Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book Review 2013... #3 The Applause of Heaven by Max Lucado

How this book came to me:  It was on sale at Ollies for $3.99 so I thought "Why not?  I've never read a Max Lucado book.  Let's see what all the fuss is about."  I'd heard a lot of comments about Max Lucado's books, both negative and positive, over the years so I suppose it is time to decide for myself.

Nutshell Synopsis:  The Applause of Heaven is a narrative study of the Beatitudes in the account of Matthew 5:1-10.  Mr. Lucado paints gentle but pointed modern-day word pictures that help illustrate how the words of Jesus are applicable in the lives of His followers today.

Quotes from the book:  I'll be honest. I didn't underline anything that I can now go back to in order to write this section because I forgot to.  I got too caught up in the stories.  Mr. Lucado relies heavily on story-telling in this book.  That's not a bad thing, it just doesn't leave me with much to quote!  I'll just include the verses on which the book is based:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

More Information:  In the back of the book there is a Study Guide that covers the book in 10 sessions.  I think this book is written gently for the purpose of introducing people to the tender side of God (If God has sides) or re-introducing believers to their first Love.  If you are looking for an in-depth study, look elsewhere.

Reading Level:  Easy.  I probably could've read this book in one day since it was so warm and inviting.  No prior understanding of the Bible is necessary or assumed in The Applause of Heaven.  
Re-readability:  I do want to read this book again and perhaps even follow the Study Guide in the back with a group. 

Lasting Impressions:   Lately I have been drawn to books, articles, and songs that stir my longing for Heaven, which this book did.  "John [the apostle] says that someday God will wipe away your tears.  The same hands that stretched the heavens will touch your cheeks.  The same hands that formed the mountains will caress your face.  The same hands that curled in agony as the Roman spike cut through will some day cup your face and brush away your tears.  Forever."

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