Barbara Timm & Tip O'Neil
As far as this web site is concerned, using the term "About US" might seem deceiving to some people when they find out that there is really only one flesh and blood person at the desk.
If you came to my house, you would find that "us" is me and my faithful, person-sitting cat, Tip O'Neil. She is a beautiful blue-gray short hair with a more-than-occasional attitude problem. Despite her attitudes, when I am not feeling well she sticks right with me and has all kinds of tricks to help me feel better.
I named her Tip because the last inch of her tail is pure white. She can't even hide in a tree because of it! She often naps beside the computer while I'm working, but she has done a little writing, most of it unintelligible. She does a much better job at playing the piano.
One of my children once said, "You love that cat better than us!" No, not better, but close. There's Jesus, then my children, then my cat.
~ Quiet Place Ministries ~
My prison ministry started unofficially when I began writing to an aquaintance imprisoned in Georgia. He passed my name on to friends and they passed my name to other friends. Soon I was writing to eleven men at that prison.
In September, 1999, I was ordained by Bishop George Kneessi of Blessed Hope Ministries in Iron Station, NC. My assignment was as pastor to the Blessed Hope Prison Ministries which serves five prisons in Maryland.
Next, I was given the name of a friend's brother imprisoned in Georgia and begun writing him. Until the fall of 2000, I was writing to 58 inmates in seven prisons in two states. Unfortunately, the bipolar disorder became so severe that I could no longer keep up with my letter-writing.
I am not registered as a ministry. I just try to do what I can. One of the prisoners, Gregory, has remained so faithful to me, ministering to me when I cannot minister to him. I am in the process of updating his newsletters now. There are many opportunities to minister to troubled people on the internet and I try to help when I can. And the folks at the local nursing home are always in need of little gifts to make their lives prettier and more comfortable. They really like the cookies my daughter and I make at Christmas time!
~ Salvation Story ~
I am a 59 year old mother of six, grandmother of ten and great-grandmother of two. I enjoy crocheting, counted cross-stitch and sewing. When the younger set says, "Rock on for Jesus," I'll be right with them - rocking in my rocking chair! I'm a great-granny who loves Jesus!
In 1995, I became sick to the point that I had to retire early from my much-loved job as a band director in Kentucky public school system. I was despondent over having to leave my work, and I couldn't understand how God could let that happen to me. I didn't know He had other work for me to do.
Then in 1997, I visited my mother in Minnesota. While I was there, my sister Natalie invited me and my friend Judy to a revival. Doug Stanton from Australia was the evangelist. It was held in a church building whose members had united in prayer for revival and, as a result, the revival had gone on many months. It was quite an experience for me, with everyone standing up for a long time to sing unfamiliar songs and to raise up their hands and all that kind of thing.
Now, I was brought up in form and function, and this bunch didn't even have church bulletins to hand out! But visiting my children's church in Georgia had introduced me to the new praise and worship services. Oh, not that I really agreed with all that raising up your hands and stuff, but I had seen the look on my daughter's face while she was worshiping and I knew it was real. Nothing that any human could have provided for her could have given her that look of pure peace.
So, at least I stood and tried to lift one hand up with my elbow glued securely to my side. Needless to say, I was very uncomfortable! Then they sang a slow, quiet song. I can't remember what it was. I don't have the slightest idea, although at the time I wanted to remember it forever. But, that song touched me in the deepest part of my being. I was reduced to uncontrollable tears. I sat down, snuffling and sniffling and snotting in a very undignified manner. I scrambled through my purse trying to find a tissue. Who would have thought I would have needed a tissue when going to church! I sure couldn't walk to the restroom, though. Others would see my tears and I couldn't let that happen!
Sadly, the beautiful singing ended, but not until after people all over the building had sung out their own personal expressions of praise. It ebbed and flowed over the heads of the congregation like a lovely river of worship to God.
Then came the message. Uhhhh! Right in my stomach! Right in my heart! Right in my bones! It was about knowing God as Father. Now, listen, I was baptized at the age of ten and I always attended church twice on Sunday and once in a while on Wednesday and I had spent my whole adult life serving as a pianist and organist. But knowing God as Father? Please! I had enough encounters with father-figures in my life and I sure didn't need any more. I had been deserted by my biological father before I was born, molested by the baby-sitter's husband at the age of five, suffered the indignities of acquiring an alcoholic stepfather when I was 15, and married to a, well - that's a "whole 'nuther story." So, God could stay in His heaven as far as I was concerned and I would keep playing the piano for church and I hope that satisfied Him and He would leave me alone.
Well, He didn't leave me alone. He wanted me for His child. I needed Him for my Father. He wanted me ~ to guide me and help me and love me and fight for me. I needed Him for my husband.
Near the end of the service, Doug came to me and told me he wanted to pray for me. That sounded good. We all need all the prayers we can get. He told me he had seen the Holy Spirit all over me during the whole service. Well, that was interesting. He told me I would have a great ministry. (What? What's that you're saying? I don't think I want to hear this!) I tried to sit back down, but my feet were nailed to the floor. I was crying again, standing up in front of all those people crying like a baby. He told me to give it up. My legs turned to jello and I slithered to the floor.
Power of suggestion? I don't think so. I was changed. I was radically and totally changed. I lay there heedless of the others around me. I felt peace, such sweet peace. I felt new.
I never touched another cigarette. I couldn't stand to hear the Lord's name taken in vain, much less say it in vain. All of a sudden I felt this deep love for everyone. It didn't matter if I knew them or not. I loved them with "agape" love. I was starved for the Word. I wanted to read it, hear it, wallow in it! I couldn't stand listening to secular radio stations any more. My heart was circumcised. I was changed for eternity!
After I came to know God for real, after a lifetime of thinking that I was a good Christian, I was suddenly starved for the Word. I remember being horribly saddened when I finished reading the New Testament, because I felt it would never again be like the first time. Well, it wasn't the same ever again: it was BETTER every time I re-read a section. My minister told me that the Bible is different than any other book, because it is the LIVING WORD OF GOD.
Soon, I felt directed to write pamphlets which would help bring the lost to know Jesus. I had no idea who would read these pamphlets, but I felt a compelling, burning desire to write them and other papers, as well. I am convinced that I was guided by the Holy Spirit of God. I gave them to anyone who would take them! They are now included on this web site. When I look at them, I don't feel a sense of authorship as I do when I write a poem or an instrumental piece. Indeed, I'm rather surprised that I had anything at all to do with them!
I do hope that these writings will find their way into your life and into your needs. If you do not already know Jesus as your Savior, God as your Father, and the Holy Spirit as your helper, I pray that the words in these writings may help bring you to your own salvation.
Don't ever worry that you will miss your old life by giving yourself over to God's Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ, His Son. You won't. Don't wait! There IS a hell to shun and a heaven to gain. Just "give it up!" Give up your stubborn will and your pride and your gods of the world and your wrong ideas and your religious practices. Give them to Jesus. Let Him have His way with you. You'll never regret this decision.
Contact me at: BarbaraTimm@aol.com
Double Background courtesy of The Background Boutique.