“Ten Books for Summer” has become an annual tradition. I read a lot and love to recommend books to others. So, why not share? Here are my favorite books for summer of 2018. They are not always religious but they are interesting. With each book there is information provided by Amazon.com followed by, “Why I like this book.”

Your Next 24 Hours: One Day of Kindness Can Change Everything by Hal Donaldson & Candace Payne. If asked, who among us wouldn’t say we were kind people? But kindness is often manifested in feelings of pity or sympathy–especially when others are watching–rather than in deeds. Your Next 24 Hours is about something much bigger–a lifestyle of kindness, without thought of reciprocation, extended toward every person in our lives, both friend and foe. Through powerful true stories of kindness lived out, this book shows readers the enormous difference they can make through small, doable acts of kindness in their families, communities, workplaces, schools, and churches. It shows how every encounter with another person is an opportunity to be kind–and a chance to change our world.


Why I like this book: Real stories about real people who make a difference in other people’s lives. People like Jorge Munoz, a school bus driver who manages to deliver 150 meals nightly to the homeless. For Jorge, kindness is simply helping others by doing what you can with what you have. Then there is eight-year old Myles Eckert who found twenty dollars in a restaurant parking lot. He thought about buying a video game but saw a soldier standing in line. Myles wrapped the twenty dollars in a note: “My dad was a soldier. He’s in heaven now. I found this $20. We like to pay it forward. Thank you for your service. Myles – a gold star kid.” No more excuses. Read this book and make a difference in someone’s life.


Membership to Discipleship: Growing Mature Disciples Who Make Disciples by Phil Maynard. Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ… yet there seems to be a lack of certainty about how to go about doing this. Drawing on the experiences of those congregations doing this well and on the best of current research, this resource provides practical steps for helping disciples in our congregation become more like Jesus. This book is ideal for pastors and lay leaders who want to get their churches on the right track for growth and making a difference

Why I like this book: I believe churches are declining primarily because we have more members of churches than we have disciples of Jesus Christ. “Membership to Discipleship” provides insight to help members discover the real meaning of what it means to serve Jesus. Membership in a church is certainly important but then what? How do we take what we learn inside the church and share it with the outside world? As you walk down the street you see John coming from the other direction. What can you say to him that will honor God? Later that same day, you are faced with a choice: buy new patio furniture or support a ministry you admire feeding the homeless? This is a valuable resource for you and your church.


Life Word: Discover Your One Word to Leave a Legacy by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton & Jimmy Page. Life Word will help readers discover a word that will significantly impact their life and legacy. In the process you’ll discover your why which will help show you the way to live with a renewed sense of power, purpose and passion. The authors walk you step-by-step through the process of discovering your Life Word and share an action plan with the most successful ways to live and share it. If you’re ready to live with more clarity, confidence and courage and leave a lasting legacy, let’s get started!


Why I like this book: “We believe there is a word meant just for you that’s found at the intersection of your power, passion and purpose. We also know that it will impact every area of your life.” Can you actually narrow your life’s focus down to just one word? I’m still struggling with finding my word and with applying what I’m learning in this book but I’m recommending it because I think this is a struggle that will ultimately be good for me. I pray it will be good for you too.


Chronologically Gifted: Aging with Gusto: A Practical Guide for Healthy Living to Age 123 by Erica Miller. This is a book for any and all ages. It’s a practical guide for living an energetic life that will keep you healthy, well past 100. “Living longer isn’t necessarily a good thing.” That’s something anyone over 50 has learned! At a certain point it’s quality, not necessarily quantity, and the author makes a good case for specific lifestyle strategies that might help people ENJOY living longer. Some of her tips are familiar — about diet and exercise, for example — but she also includes insights like the effects of moving frequently and/or moving far from your family.


Why I like this book: By the time you read this, I will be preparing to celebrate retirement. I do not want to settle into a routine of getting up early, eating three or more meals, visiting a few friends and going to bed by eight. I still want a reason to get up and a purpose to live for. Chronologically Gifted encourages you to think about what it really means to, “Age Well!”


Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times by Adam Hamilton. Fear is a complex emotion. Sometimes it saves us. More often it robs us of the life we want. But we can take our lives back. Fear wreaks havoc on our relationships and communities. It leads us into making bad decisions. It holds us back from the very pursuits that promise fulfillment and joy. Why are there so many tragedies? we wonder. What will happen next? When Adam Hamilton surveyed his congregation on how fear affects them, 2,400 people responded–and what they said was eye-opening. Eighty percent admitted to living with moderate or significant levels of fear. Drawing on recent research, inspiring real-life examples, and fresh biblical insight, Hamilton shows how to untangle the knots we feel about disappointing others, failure, financial insecurity, loneliness, insignificance, and aging.


Why I like this book: Another author wrote: “Anxiety is meteor shower of what-ifs! Fear is the pulse that pounds when you see a coiled snake in your front yard. Anxiety is the voice that tells you, ‘Never, ever, for the rest of your life, walk barefoot through the grass. There might be a snake… somewhere.’” I don’t want to live a life afraid. Yes, there are very real dangers out there, but I want to have a faith in God that allows me to continue living unafraid. I want to worry less and trust more.


Next week: Five more books to recommend. Meanwhile, send me your comments or suggestions for other books to: LarryDavies@PrayWithYou.org