Summer Reading

One of the best things about summer is that the break many of us experience from our normal routines and demands of life affords us the opportunity to read a book or two that we usually can not find the time to fit into our busy schedules. A few staff members have put together a list of some books you might want to read as you are sitting on the beach or by the pool, or enjoying a long weekend at the lake.  

Dr. Dortch

One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page

The Road to Character by David Brooks

Sailboat Church: Helping Your Church Rethink Its Mission and Practice  by Joan Gray

Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact by Nick Morgan

Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics by William Lane Craig

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

How Will You Measure Your Life?  by Clayton Christensen

A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix  by Edwin H. Friedman

Wayne Splawn

The Techwise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Crouch

Right Click: Parenting Your Teenager in a Digital Media World by Kara Powell, Art Bamford, Brad M. Griffin

Technology seems to change on a daily basis and many families struggle to develop a plan that will enable them to use technology in a way that will be a blessing to their families. Andy Crouch and the folks from the Fuller Youth Institute have each recently released books that will help you think wisely about technology and its place in your home.

The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager's Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life by Mike Matheny with Jerry B. Jenkins

Many of us will spend a good amount of time at a ball park this summer. Sports are a great way for our kids to learn the value of hard work, the benefits of team work and a host of other life lessons. However, sports also have a way of bringing out the worst in many of us. How do we find balance in sports and ensure that they are a source of blessing for our children and our families? Mike Matheny, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, has written a great book that will challenge you to consider how you should allow your Christian faith to influence the role of sports in your life.

Rejoicing in Christ by Michael Reeves

It can be difficult to find theological books that are intellectually challenging and accessible. I found Rejoicing in Christ by Michael Reeves to have both of those characteristics. As I read it, I developed a deeper understanding of my Christian faith and was moved to rejoice in all that I have been given in Jesus Christ.

Mary Splawn

None Like Him by Jen Wilkin

I first listened to this book on Audible and liked it so much I bought 10 copies to give away. Men, don’t be scared off by the cover, this is a great book for all people needing a reminder about how God is different from us and why that’s a good thing, as the subtitle suggests. Wilkin illustrates her points well with practical examples and stories from life. She ends each chapter with questions for reflection that are helpful! Get ready to think more about how God is infinite, incomprehensible, self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and sovereign. I promise it isn’t as scary as it sounds. That’s the beauty of this well-crafted book!

A Praying Life by Paul Miller

After reading this book, I had a new hope for my prayer life. Miller suggests using a notecard system as one practical way of being more genuine and diligent in prayer. He also talks about connecting Scripture and prayer. Miller reflects on his own struggles in life and family and tells the story of redemption through prayer! This is a great book and an easy read. This is definitely one to read multiple times.

A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie

Dr. William Hull first recommended this prayer companion to me. It features morning and evening prayers for all days of the month. There are several editions out there. The newest edition (published in 2014) has updated language and footnotes. You may have to buy the older editions on eBay but they are filled with beautiful, King James-ish language! For example, one of my favorite lines is from the day 11 evening prayer, “Fence round my life with a rampart of pure aspiration. And let Christ be formed in my heart through faith.” Oh Lord, may that prayer be a reality in me.

Sharon Howard

Why They Stay: Helping Parents and Church Leaders Make Investments that Keep Their Children and Teens Connected to the Church for a Lifetime by Dr. Steve R. Parr and Dr. Tom Crites

Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus by Kyle Idleman

Five Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney

Modern Parents, Vintage Values: Instilling Character in Today's Kids by Melissa Trevathan and Sissy Goff

Amy Jackson

The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath by Mark Buchanan

Mark Buchanan’s The Rest of God was the best book I read in 2016! His take on what it means to experience Sabbath rest by choosing to trust and rest in God was so helpful for me. He offers lots of stories along with a refreshing Scriptural perspective on what resting in God really means (and that it’s more than just being lazy or watching Netflix - or simply spending hours in Bible reading and prayer).

Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love by Ed Welch

Ed Welch is a counselor with the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. A friend from Beeson recommended this book to me; it’s a great, practical tool that teaches church members how to get to know others on a deeper level (moving past surface-level conversations to really sharing and living life together) while also giving advice for what it means to walk side by side with people and share in their joy and suffering.