Reading opens the door to learn from people that we may never get to meet! Summer provides the opportunity to read- in the car, on a plane, at the beach under your umbrella, in your chair around the campfire or in the condo on the couch! Sometimes reading is for learning. Sometimes it’s just for fun.
Reading and laughing up I-75
In those simpler days before we were overtaken by technology, we often read in the car while on vacation. Different family members took turns reading for blocks of time and that made the trip go faster (and reduced the number of times someone asked, “How long till we get there?”)
To hold the whole family’s attention on the interstate, I recommend Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls. This hilarious tale of a young boy’s efforts to earn a cash reward for capturing a band of escaped circus monkeys provides lots of laughter with a poignant ending depicting sacrificial love. Warning- drivers should exercise caution if blinded by tears from laughing during parts of this story!
Here are a few suggestions for your summer reading list, by category:
Fun, feel-good story of sports, family, and faith
Unscripted: the unpredictable moments that make life extraordinary, by Ernie Johnson, Jr. A well-written memoir from the TBS sports broadcaster and host of NBA Today, including reflections of growing up as the son of a major league pitcher turned broadcaster and the journey following his father’s legacy in the broadcast booth. His coming to faith in Christ, adoptions of children including a Romanian boy with special needs, and rise in the competitive world of sports broadcasting provide both humor and heartwarming perspectives on life, family, and faith. My favorite book of the year.
Reflective, devotional reading to fit a busy summer day
Need a suggestion to help keep your devotional life on track this summer? Consider these:
Shelter in the Time of Storm: Meditations on God and Trouble, by Paul David Tripp. Had some hard times lately? These daily reflections from Psalm 27 are of great comfort in times of stress. My wife and I read through this one five or six times before our evening prayer time together during some particularly difficult stretches of life.
Heart of the Matter, CCEF offers brief daily devotional reading based on a passage of scripture. A combination of writers offer perspectives on aspects of day to day life. Comfort, hope, exhortation, and encouragement.
Songs of Jesus, by Tim and Kathy Keller. Another daily devotional that provides encouragement from the Psalms. Unpacks some familiar and not-so-familiar messages of hope from the Psalter. Great book for by the bed table.
Get “coached up” on parenting with these
Trying to get a better handle on being a parent and leading your family? Check these out.
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, by Paul David Tripp. Anything by this author is a worthy read. Great help in keeping the main thing the main thing in the midst of the whirl of daily family life.
The Tech-wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place, by Andy Crouch. This is in the “must read” category! Deals with technology in the context of family life, not as an isolated issue. Great ideas on how to develop courage and wisdom as parents facing the challenges of technology. Short book, easy read, practical help.
Marriage- a continual opportunity to learn and grow
Want to invest in strengthening your marriage? I just celebrated 46 years of marriage and we are still reading, learning, and cultivating our relationship together! Here are a few to consider:
The Meaning of Marriage: Facing Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God, by Tim Keller with Kathy Keller presents a great blend of biblical truth with practical applications interspersed with personal stories. One of the best I’ve read on the topic over the last decade.
The Mingling of Souls: God’s design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption, by Matt Chandler. A young pastor shares his journey of exploring the depth of God’s grace through his marriage oriented around the Old Testament wisdom literature found in Song of Solomon. A fresh look at some foundational truths.
For the boys of summer…a good baseball book
Baseball fan? Gotta check this one out!
The Matheny Manifesto: Old school views on success in sports and life, by Mike Matheny. The manager of the St. Louis Cardinals shares insights from his parents’ wisdom in raising a promising athlete through his collegiate and professional baseball career. The authenticity of his commitment to Jesus Christ is refreshing and genuine. Matheny offers a great example of the application of the walk of faith in a world of intense competition and high expectations.
Have a great summer and be sure to include some great reading!