Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Your In-Ear Monitor April 29, 2016

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:00 pm
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By Samantha Sophia

By Samantha Sophia

I owe the inspiration for this post to my sweet friend Jolene…thank you!

At our church our worship team uses in-ear monitors. This means we have ear-buds or headphones that hook up to our own monitor so we can hear exactly what we want and need while we lead worship. Everybody has their own mix depending on what helps us or distracts us from playing or singing our best.

This past Sunday we got through practicing a song and I said, “I need to turn me down in my head.”

My friend Jolene said she wished she could do that sometimes.

I laughed, because it’s so true. I wish it were that easy, on a daily basis,  to turn down my voice in my head and turn up Jesus.

How do we get that perfect that mix? How can we silence that voice of doubt and lies and turn up the voice of Truth? I desperately need that. How about you?

I can only think the way to do it is to have His Words in our head. Spending time with Him. Just like you know the sound of your children’s or family’s voice because you spend time with them, that is the only way we can know the distinct sound of Jesus’s voice.

Like with the instruments, if I know I need more acoustic guitar and less electric I need to the know the way they each sound so I can make the necessary adjustments, if I am guessing I am just turning knobs and will probably end up hearing things I don’t want to hear.

Find your perfect mix, turn down the sound of your voice and that of the enemy and turn up the voice of the Lord. Place His Words in your heart and draw from them, they will bring life.


A Glimmer of Hope by Julie Lessman April 28, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:16 pm
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a glimmer


She’s a wounded girl serving up trouble.
He’s a pastor’s kid bent on serving God.
But can they find a glimmer of hope for a future together?

From the moment Jack O’Bryen kissed the sixteen-year-old tomboy next door, he knew he would love her forever. Lacey Carmichael was everything he’d ever wanted—intelligent, warm, and brimming with life, the perfect complement to his serious and sensible self. A girlfriend who not only shared his faith, but he hoped his future as well, the perfect mate for a would-be pastor.

Eighteen-year-old Lacey Carmichael has dreamed of marrying Jack O’Bryen since she was twelve years old, the boy next door who always picked up the pieces after her father shattered her heart. But when her cousin leads her astray while Jack’s away at school and her father’s rejection soars to new heights, Lacey finds herself at odds with the boy that she loves, not only jeopardizing their relationship, but Jack’s faith and heart as well.

My thoughts:

I found this book accidentally. I hadn’t seen anything written by Julie in a long time and I love her writing. I visited her blog and I found she has taken a different route in her writing. So I snatched up this novella eager to see how she would handle contemporary romance.

This is a super quick read and introduction to her novel Isle of Hope. I was actually very surprised to turn the last page and that was it. But it’s a great lead in to the next novel (which you can read that first chapter at the end of this book).

Lacy honestly annoyed me. She was very immature but that is her age and will be a big contrast when we meet her again in the next book. I could also understand her relationship with her dad. It was horrible, the words he said are words I often heard from my own father and this will often drive a girl to do things she shouldn’t, looking for love in the wrong way.

Jack is so strong and stable and again, we will see a big contrast in the next book.

Overall, an enjoyable read that is a great set up for the next book, which I plan on reading soon.

Visit Julie here.

Grab your copy at Amazon.


Releasing Spiritual Gifts Today by James W. Goll April 27, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:03 pm
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ABOUT THE BOOK (192 pages):

This book isn’t just about discovering our spiritual gifts, or even receiving them-it’s about releasing them! God wants you to experience the great wonder of moving in and through His grace, on a daily basis. As you read, you’ll first gain an overview of spiritual gifts and be introduced to the way the Holy Spirit moves and operates within them. Then you’ll explore the nine most widely recognized spiritual gifts. These are not the only gifts God gives His children, but they are vital to understand and then activate according to His leading.
Releasing Spiritual Gifts Today is filled with many examples of how the gifts have been used in action, both within the pages of the Bible and in the present day. God desires to pour out His gifts on His people with even greater degrees of impact and authority. This is your opportunity to find out what the Lord can do for you and through you as you release His spiritual gifts today in an outpouring of His love, grace, and power.


James W. Goll is a lover of Jesus who cofounded Encounters Network, an organization dedicated to changing lives and impacting nations by releasing God’s presence through prophetic, intercessory, and compassionate ministry. He is the founder of the God Encounters Training E–School of the Heart –– “where faith and life meet.” He is also International Director of Prayer Storm, a 24/7/365 media–based house of prayer. After serving as a pastor in the Midwest, James was thrust into the role of international itinerant teacher and trainer. He has traveled extensively in over fifty nations, carrying a passion for Jesus wherever he goes. James desires to see the body of Christ become the “house of prayer for all nations” (see Isaiah 56:7) and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to spread the good news to every nation and all peoples. James is a member of the Harvest International Ministry Apostolic Team and a consultant to several national and international ministries. He is also the author of numerous books and training manuals, as well as a contributing writer for several periodicals. James and Michal Ann Goll were married for thirty–two years before her graduation to heaven in the fall of 2008. They have four wonderful adult children, all of whom are married, and two grandchildren. James makes his home in Franklin, Tennessee.

My thoughts:

What a powerful book. I don’t say this about many non-fiction books but this is one I couldn’t put down. As I read I literally felt a fire in my gut burning with wanting more of the Holy Spirit.

James discuss gifts that he believes are for everyone (and I personally agree) but I know this can cause controversy within the church. I don’t attend a church that preaches this but I personally have come to believe many of the truths in this book.

Why should we desire the gifts of the Spirit? On page 29 James tells us the overall purpose:

“What is comes down to is that spiritual gifts are more about how much God wants to love other people through you than how much He loves you (even though He does, indeed, love you!). You are a channel of His grace. The gifts have been given to you so you can channel His love to someone else. Gifts are for giving away!”

Good stuff right there.

If you desire more of the gifts of the Holy Spirit I encourage you to read this book and earnestly seek these gifts so you can love others more.

Visit James here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Deeper Shopping or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by The Book Club Network Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 


The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandell April 25, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:37 pm
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After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy disappearing before her very eyes. Now the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: marry within the year to inherit her grandmother’s fortune. Amaryllis reluctantly takes part in her aunt’s society, intent on getting to the west coast on her own… and without a husband.

Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, whose father not only had a part in her expulsion, but whose ominous presence has haunted her dreams for a decade since her mother’s tragic death. Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been “managing her life” isn’t who she thought at all.

My thoughts:

I purchased this book because I discovered Dawn was a Michigan author and I love supporting authors in my state. It didn’t hurt that her book sounded very interesting.

I would compare her work to Jessica Dotta, who I loved! Therefore, that means I really enjoyed this book.

Dawn places you in the midst of story and the mystery surrounding Amaryllis and her life story. There is something going on here and Bram Everstone definitely has a hand it, but what and why?

Then there is Nathan who Amaryllis wants to loath but I want her to give into him. I could tell he wasn’t that bad and truly cared for Amaryllis. But he was moody and made it difficult to know how he would act from one scene to the next. And then I question what made him care about it? There was something there that I didn’t see.

I will definitely be reading more of Dawn’s work and if you enjoy historical romance I highly recommend this one.

Visit Dawn here.

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


Another Bethel Experience April 22, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:22 pm
 By Mayur Gala

By Mayur Gala

I had the chance to see Bethel worship this week. I saw them two years ago. You can read that post here.

This experience was much like the first one, so powerful. I almost forgot that worship could be so free. I’m glad I had this reminder.

While there they sang a song that I had heard before and loved but hearing it there added something more to it. I thought I would share it with you today. Enjoy!

Click here to listen to Pieces.


Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti April 21, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:11 pm
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song of silence


Music taught Lucy love and beauty. Could silence teach her hope?
Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing: they’re committed to each other for life. Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this. While Charlie retired early, Lucy is devoted to a long-term career . . . until the day she has no choice.

Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith’s song has gone silent, too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.

When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees—and hears—everything.

My thoughts:

I have never read anything by Cynthia, although I’ve heard good things about her and her covers always intrigue me.

This book is full of wonderful thoughts and ideas. Cynthia wove in many deep truths. Even using musical references such as the importance of rests and I could easily apply that to my live.

However, I really struggled with liking the overall book. Lucy was a very negative person in the beginning. Which I understand, she lost her job and is struggling with that but I needed more redeeming qualities in her faster. Her thoughts toward her husband didn’t help me in that area. Although, I could see she did love him but she really made him sound like an idiot and I had trouble with that.

Things do get better as you go along but pushing through that first twenty-thirty percent of the book was hard for me.

With that being said the other reviews on this book are very good and you might enjoy this book. This is my opinion only as obviously others enjoyed this book.

Visit Cynthia here.

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

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


The Very Good Gospel by Lisa Sharon Harper April 20, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:08 pm
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the very good


God once declared everything in the world “very good.”
Can you imagine it?
A Vision of Hope for a Broken World
Shalom is what God declared. Shalom is what the Kingdom of God looks like.
Shalom is when all people have enough.
It’s when families are healed.
It’s when churches, schools, and public policies protect human dignity.
Shalom is when the image of God is recognized in every single human.
Shalom is our calling as followers of Jesus’s gospel. It is the vision God set forth in the Garden and the restoration God desires for every relationship.

What can we do to bring shalom to our nations, our communities, and our souls? Through a careful exploration of biblical text, particularly the first three chapters of Genesis, Lisa Sharon Harper shows us what “very good” can look like today, even after the Fall.

Because despite our anxious minds, despite division and threats of violence, God’s vision remains: Wholeness for a hurting world. Peace for a fearful soul. Shalom.

My thoughts:

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book. It was one of those book I thought was a different author then it was and I am glad I made that mistake. This book has meat to it. It’s not a feel good, fluffy read.

Lisa has depth and she carries that throughout her book. She touches on tough subjects, things we often don’t think about.

She isn’t afraid to address issues that we tend to gloss over. As an African-American she brings a much different perspective to things and sees things that I wouldn’t see.

She sprinkles her personal story throughout the book, which I always appreciate. She shares her hurts and struggles and how she had to find her own shalom with God.

I highly recommend this book as Lisa takes you from the beginning and the fall into God’s ultimate plan for redemption and peace.

Click here for more info.

Click here for more about the author. 

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

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Review and Giveaway: Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar April 18, 2016

land of silence


Before Christ called her daughter . . .

Before she stole healing by touching the hem of his garment . . .

Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.

No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body . . . and soul?

My thoughts:

Tessa is a wonderful author. She brings something special to Biblical fiction and the same is true with her newest release.

Have you ever wondered about the story of the woman the reached out to touch Jesus’ robe? I have. I always loved her faith. Now Tessa brings this woman to life for us and gives her a story. It is a story full of heartache and wounds. Wounds only Jesus can heal.

I think what kept this story moving along for me was the fact that you knew Elianna was going to meet Jesus. I couldn’t wait for that to happen.

This story is also about not being defined by your past and letting go of things and accepting love from others.

This is a beautiful story that I am sure anyone who enjoys Biblical fiction will love.

Visit Tessa here.

Grab you copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

Leave a comment by April 25th for you chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by (U.S. addresses only. I am not responsible for books lost or damaged in the mail.)

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


The Inheritance by Michael Phillips April 14, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:06 pm
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the inheritance



The death of clan patriarch Macgregor Tulloch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whales Reef into turmoil. Everyone assumed Tulloch’s heir to be his much-loved grandnephew David. But when no will is discovered, David’s calculating cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island’s land. And Hardy knows a North Sea oil investor who will pay dearly for that control.

While the competing claims are investigated, the courts have frozen the estate’s assets, leaving many of the locals in dire financial straits. The future of the island–and its traditional way of life–hangs in the balance.

Meanwhile, Loni Ford enjoys a rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, D.C. Yet, in spite of outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is, until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . .

Past and present collide in master storyteller Michael Phillips’ dramatic new saga of loss and discovery, of grasping and grace.

My thoughts:

This is the first book I have read by Michael Phillips. His writing is very lyrical and he seems to paint a picture with his words. He definitely brings you into the Shetlands and you can see it clearly.

I read a post recently that said if you don’t like a book by chapter three you should stop reading. I don’t know if I agree with that entirely but I can see some truth in that.

This book didn’t grab by chapter three but I kept reading, hoping and wanting to like the book but I never got into it. There would be moments where I thought, okay I am can get into this and then I would loose my desire.

This is not a fast-paced book at all and that might have been my issue. I really like things to clip right along and this book is definitely a slower paced book.

Like I said, Michael paints a beautiful picture and it really is like watching someone paint a picture, it doesn’t happen quickly.

If you are looking for something like that then this might be the book for you.

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

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


Messed Up Men of the Bible by Tina and Dave Samples April 13, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:28 pm
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messed up men

ABOUT THE BOOK:  Men in the Bible, everyday men of the twentyfirst century, and what they have in common

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”-2 Corinthians 12:9

From schlubby sitcom heroes to mommy blogs to online articles, there is a broad cultural perception that men constantly mess up and women must fight an uphill battle to fix them. Men are a burden, constant works-in-progress, pushed toward perfection but always falling short. This book asks a revolutionary question: What if these messed-up men are actually a mighty tool for God?

Tina and Dave Samples remind us that the Bible is filled with a cast of messed-up men men who struggled and fell, and yet were used by God to accomplish His purposes. In fact, God has consistently chosen imperfect “clay pots” in which to place His light.

David was a poor father. Peter had problems with integrity. Moses had anger issues, Gideon struggled with fear, and Elijah suffered from depression–the list goes on. Messed Up Men of the Bible offers encounters with these ancient men who faced the same emotions and questions that contemporary men face, in order to reveal fresh spiritual insights and hope for modern relationships. Through personal stories, practical advice, and useful exercises, Tina and Dave provide encouragement and hope for women dealing with the messed up men in their own lives.


Dave is a pastor, teacher, author, and church planter. He is a native Texan who resides in Granbury, Texas and pastors at Tolar Baptist Church in Tolar, Texas. Dave has held numerous denominational leadership positions and has spoken for a variety of organizations including the Gospel Music Association in Estes Park, CO.


Tina is an award-winning author, speaker, worship leader, and registered Music Therapist. She lives in Tolar, Texas with her husband David, the lead pastor of Tolar Baptist Church. Together, they have two gifted sons, Jaren and Zach. Her bookWounded Women of the Bible: Finding Hope When Life Hurts, received the 2014 Golden Scroll Award for nonfiction book of the year.

My thoughts:

I read Tina’s Wounded Women of the Bible and really enjoyed it so I was excited to see her husband and her come together to write this book.

I love that they take several people from the Bible, people who you might not even think about at first as “messed up” and point out their flaws and how God used that and helped them to overcome and how as women we can help our men overcome their obstacles and be a support to them.

It is interesting that this book is addressed to women instead of men looking to overcome their “messed up-ness”. The first book was addressed to the messed up woman not their man. I think this is done because, honestly, my husband isn’t a reader and will never read a book like this. But I would read it to help our relationship. I think that is the case for most men.

If you have a husband that has some issues (and who doesn’t) you will probably find this book insightful and interesting.

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

A copy of this book was given to me through The Book Club Network Inc. in exchange for an honest review.