Whether it's at the beach or curled up in a chair on my apartment balcony, I have always looked forward to the extended reading time that the summer provides. I made a list last week of the books I want to read this summer, so we'll see if I actually get to all of them. I don't know about you, but I'm so bad about starting books and not finishing them. Anyway, here's a few recommended summer reads. Happy reading!

The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy & Kathy Keller - This book has one of the best chapters on submission that I have read. Whether you're married, engaged, or single, this book applies to you.

Just Lead: A No Whining, No Complaining, No Nonsense Practical Guide for Women Leaders in the Church by Sherry Surratt & Jenni Catron - This is one of the books that I'm currently reading, and I actually met Jenni a couple of weeks ago and was impressed with what I heard her share about women in ministry and women in leadership. I'm about 1/3 of the way through, and so far, it has addressed issues that women face when leading others - whether it's in a small group setting, a job, or in a ministry setting.

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart: How to Know for Sure You're Saved by J.D. Greear - If you have children and want to be more equipped to talk with them about salvation, if you wrestle with knowing whether or not you're saved, or if you just want to grow in your ability to share the gospel with others, then this book is a must read.

The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected by Nik Ripken - This is the true story of a Kentucky family who moved to Africa as missionaries and faced unexpected tragedy, a crisis of faith, and learned how to live a victorious Christian life in some of the world's toughest places.

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster - This is an oldie but goody. Foster discusses twelve different disciplines that further growth in one's relationship with God. My small group is learning more about spiritual disciplines this summer, and each week, we are practicing one of the disciplines discussed in this book.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - Even if you've seen the movies, I encourage you to pick up the Narnia books (start with The Magician's Nephew, which is chronologically the first book of the seven). They are so rich with Christian themes and lessons. It's not just your child's book. I first read them my freshman year of college and was so encouraged and delighted by Lewis' whimsical, instructional tales.

If you've read any of these books, please comment below and let us know your thoughts!

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