Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Hope for the Same-Sex Attracted by Ron Citlau April 26, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:42 pm
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About:

A Message of Hope and Grace

Sometimes in our big-picture discussions about homosexuality and same-sex marriage, we lose sight of the person in the middle of the struggle. Whether that struggler is you or someone you care about, there are two fundamental questions that need to be answered: How can someone with same-sex attraction be faithful to Jesus? And how can everyone else support and encourage them in this pursuit?

With clarity and grace, author and pastor Ron Citlau will help you think through every option the Bible offers–and what it does not. Having personally dealt with same-sex attraction, walked with others still struggling, and pastored those with gay loved ones, he encourages readers to think deeply and biblically about heterosexual marriage, singleness, celibacy, and more.

Discover the remarkable gifts God provides to the same-sex-attracted Christian who desires to faithfully follow Jesus. And learn how others can come alongside them with love, encouragement, and grace.

Ron Citlau serves as senior pastor of Calvary Church near Chicago. Ron is co-author of Compassion Without Compromise (with Adam Barr) and helped produce curriculum on sexual healing now used by Desert Stream Ministries in hundreds of churches throughout the country. Ron lives with his wife, Amy, in Chicago.

My thoughts:

What a powerful and timely book. This addresses some very important topics that I think we have trouble putting into words. This will give you language to address some things that, as Christians, we know isn’t God’s plan.

I do think the first step is admitting the homosexuality is a sin. If people aren’t there or don’t believe that they won’t even pay attention to this book. They may not have to even believe that it’s a sin but they need to be in a place where they are uncomfortable with that lifestyle. I feel if they are accepting that as their identity they won’t care what this book has say.

With that being said, it does give those that do believe it is sin a place to start, a way to dialogue about this topic.

It does boil down to identity. In the very beginning Ron says something I underlined. Page 32 he says, “Today, sexual identity seems to be tied up in sexual desire. If you have a desire for someone then that defines your sexual identity, and our work is to be true to one’s self and pursue that desire.” He’s not saying that is right but that is what the world has decided.

That would be like someone who is attracted to someone other then their husband saying, “I am just an adulteress. I can’t remain faithful to my husband so I am going to be with any man I chose.” Most of the world, Christian or not, agrees that is not okay. That is called cheating on someone. Just because you desire something you don’t have to make that your identity. Jesus can redeem that just as He can redeem any sin.

If you know someone struggling with same-sex attraction or you just want some things to think about regarding this issue this book is a great place to start.

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

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

 

 

Review and Giveaway: A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander March 17, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:59 pm
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About:

A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to wheedle her way into an audition with the maestro at the newly formed Nashville Philharmonic. But women are “far too fragile and frail” for the rigors of an orchestra, and Rebekah’s hopes are swiftly dashed because the conductor–determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music–bows to public opinion. To make matters worse, Adelicia Acklen Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion and Rebekah’s new employer, agrees with him.

Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville’s new orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse–and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head–he must finish composing his symphony before the grand opening of the city’s new opera hall. But far more pressing, he must finish it for the one who first inspired his love of music–his father, who is dying. As Tate’s ailment worsens, he believes Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how do you win back a woman’s trust when you’ve robbed her of her dream?

As music moves us to tears yet makes our hearts soar, A Note Yet Unsung captures the splendor of classical music at a time when women’s hard-won strides in cultural issues changed not only world history–but the hearts of men.

My thoughts and giveaway:

Believe it or not I have never read a book by Tamera. I just have never gotten around to it. But now I see what all the fuss is about. She is an extremely talented author.

Reading this book was like meeting an old friend. I easily fell into step with this story. It helped, of course, that the main character was a musician. I could very much relate to her love of music.

Rebekah is an easy character to like. She is struggling with her role as a female musician and something is also up with her step-father. Things that are hinted at early in the book had me very concerned for Rebekah’s safety and the support she would receive from her mother.

Tate is likable too (but not to Rebekah right away). But since we know his thoughts we can understand where he is coming from with the decisions he had to make.

I couldn’t wait to see how Tamera would unveil their relationship and how these two would fall in love. It didn’t disappoint.

If you enjoy historical romance I have no doubt you would enjoy this book.

 

Visit Tamera here. 

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

Leave a comment by March 30th for your chance to win a copy of this book. One winner will be chosen by random.org. (U.S. addresses only. I will not replace books lost or damaged in the mail.)

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

 

Review and Giveaway: An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter February 25, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:01 pm
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About:

Lord Trent Hawthorne couldn’t be happier he is not the duke in the family. Free to manage his small estate and take his time discovering the life he wants to lead, he has grand plans of someday wooing and falling in love with the woman of his choice. When he finds himself honor bound to marry a woman he barely knows, his dream of a loving marriage like his parents’ seems lost forever.

Life for Lady Adelaide Bell was easier when she hid in her older sister’s shadow–which worked until her sister got married. But even with her socially ambitious mother’s focus entirely on her, the last thing she expected was a marriage of convenience before she’s been introduced to society.

With nothing going as expected, can Trent and Adelaide’s marriage of obligation survive their own missteps and the pressures of London society to grow into a true meeting of hearts and minds?

My thoughts and giveaway:

Kristi is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. She is extremely talented and knows how to write a story that will capture your heart and mind.

I have read the first two books in this series and loved them both. It was wonderful to get into Trent’s life since he was present in the other books but we didn’t really get to know him.

This book starts with Adelaide and Trent’s wedding day. The distance between them is real and you can feel that. They really don’t know who to handle this new situation and what the rules are.

I read some other reviews that complained about the role of sex on this book. But they are a married couple, sex should play a role in a healthy married. Nothing was inappropriate and overly described. It was a real struggle they both had as they figured out this marriage thing.

Kristi developed each character and the growing relationship wonderfully. Even though this is a series I think you could easily read this as a stand-alone, but the first two are outstanding so why would you??

Visit Kristi Ann here.

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

Leave a Comment by March 13th for your chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by random.org. (U.S. addresses only. I will not replace books lost or damaged in the mail.)

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

 

A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter February 6, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:20 pm
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About:

Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Entering her fourth Season and approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, a duke–with no intention of ever sending these private thoughts to a man she’s heard stories about but never met. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother’s new valet, and although she may wish to break free of the strictures that bind her, falling in love with a servant is more of a rebellion than she planned.

When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men–one she’s never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. When it becomes apparent state secrets are at risk and Marlow is right in the thick of the conflict, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.

My thoughts:

Love! Yes, I loved this book.

I started reading this series with the 2nd book and had to go back and read the first. There is some overlapping and it was so interesting to read this first one knowing what would happen in the second.

Miranda’s struggle with her heart held me captive. I couldn’t wait for her to discover the truth but I was also worried about her reaction, maybe she wouldn’t be happy when she discovered what was really going on.

I adored Marlow, a hero in every way.

Kristi is wonderful author who has written a fabulous series. I can’t wait to read the third (soon).

Visit Kristi here. 

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

 

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green February 2, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:55 pm
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the-mark

About:

Life in This New World Requires More Strength Than She Ever Imagined

After the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded, marking her as a criminal beyond redemption. Hoping to reunite with her brother, a soldier, she trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. The price of her transport, however, is a forced marriage to a fellow convict.

New Orleans is nothing like Julianne expects. The settlement is steeped in mud and mosquitoes, and there is no news of her brother, Benjamin. When tragedy strikes, she turns to military officer Marc-Paul Girard for help, but does he know more about her brother than he will admit?

With her dreams shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous land, where only grace–and love–can overcome the stigma of the king’s mark upon her shoulder.

My thoughts:

I had missed Jocelyn’s writing. I so adored her Civil War series and was anxious to see what she would come up with next. I was not disappointed.

This book every bit as good as her previous but tackling a different time and place. It’s obvious that Jocelyn has done her research when it comes to this time in history.

We are quickly endeared to Julianne. The opening scene still haunts me and the tragedy that insured.

I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with Julianne marrying Simon, at first he didn’t seem that bad, I thought they might fall in love. But then Marc-Paul is introduced and I wasn’t sure where the story might go and had to keep reading to see.

There are many interesting characters introduced in this book that add to the depth of the story.

Jocelyn has hit another one out of the park with this newest release and I highly recommend this book. I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.

Visit Jocelyn here.

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

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

 

Review and Giveaway: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen January 6, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:27 pm
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the-innkeeper

About:

Welcome to the English village of Ivy Hill, where friendships thrive, romance blossoms, and mysteries await. . . .

The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?

My thoughts and giveaway:

What an engaging book and I’m so excited for this series and the chance to spend more time in Ivy Hill and with these characters. I can’t wait to see what Julie will cook up next.

It seems like each chapter just added another layer of tension and unease to the book. I kept wondering who Jane would fall in love with and who she could really trust.

Even though Jane didn’t like her mother-in-law I could see the good in her. Of course that came because she was a point-of-view character and we knew she didn’t want anything bad to happen.

However, someone does, but how exactly? That is the questions. And what did Jane’s husband do with all that money he borrowed. So many questions.

A wonderful read that I am sure fans of historical fiction readers will eat up.

Visit Julie here.

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

Leave a comment by Jan. 20th for your chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by random.org. (U.S. addresses only. I will not replace books lost or damaged in the mail.)

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

 

Alive in the Spirit by A.W. Tozer December 21, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:15 pm
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About:

Is the Holy Spirit Active in Your Life?

Many people look to extraordinary experiences as evidence of the Holy Spirit. But what happens when the experience ends? How can we be filled with the Spirit every day in the ordinary things we do?

In never-before-published material taken from A.W. Tozer’s sermons, Alive in the Spirit answers these questions and, in a balanced perspective, explores what the Spirit’s involvement in your life should look like.

Many talk about being filled with the Holy Spirit, but few accept God’s conditions. Tozer lays down these requirements in his trademark bold and wise way. Though every Christian has the Spirit, not every Christian is filled with the Spirit. Knowing the difference will change your life.

My thoughts:

I love A.W. Tozer. He just tells it like it is, he doesn’t sugarcoat the truth to make it easier to swallow and I think we need more of that in our teaching today.

What I loved too, was that he wrote this things long before 2016 but now more than ever we need to hear it and live it. He also had a passion for the church and wanted the church to get it.

I do believe the Holy Spirit is highly neglected in the church today and that is why we lack power. It isn’t that it’s not available we just don’t tap into it.

This is book is truly for everyone because we all need to a wake up call to the Spirit

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

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