Bethany Church news
Church News BLOG 
and 
Daily Devotional 

Bethany Church news

Devotional 07/20/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/20/17

I read a story several years ago about an incident that happened in Russia. Under Stalin, all bibles had been confiscated in the 30's, and with the dissolution of the USSR, a team from CoMission had arrived in Stavropol for ministry work. Their shipment of bibles had been held up, and they were told that a warehouse outside of town still contained confiscated Bibles from all those years ago, where they had unexplainable been stored instead of being destroyed as was Stalin's intent. Remarkably, the team was granted permission to open the warehouse and distribute them! They hired several local Russian workers to help with this work, they began to load their trucks. 
One young man, a hostile non-believer, came only for the day's wages. On seeing the Bibles, he thought he would steal one for himself, since they were rare and valuable. The team soon noticed the young man was missing, not helping with the work of loading the trucks. When they searched for him, they found him in the corner of the warehouse, weeping, a Bible in his hands. He had stolen it, then flipped it open to the title page. There, he had found his Grandmothers signature. He had picked his own Grandmothers bible, confiscated from her many decades previously. 
Today, that young Russian is in the process of being transformed by the very Bible that his grandmother was persecuted for, but still held dear. 
Coincidence? 
I don’t think so!

The Word of God tells us:

Jeremiah 23:29 (KJV); 
"Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?"

Romans 1:16 (KJV); 
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

Hebrews 4:12 (KJV); 
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Devotional 07/19/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/19/17

I appreciate those kind words, guys - they mean a lot to me!

For today:

2nd Samuel 7:18 (KJV): 
"Then went king David in, and sat before the Lord, and he said, Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?"

David communed with God. He sat before him, and asked him questions, fully expecting to receive answers. We ask questions of God also, but do we receive answers? God speaks to us today just as surely as he always has spoken to his people. If we do not hear him, the fault lies with us, not with him.

The Vine association has an excellent piece which explains why we don't hear God speaking to us more often. It is titled The Discipline of Stillness:

“Here 3 reasons we don't hear God speaking to us more often:
(1) We don't know how to handle His silence. When God seems to be silent we think, "Did I ask the wrong question? Was I foolish to expect an answer?" Don't be upset. God's a living being, not an answering machine; He speaks when He has something to say to you.
(2) We don't listen for God's voice. In addition to carving out blocks of quiet time to listen to God, you must learn to keep your ears tuned to Him all the time. One Christian author writes: "A friend of mine has a company car equipped with AM/FM radio, a CD player, a phone and mobile communication unit which he consistently monitors at a low decibel level. Often we've been riding together, talking and listening to music, when all of a sudden he'll reach down, pick up the microphone and say, 'I'm here, what's up?' With all the other noise in the car I never hear the signal, but he has tuned his ear to it. He's able to carry on a conversation and listen to music without ever missing an incoming call." And it's possible for you to develop that same sensitivity to God's voice.
(3) We don't plan to do anything about it. When God speaks we listen, nod and say, "How interesting!" If we don't follow up on His leadings, God may see no reason to continue speaking. When He speaks to us it's usually toward one end - obedience!”

How about you, Brother?
What of you, Sister?
Do you ASK God for answers?
Do you EXPECT answers?
Do you LISTEN for those answers?
Do you listen with PATIENCE for those answers?
And when the answers come, do we ACT on them?
This is something that virtually every one of us needs to work on, constantly -

Devotional 07/18/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/18/17

A. W. Tozer wrote that true spirituality manifests itself thus:
1. First is the desire to be holy rather than happy. 
2. A person may be considered spiritual when they want to see the honor of God advanced through their life even if it means that they themselves must suffer temporary dishonor or loss. 
3. The spiritual person wants to carry their cross. 
4. A Christian is spiritual when they see everything from God's viewpoint. 
5. Another desire of the spiritual person is to die right rather than to live wrong. 
6. A spiritual person will desire to see others advance at their expense. 
7. The spiritual person habitually makes eternity-judgments instead of time-judgments. 

The Word of God tells us that we must have more than food to fill us:

Deuteronomy 8:3 (KJV); 
“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”

And Jesus told us that when we are so filled, we leave death behind, and embrace life eternal!

John 5:24 (KJV); 
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."

Paul tells us that this life should be spent in Christs service, and when we leave this life, we enter into his presence!

Philippians 1:21 (KJV); 
"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

No one is born spiritual, Brothers and sisters. It is a state which must be reached through Bible study and prayer – one which we are all to seek. As we stand here in the interlude between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, let each one of us search our hearts and make sure we are looking at this time in a spiritual way, not clouded by eggs and rabbits, baskets and candy. This is the time of Christs arrest, torture, death and resurrection.

Devotional 07/17/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/17/17

This is to all who have lost a loved one. It is part of a letter Plutarch wrote to his wife when he was informed of the death of their daughter.

“Let us bear our affliction with patience. I do know very well what a loss we have had; but, if you should grieve overmuch, it would trouble me still more. She was particularly dear to you; and when you call to mind how bright and innocent she was, how amiable and mild, then your grief must be particularly bitter. For not only was she kind and generous to other children, but even to her very playthings. 
“But should the sweet remembrance of those things which so delighted us when she was alive only afflict us now, when she is dead? Or is there danger that, if we cease to mourn, we shall forget her? But since she gave us so much pleasure while we had her, so ought we to cherish her memory, and make that memory a glad rather than a sorrowful one. And such reasons as we would use with others, let us try to make effective with ourselves. And as we put a limit to all riotous indulgence in our pleasures, so let us also check the excessive flow of our grief. It is well, both in action and dress, to shrink from an over-display of mourning, as well as to be modest and unassuming on festal occasions. 
Let us call to mind the years before our little daughter was born. We are now in the same condition as then, except that the time she was with us is to be counted as an added blessing. Let us not ungratefully accuse Fortune for what was given us, because we could not also have all that we desired. What we had, and while we had it, was good, though now we have it no longer. 
Remember also how much of good you still possess. Because one page of your book is blotted, do not forget all the other leaves whose reading is fair and whose pictures are beautiful. We should not be like misers, who never enjoy what they have, but only bewail what they lose. 
And since she is gone where she feels no pain, let us not indulge in too much grief. The soul is incapable of death. And she, like a bird not long enough in her cage to become attached to it, is free to fly away to a purer air. For, when children die, their souls go at once to a better and a divine state. Since we cherish a trust like this, let our outward actions be in accord with it, and let us keep our hearts pure and our minds calm.”

Devotional 07/16/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/16/17

We have been simplifying our lives the last several years. I no longer change oil in our vehicles, for instance. We now buy horseradish instead of making it, which is a HORRID job. The last time I made any, It came to me that evangelism is like horseradish: people praise it with tears in their eyes. 
There are other word associations we could make with the concept of evangelism. For some people, evangelism is an evangelical mugging mission, where we go into a phone booth, come out with a big red “S” on our chest and fly into someone elses neighborhood to win it for Christ. 
For others, it's some kind of evangelical ambush where we lure the honest, unsuspecting victim to some type of an event, lock the doors, and sing twenty-two verses of "Just as I Am”, giving them the impression that they cannot escape without walking that aisle!
Some people think of evangelism as a bombing mission where, from protective cloud cover at 30,000 feet, we blanket an area with tracts.
For others, evangelism is herding fish into the stained glass aquarium where the big fisherman throws the lure from the pulpit. 
So much for OUR ideas – what does GOD say about it?

Matthew 28:19 (KJV);
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (KJV);
"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you."

Devotional 07/15/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/15/17

After the Romans were defeated by the Gauls at Allia, Rome was sacked, and it seemed as if the Gauls might take the Capitol at any moment. Among the garrison was a young man of the Fabian family, and on a certain day the anniversary of a sacrifice returned, when his family had always offered sacrifice upon the Quirinal Hill outside the city. This hill was in the possession of the Gauls, but when the morning dawned, the young man took the sacred utensils of his god, went down from the Capitol, passed through the Gallic sentries, through the main body, up the hill, offered sacrifice, and came back unharmed. It was always told as a wonder among Roman legends. 

This is just how the Christian should act when a decision for Christ is called for. Though he is just one person in the midst of a thousand opponents, let him, at the precise moment when duty calls, fearless of all danger, go straight to the appointed spot, do his duty, and remember that consequences belong to God and not to us. We should all pray for this manner of Holy Boldness when it comes to witnessing for Christ to a lost and dying world, as well as all of our other Christian work. We do these things for GOD, not for man. We should consider what we purpose ourselves to do, and who we are doing it for, ignoring all other thoughts and possibilities.

The Word of God tells us to be bold in our witness:

Philippians 1:20-21 (KJV);
"According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

And it tells us to be bold in our petitions to God as well:

Hebrews 4:16;
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Devotional 07/14/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/14/17

Most of you have experienced grief at sometime in your life. If you have not, then you are very young and very blessed, and should begin to build that ability within yourself to deal with it when it does arrive, because you absolutely WILL deal with grief in your life on this earth; it is part of the package.
Author Edgar Jackson described grief this way:

Grief is a young widow trying to raise her three children, alone. Grief is the man so filled with shocked uncertainty and confusion that he strikes out at the nearest person. Grief is a mother walking daily to a nearby cemetery to stand quietly and alone a few minutes before going about the tasks of the day. She knows that a part of her is in the cemetery, just as part of her is in her daily work. Grief is silent, knife-like terror and sadness that comes a hundred times a day, when you start to speak to someone who is no longer there. Grief is the emptiness that comes when you eat alone after eating with another for many years. Grief is teaching yourself to go to bed without saying good night to the one who has died. Grief is the helpless wishing that things were different when you know they are not and never will be again. Grief is a whole cluster of adjustments, apprehensions, and uncertainties that strike life in its forward progress and make it difficult to redirect the energies of life. 

The Word of God tells us that the Lord is here with us to deliver us from grief:

Psalms 34:17-19 (KJV);
“The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.”

And it tells us that God will treat the wounds, and heal them!

Psalms 147:3 (KJV);
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”

Devotional 07/13/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/13/17

Sometimes, I do something that neglects our dog, Angela; I eat a treat without offering her some, or I go outside without taking her along, or I do not give her attention at regular intervals. At such times, her face shows her sadness, and makes me feel bad as well that I have hurt her. I do not enjoy seeing this expression of hers -

The case is much more so with Judy. She is a mirror. When I have done something that hurts her, my mistake appears in the suffering of her face. Her sadness reflect with terrible accuracy my selfishness. I hate the sight, and wish to not look at it - 

Much greater still, the passion of Christ is such a mirror. While I may not enjoy seeing the sadness of my dog, while I can hardly bear the hurt in Judy’s eyes, while I wish never to again witness her tears, the pain in the face of Jesus is harder. It is almost impossible to contemplate the suffering that I have caused him. It is beyond imagination how he could love me enough to have willingly gone through the suffering he bore. It is inconceivable that God sent his son to suffer and die for someone as undeserving and wretched as I.

Nevertheless, I will not avoid this mirror! No, I will contemplate it and immerse myself in his suffering just as I did when I saw the film, The Passion of the Christ. I know that I must never forget the price he paid. A member of our church bought us a gift set for that movie, which included a calendar that had many of the images from the film. I looked at those pictures every day for a year. It is GOOD for me to contemplate this. The passion of my Jesus, which I must face with courage, clarity and faith, is the mirror of dangerous grace, purging more purely than any other. 

The Word of God tells us

Romans 5:6 (KJV); 
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

1 Peter 2:24 (KJV); 
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

Isaiah 53:4 (KJV); 
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”

Devotional 07/12/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/12/17

In the middle ages, the flickering lights of marsh gas were to many people fairies or goblins; fireflies were the souls of unbaptized dead infants. Many thought sorcerers and ghosts manipulated human lives. Astrology was used to explain things. For example, the University of Paris concluded that the bubonic plague of 1340s-50s was due to the conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars. 
That is from "Faith in the Middle Ages," Christian History, no. 49. 

And today, we have gone the opposite way; we accredit nothing to the supernatural, but give natural explanations everything.

The Word of God speaks of supernatural events:

1 Samuel 5:1-5 (KJV); 
“And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon’s house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.”

Acts 19:13-16 (KJV); 
“Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”

What we as Christians have to do is strike a balance between the medieval practice of ascribing everything to the supernatural and the modern trend of ascribing everything to the natural, for it is in this balance that the truth lies.

Devotional 07/11/17

by Terry Trainor on 07/11/17

The Wright Brothers were the pioneers in aviation. Two men who had a vision, a passion, about something that had never been done. The initial flight at Kitty Hawk lasted just a few moments, and traveled only a few yards – yet it was the beginning of the world aviation. We think almost nothing of boarding a plane and traveling thousands of miles in just a few hours. But the tiny flight at Kitty Hawk was the beginning.

In like manner, we read about the exploration of the universe being carried out by both men and instrument packages being launched from earth into space, and tend to forget the humble beginnings of rocketry. When I was young, every kid was interested in rockets, and many of us built them with varying degrees of success; mine melted down on the launch pad. Some years before that, on March 16 1926, on a farm belonging to Effie Ward, her young Nephew and a couple of his friends launched the worlds first successful rocket. It rose 41 feet, and landed 184 feet from the launch pad. But it was a beginning. 

It is easy to look at small accomplishments and find ourselves with a “so what?” attitude, lacking the vision of what may come from it. 

Some guy in a lab notices bacteria don’t grow around bread mold. So what? Penicillin is born. 

Some worker in a soap factory lets his machine run too long, causing a batch of soap to become too aerated. So what? We have Ivory, the soap that floats! 

Some researcher fails in his attempts to make a permanent paper glue, but ends up with one that pulls apart easily. So what? We have post-a-notes.

The Word of God tells us:

Zechariah 4:10 (KJV);
“For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”

We are not to make light of what appears to be insignificant; we may find ourselves unwittingly blocking something wonderful!

Devotional 07/10/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/10/17

I remember having car trouble in Browning, Montana on our way back from Alaska. We had to spend the night while the wheel bearing was being replaced. Browning is a very small town with many of the features of the old west. We sat in front of the motel and observed the small town life around us. Across the street was an old time saloon, with horses tied to the hitching rail in front of it, as well as some cars in the gravel parking area. We saw some folks come and go, but one in particular is what I remember best about this incident. It was an older cowboy, grizzled, and staggering drunk. He wandered over to his horse, got the reins untied, and managed to get into the saddle, where he slumped forward into semi-consciousness. The horse walked slowly and carefully away from the saloon, carrying his master home in a manner that told us this was a common occurrence.

Now, this man should NOT be wasting his life on drinking, but he at least did so in a manner that would harm no one else, something which cannot be said of those who drive their cars while under the influence. 

I thought of that story when I read about an incident involving the drunken driving law in Louisiana, which is one of the toughest in the nation. There is a mandatory prison sentence in that state for anyone convicted of driving while intoxicated. Getting it passed was a major victory for various groups against drunk driving, and they could not have gotten it passed if it wasn't for the help of one particular state legislator who sponsored the bill. It wasn't long after the new law took effect that the first person to be arrested for driving under the influence was brought before the judge and found guilty and was sentenced to his prison term. Who was he? The same legislator who sponsored the bill!

We must be careful, when we set out to crusade against the sins of the world, that we first have corrected the sin in ourselves.

Matthew 7:3-5 (KJV); 
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Devotional 07/09/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/09/17

Every human being has a natural fear of fire, even though we deal with it on a daily basis. During the flood in Fairbanks, we evacuated to a friends apartment on the third floor of their building. Our house was a single story, so we had no choice but to evacuate as the water rose to the three foot level in our living area. Many people had multi-story houses, however, and some stayed in their second story where they were high and dry. They had no electricity for lights or cooking of course, so they used candles and small camping style stoves. Several homes caught fire due to this, and since the streets were underwater, no fire trucks could come to their aid; each of these homes burned down to the water line. When the flood receded, it was a horrible sight to see homes with perfect foundations, and the bottom several feet looking as though nothing was wrong – but ending just four or five feet above the ground in a blackened line where the fire had burned everything above. I felt that I should avert my eyes as I passed these, because it somehow seemed an invasion of privacy to see peoples furniture and personal possessions open to the sky by the removal of the protection of their house from around them. So much damage from just a candle flame, or a match lighting a stove.

Today, there are many wildfires in our west, probably started by someone carelessly handling a match, or flipping a cigarette out the window of their car. Every year, these destroy millions of acres of timberland, including the homes and everything else in their path.
So much damage from just a match – from just a spark.

James 3:5-6 (KJV); 
“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”

The tongue is a small fire, a bit of flame – and it can wreck damage even more than the flame of a candle, match, or spark. It can ruin a friendship, destroy a marriage, disrupt a congregation, and even set nation against nation in open warfare. We would do well to work diligently to make sure we are in control of our own tongue -

Devotional 07/08/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/08/17

Getting sufficient rest and sleep is important to our good health, both mentally and physically. It is something which we need to be in control of, however, and not let it control us. 
I just read a true story about Hannah, who was a country church organist for many years, and had taken to falling asleep during the sermon. As she was loved by all, this fault was easily overlooked. Besides, the position of the organ at the east end of the platform kept her pretty much away from the congregation's normal line of vision. 
One Sunday as the sermon was building to a climax, the minister swung his arm forcefully and cried: "Look to the East!" The congregation, following his gesture, gasped and then chuckled softly. There sat Hannah, head back and mouth open, sleeping the sleep of the innocent. The minister regained his composure and concluded his message with equal poise. Hannah awoke at her usual time and played the closing hymn, forever unaware of what had happened. 

The Word of God tells us that God sustains us in sleep:
Psalm 3:5 (KJV);
“I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.”

And it tells us we must strike a balance:
Proverbs 6:4-10 (KJV);
“Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler. Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: ”
Find your natural need, schedule a time for it, and do not try to cut it short. If you allow your activities to interfere with your needed sleep, you will find sleep interfering with your activities. We must maintain our good health; it is a gift from God, and these bodies are the only ones we will get here on earth.

Devotional 07/07/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/07/17

I once read a story about Bill Mann, who has one of the great singing voices in the Christian church in this nation. He told about the most special concert in his life. After the concert was over, he returned to his dressing room. Waiting for him there was a woman who was blind, deaf, and mute. Through the lady who was with her, she asked if he would sing for her the last song he sang in the concert. "Surely," he said. 
And standing only five inches from his face, this lady placed her fingers on his lips and on his vocal cords while he sang the last song again, "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?" As he finished singing, a tear trickled down the face of Helen Keller. Indistinctly, she said, as the words were repeated by the lady with her, "I was there!"
Helen Keller would have given anything to be able to sing praises to God. Why do Christians with voices to do so not use them? Why do they sit silent in church while those around them sing out? It is always amazing to me to see every single person's lips move, but only be able to hear the voice of about ¼ of them.

Each year in Washington, D.C., someone rents a hall, hires an orchestra, and advertises a sing-along production of Handel's Messiah. People stand in line to get tickets. The choir numbers five thousand. They pay for the privilege of singing Messiah. 
Why do Christians with the opportunity to sing hymns in church EVERY WEEK for NO charge not avail their selves of that opportunity?

The Word of God tells us:
Colossians 3:14 (NCV);
“Let the teaching of Christ live in you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and instruct each other by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Come join us at church Sunday. There is no charge for the sing-along. Come raise your voice with us, and praise God this week.

Devotional 07/06/2017

by Terry Trainor on 07/06/17

We lived in Fairbanks in the late sixties, and there is a big difference between the driving there and the driving here. For one thing, the roads that were passable depended on what season of the year it was. 
Just a few miles north of Fairbanks, the Steese highway was closed from fall to spring, due to the few people that lived up that way, and the number of miles of road that would have to be kept clear to make it passable. They were simply restricted to transportation by plane, snowmobile, and dog sleds for the winter months. 
A different road had to cross a wide river, where the population on the other side did not warrant the expense of a bridge. When the river was frozen, a path would be cleared across it and they had easy road access in the winter months only. I never did get used to driving across that ice in a car, where there was a raging river just a few weeks before. There is a lesson for us in how that river froze over, though. The river was swift, and therefore difficult for ice to form completely across it. The temperature had to be well below freezing before the river would get completely covered with the thinnest skin of ice. But once this ice formed, the ripples and waves of the surface of the river were stopped by the ice, and then it thickened rapidly to the several feet required to drive vehicles across. You can look straight down in the middle, and see for several feet down into the clear ice – and you see no river at all.

Our conscience is like that river. It broils and seethes at wrongdoing, it is hard for sin to encroach upon it – but once it is breached, the broiling and seething is quieted by the presence of sin, and it grows and thickens much more easily. We become deaf to that inner voice, and our sense of shame is numbed – and sin builds upon sin, until the underlying conscience is no longer even visible. 

1 Timothy 1:5 (KJV); 
“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:”

1 Timothy 1:18-19 (GWT) 
“Timothy, my child, I’m giving you this order about the prophecies that are still coming to you: Use these prophecies in faith and with a clear conscience to fight this noble war. Some have refused to let their faith guide their conscience and their faith has been destroyed like a wrecked ship.”