Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Mother’s Tribute of Love for an Unforgettable Child

As Good As She Imagined: The Redeeming Story of the Angel of Tucson, Christina-Taylor Green Roxanna Green (Author), Jerry B. Jenkins (Author) http://www.amazon.com/Good-She-Imagined-Redeeming-Christina-Taylor/dp/1617950122/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325174882&sr=1-1-fkmr0

This story written from a mother’s viewpoint will rock your world as you experience a part of the pain she felt in losing such a dear child.
Christina-Taylor Green truly did seem like an angel sent briefly to earth. From the birth date of 9/11 to the day of her tragic death her light shone so bright in a dark and sometimes painful world, it is hard not to weep through the whole book. Yet it was so sweet and touching. It reminded me at times of Carol Kent’s book ‘When I Lay My Isaac Down’ where there was a moment when life was so perfect and then their world was turned upside down never to return to that perfection. In saying that I also thought of the book of Job throughout.

The affect that young Christina-Taylor had on people seemed magical, even down to her relationship with her brother, Dallas. Although he had some special needs she made him feel so special and loved that it was a big part of his healing and he seemed to cope so much better with life after she was born. I adored the stories about Christina-Taylor’s relationship with her grandmother. I know they are happy to be together in heaven now.
The time-line of the shootings and the facts given about the tragedy were very informational. But being allowed to journey with this family through their personal grief was a wonderful contribution to the world. I also loved the small but poignant writings from the Dad especially in the last chapter where he said, “I love thinking about Christina-Taylor and will do so forever.” He also wrote a poem called “Faith:”
Christina-Taylor Green on one-eight-eleven,
Was laid to rest and went to heaven.

She left her mark in nine short years,
And we remain to shed our tears.
Mom, Dad, and Dallas will love you forever,
Awaiting the day we’re together again. (John Green)
The letters from friends and family added so much to the value of the story of a life that was much too short. It was good to read what the President said to encourage our nation at the State of the Union address shortly after the shootings. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was also wounded and Christina-Taylor Green was one of six people that were killed, with 13 people wounded.

Shattered in soul and spirit, this mother, Roxanna Green gave us such a gift in writing this book (along with Jerry B. Jenkins) and the heart of a loving mother was so evident. The focus on forgiving and not dwelling on the murderer was commendable.

Any thoughts I have now of Christina-Taylor make me smile amidst the tears. There are some that the book of Hebrews, chapter 11 speaks of, that “the world was not worthy of them.” Our world was not worthy of such a pure, sweet, kind angel-like spirit as Christina-Taylor Green was. We are so glad the Lord sent her for a brief moment of time to show that you can really live a life that is better than can be imagined. Unforgettable book about an unforgettable family!

Donna Collins Tinsley

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Decidedly Different Christmas Message: “You’re Such a Mother!”


The word of the Lord: But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19
“Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His mother, for the fall and rising of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also) that the hearts of many may be revealed.” Luke 2:34-35

“You’re such a mother!” she said as she put her arms around me. I was at a support group and my friend and I often would just look at each other and start crying. Sometimes it seemed we could feel each other’s pain. The pains of being the mother of people struggling in addictions, pains of being a part of dysfunctional families, and just the pain of living life in general at times was enough to make us cry. We knew members of our group who had lost loved ones throughout the years and we hurt for them.

Maybe it was just the relief of coming to a quiet room where we didn’t have to be strong for anyone. A room where we could just sit and listen, have peace and serenity, maybe that is what brought the stream of tears from our eyes. Sometimes when I saw my friend weep I would think of my own daughters. Hearing her share made me think how some of my own daughters just might be feeling the way she felt right then, broken and hurting, and thinking that their mother misunderstood them. It was always a prayer prompt and I would pray that there would be someone there for them, when I couldn’t be the one to help bind their wounds; another mother standing in for me to give them a hug and some mother’s love.

You’re such a mother!” Although being a “good mother” had always been in my heart I had failed at that endeavor early on. The funny thing is, though as much as I failed I would have people coming up to me in my later years, saying crazy things like, “Oh you’re a good mom.” Many times I have heard even people older than I was, saying “You remind me of my mother,” and it would be in a sweet way. When grown men that I barely knew started calling me "Mom" at conferences I realized deep in my spirit that it was the gift of God to me. His love and His hand can redeem that person who has failed miserably and still continues to fail. That He knows deep in my heart there is a "Mom" thing going on. That our Lord is the Lord of the second chance and third and fourth chance. That there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still (Corrie Ten Boom.)

 Because of these things I created The Somebody’s Mother Online Prayer Support Group,” so that everyone can have the prayers of "somebody’s mother. "

A few years back a woman who had gone on many pilgrimages and is a woman of prayer laid hands on my head and prayed that I would receive whatever God had given her. She had a beautiful story to tell of a rock she had picked up on her journey that depicted the story of Jesus. She also had visions of Mother Mary and the pain she felt being the earthly mother of our Lord. Trust me if you are a mother you will endure pain of some sort along life’s way. I believe that she imparted somewhat of a mother’s heart to me that day and it is a worthy thing to obtain. But a mother’s heart can also be painful as it is broken over and over again. And the funny thing is, when God imparts such a gift to a woman she doesn’t even have be a mother to have this kind of heart. She can be a sponsor, sister, youth worker or a daughter but this heart can rise up in her to love and defend to the end those the Lord puts in her path.

“You’re such a mother!” In this day and age a statement like that can be profane, yet I choose to call it divine.  

Prayer: Lord, you know how much we would like to hide at times from the pain of life, especially when it involves our children. Help us instead to steer them to the blessings that are in our daily lives and the Season before us.

Thought for the Day: Sometimes as parents we bleed for our children when we see them go through painful situations.

Prayer Focus: Families in pain during the holidays.
My friend Kim, Al-anon, Celebrate Recovery, The Addict’s Mom Facebook Group and most of all Jesus inspired my
“Decidedly Different Christmas message.” 
Thanks to all of you and Merry Christmas!
Donna Collins Tinsley
Christmas 2011
You are welcome to join The Somebody’s Mother Online Prayer Support Group (on Facebook) if you haven’t joined alreadyJ
Or sign up to follow my blog at http://thornrose7.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas and The Gift of Prayer



Christmas and The Gift of Prayer

 It is said in the Bible that the only thing that is saved in Heaven from earth is our tears and our prayers.


Love, Hope (whose name is Jesus) and prayers is something I sign off with often on Facebook or in letters to others. It’s not something I can wrap up, or you can see visibly but I have to believe the gift of prayer is worthy of giving this Christmas and throughout the year.

Maybe you think it doesn’t take much effort, but the time involved in taking your needs, hurts and family situations before the Lord each morning may involve more than you realize. I was so blessed this year when a noted author, speaker and benefactor of scholarships to many told me that he would commit to pray for a member of my family for one year. I am touched with his gift to me, someone he barely knows, yet he could see that the burden I had for this one needed sharing. I am very grateful that he was so willing to be a part of my life in this way. Tears fill my eyes each time I think of this gift to me. Yes, it is priceless.

Things got even worse during the year for many months and I so wished the mercy of the Lord would come and make all things good for the one we were praying for. It hasn’t happened totally but I can now write this prayer partner and say, “Thank you for the gift of prayer you gave me for my brother. Things are better."

When I first walked into the Port Orange Winning Women Bible study taught by Anita Smith over 20 years ago, I was desperate for help and fellowship.  I had one child holding onto my pants and one in my arms and I sat in the back as my kids weren’t used to going to a nursery. I was so welcomed that day that I knew I had found my home, “my tribe.” During this time I felt that these women held my arms up as helpers held Moses’ arms during times that his own strength was failing. By prayer and fellowship my battles have been won as I listened to the Word of the Lord and acted on it.

It could be said that we are never so tall as when we are before the Lord on our knees. One reason I believe the gift of prayer is so important is I know there were many than prayed for me though-out the years. And sometimes I get prayer requests from others that I can literally feel the pain of the one reaching out for prayer. As a mother, I can feel a mother’s pain as she weeps for her children, as a daughter I can relate to how someone such as me can fail so miserably at life yet be extended mercy from the Lord. One thing I have asked the Lord to do is to remind me often of where I have walked in my life and remember to think of the painful shoes that others may be walking in. Shoes that He, my savior walked in first that we might have life and love


So this year my gift to you will be the gift that I treasure the most from others. Prayer. It is the gift that keeps on giving as we all pay it forward for Christmas.
May your Christmas be full of Jesus and love!
Blessings, Donna Collins Tinsley 2011

A Decidedly Different Christmas Message: “You’re Such a Mother!” Will be posted on http://thornrose7.blogspot.com/, Somebody’s Mother Online Prayer Support Group, The Addict’s Mom, Fractured Families, Friendshipline Ministries, GRG, Women United in Prayer, Prodigal Hope and my other support groups that I treasure probably tomorrow.


Friday, December 16, 2011

The Essence of Rosemary


The Essence of Rosemary (Something I wrote some years back about Rosemary Upton, the best writing mentor ever:) She went to be with the Lord yesterday.

The Essence of Rosemary


     She is as fragrant with the Lord’s essence as the name Rosemary itself, implies. My writing mentor has made such an impact on my life and the lives of many others, with her gentle words and encouragement. Yet there is so much more to this woman that few of us ever glimpse.
     Only looking at her from afar I would’ve never known from whence she came. Yes, we all have a story, but how many of us dig deep or take the time to listen to each one? Even those we love sometimes get by-passed because we don’t take the time to listen to them or do the research.
     I first met Rosemary at Winning Women where she was serving on the Board. Many of the ladies at our Pt. Orange Bible study were signing up for her Writing Strategies Course. “No, Lord, that is not for me, putting my life and thoughts on paper. I’m sure everyone else is more educated and talented and there is no reason for me to go," was my first response. Although I could see Rosemary was a talented and educated woman with such finesse, I bypassed the class.
     But over the years the Lord was prodding my heart and at a certain time I decided to take the course. Procrastinator that I am I decided against turning in any assignments or attending the monthly Critiqueshop.
     But for the Lord………..and Rosemary.  As I read her books and came to know her, I was compelled to write and go to the excellent critique meeting each month at her home. She chisels her critique with kindness and encouragement that has helped me be tenacious in spite of my lack of education and many obstacles at home.
     The next year I was faithful to Critiqueshop, bringing my small, amateurish offerings.  Among the people in my group consistently at that time, were an editor, a published author and speaker, a retired missionary doctor, a local professor and a published author who I’m sure must have a genius IQ. There I was, a homemaker who aspired to write. My education was in the school of life. What was I doing there? Didn’t I know I was out of my league? At times I had to force myself out the door of my home to go to the meeting. But Rosemary has always been my biggest encourager in the field of writing and the things I have learned in her presence will forever be ingrained in my heart.
      One of our dear Critiqueshop members, Kistler London has moved away but in correspondence I was able to glean some of Rosemary’s story.
      Rosemary was raised in a mostly Irish family, whose father worked with his hands. She and Hugh married at age nineteen and raised two children. She assisted her husband in a career that started with his working in his parent's one small motel that he eventually built into a business empire based on Christian principles. The development of their business ventures was directly tied to their discovering much more freedom in Christ than was "allowed" in their home church in a northern state. Hugh eventually rose to President of the hotel/motel association (state, maybe even national), and she was his gracious "first lady." Although Rosemary couldn't wait to get out of high school, where the thing she most enjoyed was leading her own troop of prize-winning majorettes, she later thirsted for more education, eventually getting her MA in Biblical Studies. She served as a counselor for CBN, watched her daughter go through partial lung removal surgery, saw her mother through eight years of Alzheimer's (and wrote a book that still helps caregivers), and has a generous and tender heart.
     She played a considerable role in developing Sunset Harbor alongside her
husband, Hugh. These High School Sweethearts have been married over fifty years now and each supports the work of their mate. Rosemary credits her husband with helping her realize her gift of a writer long before she was officially published, when at a social function involving a lot of business people Hugh introduced her by saying, "This is my wife, the writer."
     Rosemary has said, "My attitude is that any one I meet may be a better
Christian than I am," and that quote has captured my heart as the way we all should live. It shows a truly humble heart and I believe it is the essence of Christ and the essence of my dear friend and mentor, Rosemary Upton. I will be forever grateful to our Savior for the things I have learned in her presence.

Donna Collins Tinsley 2005

If found a poem written by Rosemary in some of my files yesterday. It is called Sustained or Detained.
Sustained or Detained
If you don't mind, just let me be

I want to die in dignity

No life machines to breathe for me

No fancy drugs to set me free,

No hovering about my bed.

No tubes hooked up by which I'm fed.



For traveling has always been

An exciting, frenzied spin,

And this last rip to which I'm called

Must not be stopped

Or stayed, or stalled.

My master and myself agree,

I'm ready for eternity!

Rosemary Upton from Glimpses of Grace
 
Kistler London, an editor and writer, who was a wonderful part of our Critiqueshop for years, filled me in on information about Rosemary.

American Pen Women  Bio-sketch
By Kistler London

Who¹s Who in Daytona Beach Branch (2001)

Rosemary Upton (Active, Letters) has been a member of the Daytona Beach
Branch since 1989 and has served as Chaplain, President, and Secretary.

She worked as a draftsman in her early career. Later she earned a BA in
Theology and an MA in Biblical Studies.

Rosemary¹s published short works‹stories, poetry, plays, skits, radio
commentaries, and articles‹deal with moral issues. Her first book, Glimpses
of Grace, A Family Struggles with Alzheimer's, was published by Baker Books
in 1990.

The Court and the Kingdom, released by Harold Shaw Publishers in 1993, was
republished by Guideposts Condensed Books in 1995 and again as Joanna
(Guideposts Hardcover) in 1997.

She uses her talents in communication as counselor, teacher, speaker, and
writer. Rosemary also read Glimpses of Grace for the audio version published
in 1998.

She hosted a monthly Critiqueshop made up of students from her courses,
Writing Strategies for the Christian Market and/or Building the Novel. She
is listed in Novel & Short Story Writer's Market and Christian Writers'
Market Guide.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

All the Flowers Book Review

Is "All the Flowers:" love story, a dysfunctional family story, a story of faith, and a heartrending story of war while viewing things on the home front or all of the above?
Tom Milton beautifully wove so many subjects into the story that could even be a history lesson to the younger generation about the Vietnam era, with the setting in New York in 1967. I remember that era well as it was the year I gave birth to my first child.

Those of us who have family members that served in that war, know that the ones who returned home have never been the same.
The love story that evolved between Teri Ryan, a hauntingly talented singer and Andre Malinowski, a gifted pianist is beautiful to behold. I was reminded of beautiful recitals that I have attended in my life, as my own grandmother taught piano and I loved thinking about the beautiful music interwoven in the story. Andre's character was a very loving, supportive man who gave up opportunities that would have enhanced his own career to always be there for Teri. She was also a leading basketball player on the college's team and has a twin brother. The story also portrays the great love Teri has for her brother and how she wants him to avoid going to Vietnam.

I was not too familiar with Catholicism and got a bit of an education with their beliefs and habits also. The characters of the nuns and their relationship with the students and involvement with antiwar activities were very interesting. I was surprised at the use of some profanity in the book but of course the subject matter of war is profane. I think it could’ve gotten by without it, personally.
There were times at the first half of the book that I actually thought there was a little too much dialogue if that can be possible. I felt that sometimes I wasn't sure who was speaking.

But I think something captured me especially in the last quarter of the book and made me a fan. The only issue I have was on page 246 when Andre imagined what had just happened with nothing saying if it was proven that was what happened by the Police. Tom Milton and All the Flowers brought me to tears several times with this story I was happy to find it to be about reconciliation of families and hope for the future in the end. I'll be reading more of Tom's books in the future. "I know my Redeemer liveth" a beautiful theme from beginning to the end of the book.
Donna Collins Tinsley, wife, mother and grandmother, lives in Port Orange, Florida and has been included in several magazines and book compilations. Find her at Facebook, http://thornrose7.blogspot.com/ or join Somebody’s Mother Online Prayer Support Group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/119408188089314?id=244911885538943

Please email her at Thornrose7@aol.com /
I received this book free from BOOKCRASH as part of their Blogger Review program. I was no asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Homelessness in our own back yard

If you didn't see 60 Minutes last night, you should check this out. Hard times for so many yet I see survivor material especially in these kids. They show gratitude for their lot in life, even living in a truck.


We are among many who have been hit hard by the construction downfall in our area. But thank the Lord, Bill had already paid off our home by paying a little extra each month so we retired our mortgage early. We have not walked a mile in the shoes of the homeless but this program gave a good idea of the suffering that so many are experiencing.
I urge you to please watch this video and also rethink how you perceive the homeless among us. My husband Bill has always said many families are just a few paychecks away from the threat of this. Many of us have family members that have been out of work for months or even years. This is the reality of American families today. Pray, pray and pray some more and then count your blessings today if you have a real roof over your head.

I was in tears when I watched this one:

In our own back yard; http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57330802/hard-times-generation-families-living-in-cars/?tag=currentVideoInfo;videoMetaInfo
I think an old devo I wrote goes along with this.

Christmas Shoes
If you walk a mile in my shoes, you know how I feel, what makes me hurt, what gives me joy; and I, if I tried your shoes on would I say, “These aren’t so bad? These are nearly pain free, nearly a perfect fit?” But are they? Have I walked a mile in a widow’s shoes, as she longs for the familiar comfort of the one who used to lie beside her at night? Or a mile in the shoes of someone who has had the health stripped from their body and would give anything to have a portion of the quality of life I enjoy? Have I walked a tenth of a mile in a homeless person’s worn shoes as he endures the scorching heat coming up from the pavement and bathes in the cold water of public restrooms for lack of better?
Have I lived through losing family at the 9/11 tragedies or had my home demolished by the flooding waters of a hurricane? Looking over the local obituaries it seems that a higher number than usual of deaths are recorded. It seems to be even sadder when a hit-and-run driver takes one suddenly in their youth, as happened recently to some friends. Christmas coming dose not alleviate the normal pains of life that we go through.
We celebrate the birth of One qualified to know what it feels like to walk a mile in our shoes. Born lowly, he lived a life of submission to God’s will, and took what should’ve been our walk up a lonely hill to death on a cross. He has walked more than a mile and left a trail of tears; His tears intermingling with mine, we share sorrow, we share love, we share life.

Some Christmas’s are painful. When the tears I have cried are stored in His bottle, and I am drained, He becomes my Restorer, my Strength. When I complain, the way is dark, and not what I expected or hoped for; He shows me a new path out of the wilderness. A new path for the world-weary shoes that I wear-- that He wore first.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving and Complications


I think the word for today is complications; families are complicated, hurting, sad, broken yet our Lord is Lord over the complications! This we will believe in our darkest night of the soul, in the most complicated issues, in the wildest storm, You Jesus Christ our God and Father are Lord over the complications. You know the beginning from the end, the Alpha and Omega, the beautiful pattern of tapestry. Why would we think we can go through life pain-free when you suffered ultimately? Though it doesn't make us feel good to go through things, we know we have fellowship with Your suffering. We will believe the report of the Lord today that this is the day that He has made and in that we can find some small thing to rejoice in. Everyone reading this has the gift of life, everyone reading this is able to find someone to bless in some small way, if not a large way, everyone reading this can be thankful for something today. If we have lost family members thank the Lord for those we have left, if we are in pain in one part of our body, thank the Lord for the parts that don't hurt, if we don't have an abundance of provision thank the Lord for what we do have. It is a "give thanks" day and we don't have to wait until Thursday for Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Does your burden exceed your ability to carry it?

Matthew 11:30 "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Job 22:21 " Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you."
Do we agree that only by letting go and letting God we can have peace? Yet we still strive to have that control of our families to try to shape them into the family of our dreams. As we pray for our will instead of what may be the Lord’s will we just prolong the pain and the painful situations that have to come about so that each one will yield to the Lord and His desires for them.

Here is an old post from Ras Robinson, that I found in my files:

Your burden exceeds your ability to carry it. I have come to lighten your load, set you free and release the peace and blessings for which you have longed. Your answer is already written in your heart. Therefore, agree with your heart concerning this truth. Roll your burden over onto Me and I will carry it for you. But you battle within you that this is not right. That is a lie from Satan. Don't believe it. Now, raise your hands towards Heaven and give me the burden. Refuse to take it back. Watch and see that good will come to you. Don't forget to give thanks and tell your testimony. Ras Robinson July 28, 2007

And another good, but old word from What the Lord is Saying Today, it still works for me, years down the road:

You are salt and light in this time of darkness for so many. You have little idea of the power I placed within you to lift up the downcast and comfort the brokenhearted. But I tell you today, that I have sent you to help, that you might reach out and lift up heads. You are the very extension of My love and comfort. You are My hands, My loving eyes and touch. My desire for you is that you would be like Titus so that wherever you go, you spread comfort upon comfort. It is within you, stored up and ready for release. Now go and do it, in My name. July 26, 2007 Ras Robinson
2 Corinthians 7:5-7. "But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A different kind of post: CMA award night

A different kind of post for me but I am a Southern girl by birth and my roots run deep.


Sugarland and Matt Nathanson bring hot to a new level and proves you don't have to take your clothes off to be sexy. (A really good pre-wedding night video.) They are too cute together. You notice she doesn't go anywhere in those stiletto heels but she gets the job done. They are dressed in regular clothes but it works for them. That song is going places:) Like my I-pod:)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvdX5yMHvxc

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gordon and Norma Yeager; may their tribe increase!

This story is so poignant because it seemed this couple just loved to be together. They took "Till death do us part" to a new level. I especially loved this part of the article:

Gordon died at 3:38. But people in the room at the time say they were confused when Gordon stopped breathing, but his heart monitor continued to pick up a heartbeat. That was when they realized that the monitor was detecting Norma’s heartbeat, through their clasped hands.
“And we thought, ‘Oh my gosh, Mom’s heart is beating through him,’” Dennis Yeager said.
Norma died an hour later.
“Dad used to say that a woman is always worth waiting for,” Dennis Yeager said. “Dad waited an hour for her and held the door for her.

What a beautiful thought of him standing at Heaven's gates, holding the door open for her. Would that there be more men so in love with their wives, that it could be said of them. And that her heart was shown beating through him was beautiful. Watch the You-tube with pictures; you will be blessed.
Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2011/10/couple-married-72-years-dies-an-hour-apart-holding-hands.php#ixzz1cSF1lAsS

Friday, October 21, 2011

Winning Women for Christ Retreat

I am grateful to be home from GA and the Winning Women for Christ Retreat at St. Simon's. The Lord was near to all and as always He showed me that there are so many hurting families that need His touch in a mighty way. Addictions, family disharmony, hurts and so many prayer requests abounded there and it confirmed my belief that there are no perfect families, just a lot of us as a work in progress. The highlight of the Retreat for me was hearing the beautiful, transparent testimony of Linda Froman. What a survivor she is! And as always attending early morning prayer led by my mentor, Anita Smith and attending the coolest mini-session ever by Kathy Sinex Thomas. I was just bummed that I wasn't able to attend Laurie Barker Copeland's session but since I was doing mine at the same time it was impossible. Sharon Jaynes was an awesome speaker with a lot to glean from; I'll be pondering those messages for a long time.
Thanks to my daughter, Shiloh for setting up the room as a type of construction zone and cheering me on, when I felt inadequate. I pray that the Lord will show me His next best plan for me and that I can do as this quote says, "The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." ~ Anaïs Nin

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Love is a Verb Devotional and Winning Women Retreat

It was so cool to get my contributor's copy of:
Love is a Verb Devotional: 365 Daily Inspirations to Bring Love Alive [Hardcover] Gary Chapman (Author), James Stuart Bell (Author) I was honored to be included with so many others, including one of my favorite editors, Jeanette Gardner Littleton.
http://www.amazon.com/Love-Verb-Devotional-Daily-Inspirations/dp/0764209701/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318514159&sr=1-1
 
I will be leaving for GA in the morning to take part in a Winning Women for Christ Retreat. Here is part of my mini-session where I mention our somebody's Mother Online Prayer Support Group in “Dancing Through the Minefields of Life.” It is part testimony/part Bible Study:

As a family member we may feel like our problems are the worst ones anyone faces. The pain that our heart feels would indicate that, “Yes, they are the worst, no one knows what I am going through!” On the "Somebody’s Mother Online Prayer Support Group" we get letters every day of people crying out with so many problems. People in pain either in their body or their minds as they wrestle with family issues. So many of them deal with addictions and the addicts in their lives. Yet the family pain of your own children’s problems, even adult children, when they go through divorce, addictions and heartache can be overwhelming. As a parent you may want to shield them especially when you see your grandchildren hurting as a result; it is a most difficult dilemma.

Sometimes we feel like saying, "God take me, now, I can't bear it any longer!" or even better, "Come quickly Lord Jesus!" as Revelation 22:20-21 says: "He which testifies these things said, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

We have to put our loved ones Into His hands today and Pray (which is the #1 step) to be able to dance the dance of the survivor. The survivor dance might be likened to “The Stomp.
https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/119408188089314/

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Good, Upscale Doctor


I believe this story is one that many mothers and fathers will relate to, and I dedicate it to the good work by Barbara Theodosiou founder of The Addict's Mom and her wonderful team.

The Good, Upscale Doctor

"18-year-old son died of overdose, Grieving mother pushing Oxy ban,


RX for trouble: Painkiller abuse plagues society, Falling short in fighting addiction," these all were either headlines or editorials recently in our local newspaper. They say in the State of Florida 7 people die daily from overdoses of prescription meds.


Until it hits home in your own family, headlines like these will not affect you. It will be somebody else's child, not your own; it doesn't affect you. You can put down people like that, thinking they may be the scum of the earth, not even realizing that some of those children started off like your own kids. Just living their life, going to school, thinking about college and their careers. Then the tragedy of addiction hits the family.
It may have been a legitimate pain issue, they may have had surgeries young and pain issues that seemed beyond control. You as a parent may have questioned the expensive upscale doctor, wondering aloud to him your concerns. "Why such high pain killers so soon? Aren't morphine patches something given to hospice patients? Will my child still need these medications if they have surgery? "
He immediately tried to pacify you, "It isn't addictive, and it is something they can take their whole life through if necessary."


You weren't convinced, yet who were you? Did you have as many degrees as this doctor? Isn't he noted in the community for his work? Wouldn't he do the same for his own daughter or son if in your shoes? It wasn't long before the teen that was in pain was of legal age to continue with the doctor without your consent. And sooner than later the things you were concerned with came about. That is why we have painkiller abuse in our society. I don't have to name names; there are legions in our State and country that are writing prescriptions with no concern for the long-term outcome, which in most cases is addiction.


Prescription medicine addiction is a real dilemma in our society and it isn't getting any easier to decide who is right and who is wrong. Of course, I can understand when someone is in dire need of medications that they shouldn't be denied. I am not against doctors who truly must help those who suffer with chronic pain; I am all for good medical care. Yet the utmost scrutiny should be given to doctors that write painkiller prescriptions, too many, too soon. Look at the recent celebrity deaths and the doctors that were a part of each one! We have become such a drugged up nation; sometimes I wonder if anyone knows real people anymore or are they just someone either doped up or a facade of that person you used to know and love.

Addiction itself has been described as cunning, baffling, and powerful by AA and Al-anon groups. That means to me that the person becomes so cunning in taking care of their addiction that it is second nature to them to use any form of manipulation to get their source of relief. It baffles the ordinary person to find this such a powerful influence in our loved one. The person you once knew and loved seems to be gone from you forever and you can only hand the problem over to a loving God who alone can bring help for the true pain; the pain that painkillers will never cover
Try not to judge harshly; statistics say addiction hits all families and social-economic groups before long. You wouldn't want to walk a mile in the shoes or the grieving mother or father, rehash in your mind what you could've or should've done, or be in the body of the addict who became addicted following doctor's orders. Yes, the good, upscale expensive doctor is of no help now. Only the healing hand of the Great Physician can have mercy on this kind of hurt.


We go to the Word of God for help and comfort.


Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,


for his compassions never fail.


They are new every morning;


great is your faithfulness.


I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;


therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22-24 (New International Version, ©2010)


I see in this verse that God truly started the “One day at a time” movement long before Bill W. came up with it. We wait on His compassions and healing for our families!


Another version that might help:
I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,


the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.


I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—


the feeling of hitting the bottom.


But there's one other thing I remember,


and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:


God's loyal love couldn't have run out,


his merciful love couldn't have dried up.


They're created new every morning.


How great your faithfulness!


I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).


He's all I've got left.


God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,


to the woman who diligently seeks.


It's a good thing to quietly hope,


quietly hope for help from God.


It's a good thing when you're young


to stick it out through the hard times.


When life is heavy and hard to take,


go off by yourself. Enter the silence.


Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions:


Wait for hope to appear.


Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face.


The "worst" is never the worst.


Why? Because the Master won't ever


walk out and fail to return.


Lamentations 3:19-33 (The Message)
We have a faithful God to whom we can trust our family’s problems and issues. But as mothers, it still hurts. And good upscale doctors may be the ones that help bring about the hurt.


By Donna Collins Tinsley

This is dedicated to the faithful members of the Substance Abuse Task Force.

Please send your prayer requests to the Somebody's Mother Online Prayer Support Group:)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/119408188089314/?id=281112801918851












Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Somebody's Mother (revised)

I revised this poem in honor of The Addict's Mom site:)
Somebody’s Mother

Somebody’s mother is crying,

Fearing her daughter/son is dying.

Dreading the next phone call

Drugs may have ended of it all.



A beautiful life is no more

Cocaine, pills and alcohol opened the door,

Each time led to one time more,

Innocence, can you be restored?


Oh my child, cannot you see?

Your lifestyle affects more than me?

You try to cover your pain,

But it keeps recurring again.

There is another way out,

Oh yes, it makes me want to shout,

A savior to redeem the sin,

Who can make you feel clean again,

He can make all things new,

He loves and is waiting for you.

He gives you a chance for new life

He knows you are sick of the strife,

Of living in this Hell on earth,

He came that you would find true worth.


He sees not as others see,

He remembers the sweet little child,

Who made her mother’s heart whirl,

The songs you sang even in night

“Some day it’s gonna be all right.”


So don’t make her cry any more,

Turn and walk through a new door,

To wholeness, happiness and more,

You can reach a new level, I know

Today

Donna Collins Tinsley copyright 2002 7/11/02

9/6/11 revised version





Friday, September 23, 2011

Heart-Broken Mothers

Heart-Broken Mothers; I know a few:) I found this old devo and I don't think I have posted it here, yet.


“Lord, why a broken heart?” was a question my Bible Study mentor, Anita Smith once asked in prayer. Her response from God seemed to be, “So you’ll have more pieces to give away.”

Have you, as a parent ever felt heart-broken? Maybe it is because of a physical ailment your child has or an addiction they can’t seem to overcome.


“God, please don’t break my heart!” may be a cry from your heart.


As a mother I have had my heart broken, many times over but how else doe the healing comfort of our Lord come to me, that I am able to reach out in turn and bring healing to others? I may never be able to lower myself to the depths of prayer that is needed to bring my children to the Father, unless pain of our life has brought me to a low and broken place.



Brokenness brings us to the depths of crying out, “Lord, without You, I have no hope or possibility of ever seeing my dreams for my family come true. Brokenness leads us to cry, “Have mercy!” Brokenness leads us to the depths of humbleness that we would not ever realize on our own. When things are going well in our lives we don’t have the quality of clinging to the Lord, of constantly praying and seeking Him that we do when things are hard. Ask the woman who lost her husband unexpectedly, the woman who has lost her sight and mobility to MS, or the woman whose child is in constant pain, or wrestling with extreme anxiety and depression about the nearness of the Lord that brokenness brings.


“Be broken, cries the Lord, “so you can truly hear, perceive and know Me and my purposes. I see you; I know you and your every teardrop. They do not fail to touch Me. I love you and the things that move you, move My heart also. It is not My nature to leave your family in devastation and pain. I will restore, I am a Mighty God of restoration and I change not.


You are broken for My purposes, which are that an outpouring of My spirit will flavor everything you say, do or touch. Draw near, broken wounded child, it is I who can bring healing and I will. It is what I do best….heal, love and restore the heart-broken mothers and their children. In My time.

He won't brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won't disregard the small and insignificant, but he'll steadily and firmly set things right. Isaiah 42:3 The Message
Donna Collins Tinsley

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Deliver Me" will rock your world!


Dianne E. Butts has compiled a much needed and encouraging book. Nearly every story I read I thought "this is my favorite" and then there would be another one that stole my heart.



There were so many stories of babies, mamas and dads that were struggling with delivering these children, and the decision of letting them live. The drama in each story was incredible. Deliver Me shows that there are so many families that have relatives that have had an abortion; There were so many good resources in this book. Those alone would be worth the price of the book. Pregnancy resource centers all over the country should stock it. If everyone that read this book decided to give their copy to a local pregnancy resource center many people would be helped. Also You might consider putting one in your local library.



In the part titled, "For, By and About Men" I really loved reading the stories written by men who realized too late that they weren't being a man by not protecting their unborn child. It started with a great story called, "Cowboy Up" by Scotty Vaughn. He writes:

"I've learned God doesn't call us to brokenness but through brokenness. Brokenness is a place on the trip but at the cross of Christ there is restoration. If you'll understand and embrace your loss then Jesus will go through that with you. Then He will empower you to help other people make different choices."



I also loved the stories of the Lord giving children to someone either naturally or someone stepping in to parent a child who had no father, as in the story called, "A Father After All."

Dianne's comments were timely and poignant. She aptly ended the book with a story about abstinence.

Deliver Me, is a great title and a great book. I pray that the Lord deliver all the families who deal with the pain of abortion, through the reading of Deliver Me.
Donna Collins Tinsley

A complimentary copy of Deliver Me was provided for review by the publisher through http://www.bookcrash.com/.
http://www.amazon.com/Deliver-Me-Healing-Unplanned-Pregnancy/dp/0983164908/ref=pd_rhf_p_t_1

Monday, September 12, 2011

Authenticity through brokenness; A Key to parenting

You Can Raise Courageous and Confident Kids: Preparing Your Children for the World They Live"
By  Mary E. DeMuth

I was hooked on this book from the allegory at the beginning: "When he walked down the peopled street into the free, wild unknown, Jacob had no tools to navigate the world. He dropped his satchel and faced the confusing world lost and alone" to the very last page. Mary gives us the tools to use, so that our children will not have to feel lost and alone navigating the world.
I am a great fan of Mary E. DeMuth, both of her fiction and nonfiction. As I was reading this book, I thought how it would help so many people in the "Adult Children of Alcoholics" groups as they have had parenting at its worst. They sometimes talk about their childhood's and how they were parented. It is obvious although some have made great strides not to parent in the same way they were parented they could so benefit by Mary's books. When we have a "lost childhood" we sometimes don't know how to parent.
Many times as I was reading I wished I had grown up in the type of home that Mary is giving her children right now. Although she sometimes feels as we all do, that she fails her children at times. She has written some powerful, helpful things to steer us on in "You Can Raise Courageous and Confident Kids: Preparing Your Children for the World They Live"

Mary also gives questions for group discussions at the closing of the book that could be used as a personal Bible Study. Great addendum!
The story at the end of this book showed the very best scenario and I had tears running down my face as I saw what a beautiful send-off we can give if we really get the hang of raising courageous and confident kids. It would be a great gift to give at a baby shower.
Mary is a master storyteller but she shows authenticity through brokenness and for this reason I recommend this book.

Donna Collins Tinsley

I was very late getting this review written and for that I apologize:)
http://www.amazon.com/You-Raise-Courageous-Confident-Kids/dp/0736929711/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315832138&sr=1-10

Thursday, August 4, 2011

You are going to Love "The Sights and Sounds of Enabling"


"The Sights and Sounds of Enabling" Is the first ebooklet of the Putting the Spotlight On series, written by Diane Viere, Founder of Partners In Prayer For Our Prodigals, Host of The Prodigal Hope Network and Christian Counselor and Elaine Altman-Eller, Family Recovery Specialist.

If you have seen these ladies online, you might think they are just a couple of pretty faces but don't let those profile pictures fool you; they are a wealthy storehouse of wisdom. I could not stop until I read the whole e-book through and will be rereading it again. From the very beginning of the book where Elaine points out how "Enabling never creates the outcome we so desperately desire; it only creates an environment whereby we become part of the problem................. to where she says, "When we enable we join the darkness of their journey" the beauty of the words of this e-book pulled me in. She then points out how we can become a light in our child’s life; a beacon. What a wonderful picture of health! Isn't that what we all aspire to, being a light and a beacon to others?

Elaine gives clear definitions between helping someone and enabling, something we all need to know. She talks about entitlement calling it the monster that it is.
There are several case studies that were very in-depth. You feel like you have either been there or know someone who has.
Next in the book your E-Hope coach, Diane, is introduced and she has the most awesome remedies for your dilemma if you are an enabler. She reiterates; "There is a way out—we must stop enabling and begin empowering. We are not helpless; oh, it has seemed so, for we have been fighting an impossible battle—we have been trying to change what we cannot change. Real change is possible when we choose to stop enabling."


I also love her quote "When you love an adult child whose life is out of control, it is nearly impossible to focus on anything else. Unless and until you begin to understand that enabling only complicates every situation and causes further collateral damage, you will continue to be part of the problem."
Can you believe as an enabler you are creating damage and are part of the problem? Of course, we don't want to believe these things but Diane has nailed the problem, and it may be us, not just our loved ones.
Diane also mentioned: "Until parents relinquish the need to micro-manage everyone in their addicts life, they will remain entangled in the drama and continue to participate in the collateral damage of enabling."
She teaches about fear and how to turn that into empowerment. A great point is "After all, it is his right as n adult to behave differently than I would like."


In Diane's own words: The Sights and Sounds of Enabling puts the spotlight on the ineffectiveness and collateral damage caused by enabling. Discover why enabling never works and how you can stop enabling today. Step out of the darkness of your hopelessness today; step into your strength—learn how to love your addict effectively and become a guiding light for their recovery.

I identified with so many things written, as in "been there, done that" and am trying to not continue on that path. I believe this e-book can help us in so many areas of our lives.


You will not regret the money you spend on this e-book. It is way cheaper than a counseling session but I believe it is just as beneficial. Enjoy!


Here is a link to purchase the e-book:
http://www.partnersinprayerforourprodigals.com/e-booklets.html



PartnersInPrayerForOurProdigals.com


©2011 Diane Viere, Partners in Prayer for Our Prodigals,

The Prodigal Hope Network, Elaine Altman-Eller








Sunday, July 31, 2011

Words and Scriptures to hold on to today!

I have been thinking about this scripture for days and wanted to share a bit about what it means to me and my hopes for the Somebody's Mother Online Prayer Support Group.



For over 20 years Anita Smith, Ginny Long, Nancy Cox and the women from the Winning Women Bible study group have held my hands up as they prayed with me and for my family. Many have been the trials and hard times along the way but I always knew they were praying and it was what kept me going. As we pray for one another each day, know we are helping a sister or brother win battles that they could not win alone. The battle is the Lord's my friend, and they will be won by him in His time. Never give up!


Joshua obeyed Moses and went to fight the Amalekites, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held his hands up, the Israelites would win the fight, but when Moses put his hands down, the Amalekites would win. Later, when Moses' arms became tired, the men put a large rock under him, and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur held up Moses' hands—Aaron on one side and Hur on the other. They kept his hands steady until the sun went down. So Joshua defeated the Amalekites in this battle. Exodus 17:10-13 New Century Version (NCV)


I'm inserting a paraphrase here: So Somebody's Mother Online Prayer Support Group defeated the enemy in this battle on earth called life.


Deuteronomy 1:29-31


Then I said to you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.


The Lord your God Who goes before you, He will fight for you just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes,
And in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God bore you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.


And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. (of the Spirit, I'm inserting here)
Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall before you by the sword (of the Spirit and Word of faith through prayer). Leviticus 26:7-8,


These are words and Scriptures to hold on to today!


If you haven't joined us please do:


http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/119408188089314/


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Into His Hands

Thanks to Beth Patch for giving me the fastest acceptance of any submission I ever submitted; about 10 minutes:)
 
Please click the link. I may put it on later for those who don't like to search:)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Grace Builders and Me

Cecil Murphey wrote an article called, “Grace Builders” about the people who sometimes criticize us or rub us wrong. He gave several examples and each had been painful to his heart. Yet in the end he realized that those people were used by God to help him grow.



He talked about a 45 minute lecture he had received as a young pastor by some sisters that wanted to show him the error of his ways.


“As I walked out of the house, depression weighted me down. Their criticism hurt. I sat in my car for several minutes and prayed in deep anguish. By the end of the day, however, I had grasped one significant fact about those three sisters. They were God's grace builders in my life.”(Cecil Murphey)
Grace Builders is a beautiful name to call those who rub us raw sometimes in the name of Christian love and correction. Grace Builders! Do you have any? Maybe they belong to your family, maybe as Brother Cec mentions at the end, you yourself are one.
I have often thought how the scriptures talk about Paul and Barnabus and their parting over John Mark (Acts 15:39). I think about the apostles who would’ve just stayed together in the Upper Room instead of scattering to get the gospel out to more people, if they hadn’t had some Grace Builders around. I think about how we sometimes want to have a happy, close family but all that closeness and contentment may hinder the Lord’s true purpose of getting the word out of His grace to others who are dealing with family dysfunction. The word that His grace is sufficient for all things. Even dreams that don’t come true, at least not today. Never give up, though; Grace is coming through.





















Tuesday, July 19, 2011

#11PublishingSecrets by @MaryDeMuth http://bit.ly/jRIh4d

Mary is an awesome writer in all genres. As an Ebook, I thought for the price I would be getting about 24 pages, as that has been the case with similar buys. This was full book size. I love this comment from her, "If I ever figure out the secret to getting published, I will share it with anyone who is interested." Mary has shared her heart and soul and has the most giving spirit around. I have read many of her fiction and nonfiction books and she gives so much to so many. You will not regret buying this; it is a must-have if you are on your way to publication and I think even seasoned writers will be educated as well.



If you don’t want to be published, DON’T buy #11PublishingSecrets by @MaryDeMuth http://bit.ly/jRIh4d


I recommend that you buy it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What Encourages and Inspires You?

I’m rereading Janice Elsheimer’s book The Creative Call: An Artist's Response to the Way of the Spirit (Writers' Palette Book)
 http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Call-Artists-Response-Writers/dp/0877881383/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310564089&sr=8-1


I am trying to do the exercises that go along with the page readings. Here is one response. What encourages and inspires me?


Words encourage me, the Word, life, breath of truth, books encourage me. Lives inspire me, babies, beauty, children, people, faith, age, and kindness, sharing; all these inspire me.


Love inspires and encourages me to be a better me. Jaycee Dugard that lived 18 years of Hell without becoming bitter inspires me. Her mother and the hope that she held on to, inspires me. Little Caylee’s big brown eyes inspire me.


People who become better instead of bitter inspire me. The hope of happiness and reconciliation inspires and encourages me; the hope of it through Jesus Christ and Him only who will get all glory. My family inspires and encourages me but the love of Jesus is my chief inspiration and it will always be that way.

Friday, July 8, 2011

My take on Justice for Caylee


How can we come to grips with what was deemed as Justice in an Orlando courtroom?

It certainly didn’t look like there was justice for little Caylee.


Having found this case consuming our thoughts and the media coverage, it is hard to get by without saying something about it.


I have all along asked for prayer for the Anthony family especially Cindy as I relate so to a grandmother who is grieving. Yet I know that the Lord loves and created Casey, also.


I have always said I wouldn’t want someone to judge me and I look to God to judge and bring justice and truth from the many horrible lies that have been in and around this family. There were so many times that I just prayed, Lord let her just stand up, say “I can’t take it anymore, Caylee drowned or ………, I admit I knew all along” and then take whatever consequences would come.


There are many Christians who are praying right now. One Youtube site said that Casey will be used of the Lord one day and that God told her that she was innocent.


I do know that the Lord has a plan for good and redemption for everyone.


I only hope that as portrayed years ago in a “Touched by an Angel” segment when little Casey was on her way to heaven there were angels holding, buffering and loving her.



I just reread a letter I wrote in 2009 to Cindy Anthony


One thing I said in the letter:

I just also wanted to let you know that I am not a judging person. I know the only thing you can do in your situation is just pray to get through the day. I only want to help lighten your load, if possible.


Pray and get through the day; that is our only option besides trying to fill our minds with what things that are good and encouraging.


I know Cindy loves her daughter regardless. That was evidenced by the comments that were made by her when she saw Casey for the first time after sentencing. Her remarks about how pretty she looked, a mother always notices those things and in her heart, Casey as well as Caylee has always been there. I think she feels that Caylee is gone, she is with the Lord. There is nothing she can do for Caylee now. When there was hope she was alive, she did everything she could. That time is past.
Who knows how this story will end? I have to say it is one of the saddest and most painful I have ever heard or read about in my life.

Romans 8::28
A good link from FOF http://www.focusonlinecommunities.com/blogs/Finding_Home/2011/07/06/the-casey-anthony-verdict

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Loved Chasing Sunsets by Eva Marie Everson!

What did I love about Chasing Sunsets? Everything! Having been, at one point of my life, a single mother myself for a time, I could really identify with Kim’s feelings on so many levels. The characters were well described right down to the clothes they wore, the places in Cedar Key were inviting, the beauty described on God’s sunrises and sunsets; awesome!


As I became engaged in the novel I so didn’t want it to end, yet found myself going back to it every chance I had during the day. With two more in the series to come, I am thinking someone should make a movie out of this one.
Faith was intertwined, but real subjects like alcoholism, addiction issues and child custody issues were touched on, also. I loved having someone talk about the denial in families where the disease of alcoholism shows up and the help that is offered by Al-anon and other meetings. It was well researched in every area. I wept, when Kim came face to face with the family secret.
Eva Marie Everson and Revell have taken novel writing to an even higher level than before. I can’t wait for the next one!

Donna Collins Tinsley


http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Sunsets-Cedar-Key-Novel/dp/080073436X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310041870&sr=1-2

Saturday, July 2, 2011

God’s Waiting Room

Because I am seeing so many mothers hurting, I’m posting a story I wrote back when my oldest daughter was in the midst of her addiction. I am proud to say she is nearly 3 years sober now and is working on making the rest of her life count, helping others along the way.


God’s Waiting Room

I’ll never forget the day my friend called me “the mother of dreams.” We were talking on the phone at that time. I was discouraged; she was cheering me up. She meant it in a special way, as if I was the mother of her dreams, a prayer warrior, faithful and kind. Yet I, knowing myself as I do, struggling at times to just keep my sanity, heard it as what I truly am, a “mother who dreams.”


I dream of the day when my daughter will be whole and not have to depend on illegal drugs to get through the day. I dream of sanity in our lives instead of chaos. I dream of peace and right standing with God for all my children and grandchildren. I dream of testimonies given of overcoming by God’s grace and the mercy He lavishes upon us each day. I dream of happiness, wholeness and health. I dream of restored relationships. I dream of learning to go down a different path and being happy to stay on it, instead of falling in the dark pits of familiarity. And I dream of the day that all my children will be taught of the Lord, and great will be the peace of my children.


“Then you will know that I am the LORD those who hope in me will not be disappointed."


Isaiah 49:23;


Yet amidst these dreams, as we are waiting, we often feel disappointed. Is it wrong to feel disappointed with God? Philip Yancey wrote a whole book on the subject. “Disappointment With God,” tells many stories of real people going through literal “hell on earth” and realistically examines their plights and questions. I would recommend this book and also his book “Searching For an Invisible God,” if you have ever felt like you don’t understand the ways of the Lord.


What I want to do now is to remind us to hope in God. I have started researching the word “hope” as found in the Bible. If you are in “God’s Waiting Room” you are probably in need of encouragement, and the word of God is the greatest encouragement I know of. Even a study on the book of Job will bring hope when we see the restoration at the end.


But so many of us in “God’s waiting room” may feel as though we have been forgotten, as so often happens at a doctor’s office. We may see people who came in after us, go in first, or when we finally get in to the inner examining room we still find ourselves waiting. We have been stripped down, perhaps cold and frightened about what the doctor is going to say or do, and worrying. I don’t know about you, but I find that a very frustrating experience.


For the Christian there are no guarantees on the outcome of a situation. As noted in Hebrews 11 the great faith chapter we don’t all see the conclusion of the things God has planted in our hearts. But we can still look with hope for the promise.


The book of Hebrews starts off with hope:


Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. Hebrews 11:1

Yet even as I speak this word of encouragement I know that many of you have lost hope in your child, in your life even in your future. It is hard to hope in what you cannot see. But just take it a step at a time, a day at a time, even a moment at a time. Pray for the strength to just do the next thing that needs to be done. It may have nothing to do with the child that has gone astray. The next thing you may need to do is learn to take care of yourself. Maybe you have beat yourself up with guilt over the things you think you should’ve done or could’ve done that you are walking weary and wounded. Learn to be good to yourself. Treat yourself well. The commandment about loving your neighbor as you love yourself---you would be kind to a neighbor, so kindly take care of yourself and those that are right before you.


There are some of you in whom the Lord would say, “the world was not worthy of them.” He would say to you that He has seen your walk of faith through the pain of living in this world. He knows you are not perfect in your endeavors but He knows you have tried. He knows you love your child, and you, His child, are loved by Him with an everlasting love. He sees the big picture that we cannot see. He loves your child more than you can ever imagine, although as a parent yourself, you feel that no one could match the love you feel. He will draw a hurting parent close. He does not forget your labor of love towards your child and to Him your heavenly Father. The sacrifice of praise while we are in God’s waiting room is of great value to Him. You cannot change anyone but yourself. And only God can change a heart bent on going its own way.

Donna Collins Tinsley
If it costs you nothing, it's worth nothing! Endurance is the price tag of achievement. Listen, "We pray that you'll have the strength...not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the...strength God gives...that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy" (Col 1:11 The Message).



Monday, June 27, 2011

When Someone You Love No Longer Remembers

Cecil Murphey has written a beautiful book for family and caretakers of those with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. It truly is a gift book that you will want to put into anyone’s hands that may be facing these situations.
Beautifully illustrated by Michal Sparks, the artwork was amazing and I could picture it as a book to leave out at condos.


You can use this book as a daily devotional as I had started to do or just pick it up and read it whenever needed. After starting it, the stories gripped me and I wanted to devour the book and find the words of comfort and get them inside me.


As someone who has known several family members and friends diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, I so wish this book had been written sooner.


Knowing the genetics link that is in my family can be a scary thing and I hope that the good ideas, hope and healing of the words will bring comfort to many people.


The Appendix, with helps like Take Care of Yourself, Communicating with Your Loved One, Expecting the Unexpected, and Help Your Visitors was a wealth of information that we all need.


I think you should do a sequel, Cecil, as there are a lot more stories out there, and perhaps do it as a daily devotional. Every family needs a copy of this gift book!

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=When+Someone+You+Love+No+Longer+Remembers&x=15&y=15

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Not A Hero

We all want a Hero at times at times yet only Jesus can truly rescue, heal, restore and change our lives. An old poem revisited::
Not A Hero
I don’t want to be your hero.
I don’t want to rescue you.
I can’t take the place Of God in your life,
I can’t keep you from feeling blue.

I can’t deal with strong emotions.
I want peace in my life.
When I’m around rage and fighting

It cuts through me Like a knife.
We all need a savior,
To turn to when we’re mad
I can’t be your savior
Sometimes that makes me sad.
I’m just a human being.
In God’s likeness, the same as you.
I don’t want to be your hero.
A human one just won’t do.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pray for Cindy Anthony

There are many of us who pray for Cindy Anthony. She is somebody's mother and grandmother in a very painful position; the dilemma is her own daughter is on trial for the murder of her granddaughter. I would not want to walk a mile in her shoes.

Maybe my burden for Cindy is increased as I, too know the pain of sitting in a courtroom and seeing the daughter I love being brought in wearing bright orange jail clothing, in foot shackles and handcuffs. Thank God, it was only drug related charges which seem small now, compared to what Cindy is going through. I have had many times of thinking my dreams for my daughter would come true and then many times of hope nearly dying. If I was able to talk to Cindy personally I would say, ” God does love you and He will comfort you in the way you need to be able to make it through.” I know that to have to testify against he daughter that you carried in your womb must be the most devastating thing she can imagine going through outside of the death of her granddaughter. It is obvious that the whole family loved and doted on Caylee.

Sometimes we wonder why some stories seem to touch us more than others. The pictures of little Caylee draw us all into a love relationship with this little example of an innocent child. She is pure beauty and the joy of life sparkles from her eyes. If only those eyes could be open right now, if only she could be alive to give voice to the truth.

Many of us also pray for Cindy’s daughter, Casey and especially that she can get past her wounded soul and be honest with her family and the authorities. There are so many things that could’ve contributed to her state of mind but the real truth may only be known to her and God. If she was sexually abused as a child that is a scar that remains for years. I have watched many commentaries and Dr. Drew Pinsky said she does not display the characteristics of deep sexual abuse. But as a sexual abuse survivor myself I know that some people carry a little abuse and it creates deep pain in their life and sometimes someone could be majorly abused and become a true overcomer and role model. I also know that Romans 8:28 reminds us that God works all things for good, even though it is hard to believe.

I recently read about a disorder called NPD or narcissistic personality disorder that seems to be in play here, although bipolar disorder could also contribute to the lack of emotion that Casey displays at court.

John H. Sklare, Ed.D, Lifescript Personal Coach says this about NPD and it seems to fit Casey “…. but I will tell you this: One of the most common problems narcissists have is maintaining close, one-on-one relationships. In short, NPD is characterized by arrogant and manipulative behavior, a lack of empathy for others, selfishness, and a need for constant admiration. It’s for these reasons that it’s very difficult for these people to have normal and healthy relationships with other people.”

Regardless of how any of us feel about Cindy Anthony and Casey Anthony we must all agree that they are “wounded women.”

As a wounded woman, I have a personal trainer and his name is Jesus. He has been my Wonderful Counselor and I believe my wounds led me to God and equipped me to lead others to the Lord. It can dazzle the world to see what the Lord can do with a broken heart restored and healed by the blood of Jesus. Satan would like us to be quiet about our testimony but I stand on the scripture, “They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:11) NIV

Part of the healing Jesus brings increases as we reach out to others as He did. He was touched with the feelings of our infirmities. When we are touched by the pain of others we want to point them to a source of comfort. So I ask please join me in praying for the Anthony family and that justice comes for little Caylee.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Different Kind of Father's Day! (An open letter to my husband)

I never wanted it to happen to you, that same pain that I go through, hating Mother's Day, and now when you said "I don't want to celebrate Father's Day," I knew. I knew you had joined me in kindred parent pain. Hating Father's Day is common for many of us who grew up with none or worse than none.

And it's there today. I see it in your eyes, the eyes of pain, of regret, of wishing you could rewind and do it over. You did the best with what you had at the time you were parenting. As a father being too extravagant at times, was the biggest thing that affected your parenting. And because of being in 2 way-dysfunctional families you came to the job with not a good father image to copy. But they still called you a "two-time survivor")
That was then..............this is now.

You are a child of the most High God and worthy.

You are loved by Him and me and even your children,

Maybe not all of them all of the time but most of them most of the time. (Remember the old saying, you can't please everyone all the time?:):)

You are honored to work with guys in recovery and they respect and love you.

You have brothers and sisters who love you.

You have nieces and nephews who love and respect you

You are a teacher in the Body of Christ and have moved in many gifts.

You walk in pain that many do not know about.........yet get up and choose to walk another day. With the kind of weeks we have had lately I would have to say that is nothing short of a miracle!
Did I say that

You are loved?

You are.
By me!

Happy Different Kind of Father's Day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Ringing Phone

When you have gotten that one phone call that shatters your life, you will never hear a phone ringing again without remembering. When you hear the news that your grandchild has tried to take her life you will never be the same. When you realize that she was sadder than you thought, more depressed, in pain and you just didn’t see it, you weep.
When all seems lost yet you know that you are not facing an open grave and looking at a casket, what can rise in your heart but gratitude?


Gratitude for a new day, a new dawn, and new chance for her, for her family and all those who love her. We must give thanks that the Lord has intervened, He has said, “It is not time for the enemy to triumph over this one, this daughter of Mine. I stopped the knife, I sent the help, I’m in the deep darkness of soul pain and hurt. I give strength, I give hope, I give new chances to make things right. I will give justice at My timing and I see all things. I am the “God Who Sees.” There is nothing impossible for Me. There is nothing impossible for Me. There is nothing impossible for Me. She is beauty as the dawn; she is mine.


You can’t control, change or create her life. Give her to Me as you give all the hopes, dreams, tears and prayers. Many will see and come to believe because of a life portrayed as Mine, through her.”

So we press on and hope. We press on and try to have faith, patience and love. We open the closed fists that try to hold on and release to the Lord Jesus those we love and treasure.


But when we hear the phone ringing we will always remember the phone call that changed our lives

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sometimes

Sometimes the pain of life gets in the way of living. Sometimes when we see those we love hurt it is hard to bear. Sometimes there is nothing we can do. Sometimes all we can do is pray. Sometimes we pray for help, sometimes for healing, sometimes just to make it through the next day, hour or even minute. Emotional pain and hurts can be as painful as physical and sometime even more so. Oh for the balm of Gilead to soothe our wounded hearts. Oh for the comfort of the Savior's arms in a real hug that would take away the hurts.



Sometimes we forget the scripture:


"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?" Jeremiah 32:27 NASB


Sometimes we need to see with new eyes His plan and be grateful for all that we have been spared from going through. Sometimes we need to recount all the answered prayers and blessings we have received. Sometimes unmet expectations may be the most painful thing that we go through.
Sometimes we need to remember Hebrews 11 especially verse 13
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.


Later on it is spoken of people that "the world was not worthy of them."


Sometimes we need to remember that the Lord God Almighty sees. He is with us in our pain and has promised to never forsake us. Sometimes we need to believe His word.