Addition: Netgalley review e-book
Genre: Christian, fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis:

What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer?

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Cafe, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Cafe, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now thecafe has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way.

I received this book from Netgalley to provide an honest review.

I have read several books by Max Lucado over the past few years but I have never read a fiction novel by him before. I didn’t know what to expect. I really like his theological books – I find them so easy to read and very helpful for my walk with God, but what was his fiction going to be like? Well, I loved this book!

This story follows Chelsea, recently single with two children, reopening her family’s cafe. She has taken a big, risky step, and things don’t really go to plan. She is helped by Manny, her strange new employee. He gets a very interesting internet router installed. This connection only loads one page: the God Blog. This is a place where you get the opportunity to ask God just one question. This draws in the crowds, but still leaves Chelsea at sea when it comes to her private life and her faith. This story follows her through this transition into a new life. Will she repair her marriage? Will she find God? Will her business survive?

This book had me gripped from the start. I liked Chelsea. I felt for her as she struggled with her public break-up, as she had to face her husband’s infidelity in front of the world, and I really wanted her to succeed in her new cafe. She had a damaged outlook on life, and I liked watching her soften as the book went on. I thought she was well written and so easy to like. I could imagine her in real life, facing the everyday struggles. She had to face debt, hostility from family and her own shame. This book took her on quite the adventure and I enjoyed watching her walk through this season.

This book has two elements: the natural world and the supernatural. I seem to be reading a lot of books at the moment which feature guardian angels – Katy Hollway’s The Remnant Chronicles and Frank E. Peretti’s This Present Darkness. This novel also has guardian angels, and I love how Lucado uses the angels to explain how God is always with us and always by our side. I liked the element of the supernatural, it added another level to the book. Lucado was able to use this idea to show darkness can creep into our lives and yet how with one prayer the light pierces the darkness.

This is a great story. Like I have said, I was gripped from the start. I read this book in one day – each time I could grab this book I did. This was easy to read and so enjoyable. Some of the storyline was a bit predictable and some of it seemed a little far fetched, but I found it really enjoyable. What I liked most was that at the end of the story, Lucado takes us to Jesus on the cross and reminds us of what He did for us there. We never have to walk through life alone because through Jesus’ death, He made a way for us to have a relationship with Father God. It was a gentle and powerful reminder of such an amazing truth.

I am rating this book 4 out of 5 because it is a great read. I did find some of it a bit predictable and some of it a little unbelievable, yet I loved this story. It was so good. Thank you Netgalley for letting me read it. This is a highly recommended read.

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Book number 53 was a review book from Netgalley. This is the first fiction book from Max Lucado which I have read and I loved it! I read this book in one day. It had an engaging story, characters I really warmed too and a lovely glimpse of the Gospel and all God has done for me. I won’t write anymore here as the review is to come, but safe to say, I loved this book and highly recommend it.

Addition: Netgalley review e-book
Genre: Christian, Fiction
Published: 2015
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Addition:Netgalley review e-book
Genre: Christian, non-fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis:

We all pray . . . some.
We pray to stay sober, centered, or solvent. When the lump is deemed malignant. When the money runs out before the month does. When the marriage is falling apart. We pray.

But wouldn’t we like to pray more? Better? Stronger? With more fire, faith, and fervency?

Yet we have kids to feed, bills to pay, deadlines to meet. The calendar pounces on our good intentions like a tiger on a rabbit. And what about our checkered history with prayer? Uncertain words. Unmet expectations. Unanswered requests.

We aren’t the first to struggle with prayer. The first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance too. In fact, prayer is the only tutorial they ever requested.

And Jesus gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer. Not the doctrine of prayer. He gave them a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Couldn’t we use the same?

In “Before Amen” best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts and confidence even for prayer wimps. Distilling prayers in the Bible down to one pocket-sized prayer, Max reminds readers that prayer is not a privilege for the pious nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. Let the conversation begin.

I received this book from Netgalley to provide an honest review.

I requested Before Amen from Netgalley because I really like Max Lucado. I find him incredibly easy to read and all of the books I have read have made an impact in my life. I was really excited when I noticed that the Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies was going to do a four week study through the book Before Amen. I decided as I had the book to review I would coincide it with this study, and I am really glad I did.

This is a book on prayer. It is clear, concise and easy to read. As the synopsis says, the only tutorial the disciples asked Jesus for was on prayer, so it is helpful for us to study prayer too. This book looks at all types of prayer and gives us different ways to pray. I really liked the “Pocket Prayer”:

This is such a simple, helpful prayer that is easy to remember and covers all bases. This prayer is used throughout the book. Alongside it, are other important truths:

I’m not going to have a review full of quotes from the book on pretty backgrounds, but you get the idea – this book is pure class. It is easy to read, clear and honest. The book looks at how to pray, our attitude towards prayer, how to pray for others and gratitude. I didn’t have a problem with any of the theology in this book. I agreed with all Lucado all the way through and it was a great reminder of how important prayer is.

I really liked the study questions too. It gave me a chance to process what I had read, think about my life and attitudes, and it gave me a chance to be before God.

This book is full of Scripture. This book is fully rooted in the Bible, and I really liked that. I was able to flick through my Bible and check out some great Scriptures that I could apply to my life.

If you want a book on prayer, this is it. Lucado is honest about his prayer life and he keeps taking us back to the Bible. This is not a long book, it only has nine chapters, but it was helpful and easy to read. The theology is easy to understand and apply to our lives. This is a great book on prayer and how it can change our lives and our walk with God.

It is easy to rate this book 4 out of 5 because it is simply a stunning book on prayer. Thank you Netgalley for letting me read it, and thank you Max Lucado for writing it, and helping me with my prayer life.

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Book number 51 was a Netgalley review book, which I read whilst participating in the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies: Before Amen by Max Lucado.

I won’t write too much here as I am currently thinking through my review, but I will say, I loved this book. Such a helpful tool when it comes to looking at our prayer life. This isn’t a long book – just nine chapters, but with study questions to go alongside it, I found it really helpful. I was able to focus on God and learn more about Him. I was challenged and I think I have grown from this book. Well worth reading and applying to your life.

Addition: E-book
Genre: Christian, non-fiction
Published: 2014
Rating: 4 out of 5

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Addition: Review e-book from Netgalley
Genre: Young adult, Christian
Rating: 4 out of 5
Synopsis:

Bestselling author Max Lucado explains that if teens let God’s grace change them, shape them, and strengthen them, their lives will never be the same.

Today’s teens are being shaped by the pressures and disappointments of the world. But Max Lucado encourages them to take a close look at what can shape their hearts and their futures from the inside out–God’s grace.

As Max explains, “God’s grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A whitewater, riptide, turn-you-upside-downness about it. Grace comes after you.” “Wild Grace” gives teens an understanding of how grace can change their lives in powerful ways, even when those lives are messed up, off track, or in trouble. Each chapter describes another miracle that happens when we allow God’s grace to work on us and through us:

“Grace is God’s decision to change everything. Good-bye, earthly labels. Stupid. Unpopular. Ugly. Failure. No longer. You aren’t who they say you are. You are who He says you are. Spiritually alive. Connected to God. Amazing.”

Teens will be convinced that God knew what He was doing when He made them and His grace is always there, ready to work wonders that are bigger than anything this world has to offer.

I received this book from Netgalley and even though it was written for young adults, I found it a helpful book. This is the third book I have read by Max Lucado and I find him easy to read, clear and accessible.

In this book, Lucado explores the theme of God’s grace and how it can change the lives of everyone who receives it. Christian theology teaches that if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord you will be saved. The theology goes deeper than that, saying that when we believe God’s grace is given to us and that grace means that all our sins – everything we have ever done wrong, however big or small – are completely forgiven. Max Lucado looks at this topic in more depth than the few lines I have given it in a way that relates to teenagers and the trials they might be facing. If you are interested in learning a little more about grace, here is a good blog post.

What I liked most about this book is that Lucado uses real life stories to explain the different ways grace can change lives and he makes space for the reader to think about the issues raised in his book. He asks some challenging questions and gives room during the chapters to note down the answers. I didn’t do this, but I liked that the option was there if I wanted to be more than just a passive reader.

I found this book clear and concise. Lucado is honest about his own trials and things he has received grace for. He writes in an engaging manner and his examples are relevant to young people today – looking at school, the temptations in relationships and how they are at home. I think Lucado communicates what grace is and how it can change your life in a very simple and effective way. I don’t think you need to limit this book to teenagers, I think it is helpful for everyone.

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Addition: Review e-book from Netgalley

Genre: Christian, religion

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis:

HE WAS, AT ONCE, DIVINE AND HUMAN.

COMMON YET EXTRAORDINARY

HIS NAME IS JESUS.

Come, follow his footsteps.

Listen to his words.

Hear them with your heart.

JOIN MAX LUCADO AS HE TAKES YOU ON A JOURNEY INTO THE LIFE OF THE ONE WHO GAVE HIMSELF TO WIN YOUR HEART.

This is the second Max Lucado book I have read and I found it a good read. I received this book from Netgalley to read and review.

It is about Jesus Christ and what He did on earth, by dying on the Cross to take our sins and being raised from the dead by God to defeat death. This book was Scripture led and full of truth, however Lucado did embelish the story out a bit so we had an idea of what Jesus might have been doing or thinking leading up to His death, but this doesn’t stray far from what is written in the Gospels.

Lucado gives a clear account of what Jesus did on the cross – how He died and rose again to take away the sin of the world. He is clear that we need to respond to Jesus, that we need to receive forgiveness and grace and he gives opportunity in the book to do that. This was not a difficult read and it didn’t challenge me, but I found it a great read and a great reminder of the Gospel.

This is a beautifully presented book – I had an e-book version and it wouldn’t have worked on a Kindle due to the images and colour but it looked great on the computer:

This was an easy read, but very clear about God’s love for us and how He sent His Son to live a life we couldn’t live and die for us to defeat sin and death so that we might repent and live forever with God. Lucado is clear and readable and I think this is a great book about the Gospel.

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