Browsing Tag


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

We can add a little blessing!

I hope you can take a minute today to read the following letter I received from my dear old friend Nancy Cooper (on the left the photo), of Mount Sterling, Kentucky. Nancy lived across the hall from me in Scott Hall on the FHU campus back in some really fun and preparatory days of our lives.  I plan to love her for all of eternity (if there could ever be an “all” in an “eternity” modifier.) Nancy is now an avid digger, encourager and kingdom worker. In fact, there’d be a great hole in lots of hearts, families, and in the church in Mount Sterling, if Nancy were not present in these entities.

She’s very encouraging to me about Digging Deep. But, as you know, any good that comes from Digging Deep is not to my credit. God saw that it was begun, that it reached a lot of women and he is responsible for its continued growth. I’m just a broken tool that He’s redeemed and made new and that he continues to bless in His hand. The picture and the story below are precious and I knew you would want to be a part of encouraging this lady. I got Nancy’s permission to share her letter with you and then I asked if it would be okay for all of us to send her cards of encouragement. She said that would be wonderful… that JoJo loves to get mail! Let’s be sure she gets some and that her husband is reading lots of cards to her.

Here’s Nancy’s letter. It blessed me and it’s an honor to get to send this card and to pray for this sister. Pray she’ll be attending again soon. Pray she will be encouraged in the faith by her new relationships. Pray for her influence at home. There are scores of you who are extremely good at sacrificial prayer and writing encouraging cards. I know this, personally! (You can even substitute this card for your “practically speaking” this month, if you’re over-the-top busy.)

Here’s Nancy’s letter:


Good Morning Cindy. This is a picture of my good friend Jojo Walker and me taken last May at my daughter’s Derby party…hence the hats. The party is just a fun time to stuff your face and watch the derby together. Jojo is a year younger than me. She grew up in a neighboring congregation, but we went to school together and church camp every summer. Several years ago she was diagnosed with cerebellar degeneration with ataxia.
She is wheelchair bound, pretty much blind, has only limited use of right hand…no left…very little understandable speech. Her mind is still very sharp.

Anyway, Covid really isolated her and her husband. Even more so for her, because with this condition she can’t take vaccines. Through Covid she began calling me. I gently tried last spring to encourage her husband to get her out a little. So by August, he agreed she could come to Digging Deep. I pick her up each time and sometimes she comes to my house for a while after class. She has a wonderful sister who helps oversee a lot of her medical care. So they were just able to get a wheelchair accessible SUV, which makes transport soooo much easier and much safer for her.

But my real message here is that Digging Deep has opened up her world in sooooo many ways. She now has Christian sisters who never knew her before. She got a new phone and I am working with her to help navigate it so I send your dig-a-bits.  So she has a way to get fed spiritually through the week. Reading is just out. Her husband is a very good, devoted man to Jojo. He is amazing at all he does for her complete care. But he is not a Christian. Jojo asked me to set up a meeting with our  preacher after our study on Tuesday. She rededicated  her life.

Our preacher encouraged her that while Roger is not receptive right now, she can be a great influencer just continuing her studies and being a good wife. Roger has been diligent to bring her to church until Covid. So just another story, Cindy, of the impact Digging Deep has had on another soul. I am very hopeful that, by May, Roger will bring her back to church. She has friends now, sisters who support her, something to look forward to each week, a way to be spiritually fed between worships, and the topic of comfort could not have been more appropriate for her.

So just wanted you to know just one more precious soul fed and comforted through your hard work and dedication which we all count to God’s  glory!!!
Much love and admiration!

She would so love a card from you.
Here is her address:

Jojo Walker
700 Lyon Ave.
Mt. Sterling, Ky 40353

Diggers, you’re the best! Thanks in advance for being a channel of His goodness to this sister!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Q and A: Is it okay to respond to ridicule/criticism? (A current digging nugget.)

Is it okay to answer back when I’m being criticized, mocked, derided for my faith, particularly  by those who are professing the same faith?   

The answer is a resounding YES! It is usually not okay NOT to answer back. Galatians 6:1 says when we see our brethren particularly, in sin, we must attempt restoration. We must go to the person(s), in the spirit of meekness and, remembering that we are not above being tempted ourselves, try to bring the sister(s) or brother(s) who is entangled back to faithfulness. The key is the spirit—a spirit of meekness. That means I always recognize my own vulnerability to the tempter and my utter dependency on the Lord for the hope I sustain. 

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you, too, be tempted.

So what are some adverbs from scripture that I should consider prior to having “restoration discussions”? I think Romans 12 is a great place to go when examining my talking points. The main things I need to remember are that (1) any talk about sin in the life of another should be aimed at restoration, not self exoneration, and (2) both parties are in the exact same condition without the blood of Jesus, and (3) though my sin may be very different from the sin I am addressing, the problem of my own sin required the same blood as the sin of the one to whom I go. 

Here are some adverbs that should characterize my discussing any sin with anyone: 

  1. I should go seriously, soberly (vs. 3).
  2. I should go kindly (vs. 10).
  3. I should go lovingly (vs. 10).
  4. I should go prayerfully (vs. 12).
  5. I should go honestly (vs. 17). 
  6. I should go peaceably (vs. 18).
  7. I should go with goodness (vs. 21).

Switching back to Galatians 6, the next phrase is that we should bear one another’s burdens, so fulfilling the law of Christ. So, in the going, there must be in my heart the willingness to expend effort, time, talents and finances, if necessary, to help the person I’m addressing with real-life needs. That kind of “bearing” is the test of my sincerity in seeking restoration.  

But attempts at restoration, when needed, are integral requirements in burden-bearing. We don’t simply have permission to address; we have responsibility. It’s part of being a family. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The Best Week-Starter!

My week began in the usual way. I was walking through the auditorium at West Huntsville getting ready to go sit right behind the most amazing youth group I’ve ever seen or known. As I walked around the back pew I noticed a couple of visitors. Headed their way to say “hi”, recognition registered and I knew this was Lisa. I have not seen her in ten years. She got up from that pew and came and put her arms around me (in a big bear hug) and said “I am back. I wish I had never left.” Well, that is all I needed to hear, to know that this minute would be the best one of my year so far and, quite possibly, the entire year to come. I said, “Do you want me to walk down this aisle with you and let this church know you’re turning this page?”

Lisa said, “Well no. I’ll do that later.” But when we began singing after the lesson, I felt someone  poke me from the side aisle and Lisa said “Let’s go.” She humbly and succinctly spoke truth:

I should have never left. 

I made a bad decision because I listened to the wrong people. 

I failed. 

This is where I need to be. 

But Lisa is truly successful. True success is “living your life and going to heaven.” Oh, she knows there are very hard things that result from ten years away. But she also knows that the only way to dilute the negative results of walking without the Lord is to penitently, powerfully, and  publicly say “I’m going to walk with Him from this day forward.”  And she can walk with Him on streets of gold one day. That’s success.

Lisa is a Christian. If you knew the back-story of her life and how we met, she would amaze you as she has me. She’s extraordinary. But God knows all our back-stories. He knows every temptation to which I’ve succumbed and every lesson I’ve learned the hard way (and there are many). He’s been with me on the mountain-top and in my deepest valley. He knows when I am very weary and swallowed by sorrow. He knows me and He still says “Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”

Rest for the soul is what Lisa (and Cindy Colley) is needing. It could not have been a better Sunday morning. Because of that other Sunday morning beside a tomb outside Jerusalem, there’s everything Lisa needs to have the real expectation of heaven. I want to live my life so that I will know and love Lisa always. There are others who have left Him for whom I am praying daily. It’s no shame to profoundly mess up in our lives. We all have. The shame only comes when we choose to continue in prideful living without Him.  I’m so thankful for the empty tomb and the real treasures in my life that came from that tomb.


Real Things


Sometimes in the dark times I can’t find my way.

Someone I thought honest just chose to betray.

Pain is raw every morning

From those who are scorning.

And obstacles obscure my way.


I know I can find things that still give me hope,

But others are weighty at the end of my rope.

The devil throws darts

That still wound my heart’s

Deepest places. I struggle to cope.


I’ve messed up profoundly. I can’t win days back.

Times that I’ve squandered or courage I lacked.

But my course is secure now–

Steady and sure now.

I can’t let the world’s din distract.


I’m done with facades of quick fixes and pleasures.

With searching through cheap things that glitter, for treasures.

I’ve charted a course

With Sustainer and Source

Of joy that is real–past all measure.


Take all of the things I pretended were real.

Give me Jesus and let me be quiet then until

There is heaven and peace;

From life’s turmoil, release.

Let me know You and let me be still.

c. colley

















Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

For the Diggers: The Joy of Restoration

The great Babylonian cleansing of God’s people began in 606 B.C. You’ll remember this is when Daniel entered the court of Nebuchadnezzar as a trainee in the service of the king (Dan.1). These were dark days for Judah. The people had forgotten the sovereignty of Jehovah, fallen into idolatry, and witnessed all of the immorality that accompanies such apostasy. Finally, they had witnessed the last grand symbol of Jehovah in their midst, the temple of Solomon, being plundered and destroyed. The majestic city on the hill was reduced to a smoldering memory for these homesick captives.
Fast forward to 536 B.C. Babylon, the first great world empire, has fallen to the Medes and Persians. The king of this new empire is Cyrus and the unbelievable occurs. Cyrus, in precise fulfillment of divine prophecy (Isa. 44:28; 45:1,13), commissions Ezra and company to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. (Isn’t it amazing that the king of a heathen empire commissioned the rebuilding of the house of God? We should never underestimate the power and resourcefulness of our God as we “rebuild” His house today.)

Now focus on what Ezra says:

When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD:
“For He is good,
For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”
Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off (Ezra 3:10-13).

There is joy in restoring the house of God! I can feel the emotion. I can almost hear the indiscernible noise of joy and weeping. Some of the older men were crying. They could still remember wistfully the splendor of that original temple. Some were cheering on this glad day of return to righteousness. Verse eleven tells us, though, that songs of praise came from all of the people because “the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.”
Christians should be the most joyful people on earth. We are a part of a mighty restoration. Just as the temple of old had fallen into shambles, so the church, the spiritual house of God fell into a state of disrepair and apostasy shortly after the first century A.D. Just as the glorious city on the hill had been ransacked and destroyed by its enemies, so the spiritual wealth that is found only in the church had been stolen by the enemies of truth. (This apostasy was a fulfillment of prophecy in II Thessalonians 2:3,4 and I Timothy 4:1-3.) By the third century, the house of God as it had existed in the New Testament, was unrecognizable. Its organization, worship, and system of faith had been so altered that few characteristics–just tell-tale relics–of the church as we read of it in the book of Acts, could be found.
But Ezra knew where to find the principles of restoration as he and Nehemiah led in the restoration of Judaism in Jerusalem.

“So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month” (Neh. 8: 2).

“So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading” (Neh. 8:8).

Thank God there were brave Ezras in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who knew where to find the principles of restoration. Men like Thomas and Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone and others “opened the book in the sight of all the people” (Neh. 8:5), and “read distinctly.” They bravely called the spiritual Israel back to the faith, worship, and practice of the New Testament church. The spiritual house of God, the church, has been restored! We are those who are able to look upon its glory, actually dwell in the new Zion, and shine from that city on a hill for His glory. This is reason for “very great gladness” (Neh.8:17). Will you be remembered for the joy you have because you can be a part of the restored house of God?