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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Everything Review

Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus  Book Description

“I don’t write this book as a condemnation or as a sermon. The last thing I want to do is provide a ‘how to be the best Christian in ten easy steps’ guide. I pen these words 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 . . .

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.

My Review:

When extended an opportunity to review this book, I was at first hesitant. I had never read anything by Mary Demuth. I knew nothing of her life or her walk with Jesus. I visited her blog and was intrigued, so I accepted the book. In a little over 200 pages Ms. Demuth truly does cover close to everything.

In three sections (head, heart and hands) we learn not only what Jesus has to offer, but the true sacrifice of following. From the truth that, "if we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us," to the reality that we have to relinquish control "the seven-letter word that demolishes everything". Ms. Demuth backs up her assertions with sound doctrine and direct Bible quotes as well as with her own personal experiences.

Each of the 18 chapters (six per section) ends with reflection questions to help you dig deeper and personalize what you have read. I have to admit, though, that my favorite chapter is the epilogue. Here Ms. Demuth pulls it all together and her honesty really shines. This is where she admits to the two Mary's. One wants to live an all out radical Jesus following life. The other is needy, ordinary, beset and flimsy. Oh how I can relate to that! She tells us that our growth from the ordinary to the everything follower is "in the moment-by-moment decisions we make for or against Jesus in our lives." How true! It isn't in the missionary trip we have been planning for years, or any other great thing we plan, but in the decision to take a few moments out of your day and be Jesus to your neighbor by checking in on them, or to the person in line ahead of you that just realized she didn't have enough money to pay her grocery bill (as her children cling to her leg and the meager amount of food sits bagged with a cashier questioning what she would like to do). "Jesus is modeled being a servant and giving up one's will," I pray that I better give up so that I can closer follow the One who is my everything.

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