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May 2017

The Summer of Shelby

Once again, the Murphy summer calendar is starting to take shape; and one thing we will definitely have plenty of time to do this summer is read. We won’t be joining a pool. We won’t be visiting Busch Gardens, Water Country, or King’s Dominion. Instead? A water hose and lots of books (cue sad trombone). Sad summer reality aside, summer has always been a time for me to catch up on books that I have been wanting to read, so in the clichéd trend of providing a summer reading list, here are some of the books I am planning on reading and re-reading the next few months:

Family Worship

Some books I hope to work through with the family this summer:

Wise Up: Ten-Minute Family Devotions in Proverbs by Marty Machowski
The New City Catechism: 52 Questions and Answers for Our Hearts and Minds
The New City Catechism Devotional: God’s Truth for Our Hearts and Minds by Collin Hansen and Timothy Keller
This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years by Jaquelle Crowe


Books that help me grow in understanding and clarity as a pastor:

The Worship Pastor: A Call to Ministry for Worship Leaders and Teams by Zac Hicks
Worship Words: Discipling Language for Faithful Ministry by Debra Rienstra
How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World by Robert Joustra and Alissa Wilkinson
Is the Bible Good for Women? Seeking Clarity and Confidence Through a Jesus-Centered Understanding of Scripture by Wendy Alsup


It’s only been in the past few years that I’ve tried to add a biography into my summer reading mix. Here’s this years offering:

Augustine on the Christian Life: Transformed by the Power of God by Gerald Bray


Books that help me love Jesus more, and hate sin more:

The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together by Jared C. Wilson
How Does Sanctification Work? by David Powlison
You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K.A. Smith (re-read)
The Things of Earth: Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts by Joe Rigney (re-read)
Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World by Michael Horton (re-read)
The Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs of Isaac Watts


All theology and no play makes Shelby a dull boy. This summer, I’m going with a sci-fi theme:

The Themis Files Series by Sylvain Neuvel
Sleeping Giants
Waking Gods

The Revelation Space Series by Alastair Reynolds
Revelation Space
Chasm City
Redemption Ark
Absolution Gap
The Prefect

So if you were sitting about, scratching your head, wondering what you were going to read this summer, hopefully this list will give you a few ideas. Keri and I will be doing a lot of traveling this summer, so I’m fairly confident that I will be able to get through a large chunk of these. If not, I’ll also carry this list throughout the rest of the year in hopes of finishing everything. At least I can’t say, “I have nothing to read!” As usual, I’m always up for a good recommendation on future books to read, movies to watch, or music to listen to, so let me know what you will be reading, watching, and listening to while nursing a sunburn.

Shelby out!


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