on October 22, 2012
I thought I knew exactly what this book would be about. Having grown up a good girl in a denominational church my entire life long only to suffer tragic loss and betrayal as an adult (hence making my life one many would deem "ruined forever"), I've learned a gut-wrenching lesson or two about the difference between religion and relationship.
I've just finished Everything, though, and I'm stunned. I'm not sure I can find a way to articulate just what this book did to me, but suffice it to say that Mary DeMuth's inspired words left me with more hope than I've had in a long, long time, as well as a resolve to let go of the chains holding me to my past once and for all. I thought Jesus was my Everything already--I really did--but oh, how this book has challenged me in ways I never imagined.
I've read several of this author's books, and she never, ever disappoints. You won't find a better writer in the world than Mary DeMuth, and her amazing craft combined with a power behind her words that can only come from God Almighty Himself make the message of this book a force to be reckoned with. Read it and get ready for a life transformed. Amen.
on October 4, 2012
When I seen that, "Everything", was up for review, I jumped in for the tour. When you think of a book penned by Mary DeMuth, you know it's going to be from the heart. This book is pure and written in the beauty of truth. Most of all, you know your going to walk away blessed. While reading this gem you really do feel as though your having coffee with Mary. It has that heart to heart feeling. When you walk away, you know that your cup in longer empty, but completely full.
You gotta love when a woman of God opens up and shares of her own life with others so that we might learn a bit more about our walk with our Savior. In reading, "Everything", my heart was stirred. I was moved by everything this book holds. I never bend pages in my books. I rarely write in them. I do have a few where I have highlighted parts that have blessed me. In this book, the pages are bent and the words are highlighted. I could stop right there and that would be enough to tell you how wondrous this book is. But there is so much more to share!
I'm just going to share with you a few of my favorites throughout the book.
"We are more winsome when we listen. When we hold back our temper, when we choose not to stir up strife for the sake of proving our "correctness". Our job is not to convince others of their wrongness and our rightness. It's not to change people's hearts. (We did not create anyone's heart as far as I know. Only God can change a heart.) Our job is to represent Jesus, how He talked, how He acted, how He loved, how He wooed."
"We are not saved to a checklist of acceptable behaviors. We are saved by an irresistible Savior, one who deserves our allegiance, our lives, and our hearts. He is the wooing God, not a manipulative, coercive deity."
"When we operate by considering Jesus as the well, drawing all to Himself, we can rest instead in His genuine irresistibly and His ability to draw others to Himself."
"Feel now how you'd like to feel someday.
Play now like you'd like to play someday.
Live now as you'd like to live someday.
Risk now like you'd like to risk someday.
Pray now like you'd like to pray someday.
Give now as you'd like to give someday.
Forgive now how you'd like to forgive someday.
Rest now like you'd like to rest someday.
Be now as you'd like to be someday."
"Why do people change? Because they want to. Because they're inspired by the Holy Spirit to do so. Not because they are coerced, quilted, or forced."
"When we vow to live our lives a certain way, we subtract God from the equation of our lives. And when we vow to protect ourselves we rob God of His job."
"We want to live a life where we crave the things of God, hunger for righteousness, and worry more about what God thinks of our reputation than what others think."
"What we think about God, His world, and ourselves determines our growth story. If we have a low view of God, we will not go to Him to help or wisdom. If we overemphasize our depravity, we'll live in despair. If grace is the only aspect of God we embrace, we may veer toward a licentious lifestyle."
This is one of those books to share with others over coffee with your Bibles open. This read will spur you to seek more of Christ and it will encourage you on your journey with Christ.
This book was a gift from Thomas Nelson for its review.
on October 5, 2012
I've been grappling with writing this review for a few days now. I've been fortunate to be part of Mary's "Launch Team" for the book and so received an advance copy of the PDF. I've been blessed by participating in a closed group on FB with the other 100 or so members of that team.
I so wanted to be praising this book from the rooftops. All the other reviews (at present) are overwhelmingly positive which is fantastic. I worry that I've missed something significant.
But I must write what's in my heart.
This book has so much going for it. Let me list some of them:
1. Mary is a passionate lover of Jesus and pours herself into everything she writes. This is no different. We see Mary so wanting to share her journey, warts and all.
2. It's cleverly structured into 3 parts: What we Think, Who we are, and How we Live.
3. The writing is excellent using lots of great Scriptures as well as other appropriate references from people such as Oswald Chambers, who lived a life of giving "everything" to Jesus. As a result it is easy to read, not getting bogged down in over-complicated theology.
4. There are lots of super soundbites. I love soundbites, little takeaways that you can store to memory and draw out when chatting with others.
5. Mary's messages challenge you to stop, think and lean into Jesus some more. Which at the end of the day is a great outcome.
Mary's lived a rich life of experience. Some really tough times that have chiselled her character and strength in Jesus. What I've grappled with is I felt as the book progressed we had less of this experience from the perspective of taking me inside her story.
I'm a huge fan of Ann Voskamp's "1000 Gifts", which Mary also refers to. What was so compelling about that book was I felt Ann's story. I was present folding the laundry with her as she grappled with her faith, or sitting in the passenger seat as she went on her travels.
Reading "Everything" I felt I was in the dressing sheds being encouraged, at times exhorted, by Mary, my coach. Let me illustrate with two examples. The chapter titled, "Follow the Leader", is all about surrendering control of the daily happenings in our life to Jesus. This is one of those areas we all struggle with. We have the head knowledge, but how do you actually do it with all there is to get through each day. I would have loved Mary to take me inside her daily life, beyond list making, and shown me, how she may have done it in those days when everything insider of her is yelling, "trust yourself Mary, you're in control here."
Similarly, the last chapter that contains 10 disciplines that she has benefited from in her spiritual growth. These could easily fill an entire book itself and I'd encourage Mary to consider doing that. Once again, I didn't feel I was brought into her journey of self-discovery, rather told doing such and such would help you. But I'd suggest this was more to do with the need for brevity.
I loved how Mary summed the book up in her Epilogue by describing her two selves: the "Everything Mary" and the "Reality Mary". I feel this book would linger longer in my heart if we experienced first hand Mary grappling with her "twin selves" as many of us share this similar frustration.
Do read this book as you will learn a lot and be better equipped on your own journey.
on October 3, 2012
It's easy to say "I will give God everything I have" ... It's much harder to live that life. With sensitivity, short personal stories, and a slice of humor, Mary DeMuth's book, Everything, took me on a journey to discover what the term "everything" entails. I especially liked the short chapters that gave me time to process her points before moving on to the next topic. It's a worthy read... several times over.
on March 8, 2013
I was attracted to this book because...
I’ve found anything written by Mary DeMuth will be intriguing and challenge my thinking. I was also intrigued by the concept of Jesus being my everything.
This book was about
Mary DeMuth uses experiences from her life to develop the concept of what it means for Jesus to become our ‘everything.‘ Most of us understand Jesus should be our everything and we even say it out loud, “Jesus is my everything.’ But, the reality of what we have to surrender for this to become truth in our life is overwhelming.
Mary follows three truths to help us discover how we all Jesus to become our Everything. 1. Our head contains what we think about God. What we think about God matters. 2. Our heart is where we allow Jesus to reign in our lives. The heart is the place Jesus wants to revolutionize, where He can become our “Everything.’ 3. Our hands are the evidence of our obedience. Through our hands we live out Jesus’ internal transformation.
Things I liked about this book
Mary’s writing is full of encouraging descriptions of God’s love and transformation. She clearly proclaims God’s truth in a way that convicts you in love and encourages you to seek Jesus in a deeper and more intimate relationship.
Why you should read this book
If you are thirsty for more of Jesus, this is the book for you. It will provide practical steps for you to walk into more and more of God’s glory.
This book lived up to the back cover copy
What we think about God matters becomes an important thesis of the book. It is a critical concept for us to remember moment by moment in our day. Mary provides a refreshing look at how we think about God and where we can surrender our thinking to
tighten our thinking.
on November 9, 2012
Everything... What You Give and What You Get to Become like Jesus...
We want everything. But are we willing to give EVERYTHING?
Demuth's book left me wondering how to write this review. While there were some wonderful nuggets, I felt like I was just missing something. Somehow it felt like it missed the mark. But let's start with the high points:
Everything is very well structured. Broken into three sections, Mary Demuth takes us from the head (what we think about God), to the heart (how we feel about God), to the hands (how we're going to live out truth).
I love that the hands were included. After all, faith without works is dead. It's by living out truth that we own it.
At the same time, how we think about God is equally as important. If we don't believe that God truly loves us, why would be ever trust that he's going to lead us into truth?
Mary's passion for the Lord is clearly evident in her writing. Additionally her passion for readers to know God is equally as strong.
The book is challenging. There were moments that definitely made me stop and question my own faith.
There were a few things that stumped me however:
Although Demuth says this isn't a book about doing, some of her chapters made me questions otherwise. There were moments where I had to wonder if she wasn't preaching a works theology.
Demuth gives us glimpses into a very broken past which could certainly have been developed further which would have in turn furthered her message.
Some of the chapters felt repeditive.
Over all, I was pleasantly surprised by the final chapter. Demuth explores 10 Lessons Learned in Her Journey. This chapter was so meaty that they could easily be developed into a full book themselves. Some of the topics she touches on include:
The Discipline of Small Obedience over the Long Haul
The Discipline of Singing
The Discipline of Silence
The Discipline of Forgiveness
All in all, Everything is a good place to start. Some of the details could certainly have been fleshed out, but Demuth's work still stands as a challenge to all Christians in asking, "Are you ready to give Everything?"
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book for review. All opinions are my own.
on October 19, 2012
This book is about so many things.
Being honest before God.
our head, our heart, our hands...
who we are in Christ.
I had a hard time getting into this book. But, once I was in, I was in. This book showed me who I want to be in Christ...
"In a world bent on human glory, folks like these stand out. They're the bewildering kind who think much of Jesus, yet decrease into obscurity like John the Baptist. They understand the proverb, 'it is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory.' (prov. 25:27) They see beyond the veil of this world while they grasp the upside-down kingdom where meek inherit and strong fall, while God reins supreme overall." Mary DeMuth, from Everything.
This book gave me hope...
"Remembering God as creator reminds us that God is in the growth business." Mary Demuth
Isn't that a great way to think about God? And so full of hope and encouragement that HE IS STILL WORKING ON ME!! praise Him!!! I'm so thankful for that truth.
This book is about the gospel. The true gospel...
"The gospel of Jesus Christ should be both simple and profound. Simple in its beauty, but profound in the life change it should bring." Mary DeMuth
This book is about worship and self-preservation and how that becomes an idol...
"I've realized security and relational safety have become an idol. I worship peace and harmony, forgetting that kingdom work is messied with relationships that don't always work out the way we want them to. Jesus often calls us to risk. He asks us to be vulnerable, to be authentic, so others can see Him in and through us. If I continue to worship the idol of self-protection, I'll never grow in my relationships." Mary DeMuth
Well, I could go on and on with more quotes. I have quite a few highlighted lines in my book. That is the making of a great book, yes? I hope these few quotes I shared with you were an encouragement to you today! And if you are eager for more, check out this great book.
on September 28, 2012
I have been blessed to be a part of the launch team for "Everything", the newest book by Mary DeMuth. This book has been a blessing in my life. It is not written by someone who thought there needed to be another book about Jesus. This was written by Mary DeMuth, a woman who opened herself up and wrote a book from her heart about what Jesus really wants from us.
If you want a deeper relationship with Christ, "Everything" brings it together. If you want to be everything God created you to be, "Everything" inspires. Don't come at this book without a highlighter and a pencil. It's pointless to read this book without an open mind and a willing and bendable heart. "Everything" will change your heart and allow Christ to transform your life.
I was completely amazed at how Mary pinpointed my needs. I was in awe at how she honed in on the problems that affected me. I'll let you in on a little secret. She is as human as you and me. She struggles. She wins sometimes and she loses sometimes, but her determination and perseverance in Christ remain strong. This is what she teaches. Jesus can be your EVERYTHING through the bad times and the good. He never forsakes you even when you feel all alone. He wants to be your everything. His desire is to walk by your side every step of your journey.
In addition to this review, I plan on blogging about my journey through "Everything" the book toward a place where I can truly say, "Jesus is my Everything." Even though this journey will not end until my life on Earth is done, I will be able to say with confidence that Jesus truly gives my life meaning and He is my everything.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an electronic copy free from Thomas Nelson as part of the Everything Launch Team. 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."
on January 2, 2013
Although I was unfamiliar with Mary DeMuth prior to reading the free review copy of "Everything", I'm now a big fan of her work.
The main point of the book is simply to make Jesus your everything. That sounds so easy, so cliche, and certainly sounds like something that has been said before. It begs the question: Why write a book like that? It can't possibly contain any original thoughts, right?
Wrong. I've been a Christian for a long time, and heard thousands of sermons and read more books than I can count, but I've never heard anyone put it like DeMuth does. The purpose of this book isn't to pretend to come up with new ideas about how to live life. It's more like a compass: coupled with a map, it helps the reader re-orient and get back to a place where he can find True North and then find his way back to where he should be.
"Everything" is a breath of fresh air. At the end of a year when so many believers are expending their energy associating their Christianity with the stance they take on Chick-Fil-A, or their preferred political party, DeMuth encourages the reader to make it all about Jesus:
"The gospel...shouldn't merely be the crutch we fall on when life gets ugly. It should be the legs we walk on, the air we breathe."
I recommend Mary DeMuth's "Everything" for all Christians, and I intend to check out her previous work.
on January 1, 2013
I received this book for free from Booksneeze in exchange for a fair and honest review of the book. The opinions expressed here are my own.
In her surrender, DeMuth 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.
This is a must have book for anyone seeking to understand scripture and become more dedicated in their relationship with Christ. The writing style that DeMuth has is not only gentle, it draws the reader in and makes you feel like you are sitting there, listening to her minister to you, and it soothes the soul.
I wanted more and I loved every word that DeMuth had to say. I took comfort in her words, and took to heart what she had to say about how to surrender all to Christ every day and become more like him.
This is a must have for anyone who seeks Christ and wants to become more like him!