Browsing Tag

PTP Spark

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

A Little Spark Flies…but read to the end for your husband’s DVD!

Our PTP Spark week was therapy in lots of ways for many people, but I could not exactly say it was a therapeutic week of peace at Serenity. We had a house full of people and three of them were six and down. ‘LIza, who is fifteen months got into the office supplies drawer in my kitchen and scattered thumbtacks all over the floor. I did not get them all up before Colleyanna who is four stepped on one in her bare feet just as it was time to leave for the kick-off at the building on Sunday morning.  ‘Liza also got into my purse and scattered my Spark receipts and my credit cards all over the entire place as I was trying to get out the door. Then I applied shaving cream all over the back of my hair as I complained “Why is this can of dry shampoo not spraying?” A fever virus ran through all the kids and one adult. Eliza Jane picked this week to explore just about every gymnastic skill you can imagine. A pipe leak produced rain on a stack of boxes of new Digging Deep books in our basement. Through this I spoke 7 times, Glenn spoke eight times and we each attended about 25 or so sessions…WITH KIDS! =). Our spiritual cups are full and our physical cups are a bit depleted. God is sovereign and good. 

One quick episode as I think back make weeks like this all the more worthwhile. Ezra and Eliza and I made a quick run to the dollar store in the middle of the frenzy. I don’t know what made this elderly woman in the store delusional, but she said this “Ma’am, I just have to comment on the behavior of this little boy. Is he always this good? He is just quietly helping that baby girl to see the things she is looking at and he is nicely waiting his turn to show you what he is finding. I just love watching him.”  Of course, having probably just refereed a big argument as we got out of the car, I was looking around for whose children she was seeing. But, in the end, I decided I would play along for the benefit of positive reinforcement.

“Well…” I said, “He is a very good boy and he is a good big brother.”

“How do you teach him to be like this?” she asked. 

“Well, it’s really not me. God is so good to us and he tries to be like Jesus.” I was talking in simplicity with volume, so Ezra would take this in.

“Well, I am new in town,: she said, “and I love the Lord, too.” 

Our conversation developed and we invited her to come to West Huntsville and hear Ezra’s grandaddy preach. Turns out she has a background in the church, but it’s been a while since she attended. Ezra told her he would watch for her at Bible class. When he saw her checking out in the front of the store he said “She’s leaving. Let’s go tell her bye and make sure she knows where the Bible class is.” And so we did. In the parking lot, he tried very hard to go and give her a card about our worship times, but she got away too quickly. 

I forgot all about her. Then on Sunday morning, as we sat down on our pew, I saw him searching all over the auditorium. I said “You need to sit down now.”

“But I think I do see her,” he said. He pointed to a lady in a far-away section and said “Isn’t that her?” 

“Isn’t that who?” I responded. 

“The lady from the dollar store. I think she came.”

Now I would have given my last dollar if it HAD been her, but it wasn’t. “Maybe she will come next time,” I said. “But whether she ever comes or not, we are going to keep inviting people because someone will come  and someone will obey His gospel and go to heaven if we keep on inviting.” 

I love that little heart. I love the fact that at PTP Spark, we had ladies from far-away places who are just beginning to learn about the church of our Lord. I love that He has allowed me—even little finite me (and you)—to be a tool in the greatest evacuation mission in history; evacuating souls from the power of sin. 

In other SPARK news, lots of men are asking about a DVD that was mentioned in one of the sessions. During SPARK week, it was out of stock. Glenn wanted me to tell your husbands it’s restocked now. It’s a how-to DVD about grooming your future elders in the church. It’s a tool that’s helped lots of churches prepare men to be godly elders and I really can’t think of a more important work on the planet right now. We have a desperate need. So many churches have failed in recent decades to replace the godly leaders that have passed to the eternal reward of faithful shepherds. There is a void of guidance and the sheep are wandering in so many places. You can find this helpful program here: www.thecolleyhouse.org. 

As I write, I notice my coffee mug is resting on a book called “Disciples of the Empty Tomb” (by Brandon Renfroe).  Those words must be more than just a book/coaster on my bedside table. May that discipleship be the cornerstone of all I think and pray–all my stay, in every way, in every day!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

2 More Days!…Stuff You Need to Know.

I’m so excited that, because Lindsay and Jack VanHook have been working tirelessly, the free download for The Hour Has Come is here:  https://thecolleyhouse.org/store#!/Digging-Deep-2021-2022-The-Hour-Has-Come-FREE-DOWNLOAD/p/384587391/category=0                                    Feel free to download and then print as many as you need. Please do not reprint the spiral book itself. We appreciate your help in that way. 

The study officially begins in two days on September 1st. Watch the video here (https://thecolleyhouse.org/digging-deep-introduction-video) for potential answers to questions you may have. 

SPARK was a big success! Thanks to all who contributed money or food, helped teach all ages, and worked so hard in lots of capacities.  You were generous and sacrificial beyond what I could have dreamed! I learned so many things from so many people! I am just thankful to God for this gathering.

T-shirts are being ordered one more time, but if you want a shirt or hoodie, your order must be placed at www.thecolleyhouse.org/store by September 10th.

Don’t forget to tell your husband’s about 2021-22 Men’s Digging Deep. It will enrich your household. I promise.

 

 

 

 

 

And if you were named on the SPARK reveal as a finisher who is receiving a free DD tea towel, please remit upon receipt of the tea towel, three dollars for postage. You can PayPal the postage to cindycolley@gmail.com. Those who were present, of course, have already received theirs and the others are going out tomorrow.

Finally, this is the prayer list from our ladies’ prayer session at Spark. I know many of you will take the time to remember our sisters and their requests as you go to God. Our effectual, fervent prayers avail much! 

Covid patients all over our land. Specifically: Dot Qualls, Manchester, TN, and Ellie who is suffering mentally from the disease.

Those in danger in Afghanistan

Victims of flooding in Tennessee. Specifically Pinewood church and those in Waverly

Those in our congregations who have been widowed in recent months.

Jessica—a single mom who was baptized recently and is struggling to go to school.

Rachael—struggling with a situation that makes her need to be single for the rest of her life. 

That we may all be soul-winners and complete our God-assigned tasks.

Courage for a couple who needs to re-locate for worshipping because of an unhealthy church situation. 

Praise for a daughter who has located a good job.

Praise for a daughter who has returned to the Lord.

Praise for a son-in-law who has been baptized and is growing in Christ. 

Prayer for a son-in-law’s job situation.

Prayer for two congregations that need to reunite. 

Paige—to be a better Christian and bring lost family members to Him. 

Patricia—stage 4 liver cancer

Jim—that he might find the right meds to alleviate severe pain

Dena—medical test results, to find a good doctor, and proper treatments.

Dena’s father-in-law—recovery from surgery and comfort in loss of a loved one.

That a sister who is needing energy might find it and be useful till her passing. 

Prayers for our congregations’ members who are not committed to serving Him. 

For Jake and Zach, that they may find the path that God wants for them. 

Prayers for students at FHU who are sick with Covid and for the administration as they make decisions resultant from the disease. 

Genevieve —wisdom from the Lord for tough situations.

Kat —health and safety for unborn baby. 

Betty —cancer patient, hospice called in.

Janice—physical heart issues

Samuel —Spiritual heart issues.

Fred and Alora—healing and deliverance

Leisa—cancer diagnosis, knee surgery struggles, 

Eliza, Ruby, and Lilly—little girls with grave health issues

Jenny—daughter Rebekah as she studies DD and keeps growing

Jenny’s son Jakob and wife, wife is deployed

Wylla —on hospice, dementia

Jenny—struggling with sinful language. 

A sister who is struggling with an estranged family relationship and how that might affect the faithful congregation.

A family grieving mightily because of sin and betrayal, and also for the churches that suffer because of immorality in the camp.

And always, finally, PRAISE for the faithfulness of the mighty God we serve!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep…for the Comfort of It. (Read to the end, if you are a finisher.)

Fear refocuses itself in our world at an alarming frequency. This week, world fear is focused in Kabul, Afghanistan where Taliban terrorists have violently taken over the country. I’m praying for those in imminent danger there. I can watch the news and I can watch my own life and realize that the very most painful carnage always comes as a result of sin. I’m so thankful, in times like these, that my God is a God of the events that have huge worldwide implications (like the Taliban takeover), but He is also the God that knows and works through the individual hurts of His people. While he knows about every piercing of flesh in Kabul, he also knows about every pierced heart in your family and mine. And He cares. I love passages about the least of these. I love that He said that He is aware of the little and “unimportant” ones who believe in Him. In fact he said to the one who would harm those little ones that it would be better for a millstone to be hung around his neck and he be cast into the sea. I love that he said in Matthew 18 that if just one of a hundred sheep had gone astray, He would go and search for that little lamb and rejoice over Him more than over the ninety-nine sheep still grazing under the care of shepherds on the mountain. I’m so thankful He is the God of the little ones and of the one percent, because I am the little one in need. I am the .01!

It is interesting that sandwiched in between the words of Jesus about taking care that we not offend a little one in Matthew 18,  Jesus strongly stated that whatever it is that is doing the offending of our souls and the souls of the “little ones” should be severed and cast from us in order to save our souls from hell. Jesus actually says here that the “suffering,” if required, of amputating a limb or losing an eye for the sake of doing right is better than the eternal carnage of sin. Take a moment to contextualize:

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

Do you see the sandwich? God (Jesus)  is saying here that whatever it is, whatever the cost, whatever the personal pain, it is always worth it to rid ourselves of sin rather than to allow sin to hurt others. Like all of you, I’m very weary of the carnage always left in the path of sin. (I am always most hurt when the sin is my own.) It doesn’t take a Kabul-sized invasion of sin for real pain to occur because of sin. It happens all the time in families and churches in which those who are precious to God (little ones who believe in Him) are hurt by sin in the lives of others. Selfish children do it to godly parents. Selfish parents do it to innocent children. Spouses do it to hurting spouses. Brother and sisters do it to brothers and sisters. I learned many years ago that the hurt and damage of sin is the worst pain of this lifetime. It has held true throughout the years. Nothing compares.

The Digging Deep reveal will be Monday (8/23) at 2 pm. It will be happening from the PTP Spark at West Huntsville church of Christ. I hope you can be there or watch live: https://livestream.com/whcoc/for-women While I’ll wait to reveal the topic, let me say this: If you know someone who is hurting, I hope you can invite her to study along this year. There are large doses of lasting comfort in the passages we will explore together this year. Many of you have discussed with me some pretty large spiritual lesions in your life to which you could apply some spiritual comfort. He is the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3,4…and I love that passage that has the word “comfort” in it five times!). I hope you can join us for this, my favorite so far (but I always say that) year-long study. This is real Bible study. It is not superficial.  It’s deep and it is full of comfort. It is, indeed, personal Bible study!

If you completed the study of The Ten (every single lesson, every single question, every single Bible reading, every single Practically Speaking and every single podcast (Dig-a-bit OR video podcast) send me an email with your name and mailing address at Byhcontest@gmail.com. I want to acknowledge you at the reveal. I cannot acknowledge those who send me other forms of communication, so please send to this email address. I’m working on a little surprise to send to you all. But it may be a few days after SPARK before I have them done. I’m a little overwhelmed this year! I love all of your hearts. You encourage and comfort me!

Also, the other two DD lessons from Spark will be live-streamed from the same spot. So the three of them are next Monday at 9 and 2 and next Tuesday at 9. I hope you are there and invite others. None of these lessons are great for us because they are coming from me, because they are not. The Holy Spirit just speaks with power and comfort. (That’s why He is called the Comforter in the KJV and ASV and others [Jn 15]. It’s an apt rendering of parakletos.)

Finally the Sunday and evening lessons from SPARK will be live-streamed from our regular location: www.westhuntsville.org. That’s seven amazing lessons from SPARK directly to your home (ten if you add the daytime DD lessons). I hope you will be there with us. If I can help you follow the Lord in any way, I would love that. We won’t ever do it perfectly, but we can walk in the light together and the blood will just keep on cleansing us (1 Jn 1:7).

 

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Welcome to Spark!…from the West Huntsville Elders

We are excited to be able to host PTP Spark next week. We want to welcome you to Huntsville, Alabama and to West Huntsville church of Christ. We are expecting that the number of people attending will push our building to its capacity and we ask your patience as we try to accommodate everyone.

As you are aware, the number of Covid 19 cases is on the rise in the United States and in Alabama. We will do all that we can to prevent the spread of this virus. We ask that you help us in this matter. Please practice good hygiene and please do not attend if you are sick. Masks are optional.

We look forward to a wonderful week studying God’s word together and enjoying fellowship with our Christian family.

Thank you for coming to be with us.

The Elders

West Huntsville church of Christ

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Spark is Happening! Invite your friends to dig with us.

If you registered for SPARK, we’re excited to tell you we are full-speed ahead. We can’t wait to welcome you, catch up on visiting, sing praises with you, pray together and grow stronger in Christ. We’re praying that the ripple effects of this event will strengthen churches in lots of places and translate into souls for heaven. We hope your hearts for evangelism will be enlarged.

I cannot find the superlative vocabulary to even describe the way the West Huntsville people have stepped to the plate with donations, offers to help with the legwork, lifting work, paperwork, serving work, teaching work, and corralling-kids work.  For every “ask”, there’s been a quick “yes.”  A couple of times I’ve said “Can you…?” and, before I could finish the question, the answer was “yes.” I love the Christians at West Huntsville!

I love our elders, too. While they are protective of our physical health and are always taking precautions about keeping our facilities clean and sanitized, they never neglect the real work of shepherding–our souls. They are so encouraging about this event and I’m profoundly grateful for their support and guidance in making it happen. Look for further details from them in this spot later in the week.

Let’s pray for each other’s travels and for the speakers. Local ladies, let’s invite friends from the community to attend a session or two with us. Community visitors do not need to be registered. Just bring them. Local sisters, let’s be sure to try to meet and welcome as many sisters from as many places as we can and let’s especially be salt and light (and friendliness) to any local visitors.

Diggers, now is the time to invite your friends to do the new study with us. I’m really looking forward to   this year-long study. It’s made me better just in the preparing. The Word is always like that! One week till reveal time. If you are not coming, you can view it online. Details for that upcoming here, too.

With the balm of His counsel, our strength to renew,

Let us do with our might what our hands find to do….

Let us hope and trust. Let us watch and pray.

And labor till the Master comes.

(from To the Work, By Francis J. Crosby)

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

John Robert is an Early Bloomer! (and other pertinent stuff)

The travel to Indianapolis to speak to ladies this weekend was a gift. God’s good like that. Sometimes the blessings at home are large, but become obscured by my weak human mind in the midst of everyday life’s stresses or the common discouragements that we all face at times. I got to go with my favorite person on the planet to a place where the high today (Saturday) was 71 degrees. (Sorry for your heat advisory this weekend, Huntsville people.) I’ve never seen a congregation that knows how to do hospitality better than those friends at Shelbyville Road. Even as we hurried off to the airport, Mrs. Lois handed us Chick-Fila cards for our lunch-on-the-run. That big bag of hotel goodies and snacks was something else, too. I loved it, but I cannot eat chocolates at 4 pm and almonds at midnight every day, for sure! Family in Him is always far better to us than we deserve! We are constantly indebted to many for much. 

Some have been asking about the prices for the Digging Deep materials/swag that will be introduced at PTP Spark on August 23rd. Some of you have told me you’re planning to take home enough to share with all the sisters in your congregation. We have none of it in hand yet, but all has been ordered and promised by Spark-ignition on August 22nd. 

Here’s what we will have this year:

Study books ( deluxe spiral bound): $17.50 each

Bundle of six or more study books: $16.50 each

Study books (downloadable, printable): free of charge

T-shirts (Comfort Colors): $18.50

Long-sleeved hoodies (sweat shirt type): $29.00

Book and T-shirt bundle: $34.00

I hope this is helpful. 

Speaking of PTP Spark…We will close the registration on August 14th. (www.polishingthepulpit.com/spark). We’ve had a great response and have already changed our Sunday potluck to an express bagged take-away lunch because of the bulging crowd. That’s a great problem to have! Our kids’ classes are filling quickly and the excitement in our diggers is perhaps at an all-time high. We hope you can come! Our outside speakers are exceptional (and so are Lisa, Lindsey, Emily, Carol, Holly and Glenn Holmes! =) We have even named one of Spark’s guest speakers after the event, itself…Celine Sparks! Come on! Bring a saucer, because your cup will overflow! Don’t forget to email Shannon and Sophia Bond (shanmb585@gmail.com) if you want to make a cute plaid pumpkin (pictured here) while you enjoy fellowship with other Pumpkin artisans. 

One more of the most amazing things I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. John Robert Moon, at five days old attended all sessions of our marriage seminar this weekend and he lives a couple of hours from Indianapolis where the seminar occurred! (Talk about planning ahead! He should be all ready by the time he’s choosing a spouse!) He attended worship last Sunday morning in-utero while his mom was beginning labor for his delivery and he has already attended one additional gospel meeting in the middle of this week since his delivery. Okay! I simply stand amazed! I got to hold him for a few minutes, play with those little still-blue-ish toes and search for an escape route to sneak him away with me! Alas, I did come home without him. I love cuddling blessings so fresh from God!

Israel is still on for November of 2022. Diggers only may register for that trip during the remaining months of 2021. (https://thecolleyhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/2022-Digging-Deep-Bible-Land-Passages-Tour-Brochure-Israel-and-Rome.pdf)… Dates are kind of confusing perhaps on this link, but the trip is an AUTUMN trip.)  Then we will open that up to all Christians. It’s an amazing trip. I mean, it’s the best I’ve ever heard of in Israel…and ROME, this time! Imagine Israel without denominational or Catholic trappings…just worshipping and learning with fellow Christians! Blessings on all your plans for Him! In all your plans acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.