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Evangelism

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Meet Dilcia…

Meet Dilcia. I just met her about three months ago when she first visited our services with Nuris Reyes. (You may remember reading about Nuris’ conversion here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/crazy-happy.) Dilcia attended, first, on a Wednesday night with Nuris, with Nuris’ kids and with her own three children, ages 1-4. Her children loved their classes and Dilcia was surrounded quickly by Christians who welcomed her. Thankfully, one of them, Kendra, was a Spanish teacher, so she was translating for us all. That very night, Dilcia agreed to study the Bible with me. What a great privilege for me! Kendra agreed to translate and, within a week, Nathan and Ellen invited Dilcia’s sweet family into their home for a meal. (I know that was a fun time with seven children playing together in two languages.) Dilcia attended faithfully and our studies progressed. 

On May 26th, as we were studying the cleansing of baptism, I asked Dilcia if she would like to be baptized to access the blood of Jesus. She read, among lots of other verses, from her Spanish Bible from Romans 6: “Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ, were baptized into his death?” We’d spent two weeks on repentance. We’d spent some time delving into Acts and examples of conversion prior to this question. I’ll never forget Dilcia’s answer when asked if she wanted to be baptized. 

“I sat in my car the other day and just prayed, ‘Please help me God, to know how I can be forgiven for all the shameful sins that I have done….Yes. I want to be baptized.’” 

We talked a bit more about how different the church of Jesus is from her background of Catholicism. She got it. She understood how that babies do not have the ability to believe and repent prior to baptism as the Bible directs. She understood the egregious departure from Scripture of the entire papal system. Dilcia wanted to be just a Christian. 

It is with DIlcia’s permission that I tell of her rejoicing with you. She came from those waters rejoicing. That afternoon, after her baptism, I took Dilcia to the home of Nathan and Ellen again for lunch and to spend the afternoon with some Spanish-speaking brethren from a nearby church. A few days later, another precious family helped Dilcia to get the transportation she needed. We have a wonderful family in Him. 

Dilcia’s daughter, Christina and Brianna, Kendra’s daughter

I know there are some of you who’d like to encourage Dilcia. She has expressed to me how very encouraged she is when she receives mail from her new family. You can reach her here: 

Dilcia Benhumea

℅ West Huntsville church

1509 Monrovia Road NW

Huntsville, AL 35806

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Twice the Bride in One Week

A few weeks ago, Glenn and I found ourselves sitting across the table, at a fellowship meal, from two young adults from Kenya, Africa, who’d been visiting our services.  Sister Eileen was the one who had made sure these visitors had everything needed, she’d obtained their contact information, made sure they met other Christians and always had a place beside her to sit. She’s always like that to everyone and I love her for that. Elvis and Caroline came to love and trust her. 

In our conversation with them that day, Glenn and I learned that they were yet unmarried, had come together from Kenya for nursing school (for Elvis), and had come with funding from a sponsor in Kenya. This donor, however,  had recently died and the funding for their living had been discontinued. We also learned that they ware not members of the body of Christ. I asked them if they would study about the church with us and they agreed to do that for the next several weeks, during the Bible class hour. 

But something wonderful happened and I got involved in another study during that same hour. Glenn studied with Elvis and Caroline each week and they had great questions. Each week they sat in worship with Mrs. Eileen and one Sunday last month they were both baptized into Christ. Four days later, they were married in a sweet ceremony, surrounded by Mrs. Eileen, Mrs. Debbie, Glenn and me, and a few other Christian couples. Kat bought a cake and some flowers and fruit and we had a tiny little reception in room 119. Kathryn made pictures and James and Jessica took them to dinner after the wedding. It was a huge wedding dinner at Rosies’s  and almost everyone at the wedding ended up at that table. The best day of their lives was just prior to the second-best day. They fully committed to Christ and, four days later, they fully committed to each other. The new bride (and groom) became a part of the wonderful bride of Christ almost simultaneously! 

I saw Elvis sitting down and filling out employment papers with one of our good brethren on Sunday night in another classroom. I guess, as they walk through the building, they must think “This is the room where we learned truth.”…”This is the room where we put on Christ,” …’Here’s the place where we were married,”…”Here’s our reception ‘hall’,”…”And here is where Elvis gained summer employment, to fund his education.” I love the synergy. 

Most of all, I love the Lord. He could have just told us how to individually respond to His will and how to make it to heaven in a path of solitude. But in His great wisdom, he gave us the church: the body, the family, the house of God, the kingdom. It’s a wonderful worldwide affiliate of obedient believers and it’s the wellspring of encouragement, connection and fellowship for every family member. It is a foundational belonging that the Christian experiences wherever she finds the church of Jesus. In short, the church is His wisdom magnified in our everyday lives. 

Here’s Elvis and Caroline on their wedding night. I know the readers of this blog and I know some of you will want to write them a note of welcoming encouragement. Caroline and Elvis gave me permission to introduce them to you. Caroline will love having a connection to some sisters in other congregations and areas. You can write them here. Let’s say a big “The churches of Christ salute you!” to Elvis and Caroline.

Elvis and Caroline 

℅ West Huntsville church of Christ

1509 Old Monrovia Road NW

Huntsville, AL. 35806

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

From Digging Deep 2025! It’s getting closer!

It’s in the works! Cover design and editing are happening this week. I hope you’re down to join us for the new study that will begin on September 1st. Many women have already been getting their classes together for the fall of ’24. I hope we will have more ladies than ever before. I hope you can start praying now. Souls can be strengthened for Him. Congregations can be more unified when women are getting together around the Word. And lost women can find the way of salvation.

Here’s one of many reflective interjections from next year’s study. The study has already blessed me, but then, the Word blesses every time!

“Often, when we study with people, especially atheists, they are unwilling to listen because they have preconceived, but mistaken notions about what the Bible says, and thus, about what we believe. An example of this is that non-believers shut down Christians because they think we believe miracles are happening all around us and they are not seeing them. But, when they come to find out that you and I do not believe miracles are occurring today, (though we believe every one in the Bible occurred and we believe our Bibles are products of past miracles), then they are willing to talk to us and doors toward belief are opened. Sometimes a non-believer does not want to talk to me because she thinks I believe the Calvinistic doctrine that babies are born in sin or that we do not get to choose whether or not we are elected to receive salvation. Once I state biblical truth about the false nature of Calvinism, then the nonbeliever is willing to hear me out about the gospel.”

The value of a soul learning the Scriptures is inestimable. It’s my prayer that, through Digging Deep ’24-’25,  the Holy Scriptures will impact more women, for more glory to our God of more (Ephesians 3:20-22) than ever before!

 

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

State of the Dig

I truly believe more people are getting the free download and buying the study guides than have begun the study in any year. Remember:

  1. It is the prime inviting time right now. It’s an evangelism tool that’s been proven to work. It’s an edification tool that has worked thousands of times over. This is NOT because of anything any person has done. It’s because it is the Lord’s Word. 
  2. The study doesn’t have to cost a cent. You can download free, if you prefer, at www.thecolleyhouse.org.
  3. There’s a how-to video pinned near the top of the “Digging Deep in God’s Word”  FB page that will help if you are new to the dig.
  4. There’s a sister FB page called “Digging Deep for Encouragement” that’s the place to post your prayer requests. 
  5. If you’re digging and you are free on Mondays (or you can watch later) Julie Orr does a live study from her dining room table from the FB page “Mama’s Monday Moments.” It is very helpful. 
  6. The place for help when you hit a bump in the road in your study is the “Digging Deep in God’s Word” FB page.  You can also often find ladies from your area who might want to meet up and study. Just ask!
  7. There’s a monthly video podcast live from Facebook and Livestream. Watch the Digging Deep FB page for reminders and links when the time approaches. The first one will be broadcast on September 26th at 7 CST. 
  8. There are also four shorter audio podcasts each month. These are posted  on the Digging Deep FB page, as well.  
  9. Try to be patient about receiving your books. We brought a hundred more to PTP than last year and still ran out. We are so sorry. Today will be a full day of shipping as will pretty much all days this week. We are so thankful for patient sisters. 
  10. The DD mugs are going to be a royal blue from now on with the same double D logo that we’ve had previously. The logo is in maroon. I will put the picture on the site as soon as I get the prototype (probably tomorrow.).
  11. No question is dumb or rhetorical in DD. Put them there on the FB page. Someone else is wondering the same thing!
  12. This new study of David and Jesus is rich and full of truth about which we need to be reminded. If you enjoy  it half as much h as I enjoyed putting it together, your daily Bible time is going to call to you!

I’m praying so hard for this dig. One soul in heaven makes it worth every penny, hour, and challenge—-and so much more! One soul! 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep 2024–Reveal is 3 days away!

Photo courtesy Rachel Valentin

I can hardly wait. But waiting is the least of my worries this morning. If God lets us get to Saturday on this planet, something important is happening. I mean it’s surely not important because of any merit of any person or group of people. This importance is not because of financial, cultural, or political impact. In fact, what’s happened in the last year, in Digging Deep, is more impactful than decisions of state and party. What we are doing on Saturday, as we unveil a new year’s study in Digging Deep has the potential to influence eternity (an infinite time and space) for some soul (the most valuable commodity known to man)! I can’t really tell you how happy it made me each time last year I’d hear about some seeking soul who found salvation from hell and to eternal life as she studied along with us. I’ve prayed so hard for this impact from Digging Deep and, at last, it is occurring in our groups.

Last night, I spoke with a group leader in Kentucky. This group, which started with one person who was willing to invite others, now has 24 signed up to study this year. Two of these women are not members of the church of Jesus. In Arkansas, a group of four (last year) has grown  to 14 this year. Some were baptized to be in Christ and have the hope of heaven for the first time in their lives in 2023. And every time I open Messenger, it seems there are good growth comments and questions. I see Him answering and I see His providence working through our study. I know He has worked through His Word in all kinds of venues through the centuries, but getting to see this kind of working this close up is the blessing of a lifetime.

I am just profoundly thankful. I know you are, too, as you invite and study and explain and as you are bold for Him. I spoke with a woman who facilitates a class in another state yesterday who said “I am so happy about this growth, but I am just nervous about my own abilities as these non-Christian women are joining us.”  Oh, we all are nervous about our own abilities. Thank the good Lord who made this salvation possible that it is not your ability or mine that has any importance! It is the Word that is the power to salvation (Romans 1:16). It is God who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7). And it is Christ, though whom we can do all things (Phil. 4:13)! If I can always just remember that it is weak little me, who has been outfitted by God–given the sword of His Spirit and the shield of faith, and wearing the shoes of the preparation of the gospel that brings peace to people–If I can remember that the power is in what God is doing through His word, I can be bold in my invitations, and unashamed in my presentations. I can just be a conduit for His glory! This is the amazing privilege that has been the biggest blessing of Digging Deep.

You can do these four things that I truly believe will bring Him glory this year:

  1. You can be bold to invite. (even if you think she is not the person who will respond positively.) Invite through your facebook page as I have seen many of you do. Be sure you tell girls they can contact you for information.  
  2. You can share the “How-to” video that is pinned near the top of the Digging Deep facebook page. Link women up to the page. 
  3. You can pray daily and deeply for souls that may be reached through this avenue. 
  4. You can be present in the ballroom at PTP on Saturday at 12:30 EST or watch the video that will be aired on the DD Facebook page simultaneously with the PTP event (and from there, spread the Word about this year’s study.) 

You can do all of this without financial burdens or extensive preparation. But it is mission work. It is truly evangelism.  It is a mission and we are a mission team. If you are inviting folks to dig, don’t ever say you have not done mission work. You’re in the trenches! This is one mission among many happening in our churches, but some of you are on your first missionary “journey”. I pray God will continue adding to His church those who are being saved (Acts 2:47) and that he will keep calling women disciples “Christians” (Acts 1126) as a result of invitations by common women of God like you and me. He does, consistently, more than we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Digging Deep is personal and powerful evidence that we serve the God of  more. He still saves to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25)! I know we will praise and glorify Him together this year!

(And now, back to the packing, the making (bracelets and keychains and– oh yeah– breakfast), the study for all those lessons, the powerpoint and the frenzy of getting to Saturday! And I am way excited about all the hugging. That’s the best part between now and Saturday! When you watch God work from afar through the lives of women all around this country and then you come together, the hugs and the stories and the spiritual feasting just may be the highest mountaintop this side of the Jordan! I cannot wait to “wander in that Wilderness!”)

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Mama’s K.I.S.S. #61: Mark Their Bibles

As you know, if you’ve been reading, for quite some time, I’ve occasionally been running little installments called “Mama’s K.I.S.S.” I know that lots of readers could give many more and far more creative ideas than I can offer, but these installments are just a few tried and true and mostly old-fashioned ideas for putting service hearts in our kids.  This is number 57  of a list of one hundred ways we train our kids to serve. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Kids In Service Suggestions”.

 

This one’s intuitive. A good beginning element of evangelism is Bible marking. Of course, we do it as adults, but your 8-year-old will have a great sense of accomplishment if he/she has his/her own Bible and is equipped to teach someone the gospel by turning to one passage. (I know that marking down what it takes to become a Christian and actually being equipped for a theological discussion are two very different things, but everything worth accomplishing starts small and takes time…and this is very worthwhile!)

SO take a few minutes to do this at Bible time with your child when she has learned to read and write. At young ages, it’s better to write all the references right out beside Mark 16:16, rather than making a “trail” of passages. (It’s far less confusing at age 8!)

1. Take her to Mark 16:16 and have her read what Jesus said to do to be saved.

2. Discuss what believing means and, in the margin, have your child write Belief–Romans 10:17. Read that passage together and talk about how important it is to be a student of the Bible.

3. Talk about what belief does to our consciences and how, if we really believe that the Bible is true and Jesus came to die so that we can go to heaven, we will obey him and change anything in our lives that’s different from what the Bible tells us. Explain to her that this is called repentance. Write the word Repentance in the margin and add Luke 13:3. Read that together.

4. Then talk about how that all of our lives (not just before baptism) we want to tell people about Jesus–that we love him and we know he is God’s son who came to save us from hell. Talk about how wonderful it is to get to tell people that, so that they can be saved, too. Add the words Confess Jesus in the margin and the passage Romans 10:10. Read that passage together.

5. Then read Mark 16:16 again and have your child tell you about a baptism she has witnessed. Ask questions about what that was for and how that person felt after being baptized. Go to Acts 2:38 and read and talk about the exact reason for which people were baptized on that day of Pentecost. Go ahead and read verse 47 and talk about what God was doing when people were baptized. Then go back to Mark 16:16 and write in the margin Baptism–Acts 2:38.

Talk to your children about how that, when one does these simple things, she starts on a walk with Christ for the rest of her life, trusting and reading the Bible and obeying. That walk with Jesus leads to heaven! That’s being faithful. Tell her it’s so important to be able to tell people how to be a part of the church and go to heaven. “And now, you can open up your Bible to Mark 16:16 and you can tell people the most important thing they can ever know!”