Thursday, June 24, 2010

You Can Be Everything God Wants You to Be by Max Lucado

You can Be Everything God Wants You to Be by Max Lucado is a repackaging of selections found in Lucado’s earlier book Cure for the Common Life. The text includes short chapters or selections that highlight Lucado’s ability to write theological concepts in an engaging manner. Lucado reinforces to his readers that they are uniquely made by God, suggests that the best way to live is to do is glorifying God by using one’s uniqueness. Lucado urges readers to understand their S.T.O.R.Y (Strengths, Topics, Optimal Conditions, Relationships, Yes!) in order to move into the sweet spot of life. These concepts are passed on within a book designed with a number of pictures and Biblical reflections which could be used for self reflection.

I really wanted to like this book, but it’s a mess. And from my read it appears to be the repackaging that has created the problems and not the text itself. I would like to have used this as a devotional type book much like Lucado’s Grace for the Moment since its clearly not the deeper dive of this material, which would be the full version in Cure For the Common Life. However the varying sizes of the chapters make it difficult to use the text for a devotional, with chapters ranging from one page, two if you count a title page, to five or more pages. Even more confusing are the use of different sized texts and colors which I am still not sure if they indicate a major point, a supporting point or are part of the general text as the beginning of a sentence. The content appears uneven and inconsistent, the presentation of the S.T.O.R.Y. concept for example includes chapters of various sizes and is introduced, built on later in the text, disappears and then returns. At one point in a story a character is introduced as Chief Wiggles and then later on the page it is explained how Halverson earned that nickname, but Halverson was never really introduced to us. I would have been less confused if the Halverson reference was just left out. And finally, Matthew 25:15 is given emphasis on two different pages, pages that only have a chapter title, the verse and a picture. It seemed odd to have the same verse used in such a way twice, but even more frustrating that the page 12 reference identifies the verse as 25:25. It really appears that editing has done this text no favors. The cover proudly displays a sticker that the book is perfect for a graduate. I think there are plenty of better graduation gifts including other books by Lucado.
Review Copy provided by Thomas Nelson

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