When our three daughters were in elementary school they always participated in the summer reading program that our local public library sponsored. They had a bit more free time available, and they loved to fill some of it by reading a variety of good, entertaining books.
Not only young children, but also many teens and adults enjoy the opportunity to do some recreational reading in the summer. The schedule demands are not quite as relentless as they are during the schoolyear. The days seem longer with it staying light well into the evening. Leisurely visits to a park or the lake, restful Sunday afternoons, vacation time in the car or at a cabin, and other such summertime opportunities all seem like inviting occasions to enjoy a good book.
As part of your summertime reading this year I’d encourage you to read at least one quality Christian biography. And I hope you’ll encourage your kids at home or church to do the same. Perhaps you’ll want to read one such book with them. For a list of the benefits of this particular type of book, check out the very first Perspective I wrote for this website when I launched it five years ago – “Why Read Historic Christian Biography?”
Perhaps one of the biographies I’ve had the privilege of writing will be of interest to you:
- Hudson Taylor, Gospel Pioneer to China and John and Betty Stam, Missionary Martyrs – Great for youth (as opposed to very young children) and anyone interested in missions. Young adults processing the issues of marriage and call to vocational ministry may find these biographies especially beneficial.
- Women of Faith and Courage – Christian women and older girls will appreciate this collection of abbreviated biographies on Susanna Wesley, Fanny Crosby, Catherine Booth, Mary Slessor and Corrie ten Boom.
- Timeless Stories, God’s Incredible Work in the Lives of Inspiring Christians – This collection of short, true stories from the lives of outstanding Christians on a variety of key themes (such as Family, Prayer, Service, Adversity, etc.) appeals to adults and youth alike. Great for personal reading or family devotions.
- David Brainerd: A Flame for God (pioneer missionary to Colonial American Indians); Adoniram Judson: Devoted for Life (America’s first foreign missionary and a pioneer missionary to Burma); Andrew Murray: Christ’s Anointed Minister to South Africa (South Africa’s premier preacher, devotional writer and church leader) – These three longer volumes (300+ pages) are probably best suited for somewhat older and more serious biography readers. They’re ideal for readers looking for more substantive Christian biography.
There are lots of good historic Christian biographies that have been published for younger children and older youth. See Christian Focus Publication’s Trailblazer series (under its CF4Kids imprint), YWAM’s Christian Heroes Then & Now series, as well as similar series by other publishers.
Plenty of other great Christian biographies have been published for adults also. You may be interested in Tim Challies’ recently-published book, Devoted: Great Men and Their Godly Moms (a collection of biographical vignettes on that theme, published by Cruciform Press). You may also want to peruse the outstanding biography offerings of Christian Focus Publications (including its History Makers series), EP Books (including its Bitesize Biographies), and Banner of Truth Trust. A number of other evangelical Christian publishers offer additional quality biographies.
So quick! – before any more relaxing reading time slips away this summer – order online, pick up at a local Christian bookstore or borrow from your church library a Christian biography that catches your interest and dive into it. You just may find it to be some of the most enjoyable and beneficial reading you’ll do all summer.
Copyright 2018 by Vance E. Christie