Over the Summer I’ve had a chance to dive into some good books. What have you been reading this summer? Or have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments.

What God has to say about our bodies’ by Sam Allberry

There have often been two extremities that people have moved toward – either that the body are not important at all, or it’s the physical body is the only thing that is important. “What God has to say about our bodies” is a refreshing and important read to help us understand what the Bible actually teaches about how the Creator has made us. Sam Allberry unpacks what the Bible teaches us about how God has designed our bodies and why this is important and doesn’t shy away from topics around gender, sexuality, sickness, death, and what this all teaches about God and how He’s designed us.

“Our bodies have been fearfully and wonderfully made but they also cause us pain. Because we live in a created world our bodies are a gift but because we live in a fallen world they might not be the gift we wanted, our bodies are broken.” Sam Allberry

Read this book if you have questions about how the bible approaches topics such as gender, sexuality, sickness, and anything else related to our bodies.

The compound effect’ by Darren Hardy

It’s the little things that count, right? In ‘the compound effect’ Darren Hardy describes how our daily decisions and habits form who we are and set us up for our future. This is one of those books, like ‘Atomic habits’ by James Clear, that if you grasp some of the principles outlined then you can apply to all areas of your life and grow into the person you want to become and achieve what you set out to do. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

“It’s not the big things that add up in the end, it’s the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.” Darren Hardy

“When your actions conflict with your values the results are unhappiness, frustration, and despondency.” Darren Hardy

“You alone are responsible for the choices you make and the actions you take. That said, you must also realise your choices, behaviours, and habits are influenced by powerful external forces.” Darren Hardy

“Everyone is affected by three kind of influences: Input, what you feed your mind. Associations, the people whom you spend time with. And environment, your surroundings.” Darren Hardy

“Jim Rohn taught that we become the combined average of the five people we hang around the most.” Darren Hardy

Read this book if you’re wanted a greater understanding as to how you can grow whether you’re feeling stuck in life or wanting to gain momentum in building better habits.

The book that made your world’ by Vishal Mangalwadi

I think that in media and society at large the view of the Bible has gone from being valued and honoured to being disregarded and ridiculed. As a Christian this is often really discouraging. However, Vishal Mangalwadi highlights through this book the incredible positive influence the Bible has been through the centuries on Western Civilization. I appreciate that he writes this as someone who grew up in India and looks at how the Bible has greatly benefitted the West in its foundation. However, this book issues a warning that society now looks to reap the rewards of a biblically-formed society while trying to undermine the foundation that has led to its prosperity. From looking at how the Bible has shaped the Western views on Freedom, Education, Heroism, Rationality, to Family, and more.

“Far from violating God’s dignity, the incarnation was to be the ultimate proof of man’s dignity: of the possibility of man’s salvation, of a man or a woman become a friend and child of God.” Vishal Mangalwadi

“God gave the gift of reason to all human beings so that we might love him, know all truth, and understand and manage his creation.” Vishal Mangalwadi

“Every creator has authority over his creation.” Vishal Mangalwadi

“Every civilization is tied together by a final source of authority that gives meaning and ultimate intellectual, moral, and social justification to its culture.” Vishal Mangalwadi

“Morality without liberty is slavery. Liberty without morality is destructive.” Vishal Mangalwadi

Read this book if you’re sceptical that the Bible can be a positive influence, or want to understand the impact that the Bible has had in the past and the difference it can still today and in the future for society at large.

‘An astronaut’s guide to life on earth’ by Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station. I was fascinated in reading Chris Hadfield’s insights into being an astronaut and what that taught him about life in general. I was impressed with the work ethic, perseverance, problem-solving, character, and humility required to do the job of an astronaut (apparently, there’s more to it than travelling in rockets and doing space walks). You also get a behind-the-scenes of one of the most popular YouTube videos ever filmed from space.

Read this book for an entertaining yet insightful look into the mind and perspective with someone who’s found out that the sky is not the limit.

A tale of three kings’ by Gene Edwards

I discovered ‘A tale of three kings’ after being recommended by a couple we are friends with. It’s a fictional re-telling of the story of King David from the Old Testament with a narrative expanding on David’s relationship with King Saul, and his own son Absalom. In the Bible we see these as strained and difficult relationships, yet David maintained a heart and faith trusting in God through all of it. It’s a really interesting insight in how our hearts can justify our own actions and attitudes towards others when we’ve been hurt or betrayed.

Read this book if you’ve been through hurt in relationships, especially with those who are either in authority over you, or are under your authority as a leader. This will challenge your heart.

Wounded by God’s people’ by Anne Graham Lotz

Anne Graham Lotz is the daughter of the famous preacher, Billy Graham, and she tells of her own stories, and lesson learned, in her experiences in churches.  I appreciate her vulnerability and shows that even though we can be hurt in relationships with those that we hope know better, healing can and will come as we let God do His work in and through us.

“Love is not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the other person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.” CS Lewis

Read this book if you’ve been hurt in relationship with others in a church, or whether you’ve hurt others (the truth is that most of us have experienced both). Especially for those who have struggles with forgiveness, peace, and joy in church.

Gut’ by Giulia Enders

I studied Human Biology at school but in the last few years I’ve been looking at learning more about my own health, nutrition, and exercise with what my body wants and needs. After seeing this recommended in reading lists, I gave it a shot. I’ve never really considered much about how the tongue, stomach and intestines interact, and learnt a few things along the way. However I usually read books like this and look at how I can make changes in my life, there may be plenty in there but the only application I really took away was: I need to eat more yoghurt. And after reading ‘Gut’ I will never think about worms the same way again, the vivid descriptions of intestinal worm infections was a difficult one to stomach…

Read this book if you want to learn about poo, acid reflux, food allergies and intolerances. And intestinal worms.

Crushing’ by TD Jakes

This is my first book I’ve read by TD Jakes, and I’m not sure what I expected but I was blown away by his vulnerability about some of the real and painful challenges he’s gone through, and the encouragement I took from his faith and trust in a God who works out all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). TD Jakes uses the biblical journey of the grapes that are crushed, fermented then made into good wine and relates this picture to how God often works in our lives as He takes the suffering and pain that we go through and brings much good for us and for others for the glory of God.

“Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Helen Keller

“As I walked out the door toward that gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind I’d still be in prison.“ Nelson Mandela

“Grieving is not the time to look for answers. It takes all your energy just to survive the turbulence of the loss.” TD Jakes

“Those who embrace their anguish and cry out tend to heal more fully than those who try to pretend that they’re okay.” TD Jakes

Read this book if you’re going through a dark time, if you’re questioning where God is, or what His plans are. If you’re experiencing discouragement then I know this will encourage you.

What has been your summer read in 2022?  Let me know in the comments, Dan

Book list

What God has to say about our bodies by Sam Allberry

The compound effect by Darren Hardy

The book that made your world by Vishal Mangalwadi

An astronaut’s guide to life on earth by Chris Hadfield

A tale of three kings by Gene Edwards

Wounded by God’s people by Anne Graham Lotz

Gut by Giulia Enders

Crushing by TD Jakes