Browsing Tag

Polishing the Pulpit

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

PTP Blessings Countdown

PTP Crazy Blessings Countdown:

10. When I got to my first lesson of the day, I realized I’d left the power point thumb drive in the room. Our room is at the opposite end of the hotel and is on the floor number TEN; the very top floor. I literally ran all the way to our room, in heels, and retrieved that thumb drive and sprinted back to the room where the presentation was to be. I met some ladies on my way back who were glad to see me. They said they thought they were late to my session. 


9. There were NINE important items that our family lost in the last few hours:

My Bible. (Cody McCoy is my hero.)

Glenn’s phone. (Fogarty is Glenn’s hero.)

My thumb drive (Fogarty is my hero, too.)

Eliza Jane.

The “Moritz” room. I thought I knew right where that was.

The sole of one of my blue sandals. We’ve walked a lot this week!

Colleyanna’s Branson PTP coin. We’re going to see if they have any more tomorrow.

My train of thought when a loud and majestic ballroom music soundtrack began to play through the sound system while I was speaking about entertainment choices in a large room. It was epic as I was just starting to “hammer down” on a point about entertainment and a living sacrifice. 

Our minds when I spilled a large iced soft drink all over Eliza at supper and she began to scream as If I had dropped her into a vat of boiling tar.  

8. There were EIGHT minutes left before I was to speak when I sprinted back to the room to retrieve the power point drive. You can make art from diagonal corner to corner of the hotel in four minutes in traffic. 

7. SEVEN sweet sisters in the Digging Deep session were completely and confidently finished with all assignments through the month of June. I’m so very proud of them. Several more are very close and will be finished with the entire study by the end of August.

6.  SIX is how many people squeezed into our little supper booth at a very crowded restaurant in this crowded town. SIX very hungry, hot, very thirsty people who were thankful for sitting and for water! We are spiritually hydrated, though.

5. FIVE is the number of lectures that I got to attend today; partially or in totality. I wish I could attend every one. SO thankful for the ‘later-listening” technology. 

4. FOUR-year old class. That’’s the class Eliza Jane ended up in, though she was registered with the threes. She decided she was ack-sually four and she should be in the big-girl class and (drumroll, please) she decided that she did not need her pacifier in the big girl class!  This is huge for this “I-will give-you-the-shirt-off-my-back-but-not-my-paci” girl! PTP is a place of unbelievable maturation!

3. How many kids were in our car for twelve hours to come to this place? THREE!…That’s do-able…right? Barely.  

2. TWO thousand people assembling to grow in Him! 

  1. ONE body, and ONE Spirit, even as we are called in ONE hope of His calling, ONE lord, ONE Faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in us all!   We are ONE. We are His and we are restored. 

ZERO!—ZERO regrets. Having this amazing July blessing right in between three camps and a VBS (which starts Sunday) is totally worth the wear. We are grateful to an amazing team of planners, movers, shakers, who made this happen at the culminating point of years of envisioning. There’s one man here, running the children’s program, whose wife had a baby on Monday in another state. That’s dedication…(mostly on the part of that amazing wife and mother!…I love her!)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Some Rich Resources You May Be Missing! (PTP, H2H, and Glad Tidings)

Sometimes when waiting to board a plane to return home after an event, I’m sad for the group of Christians I’m leaving behind. Sometimes the group is very small and individuals struggle to find the teachers and encouragement that they need. That’s not the case as I leave the Lakeside church in Orange Park (Jacksonville) Florida. I watched elders who were onsite all day long for four incredible days. Not only were they onsite, but their radar was obviously up for any problems. They were moving about the kitchen, the auditorium, greeting the people and, in general. working to be sure things ran smoothly. It was obvious they had spent time in planning and prayer prior to the event. There were good numbers of people present and ladies in my classes were extremely encouraging. The singing was incredibly moving and the lessons were packed with the Word and practical applications. I’m richly blessed and so grateful to have been a part of this strengthening Spark, produced by this church and Polishing the Pulpit. The hospitality and kindnesses to Glenn and me were so very generous.

The reason I’m writing, though, is that there may be readers who are still unaware of  the great resource that the combined efforts of House to House/Heart to Heart, Polishing the Pulpit, and Glad Tidings provides to those who find themselves trying to serve our Lord from areas of the world that are struggling though spiritual famine. Here’s a short and non-exhaustive list of what you may be needing. 

***Affordable books and an awesome variety of tracts that are encouraging and are great tools for evangelism (from Glad Tidings). 

***Thousands of lessons on hundreds of topics available with your subscription to PTP365 (from Polishing the Pulpit).

***Two yearly conferences that are the best and biggest for Christians held each summer in Branson, MO and Sevierville, TN. Hundreds of lessons and speakers for all ages and spots in the body of Christ. This is a great place to start! If you go once, you’re hooked (from Polishing the Pulpit)! …There’s a recap video of this year’s PTP on this page:

***An annual nationwide door-knocking opportunity with provided materials to expedite evangelism in your community. (from House to House).

***Several and varied annual locations for PTP Spark conferences. These four or five day mini-PTP conferences are great opportunities to get the feel for what the large summer conferences in Tennessee and Missouri offer. PTP puts together your topics and speakers and lots of the advertising for your congregation. It’s a great opportunity to  boost the Lord’s work in your area. (This is the event we just finished in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s from Polishing the Pulpit.)

***House to House/Heart to Heart is a monthly  publication distributed to the community that surrounds your congregation’s meeting place. Full of information about the church and lighter spiritual reading for those in your community who may know little about the church, House to House also makes sure the local congregational  events you’d like your community to know about are displayed in each issue.

***The Spiritual Sword is also a monthly publication mailed to thousands of locations around the world,. Each month there’s a particular doctrinal  theme. The little book is full of articles by good and faithful writers who have studied the Word. Difficult questions are often addressed. This is meat! (House to House/Heart to Heart…If it’s not there yet, ;look for it soon!)

***Congregational Evangelism Seminars by Rob Whitacre. I cannot wait for this to happen at my home congregation next spring. I’ve heard so many good things about this work (House to House/Heart to Heart)!

Today, I’m just saying you can grow spiritually, by leaps and bounds, if you take advantage of even one of the resources listed. The entire list may seem overwhelming. Wade slowly in, though, and you will be swimming in deeper (and more fulfilling) spiritual waters! The best part is, every single one of the resources listed here have produced multiple opportunities for people  to come to know Christ. Through each of these, people have been saved by the blood of Christ. Some of them have been the door for hundreds!

Here are the three sites you need:

You’ll be blessed!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The Window in Zion

I’m loving these pictures of your letters to the elders at West Huntsville. My husband came home from a meeting with those men last night and said they had a big stack of those encouraging notes from you. You are blessing. 

I am traveling one of the most fearful parts of the path, as I write. My knowledge that the Spirit is working, through the Word, and that it is even a little bit resultant from something in which I had a small part to play, is knowledge to which I cling. If something good can be coming from my days right now, that reality provides a balm. I know I’m not alone. Many of you are right there in a million different collective ways. This life is the veil of shadows. Remembering that it is a testing ground is a blessing of stamina and renewed determination. We can emerge victorious over sin and death. We will! So you are blessing me, too, in that knowledge. Thank you for studying. Thanks to so many of you who are completing right now. The last two dig-a bits for “The Hour” are going to the final phase today. They will be short and sweet so you can listen before the reveal which is just three days away! Saturday!

I am finishing up the last of several lessons for Polishing the Pulpit. Three years is way too long to do without this spiritual buffet. God just reaches in through this amazing gathering, lifts up our souls and applies, through His Word a renewal that cannot be imagined unless you’re there. This morning, I am focusing on turning our children into preachers and preachers’ wives. My prayer is that we can turn them into Christians! Have you ever thought about the fact that, if we, with His help, turn them into Christians, we cannot shut their evangelistic mouths when they become adults? They WILL be saying the good news in a world of bad news. They will not be able to help it. They WILL be light in the darkness. They will not be able to contain the light that is Jesus. They WILL be the city on the hill, because the hill is Zion and it cannot be moved. They will be on the hill!

I will have a hug for some of you in the next few days. I’m looking forward to that. We cannot do this without each other. Aren’t we thankful God chose the church before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4; 1 Peter 1:10)?  This little space called life is our window of opportunity. I’m glad we share the window in His Zion! 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Polishing the Pulpit: A Church Bringing over Half its Members!

It’s been our honor to have the Hanna family from the Eight Mile Rock church in Grand Bahama in our cabin/home this weekend.  A special blessing was the presentation Brother Tavaro gave us on Thursday evening at our Family Bible Time about their work to build a church at Eight Mile Rock. They are creative in their methods of letting people know this church is there and they are sound in their teaching. They are determined this church they are building at Eight Mile Rock will be the church Jesus built on THE rock (Matthew 16).

I was encouraged as they described the seventeen people that are now part of this growing church. But I was especially amazed that ten of those seventeen are busy saving their funds and booking their flights to come to Polishing the Pulpit ( PTP is one month away. It is, in my judgment, the most encouraging event in our brotherhood. I can give personal witness over and over to women whose lives have been permanently changed for eternal good because of PTP attendance. I know families that have come back together when influenced by the gospel as it was proclaimed from this Spirit-filled gathering. The Spirit does fill our cups there through the teaching of that precious Word He breathed into the apostles and preserved for us in our Bibles. And at PTP, that teaching happens intensely, many times each day, and the Word is shared in so many venues that it is possible in any given hour of any day to find a room in which a topic that you very much need for spiritual growth is being discussed. It’s like a personal delivery of good news for every person there! 

I know you can tell I hope you can go. Your life will never be the same. But I also wanted to point out that the Eight Mile Rock church will never be the same. I could be unaware of others, but this church is the only one I know about whose PTP attendance rate is over 50%. Over 50%! Imagine your congregation: What if over half of the people in your congregation could be suddenly renewed and recharged spiritually to work and study, evangelize and focus heavenward? What if every parent in that group of over 50% came home with one great tool to keep her children faithful? What if your congregation’s leaders learned how to better spread zeal while staying true to the blessed gospel? All the “what-ifs” here are mind-blowing. They are church-growing!

You may be thinking, “Well, that’s easy for Eight Mile Rock. They’re so teeny.” Let me just say that “easy” is not the descriptive word for this effort. They are traveling by boat or plane (or both) from a country outside the US. They are using their vacations and they had to start long ago to save up enough funding for this trip. Their pilgrimage takes focus and fortitude. I hope you are blessed by knowing about them and I hope someone is encouraged to go ahead and come to PTP for the very first of many years of making PTP a yearly goal. A trip to the Bahamas would be fun. But this spiritual trip from the Bahamas is maximally encouraging to me. 

It makes me sad for so many Christians who are within an easy driving distance of Sevierville, Tennessee, where PTP happens each August, who have never given much thought to traveling to East Tennessee to get this powerful shot of spiritual immunity against the destructive work Satan is doing all around us; to get the power boost of encouragement, zeal and faith without which you will never leave Polishing the Pulpit. 

Come on. There’s still time to register. Go look over the schedule and make a decision to experience inevitable spiritual growth. Bring your children!  It’s a big start on the important preparation for the second coming of our Lord. That’s important in any Christian’s book!

Register here:

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.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Here’s the Link for the New Digging Deep Study…. 5 More Days!

Whenever I drive, I grow, spiritually. The thumb drive in my SUV right now is PTP 2017 and I’m getting very close to having listened to the entire program for that year—scores and scores of Bible lessons packed with sound doctrine and practical tools for making my life better and richer in His service. Today I heard Sandra Oliver dispensing wisdom for elders’ wives. It was a blessing to me and I’m not even an elder’s wife. 

This is the week that lots of readers would normally be convening in Sevierville, Tennessee for this annual spiritual highlight called Polishing the Pulpit. If you’re a regular, you’re missing it this week. You are wishing we could all be there together. There will be no replacement for the fellowship from which we all gain stamina and renewal, for it just cannot be replaced. It’s just the next best thing to heaven!

If you’re not a regular, there’s a great opportunity for you to get a taste of the spiritual feasting that’s the focus of Polishing the Pulpit. You can do that this year right from your home. It’s hard to believe that creative teams have put together virtual renditions of almost every type of class or workshop that’s normally available onsite. There will be classes for children, teens, women and preachers. There will be elder workshops, Family Bible time segments and so much more! 

This year’s keynote schedule (which begins on Friday, August 14th) is here, along with access to the program through PTP365:

Finally, remember August 18th at 7pm CST is the big kick-off session for the 2020-21 edition of Digging Deep. We need this study this year! I hope you can join us. Here’s the youtube link. Go ahead and click now, bookmark it and set a reminder for this date and time! I’ve tried to be sure you’ll hear everything you need to know for this year’s study. Meanwhile, keep digging as we conclude the current study OF glory TO His glory!