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.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Opus 2017-351: Headlines: Pigs and Warriors

Once again the left demonstrates how low they can go.  Again it is a duly elected member of congress who, surprise, is a Democrat and decides to play with the tragedy of a fallen soldier to attack President Trump.  When General Kelly asked, “Isn’t anything sacred any more?”, the answer is the same as it has been for years with the Democrats, “No”.  At least nothing is sacred if it can be thrown at a Republican president.

People from the left are asking why we have soldiers in Africa anyway.  To those who know not to put their hand under a running lawnmower the answer is obvious:  They are there to train allies to fight evil so that we don’t have to activate the draft and send thousands to die in foreign countries.  Keep in mind that these are the same people who believe the world is over-populated and on the way to starvation.  They believe we are running out of natural resources.  They believe that the emissions of people and their cars are going to make the oceans rise.  They believe these things because they went to public school and don’t get out much aside from the local brewery and bistro. 

How could our soldiers be ambushed like this?  Such a question reflects little reflection.  I am a Vietnam veteran.  I was not a warrior so I don’t deserve any respect because I served.  Only those who went into the jungles really earned that.  With that in mind let me share two experiences I had. 

One was in New Jersey as we were being “trained” to leave for Vietnam.  They took us on a patrol through the woods.  It was pretty open forest.  Suddenly we were under attack.  It was an ambush.  The guys shooting at us were about 20 yards away.  We did not even know they were there.  Even after we knew they were there it was hard to see them.  We were being prepared to enter a war zone where the enemy would not be shooting blanks and the jungle was dense. 

The second was in Vietnam itself.  A group of us non-warrior types were sent out on a patrol around the base at which we were stationed.  Command didn’t expect us to find anything so I don’t remember any real warriors being with us.  They feared we might find something so we were allowed to load our rifles.  We walked down paths with vegetation on both sides that was higher than our heads.  Our visibility was only a few feet.  My mind went back to New Jersey.  If we met anyone here the first we would know about it was when the AK-47's started talking to us.

It was scary.  If you have ever been out of your armchair it is easy to see how a patrol could be ambushed.

So pray for our warriors as they do the things that keep the bad guys on other continents.  And next time one of these self-righteous pigs want to make political hay from the blood of these volunteers, let them know that your momma taught you not to use the words you would like to use to tell them what you think of them.

Oh, and have I ever told you, vote the suckers out.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Opus 2017-350: On the Street: Changing Planes in Purgatory

On our way back from the wedding we had to make a stop and change planes.  There are places in this country that you can’t get to from here so you need to go through there.  It was a bit cheaper to make the switch in Los Angeles.  I was only there about an hour but it was enough to remind me that I was glad to be gone.

There is an attitude at LAX which reflects the mindset of California.  It isn’t the construction going on.  I can deal with that.  It is the bean sprouts and tofu atmosphere they strive for.  I have been in a lot of airports across the country.  In all the others you get a variety of places to eat and shop that reflect all levels of taste or lack of it.  You have fast food and exclusive sit-down restaurants.  Not at LAX.  Here you have a string of yuppie bars and bistros that appeal to the affluent and the snowflake.  In the little kiosks they have more brands of bottled water than soda.  You can find potato chips but they are all at knee level.  And in LA the prices are higher than any other airport I have been in recently.

I could not wait to get on the airplane.  I had a growing fear that my flight would be cancelled and I would be stuck there.  We found more people at LAX who believed in global warming than you could find in the entire state of Texas.  It is truly the land of nuts, fruit and flakes.

It is good to be home.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Opus 2017-349: On the Street: The Sad

As I said last time, I have been out rubbing elbows with America.  There are a lot of good people out there.  Mixed in with them are the ones that we have been calling snowflakes.  Many are millennials but that label should be understood as a generalization and not used as a stereotype.  On one blog I saw someone using the term bubbles instead of snowflakes.  There are a lot of people would live in an artificial world of dreams.  They are the prey of the pin pricks of life.

Picture someone in their mid twenties, still living at home, never had a job and counting on writing the “Great American Novel”.  What happens when mom develops dementia and dad has a heart attack?  Where do these people go?  They are nice.  They are well-meaning.  They are close to hopeless, bumping up against desperation and don’t know it.

Picture people who know so little of the social graces that they get up and walk out of a wedding before the bride is out the door.  I can understand not knowing what to do with your hand when you walk someone down the aisle on your arm.  I can understand not knowing which side of the room to sit on.  I can understand not knowing which fork to use.  I can’t understand standing up in the middle of the ceremony to take a flash picture.  There are so many actions that show consideration for others.  They are called manners.  They become etiquette.  They may get complex but they are based on a desire to make social interaction smooth.  The self centered generation doesn’t even know there are bumps to avoid.  I am not sure they would care if they knew.

The world they have inherited has worked well for most people and provided a secure life for the majority.  The world they will mold is going to be a disaster.

Maybe they will learn.

Then again, maybe they won’t.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Opus 2017-348: On the Street: The Good

I have been on the road for about six days.  We went to a wedding and stayed with the parents of the groom.  The core of the trip was to celebrate the marriage of friends we consider family and spend time building memories.  In the process I rubbed elbows with a cross section of America.  Some of the news is good.  Some is sad.

The good was personified in the person of a guy who represents the core of America.  He was a blue collar retiree.  He had worked his entire life in industry.  In the process he had raised and married off several children and moved into the joys of spoiling grandchildren.  He and his wife and worked hard and watched their money but from the stories I heard they were far from skinflints. 

They enjoyed life.  They helped others when they could and carried their share at all times.  He was a hunter, football fan and fast car nut.  He was a walking stereotype.  At the same time he was on his smart phone every time the conversation lagged.  He is an example of what has made this country the envy of the world. 

I found myself learning about parts of our culture I had never touched.  I watched TV shows that I will probably never watch again but I enjoyed learning what a flower car is and hearing about a motorcycle rally out in the middle of nowhere that drew 700,000 bikers.  I was shocked that a trip to Alaska to bag a moose cost $10,000.

I am guessing that he might think of himself as a Democrat.  He had been union all his life.  At the same time he seemed to agree with me on the big issues.  He is probably what the Democratic party used to be and has walked away from.  He was not from Texas but people like him explain why the big cities of Texas can be so liberal but the state can still hold traditional values.

There is hope out there.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Opus 2017-347: New Terms: Penced

You have heard of being Borked.  I think we are ready for a response from loyal Americans.  Now we can be Penced or Pence someone.  What it means is taking a public stand based on principle.  It means the risk of being mocked and refusing to compromise with people who want to destroy all that is good about America.

When you are at a school board meeting and they want to do away with the current boys and girls bathrooms you can respond one of two ways.  If you have good self control, you can stand up and leave after casting a look of disgust at the board chairman.  Excuse me, chairperson.  If you are more spontaneous, you can break out in hysterical chortling, struggle to your feet and laugh your way out.  Let them know they have been Penced.  You can later withdraw your children from public school and home school them.

If you are at a church meeting and you have someone recommend that saving whales is more important than saving babies, call for a vote.  If the congregation votes to send a contribution to Green Peace and consider abortion a matter of personal choice it is time to leave.  If you want a capital letter Pence you can write Ichabod over the door on you way out.

We need to get active in Pencing.  Too long have we been silent, courteous and respecting of the feelings of others.  They have taken it for victory and if we don’t start Pencing, they will be right.

Stand up and be counted, then walk out.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 13, 2017

Opus 2017-346: Middle Class Morality: Moderation

One key concept that could be established is that the idea of being middle class is a Biblical standard.  Some people think the desire to be rich is an American thing.  It isn’t.  What is American is a political and economic structure which allows anyone to be successful.  Some would define that as being rich.  What is also American is the teaching of moderation.  That is why America has such a large middle class.  That is why, as we drift toward a pagan culture, the middle class is being squeezed. 

The Bible teaches moderation.  I came across this in Proverbs.
(Proverbs 30:7-9 KJV)  Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:  Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:  Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
Notice the balance.  We live in a culture that has made it possible for common people to work hard at low level jobs and still earn enough to support their families in comfort and security.  They may not have as much as they want but where else could someone putting bolts on a car live in their own home and hope to send their kids to college.  We were recently talking to a waitress in a family restaurant who owned her own home.  Only in America.  Only in a country with Bible based Middle Class Morality.

Do we have extreme wealth?  Do we have extreme poverty?  Yes.  I lost my rose colored glasses long ago.  I also read this weak about a famous, successful personality who committed suicide.  He had it all and killed himself.  Obviously he had not accepted Middle Class Morality.

Viva la middle class morality.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Opus 2017-345: Pork Belly Is Real

I have always heard about people investing in pork belly.  I thought it was some kind of joke.  When I used Google to check my spelling I found out that pork belly is very real. 

The first surprise was that it is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world.  As my eye ran down all the references to pork belly I saw a listing of the 15 best places for pork belly in San Antonio.  Fifteen?  Best?  How many places serve this joke line for investors?

There were links to pork belly tacos and pork belly ramen. 

Maybe I am missing something.  Maybe not.  I know how many places brag about serving menudo and I know what it tastes like.  Let me have the Doritos; you can have the pork belly.


homo unius libri