Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Reading (Yes, for Fun)

I love to read. I always have. Any books - I enjoy reading picture books, young adult fiction, classics, the list goes on and on. However, in today's culture it can sometimes be difficult to find good Christian books in the sea of literature containing non-Christian material. But, you'll be pleased to know, I have found so really great Christian reads that are for teens and young adults. Hopefully, you'll check some of them out. Trust me, they're worth your time.

1. Do Hard Things
Alex and Brett Harris
In Do Hard Things, Alex and Brett Harris (age 19) challenge the teenage mindset of "just have fun" and look at the teenage years as a way to start preparing for God to use you in the future. This book is life-changing. This book is what prompted me to start Shining City Teens. It really shows you how the low expectations on teenagers today have hindered our views on how to handle our teenage years. I recommend it to anyone, especially teenagers. Their new book, Start Here, is coming out this month with new ideas of how to become a "rebelutionary" and put Do Hard Things into action.

2. Generation Change
Zach Hunter
I just got this book, and I have to say that Zach (age 16) really knows how to talk to teenagers. His book addresses the problem that many teens are having - they want to do something to contribute to and help the world, but they don't know where to start. Zach gives an overview of many of the world's major issues and ways that you specifically can help out. It really is a great starting place. I also recommend his other books: Be the Change and Lose Your Cool.

3. I Kissed Dating Goodbye
Joshua Harris
Now, before I tell you about this book, let me just say that it's not a book that just points out all the different ways that dating is bad. Joshua Harris wrote this when he was about twenty-one, and he realized that, as a Christian, his life should be radically different than the rest of the world's - including his approach to romance and relationships. I Kissed Dating Goodbye focuses on living your life for God, and maybe that means not "dating" like the rest of the world. For people that are considering marriage or courtship, his book Boy Meets Girl is also a good choice.

4. Jesus Freaks: Martyrs
dc Talk
This is a very emotional book. Not like Twilight emotional, emotional in a way that leaves you awestruck at what people went through (and are still going through) for their Savior. It contains the stories of many martyrs, from the past and the present. After I put this book down, it made me look seriously at my faith and say, "Would I have been able to trust in my God enough to withstand the things they did?" The stories in this book will challenge and inspire you. I also recommend the second volume, Jesus Freaks: Revolutionaries.

5. Chosen
Ted Dekker
While Ted Dekker may be a Christian author, this may be one of the most action-packed, suspenseful books I've ever read. Fast-paced and full of plot twists, it may even be a little bit hard to keep up with. Young Johnis's world is turned upside down when he is made a captain of the Guard, a position he had never trained for, and is given a mission that concerns the fate of his entire world - and another. I can't explain how highly I recommend this book. However, it's only the first in a series. Following Chosen are: Infidel, Renegade, Chaos, Lunatic, and Elyon. I also suggest that you read Dekker's books Black, Red, and White. They tie in with the Lost Books series (Chosen, Infidel, etc.).

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