Saturday, April 30, 2016

A new children's book by Julia A. Royston

I just read the book, "Grannie, Grandpa and Me" by Julia A. Royston and illustrated by Derrick Thomas. I must say I loved it and it is a very beautiful book of poetry and pictures. Thank you so much Julia, for a much needed book. I've walked in these shoes and wish I had a book like this to read to children a long time ago.
One of my favorite things about the book was it was so real. It starts with a page with grandparents in a courtroom as that is how many grandparents obtain custody.
Going through the ages and stages of this child's life was so very poignant. This book displays the very best of scenarios as sadly not all grandparents are able to be up the task so easily. Some deal with heavy financial and medical issues and many families have a lot of resentments about why they are in the position they are in. "Grannie, Grandpa and Me" shows the beauty of loving grandparents who stepped outside of their own plans for their lives and gave a wonderful life to the next generation.
The only thing I’d liked to have seen included was the grandchild when getting married, might have wanted to adopt or be a guardian ad litem herself as a way to give back to the world, what she had been given.
I must say hats off to Derrick Thomas, those illustrations were truly beautiful. In fact beautiful, beautiful, beautiful are my main words for this book written for such a time as this. My husband was getting his coffee and I tried to read him the last page of the book and couldn't for the tears.
Thanks Julia for writing this and for your work of service to schoolchildren. I’d give it ten stars if that was possible. Write on.
I was very grateful to receive a Review Copy from the publisher through BookCrash. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A new prayer, for a new day.

Some days the only thing we can do is pray:

Lord, You alone, know how overwhelmed we are. Please give us some help and hope. When we are afraid help us to trust in You. When we can’t see give us Your vision. When we need HOPE be that for us. Give us direction, give us wisdom which You said You would never deny if we asked for it. Help the weary ones today, help the perplexed ones, help the needy and help our souls to cry out to You, living water, Living Hope and our great restorer of the song. We need a new song Jesus. We need manna from heaven for this day. WE NEED A TOUCH FROM THE MASTER’S HAND.

We cry out to You. We seek You, we cling to the hem of Your garment and we will be dragged along in the dirt if You don’t reach down with a tender touch. You are our tender touch today. You are our smile. You are our help. Help us. Help us, Help us please Jesus. 

Send journeymates to those who need them, resources help and friends. Take care of our loved ones, our children, grandchildren, the young and aged, also. Be the shine in the eye, the sparkle that we need, the kindness that we crave. Be our everything today we pray. We praise Your name, we love Your Word and we look to see You one day in glory! This is my prayer today to the One I love.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

12 weeks today; For this I have Jesus.

12 weeks today; For this I have Jesus.
Yes, once again I've waited way too long to update my blog. Sometimes just looking at the subjects in my emails would give me subjects for a blog, such as this one: "Your brain and memory are failing..." or "Dad catches cupcake thief red-handed." Who are these people and how do they know me so well? LOL!
One of my favorite old commercials I've updated to fit my life, is "My face has fallen and it won't get back up!"  Stress does make me wonder where my brain and memory went as the last 12 weeks have been incredibly sad and stressful. I can see the age creeping up each time I look in the mirror and yes, I need to do so many things but sometimes getting out the door with my hair combed, such as it is, may be the miracle for the day. Aryel's hair is more important. She's doing well at the new school and I'm so grateful that she not only has Shirley Temple's hair but her personality for the most part. She loves to sing and dance and watch old reruns of Full House. Especially when her mom comes over.
I'm incorporating my book review of Andy Lee's new book here. I love Andy, having met her at FCWC and felt a kindred spirit right away. All I have to do is look at her sweet, smiling face and I'm comforted. I was so honored that she would send me an advance copy of her book to review. I wish I could afford to buy you all one, it is that beautiful. I would've loved to have copied and pasted paragraphs all over facebook of some of her quotes as they meant so much to me.
Here it is:
A Mary Like Me is one of the few books that as soon as I finished it, I wanted to read it all over again. Andy Lee is a poignant, loving woman and her books and writings are the essence of her spirit. Holy Spirit, that is. Andy is well qualified to write this book with a degree from Eastern Nazarene University and has taught Bible studies for over twenty years but I have to say it's her heart that draws me to her writings.
 I loved when Andy described original Greek words that acquaint us with this book and scenarios of the stories. There are resources in the back of the book and also an invitation to start your own Mary Group. The meaning of the name Mary/Miryam which is: bitter, rebellious, defiant, beloved, gift of God don't even seem to belong in the same sentence let alone meaning, but in a way, it was comforting to me.  Haven't we acted at times, like all of those meanings?
This quote is one of the reasons I so fell in love with this book, "Some of the most fearless, determined, and brilliant women I've met have struggle with mental turmoil. I've often found myself beside them, begging them to give up and go home. But they didn't surrender the situation until they won the battle or became too weary to continue. The truth is, when a woman has been forced to fight for life---whether in a bad family, bad marriage or mental illness---this person, more times than not, becomes a survivor." From beautiful Andy Lee in her book, A Mary Like Me, Flawed Yet Called
I thought of several women when I read this and some that I'm hoping will learn to survive soon. Some that I love dearly and anguish with the thoughts of their torment yet sometimes the choice is beyond what we can do to help. The choice is theirs. My thoughts from reading this book: make good choices today, people, it affects more than just yourself. It affects the whole family and generations to come.
Another quote that I want to include is:
 “There is no one that Jesus does not want to heal and cannot use for the furthering of the Kingdom of God. There is no one who is worthless, or incurable, or unusable. May it be noted the gospel of Jesus Christ resurrected was first proclaimed through the lips of a woman to men. God never intended to silence half of his creation in proclaiming his gospel.
          Perhaps if Peter had hung around long enough at the tombs that day, he would have been given the opportunity to tell the Good News, but he didn’t. Mary did. God is an equal opportunity employer. May we employ our mouths today as Mary did, no longer affected by the rejection of others but unswervingly, undeniably convinced of the life of Jesus.”
Andy Lee has done a wonderful job of expressing who the many Marys in the Bible were; women like many of us.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Book review for the children's book: Yes Dear, There Really Is A Devil

Yes Dear, There Really Is A Devil by Chris Rader and Johnnie Coley was beautifully illustrated by Sonny Heston.

I loved the poems and the concept of a book of this nature describing the enemy of our soul to children. The illustrations were among the best I've seen in children's books. One of the first scriptures mentioned, " Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" was accompanied by pictures of lions. The lion seemed be a villain throughout the book; yet  so many children are familiar with Aslan from Chronicles of Narnia representing Jesus. I thought that might be confusing to them. A lion also represents the Lion of Judah so I had to do a double take as I was reading the book to my granddaughter to make sure I got across who was  the bad guy. At age seven she seemed interested in it.

The short poems were great and I applaud any parent who is looking to teach their child and when she couldn't find an appropriate book wrote her own. I was little confused on as it was listed  with three authors: Chris Rader (Author), Johnnie Coley (Author), Erin McKay (Author) yet I didn't find that on my copy. I look forward to reading more from these authors.

Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Mary Like Me, by Andy Lee

This quote is one of the reasons I so fell in love with Andy's book, "Some of the most fearless, determined, and brilliant women I've met have struggle with mental turmoil. I've often found myself beside them, begging them to give up and go home. But they didn't surrender the situation until they won the battle or became too weary to continue. The truth is, when a woman has been forced to fight for life---whether in a bad family, bad marriage or mental illness---this person, more times than not, becomes a survivor." From beautiful Andy Lee in her book, A Mary Like Me, Flawed Yet Called:

I thought of several women when I read this and some that I'm hoping will learn to survive soon. Some that I love dearly and anguish with the thoughts of their torment yet sometimes the choice is beyond what we can do to help. The choice is theirs. make good choices today, people, it affects more than just yourself. It affects the whole family and generations to come.

Praying today with Shonda Savage at Somebody's Mother Online Prayer Support Group.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Let us recognize our loved ones once more

When I first heard this song, it made me wish I could write lyrics so beautiful.

"Lately I don't recognize you
The fire in your eyes is fading into embers
So while you're out there in the darkness
I'm praying you'll remember
You were made to shine
You were made for life
Even if you've lost your way
Turn and you will hear love say
You were made for more..."

I pray that many of you will take the words in deep, as addictions can change who people are and how they respond and relate to their families. Jesus came to bring us out of the darkness into His glorious light. I'm praying the Lord will give me more on these lyrics but for now It's Thursday and a great day for recovery in the state of Florida. Go to a meeting, spread some love and hope and work your program! Make a gratitude list and truly think about what you are writing down and what you have to be grateful for, we ask for grace today as we pray for those in recovery and their families:

The Complete Serenity Prayer
  • God, give us grace to accept with serenity
    the things that cannot be changed,
    courage to change the things
    which should be changed,
    and the wisdom to distinguish
    the one from the other.
    Living one day at a time,
    Enjoying one moment at a time,
    Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
    Taking, as Jesus did,
    This sinful world as it is,
    Not as I would have it,
    Trusting that You will make all things right,
    If I surrender to Your will,
    So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
    And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

-- Reinhold Niebuhr 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

I want to give a word of testimony and praise to my Lord, Jesus Christ.

I want to give a word of testimony and praise to my Lord, Jesus Christ.

Two weeks ago I was facing a crisis coming right upon another crisis and it involved something that was supposed to be resolved in two weeks. At that moment I didn't think I could make it through another 24 hours, the pain was so deep in my heart. But I'm here to tell you that it's been two weeks and I'm still standing. I'm here to tell you that my God is faithful. I'm here to tell you to keep praising Him. What has changed? Probably for the most part, absolutely nothing, But I'm changing every day as I give my weariness and heartache over to Him. As I pray more, as I trust more as I hold on still to one of my life verses that He does work ALL THINGS out for my good; taking it a day at a time, an hour at a time and a moment at a time and I'm praying for y'all too.

Augustine said it stunningly: "In my deepest wound, I see Your glory and it dazzles me."

These three scriptures are awesome to me: "For I," says the Lord, "will be to her a wall of fire round about, and I will be the glory in the midst of her." Zechariah 2:5  I am adding this to my life-verses, the first being Romans 8:28. And of course my new favorite: “He won't brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won't disregard the small and insignificant, but he'll steadily and firmly set things right.” Isaiah 42:3 The Message


YOUR STORY MATTERS by Emra Smith is a small book wrote with a lot of heart. I found a lot of love and healing moments and amazing quotes within the 73 pages of this book. It is an easy read but also can be picked up and put down as needed.

At first the simplicity of the book put me off, but later as Emra shared her life in an honest way, I grew to truly love the book. It's a book I want to keep, but want to share, also.

The Sub-title is TeaTime Stories, The Essence of Why Your Story Matters and she really will encourage you to write your story as well as share your story. She includes her conversations with Jesus along the way and give resources in the back of the book that will help you realize how much your story matters. There is a salvation invitation as well as many beautiful scriptures scattered inside the book.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is at the beginning of chapter seven: "Mindful sharing your story during a dark time can be part of your healing process. As you share, sometimes you are the encourager, and other times you may need encouragement. Needing encouragement is normal; clouds surround and descend upon us all. Allowing another person to help lift the load relieves the strain from your heart. It becomes a promise of light in the night.”

Many thanks to BookCrash who sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

This article was on the spot for me today but I do believe in praying Thy will be done, Thy kingdom come and also know that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy our peace, our children and our marriages. We have to BE THE CHANGE by our choices whenever possible.

Key quote and much needed article: "I have dreams for my children and I've received prophetic words for them, but I must lay them down at the altar and trust God with their lives. Ultimately my children must know Him intimately and I need to get out of the way. I can't control their lives. My children must have their own story in God." Leilani Haywood

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

To all of our members, our moms, our sisters, and a few brave men, please know that you are in my heart and prayers every day. I only know a few of you personally but I know the spirit within you, the Spirit of the Most High God, our Lord Jesus Christ. He is who bonds us together in love. We exalt Him and thank Him for all the answered prayers we have had this year. Together we are strong. You are loved! By me.

Merry Christmas 2015

Kinsman Redeemer

For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)

For the first time in my life I looked at the calendar and knew my father's birthday. I am 64-years-old. What took so long? To whom do I owe gratitude for this gift?

The last time I remember seeing my dad I was eight-years-old. As far as I know we never lived together as a family in the little valley just west of Chattanooga, Tennessee where I was born. He was in the military; my mom was a child bride. We lived with my grandmother who taught piano lessons, played at Flintstone Baptist Church, raised chickens and made the best apple jelly I ever tasted.

Kinsman Redeemer is a beautiful title and that is what I think whenever thoughts of Uncle Henry Collins come to mind; an uncle I never really met until this summer, although he said he came to see me when I was a baby. Those of us who don't have roots or don't have complete roots on one side of their family might relate to the happiness of finding my 88-year-old Uncle Henry.

To find the meaning of the term I Googled, of course:
"What is a kinsman redeemer?"

Answer: The kinsman-redeemer is a male relative who, according to various laws of the Pentateuch, had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need...

This definition resonated with me as many times I’ve been in trouble, danger, or in need. Through the years I tried to find out about my dad but my mom really didn’t want to talk about her short-lived marriage. Not having good relationships with stepfathers, I came to the conclusion, “Who needs a dad?” I lived that way for a long time. Maybe that is what pushed me to look for a Savior, a Father who wouldn’t disappoint me.

Yet many times as Father’s Day approached, I’d look online, in phone books and more, trying to find paternal roots. I thought Uncle Larry was a friend of my dad’s family and tried to talk him into giving me information and phone numbers. I found Uncle Henry’s name in the phone listings, and asked him about a Henry Collins but he said no, he didn’t think we were related. After Uncle Larry’s death I realized he’d had early onset Alzheimer’s and just couldn’t remember the connection. I grieve the lost years of joy I could’ve experienced if I’d known my Uncle Henry sooner. I'd already found out by accident that my dad, Donald, had died exactly one week after my Mama died seventeen years ago. So I knew to quit looking for him but it was only last year that I had that information.

But, lo and behold, I found my uncle by way of Facebook! Baxter Little, an old friend of my mom’s, saw a post where I was looking for relatives or kin as they still say in Chattanooga Valley. So, I'm dedicating my Christmas note to my new kinsman redeemer, Uncle Henry, not in the biblical sense, but as the redeemer of memories, dates, people, and happy thoughts. When I talk to him, I think it's nearly like talking to my own dad and I’m grateful for that. He gathered the family and gave me pictures and even made a tape for me to listen to about family roots when I went to visit. Move over, Alex Haley, I might write the next Roots book, yet! I’m blessed with his sense of humor when we talk on the phone and one day he even sang me a song. Thinking about that makes me cry, it was so sweet. I love to hear his voice and it brings joy to me whenever he calls.

Uncle Henry never had a child and I never had a real dad relationship; I give credit to my last stepfather, John, who tried to be a dad to me. But as I said before my heart was so cold towards fathers that only the Lord could melt it. I wondered for years why my own dad didn’t try to find me, but I’m letting it rest as best I can. I’m happy to have met my other family that I never knew and what I’m learning is, just enjoy each one of my family members at whatever times we can get together. Yes, I’ll probably never let go of that dream planted deep in my heart to one day have the whole family, all children and grandchildren in the house together, loving each other and having compassion for each one’s journey in life. But some of our dreams don’t always come true this side of heaven. That helps us look forward to the day that the circle will be unbroken and Jesus will make all things new for us.

Donna Collins Tinsley

Y’all know me enough to know at Christmas
I have to honor my true Kinsman Redeemer,
Jesus Christ, my Lord.

Kinsman Redeemer

Kinsman Redeemer,
Be that to me
Kinsman Redeemer,
Oh let me see
A family redeemed
By the blood of the Lamb
A family in love
With the great I Am.

Mismatched, but sorted out
Pain and bitterness aside,
Let us show love
Let the bygones slide,
This Christmas season.

Kinsman Redeemer
What a beautiful thought
That You, O Lord
My God, have brought

Kinsman Redeemer,
Lover of my soul
You, alone
Can make us whole.

Take the broken chains of our hearts
Seal them with love,
Please, give us all a new start.

Let the oil of healing
And truth be our own,
Kinsman Redeemer,
Stand up by Your throne

Declare and decree,
What I cannot do,
Bringing about
A family healed by You.

Merry Christmas from Donna Collins Tinsley 2015

Although it's Christmas Eve it's also Thursday, a great day for recovery in the state of FL.

Lord, help families to heal this day and to walk before You in peace and healing we pray.

Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings

How It Works:

When ready, we say something like this: "My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen." We have then completed Step Seven.

-A.A. Big Book p.76

Reposting this video because it is holy.