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**GIVEAWAY UPDATE:

THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY- VANESSA!

Thanks for all your generous responses, and to those who even subscribed and started following my blog without leaving a comment!  There will be more opportunities for quality giveaways coming in the future.  Praying you are blessed with grace and peace multiplied in your life!

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Last week I posted an article by Mary DeMuth on dealing with our people pleasing tendencies.

Today, we get an insider’s view of her book “Everything: What You Get and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus” through an interview.

But the fun doesn’t stop there.  I am so excited about the heart-mind-life changing contents of “Everything” that I’m going to GIVEAWAY A FREE COPY to one of YOU!  (See the contest details at the bottom of this post.)

Here it goes!

Q: Why did you write the book, Everything?

A: I wanted to explore something I’d been seeing in the church. Why is it that some people can walk with Jesus 20 years and yet don’t seem to grow at all? Why do some people know Jesus a week and grow more? Why do some stagnate while others thrive? This book is the answer to that question.

And the gist is, those who grow have learned the secret of elevating God and persevering no matter what the circumstances. They’re resilient, joyful, and fretless.

Why? Because they’ve truly, truly encountered Jesus Christ.

Once we meet Him, our lives will never be the same.

Q: Tell us a little about the book.

A: The book is organized in three sections:

  1. Our head: what we think
  2. Our heart: who we are
  3. Our hands: how we live

How we become sold-out, Everything Christians starts with how we think about God. He must be captivating, and we must be astonished by His irresistible ways.

We can’t neglect our hearts because everything flows from them. We can’t superimpose religious rules on ourselves and expect to be joyful or successful in the kingdom. Instead, we run to Jesus, asking Him to change us from the inside out.

And to truly live the Bible, we must obey it. We are spiritually obese. We know theology, but we fail to love our neighbor. To truly grow in Jesus, we must obey His words.

Q: Why is it important to heal from the wounds in your past?

While God doesn’t want us to always look behind us, and He longs for us to engage life in the Great Right Now, we still must take pains to heal from what hurt us in the Great Back Then.

Why?

Because the pain from the past is a terrible ghost, haunting us when we don’t want it to. We think we can shove it way down deep, pretend it didn’t happen. We push it like a beach ball beneath the surface of our lives, spending way too much energy keeping it submerged. But life comes along, and we get tired. And the ball bounds to the surface, usually manifesting itself in our behavior.

For the sake of the people in our lives, we must, must, must choose to heal. Otherwise we will repeat the mistakes and sins of the past.

To live fully alive today is to let God into the dark places, giving Him permission to heal. This often comes through the power of community. You cannot heal alone. And it is a holy risk to share your story with someone. But it’s worth it.

Q: You talk about a hyperactive conscience in the book. What is that? And how have you overcome it?

A: A hyperactive conscience is one that constantly condemns you for every single thing you do or don’t do. It’s one of the things I struggle with most. I hear these mean voices in my head telling me I’ll never amount to anything, that I’m bound to repeat the sins of the past. It’s a defeating voice, and by entertaining it, I fall into despair.

I used to mistake this voice with God’s, thinking He was perennially angry with me. Then I realized that when the Holy Spirit convicts, He does so with peace, and a feeling of joy. The other voice comes from the pit of hell.

It’s been a long journey learning to stop those lies, to combat them with the truth of Scripture, and find true, lasting freedom.

You do not need to be held hostage by an angry conscience. Jesus will set you free from yourself.

Q: How can failure be good?

A; It reminds us that He is God and we are not. Failure shows us that we need God. It helps us understand that God isn’t after our success as much as He values our faithfulness in the midst of pain and trials.

Q: What happens when we have a low view of God?

A: When we have a low view of God, people and things and success loom larger in our hearts. We need people to love and approve of and applaud us to feel okay. We buy things to satisfy a longing only God can fill. We pursue success thinking that will finally validate us.

But only Jesus can fill us all the way up. Only He is able to forgive, mend, heal, and bless us. He is big. We are small. And in light of that bigness, we can see that our problems are always smaller than Him.

Q: Why is control such an issue for believers today?

A: Because we live in the land of control. We can be the answer to our own prayers. We don’t need to call on God when we’re sick; we simply go to the doctor. I shudder to think how much control I have over my life (or try to have). When I try to micromanage my relationships and my work, I live on a scary treadmill, always worried I’ll fall off.

Letting go of control is the essence of the Christian life. Why? Because Jesus demands full allegiance. He deserves it. And when we live our lives independent of Him, we ultimately live without peace.

Mary DeMuth is a nationally-known speaker and the author of 14 books. Her passion is to help folks live uncaged, freedom-infused lives. These questions are based on her release, Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus (Thomas Nelson). http://amzn.to/yxEeaz. Find out more at http://www.EverythingTheBook.com

DRUMROLL PLEASE…..

“EVERYTHING” GIVEAWAY: 

Now that you’ve gotten a detailed glimpse into some of the topics of Mary’s book, I’m sure you are wanting to read it.  So, I am going to send it to one super special reader…maybe YOU!?!  

There are several ways to enter the contest to WIN:

1. Leave a comment about your favorite ice cream flavor.  I’m really looking forward to summer…can you tell?  Or you can tell me what you liked about Mary’s interview answers. Either one, I’d love to hear.

2. “Like” my Facebook page: Up, In and Out, then come back and tell me you did so in the comment section.  

3. Subscribe to my blog (see the top left margin for subscribe option) for to get each post emailed to you (you can always unsubscribe if my once-or-so a week posts overwhelm you – no pressure 🙂 and then comment saying you subscribed. 

4. Share a link to this post on your FaceBook wall so others can see it too, then let me know you did it with a comment on this post.

There you have it.  Up to 4 entries possible, and the winner will be selected randomly by Wednesday, March 6.  *if you don’t win this time- don’t be sad.  I’ve got more fun things to give away soon.  Stick around.

*note: Sweet friends…if you know me, you know I’m a love me some quiet space, non-hype type.  All this crazy social media mayhem for entering this giveaway is only to help spread the word about the stuff I feel God is doing.  I’m praying God’s hand is on it– I just want to be a part of drawing people’s hearts to God’s heart, and this is one way in this day and age to offer His message to as many hearts and minds as possible.  Thanks for doing it with me.