All Posts By

Cindy Colley

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

PTP SPARK–If You’re Coming, Read This! (If you are not, read number 5.)

PTP Digging Deep Spark at West Huntsville is now less than a month away. Lots of you have told me about travel plans and exciting meet-ups for fellowship! I’m so happy that you are coming. So many people are working hard to make this happen and we are thankful for each one who is contributing. We have around 450 registered at this point, some from at least as far away as the Bahamas and California. It promises to strengthen and edify. I can’t wait!

I’ll be updating via this blog, but, for now, just a few things to know before your arrival:

1. There’s still time to get info and register here: https://polishingthepulpit.com/spark/But hurry! Registration will close on 8/14.

2.   Ladies, if you plan to do the craft activity with Shannon and Sophia Bond (Monday at 12:25 pm), please let us know ahead of time by sending your name and the number of ladies/girls for whom you’d like to reserve a spot to shanmb585@gmail.com by August 14th. The cost for this will be just $2.00 per person and you will leave with a very cute item for your fall home decor! (You can pay this small supply fee on site.)

3.   The Sunday lunch plan has been changed due to an expected overflow crowd on Sunday morning. (That’s a good problem!). We will be serving take-away sack lunches for visitors only who have already registered for lunch that day. Your lanyard will be marked to indicate that you are among those who have registered for lunch. You are welcome to enjoy your lunch in our fellowship hall or under our outdoor pavilion as weather and room permits. Because of this wonderful  problem of a burgeoning crowd, we have closed the registration for Sunday lunch, as of this time. Please note also that we welcome you to snack and drink through the SPARK days in our fellowship hall/pavilion areas only.

4.   We are asking that all visitors (those not members at West Huntsville) stop by the registration table in the main foyer to sign in and receive your packet at some point during    the first day of your arrival.

5.   Diggers, please note that the 2020-21 review session (Monday at 9:00 am), the awards/reveal session (Monday at 2:00 pm), and the Introductory 2021-22 session (Tuesday at 9:00) will be live-streamed from www.westhuntsville.org. All other SPARK sessions will be archived for future use by Gospel Broadcasting Network and Polishing the Pulpit. Books and shirts will be available after 2:50 pm  on Monday. 

6.  Books will be sold by both The Colley House and Publishing Designs throughout the program.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

SPARK!

Register if you still have not. We’d love to have you! Registration is key for locals and WH members and those who will just be present for a portion of the program! It’s August 22-25 and you can find info and register here: https://polishingthepulpit.com/spark

Sunday lunch will be bagged and to-go, although, if you did register for lunch, you are welcome to enjoy that sandwich lunch in our fellowship hall or outdoor pavilion if you’d like to visit. We had a great problem–too many people in worship that day–to use our fellowship hall for a potluck. Thus, the bagged lunches and the closing of the lunch registration. Lunches will be for the 165 people who have already registered for that.

SO many facets of PTP Spark are coming together and our elders are some of the best men in the world (I really think so!), so they are logistically trying to make it the best it can be for His glory. We are grateful to PTP and GBN, who are corroborating to make these lessons available in both archives, so that thousands of people can enjoy them in future times. The topics are both Word-centered and relevant. (Everything Word-centered is culture-relevant!)

Digging Deep awards, reveal, materials and fellowship are central to this SPARK and I’m pleased that so many of you are coming. Bring big vessels for spiritual filling. Don’t forget to register!

P.S. Shout out to Ashlee Bailey of West Huntsville for this new Spark graphic. Used with permission from Polishing the Pulpit. Spread the graphic, too!

 

 

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Nothing Outside His Control

As Glenn was leaving this morning, he said to me “Some days I can feel my heart pounding harder inside my chest.” 

I think we all have days like that. There are times, for all of us, in which we feel like our days’ activities and responsibilities have sped beyond our ability to calmly overtake them. It’s a feeling of control lost. Sometimes it turns into helplessness, throwing hands up, and sometimes even thinking “Why should I even try?” 

Of course, I’m not thinking I have more deadlines or responsibilities or opportunities than the average Jane. I’m just saying that, for all of us, there will be seasons of busy-ness that are larger than calendar space, times of stolen serenity or even heart hurts that make us contemplate reaching for the proverbial towel to throw in. 

For me right now it’s a basement that makes me cringe each time I go down there to the freezer or the treadmill or the book supply. Why did that other generation (the parents on both sides) have to leave us or move to much smaller quarters and how DID they accumulate this much stuff for which there seems to be no place? And why can’t I find any time to go through any of these stacks of boxes and books and drawers of furniture that are so intimidating to me in this part of life? And will the time not be very short until my kids are wondering the same thing? And shouldn’t I do something about that in a hurry, too? And while we’re needing to do all that, we’re also needing to go and take care of the parents— things they need today in their smaller quarters. And all the tasks that go on all the time—laundry, cooking, church activities ( they’re out the wazoo in a good way right now)—just keep happening. 

Then there’s the heart hurts of people around me —-things over which I have not one iota of control—things that I’ve taken into my own heart. I can release them temporarily in prayer, but my weakness is that I let them creep back in; I cannot master Matthew 6:25-33. Isn’t it interesting that 1 Peter 5:7, that tells us to cast our care on God, immediately precedes that statement about the devil prowling about seeking whom He may devour? Can it be that when I fail to release my burdens to Him, that the devil sees my hurting shoulders—realizes my hands are full and that I might not be prepared to wield the sword of the Spirit against his wiles—and so he attacks at my most vulnerable time?! I think so! May I learn to put down the stuff that I cannot use and pick up the sword!

The Word champions it all if we let it. Listen to the control in this passage I came across this morning in Hebrews 2: 

…or it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere,

“What is man, that you are mindful of him,

or the son of man, that you care for him?

You made him for a little while lower than the angels;

you have crowned him with glory and honor,

putting everything in subjection under his feet.”

Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

I love that the ESV says there that nothing was left outside His control. My Savior who is now crowned with glory and honor has been given sovereignty over all things. Though He will not make me or any human do His will for now, there’s coming a day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. There’s coming a day when there will be no basement, no plunder, no furniture, no heart hurts and no devil prowling. That day is, by any standard and for any living person, relatively soon.

I want to be sure that, while I’m waiting for that day, that I never forget its relevance to the little pressure cooker in which I can put myself. May I never let my pride, my possessions, my schedule, my family, or any self-deception keep me from surrendering to the sovereign One every single precious day of this short life. Ironically, when I turn down the pressure cooker and turn up the prayer and study, the tasks start morphing into opportunities, the hurts into growth; the basement starts to become pretty irrelevant. (The kids can clean that up one day, if I never get to it. That’s what we just did for two packed houses and garages, and a barn and a couple of workshops. They might get a turn, too! =))

This life is short. I want to savor every day.  As my Maggie, who’s two,  says “I’m going to fight that ole’ Satan, so he will start running away!”

Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

Resist means to set one’s self against. May I put all my weight into that push today!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Joseph’s Brothers…Over and Over

A few nights back while the grandkids were visiting, we did a fun family Bible time that involved watching, in intervals throughout the day, an old Shirley Temple movie called “The Little Colonel”. Set in the immediate post-antebellum South, and produced in the 1930s, I’m sure it wasn’t politically correct. But it gave us a good chance to discuss several topics that are very politically and morally infused, right now in our country. 

At night, we discussed several scenes from the movie, and then I would ask the question “Who can you think of, in the Bible, who did this, like the grandfather in the movie?”…or…”Can you remember a time, in the Word, where somebody lied because he was selfish, like the bad guys in the movie?“ If you came up with a good answer, you got to throw the velcro ball at the target for points and a prize for the winner. 

SO, first there was a person in the movie who did not treat the brown people in the movie with respect. “Who, in the Bible, can you think of who treated some person badly because he thought that person was just not as good or important as he was? Maybe you can even think of someone who was treated badly as a slave…” 

Ezra’s response was “Joseph’s brothers…they sold him as a slave. They didn’t care at all about what was going to happen to him. They were selfish.” He got to throw the ball. I think Colleyanna said that the Prodigal Son was like that. She got a throw, too.

We moved on. There was someone in the movie who had a very bad temper. “Can you think of someone in the Bible who showed a very bad temper?”

Again, Ezra said, “Joseph’s brothers got very mad at him because they were so jealous and they threw him in the pit!” He was right. Genesis 37:4 says they could not even speak peaceably with him. 

Colleyanna’s answers are harder for me to remember because they were not quite so repetitive, but I think here she commented about how angry Peter was when he shouted “I do not even know the man!”

Next, in our movie, there were some swindlers who blasted gold into a piece of rock, showed it to an unsuspecting “customer” and took him to the cleaners. He paid a lot of money for land that had no gold at all.  “Do you remember anyone in the Bible who tricked someone into thinking something was true?” https://thecolleyhouse.org/?p=14964&preview=true

“Oh yes.” By now Ezra had a big grin on his face. “Joseph’s brothers showed Jacob the coat with the blood to make him think something that wasn’t true.” More points on the board once again. Colleyanna remembered about how Potiphar’s wife showed Potiphar a coat and lied to him about the good servant Joseph. Sometimes we had to get her started and then she’d tell us the story.

Next, I reminded the kids about the lady in the movie who, even though she was begged, refused to come to the aid of a desperate fellow human being, simply because of the race of the one who needed help. In this case, it was a brown person who refused to rescue a white neighbor. I asked them if they knew of anyone in the Bible who refused to help someone. “Joseph’s brothers could have helped Joseph and they could have helped their daddy, but,…no. They just let them suffer.” I think Colleyanna thought about the man who built the bigger barns from Luke 12 or the priest and the Levite, who passed by on the other side, in the parable of the good Samaritan from Luke 10. Ezra was pretty proud of his lazy little self. They threw the ball  at the bullseye again.

Finally, the grandfather in our story softened his heart. He changed his mind. “Who can you think of who softened his heart in the end and repented?” Well, first Ezra had to clarify that the grandfather just MOSTLY softened his heart. “There was still one spot of ‘badness’ in there,” (which was true, the be exactly precise)….”But,” with great pomp he answered “Joseph’s brothers, of course. When they went to Egypt, they repented, except for one or two little bad spots.” He was right again and, by this time, we were all laughing because he had perceived pretty much the whole movie as being a biblical allegory of the last half of Genesis. (Colleyanna said “Jonah”, at this point, I think. He did repent near the end of the story.)

Parents, please don’t let your kids grow up without a great familiarity with the details of Joseph’s Genesis story. There are just so many wonderful life lessons there. There’s sin and redemption, there’s theft and restitution, there’s integrity and reward…there’s just so much that you can apply throughout their active days and in their childish attitudes (and in mine). There’s just so much. If you need help for Joseph and Family Bible time, there’s a guide that starts here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/family-ties-in-the-social-distance. (Then just follow the blog.)

And have a lot of fun if you have opposite-personality grandkids. Colleyanna’s so random. Ezra is so “one-track.” Once on a track, he can’t let it go. Hope he’s that way on the big, big track that matters. And I hope he keeps laughing a lot on the way. 

And, by the way, they were both more on-target with answers than with that little velcro ball, but they LOVED throwing it in the house! I liked it, too. In fact, I’d  like to freeze these precious days somehow. But I know there’s an even better day ahead…a very long one where time WILL be frozen.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

On the Fourth…With the Kids and the Berries

Prayer time is a little more scarce while I have this wonderful blessing of a few summertime days with the Giselbach grandkids and their mom. Prayer time and grandkids call out for each other, but they do not mix well. Prayer is happening mostly in the moments I steal away at the blueberry bushes. Kids and blueberries DO go together, but Eliza Jane has no self -control when she’s picking with me. And those blueberry diapers!

We have one more day together and we are taking advantage of every little cranny of this time. Blueberry cobblers, grandkids and fairy tales go together, too. In honor of all of those, here’s a re-run of one of the “Blueberry Chronicles.” If you look for “blueberries” on this site, you can read a lot of spiritual musings about picking from 2012.

Happy Fourth! We should still celebrate, We should still sing the anthem. We should still wave Old Glory and we should keep striving to be the best Christians we should be in this place of our secondary citizenship. We have come a long way in some crucial areas of justice in this land. We have lost a lot of ground in others. Those areas of liberty and justice that are being eroded in landslide fashion today can likely never be regained. But there’s no values erosion around the throne. We need to be absolutely sure that the banner of freedom from sin through His blood is waving for us.

You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
that they may flee to it from the bow. 
That your beloved ones may be delivered,
give salvation by your right hand and answer us! Psalm 60: 4,5

 

 

You Won’t Believe This, But…

Glenn Colley is NOT the Little Red Hen. He IS the one who does not particularly like the picking part of the blueberry experience, while he is all about the tasting part of it. Seriously. How many of the mornings did he accompany me out there to those bushes with his basket? Not a single morning. How many pints of those I put in the freezer for winter pies did he pick? Not one. How many bags did he pick for those sisters who love to make cobblers? Ummm…still zero.m

“Who will help me pick the berries?” said the Little Red Hen. “Not I,” said the brown cow.

But it was Sunday morning and I was getting ready for church when Glenn walked in my bathroom and here’s the gist of the ensuing conversation:

Glenn: “So who are those blueberries for?”

Me: “Well, I thought I would take some to Mrs. Dorothy and I need to take some to Peggy, and I thought maybe Jennifer, too.”

Glenn: “Well, you know…there are a few people I’ve been thinking of that we should share them with.” (He starts listing his ideas.)

Me: “Wait a minute, now. Have you been picking berries?”

Glenn: “Well, I reckon I have!”

Me: “Oh really? You have?”

Glenn: “Now Cindy, have you not seen any of those berries I picked? Further, haven’t you seen me out there picking, because I HAVE been out there picking…”

Me: “No, I do not believe I have seen any berries you have picked, but I do seem to recall seeing you a couple of times out there, albeit without even as much as a basket.”

Glenn: “Do you know why you have seen me out there without as much as a basket and why you have not seen the berries I have picked?”

Me: “Because every berry you have picked has gone straight from the bush into your mouth? Could that be the reason?”

Glenn: “That’s the reason, exactly! That’s what I’m talking about. Now you should not be saying that I have not been picking berries, because that is simply not true.”

Now, while the above conversation was all in fun, lots of Christians have the same attitude about the spiritual harvest and it’s not so funny.

Have you ever known someone who who seemed to be very scarce when the work was being done, but yet had all kinds of criticisms for those who were doing it and for how it was being done? Judas did this in John twelve when he came down on Mary for anointing Jesus with the precious ointment. He acted as if he was all about giving something to the poor, but the text goes on to say that he actually touted his plan, not because he cared for the poor, but because he “held the bag.” His “berries” were going straight into his mouth.

Have you ever known someone who showed up for all the services (he WAS out there at the berry bushes), but seemed to have a great (and very distracted) time throughout the services–writing notes, texting and visiting with the other teens on the back row? What motivated his coming to services? Did he come out of a pure heart’s desire to honor God or were all of his “berries” going straight into his own mouth?

Do I spend time in prayer telling God what I want and letting Him know I will be patient while He gives it to me? James describes the man who views God as the genie in a bottle who is there for hearing and granting wishes. Hear him in James 1:3:

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

So, back to the Little Red Hen:

“Who will help me plant the seed?” said the Little Red Hen? “Not I,” said the pig.

“Who will help Me water the seed?” said the Little Red Hen? “Not I,” said the horse.

“Who will help me gather the crop?” said the Little Red Hen? “Not I,” said the brown cow.

“Then I will do it myself,” said the Little Red Hen…and so she did.

But as always there came a day of enjoying the fruits of the labor:

“Who will help me eat the fruit?” said the Little Red Hen.

“I will!” said the pig.

“I will!” said the horse.

“I will!” said the brown cow.

“Oh no!” said the Little Red Hen. “I planted the seed, I watered the seed, I gathered the fruit and I will eat the fruit.” And so she did.

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry… ( I Corinthians 3:8,9)

Let’s get busy at the spiritual bushes remembering the sweet and eternal reward that comes “according to his own labor.”

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

SPARK!…But you have to make a reservation!

I’m excited (and busy) about Digging Deep SPARK at West Huntsville. The new DD study went to print yesterday! It’s themes are rolling around in my head even as I finish up the covetousness theme for this months current study. (Podcast is next Tuesday.) I can’t wait to welcome new ladies to our study that will begin on September 1st. I am anticipating with joy having a large group of Diggers in one room again after celebrating our tenth year together from a distance. I hope you can be there. BUT, you have to make your reservation:https://polishingthepulpit.com/spark

There’s something for everyone: Sessions for dads and sons in the mornings about how to develop church leadership skills, sessions for kids 2-10 in the afternoons, sessions for ladies all through the day, and combined sessions for everyone at night. There’s even a make-and-take craft session for moms and daughters (or any women) one day. Topics are varied; textual and practical. BUT, you have to register:

https://westhuntsville.org/spark

The fellowship is one of the best parts. We’re so ready to be together and sing and pray. (One session is devoted solely to raising our petitions and praise.) We’re ready to go to Zaxby’s for lunch again or gather in a hotel room for a devotional and a board game. We’re ready to see new things together like the Space and Rocket Center or Bridge Street.  It’s just time to step away from the bad news we’re encountering each day in our newsfeeds: the division, rebellion and evil. We’re so ready. BUT you have to make your reservation:https://westhuntsville.org/spark

I’m thinking there are a few parallels here. We have a place around the throne where ALL things are made new, where there’s never-ending fellowship and praise, and where we will permanently step away from the sin that daily wounds our spirits. Maybe this SPARK is just a little foyer of that immeasurably more wonderful place! BUT we have to make our reservations for that place, too: https://degaulledrivecoc.com/gospel-meetings/gospel-meeting-2015-2/  (Choose the one entitled “Heaven.”)

Have you made your reservation?