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Rebekah Colley

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

…And I Thought the Smile Was Just for the Camera

Tonight I get to attend the annual West Huntsville Women’s Retreat. It’s a time that yields closer relationships among sisters and it’s a spiritual focus sharpener. It’s a very temporary get-away that helps us ultimately win the eternal get-away from the sinful world. It makes us know we were meant for heaven and it makes us want to diligently set our affections there. I hope you Huntsville friends are coming!

This year, I’m especially excited that I get to hear Christian speaker/author Rebekah Colley talk about “Knowing God.” I love that she’s so knowledgeable at the very young and energetic age of 22. I love that she focuses on the Word and throws in an illustration here and there, rather than the other way around. I love that she knows Koine Greek, the language of the original New Testament. I love that I got to pick her up at the airport and spend a little time with her. And I love, love, love that she is carrying my grand baby! 

In case you missed the Facebook posts, I’m over-the-moon excited to tell you that  next July 20th is the due date for our first grandchild that will wear the last name “Colley”. If Ezra and Colleyanna have taught this grandmother anything, it’s that there is infinite love in my heart for every grandchild. I cannot wait to meet this baby that’s already very much alive and very active and already has my heart! I am not dealing as well with the eight-or- so hours that separate Huntsville from Jacksonville, Florida, where this baby has taken up residence, but I’m saving every frequent flyer mile from this Samoa trip to try and keep me… and them, frequent Florida/Alabama travelers in the future.

It was very sweet of my Rebekah to give me a family photo shoot for Christmas. I was busy, but I knew it would be worth it to pick out those clothes in the right color scheme and assemble down at the cabin. I knew I’d love the 16 x 20 canvas that Rebekah was having made for me of my favorite photo from the session. The photographer came over to shoot the photos. We posed and posed on that porch and then we rearranged and posed some more. We moved to other spots. We bribed Ezra and Colleyanna to be patient and keep smiling.  We held them for some of the shots and then put them down for others. Ezra even managed to get on Ben’s shoulders for a few of the shots. We moved back to the porch again. Then, as the camera  was just clicking away, Caleb just casually (and out of the blue) said “We’re having a baby.” 

I know you’re thinking that they were very clever to have that camera clicking as they spilled those beans. And you’re right. So today, in case you missed it, I’m sharing just a fraction of the photos. It’s really not for you, though. It’s so I’ll have this moment—the most unexpected, fun surprise of my year–on this blog which has evolved into the chronicling of my ordinary, but blessed life. 

Thank you for catching this on film, Caleb and Rebekah. I’m so glad this loved child will call two of the most godly people I know “Mama” and “Daddy.” (And I can’t wait to hear him say “Mammy”! ) I’m glad for your strong desire to transfer faith into her. I’m blessed above teeming billions of people on the planet because all of my children are seeking Him and are determined to pass down a legacy of righteousness; never self-righteousness, but holiness because of Calvary. It’s not what I deserve, but it surely is what I desire: a little tribe of Colley and Giselbach children who love books and who love THE Book most of all, little boys who love super-heroes, but who supremely love THE Hero who conquered death that we might have life. I long for little imaginations that conjure up castles and queens, knights in armor and tiny animated other-worlds. But I want them to firmly plant their dreams in THE other world where THE King is preparing a forever-after for them. Did I ever mention that MY fondest dream is being around the throne with them? I’m so thankful for my portrait, Rebekah Colley.  I’m most thankful that you and Caleb share the big dream!

Here are a few of the bajillion  photos. You can definitely find the exciting revelation moment. (It’s fun to watch Ezra disappear into a hug, too…and then watch the progression of Hannah’s hands. OK…maybe not as much fun for you as for me!) 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

“Finding Him”…One More Thing

One more thing about Rebekah Colley’s new book “Finding Him”. It’s truly great preparation for baptism for your 11-13 year olds. I’m not presumptuous enough to assume that you do not know when your girls are mature enough for that step that takes them from the world and into the kingdom of Christ. But, as someone who lived through that precarious time in my kids’ lives, I know we are thankful for every tool that helps us and, most of all, helps our children to know when obedience to the gospel is truly obedience, rather than the fulfillment of a parental expectation, a conformity to a group of peers or an emotional response that’s largely void of understanding.

This book is about the foundational appreciation for the sacrifice of our God and the building of a real relationship with Him that is the construct of true devotion that lasts a lifetime. It’s not too lofty for your 11-year-old, though.

Maybe best of all is the availability of a chatroom where girls can discuss any questions and concerns with the author. She is studied and, best of all, has the eternal interests of your daughters in her soul. She is unassuming and humble. She just wants girls to know, in her words, “what she wishes she had fully appreciated, at their ages.” Her degree is in Bible, but, more importantly, her heart is in that great Book and in its exposure to as many as will listen in her lifetime. I’m glad she is ours, but even if she wasn’t, I’d recommend this material. It can make a difference for good that the devil just cannot unravel.  I hope she’ll write the sequel soon. I think that’s the plan.

I hope there will be a small legion (at least) of girls who get the whole series in their teen years (as well as “GIFTS” and “Pure on Purpose” and “Seeking Spiritual Beauty” and “Everyday Princess”.) I think their families and congregations in the year 2030 will be stronger and better for it. It’s just a little part of a parental insurance plan for a future that doesn’t end. I know that’s forward thinking, but moms have to be about that!

I’m finding that the market is not saturated with truly good materials for teen girls and even less saturated with those materials for boys, though The Colley House is trying to remedy that.  I’m happy to see new and sound books for those who still have the important decisions, for the most part, in front of them. Let’s help them “find HIM”  before they go about finding that other “him”. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Moms of Teens and Teen Girls: Don’t Miss this Post!

I couldn’t be more excited to tell you about a new site you will want to follow (especially if you are or are mom to a teen girl) and about a brand new book authored by Rebekah Colley. She is the most evangelistic 22-year-old that I personally know and this heart immerses the new work “Finding Him.” She’s already taught the class to the teen girls at Macland Road, in Marietta, Georgia, tweaking it all along to try and make it the most influential tool she can produce. Her heart is for teen girls to serve the Lord—not just because they are in a youth group, have an assignment, or have parents who are urging (although these are all good things)—but because they love God. Her goal is that they might naturally carry the gospel to others because they know and love its Author. 

The book will be released at the end of August and it will be a great study book for classes, homeschool settings or for individual use in any season of any upcoming year. But the very best time to study this book is between the months of September and November of this fall (2017). The reason for this timing is that, during these months, there will be live chat rooms at specified times with the author present for discussion and each month there will be a fun online contest related to the study. 

Our teen girls are living in the face of an enormous and aggressive push by the devil to abandon faith in God. They are further influenced by way too many examples, even in the church, of older women who are lukewarm or passive in their attitudes toward the One who paid the ultimate price that we might have hope. Every ounce of our will and wisdom should be employed as mothers and grandmothers to suit them up to do battle with both of these dragons. This is one of the best tools I’ve seen to do just that. I hope, if your congregation does not do the study, that you will take the time to personally do it with your daughter in your study time together. I know she will be better equipped to retain faith for a lifetime; and the bonus of your doing it with her is that your relationship with each other will naturally be stronger and more spiritually focused. 

Here’s the link to this exciting chapter in your life, your daughter’s life, or your grand-daughter’s life. Wow! That’s what I want to do one day with Colleyanna! Just imagine a study with mother, daughter and grand-daughter coming to better know Him together!

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Finding Him – Sanctify.

Trying to accomplish what God wants you to do—without knowing Him and having a relationship with Him—is like using your phone or computer without charging it. It’s similar to starting on a trip without properly charging your phone, only to realize that when you most need it, it’s just a blank screen…

REBEKAHCOLLEY.COM

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Free Download for Debt-free Living in 2017

Debt text on paper

Sin’s put us all in deep debt–the kind that brings death (Romans 6:23). But His gift is eternal life in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8). It’s likely that every reader of BYH knows this basic fact of redemption. It’s the theme of the Bible. But it’s very unlikely that every reader is enjoying debt-free living in Jesus. The devil is crafty and he makes sin alluring. For the woman who has lived in his clutches for a significant part of her life, he makes getting out of debt seem like a very lofty and labor intensive effort. Are you someone who’s been intending to “do better” about sin for a long time now? Perhaps it’s disrespect of your husband. Maybe it is pornography.  Perhaps it is laziness when it comes to Bible study. Maybe your prayer life is almost non-existent. Maybe you have a temper problem. Perhaps you are living in an extramarital adulterous relationship. Maybe you are having sex with a boyfriend. Maybe your pet sin is immodest dress or unclean language. Maybe you’ve become a lot less serious about being present for worship every time the saints assemble. Is it that you’re there, in worship, but never mentally engaged? Are you abusive, physically or verbally, to your spouse? Are you failing to restrain your children? Are you lazy about parenting, allowing your children to participate in activities that compromise their spirituality? Are you too connected to sin via television, music and the internet? Are you entertained by worldliness? Maybe it is that alcohol is ultimately destroying something that is precious to you.

Whatever it is that’s intentional, continual sin is keeping you in debt. It’s what killed your 2016. It’s what kept you from real and sustainable happiness in 2016. My husband is on the phone right this moment with a couple whose marriage is in very real jeopardy. 2016 has been a very bad year for this couple. There has been little happiness. There has been a lot of betrayal and distrust. The marriage has come very close to self-destructing. I have already counseled this morning with a woman whose marriage is going to continue, barring any changes, in perpetual unhappiness because of selfishness on the parts of both partners. I’ve also spoken with a woman this morning whose life is forever altered because of a man who made a conscious decision to walk away from God and join forces with the devil….And it’s only 8:30 a.m!  The devil wants your unhappiness to just re-emerge over and over again. He want to take next year, too…and the next, and the next…until you find yourself bound to him for eternity. He is keeping you in debt.

Somewhere nestled in the middle of the incomplete list of sins above is a foundational sin that’s making happiness elusive for many of us. It’s a failure to fill our lives with His Word. It’s laziness with regard to Bible study. Over and over, in counseling and life-repair situations, I am painfully reminded that when people get out of the Word, problems quickly and powerfully pursue. Contentment is sucked into the vacuum of ignorance to the Will of God. You cannot be happy if you are not in the Word. Failing to study is the sin that keeps on sinning.

Here’s the download. You don’t have to have this download to be happy. (There are lots of methods, teachers, workbooks, commentaries, websites and study guides to help you get into THE book. Digging Deep is certainly a personal favorite.) But you DO have to be in the Word to be happy. I wish I could convince all of the women who come to me with broken lives that this is the basic bedrock upon which all other healing steps are taken. I can, without reservation, recommend this beginning to you:

http://www.maclandroadchurchofchrist.org/bible-basics-bull…/.

Do you really want to continue along with the status-quo of your life? Do you want 2017 to be just like 2016? If you have lived this year as a faithful Christian, of course you do! But if you are not happy, stop self destructing. Make a firm choice to get into the Word in your schedule and in your decision-making in 2017. Help yourself to happiness.

 

Recipe for the day:

I tried this pot roast with my family this week and it could have been a winner in the contest! It was a winner at my house. And easy. I love easy. It was from Lynne, but she did not give her last name. Who are you, Lynne? My family loves you!

3 pound chuck or other flat roast (no need to brown)
McCormick Savory Pot Roast packet
Au Jus packet …also McCormick brand
12 oz Coke ( I used Coke Zero)
Place roast in crock Pot. Mix packets with 1 cup warm water. Pour over roast. Pour Coke over this. Cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Before serving stir gravy from bottom edges of Crock Pot.