Cast of Characters: Lost and Found: Encounters with the Living God [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...

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Cast of Characters: Lost and Found: Encounters with the Living God

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Overview

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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418568740
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/7/2008
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 228,775
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Max Lucado

More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet but misbehaving mutt, Andy.

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Read an Excerpt

Cast of Characters Lost & Found

Encounters With The Living God
By Max Lucado

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 Max Lucado
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8499-6401-5


Chapter One

JAIRUS

When Jesus went in the boat back to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him there. A leader of the synagogue, named Jairus, came there, saw Jesus, and fell at his feet. He begged Jesus, saying again and again, "My daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so she will be healed and will live." So Jesus went with him....

While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of the synagogue leader. They said, "Your daughter is dead. There is no need to bother the teacher anymore."

But Jesus paid no attention to what they said. He told the synagogue leader, "Don't be afraid; just believe."

Jesus let only Peter, James, and John the brother of James go with him. When they came to the house of the synagogue leader, Jesus found many people there making lots of noise and crying loudly. Jesus entered the house and said to them, "Why are you crying and making so much noise? The child is not dead, only asleep." But they laughed at him. So, after throwing them out of the house, Jesus took the child's father and mother and his three followers into the room where the child was. Taking hold of the girl's hand, he said to her, "Talitha, koum!" (This means, "Young girl, I tell you to stand up!") At once the girl stood right up and began walking. (She was twelve years old.) Everyone was completely amazed. Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell people about this. Then he told them to give the girl something to eat.

—Mark 5:21–24, 35–43

Seeing the Unseen

When my daughters were young, we tried an experiment. I asked Jenna, then eight years old, to go to one side of the den. I had Andrea, six, stand on the other. Three-year-old Sara and I sat on the couch in the middle and watched. Jenna's job was to close her eyes and walk. Andrea's job was to be Jenna's eyes and talk her safely across the room.

With phrases like, "Take two baby steps to the left" and, "Take four giant steps straight ahead," Andrea successfully navigated her sister through a treacherous maze of chairs, a vacuum cleaner, and a laundry basket.

Then Jenna took her turn. She guided Andrea past her mom's favorite lamp and shouted just in time to keep her from colliding into the wall when she thought her right foot was her left foot.

After several treks through the darkness, they stopped and we processed.

"I didn't like it," Jenna complained. "It's scary going where you can't see."

"I was afraid I was going to fall," Andrea agreed. "I kept taking little steps to be safe."

I can relate, can't you? We grown-ups don't like the dark either. But we walk in it. We, like Jenna, often complain about how scary it is to walk where we can't see. And we, like Andrea, often take timid steps so we won't fall.

We've reason to be cautious: We are blind. We can't see the future. We have absolutely no vision beyond the present. I can't tell you with certainty that I will live long enough to finish this paragraph. (Whew, I did!) Nor can you tell me you'll live long enough to read the next one. (Hope you do!)

I'm not talking nearsightedness or obstructed view; I'm talking opaque blindness. I'm not talking about a condition that passes with childhood; I'm describing a condition that passes only with death. We are blind. Blind to the future.

It's one limitation we all share. The wealthy are just as blind as the poor. The educated are just as sightless as the unschooled. And the famous know as little about the future as the unknown.

None of us know how our children will turn out. None of us know the day we will die. No one knows whom he or she will marry or even if marriage lies before him or her. We are universally, absolutely, unalterably blind.

We are all Jenna with her eyes shut, groping through a dark room, listening for a familiar voice—but with one difference. Her surroundings are familiar and friendly. Ours can be hostile and fatal. Her worst fear is a stubbed toe. Our worst fear is more threatening: cancer, divorce, loneliness, death.

And try as we might to walk as straight as we can, chances are a toe is going to get stubbed and we are going to get hurt.

Just ask Jairus. He is a man who has tried to walk as straight as he can. But Jairus was a man whose path has taken a sudden turn into a cave—a dark cave. And he doesn't want to enter it alone.

Jairus is the leader of the synagogue. That may not mean much to you and me, but in the days of Christ the leader of the synagogue was the most important man in the community. The synagogue was the center of religion, education, leadership, and social activity. The leader of the synagogue was the senior religious leader, the highest-ranking professor, the mayor, and the best-known citizen all in one.

Jairus has it all. Job security. A guaranteed welcome at the coffee shop. A pension plan. Golf every Thursday and an annual all-expenses-paid trip to the national convention.

Who could ask for more? Yet Jairus does. He has to ask for more. In fact, he would trade the whole package of perks and privileges for just one assurance—that his daughter will live.

The Jairus we see in this story is not the clear-sighted, black-frocked, nicely groomed civic leader. He is instead a blind man begging for a gift. He fell at Jesus' feet, "saying again and again, 'My daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so she will be healed and will live'" (Mark 5:23).

He doesn't barter with Jesus. ("You do me a favor, and I'll see you are taken care of for life.") He doesn't negotiate with Jesus. ("The guys in Jerusalem are getting pretty testy about your antics. Tell you what, you handle this problem of mine, and I'll make a few calls ...") He doesn't make excuses. ("Normally, I'm not this desperate, Jesus, but I've got a small problem.")

He just pleads.

There are times in life when everything you have to offer is nothing compared to what you are asking to receive. Jairus is at such a point. What could a man offer in exchange for his child's life? So there are no games. No haggling. No masquerades. The situation is starkly simple: Jairus is blind to the future and Jesus knows the future. So Jairus asks for his help.

And Jesus, who loves the honest heart, goes to give it.

And God, who knows what it is like to lose a child, empowers his son.

But before Jesus and Jairus get very far, they are interrupted by emissaries from Jairus's house.

"Your daughter is dead. There is no need to bother the teacher anymore" (v. 35).

Get ready. Hang on to your hat. Here's where the story gets moving. Jesus goes from being led to leading, from being convinced by Jairus to convincing Jairus. From being admired to being laughed at, from helping out the people to casting out the people.

Here is where Jesus takes control.

"But Jesus paid no attention to what they said ..." (v. 36).

I love that line! It describes the critical principle for seeing the unseen: Ignore what people say. Block them out. Turn them off. Close your ears. And, if you have to, walk away.

Ignore the ones who say it's too late to start over.

Disregard those who say you'll never amount to anything.

Turn a deaf ear toward those who say that you aren't smart enough, fast enough, tall enough, or big enough—ignore them.

Faith sometimes begins by stuffing your ears with cotton. Jesus turns immediately to Jairus and pleads: "Don't be afraid; just believe" (v. 36).

Jesus compels Jairus to see the unseen. When Jesus says, "Just believe ...," he is imploring, "Don't limit your possibilities to the visible. Don't listen only for the audible. Don't be controlled by the logical. Believe there is more to life than meets the eye!"

"Trust me," Jesus is pleading. "Don't be afraid; just trust."

A father in the Bahamas cried out the same plea to his young son who was trapped in a burning house. The two-story structure was engulfed in flames, and the family—the father, mother, and several children—was on its way out when the smallest boy became terrified and ran back upstairs. His father, outside, shouted to him: "Jump, son, jump! I'll catch you." The boy cried: "But Daddy, I can't see you." "I know," his father called, "but I can see you."

The father could see, even though the son could not.

A similar example of faith was found on the wall of a concentration camp. On it a prisoner had carved the words:

I believe in the sun, even though it doesn't shine, I believe in love, even when it isn't shown, I believe in God, even when he doesn't speak.

I try to imagine the person who etched those words. I try to envision his skeletal hand gripping the broken glass or stone that cut into the wall. I try to imagine his eyes squinting through the darkness as he carved each letter. What hand could have cut such a conviction? What eyes could have seen good in such horror?

There is only one answer: eyes that chose to see the unseen.

As Paul wrote: "We set our eyes not on what we see but on what we cannot see. What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever" (2 Cor. 4:18).

Jesus is asking Jairus to see the unseen. To make a choice. Either to live by the facts or to see by faith. When tragedy strikes we, too, are left to choose what we see. We can see either the hurt or the Healer.

The choice is ours. Jairus made his choice. He opted for faith and Jesus ... and faith in Jesus led him to his daughter.

At the house Jesus and Jairus encounter a group of mourners. Jesus is troubled by their wailing. It bothers him that they express such anxiety over death. "Why are you crying and making so much noise? The child is not dead, only asleep" (v. 39).

That's not a rhetorical question. It's an honest one. From his perspective, the girl is not dead—she is only asleep. From God's viewpoint, death is not permanent. It is a necessary step for passing from this world to the next. It's not an end; it's a beginning.

As a young boy I had two great loves—playing and eating. Summers were made for afternoons on the baseball diamond and meals at Mom's dinner table. Mom had a rule, however. Dirty, sweaty boys could never eat at the table. Her first words to us as we came home were always, "Go clean up and take off those clothes if you want to eat."

Now, no boy is fond of bathing and dressing, but I never once complained and defied my mom by saying, "I'd rather stink than eat!" In my economy a bath and a clean shirt were a small price to pay for a good meal.

And from God's perspective death is a small price to pay for the privilege of sitting at his table. "Flesh and blood cannot have a part in the kingdom of God.... This body that can be destroyed must clothe itself with something that can never be destroyed. And this body that dies must clothe itself with something that can never die" (1 Cor. 15:50, 53; emphasis added).

God is even more insistent than my mom was. In order to sit at his table, a change of clothing must occur. And we must die in order for our body to be exchanged for a new one. So, from God's viewpoint, death is not to be dreaded; it is to be welcomed.

And when he sees people crying and mourning over death, he wants to know, "Why are you crying?" (v. 39).

When we see death, we see disaster. When Jesus sees death, he sees deliverance.

That's too much for the people to take. "They laughed at him" (v. 40). (The next time people mock you, you might remember they mocked him too.)

Now look closely because you aren't going to believe what Jesus does next. He throws the mourners out! That's what the text says, "after throwing them out of the house ..." (v. 40). He doesn't just ask them to leave. He throws them out. He picks them up by collar and belt and sets them sailing. Jesus' response was decisive and strong. In the original text, the word used here is the same word used to describe what Jesus did to the money changers in the temple. It's the same verb used thirty-eight times to describe what Jesus did to the demons.

Why? Why such force? Why such intolerance?

Perhaps the answer is found by going back to my family's living room experience. After Jenna and Andrea had taken turns guiding each other through the den, I decided to add a diabolical twist. On the last trip, I snuck up behind Jenna, who was walking with her eyes shut, and began whispering, "Don't listen to her. Listen to me. I'll take care of you."

Jenna stopped. She analyzed the situation and made her choice between the two voices. "Be quiet, Daddy," she giggled and then continued in Andrea's direction.

Undeterred, I grabbed the lid of a pan, held it next to her ear, and banged it with a spoon. She jumped and stopped, startled by the noise. Andrea, seeing that her pilgrim was frightened, did a great thing. She ran across the room and threw her arms around her sister and said, "Don't worry, I'm right here."

She wasn't about to let the noise distract Jenna from the journey.

And God isn't going to let the noise distract you from yours. He's still busy casting out the critics and silencing the voices that could deter you.

Some of his work you have seen. Most of it you haven't.

Only when you get home will you know how many times he has protected you from luring voices. Only eternity will reveal the time he:

Interfered with the transfer, protecting you from involvement in unethical business.

Fogged in the airport, distancing you from a shady opportunity.

Flattened your tire, preventing you from checking into the hotel and meeting a seductive man.

And only heaven will show the times he protected you by:

Giving you a mate who loves God more than you do.

Opening the door for a new business so you could attend the same church.

Having the right voice with the right message on the right radio station the day you needed his encouragement.

Mark it down: God knows you and I are blind. He knows living by faith and not by sight doesn't come naturally. And I think that's one reason he raised Jairus's daughter from the dead. Not for her sake—she was better off in heaven. But for our sake—to teach us that heaven sees when we trust.

One final thought from the seeing-with-your-eyes-closed experiment. I asked Jenna how she could hear Andrea's voice guiding her across the room when I was trying to distract her by whispering in her ear.

Her answer? "I just concentrated and listened as hard as I could."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Cast of Characters Lost & Found by Max Lucado Copyright © 2012 by Max Lucado. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction....................vii
Chapter 1 Joseph Joseph's Prayer....................1
Chapter 2 Matthew Friend of Flops....................11
Chapter 3 Woman Who Washed Jesus' Feet The 7:47 Principle....................19
Chapter 4 Mephibosheth The Privilege of Paupers....................29
Chapter 5 Samaritan Woman Two Tombstones....................43
Chapter 6 Mary, Martha, and Lazarus Your Place in God's Band....................55
Chapter 7 Abigail Barbaric Behavior....................65
Chapter 8 Paralyzed Man Bright Lights on Dark Nights....................75
Chapter 9 John I Can Turn Your Tragedy into Triumph....................85
Chapter 10 Paul Hidden Heroes....................95
Chapter 11 Two Criminals I Will Let You Choose....................103
Chapter 12 Moses T he Voice from the Mop Bucket....................111
Chapter 13 Joseph When Crickets Make You Cranky....................121
Chapter 14 David Facing Your Giants....................131
Chapter 15 Esther Touching the King's Heart....................141
Chapter 16 Job Where Man Covers His Mouth....................151
Chapter 17 Nicodemus The Most Famous Conversation in the Bible....................159
Chapter 18 Jairus The Sparkle from Eternity....................169
Chapter 19 Rich Young Ruler The Affluent Poor....................183
Chapter 20 Sarah, Peter, and Paul The Kingdom of the Absurd....................191
Chapter 21 Lazarus The Final Witness....................203
Chapter 22 Peter The Gospel of the Second Chance....................213
Chapter 23 Conclusion Cast of Characters....................219
Notes....................223
Sources....................226
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

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(30)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 11, 2008

    Amazing¿

    Cast of Characters<BR/>Max Lucado<BR/>Thomas Nelson, 2008<BR/>ISBN: 9780849921247<BR/>Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com, 12/08<BR/>5 Stars<BR/>Amazing¿<BR/>Too often, we think the scriptures are filled with flawless characters. In truth, the opposite is true. The characters are human, each flawed, yet our Lord used them. Moses was a murderer, yet God used him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Saul/Paul persecuted Christians, yet God used him to reach the Gentiles. Max Lucado is an amazing writer who is always able to bring the gospel to life. He makes the characters easy to relate to. As an adult Sunday School Class leader, I am always looking for ideas for new studies. I hope Lucado develops a DVD to go along with this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2008

    Relevant Characters in the Bible to help us Today!

    What I love most is that Max Lucado as a writer is that he has a gift of taking ancient stories of these bible characters and making them so relevant to what we go through today. Love it! I look forward to this new release of his!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2010

    Treat yourself to Max Lucado's Cast of Characters.

    I received Cast of Characters in July, but left it behind as I went on vacation. Then it got lost among the accumulations of summer. I am so sorry it did. This is a delightful, humorous, but very poignant look at some famous and not-so-famous people in the Bible. I wish I had read it earlier. Max Lucado re-introduces us to God's "cast of characters", showing us how ordinary they were, but how we can learn valuable lessons by watching them in the stories they enact in the pages of Scripture. There are the obvious, such as Peter, Job, Paul and Joseph. There are the obscure, such as Mephibosheth. And there are characters from parables who come alive in a fresh way at the pen of Lucado. Through all these people, Lucado focuses not so much on them, but the God behind them: the "Uncommon God" in Whose hands we all are. We are urged to allow God to work us and work through us to do uncommon things, as He did with all the twenty plus examples in the book. The book is an easy read, refreshing and challenging. Each chapter is followed by questions to help the reader (or a group of readers) assimilate the lesson offered by the character(s) of that chapter. Treat yourself to Max Lucado's Cast of Characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A great reminder that our imperfections are like pearls in the eyes of God.

    Stories of uncommon people in the hands of an uncommon God - that's what all this book is about. Max Lucado takes stories of simple people from the Bible and presents one story after another of God using man's best and overcoming man's worst. A simple book with a simple message - God uses imperfect people and makes them perfect through his love. The book is structured in small chapters, each chapter is entitled by the name of a character from the Bible. What I loved the most is that before every chapter the author presents the actual passage from the Bible that speaks about the character, therefore it is easier to follow what the Scripture says as you read Lucado's thoughts on the characters presented in the book. In my opinion Cast of Characters is a wonderful book, and I would recommend it to anyone that still thinks that there is no way that God can use them for his glory. The Bible is full of simple people that had nothing special about themselves, but God saw something that nobody could see inside of them, and that made them special.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    Excellent, well-written, life applicable.

    Max Lucado always tries to tie in life applications to the Scriptures and stories he relates. In this book, he helps us study various Biblical characters, some with admirable qualities, some who had serious challenges, some who should have listened to the Lord more, some champions of the faith. The questions at the end of each chapter are very good for using this in a Sunday school setting but can also be utilized for self-study.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Yes!

    Awsome read this one also, now we have book 2 YEAH!TEAH! THATS RIGHT!

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  • Posted September 28, 2011

    Great Book

    I am currently reading this book, I ordered this book because I have enjoyed all the books that I read of his. I am glad I choose this book Max Has a way of putting everyday life in reference when he writes his book.I like the way he used every day examples to better explain what his ponit is and it makes it very easy to understand.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!!! Should be on every Christian's bookshelf!

    I was sent Cast of Characters by Max Lucado. It was such an awesome read! It opened my eyes to so many characters in the Bible. Things that one wouldn't normally think about... such as the character of Joseph. It also talked about Job, Peter, Esther, among many others. It's not only an encouraging book, but a wonderful resource. I own many of Max Lucado's books, and to be honest, I think this is one of my favorites. Max Lucado has a wonderful reputation of writing easy-to-read Christian books. I would recommend this book to be on every Christian's bookshelf. It can also be used as a Bible Study, which I plan to start at my own church.

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  • Posted October 9, 2010

    Great read!

    "Cast of Characters", by Max Lucado. Lucado writes in this book about the people of the bible, and he delves deeper then maybe you have every heard or thought about what these people were doing and what they were feeling. He weaves stories from today's world that mimic the themes and stories of each chapters characters, and begins each chapter with the verses he will be discussing taken directly from the Bible. As he tells each character's story he shares some insights on the character and relates the happenings of this biblical character to life in today's world. Each chapter ends with some discussion questions.
    I have loved reading this book for many different reasons. First off the chapters are short, to the point and yet I feel like I should be highlighting almost everything he has written. The stories and examples that he gives from today's world our poignant and moving, and yet really relate to the biblical stories he is talking about. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has some biblical knowledge and yet I feel it would be good for someone who is a new Christian or contemplating becoming a Christian, because I feel each chapter has something for everyone

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  • Posted September 13, 2010

    Emotional & Inspirational

    Cast of Characters is one of Max Lucado's newest contributions to the "Christian Life" genre. Mr Lucado sets out to dig past the biblical narrative of 24 different individuals throughout the Old and New Testaments. The Cast consists of the following well-known and lesser-known biblical characters: Joseph (the N.T. one), Matthew, the woman who washed Jesus' feet, Mephibosheth, the Samaritan Woman, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Abigail, the paralyzed man, John, Paul, the two criminals, Moses, Joseph (the O.T. one), David, Esther, Job, Nicodemus, Jairus, the rich young ruler, Sarah, Peter, and Paul.

    As we stop to view vignettes in the lives of these individuals, Mr Lucado draws out principles for Christian living - using their lives as a sort of moral compass by which to steer our own actions and choices. Mr Lucado's writing, as always, is emotional and inspirational. His recounting of broken people living victorious lives is moving and endearing. I was particularly drawn to his chapter on Mary, Martha and Lazarus - highlighting how each of the three characters are necessary and have important functions, and yet each tend toward a particular flaw when left on their own.

    As I typically feel about Mr Lucado's style, it leaves something to be desired. I know many, many people are touched by his writing, and for that I must give him credit. His writing is emotional and sincere. I can't help reading one of his books, however, and wishing that he would plumb a little deeper, reach beyond the simple, surface-y, Sunday School answers and really point me to Jesus' for Jesus' sake alone.

    I couldn't help feeling that the whole emphasis of the book just slightly missed its mark. I wanted the pages to be full of God's glory for God's sake, but I seemed to only find God's glory for our sake. For my sake - for your sake - for the sake of David, and Esther and Peter and Paul and all the rest. Maybe I've missed Lucado's point entirely - and I will be the first to admit that is possible. Yet I couldn't help feeling that somewhere, in all of it - God's glory was downplayed so that I could feel good. God has found a place for me - even if I am a classic Martha grumbling to myself in the kitchen that I don't have enough help - and I am so special because God found a place for me. As I read, I found myself looking inward, not to examine my own sin but to look for how I could be the next Paul, the next Peter.

    Aside from my theological caveats and my personal preference for deeper theological writing, I will say that this book has something to offer to any reader. It reads quickly and easily, so if you're not much of a bookworm or need a book to relax into rather than mentally challenge you, Cast of Characters is the ideal read. If you chose to pick this up, I hope that you are inspired to look into the face of these long-past saints and sinners, and find inspiration to fuel your spiritual journey!

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  • Posted September 12, 2010

    Great devotional!

    Cast of Characters is a wonderful book that really shows how God has used the common, every day person to do great things. It shows that we don't need to be perfect in order to do His work. If we are just willing, He will mold us into the type of person He needs us to be. Max Lucado uses 22 different characters from the Bible to show just how ordinary the great men and women of the Bible were and how they impacted so many others, were given second chances, or became a model for others to follow.

    This book is a very inspiring read and really helps a person to realize we all can make a difference. It also could be used as a devotional because the chapters are fairly short, making it possible to read one each day.

    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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.

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  • Posted September 10, 2010

    Takes you there...

    Do you find you have a hard time connecting with the people we all know from our favorite Bible stories? Do you start seeing them in the same light you would a fairy tale character? People whose life begines and ends in that one story, people with few enothions, who were there only to fulfill their designated part in the story? People whose lives are really just a part of a play?

    This book will help you feel the things they felt, and you will see how very much like US they really were. We are all the same, after all. We all feel the same emotions and search after the same things, and we all have sinned and are in desperate need of a savior. I really liked this book. When I first got it I thought I might offer it as a giveaway on my blog... but I don't think I can part with it! I know I want to read it again, and if you are looking for some reading that tastes like a novel, but reaches out and touches your heart with the true love of Christ, this is it!

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  • Posted August 30, 2010

    Cast of Characters by Max Lucado

    I think I recognize these people. that's the thought that came to mind as I read Max Lucado's book Cast of Characters. I enjoyed the way he showed biblical characters that I've read about from I was a child in a more human and relatable way. The way he used personal stories alongside that of the characters made the book a more interesting read.

    I love that the book sometimes asks questions. almost like an imaginary interview like, "Joseph, did you and Jesus arm wrestle." Sections like that made me smile because I enjoy thinking of our biblical heroes as men and women just like us.

    I silently cheered are I read about Mephibosheth. to go from having nothing, living in the shadows to sitting at the kings table.

    As I read through the book each chapter and each character presented had something that tugged at my heartstrings, inspired me or simply made me reflect on my life and spiritual walk.

    I like the fact that each chapter of the book ended with questions for reflections and discussion because it made me dig a little deeper into God's word.

    I love Max Lucado's conversational style of writing and thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    Cast of Characters by Max Lucado

    Cast of Characters by Max Lucado

    This is a book that's likely to come in for a bit of flak.

    The first reason is that **it's not original material** as it's mostly other writings from Max Lucado put together in a combined format. There's nothing wrong with this of course, but it would have been good if it were more obvious up front.

    The second issue is that it **feels very light**. I suspect this barb will be flung from the "intellectuals", or at least those who consider themselves to be such. But I think it's important to look at who the book is aimed at.

    It's aimed clearly at the ordinary, broken person. The everyday individual who stumbles and bumbles their way through life, trying to do what's right but often not quite getting there.

    These sort of people need help and encouragement, not a weighty tome to digest. They need to know that God loves them. They need to know that God can use even them.

    But we don't like to admit to being that sort of person... (Even though **we all are!**)

    Personally I need to thank Max Lucado for writing this book. Quite simply, I needed to hear what God had to say to me through it.

    _Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their [BookSneeze.com](http://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](http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html) : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."_

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  • Posted August 17, 2010

    Thoughts on Cast of Characters...

    From the Back Cover:

    Common People.

    Story after story marked by scandal, stumble, and intrigue. Who are these people? They're the people in 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 Cast of Characters Max Lucado tells us the stories of normal everyday people in the Bible that God used to make a difference for all eternity. Lucado doesn't just touch on the well-known heroes of the Bible, he also tells the stories of those lesser known Bible characters. He tells us about the common everyday people who existed in those times, those who even though they were not perfect (as none of us are), were used greatly by a perfect God. Especially when they doubted it was possible.

    Max Lucado is a masterful storyteller. Whenever I read one of his books I feel as if I am sitting down with a great friend and a cup of coffee (or soda in my case since I don't drink coffee) having a wonderful conversation. This book is no exception. Max gives us Bible stories that are familiar, and some that maybe we've never thought about in depth before, and puts a new spin on them; gives us a new perspective on these people, so to speak. Many times speaking from the viewpoint of the character, Lucado gives us an interesting viewpoint as to what these people might have thought and felt as they were going through their life. When we read the Bible, or at least when I read the Bible, sometimes it is easy to lose perspective on the characters. We tend to view them as distant (which they are) but not just time-wise. I think that often we think of them as larger than life people of great faith and without doubt. Lucado helps us to remember that these people were just like you and I. They had problems, doubts, fears, frustrations, and the whole gamut of emotions we still feel today. Each chapter includes a list of reflection and discussion questions which would make this book great for a Small Group or Study setting. Each chapter, each story, makes you think and want to come back for the next chapter. Cast of Characters is a new spin on Bible stories, but it does not stray from the Truth. There are plenty of Scriptures listed throughout the book, and peppered within the stories (of course since they are Bible stories). This book is a wonderful read, very thought provoking and enlightening. Anyone with any interest in the Bible at all should pick it up, I'm pretty sure you won't' be able to put it down.



    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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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  • Posted August 17, 2010

    This is a great book.

    This is a great book. Written in a storytelling style, this book addresses the basic spiritual need of every individual drawing from the rich examples we find on the pages of the scriptures where "common people" meet and experience the "uncommon God". With a cast of Characters that comprise of the most unworthy people you can find in the scriptures.
    It is a book where one is richly blessed reading. I find the book a must have for every Christian, both cleric and the "common pew sitter".

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  • Posted August 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Cast Of Characters

    Cast Of Characters - Common People In The Hands Of An Uncommon God by Max Lucado is an enjoyable book that is based on biblical characters. These characters are ordinary people God used to do extraordinary things. As you read this book these characters will grab your attention and you will come to realize that the same struggles they were faced with then, are the same ones facing us today. Even though these bible characters are from so long ago we can see the relevance in today's modern world.

    These are people who have stumbled and struggled just the same way we do today, and rescued by the same God that rescues us. Max uses these characters to show us that despite our trials and tribulations and flaws, their is a God who cares and is concerned about us. A God of hope we can turn to, one that we can put our trust and faith in. One who will show us the light at the end of the tunnel.

    This was an easy to read book, Max has a way of writing that grabs your attention and at the same time convey great biblical truths. I especially like the discussion and review questions at the end of the chapters. This is an enjoyable book for everyone and I highly recommend it for those going through struggles and fell like there is no end to their situation.



    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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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  • Posted August 10, 2010

    Excellent ReaD

    ITS DIFFICULT FOR ME TO SUM UP THIS REVIEW IN MUCH DETAIL. IF I WERE TO PICK OUT MY FAVORITE PARTS; THE ONES I FOUND MOST IMPACTING AND EASY TO RELATE TO, I'D HAVE TO QUOTE 3/4 OF THE BOOK.
    AS USUAL, MAX LUCADO HAS A WAY WITH WORDS THAT NOT ONLY COMPELS THE READER TO WANT TO KNOW THE "CHRIST" HE SO ELOQUENTLY TALKS ABOUT, BUT ALSO INPIRES THE READER TO SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES AND STORIES IN HIS BOOKS FOR THEMSELVES.
    SUCH IS THE CASE IN "CAST OF CHARACTERS". MOSES, PAUL, JOSEPH , AND MANY OTHERS ARE PORTRAYED TO THE READER AS EVERY DAY PEOPLE. PEOPLE WE CAN RELATE TO. STORIES WE CAN RELATE TO. LESSONS WE CAN LEARN FROM. MOMENTS WE'VE ALL EXPERIENCED. TRIALS WE'VE ALL FACED AND MAY QUITE POSSIBLY BE ENDURING AT THIS VERY MOMENT.
    ONE OF MY FAVORITE PASSAGES FROM THIS BOOK IS WHEN LUCADO IS TALKING ABOUT JOSPEH; CREATING A BELIEVABLE DIALOGUE THAT MAY HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH JOSPEH'S MIND...

    He was obedient to God.

    He was obedient when the sky was bright.

    He was obedient when the sky was dark.

    He didn't let his confusion disrupt his obedience.


    OBEDIENCE. IF I HAD TO SUM UP THE IDEAL OF THIS BOOK, I'D USE THAT WORD. THE REWARD THAT COMES WHEN OBEDIENT TO GOD AND HIS PLAN IS FAR MORE REWARDING THAN WHEN WE LEAN TO OUR OWN UNDERSTANDING.

    GREAT BOOK. GREAT AUTHOR.

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  • Posted August 6, 2010

    A Great Novel by Max Lucado

    In Cast of Characters, Max Lucado emphasizes the significance of individuals in the Bible. He discusses their strengths, their imperfections, and how God still loved all of them, despite their choices. Lucado also provides a modern depiction of the characters. This make them far easier to relate to and understand.

    For many of us, I believe the events in the Bible do not get the full appreciation they deserve. Perhaps it is because we have heard the stories so many times. Or maybe it is lack of emotional detail expressed in the Bible. However, when Lucado puts the stories into modern context, suddenly, the events seem far more significant. For example, Lucado tells us to imagine a young woman with AIDS in a crowded bus station. After touching Jesus's robe, she is cured! Lucado then tells us about how Jesus and the woman are smiling at each other and the woman's eyes are sparkling. Through his contemporary depictions, Lucado really helped me appreciate the just how amazing the events in the Bible were.

    Cast of Characters is a great novel for a wide variety of readers. The chapters are fairly short, making it a quick read for someone who has limited time. Yet, there are also thought provoking discussion questions at the end of each chapter, making it a great book for bible study groups. (As part of a bible study group myself, I would definitely recommend this book!) Lucado makes himself an active part of your reading by explaining how he can relate to the different stories. So even if you read the book alone, there is still someone you can compare your experiences with.

    The only downside of this novel was a lack of discussion in a few chapters. A couple of entries only consisted of the modern depiction of the Bible's stories and nothing else. I felt that these chapters could have been expanded upon and given the reader more to think about. Overall, however, I still feel that Cast of Characters is a fantastic book. It had me underlining and starring passages throughout, and I highly recommend it.

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  • Posted August 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Devotional Book

    Cast of Characters by Max Lucado is a compilation of stories he has shared about common people. People who struggle, who are marked by scandal, who stumble. But they are all people of the Bible. It's the stories that we can connect to and find hope in. Because we have an amazing God. One who rescues, who offers second chances and who calls those whom he qualifies.

    Each chapter offers the story of someone new. Each also ends with questions for reflection and discussion. It was well organized and I found it to be written in an efficient and entertaining manner. The short chapters made it easy to read without feeling bogged down in text.

    I have not previously read anything by Max Lucado but would be interested in reading more from him after this book. Esther, Job, Mary, Joseph, Lazaus, they all have a story to share. One you may be able to relate to. And through their story you may find the comfort in the hands of the Father who loves you. Because we are "common people in the hands of an uncommon God."

    I would recommend this book as devotional. I found that is what I used it for. I would read the chapter, read the story in the bible of the person Lucado was writing of and reflect using his questions at the end of the chapter. (Thomas Nelson provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.)

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