Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

God Is At Work…Do you see it? April 28, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:58 am
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By Jeremy Bishop

This is something I wrote several years ago but it is so true still today…unfortunately. I struggle with trusting with God. Just this past weekend I was in a bad mood because I wasn’t seeing God working in my life. 

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13 NLT

God is AT WORK within us.

Work, as in a verb not a noun.

When we work we are moving to attain a goal, we are not still. Even if we sit at a desk we are doing something (hopefully).

That is what God does,  He is at work, moving within us, never still, never okay with where we are but moving us in His direction, or trying to. We can get in the way, we can fight but we feel the fight don’t we? We feel it’s hard, something isn’t right. That is because God is pulling us in the right direction and we are trying to pull in the wrong direction. Oh, Lord, we are sorry, so sorry for trying to play tug-of-war with you.

I realized this morning I have gotten into a place where I don’t trust God again. I don’t trust him to give me His best, or His best won’t be enough for me. How silly, but can you relate?

My prayers haven’t really been prayers at all but more of a taunting, “I know you can change these circumstances so why don’t you do it?” Do you see something wrong with that line of questioning? I do. It’s more of a “prove-it” attitude than “I believe you” attitude.

I think about the things I ask for and I am amazed that God can and will do more than that, I just can’t even imagine (His Word tells us this). I think I have a pretty active imagination so how can you top it? Of course I am talking about the Creator of the universe so I guess He can.

Father, I am humbled and in awe of You today. Lord, work in us, keep moving us toward Your goal and if we are holding on to something that opposes Your goal we release it to You right now. We feel the release and we dance in freedom. Thank You for never giving up on our stubborn hearts. We love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Review and Giveaway: Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano April 27, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:45 pm
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To order your copy, click here.

About the Book


Click to purchase

Book: Behind the Scenes

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance

Release Date: April, 2017

Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn’t guaranteed to “take.” After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she’s finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym “Miss Quill.”

Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it’s simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country.
When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she’s determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she’ll end up at risk as well.

As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . . .

About the Author


Jen Turano
, author of nine books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

 

 

 

Interview With Jen Turano

  1. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you personally?

Amusing things happen to me all the time, but I think my favorite was back in college when I was a lifeguard. You see, there’s a lifeguard code – You will be cool at all times, especially when you’re sitting in a lifeguard chair, twirling your whistle exactly so, and, you know…looking cool. So, there I was, in my black lifeguard bathing suit – swinging my whistle. It was an unusually hot day, so I’d angled my umbrella exactly right as I watched the diving-board section. Now, I know this might come as a surprise, but being a lifeguard at the neighborhood pool isn’t exactly thrilling. It’s rare that anything exciting happens, and that particular day was no exception…until a large gust of wind came out of nowhere and the umbrella took it upon itself to close – right over me. And because it was now really gusty, the umbrella then lifted up, taking me with it right off the chair and into the depths of the deep end of the pool. From all accounts, it was quite the sight. First, there I was, swinging my whistle and looking groovy. Then all you could see were my legs flailing about as the umbrella covered the rest of me, and then…I was plummeting toward the pool, hit the water with the umbrella over me, and promptly sank. Obviously I managed to get out of the umbrella, but in the process, part of my bathing suit came off, and…well, that’s a story for another day.

 

  1. What is your favorite book from your childhood?

“Andrew Henry’s Meadow.” It was actually my little brother’s book, gotten from one of those book of the month clubs, but I loved it. I recently found a copy on an e-site and ordered it, and it’s just as delightful today as it was back in my childhood.

 

  1. Who does the cooking and cleaning in your house when you are on a deadline?

I don’t actually cook much even when I’m not on deadline, so that’s not really an issue. Al and I do a lot of salads or throw some chicken on the grill. We also have a lot of grocery stores that have wonderful deli and gourmet foods, so we get a lot of things there. As for cleaning, I’m one of those neurotic people who can’t work without everything being in place, so I do a lot of tidying up before I go to bed. And, because I do some of my best thinking when I clean, I’ve been known to abandon my writing when I get stuck and pick up a mop or cleaning rag, which means my house is rarely a disaster since I need to get unstuck a lot.

 

  1. Where is your favorite place to write?

I do the majority of my writing in my office, although I will occasionally take a pad of paper and a pen outside to handwrite when I get bored of my office or it’s a really nice day and I don’t feel like being trapped inside. It’s not that my office is my favorite place to write, it’s more that my writing is my job and I’m more focused on that writing when I approach it as such.

 

  1. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I really like when characters and new story ideas begin to fester. That normally happens when I’m in the midst of another series. By the time I’m done with whatever series I’m working on, the next series is pretty firmly set in my mind, which means I can jump right in as I wait for edits on recently completed work. My absolute favorite part of writing, though, is when I turn in the very final edit on a book and don’t see it again until it comes out in print. Although, I must admit, I’ve never, not once, read one of my books after it has gone to print. Seems rather pointless since I do always know how the book is going to end.

 

  1. Why did you choose the timeframe or setting this book is written in?

I’ve been wanting to set a book during Alva Vanderbilt’s famous costume ball of March, 1883, for years. Since I decided to slowly travel through the Gilded Age, I just reached 1883 on my plot timeline, so knew I was finally going to get to throw some characters into the very midst of Alva’s ball. It was a blast to write, loved going back to all my books on this particular ball and seeing the pictures, and only wish the Vanderbilt house at 660 Fifth Avenue was still standing so I could visit it in person to visualize the splendors located inside a little more clearly.

 

  1. What inspires you?

I think like most writers, I simply get inspired by the world around me. I love to people watch, and I love to imagine all sorts of outlandish scenarios as I do that watching. I also get inspired by reading the headlines of the daily papers, and by the research books I read. I also love to look through old photographs of the Gilded Age, and became intrigued with Alva Vanderbilt’s ball when I saw a picture of a young lady, Miss Kate Strong, with a stuffed cat on her head and wearing a choker necklace with the name Puss engraved on it. That was all it took for me to investigate the Vanderbilt ball further, delighted to discover it truly was a ball that only comes along every blue moon.

Blog Stops

April 27: Reading Is My SuperPower

April 27: The Scribbler

April 27: Genesis 5020

April 27: These Splendid Sentences

April 28: Back Porch Reads

April 28: Smiling Book Reviews

April 28: Fiction, Faith, and Fun

April 28: Just the Write Escape

April 29: Bookworm Mama

April 29: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

April 29: Books. Books. AND More Books.

April 29: Karen Sue Hadley

April 30: Lighthouse Academy

April 30: Radiant Light

April 30: Bigreadersite

April 30: Lane Hill House

May 1: Faithfully Bookish

May 1: Counting Pinecones

May 1: Blogging With Carol

May 1: Moments Dipped in Ink

May 2: inklings and notions

May 2: Blossoms and Blessings

May 2: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

May 2: Neverending Stories

May 3: For The Love of Books

May 3: Singing Librarian Books

May 3: Book by Book

May 3: Pause for Tales

May 4: A Baker’s Perspective

May 4: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

May 4: cherylbbookblog

May 4: Rachel Scott McDaniel

May 5: With a Joyful Noise

May 5: Baker Kella

May 5: A Reader’s Brain

May 5: Southern Gal Loves to Read

May 6: A Greater Yes

May 6: Christian Bookaholic

May 6: Connie’s History Classroom

May 6: Splashes of Joy

May 6: Just Commonly

May 7: A Simple Life, really?!

May 7: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

May 7: Daysong Reflections

May 7: The Power of Words

May 8: Ashley’s Bookshelf

May 8: Eat, Read,Teach, Blog

May 8: Giveaway Lady

May 8: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

May 9: Bibliophile Reviews

May 9: History, Mystery & Faith

May 9: I Hope You Dance

May 9: Simpleharvestreads

May 10: His Grace is Sufficient

May 10: History, Hope, Laughter & Happily-ever-after

May 10: Raining Butterfly Kisses

May 10: Reader’s Cozy Corner

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card and the four books: After a Fashion, In Good Company, Playing the Part, Behind the Scenes!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b04910/

My thoughts:

This is the first historical I have read by Jen. Most historicals I read are rather serious in tone. And although this book does deal with some serious issues the tone is light and fun.

You really can’t help loving Permilia and in some ways I really identified with her. Her uncomfortableness in talking with people is something I struggle with, although I don’t think to her degree. I also loved her determination and how nothing really ever got her down for long. She was comfortable in her own skin.

Asher shows up immediately as a hero and I adored that. I enjoyed watching him become more drawn to Permilia even against his own wishes.

The rest of the book is cast with other characters that make the whole story interesting. Even though the first scene was rather long I was never bored because there was so much going on.

If you enjoy historical romance and want something in the fun side this is a perfect book to feed that craving.

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

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

 

Hope for the Same-Sex Attracted by Ron Citlau April 26, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:42 pm
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About:

A Message of Hope and Grace

Sometimes in our big-picture discussions about homosexuality and same-sex marriage, we lose sight of the person in the middle of the struggle. Whether that struggler is you or someone you care about, there are two fundamental questions that need to be answered: How can someone with same-sex attraction be faithful to Jesus? And how can everyone else support and encourage them in this pursuit?

With clarity and grace, author and pastor Ron Citlau will help you think through every option the Bible offers–and what it does not. Having personally dealt with same-sex attraction, walked with others still struggling, and pastored those with gay loved ones, he encourages readers to think deeply and biblically about heterosexual marriage, singleness, celibacy, and more.

Discover the remarkable gifts God provides to the same-sex-attracted Christian who desires to faithfully follow Jesus. And learn how others can come alongside them with love, encouragement, and grace.

Ron Citlau serves as senior pastor of Calvary Church near Chicago. Ron is co-author of Compassion Without Compromise (with Adam Barr) and helped produce curriculum on sexual healing now used by Desert Stream Ministries in hundreds of churches throughout the country. Ron lives with his wife, Amy, in Chicago.

My thoughts:

What a powerful and timely book. This addresses some very important topics that I think we have trouble putting into words. This will give you language to address some things that, as Christians, we know isn’t God’s plan.

I do think the first step is admitting the homosexuality is a sin. If people aren’t there or don’t believe that they won’t even pay attention to this book. They may not have to even believe that it’s a sin but they need to be in a place where they are uncomfortable with that lifestyle. I feel if they are accepting that as their identity they won’t care what this book has say.

With that being said, it does give those that do believe it is sin a place to start, a way to dialogue about this topic.

It does boil down to identity. In the very beginning Ron says something I underlined. Page 32 he says, “Today, sexual identity seems to be tied up in sexual desire. If you have a desire for someone then that defines your sexual identity, and our work is to be true to one’s self and pursue that desire.” He’s not saying that is right but that is what the world has decided.

That would be like someone who is attracted to someone other then their husband saying, “I am just an adulteress. I can’t remain faithful to my husband so I am going to be with any man I chose.” Most of the world, Christian or not, agrees that is not okay. That is called cheating on someone. Just because you desire something you don’t have to make that your identity. Jesus can redeem that just as He can redeem any sin.

If you know someone struggling with same-sex attraction or you just want some things to think about regarding this issue this book is a great place to start.

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. 

 

 

Alabaster by Chris Aslan April 25, 2017

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

Maryam is stuck in an abusive marriage, living with her in-laws in a conservative, toxically religious village. A few years back, her father was given a jar of priceless perfume by a dying leper and it seemed as if their fortunes would improve, but then Maryam’s father contracted leprosy and was exiled from the village. Maryam and her siblings, Eleazar and Marta, experience the shame and ostracism this brings. The precious jar that was meant to bring them freedom has only brought destruction. But rumors abound concerning a new doctor; perhaps hope is on the horizon…
Alabaster brings a biblical-era Middle Eastern village and its culture to life for modern-day readers.
My thoughts:
This book will open your eyes to what life was like for those who suffered with leprosy and give you hope for the healing only Jesus can bring.
I have read the Bible several times. I read about the lepers and didn’t think too much of it. I didn’t think about the devastation that it brought to families or how families were torn apart because of the sickness. This book painted a picture that I will not soon forget.
I was immediately concerned for Maryam and the life she was apart of. I wanted a way of escape for her and could only hope it would happen somehow.
The author did a great time weaving the past with the present and making it come together in the end.
If you enjoy Biblical fiction I am sure you would like this book very much. I highly recommend it.
Grab your copy at your local bookstore, 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. 
 

The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron April 21, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:31 pm
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About:

Boston, 1926— Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.

In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.

Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.

My thoughts:

I have read all of Kristy’s books. She is so talented. Her style is unique. She writes books that I believe only she could give life to. She’s take history and breathes life into it. Parts of our history that I never thought I would find interesting and I become enthralled.

The Illusionist’s Apprentice takes you backstage in the world of magic or illusion. What is real and what isn’t? Who is telling the truth and who is hiding something?

From the beginning we learn that Wren Lockhart is hiding and hiding something. Her story is slowly revealed and you can’t help but love her.

Elliot is easy to like, he is a strong protector and has an instinct to protect, but not really trust, Wren.

If you are looking for a book that is a bit different but very well written I would say look for further. This book is highly engaging.

Visit Kristy here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, 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. 

 

Welcome to College: A Christ-Followers Guide for the Journey by Jonathan Marrow April 19, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:42 pm
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About:

Is there a more frightening question for a graduating high school senior than “What will you do with your life?” In college, whether they realize it or not, students will answer that question every day with each decision. All of the new friends and new experiences of higher education will shape their future. It’s critical that students know how to handle college before they’re in the thick of it.

Jonathan Morrow tackles the tough questions that arise during these formative years, including:

  • How do you grow spiritually?
  • How do you manage your time to both study well and have fun?
  • Is all truth relative?
  • Are there good reasons to be a Christian?
  • As a Christian, how should you view issues like dating and sex?

Each chapter of this new edition has been updated, and the author has included a new chapter on Christianity, homosexuality, and the Bible. Grounded in both his own extensive experience and biblical truth, Morrow’s book is full of quick, easy-to-read chapters and excellent advice.

My thoughts:

This book will give so must backbone to the new college student who wants to stand strong in their faith as they head into a new life.

Most of the chapters are short reads and I definitely think this book should be taken in small bites so the reader can fully absorb what is being said.

The author brings up a lot of points that will be challenging as our children head off to college and gives some logical reasoning and research of why what we believe as Christians can be believed.

I think this would be the perfect time of year for a senior in high school to start reading this book. Any sooner and they would probably forget all they have been reading. Maybe even start the summer before they leave for school. But you want to have it read at some point, this will give them so much more confidence as they head into the unknown world of “adulting”.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, 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: Pursued by Lisa Harris April 17, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:49 pm
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About:

Nikki Boyd’s flight into Nashville was routine–until the crash landing at the airport.

When the dust settles, Nikki discovers that the woman who had been seated next to her on the plane is missing–and no one will admit she was ever there. When she learns that Erika Hamilton had been flying to Nashville with an air marshal as a key witness in an upcoming grand jury trial, Nikki wonders if her disappearance from the crash site means she’s running from trouble–or straight into it. Before Nikki can even see her family, she and her team are pulled into a missing persons case where the motives are as unclear as the suspects.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris has planted danger around every turn in this can’t-put-it-down thrill ride that will leave you stunned.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I love Lisa Harris’s book, she never disappoints me. This book was no exception.

She has written a great book full of romance, suspense and mystery. I never had a dull moment while reading. Even in the moments that weren’t filled with fast-paced tension we were in the mind of Nikki and getting a deeper look at all that was going on with her and her struggles.

This is the third book in the series, however, I do think you could read this one as a stand-alone but I think it might be easier to follow if you had read the first two.

There is definitely a lot of fishy stuff going on and I even began to wonder who could Nikki really trust. The people she should have been able to seemed to be holding back on her.

The mystery of Nikki’s sister is in this one still, lingering and I hope to see it resolved soon. I keep thinking there isn’t much hope of Sarah being alive, but ya know never what Lisa will cook up in her next book and how she will resolve this crime.

If you love romantic suspense I am sure you will enjoy this book.

Visit Lisa here.

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

Leave a comment by May 1st for your chance to win a copy. 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 be by the publisher. All opinions are my own.