In her book, Everything, Mary DeMuth writes about letting God transform every part of our lives---our thinking, our hearts, and our hands. We can give it all to Jesus and trust Him with the results. It is, in essence, a book about living the greatest commandment: "Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength."everything
Always vulnerable, always real, always honest, always practical, Mary DeMuth's description of the Everything life can shake up our expectations. It doesn't mean ministry is always successful in the way we define success. It doesn't mean relationships are always smooth and peace always easy. It doesn't mean our plans always work or our past is always perfect. It just means we trust God with every part of our lives and serve Him with whatever He's given to us.
Mary herself talks frequently about how her imperfect childhood has been transformed by God's grace and her time on the mission field of France, far more difficult than she had imagined, was a precious time of yielding everything to God.
Sometimes it was the unexpected twists that kept this book interesting and relevant for me. Her thoughts about writing, for instance, were precious and often missed in our celebrity society: focusing on what God wants her to say rather than pushing and pushing and pushing for success, striving to be noticed and to build a platform.
My favorite portion of the book is actually her discussion of spiritual disciplines because she assumed you knew the basics like Bible reading, church attendance, and prayer, and wrote instead about truly unexpected but absolutely beautiful disciplines we often overlook: Rest, forgiveness, creativity, silence, gratitude and others.
In some ways, the book is about the lessons she has learned in disappointments, "failures," and unexpected life events. It's about not fighting against God, but surrendering it all to Him.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
To me, the goal of every Christian should be to live like Jesus. In the book, Everything, author Mary DeMuth writes about exactly what it takes to grow in Christ and become like Him.
I have to warn you, while DeMuth claims that she didn't intend for the book to read as a condemnation or sermon - it kind of does. That doesn't mean that I didn't really enjoy it. I really, really did. I've been a fan of hers, for a while now, and I was really excited to read (and review) Everything.
But it was just enough to bring her to a place of surrender, piece by precious piece. In that surrender, she found the freedom of giving everything to God. And through Scripture, community, and the work of the Holy Spirit, she gives it all over again, every day.
In this gentle and challenging book, DeMuth describes the process and the nuances that shape us to be more like Christ. Her words are clear, vulnerable, and thought provoking, and every chapter is infused with Scripture.
Most of all, DeMuth provides personal and practical evidence that there is no greater pursuit than Christ. We must surrender everything, but it does not compare to the Everything He is, the Everything He gives.
Here's my review - in bullets:
- The book is very well structured. The way she broke it into three sections makes for a very easy read.
- I really like how DeMuth takes her readers from the head (what we think about God), to the heart (how we feel about God), then to the hands (how we're going to live out truth).
- As someone who is still a "baby" in my faith, Everything was very challenging, thought-provoking and educational. I can imagine that it would make some "hardcore Christians" stop and question their faith.
In a nutshell, I really enjoyed this book, and would definitely recommend it.
I'll leave you with this quote from DeMuth's website, "_we must surrender everything, but it does not compare to the Everything He is, the Everything He gives."
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÂ®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I just finished reading Everything, What you Give and What you Gain to Become Like Jesus, by Mary DeMuth. Let's just suffice it to say, I am speechless and on my knees.
Mary DeMuth speaks from experience when she challenges us to embrace all that God has for us, even in the painful valleys. She calls sin, sin. She takes those Scriptures that so many people tend to throw out to "encourage" you and teaches them from the context of Scripture, many still being able to be a source of help. She very candidly reminds us what God requires of us, but doesn't leave us hanging there. He cares so much about our spiritual life; so much more than our physical.
God moves the DeMuth family to France to minister. This was a very difficult season for Mary as she takes us through what God taught her and how He works through His children. We all struggle our whole lives in the fleshly body to overcome sin, handle the daily pressures, some which tend to take our breath away, and strive to become more like Jesus. This book is one of the best I've read to help women accomplish all of these things.
Little did I know how much I needed this in light of the next month of my life. I love the Lord and so want to be a picture of His grace. I can't go down fighting. I must embrace Him as everything.
"Sometimes our obedience to Jesus Christ costs others."
I know if you're a Christian, most of us can agree with that statement. Simply put following Jesus can cost us the lives of people who were once in our lives or often times keep people from truly getting to know us. Sometimes just the label of the term "Christian" is enough to steer people in the opposite direction. So just how do we keep on the path we are intended, while the world around us falls apart and points the fingers in our direction often times?
Jesus said it Himself, that persecution would follow those of us that take us the cross and follow Him. He never promised that the path would be smooth and beautiful along the way there, but there would be a cost involved. Is it one you have considered taking? Is it one you have questioned whether the effort is truly worth it in the end?
In the book, Everything by Mary Demuth, she illustrates some of those changes believers face on their walk of trying to be the best we can in virtually everything we do as Christians. She writes this book as a fellow struggler who is learning that what we think about God matters, how we allow Him to reign in our hearts matters, and how we obey Him in the moment matters. It all matters. Everything. Author and speaker, Mary DeMuth has been abused, foreclosed, abandoned, and betrayed. She has been pressed and drained till it was too much and it was enough to bring her to surrender piece by piece. In this book, she illustrates how she did it and hopes to encourage you wherever you are at in your walk right now.
Each chapter in this book includes a timeless quote or scripture reference from the Bible, a personal story from Mary's life, how she incorporates that into the Christian walk and what the Bible has to say about that situation, along with some discussion questions to draw you deeper into your own personal study or perhaps in a small Bible study group. There are chapters dedicated to worry, healing, dealing with your own thoughts, money issues and growing as a Christian. There are countless pieces of wisdom contained with these pages and ones that you will want to capture, notate and highlight to help encourage you when the storms of life come calling.
I received Everything by Mary DeMuth compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and TLC Book Tours for my honest review. Even great running cars need a tune up every now and then to keep it in the best shape it can be and to help keep it running smooth. As a believer in Christ, I truly believe that books like this one, are designed to encourage us and keep us running smooth and to keep up in the best possible shape we can be in our personal walk of faith in Jesus Christ. I encourage you to pick up a copy of Mary's book today and even use it for personal study or more importantly in a small church group Bible Study! I personally rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars.