Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Fly August 30, 2013

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:51 pm
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tylerfinck-bwgrassI saw a bird perched on a weed the other day. My first thought was “How can the bird trust that the weed will even hold him, or that it won’t start to bend?” Then I realized the bird doesn’t care if it can hold him, or if it bends because the bird can simply fly off if it feels that it’s starting to fall.

Of course, God didn’t let me off that easily. No, He gave me an illustration and He showed me He longs for us to be like the birds. Doesn’t he tell us that in Scripture?

Luke 12:23-25 : Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

We go through life looking for the safe places to land. We settle for things because it looks safe. The problem with settling it we never get the chance to fly.

Scripture also tell us that God choose the foolish things to shame the wise. Why would a bird choose to settle on a weed instead of nice sturdy tree? Maybe it’s because he knew when the time was right he would fly.

If God is calling you to do something that scares you death, don’t walk away and look for something safer. Land on His dream for you.

Failure is scary, I know, and landing on something that doesn’t look safe could mean failure. We must trust that when the dream starts to bend in a direction we don’t feel is safe that’s probably the time that God is calling us to trust Him the most and He will bless us. We will soar and He will take us places we never even imagined.

So land on that flimsy looking weed if you think God is telling you to, but don’t ever let go of His hand, He won’t let go of you.

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear: I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

What dreams has God given you? Are you willing to go after it no matter how hard it looks? Share what God has placed on your heart, it will encourage others to go after their dreams.

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Write to the Point with Jody Day August 28, 2013

profile picToday we get write to the point with Jody Day. Take a few minutes and read about her and then leave a comment to enter to win her book.

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

I’m an east Texas girl, transplanted to west Texas in 2000. My husband is a minister and we have six grown children that we home schooled. We’re a family of musicians. We have seven grandchildren, but there will be nine by Christmas!  Seems that I’ve always loved writing. I wrote a poem in the fifth grade called “Happiness Is” based on the popular Charlie Brown cartoon at the time. I don’t remember much about it except it ended “and at schoolwork, doing your best.” I got to go to the office and print it on poster board to be displayed in the school foyer. Something about writing something that had an impact stayed with me. I didn’t seek publishing until about ten years ago.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I was probably about four when a Bible salesman came to our house. I’d already been sent to bed, but I could hear him witnessing to my parents. My mother came to tuck me in after he left. I remember plain as day standing up on the bed and telling my mother I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart. I didn’t fully comprehend it then, but the moment came with understanding as a fifth grader in a church in El Paso. There have been several rededications since then but it seems I’ve known the Lord all my life.

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

My debut novel, Washout Express, released from Harbourlight Books in June. It’s the tale of a young woman who loses everything, home, job, and fiancé in a one day and so she runs away. She learns who she really is in Christ as a result of someWashoutExpress_h11163_120 very awesome people that she meets in a small community down a random highway exit.

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

My blog is called Love Colored Glasses. I post once a week with an emphasis on looking at life through the love of Christ. The blog chronicles moments in my life, highlights authors, and includes devotionals.

What are you reading right now?

That’s a loaded question! I have a stack going in just about every room of my house, on my Kindle for iphone, and at work. I’m children’s programmer at our public library, so I have access to books all the time. Many interesting books come across the counter, and I find I’m reading across many genres. I don’t always finish if it doesn’t interest or enrich me in some way. I just finished Janice Thompson’s The Icing on the Cake, and Bonnie Calhoun’s Cooking the Books. I’m halfway through Messages, by John Michael Hileman. I just started a biography of Robert “Believe it or Not” Ripley by Neal Thompson. There is always a volume of Lucy Maud Montgomery and Jan Karon near me somewhere. Those authors are my favorites and have influenced me greatly. I also read a lot of books about writing. Whew, told ya, loaded questionJ

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

Ah, hard to narrow down to just one. I guess the first, and perhaps most significant, Genesis 5020 for me is having chosen a lifestyle in young adulthood that made me a single mother. God gave me grace and forgiveness, and I determined to be the best Christian mother I could be, but I thought a life of ministry was over for me. One day I ran across this verse in Psalms 34:5. “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”  (NIV) Suddenly the shame and discouragement fell away as I realized that God was not finished with me yet. My experiences have been a launching point for ministry for me, and I have lived a life of ministry in many areas with my husband and children. We serve an amazing God.

I love the verse as well and have clung to it many times.

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

My life verses are Philippians 2:1-18.

Where can we find you on the web?

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Love-Colored-Glasses/156212487791934

Blog: http://www.jodysdevotionaljournal.blogspot.com/

Email: jodybooks@faithwriters.net

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

I have an awesome agent, Terry Burns with Hartline Literary Agency, and wonderful publisher and editors at Pelican Book Group, Nicola Martinez, Barbara Early, and Fay Lamb. My local critique group, Critique Café, is very supportive. I’ve been blessed in the journey with wonderful friends and family, as well.

Thank you so much for having me, Melissa!

Thanks so much for sharing with my readers, Jody.

Readers, Jody is giving away a pdf copy of her book. Just leave a comment by Sept. 3rd at 5:00 pm to be entered to win.

 

Is Your Marriage Normal? August 27, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:29 am
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love to stay

Love to Stay

by

Adam Hamilton

From the back cover:

In this book, Adam Hamilton explores how, with God’s help, we can make love last. Drawing upon a survey of thousands of couples and singles, interviews with relationship and marriage therapists, the latest research in the field, and wisdom from the Bible, Hamilton looks at what it takes to create and sustain healthy, meaningful romantic relationships across the course of a lifetime. Contents include:  More Than a Piece of Paper; What She Wants; What He Wants; The Significance of Sexual Intimacy; Habits That Hurt, Habits That Heal; Clothe, Bear With, and Forgive; A Love That Lasts a Lifetime. A companion DVD study and leaders guide are also available.

My thoughts:

I am totally breathing a sigh of relief. Yes, my marriage is normal and yours probably is too.

After reading Love to Stay things make more sense to me now. I see that my husband and I are in the hardest years of marriage but if we can get through these the next stage should be easier, happier.

Now the author isn’t telling you to just get through the years. No, he admits that marriage is hard, one of the hardest things we will ever do but he encourages us to strive for better, for more of what God wants. Which is my heart’s cry as well.

I really enjoyed this book. It wasn’t anything ground breaking but it was a good reminder of what it takes to make a marriage work. You can see actual graphs and percentages of what other people say regarding different questions in their marriage. I really liked seeing that clearly.

One of the many things that stuck out to me, and has challenged me, was to ask myself if I am the type of person my husband would want to date now if we were both single. I want to be that person, how about you?

At the end of each chapter are reflections, questions and prayers and even reflections for singles, so you don’t have to be married to read this book.

Overall, I highly recommend this book.

Grab a copy at your local book store, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or Deeper Shopping.

Visit Adam’s website here.

A copy of this book was given to me by Abingdon Press through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

 

Review and Giveaway: Dark Road Home by Elizabeth Ludwig August 26, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:13 am
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dark road home

Dark Road Home

by

Elizabeth Ludwig

From the back cover:

The nightmares of her past have found Ana Kavanagh an ocean away.

Ana Kavanagh’s memories of Ireland are mostly of fire and pain. As a girl she survived a blaze that left her an orphan, left her scarred, and left her angry at God. Now in New York, Ana finds a kindred spirit in Eoghan Hamilton, who’s struggling with his own anger. His twin sister, Cara, betrayed him by falling in love with his enemy.

Cast aside by everyone, Eoghan hopes to rejoin the Fenians, an organization pushing for change back in Ireland, by securing information against Rourke, the man his sister married. Ana, Cara’s friend, may be his best source, and despite the attraction he feels, Eoghan determines to use the girl’s sweet nature to his advantage.

Adding to the danger is a specter from Eoghan’s own past, one whose thirst for vengeance knows no bounds. Eoghan must choose which road to follow–bitterness or forgiveness–and where to finally place his trust.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I really liked this book. I was immediately drawn into the story. It begins with a very mysterious scene and some not-so-nice men. From there I had to see what would happen.

Of course I am a bit bias, since I am a woman who married an Irishman and then named her children Irish names. The main characters are Irish and I even had to look up how to pronounce Eoghan, the hero. (It’s Owen in case you don’t know like me) So all this Irish stuff had me loving the book.

Ana, the heroine, is hiding from her past, but it catches up with her when she meets Eoghan. The romance is on simmer for a while, just the way I like it, and the heat gets turned up gradually.

As things fall into place at the end, and you have the ah-ha moment, you get sweet satisfaction in a wonderfully put together ending.

This really is more of a historical romantic suspense book, not sure if that is the genre it is really under but that’s how I would classify it.

This is the second book in a series. The first is No Safe Harbor.  I haven’t read the first but I didn’t feel lost at all, however, this book does pique your interest in No Safe Harbor.

I highly recommend this book, it’s very well written and a great story with great characters.

Grab your copy at your local book store, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, Deeper Shopping, Books-A-Million or the publisher.

Visit Elizabeth’s website here.

Win a copy of your own by leaving a comment by September 1st at 5:00 pm. (U.S. residents only)

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Everlasting Arms August 23, 2013

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:22 am
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child sleeping 2The words “everlasting arms” has been coming to me a lot lately. There is a great scripture verse Deuteronomy 33:27 that talked about God’s everlasting arms carrying us and He shouts, “Destroy them.” to the enemy.

I started thinking about resting in someone’s arms. I remember falling asleep as a child in the car after a long drive and my dad carrying me into the house.  I loved that and I can’t even really explain what I loved about it. 

There were times I would even pretend to be asleep so my dad would carry me in.  I remember hearing him say “I think she is playing opossum.” And I was. I felt completely safe and relaxed in my father’s arms.

Now I have the opportunity to carry my children in the house when they fall asleep. I smile at those tender moments. I love carrying them in the house and putting them to bed.

For a while they fight it. Heads will bob and up and down, back and forth and they start to slip into the sweet peace of sleep. Finally, they give in and they find the rest they have been fighting for the last several minutes.

All of this made me think that if I love carrying my children when they need rest, how much God must love carrying us when we need rest.

Yet, we fight it, don’t we? We try to pretend we don’t need the rest, we can do everything on our own. Eventually we realize we do need rest and there is only one place to get it.

In our Father’s arms. 

And His arms are ready for us. When we are ready give to up the fight He will take over. We can fall into His everlasting arms and find rest. He will hold you close and shout, “Destroy them!”  to whatever enemy is trying to defeat you.

So my challenge to you is rest. Fall into His arms and rest.

If you’re a parent picture your own children sleeping in your arms. If you’re not a parent try to remember when you were all tired out and your parents carried you. Now picture yourself in Jesus’ arms, completely at peace, completely at rest. 

Allow Him to do all that He longs and stop fighting. He will fight for you, that’s what He has wanted all along.

The eternal God is our refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. He drives out the enemy before you; he cries out, ‘Destroy them!’ Deuteronomy 33:27 NLT

Have you been fighting God on anything lately? Why are you fighting? What are you fighting? Are you ready to rest in Him? Share with us, I would love to pray for you.

 

Review and Giveaway: Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden August 22, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:55 pm
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This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Into the Whirlwind
Baker Publishing Group (August 15, 2013)
by
Elizabeth Camden

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A research librarian and associate professor, Elizabeth Camden has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in central Florida.

ABOUT THE BOOK

After her father’s death, Mollie Knox takes over his watchmaking company and uses her head for business to solidify the good name of the 57th Illinois Watch Company. Her future looks bright until the night her beloved city is destroyed in the legendary Great Chicago Fire. With her world crumbling around her, Molly must do whatever it takes to save her company in the aftermath of the devastating fire.

Zack Kazmarek is an influential attorney with powerful ties to the political, mercantile, and ethnic roots of Chicago. His only weakness is Mollie Knox, a woman who has always been just beyond his reach. However, all bets are off after the fire destroys Chicago, and Mollie is in desperate need of assistance. Just as Zack finally begins to pursue the woman he loves, competition arises in the form of a hero from her past who can provide the help she needs to rise from the ashes.

While Mollie struggles to rebuild, the two men battle for her heart. One has always loved her, but the other has the power to save her. In the race to rebuild the city, can she survive with her business and her heart intact?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Into the Whirlwind, go HERE.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I loved reading about the Chicago fire and the aftermath of building the city back up. Elizabeth did a great job of showing the horror and desolation of the city and desperation of the people.

I definitely like Mollie Knox, the heroine. She is strong, yet kind and feminine with a soft heart towards others.

The hero, Zack, let’s just say I can picture those dark eyes of his with no problem and he is everything a hero should be.

The romance happens a little too quickly for me. It felt forced in the beginning, but then after the initial romance blooms everything falls apart and that is when it got more interesting for me.

Another character is introduced about halfway through the book and I kept wondering if he can be trusted or if he is playing a game. You’ll just have to read the book to see what I am talking about 🙂

Overall, a good book and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical romance.

Grab your copy at your local book store, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or Deeper Shopping.

Win a copy of the book by leaving a comment by August 28th at 5:00 PM. (U.S. residents only)

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.

 

Write to the Point with Rebecca Carey Lyles August 21, 2013

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:18 pm
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I am very excited to have Becky Lyles back with us. I interviewed Becky a while ago but she has a new book out to talk about today. You can read her first interview here. To hear about what is going on in her life now keep reading. Oh…and she has a giveaway for you.

Lyles(1)Tell us about your newest book.

Winds of Freedom features several characters from Winds of Wyoming, the first book in the Kate Neilson Series, and the action begins about a year after the WoW storyline ends. However, Kate and friends make new friends in the sequel and encounter more nasty villains. Also, much of the drama occurs in a large city as well as on the Wyoming ranch.

Here’s a teaser: Winter storms blast across the Whispering Pines Guest Ranch, and a cold wind blows through Kate Neilson’s soul. Despite her pain, Kate’s well-being takes a backseat to the needs of loved ones: her best friend, who’s been ensnared by evil; her failing great-aunt, whose dementia care keeps Kate guessing; and Laura and Mike Duncan, whose ranch and livelihood are threatened by a land-grabbing neighbor.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

At this time in my life, I have the fun of helping my daughter plan and prepare for her October wedding. I also volunteer with the women’s ministry at my church and for a faith-based women’s home/program that helps ex-inmates transition from prison to life on “the outside.” Plus, I love to walk, hike, camp, snowshoe, cross-country ski, bike and garden—anything (well, almost) that requires being out-of-doors.

Where do you get your ideas?

Like most authors, my ideas spring from real life. The first book in the Kate Neilson Series came from volunteering with a RLyles.Winds of Freedom.Coverprison ministry in another state that provides Bible studies and mentors plus assists newly released inmates, who are ushered out prison gates with the clothes on their backs, $50 cash, and possibly a bus ticket. With such limited means to begin a new life, ex-offenders often return to the families who triggered their wrong behavior and/or the friends who led them astray or joined them on their downward spiral. I wanted to show that although release from prison is a thrill, the transition back into society is tough for those who’ve been incarcerated.

The idea for Winds of Freedom was sparked by a neighbor’s relative who walked into an airport restroom and never came out—as far as her husband and children knew. Although they didn’t see her exit the restroom, she must have snuck past them wearing a disguise, because they later learned she’d left them to start a new life. Several weeks after her disappearance, she returned to her home to pick up her clothing and other personal items. She didn’t tell her husband where she was living or what she was doing, only that she no longer had to clean house, cook meals, or care for their children. To add to the mystery, she was wearing a collar around her neck.

Do you outline or are you a seat-of-the-pants writer?

I’ve worked from a rough outline, and I’ve also used Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method. From those modest beginnings, I created rough drafts that changed dramatically with each revision. For the next Winds book, I’m hoping to develop a stronger “base of operation” than I had with the first two fiction books. Surely a more complete knowledge of where I’m headed with a story when I begin it will lead to fewer blind alleys and rewrites. In other words, I’m still learning. J I also recently purchased Scrivener, which should help me corral my thoughts and notes and enable me to visualize where the story is headed.

Are you like any of the characters in your book?

As the experts say, there’s a bit of the author in each of his or her characters. However, I have yet to picture myself as one of my characters while writing. When I wrote the first Kate Neilson book, our three children were in the same age range as the heroine and the hero. I tried to picture our daughter and two sons as I wrote but couldn’t do it. In my mind, Kate and Mike were not the same people as my kids. Yet, it’s quite possible that I subconsciously attributed some of my children’s qualities to those characters.

Are you working on a new project now?

I wish I could say I’m writing book three for the series—or even better, that I’ve already written the book (smile). The truth is, I haven’t written a solitary word of “Winds of Change” (possible title). I know a basic plotline for the story, and I’ve begun researching some of the more elusive details. I’m also planning to gather several short stories that I’ve written, smooth out the rough edges, and publish them in an inexpensive compilation.

Anything you would like to add?

Thanks so much, Melissa, for the opportunity to talk about my work on your blog. What an honor and privilege. Bless you!

Bio & Links

Rebecca Carey Lyles grew up in Wyoming, the setting for her Kate Neilson novels. She currently lives with her husband in Idaho, where she serves as an editor and a mentor for aspiring authors and as a coach for women transitioning from prison to life on “the outside.”

Want to connect with Becky? Click on the links below.

http://www.beckylyles.com

http://www.widgetwords.wordpress.com

http://www.amazon.com/Winds-Wyoming-Neilson-Novel-ebook/dp/B006SPP7G8

http://www.amazon.com/Winds-Freedom-Neilson-Novels-ebook/dp/B00EG7OY3M/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376519347&sr=1-2&keywords=winds+of+freedom

It was so nice chatting with you again, Becky and thanks for taking the time to share with my readers.

Readers, if you would like to win a copy of Becky’s book leave a comment for her by August 27th at 5:00.