Browsing Tag

Maggie

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The Taliban Needs Jesus

Caleb, our son, and his wife, Bekah, were talking about the Taliban shooting Americans at the airport. Maggie (3 years old) overheard and was asking questions about what happened. They just told her that “There were some bad people who were trying to hurt other people. But they were far away, and we don’t know them.” She said: “But Jesus doesn’t want them to hurt other people. Couldn’t we go tell them about Jesus? If we did though, they might just fly away…”

Such profundity often comes from three-year-old minds. Sometimes I wish we could cut to the chase in our assessments with the trusting world view of the little ones who believe in Him. She reflected some very powerful truths in that little overview of the Kabul crisis:

1. Jesus doesn’t want us to hurt people. Whatever course I am pursuing that is vindictive and hurtful, I should remember that I hurt Jesus when I hurt others (Matthew 25).

2. Couldn’t we go tell them about Jesus? Telling all the “thems” about Jesus is the answer to the gravest ills of our world. I should never stop telling, even when the devil tries to intimidate me with sin all around me, I have to just keep telling. Every opportunity cannot solve the problems of the whole world, but every opportunity, potentially, could take the burdens of the world from one.

3. If  we did, though, they might just fly away. I am sure Mags was thinking about what she’d overheard about the airport, but there’s a sobering reality  that the greatest and most sacrificial gift that’s ever been purchased for me may be the one I refuse to accept. I don’t want to be among those who have rejected the gift when the time comes for “flying away.”

 

So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:49,50).

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Ellis Can Be a Frog…

“Let’s re-enact Pharaoh and the plagues,” said two-year-old Maggie at Family Bible Time. “Ellis can be one of the plagues,” she excitedly added. “He can be a frog.” (Ellis is her baby brother.)

I’m thinking she was probably going to be Moses or Pharaoh (…besides being the re-enactment director.)

Sometimes I can adapt that mentality in the family of God. Let me do whatever is big and showy and accolade-worthy and you can do whatever it is that’s a little more menial or messy. Maybe you could even do what might get you swatted or stepped on.

To be truthful, Maggie has the purest and most tender heart of anyone I know. (Once I pretended I wanted to go first in a game I was playing with her and she said “Sure. You can go first.” Her mama winked and said “We’ve really been working on how we always want to put others before ourselves.” Mammy was a great and helpful example there!)

Maggie’s got it. (After all, there really aren’t too many speaking parts in the Pharaoh saga that Ellis could do.) But sometimes I don’t get this right. Sometimes I probably would do well to go back and read the book of James and highlight statements like these:

Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation…

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.

For where there is…self-seeking, there is confusion and every evil thing.

But the wisdom that is from above is…gentle, willing to yield.

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

I’m going to pray today, as I start this week, that I’ll be constantly conscious of ways I can hide behind the cross and glorify the risen Savior through meekness toward His family.

And maybe they can back up one night soon and “re-enact” the basket in the Nile part of the story. Now there’s a starring role for Ellis!

 

 

 

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

They can still “wepent”…

I’m thankful that when I’m living hard and fast, there are markers all along the way that teach, remind and correct me toward the big goal at the end of all the craziness. 

It was a crazy day spent with my favorite Floridian, two-year-old Maggie. We got out of the house for a little while on a warm afternoon to go to the park and give Maggie’s mom a few minutes of semi-quiet time with the newborn before supper. The park we love was closed for renovations, so I drove around looking for another place to play. I was just about to give up, when I saw a small playground space beside some old tennis courts. Knowing that even a tiny bit of playground equipment seems big and inviting to a two-year-old, I parked and we went in. 

The moms there were not Christians. In fact, from their language, the language of their children, their parenting skills and their dress, I knew that we probably would not stay very long and we would try to invite them to worship if given the chance to converse at all. Sure enough, it wasn’t very long until one of the moms exploded in anger at a very young child. Maggie came running to me and looked up with frightened, innocent eyes. I walked her to the corner of the playground and explained to her that this mom did not know Jesus. She didn’t know about how Jesus teaches us to treat each other with kindness. “She doesn’t know about how mamas are supposed to love their children and teach them to be like Jesus. She doesn’t know about how losing our temper and yelling is not pleasing to God. She just doesn’t know.…So why don’t we pray for her that she can come to know Jesus?” Maggie thought that was a good idea and so we bowed our heads and talked to God about that mother and her sweet children. 

We didn’t get a chance to talk to her about God, because she grabbed up those children and put them in the car, still spouting off at them and at the man who was with them. She really didn’t stop yelling long enough for us to say anything at all. 

Still, Maggie was sure of the power of our prayer. “I think she is still going to ‘wepent,’” she said, as the mom, who is surely destined for trouble unless repentance does occur was huffing away. 

But then another mom and daughter came to the fort. Maggie kept asking the little girl her name, but it was apparent to me that the little girl did not speak English. At last Maggie just smiled, motioned for her to follow and said “Come on, Allie!” Then she looked over at me, palms up with a look of “Oh-well” in her eyes and said “Well, she doesn’t talk, so I’ll just call her Allie.” Allie (who was really Leilani, we were to find out) was sweet to Maggie and taught her how to climb the rocks to the top of the slide (something Maggie had been reluctant to do prior to “Allie’s” arrival.) Maggie was so proud of this big achievement. 

It was this second sweet mom, who was willing to listen to us talk about the church. She was the one who said they would like to visit the church there in Orange Park and hear Maggie’s daddy preach the gospel. She really did seem interested in bringing Allie to Bible class so she could see Maggie again. I thought about our Lord and how he sometimes found himself in the company of those who had no respect for His Father. He found himself in the house of a despised tax collector, at the temple with the greedy, at the table with scoffers, or at the well with someone of disrepute. I thought about how that, often, it was the most-respected people of His society, the Pharisees, who were the least likely to open their closed ears and hearts to the good news. He even said it was these people who were fulfilling this prophecy of Isaiah: 

By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Matthew 13:14,15.

And often it was the least likely person—the Samaritan woman at the well, the tax-collector in the tree, the distressed woman of Tyre, or the woman of Magdala who was demon possessed—that had the greatest potential to offer the cause of Christ. 

Sweet little Maggie. Every night she prays that she can be like Jesus. I’m glad that our “regular” playground was closed. I’m glad she had a chance to tell Allie to “come on.” I’m glad I had the chance, in her hearing, to invite Allie’s mom to “come on” and study the Scriptures. I hope she learned that day that being like Jesus sometimes means talking about Him even when we find ourselves in the “wrong playground.” 

Sometimes in life, I’ve found myself in the wrong playground and I’ve been afraid to say the name of Jesus. I want to always have Maggie’s heart and believe that people can and often will still “wepent.” 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley Caleb Colley

To Make a Wretch His Treasure

 

I was pretty tired after a few days (and parts of the nights, too) of trying to help my daughter-in-law, Bekah, with a toddler and a newborn during a week of a gospel meeting while we were also awaiting the  replacement of a dishwasher. (That’s a long wait when you have a bunch of people, even if it’s really a short wait.) We were thoroughly enjoying staying in the home of our son and his wonderful family, but even the best kind of fun can be exhausting.

As we stood there singing the last two songs of that spiritually uplifting event on the final night, tears just streamed down my face. I held my sweet Maggie, who’s two, close to me and heard her softly singing some of the words to “How Deep the Father’s Love” and the balm of those words sank deep into my weary spirit. 

How deep the Father’s love for us?

How vast beyond all measure?

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure.

How great the pain of searing loss?

The Father turns His face away

As wounds which mar the Chosen One

Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the man upon a cross

My sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers.

It was my sin that held Him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything

No gifts, no power, no wisdom

But I will boast in Jesus Christ

His death and resurrection.

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom.

Why should I gain from His reward?

I cannot give an answer

But this I know with all my heart

His wounds have paid my ransom.

My husband had just preached a powerful lesson about fatherhood: What a Dad Owes His Children. He had talked about the things a father owes his son and I reflected on the blessing it is that our son has a brand new baby—a son. Caleb and Bekah are determined that baby Ellis will have the gifts of example and training that will anchor his development into integrity and faithfulness. Then the lesson pivoted to a discussion of things a father owes his daughter. As the lesson closed and parents were being called to recommit to placing the principles of Scripture in a place of relevance, even top-priority, in their homes, I held the sweet 2-year-old daughter of my son and heard her sing about the sacrifice of the only Son of God to “make a wretch his treasure”.  The Father paid the ultimate price of His own Son–what He did not owe–so that my Son (and the rest of us, too) could be sitting there on that pew sanctified, justified and washed–absolved of what we did owe. 

When I sing the words “Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers” I know that it “was my sin that held him there” and the gratitude overwhelms me, every time. This blessed grandmother just stood there, holding that sweet innocent child, and cried. How I wish I’d never had to face the realization that I’m responsible, because of my sin, for the cross. How I wish I had no unfathomably large ransom to be paid, no sins for his shoulders, and that he had no wounds for my transgressions. But how deeply thankful I am that he paid, he bore and he was inflicted with my wounds. My maker, the Creator of the universe is the One who is self-described as “meek and lowly”(meaning, in the Greek, insignificant one). He is the One who calls me, the creature, to rest. His redemptive work is my path to peace and rest (Matthew 11:29).

Maggie had no idea what she was singing. But, just like her grandmother, if she lives to adulthood, she will one day know. And she’ll wrestle with a guilt that can only be satisfied by the man on the cross—the GOD on the cross. It’s the everyday work of her diligent mother and dad to put in her a commanding trust in the Savior, so that, when that day comes, she will resolutely know, with all her heart, that He accomplished what she could not. It’s their everyday prayer that Maggie and Ellis will never boast in anything but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are so many tangible ways that parents can put this seed of dependence on the Savior in their children. We saw lots of them this week. We saw the concepts of trust, repentance, hope and even a glimpse of heaven put in Maggie during Bible time (that happens twice a day in their house). I asked Maggie if she had new “Bible Words” to tell me. She said “Yes. John 10:11.” And she proceeded with “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” We saw vigilant correction from her parents at each hint of any disrespect. We saw time—tons of time—spent by Bekah, showing Maggie that her heart—not her sweet face or braided hair or princess costumes—is what makes her beautiful. We saw her help her Dad invite neighbors to the gospel meeting. After those sweet invitations were offered, Maggie asked her dad “ Do you think she will come?” or “Did she say she would already be in the bed when we go to worship?” or “Did she say she would read a book we can give her about Jesus?” 

She had no idea exactly what the lyrics to “How Deep the Father’s Love” mean, but she will have a tender heart to them when they do have meaning for her one day. She is already becoming keenly aware of the dire need that her neighbors have to know Jesus. 

Moms, it’s the most important thing you do every day; putting the love of the Father at the very core of every activity of every day and putting the urgency of the message of Christ for our neighbors in little hearts. I know my children are doing a better job of this saturation-till-maturation process than I ever did. Their kids are facing a herculean effort of a society largely driven by an agenda of secularism and the suppression of the Word of God. I’m praying for the continued stamina of godly parents as they battle this effort. I’m particularly praying for the parents of Ellis and Maggie and those of  Ezra, Colleyanna and Eliza Jane. 

The very last song of that evening was a prophetic victory psalm for the people of God. I’m so looking forward to a new song.

It thrills my soul to hear the songs of praise, we mortals sing below,

And though it takes the parting of the ways, yet I must onward go;

I hope to hear throughout unnumbered days, the song earth cannot know,

They sing in heaven a new song, of Moses and the Lamb.

O to hear the angels singing,

To bid me welcome to mansions bright and fair;

O to hear the glad harps ringing,

With voices blending rich and rare;

O to see the Master bringing,

A precious life crown that I may own and wear;

I want to hear that mighty chorus sweetly sing,

I want to hear that mighty chorus sweetly sing,

I want to hear that mighty chorus sweetly sing,

To hear it swell and ring!

If I can sing this new song around the throne with the saved of all eras of time, I’ll be in bliss. If I can hear that mighty chorus swell and ring, nothing can mar my happiness. Every tear will be wiped away. I know that has to be true because my God has promised this. But I’m still going to keep  fervently praying that I can be, not just present in the throne room, but flanked around that throne by Glenn and the nine people who call me Mom and Mammy. Hearing our little chorus of eleven blending with all of the saved in raising the song of Moses and the Lamb surely seems just now to be the sweetest of all my anticipation. Lord, come quickly.

And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty! (Revelation 15:3)

How Deep the Father’s Love, by Stuart Townend–The New Song, words by J.R. Baxter, Jr. and music by C.C. Stafford. 
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Always Pray for the Bad Ones, Too…

Recently, during Bible time, our son, Caleb asked Maggie, who’s two “Who should we pray for tonight?” Maggie named some people whom she thought needed prayer. Caleb, listing all those she had suggested, said “Great. Let’s pray for them. Those are some good ones.” 

Bekah, Maggie’s mom, said, under her breath to Caleb, “Well, don’t pray for the bad ones.” Well, obviously, Bekah was poking fun at Caleb’s choice of words about praying for the “good ones.”

They had their prayer and moved on with the bedtime ritual. A bit later, Maggie looked at her dad, while he was brushing her teeth, and asked “Why did Mama say not to pray for the bad people?”

Rebekah got busy explaining how she was just joking and how we really should always pray for bad people to obey Jesus.

So then they prayed again and Maggie said “Please help the bad people to get repenting.” 

I hope she can internalize, remember and practically translate from thought to action all these little, but very BIG, truths she’s learning at the hands of Deuteronomy 6 parents. If she can, she’ll be ready for a great go at the Christian life…the abundant life (John 10:10). She will be effective in prayer, compassionate, and a winner of souls. 

Don’t forget:

  1. The podcast is next Tuesday night. It’s going to be a pretty special edition, so try to join us!
  2. The 2022 trip to Israel is being logistically planned as I write this. Details and registration available by mid-March. Stay tuned for that. Registration will be open to diggers (current or past) and their spouses only through the end of 2021. In January of 2022, if there is space left, we will open it up to others in the body. 
  3. Please keep praying for so many diggers, over on the Digging Deep for Encouragement page, who are going through some of the hardest things in life.
  4. …And, perhaps as never before in our country, pray for good to be victorious over evil, and for “all the bad people to get repenting.”
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

“She did not wash away her sins…”

Tonight,Maggie, my grand-daughter who just turned two, prayed that “Mammy will be baptized so her sins can be washed away.”

Her mother told her immediately that “Mammy has already been baptized.” Apparently she thinks my sins are still there because she replied “ But she did not wash away her sins.” 

When you are two, it’s a big and daunting theological world. When you are 61, it is even more complicated and daunting. When you are two, you cannot understand exactly what’s washed away in that water. When you are 61, you can’t understand how. When you are two, you’re afraid of the water. When you are 61, you are afraid of challenges of the path you walk after the water (Romans 6:4). Maggie is two and she can’t wait to be baptized “to wash away your sins” that do not yet exist. I’m 61, and I just praise Him ceaselessly for the constant washing of sins that I wish did not exist (1 John 1:7). 

I’m so thankful Maggie’s parents are putting the Word in her diligently and directionally. This week she’s told me about the father of the twelve tribes, the faith of Rahab, the man in the big fish and the one in the lion’s den, the small man in the Sycamore tree and the apostle to the Jews and the one to the Gentiles. I’ve heard her say the books of the New Testament from Matthew to Colossians and I’ve heard her talk about Moses the lawgiver and Jesus, the triumphant Savior, as he rode over palm branches and heard the words “Hosanna in the highest.”  The biggest blessing of spending a week with their little family has been watching their sweet family Bible time. Tonight was a scavenger hunt outside finding and praising God for the items on the Creation cards from Apologetics Press (https://store.apologeticspress.org/products/apcmst001). There have been various games and challenges, lots of laughter and reverent prayers at least five times each day. 

When I look into those big brown eyes and think about the world in which Maggie will grow up, I am profoundly grateful for her mother and daddy; for the church of which they are a part in their community —an eldership and a body that supports their family in the greatest ministry on earth. Most of all, I’m so thankful for the great gift of the Holy Spirit: the Word, that we open each day to find the keys to victorious living in a spiritually war-torn world.  As Maggie, said her “Bible words” for this week, I reflected on how very central they are to the work her family is striving to do in the Lord’s church. She really summarized the plea that encompasses their work:

“He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7).

May Maggie always hear with child-like faith what the precious Holy Spirit says to the churches!

I love you, Mags, and I am already missing you! Let’s talk on the phone.