Tag Archives: Max Lucado

This Book Is Making Me Hungry — The Top 10 Tuesday Edition!

17 Oct

I’m excited for this Top Ten Tuesday‘s theme. The folks at The Broke And The Bookish are challenging bloggers to post about food! All things yummy are allowed. I occasionally post about books that make me salivate with their references to food. Not as consistently as I would like, I post recipes that I find would be great accompaniments to the offending books. So here in one place, I give you the books (and the recipes) that made me hungry for more than the next chapter. 😉 You’ll find a little bit of everything — perfect for book club potlucks!

Top Books That Made Me Hungry!



Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble (Finnish Pancakes, Finnish Cardamom Rolls, and Squeaky Cheese)

Demise in Denim by Duffey Brown (Sprinkle Donuts and Gourmet Mac and Cheese)

Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon (Cranberry Nut Cake)


Miracle at The Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado (Chocolate-Raspberry Layer Cake)

One More Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong (Green Chili Stew)

Recipe for Murder by Lisa Harris (Lemon Crumb Cake)


Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon (Fudge Cake)

Seeing Things by Patti Hill (Shrimp and Pork Shu Mai Dumplings)

Thin Ice by Irene Hannon (Autumn Squash Soup)


What books have made you hungry?

Book Review: Pocket Prayers

28 Apr

What a wonderful opportunity I have been given to share 6 books in the Pocket Prayer series written by Max Lucado (along with Andrea Lucado, Mark Mynheir, Jennifer Hale and Betsy St. Amant). Each book in the series focuses on a particular group — graduates, teachers, friends, dads, moms and military members. Here is a little bit about each book:

519T3YrW0lL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_Some friends are closer than family. They weave their way into our lives, there to celebrate the highs and comfort us through the lows. And for those special friends, Max Lucado offers forty scriptures and guided prayers that bring joy and serenity in Pocket Prayers for Friends.





All the way from coloring inside the lines to calculus, teachers have given us the tools to thrive. Where would we be without them? But a teacher’s job is often a difficult one. Sometimes anxiety and exhaustion become the norm. For those in need of a little peace and renewal, Max Lucado points to the Teacher who offered just that. Pocket Prayers for Teachers contains forty scriptures and guided prayers written especially for those special people, who encourage and inspire our students.


514ikpgmrgL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_Graduation is one of life’s most exciting milestones. It can also be a source of uncertainty and anxiety. What comes after graduation day? More education? A career? Starting a family? Often this time in life can bring more questions than answers, but Max Lucado offers hope and direction by pointing to the Answer to all of life’s question. Pocket Prayers for Graduates includes forty scriptures and guided prayers written especially for those considering their futures post-graduation.


51cs1rf9L7L._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_Daily life for those in the military and their loved ones at home can be filled with rapid change, fear, and uncertainty. For those bravely sacrificing for our country, bestselling author, Max Lucado, offers words of hope, pointing them to the Source of faith and courage. Pocket Prayers for the Military contains forty scriptures and guided prayers that will help readers face the unique challenges of military life with courage and faith.


515UjRvzyHL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_Dads wear many hats. From protector to playmate, confidante to counselor. No matter the role, families rely on dads to lead with strength and faith. And in Pocket Prayers for Dads, Max Lucado offers forty scriptures and guided prayers that will help dads do just that.




51hXE8wSXGL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_No one knows how quickly the chaos of daily life can become overwhelming more than moms. We lean on them for everything from hurt feelings to missing homework to broken bones. So, where can moms turn for peace and rest in the midst of mayhem? Bestselling author Max Lucado points to the Source of all hope and strength in Pocket Prayers for Moms, which contains forty scriptures and guided prayers written especially for all moms.




MLucado-261More 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. Find out more about Max at https://maxlucado.com.




My Impressions:

Small books packed with big truths! That’s what you get with the Pocket Prayers series by Max Lucado. Each book is geared to a specific audience and provides all you need to begin the transformation from prayer wimp to prayer warrior! I loved the introduction to the books. Obviously written from his heart, Lucado shares the wonder, power and promises that prayer can provide if you access it everyday. Each book has 40 prayers accompanied by 40 scripture verses and is divided into helpful topics for each group. In Pocket Prayers for Friends the topics include Grace And Wisdom, Joy And Companionship, Help And Protection, Peace And Problem-Solving, Longevity And The Future and Love And Forgiveness. These books are an easy introduction to the prayer-power connection!

Highly Recommended!

As part of this tour, I had the great pleasure of sharing the books with very special people. Here they are:

CfJIjVBWIAA_NCh.jpg-smallPocket Prayers for Teachers went to my good friend and super teacher, Carrie. This mom of two elementary school-aged boys is an inspiration to many in her professional and personal life, but we all can use a little help!

CevNeUvW4AEMfFD.jpg-smallSheryl is a busy mom and my husband’s dedicated office manager. She immediately dug into Pocket Prayers for Moms. She says she loves beginning each day with a message and prayer that prove pertinent for her upcoming day.

CevNNy2WQAAab9F.jpg-smallNikki is still a newlywed. She has been married less than a year, but her husband has been deployed twice for a total of six months! She is a wonderful registered veterinary technician who received Pocket Prayers for Military Life.


CgSRr88WsAA44P8.jpg-smallI have a new friend and sister-of-the-heart in Carol. We have had so much fun in the short time we have known each other and I hope the adventure continues for a long time! She got Pocket Prayers for Friends.

CgZobKdW8AUSxYQ.jpg-smallSoon to be graduate (and my soon to be daughter-in-love!), Brittany is a young woman with a bright future. I gave her Pocket Prayers for Graduates for the guidance she needs to transition from college to real life!

Collins is my niece’s husband. This policeman (the reason for no picture; he keeps a low profile when it comes to the internet) and father of a blended family has stress and pressures. But becaue of his dedication to being a godly father, I gave him Pocket Prayers for Dads.

(Thanks to LitFuse for review copies of these books. All opinions expressed are mine alone)


This Book Is Making Me Hungry + Review — Miracle at The Higher Grounds Cafe

20 Mar

There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10

000882What 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.


MLucado-261More 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.



My Impressions:

I confess that I have never read any of Max Lucado’s non-fiction books. I am a fiction gal and find it hard to get into most non-fiction. But when I saw that he had written his first novel, I just had to read it. Miracle at The Higher Grounds Cafe captured me from the beginning. Wonderful characters and a great setting add to this inspiring tale. This book is great for any fans of Max Lucado or for anyone who needs a little encouragement and hope that God is really listening.

Chelsea Chambers and her children have moved back to her hometown of San Antonio, Texas following her separation from NFL star, Sawyer. Reopening her mother’s cafe is challenging enough with her family changes, but a whopping tax bill puts Chelsea into panic mode. With some angelic help, Chelsea finds her faith and forgiveness.

Lightly written with plenty of chuckle-inducing moments, Miracle at The Higher Grounds Cafe still packs a punch on the spiritual front. Spiritual themes of forgiveness, the personhood of God and prayer are skillfully interwoven. A clever device is used to show how God wants to have personal relationships with his creation. Lucado also emphasizes that once prayers are sent up, they linger like a heavenly aroma. The book also gives a glimpse at how things on earth must look from the spiritual realm. I especially loved the scene where the angels are rejoicing when a character accepts the gift of salvation. Fun characters, inventive plot devices and mouth-watering cupcake creations are icing on the cake (pardon the pun!). Miracle at The Higher Grounds Cafe is definitely a must-read.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: older teens and adults.

To purchase this book click HERE.

(Thanks to LitFuse and Thomas Nelson for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Chocolate-Raspberry Layer Cake

GH0507H_chocolate-raspberry-layer-cake-recipe_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscapeMain character, Chelsea Chambers bakes up scrumptious goodies in her cafe. One particularly yummy dessert plays a role in her dealings with a real estate agent. So in honor of Chelsea, here is a recipe for Chocolate-Raspberry Layer Cake  from Giada De Laurentiis (courtesy of the Food Network).


One 12-ounce bag frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed

Butter, for greasing the pans
All-purpose flour, for dusting
One 18.25-ounce box chocolate cake mix, such as Betty Crocker Super Moist Chocolate Fudge
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Fresh raspberries or chocolate curls for garnish

For the puree: Place the raspberries in a blender and blend until smooth (yields 1 1/4 cups of puree). Remove 1/4 cup of puree and reserve.

For the cake: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of two 8- or 9-inch round nonstick baking pans. Set aside.

Place 1 tablespoon of the cake mix and the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Toss until the chocolate chips are coated.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining cake mix, 1 cup of the raspberry puree, vegetable oil, eggs and 1/4 cup water. Using an electric hand mixer, blend on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Mix in the chocolate chips. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour.

For the frosting: In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, butter, cream cheese and sour cream. Using an electric hand mixer, beat on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

In a small bowl, mix together 3/4 cup of the frosting and the reserved 1/4 cup puree until smooth.

To assemble the cake: Place one cake layer, flat side-up, on a cake stand. Using a spatula, spread the raspberry-chocolate frosting over the cake layer leaving a 1/2-inch border. Place the other cake layer on top. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining chocolate frosting. Decorate with fresh raspberries or chocolate curls. Using a damp knife cut the cake into wedges and serve.

Cake can be made 1 day in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight plastic container. Allow the cake to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.


Book Review: The Christmas Story for Children

10 Dec

735982Follow the events of Jesus’ birth as you read this lovely picture book written by Max Lucado with Randy Frazee and Karen Hill and illustrated by Fausto. The Christmas Story for Children tells readers about the birth of a special baby whose story is filled with love for us all. Young readers as well as their parents will appreciate the beautiful words and artwork that convey the message that we are loved and cherished.

A holiday companion book to the award-winning and bestselling The Story for Children.



max-grande2Max Lucado has the heart of a pastor and the pen of a poet. He is a preacher who writes and a writer who preaches, though none would call him preachy. This unique combination of gifts led Christianity Today to label him “America’s Pastor,” but he prefers to go by “Max” and leave the titles behind.

Since 1985 this Texas pastor has taken pen to paper, sharing his heart and his stories with readers around the globe. And readers have responded, snapping up more than 50 million copies of his 60 plus titles during the last two decades.

Max Lucado is one of the rare authors who can craft memorable books for readers of all ages, races and creeds. He has written bestselling books for both children and adults, from illustrated storybooks to nonfiction and biblical commentary. Though he is known best for his nonfiction books for adults, Max won Campus Life magazine’s “favorite author” designation so consistently that the category was deleted for many years from the teen reader’s annual awards.

Max’s gift of turning a phrase has turned into one of Hallmark’s most popular branded greeting cards lines, selling 6 million cards in just three years. His word and stories have been repackaged in just about every format imaginable, including DVDs, CD-ROMs, music CDs, apparel, giftware, calendars, study Bibles and even plush products. And his books have been translated into more than 28 languages worldwide.

Yet all these books and products find their wellspring in a single source: the pulpit at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. All Max’s books for adults have been birthed as sermons for the congregation at Oak Hills Church—perhaps one of the reasons Readers Digest dubbed him “America’s Best Preacher” in 2005.

Max and Denalyn Lucado celebrated 25 years of marriage in August 2006. They served as missionaries in Brazil before coming to San Antonio, where they have lived since 1998. Their three almost-grown daughters, (Jenna, Andrea, Sara) recall no other home. Both the heart and the pen of this pastor/writer have found fertile ground under the Texas sun.

61wpqjQZ43L._UX250_Fausto Bianchi was born on Lake Como and now lives and works in Varese, Italy. He lives with his wife, child, and a dog and cat. Fausto has done illustrations for several Italian publishing houses and advertising agencies. He especially enjoys working with watercolors and has begun to use digital formats to create the same watercolor effects.


My Impressions:

The Christmas Story for Children is taken from the best-selling children’s book The Story for Children. It is a retelling of Jesus’ birth. I like that the story opens with the people of God anxiously awaiting their Messiah. The book makes it clear that the people had been waiting for centuries, but when the time was right, God entered into our world. The heart of the story is the nativity, but also includes Jesus’ early ministry. It definitely makes clear that the story from the Gospels did not begin and end in the stable. The illustrations are beautiful. The detail overlaying the watercolors creates a depth that draws the eye. The Christmas Story for Children would be a  wonderful addition to family story time.


Audience: children ages 5-12.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.