Browsing Tag


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Boasting the Revelry (Not in My Comfort Zone)

As I write, I’m preparing a speech to give in the morning about the rebellious spirit versus the spirit of meekness. It’s the spirit of Saul versus the spirit of David. It’s the spirit of the older brother versus that of the prodigal son once he had come to himself. It’s the distinction between the two thieves on either side of the cross. 

As I traveled to this area via Delta Airlines last week, I was bumped to the comfort-plus zone of the plane—because the flight was completely full and someone had to sit there. I was happy to comply. As I sat down, the man beside me asked if I was headed home or headed out and I explained that my daughter and I were headed to speak at a purity seminar for teen girls. He asked me where and I told him the name of the church where we were speaking. 

“No kidding,” he said. “I am a ‘church of Christ’, too.”  

Well I knew that no person is a “church of Christ” since a church of Christ is, by definition, a group of people belonging to Jesus. But, without commenting, I continued the conversation.  He told me where he worships and named several ministers, present and past, that have worked with his congregation. 

I noticed that the lady in the row in front of us, who was in first class had moved the curtain that separated her from us and was intently listening to our conversation. She politely waited for a pause in our conversation in which she could interject and she excitedly put in…

“I overheard you say ‘_____________ church of Christ’. That’s where I was baptized!”

I said “Wow! We might have a whole assembly here in a minute.” I was thinking how great God is to put us there together. I’d really been wishing to be sitting with my daughter, who was, coincidentally, on the same flight. But she was back on row seventeen. Instead of sitting with my daughter, here I was with two spiritual blood relatives. God was letting the three of us fly together, once, before the great flight when the trumpet blows. The fellow in the seat beside me was taking a photo of the woman in first class to text to his neighbor at home, who was her uncle. They’d talked about the congregation, the day she was baptized and made all kinds of connections about mutual friends. It’s a small world. 

The next few moments replaced my excitement with, first, anger and then pity. The flight crew member came to my new friend in first class even before the cabin door was closed. He asked her what she’d like to drink. It was the answer to the ensuing conversation that made me sad for her.

“Hmmm…I think I’ll just have a Coke Zero. We’re on our way home from New Orleans and we’ve had far too much to drink.” 

The handsome flight attendant responded “Oh…you’ve been down in the quarter.”

“(Euphemism) …Yeah! It was New Orleans, after all.” 

“I gotcha….Gotcha! Let me get you that Coke Zero” 

Sometimes we say it all in short conversations. We have golden chances every day to encourage and inspire. We even are handed multiple moments each day in which we may distinguish ourselves as His people in meek ways. But unless and until we become convicted about morality—unless our story of Christianity includes more than our baptisms and church attendance, we will turn opportunities for edification into reproach for the body. 

When I was a child, it was unheard of for professing members of the Lord’s body to be openly boasting of partying hard and “drinking far too much.” While I’m sure there were some who were slaves to the sin of drunkenness, it was something of which self-respecting (God-respecting) Christians were ashamed. But for this woman to loudly say this to a non-Christian in front of a Christian woman (me) whom she’d just heard describe a purity day at which she’d done all she could to encourage young ladies to abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages?! All traces of spiritual sobriety had, at least for the moment, been replaced with conformity to a world that weakens the cause of our Lord on this earth. (…I hope you can listen.). 

At this point, someone from row seventeen walked up and said “ Your daughter said you might want to sit on row seventeen and I could trade with you.” So, with the rare opportunity to take a short flight in the seat beside Hannah, I left the “comfort-plus” zone, which had become increasingly UN-comfortable, anyway. No amount of legroom was a comfort when the vigorous conversation about the Lord’s church was transformed into an enthusiastic announcement about the fun of revelry in the New Orleans French Quarter. 

I understand that there may be readers who find the observations here old-fashioned. The word “judgmental” may also be used, by some, to describe this post. May I suggest, though,  that it is not the Word of God that’s changed in the past few decades. Abstaining from the appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22) would surely preclude boasting about reveling and drunkenness (Galatians 5:19-21). 

It’s with great sadness that I contemplate the possibility that some may crucify afresh the Son of God while putting him to an open shame (Heb. 6:6). I’m sure He was not glorified by the conversation that occurred through the first-class curtain on that flight last Friday. To think that someone could speak of that moment when she put on the Lord in baptism in the same breath as advertising the excessive amount of alcohol she’d consumed while partying, was just not in my comfort-plus zone. May God help us to understand the sanctification required of His people. May we live in the shadow of the cross. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

For the Diggers: Don’t be Deceived about Alcohol

I had planned to write about something else today. Due to the discussion in our Digging Deep group about social drinking, I’d like to recommend an audio in this blog forum today, instead. There are some who have already posted some excellent resources in that discussion. “What the Bible Says about Drinking” by Don Blackwell is something you can rely on to help make your decisions, particularly the word studies he has exposited therein.

Because this subject is so very timely and because the horrific results of drinking have touched your family in some way, I want to strongly recommend that you take the time to listen to this short audio:

For the life of me, I cannot understand the reasoning behind any Christian wanting to have any part of one of the deadliest games people play in America today. When I look around and see the devastation caused by alcoholics— people who never, ever intended to become such—I am just amazed that any Christian could think social drinking is a good idea for God’s people. 

I hope that you will listen. It’s important. I hope that you will keep Romans 12:2 in your heart as you do. The fact that the world is peddling a neatly packaged, yet very deceiving and damaging lie, should have nothing to do with my decision about whether or not I will have a glass of wine. 

Finally, I’d like to tell you that I have spent time with a faithful Christian widow. She was not an aged woman when her husband died. Her husband died the painful and agonizing death of an alcoholic. His decision, one day, was simply to have one glass of wine daily with his dinner. There are those today in his family who have followed in his footsteps and the devastation continues. 

And the worst part of the story is that similar scenarios replay themselves over and over in the society in which we live. No one intends to have a drinking problem. 

Wine is a mocker. Strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise (Prov. 20:1).

Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds. (Romans 12:2)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Grape Juice: Cheers!

Today’s post is about the “one-glass-of-wine-a day-is-good-for-you” postulation that keeps resurfacing in my “question box”. Is it true that Christians can and maybe even should drink a glass of wine each day for cardiovascular benefits? Consider the following article by Brian Fung as presented in It’s scientific and it’s compelling.

I have a dear friend whose husband’s doctor advised him several years ago to have one glass of wine each evening with dinner. My dear friend is now a widow who lost her husband to alcoholism; alcoholism which began at the dinner table each night with one glass of wine as per doctor’s orders.

This article is not about social drinking. That’s for another time. This article is about whether or not a glass of red wine each day has any health benefits. At the last he was “bitten” and “stung”.  So was she. In fact, they are both still hurting.

Here the Holy Spirit comments and then the article is yours:

Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Proverbs 23:31,32


Study: Red Wine Is Healthier When It’s Non-Alcoholic (Sorry)

Brian Fung | Sep 10, 2012

Research suggests the alcohol in red wine may actually be impeding the antioxidants’ cardiovascular benefits. 

PROBLEM: Drinking red wine in moderation has been shown to ward off heart disease, and many have latched onto the research as an excuse to indulge a little bit, or a lot. But where does alcohol factor into the benefits?

METHODOLOGY: Researchers at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona instructed 67 men to drink either 10 ounces of red wine, 10 ounces of non-alcoholic red wine, or 3 ounces of gin every day for four weeks. At the end of the four weeks, each subject rotated to a different drink and repeated the process before switching again such that by the end of the study, all 67 men had been observed consuming all three drinks. Each study participant had either diabetes or at least three of the following risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a family history of heart disease, excessive weight or obesity, or smoking.

RESULTS: The non-alcoholic red wine was associated with a significant decrease in blood pressure, lowering heart disease risk by 14 percent and the risk of stroke by 20 percent. The alcoholic red wine, however, did not appear to have such effects.

CONCLUSION: Even though alcoholic and non-alcoholic red wine contain the same amount of heart-healthy antioxidants, the alcohol may be blocking the polyphenols from doing their protective work. Non-alcoholic red wine may therefore be more effective at protecting the heart.

IMPLICATION: Pairing antioxidants with alcohol appears counterproductive. If you were drinking red wine for the cardiovascular benefits, consider switching to non-alcoholic wine, or any of the multitude of other ways to get antioxidants.

SOURCE: The full study, “Dealcoholized Red Wine Decreases Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure and Increases Plasma Nitric Oxide,” is published in the journal Circulation Research.