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David Kowalski
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Perhaps I have not been reading the right sources but I have yet to hear anyone address the issue of the poor logic involved in the flag/national anthem protests. These protests paint with too broad a brush and are self-defeating.

When one protests the flag or the national anthem they are protesting the entire nation those things represent -- in this case, a nation that has done much good around the world and provided its citizens with great liberty. A protest directed at the entire nation logically includes a protest of such things as the Bill of Rights and foreign aid given to needy nations. A more logical protest would be one in which the focus was narrowed to the precise grievances of the protesters and directed at the specific party or parties whom the protesters felt had aggrieved them. One would not burn down their entire house if they disliked the color of the paint in one room. They would work to change the color in that one room alone.

Since the protestors paint with too broad a brush their actions are also self-defeating since it is the very nation being protested (as a whole) that has extended the protesters the right to protest. Protesting the entire United States entails an effort to undermine the very entity that has granted freedom of expression.

If one has grievances with some people in our nation or some actions taken by our nation the way to properly address those is specifically with the offending party or parties rather than to direct a protest at something that represents the entire nation. Reason should guide our emotions in such matters.

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On Sinful Addictions

It sometimes troubles me to hear or read "experts" in addictive behaviors speak to those who are wearied of their bondage to sinful actions when they speak as though the bottom line in the person's condition is a lack of information. It almost seems to me that these experts have little real-life experience with those who have become bound to a behavior they despise. The bound already know they are doing wrong and they are aware of the theological truths as well as psychological ideas the expert wants to tell them. To speak and act as though mere information a person already has is the answer to their condition can lead the bound person to even greater despair.

The bound person's answer is not in rehashing information but in a contrite return to the loving arms of the Father -- just as the prodigal son did in Luke15:11-32. When the straying son despaired of the condition he had created for himself he returned to his father, who rejoiced to see his returning.

Though there are helpful principles to be found in such things as maintaining a distance from temptation and making oneself accountable to others, even wise methodologies break down if they are relied upon as the foundation for a life of freedom and godliness. THE answer for sinful addictions is found in the Father who can strengthen the inner man (Ephesians 3:16). When straying, prodigal sons admit they have defiled their ways without excuse and do not deserve even the least bit of mercy from the Father, they can look up to find loving arms to embrace them.

Though the repentant must turn from their folly to wise paths in order to stay free, the enablement to do so is not in themselves. The bottom line in their deliverance is not natural but supernatural. It is not informational but relational. The fundamental hope for those bound by sinful behaviors is the very God they have sinned against -- a God who delights to restore those who have come to the end of themselves and return to Him, offering no excuses.
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Both of these photos were posted on "construction fails" websites but I am convinced they represent amateur, post-construction adaptations -- since I once did something similar (the wall had no insulation) before a friend (someone in my circles) with more expertise than I installed a new outlet for me (it was a difficult and labor intensive outlet to install), making the adaptation needless. Thanks Charles!
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9/23/17
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Extending the Mercy We Have Received

"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." -- Ephesians 4:32 ESV
"but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." -- Matthew 6:15 ESV
Though the Bible refers categorically to believers as saints rather than sinners, even the saved do not achieve practical, sinless perfection in this age (not even Paul [Philippians 3:12]).

It is frequently said that an important key to relationships (spouses, fellow church workers etc.) is to keep in mind from the very beginning that the other person is a sinner and will disappoint us if we have unrealistic expectations of their perfection. While I think this advice is helpful we should go beyond this to keeping in mind first that WE are sinners as well (though we tend to excuse our own sins in ways we do not excuse those of others). We will be slower to extend mercy toward others when we have not fully appreciated the mercy that has been extended to us --- mercy upon which we still rely.

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Not such a great deal, really. I know where I can buy just one and get zero free.
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Free at last. The Dr. cleared me (after a knee replacement) to drive today though walking is still difficult and will necessarily be only for limited distances. At least I can go get something from the store if I need to now.
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A variety of health issues have kept me from posting anything of substance recently. Thus, I post another link to an old article. It is a short piece but I believe it answers an illegitimate/illogical argument that is still offered at times by those who promote aberrant teachings -- that "God is bigger than doctrine."
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Recognizing Luke's Intent in the Narrative of Jesus' Baptism

Reading through Luke recently I revisited the issues I cover in the article below that I wrote a few years ago. Some scholars (even some in the Evangelical camp) assert that Luke deliberately removes John from the narrative by, they claim, making it logically impossible for John to have done the baptizing. As I stated in the article's title, this may seem like a minor point but it represents a major principle. I elaborate on this in the article and explain why I am convinced Luke had no such intent, and why I think it is important for us to recognize this.
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