Updated: Jun 29
I love my women's Bible study group. I love seeing them week in and week out over the school year and I miss their friendship when we break over the summer. But I love summers too because it frees me up to do what I want to do, read what I want to read, and study what I want to study.
When I first started in a women's Bible study group back twenty years ago and they broke for the summer, I took the summer off too from Bible study and Christian reading. But I quickly noticed a change in my attitude. I would feel distant from God and I soon realized I needed a daily dose of Christian reading. It is what keeps me on an even keel emotionally and spiritually. It has literally become my daily bread.
I began spending the summer reading some of the books of well-known Christian authors.
One summer was C.S. Lewis. I have several of his books, but I think Mere Christianity is my favorite and a book every Christian should read. It is a classic. It does start out slow, but stick with it. I personally like The Great Divorce and have read it twice (although some in my women's group did not care for it) and I have been to the play.
One summer was Corrie ten Boom. This woman and her faith just captivates me. I have read both The Hiding Place and Tramp for the Lord twice. Some books are so good they are worth re-reading! The movie, The Hiding Place, is very good too. These are true accounts of her life. Corrie ten Boom was a watchmaker and lived with her father and sister. They hid some Jews during the Nazi occupation and she and her sister were sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp. After the war she travels the world talking about forgiving others and God is always with you. Tramp for the Lord is the book about the years after the war.
Another favorite author of mine is Henri J. M. Nouwen. I spent a summer reading many of his books. The Return of the Prodigal Son is an excellent read! It greatly impacted me. It's time to re-read this one. Put it on my growing stack!
One summer was some books by Elisabeth Elliot. Through Gates of Splendor is the true story about the death of her husband and the other missionaries. It has a movie too which was pretty good.
One summer was A. W. Tozer. He is a great theologian. His books are a little deep and I am very slow at reading them.
I was going to develop a class on the Protestant Reformation and I was working on my family history about the same time so I spent one summer reading Christian history books. The class never did get developed because of work, but it was interesting and worthwhile to learn about Christian history! Some of the events really shocked me and have stuck with me.
Sometimes I read a Christian fiction book for fun.
Years ago I bought the eleven workbooks on the Bible by the Amazing Collection. I've spent the last couple summers working through the ones I hadn't completed. I think I have The Post-Exilic Books and The Major Prophets to do yet. These workbooks are incredible and I can't recommend them enough!
My summer reading and study has had a huge impact on my life. These books have shaped my thinking, my Christian worldview and I have grown spiritually.
And what am I doing this summer? I have been stacking up a pile of secular fiction books I would love to read. But here it is the end of June and I haven't even started on them yet. Instead...
I asked my women's group to read the first five books of the Bible over the summer. These are called the Greek word, Pentateuch, and these five books are foundational to all of Scripture. Since I asked them to do it, I'm doing it myself. I've re-read Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus in June. It has been years since I have read these books and I am actually quite surprised at my level of understanding of the theological concepts and the connections I am making to the rest of Scripture!
Here's a reading chart for the Pentateuch if you'd like to join us in reading it.
Read a book on Christian thought or pick a Bible study to walk through on your own. Or read some books of the Bible. Have a favorite Christian author? Read some of their books.
The point is to do something to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
You have two more months before we get back into the hectic schedule.
Purposeful time spent growing in your Christian faith is time well spent.
Don't take a break from your spiritual journey.
Feast on your daily bread.
Check out my Books Recommended page on my website.
Affiliate links to some of the books I recommended:
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Tramp for the Lord by Corrie ten Boom
Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri J. M. Nouwen