Top 5 Summer Picks: Lauren Daigle, Christine Caine, Annie F. Downs, Chris Steinke & The Bible

Summer might be half over for some people, but I still want to post this list of recommendations for CDs and books that I have been blessed by and hope will bless you as well!

Lauren Daigle is the 2019 Billboard Top Christian Artist, and Look Up Child is currently the longest-running album in the #1 spot on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart (dated July 13, 2019). "You Say," the leading single off of Lauren Daigle's new album, Look Up Child, was the most Shazamed performance at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. It has over 100 million hits on YouTube (linked / embedded above). As a Christian artist from Louisiana, she auditioned for American Idol before she made a name for herself with super catchy songs and ballads about God's love that are topping the charts (it doesn't hurt that she sounds a lot like and has been inspired by Adele). She's performing at Lollapalooza 2019--you can see her at 5:30pm on Thursday, August 1st at Tito’s Handmade Vodka--and her aftershow at the Vic is already sold out. If you're a Christmas in July kind of person, check out her Christmas album, Behold -- it is AMAZING!

You might remember a blog post I published six years ago called "Christopher (Fitter) Steinke: A (Suburban) Chicago Worship Leader You Should Know." In it, I introduced Chris Steinke, a worship director at Bloomingdale Alliance Church in Bloomingdale, Illinois. He answered a bunch of questions about his approach to leading worship, theology, church services, and his forthcoming album. Now, six years later, he is an ordained pastor with the Christian & Missionary Alliance, is a licensed songwriter/producer with BMI, and released his first album, Joyful, on SpotifyApple Music, and CDBaby in 2018. He also has a websiteTwitterYouTube, and Facebook page where he shares all of his new music.

I'm going through this devotional with eight girlfriends. It's an awesome way to challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone in the way you approach life and pray bold prayers.

Christine Caine is an author, preacher and anti-human trafficking advocate as founder of The A21 Campaign. She has an amazing personal testimony--you can read more about it from my interview with her, published on ChicagoNow in 2013--and she has several books about overcoming adversity and trusting God in all circumstances. All of them are amazing: Undaunted, Unashamed, Unexpected, Unshakeable, Unstoppable, and the list goes on. However, 20/20: Seen. Chosen. Sent. is her newest 7-session Bible Study you can sample on YouVersion and / or buy as a full-length study. It's all about seeing and loving yourself and others the way God sees and loves us.

YouVersion is an electronic version of the Bible you can download as an app. It has thousands of studies on hundreds of topics, plus you can listen to the Bible in a bunch of different translations. I use this to do my daily Bible reading during my morning commute, hands-free!

What did I miss?? Feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments section below!

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