faith, and learn how to tackle challenges with a fresh perspective.
About the Author
Alex graduated from the University of Toronto Mississauga. She specialized in English Literature and Professional Writing and Communication.