Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafeby Max Lucado
What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would He answer?
Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her/b>/b>/b>
What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would He answer?
Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.
Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions.
When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask God a question of her own. Heaven answers in a most unexpected way.
Newly split from her philandering NFL husband, single mom Chelsea Chambers struggles to make a go of her grandmother's old coffee shop. Then she discovers that her soon-to-be ex spent the money she was relying on to pay the IRS and the lease on her coffee shop. In dire straits, Chelsea prays for a miracle. Just when she has almost given up hope, in walks Manny, who seems vested in helping her succeed. When he arranges for Wi-Fi to be installed in the café, the Internet service only connects to one site, The God Blog. If asked a question, allegedly God will respond. In no time, customers flock to her café. But is it really God answering? What Chelsea learns is that the Lord hears all prayers, but he responds in his time and in his own way. VERDICT Fans of Lucado's comforting stories of hope (e.g., The Crippled Lamb) will delight in this tale of love, loss, and redemption, coauthored with Eric Newman and Candace Lee. Its likable, sympathetic characters and several surprising plot twists make it a charming and inspiring read. Reminiscent of the movie It's a Wonderful Life with the accessible religious undertones of writings by G.K. Chesterton (The Book of Father Brown), this captivating novel will also appeal to readers who believe in the afterlife and angels.
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Miracle at The Higher Grounds Café
By Max Lucado, Eric Newman, Candace Lee
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2015 Max Lucado
All rights reserved.
With one cup of coffee, Chelsea Chambers could rule the world. And by six a.m. she'd had several. Four, to be precise. The morning demanded it. Today was the grand reopening of her family's café. The quaint two-story structure had welcomed patrons in one of San Antonio's oldest neighborhoods, the King William District, for decades. As skyscrapers erupted a mile north and east, the neighborhood quietly maintained its distinctive old-world charm. Dormer windows. Pecan trees. Shingled houses with wooden porches. The homes sat in the shadows of bank buildings and hotels thirty stories tall.
Chelsea had grown up here. Her enterprising grandmother Sophia had converted the lower level of her Victorian home to a coffee shop just in time for the 1968 world's fair. The Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas was the fair's theme, and Sophia Grayson had made good on its offer, flinging her doors wide open for coffee-loving patrons from around the world. Even Lady Bird Johnson paid a visit to the café, or so Grandmother Sophia had boasted. "The First Lady sat right on this very sofa, sipping cappuccino!"
Chelsea glanced at the floral Queen Anne sofa, still sitting in the corner after all these years. Every nook and cranny held a memory. When Sophia passed, Chelsea's mother, Virginia, took ownership of the café and its legacy of hospitality. Like Sophia before her, Virginia delighted in serving her guests a soothing cup of coffee, a slice of cake, and, when the occasion called for it, a prayer of encouragement.
And now it was Chelsea's turn. The plan was simple: occupy the twelve hundred square feet on the second floor and run the shop on the lower one. At least that was her mother's expectation when she willed the café to Chelsea. But times had changed. People were busier, coffee shops trendier. The antique lamps, sunken cushions, wooden floors, and delicate tea tables of the café were a far cry from the modern aesthetic of popular barista bars, but Chelsea hoped her patrons could appreciate the suggestion of simpler times.
The grandfather clock in the corner chimed six thirty, and Chelsea stopped to take one last look around the store. A chalkboard menu—painstakingly lettered—hung above the counter, and a glass-front case displayed the pride of her pantry: secret-recipe croissants and cupcakes. The blue swinging doors behind the counter concealed a gleaming kitchen. She should know—she'd wiped it down ten times that morning. There was nothing left to do.
Chelsea turned the lock and flipped the switch on the retro neon sign. "The Higher Grounds Café is officially open for business!" she announced.
The café's moniker echoed her grandmother's aspirations to see her customers leave with their spirits raised. Chelsea appreciated the lofty ideals. She only hoped she would live up to them.
"Isn't this exciting?" she asked her lone employee.
Tim nodded his head and fiddled with his handlebar mustache. The action hardly seemed sanitary, much less celebratory. Per résumé, Tim was the perfect employee. A recent graduate from the University of Texas, he had learned to pull a shot of espresso during a semester abroad in Rome. He spoke Italian and Spanish and claimed to be a morning person. Chelsea shuddered at the thought of what he might look like by noon.
"This is a historic moment!" she said, begging for a little enthusiasm.
Still nothing. Nothing but the pained expression Chelsea had come to know as Tim's face. Never mind. She was not about to let the faux lumberjack put a damper on her day.
Twelve-year-old Hancock bounded down the stairs wearing an oversized Dallas Cowboys jersey with Chambers emblazoned on the back. He surveyed the café. "What time do you open?"
"We are open," Chelsea said.
"So ... where are all the people?" Hancock had a knack for making Chelsea feel self-conscious.
"They'll come," she said. "Where's your sister?"
Emily burst into the café just then, a six-year-old version of her mother. Except where Chelsea liked to blend in, Emily sparkled. Her glittery Mary Janes added to the effect. "Hancock helped me pick out my outfit," she boasted.
Chelsea took in her daughter's ensemble of sequins and stripes, and smiled. Yesterday's Chelsea would have made both children change before leaving the house. But today's Chelsea served her kids chocolate chip muffins and walked them to the bus stop, leaving a trail of glitter and crumbs.
"I hope you can manage the morning rush without me," Chelsea called to Tim.
Tim gave his boss a thumbs-up.
As the trio hurried down the front sidewalk, they felt the bite of cold air. The January sky was impossibly blue, but the temperature was surprisingly chilly.
"Let's zip up your jacket." Chelsea knelt to help Emily, venturing one more glance at the café front. Dormer windows protruded from the black-shingled roof. Vines crawled up a trellis on the side of the porch, where two worn wooden rockers sat side by side. A sidewalk bisected the neatly trimmed front lawn. Apart from the sign that hung from the porch, this could be someone's home.
Hard to believe it's my home again. So many memories.
But with each passing block of pristine Victorian mansions and refurbished Mission-style homes, the nostalgia began to wear thin. Everything Chelsea saw triggered a fresh idea, and by the time they reached the bus stop, her mental to-do list had grown:
buy new rockers for the porch
wash the windows
plant a garden
learn how to plant a garden
"You don't have to wait with us, you know," Hancock said as the yellow bus rounded the corner. "We've been doing this for two months now."
Chelsea looked at him, and for a moment saw his father in his face. High cheekbones and wide eyes bluer than a Texas sky, blond hair and small nose. As long as he doesn't have his wild side, she said to herself. "You're right. You two can walk back to the house on your own after school, okay?"
She turned her attention to Emily, who was bouncing with excitement. "Do you have your lunch box?"
"Si, madre," Emily said, giving her backpack a pat. Their new school had a Spanish immersion program, and Emily delighted in practicing her new words.
Chelsea gave her a big squeeze and then went to hug her son, but the look of dread in his eyes stopped her. She recalled a similar moment at the bus stop with her own mother.
"Hancock, I know we've been through a lot lately. Thank you for trying to make it work."
As the bus pulled away, Chelsea inhaled deeply. This was a new thing for her. She could remember almost anything, but she had a bad habit of forgetting to breathe.
She rushed back to the café, arriving just in time for her first customer. Chelsea had met Bo Thompson only once, but at seventy years old and well over six feet tall, he was memorable. The gentlest of giants. Bo had been her mother's most faithful customer—one of the few remaining regulars of the Higher Grounds Café. "Best coffee in town," he insisted. It didn't hurt that he lived just across the street.
At the sight of Chelsea, Bo removed his baseball hat, revealing a shiny bald head. When they shook hands, his meaty palms swallowed Chelsea's.
"Big day for the neighborhood," his deep voice announced.
"Indeed it is." She smiled.
"Hope you don't mind the jersey, but my team won yesterday." He unzipped his jacket just enough to reveal the green and gold of the Green Bay Packers.
"You won't get any pushback from me," Chelsea said. "I don't really follow sports these days. Now if I recall correctly, you go for a small cappuccino with extra foam?"
"I'm impressed," Bo said with a grin that filled his whole face.
Chelsea could feel Tim's critical eye as she worked. She might not have trained in Italy, but she knew how to make a cappuccino. Her mother had taught her to steam a pillow of foam so thick you could sleep on it. But as soon as that thought crossed her mind, the espresso machine began to sputter. Then it stopped.
Chelsea fiddled with the steam valve. "I don't ... it's not ..."
Tim plodded to Chelsea's aid. Out of the corner of her eye she caught Bo stealing a glance at his watch.
"How about a black coffee after all?" he said with a wink.
"One black coffee. On the house," Chelsea insisted with the promise of a cappuccino by morning.
"I'll miss seeing your mom every day, but it's good to see the shop open again," Bo said as Chelsea served him his drink. "Of course, it'd be even sweeter if you still had your mother's famous pumpkin cream cheese muffins."
Chelsea smiled. She was pleased to know the recipes she'd created for her mother were a hit. "Here. My gift to you." She bagged a freshly baked pumpkin muffin and handed it to Bo.
He found a dozen different ways to say thank you, then doubled back to tell Chelsea she had made his morning.
"You're not gonna make much money, giving stuff away," Tim said.
"Thanks for the tip, Tim," Chelsea said.
Chelsea could afford to sponsor as many free muffins as she liked. She had built up a treasury of mouth-watering recipes, and her sister, Sara, had been begging her to open up shop for years. But for Chelsea, the Higher Grounds Café wasn't really a business venture. It was a safe haven.
Ding! Ding! "Surprise!"
The slow morning had drifted into an even slower afternoon, and Chelsea lit up when she turned to see her sister standing in the doorway, holding a sunny bouquet of flowers.
"My house is spotless, and Tony has the twins for a few hours. So I'm here for your grand reopening."
There was an air of springtime about Sara. Everything about her radiated happiness. Her hair was long, straight, and golden as a sunrise. Her brown eyes sparkled and turned into half-moons when she laughed. Her smile lifted more on the right than the left because of the scar that stretched like a piano string from the corner of her mouth to her jaw.
"I thought you were showing your house today!" Chelsea said, succumbing to Sara's bear hug.
"Potential buyers cancelled. Again."
"Oh no! Well, when you do find a house, my offer still stands," Chelsea said. "I'm making the down payment. Maybe we'll end up neighbors after all!"
No one would ever peg the two as sisters. Sara was bubbly, Chelsea bookish. Sara was tall and blond; Chelsea, medium height and dark-haired like their mother. Sara had always had her pick of boyfriends. Chelsea, not so much. Still, they were best friends. Sara looked out for Chelsea. Chelsea looked up to Sara. For over a decade, the two had dreamed of living in the same city again.
"I still can't believe you're back in town!"
"Not exactly the way we wanted it to happen," Chelsea said.
"But you're here. And that's what matters, right?"
Chelsea marveled at her sister's optimism. More than once she'd wondered if Sara had been born with a double dose.
"You're right. Opening day is great. Great!" Chelsea tried mirroring Sara's rosy perspective. "Just getting the hang of things. It's fun being anonymous for a change, though a few more customers would be nice. 'Slow' doesn't do it justice."
Ding! Ding! The shopkeeper's bell announced an arrival. "You must be good luck!" Chelsea said.
Tim had been fiddling with the espresso machine since Chelsea's epic fail in front of Bo. Now he turned a nob, releasing a hiss of piping hot steam from the espresso machine. "And we're back," he said with satisfaction.
And not a moment too soon. A surprising rush of customers had filled the shop. Chelsea put on her warmest smile. "Welcome to Higher Grounds. What can I get y'all?"
"We heard you had some autographed football stuff from the Dallas Cowboys," said the group's ringleader. His towering size and lettered jacket pegged him as a high school football star.
"I wouldn't know anything about that," Chelsea said. "But our customers say we have the best coffee in town."
"Customers?" Tim mumbled behind Chelsea's back. She knew it was a stretch.
"But you're her, right?" asked a prom queen with a Café Cosmos coffee tumbler. "The wife of that football guy."
Chelsea struggled for words. "I am ..."
Sara swooped in for the rescue. "She's the owner of this café."
"So is Sawyer Chambers your husband or not?"
A simple yes or no might do the trick. But to Chelsea it was more complex. More layered. There were nuance and history to consider. Lots of history.
"Some kid in my little brother's class said so." The quarterback turned for confirmation to a middle school version of himself. "Right?"
Ding! Ding! Hancock and Emily entered the café.
"Yeah! He was telling people at school." The middle schooler outed Hancock, who stopped dead in his tracks.
Hancock knew he was in trouble but did his best to play it cool in front of the older students. "Hey, man ... I, uh, better go start on my homework," he said to his classmate. "See ya tomorrow."
Chelsea eyed her son as he made his escape. "I was just trying to get you some customers," he mumbled on the way up the stairs.
Emily had spotted her Aunt Sara and run to her for a hug.
A boy with a smartphone held it up for all to see. "That's her all right. Look. Mrs. Sawyer Chambers."
Mrs. Chambers. There it was, plain and simple. Practically Amish.
"You're kinda famous," the boy said.
If a picture could tell a thousand words, then a Google image search could tell ten thousand. Swipe, swipe, swipe. Chelsea's life flashed before her eyes—and everyone else's, for that matter. The room was getting smaller, the smartphone screen bigger. Until finally ...
"Who's that?" said the young magician who had turned his smartphone into an IMAX screen. The image stretched as far as the east is from the west: Sawyer Chambers in the arms of another woman. A redheaded beauty. A triple threat—younger, thinner, and prettier.
The leader of the pack looked at the picture and then at the woman behind the counter and stated the obvious. "That's not you."
"OMG," said the prom queen with a look of pity.
All eyes shifted to Chelsea. "Can I interest y'all in a cupcake?" she managed through gritted teeth.
The prom queen broke the silence. "I'll take one," she said, motioning for her friends to flee the awkward scene. "To go."
As the café emptied, Chelsea melted into the counter, defeated. "Life was so much simpler before the Internet," she moaned.
"Don't you waste another minute worrying about the Internet," Sara said, wrapping her in a hug.
"You're right," Chelsea said, pulling herself together. "I'm sure it'll never take off."CHAPTER 2
Samuel watched from a distance. From heaven's view, things were simpler. Clearer. Unobstructed by the clamor of everyday life. He peered through the stars, assessing the once familiar landscape.
What he saw stirred concern. He remembered his first assignment here. The region had a sparkle to it, a glow. Now a pall had settled on the city. Entire neighborhoods were hidden by shadows.
But still there were beacons of light. Like spires alit with gold, they punctured the darkness, streaking past Samuel and into the heavens.
It's dusk, Samuel thought, but not night. Not yet.
He took note of an embedded glow and set his eyes on the source. The corner of the Higher Grounds Café. This place had been prayed for and prayed over.
The Father won't relinquish this territory easily, not without a fight. And I love a good fight!
Prayers move God. And God moves angels. So Samuel was being sent. Other angels had more experience. Other angels had more strength. But no angel in heaven could match Samuel's resolve. This was his first solo mission.
"Sammy," he said to himself, "time to fly."
He grasped the hilt of his fiery saber and lifted his small frame to its full height. He tightened his muscles, squinted his eyes, leaned forward, and speared earthward. The wind rushed his hair straight back. As he broke through the clouds, he spotted the figure of Chelsea sitting on her porch and wondered what role she was going to play in this unfolding saga. He was, after all, her guardian angel.
Excerpted from Miracle at The Higher Grounds Café by Max Lucado, Eric Newman, Candace Lee. Copyright © 2015 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.
Meet 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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Lovely tale of a fallen away Christian woman rediscovering her amazing connection to God and finding her way to deal with her cheating husband. It truly was a good story albeit an tad predictable. I enjoyed every word.
One day in a coffee shop, God answers a letter via the internet chat room. Is it real? Is it a fraud? And who's paying for the wifi?? Its gonna make you want a starbucks and a scone REAL bad. :) Praise God for awesome writers.
A wonderful uplifting story.
Written in a steady pace full of realistic emotions I found myself able to relate with most of the characters!
Great characters, inspiring read. I was sad when i reached the end.
Max Lucado's new fiction release, Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe, is unusual and quite unique. I greatly enjoyed it while reading, but like it even more as I reflect back. Rather than critiquing from a literary standpoint, my reviews are usually based on how a book affects me, and this one hits a home run. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe is a beautiful example of the power of story. Max is a wordsmith. He has an exceptional, God-given ability to communicate spiritual truths by painting pictures through the written word. This is not a long read, but it doesn't need to be, for Max shares volumes in only 184 pages. It may seem like a predictable, lighthearted fantasy on the surface, but there are untold hidden depths. It is an imaginative concept to spin this story around modern social concepts like a San Antonio coffee shop, wifi, lattes, baked goodies, and an interactive blog. I loved all the characters and how readers will be able to identify with their struggles. The use of angels in fiction often comes across as somewhat cheesy, but Max did a great job in making Manny humorous, quirky, and sincere. There are some great scenes where Manny views events from heaven's perspective. This is a story about relationships - with spouse, family members, friends, community, and with God. Spiritual warfare and the power of prayer are major themes. Issues of adultery and divorce are woven into this story, but never as a main theme nor in a condemning, "preachy" manner. That's not Max's style and he has a gift for keeping the focus where it needs to be - on God's love, repentance, and forgiveness. This book is filled with spiritual themes that will speak to readers - the personal cost of unforgiveness, the effectiveness of prayer, that everything in our lives has a purpose, and that no matter how devastating the circumstance, we are never alone. One scene that especially touched me is when Manny wanders into what had once been a prayer room in the coffee shop, and he listens . . . "Decades of prayers resounded through the small room. Prayers that pass through the lips in a moment, but endure for all eternity." Spiritual warfare is very real, yet it's not something to which I give a lot of thought, so I found this theme fascinating and extremely moving. I'd like to end with this touching and victorious scene that gives cause for rejoicing, a visual that contrasts the forces of light and dark . . . Through the window, Manny noticed dark shadows lurking . . . Voices emerged from within: throaty and gutteral, filling the atmosphere with lies of shame, abandonment, and despair. "God has no place for you . . ." "God? What God?" Gabriel began to sing. "Holy is the Living God." At the sound of the angelic voice, the murky cloud stopped its advance. "Blessed be the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord!" The shadows inched back at each chorus. One by one the angels joined Gabriel, lifting their voices to heaven. It soon sounded as though hundreds, perhaps thousands were singing. . . . In the presence of such mighty voices, the evil held no sway. There was no shadow for such lies to hide. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe is a story that could possibly impact new believers, seekers, and seasoned Christians alike. I hope we see more fiction from Mr. Max. Highly recommended. Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I always enjoy Max Lucado's works but had no idea he was also a writer of fiction. This book is delightful and kept me reading well past my bed time. No regrets, Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe was worth every minute of lost sleep.
I enjoyed this book a lot . Hope another is in the works!
A must read
I haven’t read a Christian fiction book for quite a while now— as you can probably tell from my review archives. But something about Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café just seemed to say “read me.” I’m glad I did. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café is a short read—just a couple of hours—but that’s more than enough time to read and absorb the story. I’ll admit, I’m not used to Max Lucado writing fiction books. All of his previous works that I’ve read have been non-fiction books, usually meant to help strengthen churches or church members. But I think a good fiction book can do that as well as a non-fiction book can, and in the case of Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café this is very true. You see the miracle and wonder of God’s love working in multiple places—something you don’t often see in Christian fiction. Most Christian fiction books I’ve read have a ton of believers and just one non-believer who needs to come to God. But in Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café, there are multiple people who need to bring themselves before God and it makes this a much better book for it. I loved the book. It was well written and so easy to fall into the story. I was actually sorry to see it end and in all honesty would love to see a sequel—maybe detailing the lives of the kids. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a light, easy read. **I received this book for free from BookLook in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.**
This is my first fictional Max Lucado book, and I was not disappointed. The underlying messages of keeping the faith alive, letting go, and having hope are just what so many of us need to be reminded of these days. It did take me a while to get into it, and I nearly put it down before getting more than a quarter into it, but am really glad that I pushed further because it picked up and got much better! I recieved this in exchange for an honest review.
Definitely inspires you to lead a prayerful life.
Great little book about perseverance and forgiveness. I love the concept of being able to ask God questions on a blog.
Uplifting, encouraging read. Better than expected!
Okay. I'm going to 'gush'. First, I enjoy anything and everything Max Lucado. This is the first fiction I have read by him and I absolutely loved it. Wish it could have gone on many more pages. Excellent. See? I'm gushing...
This is the first novel I've read by Max Lucado. As with his other writings, this did not disappoint.
Very interesting premise, entertaining theme intertwined with inspiration...great read!
There is a spiritual side to this short book but it is lost with one dimensional characters and a predictable plot.
Loved the book! Easy to read. Enjoyed it and would recommend to others!
Max Lucado brings us another great read in his heavenly novel, Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café, which combines human dilemma with angelic warfare. When Chelsea Chambers learns her NFL famous husband has cheated on her, she decides she’s done and needs to take her two children and find a new life. Since her mother had recently passed on and left her with the responsibility of a cozy café in San Antonio, she decides this is a good place to start. Eager to revamp the Higher Grounds Café and draw customers with her delicious cupcakes, she is quickly set back by more bad news: Her mother had failed to keep up with the taxes leaving Chelsea with a humongous debt to the IRS. And with the upbeat Cosmic Café in firm competition with its free Internet and great coffee, Chelsea’s cupcakes just don’t cut it. She needs something else. An attraction to draw clients, a lure, a miracle no less! While Chelsea remains indifferent to God, her patrons apparently are not. When an Internet system is installed in the Higher Grounds Café, it brings free access to a mysterious God-blog with it. People are able to log in and ask God one question. And He answers with precision and understanding that defies explanation. At the same time, a convivial, almost childlike character, Manny, joins Chelsea’s team in the café. Manny proves himself to be a real God-send in more ways than one. With human dilemmas to boot and angelic warfare in the background, Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café flaunts Max Lucado’s incredible imagination coupled with a strong biblical base. Max Lucado brings us another great read in his heavenly novel, Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café, which combines human dilemma with angelic warfare. When Chelsea Chambers learns her NFL famous husband has cheated on her, she decides she’s done and needs to take her two children and find a new life. Since her mother had recently passed on and left her with the responsibility of a cozy café in San Antonio, she decides this is a good place to start. Eager to revamp the Higher Grounds Café and draw customers with her delicious cupcakes, she is quickly set back by more bad news: Her mother had failed to keep up with the taxes leaving Chelsea with a humongous debt to the IRS. And with the upbeat Cosmic Café in firm competition with its free Internet and great coffee, Chelsea’s cupcakes just don’t cut it. She needs something else. An attraction to draw clients, a lure, a miracle no less! While Chelsea remains indifferent to God, her patrons apparently are not. When an Internet system is installed in the Higher Grounds Café, it brings free access to a mysterious God-blog with it. People are able to log in and ask God one question. And He answers with precision and understanding that defies explanation. At the same time, a convivial, almost childlike character, Manny, joins Chelsea’s team in the café. Manny proves himself to be a real God-send in more ways than one. With human dilemmas to boot and angelic warfare in the background, Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café flaunts Max Lucado’s incredible imagination coupled with a strong biblical base. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café is a sweet story (no pun intended)! Janey DeMeo M.A. Copyright © April 2015
What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? How would he answer? In Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café, Chelsea finds herself in a new phase of her life, now baking and making coffee at her mother's (previously her grandmother's) cafe. With a fresh start, she thinks she can make it on her own but, she soon finds out that she needs more than just luck; this newly single mom finds herself in desperate need of a miracle. Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea's door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They've come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life's biggest questions. First, you need to know I love coffee, I love Max Lucado and his books. This story was just the best of both worlds. The story is set in San Antonio and was nice to read of the various familiar places. The story of this special coffee house, its' owner, and 'other' guests, It was easy to put myself in the story and the characters were believable and well written. I enjoyed the flow of conversation and the absolute real conversational language. The story deals with real life problems and frustrating issues and does it in a way that will hold the reader's interest all the way through the book. It is also a story of hope, healing and faith. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café is a story full of heart, depth, giggles, and spiritual insight. The story becomes a sweet read with characters to root for. The angelic aspect was created with humor and delight in the only way Max Lucado does. It was a quick read that left me feeling like I too stepped inside the Higher Grounds Café; it had a real-life feel to it. I highly recommend this book to give to friends, and good for book clubs, it also has discussion questions. I received copy of book from Thomas Nelson Publishing in their BookLook program for bloggers for my review.
Max Lucado in his new book, “Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café” published by Thomas Nelson brings us into the life of Chelsea Chambers. From the back cover: What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer? Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle. Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea’s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They’ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life’s biggest questions. When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way. All of us really want to ask God all sorts of things: healing, direction, a spouse. I think that there are a lot of us who feel that God does not talk to them and are lost in their spirit. What would happen if there was a coffee shop where we could hear from God? And what if there was an angel there conducting things? Well welcome to the Higher Grounds Café. Max Lucado has written a gem with all those elements plus more. This book will enchant you and cause you to think. Let me assure you, you will not want to put this book down and might actually come back to it to read all over again at a later time. I also think that you will want to give this book to family and friends so that they can enjoy it and think about what Max Presented here as well. They will always remember your gift and thank you for it. I recommend this book highly! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. 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.”