Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

The Daniel Dilemma by Chris Hodges December 29, 2017

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


We have real hope we’re called to share. But how we share it makes a difference. 

Christians today face a dilemma: in a world that seems to reject everything we believe, how do we walk closely with God without caving to pressure or alienating those we hope to reach?

In this eye-opening new book, Chris Hodges provides a solution by examining the life of the prophet Daniel, who persevered in a corrupt culture that closely resembles our own—and emerged as an influential force in God’s redemptive plan. Full of scripture and seasoned with Hodges’ candid personal insights, The Daniel Dilemma shows us that we can hold firmly to biblical beliefs without becoming obnoxious, insulting, or mad. We can stand strong while loving others well. Because standing for truth isn’t about winning the argument; it’s about winning hearts. And when we learn the secret of connecting before correcting, we discover that we can respond to today’s hard questions without compromising grace or truth.

With fresh insights and practical ideas, Hodges encourages Christians struggling with our cultural reality to hold God’s standards high and his grace deep—just as Jesus did, and just as his followers today are called to do.

My thoughts:

LOVE this book. So much good stuff in here. Chris gets to the core of things and gives simple, yet effective ways to stand strong in a world of compromise.

How do we stand for our Christian beliefs yet love others? I’m not an expert but I know I have somehow manged to do it in my classroom. One of my students who is very open about his lifestyle tells me my class is his happy, safe place. I didn’t create that by preaching at him I created that by being kind and listening to him. He knows what I believe yet he sees that I care about him. I will never condone his lifestyle but I will love him.

Chris gives practical advice how we all can do that.

I have highlighted so much from this book I can’t share it all but here are a views quotes:

“Truth without grace is mean. Grace without truth is meaningless. Truth and grace together are good medicine.”

“Worship is not about responsive readings or singing hymns. Worship is surrendering yourself to the power, majesty, and goodness of your Creator, letting God be God — even when you don’t understand what he’s doing or when you disagree.”

Love this one: “We should really consider whether we’re willing to give praise to a team of athletes who don’t even know us but stay silent before the God who created us. It all comes down to worship.”

There’s so much more but I just suggest you pick up the book and give it a read for yourself. I really enjoyed this.

Visit Chris here.

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

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


The Battle Begins by Bill Myers December 27, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:35 pm
Tags: ,


What if Jesus were in high school today? Who would he hang out with? What would he say? What would he do?

In Book one of this novella series, the stage is set and introductions are made by none other than Satan himself…as he tries to destroy Eli’s mission before it ever begins.

My thoughts:

This is a very short book, it can be read in an hour, it should be easy to get your teen to read it. It starts with a power-packed sentence, “I hate God.” Whoa. It’s one thing to know that about our enemy it’s another thing to read it.

I will say this book is definitely PG-13. But let’s be real, our kids are exposed to so much we don’t know about I am sure this book is tame compared to that. It brings to light the way the enemy works in our lives and the tricks that he is up to. I am hoping I can get my daughter to read this.

Visit Bill here.

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


An Alaskan Christmas by Belle Calhoune December 26, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:09 pm
Tags: , ,


Her Christmas Match 

After inheriting a gift shop in Love, Alaska, single mom Maggie Richards is ready for a new beginning—while her little boy is ready for a new daddy! But Maggie has no time for love—she wants to open the shop in time for Christmas, something she’ll do with help from childhood friend Finn O’Rourke. Finn’s on board to help Maggie—but not with the romance rumors that swirl around them like snow. Like Maggie, he’s hiding too many secrets to ever wed. So why do Maggie and her little boy make him dream of finding an unusual gift under the tree—a ready-made family?

My thoughts:

If you love Hallmark movies you will fall in love with this charming book. This book very much reminded me of many of the Christmas Hallmark movies I have been watching lately.

I wondered how Maggie and Finn (love his Irish name) would get around their strongly held beliefs that romance was out of the question. Of course you throw a cute kid in there and your heart is bound to melt.

If you want one last Christmas read before the season if over this one will be a good one to pick up.

Visit Belle here.

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


Update on Faithful Workouts December 23, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:14 pm
Tags: ,

Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash

Now that I have been doing Faithful Workouts for about 23 weeks (I have lost track) I thought I would give you an update.

I am at a point where I am maintaining my weight, which is where I want to be. I don’t think I really need to lose anymore. I have lost between 20-25 pounds, depending on the day 🙂

I will be honest. I only use the Faithful Workouts website for the videos now. I am not overly impressed with the menu anymore. But it was a great place to start and got me pointed in the right direction so I know what I should be eating. Now I find most of my recipes on Pinterest, and I have found some great ones (and not so great). But without Faithful Workouts I wouldn’t know how to pick the meals and snacks I eat now.

My sister gave it a try. She has been working out regularly for years and she didn’t find the workouts very challenging. So I would say if you aren’t someone who workouts (that was me) this is a good place to start, it obviously worked for me. And this is a great place to maintain your weight. But you are someone who already works out then these exercises might not be for you. I still enjoy them and they are enough of a challenge for me.

After doing Faithful Workouts for 23 weeks would I pay for a year subscription? For me, no, I now do what I need to do and enjoy seeking out new and healthy recipes. But if you are someone who needs the structure of a menu and you know you won’t seek out healthy options on your own, then this is perfect for you. You know your habits. I am a pretty driven person and once I put my mind to something I won’t stop. If you know you lack follow through and motivation (be honest) the menus will be great for you. It’s a one stop shop!

Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!


The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper December 22, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:17 pm
Tags: , ,


The Christmas season is often one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year, and it’s easy to lose sight of what makes it special. Helping us refocus on what’s truly important, well-known pastor and author John Piper leads readers through twenty-five short meditations on Advent. The devotionals—drawn from Piper’s extensive preaching and teaching ministry—lead readers to ponder afresh the birth of Jesus, Israel’s long-awaited Messiah and the Savior of the world. Reflecting on several Scriptural texts, this accessible volume aims to direct individuals, families, and churches to the most glorious dawning of indestructible joy the world has ever seen: the incarnation of the Son of God.

My thoughts:

I needed a reset on my Christmas spirit this year so when I saw this book up for review I knew I wanted to read it. I have highlighted so much.

I have shared before that I have been struggling with joy recently so the title of this book alone was enough to draw me in. I know God’s joy is indestructible but I needed to really get it. Reading this small chapters everyday this month has helped.

John talks about when Peter writes to be awakened or stirred up: “is to feel some measure of the joy God intends for Christmas to bring. “Behold, I bring you good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10). Not small joy. Not modest joy. But “great joy.” If we don’t feel this when we ponder the incarnation of the Son of God, we need awakening.” We need to be “stirred up.””

And those words are only the beginning. There is so much more good stuff in this book. I know it’s a little late to dive into this book now but you could always grab it for next year and get stirred up. Or honestly, why not read it anytime of year, we always need to be reminded of the greatest gift of all, don’t we?

Visit John here.

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

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


Alone by Golden Keyes Parsons December 21, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:20 pm
Tags: ,


Marah’s life has been difficult. Orphaned and left in the care of a cold step-father, she thought she found escape in marriage…but when tragedy leaves her alone again, with a house full of children to tend, harsh reality sets in. Will Marah ever know joy, or is she destined to live up to her name and be bitter forever?

Then one day a stranger visits the well and asks her for a drink of water, a stranger who knows everything she has ever done. And suddenly Marah is given a taste of everything she ever thirsted for.

My thoughts:

I wasn’t sure how Golden would play this out but it is nicely done. You actually start with Marah’s encounter with Jesus and that story is slow revealed as we read about Marah’s backstory.

This was a fully engaging story and a quick read as well. Of course this is Golden’s idea of what could have happened and how Marah could have ended up with five husbands but it is definitely an interesting perspective.

If you enjoy Biblical fiction I’m sure you would like this one.

Visit Golden here.

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

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


Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky December 18, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:31 pm
Tags: ,

My thoughts:
This was a very interesting book. I loved getting a look at aviation in the beginning. We take it for granted now but it wasn’t always a common thing.
I adored Bella’s spunk and drive to break the mold of what woman should do and be.
James was a strong character too with this drive to be the first to cross the English Channel. He found himself attracted to Bella but the reality of their stations in life held him back. There was also the mystery surrounding his birth and how his parents were.
Overall, an entertaining read that I enjoyed.
Visit Carrie here.
Pre-order your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer (this book doesn’t release until Feb. 20th).
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.