Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Part XXXI-More of Jesus September 28, 2012

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:44 am
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As I near the present time in our story you might wonder if I ever deal with any of my old issues.

I am so glad you asked.

I dealt with lust this summer, but in a much different way than the past.

I mentioned on the previous post that God spoke to me about my job. Last year I read Extraordinary by John Bevere. That book changed my life.

In the book John talked about praying in faith.

I never truly prayed in faith before, I never really believe God for something I asked for. I just prayed and hoped God might answer my prayer.

For five years I taught in a school district that pushed against everything I believed in. I never made any friends, I never belonged.

The job was an hour from home, and many days I didn’t get home until 6:30.

After reading Extraordinary I  sensed God say, “Pray in faith Melissa. Pray to be released from your job.”

So I did.

I prayed and I knew God would release me.

I am skipping tons of details to shorten this post.

God started lining up my future in February by bringing a homeschooled mom into my life and introducing me to another writer in my community. I started getting paid to write-yahoo!

In March I had to let my district know if I wanted to reduce or increase my hours for the following year. I thought it was my job to convince Patrick that I should request to go down to three days.

God stopped me.

He said, “If you believe I am releasing you why would you need to reduce your hours?”

He was right, I wanted to reduce my hours just in case God didn’t come through.

I didn’t reduce my hours.

After months of disagreements, Patrick and I finally reached a compromise when a music position became available in a district twenty minutes from our home. The position was part-time but we thought if I was offered the position I would give lessons to home schooled children the rest of the time.

I applied and had an interview set for June 18.

A week before my interview my “dream” job became available. This was the job I wanted since I received my teaching certificate. This job would allow me to teach my own children.

I submitted my resume, but of course I still went to the other interview, because you never know.

As I left the interview I didn’t feel positive about it. I didn’t do anything to make myself stand out.

Two hours later I received a call from that principal and she offered me the job.

God answered my prayer, I was released from the job that took me so far from home.

But I wanted more. And I knew God wanted to go above and beyond all I dreamed or imagine. What an awesome testimony I could give if I got my dream job.

I finally got a call for an interview, set for August 2nd.

I showed off all the music I composed for my students that tied in with science and social studies, I showed my pre-tests and post-test and how all my students improved. I made myself stand out.

The interview took place on a Thursday, they said they would let me know by Tuesday.

On Monday, August 6th I woke up lusting.

I wanted that job so bad. The last time I had those feelings they were for a man, but this time I lusted for a job.

I cried out to God. I knew what I felt wasn’t right.

During my prayer time God clearly whispered to me, “Do you want Me or this job? If having more of Me meant you couldn’t have that job would you be okay with that?”

I wept.

In my journal I wrote, “I want JESUS more than I want that job.”

I didn’t get the job.

I am getting Jesus.

To say I wasn’t heartbroken would be a lie. I was angry at God.

When I went to my new job and talked the principal, guess what she told me? She said, “You clearly stood out above everyone else.”

Really?

I didn’t do anything special for that interview, yet I stood out.

There is no other explanation but God. He wants me there and He made me stand out.

I am so glad to be in His hands, in His will.

Patrick didn’t take it so well and is still working through some stuff, but I can’t wait until he finds his Genesis 5020 from all of this, I know he will in time.

I am so happy.

I drive twenty minutes to work.

My building is surrounded my fields and rolling hills.

I get to shine the love of Jesus into 500 kids lives every week.

I sit on the porch and watch my kids get off the bus and thank God every day that I am there.

I just got done giving a guitar lesson to one boy who wants to be a worship leader when he grows up, and God is allowing me to be a part of that child’s life.

I am overcome.

God. Is. Good.

No, things didn’t turn out like I thought they should. But they did turn out exactly like my Savior thought they should.

So, do I still struggle with lust?

The enemy will never stop, he will look for new ways to make me fall. But the difference is now I listen for my Father’s voice and I will obey.

Lust will not have me again.

Jesus always will.

Only I can tell the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. I will call a swift bird of prey from the east — a leader from a distant land to come and do my bidding. I have said what I would do, and I will do it. Isaiah 46:10-11 NLT

Has there been a time in your life when  you wanted something but God had other plans? Can you share your story with us?

I will be wrapping up my Genesis 5020 next week. That doesn’t mean I won’t write, I will. But I want your Genesis 5020. So what it is? I have only a couple of people lined up so far. Will you share yours with us? Let God get the glory He deserves. You know if you stay quiet you are stealing God’s glory. Speak up and share. Email us at : 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com.

 

Part XV-Our Only Hope June 1, 2012

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:43 pm
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 I agreed to email the other man and tell him I would not be contacting him anymore. My mind struggled with the feeling of power being snatched away from me, again. I formed a plan, a way I thought I could maintain some power.

We agreed that I would go over to Deanna’s and she would help me send the email. I think that was Patrick’s way of trying to give me some power back.

We decided all of this would take place on our first day home from vacation.

Patrick left that morning to go to the store. I watched his truck pull out of the driveway, then ran to the computer.

Patrick  promised me he wouldn’t check the history anymore, that he would trust me. I believed him and thought I could sneak one last email to the man.

I realize now I wrote to him so I could still have power over him. I used him to feed the need in me. I told him he would receive another email from me later that day saying I didn’t want to talk to him again. I told him to ignore that and I would try to be in touch with him when I could. In one last final attempt to make sure I kept my claws in him, I told him I loved him.

Ugh.

Just writing that makes my skin crawl. I hate that desperate girl.

After Patrick returned home I went to Deanna’s. Guilt over the email I sent burrowed into my heart as I drove. I never told Deanna. She knows now after reading this post. (Sorry Deanna, I was so ashamed.)

Deanna shared that she felt the email should be something Patrick and I did together. I agreed. After talking for a bit I headed home.

As I drove I remember saying to myself, “Sending that email was a big mistake.”

When I entered our home I found Patrick sitting quietly on the couch. To cover my guilty heart I launched into the conversation I had with Deanna. 

Patrick stared at nothing. I saw sadness in his blue eyes. I asked what was wrong, as my stomach clenched into a tight knot. Did he check the history on the computer?

You know what’s wrong,” Patrick’s words came out flat, dead.

I wanted to deny knowing. But I had no words.

Patrick stood and I followed him to the back of the house. I saw a bag filled with neatly fold t-shirts, pants and balls of socks.

Fear seized my heart. He knew.

Why is your bag packed?” I knew the answer but tried to play dumb.

“I can’t do this anymore.” Patrick looked at me with so much pain. Pain I caused. Once again.

I quickly told him I was sorry. I realized what I huge mistake I made. I cried and begged him to forgive me.

“Why? Why would you write to him?” Patrick asked the question I didn’t have an answer to at the time.

I didn’t know why. I didn’t know why I did any of the things I had done.

“Do you love him?”

“No, I don’t.” I shook my head. I never loved the other man, they were just words to get what I wanted. I never threw around that phrase but I did that day. Those precious words I used for my gain.  “I am so sorry. Don’t go. Don’t leave.”

Patrick fell to his knees in tears. I tore him apart with my actions.

I threw myself on his back and wrapped my arms around his neck as he sat on the floor. I cried, begged and pleaded.

Everything came down to this moment. Two weeks earlier I would have let him walk out and believed that was the best solution. But God had been working on my wounded heart. I knew I wanted my husband, my marriage, even after the email I sent only hours prior.

“Please stay. I love you. I want you. Don’t leave me. Please. I won’t do it again.”

He stayed.

Praise God.

I don’t know why he stayed. He had ever right and reason to leave. But he stayed. Holding on to hope by a worn, thin thread.

We clung to that tired thread of hope.

Believing God could save us.

Nothing else could.

God was our only hope.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Hebrews 10:23 NLT

Have you ever reached a point in your life when you knew God was your only hope?

 

Write to the Point with Lynnette Bonner March 21, 2012

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:11 pm
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Congratulations to Brenda who won last week’s book from Delia Latham.

This week on Write to the Point we have Lynnette Bonner. Her newest book sounds like a great read and she is giving a copy away. Let’s get write to the point with Lynnette.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I am married with four children. My husband is a pastor and we live in Washington. I was born in Malawi, Africa to missionary parents and learned to love reading at an early age. My love of reading eventually morphed into an attempt at writing. At first I only dabbled, but then one day I came across a historical tidbit that simply begged to be turned into a story, and my first full length novel, Rocky Mountain Oasis, (the first book of this series) was born. I’ve been writing ever since, with a few years in there of very sporadic writing when I was homeschooling my boys, but that makes it nearly twenty years now.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

Well, I was born into a Christian family and heard the gospel from the time I was very little. The first time I really remember giving my heart to Jesus was in the back seat of a Peugeot 404 driving up our long dusty driveway in Dedza, Malawi.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

The first book in this series, Rocky Mountain Oasis, debuted in 2009. It was just recently re-released as a 2nd edition. And its sequel, High Desert Haven, is just making its first appearance.

Here is the back cover copy from High Desert Haven:

Is Jason Jordan really who he says he is?
Everything in Nicki’s life depends on the answer.

Nicki Trent is left with a toddler and a rundown ranch when her husband dies in a mysterious riding accident. Determined to bring her ranch back from the brink, Nicki hires handsome Jason Jordan as a manager. But when her neighbor, William, presses for her hand in marriage, the bank calls in a loan she didn’t even know about, and bullets start flying, Nicki questions whether this ranch is worth all the trouble.

To make matters worse, terrible things keep happening to her neighbors. When Jason is blamed, Nicki wonders how well she knows her new hand…and her own heart.

Two yearning hearts. Powerful enemies. Surprising love.
Set in the adventure and danger of the Wild West.

You know, there is so much God can do with fiction, so many messages He can speak to people through stories. I guess my main desire would be for people who read my stories to walk away knowing that God loves them beyond a shadow of a doubt and that if they give their lives fully to Him, he will never let them down – even though it might seem like He does, in the short run.

You book sounds great, a bit of mystery and romance, you can’t go wrong with that.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I blog several times a month over at AuthorCulture (www.authorculture.blogspot.com). It is a group blog and we blog all about the writing life, give writing tips, and every Friday share a little writing humor.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

Oh, asking me to pick a favorite is like asking me to choose a favorite child! I’d have to say that the Zion Covenant and Zion Chronicle series by Bodie Thoene both stand out as some of my favorite stories ever. The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers is another favorite. The DMZ by Jeanette Windle is awesome as well as Maire by Linda Windsor. More recently I’ve really been enjoying several of Denise Hunter’s books. See… I told you I couldn’t just pick one. 🙂

The focus of this blog is Genesis 50:20. Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

A time where members of the church we were pastoring really didn’t want to hear the Truth of the Word, and put our family under severe stress, comes to mind. No one would be benefitted by me going into details of all the sad things that happened and were said to us during those couple of years. Honestly our marriage could have fallen apart so easily, but we came out the other side stronger and even more committed to each other and to ministering the Truth, whether people want to hear it, or not.

Unfortunately, I believe a lot of churches can relate to your story. But praise God your marriage withstood the drama. Our author last week shared about her marriage remaining strong after some hard times. Just more proof that God loves marriage.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

I graduated from a Christian high school, Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe, Kenya, and our verse on our graduation announcements was Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” That verse has helped me through many a time when I wondered if there really was any hope for the years to come.

Where can we find you on the web?

My website is at: http://www.lynnettebonner.com. On there I have listed many other places where people can friend or find me on the net.

Lynnette, thank you so much for sharing with us, it has been great getting to know you. I wish you God’s bless over your writing.  I can’t wait to get my hands on your books and begin reading.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a PDF copy of  High Desert Haven. The deadline to enter is March 27 ad 5:00 pm. All entries after that will not be entered in the drawing.

 

Write to the Point with Delia Latham March 14, 2012

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:10 pm
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I am very excited to introduce you to our first author on Write to the Point, Delia Latham. I am sure you will find her interview as interesting as I did. Read to the end so you can enter to win a free book. Now, let’s get write to the point with Delia.

Tell us about yourself, family?

I’m a mother of four, grandmother of four, and I’ve been married to Johnny for nearly four decades (well, 38 years…that’s pretty close). I’m a born-and-raised California gal, transplanted to Oklahoma three and a half years ago. I love my Lord, my family, and Dr. Pepper in the morning.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

My parents found Christ when I was six, and I received the infilling of the Holy Ghost at seven in a little church pastored by my uncle, in a small farming community called Weedpatch.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

Gypsy’s Game is Book 3 in my Solomon’s Gate Series, preceded by Destiny’s Dream and Kylie’s Kiss. I’d love for my readers to read the last page of this book having found a new trust that, no matter the circumstance, God is in control. Even when it seems He doesn’t know and doesn’t care, He has a plan in motion. And I’d like to think they’ll also come away with a little stronger faith in the power of love. Here’s a blurb:

Gypsy Lovell stands to inherit an enormous amount of money from a father who never gave her anything but a ridiculous name. Even now, he doesn’t make it easy. A stipulation in the man’s will demands that Gypsy be married in order to claim what is hers.

Desperate for the monetary windfall that could save her ailing mother’s life, Gypsy visits a Christian dating agency, hoping to find a temporary husband. Someone easy to handle for the required six months, and easy to get rid of when she no longer needs him.

Jal Garridan is neither of those things, but he’s willing to take on the challenge presented by the beautiful stranger—on his own terms.

What Gypsy doesn’t know is that Solomon’s Gate is a dating agency with a Divine connection. What she finds there may save more than her mother’s life. It may save Gypsy’s soul.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I’m afraid I’m guilty of having put “true” blogging on the back burner for a while. Which only means that, while my blog is active, the posts are only occasionally written by me. Most of my recent posts have been reviews of books I’ve read, guest posts by other authors, or my weekly posts from Clash of the Titles, of which I’m a Blog Alliance member. I’d love to someday find time to start posting more of my own thoughts, but until I can do that, I’m grateful that it’s not difficult to find other authors always willing to “stand in the gap and make up the hedge.”

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

I’m going to claim the woman’s prerogative to be indecisive. LOL I am completely incapable of choosing a favorite book. I love to read, and there are so many wonderful authors out there. How about I share a couple of books I’ve read recently that I especially liked?

I love short reads (novelettes?) because they provide a satisfying story and a brief reprieve from life, but don’t keep me from my own writing for long periods at a time. I very much enjoyed Marianne Evans’ A Face in the Clouds and E.A. West’s The Key to Charlotte. Pamela S. Thibodeaux’s The Visionary gave me goosebumps—in the very best way. Loved Mary DeMuth’s Watching the Tree Limbs. And any book by Vickie McDonough or Mary Conneally leaves me smiling. I could go on, but I wouldn’t want to keep you here all day.

The focus of this blog is Genesis 50:20. Can you share a Genesis 5020 from you life?

What a wonderful blog focus, Melissa! I love it. Now…why is that when I’m put on the spot, I can’t think of a thing—especially when I know God has turned the devil’s darts back on him on my behalf time after time. Well, here’s one:

I’ve always loved to sing. Sang my first solo at about seven years old, standing up on a chair my pastor placed behind the podium at our church. I was always part of the music ministry as a young woman, and even after I married. Then there came the time that I drifted away from God and began to use the talent He gave me in ways that brought Him no edification. I was the band leader in a country western band, and so caught up in being lauded and praised and admired that I was destroying my marriage and my relationship with my children. A couple of trips to Nashville had promising results, and it seemed a career in country music would be a given.

Then I got pneumonia. A bad case of it, to the extent that I was hospitalized, and the doctors informed me that I had asthma. Soon after being released from the hospital, I began to fear that I would never again have the breath to sing. I cried and stewed and ranted and raved, but my fears proved to be true, to a degree. Even after I recovered from that episode, I could never manage more than a few songs one after the other. I no longer had the vocal stamina or sufficient lung capacity to sing professionally.

Now I can sing just enough to do so for the glory of God. But my marriage survived. I have wonderful relationships with each of my four children. I’m back in the Shepherd’s fold…and God gave me a new career using another talent He gave me…writing.

So the devil loses yet again. Ain’t God good?

What a great story. I especially love hearing how God reclaims marriages. Thanks for sharing that with us. God is good.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

My daily prayer is Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

And I love Philippians 4:8 for it’s simple and profound instruction as to exactly where our thoughts should be…all the time: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Where can we find you on the web?

Website

Blog, Living the Write Life

Facebook

Thank you so much Delia for sharing with us. I appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to let my readers get to know you.

Readers, all you have to do is leave a comment. Tell me what book you would choose from the Solomon’s Gate series if you won, then your name will be entered in the drawing.  Make sure I have your email. You can choose from any of the books in Delia’s Solomon’s Gate series and she will send you a PDF of  the book of your choiceThe deadline to enter is March 20 at 5:00. Any comments after that will not be entered in the drawing. 

 

Part IV-The Words We Speak March 9, 2012

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:41 pm
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Around the age of thirteen and fourteen my father began to verbally abuse me. I love my dad very much and I have 100% forgiven him. I know now,  he spoke out of a place of fear.

At that time in my life my brother was in and out of prison and my dad lived in fear that I would somehow end up just like my brother. Because of my father’s fear I was told again and again that I would amount to nothing, I was lazy and I could rot in prison. My father told me he had nothing to live for. I remember thinking in my heart, “But aren’t I a reason to live?”

 I would never speak those words out loud.

Instead I wrote mean and hateful things in my journal, vowing to be everything my dad said I never would be. I decided I must be the best at whatever I do. Then my dad would love me.

I got straight A’s, the leads in plays and musicals, I was in honors society, honors choir. I made my dad proud and he did brag about me to anyone who would listen. But I always felt his pride rested on me being good enough and if I ever failed I would lose his love. I believed his love was conditional.

I would later project these same feelings on my husband and my Heavenly Father.

I know that most of what I have shared is sad, don’t worry there is a  happy ending to all of this. A Genesis 5020 of course. Don’t think I was miserable constantly. I would never trade my experiences being in plays and musicals. I grew from those times and formed bonds with my classmates and made new friends that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.

I just want to remind everyone, especially parents, the power our words have over our children. We can build them up or tear them down. Of course, we do need to discipline our children and I have been guilty of being too soft due to my fear of messing up my kids. Being too soft can harm our kids as well. Children need firm, loving, consistent discipline. God is the perfect parent and the one we should always turn to for parenting advice and guidance.

God would never tell us we will never amount to anything. His Word says the opposite. He knows the plans he has for us, plans to give us a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

The words we speak are powerful. Choose yours wisely. Not only for your children but also for your spouse, friends, parents, and the lady at the grocery store.

I usually end with a Bible verse, but today I wanted to share this Youtube video with you. I have never heard this song but found it very powerful. Just click the Youtube video link and it will take you a song by Casting Crowns that landed in my inbox this morning. Take the 5 mins. to listen and just worship. For those of us who are believers let’s not be stumbling blocks for those who don’t know Christ, whether that be through our words or our actions.

 

Part I-The Game February 17, 2012

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:55 pm
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Sexually Abused child.

Image via Wikipedia

First, I just need to say thank you to our church family. God’s amazing love  poured out on us last Sunday. We love you all so much and thank God for you.

As I stated in my last post I will be sharing our Genesis 5020 in installments. There is much to share and I want to be respectful of your time.

Part I:

Somewhere around the age of 4-6 years old, a boy, who I should have been able to trust, asked me if I wanted to “play a game.” Of course I said yes, every kid wants to play a game.

The game was sexual abuse. I did not know the name of this game for many years. I learned how to play and I even tried to take control of the game; I would seek out the attention of the boy and ask him if he wanted to play the game.

He would always say yes.

My little girl mind and heart, thought this was love. I wanted this boy to love me and I believed he did when we played the game. I even remember hoping other boys would want to play. I became very disappointed when no one else gave me the same attention. I thought I must not be loveable, or pretty

At some point the boy stopped asking for the game and I didn’t ask either. But it was too late. Lust had been awakened in me and I didn’t know how to put it back to sleep. Instead, I would try to play the game in different ways for the next twenty-eight years of my life. I would search for power, acceptance and love any way I could get it.

 The boy stopped playing but I would never stop trying to win.

Sexual abuse is one of those things we don’t talk about. But we need to. It is happening all around us. We need to open our eyes to the reality of this truth. We would all be shocked if we knew how many girls and boys have been abused in some way. Sexual abuse doesn’t have to be physical. Being exposed to things a child should not be exposed to —  ex. pornography — is a form of abuse as well. I know ten people who have experienced some type of abuse. This number includes the boy (who is now a man) who abused me.

Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. Song of Songs 8:4 NIV

Let’s open the door and be real. Won’t that tick the devil off? How many women, or men, do you know who have been sexually abused? You can’t count me.  Count yourself if you have been abused, but you don’t need to share that it is you if you don’t wish to. Just give us a number.  Let’s bring what has been hidden in darkness into the light.