Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Whiter Than Snow by Joan Deppa July 30, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:28 pm
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About:

Bonnie Turner has recently moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is enamored by its beauty in the wintertime. While enjoying the beauty, Brad Jorgenson bumps into her and takes it upon himself to show her the sights and how she can enjoy winter in the Upper Peninsula. But will Bonnie be able to show Brad how he can release the anger and bitterness he’s carried since childhood and introduce him to the Creator of the beauty he enjoys? Can God’s love and forgiveness really make him “whiter than snow”?

My thoughts:

I picked this up because of the setting. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is one my favorite places to visit right up there with Mackinac Island.

Joan painted a beautiful picture of the U.P. in the winter. She made me want to visit there during that season, something I hope to do some day.

But I need to be honest. As much as I liked the setting the writing left me wanting more. This story didn’t capture my interest and I was so bummed. I really wanted to love this book and read the others in the series but I don’t think I will be doing that.

For me the characters lacked a depth I was looking for. They had issues and wounds but I didn’t feel them. I hate saying that, as I now how hard an author works on their books but I have to give my honest opinion.

This book wasn’t for me but it has received other great reviews, so perhaps it’s just me. I always encourage people to form their own opinions. If this book sounds interesting to you then give it a try.

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

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

 

 

 

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Please Don’t Give Up July 27, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:56 pm
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Photo by Rhand McCoy on Unsplash

Last week I started sharing Psalm 119 with you. We talked about being joyful and what that looks like. Click here if you want to revisit that post.

This week we are looking at Psalm 119:5-8

Psalm 119:5-8 New Living Translation (NLT)

Oh, that my actions would consistently
    reflect your decrees!
Then I will not be ashamed
    when I compare my life with your commands.
As I learn your righteous regulations,
    I will thank you by living as I should!
I will obey your decrees.
    Please don’t give up on me!

For me the very first verse grabs me, “Oh, that my actions would CONSISTENTLY reflect your decrees!”

Consistently is a tough one. I like how the first verse is confessing to God that we want our actions to reflect his decrees.

When I think of decrees I think of rules. But I looked up the definition and there is a theological definition and it says:

One of the eternal purposes of God, by which events are foreordained. (Dictionary.com)

May my actions consistently reflect the eternal purposes of God.

Puts a different spin on it doesn’t it? I stirs something within my heart when I restate the verse like that.

And then these verses end with “I will obey your decrees (the eternal purposes of God). Please don’t give up on me!”

I love this heart cry at the end, “Please don’t give up on me!”

The psalmist knew he would screw up, stumble and fall but his heart’s desire is to obey the eternal purposes of God and he cries out “Don’t give up on me when I mess up.”

Also, notice verse six says we are to compare our lives with God’s commands. How many of us try to compare ourselves to other people? Yeah, we can look a lot better or worse compared to other people but we are to compare ourselves to God’s Word. Not to make us feel bad but to give us hope. God’s Word is life, a promise. If the Word says we can live according to God’s eternal purposes we can. Every day we move and grow in that direction.

My prayer every morning this week has been: Let my actions rconsistently reflect your decrees. Honestly, I have sucked at it but I am asking God: Please don’t give up on me.

Even when you stumble and fail remember God will not give up on you so don’t give up on Him and His Word.

 

Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin July 26, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:45 pm
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About:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Mountain Between Us comes a new, spellbinding story of buried secrets, lost love, and the promise of second chances.

Allie is still recovering from the loss of her family’s beloved waterfront restaurant on Florida’s Gulf Coast when she loses her second husband to a terrifying highway accident. Devastated and losing hope, she shudders to contemplate the future—until a cherished person from her past returns.

Joseph has been adrift for many years, wounded in both body and spirit and unable to come to terms with the trauma of his Vietnam War experiences. Just as he resolves to abandon his search for peace and live alone at a remote cabin in the Carolina mountains, he discovers a mother and her two small children lost in the forest. A man of character and strength, he instinctively steps in to help them get back to their home in Florida. There he will return to his own hometown—and witness the accident that launches a bittersweet reunion with his childhood sweetheart, Allie.

When Joseph offers to help Allie rebuild her restaurant, it seems the flame may reignite—until a 45-year-old secret from the past begins to emerge, threatening to destroy all hope for their second chance at love.

In Send Down the Rain, Charles Martin proves himself to be a storyteller of great wisdom and compassion who bears witness to the dreams we cherish, the struggles we face, and the courage we must summon when life seems to threaten what we hold most dear.

My thoughts:

There aren’t many books that I have read that seem to touch a very deep place in my heart. This one did.

The raw brokenness of the characters, the situations they found themselves in all added up to a book I simply couldn’t stop reading.

There were somethings that seemed a bit to coincidental for me and the main character could have come across as stalker-ish but I could overlook those things because the overall story was wonderful.

If you want a book that will speak deeply into your hurting places and offer hope then this is a must read.

Visit Charles 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. 

 

Praying God’s Promises by Linda Evans Shepherd July 25, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:28 pm
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About:

Prayer changes things. Praying God’s promises changes everything.

The Scriptures tell us that when we pray the will of God, he delights to answer our prayers. But what is God’s will in any given situation? How can we know it? And if we don’t know it, how can we pray it?

In this inspiring book, Linda Evans Shepherd reveals that God’s will is not a mystery–it’s clearly laid out in his Word through his many promises. Through stories, practical application, examples of prayers, and guided reflection, she leads you toward a more powerful prayer life. Arranged by topic for ease of use, this book shows how to pray God’s promises of peace, for health, for relationships, for our children, and so much more.

Shepherd also includes a chapter on God’s powerful answers to prayer that will inspire you to search the Scriptures, pray God’s will, and wait expectantly for his promised answers.

“In this power-packed book, Linda shows you exactly how to pray the promises of Scripture. I highly recommend that you keep a copy on your nightstand.”–Becky Harling, international speaker and author of How to Listen So People Will Talk and Who Do You Say That I Am?

“In this must-read book, you’ll encounter the God of promises, and your life will be enriched, blessed, and encouraged as you agree in prayer with what the Bible says, and then rest in the fact that what he says, he will do.”–Carol Kent, speaker and author of He Holds My Hand: Experiencing God’s Presence and Protection


Linda Evans Shepherd
 is an award-winning author, a successful speaker, and a media personality. The president of Right to the Heart Ministries, she is the author of many books, including When You Don’t Know What to Pray and How to Pray When You Need a Miracle. She lives in Colorado.

My thoughts:

If there is something you need prayer for but aren’t sure what to pray, pick this book up.

I love how we can use scripture to pray and we should be, so why don’t we do it?Well, now we have not excuse. If you have this book you should honestly have a prayer for every situation you face.

I also appreciate that Linda began each chapter with a personal story, if not her own then someone else’s and how God worked in their lives and these scriptures we made real to them.

I would use this book as a resource. Keep it on hand and when you are going through something look up that situation and pray God’s promises.

Visit Linda 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: Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson July 24, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:20 pm
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About:

Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines—until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path . . . as a conductor in the Underground Railroad.

Dr. Micah Greyson never hesitates to answer the call of duty, no matter how dangerous, until the enchanting Keziah walks back into his life and turns his well-ordered plans upside down. Torn between the life he has always known in Savannah and the fight for abolition, Micah struggles to discern God’s plan amid such turbulent times.

Battling an angry fiancé, a war-tattered brother, bounty hunters, and their own personal demons, Keziah and Micah must decide if true love is worth the price . . . and if they are strong enough to survive the unyielding pain of war.

My thoughts and giveaway:

What a beautiful cover. This book drew me in just by looking at it.

I have never read anything by Tara before but I will gladly do so again.

I loved this sneek peek at the Underground Railroad. Keziah’s heart for others was so strong.

Micah is a stubborn man who has the some kind heart as Keziah but holds back his own feelings for Keziah.

Keziah’s family frustrated me to no end. But the author did a wonderful job developing these characters as well.

I would say it was about half way through the book before I felt totally invested but then I couldn’t put it down and had to see how it would all work out.

If you like books set int he civil war era I have no doubt you will enjoy this book.

Visit Tara here.

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

Leave a comment by July 31st for your chance to win a copy of this book. 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. 

 

Ain’t Misbehavin’ by Jennifer Lamont Leo July 23, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:10 pm
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About:

In Jazz Age Chicago, Dot Rodgers sells hats at Marshall Field while struggling to get her singing career off the ground. Independent and feisty, she’s the life of the party. But underneath the glitter, she doesn’t believe she’s worth the love of a good man. Why would a strong, upstanding man want to build a future with a shallow, good-time girl like her?

Small-town businessman Charlie Corrigan carries scars from the Great War. After all he’s been through, he wants nothing more than to marry and start a family. But the woman he loves is a flamboyant flapper with no intention of settling down. She’s used to a more glamorous life than he can offer. As his fortunes climb with the stock market, it seems he’s finally going to win her love. But what happens when it all comes crashing down?

My thoughts:

I so enjoyed the 1920’s setting. Not many books are set in this era so it was fun to read.

I understood Dot quite well as a performer and her desire to sing. I appreciated her others gifts that she started to explore in this book.

Charlie is a good guy, kind of “normal” compared to Dot.

I will say the beginning of the book I wasn’t so sure I would like it. But the more I read the more the drama and stakes were raised and I found myself having to read the next chapter.

Overall, a good read.

Visit Jennifer 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 the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

Joyful are . . . July 20, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:30 pm
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Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

I read something this week (I can’t remember what) that made me take a look at Psalm 119 and felt compelled to really study it. Each day I am looking at a new verse, writing it down and reflecting.

The beginning of this chapter talks about those who are joyful. Read below.

Psalm 119 NLV

Joyful are people of integrity,
    who follow the instructions of the Lord.
Joyful are those who obey his laws
    and search for him with all their hearts.
They do not compromise with evil,
    and they walk only in his paths.
You have charged us
    to keep your commandments carefully.

So basically Joyful people are people with integrity, follow God instructions, obey his law, search for him with all your heart, don’t compromise with evil and walk in his paths.

Joy all boils down to following God. Hearing what he says and doing it.

Here is the crazy thing. Since I have been studying these verse I have been dealing with a lot of anger. I am getting angry and irritated very easily, mostly with my children. I’m not sure where this anger is coming from, it’s so no like me but I feel it rise up and I don’t know what to do with it. I have to leave the room before I say things I will later regret.

This tells me I am on to something the enemy doesn’t want me to figure out.

The enemy doesn’t want us to figure out the key to joy, but it’s right here in Psalm 119.

Yes, this all seems like a tall order, to follow what these verses say, but let’s not write it off because it seems hard. Let’s make it our goal, what we strive for, or even fight for when need be.

Let’s be people of integrity, who do the right thing even when no one else will see or hear us, let’s follow God’s instructions and seek him with all our hearts. Let’s not compromise with evil, even in our thoughts, which honestly is the most dangerous place to do so.

I hope you’ll embark with me on this journey into Psalm 119 and discover what God has for us.