Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

When God Turned Our Hard Into Good (A Genesis 5020) July 7, 2017

Filed under: Other Genesis 5020 Stories — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:59 pm
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I am so excited today to have a Genesis 5020 story to share with you. Jennifer Slattery is an author whose books I always love. She also has a great Genesis 5020 to share. Read on!

My daughter was falling apart, literally. My heart was breaking, and I felt trapped. I did not want to move. We were settled, belonged to a close-knit church, lived in a close-knit relationship, and our daughter was about to enter her sophomore year in high school.

Potentially, one of the worst times for a kid to move.

With our house full of boxes, my daughter sitting upon one of them, crying, I scrambled for potential solutions. Ultimately, ways to keep my daughter and I in Kansas City, even if that meant renting an apartment and only seeing my husband on weekends.

I’m ashamed to say it, but I was so caught up in my daughter and my temporary pain, so uncomfortable with all the unknowns we’d face, should we move, I honestly contemplated temporarily splitting our family up.

I tried to justify this. We’d only be two and a half hours away. And it’d only be for a few years, just long enough to allow our daughter to finish high school.

My momma-bear heart was dominating, attempting to put our child above our marriage.

Had God not called me out, I fear, there’s a good chance I would’ve done irreparable damage to both. And honestly, I knew better. When a marriage fails, everyone, the children especially, loses.

And so, reluctantly, I surrendered, and came to Omaha with dragging feet, a heavy heart, and slumped shoulders.

That first summer was the hardest I’ve experienced to date as I watched our daughter slip into depression. She was lonely. Incredibly lonely. And being the introvert she is, I knew it’d take her a long time to make friends. Maybe even the rest of her high school before she really developed the kind of relationships we were leaving back in Kansas City.

To make matters worse, I got sick. Incredibly sick, and this added to the family stress exponentially. Things felt so chaotic for our girl that she developed shingles.

Talk about parental guilt. Witnessing her extreme pain, it literally felt like my heart was shredding. One morning, so distraught, I went down into the far corner of our kitchen, where she couldn’t hear my cry, and sobbed.

And asked God why. And begged Him to intervene.

At first, it felt as if God had closed His ears and turned His back, but regardless of how I felt, I kept stepping. Kept walking with Him. Kept getting up each morning and reading my Bible, trusting Him to speak. To comfort and strengthen.

Those turned into some of the sweetest mornings of my entire faith journey, because God did meet with me, and He did speak to me. Through His Word, again and again, He told me He would fight on our behalf.

He did. He was fighting for us the entire time, doing what needed to be done inside each of us, bringing growth, and ultimately, healing, and some incredibly deep friendships.

It was here, in Omaha, that I met my Wholly Loved team, a group of women who’ve become not only ministry partners but cherished friends. It was here, in Omaha, that my daughter met two of her best friends, lifelong friends. And it was here that she found a youth group that allowed her to heal from some wounds she’d experienced in church in the past.

It was here, in Omaha, that my husband heard the call to donate his kidney to a young man he’d never met.

More than that, through all the gunk, He brought our family unbreakably closer. We learned how to lean on one another and on Christ through the hard. We learned to be real. And to listen to the hard shared by one another, to apologize when necessary, to work through gunk, and to hold tight to one another.

God does indeed turn all things to good, and He’s always fighting on our behalf.

Author, speaker, and ministry leader Jennifer Slattery writes for Crosswalk.com and is the managing and acquiring editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, an imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She believes fiction has the power to transform lives and change the culture. Healing Love is her sixth novel, and it was birthed during a trip she and her family took to El Salvador that opened her eyes to the reality of generational poverty and sparked a love for orphans and all who’ve experienced loss.

 

Her deepest passion is to help women experience God’s love and discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she travels with her team to various churches to speak to women and help them experience the love and freedom only Christ can offer. When not writing, editing, or speaking, you’ll likely find her chatting with her friends or husband in a quiet, cozy coffeehouse. Visit her online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her and her Wholly Loved team at WhollyLoved.com 

 

Healing Love (click here to pre-order her book)

Goodreads link here.

Genre: Women’s fiction with a strong romantic thread

Dual setting—Southern California, and El Salvador

 

Blurb: A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn’t on the agenda.

Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.

Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.

When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of “missional tourists” full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?

 

Why Do People Go To Church? June 30, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:00 pm
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Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

I’ve been wrestling with this question for several months.

As the worship leader at my church I get to see everyone worship, or not. Which to be honest most people don’t look too happy when we are singing our songs.

I became very frustrated one Sunday as I sat before church looking around at the same people coming in, sitting in the same seats who will probably leave the service the same why they walked in.

I think people do want life change but they don’t want to do the work that it takes to make that happen. You can’t keep doing what you have always done and expect things to be different. You need to move.

Can God change your life without you moving?

Yes, of course. But I think it shows an act faith to move, to change something. He wants to know we are so hungry for Him we will do what it takes to move toward Him.

If after what my husband I went through if I had said I wanted to change but didn’t go to counseling, didn’t dive into the Word everyday, nothing would have changed. Jesus met me as I sought Him, I moved and I was changed. I’m not perfect, but I’m definitely not who I was.

So, why do people go to church? I don’t have an answer, maybe you do.

Why do I go to church? I love to worship Jesus with others. I want to be challenged, I want someone else to challenge me and give me things to think about that I can apply to my life and bring change in my life. I come into church with expectation. I expect something to shift in my heart each and every Sunday. 

As a worship leader I go to church because I want bring others to this place of awe and wonder. I lead by example and hope someone will catch on. I am the weird lady, I know that, I get super excited when I worship. I can’t help it, He is so amazing!!! And I wouldn’t be true to Holy Spirit if I tried to hold back, I would be quenching the Spirit and I never want to do that, although I am know there are times I do.

These are my rambling thoughts today, just something I needed to get off my heart. Hopefully it will encourage you to examine why you attend church each week and challenge you to move in faith.

 

 

And Still They Sing May 12, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:12 pm
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I am sitting here listening to and watching the birds and I am fascinated.

They just…

do the next thing

fly high

fly low

perch

look for food

feed their young

go where they need to

The don’t…

worry

save up for tomorrow

think about what others might say

notice if their feather are ruffled

get offended

Yet, they are constantly working in some way.

And still they sing.

As they fly to feed their little ones, they are singing.

As they search for their next meal, they are singing.

As they perch on a branch, they are singing.

Yes, there are crescendos and decrescendos, they seem to be loudest in the morning and night.

Oh, what we can learn from them.

Our song, our praises, should be the same, loudest in the morning at night.

Wake up praising our Savior, fall asleep thanking Him for another day to impact His world and bring Him glory.

No matter what is going on in the world, no matter what the birds are doing they still sing.

If birds, who can’t have an intimate relationship with our Father, can do that how much more should we do giving to Him. Not half-hearted praise on Sunday morning because someone offended us, or we had an argument with our spouse, but full on worship, no matter what. The Bible tells us to bring a sacrifice of praise and sometimes it is just that. I don’t feel like worshiping but I am sacrificing my flesh, because (news flash) it isn’t about me. It’s all about Jesus. And no matter what I might be feeling Jesus hasn’t changed.

So I watched the birds today and they were busy doing their daily thing I heard the words, “And still they sing.” Can the same be said of you? Of me? Can people watch us no matter what we are doing and say, “And still she sings. And still he has faith. And still she has hope.”

Let it be said of you, “And still she sings.”

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? Matthew 6:26 NKJV

 

 

God Is At Work…Do you see it? April 28, 2017

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:58 am
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By Jeremy Bishop

This is something I wrote several years ago but it is so true still today…unfortunately. I struggle with trusting with God. Just this past weekend I was in a bad mood because I wasn’t seeing God working in my life. 

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13 NLT

God is AT WORK within us.

Work, as in a verb not a noun.

When we work we are moving to attain a goal, we are not still. Even if we sit at a desk we are doing something (hopefully).

That is what God does,  He is at work, moving within us, never still, never okay with where we are but moving us in His direction, or trying to. We can get in the way, we can fight but we feel the fight don’t we? We feel it’s hard, something isn’t right. That is because God is pulling us in the right direction and we are trying to pull in the wrong direction. Oh, Lord, we are sorry, so sorry for trying to play tug-of-war with you.

I realized this morning I have gotten into a place where I don’t trust God again. I don’t trust him to give me His best, or His best won’t be enough for me. How silly, but can you relate?

My prayers haven’t really been prayers at all but more of a taunting, “I know you can change these circumstances so why don’t you do it?” Do you see something wrong with that line of questioning? I do. It’s more of a “prove-it” attitude than “I believe you” attitude.

I think about the things I ask for and I am amazed that God can and will do more than that, I just can’t even imagine (His Word tells us this). I think I have a pretty active imagination so how can you top it? Of course I am talking about the Creator of the universe so I guess He can.

Father, I am humbled and in awe of You today. Lord, work in us, keep moving us toward Your goal and if we are holding on to something that opposes Your goal we release it to You right now. We feel the release and we dance in freedom. Thank You for never giving up on our stubborn hearts. We love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Heavenly Storehouses December 30, 2016

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:57 pm
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 By Arto Marttinen

By Arto Marttinen

“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail?” Job 38:22 NIV

I’m currently reading through a daily devotional (which I will be reviewing soon) that talked about the verse above. The author said she believed not only are there storehouses of snow and hail but also good things, like love and grace.

I entered into a time of prayer after reading that and had a beautiful encounter with Jesus.  Below is what I saw and wrote down after the encounter:

Papa has storehouses, massive warehouses for each and every person!! They are labeled: LOVE, GRACE, MERCY, HOPE, FAITH, BLESSINGS, GIFTS. 

At first I thought the storehouses He showed me were to be shared with the world but He said every person has their own set of storehouses. (How cool is that???) He said mine have barely been touched, as is the case with most people. 

So, my question is what is keeping us from allowing those storehouses to fall on us? I think we get too busy, or we don’t think we are worthy so when we see them starting to open up we dodge them. Why? I have no idea, we are a messy bunch down here on earth.

I don’t know about you but I want those storehouses to fall down on me daily. I don’t want to get to Heaven someday and see my storehouses loaded up and I never got to enjoy those things that I could only have here on earth.

In 2017 I challenge each and ever one of us to open our hearts and minds and eyes to receive from Heaven. Let the storehouses open and fall on you.

Who’s with me?

 

 

The Devil Can’t Hold You Down November 18, 2016

Filed under: Cool videos — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:52 pm
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 By Olia Gozha

By Olia Gozha

Here is a song my husband introduced to me. I love it. The tune in the chorus is “nah, nah, nah, boo-boo, you can’t catch me.” Listen for it. It’s so in your face devil 🙂

Listen here.

 

Is This Legal?? November 4, 2016

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:29 pm
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By Stefan Kunze

By Stefan Kunze

I apologize in advance, this is a long one 🙂

“Is this legal?”

I was asked that question in my classroom as I introduced my students to a new “winter” song for their concert. It’s a song that uses “Go Tell It On the Mountain” in it.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time a student asked me if it was legal to sing a Christian song. I also had a student say they were worried people might be offended because we are singing a Christian song.

Now, let me tell you that before this concert we did a Halloween concert were we sang a medley of songs from the musical Sweeney Todd. If you’re familiar with this musical you will know how dark and gruesome it is. We sang songs about murder. And NO ONE, not one student, voiced a concern that someone might be offended by that.

Hmmm, interesting don’t you think? I mean if anything would be illegal it should be singing about a murderer not someone who was murdered. But no one questioned it.

You might be wondering why I would even teach that music. Well, the answer is the same for why I can teach Christian music.

I didn’t show my students the movie, I didn’t talk about what Sweeney Todd actually did, I didn’t lecture them on his justification for killing people. I simply taught the music because it is challenging and stretches my students to try new things. It is complex music, it gave the kids a chance to sing in many different arrangements. But I don’t embrace the message of those songs.

The same is true with any song with a faith message. I don’t preach the message, I’m not telling the students that this is what I believe (unless they ask). I’m not showing them a movie about the song and proclaiming the message. I’m not looking up the scripture the song references. I am teaching the music because it is going to be challenging for my students, it has some great rhythmic play and vocal back and forth between parts. It is in a gospel style that we don’t sing too much and it’s acapella.

So, is it legal to sing a song about Jesus in public school? It is legal to sing a song about a murderer in public school?

The answer to both is yes, as long as there is musical reasons for teaching it and I’m not promoting the story behind either.

But why is the Christian song the only one questioned?

Because the enemy is getting a hold of our children and we aren’t teaching them any different. He is lying to them and as parents we need to teach our children the truth. It is okay for a music teacher to teach songs with a Christian message as long as it is balanced with other music that isn’t Christian and the teacher isn’t inserting his or her own beliefs.

Since one out of five songs I am teaching is Christian I don’t think I’m inserting my beliefs.

If we eliminated all faith based songs we would be loosing a rich history of music. Most songs sung by slaves have a faith base. Isn’t that part of our history?

It is becoming so evident that darkness is trying to push out any light at all. We need to be teaching our kids so when they go into school they can stand for what is right and they can be light.

If it ever becomes illegal to teach some great music that also happens to be Christian then I guess that’s when it’s time for me to stop teaching.