A good book is hard to find: Summer reads 2019

United Methodists can grow through reading great books. Reading is a great way to grow in your faith. Image by Sara Schork, United Methodist Communications.
United Methodists can grow through reading great books. Reading is a great way to grow in your faith. Image by Sara Schork, United Methodist Communications.

Life is too short to read bad books, but finding your next favorite can sometimes be difficult.

Our friends at Abingdon Press and the United Methodist Publishing House have some new titles that might be perfect for you this summer. Authors you may already know and several new names help you explore topics of life and faith. Here are ten to consider.

Lectio Divina Bible book coverLectio Divina Prayer Bible

Lectio Divina is the ancient practice of reading the Bible slowly and prayerfully, intentionally pausing to listen for what God is speaking to your heart. For each chapter of Scripture The Lectio Divina Prayer Bible offers a recommended passage for slow and thoughtful reading, questions for guiding a time of reflection on the text, a prayer, and suggestions for putting your new insights into action. The helps will guide you in an ancient way of praying the Bible.

Inside the Miracles of Jesus book coverInside the Miracles of Jesus: Discovering the Power of Desperation

The Rev. Jessica LaGrone, United Methodist pastor and Dean of the Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary, uses the miracles of Jesus to help us better grasp how our weaknesses can be an invitation for God to work powerfully in our lives. We need God as much on our best days as we do on our worst.

Simon Peter book coverSimon Peter: Flawed but Faithful Disciple

United Methodist pastor the Rev. Adam Hamilton offers an in-depth dive into the life, faith, and character of one of Jesus's most vocal disciples. An ordinary fisherman who left everything to follow Jesus, yet was sometimes quick-tempered, impetuous, and struggled with doubt and fear. In many ways, Simon Peter was like us.

More for Mom book coverMore for Mom: Living Your Whole and Holy Life

In More for Mom, Presbyterian pastor the Rev. Kristin Funston encourages moms to stop believing the lie that more is needed from them, and start living with the truth that more is available for them. Using real-life talk, humor and convicting biblical truths, Funston helps moms see the whole and holy life God has in store for them, just waiting to be claimed. A great gift for the mom in your life.

Called book coverCalled: Hearing and Responding to God's Voice

Calls aren't just for pastors, missionaries and church leaders. Throughout the Bible God interrupts the lives of ordinary men and women, calling and empowering them to lives of service they never could have imagined on their own. United Methodist pastor the Rev. Susan Robb will help you discover how to hear and respond to the unique call God is placing on your life. A good gift for graduates.

She Dream book coverShe Dreams: Live the Life You Were Created For

God breathes new dreams within our hearts and revives old dreams that have died. Using Moses' journey to live out the God-sized dream given to him, gifted author and speaker Tiffany Bluhm encourages women to say yes to all God has planted in our hearts. Our dreams, no matter how big or how small, push us to become women of courage, grace, and grit.

Be Bold book coverBe Bold: Finding Your Fierce

United Methodist pastor the Rev. Rachel Billups encourages anyone who's ever felt put down, unsure, underestimated, or overlooked, to find their power and potential to be bold. Using the biblical stories of Sarah, Mary and Timothy, mixed in with her own story, Billups teaches how being bold can bring you closer to God and God's plan for your life.

The Authenticity Challenge book coverThe Authenticity Challenge: 21 Days to a More Content Life

The fear of missing out (FOMO) isn't new, but social media can intensify it. We may yearn for the lives we assume others are living based on their posts. United Methodist pastor the Rev. Sarah Heath teaches what she learned from her own journey: that we can overcome FOMO by embracing authenticity in our vocation, relationships, and faith. Living authentically empowers us to move toward a more content life.

Here, Now With You book coverHere, Now, With You: Six Movements of Compassion for Life and Leadership

By sharing real-life experiences and relatable stories, United Methodist pastor the Rev. Gregg Louis Taylor encourages us to become more compassionate and connected to one another by experiencing God's movement of compassion in our own lives.

Dare to Hope book coverDare to Hope: Living Intentionally in an Unstable World

In many ways, we live in an unstable world where marriages fail, bank accounts run low, friendships end, and the everyday demands of a fast-paced life get us down. Author and speaker Melissa Spoelstra shares God's message of hope, as seen in the biblical book of Jeremiah. Despite life's uncertainties, you can live with hope!

What books inspire you most? Tell us about your favorites here

*Joe Iovino works for UMC.org at United Methodist Communications. Contact him by email or at 615-312-3733.

This story posted April 8, 2019.