Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 17, 2017

Agonizing over Past Sins

The Burden of Past Sins can Haunt our Memory

In my work with Global Media Outreach I get many letters from Christians who are deeply troubled by their memories of past sins. They can feel so troubled they question whether God could even love them or forgive them because of what they have done.

They even question their salvation; how could someone who is really saved have sinned so badly? This is further complicated by the fact that although they regret those sins they continue to fail and sin again; how could God love such a sinner, they wonder?

All of us can be burdened with this problem if we let our feelings take control of our minds. As Christians we are cautioned to proceed on the basis of our knowledge of Bible doctrine, not our feelings!

Much of this can come from a misconception of the sin problem; we have a painful awareness of our own personal failings and our inability to consciously and consistently live a holy life. We seem to think that God’s approval is reserved for those who live exemplary lives essentially free of the pathetic sins that seem to plague us.

Some may even try to measure their “goodness” with the perceived “goodness” of others and might, as in the case of the Pharisees, find themselves to be worthy of God’s approval.

The basic problem with all of this is a serious misunderstanding of the sin barrier between God and man. Is our personal sin the culprit in our alienation from God or is our personal sin only a symptom of a deeper problem?

The Bible goes to some lengths to explain the true nature of our problem; the problem started before the law was even given. Without the law, without a moral standard, can there even be a sinful transgression?

The Source of the Problem

The Bible makes it clear that the penalty of sin is death but if that’s the case why did people die before the law was given? How can something be wrong if there is no standard against which to measure an action?

The Apostle Paul explains this in Romans 5:12-14 when he writes:

“12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.”

Is Paul saying that all people were charged with sin because of Adam’s disobedience in the Garden? Yes, that is exactly what Paul is saying; the underlying sin problem between God and man is Adam’s sin, not personal sin!

Just as a fever does not cause the flu, but is only a symptom of the presence of the flu virus; personal sin does not cause our alienation from God but is only a symptom of the real cause, our spiritual death in Adam.

The Cross Changes That Too!

When Christ uttered the words, “It is finished!” things changed forever. Christ’s death on the cross paid the penalty for all of the sins of the entire world past, present, and future! The impact of 1 John 2:1-2 is far reaching:

“2 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

That is an enormous revelation, this means the penalty for all personal sin was paid at the cross. Personal sin is no longer the issue; the only issue remaining is receiving the forgiveness offered by Christ’s death on the cross.

All of this worrying over more or less personal sin is nothing more than a waste of time as far as the Christian’s place in God’s family is concerned; they were all washed away by the shed blood of Christ.

For reasons known only to God, it pleased God to save the soul and the spirit but not the body. The born again Christian still inhabits a mortal body with a sin nature; a body which can have no part in heaven and must be either discarded or transformed at the rapture.

Quenching the Power of the Holy Spirit

When Christians receive Christ as personal Savior they are spiritually baptised into the church, the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. Additionally the Holy Spirit indwells each Christian and will never, ever, leave them. We are told in Romans 8:9-11:

“9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”

While the Holy Spirit will never leave the Christian the power of the Holy Spirit can be quenched by unconfessed sin in the believer’s life leaving the sin nature in control. In 1 John 1:9 we are told of confession of sin; confession of sin restores the power of the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life and permits a Spirit led life.

The Challenges of Battle

I have written extensively on the spiritual war in which all Christians are engaged (To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War) so I will only mention it briefly here. In this context I only want to point out how the Christian’s success as a soldier of the Lord, as well as their general quality of life, will depend on keeping the Holy Spirit empowered in their lives.

Overcoming the evil forces of this world and our own sin nature requires a fully functioning and fully operational Spirit of God at work in the Christian’s life.

25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Galatians 5:25 NLT

About one year ago I published the above essay. For the same reasons I published it the first time I felt compelled to publish it again.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 10, 2017

Our Tyrannical Judiciary and How to Fix It

I am a subscriber to Andy Woods’ blogs and felt the following was much too good and far too interesting not to pass along. The original can be found here: Our Tyrannical Judiciary and How to Fix It

Our Tyrannical Judiciary and How to Fix It
Written By: Andy Woods February 10, 2017

Here we go again. In almost every culture war issue that I can recall spanning the course of the last several decades, the Federal judiciary seems to always step in at the last moment to thwart the democratically expressed will of the American people. For example, the American people want Bible reading and prayer in the public schools, reasonable legal restrictions on abortion on demand, marriage to be defined as that which exists only between a man and a woman, and the repeal of Obamacare. Yet, the unelected, life tenured, and unaccountable Federal judiciary always seems to intervene without a second to spare to overturn the will of the people.

The same pattern has now repeated itself in the immigration debate. If anything was clear from the last election cycle, the American people voted Donald Trump into office largely because of his promises to build a wall around America and to enforce our immigration laws. Trump, to his credit, has recently moved in the direction of keeping his promises through his recent executive order to place a temporary ban (until better vetting standards can be implemented) upon those seeking entrance into the United States from seven nations known for their terrorist training camps. No sooner had the ink on the executive order dried when a Federal District Court judge ruled the order unconstitutional. This decision was then upheld yesterday by a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion to similarly render Trump’s executive order unconstitutional.

As in the case of all the aforementioned cultural war issues, the court’s decision here is rooted in its left-wing political bias rather than what the text of the Constitution actually says. If this trend involving judicial overreach is not soon rectified then we are really not living in a free form of government. Rather, our government can instead best be defined as a form of “soft tyranny.” Tyrants ignore the will of the masses and do as they please.

However, enough with the complaining. The issue now becomes what can be done about it? One possibility is to remove from office renegade and unconstitutional judges through impeachment. The power to impeach Federal judges is expressed in Article III, section 1 of the United States Constitution, which governs the Federal judiciary. “The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour…” Judicial bad behavior would obviously encompass refusing to follow the Constitution and the laws of the land. However, as evidenced by the failed attempt to remove former President Bill Clinton from office for perjury and obstruction of justice, the American people seem to have little patience with the impeachment process thereby making it a politically unviable option today.

Rather than aggressively pursuing impeachment, one popular solution instead seems to be to wait for President Trump to appoint more originalists to the Federal bench and hope that Trump’s nominees can make it through the Senate confirmation process. Trump’s recent selection of Judge Gorsuch to fill the seat vacated by the untimely death of Anthony Scalia provides reasonable grounds for optimism in this regard. Will Trump continue to appoint originalists to the bench who can also be confirmed by the United States Senate? Only time will tell.

However, there exists a much simpler, legal, and expedient solution toward rectifying our current judicial, oligarchical nightmare. The solution is found directly in Article III of the United States Constitution, which governs the Federal judiciary. As explained in a new book by former Speaker of the House Tom Delay (and Wallace Henley), Article III grants power to our elected representatives to solve this problem immediately.1 Our leaders only need the political will to exercise their constitutionally derived authority. Our Constitution gives the Congress three basic powers over the Federal judiciary.

First, according to section 1 of Article III, other than the Supreme Court, Congress is responsible for creating all other Federal courts. “The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish” (italics added). Such power of creation also includes the authority of Congress over the wayward Ninth Circuit. According to DeLay and Headley, “This also means that what Congress can create it can uncreate.”2 Thus, Congress should now move aggressively in the direction of dissolving the Ninth Circuit, or dramatically cutting or even eliminating its budget, or perhaps breaking it up into something less monolithic.

Second, according to section 2 of Article III, Congress has the authority to limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts. “…the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make” (italics added). Simply put, this means the Congress has the ability to tell the Federal courts what types of cases it can hear or cannot hear. Thus, Congress should also immediately move aggressively in the direction of passing legislation that removes from the Federal judiciary the ability to hear cases involving any and all hot button cultural issues. This would include removing from the Federal judiciary cases involving the so-called “separation between church and state,” abortion on demand, universal healthcare, and also immigration.

Third, Article III fails to assign to the Federal judiciary any enforcement power. In other words, when the Federal judiciary issues a decision it is completely dependent upon the executive and legislative branches of government to enforce their decisions. DeLay and Henley note, “Rulings by SCOTUS or other federal courts, therefore, are only opinions if not enforced by the Executive or Legislative branches or the states.”3 Thus, when the Federal judiciary makes decisions that have no basis in the actual text of the Constitution, the other branches of government should simply refuse to enforce such decisions. It is within both the authority and duties of the alternate branches of government to do so since its members also take an oath to uphold the United States Constitution. In other words, the other branches of government should follow the example set by President Andrew Jackson. Jackson is alleged to have once quipped, in response to judicial overreach by then SCOTUS Chief Justice Marshall, “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.” Such Constitutional discernment and inaction on the part of the other coordinate branches of government would render the Federal judiciary impotent and would have likely led to victory in the culture war long ago.

In sum, rather than waiting on the POTUS and the Senate confirmation process to place originalists on the bench or impeaching unconstitutional judges though a cumbersome process, the real power to tame an over active Federal judiciary resides within the express powers that our founding fathers wisely gave to our Congress. These powers consist of abolishing wayward lower courts, shrinking the jurisdiction of what the Federal courts can hear, and the other branches of government opting not to enforce blatantly unconstitutional, lawless judicial decisions. Now that the Republican party controls the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, it has no excuse for not exercising the powers that the Constitution affords them to beat back the judicial leviathan.

Although the power to do so exists, the question becomes is the political will also there to use it? Sadly, the Republican Party may not have the spine necessary to permanently solve this judicial recurring problem. After all, if they did solve the problem, the Republicans would then be simultaneously forfeiting a major campaign issue that they regularly use every four years to motivate its base (largely consisting of conservatives and evangelical Christians) to get out and vote for their candidates. This issue, of course, is the leftist direction of Supreme Court and the rest of the Federal judiciary. After all, if the Republicans permanently fixed the problem of an overactive Federal judiciary, the use of this election year issue would also and at the same time disappear. Such a self-serving political motivation may explain why the Republicans have not yet employed this ultimate nuclear option. May God give us statesmen as our leaders who are more concerned about solving a major societal crisis than they are in returning their own party to political power during the next election cycle. Only if this happens will America then legitimately be rescued from the soft form of judicial tyranny that she is now ensnared and victimized by.

Endnotes

Tom Delay and Wallace Henley, Revival! Revolution! Rebirth! A Radical Call from the Former Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives (World Ahead Books, 2016), 329-45. [↩]
Ibid., 332. [↩]
Ibid., 332. [↩]

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 3, 2017

An Aerospace Diversion

Ling-Temco-Vought

During my second year at Dallas Theological Seminary we experienced an insurmountable financial barrier when our fragile financial situation was brought crashing down; there was no money and no way to get the money needed to continue my study (although I did eventually return and graduated 41 years later). These sharp financial reversals that brought my seminary career to a sudden stop also required I find a way to support my wife and three children so I started trying to find a job. After a couple of false starts I finally found a job at an airframe manufacturer who was a significant employer in the area, Ling-Temco-Vought.

LTV, under the name Chance Vought, had been in business for many years and had manufactured the famous “Gull Wing Corsair” of WWII.

f4u-corsair

F4U Corsair of World War II “The Whistling Death”

I had always been interested in technology so the opportunity offered by LTV seemed like a good fit. After a period of training I was made an Airframe Instructor and assigned to certain areas on two of our airplanes to teach their operation and maintenance. The specific areas that were my responsibility were the cockpit environmental system, the liquid oxygen system, the canopy jettison system and the seat ejection system.

At that time LTV was involved in the manufacture of a new light attack bomber, the A-7 which looked like the picture below.

a-7-corsair-ii-light-attack-bomber

A7 Corsair II Light Attack Bomber

In addition we were also involved in a major remanufacturing effort on the F-8 Crusader Fighter pictured below.

f-8e-crusader-fighter

F8 Crusader Fighter

(On July 16 1957, Major John H. Glenn, JR, USMC, completed the first supersonic transcontinental flight in a F8U-1P, flying from NAS Los Alamitos, California, to Floyd Bennett Field, New York, in 3 hours, 23 minutes, and 8.3 seconds.)

I took to this stuff like a duck takes to water; I loved it and felt right at home. While all the systems had areas of special interest only the ejection seat system was not only interesting but dangerous. No pilot ever looked forward to ejecting himself from his plane but if it became necessary it had to work right and it had to work fast! The ejection seat was designed to clear the fuselage of the plane in around a half a second; that’s why there were so many safety locks when the plane was on the ground. If a mechanic was servicing the seat there was no time to back away if it was accidentally actuated.

The F8 used the Martin Baker ejection seat which looked like this:

martin-baker-ejection-seat

Martin Baker Ejection Seat used in the F8

The A7 used the McDonnell Douglas Ejection Seat shown below:

mcdonnell-douglas-ejection-seat-r
McDonnell Douglas Ejection Seat used in the A7

Both ejection seats had been used extensively and were reliable and dangerous if proper care was not taken when servicing them.

My Very Own Government Contract (Well Almost)

Okay, okay, it wasn’t really my contract, it was a contract between Ling-Temco-Vought and the United States Government but since I was the only employee involved in the implementation of the contract it was in a sense my contract; here is how that all came about.

Two of the major Overhaul and Repair facilities had been assigned the overhaul and repair of the A7 and the F8. One was in San Francisco, California and one was in Jacksonville, Florida. This required that complete sets of blueprints be sent to these facilities but the problem was each airframe manufacturer had different systems of blueprints. The situation was made even more problematic because the various divisions of LTV each had their own blueprint systems and there was no central clearinghouse for the various systems.

As I recall there was a Foundry Division, an Electrical Division, a Hydraulic Division and a structural Airframe Division. Unfortunately there was no coordinated information available on how the blueprint system in each division was used. For reasons not revealed to me I was selected to create a teaching guide to all the systems and combine them into a training course that would help those required to know how to read the blueprints we were sending to them. This took some time; I went to each of the divisions and got samples of their blueprints and instructions on how they were to be read and used.

Once I had all the necessary information I had to develop all the needed graphic files and organize the information into a training course that would leave the participant with some degree of confidence in their ability to take and read the blueprints and make all needed repairs or replacement parts as required. I have no recollection of how long that took but when I felt it was as finished as it would ever be I was called upon to first present it to the management of LTV for their review.

Fortunately the preview by management went well and set the stage for my first actual presentation of the course to the personnel in San Francisco. I was to present the session in one corner of a very big hangar; it was attended by a fairly large group which included the top management, the department and division heads, shop foremen and test pilots. I was actually asked by one engineer in San Francisco if I was an engineer.

That was followed a short time later by my presentation of the same material to the personnel in Jacksonville, Florida. It is interesting to me to recall that my recollections of the second time are nowhere nearly as vivid as the first time. I found out later the course was to be made mandatory for all new hires joining LTV.

The Winds of Change

After that episode things settled back into a more normal routine and I resumed my duties as an airframe instructor. I worked in a large open room with many other instructors each with their own desk but no privacy partitions. I had noticed for some time when new people would join us how almost always they were recognized by someone in the room. Finally I started asking how they knew these people and would get the response that they had worked with them in some other city or state; I began to understand that contract hopping was the name of the game. The airframe manufacturers were greatly dependent on government contracts and the company that got the contract was the company hiring. When this dawned on me I knew that was not what I wanted for myself or my family.

The general division of which I was a part was called Logistics Support and was involved in not only training but contract preparation as well as other things. What was becoming clear was there were no new contracts in the works and that didn’t bode well for the company. I started discussing my concerns with my wife and eventually we decided we would move back to Houston. I had sort of hung around the Dallas area hoping I would somehow get to finish my work at Dallas Theological Seminary but by this time that seemed totally out of the question.

I announced my intentions to resign and was actually offered a promotion but I knew that would be tenuous if there were no contracts so I said no. Although I could see LTV was heading for some tough times it was only later I discovered the entire aerospace industry was heading for a major downturn. We moved back to Houston and I eventually found a job in homebuilding which I kept for 36 years until my retirement in 2004.

As I look back over those years the hand of the Lord is so evident; I rejoice in His loving care.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 28, 2017

A Spiritual Awakening

Harmony and Unity

I have memories of a time in this country when there was harmony and unity of purpose in the hearts and minds of almost every American. We had a national goal and virtually all of us were devoted to the accomplishment of that goal. Each of us, in our own way, felt a responsibility to contribute to the success of our national effort and was willing to put forth the effort to help achieve our national goal.

The unifying force behind that harmony and unity of purpose was the Second World War; we had a fight on our hands and knew we had to win it and win it we did. The enemy was clearly identified, Germany in Europe and Japan in the Pacific; there was no question about their identity and certainly no questions about the required outcome. We had to win!

Well, that was then and this is now; today I see a divided nation split on many issues some of which didn’t even exist during the Second World War. We seem to be a nation that has lost its moral compass, a nation foundering in a morass of moral relativism. To me, however, the most alarming aspect of our situation today is the anger, the aggressive hostility that seems to permeate many elements of our society today.

“You can’t Make a Silk Purse out of a Sow’s Ear” (but God can)

Those who reject the Bible and the God who gave us the Bible invariably experience a major problem with human organization; they overlook the spiritual death of the fallen human creation. Mankind is not inherently good, it is inherently evil; this does not mean fallen man can do no good, they can perform relatively good acts in spite of their fallen nature but their sinful nature is the primary force in their life.

All mankind is born spiritually dead and only by the new birth through faith in Jesus Christ can anyone be born again to spiritual life. Everyone who is not a Christian is spiritually dead and has no hope of spiritual life short of the new birth by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. Although we all start out as a sow’s ear those of us who are born again by faith in Jesus Christ become a child of God and a temple of God, the Holy Spirit, a vast improvement over a silk purse I would say.

As always the Bible offers an explanation and a solution to the problem described. In Galatians 5:13-26 we find the problem described and a solution given.

13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”

Those who are not born again have no choice but to follow the guidance of their sin natures because their human spirits are dead. It is only by the new birth, being born again, that the Holy Spirit restores the human spirit to life and takes up residence alongside the restored human spirit.

A Twenty-First Century Spiritual Awakening

It is because of this stumbling block, the sinful nature, that a spiritual awakening will be needed if the United States is to adequately recover from this sinful malaise in which we are wallowing. History records a number of periods of spiritual revival in the United States; each century has seen times of spiritual awakening, perhaps it is now time for a 21st century spiritual awakening.

Let us pray that time is now DV!

 

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 20, 2017

President Trump

The Inauguration of the Forty-Fifth President of the United States of America

This morning Donald John Trump was sworn in as the President of the United States of America in a touching ceremony. My wife and I watched the whole thing all day and I admit I had tears in my eyes from time to time as I watched. The ceremony was truly filled with hope and promise and gave recognition to our national dependency on the grace and mercy of God. I’m sure many of us were praying that the inauguration would go well and by God’s grace and mercy it did.

There were a number of references by the various speakers to God and most particularly to Jesus Christ for which I was grateful. Toward the end of President Trump’s inaugural address he spoke the following:

“We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God.”

The Bible makes it very clear that it is God that has placed President Trump in that position of power and has very specific plans for his presidency. I wrote in an essay on December 1, 2016:

“Today this country may be standing at a crossroads; it may be we have been given another opportunity to choose. Could it be we have been given another time of testing by God to let us see which path we shall select? The path of progressive socialism failed to produce satisfactory results for this nation; now, perhaps, we are to be given the path of constitutional conservatism as an alternative. I suspect you too have read some of the often repeated opinions that a return to constitutional government would provide the foundation for a return to stable government and economic prosperity.

I suggest to you that no form of government that does not place God at the center has any hope of lasting success. I think often of the generally neglected fourth verse of our national anthem:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,

Blest with victory and peace, may the Heaven – rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause is just,
And this be our motto –“In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Let us never forget that fundamental truth which has shaped our national destiny; it is the power of God that has made and preserved us a nation! If this last election is another heavenly rescue let us not fail this time to praise that Power and fully place our trust, hope and confidence in the God of Heaven!”

We are now standing at that historic crossroads for our nation; my prayer for President Trump and the United States of America is a spiritual awakening accompanied by a clear recognition and acknowledgment that only as we place our hope and confidence in the God of Heaven can we have any hope of lasting success.

“In God is our trust”

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | January 17, 2017

Three More Days

US Flag 2

January 20, 2017, a Big Day in Washington D.C.

In three days the Inauguration of the forty-fifth President of the United States is scheduled to take place. I will be happy when this event is past as I feel apprehensive about the possible dangers to the President Elect and his family. We are being told of plans to disrupt the inauguration by various groups that sound rather threatening.

My family will tell you that my favorite cliché is “After all is said and done there is more said than done.” While this may well be the case at this inauguration I would not want to take that for granted. Security forces responsible for protecting the entire process are hard at work as they try to prepare for any eventuality that might threaten to disrupt the inauguration.

In a Washington Post article by  Perry Stein and Jasper Scherer date December 2, 2016 it is pointed out:

” It is still unclear how many demonstrators will be coming to the District and what security resources they will require. About a dozen groups have applied for permits to protest and rally on federal property the day of the inauguration and the day after, according to Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the National Park Service, the federal agency that handles permitting.”

And farther down the article:

“Others say they will show up without permits. Legba Carrefour, a D.C.-based participant with the D.C. Counter Inaugural Committee, said the group is preparing to disrupt the parade and inauguration ceremony and expects a few thousand people to join the cause.

“People are pouring in requests to participate, and we are still forming the plan,” Carrefour said. “It’s going to be the deployment of a mass number of people aimed at using direct action to shutting down the parade.” The entire article can be found here: Local D.C. prepares for a million inauguration visitors — and protesters.

Reality TV

I think the TV audience for the Inauguration will be immense; this will be “reality TV’ that has the potential for surprises. I hope and pray for a peaceful inauguration that will proceed in a predictable manner but have some concerns that this may not happen. Needless to say I will carefully watch the TV on that notable day and suspect I’ll have a lot of company. Praise God that His will shall be done!

13 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.

Romans 13:1-2

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 19, 2016

The Happy Return of Christmas

The Happiest Season of the Year!

-Merry Christmas

Art by Adele Bower

That wonderful, happy time of the year is almost upon us, Sunday the 25th is Christmas. This particular Christmas seems to hold more promise than usual as the general mood is more positive than in past years. The “Merry Christmas” that seemed to be disappearing because of political correctness is gaining ground once again as it boldly appears in places that would have been unthinkable one year ago.

The enormous significance of Christmas, the First Advent of our Lord, may sometimes get lost in the hustle and bustle of the season and the sometimes frantic preparations that seem to be an inevitable part of the days before Christmas. We have even witnessed an effort on the part of some to remove Christ and Christmas from the winter “Holiday Season” and to secularize the season so as not to offend those who prefer to reject the message of Christ and Christmas; fortunately that trend seems to still be losing ground.

For those of us who love the Lord Jesus Christ, this season is a beautiful reminder of our Lord, the wonder of His birth and the enormous significance of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us.

Four Hundred Years of Silence

The voice of God through His prophets had become silent; for 400 years Israel did not receive any word from God through the prophets. Much had happened that was instrumental in setting the stage for the events that would transpire during the First Advent but there was no word from the Lord; just silence for 400 years.

God was planning to break that silence in the most dramatic way possible; God the Son, the living Word, would be born of a virgin and become flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone. The silence would finally be broken by the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord; the Word of God would be made flesh and dwell among us. We would have a Kinsman/Redeemer, a Savior who would take our place of judgment and die on the cross for the redemption of our sins.

The Birth of the King

It is fascinating to me to reflect on the decisions God made as to the birth of the Son of God. The eternal creator of the universe was not to be born in a palace or even a major city of the time; but was to be born of humble parentage in a small insignificant village named Bethlehem. Although both were of the line of King David, any association with royalty had faded generations before. His mother, Mary, was a peasant girl and her husband, Joseph, was a simple carpenter; hardly a likely couple to become the caregivers for the humanity of the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.

All proceeded according to God’s eternal plan and the precious baby was entrusted to humans to care for and love as He grew in stature and wisdom over the early years of His life.

The Shepherds

The Bible describes two events surrounding the birth and early childhood of our Lord. The first had to do with the angelic host appearing to the shepherds. I have read that these particular shepherds and the sheep of their flock were very special; these were the sheep destined for temple sacrifice. How fitting that the announcement of the birth of the Lamb of God, slain before the foundation of the world, should be made to shepherds tending the sheep to be sacrificed on the Temple altar.

The Magi

The second event concerns the arrival of the magi whose number is not specified in Scripture. I have previously written on the magi and the mysterious star they followed and have some strongly held opinions concerning both. The account of the magi is only given in Matthew 2:1-12, and the implications are the magi appeared around two years after the birth of Jesus. I believe these particular magi were of a group founded by the prophet Daniel, and the gifts presented by the magi were placed with that group originally by Daniel himself.

Daniel had prophesied the very day our Lord would enter Jerusalem as the Lamb of God and I believe he instructed the magi to pay particular attention as that time drew closer. I believe the star was in fact the Shekinah Glory of God and led the magi to the place where Jesus was living. While none of this is specified in Scripture, it would explain a lot. I have written more on this in The Original Star Trek.

Christmas Today

Although the attack on Christmas is beginning to falter there are still secular forces that would try and pervert the significance of this celebration of the birth of our Savior. Christmas is still a powerful factor in the lives of many; I think we can all agree that the mood becomes a bit more joyous and happy around Christmas especially in the Christian community. The traditions of Christmas are always welcome and bring remembrances of Christmas past and the fun and fellowship of family and friends. The traditional Christmas hymns are a great blessing and tell the story of our Lord’s birth with beauty and simplicity.

Christmas is a happy time and I’m thankful it is here again!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

This is an updated version of an essay first published on December 18, 2013.

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 12, 2016

The Gift

Early Matrimony

During the early years of our marriage my wife and I were extremely poor but hardworking. We had very few possessions and those we had were often of questionable quality; that was not really a problem for us as we were so happy about being married and living together as husband and wife that those things really didn’t matter to us at all.

We referred to our decor as early matrimony as it was a rather sad collection of items from a variety of sources. We had been given a toaster, as I recall and a few small items which had been wedding gifts but those have been gone and forgotten for ages.

There was one exception in our small collection of possessions, a Sunbeam Mixmaster that we had purchased on the installment plan while we were still engaged. Any rational consideration would lead one to believe this was pure extravagance for a young struggling couple but for some reason we felt compelled to make the purchase and gradually paid it off.

Now, 64 years later, we still have and use that same Mixmaster for all of our mixing jobs; it’s old and sort of beat up but it still does the job whenever needed; who could ask for anything more? (I have developed an emotional attachment to it to be honest; after all it has faithfully served us for over 64 years and deserves some consideration!)

sunbeam-mixmaster-model-10-1951

Sunbeam Mixmaster Model 10, 1951

While we are definitely pleased with the service we have gotten from our faithful Mixmaster, it is not the only household item that has stood the test of time.

Mother’s Day Many Years Ago

We had been married for a few years by the time this particular Mother’s Day came around and I was painfully aware that my wife was experiencing constant frustration in the kitchen because of her lack of a really good knife for kitchen use. What knives we had would almost never easily do the cutting job required in the kitchen and my wife was faithful to let me know of her frustration with all of them.

As this particular Mother’s Day approached I had a brilliant idea, at least I thought it was brilliant, I would find her a really good knife for her to use in the kitchen. I knew the knives we had been getting at the hardware store and grocery store were not doing the job so I decided to find a professional butcher supply store and see if I could find a really first class knife for her to use in the kitchen.

My search met with complete success, I found a butcher knife of professional quality, sixteen and one half inches long, which could be sharpened to a razor edge. I was so excited by my find that I could hardly wait to give it to her on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s day finally arrived and I proudly presented her with the package I had so carefully wrapped containing the big butcher knife. We were both surprised when she opened the gift, she was disappointed, a butcher knife for Mother’s Day, had the romance already disappeared from our marriage, a butcher knife, oh really; I was surprised that she didn’t immediately see the wisdom of my selection and thank me for ending her frequent frustration with dull knives.

After that I would hear of my poor choice for a romantic mother’s day gift at appropriate times for the next several years; “a butcher’s knife for Mother’s Day?”

Years Later

Although we do not recall the exact Mother’s Day I gave her that insensitive gift, we think it was around 1958; I’m happy to report that it is still doing its job with professional elegance and still takes a razor sharp edge.

I must confess that I have, on occasion, asked her how she is enjoying her mother’s day gift as I watch her easily slicing through items in the kitchen as she prepares a meal. I think she has forgiven me and put her disappointment behind her as she continues to enjoy the benefits of this unromantic but very useful Mother’s Day gift.

knife

Old but Very Sharp!!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 7, 2016

Pearl Harbor Day

The Japanese Bomb Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor Bombed 1941

On this date in 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The attack started somewhere between 7:48 and 7:58 AM local time on a Sunday morning. The public announcement of the attack was delayed by almost two hours so the announcement aired in the USA around 2:30 PM Eastern time and 9:30 AM Hawaiian time.

My mother, stepfather, and I were out on a Sunday afternoon drive looking for an alternate camping site for my stepfather’s Boy Scout troop. The time was around 1:31 PM when the announcer broke into the radio broadcast we were listening to and said the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.

I was sitting in the back seat and still remember hearing the announcement; I don’t recall how we reacted at that point, but I’m certain none of us had any idea of the far reaching implications of that action.

A number of the boys that had been scouts in my stepfather’s troop would be killed in WW II and the Korean War; a name that stands out to me is John Ditner, a remarkably fine young man who had been my Patrol Leader when I was in the troop and was killed in the Korean War.

I am always fascinated by the impact of seemingly remote activities; Pearl Harbor was so far away so how could that affect our lives? But affect our lives it did and in a most profound way. The next several years would see a change in America that would deeply touch everyone.

Today, seventy five years later, we still remember the day that “lives in infamy.” To that date we have added September 11, 2001; another date that will live in infamy. At Pearl Harbor 2,402 Americans were killed, on 911 there were 2,977 killed not counting the Muslim terrorists.

I hope and pray there will be no more days of infamy but that is unlikely; I suspect we can all agree the oft quoted warning, “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom” is as fully applicable today as it ever was. Revised and updated 12/7/16

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 1, 2016

A New Beginning

God’s Will for this Country has been Revealed

We now have a new President Elect that appears to endorse a dramatically different view of the function of government. We are finishing two terms of progressive, socialistic globalism and are now being offered constitutional, nationalistic conservatism if one is to believe the reports. I firmly believe the Bible when it tells us God is the one who selects our national leaders and must confess a great interest as I wonder where God is going with this new administration.

One morning recently, my wife made a comment that caught my attention and furnished the catalyst for the writing of this article; she wondered if this was another test provided by God to see if this country could learn to look to the real source of our freedom, prosperity and national stability; could we once again nationally recognize that only God can provide those qualities that can make a country truly great.

Over the last eight years God has been systematically removed from the public arena and our social matrix has suffered correspondingly. Sadly it must be acknowledged this process has been going on for decades but now we are beginning to see the final results of these seeds as this matured movement toward secular globalism begins to bear fruit.

Our Constitutional Republic was designed for people who recognized the preeminence of God in the operations of government and felt an obligation to observe the priorities laid down in the Bible for human behavior. Personal responsibility continues to be an inherent part of citizenship in our form of government.

I am convinced that our success as a nation has been primarily due to God’s hand of grace on this country; not our brilliance, not our cleverness nor our wisdom but God’s grace.

The Founding Fathers and the Constitution

There are many who believe the early successes of the United States were a result of the abilities and wisdom of our founding fathers. While credit is due them for their wisdom, dedication and perseverance I am convinced we succeeded as a result of God’s hand of grace on us as a nation. As I look over the history of this country it becomes easy to believe in the supernatural guidance and providence of Almighty God.

Today we hear much of the importance of a return to the basic principles of constitutional government with an emphasis on limiting the extent of governmental control over the lives and affairs of the nation in general. The constitution limits the government and gives the people those rights which are not specifically given to the federal government by the constitution.

Over the years the federal government has dramatically expanded its control in many areas not specifically granted to it by the constitution. Those who espouse a return to constitutional government have come to believe that a restoration of constitutional limits would improve both the quality of life and the general level of economic productivity for our nation. It would appear the President Elect shares those views and will proceed to implement them as soon as possible.

What is God’s plan for this World?

After the fall of Adam and Satan’s domination of this world began, a new plan of diversification began to emerge. This principle is first presented in Genesis 11:1-9 where we find the story of the Tower of Babel:

11 At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.

They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”

But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”

In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.”

Why do you think God would have such a concern about world unity? Could it be that God could foresee the dangers of consolidated power? An expression has come to us through history about power and corruption. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Sir John Dalberg-Acton (1834-1902). I believe we have all seen evidences of that during our lifetimes and can in some small way understand the dangers of power.

I believe nations are God’s plan for limiting the dangers of absolute power. We know from the Bible that Satan’s final effort for world domination will employ a centralization of power under the Antichrist; it would appear that world globalization is a step in that direction.

What about the United States?

Today this country may be standing at a crossroads; it may be we have been given another opportunity to choose. Could it be we have been given another time of testing by God to let us see which path we shall select? The path of progressive socialism failed to produce satisfactory results for this nation; now, perhaps, we are to be given the path of constitutional conservatism as an alternative. I suspect you too have read some of the often repeated opinions that a return to constitutional government would provide the foundation for a return to stable government and economic prosperity.

I suggest to you that no form of government that does not place God at the center has any hope of lasting success. I think often of the generally neglected fourth verse of our national anthem:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,

Blest with victory and peace, may the Heaven – rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause is just,
And this be our motto –“In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Let us never forget that fundamental truth which has shaped our national destiny; it is the power of God that has made and preserved us a nation! If this last election is another heavenly rescue let us not fail this time to praise that Power and fully place our trust, hope and confidence in the God of Heaven!

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