Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Alabaster by Chris Aslan April 25, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:54 pm
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Maryam is stuck in an abusive marriage, living with her in-laws in a conservative, toxically religious village. A few years back, her father was given a jar of priceless perfume by a dying leper and it seemed as if their fortunes would improve, but then Maryam’s father contracted leprosy and was exiled from the village. Maryam and her siblings, Eleazar and Marta, experience the shame and ostracism this brings. The precious jar that was meant to bring them freedom has only brought destruction. But rumors abound concerning a new doctor; perhaps hope is on the horizon…
Alabaster brings a biblical-era Middle Eastern village and its culture to life for modern-day readers.
My thoughts:
This book will open your eyes to what life was like for those who suffered with leprosy and give you hope for the healing only Jesus can bring.
I have read the Bible several times. I read about the lepers and didn’t think too much of it. I didn’t think about the devastation that it brought to families or how families were torn apart because of the sickness. This book painted a picture that I will not soon forget.
I was immediately concerned for Maryam and the life she was apart of. I wanted a way of escape for her and could only hope it would happen somehow.
The author did a great time weaving the past with the present and making it come together in the end.
If you enjoy Biblical fiction I am sure you would like this book very much. I highly recommend it.
Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 
 

Welcome to College: A Christ-Followers Guide for the Journey by Jonathan Marrow April 19, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:42 pm
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About:

Is there a more frightening question for a graduating high school senior than “What will you do with your life?” In college, whether they realize it or not, students will answer that question every day with each decision. All of the new friends and new experiences of higher education will shape their future. It’s critical that students know how to handle college before they’re in the thick of it.

Jonathan Morrow tackles the tough questions that arise during these formative years, including:

  • How do you grow spiritually?
  • How do you manage your time to both study well and have fun?
  • Is all truth relative?
  • Are there good reasons to be a Christian?
  • As a Christian, how should you view issues like dating and sex?

Each chapter of this new edition has been updated, and the author has included a new chapter on Christianity, homosexuality, and the Bible. Grounded in both his own extensive experience and biblical truth, Morrow’s book is full of quick, easy-to-read chapters and excellent advice.

My thoughts:

This book will give so must backbone to the new college student who wants to stand strong in their faith as they head into a new life.

Most of the chapters are short reads and I definitely think this book should be taken in small bites so the reader can fully absorb what is being said.

The author brings up a lot of points that will be challenging as our children head off to college and gives some logical reasoning and research of why what we believe as Christians can be believed.

I think this would be the perfect time of year for a senior in high school to start reading this book. Any sooner and they would probably forget all they have been reading. Maybe even start the summer before they leave for school. But you want to have it read at some point, this will give them so much more confidence as they head into the unknown world of “adulting”.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

A Trail of Bread Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner April 10, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:34 pm
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Pearl Spence has been through more in her young life than most folks could handle. But through it all, her family has been by her side. They may not be perfect, but they love her and they all love each other, come what may. That’s one thing Pearl no longer questions.

But then a devastating tragedy throws the whole family into a tailspin–and signals the beginning of the end of her secure life.

Now the Spences are fleeing their Oklahoma wasteland for an unknown life in Depression-era Michigan. Pearl isn’t sure she’ll ever see home or happiness again. Will any trail of crumbs be powerful enough to guide her back to the dependable life she once knew?

The strong narrative voice of Finkbeiner’s young protagonist from A Cup of Dust returns in this gritty yet hopeful sequel.

My thoughts:

I haven’t read anything by Susie before and now I would really like to read her other books.

This book is the second, and as stated I didn’t read the first book. This in no way hindered my enjoyment of A Trail of Bread Crumbs.  The way Susie worked in what had happened in the previous book was so seamless I didn’t even really realize I was getting caught up.

She captures Pearl’s voice so well. Even though we are in the mind of a ten-year-old you don’t feel the immaturity that might come with that age, yet it was very age appropriate in tone and perspective.

So much heartache in this book yet here is always a glimmer of hope.

I loved hearing the description and hope they would find in Michigan. Living in Michigan I sometimes forget how beautiful it is. The most amazing thing was the name of the town Pearl moved to. The name is VERY close to the name of the town I live in. I wondered if there was any connection or not. So cool.

A beautiful story that will hold you captive.

Visit Susie here. 

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller March 20, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:54 pm
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the-elusive-miss-ellsion

About:

Pride, Presumption, and forgiveness…

Hampton Hall’s new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter—all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend’s daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother—his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia’s world.

Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother’s, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn’t supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison’s fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic singing voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible—he begins to care. But Lavinia’s aloof manner, society’s opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along.

Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what happens when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she’s ever known?

My thoughts:

First, isn’t the cover just beautiful? That alone made me want to read this book.

So, I will be honest, it took me a couple of chapters before I liked this book. The first chapters didn’t grab my mind and I was sure I wasn’t going to enjoy this story. But I kept reading and I am glad I did.

I really did enjoy this story very much. The cast of characters are all unique and the town in which it is set becomes very clear and endearing.

It almost has a Pride and Prejudice kind of feel to it. Both Lavinia and Nicholas are so stubborn. Just when one begins to soften then something happens to make them not be able to stand each other.

The give and take to this book was timed perfectly to push the reader forward and into the lives of these characters. I will be anxious to read the read of this series.

Visit Carolyn here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

Under and Open Heaven by John E. Johnson March 15, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:21 pm
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About:

Tired of failure?

Frustrated by a confined life?

Starving in the midst of plenty?

In the gospel of John, Jesus talks with people whose struggles we can relate to. They aren’t always straightforward chats, yet they are beautifully applicable to the messiness of life, even life today.

The early believers were facing a world in turmoil and needed a theology to strengthen their souls and steady their nerves. In our similar times of turbulence, we too need to know that the abundant life under the opened heaven John describes is not just conceivable—it’s a promise.

My thoughts:

The author of this book brings up some great points and many different things to consider. I like how he walks through the book of John and examines many of the things we have all become very familiar with and gives things a new spin or deeper understanding.

But for me this book didn’t hold my interest. As I have said in previous reviews non-fiction books really have to grab me in order for me to like them and although this book had a lot of great content it did’t grab me. I found myself easily distracted, thinking about other things and not focusing on the book.

As always, this is my opinions only. It is a good book with good content it just wasn’t for me but I am sure for someone else this book will speak deeply to them.

Visit Dr. Johnson here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

 

Getaway with God by Letitia Suk December 28, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:09 pm
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getaway

About:

Overworked and overwhelmed, many of today’s Christian women live their lives at an exhausting pace–without any margin for refueling. Even in their strongest spiritual seasons, most long for more intimacy and time with their heavenly Father. But with the demands of modern life, simply getting up earlier in the day to fit in a devotion is no longer a viable–or fulfilling–option.

What if there was a way to plug in and recharge your soul, not just your smartphone? What if a simple day away could transform your life? Getaway with God invites readers to step away from the incessant pressure of deadlines and demands to spend time with God. More to the point, it walks women through each step of designing their own retreat–whatever kind is needed.

 

Letitia Suk provides step-by-step guidance and the necessary tools to enable any woman to plan an extended time away on any budget. Part one offers detailed steps for preparation, including descriptions of different kinds of retreats and templates for how to use each hour. Part two focuses on designing a five-day life-review retreat, including guided questions and ways to bring the retreat home. The practical appendixes identify retreat centers nationwide and provide a checklist for what to bring.

Suk’s warm, mentoring voice will assure readers that, no matter what their season in life, the time for retreat is now.

My thoughts:

This book was a bit different then I expected. I guess I was thinking it would be more about how you can getaway with God daily during your quiet time and this book is really an outline for anyone who wants to actually take a day or more and getaway from the hustle and bustle of your regular routine.

With that new mindset this book does what it sets out to do. Letitia gives you real ways you can have your own spiritual retreat on any type of budget. She makes an excellent point when saying we make time and money for those things we really want to do. If you really want to make it happen you will find a way.

She shares about her own personal journey and how she has done retreats and gives several ideas for how you can make your own happen.

If you are wanting to getaway with God and have some quiet time away from your own home Letitia will walk you through that in this book.

Visit Letitia here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

Out by Bob Fife with Ron Hughes November 23, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:45 pm
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out

About:

Bob Fife was raised in a small Ontario town by a Christian mother and an unbelieving father. The tensions made for a dysfunctional home and an uneasy life. But nothing prepared Bob for being sexually molested by an older boy he trusted—or what happened in his heart afterward.
Out is the story of Bob’s descent into homosexual practices and out again. His fascinating journey takes readers from the confusion of his teen years, to his marriage and fatherhood, to his discovery and embrace of the flamboyant Toronto gay scene. He describes abandoning his young family in order to fulfill his same-sex desires, taking him to London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona, Provincetown, Key West, and San Francisco. Over a decade later, an unexpected visit from his college-aged son caused Bob to confront the consequences of his indulgences and begin to seek change.
Today, Bob has been out of his gay lifestyle for over twenty years. He has reconnected with the church, built and maintained healthy, nonsexual relationships, and healed his relationship with his son. For those who want a way to deal with their same-sex attractions, not celebrate them, Bob’s story points a way to grace and redemption.
My thoughts:
Wow…this was a book I couldn’t walk away from. Part of it was because of the life Bob was living and I had to see his way out and I wanted to get there quickly.
This book will offer so much hope to those who truly want to find away out of the gay lifestyle.
However, this book can offer hope to anyone who struggles with any type of sin. Things Bob said in this book are the same things I had to deal with in my own life in overcoming abuse and lust. It’s interesting how really every sin is linked but can manifest itself in different ways.
Bob talks about the hole in his heart that he was trying to fill, about his thoughts following ruts and how he needed to make new paths. I just wanted to shout how I had to do that too even though I never had to deal with same-sex attraction I had to deal with lust for other men.
He does say up front that there will be parts that are difficult to read and it’s true. As someone who was abused reading about his abuse really bothered me and reading about his choices in choosing sin bothered me as well. But I wanted to fully understand his story so I didn’t skip a word.
I really believe anyone who deals with a sin that has them in chains can benefit from this book. So powerful is the work of God. He is good.
I think we also all need to cover Bob with prayer as the enemy hates that he wrote this book that speaks truth and is so timely as we are hearing so many lies and many Christians are even swallowing these lies. The enemy will try to attack Bob because of it this book. If you would just take a moment to pray from him I am sure it will have eternal effects.
Visit Bob here.
Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or your favorite retailer.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.