Browsing Tag

Digging Deep

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Aaron after the Calf

photo credit: Rebecca Jenkins Richardson

Because you asked: 

Here are the ten observations about Aaron’s “pardon” after the calf incident (in a succinct list):

  1. We may not know the answers, but God gets it right every time (Psa. 19:9)
  2. God used this action of Aaron to teach us the need for our own holy High Priest (Heb.5:1-4).
  3. God had just spent chapters 28-31 saying “The priests will sin, but I will cleanse,” (Heb.5:3;9:7).
  4. Aaron had already been called at the time of the calf-building, but not yet consecrated as priest (Ex.28:7).
  5. Aaron was not exempt from punishment (Nos. 20:12, 24-29)
  6. His penitence seems evident from Exodus 20:26.
  7. Levites were chosen shortly after this to claim the hallowed first-born place in Israel (Nos 3:5-13; Nos. 8:1-16).
  8. It appears that the reason for this “firstborn” status (the consecrating of Levites for the firstborn) was the repentance of Exodus 32:26-28.
  9. This consecration seems to be a partial fulfillment of Genesis 49:5-7.
  10. There had to be a firstborn substitute (Nos 3:44ff)

Hope this is helpful. Watch early next week for updates about three things: 

  1. March for Life in late January.
  2. Israel/Rome trip in 2022
  3. A few remaining shirts/hoodies. (Please don’t order in these comments. We will put them in the store at www.thecolleyhouse next week when we are sure everyone who already ordered has received. They will be very limited sizes and quantities and must be ordered in the store. Thanks very much. This is necessary in order for us to not sell the same shirt twice! Please do let us know if you have not received your previous shirt orders via FB message.)

Have the best kind of blessed week-end. I hope your world is as beautiful as Huntsville, Alabama is during late October!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The River Clapped its Hands.

I was just so tired of looking at masks instead of smiles. My kids who live close enough for me  to ever see them anyway, were all in quarantine. I didn’t even want to drag out the Halloween jack-o-lanterns and garlands and goblins because nobody is ever going to be coming over. Every time I opened my laptop, I’d feel just a little worse after looking at the news. The counseling Glenn and I were doing—talking, really —was about heavy things that were hard to get out of my mind once the conversations were finished. Some people seemed bound to make decisions they are bound to regret once the pandemic and national tension are over. Sometimes, I was pretty sure attitudes in the grocery store had also been affected by the negativity in the world at large; there seemed to always be tension there, but never any Clorox wipes. People I knew were in the hospital and I could not visit them. Sisters I knew had been diagnosed with Covid and, worse still, others had been diagnosed with cancer. (These last observations should have been enough to stop me cold in my “pity party” tracks, but I persisted.)…I had geared up to speak a whole bunch of times this year and every single speaking engagement of 2020 had either been canceled or I was speaking it into a camera in an empty studio room. There were never any encouraging, in-person faces; and if there were, I could not see past the masks. We’d mailed out hundreds of packages and about one out of every five was lost in transit. Glenn, in cleaning up after a family birthday party, had jerked on a birthday balloon I’d taped to the candelabra (back before all the kids were quarantined) and he jerked the whole fixture down, so I had a dangling broken light fixture above my dining room table. Stuff was broken in the little Digging Deep studio, too. Mornings would find me determined to accomplish a check-list. Evenings would find me moving most of today’s to-do list to tomorrow’s page. At night before falling asleep, I’d read about some city (or forest) where fires were ragIng, because of natural forces or because of forces of racial and vitriolic unrest. I really was wallowing in the national pandemic of discouragement. 

My husband suggested that we go away for a few days. “We NEED to do this, Cindy,” he’d say almost every day. “Our bodies and minds need to rest.” I was less than thrilled, arguing that this is not a good time to travel. “I just got home from a necessary trip”… “Things will be closed. We are in a pandemic.”  But I tried to be compliant.  I checked out flights  to New England to look at the leaves, but apparently they don’t want people from Alabama to look at their leaves this year. That little trip would have required a couple of weeks of quarantine and temperature checks upon arrival, etc. So we just pointed the car in a southwesterly direction and ended up in Natchez, Mississippi with very little purpose or plan to do or see anything. But I saw a lot of things. 

In the state of Mississippi, the mask mandate had been lifted. That, friends, may not have been medically smart. I do not know. I do know, though, that seeing strangers smile at strangers is a balm to weary spirits.

Immediately upon reaching our hotel in Natchez, we started looking for a church. The place where we ended up was in Vidalia, Louisiana. (After that search online and in the car, for a couple of hours, I was most appreciative of our church family, city-wide, in Huntsville, AL) This little church had to be the friendliest one in the state of Louisiana. All of their services were in-person. Their singing was robust and obviously from their hearts. They prayed for their “visitors” from Alabama in every single prayer and they graciously asked Glenn to preach on Sunday. But the thing that renewed my appreciation for the family of God was the comment in class by the kind gentleman who also led their singing. In the context of brotherly love from 1 John, he said “Most of you know that I live by myself. I try to talk to neighbors about the Lord, but most of them are not too interested. You know that this right here is my family. Y’all are my people. Y’all are the ones I need to see and I look forward to the times we get to be together. This is my place.” Now I don’t know about you, but my soul soared to hear this black brother talk about this very racially integrated body of believers as “his people.” I thought “This is what the Lord wants in all of our hearts. While the world is tumultuously acting like the world and trying to make everybody walk on eggshells around everybody else, he has called us out of darkness and translated us into this great family—the kingdom of his dear Son.” I determined to go home and just love my family like never before! Sometimes a woman needs a brother to just put her self-focused little mind in place again. He, like a spiritual chiropractor, just popped me back into alignment. 

The next time we met with these sweet Christians, I took along our current Digging Deep study book and found women, who had never even heard of DD, eager to begin. Glenn talked to these sweet folks about Lads to Leaders (They had not heard about that either, but there was obvious young potential there.) There were folks there who had already found us and our West Huntsville family online and already begun to listen to archived lessons online. This zeal for the Lord’s family was refreshing.

Glenn was diligently looking, on this trip, for replacement light fixtures and doors for some oddly sized closet entrances in one of our bedrooms. We found someone who was selling both there in Natchez and set up a time to meet her. While almost every old house or historic place we attempted to go and see had been closed due to a hurricane (…yes, we had unwittingly traveled TO the hurricane area and electricity was off in much of the area and trees were across several area roads) this sweet lady took us to a large living space—a loft on the top of business space on Commerce Street in historic downtown Natchez, to look at light fixtures and doors!  Not only did we get the antique doors and the fixture—both just what we wanted—but she, having grown up in Natchez, was able to give us perspectives about history that no tour guide had yet given. Finding that she had been to Israel, we began talking about Judaism and the Old Testament. By that time, of course, I’m back at the SUV, digging out our Digging Deep study of the Ten Commandments and I honestly think no one has ever been more excited to get a copy of a Digging Deep book than this sweet lady was to receive The Ten. I have a sister who is going to love to study this with me!”

…And in my reluctant heart, I was thinking “God is showing Cindy Colley a few things about a few things, among which are mercies that are new every morning (particularly in new faces and places). He might be showing me that I should just follow the counsel of the godly man He gave me, without arguing. He could be providentially asking me to get busy counting blessings and evangelizing wherever I am; focusing on finding opportunities to speak of Him, knowing that the world of vitriol changes one heart at a time as people are influenced by the gospel.”

And then, before coming home, we just stood and looked out over the mighty Mississippi. Covering two city blocks that had once been a bustling part of old Natchez, those mighty waters just keep on raging with undercurrents that prevent swimming or fishing, jet-skis or sailing. From the Natchez shoreline, just about the only boats one sees today are huge barges. headed for more peaceful ports and trade farther inland on the tributaries of this powerful body. Draining 41 percent of the United States, the water flows at incredible speeds and with deadly force. But God is in the business of irrigating and draining and He has channeled the power of millions of gallons of water within our vision—for warmth and light and industry and transportation. It’s hard to look at that river and its productivity without marveling at the creative and controlling power of the God we serve.

He gets it right, every time. In a world that’s screaming about justice and equity, I’m going to follow the One who gets it right. Even when I, his daughter, may question and writhe in His Providence—even when I might grumble in the shadow of His mercies, He gets it right. He is supreme and I’ve returned home with a greater respect for His majesty and provision for me. I saw the mightiest river in our part of the world “clap its hands” in full glorification of the Lord. Who am I to hang my head and think life’s unfair when the river is praising the equity of God?! 

 

 

Let the rivers clap their hands;

let the hills sing for joy together

before the Lord, for he comes

to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with righteousness,

and the peoples with equity (Psalm 97:8,9).

 

He gets it right. I’m thankful for renewal.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep…We Found 24 Charms/Pendants!

We’ve located 24 of these sweet little Digging Deep shovels! They are sterling silver and they are precious little keepsakes. Designed especially for Digging Deep by our good friends at Dempsey’s Jewelers in Johnson City, Tennessee, they bear the words “Digging Deep.”  Mine’s on a bracelet, but lots of sisters have them on little silver chains around their necks. They come with the sturdy little ring for easy attaching and in the pretty little gift box for easy gift-giving ( in case you know a digger who could use some sweet encouragement). We rarely find extra Digging Deep paraphernalia, but I wanted to throw this little find out there and sweep clean the DD shelves once again. You can order the little charms here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/store?fbclid=IwAR1nJ3ujNB9-_L5cmy9Vn_llR4zZOFy7h4z0FR9PR-chaI04J63ClnnDib4#!/Sterling-Silver-Digging-Deep-Pendant/p/99264175/category=0

We do have plenty of books if you know someone who’d like to study! It’s not too late to catch up quickly. 

Almost every single order now has been shipped and so, if you are waiting, then it should not be much longer. You are the most encouraging group of ladies I have ever encountered. Thanks for being so forgiving and so patient!

The Israel trip for 2022 is in the works. I met a relatively new digger just yesterday who said “Sign me and my husband up!” Final dates and pricing are not quite ready, but I will let you know as soon as I can. This is so exciting. At present, we are looking at traveling to see where Paul worked and suffered in Rome and then to do a faith-building tour of Israel with lots of new sites to experience. So many amazing Biblical finds are being unearthed in that wonderful part of the world even as I write! It’s so amazing and yet concretely certain that every new find of those diggers (that has to do with Biblical history) is confirming of the authenticity of the God-breathed Word that these diggers (you and me) are searching!

Don’t forget the first video podcast is on the 29th at 7 CST. (I heard there may be some other competing discussion on television that night, so make a wise choice.=)) Seriously,  I do hope you’ll log in with us live  and comment.  You can watch the other guys later! All questions are welcomed, too! I can’t wait! Megan Learned, one of the most encouraging sisters in the whole world, is joining me. Find us here next Tuesday night!

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

Happy Birthday, Digging Deep!

1…2…3…GO! The Ten!

Today is the tenth anniversary of Digging Deep.  Born of the Providence of the Almighty and all to His glory, Digging Deep has been with me through the marriages of both of my children, the empty nest adjustment, the births of four grandchildren, the deaths of my father and many dear loved ones, travels to many of these United States and abroad, and now, a pandemic of prodigious proportions. Tattered copies of The Shadows, Glory, Authority, Great Escapes and more have often been in my lap on airplanes, car trips and, here, on my propped-up pillow (Glenn calls our bed “Cindy’s desk”). One copy even sat in my lap on the shores of the Sea of Galilee! Watching DD grow from 12 people to thousands of women has been one of the singular joys of my middle ages! Praise God for this phenomenon of growth.

Many of you have been along for the entire ride. Some of you are new to this group, but certainly not to Bible study. A few of you may be new to the study of the Word. If you are new to Bible study, you are the ones who will benefit most from Digging Deep this year, because Bible study will revolutionize and bless your world. Welcome to all of you. I stand ready to help in any way I can, because if anything we do can, along with His blood, rescue our souls from hell, it’s being in and obeying the Word! Remember as you study, that it’s never been our God Who made us lost. That was us…our sin. It’s our God Who mercifully rescues us from that lost condition. Digging Deep’s purpose is to help us grasp and love His mercy on a daily basis. If you are new to this study, THE TEN will be a perfect place to come to love His Word–more than you ever have! And nothing can be more important in this lifetime. Remember to INVITE OTHERS! It’s not too late!

Next…about those books you do not have in your hands yet: We are trying very hard to stay caught up with shipping and we are very close now. Orders are going out in a timely fashion. If you do not already have your books, and you ordered prior to the 26th of August, they are on their way. Many are going out today that have been ordered since that time. Two key factors have slowed us down a bit this year: our inability to deliver any of these in-person at PTP and the slow and erratic postal service at this crazy time. Feel free, of course, to download the free version until you get your book. But, we are almost completely caught up with orders as they are daily coming in. That’s good news for us. Thank-you for being patient with us.

About your shirts: If you ordered a shirt or hoodie and you don’t have it in hand, you’re likely not going to get it till mid-September. You will get books you ordered prior to that time, but we ran out of shirts and hoodies very quickly this year. All hoodies and shirts MUST be ordered by 11 pm CST on September 3rd (that’s Thursday). That order will be placed this Friday and we’ll have those shirts back very quickly and ship them on to you. Turn-around time is just two or three days with our good shirt company here in Huntsville. Shirts and hoodies may be ordered here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/Digging-Deep/c/20688312/offset=0&sort=normal

Of course, you can still order books at any time of the year (until we are out of those) and you can still bundle shirts and books until September 3rd.

Shirts and study guides and hoodies and charms (…more digging deep charms are on the way, due to popular demand.) and bags are just fun little add-ons. You don’t have to be wearing a DD  t-shirt to gain every insight. You don’t have to be writing answers in the official study guide. You don’t even have to be doing the dig with us at all to go to heaven. But you do have to be in the Word. That “dig” is not optional for the people of God. I praise him for letting DD be one small vessel among many for the knowledge that equips His women today for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16,17). We can be perfect (KJV), complete (NKJV)–but not without the dig. Healing, holiness, and ultimate happiness are in the dig. 

Happy Birthday, Digging Deep! Lots of us love you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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