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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Opus 2014-198: Tax Dollars At Work: Remodeling a Bathroom Near You

“Mommy, why is that man in our bathroom?  Why does he have that funny smile?” 

In January California implemented its new law about trans-gender bathrooms in public schools.  The thrust of the law was to allow students to go to the bathroom that they felt matched their sexual orientation.  The adults said it would be no problem.  After all, they asked, what boy would want to be found in a girls bathroom.  I did an informal survey and it seems that they all thought it would be a good idea.  The girls were horrified.  The boys were anticipating. 

Nothing had been done to implement the new law at the end of the school year.  It will be interesting to see if any signs have changed when school opens.

It seems it is also coming, or has already come, to a college near you.

The Drudge Report linked to a site called The College Fix that had a post titled, “University to Offer ‘Gender-Open’ Restrooms”. 

It seems the going trend at universities.  And you thought they were for higher education. 

One of the fascinating quotes I found was,
“We received overwhelmingly positive information, and so we went with it,” Devin Moss, the director of Northwestern’s LGBTQ Resource Center, told the Daily Northwestern. “We didn’t really get any major concerns.”
In case you don’t get out much, according to the LGBTQ Pamphlet offered by Texas Tech University it stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning (or Queer).

Yes, even in Texas.

You might begin to ask yourself, “Why is my tax money going to support this kind of foolishness?”

homo unius libri

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Opus 2014-197: Bored?

Boredom is a symptom of laziness, not a lack of options.

I have a lot of things to do.  When the kids at school ask me what I do if I don’t ____, I have no lack of things on my list.  I have shelves of books to read.  I have guitars to play and songs to work on.  I have ongoing Bible studies.  I have blog posts to write.  I could do some target practice at the range with the real thing or the back yard with an air-soft toy.  I could paint, trim, tighten, and clean all kinds of things.  I could go to a movie or a museum.  I could go for a walk.  These are just off the top of my head and none of these are things that my students want to know if I do.

Yet I find at times that I am bored.  Why?  Because I am too lazy to focus on the things I know I could be doing.  It could be a matter of mood or energy but it is never a loss for something to do.

So don’t get too flustered the next time a young person says they are board.  Offer to teach them to scrub a toilet and see how quick they think of something to do.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Opus 2014-196: Headlines: The Fourth Choice

Are you paying attention to the evangelism efforts of the Religion of Peace?

You can read about it at the Independent website.  One of the results of the ISIS conquests of Syria and Iraq is the murder of what few Christians remain in those areas.  In the article it clearly states that ISIS has given the Christians of Iraq a choice:  Convert, pay a special tax, or die.  Of course we understand that the grave is very peaceful but that isn’t what we Christians think of as peace.

Lest you think this is an isolated quirk of this small group, here is one quote from the Koran, Surah 9, verse 29,
“Make war upon such of those to whom the Scriptures have been given as believe not in God, or in the last day, and who forbid not that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and who profess not the profession of the truth, until they pay tribute out of hand, and they be humbled.” 
If you don’t believe me, look it up yourself.

The tribute payers are called dhimmis.  They are allowed to live as a lower class of humanity.  Not only is there a tax but many other restrictions.  You are limited in what you can wear, where you can live and must always display a proper respect for those of the Religion of Peace.  This demand by ISIS is not Islamic fundamentalism, it is Islam.  It is taught clearly in the Koran.  It is the desire of Islam for the entire world.

Wake up America.  When the Imams get here remember you will have three choices:  Convert, live as a slave, die.  Actually there is a fourth choice:  Win.

homo unius libri

Monday, July 28, 2014

Opus 2014-195: Headlines: RIP or ROP?

The Religion of Peace (ROP) gets peaceful again.  At least four people are now resting in peace (RIP). 

This was a link from the Drudge Report to the Telegraph in Great Britain.  It seems that someone in a group that considers themself Muslim but have been declared heretics posted a picture that was considered blasphemous.  The response is to burn and kill.

Next time you hear a media type tell you that right wing Christians are a threat to our country’s security, ask yourself, “When was the last time the local Baptist church organized a killing spree over a picture on the internet?”

The answer won’t surprise you but it might surprise your local college professor.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-194: Discernment Watch: Charitable Advice

I imagine that anyone who reads my posts also read Gorges’ Grouse so this may be a waste of time but if you don’t you might want to go read his comments on telemarketing “charities.”  He has done this work and knows of what he speaks. 

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-193: Monday Pulpit: The Love of a Godly Husband

The pastor was preaching from Ephesians 5 on marriage.  He was talking about the command for  husbands to love their wives.
(Ephesians 5:25 KJV)  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
This love is agape love.  Next the pastor threw in a quote from C.S. Lewis.  He did not cite a source so I am guessing it is a paraphrase.  It went like this.
“This love is intended for the man whose wife does not return his love.”
I do have some notes from C.S. Lewis’s book, The Four Loves.  In it he said,

“This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion;...”, p. 105
I think that is along the same theme.  The time for agape love is when it is the most counter intuitive.  When we want to walk away, we stand firm.  When we want to lash out, we embrace.  Keep in mind the parallel between marriage and the church.  Remember that Jesus died for us when we were the hardest to love.
(Romans 5:8 KJV)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
This is not the standard of our civil culture but is a foundation of the Christian life.  We are different.

Lewis, C.S.  The Four Loves.  Norwalk, Connecticut:  The Easton Press, 2002.

homo unius libri

Friday, July 25, 2014

Opus 2014-192: Fight, Flight or Turtle?

Self defense anyone?

Those of us who believe that the Second Amendment gives us the right to defend ourselves, family and property sometimes get a little too Hollywood in our concept of what it would be like to actually pull a trigger.  In my childhood fantasies I remember being in the Foreign Legion and defending a desert fort against hoards of attacking Bedouins.  I remember being the forgotten member of the Three Musketeers and taking on Cardinal Richelieu’s entire army by myself.  We need to be able to separate our fantasy world from real life.

If you listen to self-defense “experts” they will reminder you that the gun is not primarily to shoot someone but to stop them from attacking.  I have heard them say that the first step in self defense is awareness and the second is avoidance.  I came across that thought recently as I was reading my Bible.

(Proverbs 27:12 NAS77)  A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, The naive proceed and pay the penalty.

It is prudent to avoid evil rather than trying to John Wayne it.  We are naive to think that we can win a fight when we are out of shape and not only out of practice, but never had any practice.

So stay alert, avoid problems and know your limitations.

And, of course, keep your powder dry.

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Opus 2014-191: Headlines: Deluxe Affirmative Action

It may be time to withdraw funding from public higher education. 

What you will read if you go to this article is a pretty clear statement of where educators are in their values and priorities. 

The point of the article is that colleges should award grades with a strict adherence to affirmative action.  Grades would be awarded based on the color of your skin, not on the work you do.

Years ago Willie Brown, Speaker of the California Assembly, tried to get an early version of this through in California.  Although race had long been a factor in admissions, he wanted to make graduation also an affirmative action celebration.  For some reason he was not successful.  Of course, that was California then.  I live in California now.

We need something like the old Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval when it comes to doctors and mechanics.  Of course that would not be allowed by the ACLU, but a man can dream. 

I would be in favor of withdrawing all tax dollars from public colleges and universities.  Put them up for sale.  Let them sink or swim.  I really don’t need a waiter with a college diploma anyway.

homo unius libri

Monday, July 21, 2014

Opus 2014-190: Headlines: All We Are Saying, Is Give Peace a Chance

It is amazing how when Israel strikes back it is suddenly a time for peace.

No one seemed to care when three boys were kidnapped and murdered.  No one seemed to care when the Palestinian thugs shot rockets into population centers of Israel.  No one seems to care when Muslim killers do much of anything.  Now, suddenly, when the murders have to pay the piper, we need a cease fire.

It is shame that women and children are being killed in the backlash.  Unfortunately that is what happens when the brave warriors of Islam hide behind women and children.  That is the result when you put a rocket site in a school or hospital.  Bullies always cry the loudest when someone strikes back.

Israel will eventually agree to a cease fire.  It will come as soon as they believe that the message has been sent that you can’t attack Israel with impunity.  It isn’t until the end of the article that your read,
“Palestinian militants have over the past 12 days fired 1,414 mortars and rockets that hit Israel, with the Iron Dome air defence (sic) system intercepting another 377, the army said.”
In a perfect world Hamas would stop killing Israelis and Israelis would stop killing members of Hamas. 

We don’t live in a perfect world, so keep your powder dry.

You can read the entire article on Yahoo news if the link has been removed from Drudge.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-189: Monday Pulpit: Diagrams of Love

The pastor was working through Ephesians 5 in a discussion of marriage.  In his remarks about agape love he said it “comes from the will and expects nothing in return.”  I would assume that agape love is offered because God mandates it and it is not based on response.

My mind went into tangent mode and I began to think of diagrams of the different words translated “love” in the NT.

Agape love would be one way love.  There is no demand from the receiver, no pay-off to the giver, rewards the receiver and is offered with no conditions.

This could be represented by an arrow going away.  

A second type of love, eros, is the sensual aspect of our lives.  It is the source of our English word erotic.  This would be a love based on getting.  It demands from another and rewards the lover.

This could be an arrow coming toward. 

Brotherly love, philios, is the love of comrades and friends.  It is a two-way love and is dependent on common interests and experience.  It demands from both and rewards both.

This is an arrow going both ways. 

There is at least one more type of love that might apply here.  It is not used in the Bible but is in Greek literature.  This is family love.  It is a closed circle based on relationships that are permanent and by chance.  It rewards the group and often the individual. 

This might be represented by a closed circle.

All love is not the same.  English can be a rich language sometimes and poverty stricken at others.

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Opus 2014-188: Agape/Chesed: Spiritual Now and Later

As I was reading through Proverbs 19 I came across this verse.
(Proverbs 19:22 KJV)  The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.
I am writing my own Bible commentary as I read and reread scripture.  It will never be published except in places like this. 

Medley of Worship is sporadic.  I have another blog, Perpetual Proverbs, which is a daily discipline for me and part of my worship.  I write it about a month ahead which gives me time to reread, proofread and tweak it before it goes forth to history.  A line from yesterday’s post stood out to me.
“When we walk with Jesus, “kindness” (2617a) [chesed] begins to grow and be a part of our personality.  When we are not exhibiting it, we become dissatisfied with our performance and strive to improve.”
This made me think of how people grow in their spiritual walk with Jesus.  When we are saved we are not automatically remade in such a way as to make it impossible to stumble or make flat-out mistakes.  We are a work in process, but works with our heart made right.

When we are saved the Holy Spirit does a metamorphosis on our being.  It starts with a heart brought in tune with the love of God.  That is the “kindness” in this verse.  It is the Hebrew word chesed for the Greek agape, or love.  Our heart is changed.  Our habits die hard. 

So what happens is, the born again neophyte is going along as usual and becomes uncomfortable with behavior or choices that always seemed right before.  This is because he is different and the Holy Spirit is working with him.  This dissatisfaction spurs him to more change. 

I recently, on vacation, gained back some of the weight I had lost.  As big as I am you really can’t see the difference but little things began to tell me what was going on.  My watch was hard to get over my hand and was tight when I closed the clasp.  A coat the I wear infrequently did not button right.  Little things, but indications.  I am dissatisfied with what I am experiencing so I am changing.

Spiritual growth is like that.  In a way I have been remade in the image of Jesus.  In another way it is an ongoing process.  That is the source of the bottons we used to see:  PBPWM,GINFWMY.
Please be patient with me, God is not finished with me yet.

Happy spiritual growing to you.

homo unius libri

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Opus 2014-187: Bug out or bug in?

On my other blog, Perpetual Proverbs, I try to avoid politics and cultural issues.  So when I come across something in the Bible that stirs my mind in those directions I bring it over to Medley of Worship.  As I was reading in Proverbs I came across this verse that made me think of those who are concerned with being prepared for potential disasters. 
(Proverbs 27:10 NAS77)  Do not forsake your own friend or your father's friend, And do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away.
Whether it is a minor issue like loss of power or a major issue like the breakdown of all civil order, one of the big questions people ask is, “Should I stay put and try to make it through or should I run to seek safety?”  In psychology it might be called, “fight or flight”.   This verse seems to give advice for those times.  Proverbs calls them “days of calamity.”

The advice here seems to be stay close to home and work with your neighbors.  Don’t try to make a long, dangerous trip to a distant relative.  That is obviously open to interpretation.  It would also depend on how far away relatives are.

“Days of calamity” are not a modern phenomena.  Barbarians, drought, famine, pestilence, locusts and economic collapse have been around a long time.

Get ready.

homo unius libri

Friday, July 18, 2014

Opus 2014-186: Chauvinism: Why Men Run the World

Historically men have run the world, at least on the surface.  Until the invention of the gasoline engine brought equality to much work and the revolver meant that big muscles and sharp swords did not finish all arguments, it stayed that way.  Men were better at killing things and hauling the carcass home.  Also men did not have babies.  Put it together and the power was in the hands of the men.

That doesn’t explain why men still seem to be in the drivers seat.  If it were not for the coercion of government affirmative action there would still be few women in leadership.  Why is that still true?  I got a clue yesterday.  My wife and I had been taking care of some business and it was time to go.  She was driving.  Or she would have been if she could find her keys.  She had to go through her purse three times before they miraculously appeared.  We have the same problem with her cell phone.  Even when it is ringing she sometimes can’t find it.  It isn’t because she carries a purse.  If I carried a purse I would always have my keys and cell phone in a specific location.  Until women can organize their purses they will not rule.

Since I am on the topic I can give you another example:  Bathroom lines.  Look around as you are out and about.  At the airport the ladies room had a line coming out the door.  The men’s room was easy access.  For some reason my wife mentioned the three stalls in the ladies room at a realtor’s office we were at.  The men had one sitter and one stander.  Amusement parks are getting in the habit of making the ladies room much larger than the men’s.

Are things more equal than they used to be?  Yes.  Is that a good thing?  Yes.  Should people be paid equally for equal work?  Yes, even though that would mean lowering a few women’s salaries. 

Real equality will never be reached, though, until you ladies learn to keep track of your keys.

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Opus 2014-185: A New Super Hero

As I was looking at cross references in a study I came across the following verse.
(Isaiah 5:22 NAS77)  Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine, And valiant men in mixing strong drink;
I will never be a hero in drinking wine.  I can’t stand the taste and have issues with drunkenness.  It isn’t in my resume.

But maybe you are competing for heroship.  There are not enough damsels in distress to go around.  You don’t want the discipline of being a marine.  The dragons are dead or hiding.  I guess you can always try to be a hero of the vine.  You can be valiant in mixing your drinks.

Sounds like being a bar-tender to me.  I still like the terms “hero of drinking wine” and “valiant man of mixing strong drinks.”  Maybe they could start a comic book series.

Either way the warning is “Woe!”

homo unius libri

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Opus 2014-184: CCC: Producing Little Robots

As the educational elite tries to take education down another notch with the Common Core Curriculum (CCC) they are trying to move all assessment (tests) to computers and away from human evaluation.  We had an interesting discussion at one of our faculty meetings recently.  Evidently the language arts tests have an essay section.  In the past this has never worked because it has been impossible to get objective grading standards that were workable.  What they are doing now is writing computer programs that will do the grading.

A book I read last year was talking about how the newspapers were going to computer generated stories.  Someone would feed in the basic data and the computer would write the story.

“These programs won’t soon be at the frontier of creative journalism, but they may soon be generating a lot of run-of-the-mill news for purposes of search and storage....Software is not only taking a shot at writing essays but also grading them and providing instant feedback on student work in progress, analysis that is well beyond grading multiple-choice quizzes.”  page 9

It was the second part that came home for me.  Not only are the computers going to grade the writing but they are going to teach writing.  It is now possible to have an English teacher who cannot write well and knows nothing about grammar or spelling.  Everything is done on the computer.  I know this is true because I have seen the software.  It exists and is installed at our school.

What is amusing is hearing the teachers tell how the computer can be fooled.  For instance they said you could get a higher score by inserting several lines of “x’s” in the middle of the text.  It makes the piece longer.  Can computers teach basics?  Yes, if the students are willing to learn.  Will they ever teach as well as a teacher who knows the subject and can respond to young people?  No.

But that is the wave of the future brought to you by educators who think technology is the answer to ignorant students and a satisfaction with the mediocre boilerplate that computers can generate.

Just don’t expect any great literature.

Cower, Tyler.  Average Is Over.  New York:  Dutton, 2013.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Opus 2014-183: A Destiny Destroyed

Have you every had a coffee bean talk to you?

Sometimes my imagination gets carried away.  This morning I dropped a coffee bean on the floor.  Since I live in an affluent country and try to practice generic hygiene, I picked it up and started to throw it in the trash.  It was at that point that it spoke to me.  What did it say?  It screamed, “No!  No!  I didn’t come all this way to miss my destiny!”  I hardened my heart and put the little fellow in the trash.

I got to thinking about how intricate and intertwined our world is when it comes to the products we use so casually.  This coffee bean started life hanging on a bush, possibly in South America.  Since it was an Arabica bean it was on a shaded bush on a small farm.  The chances are it was picked by hand when it was ready and then put through a long journey of travel, sorting, roasting, packaging and marketing that brought it to my kitchen floor.  How many people have been involved in the life of this coffee bean.  Have I also frustrated their reason for being by throwing the bean in the trash?

Now take that and apply it to the water you let run down the street when you water your lawn, the electricity you waste when you leave the lights on, the food you throw out because it has been in the back of your refrigerator so long, the gas you burn at drive-through joints.  All of that work and effort just to be wasted. 

I trust you will find ways to give meaning to the coffee beans of your life.

I trust you will also find ways to give meaning to your life.  Remember you were created in the image of God and He designed you to work best a certain way.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-182: Monday Pulpit: Creativity

Something in the church bulletin got me thinking about creativity and how rare it really is.  Most of us don’t even come close.

At the bottom is imitation.  All most people ever do it copy others.  They might put a little thought into it and make a cosmetic change, orange instead of blue shoes for instance.  But they are still shoes.

A larger group of people might discover something new.  This requires an awareness and a curiosity about the world around you.  How many people watched lightening start a fire before someone came up with the idea of cooking.  The fire was there.  The meat was there.  A curious person put them together and “discovered” cooking.

Then you have those people of rare genius who invent something new.  What kind of imagination did it take to come up with the zipper?  It didn’t just happen.  The curious may put them in places you would never think about.  The masses will make them different colors but the genius came up with taking the same old materials and doing something truly new.

To create is divine.  It has the idea of something out of nothing.  Even artists who “create” a painting, sculpture or symphony are working with tools they did not come up with.  Only God can create color and perspective.  Only God could come up with a chicken that laid an egg or a bunch of hatching eggs with both sexes represented. 

Eat your heart out atheists.

homo unius libri

Monday, July 14, 2014

Opus 2014-181: Green Piece: What Happens When You Cut Down a Tree?

Several years ago I read an article about the benefits of global warming.  I read it in print, lost the magazine and could never find it on line.  The point made was that climate change happens.  Warming, cooling, you name it, it happens.  The natural order of things involves change.  Change has its up side as well as its down side.  In other words there are advantages to warming and cooling.  Neither is a disaster or the end of the world as we know it.

Recently there was a link on Drudge to a report on the Amazon rain forest.  We are concerned about deforestation.  We assume that the forest was always there.  Not so, says this report.  There are a couple of points it makes.  One is that parts of the Rain forest were not there 2,000 years ago.  Another point is that the indigenous population may have already cut it down so they could be farmers.

If you are interested you can read for more details.  The key thing to keep in mind is that in spite of the wisdom of Al Gore that says the discussion is over, real science keeps asking questions, looking deeper and has an open mind.

Too bad we don’t have much real science any more.

homo unius libri

Friday, July 11, 2014

Opus 2014-180: Headlines: Incest, Anyone?

The slippery slope.  The domino effect.  Monkey see, monkey do.  Keeping up with the Joneses.  It started with the sexual revolution.  Now incest is pushing for acceptance.

Sure it is one judge.  Sure it is in Australia.  But now we have a voice calling to make incest acceptable.  The article, linked from Drudge, is called “Australian judge says incest may no longer be a taboo.” 

Once society begins throwing out traditional moral values there will be no end.  Today we assume sex before marriage.  Divorce is common.  Children without fathers are moving toward majority status.  We are endorsing homosexuality.  Now we have a voice being raised in favor of incest.  Sex with children is just around the corner.  Soon you will be able to consider an animal your sex partner. 

You say, “It will never happen.”  You said that about homosexual marriage just a few years ago.

Remember, it wasn’t the barbarians that brought down Rome.  They still had armies.  They still had the technology.  They still had the wealth.  It was inner decay.  It was a society that abandoned its moral principles.  We are raising the barbarians in our homes and lowering the bar in our behavior.

Stay tuned.

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Opus 2014-179: The Fix Is In

In regard to my previous post I am wondering if the judicial system has any way to police their own house.

If you read the article at the Washington Post about Judge Christopher Cooper you begin to wonder if there are any judges being appointed at this point that are anything but political hacks.  Granted, he has not even entered the courtroom as a judge yet, but the writing is on the wall.

Look at the political connections:
A brand new judge, not on the bench yet, is assigned a massive case that could make the administration look bad.
His wife worked for Eric Holder.
His wife supervised the prosecutor in the case.
His college room mate and close friend is the brother of Susan Rice who was a front for the president on the Benghazi scandal.
He helped defend Saudi officials sued by families of 911 victims.
Should I expect corruption?  Do you expect to smell garlic at an Italian restaurant?

You can’t make this stuff up.  It reads like a spy novel.  If I were reading a book that had these plot lines I would put it down because it was too implausible.  Yet this is where our government is going.  This is the kind of person nominated by our president and approved by our Senate.

Maybe it is time to get the courts to deal with the corruption in their own ranks.  How am I, as a common citizen supposed to have any respect for the courts?  How am I to sit on a jury and listen to the judge tell me he will tell me how to interpret the law?  Really?  Next time I will ask the judge if he is an Obama appointee.  That should get me thrown off the jury or a contempt citation.

Is it possible to impeach a judge before he is sworn in?  How do you get congress to impeach someone that they just approved? 

America is the last hope.  Where can we run from here?

Elections matter.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-178: Humor: Read It and Weep

If you like political humor you need to go to the sight called “HopeNChange”.   Yesterday they had a painful example of how humor can make a point called, “Judge Not.”

They examine the qualifications of the judge appointed to preside over the case of the accused Benghazi terrorist who is being brought to our shores for the show trial.  He links it to an article in the Washington Post that gives most of the details he mentions.

At least give the humor page a look and don’t stop at the cartoon panels.  Read the comments below and find out how corrupt and fixed this trial is going to be.  Note that the only qualification you need to get a prominent position in this administration is to be connected to the Obama team.

Read and weep.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Opus 2014-177: A Pox upon Your Theology

Okay, enough theology for awhile.  If you are a believer and don’t have an interest in getting into topics like this rest assured that you are not alone.  They can be a load and wear you out.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote,
“It’s true these theological problems are always occupying my mind, but there are times when I am just content to live the life of faith without worrying about its problems.” page 225
I don’t think you can avoid serious matters forever but even this famous Christian martyr had times when he would just relax and let things work themselves out.  It is okay to say, “I don’t know.”  It is acceptable to say, “I don’t understand.” 

Maybe someday.  Maybe tomorrow.

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich.  Letters and Papers from Prison.  New York:  The Macmillan Company, 1953.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-176: Un-self Righteous, part 2 of 2

Warning!  More theology ahead!

The confusion about righteousness is that some people think it comes from discipline and following the rules, that it is earned or deserved.  No.  Just as forgiveness of sins comes from the grace of God, so it is with righteousness.
(1 John 1:9 KJV)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Notice it does not say, “some unrighteousness.” 

Does this mean that we are so perfect that we never make mistakes and have no potential to sin?  To me it is obvious that is not the case.  If you want to build a straw man and lay it on me I will forgive you.  I do this because forgiveness is part of being a new creature.
(Ephesians 4:24 KJV)  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
If you like considering yourself an unrighteous sinner, enjoy.  I prefer the Biblical term of “saint.”

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Opus 2014-175: Un-self Righteous, part 1 of 2

Warning!  Theology ahead!

We can be righteous and not be perfect.

Another verse that some Christians like to quote is,
(Isaiah 64:6 KJV)  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
They interpret this to mean that it is impossible to be righteous in reality.  This verse is usually misquoted.  I heard it again on the radio this week.  Notice the plural “righteousnesses.”  This means the spiritual games we play.  It does not refer to our spiritual condition.  It is a serious miss-quoting of what the Bible actually teaches.

It is true that we are all sinners from birth.  Here are simple statements from both Testaments.
(Psalms 51:5 KJV)  Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

(Romans 3:23 KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
But you cannot read the Bible long before you come across such verses as,
(Genesis 7:1 KJV)  And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
Here in the first book of the Bible you have God declaring that He sees Noah as righteous.  I don’t think God is blind or delusional.  He is also not a liar or a politician putting spin on an issue.  For those into Hebrew I would point out that both “righteous” (6662) and “righteousnesses” (6666) come from the same family of words.  One is an adjective and one is a noun.

If you have the time and are still in denial about this simple fact, do a word search on the word “righteous” and see how many times it is applied to God’s people.

To be concluded...

homo unius libri

Monday, July 7, 2014

Opus 2014-174: Headlines: Those Poor Government Employees

The Drudge title read “Anti-Poverty Law Professor Makes $200k Teaching One Class at Public University...” and for once it was accurate. 

This is a good representative of the people educating your children.  You wonder why taxes are so high, schools are so expensive and education so poor.  Here is an example.  This professor at the University of North Carolina makes a total of $205,400 a year for teaching one class a semester.  Good work if you can get it.  And he is not alone.

What has he done to earn this?  Although it doesn’t say so in the article, but I can almost guarantee, he votes a straight Democratic ticket.  But he qualifies in more ways than that.  Remember the controversy at the College of William and Mary?  Of course you don’t but you will recognize the college that had a sex workers’ art show and removed the cross from the chapel.  Yes, that William and Mary.  Guess who was president at that time.  Our hardworking professor.

Now for the kicker.  Do you know his main responsibility?  He runs the UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity which was founded my another champion of the poor, John Edwards.  As he is attacking Republicans for making war on the poor, he and his wife are squeaking by on a combined income of “at least $612,000" a year and living in a home valued at more than $1,000,000.  For a break from his rigorous schedule he has a beach bungalow valued at half a million. 

There is a lot more about this left-wing champion of the poor.  Read the article, but only if you have a strong heart and a low boiling point.

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Opus 2014-173: Unarmed and Undangerous

I have never really wished I had a gun before.

I mean really.  The situation made me wonder about my safety and even worse, the safety of my family.

We are traveling.  It is a “vacation” only to people who don’t ever get out of town.  We are staying in a time-share resort because it is cheaper than a hotel but we are in town for business.  The resort is out in the country.  It isn’t the nicest we have ever stayed in but it was adequate. 

My wife woke me up at 11:30 P.M.  Some guy was outside screaming about “getting” someone.  She said it had been going on forever.  I don’t know about that but he screamed from 11:30 when she woke me up until 1:00 A.M.  Those times are firm.  He was outside on a veranda that we shared.  The only thing between us and him was a light door, mainly glass.  My only sources of defense were cheap kitchen knives and a broom handle. 

I was concerned.  He was obviously out of control.  We called the resort office and they eventually sent out security.  Security was a skinny 20 year old.  Instead of dealing with the problem that was easy to hear he knocked loudly on our door and alerted the guy to whom had complained.  Smooth move.  Then he “talked” to the guy.  Then he left.  The guy kept on.  Security came back once more but it had no effect.  He kept going until he got tired.

We were out in the country so 911 didn’t seem to be the route to go.

We lived through it.  No one was hurt, at least in our condo.  I don’t know if any blows were struck behind his doors.

It gives a helpless feeling to know you are unarmed in the fact of potential violence.  Hopefully I will do some serious thinking about this and find a solution.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-172: Headlines: Target Takes a Stand, Politely

As I was cruising the net I came across references to Target and its statement on guns in the store.  The article I Goggled was from the Wall Street Journal.

It doesn’t make any difference in my personal life.  I stopped going to Target several years ago when they banned the Salvation Army kettles from their entryways during Christmas.  It isn’t a religious commitment.  If they are the only game in town I will enter, but buy as little as possible.  If there is a choice I take it.

The article points out that they stopped selling guns years ago.  Now they are asking, politely, for people not to bring guns into the store. 

You can respond as you please.  I responded long ago.  I continue to respond.  If they allow the Salvation Army back I will take another look at their view of the Second Amendment.  They have already taken a stand against the First.

homo unius libri

Friday, July 4, 2014

Opus 2014-171: Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, Immigration

One of the hot topics of the day is immigration.  As I write the administration of Barak Obama is trying an end-run around congress by recruiting, transporting and abetting the movement of large numbers of “children” into our country.  We are seeing disease, hunger, federal threats of arrest and possible human trafficking.  All of this is planned and implemented by our president. 

Problems of immigration were around from the beginning of this country.  They were on the list of complaints given by the Founders in the Declaration of Independence.  Their view was different.  They wanted more and the king was keeping it from happening.  The principles are the same.  From the Declaration of Independence:
“He has endeavored to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.”
The point I am making is that of law.  Our president and his minions are “obstructing the Laws”.  We have laws about illegal entry.  We have quotas.  We have procedures.  Congress voted to build a fence.  We have a border patrol.  One of the reasons it isn’t working is because the group, headed by the president, responsible for enforcing the laws is working to go around them.

Granted, in 1776 the cry was for more immigration.  In regard to that, one of the big problems with our system is that the INS is not doing its job in the area of legal immigration.  They are not making it possible for the thousands who are filling out the forms and standing in the lines to make it through the process.

They had one problem.  We have two.  The federal government is doing nothing to stop the wave of illegal immigrants and doing nothing to help the movement of legal applicants.

King George wanted to keep the colonies weak.  King Barak wants to keep the states weak; to increase the number of people who will go on the dole and vote Democrat.  Either way it is anti-liberty and pro-tyranny.

Happy Declaration Day

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-170: Have You Read It Yet?

Today is a holiday.  One of the reasons we celebrate holidays is to remember, see our drift and adjust our course.

On Christmas my family reads through the sections of Matthew and Luke that tell of the birth of Jesus.  At Easter we review the accounts of the resurrection of Jesus.  Although our founding documents are not on the same level as the Bible they remind us of who we are as a people, where we came from and what our dream still is as a nation.

If you still have not read through the Declaration of Independence, do it.  You have all day.

I can only hope that the Supreme Court will remind themselves of who we are supposed to be.  I dream of a Congress that takes the time to read this.  The president?  I really think it is too late for him.  He already knows what the Declaration and the Constitution say.  He uses it the way I use the recommendations of the California Teachers’ Association at election time.  I read their recommendations and do the opposite.

Our coins say “Liberty”.  Too bad our leaders don’t.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-169: A Little Heavy Reading

Today you should not be on the internet until you have read the Declaration of Independence.  In case you don’t have a copy, here it is.

                                   IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

                                           A DECLARATION

                              By the REPRESENTATIVES of the

                              UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

                            In GENERAL CONGRESS assembled

When in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and 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, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.  Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.  But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.  Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.  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.  To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.

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.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.

He has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable , and distant from the Depository of their Public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.
 He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.

He has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and payment of their Salaries.

He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.

He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of, and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by out Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For Cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.

He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms:  Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury.  A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren.  We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us.  We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here.  We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence.  They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity.  We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.  And for the support of this declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.




Adams, John                     MA      Lawyer
Adams, Samuel                   MA      Political leader
Bartlett, Josiah                NH      Physician, Judge
Braxton, Carter                 VA      Farmer
Carroll, Charles of Carrollton  MD      Lawyer
Chase, Samuel                   MD      Judge
Clark, Abraham                  NJ      Surveyor
Clymer, George                  PA      Merchant
Ellery, William                 RI      Lawyer
Floyd, William                  NY      Soldier
Franklin, Benjamin              PA      Printer, Publisher
Gerry, Elbridge                 MA      Merchant
Gwinnett, Button                GA      Merchant
Hall, Lyman                     GA      Physician
Hancock, John                   MA      Merchant
Harrison, Benjamin              VA      Farmer
Hart, John                      NJ      Farmer
Hewes, Joseph                   NC      Merchant
Heyward, Thomas Jr.             SC      Lawyer, Farmer
Hooper, William                 NC      Lawyer
Hopkins, Stephen                RI      Judge, Educator
Hopkinson, Francis              NJ      Judge, Author
Huntington, Samuel              CT      Judge
Jefferson, Thomas               VA      Lawyer
Lee, Francis Lightfoot          VA      Farmer
Lee, Richard Henry              VA      Farmer
Lewis, Francis                  NY      Merchant
Livingston, Philip              NY      Merchant
Lynch, Thomas Jr.               SC      Farmer
McKean, Thomas                  DE      Lawyer
Middleton, Arthur               SC      Farmer
Morris, Lewis                   NY      Farmer
Morris, Robert                  PA      Merchant
Morton, John                    PA      Judge
Nelson, Thomas Jr.              VA      Farmer
Paca, William                   MD      Judge
Paine, Robert Treat             MA      Judge
Penn, John                      NC      Lawyer
Read, George                    DE      Judge
Rodney, Caesar                  DE      Judge
Ross, George                    PA      Judge
Rush, Benjamin                  PA      Physician
Rutledge, Edward                SC      Lawyer
Sherman, Roger                  CT      Lawyer
Smith, James                    PA      Lawyer
Stockton, Richard               NJ      Lawyer
Stone, Thomas                   MD      Lawyer
Taylor, George                  PA      Ironmaster
Thornton, Matthew               NH      Physician
Walter, George                  GA      Judge
Whipple, William                NH      Merchant, Judge
Williams, William               CT      Merchant
Wilson, James                   PA      Judge
Witherspoon, John               NJ      Educator
Wolcott, Oliver                 CT      Judge
Wythe, George                   VA      Lawyer

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Opus 2014-168: Plow and Crown: Someone Writes a Book

He didn’t steal my idea but since he is a famous professor and I am an unknown blogger he gets a book and I get a few posts.

I don’t know if you ever go to Powerline.  It is one of the big boys on the internet.  They had a post that caught my eye called, “Is administrative law unlawful? A word from the author.”  As I read it I found that it was a review of a book coming out dealing with something I am writing an ongoing series about called “Plow and Crown.”  I enjoyed it.  The promise is that Powerline will have a series of articles reviewing the book.  You might also enjoy it.  You might buy it.

His thesis, which he calls “administrative law”, is that the presidential branch is turning back the clock to the days of the divine right of kings.  My take is on the historical and contemporary struggle between the common man behind the plow and the small elites supporting the crown.  We are currently in a time when the pendulum is swinging away from the liberty of the individual toward the power of the monarch. 

It is worth a read and important to think about.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-167: Smarter Than a Button

I have figured out the problem.  My wife thinks that the bottons are as smart as I am.

For the longest time I thought it was the opposite, that I was as dumb as the buttons.  Today as I was trying to figure out an electronic device she had been poking I realized that she thought the buttons would do what she wanted even if she pushed the wrong one.  She thought it would be like telling me to bring her an orange and I would bring her a banana because she can’t eat oranges and all we have are bananas. 

Buttons don’t work that way.  If you get on the elevator and press floor 5 instead of 6 it will not take you to six.  A voice won’t ask you, “Did you really mean 5?”  An all knowing computer won’t override your choice and quietly take you to the right floor.  The day may come when the door key you carry will make it automatic but until then, accuracy matters.

Husbands do work that way, at least they do if they plan on staying married.  Remember gentlemen, they need us.  Today it was the motel A/C.  At home it is the digital TV.  Everywhere it is computers.  We don’t need to discuss maps.

Relax.  You are needed.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Opus 2014-166: Headlines: Good Reporting for a Change

Don’t get too excited about the so called “slap down” of the Obama administration.

I like good reporting.  Good reporting does a little digging and give us the ability to analyze a situation because we have more facts.  Good reporting gives us the information we need to think and come to our own conclusions.  The Washington Times did that.

Much has been made of the twenty times that the Supreme Court has ruled unanimously to protect our freedoms during this administration.  What the Times (of Washington, not L.A. or N.Y.) points out is that we had these decisions fifteen times during George W. Bush’s presidency and twenty three times during Clinton’s service.  I would suggest that the difference is not statistically significant. 

Also, the Times (of Washington, not L.A. or N.Y.) points out that many of these unanimous decisions had nothing to do with the abuse of presidential power.

A major role of the court is a check to the legislative and executive branches.  It’s greatest power is to say “no” to government overreach.  I personally am glad to see it when it happens.

Also note that many of the decisions that limit government power are 5-4, not 9-0.  We are one justice away from a total loss of everything that makes America special. 

Remember that when you consider not voting in 2016 because neither candidate is conservative enough.  If Mitt were president do you think we would have people as left wing as Kagan and Sotomayor masquerading as champions of law and justice?  Better a Kennedy than a Kagan.  Better 50% than 0.

Elections matter.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Opus 2014-165: Headlines: More Fun with Labor Statistics

On Drudge you saw the question of why Democrats claim to be poor.  It was reported by the New York Post.  In the middle of a discussion of all the millionaire Democrats you find this comment which I found funny, maybe because it is true.
“Drug dealers create more middle-class jobs than these people do.”
In light of recent comments about Gates, Soros and Gore and the statistic that all the new jobs are going to immigrants, it is good to know that one sector of the economy is providing economic growth.

Maybe that is part of the reason for the war on drugs, the drug lords are making the Democrats look bad.

homo unius libri

Opus 2014-164: Headlines: Fun with Labor Statistics

I heard about this on Rush and saw a headline on Drudge.  This article is found at National Review.

It seems that there are 127,000 fewer native born Americans working today than were working in 2000.  At the same time the number of immigrants employed has increased by 5.7 million.  The article says that these numbers of immigrants employed are not just at the bottom of the food chain but in mid-level and high level jobs.

On Rush the point being made was that the increase in employment and jobs was not for the citizens of America but for the immigrants, legal and illegal.

Notice the years though.  This is not a hit piece on Obama.  This goes back to the beginning of the George W. Bush administration.  This is a bi-partisan effort to keep Americans from working.

Good job guys.  A pox on both your houses.

homo unius libri