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Digging Deep Israel

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep Month Nine: Wrapping up!

I just got back to my hotel room from a day that I’ll not soon forget. I walked in the dry bed of the brook of Elah where David killed Goliath (I Samuel 17)  and I walked in the very wet tunnel that Hezekiah constructed underneath the city of Jerusalem (2 Kings 20:20). I cannot wait to write about the blockbuster lessons that just naturally come to mind when viewing some of the amazing sights we’re seeing. I’m forever changed already. I can’t wait to get to heaven, because seeing what you’ve loved reading about is a powerful faith phenomena! 

I know, however, that first I should complete the study for May. On the podcast (…Did I mention this transmitted from the shore of the Sea of Galilee?), I promised this list of verses  from the epistles which use the word “doctrine” and, in context, show that doctrinal matters have already been settled or decided. Here’s my list, though yours may vary a bit. 

Romans 6:17

Romans 16:17

I Cor. 14:6

I Cor. 14:26

Eph. 4:14

1 Tim. 1:3

1 Tim. 1:10

1 Tim. 4:6

1 Tim. 4:13

1 Tim. 4:16

1 Tim. 5:17

1 Tim. 6:1

1 Tim. 6:3

2 Tim. 3:10

2 Tim. 3:16

2 Tim. 4:2

2 Tim. 4:3

Tit. 1:9

Tit. 2:1

Tit. 2:7

2 Jn 1:9

2 Jn. 1:10

The point, of course, is that, since all doctrinal matters have been settled by the Holy Spirit, the ONLY authority of elders is in areas of judgment. Therefore, it is only natural that all of us will not agree with the judgment of our elders on every matter. That’s the nature of opinions. Authority for action in realms of judgment, biblically then, belongs to the elders. May we strive to hold up the hands of godly elders who are unafraid to lead God’s people in righteous choices. May we raise our sons to be qualified to do take on this daunting and honorable vocation in the body. 

Also, we will be choosing winners of the prize package from Month 9 at the close of this month’s study, so don’t forget to enter your paragraph. Directions are in the study. 

Diggers are some of the best people in the world! The Word makes good-hearted women great! 

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!