1. Romans by Paul- I revisited this book several times throughout the year. Not only is it filled with advice on how to live in community (12:9-13), how to submit to God, and how to live according to the spirit (12:2) , it also reveals many promises from God as well as His heart for the ones who give their lives to Him. I've also gotten so much encouragment from Paul's words (10:15)
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Rom 8:18
2. Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claibourne - I read this twice during my outreach to Africa. I was so discouraged by all the things that were wrong in this world, but Shane's word brought me hope that there are many people serving God - even in our own communities - whether we hear about them or not. Please read this book if you need a better view of Christianity because maybe the church just hasn't given you a proper one.
3. What is the What by Dave Eggers- This and the one above are actually a toss-up for the number one position. A true account of Sudaneese refugee Valentino Achak Deng. This story is heartbreaking, warm, hopeful, and unbeliveable all at the same time. A must read for anyone - Christian or non-Christian.It made me want to try even harder to get into Sudan a second time and do whatever it takes to reach those refugees still at the camps.
Achak (the main character)'s website here: http://www.valentinoachakdeng.org
4. Jesus For President by Shane Claibourne - I mostly love how this book is written... and of course Shane's dreads and love of all my friends. Shane has such a passion for the poor and he reveals more of his heart and compassion for the needy. This book gave me hope that our government CAN change. It also includes a great history lesson on the Roman government during of Jesus's lifetime.
5. The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren - Modern day church is not at all what Jesus intended it to be. The definition of The Kingdon of God, for whatever reason, has been skewed byond belief. The words need to be on the tounges of preachers throughout the world. When will the church wake up and realize the Kingdom of God is at hand?
"If enough of us see the kingdom — and seeing it, rethink our lives, and rethinking our lives, believe that the impossible is possible — everything could change." (p. 204).
6. Simple Spirituality: Learning to See God in a Broken World by Christopher Heuertz. This is one of those books where you find the pages dog-eared and several passages underlined throughout. I've lent it to a friend so I don't have the exact quotes, just take my word for it :)
7. Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America by Mike Yankoski - I actually misplaced this book before I got the chance to finish it so if anyone has an extra copy they'd like to donate, I'd greatly appreciate it :)
A journey of two young men who give up everything (including their credit cards) to travel the US and meet the homeless on the way.This book has great insight to the life of the homeless and is perfect for anyone wanting to understand their lifestyles a little more.
8. Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser - Again I recommend this read for any American. Although I did not read it this year, during the past few months I constanly found myself referring back to it bringing up points about the American food system and its pretty disgusting habits.
If you are turned off by the hefty read, I recommend watching the documentary. http://digg.com/movies/Fast_Food_Nation_Movie_Trailer
9. Finally, for all the sinlge ladies: When God Pursues a Woman's Heart by Cindi McMenamin - Not the most compelling read, but with each story Cindi backs up the writing with scripture. The book even includes little quesitonare at the end of each chapter. I think it is better to be used as a jouranl to look back at your progress as the years go by.