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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.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Opus 2017-388: Thanksgiving Countdown: An Exercise

Some mornings when my brain is extra flaky I have a hard time being thankful.  I have a little exercise that helps me zero in on how God is providing for us.

Take any object you have used without thinking and trace it back in the process of production.  Thank God for the hands and skills that went into the final product.  Don’t use your computer, that is too easy.  Pick something really common like the chair you are sitting in.

For instance I have an insulated cup filled with coffee on the desk beside me.  I am mindful that somewhere in the world there is a person who picked the beans and others who processed them on their way to market.  There are many people of varied skills that went into the roasting.  A whole string of people were involved in making the grinder I used and delivering the clean water to my house.  You can go on this way for as long as you have time.  The list of semi-miracles required to get a simple beverage is awesome. 

So be thankful.  I am sure that when you are in the groove you will be reminded of some really awesome blessings that are a bit more significant than a cup of coffee.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 17, 2017

Opus 2017-387: A Howler of the Week

After the repeated frustration of trying to find a source of news that is not rabidly left wing I went to Google to see if there were any conservative newspapers.  I took a quick look and bookmarked a few.  In my search I came across this howler at a site called Quora.
“The major U.S. newspapers do not represent a very broad ideological spectrum because the ethics of U.S. journalism include attempting to be fair and even-handed in all matters and because they are financed by wealthy people. At best they range between just barely center-left and fairly far into the right -- essentially pro-capitalist, with leanings toward reform or toward laissez faire.”
With that kind of a lead in, why would I bother reading any farther?

When I get done laughing and run out of screams I may try again.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-386: Thanksgiving Countdown: Thank-list

Lack of gratitude it our default.  We take our blessings for granted.  Think of all the people who do things for you on a regular basis and don’t expect a “thank you.”  When was the last time you thanked someone for doing your laundry or were thanked for washing their dishes?  I don’t remember anyone showing that they appreciated me walking quietly through the house when they were trying to sleep or leaving the music turned off until they were up.  Thankfulness is a state of mind that needs to be stirred up, thus Thanksgiving Day.

Part of that is familiarity.  We get used to things and take them for granted.  How many times have you seen someone thanked for doing what you do all the time?  Maybe if we thought about all the little things we do for others it might help us see examples of them doing for us.

So play like you are Santa Claus.  Start a list.  Check it twice.  See if you have been naughty or nice.  Then use the list to find someone to thank.  Maybe you could even thank someone for doing a small thing for someone else.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Opus 2017-385: Headlines: Mugabe Out, Mnangagwa In, Maybe

Have you noticed how America lives in the ostrich bubble.  We are so caught up in our own soap opera that we forget there is a world going on out there.  Today there was a reminder of why we should be glad to live in America, at least until the Progressives are in total control.

The Daily Signal had a headline that used two names that many Americans probably think is a bit of cuisine from a local ethnic food joint:  Zimbabwe and Mugabe.  For those who were sleeping in my history classes, Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southeast Africa.  It used to be called Rhodesia and was known as the breadbasket of Africa.  When it gained independence and took over the farms owned by whites it began a move that has brought it to the point of poverty, starvation and violence.  The man most responsible for this is the 40 year dictator Robert Mugabe.

As the headline tells you, he has been removed by a military coup. 

That might be considered good but you need to read the article to be glad you are American.  The military has been hand in hand with Mugabe until recently.  Since he was no longer doing things their way, they removed him. 

This is not really great news.
“However, there are no guarantees that whoever ultimately replaces Mugabe will be a significant improvement.”
One of the names submitted to be the new kingpin is Emmerson Mnangagwa.  His nickname is “the Crocodile” and he has also been involved in massacres and other pleasant pastimes.

So Africa is being Africa.  Petti-dictators are being replaced by petti-dictators.  The people of Zimbabwe continue to starve and be murdered. 

Think about that next time someone calls Trump a Hitler or you get mad at our military.

This should go on your list of things to be thankful for.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Opus 2017-384: What Happened to the Rule of Law?

I am so disgusted to be a Republican.  I keep thinking I am going to register as an Independent but they are just as disgusting.  Which is more a danger to our future freedom, due process and the assumption of innocence until guilt is proven or accusations of inappropriate behavior that took place 40 years ago?  To me the answer is so obvious I wonder why Mitch McConnell and his cronies don’t see it.  Or maybe they do and don’t care because it is all about being loved by a mass media core that hates them with every ounce of their being.

So let me act like you are mature adults dealing with a bunch of middle school students making an accusation.

First, consider the source.  When I have a student accusing someone of something I would sometimes ignore it and other times get concerned.  If a student who would not know the truth if it were on his lunch tray tells me something, I am a bit skeptical.  People who lie regularly about whether they have gum in their mouth or whether the trash on the floor is theirs can’t be trusted to tell the truth about anything of importance.  Who is the source of the accusations against Judge Moore?  The Washington Post and a reporter with a long record of deceit and partisan activity.

Second, consider the accused.  When someone tells me that another teacher has said something I always ask myself if that sounds like what that teacher would do.  Students would have a hard time convincing other teachers I had cussed the student out because no teacher has ever heard me use profanity or vulgarity.  The principal would believe them but she isn’t known for her discernment or objectivity.  I have followed Judge Moore for years and have seen a man of principle and integrity that has stood up to the forces of liberal anti-Americanism and anti-Christian bigotry.  The accusations just don’t sound right.

Third, is there an ulterior motive?  You may not get out much but when a student is caught red handed they often try to distract from the issue at hand.  Or they may be mad at someone who did something they didn’t like and they are out to get them.  Can you really expect a football player at UCLA to say anything nice about a lineman from USC?  Picture all the sport events you have seen with players getting in the face of the referee trying to convince them that they have been wronged.  Unfortunately we do not have instant replays of events from 40 years ago.  We have a press corps that is in the pocket of the Democrats.  They hate conservatives.  They hate Christians.  They hate traditional values.  To them Judge Moore is fair game.

Is it possible that he acted in a totally unacceptable way 40 years ago?  Of course it is.  It is also possible that the American astronauts on the moon were really on a Hollywood set or that Bill Clinton never cheated on his wife.  This is why we have courts.  This is why it is on the accuser to prove his case in front of an impartial jury.  Let’s look at a few of the trials by media that we have faced:  Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas, George Zimmerman, The Baltimore Police, Bruce Herschensohn, Dan Quayle, etc.  The list is long.  The charges have usually not been filed.  When the charges were filed we find that they were false.

There are times when I feel like I live in the France of 1793 (Reign of Terror) rather than America in 1868 (Impeachment of Andrew Johnson).

The American solution is to let the election proceed, file your charges and see where the chips fall.  If he is guilty then he can serve his time in the Senate and the State Pen concurrently. 

homo unius libri

Monday, November 13, 2017

Opus 2017-383: Headlines: How Cruel

I don’t go often to Breitbart but I am getting desperate for news that goes beyond the smoke and mirrors I am getting.  I didn’t get far before I saw a title in the sidebar that read “...SNL Cruelly Mocks Alabamans (sic) as Rednecks”.  That kind of surprised me so checked it out.

It didn’t look like it was anything more than SNL doing what SNL does.  I did not watch the clip.  I had just had my oatmeal and wanted it to settle a bit.  I didn’t see anything to get upset about.  I remember when they lampooned Sarah Palin.  I like Sarah Palin.  I did then, I do now.  She was the reason I could vote for John McCain.  They mocked her and did a good job.  It was funny.  I can laugh at myself.  I can laugh when the humor is real.  It is not “cruel mocking”, it is humor.

That is what comedy is supposed to be, funny.  If it is a bit offensive, get over it.  Stop wanting to be a right wing snowflake.

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Opus 2017-382: Thanksgiving Countdown: Why?

Thanksgiving is coming.  It is a national holiday and like most national holidays it is celebrated with a full agenda and an empty head.  I checked out Wikipedia which has a decent article on Thanksgiving, at least the parts I read.  There is a lot of debate on where the first Thanksgiving was held.  Hopefully most of it is friendly like the discussion of the best recipe for stuffing.  Proclaiming days of thanks or days of petition have a long history in Christian circles at least.  I think the day we can look at as the beginning of our national holiday began where so much else began.
‘As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God."’
Notice that it is public and based in a faith in God.  Note also that this is in the first year of the new Constitution.  At this point only Rhode Island was holding out.  There was much to be thankful for.

Why do we celebrate this holiday today?  Is it just because it is on the calendar?  Whom, or what, are we thanking?  If you do not believe in God, welcome to the festivities but why did you come?  It might be like your wife watching football with you.  For some it is just a day to watch football.

As Christians we thank a God who is aware of our thanks.  We thank the God who is the only God and who created and maintains our world.  The pagans might also give thanks.  I understand that many in hunting cultures would thank the animal for giving its life.  We are not thanking the cow for becoming hamburger.  We are not thanking the tree for becoming a toothpick.  We are not thanking the rock for not stubbing our toe.  We are thanking God for His blessings.

One of the significant items on the Pumice Calendar is that after dinner on Thanksgiving Day we can start up the Christmas music.  That is something to be thankful for.  What makes it so easy is I-Pod, I-Tunes and Bluetooth.  What makes is special is we are singing about the Incarnation.

Blessings.