Angelguard–Book Review

AAGbook3d1ngelguard is a fictional novel written by Ian Acheson. I don’t normally read/review fiction, but when the author, Ian, approached me I could hardly resist, seeing as the theme of this book was spiritual warfare. I have to admit, for someone who is not into fiction that much, I had a heck of a time putting this book down. The plot was riveting from start to finish.

It all begins in London when a horrific bomb attack annihilates an entire football stadium full of fans. Shortly after, Los Angeles and Sydney experience similar attacks which take the lives of thousands. But this isn’t your typical terrorist attack. No, the plot is much deeper than that.

One of the main characters, Jack Haines, who survived the Sydney attack, finds himself at the center of a treacherous murder plot to take out the heads of the major rulers of the various countries around the world. But the battle he faces is not only in the physical realm, because as a Christ-follower, Jack understands the battle is also being fought in the spiritual realm.

Will Jack, with the aid of a few close friends, be able to stop this plan before it’s too late? Will the prayers of Christians from around the world be enough to rally the angelic host in victory over the forces of Satan? Or will one evil man’s greedy desires be enough to bring about a devastating loss of world leaders while ushering in a new world-wide state of chaos and destruction?

Overall I really enjoyed Angelguard, especially the scenes where angels and demons are being portrayed. The author did an excellent job of giving us, as the readers, and idea of what could take place in the unseen spiritual realm. The hardest part about reading a book like this, though, was the striking similarity in the portrayal of angels and demons found in Frank Peretti’s books, Piercing the Darkness and This Present Darkness, both of which I have read several times. It’s hard to separate them in my mind because Peretti’s books are practically the standard for writing such a spiritual tale. It’s a tall order to fill, which is probably why few have attempted it.

Obviously I enjoyed the book because I read it in only a few days, despite my hectic schedule. So, it definitely passed the test, as far as I’m concerned. However, I can’t give a fair review without mentioning the things I had problems with (which were very few). I’m hardly the expert on fiction writing, so take this opinion with a grain of salt; I probably don’t know what I’m talking about as much as a die-hard fiction reader would.

There were two things I guess you could say I didn’t care for. One was the use a few words that I believe could have been left out while still retaining the necessary dynamic the scene called for. The book isn’t littered with language by any means, in fact, there were only two scenes where questionable words were used (and what many may not even consider “bad” words), but nonetheless, I have to be honest and admit it bothered me a little coming from a Christian book, even though the verbiage was pretty tame compared to what you’d probably hear in a real-life scenario.

The other issue I had was with the ending. The book maintained such a high-action, page turning script that when all of a sudden it was over, I found myself asking, “What just happened, how did they do that?” Still, despite these two issues, I enjoyed the book a great deal, and would highly recommend this book to others who enjoy a fast-paced, action packed fiction read. The positive aspects of this book far outweigh the negative, so please don’t let my honesty in this review discourage you from buying the book. A lot of it has to do with personal taste as well.

The author has more books in the series coming out, and I will certainly be in line to buy them. If you enjoy fiction, do yourself a favor and grab this one up (buy it now on Amazon), I am sure this is only the beginning of a great new series of books. And while you’re at it, follow Ian’s blog, he’s a fantastic writer!

(I received a complementary copy of Angelguard in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and have not been coerced in any way.)

IanAIan Acheson works as a freelance strategy consultant. he and his wife, Fiona, live in Sydney, Australia with their two sons. Visit his website at www.ianacheson.com.

 

 

 

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profilepic3Rebecca Aarup is an author and freelance writer. She is a health columnist for The Christian Online Magazine, creater of S.E.R.V.A.N.T. Sisters online women’s ministry, and has written devotionals/studies/articles for a variety of publications including The Secret Place (Judson press), Evangel (Light and Life Communications), and Mustard Seed Ministries. She just released a new Bible Study The Word: Six Lessons from Psalm 119 which is available as a free download on her website or in print form from Amazon. Beyond writing, Rebecca is a wife, home-schooling mom, and Bible student at Liberty University. She lives in Glendale, Az with her husband Chris and 5 year old, Samantha.  You can read more from Rebecca by subscribing to her blog (it’s free) and following her on twitter and facebook._____________________________________________

 

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I’m Hearing Voices…

“Every negative thought about yourself or another person is not from God. It cannot be from God. It is either from the Enemy, the World, or the Flesh,” Steve told me after I asked him about the negative thoughts that had possessed my mind for two decades.

Such a simple statement and yet the truth is profound, even life-changing for someone like me. I started hearing that “voice” at a young age, maybe 6 or 7. The voice said, “You’re not good enough” and “They don’t care about you.” I also heard voices like, “He’s such a jerk” and “She is always using you, wiping her feet on you like a doormat.” I’d venture to say I am not the only one who has experienced such mental interference. Even in prayer the voice interrupts. “God doesn’t want to hear from you” and “Isn’t it selfish to pray for yourself?” What would my life look like if I believed these lies and behaved accordingly? Well, until recently, my life took on the form of these lies through my behaviors. It required honesty, confession, repentance, and spiritual warfare to break free from those chains of bondage.

Any voice of condemnation, shame, or slander could not come from my Holy Heavenly God. When I look at my husband and think, “He is so mean”, I can acknowledge this voice for what it is: a liar. I can acknowledge where the voice came from: the Accuser. I can renounce the enemy and his lies, and choose the way of truth: “God so loved the world” (Jn. 3:16) and “He first loved us”. (1 Jn. 4:19) All of us were created in His image (Gen. 1:26) and I am to think and act blamelessly towards my fellow creations, regardless of how I’ve been treated.

*Recognize the Enemy’s influence in my thought life:

“How is it that Satan has filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit?” (Acts 5:3)

*Recognize the World’s influence in my thought life:

“We know…that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” (1 Jn. 5:19)

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world.” (Rom. 12:2)

*Recognize the Flesh’s influence in my thoughts.

“For the sinful nature [flesh] desires what is contrary to the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:17)

The next time I hear the negative voices, I can identify where it is coming from and renounce it in the name of Jesus. “We also know that the Son of God has come to give us understanding, so that we may know him who is TRUE.” (1 Jn. 5:20)

I cannot think on what is pure, lovely, good and wholesome (Phil. 4:8) if my mind is filled with lies and slander towards God’s creation, people. I’m determined to make a daily trade in my stocks of beliefs. I’m trading the lies for the truth; what is ugly for purity; what is demoralizing for what restores. If my gaping wounds of lies are left open, they will quickly fester into infection of more lies. The only way the wounds heal is if they are soothed with the balm of truth.

Lies steal; truth heals.

“[I] demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and [I] take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5)

“By faith I choose to be filled with the Spirit so I can be guided into all truth. I choose to walk by the Spirit so that I will not carry out the desires of the flesh. I choose to renew my mind by the living word of God in order that I may prove that the will of God is good, acceptable, and perfect. I put off the old self with its evil practices and I put on the new self. I declare myself to be a new creation in Christ.”Statements of Truth, (The Steps to Freedom in Christ -Neil Anderson)

Bonded

Bonded

“I cling to your laws, Lord; don’t let me be put to shame.” Psalm 119:31 NLT

Have you ever gotten super glue on your fingers? I have and it is miserable to try to get off. Once it’s bonded to your skin, it doesn’t want to leave.

How bonded are we to the word of God? The Psalmist said he “clings” to the word. The Hebrew word means “attached to, stuck, adhered to, or bonded with”. This gives us quite a mental picture! Adhered to the word of God, fixed to it, immovable from it; this is the way of the one who is not ashamed.

“You need to persevere.” Hebrews 10:36

“Let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

“For this very reason make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8

Do you want to persevere in your faith and be productive for the Lord? The key is to cling, or be bonded to the word. If we are clinging to the promises of God, then we will not be put to shame; in fact we cannot be put to shame because God is faithful to his word! The problem is we want to claim God’s promises over our life without the commitment. We like to hear, “all things work together for good” but we don’t really pay attention to the last part, “to those who love God”. (Romans 8:28) When we come to a place where we truly desire to see God active and abounding in our lives we must come to the end of ourselves and our pride. Lay aside our selfishness in order to know the word of God, understand it, and love it. To love the word of God is to love the character of God. When we love and seek him our desires are aligned with his, and he gives us those desire with much pleasure!

“As for you…never tire of doing what is right.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13

The command to persevere is all over God’s word. It’s not easy to rest on the promises of a God we cannot see, feel, or touch; yet we are urged to do so with determination. Perseverance leads to confidence and trust. We will not be ashamed because we will be resting in the truth of God and faithfulness to his word.

“As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.” James 5:11

The Lord finally brought about Job’s deliverance. It wasn’t instant, but it did come, and Job had to persevere in order to obtain the blessing. We are fortunate we are not generally asked to persevere as Job did. For the majority of us we don’t even come close. Job was able to stand before God blameless even in his afflictions, and he was able to persevere without shame. His friends had some interesting judgments over his life, but God knew Job’s heart and that is all that mattered. In the end, all things worked for Job’s good because he loved God and did not give up on his promises.

If we want to stand before God and man unashamed, we need the word in our hearts. We need it to be bonded to our lives with the stickiest of spiritual super glue, or determination. All around us there is a battle for our love and attention, but we must first and foremost keep his word at the center. It takes focus with perseverance.

Prayer

Thank you for your promises, God! I am undeserving of your favor, and yet you are generous beyond measure with what you provide for your children. Many things I know I take for granted, and I confess it. I confess my pride and love for other things over your word. Change my heart! Direct it towards your truth that I may persevere until the day I see you face to face. Let me never become weary in following your laws, because I trust you and know you have designed what is best for me. Continue to teach my heart how to love your word as it should!