If I were to chart my faith journey over the past twenty-some-odd years, it would look like the sort of bumpy line drawn to indicate the silhouette of mountain peaks or a person’s heartbeat on a hospital monitor. There have been times when I’ve felt close to God, when I’ve read my Bible daily and prayed without thinking about it and worshipped with everything in me at church. There have also been times when I’ve felt far from God, when my Bible gets dusty and prayer is something I remind myself to do and church is just something that happens on Sunday morning.
Yet even when I’m at the bottom of that bump, I want Jesus to be everything. And so the title of Mary DeMuth’s latest book caught my eye: Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus. In this book, Mary takes us through some of the up and down moments of her faith—and shows us how God has used those moments to draw her towards an Everything life.
Everything is broken into three sections: “We start with our heads, what we think about God. We’ll move to our hearts, the place Jesus wants to revolutionize, to become our everything. And we’ll end with our hands, how we live out Jesus’ internal transformations.” Many of the chapters felt as if Mary had written them just for me. I felt encouraged, as Mary had been, to know that I wasn’t the only one to deal with a particular struggle or doubt.
“I can choose to live a broken likfe out of my affection for Him. It’s the gift He loves to receive from His followers, not because He’s bent on our destruction, but because He knows we’re happiest when we’re most dependent on Him.” ~Mary DeMuth, Everything
Mary ends each chapter with Questions for Reflection and Discussion—excellent for journaling during your quiet time or for using in a group Bible study. She also includes quotes from various Bible translations and great Bible scholars. This is a book that made me want to grab my highlighter, to copy various notes and quotes onto pieces of paper to remind myself about important faith lessons that I forget all too easily.
Mary is the author of fourteen books, including her amazing Defiance Texas Trilogy that first got me hooked on her writing. She lives with her husband and three kids in Texas and says, “My deepest dream is to see stories—mine and others—change lives as they’ve changed mine.” To find out more about Mary and her books, check out her website or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.