Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

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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under-and-open-heaven

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. 
 

He Knows Your Name by Linda Znachko October 12, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:49 pm
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He knows your name

About:

When the evening news reported a dead baby abandoned in a local dumpster, Linda Znachko’s comfortable life changed. She was suddenly convicted—God was asking her to provide a dignified burial for this tiny lost child. Linda said yes. She had no idea where that first small yes would lead.

Linda found herself in places she never dreamed she would be: at the graveside of the child of an abused mother; by the side of a mother fighting for her lost child; and at the funeral of a Texas stripper who died two days before her baptism but left a legacy of love behind. When Linda stepped out of her comfort zone and into these implausible places with people she was unlikely to otherwise encounter, she discovered the life she never knew she wanted—a life of saying yes to God whenever He asks.
Today, Linda has a ministry that gives children a name in life, and dignity and honor in death. When she shares her stories of broken lives redeemed, other broken people respond, and so the ripple effects of that long-ago yes continue to spread, touching lives that yearn for healing, and underscoring the fact that every life matters to God.
My thoughts:
 I loved this book. I love non-fiction books that tell a person’s story and how God used them in ways they never imagined. This book is just that.
Linda is such an inspiration. Her complete obedience is totally amazing. She simply listened to the call of Jesus’ voice and did what he told her. It is incredible how God brought other believers into her life to stand beside her.
Her ministry is so much more than it first appears. She is truly ministering to these woman and offering them a peace that can only come for Jesus.
If you want to read a story of hope this is a must read.
Visit Linda 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 in exchange for an honest review. 
 

Realm of Darkness by C.F. Dunn August 19, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:56 pm
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About:

Emma and Matthew are finally free to marry, but Matthew’s secret continues to haunt them.

Emma D’Eresby can look forward to a future with Matthew Lynes. She at last reveals to Matthew the nature of her relationship with Guy Hilliard—her supervisor at Cambridge—and the reason she has found it difficult to forgive him or to trust any other.

Their joy at marrying is short-lived as, to her disgust, Emma discovers that Guy is visiting the United States to attend the history conference at which she is the keynote speaker. Although everyone seems charmed by him, Emma doesn’t trust Guy. Worse still, she discovers that Ellie is dating Guy, bringing him within the family fold.

Long-held grudges and wounds surface and it is clear that Guy poses a threat to everything Emma loves.

My thoughts:

This is the fourth book in this series. I have really been enjoying it, as it is very different from most things I read.

This one kind of gets off to a slow start but yet C.F. has a way with her words that keeps dragging me along and making me want to pick up the book again. Things did pick up and turn into a deeply moving story.

As I read I kept thinking of all Emma had to give up to be with Matthew. To know that the man you love will never grow old but you will. What would their relationship look like in thirty years?

The whole family line-up is a bit confusing but if you have read the other books you will be fine. The author does have a little synopsis in the beginning for readers who haven’t read the first three books. I highly recommend reading them first, it will give a better understanding of what is going on.

One thing to keep in mine is that the publisher is not Christian. There isn’t anything horrible in the book but it’s also a bit more risky than you would find in Christian fiction.

Visit C.F. 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 in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Like A River From Its Course by Kelli Stuart July 11, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:32 pm
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Like a River from

About:

An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope 

The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler’s blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine’s tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

 

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

 

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the “killing ditch.” He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

 

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

 

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Führer’s plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism.
Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.
My thoughts:
This book is AMAZING. I absolutely loved it.
You will be immediately drawn into each characters life and each story is unique, yet somehow tied.
What amazes me is that this could have really happened. Although these characters are fictional, Kelli based yet one off of true events and stories. How heartbreaking.
This is a book you will not easily put down and will want to pick back up and wish you could continue in the lives of these characters.
Faith is beautifully woven in, but it isn’t used as an easy, quick fix to the problems going on.
I had tears flowing at the end, happy tears and sad tears. As I thought about what each character had lived through and realized because of that their lives would never be the same, they would always carry around these memories, good and bad.
The book as also a good reminder that not every German was evil, not every German soldier wanted to be there. Some new perspectives to consider for sure.
If you love WWII stories this is absolutely a MUST read. I cannot recommend it enough.
Visit Kelli 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 in exchange for an honest review.