It was 4:38 am and I was having a ridiculously hard time sleeping. It was a specific question with which I was wrestling in my mind; a question about our being created in the image of God and exactly how that creation translates into our being “like” God. The class in which I was going to discuss that topic was just six hours away.
I searched the Christian Courier website and found just what I needed. I printed off a portion of an article from my dear brother Wayne Jackson. He was a friend to Glenn and me in life and He speaks to us still, being dead. I have a couple of books with which he and his dear wife gifted me. One particular one was a birthday gift gave me several years ago while I was on a speaking trip in Northern California. He took us for dessert at a Stockton ice cream parlor and it’s a memory I treasure.
The good thing that He is to my life is still good. I thought about the words from his article and went right back to sleep. Just knowing it was waiting for me on the printer when dawn came and I was up for the day was a big blessing. Sometimes it’s articles by one of his sons, Jared or Jason. Sometimes it’s a textual question and sometimes I need comfort from a passage. Sometimes he chastens me and sometimes he is deeply encouraging. But always, Christian Courier is a staple—a go-to—when I have questions about the most important things in life. The answers there are always both Biblical and logical. Here’s a sampling. It’s a treasure chest. (This is the current home page):
I love the Bible and I love people who love the Bible. Some of them awe me with both intelligence and wisdom. Last night, Christian Courier was a better sleep aid than Melatonin. The funny thing is that waking up to visit with Wayne Jackson for a few minutes about a passage is not even a rare thing. My husband doesn’t mind. In fact, he sometimes visits with him in the middle of the night, too.We also spend lots of time in this site behind our desks and as we drive along in the car. We’re addicted in a good way!
You can visit the Christian Courier here: https://www.christiancourier.com
I know there’s no one who really gets excited year-to-year about Digging Deep to the degree that I do. I’m very thankful to a benevolent God for the privilege of studying with His women around the world. And I am so thankful for those who are willing to help in the details of publishing this study; this year, especially Lindsey VanHook, Jennifer Benavides and Glenn Colley. Just like for every grandmother, every grandchild is the favorite, every digging deep study is my favorite one yet. The study for the coming year has been born in the fire of trial, but borne along with hope and trust in the One who provides a peace that passes all my understanding. I love how His Word consumes and envelopes all of me: It is the antidote for emotional injury, the motivator for thanksgiving in the midst of blessings innumerable, the purifier of tainted thoughts and intents, the parameter of faithful living, the “edge” in my fight against personal wickedness, the spiritual inertia that keeps me from stopping cold in my journey to heaven and the hedge that makes me exchange hate and revenge for hope and restoration. And that’s just the beginning. The Word is the power of God for my salvation (Romans 1:16) and the thorough furnisher of my every good work (2 Timothy 3:16). My Father is simply unbelievable in His benevolence through Bible study.
Here’s a snippet from next year’s study. This “appetizer” from preparing the questions we will answer next year is making me hungry already (Matthew 5: 6). I hope you can travel this road toward heaven with us beginning September 1st. The Word never disappoints. (You don’t have to do Digging Deep to get to heaven. But you do need to dig deep.) Share and invite and encourage and promote. Here’s the excerpt:
God was with Abraham on Mount Moriah. His angel was in a thicket. He stayed Abraham’s hand (Genesis 22). God was with Joseph in the household of Potiphar. He ran with him to a place of purity and impending imprisonment (Genesis 39:21). He was with Moses, even talking to him from a burning bush. He knew about the shoes Moses was wearing and the rod he was carrying (Exodus 3,4). He was with Joshua, even being repetitive in His admonitions to be courageous and in His promises of going with him wherever Joshua proceeded to go (Joshua 1). Joshua must have felt great trepidation at the task ahead. God was in charge of cake- burning and the level of fleece moisture when he was accompanying Gideon (Judges 6). He was with Samuel. calling to him multiple times in the night (I1Samuel 3) and later, making sure he knew what was what in the succession of kings and their anointing (1 Samuel 10,16). He was in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5), in the jail in King Zedekiah’s house (Jeremiah 32:2,3), and in the dungeon (Jeremiah 37:16) with Jeremiah. He was the fire in his bones (Jeremiah 20:9). He was with Hosea when he was forsaken by the wife God had commanded him to take, even having named his children (Hosea 1). His name is not in the book of Esther, but he was in charge of gallows assignment in that amazing saga (Esther 7). He manifested even a bodily presence in a den of hungry lions (Daniel 6). He was in charge of keeping their mouths closed. He took on flesh and walked with His parents to Jerusalem (God was a child with parents!…Luke 2), with the devil on a desert mountaintop and on the temple’s pinnacle (Matthew 4), with Peter on water (Matthew 14), and with the apostles at a well in Samaria (John 4). He rode in the middle of a bunch of common people on a clothes-covered donkey outside of Jerusalem (Luke 19:35) and he walked to the garden, the house of Annas, the Praetorium, and to Golgotha (Mark 14,15). He walked from a tomb and then with two men on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24) and he walked to Bethany with the apostles when lifted up to the heavens to go away to prepare my place (Luke 24:50). This Jesus is with me. He lives in me as I emulate Him (Romans 8:9,10). He has called me, through His word, to the cross and, by faith, I have seen the empty tomb. I will rise, too, one day, and ever be with my Lord. That is ultimate peace. He is at my right hand. I will not be moved.
For the Diggers:
Some of you have said at times “I do not know how I would make it without this group. It gives me strength to carry on.” I get it now and God is good like that,
Some of you have said at times “This time in my life is very hard and the passage that we are studying is speaking right to me.” I get it now and God is good like that.
Some have said “I did not know how much I needed this part of the study until I studied it.” I get it now and God is good like that.
Some have said “Getting together on this page and drawing strength is something I look forward to every week.” I get it now and God is good like that.
Some have said “Knowing we are all on the same page helping each other get to heaven is so good to keep me on track.” I get it now and God is good like that.
When you’re having a bad go of it in one way or the other, God is effectively working though His Word. When you are struggling mightily, God is effectively working through HIs people. But when you have His people in the same pages of His Word and you are communicating about that union of people and the Holy Spirit, God is doubly blessing your days—your victories, your trials and your routines. God is good like that and you see it more through the struggles.
I hope you can join us for a look at the “greatest of these” from John 15. He will bless our time together and I know we will be better after discussing this together. It’s tonight at 7 CST here: https://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women/videos/226900180…
Co-host is Kendra Byrd. She’s new to the podcast, but you’re going to love her. She’s a sister who is willing to go the distance for her kids in the kingdom. God has brought them to the West Huntsville family and we praise Him for that! He is good like that!
Merry Christmas from the Colleys! We wish you …
- Time in the Word. Our lives will all be better, richer, more holy, more hopeful if we can all spend lots of time studying the roadmap to eternal bliss. The bliss starts now in lots of ways for those who choose searching out and doing life His way. Anger, bitterness, regret and loneliness start now, too, for those who know His will and choose, over and over, to reject it. Open the book in 2022!
- The heart of a child. There’s joy in little things for those who are open to changing for Him and who are still wanting to “grow up and be…” Choose to forgive. Choose to forget. Choose to dream. Choose to change in all the right ways.
- Health and energy for your challenges. There are some things over which you have no control. Sometimes life blindsides us. We pray calm and peace for those who are connected to our family in Him this year. But when you have “those days” (and maybe weeks or months), we pray that God will give you an extra measure of strength and patience to bear the load. He is good like that!
- Obedience to His gospel. No matter the reason you’ve never been washed in immersion and added to his one church, put that reason away. Make the trip to see me and let’s talk. Let’s make now the time. Some readers have been wanting to make this most important change for a long time. You cannot even know the feeling you will have of freedom and hope and family if you choose this washing and future faithfulness. I can help you find a group of His people who are following His specified New Testament plan in your corner of the world. I can help you from afar to be faithful and to be in heaven one day. It’s really all that matters! Take the plunge–in a literal way–now!
- A Matthew 25 mission. “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these my brethren, you have done it to me.” For us, this has been the year of skipped vacations, missed outings to the catfish restaurant with friends, postponed husband/wife dates and missed movie nights. When it’s Christmastime at the Colleys and “It’s a Wonderful Life” never happened on our screen, something was terribly awry. But, for every missed appointment, there’s been someone who is least, who needed us. Do you know what a blessing that is?! Jesus has been right here with us and we have had the most amazing privilege of doing something for Him! Choose to “wash the feet” of the one who girded the towel in that upper room! You will not find joy like that in any other way. And when you just can’t go on serving, drink a cup of caffeinated something and go a little bit more!
If you can unwrap and treasure these five things, clean up that Christmas mess, hug your loved ones tightly and move on with hope to 2022, it will have been a great Christmas. Play with your new drone, make a cake with your new red mixer, marry that Christian man-of-your-dreams who gave you that new ring for Christmas, do whatever it is you do with that antique wooden mechanism that you can’t even identify, or step out in those new leather riding boots. Play with the little (and big) things you unwrapped. But pray with the big, eternal gifts you are unwrapping and internalizing as this challenging year comes to its close. We pray His peace for you. But remember, peace doesn’t always come in a quiet place with candles and soft music. Jesus said “My peace I leave with you” (along with a promise of persecution and suffering) to 12 men who were being given the biggest commission ever known to mankind (John 14).
Merry Christmas from the Colleys!
It’s here, at last. One more way to access Digging Deep materials. This YouTube channel is specifically for housing the podcasts for Men’s Digging Deep, but, of course, its content is applicable right now to ladies studies, as well. You will find them beneficial–meaty and relevant. Be sure and re-invite your husbands and dads and brothers and boyfriends to take a look here, too. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC8CpAr8ic6DTYq0-MeyVPQ
Also remember the full details for the men’s program are here: Calebcolley.com/diggingdeep
We’re so blessed to have access to these supplemental materials. Your family will be doubly blessed if both spouses are digging! You don’t have to do Digging Deep to go to heaven, But you have to be in the Word!
The good news is really all in one book. Make your life better. Make it eternal.
I’ll be thrilled when we can get these massive housekeeping chores out of the way. The mailing of the books this year has been a chaos like our household has rarely seen. We are trying to answer queries and replace lost books, but it’s important that you know, that there’s an unprecedented delay in delivery of books via USPS this year. Some are arriving in a fairly timely manner and many are arriving a full three to four weeks after being mailed out. I’m so ready for “precedented” again on all fronts in our land. “Unprecedented” has not been fun.
Tons of t-shirts/hoodies are going out today! (Tons is a hyperbole, but a truck-bed of them…) These should get to you a little more quickly than the books. If you have a book AND t-shirt/hoodie that were BOTH on back-order, we are HOPING to get those books THIS weekend and get them quickly to you. We will be forever glad to get through these orders and have everything on its way. We’ve made several mistakes on our end—things like omitting something that should have been in the package or sending you the same thing twice. But you have (100 percent of you) been patient and kind and both of us are marveling at your grace toward us. I’m so glad there’s the free download to get everyone started while you are forbearing.
The Dig-a-Bits are coming your way. The first one is up on the DD facebook page. Watch there for others. The first video podcast is September 29th at 7 CST. Podcasts are found here: https://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women. We are hoping everyone who ordered a book early on can have her book in hand by that date.
There are some very helpful contributions from many women for this month’s study on the DD page. I would recommend that everyone take thirty minutes sometime before September ends to scroll through and make sure you’ve gotten everything you need from this month’s study. This month is simply a treasure trove on that page for studying the holiness of Jehovah. Thanks for those helpful resources.
Please do subscribe to this blog if you are digging. Often there will be an update or resource or assignment clarifier here.
Finally (and this is probably the most difficult thing that Diggers do)…stick with the study. It’s easy to commit with zeal, but much more challenging to do the eternally rewarding year-long trek that takes you to a new level of spiritual strength, Spiritual health is the most important kind of wellness, by far and away. NOTHING compares with Bible study to keep women in the peaceful sphere of hope and comfort. We have women who are studying along with stage four cancer. We have women whose lives have been forever changed by tragic accidents that have taken mobility. We have women who are struggling year after year because husbands did not accept truth when they (wives) became Christians. We have women who are faithfully taking truth from the Word to prisons. We have those who are working in areas where poverty is palpable in the faces of women who are studying. We have women who have lost their way, but are returning through confession and renewed study and growth. We have teens who are using the study to counter the world’s philosophies that manifest themselves in seemingly every media outlet and in every peer group to which they turn. We have women who are studying along in search of salvation. Digging Deep is a refuge in a world of strait places. (For that matter, the Word, in any faithful method of study, is that storm shelter for life.)
We are missing so much that comforts in this year of strange things. Hang in there. Make it your goal to persevere through just two months of this deep study. We think you’ll be changed…and hooked!