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what I want them to know

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: What We Want Them to Know

The questionnaireBelow is an often requested list. Perhaps it has been posted before, but some are having trouble finding it (including me), so here it is again. These are the things we wanted our kids to know before leaving home for college. Thus, we tried to make sure we were including all of them regularly in conversation and in our family Bible times. I hope they are helpful to you. Perhaps you have your own list. Ours is certainly not THE list. It is just one template. When you include one of the items from your list in your Bible time, put a check mark beside it, to help keep track. Teachers in public schools have standards-of-learning lists and superiors check to make sure each subject or skill is covered a certain number of times each semester. Should we be less systematic in covering the spiritual essentials?

What-I-Want-Them-to-Know List:

  1. God Created the universe in 6 literal 24-hour days.
  2. The Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God.
  3. The story of the entire Bible
  4. The names of the books of the Bible in order.
  5. God the father, God the Son and God, the Holy Spirit compose the Godhead. They are all deity, but their roles in securing our salvation are all different.
  6. Both heaven and hell are real literal places of eternal bliss and eternal torment, respectively.
  7. The main theme of every chapter in the book of Acts.
  8. Christ has one church and all saved people have been added to that church.
  9. Denominationalism is not a biblical concept.
  10. All spiritual blessings are in Christ and baptism is what puts people into Christ.
  11. Baptism is immersion and it is for the remission of sins.
  12. How to teach someone the gospel of Christ.
  13. Biblical authority derived from Biblical commands, examples or necessary inferences is needed for the organization and worship practices of the church.
  14. Church discipline is commanded, including withdrawal of fellowship for persistence in a lifestyle of sin.
  15. Sex is one of God’s good and perfect gifts when and only when reserved for a God approved marriage.
  16. If you marry, you must marry a Christian who is, by definition, a follower of Christ.
  17. There are early decisions that are most useful in avoiding sexual temptation and they will be accessible in our home.
  18. Fornication is the only Biblically acceptable reason for divorce and remarriage.
  19. Homosexuality is not merely an alternate lifestyle. It is a sin.
  20. All beverage alcohol should be avoided.
  21. The viewing of pornography is an addictive sin that must be avoided at all costs.
  22. Entertainment is optional and will be eliminated if it interferes with seeking the kingdom first.
  23. The way that we minister to Christ is by ministering to those around us who have needs. We will serve Christ.
  24. Work is honorable and a prerequisite to the privilege of eating.
  25. The revelation of God’s Will for humankind has been completed. There will be no further revelation.
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

You bought them up!…Only a few smalls left.

Here are the ladies (list below) who will be getting shirts. We are trying to mail these out today. Some of your orders are just partial orders. Just had to do the best I could on these. Let me know quickly if you do NOT want what’s listed below. Please just PayPal colley@westhuntsville.org for the shirts and shipping. Refer to the previous blog post for details. If your name is not listed below, your request cam in later your size was sold out. Let me know if anyone else needs a size small by emailing byhcontest@gmail.com. I can still fill that order, but that’s all! Thanks!

You are the best! I’m trying to get our little holiday contest together, too. I have a little prize I’m making for the winners of that. So watch for details. I hope your weekend is great. Keep the Colley House in your prayers. We love our family in Him!

On a much more sober note (than t-shirts),  I love what Jesus and the Spirit said to the church in Sardis. I cling to this in 2021. Let’s be overcomers together. May all the names on this page and all the diggers’ names be confessed. I want to be confessed. Above all, I want to be confessed and get that white clothing! White has never been my color, but it is GOING TO BE!

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”

Gayle in Mt. Vernon, OH— one M

Teri Harris—one M

Glenna Aberle—one M

Bethany Stephens—one L

Andrea Davis —one M

Danette Head—one M, one L, one 2X

Jessica Thomas—one 2X, one 4X

Veronica Wine—one  S, one 2X,

Pam Blankenship—one S

Holly Smith—one S

Dawn Dunaway—one S

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

2 More Days!…Stuff You Need to Know.

I’m so excited that, because Lindsay and Jack VanHook have been working tirelessly, the free download for The Hour Has Come is here:  https://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/Digging-Deep-2021-2022-The-Hour-Has-Come-FREE-DOWNLOAD/p/384587391/category=0                                    Feel free to download and then print as many as you need. Please do not reprint the spiral book itself. We appreciate your help in that way. 

The study officially begins in two days on September 1st. Watch the video here (https://thecolleyhouse.org/digging-deep-introduction-video) for potential answers to questions you may have. 

SPARK was a big success! Thanks to all who contributed money or food, helped teach all ages, and worked so hard in lots of capacities.  You were generous and sacrificial beyond what I could have dreamed! I learned so many things from so many people! I am just thankful to God for this gathering.

T-shirts are being ordered one more time, but if you want a shirt or hoodie, your order must be placed at www.thecolleyhouse.org/store by September 10th.

Don’t forget to tell your husband’s about 2021-22 Men’s Digging Deep. It will enrich your household. I promise.

 

 

 

 

 

And if you were named on the SPARK reveal as a finisher who is receiving a free DD tea towel, please remit upon receipt of the tea towel, three dollars for postage. You can PayPal the postage to cindycolley@gmail.com. Those who were present, of course, have already received theirs and the others are going out tomorrow.

Finally, this is the prayer list from our ladies’ prayer session at Spark. I know many of you will take the time to remember our sisters and their requests as you go to God. Our effectual, fervent prayers avail much! 

Covid patients all over our land. Specifically: Dot Qualls, Manchester, TN, and Ellie who is suffering mentally from the disease.

Those in danger in Afghanistan

Victims of flooding in Tennessee. Specifically Pinewood church and those in Waverly

Those in our congregations who have been widowed in recent months.

Jessica—a single mom who was baptized recently and is struggling to go to school.

Rachael—struggling with a situation that makes her need to be single for the rest of her life. 

That we may all be soul-winners and complete our God-assigned tasks.

Courage for a couple who needs to re-locate for worshipping because of an unhealthy church situation. 

Praise for a daughter who has located a good job.

Praise for a daughter who has returned to the Lord.

Praise for a son-in-law who has been baptized and is growing in Christ. 

Prayer for a son-in-law’s job situation.

Prayer for two congregations that need to reunite. 

Paige—to be a better Christian and bring lost family members to Him. 

Patricia—stage 4 liver cancer

Jim—that he might find the right meds to alleviate severe pain

Dena—medical test results, to find a good doctor, and proper treatments.

Dena’s father-in-law—recovery from surgery and comfort in loss of a loved one.

That a sister who is needing energy might find it and be useful till her passing. 

Prayers for our congregations’ members who are not committed to serving Him. 

For Jake and Zach, that they may find the path that God wants for them. 

Prayers for students at FHU who are sick with Covid and for the administration as they make decisions resultant from the disease. 

Genevieve —wisdom from the Lord for tough situations.

Kat —health and safety for unborn baby. 

Betty —cancer patient, hospice called in.

Janice—physical heart issues

Samuel —Spiritual heart issues.

Fred and Alora—healing and deliverance

Leisa—cancer diagnosis, knee surgery struggles, 

Eliza, Ruby, and Lilly—little girls with grave health issues

Jenny—daughter Rebekah as she studies DD and keeps growing

Jenny’s son Jakob and wife, wife is deployed

Wylla —on hospice, dementia

Jenny—struggling with sinful language. 

A sister who is struggling with an estranged family relationship and how that might affect the faithful congregation.

A family grieving mightily because of sin and betrayal, and also for the churches that suffer because of immorality in the camp.

And always, finally, PRAISE for the faithfulness of the mighty God we serve!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Bennington, Vermont: You Did More than You Know!

God can take a little and make a lot. Remember back in the very beginning of what we thought would be a short Covid season, when we tried to encourage that little church in Bennington, Vermont?  Well, it’s their turn to encourage us and they are doing that now in a powerful way!

Back in the spring we heard, from Sarah Floyd, the preacher’s wife at this small congregation, that members were struggling. A difficult mission field in any season, it became particularly difficult for the little group at Bennington church of Christ to remain cohesive and encouraged as meeting together and blessing each other with fellowship became more difficult. Some were having health issues and others were new Christians. Younger members were feeling isolated and funds were often in short supply. 

Lots of you sent cards, just to encourage them. As the minister, Jason Floyd (shown here), explained to me, he and his wife, Sarah, became a mini post office for a while there, unpacking boxes of your letters and making deliveries to the homes of the various members who are spread out over a large area around Bennington. The Floyds covered a lot of miles as they, and perhaps others,  hand-delivered your encouragement to the members. 

On one of those runs, Jason met a house guest of one of the families which attends the congregation. She answered the door when Jason delivered your mail. As Christians do, Jason engaged this lady, whose name is Sally Bristol, in conversation, which eventually resulted in a Bible study, and another and another…

Yesterday, this lady put on the Lord in baptism (Gal. 3:27) and became your sister in Christ! Our little cards helped, in a teeny, but important way, to produce something that was beyond what we had asked or imagined, according to His power that is working within us and especially is at work in Jason (Eph.3:20). If you were among the many who sent cards to encourage this family of His people, I hope you will bow before the throne and praise Him for using those little cards as tools of evangelism even when we were unaware of that occurrence. He is so good and His word is exceedingly powerful. I hope this baptism will make you want to continue to offer support to mission work and keep sending cards when you see those in God’s family struggling. I hope it will make you believe even more strongly in His providence for us as we pray for the gospel’s full effect on lives we may reach, even across hundreds of miles. It is doing all of that to my heart!

You might even want to take the time to drop Ms. Sally a note to let her know that you are praying for her life in Him and for continued influence for good as she now has a chance to take the message to others. You can send it to this address:

Sally Bristol

℅ church of Christ

 524 South St

 Bennington, VT 05201

And, if you have children who helped make the cards, be sure to tell them about this amazing day that THEY helped facilitate! Visible results of service projects WILL appear and they do wonders in growing the faith of kids.

What a glorious God we serve! I praise Him today in the words of the Spirit through Paul: 

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph.3:20,21)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Diggers, Let Me Know!

Okay, let’s wind up these DIgging Deep orders! The process of getting the materials in your hands this year was tedious and fraught with obstacles, first because most ladies who are studying along had at least one package coming in the mail from our house (no conventions or ladies days or lectureships to make personal deliveries). That’s thousands! Secondly, the USPS, even by accounts of those who are working in the system, has been crazy and fairly undependable this fall. While we used other carriers at times, it’s pretty hard to get to FedEx or UPS all the time. Please accept our apologies for all the delays. 

We want to be sure you got what you ordered, so please take the time before the end of this week to let us know if you did NOT, at last, get what you ordered in the months of August and September. (Many of the USPS orders took in excess of a month to arrive!) If you ordered books during that time and they did not make it, we want to quickly replace them. If you ordered shirts/hoodies at ANY time and they did not arrive, we will either replace or refund depending on what we have left. Thanks very much for helping us this way. You can private message me or email byhcontest@gmail.com. If you need replacements/refunds please leave the appropriate refund info (email address) for credit card/paypal orders OR the proper mailing address for replacements.

You encourage me in the very fact that, during a year that’s been so problematic, you’ve kept the resolve to be in the Word. I feared that DD would take a big hit this year, in the number of participants and/or in the enthusiasm of the diggers. But neither has been true. We have many new diggers and lots of study groups going on even though face-to-face gatherings are limited in many areas.  This makes my heart soar and I believe we feed off each other’s zeal for His Word. I know there are lots of live-and-in person studies going on even with social distancing and lots of masks in place—in Gallipolis, Ohio, Huntsville, Alabama (both women and men’s studies), Cleveland, Tennessee, Appalachian areas of Georgia and many more. We have a half-dozen or so teen girls at West Huntsville who are giving it a shot this year. I’m so very proud of them!

We have three of the four October Dig-a-Bits already posted or in the editing process and I am  looking forward to the video podcast on the 27th of this month. Tech friends have been very kind to help us fix a wrinkle in the system this month—especially Mike Deasy. (If you could drop him a note and say thanks, I’d count that a favor —℅ church of Christ, 1519 Old Monrovia Road, NW, Huntsville, AL  35806.) Carol Dodd joins me this month as co-host and she always brings both flavor and “protein” to the spiritual feast! We’re praying for her cancer treatments. They’ve been so very hard but, if they do what we are hoping, they will be a blessing to many and to Digging Deep. 

So keep your shovels handy and expect to find treasures for daily living and you might even be able to plants seeds as you dig. Treasures for yourself and the Spirit’s fruit in lives around you will be results worth every moment spent in the Word!                        

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Shipping “The Ten” (Important things to know)…

...my dining room

…my dining room

As you might imagine, without the PTP convention that annually brings hundreds of us together at Digging Deep kick-off time, the shipping this year is a mammoth operation. Lots of hours are going into sorting, boxing, enveloping, loading and mailing. Here are a few things you need to know, if you’ve ordered DD materials this year:

  1. Although we are working just about every spare minute to get them to you and shipping large quantities each day, we hope you will be patient with any errors and delays. You’re some of the meekest women on the planet, for which we are very grateful. (You must have been in the Word!)
  2. You may get a box of books that does not include the shirts/hoodies that you ordered. Hoodies were extremely popular and we’re already having to reorder. Shirts are now in short supply, as well, so be especially patient with the shirt orders. They are coming. We did not want to hold up the study materials you are needing to wait on your shirts. We will send them separately.
  3. The ONLY hoodie/shirt reorder will happen on September 4th; so if you want a t-shirt or hoodie, your final orders must be placed by midnight on September 3rd. The turn around is quick, so you should then have them in your hands by around the middle of September.
  4. I’m sending out the free tote bags today, Lord willing, to those who claimed them from the August podcast/video. I’ll post a list on the DD wall to those who claimed them first and are receiving them, so you can watch for them in your mail. I’m sorry that there are not enough for everyone to have one this year.  If you claimed one, try to remember to send the actual shipping cost on the box to the return address on your package. OR you can PayPal the shipping cost to colley@westhuntsville.org. Thanks.

    …the kitchen floor…they’re everywhere!

  5. Several have asked about the differences between the free download and the study books this year. They are basically the same, but without limited design graphics (artwork) and spaces for writing answers and notes. You do not miss any real content; just convenience and writing room.

So, there you go. I could not be more excited about this journey together. I think we’ll grow and I have to believe, at the end of this study, we are going to look back and reminisce about the pandemic and chaos during which this study was born. I think we are going to REMEMBER it (yes, like a thing of the distant past) as a somewhat dark and defining time for us. Those of us who are searching His Will and His commandments this year are going to feel like we persevered and became stronger in spite of the distance between us at times, the sadness of not getting together in large numbers, the wretched cultural and  political scene that is unfolding daily, and the abnormality of many of our routines. I believe, when you have finished this dig, you will be spiritually enabled to better fight the devil and his troops here on earth. I believe you will find great motivation in the law that is holy, just and good (Romans 7:12) Seven teen girls have already told me that they are determined to complete the study this year. That little team alone is a powerhouse prospect for the future of the church.  Praise God!

May I somewhat parenthetically say here that making huge decisions for your futures during this uncertain time is, in my judgment, not a good idea. I know I cannot speak in accuracy about every situation and I know my judgment doesn’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things. But ending marriages, switching congregations, moving across the country, and switching careers unnecessarily are all things I’m witnessing some doing.  I believe when the masks are off and the hugs are happening, many life-changing decisions will leave us with regrets. Love your family in Him. Support and respect your local elderships. (They are probably in earnest about your souls and making decisions to the very best of their mortal abilities) Strive for the unity for which our Lord prayed. Persevere. Look for ways to serve and let’s all be bold before His throne.

Thank you. Thank you for being stellar examples of patience and perseverance. Thank you for encouraging me. But most of all, thank you for caring about the Word of our God enough to spend the time to ingest it–in big groups in classrooms and pavilions, and singularly from your kitchen tables and porches.

You will begin with “having no other gods before Him.” Study that one with all your might. If we embrace this first one for our lives, shutting out all worldly competition for our hearts’ first allegiance, we cannot help but to keep every other commandment He’s given for our ultimate benefit.

Remember: When He says “Thou shalt,” He is really saying “Help yourself to happiness!” When He says “Thou shalt not,” He is really saying “Prevent disaster!”