This book is sub-titled "a legacy of quotes", and that is precisely what it is - a sequence of quotations from Roseveare's classic four volumes 'Living Sacrifice', 'Living Faith', 'Living Holiness' and 'Living Fellowship' (based on the four foundational principles of WEC International in which she gave a lifetime of service).
To anyone who has heard or read the life story of Helen Roseveare the element of sacrifice must appear overwhelming. Disappointment, betrayal, overstress, physical and mental abuse – all these seemed to dog her again and again. Yet her testimony was always supremely positive. In this book the chapter on sacrifice is far and away the shortest, and "sacrifice" is redefined as "privilege". True, the notes of loss and heartache are not played down, but they are subsumed into the overarching plan of God, much in the spirit of Paul's triumphant "more than conquerors" motif.
"Living Words" is defined in the introduction as primarily a devotional book, and the layout encourages the notion of using it on a "page per day" basis for private devotions. This does not seem to work too well, because the content of each page varies enormously, and the interplay of anecdote and spiritual application which makes the "Living Sacrifice" series such a compelling read is missing. However, if this book acts as a taster for the "Living Sacrifice" quartet, then it will serve a good purpose.
Donald Mackay, Knox Church, Perth