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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Q and A: About Placing Membership


Is placing membership with a congregation Biblical. Is it necessary? Please explain.


Certainly the words “placing membership” are not found in any translation of the New Testament, yet there is an implication that, in some way, we should allow the elders of a local church the means of identifying the members over which they have authority and for which they must be responsible. Consider I Peter 5:2:

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind…

This passage, addressed to elders requires their knowledge of which sheep are in the flock, since they are to take oversight of those sheep. Some system is needed whereby they may identify those in their charge. Can you imagine shepherds doing guesswork about which sheep are theirs? That’s a very biblical and relevant  analogy when considering the practice of placing membership. Some system of identification is required.

Consider Hebrew 13:17:

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

This is a very grave responsibility exacted of elders. Put yourself in their shoes and just imagine how daunting it would be to know that you had to give an account before God for the state of eternal souls, but you had no clear way to identify which souls those were! Some system of identification is required.

Finally Consider the biblical injunction of withdrawal of fellowship from I Corinthians 5 and II Thessalonians 3 (some of the most direct and authoritative commands of the entire New Testament). There would be absolutely no way to  consistently carry out these commands if local elders could not know, for a surety, who it is that they are required to try to win back by a diligent effort in leading congregational discipline. (I am married to an elder and, believe me, it’s hard enough to get that right even when you have a system in place of knowing who the members are!) This system is for the benefit of both the church, in maintaining purity, and of the lost individual in a difficult process of  doing all possible to restore him to faithfulness. But it would be thwarted if there were no system of identifying the members of a local church. In fact, there is ultimately no authority at all if there are no identifiable subjects, sheep, or members. It would be similar to a government attempting to enforce laws when there is no registry of citizenship. While the analogy is not a perfect one, since God, for sure, knows who is in the book of life, it is quite similar in the chaos of the outcome. There simply must be a system of identification.

 Have you ever considered what kinds of decisions are in the purview of elderships? It’s certainly not those matters of faith–explicitly stated or implied injunctions. The matters that elders are to decide are those of judgement. Since some system of identification is absolutely essential for elders and churches to carry out the expressed will of God, then should not elders decide exactly how to identify members of the local body? Is that not a matter of judgement? Of course, they are right in doing so. Whether people walk down an aisle and fill out a card, ask an elder if they might speak with the eldership, or write a letter with a statement of intent, people must place themselves under the authority of elders, when an eldership exists, in order to be pleasing to God. Thus elders are most efficient when they choose some system by which this is accomplished. It is imperative to our submission and to the elders’ shepherding of the flock.

 We should pray for godly leaders and we should welcome the opportunity to be led by righteous men who are willing to take responsibility for giving account for our souls. What a blessing faithful elders have been in my life! Many women reading would love to be able to place their souls under the watchful eyes of faithful men of God! –cc

 Next, I want to publicly express sympathy to the good family of Tate Williams, our young and faithful brother who lost his life as a result of an automobile accident last week. I cannot fathom the pain of his mother and dad as they try to go on with life in these dark days. His younger brother, Thad, will also benefit from encouragement and prayers. Many of you may know them from PTP or Horizons or other Christian gatherings. Tate was a fine young preacher of the Word. Will you join me in prayer for them? Cards may be sent to: Gary, Jamie, and Thad Williams, 3186 Carrollton HWY, Temple, GA 30179

Cards may also be sent to Jodie Belknap, the young lady who was driving the car that veered into the lane of Tate’s vehicle. She is not a member of the church of Christ and it’s an opportunity to reach into her heart at a time when it may be most needed and welcomed. Sam Pace, the driver of Tate’s vehicle, along with other friends have requested that we reach out to her. Her address is: Jodie Belknap, 15089 FM 729, Avinger, TX. 75630-8459

And…The Digging Deep podcast is tonight! at 7 pm. CST. It’s been a great month for learning about God’s amazing separation of Israel and Egypt. Tons of nuggets have been found by so many of you and I am truly honored to get to talk about this dig with you. Please join us. Be brave and call in! Most of all, please pray for the discussion that it will reach many, that it will do nothing but good, and that it will do the maximum amount of good. May we all hide behind the cross!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Who Needs a Seminar?

Digging Deep Special for the month of June!!! Memorize the entire book of James by listening to the James jingles on the Hannah’s Hundred IV CD. If you listen several times a week in your car during the month of June, you will know the whole book before you know it. (Well, you won’t really know it BEFORE you know it. You will know it WHEN you know it!) Regular price is $11.95. This month, take advantage of the Digging Deep special and get Hannah’s Hundred IV for only $7.00 plus shipping, when you purchase online at Available to all, but really timely this month for ladies in the Digging Deep study!

Who Needs a Seminar?

It was a four-plus hour drive back to Huntsville from Batesville, Mississippi where my husband and I spoke in a marriage seminar this weekend. But it was a fun drive because, for the first time ever, our daughter, Hannah, and our son-in-law, Ben, made the trip with us. Everything is more fun with them.  But our restroom stop on the return trip, somewhere on Mississippi-Alabama line was the highlight of the whole marriage enrichment theme of the weekend.

Hannah REALLY had to go the bathroom. It was one of those long stretches of nowhere and nothingness. She kept squirming and complaining and Ben, who was driving, kept saying, “Dear, you just tell me which one of these large patches of pines you pick and I will pull right over.”

“Take the next exit,” Hannah very nearly screamed… I saw a little picture of a gas pump hanging below the exit sign. Surely that means there’s a restroom somewhere on this exit.” Ben exited as he mumbled a few words about how this did not look promising. It looked promising if you were a photographer looking for wheat fields in which to photograph newly engaged couples… or if you were a cyclist hoping for open roads and little traffic… or even if you were an ornithologist looking for prospective preserve sites. But it did not look promising if you were Hannah, looking for facilities.

About two miles and a couple of ‘iffy” turns later, we arrived at the establishment that claimed the gas-pump-post on the Interstate. It was one of about three buildings I saw in this metropolis. There was a Baptist church building, a sign pointing to the high school, a post office and this little concrete block gas station. Ben said, “What do you think, Dear?” Looking out the window at us was a large man with a sort of salt-and-pepper scraggly beard wearing a green t-shirt with a large fish on it and a blue baseball cap. He was scratching his large round belly and staring out at us as if we were interplanetary travelers come to the little store. But Hannah was already in the door and headed to the little bathroom in the back before Ben could get the question out. The bathroom, by the way, was declared to be clean and I smiled when I entered it because, on its door, it had the regular nondescript man and woman symbols and an additional little blue boy symbol and a little pink girl symbol and someone had drawn big smiley faces on these signs. The little restroom was truly one-size-fits-most.

As I exited the restroom I could hear the slow Mississippi drawl and the deep laughter of the man in the green t-shirt interspersed with conversation from Glenn and the kids. I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying, But as I approached I got in on the last part of the conversation:

Man in the green shirt (MIGS): Yeah, you get over them three humps and you got it made.

Me: What humps have you got to get over?

Hannah: Mom, Ben and I don’t even know why we spent all that time at the marriage seminar. This man here could have really saved us a lot of time.

Me: What do you mean?

MIGS: Well, I was just tellin’ em that all you really do need in a marriage is three things: The first two is just GIVE and TAKE. You got to learn to give and take. The third hump is you just GOT to have trust.

Me: Trust, you say?

MIGS: Aw, yeah. If you don’t trust, you ain’t got nothin’.

Glenn: You’re right about that. Who needed a marriage seminar when we could have  just stopped in here and skipped the whole thing?

MIGS: Yeah, I know what a good marriage takes.Just them three humps you gotta git over and you’re good to go.

Glenn: I guess your married, then?

MIGS: Awww NAW!!! I’m a truck driver. (Spoken as if those two things are necessarily mutually exclusive )…And, I did forget one more hump you gotta get over. It’s space.

Me: Space, huh? Now what do you mean by that?

MIGS: Well, both people has got to give each other some space ever now an’ ‘nen to just go off by theirselves and do somethin’ they want to do. See, you can’t be together ever minute. But ‘tas all. You do all ‘at an you’ll have a real good marriage.”

Now, our marriage seminar is a little more comprehensive perhaps, and we talk about the extreme importance of building our marriages on our love for Christ, but, still, this man really does have the general idea. You have to give…a lot. In fact, you need to be willing to give your all to make your marriage one that pleases God. If it pleases him, it will bring you the greatest pleasure, too.

You have to take. Yes, you GET to take. If your marriage is good you take security and warmth and support and pleasure and traditions and spiritual growth and protection and sex and love. But you HAVE to take, too. You take messes and stresses and burdens to bear and errands to run and exposure of vulnerabilities and you take some heartaches and sorrows, too. It’s all of this kind of taking that draws you closer and fits you for the greatest glory for the Lord through your union with that man.

You have to trust. Like he said…”If you ain’t got trust, you ain’t got nothing.” He’s right on target about that, too.

You have to have space. Even the apostle Paul, through the Holy Spirit, allowed for a time apart for prayer and fasting (I Cor.7:5). We read a lot about Peter’s fishing, but we never read about his wife in the boat. Abraham took a little trip with his son Isaac (Genesis 22) and left Sarah behind. Perhaps it would have been good for Job to have had a while away from Mrs. Job when she was advising him to curse God and die (Job 2:9). Abigail surely had to go on a mission separate from her husband (I Sam. 25) in an effort to save her marriage and her husband’s life. Sometimes, a little space is a good thing.

We got our sunflower seeds and peanuts and soft drinks and “left the seminar,” our second of the weekend, with just a few lingering questions:

  1. How did so much wisdom get inside this truck driver?
  2. Just how does it emanate so freely from one stranger to another in that little cinder-block building?
  3. Is Mississippi drawl really one of the five love languages?
  4. …And are we going to see ourselves on the “Marriage Advice at the Gas Station” episode of “Candid Camera”?
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

See Brad Harrub’s Debate Tonight on GBN

The subject matter is whether or not atheism makes people and cultures lose their moral compasses. You and I might think there’s little to talk about if that’s the axis of discussion, but I think you will find this rhetorical contest engaging and ultimately important for your families to witness. It occurred in Charleston a couple of weeks ago during Darwin week, but if you are like me, and were unable to be in Charleston that night, you will want to catch it tonight on GBN. Hosted by Glenn Colley and Don Blackwell, Dr. Brad Harrub and Dr. Jim Miller go round and round, literally, about the relevance of the Divine Authority in moral decision making. I don’t know about you, but I am excited about the revival of debate in our spiritual culture. I believe challenges to the status quo, in our thinking and behavior, makes us re-evaluate and, when we honestly seek for truth through challenges, our faith is renewed. Here are the exciting details. Hope you can catch it tonight.

“Does Teaching An Evolutionary Worldview Lead to Bad Behavior?”
Brad Harrub, Ph.D. (Focus Press) and Jim Miller, Ph.D.
February 20th, 2012 at 8:00 am & 7:00 pm (EST)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

This is War! Enlist Now…

Today I am really soaking up the fellowship and feasting at a program called Polishing the Pulpit in Sevierville, TN. About 2400 people have assembled (or at least been present for part/all) for PTP and the singing is incredible. It must be a preview of the soundtrack of heaven! There has been lots of interest expressed here in our West Huntsville ladies seminar to be held on August 27th. We’ve entitled that seminar “This is War” because we are angry at the devil for his no-holds-barred-all-out-attack on our families and we are ready to shout, “…Over our dead bodies are you going to get into the hearts of our husbands and children and destroy our families.”  Come hear practical ways to protect your family from immodesty, pornography, indecent forms of entertainment and the insatiable desire for material things that our culture feeds. There really may be something on the spiritual table at this seminar that can prevent disaster in your home at some point down the road. For some, it’s later than we may think. The information is below. Our ladies are working hard to make this available, extremely relevant, and cost effective (no charge for anything including housing). Only you can make it effective for your family. The deadline was officially yesterday, but consider this your special “Bless Your Heart” extension. Register today.

It’s a CONTEST!!!!!

What is your very best tip or tool for deep Bible study? Best answer(s) by Friday (8/5) get a free item of choice from Please send your ideas in a private message (facebook me or email me at, so the lesson on this topic will be fresh for PTP. Then I will publish all your answers in the blog in the coming weeks. 1…2…3…go!
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Bless Your Heart Articles Now Available in Spanish!

I am very grateful and excited to tell you that my friend Moises Pinedo is diligently translating great Biblical materials for women and you can access them at Moises recently contacted me for permission to include some of my materials on this informative site and I am so happy to say that several articles from this blog are now available on this Spanish website. Moises is among the best and most faithful translators of spiritual materials and it’s an honor for me that he’s taken the time to make some of my articles available to my Spanish speaking friends. Will you help me get the word out about this site produced by House to House/Heart to Heart? Almost all of us know sisters in the Spanish speaking community and many of us are trying to reach others for heaven. This can be the catalyst for souls in heaven. We are so blessed to be living in an era that’s rich in communication technology…technology that enables us to better execute the Great Commission. So, if you speak Spanish, check it out! If you speak English, tag your Spanish speaking facebook friends, inform your nearby Spanish congregations, post it on your wall, or send emails to those with whom you work. And pray! Please pray that souls can be saved through this great effort. Blessings on all you are doing in the greatest purpose of your life!

Para Mis Hermanas y Amigas de Habla Hispana

Estoy muy agradecida y emocionada de contarle que mi amigo, Moisés Pinedo, está traduciendo diligentemente materiales bíblicos buenos para mujeres, y que usted puede accederlos en Moisés me contactó recientemente para pedir permiso de incluir algunos de mis materiales en su sitio informativo, y yo estoy muy feliz de anunciar que varios artículos de este portal ahora están disponibles en su sitio en español ( Moisés es uno de los mejores y más capaces traductores de materiales espirituales, y es un honor para mí que él haya tomado tiempo para hacer disponible algunos de mis artículos para mis amigas de habla hispana.
¿Me ayudará a esparcir la noticia en cuanto a este sitio patrocinado por la compañía House to House/Heart to Heart? Casi todas nosotras conocemos a hermanas en la comunidad de habla hispana, y muchas de nosotras estamos tratando de alcanzar a otras para guiarlas al cielo. Esto puede ser el catalizador para llevar almas al cielo. Somos muy bendecidas de vivir en una era avanzada de tecnología de comunicación—tecnología que nos permite llevar a cabo mejor la Gran Comisión. Así que, si habla español, ¡vaya a este sitio! Si habla inglés, refiera a sus amigas de habla hispana en Facebook, informe a las congregaciones hispanas cerca de usted, ponga la información en su mural de Facebook y envíe correos electrónicos a aquellos con quienes trabaja. ¡Y ore! Por favor, ore para que muchas almas sean salvas a través de este gran esfuerzo. ¡Bendiciones en todo lo que hace en el propósito principal de su vida!