Traveling Light

traveling light

Traveling Light

Max Lucado
MJF Books, 2001

From the dust jacket, “Inspiring, insightful, and sparkling with Max Lucado’s warm humor, Traveling Light guides us through Psalm 23 to show us how to let go of the spiritual weight we were never meant to carry. For example, you would think it absurd for your ten-year-old to lose sleep and fill her days with anxiety because she doesn’t have a pension plan. If such worrying seems unwarranted in a child, it’s just as needless in an adult. Worry has never brightened a day, solved a problem, or cured a disease. Yet we seem addicted to it. How can we overcome anxiety?

“Consider the verse: “He leads me beside the still waters.” He leads me. God isn’t behind us, yelling, “Go!” He’s ahead of us, showing the way telling us what we need to know when we need to know it, giving us what we need when we need it. He helps us the way a father gives plane tickets to his children. When it’s time to board the plane, he stands between the attendant and the children. As each child passes, he puts a ticket in his hand, and the child gives it to the attendant. Each one receives the ticket just when it’s needed. The lesson is this: Meet today’s problems with today’s strength. Don’t start tackling tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow. You don’t have tomorrow’s strength yet. But you do have enough for today.”

This is my second Lucado book and it was a blessing to read it. It provided so much inspiration into Psalm 23. This book has a permanent place at the Library – its one of those books you’ll want to read again and again through the years. It’s even worth reading to kittens, young and old, during family devotional time. Also included at the end of the book are questions for further study and discussion. In this crazy world that we live in, we all need a little reminder that God is for us and not against us and that He is indeed leading us through the madness until we are home with Him once more.

Rating: 5 out of 5 paws


loc jackJack

When God Whispers Your Name

god whispers your name

When God Whispers Your Name

Max Lucado
Word Publishing, 1999

From the back of the book, “What happens when you let Him open your heart to hope? Listen. do you hear it? Somewhere, between the pages of this book and the pages of your heart, God is speaking. And He is calling you by name. Maybe that’s hard to believe. Maybe you just can’t imagine that the One who made it all things of you that personally – that He keeps your name on His heart and lips.

“But it’s true. In the Bible and in the circumstances of your life, He whispers your name lovingly. Tenderly. Patiently but persistently. Let the stories in this classic book remind you of the God who knows your name.

“Some stories are from the Bible. Some are drawn from everyday life. Most are about people who are lost…or weary…or discouraged – just like you. if you let them, they’ll tell the story of your life. So listen closely as you turn these pages. Listen for the Father’s gentle whisper that can erase your doubts, your sorrow, your weariness, your despair. It really is your name that you hear, and the Voice that calls is more loving than you ever dared dream. Listen. And learn to hope again.”

This is a good book to read when you’re feeling especially doubtful about the future or hopeless about your presence circumstances. The author’s easy writing style lets you eyes flow gently across the page, gleaning the wisdom you need. The chapters are basically essays, or perhaps even short sermons on the wonderful nature of God and His love for you and for me. There is some discussion material for each chapter at the back of the book, so it would make for a great Bible study group reading/discussion. I really like the way Lucado writing is broad enough to be inclusive for both scholars and laypeople alike.

Rating 5 out of 5 paws – it’s a re-reader!


loc jackJack

Help, Thanks, Wow

help thanks wow

Help, Thanks, Wow
The Three Essential Prayers

Anne Lamott
Riverhead Books, 2012

From the dust jacket, “Three simple prayers to get you through tough times, everyday struggles, and the hard work of ordinary life.

“Readers of all ages have followed and cherished Anne Lamott’s funny and perceptive writing about faith and prayer. And in Help, Thanks, Wow, she has coalesced everything she’s learned about prayer into these simple, transformative truths.

“It is these three prayers – asking for assistance, appreciating the good we witness, and feeling awe at the world—that get us through the day and show us the way forward. In Help, Thanks, Wow, Lamott recounts how she came to these insights, explains what they have meant over the years and how they’ve helped, and explores how others have embraced these ideas.

“Insightful and honest as only Anne Lamott can be, Help, Thanks, Wow is a book that new readers will love and longtime Lamott fans will treasure.”

This short and profound book is another treasure to add to our permanent Library collection. Its always good to be reminded that sometimes the shortest prayers are the most effective. Sometimes, simply by saying ‘Help’ when we are at our most desperate is more effective than an hour-long treatise. And, remembering to say ‘Thank You’ when that answer to prayer comes (even if it wasn’t what we expected or even wanted) prepares us to say ‘Wow’ when we get a glimpse God at His most everything.

Rating: 5 out of 5 paws – spectacular!

Reviewer: Jack




Small Victories

small victories

Small Victories
Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace

Anne Lamott
Riverhead Books, 2014

From the dust jacket, “Anne Lamott writes about faith, family, and community in essays that are irreverent and wise. Now, in Small Victories, she offers a message of hope that celebrates the triumph of light over the darkness in our lives. Our victories over hardship and pain may seem small, she notes, but they change us – our perceptions and our perspectives. Lamott writes of forgiveness, restoration, and transformation, how we can turn toward love even in the most hopeless situations, how we find meaning in getting lost and amazement each time we are finally found.

“Profound and hilarious, honest and unexpected, the stories in Small Victories are proof that the human spirit is irrepressible.”

Another thoughtful and insightful book by Ms Lamott, this time with a focus on the Grace of God. Grace is what gets us through our daily lives, especially when we want to chuck it all and give up. We are reminded that God is with us through the small minutia of life all the way to the big stuff. We are reminded we are never left alone.

The essays are short and easily read but will stay with the reader a long time after putting the book down, although, it is on my list of “To-reread” books. Ms Lamott is at turns funny, sometimes shocking in her attitude, and continues her rants against the Bush presidency. But don’t let her left-wing politics keep you from reading the wisdom she shares. God’s children are a diverse bunch and Ms Lamott – in her post-hippie life is no exception.

Rating: 5 out of 5 paws for helping me to see those improbable moments of Grace.

Reviewer: jack-loc Jack


Hallelujah, Anyway


Hallelujah, Anyway
Rediscovering Mercy

Anne Lamott
Riverhead Books, 2017

From the dust jacket, “As we struggle to navigate an increasingly complex world and understand our place in it, mercy points the way forward, Anne Lamott writes in Hallelujah, Anyway. In this insightful, encouraging book, Lamott explains that it is mercy – the promise to offer and receive relief and forgiveness – that lies at the heart of all great faith traditions and our own spiritual identity. As it has for millennia, mercy gives us the chance to, in Lamott’s words, “soften ever so slightly” to understand one another more deeply. By embracing mercy, we give our families, our communities, and even ourselves the opportunity to see the world in gentler and more engaging ways. Mercy is the medicine, the light that shines in dark places.

“With the sensitivity, wisdom, and humor that have won her millions of readers, Anne Lamott explains the importance of mercy in our lives, the extraordinary power it can have if we welcome it, and the unexpected value of sharing it with others and with ourselves. As forthright as it is honest, as surprising as it is joyful, Hallelujah, Anyway reveals both universal truths and a path home.”

Another one of Anne Lamott’s books we here are LOC truly loved. Like her other books, it is highly readable – meaning, accessible to anyone (whereas some inspirational books are clearly written by and for theologians and other spiritual thinkers). She weaves personal stories with profound wisdom that you don’t even realize you’re learning something. The chapters are short, as is the book so even if you’re super busy with work, kittens and other stuff, you’ll still find the time to read this book. And, reading in short snippets would probably be best – you don’t want to miss any of the pearls by reading too quickly!

Rating 5 out of 5 paws – yes, it is that good!

Reviewer: jack-locJack