Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Love’s a Stage by Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay August 31, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:36 pm
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love's a stage


Grad student and future marriage counselor Aly Brewster had a perfect childhood with perfect parents. Now she’s heading into her own perfect life: Finish her Master’s. Build a successful practice. Husband at twenty-six. But when her parents blindside her with the news they’re getting divorced, her perfect world shatters.

Actor Nick Armstrong has been in love with Aly since they met during freshman year. He’s happy to accept his assigned place in her Friend Zone because it lets him be close to her. But it’s been over five years—time to move on. Then the usually-unflappable Aly comes to him begging for help to save her parents’ marriage. Nick has the perfect plan: fake an engagement to each other to inspire her parents to fight to save their marriage. And who knows? It might trigger Aly’s feelings for him. But when Aly takes the ruse to the next level—planning a wedding in her parents’ backyard and hiring additional actors to play his family—enough is enough!

As the lines between acting and reality grow decidedly blurred, these two improvised fiancés must decide: are they going to finish the play…or exit stage right. Alone.

My thoughts:

This was a quick read that impacted like I never expected.

Aly is kind of a control freak yet likable. She just wants her parents to fall in love again and uses her best guy-friend to do it. Sometimes she irritated me because she took Nick for granted and I didn’t like that.

Nick is an awesome guy who definitely has a soft spot for Aly. But I like how the author showed him being a guy that still could have some unwanted feelings when another girl gives him some attention.

This book even had me laughing. The scene that gave me the giggles reminded me of something my husband would do.

And at the end I cried. I didn’t expect it all but there where tears. The authors wrote this beautiful ending that touched my heart.

Overall I loved the message about marriage and the importance of keeping our vows and working even when it seems hopeless.

Visit Rene here.

Visit Cheryl here. 

Grab your copy at Amazon,  or your favorite retailer. (This book doesn’t release until October 22nd)

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


This Means War: A Strategic Prayer Journal (For Teens) August 27, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:37 pm
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this means war


You’ve got battles to fight—on your knees.

The teen years can be tough; don’t try to make it through without one of your most powerful weapons—prayer. A companion book to the movie War Room, this new kind of journal will get you ready for a new kind of prayer life, one that’s strong, growing, and reflects just how powerful prayer is. Each short chapter tackles one of the biggest questions teens have about prayer, questions such as:

Why pray, anyway?What should I pray for? Are selfish prayers okay?Who should I pray for? Am I really supposed to pray for my enemies too?Will God listen? And will He answer? Just-right journaling prompts will then get you thinking—and praying—and reinforce the real power of fighting battles on your knees.

My thoughts:

I love this book for teens. It takes a simple, straight forward approach to introducing them to prayer and asking them questions to get them thinking about why it’s hard to pray.

At one point the teen is asked to be quiet for fifteen minutes and pray and reflect on what that’s like. Not easy for a teen but I love that they are being pointed in that direction.

I can see this book having a HUGE impact on lives if the child will actually go through it slowly and take the time to write down answers to the questions in this book.

I will say I haven’t gotten my daughter to do it yet and I don’t believe forcing her is what God wants. So I’ll leave it with her and hopefully one day she will decide to pick it up. Maybe you could do the same thing for the teen in your life 🙂

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Books-A-Million or your favorite retailer. (Book releases Sept. 1st)

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


The Battle Plan for Prayer by Stephen and Alex Kendrick August 25, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:10 pm
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the battle plan


Inspired by the Kendrick Brothers’ new movie, War Room, this exciting new resource from the #1 best-selling author team behind The Love Dare and The Resolution for Men is designed to help anyone learn how to become a powerful person of prayer. The Battle Plan for Prayer begins with prayer’s core purpose, its biblical design, and its impact throughout history. Readers will be guided scripturally through the fundamentals of how effective prayer works, inspired towards a closer, more intimate relationship with God, and shown how to develop specific prayer strategies for each area of life. Prayer can accomplish what a willing God can accomplish. It should be your first plan of attack in all of life’s battles, not your last resort. If you want to experience the joy of mightily answered prayer, then it’s time to engage with God at another level.

My thoughts:

This is another resource to go along with the War Room. This one is for any adult, man or woman.

The book starts out basic and gradually moves into more specific prayers.

This book should be read over a thirty-five day period, just read one short chapter a day then apply what you have learned in prayer immediately and continue building on those truths as you move throughout the book.

I would recommend this book for anyone who is new in the faith, who needs guidance because they find themselves easily distracted in prayer, or anyone who has grown lukewarm in their faith or prayer life. This is a wake-up call to the need for prayer.

God is really showing me as I read through all of the War Room books the power of prayer and that we can’t give up, even when we don’t see anything changing, we must be persistent and this book will guide you in doing that.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Books-A-Million or your favorite retailer. (This book releases Sept. 1st)

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


Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund August 24, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:58 pm
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luther and katrina



She was a nun of noble birth. He, a heretic, a reformer…an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire.

In the 16th century, nun Katharina von Bora’s fate fell no further than the Abbey. Until she read the writings of Martin Luther.

His sweeping Catholic church reformation—condemning a cloistered life and promoting the goodness of marriage—awakened her desire for everything she’d been forbidden. Including Martin Luther himself.

Despite the fact that the attraction and tension between them is undeniable, Luther holds fast to his convictions and remains isolated, refusing to risk anyone’s life but his own. And Katharina longs for love, but is strong-willed. She clings proudly to her class distinction, pining for nobility over the heart of a reformer. They couldn’t be more different.

But as the world comes tumbling down around them, and with Luther’s threatened life a constant strain, these unlikely allies forge an unexpected bond of understanding, support and love.

Together, they will alter the religious landscape forever.

My thoughts:

I’m not even sure where to begin.

I am a fan of Jody’s, I love her historical romances. When I saw this book up for review I was a little surprised to see Jody’s name on it. This just didn’t seem like something she would write, a book about Marin Luther, the leader of the Reformation.

I also wondered how interesting you could make a love story about him? But I figured if anyone could do it, it would be Jody Hedlund. And I was right.

Wow. There is never a dull moment in this book. The interesting part is that a lot of the persecution written about actually took place. I couldn’t believe what these reformers had to endure and the fine line Martin had to walk between the peasants and princes. So much violence.

The thing is as I was reading this I thought I can see some of this coming back. If the Church stands by the Bible (as we should) we are and will face persecution in the days ahead.

The romance between Martin and Katharina was intense. They are both stubborn and passionate people. Once again, Jody depicted their love so well your heart will ache for them.

I will caution readers that some of the romance was intense and if that is a an area you need to be careful with then just be forewarned. Nothing in appropriate, I just know the areas I struggle with which is why I don’t read secular romance and many Christians won’t read Christian romance for the same reason.

But for me I loved this book. Jody is a master storyteller and created a very believable story world.

Visit Jody here. 

For more info. click here.

Click here for Jody’s bio.

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

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


It’s Okay To Be Excited About Jesus August 21, 2015

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:32 pm
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By kazu end

As a worship leader I have to fight doubts and negative thoughts almost every Sunday. When I am in the mist of leading worship I feel free and full of the love of Jesus. But once I get home the enemy loves to start whispering things in my ear. Here are a few of the things I hear weekly:

You got way too excited today.

You made a fool of yourself.

You are drawing attention to yourself. 

You shouldn’t have said that.

You failed.

You really aren’t a very good worship leader.

That is only a few, but for the most part they are all the same just worded in different ways.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to lead worship without playing my keyboard. That hardly ever happens and I get so excited when it does because I love to worship Jesus with all of me. When my hands are tied to keys I can’t fully engage myself as much as I want. I just love worshiping Jesus!!!

Anyway, I worshiped and it felt so good. I can’t hold back when I have freedom to worship.

Now, my church has many different type of worshipers. Some people raise their hands, some people clap, some people just sing and some people don’t sing at all. Overall, we aren’t an overly expressive bunch so I probably do stand out a bit. But one thing I have learned in teaching is that my students will follow my lead. My desire is for people to fully engage in worship and get excited about Jesus. I know if I just stand still that is all I can expect anyone else to do. So I worship as I feel lead so others will feel free to do the same.

Of course, after this particular Sunday the enemy hammered me…hard. It wasn’t until the next morning, during my quiet time with the Lord that He spoke to me about my worship.

He asked me about my kids. He showed me a picture of me coming home after being gone a week and them just sitting, staring at the television. I was so excited to see them and all they could say was, “Hey.”

Then He asked me how I felt when my kids were excited to see me, excited to spend time with me, to the point they jumped up and hugged me, or told me they missed and embraced me as they said this. I told Him I loved that.

He said He was no different. He loved when I was excited to worship Him, He loved that I wanted to give Him every piece of energy I had. He said He felt sad when His children weren’t excited to see Him, to worship Him, to be in His presence.

He understands that not everyone is going to raise their hands, or clap, but He examines the heart and unfortunately He knows that many people aren’t excited to worship Him, to be with Him.

He told me I should never hold back anything from Him, but always give Him my all (this is what the Bible teaches us — give Him our heart, mind and strength). He wants the same from each of His children and that will look different for everyone and that’s okay.

So basically, it’s okay to be excited about Jesus. We should be more excited about Him then anything else in this world and if we get more excited about football, or a t.v. show we need to examine our heart because you can be sure He is:)



Prayer Works: Prayer Training and Strategy for Kids August 20, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:51 pm
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prayer works


What’s Your Strategy?

As kids grow, their prayer life needs to grow too—but how? Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick offer a strategy that kids can use to figure out how prayer works and just how powerful it is. Lots of great explanation is combined with fun activities, illustrations, and journaling prompts to get kids thinking and praying.

This companion book to the movie War Room contains 32 perforated journal pages kids can use to write specific prayers and then post them on the walls in their prayer room—just like the characters in the movie. Topics include:

What is prayer?

Why should I pray?

Where do I pray?

Is there a wrong way to pray?

What should I pray for?

Does God really hear me?

My thoughts:

This is another book brought to you by the creators of the War Room. This is for your older elementary prayer warrior.

My son and I are working our way through this book. It’s a great guide for parents who are wanting to get their kids praying but aren’t sure how to introduce it in a way that will grab their attention. My kids pray before meals and I pray with them before they go to bed but this book is really a great guide for talking about the different ways you can pray, why and when.

This book begins with a what a relationship with Jesus is and how to have that. If you child hasn’t asked Jesus into their heart now might be the time. Then the book progresses with questions kids might have, like does God really hear me? Will God answer my prayers?

Finally, in the back of the book your child can write out suggested scriptures in their own words (I love that) and then different prayer requests.

Overall, I recommend this book for 8-11 year-olds…a great resource.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Books-A-Million or your favorite retailer. (Book doesn’t release until Sept. 1st)

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



Too Blessed To Be Stressed Cookbook by Debora M. Coty August 19, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:11 pm
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too blessed



Feeling overwhelmed by life’s daily demands? Could you use some encouragement and inspiration in the kitchen? The Too Blessed to Be Stressed Cookbook to the rescue! Each of the 100-plus recipes can be prepared in 20 minutes or less, plus you’ll encounter some fabulous tips and suggestions as well as funny foodie quotes, scripture selections, humorous stories of cooking misadventures, and more, along the way. Recipes are arranged into 4 categories–Heart-Healthy, Soul-Fed, Time-Wise, and Company-Happy–and are accompanied by appealing full-color photographs. You’ll cheer as you soak up the joy Debora M. Coty brings into your life and home!

My thoughts:

I really enjoy cooking and trying new recipes so I was excited to see this book up for review.

The beginning of the school year is extremely busy for my family, between my husband coaching, me helping with the school play and my kids involved in their sports we are always coming and going. Finding time to cook is difficult.

This book is full of recipes that you can make quickly, without tons of prep or ingredients. I haven’t had the chance to try any yet since we are on vacation a lot during the summer, but I have a majority of them highlighted and can’t wait to try them during our busy season.

Not only are there great recipes to try but fun stories along the way of kitchen mishaps. Above all there are scriptures sprinkled throughout as well.

If you are looking for some quick recipes to try I recommend this book as a go-to source.

Visit Debora here.

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

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