Monday, January 12, 2015

Dan Walsh, "When Night Comes" Book Review


Bestselling author Dan Walsh continues in a new genre, a suspense novel, with "When Night Comes."  He still keeps me up at nights turning pages, although while hating for his books to end, it gets imperative to keep reading every spare moment I get. This book is very different from the series he wrote with Gary Smalley and made me think about the "The Discovery" with the air of mystery surrounding it.
 
It didn't take long to realize why Dan picked the title that he did and I loved how he gave a description of the main character as a Johnny Depp looking guy. Somehow I could picture more Dan's looks as the writer/history lecturer in this book.
 
I love novels about sleepy Georgia towns and thought the book cover was one of the best.
 
This book took several surprising turns; a few that nearly brought on anxiety attacks both for me and Jack Turner. The ending was a real shocker to me but please don't read ahead as you need to be as surprised as I was to get the full effect of the genius that is Dan Walsh.
 
I bought this book to give to my husband for Christmas but couldn't resist reading it first. I will always remain a fan of Dan Walsh and his work. Keep writing, Dan!
 

Monday, January 5, 2015

The long-lost and nearly forgotten blog

I know a lot of you probably think that I forgot I had a blog to attend to. Can I say life has gotten in the way of blogging and get away with it? Life, emotions, relationships, holidays, sicknesses and more but I'm back. 
 Actually, "Hello My name is..." was one of my favorite blogs as I was able to mention so many cool things going on in our area in that one so I left it up longer. Now I know I need to be more faithful, so that is my prayer for the new year, to be a better, more faithful "me."

Thirty-five years ago today I told Bill I had feelings for him. It was with more than a little bit of intimidation as we went into this relationship looking only for friendship, at least that were my thoughts and his too as he was just hurting from laying a relationship down. It was the day after the night a friend of mine gave birth in her home. I had attended the birth by her request, to be there to pray her child into the world. God only knows that praying was my only criteria to be there, as I was no nurse. It was an especially traumatic birth and just as the thought that something needed to be done, such as call 911, baby Shemuel emerged, screaming and healthy. Praise the good Lord! I was on a high from that that lasted all day. But then I think it gave me the boldness to express my feelings to Bill that night.

At that time in my life as a single mom, I felt I would probably never find someone to marry me; I was pushing thirty with a teenage daughter. I do have to say that although I longed to be married again, the Lord was the most magnificent husband ever to me, speaking to me often and providing for me and my daughter, Regina. Some of the moments she and I had together living in a small house in West Melbourne, I will treasure forever.

After I expressed my feelings to Bill, God put us on a fast-track, not without some bumps and detours, and we married on July 19th, 1980, to the strands of Annie's Song. It still is bumpy at times, we are truly a “work in progress” but the Lord is good and has been good to us. May the new year truly be one of our best as we remember what and Who truly brought us together. The Lord, our God!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hello, my name is...


  
Hello, my name is Child of the One True King:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuJWQzjfU3o
Sometimes when I think about my life and how good God is to me, I really wonder, why me? At times I am amazed at the awesome people the Lord has surrounded me with. I am amazed at the greatness that I am allowed to participate among when I meet people of wonderful character starting back many years ago with the prophet, the late C. L. Moore, Steve Scheffler, authors Calvin Miller, Cec Murphey, all of our Word Weaver authors and more people than I can name. I realize that as a daughter of the King, the One High God, Jesus, who is my Hope and Deliverer, it is pure grace to me. I am a child of the One True King. 

Lately I have been involved with some really cool things, many having a common thread. Actually I must back up over six years when I joined a support group. I fell in love with the people and have been faithful to that family meeting that helps me get through the day. Then two years ago I was blessed when I participated in a small degree with the Let's Go Ministry's Motel Church.

My main ministry involvement is Word Weavers Volusia County and I am constantly amazed at the talent among our group and I do admit they are well loved by me. They truly enhance my life and give me something to look forward to each month. When I am able to attend the Florida Christian Writer's Conference at Lake Yale, FL I am even more joyful. Eva Marie Everson and Mark Hancock as well as many other workers put on a great conference. Link: http://www.floridacwc.net/

The blessing of the Lord came to me in September when I was privileged to join with many others at the Daytona Beach Bandshell and give a voice of Recovery hope at Recovery Month Events. All those who participated in booths and onstage were a blessing to our area.

I especially thank Pastor Monzell Ford who looked at my heart instead of my life and allowed me to read a poem dedicated to my daughter, Regina, who is over six years in recovery now. At a time that I felt very low, this Godly man encouraged me and gave me a strong hope to press on. Then the next thing that I was so privileged to participate in was the God Belongs in My City walk. What a joyful, powerful event that ended on the steps of City Hall in Daytona with many prayers, proclamations, songs and testimonies to the glory of Jesus. His name was proclaimed and He was honored that day by the vision Pastor Monzell had and the organization that he and many other godly people including his first lady, instituted. A walk by people of all walks of life came forth in our city and it was a powerful event.

I also have been participating in some awesome workshops at Family Worship Center with the series by Pastor Ray called Transform U. Body, soul and spirit help at the best and the workshop by Russell Holloway and then the one by Pastor John and Pastor Cathy bringing Marc Mero here was of the utmost in help for families. Transforming for sure! Bill was so impressed with Marc that he is taking Isaiah to meet him soon.


The next event that I am doing some behind the scenes work for is the Freedom Experience sponsored by the Lets Go Ministry on November 14th and 15th at 5:00 at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuJWQzjfU3o

My goal in life is to live well, speaking well of others, learning to walk in the Holy Spirit always and learning to have the wisdom of God. I want to pay forward help and healing even if my own family isn't completely healed yet, I believe. I keep on believing it is coming, I believe we will be a modern day Joseph story, that where things were meant for evil, the Lord will bring it full circle to good. Hello, my name is Child of the One True King and your name can be that also.

You can also find me at Somebody's Mother online Prayer Support Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/119408188089314/

and The Substance Abuse Task Force 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

JADE, The Serenity Prayer and The Ways of the Lord Towards Us


JADE
I learned a lesson on this acronym from my al-anon sponsor who is also a good friend and a writing mentor. When faced with people who are acting or talking in an unreasonable way to us we think JADE: We don't justify, argue, defend or explain we just exit.
J ustify
A rgue
D efend
E xplain/exit
 
     That may mean hanging up the phone if we are being vented upon, it may mean taking some time for yourself and our program, it may mean praying and seeking a blessing for that person who is going through their own pain and hurt. JADE is a new concept to me, but a good one.
 
I got some magnets with slogans or sayings on them at the gratitude dinner Saturday.
 
"I'm never going to have it all figured out---and that is just fine."
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am leaning how to sail my ship."
"Perfection is a long way off, but improvement can be made to happen everyday."
"It takes what it takes."
And the cutest one yet, "Don't mess with chicks in recovery."
  
 I'm adding a devo that I wrote but hasn't been published yet:
The Ways of the Lord Towards Us
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psalm 100:5

Today as I think about those who are grieving, those who are sick and in need of a Healer, those who want to give up, those who are afraid their children will die of an overdose on the streets, and those who are afraid their loved one will just decide to end it all, I pray.
I pray because that is really all I can do. I yield to Him, although sometimes I want to try to fix someone; sometimes I may even want to shake someone. But  I yield to the Lord, because letting go and letting God is the only reasonable thing that I can do. It keeps me sane in an insane world.
His ways are good even when we can't see for the darkness. His ways are good even when they aren’t our ways. His ways are good through the valley of the shadow of death. His ways are good when we are lonely because He will come to us. His ways are good when we are struggling because He can calm the struggle. His ways are good when our children have abandoned or forsaken us (and Him) and gone astray because He is the mighty shepherd who searches for the lost one. His ways are good in pain as He is the healer. His ways are good when the road is long and the journey seems too hard to travel for He travels with us.
His ways are good we will believe for this year. We can’t create, change or cure but His ways are good and He can. Think on your blessings, as that is the only way to overcome the darkness of this world. He is the light and His ways are good! The goodness of the Lord lives forever.
Prayer: The Serenity Prayer.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.--Reinhold Niebuhr
What to do for yourself:  Focus on your blessings as you take long, deep, cleansing breaths. When stressed throughout the day remember to breathe deeply.

Thought: Sometimes we just need to say a prayer to get our minds in a better place. Focus on the Lord’s goodness in your life even as addiction has flavored it. The Lord is good even when _____________ because_________. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I Will always be known as a Sister Among You, just Somebody's Mother


I wasn't sure about posting this but it was a wonderful opportunity to share in the community. My husband, Bill videotaped with the phone me reading some of my poems at Florida Recovery Saturday night.

I dedicated the poems to my daughter, Regina Hix, who is over six years clean, sober and helping others now:) She takes meetings into jails, institutions and recovery rehabs whenever possible besides working full time and helping her husband run a new business. The Lord was so faithful to answer my prayers that she would not die on the streets of Daytona. I am very proud of her. Praise the good Lord, Hope is always in front of us.

 I want to thank all of those wonderful people who worked so hard to make this event possible, they are too many to name personally but Vicki Kress and Pastor Monzell D. Ford especially.
They did a great and awesome job. The talent show was incredible and the poem by the winner of last year's show was amazing. Recovery is alive and well in the State of Florida!

Click here if you want to see the video:  https://vimeo.com/107531545?utm_source=email&utm_medium=clip-transcode_complete-finished-20120100&utm_campaign=7701&email_id=Y2xpcF90cmFuc2NvZGVkfGFjYTJhODUxNTM2NjI5NDZjM2M2ZjQwNTA4YjM5OWM1MjAyfDMyODI4MTQ3fDE0MTIwMzE3MTR8NzcwMQ%3D%3D

Friday, September 26, 2014

TGIF!

TGIF! I watched a Joyce Meyer video at the Battlefield of the Mind book study this week. She reminded us that the Bible first gave us the words "to meditate."  
It is well, it is well, it is very well and that will be my meditation this day. That is what I believe that You, Lord, want me to dwell on. It is well.

Lord, let it be well, let it be well, let it be very well with my family and friends.
Let peace be as the river that flows. Let love arise and healing flow like a balm. I need You so much that I can’t do this, can’t survive, can’t thrive and I can’t live without heavy intervention from You Lord. Your Word says that You will heal, comfort and send help. I need help Lord right now. I need You right now. Please give me direction and intervention.
For the song, It is Well with my Soul click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwHj7l1M9g4
WE pray extra today for those in the military and our policemen. Please cover them with your blood and protection as they serve us.

Joshua 1:8 ESV /


This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Psalm 1:2 ESV /


But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 19:14 ESV /


Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 119:15 ESV /


I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.

Psalm 104:34 ESV /


May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.

Philippians 4:8 ESV /


Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Proverbs 4:20-22 ESV /


My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.

Psalm 119:97 ESV /


Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.

Isaiah 26:3 ESV /


You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Desire Fulfilled on the Journey to Restoration


Infertility has reared its ugly head and another marriage is torn by this painful issue. Having walked that road myself, I have to say that Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley really brought life to a topic that can be heartrending. The Desire, may be my favorite of the Restoration Series; it really was hard to put down after I started reading it. Early on, there was a situation that seemed the perfect remedy for Michele and Allan's lack of children but then there was that underlying thread of "God's got a better idea".  We were guided on a path of education concerning mission trips and the painful life that many orphans endure daily as the  dilemma was solved.
 
The reader is introduced to Addis Ababa and Korah, where the sights, smells and poverty shown within this story make you feel as if you were there. This book also reminds you to be grateful for what you have, living in America. Ayana stole my heart right away and she was beautifully depicted. I could barely read for the tears pouring out of my eyes as we were acquainted with her grandmother and the sacrificial heart that was within her.
 
One of my favorite parts of the Restoration Series is the interview that Dan does with Gary at the end of the books. It seems I always end up buying one of Gary's older books and this time it was Guarding Your Child's Heart. I was intrigued with the things that Michelle was learning about a new way to live and love and I was pretty sure that it had something to do with a teaching from one of Gary's nonfiction books.
 
I'm not sure if The Desire was the best title for the book, but in looking over the other titles in the series, I am seeing how it fits. Don't let the picture on the book front confuse you, this is not "chick lit." It is a story told superbly by master storytellers.
 
I'm so glad there is one more book in this series to look forward do. It has been a wonderful journey so far. Thanks Dan and Gary. Y'all rock!
Donna Collins Tinsley

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thoughts on the song, "Together" by Steven Curtis Chapman

One day I would love to sing this song, together with my family. Who could add words to lyrics like these? They are God-inspired and written by a brother who has paid his dues through pain and heartache, yet he sings on. How many of us will do the same?
It starts off:
 
"Here we stand, here we are
With all our wounds and battle scars
From all the storms and all the wars we’ve weathered together
We had no way of knowing when
We started way back there and then
How the road would twist and turn and bend
We just knew we belonged together

And if it wasn’t for God’s mercy and His grace
There’s no way we would be standing in this place
But because He has been faithful
Every step along the way
Here we are together."
 
Yet on the day that we pray for those who have lost loved ones, we acknowledge that some of us are not together. Many people are grieving those they love that they have lost through death or even addiction. I am acquainted with many special people who grieve daily and I pray for these brothers and sisters that the Lord, strong and powerful, yet tender and merciful will come alongside them and comfort them. 
 
Poignant to me is: "And we’ve crawled on our hands and knees
Through valleys cold and dark and deep
Sometimes not even sure if we could make it out alive together.

And if it wasn’t for God’s mercy and His grace
There’s no way we would be standing in this place
But because He has been faithful
Every step along the way
Here we are together, together."
 
I am so grateful that the Lord allows people to take the pain that they have suffered in life and create a beautiful song of hope to heal the brokenhearted. That is my prayer for today, hearts be healed, families by restored, and sweet comfort be given. Today!

"Together" by Steven Curtis Chapmanhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0nk3SaSsxQ
Full lyrics:
Here we stand, here we are
With all our wounds and battle scars
From all the storms and all the wars we’ve weathered together
We had no way of knowing when
We started way back there and then
How the road would twist and turn and bend
We just knew we belonged together

And if it wasn’t for God’s mercy and His grace
There’s no way we would be standing in this place
But because He has been faithful
Every step along the way
Here we are together

We’ve climbed up mountains higher than
Were ever in our hopes and plans
We’ve held onto each other’s hands
Watched miracles unfold together
And we’ve crawled on our hands and knees
Through valleys cold and dark and deep
Sometimes not even sure if we could make it out alive together

And if it wasn’t for God’s mercy and His grace
There’s no way we would be standing in this place
But because He has been faithful
Every step along the way
Here we are together, together

And if it wasn’t for God’s mercy and His grace
There’s no way we would be standing in this place
But because He has been faithful
Every step along the way
Here we are together, together

Friday, August 15, 2014

TGIF????? Yes, Seek Him and it will be:)


Some Fridays start off better than others but TGIF anyway:) And some days you just need an al-anon quote:)

 “One day I dropped to my knees and with a soulful plea I cried, ‘Dear God, please help me.’ I emptied myself of all my old ideas of what my life should be. Without really knowing it, I had done Steps One, Two and Three right there. Finally I was ready and willing to do anything I had to ...do to achieve some sort of emotional and spiritual sobriety. From the book Discovering Choices
The key sentence to me is this one: “I emptied myself of all my old ideas of what my life should be.” I sometimes do this daily and probably will for the rest of my life as I yield to the Lord and what He has planned for my family. I empty myself of what I think my children’s and grandchildren’s life should be. I am not God and I don’t have the slightest idea most of the time His perfect will. His perfect will may be suffering so there is a greater story to tell at the end. His perfect will may be horrible in my eyes but the valley is where we all find strength. I empty myself today and then I pray. And pray and pray some more. Peace to all and love, hope and prayers, Donna
Pray the words of this song, and seek Him today;
 
Lyrics to The More I Seek YouThe more I seek you,
the more I find you.

The more I find you, 
the more I love you
 
I wanna sit at your feet
drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath, 
hear your heart beat

This love is so deep, 
it's more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it's overwhelming 

The more I seek you,
the more I find you.

The more I find you, 
the more I love you

I wanna sit at your feet
 
drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath,
hear your heart beat

This love is so deep,
it's more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it's overwhelming

I wanna sit at your feet
drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath,
hear your heart beat

This love is so deep,
it's more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it's overwhelming

I wanna sit at your feet
drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath,
hear your heart beat

This love is so deep,
it's more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Help, I Need Somebody


Do you know someone who is constantly complaining that no one helps them? Perhaps addictions have taken over their life or mental disorders plague them and they seem to have lost the motivation to do anything for themselves.
I think most of us remember the old song by the Beatles, “Help!”
The lyrics could describe someone in that position:
Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being 'round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways
My independence seems to vanish in the haze
But every now and then I feel so insecure
 I know that I just need you like I've never done before

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being 'round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me?*
These lyrics remind me of a Bible story. 
 Later on there was a Jewish festival (feast) for which Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
 Now there is in Jerusalem a pool near the Sheep Gate. This pool in the Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porches (alcoves, colonnades, doorways).
 In these lay a great number of sick folk—some blind, some crippled, and some paralyzed (shriveled up)—[a]waiting for the bubbling up of the water.
For an angel of the Lord went down at appointed seasons into the pool and moved and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was cured of whatever disease with which he was afflicted.
There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years.
 When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?]
The invalid answered, Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me.
 Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk!
 Instantly the man became well and recovered his strength and picked up his bed and walked. John 5:1-9 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Sometimes a broken mirror gives a fractured reflection just as a broken heart reflects a distorted image. This man had laid there for 38 years gazing into a distorted image reflected from the pool, an image that confirmed to him that he had no power for living. He needed help! Gazing into that pool heightened the deep-seated thoughts of helplessness within him. The next thing you knew he was battling thoughts of anger and frustration that no one would help him and people were getting in his way.
The first thing I note about these verses is, "No one will help me." On the heels of that is "Someone gets in my way." It is nearly impossible to help someone who is still in the victim mode of behavior. I notice that Jesus didn't let the man get away with excuses, He said, "Get up! Pick up your bed and walk!" He didn't say "Let me help you up, let me do it for you," He put responsibility upon the person that they be a part of the recovery process. Another translation reads, "Rise up!"
The work of the Holy Spirit even before the person is encouraged on a recovery walk can be a powerful thing. Some people may need a miracle and that is where prayer and intercession come in. Blanket that person who you know needs healing in unrelenting, incessant, and non-stop prayer!
This scripture goes along with another of my favorite stories where Peter heals a lame beggar:
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon.  Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.  When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!”  So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Acts 3:1-6  (NIV)
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 
The man gave Peter his attention, expecting something from him, perhaps a donation to keep him going and alive one more day. But Peter had the power of the Holy Spirit and knew temporarily "fixing" him or his momentary situation was not what he needed. The man needed healing to walk in wholeness and have purpose for his life. It may have seemed that he got a "quick fix" but really the daily gift of meeting the man's needs instead of looking deeply at the heart of the man and the matter was really hindering him.  We need to remember we can help, but we can’t do the work of recovery for someone else.
“Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk,” is one of my favorite verses and so often I feel like saying it to people. I don't always have money to help everyone, I can't always find the right resources for everyone even those in my family, but I can pray that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, they can walk. Walk how, you say?
Walk in wholeness of spirit.
Walk with clarity of mind.
Walk with resources that are so readily available when pursued.
Walk with Jesus
Walk with the Holy Spirit's power.
And walk forward in prayer, not looking continually at the past. Just take that next best step even if it is a baby step, walk!
"Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.  He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.  When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him." Acts 3:7-10 (NIV)

We know that we are powerless to change another but sometimes we may need to take them by the hand until their ankles become strong. Strengthened, then they will know who gave the healing and leap about praising His name. Walk, I say in the power of the Holy Spirit. Today, just walk forward!

Instead of “Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being 'round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me?”

Perhaps the song lyrics might be changed to:
“You helped me,
I no longer feel down
I appreciate that you were around,
When I fell on bended knee,
My help was found.”


Support groups show us how to let go and let God do the work that we can’t do. Eventually the person who brought you to this place of need, will be glad that you respected them enough to back off and let them do the work of recovery themselves. If they aren’t pursuing it, they may not be ready. It might just be a part of their journey. Jesus can still take their mess and turn it into a message. They may say, “Thanks for helping put the ball right where it belonged; in my court. You helped me to help myself.”

“You helped me,
I no longer feel down
I appreciate that you were around,
When I fell on bended knee,
My help was found.”

 Donna Collins Tinsley copyright 2014


I thought of this song while writing this; it is talking about the Breath of Heaven, which we need daily.

*Help, by the Beatles:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q20QuQaMYI