Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Reading Between the Lines

Thank you, Eddie Jones and Christian Devotions for posting me today on Amber's birthday!

I edited an old devo to make it more like I was talking to someone:


Hope y'all like it! Praying every day in every way:)

If you don't feel like clicking the link, here it is:

I wept as I read the words on the closed Facebook page. I felt like they were so searing hot that if they were etched on paper it would be scorched. The mom wrote about soul torture, family chaos, and hopelessness over the way her children have turned out. The thief of addiction had ripped another family to shreds, and I could relate. I had walked in her shoes for way too many years. To say our children had gone astray was an understatement.
Moms who read this, I write to you. I write to the storm-tossed one who cannot sleep because of worry about the son or daughter on the streets. I know tears soak your pillow. You’re devastated by the abuse your child has done to themselves through addiction. You want to die.
I write to you as you pray they will call, yet at the same time you dread the next phone call. One mother cries, “Oh no, he’s in jail.” Another says, “I wish my child were in jail. At least I’d know where he was.” Stories are similar with one common thread—the mother’s love. The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy, and it hurts to be in the midst of his attacks.
Mom, I write to you so you will know you’re not alone in your pain and sorrow. Although the thief of addiction has killed your hopes, stolen your child, and destroyed your dreams, hang on to the last part of this verse: I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
Lord, I ask that You help us read between the lines of the words from hurting mothers and reach out to them in a comforting way. My child’s life changed just when I was about to give up.
Hold on to the hope that can be yours through Christ.

Donna Collins Tinsley

Saturday, April 25, 2015

What if we lived as if Romans 8:28 were true?

Sometimes in conversations we hear these words:

What if?...
I regret...
If only...
Life as we know it can be full of regrets and pain.
"What if someone had reached out to me as they did to her?" one says.
"I regret that I wasn't what you needed me to be," says another.
"If only I'd had more resources at that time of my life," is a common saying. Or if only I had a better mother or another father, or a car or a college fund, or someone would leave me a house or an inheritance.
"I'm too young to live with this kind of physical pain!"
"Wow! that woman has never gone through half the pain that I have and look at her whine."

What if...
I regret...
If only...
What if Jesus arrives with comfort that only He can bring?
What if He turns our regrets into healing for another person?
If only.... we truly learn acceptance is a path to a fuller, more grateful life and look for that Romans 28 moment when He turns all things into good for us who love Him.
These three scriptures are awesome to me: "For I," says the Lord, "will be to her a wall of fire round about, and I will be the glory in the midst of her." Zechariah 2:5  I am adding this to my life-verses, the first being Romans 8:28. And of course my new favorite: “He won't brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won't disregard the small and insignificant, but he'll steadily and firmly set things right.” Isaiah 42:3 The Message
I discovered this song this week and love the lyrics.
A song for your heart by Andrew Peterson
When I look at you,
I can see the road that lies ahead
I can see the love and the sorrow

Bright fields of joy
Dark nights awake in a stormy bed
I want to go with you, but I can’t follow

So keep to the old roads
Keep to the old roads
And you’ll find your way

Your first kiss, your first crush
The first time you know you’re not enough
The first time there’s no one there to hold you

The first time you pack it all up
And drive alone across America
Please remember the words that I told you

Keep to the old roads
Keep to the old roads
And you’ll find your way
You’ll find your way

If love is what you’re looking for
The old roads lead to an open door
And you’ll find your way
You’ll find your way
Back home

And I know you'll be scared when you take up that cross
And I know it'll hurt, 'cause I know what it costs
And I love you so much and it's so hard to watch
But you're gonna grow up and you're gonna get lost
Just go back, go back

Go back, go back to the ancient paths
Lash your heart to the ancient mast
And hold on,  whatever you do
To the hope that's taken hold of you
And you'll find your way
You'll find your way
If love is what you’re looking for
The old roads lead to an open door
And you’ll find your way
You’ll find your way
Back home 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fast Freddie is a Winner

Fast Freddie by Lee Ann Mancini is a delightful book with wonderful illustrations that will appeal to the pre-K to first grade age child.
In this day and age that we live in, we need good reading material that gives life lessons to our children and grandchildren. This book teaches compassion when we encounter those who might look different or be different. It is true and sadly so, that children can be cruel to their classmates. But as the Fast Freddie  book so beautifully shows they can change their minds and be encouraging to the one that is different. They may find out that they may have things in common.
Part of the proceeds of this book goes to charities that minister to the needs of children. I like that. The author and illustrator are both very well qualified and did a wonderful collaboration.
The last page was my favorite with the encouragement to say your prayers and also the little game that will cause the reader to go back through the book for something that I entirely missed first reading.
I give Fast Freddie five stars.
I received a Review Copy from the publisher through BookCrash. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Anniversary of the Boston Marathon Tragedy

Dates of Pain
On the Anniversary of the Boston Marathon Tragedy

Dates stand out in our minds sometimes. We remember birth dates, anniversaries and events that make us happy. But some dates will forever be ingrained into our hearts of life-changing events. There may be calendar dates that started out happy and joyful and in the matter of moments turned into dates of pain.

For many who attended and those who ran the Boston marathon in 2013, April 15th will stand out as a tragic date. From the normal sounds of a happy crowd of people to something that sounded like a war zone this date will be seared in the minds of so many people in our nation.

It is said that two pressure cooker bombs exploded at 2:49 pm and killed three people and injured hundreds. It is sad to think that two brothers would contrive to bring harm to so many. It makes you wonder what was going on in their heads, what their background was, what belief systems were in place that they would want to hurt people?

Yet the Bible tells us, “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. (Jeremiah 17:9 MSG)

We can’t figure out in our own minds why bad things happen. We can’t figure out why God allows people to be hurt and killed and why families have to suffer as happened at the Boston Marathon that year. This is a puzzle beyond comprehension.

We know that He does promise to work all things for our good, though, and we lean on this promise. We have to realize that the Lord can always bring light out of the darkness of a heart that is deceitful and gone astray.

Americans are a resilient people; just Google “happy outcomes of the Boston Marathon tragedy 2013” and you will agree with me. From moms saying they will run again to the story of a proposal at the finish line, we can find hope. You will find poignant pictures also there.

On this sad anniversary date let us remember to pray for the families of those who have passed from this life to their reward early and also for those who are survivors. Pray, pray and pray some more that the date of running the Boston Marathon race can become a happy date again.

Donna Collins Tinsley, wife, mother and grandmother, lives in Port Orange, Florida and has been included in several magazines and book compilations. She is a member of Coastland Agape and Word Weavers International. You can email her at thornrose7@aol.com. Please sign up to follow her blog A Sister Among You at http://thornrose7.blogspot.com/ or join Somebody’s Mother Online Prayer Support Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/119408188089314/

Thursday, April 2, 2015

From The Dance to The Legacy, it doesn't get better than this!

I have always said that Dan Walsh really knows how to end a book and in this case a series of books. He and Gary Smalley still make me wish that they would continue this series as the characters are so compelling. I was gripped and became a fan from the very first book and actually feel that The Legacy is a book that I can give to the younger generation as a stand-alone book; a book most college age people can really relate to. Using examples of social media that is so popular among the young was something new for this series but it fit real well.

I really had no idea where they would go with a book whose main character was Doug as he seemed to be a minor character in the previous books.  I was very satisfied with exploring his journey and also Christina's. The side stories and the drama was all very emotional and kept me reading when I didn't even have time to read. But that is always the case with the books in this series.

From the back cover:
One young man is about to discover the true cost of independence!"For years, Doug Anderson has been drifting slowly but steadily away from both his family and his faith. His parents have been trying to reach him before he falls too far."

This scenario is happening to families every day and many parents are finding support groups and their small group studies at church as a way to cope.

I would've liked for Uncle Henry's character to be in the book more, as he reminds me of a wonderful dad, the kind I wish I had growing up. His advice to the family to basically "let go and let God," isn't always easy to do but wins in the end. Uncle Henry in my mind is Gary Smalley and as always Dan's interview at the end of the book with Gary gives a lot of wisdom. I've always bought some of Gary's nonfiction books as companions to this series and have really learned a lot.

I was given a copy of this novel by Dan Walsh and also a complimentary copy of the book through Revell as I am on their book review team. In return I was delighted to give an honest review of the book.

I give The Legacy five stars and hope that this isn't the end of a beautiful partnership between two gifted and compelling writers.