Luscious green grass between your toes. A gentle summer breeze touching your skin. Bright sunshine streaming down from the sky. A book in your hand.
Summer is the perfect time to read. I find I don’t have time for leisurely reading during the school year, so I try to pick up more books in the summer. Rest time doesn’t have to be wasted time! Along with providing entertainment, books have also greatly impacted my faith.
Today, I’m sharing 5 quality books that have helped grow my faith over the last couple of years (and books I’m still reading).
Disclaimer: Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. This does not cost you any extra. However, all thoughts are my own and honest. I already love these books. As you know, you are more than welcome to buy these books elsewhere (and if you can find a better price, totally do it!). This just helps me get a little $$ to help run this blog without ads! I appreciate the support!
Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl by Paula Hendricks
My thoughts: This book helped me so much. In it, Paula Hendricks shares her journey from boy-craziness to fulfillment in Christ. She gets vulnerable and real, sharing hard truths in a humble, helpful way. I learned a number of practical tips to combat boy-craziness and gained so much encouragement from the book. It was so good that I read it in a day!
Even if you don’t particularly struggle with boy-craziness, Hendricks’ advice and lessons also apply to combating any other kind of idolatry. You will come away from this book feeling refreshed, encouraged, and challenged.
1. You spot a cute boy (we’ll call him Boy A).
2. You dream about Boy A.
3. You do whatever it takes to make Boy A notice you.
4. Even though Boy A doesn’t pursue you, you hang on to your dream of Boy A until he (a) moves to the North Pole with no access to a cell phone or computer, (b) dies and is buried or cremated, or (c) begins dating another girl.
5. You mend your broken heart by hating Boy A and finding another cute boy (Boy B). You replace Boy A with Boy B and begin all over again . . .
Paula has gone through an entire alphabet—and more—of boys over the years.
As she shares her journal entries and stories—the good, the bad, and the ugly—you’ll be encouraged to trust God with your love life and buckle up for the ride!
Written for teen girls, Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl will help you on your own journey from neediness to freedom
Suggested: Satisfaction for Your Deepest Desires
If I Perish by Esther Ahn Kim
My thoughts: In If I Perish, readers follow the heart-wrenching, inspiring true story of Ahn E. Sook. After she refuses to worship Japanese shrines, she suffers years of persecution. The book follows her thoughts and struggles, showing the amazing power of God in weak individuals and sharing a story from the persecuted church. This book challenged me to keep my focus on what truly lasts forever.
Amazon description: Ahn E. Sook stood alone among thousands of kneeling people. Her bold defiance of the tyrannical demand to bow to pagan Japanese shrines condemned her to a living death in the filth and degradation of a Japanese prison. This brave woman remained faithful to Christ in the face of brutality, oppression, and ruthlessness of her captors. The story of how she won many of her fellow prisoners to Christ in the most deplorable conditions is an inspiration to all.
Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose
My thoughts: I’ve recommended this book before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Darlene Deibler’s story is truly amazing. After going overseas to work in the missions field, WWII upsets her plans. She ends up being imprisoned and brutally persecuted, but her faith only grows through the experience. This true story challenged my faith and gave me a peek into the struggles of a persecuted believer.
Amazon description: Newlywed American missionary Darlene Deibler Rose survived four years in a notorious Japanese prison camp set deep in the jungles of New Guinea. Thinking she was never to see her husband again, Darlene Rose was forced to sign a false confession and face the executioner’s sword, only to be miraculously spared.
Tactics by Gregory Koukl
My thoughts: I have not finished this book yet, but from what I have read, Tactics is extremely practical and encouraging. Evangelism often seems like a big, scary task, but Koukl explains effective ways to witness to nonbelievers. I found his words very insightful, entertaining, and practical.
Amazon description: In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus. Tactics provides the game plan for communicating the compelling truth about Christianity with confidence and grace.
Flourish by Lydia Brownback
My thoughts: This is another book I haven’t finished yet, but every chapter I have read from it is packed with truth, and I underlined and bookmarked things on almost every page. Brownback takes a straightforward approach to teaching and writes challenging words to her readers. People are very self-centered, and only the love of Christ can free us. Lydia Brownback explains that truth beautifully in Flourish.
Amazon description: We all long to live out our faith with daily joy, but so often that joy eludes us. Why is that? More often than we realize, it’s because we’ve absorbed messages that curve us in on ourselves. These messages have even crept into the church, disguised as truth. It’s time we learn to discern teaching that’s toxic from that which is true and pure.
Flourish equips us with tools to identify the lies that come at us about where to find real life. As we dig deep into what God says in his Word, we will learn to discern the worldly influences that threaten to warp our understanding of what it really means to be a Christian, and emerge with a faith that flourishes―full of the abundant life Jesus promises.
Have you read any of these books? Which one looks most interesting to you?
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