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.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Opus 2016-290: Ode to Old: Phases of Parenthood

Parenthood is awesome but like most awesome experiences it is multifaceted. 

You have the ecstatic beginning.  Holding your first child is enough to overwhelm any one with feelings.  They are incredible.  They are beautiful.  They are ugly.  They are full of potential.  They also seem to be full of fluids and they leak.

They are like a zombie attack.  You try to teach them about life and all they do is keep coming and eating your brains.  Will they ever learn to get that spoon of applesauce inside their mouth?  Will they ever get tired of watching gravity pull that same spoon to the ground?  Will they ever learn the meaning of “no”?  Will they ever get potty trained?  The answer is “Yes”.  You may not believe it now, but trust me, it will happen.

On the one side you have the duty of passing on the truths that were intrusted to you.  You mold the next generation.  They will take the values you live by and morph them into something that you never remembered demonstrating.  Eventually they will make you proud, I hope.  I know mine have.

Then you get over the hump.  On the other side you find the children dragging you kicking and screaming into the next century.  Routers?  Firewalls?  LOL?  Smart phones?  I look at all of the ingredients of my life that have been gifts from my children and are now standard.  Would I have ever  bought an I-pod?  Who would have ever thought you could charge a phone without wires?  Or that your phone could wake you up on time Monday through Friday and let you sleep on the weekends?  When was the first time you asked your kids, “What does _____ mean?”

In between are all the lessons of love and life that you learn in the process.  I think I am getting old.  I am enjoying the ride.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Opus 2016-289: Bumpers and Plates: Esse Quam Videri

I noticed a license plate recently.  The bottom said, “To be rather than to seem”.  It was in big enough print for me to read but I couldn’t get the top line without running into the car in front of me.  It looked like some strange name.  I later Googled the phrase I had seen and found out it was from the Latin, “Esse quam videri”.   That looked like what I had seen at the top.  It turns out it is a well used phrase.

According to Wikipedia it is the motto of North Carolina as well as a long list of other organizations.  Evidently Machiavelli reversed it to videri quam esse (to seem rather than to be).

I am afraid that our culture is into Machiavelli.  At school I talk about it being smoke and mirrors.  We see the same thing in politics, the church, business and in our families.

The big question is the one dealing with what we can change.  Do we see smoke and mirrors in our own lives?  Are we being or seeming?  I think we can tell.  What is necessary is a commitment to be honest with ourselves.  We know what we really think.  We know when our words and public commitments are done out of fear or for show.  Hypocrisy begins in our hearts long before it is expressed by our actions.

I think we can change our world if we change ourselves.  James Dobson used to tell a story about a meeting he attended.  At the time he was the elder in the room.  Most of the rest were young women just getting started in life.  On a table was spread of coffee and whatever went with coffee in that venue.  They were invited to partake and one by one they said they really didn’t want any coffee until the question was asked of Dobson.  I got the impression he was the last one.  He said, “Yes, I think I would like a cup.”  As he walked toward the table everyone else suddenly got honest and declared they would have some also.

We may not have anyone follow, at least at first, but if we don’t start standing up to the count there will be noone to follow.  If you are a Christian then this is not really an option.  We are called to be witnesses for our God.  If you are not a believer then you might also have an inner moral fiber that is not happy with silence.

Lets begin to speak out.  But whether you are a believer or not the guidelines of the Bible are a good reminder of how to do it.
(1 Peter 3:15 NAS77)  but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
Make a difference in your corner.  Esse quam videri

homo unius libri

Friday, October 28, 2016

Opus 2016-288: Discernment Watch: Genuine Pumice

I have been cloned.  I leave comments on a blog called Ton Thoughts.  It is written by a student that shows some promise even if his vocabulary is often sophomoric and his humor tends to be potty.  It seems that comments have been showing up on his blog with my name and avatar but not written by me.  

According to Good Reads Oscar Wilde said,
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”
Should I be flattered? 

I guess all that claims to be Pumice is not useful for scrubbing toilets.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Opus 2016-287: On the Street: Mission Statements

As I was parking I noticed a nutrition store sign:  “We made it our mission to help you reach your goal”.  Two smiling models were featured on the poster with bodies that require more than a few pills or supplements.  I am insulted and rightfully so.  The only way that statement makes any sense is if my goal is for them to make a lot of money. 

We don’t understand the concept of mission any more.  We are forced to come up with mission statements that are so long and complex that if anyone bothered to read them they would just scratch their heads and say, “Huh?”  If a store doesn’t realize that part of their mission is to make a profit then they must be getting some kind of federal subsidy which I am paying for out of my taxes.

Think as you read or listen to advertisements.  Feel the insult, not just the burn.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Opus 2016-286: Discernment Watch: Believing Half of What You See

I was listening to the Art of Manliness Podcast.  As usual I had my fluff filters on.  The little boys trying to define manhood mentioned the cowboys taming the wild west.  I was raised on the early years of TV when we had great cowboy shows.  In addition to the long running Gunsmoke and Bonanza we had Maverick, Sugarfoot, Rawhide, The Cisco Kid, and Have Gun Will Travel.  That is a short list.  I don’t know how old I was when I began to realize that these portrayals of the past had as much accuracy as Star Wars describing the future.  One of the mystical beliefs we had was the significance of the cowboy as a bringing of law and order.

That was a mistake.  It was the farmers who tamed the wild west.  Actually it was the farmers’ wives who tamed the wild west.  They are the ones who held families together and perpetuated culture.  They are the ones that reined in their men and made them act like adults.  They got the churches built and the saloons shut down.  They are the ones who put up the fences, sat on the juries and served on the posses.  They are the ones who used the telegraph and railroad to bring an end to the crazies. 

We make big mistakes when we believe what we see on any screen.  That is true if it is a movie, a cartoon or a news blog.  I don’t know if you ever saw Pocahontas.  I refer to the cartoon movie.  If you did you might remember John Smith as a tall, broad shouldered, blond stud and the governor as a pudgy, bearded dark character.  In real life John Smith looked like the cartoon governor.  When is the last time you saw a cowboy and Indian movie where the cavalry that rode to the rescue was made up of black soldiers?  When was the last time you tried to fire a gun from a running horse and seceded in hitting even the broad side of a barn?

Go ahead and watch, but read and think also.  Enjoy what I call the “Star Wars Effects”.  At the same time don’t base your decisions on what someone trying to make money off of you told you.

Stay awake.  Mark your ballot.  Vote the suckers out.  When you can’t vote them out try to find the least destructive choice.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Opus 2016-285: Tony the Tiger Reincarnated

Every other week we have a faculty meeting led by our fearless New Age leaders.  These meetings make me want to resign.  I feel like I am intellectually and morally battered when I am finally allowed to escape. 

One of the mantras that threatens to turn my mind to mush is the sign redefining greatness.  It reads,
“You are created for greatness, so release your inner Super Hero.”
It is like they watched Tony the Tiger chanting, “Greeeeaaaaattttt!!!!” so many times that they believe it.

The basic idea, which is central to post-modern education, is that we are all full of miraculous potential and it is only the chains of Christian culture that are holding us back.  We believe that if we say it often enough and believe it in our hearts, it becomes truth.  Just ignore the fact that also defines sexual harassment.

Last year we had a mantra about all students being exceptional.  As one of my students pointed out, “If everyone is exceptional then no one is exceptional.”  I asked her how old she was and marveled that she understood life better than our leaders.

When you see the snowflakes on our university campuses demanding safe spaces remember that they have been told for years that they are created for greatness and the assumption is that they will be honored for that greatness even if they do nothing.  Anything that threatens that greatess is to be condemned.  Next time you need to hire someone or pick a plumber remember that if they are young enough they believe they are awesome.  If they don’t measure up that doesn’t mean working harder.  It means redefining the word.

Remember that an average airline pilot has had 100% success so far.

homo unius libri

Monday, October 24, 2016

Opus 2016-284: Halloween Harvest

Halloween is coming.  I know this because churches are putting out signs for such things as “Harvest Parties”.  We used to be part of that because we would have an annual get together at our house with all of our children’s friends and their families.  We called it a “Fall Festival” and would have up to 50 people join us.  It was a good time. 

Part of our reasoning was that because we had spiritual issues with Halloween we wanted to substitute something so the kids would not feel left out.  Our motives were pure even if our thinking was not clear.  Why?

The Christian response to fall is Thanksgiving Day, not Halloween.  Halloween is our version of what the Mexican culture calls the Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.  Our school is decorated with skeletons and skulls.  One year we had a cultural awareness assembly in which they demonstrated children offering up sacrifices at an altar to their dead ancestors.  It seemed very similar to what I would think of as ancestor worship in Japan.  Any way you slice it, it is a pagan holiday.  You might ask yourself what is being harvested at your Harvest Party.

I can understand people who think it is just an innocent day of fun.  I don’t agree but I understand.  To me it is still living in denial.  It is part of the way in which the Christian church has been watering down the standards of the Bible and morphing them into culturally acceptable clones.  We want to enjoy pagan culture without being a part of it.  I don’t know where the line is but relabeling Halloween as a Harvest Party may not be the best route.

Smiling skeletons are still skeletons.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Opus 2016-283: Sometimes Free Is Too Expensive

I don’t listen to the radio much any more.  On occasion I am forced to do so because I forgot my I-pod but I am quickly reminded of why I turn it off.  I get frustrated with the commercials.  One time I was listening to a pod-cast of an hour program.  It was about 26 minutes and still included some commercials. 

My life is too short.

On the other hand I say, “Okay.  It is free enterprise.  Go for it.  I salute you.”  They have the freedom to sell me their product.  The other side of free enterprise is that I don’t have to listen.  I remember how I have even stopped listening to certain pod-casts because after the audience was built up and they had a following they started either demanding a subscription or inserting commercials.  Fine with me.  I hope you are successful.  I can go somewhere else.  I can find another outlet.  I did it with TV years ago and am doing it to radio now.

So make all the money you can but not on me.

I love free enterprise.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Opus 2016-282: The Ripple of Waste

I got a call from the principal the other day.  She called to remind me that my grades were due the next day.  I got the impression it was not targeted, she was calling everyone and I welcomed the reminder.  The only problem was my mouth.  Instead of just saying, “Thank You” I stated that while I already knew the deadline and was halfway done, I had not seen any reminder like we usually got.

Bad timing.  She went into a zealous defense of the leadership of the district and the school and how many ways they had told us.  I guess she was right but it didn’t make any difference.  The way they told us almost guaranteed we would not notice.   Modern technology has made it possible for administrators to cover their tails with very little effort.

I am referring to group e-mails.  A modern administrator can cut and paste something written earlier or by someone else, click on as many groups as they want, and send the message out immediately.  It takes no time on their part but the ripple of waste keeps spreading.  Sometimes they don’t bother to read what they are copying and so pass on wrong dates and times.  It takes our district maybe five minutes to put together a message.  Then they send it out to 1,000 teachers and unknown numbers of parents and local citizens.  Let’s say the total is only 2,000.  What it took the administrator five minutes to write takes at least that long to read.  So 5 x 2,000 comes out to 10,000 minutes of other people’s time consumed on a message that noone cares about.

They hide information half way through or in the middle of a paragraph.  They also like to link to a longer document that was prepared by someone else and the dance goes on.  Buried somewhere in all that verbosity is a mention of grades being due by a certain time.

I long ago learned to forgo the pleasure of reading this fluff.  Last time I looked I had over 90 e-mails from the district that I have simply archived without reading, and that is just in the last nine weeks.  I really don’t need a weekly reminder of how awesome I am, how much I am appreciated and how well we are doing.  That doesn’t count the ones I actually opened and the ones forwarded by my principal.

Their tails are covered.  They can say that they told me.  They would be right.  In reality it is like trying to read the IRS code or the Educational Code of California. 

We are “saving trees” and wasting lives.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 21, 2016

Opus 2016-281: New Terms: Pewberty

Words change in their meaning.  What was a perfectly good word when it was coined can be watered down over time to become a disguise or an insult.  One of the words that has lost is meaning is “Christian”.  It was originally coined by Jesus haters who were trying to find a way to insult followers of the resurrected Christ.  It was a put down.  The people insulted embraced it with enthusiasm.  They could do that because being a Christian was illegal and the label could be accepted as a statement of your genuine faith.

No longer.  Now being a Christian has come to mean someone who was raised in a generally Christian culture and is not a Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or atheist.  It has become a cultural term rather than a spiritual state.  I still think of it in its original sense but refrain from using it around some people because of the misunderstanding.

I have been looking for a good word for people who attend church but have not embraced the savior.  I don’t want to call them “Christians” because they really aren’t.  “Church attenders” doesn’t sound too catchy.  Might I suggest they are in the state of “pewberty”.

Like puberty it describes someone who is no longer a child but is not yet an adult.  It is a state where your status is uncertain.  You speak with many different voice ranges.  Your hormones are raging and adjusting how your body works.  You want the claim the benefits of both worlds that your feet are unfirmly planted in. 

Someone in pewberty likes to be thought of as a Christian in certain circumstances but does not want that to take away from their childish, self-centered demands the rest of the time.  They don’t want to be held accountable for their behavior.  They are neither fish nor fowl.

I doubt if the word will catch on.  I may never use it again.  It is still descriptive.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Opus 2016-280: New Terms: Anachronistic

I continually read and hear people making a case that American slavery was worse than slavery in other cultures.  They point out that slaves had certain rights in ancient cultures and were often better off than free servants.  The ones making the case are usually Progressives who hate America and want to turn us into a workers paradise that approach slavery this way.  The slavery they describe has a lot in common with the nanny state they want to push us into.  We should all be servants of a government that wants to keep us safe and harmless.

The problem is that this is saying that slavery was acceptable in every other culture but ours because the masters were humane.  I am sorry.  That doesn’t wash with me.  A slave was still a slave.  Slaves may have had some rights but none of the ones that make you a free man.  They tell us that slaves in Rome were often highly educated and wealthy.  That may be true but they could still be executed by their master if he was unhappy or having a bad day.  Serfs had some rights but they were not free.  Keep in mind that slavery was not an American phenomenon.  It didn’t start here and it ended here before it ended in much of the world. 

Try to understand the world of the past.  In all cultures the great mass of people were in that class that made them nothing but servants.  Even the nobility often lived knowing that the monarch could demand their head or property any time they were in a bad mood.  The “free servants” of Rome were treated so badly that being a slave could be an advantage.  Neither was free in the modern sense.  It is a false comparison given by people trying to make America look bad instead of being honest.

Was slavery a bad situation?  Of course.  Was it an American evil?  Don’t be foolish.  Does it still exist?  Definitely.  Try not to take the standards of today and impose them on the past.  It is called anachronistic. 

homo unius libri

Opus 2016-279: Should-a-Beens: A Was

I missed the debate last night and it is my daughter’s fault.  She is in town for a few weeks and we had an evening of father/daughter time.  In the process I pushed all of the worlds cares aside and just enjoyed being a parent.

She reverted to childhood and wanted to go to Dave and Buster’s.  It is a hangout with food and rooms full of video games.  We drove race cars, played air hockey, rolled balls and generally had a good time.

It was only later that I realized I lost every time. 

That is okay.  When I consider my children and how they are turning out I figure I have won on the things that count.

I hope you enjoyed the debate.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Opus 2016-278: Ode to Old: Clothes Make the Man

Since I lost weight and found out how clothes are supposed to fit my wife has been calling me a clothes horse and complaining about all the stuff in my closet.  She does this even when I point out that she is the one who keeps buying stuff when I say I have enough.  And I point out the shirts that my daughter has bought me.  But I digress.

I watched a man who makes me look young walking in front of me.  I noticed how high his belt was and how short that made his pants look.  It may me wonder at what age I will start pulling my pants up to my armpits.

Since you only know me online, you will never know.  I might not notice until my wife tells me but at that point I might not remember.

Happy aging.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Opus 2016-277: Discernment Watch: Rome Reprise

One of the big questions in history is, “Why did the Roman Empire fall?”  Of course it didn’t really fall, it just crumbled but the question is still, “Why?”  Some have blamed it on Christianity.  Some on slavery.  We ask the question because we are looking for clues to our own culture.

I have my own theories and of course the primary theory changes on a regular basis.  What I notice is that they all come down to people being selfish.  For example, crime and violence are on the rise.  They have always been with us so what is different?  It used to be that a person breaking the law accepted it was wrong but did it anyway.  Now they make all kinds of claims to being the righteous one.  It will not be crime that destroys us but selfishness.  It is the self centered view that neutralizes all attempts at reform.  Not a lack of laws but a lack of morality.  It is not the things that are illegal but the things that are not yet illegal and are used by those demanding their own selfish way.  It is the way in which we rationalize for our own benefit.

Finding the answer to the question really won’t matter because the people who control the power don’t really care about the country as much as keeping their own power.  None of the justice campaigns is concerned about justice, just power.  Feminism is not really about equality but gaining superiority.  Civil rights laws were written to avoid things like affirmative action and quotas yet they are the standards anyway.  Education has become a method of brainwashing and indoctrination rather than a foundation of liberty.

But we still ask the questions and have responsibility for our own lives and choices.

Cynical?  No, realistic.

homo unius libri

Monday, October 17, 2016

Opus 2016-276: Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, A Wake Up Call, part 2 of 2

Riots.  Insurrection.  Violence.  The criminal element is taking advantage of the moment.  It is like a societal temper tantrum.

But what if they are on to something?  What if this is about justice?  What if the system is so broken that it can’t be fixed?  What if the real problem is complacency on the part of the majority.  Those of us who are not rioting assume that because all we see are looters and gangsters that there is no legitimate gripe.  It is easy for us to overlook the underlying way in which the system is rigged.  I imagine that is how the English Crown saw Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. 

Maybe we need to think a little deeper here and not just assume.

It isn’t the fourth of July but maybe a look at the Declaration of Independence is in order.  It was a document that was responding to real life situations. 

Here is what Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence,
“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.” 
This came after many attempts to resolve the issues both peaceful and thugish.  At one end you have the Olive Branch Petition that tried to reason with King George.  At the other end you have the mob that burned and looted the head tax collector’s home in Boston.  Because the King ignored the issues it led to the American War of Independence.

Perhaps those of us who are concerned about real justice need to look a little closer at what is happening in the big cities.  I doubt if the dudes with their faces covered and carrying TV’s out of stores are concerned about the big issues and the Declaration of Independence but that does not excuse us from refusing to consider.  There will be no easy answers but there are probably some right answers.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Opus 2016-275: Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, A Wake Up Call, part 1 of 2

“Demonstrations” have been in the news a lot lately.  A more accurate description would be riots and looting.  The thugs who are out causing the chaos are not the hard working poor people who are really suffering.  Generally they are the ones who have never done an honest day’s work but expect to have all the benefits of advanced civilization.  The problem is that when the barbarians burn down the factory after stealing all the electronics they quickly run out of I-Pods and there is no one to make more.  When they burn the fields and go through the grocery store dumping out everything their mother made them eat as a child, it doesn’t take long for them to starve to death because there is no one left to grow, process, deliver and market what they think is theirs.  Eventually they need to sleep or fall down in a drunken stupor and the inevitable happens.

The barbarian thinks he is king of the hill because he has the biggest muscles and the benefit of surprise.  He expects to be feared and obeyed. 
(Judges 5:25 KJV)  He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish.
Sounds good, but he must have drifted off for a nap because...
(Judges 5:26 KJV)  She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.
They will get theirs but a lot of us may suffer in the mean time.  Barbarian thugs do little but destroy.  But, and it is a big but, what if they are right?  They will never provide a solution but what if they are pointing us to a real problem?

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Opus 2016-274: Thanks Thoughts: Band Aides

Recently I put a big slice in my thumb as I was cutting up a salad.  It was a bloody mess.  I thought about stitches but decided I was too macho for that.  It took me a while to get my wife to stop saying “where they have always been” when I asked about the Band Aides but I finally got them. 

I found that I was grateful for such a simple thing as plastic bandages.  There was something almost magical about them.  Compression was not stopping the bleeding but when I wrapped that piece of plastic and gauze around the flesh and cranked it down, nothing leaked. 

It isn’t just thankfulness for the invention.  It is also being grateful that I could buy enough to change the dressing three or four times a day.  Another thing that has come clear to me is that I am not only grateful that they exist but that I can afford the better ones.  There are areas in life where quality makes a big difference.  It is very helpful to have a bandage that will not fall off in 15 minutes.  The cheep ones tend to do that.  The better ones you have to force off.

I am healed.  I am thankful for the small advances in our civilization as well as the big.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 14, 2016

Opus 2016-273: Shoud-a-Beens: Throw Out the Bathwater

One of the original purposes of universities was to provide a place where great ideas could be debated, refined and learned.  Modern universities are rejecting that idea by allowing “sensitive” students to demand safe spaces and trigger warnings.  This decimates the ability to think.  It makes people ignorant dupes.  It will ultimately lead to a destruction of liberty and our republic.  Perhaps it is time for another fork in the road of education. 

Let the existing structure continue with safe spaces and trigger warnings.  I say that because there is no way to make progress without allowing the fools to continue to wallow in their cages.  Allow those “institutions of higher learning” to continue as day-care centers for young people who cannot handle the real world and refuse to grow up.  Let them be extensions of what our k-12 schools have already become.

And start a new track that provides a real chance for education.  Only allow admittance to that advanced group if schools would agree with what the University of Chicago declared recently.  The statement beings with this paragraph:
 “Free Speech Is the Basis of a True Education
Aug 25, 2016 By Robert J. Zimmer

“Free speech is at risk at the very institution where it should be assured: the university.  Invited speakers are disinvited because a segment of a university community deems them offensive, while other orators are shouted down for similar reasons. Demands are made to eliminate readings that might make some students uncomfortable. Individuals are forced to apologize for expressing views that conflict with prevailing perceptions. In many cases, these efforts have been supported by university administrators.”
It goes on from there and it might be worth reading.  It is the University of Chicago throwing down the glove in the face of politically correct education.  I can only hope that other Universities will follow, but I don’t count on it.  We need to move to start a new group of schools.

This will require some sacrifice.  We will need to pay for it ourselves.  It will mean that professors will actually be forced to teach instead of do research.  It will mean lower salaries.  It will mean a lack of luxury in the buildings.  It will be revival in education.  It will be a revolution.  It should be a bloodless revolution.  It won’t be peaceful but it can be bloodless.

This is an indication of what we need to start doing in the many areas that we know we have problems:  Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, FBI and IRS corruption, voter fraud and the list goes on.

It needs to be a peaceful revolution because history teaches that violent revolutions rarely produce results that are better than the cause.  If we don’t start the peaceful revolution then our children or grandchildren will become the mindless masses of 1984.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Opus 2016-272: Election 2016: Talking Trash

One of the aspects of male humor that the feminine side does not appreciate is talking trash.  A lighter form is what the kids are currently calling “bagging” and the Don Rickles set used to call a celebrity roast.  Men sit around and insult each other and think it is funny.  This is very threatening to the girly men who need safe spaces and women in general.

Another aspect of this is what we call “locker room talk”.  This involves a bunch of bucks trying to out-macho each other in what studs they are.  They boast about their sexual exploits and conquests in such a way that could only be possible is you were a part of the Mongol horde that had just broken through the walls of Kiev.  How do I know it is smoke and mirrors?  Because if half of the boasting were true there would not be a violated woman left in the western hemisphere and angry fathers would have eliminated them from the gene pool at an early age.

Is it how Christian men talk?  No.  Is it how the average guy talks?  Probably.  But they do it in the locker room or bar and they know that it is all talk. 

Should we get upset at the trash talk and locker room boasting of Donald Trump?  I guess that depends on what standard you held every other president and politician to over the years.  Democrats do stuff and people laugh.  Republicans do the same thing and it is a scandal.  Part of that is that Republicans on the whole live to higher moral standards but the biggest part is that the media turns yawners into scandals as they try to manipulate the elections.

If I were considering Donald Trump for pastor he would not be in the running anyway.  If he were trying to date my daughter I would tell his wife and let her deal with him, right after I had my daughter’s head examined.  If I were involved in a business deal with him I would hide my money.  In reality we are trying to decide if the total evil of the Clintons will get another shot at the White House or we put in someone that might do something right at least by accident.

I am still on the fence.  I know I can’t vote for Hillary.  I may decide I have no choice.

Whatever you are doing, get real.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Opus 2016-271: The Agendas Have Arrived

By agendas I mean date-books/calendars.  About 15 years ago a principle decided it would be good for the kids to learn to organize their time using a calendar.  Many adults do it.  I hope most do.  It was a good idea.  I don’t often say that, but let’s be fair.  Since he was a competent type of guy he ordered them, had them ready to go weeks before school started and gave them out with the text books when parents brought their children to register before the opening of school.

Good job. 

He left and for a few years the gears continued to grind smoothly, on this issue at least.  I got in the habit of spending time at the beginning of the year entering all the important dates for assignments and grades.  The tool for organization was being used as intended. 

Then came a Pharaoh who knew not Joseph.  Or should I say an administrator who only knew what was on the next page of the administrator’s handbook and they missed the one that said, “Order agendas”.  They were not there for the preregistration but were available when we got going.  Then they were not there at the beginning of school.  Then they were a week or two late.  This year they were handed out in week nine.

Might I suggest that the administrators need to get their own act organized.  They try to act like it is the fault of the agenda company.  Sorry.  If the agenda company worked the way the school did then they would be out of business.  If my memory serves me correctly, one of the reasons it now takes so long is that one year they delivered the agendas before they got paid and had to wait for months to be reimbursed. 

Unlike the public schools, they learned from their mistake.

The agendas have arrived.  Nine weeks into the school year.  After ten years of doing this.  I think this is a version of “what if they gave a war and nobody came”.  Substitute “education” for “war” and you get the state of modern education.

homo unius libri

Monday, October 10, 2016

Opus 2016-270:  New Terms:  Scientism

One of the struggles that thinking believers have is to deal with the declared independence of science from any metaphysical truths.  Science is a bit arrogant that way.  It is a false dicotomy and a strange place to find it dealt with is a blog called The Crucified God.  Strange, that is, to people who drink the scientific kool aide of scientism. 

The post defines scientism.  Part of that is,
“Many people in our day and age, especially those with no formal education in philosophy and an unhealthy confidence in the explanatory power of the physical sciences, consider that physics, chemistry, biology, and whatever can be reduced to these fields will someday offer a complete account and explanation of all reality whatsoever. This is called scientism.”  (Emphasis in original)
Before that he deals with several presuppositions of scientific research:  Change, efficient causality, and substance.

The post is well written and readable to encourage those who are not into philosophy or physics.  If you feel uncomfortable in the debate between creation and evolution then this might get your juices flowing and help you come to answers.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Opus 2016-269: Take and Give

Introverts are drained by people.  Extroverts are fed by contact.  That was shared by a pastor years ago and I have heard it from enough places since then to know it was not original with him. 
I am an introvert.  People drain me.  That explains why I am so exhausted at the end of the day.  I was thinking the only personal contact that makes me stronger is time with the Lord.  Then I thought about a dinner I had with one friend that raised my energy level.  That kept my mind on the tangent.  A party drains me.  It doesn’t matter if I enjoy everyone there.  You can’t have in-depth contact when you are the host or when you need to say hello to a multitude.  Good conversation with the right person strengthens me.  I can think of times when we had another couple over and it was uplifting.  What is the magic number?  Even if it is one-on-one it can be draining if the other person is an air-head. 

Perhaps introverts can be strengthened by individual contact by the right people but are drained by crowds and the wrong people.  Do I add to other’s energy or suck it out of them?  Food for my thought.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Opus 2016-268: Discernment Watch: “...but Some Are More Equal Than Others”

In my eighth grade history class I try to introduce students to the skills involved in research.  I force them to write a term paper.  That involves bibliography, taking notes, outlining and actually writing.  One of the biggest sections of my assignment sheet deals with plagiarism.  It is a problem from the wives of presidential candidates, civil rights icons, preachers, politicians and eighth graders.

It also seems to be a problem for school administrators. 

Each week we get a cute little online production that is supposed to be a high tech substitute for the weekly bulletin.  Usually I skip over the fluff and nonsense and get down to the actual schedule that I need to know about.  I don’t need to be reminded every week that I am awesome and that every student has built in greatness.  I already know about the tooth fairy and unicorns.

For some reason I actually read a paragraph this week and it seemed a little too polished to have been written at 5:00 A.M. before it was e-mailed to all the teachers.  So I did what I do when I have a student report that seems to good to be true.  I copied a sentence, pasted it into my Google search bar and hit the return.

It seems that what I was reading came from a study done by Harvard University.  Not only did it come from them but was being used all over the internet.  The sites I checked gave reference to Harvard.  Well and good.  Not our fearless leaders.  Not so good.  I could find no attribution to say that this was not the original work of our staff.  To mis-paraphrase Shakespeare, “Plagiarism by any other name, be it O so sweet, is still plagiarism.”

Do the students know?  Of course not.  They never see this.  Does the faculty know?  I doubt it.  I, the eternal cynic, have been ignoring these tomes for months.  Why should I expect them to pay attention?  My questions is, “How can I teach ethical behavior when my leaders refuse to follow the same standard?”  I have the same issue with teachers wearing hats in class, drinking coffee in class, chewing gum in class, using their phones in class, etc, when students are not allowed to do the same.

Call me an idealist.

How can you expect your children to be educated by people who lead in this way?

homo unius libri

Friday, October 7, 2016

Opus 2016-267: Ode to Old: Age before Baby

You know you are getting old when three women, one obviously pregnant, step back and expect you to get on the elevator before them. 

I didn’t think they were waiting for it.  No one had pressed the button.  It arrived soon after I did.  I hesitated a moment and they just looked at me, so I got on.  They followed me.  At the other end I allowed them to leave first.  Chivalry at work.

But I guess it means I am getting old.  Usually I don’t feel that way but you can’t argue with experience.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Opus 2016-266: Insy or Outsy

In one of his sermons, Alistair Begg made the distinction between sins of excess and internal sins.  Adultery is a sin of excess.  Lust would be internal.  One has to do with our outward actions, the other with inner thoughts.  What we need to understand is that both are sins.  Some people think that if they can just control their actions they have it made but Jesus said it differently.
(Matthew 5:28 KJV)  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
This is what makes the Christian faith so difficult to many.  It requires an act of God to deal with the inner sin.  It means that we are not in control and that we are dependent on His grace.  It means that we are not gods of our lives.  It means we must be willing to bend our knee in submission. 

It is also confusing to those watching church people.  It is hard to observe what goes on in people’s hearts.  It is easy to see what goes on in their interactions.  Those of us who are serious pray that God will change our inner person and give us the discipline to develop our outer person.  In Christianese it is the process of sanctification.

homo unius libri

Monday, October 3, 2016

Opus 2016-265: Thanks Thoughts: Old Dog, New Trick

We were visiting the church that one of our auto mechanics attends.  We figured that if he went there it would be a solid church.  The music was typical boring praise team stuff but the preaching was excellent.  I was also communion Sunday.  One of the tweaks put on the service was when the pastor led of in a repetition of one reason Jesus gave us for this moment:
(1 Corinthians 11:24 KJV)  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
He had us repeat, “Lord, I remember.”  I had never thought of that.  It seemed so obvious.  Now as I do my daily Eucharist I have begun to develop the habit of repeating, “Lord, I remember.”

It isn’t magic.  It isn’t an eleventh commandment.  It does add meaning.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Opus 2016-264: Headlines: Hidden Agendas

The headline I saw on The Washington Times was, “Clinton endorsements by conservative newspapers spark threats, cancellations”.  Since I have a stereotype of newspapers being liberal I thought I would check out The Arizona Republic, one of the designated newspapers.  I didn’t need to look far to have questions raised.

If you look at the banner you see that The Arizona Republican is billed as part of the USA Today network.  Follow my thinking here.  USA Today is not conservative.  It is the mother-ship of this group of newspapers.  Why am I supposed to believe that the Arizona Republican is a conservative newspaper?  Tell me that again?

I will book mark the site and check it out but I am not expecting balance in media.

Later I was looking at a British newspaper and found out that USA Today had announced that Trump was unfit to be president.  At least they are consistent. 

homo unius libri

Opus 2016-263: On the Street: Parasite Attack

I was attacked by parasites on the way to work last week.  Twice.  At the same intersection.  I was driving my car, which I had paid for.  It was running on gas I had paid for.  I was on a road that I had paid for.  Stopping my progress was a pole with blinking lights to block me from driving across the tracks.  After a few moments a string of railroad cars marked “Metro” breezed by with merry abandon.  What irritates me is that I was also paying for the pole, tracks and cars.  The people riding were paying only a portion of the cost.  I was paying the rest in my taxes.  And they were stopping me from getting to the place where I earn the money for them to steal.

And then, before we could get moving, it happened again.  This time from the other direction. 
Don’t they realize that if I don’t get to work I won’t pay taxes and they won’t have anything to steal?  Who will pay the generous wages to the conductors then?

The definition of a parasite has two elements.  The first is that they live off of another organism.  The second is that they give nothing back.  I am the host.  They are the parasites. 

I hope to get back at them by retiring and moving out of state.  Until then I will grit my teeth and soldier on.

homo unius libri