For the Diggers: Loving the Young Hearts in this Dig

                                        Melanie Pinedo (center) is one of our younger 2017 diggers!

 

We have several young women, even several pre-teens, who are diligently studying the Great Escapes this year with our international Digging Deep group. They are learning how to rescue souls. Kaitlyn Epling, age 12, of Elizabethton, TN was disappointed earlier this week when we failed to get to question number 10 in our podcast discussion.  Here’s her list (verbatim) of several rescues from Acts 9-17. Kaitlyn’s styles of listing and study may evolve as she grows in Christ, but grow in Christ she will if she stays in the book!

 Digging Deep- Great Escapes- Month Three- Question 10

The disciples of the Lord were saved of Saul by Jesus 9:1-6.

Saul was saved of his blindness by Ananias 9:18.

Saul was saved of the Jews by the disciples 9:25.

Saul was saved of the Hellenists by the brethren 9:29-30.

Aeneas was saved of being paralyzed by Peter 9:33-34.

Dorcas/Tabitha was saved of death by Peter 9:40.

All those being oppressed were saved of the Devil by Jesus of Nazareth 10:38.

Jesus was saved of death by God 10:40.

Sinners were saved of sins by Jesus 10:43.

Gentiles were saved of sins by Jesus 11:18

Peter was saved of contending by his dream 11:2-10.

The people were saved of famine by disciples 11:28-29.

Peter was saved of prison by an angel 12:7.

Peter was saved of Herod by God 12:11.

Peter was saved of Herod by the brethren 12:19.

Israel was saved of the nations of Canaan by God 13:19.

Jesus was saved of death by God 13:30.

Paul & Barnabas were saved of abuse & stoning by themselves 14:5-6.

A man in Lystra was saved of lameness by Paul 14:8-10.

Paul was saved of death by himself 14:19-20.

Timothy was saved of the Jews’ wrath by Paul 16:3.

Girl of fortune-telling was saved of a demon by Paul 16:16-18.

The Philippian Jailor was saved of suicide by Paul 16:27-28.

Paul & Silas were saved of prison by the Philippian Jailor 16:33.

Paul & Silas were saved of the Jews by the brethren 17:10.

Paul was saved of the crowd by the brethren 17:14.

                                                                           Kaitlyn Epling 

 

I was kind of sad we didn’t get to that question, too. I had hoped to share my list from one single chapter, noting how God can use the faithful and the rogue to rescue His own and further the gospel. Let’s look at this list of ten rescues from chapter nine:

9: 7-8 Look at how the enemies of the cross are being used to lead around the most influential 1st century missionary.

9;13 Notice Ananias arguing with God, but then going straightaway to rescue the preeminent New Testament writer. God always accomplishes His purposes.

9:15, 16 Can you think of a more unlikely candidate to be the rescuer of Gentiles?

9:25 Those disciples could not go and powerfully write and preach, but they had a rescue basket for  the one who could!

9:27 Barnabas would be greatly overshadowed in Scripture by Paul, but Paul might not have had the chance to do what he did without the jumpstart given by Barnabas.

9:30 Jerusalem was not the right place and time for Paul. But there were rescuers who knew how to get him to the right place and time.

9:33-35 Aeneas was a rescue tool for the people of Lydda and Saron.

9:39 Dorcas was a rescuer using needle and thread.

9:42 Peter rescued the recipients of Dorcas’ goodwill when he raised her.

9:42 In turn, Dorcas became a tool to rescue the people of Joppa.

Another young digger, Grace Yocum, of Louisville, Kentucky.

Sister to Sister: Digging Deep’s a Little Piece of the Providence.

Most of us could use a little good news this week, so here it is:

Kerri Epling, a sweet Digging Deep participant from Elizabethton, Tennessee, tells me that, through the Digging Deep Facebook group, Jessi made an eternal connection—one that resulted in her sins being washed away (Acts 22:16) and in her translation from the power of darkness to the kingdom of God’s dear Son (Col. 1:13). That’s good news. 

Jessi grew up with a connection to the church though her grandfather and even was immersed as a young girl, but was not truly converted. Now, grown and married and searching for truth, she came across the DD page, among others, and mustered her courage to inquire there about the church in her area. (Jessi said she was kind of “stalking” us. Well, I like for friends like Jessi to be “stalking”!) Thanks to those of you who responded, and especially to Kerri, she and her husband have engaged in extensive study this week and, on Sunday night, Jessi was baptized for the remission of her sins (Acts 2:38)!

Jessi now has a brand new Digging Deep study guide and a group of ladies who are excited to support her. She has a welcoming family in the Lord and a living relationship with her Father. She has the promise of heaven! Her husband is studying, too, and I know you all will be praying along with me for wisdom for his teachers and a tender heart toward the Word.

I know some of you would love to encourage Jessi by sending a card or a personal note. Here’s how:

Jessi

℅ Kerri Epling

The church @ 137 East C Street 

Elizabethton TN 37643

There are some powerful lessons hidden in Jessi’s story. Here are a half dozen:

  1. The influence of a godly grandparent can outlive him/her. Even when it seems you may be fighting a losing battle for the souls of your grandchildren, keep fighting. They may remember and turn even after you’re gone. 
  2. Social media has done/ can do eternal good. It often makes our world in Him a little smaller and our evangelism more efficient. Use it for His glory.
  3. Thank Him for providence. He can work through unexpected means when someone is looking for truth. (Amazingly, Jessi found that she and her husband had known some of the same people and had some previous connections with Kerri’s family!…just common ground that helped establish camaraderie and confidence.)
  4. Never pass up a chance to study with someone or direct someone toward truth. There are searching souls among us!
  5. Always muster the courage to ask for spiritual help when you need it.  Conversely, always muster the courage to reach out of your comfort zone to spread the Word. (Tonight in our Bible class, we studied Acts 8. How much courage it must have taken for Philip to go into Samaria, a place where those of Judea were generally unwelcome to, for the first time, present the gospel to Samaritans. Was he surprised when many believed and obeyed? )
  6. Learn to be expecting God’s word to convict hearts when we teach it in love. 

Keep Digging. There’s gold at the end of the dig (Revelation 21:18-21).

Digging Deep?… Yes and No (Including More T-shirts!)


Will there be one more chance to order Digging Deep T-Shirts?

Yes. If you go to www.thecolleyhouse.org and order before the end of THIS week, we will go to the T-shirt company ONE more time and place an order. This order, an order due to popular demand, will be the last one for this go-‘round of Digging Deep. So, thanks for loving these Comfort Colors shirts! Go buy now or forever hold your peace. 

2. Will there be an audio podcast? Yes. We are giving it a go. Keep reading this blog for details. Very soon.

3. Will the audio podcast be additional material? Yes. It will be additional material. It will not be the same as the video podcast. 

4. Will the audio podcast be a required part of the study? No. One may choose between the audio podcast and the video podcast for completing study requirements, but you must do one or the other. Those who complete both will have the most thorough podcast exposure to the study, obviously. 

5. If I come to the seminar at West Huntsville (www.seminar.westhuntsville.org), will there be materials for Digging Deep there? Yes. Until we run out, they will be there. If you are thinking of getting workbooks, we will be getting a few more of those in, so order soon. There’s been a run on those, too. We are excited, humbled and challenged to make this study faith-building…all of this by your interest in the Word.

6. Have I missed any podcasts? No. The first video podcast is scheduled to air on September 19th at 7 pm CST. 

7. Is it too late to start the study? No. Absolutely not. You can easily be caught up in plenty of time for the month of September. 

8. Will there be a recap and awards session at PTP in 2018 for those who can attend? Yes. 

9. Will I get my books soon? Yes. Please wait 8 business days before contacting us as the low shipping rate allows us to send only by media mail. But if you do not receive them by then, please do send an email or a Facebook message to me or Glenn. We want to do this right , but it’s turned into a monumental task. (YAY!) There are bound to be some hiccups, so thanks very much for your patience.  

10. Is this an all-or-nothing study? No. If you cannot complete all of every month, do what you can. It’s not a contest. It’s a faith tool. Whatever you do will help you grow. Don’t fail to do some because you re afraid you cannot do all!

I’m praying for every aspect of the study. I want it to be all for the glory of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I want it to be for blessings of strength in our families and churches. I want it to be all it can be…for heaven!

Congratulations 5000th Digging Deep Member, Tina Martin!

Digging Deep congratulates 5000th member, Tina Martin, this morning! What started as a Wednesday afternoon lesson at Polishing the Pulpit and then a dozen young girls studying together on Facebook has, with the blessings of our God. become a 5000 member group of women who are into a study of how we gain the victory over the devil in 2017 (https://www.facebook.com/groups/282349391779769/).  It has taken some key elements that He has providentially provided…technology, fellowship, the origination of the study  and the catalyst of Polishing the Pulpit (http://www.polishingthepulpit.com), a great overseeing eldership at West Huntsville (http://www.westhuntsville.org), Jennifer Benavides, and many hearts that are hungry. It’s humbling to get to be a little part of a great movement to study the book that can enable us to live forever with Him. I’m very happy for the fellowship and strength that comes from Digging Deep.

Several new avenues of sharing the study are opening up this fall. We now have a completed Spanish version of the study going up today on The Colley House, thanks to Jacky and Marlon Retana. They are faithful and dear people, who currently live and work in Panama. Jacky plans to educate herself about all-things-podcast and provide a Spanish podcast, as well. So invite your Spanish speaking friends. Esta Bueno!

Next, we’re toying with the idea of having an alternate audio podcast for those who prefer to listen while running or driving or cooking rather than watching and visiting the chatroom. Let us know if you’d be interested in this option and it will help us to know about which equipment we need and how to best record this alternative podcast access.

Finally, there’s a new online study this fall for teen girls, called Finding Him. It’s excellent material designed to mold hearts to want to please our Father–to love Him.  For more details about that visit http://rebekahcolley.com. The first online chatroom opens tomorrow night!

So Tina Martin, it’s your lucky day! Put a decimal right in the middle of 5000 and you get $50.00. (Decimal necessary.) Just go to The Colley House and choose $50.00 worth of merchandise. Facebook me and let me know what you’d like, leave your address, and you’ll receive this gift bundle with our compliments! Congratulations, Tina! I hope your biggest blessing is not the bundle, but the study! So glad you (and 400 other women) have joined the group in recent days. Please pray for every soul in the group, every month’s study, and especially for women who may really need the initial escape from sin and death We’re off to the greatest escapes!

 

 

Sister to Sister: Directions for “Great Escapes”

Several first-timers are asking for details about exactly how to do the 2017-2018 Digging Deep study. Some have invited others (yay!) and these very significant “others”are needing the format for the study so they can begin with confidence. (Please do invite friends, especially your friends who are not Christians!) It’s so easy that it’s hardly worth a post, but, just in case you are overwhelmed with back-to-school, home-schooling, PTP exhaustion, or, better yet, congregational involvement overload, here it is: the study in a nutshell.

1 Every first day of every month beginning now, a new portion of the study will appear on the Digging Deep in God’s Word facebook page. That’s the place to find a concise copy of the current month’s study and the place to discuss the dig with others all over the world. Go there and see the discussion already happening! This year’s study has also been made available in a free download at http://thecolleyhouse.org and in a workbook also available online at the store. 

2 Be sure and join the Digging Deep for Encouragement facebook group as well. That’s the place for any prayer requests that are unrelated to the study.

3 Try your best to pace yourself throughout the month so that you can finish each month’s study by month’s end.

4 Keep your notes digitally or get a Digging Deep notebook. Either works fine. You just need someplace for notes!

5 Near the end of each month, there will be a live podcast discussing the month’s study. You will be able to type in your comments and questions in this chatroom and we will discuss them together: http://new.livestream.com/whcoc/for-women   All podcasts will be archived on this site, as well, so if you can’t listen live, you can listen later. It generally will occur on the last Tuesday of each month, but we will let you know the exact schedule well in advance on the podcast and on both of  the facebook pages. (If you want to go and listen to podcasts from other years, you may do that, too.)

6 You may optionally subscribe to this blog which will often, but not always, be an addendum to the study. It generally posts twice a week, usually on Mondays and Thursdays: http://thecolleyhouse.org/

7 The last podcast of the year will come to you live from ‘Polishing the Pulpit”during that annual conference that occurs each August. Those present who have completed the entire study will be recognized there.

8 Anyone who wants a Digging Deep t-shirt, be sure and order by next Monday at noon at: http://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/~/product/category=7007069&id=39322979

We are always indebted to the elders at the West Huntsville church for their support and oversight. We are thankful for Jennifer Benavides for tech support and for every woman who co-hosts on our monthly podcast. But we are especially thankful for those of you who are committing to, persevering in and inviting to this year’s study. It’s not too late to invite friends. Most of all, we thank the Father through the Son for this great study from the Holy Spirit!

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it  (I Corinthians 10:13).

Sister to Sister: Dig till You Die!

As I write, I am at a convention where 4700 Christians have gathered to study and grow and enjoy fellowship that’s just rarely paralleled in this lifetime. If I were to travel home today, the blessings would be far greater than I could ever deserve. But I will, Lord willing, get to bask in them for four more days! So many unforgettable conversations…so many lessons I’ve been needing…so many hugs I’ve been missing all year…so many longings for heaven here in its foyer in Sevierville, Tennessee this week!

A gentleman walked up to me today and opened a painful page of his life with me. His marriage of four years ended tragically last March when his wife passed away unexpectedly in a hospital after a short and undiagnosed illness. “We really do not know what happened, “ he said. “She just experienced some symptoms that did not seem to  be life-threatening and, before we knew it, she was gone.” 

“But I wanted to tell you because of this,” he said. “My wife came to Polishing the Pulpit last year for the very first time. She left here and we went from bookstore to bookstore trying to buy a book that she had heard about at PTP.  It was called ‘Digging Deep.’ We finally found it and she worked through that study until she died.” 

You know, I understand that we don’t have to do Digging Deep in order to go to heaven. I get it that we are very busy and it’s sometimes challenging to consistently keep up with any organized study. Just the same, though, I think it’s a wonderful legacy to a life taken on to glory early that she was using her last days to grow toward heaven. I like to believe she went to glory with a greater capacity to appreciate His majesty and the fellowship of His people because of the study. I believe people who die with greater faith have larger cups to fill in heaven (Luke 19:11-27; Matthew 25:14-30).

Today we will unveil a whole new year of study. On September 1st, we will begin that study in earnest. The topic will be a surprise on the podcast, but let me just assure you that it will directly help you overcome the devil in this life and it will enable you toward hearing those words “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”  The study will be free for downloading. A study book that has just a bit more commentary and some lines for answering the questions will be available for purchase here at PTP and online after 1:15 pm EST today. There will be t-shirts for fun, podcasts for encouragement and optional Facebook group participation. (I highly recommend this!) 

You may not be convinced yet. That’s okay, as long as you are in the book in some serious way during the next year. Digging Deep is just one way. But it’s a way that keeps us encouraged and accountable and prayerful for one another. I hope you’ll join us. There are no daily or weekly deadlines. Just do as much as you can and try to complete each month’s study as we go along. But whether you complete or not, you’ll be the richer for whatever you can accomplish. Get the details here on Tuesday afternoon: http://thecolleyhouse.org/category/digging-deep-bible-study.  Podcast is at 12:45 EST on Tuesday here: https://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women.

P.S. Melanie Pinedo, in the picture above is one of our youngest diggers this year. Her parents are rich people! She’s rich, too! And I  am blessed to know this young soul in the Word.