Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Write to the Point with Ann Lee Miller October 31, 2012

Today we get write to the point with Ann Lee Miller. She is sharing a Genesis 5020 with us.

She has a great giveaway, everyone wins! Just leave a comment and your email and Ann will send you an ebook if Kicking Eternity. You will need to leave your email written in your comments so Ann will see your address. When you do, use (at) and (dot).  If you don’t want to leave your email see Ann’s directions below.

Please comment by November 6.

Giveaway: Anyone who leaves a comment with an e-mail address will receive a free e-book copy of prequel Kicking Eternity. Those who don’t want to leave an e-mail may contact Ann for their free book at



E-mail From God

 By Ann Lee Miller, Author of The Art of My Life


God spoke to me through an e-mail that showed up in my in-box last November, during a year I strained to wring out the deeper novel my literary agent was convinced I had in me. I needed to scrape out my emotions and smear them on the page. But I only knew how to shove them inside.

When I was six my Chatty Cathy doll tumbled over the stucco banister worn shiny from my family’s hands and those who had lived in the Miami apartment before us. Salty tears tickled my face. I scooped her up in chubby, little girl arms and pulled her string. But she who won me countless friends on a year-long Volkswagen van trip across Mexico would never talk again. “Quit your crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about,” my daddy said.

When I was thirteen, Mama drove me and my six-year-old brother away from Biscayne Bay and Daddy. We left the sailboat Daddy built in the back yard—where we and our belongings had been crammed into thirty-six feet that smelled of mildew and last night’s fish. Our blue Rambler braked at a house, peering owlishly through black-framed windows. Mama looked back at us, Jack-in-the-Box smile stitched in place. “Isn’t this a wonderful adventure?”

Our footsteps echoed off cold terrazzo, as barren as I felt inside. I needed to be strong for Mama. But it wasn’t so hard. I didn’t remember how to cry.

At nineteen I hurled myself at Jesus, Someone who didn’t think my emotions were too loud and bothersome, Someone who listened to my heart.

For three decades I locked my childhood and my emotions behind Get Smart steel grates. If I wasn’t such an Eeyore, if I had an ounce of gratitude, I would have said my childhood was okay. A lot of people suffered worse.

A flash of blond hair out a firehouse window unearthed a firefighter’s memory of a fifth-grade girl walking home from St. Hugh’s Catholic School in Miami. He was a sixth-grader who could never understand why his carpool whisked past me day after day as I plodded through a ramshackle neighborhood in the sticky heat headed for the marina.

Though we never spoke, the man googled me and e-mailed, “I always thought how sad and lonely you looked.”

I felt as though Jesus pressed three fingers into my right shoulder and said, “Yes, your childhood was sad.” The doors to my past and emotions burst open.

As a child I shut off my voice because it wouldn’t be heard or believed.  Now I’m starting to come all-out with my husband, children, and friends. They listen and believe me. They embrace me. I am showing them the core of who I am. Color and intensity of feeling are shooting through my deadness. I am learning to pen pain and joy.

Ironically, in my writing people have told me for years that my unique voice is my strength. Could there be people desperate for my message, could my words be valuable?

God went out of His way to love a girl nobody listened to, to restore her voice and emotions. How can I not speak?


Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids’ lives.

Back Cover:

The Art of my Life

Cal walked out of jail and into a second chance at winning Aly with his grandma’s beater sailboat and a reclaimed dream of sailing charters.

Aly has the business smarts, strings to a startup loan, and heart he never should have broken. He’s got squat. Unless you count enough original art to stock a monster rummage sale and an affection for weed. 

But he’d only ever loved Aly. That had to count for something. Aly needed a guy who owned yard tools, tires worth rotating, and a voter’s registration card. He’d be that guy or die trying.

For anyone who’s ever struggled to measure up. And failed.

Twitter @AnnLeeMiller

Facebook Author Page:

Buy Links:

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Ann. I pray God’s blessings over your writing.

Readers, don’t forget, just leave a comment and you will receive Ann’s book.


Hope’s Story-Part 3 October 26, 2012

Filed under: Hope's Story — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:49 am
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If you have missed the first two parts of Hope’s Story you can read it here and here.

Hope’s Story

By Alaina Hiatt

I hadn’t been back to work since my 20-week ultrasound—I couldn’t stand having people ask me how my pregnancy was going when I had no idea! 

When I returned to work the following morning, I was struggling just to be there.  Shortly after 8am, the phone rang and it was the high-risk doctor.  He told me good morning and then he said he had the preliminary results from the amnio and our baby had Trisomy 18, which was completely incompatible with life. 

He told me that at 21 weeks, we could still terminate the pregnancy under Ohio law.  I told him again that I wouldn’t consider termination and that we would see him at our next appointment.

At our next appointment, after I had been able to do my own research on Trisomy 18, we asked the doctor if he knew from the amnio results the sex of our baby.  I suspected on my own that it was a girl, as Trisomy 18 occurs 4 out of 5 times in girls, and the doctor was able to confirm that for us. 

We struggled with what would be the best name for our precious daughter—to that point my husband and I had not been able to agree on any girl’s name.  We finally decided on Hope Elizabeth Hiatt.

“Hope” because it seemed to sum our whole pregnancy up in a single word, and “Elizabeth” because it means consecrated to God.  We knew that our daughter had been in the Lord’s hand since conception and we took comfort in the fact that he was in control.

Each appointment with the high-risk doctor was the same—he’d listen to the Doppler and say it made no sense that our baby was still alive—when we asked what would happen in the months to come, he told us that our baby would die without our knowledge of it and that a few days later I’d go into labor and deliver a stillborn baby.  He always said it would be before my next appointment, unless we wanted to terminate, as we still had time.

I couldn’t stand the idea that my daughter would just pass away without my knowledge, so a dear family friend arranged for me to get a Doppler from her daughter so we could tape record Hope’s heartbeat and listen to it ourselves. 

On Saturday, July 12, 2003, we met at our friend’s home so we could be shown how to use the Doppler.  Unfortunately, her daughter, a midwife, couldn’t find a heartbeat and told us that we needed to go to the hospital to have an ultrasound to confirm that our daughter had passed away. 

As we drove to the hospital, we called ahead and after the midwife relayed our situation to the doctor, we were told that the doctor on call didn’t want us to come in—just wait until first thing Monday, and schedule an appointment with your regular physician. 

My husband and I had been more than willing our entire pregnancy to fight for our daughter, but if she had passed away, the situation became about my health and we were not going to spend the weekend wondering if she had passed away or not. 

When we arrived at the hospital, we were seen in triage by a few nurses, who found no heartbeat with a monitor and brought the doctor in. 

The doctor calmly performed an ultrasound, blithely telling us that “See, there’s the heart, and it’s not beating.”  He put the wand away and told us again to wait until first thing Monday and call the doctor’s office.

If you are being touched by Alaina’s story why don’t you give her a shout out.

While you’re at it, what’s your Genesis 5020? I need more stories!!! I know you have one, share it with us at:


Remember, you can remain anonymous if you want.


Write to the Point with Ada Brownell October 24, 2012

 This week we get write to the point with Ada Brownell.

ADA BROWNELL is the author of Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, and Confessions of a Pentecostal (Gospel Publishing House, out of print but recently released as an e-book. She has been writing for Christian publications since age 15 and sold approximately 275 articles and fiction stories to 45 Christian magazines. She also is a retired journalist from The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado. She and her husband, Lester, have five children—one of them in heaven.


Swallowed by LIFE:

Confessions of a Pentecostal:


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

I was born in Fruita, Colo., the eighth child of a family recently escaped from the Kansas dust bowl and the Great Depression. Our little 10-acre farm was surrounded by beautiful red mountains and the valley was peach country. But we were so poor my daddy and oldest brother worked 12 hours for $1 a day shoveling coal from railroad cars onto trucks. Then God sent witnesses to my siblings and one by one our family gave their lives to the Lord. The house was full of joy and singing. I learned early God loved me and had a plan for our lives. The gospel changed our family. Two of my brothers, Joe and Virgil Nicholson, worked their way to their doctorates and taught at Evangel University. The other brother, Everette, became a pastor.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

In the 1940s, the church was expecting Jesus to return at any moment because of prophecies being fulfilled. Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones burst to life and Jews from all of the world headed for Jerusalem and Israel became a nation in 1948. I caught the excitement and at age 5 while the pastor was preaching I thought I saw Jesus coming in the sky beyond the stained glass windows. As soon as the pastor gave the altar call, I ran to the altar and gave my life to the Lord.

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

Here’s my short summary of Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal: Do you know evidence shows we’re more than a physical body?” It doesn’t seem like such a  mystery when you look at the evidence; the wonder of life with all its electrical systems; the awesome truth about cell death and regeneration where our body is constantly dying and being rebuilt cell by cell, replacing our skeleton every seven years; think about how we started in the womb, how we gain and lose weight, how parts can be cut away, even some of the brain, and we can have another person’s heart put in us and we’re still the same person; the wonder and  mysteries surrounding the change from mortal to immortal; where we go when our body dies; resurrection; and a glimpse at what we will do in heaven. Questions and answers make this non-fiction inspirational book a great text for group study. It’s also written for support groups, religion classes, people with chronic or terminal illness, individuals who fear death or are curious about it, the grieving, and those who give them counsel.

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

My blog is I blog once or twice a week. The subtitle is “Stick-to-your-soul-encouragement.” I have many authors as guests and often discuss writing, but I and my guests also contribute articles and devotions on subjects that affect us all.

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

The Bible is still tops. We know nothing can compare. I’ve reviewed nearly 50 novels for ACFW authors and I found something great in them all. I hate to single out one author, because so many of the books were wonderful.

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

When one of my husband’s co-workers bumped him off his railroad job, we ended up in Thompson, Utah, population 100, in the middle of the Utah desert. No church. No friends. No family. Rotten shack to live in with an outhouse. No grocery store, but four bars. I had to buy milk in a bar. We traveled 38 miles to church on Sunday evenings because my husband worked Sunday mornings. It took months of misery before God did a work in me. I told the Lord if He would send me a helper, I would start a Sunday school in that town. In less than a week God sent a wonderful young woman my age, we were acquainted, and received permission to meet in the schoolhouse. All the children enrolled, and there was an impact on families as well. At home (90 miles away), I had been the church youth leader and quite active. But because I was sent to the desert, I began writing seriously (I’d sold fillers before), took a writing course, and began selling to Christian publications. I’m still amazed that’s where I became interested in being a newspaper reporter and I did find news there.

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

He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:29-31).

Where can we find you on the web?


Swallowed by LIFE:

Confessions of a Pentecostal:


Twitter: @adellerella

Thank so much for sharing with my readers, Ada.

Readers, Ada is giving away a copy of her book to one commentator, paperback or ebook. Just leave a comment for her by October 30 at 5:00 pm.


Hope’s Story-Part 2 October 19, 2012

Filed under: Hope's Story — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:00 pm
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If you missed the first part of Hope’s Story you can read it here. Today we continue on Kelly and Alaina Hiatt’s Genesis 5020.

Hope’s Story

By Alaina Hiatt

Our doctor met us at the elevator doors, which seemed funny as we headed down the hall to a room. 

No weighing or blood pressure for me that day. 

Once we were behind closed doors, our doctor told us that she had been on the phone with the radiographer during our ultrasound and that our baby had a hernia, which meant that the bowels were growing outside of the baby’s body.  The doctor told us this was how the bowels grow, but by this point of pregnancy they should have grown back into the body.  She told us that the amniotic fluid could cause damage to the bowels, but that our baby had grown a sac around them to protect them from damage. 

She said sometimes this could mean a chromosomal abnormality

She proceeded to tell us that our care would be transferred to high risk doctors who would be better able to care for the baby after it was born.  We left that day with an appointment in Toledo scheduled for the following week.  We were shocked, and we were already grieving, but we believed our baby would just need surgery once it was born.

After a scheduling conflict, we finally met with the high-risk doctor one week later.  The appointment began with a level-2 ultrasound.  We told the tech what we knew and we asked that she explain to us everything she was doing.  She was very helpful in telling us everything that our first tech had not—baby’s length, weight and what we were looking at on the screen. 

When she finished, she took her printouts to the doctor, and then led us into a room to meet with him. 

When the doctor entered the room, he shook our hands and introduced himself, and as he settled himself behind his desk, he proceeded to tell us that the ultrasound confirmed everything that had been seen before and that our baby would not live

In the “caring and compassionate” fashion that we later came to expect from him, he told us our baby had no legs, anomalies in its hands and arms, and not a single normal functioning organ in its entire body. 

He said he was sure the baby had some chromosomal abnormality and that this pregnancy should never have been, let alone made it through the first trimester to this point.  He told us that the best way to proceed was to terminate the pregnancy

Needless to say, we were blown away.  We had been prepared for additional testing and care by doctors leading up to immediate surgery once the baby was born, but never had we even considered losing this baby we already loved and wanted so badly. 

We told the doctor that termination wasn’t an option for us and that we would continue this pregnancy. 

We asked him what kind of prognosis we could expect for future pregnancies.  He said the only way to talk about the future was to know exactly what our baby had.  We could wait and run tests after the baby was born, but the odds were that the baby would die in utero and it would be a few days before we went into labor, so we might not be able to get anything conclusive after the baby was born. 

He suggested that we have an amniocentesis done that day. It was a hard decision for us to choose the amnio – I knew from my reading that there was always a chance that you could lose the pregnancy after an amnio and even with what we now knew, we weren’t ready to lose this baby.  We decided to go ahead and have it done. 

The ultrasound tech came back in to prep me and explain what would happen.  When the doctor entered the room, I asked him if it would be painful, to which he promptly said no. 

For my husband and I, it was awful to watch on the ultrasound screen and see the needle enter my uterus so close to the baby.  And the doctor had lied—it was painful. 

As he tried to draw fluid, he said he wasn’t able to get enough, so he pulled the needle out and tried again in another location.  He kept jerking the needle in an attempt to draw more fluid, which was so painful, and he kept saying “Mrs. Hiatt—it only hurts because you’re fighting me!  If you don’t start cooperating, we’ll get nothing from this!” 

I wasn’t even aware I had anything to do with what he was doing at that point.  Once again, he pulled the needle out and tried a third time to draw fluid.  This time he was able to draw a little.  As he finished, he was disgusted and told us that we wouldn’t get anything from the pitiful attempts. 

We were told to schedule another appointment in a week.

What’s your Genesis 5020? We still have a few weeks of Hope’s Story but I would love to line up more stories that give God glory. Share yours at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com


Write to the Point with Fred Warren October 17, 2012

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:33 am
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Today we get write to the point with Fred Warren.

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

I was born in Tacoma, Washington, but spent most of my formative years in California, where my parents pastored a couple of small churches. I graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1983, and spent 24 years in the Air Force as a bomber navigator, flight-test navigator, and military educator.  I retired from the Air Force in 2007 and now work as a government contractor in eastern Kansas, providing computer simulation support for Army training.

I’ve been married for 28 years to the girl who should have been my high school sweetheart, and have three kids, three dogs, and a mortgage. When I’m not writing or reading, I enjoy running, hiking, birdwatching, stargazing, and playing around with computers.

Writing has always been a big part of my life, but I kept it mostly private until a few years ago. Since then, I’ve written more than twenty short stories that have been published in a variety of print and online magazines, and a novel, The Muse, that debuted in November 2009 from Splashdown Books and was a finalist for the 2010 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award for book of the year in the speculative genre (science fiction and fantasy). A collection of my short stories, Odd Little Miracles, was published in July 2011, and The Seer, a sequel to The Muse, followed in November 2011.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

My personal testimony is pretty simple. I invited Jesus into my heart at age 5, in a little church in Iowa, and I’ve never looked back.

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

In The Muse, struggling author Stan Marino goes looking for inspiration, but finds instead an ancient evil that casts him, his friends, and his family into a battle for their souls in a realm of imagination where almost anything is possible.

Five years later, The Seerfinds Stan still picking up the pieces of his shattered life. Are his daughter’s disturbing visions of the future a lifesaving gift, or a curse that will draw him once again into the shadowy world of dreams and imagination, back into a war he can’t hope to win?

Odd Little Miracles is a collection of my short stories from the past several years, so it encompasses a mix of styles and voices. There’s science fiction, fantasy, and horror, mingled with humor, romance, adventure, and satire. Lost colonies, UFO investigators, circuses, magical beekeepers, and spacefaring nuns…all involve contact with the miraculous, in one form or another.

Expression of my own Christian faith in my stories is something I’ve experimented and struggled with since I began writing. I don’t typically set out to write “message” stories, though you can probably find a message or moral in quite a few of them. If a character happens to be a Christian, his or her faith will probably come up in the discussion at some point. In “Pilgrimage,” one of the short stories in Odd Little Miracles, an alien ambassador abruptly inquires about my heroine’s belief in God, and she stumbles through a brief summary of the Gospel as she tries to collect her wits. I hadn’t planned for this to happen, but sometimes characters take matters into their own hands. Perhaps it’s a form of divine inspiration. I hope so. Most of my stories are speculative, and by that, I mean that they involve ordinary people coping with extraordinary situations. If my readers can project themselves into those situations alongside my characters, feel their own emotions stirred, then ponder for awhile afterward how they might respond in like circumstances, and why, I think that’s mission accomplished.

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

I try to blog two or three times a week, depending on how busy real life is at the moment. I talk a lot about writing and writing-related topics, but the material covers a pretty broad swath, from family, to faith, to random observations about whatever is occupying my thoughts that day. Regardless of the subject matter, I try to have fun with it and keep things as lighthearted as possible.

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

I think your readers might enjoy a book by Matt Mikalatos called Imaginary Jesus. It’s a humorous parable about our tendency to remake Jesus in our own image, but it also weaves in a story about God’s grace working in the author’s life through a personal tragedy. You can read my review of the book (in three parts) at

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

Well, mine’s not as dramatic as Matt’s–my daughter had a little mishap a few months ago that seemed like a disaster at the time, but it’s reinforced for all of us the truth that God has a plan for us, and His timing is perfect. Bottom line, she was where she was supposed to be, and her experience erased all doubts in her mind about that, but the delay was necessary to fully equip her for the challenging road ahead. Long story, short version at

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

I find Jeremiah 9: 23-24 helps me keep things in perspective.

Where can we find you on the web?

I blog at, and I also write a weekly article at Speculative Faith,,on Tuesdays.

What are you working on right now?

I’m wrestling with the draft of the third book in my Muse series, which, as sometimes happens, is taking longer than I expected. I’m also writing some short science fiction as part of a collaborative shared-world story sponsored by my publisher, called Avenir Eclectia. You can read along as the adventure develops at, and the first collection of stories from this universe, with accompanying artwork, was published just last week. You can find more details about that at


Melissa, thanks so much for inviting me to spend some time here with you and your readers.

Fred, thank you for sharing with my readers, I know they appreciate your time.

Readers, Fred is giving away one of his books to you, your choice. Leave a comment for Fred by October 23 at 5:00 pm to be entered to win.


Hope’s Story-Part 1 October 12, 2012

Filed under: Hope's Story — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:40 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Today you will hear part of Alaina Hiatt’s Genesis 5020. Alaina is a dear friend to me and a constant encouragement. I have known Alaina for many years. Our friendship started out a bit rough. When I first met her she was dating my best friend’s ex-boyfriend (Alaina ended up marrying him), so of course I had to hate her, right? Thankfully, God got a hold of me and showed me how completely silly I was being. Actually, God brought Alaina into my life when I was praying for a Christian friend, she was there all along.

Patrick and I walked beside Alaina and her husband Kelly, as they went through the pain and sorrow of their story. I am forever changed by the strength and faith the two of them displayed as they travelled that road. Hope (the Hiatt’s first-born daughter) will live in many people’s hearts and she has changed many people’s lives. I pray you will be blessed by Hope’s Story.

Hope’s Story

by Alaina Hiatt

It was early March 2003.  I knew I hadn’t been feeling quite like myself, and my period was late.  I was usually quite regular, but I figured the stress of another tax season was getting to me, as I worked for a CPA firm. 

One Friday night as I left the office, the thought crossed my mind “Wouldn’t it be crazy if I was pregnant?”  I chuckled and thought I could pick up a pregnancy test—it’d be easier than a stress test! 

Once I reached the store, I couldn’t believe how expensive pregnancy tests were, so I bought the cheapest one.  As I walked out the door with my purchase, I was thinking that the cheap test probably wouldn’t work anyway!  But I quickly found out when I got home that I was indeed pregnant.

At first, I was stunned.  We had only been married a year and a half, and at 22, I didn’t think I was ready to have a baby.  I had thought that we’d start a family someday, but not today.  But as I was finding out, God had other plans for us. 

We struggled with how to tell our parents, both sides would be first-time grandparents!  We created the “First Time Grandparents Survival Kits” which contained a Veggie Tales movie and a storybook, among other things. 

We couldn’t wait to see what was to come…girl or boy didn’t matter, we just knew that this baby would be a special part of our lives.  Our family and friends were also thrilled—we received congratulations cards for days!

At our first doctor’s appointment in late March, the nurse practitioner did an ultrasound to confirm our due date and to see a heartbeat.  She thought my days were a little off, so she sent me for a second ultrasound at the hospital to confirm.  At my second ultrasound, the tech thought the baby was on the small side, but she didn’t see a reason to change my due date.  So, baby was due to arrive around November 4, 2003. 

When I went to my next doctor’s appointment, we couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat with the Doppler, so the doctor did another ultrasound, which confirmed the heartbeat. 

Each one of those early pictures meant so much to me!!  I knew the baby was small, but neither my husband nor I are large people, so I didn’t really dwell on it.

Fast forward to our 20-week ultrasound, which we scheduled for June 18, 2003—which happened to be my husband’s 30th birthday. 

I was really hoping that we would get there and my husband would decide that a great birthday gift was to find out the sex of our baby.  Both of our moms were with us—neither of them had an ultrasound with their kids, so they were just as excited as we were to see our baby on the screen. 

The ultrasound tech seemed very preoccupied as she worked.  I had to ask her how long the baby was and the weight of the baby, and I had to repeatedly ask what we were looking at.  She stopped at one point and said, “I’m sorry—I always tell couples these things—I must be really out of it today.” 

About halfway through the ultrasound, another tech came to the door and asked that all of the pictures of my ultrasound be sent to the radiographer.  My tech chuckled and told us that their printer hadn’t been working, so if she sent every picture through, the radiographer should get at least a couple of them. 

A few minutes later, the other tech came to the door again and said that the radiographer wanted to see my tech.  We were left waiting while they conferenced outside.

When our tech came back into the room, she wanted to make sure we were heading straight to our doctor’s office for our appointment.  We confirmed that we were, and I asked her for a picture, which she had never printed for me.  She had me lay back down while she hurried to get me a print out. 

We got a picture of our baby’s face—how precious!  As we left the ultrasound area, our tech wished us luck.  We were so excited as we headed to our doctor’s office, never knowing what was coming.

Have any of you been there, in a doctor’s office, or getting an ultrasound and you weren’t sure what was going on, but something didn’t feel right? Share you experience.


Write to the Point with Gina Bovyn October 10, 2012

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:55 am
Tags: , ,

This week we get write to the point with Gina Bovyn.

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

I was born and lived in Chicago for about ten years until my family and I moved to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. We’ve been here almost ten years now, and I was homeschooled from the eighth grade through high school. I turned twenty back in September and I still live with my parents, along with our dog Bear. When I was a little girl, I had about a hundred different journals and diaries that I would write short stories in. As I grew older, this hobby grew into a passion and, after Lady White was birthed, the passion became a ministry.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I was blessed to be born into a Christian family. My grandmother is actually a minister, so I grew up in Church and always believed in God. It probably wasn’t until I was about fourteen that I had a working revelation of what Jesus did when He died on the cross and that He thought of me while He was there. I guess that’s when I really understood that He was my Lord and Savior.

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

Well, my latest book, Lady White, is about a young woman in the medieval era and she is the leader of an assassin clan. She lived through a horrendous childhood, and while she’s in prison, she makes a diary of it and tells the tale of her life and how she became what she is. But, with a little aid from her friends, it all turns around, and she comes to find forgiveness as well as two loves she never knew before.

What I desire for my readers to take away when they turn that last page is God’s profound love for them. I want people to see and grasp how forgiving He is and that even if they messed up in their past, He’s right there, wanting with all of His heart to turn it all around for good for them because He loves them. He doesn’t hold anything against us.   

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

Honestly, I don’t blog very often anymore. A shame, I know. But with working on my fourth novel and after opening a shop, I’m trying to balance out my schedule and blogging kind of gets pushed back.  I’m going to try to blog more often, fingers crossed, and what I usually find myself writing about the most is either things I’ve learned and studied from the Bible or cooking. My mom and I started a blog last year to share our favorite recipes on, so I will definitely be adding some new ones to that very shortly.

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

I LOVE to read, so choosing just one book is really hard. It would have to be a tie between two of my absolute favorites. A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin and A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman. Sarah has such a gift in writing and the way she weaves World War II history with fiction, with romance is brilliant. Walt and Allie’s story left me smiling at the end. And Julie’s knack for writing a passionate love story that holds just as much passion for God thrills me. I could relate with Faith’s character. I mean what girl doesn’t have a childhood crush on a handsome dark haired, dark eyed man, right? But, really, the book takes you on an emotional roller coaster that leaves you shedding tears of joy and I absolutely loved it! 

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

One of my Genesis 5020 moments in life was when I was a young teenager, just about fifteen years old, and I found a lump in my breast. It was a very scary time and I definitely believe it was something the enemy intended for bad, especially in the depressed state that I was already in. I wasn’t very close to God at the time, but when this happened, I could only find peace while in the Word of God or in prayer with my mother. My relationship with the Lord really grew from that experience and the Lord healed me of the disease the doctors said I had. He took care of me and drew me close to Him in the process. I don’t think the enemy was counting on that to happen! 

Praise God. So glad to hear you were healed.

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

One of the verses I’ve taken a lot of comfort in through the years and that I read every day is Psalm 37:3-5- Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

I stood on this verse, and of course appropriated it in my life by doing the said command, for my novel to be published, which the Lord proved Himself faithful and a definite keeper of His Word, if I should have had any doubt whatsoever. And I’m standing on it again for a good man to come into my life. So for any of my single friends out there, this verse is a must for encouragement. J

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me on Twitter @GinaBovyn, Facebook,, and finally

Gina, thank you for sharing with my readers. You are inspiration those young authors out there and to us older hopefuls as well 🙂

Readers, Gina is giving away a paperback copy of her book to one commentator. Leave a comment by October 16th at 5:00 pm to be entered.


Part XXXII-The Beginning October 5, 2012

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:51 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Before I move into today’s post I want to take a moment and let you know this is the beginning of the story.

You read that right.

This is the beginning.

I can’t wait to see all that my Savior has in store for my marriage and my family. Whatever it is it’s going to be good.

Although I will not write anymore “Part (whatever)” I will still write every Friday. You may not hear from me, you may hear from someone else who would like to share their Genesis 5020 with you.

Will that someone be you?

I hope so.

As I have been saying for weeks, we want you to share your story with the world. What has happened in your life that the enemy wanted to use to harm you but God turned around so He could be glorified?

Please share your story. Don’t hold back. Stop listening to the voice in your head that says your story doesnt’ matter, it’s not powerful enough. Your story does matter and it is powerful enough. If God did it, it’s powerful.

Send us your story at: 5020genesisstories (at)gmail(dot)com

You can remain anonymous. We can even change locations and dates if that will make you feel safer. But share your story.

Now for the beginning……

At the end of two posts I wrote a long time ago I ended with part of the story of Lazarus. You can see those posts here and here. There was a reason for that and today you will understand why.

Please read the account of Lazarus here.

I am Lazarus.

I had an affair. I was ill, near death. God could have saved me at any point during my journey to the pit. But He didn’t.

In those early days I wondered why He didn’t stop me, why didn’t I get caught before I fell completely?

I believe the answer is the same for me as the answer He gave to Mary and Martha when they asked why He didn’t come and rescue Lazarus right away.

He wanted to be glorified. He wanted me to know that He saved me, not myself or my husband, but Him alone. 

I picture the angels running up to Jesus when I planned my first  meeting with the other man. They are panicked, breathless with worry. “Lord, Melissa,  the one you love, is about to do something terrible.” 

 Jesus looks at them,  His eyes are full of sorrow. Of course He knows what I am about to do. “I know. Let her be.”

 The angels walk away but question among themselves, “What, let her be? Why?”

 I fall into a physical affair. But I am not done.

 The angels see I am about to make the same mistake again. They run to their Lord, “Lord, Melissa, your Beloved, she is making plans to be with the man again.”

 Jesus nods, tears glisten in His eyes, “Yes, I know. Let her be.”

 This time the angels ask, “But why? Why don’t we stop her?”

 Jesus places a hand on the shoulder of the inquisitive angel. “She must die. We must let her die completely and utterly to herself. If we rush in and save her she will not learn anything and I will not be glorified. I have tried other ways to get her to surrender to me but she will not listen. This time she will.”

 The angels walk away and they believe without question, this is the way it must happen.

 I am with the man a final time and I die.

Physical death does not find me, although I wish for it to claim my life. My death would be better for everyone. I truly believed this lie.

Jesus did not allow me to die a physical death, but a  death to myself.

 Under the weight of my sin I am finally crushed.

Crushed beyond recognition. The identity I knew so well for thirty years had been annilalated.

Slowly my heart  opens up to Jesus. I  feel Him hold me and breathe life into my heart.

One day, when I am ready to give it all up, He calls, “Melissa, come forth.”

 The real Melissa emerges, the Melissa I was always meant to be.

I am covered from head to toe in grave-clothes.

I have worn them my whole life but I never realized how constricting they were. I thought I was free. But my face is covered, my hands are bound. I am not free.

 “Remove her grave-clothes and let her go,” Jesus’s voice booms with power as He commands the enemy of my soul. The enemy has no choice but to obey.

 My grave-clothes are removed and I freely reach my hands to my Savior.

I see my sin, I see my shame but they have no hold on me. They came off with the grave-clothes.

I am free to be held in the arms of my Savior, the Lover of my Soul.

Child, you are never too far gone for our Savior.

Maybe you wonder why He allowed you to make some terrible mistake, or why did He allow this horrible thing to happen to you?

Perhaps He is allowing you die to yourself. Perhaps He is waiting to call you forth and remove your grave-clothes as well. Perhaps He has been calling you forth for years and you have not listened.

Today you can be free. You can be ALIVE.

Today can be your beginning.

Are you ready? Listen. He is calling you, “Come forth.”

As I climbed in my van this morning to go to work the song “I’m Alive” began to play.

I knew I was to include that song in this post. It perfectly sums up what God has done in my life since I answered His called to “come forth” and live. Truly live.

I am sure I looked like a crazy woman as I danced in my seat and raised my hands to my Savior.

Listen to the song here.

Beloved, I dare you to get up off your seat and dance.

Dance to your Savior.

Dance your grave-clothes right off.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you.


Write to the Point with Connie Lounsbury October 3, 2012

This week we get write to the point with Connie Lounsbury.

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

I can still remember a poem I wrote when I was nine years old; and I won a writing contest when I was twelve, so I guess I’ve always been a writer, but I didn’t begin writing seriously until 1990 when I quit my job to become a freelance writer. By then my four daughters were grown and gone from home; my husband was about to retire; and I wanted to be home with him but continue to earn money working on a flexible basis. In other words, I wanted to do what I wanted to do, where I wanted to do it, when I wanted to do it. So, I devised a plan that would enable myself to become independent and did it. After many others wanted to know how they, too, could change their lifestyle I wrote a book, Quit Your Job and Make Ends Meet.”  It sold like hotcakes! That book has been out of print for some time now, and I plan to update it and do a reprint.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior? 

I was only nine years old and I accepted Jesus Christ as my heavenly father at a Billy Graham rally.

Wow, a Billy Graham rally, that must have been amazing. I can’t wait to meet that man one day.

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

I have had three books come out this year. I ghost wrote “Heaven is Near When a Child Dies” by Lori Hoflen that came out January 2012.

Then my own memoir, “Thrift Store Shoes” came out  January 2012. Thrift Store Shoes is about growing up in poverty and how God worked in my life.

Just two weeks ago my latest book, “Eyes of Hope, Caring for Orphans and Widows in Africa” was released. Eyes of Hope is about how 4 people without experience or resources started an orphanage in Africa in 2004 and now care for over 700 orphans with the  help of God.

In each of these books, as well as in my earlier memoir written for Deanna Germain, “Reaching Past the Wire; a Nurse at Abu Ghraib” I am glorifying God – His power and love and how he speaks to us. I want my readers to strengthen their faith through my books and through my speaking.

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

I don’t blog. My life is so filled with speaking engagements and writing that I have little enough time to give to my husband, my home, my friends, my daughters, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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

What a difficult question! I read a lot. Some of my favorite authors are Anna Quindlen, Jane Hamilton, Beverly Lewis, Bleva Plain and Marilynne Robinson.  I loved, “The Measure of a Man” by Sidney Portier and “Promise of Hope” by Edward Grinnan. I love anything by Nicholas Sparks. For children’s books, you can’t beat Kate De Camillo and Lois Walfrid Johnson. Lorna Landvik is great for comedy. I like to read memoir and must say that I was most inspired to write my own memoir after reading Frank McCourt’s books. I think I have read every Karen  Kingsbury and Jan Karon book. If I’m in the mood for mystery it is Mary Higgins Clark. Wonderful Christian Historical fiction I’ve enjoyed is the Gilbert Morris series. So, I cannot pick one favorite book. I love them all.

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

It is Satan who has attacked me with illness when I was planning a large speaking engagement to talk about “How God Speaks to Ordinary People.” That reminded me that Satan is real and he does not want us working for the Lord and he will attack when we are most vulnerable and keep us from glorifying God. I renounced the devil in the name of Jesus Christ and then I remembered that we have a healer in the house and it is Jesus. So I began praying for healing. In a few days I felt perfectly well to travel and I touched many hearts with my speech.

I’m so glad you were able to identify that attack and God could get the glory.

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

Yes. 1 Chronicles 29:12. “Both riches and power come of You, and you reign over all; and in Your hand is power and might; and in Your hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.”

Where can we find you on the web?

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

I speak at Stonecroft Ministry meetings and many other church and secular events, speaking on many different topics. I have had five books and 30 short stories published in books and magazines, including many stories in Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines. I will give a copy of my latest book, “Eyes of Hope” as a book giveaway on this blog.

Connie, thank you so much for sharing, your heart shines through along with your love of the Lord.

Readers, you heard Connie. She is giving away copy of Eyes of Hope to one commentator. Leave a comment for Connie by October 9 at 5:00 PM to be entered in the drawing.


It’s an Honor to be Nominated October 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:30 am
Tags: , ,

I know this seems totally random, I normally don’t post on Mondays but I won the One Lovely Blog Award. Linden Barrick awarded me with this honor. You should check out her blog, Hello God, Welcome to my Classroom. I enjoy reading Linden’s posts because she is a teacher as well and I can relate to many of her thoughts.

According to the rules of winning the award I need to recognize the person who awarded me with this honor (I did). Tell you seven things about myself and nominate other bloggers for the award.

My seven things:

1) I love potatoes. Anyone who knows me is nodding right now because I really LOVE potatoes.

2) I am left-handed.

3) I love algebra, all thanks to Mr. Brink, he was the best math teacher. He believed in me. I never thought I could be good at math, but Mr. Brink told my parents I could be, so I was. The power of words. Before long I was setting the curve and pulling straight  A’s in every class, all because one teacher believed in me.

4) I have an obsession with Downton Abby. I will purchase season three when it comes out just so I can watch the whole season before everyone else does and talks about it on their blogs.

5) I sang a solo in Carnegie Hall (way cool).

6) The weirdest thing I have ever eaten: nothing. I love to eat and refuse to waste a meal on something I might not like, so I play it safe. Just ask my husband, it drives him crazy.

7) I won the lip-sink contest at my sister’s birthday party, I can’t remember how hold she was, had to be around eight and I was twelve. I did Tiffany’s “I Think Were Alone Now.” Yes, I am THAT good 🙂

Now, to nominate some winners…….

Check out The Respected Husband. This blog is geared towards men, but I love hearing his advice for marriage.

The Peaceful Wife is the Respected Husband’s wife, insightful stuff.

Bree’s Mackinac Island blog is one of my favorites. She lives on the island in the summer but keeps up on island news in the winter and has amazing photos.

Fiction Addiction Fix lists tons of giveaways. I put mine on their every week. I have won several books from the listings on this blog.

Sherri Stone, faith, fiction and following the plan.

Undivided, a blog about one women’s journey to faith and the challenges along the way.

If you have a minute check out these other blogs, I pray you will be blessed.

Thank you all for traveling this journey with me, God is doing some really cool stuff!