Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Bruised and Battered-Part 6 December 28, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:28 pm
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prayer-close1[2]I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I pray you will have a happy New Year. Will this be the year you share your Genesis 5020?

We continue with Heather’s Genesis 5020 today.

The day after my boyfriend left, his friend, John, called my phone looking for him.  I told him what had happened. He didn’t say too much at the time. 

The following day John called back.  This time he wanted to know if I could get him some drugs.  I said of course, I had great connections from using myself and from supplying my boyfriend while he was in prison. 

John came over and bought some drugs.  Then he hung out for the day. 

I had the feeling he didn’t really have a place to go so I didn’t rush him out and besides, it was nice to have someone to hang out with after I had just had my heartbroken.  He did leave for a few days but I was having car trouble and didn’t know who to call so I called John to see if he could help me.  So he came back. 

There really wasn’t much that could be done about my car but he looked at it anyway.  I ended up asking him if he wanted to stay with me.  He didn’t have anywhere else to go so he stayed. 

John knew what I did for a living and he said he was okay with it.  He said he normally wouldn’t be but since I was a prostitute when he met me he had to accept it. 

When I would work, he’d stay home and watch my daughter. 

I hated working.  I always had to be drunk and high to go see a customer

John didn’t work, he had been in prison twice for domestic battery so it was really hard for him to find a job.  I had to continue to work as a prostitute to support myself, my daughter and now John.

One night I came home from seeing a customer, I was drunk of course, and John and I got into an argument. 

I called him the b-word. He put his hands around my throat.  I dropped to the floor to escape his grasp.  He then grabbed the hair on top of my head and dragged me from the bedroom to the kitchen, screaming at me. 

I shut up at that point, afraid of what else he would do. He stopped and calmed down after a while.  I told him he needed to get out of my apartment and not come back. 

He packed his belongings and called someone to come pick him up.  While he was waiting for his ride, I sobered up and started to feel sorry for him.  I knew I shouldn’t have said what I did and he really had no place to go.  I talked to him and made him promise to never do anything like that again and I let him stay.

Things were okay for the next couple of weeks.  I worked and looked for a real job.  I even had a couple interviews but was never hired.  John even looked for a job but found nothing.

One day John was laying down and I turned on the bedroom light.  He told me to turn off the light or he would kick me in my face.  I quickly responded, “If you kick me, you won’t have a place to live.” 

I turned off the light then sat down on the bed next to him.  He kicked me in my face. I stood up and told him to get out. 

He stood up and slapped me hard across the face.  Then he threw me on the bed

Every time I tried to get up, he would slap me and throw me on the bed. 

My daughter saw some of what he did to me.  John did close the door when I asked him to so she didn’t have to see what he was doing.  I called a friend of mine while John stood over me telling me that I didn’t matter because I’m a woman and he’s a man so what he says is the law. 

When I made that phone call, John thought I had called the police so he took my phone away from me.  He said that if the police showed up, he was going to beat my face into the ground.  I said, “Oh, so you’re going to kill me then?”  He told me if he got in trouble one more time, he would get 15-life in prison so if he was going to go back for that long, he was going to make it worth it. 

The police never came, John calmed down.  I told him he had to get out.  He packed all his belongings and got a ride and left this time.

Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” Matthew 9:35-38 Msg

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

 

The Brokenhearted-Part 5 December 21, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:58 am
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For the next two weeks I will only be posting on Fridays. I will resume Write to the Point Wednesdays on January 9 with a fresh batch of authors.

I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas with your family. I am humbled everyday that you choose to read this blog. I pray this year you have been blessed in some way through these ramblings and you will find your own Genesis 5020. Embrace each moment and remember who we celebrate.

Today we continue with Heather’s Genesis 5020.

281-12141089520ahwThe summer of 2008, I met a man who happened to be a drug dealer and I fell for him.  He was living in a halfway house.  He was doing time for selling drugs and stealing cars. 

I didn’t care what he had done, he made me feel so special, I hadn’t felt that way in years, I hadn’t felt anything in years. 

He spent as much time with me as he could living in a halfway house.  When he was supposed to be working, he would hang out with me and sell drugs.  Eventually, he got in trouble and had to go back to prison. 

I was heartbroken when I didn’t get to see him everyday.  But he called me and wrote me letters.

In January, 2009 I was able to go visit him in prison  I was able to see “my love” again.  At our first visit, he told me he needed me to bring him drugs and explained in great detail how I should do it. 

I foolishly agreed, I would do anything for him. 

So the next time I visited him, I transported drugs to him. It was so easy and the thrill of the danger was addicting.  He promised me he would have people send me money for the drugs I took to him.  He said the price of drugs in prison was so much higher than on the streets.  I did get some money from some people here and there but never anything like he said I would. 

Even so, I continued to take him whatever he asked of me, no matter what the cost to me.  Spending all this money on drugs for him took a major toll on my finances that were already doing poorly. 

At the end of March 2009, I didn’t have enough money to pay my rent so I was evicted from my apartment.  I am thankful I had a true friend who took my daughter and I in and let us stay with her for  about 3 months. 

It was a stressful time in my life, moving and my daughter having to switch schools but it was nice to have support from someone who cared about us. 

Even though all these horrible things were happening in my life as a direct result of the poor choices I had made, I still had no desire to make any changes

I found myself pushing even harder to find customers I could sell myself to, I was even taking less and less money for my services. 

I didn’t realize it at the time but my self-worth was nothing, I didn’t value myself at all. 

My customers saw me as nothing and I saw myself as worthless, only good for one thing.

I had one customer in particular that saw me as nothing but his slave.  That was his thing, I was his slave and he was my master.  He would beat me severely on my chest and my back.  I never had to have sex with him but I always had to take a beating.  One time, he even burned my breasts with a cigarette over and over.  He truly made me feel like I was nothing. 

 My boyfriend made me feel good most of the time but I knew deep down that if he truly loved me like he said he did, he would not ask me to take such risks for him.  I was risking my freedom, my daughter. 

If I got caught taking drugs to him, I would go to prison and my daughter would go into foster care.  Getting caught never crossed my mind, my head was clouded by the thought that someone actually loved me. 

I moved out of my friend’s house in June 2009. 

In September 2009, my boyfriend got out of prison.  I picked him up and he came to my apartment. He spent most of the day with me.  I thought we were going to be together. We had talked about marriage and having kids and possibly moving to California together. 

That night he went to the store and never came back. 

I waited for him all night, hoping my gut instinct was wrong but it wasn’t. I never heard from him again. 

All his letters to me about how he loved me, how we were going to have a family, all of it was a huge lie.  He said all those things and made me feel so special just so I would do what he wanted me to do.  He never cared about me or the chances I took for him. 

All of that for nothing, just to be left. 

He didn’t value me at all, he was worse than my customers, at least they valued me enough to pay me. 

That was my thinking back then.  How sad was that?

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18 NLT

Heather and I started talking via email in January 2009. My brother had found her MySpace page and we knew she was dancing. I emailed her and told her she didn’t need to hide from me because I knew the truth. We talked on and off.

In March, when Heather got evicted from her apartment, she emailed me to ask for money. My husband and I talked about it and consulted a few trusted friends about what to do.

We decided, instead of throwing money at her, we would offer to pay for plane tickets home and let her move in with us.

She declined.

It wasn’t time yet. But soon, very soon.

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

 

Write to the Point with Jo Huddleston December 19, 2012

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:57 am
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JO PHOTOToday we get write to the point with Jo Huddleston. I am super excited to have Jo because she is so excited to be here.

Read to the end, Jo has a giveaway for you.

We have a special treat for you. Her post is an interview with one of her characters. For those of you who don’t write this may seem strange, but trust me, this is an excercise all authors are encouraged to do with their characters to get to know them better. 

If that still makes us  sound crazy then the truth is….we  are:) Enjoy!

BIO- Jo Huddleston
Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Her debut novel, That Summer, releases in December 2012, as the first book in The Caney Creek Series. Book 2 in the series is scheduled for release in April 2013 and book 3 is scheduled for release in September 2013. www.johuddleston.com

INTERVIEW WITH JOHN LEE CALLAWAY

JO: Hello, John Lee. Thank you for talking with me today.

JOHN LEE:  Glad to be here.

JO: We’d like to get to know a little about you. Can you share with us something good in your life?

JOHN LEE: Well, uh, there’s not much good about my life right now. Me and my family are havin’ a hard time with the farm—the crops didn’t make it like they ought to. And I can see fear in the children’s eyes whenever I come around. My life’s pretty messed up right now.

JO: Go on, John Lee. I’m here to listen and maybe help you see things better.

JOHN LEE: I don’t know anything else to tell you about.

JO:  John Lee, do you know why your children have fear in their eyes when they see you?

JOHN LEE: I guess it’s because I’ve been pretty mean to the boys and seein’ how I treat them, it makes the girls even afraid of me now. But, you know, I don’t want them afraid of me. I love my children and Elizabeth, my wife. But somethin’ inside of me has a hold on me and I can’t do any better.

JO: What do you think has a hold on you?

JOHN LEE: I don’t really know but I can feel it deep inside of me. Whatever it is makes me be mean to the family. I act like a mean man most of the time. I wish I could shake the feelin’ down inside of me and maybe everythin’ would be good again.

JO: Can you put a name on that feeling inside you?

JOHN LEE: My brother says it’s the devil. My brother says the devil can twist people every which way until they do things they don’t mean to do. He says the devil is workin’ on me with some awful sin I keep hidden inside me.

JO: Do you think you have some hidden sin in your life?

JOHN LEE:  What do you think? I reckon I could have. You know I really don’t like God at all. In fact I’ve hated him for a long time. Could that be a hidden sin?

JO: Yes, it could. Do you know why you hate God?

JOHN LEE: I reckon I sure do.

JO: John Lee, could you share it with me?

JOHN LEE: I’ve never told nobody before. I just keep it to myself.

JO:  Keeping it to yourself is probably the worst thing you could do. If you could share your sin with God I’m sure he would forgive you. That would lift a burden off you that you have carried around for so long.

JOHN LEE: Well, I don’t know about that … You want me to speak it out loud?

JO: Whatever way you want to do it will be fine.

JOHN LEE:  Well, then…I guess I could talk it out loud. Might ease my mind. You won’t tell my family? I wouldn’t want them to feel bad about me talkin’ to you like this.

JO:  I won’t see your family. I won’t tell them.

JOHN LEE:  Well, you see, this started a long time ago. Me and my little brother was in the back of the wagon and Mama and Daddy was up front. We was crossing the Big Stone River in a narrow and shallow place when one of the wagon wheels got stuck up on a big rock in the river bed. Daddy had the mules go up and back trying to get the wagon to go over the rock. When he finally got the wagon wheel to go all the way over the rock, the wagon leaned to the side real quick like and Mama fell into the water. The Big Stone was really rollin’ that day and the water got ahold of Mama’s long dress and weighed her down. Daddy told me to grab ahold of her while he righted the mules. I was holdin’ her hand but it was mighty tough against the rushin’ water. I wasn’t about to turn loose of Mama’s hand and Daddy reached for me just as I was about to go into the water with her. When Daddy grabbed my leg her hand slid out of mine. The waters took her down the river and out of our sight. The men found her the next day hung up in some tree limbs hangin’ low over the water.

COVER That SummerJO:  John Lee that must have been awful for you to see.

JOHN LEE: Sure was. Now you tell me how I should love a God that took away my mama right before my eyes. Tell me. That’s been a burr under my saddle all these years. Tell me why that happened? Can you?

JO: No, I can’t. I can tell you this—you need to have a personal talk with God and tell him how you’ve felt for all this time. If you’ll listen to God he’ll help you get this thing settled. He’ll wash you sins away and then you will be a better man to your family. But you have to go to God and lay it all out there. Can you do that, John Lee?

 Thank you so much for hosting me, Melissa. It’s my pleasure to spend time with you and your readers.

Thanks for stopping by Jo, it has truly been a pleasure to get to know one of your characters. I can’t wait to see if John Lee will allow God to get a hold of his heart.

Readers, Jo is giving away a paperback copy of her book. Leave a comment by December 25th (yes, Christmas, yey!!!) at 5:00 pm to be entered to win.

Jo’s publisher will sell her novel, That Summer, at a discounted price through this month of December only. You can buy the book for $9.99 if you click on this link  http://donaldjamesparker.com/sosproducts.aspx?p=473&c=5

No limit to number of books purchased, but only discounted through December, 2012. The Kindle and Nook books should be online this week. Paperback will be on Amazon, B&N, and CBD whenever they put them on their websites.

 

 

Behind Bars-Part 4 December 14, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:03 am
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We continue with Heather’s story. Last Sunday Heather shared this entire story with our church. Words cannot describe the powerful message she delivered. I am so proud of my little sister 🙂

If you have missed previous weeks you can click here for last week and from there you can keep clicking to find the first one.

old-rusty-lockOn February 14, 2008, I was invited to go out with a girl I knew from the club I was working at.  She told me how she had been going to night clubs and meeting men and making money by hanging out with them or going to their hotel rooms with them. 

I thought that sounded easy enough and I was getting tired of working at the club every night so I ventured out with her. 

We had a drink at a bar at one of the casinos and meet a man who said he was from out of town and wanted us to go to his room. 

My friend did all the talking and negotiating and we walked toward the front of the casino to go to the man’s room.  Then he reached in his pocket and pulled out a badge and told us we were under arrest for solicitation and prostitution

We went to jail at 5am Valentine’s Day morning. 

I couldn’t believe I was sitting in jail and what made it even worse was the fact that I had left my daughter, who was now 10 years old, home alone

I left her, thinking I would be back home long before she even woke up for school.  I couldn’t believe what I had done. 

How stupid was I to listen to this girl and try to make money doing things her way instead of my way that had always been safe for me?  I thought I was at the lowest of lows. 

My daughter ended up getting herself up for school and walking to school that morning. 

I did eventually talk to my neighbor on the phone and she was able to get my daughter after school and keep her at her place until I got out of jail the next morning. 

I again was so ashamed of what I had done. 

From that charge, I had to take an AIDS awareness class and do 30 hours of community service.  My case was dismissed about a year after I was arrested. 

After going to jail for 24 hours, I knew that was a place I never wanted to end up again. 

I continued to work as a stripper but became very cautious when it came to meeting new customers to take outside the club. 

I had quite a few regulars and made most of my money from them.

I even had found myself a sugar daddy.  He lived across the country but would send money to me whenever I asked him to. He was there for me for about a year then he stopped returning my calls. 

I think I had become too dependent on him.  I’m sure he had gotten tired of always having to come to my rescue and he probably wondered where all his money was going, why I could never get ahead. 

The truth was, as fast as I made the money, I spent it even faster.

If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored—so clean up your life. If you give up your lust for money and throw your precious gold into the river, the Almighty himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver! Job 22:23-24 NLT

What’s your Genesis 5020? After Heather’s story is done I need yours. Email your story to: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

 

I’ve Been Interviewed December 13, 2012

Filed under: Melissa's writing — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:02 am
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writing-13931299342873AvD[2]I know I normally don’t post on Thursday’s but I didn’t want my self-promotion to interfere with Heather’s story tomorrow.

I have been interviewed, my very first one! I am very honored  and humbled. God is so faithful and good.

I haven’t been able to share much of my writing journey with you on this blog so if you wondered how I got started writing, my thoughts about writing or my current work-in-progress, you can find out in this interview.

The interview was conducted by Henry McLaughlin who I interviewed earlier this year. You can read his interview here.

So….if you have been dying to know more about my writing click here and satisfy your itch.

Thanks for indulging me, you guys are the best readers!

 

Write to the Point with Travis Perry December 12, 2012

Travis%20new%201Congratulations to Heather Marsten who won last week’s giveaway.

This week we get write to the point with Travis Perry.

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

I’m Travis Perry, father of six children ages 21 to 13, married to my wife Tammie for 24 years. Both of us are originally from the state of Montana but have lived in Texas for about 11 years now. I started taking a serious interest in writing maybe twelve years ago or so. I started out writing short stories and got involved in some online writing critique groups and things have gradually developed from there.

It’s also noteworthy that I’m an Army Reserve Civil Affairs officer, prior enlisted medic, who deployed long ago for Operation Desert Storm and more recently to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

My parents attended a church that taught the Bible and how to know Christ. I prayed at an early age to receive Jesus as my Savior, but in truth I was just repeating words, not really understanding what I was doing. I prayed multiple times in fact, even though I’d been taught you only need to ask Jesus to save you once. Later, years after my parents divorced and stopped attending church, I was thinking over my childhood experience and wondering if I had really meant my prayers for salvation and how could I know if I were really saved. Then I realized that I had never really put my faith in Jesus Himself—I’d actually been counting on my ability to correctly pray to save me, as if the prayer were magical. I realized “faith” means not to know, but to decide to trust—which I did at that moment at age 14 in Whitefish, Montana.

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

It’s Avenir Eclectia, Volume 1, which is a project that compiles flash fiction stories from my friend Grace Bridges’ site (www.avenireclectia.com) from multiple authors in such a way that these many little stories by many writers form a common narrative. The setting is a nearly-inhospitable world (Eclectia) settled by humans, orbiting 94 Ceti. Human beings have settled moons of this world, converted the multi-generation ship that got them there into an orbiting space station (called “Avenir”), travel through local interplanetary space, and even inhabit underwater colonies on harsh Eclectia. Aliens called “angels” and “demons” by the locals live under the seas and have mysterious powers and unknown motivations.

I liked the idea for the setting, so I submitted quite a number of stories to the site since its founding over a year ago now. After enough stories accumulated, Grace proposed making an anthology of the stories, but contributors to the site were divided between listing the stories by author or by the order they’d been posted. I suggested a third method—putting them together in such a way that the stories as a whole would reinforce one another and express what the story universe of Avenir Eclectia is like. Since it was my idea, I took the initiative to actually put the stories in the order I suggested, which my fellow AE authors had the opportunity to review and add input into. In the end we all accepted the final product and were surprised by how well it turned out, not because of the editing, but because of the quality of the stories. It also happens to be true that I wrote the plurality of the stories in the collection—25 stories—but that plurality was a long way from being a majority, since the work has 137 tales altogether. The other seventeen authors included in Avenir Eclectia, Volume 1 (Grace Bridges, Jeff C. Carter, Jeff Chapman, Frank Creed, Pauline Creeden, Karina Fabian, Joseph H. Ficor, Kat Heckenbach, Holly Heisey, Kaye Jeffreys, Greg Mitchell, Keven Newsome, Mary Ruth Purselley, J. L. Rowan, Walt Staples, H.A. Titus, and Fred Warren) produced most of the 222 pages that made up this work and crafted the stories that brought it to a conclusion in which the featured characters are literally thanking God.

I believe this ending of unexpected mercy through hardship and pain has the power to fill a soul with a sense of uplifting wonder. That’s what I hope readers take away as they turn the last page.

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

I blog about once a week and my blog (http://travissbigidea.blogspot.com) covers speculative fiction story ideas (mostly science fiction ideas to be honest) from my own Christian perspective.

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

Hmmm. As much as I love reading and writing speculative fiction, I think one of my favorite books is Winston Churchill’s account of WWII. Churchill was both an amazing man and an amazing writer—and all the shocking twists and turns of events, all the stark view of humanity at its best and worst, all of it actually happened…

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life

I was in command of small Army Reserve unit in 2009 and as the part-time officer in charge I clashed with the full-time civilian who worked at the unit and managed its affairs between weekend drills. I think the basic issue was he expected me to be a figurehead of a leader while he ran the show behind the scenes, which I was not prepared to do. He organized a smear campaign against me at one point based on the fact I was friendlier with members of the unit than I should have been as their commander. The charges he raised were way overblown, but well-directed, and for a time I had a serious concern that I would have formal charges leveled against me or some other formal reprimand that would end my Army Reserve career, especially since the investigating officer never asked me a single question.

But in the end, those in charge of the investigation correctly perceived the situation and made recommendations that did no harm whatsoever to my military record and which also taught me in practice how being an officer is different from being enlisted (I’d been enlisted in the same unit). After that, I transferred to a different military career and unit, which I have liked better and in which I’ve received many accolades. So God took an attempt to ruin my career and made it into a blessing.

We love hearing that, God is so good at taking things that could hurt us and turn it into a blessing.

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

I don’t really. Probably the closest thing to that for me would be Isaiah 6:8: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

Where can we find you on the web?

At both the Avenir Eclectia and the blog sites which I mentioned above. But also at the Splashdown Books site: www.splashdownbooks.com/our-authors/travis-perry24-Avenir1-250

And also my Amazon.com author page: http://www.amazon.com/Travis-Perry/e/B005EREN66/

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

Thanks for listening to me talk. I appreciate it.

Thanks for sharing with my readers, Travis.

Readers, Travis is giving away an ebook copy of his book. Leave a comment by December 18 at 5:00 pm to be entered.

 

Becoming Numb-Part 3 December 7, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:01 am
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Here is part three of Heather’s Genesis 5020. Click here for last week’s and from there you can follow back to the first week.

Later that same year, I found out I was pregnant with my friend’s boyfriend’s baby

I was still dancing, prostituting and doing all kinds of drugs and alcohol.  I thought a baby would interfere with my lifestyle and besides, my friend was never givensad-woman-1347879026vYL the opportunity to have her boyfriend’s baby, how could I, being a good friend, have his baby.   

I told them I was pregnant and they immediately offered to pay for the abortion

So on December 6, 2006, I terminated my pregnancy.  I was 8 ½ weeks along.  I was very emotionally upset after I did that, which drove me even further into my drug and alcohol addiction.

I continued my reckless lifestyle. 

I turned 28 in January, 2007.  At the end of February, I found out I was pregnant again

I wasn’t sure who the father was, it could have been a few different people this time.  I knew I still wasn’t ready to make any changes in my lifestyle. 

I struggled the way it was to take care of the daughter I had, how could I take care of another child? 

On March 6, 2007(yes, exactly 3 months after my first abortion), I terminated my pregnancy

I was only 4 weeks along but I knew even then, I had murdered another child of mine

The effects of abortion are devastating.  There are no words to describe the feeling of having a life ripped from your body

See, for my first abortion, I was completely under anesthesia but for my second one, I only had the laughing gas so I was still aware of what was happening to me and my baby.  I felt so ashamed and guilty

The only way I knew how to cope with those feelings was to numb myself

I was numb for years after that. 

I refused to feel anything, the moment I started to feel a twinge of anything, I took a drink or found some drugs.  I was dying and didn’t care. 

Any sign of the good, Christian girl I was, was long gone.  I had turned into a monster I didn’t know and had no idea how to control. 

I did anything and everything to stay numb.

He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Job 8:21 NLT

It amazes me to think about how I prayed for Heather during all of this, not knowing what was happening. My prayer was “Do whatever it takes to bring her home.”  Reading this you would think this might be enough. But God, in all His wisdom knows what it will take to bring us back to Him.

Heather’s “whatever it takes” wouldn’t happen for three more years.