I love to read. Well, I do now anyway. When I was in school I hated to read. I think I just didn't like people telling me what to read. Since my days of school I have found that I really do love it. Before I got married I remember nights that I would stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning. Now I have kids, so midnight is usually my limit.
I usually go in spurts. Lately I've been reading a lot! I'd like to share with you a few of the books that I have recently read that I think all Christians would enjoy reading.
A couple weeks ago I read The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller. In this book he takes a look at the parable of the prodigal son. I think most of us have always looked at this parable in the light of the lost son returning home. Keller takes a look at the younger son, but also takes a look at how the elder son is also lost. He is lost in a way that is way more dangerous because he doesn't realize he is lost. He feels that he has been following the rules his whole life and he is owed his father's love. One quote that I thought summed it up nicely is, "Jesus teaches that the two most common ways to live are both spiritual dead ends. He shows how the plotlines of our lives can only find a resolution, a happy ending, in him, in his person and work." We will never find happiness in the things of the world like the younger brother tried or in following rules like the elder brother was doing. Keller explains it all way better than I ever could, so I definitely suggest reading it.
I also read John Bunyon's Pilgrims Progress retold by Gary Schmidt. It is short and easy to read and Wow! what a great story. It brings you right thru the difficult journey as a Christian with a character named Christian as he journeys from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. How I would love to share his whole journey with you, I think you would be better reading it on your own. All I can say is I felt like I was right along with him on this journey, really because I am. It really takes a look at how we need to be on the straight and narrow path and how easily we get off that path. It is a great read for young and old alike. I think my kids might be a little young, but I can't wait to share this book with them when they get a little older.
About a month ago I read a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I loved this book! It was one of those books that when I got done with it I wished I could buy a copy for everyone I knew. I have bought a few as gifts already for people and I even bought my husband his own copy. I hope to be reading this book a second time in the next couple weeks. This book will challenge you to love God more fully and more deeply in your life. His chapter called profile of the lukewarm was especially convicting. In this chapter he asks these two questions: "Would you describe yourself as totally in love with Jesus Christ? Or do the words halfhearted, lukewarm, and partially committed fit better?" If you are like me, the second question most definitely fits who I am. If that fits you, then I suggest you get a copy of this book. You can also find out more about the book at http://www.crazylovebook.com/.
Last night I just finished reading Same Kind of different as me. What an amazing true story about a rich white man and a homeless black man and how God brings them together. Part of this story really hit home for me, but I won't share what part just because I don't want to ruin any part of the book for anyone. I think so many times in life we think that the educated, successful man is the wise man. In this book you will see how God can truly use a man with no education, a man that can't even read, a man that lives on the streets, for a greater purpose. You will see how God really does still work miracles today and you will meet some people who will change your life. I loved the last paragraph in the book, "The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or somethin in between, this earth ain't no final restin place. So in a way, we is all homeless--just workin our way toward home." You can also learn more by going to http://www.samekindofdifferentasme.com/.
If you decide to pick any of these books up and read them I'd love to hear back from you on what you thought.