Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Long Road Out of Ur by Joel Thimell February 15, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:23 pm
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Something is rotten in Mesopotamia. A troublesome priest has been murdered; the pagan New Year’s rites defiled; a royal tomb is robbed; and a would-be grifter, Lot, is in the wrong place at the wrong time. His father, grandfather and cousin are each likely suspects and Lot doesn’t know who he can trust. Everyone thinks Lot knows where the loot is hidden and someone wants it all–even if it’s over Lot’s dead body.

“Long Road Out of Ur” retells the familiar story of the calling of Abraham and Sarah to the Promised Land through the voice of Lot. Yes, that Lot–the one who barely escaped the destruction of Sodom with his daughters–his wife wasn’t so fortunate.This is not a Sunday school version of their lives, and they are not alabaster saints. Instead, it’s a lively coming-of-age adventure tale crossed with a murder mystery and a heaping helping of social satire. Think of it as something like “Huckleberry Finn” combined with “North by Northwest” but set in the Bronze Age.

Lot’s comical attempts to con his way out of danger only entangle him deeper and deeper in a web of greed, betrayal and murder. From the fashionable society of Susa through the murky waters of the Great Swamp to the stone huts of Elam, Lot tries to run but he can’t hide. Searching for any way out, he battles evil giants, fake princesses and blood-thirsty pirates but his greatest struggle is finding himself.

Can a two-bit con man change his spots? Or will his past destroy him?

Can a prodigal son and his prodigal father ever forgive one another? Or are some wounds just too deep to heal?

My thoughts:

I  have never read a story about Lot, he’s never been overly likable. But this book puts him in a new light, and even Abram (Abraham) for that matter.

The writing is well done, engaging narration and rich detail. I could easily see the people and things around Lot and what was happening.

My only draw back was I felt there was a lot of bunny trails, we followed every thought that Lot had and explored its back story. I felt that slowed the story down a bit. This wasn’t a quick read for me, and that’s okay.

But overall, very rich in story and well researched.

Grab your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author. All opinions are my own. 


The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers February 13, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:33 pm

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New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.

A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want—money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist—an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.

Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship—and both their lives—forever.

My thoughts:

Wow. What can I say? This book is a masterpiece.

I honestly, haven’t read very many books by Francine, but I have read a few. So when I saw this one my jaw dropped. I could review Francine’s newest book? Uh, yes please.

Francine’s writing is real, even raw at times. When we are in the point of view of a non-believer she writes how a non-believer would think and it isn’t very nice, but it is very real. Roman is a tough one. He isn’t even very likable at first but as we start to see his brokenness things become much more clear.

Grace is a sweetie, but with a broken past of her own. We are let in on some of that early on but other parts are slowly revealed.

Even though this book is (very) long it is never boring. I couldn’t wait to get back to it and see what would happen next. Francine Rivers fans will be overjoyed with this newest release and if you haven’t read anything by Francine why wait any longer?

Visit Francine here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 



The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse February 9, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:47 pm
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Can a religious separatist and an opportunistic spy make it in the New World?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Mary Elizabeth Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary Elizabeth survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series begins with The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.

My thoughts:

This is a brand new series, every book will be written by a different author. I haven’t read a lot of books based on the travel to America so I thought I would read this one.

This is definitely a series I will continue to follow.

Mary Elizabeth is a sweet girl who has never considered herself brave but finds she has to be to survive her travels on the Mayflower.

William has never really known what a family is but finds himself wanting one and also wondering about the faith he sees in Mary Elizabeth.

I will be honest, I was never really sucked into this book. I guess nothing reached out and grabbed me. The premise is good and like I said, I will be reading the next book in this series (I already have it). As always, this is my opinions only.

Visit Kimberley here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through All opinions are my own. 


Do Greater Things by Robby Dawkins February 7, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:39 pm
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How to Heal the Sick, Cast Out Demons, Raise the Dead–and More!

The Bible says that if you belong to Jesus, you have the power to:
· heal the sick
· cast out demons
· bring deliverance to those trapped in spiritual darkness
· prophesy in his name
· call forth creative miracles
· receive supernatural words of wisdom and knowledge
· even raise the dead

So why do so many Christians live powerless lives? Why do they operate with so little faith?

Having gone through his own journey from doubt to belief, Chicagoland pastor Robby Dawkins now ministers and speaks internationally, and where he goes, miracles happen. In these pages he shares incredible stories of God using ordinary people to do the impossible. And he shows that, when you begin to have faith in the power of God, take him at his Word, and understand his love for you, you will see his power released in healings, financial blessings, and miracles of all kinds.

My thoughts:

I read a previous book by Robby called Do What Jesus Did. I really liked it so when I saw this book come out I had to read it.

The title of this book is based on what Jesus told His disciples, that they would do even great things then He did. I still am amazed by this verse and I am fully aware that I am not living in that truth.

Anyway, this book is full of Robby’s own ministry and how he has done great things for the Kingdom. I admit as I read it I could feel less-than because I don’t go out and live as boldly. But Robby’s intention isn’t to shame us but to encourage us to live like Jesus and do even greater things.

I appreciate the chapter that talks about how the enemy will try to attack us as we live out the Kingdom on earth. So much truth. I also liked the chapter on discernment and hearing and knowing God’s voice.

If you want to be encouraged in your faith this book will definitely do that.

Visit Robby here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,

A copy of this book was given to me through All opinions are my own. 


The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano February 5, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:11 pm
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Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back … even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t expect his interest in the beautiful chef to turn personal.

Alex agrees to help rebuild Rachel’s tarnished image by offering his connections and his home to host an exclusive pop-up dinner party targeted to Denver’s most influential citizens: the Saturday Night Supper Club. As they work together to make the project a success, Rachel begins to realize Alex is not the unfeeling opportunist she once thought he was, and that perhaps there’s life–and love–outside the pressure-cooker of her chosen career. But can she give up her lifelong goals without losing her identity as well?

My thoughts:

I have thoroughly enjoyed every book I have read by Carla. Her books just come to life and the characters seem so real to me. I can feel their emotions. This book was no exception.

Rachel is thrown into a situation she never asked for. Alex threw her into the situation without really meaning to and he will do whatever it takes to make it up to her. He didn’t mean to fall for her in the process.

Overall, this is a very well written book that I highly recommend if you are looking for a good contemporary romance.

Visit Carla here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to my through All opinions are my own. 


Restore To Me February 2, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:08 pm
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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:12 NIV

I have shared over the last few months how I have struggled to find joy. If I’m being honest I never really found it, I mean I know it comes from Jesus, but I wasn’t feeling it.

On Monday I was dreading another week of teaching and musical rehearsals. I wasn’t enjoying my job at all and I have a good one. So I just prayed, “Lord, restore to me the joy of Your salvation.”

That was it, my simple prayer.

My Monday ended really horribly with a voicemail from an angry parent who said somethings that I perceived as threatening. To the point I forwarded it to my principle and recorded it on my phone for proof of this ominous message.

This normally would have ruined my day and week. But something shifted on Tuesday.

I felt this overwhelming joy and peace as I taught all day. I talked to the girl whose mother called me and cleared up some things and felt peace. I had the best day I have had all year, taught with energy and purpose and the rest of my week followed suit. Even when my keyboard died in the middle of teaching a choir class . . . yeah, not good.

Oh well, I shrugged, I can still teach. And I did.

I saw that voicemail for the evil it was. the enemy did  not want the joy of the Lord to sustain me, but it did. The voicemail dripped with the enemy’s voice and threats. I laugh now because it is so obvious to me.

This week the joy of the Lord’s salvation has been restored to me, at long last. If you find yourself dreading your days make this verse your simple prayer. Just keep saying it all day, week, month, year long until you feel His joy fill you and sustain you. He will answer.




The Nevada Testament by Wil Mara February 1, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:55 am
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Americans work more and get less than ever before.
What happened to the ‘Great American Dream’ they were promised?
Howard Hughes knew, and it cost him his freedom.
Jason Hammond is about to find out, too—and it might cost him his life.

LAS VEGAS, NOVEMBER 1970—In a darkened suite on the top floor of the Desert Inn, billionaire Howard Hughes gives his last will and testament to twenty-year-old Chase Wheeler. Chase is a member of the kitchen staff who, through his simple good nature, has gained Hughes’s trust. Hughes tells him to keep the will hidden, because it contains information that will anger many powerful people—including a group working in the shadows to bring America to ruin. Just over a week later, Hughes’s minders abruptly move him out of Las Vegas in the middle of the night, and Chase Wheeler vanishes without a trace. In the years that follow, Chase’s widowed mother will gradually lose her desire to live as the chances of finding her beloved son dwindle to nothing.

PRESENT DAY—Demolition expert Randy Miller discovers forty-eight pages of Hughes’s rough notes just hours before the Desert Inn is imploded. Still in financial straits due to the Great Recession, Randy and his wife, Jeanine, decide to put a few of the pages on eBay. Days later, the Miller family is attacked by a gunman who wants them all. The Millers take their children into hiding and contact the only person they feel they can trust—Jason Hammond, the master sleuth who recently made international headlines when he closed the case on the Kennedy assassination.

Jason reads through the cryptic notes and realizes they contain a great deal of information about Hughes’s legendary lost will. If discovered now, it would endow certain people with great fortune while stripping it from others—more than adequate motivation for someone to bring a professional killer into the equation. But the situation is far from that simple.

Jason is determined to find the will before anyone else, in order to provide closure for the Miller family as well as Chase Wheeler’s sole surviving relative, his embittered sister Denise. But Jason gets more than he bargained for when his investigation leads him to the chilling truth behind America’s decline—and the terrifying reality that the people responsible for it aren’t done yet….

My thoughts:

Don’t judge a book by its cover. I will admit, the cover doesn’t really draw me to this book but I read the previous book  in this series by this author and LOVED it so when I was asked to review this book I didn’t hesitate. And I am glad I didn’t.

This book will pull you in from the very beginning with the mysterious Howard Hughes (who, honestly, I didn’t know much about) and this will of his and the person he gave it to.

Then we are thrown into another scene of high intensity and just have to know what will happen next.

There is a lot going on in this book and we get to see many points of view. I didn’t mind that, in fact it gave more depth to what was happening all around the book. And each point of view had a distinct purpose.

If you like action packed books then I highly recommend this one. I couldn’t wait to get back to the story each day and make time to read it.

Visit Wil here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to my by the author. All opinions are my own.