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)