Thursday, May 25, 2017

WHAT HOPE REMEMBERS will not be soon forgotten.

WHAT HOPE REMEMBERS is the third book in the Misty Willow book series and the first book that I’ve read by Johnnie Alexander. I became an instant fan and can’t wait to get the other books she has written.  I didn’t realize that Johnnie was a romance writer but this book is also very suspenseful. I was not sure she would be able to bring things to a conclusion as I got closer to the end but was very pleasantly surprised.

The characters in the novel were believable and drew me into the story, especially Tess, a woman who owned Whisper Lane Stables and had a heart of gold, especially towards her nephew, Gabe.

There were some magical moments as Gabe, a discouraged former Marine, and Amy, a high powered former lobbyist, renewed their friendship. She was a young woman who had battled an eating disorder which is a subject that isn’t always covered in novels. What Hope Remembers gave  hope to families that  healing can occur. There were details about the pain, the hunger and trauma for those with the disorder that showed that Johnnie did her research in a lot of areas to write this book.

As this couple tried to make their way back to each other things were very complicated; the scripture verse included at the beginning of the book was perfect.  For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15 (NKJV)

Thanks to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Praying for Manchester, England

Sometimes the name of Jesus is all we have strength to pray. And in those cases, it is enough. I think that as I found out about the tragedy in Manchester, England.  Please pray for these families, unknown to me, but known to the Father. Jesus, please send strong comfort to the parents, the grandparents and all who loved those who perished. Only You can come in at a time such as this with peace. I think of all the people that I know who have empty arms and I pray, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. I say Jesus, lover of their souls, bind their wounds and make them whole.

 I am putting lyrics and my responses to a song but for our song of the day, Only Jesus:
My comments in parenthesis.

 "O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

O love that will not let me go… (Thank You Jesus this is true) 

 I rest my weary soul in Thee… (We need Your rest desperately)

 I give Thee back the life I owe… (We am Yours)

 That in thine ocean depths its flow… (Don't let us drown in the ocean of tears)

 My richer, fuller be… (Yes!)

O Light that followest all my way… (Show us the bright light of Your Spirit)

 I yield my flickering torch to Thee… (Don’t let the cares of the world destroy our light)

 My heart restores its borrowed ray… (Let us reflect You)

 That in thy sunshines glow its day… (You are our bright light)

 May brighter, fairer be… (Shine, Jesus, shine)

O Joy you seek me through the pain… (Emotional pain seems constant for many)

 I cannot close my heart to thee …(Where could we go but to the Lord?)

 I trace the rainbow through the rain… (It is faint, but it is there)

 And feel the promise is not vain… (Thank You for Your promises)

 That morn shall tearless be… (A warrior's shout of praise shall come!)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Musings Revisited, It's not Hallmark, but it is what it is, for many

Mother's Day Musings Revisited: "The decision to have a child is to accept that your heart will forever walk outside of your body." Katherine Hadley

Sunday a day to praise the Lord. I was reminded by a devo written by Joyce Meyer that intercession is one of the best gifts that can be given to someone, when we intercede we are not thinking of ourselves but of others. I woke up with several special people on my heart; some in the hospital, some alone, some grieving a loss today. I prayed for them. Many will celebrate Mother's day, many will be unable to celebrate and for those we pray that the Lord will minister to them today. He is available 24/7.

Psalm 31:3-4 "For Thou art my rock and my fortress; for Thy name's sake Thou wilt lead me and guide me... Thou art my strength."

I gave myself a gift of rereading a Mother's Day poem along with my devotion time called Solo Dance. It is by my friend, and fellow word Weaver, Patricia Keough-Wilson. It is an awesome piece of work about something some of us know, called the mother/daughter dance.

I think it was Joyce Meyers who said, "When I knew better, I did better." I am grateful to the Lord that I have learned and am still learning how to parent in different ways than I did when I was a teenage mother. By God's grace and forgiveness I am a different woman than when I started out and He gets the credit for it. But if I could turn the clock back and do it over with no mistakes or pain to loved ones, you can bet I would. I would love to be able to have a do-over in the mothering department. There is a quote in the book, "Her Daughter's Dream" by Francine Rivers that sums up, I think, how many mothers feel. "I love every one of my children and I did the best I knew in raising them. I just wasn't always the mother they wanted."

We claim Romans 8:28 and know that God will use the pain and upheavals of life to bring about the destiny of our children. As mothers it is hard to watch and at  times and even harder to endure when we want to jump in and take that pain for them. But we must leave our children, grandchildren and problems in the hands of the One who created them for His purpose and glory.

He will bring to life that which was dead and barren. Only the Lord can mend the broken, take pieces of clay and make beautiful vessels of His glory. Sometimes life seems more than we can endure, but we must press on, for His glory and purpose.

"Now therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning (my paraphrase) your family: "Behold, I will gather them out of all the lands to which I have driven them in My anger, in My wrath and in great indignation; and I will bring them back to this place and make them dwell in safety. "They shall be My people, and I will be their God; and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me. "I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul. Jeremiah 32:17, 36-41 Amp.

“All your children will be taught by the Lord. And they will have much peace”

(Isaiah 54:13, International Children’s Bible)

An interesting bit of Mother's Day trivia:

Anna Jarvis, the woman whose efforts resulted in Mother's Day becoming a national holiday in 1914, filed a lawsuit to stop a Mother's Day festival in 1923 because she was so troubled that the day had become commercialized. "I wanted it to be a day of sentiment, not profit," she protested. The commercialization so disturbed her that she said she was sorry she had worked to establish the holiday, and she spent all of her inheritance trying to return Mother's Day to the simple, loving time she had intended.

I can understand her becoming disheartened. May the Lord bring back the simplicity of just spending time together or thinking about happy memories of previous days, for those who are sad.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Jed’s story, my newest book review: "Break Out: A Criminal's Journey to Eternal Freedom" Revised and Expanded Edition

"Break Out: A Criminal's Journey to Eternal Freedom" Revised and Expanded Edition

 I love how the story ends in "Break Out: A Criminal's Journey to Eternal Freedom" Revised and Expanded Edition, by Jed G. Lindstrom. The new version expands on the original writing done by Jed and Larry J Leech II. But really this story is just beginning as there are great things on the horizon for Jed and his family.

 Someone once said to me when I told them about Jed and Lets Go Ministry, “His story is just like the story of hundreds of addicts.” I didn’t have a good answer for them then, but now after reading the book, I do. I say Jed and the power of the Holy Spirit working in his life makes his story shine. And isn’t that what this world with the darkness and pain that is all around us needs? A shining light to help lead us?

Another person that met Jed said “I knew I wanted to get to know this man because something was shining from him.” I recently learned that when he first came into our town he made sandwiches and gave them out to the poor. To me, that is a beautiful act of worship to the Lord, as in Matthew 25:40: “And the King will answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” I was familiar with some of Jed's story before I read the book, having walked the streets of Daytona with him when his ministry sponsored Motel Church a few years ago. Jed always has creative ways to spread the gospel and to reach out to those that other people might bypass.

There’s a reason that everyone that meets him wants to book him to speak. Larry J Leech II has beautifully crafted this story in his own unique and awesome way.

You’ll meet Jed through the words of this book and find out that his whole family shines! The pictures were an added bonus to getting to know this family. I especially loved the addition of how the Lord brought Jed and Erica together. There’s a lot more content and some beautiful pictures in this book. Jed started a support group meeting in the Daytona Beach area called Break Out and it has helped many people start or stay on a recovery walk.

Jed is a man who gives honor to a praying mom and this was one of my favorite paragraphs:

“I’m so thankful that I had a praying mom who would not let me go. Between the abuse I subjected my body to and dangerous situations I put myself in, I easily could have died out there. The power of God is real and active. If you are crying out to God for an addicted loved one right now and are growing weary, don’t give up! They desperately need your prayers for divine protection and for the Lord to awaken them to His call and vision for their life.”( Jed page 54)

I so related to Jed’s miracle of a reunion in chapter titled, “RESTORATION”. I’m very proud of his stand with this situation and Erica, his wife, is one of the most supportive women I’ve ever met.

This book is easy to read, keeps your attention and will be a blessing to many families. Jed writes out some helpful scriptures and The “Seven Basic Steps to Follow Jesus” at the end will help those who are struggling. Read this book then pass it along. That’s what I’m doing!
Donna Collins Tinsley




Thursday, May 4, 2017




 I attended a conflict resolutions seminar recently. It made me want to say, "Get with the program" to my family. Then I wondered where that phrase came from? Is it Al-Anon specific?  I'm pretty sure I heard my mom say it here and there throughout her life so that phrase has been around awhile.

The main meaning seems to be, follow the rules; do what you are supposed to do. That also clearly implies that there is a known method or "program" to follow; we might say to someone, “Come on, honey. Get with the program. Do what you are told.”

Or McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs gives the example, “Jane just can't seem to get with the program. She has to do everything her way, right or wrong.”*

If I ask someone to get with the program I may want them to make more effort to do what is needed or to accept new ideas.  In Word Weavers the program is to follow the manual or the example of Word Weavers International in the way they conduct their meetings.

For those who are affected by addictions in their family’s lives they may want their loved one to go to a meeting where there is “program or 12-step talk.” There are books about certain programs for recovery issues and yet everyone may have their own opinion about them. One slogan I love in Al-Anon is, “Take What You Like and Leave the Rest.” That has helped me tremendously when the stress of life has kept me from doing the complete program.

I’ve perhaps made my own program at times which consists of, on Thursdays, taking some time to encourage others in prayer for those in recovery, hitting a meeting and then rewarding myself with a Chick-Fila Milkshake. Here is an example of a Thursday post for my blog:

The Ways of the Lord Towards Us

Are Good!

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting;

and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100:5

It's Thursday and today as I think about those who are in recovery, I also am praying for those who are grieving, those who are sick and people in need of a Healer. For those who want to give up, those who are afraid their children will die of an overdose on the streets, and those who are afraid their loved one will just decide to end it all, I pray, also.

I pray because that is really all I can do. I yield to Him, although sometimes I want to try to fix someone; sometimes, so very many times, I may even want to shake someone and say, “Get with the program!”  Instead, I yield to the Lord, because letting go and letting God is the only reasonable thing that I can do. It keeps me sane in an insane world.

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) and gone astray because He is the mighty Shepherd who searches for the lost one. His ways are good in our 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
anyone but His ways are good and He can. HE IS THE PROGRAM!

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! The goodness of the Lord lives forever. Let Jesus be your program for today.

What to do for yourself:  Focus on your blessings as you take long, deep, cleansing breaths. When stressed throughout the day remember to breathe deeply.

Thought: Sometimes we just need to say a prayer to get our minds in a better place. Focus on the Lord’s goodness in your life even if addiction has flavored it. The Lord is good even when _____________ because_________.

Donna Collins Tinsley

Praying every day in every way for you and your loved ones at Somebody’s Daughter Online Prayer Support Group:


*McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.