Browsing Tag


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

On the Fourth…With the Kids and the Berries

Prayer time is a little more scarce while I have this wonderful blessing of a few summertime days with the Giselbach grandkids and their mom. Prayer time and grandkids call out for each other, but they do not mix well. Prayer is happening mostly in the moments I steal away at the blueberry bushes. Kids and blueberries DO go together, but Eliza Jane has no self -control when she’s picking with me. And those blueberry diapers!

We have one more day together and we are taking advantage of every little cranny of this time. Blueberry cobblers, grandkids and fairy tales go together, too. In honor of all of those, here’s a re-run of one of the “Blueberry Chronicles.” If you look for “blueberries” on this site, you can read a lot of spiritual musings about picking from 2012.

Happy Fourth! We should still celebrate, We should still sing the anthem. We should still wave Old Glory and we should keep striving to be the best Christians we should be in this place of our secondary citizenship. We have come a long way in some crucial areas of justice in this land. We have lost a lot of ground in others. Those areas of liberty and justice that are being eroded in landslide fashion today can likely never be regained. But there’s no values erosion around the throne. We need to be absolutely sure that the banner of freedom from sin through His blood is waving for us.

You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
that they may flee to it from the bow. 
That your beloved ones may be delivered,
give salvation by your right hand and answer us! Psalm 60: 4,5



You Won’t Believe This, But…

Glenn Colley is NOT the Little Red Hen. He IS the one who does not particularly like the picking part of the blueberry experience, while he is all about the tasting part of it. Seriously. How many of the mornings did he accompany me out there to those bushes with his basket? Not a single morning. How many pints of those I put in the freezer for winter pies did he pick? Not one. How many bags did he pick for those sisters who love to make cobblers? Ummm…still zero.m

“Who will help me pick the berries?” said the Little Red Hen. “Not I,” said the brown cow.

But it was Sunday morning and I was getting ready for church when Glenn walked in my bathroom and here’s the gist of the ensuing conversation:

Glenn: “So who are those blueberries for?”

Me: “Well, I thought I would take some to Mrs. Dorothy and I need to take some to Peggy, and I thought maybe Jennifer, too.”

Glenn: “Well, you know…there are a few people I’ve been thinking of that we should share them with.” (He starts listing his ideas.)

Me: “Wait a minute, now. Have you been picking berries?”

Glenn: “Well, I reckon I have!”

Me: “Oh really? You have?”

Glenn: “Now Cindy, have you not seen any of those berries I picked? Further, haven’t you seen me out there picking, because I HAVE been out there picking…”

Me: “No, I do not believe I have seen any berries you have picked, but I do seem to recall seeing you a couple of times out there, albeit without even as much as a basket.”

Glenn: “Do you know why you have seen me out there without as much as a basket and why you have not seen the berries I have picked?”

Me: “Because every berry you have picked has gone straight from the bush into your mouth? Could that be the reason?”

Glenn: “That’s the reason, exactly! That’s what I’m talking about. Now you should not be saying that I have not been picking berries, because that is simply not true.”

Now, while the above conversation was all in fun, lots of Christians have the same attitude about the spiritual harvest and it’s not so funny.

Have you ever known someone who who seemed to be very scarce when the work was being done, but yet had all kinds of criticisms for those who were doing it and for how it was being done? Judas did this in John twelve when he came down on Mary for anointing Jesus with the precious ointment. He acted as if he was all about giving something to the poor, but the text goes on to say that he actually touted his plan, not because he cared for the poor, but because he “held the bag.” His “berries” were going straight into his mouth.

Have you ever known someone who showed up for all the services (he WAS out there at the berry bushes), but seemed to have a great (and very distracted) time throughout the services–writing notes, texting and visiting with the other teens on the back row? What motivated his coming to services? Did he come out of a pure heart’s desire to honor God or were all of his “berries” going straight into his own mouth?

Do I spend time in prayer telling God what I want and letting Him know I will be patient while He gives it to me? James describes the man who views God as the genie in a bottle who is there for hearing and granting wishes. Hear him in James 1:3:

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

So, back to the Little Red Hen:

“Who will help me plant the seed?” said the Little Red Hen? “Not I,” said the pig.

“Who will help Me water the seed?” said the Little Red Hen? “Not I,” said the horse.

“Who will help me gather the crop?” said the Little Red Hen? “Not I,” said the brown cow.

“Then I will do it myself,” said the Little Red Hen…and so she did.

But as always there came a day of enjoying the fruits of the labor:

“Who will help me eat the fruit?” said the Little Red Hen.

“I will!” said the pig.

“I will!” said the horse.

“I will!” said the brown cow.

“Oh no!” said the Little Red Hen. “I planted the seed, I watered the seed, I gathered the fruit and I will eat the fruit.” And so she did.

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry… ( I Corinthians 3:8,9)

Let’s get busy at the spiritual bushes remembering the sweet and eternal reward that comes “according to his own labor.”

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #2

My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons from Philippians 4:8 for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. Blessings!



From Glenn:


As the virus separates our West Huntsville family from the assemblies for worship, prayer and study, we need to stay near our Lord.  That involves thinking on the right things day and night (Psalm 1:2).
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you (Phil. 4:8-9).
This week, every day, I am posting thoughts in the order that the apostle Paul listed them here.
Today’s word for meditation is noble.
This is a word Americans might associate with royalty or aristocracy; but this passage communicates on a spiritual plane. What Paul wants us to ponder is people or things which are worthy of our great respect; not those who live in Buckingham Palace. This is a serious and consequential thought as we consider the better things of life. He’s directing our concentration to the things which appeal to the better side of mankind; the opposite of the darkness found in the disloyalty of adultery, the abuse of lying, the corruption of the morals of teens, and any mistreatment by stealing what is my neighbor’s.  The dark side of this world mocks the sweeter things…the holy things…the things that are truly valuable in the lives of God’s humble children. This world treats true nobility with unfortunate contempt.
To obey this command to think on things which are noble is to think on times in your life when you have witnessed the outpouring of forgiveness from a man approached by the one who harmed him; the kindness of a stranger who rescues a child from fear and harm and puts him in a safe place because it is the right thing to do; the sacrifice of a mother who loves her children in that selfless way through difficult events until the golden hairs on her head have turned to silver; a woman in line to pay at the grocery store who realizes the lady in front of her hasn’t enough money and says, “Here,  I’ll make up the difference…”;  a teacher who is paid to teach math or history but who daily teaches honesty and respect and godliness to other parents’ teens simply because he knows that, without goodness, an education is worth little; a dating couple who have begun to love one another, but who take their purity before marriage seriously.
Now, these are the real noble things.  They are good and they touch a cord deep inside those who, through Scripture, have learned to admire what is good.
There are similar things that are hopefully coming to your mind after reading this. Spend a few minutes right now thinking about them.  Some will make you smile. Others will bring a tear.  We are better people if we work to weave into our personalities an admiration for the things in life which are noble.
                                                                                 Tonight’s Story Time
Additionally, I’d like to challenge those of you who have children to use this time to build family closeness in the Lord.  For that reason I’m also suggesting that all our  WH families be on the same nightly “story time” character: Joseph. He, like us, faced times that must have felt surreal.
Tell your children about Joseph’s time in Potiphar’s house (Genesis 39).  Read it again first to remember the details so you’ll tell it right.  Then, start the discussion with your children with these questions:
1.  Do you suppose the first night, as a slave, Joseph wondered if his Dad would come rescue him?  Why didn’t Jacob do that?  Was God watching over Joseph?
2.  Verse two says, “The Lord was with Joseph and he was a successful man.”  Did God’s blessing involve Joseph having to work hard?  Does God want us to work hard as He blesses us?
3.  Why did Potiphar trust Joseph more than his other servants (vs. 5-6)?
4.  When Mrs. Potiphar wanted to pretend Joseph was her husband, why did Joseph refuse?  After all, his family was far away and wouldn’t know what he had done.
Ask your children to tell you about a time they can remember in which they worked very hard and achieved something that they really needed or wanted. Ask them Who it is that gave them the strength and nutrition and even the time to do hard work.
Sing together the chorus of “I Will Work”
I will work.
I will pray.
In the vineyard, in the vineyard of the Lord.
I will work.
I will pray.
I will labor every day
In the vineyard of the Lord.
Have everyone quote the KidSing rule: Do the right thing!
Pray that your family will be noble. Pray that “we will work hard and make good choices that will help bring glory to our God.” Pray for every person by name–that each one will decide to do what’s right, just because it’s right.