Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Review: Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel by Ginger Garrett April 22, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:01 am
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Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel

by

Ginger Garrett

From the back cover:

Beyond the Drama, Her Heart Was Real
 
From the moment her marriage to prince Ahab thrusts her into the intrigues of palace life, Jezebel’s exotic beauty opens doors and her will breaks down walls. Torn from her homeland and wed to power in a strange country, Jezebel vows to create a legacy and power all her own. Some might call her a manipulative schemer, bent on having her way. But they don’t know the whole story, and she was much, much worse. As she moves through the halls of power, her heart struggles between devotion to the gods she worships, the prince who loves her, and her thirst for revenge. She sparks a battle between her strangely powerless gods and the God of palace administrator Obadiah—a God who confronts her with surprising might. She will fight, though victory may cost her everything.
 
My thoughts:
 
When I first saw this book I hesitated to read it. One of the first rules of writing is to write about characters who are likeable. I have read the story of Jezebel in the  Bible and I knew I didn’t like her already. But curiosity won out. I wondered how the author, Ginger Garrett, would make Jezebel a sympathetic character.
 
As I read I found myself having mixed emotions about Jezebel. The back story Ginger gives her helped me better understand Jezebel’s brokenness and even feel sorry for her at times. Other times she made me so angry, but never to the point I wanted to put the book down.
 
Ginger has managed to take a very unlikable person and pull me into her story, along with her husband, Ahab and his assistant, Obadiah.
 
Jezebel is like the rest of us, broken and looking for hope. Her hope is misdirected, as ours can often be. She places her hope of finding love in a false god and not Yahweh. But don’t we do that even now? Maybe not with something we call a god but with things, people or relationships? We hope to find love in things that were never meant to love us completely, that can never satisfy us.
 
Only God completely satisfies us and Jezebel rejects Yahweh. She does ask some questions I am sure we have all asked. How could God withhold rain from a people He claims to love? She notes the other consequences God unleashed on the Israelites in the past. But we know we serve a just God, not a God who is okay with making sure we are comfortable all the time, He is more concerned with growing our character.
 
This is not a light read in any way. Heavy stuff happens and things we find repulsive (such as the sacrifice of infants) as Jezebel’s people worship her god.
 
Overall I loved this book, I had trouble putting it down. I know the story but I wanted to read how Ginger would portray the events. 
 
This book does not release until May 1st, so add it to your wish list or pre-order it now.
 
To order from Amazon click here.
 
To order from Barnes and Noble click here.
 
To order from Christianbook.com click here.
 
To visit Ginger’s website click here.
 
An ebook of this book was given to  me through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
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Being Brave-Part 13 February 15, 2013

I said this would be Heather’s last week, but who knew my sister could be long-winded? She has a few more weeks of story to share before she is done, which is just fine. It’s amazing to hear and read.

So here’s more of Heather’s Genesis 502o, the updated, happening-right-now part 🙂

I went back into a strip club last weekend.  Actually, I went into several strip clubs. 

Before I tell you about the awesome mission God has put me on, let me tell you how it all got started.

On December 9, 2012, the message in church that week was a video of me reading my Genesis 5020.  That was a very special day for me.  That was the day I officially became free. 

My story was out there, everyone at church knew all the shame I had been hiding under.  I did one of the things I feared most, I put myself out there for all to see, hear and judge.  But something amazing happened that day, instead of being judged, I was loved.  I never received so many hugs in one day my entire life! 

I was finally free from my shame and could talk openly about my past.

As you all know, at the end of my Genesis 5020, I talk about a couple ministries, one of them being My Sister Song, a strip club outreach.  Well, after giving my testimony at church, saying how I would love to help women in the sex industry, I felt like that left me sort of accountable, like I had better actually get involved and do something in some ministry.  But I just wasn’t sure which ministry and what type of involvement that would be.  So I left it alone for a little while and prayed about it.

On January 13, 2013, I went to church just like I do every Sunday.  I thought the only thing special about the day was that it happened to be my birthday, which seems to get less special every year because I’m only getting older. 

But as I sat in church that Sunday, God stirred something inside me.

Pastor Gayle spoke about Joshua and how he led the Israelites to Jericho.  How they marched around the city and blew their horns and the walls of the city came crashing down.  (I am not doing the sermon justice, if you’d like to hear it for yourself click here.

 But then he asked us what was our Jericho?  What walls in our life did we need to knock down?  Are we going to be like the ten men who went into the promised land and came out saying there’s no way we can take over that city or are we going to be like Joshua and Caleb, who came out saying, this is what God wants us to do, so let’s do it!  Pastor Gayle challenged us to be strong and courageous, just as Joshua had been.

God was working on my heart, especially that day.  I decided I was going to be like Joshua, strong and courageous. 

So, that evening I went to My Sister Song’s website.  I had checked it out before, I knew what the ministry was all about. 

Ihere’s a place on the website where you can send them an email.  So that’s what I did.  I sent an email saying that I am a former stripper/prostitute and I would like to be involved in their ministry in some capacity.

Later on that same night, I received an email from Laura Urenda, the founder of My Sister Song.  She had a few questions for me and wanted to know more of my story.  So I emailed her back, answering her questions and gave her what I called the short version of my story.

The next day, she emailed me back asking for my address so she could send me a care package that she sends to girls who are or have worked in the industry who contact My Sister Song.  I received the package the next day. 

gift-331280343755JVC1It was filled with lotions, body spray, earrings, information about Connection Church, which is the church their ministry is based out of.  It also contained a book by Harmony Dust who is the founder of Treasures, a strip club ministry in California (My Sister Song and  other ministries like it have been trained by Treasures staff), the book is called Scars and Stilettos. 

It also had a little book titled, Jesus Loves Strippers.  Laura also included candy and crayons and a coloring book for my little girl.  The care package was an expression of Jesus’ love, I totally understand why they send them out!

There was also a cd in the package.  It was Laura speaking at Celebrate Recovery.  She told her story of how she worked in the sex industry and how she got out but she also talked about the various reasons girls find themselves working in the industry. 

She gave a lot of statistics as well.  It was very moving.  I emailed her back after listening to the cd and told her that I was a little jealous of her being able to speak like that.  That’s something I just don’t think I’m very good at but would love to have the courage to do someday. (Whoa, did I just say that?)

So then she said if I felt like I was ready to go back into the strip clubs, she knew a great way I could get involved in her ministry.  And if I wasn’t ready to go into the clubs, there were several other ways I could be involved.

When I read that, I jumped up and down for joy!  

I’m ready, so ready to reach out to these women and let them know they have a Heavenly Father who loves them dearly, and not only that, even though that’s all any of us need, I love them and understand what they’re going through.  

This is what I am called to do!  I felt it all throughout my body. 

I emailed her back and said sign me up, what do I need to do?!  She set up a training class for me on February 4th.

It’s your turn to be brave.

Heather does have a few more weeks but I need someone who is willing to share their story after her. Will it be you? Have you been trying to talk yourself out of every time I ask but it keeps coming up, “Maybe I could share.”

If it keeps coming up  then you are supposed to share. Someone needs your story and it’s not really yours anyway, as Heather said last week, it’s God’s story, you’re just living it. Email your story to: 5020genesisstories (at) gmail (dot)com