Vegas: Every Face a Soul

I just watched the slideshow of the faces of those killed in the mass shooting Sunday night in Vegas. It’s just more than you can handle emotionally to think of the young lives (almost all of them young) taken violently, senselessly in that horrible scene. It is WAY more than you can handle emotionally to think of the destination of many of those souls who were unprepared to leave this planet. This much we can rationally know: If one soul–the right soul– had been taught and had embraced, early on, the precepts of HIS gospel, these people would be home with their loved ones tonight. We cannot know the potential good that is done each time we share the Good News. We are debtors to Christ, but also to all potential victims of sin’s destruction, to share the gospel at every opportunity.

As I left Shreveport on Sunday afternoon, only two gates in that little regional airport, were full of people. I did not have a gate number on my boarding pass, so I walked up to the first gate and asked the attendant if this gate was for Atlanta. He said, “No, these folks are on the way to Vegas.” I looked around for a moment as I walked away. I actually looked into faces, thinking about how many of them were probably going to go and spend money, …money that people somewhere needed badly, in gambling casinos. I had seen, on my way to the airport that Shreveport is a gambling mecca. I wondered how many of them were addicted. Perhaps some in that large airport crowd were flying into Vegas to attend concerts…maybe even the concert or music festival that we all saw on Monday morning. It’s certain that almost everyone waiting to board that plane would soon wish they could be anywhere but Las Vegas. Every face at that crowded gate had/has a soul. I thought of that as I looked into their preoccupied eyes.  More correctly, though, every eternal soul has a passing face. It’s just that we don’t know the date of passage from mortality’s smiles and fun and plans and flights to eternity’s final destination. May I be more cognizant of life’s frailty, death’s certainty and eternity’s finality.

And may those who lost loved ones in the Vegas tragedy be led by his people who may know them to look to the Word and find the peace that passes understanding.

The Blood and Three 5:8s (Great Escapes M01E03)


Dig-A-Bit is a weekly mini Bible study with Cindy Colley. It supplements the Digging Deep Bible study for women. In this episode, Cindy discusses the blood and the three 5:8s in relation to Genesis 3. For more information about Digging Deep, visit TheColleyHouse.org.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES:

  • Genesis 3
  • 1 Peter 5:8
  • Romans 5:8
  • Hebrews 5:8

LINKS:

RESOURCES:

Digging Deep Audio – Great Escapes (Month 01)

Digging Deep in God’s Word is a Bible study for women with author and host, Cindy Colley. September is month 1 of the Great Escapes study. This month’s topic is Escape with the Blood. Click here to order or download a study guide.

LINKS:

RESOURCES:

  • The Colley House
  • Music: “Inspired Corporate” by Neozilla at audiojungle.net

Sister to Sister: High School Heroes

Things just aren’t like they used to be in reference to morality in our country today. Homosexual advocates have had a champion of their cause sitting in the Oval Office. The icons of our teen girls are a sad lot of extremely immodest, fornicating, pro-choice, feminist and/or vulgar-mouthed screen stars. Television sit-coms would have us believe that there’s a homosexual man or woman living in every third household in America and that conversation is incomplete and flavorless without cursing and taking God’s name in vain. We kill 1.2 million of our innocents every year and we have paid for many of  the murders with tax dollars. Our schools are battlefields in this culture war and, as a result, our kids are often safe from neither physical harm nor molestation of their values systems. Many public schools today, which have outlawed student-led prayer through Christ and/or prayer around the flagpole, grant excuses from classes at certain times of the day so that Muslim children can pray toward Mecca. More and more, children need the solidity and emotional safety of parents who can always be depended on for real answers to social issues, for values that are unchanging, and for the provision of a real home; a haven where they can count on being protected physically and emotionally, but most of all spiritually.

And our own “Christian” teens are living in this moral vacuum. More and more of our children raised in “Christian” homes are coming of age and leaving home without the moral underpinnings that they need to make wise choices. Many have already made serious mistakes before high school or even middle school graduation. Our kids are experimenting with pornography, alcohol, and sex of various kinds during high school. They have often been indiscriminate in their television and movie viewing. They have allowed their minds to become subtly controlled by the materialism of television and the movies while becoming anesthetized to blatant sin. They’ve slowly come to laugh at what should make them, as Christians, cry. They’ve incrementally given their real allegiance to the world while giving only a token Sunday/Wednesday nod to the things of God.

And then, with a little hope, thankfully, many find their way to the Christian university. At Freed Hardeman University, where my son and daughter have both attended, there are some amazing faculty members whose lives are wholly given to the Lord. There is a Bible faculty, on that campus which, in my opinion, is second to none in the world. And, many times, thank God, those students, who arrived as freshmen in a very weak spiritual condition, find themselves growing closer to God, wanting to know the freedom from guilt, and finding joy in heartfelt service to God. Sometimes these kids have the will to truly change during these college years and many of them will be faithful for the rest of their lives. Praise God.

But there is a sad phenomenon that sometimes occurs in this college scenario. Sometimes, those students who walked away from God during high school and became dangerously involved in alcohol abuse, sexual sin or pornography, etc., somehow feel that they have the spiritual edge over those kids who made the better choices in high school. You may be wondering, “Now where could she be going with this?” Let me explain.

More and more I am hearing college devo leaders say things like “If your life has never been totally messed up with sexual sin, then you can’t fully appreciate Christianity like I can.” Or, “I am not going to stand here and tell you that I have led a sexually pure life. You wouldn’t believe me if I did, since there probably aren’t two out of every ten people in this room who could say that. I’m going to tell you I’ve done about everything you’ve done, maybe as much as several of you put together and he still reached down for me.” Or, “I wouldn’t trade places with any of you out there who always walked the straight and narrow because I love the Jesus who came to the wide path and rescued me.” Or, “There may be those of you who think you made all the right choices through high school. You may have. But, if you did, I doubt you really know a lot about reaching the sinner with His forgiveness.”

What’s wrong with this sort of message in a devotional talk? Well, I can think of some definite dangers. First, let’s take this sort of teaching to its natural conclusion. If I can eventually put the greatest appreciation of the Savior in my kids by encouraging them to participate in sin, then shouldn’t I just provide the alcohol for their high school parties? Shouldn’t I encourage fornication and experimentation with homosexuality, porn, vulgarity and lewdness? Shouldn’t I get the raunchiest forms of satellite TV and download the most explicit computer images for them to view? Second, there are many lifelong consequences that come with various forms of sin (even forgiven sin). You can think of lots of these off the top of your head. With fornication comes the fear of STDs and/or the effect that this behavior has on your later marriage. With abortion comes the hauntings of guilt and the cry of the dead baby that you may hear for the rest of your life. With alcohol comes the possibility of alcoholism. With porn use comes the addiction you may have to fight till you die. The high school student who had the foresight, fortitude and faith to leave these sins alone should never be tauntingly stereotyped as the pharisaical, righteous one as I often hear in college circles. Third, It took a lot of courage and conviction to avoid the typical high school sins. It was not an accident that this purity of life was maintained. In fact, it was the same Christ who offered you His forgiveness that reigned in the heart of your friend there, as she worked so hard to never let King Jesus down. Did he ever need his forgiveness? Oh absolutely. Can she appreciate that forgiveness? Definitely. But he or she doesn’t have to walk away from the light to know the power of darkness. Fourth, we have to be really careful not to make a lifestyle of sin appealing to young people. Many—no, most young people who become enamored with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life during the very young teen years, do not emerge on the side of the Savior as adults. We are losing huge percentages of our kids as they experiment with the sins of the devil in high school. Parents and mentors who are really focused on eternity will do all that’s within their power to enable their kids to get in the safety of His will and to stay there every single day as they face the huge challenges of life in high school. Just one time, be on the receiving end of that phone call from a grief stricken parent informing you that a teen has been prematurely snatched from this life while under the influence of alcohol and you will desperately want your child to be among the number of “pharisaical” righteous ones on that college campus one day.

I understand that the one forgiven of much will love much (Luke 7:47). I know, from the life of Paul that the chief of sinners can be the most devoted to the cause (I Tim. 1:15). But there is a real sense in which each of is chief of sinners. There is a sense in which we all have obtained the ultimate forgiveness. We cannot afford to make the depth of depravity to which one has slipped the barometer of perceived spirituality. Let’s stop viewing those who remained faithful to God through what was arguably the most difficult years of life as some sort of self-righteous, sub-Christians. Let’s look to their examples and perhaps even to wisdom they gained for encouragement. I know many of these heroes. Among them are Joseph, Daniel, Samuel, Esther, Mary, the mother of the Lord and Timothy. And I know many of them who are now in college, as well. I can look at the short inexhaustive list above and know that God has a special place in his heart for those who stood relatively alone for truth and right in the high school years.

Be a Lie Detector (Great Escapes M01E02)


Dig-A-Bit is a weekly mini Bible study with Cindy Colley. It supplements the Digging Deep Bible study for women. In this episode, Cindy encourages us to be lie detectors. For more information about Digging Deep, visit TheColleyHouse.org.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES:

  • Genesis 3 – First sin
  • 1 Corinthians 6 – Flee fornication
  • Revelation 21:8 – All liars
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 – A way to escape sin
  • Micah 6:8 – Love justice
  • Galatians 3:27 – Put on Christ
  • Romans 6:3-4 – Contact the death
  • 1 Peter 3:21 – Baptism saves us
  • Romans 1 – Professing to be wise, became fools

LINKS:

RESOURCES:

Sister to Sister: Hefner– A Life of Instant “Heaven” for an Eternal Hell

I began my day by reading this blurb from my son-in-law, Ben Giselbach:

Consider how many families have been crushed and how many hearts have been torn to pieces because someone believed Hefner’s gospel of free sex, “decent” pornography, and erotic liberation. When he was born, his Methodist mother wanted him to grow up and be a missionary – and in a way she got her wish. He did not invent pornography, but he was the first to institutionalize by making it “respectable” and mainstream. He was the harbinger of the new sexual ethic, fueling a revolution that has changed the globe in a way far worse than any war or disease ever could. He was a missionary who taught his message to the ugly end. He died yesterday as a pathetic, wrinkly playboy, perhaps still in those silk pajamas. We do not rejoice in his death (Eze. 18:23; 33:11). But we must recognize he died not as a successful philanderer, but a loser and a con man. He duped many into buying into his gospel of death and now stands before his Creator, explaining why he exploited so many made in precious His image. Lord, please have mercy.

Hugh Hefner is dead. His legacy lives on. He converted many whose influences have now converted millions. According to Family Safe (familysafe.com), these are fairly recent statistics. (However, pornography statistics are outdated very quickly because of the dramatic daily increase in porn use.) Hefner’s influence is compounded every second in our country. 

Pornography Time StatisticsEvery second – $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography

Every second – 28,258 Internet users are viewing pornography

Every second – 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines

Every 39 minutes: a new pornographic video is being created in the United States

Hefner died today with a net worth of about 40-50 million dollars, all of which remains here, forever inaccessible to him. According to his own testimony, he had sex with over a thousand women, all of whom are forever inaccessible to him now. He has already entered a state of torment that will never end. The leader of the sexual revolution, the iconic king of sexual pleasure, will never know a single moment’s pleasure again. He will remember with pain and deep regret. He will wish for a Lazarus to dip a finger in water and come and cool his tongue, but no man can help him now. Hugh Hefner was instrumental in building a 97 billion dollar industry. He died a spiritual pauper. He will be buried beside Marilyn Monroe in Westside Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles, CA. 

Imagine that! One day when the graves are opened, rising up next to one another will be the bodies of Marilyn Monroe and Hugh Hefner. But Entertainment Tonight and Star magazine will not even be looking that way. All eyes will be heavenward. 

If you are one among the masses of people who are living under the influence of Hefner’s industry…if you are contributing to the coffers of pornography or suffering from its addiction, you are still on the right side of eternity. You can still die a rich woman. You can still have heaven. I hope you will make conscious choices now to that end. If you are toying around with the idea of reading that salacious book or clicking on that inappropriate site or posting that seductive picture, I hope you will take a moment to think about where that “missionary” you are thinking of following is living— right this very moment.

Marvel not at this: for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment [damnation—KJV]” (Jn. 5:28-29).