Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Bought with a Price-Part 2 November 30, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:58 am
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Today we continue with Heather’s Genesis 5020. If you missed last week’s you can find it here.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV

I slowed down on going out to the clubs for a little while until I found another friend to hang out with. 

When I was 26 years old, my boyfriend at the time suggested I try dancing to make some extra money as I was struggling to pay my bills.  I dismissed it at first but then considered it after a man I met at a night club suggested the same thing.  So I looked into it. 

I obtained my business license and sheriff’s card and found a job working as a dancer at a well-known strip club.

My first weekend working at the club, I made more money than I made working 2 weeks at my day job.  I thought it was fun. 

I was able to drink, dance and make money at the same time.  I was getting all kinds of attention from men that made me feel so powerful.

A few months after I started dancing, I quit my day job and just danced full-time.  The money was great at first

I was able to buy my daughter all the things she wanted and I was home more during the day so I could be more involved in her school activities.  At least, that’s how I justified what I was doing.

It didn’t take long for drugs to be introduced to me. 

I thought it was harmless. I would only do them before going to work to give me that extra boost of courage to do what I had to do to make money, because drinking just wasn’t enough

Soon I needed the drugs to get through the day, any day, working or not. 

Drugs are expensive and sometimes there weren’t a lot of men at the club so I had to take things a step further in order to maintain my lifestyle. 

I became a prostitute

For me, it was easier to sell myself than to sell a lap dance. 

I could usually make more money in less time that way, too.  It was fun and easy at first, since I had always been promiscuous anyway, now I was getting paid to do something I used to do for free and generally enjoyed.

The summer after I turned 27, I visited my family in Michigan.  It was a short visit. 

My dad and I had a huge fight over things that had happened in my childhood.  He refused to see my perspective and I his. 

I took my daughter and left my parents’ house in anger.  I didn’t speak to them again for 2 ½ years.  My daughter didn’t understand why she couldn’t see her grandparents anymore but I didn’t care, they had wronged me and I didn’t want anything to do with them. 

I didn’t realize it then, but see it so clearly now, the enemy had a grip on me and was hard at work helping me destroy my life.  He loved every minute of it while it grieved God tremendously.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 NIV

Although Heather wasn’t speaking to any of us and I did not know the extent of her darkness, I was on my knees daily. My prayer was that God would bring her back to us, no matter what. I asked Him to do whatever it took to bring her to us.

I say this to encourage those of you who are on your knees praying for lost loved ones, our God’s love never fails, never gives up. Keep praying.

If you have someone you would like prayer for leave a comment and I promise you, I will lift up your loved one.

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Write to the Point with Eileen Rife November 28, 2012

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:56 am
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Congratulations to Kay M. who won last week’s giveaway, Wildflowers from Winter.

This week we get write to the point with Eileen Rife. She is sharing her Genesis 5020 with us today, I hope you will be blessed by her story. Be sure to read to the end, she has a giveaway for you.

EMPTY ARMS AND ACHING HEART

Eileen Rife

Christmas had come and gone, but the scent of cinnamon potpourri still lingered in the air. Unwrapped boxes lay scattered under a brittle tree. A garland sagged from an archway between the living room and hall as if tired from its holiday efforts. My parents had returned home. My husband had gone back to work. And my little girl was playing at a neighbor’s house. All was calm, really for the first time since November. I struggled to forget, but the memory of our loss was still vivid . . .

Four months into my second pregnancy, I suddenly awoke one beautiful fall November morning with stomach pains. Two days later, I returned home from the hospital with empty arms and aching heart. The little boy I had carried was gone. Home with Jesus. And I was left behind to pick up the pieces and carry on. But I wasn’t doing a very good job of it. Numb, I floated through the Christmas season. Sights, smells, and sounds that normally would have energized my spirit, only depressed me. How could life go on as usual when I was in such pain? I packed up and moved inside myself, guarding my heart against well-meaning comments and actions that threatened to get too close. This was my private pain, or so I thought.

Now two months later, I padded about an empty house yanking down tired Christmas decor that reminded me of just how weary I had let myself become. Fed up, I reached for my Bible on the coffee table. Running my hand over the cool leather cover, I hugged the Book to my chest. This precious collection of love letters had been my life, my very survival over the years. Why was I having such a hard time receiving its comfort now?

I sank to my knees in front of our large gold recliner. Sun was streaming in through our double-wide windows. Unusual for a January morn. Overcome with emotion, I cried out to God. I wept loudly, freely, pouring out my heart to Him. “I am so angry, Lord—angry at my husband for not feeling this with me the way I want him to; angry at

myself for not knowing I was in labor and calling the doctor sooner; and yes . . . Lord . . . even angry at You for allowing such a tragedy to happen in the first place. Why Lord? Why?”

All the feelings I had been holding in since the miscarriage came pouring out of me, like water from a faucet. I thought I could come home from the hospital and pick up where I left off, but in doing that, I denied myself the necessity to grieve and thus heal. Only when I got honest with God about my true feelings could the real healing begin. From that moment on, I began to view things differently.

The rays of the sun shone warmly on my shoulder as I hunched over my Bible. Frantically flipping the pages in search of relief, I came to Luke chapter one. Since I had

drifted through Christmas in a fog, I decided to revisit the Christmas story. Scanning the chapter, my eyes fell upon verses 78 and 79 which appeared to leap off the page in

my direction.

Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

It was as though God had written those words for me that very morning and faxed them on rays of sunlight. In His tender mercy, God had provided all the healing and peace I needed through His precious baby Son, the Sunrise from on high. What Satan intended for my destruction, God used to draw me closer to His heart.

~~

Eileen Rife, author of Second Chance and the Born for India trilogy, conducts marriage seminars with her husband and speaks to women’s groups on a variety of topics. www.eileenrife.com www.eileen-rife.blogspot.com

Thanks for sharing with us Eileen.

Readers, Eileen is giving away a paperback copy of Chosen Ones to one commentator. Leave a comment for Eileen by December 4 at 5:00 pm to be entered to win.

 

What Happens in Vegas-Part 1 November 23, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:38 pm
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Today , and for the next few weeks, we have a very special guest, my sister, Heather Spiegel. I don’t even know what to say about her. She is amazing. When you hear her story and what God has done and continues to do, I am sure you will be speechless.

Sit back and read Heather’s Genesis 5020 and see how God never let her go, even when she let go of Him.

When I was 25 years old and my daughter was 6 years old, we moved across the country to Las Vegas, NV. 

I had made all the appropriate arrangements, I had a good job lined up, had a nice apartment in a good neighborhood, I had even found a day care at a church for my daughter to attend during the summer before school started. 

I honestly believed God wanted me to move there.  I had prayed about it and even asked Him to stop me from moving if I wasn’t supposed to move. 

God didn’t stop me, as a matter of fact, my plans couldn’t have gone better. 

So I moved.

Shortly after getting settled into my new home, I made friends with some of my neighbors. 

One of them was a married man who had 3 beautiful children.  His wife worked and he stayed home with the kids. 

It didn’t take long for us to become more than friends

He often complained about how he and his wife were not getting along and how bad his marriage was.  He was reaching out to me and I too was reaching out to him, being a single mom in a new city, I was lonely and wanted companionship. 

We soon had a physical affair

It wasn’t long after our affair started that I found out I was pregnant. 

I didn’t know what to do but I knew I didn’t want to terminate the pregnancy.  So I decided I would keep the baby and this man and I would be together. 

He was ready and willing to leave his wife and move in with me.  He had started moving his things into my apartment but I soon realized I liked my own space and didn’t want him living with me.  I told him to take his things and go back home to his wife.

At my 6 week doctor’s appointment, my doctor did an ultrasound to determine how far along I was.  While he was doing the ultrasound, he asked me some questions that led me to believe something wasn’t right

I asked him what was wrong and told him I wouldn’t be upset because I really didn’t want to be pregnant in the first place. 

He told me I was miscarrying and needed a d&c.  I said okay and left his office. 

As I was driving back to work, I started to cry, I had lost my baby.

I quickly recovered from my loss by turning to alcohol and men

I had made friends with another neighbor of mine.  She had just moved to Vegas from Chicago.  We had a lot in common and got along very well.  She and I would go out and hit the night clubs 5-6 nights a week. 

We would drink heavily and meet men at the clubs who we would either take home with us that night or meet up with later on in the week.  We met so many men that we lost track of them

We thought we were having the time of our lives. 

One night, as we were leaving a club, we were both drunk, she started yelling at me and then started hitting me and pulling my hair.  I had no idea where this behavior was coming from. 

I did my best to fight back but I had never been in a fight before so I really didn’t know what I was doing.  The bouncers who worked at the club came and split us up.  I drove home and she had to take a cab. 

I picked my daughter up from the sitters then went home to get ready for bed. 

Shortly after we got home, my friend came to my apartment.  I thought she wanted to talk about whatever she was upset about but she had other plans.  She grabbed my hair and punched me in the face over and over.

My daughter witnessed the whole thing

I told my daughter to call 911 and she did.  Before the police arrived, my friend had left.  I filed a police report and got a temporary protection order against her. 

She left me alone after that.

I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers. Deuteronomy 30:18-20 NIV

Have you ever prayed about something and thought God made it happen but in hindsight see how maybe the enemy had a hand in it instead? Care to share your experience with us?

What’s your Genesis 5020? Share with us at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

 

Write to the Point with Wildflowers from Winter November 21, 2012

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:02 am
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This week’s write to the point is a little different.

Katie Ganshert, whose debut novel Wildflowers from Winter came out in May, has made available the first two chapters for you to read. To get a peek at this wonderful book  click here.

Katie’s book reminds me a lot of my novel A Bridge of Promise, which is now in the hands of some readers who are looking it over and giving me honest feedback.

The heroine in Wildflowers is a bit tough at first. There were points were I wasn’t sure if I liked her all that much. I knew that Bethany (the main character) was broken and she tried to cover up her brokenness.

My heroine, Ella, does the same thing. Instead of dealing with her wounds she attempts to conceal her hurt in destructive ways.

In honor of this peek into Wildflowers from Winter,  and in celebration of my book so close to being ready for submission, am giving away a copy of the book Wildflowers from Winter to one commentator.

This is my own copy that has been gently used but in great shape, I take care of my books 🙂 Because tomorrow is Thanksgiving, share one thing you are thankful for by November 27th at 5:00 pm and you will be entered in the drawing.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

 

Hope’s Story-Part 6 November 16, 2012

Filed under: Hope's Story — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:43 am
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Just wanted to send out a quick congratulations to Heather Spiegel and Debbie Curto, they won Dianne E. Butts book, Deliver Me.

This is the final installment of Hope’s Story. I pray you will be blessed by all you have heard. Next week I will begin sharing another story that is nothing short of amazing.

Hope’s Story

By Alaina Hiatt

I began seeing a wonderful Christian counselor shortly after my loss who helped me to understand that everything I was feeling was a normal part of the grief process. 

During one of our sessions, I said that it would be great if we could get a group of local women together to share our stories of loss with each other.   

With the help of two other women, Tiny Purpose was born. 

Our monthly support group began meeting in April 2004 with about 4 women attending regularly.  The Lord placed a desire in our hearts to minister to other women at the time of their loss.  With the generous donation from a local OB, we began a box ministry with the local hospitals.  As more people expressed an interest to help support our ministry, we were blessed by the opportunity to join The Christian Mission , a local non-denominational ministry providing free counseling, among other things.  By joining the Mission we were able to provide tax receipts for those people who wanted to support us. 

The first Gathering to Remember was held in February of 2004 with a little over 20 women in attendance.  Speakers from Hearts of Hope shared their own stories of loss and how they had turned their pain into a basket ministry to help other hurting mothers.  What comfort and peace came from the afternoon of remembering and sharing!  Before leaving, several women expressed a desire to continue getting together.  I offered to host a monthly bible study for anyone who was interested.   

Today, our group has an average of 8-12 women in attendance each month.  We have a number of ongoing ministries you can find out about on the Outreach Page.  Most recently, we’ve been approached by a couple of local OBs to help begin a Perinatal Program.  We are also being led to develop our own grief recovery seminar and a compassion seminar for medical professionals who work with these hurting families.   

After attending a national bereavement seminar, we heard that most support groups for pregnancy losses are dying around the country. 

Somehow what Tiny Purpose is doing is working. 

What’s the difference? 

We are not professionals, we are hurting mothers who desire to connect with other hurting mothers.  We know that not everyone will find healing in a support group, but we know that there is healing in remembering that we are not alone. 

We believe that every life, no matter how short, has a purpose and that the Lord desires to minister to you right where you’re at! 

Find a way to remember the positive and embrace what is to come

Alaina’s story is powerful, yet this is what God does with our pain, if we allow Him.

When you visit the Tiny Purpose website the first thing you will see it this:

There is a place of refuge in this storm of life after the loss of your baby – a place to find others who will share the pain and grief that those close to you don’t understand.  There is a place where you can feel the presence of God and the compassionhe wants to show you.  

I have had the honor of taking part in some of the Tiny Purpose events and I can tell you God is all over that place. People come to some of their events who don’t know the hope of Jesus and hear it from these ladies.

 Tiny Purpose’s biggest event, and probably having the most impact in the community, is the annual Walk to Remember that is held in October. The Walk has grown every year. The first walk had 75 people in attendance, the next year 150 and this year it had an astounding 1,000 people. That number doubled from the year before.

Only God!

I can tell you that Alaina is a strong, wonderful woman. She has a great perspective on things. She has said many times since the loss of Hope, that if Hope hadn’t passed she wouldn’t have the four amazing children she has now. None of them would exist.

One of her precious children was born only three weeks before my son and they are great friends. I remember when I told Alaina I was pregnant she looked at me wide-eyed and shared that she was too. We both were so happy to be pregnant together, and now we have these two boys that are so much  alike it’s scary 🙂

I know that Alaina would never wish to go through what she did, but since that was the journey she had to travel she has embraced the blessings and found her Genesis 5020.

What was intended to harm her, God has used for good. Many women have experienced healing because of Tiny Purpose, because of Hope.

Take a minute and thank Alaina for sharing her story.

What’s your Genesis 5020? We still need your stories. Share them at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com.

 

Write to the Point with Keven Newsome November 14, 2012

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:58 am
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This week we get write to the point with Keven Newsome.

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

I’m originally from Columbia, MS. My wife and I met our freshman year of college while I was at Mississippi State and she was at Mississippi University for Women, thirty minutes apart. We didn’t finish there, but transferred to William Carey in Hattiesburg, MS. We married in 1999, our son was born in 2003, and our daughter was born in 2007. Right now we’re living in New Orleans while I work on a MA in Theology at the New Orleans Baptist Seminary…though we’re praying about possibly serving at a church and moving closer to home.

I’ve been writing since 5th grade, ever since I tried to write really bad fanfic based off of one of my favorite video games, complete with King James English because that’s how they talked in the game. My attention span would suffer real writing for long, and I told stories mostly orally and with the aid of pictures I would draw. This continued until high school, when I began writing some short stories and even started a novel full of bad dialogue and teen angst wrapped in a medieval candy shell. I started writing in earnest after graduating college. I now have three novels under my belt, two of which are published (Winter and Prophetess) and the other is contracted with Digital Dragon Magazine to run as a serial.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

Also in 5th grade. It was at a city crusade. I grew up in a Christian home. My dad was a music and youth minister for thirty years, my mom, and my grandfather was a music minister and deacon for most of his life. I don’t have a grand testimony of how horrible I was and how God turned me around. I was always a good kid. But I was lost. That night at the crusade, I realized just how lost I was and that the Christian legacy of my family wouldn’t save me. It was my responsibility to make myself right before God.

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

My latest book is Prophetess. It is the second installment of the Winter series which began with my debut novel Winter. Winter is a Goth girl with the gift of prophecy. In the first book, she struggles to figure out her new gift and finds herself facing a Satanic priest. The second book picks up where the first ended, and finds Winter trying to discover the ulterior motive behind the priest’s actions. Woven through the very intense “present day” story, is a past time line occurring “four years ago.” In the past timeline we see Winter’s backstory, revealing the dark secrets of her past that have made her uniquely qualified to be used by God in the present story. Ultimately, it’s a story about the fall and redemption of a broken person. It’s about how God can redeem a person who doesn’t think they’re worth redeeming. It’s to bring hope that a greater story is being told, of which we play small, yet important roles.

Love the take away, so many of us feel this way or have felt that way at some point in our lives.

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

*Guilt* I should be blogging twice a week with original material, while running smaller items on other days so that there is a total of five new posts every week. But I haven’t done that in the past month or so. Guess I kind of have an excuse with the big push to get Prophetess out on time. I also have zero motivation now. All that emotional build up has left me a little bit drained. I’m doing good to stay motivated to get my school work done…of which I’m currently procrastinating by doing this interview. And it took a lot of ummph to do this interview, cause I’d rather procrastinate by watching Doctor Who. I need a good jolt of energy to get back into a productive state of mind.

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

My first love is fantasy. My first novel was a dark fantasy with a spiritual meaning. The first novel I attempted in high school was also a fantasy. And my favorite book is a fantasy. It is The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. It is by far the best stand-alone fantasy novel I’ve ever read. Whereas most authors think is such large landscapes and grand adventures that they can’t help but plan at the very least a trilogy…Robin McKinley got it done in one book. And did it very very well. Anyone who wants to be a fantasy writer or is a fantasy writer, would do well to put this book at the top of their to-read pile.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life

Just the past few years in general could fall into this category. Our path in coming to Seminary was a long one. It involved some difficult decisions, lost jobs, selling our beloved house, learning to live on a quarter of our income, living with family for a year, humbling myself to work at Wal-mart…none of which was easy. We questioned God many times, but we always knew he had a plan. And when the door to Seminary opened, we knew he was the one behind it. Now we’re looking at serving in ministry full-time, possibly regaining some of which we gave up to come here. But even if none of that happens, we know we are in the center of God’s will. That’s where we want to be and that’s where we’ll stay. Here we are happier than we’ve ever been. We never want to tell God no any longer.

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

I have several verses I’ve gone to frequently over the years. Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. But the two that have really be working in my life lately is, Matthew 6:33, Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you; and Psalm 37:4, Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4 has been one I have clung to over that last few months as well….love it!

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me on my website, www.KevenNewsome.com. Mind the Es. There are four. I’m also on FB – www.facebook.com/kevennewsome, twitter – www.twitter.com/kevennewsome, and YouTube – www.youtube.com/kevennewsome.

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

Make sure to visit my YouTube channel and subscribe. There you can find live action trailers for both of my books. Click here.

Thanks so much for sharing with my readers.

Readers, Keven is giving away an ebook copy of his book. Leave a comment by November 20 at 5:00 pm to be entered.

 

Hope’s Story-Part 5 November 9, 2012

Filed under: Hope's Story — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:27 am
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If you have missed the first four parts of Hope’s Story you can find them here, here, here and here.

Hope’s Story

By Alaina Hiatt

Through the night, the nurses brought us a keepsake box with a birthstone necklace, a baby-powder scented cape and blanket that were Hope’s size, and a few other momentos.  They also gave us a “Certificate of Life” which they had taken the time to put Hope’s handprints on.  We were touched by their thoughtfulness.  We also gave the hospital permission to take pictures of her, should we want them someday.

The next morning, we were thrilled to be leaving the hospital and yesterday behind, though it filled us with such sadness to know we were leaving Hope behind

The next few days brought quite a bit of activity as we planned Hope’s memorial service, looked for an angel to leave at the cemetery, looked for non-maternity clothes to wear to the service and designing Hope’s birth announcements.

Friday morning, July 18, 2003, dawned a beautiful summer day—part of me was thrilled knowing that the graveside service would have clear weather, but part of me couldn’t understand how the sky was not gray with a slow and steady rain falling. 

I was already realizing that life marched on as though nothing had happened, though I knew my life would never be the same again. 

We had chosen to have an intimate graveside service attended only by our immediate family and friends because we knew we couldn’t handle a visitation or church service—nothing we were living was normal and we wanted to remember Hope our own way. 

Both our pastor and my Uncle (a pastor) spoke at the graveside and it was an absolutely beautiful service.  My Uncle had his part of the service bound in a little book for me and I’d like to share part of it with you now.

We’ve come today to say goodbye to one we hardly knew.  She was not with us long, but she was dearly loved and will be sorely missed.  Kelly and Alaina, her loss is especially painful  for you.  But from the first day we knew she would be coming we loved her too, because we  love you.  In this family, babies are always “our babies.”

You named her well.  Hope Elizabeth.  Hope presented to God.  From the first moment you knew she was coming, through the shock and pain of the initial diagnosis and all along the painful  road that brings us here today, you were filled with hope.  Hope that the diagnosis was wrong.  Hope that somehow there would be a miracle that would bring her safe and whole into this  world and your arms.  Those things were not to be.

 But you hoped for other things.  We all hoped and prayed that God would strengthen you and  give you wisdom.  He has.  We hoped that God would bring you comfort, peace, and rest in his loving arms.  He will.

 Today is not the end of our hope.  Indeed in a very special way,
it is the beginning of a Journey of Hope.

Though this journey is not one that I would have chosen for myself, I know I’m not alone as I walk this path.  In a card that we received from a friend is a quote which can be found on Hope’s headstone today:

Hope is waiting with expectation for the good and even miraculous
things that God will unfold.

Next week we will conclude Hope’s story, although that isn’t entirely true. Hope’s life and death has touched many other lives and will continue to do so. Next week find out how God used all of this for good, to bring Himself glory. The enemy could have used this story to tear down Kelly and Alaina’s faith, that did not happen.  

What’s your Genesis 5020? We want you to share your story. It doesn’t have to be long (it can be), it can be a short one week blurb. What is something in your life that the enemy could have used to pull you away from God, to question your faith, but God used it to make you stronger and to draw you closer to Him? It could be anything you know God has done in  your life. Share your story with us: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com.