Friday, June 28, 2013

Ready to be the Word of Healing to Someone?

Have you ever felt like you wanted to feel more "power" when you prayed? Have you ever wanted to be the one to have the healing touch that transforms the blind, lame or afflicted? Once when I prayed for a homeless person, the next time I saw him he said he had felt heat come through my prayer or touch. It seemed to have made a profound memory for him, but I didn't feel anything like that myself. I have always wanted to, though. I know when the lady healed by touching Jesus' garment reached out it is said that He felt virtue go forth from Him and healing power. "But Jesus said, "Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me." May I say to you reading this blog that many of you have touched me deeply with your heartbreaking stories. I only wish that I had the healing power to help each one of you. You do have my heartfelt prayers for mercy and relief and comfort from our Lord.
 
 Today I read in Job 29:15-17:
 "I was eyes to the blind,
And I was feet to the lame.
 I was a father to the poor,
And I searched out the case that I did not know.
 I broke the fangs of the wicked,
And plucked the victim from his teeth."
 
I wish my life had this impact that Job's had in his lifetime. No, I don't really want to attain to what is commonly called, "The sufferings of Job" although there have been many times that I have felt a kindred spirit with that suffering. The key verse that stood out to me, was "I broke the fangs of the wicked, And plucked the victim from his teeth." 
 
I am thinking about young people today and the trap that the enemy has put before so many, a subtle but evil trap of addiction. It may have started of legitimately with a prescription from a doctor, it may have started off by peer pressure and it may have seemed cool at the time. But they don't realize they are in the fangs of the enemy and it can be deadly. To a twenty-year-old life holds no fears, death is something far off. But it is true as said recently by my oldest daughter, that "Cemeteries are full of twenty-year-old people who thought they would not die." Facebook pages are filled with stories written by the still grieving parents of many of these young, seemingly invincible adult children who took one drug, one time too many.
My prayer today is that many will, through prayer, go into the enemy's camp and deliver those who are in the fangs of the wicked. Their very life may depend on it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Book Review challenging us to have the Courage to Change


Courage to Change (Grant Us Grace) (Volume 2) by Elizabeth Maddrey

I’m fast becoming a fan of Elizabeth Maddrey with her Grant Us Grace series.

I was surprised that the storyline centered on Allison but the transition from the first book was smooth and convincing.

I myself, wrestled with issue Phil was grappling with but since I had Biblical grounds for divorce the battle wasn’t as intense for me.

I feel like this series of books should be in each Crisis Pregnancy Center library as it is so informative about the help that is offered to women in a crisis pregnancy. The book examines all the pros and cons of adoption.

The element of suspense woven throughout the story concerning Phil’s ex-wife came to a dramatic conclusion at the end of the book. I was glad closure was found.

There were some sad and poignant parts as the characters portrayed life among real families. Families who sometimes want to control adult children and the painful interactions between parents and children. It also shows some of the prejudices that are prevalent even among church-going Christians.

There are very good resources listed at the back of the book as well as discussion questions for Book Clubs.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series and would recommend this book to friends.

Donna Collins Tinsley

*I received this book from BookCrash and the publisher in exchange for my honest and fair review.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Father Hunger


“Father Hunger” hit me hard again at the small group meeting concerning the book, The Dance by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley. Sometimes I can go months or even years without the deep, soul-wrenching father hunger and then something will strike my heart. Maybe just hearing about someone who just laid upon his father’s chest as a child, remembering the feel of his scratchy beard, or a father admitting that he failed in the fathering department. Knowing he can’t go back and change the past concerning his lack in parenting, he decides instead to be the very best grandfather he can be.

My father’s name was William Donald Collins. I haven’t seen him since I was about eight years old. I often wonder why he didn’t stay in touch with me; I’m not sure if he and my mama ever lived together. He was in the Army or Air Force and we stayed with my grandmother, Mary Ethel White Wirth. I was born on May 19th, 1951 at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, TN. The reason I am putting full names here is, maybe someone from my paternal family might see this and want to connect.

My mother’s name was Linda Lee Wirth Collins Reece Lewis; wow, that is a lot but most people knew her as Linda Reece in Florida, Linda Wirth in Chattanooga Valley. Everyone loved her hearty laugh and giving ways. Because she was so young, I think at times she nearly felt like I was her sister, and sometimes even her mother. Yes, we were a wildly dysfunctional family but there was always laughter in the mix. She used to say, “You have to laugh to keep from crying.” I have to agree with that one, Mama.  I miss the laughter especially now that you are gone.

I think the hardest thing for me to accept in going back to the “father hunger” was why did my paternal grandparents not look me up? That is my biggest question. After living life with an abusive first stepfather who ended up in prison and then the next was one an alcoholic for most of his life, I think I gave up on fathers. What if I found my own father and he was as bad as the rest? Why bother?

But even so, one time someone said they thought my biological dad was staying at a hotel on the beach in Daytona and wouldn’t you know, I was there looking. I saw someone who from a distance looked like those old black and white, tattered pictures and went running him down until as I got closer and I knew it wasn’t him. That was one of the times that I managed to bring tears to the eyes of my husband, Bill, as he said it was so sad to see me running after a father who never showed up for me.

Good news is my stepfather, John Lewis, that was married to Mama when she passed away did get sober in his later years. He really mellowed out. And although I never really partook of the “father” gift of my father-in-law, Pete Del CeCato because of the scars of my past, I must say he was a good one.

 I didn’t really think about that until the recent day this past May, he lay in a hospital bed and was dying.  As I laid my hands on his precious head, releasing him to the Lord, I realized that indeed, the Lord did put a good father figure in my life. “O Lord, Pete never hurt me, he never hurt my daughters; he was a good father. I never realized what I had in him, and now  it is too late.”

Because I had put walls around my heart in the father department, I never really let him be a “dad” to me. But to the ones that allowed him to be their dad, Bill’s sisters and brother, and our wonderful Phyliss who was his only biological child, a great gift was given.

This year will be the first Father’s Day he will be celebrating in heaven with our heavenly Father. We know that although many of us did not have that true “father” experience while here on earth the time in eternity together with the One True Father, Who Never Disappoints, will be a dream come true. And there will be no more father hunger for any of us who have experienced that pain.

Donna Collins Tinsley 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Restore Them to You

An old poem revisited dedicated to all you prayer partners and mothers and dads who need encouragement today. I actually feel like this is a song, but so far, I don't have a tune:)

Restore Them to You

 

Somebody’s Mother is praying

Hoping, God is hearing

What’s she’s saying

She’s on her knees begging,

 “I believe You can restore, Lord,

And make them pure again.

 

My children have went astray

Lord, how can they

 Live that way?

Spurning the love You give?

As if You don't exist.

 

I gave them a vision of You

Not perfect, But I tried,

You well know

The stresses of life

Seemed to rip us apart

As my dreams fell through

I clung to You

But they turned

The other way.

 

Oh Lord, how can they live that way?

How can I live loving them the way I do?

Wanting them to

Be Serving You

God, when will You

Make my dreams come true?

 

I'll not give up talking to You

Pleading, if that’s what I have to do

My children are precious gems

Not given for destruction

But You made them for peace

Not for the world but the Kingdom

 

Restore them to You,

Restore them to You,

Do what You must do,

Restore them to You.

 

The world gives darkness for light

The world shows pain as pleasure

A distorted view of fun

Satan has begun

To deceive

The elect’s offspring.

 

But all my children

Will be taught of the Lord

And great will be the peace of my children

As they walk with You

As they are restored to You

 

And they will say, “My Lord and my God”

It was You all along,

You've restored my song,

I will dance for You,

I'm restored to You,

Eternity is mine

 

 You were there all the time

Couldn't get you out of my mind,

I'm restored to You at last

I no longer live in the past

Or for this dark world.

 

It was You all along,

You've restored my song,

I will dance for You,

I'm restored to You,

Eternity is mine.

 

Somebody’s Mother is praying

Knowing, God has heard

What’s she was saying

You've restored my song,

And my children, too

I will dance for You,

I'm restored to You,

Eternity is ours.

 

Donna Collins Tinsley