Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Desperate to Know His Commands August 31, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:33 pm
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Photo by Verne Ho on Unsplash

I don’t think I posted last week but I will just do the four verses I read this week from Psalm 119:

25 I lie in the dust;
    revive me by your word.
26 I told you my plans, and you answered.
    Now teach me your decrees.
27 Help me understand the meaning of your commandments,
    and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 I weep with sorrow;
    encourage me by your word.

A reoccurring theme in these verses is David’s desperate desire to know and understand God’s word, his commands, his decrees.

How did David get to the point of wanting to know them so badly? Sometimes I think it might be better if I don’t know, that way I don’t know if I screwed up. Just being real here.

But I know that is not what God desires. He wants an intimate relationship with us and the only for that to happen is to fully understand Him.

So I make these verses my prayer and know that God is faithful to answer.

 

In the Thick of It:Raising Sons to be Men of Unyielding Conviction in a Culture of Confusion August 29, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:33 pm
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About:

Do you have a plan, a real plan, for raising your sons to be men of God? 
You can bet pop culture has a plan for them, and it won’t be anything that honors God.

In the Thick of It lays out a proven model to help you raise your sons to be men of unyielding conviction in a culture of confusion. Each chapter will challenge and encourage you to be intentional about raising boys with a healthy mindset and faith framework in a spiritually hostile world. Jason Cruise, minister to men and father to two boys, covers timeless topics that are essential in the successful parenting of sons–including ⷋDivided Loyalties, The Judgment Day of Popular Opinion, Redefining the Goal, What My Sons Deserve from Me, Sowing Manhood, and An Unexpected Witness. No matter what stage of fatherhood you’re currently in, you’ll be encouraged and equipped to train a new generation as you discover this must-have blueprint for raising your boys to become godly men.

My thoughts:

I didn’t realize this book was written to dads when I picked it up.

But, even though it is geared towards dads I gained a lot of insight into how to raise a young man. And I saw things that my husband is doing that I didn’t always understand but after reading this now I get.

This is a great book for seeing how we have compromised how we should be raising our sons. They need to grow up to be men who treat women well, look people in the eye, give a hand shake. These are things that are falling away.

If you would like some insight into how to raise your son to be men of honor this is a great book.

Visit Jason 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. 

 

God’s Design for Sexuality in a Changing Culture August 28, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:33 pm
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About DVD set:

Everyone outside the church is talking about sexual issues gender identity, same-sex attraction, same-sex marriage the world s perspective on these issues has certainly changed over the last decade. So how do you answer questions about God s design for sexuality for church members and their families? Is your church equipping your people to understand a biblical perspective on sexuality and form a gospel-based response to questions from both inside and outside the church?

Harvest USA, an organization that has been thinking biblically and redemptively about these issues for decades, has now made available a video series that will help you wisely, kindly, and truthfully help your church to understand God s biblical design for sexuality and give direction on how to speak the truth in love to the world around us.
The seminar consists of fifteen 30-minute videos (suitable for use during Sunday school or in small group), downloadable leader guide, and participant outlines that address questions and topics about God s design for sexuality including the following:

  • Why do we need to talk about sex?
  • Why do we struggle with our sexuality?
  • Is God s design for sexuality still relevant today?
  • What does the Bible really say about homosexuality?
  • Can you change if you are gay?
  • How can a single person live out God s design for their sexuality?
  • Understanding gender and transgender issues
  • Pornography
  • How to help the sexual struggler
  • Key steps for raising sexually healthy kids
  • Keeping your kids safe in an Internet world

My thoughts:

Wow. This DVD series touches on everything. If you’ve wondered about it, this series will tackle it.

The speakers in these DVD’s bring up excellent points, things I haven’t even thought of. Basically, how uneducated the church is to deal with this changing culture. We must know what we are talking about, we must be prepared.

I appreciated that each speaker also stressed love. God’s love, not the love the world tries to over. That we need to love these people who struggle with their sexuality.

This isn’t anything fancy. It’s just pastors behind a podium speaking truth. But isn’t that all we really need?

I would recommend this for small groups or churches. These are topics that church can’t continue to ignore.

Grab a set of DVD’s for your church or small group at your local bookstore, Amazon, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of these DVDs were given to by New Growth Press. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

Review and Giveaway: Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:10 am
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About:

First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption-the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future-and very lives-hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

My thoughts and giveaway:

This one took me a little bit to get into. The first chapter definitely hooked me but I waned a little bit for a few chapters and then found myself fully invested.

The thing that really struck me about this book was what it must have been like to hear about Jesus for the first time. I think we take that for granted. We know about Jesus, we can read His Word.

But the people in this story had never heard about Jesus, it was all fresh and new, this idea of unconditional love.

This is another wonderful story by Tessa, she did not disappoint.

Visit Tessa here.

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

Leave a comment by September 10th 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. 

 

Review and Giveaway: A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter August 23, 2018

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

When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and to raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. But as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, the risk of revealing the truth may come at too high a price for those she loves.

Kristi Ann Hunter is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at http://www.kristiannhunter.com.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I adored Kristi’s previous series, I seriously loved every book. So what could she do now?

Well she did it. She has written another wonderful series. Of course this is only the first book but I loved it. It has a very unique story line, not what I was expecting at all. It kept me fully engaged.

This book as about learning to trust God, having faith. Kit struggles with this, for good reason.

There is some really powerful dialogue in this book. I wish I could remember exactly, but I remember reading something Graham said and was like, yeah, that’s truth right there.

I can’t wait to see where the series goes.

Visit Kristi Ann here. 

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

Leave a comment by September 6th 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. 

 

By the Waters of Babylon by Mesu Andrews August 22, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:53 pm
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About:

When Babylon destroys Jerusalem, as Yahweh warned through his prophets, the captives’ bitterness and grief pours out in the Captives’ Psalm:
“[By the rivers of Babylon] we sat as exiles, mourning our captivity, and wept with great love for Zion. Our music and mirth were no longer heard, only sadness. We hung up our harps on the willow trees.” (Psalm 137:1-2, The Passion Translation)

A young Israelite woman is among them, captured by a mercenary Scythian prince. Driven toward Babylon by both hatred and hope, she endures captivity to reunite with her husband.

But will he be there when she reaches Babylon? Will the prince risk the Scythian throne–and his life–to believe in the Hebrew God? Can they both find what they seek when they meet the prophet Ezekial. . . by the rivers of Babylon?

My thoughts:

If you enjoy Biblical fiction you will enjoy this book. I found this book to be very interesting and a quick read, but with a lot of depth.

It’s so sad to read about the persecution the Jews went through but God always gave them hope and He opened the doors for others to come to Him.

I loved the raw honesty of wondering and questioning if God even hears our prayers, we often wonder that, at least I do. But then to see God move is a beautiful thing.

Visit Mesu 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. All opinions are my own. 

 

Review and Giveaway: Out of North Korea by Alana Terry August 20, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:21 pm
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About the Book

Book Title: Out of North KoreaOut-of-North-Korea-188x300

Author: Alana Terry

Genre: Christian Thriller/Suspense

Release date: June 25, 2018

A single photograph could cost his life …

Ian McAllister has searched the world over, hunting for that all-elusive perfect photograph.

He finds it on a tourist trip to North Korea when he stumbles upon a young street kid foraging for roots.

Unaware that this single act will brand him a spy and cost his freedom, Ian takes the shot.

Now he must pay the penalty.

A true-to-life novel about an American imprisoned behind North Korea’s closed borders.

A gripping tale of courage, faith, and hope from award-winning Christian novelist Alana Terry.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Author

alana-terry-300x300Alana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

 

Guest Post from Alana Terry

Have you seen in the news that the leaders of North and South Korea have both publicly stated their willingness to promote peace on the Korean peninsula? It was certainly a historic moment, and this part of the world has earned its place in global headlines.
My interest in North Korea, however, goes back over a decade, when as a young mother I received a prayer burden for the people of North Korea. Fast-forward to five years ago when my debut novel was released. The Beloved Daughter follows the life of a young girl who is sent to prison camp because of her father’s Christian faith. In addition to winning several awards, The Beloved Daughter gave an expression to my prayer burden to see North Korea free to worship the one true God.
Out of North Korea is unique among my other titles because it’s the first story that focuses on an American in North Korea. Ian McAllister is captured and held in a Pyongyang prison because of a photograph he took of a young homeless boy. I hope the message leaves you as inspired and encouraged as I was when I was writing it.

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 16

All of a kind Mom, August 16

Multifarious, August 17

Mary Hake, August 17

Bibliophile Reviews, August 18

Just the Write Escape, August 19

Genesis 5020, August 20

Purposeful Learning, August 20

Margaret Kazmierczak, August 21

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, August 21

Inklings and notions, August 22

Blogging With Carol, August 22

Maureen’s Musings, August 23

proud to be an autism mom, August 23

Carpe Diem, August 24

A Baker’s Perspective, August 25

Texas Book-aholic, August 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 27

A Reader’s Brain, August 27

Janices book reviews, August 28

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 28

Henry Happens, August 29

Bigreadersite, August 29

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away a grand prize of a $30 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/d06d/out-of-north-korea-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

This is a book that I am glad I kept reading.

When I started the book I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get to know this Ian person. He was a bit to snarky for me and nothing overly interesting was happening.

My advice — don’t stop reading.

This book is truly beautiful. I came to care deeply for Ian and some of the other characters in this book.

This is a store of redemption and restoration. It’s a Genesis 5020 story! What the enemy wanted to use to harm Ian God will use for good.

This is not your typical read, it is something much deeper.

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 Celebrate Lit Team. All opinions are my own. 

 

A Desire For God’s Instructions August 18, 2018

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:59 pm
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rhand-mccoy-754715-unsplashI read my four verses last week, just forgot to post them. So we will cover eight verses today. Here they are:

Psalm 119:13-20

13 I have recited aloud
    all the regulations you have given us.
14 I have rejoiced in your laws
    as much as in riches.
15 I will study your commandments
    and reflect on your ways.
16 I will delight in your decrees
    and not forget your word.

17 Be good to your servant,
    that I may live and obey your word.
18 Open my eyes to see
    the wonderful truths in your instructions.
19 I am only a foreigner in the land.
    Don’t hide your commands from me!
20 I am always overwhelmed
    with a desire for your regulations.

Right from the start of verse 13 it is telling us something important. It is vital to speak scripture out loud. To make decrees and declaration over your life. Speaking the words out loud might feel odd at first but I believe there is power in that act and verse 13 makes that clear.

As I read these scriptures and write them down I speak them as well and I make them my prayer. This has been powerful.

The writer has such a hunger for God’s instructions, he wants to know God’s heart. He rejoices in God’s law as much as in riches.

One thing God has been showing me lately is to not read the Word to see how I fail (I think we Christians do that too often) but to see how I can grow. God doesn’t want me beating myself up as I read these Words, he wants me to see that I can have this same desire. To be overwhelmed with wanting to know His heart more. So we pray into that.

Father, I want to be overwhelmed with a desire for your instructions. Don’t hide your commands from me but open my eyes that I may see all You want to reveal to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

 

Review and Giveaway: The Hope Jar by Wanda E. Brunstetter August 16, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:05 pm
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About the Book

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Book Title: The Hope Jar (The Prayer Jars, Book 1)

Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter

Genre: Amish Fiction

Release date: August 7, 2018

A Brand-New Series from New York Times Best Selling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter.

What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?

Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.

Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Author

Wanda-Brunstetter-262x300New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

 

Make your own Prayer Jar!

Want to make your own prayer jar to pass along to future generations? CLICK HERE to download a printable template you can use to write your sentiments on. Simply cut out each strip of paper when you’re finished and put them in the jar of your choice.

Blog Stops

Janices book reviews, August 14

Among the Reads, August 14

The Avid Reader, August 14

Reflections From My Bookshelves, August 15

Just Commonly, August 15

Genesis 5020, August 16

Mary Hake, August 16

Bigreadersite, August 16

Lighthouse Academy, August 17

Seasons of Opportunities, August 17

Christian Bookaholic, August 18

Luv’N Lambert Life, August 18

Random Thoughts From a Bookworm, August 19

Blossoms and Blessings, August 19

Splashes of Joy, August 20

SusanLovesBooks, August 20

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 21

Because I said so — adventures in parenting, August 21

Two Points of Interest, August 22

Southern Gal Loves to Read, August 22

Cafinated Reads, August 23

Quiet quilter, August 23

Have A Wonderful Day, August 24

Carpe Diem, August 24

A Baker’s Perspective, August 25

Bibliophile Reviews, August 25

proud to be an autism mom, August 26

Texas Book-aholic, August 26

Reader’s Cozy Corner, August 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 27

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Wanda is giving away a grand prize that includes a $25 Amazon Gift Card, jar-shaped notepad, and a copy of The Hope Jar (with an autographed book plate inside).

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d19e/the-hope-jar-celebration-tour-giveaway

My thoughts:

I don’t read a lot of Amish fiction but I always enjoy the inside peek into the Amish way of life. It’s obvious Wanda has done a lot of research and does a great job of painting the picture.

It was hard to be mad at Michelle. Even though she was deceiving all of these people you knew her story and wanted good things for her. But I didn’t like her sneaky way of doing things.

I’m honestly a bit torn with this book. I did like it but I wasn’t fully invested in it. But the overall story was interesting and I liked the characters.

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. 

 

Set Free and Delivered by Sophia Ruffin

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:07 am
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About:

Too often Christians say the sinner’s prayer, only to fall back into the sin from which they were saved. Others fear the same fate as they struggle to resist old temptations and habits. We blame God, as though He didn’t save us completely. When doubts come to the surface, we feel it’s impossible to stay a faithful Christian.

The truth is, the spiritual warfare you experience is not because you are not free. You’re attacked because you are free. You are now a threat to the darkness, so the opposition increases. The enemy knows you are instrumental in spreading the gospel and in advancing God’s kingdom.

It is possible to stay in the light and never go back into the darkness. As the Bible says in John 8:36, “If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (MEV). Sophia Ruffin uses her personal experience of overcoming homosexuality, rage, bitterness, and so much more to bring you the tools and strategies to maintain your deliverance. Put on the armor of the Lord, and develop a proactive strategy to overthrow the enemy’s agenda. Set Free and Delivered features prayers, confessions, and Ruffin’s inspiring testimony to prepare you for the battles that come after giving your life to God.

My thoughts:

After the altar.

What happens after the altar? After we have been delivered?

So many people I know go back to their sin. Even I have had to fight my old urges and thoughts. Without staying in the word and having my time with Jesus I would easily go back.

This book can be life changing and save you from going back to old patterns. Once you have been saved you have been delivered. We live in a place of victory but we let the enemy trick us into going back to the things that will ruin us.

This book addresses how that happens then Sophia gives you powerful prayers and declarations to speak over your life.

I found myself highlighting so many things in this book. If you struggle with returning to the very things you know God delivered you from read this book and take it seriously. Pray the prayers, speak the truth out loud. We have been set free!!

Visit Sophia 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.