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City Church Summer Reading List *UPDATE*

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By: Whitney Nadeau

As school comes to an end and people begin to select their summer reading lists, take a look at the suggested reading below by the leadership of City Church.

*Update

We've added some titles to this list that might spur you on this summer. You'll likely recognize the themes present in these books as the ones we've been talking about and praying over this past year.

Summer 2019 Reading LisT

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*End of update
 

The categories below are organized by City Church’s prayer points in 2018 and beyond.

As a church, we are praying to become sacrificially diverse (Rev. 7:9-10; Phil. 2:1-4) and theologically healthy (1 Tim. 4:16).

If you are interested in understanding what those prayers look like biblically or how we can begin to move in that direction, please select a few books below to read.  

Sacrificially Diverse

The Heart of Racial Justice: How Soul Change Leads to Social Change by Brenda McNeil

The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity by Soong-Chan Rah

White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to be White by Daniel Hill

Free at Last?: The Gospel in the African-American Experience by Carl Ellis Jr.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist

A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael O. Emerson

Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart by Christena Cleveland

Theologically Healthy

Rooted: Theology for Growing Christians by J.A. Medders and Brandon Smith

None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing) by Jen Wilkin

The Whole Message of the Bible in 16 Words by Chris Bruno

The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses by Chris Bruno

What Christians Ought to Believe: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine Through the Apostles’ Creed by Michael Bird

The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ by Ray Ortlund

As a church, we are also praying to intentionally multiply (Matt 28:18-20) and to do justice (Micah 6:8).

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Glorifying God Through Chronic Illness

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By: Megan Evans

I recently read that over 3 million people suffer from some sort of chronic illness or pain, me being one of those people.

I don’t think those that suffer from chronic illness have worse lives or that there are not greater sufferings in the world. However, I do think there is something unique about the battle of something that is chronic, or long-term.

People with chronic pain often feel isolated, embarrassed, judged, exhausted, frustrated, and scared. There isn’t a “normal” day, and it is often hard to accomplish a daily routine.

But God enters into all of those feelings and graciously renews our strength, even when the circumstances don’t change. Here are the truths I daily meditate on:

 

We share in Christ’s sufferings

 

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 says that as we suffer in affliction, we are guaranteed comfort from Christ.

There is no promise that we will have just comfort without suffering in this life, but there is a promise of comfort in a way that only Christ can give.

There have been many nights that I have cried out to God, wanting him to take away the pain and bring comfort. There have been days that I want him to bring complete healing to my body. It is not wrong to desire this sort of healing and absence of pain, but I sometimes make this ultimate.

I want comfort now. I want a different way of living now.

I want a life other than the one God prepared for me. But how much would I miss if God decided to take it away when I wanted it? What would the need for God be if my life was easy?

This passage has been such a comfort for me because Christ suffered for my sake. He didn’t say “no” to the cross to bring himself comfort. We now get to say “Yes, Father, I will suffer like Christ did” so we make his name great, sharing the even greater sacrifice of Christ.

We suffer for others so that we can “comfort those who are in any affliction.” We suffer for Christ, we suffer for others, and we suffer to see our great need for him.

 

We are dependent on God

 

We will always be dependent on someone or something.

During the most intense period of my illness, I was presented with many options of dependence. I could have chosen dependence on control, wanting to find my way out of things, but ending up in a cycle of fear and worry. I could have depended on distractions or ways to numb my pain.

While I fought daily to do this, I chose dependence on Christ, even when this looked messy. I was honest with God, crying out to him even in anger and frustration (and repenting of doing so).

I got in the Word daily, even when I didn’t feel like doing so and even when my time in Scripture didn’t make me think anything different about my circumstances.

I prayed. I confessed. I talked to others.

Eventually, this became water to a very parched soul. I saw that the Lord was sustaining me, even if it was just enough to get me through the day. I saw that trusting in God, depending on him for every breath, looked more like resting, waiting, and being still.

I started to enjoy time with God even over being out of pain. The Lord wants this sort of dependence on him because he knows the best plan for us – even if that plan isn’t filled with the comfort, we so desire (Prov 3:5-6).

 

God has given us his Church

 

God didn’t let me suffer on my own, and he still doesn’t. During hospital stays, painful nights, and hard days, I have been surrounded by a body of believers that have sat and listened, provided meals, and prayed for me.

One of the great benefits of being a part of a church family is just that – we are a family.

The church is imperfect like a family, yes, but the church shouldn’t leave, abandon, or forsake its body, like a family. Hebrews 10:24-25 says that we are to watch out for one another, so we produce “love and good works” and that we encourage one another as we gather together.

This is the family God wants and calls us to be to everyone, not just those suffering from chronic illness. But the church regularly telling me that God is “making all things new,” (Rev 21:5) and meeting me where I am during my hardest days and moments, have made the long-term suffering feel like a battle that I can face confidently, knowing I am not alone.

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