Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus, Mary DeMuth (4 stars)

About Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (October 16, 2012)

Readers discover exactly what it takes to grow in Christ and become like Him.

You don’t need a plan, and you don’t need a program. To experience the abundant Christian life, you only need Jesus. In Everything, critically acclaimed author Mary DeMuth answers the question: what exactly does it take to become more like our irresistible Savior? The answers readers find will inspire and surprise them. They discover revolutionary insights about:

* how undecorated obedience brings unprecedented spiritual growth
* how to rise above doubt, worry and fear
* how to develop an intimate friendship with the Holy Spirit
* how to cherish brokenness as a wide open pathway to God
* and much, much more

A life committed to Jesus is not about spiritual “bootstrapping,” pulling up our broken selves, hoping God didn’t notice our stumbling. With hard-hitting words written in love and smothered in biblical truth, Everything reminds us that the spiritually vibrant life we long for can be grasped. We must fight for it, strive for it ceaselessly, reach for it when we fall, and lift our hands in praise when we’re victorious. With extraordinary writing and fresh thinking, this groundbreaking book inspires believers to give everything to Jesus to gain everything he offers.

Review

In the journey to giving Jesus everything so that we may know the depth of his love, the author breaks the book down into three sections...

Head - What We Think
Heart - Who We Are
Hands - How We Live

Each section touched me. The author seemed to know me, but more than that, I think her honesty finds a similar place in all of us. The struggles she describes are struggles we all face in some way or another. Then, to strengthen each section, the author provides a list of questions for reflection and discussion. I found this helped me focus on the intent of her messages.

The progression between sections made a lot of sense... what we think becomes who we are and ultimately affects how we live. The author emphasizes how we try to control our lives, focusing on our to-do lists and feelings of success versus failure. She describes control as, "that thing we crave, grab at, sacrifice much of our hearts to have ... Control is the inner disease of those who need stability and order to function."

As control diverts us from our everything, so does worry. My favorite line from the entire book, the one that hit me between the eyes...

"Worry is a weighty monster with poisoned tentacles.
It clutches at us, grabs our minds, steals our breath, our will.
It lurks. It pounces. It colors how we perceive the world."

Throughout these lessons, the author shares how she falters and stumbles along the way. It never seems preachy or from someone who doesn't understand, who can't relate. The author has clearly had tough times, and times where she couldn't see past her own circumstances. When she talks about pursuing relationships and community even after pain and a broken heart, you believe her and feel empowered to do the same.

This book will touch each reader in different ways, but I can't imagine the reader it won't touch. The only thing I thought was missing was a little more insight into the author's life. She hinted at details at times, but I wanted more. However, I understand that her life story is more detailed in her novel, Thin Places. I assume reading that in conjunction with this would only add to this novel's power.

If you are looking for encouragement on your religious journey, I believe this book will take your hand and help you on your path. Or, if you know a friend struggling with finding their everything through Jesus, it would make a great gift... especially with the holidays fast approaching.

Rating: 4 stars

About Mary DeMuth

Mary DeMuth is an author and speaker who loves to help people live uncaged, freedom-infused lives. She’s the author of fourteen books, including six novels and her critically acclaimed memoir Thin Places. After church planting in Southern France, Mary, her husband, and their three teenagers now live in a suburb of Dallas.

Find out more about Mary at marydemuth.com, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Thanks to TLC Tours for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.

Please visit other stops on the Everything Blog Tour page.

*****

Additional Praise for Everything

“No one closes this book unchanged. It ennobles desires. It releases dreams.”–Leonard Sweet, best-selling author, professor at Drew University and George Fox University and Chief Contributor to Sermons.com

“Let’s be honest. Most of us who follow Christ are holding back. We want Christ but are convinced we’ll miss something if we surrender everything. In this challenging but tender book, Mary DeMuth invites us to give Him everything in order to experience Him as Everything. In the end, it is the only course that will satisfy our deepest longings.”–Michael Hyatt, New York Times best-selling author of Platform and former CEO, Thomas Nelson Publishers

2 comments:

heathertlc said...

I'm glad you found this book helpful. Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

Tia Bach said...

Thanks, Heather!