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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Opus 2012-169, Discernment Watch: Should They Register to Vote?

In the June elections I was offered a sticker to wear when I left the polling place.  It said, “I voted.”  I graciously took it and when I got to the car I put it where no one would see it.  My attitude has gone through a radical change on things like this. 

I am not sure that I want everyone voting.

Don’t get me wrong.  I believe that voting is one of our rights as Americans.  It should be available to all citizens.  The change is that I don’t have a Pollyanna view of voting any more.   I want to win, even if I still want to win with honor.

So I don’t wear my sticker.  Why?  Because I am a teacher and the vast majority of teachers are sheep that march to the tune of the Democratic machine.  They don’t do much reading and are not capable of doing a lot of thinking.  They may not even be aware that we are having an election.  This is the group that believe Al Gore when he announces that the debate on global warming is over.  This is the group that, when I referred to “Big Brother” at a faculty meeting, thought I was talking about a sibling.  Do I really want to remind them to cancel my vote?  Not on your life.

I also don’t encourage most people to register to vote.  My thinking is that if I need to remind them to do this they are not aware enough of the issues to vote intelligently.  Yes, I assume that my way is the intelligent way.  Deal with it.

If I could figure our a genuinely fair way to come up with standards I would be in favor of requirements to register for the vote.  It would seem to me that the ability to read or at least understand the issues a little would be good.  The reason I would not want to go there is that it would be too easy for the Control Freaks of the Elites to manipulate it to get what they wanted.

I see absolutely no problem with requiring ID to vote.  Anyone who is against that is in favor of controlling elections by fraud and deception.  If I must show ID to use my credit card, visit my doctor or board an airplane, what is the problem with the big issues of life like voting?

Remember.  November is coming.  Do you really want your neighbor to remember that elections matter?

homo unius libri

Monday, July 30, 2012

Opus 2012-168, On the Street: Haircuts

One of the joys of DEFCON is people watching.  If you want to see the extremes of style, this is the place.  You have the entire spectrum.  One guy actually wore a suit and tie.  Weird.  Of course to balance him you had the guy with a suit coat, tie, fedora and dress shirt, bottomed off with a nice matching skirt, knee sox and loafers.  I knew it was a guy because of the beard.

One of the popular hair styles is what we used to call a Mohawk.  I don’t know what they call it, but you know what I mean.  Some are little ridges.  Some are purple spikes.  Some are stiff.  Some are limp.  My son said he even saw a version for bald guys that split and went around the sides.  Cool.

What is sad is when you use the wrong barber.  I was following one guy who mus have had a dyslexic barber.  On top it was centered but as it descended it drifted off to one side.  The impact was diluted by the distraction.  I wonder if he knew.  I wasn’t about to tell him.  You can never be sure about the stability of people who cut their hair this way.

Feel free to cut your hair as you please.  I won’t laugh at you, I will laugh with you, unless your barber was drinking at the same bar you were at.

I tell the kids at school that real men can wear pink.  I am not sure what that has to do with haircuts but it is something to think about.

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Opus 2012-167, Growing Pains

It has been a good summer.  I spent most of it in condos filled with stairs and at my kids’ houses which have the same malady.  The blessing was that this year I did not fall down any stairs.  It is a painful experience and dangerous at any age.  At my age it takes a long time for the pain to go away.

Have you noticed that people usually don’t stumble going up stairs?  It strikes when going down and usually when you are in a hurry and not thinking.  That has been my pattern anyway.  If I stumble going up I seem to have little trouble catching myself.  I have learned to be careful on the way down.

Isn’t that the way it is in our daily lives.  There is some quote about the wise man learning from the experience of others but most of us have to learn from our own mistakes.  It is easy to ignore mistakes when they don’t cost us anything.

That is why it is destructive to hand out charity the way the government does it. When you have the kind of safety nets that everyone wants they never learn from their mistakes.  You can ignore your spendthrift ways if someone else is paying the bills.  That is one reason why the children of the wealthy often end up losing what the parents have accumulated.

Be grateful for your pain.  Take advantage of your embarrassing moments.  Learn from your failures.  Gain from your losses.

Or get wise.  I have not had too much luck with that.

homo unius libri

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Opus 2012-166, Firsts: Easy Corn on the Cob

Summer is usually a time of learning new things.  The dignified reason is that I have more time to read and think.  The more realistic cause is that I spend more time with my children and am forced to grow or be left behind.

Some lessons are amazing in their simplicity.  One of the things we all learned this summer was a quick, easy way to fix and enjoy corn on the cob.  Maybe you have know it all your life and have kept the secret.  It was new to us.  My son found this one on You Tube.  It works.  You can go to You Tube and search for Microwave Corn on the Cob.  You come up with many hits.  Some are much longer than others.  I am not sure which one he watched, take your pick.  Here is one that seems to take even less time.  The only preparations are to buy the corn, have a microwave and pay your electric bill.

It goes like this.  When my son and I were fixing dinner we decided to have some corn on the cob.  We decided to have one ear apiece.  That worked since I only had two left.  I took the corn out of the refrigerator and, without removing the shucks, put them on a plate in the microwave.  I set the timer for eight minutes, punched the button and went about other preparations for dinner.  You time it at four minutes per ear.  For those who need calculators it works this way.  2 x 4 = 8.

When the beeper sounds you remove the ears.  Get a sharp knife and cut off the end that was attached to the corn stalk.  You will need to practice this part to find the right place to cut.  You will lose a few kernels of corn off the end but the convenience is worth it.  I feel for the place where the corn swells out to its fullest and cut there.  You then pick up the corn and start squeezing from the end with the silk sticking out.  If you cut in the right place the ear will slide out with no silks attached and you are ready to enjoy.  Watch the video.  See it done.  Try it.

It is awesome.  It works.


homo unius libri

Friday, July 27, 2012

Opus 2012-165, Sabbath Observations: Roots of the Weekend, Part 5, Keeping the Blessing

Do you enjoy having a day off?  Do you use it to cruise the mall?  Then you are contributing to losing the day of rest that God has prescribed.  Most kids starting out must take jobs at minimum wage and those jobs are often tied to a requirement to work weekends.  It forces young people to choose between working or going to church.  Is this the direction we want things to go?

I don’t think we need a return to the “blue laws” of the past.  This is not something that we need the government to get involved in.  All we would need to do to protect young believers from being pulled out of church on Sunday is to stop shopping on Sunday.  How many restaurants do their biggest business on Sunday because the church crowd wants to go out to eat?  If Christians would extend hospitality and eat at home then many of these restaurants would close up on Sunday because they could not make any money. 

This is not a new problem.  Saint Augustine preached about a similar issue back in the fourth century.  The issue was the negative contribution of the theaters to the culture.  Many felt like the theaters were destroying the moral fiber of society.  Does that sound familiar?  Listen to what Augustine had to say:
“Ah! indeed, if Christians went not to the theaters, there would be so few people there that they would go away for very shame.”
What is he saying?  If the people complaining would change their behavior they could change the culture.  He was talking to his congregation.  He is talking to us today.

So enjoy your weekend.  Thank God for it.  Live in such a way that you do not contribute to the destruction of the blessing He has given us.

Augustine.  “The Recovery of Sight by the Blind.”  The World’s Great Sermons, Volume 01
   /Basil to Calvin.  Gutenberg Project, Kindle Highlight Loc. 650-51.

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Opus 2012-164, Sabbath Observations: Roots of the Weekend, Part 4, Don’t Thank the Teamsters

Our idea of a weekend and day off comes from the Sabbath.  It was not something instituted by organized labor and the progressive movement.  All they did was take the idea God gave and try to get credit for it.

Enjoy your weekend.  It is a gift from God. 

But beware of losing the blessing.  You may not have noticed but more and more businesses are staying open on Sunday.  When I was a kid you could not go shopping on Sunday.  I remember when Sears started staying open a half-day on Sunday.  It was a scandal to some and an opportunity to others.  Now most major stores are open on Sunday.  Most major food chains stay open on Sunday.  Some people think it is a civil right to be able to shop on Sunday.

One major fast food chain keeps locked up on Sunday:  Chick Fil A.  The owners make no bones about it.  They are Christians and they want their employees to be able to worship if they chose.  All of their stores are closed on Sunday.  They have run into legal problems over it.

If you are a business owner you need to think about this.  You may feel that you need to be open on Sunday.  Maybe, maybe not.  That is not for me to judge.  Do you really think that people need to be able to buy new shoes on Sunday?  Is ice cream seven days a week a proof of election?  Even more important, what about your health?  Are you making it a challenge for God to keep you healthy.  And what about your employees?

If you are an employee you need to think about this.  This is harder to deal with but not impossible.  Early in our marriage my wife needed to work.  She could not find anything in the area of her training so she worked as a waitress at a seven day restaurant.  People told her that she could not be a waitress and not work on Sundays.  She did work as a waitress and she did not work on Sundays.  She was not a brain-dead legalist about it.  One Sunday her manager called because he needed some extra help.  She told them to check around and if they really had an “ox in the ditch” she would come in.  He never called back. 
(James 4:2 KJV)  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
To be continued

homo unius libri

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Opus 2012-163, On the Road: DEFCON

I will be attending a computer hacker conference for the next few days.  No, I am not a geek but I have one in the family.  It is an annual event with much to be learned from the non-technical sessions.

Anyone with common sense disables their WiFi during this event.  Those of us with low computer skills and high savvy, check it regularly to make sure it is not on.  If the geek in my life sets me up, I may try it but the most likely scenario is to schedule posts ahead and catch up when I get away from DEFCON.  That is my plan.  Wish me luck.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-162, Sabbath Observations: Roots of the Weekend, Part 3, Jesus Reminds Us of the Purpose of the Sabbath

As in many areas of life, Jesus ran head-on into the Control Freaks of the Elites of His day.  At one point they tried to nail him for healing on the Sabbath.  At another place they were upset that the disciples had picked a few pieces of wheat to munch on as a little snack.  Nag, nag, nag.

Jesus points out their mistake by clarifying the target of the Sabbath. 
(Mark 2:27 KJV)  And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
God made us.  He knew that we needed rest so He built it into creation and took time off Himself.  I am sure that almighty God could have kept working but He had a point to make.  He had to get it across with power.  So He took a break.

The point is, we are not designed to go 24/7.  Sure, we can do it for a time.  Some do it for years but the stress levels begin to build.  There is a reason why we sleep.  There is also a reason why we need to take a break from labor.

The Jews observe the Sabbath on Saturday.  It is the seventh day.  They are right in that.  The Seventh Day Adventist have a point in worshiping on Sunday.  The reason that most Christians don’t worship on Saturday is that Sunday is considered the Lord’s Day, not the Sabbath.  It is the day that Jesus rose from the grave so it was more important than any other day of the week. 

Originally the church met every day. 
(Acts 2:46 KJV)  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
They were mainly slaves and working class people so they did not have much control over their schedule.  They met when they could but the celebration of the resurrection became the central moment of the week.  Many Protestants are not aware that the Catholic church has worship every day, not just on Sunday.  That is a continuation of the original pattern of the church.

We go to church.  It is supposed to be a time of renewal and refreshing.  Often it is not, but that is not the problem with the model as much as the people who get distracted.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Opus 2012-161,  Link:  About the Loon of Aurora

Since I could not have said it better, check out this summary called “Another LOSER attempts to gain eternal fame via cold-blooded mass murder” about the Loon of Aurora at The Next Chapter.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-160, Sabbath Observations: Roots of the Weekend, Part 2, The Elites Take Charge

Of course the religious authorities got legalistic about it.  They set up all kinds of limitations, such as how many steps you could take away from home.  Then in legalistic fashion they decided that if you buried bits of dirt from your yard around town you could walk everywhere and not be breaking the law.  You have to give them points on creativity.  And what is the meaning of “work”? 

One website labeled “Basic Sabbath Rules” tells us “the Sages specified 39 categories of endeavor which are not allowed on the Sabbath...”  Some of these might be clearly given in scripture but most are extensions thought up by people who were overly enthusiastic about regulating others.  This is similar to what you find in modern government regulatory agencies.  They don’t know when to stop.  When in doubt, make up a new rule.

Some of you may be old enough and well traveled enough to know about the modern Blue Laws.  I ran into them in the Mid-West.  Certain items, such as beer, could not be bought on Sunday.  In some areas car dealers are still forced to close on Sunday.  In England, in the time of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I,  you could be fined and put in jail for not being in church on Sunday.

My family had restrictions on activities we could do on Sunday.  We took a Sunday paper but were not allowed to look at it until after church.  My father used to tell about how, as a child, he was not allowed to run or play at all on Sunday.

What did Jesus have to say about this?

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Monday, July 23, 2012

Opus 2012-159, Sabbath Observations: Roots of the Weekend, Part 1, A Day for Renewal

I cannot picture what is was like being a slave, let alone a slave in a pagan culture.  How do you deal with being on call 24/7 at someone else’s whim?  What is it like to never be sure of a time of rest. 

From the Old Testament we get the idea of a Sabbath.  The concept was established at creation and is tied in with the seven days. 
(Exodus 20:8-11 KJV)  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
What was the purpose of the Sabbath?  It was to be holy.  That means set aside for special use.  It was to be a day of no work.  The word Sabbath means “to cease, desist, rest.”

This is elaborated more a little further into Exodus.
(Exodus 23:12 KJV)  Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.
The purpose of the Sabbath was to refresh us.  It was for renewal.  It was a time to recharge our batteries.

Notice that it was to be for everyone, not just the ruling class.  The “handmaid” of the KJV is “female slave” in the NASB.  So many of the Bible’s teachings are like this.  You don’t rest by having someone else do the work.  Rest if for everyone.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Friday, July 20, 2012

Opus 2012-158, Plow and Crown: Cooking the Frog, Attacks on the Poor, Saturday Night Specials

Would you prefer to live in a city where “Saturday Night Special” meant that drunk rapists were free to break into your house without worry or one where it meant you could buy a cheap handgun to protect yourself from that drunk rapist.  If you prefer the first scenario then you might want to move to Reseda, a bedroom community of Los Angeles. 

A local chain of sporting goods stores sells a wide assortment of guns.  As you look at their ad you see that certain handguns have a little red tag that says, “Not available in Reseda.” It seems that their store in Reseda is not allowed to sell these guns.  They are always small enough to fit in a purse or be used by a woman with small hands.  They are usually cheap enough that a poor person could buy one.

Who does this policy hurt?  It does not hurt the criminal.  I have asked the kids at school how many of them could get me a gun tomorrow if they wanted to.  I get many hands raised.  I would not be fingerprinted, security checked or forced to wait for ten days.  And it would be cheaper.  Since I am not a criminal that avenue is not open to me. 

For people like me it would simply be an inconvenience.  I can drive to another town to buy a gun.  All it does is add to the air pollution by making me use gasoline. 

The one this policy endangers is the poor, law abiding person living in that area.  They don’t have transportation.  They can’t afford the more expensive guns.  It is also a good possibility that police protection where they live is not as good as other areas also. 

So who are these laws supposed to help?  Remember the video of the big strong Black Panthers with their clubs outside the voting station intimidating white people away from their constitutional rights?  If I remember correctly that was in a city that has stringent gun control laws.  I wonder if they would have been so free in their intimidation if concealed carry were common in that city.  Don’t bother answering, we know the answer.

And what political party do you think the thugs were endorsing by their actions.

Remember that when you only have seconds, the police are only minutes away, on a good day.

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Opus 2012-157, Preparedness: EMP Attack

Recently we have seen the paralysis caused by extreme storms.  Much of the Middle Atlantic section of the country has suffered through extended periods without power, water and communications.  It was amazing how slow to recover some areas were and are. 

The lessons continued in a recent lightening storm.  When you checked the weather on-line it simply said hot with a chance of thunder storms.  It was hot and there were thunder storms.  I enjoy thunder storms.  We are not talking about someone in panic or fearing for my life.  I did not hide in the basement or quiver in the corner. 

It was an impressive display.  I lost count of how many times the power went out and came back on.  The system seemed to be working.  The cutouts and redundancy kept things running.  Then came the Big One.  The lightening hit so close that the thunder seemed to get to me before the light.  On that one I jumped.  I think it was that one that took us out of contact with the rest of the world but I was not aware of that little fact.  Later I got in the car and drove to a family dinner twenty minutes away where there had been almost no action.  I did not find out the consequences until returning that night.

My son told me that the storm had taken out all phone service and the internet.  The “boxes” in the area seemed to have been neutralized systematically, almost like the lightening were a tool of terrorists.  He was able to use his cell phone and it seems that the entire area was worked over.  It will be two days before they get to us to restore our service.  They will be so busy that I will need to be home all day so they can get in the house. 

Today it is just an inconvenience but it is also a teaching moment.  Now I will be able to experience what I will lose if a real emergency hits.  I will have much to learn.  So will you.  Take advantage of the situation.  Some day it may not be short term or a drill.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Opus 2012-156, Monday Pulpit: Not Harvesting the Edges

Sunday we were visiting a church while on vacation.  The youth pastor was preaching.  His name was Brian Miller.  He preached on a verse that I was familiar with.
(Leviticus 23:22 NAS77)  'When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the LORD your God.'"
He approached it in a way totally different than I would have preached.  I was challenged by what he had to say.  His central theme, paraphrased, was, “You don’t always get a pay-off for everything you do.” 

He was making the point that we should not go through life expecting to be rewarded for all the good and right things that we do.  He pointed out how the farmer had worked hard for every grain of the harvest but he was instructed to leave part of it.  He pointed out that God did not say that if no one had gleaned it in a few days the farmer could go back and finish the job.  “Leave it,” was the command.

My mind began to wander, as it usually does.  A common phrase came to mind, “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”  This verse would edit that to “I’ll scratch your back even if you don’t return the favor.”  This brought to my mind the passage in the Sermon on the Mount that starts with,
(Matthew 5:39 KJV)  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Another thought I had was that when we do a favor for someone, we should not keep reminding them of how gracious we were.

It was a good Sunday.  I trust the Lord was speaking to you also.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Opus 2012-155, Plow and Crown: Cooking the Frog, Attacks on the Poor, Cash for Clunkers, Part 2 of 2

As I said, this is about politics, not the environment.  There are people who want to control us common folk.  It drives them crazy that we are able to live life without their beneficial input.  They know what is best for us.  One of the ways that the Control Freaks of the Elites seek to suppress the masses is by taking away their mobility.  If we did not have cheap transportation we would be very limited in our options of work, education, leisure and politics.

With cheap transportation I have a larger pool of potential jobs wherever I live.  I can live in a place I want my children to go to school and work where the best pay is offered.  Life is richer with wheels.  Take them away and you limit my choices.  You control me.

One of the ways that people vote is with their feet.  Voting with your wheels gives you even more freedom.  Productive people with marketable skills are moving out of the People’s Republik of Kalifornia.  Many of the illegals are also leaving.  They leave to avoid paying taxes.  They leave because the companies that supplied them with jobs have moved to states with lower taxes.  Those companies are still providing jobs, just doing it at a different place. 

Think about this:  I suggest that Henry Ford did as much for liberty in this country as the Founding Fathers.  He just did it in a different way.  They gave us the political tools, Ford gave us the ability to pursue happiness.  This truth is one of the reasons why the Elites of Education have labeled entrepreneurs like him “Robber Barons.”  They are bad, bad, bad.  After all, they improved the standard of living and made a profit doing it.  Repeat after me:  Bad.  Bad.  Bad.

The rising cost of transportation increases the cost of living across the board.  It costs more to get carrots from where they were grown to where I shop.  I also find that I am willing to pay higher prices close to home rather than drive for the better values.  It is cheaper to pay a nickle more for a can of beans than spend a dollar in gas getting to the better deal.  This makes it even more expensive to live in the long run because it reduces competition and allows prices to stay high.

One way to reduce mobility and lock people into squalor is to take the old cars off the road.  I know that they are said to pollute more.  The government wants to help.  That is not the government’s job.  The Constitution talks about liberty.  It does not talk about pollution.

Some people say the government has no business in their bedroom.  I say they have no business in my garage.

homo unius libri

Monday, July 16, 2012

Opus 2012-154, Green Pieces and Plow and Crown: Cooking the Frog, Attacks on the Poor, Cash for Clunkers, Part 1 of 2

People are concerned about pollution.  It is a legitimate concern.  I was raised in Southern California before it became the People’s Repulik.  I can remember what the smog used to be like.  We used to drive through the San Fernando Valley and I never realized it had hills on both sides.  Things have really improved.  I understand that many lakes and rivers are also coming back to a healthy condition.  But many of the solutions are more political than environmental.  The solutions are not always best for the poor of the nation.  All they do is limit our liberty and allow the Control Freaks of the Elites to feel good about themselves. 

One “solution” has been to get the old cars off the road.  How do they take old cars off the road?  A recent attempt has been the Federal program called “Cash for Clunkers.”  People were given a check to help them buy a new car.  Let’s assume for a moment that this program did remove a lot of old cars from the road.  It was “successful,” whether you think that is good or not.  The plan was that the cars traded in would go to the wrecking yard as scrap.  They would be crushed and shipped to whatever country is now reclaiming metals from scrap.  There would be fewer old cars on the road.  Yay!

Now let’s look at the economics of a free market.  When the government takes your tax money to help wealthy people buy cars they could buy on their own if they really wanted them, they also take the old cars out of the loop.  That means there are fewer used cars on the market to be bought by the less affluent.  I am one of those.  I have never bought a new car.  Rarely have I even gone to a car lot to buy my used cars.  I usually buy them from people who park their old car in front of their house with a “For Sale” sign in the window.  It works for me.  Or it used to.  Since Cash for Clunkers there are fewer old, cheap cars available to buy.  This reduction in supply means an increase in demand.  This raises the cost.

So the well meaning Control Freaks of the Elites end up limiting my mobility and thus my freedom while they increase the cost of living.  They are rich enough it doesn’t hurt.  I am not.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Opus 2012-153, A Sabbath for Machines

When I was in seminary I worked a lot of different jobs to pay the bills.  I scrubbed toilets, mowed lawns and worked Christmas at Macy’s.  For a time I worked with another seminary student who supported his family as a painter while he went to school.  He was an interesting type of guy that is getting more rare in our culture.  He was a simple, country boy at heart yet he was also a well read intellectual.  Today we are tending toward isolating the two but in our past the combination was not unusual.

One time he was sharing some of his reading about how machines worked better and lasted longer if they were given a Sabbath.  He wasn’t trying to make any big point, he was just passing on something he had read.  He said that farm machines that were left idle a day a week tended to break down less often.  He also said it was possible to let cows go unmilked on a Sabbath.  His information was that they then produced more milk than a seven day milking.  That went against everything I had ever heard about cows but he was the farm boy, not me.

But I wonder about machines.  God laid down the principle of the Sabbath.
(Exodus 20:10 KJV)  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Now I want you to notice that God extended this day of rest to the servants and the animals.  It was all inclusive.  It would not take much stretch of the imagination to extend this to the machines that we work with.

This got my mind to wandering.  Have you ever noticed that things borrowed seem to break more often than they do for the owner?  Sometimes it is because the borrower does not practice the same care as the owner.  Sometimes it may be a lack of skill resulting in misuse.  But I ask myself, “Do machine parts develop stress patterns?  Do they develop a memory of response and when someone uses them a little differently, do they fail because it is a different pattern?”

Think about your body.  When you use muscles that have been idle you know it the next day.  Too long of exercise can deplete stored reserves of minerals.  Do machines with wood, metal and plastic parts have parallel qualities?  It could just be wear patterns.

One reason to give your machines a Sabbath is that it may require you to get some rest also. 

homo unius libri

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Opus 2012-152, Healthy Insights: Biblical Nutrition, Meat

It seems to me like a growing number of people are becoming vegetarians.  There are many reasons for this.  Some feel that meat is bad for them.  Some feel meat is too expensive.  Some look at the amount of grain used to fatten up cattle and feel it could go to the starving of the world.  Then you get to the group that think the animals are their brothers and that eating meat is a form of cannibalism.

The one person who should feel comfortable eating meat is the Christian.  Get a picture in your mind.  The Ark has grounded.  Noah is letting the animals out.  God has a message for him and his family.
(Genesis 9:3 KJV)  Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
It seems pretty clear that avoiding meat is not in agreement with what God has to say.  That does not mean that being a vegetarian is a sin but it does mean you can’t claim to do it for spiritual reasons.

Then get another picture.  Jesus is speaking to the multitude.  It is time for lunch.  There are no grocery stores or fast food places around.  Jesus tells the people to sit down.
(Matthew 14:16-20 KJV)  But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.  And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.  He said, Bring them hither to me.  And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.  And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
You may be one of those people who doesn’t believe in miracles.  Fine.  Put that aside.  It is still clear that this part of the Bible has Jesus approving the eating of bread and fish. 

So enjoy your steak, but make sure that you have it well done.  After God told Noah to eat meat He had one other thing to say.
(Genesis 9:4 KJV)  But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
No blood allowed.  If you cut your steak and it bleeds, send it back for more fire time.  At least that is my interpretation. 

I could be wrong on that.

homo unius libri

Friday, July 13, 2012

Opus 2012-151, Green Pieces: Go Ahead, Cut Down the Tree

I was listening to the radio while driving between time share weeks and the conversation turned to the foolishness of the elites who want to control our lives by regulating our use of energy.  They commented on America’s riches in energy that we are not allowed to use.  We were called the Saudi Arabia of Coal.  We have vast reserves of oil but the environmentalists won’t let us drill.  And then they came to trees.  They pointed something out that I knew but put it in a way that I had not thought of before.

Trees are a renewable resource.

I have had this discussion with students at school.  They are always trying to tell me I am killing trees by making them get out paper and write.  I look at them with big eyes and ask in my most dramatic style, “Do you know what happens when you cut down a tree?”  What great dread they ask me, “What?”  I tell them, “It grows back!” 

So if they won’t let us drill for oil, maybe we need to bring back the Stanley Steamer and use wood to power our automobiles.  Of course so many of our children are raised in sterile metropolitan areas or the deserts of the Southwest.  They don’t realize that in areas where it rains the trees just keep growing.  You can’t stop them.  Of course people who have never driven across North Dakota still believe the world is overpopulated, too. 

I guess they need to get out more.  Maybe a nice long drive in a car driven by gasoline.

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Opus 2012-150, Healthy Insights: Biblical Nutrition, Eggs

How about eggs.  The doctors have been steering us clear of eggs because of the dangers of cholesterol.  But wait, lately it seems that some studies are showing that eggs are not as bad as they thought.  Could it be that the first studies were paid for by the breakfast cereal industry and the current are financed by the Egg Council?  Do you think?  How else could the artery stopper become “the incredible, edible egg”?

Are eggs evil incarnate or are they the answer to life’s big questions?  Like many questions, the answer is somewhere in the middle.  Think things like “balance” and “moderation.”  From God’s point of view the egg is assumed to be a part of our diet.  The book of Job combines eggs with salt. 
(Job 6:6 KJV)  Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?
There is no mention of pepper or salsa, but the assumption is that people eat eggs.  I wonder if Job had been hearing from the cholesterol people because he is just talking about the “white” of the egg.
It seems that farmers have always had a pattern.
(Isaiah 10:14 KJV)  And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.
Why would they be gathering eggs if they were not going to eat them?

And then in the words of Jesus we find the assumption that eggs are a good thing.
(Luke 11:12 KJV)  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
So eggs were created as a part of our world to be part of our food chain.  Obviously you can overdo it.  Excess of anything is still excess.  You might also have other parts of your life that are out of control so you need to avoid them.  You can talk to your doctor about that.  We are all different.  Some people die if a bee stings them.  I pull out the stinger and get on with life.  That does not mean that bees are to be eradicated or that I am a macho man.

So the real question is, sunny side up or scrambled?

What other foods does the Bible comment on?

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Opus 2012-149, Healthy Insights: Biblical Nutrition, Wheat Products

What other basic foods are on the growing list of anathemas in our health crazed culture?  I don’t know how new it is but I have been hearing a lot of concern about gluten lately.  I am not sure what gluten is.  I am not sure I care.  But it is getting a lot of bad press lately.  Increasing numbers of packages are labeled, “gluten free.”  Gluten is part of the kernel of wheat.  It is involved in the process that makes the bread dough rise.  Along with wheat it has become a supposed villain in our quest for the perfect diet. 

I was listening to a podcast by a survivalist and he came down hard on wheat and what a terrible thing it was for us to eat.  He gave the impression that it would destroy our digestive tract.  It should be no surprise that he was on a low carb kick. 

I have news for you.  Bread is one of the universal elements of human diet.  It may take different forms from tortillas to sour dough rolls, but it is basic.  So much so that Jesus could say this and be understood.
(John 6:35 KJV)  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Everyone understood what He meant.  Bread is basic.  It is hard for bread to be basic and low carb to be healthy but the modern culture does not accept the teaching of the Bible.  It also seems to reject basic facts and logic.

We find bread from the earliest references.  When Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden we find bread being mentioned.
(Genesis 3:19 KJV)  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
I guess you could argue that Adam was doomed to eat bread because of the creation of sin in the Garden.  You might say that he was a salad and fruit man before that and I am not sure I could argue with you but I still see that bread is basic.

What other foods are given good press by the Bible?

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Opus 2012-148, Healthy Insights: Biblical Nutrition, Salt, Part 4 of 4

One more, how about salt as a healer?
(2 Kings 2:21 KJV)  And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.
This makes no sense to me scientifically, but I am sure there is some explanation.

So the Bible gives salt good press.  Our culture gives salt bad press. 

I will concede that some people are sensitive to sodium and must avoid salt.  We all know people that have their blood pressure spike because of salt, but that is not true of most people.  Even the doctors are beginning to admit that they went overboard on their crusade against salt.

So if it is a problem for you, avoid it.  That seems common sense to me.  Just because some people have a reaction to peanuts or sea food does not mean that the rest of the civilized world must declare them off limits.

What other foods are given good press by the Bible?

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-147, Healthy Insights: Biblical Nutrition, Salt, Part 3 of 4

Moderation is always a key.  Good things misused become sinful.  When I was a kid I used to get rock salt and suck on it.  I used to love chopped spinach and I would cover it with salt so it looked like a mountain in the middle of winter.  I am not sure that was good for me, but I survived.  Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.  Salt in excess was also used to kill and destroy.
(Deuteronomy 29:23 KJV)  And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:
When Rome finally defeated Carthage they covered the area with salt to kill all the vegetation and make it impossible for the area to be used again.  This was a common practice against enemies.  In this verse we see the references to Sodom and Gomorrah, which most have heard about.  The other two towns are always in a list of these four cities.  All must have been noted for their evil and their destruction was sealed with salt.  Thus salt was sown to destroy sin.

That is probably why salt works as a preservative.  It keeps the germs of corruption from growing, thus keeps the food from going bad.

I have also heard that improper farming methods can ruin the soil.  Too much irrigation can somehow increase the salt content of the field and make it unproductive.  If my memory is correct, James A. Michener related how some rich farmland in the Middle East became desert because of this.

So, how about some common sense here.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Monday, July 9, 2012

Opus 2012-146, Healthy Insights: Biblical Nutrition, Salt, Part 2 or 4

Okay, salt is good.  The earliest Biblical application of this that I could find was in Leviticus.
(Leviticus 2:13 KJV)  And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.
It would seem that God preferred His sacrifices seasoned with a little salt.  If God thinks it is a good thing, who am I to argue.  The commentaries say that since salt was known as a preservative, it was a symbol of the enduring quality of the sacrifice. 

Then I came across something I had never seen before, the “covenant of salt”.
(Numbers 18:19 KJV)  All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee.
Again this is seen to have the idea of preserving and endurance. 

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-145, Discernment Watch: Election Coming

This is a must read to remind you of why November is so important.  The title of the post is,

"No Editorial Comments, No Accusations, No Sarcasm. Just OBAMA In His Own Words."

It is found at A Well Meaning Gentlemen..." and it would be a good reminder of the issues in our leadership.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-144, Healthy Insights: Biblical Nutrition, Salt, Part 1 of 4

How does the Bible’s view differ from our modern culture in regard to what we eat?  The first thing we need to clarify is that the Bible is not a cook book or a scientific examination of nutrition.  It is a book of spiritual truths.  Thus, you must look for principles and concepts when you would prefer rules and lists.  What does it infer about what is good to eat? 

Salt provides a good example.  In our culture salt has been a villain for a long time.  We are all told to “cut down on salt.  Salt is bad for you.  Salt does not really make things taste better, you are just used to it.  Salt causes high blood pressure, etc.”  In some restaurants it is almost impossible to get something worth eating because of this mantra.  When you buy things in the grocery store you have to read the labels because so many things are made without salt.

On the other hand, most literate people are familiar with the concept of being the salt of the earth.  This concept comes from the words of Jesus as He talked to His followers.
(Matthew 5:13 KJV)  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
If you are under 30 you may not realize this was meant as a positive statement about salt.  It is another example of how our modern culture can change our understanding of things.  To the Christian, being the salt of the earth is a good thing.  To the pagan who fears salt, it would be a bad thing.  Another verse make this even more clear,
(Luke 14:34 KJV)  Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
That is pretty clear, but of course, all things in moderation.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Opus 2012-143, Healthy Insights: Biblical Nutrition, Dairy Products

What I find interesting is the contrast between what we hear is healthy and what the Bible seems to say about things we consume.  What got me going on this was a verse I read today during my personal worship time.
(Proverbs 27:27 KJV)  And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.
This tells me that milk is an acceptable food.  You can make a case that it is just referring to goats milk but I think that is more cultural than spiritual.  Cows are high maintenance.  Goats can live almost anywhere so they were more readily available.

Dairy products as a whole are accepted.  We have the history of David when he was fleeing from Absolom.  At one point friends sent him supplies.
(2 Samuel 17:28-29 KJV)  Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.
So in a general sense the products of milk were acceptable food.  Of course if you are lactose intolerant you are an exception, not the rule. 

What other foods are given good press by the Bible?

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Opus 2012-142, Healthy Insights: Biblical Nutrition, No Longer Kosher

Are there any health nuts out there?  Excuse me.  What I meant to say was “Are there any of you that are serious about only putting pure nutrition into your body?”  As a diabetic it is amusing to read the different opinions on what people should eat.  Some want to go carbohydrate free.  Meat and greens are the answer.  This, of course, runs in conflict with the vegetarians. 

Some people count cholesterol.  Some people count carbs.  Some focus on sodium.  I only watch calories.  There is value in each but it really depends on you as an individual.  Each of us is different.  We need to accept that.  What works for one will not work for the next.  Some people have allergies that are life threatening.  Most of us just have weird hang-ups.  So go ahead and share notes but don’t get hostile about it.  Bald people wear more hats than hairy people but people prone to skin cancer totally avoid the sun. 

God gave a set of dietary rules to the Jews.  We refer to it as eating kosher.  We are hearing more about the Muslims dietary restrictions, halal, also.  They have a lot in common but are not the same.  As Christians we have been set free from the dietary laws of Israel.  Peter had this experience that was passed on to us in the book of Acts.
(Acts 10:10-16 KJV)  And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:  Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.  And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.  But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.  And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.  This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
There is a symbolic teaching here about accepting the Gentiles into the faith but it is also a teaching about the Law and its dietary regulations.  They do not apply to us as law any more.  Many of them still make sense but they are not spiritual limitations any more. 

The question I want to look at is “What does the Bible say about foods our culture attacks?”

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Friday, July 6, 2012

Opus 2012-141, Green Pieces: Cooking the Frog, Attacks on the Poor, Oil Changes

The elites of the world do not understand the struggles of the working classes.  It might be more accurate to say they don’t really care.  The environmentalists who continue to try to regulate us would fit into this category.  They are in the exclusive club with Marie Antoinette who is reported to have said, “Then let them eat cake.”  They never take into consideration what their need to control does to the lives of the poor.

When I was a kid we used to change our own oil.  We would save up the used oil and, when we accumulated, enough, take it down and sell it to the recycler.  This private business man would clean it up, package it and sell it.  It was cheaper than new stuff.  When I was young and had no money I used to buy recycled oil.

This was a win, win, win.  Because I could get money for my used oil, I did not dump it.  I made money on the deal.  A local, small business hired people to process the oil.  Read this as jobs for people and profit for the entrepreneur.  He then sold it at a lower price and the oil was available to people with limited income.  This meant poor people could afford to buy and drive cars.  This allowed them more choices in work, education and recreation.  It made life better for them.

Compare this to the modern world.  I talked to the manager of a chain store that would change my oil for a price.  I asked if I could give him my oil.  Notice I knew he would not pay me for it but I assumed he could take it for reprocessing.  He said, “No.”  He had once been fined $10,000 because he took someone’s oil and it had an additive in it that the environmental people did not like.  So now instead of getting paid for my oil I pay someone else to change it and pay a fee to have it recycled.

What have we gained?  Under the old system everyone was better off.  Everyone could benefit financially.  The cost of freedom in transportation was lower.  The oil was recycled at a profit instead of under coercion. 

Of course, under the new system the Control Freaks of the Elites are happier.  I guess that is worth something.  I just wish the value did not come out of my wallet.

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Opus 2012-140, Holidays: A New Family Tradition

It worked.  After an American lunch of chicken and corn on the cob we adjourned down stairs and watched “Drums Along the Mohawk.”  Then, while enjoying fresh sliced peaches with cream, we read the Declaration of Independence, all of it. 

It is amazing how many of the portions read like they would have been written today if our media and congress were paying attention.  It lead to some good discussions.

I can see why the D of I is considered seditious. 

Why not make it a family tradition for you and yours.  Maybe you have been doing it all along and you just didn’t tell me.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-139, Immortal Quotes: I Think, Therefore I Am

I believe it was Rene Decartes who penned the phrase, “I think, therefore I am.”  He was dealing with the question of existence.  How do we know that we are real or that anything around us is real.  Philosophers focus on things like this. 

How do you know you are real?  Sometimes I think that these posts begin to run my life.  “I blog, therefore I am.”  Maybe it would be more accurate, “I am, therefore I blog.”  It certainly would for some people.

What fits in your blank and where is the blank?  Is it “I _________, therefore I am,” or is it “I am, therefore I __________.”  Or is it “I _________, therefore I ___________.”  Are you a blogger?  A gunny?  A sports nut?  A political junkey, prepper, mommy or ____________?

I enjoy all of these (except being a mommy).  They tweak my interest.  They spice up my life.  But none of them answers the questions that come quietly out of the dark, like “What is your purpose in life?”  They all try desperately, but come up short.  That is one of the big questions, “What is the purpose of life?”

My father used to say to us, “Don’t sit there like a bump on a log.”  Why not?  If I am only a bump on a log, why not act like one?  What reason do you have to believe you are anything more? 

Those who follow the teachings of evolution and secular humanism don’t consider themselves bumps on a log.  They consider themselves aberrations on nature.  When they cross-train with the extreme environmentalists they see us as simians gone bad.  Most look at human beings as destroyers of the ecosystem.  People are enemies of Mother Earth, sometimes known as Gaia.  We are a cancer on the perfection of the universe.  With their philosophy the only other choice is that we are part of nature and if you really believe in natural selection then it is natural for us to kill off other species and each other.  Let the last species standing claim the trophy.

I march to a different drummer.  I believe that a personal God created all of this.  I believe He knew what He was doing.  Just because we don’t understand doesn’t mean it isn’t there.   We see examples of this on a regular basis if we will look.  That is a big “if.”  A few years ago we had a major oil blow out in the Gulf.  Our elitist president used it as an excuse to shut down drilling in the ocean.  We heard about all the damage to the environment.  It is funny that we never had repeated stories about the little microbes that suddenly appeared and began eating all the excess oil.  God’s creation cleaned itself up. 

It seems that those microbes have been around for a long time.  They were designed to deal with the natural oil leaks that are squeezed out constantly in the natural condition of the ocean floor.  It seems that God knew about oil leaks when He designed the world.  Funny how that works. 

I consider myself at the top of the food chain.  That position as God describes it is to be a steward, not an exploiter.  I care for the trees, not because they are divine, but because they are my responsibility.  I care for the animals, not because they are my brothers but because God told me to do so.  Nature comes out in good condition without throwing out the place of mankind in creation.

It works for me.

I guess I could say, “He is, therefore I am.”

homo unius libri

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Opus 2012-138, Holidays: George III Reincarnated

Happy 4th of July.  I hope you are celebrating while you still can.

I am going to try to find time today to read through the Declaration of Independence.  It would be a good annual ritual.  Just as on Christmas we read the revelation of the incarnation and on Easter we read the eyewitness accounts of the resurrection, so on Independence Day it would not hurt to read from the primary source.

We are all familiar with the opening paragraphs, with “all Men are created equal,” and “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  Those are inspiring and need to be remembered.


Have you read the rest?  Are you aware of how the issues of 1776 are so much like the issues of 2012?  Let me share a few excerpts that you may not have gotten to.

In the same paragraph as the above you find,
“The History of the present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”
Now I want you to substitute “President of the United States” for “King of Great-Britain” and see if you eyes get wide and your blood begins to boil.  How about the next paragraph?
“He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.”
And the next paragraph,
“He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.”
If this does not begin to form a pattern for you let me just offer a few hints:  Arizona, Immigration, INS, Supreme Court.  I am sure I could give you more.  The American Revolution did not start because they did not like the tax on tea.  It was the result of a pattern of behavior as old as tyranny.  That is why the Tea Parties have as their central theme limited government.

Are we in a crisis?  I would say so.  Our imperial president feels he is above the law.  We have elections coming.  Get serious.  We have the tool of impeachment.  We may need to use it. 

Look beyond the president.  If Congress were not so out of touch they could take action and reign in the usurpation of power.  Maybe it is time to vote the suckers out, all of the suckers.  I know you like the one you have but you need to seriously ask yourself, “Do my elected officials really believe in ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people’?”

Again, I hope you are celebrating while you still can.  We are not as free as we were when I was a child.  Who knows about the future.  We can still say we live in the best country on earth but it won’t stay that way if we don’t pay attention.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-137, New Terms: OES

As I was reading I came across a term I had not seen before.  It expresses what I have been feeling.  It gives a new way of describing the elites that are running the country.  I may have even used the words but I never came up with an acronym.  I never said it in capital letters.  They are the OES, the “overeducated, elitist snobs.”
“The people who suffer from this syndrome have been labeled by many other Americans as overeducated elitist snobs. The OES syndrome does not manifest itself like Margaret Dumont playing society lady to Groucho Marx. Overeducated elitist snobs may even be self-deprecating about their cultural preferences. They just quietly believe that they and their peers are superior to the rest of the population, intellectually and in their nuanced moral sensibility.”
Don’t miss that last part.  This is an attitude that is often totally hidden.  It is so sincere that the Elitist does not even realize what it is to look someone in the eye.  They think everyone looks down their nose.  The Progressives who run the agencies of government, education, the major foundations and charities feel that they know what is best for you.  They know you need to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle.  They know that you don’t need a large soft drink.  They know that you don’t need such a long, hot shower.  They know that fried foods are bad for you.  And they have the power to do something about it.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “They are from the Regulators and they are here to help you.”

Murray, Charles.  Coming Apart.  New York:  Crown Forum, 2012, Kindle Highlight Loc. 1473-76.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Opus 2012-136, Tangent Number One

Last post I started talking about the reference of Alistair Begg to fresh water and salt water.  I got sidetracked, so lets get back to my original tangent.

My original feeling about the traditional words being "fresh" and "bitter" was wrong.  I did not read far enough.  The verse I was thinking of was this,
(James 3:11 KJV)  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
The verse he was referring to was the next one.
(James 3:12 KJV)  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Now what did my mind do with this trivia?  I think “bitter” is a better place to focus.  It has nuances that “salt water” does not carry.  It could be the same but I think it was what we call mineral water, something that our modern culture has made desirable.  A liquid that was considered suitable for taking baths.  I think the tofu and bean sprout crowd still drink mineral water but they have probably decided that “Perrier” is too gauche for the true purists.  I am not a drinker but it seems to me in my reading I came across people adding something called “bitters” to their favorite booze. 

The point that came to me was that our modern culture often takes things that are undesirable and makes them “cool.”  We can get used to anything.  Consider the different ethnic foods that are sold in public with no embarrassment.  Menudo, a Mexican dish, is the lining of the intestine.  Kimchi, a Korean staple, is a hot cabbage.  Nuoc Mam, a Vietnamese delicacy, is rotten fish juice.  When the Pilgrims landed, lobsters were poor people’s food.  They wanted to eat eels.  Remember the Beverly Hillbillies getting excited about greens and possum innards?  People can get used to anything.  Remember your first taste of coffee. 

These are just foods, but what about our actions?  Picture the socially acceptable attitude toward marriage.  Many are now so brainwashed by the media and public education that the idea of two men getting married to each other doesn’t even make the evening news.  Language is on a down hill swing.  Much current television would have once been considered pornographic.  Divorce is now “no fault.”  Children born outside of marriage is the norm for many parts of our population.  People can get used to anything. 

What kind of water are you willing to drink?  What kind of water does your life put out?  Remember that the measure is not going to be your local PTA or the Style Book for the New York Times.  The standard will be the eternal word of God.
(James 3:11 KJV)  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
What kind of fountain are you?

homo unius libri

Monday, July 2, 2012

Opus 2012-135, Tangent Times Two

I was again listening to Alistair Begg.  He quoted a verse and the quote sounded strange to me.  He referred to the spring that cannot produce both fresh water and salt water. 

Tangent Warning!  Tangent Warning! 

At this point my mind wandered off as it has a habit of doing.  Something did not sound right in his reference.  I didn’t remember it as being salt water, but bitter water.  I left myself a note on my recorder so I could check it out later and got back to listening.

Tangent Warning!  Tangent Warning! 

Yes, again.  This reminds me again of the value of allowing your mind to wander as you listen and read.  We are taught that we need to focus and pay attention.  Okay, I accept that but the Holy Spirit is constantly trying to get through to us and make us think.  When you are in a situation where your mental or spiritual radar perks up, don’t ignore it.  It may be the Holy Spirit.

Why does He speak to me when I am in the middle of a sermon?  Maybe because that is the time when I am most focused on listening.  Maybe the middle of my golf swing is not the time I am most receptive.  I grew up hearing about the “still small voice.”  It was a reference to the way in which God speaks quietly to our hearts.  I did a search and could only find this phrase in one place, in one translation.

Elijah was hiding in a cave and feeling sorry for himself.  God had a lesson to teach him.
(1 Kings 19:11-12 KJV)  And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:  And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
Notice that God caused all kinds of mighty wonders to take place.  It is clear that God was causing them and Elijah seemed to understand that.  But notice the last part, the “still small voice.”  To this Elijah responded and heard.
(1 Kings 19:13 KJV)  And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
As I write I am in Pennsylvania and a thunder storm is passing over.  God can speak that way.  I have had experiences where I have almost been killed in traffic.  God can speak that way.  But to be honest, the times that God speaks most clearly and in a way that I remember are in those quiet times when I can allow my mind to follow His “still small voice.”

Next post I will get back to my original tangent.

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Opus 2012-134, Tax Dollars at Work: Obama Will Pay for Your Gas

Many of us remember seeing a short video of a young lady all excited about Obama’s election.  She declared her expectation that he would pay her rent and pay for her gas.  I remember hooting about how ignorant she was. 

It turns out I was ignorant.  I underestimated the power of the Progressives (aka, liberals, socialists, elitists, Democrats) to work the system to buy votes and keep people on the plantation and in the underclass.

We were in a gas station in South Carolina.  We looked for the cheapest gas.  It was coming out of our pocket.  As I was at the pump I noticed a cute little sticker on the side.  It informed me that I could use my EBT card to pay for my gas.  One big problem:  I don’t have an EBT card.  But I do pay the bills of those who have one.  The EBT card is a cash card/debit card that the federal government is using to replace food stamps and other welfare payments.  It makes it possible for people to be parasites without anyone noticing.  It helps the self-esteem of those living at the expense of working people who pay taxes.

So lets review the places that “people in need” can use their EBT cards.  Popeye’s Chicken, Sunshine Liquor, 7/11, and now the gas pump.  The rent and health care have been taken care of for a long time.

So it turns out I am ignorant, or was.

I don’t know that we can lay this all at the feet of Obama.  I would guess that previous presidents had their hand in it and congress has either helped or ignored the issue.

Vote the suckers out while you still can afford gas to get to the voting booth.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-133, Withdrawal Symptoms

I am back in contact with the internet.  It has been over a week since I have been on line.  That is the longest I can remember since I hook up with a high speed connection.  I hope to begin posting with more regularity now.

homo unius libri