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.