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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.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Opus 2021-273: Ode to Old: Senior Sloth

Do you remember how getting dressed to go outside was such a problem when you were a kid?  Neither do I.  I may not have wanted to wear what my parents demanded but putting them on was not a problem.  Now I have to debate whether it is worth putting on my shoes.  It really isn’t that hard.  I can do it.  I wonder why I want to.  I find myself going without sox and not retying my shoes.  I worry that the day may soon come when I stop shaving and start saving water by not flushing the toilet.

homo unius libri

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Opus 2021-272: Thanks Thoughts: Leave the Clock Alone

We keep trying to turn the clock back.  A better metaphor might be to build a worse mousetrap, you know, inventing a digital sun dial.

I got to thinking about this as I was thanking God for the coffee in my cup.  My mind turned to the preppers  and coffee snobs trying to get us to roast our own beans.  Why?  Is my life really so boring that I need to spend the time learning how and actually doing what modern life brings to my kitchen.  I can see grinding my own but buying green beans and perfecting the process seems a bit much.

You could say the same for a lot of the things people are calling for today.  I saw one headline that claimed 80% of Americans were growing some of their own food.  Since 80% of Americans probably live in large cities with small yards and HOA’s, I find that about as convincing as global warming drowning all of us in the near future.  My daughter tried putting some tomato plants in the ground a year or so ago.  We got a few tiny tomatoes but not enough to pay for the water we used to keep them alive.  It isn’t as easy as it sounds.  In addition to not knowing what we were doing there was evidence that some four legged creature was having a bit of a snack on our potential produce.

My daughter is into making bread.  Does she even consider growing the wheat?  Go ahead and laugh.  I will wait.  I asked her about buying the grain and grinding it ourselves and she gave me that look you give parents just before you take them to the nursing home.  My wife is good with a sewing machine but every time she gets the bug she looks at the price of material and the price of clothes on sale and puts it back in the closet.  

You want to ride a bike?  Good for you, but don’t ask to borrow my truck when you want to move something.  I would be glad to help you but I don’t have a truck and one reason is how people with little cars would always want to borrow it.  I find it entertaining when people want us to go back to an organic vegetarian lifestyle.  I am not sure that worked out too well for the hunter gatherers with a life expectancy of 30 years.  I am not sure there would be enough to go around today.

Home cooking can beat the restaurants but don’t count on it.  I make my own jerky but that is because I can’t find any that I like in the grocery stores and have a hard time paying $38.00 a pound for stuff on line.  

All in all I am all for modern conveniences.  I find life hard enough when I am traveling and need to stay in a small town far from anything.  I am also all for you having the choice of what you want to go without.

homo unius libri

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Opus 2021-271: Go Ahead, Say it

Have you noticed how all the political correctness is seeping into everything we do and say?  I was recently looking at an article in a site called The Post Millennial.  The main point the author was making is that there are some things in life that you cannot do virtually.  You need to be there in person.  I can buy that theory, so I had no problem with his basic point.

However just before I got bored and stopped reading he made this comment:

“Attending a faith community is one of those things.”
When someone uses terminology like that it tells me one of several things.  It could be that this person is part of a “faith community” that he knows his readers won’t approve of such as a snake handling congregation or the local mosque.  It could be that he is too sophisticated to have any faith and doesn’t want you to know you are being talked down to.  It could be that he considers himself a believer but is afraid to use the word “church.”

Let me go with that last one.  How many terms are we becoming afraid to use?  How often do you find yourself looking around and whispering to the person next to you?

Sometimes the reluctance is because the label or adjective I want to use has been hijacked by the God haters in the crowd.  Church is actually becoming one of those words.  It is used by the world to indicate any building that has a sign out front and wants a tax exemption.  “Christian” is becoming the same.  Most people are Christians because they don’t think they are Buddhists or Muslims.  It is a cultural term.  The examples are legion and I have mentioned some before:  Love now means lust or do what I want.  Discrimination now means you have no taste or sense of proportion, Denny’s is as good as Flemings.  The list goes on.

It is amazing how many churches are afraid to use the term “church” on their signs.  Many will not tell you they are a part of a denomination.  It is based on a desire to appear to be something they are not.  It is a deception.

We need to learn to stand up and speak.  It used to be you could speak your mind and if someone disagreed you would have a spirited discussion without getting nasty.  You could differ without fearing for your physical well-being.  We have lost that in our culture.  The only way we can get it back is to get in the habit of looking for opportunities to speak up.  I am not advocating that you go into a gay bar and read Romans 1.  I am not asking you to go to a group of Democrats and talk logic and common sense.  There will be times to speak up.  We need to look for them.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Opus 2021-270: On the Road: Time

I am on the road again.  As always I never know what to expect.  On this trip I am either getting up before the sun and driving until I can’t see straight or in social situations that give me almost no time to think.  

I am enjoying the trip.  I will keep trying to sneak in times to write and post.  Life is good but there are still only 24 hours in a day.

Grace and peace.

homo unius libri

Friday, September 10, 2021

Opus 2021-269: You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet

One of the worries the remaining free and thinking Americans have is that the federal government will mandate everyone be vaccinated.  This, of course, could become a reality by simply having the grocery stores refuse to sell you food unless you had The Passport.  I am sure I am not the only one who has been watching this develop ever since they started requiring masks and the threat that no one should be able to buy or sell if they did not have a mask.  I wrote about it.  Others wrote about it.  This kind of talk brought to mind the Biblical concept of the Mark of the Beast.

Many of you will be familiar with the Bible verse,

(Rev 13:17 KJV)  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Add to that the idea of how the mark will be issued,
(Rev 13:16 KJV)  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
Prophecy is funny that way.  It predicts the most unusual things.

For a number of reasons I am not convinced this is the Mark of the Beast.  It could be but there are certain requirements involved.  What is on my mind at this point is the persecution that is coming.

Americans have funny ideas about persecution.  We think we are going through hard times when the power goes out for a day.  We think we are going to die when toilet paper gets cleaned off the shelves.  We wonder if Satan is out to get us when our property taxes are raised.

We have a lot to learn about persecution and I am afraid that the lessons are on the way.  One of the books I am reading is Ecclesiastical History by a man named Eusebius Pamphilus.  He wrote in the fourth Century A.D.  Although the book is not specifically about persecution he cannot tell the history of the early church without talking about the martyrs.  These were Christians who were arrested and persecuted simply because they refused to bow down to Caesar and say a simple prayer to him.  

Most people have heard about Nero feeding Christians to the lions.  I have seen it dealt with in movies and there are a lot of political cartoons that follow the meme.  As many popular ideas about history, this picture comes far from the whole truth.  It seems that the encounters with the lions were after assorted other tortures and that often the animals were not fatal so there was more that came after.  One victim, Blandina, went through this,
“And thus, after scourging, after exposure to the beasts, after roasting, she was finally thrown into a net and cast before a bull, and when she had been well tossed by the animal and had now no longer any sense of what was done to her by reason of her firm hope, confidence, faith and her communion with Christ, she too was dispatched.” p. 179
And this was after she watched her two children tortured and killed.  

You say this could not happen to us today.  Really?  I think you have a higher opinion of your fellow man than is being demonstrated by the videos on You Tube.  The mob had a place then.  Take the case of Pothinus who was over 90 and sickly.  I won’t go through the torture aspect, but get a feel for the mob.
“After this, he was unmercifully dragged away and endured many stripes, whilst those that were near abused him with their hands and feet in every possible way, not even regarding his age.  But those at a distance, whatsoever they had at hand, every one hurled at him, all thinking it would be a great sin and impiety if they fell short of wanton abuse against him.  For they supposed they would thus avenge their own gods.” p. 174
Here was an old man, being manhandled by the police, already beaten and the mob was getting their jollies by kicking, slapping and throwing things.  If you can’t see that happening in modern America then you have not been watching.  Notice that they were avenging their gods.  Christians today are at odds with the gods of our culture, so expect the worst.

Two outcomes I wish for.  First, that the violence and persecution that seem to be coming would not happen, and second, that when it does I would stand tall for truth and righteousness.  Both are tall orders.

Eusebius.  Ecclesiastical History.  Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, Reprinted 1989.

homo unius libri

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Opus 2021-268: Cornerstone Considerations: CUSA, Impeachment Limits and Potential

I keep hearing Republicans shooting off their mouths calling for impeachment of Joe Biden.  Since we are approaching Constitution Day it might be a good time to review impeachment.  First let’s review what the Constitution says.  

Article I deals with the powers and responsibilities of the Senate and House of Representatives.  In there you find Section II which states,

“The House of Representatives shall choose the Speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.”
Impeachment starts in the House.  Senators and state officials can talk all they want but unless you can get the House to start the ball rolling, you are wasting your breath.  Since the Democrats are in charge of that body we could stop right here, but we will keep going.

Section III moves to the other legislative body.
“The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.  When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation.  When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.”
If you know anything about the make-up of the Senate you know that this is strike two and three for impeaching Joe Biden.

Article II is concerned with the Executive.  Section 4 says,
“The president, vice-president and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Although this sounds like it is limiting removal to a few causes, in reality this opens the door quite wide.  You can impeach for “other high crimes and misdemeanors.”  We tend to think of misdemeanors as minor crimes.  In reality most presidents have probably done something they could be impeached for if there was the political will.  I think it goes without say that the Republicans don’t have that will.  I will say it anyway, the Republicans don’t have that kind of will.

There is another aspect here that is overlooked.  “All civil officers of the United States” can be impeached.  Here is where the lack of will really shows up.  This phrase only excludes the military.  Any other employee of the Federal Government can be removed by impeachment.  We could transform the country, assuming the Democrats lose the House and Senate in 2022, by going after judges who betray their oath to the Constitution.  We could also go after all the employees of the alphabet agencies who think they have the right to dismantle the country and make us a socialist state.

That would be a great way to celebrate Constitution Day in 2023.  If we can’t terminate because of Civil Service protection we can put them in jail for treason.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Opus 2021-267: Define “Americans”

I always like it when someone with a following expresses what I have been saying to the few ears I touch.  One of the questions I have been asking people is, “How many of the ‘Americans’ that are trapped in Afghanistan are patriotic Americans and how many are people who were born in that country and still consider it home?”  It makes a difference.  An article at American Greatness goes into it a bit deeper.

If we have people who are American citizens and believe in the principles of the Constitution who just happened to be in Afghanistan at the wrong time, they deserve to be rescued.  If it is someone who is in an unending visit with family, not so much.  I don’t think we should be risking the lives of our soldiers for people who hate America.

There are many issues involved in this fiasco.  I am with the many voices saying that this was planned out to happen this way.  

The adventure continues.

homo unius libri