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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.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Opus 2018-177: New Laws: Open Wide

I don’t know if you have seen the meme about open borders and open doors.  The idea is that if you are in favor of open borders you should never close or lock your front door.  It should be open to show how you welcome the entire world into your life.  I used this illustration for years when I was teaching and immigration came up.  I am glad to see it making the net.

My suggestion is that we need a government agency and federal program to keep track of all people who are in favor of open borders.  We would then have a team of agents visit their homes when they are not looking and remove all locks from their doors.  They should also determine if there are any safes and jam them so they will not close.  (Obviously this will not cause gun safes to be left open because these people also are against guns).  With enough care you could also find out all their passwords and account numbers so that they would really be open in their lives.  The team would do the same for their cars and RV’s.  Finally they would remove all fences and security systems. 

We need to let the law of unintended consequences introduce these unicorn riders to the laws of cause and effect.  Physics and human nature will still operate no matter how much they deny it.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-176: Headlines: Page Cooperates

Not to be a cynic or anything but I fear for the safety of Lisa Page.  The headlines say she cooperated with congress.  I don’t know whether I can believe that or not, after all it did come from the media, but if she did I hope she is lining up extra body guards.  People who speak out against the deep state tend to become statistics.  If she is really being honest I would hate to see her join the list of people who have stepped out of line.

Secret Service maybe?

homo unius libri

Friday, July 20, 2018

Opus 2018-175: Headlines: Still Never Trump

It seems that a lot of people have Never Trump tattooed on their DNA.  They can act supportive and keep on a happy face but they are really just looking for an excuse to say, “Gotcha!”  The recent meeting with Putin is a case in point.  It might be a good time to start a list of whom you can trust and who is part of the deep state.

Was Trump being Trump?  My guess is, yes.  Did the Donald say some things that sounded like “Squirrel” to people in the Hate Trump industry?  It certainly looks like it.  I don’t spend a lot of time reading all of the concerns they have about Donald giving away the bank.  Nothing came even close to Obama leaning over and saying he would have more flexibility after the election.  Next time you get upset with Trump being polite to Putin just remember that moment of open mic. 

One of the comments I read was probably an indication of where we should be.  The writer said that it wasn’t the comments Trump made that were key.  What was important was the things that Trump did and the progress he is making in so many areas.  Trump will be Trump.  If you want a smooth talking hypocrite then go volunteer for almost any one of the Democrats that are going to run for President.  Might I suggest their new light, Ocasio-Cortez?

I am still much more worried about the FBI, CIA, NSA, TSA, DHS and RINO than I am about the KGB or whatever they call themselves today.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Opus 2018-174: Digging into Deuteronomy: Memory Loss

(Deuteronomy 4:9 KJV)  Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;

Why is it that we seem to need to keep repeating things to remember them?  When I was in high school and college I knew everyone’s birthday.  Now I have to write down the dates for my wife and kids.  I once had long passages of scripture memorized and now can’t even remember which ones they were.  I could quote the Gettysburg Address.  I used to know the proper mixture for mixing mortar.  I could look at a baby and tell you how many months.  The list goes on.  I would give you more examples but I can’t remember what I have forgotten.

This verse tries to alert us to the danger of forgetting.  The fade starts as our eyes stop looking at them.  Then they get vague in our minds and eventually they wither in our hearts.  You may not have any tools to study the Hebrew but “give heed” and “keep” (8104) are the same Hebrew word.  The antidote is given twice.  We remember by repetition.  Every year when I was teaching I had to work through how to figure percentages.  I knew there was a formula, I just didn’t remember what numbers went where.  After a few times reviewing it all came back and I didn’t need to think about it any more, until next year.  Every summer the knowledge would hide because I wasn’t using it.

One of the best ways to remember the important things is to teach them to your children.  That reinforces by repetition but it also puts you on the line.  You have declared something you believe to be important.  You have demanded that they learn it.  Now you better live up to it yourself. 

There may be a few people with perfect memory but that isn’t me and probably isn’t you.  We have to work at it.

homo unius libri

Monday, July 16, 2018

Opus 2018-173: New Laws: Kosher Democracy

I am proposing a new law.  I want to mandate that all elected officials eat at a place that has a dollar menu at least once a day and on any trips stay in a Motel 6 at least one night.  Make them pay with cash.  We need to find a way to get them out of their bubbles and into the world of the rest of us.  If I understand correctly President Trump tries to follow this regime when he is out and traveling, at least in the eating area.  Maybe that is why he is working toward what most Americans want.

Candidates for office will need to document and prove that they have also been out rubbing elbows with the general public.  Maybe they would be required to keep a Twitter account going that would make it possible to follow their activities and have others comment on the experience.

Washington is out of touch with fly over country.  It is out of touch with people who must deal with all the manipulative regulations put out by the federal bureaucracy.  Sometimes the only way to get people to understand how hot it is outside is to turn off their air-conditioning.

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Opus 2018-172: Headlines: Standing Tall

It was good to see that neither President Trump nor Mrs. Trump bowed to Queen Elizabeth.  I have nothing against the English royal family as such although I do think Charles is missing a few points of his triangle.  I could have even accepted a nod but they were very careful not to act the lackey like President Obama was “inclined” to do.

Making America Great can include being polite and courteous.  It can have a bit of humility.  It does not need subservience to a system of class that the Founding Fathers rejected. 

The President of the United States makes patriots proud, socialists sputter and snowflakes twitter.

homo unius libri

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Opus 2018-171: How about Euthanasia?

Why is it that people who believe in eternal life tend to be the ones against legalizing euthanasia?  Christians do not fear death because they believe it will lead to the resurrection and an eternity in the presence of God.  What is the problem with getting a little help in the process?  It comes down to the questions in the Garden of Eden and whether God is in charge or we are.

Most have heard the misquote from the Ten Commandments,
(Exodus 20:13 KJV)  Thou shalt not kill.
It is a misquote because it should be “murder” not “kill”.  Since the death penalty is given in the Bible and there are cases where war is allowed, to forbid killing would be nonsense.  Murder, on the other hand is killing for your own selfish reasons.  There is even an allowance in the Old Testament law for manslaughter and an acknowledgment that there is a difference between killing in a fit of passion and cold blooded planned murder.

For Christians taking a life is not something you do for personal convenience or profit.  Life is given by God and the length of life is in his hands.  It is part of a belief in Providence.  God is in control.  He can shield us from the virus that kills.  He can put us in the other room when the chimney falls.  On the other hand He can call us home at any time.  Certain decisions are hard to make such as turning off life support on someone who is brain dead, but that is a total different discussion than administering lethal drugs because someone is depressed. 

Where are the Buddhists and Hindus on this issue?  They believe that death leads to reincarnation.  Does that make them in favor of helping people die?  Do they write it off to bad karma because they are in the situation or good karma because they get to reboot to something better?

Death comes to all but we have different attitudes toward it.

homo unius libri

Friday, July 13, 2018

Opus 2018-170: He’s Makin’ a List

I did not watch any of the “testimony” of Peter Strzok gave to congress.  I heard the bits and pieces that the different media outlets wanted to share.  I am glad the interview is going on but at the same time don’t think it will make much difference.  Congress already has more than enough information to be demanding indictments on everyone from Barak Obama to Hillary’s maid and they have done nothing.  Flynn and Manafort are in jail and others have been harassed by Mueller for simply being on the wrong team.  Meanwhile, Comey can testify under oath that he gave classified memos to a reporter and nothing happens.

There was one point that sums up the whole problem.  I am sure that you have heard what Louie Gohmert had to say about Strzok’s reliability. 
'How many times did you look so innocent into your wife's eyes and lie to her?'
As much as everyone gasped and came unglued at that moment of honesty, that is really a question that should be asked of many people in the limelight. 

How can you put people in positions of authority and power when they are cheating on their wives and husbands?  If you will betray such a basic relationship of trust, what will you not betray?  Truth and honesty are basics of good government.  They are the foundations of a culture that seeks to live in peace, prosperity and liberty.  Think about it.  After you get your oil changed do you take a bit of the oil to a lab to see if they put in the good stuff?  How do you know that the coffee you are drinking is really organic and “sustainable”?  Was your cheese really aged two years?  We take a lot on faith.  No one would have time to check out everything.

As conservatives we need to seek out people who know what it is to be honest.  If you are also a Christian then you need to be the model of integrity.  I realize that none of us will be perfect and I understand that you can’t tell your wife what she really looks like in that dress.  Having said that we need to watch and when we find this kind of deceit going on, start a list like Santa Claus only make sure that you check it more than twice.

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Opus 2018-169: Leave the Ad Hominem to the Left

Could we please stop focusing on people’s physical attributes.  I am tired of references to how ugly a certain Justice is, how fat a certain movie producer is and other such insults.  The statements may be true but they are also obvious and mean spirited.  As someone who has worked with middle school students I have learned that having a big nose, a bald head and bad style are things I have to live with and the best way I can get back at my attackers is to laugh with them.

The ideas these people express are ugly enough.  Just focus on that.  When Michael Moore talks about the great health care system of Cuba, go for it.  When Ruth Bader Ginsburg falls asleep during a speech, let the giggles flow.  When Barak Obama talks about visiting all 57 states, guffaw.  When Nancy Pelosi worries about a Supreme Court nominee destroying America, go for the jugular. 

Let the left show a lack of class.  We can do better.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Opus 2018-168: Headlines: A Sparkling Nomination

We have a nomination.  Next step is a confirmation.  I don’t know if I should be rejoicing or mourning.  It depends on whom you read and what they think they know.  We are all familiar with Nancy Pelosi’s famous statement that we need to pass the bill so we can find out what is in it.  For a legislature that is pure ignorance, arrogance or manipulation.  Or it may be all three.  In the case of a Supreme Court Justice that is the way it needs to be.

At the press conference everyone said the right things.  All we know at this point is that Brett Kavanaugh claims to believe that the Constitution should be understood to mean what it says, not what the current justice says it means.  We heard the same thing from Chief Justice Roberts and Clarence Thomas.  In one case it was a smoke screen, in the other it was genuine.  The problem is that we will not know until the proof hits the pudding.

So far Trump has done his homework.  I am willing to have hope for the future because he seems to be showing where his heart is.  I am convinced that Trump believes that Kavanaugh is the genuine article.  Only time will tell. 

Another reason that I have hope is because I believe with the Founding Fathers that the rights we have are endowed by our Creator.  God is in charge.  If we can survive eight years of Obama doing everything he can to destroy the country with the aid of the media, education system and RINOs, we can trust God to see us through.  It is more important that we live in righteousness than who sits on the Supreme Court.  Remember that Sodom would have been spared if there had only been a few particles of salt and a couple of sparks of light.

So get out there and sparkle.

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Opus 2018-167: The Good, The Bad, and the Rest of Us

Right and wrong.  Good and evil.  Do they exist?  Yes.  Every human being in the world that is healthy and mentally stable will admit there is right and wrong.  If nothing else they will admit there is a wrong way to screw on a hose.  We may disagree on what to put in each category but we would agree with the concept.  A universal idea like that must come from somewhere.

It does not come from evolution.  Animals don’t have wrong and right.  When I was in Vietnam you would not believe some of the ways the bored GI’s tried to entertain themselves.  I had my books.  I wrote letters.  One time I took a break and went outside to see what all the noise was about.  A group of very bored soldiers had found a bitch in heat and were playing games with the males that wanted to breed her.  The dogs didn’t look at it as right and wrong.  All they knew was instinct and acting on it.  The soldiers knew right and wrong and I doubt if they ever told their current or future wives how they spent that afternoon.

New born babies don’t know right from wrong.  I speak as one who has been spit up on and listen to the little toots that babies make.  They drool and flop.  It is what they do.  If left alone they won’t get much further but we keep coaching and modeling and eventually we get adults who demonstrate what they have been coached on.  It is a battle all the way because it does not come naturally. 

Where do we adult get our ideas of right and wrong?  For an advanced culture to develop and thrive they need some kind of religious roots to tell them where to draw the lines.  Pragmatism isn’t enough.  Rich men think having many wives is a great idea as long as they can divorce them when it is convenient, thus polygamy.  Strong men think they can enslave the weak.  If you had taken a poll in ancient times about slavery I think that most of the people against it would be the slaves themselves.  Religion gives boundaries. 

When you remove the religious boundaries you end up with what modern Marxism has shown us.  In every case where Communists have been in control you have had genocidal levels of murder and mayhem.  If you know enough about history to recognize that the Nazis and the Communists were both socialistic then you realize that the godless governments of history make the victims of religious wars into small change and footnotes.

Which religion is best?  I obviously have an opinion but I express that often enough in other places.  Ethical behavior is pretty much nonsense without the guidance of religion.

homo unius libri

Friday, July 6, 2018

Opus 2018-166: The Problem with Elites

The class structure is being created in America as it has existed in much of history.  The building is coming from both ends in an attack against the beliefs of the middle.

The elites believe they are better than anyone else.

The peasants are content to have their needs met.  How else would you explain the large number of people who have immigrated to this country and are refusing to learn English.  I have thirteen year old students who have their parents come in for a conference and they need an interpreter.  These are not people new to the country.  That I could understand.  These are people who have thirteen year old children born in this country.  Thirteen years and they have made no effort to become fluent in the language of success.  They are complicit in the destruction of the American dream.  They believe that the elites are truly their betters.  They deserve to be at the bottom because they are happy there.

We used to have institutions that taught the elites that we are all sinners before God and saved by grace.  That generates thoughts of equality.  We used to have schools that taught that all men are created equal and we enlightened the poorer classes that the future was as bright for them as it was for the sons of the rich.

No more.  We have been betrayed by the church that refuses to teach about sin.  We have been betrayed by the schools because they are generating successive generations of peasants.  We have betrayed ourselves because we have accepted it and not demanded more.

homo unius libri

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Opus 2018-165: Terror Wins a Round

My wife shared that she would not be found at any large gathering over the 4th of July.  I think she extended it to life in general.  She is worried about terror attacks my Muslims and liberals.  What this tells me is that they are winning.

The whole point of terrorism is that they put fear, terror, in our minds to the point that we change how we live.  When we put off going out to eat or shopping it is more than just us trying to be safe.  It takes a big stick and drives it through the spokes of the economy.  The enemies of America win without having to do anything.

This works many ways.  I find that I am reluctant to fly.  It has nothing to do with fear of being blown out of the sky.  It has to do with convenience and comfort.  The comfort I am forced to live with.  The airlines keep making the seats narrower and knee knocking.  I am getting too old for that environment.  The one that is more crippling is the TSA.  Knee jerk reactions to shoe bombers and underwear bombers has made it quicker to drive to some locations than to take the airplane.  This came through to me recently when I was reading an old action novel.  The hero walking into an airport at the last minute, paid cash for a ticket with no ID and immediately boarded the plane.  Can you remember those days?  I have vague memories of it but my children can’t picture such liberty.

I will not be going to any big event either but my motivation is different.  I don’t like big crowds.  I think it is part of becoming old and cranky.  I went to one concert forty years ago.  It was enough.  I went to a Tea Party rally.  It was enough.  I prefer to schedule my life so that if I must dine out or go shopping I go when the masses are somewhere else.  I really don’t want to be forced to go to things to show the terrorists that I value liberty over security.

Don’t let Muslim suicide bombers keep you from the mall.  Don’t let Communist Antifa thugs keep you from a parade.  Don’t let government attempts to keep from traveling just because they want to keep you safe.  Liberty is a state of mind that guides our actions.

I hope you enjoyed Independence Day.  Continue to apply that independence.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Opus 2018-164: Immortal Quotes: Just to Be Clear

I came across a line I wish I had written in The Daily Gouge.
“This doesn’t mean Trump, who continues to dismay us with regularity, is anything remotely angelic…just Heaven-sent.”
And you can quote them on that.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-163: July 4, The Experiment Began

Today is Independence Day.  A good question we need to ask is, “What were we independent from?”  The most common answer would probably be some sort of ignorance from people who never listened or never covered the founding of the country.  The most common answer we would get from people who didn’t guess “From school” would be we gained our independence from England and became a new nation.  That would be right as far as it goes but still short of the real level of separation that was being sought.

Political independence was a necessary ingredient for what the Founding Fathers wanted to achieve but it was only the beginning.  What they wanted to be free from what the established paradigm of Europe.  They probably would not have used the word paradigm but you get the idea.  Europe was a product of the Enlightenment.  While there were some good things that came out of the Enlightenment it was also the source of the thinking that made the French Revolution totally different than the American Revolution.  It was based on a class society that felt like there was a natural elite who deserved to rule.  The American experiment was based on two concept that were, and are, rejected by Europe.  They are also rejected by American elites today.

The first is the Declaration of Independence phrase “all men are created equal”.  It was not a statement that all men are equal but that they were created equal.  This is the principle of the rule of law and the idea illustrated by the statue of Justice with a balance scale and a blindfold.  The rest of the world seems satisfied with different laws and different justice for those in the higher classes.  The Founding Fathers wanted the law applied the same to everyone.  It took a lot of sanding and chiseling but with the Civil Rights act of 1964 we were getting pretty close to that ideal.  Of course you then had special interest elites start in with things like affirmative action and quotas. 

But the dream is still there for most Americans.

The second concept is referenced in the first.  In order to be created there needs to be a Creator.  It was assumed in the Declaration of Independence that certain rights were ours because God had given them to us.  Because God gave them, the government could not take them away.  That thinking was rejected by Europe and, again, most of the world.  A good example is Great Britain where you are not even allowed to defend yourself from violent attacks without fear of being arrested because you defended yourself too well.

The Progressives represented by the Democrats, socialists and people on the left want to turn back the clock, do away with the experiment and become European again.  They feel that specially qualified experts are the ones who should be making major decisions and limiting our options on minor choices.  They want it for our own good.  It starts with seat belts and motorcycle helmets and proceeds to health care and sugar in our drinks.  It ends up with one party elections with only carefully screened candidates on the ballot.

Celebrate our Independence and wake up before it is gone.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Opus 2018-162: Headlines: AMLO Derangement Syndrome

Mexico is heading for a change in leadership.  I have read every opinion about this from another Venezuela to genuine hope.  I think there is a parallel with the election of Donald Trump.  We won’t know until the laundry is in.  So let’s hope for the best and keep our powder dry.

If I were to give Mexico’s President Elect any advice it would be the same I would give our president:  Be vigilant for the inevitable attempts at assassination.  A couple of headlines I read said that over 1,300 political candidates were murdered during this election cycle in Mexico.  The left in the United States keeps talking about the violence here and the danger of the “gun culture”.  We are what President Obama would have called the Junior Varsity when it comes to violence.  Mexico would be close to the top of the list if not number one.

So keep your head down AMLO.  Be careful whom you trust.  The drug cartels and crime bosses of Mexico will not go away quietly.

Best wishes.  My prayer is that you are a sincere force for change and that you will get a chance to demonstrate that.

homo unius libri 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Opus 2018-161: Cornerstone Considerations: D of I, The Wrong Day

Last Sunday the preacher was referring to the Declaration of Independence and talked about it being signed on July 4.  I have read that it was actually signed at a later date.  July 4 was the date the vote was taken to approve the document.  A post that has this and other interesting details is located on the History Channel website.

Does it matter? 

Not really.  Notice that the document does not say, “This was signed on July 4".  There are two things that are important.  First, it was approved and signed.  Second, the content gives a cornerstone for the direction of a new experiment in politics, The United States of America.

Are documents like this important?  Obviously I will say, “Yes.”  The old documents tell us what the thinking was in previous generations.  They tell us why a group of men found it necessary to finish with this statement,
“And for the support of this declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
Make no doubt about it.  These men were taking their lives into their hands or, as they would agree, putting their lives in the hands of Providence, because they believed that God had a plan for humanity and it was time to take that plan to the next step.

As I write we are looking at the appointment of a new justice to the Supreme Court.  As conservatives we want someone appointed who looks at the old documents and believes in what they say.  We don’t want someone thinking they know more than the combined wisdom of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, et al.

We have the same problem in Christian churches.  We have a growing number of pastors who believe that their personal preferences should trump the clear statements of the Bible.  They think they are wiser than Calvin, Luther, Wesley and even Jesus.  They are a danger to the church as those kind of judges are a danger to America.

Take some time to read the original documents.  Over the next few days focus on the Declaration of Independence.  After that you might want to go back and look at some of the original documents that the Founding Fathers used as resources.

homo unius libri

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Opus 2018-160: Ode to Old: I Remember I Forget

As I was getting ready to write a worship thought for my other blog I read a comment I had written about becoming forgetful.  I found it very cheering.  It was written seven years ago.  Unless my mind is gone much further than I think it is, I am still able to find my keys and remember where I live.  I consider that a victory but again, I will be the last to know.

homo unius libri