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PTP

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

“Martha, Martha”… “Cindy, Cindy”

Yes, this really happened. I was launching into a very full week of PTP speaking and my early Saturday lecture was about Mary and Martha. I had this in my heart already. I am going to really do my best to make those ladies understand that there are moments in life when we really just need to be quiet and persevere.

So I ventured, with all the boldness and volume I could muster, into a few preparatory remarks. I was rolling, when the door behind me, with a loud clanging noise burst wide open and the tech guy came running in, waving his hand across the front of his neck and shouting at the top of his lungs “CUT!!!” You had better believe I did. Silence enveloped the room and my sweet Kathy Carroll, tech-pro extraordinaire came and whispered to me  that tech was tangled and my voice had been projecting loudly into the men’s session in another ballroom.

I remained extremely silent until I was positive that the problem had been remedied and, wires uncrossed, then proceeded, though trying to summon the same bold projection was challenging. We laughed and rolled with it.

So later in the day, Glenn and I were walking to the car to go get some lunch. He was telling me about some conversations with various people through the morning and I said “You won’t believe what happened in my session…”, to which he responded…

“Oh I know exactly what happened.”

I said, “Oh dear…”

He said “I was up on the stage and had just uttered the words “Let us bow.” I opened my mouth to pray and your voice came blaring, full volume, through that sound system….You just brought that elders’ session to a very abrupt halt. Your son was standing beside me about to take the microphone and deliver the lecture, when the tech fellow just started sprinting across the front of that auditorium. When we finally got you out of that room the technician said, ‘I’m sorry, Caleb. I wish I could give you that time back, but, well…your mom.'”

What are the chances that my voice would be projecting over at that exact moment in that exact room with these TWO exact people on the stage? Only at PTP. We’ve come a long way since that first year in which we had a women’s session for the twelve or so of us who came with our husbands. But it’s been a journey of counting blessings and counting people…up to 5249. Two of my very closest friends have had daughters who became convicted by the pure gospel in this sweet setting. Many women have told me that PTP has provided the glue for a broken marriage, the will to never give up in a troubled time, the strength for a severe health trial, or the wisdom for a parenting crisis. For me personally, PTP is a great motivator. There’s not a time in the year when I’m not mentally storing things away for this golden mountaintop time. I pray that you are finding it everything you need for the other seasons of your year. Take the time to write a note of thanks to the elders of the Jacksonville church. They are at 329 Nisbet Street, NW. Jacksonville, AL 36265.

 

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

PTP Diggers…Just for fun: Tap me on the shoulder and say “I escaped!”

I’m sitting here in the dark in a hotel room in Sevierville, Tennessee on the Lord’s day, with two sleeping grandchildren on the bed beside me. During the past four days, I’ve spoken to ladies groups seven times, heard my husband speak once about the responsibility of elders from Revelation 2 and 3, heard my son do a Q and A session and then another on Joy, and wished that I could go and hear my daughter talk about how our God is not extraordinary. I worshipped the Lord this morning in a conference center where thousands of others were worshipping Him and heard a decidedly comforting sermon about how my Lord cares for me through the storms of life. I know it sounds like heaven and it really feels like I must be in the very vestibule of it; after all, I am walking these halls with hundreds who will share in that eternal abode. I’m putting my arms around the necks of brothers and sisters–bodies that will rise to meet Him in the air. I’m getting to eat and drink with family that’s untethered to this earth, already having its sights set on another feast above. I talked to ladies about how that caring for my earthly father, who left this life last December, has taught me that the heavenly Father can never be repaid. But my Father can be honored. I know he was honored when someone went home and cleaned out her closet after hearing a lesson on modesty. I know he was honored when another went and purchased alternate clothing onsite after hearing that lesson. I know He was glorified when one sister  I love said, “It has been a very hard and dry year. I came so thirsty and I have been filled.”  I know He is being magnified on this mountain at Polishing the Pulpit 2018. Sometimes I think, in a perfect world, Jesus could just come on back for us while we are at PTP.

But He might not come while I am on a mountaintop of service and fellowship. He might not come while I am communing with Him with hundreds of Christians. So I am praying I can take home with me the will to persevere, the courage to speak for Him, the true heart’s desire to influence these children beside me for Him with all my being, and the serene contentment to know that all of this is all I need.

I’m bursting with excitement over the new Digging Deep study being unveiled on Tuesday at 12:15 in Ballroom B. You can watch the unfolding of Digging Deep 2018-19 live-stream tomorrow here: You have been faithful to study Great Escapes and, if you are like me, you know that the Word never disappoints and you are praising Him this month for the Greatest Escape of the faithful from the torment that awaits those who reject Him. He left heaven so we can go. He came to a dirty, sinful and disease-ridden world so that I could leave it. He partook of earthly things, so that I could be a partaker in heavenly things (Her. 3:1) and share His glory. I know you are thinking about that during the final days of this 2017-18 dig. (All four Dig-A-Bits for August are in the “can” and coming your way.)

I’m excited about the trip to Israel! More details will follow about that trip. But it opens up to all members of the body tomorrow at 12:45 pm. Several of you have approached us this week and said “I am going!” This will be a life-changing trip for us and I can’t wait to board the plane for Tel-Aviv next May. Registration will be open until we reach our maximum number. We have currently registered around 35 people from the Digging Deep group alone.

I have a few more lessons to go at PTP and I am over-the-top excited about every one…just blessed beyond what I can ask or imagine.  I’m studying a lot this week. As I interact, though, with so many faithful women of God, I know that I’d learn so much that would help me to heaven if I was getting to talk less and listen more. I hope to hear several more of you. I’ve been blessed, already, to hear Tish Clarke, Sami Nicholas and Celine Sparks from the ladies line-up and several of the best men in our brotherhood. I am bringing my cup to hear Hiram Kemp tonight…and it is already overflowing. Some of the most valuable nuggets for living come in casual conversation in the courtyard, over the table at Cracker Barrel, or in the lobby of the hotel. We look forward to these times and they encourage us to pursue strengthening fellowship. One of our favorite times annually is the meal we schedule each year with the Kirby Cole family. They are a sweet segment of our family in Him.

If you are a Digger and you see me or another Digger in the hall today, tap me on the shoulder and say “I Escaped!” You can do this and keep walking to your lecture It will be a fun way to lead up to our session on Tuesday, for which I absolutely cannot wait!

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: PTP Pinnacle (and shirts and mugs)

11891891_10153223399279069_8485087777444861017_oPolishing the Pulpit 2015 is history and we have been to the pinnacle of fellowship, study, singing and restoration—perhaps, the pinnacle this side of eternity. You just need to plan now for next year and make it a financial and scheduling priority. You can go to heaven without going to PTP, of course. It’s just more difficult to imagine heaven if you’ve not enjoyed fellowship this sweet on time’s side of eternity. I’m so blessed to have the greatest family surrounding and blessing me there;  and then to have my physical family with me at PTP is icing on the cake!11218835_1629664520583902_8069685276907420456_n

All of the Colley-Giselbach gang came back to our hotel room and scrunched into one hotel room for the afternoon, after most of you left, and took a long and much-needed nap. Ezra woke up all smiles and ready to go again. So it was out for pizza and dessert at the Chocolate Monkey. Caleb bought chocolates for his mother (He knows the way to my heart!), and Ben just edged out Hannah in a bean bag toss. We missed having Rebekah tonight, but next year, she’ll get to stay with us for the whole week, too.  Already, we can’t wait!

Of course the new Digging Deep study was announced here last Tuesday. I’m hoping you’re diligently inviting sisters and friends to join in. It’s a small window of the year in which you can very easily and effectively evangelize through this group by inviting new participants. I hope you’re making your list. I’m praying for a year of significant growth and strength for our families and congregations as a result. God can do big things through little people like us!11890916_10152975372256384_186018545480327946_n

Several sisters came on stage as finishers of the study that concludes on August 31st and they were awarded these pretty green and coral Digging Deep shirts.
One sister, Pam Christopher, of Pulaski, Tennessee was present who has completed every last bit of all four years of the study. I loved handing her the first
11953233_10152977418671384_9093695292831496660_nbrand new Digging Deep travel mug. Nobody studies, of course, for these teeny prizes, but it’s a fun way to say “Thanks for the encouragement and leadership in study.”

If you want a shirt and mug, there’s a special PTP price happening now.  The final day to order shirts will be September 18th. Mugs will be sold until all gone at $12.00 each.

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I don’t have a t-shirt yet, but am excited to get mine in the next batch, along with any of you who order. So take a look.

May I just finally say that I do not know how or why I get to be blessed by the encouragement of hundreds of the best people on the planet, but I remain deeply thankful for my sisters around the world who keep on praying for me and studying the Word with me and raising up children and grandchildren for His service. There are great challenges coming our way at the hands of the devil through those people who are given to humanism and relativism in our post modern culture. 11934957_10153223401374069_98564377511046029_nI am so thankful for the strength that we muster together as women of God serving our husbands and families for His great Cause today.11057325_10153223402374069_621797771850264280_n

So go! Take the Digging Deeper dare for 2015-2016. You’ve got this!11896250_10152977036441384_3876974688294082380_n

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: TOMORROW!!! Live Podcast…New Digging Deep Study

11951697_10152971997926384_2734780424500354200_oTears swell in my eyes when I have the opportunity to worship my Lord with 2000 people on a Sunday morning. It’s something I only get to do about twice a year. I know that worshiping the Lord should always fill me with emotions of reverence and gratitude. Surely it’s the holy Object of worship more than the people with whom we are worshiping that’s evokes awe and joy and respect. But I think the reason the large crowd touches my heart in deeper places is that it truly is a foretaste of heaven. It’s profoundly encouraging to know that God’s people are many and that they are eternally triumphant. It’s as if we’re already on the giant cruiser together to the shore where there is no more parting, sorrow and dying. You can hear the boatman’s call best in places like Polishing the Pulpit (www.polishingthepulpit.com).

And speaking of…I hope you plan to join us tomorrow at 2:30 EST for the live podcast of Digging Deep (http://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women). It’s at once the end of a study that has profoundly affected me  and the beginning of a new study. I hope you are adding friends to the facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/282349391779769/) and personally inviting them to study along in a practical new study that starts on September 1st. It’s a helpful study for both Christians and non-Christians. My dream is that some soul will be brought to the Lord through this year’s study. I think it will happen with prayer and lots of invitations to the study. What a great answer to this year’s prayer study that will be!

Next, I hope you will join us for “Sweet Hour of Prayer” tomorrow night via lifestream as well (8:15 EST). Today is the last day to email me your prayer requests or, if you are here on site, you may put them in the box on the stage in ballroom A. (I’ll have some request forms at the remainder of my lessons there in that room.) We’ll spend about an hour talking to our Father about the specific requests that our Digging Deep ladies have made. Prayer is not our idea. It’s God’s method of hearing and answering us. It will be a “blessed hour of prayer when our hearts lowly blend and we gather through Jesus, our Savior and friend.”

So join us for both! You’ll be blessed. I’ll be encouraged. Prayers will be heard, as always. We don’t have to be together for God to be hearing us, but being together sure blesses OUR hearts!   (Our technology is limited here due to so many people using the internet at once, but we are going to do our very best to bring it to you!)

Finally, can I just say that PTP is more wonderful with Ezra. Here he is right this moment in my hotel room bed, while his mom is speaking to teen girls. As I sat in that room of 2000 yesterday morning praising Him, I thought about the fact that there was so much to be praising Him for right there in my lap, on both sides of me, and down the row. If Jesus comes on a day while we are praising the Lord together as a family at PTP, it will seem but a short trip through the clouds to glory! Perhaps that observation is short-sighted and made simply because I haven’t seen heaven, but for now great assemblies of his people, even in a place where we still have to pray for strength for ourselves  and for sick, lost and grieving people—those grand gatherings are still pretty wonderful.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: This and That and 2nd Generation PTP!

Banner BTS 2015

This weekend, just under 4000 people are headed to Sevierville, Tennessee  to participate in a HUGE blessing: Polishing the Pulpit . You can read about it here: www.polishingthepulpit.com. I do not know why or how I get the blessing of talking to ladies in this forum, but I am so thankful that I do. It challenges me, encourages me and makes me long for heaven. I hope you will make plans to come, if not this year, next year. I believe it is the most encouraging thing I do each year, so I want to keep doing it. I want my children to do it every year. I believe it is one thing that helps them grow and be prepared for the parenting challenges they will face in their young families. I want my elders to get to do it. There are rich and practical classes for them. I want my preacher to get to go. In fact, I hope he can ride with me!

My brain is in the overload mode—moving close to the explode mode! I get to talk about so many topics about which I’m zealous.…about being the light in a practical way, about how to have family devotionals in our busy world, about how to build self-esteem in our kids, about how to make them selfless….And I get to introduce the brand new 2015-2016 Digging Deep study. This happens from the ballroom at PTP, but is live to you at http://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women. I hope you will join us next Tuesday at 2:30 EST for this exciting time. Maybe the period I am looking forward to the most is the “Sweet Hour of Prayer” with sisters from all over the world. One room, one God, our Father, listening to his women children as we pray for each other’s most important needs and struggles. This is strengthening and I cannot wait. I have been pretty overwhelmed with the day-to-day time-challenges, which are really blessings, that I need this time with my sisters before the throne. And yet, I am so thankful that I have access to the throne of my Father whether there is a scheduled time of prayer or not. He is so merciful to let me come before Him at any time, much less all the time! (You can email me your prayer requests at this address: ddprayers2015@gmail.com.)

I am leaving behind unfinished business. But I will be praying about studies and visitors and sweet people who’ve made bold transitions in life. I will be praying for my dad and thanking God for my sister, Sami, who will be looking in on Dad and is always so attentive to his needs (and wants!). In fact, I am thankful for a whole list of people who are very good to him all the time! So blessed is what I am!

Lastly, the Back-to-School sale at The Colley house just has one week to go. So order now or forever hold your peace! You can find that here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/~/category/id=7007069&offset=0&sort=normal.

Oh, and finish up that August study. Only about a dozen more days till we kick off a brand new study. Invite your friends to the Digging Deep Facebook page. This next year’s study is great for those who are not yet Christians.

Have a great time at PTP or wherever you finish out your week for Him and live it like you know we WILL ultimately all be at the same gathering!

PS. Did I mention that this will be Ezra’s first year to experience PTP OUTSIDE the womb? Could that be one reason my expectations for enjoyment are high this year? We are definitely into the second generation of PTP kids now! In fact, Ezra’s mom and her brother were the first teenagers ever to attend PTP! Just think of that! =)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Not too Late to Register!

logoFAQsofLifeThe FAQs of Life Women’s Seminar at West Huntsville Church of Christ is now only thirteen days away. We have girlfriends registered from six states and free housing still available. Plans are coming together for a great informal session of prayer and answers to evangelism questions on Friday night followed by visiting together over desserts. I believe our participation will enhance our chances of reaching friends who might not otherwise be saved. I believe this because each of our past experiences are different and we can help each other with evangelism ideas and strategies. Different tactics may be more effective with different kinds of people and in varying situations (Jude 21-23). Let’s help each other win souls.

Saturday will include a light continental breakfast, three sessions of “open line” questions and answers (any question in any way related to the Scriptures will be discussed as time allows), and a lunch that we promise will be delicious! (Can you tell we are excited about this?) You can email your questions in advance to email diggingdeepingodsword@gmail.com or tweet them using the hashtag #FAQsofLife. Feel free to also submit them at any time during the seminar.

Some of the questions we have so far include:

When I look around I see so many great parents who have lost their children to the world. Can you advise me of things I need to be doing to make sure my kids don’t walk away? I know there are no guarantees, but I don’t want to miss anything.

Should I allow my teenager to attend his Bible school class if the teacher believes social drinking is acceptable behavior?

If a congregation does not have elders, how do we insure that our classroom teachers are sound in the faith?

Is clapping in our worship music acceptable to God?

Is it sinful for elders to require attendance at classes or services other than one service on Sunday since that is the only Biblical requirement?

…and there are many more.

I hope you are planning to come. Be sure to register at https://thecolleyhouse.org/seminar and be sure to invite others from your church to come with you, if possible. Registration will be open for a few more days. We are praying that many of you will get to join us. It’s kind of exciting that the famous Diana Singing (less than one hour from our building…www.dianasinging.com) will be happening on Saturday night following the seminar. (It also happens Friday night, but we are hoping you will be with us on Friday!) It’s a phenomenon–a really good old-fashioned shed singing (tin roof and everything!) where you will hear some beautiful a cappella music involving hundreds of voices. It’s a warm-up for heaven! Saturday’s singing will start at around 7 pm and last until about midnight (Country ham biscuits are the fare at Diana.)

And finally, my heart is full of Polishing the Pulpit. If you didn’t get to watch the live Digging Deep session, I hope you will go to http://new.livestream.com/whcoc/for-women and join the excitement as we kick off a new study, “Knowing God.” It’s not for the wimpy, but I just know we will love Him more upon completion of this study of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I hope you can join us beginning on September 1st as we begin this journey through Scripture together. Please pray for all of the ladies involved and invite your friends to study along. Many who completed the last year’s study, “Sanctification,” commented that they had never studied the Bible like they did in this study. Let’s do this!

Polishing the Pulpit 2013 is history. Those who came experienced the pinnacle of spiritual enrichment. It was feasting for a week at a spiritual buffet unlike any other you will see this side of heaven, and it was doing it with your favorite people. I am profoundly grateful to the men and women in Jacksonville, Alabama, as well as the three directors who live in other places. I am deeply humbled to have been able to participate.

I am still in the hotel room. My legs are tired, my mind is swirling, and my post-PTP correspondence list is long. Glenn and I are pretty physically wasted, but our spirits are sprinting! We are ready for the autumn works that lie before us. Next weekend we will be in Collinsville, Illinois for a marriage seminar and the following weekend…well, you know where I’ll be then. Hoping to see you there!

FlyerFAQsofLife