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, October 31, 2015

Opus 2015-433: Happy All Saints Eve

Another year, another rejection.  I don’t celebrate All Hallows (Saints) Day so it doesn’t make any sense to celebrate All Hallows Eve (‘allowe’en).  One is an observation of liturgical churches.  The other is a celebration of pagans.  I have no trouble with the first.  I have major issues with the second.

Usually I take streets instead of the freeway on my way home from work.  One stretch of driving is usually very pleasant.  There are lots of trees and well manicured yards.  It is beautiful and restful.  That begins to change around October 1 as the people in those homes begin to gear up for Halloween.  They have the surplus of dollars and the deficit of common cents to begin draping their yards with ghouls and dismembered corpses.  Cobwebs and gravestones fill in the gaps. 

Halloween has come out of the closet.  It is no longer about cute little kids dressing up like super heroes or princesses.  You don’t have kitties and Caspers coming to your door now.  Now you have Freddy and Chuckie, if you are lucky.  Halloween is a celebration of Hell and demonic power.  It isn’t about the dead in general because you don’t see kids coming to the door dressed as Michael or Gabriel.  It is about getting children used to blood and darkness. 

Many people respond that I am over-reacting.  I guess it is possible.  I am afraid that the budding concerns my parents had have been still born.  I was talking to the nurse at a doctor visit and she was sharing about her childhood on Halloween.  My parents, 55 years ago, would not let us eat fruit because it might be tampered with.  This young lady, fresh out of school, shared how she had found a razor blade in an apple. 

Just one apple, right?  If I remember correctly it only took one piece of fruit for Eve to mess up the entire human race.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 30, 2015

Opus 2015-432: Election 2016: Where Is the Rage?

I see it on the road.  I see it at checkout lines.  I have heard about going postal.  People seem to have so many things that light their fuse.  So why do the masses of Americans let the government continue to reach into their pockets and hand their hard earned wealth over to a bunch of consultants and government cronies?  Why are they calm when healthy, able people who do nothing productive are handed EBT cards and rent subsidies that reduce the living standard of the working American  Why do they keep voting for the people who are methodically stripping them of their freedom?

Everyone has a different explanation.  Most people who have drunk the kool aide, educators at all levels, government employees, welfare recipients, progressives, etc., say there is no problem.  For them the Nanny State is simply taking care of the children.  Some have too much so you take it away.  Some have too little so you give them a little extra.  In the end we are all safe and happy.

Psychologists and sociologists who will admit there is a problem blame it on society.  There are too many guns.  We don’t have a college degree.  We are too crowded.  We are out of touch with nature.  We feel alienated from our culture.  Our underwear is too tight. 

That still doesn’t explain why they put up with creeping socialism.  I think it comes down to an aspect of Original Sin that is often called selfishness.  We all think we are special.  We think we are more deserving.  We think we are more clever than the other guy.  As a result, we really believe that when the government sets up a plan to rob from Peter to pay Paul, we will be Paul.  We don’t understand that we are really Peter.  We think we are too clever for that.  It is like getting old and losing your mind.  You are always the last one to know.

There is a saying that has made the rounds.  “You can’t cheat an honest man.”  It points out that most people are cheated when they think they are smarter than the other guy, so they get suckered.  In those situations an honest man would refuse to deal.  The government depends on this basic self-centeredness that is so common. 

I think most people are complacent because they think that when the government gets through moving the wealth around, they will be ahead of the game.  They are wrong.  When the government moves money around the main ones who benefit are the people with big salaries who work for the government and their crony capitalist buddies.  Keep in mind that every level of government it moves through means that a sizable portion of the graft is sucked out to pay the minions shuffling the papers in that office.

And, in your own self interest, get angry.  Get very angry.  And vote the suckers out.

Elections matter.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Opus 2015-431: Tardy Sweeps and Speed Traps

We are having tardy sweeps at our school.  Part of it is a great idea.  We are to lock the doors to our rooms when the bell rings and all the students left in the hall will be gathered up for a serious consequence.

Like almost everything that public education does, they take a good idea and make it worthless.

The first failure was that someone came on the PA and announced there would be a tardy sweep that period.  They repeated the announcement until the bell rings.  The security staff walked around yelling, and I quote, “Get to class.  Don’t be late.  We are doing a tardy sweep.”  This is extremely effective in getting kids to class on time.  In one class where I usually have about ten kids late, all were on time.  They are tardy, not stupid.

I am not sure what the adults’ problem is.


Occasionally the Highway Patrol sets up a speed trap in our school parking lot.  As you should know by now the speed limit is drastically lowered in school zones when children are present.  By sitting in our parking lot they are not visible to motorists.  They might balance the states budget if they did it often enough.  Now, picture how many tickets they would write if I went down the block and put up one of those highways signs that blink and send a message announcing that there was a speed trap ahead.  It would produce model motorists, for the day.  When the cops went home all would revert to normal.

So it is at school.

The second problem is the consequences.  In my sixth period class I asked a kid that I know was picked up what the consequence was.  He said, “A warning.” 


So we had a great day of on-time students.  Public education has a major victory.  We are setting high standards and holding students accountable.  We can write a book about it, get a government subsidy and hit the lecture curcuit.

But don’t come back tomorrow.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Opus 2015-430: Cruel Comments: Fool-Proof Weight Loss

Sometimes the dark side of the force puts words in my head.  Since I believe in free will I have been able to lock my lips so far but let me share an observance with you.  Share it in public at your own peril.

I am sure there is someone in your life worried about tight clothes that you could casually suggest, “The best way for you to lose weight is to stop talking with your mouth full.”

Cruel?  Probably.  True?  Probably.

If you will excuse the expression, it is food for thought.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Opus 2015-429: Shower Thoughts: Change and Hope

People often remark how weak the Democrat’s bench is in the presidential run.  All old.  All white.  All worn out.  Not to worry.  I think there may be someone in the wings that we have not considered:  Paul Ryan.

Yes, Ryan is white.  Yes, he is a man.  Yes he is technically a Republican.  There have been others shackled by those handicaps but still saw the chance and went for it.  When you look at the people cheering for Ryan you find many Democrats and a lot of Rinos.  He is their man.  The man they are cheering for is a far cry from the one we thought we had running a few years ago as vice president.  Which is real?

It would not take much for him to cross the aisle and re-register as a Democrat.  It has been done before by Rinos at key times.  We have won elections and still not gained control of the Senate because of switcheroos. 

So I ask, why not Ryan?  He could knock off Hillary in the Democrat’s primary and go on to be president.

homo unius libri

Monday, October 26, 2015

Opus 2015-428: Irresponsible Is Easy

It is very easy to stop being responsible. 

The church I was involved with was shut down and had its property transferred to another group by the district leadership.  I am sure it was all very legal.  Those i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed a long time ago.  I was pastoring when the process was begun.  I protested, but noone would listen.  Legal does not mean moral.  My church home was history.

Since our plan is to leave California in the next few years and it takes time to develop the trust that leads to involvement, I have been settling for attending and receiving instead of joining and giving. 

This has made my Sunday’s much more relaxing.  Instead of last minute revisions and preparations I can quietly worship and study in preparation for corporate worship.  I don’t set an alarm any more on Sunday.  If I oversleep or get too intense in my study and arrive late at the church, it is no big deal.  If I don’t make it at all, it is no big deal.  It gets harder and harder for me to get moving.  And I need to be there.  It is this slide that I think Hebrews was talking about.
(Hebrews 10:25 KJV)  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
It is easy to do.  Once you get out of the habit of being responsible it is very hard to get back into harness.

If you are unhappy with what is happening at your church, speak up if you have a credible voice.  It is hard to get involved somewhere else.  Whatever you do don’t back off from your commitments.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Opus 2015-427: Discernment Watch: Technology

One of the repeated reminders that our principal gives us is to respond to e-mails within 48 hours.  I am told there are some teachers who never respond.  It occurred to me this morning that we assume that teachers know how to use e-mail.  I am not sure that is an correct assumption.  Remember how many people could not program a VCR?  Remember what a VCR was?  Add to that the number of devices of the modern age that remain beyond many teachers:  Voice mail, LED projectors, Chrome books, computerized grading systems and social media to name a few.

Technology is not a panacea.  Computer chips and dreams of AI cannot make up for a lack of knowledge in a teacher and cannot give a child a hope for the future.  Do children need to know how to use all the latest software and technical innovations?  Not really.  If they can’t read, write and do simple math it really doesn’t matter if they can text.  They will be destined for the car washes and mop buckets of life.  The sad part of that destiny is not the level of the job.  Honest work has a value.  The sad part is that the day will come when the car wash doesn’t need uneducated employees and robots will be scrubbing the toilets.  Their future will be the same as today’s shiny new toys. 

When your school wants more money for computers have them demonstrate that the kids can read and understand well enough to move on to the technology.  Then use the money to hire a librarian instead.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 23, 2015

Opus 2015-426: Bullying Curriculum Goes International

One of the themes that is being run into the ground in public education is bullying.  I had another packet dumped on my desk, from another website, with the same tired topics to discuss.  It is part of the Nanny State trying to turn everyone into victims and make them call on professionals to help them find security.  In this approach almost anything that makes a person uncomfortable can be construed as bullying and the assumption is that the bad guy will become a warm and considerate human being if you treat him nice.

You are seeing the application of this in American foreign policy.  Our president thinks that if he is nice to international bullies and keeps giving in and being understanding that eventually they will see th error of their ways.  There is no line in the sand that he is not willing to erase.  There is no agreement he is not willing to give in on.  There is no concession he cannot love.  There is no place for pushing or force.  All you need is a meaningful conversation.

How is that working for you?  How is that working for the Middle East? 

Iran will get the bomb and missiles to deliver it.  Russia will back their play.  Obama is already playing Chamberlain to Putin’s Hitler.  Get ready.  War is in the works and the chances are it will not be just a matter of “over there” this time.  The Germans tried to enlist Mexico on on their side during World War I.  Who is to say that the drug lords of Mexico and the crime lords of Moscow can’t come to an agreement this time.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Opus 2015-425: Weather to Fight

Is the weather worth fighting about?

I have generally stopped worrying about the weather.  It is just another area of my life that I can do nothing to change, I can only ignore or adjust.  I will look to see what the climate prophets are predicting about the temperature, but that is only to decide if it will be too hot for a long sleeve shirt.

My wife treats the weather report like vitamin C.  If she doesn’t get enough, she fears she will develop symptoms like scurvy.  Death could ensue.  Okay.  That is personal interest.  That is not the source of conflict. 

The problem is when I look quickly on line and she has been watching the local TV personality try to make the weather into a gothic romance or a SNL skit.  Often there are different predictions.  Even that is not the problem.  The problem is that she believes them and I am skeptical. 

Since my children are not being threatened and it won’t stop the Koreans from shooting a missle at us, I generally listen to what she has absorbed and either say “Really?”, “Oh?”, or “Hmmm.”  It may not effect the weather outside but it sure reduces the storm clouds in the living room.

When I open the door, if it is raining I put on a hat, regardless of what the weatherman, excuse me, weatherperson, said.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Opus 2015-424: Communion Thoughts

Communion, the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist.  Different names for the same ritual.  Communion is almost universal across all segments of Christianity.  The significance runs from an annual remembrance to a daily portal to grace and path to eternal life. 

You find the communion ritual introduced in the synoptic Gospels and presented by Paul in I Corinthians.  That gives us four accounts by four authors.  Although there are some differences the main points are consistent.  It is introduced by Jesus at the Last Supper.  The elements are bread and a cup which is said to hold wine.  The bread represents the body of Christ and the wine represents His blood.

I am not a Catholic but I have developed a habit of taking personal communion when I have a normal work morning.  I have in front of me a section of a bread loaf and a cup of coffee.  We are told to partake in remembrance of Him.  I do that and meditate on the price paid for my sin.

And I always start with thanks because that is what Jesus did before He broke the bread and again before He passed the cup.   As I was looking over the ritual introduced by Jesus I wondered  if there is any significance in the fact that Jesus referred to the bread as bread but for the second part, symbolizing the new covenant he spoke of both the cup and the wine.  Perhaps it is a way of saying it does not need to be actual wine.  Every culture has bread.  For some wine is a rare commodity.

At the root of it all is the incarnation and the atonement.  Big words for big realities.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Opus 2015-423: Headlines: Why History Is out of Style

Tammy Bruce is a frequent contributor to the Washington Times.  She had some interesting things to say about the liberal influence in education.  I think you might be interested in some comments toward the end of the article.

One of my observations is that in my almost 30 years of teaching I have never seen an emphasis by school administration on history.  In fact, just the opposite.  I am told that at many elementary schools, in some grades, history is not even touched on.  Anecdotal but scary.  Bruce points out the truth in this phenomenon. 
“The result of the American education system being controlled by liberals is one where history must become irrelevant. History, if it is taught, must be a history that is re-written, edited, or even fabricated.”
This is done deliberately.  There is an agenda.  It is not an accident.
“Liberals and leftists around the world rely on ignorance. Islamists refuse schooling for girls for a reason. But if one must allow citizens to learn, liberals have a found a way to replace teaching with indoctrination and assuring the ignorance of their charges.”
The Progressives control education and how things are taught.  One example I was sharing with one of my classes recently is the removal of the word “jihad” from the current text book teaching about Islam.  In the current book the word does not appear.

It is at the root of our problems.
“As we wonder how the United States got into our current condition, it’s not that the American people are suddenly stupid, or just don’t care. We are dealing with a couple of generations that have been deliberately kept from the knowledge required to know if they’re being lied to. This is why we must make sure to call out every lie a politician makes, counter those falsehoods, explain every truth, and never back down.”
If this wets your appetite, read the entire article.  You might also consider subscribing to the National Weekend edition.  (I have no financial incentive to urge you to subscribe.)

homo unius libri

Monday, October 19, 2015

Opus 2015-422: Link: Socialism from a Scientific Viewpoint

I found an interesting quote on Gun Free Zone.  You might find it interesting even if you don’t read gun blogs.  The article is more a general comment on culture than the right of self defense.  It struck home.  It is one of those phrases which you wish you had come up with but didn’t.  It summarizes why I don’t go to the LA or NY Times for news or information.

“It is much like having to go through sewage to find peanuts.” 

Not a pretty picture but accurate. 

Although this is a guest post on a gun blog it is about politics and culture.  The author uses his background in science to explain, using the Second Law of Thermodynamics, why the socialist approach to society is a guaranteed way for us to descend into third world poverty again.

It is worth a read.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Opus 2015-421: Basic Beliefs: Hell

This week I have been speculating on what Hell will be like.  No, it is not because it was a rough week at school.  I look at that as more like purgatory, but since I am not a Roman Catholic, I don’t believe in purgatory. 

I have a lot of speculations that might fall into the realm of heresy.  As I was thinking about them I realized I had not addressed Hell in my ongoing series about Basic Christian Beliefs. 

Christians believe in potential future that is often called “hell”.  If you do not believe it is real then you either are not someone God would recognize as a Christian, you have never read your Bible or you are really into figurative language to rationalize away anything you don’t like.  I am not sure that all three categories are not the same but ultimately I will leave that up to God.  I have the feeling He will be much more forgiving than I would in some areas and much more harsh in others.  His place, not mine.

The Bible assumes that there is continued, personal existence after death.  There are two clear teachings which are usually called heaven and hell.  The Catholics have added two more categories:  limbo and purgatory.  Today I am going to take a quick look at hell.

“Hell” is a general term used on the fly to designate what happens to our souls and bodies after death if we have not trusted in Jesus for our salvation.  I say general term because there are different Greek and Hebrew words that have different nuances.  In the NASB you find the English word “hell” 13 times and it is always the Greek word [gehenna] (1067).  (Numbers without an “x” are the Greek and Hebrews numbers from Strong’s system.  If you don’t know what that is, ignore them.  Brackets enclose the transliterated Hebrew and Greek words.)  In the KJV you find the English word 54 times in both Old and New Testaments.  The KJV also translated the Greek word [hades] (86) as “hell” where the NASB transliterates it to Hades.  In the OT you have [sheol] (7585) 85 times which the NASB transliterates but the KJV usually calls “hell” (31x) or “grave” (30x). 

To say that Hell does not exist means you must ignore a lot of the Bible.

What they have in common is that this will be a place separated from God and not pleasant.  Hell is pictured as a place of torment.  It is called a lake of fire and yet is enclosed in darkness.  It will be the final abode of Satan and his minions.  Although God is aware and present in a theological sense He withdraws His presence. 

Keep in mind that anyone who dies outside the faith would be classified as one of Satan’s minions. 

That is an overview.  If there is any part of the teaching of the Bible that I don’t like, this is it.  However, it is there.  It is clear.  It is a Basic Belief.  If you claim to be a Christian, reject it at your peril.  If you are not a believer then just file it in that drawer that says “Weird Christian Fantasies”.  I am sure it is a big drawer for you.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Opus 2015-420: Links: Double Dose of Humor

I am always in for a little humor.  One of the sites I try to check every day is Mostly Cajun.  It has two features I would recommend.  The first is “Food for Thought”.  In it the blog makes a daily collection of political cartoons found on the web.  The second is “Today in History” which is obvious.  What is not obvious are the little O. Henry endings he puts at the end of many items.  Be sure to read to the end to get the humor.

If you are bored, give it a look.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 16, 2015

Opus 2015-419: Headlines: The Health Nannies Change Again

I stopped paying a lot of attention to all the health scares a long time ago.  If too much salt was bad for your health I would have died long ago.  I accept that some people are sensitive but most of it is a bunch of political agitation.  Think of all the things that have been labeled as bad.  In addition to salt, eggs and coffee were once bad guys. 

The latest change came in a headline “This Is the Only Bad Fat Now” at David Mendosa’s blog on diabetes.  It seems that after all the hysteria about saturated fat the health gurus are now pronouncing it safe and all we need to worry about it trans-fat. 

I am not a doctor but after years of reading this kind of stuff I would suggest that everyone is different but the one rule that applies to all is the rule of moderation.  Keep in mind that we are surrounded by people who need a crusade because they need to help you.  If you don’t want to be helped they do not go away and leave you alone.  They try to change your mind.  If they can’t change your mind they try to get the government to intervene.
“Of course, the government can’t ban trans fat. It could in theory ban industrial trans fat as the media has reported. But it hasn’t done that, so we still need to use our own judgment.”
He is obviously disappointed that the government can’t force the issue and you need to “use your own judgement.”  Progressives think of that as obscene.

His final words let you know that the advocates of King Nanny are still seeking to protect you.
“This proves to me that we can’t afford to relax our vigilance yet.”
Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Not of transfats, but of the well wishers of the elitist class.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Opus 2015-418: Firsts: Mirror, Mirror, not on the Wall

It makes my nose look bigger.  It shows up every flaw.  It doesn’t give the complete picture.  But then, it was designed that way.  If I don’t like what I see I can flip it over.

I am talking, of course, about one of those mirrors that have a normal view on one side and a magnified view on other.  I have known about them for years and thought they were for things like plucking your eyebrows and putting on lip liner.  Since I never do those things they were off my radar. 

Then I got older.  Then my eyes didn’t focus as well.  Then I realized that instead of trying to lean closer over the sink I could bring the mirror to me and magnify the image.  It works.

If you have ever noticed those old men who seem to have missed spots when they were shaving, it looked that way because they missed spots when they were shaving.  If you know someone like that, buy them one of those cool mirrors for Christmas.  You might need to explain what it was for or they might start plucking their eyebrows.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Opus 2015-417: New Terms: MPD

We are all familiar with MPH:  Miles per gallon.  The government seems to be consumed with that as they seek to save the earth.  One of the ways in which you can increase fuel economy is to reduce the weight of the vehicle.  I am sure you have seen those little toys called Smart Cars.  They are cute.  They are also death traps. 

I am suggesting that perhaps in addition to rating cars by MPH we also begin to rate them as MPD, or Miles per Death.  Every year we could submit a report of how many miles each car can expect to be driven before someone dies in it.

I experienced this first hand recently when I was rear-ended on the freeway.  As far a I can tell my old clunker with a solid bumper sustained nothing but a few scratches.  The little Japanese model that hit me is in the shop for a new front end.  My imagination tells me that if the fuel efficient model had been going fast enough he would have needed an ambulance while I drove home.

There are trade offs in everything.  Keep in mind that the extreme environmentalists view human beings as pollution so knocking a few off in the traffic lanes is a win/win for them.

There is a reason the Hummer and Escalade are so popular.  The owners live to tell their story and buy again.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Opus 2015-416: Jesus the Wuss

I got the official word from a professional.  As I waiting with anticipation for that one word that would summarize my personality, he smiled and said, “Wuss.” 

Okay.  It was only a dream.  But it was my dream.  It came from my subconscious.  In addition to the word being used recently several times in class, it is a question I have.

I can be bold and strong.  My wife used to cringe at some of the things that I proclaimed from the pulpit.  I never worried about it.  I went where the Bible took me.

One on one I tend to be more nuanced and diplomatic.  I am aware that in life there are often many shades of gray and that people need to be persuaded, not brow-beaten.  When confronted I usually will back off, regroup and see how to move forward again.  I have not been in a physical fight since my years of gross immaturity.  Even then I avoided it.

One of my frustrations in life is that very early I accepted as a Biblical standard “turn the other cheek.”  I was physically bullied and emotionally crippled for a year and half in elementary school because I kept turning the other cheek.  Finally I reached the breaking point and pushed back.  It wasn’t much as fights go.  A bit of pushing and rolling around on the ground but it produced amazing results:  The bully never bothered me again.

I still believe that the default in life is turning the other cheek.  I am aware that people with dominant personalities tend to look at that as weakness.  I guess in a way it is.  It is still the standard position God wants us to take.

Can you push me too far?  Yes.  Even Jesus told his disciples to buy swords at one point.  He rebuked Peter.  He went invisible and walked through a crowd.  But when it was necessary He became a wuss.  The eternal, incarnate One who held the world in His hands allowed a bunch of ignorant Roman thugs nail Him to a Cross.  That is the ultimate turning of the other cheek.

I guess I can live with that label, even if it is from my own dreams.

homo unius libri

Monday, October 12, 2015

Opus 2015-415: Religion and Culture: Jewish Business Success

In a sermon Alistair Begg commented on how Jewish men historically seemed to have a real skill in entrepreneurial skills.  Why?  I can’t remember where he went with the idea but I am sure that part of it was that they were God’s chosen people.  That does not just mean that God gave them a cheat sheet or a pass.  It meant that He required certain things of them.

On the positive side being chosen meant that Jewish standards required certain things such as honesty and fair weights.  Read through the book of Proverbs.  You will find honest business practices a repeated theme.  I would suggest that one reason they have been successful in business is that they have a culture that demands they take the high road.

Another factor is that they are a people of the Law.  That has become an excuse at times as the law was manipulated and gimmicked to miss its real principles.  For instance the situation examined in Mark 7:6ff where we have children declaring the money that was set aside to support their parents “Corban.” It had been given to the temple and thus they claimed relief of the responsibility of caring for their parents.  On the positive side this meant that the Jews made legal agreements and kept them.  They may have been more clever in the writing than the customer but they kept the letter of the law in contracts.

So whether you like it or not, Jews have been strong in business because they are honest and because they abide by their agreements.  People trust them in the ways in which it is necessary to trust someone starting or building a business.

Are you a Jew hater?  That doesn’t change the facts.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Opus 2015-414: Key Scriptures: Wings of Eagles

On Saturday I do not set an alarm.  That is part of the celebration of the day because I work at keeping Saturday morning clear.  It is part of my attempt at Sabbath rest.  On Saturday I consider turning off an alarm work that is forbidden.  So I get up when I wake up.  When I was young that might be 2:00 PM after a night running around like a fool.  This morning by 7:30 I was totally ready to rise and try to shine.

I am at an age where I don’t look forward to the weekend because I can party.  I look forward to the weekend so that I can prepare for the next week.  It is a refuel time.  This morning as I was discussing this with God, He brought to mind a bit of the Bible that spoke to my predicament.  The need expressed is part of being human.
(Isaiah 40:31 KJV)  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
I don’t run any more.  I do climb stairs.  Maybe I can substitute that.  I try to walk on a regular basis.  I have a life and I can’t afford to be overwhelmed by “weary” or “faint”.  So I am following the owners manual.  I rest.  I take a Sabbath.  I wait upon the Lord.  I do my part and part of the life of walking by faith is to expect Him to do His.

Turning to Him is for me to do.  Being renewed is for Him to do.  It is part of Him being God.

I invite you to join me in an Isaiah 40 day.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Opus 2015-413: 6:42 AM

It isn’t even light out.  I am on a main street.  It has four lanes plus parking on both sides.  There is only one car in sight...and one school bus.  That school bus is stopped and has it’s red lights flashing.  It has the stop sign on the back cranked out.  It is clear that I am supposed to stop.  Really?  At 6:42 in the morning?  Being a law abiding citizen, I do.  As I halt I see a happy little child running for the door of the bus.  I expected the lights to go off and the sign to fold away so that I could get to work.

I waited.  And waited.  Finally the driver stopped drinking coffee, pushed the button and life got moving again.

I figure that the kid must have missed the door, hit the side of the bus and needed to be revived before the lights went off.  There is no other explanation of what took so long.  I am still trying to figure out why we all had to stop.  In order for there to be any danger the kid would have to be so stupid that he missed the door in the other direction, ran completely across the front of the bus without knowing he had missed and run out in front of my car.

Good thing for him the Nanny State has his back and wants him safe.

Too bad they don’t want me to get to work to pay the taxes to support the school busses.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 9, 2015

Opus 2015-412: Einstein vs Grandma

Recently Alistair Begg quoted Albert Einstein.  It doesn’t really matter the quote.  I am sure it was very clever and fit into the sermon.  The problem I have is that we quote people like Einstein on issues of life.  If you have a question about physics or relativity, he might provide some real insights.  His personal life was devoid of morality and his positions on the social issues of his day were bad.  He was usually a brilliant scientist.  That does not make him qualified to comment of the big issues.  We have the mistaken idea that celebrity status qualifies us to comment on life changing topics.  It doesn’t work that way.  Your grandmother, who did not graduate from high school, may be more qualified to give wisdom than any scientist or actor that has ever existed.  Let me go one step further.  Your grandmother was definitely more qualified.

If you want to know how to build a rocket ship, Einstein might help.  If you want to know if you should build a rocket ship, he would not have had a clue.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Opus 2015-411: Spelling Google

Most word processing software has a built in spell check feature.  On basic stuff it does okay but has some serious limitations.  Often I am thrown on my own resources because my spell checker has marked a word and offers no suggestions to make it right.  The problem is that as fast and memory-blessed as the computer is, it is often too stupid to recognize specialized words that never occurred to the programers.  I am still forced to pick up my dead tree and find it myself.  Nothing will replace the ability to logically think through the possibilities and look at the options.

But most places I use my laptop a dictionary is not handy. So I use Google.

Using Google as a spell checker is easier than using a dictionary.  One great feature with the more advanced Google is that it will offer suggestions as you type in the search.

And don’t forget the times you have spelled a word in a way that matches something in the computer’s memory but is not the word you intended.  You are at the mercy of old fashioned proof reading at that point.

Computers are stupid;  Fast, with good memory, but stupid. 

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Opus 2015-410: On the Street: The End of Freewaydom

In California we always called them “freeways”.  Back east they are sometimes turnpikes. Now that the federal government is involved people are calling them “interstates”.

I think one reason we are moving away from calling them freeways is because the tax and spend elites are starting to put tolls on what has already been paid for by tax money.

We can’t even call them “freeways” any more in the sense of free movement without cross traffic and signals.  In California we now have signals on the transition ramps between major routes and signals at the on-ramps.  I was coming back from the airport before 6:00 AM recently and the traffic was light.  When I transitioned from the I-105 to the I-710 I was forced to come to a complete stop and wait for the signal to turn green.

The goal of the elites is to get us out of our cars and onto the buses and trains.  We are easier to control that way.  Inexpensive cars and gasoline are tools of liberty and freedom of choice.  Since liberty and freedom of choice are antithetical to the nanny state they must be taxed or coerced out of existence. 

The old anti-war folk song could be rewritten as,

“Where have all the old cars gone....”

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Opus 2015-409: Let’s Put Ticonderoga out of Business

Why?  Because we care about equality.

Ticonderoga is a brand name for pencils made by Dixon.  Ticonderoga pencils cost more.  Everyone cannot afford them.  This is unfair and discriminatory.  We need a government program to give everyone the right to own the best pencils instead of making do with inferior brands.  I hope you are onboard with this.  If you aren’t then you are a racist, sexist, bigot and possibly a right wing Christian too.

We can go one of two ways.  We could give pencil scholarships to the needy so that they can buy Ticonderoga pencils.  We could establish a Department of School Supplies and have a pencil czar.  Ticonderoga would love this but the other pencil makers would rebel and start sending political contributions to the other side.

It would be better to set a government price control on pencils.  That way no one would need to pay more.  All would be equal.  Of course this would put Ticonderoga out of business.  They could not make and market the high quality pencils at the government price, so hasta la vista, baby.  That’s okay.  It is what their arrogant pencil points deserve.  We must have all pencils equal.  In education we would label it multi-pencilism and have special study units on it in third grade.

Meanwhile, I am going to stock up on Ticonderoga pencils just like I did on light bulbs.

homo unius libri

Monday, October 5, 2015

Opus 2015-408: Headlines: It Isn’t Your Fault

Having some extra moments I was checking out some sites I had not visited recently.  One of them was Instapundit.  It is a popular source of links with a different flavor than Drudge. 

One of the headlines that caught my eye had to do with being overweight.  I can identify with that.  I struggle with weight as do many of you.  What caught my attention was the hypothesis that it was “Easier to Be Skinny in the 80's”.

The basic data seems solid.  They state that with the same input and output young people today seem to be about 10% heavier than the previous generation.  Something has changed.

The author admits “Just what those other changes might be, though, are still a matter of hypothesis.”  That does not stop him from getting on the PC soapbox.  Guess what his first three conjectures are?  First is an increase in chemicals such as pesticides, you know, the evil chemical companies.  Second, increased prescription drugs because we know that the drug companies are blood suckers.  His final suggestion is against those evil meat eaters.  We all know that beef cattle are treated hormones and antibiotics that are changing our gut bacteria. 

He doesn’t go anywhere near the changes mandated by the government in food processing.  He doesn’t touch GMO foods.  He says nothing about the products coming from China with lead and such.  If I let my imagination go I can come up with all kinds of wild theories.  To his credit he says no one knows just before he plants ideas in our heads.

If you are young and overweight you might enjoy reading this for some light guilt reduction.  If you are older like me it is just light entertainment. 

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Opus 2015-407: Aim High and Don’t Forget to Flinch

We had another lesson in high standards and rigor this week.  It was public education with its biggest foot in its mouth.

The entire eighth grade for our school district was pulled out of class for half a day to go to a high school to have the different schools try to recruit them into what are called academies.  One school had a special academy that was geared toward engineering.  I am not an engineer and I may have missed something but I thought engineering involved a lot of boring math and science classes that form the foundation for the ability to create and design.  All I saw in the presentation in the gym and later in the main auditorium were kids assembling robot kits and talking about fun and friends.  Maybe my cynicism got in the way of the message. 

And you would have loved the opening remarks of the woman in charge.  Let me say that I do not know her or her name and I am sure she is a wonderful person.  She started off talking about her dream of being a pediatrician.  Good.  Dreams are all these kids have at this point.  Let’s get them setting their bar high.  Unfortunately the next words destroyed the future of these kids.  Her next sentence was something to the effect that when she got to college and realized she would need to take a lot of hard science courses she decided it wasn’t for her.  Instead I guess she ended up as an administrator in our school district.  Instead of challenging them to aim high, work hard and reach for their dream she reinforced what they already were quite willing to do:  “Take the easy road.”

So we are off to another year of trying to give kids the skills they need, in spite of the leadership.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Opus 2015-406: The Nanny State Comes to School

I was visited by the Nanny State recently.

I was trying to teach and the door to the class opened.  Two men walk in that I have never seen before and announce that it is a visit by the fire marshal.  I am thrilled.  I think that someone has finally turned in the school because I have 40 students crammed into a tiny room and it is unsafe.  When I ask I am informed that this room could have 50 students since it has two doors.  To my inquiry about not being able to walk around without tripping and being two crowded to get to the door all he could tell me was that it was the law.  So far, so good.  Then I made the mistake of saying that the law was stupid, or something to that effect.  At that point the smoke began to emerge from the ears of one of the guys and his eyes lit up.  He became that cop with an attitude that pulls you over because you are driving while black and is going to look for some reason to write you up.

He began to look around the room.  He missed the hole in the wall, covered by duct tape with exposed wires inside.  He never even looked at the fire extinguisher.  He said nothing about the microwave perched on top of a rolling stool.  His eyes lit up when he saw - extension cords.  He informed me that I was out of compliance and breaking the law.  I told him they were in a corner where no one went and were no danger.  He told me that we have fires all the time caused by the arrangement I was using. 

I carefully quizzed him on what I needed to do.  It seems all I needed to do was take the power strip, stretch it across my path and plug it into the wall instead of using the extension cords.  I did this as soon as he left and was in compliance.  It doesn’t matter that one of the cords was connected to something I rarely used and when I did no other cord was in use.  It didn’t matter that the other was one of those industrial grade cords that are used on construction sites.  It didn’t matter that there were no frayed, exposed wires.  The only high wattage object was the microwave and I already had it plugged into the wall.

He wrote me up complaining about my “many” extension cords.  Two.  Yes, two is now many.  He is a glorious example of the nanny state.  He went back to his office and sent the principal a note along with attachments of all the applicable laws and regulations at question.  The funny thing to me was I realized later that the one having apoplexy was not the fire marshall.  He was a school district bureaucrat.  The real fire marshall was pretty mellow and never said a word in support.

So I am in compliance.  The law, if it was the law, was stupid.  I am not sure it was the law, but you can’t argue with city hall or the nanny state.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Opus 2015-405: Headlines: Water on Mars!

A few days ago when I logged onto Drudge the headline of the day was something about water being discovered on Mars.  That has the drama of discovering fools in congress. 

I am always amazed at the level of ignorance found in the general population.  It is only exceeded by the gullibility.  Twenty years ago when I was teaching science, one of the quiz questions I asked was, “What is the one planet, other than earth, that is known to have water?”  The answer of course was Mars.  That is not the answer any more because water has been found to exist on other planets since that day.

If my seventh graders were supposed to know that Mars had water 20 year ago, then why is it news to the media today?  The next thing you know someone will discover that the Constitution says Americans have the right to own and carry guns.

homo unius libri