Review of "Growing Up Christian" by FR. JOHN BUSTAMONTE

A Beautiful Account of  God's Grace

There are many accounts of personal journeys that have led souls closer to God. But precious few capture our imagination, mirror the sentiments of our hearts, or put into words the remarkable reasons we are Christians. Dr. Stan Williams's memoir, however, does all that and more.

 

Each short chapter provides a beautiful account of God's grace at work in his life and the many lives that he encounters. Hardly a page can be turned without laughing out loud or nodding over a similar experience or even blinking away a tear or two at God's tender mercy. The familiar landmarks in Dearborn and Metro Detroit will likely awaken many happy memories for anyone who has grown up there.

 

Stan's account of his strict Protestant upbringing and the many denominations and communities he visited in his desire to know the Lord Jesus, ironically leave the reader with a remarkable sense that all Christians, regardless of their denominational barriers, share in the unity of the mystical Body of Christ.

 

The clarity with which he articulates why he accepted some aspects of each community's teachings and struggled with others, makes some of the biggest barriers between Christians seem surprisingly small. In so many places we see God's grace in the form of an "enlightened moment" where the obstacles that had moments before seemed dark and insurmountable, suddenly become well-lit bumps in the road.

 

Throughout the book, his wife Pam adds to the story. This makes the memoir all the more personal and heartfelt. You almost sense Stan's beloved wife looking over his shoulder as he writes--encouraging, reminding and filling in details only she could remember.

 

After years of not being able to give a clear answer to many who have come to me because they were troubled by their encounter with Charismatic Christians who demanded they speak in tongues, it was Stan's short account of being prayed over (for the gift of tongues) that suddenly made perfect sense to me. "I don't really think I'm supposed to speak in tongues to prove the Holy Spirit is with me," he said. It was a lighthearted reminder for all of us to "Strive eagerly for the greater spiritual gifts." Stan's book was one of the best gifts I've received in some time. When I finished it, I was so thankful, spiritually lifted and encouraged...especially after Pam's Postscript.

 

I pray that the Lord will continue to shower his graces upon Stan & Pam and their extended family. God bless them!

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