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on August 30, 2012
In the Christian book industry, Max Lucado has been a common name on a pretty regular basis when it comes to new releases. Apparently he is not slowing down in writing more and more great books. In keeping with his library of already released works, he has just released his newest book entitled simply "Grace".

As I picked up this book today (being familiar with other writings by Max Lucado) I expected smooth lines, well-crafted stories, and a poetic flow. I expected bite-sized chapters and devotional thoughts. But what I did not expect was to be emotionally stirred and wrapped up in this book! I guess you could say that I set out to read this with more of an academic mindset and yet this one cuts to the heart!

In chapter after chapter, you are going to forget what those plans were that had been at the top of your day's list. Instead, you'll probably finding yourself saying, "Just one more chapter". That's what I did...and I just finished the book! If we are supposed to be captivated by this idea of grace, Lucado has done a great job in conveying that to his audience. In my opinion, I believe Lucado did a much better job in this book of weaving illustrations and creative recreations of biblical events without going overboard as I sometime believe he has done in other works.

Reading through the book, as you make it to chapter 8, you will be cheering alongside Max Lucado as he defines grace triumphantly in these words, "Grace is simply another word for God's tumbling, rumbling reservoir of strength and protection. It comes at us not occasionally or miserly but constantly and aggressively, wave upon wave" (p. 99). As you begin chapter 9, you'll probably find yourself holding back your emotions as I did (I won't spoil the story) as Max once again skillfully weaves a story of the grace of God through, of all things, a wedding dress. I'm sure it was dust in my eyes anyway, right?

In chapter 10, you'll find hope in the fact that God's grace extends to you an adoption invitation! You'll take a step further in understanding grace as you grasp this idea that God chose us even though He knew our entire story! He didn't buy the lemon car with all of the surprises down the road. Instead, Lucado points out that God offers us salvation even while we are still sinners (Rom. 5:8). Lucado warms our hearts as he reminds us that we are adopted.

Well I won't walk through the whole book for you. That kind of steals the fun out of reading it. Instead, let me encourage to go and get this one. While you might wait a month and see if it goes on sale at your local retailer, it would still be worth it at full price! This one is going to lift your heart and your smile!

Note: I was also able to pick up the companion study guide and DVD at a local bookstore. For those interested in that, the DVD is simply Max retelling the chapters. So you might want to skip purchasing the DVD and simply read it yourself and then work through the companion study guide.
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on September 24, 2012
Grace, what appears to be a simple 5 letter word is not that simple after all. We all think we know what it means, after all we certainly have heard about it in church, sung about it from the hymnal, even named some of our children after it. But do we really know what grace is. Do we really appreciate what grace does? Do we understand that grace is an unending, all encompassing gift from God? That is the challenge that Max Lucado takes on in his latest book, "Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine."

Lucado starts his explanation of grace by stating:

"Grace is everything Jesus. Grace lives because he does, works because he works, and matters because he matters. He placed a term limit on sin and danced a victory jig in a graveyard. To be saved by grace is to be saved by him - not by an idea, doctrine, creed, or church membership, but by Jesus himself, who will sweep into heaven anyone who so much as gives him the nod.

Not in response to a finger snap, religious chant, or a secret handshake. Grace won't be stage-managed. I have no tips on how to get grace. Truth is, we don't get grace. But it sure can get us. Grace hugged the stink out of the prodigal and scared the hate out of Paul and pledges to do the same in us."

Throughout his book, Lucado mixes his descriptions and explanations of grace with stories of grace from the Bible and stories of grace in our lives today. We learn about grace through Boaz, the Turkey Lady, merit badges, a flight of doctors, a bridal shop owner, some dirty feet, and even a fifth grade Christmas party.

With these real life stories and events from the Bible that we all know so well, Lucado manages to stir emotion in his readers and allows us to understand how God has blessed and changed our lives with His grace. Earlier tonight I was discussing this book with my wife (who has also read the book) and I remarked that the neighbors would have thought me crazy as I rode the lawn mower, cutting the grass, with tears flowing down my cheeks. I was listening to the audio version of Grace as I worked in the yard. She commented to me that there were several times that she put the book down while sitting at the hospice house with her mother in order to not to get too teary eyed in front of her.

I have written many book reviews, both print and audio, over the past year. I have read many more books than I have actually reviewed, but I have not read a book that has impacted my life like Lucado's book has in a very long time. This book has stirred up such great emotion and challenged my thinking to the point that I have re-started this review tonight for the fifth time. It is not a hard book to read, nor is it a hard book to review. But it was such a significant book to me that I am having a hard time writing down the emotions that this book has stirred.

This book will touch your heart! That is the highest recommendation that I can give. It is a must read for everyone. You will notice that I usually say "this book is a good read for those who ..." Not this time. This book should be read by all. There is something in this book that will reach out and slap you across the face to get your attention. There is a story here just waiting to touch your heart and speak to you.

If you have always been curious about God's grace and what it means, read this book. If you have received God's grace and wondered how you managed to get so lucky, read this book. If you have ever wondered when God would realize who you really are and then the gig would be up, read this book. If you have ever wished you could check your grace account to see what your balance was before you were overdrawn, read this book.

I would give this book 5 of 5 stars and would recommend it to my friends and family to read. "Grace, More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine by Max Lucado is published by Thomas Nelson Inc. and is available in your favorite bookstore or online. The book is also available in audio form from most audio booksellers.

I would also like to note that in addition to the hardcopy of the book, I was also given the opportunity to review the unabridged audio book as well. The audio book is well produced and is narrated by Wayne Shepherd. The narrator has a great soothing quality about his voice that lends itself well to this book. It was easy to understand and I really enjoyed listening to the audio book as I worked about the house this weekend.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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on September 10, 2012
Grace.
We talk as though we understand the term. The bank gives us a grace period. The seedy politician falls from grace. Musicians speak of a grace note. We describe an actress as gracious, a dancer as graceful. We use the word for hospitals, baby girls, kings, and premeal prayers. We talk as though we know what grace means.
But do we really understand it? Have we settled for wimpy grace? It politely occupies a phrase in a hymn, fits nicely on a church sign. Never causes trouble or demands a response. When asked, "Do you believe in grace?" who could say no?
Max Lucado asks a deeper question: Have you been changed by grace? Shaped by grace? Strengthened by grace? Emboldened by grace? Softened by grace? Snatched by the nape of your neck and shaken to your senses by grace?
God's grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A white-water, riptide, turn-you-upside-downness about it. Grace comes after you. It rewires you. From insecure to God secure. From regret riddled to better-because-of-it. From afraid to die to ready to fly.
Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off.
Let's make certain grace gets you.

Couldnt put it down!!!
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on February 13, 2013
Initial, book opening question:
How does Lucado's writing on grace compare with Bonhoeffer's dictum of cheap grace vs. costly grace?

Answer:
Obviously Bonhoeffer and Lucado are different guys - that wasn't my question. I wanted to see if Lucado would root grace in the gospel of the kingdom of God, a gospel that doesn't try to fulfill our dreams but helps us see rather the renovation God is working into the fabric of creation.

Answer: nope, but almost. Lucado wrote a warming book that at best could help a hurting person feel noticed by God (a great accomplishment), but at worst, distracting other folks from seeing that life with God is not about God swooping in to make you feel better about not fulfilling the dreams you had, but rather a complete reorientation of the human self to the likeness of Jesus by the work of God's Spirit.

Like I said, Lucado touches on this, but it was not his central rhetoric. Repentance felt like a shallow, "I'm sorry I wasn't as successful as I could have been," rather than, "Jesus, please change all of who I am into your likeness - teach me to be alive."
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on June 14, 2016
“Grace” by Max Lucado

An active minister and well-known writer of Christian books, Lucado here tackles the depiction of the religious concept of Grace. His premise is that many, if not most, Christians, could benefit from a better understanding of God's Grace.
He uses biblical references combined with his own thinking and experiences (and humor) to illuminate the nature of Grace and then provides a brief, workable self-study guide for each chapter. All is upbeat and very readable.
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on September 4, 2012
The chapter entitled "You Can Rest Now" was my favorite. Max explores our obsession with busyness and the consequential tiredness. The Israelites which were set free from slavery would have never desired to return. Why do we seek to put ourselves back into slavery that we are free?

He compares being a believer to being a Boy Scout in pursuit of the next merit badge to wear with great pride. Any time we attempt to earn our way into God's favor, we must ask, "When have I done enough?"

"Yet for all the talk about being good, still no one can answer the fundamental question: What level of good is good enough?"

The miners who were recently trapped in Chile did not rely on their own efforts to get them to freedom. They acknowledged their need for help.

Lucado asks, "Why is it so hard for us to do the same?"

"Jesus does not say, "Come to me, all you who are perfect and sinless."

Quite the opposite.

"You can rest now."

The entirety of this review can be found at: nosuperheroes.com
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on May 16, 2013
Couldn't wait to read this newest book by Max Lucado. As usual he didn't disappoint . Grace is a topic we all can learn more about and Max shares in a way you won't soon forget especially as he shares with frank honesty some of his own struggles. I loved getting the DVD to watch his summaries of the chapters. Getting both together was a good idea/deal.
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on February 23, 2014
I found the book, GRACE, by Max Lucado to be a quickly liberating book. Picking it up at a time I was wallowing in a lot of shame and guilt, Lucado presented the grace message in simplicity, which cut to the heart of salvation and forgiveness. I also normally like his writing and turn of phrase.

However, I have to concur with another reviewer noted, and it's why I rated the book 4 stars instead of 5. Sometimes what can be considered a smart turn of phrase can also diminish the importance of the message because it changes the tone from reverent to glib. Since I have a strong spiritual grounding, that kind of thing didn't diminish the message I needed to receive when reading this book, but it could give a wrong impression to a newly converted Christian. As a writer, myself, I came to realize that I'm not writing to entertain or have someone think my phrasing is cleverly delivered, but rather to represent the Lord Jesus Christ. So there are times we have to set aside what or how we'd like to say something in favor of speaking for the One we represent.
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on March 9, 2015
The objective of this book seems to be to convince us that God's grace is available for everyone - free- pre-paid by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross, and Max Lucado provides ample evidence from the Holy Scriptures and from the lives of his contemporaries. For more in-depth approaches, especially for people who have accepted God's grace but are finding difficulty living in grace, I recommend Philip Yancy's "What's so Amazing about Grace?" and Charles Swindoll's "The Grace Awakening."
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on March 7, 2015
Max Lucado has the gift of writing unimaginable truths in a way that those truths may be grasped. He has a down-home way of writing elegant truths from God's Word. He is very careful to stay within scripture, but is never afraid to tackle religion, those man-made laws that aren't helping anyone get closer to Christ. I never come away from reading one of his books without serious thoughts and new ideas working their way into my head. Thanks Mr Lucado!
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