Browse Month: August 2018

Review – The Spiritual Gifts Handbook by Randy Clark & Mary Healy

Book description

People today need more than a message. They need an encounter with the living God.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are God’s answer to the darkness of our time, able to convince even the most broken and hardened of hearts that God is real, present and active in our lives. And as the Holy Spirit pours out His gifts among believers, He is uniting Christians of every denomination as one Body.

With wisdom and practical insight, international healing minister Randy Clark teams up with acclaimed Catholic Bible scholar Mary Healy to show that the gifts of the Spirit are for all believers. The authors walk you through biblical texts, dispel misconceptions and show the endless variety of gifts. And they reveal how you can activate the gifts in your own life and use them to benefit others. 

Review

This is my second book co-authored by Randy Clark. I really like the way he shares his own experiences with Bible teachings on healing and deliverance. I thought it was a good idea to try something different, in this case, the spiritual gifts.

The first thing I realized was that Mary Healy is not a christian author, or christian minister for that matter, but her background is Catholic; a Charismatic Catholic that is. This means she believes and practices the gifts of the Spirit, known to them as Charismas, but still operates under the Catholic Church authorities, which in turns means under the Pope and Apostolic Tradition besides the Bible.

Both authors share their experiences when talking about the movement of the Spirit in Christian and Catholic circles alike with the intention to motivate a stronger manifestation of the Spirit in our time. Although the name of the book seems to imply is all about the “Gifts or Charismas” of the Spirit in reality half of the book talks about personal experiences and theological definitions while the other half really describes the different gifts, divided into what the authors call: Revelation Gifts, Power Gifts and Gifts of Speech. 

Conclusion

I found The Spiritual Gifts Handbook to be a great book. I’m not sure I’d recommend this book to a newborn Christian, but it gives a fresh perspective into what God is doing with the church in this time. Also, it’ll sure be of interest to those who want to know more about the Charismatic movement in the Catholic Church.

Rating: 4/5

I received this book from Chosen Books in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

Book description

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th-century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

First impressions

After reading the Out of Time series by Nadine Brandes, I was excited to know she was releasing a new book, a historical fiction story nicely packaged in a hardcover book with an amazing cover. This could be one of those books you can safely buy because you like the cover and still be confident the story is just as good.

Review 

I’m not so much into historical fiction, but if you add fantasy to the equation, I’m sold. Fawkes is not only inspired by true historical events, in this case the gunpowder plot, but it has a creative magic system that adds flavor to the narrative.

Story

Color power is controlled by speech which in turn can only be effective by wearing a mask given to you by your parents. The influence of the power of each mask is dictated by its color. In Nadine’s words (visit her insta account for pics):

Green masks control green things—plants and trees and growing things mostly. A lot of apothecaries are Greens for this very reason.

Ironically, this the story about Thomas, a boy that cannot use color power, but most importantly, he doesn’t have a clue about his own father. The one who is the one supposed to care for him and help him in the process to bond with a color. Oddly enough, when he finally gets to find him he’s introduced by Guy Fawkes in a plot to kill King James I. 

Characters

Thomas seemed to me a very polite character, because of his age he obviously has this reckless attitude towards adults and problems. He struggles with the person he wants to become, the person others expect him to become and ultimately the person he is supposed to become once he find the truth about himself.

Emma, which belongs to the Igniters, is very interesting character and as you can guess she becomes Thomas’ love interest. The good thing about romance in Fawkes is that it becomes part of the story and not central. Nadine builds a love story slowly through pages filled with big doses of action and political turmoil, giving the readers a balanced story. But Emma is not only that, she’s a character with a personal and difficult story to tell (one that certainly deserves an spin-off).

Finally, can I talk about White Light? This may or may not contain spoilers so just be cautious. White Light is a background character that has very little participation but brings deep truths into the view. I liked the way it spoke differently to each character and the way Nadine crafted the story so you can make you own theories.

Conclusion

Fawkes is a standalone novel, an awesome standalone novel that has the ability to make you part of the gunpowder plot and absorb you into a fictional London filled with magic, intrigue, romance and a search for your identity. If you’re unsure about reading Fawkes because of the fantasy touch, give it a chance and you’ll not be disappointed.

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.