Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Books I think everyone should read

I read a post today that had 100 essential books that are must-reads for men. I scrolled down through and counted to see how many I had read. I came up with a whopping 7 books on the list that I have read. I disagreed with most of the other 93, and hadn't even heard of some of them, to be honest.

    Since I disagreed, I decided to make my own list. I doubt it will reach 100, and I doubt I will get every book on the list that should be on there. I have read a lot of books in my life and cannot remember all of the ones I have read, but of what I remember, here is my list of essential books for anyone to read at some point in their life, not in any particular order:

1) The Bible. This was on the mentioned list, but way toward the end. It should be at the top of any list.

2) The Hardy Boys Books for boys, Nancy Drew books for girls. I cringe at the kind of books available for kids nowadays. These were entertaining and wholesome books. I loved them as a kid, and so do my nieces and nephews. There are no vampires or werewolves in these books, but they enriched my childhood.

3) The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. I don't agree with Manning on everything he says, but this book really helped me with my difficulty of believing God loves me.

4) When God Doesn't Make Sense by James Dobson. A great book for people struggling to understand why God didn't do this, or why He let that happen, etc.

5) Riven by Jerry Jenkins. This book moved me like no other fiction novel ever did. Great writing, and a great plot. The book had me in tears.

6) The Redemption Series by Karen Kingsbury. Karen has written a lot of great and moving books, but I consider this series of 5 her best. They really impacted me emotionally and spiritually.

7) The Swiss Family Robinson. A classic that all should read.

8) Tom Sawyer. I read this one over and over as a kid... all boys need to read it.

9) Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi. A great autobiographical story of a young Muslim man's conversion to Christianity. Definitely worth reading, and I learned a lot.

10) He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobson. This is the best book on God's love that I have run across so far. It is especially beneficial to those who doubt God's love, but is good for anyone to read. The author does a terrific job of showing how God loves each and every one of us.

11) Your Own Jesus by Mark Hall. Written by the lead singer of Casting Crowns, The focus of the book is how important it is for us to know what we believe and why, and not just ride the coat tails of others.

12) The Restoration Series by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley. Walsh is one of my favorite authors, and though this 4-book series is fictional, it has a lot of family and marriage advice woven throughout the stories. I found the series very moving and feel they belong on my list.

13) Rooms by Jim Rubart. Anything Jim writes is extraordinary. This was his first book, and it was masterpiece that I devoured. A young man inherits a house at the beach from his uncle, and it turns out to be the rooms of his heart.

14) Search for Significance by Robert McGee. A must read for anyone with self esteem issues.

15) The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers. Fictional, but it is a great pro-life story and a book I consider her best.

16) Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. The book and author has drawn criticism from some, but I liked it and it convicted me to strive to be a true follower of Jesus.

17) Radical by David Platt. A newer author, but this book has a great challenge to live a radical life for Christ, instead of an easy average Christian experience.

18) Dreamhouse King Series by Robert Liparulo. These books have no great theological discourse and are written for kids, but I found them fascinating and the plot of the books which weaves throughout the whole series is awesome.

19) You're Special by Max Lucado. Definitely a kid's book, but a message we all need to hear.... I recommend adults read it too.

20) The Zion Chronicles and Zion Covenant books by Bodie Thoene. These books are among the best Christian fiction I have ever read. The first series is set around Israel becoming a nation, and the second series is set during World War II and focuses on Hitler's reign of terror on the Jews. I wouldn't call it light reading, and I learned a lot in these books.

21) The Chronicles of Narnia. I will never forget the first time I read these books and was taken away to the imaginary world of Narnia..... everyone should read the series. More than once.

22) Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers. Well written, and a great look at what the early Christians went through. Though historical fiction, it is a sober look at how close to early Rome our own country is becoming.

23) Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick. Since reading this book, I have run across information about the author that makes me realize I wouldn't agree with him one everything, but this is still an excellent book on how to shut out the voices in our head that tells us negative stuff all day and instead focus on God and what He says about us.

24) The Prodigal by Brennan Manning and Greg Garett. Through fiction, Manning does the same thing he did in The Ragamuffin Gospel. Though I had problems with a minister siting in a bar and drinking beer as he studied for his sermon, this is another book that is helpful in believing God's love.

25) Extreme Devotion from Voice of the Martryrs. It is a devotional, but is an awesome and emotional read. I am daily challenged and convicted as I read of what Christians in other countries and centuries have gone through.

26) Waiting for Morning by Karen Kingsbury. A fictional story brought about by real events. It is one of the best books I have read about forgiving others.

27) Ronie Kendig books. An honorable mention. I have many favorite authors, and Ronie is one of them. Her books all center around the military, and though fictional, have given me a new appreciation for our military. Any of her books are worth reading, and will not disappoint. They don't stand out in the same way that some have that have affected me spiritually, but I feel they are filling an important void in Christian fiction that honor our military. Plus, they are all awesome reads.

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