Browsing Tag

Ellis Glenn Colley

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Dear Ellis,


Dear Ellis,

I’d do anything within reason for most people who had a real need. But YOU. You needed nothing that wasn’t being given you already and, just to see you, your Papa and I drove 17 hours, part of which was driven in the wee small hours of the morning. Your papa doesn’t do that for anyone but you (…ok, perhaps for four other little people we love)! It was worth the drive. You, the only Colley name-carrier in all of our extended family, have wonderful dark eyes, brown hair, and you have a sister who’s two and dotes on you. That look in her eyes is pretty fun to watch, too. 

I’ll make your letter short and sweet. We don’t want too much. We only want you to move closer to your mammy and papa. We want to get to witness some of your first laughs, bites, crawls and steps. We want to get to play games with you and swing you in the big tree swing in our yard. We want to take romps in the woods behind our house and take you to the lake and watch you catch your first fish and then to the adjoining playground and slide and climb and play in the sand with you. We want to be able to come to your ball games and take you to the putt-putt course and the bowling alley.

We can’t be geographically close to you right now, so we’ll just take advantage of every little chance we get. But more than we want you to grow up close to us, we want you to grow up close to God. This very biggest wish of ours is something we already know (assuming you get to grow into a man) is a happening thing. This wish eclipses all others in our hearts. We watched your sister Maggie say almost all of the books of the Bible last week. We listened to her quote her “Bible words.” She explained to us what it means to repent and that most of all “we want to be just like Jesus.” Most of all, we want that for you. MOST. OF. ALL!

Your great-grandfather used to say “God’s best people are children.” We agree. you are completely and humbly dependent. You are pure and innocent. You are eager to learn and free of worry. You are so much of what we want to be. “Except (we) become as little children, (we) cannot inherit the kingdom.” 

Your mother and daddy are determined. As I watched you in your very first Bible time when you were just over 24 hours old, I thought about the big job your mama and dad are taking on. You will hear His word every night for the next 18 years or so. That’s about 6570 family Bible times.  You will have a couple of pairs of grandparents say your name to God, along with your praying parents, every single night. That’s about 20,000 times (at least) that the Father will hear your name before you leave home.

Ellis, if you preach the gospel, you will be a fifth generation gospel preacher. But, whether or not you do, you will be a fifth generation child of God. That’s all we want, because every Christian, by definition, is a follower of Christ. That’s all we want because, if you’re a follower, then you will follow Him one day all the way to a place where your papa and mammy will be waiting for you. It will be a place where we really can live close to you, forever and always. 

We love you. 

Mammy and Papa

P.S. Your grandfather put your sweet face up on the big screen before he preached today. I thought his buttons would pop off right there on that pulpit stage!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Ellis Glenn Colley: Seven Pounds of Perfect!

…And the winners are…Nancy Johnson Koester and Tonja McRady, both of whom exactly nailed the length, weight and hair color of Ellis Glenn Colley! Born at 12:36 pm on Tuesday of this week, this now three-and-a half-day-old bundle has already brought three-and-a-half lifetimes of contentment and gratitude to this mammy heart of mine. His big sister Maggie, is perfectly proud of him— gentle and sweet—so far. 

We got the word that Ellis was on his way very shortly before Glenn’s plane landed in Huntsville, Alabama on Monday afternoon. He had been preaching in Houston for a few days, so we hurried home from the airport, threw a few bags of dirty laundry out of his suitcase, replaced the dirty with clean, and started the nine-hour drive to Orange Park, Florida. In only a scant 48 hours, we were making the trek again in the opposite direction. We drove 17 hours for 17 minutes of baby-hugging, and it was worth every mile! (We’ll be returning again soon for another dose of Ellis and Maggie….So thankful they have another set of grandparents who came even further than we did!) We praise God, from whom all blessings flow, for this healthy and blessed child. In advance, we praise God for every opportunity he will have to convey His gospel to those who did not have the blessing of being born to faithful parents. We pray that our little troupe could grow into a channel of His blessings for those whose hearts are open to the will of the Father.  As two-year-old Maggie said in her prayer recently, may we all “help the bad people to get repenting.”

When Ellis got home from the hospital, his Papa read to him—two letters that we wrote to Caleb, Ellis’ dad, back in 1983. (Ellis was not so attentive, however.) The letters were dated (one from me and one from Glenn) two days before Caleb was born. It was sweet to finally open up that envelope that had been sealed for 37 years and be reminded of how very little we knew (I mean next nothing!) about raising kids prior to the birth of our first son. 

But our Father does have all the answers to all the problems before the challenges surface. May every mama and grandmama who’s reading do the James 1:5 prayer every single morning. And may He give His people wisdom for day-to-day parenting challenges like never before. The “roaring 20s”, this time around, are full of the roar of 1 Peter 5:8. May we be ever vigilant, ever protective of the most innocent and most vulnerable among us.

P.S. Nancy Johnson Koester, I need your home address!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

You can watch the March for Life. (Read to the end for Colley baby contest!)

The last week in January, 2021. This was the week our big Digging Deep group was supposed to go and march in Washington in honor of unborn life and in protest of the destruction of hundreds of lives in America each day by elective abortion. But discouraging events have made it necessary to cancel not only our Digging Deep travel to the march, but the entire rally at March for Life. The rally is not occurring this year, for the first time in 48 years; cancelled for the first year since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973. (You can view the limited march here: https://marchforlife.org/faqs-2021-march-for-life/)

It’s ironic that the two reasons for cancelling are– 1.) protection from the pandemic and– 2.) protection from the violence that’s been occurring in the streets of the District of Columbia. Both reasons for cancelling the rally for protecting baby lives are about protecting grown-up lives.  Just ironic. (I long for a day in which we could be half as concerned, as a nation, about those who cannot develop a vaccine for their own endangered situations, as we are about our own circumstances of danger.)

So, I’m thinking this week–and praying–for our nation’s conscience about the 60 million-plus lives taken in the past five decades and I am praying that the womb will be a safer place in America during the next few years; safer than projected by our current political landscape. Prayer and Providence make a powerful alliance.

And speaking of the unborn, there’s one unborn life that holds a special place these days in my heart. He’s Ellis Glenn Colley and his official due date is February 5th. He’s the only Colley boy of his generation, the son of the only Colley boy of his father’s generation, the grandson of the only Colley boy of his grandfather’s generation. (We’re trying not to map out his future for Him, except to put him on the heaven trajectory, but it’s little hard to hold back!)

So it’s time, once again, for the guessing game. So give me your predictions about weight and length. Just comment (once per reader) below, anytime before the unknown date of the baby’s birth. (That’s kind of fun because the longer you wait to guess, the more the baby will be growing. But you might risk waiting too long! I know you’re all invested in the strategy of how to win this exciting contest! =)) You can guess on my personal page or on either DD page. I’ll collect the comments from the various places where this is posted and announce the winner when the baby comes (and after I’ve gotten my arms around that bundle fresh from God)! If you throw in a hair color, I could use it as a tie breaker. The winner gets a package that includes all of the materials written exclusively by this baby’s parents. Here are those products. You can read about them here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/store. Retail value of the package is $43.80.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

It’s a Colley Boy!

Ellis Glenn Colley! I just can’t absorb the announcement of the upcoming birth of the first Colley boy in 37 years (and only the second Colley boy in 61 years) without telling you what a blessing this is in the life of this Mammy!

Robert Lester Colley was what some called a restoration preacher. He was a gospel preacher, devoted to restoring New Testament Christianity in the first half of the twentieth century. He attended Freed Hardeman University (as did all four of the preachers in this post) before it was even called Freed-Hardeman.  (You can read about him here: https://www.therestorationmovement.com/_states/tennessee/colley.html). Preaching mostly in Texas, he was the father of two preaching sons, Gary Glenn and Robert. Here’s the family around 1940:

And here is the second in our line of preachers. (He’s the little boy on the right in the photo above.) This is Gary Glenn Colley, Sr. He has preached the gospel now for about 70 years.

Of eight grandchildren of Robert Lester, only one was a boy. His name is Gary Glenn Colley, Jr and that preacher is my husband.  As you can imagine, there was a lot of pressure on our Colley generation to produce the fourth generation preacher. I remember that day in Maury County Hospital, when my in-laws stepped off the elevator in the maternity wing to hear the first cries of Caleb Glenn Colley. A few moments prior, Glenn had, from the foot of that birthing bed, told me in excited tones “Cindy, I can see a head!” 

I said “Is it a boy or a girl?!” 

He replied, “I can’t tell from its ears!”

Glenn and I did not know that Caleb would become that preacher. We just prayed every day that he would become a faithful Christian, using whatever talents and resources given Him by our Father for His glory. But those talents and blessings are being used to preach and teach and influence in ways that only God can orchestrate. To Him be the glory!

Caleb is the father of two-year-old Maggie, who is the epitome of perfection. Here’s Maggie on Father’s Day with my husband, Glenn:

And speaking of Father’s day, it was last Father’s Day that Maggie gave her Papa (Glenn) a coupon book.  Little “drawings” on each page are redeemable for hugs or songs or story times, etc…But, to our surprise, the last coupon in the book was for a brand new Colley baby, due in February, 2021! We are counting on redeeming every coupon in that little book that’s in the top drawer of our dresser.

And everyone (at least everyone with whom I spoke) was pretty sure Maggie’s new baby was a girl. Maggie said “She is a gull.” Caleb and his wife, Rebekah were calling him “her” and “she.”  They had settled on a girl’s name, but not yet on a name for a boy. Technicians at clinics predicted a sister. But I found myself asking God last week for a boy—a boy who could grow up and be a leader for the kingdom…one more boy to carry our Colley name; if not now, then maybe later we could have a boy? Then I told the Lord that “maybe I should not ask you for a boy….A girl will be exactly what we want if that’s what our baby is!” Of course she would have been! 

But then I thought about the prayer of Hannah: 

“And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head” (I Samuel 1:11).

“Maybe Lord, it is okay with you if I pray for a man child. But Lord, if this child can only grow up and live his or her life for You…all of the days of his or her life, fully for You. And Lord, if I can just sit down around Your throne with this child forever and ever, Lord, that is all I want!” 

It was later that day, last Thursday, that we got the text message from the ultrasound room. Driving down Ryland Pike, I had to pull over and hyperventilate…and praise! There was the news about Ellis Glenn Colley and, soon to follow, his beautiful pictures…right there on the screen of my phone!

Moments later, I walked into the post office (to mail some more of your DD materials) and fairly shouted at Mindy, our superwoman-postal-worker, “It’s a boy!” I know the other lady at the window wasn’t really as excited as she sounded, but everyone at the post office stopped what they were doing for just a moment, and, even with masks on, had a little mini-party in honor of Ellis. “You have another Colley to wear the name!” came a voice reverberating from behind the counter in that tiny little post office.

May Ellis Glenn Colley, whether or not he is a fifth generation gospel preacher, be a fifth generation Christian. May he be given to the Lord all the days of his life!

Maggie’s response when they told her that her baby brother was coming soon was “I want to have him.” 

So do we, Maggie!

And thanks to everyone who read to the end.  I’m praying for your children tonight. Thank you for praying for mine! May we all keep that throne-room goal in an extremely central and sharp focus. In an era of uncertainty the Father of our primary family is sitting calmly in that room on that throne planning the day when, prayerfully, all five of those generations and all of your faithful generations, too, will be reunited. There are many rooms being prepared in that mansion (John 14:2). I hope your reservation is secured.

One last thing: I know our blessings of family-shared faith are not to our credit. They are due to His mercies in our lives that are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23).  They are due to His revelation at work through our meager vessels. I also know that we cannot , in any sense, save our children or secure their places eternally with Him.  But we can pray that our homes will be sanctuaries from the world where holiness can grow.  Let’s all pray that for each other!