Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Review- Flight of Shadows

First of all, a tip for readers--read the first book in a series before you read the second. I wish I had realized that the book Flight of Shadows by Sigmund Brouwer is a continuation of the story of Caitlyn Brown, a young lady who has a terrible deformity and a special gift. Because of the lack of knowledge of her backstory which was presented in Brouwer's book, Broken Angel, I found her character shallow and uninteresting for the first hundred pages or so. The only thing that kept me reading was the introduction of the character named Razor. Throughout the book, Razor keeps the reader guessing as to who he really is and whose side he is on. As Razor's character developed, I found myself getting more interested in Caitlyn--Why were so many people intent on capturing her? What made her so valuable even though (or maybe because) she was deformed?

Brouwer takes his audience into a stark and dangerous world of what might be in the not-to-distant future. Wars have broken society into four distinct sectors- the high-ranking and rich Influentials, the slave labor Industrials, the scavenging Illegals and the Invisibles. The world pictured here is bleak and cold. Poverty and violence are widespread. Familiar prosperity icons, SUVs, have been changed into "soovies" that instead of providing transportation for the affluent, are now stripped down to provide below-poverty-level housing. Caitlyn and her friends risk their lives for a chance to be free from the oppression and hopelessness of this society, and in doing so, change the lives and outlooks of others they encounter. Overall, this book is a fast-paced, action-packed adventure recommended for fans of futuristic fiction. (But read the first book first!)

(Note:I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quotes from Charles Spurgeon

“I suppose every Christian here knows, as a matter of theory, that he is a Christian soldier and that he has been enlisted under the banner of the Cross to fight against the powers of darkness until he wins the victory…We are all soldiers—we know that—but still, too many Christians act as if they could be the friends of the world and the friends of God at the same time.”

“We may pray to God when engaged in any occupation if it is a lawful one. And if it is not, we have no business to be in it. If there is anything we do over which we cannot pray, we ought never to dare to do it again. And if there is any occupation concerning which we have to say, ‘We could not pray while engaged in it,’ it is clear that the occupation is a wrong one.”

“The people of God are here [Isa 51:1] described as those “that follow after righteousness.” That is the direction in which their life generally flows. They are not perfect, but they want to be. They do not love that which is unrighteous, but they desire to be right in all things both before God and before men. They are also said to be those “that seek the Lord,” that is to say, they are those who could not live without seeking the Lord in prayer, or in public or private worship. Their great object in life is to glorify God, to make Him famous among the sons of men—and they desire to devote all their time, talents and powers of every kind to His service and honor.”

“Many have I met with—I may say that I meet with such people every week—who are afraid that they are hypocrites. When I encounter persons troubled with this fear, I cannot help smiling at them, for if they really were hypocrites, they would not be afraid of it and their fear of presumption argues very strongly that they are not living in it!”

“It is very likely that if I had time to explain to you, my Hearer, the fullness of your sin and the utter ruin of your natural state, you would grow angry. You would have no cause to be angry, for all that I could say would fall far short of the truth about your real condition in the sight of God! And it is most solemnly important for you to know that however high you may stand in the ranks of merely moral men, you are a lost soul and a condemned soul, so long as you remain without living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!”

“If it is Christ’s work ‘to make an end of sins,’ we may be quite sure that He will do it and that there will be an end of them for all who believe in Him! Therefore let our hearts dance for joy as His gracious Spirit assures us that our sins are as completely annihilated and put away as if they had never been committed!”

“Those who expect to find the road to Heaven smooth and unobstructed will discover little in the experience of the ancient saints to support the expectation.”

“When the Lord entrusts you with talents, my Brother, you are naturally inclined to be proud. But when you hear of another whom the Lord has honored far more, do not quarrel either with the Lord or with your Brother, but rejoice that there is someone whose Master thinks he may be trusted to a very high degree! And remember that the responsibilities of your own position are quite sufficient for you.”

“Faith is not a Grace of luxury but a Grace of necessity. We must have it and if we had it not, we should not be the people of God at all! The common habit of the Christian, then, is a habit of trusting. The Christian’s walk is faith and his life is faith!”

“If we are truly humble, we shall cast our care upon God and, by that process, our joy will be exalted! We are slow to submit to the hand of God and oftentimes our care is fretful rebellion against our heavenly Father’s will. We determine to carve for ourselves, and so we cut our fingers!”