Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, New Prayer, and an Old Devo, Where Does A Mother Go To Resign?

Ending the year with one of my favorite published devotions and a prayer: Lord, I commit to be the best me I can be. I will try to be a kinder, gentler Donna and a more loving person. I want to blaze through this next year to Your glory. Teach me, mold me, make me Your vessel and I will give You all the glory, my Father and my Love.

Where Does A Mother Go To Resign?

They shall not labour in vain,

or bear children for calamity;*

for they shall be offspring blessed by the LORD—

and their descendants as well.  Isaiah: 65:23 NRSV

I love that book title and the woman who wrote it, Barbara Johnson, had an amazing story. She took the pain of life and wrote spiritual and humorous books about it. The first time I heard her speak, I laughed so hard I thought I would have a heart attack. But the hardships and tragedies she went through would also break your heart.

Do you ever feel heartbroken? Got kids? You've probably been there. Of course you love them and they are precious in your sight and the Lord's but sometimes relationships with them can hurt. It can hurt when you try to steer them to help and wholeness and they don't listen. It can hurt when you see them in physical or mental pain. It can hurt when you don't have the resources to help them. It even hurts sometimes, backing off because you know the Lord wants to help them have a stronger relationship with Him, the ultimate parent.
Where does a mother go to resign? To the throne of God where Jesus ever intercedes to the Father for those children that we love.
Prayer: I thank You, Lord that my children were not born for calamity but for peace and blessing. You are the ultimate parent and I leave them with you. Thank You, precious Father that our children are ultimately in your hands. We pray that you bless them and bring them close to you; through Jesus our Savior. Amen

Donna Collins Tinsley

*The Secret Place devotional, Judson Press

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Comes, Even Though we Grieve

Because of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook, I am reposting an old Christmas message as well as my new one. Please dwell on the last paragraph of each one and know that you are loved:

The Bleeding Parent

Mary was a young girl at the time she conceived. She learned early what it meant to be a bleeding parent. One of the first prophecies spoken to her was Luke 2:34-35, “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.”

Her natural impulse would have been to shelter, nurture and protect her son. We cannot forget that although Jesus was God in human form, He was bone of her bone and flesh of her flesh. Her womb was the first home for the king of kings. Her body pushed him out. With each contraction, His destiny and our salvation drew nearer. She bore pain for Him, that He would bear our pain and sins.

She watched and pondered, not even knowing fully it was He of whom was spoken, “He is a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. And we hid as it were, our faces from Him. He was despised and we did not esteem Him.”(Isaiah 53:3)

He went from son to Savior as she watched Him dying for her at the cross. We forget sometimes at Christmas, that He was born for the cross. She went from being His mother to being His child as He became a bleeding parent for her.

If your year has not been all you had hoped for, take a moment to remember all the good things in life you have been blessed with. We take for granted things such as eyesight, health, a warm home, food enough to eat and to share. Let praise become a part of your heart.
Donna Collins Tinsley

Black Friday, Reality Shows, Pot Menders and Christmas

Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed;

save me and I will be saved,

for you are the one I praise. Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV)

Black Friday started on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day this year. Bill has started going out with some of our girls and they seem to have a lot of fun. I actually decided to go and take Isaiah for a bit as he felt that he was really missing out on something. It looked like what he was missing out on was wall-to-wall people, stuffed tighter than a Thanksgiving turkey into Wal-Mart. After driving around for 20 minutes looking for a parking place, going in and finding Bill and PJ (our grown-up “adopted son”) I came, I saw, took a few pictures to post and I left. I couldn’t think of anything that would make me want to stand in a line that long. It just isn’t what Christmas is about, is it?

You may be saying right now, “Hey girl, this is Christmas, right? Give me some Christmas joy and cheer; give me a big smile, and let me just go with the material things, the fleeting joy and excesses that Christmas has become in this century, give me the unreality that the “reality” shows portray.”

I want to introduce you to a new word this Christmas and I hope a new way to live. Kintsugi means golden joinery and to me it is a beautiful phrase. We think of the colors of Christmas, the reds, greens, silver and golds and the word Kintsugi (金継ぎ)is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a lacquer resin sprinkled with powdered gold.”

I believe that our Savior came to that stable as a baby, grew to be a man, died and gave himself for us, to mend broken pots and broken hearts with gold that is so beautiful that all that look upon them will be amazed.

I may not be able to give each one who reads this a gift, but I can commit to pray for you this year. I pray that pure gold will shine from the cracks that need mending in your life. I pray that any broken heart will be fixed by the Lord in the way that brings glory to Him and healing to you. I pray that you find love enough each day and that you will shine in a unique way, the way that you were intended to live and shine from the foundation of the earth.

I have to borrow a quote that sums up what I feel better than I can: A devo written by Scoti Springfield Domeij says, “Enhanced by the Master’s artisan’s touch a broken pot that normally would have been tossed actually becomes lovelier, more precious, and more valuable that before.” Think on these words this Christmas season. You are lovelier, more precious and more valuable today than you have ever been before. Believe it when you don’t see it, receive it when you feel broken inside, say it when you feel totally parched inside. Shine on and Merry Christmas to all!

Donna Collins Tinsley 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Walking in Christmas Shoes even Amidst Sandy Hook Tragedy

This week I posted this on Facebook and had to edit it, as since then a horrible tragedy has occurred with many schoolchildren murdered and a community shattered.

"Walk a mile in My Shoes” is the name of an old song by Joe South. Some of the lyrics say, “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? Has my home been demolished by the flooding waters of a hurricane or tornado? Have I lived through losing family as those who are now burying children and loved ones like the families affected by the recent murders at Sandy Hook Elementary? No, I have not but I grieve along with those families and our nation.

"A voice is heard in Ramah, (and now America) weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." Matthew 2:18

  Christmas coming doesn’t alleviate the normal pains of life that we go through. I know several people that have lost loved ones and I weep for them this Christmas season and pray that they can find peace in the beauty of the season once again. The grief process takes time, and we know it won’t be this Christmas; this is just a fact we can’t get around. The pain will be numbing and constant for a long time. For them we pray.

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.

Donna Collins Tinsley

Monday, December 10, 2012

Looking for Jesus at Christmas

Many of you who know me, know that at the Christmas season I am on a mission. A search for Jesus amidst the commercialization of the celebration of our Lord's birth. I sometimes just want the holidays to be over with, it gets so sad sometimes. We need to remember that old saying, "Jesus is the reason for the season."

Usually the first thing I search for is a Christmas message to send out or post. Just when I think that well has run dry the Lord gives me something to share and hopefully bring the focus back to the true meaning. Thank You, Jesus, I do have that ready to send.

I was asked to be a part of Let's Go Ministry Motel Church and that is how I got out of a bad "funk" as in "I don't want to do Christmas this year," to a restoration of joy and peace.

I had only committed to two mornings, but found as I met people on the streets of Daytona that I was drawn back to the Travel Inn for at least a little bit each day. Meeting Fay and Jon and the guys from New Beginnings Ministry was an added bonus to my finding Jesus. He is there for sure!

Jed and his team were interviewed by the News Journal and some awesome things took place each morning, meal outreach and night. I was humbled and honored to be a very small part. If I can do it, anyone can. My husband, Bill, came on Saturday and he said later that he admired people that can go up to just anyone on the streets; he actually thinks I have the "gift." Well, if so, it just came, wrapped up in Motel Church, so thank You Jesus for adding a bonus to my Christmas, a gift that keeps on giving as we pay forward our blessings and hope.

My heart was moved by the people we saw on the streets and I am reminded once again, they are someone's sons or daughters.

Jed Lindstrom is who has the real gift of evangelism and I am grateful that he shares his gifts with so many people in the streets and also to the Body of Christ. May the Lord bless him with all he needs to continue to go forth. Let's Go!

Friday, December 7, 2012

“Sore feet,” Feeling their pain and Daytona Streets

Before going to help out Let’s Go Ministry this week, the Lord allowed me to remember a term, which since this is a PG site I will call, “sore feet.” It is a take on a slang term and as I have sometimes reminded members in a support group I attend, a gift or a curse that I have, is to be able to relate so to pain others are going through, that I literally can feel it myself. I got my sore feet this week from walking all over New Smyrna waiting on my grandson to come through playing the drum with his band at the Christmas parade. But that is another story.

Picture a woman walking the streets of Daytona, the hot concrete coming up into her shoes, wishing she could rest, wishing she had a place of safety just to sit down and be at peace. She is wishing her life was different; she has regrets but doesn’t know where to turn. She has shattered dreams; she has loss in her life and feels unloved and unwanted. She has “sore feet” and needs healing.

Hosea 6:1 “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us; he has injured us, but he will bind up our wounds."

Mother Teresa might call them the "Poorest of the Poor." Touched too often by the hands of men, they are the untouchables of our society. Many people don't want to think about them and their needs. Prostitutes may have once been pretty, but the hardness of the street life and the walls they have had to put up around their hearts has taken their toll. Horrified to think our sons, brothers or husbands may have "used" them, we forget that they themselves are "somebody's daughter," a woman who God loves and wants to redeem.

Join me and Jed Lindstrom from Let’s Go Ministry “Motel Church” in praying for these women and others that walk the streets of Daytona; remember they are someone’s daughters or sons. They need a helping hand, such as the one Jesus said for us to extend when he said,

"For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me." (Matt.25:35-36 NASU)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Prayer for our Family of Origin

I thank You, for placing me in my family of origin, such as it is. (LOL!) You Lord, have given us much favor, pain, dysfunction, yet great love and even laughter, to get us through our days. I thank You for all You have brought me through: many abuses and hurts, yet You were always there. You are what keeps me going every day in every way---Jesus, my King.

You remember the little girl, who read Fairy-tales all the time. O Lord, I wanted a Fairy-tale life. You gave me a bittersweet journey. But to know You intimately, is a treasure better than a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. To know You, to love You, to feel Your Father arms wrapped around a girl who has never known her real father’s love. What a reward and what sweetness to me. It’s true I can’t sing loud enough or long enough to show my praise to you. And for the husband, children and grandchildren You have given me, I say, “Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name.

You will heal our fractured family, though all seems dark. You will show Yourself strong and You will be my strong help and fortress. I live my life to extol Your name, Jesus and to worship you. I am yours, Your creation, such as I am. You took a small, lowly girl from the South and gave her such favor to be amongst greatness at times. I have met famous people but have been most impressed by my loving, giving mother, who once even gave the coat off her back away. I miss her so but look forward to seeing her in glory where You will make all things right. I am forever Yours. A sister among you but a daughter of the King.

I pray a double blessing upon all who reads this today. If you are hurting, I pray that Jesus binds Your wounds and sorrows, if you think your dreams won't come true, I pray the Lord gives you a new dream, if you are missing a loved one either through death or estrangement, I pray you go back in your memories and find a good one to dwell on and thank the Lord for that precious moment. It may be that moment you held that sweet child in your arms for the first time and thought your heart would explode with love and that the world had stood still, you were so blessed. Write your own prayer of Thanksgiving and then give it to the Lord.

This blog was in response to this Bible Study, "Joseph, Beyond the Coat of Many Colors." (Mary Englund Murphy) that I am doing in my spare time, (LOL.) The assignment was: "With your own family background in mind, write out a prayer of thanksgiving."

I am always grateful for my husband, children, grandchildren, extended family, friends and the home the Lord has provided for me.

You may want to try this assignment today as it is a good way to get your mind on higher things and counting your blessings will never go out of style.

A wonderful song to go along with this theme is here:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Daytona Streets, the Good, the Bad and the Beautiful

Sometimes if you read my blog long enough you will find me drawn back to the streets of Daytona. I find a lot of research for my book, Daytona Streets in writings by Lyda Longa. She writes with compassion but also the hard truth. Here is my take on a previous article she wrote:

It is hard to focus on one subject when there are so many people that need to be commended concerning the article by Lyda Longa, "An ex-prostitute's story: 'I've done it all for money'"

The first person I would like to mention is Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood. He has gotten a lot of criticism in the past, he is pretty blunt sometimes and probably that goes along with his job description. But people on the street realize that he is tough on crime for a reason; that they might be helped and protected. I don't know him personally and there are probably things we would disagree with, but it reminds me of the song that talks about Jesus being a friend to sinners. If a prostitute who has seen it all, lived it all in a painful way, yet sees that this man is approachable enough to want to call him and ask for help; well I would say he probably may be living out the scripture from Matthew 25:40 NIV. It says “The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me ..." and is one of my favorite reminders of how to live.

An excerpt from the article says:

"I've done it all for money," Betty said. Then one day this past spring after she decided to stop prostituting, Betty telephoned Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood.

"I had seen his name in the paper and I wanted to praise him," Betty said. "I also wanted to ask him for help."

The chief responded quickly, referring Betty to the Police Department's victim advocate, Sophie Vessa.

"She wrote me a letter and it was incredible," Chitwood said. "She sounded sincere."

Vessa met with Betty and knew this was the real thing.

But getting help for a woman who wants to escape the life of prostitution is challenging in the Daytona Beach area, Vessa said.

There are no halfway houses or rehabilitation centers that specialize in helping prostitutes shatter the mindset they operate under — selling their bodies to make a quick buck.

"When these women ask for help or they get arrested and are mandated to get help, they always get sent to a drug rehab," Vessa said. "Drugs are only a symptom of the deep-rooted problems most of these women have."

Vessa said many women who become prostitutes are victims of childhood sexual and physical abuse, and their self-esteem can be non-existent."

I think Vessa would be the next one to be commended and I thank her for being there for victims. And believe me, someone who had been molested in childhood, will have a victim mentality for a long time, until someone steers them on the path to true recovery. It is very true that there are a lot more resources for men than for women even in the addiction treatment areas and our city was not really willing to help support at the time the one home opened for prostitutes, Heaven's Garden some years back.

When I think about a woman working the streets I think that many people don’t really want to think about them and that they may have been childhood sexual abuse victims. They may have once been pretty but the hardness of the street life and the walls they have had to put up around their hearts have taken their toll. We are horrified to think our sons, brothers or husbands have “used” them. We forget that they themselves are “somebody’s daughter,” a woman who God loves and wants to redeem.

The next person I want to thank is Lyda Longa for always giving us heartfelt articles that draw us in, about the streets of Daytona. I still wish there was an update on some of the people she and Seth Robbins wrote about in “The City You've Never Known" about six years ago.

Lastly, though, I thank Betty for having the courage to reach out for help and for learning that she can overcome her past.

Donna Collins Tinsley

PS Jed Linstrom and Let’s Go Ministry will be having Motel Church in December, ministering help and hope to those on the streets of Daytona.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fort Mountain: The Main Event

Have you ever prayed sometimes for years, and wondered if the Lord is going to come through for you? Have you ever wept for someone else that had a need, a desire, a want for a relationship and it looked like they might be waiting forever? Yet we cling to the promises of God that what two or more agree on touching the heart of God will be answered. Fort Mountain, Georgia, was where it started and Fort Mountain, Georgia was where we joined together to see an answered prayer.

We go on a home-church retreat to cabins at Fort Mountain State Park each year whenever possible. The scenery is so beautiful the cabins are great and being with friends and family just can’t be beat. We end each night with food together, prayer, worship, beautiful and glorious music and whatever the Spirit leads us to do or share. Some years back one brother had a burden for another brother, Mike, who was single and so wanting a wife. We gathered around this precious brother and prayed that the Lord send his help-mate, soul-mate and that he would find love.

A lot of times when we pray, we think, that’s it. We might even assume to know God’s timing, “Well, next year this time, Mike will have his wife,” we say.

That is our timing, but the Lord may have different timing as I well know. When Bill married me, he wanted a baby nine months after we got married and it took nearly eight years for that prayer to be answered but that is another story, for another day.

It was many years later that the word came to us that there was going to be a surprise engagement on the top of Fort Mountain. This year Mike had found the love of his life and she was coming from Puerto Rico to join us at the mountain gathering. To God be the Glory!

He wanted all of us to be there when he asked her the big question and to share in their joy! Oh the fun we all had keeping the secret, getting together and making the long trek to the top of the mountain overlook. When he got down on his knees with that unique jewelry box, she grabbed him and we weren’t sure if she was ever going to let go. Praise the good Lord; it did us all good to be a part of the joy that comes from the manifestation of the previous prayers.

Earlier in the day, I’m told that Raquel thought that Mike wasn’t ready to commit to a relationship yet. What she didn’t know was on his previous visit to meet her family in September he had asked permission for her hand. The lovely thing she told us later also was her whole family had been praying for this coming of her Prince Charming. And a special little niece had been praying since she was five years old! Wait on the Lord, I say, again, wait. He has good things for us all and He isn’t done yet.

For pictures go to my Facebook page:

Monday, November 5, 2012

This Woman has Spirit/Blogging while the Fort Mountain blog comes to me

I had a great time at Fort Mountain, Ga and have a blog in my heart, but need some time to process it. So, as I recently posted an old nomination for the Women’s Lifestyle SPIRIT Award, I want to feature another of my winners. Although I had never met Denise when I wrote the nomination; her story from the newspaper had gripped my heart.

I thank the Lord for this lovely woman of God and am really happy that the Lord got us together, two Southern women, sisters among you, who have some things in common, but mainly we just love the Lord. She is going through a hard time again right now, so I thought this might encourage her. Here it is as appeared some years back:

For about four years Denise Baklid lived through a story that rivals the one where two mothers came before King Solomon (1 Kings 3:16-28) asking for a baby they both claimed as their own.

She and her husband, Ivar's only mistake was falling in love with a child that they had nurtured since infancy and were misled to believe that he would be theirs by way of adoption. Christian was born in October 2001 in Daytona Beach was in the foster care system soon afterwards. Denise and Ivar cared for Christian for sixteen months after his birth and endured a traumatic court battle to try and maintain the home for the child that Denise felt the Lord had given to her.

It takes resilience to live through taking care of a child while dealing with: work, court hearings, DCF or CBC intervention in your life, the child's emotional issues, trying to make a normal life for the child and your husband also. We cannot even begin to comprehend the depths of pain Denise went through. Sometimes in the fast-paced world we live in, a true mother's heart is overlooked, yet I believe it is something of great value and depth.
It takes resilience to sometimes just do the next thing in life when you carry pain in your heart as she did when Christian was taken away from her; then to be reunited only to have him taken away again.
After much prayer and pain she resolved to do what would keep Christian from enduring more emotional trauma; she gave up her dream to embrace him as her child and instead freed him in the hopes that one day they may be reunited in some way.

"We have to be Christian’s true parents to do this," Baklid said in reference to their decision (on Monday) they will not move forward with their adoption appeal to get back their former 4-year-old foster child, stating "there comes a time when we have to decide what is best for Christian." (Daytona Beach New Journal)
Denise's story spurred legislators on, to speed up solutions so that other children in the system don't have to deal with separation and emotional issues as Christian did.

Compassion and love exudes from Denise. Even though she has many a reason to become bitter she has maintained a Christian testimony throughout this ordeal.

The Baklid’s would like to help change the system and try to teach that each case is unique. The judges and DCF cannot continually look at cases and not realize these are real people and families, not just a case number or statistic. Each real person involved in the case has their own story, their own history that contributes to what works out to become what is in the best interest of the child.

She believes that there are countless horror stories of caring people who are just trying to help kids, which have gone untold. She is an overcomer and by God's grace portrays resilience.

Donna Collins Tinsley

PS Denise, I adore you, but I bet you already know that

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Do You Have a “Black Dog” in Your Life? (Book review)

The Black Dog by Reverend John Dolan is a very compelling, yet easy to read book. I loved the blunt honesty of the author. So many people struggle with depression and it is true, I believe, that the more it is acknowledged the less power it holds on people.
The illustrations were poignant. They added a lot to the story. The vision John had of the angel in chapter 10, "Hitting Rock bottom" comparing the immersion of his depressive thoughts to being immersed in water with someone holding him up and saving him was very moving.

The words, "John, if this is the worst that depression can do to us, then we will both be fine," were a turning point for him. And although he felt the black dog was saying, "I am not finished with you yet," the picture he carried in his mind of the ferocious dog lessened after this. That he was restored by using coping skills that he learned as well as leaning on God was a theme woven throughout the book.

The Black Dog will remind you of many people that we all come in contact with daily. I know several people that I would recommend a book such as this to help them overcome "The Black Dog" in their lives. Thank you John Dolan for sharing your personal story of a subject that many feel is too taboo to mention.

Donna Collins Tinsley

I received this book free from BOOKCRASH, courtesy of the Author as part of their blogger review program.

I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Resilient and More, Lisa Triplett’s SPIRIT award revisited

Supportive- charitable, encouraging, helpful, reassuring, thoughtful, understanding; all of these words describe my friend Lisa Triplett who is the adoptive mother of two of my grandchildren.
In a sense my oldest daughter handpicked Lisa and her husband, Rick to take care of her son, when he was a little baby, perhaps unintentionally. At a church fair, she recognized them from the church we all had attended. She was there with her little girl, and baby son and wanted to take her daughter on a ride.

“Could you watch baby Austin, while we go on the ride?” she asked Lisa.
Was that the moment that Lisa fell in love with my grandson? I don’t know, but circumstances happened to make it impossible for my daughter to keep her son, and the person she chose to adopt him was Lisa.

I was taking care of Austin as well as my own girls at the time and Lisa said God put Austin on their hearts; they wanted to care for him until his mother was able. We knew from attending church together that they had the gift of hospitality but we were surprised they felt so strongly it should extend to a little baby. Lisa even decided to quit going to DBCC to be there for Austin.

Was this God’s will for my grandbaby? Or were they angels sent to minister to my family by taking the pressure of an extra child off of me?
Five weeks later, Austin left our home and about two years later, Lisa and her husband, Rick, adopted him. You might wonder what is so amazing about this situation? Lisa is!
She was already quite the caretaker in her own right.
While working her way through college she worked at a church daycare center. There she met up with Brandi Triplett, the daughter of a boy she had dated in high school. Rick had been her first date but her mom felt she was too young (14) at that time for a relationship with someone two years older, so the romance was short-lived. Rick married someone else after High School and was divorced soon after, a single father with a little girl. Rick was now in the Navy out of state and his daughter was living with his mom and dad.
Rick and Lisa reconnected through Brandi, seeing each other, writing and by phone calls when he went back to the California base.

In 1985 he asked Lisa to marry him. Plans were made for a December wedding as he was being transferred from California to Jacksonville, Florida. One month after the engagement, Lisa received the devastating news; Rick had been in an automobile accident and was paralyzed from his chest down! It was Valentine’s Day.

Lisa and Rick’s mom flew to Jacksonville and from that moment to this, Lisa has rarely left his side for more than a few days at a time. In the first days at the hospital his heart stopped four times with Lisa by his bed in the dark of night. As alarms went off on the life-support machines, she prayed, begging God for him to survive. After several weeks he was stabilized and was moved to Hines, VA Hospital in Chicago, where the hours of rehab were agonizing for him. As a young man he had to adjust to a totally new way of life. As he lay on his stomach in a striker frame which caused pain in his neck, head and shoulders, Lisa would sit under his bed so he could see her and read, talk, play his music, and do all she could to help pass the time and supporting him in any way possible.

The biggest decision lay ahead; what about the marriage? Lisa was told that seven years was the average length for marriage to a paraplegic and she had to go through counseling, learning how to totally care for his personal needs and more.

Easter Sunday, 1985, in the hospital chapel they were married. Rick, still in pain, still unable to sit up in his chair, was in a partial reclining position in his black suit, gazing at his beautiful, radiant bride.

Lisa’s sense of humor is a trait that helps her be supportive to her husband; she joked about spending her wedding night in a motel room with her parents in one bed and she and her mother-in-law in the other. “I’ll bet I’m the only bride in history to spend her wedding night sleeping with her mother-in-law instead of her husband!”

There were years of outpatient treatment that still continue now; Rick is bedridden but with Lisa’s help and care he loves to get out and about in his wheelchair and specially adjusted van. He is a strong, vibrant Christian man who never complains and is a blessing to many.

Because Lisa is always supportive of Rick’s needs she left her family and roots and moved from their home in Indiana to Florida, as the cold weather is too hard on Rick. They had already visited the area when she took him to a fishing tournament on Lake Monroe in Florida for paraplegics. They found a handicapped accessible house for sale in Edgewater. Lisa continues to encourage Rick by taking him to church activities, football games, baseball games, music concerts and more.

Rick just turned 48 years old and has a full life because of the support of his wife. They have also adopted another one of my grandsons and truly have given them every advantage of a loving, Christian home.

In the past few years Lisa went back to college and graduated with a degree in Health Information Management; she juggled the boy’s and Rick’s care while maintaining high grades. Her parents moved down a few years ago, to give Lisa some much-needed support. She now works at Bert Fish, when she isn’t caring for, loving, doing field trips, shopping for, or playing with the boys, who are now eight and thirteen.
Donna Collins Tinsley

Remember this was written about five years ago as Austin will soon be eighteen and Jordan will be 13 next year Time has only enhanced the things that Lisa does for her family and church family. May her tribe increase!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Do You Need to Slow Down, Too? Slow Me Down, Lord, But Not This Way

Sometimes when I just can’t seem to slow myself down, the Lord does it for me.

Yesterday the Lord arranged for me to pull back from a lot of things that I want to be doing. I am so grateful first to Him that I didn't have an accident when my Rack and Pinion steering devise went out on my van. I think I pulled my sciatic nerve though, as now my whole body is hurting even today; that is a big vehicle to be trying to steer as dead weight.

I'm praising Jesus that we managed to get over three lanes of what is normally heavy traffic on International Speedway Blvd. without a car hitting us. My power steering was locked up, and I am so grateful that my daughter, Amber and little granddaughter, Aryel are Okay. That is really all I could think about as I replayed in my mind looking in the rearview mirror and the miracle that we were not slammed with oncoming traffic. It was like being in slow motion.

I told Bill when he came to rescue us that just like on those gravestones that say "I told you I was sick" I've been saying something is wrong with the van for two weeks. Every time anyone else drove it, it didn't lock up; to his credit though, he took it out on Friday, drove it all over, and checked under the hood, it was all good. Even the servicemen at Tuffy’s called yesterday and said, “Hey we drove, it and it never locked up on us.” I just said to myself, Lord, Okay, I don’t know, but I do know that something is wrong and it is not my imagination.

Then miracle of miracles they discovered a defect in the Rack and pinion devise, something that had just worked on recently.

Little Aryel didn't get to go with her Ga-Ga to the library, though and I missed the “Let's Go Ministry” meeting. I will probably miss some other things that I wanted to attend this week also, but I have to look at this as the Lord helping me when I can’t help myself. I accept that I might have to be home and not everywhere I want to be, because when something is a “good thing” I want to be a part of it.

Have you ever been there, people? I know a lot of others that fight to go, do, or be everything to everyone and it is physically and mentally impossible. When I try with all my might and heart to be somewhere and find it is not working out, I have to yield. I have to remember that I need some alone time, some rest time, (why does it have to be with aching muscles, though) some reading time and some Holy Spirit time. Peace to all and if you don’t see me someplace you thought I would be, don’t be mad at me. Know I am just trying to pull back and hear the Lord. We will all be so much better in the long run, if I do. Restore our souls, Lord Jesus and go before each of us in peace, today.

A song and a prayer I offer today.

I just discovered this singer (thanks Joanie) you don't want to miss this song:

Books I’m reading: The Reunion by Dan Walsh

And here is something else: I don't think I have ever been as excited about being in a compilation. I received my two contributor copies for “My Love to you Always.” My story "Hurricane, A Frog and True Love" is a tribute to my husband, Bill.

Anyone that wants to order a copy of this book through OakTara books will receive a 15% discount — since there is no middleman charge of any other distributor).

*Click on the FB/Twitter icons and “like” your book pages and the OakTara store in general. Ask your friends, colleagues, and family to do the same.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Remembrance Box For your Mind

A Remembrance Box For your Mind

We live either in the pits or soar above our problems by what we put in our minds. Let us remember to put encouraging things in our Remembrance Box today.

Sometimes the popular song by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, “Remind Me,” goes through my mind. Although it is about reminding each other about their love, I think it can be used to remind ourselves about spiritual blessings. Yes, I am a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, so when I listen to music, I can always find a message from the Lord and it goes back to remembering when our relationship with Him was new. “Now we keep saying that we're okay

But I don't want to settle for good not great

I miss the way that it felt back then I wanna feel that way again”

Remind me, Lord Jesus, of Your Goodness, new every morning. Remind me of how well you have taken care of me and my family and my extended family. Remind me of love and joy. Remind me that Your hand is over all and in all and that all things are working together for good. Remind me that You are coming back for your bride.
Remind me that You are the God of provision when it seems impossible to believe. Remind me that You do not hold back in love and kindness.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
His ways are good even when we can't see for the darkness. His ways are good even when they aren’t our ways. His ways are good through the valley of the shadow of death. His ways are good when we are lonely because He will come to us. His ways are good when we are struggling because He can calm the struggle. His ways are good when our children have abandoned or forsaken us (and Him) or gone astray because He is the mighty shepherd who searches for the lost one. His ways are good in pain as He is the healer. His ways are good when the road is long and the journey seems too hard to travel for he travels with us.

His ways are good we will believe for this year. We can’t create, change or cure but His ways are good and He can. Think on your blessings, as that is the only way to overcome the darkness of this world. He is the light and His ways are good! Remind me, Lord Jesus, Remind me. (Donna Collins Tinsley)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thanks for running my devotional, "What Would the Walton's Do?"

Thanks and especially Beth Patch, for running my devotional, "What Would the Walton's Do?" This was written some years back when Shiloh was a teenager instead of a newlywed:) Click the link for a slice of our family life and my thoughts on contentment:

If that link doesn't work, here it is:
What Would the Walton’s Do?

“Oh no, Dad, not The Walton’s again,” our daughter Shiloh said.

The Walton’s was a television series that my husband Bill and I both loved. This was a family who lived and loved through the Great Depression. We have old DVDs of their program and for our Sunday night family time we usually had pizza and watched something together. We had already gone through “Roots” and Bill decided our girls and little Isaiah needed to see how people lived and loved on Walton’s Mountain.
Sometimes I would weep as I watched the programs. Not because of the things I see, but the things I feel as I see the contentment of a family pulling together during lean times. Times have gotten leaner in our family the past few years as my husband’s construction business has surely felt the effects of the economy. Jobs seem to be getting even scarcer. We are not the only family that has learned that even adult children who have a college education can’t always get full-time jobs. Many adult children are returning to their childhood homes and the Walton’s experience of generations living together is becoming common again. But it doesn’t always work out the way it did in another era.
Even with all their hardships it seemed the Walton’s always were content with the things they had. Contentment seems to be what is lacking in our lives today.
We look at our situations in our homes and we don’t have the family of our dreams. We aren’t content. We may have a physical ailment that God has allowed, even perhaps for His glory, but we aren’t content. We may be single, having tried marriage many times and failing, we aren’t content, but yet we don’t want to be alone. When days are hard, parenting seems impossible and dreams aren't coming true, is there is a way to get your contentment back?

“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.”(1 Timothy 6:6 NASB)

We could turn that around and say that without contentment it means nothing at all. How can we say we are of God (godly) and complain? Do you find yourselves complaining about your home, family and finances at times?
Can I challenge you, when you open your mouth to complain, instead to speak out about a blessing that you have?
Patrick Henry Hughes was born without eyes---yet he sees clearly the many blessings of his life. He has shortened limbs and has never walked but he was bestowed with the gift of music, which has opened doors for him to travel. He does not look at his disabilities but uses his abilities. He is content, and that has brought great gain to his life.
What would the Walton’s do? I think they would take time to count their blessings. That’s what I am going to do right now!
God, I believe that gratitude brings contentment and I am so grateful for all the good things we have: the freedoms that so many other people don’t have, the resources, homes and provision that You have given. Let the gift of contentment show all over our face and lives as we count our blessings daily and accept Your presence during these times of trouble!
This scripture points the way to contentment: Philippians 4:8-9 “Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” The Message
Donna Collins Tinsley

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, or join Somebody’s Mother Online Prayer Support Group at

Please email her at

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A morning in the life of someone who wants some quiet time:)

They say or at least a song is titled, "Girls Just Want Have Fun." But not so, with me, I just want some peace and quiet. It always seems like there is a conspiracy to destroy any chance of my having quiet time in the morning. I had already surmised that the animals were taking over the house, when I came down and Willow, Ashley's Weimaraner, was on one couch and Gypsy, the "outdoor" cat on the other. Meanwhile the hissing cat, Scarlette, was at the table where I have my morning devotions set up.

Shooing the dog off the couch and the cat out of my chair, and I must say she didn't go willingly, snarling and hissing while jumping down, I got my Bible and devotional books out. Oh, early morning quiet, coffee and the Lord. All is well.

But the stillness of the morning enhances the pitter patter of Weimaraner feet. Pacing back and forth, back and forth.

"Willow, go to bed!" She pranced off only to come back, pacing. I opened the door to let her out; maybe she needed a potty break.

Well, that didn't take long.

"Willow, go to bed!" She scurried off and then back again. You would have to own a Weimaraner to know how the sound of webbed feet on wooden floors can be totally distracting as they pace. Finally, she laid down beside me. I had my quiet time at last.
It wasn't until I went to the computer later that I found out why Willow didn't pass go, collect $200 or go to bed. There sat Scarlette in all her glory, hissing, snarling and living rent -free in Willow's bed. Sorry, Willow, I guess, you tried. I guess I won't feed you "monkey medicine"* today.

A morning in the life of someone who wants some quiet time:) Or maybe this should be titled "Give me patience and quiet Lord, and give it right now!"

*Monkey medicine is a whole different story of Presley, Shiloh's dog, the Oklahoma trip, and the movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes 2 . Maybe I'll blog about that one day. Or instead I'll blog about sweet hubby, who after losing 35 pounds, decides to let the beep of the microwave, the opening of the refrigerator, the sound of the stove interrupt my quiet time. At 6:15 this morning, he just had to have the leftover polish sausage, peppers and onions, a hot dog, and pasta salad. He starves himself all week to keep that new trim body, but does his weekend splurge have to start so early in the morning?

OK for a scripture to try to redeem this different kind of blog:

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all". Psalm 34:19

And a song by Selah:
Hope I have made you smile, today.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Oklahoma, Jesus is Just Alright With Me and I'm Back:)

It is good to be back in Florida, but I think I am still on Oklahoma time, or still feel like I am on vacation:) We had a great visit with Shiloh and Brian, rode around in a cool car, ate way too much and saw a lot of universities. Now back to reality:)

Shiloh took these pictures of Jesus statue and me which made me think of this song:) I gotta post this:
For some reason I can't get them posted on this blog, but you can try going to my facebook page:

I took Bill back the next day. The praying hands and prayer tower was awesome, too. Going there was a big highlight of our trip besides worshiping with Shiloh and Brian at RHEMA and Shiloh cooking us a really good supper on Saturday night of spaghetti with sausage and meat sauce, salad and garlic bread. The apartment looks great and we are very proud of the newlyweds:)

Shiloh and Brian are attending Bible College at RHEMA; it has been a rocky month as she was hospitalized recently with a septic infection but thanks to the Lord and many prayers she is doing better. They both plan to be in Youth Ministry.
Here is an old devo I wrote some years back about Shiloh:

Rock On, My Daughter

“My heart rejoices in the LORD!

The LORD has made me strong.

Now I have an answer for my enemies;

I rejoice because you rescued me.

No one is holy like the LORD!

There is no one besides you;

there is no Rock like our God.

1 Samuel 2:1-2

We went to our first Aerosmith Rock Concert together, I was 54; we were celebrating her 15th birthday.

She introduced me to Rock music, and the true Rock introduced Himself to her soon after.

I was a child of the fifties and we had Elvis, The Twist, Be-Bop-a-Lula and more. But since I was a mother first in my teens, and then ended up having my last child right before I turned 40 there was a whole lotta shaking going on in the music industry during those years. I was unfamiliar with what was going in music-wise in my youngest daughter, Shiloh's life. Thank God she bypassed the wild punk music and decided she was an 80's rock fan.
Going to that concert together, listening in on her guitar lessons and the relationship that grew between us as she yielded her desires to the Lord has helped me to realize that music is the main gift within her that needs to be cultivated.
Rescued by the Rock, Shiloh is now rocking out for the Lord.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What is the Constant Image in Your Mind? Let it be Jesus

They say the battle is in our minds and that is so true. We give our problems "free rent' sometimes and we need to realize that those lingering doubts, concerns and worries will only bring us down. We really do have to think on the good things of above or we will go under. Love, hope and prayers, every day in every way to all that visit this page. We hope your prayers feel safe and uplifted here.

I have a lot of devotionals that haven't been published, so at times I will post them online:
A Constant Image

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. (by Dallas Holm)
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: What I allow myself to think on may control my day for good.

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

Scripture: 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 The Message
Donna Collins Tinsley

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Grateful for the Task Force and those involved with Recovery Month In Daytona

I am always so inspired when I go to the Substance Abuse Task Force meetings. Thanks to all especially Mary Flynn Boener and Mark Jones for their hard work for the Task Force. I also want to commend Vicki Kress for her commitment and organization of the Recovery Month Celebration at the Band Shell.
The recent editorial letter in the Daytona Beach News Journal : "Children suffer most from prescription drug epidemic," was an amazing and informative opinion article. Many caught up in the pill addiction cannot function to really be there for their young children and unless there is early intervention, the child may not ever really catch up in many areas. Sometimes it seems as if these young children are parenting their parents. The article mentions "In July, the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office charged the parents of a 17-month-old boy with homicide-aggravated manslaughter of a child after toxicology results showed the baby had oxycodone in his blood when he died. Authorities believe the child had access to oxycodone and other pills used by the parents." The article also states, "Intervention programs can help protect children and keep families together. But there isn't much funding available for these programs. The Family Intervention Program for Volusia, Flagler and Putnam counties can handle 40 cases at a time. With more funding, child welfare officials could expand the effort and help more parents and children."
If the parents felt they had a safe place for their child, when they know they are going to be using pain medications perhaps a tragedy like this could've been avoided. Recently I read that they were closing down a daycare facility at the Daytona State College because there were not enough children using it ( Why not use that as a respite care for some of these children so a tragedy like the one mentioned in the article could be averted? I'm not talking about people bringing their kids there at night so they can use or go out and party, but a daytime thing with volunteers or workers from churches or even High School students needing to earn volunteer credits.
I know, this sounds like enabling but how many young children's lives do we lose before someone steps in? If a parent is using this resource too often then that family could be hooked up with the Neighbor to Family, Family In-Home Resource & Support Team (FIRST) program that goes into homes with help.
I attend the Substance Abuse Task Force meetings where many people from all walks of life come to try to find solutions for the drug epidemic that is among us. There are many parents, leaders, people in the Faith community, doctors, School board members, NOPE representatives and others attending these meetings just trying to make a difference in even one life.
The Good Book says, "And The King answers and says to them, 'Amen, I say to you, as much as you have done to one of these my little brothers, you have done that to me.' (Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
We do need to think of the children and the title of the opinion letter says it best, "Children suffer most from prescription drug epidemic." Can our community make a difference for these little ones?
Check out recovery month link:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Modern Family, The Should Haves and Shouldn't Haves of Life

Oh Lord, the "should've haves and the shouldn't haves" of my life. They are so prevalent for my family. It makes me cry at times as dreams of wholeness in family relationships are shattered in the reality of life. "What it is" as in "it is what it is" many times is a far cry from the health and wholeness You planned: "I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

“When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.

“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me."(Jeremiah 29:11 MSG)

Yet You saw my days when I was being formed in my mother's womb and You knew exactly how my life and the lives of my children and grandchildren would unfold, some precious, some sad days, but all known by You, Jesus, this being the key verse from Psalm 139 that I am thinking of as I write: "And in Your book were all written

The days that were ordained for me,

When as yet there was not one of them."

Our "Modern Family" may be more like the comedy show portrayed on television but it really isn't much worse than some from biblical times and days. Peace to your day and I'm ending with a link to a Bible Study book that I am working on.

I love what Mary Englund Murphey writes in Joseph, Beyond the Coat of Many Colors: "I have a tendency to read biblical accounts and mentally critique the should haves and shouldn't haves. Abraham shouldn't have slept with Hagar; Sarah should have waited on God. Isaac shouldn't have tried to thwart God's plan; Rebekah should have trusted God for His outcome. Yes, they should have and they shouldn't have but they didn't and they did, and in spite of it all, God was gracious and forgiving, and continued to work in their lives to accomplish His will.

We could make an endless list of should haves and shouldn't haves about our lives, too, but the great new is this: In spite of our past, he will use you and me when each of us turns back to Him!" (Mary Englund Murphey)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Got Love Handles? Get this book:)

This is the kind of email I love to receive: "Your story has made it to the final selection round for Not Your Mother’s Book . . . On Being a Woman. The book is slated for release on Tuesday, October 9, 2012."

A lot of you don't know that I write humor because most of my life story has been pretty painful, with a lot of ups and downs. But the Lord has been so good to me, and if you were to spend time with me, a lot of people say I make them laugh. "Got Love Handles?' is the title and the neat thing about this story and the publication of it, is that I didn't approve the edits that didn't fit in with my voice or ethics and I found favor with the publisher advocating for me. We were able to agree on the final edit rather than me withdraw the story. I found it a pleasure to work with Dahlynn McKowen, the CEO and Publisher. Of course I know that my true favor came from the Lord and although my first thought was to withdraw the story, I felt that He prodded me on. When I wrote this email back to Dahlyne about the story changes, "I would so love to be in your compilation but also have to be true to myself as far as my voice and if you knew me you would know that I am very much a “PG rated” Southern, sister among you. But I realize this market is NYMB so if I could have a few days to work on it and get back to you, I would appreciate it," they were very receptive.

They describe the books as "edgy, hip, different, modern," but there will be at least one story in that will be "G" rated or PG at the most:) That would be mine. I hope I make you smile.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A devo for Mothers of Addicts

Today I was praying, thinking wondering if there is anything I can post to help someone. I had started a book, sent a proposal, got no answer, so I may share some of it here. It was a devotional for Mothers of Addicts.
Help, Lord, My Child is an Addict!
Read Psalm 27:1-6
“Help, Lord! My child is an addict! I can’t bear this!” What painful words and the road to that realization may have been long and hard. You feel like you can’t go on. Is there hope for you and your family?
Is there a source of strength to help you make it through another day, hour or even moment of the types of circumstances you never dreamed of encountering in your life?

Perhaps you were brought up reading fairy tales that end with “and they lived happily ever after?” and most of the Christian books end with a happy ending, and yet your life seems full of pain? The pain that you can literally feel, the pain of hurting for your child.
Where is the comfort for you, a child of God? You may be brokenhearted and wonder what happened to the hopes and dreams you had about your son or daughter?

For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience. (Jeremiah 29:11 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Can you live to have hope again even if your circumstances don’t change immediately? Yes, you can. I know; I was there in your shoes for over 25 years and addiction still follows our family. Where did I find strength and hope? I found it in the word of God, which is a daily encouragement and through prayer and you can, too. Find a personal word to hold onto. Go back to it each day. Study it, meditate on it and let it lift your spirits. There is Hope. Let us pray.

Father God, please give hope and help for the journey no matter how long it may take. Take care of my adult child and help me to let go and let You bring the healing that is needed. I realize that You, Lord, love my child even more than I do and even though our lives are complicated I lay these things at Your feet right now, I ask for Your mercy for my whole family and for each one reading this prayer right now. You, Lord, know the full situation, the pain, the enabling and the pain when we want to help, but know we must withdraw and pray the prayer of release that their bottom come soon and even horrible if that is what it takes.

After praying this prayer, just take a deep breath, do the next best thing, smile, as best as you can remembering you are not alone but in a mighty army of mothers, envision the Lord holding your child in His loving arms. Release, Peace, Serenity will come as we say the name of Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

Then I suggest that you share your problems with at least one person who will commit to pray with you and for you and your adult child.

Donna Collins Tinsley subject "A sister among you blog" if writing

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Project Surrender is not an Elvis song:)

Project surrender had a great start today as six of us gathered to hear Jed Lindstrom's vision concerning what it means to do street ministry and going out in power and strength of the Holy Spirit. It involves surrendering our wills, our plans, our agendas, our pride and even our time as a sacrifice to serve those in our community.

A definition of surrender means "to relinquish possession or control to another, to submit to the power, authority, and control of another." If we have given our lives over to the Lord there can be degrees of surrender, first as we accept Him, then as we yield more fully to that love and touch of the Father's hand.
We are very blessed to have someone with the gifts and the joy that Jed has to lead us on in this Project Surrender. Maybe you don't know if this is for you? I didn't really myself, but I know that the Lord has shown Jed that there will be offsprings of ministry as well as impartations, healings and many coming to the Lord through what may have seemed like small beginnings. I hope to be a part of that and hope that you may want to be a part also. Some of us will be behind the scenes praying, some will be more bold and step out to tell their story.
Two scriptures about small beginnings are:
"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin..."(NLT Zechariah 4:10) and Job 8:7 ESV says "And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great." A key verse that Jed used was Rev. 12:11 which says "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony." That verse has always been a favorite of mine.
You may not feel gifted, wise or outgoing enough but the Lord also says that God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong. So if you choose to surrender to this call you will be equipped by Jesus.

May the Lord continue to bless Project Surrender every day in every way and may the Spirit be bold among us, shining forth to our community.

Contact Jed at if you are interested in joining us:)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Earlyne Lund of WAPN has gone to Glory!

The memorial service for Earlyne Lund of WAPN was just a beautiful as she was and very fitting to such a woman. Truly a Mother and Mentor in the Body of Christ, there was not a dry eye in the building. I know her family was blessed and the many pastors and people in the community, as well as her own daughters that spoke gave such a wonderful overview of her very essence. It made me and so many others think, "If I could only be half the Christian that she was, I would be happy." Of course we all can only be the very best "Me" and that was what Earlyne was, the very best Earlyne. She was such an example and inspiration of what the Lord planned when he created her. In an ungodly world she stood out; you could really see Christ in her even before she spoke. You knew she believed and lived her faith. Oh, the stories about her were so interesting and showed a picture of "The Total Woman of God."
I know each family member knows how blessed they are to be from that bloodline, but if you need a reminder of your legacy, you can just look all around you. Hang on to those precious memories, that will help you when the numbness of losing her wears off. She not only is dancing with the stares she is dancing before the One who flung them into the sky. What a glorious sight that must be!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Does Suicide have a Face in your Family?

  • As the Lord reminded me of many scriptures today concerning hope and help for family members and online friends that I have come to adore, I wept amazed at His goodness and care.

    This first scripture the Lord gave me concerning a mother among us who lost a daughter through suicide; she is celebrating her first birthday in heaven. Liana will be forever 21:
    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

    This mother is using her pain to try to get the word out concerning bullying and that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. It is very permanent to grieving families left behind. There are many grieving among us because of losing children from substance abuse also. For those, too, we pray and commend these verses to you:)

    These next verses I had marked from long ago, concerning family. The first is a verse that is quoted often but there is more to glean as you read on: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.Jeremiah 29:11-13

    Our loved ones can sometimes be carried captive by many things of this world but the Lord knows how and when to bring them back to their senses. Seeking and calling with all of their hearts, is the first step, but extra prayers from others may help them to do that. Sometimes it has gotten so bad, they just can't seek on their own, and for that the Lord seeks intercessors.
    I ask that you each join me today in an unspoken prayer burden (I will join with you in yours, also, we all have those things too emotional to put in writing) for someone that I love and am very concerned about.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You don’t know the cost of the oil in my alabaster box

My friend on Facebook, Sharron Knight Cosby wrote a beautiful post called, The Alabaster Box. (
The oil in our alabaster box is costly to us and to the Lord. It was no small sacrifice for Him to leave the beauty and majesty of heaven for us. The only thing He asks from us is praise and worship, even in the hard and sometimes dry times. Oh, can we praise Him in the pain of Life? Can we say as He said in the garden, not My will by Yours, Lord? Can we have renewed hope as our alabaster box is broken and shattered that the oil of love and forgiveness might be poured out upon those who hurt us? He sees each tear, He knows each heartache, He is our only comforter and Healer. Love him people, with pure love. Adore His Holy Spirit and let us walk towards His plan. We have to yield when we don't understand His ways that it will all work out in the end and there is enough love to go around, when it is His love. Lord, we release whatever we are holding on to that is not Your will for us; asking that You will make us reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
This is one of my favorite lines from the song, and it is true that no one knows exactly what is in our hearts but the Lord. We all have her stories and they all are legitimate, The truth is the Lord is the only one who can truly validate and help heal what we feel inside, the things we are going through.
 “You weren’t there the night He found me. You did not feel what I felt when he wrapped his love all around me, and you don’t know the cost of the oil in my alabaster box.”

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
(Although known most widely in its abbreviated form above,
the entire prayer reads as follows...)

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen. Reinhold Niebuhr

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ann Voscamp says, “God reveals himself in rearview mirrors.”

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy Thursday! Getting Through the Days

In the mornings I end my daily devotional time with reading first, "Let nothing disturb thee, nothing affright thee; all things are passing; God never changeth.(St. Teresa of Avila) and then especially, now, O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You ending with this prayer. Just in case y'all wondered how I make it through the day and want to join me in these readings:)
Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Come, Holy Spirit,
and send out a ray
of your heavenly light.

Come, father of the poor,
Come, giver of gifts,
Come, light of our hearts.

Come, kindly comforter,
Sweet guest of our soul
And sweet freshness.

Rest in hardship,
Moderation in the heat,
Relief in pain!

O most blessed light,
fill the innermost hearts
of those who believe in you.
Without your divine power
There is nothing in man,
Nothing that is harmless.

Wash what is unclean,
Water what is arid,
Heal what is wounded.
Bend what is stiff,
Warm what is cold,
Guide what has gone astray.

Give to those who believe in you
and trust in you
Your seven sacred gifts.
 Give the reward of virtue,
Give the end of salvation,
Give lasting happiness!


 A  Thirteenth century prayer by Stephen Langton