Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Part XXXII-The Beginning October 5, 2012

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:51 pm
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Before I move into today’s post I want to take a moment and let you know this is the beginning of the story.

You read that right.

This is the beginning.

I can’t wait to see all that my Savior has in store for my marriage and my family. Whatever it is it’s going to be good.

Although I will not write anymore “Part (whatever)” I will still write every Friday. You may not hear from me, you may hear from someone else who would like to share their Genesis 5020 with you.

Will that someone be you?

I hope so.

As I have been saying for weeks, we want you to share your story with the world. What has happened in your life that the enemy wanted to use to harm you but God turned around so He could be glorified?

Please share your story. Don’t hold back. Stop listening to the voice in your head that says your story doesnt’ matter, it’s not powerful enough. Your story does matter and it is powerful enough. If God did it, it’s powerful.

Send us your story at: 5020genesisstories (at)gmail(dot)com

You can remain anonymous. We can even change locations and dates if that will make you feel safer. But share your story.

Now for the beginning……

At the end of two posts I wrote a long time ago I ended with part of the story of Lazarus. You can see those posts here and here. There was a reason for that and today you will understand why.

Please read the account of Lazarus here.

I am Lazarus.

I had an affair. I was ill, near death. God could have saved me at any point during my journey to the pit. But He didn’t.

In those early days I wondered why He didn’t stop me, why didn’t I get caught before I fell completely?

I believe the answer is the same for me as the answer He gave to Mary and Martha when they asked why He didn’t come and rescue Lazarus right away.

He wanted to be glorified. He wanted me to know that He saved me, not myself or my husband, but Him alone. 

I picture the angels running up to Jesus when I planned my first  meeting with the other man. They are panicked, breathless with worry. “Lord, Melissa,  the one you love, is about to do something terrible.” 

 Jesus looks at them,  His eyes are full of sorrow. Of course He knows what I am about to do. “I know. Let her be.”

 The angels walk away but question among themselves, “What, let her be? Why?”

 I fall into a physical affair. But I am not done.

 The angels see I am about to make the same mistake again. They run to their Lord, “Lord, Melissa, your Beloved, she is making plans to be with the man again.”

 Jesus nods, tears glisten in His eyes, “Yes, I know. Let her be.”

 This time the angels ask, “But why? Why don’t we stop her?”

 Jesus places a hand on the shoulder of the inquisitive angel. “She must die. We must let her die completely and utterly to herself. If we rush in and save her she will not learn anything and I will not be glorified. I have tried other ways to get her to surrender to me but she will not listen. This time she will.”

 The angels walk away and they believe without question, this is the way it must happen.

 I am with the man a final time and I die.

Physical death does not find me, although I wish for it to claim my life. My death would be better for everyone. I truly believed this lie.

Jesus did not allow me to die a physical death, but a  death to myself.

 Under the weight of my sin I am finally crushed.

Crushed beyond recognition. The identity I knew so well for thirty years had been annilalated.

Slowly my heart  opens up to Jesus. I  feel Him hold me and breathe life into my heart.

One day, when I am ready to give it all up, He calls, “Melissa, come forth.”

 The real Melissa emerges, the Melissa I was always meant to be.

I am covered from head to toe in grave-clothes.

I have worn them my whole life but I never realized how constricting they were. I thought I was free. But my face is covered, my hands are bound. I am not free.

 “Remove her grave-clothes and let her go,” Jesus’s voice booms with power as He commands the enemy of my soul. The enemy has no choice but to obey.

 My grave-clothes are removed and I freely reach my hands to my Savior.

I see my sin, I see my shame but they have no hold on me. They came off with the grave-clothes.

I am free to be held in the arms of my Savior, the Lover of my Soul.

Child, you are never too far gone for our Savior.

Maybe you wonder why He allowed you to make some terrible mistake, or why did He allow this horrible thing to happen to you?

Perhaps He is allowing you die to yourself. Perhaps He is waiting to call you forth and remove your grave-clothes as well. Perhaps He has been calling you forth for years and you have not listened.

Today you can be free. You can be ALIVE.

Today can be your beginning.

Are you ready? Listen. He is calling you, “Come forth.”

As I climbed in my van this morning to go to work the song “I’m Alive” began to play.

I knew I was to include that song in this post. It perfectly sums up what God has done in my life since I answered His called to “come forth” and live. Truly live.

I am sure I looked like a crazy woman as I danced in my seat and raised my hands to my Savior.

Listen to the song here.

Beloved, I dare you to get up off your seat and dance.

Dance to your Savior.

Dance your grave-clothes right off.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you.


Part XXXI-More of Jesus September 28, 2012

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:44 am
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As I near the present time in our story you might wonder if I ever deal with any of my old issues.

I am so glad you asked.

I dealt with lust this summer, but in a much different way than the past.

I mentioned on the previous post that God spoke to me about my job. Last year I read Extraordinary by John Bevere. That book changed my life.

In the book John talked about praying in faith.

I never truly prayed in faith before, I never really believe God for something I asked for. I just prayed and hoped God might answer my prayer.

For five years I taught in a school district that pushed against everything I believed in. I never made any friends, I never belonged.

The job was an hour from home, and many days I didn’t get home until 6:30.

After reading Extraordinary I  sensed God say, “Pray in faith Melissa. Pray to be released from your job.”

So I did.

I prayed and I knew God would release me.

I am skipping tons of details to shorten this post.

God started lining up my future in February by bringing a homeschooled mom into my life and introducing me to another writer in my community. I started getting paid to write-yahoo!

In March I had to let my district know if I wanted to reduce or increase my hours for the following year. I thought it was my job to convince Patrick that I should request to go down to three days.

God stopped me.

He said, “If you believe I am releasing you why would you need to reduce your hours?”

He was right, I wanted to reduce my hours just in case God didn’t come through.

I didn’t reduce my hours.

After months of disagreements, Patrick and I finally reached a compromise when a music position became available in a district twenty minutes from our home. The position was part-time but we thought if I was offered the position I would give lessons to home schooled children the rest of the time.

I applied and had an interview set for June 18.

A week before my interview my “dream” job became available. This was the job I wanted since I received my teaching certificate. This job would allow me to teach my own children.

I submitted my resume, but of course I still went to the other interview, because you never know.

As I left the interview I didn’t feel positive about it. I didn’t do anything to make myself stand out.

Two hours later I received a call from that principal and she offered me the job.

God answered my prayer, I was released from the job that took me so far from home.

But I wanted more. And I knew God wanted to go above and beyond all I dreamed or imagine. What an awesome testimony I could give if I got my dream job.

I finally got a call for an interview, set for August 2nd.

I showed off all the music I composed for my students that tied in with science and social studies, I showed my pre-tests and post-test and how all my students improved. I made myself stand out.

The interview took place on a Thursday, they said they would let me know by Tuesday.

On Monday, August 6th I woke up lusting.

I wanted that job so bad. The last time I had those feelings they were for a man, but this time I lusted for a job.

I cried out to God. I knew what I felt wasn’t right.

During my prayer time God clearly whispered to me, “Do you want Me or this job? If having more of Me meant you couldn’t have that job would you be okay with that?”

I wept.

In my journal I wrote, “I want JESUS more than I want that job.”

I didn’t get the job.

I am getting Jesus.

To say I wasn’t heartbroken would be a lie. I was angry at God.

When I went to my new job and talked the principal, guess what she told me? She said, “You clearly stood out above everyone else.”


I didn’t do anything special for that interview, yet I stood out.

There is no other explanation but God. He wants me there and He made me stand out.

I am so glad to be in His hands, in His will.

Patrick didn’t take it so well and is still working through some stuff, but I can’t wait until he finds his Genesis 5020 from all of this, I know he will in time.

I am so happy.

I drive twenty minutes to work.

My building is surrounded my fields and rolling hills.

I get to shine the love of Jesus into 500 kids lives every week.

I sit on the porch and watch my kids get off the bus and thank God every day that I am there.

I just got done giving a guitar lesson to one boy who wants to be a worship leader when he grows up, and God is allowing me to be a part of that child’s life.

I am overcome.

God. Is. Good.

No, things didn’t turn out like I thought they should. But they did turn out exactly like my Savior thought they should.

So, do I still struggle with lust?

The enemy will never stop, he will look for new ways to make me fall. But the difference is now I listen for my Father’s voice and I will obey.

Lust will not have me again.

Jesus always will.

Only I can tell the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. I will call a swift bird of prey from the east — a leader from a distant land to come and do my bidding. I have said what I would do, and I will do it. Isaiah 46:10-11 NLT

Has there been a time in your life when  you wanted something but God had other plans? Can you share your story with us?

I will be wrapping up my Genesis 5020 next week. That doesn’t mean I won’t write, I will. But I want your Genesis 5020. So what it is? I have only a couple of people lined up so far. Will you share yours with us? Let God get the glory He deserves. You know if you stay quiet you are stealing God’s glory. Speak up and share. Email us at : 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com.


Part XXVII-Choose Obedience August 31, 2012

As I write this I am sitting in my favorite summer spot. A picnic table at Indian Creek Campground. I am surrounded by cottonwood leaves that have already made their fall escape from the trees and rest on the ground. The leaves that remain green and attached to their trees clap around me, praising our Creator. Crickets chirp a morning greeting and the smell of last night’s campfire fills the air. Robins sing a beautiful song and a chipmunk dashes across the grass hunting for food.

This is our last camping trip before school starts. I wait with anticipation of all God has planned for the upcoming school year.

I need to back up and share with you some things God did in my life in the year 2011, aside from sharing with our families.

In April of 2011 I began submitting articles to various magazine.

I will never forget the day I opened my inbox and I had an email from an editor who was interested in one of my articles. I wasted no time and sent her the article to read.

In May my article, “The Five Be’s of Brokenness,” was published. You can read that article here. I don’t believe for a second it was an accident that article saw publication first. It is all about sharing your story of brokenness with others. I wrote that piece as an assignment for my Christian Writers Guild course. It touched a deep place in my heart and is my passion.

In May our church had a mother daughter banquet. As we looked for a speaker I felt God tell me to do it. I shared with the rest of the women’s ministry team what God laid on my heart. They were in agreement and I had my first speaking engagement in May 2011.

I sent an article to Proverbs 31 the same time I sent out my first published article. In July I finally heard back from them. They said they liked my article but wondered if I could make it shorter. Of course I said yes, I can cut 500 of my precious words. That proved harder than I originally thought, but I did it.

A couple of weeks later (the week before Labor Day, a busy week with getting my classroom ready and meetings) I received another email from them saying they liked the piece but wondered if I could make it a Christmas article and could I have it done by the Thursday before Labor Day weekend. That gave me three days, that were already jammed packed, to reshape the article to meet their needs. Again, I said yes. Proverbs 31 is a magazine I had prayed to get an article in and did not want to miss this opportunity.

Thursday night before Labor Day I sent the completely reworked article back to them. It appeared in their December issue. They have a print magazine so I cannot add the link but I hold in my hand two print copies of my article. God is good.

In November another article appeared in Power to Change. You can find that article here.

In December one more article appeared in the same magazine, Inspired Women Magazine, that published my first article. You can find it here.

I also committed to beginning my novel. I didn’t work on Fridays last year and spent that day working on my book. I finished the first draft in February and I am getting close to being done with my first round of edits.

I don’t tell you all this to brag on myself but to brag on my Savior. He is so good. I know I say that a lot but it is so true.

When you choose obedience God will bless you.

I believe all these articles were published because Patrick and I began to share our story and God received all the honor due to Him.

I wonder how many blessings we miss out on because we are not being obedient. Trust me, I know I am not always obedient and that makes me sad, what am I missing when ignore my Father?

God has blessings for you. Believe it, claim them. Choose obedience and see what good gifts your Father has for you.

I have to share a praise. If you took time to prayer for Sherri Johnson’s husband, thank you. That day he was offered a job.

Didn’t I tell you God was good?

Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’ John 14:23

Share something God has done in your life. How has He answered a prayer for you recently?

What’s your Genesis 5020? I know you have one but no one has shared yet. Remember you need to give God glory for what He has done in your life, what is stopping you? Send your stories to us at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com. You can remain anonymous if you wish, just let us know.


Part XXVI-Freedom is Sweet August 24, 2012

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:53 pm
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I now stood out of the boat that day after I told my abuser I forgave him. That day I saw the waves and started freaking out.

The day after I talked to my abuser I wanted to tell my parents and Patrick’s, but the timing didn’t work out. We had to wait a day. The day between, a heavy burden for my abuser overwhelmed me.

I felt horrible for him knowing he suffered abuse. He told us no one else knew, not even his wife. Oh, the weight he carried for so many years. I wanted to help, I wanted to fix him. I wanted to rush out and get a counselor for him.

I knew I couldn’t carry the burden, it would crush me. Instead I prayed. The next time I saw him I gave him the number for a counselor. God told me I did not need to carry his burden. God would do that when my abuser was ready to give it to his Savior.

Anyway, the waves were crashing all around me. I left a random message on my parents answering machine and told them Patrick and I would be over the next morning to talk to them about something. I assured them no one was dying, or pregnant or getting a divorce, I knew my dad would think those things immediately.

The next morning we dropped the kids off with my sister and drove to my parents house.

We gathered around the kitchen table, I grabbed a box of tissue.

We began our story. I told them I was abused and who did it and that I didn’t want them to be angry at the person. I forgave him and they should too.

I also told my dad that his words hurt me growing up. Honestly, I did wimp out here and didn’t say everything I wanted to, but my dad isn’t that man anymore. I have let go.

Mom cried, Dad didn’t. That surprised me. My dad is pretty emotional but he didn’t get emotional over our story. When we were done he even quickly changed the subject like he didn’t even want to talk about it. I wanted them to ask questions or something but dad didn’t. I am sure mom would have said more but before I knew it we were talking about the weather or something.

I think it was easier for my dad to check out rather than really deal with the truth. I believe that has happened in my life more than I even know.

Next we drove to Patrick’s parents. He was concerned his mom might not be so forgiving, he had me totally stressed about it. As a mom myself I can understand. Just yesterday my daughter told me some boys were teasing her and my momma bear claws were ready to come out. Moms protect their young, I would understand if Patricks mom had a tough time forgiving me.

We arrive and sit around their kitchen table. We begin our story.

Toward the end of us sharing I looked at Patrick’s parents and said, “I am so sorry for hurting your son.”

After I spoke those words I thought how many times have I needed to say those words to God. We have all hurt His Son, we sent Him to the cross.

We are so sorry for hurting your Son.

But just as our Heavenly Father forgives us, Patrick’s dad took my hand and said, “I forgive you.”

My body shook as I cried. Forgiveness, lived out in man. To see forgiveness given to me again and again by people, how much sweeter is the forgiveness of God. Forgiveness, so undeserved but freely lavished on me.

Patrick’s mom said something neither of us will ever forget. She said, “When Pat came home and told me he meet his future wife, I took that very seriously. I believe God has chosen someone for everyone. You belong together.”

I sobbed, of course.

My fears melted away in the warmth of her words.

I got out of the boat, I saw the storm, I became overwhelmed, I cried out to my Savior, He reached out His hand and rescued me.

Everyday He rescues me, I am forever grateful.

Freedom is sweet.

For my parents and Patrick’s parents to know me, completely, all my failures, all my flaws and still love me, utterly amazes me.

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free. My God is good. He has the power to break your chains. What chains are you holding on to?

I’ll say it again…..freedom is sweet.

But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” Matthew 14:30-31 NLT

Why do we doubt God? He never lets us down. What do you need to trust God with right now in your life? Please share, I would love to pray for you.

Share your Genesis 5020. Email us your story at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com. Do not send an attachment please, just write your story in the email. If you wish to remain anonymous just let us know, we would love to post your story on this blog!


Write to the Point with Henry McLaughlin August 22, 2012

This week we get write to the point with Henry McLaughlin.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I was born in Rhode Island. In November, my beautiful wife, Linda, and I will celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary. We have five children, three sons and two daughters. Our oldest son is in heaven. The other children are spread out among New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Missouri. We have one grandson and several grand cats.

After working in public child welfare in Rhode Island for nearly thirty years, I retired in 1999. My wife and I moved to Texas to be part of Kenneth Copeland Ministries. I worked for the ministry in several areas, primarily human resources and the road crew.

In 2002, I became serious about writing when, after serious and complicated heart surgery, the Lord put it on my heart to write. Putting years of dabbling aside, I completed four years of courses through the Christian Writers Guild: Apprentice, Journeyman, and Craftsman, including a residency.

To improve my knowledge and skills, I attend writers’ conferences, workshops and retreats, and participate in online and local critique groups. I also belong to the Christian Writers Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and North Texas Christian Writers.

My bachelor’s degree in American History helped develop my research skills and an appreciation of the physical and spiritual greatness of this country. The post Civil War era and the settling of the American West have long been areas of interest to me.

Through my master’s degree in social work and years working in public child welfare, I learned insights into human behavior: what motivates people, how people cope in a crisis, and how lost they are without Christ.

My first novel, Journey to Riverbend, won the 2009 Operation First Novel award sponsored by the Christian Writers Guild and was published by Tyndale House in January, 2011.

In September 2010, the Lord opened the way for me to move into full time writing. Now, I have four other novels completed and waiting for publication.

The Father has opened the door for me to mentor other writers one-on-one, to give to them the insights, knowledge and encouragement others have poured into me.

In addition, I teach writing at conferences and workshops and as well as a creative writing course at my church.

I am honored at this time to serve as President of Fort Worth Chapter of Word Weavers. This local writers group is part of the Christian Writers Guild and provides a forum for teaching, critiquing, and encouraging fellow writers.

In January, 2012, I began serving as a writers coach for North Texas Christian Writers. I oversee and provide direction, encouragement, and guidance to four writers groups.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

In 1974, my wife and I made a Marriage Encounter Weekend. During that weekend, we not only recommitted to our marriage, we had our first spiritual encounter with Jesus. He became Lord and Savior, not only over us as individuals, but over our marriage and our family, as well. That weekend launched us on a journey of knowing Him more and more and of serving Him through loving each other and becoming more active in our church life as well.

Tell us about your latest book. What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

Journey to Riverbend is a novel of historical suspense and romance. Set in the American West in 1878, it is a story of the prodigal with a twist: the prodigal son dies in the first chapter. Michael Archer promises to find the young man’s estranged father to attempt the reconciliation the son greatly desires. Complicating the matter is the father is not at all like the prodigal’s father in the Bible.

Michael meets Rachel Stone, a former prostitute who is a new Christian seeking to establish herself as a dressmaker. Their relationship is strained by Rachel’s desire for independence and Michael’s feelings of not being worthy.

Keeping his promise becomes even more difficult when the father is kidnapped by an old business rival. Michael decides to join the posse to search for the father and embarks on journey that leads to danger and death. At the climax, Michael must confront his darkest secret—he killed his own father—as he faces the challenge of having to kill again to save the kidnapped father.

Michael’s journey challenges him to face his darkest moments and to recognize the good in him and forgive himself. Rachel’s journey dares her to risk being loved. The father’s journey brings him face-to-face with his past and the hurt he caused numerous people and has him wondering if he’ll have time to right the wrongs.

The themes, the takeaways, of Journey to Riverbend are restoration, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

I have your book downloaded on my kindle. I can’t wait to read it!

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I blog on a weekly basis, on some aspect of writing and also on the spiritual journey I am taking with the Father.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

Just one? There are so many. From the craft side, a book I recommend to every aspiring writer is Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy because it teaches how to build characters and construct a story world that applies to every genre, not just sci-fi or fantasy. If we’re writing fiction, whether it’s historical, contemporary, or other worldly, we build a story world for our characters.

From the fiction side, I just finished Fifth Man by Randy Ingermanson and John B. Olson. Not only is it an exciting, edge-of-the-seat story, it is also a great example of how to have tension on every page.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

There have been two incidents in my life.

The first was the death of our eldest in a motorcycle accident in over the Christmas season of 1993. The Father showed His mercy and grace by opening the doors to get us to our son’s side in England when we didn’t have passports or the money for airfare. It took Him less than seven hours to get us on a plane. After our son’s death, the Father again gave my wife and me the strength and grace to support our other children through the grief. He gave us friends who went to our house at 6:30 in the morning so our children wouldn’t be alone when we called with the news. Those friends took care of our children until we could return from England several days later. Those friends were, and are, a shining example of the Love of Christ in action. Instead of the enemy hurting us, we walked in the cocoon of the Father’s love.

The second was my heart surgery in 2002. In essence, I was near death several times but a praying wife and friends and church showed the power of God. The ICU nurses referred to me as their miracle patient when I was moved to a regular room.

Praise God. I am so grateful you saw the Father’s love in your life during those times.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

When we moved to Texas to serve in Kenneth Copeland Ministries, we left family and friends behind. My life foundation scripture is Luke 18:29 (NLT). “And I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come.”

My writing foundation scripture is Habakkuk 2:2, 3 (NLT). “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a messenger can carry the correct message to others.…If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”

I am sure I have read the verse in Habakkuk but never applied it to my writing. What a great verse of encouragement.

Where can we find you on the web?

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

To all the aspiring writers who read this, if the Father has called you to write but it seems so far away or too hard, don’t give up. Keep writing. Learn all you can about writing. Learn all you can about obedience to His call, and about patience, and the craft and art of writing. Be obedient and diligent and trust Him.

It took nine years and eight complete re-writes for Journey to Riverbend to be published. And if the Father will do it for me, He’ll do it for you.

Melissa, thank you for the opportunity to do this interview.

May the Father abundantly bless you as you continue your Journey in Him.

Thank you so much Henry, it has been an honor to have you on my blog.

Readers, leave a comment for Henry by August 28 at 5:00 PM to be entered to win a paperback copy of his book.


Part XXV-Out of the Boat August 10, 2012

The Sunday before we talked to my abuser our Pastor spoke about Peter and when he got out of the boat. He was full of confidence at first but when he saw the waves he became afraid and started to sink.

Facing my abuser was me climbing out of the boat. For all of my life I lived safely in my boat. In my boat I didn’t have to be brave. Now God gave me a clear command: Get out of the boat and trust me.

I left of last week with all of us (my husband, my abuser and me) sitting around the dining room table as I prepared to read my letter to my abuser. Below is the letter I read. I have edited out some parts to protect my abusers identity but for the most part it is the letter in its complete form.

Dear (name removed),

This letter has been a long time in coming. But I know it needs to be written.

I am writing you this letter to tell you I forgive you. I forgive you for sexually abusing me as a little girl. I am assuming you thought I didn’t know, or had forgotten. I never forgot. But I didn’t understand what happened to me until I was in middle school.

The truth is I dismissed it as my fault and I must have done something to make you do that to me. I made excuses for you and I thought it had no impact on my life. I was wrong.

Of course after I became a Christian I thought God would just automatically heal me and I even game testimonies in the prisons about being healed. (Side note-I was in a band with Patrick and we traveled to prisons) I was deceived, I was not healed because I never sought healing, I just assumed.

My marriage wasn’t good. I constantly looked for attention from other men. I see now I had done this since I was a little girl. I learned not to trust men, even my husband. I wanted power because power had been snatched away from me for as long as I can remember.

So I had emotional affairs. I even reached the point of wanting to leave my marriage in 2005. But Pat wouldn’t let me go. We didn’t seek counseling which was a huge mistake. But I got pregnant with Kieran and things were good for a few years.

Then I got on Facebook. I knew that is was a dangerous place for me and it didn’t take long for me to become friends with someone from my past. I shared about the sexual abuse with this other man, which was odd, because at that point only three other people knew. I was sharing too much but I couldn’t stop. I wanted love so bad. More than that, I wanted power.

This time it went beyond an emotional affair. In June of 2009 I had a physical affair. It was short and fast. I fell fast and Pat found out fast. But I wanted out of my marriage. I was ready to throw my life away for this other person. I am so glad God stopped me, I would be so totally miserable. Pat fought for me. For the first time in my life I knew what true love looked like. I never knew. My dad’s love was based on me being good all the time. I felt pressure to be the perfect child or I wouldn’t be loved.

I saw Jesus through my husband. We finally sought counseling but I didn’t even want to share about the abuse because I didn’t want that to be an excuse and I thought it was. I thought I did the things I did because I was bad, not because I had scars. But I did have scars.

Because of the sexual and verbal abuse I had some pretty messed up ways of looking at things. I didn’t know how to set boundaries since boundaries were crossed when I was a child. I wanted power over men because men had been having power over me all my life.

I finally found the healing I needed for years. And I finally could forgive you and my dad. I do forgive you. Totally and completely, just as my Heavenly Father has forgiven me for my sins. You are forgiven.

I share this now because God is urging me to share my story with others, so He can be glorified. He keeps whispering in my ear when I get nervous about telling everyone, “For me Melissa, for me.”

I am done keeping secrets. God gets no glory if I remain silent. I don’t know what He has planned for me but I will be silent no longer. I wanted to talk to you first because I want to be able to tell my parents I have forgiven you completely and that I have spoken to you about this already.

If and when  I speak about this publicly I will not say who sexually abused me. I do that to protect your family, no one else needs to be hurt by this.

If you have been carrying around the weight of this sin I pray that God will release you from it. The enemy would like nothing more than to make you feel about this. Please don’t. I forgive  you. I know God will redeem this, He has already. He is leading me to write, which has been my dream forever. I am also able to relate to other sexual abuse victims and I wouldn’t be able to help them if I hadn’t gone through it myself. Genesis 50:20 has been the verse Pat and I cling to though all of this: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”

Joseph spoke those words to his brothers when he told them he forgave them for selling him into slavery. When I hear those words I don’t of the “you” in that verse as “you” (name removed) but as the enemy, the devil, who used you and then used me to do things to hurt other people. I don’t believe your were thinking about hurting me. I believe you were/are broken. I can only imagine how you have been hurt and the pain and confusion have been overwhelming for you. I believe you did what you did out of your brokenness, your desire to feel loved or maybe your desire for power because you felt you had none. The enemy wants to kill, steal and destroy you and I.  I pray that you allow God to come in and heal any places you need healing. He longs to, he has been searching for you all of your life. He is the Father you long for. He loves you with an unfailing love, He is dependable, unrelenting, trustworthy. Your Father longs to hold you.

God is good, He does redeem, I believe it with all my heart, I have seen Him do it in my life with everything. I have asked God why all of this stuff had to happen to me. He asked me, “If being abused and having an affair was the only way you could really love me and have the relationship you have with me now, would you let it happen all over again?” If I am honest, I would have to say I wouldn’t trade any of it for the relationship I have with my Heavenly Father. Every tear, ever heartbreak, every moment of shame was all worth it to rest in the arms of my Savior.

I hope you believe God redeems all things. He longs to redeem your wounds.

More than anything please take away that I love you and your forgiven, but more importantly Jesus loves you and forgives you, more than you could ever know.

In Christ’s Love, Melissa


Would he just stare at me and say, “Okay”? Would he deny it?

My abuser crumbled before me. His head fell forward and he sobbed. He said three words I never expected to hear, “I’m so sorry.”

Without even thinking about what I was doing I stood, went to him, wrapped my arms around him and cried along with him. “I forgive you.”

We held each other for a long time. Years of silence, shame, heartache, found peace, rest.

After we calmed down he shared with me that he had been abused when he was younger by older boys.

I hit the table with my fist. “I knew it.”

I did. Hurt people hurt people, he was a mess inside too. The mess was reflected in the horrible choices he made in his life as well.

We talked awhile longer. Patrick and I really wanted to make sure he felt loved and knew he was completely forgiven.

I know not every person will be able to face their abuser, or tell them they forgive them. I also know that even if you do you might not get the reaction you hope for. That is why you need to be in a place where you don’t need anything from your abuser. They let you down once , they might do it again. You wanted something from them before, love, acceptance, I know I did, and it got all twisted. You can’t expect anything from your abuser.

But you can expect to receive all you need from your Heavenly Father. Only He can give you all you need, He will not let you down.

I stepped out of the boat when I spoke to my abuser. Now I needed to stay out and talk to my parents and Patrick’s.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage!  It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14: 27-29 NIV

Have you ever gotten out of the boat? What happened?

What’s your Genesis 5020? Share with us at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com


Write to the Point with Becky Lyles August 8, 2012

Congratulations to Rita who won B.J. Robinson’s book Last Resort.

This week we get write to the point with Becky Lyles.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

Though I currently live in beautiful Idaho with Steve, my husband of 38 years, I grew up in wonderful Wyoming, where we raised our three children. We have three grandchildren, ages six and under. I started writing 35 years ago, while my oldest was napping. I’ve written articles, short stories, nonfiction books, newsletters, devotionals, etc., but my first novel was published this year. I also edit for nonfiction as well as fiction authors and publishers.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

My father worked as a roughneck on oil rigs during my early years, which meant we traveled around the West following the drilling action. But when I turned six, my parents decided it was time to settle down so that I, their oldest child, could attend school. They purchased a house across the street from a church-going family, who soon invited me to attend Sunday school with them. One Sunday morning in a tiny basement classroom, the teacher asked those who’d never invited Jesus into their hearts to raise their hands. I raised mine. She asked if I wanted to pray to invite him in, and I said, “Yes.” Not long after that, my mother became a Christian, and we were baptized together. Eventually, my father and my four siblings also accepted Christ as their Savior. Praise God for Sunday school and children’s ministries!

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

“Winds of Wyoming” was released in January, and I just sent the sequel, “Winds of Freedom,” to the editor. Both books feature heroines who were previously incarcerated. Serving with a prison ministry taught me that women behind bars have the same longings, dreams, hopes, fears, issues and hang-ups the rest of us have, and more. My desire is that women on both sides of the bars who read the books are reminded of God’s love, faithfulness, power, forgiveness and acceptance.

I had the honor of being part of a band that did prison ministry. We only visited men’s prisons and I saw the same thing as you. Men who needed to believe there was still hope for them, men who had longings and wanted somethings beyond those bars.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I have three blogs, but I have to admit I’m an infrequent blogger. When I’m in the midst of writing a book or editing for a client, I have a hard time convincing myself I can stop to write a short article or two. But I keep promising I’ll blog when I get a break, like now, while I’m waiting for a return email from the editor. 😉 [Wordsmithing Made Fun]  [Lavish Love: How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (I John 3:1 NIV)]  [Simple, Inexpensive Tips for Healthy Living from Becky Lyles]

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

What a hard question! Recent favorites are “Havah” by Tosca Lee, “Captivating” by John & Staci Eldredge, “River Rising” by Athol Dickson, and “Safely Home” by Randy Alcorn. As a child, I loved, Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames mysteries, “Christy,” “The Boxcar Children,” “Heidi,” “Black Beauty” … and so many more. 😉

Havah and Captivating are two of my favorites as well, great books.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

I’m in the midst of a couple heartbreaking family situations that have brought me to my knees and shown me my spiritual weakness. Yes, my heart hurts, but through his Word and his Spirit, God has brought me back from the brink of bitterness again and again—and reminded me that his Spirit can and will work in places I could never go and ways I could never accomplish.

My heart hurts for you , that you are in the midst of heartache right now. I am grateful that God is showing his goodness to you, even through the pain.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

I love scriptures about hope. “God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27 (NIV)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Where can we find you on the web?

Facebook: Rebecca Carey Lyles

Twitter: @BeckyLyles

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

For those who enjoy true stories featuring individuals whose lives have been miraculously changed by God, I have two such books available online—“It’s a God Thing! Inspiring Stories of Life-Changing Friendships” and “On a Wing and a Prayer–Stories from Freedom Fellowship, a Prison Ministry.”

Thanks, Melissa, for interview questions that made me stop and think about how good God has been to me. I appreciate the opportunity to have my books featured on your blog and look forward to giving copies of either “It’s a God Thing” or “Winds of Wyoming” to two of your readers (their choice).

Becky, thank you or being transparent with my readers and letting us get to know you.

Readers, as Becky stated, she is giving away a book to two commentators, your choice of Winds of Wyoming or It’s a God Thing, and you can also choose paperback or e-book. Yay!  Leave Becky a comment by August 14 at 5:00 PM.


Write to the Point with B.J. Robinson August 1, 2012

Congratulations to Jo who won Bonnie Leon’s book Joy Takes Flight.

This week we get write to the point with B.J. Robinson.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I’m from Louisiana and a Florida transplant. I’ve been writing and publishing since the third grade, if you count a story about my pet dog my teacher submitted to a local newspaper that was published all those years ago. I’ve had short stories, poems, and devotionals published as well as novels. I have two grown sons and two grown daughters living in Louisiana and a daughter in Maine. They’ve all made me a grandmother multiple times, and I have twelve grandchildren. I’m blessed with children, grandchildren, my hubby, two dogs that are like family, a golden retriever and a golden cocker spaniel, and faith.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I was baptized many years ago as a child and again as a young bride at a First Baptist Church when I rededicated my life. Mother reared me on superstitions and Bible verses, quite a combination. I never had the close, personal relationship I now enjoy with my Lord until I was older and found myself spending more time reading His Word. I lost my youngest sister to an eating disorder and my mother to cancer six years apart, and I think this loss personally affected me so much that I began to devour scripture. I missed my mother and sister so much, and I was glad to know I’d see them again one day. I wrote about this in Last Resort, my debut novel.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

Whispering Cypress releases August 11 from Desert Breeze Publishing and will be available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, etc. I hope readers will see the theme of forgiveness and realize things always work out the way God has planned, even if it takes a few years. It’s His timing, not ours. He always has a reason for events we might not understand. What we see as tragedy may happen for a reason known only to Him, and we may never understand this side of heaven. Bad things happen to good people just as they do in the novel, but believing in God is what helps us get through, just as scripture helped me get through the loss of my mother and sister. God used that tragedy in my life for good because I was weak, but my belief in Him and in His Word made me stronger and brought me into a closer, personal relationship with Him.

It’s set in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.  After a decade of no contact, a woman purchases the campground a man from her past dreams of owning and hires him to repair and remodel the cabins. She discovers she still has feelings for him, and the sparks are still there — smoldering like embers from a left-over campfire, but a young girl is attacked, and he’s arrested. You’ll never have peace here. Leave the past where it belongs, or it will ruin you. Spring Showers stared at the cutout newspaper letters pasted on a sheet of typing paper. Her heart pounded harder than any nail gun, and she placed her hand over her chest as if to still it. Nothing about the rundown campground prepared her for such a threat. Who could possibly care if she restored it?

Southern Superstitions is my most recently published novel, a romantic suspense set in Louisiana. I want readers to take way the power of prayer and faith in God from this one and realize God is in control. A Favorite Line: It was faith in God that would bring her husband home. Even a lucky penny or a dime declared, In God we trust. It’s getting great reviews on Amazon. Here’s a short blurb:

Prayer versus Southern superstitions when a woman’s husband mysteriously disappears in the swamp on a deer-hunting trip. As steamy as the hot, thick, sticky heat of Louisiana, this page-turner will keep readers in suspense, as the author spins a tale of love, loss, superstition, pain, heartache, and faith in God. Reviewer Kathy Boswell says, “Very good! She never gives up hope that Andy will return to her someday. She puts it all in God’s hands like she’s done every crisis in her life. She knows He will take care of this for her.” God and the power of prayer versus Southern superstitions. Through belief, faith, hard work, the power of prayer, and God’s help, this powerful, moving story is a thought-provoking Christian romantic suspense about a young couple who fall in love, but have to change her mother’s mind in more ways than one, if their relationship is to survive. Can Andy convince June there’s more to their relationship than friends? Will he win the approval of Mrs. Myrtle, her mother, and can love survive strawberry season and an April flood? Will June be able to give Andy a child?

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog? My blog is mostly a book review blog at this point, but I’m considering a devotional blog as well. Presently, I read and post reviews of the books I’ve read and enjoyed on my blog at, and I also post updates and information about my books. I may start blogging about writing as well.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read? I’ve read many great novels, but the most recent best one I really enjoyed was River Rising by Athol Dickson. Lynn Austin’s All She Ever Wanted is a favorite, and I’m a fan of Nicholas Sparks. My writing mentor, Eva Marie Everson, has some great novels, and she has a Cedar Key series set in Florida. Naomi Musch is one of my favorite Desert Breeze authors. Her novels are plus ones, and she has the Empire in Pines series containing: The Green Veil, The Red Fury, and The Black Rose. Her novels run deep, and that’s what I love. There are so many great Desert Breeze authors it’s impossible to share them all, but Shawna K. Williams also has novels I really enjoyed. June Foster is a new Desert Breeze author, and I loved her debut novel Give us This Day. Nike Chillemi has a series, and I’ve read her first two novels and enjoyed them. Regina Andrews has awesome books, and Anne Patrick does, too. I’m an avid reader and passionate writer, and I devour books I love. Michelle Sutton has over a dozen novels. My two favorites of hers were Danger at the Door and In Plain Sight, but depending upon a reader’s tastes, she has various types and selections from which to choose. As you can tell I’ve read many of my fellow Desert Breeze authors books, and I can vouch that they’re worthy reads. Sadie and Sophie Cuffie better known as the Cuffie sisters also have excellent books and spend a great deal of time on their research for theirs.

Can you share with us a Genesis 50:20 in your life?

God used the loss of my mother and sister six years apart for good because I was weak, but my belief in Him and in His Word made me stronger and brought me into a closer, personal relationship with Him. The enemy could have made me give up on God and ask why my youngest sister had to die before me. I’m twelve years older than she was, and I never thought she would go first, but she did. Her death really hurt. I’d lost Mom six years prior to cancer, and I thought it was so unfair that I was losing my youngest sister only six years later. I lost my father when I was four on Christmas Day. I’d seen too much death in my immediate family, but I didn’t give up on God. I think this helped me to create Whispering Cypress. I had a character lose his entire family. I think this came from my loss of Mom, Dad, and my sister, though I didn’t handle it the way the character in the story does, but I drew upon my own personal losses to help create the character and his loss. I also used their loss in my debut novel Last Resort. I lost my youngest sister to an eating disorder, and I wanted to write about it in some way to warn others and hopefully help them before it was too late, like it was for my sister. Even with the tragedies in my family, God used it for good to bring me closer to Him and His Word. In Whispering Cypress, God uses the man’s loss to show him what he had and didn’t appreciate when he had it and in the end, to make him a better person. We see him turn weak, but we also see him strong enough that he does not give him to evil in the end.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

1 Thessalonians verses 4:16-18, because it helped me when they passed ‘…the dead in Christ will rise first: After that, we who are still alive and left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.'”


Where can we find you on the web?!/AuthorBJRobinson,,,

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Book Trailers for Last Resort, Southern Superstitions, and Whispering Cypress:

What early Readers Had to Say…

“B. J. Robinson’s Last Resort is an inspirational romantic suspense story that keeps you hanging on the edge of your seat — both to see if the villain is overcome and to see if Matt and Faith end up together. You don’t want to miss this one with its twists; it’s a great read!” Deb Haggerty, Author and Speaker

“The warm, sweet romance, yet insightful story, will touch your heart with its simplicity and charm.” Janet Perez Eckles, Author and Speaker

Southern Superstitions is only $4.61 at Amazon–snag it!

 B.J., thanks so much for sharing with my readers, I sincerely appreciate it.

Readers, B.J. is giving away an ebook of Last Resort. Leave a comment to be entered to win by August 7 at 5:00 PM.


Part XXIII-Open Up the Gates July 27, 2012

Our relationship with our Pastor and his wife had grown closer over the years since we returned to elem3nt. We started camping with Pastor Gayle and his “insta-family”. They had been trying for fourteen years to have a baby. They adopted three children and guess what? They got pregnant. All in a matter of year.

On our next camping trip with Gayle we decided to share our story. We figured after the kids went to bed we would tell them while we sat around the campfire.

Every night it rained so we never had a fire. My nerves were a tangled mess as I continued to wonder what night we would share.

Finally, on the last night it didn’t rain.

We sat around the campfire after the kids went to bed. I can’t remember exactly what Gayle’s wife said but something like she was grateful for our friendship and we could just be regular people when we were together.

What a perfect segue, right? I couldn’t open my mouth. Patrick looked at me as if to say, “Go for it.” But I knew I needed him to get the conversation started.

He did. We shared.

Pastor Gayle said one of the coolest things I have ever heard after we have shared. He said, “Praise God, He won one.”

Now, He didn’t mean that God doesn’t win very often, he just meant that so often we hear of marriages that don’t survive, of couples who are torn apart by adultery. But God won our marriage.

Pastor Gayle wasn’t shocked, wasn’t mad that we didn’t share sooner. None of that.

Once again there was love.

Once again my heart healed a bit more.

About a month after that our lifegroup got back together after several weeks off. We knew would share at that time.

Now let me back track for a moment. The summer of 2009, when I had the affar, I sat with some church ladies and one of the ladies said something that floored me.  We were talking about disobeying God and she said, “I never purposely disobey God, do you?”

I couldn’t answer. I sat there and simply thought. “I did. I purposely disobeyed. And I will never tell anyone in my church what I did. No one would understand.”

I tell you this as a warning to be careful what we say. You never know where someone else is at on their journey. That statement was enough to make me want to hide my story forever.

Thankfully, God got a hold of me and I knew I couldn’t disobey Him again.

So here I am, a year after the affair, about to tell church people what God had done in my life, my marriage.

Remember, one of the couples in the group went through the exact same thing several years before, yet I was scared. I don’t think I looked anyone in the eye. I found a nice place on the wall to stare at.

We shared. We cried. We were loved. More healing came.

I believe during that time of sharing  Genesis 5020 worked its way into our story and has been a part of it ever since.

The other couple said, “You could have told us.”

I nodded, I knew I could have. “I was so ashamed.”

Everyone still loved us. And now we could be us. We had no secrets.

That fall I heard a friend of mine, who I talked to only once in a while, might be getting a divorce. Instead of gossiping and speculating about it I called her and asked.

She said yes, the information was true. Then she confessed to me. She had an affair.

I sobbed into the phone. “I did too.”

I offered what I could to her, my love, support and prayer. I continue to offer that to her but her story ended much differently than mine. Although she repented of her sin and wanted to fix her marriage that did not happen. I do understand that not every marriage can be salvaged after such a terrible sin.

Now, hear me. The only person who has a right to divorce is the spouse who was sinned against when it comes to adultery. That is the only time God says it is okay. If Patrick wanted a divorce he could have gotten one without disobeying God. If I wanted one I would have been digging myself into an even deeper pit of darkness, pain and disobedience. I had no right to ask for a divorce.

That being said, I believe God even wants us to work through that mess. I believe it pleases Him when a marriage can survive something so horrible. He is the healer, He can heal all things.

After telling Pastor Gayle and our life group we knew the day would come when we would tell our church body. We didn’t know when or how, only that we would.

We also knew before we told our church we had to tell our families.

In the fall of 2010 I also read a book Wounded Heart. This book is about dealing with sexual abuse. I started to feel a need to help others to heal from abuse. I wondered how many other women had been abused and had affairs? It seemed all the women I knew who had affairs had also been abused.

In the book the author talked about speaking to your abuser. I skimmed over that chapter. I couldn’t talk to my abuser. It would be too hard and weird. He was still a part of my life, I saw him a couple of times year and I was comfortable pretending that everything was fine.

Once again, I told God “never.”

Next week I will share what my never turned into. I am sure you can guess.

And the God of all grace, who called  you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10 NIV

I’d love to hear about some of your “nevers” you told God and how He turned that around and you ended up doing it. Feel free to share with us in the comments.

Just a reminder:

Patrick and I are very excited to share something with you. As we draw to the close of our story we would love to hear your stories. We have created an email account just for that. Do you have a Genesis 5020 that needs to be told? It doesn’t have to be marriage or abuse, it could be anything. Don’t think your story is too small. Nothing God does is small. If you prefer to be anonymous that is no problem, just tell us that in your email. We would prefer you paste your story in the body of the email, do not send an attachment. You can start sending your stories at anytime, we will contact you when and if we use your story on the blog.

We would also like to use that email to help you. If you are going through something and you need to talk to one of us don’t hesitate to email us and let us know. We are not counselors and don’t pretend to be but we know the joy that is found on the other side of pain. We can’t drag you to the other side but we can encourage you along the way.

email us at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

We can’t wait to get your Genesis 5020’s out for the world to see God’s glory.


Write to the Point with Bonnie Leon July 25, 2012

Congratulations to Beth who won Peggy Blann Phifer’s book To See the Sun.

This week we get write to the point with Bonnie Leon.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I was born in Yakima, Washington but spent my youth in Kent, Washington back when it was a small town surrounded by farms. It was a wonderful place to grow up.

When the Northwest was discovered and towns turned into cities, my husband and I decided we wanted our children to grow up in the country so we moved to Southern Oregon. That was in 1980 and we’ve been here ever since. We live in the Cascade foothills on a small property nestled in the forest and are thankful to be here. Our children are grown now with families of their own. Our youngest daughter lives on the property right next door to us and we’re thrilled to be part of her family’s life.

In 1991 a loaded log truck slammed into a van I was driving. My injuries made it impossible for me to return to work and so I turned to writing instead. I published my first book, The Journey of Eleven Moons, in 1994. Since that time I’ve published nineteen novels and I’m working on number twenty.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I was blessed to grow up in a good home with family that loved me, but that didn’t mean the world couldn’t touch me. A speech impediment that required two years of speech therapy brought out the meanness in the children I knew. I was deeply wounded by their taunts and teasing. I came out of those years believing I was strange and somehow less than others. Already feeling like an outcast a sexual assault drove home a sense that I was bad and unlovable. I never said anything to my parents so they weren’t able to help me. I silently carried that guilt for many years and even as a young adult I felt like a worthless piece of rubbish. I longed for a savior, but I didn’t understand that my heavenly Father had provided one.

 Throughout the years, God tried to get my attention, but I refused to listen until I was hit by a series of tragedies. In a matter of months, my father died, my stepfather died, I lost a baby and my husband told me he didn’t love me and wanted a divorce. I was broken.

During that time, an old friend showed up at my house. She told me that she’d found Jesus and explained how much He loved me. I didn’t fully believe her, but I felt a glimmer of hope. Maybe someone did love me. Two weeks after our visit, I turned on the television to a religious program she’d told me about—The 700 Club. I was just in time for the salvation prayer, and I knelt in front of my television and prayed with Pat Robertson and placed my life in Jesus hands. I cried and cried . . . out of joy. I’ve never been the same—I am a new creation.

 A couple of months after that, God restored my marriage. My husband and I will celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary this August. God is amazing!

Yahoo!!! That just gave me chills. My husband and I celebrate marriages that are restored. Praise God! 

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

Joy Takes Flight is book three in a series that takes place in 1930’s Alaska. Kate Evans and Paul Anderson are finally married and Kate is living her dream. They are settling in, and when they learn she is expecting a child they rejoice, but soon it is clear that they have hurdles ahead of them.  Demons from Paul’s past haunt him and Kate is unable to break through the barriers he’s erected. Kate wonders should she continue in her dangerous profession as an Alaskan bush pilot? Can she really fall into the role of a wife? When tragedy strikes, life begins to unravel, and Kate fears she may have lost Paul for good.

When readers finish the last page and set down the book, I pray they will have a sense of hope and a fresh understanding that we each have our own path to walk, and that ours doesn’t look like anyone else’s. God has an individual plan for each of us and He has a purpose for our lives. If we want to live within His will we need to begin with Him. If we surrender our lives to Him there is nothing we can’t do and even though life may throw darts it can still be filled with meaning and joy.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

My goal is to blog three times a week. Depending upon my schedule, that can vary. For instance I am in the midst of launching my new book and I’m so busy I’ve been neglecting my blog. I hope to get back to it next week.

On Monday’s I share Quiet Moments With God. These blogs are taken from my personal time with God and whatever he has laid upon my heart to share.

Wednesdays it is Books and Writing. I speak to readers about books that I’ve read and loved or I share writing tidbits that might be helpful to other writers.

Friday is all about Relationships . . . of all kinds. It is something I’ve experienced or seen that God has lain on my heart to share.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

With all the wonderful books in the world, how can I pick just one? I can only say that one that I’ve read recently was a great read. It was written by Laura Frantz and is called The Colonel’s Lady. It was a fabulous blend of history, romance and story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life

My accident in 1991 comes to mind first. I was traveling up a winding road near my home when a loaded log truck barreled around a corner from the opposite direction. It tipped over and hit my van, which was left teetering on the edge of a cliff. My daughter, who was with me, was uninjured, but I was left with permanent injuries to my back and now live with chronic pain.

I lived through a couple of really bad years where I fought to find a new life. I was afraid, depressed and angry. I’d lost everything (or so I thought). I was an active and involved mother and homemaker. And after the accident I couldn’t do  even simple things like fix meals for my family, clean my house or even buy groceries. I felt worthless.

One day, in a desperate state I asked God to please give me something to do that mattered. The story is too long to share here, but He brought writing into my life in a miraculous way. He threw open every door and what the enemy meant for evil, God used for good. Life is not easy, but it is very rich.

Truly a Genesis 5020, I love it!

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

I love God’s Word. There are so many verses I cherish. However, I especially love Isaiah 40:26-31.  I return to it again and again. Each time, it encourages and uplifts me. I am reminded of the beauty and power of God.

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find my website at (access to my blogs is on my home page).

My twitter address is @Bonnie_Leon

My author page on facebook is at

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Thank you. I appreciate this opportunity to share with readers here on your blog. I love to connect with people. I hope they will feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

Grace and peace to you from God.

Thanks so much for your time and sharing your heart, I am sure your interview will touch the hearts of many readers.

Readers, Bonnie is giving away a paperback copy of her book Joy Takes Flight to one commentator. Just leave a comment by July 31 at 5:00 PM.