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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.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Opus 2017-411: The Accent on Carols

I am listening to the Christmas music I have scrambled on my I-pod.  I never know what will come up next.

At the moment the piece is “White Christmas”.  I love the song but this is not my favorite arrangement.  As I listened I said to myself, “This guy speaks funny English”.  I checked my screen and it turns out it was an opera star singing and my guess is that he might not speak English or if he does it has a marked accent.  People can learn to sing in foreign languages that they do not speak.

Have you heard Nat King Cole singing Adeste Fideles?  It sounds good to me but I don’t speak Latin.  Have you ever heard the Vienna Boys Choir sing Jingle Bells?  They are very precise and correct but it is obvious they don’t speak English.  I do, so I can tell the difference.

We run into this in life.  Have you ever met someone trying to speak Republican and it comes out RINO?  They may know the right words and talking points but there is something off in how they present it.  I love to ask people if they are liberals.  I personally have not had any just come out and admit it.  They know that the title is loaded with baggage so they avoid it.  It still doesn’t take long to know their heart.

In the same way those of us who know Jesus can often tell that some people trying to talk Christian have something about their accent that just doesn’t sound right.  They may have all the vowels and verbs but they put the accent on the wrong syllable or some such thing.  I am not talking about how some Texans make “oil” into a three syllable word.  I am talking about how Xians need to take a full paragraph to explain why they can’t simply answer “yes” or “no” to a simple question like, “Are you born again?” or “Do you believe the Bible is truth?”

So rejoice in Advent season with the Christmas music playing.  Much is totally secular but beautiful.  Some is on the level of “Grandma God Run Over by a Reindeer”.  Others touch heaven like “Joy to the World” when it tell us “No more let sin and sorrow grow”.

Merry Christmas, or for you Grinches out there, Happy December.

homo unius libri

Monday, December 11, 2017

Opus 2017-410: Headlines: Worth Watching

I have not looked at Drudge very closely but it seems to me that this should be a banner headline.  The Daily Signal tells us the House has passed a Right to Carry Reciprocity bill.  From here I assume it goes to the Senate. 

It elevates your license to carry a concealed weapon, a Constitutional Right, to the same level as your drivers’ license.  Since the requirements to exercise a right are more rigorous than what it takes to get a driver’s license, this just makes sense.

It remains to be seen whether the Senate has any sense or not.

The only thing mentioned that concerned me was that there is an increase in information on the back ground check.  That could be good or bad, depending on the information being gathered.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-409: Election 2018: On Spades and Not-Spades

I voted for Donald Trump with my eyes open and my nose held.  It is becoming one of those rare times when things work out better than you could have hoped.  A recent post of Power Line hits on a vital part of why that is true.  After commenting about how the media has been lying about Trump it says,
“But maybe that is too charitable. Maybe these reporters have been lying for a long time, and we finally have a Republican leader with enough guts to call them on it.”
Donald Trump seems to be the first Real Republican since Calvin Coolidge.  There is no problem with calling a spade a spade as long as it is a spade.

As we look to the future we need to see that we elect people to government who will support the direction that Trump wants to take the country.  The key will be the primaries.  That means that we need to work to unelect some RINOs sitting in positions of power.  I don’t care if they did get you a new bridge or a contract for your local manufacturer.  This is bigger than what is good for you.  It is about the future of America and the world. 

Elections matter.  Vote the RINOs out.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-408: Monday Pulpit: The Complete Message of the Incarnation

Sunday was the day that the church we attended had their Christmas Music Choir Special.  The music was excellent.  The message was even better.

What is often lost in the “spirit” of Christmas is the basic reason for the incarnation.  Jesus came for a reason and it wasn’t so we would have a special time of celebration and family get togethers.  Those are just pleasant contemporary side-effects.  The real reason to celebrate Advent was expressed through the music we heard Sunday.

The baby Jesus came to die on the cross.  We heard about the crucifixion.  The manger was just the opening scene.

Jesus came to be the perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins.  We heard repeated mention of sins and redemption.  We don’t like to hear that we are sinners in need of a savior.  That is one of the reasons why the celebration of the incarnation has become a capitalist’s dream. 

Jesus came to rise from the grave and give us assurance of victory over death.  We heard them sing about the resurrection. 

Jesus is coming again.  It will be the second advent. 

I am ready.  Are you?

homo unius libri

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Opus 2017-407: Headlines: Listen to Your Betters

I thought the headline was deeper than the editors wanted it to be.
“Richard Shelby on Roy Moore: 'The Republican Party can do better'”

I know who Ray Moore is.  I have known for a long time.  I have seen him resist the forces trying to do away with the public display of the Ten Commandments.  I have seen him stand for truth and morality.  I have seen him refuse to cave.  My first question was, “Who is Richard Shelby and why do I care what he thinks.” 

I had to read the article to find out.  Richard Shelby is “Alabama’s senior senator”.  I don’t remember hearing from him before this.  Maybe I just missed it.  Has he been so busy fighting the gun control lobby that he has not had time to speak?  Has he been picketing in front of Planned Parenthood clinics so he missed the press conference?  I may have not been paying attention but I notice he has time to criticize Ray Moore and, if you read the article, basically not vote in the coming election.

My second question was, “Since when does the Senator elected by the citizens of Alabama become a decision that is to be made by the Republican elites?”  That is what generated these comments.  I live in a country where the elites already have too much to say about how my life is run.  Could the Republican party do better than Ray Moore?  Possibly, but Ted Cruz can’t run in Alabama and Donald Trump is already president.  I think that there was another man in the primary who would have been just as good but he didn’t make the cut.  I doubt is he would be the one that Shelby thinks the party should have chosen either.  He would have been more Moore than Moore is, if you get my drift.

So the party is not the one that makes the decision.  That kind of politics went out of style over a hundred years ago when we began having conventions with elected delegates and with the emergence of primaries instead of back room deals. 

Let the people of Alabama decide and in a few years they may have something to say about Richard Shelby.

Also keep in mind that this site has endorsed Moore’s opponent in the Senate race.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-406: Headlines: Referendum on Trump

Crickets.

That is what we are hearing about what I think was a recent election.  I say, “I think” because the article itself doesn’t give the date.  Such is the nature of modern journalism, in this case found in the Boston Herald.

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_politics/2017/12/gop_candidate_flips_dem_senate_seat_in_central_mass

We have heard a lot of PC rhetoric since the election in Virginia.  A Democrat won, replacing a Democrat in a state that Hillary took in the presidential election.  That was hailed as a warning for Trump that his days were numbered.  What have we heard about this election in Massachusetts?

Crickets.

Why would the “unbiased” media not make a big deal about this election?  Massachusetts is about as deeply blue as you can get.  Democrats hold 33 out of 40 seats in the state Senate.  The senator being replaced was a Democrat.  He was beaten by a Republican.  That Republican was also an immigrant.  This was news.  What have you heard?

Crickets.

Two elections.  Score before the elections:  Democrats 2, Republicans 0.  Score after the elections:  Democrats 1, Republicans 1. 

Sounds like a referendum on Trump to me.  Like I said, “Crickets”.

homo unius libri

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Opus 2017-405: Headlines: Shut Up and Ski

Now I know who Lindsey Vonn is.  I must admit I am not a sports fan and the Olympics have been off my radar for years.  Now we have a skier who lets her political mouth race faster than her skis.  She acts like she is proud of her country and flag but then says she will not be on the snow for the President.  Drudge linked this to a CNN source.

It is great to live in America even when we are represented by insensitive fools.  Maybe she is just a racist.  If someone had said something like that about Barak Obama that is the label they would get.  And as she has the freedom to express her opinions I have the freedom to express mine:  If she does not ski for the president, she does not ski for me.

I can add the Winter Olympics to NFL games as something I won’t be watching.  It would be a more impressive sacrifice if I had actually planned to watch either but it is the best I can do.

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-404: Thanks Thoughts: Fear but no Want

As I was going through my morning ritual I am looking out the dark window into what would be a snowy landscape.  “Would be” because the inside lights make it seem dark outside.  We got snow last night, in Texas.  I doubt if it will last until Christmas.  Is there a song, “I’m Dreaming of a Snowy Day in Advent”?  I didn’t think so.  Hurricanes and floods are so last month.  Now it is snow.  And as I am going through a time of thanking God I touch not only on the beauty of the view but the warmth of my room.

That turned me to all the people in the world who were not warm and safe.  I thought of those who don’t know when their next meal will be available.  I have so much to be thankful for in this advent season.  And the thanks can go back over a lot of years.  The closest to freezing to death was in the blizzard of 78 when Boston was shut down and the power went out for a few days.  I had a time when I had one can of soup on the shelf and was a month behind on my rent.  I have come close to suffering and known the fear it generates, but the power came back on, the church surprised me with a table full of groceries and God provided.

Seventy years of pointless worry and inadequate gratitude.  It helps to keep things in perspective.

homo unius libri

Friday, December 8, 2017

Opus 2017-403: Headlines: Collateral Damage

A Republican bites the dust in the current feeding frenzy of the media.  His name is Trent Franks and he is from Arizona.  He has not been on my radar so I know nothing about him except he has caved to the feelings of some snowflakes.  His sin?  According to the Daily Signal he raised the topic of being surrogate mothers with a couple of staffers and made them feel “uncomfortable”.

The issue of surrogate mothers is an ethical issue that I am not trying to address.  Since the congressman and his wife already had twins by a surrogate mother, I would assume that the issue is not the legality of the process.  If the issue was raised in the proper way I don’t know how you would find a surrogate mother but to ask.  Although I have a lot of questions about it, I would think it an honor for someone to think highly enough of me to bring it up.  But two women felt uncomfortable and thus this man is resigning.

I guess he is trying to be noble and spare his family from the media circus which brings me to the scary part of his statement,
“Rather than allow a sensationalized trial by media damage those things I love most, this morning I notified House leadership that I will be leaving Congress as of Jan. 31, 2018.”
He is resigning rather than face “trial by media”.

This is dangerous.  There are a lot of maybe’s here.  Maybe he has other skeletons he does not want to come out.  Maybe he did more than ask politely.  Maybe he is a key vote that the Democrats wanted to remove.  Maybe, maybe, maybe...  The fact of the matter is that we have a man driven from office by innuendo and implication.  It could be the right choice.  More than likely it is the first of many surrenders to a media that wants to overthrow the last presidential election and doesn’t care how much damage they do to liberty in the process.

Is Trent Franks guilty of something that requires him to resign from congress?  Not that I read about, but he feels intimidated enough to back out gracefully.  How about the others?  I am in favor of Judge Moore hanging in there because he has the guts to resist the bullying of the Democrats and media (redundant, I know) and the RINOs that are their allies. 

What will you do when they come for you?  You don’t think you are important enough?  Wait until they want something you have. 

Will you be a Trent Franks or a Roy Moore?

homo unius libri

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Opus 2017-402: New Terms: National Dementia Syndrom

Never Forget!

Pearl Harbor.  The Holocaust.  9/11.

Why do we remember?

First, some reasons are not acceptable.  We do not remember to keep the hate and rage alive.  We do not remember to exact vengeance and make them pay.  The first part of the phrase, “Forgive and Forget” is important if we want civilization to move forward.  When there is a pot hole in the street you don’t curse it.  You avoid it until you can get it filled.  Evil happens.  We have fought wars to bring down the evil perpetrators.  It is time to move on.

We remember so that we can learn from the pain.  Pearl Harbor was a reminder that when we stop being vigilant we can pay a big price.  The Holocaust reminds us that evil can overcome any culture from within if we do not keep standing up for what is right.  The Twin Towers remind us that the world is not full of lovely people and the “Religion of Peace” seems to have a lot of heretics.

So we remember.  When?  At election time we need to remember the kind of politicians that have no sense of right and wrong.  At budget time we need to remember that the best way to avoid war is to be so strong that the enemies of America know they will be destroyed.  When talking about immigration we need to ask ourselves what groups are committed to destroying us and our way of life.

We need to avoid National Dementia Syndrom.

And since I am now in Texas, Remember the Alamo!

homo unius libri

Opus 2017-401: Headlines: Be Careful What You Wish For

Should Al Franken resign?  We need to be careful of our answers because, as conservatives, we believe in the rule of law.  That means that we don’t have one set of rules for us and one for them.  We are not liberals who think the rules only apply to people who are not special like they are.

Why would I like to see him resign?  First, he should not have been elected in the first place.  As I had read several places, he is a jerk.  In addition to that I would like to see him go because he is a force for political evil.  He also has one thing that almost demands resignation:  He has admitted to a lot of disgusting actions. 

Why am I cautious?  The same reason I call for reason and law in the case of Judge Moore.  So far it has been trial by media and hysteria.  As a member of the faceless masses I caution my fellow faces to stop reacting with mindless emotion.  Stop condemning someone just because the media wants blood.  If you get on a jury, listen to the evidence and give the verdict.  If you have an opinion, share it.  Never forget that we have rules and those rules are supposed to apply to everyone.  We have laws against rape.  We have laws that protect our physical person from unwanted touching and our mental person from verbal assault.  Apply them.

Don’t join the lych mob.  It doesn’t matter how nasty the victim.  Remember,
(Proverbs 29:27 KJV)  An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.
The disgust goes both ways.  Every exception to law breaks down the rule of law.

Having said that, I hope the guy crawls back under the rock that spit him out.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Opus 2017-400: On the Street: Liberal Confession

It is snowing in Hell.  My wife met a woman who admitted she was a liberal.  When my wife encouraged her to move to California and replace us she said she was thinking about it.

If you are into prayer you might be remembering her and encouraging the move.  Texas would be a better place and California won’t even notice.  Also pray for her safety.  Anyone who would admit they are a liberal might walk out in front of a yak or something.

homo unius libri

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Opus 2017-399: Executive Action Required

Is it time for history to repeat itself?

Does the acronym OSS mean anything to you?  It did to the Nazis and the Japanese war lords.  It was the arm of the Untied States government that dealt with intelligence during World War II.  It ran our spies and directed our secret work of infiltrating and influencing our enemies.  It was created by FDR and “Wild Bill” Donovan.  It was needed and provided a vital role.

When the war was over it was dissolved.  Granted, its activities were simply transferred to other agencies in the government but the OSS was gone, by presidential order. 

It is time for history to repeat itself.  The CIA has become the tail wagging the dog.  It has become a power unto itself.  The role it plays is necessary but the organization is probably beyond redemption.  Dissolve it and move on.

Now about the FBI...

homo unius libri

Friday, December 1, 2017

Opus 2017-398: Headlines: Another Day, Another Accusation, Garrison Keillor

I wonder sometimes if the media is playing with us to keep ratings up.  Do they have a long list of revelations about celebrities and politicians who have erred and they are stretching out the release in order to get us to tune in?

Yesterday it was the turn of Garrison Keillor.  Drudge sent me to Minnesota Public Radio.  My total experience with him involves reading Lake Woebegone Days after years of hearing about how the children were all above average. 

I read through the article and no specific charges are made, just “inappropriate behavior”.  That lets the imagination run wild.  As I look at the headlines about yesterday’s expose I see a wide assortment of actions being attributed to Matt Lauer.  I am not going to read all the articles because if the media follows its regular path there will be no way of knowing which are the ugly truth and which are ugly lies.  It is the job of the justice system to work those out.

It seems that the situations with Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor were both known by many people for a good time and nothing was done.  Maybe at last it is.  If they are guilty of serious crimes like rape or molestation of children then the death penalty would be appropriate.  If all they did was pat someone’s derriere, then maybe being fired will be enough.  I hope they get a jury but I don’t want to bet on it.

There is good and bad coming out of all these accusations.  The good is that a winked at behavior that was demeaning to other human beings is finally getting some attention.  The bad is that the press corps is using emotion to railroad the rule of law rather than due process to seek justice under the rule of law.  In our enthusiasm for one we must not let the other be lost.

homo unius libri