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Cindy Colley

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Little Truths from Anne with an “e”…

Thanks to three friends who could have invited any number of friends who would have loved this trip, but invited me, I am sitting in a seaside cottage watching huge whitecaps roll in and thinking about Anne of Green Gables. I’m on Prince Edward Island, off course. Try not to be jealous and think with me, for a few minutes about Anne, with an “e”. She’a the 1908 creation of Lucy Maud Montgomery and she is one of my all-time favorite literary characters. SO, in honor, of a girl’s trip that’s been on my bucket list for many years, Here are a few favorite quotes from Anne. She made lots of Biblical applications in this fictional work. Here are a few of my favorites. 

“I’ve made up my mind to enjoy this drive. It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will. Of course, you must make it up firmly.” Anne  

Contentment in Christ consists of the making up of the mind. It’s a firm commitment to the One Who gives us hope and assurance. It’s knowing that, no matter what comes my way, both good and bad events will work together for my good, as His child (Romans 8:28). It is learning, as Paul did that contentment is not in the state of outward circumstances. Contentment is in the soul—the mind—given over to Christ, though Whom I can do all things.

I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:12-13

“Oh, they meant to be —I know they meant to be just as good and kind as possible. And when people mean to be good to you, you don’t mind very much when they’re not quite—always.” Anne

Sometimes, when we feel slighted or even abused by people, it’s very helpful to stand back and use our imaginations. What could have been happening in his/her life that provoked such inattention or even unkindness? Is the way she treated me representative of who she is, or is this just an anomaly? Was her intent really malicious or was this just a bad day? It’s called long-suffering and forbearance, It’s called, by the Holy Spirit, “thinking no evil.” 

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil…1 Corinthians 13:4,5

“You have given me a hope. I shall always feel that you are a benefactor.” Anne

Hope is among the greatest of gifts, for the extinguishing of it is the death of dreams. Hope is anticipation with expectation. Christ is our greatest benefactor,  for while men may offer hope for a higher salary, a position of worldly influence, or even an extended lifetime, Jesus is the solitary source of hope eternal. My hope in Jesus is infinitely more precious than any motivating anticipation offered by this world.  We rejoice in that hope.

Rejoicing in hope (Romans 12:12)

“But he wasn’t talking to me….He was talking to God and he didn’t seem to be very much interested in it either. I think he thought God was too far off to make it worthwhile.” Anne

Sometimes, if we are not careful, we can fall into the rut of saying our prayers, rather than praying; of bowing our heads and not our hearts,  God has given us full access to the greatest source of power, light, and warmth that can be known in this lifetime. But he wants us, still, to ask. And He always hears. He walks right beside each of us. God is my one friend that is always closest, most accessible, most helpful and most forgiving. I think I should make sure, in this lifetime, that he is the friend with whom I communicate most often and with whom I have the deepest relationship.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 These. 5:16-18. 

“It’s lovely to be going home and know it’s home.” Anne 

As Christians, we are headed home. It’s a blessed assurance to understand that this world is not my home. When I grasp the reality of the brevity of the fleeting pleasures of this world and the unfathomable beauty of the land to which I am going, I can begin to contemplate the ultimate dimension of loveliness. 

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21:4)


I love this trip. But I really love the bigger pilgrimage I’m taking—the one that encompasses everything lovely, everything challenging, everything temporal and all things lasting. That trip is really what every other little journey is about!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

When your Choice is not My Choice

Hebrews 11 says that Noah, by his obedient actions, condemned the world around him. Is it true that I can, simply by doing my best to be faithful and live a sanctified life, be a damning presence in the lives of those who are choosing a sinful lifestyle?

The answer is “yes,” in every decision I make that is between two opposite or radically different propositions. By approving one proposition I naturally imply that the opposite decision is not the one I prefer. In cases of morality and spirituality, I often imply, by my life choices, that the lifestyle of another, is damnable. This is particularly true if I ever attempt to verbally convince another person to forsake the spiritual path that he/she is on and to live as I have chosen to live. And yet, if I enjoy the prospect of heaven, then by the very nature of Christianity, I can and will tell others about the salvation for which I am so thankful. And inherent in the word “saved” is the concept of something awful (hell) from which I have been rescued—saved. I imply, that without change and submission, my neighbor is condemned. (That’s what makes evangelism so unpleasant in our minds, which have been conditioned by tolerance.) 

Because of my choice, I do “condemn” the world.

Being told that one is doing life wrong, is not generally accepted well in our haughty, and pluralistic society. Being asked to change is threatening to personal autonomy. We live in a world in which the concept of becoming slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:16) is just not even palatable. And yet, that’s clearly the choice I must make according to the Word of God. 

And there we land. Does the Word of God—the Bible—have authority over my life? It will tell each of us that we’ve made choices that are damnable. It convicts and I choose to humble myself to its power or to walk in my own pride and selfishness. 

But when I choose my own way, let me tell you, I will be necessarily be condemned in that world of selfishness/self-righteousness, by those who have bowed their knees to Jesus. 

Noah did not choose to condemn. He chose to obey. And in that righteousness—in those righteous deeds—he condemned the world. 

When people say, “Don’t judge me!”, they often, in fact mean, “Don’t condemn me by your very walk with Christ.” 

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Hebrews 11:7

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

“Scents You Left Me, Baby…”

I love to read my friends’ posts about the amazing rare chickens and goats on their homesteads. I can post about interesting animals at Serenity, too, as you’ve seen before…and interesting ‘homesteads.”

It was supposed to be a vacation week for Glenn and me, but needs on both sides of this generation sandwich were pressing. Doctor appointments, and school field days and the nursing home and a family funeral…lots of non-emergent, but still urgent things just kept us from any semblance of leisure. Blessings everywhere. Leisure: not happening. 

Then today, we were finally forced to pay attention to that wretched smell in the dining room and library; actually now the smell was spreading into the kitchen and…well, everywhere in the house. No longer could it be ignored. At first, we thought we had failed to empty the diaper pail. But it smelled more like a skunk. We considered that perhaps a skunk had crawled under our house and sprayed in the crawl space.  We wondered if one of our frequent attic squirrels had died somewhere. Finally, Glenn declared  “I’m going to call Phillips…” (that’s our HVAC repair company)….”Something has died inside our duct work. We cannot go on breathing this stench.”  and so, he did. 

The HVAC guys came out. They saw where the point of entry for the culprit was in that duct work . They gathered the tools and two men to evict whatever carcass was in there. They shined the light in the darkness of that air passage. And then they went out to my husband , who was on the mower. “That’s no dead animal in that air duct” the man said. 

“Well, what is it then?”

“It’s a whole family of skunks.” 

“Dead skunks?…in the ductwork? And in the  plural?”

“No…living ones. A mama skunk and her babies.” 

“There are living skunks in my ductwork?!” 

After a few rounds of  “We’ve never, in all our years of HVAC repair, seen any live animals in the duct work. much less a whole family; and certainly not skunks!” they began to try to decide how to evict the heavily-armed mama from her heated and air-conditioned country ground-level condo. 

It was decided that they’d saw off a length of the duct pipe and quickly squeeze the ends of the aluminum and insulation tubing, keeping the animals inside. Then they would take the varmints into the woods behind our house and set them free. It was a sight to watch those guys carefully carrying six feet of duct work across our yard and then releasing a whole skunk menagerie onto the grass in the edge of that wooded lot.  You can watch that here if you really want to:

That mama skunk wasted no time getting just beyond the brush and behind some trees to peer back and keep a watch on those  baby skunks. Six of them. Six tiny little skunks huddled together on the grass. Each one of those six baby skunks is probably going to cost us about  five or six hundred dollars. All the ductwork beneath our house has got to be replaced. 

The most interesting phenomena was the human responses to the situation. Perspective is what makes the philosophical world go ‘round. Here are a few from that stinkin’ moment when seven skunks were residing in the airways at Serenity: 

Glenn: “We’ve got to get rid of them, without the spray on us all. We can shoot them.” 

Big, brawny HVAC man #1: “ Well, there’s babies. We need to find a way to let them go.”

Big, brawny HVAC boss-man: “I really would like to take one of these babies home with me. You can have them de-scented,” 

Rebekah: “They are SOOOOO cute!”

Colleyanna (in a concerned “I-know-my-Papa” voice: “Mammy, what are you goin’ to DO wif doze baby skunks?”

Me: “I’m going outside and take a few pictures.”

Hannah: “Seriously?!!…Baby skunks in the ductwork. That’s amazing!”

Molly: “Mrs Cindy, DO it! Keep one. They are like a cross between a cat and a dog.”

Ezra: “Let me see the video, Mammy!”

Eliza Jane (in a deep motherly tone_: “AAAAAAwwwwWWWWW,”

Glenn again: “Has everyone forgotten that these are SKUNKS?! They are SKUNKS!” 

Glenn and I are in a different city tonight and we think we can still smell them. They wreaked havoc. They will end up costing several thousand dollars. They will grow up into little beasts from which we will run for our lives. They will be a tribe of big skunks in the back woods next year. They will form a union, claim they are being abused, and declare their rights to return to their native habitat. They are the stuff of which bad jokes, puns and fables are made. But those little skunk babies were ridiculously cute. So are the grandchildren who were begging for their lives. These grandkids don’t get everything they want, of course. But, let’s just say, when a skunk runs across the driveway next spring and Colleyanna is afraid to get out of the car (like this spring) I will remind her of how cute they were lying out there in the grass. 

It’s a vacation I will never forget. It surely had all the e-scent-ial elements: family, adventure, memories, and accommodating airlines. 

(Also, it IS important to look at the stinkin’ things in life and properly identify them as such. Coddling the wicked comes with a big price.)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

My Latest Little Bundle of Answered Prayers!

Last Wednesday night, I got to hold Chloe Annette Moon for the very first time while watching the utter joy and pride on the faces of big brothers John, Enoch and Titus. Chloe was all of four days old. She’d already traveled in three states and her mother and daddy brought her miles and miles out of their way (after picking up the boys following her delivery) to attend the gospel meeting where Glenn was preaching in Cookeville. They were on the back row in that little building, but as soon as the “amen” was said, two little white-headed boys literally bounded up to my second-row pew. Titus, who’s the oldest and now is five years old, said “Miss Cindy! Miss Cindy! We got a new baby and it’s a gull one!” 

It’s beyond humbling and instructive to me that they gave this precious little bundle fresh from God the middle name Annette– after me! I want to be a woman she can emulate and I hope I can watch her grow into a maidservant for Jehovah. I can’t wait for that! 

It’s also extra special to me that Chloe’s first name was chosen this year directly as a result of our “God of all Comfort “ Digging Deep study. In lesson two, here’s what we inferred, without reservation, about Chloe, a one-verse-wonder of a godly woman! 

We only read about her in one verse in our Bibles. But we know some things about her household. 1) They aptly and wisely identified problems and took them to the right place for answers. 2) They were a credible and faithful source of information to the great apostle, Paul. He did not question this report but, instead, addressed the problems. 3) Chloe had much to do with the salvation of many at Corinth. These are more than assumptions. Chloe’s household had the ear of Paul. What kind of mothers today can produce households which would be counted worthy to profoundly influence whole congregations in the direction of truth?  (From “God of All Comfort” by Cindy Colley)

May Chloe Annette Moon always go to the right place for the answers to life’s big questions. May she be a person of credibility, because of her consistent honesty and impeccable integrity. May her influence lead many souls to be around the throne. May she love her family, both in her physical house and in God’s house, enough to do hard things for their eternal good. May she truly respect divine inspiration in all of its general principles and all of its specifics, just like Chloe of Corinth. 

And may her brothers always adore her the way they do right now. 

What a blessing last Wednesday night was for this weary traveler! 


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Meridianville Girls’ Day!

It’s set for May 20th. It’s for girls– junior high and up. This day will include fellowship, service, and singing. But, most importantly, it will remind and convict your daughters of their worth; the “why” of their resolve to be set apart from this world. Even the terms “holiness” and “righteousness” have an archaic and awkward ring in the ears of teen girls today. They live in a world that’s largely antagonistic to their commitment to Christ. This reminder of how much they are loved by the One who assigns ultimate worth will be valuable in decision-making to your daughters over and over again. There will be practical sessions for moms and mentors while the girls’ sessions are happening. The Bible will be at the heart of every part of this day.

Our girls will not learn their true value at school or from the media or peer groups. They will not grasp it in a day. But this day will be a tangible moment of building. It will be a day that could be hugely important in your daughter’s path heavenward (…your’s, too!). Here are the details. When you click you will see three tracks including schedules– for junior high and senior high and ladies. If you can make this trip, it will help you on your life’s most important trip!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The Lazy Cow

I’m loving being with the Pippin church in Cookeville, Tennessee this week. They are friendly and that building is jam-packed for every single service. The singing is out of this world and the acoustics are amazing. It’s been a long while since I have seen a building packed that full for any event and this event is all about the gospel. It has done this weary heart a lot of good!

After services last night, I got to greet my friend Mel Draper, with whom I traveled to Israel, and a dear old friend, Floyd Farris, whom Glenn and I had not seen for thirty-five years.  I got to see some Moriah campers, who are excited about this year’s reunion and some dear Blackwell friends. Every crevice has been pretty full and it feels pretty good to be at an event like this after so many times in recent months when I’ve needed to stay home and Glenn has traveled alone. This time they asked me to speak, too, to the ladies, and I’m glad I had this incentive to follow a day or two behind Glenn, even though I could not come with him.  I’ve met many new people and other people whom I loved already from Facebook friendships.

Then, after the meeting, we went,  just at closing time, to the Lazy Cow Creamery in Cookeville, Tennessee to get some of what Kendra Harless said was “the best ice cream in the world.” Being the ice cream connoisseur that I am, I could not wait! This Kingdom Hall for Jehovah’s Witnesses that had been renovated and repurposed as an ice cream parlor appeared to still be using the classroom tables from the JW’s in the old classrooms for the parlor tables. It appeared the “sanctuary” was the place where they made 50 gallons of ice cream daily to serve in various flavors that extended beyond the 31 regulars, both in ingredients and in goodness. I was so stoked about this little outing, even though I really didn’t know our hosts, Kendra and Parker Harless, very well at all. (I have a way, though, of becoming pretty tight with people, pretty fast. Wait for it.) 

I like Kendra and Parker. Who cannot like the girl who brings you to ice cream (the best in the world) at a picnic table at the Lazy Cow and proceeds to somehow organically get on the topic of new shoes…and tells a story about the new shoes she got when she was a teenager (canvas sneakers with rhinestones) and she wore them outside to get her mama’s tiller in, right before time to go to Bible Bowl, and their mean ole’ rooster came out from under the house and attacked her, talons out, and got blood on her new shoes?  You have to love her! “That ole rooster thought I was my brother. Now, my brother was mean to that rooster. He’d let him have it with the baseball bat. That rooster heard me comin’ and out he came for blood. I was so mad at that rooster for gettin’ that blood on my brand new shoes! By the time he got fried up that night, he had 47 BBs in him, that my best friend, Becca, picked out of him.” (You have just got to love that girl!) 

Glenn said  “Oh, you shot him with a shotgun?” 

“Oh no! We shot him 47 times with a BB gun. That’s all we had to shoot him with!”

I could not stop laughing. But what really got her on the subject of bloody dress shoes was what happened right before we sat down at the picnic table. I had picked, after long deliberation, one scoop of caramel toffee crunch on a waffle cone. And she was right. It was the best ice cream in the world. I almost never get a waffle cone and I was, as Colleyanna says, “in love with this ice cream” in my hand. I stepped out onto the porch of this old church building and then off the little step that puts one onto an old gravel path that leads over to the picnic table. The trouble was, I splattered down on that gravel path face-first! I was trying to lead the fall with the ice cream. I was trying to save that big scoop. But I sprawled all over that path and my waffle cone crunched to cold, sad, caramel covered pieces between my leopard-print shirt and those sharp gravel stones. I saw my husband’s saddle shoes run by me and then back as he shouted, “Oh Cindy, Are you okay??!!” (“Why did he run by me and then back?” you ask. ) Of course, he had to safely deposit his bowl of ice cream on the picnic table, before he could get back over there to help me up. Of course he did. He’s amazing like that. 

“I’m okay.” I said as I looked up with my chin still in the gravelly dirt. Just please go get me some more ice cream. It’s 8:58 and this place cannot close before I get my ice cream!” 

“What flavor was it?” Parker yelled, halfway back in the foyer of that creamery. 

“Caramel toffee crunch!” I yelled as I was getting up, slowly, with heavy huffing …like senior citizens do, wiping scraped knees and examining those three big spots of quartz-white, now mangled fabric on my black skirt and picking up big blobs of cone and cream and taking them to the milk-pail trash can on the porch. (Then, in case the place has closed and this is all you’re getting, you just have to lick your fingers.) 

I laugh when people fall down. I cannot help myself. I probably laugh most when I fall down.  Our new friends were, later, explaining a sad story about someone’s bad circumstance, and I thought about the fall, while they were describing this sadness, and I could not keep from laughing even at that inopportune moment. I had to say “I am so sorry. I cannot stop thinking about that epic face-plant! I always laugh when people fall. It’s disgraceful, I know. But I cannot help it.” Then I had to think about funerals or surgeries or lost puppies, so that I would not think about falling again. I shook in the bed at our hotel later that night just thinking about that sprawl. It was one for the books. I had to call my daughter and tell her about the magnificence of it. She is the only one who laughed harder than I did. 

For the record, it had been a pretty long day. Following a weekend in which I had traveled back and forth from Alabama to middle and east Tennessee more times than I care to think about; after I had delivered three lessons to ladies and attended eight sessions on topics from internet safety to hospitality to Acts 2, hosted five extra people in our home through that weekend, and talked, pretty extensively with four different women, who needed help or encouragement, I needed some levity. God always gives us what we need. I only wish my levitation off that porch had ended in a gentler landing! 

Sometimes, I think about how I might pass from this life to the next. Will it be a disease? Will I have dementia? (Sometimes I really am starting to suspect that.) Will I be in an auto-accident? Will I just die in my sleep? Then I think  “Nah, I’m pretty sure I’ll just fall at the wrong time from the wrong place, and have a fatal landing.” Pretty sure my track record points to that end. But I guess, then,  I’ll die laughing. 

I do recommend the Lazy Cow in Cookeville, Tennessee. But I recommend watching that first step off the porch.