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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Let Him Have the Remote…

It’s really a daily challenge to be in this world and yet remain insulated from its spiritually destructive components. I cannot imagine going through a day without having to constantly remind myself of what conversations, media and relationships are appropriate for somebody who’s following Jesus and what Philippians 4:8 would filter out for me. I want His word to always be the filter in the nitty-gritty decisions of everyday living. I think sometimes it’s easy for me to say the big things like “I would give my life for Christ,” or “My favorite book is the Bible” or “Growing in Christ is my number one goal,” but it’s the all-day-long difficult and specific choices that make or break my big easily stated commitments.I don’t call into question the sincerity of somebody whose little choices don’t reflect the big professions of life. Sometimes I think we really do mean the big commitment statements found on our profiles on facebook. It’s just that the inconsistencies in the little decisions don’t sting because we’ve become environmentally and culturally anesthetized. What should really hurt us as His people doesn’t hurt at all because we’re breathing the fumes of the society in which we live. Once I accidentally made a pretty huge gash in my left hand; lots of blood and nausea, an eventual scar and a pain that was wretched. On another occasion a doctor made a similar gash in my foot to remove a piece of glass; lots of blood, a similar scar, but absolutely no pain. The difference was, of course, the presence of the anesthetic.

So how is it that we can sing “I am mine no more, I’ve been bought with blood,’ or “Purer in heart O God, help me to be,” or ” I surrender all” or “Lord take control,” and yet fail to even feel the sting of the destructive media influences that are in direct opposition to the themes we’ve stated for our lives? I think we just don’t feel the pain that should accompany spiritual wounds because we are anesthetized by the culture in which we live. As the world becomes more and more ungodly, we are lulled into a kind of comfortable moral drowsiness that makes us unaware of the effects of the tools in the hands of the devil. We find ourselves laughing at all kinds of wickedness as it is digitally welcomed into our living rooms, bedrooms and dorm rooms. We can listen to vulgarity and profanity and hardly be aware we’ve heard them even as they work to erode the values that we’ve professed all along. Pretty soon we start thinking through our days about the drama or the hilarity of some episode that really was pretty far removed from the “I want to grow in Christ” thesis through which we intended to filter our choices. We start talking about things that are in the Galatians 5:19-21 list with the same nonchalant tone with which we would talk about the weather. Without even really thinking about it, we spend more time concentrating on the works of the flesh as portrayed by Hollywood than we do in Bible study or prayer. Pretty soon, the gap between what we profess and our practical focus is a chasm.Perhaps we find that in our entertainment choices, we sometimes “rejoice in iniquity.” Perhaps we even encourage others to violate their consciences by encouraging them to love what God would identify as abomination. In short, we’ve just become numb to the sorrow we should feel as his children at the presence of sin in our media choices. The devil wants to devour us and he is much more successful when we start failing to feel the pain of the lion’s tenons and teeth.

It’s been helpful for me to constantly remember and repeat the phrase “Entertainment is optional.” Being “optional” means it’s not a requirement for life. It means it’s not absolutely necessary. In fact, retaining entertainment in my life is probably less necessary than retaining my limbs or my eyesight. But Jesus said if your eye or your hand offends you, just get rid of it rather than allowing it to cause the loss of your soul. I can go to heaven without ever turning on the television, but I can’t go to heaven if I’m not “abstaining from the very appearance of evil” (I Thess.5:22).

Matthew 6:33 is not too difficult to understand when it comes to this abstinence from the appearance of evil. It’s not hard to understand when I try to conform my thoughts to Philippians 4:8. Where it gets hard is not in my ability to comprehend its meaning. It means when I have choices in optional matters I am going to make sure my allegiance is first to His kingdom and righteousness. Where it gets hard is in my willingness to apply it all day long. It’s difficult while I am watching the episode to stop and ask, “Am I seeking righteousness when I put this stuff into my head?” It’s difficult to just pick up the remote and say “I choose to seek first His righteousness.”

So many times, I can look back and know full well that a particular decision was completely out of alignment with the BIG profession I have made for my life. Those times are my biggest regrets. I want to adjust the practical part of my Christianity, because Christ can’t remain in my heart if He’s not affecting my agenda, dominating my calendar, making my choices, and shaping my plans. The remote should be controlled by Him.


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #39: Proverbs 14:26–A Nation Exalted

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:  

My Favorite Proverbs:  What Exalts a Nation

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:26).

Be impressed with the hard, cold fact of this statement. So long as this world stands, this will be true. Be reminded that Christianity is a world religion, not merely an American religion.  Our real success as a nation is in proportion to the degree to which we live according to the precepts of God’s Will. So many of the blacks and whites of right and wrong have turned to a sickening grey in the minds of citizens.  One doesn’t have far to look to find a politician who trades in debauchery, deceit, and compromised morality. People may turn a blind eye and elect him or her to whatever office he or she aspires.  We will do better as a nation–be exalted, lifted to a higher place– if we can strengthen voices against sin, as defined in the Bible, and if we can elect leaders who insist on a Biblically-framed virtue in all parts of our government.  

So far as I’m aware, only one U.S. President, James A. Garfield, was a member of the Lord’s church.  As we approach the next election, nothing would please me more for our government than if the executive, legislative and judicial branches were all filled with New Testament Christians; but that’s, of course, unrealistic.  What we must do this November, as in all our elections, is to choose leaders who will do the most to accommodate the cause of Christ in our land.  I’m surprised to have come to the point at which saying the following is realistic rather than a knee-jerk reaction, but it is not hard for me to imagine an America in which Christians are persecuted in ways similar to the ways our early Christian family was persecuted in the first century.  In the interest of my children and grandchildren and, obviously my family in the Lord, I’d like to delay that time as long as possible.  God has blessed us to live in a democracy, a republic, in which we have the vote and voice to choose our leaders.  We must take advantage of that gift and vote with the benefit of Christianity in mind.  May this be our chief motivation; not earthly issues that have no real bearing on the souls of citizens.  

Today, make time to step away from the political wrangling and hatred to lay the interests of our nation again at the feet of God.  Doesn’t He still work in the governments of men?  Don’t allow your heart to be driven by those things which won’t matter in eternity, but rather beg for His will to be done in our government. Then, use your influence, however small, for good.

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (I Tim. 2:1-4).


Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy:

Tonight’s phrase from Matthew 25 is “I was a stranger and you took me in.”

This one’s a little more difficult to practically apply, especially during a pandemic. But you should try and make your children understand that, although we cannot house all of the people who might be traveling through our area, when we know of Christians who have a need for housing, we should be happy to offer our homes as places for them to stay and our tables as places for them to eat. Even if we know of non-Christians, who need a place, and they come to us recommended by fellow-Christians, we should be happy to use our homes in this service. There are lots of people in our West Huntsville family who routinely offer rooms at home, hotel rooms, meals in their homes and restaurant meals, cabins and couches, for people they’ve not ever even met before. The guests are gospel preachers who visit, people who are moving to our area, those who have temporary work in our area, and those who may be temporarily homeless. There are just many examples all around your children during times of normalcy (non-pandemic times). See if they can think of some and talk to them about how you want to make “our house” available for people, because that’s making it available for the Lord. It’s a serious setting in which the Lord instructed this.

Have big people pretend-call the teeny people on the phone and tell the teenies that they are needing a place to stay and sleep because they are on a journey. Have the teenies respond with “Sure, we have a place,” and let them arrange the blankets on the sofa and put a pillow there and bring a bag with a bar of soap and some toothpaste and a spare toothbrush and put it on the pillow along with a towel (and whatever else you have on hand that a guest could use). Have one of the visiting big people lie there for the rest of the story time, profusely thanking the little person.

Tell the story of 2 Kings 4: 8-17. Be sure your children can name the simple things that the woman of Shunem put in the room for the prophet. Make sure they can also tell you that when she did this she was serving the prophet, but she was, most importantly, serving God. She was helping the prophet  to be able to preach the Word of God. She was helping God to work on this earth. When we offer to house God’s people, we help God’s cause on this earth!

Have your children look around your home and give ideas about how rooms and provisions and appliances can be used to help God’s cause.

Pray with your children. Pray that you will be able to use your home for His glory. Pray specifically for each room, that you will find ways to use your kitchen to feed God’s people, that you will find ways to use the bedrooms to help His people rest, that you will use your living room as a place to share His Word, etc….

We will be a closer family if we are serious about hospitality.


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #37: Proverbs 14:22–Devising Evil and Good

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:  

My Favorite Proverbs: Devising Evil and Good  (Proverbs 14:22)

Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good.

In the original language, the word “devise” in this proverb means, “to plow.”  Picture a farmer cutting and plowing his rows as he anticipates a good harvest in the not-too-distant future.  That preparation, according to today’s proverb, is done spiritually every day by people for evil or for good.  Imagine with me some examples….

Devising Evil:

  1. Plan a party and purchase alcohol to be served.
  2. Wear a revealing dress while knowing it may impress men the wrong way.     
  3. Scheme over how to earn or win money through business deals which are not completely honest.
  4. Think through how you can escape God’s commands in your religion and still have His approval:  “I attend most of the assemblies; I doubt He’ll care if I miss to attend this ballgame just this once.”
  5. Imagine ways to hurt those against whom you hold a grudge, or simply use your influence to prevent good things from happening to them.
  6. Deceive your parents.  Lie about where you’re going and with whom you are going.

Devising Good:

  1. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Phil. 4:8).     
  2. Plan your schedule every week to attend the worship assemblies.
  3. Spend time every day thinking of ways to serve your fellow man.
  4. Think of ways to encourage young people to make good decisions.
  5. Imagine ways you can be a more positive influence in this church.
  6. Concentrate on individuals you’d like to convert to Christ, and devise ways to help them toward that end.  

As you ponder this proverb today, remember that another one says: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).       

Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

For tonight let’s start analyzing the details of the judgment criteria in Matthew 25: 31ff. Jesus said…

“I was hungry and you gave me food.”

Tonight, if you have teeny people, practice the exercise in the video below in your home, and upon your first opportunity, take along your teeny people to actually knock on just such a door. Even if there are no door-knocking opportunities ever in your congregation, still make them for your family. (I learned, very early in my life, the value of children knocking on doors; both the value to those children and to people in our neighborhood who had tender hearts. Just do this. You will be glad you did. Take invitations to gospel meetings. Take pies. Take tracts. Take CDs of sermons. But take your children!)

If you have bigger people, bake bread or cookies tonight to leave on the doorstep of someone who really may be having a tough time getting to the store these days or for someone who has lost (temporarily or permanently) the income they had before the virus. (Think hairdressers, waiters, restauranteurs without drive-throughs, many of those in retail, and most in hospitality industries.) Make sure your children, sign a card, pray for the individual and go with you tomorrow to deliver. Pray together for this family/person tonight.

Review with your children how that Joseph was happy to give food to his brothers even when they had treated him very poorly. Emphasize that, even though the people to whom we give the food may not always be the most faithful to God (they may not even be Christians), the One to Whom we give the food is the spotless lamb of God who died for us, even when we were still sinners, too (Romans 5:8).

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #24: Proverbs 11:21–When it’s Wrong to Join Hands

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons  for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:

My Favorite Proverbs:  When it’s wrong to join hands (Prov. 11:21, KJV).  April 16.

“Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished:but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.”

We aren’t shaking hands during social distancing, but that has nothing to do with this profound proverb.  It means this: I must not allow myself to be anesthetized to the seriousness of sin by observing the broad acceptance of sin. Wrong actions do not gradually become less wrong as they grow in popularity.  Furthermore, it doesn’t matter how many men and women declare a lost man to be saved; he’s still lost until he comes to Christ.  Other people—their words and actions– aren’t the yardstick to measure right and wrong. Paul wrote,  “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Cor. 10:12). 

The greatest example of choosing not to “follow a multitude to do evil” (Ex. 23:2) is in Daniel 3 and has to do with the masses of people contrasted with three young, courageous, and determined men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.  What an opportune time to do the wrong thing and go along with the idolatry commanded by Nebuchadnezzar; but these three would not bow themselves and break the commandment of Jehovah (Ex. 20:3-5).

Christendom at large has declared that, in order to be saved, a man must simply pray the “sinner’s prayer”, and that his baptism has nothing to do with his being saved.  In fact, most self-identified Christians today would be shocked to learn that there even exists a church which believes and teaches that immersion in water is necessary to be saved. The majority is opposed to what the Spirit, through Peter, taught us, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 3:21).

It is popular to believe that we all need to be in a church because we need a support group with which to connect  or because our children need a religious background.  Based merely on these kinds of objectives, almost any church will do.  It matters little what is taught or what is done in the worship presented  to God.  The pivotal question is, “Do you feel comfortable here?” Clearly a great majority supports that view. Jesus stood in opposition to this when He said, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).  Paul would later write, “but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (I Tim. 3:15).

Similarly, the popular view of sexuality and morality is both broad in scope and at the same time, utterly inconsistent with Scripture (Matt. 5:28, Rom. 1:26-27, Gal. 5:19-21).  

You can think of other examples.

The point of this proverb is simple: “Though hand be joined in hand…” that is, although there may be a clear majority may adopt a belief and/or lifestyle that is oppositional to Scripture, and although the proponents of that adoption may declare that God must/will surely be happy with said belief, it is, nonetheless, sinful.  

We must never follow a multitude to do evil, even if the multitude is united (have joined hands) to support it (Ex. 23:2). 

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).  

Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy

Tonight’s reading is to the point and is from 2 Samuel 12:14-16.It is amazing that this man after God’s own heart has slowly, but surely progressed to the point at which he had now plotted to take the life of (to effectively murder) the husband of Bathsheba to cover up his sin with her. Explain to your children what happened in these three verses. Emphasize to your children that David could have never imagined, when he was walking on the roof that night,  that he would murder this soldier who’s been loyal to him in every way. But sin is like that. At first, we just do something we think is not so bad. But then we do something else to “cover up” the first thing we did. And the things we do keep getting worse and worse until we are in big mess of sin. The devil loves for that to happen to us. Tonight let’s think about some things we can learn from this awful cover-up-sin that David committed.

  1. Uriah took his own death orders to the captain of the army. Notice just how much David trusted Uriah. He knew that Uriah would not open the envelope on his way back to the battleground. Talk to your children about how guilty David must have felt when he handed Uriah the letter.
  2. Once again, David asked someone else to do a very wrong thing. Who, in this account, did a very bad thing in order to obey David? Should Joab have disobeyed the King, since he knew the plan was for Uriah to die? Discuss this ethical question with your children.
  3. Show your young children a drawing of an eye. From the eye (David’s lustful eye), draw an arrow to a drawing of  David’s mouth speaking. From David’s mouth draw an arrow to a door. From the door, draw an arrow to stick figures of David and Bathsheba together. From those figures draw an arrow to a drawing of David talking to Uriah and from that drawing, an arrow to a wine bottle and a glass of wine. From there, draw an arrow to an envelope (David’s message to Joab) and, from there, an arrow to a dead stick figure. At the bottom have the citation: John 8:34. Use this drawing to emphasize the progression of sin to your kids. It should look roughly like this (only you should draw your own as you are explaining the descent). When you get to the verse read it and elicit, from your kids, ways that we become slaves to sin. Was David a sort of slave to sin?
  4. Lastly, talk to your children about a staircase. Take them to the top of the stairs if you have them in your home. Ask them what would happen if you threw them over the railing to the floor below. Then explain to them that they travel the same distance down if they take on step at a time down the stairs; but when they go one step at the time, they don’t even notice that they’ve descended. That’s how sin is: if we just go a little at the time, we can do very sinful things and not even notice how wicked we have become. Of course, the lesson you leave with them is that we guard ourselves against small compromises. We see the devil’s deceit and avoid playing his little one-step-at-the-time game.

Quote the KidSing rule again: Do the right thing.

Read Ephesians 6:11 and tell your children that the word “wiles” there means trickery or deceit.

Pray for wisdom to always see the devil for what He is and for strength to always resist His trickery.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Teen Vogue: Not just about Hairstyles and Makeup, anymore.

I hope there are no parents reading BYH who think  magazines like Teen Vogue should be accessible lifestyle information for our teen girls. I think not. But what I’m not so certain about is our diligence—even our ability –in the prevention of that access. (After all, I’m posting quotes today that are just a click away…)  Even more important (and more difficult) is the prevention of influence that almost always comes through access; even through second-hand access to incredibly wicked stories put out by authority figures, who apparently have no conscience.  In other words, while your daughter may not read Teen Vogue, someone she knows, and who may have some influence in her circle of friends, probably does.

The material that’s the subject of today’s post IS, at least in the case of the sodomy tutorial, adults peddling sexual information to minors. Some of the information readily available in Teen Vogue magazine would be classified as criminal if privately texted to a minor by an adult. Unbelievably wicked. 

Examples are plentiful, but let me give you just three recent ones:

An article touting the decriminalization of prostitution and even encouraging the sex trade as legitimate work for income. Here’s a snippet: 

“I am a doctor, an expert in sexual health, but when you think about it, aren’t I a sex worker? And in some ways, aren’t we all?”  (


A tutorial on how to engage in sodomy (although it has been recognized, even by the CDC, as the riskiest type of sexual behavior.)  This article is perverse and obscene (and, frankly, unbelievable) on many levels, giving graphics of anatomy and telling teens about nerve endings in the anus that  “feel awesome when stimulated.” Here are a couple of blurbs, but these are not the the most explicit statements made, obviously: 

This is anal 101, for teens, beginners and all inquisitive folk,” author Gigi Engle wrote in “A Guide to Anal Sex.”

“There is no wrong way to experience sexuality…” (

Talk about “…Claiming to be wise, they have become fools.” This has to be the epitome of that phenomenon.

A  guide to obtaining an abortion without parental knowledge of the pregnancy or consent to the procedure ( i.e. the murder of their grandchildren).

“But if teenage me had a hard time broaching the subject of a hypothetical pregnancy with my pro-choice parents, I can only imagine how overwhelming it might feel to announce an actual pregnancy, much less a desire to get an abortion — in any circumstance, really, but especially to parents who are against it, and especially during a time in American history when the bodily autonomy of people with uteruses is under serious threat,” … “it’s only logical that if teens are mature enough to become parents, they are mature enough to decide whether or not they want to give birth.”  ( 

Moms in 2019 have to be vigilant. Perhaps it would be a good idea to pick up a stack of Teen Vogue magazines at your grocery store or Supercenter, take it to the service desk, ask to see a manager, and ask him if he’s good with his daughter or grand-daughter reading about any of the above (or whatever the perversion of the month happens to be). Sobriety and vigilance are Biblically recommended tools against the one who is prowling to devour our children (I Peter 5:8). He’s on the prowl, for sure, in 2019.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Two Perspectives about Prom

Every year at this time, I’m reminded when I go to the hairdresser’s that it’s almost time for prom. Then when I go to my favorite consignment shop, I’m reminded by the mother-daughter browsing clientele that it’s almost time for prom. When I look at Facebook, I’m reminded by the prom-posals that have been captured on video that it’s almost time for prom. Truly a lot of time and effort go into the planning and execution of what America has come to view as a sort of rite of passage for teens to enter the world of “adulting”…at least on some social level. Teens know that they are expected to attend, so much so that, if they are not planning to be there (and I mean planning in a comprehensive sense of the term), some explanation is expected.

Today, I hope readers will take the time to listen to a couple of perspectives on the prom. Be sure you listen through to the perspective of a band director in one of our local high schools. May God bless all of our teens who are approaching all of the decisions that go with prom night. One of those decisions is both difficult and consequential.