Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Part XI-Dying April 27, 2012

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:46 pm
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Last week was tough. The enemy attacked Patrick and I like crazy. Not only with memories but I also became very sick. Not a great weekend at the Finnegan’s.

I titled this week Dying because the week following everything that happened I began to die to myself.

Sunday, June 7, 2009  I told Patrick I wanted out of our marriage. We went to sleep that night not knowing what was going to happen between us.

When Patrick came home from work the next day, he came to me with a notebook.  He started to write down his prayers. This would become a lifeline for him in the following days, weeks and months.

He was broken.

And he didn’t even know the extent of what I had done. So I thought.

He told me he wanted to give up some strongholds in his life. I honestly saw that as his way of trying to trick me to stay with him. Now I know God was working on him.

Patrick decided we needed to start doing nightly devotions together. That was the last thing I wanted to do with him. I said “Fine but don’t expect me to pray or anything.”

I couldn’t understand why he even tried to be with me. Why would he want to be with someone like me? Why didn’t he just let me go?

My heart was cold.

When Patrick tried to talk to me I would stare at anything but him and I just wanted to run.

Patrick told me to run. Run away from the sin, he said. I just wanted to run away from him.

On June 9 I as I was getting ready for work I saw on my vanity an index card that read: The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. Deuteronomy 7:6 NIV

Patrick had placed the card there. I read it and thought those words were not for me. Not after what I had done. I am no ones treasure. Yet, I had no desire to leave my life of sin. I just thought that was who I had become. I was an adulteress.

I remember Patrick kneeling beside me that morning. The memory will forever be etched on my heart. 

I looked into his blue eyes.

I see so clearly, his beautiful blue eyes that I fell in love with the first time I saw him. His beautiful eyes that both my children possess. His blue eyes that held so much sadness. Pain. Confusion.

He knelt beside me and said, “I forgive you. I forgive you for everything.”

I looked at him. I am sure with dead eyes and said nothing.

I knew there was no way he could forgive me. Not if he knew what I had done.

On my way to work that day I listened to Tenth Avenue North. Every song on their CD spoke to me. I arrived at work knowing what I needed to do.

I would end the other relationship. I knew I was missing a love affair with my Heavenly Father and I was trying to meet those needs through a person.

I composed a beautiful email to the other man telling him I needed to stop what I was doing. I needed to focus on my relationship with Jesus.

I pushed send.

I wish I could tell you that was the end.

Within minutes I felt powerless. What had I done? I just gave all my power away.

I quickly typed a new email telling the man I didn’t know what I wanted.

I lived in a state of complete darkness. The power I felt was great. I clung to it. I believed I finally was becoming the person I was meant to be.

This all seems silly now, but when you are in darkness you can’t see the truth.

Patrick had figured out the full extent of what I had done without me telling him anything. I tried to deny the depth of my deception for the whole week. But the Holy Spirit was speaking to Patrick in an unbelievable way.

He had gotten me to agree to counseling and if I still wanted out of the marriage after counseling I could leave. I was sure I would be out of there. No amount of counseling would change what I knew to be true

Patrick begged me to talk to a friend. I refused. How could I admit what I had done to my closest friend? I worked so hard at hiding it.

Friday, June 12 rolled around. I did email my friend and asked her to get together that night so I could talk to her. I told her I was in a mess. The funny this is, she normally goes out of town that weekend every year to celebrate her sons birthday. That year it didn’t work out and she was home. God knew. He knew I would need her. He is so good.

Before I met my friend on June 12 I met the other man once again.

Truly, I wanted to go and tell him that Patrick and I were going to get counseling for a while and then I would be back.

From my past I knew what he expected and I felt I couldn’t tell him no. I was with the man again.

When I pulled away from the man’s house that day I pulled away as a dead woman. Death consumed me.

Next week I would like to have Patrick share with you what was going on with him during that week. God was working in him in such a powerful way.

I want to thank you all for sharing this journey with us. I know some of you are very surprised by the things being revealed. I am being obedient to God. He has commanded Patrick and I to share this story. So we are.

If you think of it please pray for us. Reliving this is very difficult. The enemy loves putting negative thougths in our heads, making us question why we are doing this to ourselves. But we know we are doing exactly what God has told us to do.  We are living our Genesis 5020.

Now a man named Lazarus was sick……So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days. John 11:1-4 NIV

Have you ever had a time in your life that you felt you were dying to yourself? What did that feel like?


Write to the Point with Ruth Reid April 25, 2012

Congratulations to Alyce who won last week’s giveaway!

Today we will get write to the point with Ruth Reid. Ruth Reid is a full-time pharmacist who lives in Dade City, Florida with her husband and three children. Her fascination for the Amish began twenty-years ago when she skipped college classes to watch a barn raising. Today, she’s still captivated by the simple ways of the Amish lifestyle. Brush of Angel’s Wings is her second book in the Heaven on Earth series. When Ruth is not writing, she enjoys photography and quilting.

Read to the end because Ruth is doing a giveaway.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I’m a wife and mother of three children and we live in Dade City, Florida. What sparked my interest in writing was when a grade school teacher suggested I enter a young author’s writing contest. From that moment, I knew I wanted to write a novel. But life has a way of sidetracking your dreams.

Years later, I ended up in pharmacy school with a growing list of all the creative writing classes I wanted to take once I graduated. I never did go back and take those classes, but the smoldering embers of one day writing a novel never died out.

Then several years later, my newborn son was diagnosed with liver failure, and a burning quest to seek God’s will redirected me to writing. During the months Danny waited on the transplant list, I searched, without success, for devotionals that spoke to me. Then I discovered how therapeutic it was to write my own—not to sell—not to work on a writing craft, only to draw closer to God. From there He gave me the desire He’d planted in my heart all those years ago. Twelve years later, my first novel was published.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I accepted Jesus as my Savior at a young age; however, my backsliding life wasn’t a reflection of someone who lived for Jesus. Until my son was born in liver failure and that very dark time in my life allowed me to see His light still shined for the path He wanted me to follow. I rededicated my life and asked him to be my Savior.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

                In Brush of an Angel’s Wings, A buggy racer, a hardworking field-hand, and a terrible cook, Rachel does not fit her Amish community’s standards for an eligible bride. Jordan spends a short time on the Amish farm as a hired hand and concludes the strict lifestyle is not for him. She’s determined to run him off while he’s trying to earn enough money to leave.  But there isn’t just human interaction at play. Nathaniel, an angel of God, sees the potential in Jordan and Rachel’s hearts from heaven’s perspective. His goal is to shepherd them toward the path of healing and love – if only they listen.  

Through the characters’ uncontrolled stubbornness and pride, I wanted to create a story that not only depicted God’s unconditional love, but how sin ignites a battle in the ethereal realm, once the enemy has gained a foothold.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I have to admit, I’ve struggled with technical issues trying to set up my blog. I’m still having problems posting and responding to comments, so I haven’t started blogging yet. I’m hoping to move that off my list of goals shortly.   

 Genesis 50:20 is the focus of this blog. Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

I believe the enemy intended to harm me when my child was born in liver failure. He certainly fed me a mountain of lies about the developmental milestones my child was missing as his disease worsened and it looked like he may not receive a transplant in time. But what the enemy wanted to steal, God intended it for good.

Nine months later, Danny was transplanted. Today, he’s thirteen and thriving. One milestone the enemy had taunted me with, Danny’s stunted growth, God has given triumph over. Research had shown that children on immunosuppressant medications had poor growth rates. According to the literature, many children never reached five foot tall. But not Danny, he’s over five-ten and still growing. He still amazes the doctors when he goes for his annual appointment.

But I believe the most significant part of this experience, is how close I drew to God as a result. I thank God for the trial because through it, I found him in the storm.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

How great are Your works, Oh LORD, how profound Your thoughts! Psalm 92:5

Where can we find you on the web?

My website:



Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

I’ve enjoyed our chat. Thank you so much for the opportunity to meet your readers!

Ruth, thank you so much for your time and letting my readers get to know you.

Readers, Ruth is giving away paperback  copy of her book Brush of an Angel’s Wings. Just leave a comment and you will be entered in the drawing. The deadline to enter is May 1 at 5:00 PM. Thanks!


Part X-The Storm April 20, 2012

I have been struggling all week knowing I would write this post today. I have shared my story many times but I have never actually written it down. I will be honest.

I am scared.

I don’t understand why. We shared our story with the church, a couple hundred people at a time. But to write these words seems much harder.

Nevertheless, here I go.

Last week I shared with you the calm before the storm. Today I share the storm.

If you have been reading from the beginning you know my story. You know how I was abused, how I met my husband, and how God won my heart.   You know I had an emotional affair that nearly ruined my marriage. I thought having my son would fix me.

We left off at the beginning of 2009. During that time I heard many people talk about Facebook. I knew all the reasons I shouldn’t get on Facebook. It would be like an alcoholic going into a bar. Not a good idea.

In February of 2009 I reached a point where I almost felt left out because everyone I knew was on Facebook. I started toying with the idea of getting on. One friend said to me, “You really should get on Facebook, it’s awesome.”

She had no clue about my past. But her words rattled around in my brain until I convinced myself that I would be fine and I could handle Facebook. I was healed.

I signed up for Facebook. I didn’t tell Patrick I was doing it but I did tell him as soon as I signed up.

He was mad.

There is no other words to describe it. But I talked circles around him to make him believe I was fine, God had cured me. Didn’t he trust God?

I think I did believe what I said, yet there was a part of me that wasn’t very confident of those words. I told Patrick he could even have my password and check my account whenever he wanted.

Soon after getting on I found an old friend. I guy I dated a bit in high school and on and off my first couple of years in college. The relationship never blossomed, even though I wanted it to, because he told me, “I was too nice of girl for him.” And he didn’t want to settle down.

We became friends on Facebook and started talking. It was nothing, just small chit-chat really. Patrick later told me he even saw some of these first exchanges. I didn’t know at the time he was checking my account.

But then Patrick stopped checking.

The enemy was at work. He knew when Patrick stopped checking and that is when my conversations with this other man slowly changed.

Actually, it wasn’t that slow. One weekend I was upset with this man for his political beliefs and the next I was making plans to see him. It seemed slow but it all happened quickly.

Patrick and I had fallen asleep in our marriage, again. We stopped doing all the things we knew we needed to do to show each other love. I was hungry for attention.

This man started to say wonderful things to me, like, “I should have married your when I had the chance,” and “you are such and awesome person.”

He wasn’t married, never had been married. and he felt like he lost me when he should have held on to me.

It was a slow fade. I started sharing with this man very personal things. Like the abuse, which at the time only a handful of people knew about. I shared with him about the emotional affair.

This all opened doors for him to see into my heart. Places someone who I was not married to never should see.

One day we made plans to see each other. Just get together and talk. At first the date was set for a couple of weeks away but then an urgency hit me and I moved the date up a week earlier.

That is what the enemy does. He convinces us we must act NOW. The quicker he can get us to make a decision the more likely we won’t change our minds.

I knew Patrick would never notice anything strange because I felt he never noticed me.

And he didn’t notice.

I drove to this man’s house.

I had a physical affair.

I didn’t know who I was. What I had become. I hated myself, yet I loved the power I felt I possessed.

For the first time in my life I felt powerful. What a lie.

Two days later Patrick went to check my email. I had changed my password because my conversations had moved to email instead of Facebook.

Changing my password was a big red flag to Patrick, since I had the same password since college.

He confronted me and I denied anything going on.

This all took place on a Sunday. I remember sitting in church thinking, my marriage is going to end. I will need to leave the church and find a place to live.

In that moment, that’s what I wanted. I wanted to leave, runaway and start a new life.

Thankfully, God had other plans.

I made it through the day without really talking to Patrick much until I went to bed. I finally admitted a little of what I had done. I couldn’t admit that I had an actual affair, only that I was having an emotional one.

I spoke my old familiar words, “I don’t love you, I never loved you. We never should have gotten married. Don’t you see we aren’t meant to be together?”

I wanted to set Patrick free from me. I knew I had done a horrible thing to him and he deserved to be happy. I couldn’t make him happy.

The lies swirled around me and I didn’t want to let go of the other relationship. I wanted to let go of my marriage.

There is so much to write but I feel I need to stop here. A lot  happened in a short period of time. I want to handle this delicately so God is glorified, I don’t want to rush any parts and skip over anything that God did during that time.

It is nothing short of miraculous.

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Psalm 32:3-4 NIV

Have you found that the enemy makes things seems urgent? That you better to this “thing” now or you will miss your chance? It could be anything, a great sale when you know you shouldn’t be spending money, saying something you know will hurt another person, etc.?


Write to the Point with Susan Page Davis April 18, 2012

This week we have Susan Page Davis. I am very excited to share her books with you, they sound fantastic. Read to the end because Susan is giving away a copy of  one of  her books. Let’s get write to the point with Susan Page Davis.

Tell us about yourself,  your family, where are you from?

 I’m a Maine native, but a couple of years ago, when my husband retired, we moved to western Kentucky. The two youngest of our six children live at home while pursuing college. We also have eight brilliant, adorable grandchildren in other states (boo! Grandparents should live close to their grandchildren!), two horses, and a cat.

 How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

 My parents were saved a few years before I was born, and I grew up in a gospel-preaching, nondenominational church. When I was eight I realized during vacation Bible school that I needed Jesus as my Savior.

 Tell us about your latest book(s).

 Lady Anne’s Quest is the second in a trilogy called Prairie Dreams. This is one of those series where each book completes some of the threads (the romance, for instance). People have said you can read the second book first without losing too much, but to get the entire story, you’ll want to read The Lady’s Maid first, then Lady Anne’s Quest, and finally A Lady in the Making, which will release in October. I hardly ever write a “continuing series” like this, where not everything is tied up at the end of each book, but this time the mystery was bigger than one book, and it does continue through all three.

 Here’s a short summary of Lady Anne’s Quest:

Lady Anne believes her prayers are answered and she’s at last found her long lost uncle. Unwilling to let her meet him on her own, Dan Adams accompanies her to her uncle’s ranch. But both are convinced the man claiming to be her uncle is an impostor. They decide to continue the search for the new Earl of Stoneford.

But now the swindler is on their trail, hoping to steal Uncle David’s inheritance. Dan has his hands full trying to protect Anne, but he finds he must guard his heart just as carefully. Even though he’s good at keeping her safe, he knows he’ll never convince Anne to become a farmer’s wife in Oregon when she has her sights set on returning to her home in England. But as Anne’s quest becomes even more difficult—and dangerous—she begins to see Dan differently. Will she soon be envisioning a new life in America?

 How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

 I don’t blog, for the simple reason that I don’t have time. I do have a FaceBook page, but family members maintain that for me. I can’t enter it or respond to people directly. I have to ask someone else to post comments for me. This is awkward in a way, but it protects my writing time. I am very easily distracted by things like email, and I know I would love to spend a couple of hours a day blogging and doing social networks, but then I’d be writing two hours less per day, and I can’t give that up. I keep my website at fairly up to date with news of events and new books releasing, and I have a monthly drawing there for free books.

I understand that. I will plan to write and find I just spend an hour working in my blog or catching up on email. It’s great that you have set such clear boundaries.

 Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

 A favorite historical series of mine is Van Reid’s Moosepath League series, set in 1890s Maine. It’s funny and old-fashioned, but it has a genuine feel to it.

 The focus of this blog is Genesis 50:20. Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

 In January, 1997, I had a stroke. At that time, I was working for a newspaper and planning a second career in home schooling, writing curriculum and speaking at conferences. After my stroke, I went to a scheduled conference in April as a presenter. I managed to do everything successfully, but I realized that the travel and setup as a vendor and everything that went with it was just too hard at that point. I didn’t know it, but God slowed me down for a while and started me in a new direction. He had a different career in mind for me—as a fiction writer.

 I am finding as I do these interviews that many writers Genesis 5020’s led them to writing. Maybe it isn’t until we experience a setback that we can write from a humble place and for God’s glory and not our own. I know for me personally that is true.

 Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

 II Timothy 2:1 Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

 Where can we find you on the web?

 Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

I had the privilege this month of seeing two new books release: Lady Anne’s Quest from Barbour Publishing and Cowgirl Trail from River North Fiction (Moody). You can find both in bookstores and online. You can also read more about them on my website.

Thank you so much Susan, your books sound great and I can’t wait to read them.

Readers, Susan is giving away a copy of Lady Anne’s Quest to one commentator. You will be able to choose if you want paperback or e-book version. Let’s do something new. If you subscribe to my blog through email updates I will enter your name twice in the drawing. If you haven’t already subscribed please sign up and then I can verify you are a follower, but only if you follow through email.  But anyone can enter, even if you are not subscribed.

Leave a comment for Susan and enter to win her book. The deadline to enter is April 24th at 5:00 PM.


Part IX-The Calm April 13, 2012

We know without a doubt God did speak to Patrick about our 2nd child. When Patrick shared with me what God told him I was so happy. We wondered if we should wait a month since I had just started my next round of birth control. We decided to throw the pack away and begin trying. Less than two weeks later I was pregnant. All God.

We knew we would have a son and didn’t even bother having the ultrasound technician tell us. We just knew.

I had a c-section and as they were taking my baby Patrick said, “The baby has tons of dark hair.”

If any doubt remained it was earsed in that moment, this baby was a boy. The name we had chosen for our son means “dark.” He would look like his father.

The next words I heard were, “It’s a boy.”

Tears trickled down my face. God is so good.

Yes, our son looks just like his father and our daughter looks just like me. Complete opposites. You would never put them together as brother and sister. I love how creative God is.

Our son was born in 2006. Between 2005 (after I got pregnant)  and the beginning of 2009 was what I like to call “the calm.”

Life was good. We were happy. Patrick did ask me if I wanted to get counseling after the emotional affair. I said a confident, “No, I just needed a baby.”

That was a mistake.

I say that but I wonder if it is true. If I had received counseling  I might not be writing this blog now. I’ll never know.

We were great during those years. I was happy with my two children. I knew I would not have anymore and I was fine with that.

During those years Patrick and I served on our church worship team together. Our church was also going through a lot of changes. We went multi-site. Patrick and I really didn’t get the vision.

Having two children and trying to be on worship team together proved stressful. I made the decision to leave the team for a while. The worship leader (who is now our lead pastor) came to our house to make sure I wasn’t leaving because my feelings were hurt.

Honestly, I was dealing with some pride issues but never mentioned that and said it was just because of the baby and the stress.

In 2007 the church had officially become multi-site. My husband was still on worship team and he was playing at the new site. In the fall of 2007 I felt like God might want me to go back to the worship team. I mentioned this to the worship leader but things didn’t happen the way I wanted them to.

I sat in service seeing new faces on stage and I didn’t see any room for me. I was filled with selfishness and jealousy. I see this clearly  now, but at the time I just thought I didn’t like our church anymore.

People often say they don’t feel valued at their church. I would say that was how I felt. I didn’t feel valued.

Here is the issue with that way of thinking. Our value should never come of other people. Our value is only from God. I was looking to other people to give me value and they didn’t. This was my problem, not the church’s.

One Sunday morning after a service, where I sat and saw more new faces on  stage and no room for me, my husband picked up his bass, looked at me and said, “We’re done.”

I was fine with that. Now we could find the perfect church were I could feel valued.

Isn’t that silly? So many people think that way. It’s like getting a divorce. The problem is you still have a common denominator, and is it you. We take ourselves with us. But Patrick and I felt God was telling us to leave elem3nt and serve somewhere else.

Looking back we do believe God told us to leave, but not for the reason’s we thought. God had us leave to humble us and bring us back.

When we left I actually interviewed for a worship leader position in another church. I really wanted that job. I felt God challenging me to truly become a worship leader. I wasn’t sure how He wanted to accomplish that since I hate speaking to a crowd, but that feeling was undeniable.

We also visited several churches and none of them grabbed us. What we liked about one church was what we liked about elem3nt. So way did we leave?

After I interviewed with this other church I began to pray that God would not give me the job. Patrick felt that same way.

We wanted to return to elem3nt. We saw our selfishness for what it was. I realized the calling God placed on my heart, to be a worship leader, had to be accomplished at elem3nt.

In all God’s wisdom, I did not get the position at the other church. I praised Him.

We called Pastor Gayle, who was the worship leader at the time, and asked to meet with him at our house, again. We told him what God laid on our hearts and that we were ready to do God’s work at elem3nt.

There are a two things I said I would never to at church; speak and play keyboard.

Well, after our meeting with Pastor Gayle, God opened my mouth and gave me things to say to draw his people deeper into worshiping Him. As time moved along I started playing keyboard too. Isn’t God funny? Never say never to Him.

By the end of 2007  Patrick and I were in a wonderful place at elem3nt. People at church looked to us as this perfect couple who led worship together and who God was using for His glory. We were an example for other young couples.

My heart grows sad as I write those words because the storm is coming.

I now know the enemy was waiting, he has a lot of patience. He had me right where he wanted me, in a place where I could fall.  And I did.

 “Sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.”  Genesis 4:7 (MSG)

Have you discovered how patient Satan can be?


Write to the Point with Cynthia L. Simmons April 11, 2012

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:33 pm
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Congratulations to Anni who won Cara Putman’s book! Thank you to everyone who commented for a chance to win.

This week we have Cynthia L. Simmons. She has written a great book I am sure many of us can relate to and also a workbook. Let’s get write to the point with Cynthia. 

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I grew up in Chattanooga, where I worked as pediatric RN. In 1978 I married Ray Simmons and moved to Atlanta. My husband and I have five children. Together we homeschooled them through high school. I taught basic reading and writing. Ray taught advanced writing and critical thinking. When we began homeschooling, few people did it. Neighbors often asked me if it was legal, but our kids did well in college. Several earned advanced degrees.

I’ve always loved the written word, and I can devour a book in a few hours. In 1979 I wrote a letter to a columnist that he published in the Atlanta Journal. Later I posed a question on growing orchids which appeared in Orchid magazine. As my kids began to leave home, I saw I had time to pursue writing. In 2004 I joined Christian Authors Guild and learned about writing for publication.  

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I’m thankful my parents knew Christ and took me to church each Sunday. At six I sat in a Sunday evening service and listened to the pastor. He gave the Gospel and told about a man who failed to believe. Later the man died and went to hell.  For the first time, I realized I was a sinner and burst into tears. Mom thought I was too young to grasp redemption, but I wasn’t. I didn’t have all the theology down, but I knew I wanted to be forgiven. That night I accepted Christ.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

My youngest child is disabled and I took special classes to address his needs. Both of us battled impossible barriers. During that time, I started historical research. On several occasions, God used stories I unearthed to encourage me. I wrote Struggles and Triumphs and the Bible study to give back some of what God gave me. I hope that women who use the study guide will gain a deeper understanding of God and be more certain of their hope in Christ.

Struggles and Triumphs blurb:

What’s wrong with our world? Shouldn’t a God who claims to be all powerful and flawless prevent suffering? How can we continue to believe when storms rage on in our lives? If you’ve ever had tough questions like these Struggles and Triumphs Study Guide is the book for you. Author Cynthia L. Simmons will guide you toward answers with her unique and enlightening approach. Her twelve-week Bible study for ladies comes from stories of real women as told in Struggles and Triumphs: Women in History Who Overcame. As you study, you’ll come to understand God’s perspective on timeless issues that impact your life. The carefully chosen Scriptures combined with interesting historical information will challenge and encourage you.

Watch the trailer.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

CAG (Christian Authors Guild) Spotlight is a podcast posted each month. It highlights authors and VIPs in the writing industry.

Clash of the Titles Podcast is a podcast for the Clash of the Titles Contest. I interview staff and contest winners quarterly.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

I recommend Because of Me  by Fay Lamb.

The focus of this blog is Genesis 50:20. Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

In 2008, just before Struggles and Triumphs came into print, my husband had a grand mal seizure. We rushed him to the hospital, and the doctor diagnosed encephalitis, or an infection of the brain. My husband is a brilliant man and a gifted Bible teacher. Nothing could be more degrading than for him to be attacked at his strongest point. Our church friends worried he’d never teach again. The first few days were scary because he also had pneumonia from the seizure and doctors couldn’t control his temperature. At times I wondered if I would lose him. A neurologist predicted he would need to go to a rehab center for six months to learn to walk and talk again. He wasn’t overreacting because Ray had been sick all week. Without treatment, encephalitis kills and cripples.

The Lord protected us. He had tons of struggles, including partial seizures, sleep loss, and heightened emotions, but the dire predictions didn’t come true. Ray has some residual effects, but he functions normally. In fact, his teaching is better because his new emotions improve his delivery. Ray is in the upper 3% of people who suffer from encephalitis. Now, four years later, we have so much to praise God for.

Wow, powerful. God has certainly taught you what struggles and triumphs look like and its wonderful to know you have walked through to the other side and found God’s goodness.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

For this project:

2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks  be to God , who always  leads  us in His triumph  in Christ, and manifests  through  us the sweet  aroma of the knowledge  of Him in every  place .

For ministry:

Hebrews 10:24 and let us consider how to stimulate  one  another  to love  and good deeds ,

2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks  be to God , who always  leads  us in His triumph  in Christ, and manifests  through  us the sweet  aroma of the knowledge  of Him in every  place .


Where can we find you on the web?

Thank you so much for taking time to share your book with us. I have no doubt God will use what you have written to draw others closer to Him.


Part VIII-A Son April 6, 2012

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:09 pm
Tags: , ,

Today my husband, Patrick, is sharing what happened to him during the emotional affair, what God did in his life. If you are not sure what we are talking about check out last week’s post to bring yourself up to speed.  Enjoy hearing the story from a new POV (point of view).

At the time in our marriage that Melissa was struggling with an emotional affair, there were some underlying issues in our marriage that fueled that affair. 

By no means did these issues cause Melissa to have the emotional affair, but Satan used these footholds in our marriage to aid him in the deception he used against us and our marriage.

God had already given us one beautiful child, our daughter.  As a little girl Melissa always dreamed the perfect family would be three children. 

What we realize now is our dreams are not always God’s plan or what He intends for us. 

In my mind and in my way of thinking, the fewer children we had the better off we would be.  Fewer children meant less responsibilities and more “me.”  My selfish way of thinking often contributed to a lot of hurt, not only between Melissa and I, but also between myself and God. 

I knew deep in my heart that God’s plan in my life was for more than one child, but I tucked that deep down and buried it so that it could never come to the surface.

For anyone who has experienced anything that is difficult (I know we all have) we can often hear God the clearest in our darkest moments.  As I have said many times before, God works the night shift. 

What this means is that God can and sometimes chooses to use our darkest moments for His purposes. 

Often our greatest and closest times with God come when we have to surrender everything to him.

 Often we don’t always do that until crisis arises in our lives.  Wouldn’t it be so much more simple if we would surrender to God daily rather than when we experience crisis?

I have learned that is what God desires from us, daily surrender.

When I found out that Melissa was involved in an emotional affair I definitely experienced a crisis in my life.

 I wish I could say that I totally and fully relied upon God as He desires, but I didn’t completely do that. 

Even though I did not, God worked in and through me.  And it was during this time when I first experienced the audible voice of God. 

I can honestly say that I will never forget the experience I had with God one night as we were battling through the emotional affair.

As I was lying in bed one evening completely asleep God awoke me very abruptly.  So abruptly that I sat straight up in bed. 

God wanted to make sure he had my full attention when He spoke to me, so my tranquil sleep was spiritually interrupted.  He also wanted to make sure we were alone, which is why I believe He waited until I was asleep.

There I was, wide awake, feeling as if I had been awake for hours.  There were no remnants of sleep upon me. 

I didn’t understand it at first, but it didn’t take God long to speak to me once He had my attention.

Very clearly, and very audibly God simply said “What are you doing?  Who are you kidding?” 

I knew exactly what He was talking about.  God wanted to talk with me about His plans for my life and my denial of those plans.  He wanted to talk with me about having additional children

Of course I tried to play dumb and pretend I didn’t know what He was talking about, but who was I kidding…He’s God!!! 

Knowing I was acting confused God said it again, “What are you doing?  Who are you kidding?  You are not fooling anyone.  You know the plans I have for your life always included two children.  But you are refusing that and the blessing I have set aside for you by having two children.  Right now you are doing more than that.  You are hurting your wife, you are hurting yourself, and you are hurting me.  Do not refuse me, I have more in store for you than you could ever imagine.  I have more in store for your future child than you could dream of.” 

God worked the night shift that night.  The saying is true; it always gets darkest just before the dawn.  At that particular point in my life I had reached my darkest moment.  God brought the dawn.

Until this very moment I have never told anyone this; I spent the rest of that night not sleeping, but dwelling on the knowledge that God placed in my heart that my second child WOULD be a son.

I pondered God’s son, Christ, and how proud God was of Him.  I knew I would be just as proud of my son and would get to experience what God did.

 I dwelled upon days of holding him, teaching him, playing with him, wrestling him, spending time with him, watching him stumble and fall, picking him back up, and seeing all God planned for his life.

The next morning I couldn’t wait for Melissa to wake up so that I could share with her exactly how God spoke to me and what He said.

 I am not sure which excited me more; that time with God and my wife or the birth of both of my children. 

What I do know is that God was faithful to what He spoke to me about that evening.  He gave us a son very quickly.  And in God’s sense of humor He made my son look just like me so that every time I look at my son I am reminded of that evening God spoke directly to my heart.

This week I was reminded of God’s faithfulness as my son laughed while he wrestled with his dad. His sweet smile filled my heart and I felt God say, “Remember, I am faithful.”

It is not lost on me that the day I post about God giving us a son we are celebrating the day God gave us His Son as a perfect sacrifice. The day my Savior went to the cross and paid for my sins, and yours. He is faithful.

I have included a beautiful song by Kari Jobe, click here. Be blessed this Easter and remember love has come to rescue you, you are no longer a prisoner to your sin.

If you feel  moved, thank Patrick for being vulnerable and sharing his story with you. This won’t be the last time you hear from him!


Write to the Point with Cara Putman April 4, 2012

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:43 pm
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I’m so excited about this week’s author and giveaway. The book is set in my all time favorite place, Mackinac Island. Michigan readers will love this book and non-Michigan readers will love getting to know this unique destination. Cara is giving away a copy to one lucky commentator. Let’s get write to the point with Cara.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I’m a native Nebraskan who lives in Indiana with my husband and four kiddos. I’m a second-generation homeschooler, so my days are filled with my kids and watching them learn. On the side, I write books, practice law, and teach at the local community college or Big Ten University depending on who needs me when. I love staying busy with my fingers in lots of different things. A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island is my 13th novel since October 2007. God has been so good!

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I was raised in a Christian home and loved God from an early age. Around eight I made the public declaration that Jesus was my Savior. I honestly can’t remember a time when I haven’t wanted to serve and please Him. My greatest pleasure comes when I feel His smile.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

In this month’s release, A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island, Alanna Stone is an attorney who has run from an event in her past. That event casts a shadow over everything in her life. Now she has to confront the past and its hold on her. My hope is that readers will find through Alanna’s journey the strength to stand up to the things in their pasts that control them. Sometimes it’s a person or an experience. It might be a memory. Whatever it is, God is waiting to remove the power from that.

A great takeaway and something God has done in my own life.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I blog at least three times a week. I say at least because I love talking about Christian fiction and so there are weeks that I’m on four or five times. But people can always find me at on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I talk about my faith, parenting and homeschooling, and books. Lots about books.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

I adore reading. Just this morning I was at a Christian bookstore and ended up with a stack of books—even after putting half back. One that I’ve read lately and adored was Last Plea Bargain by Randy Singer. As an attorney I love a good legal suspense, but I’m also pretty critical because I catch errors. Randy writes AMAZING stories that are so compelling my husband and I race to grab the book when it arrives. He is truly a great writer!

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

Melissa, that verse has so much meaning for me. In 2009 I started down a valley that I never anticipated. After our first two kids, my husband and I struggled to get pregnant again. Then we did, and out of the blue lost the baby. I say out of the blue because no one in either of our families had experienced the pain of miscarriage. That resulted in a valley of pain and confusion that took the candy coating off my faith. One promise I have clung to through the miscarriages is begging God to create a Genesis 50:20 out of the situation. That Satan would regret the day he messed with me because of all the glory God is getting from this. And I also begged God to show me some of that good this side of heaven. He has been faithful. So very faithful. I may never understand why I have two children that I won’t meet this side of heaven. But God has turned my pain into ministry – both for me and my family. We have a tenderness that God has used over and over – that grew out of these experiences.

Your Genesis 5020 touches me. I have a few friends who have experienced the loss of a child. Through their pain they have started a ministry called Tiny Purpose that is bringing healing and hope into many women’s lives. It’s great to hear that you are using your pain to minister to others, I believe it is needed.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

My life verse is Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Where can we find you on the web?

Readers can find me all over the web J







Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

No, this was a great interview. Thank you so much for hosting me, Melissa. I so appreciate it!

Thanks for giving us your time Cara. I enjoyed learning more about you and I am sure my readers will too.

Readers, here is the deal; this book is fabulous. I had the honor of receiving an advance copy and have been reading A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island. Not only is Mackinac Island my favorite place but the writing is great. I love that I can open a book and be transported to downtown Mackinac, I can hear the clip clop of the horses, the sound of bikes whizzing by and the chatter of the tourists (fudgies). If you love Mackinac Island you will love this book. And if you have never been to Mackinac Island you can travel there instantly through this book.

We must have more than 15 comments to have a drawing, so get commenting for your chance to win a copy of this great book. All comments must be in by 5:00 pm on April 10.