Friday, February 12, 2010

Thin Places

When I started reading Mary DeMuth’s memoir Thin Places I knew enough about this incredible author to expect chapters about her difficult childhood, which included sexual abuse, the death of her father, a mother who divorced multiple times, parental neglect, and exposure to drugs. However, I did not expect to relate so much to her journey or to the many “thin places” where God made Himself so beautifully real to her.

Thin places are described as “snatches of holy ground, tucked into a corner of our world, where we might just catch a glimpse of eternity.” This book goes far deeper than Mary’s personal story and all that she endured while growing up. Jesus and her growth in Him shines through all of that, thanks to her attention to how He reveals the sacred even in excruciating emotional pain. As a result, I couldn’t help reflecting on my own childhood, teen years, and adulthood and tracing how God drew me to His side, held my hand through darkness, loved me through mistakes and painful seasons of growing, and continues to use flawed, needy, insecure me. Mary’s courageous willingness to share her life in all its raw detail, including the shattering experience of rape, the affects of childhood exposure to pornography, battles with legalism, and inner struggles with that natural human desire for attention, freed me to face my own secret struggles, knowing I wasn’t alone. I can’t track how many times I smiled with relief at a page of her book thinking, thank you, God; I’m not the only one!

Thin Places is beautifully written, honest, and engrossing. While some chapters (particularly those having to do with her abuse) are gut-wrenching to read, they are clearly necessary and add to the triumph as God’s healing hand moved through each phase of one woman’s life.

Thank you to Zondervan publishers for providing me with a copy of Thin Places to review.

To find this book on Amazon, click on the title of today's blog.
To learn more about Mary, visit her website at

Friday, February 05, 2010

Do You Need a Gift for Someone Over 55?

Last week I had the honor of receiving the first hot-off-the-press copy of my friend Diane Harper's first book. Nothing Between: A Devotional for Seniors is a book that I got to watch evolve from the first chapter brought to our critique group. But I don't recommend this book just because the author is a friend, or even because I edited the first draft. It really is a wonderful devotional.

Nothing Between brings the issues that seniors face--aging, retirement, and change, along with universal struggles with relationships, finding God's will, and abiding in Christ--into the light of God's Word. In addition to the typical true-to-life stories, Scripture, and prayers that we expect to see in devotional books, readers also receive thoughts for the week, which include space for recording experiences and reflections. Diane incorporates stories and struggles from her own life, showing readers that she has been where they are and seen God work magnificently.

So if you are a senior looking for a devotion that speaks to your needs, or know someone over 55, find a copy of Nothing Between. It is available through Amazon or WinePress Publishing Group.