Mama’s K.I.S.S. #50–“Would You Like to Study?”

As you know, if you’ve been reading, for quite some time, I’ve occasionally been running little installments called “Mama’s K.I.S.S.” I know that lots of readers could give many more and far more creative ideas than I can offer, but these installments are just a few tried and true and mostly old-fashioned ideas for putting service hearts in our kids.  This is number 50 of a list of one hundred ways we train our kids to serve. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Kids In Service Suggestions”. Wow! we are halfway there!

This is our current “Would you like to study?” card. It’s what I give to the cashier or the attendant or the nurse or the person beside me in waiting rooms or trains. It’s what I put in a book for a person I’ve met in my dad’s rehab or at his favorite restaurant, Waffle House. It’s just a handy little tool that almost always goes along with the verbal question “If you’d ever like to study the Bible, I’m all about that!”

It’s ten times more precious to most people, though, if you’ve trained your child to hand these to people with whom you are conversing or doing business. It’s a boost for an adult to have a young child look her squarely in the eyes and say “We love to study the Bible. Do you want to study with us?”  Children are braver, more persuasive and thousands times cuter.

The big bonus is you’re growing brave evangelistic adults. If your child waits till age 30 and decides to try and become evangelistic in a Fishers of Men class or a a visitation team, he can be very successful for the next forty or fifty years. But twenty-five valuable years of evangelism training has already bypassed him. Likely some soul that could have been reached has been hurled into eternity unprepared. Maybe most tragic is the fact that the bravery for adult evangelism has not been planted, cultivated, and developed. It’s just harder to start evangelizing when you’ve let the pressure to conform to societal “norms”, the bashfulness, and the awkward “feeling” that’s born of the devil be nurtured and developed, while the challenge of boldness and love for souls has been lying dormant.

So make a card. You can do it at https://www.123print.com or at https://www.vistaprint.com.

(Put your phone number in the slot that’s blackened on this sample. I’m good with all evangelism contacts having my number…but maybe not the whole world. =))

 

 

Cyber Monday — Get the “New Stuff”!

We tried to think of what you might like best from the Colley House for your Christmas list. We decided maybe you’d like the 2017 additions to our store. Know someone who is a teen girl or a mom of a teen (or pre-teen) girl? Have a friend who loves to study the Word? Do you have anybody on your list at all? …because anybody on the planet (believer or non-believer) needs the new book by Ben Giselbach. So here’s the package you can get to check off three names on your list with something you know can be eternally good for them! Today through December 15th, you can get the three for 20% off!

  1. Finding Him by Rebekah Colley. It’s what Rebekah wishes had been available in print for her own teen years. “It’s what I needed to know,” she says. She’s 22 now and has a way of teaching teen girls that’s unique and personable. Your daughter will grow in Christ.
  2. Great Escapes by Cindy Colley. This is my favorite “Digging Deep” study so far. It’s for any woman in any season in any year. There are optional online archived discussions of the material by the author. They can easily be found if someone would like to dig even deeper. This study has helped me personally in practical ways.
  3. You Are A Theologian by Ben Giselbach. The subtitle for this one is “Thinking Right about God.” If there’s someone on your list who is doubting His existence, His benevolence, His authority, or His plan for our lives, this is a perfect gift.

While supplies last, when you purchase all three, save 20%. Be sure you personalize these by writing a thoughtful note in the front before you wrap them up and give them away–a note of encouragement or evangelism. Gifts are fun. Gifts that are spiritual in nature are fun and SO much more.

 

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).

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.

Sister to Sister: God Can Find Lost Opportunities

Song then…

 

Yesterday I sat beside my sweet niece, Song, during Bible class and morning worship.  The lesson we had just heard was largely about opportunities, so in the intermission, she shared something that had been in her heart for the last few months.

Song had a close childhood friend. We’ll call her Anna Beth. They had been in lots of the same activities as young children, but Song’s family moved several hundred miles away before they entered the teen years. They exchanged a letter or two, but drifted apart and lost contact for the next ten or twelve years. Song, from a strong Christian family, became a Christian shortly after moving away. Anna Beth’s family, however, was not part of the body of Christ.

Song now…

Song grew and grew as a Christian and so did her sense of responsibility to the lost. She thought about Anna Beth and how that she had lost contact with her before she, herself, had ever really had the maturity to know the full importance of even speaking with others about their souls. But Song had loved Anna Beth and she wanted to make a connection with her again and tell her about the way to heaven. She wanted to share eternity with this sweet “old” friend.

She looked on Facebook, but she could not find her, so Song just began to pray for Anna Beth. She prayed that, even if she was never able to reconnect with Anna Beth, that someone would connect with her—someone who could share the gospel with her. 

After several months of praying about Anna, Song was looking through her Facebook birthday wishes from friends on the evening of her birthday. She noticed a friend request from someone listed simply as  Anna Elizabeth. Her heart skipped a beat as she wondered “Could this be Anna Beth?” Clicking on the friend request, Song recognized the profile picture immediately and excitedly accepted the request. Then she noticed that Anna Beth’s profile said “In a relationship with” and named her boyfriend. We’ll call him David Price.

“I know him!” Song exclaimed. “He’s a Christian and he goes to Bible camp with me every summer!” Song and David had grown up in Bible camp together and now they are both counselors in the camp.

Song called her Dad, who directs the camp,  to tell him the good news. He, of course, remembered the dear little friendship of so many years ago and took great joy in the news that Anna Beth was once again connected to Christianity. And then he remembered.

“Wait!” Song’s Dad said. You know one of the camp counselors told me that David Price’s girlfriend was recently baptized and that she will be coming to help at camp this year!” 

So that was that. As I spoke with Song, the two girls had just enjoyed an amazing week reconnecting, not just as friends, but this time as sisters.  Song’s words as she finished the story were these: “It wasn’t anything I did, of course, but it sure shows what the One Who is hearing our prayers can do!”

I know you are praying for new opportunities. I hope we all remember to pray for old and lost opportunities, too. Because we never know what the One Who is hearing our prayers may be doing!

 

Guest Writer: Caleb Colley on Norma McCorvey

 Today I hope you will read from Caleb Colley if you haven’t already read this. Caleb’s been an advocate for babies in the womb since he was about six years old when he stood in his first pro-life chain in Roanoke, Virginia. He started a collegiate chapter of National Right to Life on the campus of Freed Hardeman University while he was a student there in 2003.  This week, he writes about the death of Norma McCorvey. (you can subscribe to Caleb’s blog at http://www.calebcolley.com.)

In 1973, nine men in black robes made a decision that resulted in the legalization of elective abortion in the United States. Somewhere in that judicial picture, as that case began, there was one…just one little life hanging in the balance. That baby was born due to the extended period of time it took to complete the court case. But, as a result of Roe vs. Wade,  5o-plus million other little beating hearts have been stopped. There are many sad truths and lessons to be learned from the American massacre that continues today. But here are two important lessons for Christians from a look at Norma McCorvey, the mother who started it all back in 1971. Here’s Caleb:

Norma McCorvey, better known by the pseudonym “Roe” in the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, passed away this week due to heart failure. She was 69 years old.1

McCorvey was the plaintiff in a case that challenged Texas’ anti-abortion laws in 1971. By the time the Supreme Court decided the case, it was too late for McCorvey to have an abortion, and she had given up her baby for adoption. But the Roe v. Wade decision legalized elective abortion in the United States, and has led to the murder of over 50 million innocent babies.

Ironically and thankfully, this very woman, whose pseudonym was used in the legalization of elective abortion, later learned that abortion is murder and does great harm to women. Norma McCorvey confessed Christ and publicly fought against abortion. She spent the last years of her life speaking out on behalf of the preborn, unprotected children of America, writing a book about her transformation and founding a nonprofit advocacy group called Roe No More. She even filed a motion in Dallas in 2003 to have Roe v. Wade overturned. (Unfortunately this motion was dismissed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2004.)

Here are two important, biblical lessons we can learn from McCorvey’s fascinating story:

  1. Even those most opposed to the truth today may change tomorrow. If Norma McCorvey can make a 180-degree turn on an issue as fundamental as the sanctity of all human life, do you suppose that your neighbor or friend can make a 180-degree turn toward Christ? “The Lord is … patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The anti-Christian Saul of Tarsus can become the great apostle Paul (see Acts 22).

  2. We may be unable to fully reverse the impact of our choices tomorrow, so we must serve Christ today. While McCorvey’s change from pro-death advocate to pro-life advocate is laudable, we cannot help but be saddened by the fact that she could not change the outcome and many effects of the Roe decision in her lifetime. Undoubtedly the pro-death movement would have found another plaintiff to use in the fight for abortion rights if McCorvey had not been there, and yet she did play a role. Many effects of her influence were irreversible, and the effects of our sins today may not be reversible tomorrow. Recall that Judas threw the blood money back at the chief priests and elders, but could not reverse the betrayal of Jesus (Matthew 27:3-10).


  1. Details from this article taken from Eliza Collins, “Norma McCorvey, ‘Roe’ in Roe v. Wade, is dead at 69,” USA Today (2017); Nicholas Frankovich, “What Motivated Norma McCorvey to Defend Unborn Children,” National Review, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445095/norma-mccorvey-dies-roe-v-wade-christian-catholic-conversion-abortion-prolife-dignity-human-person (2017).