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Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Opus 2019-239: Pandora’s Hit List

My daughter has the Pandora ap working in the living room.  It is on a Christmas channel and I am hearing songs I had never heard before.  After listening once I can see why.  The great voice of Bing Crosby recorded a lot more than White Christmas.  The blessing is that most of the songs died a natural death. 

As I was feeding the toddler and listening to the music my mind went on a tangent.  It isn’t that I don’t enjoy a conversation in which one side consists of empty shrieks and nonsense syllables.  I have had conversation with progressives and survived without violence.  It isn’t that I don’t enjoy making faces and acting excited when she gets the spoon in her mouth without dumping the oatmeal in her lap.  There are situations though that make it possible for even this male mind to multi-task.

I was giving 3/4 of my mind to listening to the words and I realized that the non-hits of Bing Crosby have a lot in common with the majority of modern secular Christmas music.  One thing I noticed is that you could take the word Christmas that is inserted on some kind of ratio and replace it with another word, say Tuesday, and the song would have just as much meaning and staying power as it does as a Christmas song.  I recently enjoyed an old post by the Babylon Bee that has the exchange going the opposite way as Justin Bieber replaces “baby” with “Jesus”.

https://babylonbee.com/news/praise-the-lord-justin-bieber-just-retroactively-inserted-the-word-jesus-into-his-entire-catalog-and-this-is-everything

Most modern Christmas songs reject any possible reference to the real catalyst for Christmas and become expressions of a desire to express themselves sexually.  In modern productions you hear about the breaking of a heart instead of the breaking of the power of sin.  The result desired is a one night stand as opposed to the eternal relationship promised by Christmas. 

I am a supporter of free enterprise so I have no problem with everyone who has every recorded a song producing a Christmas album filled with gruel.  I do have a problem with it being the only stuff that seems to be broadcast any more.  I like White Christmas and Jinglebell Rock but they are simply enjoyable, not meaningful.  They do not change the world and did not establish the season.

Merry Christmas and long live redeeming Christmas music.

homo unius libri

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Opus 2019-238: Baby Talk: Conversations

It is great having my daughter and granddaughter staying with us.  There are down sides though.  One of those is the topics of conversation.

I just finished a discussion of baby turds.  It was like a mystery of who-done-it.  We were trying to figure out why the consistency of the feces was different this morning.  Was it the diet?  Was it teething?  Is she sick?  Has she been watching CNN?

At the time these topics are of interest.  I am not sure that I would want a chapter in my biography to spend much time on them.  We have discussed why car seats are hard to adjust.  Why do babies like to run around naked?  How long were the naps for the last week?  Why does she pick their nose, on both sides at once? 

In those times when there is little to discuss there is always time to chase a toddler around the house and wonder where they get their energy.

Where will I get my energy?

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Opus 2019-237: Thanks Thoughts: Cinnamon

If you want to see something that is truly awesome in a historical context, visit your local dollar store.  Find the section that has the spices and look at what you can get for a dollar.  What got me going on this was the cinnamon I was adding to my oatmeal.  I could go to the shelf and pull off other modern wonders but one illustrates the point.

Before the discovery of America cinnamon was something that only the rich could experience.  Yes, I know we hear about pepper, but cinnamon came on the same ships from around the same world.  As a teacher I used to talk about the search for a short route to the East.  I would illustrate that you could send out ten ships and if one made it back there was enough profit, after expenses, to set you up for life.  I can buy it for an inflated dollar bill.

It is great to be thankful for all of the big blessings:  Family, security, health, a new video game.  Don’t forget all of the things that are now common place.  Rejoice that you live in the 21st century in America.  That is unless you enjoy oatmeal with no sugar or cinnamon.  It was called gruel and it tasted like it sounds.

So be thankful.  Make it a habit, even after Thanksgiving Day.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 29, 2019

Opus 2019-236: Official Announcement

It is now official, Thanksgiving Day is over and you can listen to Christmas music. 

I know you have been hearing it in the stores for days, if not weeks.  They are playing it to get you in the mood to spend.  You will notice that I have no “tip jar” or advertising so my motives are pure.  Insert the CD, hook up your Pandora, start your Ipod, if you have them spin a record.  It is now culturally appropriate to listen to Christmas.

Enjoy. 

Merry Christmas.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-235: Hatred, by Any Other Name, Be It Oh, So Sweet..., part 5 of 5, Limitations

Should we use what we know about genetics to breed people like we do dogs and apples?  Evolutionist and atheists should be all in on breeding a master race.  It is consistent with their view of the nature of humanity.  One of the science fiction themes that comes up is cultures in which people are bred to be members of certain classes or functions.  Some are warriors; some, librarians.  If you believe in evolution then it should be a challenge to see what you could come up with.  If you don’t believe in God then you can develop the ethics to suit your current desires.  You would call it progress.

They may have moral objections but it is purely subjective.  Their opinion is no more valid than Stalin’s.  We tend to forget that the current crop of Progressives began with a group that were big into eugenics.  They had no trouble sterilizing “inferior” people.  It was for the good of the race.  Often they start with what seems logical, if you have several generations of severe retardation, why not make it so the defect cannot be passed on?  The immediate immorality is punishing people for the condition of their ancestors.  The problem that eventually emerges is a sliding scale of inferior.  The Progressives of today who control the social media have decided that being conservative is a defect.  They are trying their best to destroy that evil gene.

Why not breed people for specific results?  One of the things that stands in the way is people who believe in the God of the Bible.  We believe that we are created in the image of God.  The technical term is Imagio Dei.  We believe that life begins at conception and that God instills a unique soul into each human being.  That makes them different from the animals.  That means we are not tomatoes that can be altered to be easy to harvest or wheat that can become resistant to drought.  It puts limits on what is acceptable.  The anti-Christian crowd does not like that.

That means hatred based on superficial characteristics is not allowed.  Can you hate evil?  Yes, but keep in mind that evil is defined by God and not by the latest broadcast of the View or by your favorite celebrity.  Evil exists.  The first step to fighting it is to admit it exists.  Sometimes you can separate the person from the thing you hate.  Other times in is who they are.

Christianity teaches that man is inherently sinful.  That does not mean that they are nasty and kick puppies.  It means that they are focused on themselves instead of God.  It means that they reject the God of the Bible and want to establish their own right and wrong.  It means that morality is relative and based on consensus rather than objective truth.  Evil is a problem.  The atheist says that the cause is a faulty society and the right government programs can fix it.  Christians believe that what is broken is man himself and he can only be fixed by God, but it can be fixed.

Hatred will always be with us.  Maybe we should look at ways to deal with it, ways that really work.  You won’t find them in science or philosophy unless they are in submission to the God of the Bible. 

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Opus 2019-234: Thanks Thoughts: Dentists

There are times when I am glad I live in modern America.  Actually I am always glad but sometimes I think about it.  Each morning I try to start the day with a time of gratitude.  I thank God for my blessings and use objects in my room to stimulate my awareness.  Everywhere I look is a catalyst of thanks.  Thus I am reminded of the blessings of my children when I see an item they gifted me with.  I think of the heritage I have when my eyes rest on my grandfather’s desk.  Our flag leans, rolled around the pole, in a corner. 

While thinking about the blessing of living in modern times in a land that still has some liberty my mind went on a tangent that brought dental care to mind.  Could you picture living in the ages when the only dental care available was a pair of pliers in the hands of someone willing to pull?  There were no fillings, root canals, implants or free tooth brushes.  There also were no reliable anesthetics.  Just the thought of pain in the tooth is enough to make me swear off time travel forever.

So be thankful.  Make it a habit.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Opus 2019-233: Hatred, by Any Other Name, Be It Oh, So Sweet..., part 4 of 5, Should We?

Are different groups of people actually different?  It is a question that we don’t seem to want an answer to.  How much does it matter about differences?  We confuse difference with value judgement.  If your unit of measurement is thin or fat and your value centers on size of feet then your measurement has nothing to do with your hierarchy.  If we can accept that individuals are different then why do we have a hard time accepting that groups of people are different. 

We acknowledge that breeds of animals have certain characteristics.  I am not an animal person so I really have no insight into most but I have noticed a few things about dogs.  We had a beagle.  We only had it for a short time because the beagle had only one purpose in life, to get out and seek the impossible dream.  If the door was open a crack the beagle was gone.  She was a good dog in a general sense and got along with us just fine but she was a roamer.  Later we got a lab.  She was our dog.  If she somehow got left outside she would sit by the front door waiting to get back into our aura.  Were these characteristics of the dog breeds?  I think so.

Can you say the same thing about people?  I really don’t know.  Most subcultures of North American Indians were nomads or semi-nomads.  Was this a racial characteristic or just a stage.  You had a few tribes, such as the Pueblo, who were stationary.  In Europe you had tribes that started out as nomads and eventually settled down.  Could you breed for wanderlust in people, you know, make them beagles.  It would be a long range project because people live so long and take so long to develop.

We have seen increases in how tall people are in a few generations.  We can see that some genes are combined and others remain a selection.  What could be bred for?  How much of what you see is learned and how much is genetic?  And of course the big question that science forgets to ask, “Just because we can does that mean that we should?”

To be continued...

homo unius libri