Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Lord, I Need You October 4, 2013

Filed under: Cool videos — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:00 am
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prayer-close1[2]Hi everyone.

Since I still don’t have a Genesis 5020 for you (hint, hint) and I will run out of devotions if I keep posting them every week I thought I would share a video with you today. I might do that every other week or so, we’ll see.

I would love a Genesis 5020 and I know you have one. Has God been asking you to share and you are ignoring Him? Is now the time to listen? Share your story at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

Anyway, I love Matt Maher’s song Lord, I Need You but I also love how it reminds me of the hymn I grew up singing I Need Thee Every Hour. I found this video of the hymn. It is so beautiful and gives me chills. Hope you enjoy it! Sit back and worship.

You can find it here.

What do you need God for right now? What are you asking Him for? Strength, hope, faith, love, joy?

 

Margie’s Story August 16, 2013

Filed under: Other Genesis 5020 Stories — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:39 pm
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The lovely ladies at My Sister Song have agreed to let me post their stories here. I will pepper them between my devotions since I don’t have any other Genesis 5020 stories to share yet. I hope you will be blessed by their stories of hope.

red-rose-1347966854SDsHi, My name is Margie and I was born and raised in Detroit and I’d like to share some of the reasons why I relate so much to those precious words “He who has been forgiven much, loves much”.

My Dad was present, but he wasn’t there. My Mom was young and beautiful and lonely. I am an only child. Because of a lack of parental discipline, I started going wild at about age 13. Because of a lack of respect for my parents, I was out of the house and out of control.

Drugs weren’t much of an issue yet but by the time I was 15 I got pregnant. When I was seven weeks along my parents had me on a plane by myself to New York. (Abortions were not yet legal in Michigan).

I no sooner got back and was pregnant again so I was put back on an airplane and well, there I went again.

For the next two years I spent every weekend at the Grande Ballroom & Garwood Mansion partying with my friends, crashing around town, and mainlining crystal meth.

By ’69 I was at Woodstock and met a girl I decided to hitchhike to LA with.  We left Detroit, went to Boston, to New York, and then out to L.A.

While in L.A., still searching and experimenting, I started noticing quite a few gorgeous boys on the Strip.  Soon enough I realized they were not boys… so of course I had to see what that was all about. We stayed in L.A. for two years and I stayed away from the girls that looked like boys. Arriving back in Detroit, I was far from tame.

The next three years were nothing but partying music and getting high. For a brief time I got involved in exotic dancing.

Always being a true nature child from the heart, I was a Hippy, Flower Child, skinny dippin’ at Woodstock kind of girl, not a shy person.  In light of that and my love for dance, the exotic dancing was not a stretch for me.

The thing was…when I got on stage in the club, I wasn’t outside in the sunshine with a huge buzz on surrounded by all of my single friends.  I was in a dark, smoke filled room, having to mingle with the customers so they would buy more drinks. This was not the “having fun dancing and getting paid for it” experience I was expecting.

It was a sad oppressive JOB and as I soon learned, most of the men there were married with families. The ugly truth hit me so I left the club.

Not long after I became friends with a gay guy and started going to the dance clubs that he went to.  I was able to have fun in an atmosphere where I knew I would not be bothered by any men wanting from me what I was not willing to give.

One thing led to another and the desire for the girls that looked like cute boys was starting to burn, so I fanned that flame.

Time passed and one day I was walking through the park and thought, “THERE HAS GOT TO BE MORE TO LIFE, THAN MORE OF THIS !”

Two weeks later I ended up at a Wednesday night church service.

I understand now that God was pouring out His loving kindness and seeking me out…I was so lost.  That night I asked Jesus to come into my heart…To be my Savior and my Lord. When He did, He told me something that will never leave me.  He said, “Everything you have done up until now you have just been looking for Love…and here I AM”.

The last 35 years my life have been an amazing adventure of growth and freedom.

My loving Father God gave me an awesome husband to love and care for me and this coming June we will celebrate 31 years of marriage.

After we’d been married 21 years, we still didn’t have any children, but our Father in heaven had other plans for us.  So just before I turned 50, my husband Michael and I became Foster parents and adopted a five month old baby girl and a five day old boy.

So for the two abortions I had all those years ago, God gave me Beauty for ashes. He restored to me what the enemy of my soul had stolen.  My God makes ALL things new!  He is waiting for you My Sister, My Friend.  Can you hear Him Calling you ever so gently…

Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds your hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, your power throughout the universe displayed……Then my soul sings…

YOU   ROCK   LORD !!!!

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

 

 

What’s Your Genesis 5020? June 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:01 pm
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So what’s your Genesis 5020?

I don’t have any story to share with you this week. Is that because it’s your story I am supposed to be sharing?

If God has been nudging you then He probably wants you to share. People love reading these stories, yours could be the next one to touch someone’s heart or bring them closer to Jesus.

It’s time….share your story for God’s glory. Don’t believe the lie that your story doesn’t matter. Your story matters because God wrote it.

Email your story at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

On another note, I have some exciting news to share with you next week. I’ll give you a hint….below is the blurb for an upcoming book, one that I contributed to 🙂 You’ll hear more about that next Wednesday. I’m very excited.

In these pages you will read stories of people held in bondage by fears, bitterness, and deep emotional wounds, set free by their loving, compassionate, all powerful Savior. The same Savior that longs to free you. For when the Son sets you free, you are free indeed. This Fourth of July, may you grab hold of the freedom that penetrates to your very core. A freedom only Christ can give you.
I would love to hear how you are all doing. Feel free to leave a comment with a praise or something I can be praying about for you.
 
 

Laura’s Story Part Three May 3, 2013

Filed under: Other Genesis 5020 Stories — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:09 am
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 We continue with Laura’s Genesis 5020.

We will only have about two more weeks of her story, so……what’s your Genesis 5020? Share your story at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

In a short period of time I learned a lot about the dynamics between the girls and the clients and found it to be both disturbing and fascinating, and I finally found myself in the situation I had been hoping for. 

After interviewing with some business men, I was assigned to a particular man to be his private “travel companion”. I had an appointment to meet with him at the club the following week and was told to bring all my information to include my address, social security number, and all of my bills for them to pay off for me. 

But the day before I was to meet with this man, a friend of mine from the Christian school came to see me. 

She was never crazy about the choices I was making but she never judged me and just continued being my friend. But on this day she sat on my bed next to me and through tears she literally begged me not to go to that appointment.  

I laid awake all night thinking about all I had gone through to score this gig and how I didn’t want to pass it up. But my friend’s pleas kept penetrating my thoughts and eventually shook me to my senses! 

I could’ve easily ended up a sex slave in Bangkok or God knows where.   I did not go to that appointment and I never again returned to that club.

 As brief as my involvement in the business was, its negative impact further chipped away at my soul and to this day I have a strong aversion to a particular scent that was worn by one of my regulars. 

THANKFULLY my story doesn’t end there! 

Fast forward to my 30’s in the 90’s when my husband and I got back together. The destructive lives we had returned to during our separation had finally burned us out after a year, so we decided to give what we started a chance.   But we knew if we were going to make it this time, we had to do things completely different and really learn how to be married. 

So ANOTHER friend from the same Christian school, recommended an intense marriage ministry that teaches God’s blue print from the Bible for marriage, which gave us the opportunity to begin building the foundation we never had. 

God provided us with the coolest mentors; People who were willing to walk along side of us as difficult as we were to deal with, who made an eternal difference in our lives. We also started attending an awesome church that was a wonderful fit for us. 

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

 

Laura’s Story Part Two April 26, 2013

Filed under: Other Genesis 5020 Stories — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:05 am
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We’re back with Laura’s Genesis 5020. If you missed the first part click here.

What’s your Genesis 5020? Share your story for God’s glory at 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

nightclub-in-neon-108681294533967qk7The first few years of our marriage were turbulent as we had no true foundation of any kind to spring from.  Sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll do not a marriage make! Not to mention the fact that our parents never modeled any kind of successful relationship behavior for either of us, so we were living out the only things we knew. 

Things escalated to the point of physical violence between us followed by numbness which caused us to feel hopeless. 

It was around this time that I starting working at a Christian school which enticed my curiosity about God. My parents were believers so I had been exposed to faith as a child, but my concept of God was connected to my sick father whom I feared and distrusted. And Steve was raised in an abusive cult so we both had a completely warped understanding of God.  

But this time we were learning some things about God we had never known, so my husband and I prayed for God to come into our lives and we were baptized

Unfortunately we did not yet have the tools to know how to apply any of God’s truths to our lives so we continued to drown in our circumstances. Steve and I separated and Steve began to delve deeply into a crystal-meth addiction

When I left Steve, I told myself that this was my chance to be free. I’d get back on the scene and would be the one in control of relationships with men and in control of my life! 

I started going to school and working out and even returned to the sport of skating which was a rare source of sanity for me as a child, and I thought I had it goin’ on. But since I no longer had a partner to share expenses with, finances were now a deeper concern. So I decided it was time to reach outside of the box and see what I could do to start making more money.  

I saw an ad for a “Hostess Club” where I wouldn’t be required to take off my clothes. Little did I know that God’s hand was on me even then. 

I cannot put into words what I went through to find that club. It was as if I were in some kind of crazy vortex preventing me from getting there.  I drove in circles for hours and my car even broke down, but I was determined so eventually I got there. 

It was amazing to me that during the day this little place in the heart of Los Angeles, looked like a broken down abandoned building in the middle of a vacant lot surrounded by a rickety metal fence. But when the sun went down, neon lights flashed illuminating a packed parking lot with limos lined up and patrons going in and out until late into the night. 

It seemed harmless enough. 

I sat with a group of girls hoping to get picked out of the crowd and escorted to the dance floor. After some conversation and a dance or two I’d be delivered back into the pool until I was picked to go with another. But it was definitely not as simple as that. 

There’s a dark variety of behaviors, activities, and deals being made in locations all over those clubs. Men take advantage of the “new girls” in some very disgusting ways and the goal of the girls is to quickly learn the ropes in order to take advantage of the men and score the big bucks.  

I left early that first night feeling overwhelmed by men’s cologne and women’s perfume, cigarette smoke and the reality of what I was getting myself into, and I literally vomited from my car as I drove away from the club. 

But as the night wore on I just told myself that if those girls could do it then I could do it too and I returned the very next night.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. Jeremiah 31:3

 

To Be Continued Part 5 April 12, 2013

Filed under: Jolene's Gensis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:06 am
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What’s your Genesis 5020?

I miscalculated and this is Jolene’s last week with us. So will you be next? I need another story, God needs more glory. Email your stories to: 5020genesisstories (at) gmail (dot) com

I hope those who have been visiting to read Jolene’s story will continue to check things out here on the blog. There are some amazing stories to share, maybe it’s yours!

Let’s finish up with Jolene’s Genesis 5020.

book-textbookWe had a great group of students for that initial study, many who came consistently every week.  We had a video teaching and then my husband would take the high school students and I took the middle school students for small group discussion. 

This is quite ironic in a way only God would plan, because before I was married I had spent a year in middle school youth ministry and quickly decided those kids drove me nuts and it wasn’t for me!  Now I found myself with a heart for those slightly awkward, loud and talkative middle school students that showed up every Sunday. 

We had lots of good discussion and fun just hanging out together.

Other times I felt like a complete and utter failure.  Who was I to do this youth ministry thing?  I wasn’t trained or hired to do this.  Were we really helping these kids and pointing them to Christ, or just filling time on a Sunday morning? 

I was reminded through a study of Experiencing God (Henry Blackaby) that God doesn’t call us to do the things we think we can do in our own human strength and wisdom.  He calls us to do the great things we can only do through His strength flowing through us.  And that is exactly where I was with youth ministry. 

It would have to be God because I surely didn’t feel it was me.  I don’t like to fail or take risks and this was risky and I felt responsible for speaking truth into those precious student’s lives.  But God was up for the challenge and I stayed obedient, although sometimes reluctantly and with sporadic complaining!

It is now over a year and a half since we started that first series with our students.  When it was coming to an end they started asking if we could continue meeting.  So we have, and it continues to be a stretch for me, but also a huge blessing. 

I have grown to love those kids and look forward to seeing them on Sunday morning and being challenged by their enthusiasm and questions!  I still feel inadequate, but know that God is equipping me to do what He has called me to do.

As I was thinking of how to wrap this whole thing up, I just couldn’t come up with anything that seemed to work.  After pondering and praying for a couple of days God spoke. 

This story is not finished yet.  God continues to write my story as I grow in my relationship with Him. 

I am sure there will be other circumstances on my journey with Him where He will turn what was intended for evil into something precious and good.  That journey is not always easy, but I rest in the promise that the hard times have an eternal purpose.  They are part of a story greater than what I can see with my earthly perspective.

So this seems like a more appropriate ending – To be continued…

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 2 Corinthians 2:17 NLT

Thank you so much for sharing, Jolene. Your ending was perfect, God is still writing your story.

Would you mind taking a minute and leaving a comment for Jolene? Thank her for her honesty and sharing her heart. I know this wasn’t easy for her but I know so many have been blessed by her story.

 

Growing Part 4 March 29, 2013

Filed under: Jolene's Gensis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:51 am
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As you know today is Good Friday. I wanted to share a song with you that has been speaking to me recently. The tomb is empty and our hearts are alive. Let’s live like it’s true. We have victory through Christ who overcame death. Check out this song and come alive today. Click here. Have a blessed Easter!

Before we jump into  today’s post I wanted to let you know I will be taking next Friday off. Although I will probably have internet access I want to focus on my family while we have a mini-vacation. We will get back to Jolene’s Genesis 5020 on April 12th.

We have a few more weeks of Jolene’s Genesis 5020 but I want to start putting it out there that your story matters and I would love to have your story on this blog.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a Genesis 5020 from someone who left elem3nt  and have them share how God has used that for good? How maybe a life would never have been touched if you stayed? Just a thought.

I will take anyone’s story who feels God calling them to share. Don’t listen to the voice that says, “You’re story doesn’t matter.”

For a long time Jolene felt she had nothing to share but God told her otherwise and I can tell you healing is taking place between her and people who left elem3nt. They are reaching out to her, it’s amazing to hear the things she is telling me. All God, all for his glory. That is the reason for this blog; to offer healing and hope and share our stories for God glory. It’s all about Him.

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

grass-13333554902L7As the healing and growth continued, we went through a sermon series on the Holy Spirit. Our life group also studied Francis Chan’s book Forgotten God.

I felt something waking up inside me like never before.

I had known of God all my life, and even accepted Him as my Savior at a fairly young age. Now it was like something new was growing inside me. I felt a desire to know God more intimately and feel His presence in my daily life.

That is the privilege and power we have as believers – God’s Holy Spirit living inside us and guiding us every moment. I had never really understood the Holy Spirit, and maybe never will completely, but I felt my faith going deeper.  I found myself daily asking the Spirit into my life to guide and direct.

He moved and God spoke through that still small voice.

Then we started an extended series on IDOLS, and that is when it really started to click for me. We talked for weeks about different things we have in our lives that we place before God.

One Sunday we talked about our church being an idol. That is exactly what I had done.

I had placed the institution of the church up on a pedestal above my relationship with God. When my church fell off that pedestal I had a crisis of faith.

What I had to realize was that my faith was a personal relationship with Christ, not based on what was happening at my church. My church will never be perfect, because it is made up of imperfect people, including myself.

The important thing is to keep cultivating that personal relationship apart from just Sunday worship.  The church definitely plays an important part in a believer’s life, but it should not be the only basis or measure of our faith.

In the midst of these lessons God was teaching me and as I started to feel an internal shift.

Our church embarked on a church wide teaching series.  This study included full programming for all ages.  Announcements were made at church about new groups forming and my daughter asked if there would be a group for her.

We did some investigating and found there was youth curriculum for the study.  At this time, we did not have a youth pastor or any formal programming for middle or high school students.

After my daughter asked several more times about a group, I suggested to my husband that we do the series for our youth on Sunday mornings.  He quickly agreed as he has always had a heart for student ministry.

I never thought it was my area of giftedness or ministry.  But I had always wanted us to do some sort of ministry together because I thought it was a blessing when couples served together.  So here was a perfect opportunity.

I felt totally inadequate but followed through and we started the group.

For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:3-4 NLT