Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall August 15, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:43 pm
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About:

Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves,
Will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—
or completely rip them apart?

After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family?

Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.

Gathering the Threads is the third and final novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series.

My thoughts:

This series has been a journey. So many of the characters have undergone major changes, things that will never be the same again.

Ariana is by far my favorite character, although Quill is a close second. Ariana broke my heart with not knowing really where she belonged anymore. I’ll be honest I wanted her to leave the Amish community. It just seemed so stifling, too many rules. But something seemed really amiss in her community and she sensed it too. That added a bit of mystery to this book.

Skylar was a bit harder to like but I could see the goodness in her, there was hope for her.

This was a wonderful ending to the series. You could read this as a stand-alone but honestly because of all the history and everything that has happened I believe it’s important to read the first two books to fully grasp all that is taking place in this one.

Visit Cindy here.

Grab  you 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. 

 

Week Three To Better Health and Giveaway August 11, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:59 pm
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I wanted to remind everyone that there is a giveaway going on for a one-year free membership to Faithful Workouts. Leave a comment by August 18th for your chance to win. Or you can do a 30-day free trial by going here.

My week went pretty good. I am finding I am less hungry between meals and can even resist things that I typically caved to (like getting a milkshake and Steak ‘n Shake yesterday when my hubby wanted one — I totally appreciate that they list the calories, that really put things in perspective for me, I got an iced tea instead).

I have exercised everyday this week (except weekends), however today was tough.

First I had trouble falling asleep last night even though I was so tired and then I woke up early and couldn’t go back to sleep. I didn’t feel like exercising but I got up anyway. My computer was moving crazy slow and when it did work the video froze. This was my computers fault because every program was running slow.

So I got out my iPad and that worked good until I got a page that said there was an error and had to reload. Ugh.

Funny thing is the message that Michelle talks about this week is that the enemy will do anything to discourage us from doing this. I had to say it was working pretty well this morning. My husband walked in while she was talking and I was grumpy and he said I was listening to the lies. And I was.

I will keep on pressing on. Just got groceries again so I have a bunch of new recipes to try for the next couple of weeks. I also discovered a new-to-me grocery store that had amazing produce that I will pop into when what I currently have it gone. My kids loved it!!!

Remember leave a comment for your chance to win a one-year membership to Faithful Workouts. It doesn’t hurt to try (except maybe your muscles 🙂 

 

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson August 10, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:47 pm
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About:

She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant.

But she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . .

if she makes it in time.

The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.

On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.

When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?

New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson beautifully re-imagines The Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm into a medieval tale of adventure, loss, and love.

My thoughts:

I have really enjoyed this series of fairy tales come to life.

Magdalen gets a bum deal when her servant takes her place. But she does handle it with grace and her true colors shine through, which is compassion for others.

The Duke of Wolfburg also has the same thing (sort of) happen to him. He is determined to prove who he is but they must be careful because the man now in charge is ruthless.

Melanie did a great job of even allowing us to feel some pity for those that stole their position.

I expected to love this book more since I really liked the others but for me this one was okay. I liked it but I didn’t love it. I found it easy to put down and not in much of a hurry to pick it back up. It was good, just not what I expected.

Visit Melanie 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 the BookLook Blogger program. All opinions are my own. 

 

The Essential Guide to Prayer by Dutch Sheets August 9, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:26 pm
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About:

Life-Changing Teaching on the Simplicity of Having a Powerful Prayer Life

A prayer life with God isn’t complex, but sometimes not knowing how to start can be enough to make a person turn away altogether. In The Essential Guide to Prayer, you’ll discover that the starting point is to find your motivation for prayer in the power of love by forming a solid relationship with God as Father and friend. As Dutch Sheets lays the foundation for your motivation to pray, he challenges you to reflect with “Did You Understand?” questions at the end of each chapter. Dig deeper into the core of your prayer life by learning to pray effectively both alone and in groups, and by persisting in prayer until you see God’s answers.

Dutch Sheets is an internationally recognized author, teacher, and speaker. Based in Colorado, he travels extensively, empowering believers for passionate prayer and societal transformation. He has pastored, taught, and served on the board of directors of numerous organizations. Learn more at http://www.dutchsheets.org.

My thoughts:

What a powerful book. This book truly stirred my heart and empowered me.

I think sometimes when it comes prayer we can become confused and not even sure what to pray about at the time, or who. At least for me that happens. This book talks about being sensitive to the promptings you might get from the Holy Spirit, even if the prompting wakes you up in the middle of the night.

Sometimes I feel bad because I am not one of those people who can go up to someone and just say, “Hey, can I pray for you?” or, “Jesus loves you.” But maybe that isn’t for everyone. Maybe instead of approaching someone in the grocery store I just pray for them. I see that mom struggling with her kids I and intercede for her right there but don’t say anything out loud. Now, there is a time and place for approaching and I think we need to be sensitive if Jesus is telling you that you need to be vocal and approach someone. But let’s not discount the power of intercession.

If someone or something keeps coming to your mind maybe you need to be interceding for them and this book will empower you to do just that.

Visit Dutch 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 by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

Review and Giveaway: Dark Deception by Nancy Mehl August 7, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:23 pm
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About:

Kate O’Brien’s quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas is shaken when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Only Kate survived, and she’s been in witness protection ever since.

When new evidence arises to suggest the convicted man wasn’t the murderer, she’s subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Afraid to go back into that world, Kate only agrees if Tony DeLuca, the deputy Marshal who protected her during the original trial, escorts her to St. Louis.

Tony readily takes on the assignment; Kate’s beauty and inner strength made more of an impression on him than he expected. But when Kate’s safety is threatened, Tony must race against the clock to keep her alive and put this ugly case to rest before anyone else gets killed.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I can’t remember the last time I read a book so fast. I could have finished it in twenty-four hours but I needed to go to sleep.

I loved this book. One thing after another happens and just when you think it is over it isn’t. My mind kept trying to figure out what was going on. I was wrong on several things but one I had a feeling about the whole time but even that I didn’t get the motivation correct.

Kate’s story is heartbreaking, witnessing her sister being murdered. She really struggles to deal with this and it isn’t until she finally gives it to Jesus that true healing can begin. The way Nancy describes that process is beautiful.

Tony is a wonderful hero who just wants to protect Kate. There romance is very sweet and adds nicely to the story.

Overall, I highly recommend this one. I think it might be favorite Nancy Mehl book yet.

Visit Nancy here.

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

Leave a comment by August 14th 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. 

 

 

Two Weeks On My Journey To Health (and a giveaway) August 4, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:07 pm
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Photo by Brooke Lark

Hey, everyone. I had every intention of writing last Friday after I did my fifth workout that week but I woke up with a horrible case of vertigo and could barely move without the world spinning so that didn’t happen.

But now I am writing…

Two weeks ago I did the workouts only, I did them Monday-Thursday (I did end up walking with some friends Friday night). The Faithful Workouts are fun. I feel almost like Michelle is becoming my friend. She is definitely someone I would hangout with.

The cool thing about the workouts is you can do them at your level of ability. In each video there is someone doing it high impact, low impact and even someone sitting in a chair if you need to begin there or go there at any point during the workout. In education we call this differentiated instruction 🙂

During the workouts Christian music is playing and Michelle will share what God is revealing to her. It’s just a great way to start your day.

Week two I started the meal plan. Can I say WOW? I have been so impressed with the recipes, they are GOOD!! I love food, I am a meat and potatoes girl, but I am learning the God created these other awesome foods that I don’t eat and I need to and they are fuel for my body. Our God sure is creative when it comes to flavors. We need to taste and see that He is good.

Everyday she gives you each meal and two snacks. I have to say I have leftovers often and don’t do the next days lunch and will eat the leftovers instead, which means I am spending less money at the grocery store. Speaking of that, my grocery bill was no more than it typically is, I was worried about this, but what I noticed was I spent most of my money in produce instead of the frozen food section, I was walking right past all of that stuff. It felt good.

Have I cheated this week on the meal plan? Yep. I have. Twice.

One night I was planning on following the meal plan and made salmon. I’m not a big fish eater but everything I had tried from the meal plan was so good I thought let’s try this recipe. Yeah, I still don’t like salmon, too fishy. Unfortunately, the kids were having mini corn dogs and fries so I ended up eating some. But I didn’t beat myself up about it.

Then last night I took the kids out for supper to celebrate finishing painting my son’s room in three days. We worked hard. I could have gotten a salad that would have gone right in with the things I know I SHOULD eat. But I got a turkey bacon wrap instead and I drank a Coke. But I don’t feel bad about it. I am making progress and working out five days a week, this is a huge improvement for me.

Even today, I am camping and I can’t do the workouts in the camper, so I went for a walk then I came back and did strength and core exercises (videos on the website) in the camper since I’m not jumping around. So I can make this work no matter what.

Overall I have a lot of energy and just feel very positive about the changes I am making. I need to remind myself that my goal is better health, not weight loss, this is a new way of thinking for me.

GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!

Michelle is offering you a gift if you’re interested. She will be giving away a 1-year membership of her f4 plan (which is what I am doing) to one person.

Leave a comment by Friday, August 18th to be entered in the drawing. 

FREE STUFF FOR YOU!!!!!

Michelle is also offering everyone a free 30-day trail if you want to just try it out right away (or if you don’t win the drawing). Click here for that. 

Knowing that I am blogging about my progress helps me stay on track so I am grateful for you all who read this and follow (or join) me on this journey.

Remember, leave a comment to be entered to win a 1-year membership. Here’s the website if you want to take a look: https://www.faithfulworkouts.com/

 

Review and Giveaway (4 Winners):The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher August 3, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:45 pm
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Click here to purchase your copy.

 

About the Book

Book title: The Return

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Release date: Sept 1, 2017

Genre: Amish

In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.

Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

 

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing and The Newcomer in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

 

 

Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!

Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.

ThreeSistersGarden2According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed.

The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.

ThreeSistersGardenHave you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

 

*Images courtesy of Dream Home Improvement and Technology Exchange Lab

Blog Stops

August 1: Quiet Quilter

August 1: A Baker’s Perspective

August 1: Remembrancy

August 2: Bigreadersite

August 2: lighthouse academy

August 2: Zerina Blossom’s Books

August 3: Genesis 5020

August 3: Book by Book

August 3: Blogging With Carol

August 4: Seasons of Opportunities

August 4: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

August 4: Carpe Diem

August 5: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

August 5: DEE’S QUILTS & BOOKS

August 5: Jeanette’s Thoughts

August 6: Red Headed Book Lady

August 6: Just the Write Escape

August 6: Locks, Hooks and Books

August 7: A Reader’s Brain

August 7: Pause for Tales

August 7: Splashes of Joy

August 8: Bibliophile Reviews

August 8: Christian Bookaholic

August 8: Live.Love.Read.

August 9: Blossoms and Blessings

August 9: Mary Hake

August 9: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)

August 10: For the Love of Books

August 10: The Fizzy Pop Collection

August 10: A Simply Enchanted Life

August 11: The Power of Words

August 11: Karen Sue Hadley

August 11: Neverending Stories

August 12: Cafinated Reads

August 12: TinaTruelove

August 12: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

August 13: God’s Little Bookworm

August 13: Southern Gal Loves to Read

August 13: Connie’s History Classroom

August 14: Vicky Sluiter

August 14: By The Book

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14! Check it out:

Four winners will receive one of the prizes below:

An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return

Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return

The Amish Beginning 3 book set series

One grand prize winner will receive:

An iPad Mini

You can enter at Suzanne’s website (http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/contests/) or on her Facebook page (http://gvwy.io/q1kb9u4)

My thoughts:

Wow. What a great book. This was one of the books that towards the end I didn’t want to put down but it was 12:30 am. I forced myself with only a little over an hour left to read. Ugh.

At first I was kind of thinking there was a lot of jumping around but honestly, it kept the book moving at a nice pace and you never had a chance to get bored. And every storyline tied together eventually.

I loved the actual history woven into the book. We get to have an encounter with Benjamin Franklin and hear mention of George Washington, pretty cool. I also enjoyed having a glimpse at our country in the beginning. This country really was founded on believers, different believers, but believers in God non-the-less. We have strayed.

I don’t have time to talk about each character that plays an important role in this book, there are so many and I feel they are all equally vital to the story.

If you haven’t read this whole series, no worries. I really feel you could read this as a stand alone and thoroughly enjoy it. I highly recommend this one.

Visit Suzanne 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 my through the Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own.