YOU! GOD'S BRAND NEW IDEA is a rich compilation of some of Max Lucado's most savory turns of phrases and lessons, drawing on 15 of his previously published titles.
The theme behind the idea is that each of us is made for specific purposes of God. Therefore, different sections of the book focus on different aspects. Topics include "Made By God," "Made to Be Unique," "Made for God's Purpose" and "Made for God's Glory." The result is a work that reminds us that God is behind and in all things. Most importantly, God is with us.
Some of the entries are only a few sentences long while others span a two-page spread. Lucado invites us to imagine the fullness of God's creativity and all the fun He had during creation. Then, he challenges us to reflect on the creative flair used to create man, a welcome reminder that we all bear His image like a stamp.
Another entry reminds us that God is the author of our life. As a result, our temperaments, character texture and personality were all specifically designed by God. He is the ultimate author, the bestselling creator of all, and He does not make mistakes.
A few of the entries carry a bit of humor. Lucado tells the story of Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey, the hosts of the popular "Rick and Bubba Show," a radio program based in Alabama. Animators once made a cartoon of Rick and Bubba, but Bubba couldn't make the producer happy, no matter how hard he tried. Exasperated, he finally cried out, "If I am me, how can I mess up?" Lucado uses this as a welcome reminder that "when it comes to being you, you were made for the part."
Overall, this book is a welcome encouragement that God has designed us specifically for His purposes and His glory. The very things that make us unique are pleasurable to God and can be used to bring glory to His kingdom. Throughout, Lucado reminds us that our gifts are meant to be used to make a big "to-do" out of God. We are to herald and honor Him with all we have.
The design of this work is classic and old-school in a good way. The yellow-hued gift book is filled with fun '50s-style fonts and pull-out quotes that make it fun for the reader. It even has a few interactive pages where readers can fill in the blanks, though it's unlikely anyone would want to mark up their books due to the clean design.
YOU! GOD'S BRAND NEW IDEA is recommended to fans of Max Lucado and those looking for a gift for a friend or family member who needs a little encouragement and a reminder not just of who they are but --- more importantly --- whose they are.
Reviewed by Margaret Oines on April 3, 2007