Saturday, March 26, 2011

Do You Know Someone Who Needs to Know They are More?

Reach FM contest entry

“You are More” by Tenth Avenue North reminds me of many women we pass by each day. We sometimes forget about the unseen people around us, the hurting ones who feel invisible. Yet these beautiful lyrics describe a closeness that the Lord wants to give to all who have felt "unseen." I have at times, prayed to the Lord in desperation, "See me, See me!" perhaps as a small child might say. "Feel me and my pain, Lord." I know there is someone else right now praying these very words. She is a sister among you; you don’t know her, or her name. She may have been abused, used and tormented. She dreams but they turn into nightmares. She wants to open up and tell you about her life, but she is afraid you will cringe and turn away.

The things she has endured would not fit into your tidy world. She may be your friend but you really can’t share her pain. The cup she has drunk is too horrible to taste and it would cause you to hurt also.

She has seen perverseness in the eyes of men, and the hearts of women. She is a sister among you, who smiles to mask the pain.

“You are more than the choices that you've made,

You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,

You are more than the problems you create,

You've been remade.”

Jesus said what you have done for the least of these, you have done for Me.

Only God can heal the hurts but He sometimes leaves the pain and the memories so we don’t overlook this unseen sister, lost in pain. Needing a Savior, needing a friend.

Needing someone to tell her “She is more!”

Donna Collins Tinsley

You Are More LyricsArtist(Band):Tenth Avenue North

There's a girl in the corner With tear stains on her eyes From the places she's wandered And the shame she can't hide
She says, "How did I get here? I'm not who I once was. And I'm crippled by the fear That I've fallen too far to love" But don't you know who you are, What's been done for you? Yeah don't you know who you are?
 You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

Well she tries to believe it That she's been given new life But she can't shake the feeling That it's not true tonight She knows all the answers And she's rehearsed all the lines And so she'll try to do better But then she's too weak to try But don't you know who you are?
You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.
You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

 'Cause this is not about what you've done, But what's been done for you. This is not about where you've been, But where your brokenness brings you to This is not about what you feel, But what He felt to forgive you, And what He felt to make you loved.
You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade. You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
 You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You've been remade
 You've been remade
. You've been remade.
 You've been remade.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Try A Psalm and a Song

I had been late to Bible Study the week before and evidently missed the homework assignment.
“Bring your favorite Psalm and an old Hymn to share,” Anita Smith, my Bible teacher had said. “Now Donna, you were here last week, so you should’ve known.” Only those that Anita considers one of her daughters, does she talk to like that, in her heavy Southern accent. Nobody was going to get away with not sharing today!
I noticed several women bringing in I-pods and cassette players for their songs and I thought, “Oh, no!” I hate homework, and I hate to unprepared for anything, although probably I would’ve gotten nervous about speaking in front of the group. So, the Lord knew that He had a plan, for me to learn to be spontaneous, If you ask my daughters they will tell you that spontaneous is not a word that would be used to describe me.

I knew immediately what my favorite Psalm is: Psalm 27. Picking between the old Hymns that have always ministered to my heart, that was a different story. And to sing in front of everyone acapella, well, I didn’t want to do it, but started brainstorming about the song. I found the words to “Victory in Jesus” stuck in my Bible and thought, “Well, I could go with it.” But it really wasn’t one of my favorites and when another woman sang it, I knew I didn’t want to use it. An old favorite is “It is Well with my Soul,” but for some reason the song “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” would not get out of my mind. Both Psalm 27 and the song were also favorites of my mother, so I decided to go with them. I thought mine might be a popular one and someone ahead of me might already read it, but Anita encouraged us to reread if we had the same one. Psalm 23 was a favorite to many and since Amazing Grace is a favorite also, Anita said we would sing it together at the end.
I knew the Holy Spirit was among as one by one each lady’s voice broke as they read their Psalm or sang their song. I wasn’t prepared though for the weeping that accompanied my reading or singing.

I encourage anyone reading this to click the link to listen to the song and to be spontaneous at your next Bible Study. Read a Psalm and a song; You will be blessed!
Psalm 27 A Psalm of David.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;

Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me

To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,

My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,

In this I will be confident.
One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:

That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;

In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;

Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;

I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”

Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;

You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the LORD will take care of me.
Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;

For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.

Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD! New King James Version (NKJV)

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

When I survey the wondrous cross

on which the Prince of Glory died;
my richest gain I count but loss,
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ, my God;
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to his blood.
See, from his head, his hands, his feet,
sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were an offering far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.

(lyrics; Isaac Watts)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What forgiveness is not!

I have been trying for some time to articulate exactly what Linda Mintle, Ph.D. said in this article about what forgiveness is not. This really explains it in a way that I hope most people will understand:

RE: Forgiveness is NOT:
1. Reconciliation. This takes the cooperation of two people (Reconciliation, however, is the heart of God -Matthew 5:24).

2. Condoning wrong behavior.

3. Minimizing what was done that was hurtful.

4. Pardoning the person; that’s God’s job. Your job is to be released from the power of the offense.

I have four daughters and it seems they each were parented by a different mother in their eyes. There is a quote in the book, "Her Daughter's Dream" by Francine Rivers that sums up, I think, how many mothers feel.
‎"I love every one of my children and I did the best I knew in raising them. I just wasn't always the mother they wanted."
And I think it was Joyce Meyers who said, "When I knew better, I did better." I am grateful to the Lord that I have learned and am still learning how to parent in different ways than I did when I was a teenage mother. By God's grace and forgiveness I am a different woman than when I started out and He gets the credit for it. As you pointed out some people forgive but don't always reconcile. But the hope for that is always in His heart and a mother's heart, too, for her family.

What a great article by Linda Mintle, Ph.D.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Reason to Write

One reason I write is because there is a multitude of people out there who do not get "the happily ever after" ending. Who wants to hear from a woman who proclaims her life to be perfect and has not been touched with the infirmities of suffering? I can't relate to such a person and neither can the majority of hurting sisters and brothers out there. I think they want to see a pierced heart beat strong with the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord would say, “Beat on O pierced heart. Beat with My love, beat with My compassion, beat with My strength, just beat in time with the Music of My Soul. And you will be desperate no more.”

And just when you think you are never going to dream again, the Lord gives you a new dream.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Florida Christian Writer's Conference and me

Just got home from the Florida Christian Writer's Conference yesterday! I can't even begin to express the grateful heart I have to the Lord for His favor and mercy for me to attend. I will be blogging and writing more as soon as I can, but for now all I can say is: awesome! Especially Dr. Calvin Miller who restores my faith in mankind by his very presence, his love for his wife, his father-heart, humor, wit and the way he has with words! I have never heard someone who can cover so many different subjects in such unique ways; I both laughed and cried.
Mark Mynheir moved my soul with his Fiction Workshop and I am in awe of his teaching ability and kindness to me, someone who has never written fiction before. I don't have time right now to say how much I enjoyed being among such a group of dedicated people because of course, I have been gone 4 days and need to reconnect with my family. It was so good to see their faces when I returned.

Everyone I met and connected with captured my heart from lovely Elizabeth Miller and Chaplain Barbara at the front desk to the faculty, other writers and many prayer warriors. I brought home prayer requests for many people and am grateful for those who agreed to pray for me.

But many thanks to Billie Wilson who puts on the best conference around, and also Anitra and REACH FM! You Rock!