Sister to Sister: Three Doors

14481964_10153793830326384_7614171791050123724_oThese days, my siblings and I are spending more time than ever at my Dad’s house in Jacksonville, Alabama. I love being there, though the stretches away from hearth and home and husband make me wish I could be in two places at once. And there’s Waffle House. I love the way the servers (Dad calls them “nurses”….He has always called waitresses “nurses”.) are so very attentive to him. They start cooking his meal and setting his steaming coffee on the table when they see our car drive up. They open every little plastic container of creamer or jelly for him when they bring them to the table, knowing that his arthritic hands have difficulty pulling the tiny tabs to open them. Like I said, there’s lots to love about that kind of service. And the food is good…once…or twice…or even three times a week. But that many times a day is a bit much for my palate, not to mention my calorie count. 

Still, it’s not really about me at this stage. It’s about taking him where he would go all by himself, if he could, since we are really trying hard to get him not to be going places all by himself. It’s about a lot more than food these days. Sitting by the window in Waffle House watching the JSU world revolve outside the window with my sweet 94-year-old father is capital fun for me. We watch kids walking dogs and policemen pulling over cars and reflections of what all’s happening at the Grub Mart in the back glass. I show him pictures of his great grandchildren on my phone and he marvels at all the game scores, driving distances and names of famous athletes that I can call to his memory by a simple search on such a small device. The man who waited for the automobile to become a common mode of transportation marvels as I explain to him what exactly is a podcast and how women can interact during a podcast discussion—women from all over the world. 

So last Wednesday morning as he laboriously climbed the stairs at the entrance of Waffle House, I noticed a middle-aged lady holding the door open for my father. I smiled at her and thanked her for waiting patiently as he approached the door. She looked at my dad and said “Well, today I’ve already eaten, so I won’t get to eat my breakfast with you. But I hope you have a good one!”

I said, “:”Sounds like you’ve met Dad before…”

She responded “Sure did. I ate breakfast with him the other day and I told him ‘Your money’s no good with me!”

I thanked her for being so kind—to share a meal with him and then buy his breakfast. As he ambled on in, she said “Well, I enjoyed it. But really, on that day, I just thought about “what would Jesus do?…What would he want me to do?…and I decided He’s want me to do something good for a sweet elderly man.”

At that moment, I knew that there was more than one open door at the Waffle House. so I took the conversation to the next level: “That’s just so kind of you. I love my Jesus and I love to study the Bible. In fact…” At that point I went on to tell her about Digging Deep, and our study this year about types and shadows. I told her that I would love for her to join us and that my favorite thing to do is to study the Bible with people. I asked her if she would think about joining our group and even studying with me personally. “I’m all about Bible Study…”

“I sure will!” she said. “Stuff like this doesn’t happen by accident,” she went on, as I gave her my card with contact information. “I’ll be looking you up!”

Two doors were open. She thought she’d hold open a glass door for my father to walk through. She really was holding a golden door of opportunity open for me. I’m glad I could walk through it. I’m glad I had my wallet with that card to hand her. I’m thankful for His Providence at this moment and so many others. 

I’m not sure I believe that nothing happens by accident. But I do believe He is constantly orchestrating events to work for the good of His people (Romans 8:28). I hope she’ll pursue her opportunity now. I hope she’ll knock, so her door, too, can be opened (Matthew 7:7).

Sister to Sister: No Immunity…Yet.

14520353_10153783334741384_2383284245102356019_n 14040157_10153701053211384_3537453542881798692_n-768x576This week I’ve talked with Christian women facing all sorts of challenges…a woman whose marriage is quickly deteriorating, another who is addicted to pornography, one who is having great difficulty controlling anger and one who is just struggling with the pressures of an impossible schedule. A sweet sister asked for advice about helping another couple who’s dealing with possible adultery. Another is helping her husband recuperate from a mental and emotional illness. Another is struggling with her unfaithful husband. Still another, is striving to keep an addicted son and husband accountable. 

The bottom line is this: We, as God’s women are simply not immune to the challenges that the devil’s temptations bring into our worlds. We can escape all sin, temptation and the sorrow they bring. But not yet. For now, ours is to take the trials that being born into a fallen world brings, and learn from them. So many times, the control in overcoming the sin that brings us sorrow is not in our hands. Often, the sin that devastates us is someone else’s sin. We have to get into the Word to know the secrets of using the spiritual challenges to develop strong spiritual muscles capable of enduring to the end. 

This weekend, it’s my blessing to speak in Saint Charles, Missouri, from Psalm 46 about our “very present help in time of trouble.” The study is tailor-made for my present set of circumstances. The amazing thing about the Word, though, is that it’s tailor-made for your life, too. 

Before this weekend, the Digging Deep podcast will be live. You can join us tonight at 7 CST here: http://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women. The podcasts are all archived here, as well. The discussion tonight is about how sin entered the world and it’s about the ultimate Overcomer of that sin. It’s about the beginning of sorrow in a perfect garden and about the triumph over sin in another garden where a stone was rolled away. I hope you can join us. 

I want to stress that it’s not too late to begin the study if you have not already. The September study can be completed in just a few hours and you’re good to go with our October study. You can download the study at www.thecolleyhouse.org. We still have some study books available if you’d rather have the bound copy. Just go to the store for either. 

You don’t have to do the Digging Deep study to go to heaven, but you do have to study the Word. God cannot be your “very present help in time of trouble” if He is not “present” in your life. His presence today only comes through His Word…what the Holy Spirit freely gives us between the first Adam in Genesis 1 and the “second Adam” (Romans 5 and I Corinthians 15) who is at the right hand of the throne of God even as you are reading (Hebrews 12:2). Whatever your method or venue, get into that message. You’ll be forever (literally) glad that you did!

PS. Post pictures of your group, if you think of it. We love the encouragement of seeing sisters in the Word!

 

14479613_10207874412837978_847864294170853645_n-2

Sister to Sister: Digging Deep Digger’s Dozen Discoveries

unnamed-8Here’s a riveting sneak peek into the Adam-Christ comparison for Thursday night’s podcast. I hope you can join us. It’s here: http://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women. It’s at 7 Central. It’s live. It’s interactive. (That means you should sign in and participate!) It’s Ellen Anderson and me. But mostly, it’s a great time very much devoted to time in the Word. Here you go. I’m sure you thought of things I do not have listed. Let’s compare notes!

Comparisons of Adam and Christ. 

  • Both had miraculous beginnings.
  • Through the one, Adam, sin entered. Through the One, Christ, sin was overcome (Romans 5:12).
  • Adam secured death. Christ secured life (Romans 5:17; I Cor. 15:21,22).
  • Judgement came through Adam. The free gift came through Jesus (Romans 5:18).
  • Through Adam, in a sense, men were made sinners. Through Christ men were made righteous (Romans 5:19).
  • Adam was made a living soul. Christ was made a life-giving Spirit (I Cor. 15:45).
  • Adam was “earthy”. Christ was heavenly (I Cor. 15:47).
  • Christians bear the image of both Adam and Christ (I Corinthians 15:49).
  • Both had side opened while obtaining bride (Genesis 2; John 19:33,34).
  • Both of their brides had miraculous beginnings (Gen. 2; Acts 2).
  • Both became heads of brides (Gen 3:16; Eph. 5:23).
  • Both brides wore their names (Gen. 5:1,2; Acts 11:26).

Let’s talk, on the podcast, about which are types and which are antitypes. We’ll be sure we’re “good” on those definitions for future use.  Let’s also talk about the personal-from-Satan temptation that both Adam and Jesus encountered…the scope of each of those temptations and the response of each man.

I’m also excited to hear about people you influenced for good, whose response to your influence was not immediate. This is not bragging. This is encouraging. I need this. Can’t wait for your input this month. 

Finally, some Digging Deep sightings from around the country…at work, at home, at college, at the laundromat, at the hotel, in the stroller. Fun times!


14352279_10208624506884626_5565868377969203873_o14117774_10153693008011384_6537090766717962683_n
14067583_1678390289148690_6805304623423361026_n
14379694_2099291110296174_832574930648324513_o

14207621_10210983276762580_3752320509305895901_o14231358_10103559472181395_7007005937851523112_oSome references and adaptations for the list from “Types and Shadows”, Revised Edition,  W. Gaddis Roy, Southern Christian University, 2004.

 

Young Diggers!

14233003_10153729163641384_8490135295722064497_n

I was excited to meet a few teen homeschoolers at Polishing the Pulpit who are going to do the “Shadows” study as part of their curriculum for the 2016-17 school year. But last night I was blessed to worship with the Lightwood church near Montgomery, Alabama and I had a photo-op with the youngest Digger I’ve met to date. She is Sara Beth Tucker and she’s 10 years old. I’d already noticed how she was popping out those answers to the Bible knoDwledge questions during the Lightwood version of Kidsing (http://thecolleyhouse.org/sermons/kidsing). But I was really encouraged when one of the elders’ wives told me she is always extremely faithful and participatory in their Sunday afternoon ladies class.  Way to go, Sara  Beth! I just know that one day, I’ll get to go and hear you teaching women about the Word of God. Most of all, I can’t wait to see the kind of mother you will be. Children who have godly mothers are the richest children in the world!

Of course, it’s you, the Titus 2 older  in a congregation that mold the next generation of faithful woman. Here’s Sara Beth’s mentor group at Lightwood. So proud of this Digging Deep group! (I’d love photos of your group…or even of individuals who are studying along.)

 

14212727_10153729163056384_3122178440492318333_n

I know it’s not about me, but this old digger is off to a slow start. I’m in that wonderful grandmother vortex that keeps my mind young but reminds me that my body is 57. The hours are long and the naps are short. As I type, I have a two-year-old beside me watching a little video about an owl cuckoo clock. Those are his favorite at the moment, and “cuckoo” is an appropriate soundtrack for our lives right now! Colleyanna has her days and nights a bit mixed up. She’s five days out of the womb now, so we’re hoping she’ll coordinate with daylight and dark soon. She’s precious even when she’s wide awake and very vocal at 2 am! 

If you have an outstanding order with the Colley House, it’s because we’re waiting on your t-shirt. I’m turning those orders around as fast as I can, with the help of one more patient husband, and you should have your order in a few days. The holiday weekend was one more small delay, but I’m hoping to get the final order processed today. Hopefully, in a few days, I’ll be keeping up a little better with the study and we can use this blog frequently to comment about the “shadows”. I’m thankful for your patience and especially for those of you who are in the Word.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Digging Deep 2016-17: You’re Right on Time!

Thumbnail DDIGWSeveral first-timers are asking for details about exactly how to do the 2016-2017 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. Lots of new groups and individuals are popping up all over the country and even internationally. 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 couple of forms in it’s entirety. One is, of course, the new study book that you can find here. But, as is true in every year, the whole study can be downloaded for free. Both formats are here: http://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/Digging-Deep/c/20688312/offset=0&sort=normal
  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.  We will  try to put all of our news and prayer requests on this page for encouraging each other.
  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 on paper or in your official 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. The September and October dates are already posted on the DD Facebook page…September 29th and October 18th, so we’re already a bit off. All of our DD women are pushing big wagonloads of life right now, so the schedule may vary but, again,  we will try and let you know in advance. Thanks for being patient. (If you want to go and listen to podcasts from other years, you may do that, too.) Our goal is to have more interaction on the podcasts this year than ever before, so we hope you will help us reach that potential of encouragement.
  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. I’m also excited to tell you that you can order a 4 CD set produced by way of introduction at PTP during the very first year of Digging Deep. The CDs contain tips and tools for getting the most out of this study, as well as an exegesis of the Hebrews writer’s admonition to be carnivorous (meat-eaters) in our study. Just call House to House/Heart to Heart at 1-877-338-3397 (toll free) and ask for the Digging Deeper CDs by Cindy Colley. The PTP team has put together this set, especially for the Digging Deeper Group, for only ten dollars. Several have already ordered and I understand the sets will ship immediately. Be sure to say that you would like the Digging Deep 4 CD set from 2011. This might be helpful but it is totally optional. The study does not depend on this set in any way.
  9. Anyone who wants an “In the Shadows”  Digging Deep t-shirt, be sure and order by next Thursday, September 1st at noon at: http://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/Digging-Deep/c/20688312/offset=0&sort=normal

It’s a Comfort Colors shirt and this is the shirt graphic:

 

unnamed-8

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!

14040157_10153701053211384_3537453542881798692_n

P.S. This is almost positively the week that I am going to meet my first granddaughter! So thanks in advance for the prayers…and patience as your newsfeeds flood with photos! (You can have a turn when you have your first granddaughter and I will ooh and ahh for you!) I love you, sisters! He is so good to us!

 

 

Sister to Sister: New Digging Deep Study!

In The Shadows Digging Deep BannerOne of my favorite moments of every year is the session at Polishing the Pulpit (www.polishingthepulpit.com) when we unveil the new Digging Deep study. This year was the best yet. We had approximately 30 women onstage yesterday who had done every last bit of the Persecution study. That’s representative of about 5000-6000 hours of collective study on that stage. Many women finished the study this year, but were unable to be with us. Many more were all but done and are still finishing up. Hundreds did a portion of the study. Every hour spent in the word is an investment in a sphere where we will not run short on time. What happened today at 12:45 in Ballroom A was just a little icing on the cake for women whose real reward for Bible study is wisdom for life’s tough challenges and decisions. I am very proud to call those who are diligently digging in the Word my sisters and friends.

The new study is called “In the Shadows”. It’s a rich comparison of the shadows of the Old Law and the real images of the New. The key verse is Colossians 2:17:

These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

The goal of the new study is to grasp the significance of the elements of Old Testament worship, sanctification, law, and service in the context of their foreshadowing elements of redemption in the New Covenant—all of this to make us feel the depth of gratitude appropriate for people washed in the blood of the great Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ. I need this study. I am thankful He has given us another year —at least the beginning of one—to dig deep in His Word. I am thankful for my sisters who are serious about Bible study. There is not enough time in any of our lives to finish the dig. The deeper we dig, the more knowledge is both gained and yet available.

So please join us for the study. Please share the study. Invite friends, both faithful and unfaithful…both in the covenant and in need of learning of it. I know it will be a blessing; not because I am presenting it, but because it is purely the Word of God.

You can find a free copy of the study for downloading as well as, alternately, a deluxe study notebook for purchase in the Digging Deep section of the store on www.thecolleyhouse.org. There are cute tumblers and Digging Deep t-shirts there, too. These are fun parts of the fellowship, but all you really need is the study. You can follow the group of Diggers on the Facebook page called “Digging Deep In God’s Word” where you will also find information about the monthly podcast.

You have just eight more days before the study officially begins. So get your shovels. Invite your friends and let’s help ourselves to the faith that comes from the Word (Romans 10:17)!