Browsing Tag

Encouragement. The Church

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Bennington, Vermont: You Did More than You Know!

God can take a little and make a lot. Remember back in the very beginning of what we thought would be a short Covid season, when we tried to encourage that little church in Bennington, Vermont?  Well, it’s their turn to encourage us and they are doing that now in a powerful way!

Back in the spring we heard, from Sarah Floyd, the preacher’s wife at this small congregation, that members were struggling. A difficult mission field in any season, it became particularly difficult for the little group at Bennington church of Christ to remain cohesive and encouraged as meeting together and blessing each other with fellowship became more difficult. Some were having health issues and others were new Christians. Younger members were feeling isolated and funds were often in short supply. 

Lots of you sent cards, just to encourage them. As the minister, Jason Floyd (shown here), explained to me, he and his wife, Sarah, became a mini post office for a while there, unpacking boxes of your letters and making deliveries to the homes of the various members who are spread out over a large area around Bennington. The Floyds covered a lot of miles as they, and perhaps others,  hand-delivered your encouragement to the members. 

On one of those runs, Jason met a house guest of one of the families which attends the congregation. She answered the door when Jason delivered your mail. As Christians do, Jason engaged this lady, whose name is Sally Bristol, in conversation, which eventually resulted in a Bible study, and another and another…

Yesterday, this lady put on the Lord in baptism (Gal. 3:27) and became your sister in Christ! Our little cards helped, in a teeny, but important way, to produce something that was beyond what we had asked or imagined, according to His power that is working within us and especially is at work in Jason (Eph.3:20). If you were among the many who sent cards to encourage this family of His people, I hope you will bow before the throne and praise Him for using those little cards as tools of evangelism even when we were unaware of that occurrence. He is so good and His word is exceedingly powerful. I hope this baptism will make you want to continue to offer support to mission work and keep sending cards when you see those in God’s family struggling. I hope it will make you believe even more strongly in His providence for us as we pray for the gospel’s full effect on lives we may reach, even across hundreds of miles. It is doing all of that to my heart!

You might even want to take the time to drop Ms. Sally a note to let her know that you are praying for her life in Him and for continued influence for good as she now has a chance to take the message to others. You can send it to this address:

Sally Bristol

℅ church of Christ

 524 South St

 Bennington, VT 05201

And, if you have children who helped make the cards, be sure to tell them about this amazing day that THEY helped facilitate! Visible results of service projects WILL appear and they do wonders in growing the faith of kids.

What a glorious God we serve! I praise Him today in the words of the Spirit through Paul: 

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph.3:20,21)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Just Sharing A Boost

The sweetest part of my weekend just might have been when a lady approached me as I was eating lunch on Saturday. I had just finished speaking at a ladies seminar near Montgomery, Alabama about the glorious bride of Jesus, the church. She told me her name and how that she had cared for her father until he passed away in his nineties. I could relate to that as I, along with my siblings, have the current privilege of doing that same wonderful thing. But then she said this: “I just want to tell you how very much we love your son, Caleb, over at the University church.”  She went on to tell me some of the things in which he had participated while he was a member at University during the years he attended graduate school at Faulkner. During these years, he also worked at Apologetics Press. All of those things made me smile. But then she said something I’ll always remember: “He used to come over to my house and have a Boost with my daddy.” 

There are at least four things that made me love knowing this:

  1. Caleb does not always like to try new things, especially drinks that are made to help older people ingest a bunch of calories, make up for nutritional losses and gain weight.
  2. Caleb is not a fan of calorie-laden foods or gaining weight, period.
  3. Caleb was extremely busy while he lived in Montgomery.
  4. This elderly, gentle Christian man, at this point in life, could offer very little in goods or services to Caleb, so he offered him a Boost, in more than one way. 

See, there’s really just one reason Caleb would have had a Boost. It was because the frail body and hesitant taste buds of his ninety-plus-year-old brother needed some encouragement to get that drink down. Sometimes, when a young person takes on the responsibility of helping older Christians gain physical strength, the simultaneous  and automatic result is that the young person grows in spiritual strength. That rich drink was meant to strengthen Caleb’s elderly friend. In reality, the biggest boost was probably for the young college student. 

And, because that student was my son, the boost was still being recycled today as this sweet sister told me something good about Caleb that I did not know. Someone could have told me that one of my children had done some great thing and I would not have been more encouraged. But wait, that’s exactly what happened.

“He that is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11).

Little Eden Nix, age 4, coincidentally asked her mother today “How can God take such good care of us when He doesn’t even have a wife?” Once again, there’s a big spiritual reality for little Eden. God has a wife; the glorious bride of God, the Son (Ephesians 5). She’s the church of Jesus Christ. It is through that “wife” that He does take such good care of us, providing water that permanently quenches (John 4), the Bread that gives life  (John 6:33), milk and meat (Hebrews 12), and, most importantly salvation from sins. And, in Montgomery, Alabama, on those visits to the home of a nonagenarian, it was the fellowship in that bride that provided a Boost from those wrinkled hands to young and agile ones that were learning the joy of “bride” service. I am glad God has a wife and I am so thankful to be married to Jesus.