Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 18, 2019

Conversational Prayer

For many years I have had a pattern of prayer which, I discovered, is called conversational prayer. For me, praying all during the day seemed like what I wanted to do but I didn’t have a name for it.

It was only later, when I was reading an article by a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, that I saw it described as conversational prayer. I was instantly comforted by the thought that I was not the only one who felt compelled to pray at various times all day long.

I’ll confess that much of my prayer life is thanking the Lord for his loving grace and rejoicing in him for all he has done for me. I see his hand everywhere I look and am often flooded with gratitude for so many things; I rejoice in the fact that I am his creation and exist by him and for him!

Today I got a devotional which I wanted to share with my readers; it was written by Jeff Wells whom I’ve mentioned before.

Unceasing Prayer

Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17

“This three-word command seems impossible at first glance, yet we know that our Father doesn’t give us commands to defeat us and frustrate us. He gives us commands for our good. What is God telling us here?

Be in an attitude of prayer all the time. Live your life in the presence of God. Realize that God is right there with you throughout the day and throughout the night. Sense his presence. Remember his presence. Enjoy his presence. Talk with him. Talk with him a lot. Throughout the day.

The idea is an ongoing conversation – talking, listening, singing, thanking, asking, interceding, praising, confessing, laughing, weeping. It is a life lived in God’s presence, enjoying God throughout the day.

Maybe it’s a bit like a persistent cough. That cough is in your throat throughout the day, ready to erupt in an actual cough at any moment. Similarly, we are in an attitude of prayer throughout the day, ready to erupt in an actual prayer at any moment.

We’re driving to work, talking with God about our day, about a project, about a conflict, about an important meeting. We’re playing with our preschooler on the living room floor and we breathe a prayer of thanksgiving. We’re at our desk, working away, and we pray for wisdom at various points. We’re walking to our car and remember a friend who needs a job and we lift our friend to God. We’re driving to the grocery store with a worship CD in the stereo and we’re singing to God.

It’s life lived before God. It’s not a burden. It’s not so much a discipline to practice, but an attitude to adopt. “God is here, with me, right now, and all the time!”

“Lord, teach us to pray. Teach us what it means to live life in your presence, praying without ceasing.”

November 18, 2019

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Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 7, 2019

Our Heav’n-Rescued Land

Praising the Power that Hath Made and Preserved us a Nation!

I discovered a long time ago, that verse 4, of our national anthem, is the one that is most likely to move me to tears. The words of verse 4 are:

“Oh, thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

source: lyricsondemand.com/n/nationalanthemlyrics/usanationalanthemlyrics.html

Any examination of the history of the United States will clearly reveal we’ve had help from above; God’s hand of blessing is so clear to those who can look at our history objectively.

A History of Controversy

I most sincerely wish I could say the behavior we are observing in Washington D. C. is not typical for our nation, but I simply cannot say that; if anything at all it seems to be the normal behavior historically exhibited by our national leaders. Looking back through the pages of our nation’s history we see time and again the same sort of behavior.

In spite of this childish behavior, our nation has done so much good over the years; we are aware of the many accomplishments this nation has achieved over its 243 years history.

As one reviews history it would be easy to believe there is a fundamental problem shared by all of us; some flaw in our natures which allows the unruly behavior which seems so typical of our species. The Bible speaks very plainly on that point, we do all share a flaw which is hereditary to our species, a cursed, fallen sin nature which we inherit at birth.

God’s Process of Preservation

God has a plan to work around that flaw, a plan which offers redemption and restoration to the individual and preservation to the nation. This plan was purchased by God at great expense, the death of God, the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, at Calvary as full payment for Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden.

Appropriation of this wondrous gift is by simple faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and God; believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, it is that simple! While simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ provides redemption and restoration, the matter of national preservation is something else.

The Bible, once again, provides insights into the place and function of nations in God’s plan. In Daniel 4:17 it is written:

17 For this has been decreed by the messengers;
it is commanded by the holy ones,
so that everyone may know
that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world.
He gives them to anyone he chooses—
even to the lowliest of people.”

There is one nation, one land that has been chosen by God to be his nation, his people; that is the nation of Israel. No other nation has been promised a land by the creator of the universe, only Israel. Although God has established the church and given the church responsibilities to spread the gospel and teach the commandments; the church’s home is not on this world, it is in heaven with God.

As we examine the Old Testament, we see God establishing and destroying nations as they relate to Israel; while nations may be called on to judge Israel, we see those nations pay a terrible price for their actions against Israel; this is not only true historically but also true prophetically.

The United States of America has been a historic friend and protector of Israel and as such, has received God’s hand of blessing. In addition, it has been a safe haven for the church and a center for the spread of the gospel and instruction in Biblical righteousness. As a result of God’s grace and mercy to this nation, we have been the recipient of God’s hand of blessing for many years.

Conspicuously Absent

An examination of prophecy reveals one major nation that is conspicuously missing from the world scene; the total absence of the United States. I believe the Rapture of the Church and the following battle of Psalm 83 will eliminate the United States as a world power; I have written more on this in other essays.

While we have no idea on God’s timing for these events, we can know, with complete confidence, that his timing is exact and certain and will be fulfilled precisely as he wills. In the meantime, we have the great commission to obey and instructions to rejoice in the Lord always; rejoice and be glad, God’s will is being fulfilled before our eyes!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 28, 2019

President Trump Booed by Washington Nationals Crowd!

President Donald J. Trump

Trump roundly booed by World Series crowd as fans yell ‘lock him up’ (Fox News Headline)

Why am I still shocked when I read something like this? What is wrong with this Washington D.C. crowd that people should boo the duly elected President of the United States and yell ‘lock him up?’ When will I ever fully accept and stop being surprised by the fact we are living in a time of spiritual warfare and conduct of this sort is to be expected?

I think there is probably a simple answer to at least one of those questions; over 100 years of liberal, globalist thought has controlled the mindset of many in our nation’s capital! Suddenly, a nationalist, conservative candidate is elected to the presidency, and the liberal crowd goes berserk!

We have repeatedly observed this kind of conduct from liberal politicians and their entrenched bureaucracy and when they attend a ball-game they’re like the leopard, they don’t change their spots!

Fox News Reporting

“The president, according to WUSA, did not sit with Nationals owner Mark Lerner after a Lerner family representative requested MLB not put the family in a position to turn down a request from the White House to sit with him.

However, at some point during the game, Astros owner Jim Crane did stop by Trump’s box to say hello to Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

In addition, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Trump decided not to throw out the ceremonial first pitch “in order to make the fan experience as positive as possible” for the series, which was tied at 2 pending the outcome of Sunday’s Game 5. The Astros to a 7-1 win Sunday night and a 3-2 lead.”

(https://www.foxnews.com/sports/trump-roundly-booed-by-world-series-crowd-as-fans-yell-lock-him-up) 10-28-2019

The only thing about that report that I liked was the Astros 7 – 1 victory and the Astros owner’s visit to the Trump box to say hello to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump!

The very idea the Nationals owner requesting the MLB to “not put the family in a position to turn down a request from the White House to sit with him” is an appalling display of the division in this country today!

A God of Second Chances

The Bible is filled with examples of God’s grace toward his creation; he so often gives his creation a second chance to get it right. The second birth is a perfect example of that, by simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, anyone who believes can be born-again; a second chance for all who believe!

After 100 plus years of liberal, globalist domination, God has given this nation a second chance, a president who puts the nation first and recognizes the inherent necessity of our Christian heritage!

As Christians, living in the end times, we have a responsibility to recognize the second chance God is giving us as a nation; it is vital we stand up for Christian principles and support those who do!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 25, 2019

Leadership Squabbles in The Last Days of the Church

Christian Leaders on the Attack Against other Christian Leaders

Social media today is filled with articles and comments on the war between Christian leaders; if this strikes you as strange and inappropriate then you have a lot of company. While the issues are clear, to all who are following this war, the timing is unfortunate to say the least. We could very well be living in the climax of the ages and are wasting our time trying to defeat ourselves.

At a time when the church should be on the offensive “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” we are on the offensive against each other!

The Bible clearly describes the last church era, the church of Laodicea, and it seems we find ourselves right in the middle of it!

Reading About it Versus Living in it!

In the Book of Revelation, a book of prophecy, we read of the seven eras of the church. The last one described is called the church of the Laodiceans.

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Revelation 3:14-22 KJV

In an earlier essay, I mentioned my son refers to this as the church of the expectoration, which seems like a rather apt description to me. What is of interest is the absence of any reference to the church after Chapter 3 is concluded; Chapter 4 begins with, what many believe to be, the removal of the church from the earth, aka, the Rapture.

“4 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”

I am convinced we are living in the last church era, the church of Laodicea; this era will be ended by the removal of all born-again believers from the earth and could happen at any time. The sad fact of the matter is the Rapture will leave all too many churches completely unchanged!

Life in Laodicea

Verses 14-20 describe conditions during the last church era; I believe we can look around and see those conditions in abundance around the world today. While reading about the era of Laodicea is interesting, living through it is painful; it saddens me when I see the glorious message of redemption by faith in Jesus Christ being lost in the clamor of discord which is so prevalent in the church today.

We are living in a time when the spiritual war is heating up and instead of fighting this war, we are fighting each other! Neither a house nor a kingdom divided against itself can stand and we’re seeing both the church and our nation terribly divided.

I suspect it brings Satan great joy to see Christians attacking Christians today; at a time when the Church should be united against the forces of Satan in this spiritual struggle, we are so busy trying to undermine and discredit each other to even bother with the enemy. It is no wonder that attendance at church is falling when the image presented by the church is not the image of victorious Christianity, but the image of the world.

People are getting enough of that as they live their lives each day; why go to church to find more of the same? It is well past time for the church to restore its primary mission as described by our Lord:

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 23, 2019

God’s Third Greatest Gift!

A Work in Progress

In September of 2013 I published an essay, “God’s Second Greatest Gift.” In this essay I wrote in the first paragraph:

“In the minds of any Christian there can be no doubt about the identity of God’s greatest gift; the incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity to die on the cross for the sins of the world is, without any doubt, God’s greatest gift to mankind! The wonder of this gift defies explanation or analysis; it is grace, mercy and love embodied in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Toward the end of the essay I finally identify God’s Second Greatest Gift:

“God’s second greatest gift is a hungering and thirsting after the word of God, the Bible’s message to a world malnourished and starving for the teachings of Jesus. If you do not feel this hunger and thirsting then pray to God that He will give it to you!”

I still believe that essay to be true, but would now like to add God’s third greatest gift to the list of gifts we can enjoy from our Lord and God. Like the first two, this third gift has been paid for by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and is available to every Christian. This third gift flows from the first two but must, however, be learned and faithfully applied to life if it is to be enjoyed.

God’s Creation

I have long been amazed by the spectacular diversity of God’s creation; our family are animal lovers and have enjoyed the companionship of many wonderful animals of different species as members of our families. While the various species may have similar characteristics, they have been given unique personalities who bring totally distinct perspectives and behavior to the family.

While this is easily observed in people, it is also true, in a more subtle way, with all of God’s creation. Every created being, most specifically including you and me, is unique and has a different path that has been laid out before them by our creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. I’ve mentioned before my love for Psalms 139, particularly verse 16 where it is written:

“You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.”

The enormity of that thought surpasses my very best efforts to comprehend it; it is a thought that I must embrace by faith with no expectation of full understanding. It is something I must add to that long list of impossible-to-understand items I must simply receive by faith and not by sight. Each of us travels a unique path that has been determined for us by our Lord in eternity past.

God’s Promise to his Children

God, in his loving grace and mercy, has promised his children to work all things together for their good. In Romans 8:28-30 it is written:

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”

We are cautioned not to try and understand what is happening and why it may be happening the way it does; in Proverbs 3:5-6 we are told:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

One important lesson we must learn is we are not promised only good will happen to us; we are promised that all things work together for good; the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect illustration of that principle.

Now to the Third Greatest Gift

The third greatest gift must be learned and applied if it is to be enjoyed; even the Apostle Paul had to learn it. In Philippians 4:10-13 it is written:

“10 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

The third greatest gift is the gift of contentment with what you have. I make no claim to having fully attained that gift and freely confess I have not been subjected to the same tests experienced by the Apostle Paul; I do acknowledge my heartfelt desire to strive for that gift and seek daily to come ever closer to enjoying the gift more fully.

I can further acknowledge, by God’s grace, I have peace and contentment with what I have; I find it very liberating to not desire what I do not possess. The world seeks to instill within us a desire for the new, the better, the different and tells us how the quality of our lives would be improved if only we had the product or service being advertised.

The basic truth of the matter is, peace and contentment come through an abiding faith in Jesus Christ; not through any material possession: years ago, I choose for my life verse Galatians 2:20 where it is written:

“20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 17, 2019

67 Years and Counting!

What an Adventure!

Today my wife and I celebrate our 67th wedding anniversary and praise the Lord Jesus Christ for his mercy, love and grace to each of us!

We had absolutely no idea where life would take us after we said “I do” on that memorable, (for us) occasion. She was 17 years old and I was 19 years old; neither of us realized how much more growing-up lay ahead but we just knew, whatever the future might hold, we wanted to do it together.

 

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 10, 2019

Time and Eternity

It Came to Pass

It has been calculated the expression, “it came to pass” is found around 452 times in the King James Version of the Holy Bible. I’m sure we have all probably shared in the thought that some things are better off having passed on rather than staying. Passing on is not only the pattern of life in the Bible, it is the normal way of life in the world we occupy.

There is no person throughout history that was so powerful or important they did not come to pass; kings, presidents, emperors, billionaires all come to pass; governments, nations and eras also come to pass; if it’s not coming, it’s going! At the time, it can be very difficult to tell when the coming part stops and the going part begins; it seems as if hindsight is the only reliable way to know when the shift occurs.

Nations and eras are a case in point; sometimes it is only after the shift has taken place that the timing becomes easier to identify. Much has been written about the life cycles of nations; while the authorship of the following is disputed, it is often attributed to a Scottish history professor, Alexander Tyler, in 1787:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”
“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
  • From bondage to spiritual faith;
  • From spiritual faith to great courage;
  • From courage to liberty;
  • From liberty to abundance;
  • From abundance to complacency;
  • From complacency to apathy;
  • From apathy to dependence;
  • From dependence back into bondage

Regardless of the authorship, the content seems to be very sound; I believe the headlines today fully support we are at the “apathy to dependence” stage. It appears that each Democrat candidate is trying to outdo the others in seeing how much public money can be distributed to voters who will vote for them.

The United States is 243 years old and counting; I am convinced the Lord will determine when the United States will cease to effectively function as a nation! I believe the clues provided in the Bible suggest the United States will go out with a bang, not a whimper!

The Age of Grace

Another clock is ticking as I write this; the timing on the Church Age, the Age of Grace; it too had a starting point and will have a stopping point. The Age of God’s Grace began on May 25, 33 AD and has now continued for over 1,986 years; based on clues provided in the Bible, I suspect the going part has been underway for some time now.

I am convinced God has this all timed to the very second; I have long been intrigued by the statement in Revelation 9:15 where it is written:

“15 Then the four angels who had been prepared for this hour and day and month and year were turned loose to kill one-third of all the people on earth.”

While the verse starts with the hour, I’m of the opinion it would be safe to add the very second and minute to that prophecy and still be an accurate statement of what is going to take place in the future. If that event is timed so precisely, then it is reasonable to believe other prophetic events are timed with equal precision including the Rapture of the Church!

The End of an Age

The Age of Grace will end with the removal of all born-again Christians and the end of the restraining ministry of God, the Holy Spirit; as bad as things seem to be now, I promise you they will get vastly worse after the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit is removed from the earth. I have written on the sequence of events following the Rapture of the Church in several essays including a four part series, “What’s Going to Happen Next?”.

The last 1,986 years have been a time of remarkable grace and blessing from God; God has been calling to himself a family who will be with him for all of time and eternity; this is a blessing which is infinitely beyond our ability to even imagine! As the down payment on this blessing, God has given us himself, in the form of the Holy Spirit, who serves as his guarantor on the blessings both present and future he has planned for all he calls to be his children!

We are given a new birth into God’s own family, a living spirit, and the eternal indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit as his promise to us of the future blessings to come!

It Came to Stay, Forever and Ever!

We are all creatures of time, it is natural for us to think in terms of time, I have great difficulty thinking of a timeless eternity; I join David as he writes in Psalm 139:6-

“6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.”

I delight in the thought we have been adopted by one so high and lifted up that we cannot even attain unto it!

One thing we can know by faith, even if it is beyond our understanding:

The New World Order God has Planned, is Coming to Stay, not Coming to Pass; once it has Come, it will Never, Ever Pass!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 2, 2019

Another Civil War in the USA?

“Pogo”

Why are we at War with Ourselves?

The top news story today seems to be the war we have against ourselves; I find that both astounding and totally disgusting. I’m reminded of the line from Walt Kelly’s “Pogo” which says, “We have met the enemy and he is us!” At the time, it is said the reference was to the turmoil caused by the Vietnam war but today it could easily refer to the politically motivated civil war which continues to rage in the United States. dictionary.com/browse/we-have-met-the-enemy–and-they-are-us

I have read that civil wars start with words and end with guns; from what I see in the news, it appears early shots are already being fired all over this country!

A fundamental division has developed that has created two distinct groups; those devoted to a globalist, liberal/socialist philosophy of government which would surrender our national sovereignty to foreign powers, and those, equally devoted to a conservative, nationalistic view of government which promotes and defends the Constitutional Republic created by the Founding Fathers.

I have written before on the spiritual war which has now lasted for thousands of years; I believe this developing civil war is nothing more than another manifestation of the age-old battle!

In the first two paragraphs of “To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War” I wrote:

“Have you ever thought of yourself as a soldier? There are few classic physical manifestations of warfare in most of our lives; we’re not surrounded by bombed out villages and carnage so we may doubt the reality of a spiritual war or be lulled into thinking we really don’t have to be involved in any “spiritual warfare.” If you’re thinking any variation of these thoughts then you’re wrong and potentially endangering yourself and others.

Although it will change during the final conflict, we are now dealing with destruction and carnage in the lives of everyone at a spiritual level as the spiritual battle for men’s soul’s rages around us. The carnage is being displayed in many lives as people make bad choices and cause themselves and others serious harm. Broken lives, broken marriages, broken commitments of many sorts litter the battlefield of this war.”

The Bible warns us of this warfare in Ephesians 6:10-17 where it is written:

“10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The Root Cause of our Problem

Nationally, we have discarded our moral compass, Biblical Christianity; secular humanism says we are nothing more than animals, evolved from the muck and mire over millions of years; our mortal lives are all there is and at death all things end for each of us.

The Bible is thought to be foolishness and any idea of an afterlife is sheer folly. This message has provided the foundation for discarding the Bible, all thoughts of divine creation and any responsibility to a non-existent God for what we do or think.

This, of course, is Satan’s lie and the major deception he has tried to convince the world to be the truth.

There has never been more than one answer to the challenges we face today, the discord, the anger, the conflict is nothing more than symptoms of a basic problem, the fallen sin nature we inherited at birth. It would be folly indeed to try and address the symptoms without first addressing the virus of sin that produces those problems.

The Solution

The only way to deal with the virus of sin is the new birth, you must be born again. Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ is the only anti-virus that can bring healing to this nation and the world. For the Christian community to try and resolve the symptoms without first resolving the problem would also be foolishness.

I’m reminded of the situation which had developed in Israel during the wilderness wanderings; in Numbers 21:4-9 it is written:

Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”

So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. Then the people came to Moses and cried out, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people.

Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!

God’s faith answer to the poisonous snake bites made no logical sense; if you were bitten and dying, all you needed to do was just look at the bronze serpent and you would be instantly healed. Do you think there were any who refused to just look at the bronze serpent and be healed because it made no logical sense?

Today, mankind faces a similar situation, we have all been bitten by the sin virus and will surely die if we don’t look to the cross and receive salvation by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior; logical or not, it is the only answer that works!

LOOK TO THE CROSS AND LIVE!

This must be the message of the church!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 26, 2019

The Elephant in the Room

What’s the meaning of the phrase ‘The elephant in the room’?

“An important and obvious topic, which everyone present is aware of, but which isn’t discussed, as such discussion is considered to be uncomfortable.”

What’s the origin of the phrase ‘The elephant in the room’?

“The expression is of US origin, although the precise source isn’t known. The meaning, if not the exact wording, dates from at least the 1950s and is possibly some years older than that. The first reference to the phrase that I have found is in The Charleston Gazette, July 1952.” phrases.org.uk/meanings/elephant-in-the-room.html

I believe we have an elephant in the room when it comes to getting old; this is a subject that is generally avoided in polite conversation as are any questions regarding one’s age. It has long been considered impolite to ask a woman’s age and now one generally refrains from bringing the subject up regardless of gender.

It is safe to say that everyone knows there are only two options available to every human being; get older or die, these are the only choices we have. Efforts to conceal the aging process or temporarily reverse it are big business and generate millions of dollars to those promoting this or that product. The process of aging is irreversible and inevitable and is actually built into our bodies by design.

Last time I mentioned the subject of telomeres and how they operate to provide a time limit on cell replication; as I observe my body, I suspect that in some cases my supply of telomeres is exhausted; I see clear evidence of parts and pieces wearing out.

Last time I also mentioned my joy and peace as I think on Psalm 139:16 where it is written:

“You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.”

I continue to delight in the thought that my times are in his hands!

By God’s grace I have lived to be 86 years old and still enjoy reasonably good health. There was an expression, when I was a child, of something being held together by “chewing gum and bailing wire;” I suppose a more contemporary version of that might be “held together by duct tape and super glue.” With much appreciated help from doctors, surgeons, and dentists I am still sufficiently held together to go about my daily routine.

I am confident that young people can have no idea of how distinctly unwelcome the thought of being young again is to me; I was there once and experienced every year, one year at a time, and have no desire to live through them again. While I am thankful for the many blessings God bestowed on me, I have no desire whatsoever to walk those paths again!

Exploring New Vistas

Today, I am the oldest I’ve ever been; each day that passes offers new experiences and discoveries as I travel paths I’ve never traveled before. I like to think of it as an adventure, a voyage of discovery into new and unknown worlds; it is truly exciting to me to know I am following a path which will eventually take me into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

On February 28, 2016 I published an essay, “A Surprising Discovery.” In this essay I commented on the unexpected discoveries I was making about life as I grew older. Now, over three years later, I can report that this process of discovery has continued as my priorities and perceptions continue to evolve as I age even more.

I can recall thinking how old my grandfathers were at the time of their deaths. My father’s, father was 73 and my mother’s father was 74 when they died; I have outlived them both by many years and the Lord still seems to have plans for me. Fortunately, my appearance was never a basic part of my identity as a human being so my aging has not had a serious impact on my self-image.

I think on those whose identity and sense of self-worth was totally wrapped up in how they looked, the famous movie stars of the past who could compare their reflections in the mirror with the photos and movies so readily available for viewing. In too many cases, their frustration was clearly evident in the steps they tried to take to ameliorate the aging process.

Making Peace with the Process

I have learned to accept the aging process with patience and understanding; I know all too well the only normal alternative is death, so I’m more than willing to do my best to accommodate the changes in my body as they come. My prayer to our Lord is that he will permit me to always be able and available to love and care for my beloved wife of almost 67 years.

The fact of the matter is we are really enjoying our time together; I retired in September of 2004 and our time together has been a great joy and comfort to us both. It is still completely true that my wife’s entry into the room brightens my life and brings joy to my soul; we are richly blessed!

There is one thing I can tell you; my life, since my retirement, has not once been boring nor even the least bit tedious; each new day brings opportunities, challenges and excitement which help the time fly by; it is hard to imagine that over 15 fifteen years ago I retired from full time employment.

I have a favorite quote by Robert Browning:

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!” Robert Browning

Let us all delight ourselves in the moments planned for us by God!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 18, 2019

You are Amazing!

A Paradox

Let us define paradox and make sure we are proceeding from a mutually agreed upon definition; the online Merriam-Webster dictionary provides us with the following definition of paradox:

 “a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true”

Why would I suggest you are a paradox? You are composed of both timed and timeless components! I think we can all agree that thinking of ourselves as being timed and timeless would seem at first contradictory and opposed to common sense; nevertheless, the Bible assures us this is our true situation.

Our mortal bodies, which are of the earth, are endowed with a built-in timing mechanism as described below:

“Telomeres protect the vital information in our DNA

“DNA makes up all of the cells in our body. It is the genetic material that makes us who we are. And every organ in our body (skin, liver, heart, etc.) is made up of cells. So, telomeres are vital to our health.

Our cells replenish by copying themselves. This happens constantly throughout our lives. Telomeres get shorter each time a cell copies itself, but the important DNA stays intact.

Eventually, telomeres get too short to do their job, causing our cells to age and stop functioning properly. Therefore, telomeres act as the aging clock in every cell.”

© What is a Telomere? | Human Cellular Aging | TA-65 TA Sciences
Source: tasciences.com/what-is-a-telomere.html
© Protected by WebToMed”

A famous example of DNA and telomeres is Dolly, the sheep; she was cloned from a mature 6 year old sheep and was given DNA with already shortened telomeres; she was euthanized because she had a progressive lung disease and severe arthritis at age 6.5 while the normal lifespan of a sheep is around 11 to 12 years.

Each of us are dependent on telomeres to replicate our ageing cells; when the telomeres are gone the cells can no longer replicate and the body eventually dies.

The “God’s Image” Portion of Us

Our bodies are of the earth and have a built-in clock which time our bodies ability to replicate cells and live. At the creation, God determined to create man in his image and breathed an eternal spirit into man which is indeed, timeless!

While our bodies are mortal and subject to death, our living essence is eternal and will always exist as we were created in the eternal image of God!

The evidence of ageing and death is obvious; the presence of our eternal spirit is a matter of believing faith. The world denies what it cannot see while believing faith recognizes and accepts as real the Biblical account of that which cannot be seen.

Our perception of what is real is complicated by the fact we live in a world which seeks to convince us the here and now is all there is to our existence; once we are dead it is all over, there is nothing else to follow.

It is only in the Bible that our real situation is revealed; we are eternal spirits housed in a temporary body of this earth; while our bodies are timed, our living essence is timeless, created in the image of our eternal creator.

The challenge we face, as Christians, is to let our faith dominate in our lives and learn to suppress the impact of our experience on our perception of reality. In 2 Corinthians 5:7 it is written:

For we live by believing and not by seeing.

While that is simple to write and to say, it is not simple to live that way; we are constantly challenged by the world to let sight and circumstances determine how we live and perceive reality!

The simple fact of the matter is we can live by believing only by the power of God, the Holy Spirit; it is only when our sin nature is suppressed by confession of sin and the Holy Spirit is controlling our lives, we have any hope at all of living a life of believing faith!

Your Daily Challenge

Each morning, when we wake up, we have a choice to make; one that cannot be escaped through ignorance or lack of will; a choice that will take place automatically whether we consciously make it or not. We determine our perception of reality and decide whether that day, we will live by believing or by seeing.

Living by believing places God at the center of your thoughts and actions; all you think, see and do recognize the sovereignty of God and his primacy in all things. Living by sight places circumstances and the world in control of what you think, see and do.

As Christians, let us join with Paul in recognizing the centrality of God in all we are and do and let this verse control in our lives:

20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

An Afterthought.

I often think on Psalms 139 and rejoice in verse 16 where it is written:

“You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.”

I am comforted to remember my times are in his hands!

 

 

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