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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Opus 2012-276, Firsts: Chewing My Cud

I am now joining the millions of Americans who do cow imitations.  I am beginning to chew gum.  I had tried it a few times as an appetite suppressant but didn’t see it rocking my boat.  There is no substitute for discipline and delayed gratification. 

Then I saw a poster about dental hygiene that went something like, “Brush, floss, rinse, chew.”  I read the fine print that said chewing sugarless gum could help in taking care of your teeth.  The logic made a bit of sense.  It can’t hurt.  I will ask my dentist next time I see her.

For now I chew my cud.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Opus 2012-275, The Frog Still Lies Dormant

Recently we observed Pulpit Freedom Sunday.  The federal and state government are clearly moving to take away the liberty we have had in the past.  So far they are working to keep it below the radar.  They know about the illustration of the slowly cooked frog, even if Christians and other thought minorities don’t want to see it.  We are talking about the rising tide of persecution. 

I was thinking about how it effected the early church.  We sometimes get the idea that every Christian in the Roman Empire lived in daily fear of being fed to the lions.  Not so.  It was possible to live your whole life and never face persecution even in the days of Nero.  Most persecution was local.  Much of it was motivated by politics or personal gain.  Much of it was triggered by the obnoxious behavior of “believers.”  Like today it found many levels of expression.

We are coming to a time of persecution again.  It is becoming politically incorrect to be a Bible believing Christian.  We live in an ear of “tolerance” for everything except Christianity.  The message of the post modern elites is that we are to respect everyone, even those who violate what used to be universally accepted standards.  You are now “talked to,” demoted, fired, sued and even jailed it you simply state that marriage is between one man and one woman.  It starts here and goes on to the model of the Communist world with prisons, work camps and executions. 

Will it be universal persecution or isolated, politically motivated, spur of the moment, spontaneous, benefiting the persecutor persecution?  Will we be able to be teachers, police officers, plumbers, etc, or will we become like the homeless and bag people?  It is in God hands and we are in God’s hands.  Our job is to be faithful, light and salt.

Can we still stand up and stop the onslaught?  Yes, but not for long.  When I was a full time pastor I used to tell people that the best thing that could happen to the church would be for the Communists to take over the United States.  We would then find out who the real believers were.  I spoke to soon and had the wrong demon.  He is here and wears the face of the IRS, BATF, FBI and many other acronyms. 


homo unius libri

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Opus 2012-274, Agape/Chesed: Love Takes It’s Lumps

One of the hardest things for me to do is to “turn the other cheek.”  This is a clear teaching of the Bible.  Jesus went into quite a lengthy discussion of this principle.
(Matthew 5:38-41 KJV)  Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:  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.  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
This is hard in marriage.  It is hard at work.  It is hard driving in rush hour traffic.  It is hard.

Yet we are talking about one of the concepts that makes our open culture possible.  We always think we are in the right.  We always want the last word, the best price, and a little respect.  Only by giving up those expectations will our culture endure. 

Jesus noted that the old standard was “An eye for an eye,...”  What is wrong with that?  It never stops there.  When we go for payback we always grab for more.  If we, by some accident, actually get exactly what we lost, the other person feels like we took more.  This is the view of finite creatures locked into our perceptions and, too often, controlled by sin.  If each person demands a little more than they lost the simple bump in the hall will eventually escalate into nuclear war.  Love accepts it’s losses.

This has many applications from the ridiculous to the even more ridiculous.  I was just asked, “How many calories in a hot dog?”  My initial answer was going to be, “Turn over the package and read what it says.”  Instead I gave a number.  Little events like this determine if we are going to be run by pride or love.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 26, 2012

Opus 2012-273, On the Street: Chick-Fil-Ay, Hurray

I drove past a corner where they had torn out an old Sizzler and saw a sign in front of the new construction.  It is going to be a Chick-Fil-Ay.  At last.  I don’t need to drive over the river and through the woods any more.  Now one will be on the way.

There are several reasons why I like to see this.  First, if I am looking for fast food I like their offerings.  Without that the rest would be meaningless.  Obviously if I am looking for a $40.00 steak or some tofu they are off the list, but that is a rare occasion.  Second, their chicken has a lower calorie count than the fast food competition.  That makes a difference over time and expands the options open to me.  Third, they have been operating as a company guided by Christian principles, so far at least.  With the death of the founder that may change, but my hope is still alive.

I have not been hearing much about Chick-fil-ay in the news lately.  I guess the Christian bashing has moved on to Mormon bashing with the election coming up.  If they maintain their stand on Sunday closures I am sure that the media will find time for them after the election.  Remember that any blade of grass that raises a head above the masses gets chopped off by the mower of the Thought Police of the Elites.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Opus 2012-272, Should-a-Beens: Paying the National Debt

I keep hearing about how our grandchildren are going to pay off the national debt built up by George Bush and Barak Obama.  It occurred to me the other day, I can live with that.  After all, it was the young people who elected Obama.  They wanted Hope and Change.  They are certainly getting that.  They are the ones who have borrowed the money and run up the bills and have their hands out, so let them pay if off and be unemployed. 

There is a good chance I will be dead before Social Security runs out or Medicare goes bankrupt.  My kids currently have good jobs and I am still working with benefits.  It may get tight for me but I will probably be okay.  I do not say that in blind selfishness.  I am willing to redo Social Security and such.  I am willing to make sacrifices.  I know it can’t go on forever.  As a teacher I never vote for more money for education.  I am willing to go for reform but it will take people of all walks of life sitting down, having an open discussion and seeking for a solution that will be best for everyone not just to big campaign contributors. 

When you are ready to talk, let me know.  I will meet you at the table or vote for someone who will represent me.  I will not give you a dollar when you are standing in front of the “Help Wanted” sign at the fast food joint.  I will not feel friendly when you are in front of me at the grocery store with your EBT card getting cash back.

I am quite willing to let you get the government you deserve.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Opus 2012-271, Discernment Watch: Before the Fact

Before the election we need a reminder of our priorities.  I want to offer this now when the election is still up in the air and either side could win.  It does make a difference who wins.  One side is more on the side of righteousness.  Don’t let that make you lose your sense of proportion.

We are blessed to live in a republic that has historically given us unusual liberties.  We have been able to speak, worship, associate and gripe with no fear of reprisal.  This is unusual in history.  We live in a bubble.  We are a blip on the history of humanity.  I rejoice in that.  My hope is not based on it.  My hope is bigger than any political party or movement.  My hope is in the saving blood of Jesus Christ and the sovereignty of God.

Recently we observed Pulpit Freedom Sunday.  I repeatedly hear Alistair Begg talking about how the kingdom of God is not dependent on any political party.  I believe we should be involved in politics but in reality it does not make an eternity of difference who wins in November.  If I am on the losing side, I am used to that. 

We tend to get carried away tying democracy and republics to Christianity.  In reality God’s kingdom can be built in almost any political atmosphere.  The Bible does not use the word “democracy.”  The church was born and flourished under the tyranny of Rome.  It is expanding under the dictatorship of Communist China.  It is not a matter of what the government is.  Our success is not based on our political situation but our hope in Christ. 

So before the results are in, cheer up.  I have read the book.  You should have read the book.  We know who wins in the end.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Opus 2012-270, Stealth Zombies, They’re Everywhere

I have only seen one Zombie movie.  It was enough to last me the rest of my life.  The problem I am having is that I am beginning to see the living dead everywhere.  They don’t have the gore and they can walk without shuffling, but they really seem to be brain dead.

This morning I hit my regular morning pit-stop.  I got my coffee and one of my regular contacts joined me for “just a minute.”  He asked me if I had watched the debate and we traded a few opinions.  It seemed we saw the same two men.  We heard the same words.

Then he dropped the bomb.  He was swinging toward voting for Obama.  He claims that the veins on my head popped out and my teeth clenched.  It could be.  That is the way non-Zombies react to the emergence of stealth-zombies. 

I am hoping that he was just pulling my leg, but I doubt it.  The problem is that he fits the stereotype of the do-good elitist.  He is a wonderful human being in many ways.  He is a retired, successful businessman.  He started and built businesses.  He has invested in the stock market.  He is probably worth multiplied millions.  He knows how to play the tax avoidance game.  He gives large amounts to charities and needy causes and knows how to structure all his investments to maximize his available funds.  He is the picture of the greedy capitalist portrayed by Obama and the Progressives.

Yet he is going to vote for our resident socialist.

Just because a man is good at selling snake oil this guy forgets four years of elitist government kleptomania.  Because he says at a debate that he believes in the free enterprise system and feels keeping America safe is his first priority this guy forgets all of the government take overs, regulations and attempts to gut our defenses that have been going on for four years.

The only explanation I can come up with is that he was bitten by another stealth zombie and his brain no longer functions.

Beware of the Stealth Zombies

homo unius libri

Monday, October 22, 2012

Opus 2012-269, Ode to Old: Tell It Like It Is

Why are some people so reluctant to tell their age?  We are what we are.  When Halloween comes the kids will ask me what I am going to dress up like.  I tell them, “An old man.”  They usually point out that I come that way every day.  I am what I am.

Think about how we try to cling to our misguided youth.  We color our hair and wear wigs.  We slop on oceans of lotion that make bogus promises.  We take supplements that make claims that would not fool a child.  We have surgery.  We harass the doctor because he can’t take care of our aches and pains. 

As Christians we should be different.  The Bible paints age as an advantage.  Here is one example.
(Proverbs 16:31 NAS77)  A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness.
Although we all know it is not universal, the elderly are supposed to be closer to wisdom than the young.  Our pagan culture and the Mirror Church reject this and worship at the altar of youth.

Our pagan culture also fears death.  Old age points to death.  If you don’t have a faith that looks at physical death as the door to eternal life then you want to deny what you are.  As believers we do not fear death.  Think of the words of Paul,
(1 Corinthians 15:55 KJV)  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Do you believe that?  Really?  Then embrace your age with joy.  We are getting close to victory.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Opus 2012-268, Sabbath Observations: Suicide, Murder or Accidental Death?

I was listening to a sermon by Alistair Begg.  Nothing new about that.  I would recommend it.  As he was preaching, he mentioned it was an evening sermon.  It wasn’t a major point, just mentioned in passing.  It occurred to me that, except when he mentions it, I can’t tell the difference between his morning and evening preaching.  What that tells me is that he is just as serious about his evening sermons as he is about his morning sermons.  Possibly he is more serious.

That is not the pattern in America’s churches.   Usually you could tell within the first few minutes if you were listening to a morning sermon or an evening sermon.  I noticed this years ago when I was still pastoring and would have a Sunday off.  I would visit other churches and find that serious preaching in the evening was hard to find. 

You may have noticed that the evening worship service is a vanishing breed.  Most churches have cancelled them.  Some never had them.  The pastors will say that it is because of lack of interest, no one would come.  I say it is because the pastors have stopped putting in serious preparation time.  The pastors of America have killed off the evening service because they have not wanted to put in the time to prepare a message that was worth coming to hear.

Yes, I know that evening services have always been less attended than morning worship.  I know that people have busy lives.  I know that today more wives are working outside the home.  I know all that but it doesn’t keep Alistair Begg from preaching.  He has stated that his church is the only one in Cleveland with an evening service.  I am sure it is smaller in attendance but it is still alive and well.

The evening service has not died because it was useless, it is dying from neglect.

Was it murder, suicide or accident?

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Opus 2012-267, Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, Truths: We Are Created Equal

What about this business of equality?
“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal,”
When the modern Progressive (socialist, liberal, leftist, communist, Democrat) brings up this phrase, they generally bring it up to talk about the hypocrisy of the slave owning dead white men who talked big and lived shallow.  Is it ignorance or lack of honesty that makes for this distortion of the historical narrative?  Anyone who has looked at the time period would know two things.  First, slavery was an accepted part of human society at that time.  It always had been and to speak against it put you on the lunatic fringe.  Second, the American colonies had a long history of people speaking out against the institution.

An honest approach to this would realize that the Founding Fathers, whether they owned slaves or hated slavery, felt that the slaves were human beings and deserved to be treated that way.   Abraham Lincoln repeatedly makes this point in the Lincoln/Douglas debates and later.  For instance in the last debate, on October 15, 1858 he says,
“At Galesburgh, the other day, I said, in answer to Judge Douglas, that three years ago there never had been a man, so far as I knew or believed, in the whole world, who had said that the Declaration of Independence did not include negroes in the term ‘all men.’ I reassert it to-day.”
It is hard for us to accept because we live in a world that teaches slavery is a great moral evil but that was not the way it was, even in 1858.  It was possible for them to accept the existence of slavery and still believe in equality before God and the law.  For us it might be similar to accepting a homeless person as still deserving the protection of the law.

We are all human beings.  It is a belief that is a part of us as a people.

Lincoln, Abraham.  The Writings of Abraham Lincoln - Volume 4: The Lincoln-Douglas
, Amazon Free Edition, Loc. 1070-72.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 19, 2012

Opus 2012-266, Discernment Watch: Child Abuse Statistics

Recently we had a presentation on a very serious subject, child abuse.  The focus of the presentation was to remind us as teachers that we are required to report even the suspicion of child abuse.  We were given phone numbers and a time-line.  Well and good.

My problem is that I never turn my mind off and my inner data processor keeps running.  When I hear something that sounds too extreme to be rational my baloney detector kicks in.  One of the statistics shared claimed that 1 in 3 girls are sexually abused before they are 18.  That is staggering.  It is so staggering that I began examining the data.  The weak spot, as in many crusader presentations, was in the data.  How was it gathered?  What were the standards?

Let me give you an example of how they come up with this frightening number.  The policeman giving the presentation elaborated.  He claimed that a man with a child sitting in his lap who has a physical reaction is engaging in child molestation even if the child does not know it and no one else in the room is aware of it.  That is a pretty broad definition of molestation.  And I wonder how they collected that statistic?  Did they put sensors in the shorts of every man in the nation?  Did they have hidden cameras?  Did they do interviews? 

How about a little review.  They claim that a man, who might just be having a natural, uncontrollable reaction to physical contact is molesting a child even if the child is not aware of it and there is no active action on the part of the man.  By this rational anyone who walks by a bakery and smells the fresh bread is guilty of breaking their diet.  It is a nonsense statistic.

So how much of the shocking statistic is gathered in this broad brush method?  How much is real molestation and abuse and how much is an attempt to create a sensation in order to get laws passed and funds distributed? 

Child abuse and child molestation are real issues they need to be dealt with but not by a pack of lies and distortions.  There is enough real pain to go around.  Let’s measure it and do something about it.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Opus 2012-265, Headlines: Pinocchio Syndrome

We are all used to the different terms that are substituted for the word “lie.”  We have spin, exaggeration, viewpoint, interpretation and so forth but a lie by any other name, be it oh so sweet, is still a lie.  We are used to the lies of political campaigns.  As we watched the debate we were inundated with many more.  It is hard to know at the moment which candidate is lying and which is just wrong.  There is a difference but without the ability to look deeper into the statements it is hard to know who’s number are right and who is being creative.  They can’t both be right.

But there was one point in the debate when I was glad I was not sitting in the front row, just in case the Pinocchio Syndrome reared it’s ugly head and a nose started growing.  That was when President Obama stated that he was a believer in the free enterprise system.  I am always amazed when people can make statements like that with their bare face hanging out and not be so embarrassed that they have to run and hide.  This one was even bigger than when he declared he was a supporter of coal and coal mining was going great.  Don’t you remember the interview in which he promised to put coal out of business?  Am I the only one?

He is not in favor of free enterprise.  He is in favor of big government.  He is in favor of only the government elite having money or power.  He wants to destroy the American Experiment and bring back the world of Animal Farm where everyone is equal but some are more equal than others.  He is an advocate of crony capitalism which is just another name for the fascist system of Germany and Italy before World War II. 

It is said that people get the government they deserve.  If we don’t wake up as a nation, if we don’t restore the sense of personal responsibility, if we don’t stop demanding cradle to grave security then I am afraid that we will get more of the government we deserve right now.  We need to set the clock back, not because we are afraid of progress but because we are afraid of Progressives. 

November is coming.  What kind of government do you deserve?

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Opus 2012-264, Headlines: Presidential Debate

I managed to catch most of the presidential debate last night, either on the radio or TV.  My mind is already made up so I make no pretense of objectivity.  The choice is so clear that I have a hard time believing people are still undecided.  I also have a hard time understanding how anyone with an average IQ and any common sense could vote to reelect this president.

Romney was never my first choice.  He wasn’t my second or third choice but I am not one of those who swore I would never vote for him because he was a Mormon.  I just thought there were people with better, consistent positions on the issues.  But I repeat the mantra that I have used so much in the past, “The only thing that could make me vote for Bob Dole was Bill Clinton.”  You can substitute names to get the idea.

One place I wish Romney had been stronger was on his response to the question about the AK 47.  Technically he was right but we need to keep repeating that more gun laws will not make the streets more safe.  Make a list of the most dangerous cities in the USA.  Make a list of the cities with the most restrictive gun laws.  It will be the same list.  The order might vary slightly, but gun laws lead to violence on the streets and in the homes.  It is clearly documented. 

There were other places that Romeny could have been stronger but I have been on the hot seat enough to know how good hindsight is and how easy it is to quarterback from the arm chair.  It didn’t help that the moderator allowed the President to brow-beat him and did her best to keep Romney from responding to what the President said.  But as a conservative I am honest and admit my bias. 

I did not see any clear victory for either side but with the format I didn’t expect one.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-263, Elections Matter

We have a general election approaching.  Like most elections I can remember, this one is claimed to be a key vote.  It will decide the future.  The basic fact is that every election is key.  Each one decides the future.  Elections matter because they are the only legitimate way in which a free people have of directing their future, short of rebellion and war.

Political parties are not the same.  I know you have heard that it doesn’t make any difference, that they are all corrupt.  Is that supposed to be a surprise?  If you are not a Christian or subscribe to a lot of the nonsense that you hear in the touchy feely churches of the country then it might be a surprise.  Christians know better.  Mankind is sinful.  It is an article of faith.
(Romans 3:23 KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
This effects all of nature and all of society.
(Romans 8:22 KJV)  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
So, yes, all political parties are corrupt to a point because they have people in them.

But they are not the same.

Saying political parties are the same is like saying that dogs and cats are the same.  After all, they both walk on four legs, are covered with fur, have tails and eat meat.  All that is true but the conclusion is not.

I am aware of the flaws of the Republican Party.  I live, however, in California.  It is not referred to as the People’s Republik of Kalifornia for no reason.  It is an example of what can happen when every part of government is controlled by the Democratic party.  The state is going bankrupt.  Businesses are leaving as fast as they can.  What is the answer?  Raise taxes.  Regulate farming.  Control thermostats.  Coming to a state near you.  Review California’s model and ask yourself, “Has this been a success or a failure?”  When the Democrats are in total control things go downhill quickly.  When the welfare classes are the majority it is a problem. 

Then I thought about the Republicans during the brief time they had control of congress.  To be honest, they did not do much better.  The only consolation is that we could say they spent like Democrats.  The funny thing is that the Democrats picked up on this.  I guess there was a reason the Founding Fathers put so many checks and balances in the system.  They did not want to see what California has become.

Ask yourself what you want to see for your country.  Vote like it makes a difference, because it does.  If sanity does not prevail you will be able to look at the left coast and say, “Coming to a state near you.”

November is almost on us.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Opus 2012-262, Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, Commitment to Absolute Values

We live in a relative age.  Our current culture is rejecting the existence of absolute truth.  Relativism is a core value of New Age, Post-Modern and Emergent Church thinking.  It was not so with the Founding Fathers.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident,

The American Experiment is based on an agreement on certain unquestionable truths.  We will look at some of those later but they assumed that truth was not a variable, it was a constant.  We see a growing number of justices on the Supreme Court going to relative values when they talk about a “Living Constitution.”  By that they mean that the Founders were provincial and parochial while modern, highly educated elite judges, in light of their more advanced insights and intelligence, are free to interpret and correct what they wrote.  This is a violation of the American Experiment and will ultimately destroy it.

These truths were obvious to any clear thinking person of good will.  Those who believe in relativism are lacking in one of those areas.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Opus 2012-261, New Terms: Tracking

In my last rant I used the term “tracking.”  After I used it I had two needs that came to mind.  The first was to wash my mouth out with soap for using such a foul word.  The second was that you might not understand what educators mean by “tracking.” 

Simply put, tracking is placing students in groupings with people of the same ability.  That is all it really means.  Sounds like it makes sense.  When I was in high school we had Varsity football, junior varsity, B league and C league.  Thus if you were only 85 pounds and/or not a gifted athlete you could still have a good time playing football and not get killed in the process.  In the classroom it meant that the entire class could be working on material at your level.  It was the way that you were educated if you are over 60.

Then politics got into the game.  In the discussion with the principal one of the younger teachers looked confused and asked that eternal question, “Why?”  I said, “Politics.”  The principle said, “No.  Studies have shown...”  When I politely (Okay, so I wasn’t so polite) pointed out that it all came out of the claims that minority students were being put into lower groupings she was forced to admit that it was politics.  Of course, five minutes later in another group she would again say it wasn’t politics but I will take little victories when I can get them.

We don’t group students by their ability because we are afraid of being called racists.  Because we are afraid of racists who play the race card we are now preparing every student to go to college and be a doctor or lawyer.  It doesn’t matter if they can’t read and have a 30 second attention span, we cannot have any discrimination.  All must be treated the same.  All must have the same opportunity.

This is why we don’t have industrial arts classes any more.  We don’t teach home economics.  Our athletic programs are very limited.  We now march to the slowest drummer and play our music with no harmony.  All must be the same in the name of diversity. 

As wonderful, warmhearted and fair as that sounds I ask you, “Do you really want someone with my lack of coordination, no depth perception, slow reflexes and tendency toward motion sickness to be the pilot on your next airplane flight?”  It would be fun.  I would love the front row seat.  I also want to arrive alive, so I will pass because I would fail. 

There must be a common sense, in-between answer to this but it won’t happen unless enough people stand up and demand it. 

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Opus 2012-260, New Terms: Heterogeneous Grouping

One reason that modern education is in trouble is that our leadership has not been taught to think.  They are good at filling out forms and passing out prepared statements, but they don’t seem to be able to see past the party line.  One of the mantras that we have in education is “heterogeneous grouping.”  What this means is that any kind of unit is supposed to be totally diverse.  In a class that means that you are supposed to have the students evenly but randomly enrolled so that you have low, medium and high ability students in the same class.  Thus, even in our “gifted” classes we have people who cannot read, write or sit quietly.  The fact that this defies logic, violates common sense and does not work is ignored.  The politics of education say that you must have heterogeneous groups.

Of course this is ignored when it is convenient.  At our last “in-service” day, our principal joined my group to make sure we were not just acting like students who are assigned group work.  In the discussion, she started by saying that we had to have totally heterogeneous groups.  She was following the official party-jargon line.  When it was pointed out that she was not actually doing that because of parental pressure she back-peddled and said, “we still have heterogeneous groupings, it is just a more narrow heterogeneous.”  This explaining why we are not tracking after claiming first, that the totally mixed group worked and then, backing down and saying it didn’t.

So what we have when parents scream loud enough and threaten to pull out of our school is a semi-heterogeneous group.

About the only advice I can give you as parents is be loud, pushy and vocal.  I don’t like it but I have observed that it is the only thing that motives professional educators to respond.

If you wonder why your children aren't  learning as much as they could it might be that they are in a small group with a student who can’t read and two would just want to text their friends.  That is not much motivation to do your best.

Welcome to modern education.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Opus 2012-259, Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, God Rears His Ugly Head

I don’t think God’s head is ugly, but the purveyors of our modern culture do.  I am sure you have noticed all the attempts to remove any reference to the God of the Bible from the public square under the fantasy of “separation of church and state.”  The Constitution does not mention God.  That was one of the reasons that some people fought against its adoption back then.  You cannot say that about the Declaration of Independence.  Here in the first sentence we find reference to God and natural law.
...”to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them,...”
Few, if any, of the documents of the early American period failed to mention God in some way.  That is a simple fact.  When you hear someone talking about how we need a secular society you might ask them what country they are talking about, it certainly hasn’t been America.  That is the witness of history.  Deal with it.  If you want to change it, then you want to make America something is has never been.  You want to remove the force behind a belief in equality, educating the masses, hospitals for the masses, ending slavery, and the civil rights movement.  These did not come from secular academia but from the Pulpits of America.

America was created in the midst of a belief in natural law.  Natural law is a product of God.  The God they knew about was the God of the Bible not the gods of the pagans.  Many of the Founding Fathers would not qualify as Christians but they had a firm belief in a God who created the world and was still involved in it.  They were not the stereotype of Deists who claim that God was not involved. 

When you talk about our foundations, put God right in the middle of it.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Opus 2012-258, Monday Pulpit: Pulpit Freedom Sunday

I had never heard of it before but evidently it has been around a few years.  The pastor called it “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.”  It is a day when pastors are supposed to remind people of the tradition of freedom that is guaranteed in the Constitution and point out how that freedom is being taken away step by step.

One point he made that I appreciated was two incidences in the book of Acts that show how Christians are to view and use their rights as citizens.  Both of them had to do with Paul confronting the local governments that abused his rights as a Roman citizen.  (Acts 16:37, 22:25)  We have Biblical grounds for demanding our rights as American citizens.

He did not get to the portion of the book of Acts that shows Peter defying the government authorities in order to be obedient to God.

(Acts 4:18-20 KJV)  And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.  But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.  For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

It is scary how the Federal and state governments are whittling away at the protections that were written clearly into the first amendment.  We will soon be called to make choices.  Will we adhere to the clear statements of the Constitution and the direct teaching of scripture or will we quietly conform to the demands of a pagan government?

Today they are trying to silence the pulpits.  Tomorrow they will try to silence the pews.  The goal is to stop all liberty that might undermine their authority.

Be aware.

As I was getting ready to post this I was alerted to a post by The White Man with the same warning.  It gives a bit of history on how the government has been slowly trying to strangle the Amish.  All Christians are on the list.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Opus 2012-257, Ode to Old: The Organ Recital

One of the accouterments of old age is the Organ Recital.  When you get with people who are past a certain point in life you always seem to hear about every little issue going on in their body.  They tell you about each ache and pain.  They tell you about their medications and how they are reacting to them.  They give you the prognosis for their survival until the next day.

You know you are getting old when you can match them story for story.  A person a church tells me how their shoulder aches, I understand and share my story.  Diabetes?  I can talk about it as long as you want.  Can’t sleep?  Bathroom stops?  Bathroom goes? 

For those of us who are doing the recital I would recommend that you lighten up a little.  There are a million things to talk about that are of more interest to those who don’t understand.  Finding other things to talk about might get our minds off our issues, too.

For listeners, be patient.  Don’t point out that we have given the same report five times today or that we had a totally different story yesterday. 

Now that I have your attention, did I tell you about...

homo unius libri

Monday, October 8, 2012

Opus 2012-256, Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, International Equality, Part 2

We believe in equality, among people and among nations.  That means that we treat others differently than the pagan world.  Obviously not all people and organizations live up to this idea of the Golden Rule, but it is a guiding principle for us.

It has made a dramatic difference in how the world has been run.

We have observed this in the 20th century.  Notice how we treated Germany and Japan after World War II.  Historically the spoils go to the victor.  That is what happened to Germany after World War I.  Historically the victor gets to pillage and ravish the defeated.  Every culture has followed this pattern until the United States got powerful enough to change the rule book.  Woodrow Wilson, whatever his faults, tried in 1918 but could not pull it off.  Things were different in 1945.

The United States did not punish its enemies.  After dealing with the evil, we turned the other cheek.  We treated others the way we would want to be treated.  We rebuilt their industry, we gave them a seat at the table.  We understood what it means to be “separate and equal.”

The Founding Fathers had a vision.  We may be the only ones who have it, but we have it.  American Exceptionalism means that we do what it right.  We may be ridiculed and patronized, even by our own president, but we still have a commitment to the right.  I can live with that.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Opus 2012-255, Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, International Equality, Part 1

We are not just to be separate and different.  We are to be equal.
“to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them,...”

This is a hard one for those of us that believe in American Exceptionalism.  I think it is best expressed by a concept that is grounded in the Bible and has become what we call the “golden rule.” 
(Matthew 7:12 KJV)  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

This is one of those concepts that you find in many different cultures and philosophies.  It is central the Christian faith and to the American experiment. 

We also have a unique concept of love.  It is also a demand.
(Leviticus 19:18 KJV)  Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
Some point out that you can’t love others if you have a sick sense of self.  It is possible to make too much of that but it has a grain of truth. 

One of the ideas that was at the root of the Great Awakening, and thus central to the thinking of the Founding Fathers, was the idea that all were equal before God.  The teaching of the Great Awakening was based on the idea that we were all equal in Christ.  This finds its highest expression in the writing of Paul.

(Galatians 3:28 KJV)  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

This did not mean that there were no kings or that men were not the head of the family but it had a sense of equality that brought the kings down and lifted the slaves up.

This is the American sense of “equal.”

To be continued....

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Opus 2012-254, Healthy Insights: Another Good Report

If you like to read about people making progress in the battle of health then check out this report from The Next Chapter.   He has lost some weight and stopped smoking.  That is bringing things back to normal.  I would say to leave him a word of encouragement but I can’t find the comment button on his blog.  Maybe you can.

There are no guarantees in life.  You may be the person it won’t work for but I encourage you to get serious.  I need to encourage you now because if I wait too long I may be off the wagon again.

Blessings on the quest for discipline.

homo unius libri

Opus 2012-253, Ode to Old: Why the Discounts?

Getting older brings to mind a few questions.  One of the big ones for me:  Why do seniors get the discounts when we have the money? 

I have always wondered why I, an older, established adult at the top of my earning potential get a discount when a young father with three kids pays full price.  It doesn’t seem fair.  I will take whatever they will give me, but it doesn’t seem fair.

If I go to a fast food joint I can get a ten percent discount.  If I play golf I can get a reduced rate.  There are all kinds of preferences given to people just because they are older.  Age does not have a direct correlation to your ability or resources.  Since I lost weight, I am healthier than I was ten years ago.  I am certainly healthier than my wife and in many ways stronger than my children.  Yet I get the benefits.

I guess life doesn’t have to be fair.  Many things simply are what they are.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 5, 2012

Opus 2012-252, Coming to a Court of Jail Near You

Today was confession day.  We learned that teachers are bullies too.  Evidently in our “Advisory” discussion of bullying some students shared how teachers bullied them.  This should come as no surprise since just about anything that makes a person feel uncomfortable is considered bullying.  It doesn’t matter if it is imagine or real.  It doesn’t matter if it is a mental problem of the one claiming to be bullied or social deviation on the so-called bully.  To use a favorite phrase of our self-esteem culture, “If you can dream it, you can be it.”

This is where the lack of depth in the thinking of teachers becomes dangerous.  They don’t seem to understand where this is leading and what the goal is.  This is not about bullying, this is about mind control and 1984.  Once we let this camel get its nose under the tent it can only end up in court, jail or the unemployment line.  Or all three. 

Lazy parents, despotic administrators, ambitious lawyers and unethical politicians are just lined up to take people to court.  They want to cut off anything that dares to rise above the mediocre masses.  Remember that some people were happy in the Soviet Union.  Some people were happy in 1984.  Some people are happy in the People’s Republik of Kalifornia.  Most of the happy are mind numbed robots who have no controversial opinions and are happy with bread and circuses.  The picture of the man who mad the video critical of Mohammed being led off by federal agents should send a chill up your spine.

It is coming to a school, or home, near you.

November is coming but it is only the next chapter in the battle.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Opus 2012-251, Vote "No" on Education

Over the weekend we were taking advantage of a time share presentation to get away for a week end.  No, we did not buy.  No, I feel no guilt.  They keep inviting us and if the deal is good enough we will go and enjoy ourselves.  It is a challenge to see how many ways the sales people can spin the facts to try to convince us that we cannot live without this offer.

One of the benefits for my wife is cable TV.  We are too cheap to have it at home but she likes to watch certain things while away.  She was watching a program that has people bring in the antiques from around their house and find out what they are worth.  Sometimes they will make an offer for the object.  It sounds a lot like a time share presentation to me, but I digress.

One of the situations this time had a bride-to-be bringing in a family heirloom.  If I got the story right it was an old mandolin that had belonged to her grandmother.  It turned out that it was one of the few that were really valuable so they made her an offer that she could not refuse.  I would not have sold it but I could see her deceased grandmother being willing to contribute to a wedding celebration, so I could live with that.

Unfortunately it did not end there.  The future bride was so euphoric about the money that she did what so many of this in-debt generation did.  She decided to celebrate.  Who knows how much of her inheritance she squandered on drinks and appetizers. 

I want to urge you to vote “no” on any increased money for education.  My reason is that education acts just like this bride-to-be.  It is possible that a small amount of the increased funds might go to actually make education better but the vast amount of the funds is wasted on “celebrations.”  Those celebrations take many forms from hiring attendance counselors to buying curriculum on bullying to field trips. 

I am a public school teacher.  We just lost our librarian, which means our library is just empty space.  We still have a speech therapist, a school psychologist, on campus counseling services, truancy counselors, special education aids who do little but sit in class and watch, assistant superintendents who do little but push the latest cool programs and schools that are kept open in spite of reduced enrollment.

The need is not more money but wiser spending.

homo unius libri