February 28, 2012

A Seared Conscience

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared...~1 Timothy 4:1-2
I listen to the words of Carl Trueman and even through the thick British accent and a muffled microphone the Spirit convicts. I want to jump right out of my seat, there in front of everyone, and run to the altar. I think of Isaiah. A depth of worship he had never known before forced him to cry out his sin and shame before the coal, white hot, seared his lips and burned away his sin.

The coals that have seared my conscience offer no such atonement. They are false gods, idols I have been too willing to worship. I have sacrificed my heart and my conscience on their deceptively beautiful altars.

They have consumed me.

how I spend my time

images and words that assault my heart

where I take my mind

Gradually, almost imperceptibly, I have been playing with the fires of this world.  Like Peter, I have sought their warmth.  I have drawn closer and closer seeking comfort. Numb to the pain and the acrid smell of my spirit burning.

In the face of a Holy God, I can only cry "Woe is me!" I beg Him to circumcise my heart, peel away the hardened flesh that is ugly and useless.

I am thankful for mercies that are new every morning.

For His Word that guides me in my new effort to keep my conscience sensitive,

instructs me to focus on the gospel and be saturated with the Truth,

tells me to stay away from the irreverent and silly myths that dominate our culture, and

encourages me to pursue godliness with my whole heart.

But more than these, I am thankful for His unending grace.

February 7, 2012

Around the House: February

An unusually mild winter is finally giving way to some seasonal weather, though not nearly enough.  I want to hop into my calendar page, all white and glistening. I can almost smell the crisp air, feel it burn my lungs. It seems as if this year, my hopes for winter evenings of reading and snuggling by firelight are all but dashed. Yet in my disappointment, there are plenty of blessings.

~A week at home, which allowed me time to clean out closets and cull bookshelves. The more stuff I purge, the more I want to purge. The breathing room and the peace it brings are a healing balm.

~A weekend trip to the beach with a dear friend, filled with long walks and even longer conversations.

~In an effort to broaden my horizons, an intentional change of pace in my reading as of late. I've already devoured Anderson Cooper's Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival, The Hunger Games, and Catching Fire. I'm in the middle of Mockingjay now. Next up,The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The need for Jane has me listening to a wonderful audiobook of Persuasion.

~I am slowly and deliberately pondering The Priority of Preaching, which I was supposed to finish for a blog tour. Written for pastors, this small book offers a thoughtful approach to exegetical preaching that is also quite helpful to congregants.  I'm learning much about what I should be looking - and listening - for.

~The beginning of indoor field hockey for my girl. I know little about the sport, except that it's fun to watch. 

~An upcoming family date night to see this movie.

~The release of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey Season 2 this week! I've missed the entire season for various reasons, so I'm thankful I'll soon be able to catch up without resorting to watching on the laptop.

~Carl Trueman is speaking at a nearby church at the end of the month. I'm hoping to attend.

The blog lies dormant more often than I want, yet I seem to have few words to add to this space. Various attempts to blog through books or studies have failed before they've even started. I find myself too busy living my life to write about it.

And that is a blessing that cannot be measured.