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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.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Opus 2020-286: Memory Aid

I am beginning to take names and make a list.  I am not Santa Claus.  I am an old man with a failing memory and, like most conservatives, willing to be understanding and forgiving.  While I must maintain a certain Christian attitude, I do not need to continue to be like Charlie Brown kicking the football.

We have all been told over and over that there is no difference between the Republican and Democrat parties.  In one sense that is ridiculous.  There are numerous issues that they differ on:  Abortion, taxes, Israel, China, the Second Amendment, God (really), whether America is good or bad, identity politics, and the definition of the family.  If I wanted to search I could find many more.  There is a difference.

At the same time there is a core of similarities.  Just as a beagle and a lab are totally different animals, you would have to admit that both are dogs.  We had a beagle and got rid of it as soon as possible.  Our lab became a part of the family.  The same is true of the two parties.  There are core ideas that make them the same.  There are groups that control both that would sell their soul for power and their mother for reelection.  A large group of Republicans are genuine RINO’s.  They are government-first clones that somehow ran on lies and have continued to serve on lies.

My list is generally going to be for my use.  It won’t focus on politicians but they will be included.  My main concern is the sources I have been using to get my news.  I am seeing a disturbing trend of people who claim to be genuine conservatives abandoning the president in the typical Republican way.  They still seem to think that if they are nice to the Democrats they will be left alone.  What will really happen is they will become disseminators of pollution.  They will try to ride on past laurels as they sneak poison into the minds of faithful readers.  We saw it happen with the Drudge Report.  I stopped going to the site during the first Trump campaign when it became obvious Drudge had gone to the dark side.  One that people are noticing now is Fox news.  I stopped paying attention to their opinions at least a year ago.  The degeneration is spreading.

So I will begin to note who is saying things like “there is no evidence of a stolen election” or calling on Trump to concede.  I am just one voice but I refuse to turn my mind off when we have had a chance to make America great again and the pontiffs jump ship.

homo unius libri

Opus 2020-285: If We Can Keep It

Most are familiar with the response of Benjamin Franklin when asked what kind of government we have.  He did not say “A Democracy.”  He said, “A Republic,” and added “if you can keep it.”  We are on the verge, if not already over the edge of not keeping it.

Might I suggest that we need to come to a new understanding of the rule of law.  You have all heard the saying, stated many ways, that sometimes goes as “You don’t fight with the army you want, you fight with the army you have.”  I think it is time to start fighting with the laws we have.  By that I don’t mean the laws on the books but the laws actually being followed.  

My circle used to play a card game called Rook.  It is a real game with a commercially manufactured deck of cards.  The thing is we never played the game that was in the rule book.  I don’t know who made the changes but we called it Nazarene Rook.  Before you started the game you also had to agree on certain details.  Was the Rook high, low or worth 10 ½?  Did the cards in the kitty go with the most hands or the final hand?  We got to the point where we would call our brand “Point Loma Rules.”  As long as we agreed on the way we played we had a good time.

We need to do that with the law of the land.  The rules we play by need to be defined by what is actually allowed by law enforcement and the courts.  That means that elections are no longer based on a fair counting but on whom can be most creative in cheating.  It means that instead of expecting people to honor their duty we need to have teams of goons to threaten them and their children.  It also means that we are free to form gangs to attack people on the other side just because they need a reminder we are serious.

Those seem to be the rules.  

Can we keep our republic under that understanding of the rule of law?  Probably not but the way things are going we will soon substitute “banana” for “federal” as the adjective.  

homo unius libri

Friday, November 20, 2020

Opus 2020-284: On the Street: Sour Dough

We are currently in the Williamsburg area of Virginia.  My wife believes all the flyers we get for restaurants so we went out to an amazing place for breakfast.  She asked me how I liked my choice and I asked, “A fried egg is a fried egg.  It is really good because I don’t usually have a chance to have fried eggs, but it is still a fried egg.”  She disagreed but that is to be expected.  

As usual I had to make decisions.  I asked if the grits were good and got a puzzled look.  After a few questions we worked that out.  Then I asked for sour dough.  The waitress then asked me what kind of toast I wanted.  I was confused until it dawned on me I was in a state that had voted for Biden.  The confusion was clarified when I found out the waitress had never heard of sour dough bread.  I went with wheat and told her she needed to get out of Virginia.  She agreed.

We were not in some backwoods, isolated diner.  We were in the middle of a bustling tourist and retirement area.  The waitress had never heard of sour dough bread.  I should have expected it because the lady who seated us was totally on board with the governor mandating masks.  It seems that she has been led to believe that Virginia is one of the safest places in the country because of the lock downs.  When I started talking about facts she shared that she was not interested in how many deaths there were it was the number of cases that was important.

CNN strikes again.

This is part of the reason why I don’t urge people to vote anymore.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Opus 2020-283: On the Street: Virginia Is Not for Lovers Any More

Virginia is obviously run by Democrats.  They are doing everything they can to milk the tourist trade.  One of the great surprises for us was the sales tax for breakfast.  In addition to the state tax of 7% there was an additional 4% for eating out.  

I can testify to the 11% because we just paid it.  The internet is a bit confused.  Google tells me that the tax at most locations is 5.3%.  Then why does it also say it is 7%?  Then they add that groceries for home use pays a “reduced” rate of 2.5%.  Amazing.  Even California does not tax the food you take home to feed your children.

It turns out that we were lucky we did not eat in Hampton.  According to Google, and you know how reliable that is, Hampton adds 7.5% to the bill making a whopping 14.5% tax on your meal.  You have to be seriously bored to eat out in Virginia.  

Virginia is not for lovers anymore unless you mean lovers of taxes.

homo unius libri

Opus 2020-282: Overlooked Consequences

We read a lot about the disasters that are waiting to happen if Biden wins this election.  We know that the criminals who tried to drag President Trump down will walk away laughing.  We know the ingrained criminals that are manipulating our elections will be emboldened.  Most of what I am reading is serious but most of it focuses on the United States.

I think we need to think about what it will mean to the world also.

The Middle East will return to blood and bombs if Biden is sworn in.  I have heard concern about Iran but little about the extraordinary progress Trump has achieved in bringing Israel together with Muslim countries.  The last count I had was four new countries recognizing Israel.  Biden will do anything he can to turn the clock back.  This will be disaster for the world.

NATO has been forced to grow up and ante up.  Trump has forced them to start moving toward paying their own way.  Poland feels supported.  Ukraine has been getting the aid it needs.  Russia has been restrained.  Assume that will all go belly up if Biden and his minders come to power.

The Chinese will bring about war and bloodshed or simply take over in Southeast Asia with no one standing up to them.  Taiwan is in their sights.  Hong Kong’s protestors will be destroyed.  Korea may become a battle zone again.  I can see dangerous things happening in the world of Japan.  Move a little south and west and we could have open war between India and China.  From what we can see the Bidens will become even richer as they sell Asia to the Chicoms.

As much as I am worried about the future of my grandchildren, this is not just about us.  Trump fights to make America great again but he also works to make the world a better place to live.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Opus 2020-281: CNN, Fox and Pigs

Did you ever think that you would see Constitutionalist conservatives celebrating the success of CNN, the original Fake News Network?  

Evidently the latest report puts CNN ahead of Fox in the ratings.  Since America lovers have been turning away from Fox for months now this is a vindication.  The Wallace/Trump and the Arizona call for Biden seemed to wake a lot of people up to what has been going on for a long time.  Fox is drifting to the left, or rather they were drifting.  It seems now they are in a mad rush.

People have stopped watching Fox.  Whether the CNN numbers are an increase or the change is strictly a decline in Fox I don’t care enough to look into.  If they left Fox to tune into CNN then it obviously is not a move based on principle and discernment, but it will cut into the income at Fox.  The Murdock son running the network may be so committed to destroying the country that he doesn’t care.  He may have a secret stash coming from the Deep State.  He also may be a capitalist at heart and try to correct the suicide of the fox.  It will take a long time to rebuild confidence.

Meanwhile conservatives cheer for CNN.

Maybe next we will see pigs fly.

homo unius libri

Opus 2020-280: On the Street: Virginia Secedes

I respectfully submit that Virginia is no longer a part of the South.  I will concede that we are spending our time in the Williamsburg area which might not be representative but I can see how this area is a Democrat dream come true.  We passed one fellow who was out taking a brisk walk in a nature area.  He was dutifully wearing his mask to keep us all safe.  Or maybe he was worried about catching something from the trees for grass.  Either way the Democrat governor had instilled enough fear into him that he felt a need to comply.  We went to a Trader Joe’s because we were familiar with their products and the grocery stores around us all have names involving the earth or environment.  We were told we could not approach the cashier until all our items were rung up and totaled.  That is a new one on us.  It seems that the virus cannot be transmitted when money is changing hands but is dangerous when groceries are being moved.  Maybe the key is to carry a dollar bill stuck up our nose.

Taxes are unreal but I will write about that somewhere else.

Driving around here is like living in one of those European style developments where the businesses are on the ground floor and apartments are above them.  It is all very well kept up and expensive.  Signs for the businesses are small and blend in with the decor.  If you don’t know your coffee bar is there you drive right by it.  Everything is zoned up the wazoo.  And I would imagine that there is a special wazoo tax.

Gas is significantly higher than any other state we have been in.  

They need to turn in their Southerner Card.  They have become an extension of the damn Yankees.

homo unius libri

Monday, November 16, 2020

Opus 2020-279: On the Street: Trigger Warning

The cancel culture needs to wake up.  The breakfast place we went to had seditious place mats.  In the upper right hand corner was a list of all the Presidents who had been born in Virginia.  I had no trouble with that but a Progressive* might.  I can’t remember all the names but I know the first three at least had been slave owners.  We can’t have this kind of patriotism.  

I would advise them to get new place mats before BLM and Antifa find out.  They might arrive some morning to find a pile of ashes instead of a successful breakfast restaurant.  It would not matter to them that the entire staff seemed to be black, which I assume means that the restaurant might be owned by black Americans.

I can always claim that I had been there before they became a blip in the history of arson.

*(Liberals, educators, socialists, communists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, etc)

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Opus 2020-278: Levels of Liberty

America has just about every type of topography you could ask for and some you wouldn’t.  The people are different too.  It is interesting to see how they respond to the government overreach for the China virus.  My observations only cover a part of the South but I would imagine the principles can be applied everywhere.  Everywhere we go there are signs up demanding compliance with face masks.  Some places you see most people covered.  Other places they just ignore the signs and get on with life.  I am surprised to see that the people of Alabama are more willing to ignore the government mandate than the assumed rebels of Texas.  Americans are trying to get on with their lives.  The government goons are trying to bring us to heal.  The timid sheep are so full of fear that they actually believe there is a plague and the State is going to keep them safe.

It ain’t gonna happen.  The government does not want you safe, it wants you compliant.  If you go online away from the MSM sources you have come across the Fauci expectation:  We need to do what we are told.  I don’t know about you but that probably stopped in my teen age years and definitely got ignored after I turned 21.  Even getting drafted, going to Vietnam and spending one year, seven months and four days in the military didn’t drive the resistance to being controlled out of my system.  

If you are living in an area where the jack boots are stomping mandatory masking into your life you need to realize that it is not that way everywhere.  There are states where the people are still practicing their freedom and living their lives.  There are states like Texas where the response is mixed and the political leaders are going to have a serious wake up call in two years if they don’t back down.  Of course we have the Democrat swamps like California, New York and Virginia.  If you live there I would suggest that you start with local elections like city councils, sheriff, school boards, municipal judges and library boards and start working to clean house.  

The longer we wait the harder it will be to preserve “the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”.  In case you don’t recognize that it is from the Preamble to the Constitution.

homo unius libri

Opus 2020-277: On the Street: America Is Latin for Diverse

I am on the road.  It is interesting to see America in the midst of the health panic and political crisis.  It is still America but I wonder if it will be for long.

A road trip is a good way to remember how and why I love this place so much.  America is big and it is full of variety.  It took us a day to drive half way across Texas and a little ways into Louisiana.  The next day we were in three states.  The next day we hit four.  Texas is a big place with a lot of variety.  While just in Texas we went from the semi-arid areas around San Antonio and to the swamps in the east.  

America is huge and people who get out of town realize that.  One of the things I noticed about the students I taught was that they never left the metropolitan area of Southern California except for a quick run to Las Vegas or a trip home to Mexico.  The Progressives* take advantage of this limited living to sell things like overpopulation and deforestation.  People who live in the densely populated areas of the country think we are crowded.  Even the ones who have driven over the vast empty spaces on the way to Vegas seem to have been on Facebook the entire way and didn’t notice the lack of people.

Relax folks.  We will not run out of room and we will not run out of trees.  The funny thing about trees is that they keep growing back.

What a wonderful country, or at least it used to be.  That could all change if Biden manages to steal this election.

*(Liberals, educators, socialists, communists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, etc)

homo unius libri

Monday, November 9, 2020

Opus 2020-276: Be Careful What You Wish For

The Supreme Nine are back up to strength.  As of now that seems to be something to rejoice about.  Barrett is as close as humanly possible to what we want in a Supreme Court Justice.

But we need to gird our loins for what is to come.

The fear, of course, is that she will join the drift to the left.  How many times have we thought we had a true believer in the Constitution only to have them move left.  It could happen again.  That is why I only put a limited amount of confidence in government agencies.  With the election results the concern is real.  Sin in real.  Sin is seductive.  In Star Wars terminology, the dark side has a lot of attraction.

The caution is that we don’t get into the “die heretic” mode.  Conservatives have a tendency to be so focused on their primary goals that they throw anyone under the bus if they are not in total agreement.  If you are old enough to vote you have at least begun to understand that no one will agree with you totally.  I have already heard people expressing concern that she will be too “rigid”.  If it comes to following the law and having a strict interpretation of the Constitution, then I can live with rigid.  

What we often mean by “rigid” is that the person will not have the nuances that we have.  We tend to be people of principle except in those few areas that concern us.  Thus everyone will agree that Social Security is in trouble but they don’t want any solutions that will cost them money.  Everyone is willing to cut the budget as long as their line items are not eliminated.  On the left we have all those people willing to raise taxes on the rich because they don’t realize that the Progressives* define the “rich” in third world terms.  If you have air conditioning and flush toilets, you are rich.

So get ready to be disappointed.  I hope we are disappointed because she is rigid.  We need a little bit of backbone in our view of the law.

*(Liberals, educators, socialists, communists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, etc)

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Opus 2020-275: Crickets

I am not a big reader of Max Lucado.  I have now read two of his books and in another ten years I might be ready for another.  In my latest, In the Grip of Grace he writes an analogy using a cricket.  He was picturing how a cricket that he had seen in the church sanctuary would view the world.  At one point he wrote,

“Perhaps the best question is, who does a cricket worship?  Does he acknowledge that there was a hand behind the building....Does he assume that since he has never seen the builder there was no builder?” p. 26, emphasis in original
He then goes on to make an application to human beings and the large group that deny God.  He calls them hedonists.  I never thought of the word in that way, but there it is.

The way these people deny God is not by saying no gods exist.  The problem is they cannot envision God.  When I say they can’t envision God, I don’t mean they can’t imagine a god.  They are good at that, but man-imagined gods tend to be limited by our vision.  As a general rule pagan gods are just people on steroids.  What they can’t comprehend is the God of the Bible.

I say this after reading a lot of science fiction/fantasy where people try all their ideas about gods.  Most of the results are little more than entities with strange powers and weird ideas about right and wrong.  They can be injured and even die.  Usually, if you read carefully, you find that they are the kind of being that the author would become if they had the ability to morph.  All of their fantasies get played out.

We saw this in ancient Greek and Roman mythology.  The gods were just spoiled children in adult bodies with some kind of super power.  They bickered and got involved sexually with anything that caught their eye.  They lied and cheated.  They were a lot like politicians today.

The God of the Bible is almost beyond our comprehension.  What do I mean, “He is beyond our comprehension”?  We cannot understand infinity, let alone holiness.  We cannot understand the kind of love that is driven toward the incarnation and the cross.  I have not been able to find the quote so I will paraphrase and make no accusations of the writer but a Christian who was a scientist said that the thing that drew him to the God of the Bible was the way in which understanding Him required a grasp of multi-dimensional space and even that wasn’t enough.  He said that in his dipping into other religions he found no ideas that were big enough to come from beyond the human mind but the Bible was different.

I worship a God that is so far beyond me that He has no problem balancing the creation of the universe with being aware of my every thought.  He is God, not a human construct.

Lucado, Max.  In the Grip of Grace.  Dallas:  Word Publishing, 1996.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Opus 2020-274: Coyote Clicks

I am still puzzled that anyone who knows which way to turn the steering wheel for a left turn would vote for Joe Biden.  I would wonder the same way for a devout Catholic who votes for the party of abortion or a hunter who backs a Democrat.  A recent bit of humor did give me a clue, one that I have been rejecting.

I am coming to believe that they are just stupid.  What convinced me?  Coyotes.

I hope you have been getting smiles out of the memes produced to reflect the broadcasted ignorance of the left at the comment by President Trump about coyotes bringing children across the border.  They actually believed he was referring to four footed canines.  I know it is hard to believe, but there it is.

When someone says something that causes cognitive dissonance in my mind I will spend a little bit of time doing research.  So I decided to see what they would see if they Googled “coyote”.  It seems that Google is just as confused as the average liberal.  I got an entire page of references, all about the animal.  I told myself that can’t be it and kept looking.  Finally, down at the bottom, over on the right I saw a tag for Coyote, person.  I clicked and there it was.
“Colloquially, a coyote (this usage originating from Mexican Spanish) is a person paid by migrants to illegally guide or assist them (migrant smuggling) across the U.S — Mexico border.”
I guess there are a lot of people who never take that second click.

It has been good for a lot of laughs but it explains why they don’t understand things like “shall not be infringed”.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Opus 2020-273: Whither Privilege?, part 6 of 6

Let me explain to you what my white privilege consists of.  The earliest particle of my white privilege comes in my DNA.  I inherited a unique personhood based on the physical contributions of my father and mother.  I had nothing to say about it.  The next big contribution was the example and training coming from my parents.  What did they demonstrate?  Hard work, honesty, self-sacrifice, love of God, the list could go on.  I had the privilege of having a father who worked with his hands and had a need to be self-employed.  I had the privilege of getting up before school to push a wheelbarrow of concrete he was having delivered.  I had the privilege of always having a job if I could not find anything better.  I had the privilege of watching my father be penalized financially because he insisted on giving fair value.  I had the privilege of watching him love my mother and work six days a week to support his children.  

I also had the privilege of having him force me to get up on Sunday morning and go to church.  He didn’t cram it down out throats.  There were special days we would sneak out to the car after Sunday School and go for a long drive.  Because of that I had the privilege of coming to know God the Father through Jesus the Son.  I had the privilege of listening to some great preachers, sitting under great teachers and being surrounded by friends who were worthy.  Most of all I had parents who modeled it.

You might ask where the “white privilege is”.  Glad you asked.  Notice that everything I mentioned is available to people of every color and nationality.  My biggest privilege is knowing that and knowing not to blame everyone else for my success and failure.  Success in America used to be available to anyone who would keep working for it.  Were there barriers?  Yes.  Is there discrimination?  Of course.  Does that mean you cannot prosper and do well?  Not unless the Progressives* manage to brainwash you into being a victim.

*(Liberals, educators, socialists, communists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, etc)

homo unius libri

Opus 2020-272: Whither Privilege?, part 5 of 6

What concepts do the prosperous areas of the world embrace?  One is the idea that all men are created equal.  The Bible has kings and class structures but it also says that all are equal before God.  How about what has become called the Protestant Work Ethic?  It is in the Bible that everyone could now read.  One of the constant conversations I have with people is “What are you?”  Recently our painter told me he was Mexican.  I asked him where he was born and when he said in Texas I told him he was an American, not a Mexican.  The strange idea we have in this country is that you are not a member of an ethnic group, you are the embracer of an idea.

The maturing Christian view of God led to the acceptance of the scientific method and the Renaissance that went along with it.  Advances in the technology of sailing ships and firearms made the philosophy and religion of Europe overpowering around the world.  Non-European areas of the world hired the Irish, Scots, Germans and anyone else to come and teach them how to do things the European way.  It was successful because it made them stronger.  It is not white privilege when anyone can have access, it is human privilege.

To be continued...

homo unius libri