Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

I’ve Decided To Get Healthy July 21, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:24 pm

by Steve Halama

I’m going to come clean with you all.

I don’t exercise. I hate the time it takes in my day, I would rather read or write or just sit.

Lucky for me I have pretty good genes and technically I’m not overweight (yet). I am 5’7″ so I can carry a bit more but still…no excuse. I also carry my weight in such a way that I can dress to cover up what I want to hide and no one is the wiser.

But I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday and she told me by good cholesterol is very high (this is good) but my bad cholesterol is also very high (this is bad). She said if she puts me on medication it will also bring down my good cholesterol. Then she said if I exercised it would probably take down the bad cholesterol.

The next day I get an email from a place I review books for that has a company that is offering a free one year membership for workouts, meal plans and faith. Yeah, I wanted to ignore that, make excuses but I was pretty sure God was telling me to take care of my body and He was giving me a very obvious and easy way to make it happen.

So I’m doing it.

I’m sharing this with you because I will be reviewing the program on this blog. It is called Faithful Workouts. My ultimate goal would be to lose about thirty pounds but really my goal should be to get healthy and that is what is most important.

I may not do all the meals they say, because my family has to like them too and I’m not making two different meals, I don’t have time for that. But I will be making better choices even if I don’t always follow the meal plan.

I will start the exercise portion next week and the meal portion the following week (I don’t get groceries again until then and I plan my meals out two weeks in advance).

So, I begin. If you decide to take the journey with me let me know. Accountability is a great thing! (Right???)

 

Review and Giveaway: A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White July 20, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:55 pm
Tags: ,

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: A Name Unknown

Author: Roseanna M. White

Release date: July 4, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

 

She’s Out to Steal His Name.

Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?

 

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

As Europe moved closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown—so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.

When danger and suspicion continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

 

About the Author

Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest Post from Roseanna White

It’s always a challenge to make a historical setting authentic—especially when it’s set in a region you’ve only ever read about. As I was writing A Name Unknown, I learned so much about Cornwall—all the more when I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Penzance region while the book was still in edits! I quickly learned that I had far too many trees in my story, and hadn’t quite captured the uniqueness of the coastal setting. I dove into rewrites with excitement and gusto, ready to make my fictional Cornwall more like the real one.

 

I studied the Cornish accent, Cornish foods, typical Cornish coloring in hair and eyes. I’ve now gotten rather proficient at making pasties (beef hand pies) from scratch, I’ve special-ordered ingredients to make Cornish ginger cookies called fairings, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to videos of people speaking in a Cornish accent.

 

Delving into this rich region and its history was a blast! And I’m so excited to get to share the culture of Cornwall—and a taste of their unique flavors—with you. In a special Celebrate Lit giveaway, I’ll be offering not only a signed copy of my book, but also some homemade ginger fairings! Here’s the recipe I used . . . after special ordering the Mixed Spice (reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice) and Golden Syrup (a thick syrup with a bit of a toffee flavor) from Amazon. 😉 (I have a gram scale so did use the weight measurements rather than volume—also, English teaspoons and tablespoons are a bit bigger than American, so I heaped them, and I turned out deliciously.)

 

GINGER FAIRINGS RECIPE

 

100 grams butter, cold and diced

225 grams all-purpose flour

¼ heaping teaspoon salt

2 heaping teaspoons baking powder

2 heaping teaspoons baking soda

1 heaping teaspoon ginger

2 heaping teaspoons mixed spice

100 grams superfine (caster) sugar

4 heaping tablespoons golden syrup

 

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

 

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in sugar.

 

In a small saucepan, warm the golden syrup until it’s clarified a bit; stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put on prepared baking sheets a few inches apart.

 

Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Blog Stops

July 18: Faithfully Bookish

July 18: These Splendid Sentences

July 18: Bibliophile Reviews

July 18: Neverending Stories

July 19: Bookworm Mama

July 19: Seasons of Opportunities

July 19: Blogging With Carol

July 20: A Reader’s Brain

July 20: Genesis 5020

July 20: Just the Write Escape

July 20: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

July 21: Fiction, Faith, and Fun

July 21: Pause for Tales

July 21: Connie’s History Classroom

July 22: Bigreadersite

July 22: Fiction Aficionado

July 22: Avid Reader Book Reviews

July 22: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

July 23: Vicky Sluiter

July 23: Inklings and notions

July 23: Moments Dipped in Ink

July 24: Pursuing Stacie

July 24: Cordially Barbara

July 24: Reflections of my Bookshelves

July 24: Zerina Blossom’s Books

July 25: God’s Little Bookworm

July 25: Blossoms and Blessings

July 25: Live.Love.Read.

July 26: Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot

July 26: Margaret Kazmierczak

July 26: The Fizzy Pop Collection

July 26: Carpe Diem

July 27: cherylbbookblog

July 27: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

July 27: Splashes of Joy

July 28: With a Joyful Noise

July 28: Have A Wonderful Day

July 28: Christian Bookaholic

July 29: Thoughts from Mill Street

July 29: Raining Butterfly Kisses

July 29: Karen Sue Hadley

July 29: Faery Tales Are Real

July 30: His Grace is Sufficient

July 30: History, Mystery & Faith

July 30: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

July 31: Reader’s cozy corner

July 31: Cafinated Reads

July 31: Red Headed Book Lady

July 31: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

Giveaway

To celebrate this tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of A Name Unknown & 2 dozen cookies from Roseanna!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bc0e

My thoughts:

I loved Roseanna’s previous series, was amazed by it so I hoped this new one could live up to my expectations.

No worries.

This book is every bit as wonderful as her others, yet so different.

She’s very good at having a mystery involved in her books yet also keeping the balance between the romance, and faith.

She did a great job of weaving faith into the book as Rosemary struggles with a God she believes doesn’t listen to people like her.

Peter struggles with talking to others and therefore other people think he is stand-offish. I have had that same struggle, not because of any speech impairments, but just that I am a quieter person and therefore people can think I am stuck up.

I had no idea how Roseanna was going to work out Peter and Rosemary’s relationship once it came to light that Rosemary was a thief? How could they ever overcome that? How could the people she’s become friends with every forgive her? And would she ever be able to leave her family if she fell in love?

The significance of a name was woven throughout this book as well and I loved that. A reminder that God knows us, He knows who we really are regardless of what others see. As a teacher I have to learn many names and I realize the importance of calling a student by name, they get very testy if you call them by the wrong name too 🙂

If you love historical romance I highly recommend this latest book by Roseanna.

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. 

 

Healing Love by Jennifer Slattery July 18, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:10 pm
Tags: ,

About:

A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn’t on the agenda.

Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.

Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.

When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of “missional tourists” full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?

My thoughts (this book releases on July 20th):

Um. Yeah. I loved this book.

I wasn’t sure what I would think of this book at the beginning. I have never been on a mission trip and was wondering how you could make an interesting story of someone going on one. I was silly to worry. Jennifer managed to do it.

And that is what I love about all of Jennifer’s books. She writes about missions in some way and weaves a wonderful plot and characters into that. She definitely has a unique style unlike any I have ever read and she does it well.

It’s funny, much of the story takes place with the two main characters not even together but in the short amount of time they are you know they belong together.

Fatima and Dinora captured my heart and I wanted them so desperately to see who they really were through Christ’s eyes. Their story alone is heart breaking and unfortunately all too true of what is actually happening today in the world.

Our main characters are wonderful too, both dealing with their own struggles, finding who they are as well.

I just have to mention Aubrey, Brooke’s sister, Jennifer did a great job depicting a teen-age girl (I know I live with one). Her attitude, she thinks knows everything. Great job.

By the end I was crying and that is the mark of a great book. Jennifer managed to touch my emotions with this one.

Visit Jennifer here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, pre-order (only $2.99) @ Amazon  or your favorite retailer.

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

 

As High As The Heavens by Katie Breslin July 13, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:24 pm
Tags: ,

About:

Page-Turning Intrigue and Romance from an Up-and-Coming Historical Romance Talent

In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle’s café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She’s a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.

My thoughts:

I loved Katie’s first too books so I was very excited when this book came out. Honestly, it didn’t’ even matter to me what it was about because it was by Kate.

Eve is a woman with great strength and takes risks to do what she believes is right and help those who need it.

Simon is equally determined but finds himself in situations where he can’t do much.

I really wanted to love this book. I told myself to keep reading, keep reading, something will grab you. And sometimes things did grab me but I never really connected with this story and I really wanted to. I’m not even sure what is was. There is a lot going on, there’s never a dull moment but I never fell into the story to the point where I was unable to put the book down.

There are a lot of good things in this book but for some reason this one didn’t connect with me. As always, this is my opinion only.

Visit Kate 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. 

 

Love Leads by Dr. Steve Greene July 12, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:22 pm
Tags: , ,

About:

This book will help you see that love and leadership are not mutually exclusive learn that without love, you cannot be an effective leader.

The one action verb most frequently missing from various manifestos on leadership is love. In Love Leads Dr. Steve Greene shares real-life examples, principles, and exhortations of the love of a leader.

You will discover what it looks like to lead with love—is there a process of love? is tough love really love?—and you will view leadership as it’s never been seen before as Dr. Greene dispels the myths and misconceptions many have come to accept about leadership.

The real-life principles in this book are fully supported throughout by the actions of God who “so loved that He gave…,” leading you to see with new insight that the true essence of leadership is love.

My thoughts:

This is a must read for anyone in any type of leadership position. I can apply this book to several areas of my life.

Unfortunately, the majority of leaders in this world aren’t Christians and won’t even pick up this book. But can you imagine how our world would change of leaders lead with love?

For me I looked at this book through the eyes of a mother, worship leader and teacher. If I put into to practice the things in this book many things will look different in my life.

There are many good quotes in this book, here are a few:

“Consistency cannot be faked. It is revealed.”

“If we aren’t struggling with opportunities, projects, or people, it’s possible we have reached a plateau.”

“Without influence a leader will resort to using fear and intimidation as a means to an end.”

“Once leaders are anointed, he opportunity for them is to remain fresh with their calling.”

I highlighted so much more, but that is a taste. If you have leadership in any area of your I highly recommend this book.

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. 

 

Review and Giveaway: Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar July 10, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:06 pm
Tags: ,

About:

Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.

But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.

With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances―along with her father’s precious dye―help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert.

Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.

My thoughts and giveaway:

Oh. My. This book is amazing!!! I haven’t read a book that has touched me spiritually in a long time. And this fiction book managed to do that.

This was a book that drew me in and didn’t let go and I didn’t want it to let me go even when I reached the last page.

I had to keep reminding myself that Lydia had no belief in God at the beginning. She was so kind through the whole book but she had no faith.

Paul doesn’t show up in the book for a long time but when he does he is brought to life in a way I have never felt before.

I also loved how characters from the previous book  that Tessa wrote (Land of Silence) were brought into this one, and the realization hat Lydia made an appearance in that book and I didn’t even know it.

I really can’t say enough about this book. It is deeply touching, it will remind you of the freshness of the gospel and how we need to always keep that in the forefront of our minds.

Visit Tessa here. 

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

Leave a comment by July 17th 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 me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

When God Turned Our Hard Into Good (A Genesis 5020) July 7, 2017

Filed under: Other Genesis 5020 Stories — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:59 pm
Tags: ,

I am so excited today to have a Genesis 5020 story to share with you. Jennifer Slattery is an author whose books I always love. She also has a great Genesis 5020 to share. Read on!

My daughter was falling apart, literally. My heart was breaking, and I felt trapped. I did not want to move. We were settled, belonged to a close-knit church, lived in a close-knit relationship, and our daughter was about to enter her sophomore year in high school.

Potentially, one of the worst times for a kid to move.

With our house full of boxes, my daughter sitting upon one of them, crying, I scrambled for potential solutions. Ultimately, ways to keep my daughter and I in Kansas City, even if that meant renting an apartment and only seeing my husband on weekends.

I’m ashamed to say it, but I was so caught up in my daughter and my temporary pain, so uncomfortable with all the unknowns we’d face, should we move, I honestly contemplated temporarily splitting our family up.

I tried to justify this. We’d only be two and a half hours away. And it’d only be for a few years, just long enough to allow our daughter to finish high school.

My momma-bear heart was dominating, attempting to put our child above our marriage.

Had God not called me out, I fear, there’s a good chance I would’ve done irreparable damage to both. And honestly, I knew better. When a marriage fails, everyone, the children especially, loses.

And so, reluctantly, I surrendered, and came to Omaha with dragging feet, a heavy heart, and slumped shoulders.

That first summer was the hardest I’ve experienced to date as I watched our daughter slip into depression. She was lonely. Incredibly lonely. And being the introvert she is, I knew it’d take her a long time to make friends. Maybe even the rest of her high school before she really developed the kind of relationships we were leaving back in Kansas City.

To make matters worse, I got sick. Incredibly sick, and this added to the family stress exponentially. Things felt so chaotic for our girl that she developed shingles.

Talk about parental guilt. Witnessing her extreme pain, it literally felt like my heart was shredding. One morning, so distraught, I went down into the far corner of our kitchen, where she couldn’t hear my cry, and sobbed.

And asked God why. And begged Him to intervene.

At first, it felt as if God had closed His ears and turned His back, but regardless of how I felt, I kept stepping. Kept walking with Him. Kept getting up each morning and reading my Bible, trusting Him to speak. To comfort and strengthen.

Those turned into some of the sweetest mornings of my entire faith journey, because God did meet with me, and He did speak to me. Through His Word, again and again, He told me He would fight on our behalf.

He did. He was fighting for us the entire time, doing what needed to be done inside each of us, bringing growth, and ultimately, healing, and some incredibly deep friendships.

It was here, in Omaha, that I met my Wholly Loved team, a group of women who’ve become not only ministry partners but cherished friends. It was here, in Omaha, that my daughter met two of her best friends, lifelong friends. And it was here that she found a youth group that allowed her to heal from some wounds she’d experienced in church in the past.

It was here, in Omaha, that my husband heard the call to donate his kidney to a young man he’d never met.

More than that, through all the gunk, He brought our family unbreakably closer. We learned how to lean on one another and on Christ through the hard. We learned to be real. And to listen to the hard shared by one another, to apologize when necessary, to work through gunk, and to hold tight to one another.

God does indeed turn all things to good, and He’s always fighting on our behalf.

Author, speaker, and ministry leader Jennifer Slattery writes for Crosswalk.com and is the managing and acquiring editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, an imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She believes fiction has the power to transform lives and change the culture. Healing Love is her sixth novel, and it was birthed during a trip she and her family took to El Salvador that opened her eyes to the reality of generational poverty and sparked a love for orphans and all who’ve experienced loss.

 

Her deepest passion is to help women experience God’s love and discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she travels with her team to various churches to speak to women and help them experience the love and freedom only Christ can offer. When not writing, editing, or speaking, you’ll likely find her chatting with her friends or husband in a quiet, cozy coffeehouse. Visit her online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her and her Wholly Loved team at WhollyLoved.com 

 

Healing Love (click here to pre-order her book)

Goodreads link here.

Genre: Women’s fiction with a strong romantic thread

Dual setting—Southern California, and El Salvador

 

Blurb: A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn’t on the agenda.

Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.

Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.

When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of “missional tourists” full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?