Browsing Tag

Parenting

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Princess Gonzorella

It’s predatory and unfair to introduce gender dysphoria to preschoolers. Conditioning children to be accepting of and to normalize “changing” genders by dressing this propaganda in their favorite muppet babies is insidious and typical of the father of lies.

https://news.yahoo.com/apos-muppets-babies-apos-character-205420699.html

Parents, we have to be ever vigilant. I cannot single-handedly roll back the tidal wave of the influence of the LGBTQ movement, but I can shield the children who spend lots of time at my house from this wicked assault on their innocence. We started out shielding them by only permitting kids you-tube (not generic you-tube) on our devices and limiting the time even with that. But now, kids you-tube is spotted with various forms of wickedness and has been invaded by the LGBTQ agenda. It’s all too accessible unless you are sitting right there with your kids every moment. Any careless exposure to network television, cable tv, Netflix or Amazon Prime has long since been harmful to our families. 

But this?! Let’s be discerning with availability in our homes, promotion (buying of toys and parapernalia) and exposure (allowing our kids to be with other kids unattended who may have access to devices). Let’s be the parents (and grandparents) and make sanctification a priority. Gone are those days when we could be Christians and still be much like the communities in which we live. It’s no longer just about abstaining from the appearance of evil in our own actions. It has to be about being sure we are not in the “approval” group:

Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them (Romans 1:32).

 I recently had a thirteen-year-old in the car with me after a youth event. She told me about a cousin who had decided she was gay. This cousin asked her what she thought about this “change”. In telling me about this conversation with a young cousin, she indicated that she, herself (the young girl in my car), could be supportive of this choice without ever being tempted to make the same choice. This kind of thinking comes from an early saturation of an approving media and indoctrination in school; a media and education system that makes our children “feel” gentle and loving if they approve the LGBTQ movement and “feel” harsh and unloving if they call it sin. 

And yes. Of course, Romans one places other sins we should loathe in this category. And every time our children are introduced to any of them in a powerfully approving context (especially before they can understand the complex issues surrounding them), we should vigilantly wrap them in our protective arms and be ever more determined that we, as parents, will be the ones in charge of dispensing information to them from the heavenly Father’s omniscient perspective. Telling a child about sexual “preferences” and transient gender identification in any context, much less an approving context, prior to elementary school is an unthinkable predatory pre-school brainwashing. They, in such cases, are victims who cannot contextualize, in any sense, this information. 

I’m praying today for godly parents who are sincerely and precariously trying to navigate the path to launching godly adults in a society that so desperately needs their collective voice for Him. Parental protection and provision often call for much prayer and prohibition.

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

Imagine this: Propagandizing and Book Burning

If some very powerful people in government and society have their way, we are going to be making radical changes across the board in rapid fashion. One of the saddest that came across my desk this week is the eradication (a very real present-day book burning) of six Dr. Seuss books from library shelves and coincidentally, the big push through children’s books,  to educate preschoolers in the acceptance and  approval (Romans 1: 32 in vogue) of the LGBTQ movement. I cannot adequately express the eternal inequity to children when we teach them to approve homosexuality, transgenderism, etc…PRIOR to their ability to even comprehend sexuality at all. It is damage beyond our ability to repair. We have to keep saying truth about God’s plan for one man and and one woman for life and about divinely assigned gender. Christian parents and grandparents must see that this is no time to throw in the towel due to our own exasperation and exhaustion with the fight against what is so very vile as to infect pure minds prior to their ability to discern; to strip tender imaginations of their sweet scope and place in them what eventually defiles and damns. It is child abuse of the most severe kind.

Here’s the instagram post by LGBT in which a little boy is being taught the GayBCs.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLuxwNHl23I/

and here is what’s being removed:

https://apnews.com/article/dr-seuss-books-racist-images-d8ed18335c03319d72f443594c174513

This needs no commentary from me. But it needs exposure. Christian parents must be vigilant.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Ellis Glenn Colley: Seven Pounds of Perfect!

…And the winners are…Nancy Johnson Koester and Tonja McRady, both of whom exactly nailed the length, weight and hair color of Ellis Glenn Colley! Born at 12:36 pm on Tuesday of this week, this now three-and-a half-day-old bundle has already brought three-and-a-half lifetimes of contentment and gratitude to this mammy heart of mine. His big sister Maggie, is perfectly proud of him— gentle and sweet—so far. 

We got the word that Ellis was on his way very shortly before Glenn’s plane landed in Huntsville, Alabama on Monday afternoon. He had been preaching in Houston for a few days, so we hurried home from the airport, threw a few bags of dirty laundry out of his suitcase, replaced the dirty with clean, and started the nine-hour drive to Orange Park, Florida. In only a scant 48 hours, we were making the trek again in the opposite direction. We drove 17 hours for 17 minutes of baby-hugging, and it was worth every mile! (We’ll be returning again soon for another dose of Ellis and Maggie….So thankful they have another set of grandparents who came even further than we did!) We praise God, from whom all blessings flow, for this healthy and blessed child. In advance, we praise God for every opportunity he will have to convey His gospel to those who did not have the blessing of being born to faithful parents. We pray that our little troupe could grow into a channel of His blessings for those whose hearts are open to the will of the Father.  As two-year-old Maggie said in her prayer recently, may we all “help the bad people to get repenting.”

When Ellis got home from the hospital, his Papa read to him—two letters that we wrote to Caleb, Ellis’ dad, back in 1983. (Ellis was not so attentive, however.) The letters were dated (one from me and one from Glenn) two days before Caleb was born. It was sweet to finally open up that envelope that had been sealed for 37 years and be reminded of how very little we knew (I mean next nothing!) about raising kids prior to the birth of our first son. 

But our Father does have all the answers to all the problems before the challenges surface. May every mama and grandmama who’s reading do the James 1:5 prayer every single morning. And may He give His people wisdom for day-to-day parenting challenges like never before. The “roaring 20s”, this time around, are full of the roar of 1 Peter 5:8. May we be ever vigilant, ever protective of the most innocent and most vulnerable among us.

P.S. Nancy Johnson Koester, I need your home address!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

DD–The Children-Training Scripture List

As we close out our study of the fifth commandment, I’m reflecting on how much I learned from examining those words in Exodus 20 about the “honor system: that exists in godly families. I had never spent a lot of time before thinking about how Scripture bears out that the fifth command was every bit as much for adults as it was for children. 

Thinking about the training of children, this morning, I wanted to share the passage list, as promised in the podcast—the list that directs us to a three-fold responsibility in bringing up our children. We must nurture. We must educate. We must chasten, or discipline. Here are some passages that might be helpful as you contemplate this. I know you could add more from your own study. Thanks to Emily Anderson for adding her list to mine.

Nurture: 

Ephesians 6:4

Colossians 3:21

Proverbs 29:15

Genesis 25:28; 26:34-35; 27:41,42

Luke 11:11-13

Matthew 7:9-11

Proverbs 31:27,28

Proverbs 31:21

1 Timothy 5:8

2 Timothy 1:5

Titus 2:4

Education:

Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Deuteronomy 4:9,10

Judges 17:3-13

Exodus 13:8

Exodus 13:14

Exodus 10:2

Exodus 12:26,27

Deuteronomy 6: 20-25

Leviticus 23:31-43

2 Timothy 3:15

Deuteronomy 11:18,19

Deuteronomy 31:9-13

Psalm 34:11

Psalm 78:5-8

Discipline:

Ephesians 6:4

Proverbs 19:18

Proverbs 13:24

Proverbs 29:17

Proverbs 22:15

Proverbs 23:13,14

Proverbs 29:15

1 Samuel 3:13

Hebrews 12:6-11

Proverbs 3:12

Deuteronomy 8:5,6

Proverbs 22:6 (note Hebrew for “train”)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The Honor Years (Digger Requested Audio)

It’s ironic that the honor due our parents has been the Digging Deep theme during this month of national transition; a month that has seen much disrespect of civil authority as well as the establishment of several key policies that fly in the face of Biblical authority. Rebellion in society grows from the failure of parents to instill within children the respect for primary parental authority.  It may seem an oversimplification, but when kids who have never had to submit to authority in the home grow into adults, they emerge as people who are unwilling to honor any authority—organizational or civil. When there are entire communities of adults who have grown up having their own way (without parental nurture and discipline), chaos and disrespect is the result. We’ve witnessed this phenomenon this month and in the past several months on a wide scale in the United States.

Throughout the month, we’ve been thinking about practical ways we can put respect for authority in the hearts of our children. Melissa Davidson suggested that one very powerful way is to let our children see, firsthand, their parents caring for their grandparents during the years of physical decline. When children see us making sacrifices; yes, even when children give up activities themselves to give honor by caring for their grandparents, the fifth command becomes very personal. Caring for those who once changed our diapers and provided our sustenance in all ways, is a great way to engrave some principles of respect for parents on the tender hearts of our kids. They won’t forget that Mom and Dad dropped everything, spent long hours and lots of money to provide comfort and support and supply physical needs in situations that were not always pretty. They will remember the tough days when the needs were overwhelming and the nights when sleep was interrupted multiple times. They will remember emergency room runs and waiting room vigils. They will not forget the daily regimen of therapies, the many doctor visits and perhaps dementia or incontinence. They will know you stopped thinking about what was convenient and, at times, just tried to figure out how to survive. They will remember that you missed some activities that you loved and went to great lengths to try to keep old minds thinking and old hands nimble.  They will come to understand that this care was a matter of integrity. They will know that these precious years during which you said goodbye, at least for a time, to those to whom you owed so much, were the honor years.

In this context, it’s been requested that the following two lessons from Polishing the Pulpit 2018 be shared once more. PTP was kind enough to allow us to do this. These lessons are given by myself and my sisters, Celine Sparks and Sami Nicholas and they are lessons we learned about THE Father while caring for our father as he prepared to go home. Maybe you could be blessed in some way by listening.