Monday, November 14, 2016

Review: Arm in Arm with the Holy Spirit by Patrick Day

Arm in Arm with the Holy Spirit
by Patrick Day

31570503Paul Chambers is perplexed and frustrated. He wants to experience more of God in his life more of the time but is thwarted by his flawed humanity and the demands of the modern world. At every turn, he has to choose between his way or God's way, and God's way too often comes up short - until he learns to listen to the Holy Spirit.

He starts telling the story of his spiritual journey the day he is diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. As he looks back, he sees that his busy life, demanding job, and tendency to do things his own way have interfered with experiencing a consistently close relationship with God. 
But Paul is not on his own. The Holy Spirit shows up in a series of encounters, revelations, and metaphors that transform Paul's faith and empower him to walk arm in arm with the Holy Spirit every step of the way.

My Take:
The author's personal battle with cancer and struggle to reach a point of walking with God most of the time, sound loud and clear in this story, which is both a fictional account and a reflection of the author's path of discovery.

Paul Chambers uses the devastating news that he has terminal pancreatic cancer as the catalyst for him to write his memoirs, with the help of his loving wife Molly. The news affacts all the poeple who do life with him, and their input is invaluable in helping him along this dark path to the brilliant light of Heaven.

PG-13 - The only violence in this book is the ravages that cancer performs on the body of its victim. In that respect, it's painful to read as I empathize with the experience, having watched several close family members and friends succumb to the disease. The book realistically describes the pain, the nausea, the treatments, and their side effects.

PG - There are very few curse words in this novel.

Drug Content:
PG -  The effects of morphine are described, and other drugs used in the treatment of cancer and its symptoms. Drinking is discussed and the main character was an occasional drinker prior to his conversion.

Adult Content:
PG - One minor character appears to objectify women. Most all other dealings in the book are squeaky clean.

Christian content:
Very heavy. The story covers a spiritual journey over a span of thirty years in the life of the main character. Scripture is quoted and metaphors are sometimes drawn from other works. One of some concern is Watchman Nee. There was a misquote of Eric Liddell's famous line, "...when I run I feel His pleasure." However, what I read in the book seemed grounded.
While the main character seems to listen and follow the inner leading of the Holy Spirit through the revelation of visions, he is warned by wise friends to be cautious, because every inner voice is not from God. Examples are given where the Spirit leads Paul, and others where he discovers the voice and thought was his own. The admonishment is given that we should be striving to be 'with' God, rather than asking Him to be 'with' us. After all, He's always with us, He promised in Heb 13:5, but we are not always 'with' Him.

Final analysis:
Arm in Arm with the Holy Spirit was an encouraging, thought-provoking life journey in growing closer to God and hearing His still small voice. Coupled with brilliant insight into our struggle to be like Christ or be IN the world but not OF the world, Patrick Day immerses the reader in the life of one dying of cancer, and dealing with the brevity of life, the mortality of our flesh, and the hope beyond death. While some portions seemed to drag for me, the meat for my daily walk is impossible to miss and dangerous to ignore. Clear, memorable metaphors abound that help the reader determine whether they are listening to God or hearing from the world, the flesh, and the devil. There's life application that can be gleaned here, that leads me to give this book Five Stars.

About The Author
Patrick DayPatrick Day's active Christianity has seen him work as a church elder, prison minister, Sunday school teacher, mentor, and long-time Gideon. As a cancer survivor, he has first-hand insight into the healing power of God and the enduring human spirit.

His passion for writing grew from a Master's Degree in English Literature at the University of Minnesota and encompassed his twin careers of education and advertising.

He is an author of two previous novels: Too Late in the Afternoon and Murders and Genealogy in Hennepin County. He also writes a weekly blog entitled the Melody of the Holy Spirit, which you can access at

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