Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

You Carried Me by Melissa Ohden January 11, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:48 pm
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youcarriedme

About:

Melissa Ohden is fourteen when she learns that she is the survivor of a botched abortion. In You Carried Me, she details for the first time her search for her biological parents and her own journey from anger and shame to faith and forgiveness.

After a decade-long search Melissa finally locates her birth father and writes to extend forgiveness, only to learn that he has died without answering her burning questions. Melissa becomes a mother herself in the very hospital where she was aborted. This experience transforms her attitude toward women who have had abortions, as does the miscarriage of her only son and the birth of a second daughter with complex health issues. But could anything prepare her for the day she finally meets her birth mother and hears her side of their story?

This intensely personal story of love and redemption illumines the powerful bond between mother and child that can overcome all odds.

My thoughts:

This book is so powerful. So many times I had tears in my eyes.

This is a book that touches on many issues, not just abortion but miscarriage, forgiveness, restoration.

Melissa has used her story and life to touch so many. Woman who have had abortions have found healing through her testimony, it is amazing.

I loved reading how Melissa reconnected with her biological family and how all of their reactions where different. Not everything ends up neat and tidy, because this is real life.

Melissa’s thought toward her biological mother are so encouraging. I have to think God allowed the time to pass before they met so Melissa could gain the perspective she did.

Most heartbreaking of all for me was that thought that in 1977 they saved a baby who was supposed to be aborted. In 2017 I don’t think a clinic would do that, they would argue that the mother doesn’t want the baby. It makes me wonder how many times a baby has been born that could have been saved.

The reality is Melissa isn’t the only abortion survivor and many of them have disabilities and/or missing limbs. This should bring us to our knees to intervene on the behalf of these unborn children.

Visit Melissa here.

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

A copy of this book was given to me. All opinions are my own. 

 

Voiceless (A Movie Review) September 20, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:43 pm
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voiceless

Film Synopsis
Battling his own inner-demons, Jesse (Rusty Joiner: Last Ounce Of Courage, Dodgeball, “Days of Our Lives”) encounters a young, pregnant teen overcome with grief that, after an impulsive abortion, has her family blaming Jesse for more than just her final decision. Jesse’s wife Julia (Jocelyn Cruz: Strike One, This Is Our Time) must come to terms with her own choices and decide if she can support her husband as opposition mounts against him. Comedian Paul Rodriguez also stars as Virgil with James Russo as Pastor Gil.

My thoughts:

This was a very powerful movie and dealt with some sensitive topics. However, it is handled very well.

It shows many aspects of abortion, the before, after, the choices woman are faced with, how as Christians we need to be careful how we say things.

This movie also showed how afraid we can be as Christians to really stand up for what we know Jesus is calling us too. It seems easier to “pray” about it but never move. I believe we need to do both of those things.

Jesse and Julia finally talk about their past and I just wanted to yell, “That’s your testimony. That’s how you will reach these women.” When we hold on to what Jesus has done in our lives we might miss opportunities to help someone else. I believe God calls us to share our stories so we can help others overcome.

I loved how Jesse finds ways to connect with the community and ultimately wake up his church. We could all use a wake-up call.

A viewing of this movie was given to me in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Your Life Still Counts by Tracie Miles December 16, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:25 pm
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your life still counts

About:

God still has a plan for you–not in spite of your past, but because of it!

Do regret and shame over your failures, sins, and shortcomings make you wonder how you could ever be loved, much less used, by a holy God? Tracie Miles felt the same way until she discovered the path to healing, peace, and significance.

She helps you recognize that God not only has a purpose for you, but He has prepared you for your divine purpose based specifically on the experiences of your past.

Through her own story and stories from other women who have discovered God’s purpose for their lives because of adverse experiences, Tracie helps you see how God can turn pain into purpose. You will find forgiveness and healing from the troubles of your past, discover the courage to step out of your comfort zone to help others find hope and strength, and be inspired to step into the beautiful future God divinely designed for you.

My thoughts:

I love Tracie’s honesty in this book. I started this book crying as I read her story. So heartbreaking and one many women can relate to.

Tracie is writing what I absolutely believe and she even quotes Genesis 5020 in her book 🙂 Her story is definitely a Genesis 5020 story and she shares many other stories in the book that have that same hope.

Tracie gives you practical steps to pursue God’s purpose for you from the pain of your past.

This is a book I will be recommending to my group of ladies who go through my Wounded group. This book is the next step. Use the pain for God’s purpose. Your story for God’s glory.

If you wonder if your pain can be used to help others, pick this book up and then go and share.

Visit Tracie here.

Grab you copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, Deeper Shopping or Books-A-Million.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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

 

 

Becoming Numb-Part 3 December 7, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:01 am
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Here is part three of Heather’s Genesis 5020. Click here for last week’s and from there you can follow back to the first week.

Later that same year, I found out I was pregnant with my friend’s boyfriend’s baby

I was still dancing, prostituting and doing all kinds of drugs and alcohol.  I thought a baby would interfere with my lifestyle and besides, my friend was never givensad-woman-1347879026vYL the opportunity to have her boyfriend’s baby, how could I, being a good friend, have his baby.   

I told them I was pregnant and they immediately offered to pay for the abortion

So on December 6, 2006, I terminated my pregnancy.  I was 8 ½ weeks along.  I was very emotionally upset after I did that, which drove me even further into my drug and alcohol addiction.

I continued my reckless lifestyle. 

I turned 28 in January, 2007.  At the end of February, I found out I was pregnant again

I wasn’t sure who the father was, it could have been a few different people this time.  I knew I still wasn’t ready to make any changes in my lifestyle. 

I struggled the way it was to take care of the daughter I had, how could I take care of another child? 

On March 6, 2007(yes, exactly 3 months after my first abortion), I terminated my pregnancy

I was only 4 weeks along but I knew even then, I had murdered another child of mine

The effects of abortion are devastating.  There are no words to describe the feeling of having a life ripped from your body

See, for my first abortion, I was completely under anesthesia but for my second one, I only had the laughing gas so I was still aware of what was happening to me and my baby.  I felt so ashamed and guilty

The only way I knew how to cope with those feelings was to numb myself

I was numb for years after that. 

I refused to feel anything, the moment I started to feel a twinge of anything, I took a drink or found some drugs.  I was dying and didn’t care. 

Any sign of the good, Christian girl I was, was long gone.  I had turned into a monster I didn’t know and had no idea how to control. 

I did anything and everything to stay numb.

He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Job 8:21 NLT

It amazes me to think about how I prayed for Heather during all of this, not knowing what was happening. My prayer was “Do whatever it takes to bring her home.”  Reading this you would think this might be enough. But God, in all His wisdom knows what it will take to bring us back to Him.

Heather’s “whatever it takes” wouldn’t happen for three more years. 

 

Write to the Point with Dianne E. Butts November 7, 2012

Today we get write to the point with Dianne Butts. I have to tell you, I was so blessed by her interview. I hope you will take the time to read it. Also, she has a great giveaway that might be something for you or gift for someone who is hurting or confused right now.

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

Hi! I’m Dianne E.  Butts and I’ve been writing for more than twenty years. I was first published in 1991 and since then have around 300 print articles published, contributions to 19 books, and my fourth book will release by Thanksgiving.

I’ve been married to Hal for 31 years. We’ve lived all around the state of Colorado and right now have landed in southern Colorado. We’ve never had children, so it’s really ironic that I should be the one to write one book about unplanned pregnancy and now, my latest, about grandparenting. But the fact is, I just want to share powerful stories that help people know God and His love for them, so from that vantage point these books are right up my alley.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

We went to church “some” when I was a kid and once I was old enough I went to church camp for a week every summer where I heard about Jesus. I guess I’d say I got saved when I was 13. And when I was 14. And when I was 15… <kidding!> I’m just sayin’ I prayed the prayer, but then I’d go home to the same problems and nothing would ever be different. People kept saying Jesus would change my life, but nothing ever changed. So I got angry and walked away from God for a long time.

There was a lot of fighting, arguing, and anger in the house I grew up in. My parents filed for divorce when I was 13. My dad got cancer when I was 14. The judge I said I could live with my dad when I was 15. My dad died 2 months later. The rest of my high school years were pretty rocky, but I was determined to graduate and get my diploma, which I did. Finally I was free and could move out, be on my own, and make the quiet, happy, peaceful life I always wanted, right?

Well, I graduated in May and in June my brother, who was in the Marines, came home on leave just in time for my 18th birthday. We had a great time on my birthday, but the next day he was killed by a drunk driver.

That really pulled the rug out from under me. Again.

After that I decided that I really needed to know if God existed. I mean, if He does, then where is He when stuff like that happens? One little thing – any little detail – could have changed and my brother wouldn’t have been in that precise place on his Harley Davidson in that precise moment and he wouldn’t have been killed. If God is good, then why does He let things like that happen?

Well I started searching for answers and I have to say that God met me right there. I found Christians and started reading and studying the Bible and started understanding about Him, and I was married and in my mid-twenties when I accepted Him as my Savior, but I’ve been studying ever since. I’ve learned a ton about God and about the “whys” and now I just want to share with others who are right where I was – searching, wondering, trying to figure it out, hurting, needing to know what the truth is – what I’ve learned.

And that is why I write: to share with others what I’ve learned about God.

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

My book Deliver Me: Hope, Help, & Healing through True Stories of Unplanned Pregnancy is a collection of 54 stories from women and men who have experienced an unplanned pregnancy – whether right now or in their past. There are stories of women who kept their babies, who gave for adoption, and who chose abortion. There are stories from men telling how this affects them. There are heartbreaking stories, but every single one ends in triumph because these people came through extremely difficult times and out the other side and they found love and life and healing, and it’s really beautiful.

I wanted to write this book because so many people struggle with this, or with decisions they’ve made in their past, and I wanted to 1.) give people in that situation right now information that would help them make good decisions, and 2.) give people who have this in their past and are still hurting and suffering from it encouragement and information to find healing. It is possible. You can find that, too.

There is power in true stories. These stories are powerful and they have healing in their words.

While writing this book and collecting these stories, the comment I heard most often was that many of these women (and men) who have lost a child to abortion thought they had committed the “unforgiveable sin.” No, abortion is not unforgivable. Ten stories in Deliver Me show how ten women (and more by men) discovered that.

What I want readers to take away from this book is: God loves you! He knows what you’ve done, whatever that is that you’ve done in your life, and He loves you!  Stop running. Turn to Him. Stop, turn around, and you’ll find He’s been right there with you the whole time. There is only one unforgiveable sin, and that is to reject the Savior: Jesus Christ.

I’m also an aspiring screenwriter and filmmaker and I wrote and produced my first short film last February. It’s a 10-minute film based on a story in Deliver Me that you can watch on YouTube here: http://bit.ly/TheChoiceFilm.

Deliver Me won Nonfiction Book of the Year (family/relationships category) from Christian Small Publishers Association (http://christianbookaward.com/2012/2012-winners-announced/ ) and was a finalist for the Golden Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year  (http://www.cbanews.org/article.php?id=4746), so I am very proud of both of those.

The title for Deliver Me came from Psalm 116:8-9 (http://youtu.be/fbUjFbiiVQA):

“For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living” (NIV).

Cross references:

  1. Psalm 116:8 : S Ps 86:13
  2. Psalm 116:9 : S Ge 5:22; Ps 56:13; 89:15
  3. Psalm 116:9 : S Job 28:13; Ps 27:13; Isa 38:11; Jer 11:19

My most recent book just came out in August and it is also a collection of twenty stories of people overcoming hard times. It is called Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ (PNP, 2012). My next book (the first in a 3-book series) is releasing this month, just in time for Christmas, and is titled Prophecies Fulfilled in the Birth of Jesus. Finally I get to share some of what I’ve learned about Jesus!

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

I have two blogs. One was created to follow the making and publishing of the Deliver Me book. Now that the book is out, it has morphed into following me, my new books, and everything I’ve got going on. Find that one at www.DeliverMeBook.blogspot.com. I try to blog regularly there, but sometimes I’m traveling or get so busy I forget to blog and it sits for a while. Then there’s a flurry of activity again!

My other blog is for writers: www.ButtsAboutWriting.blogspot.com. For years I published a monthly e-magazine for writers and last summer that e-zine morphed into a blog. That way it’s accessible to more people. I still write the main article for it once a month, but I try to keep all the pages and sidebars with publishing opportunities and more updated.

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

Oh so many. I can never read just one book at a time – I always have several going. (I know, my husband thinks I’m the weirdest reader, too. That’s also why it takes me so long to finish them.) Currently I’m reading:

            In fiction

            Deliver Me from Evil by Kathi Macias. I read her More than Conquerors from her “Extreme Devotion” series and liked that one.

            I’m reading Sarah Dessen’s The Truth About Forever. It’s not a Christian book, per se, but I’ve seen her books for forever and wanted to try one. I really like her writing.

            I just picked up Hurricanes in Paradise by Denise Hildreth this past weekend and started reading it. I’m enjoying it, too.

            In nonfiction:

            I read When You Can’t Find God: How to Ignite the Power of His Presence by Linda Evans Shepherd and really, really enjoyed that one. I have another one of hers sitting here waiting for my attention: When You Don’t Know What to Pray: How to Talk to God About Anything.

            I just received Designed for Devotion: a 365-day Journey from Genesis to Revelation by Dianne Neal Matthews and I can tell I’m going to love this book since it’s all about diving deep into God’s Word.

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

I could think of several Genesis 5020 episodes in my life, but probably the biggest was my growing up years when so much was happening and I struggled through it all pretty much alone. The enemy of our souls, Satan, could have destroyed me at that time and I believe he tried. But God was there all along and He didn’t let that happen. The result is that I have figure out how much God loves me, how much He is willing to forgive, and now the good that has come from it is that I have such a passion to tell other people about this amazing good God who will go to extremes beyond what we can imagine to show us His love. That is my passion: to help people learn about this God who loves them so incredibly.

Another Genesis 5020 episode was six years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer and, I suppose, the enemy could have destroyed me then or my writing. However, at the time I was frustrated with not being able to get any publishers interested in my books and so I decided I wanted to do something different once I beat the cancer.  The problem was thinking of something really crazy to do. I mean, what was I going to do?

A lot of people want to write a book. Well, um, been trying to do that and was totally frustrated. Tried that. Got the National Novel Writing Month t-shirt to prove it.

A lot of people want to do something crazy like buy a motorcycle and ride across the country. Welp, I’ve been riding since I was in high school and Hal and I have ridden over much of this country so…been there, done that one too, and got like 200 t-shirts to prove it.

So what was I going to do? I’m telling you the craziest thing I could think of (I refuse to go bunji jumping or jump out of a perfectly good airplane) was to write a screenplay that someone would want to produce. I had a crisis of imagination. The only thing I could come up with was another writing project. But since I beat cancer I’ve been in Hollywood taking screenwriting courses and I wrote and produced the short film “The Choice.” http://bit.ly/TheChoiceFilm.  I just finished a script to enter in the Kairos Prize competition last week, so I’m chipping away at that goal.

Everything I write, my whole purpose for writing—whether screenplay or book or magazine article—is to make Christ known. So that is how God uses it for good.

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

Since I first came to know Christ it has been 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

That is so true of me.

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me at www.DianneEButts.com and at www.DeliverMeBook.blogspot.com and www.ButtsAboutWriting.blogspot.com.

Find me on Facebook at Dianne E. Butts and Deliver Me Book Page, and on Twitter @DianneEButts   Friend or follow me on Goodreads, too.

I’m also at http://GrandparentingThruObstacles.wordpress.com/ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Grandparenting-Through-Obstacles/318863268183816?fref=ts and Twitter @GParentObstacle

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

Just that after spending years trying to get publishing contracts for books, the floodgates have opened and I have several more books coming out with Pix-N-Pens Publishing:

            Prophecies Fulfilled in the Birth of Jesus (November 2012)

            Prophecies Fulfilled in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus (Spring 2013 for Easter)

            Prophecies Fulfilled in the Life of Jesus (Summer 2013)

And my first fiction novel (!!!) which is the first in the three-book series “Springs Eternal” series:

            Hope’s Diner (April 2013)

            The Search for Hope (August 2013)

            Finding Hope (November 2013)

All my books are or will be available by ordering through your favorite bookstore, whether a brick and mortar or online at Amazon.com, B&N.com, or other online outlets.

Thank you, Melissa, for having me today on 5020 Genesis blog. It’s been fun. I hope readers have found hope and help in my words today. May God bless you and your readers.

Thank you Dianne, I have been touched by your interview.

Readers, Dianne is giving away two paperback copies of her book. This could be for you, or maybe you know someone who needs this book. Leave a comment by November 13th at 5:00 pm. Due to the sensitive nature of the book if you would rather send me an email with your comment you may do that. I will forward your comment to Dianne so you can respond to you. You can email me at 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com.