Browsing Tag

Resolutions

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

2020: What was I thinking?

I looked back this morning at what I wrote as 2020 dawned. Three observations:

1.  I thought flash flooding in Huntsville was the “lion” of 2020.

2.  A little Christmas stomach bug was a hijacking virus.

3.  I thought I was returning to a routine for the New Year.

One simple statement is enough:  this mind-blowing wisdom from the Holy Spirit…May I allow Him to guide me through every day of 2021:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

And below is the innocence and naivety of my “Happy New Year” message one year ago….I needed the “Come  now” of James 4:13-16. One thing I got perennially right, though. There’s still a blessing trail for me and every reader. Here are my musings one year ago (and notice in the group photo that Ezra was the only one having a 2020 premonition):

In Huntsville, Alabama, 2020 brought great torrents of rain. Glenn and I telephoned 9-1-1 from our car last night to report some pretty serious flash flooding across streets that were still open and being treacherously navigated. As he made the call, on this evening in which the last of our sweet holiday company had flown back home, I thought “This is a pretty apropos ending to a torrentially blessed, but chaotic season. All we need now is to be stuck in this raging deluge.” 

But they say, “When it comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb.” Maybe there will be some “lamb” days—some gentle and serene days in 2020 for work and contemplation and especially for Digging Deep (https://thecolleyhouse.org/digging-deep). I’m ready to put the house back together and search for some semblance of routine. Remember, the December podcast is next Tuesday night!

We had a ton of fun company in this house (that included a suicidal squirrel…https://thecolleyhouse.org/and-prior-to-the-lesson-this-morning), a lightning storm (that took out our largest backyard tree, our internet, Roku, modem, router and a window in the cabin), a virus that hijacked our Christmas morning plans, and one awful day when they could not hear a heartbeat from my grandchild that’s still in the womb.

But you know, there’s always that blessing trail (https://thecolleyhouse.org/the-blessing-trail). All of our children, viruses and all, were here with us. (My husband is going to speak at a baby’s funeral this very morning.) We are wealthy enough to be extremely dependent on our internet. The most stressful part of its absence was that I was falling behind on my Digging Deep research and my communication with the greatest group of encouraging sisters in the world! My husband, who was standing only a few feet from that giant oak tree, is alive and well (although his hearing may be a little worse for that wear)!  Our baby was just hiding the heartbeat, after all, and went galloping like a champ during the next, more intensive sonogram. The man, who came to work on our internet, took the time to talk with me about God’s plan of salvation, about baptism for the remission of sins, and he even tested the internet by going to our West Huntsville page. He says, “My wife and I will definitely be visiting your church. It sounds like you are teaching just the Bible and that is a rare thing.” The blessing trail, now and always, just goes on and on. He is so good.

He is good, not just to those like me who are in a season of extreme prosperity in so many ways. He is good, even to those who are suffering horrible reversals today. It’s my prayer during 2020, that I can behave, EVERY day, as though I really believe He is glorious and good. When there is stress and when there is peace; when there is encouragement and when there is sharp criticism; when there is devastation and when there is exultant joy; when there is danger and when there is safety—may I constantly be reminded of his supremacy and ultimate blessing in my life as His faithful daughter (Romans 8:28). 

I know the Digging Deep study will help me to keep my mind focused in exactly this way. I’m going to invite someone to do this study with us this very week. I hope you will, too. As women are making their New Year’s resolutions, it’s a great time to ask them to jump in and make this a deeper year in His Word.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

You Can’t Do this Later…

Last Sunday morning found a bunch of Christians that I personally know with sick kids and viewing worship on livestream. One of them sent me these notes she jotted while viewing the West Huntsville livestream and caring for the babies. So today, one photograph says it all. If we could process this one lesson from the pulpit to the lifestyle, our families, churches, and evangelistic efforts would thrive in ways we’ll never know unless we do just that. If you want to hear the full lesson, it’s here: https://westhuntsville.org/sermons/10-things-you-shouldnt-put-off/.

Later that day, at Kidsing, Glenn asked the weekly question to the little ones: “Who can tell me what the sermon was about this morning?” The answer, from a six (or so) year old:

“Ten things we have to do and we can’t do them later.” He was right and here’s a rundown of those important “right now” things. Enlarge, print and put it on your fridge or in your Bible. Most of all, put it in your life!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Resolutions Kept

Some of the resolution makers in 2010.

Today I ran across this article written ten years ago. It was packed with resolutions that have been honored in lives that are, ten years later, bringing honor to God in ways that we could not have known in 2010. Most, if not all, of these resolutions have materialized into glory. All of those who made these resolutions on that late night ten years ago are somewhere striving to faithfully serve Him. The preteens are in college now.  Two of the college students are parents. For those who were in the room and for those who are working hard to bring glory to Him through your families today, and for the sweet souls added to this number, I repost.  The patriarch has gone on to glory since the first writing. Both his influence and that of his wife, who had left us years before were palatable in the room that night and still today.

Some of the resolution-keepers in 2020.

It was 27 minutes till the dawn of 2010 when we turned off the TV and stopped the festivities at my dad’s house. Getting serious for a few minutes in front of the fire that would warm us into the new year, we first went around the room and all the guys chose a spiritual song to lead. It was really pretty singing: Anywhere with Jesus and Nothing but the Blood and others. Then we all listened as every person in the room– cousins, aunts, uncles, parents and children—told us all exactly and specifically how he/she was going to do something in the new year to be a better person.  Here are some of the resolutions we heard:
1. (from a mom) I am going to put my prayer list in a place where I can more easily access it when I’m actually before the throne.
2. (from a pre-teen) I am going try to stop arguing with my brothers and sisters.
3. (from a college student) I am going to add to my daily Bible time a short time in a good spiritual study guide.
4. (from a young child) I am going to give more hugs.
5. (from a teenager) I am going to work hard to get the “me monster” out of my life.
6.  (from a graduate student) I am going to spend more time preparing healthy meals, so I can feel better to accomplish important things.
7. (from a mom) I am going to pick out a day of the week or even a day of the month to take my kids to visit sick people.
8. (from a young child) I am going to share.
9. (from a dad) I am going to work really hard to sell a piece of land that’s getting in our way of being all we want to be spiritually and financially.
10. (from a high school student) I plan to be kinder and friendlier to people who might not treat me nicely.
11. (from a college student) I was not prepared for all the things college life would throw at me and I’m determined to go back this semester armed and ready for the challenges. I am going to stop making excuses for my mistakes and be responsible for disciplining myself.
12. (from a pre-teen) I am going to get up in the mornings and get cracking on my school work, so I will have more time for fun things.
13. (from a dad) I am determined to be an encourager.

I have a feeling these resolutions will not be perfectly kept. I know there will be times when Dad will discourage someone. There will be times when Mom will not be the prayer warrior she wants to be. There will be times when the child will be selfish. There will be a morning when it will be very hard to get up and get busy; and there will be times when Bible study is abbreviated, at best. Life happens and we deal with it. But resolution is still a very good thing. We plan to evaluate these self-challenges in a year. And, if the resolve moves us in the direction we want to go, then the resolutions, in another year, will be a little more mature, a little more challenging, and, certainly, will bring us a little closer to heaven. When the resolve becomes weak and the temptation becomes strong, we still have the Father to shorten our faith gaps, promising us that there is no temptation so strong that He will not provide that way of escape (I Cor. 10:13). We want to look for God’s  out in 2010. I hope fellow Christians will pray that we will always find the escape route.  At the end of 2010, we want to be better people.

…And then we prayed. When we finished praying there were 47 seconds left in 2009; a year that had been full of undeserved blessings; a year of days that change all too quickly from pending to past. We counted down the final seconds and embraced each other into the New Year.

It’s a good life. It’s a wonderful time in a good life. It’s a good family with good intentions. And we serve a great God who can solidify the intentions of his focused people.  We will soon have turned all of the corners of 2010 to find both the unexpected and the predictable eventualities. Everything on the agenda will soon be in the memoirs. When we look through the pages of the 2010 chapter, may it be a good read.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Resolution: Loosen Up!

It’s interesting to do a word study on “resolution”. Deriving from some Latin words, it originally meant an “unbinding” or “loosening” of something (www.babeled.com). That’s kind of ironic since we think about it as “the making of a firm determination.” Still, there are senses in which we may actually unbind ourselves in the making of New Year’s resolutions. I know friends who are beginning the process of unbinding themselves from debt or a smoking habit or a negative attitude.

Do you want to loosen the grip of the world, lessen the stresses that bind your lifestyle, get out of the hold of hopelessness, or break free from elusive materialistic goals? I think my resolution is going to help me be more free than I’ve ever been in Christ. After all, it is the truth that makes us free and it is His Word that is truth. I’m sincerely hoping to loosen up the ties of worldliness that would keep me from my spiritual goals. More time in the Word has got to be a good thing!

The West Huntsville elders have asked us, as a congregation, to read through the Bible chronologically in 2011. They gave us each a laminated reading schedule and our preacher will be preaching from the texts from which we are reading. I’m really excited about this. The Colley family has found great joy through the years when we all read through a book at the same time. We found ourselves taking about the plot, the characters and philosophies presented. It’s going to be exciting to read through this, the Book of books, with my spiritual family. We can talk all year about its amazing redemptive plot, the characters that were “hands-on” in this grand scheme and the teachings that have made us family in Him. I think our elders are very wise to unite us as a family in the same daily scriptures.

So I’m listing below the readings for the entire year. Let me know if you resolve to do this. If you’re reading along and have comments about particular passages, be sure and let me know those, too. It could be that your thoughts could bless another who is following the comments on “Bless Your Heart”.

Here’s the schedule (just click on it to enlarge):

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

New Year’s Eve Around the Fire

It was 27 minutes till the dawn of 2010 when we turned off the TV and stopped the festivities at my dad’s house. Getting serious for a few minutes in front of the fire that would warm us into the new year, we first went around the room and all the guys chose a spiritual song to lead. It was really pretty singing: Anywhere with Jesus and Nothing but the Blood and others. Then we all listened as every person in the room– cousins, aunts, uncles, parents and children—told us all exactly and specifically how he/she was going to do something in the new year to be a better person.  Here are some of the resolutions we heard:
1. (from a mom) I am going to put my prayer list in a place where I can more easily access it when I’m actually before the throne.
2. (from a pre-teen) I am going try to stop arguing with my brothers and sisters.
3. (from a college student) I am going to add to my daily Bible time a short time in a good spiritual study guide.
4. (from a young child) I am going to give more hugs.
5. (from a teenager) I am going to work hard to get the “me monster” out of my life.
6.  (from a graduate student) I am going to spend more time preparing healthy meals, so I can feel better to accomplish important things.
7. (from a mom) I am going to pick out a day of the week or even a day of the month to take my kids to visit sick people.
8. (from a young child) I am going to share.
9. (from a dad) I am going to work really hard to sell a piece of land that’s getting in our way of being all we want to be spiritually and financially.
10. (from a high school student) I plan to be kinder and friendlier to people who might not treat me nicely.
11. (from a college student) I was not prepared for all the things college life would throw at me and I’m determined to go back this semester armed and ready for the challenges. I am going to stop making excuses for my mistakes and be responsible for disciplining myself.
12. (from a pre-teen) I am going to get up in the mornings and get cracking on my school work, so I will have more time for fun things.
13. (from a dad) I am determined to be an encourager.

I have a feeling these resolutions will not be perfectly kept. I know there will be times when Dad will discourage someone. There will be times when Mom will not be the prayer warrior she wants to be. There will be times when the child will be selfish. There will be a morning when it will be very hard to get up and get busy; and there will be times when Bible study is abbreviated, at best. Life happens and we deal with it. But resolution is still a very good thing. We plan to evaluate these self-challenges in a year. And, if the resolve moves us in the direction we want to go, then the resolutions, in another year, will be a little more mature, a little more challenging, and, certainly, will bring us a little closer to heaven. When the resolve becomes weak and the temptation becomes strong, we still have the Father to shorten our faith gaps, promising us that there is no temptation so strong that He will not provide that way of escape (I Cor. 10:13). We want to look for God’s  out in 2010. I hope fellow Christians will pray that we will always find the escape route.  At the end of 2010, we want to be better people.

…And then we prayed. When we finished praying there were 47 seconds left in 2009; a year that had been full of undeserved blessings; a year of days that change all too quickly from pending to past. We counted down the final seconds and embraced each other into the New Year.

It’s a good life. It’s a wonderful time in a good life. It’s a good family with good intentions. And we serve a great God who can solidify the intentions of his focused people.  We will soon have turned all of the corners of 2010 to find both the unexpected and the predictable eventualities. Everything on the agenda will soon be in the memoirs. When we look through the pages of the 2010 chapter, may it be a good read.