As I write it’s approaching midnight and tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7 CST is the announcement of our new study. I feel almost like tomorrow is a scheduled labor induction and that by 7:30 tomorrow night, there will be a baby in the bassinet beside my bed! Part of me is just that keyed-up and the rest of me is at peace, knowing that He’s in charge here and I’ve done all I can do, with lots of help from the Lord and some of His faithful daughters (and even sons) to prepare a study that will make the tenth year of Digging Deep a blessing of growth for us–not because there’s any power in any work I could do, but because there’s infinite power in the work of His Holy Spirit.
I also want to say this. These amazing teen girls (and maybe more and maybe even younger than 13) have accomplished much in the study of His glory this year. They’ve challenged their moms to hang in there. They have grown in their love for the Word and in their meek hearts of submission to it. I love them all and I just want to say this:
If these hearts can be strong enough to diligently commit to a study about the glory of God in a world that offers distractions to teens that are colossal in both their power of allurement and their destructive force, those of us who’ve witnessed His faithfulness and providence for many years should be able to commit to faithful study of the most important material we can access! So, whether you’re studying our Digging Deep theme this year or another Biblical one of your choosing, let’s learn from these amazing young women. There’s a light for our paths that can only be “switched on” when we are in the Word. The benefits and ramifications of being there are life-changing and eternity-sealing.
Thank you, Melanie and Ella Pinedo…
Thank you, Kaitlyn Epling…
Thank you, Ansley Marshall…
Thank you, Rebekah Armes…
Thank-you, Abby Crocker…
(I’m working on getting a photo for this spot!)
…I think i can do this, too!
Watch here tonight at 7! https://youtu.be/5WZxG7PNW-Q #dd202021
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!
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
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 email@example.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!
It was a monsoon in Huntsville, Alabama last night as I headed to the church building for this podcast only to get halfway there and get the call from trusty-techer Jen to let me know that the power was off in our little studio (and all over that part of town). Now we know there are lots of you who assemble for the podcasts and we know your time is important, so we began making calls, figuring out places and devices we might use as a last resort. Thirty minutes later, as Jen was driving into my neighborhood, we got the call that power was back on at the building. The clock had been ticking, though, and we knew we’d be super late, at this point, if we moved the podcast back to the studio. So picture me moving supplies and large yard art that I’d been crafting out of the camera’s view, Jen opening up an iPad to find it was completely battery-drained, my laptop acting like it has never even heard of facebook live (what’s up with that, anyway?), a big yellow extension cord that wielded no power, Holly over at her house, figuring out how to field comments, and sweet Melissa Davidson, who was super prepared to cohost, realizing she did not have time to even make it all the way to the eastern Madison sticks, where I live. Imagine, Glenn coming in to do a ZOOM about a book that a few men are completing and realizing he’s walked into another BIG ZOOM-ish project. Relegated to the porch, I can hear him saying “Good evening, gentlemen!…” while I’m trying to say a prayer and “Goodnight ladies!” It was chaotic and you were patient and Jen’s a hero. And that boy we just met who’s living in our cabin probably thought “What has happened to the band with of this internet?”…And you can watch the study here: https://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women. When there’s no power in the studio, there’s still plenty in the Word. Below are the photos that did not get their debut last night: The first is a bunch of Diggers in the Pool of Siloam (John 9). The rest are on various places on the Mount of Olives. Both are from May, 2019, when we were digging in Israel and both are mentioned in the show. The fourth one(far left) is at the site believed to be the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. Notice the ossuaries in the second photo. I’m told, for a price, people can still be buried on the Mount of Olives (and many still want to be). Blessings as you study. Two more months of the glory study. An eternity of the GLORY!
I can’t wait till that third week in August. That’s the week when you’ll be able to watch the recap of this year’s Glory Digging Deep study. I hope you won’t miss it, because it will also be the kick-off for the 2020-21 study. I’ll let you know specifically what date and time when that’s released to me. You’ll hear the theme then, see the new books and t-shirts, and have access that day to the download. I think you are going to grow from the study. In preparing it, I have already thought about a lot of things from the Word that are helping me during the very challenging days that we’re facing as Christians in America in 2020. I believe it will give you a stronger faith and a firmer hope; not because it’s from me, but because it’s the Word. The free download and the spiral-bound book will be available at https://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/Digging-Deep/c/20688312/offset=0&sort=normal
Of course, we can’t do our usual “stage” recognition of women who’ve done every single portion of the study. I would love to do a shout-out to those who let me know you have accomplished this, though. So, if you qualify, send me your name and congregation/town to firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be fun to see who has done the entire study! I need your name for this by July 25th. To qualify, you need to have completed months 1-11, including all reading, all questions, every single Practically Speaking and all of the video podcasts OR all the Dig-A-Bits. Remember, though, that the real finish is heaven. Every precious devotional time in the Word brings us closer to that blessed glory land.
Although I know I won’t be able to send a prize to every completer, I do want to give away some new study books to a few ladies who are deep diggers or who might be encouraged to dig deeper. I hope you will help me identify these ladies. If you know someone who has been a great help to your group, someone who needs to study and will commit to doing so, but may not be able to afford the book, someone who is sacrificial in leading the study or recruiting others, or someone who is struggling and really needs the study, write me a letter and send it to email@example.com. Explain why your nominee is a worthy recipient of the new study book. I’ll choose a few ladies and award them on the podcast from our virtual PTP. I need to get these letters by July 20th.
Podcast is tomorrow night! Hope you can join us as we finish looking at glory in the book of John. It’s a weighty study and you’ve grown if you’ve examined the glory thread in this book. Hope to meet you here at 7 CST on Tuesday the 30th: https://livestream.com/accounts/4402209/for-women
We’re doing a lot of things better in our country during this strange Corona spring. There’s no late-night clubbing because the bars are closed. More moms are home with their children, which has always been God’s ideal. We’re not driven by sports and entertainment to the extreme degree that’s typical. Casinos are closed, too. There’s more prayer and less revel. We’re checking on our elderly family members more frequently, pulling together in communities and finding ways to connect with church family. Innovation may be at an all time high in our country.
For those of us in Christ, there are some very sad realities. (I mean besides the obvious reality of sickness and death that’s spreading so quickly in some parts of our country. Of course, we feel that sorrow.) Our fellowship is necessarily hampered and we long to talk face-to-face. Big events that encourage us, like lectureships and Lads-to-Leaders are not happening. Life feels weird without daily interaction, in person, with each other. I, for one, had no idea of the power our assemblies wield over my psyche–my mood.
I realize I’m saying things that have been said in our livestream services and our social media interaction over and over, so I won’t belabor them here. I want to give a requested list of good things–rewards that occur when we continue to seek him; when we determine to turn permanently from things that are against the will of our Father –things that are counter to the lifestyle He wants us to enjoy. That’s right: enjoy. If there’s one thing that faithful people are learning through the pandemic, it’s that we enjoy the life we have together in Him. When it’s suddenly void of just that one aspect– personal fellowship–we miss it like crazy!
So here’s the list, given to Judah, of rewards for being righteous from Isaiah 58. (It’s the answer to the first part of number four in our study this month, if you’re digging. See if you can find these.)
- Light will spring forth.
- Health will spring forth.
- Righteousness will go before you.
- God will answer your cries.
- Your darkness will be as noonday.
- The Lord will guide you continually.
- The Lord will satisfy you in drought.
- The Lord will make fat your bones.
- You will be like a well-watered garden.
- You will be a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
- Some will build up old wasted places.
- You will raise up foundations of many generations.
- You will be part of the repairing of the breach.
- You will be part of restoring paths to dwell in.
- You will delight in the Lord.
- You will ride on high places of the earth.
- You will feed with the heritage of Jacob.
Every one of these could be a complete sermon, if we were preachers. Since we’re not, let’s meditate and make them lessons–goals–for our development during this dark time. Let’s emerge from this spring more righteous and more rewarded than we found ourselves as the year began. We can ride this out to His glory!