Sunday, December 13, 2009
Well, I've been busy (Haven't we all? it IS the season, you know!).
I have a new website up, and, except for a glitch on the spry menu (front page of course, smile, ), I'm ready to promote my newest book, along with a contest for a free trip to Genoa Bay. You can view the new look at the old address:
The new book releases January 4th here in the states, (from what I hear). And you can catch a first chapter preview on the new website. Feel free to take a look and see what you think.
I've got hundreds of postcards ready for the mail. And, I'm about to mail the first round of "reader's club" books out to my faithful First Reader's Club.
If you'd like a postcard, leave a comment here. Or, if you'd like to sign up to receive a free book, in exchange for some promotion, contact me via the website. I'll need your snail mail address in order to make that work. But let me know. I have a few extra spots open.
Now for the WORD:
I only have one comment tonight, and that refers to a little phrase I found in 1 Timothy 2:19. "For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result their faith has been shipwrecked."
Remember Paul is one who knows about shipwrecks. He survived one, remember? On his way to Rome, the boat carrying him (and the Roman soldier responsible for Paul) was completely destroyed. Paul and all of the crew members survived. Now THAT's a shipwreck.
And so Paul, this very experienced sailor, gives us this one critical clue as to one way that believers can shipwreck our faith.
Paul blames it on this one decision: the deliberate violation of the conscience. The result? Shipwrecked faith.
We can't blame our shipwrecked faith on the devil. Not on an evil society. Or a bad upbringing. Not on a difficult economic time. Not on hardship, or addiction, or poor parenting.
I know something of boating. I've seen groundings. I've seen folks stuck at the end of an anchor when an outgoing tide leaves the boat high and dry. I've seen boats hit rocks. I've seen boats spring leaks, break parts, burn out engines. But I've never been aboard during a shipwreck.
That's something that every boater tries to avoid. And every believer should try to avoid the shipwreck of our faith.
And as a believer, we can avoid that kind of disaster by paying attention to this one wise admonition. Don't violate your conscience.
Your conscience is your own private GPS system. It's an alarm that tells you when you're getting into shallow water, too near the rocks, or when the weather and conditions are more than your boat can handle.
I believe it is the Holy Spirit's gift to humans (both saved and unsaved), his way of helping us to move toward God and away from disaster.
So. Remember Paul's advice the next time you feel that little tickle in the back of your awareness. When something inside tells you, "don't," then listen. Respond. Move away.
When something inside you whispers, "do," then stop, consider, move deeper into obedience.
Shipwreck avoidance. No one needs to write a book, or teach a class.
If only we could all commit to obeying our conscience!
Tonight, I'm going to commit. Can you?