Browsing Tag


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Merry Christmas from The Colley House!

Merry Christmas from the Colleys! We wish you …

  1. Time in the Word. Our lives will all be better, richer, more holy, more hopeful if we can all spend lots of time studying the roadmap to eternal bliss. The bliss starts now in lots of ways for those who choose searching out and doing life His way. Anger, bitterness, regret and loneliness  start now, too, for those who know His will and choose, over and over, to reject it. Open the book in 2024!
  2. The heart of a child. There’s joy in little things for those who are open to changing for Him and who are still wanting to “grow up and be…” Choose to forgive. Choose to forget. Choose to dream. Choose to change in all the right ways. 
  3. Health and energy for your challenges. There are some things over which you have no control. Sometimes life blindsides us. We pray calm and peace for those who are connected to our family in Him this year. But when you have “those days” (and maybe weeks or months), we pray that God will give you an extra measure of strength and patience to bear the load. He is good like that!
  4. Obedience to His gospel. No matter the reason you’ve never been washed in immersion and added to his one church, put that reason away. Make the trip to see me and let’s talk. Let’s make now the time. Some readers have been wanting to make this most important change for a long time. You cannot even know the feeling you will have of freedom and hope and family if you choose this washing and future faithfulness. I can help you find a group of His people who are following His specified New Testament plan in your corner of the world. I can help you from afar to be faithful and to be in heaven one day. It’s really all that matters! Take the plunge–in a literal way–now!
  5. A Matthew 25 mission. “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these my brethren, you have done it to me.” For us, this has been a year of missing a vacation or four, missing outings to the catfish restaurant with friends, postponed husband/wife dates and missing movie nights. When it’s Christmastime at the Colleys and “It’s a Wonderful Life” has not yet happened on our screen, something may be awry. But, for every missed appointment, there’s been someone who is least, who needed us. Do you know what a blessing that is?! Jesus has been right here with us and we have had the most amazing privilege of doing something for Him! Choose to “wash the feet” of the one who girded the towel in that upper room! You will not find joy like that in any other way. And when you just can’t go on serving, drink a cup of caffeinated something and go a little bit more!

If you can unwrap and treasure these five things, clean up that Christmas mess, hug your loved ones tightly and move on with hope to 2024, it will have been a great Christmas. Play with your new edition of that board game, make a cake with your new red mixer, marry that Christian man-of-your-dreams who gave you that new ring for Christmas, do whatever it is you do with that antique wooden mechanism that you can’t even identify, or step out in those new leather riding boots. Play with the little (and big) things you unwrapped. But pray with the big, eternal gifts you are unwrapping and internalizing as this challenging year comes to its close. We pray His peace for you. But remember, peace doesn’t always come in a quiet place with candles and soft music. Jesus said “My peace I leave with you” (along with a promise of persecution and suffering) to 12 men who were being given the biggest commission ever known to mankind (John 14).

Merry Christmas from the Colleys!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The “I love you”s matter…a lot, really.


We didn’t get to be together for Thanksgiving. The Colley crew had the flu. We didn’t get to have our Christmas Eve breakfast at Celine’s house because Christmas landing on Sunday messes up all those preachers’ schedules.  I’m pretty determined to get this mammoth mess cleaned up, so we can make another one here as we ring in the new year with my father’s chaotic family of–(wow!)–29, now! There will be bazillions of presents under the tree that’s been a stand-very-tall-great-water-drinker for a whole month now, thanks to Ezra (this year’s tree-picker.)  There will be lots of football foods (although it will be a lackluster year in that “arena” for sure…) and there will be the fireworks at night–the ones on which my dad always spent way too much money!) I’m hoping the great blessing of a brand new baby over in Mississippi in the Nicholas family will pick another day to arrive, so that more of that part of the crew can come here, but we will be blessed and ecstatic even if he picks that very day! And, yes. This party will also be on the wrong day, after all those preachers (and the rest of us) get finished with the most important first things of every week.

SO, here’s hoping this tradition can avoid cancellation this year! In honor of its founder, here’s a reprint of what was happening in a hospital room just five years ago during the holidays. It seems like yesterday and it seems like an eternity ago. I’m glad this pain for Dad has been over for five years now and that there’s much faith that he is whole and happy and now with the most influential person in my life.  She’s been there for 30 years now and how I have missed her! There’s been some ( a lot) of a different kind of pain since that December five years ago that I’m happy he did not have to know. But God is sovereign and God is good and God knows all things. There’s great comfort in the fact that He knows our hearts, intents, and he has fashioned our eternities. He knows the end of every trial we face before we even feel the pain. He has got my life span’s little speck of eternity in the palm of his hand and He is cognizant of and cares about every need that looms large (to me) in my little speck. I constantly remind myself that this crisis or that huge wound is just a wrinkle in the little speck.

I praise Him for family that means so very much in times of rejoicing and in hours of trial. I praise Him for Jesus who advocates for me before His throne at all times.


Five years ago:


Tonight in this hospital room, this daughter experienced a few very sweet moments. I will treasure them in memory whether my dad and I have lots of future sweet moments in time or not. As today has gone by, my Father who has said precious little, and only in in breathy, labored tones for several days, has become more and more alert. Mind you, what you might think is pretty much asleep all day was still more alert to those who have been keeping this vigil. 

Every time I see his eyes open, I try to go to his side and grab his hand. Tonight he grabbed right back. He even gave me his signature quick nod of recognition. 

Then I always think of everything I can talk about in his one ear that now has a hearing aid. (The other hearing aid was crushed on the floor of the ambulance—and that was another story as Sami chased the driver down and out of the building to try and find the missing hearing aid.) I talked about football. I talked about getting better. I talked about what I was eating and about breathing treatments. And then I told him I loved him. He slowly forced out the “I” and then put his very sore tongue to the roof of his very blistered mouth to make that “L” sound. 

I said “Are you trying to say “I love you?” 

“Yeah” he said. 

That’s all I needed to hear to be okay through this long night. Such a great little present for a this weary pilgrim. But that was not all. I asked him if he wanted me to read the Bible. This time I got a clear “Uh-huh.” 

Before the hospitalization, we’d been reading in Acts and we were ready for chapter seven, so I read the story of Joseph to Him as told by the first martyr, Stephen. I think I was reading so that all the staff out at the nurses station could probably hear. When I got to the resolution part about Jacob going down to Egypt, Dad just drifted back off to sleep.  

I’ll take it. A few minutes of communication is a great source of comfort in this very well-lit, bustling, but yet, very lonely room. It is the best one of today. There are a few lessons in every gift. Here are tonight’s five lessons. 

  1. “Yeah” is easier to say than “I love you.”  That’s true in just about every relationship. Short answer quizzes in families and friendships are just easier.  Sometimes in all kinds of life problems, we have to help each other say those three words. It’s always better, if someone’s having trouble saying them, to assume he means them till you know differently.

  2. You never know the value of healthy communication until you have to do without it. So don’t let days go by—days when you could be talking and sharing with the ones you love. Don’t let those days escape while you pout or exchange the silent treatment or engage in hurtful communication. Especially, don’t do this in your marriage. You will experience deep regret.

  3. Only the people you’ve really loved with agape can appreciate fully the three words when you say them. See, Daddy did not love me just enough to share some material blessing with me (although he certainly worked hard to do that). He did not just love me enough to put up with my inadequacies (although he surely was in the next room during the messy, late- night-studying, bathroom-hogging teen years). He did not just love me enough to build things in the wood shop for Christmas (although there was the doll bed and the cabinet for my tea set during the sixties and the wooden purse, stilts and shuffle board game of the seventies and the marble mazes and rocking horses and graduation banks for grandchildren of the eighties). He, along with my mother, who was also sharing and making and building, loved me enough to give their lives for me, if needed. They loved me enough to pray about inadequacies and to correct them. They loved me enough to build more than toys and purses. They loved me enough to build character. That’s the most enduring home-made gift.

  4. There’s something very ironic about the goal. Heaven is THE goal. Ironically, God has placed in us a very strong desire to keep our loved ones here with us rather than to be completely willing to have them go and be with the Lord. I cannot fully explain that fierce desire to preserve and protect feeble life. But I know it is right to have it. It is right to protect and preserve life, because that defense is innately built into the moral compass of people of conscience. One has to be trained to devalue life. It is not the natural affection of Romans 1: 31 and 2 Timothy 3:3. So I grab that hand and it’s the best when he grabs it right back.

  5. There’s great comfort—always, in all ways— in the Word. There’s an amazing example, for instance, of the application of Romans 8:28 in that ancient account of Joseph in Egypt. We get to look at how a faithful person perseveres when there are family members who are spiteful or friends who falsely accuse or forget about the good things we do for them. We get to see, up-close and personally, how the  faithful react to both poverty and riches. Sometimes, when we are weary, there’s so much comfort that we can go right off to a deep and peaceful sleep while reading the Word. I think I can maybe even do that tonight…right here in this chair. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Colley House Gift Cards are Here! Annual Christmas Contest is Now!

I’m happy to announce this new gift idea from The Colley House. We’ve never offered gift cards before, but here they are! Available in several different denominations, printable and digitally downloadable, it’s one easy way to get the best kinds of gift materials into the hands of people you love. Just in time for the holidays, you can surprise people across the miles with gifts for the soul! 

Find them here.

Next, here’s the holiday contest for this year! With a nod to our DD study of COMFORT this year, I’m asking for your best Holiday comfort recipes. Submit the recipe for your favorite holiday comfort food and, in 50 words or less, tell us why this recipe/food brings you joy, nostalgia, good memories and/or comfort during the holidays. We’ll choose five great recipes, share them with you, and award those who submitted them! Five winners will each receive $25.00 digital gift cards from The Colley House. We’ll try to share lots of the submitted recipes via this blog! 

Deadline for submitting your recipe is December 5th. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter. Submissions must be sent to Any submissions sent to any other address or text number or message will not be retrieved. (You ladies are all over the board and I cannot keep up with you!)

I hope your early merry is coming on you unexpectedly! But there are many readers who are struggling. Death has take loved ones of several who read this blog in the last few days. I am shocked and saddened at the early passing of some great Christians. I am profoundly thankful for the hope that anchors those left behind. There are others who wake up every day to a different kind of “lonely”. Some are finding themselves in marriages that are being ravaged by sin. Some face Satan’s attempted manipulation in intense ways.  Some are keeping vigils in the NICU or in the Pediatric ICU. Some are saying the slow good-bye that accompanies a parent with dementia. Some are battling cancer. Some are realizing that their children may never come back to holiness. The list is not exhaustible. But our God is good and He knows. I am praying for sisters who are fighting the depression that comes with holidays that are not filled with “merry.” I hope you are studying with me the “Father of Mercies” this month and trying to remember that the trials of this life are preparatory and brief, in comparison to our “stay” in the place where tears are banned!

I anxiously await that place. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Ideas for Growing Faith: Products for Children

Happy Holidays! To those who entered the holiday contest, let me say a big thanks. This successful contest yielded several ideas that I know will be helpful to parents, especially those who have younger children.  First, I’d like to share four product ideas that rose to the top, in my estimation, of the gifts that will keep on giving for little souls. While I’ve not been able to look at everything from these sites, I’ve spent some time perusing and I believe parents will be blessed by taking advantage of these sites and the resources they offer for your kids. 

First is This is a growing site produced by a Christian family for the purpose of building faith in families. I hope you’ll visit and take the time to see if some of these innovative resources can beef up your family or homeschool  Bible time.

Next, is our old and faithful friend I can vouch for these folks in their excellent presentation of apologetics for Christian families. The Colleys are personally indebted to Apologetics Press for many occasions upon which they provided the answers and resources we needed to address the most important questions our kids asked while developing faith. This submission specifically recommends the creation cards for daily teaching about creation. They’re here:  I might add that they are excellent tools to carry in your diaper bag for quiet and productive time while mom’s in a worship assembly. But you really need to be very familiar with the entire website. 

Next is, a tool for enriching family devotionals. If you haven’t checked this one out, you’ll be blessed. 

Finally, the ABC scripture cards from Any time you can put the pure scriptures in the hearts of kids, it’s time well spent. These are sweet little tools for doing that. I think you’ll like them.

Thanks to Rachel Valentin for these ideas. She’s a mom on a spiritual quest and I have an idea we’ll be hearing good things from her little girls in ladies’ circles in the Lord’s church in about 20 years!

More ideas from the contest next time!