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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Less Like Sapphira. More like Priscilla.

Two women in the book of Acts that are only ever mentioned in Scripture alongside their husbands .


(Acts 18, Romans 16, 1 Corinthians 16, 2 Timothy 4)

 …was financially blessed

…did manual labor alongside her husband.

…provided competent missionary hands for Paul when he was busy elsewhere.

…had Bible study in her home and helped teach someone the gospel.

…had a first century congregation regularly meeting in her home.

…Intentionally willed to lay down her life at the apostle Paul’s feet.  

…stuck with the persecuted apostle Paul, alongside her husband till the bitter end.


(Acts 5)

…was financially blessed

…talked about how to retain more for self.

…was willing to impede the gospel by deceit.

…planned a lie in her home.

…was willing to carry her lie to the apostle Peter’s feet.

…unintentionally gave her life for the lie.

…stuck with her husband and her lie to the bitter end. 

God used both the truthful gospel-bearer and the liar to advance His cause. He can still do that today. He can use a liar like Sapphira to glorify His name and instill reverence in the church. But I want to be the truth-bearer, so that I can have heaven. I want to use my home for conveyance of truth rather than conception of lies (Acts 5:4). I hope someone can go to heaven because truth was told /discussed around my table. I want to be more like Priscilla.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Can you tell?

It’s busy at the Colley’s this week, but our agendas are not so pressing and our schedules are not bustin’ out like the devil’s. He is the busiest lion-wolf-snake-bee I have ever encountered. While he has always had the same agenda, I believe his forces are larger and more daunting than they have been in my lifetime. He cannot be in all places at one time (because he walks to and fro in the earth, Job 1:7), but he sure does a good job of stationing his minions in large numbers in key places in our lives. And he puts them on steroids in the lives of our kids.

While we often focus on the big picture, the devil is in the details. He starts in small things–little compromises–and worms his way into our hearts. If he can just plant a seed-thought in our heads, get our eyes to glance at  one desirable image or have a yearning for one beautiful body, or keep us from one day of Bible study, or from one night of Family Bible time, or if he can get up in our busy-ness with innocent but distracting pleasures, or if he can just get us to waste a few minutes scrolling though the slime–then he can work his way from there into our very purposes in life. He can make us think about an image over and over, rekindle a feeling of lust or a desire to participate, and he can do it over and over throughout our days until he has us walking toward the sin, clicking on the image or tasting the sweet wine of sin. Just a taste and he can make us feel defeated and he can make us view our attempts to live righteously as failures. Sometimes we then feel like, “What’s the use? I have messed up. I may as well go ahead and fill the empty space with sin and then I’ll do better later.”

Later. That’s the damning concept. Time is not the sinner’s friend. It marches on relentlessly toward the point of no return. It envelopes and enslaves while promising a day when there will be time for repentance and God. The devil can make you loathe imprisonment, but love the first step into the prison’s chamber. He can deafen you to the locking bars behind you. He can make you think the stocks of sin are unbearable, but make you love that first moment when you lie down for the bondage. He can make you hate addiction, but love the first taste of the wine. He can make you despise the distant repetition of sin, but love the right-now, one-time deception of which he is the master. He can make you hate the wolf, but fail to recognize the wool over your eyes is just a lamb’s costume–that the wolf is right inside that well designed “get-up” , ready to pounce.   He makes you think you can walk away from the danger, while he is that lion already chewing off your legs. You will not run.

If you are waiting till later to defeat him, you are planning for eternal failure. He’s not as powerful as your God (1 John 4:4), but if you align yourself with him, He wins–every time.

Later. While you wait for later, he takes your prime–the years of your health and wealth and your heartiest influence.  There may be a day when you can have God’s wonderful mercy at the last minute before you cross the Jordan, but you will not easily reclaim the innocent souls you influenced for hell during the time you leased-out to the devil, You will not reclaim the hours of praise and worship that should have blessed and nurtured. You will not retract the damnation you shared during the years you walked with the deceiver. If you had a thousand hearts to give as you cross over, they could not undo the damage of a heart given-over to Satan during the formative years of your children. He is so busy. He offers shining, but damning, moments in life–times when you make vows, sign on dotted lines, enter into covenants or move to new arenas–he offers these glamorous moments from which it becomes ridiculously hard to ever spiritually recover. He gets you in a marriage, a job, a Sodom or a financial obligation. He gets you. He is busy and he rejoices in this iniquity, especially if he can make your desperation  feel like a celebration.

And did I mention he wants your kids? He wants to get their innocence. He wants their hearts before they are even perceptive enough to see danger. He wants to lock them in to his system before they get their bearings… before their spiritual eyes are focused. He is unrelenting in his quest for the most vulnerable. He wants them to buy into tolerance before they even understand the concept of sexuality. He wants them to form addictions to devices and entertainment and media before they have an inkling about the power of the visual temptations in those little devices. The lion wants children. Children are the ground level for evil’s empire and the devil wants “in on the ground level.”

I hate the devil. He wants me and from the moment I start to think I am not subject to his lure, He starts to get his serpent fangs in me. I am personally vulnerable to the tempter’s power and I cannot let that personal vulnerability be forgotten for one moment, even as I strive to get others to see him for what he is. He loves to get the people who are bad-mouthing him.  I have to strive and recommit and constantly examine my own armor and defense.

He can do big things. He put the stone on the tomb. But that big rock was no match for God in that garden. God never took his eyes off the body of His darling Son. He has his eye on the body of the Son today and that’s where I plan to stay. His outstretched hand is there to rescue me from the great power of the Father of lies. I’m going to hold  that hand till he sends His angels to collect my soul and transport me safely to that other garden.

I really hate the devil. Can you tell?


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #25: Proverbs 12:5–Seeking Wise Counsel

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:  Seeking wise counsel when I don’t know what to do (Prov. 12:5, KJV). 

“The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.”

I love this proverb for its practicality.  Many have been the times of my life when I’ve reached out for the mature advice of faithful Christians in whose judgment I place trust.  It has always benefitted me to hear, not only the answer to my question, but the sound, Scripturally-anchored reasoning it took to reach the answer.  Just now, the faces of these people—my “great cloud of witnesses”—flood my mind.  Many of them have now gone to the other side.

To seek advice from a man or woman who has no Bible-based compass is a mistake. Many have listened to worldly counsel and made life-altering mistakes.

Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge (Prov. 14:7).

I’ve occasionally encountered people who, in their hearts, knew the right decision at some crossroad, but foolishly chose someone who would say the opposite.  The person seeking the advice already knew he’d be told exactly what he wanted to hear and, on that very basis, chose the counselor.  This often happens in reference to marriage problems when people deliberately choose counselors who are not Christians.  I’ve heard people in such problems say it plainly to their spouses, “I’ll go to counseling with you so long as it isn’t  a member of the church.”  That’s a sad mistake.

Titus 2:3-5 has always seemed so practical for young women: “The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish (other translations: train, teach, urge) the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”  Imagine the foresight of a teenage woman knocking on the door (or even popping up in the email) of an older Christian woman and asking, “Can we talk about a decision I need to make?”

Are you struggling with some dilemma or some difficult question about life or marriage or child-rearing, or a relationship at work, and you need sound advice?  Choose someone you know will be objective, balanced, and above all, someone who knows the Bible. That’s the person who can see the future best. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa. 119:105).

Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

1. Read or paraphrase 2 Samuel 11: 18-24. Explain the tragic event to your children. Tell them, for now, that Joab had Uriah killed in the battle, just like David had asked him to do. Then Joab told a messenger to go back to David and let him know, for sure, that Uriah was dead. He told him to tell David in crafty terms, so that the servant would not realize, as he was telling David, that they had murdered Uriah. Joab wanted everyone to think it was just one of those things that happens in a war. 

Make some memorable points as you talk about this horrible decision and death of a good man. 

2. Joab found a crafty way to let David know that Uriah was dead. He even acted like he thought David would be mad because of the decision to fight close to the wall and because they had lost a valuable soldier like Uriah. There was a lot of pretending going on here. Joab knew that David would actually be very relieved (in a sick kind of way) that Uriah was dead. Explain this to all of your children. 

3. Have older kids turn to Judges 9:50-55 and read for themselves the account of Abimelech that Joab told the messenger to rehearse to David. Tell them that Joab was trying to both hide the sin of murder from the messenger and make David feel better about the “casualty” of war that Uriah was on that day of battle. “After all, sometimes it has been a great thing to fight up near the wall.”  All of this little speech of the messenger was a huge “code-speech” for “Your plan has worked. Uriah is dead and it all looks good. I believe you (we) can get away with this murder.” Tell them that Joab and David’s friendship had been ruined now by their joint commission of this horrible sin. Their days of innocent friendship were over. There would always be the memory of this terrible sin between them. Encourage them to always keep friendships pure and holy. Never have sinful secrets between friends. It forever ruins great relationships. 

4. Try to make a list, at this point, of all the people that David has involved in his sin. He is hurting people all around while trying to protect himself. The list will be something like this:




Messenger who got Bathsheba

Servants when Uriah came to place


The other soldiers who were fighting alongside Uriah and retreated

The other soldiers who died beside Uriah

The messenger sent by Joab back to David

5. Make a strong point to your children that sin hurts good people and bad people. It does not discriminate. Ask them if they can think of good people who are hurting because of bad things that other people have done. Older kids may think of friends who are hurting because parents are alcoholics or unfaithful or abusive. They may think of people in the youth group who have hurt others by saying unkind things or by being disloyal to each other in relationships. Help younger kids think of how families might be hurt when one of the members of the family has to go to jail or even of innocent people who are hurt by wicked people in fairy tales. Examples are Geppetto being hurt in the story of Pinocchio or how Cinderella is hurt by the wicked stepmother and by the stepsisters or how Snow White is hurt by the wicked Queen. (It’s interesting to tell older kids that the name Geppetto means “Jehovah has added.” It’s a Hebrew name.) Choose one of these stories to read tonight and have the kids listen for someone who’s innocent being hurt by someone wicked. Sin hurts other people. (If you have both teens and younger ones, have the older ones read to the younger ones. But stick around for helping with applications.)

Quote God’s ideal for marriage: One man, for one woman, for life.

Quote the KidSing rule: Do the right thing.

Pray with your kids. 

(Next time we’ll make some observations about David’s answer back to Joab. Their correspondence both ways was full of deceit.)