Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 27, 2017

The Christian Advantage

Some Totally Astounding Changes Have Taken Place

It is unlikely any of us can even begin to imagine the scope of the changes that have taken place in our lives when we received Christ as Savior. Our situation is complicated by the fact that we cannot observe and quantify these changes in our present human condition; although these changes are absolutely certain and sure there is no way to measure them at this time.

Just as the glory and the eternal divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ was concealed at His First Advent it has pleased the Father that our changes too are hidden from view. In general appearance there is no way to determine that something profound has happened to us. I have written more on this in a series of four essays starting with The Concealment of Christ.

As Christians we have been permanently indwelt by God, the Holy Spirit; the eternal Spirit of God has taken up residence in our bodies and will never leave us. A process of change has begun that will ultimately result in our being conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ; we will have an unmistakable family resemblance which will leave no doubt about our belonging to God’s family. We are told in Romans 8:29 where it is written:

29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

I think that is a gloriously wonderful and exciting promise!

More Reasons to Rejoice

This process of conformation is off to a very fast start; God, the Holy Spirit is now a permanent part of our lives! How often does this thought overwhelm you; how often do you rejoice in this matchless gift of God’s love?

Another reason to rejoice is our permanent place in God’s family as beloved children of the Creator of the Universe; our heavenly Father is now our Daddy! One who knows us perfectly and still loves each of us as beloved children! This relationship between loving Father and child is mentioned in Romans 8:15-17 where it is written:

15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

Simply reading many translations will not reveal the special nature of the word Abba; it is only in the lexicon we find clarification of the message being communicated to us:

 Abbá – “Father,” also used as the term of tender endearment by a beloved child – i.e. in an affectionate, dependent relationship with their father; “daddy,” “papa.”

The Problem

It is all too easy to think in terms of what we deserve as Christians; after all we know our flaws and shortcomings all too well; memories can disturb our joy and peace with ugly thoughts of past misbehavior. This is probably one of Satan’s favorite attack strategies on the Christian life and walk; thoughts of what we have done and what we deserve for having done it.

Our sin nature is quick to remind us we don’t deserve to be saved much less to think of God, the Father, as Daddy; we’re simply much too bad to think we can get away with that. This line of thought plays directly into Satan’s strategy of attack in the spiritual war in which we fight as soldiers. Of course we don’t deserve any of this; all we receive is a gift, given to us based on what Christ has done, not what we have or have not done.

When the Father, our heavenly Daddy, looks at us all He sees is the shed blood of Christ; by grace we have been covered by the righteousness of Christ; our sins have been removed from us as far as the east is from the west!

The Solution

Just before Christ died on the cross he said, “It is finished!” and it was truly finished indeed. Personal sin was no longer the issue; it had all been paid for by the blood of Christ; now the only remaining issue was to receive the salvation offered by believing in Jesus Christ as Savior. Once that decision was made then each of us were given the responsibility of learning and following the commands the Lord had given to us.

One of these commands was to rejoice in Him always as described in Philippians 4:4-9 where it is written:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Your Daddy wants the very best for you; let Him see how much you love Him and appreciate all He has done for you!

Brothers and Sisters, we have some Exciting Times Ahead!

 Where the Beautiful Bluebonnets Grow

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 20, 2017

Your Amazing Transformation

You are Not the Same Person You Were Originally!

In His own Image, © Adele Bower

Although your changes are not visible they are very real and will last infinitely longer than all that is visible. Under the terms of the New Covenant you, as a born again Christian, have been made a part of God’s family and nothing whatsoever can change that fact.

God has made a fundamental, inherent change in you that has resulted in your becoming a new creation; you were indwelt by God, the Holy Spirit when you received Christ as your personal Savior and He will never leave you, not ever. In addition Christ is living in you as well and seeks to live His life through you; you are indeed a new creation!

These truths are stated several times in the New Testament and represent a fundamental fact regarding the Christian life and faith. In Romans 8:9-11

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”

And in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

And also in Galatians 2:20

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.”

Believing these teachings and applying them to our lives is as much a part of the Christian faith as receiving Christ and being born again; they are the logical next step in our process of growing in our faith. We have been changed, the change is real and we must accept it and act on it even if there is no physical evidence!

Rejoice; you are a new creation!

16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:16-17

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 13, 2017

Who is in Control of your Mind?

What is the Default Position for your Mind?

During the course of the day our thoughts can be pulled in many directions by circumstances; there are many responsibilities each of face that require decisions and actions on our part. There can also come a time when we get a break from the demands of life and our thoughts can wander for a moment; at those moments where is your mind naturally inclined to go?

And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1b

Does your mind have a default thought pattern that emerges when the pressures of life have abated for the time being; you get a few minutes and your mind goes where? The answer to that question may be more important than you realize as it could be an indication of who is in control of your mind.

The natural question is who is vying for control of your mind; is your mind up for grabs, is it a sort of battlefield for control of your thoughts and actions? As a Christian there is more fact than fiction to that question as you are inhabited by opposing forces; a nature to sin and the Holy Spirit.

Paul tells us we are no longer under condemnation but does that mean the battle is over? Unfortunately not, as long as we occupy our mortal bodies we will be required to engage in battle with the enemy. I have covered this in more detail in the series To the Soldiers in the Spiritual War.

Paul points out the nature of our warfare and the only effective defense we have available; in Ephesians 6:10-17 it is written:

“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

If we are to stand our ground this is our only effective defense!

What are the Alternatives?

As Christians we have a choice, something the unbeliever does not have; we can let our sin natures control or we can let the Holy Spirit control in our lives. If we are to be successful in letting the Holy Spirit control in our lives it is important we know the enemy and the nature of the enemies attack against us; armed with that information we can fashion a sure defense against attack. Paul cautions us in Galatians 5:16-18

“16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”

Unconfessed sin is the way the enemy gets control over our thoughts; unconfessed sin quenches the power of the Holy Spirit and lets our sin nature dominate our thoughts, (keep in mind that everything that is not of faith is sin). Confession of sin restores the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the power of our sin nature is quenched. The thought patterns of the sin nature and the Holy Spirit are diametrically opposed to each other and therefore easy to recognize:

The Sin Nature

“19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

The Holy Spirit

“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited,provoking and envying each other.”

In Summary

In the privacy of our minds we can examine those options and realistically assess which is our customary default position. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have people speak of us as they spoke of Stephen, “…..they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit) Acts 6:5 What an amazing compliment, “full of faith and the Holy Spirit” could any Christian man or woman ask for anything more?

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | March 8, 2017

No Condemnation

Is this a Difficult Principle to Understand or only to Simply Believe?

A chronic problem for many is the memory of past sins and failures; while we may want to believe we have been forgiven the memories flood back and condemn us if we let them. We make a serious mistake when we let our feelings take control of our lives; feelings can be influenced by circumstances and cannot be depended upon to serve as a reliable guide to our spiritual condition.

The Apostle Paul often uses the word know or knowledge and never suggests we base our life on our feelings; we are to progress based on our knowledge of God’s word, never our feelings about life.

Before his conversion to Christianity Paul was an energetic foe of the Christian faith; aggressive in his enthusiasm for attacking the Christian community in any way he could. In 1 Timothy 1:15 Paul writes:

“This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”–and I am the worst of them all.”

If Paul were so inclined he could recall a load of guilt against the Christian community but he had learned to believe what God had revealed and records this in Romans 8:1 where it is written:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”

If we are so busy devoting our time to regrets and sad memories we have too little time to rejoice in the Lord; the Bible makes it clear what we should be doing and if we desire to demonstrate our obedience to God we should devote our time to rejoicing in the Lord. How much rejoicing is called for you may ask: always rejoicing in the Lord is the standard!

We do ourselves a big favor when we decide to believe God and be obedient to His commands; rejoice in the Lord always!

Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | February 27, 2017

Dead or Alive?

Zombie Apocalypse, a Cautionary Tale

Far too often we are seeing reports these days of violence and mayhem as the media shows protests and demonstrations around the United States; angry mobs destroying property and yelling epithets capture the headlines on the evening news. Pictures on the media, like the pictures and videos from NBC News.com, “Protests, Violence Prompt UC Berkeley to Cancel Milo Yiannopoulos Event” could very well serve as promotional shots for the next zombie movie as they are so graphic and violent. You can find more here: Berkeley Riot

Is it possible that these violent outbursts can be stopped; is there anything that can be done to reverse the dangerous paths these elements of our society have chosen to follow? I believe there is one answer but only one that will really work; it is that answer I would like to consider here.

The violence and anger we are seeing on the media is not the real source of the problem but only a symptom of the basic problem. If we are to find a cure for these symptoms it is absolutely necessary that we first address the true source of the problem; our fallen sin nature and the dead spirit with which we are born. Only as we cure the disease of sin will the symptoms disappear!

There is Healing Available

The following is written to reaffirm the vital significance of the second birth. The Bible is clear that the only way to be reconciled to God is to be born again. This is the whole point of Jesus’ response to a noted Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin on the occasion of his first visit to meet the Lord.

The night Nicodemus secretly came to see the Lord, the first recorded words the Lord said to him was: “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” This was not a proper response to what Nicodemus had said to the Lord, “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

Instead of responding to what Nicodemus said the Lord tells him he needs to be born again. Keep in mind Nicodemus was an important man in Jerusalem; not only a Pharisee, a religious leader of the Jews, but a member of the Jewish ruling body, the Sanhedrin. Nicodemus was probably considered to be a good and worthy man but this was not the point; regardless of how good and worthy he may have been it was necessary for him to be born again if he was ever to see the Kingdom of God.

No matter how worthy, good, religious or important Nicodemus was, he was spiritually dead and could never see the Kingdom of God unless he was born again and became spiritually alive. One might ask how he got into that mess and the simple answer is he was born into it and had no choice. He died spiritually in Adam when Adam disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden; he and every other human being born of an earthly father is counted as having spiritually died at that point in time. This is just as true now as it was the night Jesus spoke those words to Nicodemus and applies to every human being, born of an earthly father, who has ever walked the face of the earth.

What does this mean for us today? It means the world is composed of two classes of human beings, those who have a living spirit by reason of being born again and those who have a dead spirit because they have not received Jesus Christ as Savior and been born again. Those spiritually dead are in the truest sense the “Walking Dead.”

The Zombies Among Us

A popular subject today for both movies and TV horror shows is the zombie. Collins English Dictionary defines zombie as: “a zombie is a dead person who has been brought back to life.”

I can honestly say I have never watched a zombie movie or TV show and never plan to. If one is surfing the TV it is sometimes difficult to avoid scenes of zombies staggering around threatening the living humans in the story.

While this is fiction it is always easy to spot the zombies as they slowly stagger around looking totally grotesque. Unfortunately the zombies in real life, those who are spiritually dead, can often, run faster and look more beautiful or handsome that those who are spiritually alive.

The real life situation is further complicated by the fact that the living can sometimes act like the dead and the dead can act like the living as we observe them. While God knows precisely who is alive and who is dead it can be difficult for us to always tell which is which by casual observation.

What is the Impact of this Situation?

Looking back at Nicodemus we see a man who was apparently wealthy, important, and religious but dead so how would spiritual life impact him? The third chapter of John ends with these words:

35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”

From this we may conclude that even though Nicodemus was possibly wealthy, important and religious he was also under God’s wrath. The only way to be free of God’s wrath was and is to be born again by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

What then is the endgame concerning God’s wrath? This is explained in Revelation 20:11-15 where it is written:

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

No words can adequately convey the horror of this scene; the impact of rejecting salvation in Jesus Christ is terrifying beyond the wildest imagination. There are implications for time as well; the spiritually dead simply cannot comprehend the deeper meanings of the Bible as spiritual truth is taught by God, the Holy Spirit. To the spiritually dead the good news of God is foolishness. We read in 1 Corinthians 1:18 “18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

It is unwise to expect those who are spiritually dead to be moved or changed by Bible doctrine; there is only one message to them and that is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. If they cannot or will not take that step of faith then trying to move on to the deeper teachings of Scripture is only an exercise in futility.

How Does this Apply Today?

We are seeing something of a return to Christian principles today; slowly, slowly Christianity is beginning to emerge from a morass of liberal progressivism that has sought to suppress the Christian influence in our nation. Only by God’s grace toward this nation will that emergence have any hope of success. There is a fierce outcry from those who have worked so hard to promote the non-Christian agenda of the liberal progressives; the media is filled with their indignation and fury as they organize and protest a return to Christian principles.

Several times during the history of the United States God has granted us revival as a nation. I am convinced that only a spiritual revival with souls being saved in large numbers can enable this nation to turn the corner and survive. Only God can bring the zombies to life again; let us focus our defense on the Gospel and the hope that salvation brings both individually and collectively.

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”

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