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Cindy Colley

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Israel ’22!

On the Sea of Galilee with Kate. It was a memorable trip, to say the least,  for these sisters.

The Digging Deep Israel/Rome trip is being planned as we speak. I’m excited to tell you that, Lord willing, the travel will occur during the first two weeks of November of 2022. This should be a more pleasant time of year for temperatures than our last unseasonably hot trip in May of 2019. We will likely be leaving from Nashville, Tennessee and then have ten days in the Bible lands. I’m very excited to spend a bit of our time in Rome, Italy to see the city of Paul’s imprisonment, later evangelism and subsequent death for Christ. We will get to see some of the amazing places where our Lord walked and worked in Judea. The latter may be the part about which I am most excited because the first trip in 2019 just made my cup (for appreciation of Israel) larger than it was before ever going there at all. There are so many sites I want to see again and view with more discerning and introspective eyes. I am very thankful we did not plan this trip for 2021 (as we initially had thought about doing). I trust and pray that by the end of 2022, we will think about Covid as a somewhat distant memory. God is a great provider!

Ruins of Chorazin, where our Lord did many “mighty works”…

The cost of the trip, though not completely finalized, as it is too early to book flights, will be likely be approximately $5000.00 per person. Digging Deep participants (of any years, past or present) and spouses will be the first to be able to sign up for the trip at any point during the year 2021. You will reserve your spot by paying a deposit to Bible Land passages (more details soon). Then, in January of 2022, the trip will open up to those Christians who are not Digging Deep participants. So be thinking and talking at your dinner table and making your plans. We will, once again, be having Digging Deep studies for women in many very relevant geographical  spots and there will be times of worship for the entire group.

Bus bonding!

I cannot tell you how vast the chasm is between taking this trip with non-Christians and experiencing it with the Lord’s people. I do not ever want to make this pilgrimage with people who do not love and live the Word. Our fellowship, in 2019, was close, warm and wonderful. Our singing was beautiful and the prayers were fervent. None of us will ever be quite the same after being together for ten memorable days. We had Christians from all areas of the US, and  from New Zealand and Australia. I know this trip will not be an exact replication, but the Lord’s people will make it a little foyer of heaven, itself. I can’t wait!

Between now and then, I’ll be writing more little verbal glimpses of some of the spots we’ll see in this blog. You may want to visit http://biblelandpassages.org, as well. Many thanks to John and Carla Moore for their enthusiasm about our return trip and their patience with our group as we try to plan travel in an uncertain and chaotic time. We are so blessed.

4000-year-old “Abraham’s Gate”… I could not believe I was looking at a place where he walked when he went to rescue Lot!

Be praying. Be planning. Be saving. Be prepared for a trip that impacts your faith and future for Him!

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

Saving Babies: March for Life Trip Update

The Deep Digging trip to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life is on (https://marchforlife.org)! The date for the March is January 29th.  Ladies will be responsible individually for transportation to Washington and for transportation from the airport to meet the group. We will be staying at the Westin in Alexandria, Va:(https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wasxw-the-westin-alexandria-old-town/. If you are willing to share a room with three other ladies (2 double beds per room), your cost for the two nights (checking in on the 28th and out on the 30th) will be approximately $100.00. (Cost will increase, of course, if you prefer not to share.) I need a final count by January 10th, so we can cancel, at no cost, any rooms that we do not plan to use and so that we can make a plan for our meal and devotional time together on Thursday night.  Please remit 50.00 via paypal by 1/10 to colley@westhuntsville.org (or send us a check)  and let us know it’s for the March. This deposit will be applied, of course, to your final hotel cost. All ladies will be financially responsible for all meals and incidentals while on the trip. West Huntsville ladies will be traveling on the church van. There may be an extra seat or two there for ladies in our area. I will let you know. 

I’m working on getting us hoodies (…it was cold last year) so we can match and represent Digging Deep and Life at the rally. These pro-life DD hoodies will be available to those who go on the trip at cost. If you want one and are not going on the trip, they will be priced at retail. We will pre-order these, so there will be no leftover hoodies in my basement. =) I’ll get a pic of these hoodies for you soon! It’s fun to be able to find each other easily and stay together.

Bring snacks to the actual rally/march because, last year, we got very hungry and there was little accessible food on our route. Bring good walking shoes, warm socks and an outer coat, just in case. Please do not include any wood or metal in any signs you may bring, but feel free to bring paper/plastic signs. We may have some Digging Deep signs specially made for us to carry, with our website info. Who knows?… We could be “discovered” and enlist some new diggers! (Let me know if you have a good and cheap source for signs for us to carry. This could be someone’s important contribution.)

Of course, the political climate may be very different by the end of January, 2021. However, the March, historically, has been extremely peaceful and the security is excellent. You will be surrounded by thousands upon thousands of people who take the sanctity of life very seriously and that makes the environment comfortable and relatively safe. 

The people there will be of various faiths, with the largest numbers of marchers being Catholic. For that reason, there may be religious comments from the stage in the rally that precedes the march with which we do not agree. There may be prayers led by people who are not New Testament Christians. We will be together as a group, though, and will certainly, throughout the weekend, be lifting our own prayers and praise. Our huge endorsement and support of the cause that brings this crowd together does not imply that we endorse everything that might be stated publicly while we are there. 

I think it is important, though, that we make some effort during our short trip through life, to state that we are in extreme opposition to the heinous violent sin of our day: the killing of the innocents. You may be choosing another venue, or multiple other ways to voice opposition. But all of us should be making our voices heard. And yes. The killing of over 60 million does eclipse the rare (but awful) illegal killing of innocent persons by police brutality. This legal massacre eclipses, in reference to numbers, even the holocaust of the Third Reich.   

(One more thing. I’m pretty tired of hearing, often from people of faith, that the Republican presidential terms are historically the ones with the most abortions. This claim is often made in justification for supporting people who are openly promising to proudly continue the killing. This statistic, even if true, is irrelevant. Making murder illegal is the right thing to do, in any nation, regardless of any statistics on any ledger.

But, just think about the current situation, for a moment. Our [apparently] outgoing president has just placed three justices in the Supreme Court who, we believe, will fight to limit abortion rights. The last one was Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett had no time to do her constitutional duty in the Court during the tenure of Mr. Trump. It will be during his successor’s term in which she, along with what is now a majority of constitutional preservationist justices, will be making decisions that will limit abortions. The numbers will absolutely be reduced during Mr. Biden’s presidential term if the strategy of the republican president is effective.  The after-effects of a pro-life president are often very positive DURING the term of a pro-choice president.

Remember this:

  1. Legalizing murder is fundamentally immoral. Always. [Pretend that those being killed are two-year-olds. Is it still okay to support those who want to keep the killing of our toddlers legal? It’s the same thing.]
  2. The reduction of abortion numbers due to legislation and judicial choices often is not immediate. Citing numbers that indicate fewer abortions during the tenures of pro-choice presidents is a disingenuous tactic.)
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep: Clarification for Listing God’s Description

Some have found the descriptions (names or titles) of God and responses to those characterizations in month 3 challenging (#6 in the study guide). Perhaps my instructions were not clear, so here area couple of  my lists. These are from chapters five and seven. Using the KJV, I found the names for God in the chapter and I found the responses to the holy characteristics given in the chapter. you can do this from the version you are using and our answers will be very similar. I hope this is helpful. Just look for names for God in each chapter and their accompanying (and immediate) adjectives; as in “righteous God” or “Lord. most high.”  Then look through the chapter for any specific things people did when responding to our great God. I apologize for not being clear when writing this question. I’m going to try to consistently apply this method when I do this question myself. Some chapters may have fewer names for God and/or fewer responses. 

Psalm 5

Give ear to my words, O Lord,

consider my meditation.

Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God:

for unto thee will I pray.

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord;

in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness:

neither shall evil dwell with thee.

The foolish shall not stand in thy sight:

thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing:

the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy:

and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.

Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies;

make thy way straight before my face.

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;

their inward part is very wickedness;

their throat is an open sepulchre;

they flatter with their tongue.

Destroy thou them, O God;

let them fall by their own counsels;

cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions;

for they have rebelled against thee.

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice:

let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them:

let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous;

with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Chapter 5

Descriptions

Lord

My King

My God

Responses

prayer

coming into God’s house

worshipping in fear

rejoicing

shouting for joy

being joyful

Chapter 7

O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust:

save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

Lest he tear my soul like a lion,

rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.

O Lord my God, if I have done this;

if there be iniquity in my hands;

If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me;

(yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)

Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it;

yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.

Arise, O Lord, in thine anger,

lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.

So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about:

for their sakes therefore return thou on high.

The Lord shall judge the people:

judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.

Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just:

for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.

My defence is of God,

which saveth the upright in heart.

God judgeth the righteous,

and God is angry with the wicked every day.

If he turn not, he will whet his sword;

he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.

He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death;

he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.

Behold, he travaileth with iniquity,

and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.

He made a pit, and digged it,

and is fallen into the ditch which he made.

His mischief shall return upon his own head,

and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness:

and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.

Descriptions:

Lord, my God

Lord

Righteous God 

Lord, most high

Responses:

Trusting

Praising 

Singing Praise

Thanks for persevering. Keep digging!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

HARD Lessons at the Pumpkin Patch…

 

Here are a baker’s dozen of those lessons. I need them this week. Before reading, click on this link:

cindy slide – HD 1080p

 

1. Winning the race is sometimes costly. (Think in terms of the rat race, too.)


2. Think ahead: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


3. Psalm 37:25a


4. Don’t make idols of your grandchildren. You don’t have to adhere to their every plea.


5. Throwing caution to the wind can really get you BEHIND.


6. When you make bad choices, try to grab hold of something on your way down.


7. Once you get into the blackness, you can change your perspective quickly. But sometimes, it’s too late.


8. Sometimes “fun” is really self-inflicted pain, in the END.


9. It’s not really lonely at the bottom. There are always plenty of people with cell phones and they are always at the ready. (It is presently hurtful ON the bottom, however.)


10. Your husband will watch the video of your gaffe repeatedly. (He will think yours are even funnier than Biden’s!)


11. When possible, laugh even when you feel like crying. It’s almost always a choice.


12. Don’t judge when people are squirming in their seats during the sermon next Sunday about seeking first the kingdom. There could be a legit reason at the BOTTOM of that wiggle.

 

13. There will always be people (Like Ezra, here) who are not great at giving you time to process the pain. ( Let’s hurry and move on to the next thing, Mammy!)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep: The Snake and the Son

Thanks to Cheryl McIntosh, of Cleburne, Texas for phoning in her great observation about the carving of graven images. You will remember that in Numbers 21, God actually commanded the making of a graven image. The brazen serpent was that to which the people must look if they’d been bitten by the poisonous snakes that were the punishment inflicted for constant and rebellious grumbling against Jehovah and Moses. 

Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth (hates) this light bread. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died (vs 4-6).

If indeed the very carving of images (likenesses of any part of nature) was prohibited in the first verses of Exodus 20 and in Leviticus 26 and in Deuteronomy 4, then the forming of this serpent would have, in any other circumstance, been sinful. It would have been comparable to the offering of Isaac on Moriah. It was only right that one time, because God had commanded something that would have otherwise been sinful. It would have been similar to God’s telling Hosea to marry a prostitute. If (and that’s a big IF) the command in these passages prohibited any carved likenesses, then certainly the One who gave the command had the right to make any exceptions at any time, simply by His command. 

The most shocking thing about this whole snake incident is revealed much later and in a cursory mention in 2 Kings 18:4: 

He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.

They worshipped the image! Eight hundred years later, Hezekiah destroyed the snake because it was an object of worship! Astounding and very telling. God knew these people and, of course, as always, His prohibitions in Exodus 20 were for their own good and with the object of their holiness and ultimate salvation through the Christ. 

The snake was really all about the Son, too. It was about love.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:14-16).