Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Living Sacrifices by James Haywood Rolling, Jr.

Pleasant Word, 157921522X, $15.99

Is it possible to lead a successful, important life without feeling the need to shut out others, especially God? It is, so author James Rollings stresses in Living Sacrifices. Growing up in a self-imposed isolated state, Rolling recalls the folly of his youth and the ensuing emptiness he experienced and realized as a result. His story is not unique.

A life centered in self is doomed to wither and perish, while a life centered in others can only grow in strength and foundation, Rollings writes in this short (just over 200 pages) book, which reads more like a series of mini-books. Some sections dissect what Rollings calls the lies of self-importance, self-indulgence, and self-reliance, proposing that success in any aspect of life is not possible while these are observed. Later parts of the book are steeped heavily in biblical passages and Christian testimony. All chapters are tied together with eloquent poetry and spiritual reflection.

Rollings writes with an enthusiasm for the Lord borne of many years suffering from the same self-imposed afflictions he discourages in Living Sacrifices. A worthwhile read, Living Sacrifices is good therapy for the isolated soul.

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