Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

How Mackinac Island Is Like Our Spiritual Lives (Part 6) September 26, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:35 am
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Downtown

Downtown

Today is our final installment of Mackinac Island and I have added a few random pics of it or from it for your viewing pleasure.

Have you enjoyed the trip? I hope so. I would love to go back this fall but it doesn’t look like it will happen:( To say I am bummed is putting it mildly, but we will be back next year.

Now you have experienced the island, what do you do? Don’t you share the trip with others? You will show off your pictures, souvenirs, talk about your favorite places. When others tell you they are going you will give them advice on what to do, where to stay, where to eat.

Like I have said, Patrick and I have gone many times but our kids had only been there once and that was several years ago. Now that they were older this year we decided to take them on the grand tour. We all rode our bikes around the island, then we went into the interior and we even ventured up to the Fort Holmes, the highest point. Both kids loved it and want to do it again next year, we couldn’t be more happy.

So, how is all of this like our spiritual lives?

Just as I said last week once you reach that high with Jesus you will want to stay. But the reality is if you do you won’t be reaching other people because not many people make it up to the highest point. Each time we have gone to Fort Holmes there were maybe one or two other people there. So if you want to be an effective Christian you must go lower again. Humble yourself and go to where the people are.

Share your experience with others and most importantly share with your children. It was such a neat experience to share the island with the kids this year and to see how they fell in love with it to and want to go back. Isn’t that what we want for them with Jesus?

10-10-10 112We must provide opportunities for our kids to encounter Him, to show them that Jesus is real and then to have our kids begging for more experiences to encounter His presence. If we can’t share our faith with our own kids then who else can we share it with? So start at home. Then move out of your circle and share your faith experiences.

Share your stories with others(Any Genesis 5020’s out there? You can share on this blog). Tell them what Jesus has done in your life. If you don’t tell them how will they ever know? Our stories must be told or we are keeping10-10-10 130 Jesus from receiving all the glory He deserves.

More than sharing Mackinac Island with you and telling you how wonderful it is I hope I have challenged your to reflect on your own faith journey. Notice I said your own. Don’t compare your journey with others. Remember, God has a specific path for each of us to take. Some of us move slower, others of us will have detours, but we all have a path.

As we leave this series ask yourself, where am I? Am I standing on the shore wishing I had I relationship with Jesus? Am I downtown still, just being a Christian consumer? Am I riding around the edges of my faith but not getting too deep? Am on a detour right now? Am I going deeper with Jesus, have I climbed that hill to get there and it seems like a lot of work but I am seeing the reward? Have you reached a spiritual high? Are you sharing your story with others?

Where am I? I’ll be honest, I think I visit all the areas still. Sometimes I can go back downtown and can be a consumer and sometimes I skirt around my faith and get jealous of those that seem to be passing me by. But for the most part I think I am living in the interior, I visit high places once in a while but I don’t live there, I wish I could. Honestly, I think most of us visit the whole island but I do think our goal should be to spend most of our time in the interior, going deeper with Jesus.

Anyone care to share where you think you might be? What challenges you might face in getting where you want to go? We’d love to hear from you. 

 

How Mackinac Island is like our Spiritual Lives (Part 5) September 19, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:35 pm
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Panoramic view from Fort Holmes

We have reached the interior of the island. Is your heart pounding from the up hill climb, are you ready to collapse? I know I am. But the beauty that now surrounds us just draws us deeper.

Before we know it we are off and riding our bikes, climbing more hills, whizzing down others. The wind rushes through our hair and we feel like kids again. Remember what it was like to ride your bike as a kid and zoom down hills? The air cool agaisnt your face. So free.

Once Patrick and I were in the interior we just kept riding. We had no clue where we were going but we felt like we were headed somewhere, like there had to be a destination.

The only problem was that we were going up hill again, but only small ones and only every once in a while. Nothing like Fort Hill. There were a few times that Patrick asked me is I wanted to turn around but I said no. I sensed we would end up some place I just had no idea where.

Soon (or maybe not so soon) we came to a dead end. I remember saying, “Are you kidding me? We rode all this way just to turn around?” And I almost did turn around without exploring where we ended up.

But Patrick urged me forward and we went to this “dead end”.

As we drove up we saw there was some type of fort. It was Fort Holmes. And it turned out we had reached the highest point on the entire island. We didn’t even know there was such a place.

We stood on the edge of a hill and looked out over the island. From this vantage point you can’t see downtown, you can’t see all the people. You see nothing

Fort Holmes

View from Fort Holmes

but trees and lake. Amazing. And we almost missed it. I almost turned around right before I got there because it looked like a dead-end. How wrong I was.

I had found my new favorite place on the island by accident.

So, how is this like our spiritual lives?

Well, some of us settle for downtown, some of us get more adventuresome and ride around the edges. Others of us will purposely climb the hill to the interior.

All of these are choices. Last week I said you don’t accidentally end up in the interior of the island and you won’t accidentally end up going deeper with Jesus. It is an intentional choice.

But I think reaching a totally high spiritual moment can happen accidentally once you have gone deeper.

You see, as you delve deeper into a relationship with Jesus you will want more of Him. So you keep seeking out ways to experience all He has. At times you will feel like a child, other times you will feel like you are climbing another hill. But you keep going. You know there’s more. You feel it in your gut. So you keep going even though you don’t know where you will end up.

After all this time spent with Him you might start to question why you are doing this. Maybe you aren’t seeing any results in your prayers, maybe you aren’t seeing healing. Maybe people around you are asking why you are doing this? Why are you spending so much time with Jesus.

But you keep pressing on.

You might have several moments when you are so close to your highest spiritual moment but you think it’s a dead end and you turn around. But if you do you’ll miss it. Your greatest encounter could be up the next hill.

One day you press past the dead end and there you find it; this totally amazing encounter with the living God. The Holy Spirit falling on you in a way you never imagined and you think, “I didn’t even know this was here. I didn’t even know this was possible.” And you fall to your knees in adoration.

Have you had a moment like this? Do you want a moment like this? Then keep climbing. Keep pressing in. Jesus wants to give you more Him then we could ever dream to ask. So keep asking, keep seeking and you will find.

We have one last installment. Because now that you have experienced this island you must go back and tell others or how will they ever know it exists? We’ll talk more about that next week. Have a great weekend!

 

Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund July 31, 2014

captured

About:

Michigan Territory, 1814

A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger
discover firsthand the high price of freedom.

The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders.

Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British–and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who’s grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley.

As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they’ll risk for love.

My thoughts:

I absolutely loved this book.

Where to begin? First, Jody is a Michigan author (I live in Michigan) and this book is set on Mackinac Island, called Michilimackinac Island in 1814. Mackinac Island is my all time favorite place in the world to visit. I would move there if I could. If you’ve never been to this unique location you are missing out.

Anyway, visiting Michilimackinac Island before it became a tourist location was so interesting. The Fort is a prominent feature on the island even now. Jody even got Arch Rock in the book and had the characters sit on it. This is not possible today as it is fenced off but how exciting to think that people native to the island did that.

Just last fall my husband and I accidentally found Fort Holmes, the highest point on the island. Before it was Fort Holmes is was called Fort George, as it is in the book. We just visited the island about four weeks ago and took our kids to see this breathtaking view. I loved reading about the work that went into building this fort.

Enough about the island, now the wonderful characters. Angelique is a lovely heroine. She doubts herself constantly and fears becoming like her mother. She hides her beauty but Pierre sees the beauty inside her. Pierre is a wonderful, strong hero, everything you want in a hero. Their passion is strong and Jody did a wonderful job of growing their romance until they both admit their feelings for each other.

Of course things can’t go smoothly. Angelique is engaged to Jean, Pierre’s brother. My mind kept reeling with what would happen when he returned from the war. Would Angelique follow her passion or her commitment? You’ll have to read the book to see what happens.

This book was so good I couldn’t put it down and was up way to late reading this one. If you love historicals and romance and if you want a glimpse of Mackinac Island before it became a tourist attraction, this is a must read!

Visit Jody here.

Grab your 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.