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Bible Study

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Set a Reminder: “GLORY” Finale/Review Tonight!

The GLORY study has been more fulfilling for me than I could have imagined. You’ve been kind and encouraging as we’ve studied and your enthusiasm has not assuaged with the passing of sub-topics and months, even when zeal for almost all things was challenged by Covid and chaos. I think the weight of His attributes has been fully on display even through the unprecedented difficulties that distancing has presented (maybe even moreso than in more normal times). His Word is like that…it throughly furnishes.

Because of the generosity of PTP and the work of Jennifer Benavides this weekend, we’re able to show you the GLORY review lesson tonight on livestream. It will be presented here (https://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women) tonight (Monday) at 7 CST. I hope you can be with us. I hope you have a subscription to PTP365 right now. You can get that here (https://365.polishingthepulpit.com). But if you don’t, you can still watch the GLORY finale tonight. I’m praying it might help someone to be closer to eternal glory than ever before. Will you pray that today with me?

And don’t forget the reveal/kickoff of the 2020-2021 study tomorrow night (Tuesday 8/18) at 7 CST right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WZxG7PNW-Q

As soon as the study theme is announced, all materials will be available at www.thecolleyhouse.org. This challenging year is the 10th anniversary year of Digging Deep. (That’s so hard for me to believe!) We have no idea what to expect as far as numbers are concerned during this strange year, but we know God has been very good to Digging Deep from its inception. We know He will bless us as we seek Him. Digging Deep has surely been a work of Providence. While the year has witnessed economy, schedules, sports, education and lifestyles turned upside-down, and there’s so much about the future we do not know, we are positive that any time we dig into Scripture, He is more fully magnified in our lives. The important things of life are stabilized. Digging Deep (or any serious Bible study) can give us what we need for clarity and conviction to make our lives purposeful and safe in Him! We can then make our homes spiritually safe places for the souls we nurture in and from those homes. It’s important in times like these to remember that our physical safety pales in comparison to our spiritual security.

Please know that I have no illusions about my place in this venture. I’m a tiny tool in the hand of an Almighty God. I can do nothing. But He can do anything He wants, in any way He wants, with anybody He wants, at any time He wants. So all glory and honor is His, for sure!

Dont’ forget:

Tonight (Monday), watch here: https://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women

Tomorrow night (Tuesday) watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WZxG7PNW-Q

And, every day watch here: Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving…Col.4:2

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Countdown to Digging Deep 2020-21!

This may be the most exciting thing in my world right now. Next to the birth of Eliza Jane a few weeks ago, it’s my favorite birth of the year. It’s the upcoming “birth” of Digging Deep 2020-21 and it will occur on August 18th directly from the PTP files. More information about how to watch this episode of DD with its give-aways, the unveiling of the new 2020 theme, info about where to download the free study or purchase the deluxe study guide — everything  you need to watch and study, will be forthcoming right here! There will be t-shirts and I’m trying hard to negotiate a very limited number of hoodies this year, because I love hoodies! Remember, you can watch this on August 18th. I know you are going to love the study. You may not know you are going to love it, when you first hear it, but, I promise, if you love the Word of God, His scheme of redemption and His mercy in your own life, you will love this study. At this time next year, if you participate, you will be closer to Him and to heaven. But then, it’s that way every year; not because it has to do with this website or me, but because it’s a saturation in His Word.  It keeps me doing it year after year. I’m praying especially hard this year, because I’ve seen the Covid-19 pandemic have such an unbelievable effect on processes, large and small. I’m praying that it won’t limit, in any way, the free flow of the Word through Digging Deep. I hope you will pray this with me. The way we overcome fear, illness, societal ills and injustices is ultimately through the Word; thus I’m praying for more of the Word in sisters’ hearts this year and not less.

I know there are lots of avenues through which you can organize your Bible Study. Maybe DD is not the best one for you. That’s okay. Find your best and prioritize the Word in every single day of the next 12 months. What I hold in my hand when I hold that brown leather volume is the product of many miracles. It’s the one book that has the power to convey the mind of God to a mere 21st century woman like me, who is lost without its message.

I haven’t finished the glory study yet. Lots of you have. I have started hearing from you. Be sure and let me know THIS week if you’ve completed through month eleven–every lesson, every practical application and either every podcast or every Dig-a-Bit. Notify me at byhcontest@gmail.com. Also remember that the video podcast for July is happening on the 30th and that’s a Thursday this month. (I’ll be out of town the first half of next next week recording lessons for the upcoming virtual Polishing the Pulpit. I really hope you’re planning to “attend” that!) The July DD study for me, so far, of those who could build an idol at the foot of the smoking mountain, is astonishing. It makes me know that even God’s people can quickly lose heart and turn from principles of righteousness in times of frustration.

Keep Digging! Hang in there. To God be the glory!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #41: Proverbs 15:14–The Pursuit of Knowledge

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:

My Favorite Proverbs: Proverb 15:14 — The pursuit of knowledge.

“The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.”

An aphorism, or proverb, just means a short, pithy statement or maxim. In the book of Proverbs, such a statement is often presented in the form of a contrast.  That’s true in our proverb today.

With what do you feed your mind most days?  Eight of our 24 hours is used for sleep, some for eating, some for work, some for exercise and family matters. What are you doing to expand your mind?  Are you committing enough time to learning God’s word? Jesus encountered a man one day who was too busy.  Here’s the exchange between them:

And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side. Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

Then another of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead”(Matthew 8:18-22).

 The only way we know how to follow the Master is by study and application of His word.  At some point we’re going to have to decide to spend some time each day—to let the world go by for a few minutes—while we sit down and meditate on God’s word.  There isn’t anything wrong per se with enjoying entertainment (which doesn’t involve sin in anyway), but how much time do you spend on that while letting large gaps of time elapse between sit-down, focused Bible study?

If our young women fail to develop a personal Bible study habit, how will they rear the next generation of children to know the Word?  If our young men feed more on the Bible than on the “foolishness”  of this proverb, where will we get our preachers and elders in the next thirty or forty years?  Where will we get godly teachers and mentors?  We could find ourselves in the frightening position of lowering our standards and accepting preachers and elders who know much about social media, sports, and video games, but little about Scripture.  

For today, consider your own study habits and how you can improve. Make your study systematic. Find a deliberate system of study, such as 20 minutes each day before going to work or before the kids wake up.  Choose a book of the Bible and get a good commentary to help you along. Some may even take a leap of faith and join the Digging Deep studies (https://www.calebcolley.com/diggingdeep/ or https://thecolleyhouse.org/digging-deep). Once you begin some regimen of study, you’ll be amazed how many times the during the day you find yourself thinking about what you’ve been studying.

Help others by giving gifts of good commentaries, concordances, and Bibles, especially to young people.  Wise Solomon wrote, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them” (Ecc. 12:1).  

Seek knowledge; not foolishness.

Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

Matthew 25: 31ff (continued)

Jesus said “I was sick and you visited me.”

Emphasize to your children the premise of this passage: The way we minister to Jesus, who needs nothing now, is to minister to other people–all people, but especially those in the kingdom (Galatians 6:10)

Read to your children Matthew 14:14 and emphasize to them that one of the reasons Jesus healed sick people while on earth was that he had compassion on them. Talk about the meaning of compassion (feeling sympathy or pity). Try to give them an illustration, from their lives, of that feeling. (A pet that was suffering, a time when one rescued a sibling from being bullied, a time when a grandparent was in trouble, etc…) Tell them that anytime we see people suffering we should be “moved with compassion.”

When we see people who are sick, we should see Jesus. Right now, we cannot go and be with most of the people we know who are sick. We cannot even visit the hospitals. But we can make and send cards. Get out your church directory and find people who are sick…at least one per child.

  1. Use the time tonight to make cards for these sick ones. Be sure your children walk them to the mailbox tomorrow. (I’m not even sick and I was over the moon about cheer cards received during the pandemic from children of our congregation…you Canter kids and Mitchell kids!)
  2. Tomorrow, have each child (toddlers and up) make at least one phone call to someone in the church who is sick. Train them to be cheerful and full of compassion. Make sure they ask if there is anything the person needs that you could bring by and drop on the porch.
  3. If you have teeny people, let them practice by pretending you have cut your arm and let them bring band-aids to help you get better. Be sure to tell them that when they help people who are hurting, the Bible says they are helping Jesus.
  4. If you have the Hannah’s Hundred 2 CD (www.thecolleyhouse.org), play song #72 for your children. Play this each night for several nights until you know these verses from Matthew 25.

Pray with your kids. Be sure to let your children make a “sick list” prior to your prayer and pray for these people specifically.

If you do have the CD, also listen to Matthew 5:16 and practice singing that as you close.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

“When all the People Are in Church…”

Tonight’s the Digging Deep podcast (http://new.livestream.com/whcoc/for-women). Be sure to join in and comment. The results are better when you participate, of course. I’m looking forward to this, the first podcast of a brand new decade—a discussion of glory from 1 Samuel. There’s been a lively discussion about Hannah’s vow on the group page, so we’ll comment a bit about that. 

While shopping on Saturday in a very crowded home goods/clothing store, I was navigating my cart around another customer. We had this short conversation. She began with a frustrated tone: 

Her: “I thought surely today would not have been so crowded.” 

Me: “Whoosh!…Seems like everyone’s in here today.”

Her: “Sunday’s the day I should’ve come. When all the people are in church and it’s nice and quiet.” 

Me: “Well, that’s where I’ll be tomorrow.”

Her: “Yep….That’s when I should come back.” 

How sad that there are those living in a country so permeated with the gospel; a country where there’s a Bible in almost every hotel room and multiple Christ-confessing churches meeting in almost every little town—how sad that there are those in our community who view the Lord’s Day as merely a great time to go to the store while “everyone’s at church.” It says something good about our community…that at least there are lots of folks who are attempting to honor God in some way, in truth or in misguided good will, on Sunday mornings. It says something very sad about my fellow-shopper. The benefit she is deriving (or at least the one she is recognizing) from the cross is a stress-free shopping morning every seven days. It’s kind of  like my tossing a heavy platter of pure gold in the dumpster and feeling relieved that I’ve decluttered—only the “clutter” that my friend saw in Christianity is infinitely more valuable. 

I hope your resolve this year includes using the most valuable possession you have. I hope you will be digging in the Word. Your search for treasures that will outlive you doesn’t have to be in our Digging Deep group. But its accountability and fellowship is very helpful. Visit here to get started on the January study today: https://thecolleyhouse.org/digging-deep-2019-2020. Or open up the Book on your own and bask in the blessings for yourself and your family. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Don’t Forget: Three Wonderful Things…Yea Four! (Prov. 30:18)

Don’t forget your study routine! 

I know there’s so much to think about  this month. I hope you’re not forgetting to keep up with your Digging Deep study (or whatever study you do) for December. I think December is the month in which we lose the most diggers. Dropping routines seems to be the routine for this merry month.  It’s easy to lay the shovel down when our hands get full of shopping, getting together, traveling and entertaining; or, for some, weathering the winter while in poor health, being winter care-givers for loved ones who are struggling, or just trying to survive a season in which people are supposed to be merry, while you may feel like there’s not a lot to celebrate. December is challenging; but whatever the challenge, your year will end on a more hopeful note if you stay in the Word. 

I love December because of traditions, because my family comes to share those traditions and because the world somehow loosens its collective “tongue” about the Lord during the month when our world  of “Christendom” celebrates His birth, albeit mistakenly (since we do not know when He was born and since the Lord has not given us the go-ahead to celebrate the birth of Christ as a religious holy day).  It’s easy to find creative ways to promote conversation about the Lord with those who usually do not interject His name in conversation. I like that about December. 

Don’t forget the babies whose little lives are being rescued. 

If you did not read about the five little embryos who’ve been left in the freezer, but are now being given the gift of being placed in the womb of a Christian mother, I hope you will take the time to read. I know the parents who are choosing life, in this instance. I know the plans to bring these children up in a faithful home. I see the potential this situation has for eternal good. I have seen the power of prayer at work as I searched for a Christian home for these children. I am so thankful that my brother and sister in Christ said “yes” (after much prayer) to the huge proposition of taking these children.  I hope you will read and pray for them, whether or not you can help financially. I want to be clear that these parents did not ask me to help them fund this huge endeavor. Rather, I asked them–when I saw a need–if I could try and help. You can read about these five children and their prospective home here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/practical-pure-religion-your-chance-to-help  We are still about three thousand  dollars shy of the amount needed, so I hope your year-end giving can include this very special way to accomplish James 1:27.

Don’t forget to think of spiritual gifts you can give to those you love. 

It’s a great time of year to evangelize and to build up the kingdom by giving a book, a DVD, a new study Bible, or a Bible game for the kids. Several couples we know have given all of their elders a copy of “Awake at Night,” a collection of real problems churches today face and their potential solutions.  Spiritual  gifts keep on giving.  Spiritual gifts given to shepherds can have a multiplied influence on the whole church. 

Finally, don’t forget to enter the Christmas contest. 

(This one’s not as important as the others, but still, you could win some of those spiritual gifts.) Deadline is December 18th and you can read about that here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/tch-contest-the-merrys-in-the-music

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The Psalm I Need Today. (Lots of Kabad Here!)

Some days are just so crazy….You can’t accomplish much.

You ought to call a lonely sister, just to keep in touch. 

There’s someone with dementia who’s living life alone

And there’s a college student, being faithful on her own.

You need to visit the widow who sits just down the pew.

And help the mom who brings five kids. She does look up to you.

There’s Charlie, who’s a visitor and Sam, who’s homeless now.

You’ve planned to stop at the nursing home, but, oh…you don’t know how!

You juggle items on your list. So much is left undone. 

You try to be six places, but you barely cover one.

 

And every woman reading this, while rushing…running late…

To fill needs and plates and babies’ mouths….Each woman can relate. 

But if she’s made it to the Word and bowed her soul in prayer

She’s done the most important thing. The rest will still be there. 

So when the clock is chasing and the needs outrun resources, 

Remember that He’s ever-present and the best recourse is

To recognize the refuge…From the rush that is your foe.

In every anxious time of stress, to just be still and know. 

                                                                               c. colley

 

God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed,

and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled,

though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God,

the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:

God shall help her, and that right early.

The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved:

he uttered his voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the Lord,

what desolations he hath made in the earth.

He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth;

he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder;

he burneth the chariot in the fire.

Be still, and know that I am God:

I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

The Lord of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

(Psalm 46)