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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Is your Ladies Class Resuming?

I’m very thankful for elders who are doing the best they can, within the confines of the laws of our land, to resume in full…classes, fellowship, assemblies of all kinds. They are soul-focused men who know that being together and in the Word is crucial to spiritual growth and unity in the body.

Are you resuming your ladies class? Our ladies are meeting now, under a pavilion, in fairly distanced lawn chairs on alternating Monday nights for getting in the Word. (Our Bible classes on Sundays and Wednesdays have resumed but, because of the need for distancing, our ladies class cannot yet meet indoors.)

If you’re getting to resume anywhere or even if you can resume by ZOOM, I hope you will think about letting Digging Deep be your class study guide. It’s a year-long study and it (the Word through it) can give your ladies the coherence that’s been hard to find for the past few months. It will put them “on the same page” of God’s Word and it will promote the unity that some of our congregations are sorely needing right now. It’s a year-long study and it is not just full of the Bible—the study IS the Bible with relatively small amounts of commentary to give you help with application. The valuable online facet with monthly podcasts and weekly audio podcasts is helpful even if you haven’t been able to fully resume assembling with the body. (But ladies can do the study even if they are unable to fully connect to all the technology.)

I’m going to include here the introduction to the study and a link, once more, to the introductory video. Here’s the link to the video: https://thecolleyhouse.org/digging-deep-introduction-video

Let me also say that, if your ladies would like to do the study concurrently with the thousands who are doing it right now, it’s the time of year to start. The study actually began on September 1st, but it’s easy to “catch up” if you’re able to start anytime prior to November 1st. All podcasts and discussion is archived so you can catch everything even if you are not studying along with the big group. If you think you’d like to investigate, go join the facebook group called “Digging Deep in God’s Word.”

I want to thank every woman who has contacted me to let me know about life changes/growth due to DD. It’s very helpful in a time of relative isolation, to know that the Word is still connecting us and correcting us. When I read that DD has changed the course of a life, I know that all glory is His. (I mean that very literally in view of the last year’s study of Glory!)

Let me know if I can help your ladies  start this study together! He is good to let us do this together!

If you’re deliberating about the study, here’s this year’s intro. (You don’t have to do this study to be a faithful woman of God. But you do have to study!) Remember, you can also do the study all by yourself from your home. Lots of women are!

                                       Before the Mountain…

God was reminding His children of Who had brought this trembling people to the quaking smoke-covered mountain and so “all these words” in Exodus 20 begin with “I am.” He was. He is. He will be. The great I AM.

And His most recent display of glory, for them, was their over-and-over-again-miraculous delivery from the bondage of Egypt. He could have just picked them up and sat them down beside this mountain, but the bloody Nile, the frogs and flies and snakes and deaths,  congealed Red Sea that came crashing in on the army of Pharaoh…all of that surely was to teach them and the nations around them that this was aholy work and that this nation was a sanctified people.

We know that the quaking mountain, the trumpet, and the smoke was really all about a baby in Bethlehem and a cross in nearby Jerusalem that would finally be the miraculous delivery from the worst kind of bondage. It would be a holy work for our sanctification. God was in those thunderings and, with the work of His finger on tables of stone, He was about to

change the world and cultures and legal systems for centuries to come. Have you ever thought about the fact that the body of Jesus the Lord, who was later to be accused of defiling the Sabbath, was resting on that very first Sabbath as He looked on the work of the first six days of that entity called time that’s really only for those of us who are in the brief flash of an earthly testing moment that we call life? Have you thought about the fact that He already had a plan for his physical body to temporarily rest on another Sabbath after His lowly entrance into our world through a human birth canal? That flesh would rest after His own testing and triumph over evil and his glorification as he was lifted for our sins? 

He knew all about all of this, already. He knew about the darkness on the Golgotha hillside outside of Jerusalem way back there when He was thundering on the dark mountain at Sinai. He knew about the final holy Sabbath when he wrote the words “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” And He already knew about the tomb in which His own flesh would take that final Sabbath rest. He knew that He would walk away from that tomb and that mortals would hear the words. “He is not here, for He is risen.” And those words following that last Sabbath rest would make all the difference for you and me. 

He already knew. He chose. Nothing about the mountain was accidental. On that day at Sinai, the people saw the thunderings and lightnings and the mountain smoking and they stood afar off and trembled. And on that other day, there was darkness from the sixth hour, and the earth quaked and the rocks were torn and bodies came forth from graves. The veil of the temple was torn. Even the soldiers and the one who pierced Him, observing the quaking and the darkness, said “Truly this was the Son of God.” 

Nothing was accidental about this mountain, either. “It is finished.” He came not to destroy (thwart the purposes of ) the law, but to reach the law’s grand and driving cause of redemption. That’s why we call it a scheme of redemption. It was purposefully executed from before the foundation of the world. The Captain of our salvation was working already, at Sinai, and

He accomplished His most difficult work at Calvary. He finished the work and then He rested.

Before the Mountain…

When the Lord says “Hear O Israel”, may the Israel of the Lord listen.

But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? (2 Corinthians 3:7,8)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Q&A–Is it wrong to have a dramatization of a Bible story in children’s Bible classes?

In light of our authority study, particularly the lengthy discussions and assignments the diggers have had about what is appropriate in worship to our God, some have asked about the appropriateness of dressing up and re-enacting a Bible account for our children in a class setting. Here are some points to consider while coming to the conclusion that it is not wrong to show children a Bible story in a class setting by acting it out.

  1. A children’s Bible class is not worship. There are many things we do in a class for our sweet children that would not be appropriate for our worship assemblies. We let children lead prayers. We show them flannel-graph stories. We pat the Bible. We glue popsicle sticks together. We color. We compete in answering Bible questions.
  2. Whatever is appropriate for our family Bible times at home is appropriate for our children’s classes. Have you thought about the fact that they are essentially the same thing? They are groups of childrenAuthoritygathered with guiding adults to talk about the Bible and engage in activities to help them put it in their hearts.
  3. Bible classes are not mentioned in your New Testament. Of course, they are authorized by passages that give elders the authority to feed the flock (Acts 20:28) and passages that give parents the responsibility of bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). But, for informal settings (not corporate worship), we cannot stretch the commands of worship to apply. If we were to apply the authority commands and restrictions of worship to our children’s Bible classes, we would essentially do away with them, because they would BE worship, not differing from it in any significant way.
  4. While the boundaries for what’s appropriate for classes would not be the same as those for worship, there would be some boundaries as there are for all activities in which Christians are involved. Does this class glorify God? Does this class achieve its purpose of putting knowledge of the Word inside the minds of children? Is the Bible reverently esteemed in the class activities? Is the information presented accurate?…Is truth presented on the age level of the children?

I hope this is helpful.

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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Guest Writer/Resource for Teachers

It’s the melon time of year in the deep south. It’s also the beginning flurry for many a homeschooling mom and it’s the start of a new quarter for most of our Bible classes in our congregations. Today I want to share a resource that was so patiently forwarded to me by Renee Hunter. It’s an adaptation of the book “Picking Melons and Mates” and I think it’s creation was too time intensive and creative NOT to share. She’s graciously agreed to make it yours and so…here it is. Teachers like Renee just keep on investing time for eternity. This is a four week curriculum, designed for girls ages 8-12. It would take about a month if you did it at home in short increments of Family Bible Time. If you do it in 30 minute Bible class increments, you could easily spend a whole quarter.  When you look at the four topics below, you will be taken aback by the importance of the material she was putting in their hearts.  She did it with sweet girls who loved getting together. Good stuff. All you need is the Picking Melons book (https://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/Picking-Melons-and-Mates/p/14051571/category=3290196), the following, and a few supplies that are obvious as you go…. Oh, and a few tender hearts. (Be sure and get the lap book and homework links at the very bottom!) Thanks very much, Renee, for this great resource for teachers. What a blessing!)

LESSON1: PICK OR PICK
Decorate front of lapbook with verse and title “Choosing in Christ” Read:
“Picking Melons and Mates” by Cindy Colley, through p.11. Activity 1 (Day 1 #2 and #3)
Use concordance and dictionary as needed.

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Complete wisdom scripture lapbook activity: Put glue on three sides of the Bible picture to make a pocket. You will slide the “Wisdom Scripture” paper into the pocket. Have the children write down their favorite wisdom verses.

Complete character lapbook activity: Look again at the wisdom verses and
write down characteristics of wise people on the paper with an owl. Glue in lapbook.

Activity 2 (Day 3 #1 and 2) Discuss
Banana split break Activity 3 (Day 18 #1) Discuss

Activity 4 (Day 18 #2)
Complete Fruit of the Spirit lapbook activity: Use dictionary to look up the words. Glue the pear in the lap-

book. Have the children glue or write the words around their pear. Activity 5 (Day 19 #1)
Discuss

Put title of lesson 1 on page 1 of the lapbook “Pick or Pick”

Homework

Memorize the fruit of the spirit

LESSON 2: APPEARANCES
Recite Fruit of the Spirit homework
(love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, selfcontrol)
Read: “Picking Melons and Mates” by Cindy Colley, through p.1217
Activity 1 (Day 5 #3)
Activity 2 (Day 6 #3)
Discuss
Activity 3 (Day 6 #4)
Break into groups and discuss
Complete lapbook verse 7 activity: Glue scroll in lapbook. Have the children write the verse on the scroll.
Activity 4 (Day 10 #1 and 2)
Discuss. Use concordance as needed.

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Complete “darkness” lapbook activity: Glue three sides of the “darkness” paper to make a pocket. Have the children write down the verses that talk about darkness on the lined paper. They will slide this into the pocket.

 

Activity 5 (Day 12 #1) Discuss
Activity 6 (Day 13 #1) Discuss

Activity 7 (Day 13 #3)

Complete lapbook activity: Cut out the hearts and staple on one side to make a book. Glue the last page down on the lapbook. On the pages of the book have the children write down ways they can follow Jesus.

Put title of lesson 2 on page 2 of the lapbook “Appearances” Homework: memorize 1 Samuel 16:7

LESSON 3: CONSEQUENCES OF CHOICES

Recite memory verse homework

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Read: “Picking Melons and Mates” by Cindy Colley, through p.1823 Activity 1 (Day 6 #2)
Discuss
Activity 2 (Day 5 #4)

Discuss
Activity 3 (Day 19 #2)
Break into three groups and discuss
Activity 4 (Day 9 #1)
Discuss
Activity 5 (Day 16 #1)
Discuss
Activity 6 (Day 20 #2)
Discuss
Activity 7
Read Ephesians 1:314

 

Complete lapbook activity “Being in Christ”: Glue the “in Christ” and “out of Christ” papers on the lapbook. Have the children make a path using yarn leading to each paper. One will be wide and one will be narrow. Have the children glue or write the words around the correct path.

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Put title of lesson 3 on page 3 of the lapbook “Consequences”

Homework: memorize “Matthew 7:1314”

LESSON 4: WISE PICKER
Recite memory verse homework
Matthew 7:1314

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Read: “Picking Melons and Mates” by Cindy Colley, p.24 to end Activity 1 (Day 4 #1)
Discuss
Activity 2 (Day 4 #2)

Discuss
Activity 3 (Day 5 #1 and 2) Discuss
Activity 4 (Day 8 #1, 2, and 3) Discuss
Activity 5 (Day 9 #3)

Discuss and complete “prayer” lapbook activity: Staple the hands together on one side. Glue the back one onto the lapbook. Have the children write a reminder to pray for wisdom on the inside of the hands.

Activity 6 (Day 11 #1 and 2) Discuss
Activity 7 (Day 14 #1) Discuss

Activity 8 (Day 14 #2)

Discuss and complete “wise man/foolish man” lapbook activity: Staple the booklet together. Glue the last page on the lapbook.

Activity 9 (Day 17 #1, 2, and 4)

Discuss and complete “vine connected” lapbook activity: Glue the Bible and the pic- ture of Jesus on the lapbook. Connect the two together using a vine. Staple the vine to the lapbook.

Put title of lesson 4 on page 4 of the lapbook “Wise Picker” Make watermelon charm bracelets.

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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Sound Material Can Be Taught in a Pretty Classroom!

*Next Saturday is the FAQs of Life seminar. Hope you are registering today! www.thecolleyhouse.org/seminar. Have you sent in your questions? Email me or send me a facebook message or tweet using the hashtag #FAQsofLife.

Today, I’m hoping to give you a fresh idea for your children’s classes or even for your Family Bible Time from a photo journal I took on a recent trip. I was blessed to speak for the Christian women in the Tallahassee, Florida area, and while I was there, I got a personalized tour of the “Faith Lane” hallway in the meeting house of the Timberlane church. I have to say this was just about the coolest children’s Bible class hallway I’ve ever visited.

Not really knowing the specifics of the curriculum, I, today, am simply showing you pictures. (My trip down Faith Lane was not on a Sunday and there were no children present.) What I do know is that some very caring adults have spent a lot of time making these rooms exciting places to learn. Perhaps you can take an idea or two from the “Wheel of Fortune” area in the game room or from the exciting cinema video room or maybe from the Bible museum. From what I understand, the children earn “tickets” for memory work and for successfully completed

assignments and then, following class, they can redeem these at the “window” of the Redemption Center for exciting Bible centered prizes. Take a look and an idea or two for your local children’s classes.

And may God bless you, who are teaching the most receptive and most promising of all our prospective members.

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