Browsing Tag

Digging Deep Israel

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep Israel: PODCAST!

Tomorrow (Thursday) at 10:30 a.m. CST, join us for the Digging Deep podcast for the month of May. It’s about the authority of our elders over our individual congregations and lives. Truth be told, we may veer just a little bit from the specific study of our shepherds and discuss both primary and delegated authority from the perspectives that come sharply into focus for a Christian visitor to the country of Israel. But we hope to cover things that will be practical for all of us. Kate Hudgens, from Hot Springs, Arkansas, will be joining me and we may have a small live “studio” audience right here on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. 

The Sea of Galilee! I’m spending the night tonight in a room that overlooks those shores where Jesus, the Christ, displayed the fact that “all authority (had) been given to (him).” I’ve seen Beersheba, the home country of Abraham, from which he followed wherever God led.  I’ve looked at the mountains of Moab and Edom and I have even seen Mount Nebo, where Moses died in faith, “not having received the promise.” I went to Jericho and came face to face, once again with God’s authority. (It’s ultimate authority when someone can make a promise in the past tense!) He is omnipotent!

As I looked today at the massive ruins of the palace of Herod the Great that sits atop the Masada and as I  contemplated those battering rams of the Romans penetrating the fortress,  I became acutely aware that, though the physical instruments of destruction were in the hands of The Romans, there was a sovereign God who was powerfully orchestrating the destruction of the last Jewish stronghold and replacing it with the spiritual stronghold that is Christ. He is almighty!

I went to Qumran and saw one of the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. In His perfect timing, God allowed this major verification of the truth of His Word an entrance into the world via a shepherd boy who threw a rock into a cave. The sound of the shattering glass of those jars that held complete manuscripts of so much of your Old Testament also signaled the shattering of doubts of many skeptics about the veracity of those Scriptures. He is truth!

And when we, as His church, acknowledge  His plan for worship, church organization, the  purity of our congregations and our evangelistic plea, we can count on His making His people victorious. The battering rams are already aligned for the eternal destruction of those who reject His authority. I hope you will join us as we talk about authority in the church. Here’s the link;

Spoiler alert!…We do have a plan in place for you to type your comments to us and we are hoping that will happen! We’ll tell you how when we air tomorrow! Can’t wait!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep Israel: No Ruins in Heaven

It occurs to me, as I travel on this plane from Nashville to Newark en route to Tel-Aviv, that this Bible Lands tour will be full of ruins. Ironically, the sights I’ve been reading about, spending lots of money to see, and envisioning in my imagination, for these months, can aptly be described by the miserably unfortunate word ruins, the root of which word is what we hope does not happen: to our party or the weather or a good day. We’re always sad when something gets ruined. 

But that’s just what happened to the civilization called Beersheba that we’ll be visiting in a few hours. Once it was the well-watered plain where Abraham planted a Tamarisk tree (Genesis 21), and offered Abimelech seven ewe lambs with an oath or covenant (Genesis 21). It was the place where Jacob offered sacrifices on his way to Egypt (Genesis 46) and the site of the judgment of the wicked sons of Samuel (I Samuel 8). It held peace, security and promise to the patriarchs and justice and judgment to last of the judges. Whatever it was, it was teeming with life and vegetation and war and reckoning. It was the southernmost border of Judah and the general nomenclature for the south of Israel itself in those texts where Scripture reads “from Dan to Beersheba.” 

I’m bursting with excitement to get to see this plain on Tuesday. The fact that anything of the Old Testament Beersheba has long decayed into a state beyond recognition does not make me less interested in seeing it. I think I’ll love it when I get to sit down under the same species of tree that Abraham planted and beside a well that’s in the same vicinity as the well contested by Abimelech.  This is true because, in my imagination, I can paint a picture of those patriarchs—nomads in that same plain under the same sun that will shine down on me. 

Imagination is what we will rely on, in many instances, as we travel the Bible lands, because what’s real today is just a reminder—a ruin of what once was. 

Have you ever thought about the fact that imagination is what we use to view heaven? We can’t see it, as it is, but we can listen to the words of the Bible—mostly about what’s not there (Revelation 21)—and we can imagine how it will be. That’s kind of what I’ve been doing for the past months about the Bible lands. I’ve read passages and I’ve thought about what it must look like. Now I will see. 

One day I will see what I’ve only imagined in this lifetime. I will see heaven; the place where the patriarchs are living right now. Only this time, there will be no ruins. Everything will be pristine and new and current—forever and ever. In fact, I will sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in this place where nothing is ever old or ruined or obsolete. There are no ruins in heaven. It’s the sphere of the incorruptible (I Peter1:3,4). 

I know I’m going to love Beersheba. But this land—literally “well of the sevenfold oath”—will not hold a candle to that other well-watered plain to which I journey…the plain in which I’ll never visit a single ruin. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

May 16th: Digging Deep Podcast from the Sea of Galilee!

The live podcast from Israel will occur on Thursday, May 16th, from the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee. I hope you can plan to join us, as Kate Hudgens and I discuss Authority from this beautiful seashore where eminent authority was so often demonstrated during the ministry of our Lord. He calmed this sea (Mark 4). He directed a huge draught of fish into the nets of doubting disciples in this place (Luke 5).  He placed a coin in the mouth of a fish, so he could pay his tribute (Matthew 17). He put unclean spirits in a herd of pigs and that herd of swine ran violently into this sea (Matthew 8). This paragraph could be a book! I’m extremely excited about discussing His authority from this place and about our blessing of technology that allows our sisterhood to do this from several corners of the earth—together! 

So, Lord willing, the podcast will be May 16th, at 10:30 am CST. (Our time in Israel will be 6:30 pm). I know that some of you will be working and unable to watch at that time, so it will be quickly uploaded and available on the Digging Deep in God’s Word page for viewing at any time. The live podcast will be here:

I’m thankful to Jennifer Benavides, Louis Benavides, Glenn Colley, John Moore, and Kate Hudgens for making this possible. The family of God is wonderful. 

And about that family, please keep the prayer vigil fervently before the throne for the Don Blackwells. A good and faithful family has been hurt. We have all benefitted immensely from the materials, broadcasts and lectures that Don has delivered around this country. He is very dear to my husband and I consider Sheri to be a close friend to me. She has encouraged me countless times. This sister has lost her parents in recent days, now her mobility for a time, and her  husband now faces long and arduous challenges. She’s a faithful digger and encourager. Let’s lift them up! You may send cards ℅ Southaven church of Christ, 1483 Brookhaven Dr, Southaven, MS 38671. 

And, finally, please pray for calm along the Gaza strip as our Digging Deep group travels to Israel. Our guides tell us that we are not at any safety risk. However, it would be comforting to know that the unrest along that border is at a low point rather than an escalated one as we enter the country. 

May he bless all of his pilgrims through this land of uncertainty till we cross over Jordan and assemble at the throne. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep Israel: Packing and Prep!…Special Meeting on the 12th of May

For those of you who may be missing your regular evening service on Sunday, the 12th of May, in order to be on the flight for Israel that departs around five o’clock from Nashville, we will be meeting at the Southern Hills building at 1:00 p.m. for a service that will be rich and prayerful. The teacher for this service will be Glenn Colley. I’m sure there will be few in attendance, but we would LOVE to have any of the pilgrims (and anyone else, of course, who’d like to be there!). It will be a time of reflection and anticipation and faithful worship to the One Who is blessing our travels.

I’m thinking a lot these days about the Digging Deep devotionals we will be having at those ancient sites and I am in awe that we will be worshiping with God’s people in Nazareth in just 10 days on the first day of the week. Surely we will be walking and worshiping in spots very near the ones that were extremely familiar to a little boy, who was/is the Lord, as he grew up in that small and nondescript little town. Maybe we will see the brow of the hill where he escaped when the locals were trying to thrust him over in Luke 4.

What’s most amazing to me is that we have the opportunity to do this with Christian guides; people who will not be telling us a lot of Catholic tradition as truth or falsely identifying sites for commercial purposes. We will be learning and absorbing truth in a place that will surely make many studies and passages come to life even more vibrantly than before.

It’s an exciting time at the Colley house (and VERY busy, too!)

The address for the 1:00 pm (CST) meeting is here. We will be finished in time to make it to the airport punctually. ope you can come sing and pray and study with us!

Southern Hills Church of Christ –2508 Goose Creek Bypass, Franklin, TN–37064


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep Israel Notes…

At last I’m finding a moment here and there to try and ingest the amazing preparatory material given our group by John and Carla Moore of Bible Land Passages. I think the trip is going to be incredibly faith-building and I’m over-the-top excited to be sharing it with lots of diggers, as well as lots of other family in Him–some that I’ve not yet met. Glenn and I believe that this will not only be informative, but very refreshing for those of us who spend our days rushing from one activity to another–all of them good and most of them very much kingdom-related, but still physically and emotionally draining. We are thinking that a time to sing His praises on the shores of the Sea of Galilee or to read His Word from the old steps of the Jerusalem temple might be renewing for our minds and may ready us for a more peaceful and purposeful pursuit of His Will even when we return home.

Sometimes, even with great amounts of prayer and concern over the souls around us, we find ourselves struggling to see the results that we want in the lives of people around us. Sometimes we all get discouraged and find ourselves wondering if our best-laid plans and efforts for souls are really making any difference. Sometimes, it even seems that, when we are going out on limbs to try and influence for good, our efforts are even interpreted negatively.  We are prayerful that for all of the few dozen people in our group, the trip will be a reminder of those in our great faith’s history who, though tempted and tested and discouraged and disillusioned at times, made a difference in the annals of His glory on this earth and are still speaking to us from those Judaean plains, valleys and mountain-tops through the pages of Holy Writ.

Would you please remember our group in your prayers? All have made significant investments to try and make this pilgrimage together. We are praying for good health for all who are traveling for the entirety of the trip. We are praying for weather that will make our time together the most effective. We are praying for wisdom in all of the teaching that will occur as we travel together and for love and goodness in all of our fellowship together. We are praying for safety during each phase of travel. We are so thankful to get to be doing this with family in the Lord. All of us are making a greater pilgrimage to a far superior land together, but may this short trip to the ancient Promised Land be a foretaste of our timeless era to come in the better Promised Land!

A few notes for the women: First, I know you will notice that there are several times set aside for Digging Deep ladies sessions. I, for one, am coveting these times with you. But I also want you to know that these meetings are optional. If you are just extremely tired at the end of a day of hiking and learning, there will be no problem at all with your retiring and skipping these night sessions. On the other hand, if you are tired and just want to sit on that beautiful shore and listen and not participate in any verbal way…there will be nothing required of you…not even taking notes. You can hear the singing and join in our prayers and hear a short snippet from the Word related to what we are seeing, with no strings attached.  So use your best judgment and know that no one will think you are a slacker if you need to rest up!

Next, know that if you are not participating currently in the DD study, but would like to take advantage of these women’s sessions, you are perfectly welcome to do that. You will not feel “lost”or unprepared in any way. Each session will be just as pertinent to the newcomer as to those who’ve been digging all nine years!

And about that Digging Deep podcast….We still are unsure of the time and mode of transmission. But we are working on it. If you are a digger or just an interested Christian woman, check the facebook page “Digging Deep in God’s Word” for updates on the time you can catch that. We are still hoping for a live transmission, but we will soon know and post about that.

So there you go. Pack light. Eat healthy. Check off that “What to Bring” list you got in your email. Get ready to have your spiritual mind blown…certainly not by us, but by the visual aids that the Master Teacher has prepared for these sessions!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Podcast on the Shore of Galilee (…and the List from Hebrews)

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a Digging Deep trip planned for next May to the places where our Lord walked while here on earth. Second only to the trip I will make with the angels to glory one day, this is likely the most exciting trip I’ll ever make. Kate Hudgens and I will be doing the May podcast from the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee. (That gives me chill-bumps already.) Several of you are signed up to go, but there are just a handful of slots still available. It occurs to me that we have many new ladies in the study this year who may not have heard about this timely journey to the Bible lands. If you would like the details of this trip check out this page: And, if you’d like to go, hurry and send in your registration and deposit fee. 

It was a blessing to speak in Sanford, North Carolina this weekend. The sisterhood in Christ is one of the richest joys in my life. When I walk into auditoriums where I scarcely know anyone, the amazing bond that we already share through Jesus always shocks and blesses me anew. There are just things that we can assume about each other and kindnesses that we expect because we all have magnified Him in our lives and we are all patterning our behavior after the same divine example: the Word that became flesh. I cannot tell you how comforting that is when there are few or no familiar faces. 

Another thing that was extremely encouraging was that moment in the lesson when I asked if there were any ladies in the audience who had done the Digging Deep study and I truly believe that fully half the women in attendance had participated or are currently studying Authority with us.  That made for the kind of bond that can get us talking about the scriptures during the breaks; about the Christ and how He was the only candidate for our propitiation, giving up that authoritative place in heaven to show us divine authority while on earth even as He submitted to the cross in obedience. He was the only one Who could show authority (through fulfillment of prophecy, granting a soul entrance to Paradise, causing the earth to quake and darkness to veil the earth, etc…) while also fully submitting in perfect obedience. “Though he were a son (authority), yet learned he obedience (submission) by the things which he suffered” Hebrews 5:8 (Parenthetical notes mine—CC).

One of the things that’s great about digging in the Word with so many is that you keep me on my toes. In Sanford, there was a sister who approached me and said “Didn’t you promise that you would list for us, on your blog, the characterizations of Christ? We’ve been waiting for those.”

And so I did. So here’s the first installment of those characteristics as I listed them. Keep in mind, though, that your list may well be more accurate or more complete than is mine. 

Have a great November and, as you think about thankfulness, pause to thank Him for our study together. He was/is so providential in giving us this fellowship in study.

And now the list. Here’s chapter 2, for starters, since chapter 1 was already listed in the study as an example.


Characterizations of Christ from Hebrews

Chapter 2: 


2—Spokesman for the great salvation

5—Ruler of the world to come                                               

7—Wearer of the glory and honor crown

8—Ruler of all things

9—Subject to lower place than angels

9—Taster of death for every man

10—One for whom all things exist

10—One by whom all things exist

10—Transporter of many to glory

10—Captain of salvation

10—Perfect one


11—One who is unashamed to call us brethren

12—Singer of Praise

14—Partaker of flesh and blood

14—Destroyer of Satan

15—Deliverer of those in bondage

16—Giver of help to Abraham’s seed

17—One in similitude (likeness) of His brethren

17—Merciful and faithful high priest

17—Reconciler for sinners

18—Sufferer who was tempted

18—Sucourer for the tempted

Chapter 3

1—Apostle of our profession

1—High priest of our profession

2—Faithful one to appointer

3—One worthy of more glory than Moses

3—House builder

6—Son of his own house

15—Voice we must hear.

Chapter 4

3—Owner of rest

14—Great high priest

14—Son of God

15—Subject of temptation in all points

15—Sinless one

Chapter 5

5—One glorified by God as priest

5—Begotten son of God

6—Priest forever after order of Melchizadek

7—One who prayed with crying and tears

7—Possessor of godly fear


8—Learner of Obedience


9—Perfect one

10—Called one

10—Priest after order of Melchizadek