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On the Anvil

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  819 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Lucado's keen observations on finding fulfillment in everyday life are beautifully presented in this gift edition, interspersed with full-page calligraphic renderings of Scripture by artist Timothy Botts. Through inspirational anecdotes and observations of life, Lucado compares the lives of Christians to blacksmith's tools in various stages of usefulness.
Hardcover, 140 pages
Published December 9th 1997 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published 1985)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes early attempts are not the best.

I'm a longtime fan of the Christian band Audio Adrenaline, but their very first album is an assault on my ears...and that's coming from someone who has given their other albums countless spins!

Such is the case here with Max Lucado's first book.

While there is some good content here, there's a lot of wasted space, and the chapters are so short, it's almost like a Twitter feed.

Mr. Lucado admits in the foreword that this wasn't his best book, and I'd agree;
Shawn Birss
If this book were caught in a breeze, all its content would be at risk of blowing away.

There is hardly anything to this book at all. It's even shorter than it looks, with each "chapter" barely two pages, and reading like an eighteen year old youth group leader's unedited tumblr blog posts, or even merely Facebook updates.

I have been grateful for Max Lucado's later writing. But I'm not sure how this one even was published. There is very little to justify why these short reflections even belong
Jan 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
Very pedestrian. I appreciate that it was his first book, but it's very didactic in tone...the stories are transparent...just not an engaging read. The one important thing I found, though, was chapter 43. The rest can disappear, but chapter 43 is important wisdom for all. I was hoping it would be more focused on the anvil analogy than it was, as my grandfather was a blacksmith and I love those types of anologies...but it was disappointing at best...the kind of book you just muscle through so you ...more
Sandy Gilliard
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very insightful

As a new Pastor, even though I'm almost 71 years old , I've been encouraged to press on in this calling God has placed upon my life with my bride of 48 years by my side. There are times when failures of my past haunt me and cripple what God is trying to accomplish through me and I read these examples of others that face the same issues, then I know I must make sure I'm hearing the right voice and know that He has equipped me for which He has called me. Thank you Max, this has been
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
The introduction for this edition indicates this was the first of his books and was drawn from articles written for the weekly church bulletin. I enjoyed it because he generally packs a lot in to the short entries. The idea for the whole book is the process of God molding and shaping us. The section headings are: The Pile of Broken Tools, On the Anvil, An Instrument for Noble Purposes. The shortness of the entries made it easy reading as a bedtime devotional with plenty to ponder afterwards.
Elizabeth Gibbs
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-star
As Max Lucado explains in the beginning, these short stories were originally written for a weekly church bulletin. I found some to be inspiring and thought-provoking, while others were just plain amusing. I enjoyed the insight into Max Lucado's life and look forward to reading more of his books.

Note: My favorites were chapters 16-19, 35, and 36.
Kerstin Gunia
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I think this was the first book he published, long before he became commercialized and a bestselling author. This is a book for the broken, forgotten, and discarded people that sit inside & outside the church. It is a loving reminder that God has a purpose for you and that He will continue to shape you into someone He can use in His kingdom. ...more
Adiah Oloma
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book for others to read. Who are you, who's purpose are you living for, yours of God's, are you living a life knowing that when your years on this life is to elapse, you can say you lived it well pleasing to God. I haven't read any of this author's book before now, but I sure do enjoyed this.
Veronica Ulicny
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Short, everyday stories of inspiration that give you a little glimmer of God’s grace in each chapter! Max Lucado writes so well and easy to read I had to slow myself down to sit with the sweet messages and not speed through it and miss things!
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
A good one.. quite an assorted collection!
Sally Andrews
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
An older book, and not as great as his writing gets later on, but still wonderful. Words of wisdom and faith. I love Max Lucado's writings.
Lloyd Hinkle
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
As always another great book by Max
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Easy to read devotional book. There are some true gems in there. As expected, Lucado is one of the most quotable authors today; this book is no exception.
Laurel Hicks
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Short, inspirational essays, some of his first.
Jun 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
It's a collection of tiny essays and anecdotes, which makes for a quick read. Some of the pieces are moving or insightful, but much of the book shows the signs of a young author who still hasn't found is voice. The book -- probably due to the nature of its construction -- isn't that cohesive. These pieces loosely cohere thematically, but it has more to do, it seems, with what was available rather than what made for an extended meditation on being "on the anvil".
Mar 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recent-reads
MUST READ!!! Time on God's anvil should clarify our mission and define our purpose. When a tool emerges from a blacksmith's anvil, there is no question as to why it was made, you instantly know its function. As a human being emerges from the anvil of God, the same should be true. We should exit the shop with no question as to why God made us. We know our purpose!
Jul 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
A great devotional book. Many things to think about. On the Anvil refers to all of us being somewhere in the blacksmith shop. We are either on the scrap pile, in the Master's Hands on the Anvil or in the tool chest. "For those who make the journey, who leave the heap, enter the fire, and dare to be pounded on God's anvil, a grand privilege awaits: to be called one of God's chosen instruments."
Heather Hampton
Apr 20, 2010 rated it liked it
This book is a collection of many small pieces that Max Lucado has done. This was his first published work and is made up of many small writings that were origionally written for his church. Although this book is made up of a variety of writings it is focused around how God shapes us and molds us as a blacksmith shapes and molds the metal he works with.
George Knoechel
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Not Lucado's best. Yes, it is his first book and I am surprised that the publisher put this book out. It is a confused collection of various themes that doesn't fit together. The prose is lacking and the stories lack the impact that his later works deliver on. Still, there are enough nuggets in between the cover that justify the three rating.
Jul 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianlits
This is the second Max Lucado book that i have read.

It's one ofthe books that (i admit) has touched me..The compilations of the short stories are good, so it's not that burdensome to read..=)

I will read it again..
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was the first Lucado book that I read. I picked it up and couldn't put it down. He speaks plainly but beautifully. You can feel his passion for sharing God's word in this book.
Ginger Clausen
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Something my husband and I bring up all the time. It's an image of God working on us, like a blacksmith works on metal. It's painful, but he only throws the pieces that aren't useful in the corner. It's always better to be on the anvil than not.
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Max Lucado always gets me. His insights are poignant and heartfelt. Each "thought" is only a couple pages long, so you can pick it up and put it down at your convenience. This book is an easy read with a great message.
Margaret Jo Lewis
It's Max Lucado, what can I say

Without a doubt the Author is used by God to bring the truths in God's word in such a life changing, simple way. He can make it so that one can see the application that was intended and believe that it is doable.
Shikha Phillips
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Max Lucado is a great writer, The illustrations and the tools he uses to communicate really help to get the mental imagery of the fact being spoken..
Its a collection of short writings by Max Lucado, very encouraging and inspiring.
Jul 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lucado
Aug 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: be read by all

stories in parallel to the Bible and wisdomly beautiful and heart warming words of inspiration.
Mar 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: seekers
Shelves: non-fiction
Maxs' most early writing........he gets much better with time.
Apr 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
One of my favorites by Lucado.
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Max Lucado's first book is one of his best. Short chapters that can be easily used as a morning meditation before walking out the door. GREAT READ!
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With more than 130 million products in print and several NYT bestsellers, Max Lucado is America's bestselling inspirational author. He serves the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy. His next book is publishing August 2018 and is titled Unshakable Hope.


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