Browsing Tag

Digging Deep

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep: 2019-2020 Countdown!

I’ve been richly blessed in spirit this year to get to dig in and prepare the study again for Digging Deep 2019-2020. I’ve prayed about it many times and I am confident it will strengthen us yet again. It’s the Word. It’s His manna for our souls and it will never disappoint. I hope you can be along for the duration of a study that is Spirit-led. That’s precisely how He leads: The source of His guidance is the Word. The method of being led by the Spirit is Bible study. SO let’s allow our souls to be Spirit-led and Spirit-filled. Let’s dig in to the Word of God! (Don’t forget to complete lesson 12 if you are completing the current study. The last chapter of that one is extremely important.)

Remember, both a spiral bound study guidebook and, alternately, a free download of the material will be available on our website (www.thecolleyhouse.org) on Saturday, August 18th. I’ll make sure it’s very easy to navigate the site to these materials. There will also be a short tutorial on how to find everything you need for the new study and how to proceed with or without a group. It’s perfectly okay to study independently of any group. As in recent years, there will be a live video podcast each month and four audio podcasts, called Dig-a-Bits, each month. The 2019-2020 dig will officially begin on September 1st. 

It’s my favorite Digging time of year!  Some of you, who would like to bring your congregation’s or group’s orders to PTP (https://polishingthepulpit.com) have asked about the prices of books and shirts this year. We now have  the costs of these items. If you plan to order online, items will be available on the website on Saturday, August 18th at 1:15 pm EST. If you want to bring your order with you to Polishing the Pulpit, we will have a table set-up this year in the exhibit hall with Digging Deep materials available from Saturday-Thursday. Other Colley House materials will be available throughout the week. 

Here are the 2019-2020 prices (No tax will be added. No handling charges for orders picked up at PTP, of course.)

Digging Deep spiral bound book:  $17.50

Digging Deep (Comfort Colors) T-shirt:  $15

Book/shirt combo: $30                                                                                                                                         

Class special:  6 or more books—  $16  each

I hope this is helpful. I’m “chomping at the bits” to do this study with you. I’ve asked for lots of your thoughts and comments in the book, but I’ll be searching for these answers right along with you!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep 2019-2020… Make Plans, Influence People

I’m finishing up the final proof today of our new DD study that will begin on September 1st. This year, we will be announcing the topic during the weekend portion of Polishing the Pulpit in one of the ballrooms and on our livestream. I hope you’ll plan to join us whether you are in Sevierville, Tennessee for this event or at home viewing on your device.

I’m thinking this might be the best year yet (perhaps with the exception of the Shadows study) to invite your non-Christian friends along for the year of immersion into a study they will not soon forget. Like in previous studies, I’m praying there will be baptized believers, living faithfully for Him at the end of the upcoming study. It’s rich…not because of my small part in it, but because of its origin: God’s Holy Spirit.

Here’s a paragraph, on that note, from its introduction:

Let me go ahead and say that I believe this study is Holy-Spirit infused. I do. I believe when we are delving deeply into the Word of the Holy Spirit and putting that Word into our hearts as we study, that we are becoming ever more filled with the Holy Spirit. I believe that the God-breathed Word (2 Tim. 3:16) is the enabling force that bears in us the fruit of that Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23). I believe He dwells in us that way. 

I hope you’re planning to join us in September. I hope, if you’ve previously started, but not ever finished a study, that this will be the year you make it to completion. (But, whatever portion you do, you’ll be blessed.) Most of all, I’m hoping that, whether you choose Digging Deep or you choose to dig deeply through some other study in the Word, you will be deeply in the Bible this year. If you’re digging deeply, daily and directionally, you’ll be discovering, doing, and dispensing His Will more than you ever dreamed possible.

 

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Thanks to Committed Diggers!

Monday was challenging.  Suddenly I had a whole lot more on my plate than I had planned. There was some extra shopping to get done for an incomplete project the elders and preachers were trying to accomplish before Christmas. There was another unexpected need in the church that took a couple of morning hours. Digging Deep podcast preparation was chewing at my heels and my children were coming in the next day for the holidays. Once they arrived, we had planned to travel together to Memphis to see Glenn’s parents and the food for the family that would meet there needed yet to be prepared. Some of the gifts for Christmas were half-made…sort of too far in to give up, but not close enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Digging Deep class was also scheduled for Monday night. At 7 am on Monday morning, I was feeling pretty overwhelmed.

Then I went to the church building at 9 am to confer with a friend who needed to talk. And it was there that I received the encouragement that immunized me from holiday stress. There in the fellowship hall, gathered around a table, were three sisters—Bibles and Digging Deep books all open, They were not an official study group. No announcements had been made. No special schedule is followed. They are just three sisters who try to make it a point each month to get together and compare notes on the study.  

It’s the holidays, people! These women have families. Together, they have seven children. Five of these seven are still below high school age. (Two are adults.) These women had spent much of the previous day in activities at the building; worshipping and serving. They spent the entire morning on Monday talking about God’s authority, searching the Scriptures together and sharing commentary and conclusions from the Word. Then they all showed up at 6:30 pm for the larger (and a bit more official) group study. One of them led that study and capably shared the fruits of hours and hours of study. Their children are with them, in most instances, at the various studies. Another of the ladies is also teaching the Wednesday ladies Bible class for this entire quarter. And this IS the holidays!

I came home Monday night and told my husband how very encouraged I was to see this kind of zeal about Bible study. When our minds are excited about study, they will also be deeply affected by it. We will be transformed by the renewal of mind that comes from study (Romans 12:2). 

So thanks for changing my stressing to blessings. Thanks to these local sisters for giving me the perspective I needed on Monday. And thanks to ALL of you Diggers in every group and to you who are going it solo.  To every one of you who’s COMMITTED this year, thanks for being a channel of His blessings!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Countdown to “Authority”

For those of you who spent last week in Sevierville, Tennessee, at Polishing the Pulpit, I know it’s hard to “come down” from that mountain. It’s a high point in the Colleys’ year, for sure. We go to lots of events throughout the year but, regarding most camps, conferences and meetings, there are at least a few naysayers—people who complain about leadership, about content, about the effort it takes to get there. But PTP is different. The people there, with extremely rare exceptions, are grateful to be there, so obviously blessed by the spiritual feast and cannot say enough good things about the program. Glenn and I are in that category of thankful people. Fifty-plus people from our congregation were there for part or all of the week.

The brand new Digging Deep study, “Authority” was revealed last Tuesday from PTP. Since that time, you  have encouraged me with enthusiasm for the study. I know you will hold me very accountable for studying through it with you. That’s the personal plus for me; I am bound and blessed by a big sisterhood studying along, and I am richer for any Bible study I’m able to do. Authority is an extremely important topic. The challenge to  God’s supreme right of power is  producing chaos in all practical areas of living in our communities—from the taking of innocent lives to the confusion of gender roles to the division that exists among churches in so-called “Christendom”.  I’m convinced that deeply studying the topic will make a practical difference in our families, especially for those who are raising children who will have to respond, as adults, to a society gone awry because of rebellion against authority. 

The directions for the study are here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/new-digging-deep-study-authority. I’ve amended them to include the . opportunity to listen to the Dig-A-Bit podcasts—shorter, audio podcasts that will be posted four times each month. These shorter audio podcasts can be substituted for or added to the monthly video podcast that will be live in a chatroom each month. All podcasts will be archived for your convenience. 

Several women have commented that the study seems overwhelming with the facebook groups, the different podcasts, and the downloads/books. From those who have completed previous years, though, the advice is “Just jump in. It’s intuitive and we are all there to help you.” Feel free to post any questions in the facebook group, Digging Deep in God’s Word. Be sure to limit your prayer requests and other  encouraging posts that are unrelated to the study in the alternate group, Digging Deep for Encouragement. Remember, the study is always free and downloadable if you choose that option. Both options are available here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/Digging-Deep/c/20688312/offset=0&sort=normal

There are five days left to finish Great Escapes. For all your encouragement about that study, I’m blessed and thankful. I appreciate the escape that Calvary has given me more every day. The study has helped me beyond what I could have imagined. His Word is enabling to those who seek Him.

In the quiet study times, I am increasingly aware that I am filthy rags (Is. 64:6). (And really that phrase from Isaiah, derives from “a rag soaked with the menstrual flux”!) I am simply soaked in unworthy humanity.  God is the ever-present help in a time of trouble (Psalm 46:1). To Him be glory for any good that ensues from Digging Deep.

(photo credits to Callie Clark, Ally Cole, Denise Skelton)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

PTP Diggers…Just for fun: Tap me on the shoulder and say “I escaped!”

I’m sitting here in the dark in a hotel room in Sevierville, Tennessee on the Lord’s day, with two sleeping grandchildren on the bed beside me. During the past four days, I’ve spoken to ladies groups seven times, heard my husband speak once about the responsibility of elders from Revelation 2 and 3, heard my son do a Q and A session and then another on Joy, and wished that I could go and hear my daughter talk about how our God is not extraordinary. I worshipped the Lord this morning in a conference center where thousands of others were worshipping Him and heard a decidedly comforting sermon about how my Lord cares for me through the storms of life. I know it sounds like heaven and it really feels like I must be in the very vestibule of it; after all, I am walking these halls with hundreds who will share in that eternal abode. I’m putting my arms around the necks of brothers and sisters–bodies that will rise to meet Him in the air. I’m getting to eat and drink with family that’s untethered to this earth, already having its sights set on another feast above. I talked to ladies about how that caring for my earthly father, who left this life last December, has taught me that the heavenly Father can never be repaid. But my Father can be honored. I know he was honored when someone went home and cleaned out her closet after hearing a lesson on modesty. I know he was honored when another went and purchased alternate clothing onsite after hearing that lesson. I know He was glorified when one sister  I love said, “It has been a very hard and dry year. I came so thirsty and I have been filled.”  I know He is being magnified on this mountain at Polishing the Pulpit 2018. Sometimes I think, in a perfect world, Jesus could just come on back for us while we are at PTP.

But He might not come while I am on a mountaintop of service and fellowship. He might not come while I am communing with Him with hundreds of Christians. So I am praying I can take home with me the will to persevere, the courage to speak for Him, the true heart’s desire to influence these children beside me for Him with all my being, and the serene contentment to know that all of this is all I need.

I’m bursting with excitement over the new Digging Deep study being unveiled on Tuesday at 12:15 in Ballroom B. You can watch the unfolding of Digging Deep 2018-19 live-stream tomorrow here: You have been faithful to study Great Escapes and, if you are like me, you know that the Word never disappoints and you are praising Him this month for the Greatest Escape of the faithful from the torment that awaits those who reject Him. He left heaven so we can go. He came to a dirty, sinful and disease-ridden world so that I could leave it. He partook of earthly things, so that I could be a partaker in heavenly things (Her. 3:1) and share His glory. I know you are thinking about that during the final days of this 2017-18 dig. (All four Dig-A-Bits for August are in the “can” and coming your way.)

I’m excited about the trip to Israel! More details will follow about that trip. But it opens up to all members of the body tomorrow at 12:45 pm. Several of you have approached us this week and said “I am going!” This will be a life-changing trip for us and I can’t wait to board the plane for Tel-Aviv next May. Registration will be open until we reach our maximum number. We have currently registered around 35 people from the Digging Deep group alone.

I have a few more lessons to go at PTP and I am over-the-top excited about every one…just blessed beyond what I can ask or imagine.  I’m studying a lot this week. As I interact, though, with so many faithful women of God, I know that I’d learn so much that would help me to heaven if I was getting to talk less and listen more. I hope to hear several more of you. I’ve been blessed, already, to hear Tish Clarke, Sami Nicholas and Celine Sparks from the ladies line-up and several of the best men in our brotherhood. I am bringing my cup to hear Hiram Kemp tonight…and it is already overflowing. Some of the most valuable nuggets for living come in casual conversation in the courtyard, over the table at Cracker Barrel, or in the lobby of the hotel. We look forward to these times and they encourage us to pursue strengthening fellowship. One of our favorite times annually is the meal we schedule each year with the Kirby Cole family. They are a sweet segment of our family in Him.

If you are a Digger and you see me or another Digger in the hall today, tap me on the shoulder and say “I Escaped!” You can do this and keep walking to your lecture It will be a fun way to lead up to our session on Tuesday, for which I absolutely cannot wait!

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep 2018-2019: You Could Do This with Us!

On Tuesday, August 21st, from Polishing the Pulpit, we will kick off our 8th yearly Digging Deep Women’s Bible study. We are excited that we expect, by that date, to have upwards of  6000 women in our Facebook group. We know, of course, that not all of those women are studying along, but indications are that a healthy percentage of them are plugged in. What an encouragement comes from groups which are meeting to study all over this country and in several other parts of the world! We have many who tune in for the live monthly video podcasts and others who prefer the shorter weekly audio podcasts we call “Dig-A-Bit.” Some women download the free study while others prefer the notebook. We are excited to be preparing that spiral bound study guide again this year. The topic for 2018-2019 will be reserved for the kick-off day, but you can join us on that day for the live podcast as we begin a new study. It’s a great time to jump in. We have three more months of our study on “Great Escapes”. This month (June) is a study of the one escape that was not in the plan. Our Lord could have escaped from the shame and pain of Calvary, but He chose to stay on that cross before that mocking crowd. You can still download that study here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/282349391779769/ You’ll be richer if you give the study a go, even if just for one month. Make this month your trial month and you will appreciate Calvary more by the end of June.

Below is a tiny preview of one little part of next year’s study. We’d love to have you become part of Digging Deep. You don’t have to be a part of this group to go to heaven. But you have to be in the Word. It’s the roadmap, of course.

This snippet is part of one of the monthly intros for next year. Following the introduction, we delve into the Word, following an outlined plan,  searching for key phrases, examining meaning, and taking life lessons for ourselves and our families. I hope you’ll think about joining us. You can be part of a local group if there’s one in your area. But hundreds of women study along with us all by themselves, having no others in their area who are involved. Here’s the sneak peek:

Perhaps the sexual revolution of the 1960s was the result of a national pride before God…an attitude that acknowledged our “own” achievements in fields of science and technology, our recent victories in world wars and our place of dignity as a world power. I know that this oversimplification doesn’t explain fully something so complicated as a moral revolution, but, the middle of the 20th century found school children being told, even in schools where God’s existence was still not yet being denied, that “You can do anything you want to do and you can do it your way.” We were told that each individual decides what is right and wrong for his/her life. We were told that human achievement was in an evolving state…and that we should question the time-honored values that our grandmothers had taught us. We were told, especially, that successful women of the future would not be interested in being at home with their children. “There are far more interesting things to do with your life and there are far more important contributions you can make to society than those your grandmothers have made by raising children.” I know. I was there. The books they had us read and the projects they had us complete were pulling us along to intellectual “freedom” which spawned a feministic, sexual and moral revolution. It was a revolution in which walls were being battered and collapsing under a revolt that was a rejection of the moral code of the Bible. 

The first recognizable wall that was obliterated was the time-honored moral law that sex should be reserved for marriage. This happened quickly. I can remember when my classmates, in a progressive college-preparatory high school in Birmingham, Alabama, went on a senior trip following graduation. It was shocking for me to hear about all of the unfettered sexual activity that had occurred on the beaches of Gulf Shores that spring by kids whose parents were church-going, community leaders in suburbs of Birmingham. These children came to middle and even high school with moral codes that had been eradicated by the time of graduation. It was 1977 when we graduated and many in my class had read and reported on enough Vonnegut and Knowles, Steinbeck and Woolf, to have become “enlightened” with the help of popular television that had begun to make us laugh at sexual humor, (as in Happy Days, which seems innocent compared to today’s fare) and to make us believe that people who saved sex for marriage were languishing behind the times in a pitiful minority of the sheltered. High school teachers in this academically advanced school were big proponents of “finding your own way” by challenging the norms of formerly accepted moral codes. And then, it was also during my high school years that we stopped reading the Bible and saying the model prayer in the mornings at school. Further, some really funny and popular guy had actually grown a little marijuana garden out beside the sidewalk in back of the school building; so they made their own little smoking area at the school, to further dull the moral senses. (I mean besides the big smoking area at the main building where all the kids could go to smoke cigarettes with the full sanction of the administration.) Life had changed while I walked those halls. Let’s examine how God would have weighed in on the sexual revolution, and its attendant revolts in the mid-seventies had His voice been heard at all. (Remember, in 1977, we had never heard of AIDS, but God already knew about it, for sure. In 1977, we had heard rumblings about abortion and some court case in 1973, but most of us had not heard of anyone who had considered it and we certainly had not heard of a clinic that provided abortions all day long. We did not know what “transgender” even meant, but God was ahead of that game, of course.)

And here’s a sample from the questions for that particular month.

  1. Read and search I Corinthians 5 for the two-fold purpose of the “deliverance to Satan.” Write this purpose here:
  2. What Old Testament observance was referenced to encourage the Corinthians to get rid of the leaven of sin (in this case, fornication) that was occurring (and being celebrated, to an extent) in the church? Read Exodus 12 and look for the verse that pronounced the punishment on the one who ate the leaven during the time of the first passover. (In reading about this, I noted that commentators stressed that Jews used candles to actually search their homes in subsequent Passover feasts to be certain that there was no leaven in their houses.) How might this affect our thinking about the sin we may be ignoring in our own lives?

There you have a small portion of one of the monthly lessons for the upcoming study. We’ll begin this study on September 1st. Why not go ahead and give the study a trial preview for the month of June? (https://www.facebook.com/groups/282349391779769/) If it’s a growing experience, you might want to begin the 2018-2019 study with the worldwide group in September.  You may find it fits your walk with the Lord. Every woman studies at her own pace. It’s okay to do as much or as little as you can during any given month. But whatever part of the study you do will change you for the better…because it is the powerful Word of God, that’s sharper than any two-edged sword.