Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Reiew and Giveaway: Tried and True by Mary Connealy September 29, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:10 pm
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tried and true



Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters!

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister–and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It’s a risk–they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as “boys”–but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?

My thoughts and giveaway:

What a fun book and a great story.

I am just discovering Mary’s writing and I like it. She has well developed characters with a bit of humor involved. And how could you not have humor when you have women dressed up as men?

Kylie is one spunky gal and she doesn’t want to be seen as a man anymore and Aaron Masterson sure doesn’t see her that way. Their first meeting is enough to cause a giggle and a sigh.

Kylie has one goal: get back to civilization (as she calls it). She hates being out in the country where no one else is. Aaron has one goal: move into the mountains. So what happens when attraction pulls these two together? Who will compromise, will either compromise? You’ll just have to read the book to find out.

Mary does a great job of adding humor but also dealing with deep issues, like not being enough for your dad. How many of us have dealt with that same issue? Too many, I’m guessing.

If you are looking for a wild west story with some romance and humor look no further than this book. Can’t wait to see what the Wilde sisters are up to in the next book 🙂

Visit Mary here.

Grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or Books-A-Million.

Leave a comment by Oct. 5th at 5:00 p.m. to be entered in a drawing 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.


How Mackinac Island Is Like Our Spiritual Lives (Part 6) September 26, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:35 am
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10-10-10 107



Today is our final installment of Mackinac Island and I have added a few random pics of it or from it for your viewing pleasure.

Have you enjoyed the trip? I hope so. I would love to go back this fall but it doesn’t look like it will happen:( To say I am bummed is putting it mildly, but we will be back next year.

Now you have experienced the island, what do you do? Don’t you share the trip with others? You will show off your pictures, souvenirs, talk about your favorite places. When others tell you they are going you will give them advice on what to do, where to stay, where to eat.

Like I have said, Patrick and I have gone many times but our kids had only been there once and that was several years ago. Now that they were older this year we decided to take them on the grand tour. We all rode our bikes around the island, then we went into the interior and we even ventured up to the Fort Holmes, the highest point. Both kids loved it and want to do it again next year, we couldn’t be more happy.

So, how is all of this like our spiritual lives?

Just as I said last week once you reach that high with Jesus you will want to stay. But the reality is if you do you won’t be reaching other people because not many people make it up to the highest point. Each time we have gone to Fort Holmes there were maybe one or two other people there. So if you want to be an effective Christian you must go lower again. Humble yourself and go to where the people are.

Share your experience with others and most importantly share with your children. It was such a neat experience to share the island with the kids this year and to see how they fell in love with it to and want to go back. Isn’t that what we want for them with Jesus?

10-10-10 112We must provide opportunities for our kids to encounter Him, to show them that Jesus is real and then to have our kids begging for more experiences to encounter His presence. If we can’t share our faith with our own kids then who else can we share it with? So start at home. Then move out of your circle and share your faith experiences.

Share your stories with others(Any Genesis 5020’s out there? You can share on this blog). Tell them what Jesus has done in your life. If you don’t tell them how will they ever know? Our stories must be told or we are keeping10-10-10 130 Jesus from receiving all the glory He deserves.

More than sharing Mackinac Island with you and telling you how wonderful it is I hope I have challenged your to reflect on your own faith journey. Notice I said your own. Don’t compare your journey with others. Remember, God has a specific path for each of us to take. Some of us move slower, others of us will have detours, but we all have a path.

As we leave this series ask yourself, where am I? Am I standing on the shore wishing I had I relationship with Jesus? Am I downtown still, just being a Christian consumer? Am I riding around the edges of my faith but not getting too deep? Am on a detour right now? Am I going deeper with Jesus, have I climbed that hill to get there and it seems like a lot of work but I am seeing the reward? Have you reached a spiritual high? Are you sharing your story with others?

Where am I? I’ll be honest, I think I visit all the areas still. Sometimes I can go back downtown and can be a consumer and sometimes I skirt around my faith and get jealous of those that seem to be passing me by. But for the most part I think I am living in the interior, I visit high places once in a while but I don’t live there, I wish I could. Honestly, I think most of us visit the whole island but I do think our goal should be to spend most of our time in the interior, going deeper with Jesus.

Anyone care to share where you think you might be? What challenges you might face in getting where you want to go? We’d love to hear from you. 


The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron September 25, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:04 pm
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the butterfly

Book Description:

And then came war . . .

Today. Sera James spends most of her time arranging auctions for the art world’s elite clientele. When her search to uncover an original portrait of an unknown Holocaust victim leads her to William Hanover III, they learn that this painting is much more than it seems.

Vienna, 1942. Adele Von Bron has always known what was expected of her. As a prodigy of Vienna’s vast musical heritage, this concert violinist intends to carry on her family’s tradition and play with the Vienna Philharmonic. But when the Nazis learn that she helped smuggle Jews out of the city, Adele is taken from her promising future and thrust into the horrifying world of Auschwitz.

The veil of innocence is lifted to expose a shuddering presence of evil, and Adele realizes that her God-given gift is her only advantage; she must play. Becoming a member of the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz, she fights for survival. Adele’s barbed-wire walls begin to kill her hope as the months drag into nearly two years in the camp. With surprising courage against the backdrop of murder and despair, Adele finally confronts a question that has been tugging at her heart: Even in the midst of evil, can she find hope in worshiping God with her gift?

As Sera and William learn more about the subject of the mysterious portrait—Adele—they are reminded that whatever horrors one might face, God’s faithfulness never falters.

My thoughts:

Wow, what an amazing book. This story is so beautifully woven, it’s seamless. Two stories woven into one outstanding book.

First we have Sera’s story that is taking place now. I love how Kristy feeds you just enough of her back story to keep you interested. Just was I was thinking, I don’t know much about Sera’s history or her wounds Kristy gave it to me…perfect. I loved the romance between Sera and William, I could feel the tension and the passion that would build between them.

Adele’s story is heartbreaking. She is caught in WWII, trying to save Jews. I don’t want to give too much of the story away but Kristy paints this aching picture of what is happening in Adele’s life, I could feel it and see it. Lost love, hopelessness, it’s all there.

The book bounces back and forth between the two stories. At one point, pretty early on Sera reveals something about Adele but I kept having hope that maybe it wasn’t true and I couldn’t wait to see how Kristy worked that out in the story.

If you enjoy WWII stories this is a must read. I can’t wait to read more from this author 🙂

Visit Kristy here.

Grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or Books-A-Million.

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


Write to the Point with Rebecca DeMarino September 24, 2014

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:38 am
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Demarino-29Today we get write to the point with Rebecca DeMarino. Take some time and get to know this author and her book.

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

My dad was a Navy pilot so I was born in Pensacola, FL, graduated from high school in Corvallis, Oregon and lived many places in between. My high school sweetheart turned husband made a career of the Air Force after he graduated from Oregon State, and let me just say I’ve always enjoyed every place I’ve ever lived! My three daughters, now grown with children of their own, were born in Florida, Alaska and Nebraska. I retired from my own career with United Airlines, met my husband Tom, and between my daughters and his son and daughter, we have eleven grandchildren! I began writing my first novel in 2008.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I was thirteen and we lived on the Naval Air Station on Guam. I grew up going to church, but at a sleep over with friends, my sister and I gave our life to Christ.

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

My novel, A Place in His Heart—the story I began writing in 2008—released in June from Revell. It is historical romance and the first in a three book series, The Southold Chronicles, and is based on the real lives of my ninth great-grandparents, Barnabas and Mary Horton. They came from England on a little ship called The Swallow in the 1600’s and helped found the hamlet of Southold on Long Island. When I learned Barnabas was a widower with two young sons when he Mary wed less than a year after he lost his wife, I knew I had a story. And I wanted to give her, and the courageous women who came across the pond with their men, a voice. I hope when my readers close the book, they’ve been entertained with a story of love and loss, joy and sorrow. My takeaway in writing this book was that no matter what path we choose, God is with us, ready to hold our hand, if we but ask.

Book #2, releases this June. I can’t say the title yet, but I expect to be able to post it on my website sometime next month. Here’s a A Place in His Heart Xsneak peek at the back cover blurb: It is 1653 and Heather Flower, a princess of the Montauk tribe, is enjoying her wedding feast when her groom is killed and she is kidnapped by a rival tribe and held for ransom. Though her ransom is paid by an Englishman, she is nonetheless left to die in a Connecticut forest—until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren. Torn between her affection for Dirk and her long friendship with family friend Benjamin Horton, Heather Flower must make a difficult choice—stay true to her friend or follow her heart. I love this story, and I hope my readers will, too! And yes, the Hortons and Southold are very much a part of it!


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

Well, truthfully, my blog hit a blip over the summer. But as you can imagine, there is much to write regarding the research treasures I’ve discovered, recipes inspired from the colonial kitchen, and my beautiful setting, Southold, Long Island, NY—with a good dose of genealogy mixed in! My character, Mary Horton, loved her English Pippins and with fall here my readers can look forward to some fun posts filled with apple goodies.

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

I just finished A Light in the Wilderness, by Jane Kirkpatrick. I love her books, and this one is one of her best. I cared about Letitia the moment I met her on the page.

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

I know you would probably like something more specific, but let me just say that there have been many times in my life that I have been so close to danger, but God spared me and allows me to use that in my writing. He has shown me the good, even in (or despite?) the bad.

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

I have a little bookmark, made by a lady named Viol, and given to me at church years ago. It has my name on one side, and a Bible verse on the other. I used to keep it in my Bible, but now I keep it on my desk. It is Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” My other favorite verse that reminds me why I write is Psalm 115:1, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us. But to Your name give glory because of Your loving kindness, because of Your truth.”

Where can we find you on the web?

I’m at, and you can also reach me at

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

Thank you so much for chatting with me!

Thank you for spending time with my readers. We love getting to know new authors. I pray God will continue to bless you on your writing journey.


Review and Giveaway: The Story Keeper by Lisa Winegate September 22, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:57 pm

the story keeperAbout:

When successful New York editor Jen Gibbs discovers a decaying slush-pile manuscript on her desk, she has no idea that the story of Sarra, a young mixed-race woman trapped in Appalachia at the turn of the twentieth century, will both take her on a journey and change her forever. Happy with her life in the city, and at the top of her career with a new job at Vida House Publishing, Jen has left her Appalachian past and twisted family ties far behind. But the search for the rest of the manuscript, and Jen’s suspicions about the identity of its unnamed author, will draw her into a mystery that leads back to the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains . . . and quite possibly through the doors she thought she had closed forever.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This was a book that I couldn’t wait to get back to. Lisa drew me into the story world of this book and I felt like I was a part of it.

This book isn’t high action, or anything like that but something drew me back time and again. I thought about the characters when I was away from the book and wondered about the their past.

Jen has run away from home for the most part. She really wants to forget her past but because of the story she finds on her desk she’s drawn back to the very place she said she would never go. I wanted to know more about her past, her family. But she’s like so many of us, thinking we can out run the past. The truth is you can never out run it, you can run from it, it won’t stop chasing you until you deal with it head on.

There is a slight mystery going on with this manuscript that keeps appearing and even following Jen. That alone will keep you wanting to read to see who is giving it to Jen.

Lisa has truly created a beautiful piece of art in this book, a lovely story that will speak to your heart on many levels.

Visit Lisa here.

Grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or Books-A-Million.

Leave a comment by September 28th at 5:00 p.m to be entered to win a copy of your own. (U.S. residents only)

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



How Mackinac Island is like our Spiritual Lives (Part 5) September 19, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:35 pm
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2014-07-09 14.45.03

Panoramic view from Fort Holmes

We have reached the interior of the island. Is your heart pounding from the up hill climb, are you ready to collapse? I know I am. But the beauty that now surrounds us just draws us deeper.

Before we know it we are off and riding our bikes, climbing more hills, whizzing down others. The wind rushes through our hair and we feel like kids again. Remember what it was like to ride your bike as a kid and zoom down hills? The air cool agaisnt your face. So free.

Once Patrick and I were in the interior we just kept riding. We had no clue where we were going but we felt like we were headed somewhere, like there had to be a destination.

The only problem was that we were going up hill again, but only small ones and only every once in a while. Nothing like Fort Hill. There were a few times that Patrick asked me is I wanted to turn around but I said no. I sensed we would end up some place I just had no idea where.

Soon (or maybe not so soon) we came to a dead end. I remember saying, “Are you kidding me? We rode all this way just to turn around?” And I almost did turn around without exploring where we ended up.

But Patrick urged me forward and we went to this “dead end”.

As we drove up we saw there was some type of fort. It was Fort Holmes. And it turned out we had reached the highest point on the entire island. We didn’t even know there was such a place.

We stood on the edge of a hill and looked out over the island. From this vantage point you can’t see downtown, you can’t see all the people. You see nothing

Fort Holmes

View from Fort Holmes

but trees and lake. Amazing. And we almost missed it. I almost turned around right before I got there because it looked like a dead-end. How wrong I was.

I had found my new favorite place on the island by accident.

So, how is this like our spiritual lives?

Well, some of us settle for downtown, some of us get more adventuresome and ride around the edges. Others of us will purposely climb the hill to the interior.

All of these are choices. Last week I said you don’t accidentally end up in the interior of the island and you won’t accidentally end up going deeper with Jesus. It is an intentional choice.

But I think reaching a totally high spiritual moment can happen accidentally once you have gone deeper.

You see, as you delve deeper into a relationship with Jesus you will want more of Him. So you keep seeking out ways to experience all He has. At times you will feel like a child, other times you will feel like you are climbing another hill. But you keep going. You know there’s more. You feel it in your gut. So you keep going even though you don’t know where you will end up.

After all this time spent with Him you might start to question why you are doing this. Maybe you aren’t seeing any results in your prayers, maybe you aren’t seeing healing. Maybe people around you are asking why you are doing this? Why are you spending so much time with Jesus.

But you keep pressing on.

You might have several moments when you are so close to your highest spiritual moment but you think it’s a dead end and you turn around. But if you do you’ll miss it. Your greatest encounter could be up the next hill.

One day you press past the dead end and there you find it; this totally amazing encounter with the living God. The Holy Spirit falling on you in a way you never imagined and you think, “I didn’t even know this was here. I didn’t even know this was possible.” And you fall to your knees in adoration.

Have you had a moment like this? Do you want a moment like this? Then keep climbing. Keep pressing in. Jesus wants to give you more Him then we could ever dream to ask. So keep asking, keep seeking and you will find.

We have one last installment. Because now that you have experienced this island you must go back and tell others or how will they ever know it exists? We’ll talk more about that next week. Have a great weekend!


What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days by Holley Gerth September 18, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:37 pm
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what your heart needs


We all have days that make us want to pull the covers back over our heads and eat a dozen cupcakes.

Thankfully, Jesus said we don’t “live on bread alone”–that includes cupcakes–“but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). What we really need is truth.

If you’re tired, discouraged, or feel a little empty inside, my prayer is that by the end of our time together, you’ll be refreshed and nourished in a way that will sustain you through whatever the future may hold.

Remember, you’re not alone, my friend.

In this uplifting book, Holley Gerth invites you to be filled with the strength, peace, and joy that come from God’s promises. Each of the 52 devotions based on the Psalms will help you remember that God is good and we’re all in this together.

My thoughts:

This is a great little devo that will speak to the heart of many women.

I love how Holley is almost telling a story each day. At the end of each brief thought is a place for you to respond. She has a prayer for you and then blank space where you can write down what is on your heart.

After that is a place where you write down what you feel God is speaking to you followed by scripture for you to read.

If you are looking for something quick but you still want to be in the word and have a meaningful encounter I believe this book does just that.

Visit Holley here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble or

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


Write to the Point with Laura Hilton September 17, 2014

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:37 am
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Today we get write to the point with Laura Hilton. She visited us a while ago. You can read that interview here. Read on to see what she is up to now. She has a giveaway for you 🙂

Award winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom and home-schools three of her children. Her two oldest children are homeschool graduates and are in college. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love. A nonAmish book Swept Away will release November 2014 from Abingdon Press. She is contracted for another three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, begins in November 2014 with The Snow Globe, The Postcard in June 2015, and The Bird House in September 2015, and A White Christmas in Webster County (Amish) releasing in September 2014. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites.


Tell us about your newest book.   

A White Christmas in Webster County   (Whitaker House)

Wanting to relocate from Shipshewana to somewhere new, Mercy Lapp answered an ad in The Budget to work as a mother’s helper for Matthew and Shanna Yoder in Seymour, Missouri. Mercy relocated from Shipshewana to give herself space and time to heal after the death of her beau in a fishing trip on Lake Michigan. Abner Hilty fled Shipshewana to Montana to work on a ranch after he and his twin brother witnessed a murder. Now that the killer is safely behind bars, Abner decides to visit his brother Abram in Missouri where he’d settled with his bride of one month. Mercy is surprised to see Abner there, and equally surprised by how much he’d changed physically since she’d last seen him. Even though the two live in different districts they occasionally see each other in townWhiteChristmas and form a fledging friendship. As Christmas approaches, an unexpected heavy snow lets Abner and Mercy spend a lot of time together in wintertime fun. Abner hopes to interest Mercy in a more permanent relationship. But then Mercy has a potentially life changing discovery. Will she return to Shipshewana to answer the summons of the past? Or settle in a new place?

A Christmas Romance.  A chance for a new beginning. Then her past is resurrected.


What do you do when you’re not writing? 

I have five children, I homeschool. I am a pastor’s wife. I am a book reviewer.  When I’m not writing I’m teaching, raising children, helping with my husband’s ministry, cleaning house, running errands,  or cooking, or reading.

Where do you get your ideas? 

God gives them to me. I always pray a lot over my books. I’m a seat of the pants writer and other than a vague idea I have no ideea where my story is going to go.

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

As I just said, I’m seat of the pants.  But even though it has been said that means that my “first draft is the outline” that is not true. I write, edit the previous days writing, write more, and when I finish the book, it is the final draft. I don’t go back and rewrite huge segments.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published? 

Yes. . . but with the world of self-publishing or small press that may change. Right now the big publishers aren’t touching them, because…. 1) not a popular genre  2) you are branded with Amish  3) we just published one similar (pick your excuse) but I’m excited about the possibilities.

Are you like any of the characters in your book? 

Who I am and how I act are totally irrelevant to the characters in the book. They are not a reinvented me.

Are you working on a new project now? 

Yes, I’m currently writing the third (and final) book in the Amish of Jamesport series. It is due to the publisher December 1.

Anything you would like to add? 

The first book in the Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow Globe,  is releasing in November.  I also have a contemporary romance, Swept Away, releasing from Abingdon about the same time.   A White Christmas in Webster County is my first Christmas story, and it ties in characters from both of my first two series, The Amish of Seymour, and The Amish of Webster County.

Connect with Laura: 

visit my blogs:  & 

twitter: @Laura_V_Hilton


Purchase my books:



Barnes and Noble:

Deeper Shopping

Thanks for sharing with my readers, Laura. It’s great to hear what you are up to and how God is continuing to grow your writing.

Readers, Laura is giving away a copy of her book. Leave a comment by Sept. 23rd at 5:00 p.m. to be entered.




Review and Giveaway: Nowhere to Turn by Lynette Eason September 15, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:25 pm
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no where to turn


She thought her days of hiding were over . . . but the danger has just begun

The day Danielle Harding takes her eleven-year-old son and flees from her abusive husband is the same day Kurt Harding dies. A relieved Dani believes she and her son are finally safe–but in reality, things are just heating up. When Kurt was alive, he took something important from a mysterious individual–who wants the item back and believes Dani now has it. As she and her son run for their lives, they have nowhere to turn, until she hires Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge and goes into hiding. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to hide for long . . .

From the first breathless scene, this tension-laced story will hold you in its iron grip as bestselling author Lynette Eason propels you along in a race to discover the truth.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This is the second book I have read by Lynette and I have to say I love her writing.  From the beginning of this book I was on the edge of my seat. I was reading at night and had to stop myself because I needed to get sleep.

This book has so many layers it was hard to know who was really after Dani. It seemed there could have been any number of people who would want to hurt her. I had no clue.

Lynette does a great job of playing on the mother in us all with Dani’s son Simon. You knew she had to do whatever it took to keep him safe, just as we all would do for our children.

The romance portion of the book was just okay for me, but honestly it didn’t have to be great because the rest of the story was so good.

This is the second book in the Hidden Identity series but you don’t have to read the first one to know what is going on in this one. There are repeat characters but the main characters where either secondary in the first book or not in it at all. So have no worries if this is the first book you pick up. And trust me, if you like suspense you will want to pick this up.

Visit Lynette here.

Grab a copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or Books-A-Million.

Win a copy by leaving a comment by September 21st at 5:00 p.m. (U.S. residents only)

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


How Mackinac Island is like our Spiritual Lives (Part 4) September 12, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:49 am
Tags: , , ,
The kids in front of Skull Cave.

The kids in front of Skull Cave.

Sorry for the delay in installments. I came down with a nasty cold last week that had me napping instead of working on my post 🙂

We have traveled from Mackinaw City to the island. We visited downtown and then rode around the island on our bikes. Now it’s time to go deeper, explore the interior and stop riding around the edges.

The year after Patrick and I rode around the island we were very eager to explore the interior. Here’s the thing, the only way to get to the interior is to climb a hill. Most people take Fort Hill. It is horrible. I mean, truly horrible.

This year we walked up with the kids pushing our bikes (you can’t ride your bike) and we were all huffing and puffing. Someone who works on the island came up behind us and said, “I do this everyday and it doesn’t get any easier.” That made me feel a little bit better. I would not want to climb that hill every day.

But sometimes to get to things worth seeing you have to go up hill to get there. So we did.

Once you are in the interior of the island you can see more beautiful homes, follow many trails (we still haven’t explored them all), you can visit Sugar Loaf (another rock formation) or Skull Cave.

The beauty that surrounds you as you ride around is beyond words. Places man has not touched. Birds singing their songs. I could spend all day there.

So, how is this like our spiritual lives?

Going deeper with Jesus won’t happen accidentally. Just like you can’t accidentally end up in the interior the island you won’t find yourself suddenly in a deep love relationship with Jesus. It takes intentionality and time.

You have to really want to see the interior of the island to climb up that hill. We have to really want to go deeper with Jesus to take the time it takes to get there.

If I’m not willing to spend time in His Word, in prayer, in worship I won’t get there.

It never gets easier to wake up at 5:00 a.m. Never. I am still tired every single morning, just like that worker who said she climbs that hill every day and it doesn’t get easier.

I wake up early to have alone time with Jesus. Each day is a struggle to wake up. But I know it’s worth it. I know the beauty that awaits me as I sit in His presence, as His Word washes over me.

There are still areas I haven’t explored and I never will because our God is limitless. But I will keep exploring and discovering all He has to offer me. I won’t give up.

Just as I said I could stay in the interior of the island all day, I would love to sit in Jesus’s presence all day, but I can’t. However, I take His presence with me where ever I go. I take the memory of the interior of the island with me. And because I remember what it is like I want to go again. I can’t wait to get back.

Once you have sat in Jesus’s presence you will want to go back. This is one addiction it is okay to have. Be a lover of His presence. Once you have been overwhelmed by Him you will want more. Once won’t be enough.

This reminds me of a song, I’m a Lover Your Presence. Use this song to soak in His presence. Click here.

We aren’t done yet. We have once last stop to make. Check back next week to see where we go next week.