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, April 23, 2018

Opus 2018-103: Natural Diversity

As the sun began to rise I found myself contemplating the beauty of creation in all of its variety and change.  How many shades of green are there?  How many changes does the sky have hidden in the pre-dawn darkness?  How many different types of wildflowers are there within a mile of my house?

What we see can convey only a vague sense of the reality of the perfection of come.  Was it Plato that talked about the ideal which we can never really know except for shadows on the back of the cave of life?  It was one of those Greeks.  Someday we will be able to be overcome by the reality of purity.  What does pure red look like?  What is pure strawberry?  What will be served at the Wedding feast of the Lamb?

Enjoyment of purity will be a small segment of what we will experience in eternity.  Most of what we will experience will be the cacophony of combinations.  Actually that is the wrong word because cacophony assume dissonance.  We will experience total consonance.  Is there a pure coffee flavor?  I doubt it because every coffee is a unique blend of different nuances.  Each is complete in itself.  It is a diversity that we ignore here. 

We will glory in diversity but it will be a diversity in balance.  A diversity that does not involve belittling one savor over another.  A diversity that is based on contribution to the whole and not parochialism.  We hear a lot about diversity but it is base on conforming to one groups preferences rather than recognizing the spectrum of strengths.

Cultural diversity is a necessity but its beauty will be found in its blend, not its equality.  It will not be achieved by the kind of seminars that the liberals are pushing.  It will only be achieved when we all embrace the value we have as children of a complex and infinite God who created us in His image.

Maybe not in this life but definitely in the next. 

homo unius libri

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Opus 2018-102: Headlines: Starbucks, the Next Step

I am sure that everyone who has electricity in their home has heard about the nonsense going on at Starbucks.  The only thing more ridiculous than having their staff of liberals take diversity training is to require customers to go through indoctrination before they can buy coffee.  It could be like a concealed carry permit for having a gun but it would apply to your ability to buy coffee.  You may have also seen the “free coupon” being circulated for a free cup of coffee.  The coupon is fake; the nonsense very real.

I came across the coupon on the Gun Free Zone site.  It was not the first time I had seen it but the post included a comment that got me thinking.
“What I do know is that if Starbucks tired any harder to acquiesce to the Progressive mob, Starbucks better install showers in their bathrooms and just allow anybody who is a member of a Progressive victim group to live in Starbucks, rent free.”
There is a real opportunity here.  What will be the response if at closing time a group of black customers refuse to leave?  They feel it is racist to not let them spend the night.  Is Starbucks going to call the police and have them removed or will the race card once again trump the law and common sense?  I will wait with interest.  If you have ever seen how long it takes for a landlord to have freeloaders who have stopped paying their rent evicted you will know that this could be entertaining to watch.  I have also heard of people camping out in empty houses and the owners not being able to get the out.

So keep your doors locked and although I would not recommend you buy coffee at Starbucks you might cruise by after closing hours and see if the nonsense has taken the next logical step.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-101: Japan: Stupid Questions, Part 5 of ?

As I shared earlier, our first grandchild has arrived and we were able to be in Japan for the event.  I got a picture from my daughter this morning of the new family leaving the hospital after a doctor visit.  It is a good way to start off the morning.

Which brings me to The Ultimate Stupid Question which was asked the day after she was born, “Do you want to hold her?”  I had waited decades for this moment.  The real question was, “Are you willing to let me hold her?”

Awesome moments are worth flying around the world for.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Friday, April 20, 2018

Opus 2018-100: Headlines: The Strange Case of Natalie Portman

Now I know who Natalie Portman is.  Don’t ask me tomorrow, I might have forgotten.  She evidently had a part in one of the Star Wars movies.

The Washington Free Beacon tells us that she was due to receive an award from something called the Genesis Prize Foundation.  This seems to be a mini-Nobel Prize group located in Israel.  The prize was to “for her work upholding the advancement of women’s rights and philanthropy.” 

Evidently she refused to travel to Israel because she felt the country was being mean to Hamas.  That would seem to put her in the mainstream of the left.  What makes it seem a bit odd is that she was born in Israel and claims to be a big supporter of the country.  I find myself in a state of cognitive dissonance.  How can you be a supporter of Israel and get offended when they protect themselves from terrorists?

Only in the mind of a liberal snowflake, but are there any other kind?

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-099: The Cycle Continues

As I was listening to my hymn collection I noticed that I did not recognize the selection.  That is not unusual.  I have several sets of CD’s that contain the works of 16th and 17th century hymn writers and sung by some big name choir.  What struck me was the awareness that I was experiencing the same phenomenon I observed at church when the contemporary version of worship was going on.  The music was rather uninspired and unoriginal.  I could not really tell one hymn from the next.  It wasn’t a problem of skill or content.  It was repetitious.

We make fun of 7/11 music.  It is a phenomenon of the ages.  There have always been places for repetition.  If done properly it reinforces truth and aids memory.  If done poorly it does the opposite.  For me much of what is called contemporary music does the latter.  I need to learn not to get too hysterical about it.

We are at the end of a centuries long selection process where the dull and empty hymns that were churned out have been left in the dust of history.  That is good and natural.  We are the beneficiaries of that process.  Take Charles Wesley for instance.  The number I kept coming up with for just him was over 6,000 hymns.  I don’t know about you but I don’t care how much of a genius someone is, 6,000 hymns is going to stretch creativity.  Somewhere in there are going to be a few misses.  Actually what you have are a few hits with a lot of 20th Century Worship Team material left over.

We are now in the beginning of a process of sorting through the offerings of a new generation.  It is probably normal that much of it is boring and repetitive.  It will take time for the cream to rise to the top.  I keep telling myself that through gritted teeth.

It just seems like the “worship teams” have an aversion to cream and a love of skim milk.

I will endure.

homo unius libri

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Opus 2018-098: Japan: National Anthem, part 4 of ?

We are visiting family stationed at a military base in Japan.  My last extended exposure to a military base was during the Vietnam war.  It is much more pleasant being a civilian than a draftee. 

Yesterday we went out the door, got in the car, backed out and started down the street.  Suddenly we stopped in the middle of the road.  It was 5:00 P.M.  At five o’clock they play the national anthems of Japan and the United States.   What that means is that everything stops, even cars on the road.  If you are walking you are supposed to face the music and either salute or put your hand over your heart.  Even the children on the playground stop moving.  That was our clue that the music had started.  When they moved again we knew it was over.

I wonder how we would respond if that were tried here?

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Opus 2018-097: Japan: Island Driving, Part 3 of ?

In Japan they drive on the wrong side of the road.  To them we drive on the wrong side but obviously that cannot be true.  I think all island nations drive on the left.

At first you don’t think it is any big deal.  You just drive on a different side of the road, right?  No.  Think of all the things you do naturally.  When you turn right you follow the curb.  Do that in Japan and you are soon in a head-on collusion.  You find yourself in a constant panic because you think people are driving toward you in your lane.  The turn indicator is on the opposite side of the steering wheel.  After a week I was still glad I didn’t need to drive here.  I am still trying to get in the right hand seat even though I am not driving.

And it isn’t just the driving.  It makes walking dangerous.  You must learn to look right instead of left as you cross a street.  Think about your natural habits.  When you step off a curb the first direction you look is left.  That will get you killed in Japan.

Just a little thing with big consequences.

homo unius libri