Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

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. 

 

The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miiller August 1, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:11 pm
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About:

Responsibility, romanticism, and true love…

As the daughter of the Marquess of Exeter, Lady Charlotte Featherington always knew she was destined for great things on the marriage mart. Little did she imagine falling in love with a man on the eve of her parents announcing her betrothal – to someone else.

William Hartwell might be a Duke, but he suspects neither his title nor wealth will prove enough to hold the heart of the young lady who has captured his. The scandal surrounding his first wife’s death makes trusting again difficult, while the mysterious happenings at his ancestral home, Hartwell Abbey, seek to separate before they are wed.

How can a young Lady negotiate her future when her heart demands the opposite of duty?  Can they both learn to truly love from the legacy of Grace?

My thoughts:

This is book two in a series and from an author I am quickly coming to love. And I’ve seen what book three will be about and can’t wait to get to know that next character more.

Charlotte thinks she knows what she wants, like any young lady, but God has better plans and even works through the selfish ambition of her mother.

William is so heartbroken and is so afraid to trust another woman and for good reason. He isn’t the overly handsome, dashing hero we are typically used to and I appreciated that.

Wonderful truths come through this book. Charlotte and William both have to acknowledge their utter reliance of God. They realize they can’t do this life without Him.

Also, I love the fact that love is an action more than a feeling is talked about. Our world has made it a feeling only and when the feeling goes away relationships go away. So I truly enjoyed the truth in this book.

There is even a bit of mystery thrown into this story.

Overall, I highly recommend this one to anyone who enjoyed historical romance. You can read it without reading the first book but I recommend the first book as well.

Visit Carolyn 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. 

 

The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett July 27, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:26 pm
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An ideal sanctuary and a dream come true–that’s what Margaret Lane feels as she takes in God’s gorgeous handiwork in Mount Rainier National Park. It’s 1927 and the National Park Service is in its youth when Margie, an avid naturalist, lands a coveted position alongside the park rangers living and working in the unrivaled splendor of Mount Rainier’s long shadow.

But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is still haunted by his father’s death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work managing the park and its crowd of visitors seriously. The job of watching over an idealistic senator’s daughter with few practical survival skills seems a waste of resources.

When Margie’s former fiancé sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, the plans might put more than the park’s pristine beauty in danger. What will Margie and Ford sacrifice to preserve the splendor and simplicity of the wilderness they both love?

Karen Barnett’s vintage national parks novels bring to vivid life President Theodore Roosevelt’s vision for protected lands, when he wrote in Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter: “There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.”

My thoughts:

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book. I had never read anything by Karen before and the cover is a bit different.

I have to say I adored this book. Margie is such a sweetie. At first you might think she is simple, but she is anything but. She loves the Lord and is even willing to walk away from a man she loves for Him, this girl has her priorities straight. She will do whatever it takes to preserve the things she loves.

Ford is a tough guy, he doesn’t think he needs God and isn’t even sure he beliefs in Him. I couldn’t wait to see how God would open his eyes to Him and if God would use Margie to do that.

By the end they both must face their greatest fear head on and the tension is high.

The setting itself is beautiful, I want to visit Mount Rainer. It sounds wonderful.

I can’t wait to read more in this series, this is truly a great read and I highly recommend it.

Visit Karen 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. 

 

Enjoy Your Journey: Find the Treasure Hidden in Everyday by Joyce Meyer July 26, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:14 pm
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About:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Joyce Meyer offers a powerful, concise abridgment of Enjoying Where You Are on the Way to Where You Are Going. 

Are you enjoying every day of your life? Or do you tell yourself and others that you will find happiness once you have achieved a specific goal or position? Jesus came so that you might have and enjoy life (John 10:10). In this compact abridgment, Joyce Meyer combines biblical principles with personal experiences to explain how you can enjoy every day on your journey through life. You will learn such lessons as how to make the decision to enjoy life, how to rid yourself of regret, how to experience simplicity in life, how to find joy during times of waiting, and much more! Enjoying life is an attitude of the heart, and you can learn how to enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going.

My thoughts:

Joyce is always so good at reminding me of the truth of what the Bible says.

Do you enjoy life? I know many days I let little things get me down, for no reason. I need a change of heart and mind and this book is a great reminder of that.

A few quotes from the book that stood out of me:

From Chapter 2: “As believers, you and I have available to us the same quality of life that God has. His life is not filled with fear, stress, worry, anxiety or depression. God is not impatient, and He is in no hurry. He takes time to enjoy His creation, the works of His hands.”

How true is that. It didn’t have to take God six days to create everything. He is God, He could have done it in an instant, but he sat back and said, “It is good.” Lesson learned.

Another quote from Chapter 7: ” Believers in Christ should be bubbling over with life. It should be vibrant, alive, active, energized, peaceful and joy-filled.”

Does that sound like most believers you know? Does it even sound like you? That isn’t me most of the time. Truly sad.

Another one from Chapter 11 I am still pondering on: “Ishmael could not be heir with Isaac. The work of the flesh could not share in the work of the Lord.”

If you are looking for a book to give you a little kick in the backside this book will do it for ya!

Visit Joyce 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. 

 

Review and Giveaway: Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer July 25, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:07 pm
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When Danger Arrives, It’s More Than Just Her Heart on the Line

Grace Mallory is tired of hiding. She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper’s Station have found. But when the man she believes responsible for her father’s death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him. However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

My thoughts and giveaway:

I haven’t read a book by Karen that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy, and this book is no exception.

I was delighted to visit Harper Station again and see what these strong women were up to.

Grace doesn’t appear overly strong as first but as we get to know her she is full of strength and she knows it comes from the Lord. I love how she used scripture to come against her enemy, just like our Savior.

Amos is not your typical hero and he knows it, but he becomes the hero we all long for and he even surprised me with his passion, which I loved.

There is even another romance in the story that we get to enjoy which adds to all that is happening and doesn’t take away at all from the main romance.

Overall, another great one by Karen that I recommend.

Visit Karen here.

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

Leave a comment by August 1st 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. 

 

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???)