Browsing Tag


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley


It was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. I woke up pretty early on Saturday morning, and ELVES (full-sized elves!) were already outside my kitchen window and they had twinkly lights and wreaths and a giant Santa snow-globe, already in full motion beside my driveway. How do elves know these things?!…I mean that I had extra little people frequently visiting this fall…with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads and a mammy that’s got cobwebs dancing in hers. Those elves knew that I had more visiting kids and chaos and less serenity and sanity than ever in my lifetime! And so there they were…James and Darren and Mandie and Hunter and the North Pole remote team, too…Molly and Jennifer and Brad and Jessica. (And maybe there were more. I mean who can accurately assess something so magical as the North Pole’s outreach mission?!)

To say that’s the sweetest thing in my holiday season (maybe, my life) is accurate. There they were out there with their coffee and cocoa (shaken, not stirred) hunting ladders and even hunting a key. (They thought we were not home….Now, what if they had walked in and there we were…in all our pajama glory!?)

And so I was having a party last night. I ran to Walmart after morning worship to curbside pick-up for stuff I really needed for that party. That order was delayed indefinitely. So I cancelled the order and went inside to shop in a chaotic flurry of wall to wall people. Glenn was with me and he cannot find squat in there…. “They don’t have this.” Then I’d go find whatever it was on the very aisle in which he’d been searching.  (I should be a little more charitable. I just realized the Papa shopper could be reading. I love you soooo much, but you ain’t a shoppa’ papa.) We checked out and Papa pulled the SUV to the front and center of the Walmart entrance and I opened that hatch to glass-bottled cream sodas falling from the vehicle…crashing, rolling, splashing out onto that parking lot. It was loud and drew lots of attention. A worker came by and said a naughty word and continued on his way. We began picking up sticky glass and making trash can treks. I had cream soda suede boots and Glenn had little shards of glass in his fingers. 

Obviously, the afternoon did NOT hold enough hours to clean up all the messes I needed to remedy. I left that worship service last night as fast as I could when the last “amen” was said and raced home to cook my nuggets, pour my eggnog, pack more ice on the cokes and make the cider. I rushed in the kitchen door and started (I mean a big time jump!) to find PEOPLE in there just humming right along…there was my sister, Celine, taking the nuggets out of the oven. The aroma of the cider was already filling the house. The cokes were covered. Scotty, her husband, said “We can’t find the eggnog”….Where’s the trash bin?”…”Which door should I use to refill this cooler?”…”Where’s the extra ice?” And all of this, after he’d preached all day and filled all kinds of needs for many  other people through the day. 

Words fail. Matthew 25 people I’m writing about will respond “When?…”When did we see you thirsty and give you a drink?…When did we see you hungry and feed you? …”When?”  It’s a million different days and ways and gifts and words and prayers and covert twinkly lights and snow globes and nuggets and cups of cider. It’s the indisputable fact that God’s people are the best people in the world! We had visitors at the party who are just getting to know a taste of what the Huntsville family of God is like. Those visitors don’t know it yet, but they are in for the most important decision of their lives as they start looking at faithful, involved commitment to this family and kingdom. I am so, so, so thankful for God’s people in my life right now and I pray for the chance to get to “pay forward” some of this weekend’s goodness. 

It’s fun to think about elves, but it’s real and powerful to think about the greatest of these…the love of the people of God in times of discouragement.

God is so amazing through His people!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Go to Church? On Christmas?

Every seven years, Christmas and New Years Day fall on a Sunday, and 2011 is one of those years. Since most families have special plans and traditions on these days, going to church may create some scheduling conflicts. Some families may even decide to skip church altogether, thinking, “Since it’s Christmas, we’ll stay home on Sunday, just this once.”

Of course, it is a good thing for families to be together, especially during the holiday season. Most families do not spend enough time together as it is. Nonetheless, our service to God must be a priority. Can a Christian justify giving God a Sunday “rain check” so he or she can have more family time on Christmas Day? I believe the Lord’s Day must take precedence, even on Christmas. Jesus said to “seek first the kingdom of God” (Matt. 6:33, emp. added), which means that serving God – including worshiping Him on Sunday – must come “first,” even if it means having to adjust our holiday plans.

Christmas should be about spending time with our families and enjoying the blessings of our loved ones. The Lord has been good to bless us with our families and the people we love, and there are countless reasons why we should be thankful to Him. I submit that Sundays are the best Christmas Days because we have the opportunity to be with both our earthly families and our spiritual family, worshiping the Name that is above all other names.

It was the practice of the early church to meet on the “first day of the week” (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-2). Jesus was raised on the first day of the week (Lk. 24:1, 7), and His church was established on the first day of the week (Lev. 23:15-17, Acts 2:1). Sundays, even Christmas Sundays, belong to the Lord. Therefore, on every first day of the week, we must make it a priority to be with our spiritual family and worship our Heavenly Father. When we decide to skip worship services because it becomes an ‘inconvenience,’ we’ve lost the ‘big picture’ of the Christian life. May we all understand and appreciate the importance of what God established and make Him the priority in life.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas as we enjoy our time with our families; giving thanks to God every Sunday for the immeasurable blessings that we have both in Him and in one another.