Book Review – The Cause Within You

In Deuteronomy, God says that he defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow and loves the foreigners, giving them food and clothing {Deut. 10:18}. If God defends a cause, we ought to get right behind him in it, which is what Matthew Barnett has done.

Barnett currently oversees the LA Dream Center, a converted hospital building that now serves the last and least – rehabilitating drug addicts, housing the homeless, clothing the naked, helping rebuild the lives of natural disaster victims.. they even gave my favorite band a place to stay while they were on tour in the area. It is the living, breathing manifestation of the State Farm motto: Like a good neighbor, the Dream Center is there.

In his book The Cause Within You, Matthew Barnett invites the reader to embark on the journey of the DC from the beginning to its current state, honestly sharing the moments he felt inadequate, insufficient, and like giving up. Packed with real-life stories of lives changed through the ministry of the Dream Center, it is an inspiring book that leads the reader to begin searching within them. What can I do? What has God put on my heart? How will I respond?

The book was inspiring and challenging. It had me looking upward and inward. It could be easy to read this book and limit ourselves {and, unfortunately God}. It would be easy to compare ourselves to Matthew Barnett or our cause to the Dream Center. But throughout the book, I got the sense that Matthew was more concerned that we stop and ask God to reveal the cause he’s placed in us right now at this very moment, where we are at. True, we are not all called to give up everything and move to L.A. and serve at the Dream Center. But we are all called to love the “least” and the “last.” God did a new, great thing in building up the Dream Center through the faith and obedience of Matthew Barnett and he wants to build up new, great things through all of us. The Cause Within You helped remind me of that.

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I was provided a copy of this book for free by the publisher in exchange for a review.