Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Colliding with Destiny by Sarah Jakes December 30, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:23 pm
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colliding

About:

Find a fuller, richer life by letting God direct your destiny.

The story of Ruth is a journey of transformation. By allowing God to transform her circumstances, Ruth went from a widow who would be excluded from society to a wife with a secure and protected future, a future that ultimately paved the way for the birth of King David! Her story is full of collision–loss, heartache, poverty, even shame–but she never let her past define her. Instead, the most painful time of her life became her most pivotal, propelling her to a destiny she never imagined.

Perhaps you have a past you’re struggling to overcome. If disappointments, whether a result of your own choices or the actions of others, have kept you from being your true self, this book is for you. Follow Ruth’s life and discover the hope available to each of us. Your yesterday does not have to dictate your tomorrow.

Despite your past pain, you, too, can find redemption and restoration.

My thoughts:

I have always loved the book of Ruth. Probably even more so since reading Tessa Afshar’s fictional account of Ruth in her book In the Field of Grace.

What Sarah did in Colliding with Destiny is take the scriptures apart and then write a short chapter reflecting on how these words can apply to our lives today. She takes examples from her own life and shares her mistakes, regrets and deepest hurts.

You could easily make this book a daily devotional as most of the chapters are only a couple of pages long. Each chapter ends with Sarah sharing a bit more in a “Journaling” section and then asks questions so you can journal or share in a small group your thoughts. There is also a short prayer at the end of each chapter.

Sarah gave me some new insights into this familiar, yet powerful, story. If you enjoy the book of Ruth and encouraged by her I recommend this book as another way to delve into these scriptures.

Visit Sarah here.

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

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

 

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The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen December 29, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:41 pm
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julie klassen

About:

Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister.

Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll’s house left mid-play…

The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor’s past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.

This catches Abigail’s attention. Hoping to restore her family’s finances–and her dowry–Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn’t the only one secretly searching the house.

Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past.

As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks…or very real danger?

My thoughts:

Wow. This book was amazing. This was a book that had me hooked from the first couple of pages. I felt the tension rise up in me and it continued until the last page. As I was reading I had to remind myself it will all work out in the end but I had doubts.

Abigail is a very likeable character. She is the good, sensible daughter, the one that does what is expected and lets her younger sister receive all the attention. At times I thought she too nice and I wanted to tell her to speak her mind.

Julie did such a masterful job with this book. William is a curate (basically a pastor) and I loved how she had him do some bold, un-pastor-like things. That’s what made him even more intriguing and a great hero.

The mystery in this book was wonderfully built. Small hints given throughout, just enough to keep you coming back for more.

As the story wrapped up I had to remind myself of all the plots going on and what needed to be resolved. Julie resolved each and every plot line beautifully and with great satisfaction.

This is a book I was thinking about even when I wasn’t reading it. I couldn’t wait to get back to it and get to the end, even though I was sad to say good-bye to this wonderful cast of characters. I highly recommend this one. If you like romance and mystery (that does get a bit creepy at times but not too much) then this is a book I think you will definitely enjoy 🙂

Visit Julie here.

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

An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

 

Ariella’s Story-Part Seven December 26, 2014

Filed under: Other Genesis 5020 Stories — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:53 pm
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part seven

By Francesco Gallarotti

My life was never the same after that day. I walked away once and for all from my life of sin and asked Jesus to come take up residence in my heart.

The greatest thing that happened was that my story has been published in a best-selling book and many have found hope. I’m sure you have even read my story in this book. Below is the excerpt directly from the manuscript:

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group  and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.  Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8: 2-11 NIV

Hey everyone, Melissa here. Yes, I took the story of the woman caught in adultery and fictionalized it, gave her a story, a voice. Hope you don’t mind 🙂

We haven’t had a Genesis 5020 story in a very long time and I thought what better source than the Bible? It’s full of them.

This blog began as a place to share such stories so I thought I would use my imagination and give you one. I do hope you have been encouraged and remember what Jesus still does in lives today.

However, I would love for a reader to share their story here, so if you have a story to share email me at: 5020genesisstories (at) gmail (dot) com. Otherwise you never know when a character from the Bible might decide to make an appearance to encourage you!

I hope you all had a blessed Christmas.

 

Merry Christmas and Love At Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk December 24, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:51 pm
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Before I share my review with you today I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May you encounter the amazing gift of Jesus in a new and fresh way this year. Below is a link to a video that depicts what happened 100 years ago as the troops in WWI called a truce. It moved me to tears and reminded me of what Jesus can do even in the middle of a war. Maybe you are in a personal war of your own. Be reminded that Christ alone can bring you the peace you desire. Click here.

at misaltoe

About:

Sometimes the road to happiness is paved with youthful mistakes.

Hope Prentiss didn’t go to the Harmony High School senior prom. Instead, she and John Burke drove to Boise and got married. At eighteen. But when Hope panicked after saying “I do,” the mail-order preacher assured her he just wouldn’t send in the paperwork. No forms, no marriage, no problem. Right?

Well . . .

Now, ten years later, Hope discovers that her prom-night wedding counted—and, as fate would have it, the jilted John Burke has just ridden back into town. And he’s staying with her Aunt Verna at the inn where she and Hope host weddings. Though Hope thinks she wants an annulment, a little time with John makes her think twice . . . and emotions between the more-or-less Mr. and Mrs. Burke reach a boiling point a soon as they get a moment alone.

With annulment out the window, Hope finds herself staring in the face of a divorce. But after spending some time with John and helping plan a Christmas wedding for a mystery couple, Hope begins to wonder if she really wants a divorce … or a real wedding of her own.

My thoughts:

I loved the premise of this story. A young couple rush off to get married but think it doesn’t “take” just to find out that it did. What will they do?

It should be easy until they make their marriage “official”, if you get my meaning, then it becomes much more complicated.

Not to mention Hope is sort of dating someone else…yikes!

John just wants his wife back and will do whatever it takes to make her see that he really does love her.

The Christmas theme isn’t overly present in this book but it was still a nice lead up to December.

Cindy seemed to work in a lot of depth into a quick read and I appreciated that. I didn’t feel like anything was rush. Overall, I recommend this one 🙂

Visit Cindy here.

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

An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Passion Translation Bible December 23, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:34 pm
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Psalms-262x350To read more about The Passion Translation click here. I was given Psalms and John to read and review. I was very excited to get my hands on these book since a friend of mine has been using them and I loved the things she was sharing during our Bible study. For me this was kind of an in between from the Message and NLT. It stated things clearly but stayed true to the text. There were times I went back to my NLT because I just preferred that for a certain verse.John-262x350 But overall I really liked TPT. This translation seems to be filled with the Spirit. Any Word of God is but my heart was so stirred at times as I read verses that I have read before but stated in different way. I would definitely like to get my hands on more of the books that have been released. As of right now it isn’t just one big Bible. Each book either has its own book or shares with another. You will want to check out what books have been released, visit TPT website here. I love reading God’s Word in a new and fresh way. If you are looking for something different give TPT a try and allow God to stir His passion inside you. Grab a copy your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Christianbook.com. A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

 

Review and Giveaway: Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund December 22, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:23 pm
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LoveUnexpected_mck.indd

About:

1859
Presque Isle, Michigan

What Is the Secret That Could Shipwreck Both of Their Lives?

All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she’s left destitute and with no place to stay.

An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He’s just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other’s dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household.

Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife’s death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters.

My thoughts and giveaway:

Jody Hedlund has written another beautiful book with well-developed characters that have flaws and a back story that she slowly reveals just as you need it.

I love that Jody is a Michigan author and this is another book set in Michigan. It was fun to Google images of the lighthouse in this book and see it with my own eyes.

Emma is a lovely heroine who is just trying to find her way. She has no idea how beautiful she truly is and I love that humbleness in her. She is thrown into being a wife and mother and doesn’t find it easy at all since she has had no preparation as most women her age would’ve have been raised to have a family.

Patrick has embraced the amazing grace of Jesus but still struggles with the demons in his past. He has been running from his past and fears the day it will catch up with him.

Even though Emma and Patrick are married their romance is a slow build filled with tender moments.

If you are a Jody Hedlund fan I think you will be pleased with this book and even if you aren’t but enjoy a good historical romance this is a book I recommend.

Visit Jody here.

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

Leave a comment by January 3rd for your chance to win a copy. (U.S. residents only)

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

 

Ariella’s Story-Part Six December 19, 2014

Filed under: Other Genesis 5020 Stories — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:20 pm
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By Casey Fyfe

By Casey Fyfe

I still attended church but without Jim by my side. His wife started coming and of course he sat with her. He didn’t even look at me when we were in church. My heart ached.

Not to mention the guilt and shame that pressed in on me each and every week as I sat and listened to the words of hope the pastor offered.

I wasn’t worthy of the love, grace or mercy he spoke of. I knew that. I knew I shouldn’t even be sitting in church while I was in the middle of my affair. But each Sunday when I woke up thinking I wouldn’t go something spurred me on.

Jim and I still met when we could but it was becoming less often. His words still promised a future. One I couldn’t see but held desperately to.

One Sunday Jim and his wife didn’t come to church. Even though we never talked while there I hungered to see him.

The same day, after the music ended and the pastor took the stage, a man from the crowd interrupted him.

“Excuse me Pastor. But I need to bring something to light.” The man stood from the middle of the sanctuary and slide out to the aisle.

I didn’t know the man personally but I knew he was a friend of Jim’s. He had talked about how they both despised the pastor and wanted to get him out of the church before they lost all control.

The pastor looked startled. I didn’t know if this had ever happened before but it seemed odd.

“Is now the best time, John?”

“Now is the perfect time.” John’s voice boomed and echoed off the walls as he spoke louder. “It has come to my attention that we have an adulteress in our midst. That she has been carrying on for some time without any sense of remorse.”

Murmering fill the space and gazes flew across the room looking for the offender.

Heat crept up my neck and flooded my face. Yes, I was an adulterer but he couldn’t be talking about me because remorse filled my very being. It must be someone else.

“John…” Pastor’s voice had a warning tone.

My heart beat wildly, I thought it would beat right out of my chest. I needed to get out of there but I would only draw more attention to myself and I didn’t need that.

John took long strides in my direction. I looked down at my hands as they twisted in my lap. Maybe if I didn’t look at him he wouldn’t see me.

A rough hand wrapped around my arm and yanked me to my feet. “This is the woman. I have seen her with my own eyes spending time with a married man.” John didn’t even look at me as he blurted out my sin for all to hear.

More murmuring filled the sanctuary. Stony glares flew my way, pelting my gut.

What had I done? Why did I keep coming to church when I was in the middle of my sin? Church was no place for someone like me. Why didn’t I run away like I always had done before?

Before I knew it John pulled me to the alter and threw me to the ground.

“They Bible tells us to call out sin, to bring darkness to light. So what are you going to do about her Pastor?”

I only heard his voice, I could no longer see anything or anyone. I planted my face in the carpet and tears dripped down my chin and nose. My body shook uncontrollably. Where was Jim? Did he know this was going to happen? Was this all a set up?

His harsh words against Pastor and his boasting of finding a way to get rid of him echoed in my mind.

Did he use me like all the others? Was I a pawn in his game to oust Pastor?

Silence filled my ears. I sensed Pastor move down from the stage and stand before me. He was about to declare me trash, just as I always knew I was. But to hear it come from such a man I would know without a doubt it was truth. I was worthless.

Yet, I deserved it all. My father showed me a long time ago what I was worth and now everyone else would know too.

Pastor cleared his throat after what seemed like forever. “I’ve always said this church would be a place that we can say to the broken and wounded ‘welcome home’ and embrace them. I stand by that now. If you don’t want this to be a place where we welcome all sinners then you should leave and find a church without sinners. I believe it will be difficult to find.”

What? I couldn’t have heard him right.

I still couldn’t look up. I couldn’t look to see what was happening. But I heard shuffling and I heard John give a “hurmph”. I heard people leaving. Leaving because they didn’t welcome me.

I heard another sound. I heard steps moving closer to me, I sensed people coming beside me and kneeling. Soon I felt the warmth of hands on my back and the warmth spread to my heart.

I finally looked up.

Around me where at least half the congregation. The other half were gone.

I looked up to Pastor and he smiled and said words I never thought I would hear from anyone:

“Welcome home.”

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28 NLT

Make sure you come back next week for the final installment of Ariella’s story.