Browsing Tag

Youth

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: About that Spanking (A Sneak Peek from “Women of Scandal”)

12642739_10154934105087588_4663197017850762678_nToday I am in prayer for more than one friend who is doing battle in some arena in our permissive society for the children. There are many children who are literally suffering due to a lack of  parental discipline. This problem is exacerbated by “professionals” in fields of social work and psychology who are touting “new” methods of dealing with behavioral issues that involve taking the authority from the adults and “talking out” the offenses and any consequences with the offenders…basically letting the rule-breakers and their peers set the standards of behavior.

Respect for God’s authority is not nurtured in an environment in which there is no respect for parental  authority. This snippet is taken from a lesson about Mrs. Phinehas from I Samuel three and four from the new book Women of Scandal. The target date for the book’s release is late March. Many thanks to Publishing Designs (www.publishingdesigns.com) for the excellent and tireless work they are doing at the moment to publish this and so many other books for the family of God.

Now, about that Spanking…

He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly (Proverbs 13:24).

Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction (Proverbs 19:18).

(Under the law of Moses, consistently rebellious children were to be put to death, so in this proverb we see that parents were not to give up hope for rebellious children too soon; they were to hope and trust in the effectiveness of corporal punishment; i.e.. spanking.)

I suggest that spanking is one appropriate and very Biblical method of discipline. While I am sure it is not the only good method and that positive reinforcement for good behavior rather than punishment for wrong doing is smart and effective under certain conditions, I still believe that spanking, administered lovingly and in measured doses, is, hands-down, the simplest and most effective form of punishment. May I offer, from the realm of judgment, some do’s and don’ts of effective punishment?

Do:

1. Be consistent. Whatever was wrong yesterday needs to still be wrong today (no matter if you are stressed or experiencing PMS today). Whatever exacts a spanking at any particular time needs to always exact a spanking.

2. Spank for outright disobedience or verbal disrespect every time. Be sure you understand completely that there was intentional disobedience or disrespect. Once you determine that, a spanking is in order.

3. Practice discipline. You are probably thinking, “What does she mean? Isn’t that the whole topic of this part of the lesson?” By “practice” I mean practice like a drill or a repetitive exercise. When you give your young child a command—say… to stop playing with the kitty and climb in the high chair for lunch—and the child continues to play with the kitty, you may, in the hurry of events, want to give the toddler a swat on the bottom and pick her up and put her in the chair yourself. That’s not a terrible choice, but a more effective choice is to give that child a swat, and then say, “Now let’s try again. You play with the kitty.” She complies and then you give the command again. Command-swat-repeat…until you get the desired result. This is both laborious and loving. I once did it for forty-five minutes with a strong-willed 13 month-old. Let me just say that it was both excruciating and rewarding.

4. Be sure that you, as parent, always win in any war of the wills. When you begin this very effective battle of the wills on any occasion, you have the potential to make great progress in the long-term molding of your child’s view of authority. If you surrender in the middle of the battle and let the child have his way, you are eroding, rather than building respect for authority.

(Catch the next Bless Your Heart for the “don’ts”.)

 

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Holiness Is not a “Happening” Thing

unnamedHave you got your 2016 calendar yet? Most of you probably have had it ever since you got your smart phone. I’m old, so I have to still have that pretty one hanging in the kitchen, too.  But however you mark time, mark this! If you have or know a teenage girl and you live anywhere in traveling distance, you need to make plans to get your girls to Pulaski, Tennessee on this day. This is one road trip that will be worth the taking.

It’s January 30, 2016. It’s free and it’s all about protecting purity for the richest lives in Jesus that your daughters can possibly know. It’s about their future marriages…decisions they can make now that will make their “later” a whole lot better. Here are some specifics that you will want to know.

The location is Fairview Church in Pulaski, TN. There is no charge for any part of the program and there is even a free T-shirt for those who register by January 1st. (And, yes!…the shirts are for adults, too). All women who have any influence over any young girls (that’s all of us) are encouraged to come. There will be free housing for out-of-town guests. You can register for this housing, as well as for the event itself,  by emailing purityday@yahoo.com or by calling 931-309-8482. Breakfast and lunch will be served free of charge and childcare for young ones will be available. There will even be an activity for the younger girls during the most sensitive portion of the program about sexual purity.

The speaker for the day is Courtney Ruiz. I have heard her speak and you will not be disappointed.

Lesson titles and topics are as follows:

BeYOUtiful For Him!

1.Mirror, Mirror on the Wall (The Best Kind of Beauty)

2. Daughter of the King (To Whom Do You Belong?)

3. White as Snow (Sexual Purity and Modesty)

4. Is Your Apple Poisonous? (Dealing with Social Media)

I cannot take the time and space to extensively promote lots of programs at various congregations because our sisterhood is so rich with faith-building events. But this is one event in which I have been involved and for which I have a passion. It’s the kind of one-day event that can make a big difference in lots of days, in lots of lives. I’ve seen the fruits of such programs in specific lives, decisions and marriages.

One more thing: At the risk of being negative, I want to make this observation. I have seen far too many moms hoping their daughters will be chosen for homecoming court or MVP on the softball team, while giving little thought or attention to spiritual “extra-curriculars” like this upcoming purity day. It’s great when our daughters can excel in their wholesome pursuits in sports and at school. But if they find the greatest acclaim in multiple pursuits and lose their purity and ultimately their souls, all the trophies, positions, scholarships and friends in the world cannot begin to compare with the value of the lost commodity. It is extremely often that I hear a mother say, “I just don’t know what happened. Our daughter has left the Lord and our grandchildren do not even attend worship anywhere.”

That’s just the thing. What “happens” is that our children leave the Lord. That “happens” without much effort, with little thought, with minuscule planning. But faithfulness is not what “happens”. Purity never just “happens”. Holiness takes determination, work, teaching, traveling, planning and, especially during the teen years, it takes parental grit. Heaven doesn’t just “happen”.

You don’t HAVE to be at this day to put purity in the heart of your daughter. But you HAVE to be doing something. You have to have a plan. This day is a planning tool for those who can come!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: KidSing–Generation Two!

1545761_10154037177275603_2736777612730443261_nKidSing turned 23 this year and it occurs to me that we now have a huge 2nd generation constituency coming up in the Sunday night ranks of kids shouting out where events are found in the Bible and answers to important questions like “What is God’s ideal for marriage?” Scores of preachers, themselves, probably have learned what’s in every chapter of Genesis or Acts or First Corinthians. Hundreds of kids have received multiple trophies in their own church families for being able to recite the “Watermelon Card” or the “Sweet Potato Card” and scores are now exemplifying “true success” in their adult lives. Adults find the KidSing Facts come in handy in evangelism when a quick recall of the location of “The Ethiopian Eunuch” or “Lydia and the Jailer” comes in handy.

The youngest kids about which I’ve heard who’ve gotten the trophies by reciting the lists of Bible  “where is it?” facts to a local elder are three years old and the oldest “kids” are somewhere in their eighties. It started at the Sixth Avenue church of Christ in Jasper, Alabama in the latter part of 1992 or the early part of 1993. Hannah and Caleb were five and nine, respectively, and there are not too many shades of KidSing cards they’ve not committed to memory. In that first KidSing class was Joey Sparks, Patrick and Grant Wilson, Justin Brasfield,  Bailey Brigham Gladden, the Colley kids, Wendi Appling Vick, Cindy Appling Thompson, Timmy Appling, Bridget Evans Swindle, Courtney Evans Barrett, Nolan Williams, Brittany Tubbs Harmon, Bart Myers, Larissa Myers Robinson, Brian Alexander, Jessica Wells Bailey, John Michael Gurganus, Amanda Gurganus, Beth Morris Soechting, Brad Morris, and Mallory Jones Baker. Who else? It was a great crew and I pray that every one of them finds the eternal “trophy” that comes from living the truly successful life.

Last Sunday night, Hannah Colley Giselbach sent me some pictures of my grandson Ezra enjoying his very first Kidsing experience. It brought back Sunday night pre-worship memories from Jasper, from Collierville, Tennessee and from here in Huntsville, Alabama. It made me remember, in that old red auditorium, looking over at Hannah during her very last Kidsing before her high school graduation and watching a tear roll down her cheek as she looked over, caught my eye and mouthed the words “This is my last KidSing.”

Young moms, it will be here before you know it. So be sure she’s learning the cards. Be on track about what “true success” is…and “true failure.” Above all, be sure he knows the Kidsing rule: “Do the right thing!”

If you need info about starting a Kidsing program in your congregation, you can find it here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/sermons/kidsing, or come to the session at this year’s Polishing the Pulpit at 3:30 on Monday, August 24, in Ballroom D (http://polishingthepulpit.com).  The program only costs the paper on which you print the cards and a minimal amount for prizes if you choose to have them. But it may be a little part of a saving something that’s worth more than all the money in all the pockets of all the millionaires of all the world!

Here’s Ezra’s first Kidsing!

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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Tooth, Truth, Youth…

Arrows-in-our-Hand1400After two failed attempts at a root canal, the problematic tooth was coming out yesterday. Scheduled for 11:30, the doctor’s office called at 8:10 yesterday and said “Hospital emergency for the doctor….Can you come now?” So I hurried. Since I’d stayed up very late the night before cleaning up a after a really fun West Huntsville Ladies-Night-Out party here, I was dragging yesterday. So I really had to rev it up to “come now” for the dreaded extraction. But it would be over soon…just a local anesthetic and a yank, right? Well, that’s what I’d been told…

But when I finally got back there with the doctor, which was around 11:30 after all, he informed me that I really didn’t want to go through what he was about to do while awake. Of course, going to sleep is usually the best part about my day, but this kind of “going to sleep” I absolutely abhor. And it involved all kinds of complications, too, like, calling my husband who had our car in the shop, at the moment, and enlisting help in post-surgery transportation. (If you see the church van over at the hospital, that’s the reason. We need to go get that van.) It also involved removing articles of clothes, for IVs and such, that I had planned to wear all day. Let’s just say…not good. It involved being “drunk” for a few hours that I thought I just could not spare, not to mention the many laughs, at my expense, that Glenn always has whenever I am medically “drunk”. He asks lots of Bible questions and elicits responses about food preparation, etc….

But it is OVER. Today is mushy food, salt water swishes, and compresses. But, better yet, today is a bit of unanticipated rest…and I have no car, so I cannot go anywhere. The house is quiet, for a change, and I just listened to one of my favorite podcasts called “Arrows in Our Hands”. I love this podcast because there’s nothing superficial here in the instruction about  service to Christ in the family. It’s from a young family, the Wesley Skeltons, who are just like you….They want every family member to be in heaven one day. So along, the way, they are searching out and sharing their best methods and tools to accomplish that—the ultimate goal of all truly Christian parents. Simply put, they are constantly finding ways to put the truths of God’s Word into the hearts of their children, Hannah Kate, Micaiah, and Sarah Grace.

This episode was special to me because they discussed a program that’s dear to my heart: the Lads to Leaders program. I love this program because it enabled our family, as Caleb and Hannah were growing up, to purposefully develop skills for serving Christ and His people. It was invaluable as we brought them up. This episode also features Ben and Hannah Giselbach, so that was another fun aspect of listening. (My favorite folks, Ezra and his friend Sarah Grace, were in the background making noise. They were not being interviewed, but they did participate.)

If you are serious about helping your children grow up to be faithful, but in need of a great resource to help you stay on track, I hope you will give this a listen. Then I hope you will take the time to check out the resources that are posted on this page. I can’t do for you what every parent who wants to one day sit around the throne with God should be doing. But I can share some resources with you that can greatly enhance your chances. Here you go:

http://arrowsinourhand.blogspot.com/2015/06/aioh-s1e14-leadership-training.html

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Girls Who Have the Spirit (The Meek and Quiet Spirit!)

Pic1This week, it’s been a real source of gladness for me to work with girls at POINT, one of the best camps I’ve ever attended. It’s small. It’s fun. And it’s jam-packed with the spiritual! I’m looking at a round table of girls right now who are planning a class for young children about the prominent woman of Shunem in II Kings 4. They have baked bread, put together costumes, and, just now, they all sneezed loudly in unison. (You’ll have to read the chapter!) They’re auditioning for the best sneezer!

These are girls who have the right spirit. They’re working in his service. They are meek. They will tell you that their cause is bigger than themselves. They may not sound so quiet in this video, but they do remind me of this poem. They are working to be virtuous women!

 

The Virtuous Woman

A MEEK AND QUIET SPIRIT

LET ME WEAR WITH JOY I PRAY.

LET THOSE JEWELS OF THE HEART

GRACE MY SPIRIT, LORD,TODAY

TAKE FROM ME THE PEARLS OF RICHES

THAT WOULD KEEP ME, LORD, FROM THEE.

DRAPE ME WITH THE PEARLS OF WISDOM;

THAT THY SPIRIT I MAY SEE.

LET ME NOT, LIKE JAMES AND JOHN,

SEEK THE PLACE OF GRANDEST FAME.

REMIND ME THAT THE SAVIOR

AS A SERVANT HUMBLY CAME.

LET ME BE THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN;

SEEKING GOOD THROUGH ALL MY DAYS.

GIVE ME WEALTH FAR MORE THAN RUBIES;

IN THE GATES, REWARDS OF PRAISE.

CINDY COLLEY

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Figuring Out Godliness–Part 2

Do You Have Your Act Together?

1010949_10151997487112802_498003468_nThe second indicator of what’s on the inside is what I’m doing on the outside. The passage says Christian women are not to be distinguished by flashy or immodest clothing and/or jewelry. But Paul doesn’t just leave us hanging. He gives us the flip side of the coin; the positive side: do be distinguished by the good works you do.  He says if you’re making the assertion that you are a Christian, do what women who profess godliness do: get busy doing good things!

I am amazed at the potential of the young women I meet as I go about and speak for ladies days and teen girls’ days. Often I find you, teen girls, more responsive to the teachings of Scripture than your older sisters in Christ. You have tender hearts. Almost always you are more creative in the use of resources. You blow me away with your talents and willingness to use them. You are tech savvy and artistic. You have much to offer the church and you are unwilling to bury your talents. Most of these areas of service are great opportunities for both men and women. Take the time to examine each of them and see if there are ideas that can be used by both guys and girls.

  1. Teen girls are putting together some of the most amazing Saturday programs for girls in their communities. These days typically include singing praises, a speaker on themes of purity, evangelism and/or service, games, a question and answer session and a meal.  I’ve seen themes like “It’s a Jungle Out There” (I Peter 5:8), and “Whatever!”(Phil.4:8). Talented decorators, cooks, and song-leaders, all under 21, put these programs together and bring their non-Christian friends. They are making a difference.
  2. Many of you are in group studies using a book called GIFTS, available from the Lads to Leaders office. I’ve known girls in several areas who’ve carried this book to school with them. Someone on the bus or in study hall is interested in the book. So a Christian girl invites a non-Christian girl over to study GIFTS on Thursday nights. Girls are learning the gospel through these private studies and some are becoming Christians.  The GUARD study for you guys can be used in the same way.
  3. Some of you are using your computers to spread the gospel. I heard of one Lads to Leaders debate group that used Instant Messenger to prepare as they studied their defense of the gospel. I know of one girl who had a lengthy study with a non-Christian friend on the subject of baptism via Instant Messenger. I know many of you use your Facebook pages to let each other know you are praying during the difficult times and to send each other encouraging passages of scripture. You use your word processors to make banners for hospital rooms and cards for sick people.  You correspond with missionaries and prospective converts you’ve met while on mission trips. You avoid the destructive chat rooms and readily available internet temptations and, instead, use your computer for good works.
  4. I have a friend who is a freshman on a state university campus. He started a weekly devotional in his dorm room on Wednesday nights after worship. To date, he has taught and baptized ten friends. This kind of devotional evangelism can happen with girls, too.
  5. Some of the most creative kids’ bible classes I’ve seen are taught by teens. Some of the most eye-catching bulletin boards are constructed by teens. This week I’m preparing an adventure center for our local Family Bible Week. Everyone on my team, except me, is college age and below. We are making a Treasure Island where children learn that real treasures are the ones we lay up in heaven and the treasure map is the Word of God. The lesson was written by a college student.
  6. Some of the most effective teachers on the mission fields are teens. I’m thinking right now of one teen girl who insisted on climbing a mountain in Jamaica to get to one lone house on the top of the steep incline. Other team members were older and lacked the energy to make the tough climb in the heat. Greeted by a sixteen year old native, this young teen girl set up a Bible study. At the end of the week, the girl was baptized.  She, in turn, brought a close friend to the Lord and that friend has now brought five people to the Lord. It wasn’t the seasoned preachers who made that little Jamaican church grow. It was the sixteen year old novice.
  7. I see local groups of young people tirelessly conducting worship services at nursing homes, raking leaves and painting houses for the elderly, doing laundry for new mothers, washing baptismal robes, cleaning up after fellowship meals, providing transportation to services and a myriad of other tasks that might seem menial to their peers. Some people may ask, “What’s so special about these teens? Why are they okay with doing the dirty work?”  Something tells me it’s that they understand what Jesus said in Matthew 25:40: “…inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” They understand good works.
  8. I see young people who are just naturally hospitable. I would be hard pressed to even estimate how many families have moved into our area and chosen to become a part of our congregation because our teens just enveloped their children, making them feel welcome and very much a part of the family that meets together here. Oh there may have been other factors, but parents very often tell me the deciding factor was the friendliness of our teens. Can you find someone who is new; someone who may be sitting alone and invite them to come and sit with you and the other teens.
  9. I receive lots of cards of encouragement from women of various ages. Sometimes I receive a card that is such a blessing to me that I want to keep it forever. Many of the cards that have encouraged me immeasurably are those I have received from teen girls who tell me that I have made some difference in their lives. These cards make me want to be better, try harder and seek the kingdom first. Is there someone who is making a difference in your life? Take a few minutes to pen a note of thanks. Some of you are masters of expression. Use those writing talents to build up the body. Some of you are good in the kitchen. Make those muffins to carry to Sister Smith who is convalescing or to Jenny, who broke her arm in yesterday’s soccer game. Some of you are talented sketchers. Make your own cards and gifts for widows or college students or deployed soldiers. Some of you are great readers. Share thirty minutes each week with an older woman whose sight is failing her, reading the Scriptures or something she wants to hear. Some of you are great actors. Plan a widows’ luncheon, serve your guests and then treat them to a skit produced and directed by teens. They will never forget this. It will be more fun than they’ve had all year! Our teens make up songs about our elderly people. They love to travel from house to house and carol; especially during the holidays, but any time of year. You don’t have to wait for programs and youth leaders to take the initiative. You can initiate good works.
  10. Most importantly, just get excited about spiritual things. The devil loves to make us believe that the real fun is in the temporal activities of this world. While it’s okay to enjoy fellowship in pure forms of entertainment, sports and fun activities, most teens are missing out on the lasting joy that comes from service. Be enthusiastic about Bible class. Get excited about building the kingdom. Try your hand at evangelism (maybe starting out by going with your youth minister or an older Christian to a study). Make it your habit to always say “yes” whenever asked to do anything for the Lord’s church. My children both testify that this “yes” rule was a big key to the development of their talents for the Master.

One more thing about good works for girls: No discussion of this subject would be complete without at least a brief look at Titus 2:4, 5. This passage is compelling as it relates to the place of women in the body. It encapsulates the most important role you as God’s woman will ever have on this earth. It actually says that women who fail to comply with this passage will cause the Word of God to be blasphemed. Guys, whatever you hope to find in the woman you will one day marry, find someone who is working on the list below. Girls, whatever else you do in this life, may I encourage you to be sure you are developing your talents and skills to be:

  1. A lover of your husband. Decide now to find a faithful Christian with whom you can share the goal of eternal life with God and plan to be his helper toward heaven.
  2. A lover of your children. If and when God blesses you with children, realize that he has placed in your charge little souls that will exist forever. They will look to you for guidance. You will influence their destinies.
  3. Discreet. The word here means self-controlled. It means deciding that you will put your will under His Will in all of life.
  4. Chaste. This word means modest and innocent. Make early choices to guard your thoughts and life from the sins of the devil.  Live every day so that you can bow before God’s throne and pray, knowing your relationship with Him is secure.
  5. A homemaker. Whatever vocation you may choose, remember God’s plan for your life, at least while your children are at home (these verses are addressed to the younger women), is for you to be a homemaker.
  6. Good.
  7. Obedient to your husband. While politically incorrect in our world, be sure you never lose your resolve to do marriage God’s way.