Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Life Intercepted February 28, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:41 am
Tags: , ,

football 2I wrote this post after the 2010 Superbowl. Do you remember that game?

I am not a huge football fan, but I do understand a few basic things, thanks to my football coach husband. This past weekend (Feb. 7 2010) the Saints won the Superbowl.

Now, I will be honest, I went to bed before the fourth quarter, so I didn’t see this huge interception that locked the game for the Saints, but I understand that it was pretty exciting. People were on the edge of their seats.

Was Manning going to go for this long pass?  He did but the Saints intercepted the pass and took it for a touchdown.  Many, many people celebrated.

I had to ask myself, do we get that excited when we see God intercept in peoples lives? Do we jump up and down and just praise Him? Does the church really celebrate when we hear a marriage has been saved, a drug addict has walked away, an alchohalic has been set free?

I had shared with my church about my strained relationship with my sister. That I was praying that God would bring her home. He did atfter many months of praying. So I celebrated that one Sunday morning. I did not expect the church to get up and clap and they didn’t. But afterwards someone came up to me and said she felt like she wanted to clap, to celebrate that God had answered my prayers, but she felt she couldn’t.

My question is, if we can’t celebrate in our church God intercepting in lives where else can we?

Why is okay to yell and scream when your football team intercepts the ball but not when God intercepts a life? Why do we get angry and yell when our team looses the ball, but we don’t get angry at the Enemy when we see Him destroying marriages and taking away our children’s hope for the future?

Something’s wrong here, there is a disconnect in the church and we need to be celebrating more, not judging and saying, “well they should have not gotten themselves in that situation in the first place, they are just lucky they got their lives turned around.”

Prehaps that’s why people don’t come out and say, “I had an affair but God saved my marriage.” Would we automatically celebrate or would our first reaction be, “Can you believe she did that to him?”

Picture the ball that Manning threw but now think of that ball as the drug addict, the Enemy is in control of the that life and he thinks he has it, he is taking that life all the way down to the pits of despair.  He drops back and waits for the perfect moment, he sees one of his demons ready and willing to finish the job.  He throws that life and it goes whizzing down, down, down, all hope is lost, until, wait, what is this… a saint?  Where did this guy come from?

He leaps up out of no where and takes that life and tucks that life into his arms and he goes running.  The enemy is flustered, they try to chase him to stop him from taking that life all the way Home but they are no match for this saint. Before they know it the saint has taken that life and placed it in the Kings hands, a touchdown.  Another life is saved.

The church goes wild, they can’t believe it, but they celebrate and they can’t wait for it to happen again.

Is that me, is that you, is that us? We needed to celebrate each and every life that we see God intercept. Get on the edge of your sit, it’s going to be a good game.

Has God intercepted in your life recently. Care to share? We would love to celebrate with you.

Advertisements
 

Dating, Dining and Desperation by Melody Carlson February 27, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:38 am
Tags: ,

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dating, Dining, and Desperation
B&H Books (March 1, 2014)
by
Melody Carlson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Currently she freelances from her home. In the past eight years, she has published over ninety books for children, teens, and adults–with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. Several of her books have been finalists for, and winners of, various writing awards.

She has two grown sons and lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Daphne Ballinger has learned to accept her deceased, eccentric aunt’s strange request that she marry in order to inherit her estate, along with taking over her aunt’s hometown paper’s advice column.

But knowing and accepting that God’s will be done becomes harder when a new neighbor, a divorced socialite, learns of Daphne’s predicament and takes on the task of finding her the perfect man, even if it includes speed dating. When God does open Daphne’s heart, it is instead to take in a young girl left parentless and in the care of her dying grandmother. It may be a temporary arrangement until the girl’s uncle returns from the Marines, but God uses Daphne to speak His heavenly love and protection into the life of the child — whom Daphne soon discovers has a very handsome and single uncle.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dating, Dining, and Desperation, go HERE.

My thoughts:

This is the second book in a series. I reviewed the first book here and really liked it so I was eager to read this second one. I am happy to say I enjoyed this one just as much.

Daphne’s a great character. She’s like so many of us when it comes to romance….confused.

We get to visit the same men that were in her life in the first book and see what’s happening now. Not a whole lot has changed. At the end of the first book you are under the impression that Daphne might set her sights set on Jake, her grandmother’s attorney. At the beginning of this book, almost for the first half, Jake isn’t around, but definitely thought off.

Apparently he went on a vacation with his ex-wife and obviously Daphne isn’t happy and thinks things are not going to go anywhere with him. So she tries to move on.

I can’t imagine being in Daphne’s shoes. We are told to wait on God, which is a theme in this book, yet, how does she wait on Him when she has to be married in less then a year? This definitely keeps the book interesting and will have you reading to see what will happen next in her life and what man she should marry. Melody does a great job of even keeping the reader confused about the right man.

This is a light, fast read, with fun characters I think you will enjoy.

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 JoAnn, Jennifer and Valerie February 26, 2014

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:39 am
Tags: , , ,

Today I have three authors to share with you. JoAnn Durgin, Jennifer Slattery and Valerie Comer (who has been here a couple of times already and will be here again). Take some time to get to know these lovely women and enter to win JoAnn’s book.

joannCatching Serenity is JoAnn Durgin’s fifth full-length novel. The author of The Lewis Legacy Series and Christmas novellas, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe and its sequel, Starlight, Star Bright, she’s an estate administration paralegal in a Louisville, Kentucky law firm and lives in southern Indiana. Visit her at www.joanndurgin.com or via her Author JoAnn Durgin page on Facebook.

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

Blurb about Catching Serenity:

A woman torn apart by secrets.

A man held prisoner by the truth.

Can the greatest love of all

set them both free?

 Serenity McClaren had it all before her life crumbled around her like the sand castles on her beloved beach, causing her to flee Croisette Shores and the only home she’d ever known. Nearly five years later and living in Atlanta, she receives a mysterious, unsigned note: Come home, Serenity. Things aren’t as they seem. Time to find your answers. Returning to South Carolina, she prepares to face her demons and the ailing father she left behind, hoping to make peace with both.

Child psychologist Jackson Ross is a man with a surprising past. He’s ready for the quiet life and  eager to establish his practice in the quaint, coastal village. After he hires Serenity to decorate his new office, he’s drawn to the beautiful and enigmatic woman yet sees she’s haunted by a past she can’t escape. Wanting to help her, he begins to suspect one of his young patients may hold the key to unlocking Serenity’s secrets. Jackson follows his instincts and discovers the shocking truth, but how can he tell the woman he’s grown to love what he knows—and set her free—without compromising his professional ethics and losing her forever?

Catching Serenity, a poignant story of faith, hope and love, and discovering the everyday miracles from an all-powerful God

Life doesn’t come with guarantees, and the Lord never promised the journey would be easy. But He did promise to be with us. Serenity has faced many tragedies in her young life, but she’s a fighter, a survivor. As the story of Catching Serenity Front Cover Image (2)what happened in the past unfolds, the everyday miracles—grace, mercy and forgiveness—of an all-powerful God are revealed in an amazing way.

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

When you cross that door into the world of publication, you put your work “out there” for the world to accept or reject. My debut novel, Awakening (Book #1 in The Lewis Legacy Series) released in November of 2010. I was an unknown author with a new publisher, and the book took a while to catch on, but I’m blessed to say it has done extremely well. On Mother’s Day (of all days) of 2011, my rating on Barnes & Noble for Awakening dropped from a five-star average (where it had been for well over a year) to a one-star rating. To this day, I don’t know what happened. Although it’s probably best if I don’t know, I suspect it was a targeted attack either against me personally or Christian fiction and/or its authors in general. The good news is that as a result of this incident (combined with other author complaints), Barnes & Noble changed their policy regarding reviews. I’ve had something similar happen just recently on Goodreads.

I always have a strong spiritual thread in all my books (and try not to have that dreaded “preachiness”). I am also unapologetic about it, and I know some will not like it. When I work so hard on my books, I’ll admit to being extremely sensitive to critical reviews, especially if it’s a cowardly rating without a review. However, I have the passion to write Christian fiction and feel called of the Lord to do so. He who is in me is so much stronger than he who is in the world. So, I keep on writing the best stories I can with inspiration from God’s word. I prefer the “take” of a wise Christian friend who said early on, “You must really be an ambassador for the Lord in your books if the enemy is trying so hard to tear you down.”

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

Matthew 5:16 is my theme verse for my life and in my writing. In my books, it’s my intent to shine the light of God’s hope, joy and love by adding a little “sunshine” in the form of humor, both in conversation and situations. Life is tough enough with its inevitable heartache and sorrow. A bit of levity helps bring the smile, and the light, to our hearts. In my estimation, humor in our lives is every bit as essential as water, oxygen and, of course, love.

Where can we find you on the web?

Readers can find out more about my books and me at www.joanndurgin.com or at Author JoAnn Durgin on Facebook. My books are available in paperback and eBook editions except for the novellas (I have author paperback copies if readers contact me). I don’t Twitter, however. I went to Disney recently, and agree with a sentiment on a Donald Duck T-shirt: “I don’t tweet, I quack.”

JenniferheadshotLet’s get write to the point with Jennifer.

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

I married a railroader, so I’ve moved around quite a bit, but I was born and raised in the beautiful northwest about an hour north of Seattle. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, although I didn’t pursue it as a career and calling until sometime around 2006. Before that it was for fun, venting (i.e. highly depressive teenage poetry) or church ministry events.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I came to Christ through a neighborhood Good News Bible Club at a very young age, floundered in my teen years, then recommitted my life to Christ on a Good Friday about fifteen years ago

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

I write missional romance, which are romance novels about couples who discover and embrace their calling together. My debut, Beyond I Do, releasing from New Hope Publishers this fall, is about a woman whose encounter with a mother, her son, and their abuser sparks a passion that threatens her wedding engagement. As God grows her passion, she worries: Will seeing beyond the present unite her and her fiancé or tear them apart. What I want my reader to take away from the novel is a passion to discover their unique calling and role in God’s kingdom and to follow after that with everything they have.

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

I’d have to say living with chronic illness. Prior to getting sick, I was very active and loved anything physical from hiking to competing in triathlons. (sprints) I was pretty prideful, and felt invincible. Then I got sick. This caused me to rethink who I was and what I was capable of. There are days, when I’m tired or hurting or just plain not feeling well, when I get discouraged or frustrated, and I can say some angry prayers. But then God reminds me of all He’s grown in me through this process, things like compassion, inner strength, surrender. Satan attempts to harm me by inviting me to throw a pity party, but then God gently draws me to Himself, reminding me of the wonderful gifts He’s given me through my struggles, the greatest of which is His unfaltering presence. My struggle has also drawn me closer to my husband, because, seeing me with my “brave face” off, he’s always quick to help, hug, encourage, and pray. Love that man!

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

I have two that go together. The first is Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” The second is found in James 3:13-17 “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

Combined, these verses remind me God loves me, has a plan and a purpose for me, and is committed to working out that plan. I don’t have to understand it all. All I need to do is draw near, listen, surrender, and obey.

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find all three of us at Inspyromance.com, along with nearly 30 other Inspirational romance authors, and you can find me at my home site, jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.

Valerie-Comer-300x300Last but not least is Valerie. She will be visiting us again next Wednesday you will hear more about her book and I will be reviewing it as well.

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

Hi! I’m Valerie Comer. I live on a small farm in southeastern BC, Canada, with my husband. I’m the proud grandmother of three adorable little girls, who keep me from spending too much time with nose in my laptop. I’ve been writing for about 12 years.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I’m so blessed to have been born and raised in a Christian home. I became a believer as a child, which has it’s own challenges at times.

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

My second novel, Wild Mint Tea: A Farm Fresh Romance, releases March first. I hope readers will close the cover with a sentimental sigh, reluctant to part with Claire andWild Mint Tea 200x300 Noel and their friends. May their lingering thoughts be of God’s faithfulness to those He calls.

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

I Thessalonians 4:11: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you.”

Where can we find you on the web?

http://valeriecomer.com

Thanks so much ladies for taking the time to share with my readers. I pray God will bless all of your journey’s.

Readers, JoAnn is giving away a copy of her book, Catching Serenity, to one commentator. Leave a comment by March 4th at 5:00 pm to be entered.

 

A March Bride by Rachel Hauck February 25, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:36 am
Tags: , , ,

a march bride

A March Bride

by

Rachel Hauck

Book Description:

A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed. Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be. Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, Susanna’s heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God’s plan for her. Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own—right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.
My thoughts:
I am so loving this series.
This book was great because I read Rachel’s Once Upon a Prince. You can read my review of that book here. Basically, I loved that book and the characters and I got to visit them again in A March Bride.
I was so excited to read about Susanna and Nathaniel again and get to see their wedding.
But, what I loved even more about this book was the spiritual thread I could pull out. A common girl marrying a prince, doesn’t that sound familiar? Yet Rachel took that even further.
I don’t know about you but I have struggled at times with giving up the old Melissa and leaving all the things behind that once gave me my identity and truly embracing who Jesus says I am. When we come to know Jesus we give up this earthy citizenship and we become citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom. Even though that sounds great it can be scary to truly surrender to God, can’t it?
Susanna must deal with these same issues but in the earthly sense. You will just have to read the book to see exactly what I am talking about.
As you read I challenge you to remember that Jesus is romancing you in the same way that Nathanial is romancing Susanna. He loves you so much and will stop at nothing to prove it to you. Open your eyes and see your Prince.
Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or Books-A-Million.
Visit Rachel’s website here.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for in honest review.
 

Review and Giveaway: The Dream Dress February 24, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:39 am
Tags: , ,

the dream dress

The Dream Dress

by

Janice Thompson

About:

Big dreams take big leaps of faith . . . but what if you trip on the way? A lowly seamstress at a swanky bridal boutique, Gabi Delgado dreams of doing more than ripping out seams and fitting dresses to doe-eyed brides. She wants to see her own original dress designs gracing the young women of Texas. But when Jordan Singer, reporter for Texas Bride magazine, visits the shop to do a feature, Gabi is humbled in his influential–and unnervingly handsome–presence.
Convinced she’ll never get her dreams off the ground now, Gabi needs lots of encouragement–especially from her friend Bella Neeley–to take a chance and start her business. And as she gets to know Jordan, she discovers that she may have to take a chance on love as well.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This is the first book I have read by Janice and I really liked it. I love her light style. But in saying that the message in the book is anything but light.

First of all, if you enjoy any of those wedding shows on TV you will love reading this book. You will feel like you are getting a sneak peak into those bridal salons.

Gabi wants more and deserves more. She has been overlooked many times in her life, mostly by men. This has given her a warped idea of how men treat women and she has lumped all men into the same category. It began with her dad walking out on her and her mom when she was a kid and now she works for a man how doesn’t see her true abilities.

Then she meets Jordan and he throws everything she thought she knew about men out the window. He’s kind and see’s her and her talent. He’s nothing like the other men in her life.

Everyone around Gabi see’s her talent but she is in denial about her ability to really go on her own and become a designer. I can totally relate to this. I never felt like I was much of a piano player. I was good at singing and that was it, I even had a professor speak some very negative things to me. But when God gives us gifts He won’t let us hide them. Now I am a worship leader who sings and plays, I write music for the plays my students do and play them during the performance. I never sought out those opportunities but God guided me to them. And that is what He does with Gabi…but you’ll have to read the book to see how He accomplishes that.

There is a strong spiritual thread that I did appreciate, but it could come across a bit preachy sometimes and maybe a bit contrived. However, I didn’t feel that this took away from the story at all. It is a great story I flew right through.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, or Books-A-Million.

Visit Janice’s website here.

Leave a comment by March 2nd at 5:00 pm to win your own copy. (U.S. residents only)

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

 

In The Doorway February 21, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:38 pm
Tags: , , ,

I wrote this devo several years ago before my son even started school and it was only my daughter leaving the house, but I love the truth in this. Hope you will be blessed.

doorway 2Every morning I stand at my door and watch my daughter walk over to the neighbor’s house. I watch to make sure she gets there safely but I also watch and wait because there’s a chance she’ll turn around and wave at me.

Today was one of those mornings.

As she prepared to open the door and walk into the neighbor’s house she turned toward me smiled and waved. I waved back, happy that I waited so I could be there for her.

Most mornings she doesn’t wave or look for me. She just walks in the house without giving me much thought. But I want to be there for those days when she does need me to be there

As I thought about this God whispered, “I do that for you too.”

How true.

God waits in the doorways our lives, our days, waiting to be invited in. He waits on the wonderful moments when we remember Him and turn to Him.

He watches to make sure we get to where we need to go safely. Most days and moments we forget that He’s there and we keep marching along our merry way.

But that doesn’t mean He isn’t there. He wants to be there so when we do need Him to be He is at the ready, more than willing to wave back and do whatever is necessary for His child.

How sad that we don’t always remember that He stands at the door of our hearts. How sad that we often forget about Him and completely ignore His willingness to love us. I know how my heart smiled when my daughter waved at me today. Can you imagine how much more our Heavenly Father would smile and be pleased if we turned to him always, if we never did anything without realizing that He is with us, always?

Life becomes a great challenge when we go about our own way without taking the time to remember our Father is watching and waiting. He longs to be there for us but He won’t thrust Himself on any of us. He is patient — thank goodness — and loving.

Next time you are running around and feeling alone turn toward your Father, He’s standing in the doorway of your life. Why don’t you invite Him to stay awhile?

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” Revelation 3:20

What about you? Are you going about life trying to make it without taking time with God? Or are you inviting Him into your life?

 

Review and Giveaway: Rebekah’s Treasure by Sylvia Bambola February 20, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:34 am
Tags: , ,

rebekah

Rebekah’s Treasure

by

Sylvia Bambola

From the back cover:

Forced to flee war-torn Jerusalem in 70 A.D., Rebekah and her husband, Ethan, each take something of value: Rebekah, the cup of the Last Supper; Ethan, a copper scroll detailing the whereabouts of a vast Temple treasure. Ahead, separation and danger face them as each tries to survive. But it’s not only external forces that could keep them apart forever but internal ones as they struggle to discover where their true treasure lies.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I really enjoyed this book. It takes a different twist in what happened several years here on earth after Jesus returns to the Father. Very interesting.

The book opens with Rebekah and her sister preparing for the last supper (although they don’t know it’s the last supper). They don’t have enough cups for everyone so Rebekah has to share her precious cup. She only wants Jesus to drink out of it and she has to figure out where he might sit.

Years later she still has the cup, and yes, Jesus did drink out of it and she treasures this item.

As battle breaks out in Jerusalem Rebekah and her daughter leave their family behind and flee the city with the cup. When they find their new home Rebekah shares the cup with other believers and people begin to experience healing. Yet Rebekah’s own cries for healing in her daughter’s life seem to go unanswered.

Meanwhile, Ethan, Rebekah’s husband and sons are fighting for their lives and are given their own treasure to guard.

How will this family be reunited? And will the cup end up causing more trouble than good? Will the people make it an idol and worship the creation more than the Creator?

To find out you will have to read the book for yourself 🙂 There’s not a dull moment in this book, you’ll be flipping pages too see what happens next.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Books-A-Million.

Visit Sylvia’s website here.

Leave a comment to win your own copy of the book. Deadline to enter is February 26th at 5:00 pm. (U.S. residents only)

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