Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Praying in Public by Pat Quinn September 15, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:26 pm
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Praying in Public by Pat Quinn is a comprehensive guidebook designed to help readers think about, prepare, and pray biblically rich, gospel-centered prayers as an act of corporate worship.

My thoughts:

This is really a great book to get your thinking about how you can have more effective and doctrine rich prayers. As someone who has to pray in public every week it can be intimating and I never want o take that lightly. It does take time and effort but I believe it is worth to point others to Christ and not focus on ourselves so much during prayer, which is what can often happen.

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 through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

The Haunting of Leigh Harker by Darcy Coates September 13, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:30 pm
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From bestselling gothic horror author Darcy Coates comes a chilling story of a quiet house on a forgotten suburban lane that hides a deadly secret…

Leigh Harker is certain her house is haunted. Curtains open by themselves. Radios turn off and on. And a dark figure looms outside her bedroom door at night, watching her…waiting for her to finally let down her guard and fall asleep.

Despite appearances, despite all logic, Leigh knows she’s no longer alone.

Pushed to her limits but unwilling to abandon her beloved home, Leigh’s determined to find some answers. But the more she digs, the more she begins to suspect that her house is keeping troubling secrets…and some of them could be deadly.

My thoughts:

Disclaimer: This is not a Christian book, however, it is clean but does deal with supernatural stuff that Christians won’t typically buy into.

I will say when I first started reading this book I didn’t think I would like it. The first Thirty percent or so had hardly any dialogue and it just felt weird. And then things go interesting. I can’t tell you why or how. But if you pick this book up and aren’t loving it keep reading.

I got to the point where I couldn’t wait to get back to it. I really enjoyed this read and would definitely read more by this author (I like slightly spooky books). There is a lot to warm the heart too and this book has a very satisfying ending.

If you like spooky reads then this might be a book you want to pick up. I am glad I did.

Visit Darcy here.

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

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

The Gold in These Hills by Joanne Bischof September 7, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:12 pm
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One wild and mysterious ghost town. Two second-chance love stories. And the century-old legacy that binds them together. 

Upon arriving in Kenworthy, California, mail-order bride Juniper Cohen is met by the pounding of the gold mine, an untamable landscape, and her greatest surprise of all: the kind and loving man who awaits her. But when the mine proves empty of profit, and when Juniper’s husband, John, vanishes, Juniper is left to fend for herself and her young daughter in the dwindling boomtown that is now her home.

Juniper pens letters to her husband but fears she is waiting on a ghost. Perhaps worse, rumors abound claiming the man she loves could be an outlaw. Surviving in a ghost town requires trusting the kindness of a few remaining souls, including the one who can unlock the mystery of her husband’s disappearance—and Juniper’s survival depends not only upon these friends but also the strength of heart she must fight to maintain.

Present day. Trying to escape the heartache of his failed marriage, Johnny Sutherland throws himself into raising his children and restoring a hundred-year-old abandoned farmhouse in what was once known as Kenworthy, California, in the San Jacinto Mountains. While exploring its secrets he uncovers Juniper’s letters and is moved by the handwritten accounts that bear his name—and as a love story from the past touches his own world, Johnny might discover yet that hope and resilience go hand in hand.

My thoughts:

This is a beautiful story. Although a lot was happening it still had a slow pace to it, but not boring slow. Like weaving together a beautiful tapestry.

I also loved how the author wove in the gospel message and what Jesus did for us.

There really was a lot of sadness in this book. Johnny’s feelings regarding his divorce is really heartbreaking and Juniper’s feelings she has to deal with are raw and real.

Overall, a very interesting read.

Visit Joanne 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 through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

Pure In Heart by J. Garrett Kell September 1, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:35 pm
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Experience Freedom from Sexual Sin through the Power of the Savior

Many women and men trapped in sexual sin believe willpower is the key to overcoming temptation, but your shaky self-discipline doesn’t have to be the source of your strength. Sharing from his personal struggles, J. Garrett Kell explains that life-long transformation rests in the supernatural power of the Savior and the support of a local church. He offers profound insights into Jesus’s teachings on purity and provides you with long-term strategies for your own pathway to freedom.

Written for both men and women struggling with temptation, this book is a vital resource for the church, encouraging a healthy, empathetic community to help brothers and sisters in Christ resist sin. The goal isn’t purity for purity’s sake, but delighting in God and trusting him for ultimate victory.

My thoughts:

This is one of the best books I have read on sexual sin, however, I really think anyone could read this book. We all struggle with some kind of sin. This book was an eye-opener and a reminder that our sin grieves God. I think we loose sight of that in a world that tends to lean heavily on Christ’s love and not enough of Christ’s anger toward sin.

There are also reflection questions at the end so you could use this for personal study or with a group.

A few really good quotes in this book:

“True love never does anything to harm another person’s relationship with God.”

“While believers are free from sin, we can still become ensnared or entangled in it. But such ensnarement is a choice; sin has no power to make a believer do anything.”

“The war against sexual sin is lifelong.” I know people don’t want to believe that last one, but as someone who has struggled with it I still have times I must fight thoughts that are not Godly. I think it is like an alcoholic, they can never have a drink without potentially falling and someone with sexual sin must constantly protect their body and thoughts so they don’t fall.

Again, I recommend this one for any sinner….that means everyone 🙂

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

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

Rediscovering Holiness by J.I. Packer August 12, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:46 pm
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In this repackaged edition of Rediscovering Holiness, Packer explores the central role holiness plays in God’s plan of salvation for the renewal of the church, calling on Christians to shun sin, strive to be more like Christ, be pure, and fear God.

My thoughts:

I think is a topic we don’t think about much, holiness. What does it mean for us to be holy? This is a meaty book and it will not be a quick read but it is worth the time.

Here are a few quotes from the book to whet your appetite.

“…holiness is the substance of which happiness is the spinoff.”

“Those who chase happiness miss it, while those who pursue holiness through the grace of Christ, happiness of spirit comes unasked…”

“Though not much is said about this nowadays, a deepening sense of one’s sinfulness remains a touchstone of the genuine Christian life.”

Sound interesting? If you want to grow in this area this is must read.

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 through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

The Cryptographer’s Dilemma by Johnnie Alexander July 26, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:11 pm
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A Code Developer Uncovers a Japanese Spy Ring
 
Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.
 
FBI cryptographer Eloise Marshall is grieving the death of her brother, who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when she is assigned to investigate a seemingly innocent letter about dolls. Agent Phillip Clayton is ready to enlist and head oversees when asked to work one more FBI job. A case of coded defense coordinates related to dolls should be easy, but not so when the Japanese Consulate gets involved, hearts get entangled, and Phillip goes missing. Can Eloise risk loving and losing again?

My thoughts:

Great start to a new series that Barbour is putting out. I didn’t realize it was based on a true story until the end, I love that!

This book had a lot to hold your interest. There was a sub plot and at first I was like why is this part of the story, it seemed to take it off track but Johnnie tied it in beautifully.

I enjoyed this cast of characters very much, they all played a vital role and were well developed.

Visit Johnnie 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 through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

PreachersNSneakers by Ben Kirby July 14, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:21 pm
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Do you ever feel like church has become a performance? Ben Kirby, founder of the viral social media sensation PreachersNSneakers, tackles the growing problem of pastoral wealth, consumerism, and (wannabe) celebrity, helping struggling believers who want to live a more genuine faith find a way forward.

What started as a joke account on Instagram has turned into a movement. Through this provocative project, the founder of PreachersNSneakers is helping thousands of Jesus followers wrestle with the inevitable dilemmas created by a culture obsessed with image and entertainment: pastors wearing Gucci sneakers and carrying Louis Vuitton bags while their churches grow more and more obsessed with celebrity and fame.

In PreachersNSneakers: Authenticity in an Age of For-Profit Faith and (Wannabe) Celebrities, the author boldly confronts many of the difficult questions plaguing countless Christians’ minds, such as:Should pastors grow wealthy from religion, and why do we get so angry when they do?Is it okay to stoke envy among others with curated “lifestyle” images on social media?Do we really believe that divine blessings are monetary, or is that just religious wallpaper to hide our own greed?Is there space in Christendom for celebrities like Kanye and Bieber to exist without distorting the good news?Is it wrong for someone like this author to call out faith leaders online and leverage “cancel culture” to affect change?

PreachersNSneakers will navigate these challenging questions and many more with humor, wit, candor, and a few never-before-published hijinks. Each chapter will explore the various sides of the debate, holding space for readers to make up their own minds. The book will doubtlessly become a staple for church small groups, college ministries, and book clubs, emboldening struggling believers who want to live a more genuine faith.

After all, the Lord works in mysterious colorways.

My thoughts:

PreachsNSneakers is an Instagram account I follow and fine rather interesting, so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it.

Although the tone is somewhat lighthearted and fun the subject matter is one I have wrestled with and wondered about.

Not only does the author deal with some tough questions about celebrity pastors and celebrities who claim Christianity, it also deals with the prosperity gospel that many of these pastor pedal. Like Jesus will make our lives all better if we just sow into our faith, which could be with money or doing the “right” things. Yes, I bought into this lie for years.

The author also brought up something I do. Which is post on Instagram. What is my point in posting my fun family vacations? Am I trying to make people jealous of my life, in which case I am could be causing people to stumble on the commandment not to envy. Something I definitely need to examine.

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 through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli June 24, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:27 am
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Award-winning author Heidi Chiavaroli transports readers across time and place in this time-slip novel that will appeal to fans of Little Women.

Two women, one living in present day Massachusetts and another in Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House soon after the Civil War, overcome their own personal demons and search for a place to belong.

2001
Abandoned by her own family, Taylor is determined not to mess up her chance at joining the home of her best friend, Victoria Bennett. But despite attending summer camp at Louisa May Alcott’s historic Orchard House with Victoria and sharing dreams of becoming famous authors, Taylor struggles to fit in. As she enters college and begins dating, it feels like Taylor is finally finding her place and some stability . . . until Victoria’s betrayal changes everything.

1865
While Louisa May Alcott is off traveling the world, Johanna Suhre accepts a job tending Louisa’s aging parents and their home in Concord. Soon after arriving at Orchard House, Johanna meets Nathan Bancroft and, ignoring Louisa’s words of caution, falls in love and accepts Nathan’s proposal. But before long, Johanna experiences her husband’s dark side, and she can’t hide the bruises that appear.

2019
After receiving news of Lorraine Bennett’s cancer diagnosis, Taylor knows she must return home to see her adoptive mother again. Now a successful author, Taylor is determined to spend little time in Concord. Yet she becomes drawn into the story of a woman who lived there centuries before. And through her story, Taylor may just find forgiveness and a place to belong.

My thoughts:

Oh my. What a great book. This is the second book I have read by Heidi. She is really a brilliant writer. She just punches the reader in the gut with the surprises she places in her books.

Not only did I enjoy reading this book it also reminded my why I love to write. Not that I have been doing it at all. But after reading this I am inspired to get back to the laptop and write.

Don’t worry if you aren’t overly familiar with Louisa May Alcott. Although, I obviously know she wrote Little Women I didn’t know much else about her. That didn’t take away from the book, which I was concerned it might.

If you haven’t given Heidi’s book a read yet I recommend you do.

Visit Heidi 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 through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin June 15, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:27 pm
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For fans of bestselling WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands, forcing each into a complicated dance of choice and consequence.
Lena is a wife and mother who farms alongside her husband in the tranquil countryside. Her faith has always been her compass, but can she remain steadfast when the questions grow increasingly complex and the answers could mean the difference between life and death?

Lena’s daughter Ans has recently moved to the bustling city of Leiden, filled with romantic notions of a new job and a young Dutch police officer. But when she is drawn into Resistance work, her idealism collides with the dangerous reality that comes with fighting the enemy.

Miriam is a young Jewish violinist who immigrated for the safety she thought Holland would offer. She finds love in her new country, but as her family settles in Leiden, the events that follow will test them in ways she could never have imagined.

The Nazi invasion propels these women onto paths that cross in unexpected, sometimes-heartbreaking ways. Yet the story that unfolds illuminates the surprising endurance of the human spirit and the power of faith and love to carry us through.

My thoughts:

I haven’t read a Lynn Austin book in quite some time. This is a very good one. I loved the peek into life as the war was beginning and how different people reacted.

It’s also a cruel reminder of how ruthless Hitler was, even to those that wanted to remain neutral during the war.

If you enjoy historical reads, I am sure you will enjoy this one.

Visit Lynn 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 through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar June 3, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:33 pm
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Whispered secrets about her parents’ past take on new urgency for Chariline as she pays one last visit to the land of her forefathers, the ancient kingdom of Cush.
Raised as an orphan by her aunt, Chariline has only been told a few pieces of her parents’ tragic love story. Her beautiful dark skin is proof that her father was Cushite, but she knows nothing else. While visiting her grandfather before his retirement as the Roman official in the queen’s court, Chariline overhears that her father is still alive, and discovering his identity becomes her obsession. Both her grandfather and the queen have reasons for keeping this secret, however, and forbid her quest. So when her only clues lead to Rome, Chariline sneaks on the ship of a merchant trusted by friends.

Theo is shocked to discover a stowaway on board his vessel and determines to be rid of her as soon as possible. But drawn in by Chariline’s story, he feels honor-bound to see her safely to shore, especially when it appears someone may be willing to kill for the truth she seeks.

In this transformative tale of historical fiction, bestselling author Tessa Afshar brings to life the kingdom of Cush and the Roman Empire, introducing readers to a fascinating world filled with gripping adventure, touching romance, and a host of lovable characters—including some they may recognize from the biblical book of Acts.

My thoughts:

I always enjoy Tessa’s take on characters from the Bible and how she develops them into a story.

This is an interesting story, although not my favorite of Tessa’s but still good. Lots of twists and turns in the plot and the question surrounding Chariline’s father and if he was still alive and the fact that someone was trying to kill her made it interesting.

Visit Tessa 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 through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.