Browsing Tag

Glenn Colley

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Thinking Today about the Birthday Boy…

There are times in life when you feel overwhelmed by the kindness of God shown through servant hearts all around you. This month, as we struggled to get the podcast up and running, I thought about the people who’ve committed lots of hours in recent days just volunteering to try to work out some bugs in our system that seem to be ever-evolving and indeterminate. Matt Beard, Josh Sells, Mike Deasy, and Jennifer and Louis Benavides have all given volunteer time to try and make sure Digging Deep makes it to your screen. I’m thankful from a deep (digging deep) perspective. 

But there is one person whom I rarely thank who really is always on the team. Glenn Colley is the husband who is always gathering up my lost devices, keys, purse and Bible. He’s clearing the pew after worship and asking if he can deliver this gift or hold this item on his desk till next time when the right recipient might be there. He’s remembering to pick up my bread and juice for the communion and going back to the car to retrieve the mask I left behind. He commits endless cumulative hours to keeping my chin above the water. I’m truly always in his debt, but he does not keep score. 

This beholden girl just took a breath and thought about this blessing for a minute during the holidays. It’s always New Year’s Day when we have our big Holder clan over for a late Christmas celebration. This year surrounding this time, Glenn and I were talking through big problems with several couples and individuals. I know this was taking a big toll on the psyche of the man of God who faithfully talks to his Father about these heart-rending situations in lives around us. Glenn was also juggling his role in the “sandwich generation”—trying to take care of aged parents and traveling the four hours often to their home, while praying about specific challenges faced by kids and grandkids. He was pretty busy getting the logistics of probably the most tightly-packed speaking schedule in his lifetime. (All of the 2020 speaking appointments that were canceled were vying for the limited remaining dates of 2021.) Plane tickets, vouchers, rental cars, info for fliers, headshots, lesson outlines, deadlines were in his thoughts and correspondence at almost all moments of each day. Somewhere in this time frame, a minister in another state had called and asked for our cabin to lodge a widow who had a real need for a couple of weeks. She would be arriving just after the New Year’s gathering at our house, so Glenn was busy preparing firewood and making sure she could be warm and secure. He delivered Christmas baskets to local widows and he smoked ham for several in the church. He went caroling to shut-ins and made several visits and deliveries to people with cancer or Covid. 

So I do know that, since it was a quarantining year and we could not have all the church family over like we love to do during the holidays, I could have settled for a small tree and a little less holiday fanfare. But my husband never flinched about the hugeness of the holiday at our house. He, in fact, is the one who called the tree farm to be sure they had a tree that was at least 12 feet tall. (I didn’t even ask him.) He is the one who asked if we could drive the hour-and-a-half to tag it in advance so that we’d be sure to get it. He never once complained about the piles and piles of gifts under that big tree. In fact, he commented almost every day about how proud he is that I’m a year-round bargain shopper and that I saved him from the wrapping chore. He delivered gifts to Florida for the kids who could not come and he assembled playhouses and made repairs on antique furniture gifts for the ones who could come. He purchased fruit for stockings for our huge New Year’s clan. And, maybe the most amazing thing to me was that my always financially prudent husband went out and spent a surprising amount of money on a wonderful display of fireworks that would be gone —just exploded into the sky—with nothing to show-for— in a matter of ten minutes.

When I tried to say my meager thanks for this pretty large entertainment purchase, he said “Oh, I do not do this for entertainment. I do this in your dad’s memory. I do this because it’s a tradition he loved. He loved Christmas and I don’t want to see the fireworks go by the wayside. I know everybody remembers a good life when we shoot the fireworks.”

I could go on, but I’m really thinking I could not describe the selflessness of the man who makes me the luckiest grandmother on the planet, with any more clarity than just telling you his fireworks rationale. 

It ended up that, just as everyone arrived for the New Year’s Day party, we got an emergency call from the hospital and this good man who offered to cook the meal, was off and just  hoping to make it in time to pray with a close friend and brother’s family as this brother was passing from this life. This little trip was so sad for him. He stayed a long while and he did miss the meal. When he came back home, he did not pass go or collect two-hundred dollars. He went straight to the shower, so he could be with the family without any extra fears of bringing them Covid from the hospital. Then he came back in and set up the shaved ice stand that he and Ezra had planned to run during half-time of the Bama game. (Ezra wants to go in the shaved ice business when he grows up and he wants Papa to be his partner…so he got a shaved ice machine from Santa Claus.) Glenn offered to take the photos during the chaotic gift-opening time. He went out and set up the fireworks in the bed of the truck. He led our family devotional at the end of the day. Then he helped put food away and clean up, at least a bit, a Christmas avalanche of paper and food and toys and stocking stuffers that was North Pole-worthy.

All of this was on Friday. And my husband went out early on Saturday morning to sit down and study the Bible with a man who needs to become a Christian. We had company in the house till late Saturday afternoon and this preacher still delivered a dynamic lesson about the conversion of Saul of Tarsus on Sunday morning; a lesson which, by the way, I believe contributed to the success of a Bible study I was to have later in the week with a friend who was outside of Christ. And yes, my husband baptized my friend a few days later after we studied some more about the conversions in the book of Acts. 

Happy Birthday, Glenn Colley. Somehow, I thought the “new” would wear off after a couple of scores of years with you. But your provision, your kindnesses to an undeserving girl, your magnification of the Savior to my weak eyes just find new resolve in your huge heart for Him—every single day. I do not know why or how I was chosen to have His favor in this tangible, yet eternally consequential, blessing. But to get to do this rapid trip through this testing-ground with my hand in yours is the honor of this lifetime. I fully expect to get to place my hand in His when the angels come because of your leadership to that eternal home.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

When Christians become Complicit in America’s Mass Murder

Something chilling happens in elections like this one. Voting has a way of pulling back the cover from people who have compromised basic morality in their hearts to the degree that they defend the minimization of America’s abortion plague. It just isn’t as serious as other social ills around us. And, hell has served up a list of talking points to persuade Christians to defend abortion on the logic that there are many things as bad as, or worse than killing over 600K babies each year. (For perspective, in all our nation’s wars combined, fewer Americans have died as babies we kill every two years.) Those who wear the name Christian will smile and with a condescending elitism tell pro-life people that they are just wrong.  “Even if abortion is wrong,” they say, “there are things we should all be smart enough to see that are just as bad or worse in today’s culture.”  

“Racism is a more serious problem.”  

Scripture doesn’t use the word “racism”, but it condemns hatred.  And yet, because we’ve come so far to create equal opportunity for all citizens in this country (Do you know of any job that discriminates based on color?…If you do, then you also know one that’s breaking the law.), one has to strain to see that white people promote systemically (that is, as part of our imbedded and basic system of doing things) racism in the US. Of course there are pockets of racism in the country and there are some people who hate others based on the color of their skin (black and white), but most of us have to think hard to name anyone we currently know who can be accurately characterized as racist. Besides, our laws already prohibit injuring an innocent man because he is black or because he is white.  I do not know a man of any political party who believes laws should permit a man to abuse or kill another man based on skin color.  

“Climate change is a greater threat.”

Clearly one political party is more vocal for change in laws to favor the view that man-made climate change is the greatest threat we face in this country.  But, Christian, is there Scripture to suggest that man somehow influences wind or snow or rain?  The sun and rain are His (Matt. 5:45). The rain has a Father, and He is God (Job 38:28).  The sea has paths it follows, but God controls all of that (Psa. 8:8).  

I’ve just been reading an article with the word “Fact” at the top, in which the threat of man’s behavior in the 20th century is described.  It asserts that recent human behavior creates temperature extremes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.  Here’s a quote: 

Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 11,700 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.  The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95% probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia (NASA Global Climate Change, vital signs of the planet).”

Wait.  Do humans really have the ability to effect the earth’s orbit? Are we that strong?

Biblical evidence will give Christians pause while reading these “factual” conclusions in view of the young age of the earth, around 6,000 years (See article, “21 reasons to believe the earth is young.”  http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1287).  While the political left rails on about “following the science”…this “science” we are to follow is in direct opposition to the Word of God. 

Both major political parties are interested in doing things which are ecologically wise and I do not know a single Christian who is in favor of wanton destruction of our land or air.  However, I have a questioning eye on the assertion that man has the power to influence the atmosphere of the planet earth to the degree the left is promoting.  Some say they argue this way to garner power.  

Are you sure the arguments some are making about climate change present a greater wrong than defending the killing of over 600,000 babies each year?

“We cannot bear the consequences of outlawing abortion.”

This common argument is usually framed in words like these:  “If we make abortion illegal, women will resort to back-alley abortions and put themselves in great danger.  We must keep abortion legal to protect them from that horrible eventuality.”   I’ve always been troubled by the weakness of this argument.  It melts away when placed beside analogous parallels.  For example, this one: “We must keep gun-murder legal, because if we don’t, murders will be committed in the awful ways people used to commit them in history—knives and sticks and rocks.”  Isn’t that essentially the same argument? Cain didn’t kill Abel with a gun, and God didn’t see any reason to tell us what weapon was used. It did not matter. 

The sophomorish argument about the consequence of outlawing abortion should make all of us say, “Wait; the consequence of forbidding murder is not the question here.  All murder, regardless of how it is committed, is abhorrent and wrong and must be outlawed.”

Here are the facts which should drive compromise out of the hearts of every Christian who is tempted to minimize unborn life by supporting elective abortion. They are the same facts that should convict those who boast of how sacred is the right of a mother to kill her child because that child happens to be housed in her womb:

Murder and killing are not identical terms.  Not all killing is wrong (killing animals for food, [Rom. 14:1-3], capitol punishment of the guilty [Gen. 9:6,  Rom. 13:4, Gal. 5:21, etc.].)  Murder is the deliberate taking of innocent human life. Elective abortion is the deliberate taking of innocent human life and is, therefore, murder.

In the Old and New Testaments, God has condemned those who practice murder.

“Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man”  (Gen. 9:6).

 “…you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (I Jn. 3:15).

“Both parties support abortion in some way.”

This is a weak argument.  If you doubt me, ask Planned Parenthood.  They have no trouble telling you who supports their abortion services and who decisively does not.

 

Statistically, abortions in America are slowly declining and that’s good news.

This article may seem political, and I understand its political implications.  But it is primarily spiritual, and primarily for Christians. The world is always going to act like the world and Christians are not of this world (1 Jn. 2:15).  Do not criticize conscientious Christians if they appear to you to be “one-issue voters”. The magnitude of the bloody sin of abortion in American justifies being “one-issue voters”  (even though we are not). 

You don’t have to vote in this election, but please don’t vote to protect abortion. Instead, imagine that you had witnessed the slaughtering, by strangulation, suction and dismemberment, of 700,000 three-year-olds in our country last year.  Imagine  you watched the disposal of all those little limbs without fanfare and then imagine hearing the “good” people you know saying that we need to “not worry so much” about those three-year-olds because there are larger issues at hand. Imagine them saying we’d better, instead, worry about other harmful things like climate change and racism. Because you see, that’s the exact moral equivalent to the situation at hand. That is what we have witnessed.  If you believe the Word of God, you know that’s exactly what transpired at Planned Parenthood and other abortion provider clinics in our country during the past year. And we’re at almost 62 million children since the legal killing began in 1973. God help His people to never look the other way!

How could a Christian get his/her own heart’s consent to defend the routine killing by deflecting to conversations about climate change, racism and health care?

Please stop this complicity now.  It is wickedness.  

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Your Books are in Glenn’s Truck Today!

DD designer, Ben Giselbach, and Glenn Colley, our “shipping department” after the first 24 hours of “DD-The Ten”.

Digging Deep recognizes Glenn Colley today. He’s probably the one who does the most to make sure you have a study guide and he is definitely the one who gets the least recognition here. I often take this man for granted, but today, as I stay here in Huntsville and try to get my defunct i-phone repaired and record children’s classes for our virtual Bible class hour on Sunday, he is on an early trip to Nashville to pick up the first truckload of our Digging Deep books. When he gets home, he will immediately print off hundreds of orders and  begin addressing envelopes and labeling boxes. He will stuff them and he will take them to the post office. He will try to find the resolution in hundreds of emails whenever there’s disparity or a glitch in your order. He is the one who is notified each time you order a free download or a book or shirt. We have blown up his email account. I try to do all I can to help him, but this man IS the shipping department of DD.

As of this afternoon, we will still have plenty of books on hand for your class orders and we’ll order more if we have a shortage. Post a picture on the DD page when you get your book or when your group has its first meeting for this year’s study. It’s always exciting and extremely encouraging to the diggers all over the world to see our sisters in the same pursuit of holiness. I’ve already heard from those launching the study in Australia and Panama. I’m pretty sure we will have sisters in Canada and in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and in the offshore United States.

Finish up that GLORY study and join me in Exodus 20 and beyond for a study that’s already made me love Him more! And thanks so much for blessing us. Of course, without a “study department”–that’s thousands of you–there would be no writing, designing or shipping “departments.”

But far transcending any human effort, of course, is His blessing on our study. Without our heavenly Father’s amazing blessings of providence in giving us His Word, His Son and the free-will to choose His holiness, we’d have no concept of what is “holy, just and good” (Romans 7:12). His commandments are not grievous.   We are about to come to appreciate them and the Holy Spirit’s revelation of them in whole new way!