ForeWord Reviews

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It's Hard to Have a Mouse-free House

God's 10 Disciplines for a Happier, Healthier and more Prosperous Life

Foreword Review

Imagine, for a moment, that negative thoughts, words, and actions are like mice that scurry around a well-stocked house, feeding constantly and growing bigger and furrier every minute. Eradication of such a widespread infestation might seem impossible, but what if you had the ultimate expert to help?

The unifying theme for Mary Ellen Stewart’s work on living according to God’s word, the metaphor of a mouse in the house is grounded in an actual incident. Nearly two decades ago, Stewart and her husband returned from a vacation to find a mouse infestation in full swing. When she was praying about various problems a few months later, the Lord sent a message, saying, “It’s hard to have a mouse-free house, but with God, all things are possible.”

From there, Stewart deepened her study of ten areas of discipline related to God’s word: worldliness, words, thoughts, pride, fear, unforgiveness, finances, health, prayer, and perseverance. Although it might seem that areas like finances and forgiveness don’t match up precisely, Stewart’s expert handling of the subjects creates cohesion across all the disciplines.

Stewart writes that if people don’t heed God’s advice in these ten disciplines, “Satan will creep in and spoil our lives—just like a mouse, when given the opportunity, will sneak in and defile our homes.”

The straightforward, passionate resource she’s written to boost her own spiritual growth should prove useful to those who also want to fulfill Jesus’ commandment to walk in love. Each chapter takes on different aspects of a discipline, and Stewart covers a wide array of common issues, from overcoming pride and fear to recognizing stress and physical challenges.

She weaves together topics in mind, body, and spirit to show how much God is present in our lives, and her extensive use of Bible verses bolsters her insights, in addition to providing excellent reference points for Bible study groups. By sprinkling in personal anecdotes occasionally, Stewart maintains an accessible, warm tone that makes some passages seem almost like letters written from a friend.

Just as a homeowner can plug the holes and crevices in a home’s foundation to ward off mice, so too can anyone bolster one’s spiritual home by following God’s word and meditating on His insights. In presenting her thoughts with clarity and strength, Stewart skillfully provides a plan for mice eradication that’s non-denominational, easy to follow, and best of all, deeply helpful for those who seek to walk a more spiritual path and to live a more trouble-free life.

Elizabeth Millard