006 -The DaVinci Code

Intriguing! Dan Brown is a very captivating writer. The plot is thick, deep, and dripping with mystery. I was glued to every page. The level of intelligence and creativity that he possesses in his writing is obvious and what makes the story worth reading.

Yet the book is also loaded with false history. Dan creates his own facts based on real historical events to fit the plot of his fictional story. The problem with this is that the average reader does not know what to take as real historical fact and created fact. Even in fictional stories, you expect plot points based on facts to be true. That is what makes a story realistic and even more exciting to read. Yet the way Dan creates his own facts makes the story more closely comparable to a science fiction novel than any other type of novel. The facts were created to sound realistic but anyone educated in world history or church history would find these things to be false. Yet his created facts are what makes the story exciting! And exciting it is!

He is a fascinating author, and I do recommend this book. But I also recommend that it be coupled with a church history book or other historical records. Indulge in the fantastic twists and turns of this fantasy novel but do not let the conspiracy theories get the best of your educated brain.

005 - Crazy Love

I finally got around to reading this book. I heard Francis Chan speak a couple years ago at a conference, and was blown away by his passion for the church. When I saw that he had a book come out it was an easy decision for me. I bought it, and then it sat on the shelf for way too long. It took me just over a week to finish this book. Chan's book Crazy Love tackles the issue of love. God's love for us, our love for God, our love for the church, our love for the lost, God's love for the lost, etc. Love, love, love. And yet with the subject so simple the book was still incredible. I've read tons of books on loving people and loving God, but none quite like this.

Chan repeatedly punches you in the spiritual face, all the while you keep going back for more. His book is a quick read, but at the same time calls for reflection and digestion between chapters, pages, and sometimes paragraphs. Chan's love for the church and his desire to see Christians today live like the early Christians is obvious as you work your way through the pages of this book.

The best part is that Chan is someone who not only has written a great book, but also walks the walk. He sold his house and bought a smaller one so that he could give more money to the church. He has opened his home to various people needing a place to stay. His church is currently working towards terracing off a section of their property for an outdoor amphitheater to meet in rather than waste a ton of money on a new church building. Incredible book by an incredible man.

004 - A Hole in the World

Occasionally I like to take a couple days to read through a random children's book that I'll pick up at a thrift store. This time I read through A Hole in the World by Sid Hite. To be honest, I normally find children's book quite enjoyable because they are quick easy reads. This book was no different in that regard. It was a quick read that I was able to read even with distractions and still catch the plot and story.

The story is centered around the main character getting into some trouble and his parents sending him off to his aunt and uncle's farm for the summer. The book is about the experiences he has there at the farm. The book has an excellent balance of experiences ranging from love to ghost stories to the reward of hard work. Not a bad book all things considered.

Buy it here:

003 - The Open Gate

I recently worked my way through the short book, The Open Gate. It is a collection of prayers written by the author (David Adam) and various other famous figures from church history. The book offers everything from short prayers to long prayers. Prayers for confession, worship, intercession, and thanks. Adam does an excellent job compiling these prayers in practical sections that someone could turn to whenever needed.

The only issue I take with this book is that it never makes it known that pre-written prayers are a good starting point, but don't work well for the entirety of your prayer time. One could easily pick up this book and believe that if they read one of the prayers each day God will be happy with them. It creates a false idea that prayer needs to be formal and written by one of the professionals. But if one is willing to simply use the book as a catalyst for their prayer life they will find that enriches and deepens their time with the Creator.

002 - Irresistible Revolution

Shane Claiborne writes a delightfully distressing book in Irresistible Revolution. Based on stories from his life, he passionately unravels his personal convictions on topics like poverty and vengeance. Shane is a radical. And those who read this book may have the temptation to write him off as one, dismissing themselves from the responsibility he commands.

Yet, I invite you to read this book with open minds and hearts, considering the character and call of Christ. His words are both sweet and piercing. And they come from a man who has every right to say them. His life experiences are mind blowing and prove to be the shapings of his personality and convictions.

What captivates me the most is his genuine love for EVERYONE. He takes that simple statement so much deeper than I can describe. I highly recommend this book to anyone. If you are someone who is looking to start reading Shane’s stuff, I think this would be a good one to start with because it gives so much life background.