Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Why Do People Go To Church? June 30, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:00 pm
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Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

I’ve been wrestling with this question for several months.

As the worship leader at my church I get to see everyone worship, or not. Which to be honest most people don’t look too happy when we are singing our songs.

I became very frustrated one Sunday as I sat before church looking around at the same people coming in, sitting in the same seats who will probably leave the service the same why they walked in.

I think people do want life change but they don’t want to do the work that it takes to make that happen. You can’t keep doing what you have always done and expect things to be different. You need to move.

Can God change your life without you moving?

Yes, of course. But I think it shows an act faith to move, to change something. He wants to know we are so hungry for Him we will do what it takes to move toward Him.

If after what my husband I went through if I had said I wanted to change but didn’t go to counseling, didn’t dive into the Word everyday, nothing would have changed. Jesus met me as I sought Him, I moved and I was changed. I’m not perfect, but I’m definitely not who I was.

So, why do people go to church? I don’t have an answer, maybe you do.

Why do I go to church? I love to worship Jesus with others. I want to be challenged, I want someone else to challenge me and give me things to think about that I can apply to my life and bring change in my life. I come into church with expectation. I expect something to shift in my heart each and every Sunday. 

As a worship leader I go to church because I want bring others to this place of awe and wonder. I lead by example and hope someone will catch on. I am the weird lady, I know that, I get super excited when I worship. I can’t help it, He is so amazing!!! And I wouldn’t be true to Holy Spirit if I tried to hold back, I would be quenching the Spirit and I never want to do that, although I am know there are times I do.

These are my rambling thoughts today, just something I needed to get off my heart. Hopefully it will encourage you to examine why you attend church each week and challenge you to move in faith.

 

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The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson June 29, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:58 pm
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Click here to purchase.

About the Book

Book title: The Girl Who could See

Author: Kara Swanson

Release date: June 1, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Young Adult

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.

Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after al—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

 

About the Author

As the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and was soon penning stories herself. At seventeen, she independently published her debut fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia. Her short story is included in Kathy Ide’s 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom. She has published many articles, including one in the Encounter magazine, and she received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer award in 2015.

 

Guest Post from Kara Swanson

Did you have an imaginary friend growing up? I did. And I think most of us probably understood what it was like to use our childhood imaginations to create friends and take us places.

 

The Girl Who Could See follows Fern Johnson, a young woman who’s imaginary friend, Tristan, first appeared in her life when she was eight years old—and has never left. Now nineteen, Fern still sees Tristan, only he is no longer her friend. Now he is her curse. The source of her insanity. The reason Fern cannot keep a job and has been passed from one psychologist to another. The reason she is one step away from a psych ward. However, Tristan disagrees. He says that he’s not a figment of Fern’s imagination and is determined to prove it. But, if his existence is real, it has dangerous implications not only for Fern, but for her world. Because the creature that decimated Tristan’s planet is coming for Earth—and only the girl everyone says is crazy can stop it.

 

I wrote the novella as a way to explore the idea of what would happen if someone had an imaginary friend who never left. What would the psychological and daily implications be? And what if that imaginary friend wasn’t imaginary? The story that grew from those sparks of ideas became an adventure that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did. 🙂

Blog Stops

June 27: A Baker’s Perspective

June 27: A Simply Enchanted Life

June 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

June 28: Kristin’s Book Reviews

June 28: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

June 29: Fiction Aficionado

June 29: Genesis 5020

June 30: Smiling Book Reviews

June 30: The Fizzy Pop Collection

July 1: Blogging With Carol

July 1: remembrancy

July 2: Inklings and notions

July 2: Ashley’s Bookshelf

July 3: Zerina Blossom’s Books

July 3: Margaret Kazmierczak

July 4: Book by Book

July 4: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

July 5: Dragons Read History

July 5: Through the Open Window

July 6: It’s Storytime with Van Daniker

July 6: Baker Kella

July 7: Pause for Tales

July 7: Edits and Reviews By Leslie

July 8: Books, Books, and More Books.

July 8: Pursuing Stacie

July 8: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

July 9: Reader’s cozy corner

July 9: A path of joy

July 10: Neverending Stories

July 10: Henry Happens

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kara is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b7f6

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. From the beginning you are drawn into this crazy world that Fern finds herself a part of.

At first I didn’t want to like Tristan but I quickly realized he wasn’t the bad guy at all.

This short little book (you can read this one fast) is full of action, there is never a dull moment. The questions of what is going on, what happen to Fern when she was younger are constantly swirling around. I still never had a full picture of how Fern ended up in the hospital when she was younger, I felt like some of that never became completely clear.

However, that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book. There where some lines in the book I even highlighted because the things Tristan said to Fern reminded me of things Jesus would say to us. Just as Fern had to believe in Tristan even if others don’t we must do the same with Jesus.

I had tears filling my eyes at the end. This book touched me emotionally, which says something.

I definitely recommend this book no matter your age, if you like books that are a bit different this book is for you.

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

This book was given to me through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own. 

 

Overcoming Fear and Anxiety Through Spiritual Warfare by Carol Peters-Tanksley MD DMIN June 28, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:30 pm
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About: 

Identify the root of your fear and anxiety and receive both spiritual and practical direction for change. Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley understands that Christians are not immune to stress or to the fear and anxiety many experience as a result. As a practicing ob-gyn with more than twenty years’ experience, and as an ordained Christian minister, she understands how to properly address stress from a spiritual perspective.

Dr. Carol helps you experience improved psychological well-being through:
• Understanding specific spiritual and psychological truths
• Employing successful spiritual warfare practices
You will be empowered to decrease psychological distress and begin a new life free from the weight of fear and anxiety.

My thoughts:

I struggle a bit with fear (my husband would probably say I struggle with fear a lot) and I never thought too much with anxiety but I can see as I am getting older there might be more things I am anxious about.

This book is really geared toward those people who deal with high anxiety, I feel, probably people who have been diagnosed with anxiety.

This book is very scientific. If you connect with that type of book then this is the book for you. I do not connect with overly scientific things and had a lot of trouble engaging with this book.

Grab your copy at 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. 

 

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels June 26, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:55 pm
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About:

Journey now to Mackinac Island where…
A Tangled Gilded Age Love Story Unfolds.

Although the Winds of Mackinac Inn has been in her mother’s family for generations, Maude Welling’s father refuses to let her run it without the guidance of a husband. So she seeks to prove her worth and independence by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel.

Undercover journalist Ben Steffans, posing as a wealthy industrialist, pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel.  While undercover, he becomes attracted to an intriguing maid. By an act of heroism Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders—including Maude—and he digs deep for his story.

But when scandal threatens, will the growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed?

My thoughts:

You can never go wrong with setting when a book is set on Mackinac Island. This is my all time favorite place in the world. I have been there many times.

The book opens with a great scene that will draw you in right away. Maude’s heartache and disappointment grabbed me.

The copy I read was an advance reader copy so  I am not sure if this mistake was corrected but it says something about looking out at Lake Michigan from the island. Mackinac Island is surrounded by Lake Huron. This might have been corrected in the final draft.

I was really torn with this book. At times I was pulled into the story other times I just couldn’t get into it. I didn’t always understand the character motivation for some things, and some things and misunderstandings seemed force or cleared up too soon.

I wanted to love this book but I didn’t. I liked it, no doubt about it, just not as much as I had hoped.

Visit Carrie 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. 

 

A Love So True by Melissa Jagears June 23, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:31 pm
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About:

Jagears Delivers a Wonderfully Romantic Read with a Hero and Heroine to Cheer For

Evelyn Wisely has a heart for the orphans of Teaville and works at a local mansion that rescues children out of the town’s red-light district and gives them a place to live. But her desire to help isn’t limited to orphans. The owner of the mansion, Nicholas Lowe, is willing to help her try to get the women working in prostitution out of the district as well–if she can gain the cooperation and support of local businessmen to go against the rest of the community.

David Kingsman has recently arrived in Teaville from Kansas City to help with one of his father’s companies in town. While he plans on staying only long enough to prove his business merit to his father, he’s shown interest in Evelyn’s work and is intrigued enough by her to lend his support to her cause.

They begin with the best of intentions, but soon the complications pile up and Evelyn and David’s dreams look more unattainable every day. When the revelation of a long-held secret creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, can they trust God still has a good plan for them despite all that is stacked against them?

My thoughts: 

After reading the first book in this series and absolutely loving it I couldn’t wait for the next book to come out.

Melissa has a unique way of writing that weaves in ministry and serving. I love it. You might think that would be boring and I might think the same thing with just hearing it but reading her books are anything but boring.

She piles layer upon layer of plot adding new things when I think nothing new can be added and putting in a twist when I never even saw a bend coming.

Evelyn has a poor self-image, I think that is something most women can relate to, yet she is very strong and stubborn. She knows what she wants…kind of 🙂 She also has a secret and I was dying to know what it could possibly be. She seemed to innocent.

David is a wonderful hero who sees Evelyn’s wonderful qualities and wants to be more like her when it comes to his future and his father.

You can read this as a stand-alone but I highly recommend this series. I could say much more but then this review would end up being way too long.

Visit Melissa 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. 

 

The Memory Of You by Catherine West June 19, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:37 pm
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About:

Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.

And Natalie never says no to her father.

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.

But finding freedom from the past means facing it.

My thoughts:

This is the second book I have read by Catherine. I loved the first one and couldn’t wait to read this one. She has a unique way of writing a book that is easy to read yet deeply emotional. This book is no exception.

Natalie is dealing with a lot of junk. She isn’t too sure about God and I just kept wanting her to figure out that He is the one who can ultimately heal her of the wounds from her past.

Tanner sure wasn’t very nice to her at first but I love how they got drawn together and then it was like the pull was undeniable, even though they both tried to deny it.

This book is just so rich and engaging, I didn’t want to stop reading. If you are looking for something that will touch your heart this is a great one.

Visit Catherine 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 the BookLook Bloggers program. All opinions are my own. 

 

Heal Our Land June 16, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:25 pm

Gabriel Jimenez

I wasn’t planning on posting this song today, I was going to do a different one by Kari Jobe but then I came across this one and thought how perfect for all that is going on in this world. We need to be singing this prayer over our churches and our country and our world. Will you join me?

If you haven’t listened to Kari Jobes new album I highly recommend it, so many good songs.

Click here and lift this up.