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  • Writer's picturePastor Jared

Relax... with a good book

Last time I spoke in praise of boredom. Now let me offer you a bit of encouragement to be bored in a constructive, character building, godly manner.

Summer is a time of rest, relaxation and, if you’re fortunate, a whole lot of doing

nothing. Unfortunately, summer is usually also the time when our spiritual lives are typified by exactly these things as well. We find it more difficult to get up and go to church when the beautiful weather beckons us; our devotional and prayer times can diminish because the call of a walk in the cool of the evening or to go for a few more miles on the motorcycle are almost audible to us.

Now of course, as your pastor, I cannot condone a kind of succumbing to lazy summer temptations at the expense of your Christian walk... even though I am prone to it myself. When summer comes, I too feel church becoming ever more an obligation than a joy - especially when the temperatures are high - and I do feel the desire to pray and

probe God’s word replaced with the desire for summer related activities.

This is not to make anyone feel bad for wanting to get the most out of the beautiful temperatures -- summers in Manitoba are short after all, and we do need to enjoy them as much as we can. But it is in these times of relaxation and laziness that we can, if we are smart, grow greatly in our walk with God. All we have to do is pick up

a good book. This is what this short blog is designed to help you to do. Below you will find several books on select topics to help you enjoy the summer while also enriching your walk with Christ. A few of them are available in our church library and all of them are worth purchasing for rereads in future days.

If you are interested in looking deeper into a member of our "great cloud of witnesses," why not pick up a biographyHere I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton; Katie Luther: First Lady of the Reformation by Ruth Tucker; John Calvin: A Biography by T.H.L. Parker; Tethered to the Cross: The Life and Preaching of Charles Spurgeon by Thomas Breimaier; R. C. Sproul: Defender of the Reformed Faith by Nate Pickowicz.

In this same vein, why not dig into some church history by grabbing one of the 5 volumes of 2000 Years of Christ's Power by Nick Needham; Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity by Mark Noll; The Story of Creeds and Confessions: Tracing the Development of the Christian Faith by Donald Fairbairn; The American Evangelical Story: A History of the Movement by Douglas Sweeney

If you are interested in something that will help you be a better parent pick up

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp; Everyday Talk: Talking Freely and Naturally about God with Your Children by John Younts; Parenting: The 14 Gospel Principles That Can Change Your Family by Paul Tripp. For those with teens in your home try Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul Tripp

If you are interested in something that will encourage and challenge your prayer life grab Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans edited by Robert Elmer; The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotionals edited by Arthur Bennett; A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and his Prayers by D.A. Carson; Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Praying in Jesus' Name by Bryan Chapell.

You can explore how to be a better participant in the body of Christ by reading The Church: The Gospel Made Visible by Mark Dever; What is a Healthy Church Member by Thabiti Anyabwile; Does God Care How We Worship by Ligon Duncan; Devoted to God's Church: Core Values for Christian Fellowship by Sinclair Ferguson.

If you want something that will help you live the Christian life, try reading Knowing God by J.I. Packer; Holiness by J.C. Ryle; A Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer; Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis; What’s so Amazing about the Doctrines of Grace? by Richard Phillips.

Why not challenge yourself to share the gospel by reading The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever; Gospel People: A Call for Evangelical Integrity by Michael Reeves; Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer.

Maybe you would like to prepare for our upcoming September CLD class when we will look at how to defend our faith in a non-Christian world. Check out Apologetics to the Glory of God: An Introduction by John Frame; The Battle Belongs to the Lord: The Power of Scripture for Defending Our Faith by Scott Oliphint; Every Thought Captive: A Study Manual for the Defense of Christian Truth by Richard Pratt Jr.

Better than all of the above is to spend some time reading through a book or

two of the Bible - read one you have read before, then try one you haven’t read yet.

If you have another topic you would like to explore this summer, contact me. I'm sure I can find you something to read. Happy reading!

Soli Deo Gloria


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