Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

An Intentional Life by Karen Stott May 2, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:52 pm
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A joy-filled life is possible…And you can have it right where you are.

Those desires that tug on your heart and keep you up at night—the big dreams, grand adventures, new experiences—require purpose and planning, time and effort. Is it possible to follow your passions while still finding joy and meaning where God has you right now?

With the voice of a close friend, Karen Stott offers insight and inspiration from her story of juggling motherhood and multiple businesses while leading Pursuit, a global entrepreneurial community. You will be empowered to…

prepare space in your day for the endeavors that matter most to you and yours discover clear ways to keep your home, family, and work in healthy balance enjoy fresh moments of grace and gratitude as you make sure you are in your life

If you are aching for more than a cycle of never-ending demands and not-enough peace, be inspired by how God can help you discover your purpose and cultivate An Intentional Life.

My thoughts:

This book is full of Karen’s personal experiences and how she handled things in her life. How she has learned to be sensitive to God’s promptings.

Something awakened in me as I read this book. I was reminded that I have lost a lot of what God spoke to me several years ago. I am starting to see that maybe the reason I haven’t been happy lately is because I am not being obedient to what God has called me to.

This book reads almost like a personal journal. So if you enjoy that style of writing you will enjoy this.

Sometimes the chapters seems a bit short, I felt like it was just getting started and it was done and I wasn’t sure what happened. But otherwise a nice read.

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

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

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The Dream of You: Let Go of Broken Identities and Live the Life You Were Made For by Jo Saxton March 8, 2018

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About The Dream of You

Let’s be honest, the life you lead isn’t what you’ve always dreamt. And maybe the person you’ve become isn’t who you’ve always imagined. Sure, you can clean it up. You can work longer, love harder, and eat better. You can scrub the surface of your life until it gleams and still never address the fact that somehow you lost sight of who you really are and what you’re living for.

Is this the life you were meant to live?

As the child of Nigerian immigrants in the UK, author and speaker Jo Saxton knows firsthand how quickly the world can cause us to doubt our dreams and question who we are. She understands how easily we can exchange our true child-of-God selves for an identity built on lies, guilt, and brokenness.
In this powerful book, Jo examines Biblical figures and shares her personal story as she invites you to turn to the One who knows you intimately and loves you deeply. He sees all you’ve struggled to hide. He hears the voice inside you that others have silenced. He knows the potential and purpose that no one valued. He longs to redeem the story of your life and set you on the path to reclaim The Dream of You. Are you ready?

My thoughts:
This book speaks so much truth and is a message we need to hear and allow to sink into our hearts. I believe a big problem a lot of us have is not knowing who we really are, our identities have been tainted by this world.
Jo does a great job between sharing her personal story and the Bible. I was highly engaged in this book and looked forward to picking it up each morning during my quiet time. She really got me thinking about my identity and who does God say I am, not who I think I am.
 Overall, a very good read and I highly recommend it.
Visit Jo 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 Daniel Dilemma by Chris Hodges December 29, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:47 pm
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We have real hope we’re called to share. But how we share it makes a difference. 

Christians today face a dilemma: in a world that seems to reject everything we believe, how do we walk closely with God without caving to pressure or alienating those we hope to reach?

In this eye-opening new book, Chris Hodges provides a solution by examining the life of the prophet Daniel, who persevered in a corrupt culture that closely resembles our own—and emerged as an influential force in God’s redemptive plan. Full of scripture and seasoned with Hodges’ candid personal insights, The Daniel Dilemma shows us that we can hold firmly to biblical beliefs without becoming obnoxious, insulting, or mad. We can stand strong while loving others well. Because standing for truth isn’t about winning the argument; it’s about winning hearts. And when we learn the secret of connecting before correcting, we discover that we can respond to today’s hard questions without compromising grace or truth.

With fresh insights and practical ideas, Hodges encourages Christians struggling with our cultural reality to hold God’s standards high and his grace deep—just as Jesus did, and just as his followers today are called to do.

My thoughts:

LOVE this book. So much good stuff in here. Chris gets to the core of things and gives simple, yet effective ways to stand strong in a world of compromise.

How do we stand for our Christian beliefs yet love others? I’m not an expert but I know I have somehow manged to do it in my classroom. One of my students who is very open about his lifestyle tells me my class is his happy, safe place. I didn’t create that by preaching at him I created that by being kind and listening to him. He knows what I believe yet he sees that I care about him. I will never condone his lifestyle but I will love him.

Chris gives practical advice how we all can do that.

I have highlighted so much from this book I can’t share it all but here are a views quotes:

“Truth without grace is mean. Grace without truth is meaningless. Truth and grace together are good medicine.”

“Worship is not about responsive readings or singing hymns. Worship is surrendering yourself to the power, majesty, and goodness of your Creator, letting God be God — even when you don’t understand what he’s doing or when you disagree.”

Love this one: “We should really consider whether we’re willing to give praise to a team of athletes who don’t even know us but stay silent before the God who created us. It all comes down to worship.”

There’s so much more but I just suggest you pick up the book and give it a read for yourself. I really enjoyed this.

Visit Chris 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.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

In the Middle of the Mess by Sheila Walsh December 16, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:59 am
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In her long-awaited new book, Sheila Walsh equips women with a practical method for connecting with God’s strength in the midst of struggle. From daily frustrations that can feel like overwhelming obstacles to hard challenges that turn into rock-bottom crises, women will find the means to equip themselves for standing strong with God. Using the spiritual applications of confession, prayer, and meditation on Scripture to form a daily connection to Jesus, women will learn how to experience new joy as a child of God who is fully known, fully loved, and fully accepted.

In In the Middle of the Mess, Walsh reveals the hardened defenses that kept her from allowing God into her deepest hurts and shares how entering into a safe place with God and practicing this daily connection with him have saved her from the devil’s prowling attacks. Though we will never be completely “fixed” on earth, we are continually held by Jesus, whatever our circumstances.

My thoughts:

Wow. I needed to read this book. This is probably the best non-fiction book I read in 2017. I have never read anything by Sheila before but I have heard her speak a few times in Women of Faith conferences and I always enjoyed her.

This book is raw and messy. Sheila gets real with her emotions. I was worried at times that it might become depressing but it really didn’t. She talks about how we need to keep going to Jesus with our stuff, keep confessing. It isn’t one time fix all. It can be, of course. But more often than not we need to keep going to Jesus. He loves that! He wants us to come to him with our junk.

She also talks about the importance of sharing your junk with others (I couldn’t agree more) and having a community of people who you can go to when you are feeling weak.

There is a reflection at the end of each chapter that takes you deeper in your own journey. I can’t recommend this one enough.

Visit Sheila here.

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

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

 

Seeing the Supernatural by Jennifer Eivaz November 15, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:09 pm
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Foundational Teaching on Discerning What Is Happening in the Spiritual Realm

For many believers, operating in the gifts of the Spirit has become a normal way of life. Yet there is one often-overlooked, often-misunderstood gift crucial to the well-being of the church: the gift of discerning spirits.

This gift is the powerful supernatural ability to hear and see into the spiritual realm, yet many people who have it may think they are crazy. Finding no help from the church, some have turned to medical doctors and actually been diagnosed with a mental disorder. Jennifer Eivaz, a trusted prophetic voice, has been there, and she offers hope, healing, and practical help. Pulling back the veil, she
· lays a biblical foundation for how this gift works
· helps you discern what you are seeing and hearing
· reveals what is happening in the spiritual realm
· provides insight into the demonic, the angelic, and spiritual happenings
· and more.

The enemy is on the move. More than ever, the church needs people who operate in this powerful gift to expose hidden threats and help lead the church to victory.

My thoughts:

I am always interested in learning more about this subject and I have a desire to be more sensitive to what is going on around me supernaturally. I have read other books similar to this and have enjoyed them. I liked this book as well.

I appreciated how Jennifer talked not only about seeing the negative things but also seeing positive things, like angels. She also discusses picking up on things from other people and things they might carry with them. I really like learning the name of some spirits and their function and how they attack us. This makes it so much easier to come against them, knowing their function and how they try to take us down.

If you find this subject interesting I highly recommend this book.

Visit Jennifer 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.com. All opinions are my own.

 

A Crazy, Holy Grace and The Remarkable Ordinary by Frederick Buechner November 1, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:48 pm
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When pain is real, why is God silent?

Frederick Buechner has grappled with the nature of pain, grief, and grace ever since his father committed suicide when Buechner was a young boy. He continued that search as a father when his daughter struggled with anorexia. In this essential collection of essays, including one never before published, Frederick Buechner finds that the God who might seem so silent is ever near. He writes about what it means to be a steward of our pain, and about this grace from God that seems arbitrary and yet draws us to his holiness and care. Finally he writes about the magic of memory and how it can close up the old wounds with the memories of past goodnesses and graces from God.

Here now are the best of Buechner’s writings on pain and loss, covering such topics as the power of hidden secrets, loss of a dearly beloved, letting go, resurrection from the ruins, peace, and listening for the quiet voice of God. And he reveals that pain and sorrow can be a treasure—an amazing grace.

Buechner says that loss will come to all of us, but he writes that we are not alone. Crazy and unreal as it may sometimes seem, God’s holy, healing grace is always present and available if we are still enough to receive it.

My thoughts:

Unfortunately, this book was not what I expected it to be. This really seemed more of a memoir and Frederick’s thoughts. And I honestly had trouble following his thoughts. There were times I wasn’t sure if what he was writing was something that actually happened or some kind vision? I normally really like non-fiction that uses a lot of story but this had a bit too much without much purpose for me. I never felt we got to the point. This was definitely not the book for me.

Visit Frederick 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. All opinions are my own. 

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Your remarkable life is happening right here, right now.

You may not be able to see it–your life may seem predictable and your work insignificant, until you look at your life as Frederick Buechner does.

Based on a series of mostly unpublished lectures, Frederick Buechner reveals how to stop, look, and listen to your life. He reflects on how both art and faith teach us how to pay attention to the remarkableness right in front of us, to watch for the greatness in the ordinary, to use our imaginations to see the greatness in others and to love them well.

As you learn to listen to your life and what God is doing in it, you will uncover the plot of your life’s story and the sacred opportunity to connect with the divine in each moment.

Pay attention, says Buechner. Listen to the call of a bird or the rush of the wind, to the people who flow in and out of your life. The ordinary points you to the extraordinary God who created and loves all of creation, including you. Pay attention to these things as if your life depends upon it. Because, of course, it does.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed how this book started out. Frederick reminds us to enjoy the moments, not coast through live. Pay attention to what is going on around you. In this book we hear a bit more about how Frederick got to where he is now and I enjoyed that background information.

However, I didn’t love this book. I think I have discovered the Frederick’s book just aren’t for me and not my style. I don’t resonate with his writing. But I know many other people probably do.

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. All opinions are my own. 

 

The Master’s Mind: The Art of Reshaping Your Thoughts by Lance Hahn October 11, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:27 pm
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God Wants to Help You Overcome Your Greatest Battle of All

What we think and believe determines who we are. If that’s so, then why are we so insecure, defensive, lonely, empty, fearful, depressed, self-absorbed, dysfunctional, angry and confused? We are a mess. But that’s not what God has in mind for us.

In fact, the Master has hope, strength, beauty, joy, love, creativity, freedom, power, peace, patience, goodness, laughter, organization, effectiveness and purpose for us. So, what went wrong?

We lost our identity in our sin. We’ve become unanchored, tossed about on the sea of a million influences, none of which is our Master’s heart or mind. Between the world, the flesh and the devil, we don’t know what to think and therefore our lives are filled with hurt, pain and regret. Someone is running the show in our minds and it’s not us, at least not the real us, nor the real owner.

Jesus is not okay with this. He died to save us from our sins and set us free. He made a way for our souls to be rescued from our enemies. He bought the territory of our minds and planted His flag of holy ground.

It’s time for us to get angry enough to take back control of our minds, to master them and bring them back in alignment with the Master’s will. It’s time to return to The Master’s Mind.

My thoughts:

Yes. Yes. Yes. We need this book. I know I did. So powerful and so true.

If you  have read Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind then you will love this book. I so needed this book, it came into my life at the perfect time. The way Lance talks about shaping our mind to the mind of Christ just really struck me and took me deeper. This was a non-fiction book I made time to read because I need my mind reshaped.

If you struggle with your thought life in any way, if you know you aren’t thinking how Christ designed you to think you must read this book. It’s like taking a breath of fresh air over your thoughts.

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. All opinions are my own.