You know how you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover? Well, I did it anyway.
(I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I looked at the cover of More: From Messes to Miracles by Tammie Head and knew that it was my kind of book. The cover design left me wanting exactly that — more. Then I moved on to the description on the back cover:
“What if more of God is actually what’s missing from your life?
Whether it’s a messy life or a messy problem,
it can become a walking miracle when we see God anew
and wholly surrender to Him.
You were made for more than surviving.
Old stale religion never satisfies.
Neither do the solutions the world has to offer.”
Yeah, I’ll have more of that, too. Sign me up. You see, I’m kind of dealing with something these days, something addressed in More. I’ll get to that later, though.
Here are my favorite things about More:
The Focus on God’s Unfailing, Relentless Love
I love that this book and the message of God’s love for His children is so perfectly woven into every page. I love that it’s done in a way that resonates with readers from all backgrounds: “ramshackle souls,” saints, unbelievers, lifelong believers, and everyone in between. His love – the magnitude, the intentionality, the miracle of it – is the central theme. How can we not want more of that?
I love the reminder that, even at my worst, I am loved beyond comprehension and I’ve always been loved that way. This God of ours has gone to unthinkable lengths to show His love over and over again and continues to do so. Who doesn’t need to hear that every day?
Saying goodbye to being “churchy”
Here’s the thing: none of the things in More were new to me. I knew all of this. I gave my life to God as a young child and, although I’ve certainly messed up along the way, I’ve been serving alongside my husband in ministry before we even married thirteen years ago. Helping others connect with God and stay connected is what we dream about; it’s who we are individually and as a couple.
That might just be the problem, though. The thing is, just like the statement on the back cover, I’m seeing more and more that “old stale religion never satisfies.” I’m so over that. That alone has left me longing for more. So much more.
I needed the reminder that ministry and passionately walking with God do not necessarily go hand and hand. As a family in ministry, it’s easy to get caught up with church obligations and programs. That phrase about being so busy working for God that you don’t make time to be with Him rings true more often than I’d care to admit.
In this season, I’ve found myself hungry for more of Him than ever before and so dissatisfied with a stained glass, Sunday best kind of American Christianity. I acknowledge that I sound a bit high and mighty in saying that, but I simply mean that what many churches value most isn’t New Testament Christianity. And that should wreck all of us who aim to be about our Father’s business.
It’s all about Him
Ultimately, More reminded me that God wants me to keep my eyes on Him and Him alone. It’s past time for me to sit down, be still, and look to Him. I mean well, I really do, but I get entirely too worked up over other people and trying to understand why they don’t want more of Him, more than a barely mediocre unfulfilled life. But the only way I’ll ever be able to truly rest in His arms is by making my life about Him and not who else is or isn’t living for Him.
It’s not a bad thing to care about those around us and if they dance with God, too. Of course it’s not, but what I have isn’t authentic if it’s not focused on Him. When I’m focused on Him and savoring the fact that I’m His and I’ve always been His, I’m my very best. The whole-hearted, completely in love with my Savior me has a much better chance of bringing glory to His name and drawing others to Him than the spiritually A.D.D. me.
Enough about me, though. A couple of other things you need to know about More is that it’s written for anyone who feels a bit of a mess sometimes or all the time. (Which is all of us, right?) The whole point of More is to help us see that God can and will turn our messes into miracles when we surrender to Him and stop trying to sweep those messes under the rug or shove them into a closet.
Also worth noting is that More is written in such a way that you can relate regardless of where you are in your spiritual journey (or lack thereof). There are words and phrases that might be unfamiliar, but they’re explained well throughout the book.
Speaking of those explanations, steps for walking with God daily are listed in Chapter Five. Friends, these steps and their explanations are spot-on. Conviction, repentance, teachability, and intercession are covered and covered beautifully. Those words and concepts can be confusing and intimidating and Tammie’s breakdown of these are too good not to mention.
Nutshell summary: Tammie Head’s More is more than an encouraging read. It’s the kind of book that reminds you of just how much you are loved and that only way to truly experience all that He has for you is fully give yourself to Him.