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.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Opus 2014-124: On the Street: A Really Special Olympics

Maybe we could have an Olympic competition involving modern multitasking.  I am watching three ladies as they eat, converse and work their phones.  We could have a knife and fork division and a finger food division.  We might want to divide the I-phones from the Android.  We could give points for talking with your mouth full and subtract for jelly on your nose. 

I am sure that you could come up with your own combinations.  Just remember that you heard it here first.

homo unius libri

Friday, May 30, 2014

Opus 2014-123: Ode to Old: Priorities

Does time go faster when you get old?  It sure seems like it.

What does it mean when someone says, “I don’t have time”?  We all have the same amount of time in our day.  The question is, how are we going to spend it.  Not having time means that there are other things that are more important.  That doesn’t mean that the activity skipped is not important, just less important. 

Blog, nurse, nap, study? 

My family is going through dealing with serious surgery.  I seem to be the healthiest so I am called on to do various nursing activities and display patience and kindness that I have never known before.  It does not come naturally to me.  It takes a lot of time and energy.  Does that mean that I don’t have time to write for my blog?  No.  It just means that often a nap is more important to my well-being.  I find I don’t have time to check out all the interesting sites either.  Tomorrow is another day.  Sometimes time flies when you aren’t having fun.

Maybe time flies because old people have less energy and take more naps. 

When people waste my time I remind them that I am getting old and don’t have time to spare.  They usually don’t seem impressed but it is true.

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Opus 2014-122: Bait and Switch Headlines

I am glad I read it.  It was informative.  It was not what it claimed to be.

I started on The Drudge Report, scanning the “headlines” and looking for something of interest.  My eye focused on a title, “Atlanta Mayor Rising Star.”  The picture showed a black man and knowing the history of Atlanta I assumed he would be a Democrat.  Since I wonder who would be considered a rising star in the Democrat party I clicked the link.

It wasn’t about the mayor of Atlanta.  It was about Bilderberg.  Even the title, “Reed to participate in annual Bilderberg meeting,” continued the fantasy.  After the first sentence, Reed was never mentioned again.  I learned nothing about why he was considered a rising star or what he had done to earn that title.  I did learn about the Bilderberg group. 

That was worth the reading.  I have always heard them mocked in the media.  This was an unbiased report on this private group of thinkers that come together to discuss world issues.  It is too bad that it was not billed that way.

I am finding this kind of thing on Drudge more often all the time.  You can often not tell what the article is about by the way it is sold.  Sometimes deception is a tool even on the right.

homo unius libri

Friday, May 23, 2014

Opus 2014-121: On the Street: Social Interaction

We like to criticize the younger generations for their addiction to electronics and social media.  It is an infection that has spread like yawning.  As I sit and write this morning I have three ladies in my field of vision.  They are definitely not young.  They came together, ordered together, sit together and I can hear their voices working.  Yet all three are staring at their smart phones as they speak. 

Are they watching the same video and discussing it as they watch?  Are they texting a fourth person who could not make it?  Are they doing their banking on line?   I have no clue.  I don’t see how they can be building relationships.

But what do I know?  I still think applause is out of place at weddings and eye contact is part of communication.  I am wondering if smart phones make dumb people.

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Opus 2014-120: Ode to Old: Change of Perspective

I hate buses and rapid transit.  It isn’t rapid.  It clogs roads and requires higher taxes to subsidize it.  You are at the mercy of someone else.  You cannot carry much.  It is dangerous.  Many issues.

I wonder if my attitude toward buses will change when I cannot drive any more.  When I have lots of time and no other way to get where I want to go, will I see things diffrently?

Should I start practicing taking buses so I will be ready when the time comes?

Scary thoughts.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Opus 2014-119: On the Street: Sad Humor

In our faculty print room someone put a cartoon on the board that was sad but right where I live.  They had removed the labels so I can’t tall the source. 

The cartoon showed a child in front of a door in a building labeled “School for the Gifted.”  On the door was a sign saying “Pull” and a very large handle designed for just that.  The student was leaning agains the door and pushing as hard as he could.

Don’t believe educational jargon.  Believe your lying eyes before you believe them.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Opus 2014-118: Bread and Gravy

When I was a kid my favorite part of the meal was after we finished the main course and got to the bread and gravy.  I loved bread and gravy.  One of my favorite applications was the gravy layer cake.  You take a piece of bread and lather on the gravy.  Put another piece on top of it and cover it again.  Keep this up until your mom gets upset.  Eat.  Great times.

I thought we had bread and gravy because it was good.  Looking back I now know it was because it was cheap.  Somehow my mom made it seem like a treat.  I never caught on.  We didn’t have new cars but my parents invested in an encyclopedia.  We camped out instead of using motels.  There are so many ways to keep your pride and your values.

The apocryphal story comes to mind of the lady who said, “We were not poor.  We just didn’t have much money.”  Poverty is an attitude, not a bank balance.  Poverty is not a position, it is a philosophy, a way of thinking.  It is a product of how we look at life.

So save your pennies.  Watch the sales.  Look for opportunity.  I tell myself that I would have some more bread and gravy but now it is a problem of calories rather than case.

Live rich.

homo unius libri

Monday, May 19, 2014

Opus 2014-117: Immortal Quotes: When All Else Fails...

One of the greatest pieces of advice is, “When all else fails, read the directions.” 

This is often ignored.  Some personalities cannot learn anything from reading.  They must do.  We all know people who can put together complicated mechanical objects just by feel and instinct.  I am one who can do it only step by step according to the book provided.

Instruction books are important to me. 

This can get ridiculous.  Some instruction books are absurd.  An owners manual for a three speed fan?  Really?  On the other hand you have a manual for an I-pod that doesn’t tell you half of what you need to know.  Two extremes.

Certain instruction books find a happy balance. 

Politically the Constitution is pretty clear, except for Harvard grads.  It means what it says and says what it means until the Supreme Court says it doesn’t mean what it says.  I am confused, but so are they. 

The Bible also has that balance.  It is more like the manual I got with my Wordstar program.  This came with my first computer.  It was well written, step by step and made an expert out of me. 

So you want to know how to run a country?  Read the Constitution.  Want to know how to live your life?  Read the Bible.

You may feel you know better.  You may think you have enough of the answers to get through.  Just remember, “When all else fails, read the directions.”

homo unius libri

Friday, May 16, 2014

Opus 2014-116: The Revival of Paganism, part 7 of 7, Conclusion

Is there an answer?  Yes, but it is rejected even by the majority of people who attend church.  If we would simply follow the standards that were laid down in the Old and New Testaments we could see a radical transformation of society.  It would be for the better if you have a traditional view of morality.  Most people don’t, so they don’t want to see it.

Take almost any issue.  It could be anything from littering to childhood prostitution.  Find out what the Bible says that reflects on it.  Adjust behavior.  The problem would be solved.

Welcome to the new world, the new age, the post modern era.  Actually, it isn’t new.  Go look at the decadence of the Roman Empire to get a preview of what to come.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Opus 2014-115: The Revival of Paganism, part 6 of 7, Indicators

Pagan culture is different from Christian culture.

Think of the pagan cultures of history and today.  Think of the values and morals:  Temple prostitutes, male and female, were considered normal.  The view of sex and family was definitely different.  Today we are seeing the culture become more violent and ugly.  Much of it runs in tandem with the breakdown in sexual mores as we move toward paganism.  

Infanticide was the order of the day.  Whether it was the followers of Moloch throwing their first born into a furnace or the Romans leaving their unwanted girl-children on the paving stones of the forum to die, children were expendable.  If they were a burden they could be disposed of.  

This attitude was extended to the rest of life.  In many pagan cultures if you murdered someone you could buy your way out of punishment.  I am not talking about justifiable homicide, I am talking about first degree murder. 

Women have always been looked at as part of the flocks in the pagan world.  In the ancient Middle East the Jews were the only ones that gave their women any status.  The veil that has been adopted by the Muslims was common for respectable women in ancient cultures.

Much of the change going on around you is a result of a resurgence of paganism.  Homosexuality is becoming accepted by those who don’t believe in the God of the Bible.  We have a mantra of “its for the children” and yet abortion is common.  Child abuse is growing.  We are accepting suicide and euthanasia.  Drugs are rampant.  Government officials think they are justified in doing anything so that liberty is dissolving.  Slavery, in the form of government control, is back.  Lies are accepted. 

Think about how George Washington or Clara Barton would respond to almost any popular TV program or movie.  They would probably call for the local law enforcement to deal with the perverts and sadists that were putting on what we consider normal entertainment. 

The changes are happening.  They may be so slow you haven’t noticed, but they are happening.

To be finished...

homo unius libri

Monday, May 12, 2014

Opus 2014-114: The Revival of Paganism, part 5 of 7, Animal Farm

The pagans are winning.  The children I work with are all familiar with the quote, “May the force be with you.”  None of them knew who Judas was.  They have heard of the circle of life.  They think Calvary involves horses.  They celebrate Earth Day and ignore Good Friday.  Truth is what you want it to be.  Today.  Tomorrow it might be different. 

Society today embraces evolution and environmentalism and don’t see the juxtaposition of the two philosophies.  Evolution believes that whatever happens and survives is the course of the future.  Thus, as man and his cultures develop and pollute the planet it is just a step in evolution.  We are a natural part of the environment.  Just as too many deer can kill a forest, too many people can kill a planet.  Paganism says let it come.  Why get excited.  If it is to be, it is to be.  The Bible lays out the demand for environmental responsibility, but with man in the driver’s seat.
(Gen 1:28 KJV)  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Paganism says that the earth is a god and we are to serve her. 

Animals are not our brothers in the Bible.  Notice the relationship established in the previous verse.  Notice the responsibility laid on human beings as superior beings.
(Pro 12:10 KJV)  A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
Pagan deities are often half or totally animal. 

Christians were involved in starting the S.P.C.A.  PETA wants to make us just another animal.

What difference does that make?  Last time my wife went to the local animal shelter to adopt a cat they wanted to send a social worker to our home to establish whether it was a proper environment for one of their charges.  I am starting to read about animal rights groups agitating for animals to have civil rights.  It is coming like a Mac truck.

It makes a difference.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Opus 2014-113: Healthy Insights: The System Worked

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I wish that President Obama and his fascist allies by any name be it Progressive, Democrat or caring community organizers (aka Communist, socialist, liberal, elitist, Rino) had paid attention to that little bit of wisdom.

We have never had a lack of health coverage in this country.  Many people did not have insurance.  Many people took advantage of the system.  But it worked.

It worked again for us last night.  We had an emergency that drove us to 911.  The 911 center did not ask us what kind of insurance we had.  The ambulance driver did not ask.  The paramedics did not ask.  The hook and ladder from the fire department (why?) did not ask.  When we got to the emergency room everything worked smoothly to triage and begin treatment with no questions about payment. 

Eventually they asked.  I am sure that if we had said we had no insurance we would have received the same care we did with our good coverage.  I don’t know what our share will be in the end.  That isn’t the point.  The point is the care was available regardless of my ability to pay.

The system still works.  I don’t know how much longer that will be true.  Hang on.  It is going to be  wild ride.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-112: The Revival of Paganism, part 4 of 7, Pagan Lite

Modern pagan gods have been modified by Christian concepts so they are a bit more palatable.  We don’t really like the pagan gods.  We have gotten used to Christian ideas expressed in the Love chapter.
(1Co 13:4-7 KJV)  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
We like that.  Since we like it and it isn’t found in paganism, we have grafted it onto the old gods.  I keep trying to find fantasy authors that I can enjoy.  Some tell good stories and gradually introduce magic and sorcery as they move through a series.  That means in a series of five books I can make it through two and a half before I give up.  I notice that they use terms like, “church” and “sin” while trying to gild it onto the polytheistic superstitions that they are constructing.

It is kind of like anchovy paste.  A tiny amount enhances flavor and brings out subtleties.  It very quickly gets to the point that it overwhelms the other ingredients.  A better example might be giving someone a pint of B- blood when they are B+.  It may look the same and be similar in so many ways and yet it means death.

Paganism will do that to the American culture.  The virtues we enjoy did not come from any source but the Bible.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Friday, May 9, 2014

Opus 2014-111: The Revival of Paganism, part 3 of 7, Karma and the Force

Western paganism is Saturday Morning Cartoons gone amuck. 

The predominance of western paganism is diminishing and being eclipsed by the eastern variations.

Eastern paganism can be divided into two general groups.  The first tends to take more impersonal avenues.  They were not originally religions although that has changed over time.  They were philosophies that govern behavior in this life.  Confucianism and Buddhism started out as philosophies, not religions.  

The other Eastern trend is impersonal but eternal.  Eastern pagan gods tend to be forces rather than persons.  They are not gods as we think of them but eternal principles.  Thus the ultimate goal of both Hinduism and modern Buddhism is Nirvana.  Western Christians do not understand how different this concept is from what they believe.  This is not a version of heaven.  It is totally different.  In heaven you are aware of your personhood and God’s personhood.  In Nirvana you cease to be aware and are absorbed into what Star Wars called the Force.  Eastern gods have names but they are viewed as all being a part of the same ultimate force.  The purpose of those segments of the eternal is to move you toward absorption.

To the Buddhist life is misery.  Being aware of self is misery.  There is nothing ultimately but pain and suffering.  Thus the goal is to earn the right to be absorbed and stop being aware of your misery.  There is no real joy or purpose in this existence.  Thus you have the wheel of life and repeated incarnations that move you up toward oblivion or down toward more suffering.

This leads to a culture that believes in karma.  It means you get what you deserve.  If you are a slave working in a salt mine it is because you were a real stinker in a previous life.  If you are a prince, you did a good job last time around.  It leads to a belief that the suffering classes are getting what they deserve and the only way they can get better is to suffer compliantly.

Obviously this means that upward mobility and prosperity for the masses is undesirable.  This is one reason why pagan societies have such an aversion to free enterprise, equal rights before the law and an acceptance of almost universal poverty.

Is that a world we see?  With the increase of paganism we see our underclasses swelling.  We see more violence and abuse. 

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Opus 2014-110: Ode to Old: Is This the One?

It isn’t so much the aches and pains but the duration.

Everyone gets aches and pains.  Usually they come and go and know one knows why.  Head, back, knees, fingers, you name it.  That is a part of life. 

When you get old you begin to wonder, “Is this the beginning of something serious?”  I know so many people who are miracles when they can walk into church.  I observe people in grocery stores who can hardly move without leaning hard on the cart.  When I get a pain in my foot I wonder if it will go away.

So far, so good.  I am blessed and grateful.

Getting old is an adventure.  Some people never make it.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-109: The Revival of Paganism, part 2 of 7, Western Paganism

Not all pagans are the same.  Americans have been more familiar with the European branch.

Traditional Western pagan gods tend to be just glorified human beings.  They have all the character flaws of the humans they order around.  They are like omnipotent infants.  They have power with no self control.  Gaia has a tantrum and we suffer an earthquake.  Venus cries and we have a flood.  Vulcan loses his temper and lava flows.  Mars gets rejected by a maiden and he turns her into a turtle.  The list goes on.  Read your Greek mythology if you think I am just making that up.  Or just read any modern fantasy.  I just read a story where a sorcerer told a jewel that was on the end of the hero’s sword to stop pouting.  This jewel representing half of the total power and wisdom of the universe (aka Ying or Yang), was pouting on the end of a sword and was confronted on this immature behavior by an old man. 

This is one of the reasons I have a hard time with fantasy as a genre.  The beings that are presented as gods are really just people with extreme power or Star Trek aliens with superior wisdom.  It is almost laughable as these creations of limited human beings try to share some eternal wisdom that the author just made up.  It is kind of like people who get excited about the wisdom of children.  It only exists when you are on an emotional trip.

On the stage we call it Deux ex Machina.  In modern fantasy it is called wisdom.  They can pull a previously unknown superpower out of the box and fix everything.  Or you have the all knowing, eternal gods who just forgot they could do that.  Cool.  All you need to do is sacrifice enough virgins and life will be good.  It is really just a belief in the ultimate power in the human potential.

How is it working for you?

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Opus 2014-108: The Revival of Paganism, part 1 of 7, Opening Salvo

Our culture is becoming more pagan.  When you abandon Christian presuppositions something fills the vacuum.  One simple example is that your pocket calendar begins each week on Monday instead of Sunday.  Another is that books are beginning to use BCE, before common era, instead of BC, before Christ.

So?  What difference does it make?  After all, pagans are nice people, too, right?  Pagans want to live in peace and security.  Pagans want to be happy.  They marry and have children.  They enjoy a good meal.  Pick your condition and often it is just part of being human.  So, pagans are humans too.

I can live with that.

The issue is not whether pagans are human beings.  The issue is what kind of world does a pagan belief system produce.  Cultures grounded and guided by pagan values and assumptions are different from the monotheistic Judeo-Christian cultures we know.  It has to do with your view of man and the divine. 

Pagan is not a pejorative term.  It does not mean heathen or barbarian.  It means people who do not believe in only one God.  That can mean polytheism or pantheism.  Pagans can be as civilized and cultured as Christians.  Pagans have a broad spectrum of people with varying levels of commitment.  Like Christians there are a lot of different applications and intensity of belief.  I am not planning on a comparative theology.  I am interested in the broad concepts and foundational presuppositions.

What are some of the long term effects we can expect with the revival of paganism?

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Monday, May 5, 2014

Opus 2014-107: Persecution Watch: Don’t Preach It, Brother

The Thought Police are on duty.  Today it is a Seventh Day Adventist, tomorrow it could be you.

It only made the Drudge Report one day.  I had to try several times to find it with Google.  It seems that Dr. Eric Walsh is both a government worker and a pastor.  His day job is, or maybe was, Public Health Director for the city of Pasadena, California.  In his private life he is an associate pastor in a Seventh Day Adventist church.  This man had the audacity to actually get in a pulpit and preach what the Bible teaches.  For this he has been put on administrative leave.  For this he has “withdrawn” from speaking at a commencement speech at the local community college.

Before I go any further, let me share a paragraph with you.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
In case you don’t recognize it, this is the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.  This is the supreme law of the land.  This is becoming hate speech.

The Bible has some clear moral teachings.  One very clear standard of God is that homosexual activity is a sin.  In spite of all the statements to the contrary there is really nothing to discuss.  This man, this ordained minister in a recognized denomination, had the vulgarity to actually stand in a pulpit and make a public statement that has been the standard of Western civilization for thousands of years.  He did not make these statements at work or in a general public forum.

For this he has been attacked by the Fascist (Progressives, Socialists, Communists, Educators, Democrats, Rhinos, elitists) Thought Police.  He has offended NAMBLA.  He has alienated the GLBT community.  He must be silenced.

You may not be concerned.  That is probably because you have been so neutered that you don’t have any thoughts that the Fascists (Progressives, Socialists, Communists, Educators, Democrats, Rhinos, elitists) are worried about.  They don’t care what you think of Beyonce.  They do care what you think about God’s standards of righteousness.

The persecution is on.  You are not free to express your opinions anywhere.  You will be recorded and hounded. 

Get ready.  Or just sit down, shut up, turn on the TV and veg out.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Opus 2014-106: God Bless PPO’s

It looks like we have dodged the Obamacare bullet for the present.

I wrote earlier about our concern for the changes that were going into place on April 1.  Our health insurance was going to continue with Blue Shield but we were moving to a new pool.  We waned to keep our Blue Shield PPO even though it cost us more.  You get what you pay for and we were okay with that.  What we were worried about were all the people who were finding too late that the change meant mandated coverage of things they didn’t want which opened the door to cancellation and re-application at much higher premiums.  We had a slight raise in cost but since our policy already covered all the socialist dreams of the Democrats (Progressives, Liberals, Communists, Socialists, elitists) we didn’t have the big new increases.

We know it is in place because my wife just had major surgery and the ducks seem to be in a row.  We are blessed and grateful.

I wish I could say the same for all of you.

In the process we also came to realize that we would not be getting the best care if we had one of the policies sold by the Obamacare machine.  We asked.  We were told that if we had anything other than what we had they would not accept us.  This was true of both doctors and hospitals.  We wanted the best.  Because we had Blue Shield PPO, the best wanted us.  All others need not apply.

There is still a lot of pain out there.  People are suffering and death is happening.  Our nanny state keeps sticking its thumb in the eye of society.  After all, Uncle knows best.  I trust that in the elections of November people will remember.

Vote the suckers out.  Both parties seem to need a change.  Remember, if you don’t get all the roaches you have not really cleaned house.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-105: Headlines: Invasion

The Drudge Report had a link to an article that reported on Mexican army troops that were crossing into the United States and sometimes attacking Americans.  According to the article this has happened 300 times in the last 18 years.  It says the statistics were gained through the Freedom of Information Act but doesn’t site the actual source.

It looks like many of the trespasses may be matters of a few yards and a bit of confusion but at least one is reported to have resulted in an American being shot by Mexican soldiers.

This is being reported by Channel 4 news in Tucson which looks like a NBC affiliate. 

It would seem that our borders are not secure.  Maybe if there was a fence the Mexican Army would know when they were crossing the border.

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Opus 2014-104: On the Street: New Wisdom

Have you ever had someone share an age old bit of wisdom as if it were a new truth. 

Recently my friendly neighborhood philanthropist was excited about a book he was reading.  It was the story of a lady born in China who had come to the USA and developed a successful life.  It sounded interesting.  She shared the secret to her success:
“The bamboo is strong because it bends but does not break.”
Okay.  This is not a new concept.  I pointed out that it was true of all trees but he was still in awe of this bit of “new” wisdom.  Good for him.

It reminded me of the time that a young man shared with me a bit of poetry his girlfriend had written him.  He thought it was really beautiful.  It started off like this:
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal....”
In case you don’t recognize the words, they come from the Bible, I Corinthians 13:1.  It is commonly referred to as the Love Chapter.

So you never know when someone will be impressed by old truth.  Keep telling the stories of the Kings New Clothes, The Little Red Hen and The Boy Who Cried Wolf.  Who knows?  Maybe you will cause someone to think because they are impressed with this new thought.

homo unius libri