Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Thrive December 6, 2013

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:41 am
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unsplash_525b54bcc32ba_1Our family has a tradition at Christmastime. We write down the best thing that happened to us that year. I type up everyone’s answer and put it all in a scrapbook to be looked at the following year.

Recently I was typing up all the best’s that were written down last year — yes, I always wait until the last minute. One family member wrote, “I survived another year.”

I looked at that statement and it just didn’t sit well with me. I thought to myself, I want to do more than survive. But for most of us we settle for that, don’t we? Surviving is good enough. Or maybe we don’t know there’s more to life than just surviving.

The definition of survive is: to remain or continue in existence; to endure or live through. (Dictionary.com)

Does that define you, your days, your years? Are you merely existing, or enduring each day? If I am being honest I would have to say that I do that more than I would like to admit. I endure another day at work, I exist another day.

The truth of this is sad. I know God did not create me to just survive.

The next day it hit me. I realized what word I wanted to substitute for survive; thrive.  He created all of us to thrive.

Thrive: to prosper; be fortunate or successful; to grow or develop vigorously; flourish. (Dictionary.com)

Doesn’t that sound a lot more exciting than surviving? Take a moment and look at the verses below that use the word prosper and flourish. Ask yourself if these verses are true of your life.

Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land. Psalm 68:5-6 (ESV) Here’s my new favorite song that sings this verse, click here.

 A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshed others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. Psalm 52:8 (NIV)

The lives of God-loyal people flourish; a misspent life is soon bankrupt. Proverbs 15:6 (The Message)

If you answered these verses are not true of you, I have great news; we serve a redeemer. Starting right now, today, we can all begin to thrive.

Meditate on the verses above and apply them to your life. How you do that will look different from how I will do that. Ask God to show you how to prosper and flourish and develop vigorously, He is faithful and He will show you.

Lets reach for this goal together. At the end of each year what will you be writing? Will you write, “I survived another year?” Or will be you writing, “I thrived another year”?

Join our tradition…what’s the best thing that happened to you this year? Share in the comments, we would love to celebrate with you.

 

Called to Stay by Caleb Breakey November 5, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:29 am
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Called to Stay: An Uncompromising Mission to Save Your Church

 by

Caleb Breakey

From the back cover:

Will You Stay?

Caleb Breakey prays to God you do.

In Called to Stay Breakey takes a refreshingly honest look at the church, the problem of Millennials leaving, and the stark reality of why the church desperately needs them. He holds nothing back as he unleashes an ambitious rallying cry to heal the church and inject his generation’s desire for truth, passion, and conviction into other believers.

Caleb knows that answering the challenge of his own generation leads to a transformed church.

And a changed church can change the world.

My thoughts:

This book should be in every church library, every pastor should read this, and every believer who wants to reach others for Christ (which should be all of us) should have this book in their hands.

Called to Stay is not for those people who are upset about the color the walls, or the type of carpet in the church. This book is for those that are frustrated with that type of thinking, who long for more in their church, who are considering leaving their church because people around them seem content with surface level Christianity.

Caleb encourages believers to become infiltrators in their churches, to be examples of what we know Christ has called us to be.

This book is really so much more than calling believers to stay, it really is a book on deeper faith.

I highly recommend this book to any believer how wants more for their church, who is tired of surface level Sunday mornings. We can make a difference, we can do this together through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s stay 🙂

Check out this video, so touching. Click here.

Visit Caleb’s website here.

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

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

 

Jesus is Enough October 25, 2013

Filed under: Cool videos — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:52 am
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feet-in-chainsIs Jesus really enough? Do you really believe it? Deep down in your very being, is He enough to heal your wounds, your marriage, take away your shame, set you free from addictions?

If you said yes, do you live like that is true or do you live a defeated lifestyle?

I was sent a video a couple of weeks ago and I sat there and wept as I watched. I realized I often live like Jesus isn’t enough. I often live like I have to hold onto my chains, like I am afraid to let them go because I might go back.

I thought I would share this video with you. I hope you will be as touched by it as I was and know that Jesus is enough.

Check the video out here.

In what way do you need Jesus to be enough today?

 

Highly Recommended October 11, 2013

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:03 am
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Before I share today’s thought, I just wanted to let you know there will be no post next Friday. I will be serving on a Walk to Emmaus. Pray for all the women who will be there, it will be an unforgetable experience for them.

I was at a music conference many years ago and saw one of my old professors. I had been with her all through my undergraduate work. She watched me student teach and then she wrote a letter of recommendation for me. She was very impressed with all the growth I had made through the years and thought I would make an excellent elementary music teacher.

I looked right at her and she didn’t know who I was. Now maybe if I went up to her and asked her she would have remembered me but I am a quiet person and didn’t say anything.

I am sure we all have done this. We know someone so well but then you go years without seeing them and then don’t even know who they are.

The sad part is, we do the same think to God. When we first come to know Him we are so excited we want to share the good news with everyone.

We “highly recommend” this Jesus person. We see Him at work in our lives in other’s lives. We know Him when we see Him. 

But after a few years, the newness wears off. We stop talking about Him to anyone who will listen, we don’t want to offend anyone. We stop seeing Him work in our lives. 

Before we know it years have passed and we haven’t seen Him and the fact of the matter is we wouldn’t even recognize Him if we did because we have gotten so far away from Him that WE have changed. 

Not him.  Jesus never changes, He never moves, He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  

But we change. We allow the things in this world to take us away from Him. We don’t know notice when He is standing right in front of us, looking at us.  And like me with my old professor, He isn’t going to jump in your face and force you to look at Him.

Do you still see God everywhere you look? He is there. Do you still highly recommend him to others? You should. Don’t allow yourself to get so far away that you don’t even see Him anymore or recognize him when He is standing  right in front you. 

He’s smiling kindly, He’s thinking…remember me, we were once very close, I want to be close again, I am here waiting, whenever you are ready, I am here.

If this is you I urge you to look around and see Him, He is right there beside you.  Do you recognize Him?

Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! Luke 24:31 NLT

Where you are seeing Jesus in your life right now? Please share, we love hearing about it 🙂

 

Can You Find Grace in 40 Days? October 8, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:01 am
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40 days

40 Days of Grace

By

Rich Miller

From the back cover:

Rich Miller has spent his ministry trying to help people accept, and then keep accepting, God’s perfect grace. As president of Freedom in Christ Ministries he helped develop the Grace Course which teaches this concept. In 40 Days of Grace, he has gathered his lifetime of reflections into devotional readings that thoroughly explore what it means to live a grace-filled life.

 
Rich has seen, time and time again, that so many of us start out excited and grateful for God’s saving, rescuing grace, and yet somehow we take a wrong turn. It’s as if we gradually get tricked into believing that somewhere God changed the rules and it’s actually up to us to make the Christian life work. We are drawn into self-effort and forget what it is to live by grace.
 
40 Days of Grace is a powerful reminder of the Father who loves us and runs to meet His wayward children–a chance to rest in His grace.

My thoughts:

The funny thing about this book was that I often felt like I wasn’t getting anything out of it but then as I would talk to my Bible study group I would remember something I read that totally applied and share it with them.

This book is full of nuggets of wisdom. Little things you will grasp and not want to let go of.

I discovered, through this book. that I really don’t have a very good understanding of grace and I still feel unworthy of what I do understand.

I really liked when the author talked about guilt is a fact not a feeling. Wow. So often as a child I felt guilty. Now I know I felt that way because of abuse done to me, but I wasn’t guilty. You can be guilty and never feel that way. This is a nugget I will remember.

I enjoyed how the author used a very relaxed tone with his prayers at the end of each days reading. They sounded like something I would cry out, not forced and fake.

A good book for a deeper look at God’s grace.

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

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

 

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?

 

Fog September 20, 2013

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:06 am
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hazy-treesI drove to work one morning surrounded by fog. I could see, maybe, a forth of a mile in front of me. It can be pretty scary driving in the fog.

If a car is driving fast you might not see it in time at an intersection and you could have an accident. Or if you are driving too fast you could come up to a car too quickly and not be able to stop in time.

About fifteen minutes into my drive the fog was suddenly gone. I could see clearly and the sun was shining. A feeling of relief and relaxation flooded my body.

As I settled into my drive I realized I felt this way when I became a believer in Christ.

The first twenty-five years of my life I lived in a complete fog. I didn’t know where I was going, sometimes I would go too fast and crash, sometimes I couldn’t see other things racing toward me and I got hurt.

When I accepted Christ as my Savior the fog was lifted and my soul was at rest. I saw things much more clearly and peace washed over me. I’m sure I missed out on many blessings because I raced right by them, going my own way.

Now, don’t get me wrong, just because I’m a believer doesn’t mean I don’t have days when I wake up with a fog delay.

There are those times, days, weeks, years, that I have chosen to walk in the fog again. Why would I choose that? I have no answer, except the enemy is tricky.

I didn’t even realize I was headed into the fog until I was there and lost once again. But God doesn’t give up on His children and I finally did find my way out and the joy that filled my soul was and is, so sweet. His light shines back into my heart and I settle down into my love relationship with Him once again.

If you are in the fog right now, don’t lose hope. Jesus is in the fog. He is trying to guide you out, but He will not force you. He is using His gentle loving ways to bring you into His light. Let Him lead you, the fog is about to lift, can you see it clearing up?

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 1 Corinthians 13:12 The Message

Close your eyes and picture yourself sitting somewhere surrounded by fog. You are alone but then you feel a tap on your shoulder and Jesus comes to sit beside you. What does He want to tell you? What do you want to tell Him? Listen.

Let me encourage you. If you are in the fog and you feel like you shouldn’t be because you are a believer, do not lose heart. You are in a battle for your soul. Fight! Fight your way out of the fog and into your Saviors arms. Pray as often as possible for God to lead you out and into the light, He is there, He is waiting for you.

Did God speak to you through the fog today? Share with us.