07 June, 2011

Love Written in Stone, by Dr. Philip Carson

Love Written in Stone: Finding God’s Grace in the Boundaries He Sets, is written by Dr. Philip Carson who is a practicing family Physician in addition to serving as Senior Pastor at his home church in Sierra Madre, California,

Sadly, it can sometimes seem within the Christian community that serving the Lord actively means living outside of our natural ability in a way that tears us down and fails to bring Him glory. What others expect of us and what we view as “ministry” leaves us feeling overwhelmed, tired, and physically ill, and wondering how we will actually be able to accomplish everything on our to-do list while still being a sweet and supportive helpmeet to our husbands, patient mother to our children, encouraging sister to our church “family,” and creative keeper of our spotless home. We feel discouraged (and sometimes are chided) when we are unable to attend (or better yet, host or lead!) that women’s Bible study. We are told that it is far better to leave our babies in the nursery so that we “are free to serve the Lord” in the choir or youth classroom, even though it screams against our natural inclinations. We stay up late (yet again!) working on making the décor for the ladies’ tea or the food for the meal you have invited another family over for “just right,” We push our limits while dropping cliché’s like “all for the glory of God” or “God gives strength to the weary” from our bottomless bag of appropriate Christian statements. But who are we really kidding? Is this “good life” any better than our neighbors down the street who are honest about living life for their own esteem?

With candor and wisdom from his duel-responsibilities in the church and practice, as well as from family life as husband and father to four, Dr. Carson gives biblical perspective on areas such as commitments, health, relationships, finances, and time.  I found this book to be a primer of sorts in setting boundaries and feel that it is more for the new believer or for just the community at large. I wish that it faced head-on the expectations faced within the church. But overall, this book does offer guidelines derived from scripture which when followed, will allow the reader to experience more joy and contentment in their daily life. Trials do come, and temptations and persecutions arise, but often (at least here in America), our stress is often due to issues we brought upon ourselves due to greed or pride. This book will offer some guidance and it is worth reading.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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