Browsing Tag


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

This Present World

I’ve been studying about Demas. He just started so strong…listed as coworker with Paul and Luke. He was in there. (Philemon 1:24; Colossians 4:14) But by the time Paul was writing that final letter of 2 Timothy, Demas had totally forsaken Paul because he loved this present world (4:10). It’s so sad when people who started out with great zeal and commitment, love the world more than the Lord. The people who had the most influence for good can hurt the cause most severely, injure people profoundly and, in general, do the most harm.

It’s also comforting to know that we are not always responsible for investing in people who will end up hurting the church. Paul was invested in Demas. He boasted of his faith and sent greetings to struggling churches and individuals–letters that included the commendation of Demas. Paul was a Demas-supporter.(Truth is, we have to be invested in some people who will walk away, because we are not readers of the heart. The Lord looks on the heart. We are just commission responders.) Loving the present world, though, enough to walk away from truth, is so very tragic. It deeply hurts innocent people.  It’s why we still hurt for Paul when we read about Demas.

I don’t want to take my eyes off the other world–the one that’s not “this” and “present”. But it is “that” and “future”. I’m staying with Paul’s inspiration, Luke’s words from the Spirit, and the blessing of being a coworker–a partaker–in the sufferings of Christ, if granted that opportunity (2 Corinthians 1:7)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Life’s Sweetest People

The five sweetest people in our family are completely and utterly “un-messed-up” by sin. It’s a wonderful thing to watch young grandchildren live their lives so voraciously–just hungering for life’s next adventure while having zero enemies and zero concerns about the state of the Union, much less the world. It’s the most refreshing thing to try and back out of the reality in which Satan has placed us all, and look at today through their eyes. This day is just the next opportunity to live and laugh and love God. 

Here’s the prayer our oldest, Ezra, led yesterday at lunch. I want to remember its sweetness. 

Dear God, 

Thank you that we got to go and worship you today. Thank you for this food that Mammy made for us. Thank you all the things you give us every day. (Then Eliza started chiming in her prayer requests, so Ezra added those—“Thank you for Eliza’s teacher in her class. Help Eliza to obey.”) Help us to all be good. Thank you for our nice, soft beds we get to sleep in. In Jesus” name, Amen. 

Amen. He is just so, so good. If you have young children or grandchildren, take the time to savor the world through innocent eyes now and then, 

Just before bedtime, a giant spider began weaving her web in extreme intricacy,  just above the trash can that Ezra’s mom was just about to pull to the road. Ezra wanted us all to see God’s amazing design in that spider and web. His mom showed us that even on his underside, God had made this spider have an ugly “face”  to scare away her predators. Ezra ran to get a flashlight, so we could see the amazing intricate web she effortlessly spun. We even watched the spider’s huge shadow on the brick behind her, as the light shone on her, casting a sci-fi-worthy image on the side of the house. Ezra commented about our amazing God. (I’m so glad that He has given us the things we need to resist THE predator of our lives, when we really want to resist Him.)

Oh, and that little spider, just like that little boy, can weave her way into places that I could never even go. “The spider taketh hold with her hands,
and is in kings’ palaces” (Proverb 30:28).

God is amazing. May I remember today that the child’s perspective is the real one. He loves us and He has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). 

“Suffer the little children to come to me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”…words of Jesus, who conquered life’s  horrific “messer-upper” for me. 


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Forever the Sentimentalist

Forever the sentimentalist, I wanted to honor the memory of my cousin and I wanted to see (and hug) the other cousins who would be mourning the passing of my sweet Sandy Smith Prado. To attend this funeral, I’d need to be back in that church building where I worshipped with my aged father scores, maybe even hundreds, of times during his latter years. It’s always a little bittersweet to be there. So many memories come flooding back. It’s where he fell and broke his wrist in the parking lot, while on my watch. It’s where he got confused, while ill,  and  came into the auditorium on that Friday, wearing his coat and tie and carrying his Bible. He thought it was Sunday. One of those dear cousins found him lying up near the communion table later that day, barely conscious. (He recovered and lived happily for several more years.) The graves of both my parents and both sets of grandparents are just across the street from this building.

But there are so many more sweet memories than difficult ones. This is the place where my grandparents and my parents worshipped and it was on the third pew, on the left, where I was trained to behave and sit still during worship. Several days went down in infamous history. There was one Sunday when I stood up on that pew at age three and sang the commercial jingle “Winston tastes good like a (clap-clap) cigarette should.” (Needless to say, there was never a repeat performance of that.) There was another Sunday morning when I forgot to take off my little shorty-pajamas and put my little-girl panties-on under my dress. My mom discovered that omission when we were en-route to worship and so she said “How embarrassing that will be when people see you have on your pajamas!…You will have to sit very still today so no one will know.”  She said I had never sat so still for an hour in my whole little life! I can still smell the wooden tables the men of the church had built and placed in those beige-tiled classrooms and I can still feel the slats in the seats of those now-vintage ladder back classroom chairs. I can see those 20th Century Christian workbooks and attendance charts. Those were good days. 

When my sisters and I met up at Sandy’s funeral, I brought the old stroller from our childhood days to return it to my sister Sami. We’ve been passing around the old metal and wooden stroller for years now. Whoever has the youngest baby in the family has the stroller, so that all the babies get a chance to have a picture made in that old piece of nostalgia. Eliza Jane was passing it on along for baby Ashton. 

And so I was there, with both my sisters, in the yard of the Jacksonville church and I realized: This is the stroller that my parents were pushing us around in when we were worshipping with them at this place. And right over there is one of the big oak trees that were planted on this church lot within a few weeks of my birth. They were just saplings planted by my father, just after the property was secured for the church.  The trees are huge now, but children still play around and under them while their parents visit after worship, just as we did during the 1960’s as our parents talked and laughed and sometimes had “dinner on the ground.” (Our mothers had bigger hair and smaller bank accounts than most mothers today! Our mothers had stockings with garter belts and  and our dads had pocket watches and tie-tacks. We kids rolled around in that old Rambler as we drove to church—no car seats or even seat belts. Sometimes my daddy even held one of us in his lap while he drove.) Those were good days. (i really love also that there are JSU buildings in the background of the pictures. These are buildings that my grandfather and my uncles helped to build. There are also buildings back there in which my parents got their training to be school teachers in the mid-twentieth century.) Did I say that I can get a little sappy about the past?

And, as we remembered, we grabbed a phone and made a few pictures. (Now, there’s a sentence we would have never said back in 1965!) I’m glad for the quick pictures of the stroller in the churchyard under the old tree. I will treasure them for whatever time I have left on this earth. Eliza Jane did not want to pass the stroller along to baby Ashton Nicholas. She cried.  She wanted her turn to last a little longer. Truth be told, so did I. If only the babies’ turns to be babies could last a little longer. If only the end of the stroller days were a little more gentle on a mammy’s emotions.

My dad pushing Hannah at Noccalula Falls. Caleb, who now preaches for the North Jackson church in the foreground, with antics. =) My mother in the background.

My dad used to call the stroller, the “conveyance.”…”Did you bring the conveyance?” He called his walker this, too, when he became old and needed ambulatory help. He pushed that stroller great distances, I’m sure—conveying his little ones through neighborhoods and zoos and parks. And, just like that, it’s not his children, or his grandchildren, but his great grandchildren who are being conveyed. 

This one has both my sisters! And, once again, Caleb is the ham. =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Whatever you plan to do with your babies, you’d better get on it. Most importantly, be sure their conveyance to heaven is always a happening thing. Make sure their conveyance easily transfers from the streets of your neighborhood to the streets of gold. And it’s okay if you treasure the memories of the baby years a little more than the people around you. You know the importance of blamelessness.  For you, those baby years are the innocence—the sweet purity before God (not yet lost) that Christ restores (once lost) through Calvary. It’s okay to love the little conveyances that are reminders of those sweet years. 



Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Guest Writer: Hannah Colley, On the Blessing of the Church in Hard Times

Life’s a flurry right now of Polishing the Pulpit prep. ( If you’re reading and you are a regular, I can’t wait to hug your neck. If you are a digger, I can’t wait to wrap up the amazing (amazing, because it’s from Scripture) Comfort study and I’m way excited about kicking off our 2023-24 study from one of those large rooms at PTP on Saturday at 12:30. I mean I cannot wait! I’m working hard on the little things that make the study fun. If you have never been to PTP, remember there are a couple of “free” days when you can come try it on for size. But I can already tell you, it fits. You will never want to miss it again. It’s worth the wait, worth the money, worth the pretty big hassle of getting every child and aged person on board for as much of it as possible!

There are hugs to go around at PTP!

So today, in honor of PTP anticipation, here’s an excerpt from an upcoming lesson by Hannah Colley. It’a lesson about keeping our commitments to Jesus Christ. This part is so deeply in my heart as we finish up 2023 and, as we prayerfully move toward even more blessed times as a family, as a congregation, as a church–as we move toward heaven!

Hannah says this:

When you feel alone, remember Joseph. Remember to hold fast to what you know is true—That God is on his throne and He has a plan for your life, even if you can’t see it.

But also, find comfort in the fact that we as Christians have an incredible advantage that Joseph didn’t have, and that is His church. I mean this when I say that I truly do not know how I would have made it through the past couple of years without the encouragement and support of the Lord’s church. Many of you helped carry me through the darkest days of my life. To outsiders looking in, it is shocking to see how God’s people come together to help people that aren’t even blood relatives. But that’s because the blood of Christ has made us family. We were never meant to survive the trials of this life alone. God gave us this community, this family of disciples, to “bear one another’s burdens”—that’s how we fulfill the law of Christ.

I’m so thankful for those who “fulfill”…incredibly thankful. I cannot wait to see many of you at this grand reunion we call PTP. But, oh!… That other reunion! If you have to miss PTP it’s sad. But, if you have to miss that other reunion, it’s the ultimate eternal tragedy! Let’s help each other get there!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Book Review: “Tackling the Taboo” by Terica Turner

I’ve known Terica for about 18 years. Through those years I have come to love her deeply.  I have hurt with her as she’s traveled some difficult paths and endured some heartbreaking losses. In the midst of loss and pain, she suffered through some manifestations of mental illness that I could neither understand nor help to alleviate. I did not know how to help, but I knew I loved her, that her potential was great and that it was also buried beneath the torture of several severe results of deep depression and anxiety. 

But Terica, as she relates in her book “Tackling the Taboo” not only successfully navigated, over a period of several years, her own mental illness to become the salt, light and leaven that God intends for his people to be, but she’s now also successfully helping others who struggle with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses to overcome and be fruitful in the kingdom of God. 

“Tackling the Taboo” is raw, open and honest. Terica doesn’t hold back about the deep and tormented struggles of those dark days. Rather, she uses her own journey as a catalyst of hope for those who are dealing with mental illness, and maybe even more importantly, as a motivator for God’s people to educate ourselves about mental illnesses and prepare ourselves to help those who struggle. 

Using Biblical principles and examples, Terica helps us see the power that Christians can have in helping family members and those in the family of God to manage the symptoms  and even overcome the stigma that mental illness has carried through the years. Free of medical terminology that could bog us down in such a study, Terica just walks us through a subject (and life reality) that many have been hesitant to acknowledge or address. She does it from the honest perspective of someone who traveled to a very tortured spot in her life and then relied, first on God and then on the therapeutic and medical resources He has provided. It’s easy to read, but very practical for our personal lives and our sisterhood. 

This book’s an easy read. A couple of hours and you’ll be good to go…good to go with understanding and a better clarity, to help someone out of a deep depression…good to go help someone understand the value of medication in improving mental health, while working to implement a holistic plan, too…good to go find help when you potentially encounter mental illness in your own life. It’s an overview—a jumpstart motivator for anyone who needs to plunge deeper into finding help for schizophrenia, agoraphobia, paranoia or any number of mental illnesses. 

Tackling the Taboo is the story of a personal victory for eternity for Terica. I love that. I mean I love that on a very personal level. But, better yet, it’s a resource every woman living for Him will need at some point in this sojourn we are making together! I  think it can help lots of women to the throne. 

You can order from or you can find it on Amazon.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Moriah–“Chosen of God”

Last week I heard a heartwarming story about the conversion of a young teen girl whose life had gone awry following the death of her father and a subsequent downward emotional spiral. Her heart was convicted in a dark and powerless room during a hurricane disaster relief effort by Christians from Decatur, Alabama and middle Tennessee who were ministering in emergency mode on the coast of Florida. Studying with this young woman by flashlights directed at their Bibles, these Christians changed her life for the good and they changed it for good! So there she was, last week, at Camp Moriah in Winchester, Tennessee, hundreds of miles from home. She even brought a mentor from her home church in Florida, or rather the mentor brought her. This young married mentor just may have needed the spiritual breath of fresh air more than even the camper did. 

I heard about her baptism in the midst of a power-packed week of intense study and play with a group of about 30 girls at Camp Moriah, a provision of Little Mountain Ministries ( I heard her pray following my lesson about the Lord’s Supper “God, we don’t even think like we should when we are taking communion. We don’t realize. We don’t even think about how hard it was for you to give your only son for us. Help us to do better.” I love this girl and the God she serves!

I got to know a young teen who came to the camp at the behest of her faithful parents, but against her own wishes. Returning home, she was on fire for evangelism and has already reached out to ask a friend to study. I love this girl and the God she serves!

I talked intently with another girl who just landed her first job in fast food. She wanted to ask specifics about how to maintain a positive and Christ-like attitude in an employee space filled with cursing and debauchery. She was serious about this. I love this girl and the God she serves!

I got to know an amazing teen girl who made the decision to put on Christ last Tuesday night. when I was congratulating her on the best decision of her life, I found out that her grandfather was my son’s basketball coach in Jasper, Alabama. what a small world in Christ! I love this girl and the God she serves!

I ate across the table from a sweet and beautiful girl who had just given her very first devotional at the cross in the woods behind the cabins. She talked about how we have to be like children to have our place in the kingdom. I love this girl and the God she serves!

I had a six-year-old sleeping most of the week in the floor of my room (which was the church library.) This six-year-old led a song and gave a speech for the group, too. I love this girl and the God she serves!

I watched intently as women who had given up all other activities for the week, poured themselves into young women who can make homes and enable good elderships of the future, who can make the congregations they will touch stronger for souls within and for evangelism without. I watched women spend all kinds of hours in that kitchen, preparing great (best camp food ever) meals for fifty women with camp appetites.  I got to know a group from Oklahome who came to watch this camp, so they could go home and launch their own version in their home state. I watched teachers teach hard things about modesty-with-flair and homemaking while showing them the joy in marching to the beat of a different drummer than this old world’s parade to ultimate sorrow. I watched tongues held at the right times and words seasoned with grace when needed.  I watched a panel of great elders’ wives answer questions and actually make young girls dream about being leaders’ wives in the Lord’s church. These girls left camp knowing exactly to whom the Lord’s church belongs and why we have to keep giving Him the respect and obedience that are necessary when we are a part of a theocratic monarchy, rather than a denomination. They honed their abilities to evangelize and they certainly learned how the church is distinctive in a world of relativism in religion. In short, they developed spiritual muscles. I love these women and the God they serve!

I watched girls shop thriftily, prepare meals with zeal, make amazing soap scrubs, learn calligraphy, host a tea party, memorize the Scriptures and grow watercress. And they did it all while loving the learning and laughing heartily. I really cannot recommend this week of amazing girl-growth for Him enough. Can you tell I love this camp and the God it honors?  It will begin on Father’s Day again next year. Mark that down!