It is so hot! How hot is it you ask? It is so hot that when I picked up bread the other day, by the time I was home I had toast. You probably don’t need lame humour to let you know we are in the middle of summer. That means it is time for us to take a few weeks for recommending some summer reading and listening. Since you will not likely be travelling much this summer, why not take some time for a good book or three and some helpful podcasts. I am going to kick things off with two book recommendations. The first one is a wonderful book by Trillia Newbell called God’s Very Good Idea. I highly commend this as a resource to contribute to family discipleship in an area of great concern to modern society – diversity. With racial tensions a frequent source of concern for us, it is great to see a Christian author offering a Christ-centred vision of both the problem and the solution. Though the vivid visual presentation and simple language of the book make it great for pre-school and early readers, the theme is something the whole family can benefit from. Without using these terms specifically, she uses the framework of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation whilst affirming God’s design of human diversity and that all people are made in his image. I have purchased 20 copies for our church and if you would like to get one for your family or as a gift the cost is just $10. Let me know by email or connect with me on a Sunday.

Secondly, there is a new book on evangelism from a wise, older, source. Some of you might know the name Rebecca Manley Pippert, the author of the late 70’s classic Out of the Saltshaker. She has written a follow-up book called: Stay Salt. Her purpose for writing the follow-up is found in the sub-title: “The world has changed, our message must not.” That is not to say that her sequel is just a reheated leftover from 1979. Recognizing the challenges that face Christians in many ways in our current cultural climate she nevertheless believes steadfastly in the power of the gospel to save and transform. She offers encouragement to ordinary believers to share the timeless truths of the Christian faith in ordinary, but faithful, ways. Although not overly methodological, she does offer a helpful framework to ground and guide our evangelism: love is essential, truth is non-negotiable, and power is available. If you are looking to share your faith more confidently and effectively, this is a great resource for you this summer.

I pray the rich blessings of Christ to you this summer and in this heat remember that reading is cool!

Much love,

Pastor Gary

Prepare your heart for Sunday by reading the passage and listening to the songs we’ll sing.