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Cast of Characters: Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God [Paperback]

Max Lucado
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1, 2010

Common people ...

Story after story marked by scandal, stumble, and intrigue. Who are these people? They're the people of the Bible.

And they're us. We find our stories in theirs. We find our hope where they found theirs. In the hands of an uncommon God.

In the midst of them all ... hovering over them all ... is the hero of it all: God. Maker. Shaper. Rescuer of sinking hearts. God. Passing out high callings, second chances, and moral compasses to all comers and takers.

In this gathering of inspiring stories from his numbers best-selling books, master storyteller Max Lucado revisits some of his favorite biblical characters -- all of whom were very human and imperfect, just like us.

If God can find a place for them ... He might just have a place for us too.


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

More than 120 million readers have found inspiration and encouragement in the writings of Max Lucado. He lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy, in San Antonio, Texas, where he serves the people of Oak Hills Church.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849921554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849921551
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #465,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How God uses flawed people... October 19, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Max Lucado is one of my favorite Christian inspirational authors, and his latest book Cast of Characters: Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God continues to reinforce that opinion. Max has a gift of taking a character or story from the Bible, resetting it in an unusual environment, and then drawing out the application and message. It's wonderful to encounter a common passage and see it in a whole new light.

Contents:
Joseph - Joseph's Prayer; Matthew - Friends of Flops; Woman Who Washed Jesus' Feet - The 7:47 Principle; Mephibosheth - The Privilege of Paupers; Samaritan Woman - Two Tombstones; Mary, Martha, and Lazarus - Your Place in God's Band; Abigail - Barbaric Behavior; Paralyzed Man - Bright Lights on Dark Nights; John - I Can Turn Your Tradegy into Triumph; Paul - Hidden Heroes; Two Criminals - I Will Let You Choose; Moses - The Voice from the Mop Bucket; Joseph - When Crickets Make You Cranky; David - Facing Your Giants; Esther - Touching the King's Heart; Job - Where Man Covers His Mouth; Nicodemus - The Most Famous Conversion in the Bible; Jairus - The Sparkle from Eternity; Rich Young Ruler - The Affluent Poor; Sarah, Peter, and Paul - The Kingdom of the Absurd; Lazarus - The Final Witness; Peter - The Gospel of the Second Chance; Conclusion - Cast of Characters; Notes; Sources

It's tempting to look at Biblical characters and attribute spiritual qualities to them, to "clean them up" to fit the way God used them. But the reality is that most of them were common people who were deeply flawed in many ways. Despite their failures, God used them in ways that made a huge impact. For instance, Moses was used to lead an entire nation to a land promised to them by God.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting inside the mind of God's cast of characters November 15, 2008
Format:Hardcover
There's a strange phenomenon that sometimes occurs when we read a book, watch a movie, or have an experience in the course of our daily lives. This phenomenon is often referred to as déjà vu. Déjà vu is the sense that you've been here, seen this, or had this experience before. It may be hard to put your finger on it, but there is a sense of the familiar. As I stated earlier, there are times we all encounter this when reading a book, especially in the pages of our Bibles. As the stories of Joseph, Job, Peter, Paul, and others Biblical persons unfold, we may relate to their experiences, personality, and character traits. Our life experiences, personality, and character traits that intersect with those of the Biblical persons draw us into their stories and make us feel like we're a part of them. The reason we can so easily relate to them is that they were normal ordinary people like you and me. Like us, they had many faults and flaws. In spite of this, God used them to change the world. This is precisely what Max Lucado is trying to communicate in his new book Cast of Characters.

Max unfolds the stories of various Biblical persons over the course of twenty three chapters. Each chapter has three parts: scripture passage, explanation of the Biblical person(s) in the scripture passage, and study questions. As Max helps the reader relate to the Biblical persons, he offers a message of hope in a God who is able to transform the direction of people's lives, just as He did with and through these Biblical persons who live so many years ago.

It's been quite some time since I've read a Max Lucado title. His work tends to be a departure from the more technical and reference type books that I'm drawn to.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and Hard to Put Down!! June 17, 2009
Format:Hardcover
It has been a long time since a book has drawn me in as this book has. Max Lucado has done it again. Cast of Characters gives a great down-to-earth characterization of many well known--and not so well known Bible characters.

What was the woman at the well thinking when Jesus asked her for some water? How would a Samaritan woman react to being approached by a Jew during those times? Max Lucado takes these classic Bible stories and adds his own personal spin based on the historical details of the times. He includes people like David, Abigail, John and Paul.

I truly enjoyed this book in it's entirety. Each chapter ends in thought-provoking discussion questions that are truly meant to be shared. I highly recommend that you share this book with your spouse, a close friend, a or a Sunday school group. This book was not meant to be read alone, but to be used as a wonderful study and discussion tool.

This is a fabulous addition to your personal library or a great holiday gift for a friend. I give it 5 stars--hands down!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...when they gave up, God stepped in..." August 26, 2010
Format:Paperback
2 Corinthians 12:9 My power shows up best in weak people.

Common Sense....Common Courtesy....Common Good
These are phrases that I have heard all my life. What does it mean to be common?
One of Webster's definitions is "occurring or appearing frequently; familiar."
I think that is fair because I believe we can see something of ourselves in the characters of Lucado's book, Cast of Characters.

Some of his characters are famous, like Matthew and Paul and Moses. Some of his characters are less known, like Abigail and Mephibosheth. However, famous or not, we can relate to the 'common folk' of the Bible and that gives me hope that our lives count in the eyes of a loving God.

I love how Max Lucado takes a biblical principle and makes it simple yet profound! Through this book, I see 1 Cor. 13 in a new light; you know, 'the love chapter.' He says, "Many people tell us to love. Only God gives us the power to do so." We cannot live out a love that 'is not proud' or 'does not boast' unless we have surrendered our heart to the God who calls us to love like that!

My favorite chapter is on Job, though. I've read the book of the Bible, I've heard the sermons preached, I've sat in Bible study and thought I had picked Job's life apart...until now. "Before he heard God, Job couldn't speak enough. After he heard God, he couldn't speak at all." Oh, the power of Almighty God!

If you have ever wondered if you would be able to be one of God's chosen in life...for a mission trip, a Sunday school teacher, or maybe even just to speak into someone else's life, then I would encourage you to read this book!

Near the end of the book, Mr.
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More About the Author

In just under two decades of writing, Max Lucado has accomplished more than most writers hope for in a lifetime. Most of his books have appeared on one or more best seller lists, including those published by the "New York Times," "USA Today," "Publishers Weekly," and the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA). Aside from hardcover books, Lucado's writings have also been published as children's books, videos, CD-ROMs, DVDs, music CDs, mass paperback booklets, apparel, giftware, bookmarks, calendars, study Bibles, workbooks, curricula, and plush products. In spring 2003, Hallmark/Dayspring Cards launched a new gift card line featuring excerpts from Lucado's writings--and has already sold more than one million cards.

All this success has drawn more than a little attention to a previously low-profile Texas author and minister. Lucado has been featured in a wide range of media, including "USA Today," "Larry King Live," and "NBC Nightly News." He has spoken at the National Prayer Breakfast before the President of the United States. He has traveled with internationally renowned musicians as a special speaker on their music tours, such as the highly successful "Come Together & Worship Tour" (sponsored by Chevrolet) with Grammy Award-winning artists Michael W. Smith and Third Day.

Journey to the Top
Lucado was born in 1955 in San Angelo, Texas, and raised in Andrews, Texas, the youngest of four children. His father was an Exxon oil field mechanic who, Lucado remembers, always smelled of grease cleaner. "It makes it easy for me to see a God who is loving and kind--because my dad was," he says. His mother was a nurse who grew up working in the cotton fields.

Lucado went through a period of rebellion against his parents' values and their God during his teens and into college. But it wasn't long before he found himself drawn back to his roots, back to God. He married, spent time serving as a missionary in Brazil, and returned to the States, where he began working as a church minister and writing on the side.

Secret to Success
From all accounts, Max Lucado is not a man consumed by sales, awards, and achievements. He often turns down media interviews since they impede on family and ministry commitments. He spends the bulk of his week serving as senior minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. And he is truly surprised by his own success--more impressed by his one-in-a-million wife and three amazing daughters than by his successful writing career.

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Cast of Characters: Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God
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