Traveling Light: Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear [NOOK Book]

Overview

Weary travelers. You've seen them -- everything they own crammed into their luggage. Staggering through terminals and hotel lobbies with overstuffed suitcases, trunks, duffels, and backpacks.

Backs ache. Feet burn. Eyelids droop.

We've all seen people like that.

At times, we are people like that -- if not with our physical luggage, then at least with our spiritual load.

We ...

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Traveling Light: Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear

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Overview

Weary travelers. You've seen them -- everything they own crammed into their luggage. Staggering through terminals and hotel lobbies with overstuffed suitcases, trunks, duffels, and backpacks.

Backs ache. Feet burn. Eyelids droop.

We've all seen people like that.

At times, we are people like that -- if not with our physical luggage, then at least with our spiritual load.

We all lug loads we were never intended to carry. Fear. Worry. Discontent. No wonder we get so weary. We're worn out from carrying that excess baggage. Wouldn't it be nice to lose some of those bags?

That's the invitation of Max Lucado. With the Twenty-third Psalm as our guide, let's release some of the burdens we were never intended to bear.

Using these verses as a guide, Max Lucado walks us through a helpful inventory of our burdens. May God use this Psalm to remind you to release the burdens you were never meant to bear.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
According to San Antonio preacher/bestselling author Max Lucado, Psalm 23 was "written by a shepherd who became a king -- because He wanted us to know about a King who became a shepherd." A meditation on a famous biblical poem.
Publishers Weekly
Feel the need to throw off the cumbersome burdens that weigh you down? Certainly, responsible adults learn to adjust to tremendous stresses and equip themselves to carry the heavy weights of self-reliance, weariness, worry and hopelessness over the long haul. But this is not necessary, says bestselling author Lucado (Just Like Jesus; He Chose the Nails; The Applause of Heaven). In Psalm 23, God counters the misconception that burden-bearing signals Christian maturity and admonishes followers to leave their loads at Christ's feet, as he is the only one truly equipped to handle the weight. Lucado dissects Psalm 23 while recounting tender tales of men and women who have overcome crushing circumstances with Christ's support. In keeping with Lucado's typical homespun style, humorous anecdotes often precede powerful punches of biblical truth. Rounding out this collection of essays is a study guide encapsulating each chapter's topic. Readers will travel back, up and on as they reread key excerpts, study pertinent Bible verses and allow the lessons to take root. This insightful collection not only measures up to the high standard of Lucado's own previous works, but his profound perspective on life and spirituality frequently exceeds expectations. (Oct.) Forecast: This should be quite a boost for the recently christened W Publishing Group (formerly known as Word), whose cup runneth over with Lucado. Sales for He Chose the Nails have reached 720,000 copies, while Lucado's recent devotional, Grace for the Moment, has sold 600,000 copies for J. Countryman. W will spend a cool half million in shepherding this title toward the green pasture of bestsellerdom. Copyright 2001 Cahners BusinessInformation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418519186
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2001
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 47,164
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Max Lucado

More than 120 million readers have found comfort in the writings of Max Lucado. He ministers atthe 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

TRAVELING LIGHT

Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear
By Max Lucado

W Publishing Group

Copyright © 2001 Max Lucado
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0849912970


Chapter One

The Luggage of Life

I've never been one to travel light.

I've tried. Believe me, I've tried. But ever since I stuck three fingers in the air and took the Boy Scout pledge to be prepared, I've been determined to be exactly that-prepared.

Prepared for a bar mitzvah, baby dedication, or costume party. Prepared to parachute behind enemy lines or enter a cricket tournament. And if, perchance, the Dalai Lama might be on my flight and invite me to dine in Tibet, I carry snowshoes. One has to be prepared.

I don't know how to travel light.

Fact is, there's a lot about travel I don't know. I don't know how to interpret the restrictions of a supersaver seat-half price if you leave on Wednesdays during duck-hunting season and return when the moon is full in a nonelection year. I don't know why they don't build the whole plane out of the same metal they use to build the little black box. I don't know how to escape the airplane toilet without sacrificing one of my extremities to the jaws of the folding door. And I don't know what to say to guys like the taxi driver in Rio who learned I was an American and asked me if I knew his cousin Eddie who lives in the U.S.

There's a lot abouttraveling I don't know.

I don't know why we men would rather floss a crocodile than ask for directions. I don't know why vacation slides aren't used to treat insomnia, and I don't know when I'll learn not to eat food whose names I can't pronounce.

But most of all, I don't know how to travel light.

I don't know how to travel without granola bars, sodas, and rain gear. I don't know how to travel without flashlights and a generator and a global tracking system. I don't know how to travel without an ice chest of wieners. What if I stumble upon a backyard barbecue? To bring nothing to the party would be rude.

Every travel-catalog company in the world has my credit-card number. I've got an iron that doubles as a paperweight, a hair dryer the size of a coach's whistle, a Swiss Army knife that expands into a pup tent, and a pair of pants that inflate upon impact. (On one flight my wife, Denalyn, gave me a swat on the leg, and I couldn't get out of my seat.)

I don't know how to travel light. But I need to learn. Denalyn refuses to give birth to any more children even though the airlines allow each passenger three checked bags and two carry-ons.

I need to learn to travel light.

You're wondering why I can't. Loosen up! you're thinking. You can't enjoy a journey carrying so much stuff. Why don't you just drop all that luggage?

Funny you should ask. I'd like to inquire the same of you. Haven't you been known to pick up a few bags?

Odds are, you did this morning. Somewhere between the first step on the floor and the last step out the door, you grabbed some luggage. You stepped over to the baggage carousel and loaded up. Don't remember doing so? That's because you did it without thinking. Don't remember seeing a baggage terminal? That's because the carousel is not the one in the airport; it's the one in the mind. And the bags we grab are not made of leather; they're made of burdens.

The suitcase of guilt. A sack of discontent. You drape a duffel bag of weariness on one shoulder and a hanging bag of grief on the other. Add on a backpack of doubt, an overnight bag of loneliness, and a trunk of fear. Pretty soon you're pulling more stuff than a skycap. No wonder you're so tired at the end of the day. Lugging luggage is exhausting.

What you were saying to me, God is saying to you, "Set that stuff down! You're carrying burdens you don't need to bear."

"Come to me," he invites, "all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28 NLT).

If we let him, God will lighten our loads ... but how do we let him? May I invite an old friend to show us? The Twenty-third Psalm.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.

You, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. (NKJV)

Do more beloved words exist? Framed and hung in hospital halls, scratched on prison walls, quoted by the young, and whispered by the dying. In these lines sailors have found a harbor, the frightened have found a father, and strugglers have found a friend.

And because the passage is so deeply loved, it is widely known. Can you find ears on which these words have never fallen? Set to music in a hundred songs, translated into a thousand tongues, domiciled in a million hearts.

One of those hearts might be yours. What kinship do you feel with these words? Where do the verses transport you? To a fireside? Bedside? Graveside?

Hardly a week passes that I don't turn to them. This passage is to the minister what balm is to the physician. I recently applied them to the heart of a dear friend. Summoned to his house with the words "The doctors aren't giving him more than a few days," I looked at him and understood. Face pale. Lips stretched and parched. Skin draping between bones like old umbrella cloth between spokes. The cancer had taken so much: his appetite, his strength, his days. But the cancer hadn't touched his faith. Pulling a chair to his bed and squeezing his hand, I whispered, "Bill, 'The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.'" He rolled his head toward me as if to welcome the words.

"He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."

Reaching the fourth verse, fearful that he might not hear, I leaned forward until I was a couple of inches from his ear and said, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."

He didn't open his eyes, but he arched his brows. He didn't speak, but his thin fingers curled around mine, and I wondered if the Lord was helping him set down some luggage, the fear of dying.

Do you have some luggage of your own? Do you think God might use David's psalm to lighten your load? Traveling light means trusting God with the burdens you were never intended to bear.

Why don't you try traveling light? Try it for the sake of those you love. Have you ever considered the impact that excess baggage has on relationships? We've made this point at our church by virtue of a drama. A wedding is reenacted in which we hear the thoughts of the bride and groom. The groom enters, laden with luggage. A bag dangles from every appendage. And each bag is labeled: guilt, anger, arrogance, insecurities. This fellow is loaded. As he stands at the altar, the audience hears him thinking, Finally, a woman who will help me carry all my burdens. She's so strong, so stable, so ...

As his thoughts continue, hers begin. She enters, wearing a wedding gown but, like her fiancé, covered with luggage. Pulling a hanging bag, shouldering a carry-on, hauling a makeup kit, paper sack-everything you could imagine and everything labeled. She has her own bags: prejudice, loneliness, disappointments. And her expectations? Listen to what she is thinking: Just a few more minutes and I've got me a man. No more counselors. No more group sessions. So long, discouragement and worry. I won't be seeing you anymore. He's going to fix me.

Finally they stand at the altar, lost in a mountain of luggage. They smile their way through the ceremony, but when given the invitation to kiss each other, they can't. How do you embrace someone if your arms are full of bags?

For the sake of those you love, learn to set them down.

And, for the sake of the God you serve, do the same. He wants to use you, you know. But how can he if you are exhausted? This truth came home to me yesterday afternoon on a run. Preparing for a jog, I couldn't decide what to wear. The sun was out, but the wind was chilly. The sky was clear, but the forecast said rain. Jacket or sweatshirt? The Boy Scout within me prevailed. I wore both.

I grabbed my Walkman but couldn't decide which tape to bring. A sermon or music? You guessed it, I took both. Needing to stay in touch with my kids, I carried a cell phone. So no one would steal my car, I pocketed my keys. As a precaution against thirst, I brought along some drink money in a pouch. I looked more like a pack mule than a runner! Within half a mile I was peeling off the jacket and hiding it in a bush. That kind of weight will slow you down.

What's true in jogging is true in faith. God has a great race for you to run. Under his care you will go where you've never been and serve in ways you've never dreamed. But you have to drop some stuff. How can you share grace if you are full of guilt? How can you offer comfort if you are disheartened? How can you lift someone else's load if your arms are full with your own?

For the sake of those you love, travel light.

For the sake of the God you serve, travel light.

For the sake of your own joy, travel light.

There are certain weights in life you simply cannot carry. Your Lord is asking you to set them down and trust him. He is the father at the baggage claim. When a dad sees his five-year-old son trying to drag the family trunk off the carousel, what does he say? The father will say to his son what God is saying to you.

"Set it down, child. I'll carry that one."

What do you say we take God up on his offer? We just might find ourselves traveling a little lighter.

By the way, I may have overstated my packing problems. (I don't usually take snowshoes.) But I can't overstate God's promise: "Unload all your worries onto him, since he is looking after you" (1 Pet. 5:7 JB).

Chapter Two

The Middle C of Life

The Burden of a Lesser God

The Lord ...

Psalm 23:1

I'm only five feet from an eagle. His wings are spread, and his talons are lifted above the branch. White feathers cap his head, and black eyes peer at me from both sides of a golden beak. He is so close I could touch him. So near I could stroke him. With only a lean and a stretch of my right arm, I could cover the eagle's crown with my hand.

But I don't. I don't reach. Why not? Am I afraid of him?

Hardly. He hasn't budged in two years. When I first opened the box, he impressed me. When I first set him on the shelf, I admired him. Man-made eagles are nice for a while, but you quickly get used to them.

David is concerned that you and I don't make the same mistake with God. His pen has scarcely touched papyrus, and he's urging us to avoid gods of our own making. With his very first words in this psalm, David sets out to deliver us from the burden of a lesser deity.

One might argue that he seeks to do nothing else. For though he will speak of green pastures, his thesis is not rest. He will describe death's somber valley, but this poem is not an ode to dying. He will tell of the Lord's forever house, but his theme is not heaven. Why did David write the Twenty-third Psalm? To build our trust in God ... to remind us of who he is.

In this psalm David devotes one hundred and fifteen words to explaining the first two: "The Lord." In the arena of unnecessary luggage, the psalmist begins with the weightiest: the refashioned god. One who looks nice but does little. God as ...

A genie in a bottle. Convenient. Congenial. Need a parking place, date, field goal made or missed? All you do is rub the bottle and poof-it's yours. And, what's even better, this god goes back into the bottle after he's done.

A sweet grandpa. So soft hearted. So wise. So kind. But very, very, very old. Grandpas are great when they are awake, but they tend to doze off when you need them.

A busy dad. Leaves on Mondays, returns on Saturdays. Lots of road trips and business meetings. He'll show up on Sunday, however, so clean up and look spiritual. On Monday, be yourself again. He'll never know.

Ever held these views of God? If so, you know the problems they cause. A busy dad doesn't have time for your questions. A kind grandpa is too weak to carry your load. And if your god is a genie in a bottle, then you are greater than he is. He comes and goes at your command.

A god who looks nice but does little.

Reminds me of a briefcase I own. Though I'd like to fault the salesman, I can't. The purchase was my decision. But he certainly made it easy. I didn't need a new satchel. The one I had was fine. Scarred and scratched but fine. The paint was worn off the zippers, and the edges were scuffed, but the bag was fine.

Oh, but this new one, to use the words of the college-age boy in the leather store, was "really fine." Loaded with features: copper covers on the corners, smooth leather from Spain, and, most of all, an Italian name near the handle. The salesman gave his line and handed me the bag, and I bought them both.

I left the store with a briefcase that I have used maybe twice. What was I thinking? It carries so little. My old bag had no copper-covered corners, but it had a belly like a beluga. This new one reminds me of a high-fashion model: slim, stiff, and tight-lipped. A book and a newspaper, and this Italian satchel is "fullisimo."

The bag looks nice but does nothing.

Is that the kind of God you want? Is that the kind of God we have?

David's answer is a resounding no. "You want to know who God really is?" he asks. "Then read this." And he writes the name Yahweh. "Yahweh is my shepherd."

Though foreign to us, the name was rich to David. So rich, in fact, that David chose Yahweh over El Shaddai (God Almighty), El Elyon (God Most High), and El Olam (God the Everlasting). These and many other tides for God were at David's disposal. But when he considered all the options, David chose Yahweh.

Why Yahweh? Because Yahweh is God's name. You can call me preacher or writer or half-baked golfer-these are accurate descriptions, but these aren't my names. I might call you dad, mom, doctor, or student, and those terms may describe you, but they aren't your name. If you want to call me by my name, say Max. If I call you by your name, I say it.

Continues...


Excerpted from TRAVELING LIGHT by Max Lucado Copyright © 2001 by Max Lucado
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 The Luggage of Life 1
2 The Middle C of Life: The Burden of a Lesser God 9
3 I'll Do It My Way: The Burden of Self-Reliance 19
4 The Prison of Want: The Burden of Discontent 27
5 I Will Give You Rest: The Burden of Weariness 35
6 Whaddifs and Howells: The Burden of Worry 45
7 It's Jungle Out There: The Burden of Hopelessness 53
8 A Heavenly Exchange: The Burden of Guilt 61
9 Get Over Yourself: The Burden of Arrogance 69
10 I Will Lead You Home: The Burden of the Grave 79
11 When Morning Comes: The Burden of Grief 87
12 From Panic to Peace: The Burden of Fear 95
13 Silent Nights and Solitary Days: The Burden of Loneliness 103
14 The Crowing Rooster and Me: The Burden of Shame 113
15 Slippery Sheep and Healed Hurts: The Burden of Disappointment 123
16 Jam Session: The Burden of Envy 131
17 God's Loving Pursuit: The Burden of Doubt 139
18 Almost Heaven: The Burden of Homesickness 149
Conclusion 159
Notes 165
Study Guide 169
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 28 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2004

    Psalm 23 explored

    Psalm 23 is probably one of the most familiar Bible passages, right up there with John 3:16. 'The Lord is my shepherd...' Perhaps it is too familiar. Have we become so accustomed to hearing it that we have forgotten the wonderful promise it contains? Traveling Light is a verse-by-verse exploration of Psalm 23, brought to life by comparing us to travelers weighed down with excess spiritual baggage. Each chapter identifies a different burden that we may be carrying in our life: flawed views of God, self-reliance, discontent, weariness, worry, hopelessness, guilt, arrogance, facing death, grief, fear, loneliness, shame, disappointment, envy, doubt and the longing for heaven. This walk through the 23rd Psalm reminds and encourages us to take God at His word and release those burdens to Him. As usual, Lucado supports his material with plenty of scripture, sharp analogies and just the right amount of humor. For added impact, be sure to work through the study guide at the end of the book. Then get ready to lose some luggage. Larry Hehn, author of Get the Prize: Nine Keys for a Life of Victory

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 27, 2010

    ANSTERDAN S VIANA - MAX LUCADO TRAVELING LIGHT

    This book has changed my life and it has changed the ways i look at things. Not just spiritual things but worldly things as well. This book helped me very much with many hardships that i was going through, the biggest one i can say was my relationship with this amazing girl called Larissa. If you want to get much closer to GOD, and understand much better what GOD really wants of your life, read this book. Every page that i read i cried, this book is very powerful. It shows us what GOD wants from us, but it also shows US HOW to make the things that GOD want for us true. Traveling light is about replacing pain with GOD's will. It is based on the Psalms 23. I want to thank my Savior Jesus who i love very much, to have helped me find this book, and i want to thank Jesus for using my Brother Junior Viana to help me with many hardships in my life, I love you brother. I would give this book to everyone if i could, Thank God for Max Lucado's life, a man of GOD. Thank you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    traveling light

    I HAVE ENJOY ALL OF MAX LICADO BOOKS , IF I CAN NOT BE WHERE HE IS TO TEACH ME ABOUT OUR GREAT SAVIOR I CAN BRING MAX TO MY HOME IN HIS BOOKS I HAVE ATLESS 22 OF HIS GREAT BOOKS GOD BLESS YOU FOR BRING CHRIST CLOSER TO ME IN YOUR WORDS THANK YOU I LOVE YOUR GIFT. KATHY

    MAX YOU TRULY ARE AMAZING TO ME. BLESS YOUR FAMILY

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2006

    A warm hug for the heart & spirit......

    This is my first book by Max Lucado. Outstanding from start to finish. I will read this book over and over again. Each chapter embraces your heart & spirit and soothes all the hurt and pain we carry. He gives clarity and meaning to this journey called life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2006

    A great read!

    This is the 6th Max Lucado book i've read. this one was not just different, it was life changing. in the chapter the burden of arrogance, i felt like he was directing the whole chapter to me. And in turn it changed my life. READ IT!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2003

    A great book, can be read over and over...

    This was the second Max Lucado book I read. It came at a pivotal time in my life -- just before getting married and during a crisis in my work life. It was truly the book I needed to read. God didn't intend us to carry all the burdens of this world on our backs and shoulders. Christ is the one to carry them for us. Using the beautiful 23rd Psalm, Lucado does a great job of showing us how to relieve ourselves of this unneeded weight we carry. I love the way Lucado writes -- his conversational tone, his fun sense of humor and his ability to poke a little fun at himself (the opening of the book is one of the funniest). He also has a unique way of communicating God and Jesus and making it easy for us to understand, without watering it down and making it meaningless.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2002

    Insight Into An Old Favorite

    This book sneaks up on you, reading along with Max story telling and wham he brings the point of focus line by line of the 23rd Psalm. My copy has been read by three friends and is on loan now; two readers were terminal cancer patients, the book was a comfort.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    PSALM 23, VERSE BY VERSE This book is full of powerful biblical

    PSALM 23, VERSE BY VERSE
    This book is full of powerful biblical information to help the reader to get rid of excessive spiritual luggage.
    Every chapter refers to a specific verse and a specific luggage, provides biblical support and also practical use to get rid of those horrible bags that we carry. Sometimes, it seems like the author is talking to you specifically!
    Inspiring, real, powerful!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    God bless you Max

    I read this book when I was at my lowest. I had walked away from a 4 year verably abusive marriage! Where was God, who was I ?
    I had so much bagage, this book helped me sort through the
    mess, leaving it all at Jesus's feet. Realizing my self worth and how much Jesus loved me. I am 73yrs young and starting
    all over. Thanks Max! Travel light my friends!

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  • Posted January 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I loved the simple style and humor Max weaves throughout the boo

    I loved the simple style and humor Max weaves throughout the book.  Great read! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2009

    Travelling Light - An easy read for heavy material

    This book was good for a cursory evaluation of the 23rd Psalm. I would have liked Lucado to go more in depth on some of his ideas. He also repeated his points frequently. I think this would be good for someone who may be new to biblical commentary or as a gift for someone going through a tough time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2003

    Wow!

    This book is absolutely amazing. Lucado uses vivid language to apply the 23 Psalm to things we face each and every day.If you have ever struggled with lonliness, worry, or anger (along with a number of other problems), this book is for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2002

    Effective followship

    This book could be titled "Effective Followship." It follows the 23rd Psalm in the trademark Lucado style and you WILL enjoy it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2002

    A New Look at the 23 Psalm

    This is an EXCELLENT book. It's great, inspirational light reading. Each chapter takes a different look at how the 23 Psalm applies to various stages of our lifetime. I not only recommend it, I have purchased several to give as Christmas gifts to people I care about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2002

    Max hits the heart right on target!

    I really enjoyed this book! I saw myself in so many of the pages! It made me rethink and 're-pray' my life! Max made me see that we can get so caught up in our everyday lives that we think we are in charge and really it is God who is always in total control!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2002

    Wonderful word picture!

    I will always remember the answer that was given by the guide as he hacked his way through dense jungle underbrush with his machete. A member of the group he was leading asked, 'Where is the path?!?' The guide answers: 'I am the path!' Implication: if you want to get through this situation, follow me. That is the message of our Lord every day. This is a very well-written book.

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    Posted December 27, 2009

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    Posted March 26, 2014

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    Posted December 12, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2009

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