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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Questions and Answers: In Vitro Fertilization

Question: Is in vitro fertilization a process in which Christians can ethically participate?

I must write about this because my conscience pricks me powerfully. I know that I am not all-knowing, especially when it comes to the technological advances that have allowed us to implant embryos. I believe it’s very important for us to remember that, just because a process can medically be done, and just because it fulfills the deep desires of parenthood in those who are infertile, does not mean that it’s God-approved. It cannot be right for parents to bring life into the world with the INTENTION of not parenting to adulthood (and beyond) each of any children produced in the process. When we start viewing embryos as the tiniest of humans–when we see them as babies–it should be easy for us to see that it is unconscionable for us to select SOME of the children we have created, and then to reject others. It’s not the rescue of embryos already “orphaned” (for lack of a better word), that’s wrong. It’s the intentional bearing of “extra children”–knowing that there will likely be those children that I will not “use,” (and let me say there’s a separate eternal issue involved when passing them along to those who are not New Testament Christians). If we think about these “leftover” embryos as the children that they are, with complete genetics already formed by the Creator, it becomes impossible for us to consider that we could pre-determine, prior to conception, to “donate” our children to others for the teaching, provision, raising and loving. I know that this issue runs deep in the hearts of women, but we are failing to consider that we are endorsing the process of the biological parenting of children without intent to raise those children whenever we encourage parents to participate in IVF as commonly practiced. I love my sisters so very much and I am thinking that most women reading are doing so because they love God. But I’m praying for (and typing this for) the children that are at risk in the process that brings about their existence and, for many, their ultimate rejection by parents. IVF could only be God-approved if the parents who are bringing life into this world intend to nurture every life for which they are responsible…every fertilized egg.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #20: Proverbs 11:1–Business Ethics

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons  for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:


My Favorite Proverbs:  Practicing Fair Business (Proverb 11:1)

Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight.

Norman Rockwell had a famous and humorous painting in which a butcher had his thumb on the top of the meat scales pushing down, and the customer had her finger under the scales pushing up. It was duel-cheating. 

The old scales have been replaced by computers but good, old-fashioned integrity is still often at a premium. This proverb says God pays attention to the business affairs of men.

Honest weights and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights in the bag are His work (Proverbs 16:11).

Diverse weights and diverse measures, they are both alike, an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 20:10).

You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small (Deut. 25:13-14).

Are you honest in all your dealings? Jesus put it this way: “But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matt. 5:34-37).

This is clean and simple.  We should adopt it for business practices large and small and every single time.  What I tell a man must always be the truth. I must pay attention as a Christian to the qualities people attach to my name when they hear it.  As with obeying the civil law (Rom. 13:5), I should do this, not merely because of the problems deceit could cause me, but I should do this for “conscience sake”.  My business dealings aren’t merely between men and myself.  They are also between God and me.

“Provide things honest in the sight of all men” (Rom. 12:17, KJV). 

Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

David and Bathsheba (continued)

1.Tonight’s Bible time for teens is an assignment. Take the definitions from Strong’s that we extracted last night and, for tonight just list all of the simple one-word adjectives that come from these definitions. Make this all one list and make it on heavy paper. Artsy girls may want to make it colorful and even use calligraphies. Boys may want to type it. The list should have about 30 adjectives on it and should begin with:



well arranged


Before you have them tack or tape these lists to their closet doors or bathroom mirrors, be sure daughters remember that these words are for help in making decisions when shopping or getting dressed every day.  Stress to boys that they each want to be looking for a girl who cares about this list of words when it comes time for choosing a wife. remember, these are God’s  words; not the words of any Bible class teacher or preacher.

2.Now, for all the children, read and explain 2 Samuel 11:3. This is the verse that tells exactly who the beautiful woman is. Make sure they know the following:

Bathsheba’s husband–Uriah, a man of honor in David’s army.

Bathsheba’s daddy– Eliab, One of David’s 30 warriors (2 Samuel 23:24)

Bathsheba’s grandaddy–Ahithophel. Many people believe this to be the very same Ahithophel who was respected so much that people thought his counsel was straight from God. ( Samuel 16:23)

3. The point you are wanting to make to your children here is that Bathsheba was from a good and well-respected home. She did not need David in any way. She lived in the same neighborhood with the palace.  She had a lot going for her, but she was about to lose her self-respect and her home, because she failed to see the blackness of sin.   The devil always tries to make sin look good. In fact, he wants sin to look better than our blessed lives when we walk in His ways.

4. Finally for tonight, make the children see that David still (in verse 3) could have turned back and not taken Bathsheba for himself. Just because we are tempted to sin does not mean we are already sinning. When we are tempted to sin, we have a choice. We can walk away and not do the wrong thing or we can choose to do the wrong thing.

At this point, turn to James 1:14,15:

But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

Explain this progression, as best you can, to children of all ages. Ask them what things we might do to stop ourselves when we want to do the wrong thing. What can we do to make ourselves decide not to do wrong when we really want to do wrong?

Start here and make a list of temptation-busters:

a. Prayer  to God in the moment of temptation…





5. Have your kids repeat the KidSing rule: Do the right thing.

6. Pray with them. Before you pray remind them that Jesus taught us to pray “Lead us not into temptation” (Mt.6:13), and include this in your prayer.




Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: The Devil Knows the Powerball Numbers (and he likes them!)

powerball-winnersNo one got the right combination of Powerball numbers on Saturday. That means that by next Wednesday the jackpot will be around 1.3 billion dollars. I watched on the local news as people from Huntsville drove in large numbers across the Tennessee line to convenience and liquor stores in a driving rain to purchase the tickets.

I’m sitting in a quiet place just thinking about the gambling industry in the United States. It’s not rocket science to figure out that the gamblers are not the real monetary winners in the lottery, at the slot machine, in the online poker games or at the casinos. The house always wins. Of course, gambling, as an industry, exists because of the money that can be made at the expense of those who play.  In fact, last Saturday, the odds of an individual winning the lottery were one in 292.2 million.  People don’t gamble because there’s money in gambling. The statistical truth is, the more you gamble, the more you lose. That’s just the way the gambling numbers crunch.

So why? What is it that made Americans spend about $700,000,000 last weekend on a venture that yielded nothing for almost every investor? Why do people put money into something that has known odds like 292.2 million-to-one of winning.

If it were only about people who are financially set playing around with some discretionary income, there would still be a lot wrong with gambling, but, those of us who have seen the effects of gambling up-close know that it is often about children going hungry and marriages suffering. It’s about dishonesty, theft and extortion. When the gambler is addicted, it involves a loss of control that’s just as real and difficult to regain as any slavery to drugs, alcohol or sex.

It’s the reason for gambling, of course, that makes it wrong in the first place. Gambling is an immoral ethic brought to the gaming level. Gambling is borne of a desire to gain something of a material nature at the expense of every other involved party. In other words, to gamble, you have to wish that everyone else would lose money so that you can gain. It’s an ethic that violates the golden rule. Secondly, of course, it’s wrong if it replaces the healthy work ethic that the Bible commands Christians to maintain.  It would be sinful, of course, when a Father neglects the command to provide for his own family (I Timothy 5:8) while wasting the family income in gaming. That man is worse than an infidel according to this passage. Finally, the very fact that it is addictive makes it wrong. If an action has the propensity to overtake the will of a human being to the point that he can no longer deny himself the engagement in it, he becomes its slave and destructive behaviors and consequences necessarily follow.

Perhaps more important, though, to me today, than showing the reasons gambling is wrong (I believe the smart women who are reading are generally already convinced of that.) is helping our kids and grandkids to avoid becoming involved. There have been people with whom my husband has counseled who have lost so many very valuable commodities because of gambling addictions: houses, family trust, jobs, respect of community, college scholarships, relationships with children, relationships with God—and the list goes on. I’ve seen children denied the privilege of competent parents. I’ve seen them discover that their parents had squandered their (the children’s) money intended for college. I’ve seen children embarrassed beyond what I could describe when they understood their parents had deceived people they know and love—all because of a gambling addiction. The children still love their mom or dad. They still desperately want to respect them, but life has fallen apart and the security these children once enjoyed is permanently laid to rest in a memory.

I don’t want our kids to grow up and be vulnerable to this kind of destruction by Satan. But, rest assured, as governments around us continue to promote this evil, more and more of our children will fall prey to gambling addictions, particularly with the easy accessibility of internet gambling today. Hawaii and Utah are currently the only states with no forms of legal gambling. It has been proven that accessibility to gambling drives the problem and addicted gambler numbers up. States, like Nevada, with many casinos, have far higher rates of addicted gamblers. Some experts now believe that a full ten percent of Nevada’s children are at risk to grow up and be problem gamblers.

But the government promotion and wide acceptance of gambling only exacerbates the ultimate damage done. More and more gamblers become addicted. It’s just math and the devil knows the numbers. The more venues, the more addicts. The more addicts, the more devastation. More than half of pathological gamblers end up stealing money. The average Gamblers Anonymous member will have spent all of his or her money and accrued debts between $35,000 and $92,000 before even seeking help. Thousands file for bankruptcy and many who can’t be helped commit suicide.

My point is this. Our kids, because they have easier access to gambling venues than any previous generation in America, need us as parents to put defensive mechanisms in their little psyches early on. We can help them be forever free of this enslaving entrapment of the devil. I don’t know all of the answers, but surely we can notice some no-brainers with regard to gambling as we parent our children to freedom from sin. Here are half a dozen:

1. Don’t gamble. Now that’s an oversimplification, you may observe, but I find it pretty amazing that there are plenty of parents who would never will their children to be even weekend casino cruisers, much less desperate pathological gamblers, who will, themselves, stop off at the gas station and pick up a lotto ticket. Come on, parents. Don’t take your kids for little chumps. They see inconsistencies and they “listen” more to your life than your lips.

2. Don’t wink at the “innocent” gambling venues. Raffles (even for good causes), fairground gaming…all the things you may think of as  “little white” gambling, to borrow a figure of speech, can open the door to the bigger world of gaming. You may be cracking the door to a monster who will elbow his way in before you know it. Just say “no” in your home to all forms of gambling.

3. Talk about ethics with your kids. At every opportunity, bring your children real situations that you are observing around you. Have them help you decide what is fair and just and what course of action follows the golden rule. This will help them develop morality that will apply in a vast array of decision-making opportunities.

4. Make your children aware of situations in which gambling has brought devastation and destruction. You can find these easily online, but most of you probably know of situations personally from which your children can learn. You can reserve names in cases where your children may know the families, but it’s important for our kids to be able to learn from the mistakes of others.

5. Stay away from casinos. Some Christians are okay with vacationing in casino hotels and eating in casino restaurants. I find such very unwise. Why would we want to cheapen our family time together by being in a place of rampant sin? Why would we want to make our children feel comfortable in a place that’s responsible for the theft of morality and means from so many families? I don’t want to be there.

6. Let your children know that you are staying on top of politics in your community that involve gambling. Be sure to take them with you when you vote and let them know that you’re doing all you can to minimize the accessibility of gambling to the families in your community. Let them hear you pray for success in your fight against gambling, both in community and in the preparation of their hearts.

(And, by the way, don’t offer up that line about how you buy a ticket so that, if you win, you can do so much good and spread the gospel. If the end justifies the means, let’s go ahead and steal and extort, too…just as long as we plan to use the money we gain for good things.)

Resources: (Associated Press, (Frontline, Bernard Horn, “Is There a Cure for America’s Gambling Addiction?”)