Browsing Tag


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

You can have both: Holiness and Grace

I know that the devil has always been alert and prowling and sly and…well, just very busy, since that day at the tree. I know he is unrelenting and unfeeling and would rather throw a nuclear bomb than a grenade. He is smart and powerful. I also know, though, that “greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world” (1Jn 4:4). I know. 

But knowing and persevering when it seems to me he is busier than he has ever been, are two different things. I have to step back and realize that I am just a tiny speck on the globe and that, at that, my life span on this earth is a tiny “tittle” on a page in the massive volume of history since that day in the garden. 

But, oh my! From my very limited and tiny perspective, it just seems like the 2020s are the years of major attacks by the great deceiver on the people of God! Again, realizing our sphere is small, I try not to become too discouraged. But then I hear others, from distant places, saying things like “I believe the devil is hard at work in our congregation,” or “This time is a very dark time among our brethren here.” 

At the risk of being a pessimist, let me say this: While my conversations in recent days with other Christians have included some things that are bleak and hard to discuss, they have also included evangelism at work, the beginnings of a Digging Deep study within a denomination, the excitement of upcoming assemblies that will include thousands of worshippers, the value of Christian education, tiny children who are learning all of the books of the Bible and many passages for recitation, and during the last two weeks, the opportunity to be with happy Christians and hear many lessons in programs that were extremely, over-the-top encouraging. There are lots of busy people and congregations still peacefully and zealously taking His grace and truth to their communities. 

But the devil is not about peace, grace or truth. He is about deceit. He is a liar and he is the father of lies. I talked with a young person last night who told me that “Scientists don’t believe in God.” The devil gave her that notion. He lied. He is the one who makes faithful young people believe that all scientists reject the notion of God. He makes people in struggling, but faithful, godly homes, believe that there can be unimaginable joy in an extramarital relationship and that it can be accomplished without any harm or knowledge that interferes with life for God. He does that by telling married people that, since all people sin in some way, adultery is no worse. “It’s just my personal weakness and God’s grace will make it alright, in the end, if I keep on repenting.” Satan whispers this, while bombs are dropped in homes and children suffer in unbelievable ways. He lies. He makes Christian teens believe that any sexual behavior short of sexual completion is not sinful. He lies. He makes people think that not one of the myriad of people in our worlds would be interested in knowing the gospel. He makes us believe that temper is such an easily spouted and then retrieved (easily fixed) entity that it will not harm relationships. In short, he lies!  And then he lies some more. He still, in Romans 6 fashion, makes us believe that we are somehow being holy when we flaunt grace for purposeful, continued sin. He lies (John 8:44).

In this environment where the wolf is devouring, while dressed as a sweet little lamb, sometimes good people unknowingly give the devil a pass into their personal lives and congregations. They do this by ignoring some of the purification processes that God has mercifully given his people. Sometimes, elders fail to withdraw fellowship from those who are showing in their lives that penitence is not occurring (1 Corinthians 5). They do this while smiling and hugging and showing great benevolence to those in need. But innocent and needy people are suffering at the hands of the impenitent, too.  Sometimes, sisters may chastise other faithful sisters for getting out of adulterous marriages and trying to put holiness back in all of their closest relationships (Matthew 19:9). Sometimes, parents buy into “gentle parenting” concepts while blatant disrespect is consuming their homes. Sometimes, we fail to do the hard work and walk through difficult doors of sanctification that God has commanded or allowed. and sometimes we encourage each other to stay in a weak defensive mode rather than to grow into people who are strongly and pro-actively carrying the gospel to those around us. 

I personally know some faithful soldiers who are being pummeled by the devil. I mean, they get up each day to the reality that he is doing all he can to impede their evangelism, to bury the encouragement they have for others, and to label even their best efforts at humility before  God, submission and holiness—as “haughtiness” or, in the most popular descriptive phrase of those who are critical of healthy doctrine (1Timothy 2:1), “phariseeism.” 


Let’s not let him win! Let’s not let him have our attitudes, remembering that none of us is worthy in any way before the throne, without the precious blood. But let’s not let him have our purity,. either. Let’s be in the Word, realizing that it is possible to live holy lives, leaving behind immorality (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) and exalting Him with the story of the cross that saved us, at every opportunity. I do not have to choose between His grace and His holiness. I can and must have both to make it to the throne one day! 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Missing Your Charm?

We’ve made one more mistake in the store for Digging Deep swag. Someone just pointed out to me that the bracelet photo on the site has two charms instead of one. If you ordered your bracelet and you just got one charm (a shovel), and you’d like a charm that says either “Blessed” or “Love” or “Faith” to attach, please send me a message at and I will pop this in the mail to you. I will attach the double ring, so you can put it on your bracelet easily. This was an oversight on my part. (The bracelets given away at PTP were single charm bracelets and I failed to adjust that when I got home and started mailing them.) Please forgive me and send an email if you need that second charm to complete your digging deep bracelet. Be sure to include your mailing address. Then watch your mail! I really appreciate your help with this, as it would be very difficult, at this point, to try and go back though all those orders and find which bracelets were not double-charmed. 

You diggers are the best and always, with us, you are big on that “long-suffering” fruit of the Spirit. We are big on the “peace” and “joy” ones because you are so good to us. We all are big on those because HE is so good to us. 

I’m praying for our deepest comfort from the Father of mercies as we keep studying together.

And just for a smile, from four-year-old Maggie today:

Maggie apologized for something she did, and her mama told her that she forgave her and it was over. She told her about how God removes our sins and never thinks about them anymore. Maggie said: “Well, sometimes *I* think about my past struggles.”

It’s a conundrum. We all do. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, when our souls are washed clean because of His wonderful grace and our faithful repentance as His children, we could just forget all the past struggles?  I’m thanking Him this morning that HE does!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The Book Does End…

Someone reminded me this morning about  how people came to visit Job– to get Job to repent of sins that he did not have…sins that he had not committed. She said this: “The book does end.”  I’m not sure but what I found more comfort in that little Biblical edification than any in recent times. 

I’ve spent a lot of my adult life trying to get people to repent or repenting myself of the sins that easily beset me. I’ve discussed repentance a hundred times with people who were learning the gospel for the first time. I’ve talked about repentance with couples who were putting marriages back together. I have often struggled with personal sin and gone through the heart process of repentance. I do that personal struggle thing pretty much all the time. But I’ve never spent much time thinking about people who were being encouraged to repent of sins that had not been committed. When I think about Job, I understand that’s a real phenomenon and the book of Job draws my attention to that brand of persecution. Just a few thoughts that come to my mind:

  1. If people say, in any situation, “There’s no innocent party in this,” look at the book of Job. Although he was a man, and thus a sinner, he was completely innocent of the devil’s specific work that brought dire consequences in many innocent lives when “there was a day” (Job 1:6). Sometimes (not always), when sin’s consequences are wreaking havoc, absolutely, positively there are innocent parties.  
  2. Even though Job was innocent in the matter, there were no Job supporters, encouragers, and helpers that we read about. Sometimes, that may still be the case. But there was an Advocate still on the throne in heaven. Job was forced to look to that one Advocate “I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). I love that he said that. I always want to say that to the one sure Advocate of the righteous.
  3. I’m quite sure that there were people all around who did not know the full story of the “why” of Job’s suffering. (Even Job himself did not know.) Job was a well-known servant of God and surely there were people who were aghast at his condition— the ashes, the potsherd, the mourning—people who just did not know the back-story of his innocence or who simply didn’t want to/need to know it or become involved. Surely that’s often the case today.  
  4. Job made mistakes as he was suffering. He misunderstood his own suffering. In 12:6-9 he thought God was just letting wickedness have its day. Surely there are still those who wonder how long God will wait before revealing and punishing evil. God had to “reel in”the heart of Job and show His sovereignty and ask Job some questions (Job 38-42). But that did not mean Job was responsible for the devastation in his world. It meant he reacted to the devastation with doubt and despair, emotions that even faithful human beings sometimes experience.  
  5. The book did have an end. There is great comfort in that, if you are being falsely accused. Although, I know I do not have the wisdom of Solomon or the discernment that it takes to always see the innocent suffering ones, I am going to try to remember Job and refuse to be the Bildad, Zophar and Eliphaz who assume the worst and assign blame to the innocent. 

Are there innocent parties in tragic sin situations? Absolutely. There is no generically innocent man or woman before God.  That’s why Calvary occurred. Praise God for Calvary. But it is also true that there are many righteous people who may find themselves in horrific situations caused by the specific sins of other people; not their own. There are absolutely innocent parties who suffer in catastrophic situations caused by sin in lives around them. But, even the sinner who has caused pain and suffering can be forgiven by the precious blood without which we all find ourselves in hopelessness. That’s the best news about the devil and sin. Christ has won the ultimate victory. 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

The Taliban Needs Jesus

Caleb, our son, and his wife, Bekah, were talking about the Taliban shooting Americans at the airport. Maggie (3 years old) overheard and was asking questions about what happened. They just told her that “There were some bad people who were trying to hurt other people. But they were far away, and we don’t know them.” She said: “But Jesus doesn’t want them to hurt other people. Couldn’t we go tell them about Jesus? If we did though, they might just fly away…”

Such profundity often comes from three-year-old minds. Sometimes I wish we could cut to the chase in our assessments with the trusting world view of the little ones who believe in Him. She reflected some very powerful truths in that little overview of the Kabul crisis:

1. Jesus doesn’t want us to hurt people. Whatever course I am pursuing that is vindictive and hurtful, I should remember that I hurt Jesus when I hurt others (Matthew 25).

2. Couldn’t we go tell them about Jesus? Telling all the “thems” about Jesus is the answer to the gravest ills of our world. I should never stop telling, even when the devil tries to intimidate me with sin all around me, I have to just keep telling. Every opportunity cannot solve the problems of the whole world, but every opportunity, potentially, could take the burdens of the world from one.

3. If  we did, though, they might just fly away. I am sure Mags was thinking about what she’d overheard about the airport, but there’s a sobering reality  that the greatest and most sacrificial gift that’s ever been purchased for me may be the one I refuse to accept. I don’t want to be among those who have rejected the gift when the time comes for “flying away.”


So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:49,50).

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: 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 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: 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

A Grandmother’s Recurring Nightmare… (This time it’s Blue’s Clues)

I really do wonder where this will end. Then I sit back and consider that I actually know where it will end. Words are the vehicle of expressed thought and I know I will have arrived at the end destination when I can hear these: “Come ye blessed of my father. Enter into the joys of your Lord.”  In the meantime, though, there are some recurring and growing concerns I have about the navigation of my grandchildren to the end destination. There are some extremely wicked forces that are trying to divide and distract God’s people. They are constantly trying to make my grandchildren swallow the lie that they are oppressors simply because of their skin color and, on the other hand, they are trying to convince some of your dark-skinned grandchildren that they are necessarily oppressed just because of their darker skin. And we forget we are sisters.

The devil uses our awful time of distraction by unnecessary  division to cause us to ignore the REAL enemy. We listen to the culture and  forget who is ecstatic when God’s people become divided. He’s Satan and he is willing to use the most vile techniques and weapons to attack the most vulnerable BEFORE they can even understand the battle arena. 

Take, for instance, the weapon that’s in our faces this month. It is unconscionable that YouTube for kids is using the formerly innocent BLUE’S CLUES cartoon to put what God called abomination into the minds of our two-year-olds: Take a look here:

The shock factor, for me, of such blatant lies from hell, itself, being shared with innocent children by the hundreds of thousands around our land, never abates. I just have a very difficult time fathoming that we are really to this point. I showed the video to my husband and said “What can we do?” He said, “The devil wants people to believe the ship has sailed. He wants Christians to think there is nothing we can do. But we have to keep warning godly parents. We have to keep saying truth.” 

I believe we also must understand that distractions and divisions break down our armor against the devil. We must love each other, in the body of Christ. We must prefer each other. We must give one another the benefit of the doubt when motives are called into question. We must throw off the narratives in our society that convince us that we are persecutors of one another or that we are persecuted by one another. As God’s people, we should look outside the body to the REAL persecution that’s assaulting the faith of our kids. We should unite in our opposition to what the devil is trying to do to our children. And we should fight against all forces that are aligned with promotion of the acceptance of what God calls sin, even if they are masked by titles which state facts that we believe like “Black Lives Matter.” Of course black lives matter. Of course of all of God’s children believe that obvious statement. But we must be very careful to not let the world steal the truths, principles and symbols from God’s Word—black lives matter, the rainbow, love wins, etc… to deceive us,  to distract us, as HIs people, from our mission of soul-winning. And some of the souls we have to protect from division and distraction are those of our children and grandchildren. 

When the devil is planting vile affection though Blue’s Clues cartoons, we know he is stooping to new lows in America. We’d better unite as sisters (moms) in Christ and identify the real persecutors—the real enemy. Let’s be careful not to allow the world’s agenda to divide us, as His people. There’s a real enemy out there and it’s not your brothers and sisters of different skin colors. He’s busy. He’s creative. He wants the most vulnerable of our tribe. Oppression is a real thing and the devil is all about it.