Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Does the Bible Really Say That? April 10, 2015

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:22 pm
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girl

By Milada Vigerova

A couple of times in the last few weeks I have either heard, or read, someone say that the Bible says “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”

By the third time I heard that I needed to look it up because something didn’t sit right with me, since I knew there where many times in my life I had more than I could handle without Jesus.

I believe this is the verse this thought is coming from: The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

Even in other translations it is talking about temptation not situations. When people “quote” that verse and use the word handle I think of situations such as illness, relationship issues, rebellious children, losing a job, etc. These are things that are done to us and that we don’t have a choice, they just happen.

I couldn’t handle being sexually abused. A child’s mind can not handle, or process, that invasion of body. For years I was under the delusion that  I handled it and my way of handling it without Jesus was to nearly ruin my marriage.

I don’t believe God does give us more than we can handle but I believe He allows things to happen in our lives that are more than we can handle without Him. It’s when we reach that moment of crisis that we have a choice to turn to Him or turn away and it truly will be more than we can handle. If we turn to Him than He will take the burden for us.

Back to this verse though…it is talking about temptation. We do have a choice when it comes to being tempted we can either give in or take the way out that God provides. We never have to give into temptation, we have a choice.

However, if cutbacks are happening at your job and you’re fired you don’t have a choice, you lose your job. But the choice comes in how we handle that situation. Do we become angry at God and turn away, therefore becoming completely overwhelmed? Or do we rest in God’s goodness and know that He has a plan?

Or how about the family that keeps getting the cancer diagnosis? They overcome and then there is more, they overcome again, then there is more. Can they really handle that on their own? No. It is more than they can handle. They need Jesus!!

I believe God does allow us to have more than we can handle so we will turn to Him. So we will see our depravity and our weakness. Our complete and utter need for Him.

That is called crisis and so many people have come to know Him because they have had more than they can handle. I knew Jesus for nine years but it wasn’t until I had more than I could handle that went deeper with Him. I couldn’t do it on my own.

My point is this: the Bible never says God won’t give us more than we can handle. Things will happen to us that seem way beyond us and we can let God handle it or try to handle it ourselves.

We can’t handle most of what life throws at us and when we try to do it in our own strength we will end up tired and depressed. However, God will never leave us or forsake us so we don’t have to handle it on our own. We have a Savior who has already overcome whatever this world tries to throw at us. We just need to keep pressing in and resting in Him. Let Him handle every situation because God won’t give Himself more than He can handle 🙂

 

 

Seeped in His Will January 23, 2015

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:27 pm
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cafe-rougeMy prayer this morning was that I would be seeped in God’s will. I stopped on that thought and a visual came to mind. What do you we seep? Teabags.

 

I pictured seeping a teabag in a cup of hot water. What happens to the tea? It starts to mix with the water. But, what happens if you leave the teabag in too long? The tea is too strong, the water gets cold, it’s not good.

 

That is what happens when we impose our will on God’s.

 

If we want to be seeped in His will first we must place ourselves in His hands. He will keep the things in our lives that are His will, it will mix with His. Then we should remove whatever is leftover and throw it away, because what is left isn’t Him, it’s us.

 

Often we ask for His will and then we plop our will in His and we sit there. What happens? His will can’t be done because we are getting in the way, and it tastes bad.

 

If we truly long for His will, even if we don’t know what it is, we must trust Him.

 

We can place ourselves inside His will, even if we don’t know fully what that is and let Him take the things we have that are of His will and mix that with His heart and then we get out of the way. Don’t sit there trying to get what you want, it won’t be good anymore and it won’t ever be His will anymore, it will be ours.

 

One other danger I often see is that we say we want God’s will but we don’t even get in the hot water, we only pay lip service. Getting in the water is uncomfortable, you might have to let go of some things you care for dearly. But God’s plans are so much better than anything we could ever hope to ask for.

 

Pray for God’s will, ask to be seeped in it. Let Him get the perfect mixture and then get out of the way. Sit back and enjoy, it’s sure to be a perfect cup of tea!

 

Try this: Make yourself a cup of tea. Watch the tea mix with the water, as you do pray that God will only take what is pleasing to Him and leave the rest in the bag. As you throw away the teabag picture throwing away your will. Drink the tea and it’s goodness and know that God’s will is good and perfect. Praise Him and thank Him, for He is good.

 
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” Luke 22:42

 

Still, Small Voice October 10, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:45 am
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By Mr. Marco

By Mr. Marco

Happy Friday everyone!!

Today I wanted to share with you a cool thing that happened to my daughter this week that has reminded me to listen to that still, small voice, otherwise known as the Holy Spirit.

Sunday night my daughter was packing for her volleyball game and she grabbed her shorts. As she did something inside her made her think, Maybe I should pack my extra pair.

She told me later, “Mom, I never take an extra pair with me, but something told me I should. I almost didn’t do it but I packed them anyway.”

The next day as the girls were getting ready for their game another girl groans, “Oh, no. I forgot my shorts.”

My daughter dug out the never-packed-before pair of shorts and gave them to the girl to wear.

Wow.

I realized and shared with her that she heard the Holy Spirit tell her to bring those shorts.

As we talked about this I wondered how many times I (we) don’t listen to that little voice inside of us and we miss the chance to bless someone else?

I know I don’t always listen to that voice. I will think, Oh, that’s a nice thought but I don’t have time for that. Ouch, am I squelching the Holy Spirit when I ignore that voice? Probably and therefore I have missed an opportunity to bless someone else.

My challenge to us all is to be very aware of those odd thoughts that come out of nowhere and be a blessing to someone. You may never know the impact you’ve had on their lives but Jesus does:)

Has this ever happened to you, maybe you listened to that voice, or someone blessed your because they did? We would LOVE to hear your story. Feel free to share in the comments.

 

When I Journal He Speaks by Dr. Michelle Miner June 24, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:05 pm
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journalAbout:

The Voice of God Is Just a Journal Entry Away! Experienced therapist, teacher, mentor and one who flows in prophetic insight and wisdom, Dr. Michelle Miner will demonstrate and instruct you both in the value of journaling and how to journal in this interactive book. When I Journal He Speaks shares with you Michelle’s journey of learning how to use journaling to hear the voice of the Lord, so you can embark on that same uplifting, amazing road to a closer relationship with God. Maybe you’ve thought about journaling before, but you don’t think you are a writer, or you worry that you don’t know how to do it correctly. The good news is there is no right or wrong way to journal-and you can start in any way that feels comfortable to you. You will learn to discern the true voice of God and to have confidence in the knowledge that He is speaking to you. Your journal can become a resource upon which you can reflect to remind you of the words that God has given to comfort and inspire you. If you’ve ever heard someone say “God spoke to me” and wondered how that was possible…this book is for you. As you become closer to the Lord, you will begin to hear His voice in your everyday life. God speaks-are you ready to receive the gift of His voice?

My thoughts:

When I first got this book I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have always journaled a bit but never consistently as an adult. But as soon as I read the first journaling experience and quieted my heart I immediately sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart and words poured forth.

How do I know they are from the Holy Spirit and not my own mind? I ask myself if they line up with what Scripture says. As long as nothing is out of line I feel what I am hearing must be from God.

I really needed this book as I have been struggling with intimacy with my Savior recently and wondered if He still spoke to me. The answer is, yes, He does.

This is a 40-day journey where you will listen for God’s voice regarding intimacy, defeating the enemy, words of encouragement, living in God’s presence, what keeps you from living in His presence, remaining in His presence and safety in God’s presence.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. We all need more of Jesus and this one way you can connect with Him. It was so encouraging to encounter His presence each day and have this book to guide me to ask Him questions and listen for His answer. I know this might be a bit different than what some of you are used to but I challenge you to take the plunge and dive deep into the waters of intimacy.

You can request this copy from local bookstore or grab your copy at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

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

 

Give It All May 2, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:53 am
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white flowerI wasn’t sure what to post today, or if I would. But I just came out of a journaling time with the LORD, and I feel He wants me to share this with you today. I will just write down exactly what He spoke to me. May you be blessed.

You often sing songs about wanting more of me. Where do you think that desire comes from?

I too, want more of you. I want all of you. Even the parts you think are too ugly to give, even the parts you have given over and over and you think I do nothing with, even the parts you think I can’t change, even the parts you think don’t really matter. Give it all.

I want it all.

I am not selfish, just in love with you.

We cannot obtain true intimacy until you give it all to me. Just as you cannot have true intimacy with your spouse if you don’t give yourself completely…body and mind, the same is true with me.

You try to cover parts from me and you don’t let me touch them.

Give it all.

 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. Mark 10:21-22 NASB

 

 

In The Doorway February 21, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:38 pm
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I wrote this devo several years ago before my son even started school and it was only my daughter leaving the house, but I love the truth in this. Hope you will be blessed.

doorway 2Every morning I stand at my door and watch my daughter walk over to the neighbor’s house. I watch to make sure she gets there safely but I also watch and wait because there’s a chance she’ll turn around and wave at me.

Today was one of those mornings.

As she prepared to open the door and walk into the neighbor’s house she turned toward me smiled and waved. I waved back, happy that I waited so I could be there for her.

Most mornings she doesn’t wave or look for me. She just walks in the house without giving me much thought. But I want to be there for those days when she does need me to be there

As I thought about this God whispered, “I do that for you too.”

How true.

God waits in the doorways our lives, our days, waiting to be invited in. He waits on the wonderful moments when we remember Him and turn to Him.

He watches to make sure we get to where we need to go safely. Most days and moments we forget that He’s there and we keep marching along our merry way.

But that doesn’t mean He isn’t there. He wants to be there so when we do need Him to be He is at the ready, more than willing to wave back and do whatever is necessary for His child.

How sad that we don’t always remember that He stands at the door of our hearts. How sad that we often forget about Him and completely ignore His willingness to love us. I know how my heart smiled when my daughter waved at me today. Can you imagine how much more our Heavenly Father would smile and be pleased if we turned to him always, if we never did anything without realizing that He is with us, always?

Life becomes a great challenge when we go about our own way without taking the time to remember our Father is watching and waiting. He longs to be there for us but He won’t thrust Himself on any of us. He is patient — thank goodness — and loving.

Next time you are running around and feeling alone turn toward your Father, He’s standing in the doorway of your life. Why don’t you invite Him to stay awhile?

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” Revelation 3:20

What about you? Are you going about life trying to make it without taking time with God? Or are you inviting Him into your life?

 

There’s No I in God…..or is There? January 31, 2014

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:56 am
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hands 2The other day someone approached me and said that all of our worship songs are about “I, me, we, us” and that they like hymns better because they aren’t that way.

I was caught off guard, I told them I would have to mull that over.

As I thought about that comment I realized most hymns contain these same words, “This is MY Story,” “I’LL Fly Away,” “Bless Assurance Jesus is MINE,” “Be Thou MY Vision,” “What can wash away MY sin.” The list can go one but I think you get the hint.

My point here is that I, me, we, us, are in God. I don’t know how to sing about God without me in it because I am in Jesus!!! His word says abide in Me and I will abide in you. He created us for relationship and with relationship comes words like we and us. Without a relationship we just have religion and I don’t want that.

Our ancestors understood that when they were writing hymns, we need to be in Christ and He needs to be in US. Jesus is Mine, and I want His vision to be MY vision.

I don’t want to take me out of Jesus, or Jesus out of me, do you? I would be lost, hopeless.

We aren’t being self-centered in our worship when we sing about how much WE love Jesus, how He saved US. We are being completely God-centered and that is the only way we should be.

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30 NIV

 

Dear God December 27, 2013

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:59 pm
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I was looking through some old things that I’ve written and came across a letter I wrote to God on the last day of 2009. Although it is several years old it is a good reminder for all of us of how good God really is. I know I need to be reminded at times because life isn’t perfect, is it? But God doesn’t change.

The letter is pretty long but I hope you will be blessed by it and maybe take some time to write your own letter to God this New Year and reflect on 2013 and the blessings He has lavished on you or maybe you need to pour your heart out to Him in your brokenness and hope for a better year in 2014. God is in the business of making all things new 🙂 

Have a Happy New Year!!

embraceDear God,

Today is the last day in 2009.  I just wanted to reflect on this year. I never thought the worse thing I could ever do would turn into the best thing You could ever do. But Your word says you make ALL things beautiful. Not just something’s, but ALL.

You have done just that.

This year started with stress, stress in my job, discontent there. The worse musical I ever did with my students.  But you turned that around.  Good things were happening in my ministry at church, you never stopped using me. The kids were great, Meara did well in school, Kieran got cuter with each passing day.

Yet, my life with you was not intimate and that reflected into my marriage, didn’t it Lord?  I read my devotions, I read my Christian books. I had moments of seeing you a bit more clearly but it all too quickly faded away and I was left wanting more. I didn’t think I could find it in my current life. I figured things were they way they were forever.

My marriage lacked connection. I longed for connection-of course I did, I needed it from You.

But I went looking elsewhere.

I finally gave into Facebook and I knew I would find connection, it was a matter of time.  I fought Patrick so hard, he couldn’t understand. Why would he? He thought everything was fine and I guess I thought it was too. I wouldn’t fall again, I just wanted a little attention from somebody, I wanted to feel wanted by somebody other than the person that HAD to because he married me.

I found it, or so I thought.

 I believed every lie the enemy threw at me. How could I have been so blind?  But this is not a time for remorse. No, I want to rejoice in you.

Lord, out of my pit You saved me. My heart was hard but You were patient with me, You never gave up on me, You never walked away.

The amazing thing is You sent my husband to show me Your great love. I never knew what Patrick was truly made of until he jumped in the pit with me and started pushing me up out of it. How strong he was.

I fought him so hard, trying to break free, thinking I belonged in the pit of my despair, that he should just climb out and leave me there to my own devices. He didn’t, he could have, he had every reason to leave me there.

But he didn’t.  You made him so strong.

Little by little I clawed my way to the top of the pit. It did not happen over night, I slide down a few times and thought it might just be easier to stay, to stop trying. And I think there were times when Patrick thought the same thing, what’s the use, is it really worth this?

We kept on fighting, and finally I was at the top of the pit, with Patrick pushing me up and as my hand reached up over the edge for something to pull me completely out I felt Your hand grasp mine.  I looked up and saw Your eyes smiling down on me. I was covered in filth, nothing beautiful to behold, yet the King of Kings looked at me with so much love my breath caught. Then You knelt down and said, “I’ve been waiting for you, my beloved.”

Me? You were waiting for me? Why, after all I did. After all the lies I told, you waited for me?  Why Lord, why? You pulled me out and drew me into Your embrace and there I asked for forgiveness, I wept and I clung.

The journey did not end there, Patrick and have grown closer and more honest than ever before. I never thought I could have a marriage like I do. I didn’t know Patrick was such a warrior, but I see now he is everything I always dreamed of and You gave him to me. I also never knew such love from both of you. I thought I had to be perfect to get real love and since I knew I never could be perfect I thought I would never know real love.  

 I don’t have to be perfect.

Lord, my Father, my relationship with You is utterly the most important thing in my life.  I hate days when I don’t take time to talk to You or listen to You. I am sorry for those days.

I know what true love is now, I have tasted it and felt it. I never knew I could feel this way about You or that You felt this way about me. It amazes me and never stops.

You truly have taken the single worse thing I have ever done and used it for Your glory. I pray that You never stop using it for Your glory, I want my life to glorify You.

You are beautiful. My words simply cannot express all that I am feeling. But You know my heart. I know you can take anything and make something beautiful, You are so good.

Last night as I lay in bed I was overcome with joy. My life could be so different, You could have taken all of this away from me and that is what I deserved but You in your goodness did not. You took nothing away from me, in fact You gave me a new marriage and a better understanding of Your great love. 

I know I still don’t fully comprehend that, but I understand more than ever before. You have given me a greater vision for my life. You have given me so much more than I deserve.  Thank you is not enough.

2009 could have easily been the worse year of my life but once again you have proven that you take the broken and make something new.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.  Isaiah 43: 18-19

 You have done that in my life Lord. And now my new verse I am memorizing going into 2010 is this:

My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasure of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2: 2-3

 I want that for the world Lord. Show me how to do that, I don’t want any other women to feel they have to steal love to get love. It is freely give from you. May 2010 be year I start to make that happen, with your power.

Thank your for you goodness, your great love that I will never deserve but I will forever be grateful for.

Thank you for your faithfulness.

Thank you for allowing this pain that I had to go through to get me to where I am now.

Thank you for giving me an amazing husband, the strongest man I know.

Thank you for loving him and empowering him to get through the worse suffering he has probably ever known.

Thank you for making him my warrior.

With ALL my heart….

Your Beloved, Melissa

 

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.

 

Grass September 27, 2013

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:05 am
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vectorbeastcom-grass-sunDo you see God in the grass?  Can you find him in the lush green colors?  Can you sense Him in the smell of the fresh mown grass?

Take some time to notice the grass today. Touch it, run your hands through it, feel its coolness, dryness, wetness, warmth-all depending on your climate and time of year of course.

Pick a piece and examine it, slide you fingers down the length  of it, smell it, look closely. What does the grass teach us about our Creator?

The grass must be cared for, it must be cut or it will become overgrown, it must be watered or it will become dry and die. The grass must not be neglected.

 Isn’t the grass like our lives, our spiritual lives?

Sometimes God has to work in our lives like we have to mow on a hot summer day. 

Getting our lives “cut” isn’t  pleasant. It can be painful at times. But if we don’t allow ourselves to be trimmed and manicured we will become over grown with weeds and things that will choke and ultimately kill us spiritually.

What is God trying to trim out of your life? What are you fighting Him on? What are you trying to hold on to? 

 Do you love the smell grass after it’s been cut? I love the smell of freshly mowed grass. But if you have allergies you might be miserable after the grass has been mowed.

 The same can be said after God trims our lives. We might feel a bit miserable, we throw a fit, we run and hide, we refuse to embrace this trimming. But isn’t the grass so much more pretty after it has been cut? Don’t the blades just glisten in the sunlight?

 That can be you. Allow God to trim out the unwanted things in your life, it might be painful at times.

 I believe true growth only happens through our pain. That is when we learn to cling to God or run away. What will your response be? 

You will need a good trimming, there is no getting around it. Are you going to let yourself shine and dance in the sunlight, will you let the aroma of God’s presence take over? Or will you fight Him and let the weeds of destruction over take you? 

 Notice the grass and learn a lesson, the grass doesn’t fight back, it just takes the trimming and shines.

 Picture yourself laying on the grass.  It is cool and soft beneath you.  Close your eyes and see yourself there.  Now picture Jesus laying beside you.  You are both peaceful and at rest.  He pulls you into his arms, you rest your head on his chest.  You can hear His heart beating.  He gently strokes your hair.  Yes, it is okay to think of Jesus this way.  He asks you to tell you what is on your heart.  Tell Him, rest in Him.  Then listen for His voice, what does He want to tell you today?  Listen, focus on Him.

I want to encourage you to be like the grass, allow for the trimmings when they are needed, allow for a little rain to fall, you will grow so much more beautiful in the end.  Allow God to be God, He longs to take care of you, you will not be neglected.

Psalm 23:2 (New International Version) He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.

Okay, how many of you out there like to mow the grass? I am curious. I have mowed once since I have been married, that’s how much I don’t like doing it.