Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Our Good Father March 31, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:47 pm

I have been really struggling lately with a feeling of dread. You see I am leaving tomorrow with my choir to go to Disney World and I have been dreading the trip. Can you believe that?

I have never been to Disney and I am responsible for all of these kids and a performance at Disney. It’s all a bit overwhelming for me. Every time I would start thinking about the trip I would get this heaviness in my chest.

Today that has changed.

God is so good, He totally knows what we need.

I am reading a book I will be reviewing in a couple of weeks by Joyce Meyer (love her). The chapter I read today was all about dread and how that is not how we should live our lives. That feeling does not come from Papa. It is the absence of hope and faith.

Our Father is so good to know I needed to read this today. Joyce gave so many scriptures that I wrote down and so much encouragement. I was in tears as I read her words, it was exactly what I needed and now I am excited for my trip. I get to go with my daughter and a great group of kids. All will go well because we have a good Father. He has never let me down and he won’t start now.

Do you struggle with feelings of dread? As soon as you get that feeling turn to Papa and thank Him for His joy and His peace. Remember true joy and peace come from Him not anything we can do, it only comes from the creator of joy and peace.

 

 

Baggage Claim by Cathe Swanson March 30, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:11 pm
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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Click to purchase

Book: Baggage Claim

Author: Cathe Swanson

Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance

Release Date: February 14, 2017

 

There had to be at least one healthy branch on his family tree…

Who can he trust?

Ben Taylor, widower and father of four lively children, enjoys his easy, uncomplicated life. He likes his work and has a competent nanny to manage his household. Everything is good until he decides to seek out his biological parents and discovers a family tree with tangled roots and broken branches.

His comfortable life crumbles when he gets caught up in a criminal network of fraud and conspiracy at his new job. When Ben is forced into a dangerous alliance, he scrambles to find a safe situation and protection for his children before setting out to clear his name—all without getting himself killed in the process.

A nanny with a past…

Becoming a nanny was the perfect solution when Teresa Cooper needed a place to hide ten years ago, but now that she’s no longer in danger, she’s ready to move on and make a new life for herself. When Ben asks her to take the children to an unknown relative in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she finds herself in hiding again, this time with four children in tow.

As the children explore the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula, Teresa begins to wonder about God’s plan for her future. Who is this stranger Ben trusts with his children? Why here? Can a city-bred nanny find joy in this wild corner of God’s creation?

About the Author

Cathe Swanson lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 32 years. They enjoy spending time with their family and being outdoors, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching and fishing, but summer is short in Wisconsin, so it’s important to have indoor hobbies, too. Cathe has been a quilter and teacher of quiltmaking for over 25 years, and she enjoys just about any kind of creative work, especially those involving fiber or paper. She enjoys writing stories with eccentric characters of all ages. Her books will make you laugh and make you cry – and then make you laugh again.

 

Guest Post from Cathe Swanson

When I was in high school, I thought I might like to become an occupational therapist. Instead, I got married, had babies, raised the children and launched them into the world. I took a few years to regroup, and then I started thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

Shortly after that, my dad had a stroke, and when he came home from the hospital, I was fascinated by the work of the visiting therapists. I did some research and learned that physical and occupational therapy assistants make pretty good money and are able to do the best part of the job – the therapy. Therapists are often bogged down in paperwork and periodic assessments. The assistant has all the fun, and it’s just a 5-semester program.

So I trotted on down to the local community college and asked what I had to do to get signed up. The counsellor talked for a while about prerequisites, petitions, waiting lists, internships, and other such things. Eventually I realized she was trying to tell me that I was too old to embark on this career. Too taken-aback to be offended, I went home and wrote a book about it instead. After all, I’d invested a lot of time in research.

I’d been writing stories for years, and already had the bones of Baggage Claim. Once I gave my young hero a job as a physical therapy assistant, the story took on life. My mother’s interest in genealogy had sparked a question: What if a nice, normal person wanted to track down their biological family and it blew up in their face? So that’s where I sent my hero, and as one of my reviewers said, “It was not a Hallmark moment.”

I’m very happy as an author and have no real interest in becoming an occupational therapist. Indeed, that rejection was a turning point for me. I could have pushed forward and got that degree, but instead I went home and wrote. I have no regrets.

Blog Stops

March 28: Books. Books. And More Books.

March 28: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

March 29: Chas Ray’ s Book Nerd Corner

March 29: A Greater Yes

March 30: Genesis 5020

March 31: Reading Is My SuperPower

April 1: Quiet Quilter

April 2: autism mom

April 2: Avid Reader Book Reviews

April 3: Moments Dipped in Ink

April 3: Faithfully Bookish

April 4: Inklings and notions

April 5: Blossoms and Blessings

April 6: Blogging With Carol

April 7: Carpe Diem

April 7: A Baker’s Perspective

April 8: Christian Bookaholic

April 8: Karen Sue Hadley

April 9: History, Mystery and Faith

April 9: Bigreadersite

April 10: His Grace is Sufficient

April 10: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Cathe is giving away Grand prize themed gift box that will include:
A decorative suitcase box
Earl Grey Tea
A handmade mug rug
A pretty mug
14 handmade all-occasion cards
And a paperback copy of Baggage Claim!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b2c8

My thoughts:

This is a book full of many layers. There is so much going on there is never a dull moment. Cathe is a gifted storyteller. She has crafted a story that will certainly engage you.

I was really interested in this book because part of it takes place in Michigan’s upper peninsula, which is one of my favorite places of all time. I love that we get a peek at in the winter.

At first I wasn’t sure how everything was going to connect. We have Teresa’s story of her in hiding and then we have Ben’s story of trying to find his family and also everything that is going on at work. I knew there was something funny (not ha-ha funny) going on there and before long it comes to light.

I dreaded knowing something bad would happen to Ben and his sweet family.

Cathe did a wonderful job of painting Ben’s family life with his kids. So normal but still very interesting.

Overall I really enjoyed this book.

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

A copy of this book was given to me through The Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own. 

 

Mattie by Betty Willis March 27, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:58 pm
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About:

Abandoned in smalltown Texas in 1898, Mattie McAlister must find a way to survive. Her choices are few: go to the children’s home or make her own way with grit and determination. Opportunities are scarce, especially for a smart girl who struggles to read. She agrees to work for a poor family with seven kids and a depressed mother. Over the next few years, her positive attitude and ability to make do in difficult situations endear her to her new family and the community. And her gift for training horses and skill with a rifle even make her locally famous. Still, her wish is to find a husband and have a home of her own. . . . Then she meets him. . . . Laugh, cry, and experience the triumph of the human spirit in Mattie, a riveting historical narrative that will haunt and inspire you long after you’ve turned the final page.

My thoughts:

Mattie is an endearing character. So sweet and going through so much.

At times this book reminded me of Little House on the Prairie. Although the content was more mature.

I struggled with Mattie being ten or eleven in the beginning but somethings she said was so mature. I am sure that was probably done intentionally, so show that Mattie wasn’t your average eleven- year-old girl.

But the way things were worded definitely reminded me that she was younger and her perception on things were different then someone who would be older.

This is a very engaging story about this young girl and her journey into womanhood and even her journey in faith. She clings to a hope her mother instilled in her.

The outpouring of love from the community is wonderful to see and something I think we have lost in this day and age.

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

A copy of this book was given to me by the author. All opinions are my own. 

 

Living In Awe March 24, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:37 am
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By Jonatan Pie

I have a new song I have been singing all week. I’ve even been humming it in my classroom because it has been a rough with some students and I really need to keep Jesus in the forefront of my mind. Let me tell you, the day I started humming this song throughout my day things bothered me less. I have been able to let things go and not get so worked up.

If you haven’t heard it I hope it will bless you and if you have already heard I hope it will continue to bless you.

Click here.

 

Policed by Alana Terry March 23, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:38 pm
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About:

A rogue police officer can ruin a lot more than a perfect evening out.

Kennedy Stern and her best friend Reuben drag themselves away from their grueling studies to enjoy a night off campus, but getting pulled over by a belligerent cop isn’t in either of their plans.

When the police altercation turns violent, the media notes Reuben’s dark skin and labels this instance of police brutality a hate crime. Those Kennedy trusts the most warn her not to get involved, but she owes it to Reuben to pursue justice regardless of the personal cost.

Nothing remains a secret when a frenzied media and an embarrassed police department delve into Kennedy’s and Reuben’s backgrounds. Some truths, unfortunately, grow increasingly more painful the closer they get to the surface.

My thoughts:

This is the third book in this amazing series. I don’t use that term lightly. Every book I have read has captured me and had me on edge until the last page.

This book is rather timely with some of the issues we have faced in the United States over the last few years.

Alana isn’t afraid to deal with tough topics and give you some different perspectives to look at things.

I still really like Kennedy and her journey in her faith. She gets to be part of an amazing prayer from a police officer. It is a prayer like none she has experienced before.

I loved how Alana dealt with that. I know often times I pray and feel so good, at peace. Kennedy felt that too but soon after she falls back into how she felt before. Sometimes I feel guilty that I had this awesome prayer time and the next thing I know I am worried about life again. Kennedy is a character we can all relate too.

Another home run from Alana Terry.

Visit Alana here.

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

A copy of this book was given to me through TBCN. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

Anointed to Heal by Randy Clark and Bill Johnson March 22, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:52 pm
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anointed-to-heal

About:

Practical Insight on Praying for the Sick from Two Bestselling Authors

If you could sit down and talk privately with two world-renowned leaders in healing ministry–away from the spotlights, stages, and eager crowds–this is the conversation you would have!

Bestselling authors Randy Clark and Bill Johnson witness the miraculous regularly and see thousands touched by God each year. Now, in a rare behind-the-scenes format, these close friends interview each other, sharing with you the heartbreaks and victories, the failures and successes, the personal and candid insights into their extraordinary journeys. With honesty and humor, Clark and Johnson reveal
· how they first heard God’s call
· the hard-learned lessons that propelled them forward
· the most amazing miracles each has witnessed
· detailed strategies for more effective ministry
· and much more

These real-life reflections from two soldiers on the front lines of healing ministry will inspire your own obedience to God’s voice, your deeper faith that God is at work, and your trust in his power to bring the answers you need.

My thoughts:

Yeah, these two men are so inspiring. There is no way you can read this book and not want what they have, what Jesus has. This book will rock your world.

This book didn’t start out that way, it was supposed to only be a DVD but they decided to put it in book format and I am so grateful they did.

I wasn’t sure how I would like the format of an interview but I was easy caught up in Billy and Randy sharing their stories of healing and the format of interviewing didn’t matter at all

I love what Bill said in one chapter, “…action releases faith.” I so believe that. Sometimes we have to move and that will release our faith. Sometimes we have to raise our hands, get out of the pew.

This book has reminded me of what I really am missing in my faith, things that the world has pushed out in the busyness of life. I want to get back to that faith? How about you?

Visit Randy here.

Visit Bill here.

Grab your copy at your local book store, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller March 20, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:54 pm
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About:

Pride, Presumption, and forgiveness…

Hampton Hall’s new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter—all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend’s daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother—his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia’s world.

Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother’s, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn’t supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison’s fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic singing voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible—he begins to care. But Lavinia’s aloof manner, society’s opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along.

Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what happens when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she’s ever known?

My thoughts:

First, isn’t the cover just beautiful? That alone made me want to read this book.

So, I will be honest, it took me a couple of chapters before I liked this book. The first chapters didn’t grab my mind and I was sure I wasn’t going to enjoy this story. But I kept reading and I am glad I did.

I really did enjoy this story very much. The cast of characters are all unique and the town in which it is set becomes very clear and endearing.

It almost has a Pride and Prejudice kind of feel to it. Both Lavinia and Nicholas are so stubborn. Just when one begins to soften then something happens to make them not be able to stand each other.

The give and take to this book was timed perfectly to push the reader forward and into the lives of these characters. I will be anxious to read the read of this series.

Visit Carolyn here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

Review and Giveaway: A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander March 17, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:59 pm
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About:

A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to wheedle her way into an audition with the maestro at the newly formed Nashville Philharmonic. But women are “far too fragile and frail” for the rigors of an orchestra, and Rebekah’s hopes are swiftly dashed because the conductor–determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music–bows to public opinion. To make matters worse, Adelicia Acklen Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion and Rebekah’s new employer, agrees with him.

Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville’s new orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse–and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head–he must finish composing his symphony before the grand opening of the city’s new opera hall. But far more pressing, he must finish it for the one who first inspired his love of music–his father, who is dying. As Tate’s ailment worsens, he believes Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how do you win back a woman’s trust when you’ve robbed her of her dream?

As music moves us to tears yet makes our hearts soar, A Note Yet Unsung captures the splendor of classical music at a time when women’s hard-won strides in cultural issues changed not only world history–but the hearts of men.

My thoughts and giveaway:

Believe it or not I have never read a book by Tamera. I just have never gotten around to it. But now I see what all the fuss is about. She is an extremely talented author.

Reading this book was like meeting an old friend. I easily fell into step with this story. It helped, of course, that the main character was a musician. I could very much relate to her love of music.

Rebekah is an easy character to like. She is struggling with her role as a female musician and something is also up with her step-father. Things that are hinted at early in the book had me very concerned for Rebekah’s safety and the support she would receive from her mother.

Tate is likable too (but not to Rebekah right away). But since we know his thoughts we can understand where he is coming from with the decisions he had to make.

I couldn’t wait to see how Tamera would unveil their relationship and how these two would fall in love. It didn’t disappoint.

If you enjoy historical romance I have no doubt you would enjoy this book.

 

Visit Tamera here. 

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

Leave a comment by March 30th for your chance to win a copy of this book. One winner will be chosen by random.org. (U.S. addresses only. I will not replace books lost or damaged in the mail.)

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

Paralyzed by Alana Terry March 16, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:34 pm
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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Kennedy Stern has returned to campus after surviving an abduction, but old scars cut deep. Vivid flashbacks and terrifying dreams paralyze her, threatening to ruin her academic career and any chance she has at peace or happiness. This mental anguish, however, constitutes only a small fraction of her post-traumatic nightmare. A partner in Kennedy’s kidnapping remains at large and will not stop until he has silenced her witness permanently. His violent resolve risks not only her life, but the safety of anyone who tries to help.
Kennedy must engage in a deadly battle of the mind as she struggles to stay alive. While fighting on two fronts — one psychological and one physical — the question isn’t whether she’ll come out of the war stronger in the end.

The question is whether she’ll come out of it at all.

My thoughts:

This is the second book in the Kennedy Stern series and this one is just as intense as the first.

Kennedy is dealing with the after effect of her abduction. She is kind of in denial about what is going on and what she is struggling with. She has this idea (as many Christians do) that if she prayed more or prayed better, or was a better Christian she wouldn’t have these issues. Her feelings mirror what I think a lot of Christians feel. They are under this illusion that they must not be a “good” Christians if they are struggling with anxiety. Which is a lie.

I was totally engaged in this book and what Kennedy was going through and how she might overcome her obstacles. I also enjoyed the other characters in the book, Kennedy’s friends. Her roommate is an interesting person and I feel like I might have roomed with her in college myself 🙂

Overall, another great book.

A copy of this book was given to me through The Book Club Network, Inc. All opinions are my own. 

 

Under and Open Heaven by John E. Johnson March 15, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:21 pm
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under-and-open-heaven

About:

Tired of failure?

Frustrated by a confined life?

Starving in the midst of plenty?

In the gospel of John, Jesus talks with people whose struggles we can relate to. They aren’t always straightforward chats, yet they are beautifully applicable to the messiness of life, even life today.

The early believers were facing a world in turmoil and needed a theology to strengthen their souls and steady their nerves. In our similar times of turbulence, we too need to know that the abundant life under the opened heaven John describes is not just conceivable—it’s a promise.

My thoughts:

The author of this book brings up some great points and many different things to consider. I like how he walks through the book of John and examines many of the things we have all become very familiar with and gives things a new spin or deeper understanding.

But for me this book didn’t hold my interest. As I have said in previous reviews non-fiction books really have to grab me in order for me to like them and although this book had a lot of great content it did’t grab me. I found myself easily distracted, thinking about other things and not focusing on the book.

As always, this is my opinions only. It is a good book with good content it just wasn’t for me but I am sure for someone else this book will speak deeply to them.

Visit Dr. Johnson here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.