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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.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Opus 2016-228: Headlines: Progressive Capitalism in Action

When I saw the headline I had to read the article:
“Restaurant owner offers free large pizza in exchange for guns”
The writer obviously thought it was a great move but on reflection didn’t seem like it would really work.  Think about it.  I have not priced guns recently but I am guessing that the cheapest piece of junk would come in at over $200.  If I am a street thug who is hungry am I going to trade a $200 piece of equipment that helps me make my living for a pizza that might cost $15 or $20?  As a businessman I can see how this could be profitable, but for the thug?

And the businessman would have to ask himself what kind of people this would bring into his restaurant.  What if he brings friends who don’t like pizza?  Would they then use their guns to rob him of the gun he just traded for?

In the article it seems that the pizza parlor owner had been robbed before.  It would seem to me that if he had been armed himself the thief might have gone down the street for tacos instead, but who am I to judge.  It says he has been in business since 1980.  With decisions like this I wonder how he has lasted that long.

homo unius libri

Opus 2016-227: Thanks Thoughts: Think Thanks

As I was going through my morning breakfast ritual over bread and coffee I again looked at the Last Supper.
(1 Corinthians 11:23-4 KJV)  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
At this point Jesus knew that He was to be betrayed.  He still gave thanks.  That set me back on my heals a bit.

How often do I complain because I have been wronged or something has gone wrong?  Too many to count?  I was reminded that part of the reason God came to earth as a man and went through all the trials that we go through is to demonstrate how we should live.  Since I claim to want to be like Jesus there is a lesson for me here.

I need to be thankful in all situations.  It doesn’t take long to think of blessings in my life.  All I really need to do is check the headlines and be glad I wasn’t in a certain airport or shopping mall.  Even closer to home I can look up and see someone having a hard time standing straight or walking.  I am sure that those people would be able to find something to be grateful for if they would look.

I am not a Pollyana.  I am aware that my “problems” are all first world.  That doesn’t do away with the principle.

homo unius libri

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Opus 2016-226: DEFCON: Banking the Fire

One thing that is growing more rare at DEFCON is the sense of rebellion against an oppressive government.  I have noticed this developing over several years.  I makes me sad to see but it is the normal process of life. 

Young people are short in vision and lacking in understanding.  They see something wrong and want to fix it, now.  Often what they see as being wrong is what keeps them from satisfying their self-centered wants.  If that can be presented in such a way as to sound like it will benefit all of mankind it is a win/win for them and a potential disaster for everyone else.  The enthusiasm and idealism of youth can be refreshing and can motivate change.  That is good.  Since they don’t get the big picture it can also have the opposite effect.

Young people grow up.  That is happening at DEFCON.  Many are marrying and having children.  Many are buying homes and gathering some wealth.  Most are in jobs that pay well and allow them to live their dream of techno-toys piled in every corner.  All of that means that they now have something to lose.  It is one thing to defy the government when you still have peach fuzz on your chin, live out of a backpack, can’t buy your own booz, think you are immortal and have mommy drive you to DEFCON.  It is another thing to defy the government when they can get you fired, put a lien on your house, and put you on a no-fly list.  It is hard to call for revolution when you have a mortgage and two children looking to you for security and support.  It is a natural process.

At the same time I miss the sense of correcting evil and not knuckling under to the man.  More and more often they are looking to the government for answers instead of seeing the government as the limiter of freedom.  There are fewer sessions at DEFCON involving politics and warnings against loss of liberty.  There are more calls for redistribution of wealth instead of destruction of regulations.

I will keep attending as long as my son is willing.  I will continue to see the potential of the hacker community.  I will continue to hope.  I will mourn the loss.

homo unius libri

Friday, August 26, 2016

Opus 2016-225: Moody Feet

My feet go through constant changes.  This occurred to me as I was striding across the parking lot after my bread and coffee.  To an observer I am sure I looked like an old man tottering but I felt like a teenager on the last day of school.  I walked with vigor.

I contrasted that with what happens when the alarm goes off at 5:00 A.M.  When I tell my feet to get out of bed they argue with me.  When I finally get them to move they wonder what they are supposed to do with the hard surface under them.  They continue to grumble and stumble as I begin to make my way through my morning routine.

By the time I get to work they are awake and moving with anticipation.  They forget how old they are.  You have heard about having a spring in your step.  I can do that, in the morning.  I move through the day with energy.  I have been told I don’t act as old as I am.  Of course I have also been told that I am really old, but I choose which to believe depending on the time of the day.

When the final bell of the day rings it is like my feet have developed ears and have the anti-racehorse syndrom.  From the clips I have seen on TV when a race starts a bell rings and the barriers in front of the thoroughbreds pops open and they are off.  They are conditioned for that.  The “anti” of that is that when the bell rings and the doors pop open my feet give a big sigh and start saying, “Are you sure you want to do that?”  The arguments begin again. 

As I walk to the car no one has ever accused me of being energetic.  My feet seem to have developed magnets that are in love with the earth’s core.  There is so much resistance that I sometimes turn around to see if the bottom of my shoe has been pulled off.  It is my afternoon version of sole searching.

So far I have made it to the car but if my wife ever calls and asks where I am you might check the walkway outside the science rooms. 

I can’t complain.  The feet still do their job, but I think they are looking forward to retirement.

homo unius libri

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Opus 2016-224: Critical Mass: Litter

Society has many bumps and potholes.  What happens when those potholes become sinkholes?  What happens when a small blip reaches Critical Mass.  Today I want to talk about litter.

Daily experience:  I walk across campus and see strategically placed trash cans.  At no spot are you more than a few feet away.  Guess what is all over the ground.  Cups, wrappers, apple cores and things that defy imagination. 

Daily experience:  It is impossible to walk to the school building without walking on the black spots that signify “gum was dropped here” and not cleaned up.

Daily experience:  You pass a sign on the highway that advertises what business has adopted that segment of highway to pick up trash.  The business seems to have gone bankrupt.

Daily experience:  I am at Panera for my bread and coffee.  As I walk to the seating area I am forced to pass several table because the previous occupant has left their trash on the table.  It would be no problem if they left a tip, but they don’t.

One person dropping a gum wrapper is no crisis.  An entire school of children who throw their gum wherever they feel like it is a coming disaster.  The adult population that modeled that behavior is a disgrace.  Forget how unsightly it is.  Don’t worry about the spread of germs and disease.  What does it say about how these children will live in a society that demands responsibly and cooperation in order to allow liberty?  We already have laws and penalties for littering.  Are we going to need Gum Police to enforce that law and keep our streets clean?

Have you seen the movie “Idiocracy”?  It was released in 2006 and is a scary film.  It shows what I see happening at school every day.  When the hero wakes up in the future one of the visual effects is a city almost covered with piles of trash.  Picking up after yourself is a sign of good home training and responsibility.  It is a sign of higher culture.  If you don’t believe me drive through Los Angeles and watch the sidewalks.  When you go from one neighborhood to another you see dramatic difference.  One has pristine sidewalks and gutters.  The next has trash and weeds in the gutters and trash and gum on the walkways.

Which future do you want to see?

homo unius libri

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Opus 2016-223: Discernment Watch: The Key to Modern Brainwashing

Everywhere I go I see the correlation between dumbing down, mediocrity and the departure from a Christian world view. 

I saw it again at our opening faculty meeting.  I wrote about the balloon game earlier.  When we got to the “serious” material we were given a lesson on how to collaborate.  No, I don’t mean co-operate with the Nazi’s who occupied Paris.  Only people with an education and a sense of history would understand the baggage of the word.  These are teachers we are dealing with so there is no worry on that score.

Collaboration means group work.  We were divided up into groups of four and told to discuss and record our understanding of the steps of collaboration.  The first group got ten minutes to discuss what it meant to “pause”.  They handled it well.  Our group had to delve into the depths of “paraphrase”.  We were awesome.  After we were done one of our group had the serious responsibility of “sharing out” what we had uncovered.  Then an administrator, who is paid the big bucks, wrote our wisdom on a big sheet of newsprint for us all to admire.

The final point of collaboration:  Assume that everyone has the best intentions.  This is where the difference between a post-modern world view and a Christian world view hits the road.  Before that it was just being silly.  Christian theology teaches that man is sinful by nature.  He will do that which is self-seeking rather than what is right.  His nature is in rebellion to a holy God.  The pagan educators have been saturated with the nonsense that the inner core of all human beings is good and will do what is right if given a chance.

So, when my little criminals in training deliberately say something stupid or offensive, I am to assume that their heart is pure and they have the best of intentions. 

Good luck with that.  If you believe that then not only do you need to assume that Hillary has the best of intentions, but also Donald. 

homo unius libri

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Opus 2016-222: DEFCON: Hacking Minds

I have attended DEFCON, a convention for computer hackers and security specialists.  I saw  the results of public education all around me.  You might think of public education as a case of mental hacking:  Getting into the software of a person and making it believe a reality that does not exist.  I saw it at DEFCON in what they called the Biohacking Village.

The Biohacking Village was a venue of smaller sessions in rooms off to the side.  It is one of several that are designed to give new ideas a chance to grab hold and grow.  The concept shows that DEFCON is trying to expand and include more people with different interest.  Biohacking has to do with the attempts by modern science to change the human body.  I only attended two sessions so I can’t set myself up as an authority on the subject. 

The first session was called “Oday for the Soul”.  I Googled “Oday” and got a lot of people with variations of that name so I remain in mystery to the reference.  The young lady in charge had some very eclectic religious views.  She was amazed that the child of a “parson” could become a geek and thought we would be amazed also.  Not really.  I had been a parson and my son was a geek.  She said part of her rebellion was converting to Catholicism and then proceeded to joke about the wine she was drinking being sacramental and kept repeating that what she said was against her religion.  In summary:  A standard confused millennial.  She repeatedly bragged about her IUD and called it biohacking.  She equated makeup and breast implants with the chip she had in her arm.  All were biohacking to her.  She had fun and made no sense, at least to me.  I am open to the problem being in my ears, not her mouth.

The second session was on biohacking ethics.  I felt like I was at a faculty meeting.  The speaker was a medical doctor.  He obviously had an education with a diploma and everything.  Being taught the benefits of group work by his teachers he spent most of the time having us share our thoughts and feelings with the person next to us.  In the last five minutes he got to ethics but most of it was a rant against “the man”.  When someone questioned him he laughingly accused the guy of being “the man”.  He called for the redistribution of wealth because of greed.  I wanted to ask him how much of his doctor’s salary he was donating to the local soup kitchen but since I wanted to get out alive I remained silent.

So I sat in a session that demonstrated biohacking of the minds.  Unfortunately it was the minds of the speakers who had been hacked and they didn’t even know it.

homo unius libri