Friday, December 31, 2010

About Corrie quotes, the New Year, and CBN devo

I am so grateful to the Lord for getting us through this year. I pray a special blessing on my friends and family.
Remember as Corrie ten Boom said, "There is no pit so deep that He (Jesus) is not deeper still."
I'm posting a link to a Corrie quote site, but some of these are just too good not to post myself. I love that woman!

Read and enjoy!
"Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart."
— Corrie ten Boom
"Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him....Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness....And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself." — Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place)

"Do you know what hurts so very much? It's love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill that love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel."
— Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place)
"This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see."
— Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place)
"Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open." — Corrie ten Boom
"If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God you'll be at rest." — Corrie ten Boom
"Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings...It's something we make inside ourselves."
— Corrie ten Boom
Also I am posting a daily devotional link. It is CBN writers, and I'm hoping one day to be included in their site.

One of my favorite devotion writers on their site is Kathy Thomas; you should check her out:)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Linking to great devotionals

I'll be posting these devotions on the main blog until I figure out how to put them on the side as a link. If any of my friends know how to do this and want to give me some pointers, I would appreciate it. Have a great day!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Best Celebration of Christmas this Year

My favorite part of the Holiday Season was helping to feed the needy at Hollyland Park with Jane and DOC. Makes me think of this song:
"Mercy in Me" by Todd Agnew; awesome! What great lyrics!

Christmas Gladness for the Dysfunctional Family

I’m a little late posting my Christmas message but most people are too busy to get online and read on Christmas anyway:)
At our house, I have a saying, “We’re Not the Cleavers, But That Never Stopped us from Wishing We Were.” The Cleavers, the Walton’s, the Ingall’s, we would be happy to have any resemblance to those families. You might find us listed at “Dysfunctional R Us” or on Facebook with the tags: painful childhood, loss of loved ones, overcoming addictions and trauma, or we might remind you of the old Hee-Haw song, “Gloom despair and agony on me,” If it were’t for bad luck we’d have no luck at all". Did I make you smile yet? This is not my normal Christmas message! But for Jesus, the real reason of the Season and His Word that is ever living in my heart, soul and life we would go under! And perhaps your family would also, as you wonder what has happened to your "normal" life with the economy spiraling downward, sicknesses, and natural disasters abounding?

Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
The years in which we have seen evil.
Psalm 90:14-15 (New King James Version)
I love these verses in Psalm 90, I was so astounded that the Lord would actually take the days of pain and affliction that we have gone through and make us happy according to them.

Is it possible that He would give joy as He allowed sorrow? Isn't that the premise of Romans 8:28 when it is said that He will work all things to our good?
What encouraging words and what a wonderful prayer to pray this Christmas season. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. ASV

Oh that the Lord would fill us with love and joy as we seek Him in the morning. It truly would give us a song to sing and a story to tell to our families and friends. How many of us want to proclaim His greatness to our children and grandchildren? Most of us do and we can by reminding them of these precious words from the Psalms.

It is okay to ask the Lord to treat us well and give us success. In my life I have felt afflicted with abuses, hurt and losses but I can prevail by focusing on the good that will come eventually. If I had not endured these things I would not be the person I am today. I was on the road to being a spoiled brat as a young girl and then my world was rocked by pain and I learned to look outside of myself. I learned that others are more important than myself. I learned about self-sacrifice from a mother who worked so many hours a week at forty-five cents an hour for years just to feed her children as my sweet Mama did. I learned that my brothers and sister were overcomers in life as they just did what they could to enjoy what little we had. We all learned that we had a lot more than many others. We learned to share what we had and that it is not material things that count but strength, maturity and kindness that will prevail all the days the Lord gives us. We learned that Christmas doesn’t mean getting gifts but it is about family and friends remembering the birth of an awesome Saviour. One whose life was not perfect, either.
My Christmas message may be different than most people's, but I guess the slant He gives me fits some families. You know: the dysfunctional, but trying ones, the funny, but forgiven ones, and the once hopeless but now Hope-filled ones! To God be the Glory! Affliction to gladness; it's the way of the Cross and the way our own Saviour took. I believe it is the way to hope for this Christmas Season.

Merry Christmas from Donna and family 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Cup of the Lord

It's funny how something you wrote several years ago rings true on the very date it is featured in a devotional book:)
Here is an old Christmas devotional for the day:

The Cup of the Lord
“Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?" John 18:11 NLT

With the Christmas holidays approaching many will be serving different brews. There are many new designer teas, hot cinnamon apple cider and more coffees around than Juan Ortiz ever dreamed of when Starbucks opened. My personal favorite is a hot steaming cup of Columbian coffee. With the theme of cups I think of my growing collection of them: my best friend forever brought one to me from Greece, I have a beautiful gold-trimmed teacup my sister-in-law gave me from her own collection, a cup from Cracker Barrel that my husband bought me and assorted collections of china cups. One favorite is a mug that my mother gave me when I gave birth to my second child (twenty-one years after my first child) that said, “I’m a new Mom!” At age thirty-six, I felt pretty old to be new but now that Mama is gone, I treasure it.
What is the cup the Lord has given you this year? Has the brew been warm and sweet as the coffee that is handed to children, filled with milk and sugar and only a hint of the brew inside? Was your year fragrant as peppermint tea? Was it spicy as the hot chili my Mama used to make? Was it bitter as a hot medicine that you knew you must choke down to relieve the symptoms of a sore throat?
I still remember the year we had one of the best Christmas’ ever; it was nearly picture perfect. I thank the Lord for that gift.
But lives are not always picture perfect and the reality of life is that only Jesus satisfies. The cup that He has allowed in my life this year is bittersweet. But I still believe that He can bring our lives full-circle to His will.

“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" Job 2:10 NL
I choose to accept the cup that the Lord offers me as His gift in my life. It may not come in the gift-wrapping that I would choose or fit my picture perfect plans. But the brew He bestows will help me to grow to His image of a child of God. And His touch will stay on my life as I yield to His hand.
Donna Collins Tinsley

This was included in the compilation book:

A Cup of Comfort Book of Christmas Prayer: Prayers and Stories that Bring You Closer to God During the Holiday [Hardcover] Susan B. Townsend (Editor)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Remembering a Young Man's Life

Today I attended a celebration of a wonderful young man's life, Bruce Robb the beloved son of Mark and Christina Robb.

There wasn't a dry eye in the packed church, with standing room only. He was killed by a hit and run driver this week. What a tragedy!
Yet what we saw was a testimony of the light and love that the Lord bestows in a life. Only 19-years-old it was said he was an old soul and loved the young and the elderly. Always smiling and shining a light and love on others. I know his parents are proud of him and the Lord only takes those young whose lives will bring so many others to the grace of God.
A Celebration of Life is what those who know Jesus as Saviour have when they leave this earth.
Please join me in remembering his family in prayer as even though they have assurance he is in Heaven, the grieving process is a very real thing and is a daily process.
I have admired this family and their work for the Kingdom from afar and send much love and blessings.

Lord, we don't understand this but yield the loan of our children to your great Father arms. We know that you work all things to good as your word says in Romans 8:28. We ask that you show us the good that comes from this pain.
And wrap your arms around the Robb family and those who love them, I pray.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Worship, Sick Boys and Cat Fights

Before I could even bask in the awesomeness of the session of worship and praise at Immerse, last night the enemy was on the move at my house. Well, I call it the enemy, anyway. something to distract, change your plans or try to take your serenity away.
Isaiah threw up it seemed every 15 minutes for 5 hours took a 2 hour break and then again at 4:25. I slept on the couch so I could be near him. Well, it wasn't sleep. The cats hissed at each other all night near me. I thought they were going to jump on me fighting. One did jump right above my head and I knocked her off and then covered my head with the blanket. Isaiah threw up a little more a while ago. I think it is settling a bit now. Please join me in praying that there will be a swift healing. I've got a lot of comforters to wash although he did his best to use the bucket or make it to the bathroom. He is very sweet when he is sick, and kept saying, "I hope I'm not going to die." I'm hoping it was something he ate (although Ashley got sick also) and not the flu that Jordan had recently that was so bad.
I can't leave without saying how it "Does a mother good" to hear words of prayer and prophecy over her daughter, Shiloh, at the Immerse event. Pastor Ray ministered to the whole music team and it was so inspiring. The Spirit of the Lord was so sweet and I know that the Lord will continue to draw forth gifts of creativity in Shiloh as she has given her life to be used for Him. Influencer for sure and a calling to speak forth His words.
I join FWC in praying a blessing on the Music Ministry with Pastor John at the top of the list. It was a great night. There were many prayers of agreement and praise abounded.
Shiloh, I am so proud of the way you let your light shine through your ministry in music and as a Youth Worker.
Shine on!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day!

Yet even in saying that I know there are a lot of Veterans who may not be having a good day. They may feel forgotten, alone, in a financial bind or feeling physical pain.
After years of trying Bill has finally gotten some help through the Veteran's Administration . Yet, every time I go with him to a VA hospital, although we are amazed at the kindness of the workers, I find myself looking at the patients coming through the doors. To me, they look beat down and nearly hopeless. I pray a blessing on all these people because of all people in our country they deserve better.
Some things I don't understand is why when someone is in chronic pain and needs appointments and attention, they are told that the first available appointment won't be until next year? If you feel you can't wait until then you must just go and sit and wait hoping that you can be worked in. Bill, (my husband and favorite Veteran) will be doing that tomorrow and I pray for favor from the Lord and the VA that he will be seen.
I ask for your prayers, also. Not just for Bill but for all the Veterans in our great country.
Give a Veteran a hug. They deserve it!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Miami Musings

The trip to Miami was not what we had hoped for; looks like we start all over up here with an orthopedic doctor and some tests.

The doctor doesn't believe it is his neck that needs operated on. He suggested looking into some things about his shoulder and also some tests where they put wires on his hands and arm. He noted that it was Dec. of last year we were supposed to have been seen there. I look at it as we are about a year behind and he is in so much pain he is looking at anything for relief right now.

Although it seemed our trip to Miami was a little disappointing our hope is in the name of the Lord, not VA or doctors. We need to look at the positive things, such as not having to arrange schedules to go to Miami for a surgery near the holidays. I believe the Lord can arrange to do something closer to home if He chooses. Neither one of us is a fan of Miami traffic and since we are not real “party animals” the Miami scene doesn’t attract us:)

Shiloh was amazed we didn’t check out the South Beach area or city but by the time we found the VA hospital we were exhausted. Our main thought was why couldn’t the doctor have looked at the MRI and X-rays and either do a telephone consultation or send a report to the doctors up here. We had to rearrange schedules and drive a long way for 15 minutes, with no exam or tests other than him kind of pushing against Bill a bit and pricking his hand some for strength tests. The thing is because of Bill’s work he is very strong anyway. He will move heavy objects like refrigerators, stoves or desks by himself even up the stairs at times.

We can’t deny the thought that something to alleviate some of this chronic pain he lives with wasn’t a desire but we also know that sometimes the Lord allows pain to help us to have more compassion on others. I learned a lot during the last 3 months after the freak foot accident. I still walk at about half the speed I am used to, and it is really frustrating, but I see so many people with limps, canes and crutches than I used to notice and I so feel for them, now.

The blessing of the trip was stopping on the way down to see Barbara and Warren, Bill’s sister and brother-in-law. They treated us royally and we had a very good visit. No one can cook shrimp like Barbara and I am so blessed to be related by marriage to such a beauty, inside and out. Of course, Warren is one of the best all-around guys anyone could meet.

On the way home we saw our old friends, Tom and Leslie. You know what they say about old friends being like gold; that is so true. So the Lord gave us a blessing of time together with those we love and don’t see often enough.

Another blessing of the week is one of my daughters spoke at The Haven on Thursday and another will be sharing an awesome Bible study tomorrow at FWC to some of the Youth. The Lord is good and faithful.

Now on to another busy Saturday and week. We should end up at Fort Mountain, GA for our home church retreat on Nov. 4th. May the Lord give peace and a refreshing of His word and Spirit to all who overcome great obstacles to meet in the mountains.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Somebody’s Daughter Program to "Make a difference in our community"

In honor of “Make a Difference Day” I am posting an idea I had many years ago for a way that people in churches could help women in need of recovery. I will be sending out church letters to some local churches; it is something the Lord put on my heart about 8 years ago when I was first writing the book, “Somebody’s Daughter."

Make a Difference Day /Somebody’s Daughter Program
I am a mother who is concerned about drug usage and rehabilitation in the state of Florida. My burden is especially for women who have been on a cycle of drug abuse, jail, treatment and relapse. It seems to me there are more resources for men coming out of jail than for women, and even less caring community help for older women who may have children or have led more of a “street life.”

As a woman and a mother I am familiar with the problem. I have a 43-year-old daughter who has a history of incarcerations in the Volusia County Correctional Facility. She has been in this cycle off and on for over 20 years. I’m sure that, if she could, my daughter would go back and erase the time she took the first narcotic. But sadly my ex-husband was the one who first gave drugs to our daughter. He was a pedophile who started her on the downward spiral of addiction. Although I have tried implementing parts of this program with her I find that sometimes mentoring by someone outside of the family can have a greater impact and success. She is drug free over 2 years now and has made great strides in her life. She is often asked to be a speaker at Recovery programs and is a member of several programs. She works the steps through personal groups, NA and AA groups.

I have been trying to think of ways for the community to help without having to depend on the State for a lot of financial aid. I believe a challenge to faith based organizations and churches might provide an outreach in conjunction with treatment programs. I would like to see church members, willing and trained, to do the type of mentoring that mends lives and also saves the taxpayers money.
On the attached excerpt from my writing, I offer some thoughts that perhaps you might consider when you have the opportunity to challenge the members of your church or faith-based organization in outreach and mentoring.

I wrote a book called “Somebody’s Daughter.” As women, each of us is somebody’s daughter, and each family has their own painful reasons for the things they do. I may not be able to help my daughter, I may not be able to help your daughter, but by God’s grace, we can all help “Somebody’s Daughter.” I welcome input into this idea, as I don’t feel the Lord has given me the whole picture yet on this idea. In the past years I wrote First Lady Columba Bush when they were in office, as I thought it might be beneficial for her daughter, Noelle, to have a way to give back to the community. I also wrote First Lady Laura Bush for her input and may be sending a letter to First Lady Obama. As far as I can see this would not be something that would cost the state anything as each church member would see it as a way to become a volunteer or a “point of light” in their community.

I would welcome your thoughts by e-mail:

Thank you very much for your time.

Donna Collins Tinsley

Somebody’s Daughter Program

We want to broaden welfare reform by making it easier for faith-based groups to be involved in the tackling of hopelessness and despair.
From a campaign letter, 2002, President Bush

For many years the Lord has put something in my heart concerning churches helping women caught in the addiction, jail and treatment cycle. I believe if many churches in a city would commit to “adopt” a wounded woman (one woman per church) we would see a better chance at true recovery. There seem to be many programs for men when they get out of jail and not as many for women (An example is FL/GA area Teen Challenge programs have eight in-house facilities: six are for men). They sometimes turn to their old lifestyle patterns sooner because they have less support. Or they are more able to find a man to support them in their old habit.

Many times on WAPN “Prayer Line” and in the community I have heard people say they are ready to be there for the men when they get out of jail. There are a lot more treatment centers for men and more “Teen Challenge” centers also. Yet the women are very needy. They may have lost everything including children. My daughter did, but is now finding the Lord’s favor & recovery.

I say, “adopt” because I believe adoption is in the heart of God. We can go to Him and say “Abba Father,” because He has adopted us. It is a true love relationship. The reason I suggest one church, one woman is because if the whole church could share the burden of mentoring and providing support services to that one woman, it would not be so hard on a few families or Christian brothers or sisters. People in recovery need to be with loving, responsible people so they don’t have idle time. They also need to be in family situations instead of relationships where their “user mode” kicks in and they find themselves in a sexual situation or temptation.

A woman in recovery needs a lot of encouragement, but she needs practical things also, such as transportation to NA, AA or Overcomers Meetings, or to a job. They need to learn to become responsible and how to use their time wisely. They need to learn to give, as their life has become very self-centered. Their habit has called out to them to be filled, and that has been their main focus. They have forgotten what it is like to be part of a family or how to interact with their loved ones. They need to be with safe people. But they also need to be safe and not toxic to people. If this has been a long cycle of drug usage, they have used people instead of loving them. They need help to find their way back. H. B. London and Neil Wiseman give an answer they believe will help children in our society. In the book, “It Takes a Church…Within A Village” that answer can work perfectly for the wounded woman also. I have inserted “wounded women” where they had children written in the original text. The question was “What must the church do?"
The church is being called and challenged to deal with a void in our society. “Wounded women” need more tightknit, trusted, nurturing relationships. “Wounded women” need adults who can model Christ for them and introduce them to a loving Savior. In a world today where women grow up with so much violence hatred, anger abuse, neglect, and so many evils, the church must become the village that creates, establishes and lives out Christian values. The church must become the most meaningful fellowship that exists to meet the needs of our decaying society.

This is a complex subject, and I don’t believe the Lord has finished showing me what He wants in the matter. From my research, I feel asking for recommendations from the local treatment centers or recovery centers (Such as The Haven, Serenity House or Avenues 12) for names of those women that they think may follow through with help from the community. That may be the best place to find that one woman your church would choose to adopt. The concept is not “village mentality,” but it is putting recovery where it belongs: within the body of believers. There is no healing that is permanent except through the Lord. But I believe willing people working together can help a “wounded woman” become an Overcomer. Remember when you help a daughter you are helping a mother also. After all these years with this in my heart, I am also open to churches using the plan for a “Somebody’s Son” outreach also.

Donna Collins Tinsley 2010 Book addendum


386 756-5553 Please put “Somebody’s Daughter” as the subject.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Treasures of Darkness

Does anyone need a word about finding the treasures of the Lord in the darkness of family pain and truama, today?
The Word of the Lord says:
And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—
(Secret riches.)
I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD,
The God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.
Isaiah 45:3 (New Living Translation)

Look for the treasure and you will find it and Him!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Constant Image

For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Galatians 6:14

In the front of my mind
In the back of my mind,
To the left and to the right,
There’s an image of a man on a cross
These are the words to a song written by Dallas Holm that really moved my spirit. This is how I want to live my life, with the Lord in the front of my mind and in the back of my mind. As I go to the left or the right, may his image never leave me. May this picture in my mind help me to walk differently in the world I live in. I need to walk worthy of the calling God has put on me. Let me walk in a way that would not shame the one who is my Lord and Master. Jesus was born in a stable---yet He is the King of Glory.

He lived a simple life. He amazed His mother, confounded his neighborhood, (could anything good come from Nazareth?) called together a group of outcasts to disciple and write about His story.

He carried a heavy cross on which He was crucified for my sins and yours, years before we were ever conceived. He knew what pain was like. He understood how it felt to be rejected by friends and family alike. He wept. He understood what it was like to lose a loved one. But for the joy set before Him, he endured the cross. That joy was giving life to us.

Prayer: Lord, please keep the picture of what You did on the cross for us, ever before us.

Thought for the Day: What I allow myself to think on may control my day for good.

Prayer Focus: The Cross of Christ and his compassion towards His body of believers.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

WAPN’s 25th Anniversary Celebration was Awesome!

What a blessing came to me from the Lord when a couple of months ago on Facebook, I got the message that Earlyne and Shellye from WAPN in Holly Hill had just read my story, “The Stolen Car,” in a Guideposts book. Evidently, it really encouraged them to know that Prayerline had made a difference in my life and I was invited to share a bit about the story at their 25th celebration banquet last night at the Sunset Harbor.
What an honor for me, a stay-at-home mom who had been so discouraged thinking that no one ever read anything that she had written. My main claim to fame is being called either Linda’s daughter, Bill’s wife, or the mother of 4 daughters. What Earlyne and Shellye didn’t realize is when you are aspiring to write you may send out hundreds of articles to just be included in a few books. It never dawned on me that mentioning Prayerline in Holly Hill would mean so much to them or I would have told them long ago.
Since I am not a public speaker, and the thought of speaking at a group that large is pretty terrifying to me, I did forget part of what I meant to say so I am including it in this note. To all who think that their work is unseen I say, press on and the Lord will never forget your labor of love.
How can I say “Thank you,” to a ministry that was there for me during one of the hardest times of my life? Prayerline has always been a great blessing to me. I have used it often throughout the years, both calling in and now online.

The story in this book tells only a part of the two-part prayer request.
The first part was about my Mother, Linda Reece Lewis who lived in Holly Hill on Oleander Ave. Her car had been stolen with her purse in the trunk, so she was doubly upset.

This is the rest of the story or as Walter Cronkite would say: "That’s the way it is"
I had felt a burden for my mother on Monday Feb. 2, 1998. Richard Love was facilitating the Prayerline that morning and I called in with a prayer request. I just wanted ask for prayer for my Mama because she had so much on her plate, taking care of an invalid husband and a feisty little 4-year-old great granddaughter. She and little Aubrey had been in a small accident recently when Mama’s blood sugar was way high. She had felt so bad that Aubrey had been in the car and had gotten a little cut on her face. I really felt that the Lord had surely protected them just the same.
But as well as a prayer request but I also wanted to give a praise report. Last week when I asked for prayer for my mother, whose car had been stolen, they had prayed that the car be returned intact and that is exactly what had happened! Nothing was taken out of it and along with the car being returned, my Mama was blessed with a visit from her youngest son, Dale. His family wasn’t able to come this year from North Carolina for Christmas or for her surgeries; he hadn’t seen her in awhile. He had been concerned that she not have anything to drive and brought a vehicle down for her. She had been so happy about seeing him, that it diverted her attention away from the stolen car.”
Brother Love said, “We always love praise reports. How can we pray for her this week?” While they were praying for my mother, he felt he had a personal word from the Lord for her, “Linda, I have not forgotten you, I want to draw you closer to Me.”
Minutes later, I got a call from my oldest daughter, saying she was with Mama and had just called 911. The paramedics were on the way. I left immediately for the hospital, so I could meet them there. It is probably a problem with her diabetes, I thought. I didn’t know I would never see her alive again.
Unexpected death leaves those who are left behind with a sense of “no closure.” My dear Mama had died at home before they made it to the hospital where I was waiting. The Lord not only was drawing her closer, He was drawing her home as the prayer team on the Hotline was praying for her. She was able to die in her own home, in her own bed, as she had always wanted to.

The Lord not only answered my prayer for my Mama but also gave her an unspoken wish to see her son before she died. The Lord went before me to give strength, peace and closure about my mother’s passing.
I will forever be grateful!
I also wanted to mention that I carry within my heart gratefulness to Rosemary Upton my writing mentor. Without her encouragement I would never have pursued publication. She and the Writing Strategies Critiqueshop took the time to work with someone who had no education, credentials or knowledge in the field of writing. The love and bond we shared over the years means so much to me and there are many others that Rosemary has blessed through the years.

To God be the glory!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Musings on being A Sister Among You

A Sister Among You
Recently, I have started writing at times using a pseudonym. It is not really because I want to be an invisible writer but that I want to spare my very private family more pain. Because of family traumas, it seems they feel shame if there is any mention that we might be a somewhat dysfunctional, real family like many others on this planet. Although my husband and I grew up watching the Cleavers, Father Knows Best, and Happy Days we aren’t those kind of families. We might be more like someone on a Law and Order segment. So I will either have to resort to fiction or maybe I will just use the pseudonym of a Sister Among You. I would truly be invisible then, because we are a sisterhood of women.

You don’t know my name, you don’t have to; I am a sister among you. Sometimes I’m quiet and you may think I’m aloof, but you are wrong. I carry pain, for myself and for others; I am a sister among you. I was sexually abused as a child and went on at age 15 to marry a pedophile. He turned our daughter onto drugs and started the life-long battle she is just now overcoming at age 43.

I have been abused, used and tormented. I love, I hurt, and I dream dreams that turn into nightmares. I am a sister among you. Maybe I think if I open up to you and tell you about my life you will turn away.

Yes, my life would make you cringe; it would not fit into your tidy world. Once after I spoke at a retreat about “Making Peace with Your Past,” a woman came up to me later and apologized for walking out during the talk; she had to go throw up. My mama always said, “You have to laugh to keep from crying.” And I do, especially at times like that.

There are many among you, though, sisters, such as I. You may recognize yourself in some of these descriptions.

I may be your friend but you don’t really know me. How can you if you don’t share my pain, don’t drink from my cup? My cup is too horrible to taste and it would cause you to hurt also, which I would never want. Because I have seen and lived through perverseness in the eyes of men, and the hearts of women.

I am just a sister among you, I smile at you, but it only masks the pain. Daily I give myself and control of my life over to God who alone can heal the hurt. But sometimes He leaves the pain and the memories. Maybe so I won’t pass you by, another sister, lost in pain, needing a Savior, needing a friend; another sister among us.
In The Good Book it is said that what you have done for the least of these, you have done for Me. This sister may be dying emotionally, feeling hopeless as a wife, mother or woman in this world. She may be masking the pain with drugs, alcohol or even the goodness of church or volunteer work. She is trying to fill a void only God Himself can fill.

She may use men or women to fill this insatiable need to feel loved and whole. She may have endured losses such as the death of a family member, maybe even her own child: the grief seems unbearable and she wonders if she can live with this void in her life. She may be a prostitute, in danger each time she goes out. She may be trying to cover the pain of losing her children through the system.

She is somebody’s daughter.

She is a sister among you. Is she invisible to you? Will she stay that way?

Donna Collins Tinsley

Monday, August 23, 2010

I wish I had my old life back!

My old life is looking a lot better since it has changed recently.
I went to the foot doctor where they put another soft cast on. It was a blessing to have it off for a couple of hours; there is still bruising and the hard lump, but it looked much better.

By the time I got to the doctor it had started swelling again, but she projects I will be pretty normal by Oct. which was way longer than I thought.
I am sure it is on track, but I thought it wouldn't take as long as the doctor said. She said I am still swelling even up in my leg and toes; she considered putting a leg cast on, but said if I tried to keep the foot elevated more and try some support stockings, it may be OK without that.
I am really going to appreciate my old "normal" life when I can just walk in regular shoes again. I am trying to hear what the Lord wants me to hear through this.
Mainly it seems that I am thinking more about people that have "real" problems. I am trying to count my blessings more. I am trying to look at people I see when out shopping and be kinder; I saw an elderly gentleman with a can. He saw me hobbling along and asked how I was doing. I told him, I was better this week; the week before I was using a cane, too. I notice if you smile more at people it takes their gaze off this really ugly cast/boot shoe I am wearing and either brightens their day or makes them wonder what I am up to:)
I have never walked this slow in my life and now I know why Bill was always telling me to wait; he is way ahead of me now.
We still are praying the VA will come through with surgery help for him, and I'm thinking I really need to get better for that. But for now it seems, I am still spending a lot of time with my foot elevated.
I did finish out the summer with two great books, "A Cup of Comfort for Women" and for my fiction vacation, "You Make Me feel Like Dancing," by Allison Bottke. I got a real education about the disco generation through that book and I always feel like dancing, at least before the foot cast.
I long to dance before the Lord again in my kitchen; here's an old poem I wrote with that theme.
My Kitchen Time
I stand before Your throne, Lord
In this little kitchen of mine
I stand in Your throne room
In the mirror of my mind
I worship You here
With dance and praise
I give you glory
All my days

Before You only
I can be so free
Because for this
You created me

O love the Lord always
Come daily to Him
With thanks and praise
He will carry you
Through painful days
He will show you the miracles
And secrets
Of His ways
For He is our Father
And is worthy of our praise.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Day in the Life

Well, after having an accident where a heavy bookcase lurched out of the van onto my foot, I was very happy that prayers that it not be broken were answered. The heavy bruising and swelling indicated torn ligaments. The doctor said it takes about as long to heal, but I have a much better chance of faster recovery if I will stay off it, as long as possible and keep it above heart level with ice. It also fell against my upper leg and there is a big bruise and when I said I don’t do well on crutches, I didn’t think I would be falling a few hours later scraping my back on a rocker and hard tile floor. I’m feeling some sore muscles back there.
I was so bummed as my grandsons, Austin and Jordan were over for a visit and I was in the ER nearly all of it. There went my plans to take them to the beach. Ashley filled in quite well with them and Shiloh even cooked them shrimp pasta. Isaiah was very loving, asking questions and if he could help.
Bill and the girls are taking good care of me; it is really hard for me, as I have never had to have anyone basically wait on me hand and foot. Since I fell, they are extra careful. Shiloh had been helping me and went to answer the phone, and I don’t know what happened. All I knew is, if I fell forward I would surely hurt my foot worse and there wasn’t anything to brace against or hang onto to my right. She felt terrible for leaving me, but someone had to answer the phone. And of course I had just got off the phone with Amber who thought it was her fault since I had just brought the bookcase from her house. I guess Bill heard the commotion even though he was upstairs. We have decided I may need to use the cane instead of crutches.
It is hard keeping the foot up and iced but then I think of poor Anita, my mentor, whose leg bled for 6 hours when she had a freak accident where her 200 pound son tripped and fell on her. He had a broken toe and she was in a leg cast for weeks. Well, I guess, I will figure out something from this. Makes you wonder why some things happen. Especially when you don't have insurance. But one thing I know from Anita’s teachings is to praise the Lord for all things and the first thing out of my mouth was “Thank you Lord that it didn’t fall on my toes!” It just missed them. Throbbing toes are the pits; I’ve been there before:)
Thanks to all my friends and prayer warriors who have prayed for me.
I am so blessed to have a good book to read today by Charles Brown. It is called, “Papa’s Voice” and so far I can see it is a powerful word from the Lord to His Body. Blessings to you, Charles, for sending this a just the right time, or for such a time as this. Check it out here: Awesome!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Musings on Life, Marriage and Dancing in the Minefields

Musings on Life, Marriage and Dancing in the Minefields

Recently, Bill and I celebrated 30 years of marriage. I am blessed with a wonderful, Godly husband and I am so grateful that he is in my life. On that hot day in July, 30 years ago, we never imagined the blessings that the Lord had for us.
But to say that our life and marriage has been a wonderful waltz would be a denial of the strength the Lord could bring through trials. “Endure hardship with me” is a phrase that is written in my Bible. There is no phrase in the Bible that says, “Be a Christian, marry a Christian and live happily ever after.”
One time Bill sent me a card, and it had a picture of a Construction Zone. It was an encouraging message of our lives being a “work in progress.” If you think about it, that is what we all are, there are none that have arrived yet. We are all in construction, hopefully becoming more like the Lord.
J. Lee Grady in his article ( recently said, “We aren't used to hearing sermons about God's construction zone. Some preachers believe the journey of faith is like skipping effortlessly through LaLa Land. We don't expect people to conform to the image of Christ; we don't warn people that Christ-likeness requires brokenness; and we don't teach that brokenness comes when we embrace trials and suffering.

Yet the Bible says: "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation" (1 Peter 4:12-13, NASB).”
I love Mr. Grady’s take on this and I wonder why there isn’t more teaching like “brokenness comes when we embrace trials and suffering.”?

Any growth at all in my life from early childhood onward has been through pain. If the Lord had not allowed the pain of abuse I would have been a truly spoiled brat as a young girl; I was surely on my way to that early on. But I was spared by being broken by the pain of life, which helped me to become a more compassionate person. Had I not been broken, had I had every need in my life met, I would hate to see the type of woman I may have become.
Many (but not all) of the minefields of our marriage have been related to pain of my first marriage and Bill trying to help me help my oldest daughter overcome an addiction her biological father started her on. When we truly let go and let God, Jesus was the one to bring victory to her hurting heart. She is now celebrating her 2 year anniversary of living sober and giving her testimony to that.

But there were some painful minefields along the way. We give the Lord Jesus all the glory for He does all things well. And there will probably always be a minefield of some sort in our lives, in fact, it seems as if as soon as we get past one, we see another one. That’s just the way life is, it rains on the just and the unjust. There are many hurting people in our extended family and world. We can’t dance around their pain; it is legitimate to them, even if a little extra looking to the Lord would give them a source of relief. Although it is true the old saying that “We may be the only Bible someone reads” we can’t force a relationship with the Lord on anyone. But we can make them thirsty for living water and then point them to our source.
Jesus has never allowed the pain of life to strip me of the deep song of longing within my heart for His will in my life. He has never taken away the desire to dance from me, sometimes alone in my kitchen with a song of praise to Him, sometimes at a wedding or party. Bill doesn’t believe he can dance and so he has missed a lot of joy that the rest of us have when we just get out there on the dance-floor and move around.

One day we will both dance before our Lord and King and He will tell us of all the things He protected us from, all the calamities we were spared and show us the treasure he had waiting when he brought two hurting people together that sunny day in 1980.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Minefields of Life

“Dancing” is the word that struck me to begin post thoughts about the storms of marriage and life and how they can be overcome. One word; Jesus! Actually His name is the only word that can bring us through the storms of life, not just marriage.
It has a beautiful message and I especially like:
So when I lose my way,
Find me
When I loose love's chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith to the end of all my days
When I forget my name,
Remind me

I’ll be writing more on the minefields of life. Right now enjoy the music and lyrics.

Dancing in the Minefields

By Andrew Peterson
Well, I was 19 you were 21, the year we got engaged
And everyone said we were much too young, but we did it anyway
We got the rings for $40 each from a pawnshop down the road
And we said our vows and took the leap nearly 15 years ago.
And we went dancing in the minefields,
We went sailing in the storms
And it was harder than we dreamed,
But I believe that's what the promise is for.
Well “I do” are two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another, I've heard
Is a good way to begin
Cause the only way to find your life is to lay your own life down.
And I believe it is an easy price for the life that we have found.
And we’re dancing in the minefields,
We’re sailing in the storms
And this is harder than we dreamed,

But I believe that's what the promise is for
That's what the promise is for.
So when I lose my way,
Find me
When I loose love's chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith to the end of all my days
When I forget my name; remind me

We bear the light of the Son of Man, so there’s nothing left to fear
So I’ll walk with you in the Shadowlands ’til the shadows disappear
Cause He promised not to leave us and His promises are true.
So in the face of all this chaos, baby, I can dance with you.
Let's go dancing in the minefields
Let's go sailing in the storms
Let's go dancing in the minefields
And kicking down the doors

Let's go dancing in the minefields
And sailing in the storms
Oh, this is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for
That's what the promise is for.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Missing Chapter

I have not been faithful with this blog, and for that I apologize. Bill has been painting my kitchen for an early 30th anniversary gift. He also put down a new floor. This old kitchen has never looked better. But since my computer was right in the middle of the work area I have a bit of an excuse.

Today once again I want to focus again on something by Mary E. DeMuth. She sent a link to what she calls a missing chapter of Thin Places.
Here's the link:
I especially loved this quote:
"So the mysterious plan of God continues on. He uses France to break me so I can bless another broken friend, who then will no doubt touch another in her brokenness. It’s the Gospel of the broken, inaugurated by Jesus’ broken body on the cross, advanced through our weakness."

My take on this is: Brokenness helping to heal another's brokenness, that's what makes the pain worth it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Computer Thing" Or "God Thing"?

Have you ever thought that God can use your computer to be a source of encouragement in your life? No, I’m not talking about the many devotionals and inspired writings you can find. I’m talking about a computer putting words that you need right in front of you several times until you get the message.

Funny thing about computers: sometimes they work great and sometimes you really want to throw them out the window. That’s how I felt the day I was trying to copy and paste a phrase into a search engine. Let me back up and say I was having a really hard week. I was fighting feelings of depression. Some family situations were making me sad and although I was trying to be diligent with writing, I found I was just using the computer to occupy my mind.

I keep a file of quotes that I find in books or on the Internet. This file is getting pretty full as I have people from W.B.Yeats, William Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, and Cowper to Erma Bombeck. As you can see my mind goes to many extremes in the course of a day. From poetry to funny things of living with teenagers and hormones, I read all sorts of articles. But recently my husband had signed a card to me with a really sweet phrase: I decided to put him at the top of my quotes file.

Every time I went to copy and paste into my search engine a research question, out of nowhere, it inserted the phrase from my husband “You are the single most important on going event in my life. All my love, Bill.” After trying several times to get the information, I gave up. Was it a computer error or was it a “God thing?” I needed encouragement that day and that was what I got. No one but God could have done that, as it was several months before that I had put the phrase from my husband in my quote file. I guess I won’t be throwing the computer out the window. Because when I needed encouragement the most, God worked with my computer to lift my spirits. A "computer thing" or a "God thing?" You be the judge.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Read Life in Defiance: A Novel (Defiance Texas Trilogy) by Mary E. DeMuth

I was torn between wanting the savor the book as I knew it was the last one in the Defiance Texas Trilogy and hurry up and finish so I could see who killed Daisy Chance. It was so hard to put down and go about what I needed to do during the day; my reward was coming back to the book as often as I could. I will savor it the second reading. I love everything that Mary E DeMuth has written! I will always be a fan of her writing, her overcoming spirit and her fiction story telling.
Daisy Chain (Defiance Texas Trilogy, Book 1) A Slow Burn (Defiance Texas Trilogy, Book 2) must be read first, although there is enough background for this to be a stand-alone book. But you don't want to miss a word that Mary has written. Powerful, scorching, melodic and spiritual words that will sear your soul.
I will always love Mary's characters and Hixon is still my favorite but Emory grew to be a close second. Strange how things can change from the first book to the second. And in Life in Defiance she became a woman after my own heart.

Perhaps it was a bit harder for me to read this one as I lived through seeing my own mother abused horribly when I was a young child. Not only her, but I still remember the purple welts on my brother's back. Maybe I didn't want to read deeply and find those memories and flashbacks are still deep within me; forgiven but who could forget memories like those?
I so love this trilogy that I had to email Zondervon Publisher and ask: Why would you let Mary end with only 3 books when the story's characters call out to be elaborated on in many other books; Defiance, Texas trilogy surely is only a beginning? Mary's readers are crying for more.
Mary, you are a magnificent writer and I feel you deep in my soul. I only wish I could buy all your books for all my friends and family. Blessings, peace and fruitfulness I pray for you and yours.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Has Destiny Ever Irritated You?
God will use the pain and irritations of life to bring about the destiny of our children. As Mothers it is hard to watch and times and even harder to endure when we want to jump in and take that pain for them. But we must leave our children, grandchildren and problems in the hands of the One who created them for His purpose and glory. He will bring to life that which was dead and barren. Only the Lord can mend the broken, take pieces of clay and make beautiful vessels of His glory. Sometimes the pain of life seems more than we can endure, but we must press on, for His glory and purpose."Now therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning (my paraphrase) your family: "Behold, I will gather them out of all the lands to which I have driven them in My anger, in My wrath and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them dwell in safety. "They shall be My people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them.
I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me. "I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul. Jerimiah 32:17 & 36-41

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Mother Who Dreams

“All your children will be taught by the Lord. And they will have much peace”
(Isaiah 54:13, International Children’s Bible)

I'll never forget the day my friend called me "the mother of dreams." I was discouraged; She was cheering me up. She meant it as if I was the mother of her dreams. Yet, I heard it as what I am, a "mother who dreams."

I know all the times I want to do right and fail. I think about all the times I plan to be kind and explode instead. I remember all the times I want to impart wisdom and love, but I turn into a hormonal mess. But I am a "mother who dreams" because I dream of a better life for my children. A life full of love and good things, where harmony abounds, including wisdom to help through the pain that is a part of life in the real world.
Emotional scars that I have unconsciously inflicted will be healed. Family divisions will be a thing of the past. Forgiveness and peace will overcome bitterness.
A mother will always dream big things for her children!

Psalm 31:3-4 "For Thou art my rock and my fortress; for Thy name's sake Thou wilt lead me and guide me. Thou wilt pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me; for Thou art my strength."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happy Sunday

A great quote for the day: “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong, because someday you will have been all of these." – George Washington Carver
Happy Sunday! Bill has been ministering at Men of Destiny and we are going to another graduation ceremony today. To God be the Glory!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Writer's Prompt

“Show me where you bleed,” the editor from a prominent magazine said in her session at the writer’s conference.
“I can do that,” I thought to myself and planned the next submission I would write for her. It was my first writer’s conference and to say I was overwhelmed was an understatement. Actually I thought I bled plenty in the manuscript she critiqued. I was about to hit the big 5-0 soon and the young, petite, blonde, “totally altogether” editor had terrified me, quite unintentionally when we had our appointment.
What was I even doing at a writer’s conference? I was totally out of my element, a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom who aspired to write at this late stage of life. I had always wanted to get a book published while I still looked enough like that glamour shot picture I had taken back when I was forty. Oh well, no chance of that; and especially not now that I am pushing 59. It took me 9 more years to get the courage to go back to a conference. I am now hooked on them; I couldn’t wait until the next year’s conference. They seem to get better and better each time.
Ten years from the time I met the beautiful editor I saw her again. Guess what? She didn’t terrify me. In fact I thought she was quite mellow and I even made an appointment with her again. She didn’t really want to see anything I had to offer but I enjoyed our conversation and her seminars. She didn’t even remember asking us to “show me where you bleed,” all those years ago. I walked through facing some personal fears about meeting with editors this year and came out smiling.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Got Contentment?

Got Contentment?

No, it doesn’t always show visibly as the “Got Milk” pictures with the white line above the lips. But it should manifest itself inwardly with a feeling of peace in or in spite of our circumstances. The apostle Paul said, (1 Timothy 6:6) But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. Over the years when I have thought about this scripture, I have often felt that we should look at it differently. If it is of great gain to have godliness with contentment I think on the flip side there is no gain to it, if we are not content.

What is the source of our worries so often? A major amount comes down to not being content with what the Lord has given us or allowed us to go through. We look at our situations in our homes and we don’t have the family of our dreams. We aren’t content. We may have a physical ailment the Lord has allowed, even perhaps for His glory, but we aren’t content. We may be single, having tried marriage many times and failing, we aren’t content; but we don’t want to be alone. We may have any number of things that are truly a thorn in the flesh to us, but we don’t have the gain of true godliness because we aren’t content with our life.

The only way I know to get out of the rut that comes about what we don’t have, is to maintain focus on what we do have. Count your blessings; number them if you have to. We as a nation of people have so many material blessings that people of other nations only dream of. Sometimes our desperation inwardly can be a good thing as it drives us closer to the Lord. In that case it can work out as great gain. We know we want our lives to count for the Lord and to be able to display the majesty that comes from that inward peace with circumstances.
Have you ever, like so many women today, wandered about a Mall, thinking you just have to buy something for that temporary high that it brings? Charley Reece, formerly of the Orlando Sentinel said, “Materialism, which is the pursuit of stuff, turns out to be empty. After one has gotten stuff, stored it, moved, maintained it, insured it, one gets to the final stuff, a cemetery lot and headstone, where all the stuff has to be abandoned. A man becomes a slave to his possessions.” That doesn’t mean we should never buy anything, but possession alone won’t make us happy. And of course, we can’t take it with us as Charley so aptly pointed out.

I had a day that brought about a lot of discontentment for no real known reason. I felt that no one valued my opinion or even asked for it. I was concerned about homeschooling and feeling like a failure in it. I was concerned about some friends that are going through horrible situations and feeling at a loss for what to do. I felt like my life was out of control and with all my control issues that was hard for me. Yet, if we get right down to it; our lives need to be out of our control and in God’s control. And we need to learn that we aren’t our feelings. Feelings come and go, sometimes rising and falling with health issues, hormones or relational problems. Attacks from the enemy of our soul will bring us down but we don’t have to stay down. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

Got contentment? Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life. He is the only way to have contentment the only truth that will show contentment and the only life that will bring contentment. When days are hard, parenting seems impossible, dreams aren't coming true let Him make your life one of gain instead of loss by helping you to take a deep breath, roll the burden to him and give you the contented sigh of relief. I promise you contentment will show all over your face. And your life.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thoughts running through my head as I think upon Easter Sunday:

The world behind me, the cross before me;

The world behind me, the cross before me;

The world behind me, the cross before me;

No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow;

Though none go with me, still I will follow;

Though none go with me, still I will follow;

No turning back, no turning back.

(From I Have Decided to Follow Jesus) anon

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
Jeremiah 32:27

Peace Amidst Pain

Lord, our lives are chaotic

But not without peace

There is pain all around

Yet, we have You

Times may be harder still

But You remain true

Dreams we have yet to fulfill

Aren’t they long overdue?

My life is in Your hands

And there I remain

The things I have lost for Christ

He will count as my gain

The power to overcome

Lies in your Word

It is the fire that burns

In my chest,

It’s my weapon, my sword

Renew my heart

Cause it to worship

Renew my vision

To see your ways

Renew my tongue

To words of praise

And I will follow You

All of my days

For You are holy

And you are worthy

And I will follow You

All of my days.
Donna Collins Tinsley 2002

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Had the Time of my Life at the Florida Christian Writer's Conference

I only wish I could truly portray the blessing I had going to the FCWC! To be among some of the best Christian writers and authors in the field was so awesome. The amount of work that went into the conference by Billie Wilson and staff will be never fully be comprehended by many, but I am so grateful for their hard work.

In my eyes, everything was so wonderful and uplifting. The continuing class with Laura Christianson was very motivating and I loved each session of the elective workshops I took. The main session speakers, Cec Murphey, Jesse Florea, Jerry Jenkins and then ending with the lovely Eva Marie Everson were awesome. I shed more than a few tears and loved the comic relief that Jerry gave us Sat. night.

I met old friends and made new ones; I was so blessed to have Kathy Thomas as my roommate and I know the Lord has great things in store for her and her ministry. I felt the pain of some who were struggling and saw with my own eyes the Lord change the heart of one who came there with his own agenda and left praising the Lord for the fast track God is putting him on! I heard of at least one miracle of salvation coming to a heart and know that the Lord restored many hearts while they were ministered to, there.

I so loved learning about the racial reconciliation ministry that Craig von Buseck has, although it was after conference that I read articles he wrote. I’m a fan of writing in that arena, as sometimes I realize that we as a nation, have not come as far as we thought we had in racial issues.

Last year I got so involved with the thought of having to give an elevator pitch, that it ruined my appointments with the editors; this year I decided I would just be myself, and it worked out a lot betterJ Everyone I had appointments with was very gracious and kind and I so appreciate that. I found that some of the people that I met in the food line blessed me as much as my appointments and it is true that relationships formed are one of the main things that make you want to come back.

I did find my “angel” from last year, Margie and was also blessed to have some special time with Susie Davis when she came to visit Bryan and Amanda. I was so happy she was there to see Amanda get that award; awesome!

The music was wonderful and I was so glad to hear our special conference song, “You Never Let Go” which is probably the theme of my life. He is always faithful and will never let go of us, regardless of our faithfulness, regardless if our family is not the Cleaver’s, regardless if our lives are not “picture perfect.” He will never let go of the dreams he puts in our hearts even if they seem unattainable. He gives new dreams and is the true Dream Giver.

I’ll end with a quote Bryan Davis gave me many years ago at Rosemary Upton’s Writer’s Critiqueshop,

“Dreams inspire models; models bring forth plans; plans beget hope, and hope is the anchor for my soul; my reason for dreaming.”

I love this quote so much it is at the beginning of my book, “Somebody’s Daughter.”
PS Thanks so all who ended up calling me, Mom, after coming to the conclusion that my "brand" is "Somebody's Mother."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What Stirs you to Write?

I'm getting ready to go to the FCWC, so I'm pretty busy to be blogging.
Today I sent something to The Writer's View-2 about inspiration and creativity to write in response to a question they asked. Some things stir me to write and child abuse is one of them.

I find things to write about in newspaper articles all the time. I started out writing letters to editors and was privileged to have several letters as "My Word" columns. Once they even sent a photographer out to our home to photograph me with my daughters, when I reminisced about growing up unsupervised in the 60's. I've written about homeless issues, Heaven's Garden, (a home for recovering prostitutes) treasuring your time with a loved one, procrastination, and treatment centers. I wrote a response about an article called "Passage to Salvation" wondering how parents felt after seeing the faces of their daughters on billboards advertising men's clubs along I-95? The empathy I felt gave me the title for my first book called, "Somebody's Daughter."
One thing that stirred me up was a phrase a Judge used, "a little pedophilia" I wondered who has the definition of what "a little pedophilia" does to a child?
This excerpt was printed several years ago in the (Orlando) Sentinel:

And as for the comment that Maxwell reportedly made to a DCF staffer that he had "never known pedophilia to be life-threatening" surely we have all read newspaper article that would dispute this statement. He should try that line on a surviving parent. Perhaps he would talk to a sexual abuse survivor who could tell him about painful flashbacks and the years it takes to rebuild trust in authority figures. "A little pedophilia"? I don't think so. Trust me, I know. There is no such thing.
Donna Collins Tinsley

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kitchen Praise

Isn’t it funny when you think you have your week planned and then everything changes? One of the hardest things for those who know they have control issues is change of plans. Oh to be as free and flexible as those fully controlled by His spirit is my prayer.
Yet, the other night after what felt like one of the longest days of my life, I found myself dancing to the Lord in my kitchen. Since the kitchen seems to be the room I am usually in for some reason, it can also sometimes become a dance floor, as I get lost in the beauty of music. I picture myself dancing before the Lord in His throne room. I don’t have choreographed steps or know real sign language that is so beautiful when I see other, more professional and skilled dancers, but I know He gets the message of love that I am trying to send Him, my Lord and my God; the true father of my life.

My Kitchen Time

I stand before Your throne, Lord
In this little kitchen of mine
I stand in Your throne room
In the mirror of my mind

I worship You here
With dance and praise
I give you glory
All my days
Before You only
I can be so free
Because for this
You created me
O love the Lord always
Come daily to Him
With thanks and praise
He will carry you
Through painful days
He will show you the miracles
And secrets
Of His ways
For He is our Father
And is worthy of our praise.
Donna Collins Tinsley

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thorns, Roses and the Rock

Abe Lincoln said, “We can complain that rose bushes have thorns, or we can rejoice that thorn bushes have roses." Once in a time of prayer and prophecy Brother Steve Scheffler said I was a rose whose thorns would prick the hearts of men. Although I feel I write mainly for women those words have always been in my heart. I realized once again today that my “father vacuum” that pain of not really knowing my paternal family roots, likes to show itself at the oddest times, to try to get me down and make me feel as if I was an abandoned child. Yet on the other hand I know deeply in my heart that the relationship I have with my Abba Father could never have been as strong if I had an earthy father meet that need. The path for me was abandonment by my real father, not knowing grandparents on that side, abuses by men and then a slow gradual healing as I cried out to the Lord from early childhood. I sought him in tears, in frustrations, in crazy situations and more. He was there for me and always will be my Rock and Fortress
The Rock and Me
I am a rock
But not a fortress
A mighty One
I lean on
He is my Rock
And comforting arm
Presiding, watching
Keeping from harm
A long road
With many turns
Pits, caves and snares

We rock together
Jesus and me
Through tears and pain
Two Rocks are we.

Donna Collins Tinsley written a long time ago, when I found out someone asked my brother, Charles, “How is your sister, the rock?”

Monday, February 8, 2010

Men of Destiny has a graduation!

What a wonderful graduation ceremony for Chris from Men of Destiny Ministries in St. Cloud, FL. The Spirit of the Lord was strong as family and friends celebrated the victory of a one-year program of discipleship. There is a strong call on Chris’ life and as he said, with his past experiences he will be able to reach those that a lot of mainstream pastors will never relate to. He shines as light of Christ wherever he goes, as mentioned by a worker from McDonald’s that he encouraged one day when she felt she couldn’t go on. Jesus was glorified by the founder, Pastor George Shafter, the director, Pastor Vincent Kendall and my husband Pastor Bill (prefers to go by Brother Bill) Tinsley. The message that you can be a new creation in Christ and not go by old tags of addict or alcoholic is a true and needed word and Bill delivered it with intensity.

If you know a man struggling with addictions or life issues have them call the office at 407 957-4292. It isn’t for the weak or fainthearted as it truly is a discipleship program but a real man with Christ abiding can come out with true direction for his life. It makes a family proud!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What are the Thin Places in Your Life?

Here is one of my book reviews of “Thin Places” by Mary E DeMuth. Thin Places will both break your heart and restore in again in Jesus name.
What are the Thin Places in Your Life?
The statistics that every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted and of the millions of sexual abuse and rape victims, 15 percent are under the age of 12* are incredible. I myself, was a victim at a young age, and maybe that is why I feel such a kindred spirit with Mary E DeMuth.
Mary is not a victim but an overcomer in the strongest sense of the word. She has written a memoir that only someone who grew up with abuse and dysfunction could write. She has bled on paper that others might find the same hope and healing that she found. She has exposed her life, family, love and overcoming spirit to us so that dysfunctional families could find life, hope, love and liberty in the name of Jesus. Mary may not get on Oprah although I pray that she does, but she has a standing ovation from her fan base, a core of people who adore her honesty and the light that shines through her writings. This book should be required reading in High Schools, Treatment Centers and counselor’s offices. Many times even teachers who see children all week long do not pick up on the signs of an abused child. Years ago, Guidance Counselors were there to talk to children about their problems but it seems now they only help with career choices.

The third chapter, titled, Snapshot, previewed the horrors that sometimes happen to children even when you think they are well supervised. I think the angels that watch over children daily must look on in horror at some of the things that happen to little ones, because of the depravity that is in the hearts of men. I sometimes wondered if I had been born under a dark cloud of a curse. The chapter titled, Marked, shows how sexual abuse seems to follow some girls throughout their lives and they may have to fight a victim mentality to rise above it. Other chapters are relatable, such as Snapshot, Slow Dancing, Singing, and Shame. If you had walked in similar shoes you will know exactly what I am talking about.
There are no way my words could give justice to “Thin Places.” Right now I must say that the Lord God is pleased with Mary and her transparency to show where she has bled and hurt in her life. That she would be so open to print the words of truth that will help bring healing to her sisters (and may I add brothers) that were abused in childhood is truly a gift to us. This gift came at a very high price of pain from the giver and should not be easily discarded. I admit I read through Thin Places very fast the first time so I could just know Mary’s story; now I will read it again!

You should, too!

* 2007 study by the U.S. Department of Justice
Read on for something Mary wrote about her book:

“The end result is story: mine. It’s the story of a little girl who faced sexual abuse, neglect, drug-using parents, fear, death of a parent, and a host of other malevolence. And yet it’s a hope-filled story, where the bright light of God’s climactic redemption outshines the dark places. It’s a story of God’s nearness when I thought I’d nearly lose my mind and will to live. How grateful I am for the beautiful love of Jesus, how dearly He chose frail me to shame the wise. It’s really His story after all.”
Finally, I say this about sweet Mary:
"For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being," declares the LORD. "But to this one I will look, Mary who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word. Isaiah 66:2

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Restore Them to You

I wrote this a few years back with a friend in mind: I dedicate it to mothers who are discouraged and have had their hearts broken. In my mind it is a song, but since I can't write music, I guess it is a poem.

Restore Them to You
Somebody’s Mother is praying
Hoping, God is hearing
What’s she’s saying
She’s on her knees begging,
“I believe You can restore, Lord,
And make them pure again.

My children have went astray
Lord, how can they
Live that way?
Spurning the love You give?
As if You don't exist.

I gave them a vision of You
Not perfect, But I tried,
You well know
The stresses of life
Seemed to rip us apart
As my dreams fell through
I clung to You
But they turned
The other way.

Oh Lord, how can they live that way?
How can I live loving them the way I do?
Wanting them to
Be Serving You
God, when will You
Make my dreams come true?

I'll not give up talking to You
Pleading, if that’s what I have to do
My children are precious gems
Not given for destruction
But You made them for peace
Not for the world but the Kingdom

Restore them to You,
Restore them to You,
Do what You must do,
Restore them to You.

The world gives darkness for light
The world shows pain as pleasure
A distorted view of fun
Satan has begun
To deceive
The elect’s offspring.

But all my children
Will be taught of the Lord
And great will be the peace of my children
As they walk with You
As they are restored to You

And they will say, “My Lord and my God”
It was You all along,
You've restored my song,
I will dance for You,
I'm restored to You,
Eternity is mine

You were there all the time
Couldn't get you out of my mind,
I'm restored to You at last
I no longer live in the past
Or for this dark world.
It was You all along,
You've restored my song,
I will dance for You,
I'm restored to You,
Eternity is mine.

Somebody’s Mother is praying
Knowing, God has heard
What’s she was saying
You've restored my song,
And my children, too

I will dance for You,
I'm restored to You,
Eternity is ours.

Donna Collins Tinsley

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Staying in touch

Sometimes, life is so hectic and painful it is hard to stay in touch. I am not a professional blogger although I would like to be one. I am truly just a sister among you. One who doesn’t have it together, weeps for her friends and family, dreams, hopes and prays for them, also. I found this article that I wrote some years back and felt led to post it today. It probably is way too personal and way to much information for some of y’all, but it sums up a lot and fills in some blanks. Don’t ever let Satan take the music out of your hearts:)

I’ve Got The Music In Me

Musings about A Boomer Woman’s Music
From the strands of “Shall We gather at the River” played by my grandmother on the piano at the little country church in Chattanooga Valley, Tenn. to “I Hope You Dance” a recent hit sung by Lee Ann Womack, music has always played a role in my life and the life of many “Boomer Women.”

I remember sitting in front of the little black and white television set, mesmerized by Elvis Presley swinging his hips on the Ed Sullivan show. Was he from the devil as some people tried to say, or just the handsomest person I had ever seen in my short life? “Whatever Will Be Will Be, Que Sera,” always in the background of my mind, I was drawn to those shows with music. Variety shows were very popular in the fifties and the Lennon sisters were a household word. As a little girl I would dress up in my swirly ballerina outfit (do you remember crinoline slips?) and sing and dance as I watched the small black and white television set. I had a song in my heart and no one was going to take it from me. Or were they?

Life happens. Not always happy. Stripped from my childhood home with my grandmother, and the sounds of “Amazing Grace” I remember my stepfather hollering out the door of our Florida home, “Donna Renee, shut up that singing!” That was not the only way he tried to take the music from me. When they put him in prison, the landlord kept our piano and the roots of music I learned from my grandmother seemed to vanish also. The little girl who by age five could play the piano by ear disappeared. Bravery to perform in front of people became nervous fear, and I trembled whenever I was called to do anything publicly.

Raising 4 children alone was hard for my Mama. Just 16 when I was born she was nearly a “Boomer Woman” herself. She loved to dance and I remember thinking what a pretty mom I had as she danced to “Be Bop A Lula,” “Cathy’s Clown” and “Great Balls of Fire.” We lived through American Bandstand, Dick Clark, Chubby Checker, Joey Dee and the Starlighters, “everybody do the twist.” And everybody did. We didn’t have much money but we could still dance and have fun.

“Make Me Your Baby” played on the radio as my boyfriend and I “made out” in the back seat of a car. I was supposed to be doing laundry at the Laundromat for my mother, and yes, the clothes were washing inside. He thought he was “The Leader of the Pack.” My boyfriend was so cute and virile; I didn’t think anything about him being eight years older than me. With the life I lived I always felt older than my age anyway. Taking care of my younger brothers and one sister was what I did when I wasn’t at school. This was the closet thing to a real date that I got to go on. Before they could sing the song, “Sixteen Candles,” I said, “I’m Gonna Get Married.”

He didn’t look like a pervert when I met him. But at age fifteen did I really know what a pervert would look like? Sure, I’d had my fair share of experiences; the stepfather who tried to rape me, my Mom’s boyfriends who wanted to kiss me, the experience at the park where someone came up behind me in the dark, threw me on the ground and only left when I (not knowing what else to do) bit his tongue as hard as I could. I ended up with bruised lips but I’m sure he wished he had never stuck his tongue in my mouth, uninvited.

But this one? Well built, dark and handsome, gee, he looked like Prince Charming to me. How was I to know that perverts sometimes come in pretty packages? Five years down the road, when the beginning of the “marriage from hell” came about, I realized my “Prince” was a pedophile. And even though my daughter begged me to forgive him and get help for her beloved daddy, no amount of counseling, Doctor’s visits, (where I was told to give him more sex) or love, was going to keep us together. Yes, Captain and Tennille had already sung that song by then.

The damage was done. I didn’t find out until I was in the midst of the divorce proceedings, that he had started her on the road to drugs. She is 42 years old now and has just begun to reclaim her life instead of staying on the addictive cycle he started her on. When I was getting the divorce my counsel didn’t advise me to bring charges but some years later, my daughter and I did help to put him in prison. Even though one of his favorite songs when we were dating in 1966 was “I Fought the Law and the Law Won,” he wasn’t singing now. And I didn’t need a song by Nazareth to tell me “Love Hurts.”

Or the Eagles to tell me he had “Lyin' Eyes.” I only wish I had listened seriously to Paul Simon as he sang “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” a few years back.

But God is good. To the strands of “Annie’s Song” I married “Bill” and “Don’t Go Breakin’ MY Heart” was my inner cry. He is truly my “Handy Man!” He gave me “Respect” and I reminded him often, “She Loves You.” He is my “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “This Girl is a Woman Now,” for sure. Although “You Are So Beautiful to Me” is one of my favorite songs, Bill doesn’t sing, but if he would let me I would sing it to him. He has been a wonderful father to four daughters and helped to mend my broken heart.
Life has tried to take the song and dance out of my heart but I am determined that I will not let that happen. The main thing that has gotten me through 58 years of being a Boomer Woman is the enduring strength of faith I found as a young girl in that little country church, and the love of family and friends. I have found that music and dance are powerful weapons against the enemy who wants to steal our joy. When the battle is raging around you, let the music arise in you. My wish for all Boomer Women is so aptly put in Lee Ann Womack’s song, “I Hope You Dance,”

I hope you still feel small

When you stand by the ocean

Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens

Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance

Remember the music that got you through your “Boomer Years.”

Donna Collins Tinsley copyright 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Graduating from the school of life’s addictions

My oldest daughter celebrated 18 months of sobriety on Jan. 21st.
I will give her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt (her addictions). Hosea 2:15

A ceremony and a big party usually mark Graduation Day as someone graduates from High School or College. But what if you daughter has taken the long road of education in the “school of life’s addictions”?
My oldest daughter has wrestled with a drug and cocaine addiction that her own father started her on as a child. It has been a stronghold that caused much pain to her and our family. Even though I had divorced her father his influence lived on in the pain of her lifestyle. Finally, at age 42 she took the steps to stay in a Treatment Facility for long enough to be able to come out from the grip of these bondages and begin to live a normal life.
So what do you say at a different sort of commencement ceremony?
In a letter I wrote her, I rephrased the words to an old blessing to fit the occasion
Dear Sweet Regina,

I am very proud and happy that this day of commencement has come for you. It is an example of God working all things for good once more in your life. He is the God of second (third, fourth and more) chances, as you well know.

I pray the Lord be your helper and protect you from harm and addictions that call.

I pray the Lord save up from your affliction and have mercy on your lowliness

I pray the Lord raise you up from where you had fallen

I pray the Lord come to your neediness

Heal what needs to be healed

Restore where you have wandered from Him

Feed your spirit

Ransom what has been lost

Help you to rise up from the sickbed of the past and walk

Straight, firmly and with His strength

So that you may teach the weak and faint-hearted about the

True comfort of His love for you.

(My version of a prayer written by Clement of Rome 1st Century)

Welcome, honey to your new life. And know I will always love you.

 A daughter is your child no matter how old she is and how far she strays and I am truly grateful the Lord has given her a new start
Donna Collins Tinsley

This scripture sums up my feelings about the subject:
My heart rejoices in the LORD!

The LORD has made me strong.
Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me. No one is holy like the LORD!
There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.1 Samuel 2:1-2

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Desperate prayers from desperate people.

I believe the Lord is bringing us all back to a life of constant prayer. Whether it is for our nation or a nation devastated such as Haiti, our family or extended family and friends, situations arise that call for desperate prayers from desperate people.
Last night as I was savoring the last chapter of “I Know Why the Angels Dance” by Bryan Davis, the tears came down like rain; I could hardly see to read. What a beautiful example of a Godly family and their reaction to death and pain.

I was thinking this morning about the beautiful prayers written in the book and the example to us all and then as usual, the Lord sent me to another book with an example of praying for those who are suffering from Ruth Graham’s book, “In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart.”

Then the Lord sent me to Lamentations 3:22-24
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“ The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“ Therefore I hope in Him!”
The Word doesn’t get any better than that:)
Our desperate prayers end in hope.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"I Know Why the Angels Dance."

"Make them dance again!" is a quote from the book by Bryan Davis' book, "I Know Why the Angels Dance." All workers in ministry should have knowledge of this quote and what it means and I pray there will be angels dancing in heaven today in honor of souls won the Lord.

I can't help but picture in my mind Bryan and Susie Davis as the parents in the fiction novel and one of the most beautiful parts had me weeping this morning as I read the prayer the mother in the story prayed over a little girl in the hospital. You'll find it on pages 248 and 249. I know only a man who has heard a wonderful woman of God pray like this can write like this. My other favorite parts, never really having a father while growing up, are the sweet moments of tenderness that are displayed to his daughter. Bryan is giving all proceeds from this book to charity.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Daytona Streets

I have had this novel in my heart for years, and have several chapters written.  Because of a lot of subject matter is painful for members of my family, I prefer to try this as a novel. Also there is a character later on I want to introduce who roams the streets of Daytona. If you live here you might recognize him and he has the he has the greenest eyes and many people have wondered if he is an angel unaware. He just walks the streets carrying most of his belongings with him. Times when I helped feed the homeless, we have had conversations that were amazing. I bumped into him recently at a gas station and told him I was basing a character on him a bit and we talked about his eyes. He said they change to 10 different colors. He sounded proud, and I thought how even the person that walks the streets wants to know that somebody is noticing him..

I posted Daytona Streets, chapter one, for some months a long time ago and didn't get any feedback, so I decided to edit this post and will send it privately by email if anyone will sign up to follow my blog.  Just sign up and then email me that you did and that you want the first chapter of Daytona Streets:)

and put Daytona Streets in the subject:)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A God Thing

I'm trying to type and hold little Aryel at the same time so I'll just put a post that I commented on today:
It's funny how sometimes God lines things up for you with the issues you are facing or concerning your heart. I was going over conference material from last year and reviewing this neat postcard sized info from John Vonholf called Writers Conference Guidelines ( The next day I found this blog on the Florida Christian Writer's Conference Facebook. Then I decided after my regular devotions this morning I would read some writer's material from The Christian Communicator, since Lin Johnson is going to be there and The Christian Communicator was the first magazine to ever publish something I wrote. But before I did that I read The Upper Room for today and it described some of my feelings, perfectly about feeling nervous with the upcoming event: I am so blessed to be able to connect with these writers and to enjoy so much more along with gleaning, learning and enjoying the lasting benefits of FCWC. John, your website is a valuable source for all writers, but especially someone like me, who needs all the help she can get. Thank you so much and many blessings!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Who Could Make Normal out of This?

Who Could Make Normal out of This?

Do you sometimes look at your family and think, "Who Could Make Normal out of This?" Does it require faith to live a normal life in the world we live in? I believe it does!

It's impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (MSG)

Do you have a “normal family”? What does normal look like to you? Do you have to be happy to be normal? I’m about to come to the conclusion that there are no normal families, because what makes one person happy in the family doesn’t always make the other person happy. And when you have a large family it is a miracle if you can get anyone to agree on anything. Unless you are the Walton’s, and sometimes Mama wasn’t always happy with the kids, especially when they got older and sassier.

I must concur with Patsy Clairmont, who said, “Normal is only a setting on your clothes dryer.” May your day be blessed, and don’t worry if your family isn’t normal; God loves them anyway!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday, Monday

Sometimes it is hard to do as Elisabeth Elliot once said, “Just do the next thing.” When you have family, friends and loved ones who are going through problems, dysfunctions, addictions and more it is hard not to lose hope. But then we must remember Hope is a person and Jesus can give us what we need as mentioned here:

January 11, 2010. Will this problem ever get any better? This is something you have been thinking about for awhile. There seems to you that there is no evidence that good can come out of what is going on. You can't see all the facets of the problem; neither can you see all facets of the solution. I am working on this turning out to be a success. At this time there is nothing you can do and nothing you should do. But don't let this cause you to give up hope. Wait until I show you specifically what to do. Be at peace and work with Me and watch for a good solution.

Galatians 6:9 (AMP) “And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.” Bev Robinson

I still live by the promise in Romans 8:28 and God has never let me down. But reality is that people may let us down and we need to be ready for that and not let their actions control our lives and thoughts. When I get down, I try to steer my thoughts higher remembering it is best to dwell on the goodness and blessings I see instead of the world as it is. The old saying, “Count your blessings,” never fails.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Live Ready

Live Ready

I always tell my children and grandchildren “Live Ready.” What do I mean by that, you may wonder? Live ready to die, always be prepared to meet your Maker as none of us know the day or hour that He will take us home. Live in love and forgiveness as the Lord Jesus loved and forgave us; He gave His life for us on the cross. We have no excuse for not being ready to go to Heaven with Him. Yet, some will say they are afraid if they give their life to Him they will not be free to do the things they want to do, not knowing that they are in bondage to the world. Jesus said, He came to give Life; the enemy of our souls comes to kill, steal and destroy.

Why am I talking about this today? I met a wonderful lady on Wednesday who blessed my family and me mightily with the Spirit of the Lord within her. She lives to proclaim the wonders and miracles of the Lord Jesus. Two days later, I’m told her youngest son committed suicide. What pain for that family, as I believe suicide hurts the ones left behind, even more than the performing the act. I ask for prayers for this dear sister and her family in this time of need. The Lord does say if we believe in Him we will be saved and “our house.” As mothers and fathers, we can trust Him to bring our children in.

I “live ready” because it is the only way to go.

Donna Collins Tinsley

Saturday, January 9, 2010

This was perfect for today! I love these people and follow them every day: What The Lord Is Saying Today

This was perfect for today! What The Lord Is Saying Today

January 9, 2010. Your heart is full of praise. Let the mountains, winds and seas know about it. Lift up your voice to the Heavens as long as you have breath. Let every creature know of your love and thanksgiving for your God. Praise becomes you. With excitement, tell of all My goodness, mercy and compassion. In the general assembly of your gathering, sing with all your heart, soul and body. Dance with zeal and confidence as an expression of your thankfulness. Exult in the wonder of My creation, your Most High God. Because of Me, you no longer walk in darkness. Nor do you live in the cold of lack and poverty. I have rescued and saved you forever.

Psalms 9:1-2 “I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.” Ras Robinson*

January 9, 2010. A brighter day is coming. This too shall pass as other dark days have done. You didn't see this coming and were blindsided. Don't overextend yourself during this period. Hold on and bide your time until the bright day appears. It takes everyone for all the components to align for optimum breakthrough. Wait on My timing, and you will see how it all works together. Now is the time for as much rest as possible. Right now you can't see the possibilities, but as time goes by it will be clear what you need to do. Waiting is hard but it is best right now. I am directing even in darkness.

Psalms 139:9-12 (MSG) “If I flew on morning's wings to the far western horizon, You'd find me in a minute— you're already there waiting! Then I said to myself, 'Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I'm immersed in the light!' It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you.” Bev Robinson