Welcome to day three of the Ultimate Summer Reading List! Today, the theme is, “Devotionals and Bible Studies.” The following nine reviews are all excellent books to challenge your faith this summer. Enjoy!
Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos
Description via amazon.com: Imaginary Jesus is an hilarious, fast-paced, not-quite-fictional story that’s unlike anything you’ve ever read before. When Matt Mikalatos realizes that his longtime buddy in the robe and sandals isn’t the real Jesus at all, but an imaginary one, he embarks on a mission to find the real thing. On his wild ride through time, space, and Portland, Oregon, he encounters hundreds of other Imaginary Jesuses determined to stand in his way (like Legalistic Jesus, Perpetually Angry Jesus, and Magic 8 Ball Jesus). But Matt won’t stop until he finds the real Jesus—and finally gets an answer to the question that’s haunted him for years. Be warned: Imaginary Jesus may bring you face-to-face with an imposter in your own life.
Why I loved it: I loved this book because the author taught me a lot about my relationship with God through fiction. It was so creative and funny, but also brought me face to face with who the real Jesus is. -Courtney R.
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Description via amazon.com: In 1943 Great Britain, when hope and the moral fabric of society were threatened by the relentless inhumanity of global war, an Oxford don was invited to give a series of radio lectures addressing the central issues of Christianity. Over half a century after the original lectures, the topic retains it urgency. Expanded into book form, Mere Christianity never flinches as it sets out a rational basis for Christianity and builds an edifice of compassionate morality atop this foundation. As Mr. Lewis clearly demonstrates, Christianity is not a religion of flitting angels and blind faith, but of free will, an innate sense of justice and the grace of God.
This book was recommended by Jessica B.
Girl Talk with God by Susie Shellenburger
Description via amazon.com: Conversations between God and a teenage girl inspire, teach, and motivate young women to pray and live a dynamic life for God.
Why I loved it: This book brings prayer alive by showing a conversation between a teen girl and God. It does a great job of showing what it looks like to be in an active relationship with God. -Courtney R.
Paperdoll by Natalie Lloyd
Description: If you feel like your life is flat and two-dimensional it’s time to let God fill you up with the kind of love that makes extraordinary things possible. You’ll never be ordinary again.
Why I loved it: This is the best devotional for teen girls that I have ever read. Reading this book feels like having coffee with your best friend. I find devotionals tot often feel generalized and slightly cheesey and I never really connect with the author. This book met me exactly where I was and did not assume what type of girl I am. If you read one book this summer, let it be this one. -Courtney R.
Lies Young Women Believe by
Description: In this book, Nancy and Dannah expose 25 of the lies most commonly believed by your generation. They share real-life accounts from some of the young women they interviewed, along with honest stories about how they’ve overcome lies they believed themselves. They get down in the trenches of the battle with you. Best of all, they’ll show you how to be set free by the Truth.
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Description via amazon.com: God is love. Crazy, relentless, all-powerful love. And once you encounter His love, as Francis Chan describes it, you will never be the same. Because when you’re wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.
Why I loved it: This book gives you many things to wrestle with and causes you to look at your faith in God with a new perspective. This book is challenging but it changes your life in a way you can’t forget! -Michaela F.
Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
Description via amazon.com: What would cause an eighteen-year-old old senior class president and homecoming queen from Nashville, Tennessee, to disappoint her parents by forgoing college, break her little brother’s heart, lose all but a handful of her friends (because the rest of them think she has gone off the deep end), and break up with the love of her life, all so she could move to Uganda, where she knew only one person but didn’t know any of the language? A passion to make a difference. Katie Davis left over Christmas break her senior year for a short mission trip to Uganda and her life was turned completely inside out. She found herself so moved by the people and children of Uganda that she knew her calling was to return and care for them. She has given up a relatively comfortable life—at a young age—to care for the less fortunate of this world. She was so moved by the need she witnessed, she’s centered her life around meeting that need. Katie, a charismatic and articulate young woman, is in the process of adopting thirteen children in Uganda, and she completely trusts God for daily provision for her and her family.
Jacked by Shelby Abbott
Description via amazon.com: Jacked is a collection of stories, anecdotes, and observations about expanding God’s kingdom. Shelby Abbott writes with humor, passion and insight about that which is most important to him – seeing people inspired to be God’s kingdom builders. Like a journalist at the scene of an interesting event, Shelby records what he has seen, heard and experienced. But, unlike a journalist, he’s not a neutral “just the facts, ma’am” observer: he’s pretty jacked about what he’s witnessed and he’s trying to convince you to experience the same.
Why I loved it: This devotional is full of short stories that are both funny and inspiring making it an easy and effective read.
Want More? Life by Natalie Lloyd
Description via amazon.com: Want More? Life contains 31 new devotions for teenage girls from Susie magazine contributor Natalie Lloyd. With each devotion, Lloyd offers biblical insights, thoughtful questions, and space for personal journaling. Her candid, compelling style will resonate with teens struggling to sort out such issues as self-image, finding spiritual role models, developing godly friendships, and more.
What’s your favorite devotional?