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, May 31, 2022

Opus 2022-165: Immortal Quotes: Eating Like a Bird

As I was waiting for the sun to show itself I noticed a bird hopping around in the grass.  My mind somehow went to that old bit of wisdom, “The early bird gets the worm.”  We have all heard the clever comebacks but my mind went in a more practical direction, the early bird seems to get more bugs than worms.

I am not writing to elevate the glory of worms or how common bugs are.  I have not accessed the nutritional label of either one so I don’t know what they have to offer.  To my knowledge I have never tasted a worm but I have tried a few kinds of bugs covered in chocolate.  That being said, I don’t think I have ever seen in real life the idealized picture of a robin valiantly trying to tug a worm from the ground.  It may be just another case of romance overwhelming reality.

When you think about it, bugs would be much more bite size appropriate for an adult bird trying to stuff something down a screeching gullet.  Try getting a worm into one of those mouths.  It may be that the adult birds prefer bugs and actually would turn their nose up at a worm.

So we have another bit of popular wisdom written by people in ivory towers with no contact with reality.  Or it could be that I need to get out of the Texas hill country more.

Bon appetit.  

homo unius libri

Monday, May 30, 2022

Opus 2022-164: To Serve and Protect, Not

I have been informed several times in discussions that the police have no legal responsibility to risk their lives to protect the community.  After the negligence of the Police in the recent Uvalde massacre I decided to look it up.  It seems that they really don’t need to do anything.  The Nevada Independent reports,

“According to the United States Supreme Court, however, officers are not legally obliged to risk their lives for the community they swore to protect — despite the way their department’s motto brags about their duty to “protect and serve.” Thankfully, it seems that most police officers take such a motto seriously and bravely put their life on the line to help others. However, such praiseworthy attitudes among many in law enforcement don’t erase the fact that no such legal duty exists — regardless of the fact that most citizens believe that is precisely what all those tax dollars are being spent to ensure.”
The first line of the paragraph links you to another site called Mises Institute that backs this up.  You can check it out if you want.

So they may be cowards.  They may be incompetent.  They may be lap dogs to supervisors with no right to be in charge.  They should be unemployed.  The one thing we can’t say is that they broke the law.

That in itself is a tragedy.  That is something that needs to change.

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-163: The Rot Continues

I have found another book in the library that was recommended to me.  It is Live Not by Lies by Rod Dreher.  It is the first book I have read by Dreher.  One of the great benefits of the library to me is that if the book is not worth reading I can return it at no financial loss.  I am going to finish this one.  He is writing about the growing move in our country toward totalitarianism and how it matches what happened in Europe in the 20th century.

One point he made was about how we have a declining trust in our institutions.  You have all seen the results of polls show such things.  These are more general that the downward trend in confidence in President Biden.  Two sentences stood out to me.  The first was,

“According to Gallup, American’s confidence in their institutions - political, media, religious, legal, medical, corporate - is at historic lows across the board.”
You have all seen this trend.  Most of us agree.  What made me sit up and think, though, was the next sentence,
“Only the military, the police, and small business retain the strong confidence of over 50 percent.” p. 34
My feeling is that the elites that are running this country through administrative regulation are out to destroy the country.  Notice the three institutions mentioned in the second sentence and think about what you see going on in the media circus.  Our military is going woke and driving out the patriots who were hanging in there.  The now repeated failure of police to confront murderers on school campuses is working to make more and more people think defunding the police is a good idea.  Small business has been decimated by the government edicts of the last two years.  I don’t think the second sentence is accurate any more.

They are out to get us.  The institutions that we once trusted are working overtime to help them.  I think of the ways that the medical profession has been not only administering the blue pill but seem to have taken it themselves.  Churches are going woke and refusing to confront clear and obvious sin.  Businesses are donating millions to organizations like BLM and Antifa that are out to destroy their customer base.

I mention these three because I think they are the ones we can influence the most.  We need to become more vocal and active in changing our behavior.  Let your doctor know you are unhappy with his dishonesty and ignorance.  Maybe you should not use those words but a good thesaurus or clever teenager could give you ways to say it.  You need to listen carefully to what your pastor is saying and we need to make words like “heretic” part of our vocabulary again.  And people, for eternity’s sake, work on changing your shopping habits.

Speak up and stand up before they invite you to an extended stay in an isolated resort that is very secure.

Dreher, Rod.  Live Not by Lies.  New York:  Sentinel, 2020.

homo unius libri

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Opus 2022-162: Cornerstone Considerations: NWO, 1787: A Culture of Acceptance

Sunday we were remembering Memorial Day and that brought out what could be called patriotic songs.  As we sang I was reminded that these are not just patriotic, they are hymns that lift up the Christian foundations of our country.  That is juxtaposed to the values of our current junta and cultural elites.  One thought jumped out at me in America the Beautiful.

“And crown they good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!”
It was considered so important that it appeared in the first and last verses and the punctuation is as printed.

One of the Christian concepts that undergirded our country was brotherhood.  We have always been a country founded on an idea, not a race or ethnic group.  We are individuals that are united by acceptance of that great concept of “all men are created equal”.  Not equal outcomes.  That is rubbish and ridiculous.  It called for equal opportunity.  It was an ideal we would strive for, not a standard we had achieved.

You see this idea everywhere you look.  When we say the Pledge of Allegiance we recite the words, “One nation under God”.  No, I did not forget the comma.  If you look at our money you see “E Pluribus Unum” which means “out of many, one”.  We have taken people from all cultures and accepted them as a part of us if they are willing to be accepted.

This came out in an unexpected way in what is called the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.  For those who never took US History from me in 8th grade let me remind you that this involved the area that we call the Midwest today and how that area would be adopted by the new country.  Notice that this is four years after the formal end of the American Revolution and two years before the Constitution will be ratified.  Take a look at a few lines from Section 14, Article 5,
“And, whenever any of the said States shall have sixty thousand free inhabitants therein, such State shall be admitted, by its delegates, into the Congress of the United States, on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever, and shall be at liberty to form a permanent constitution and State government:...”
Notice the words, “on an equal footing”.  Even in the politics of the era there was an understanding that new states needed full acceptance, the same as people.  

We need to be reminded of the idea that was America and understand that the current Social Justice Warriors and their commissars want to destroy that idea with group politics expressed through things like Affirmative Action and Critical Race Theory.  They want the law to apply to you based on some non-American measure such as race or gender instead of treating you like an individual under God.

Be aware that we need “brotherhood from sea to shining sea”.

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-161: The Importance of Lug Nuts

One of the quotes that sticks in my mind from my college days comes from a man named Rueben Welch.  He was sharing how one day he came to the realization that he was not going to be God’s Golden Boy.  In case you don’t get the point, he was saying that he realized he was going to have a bit part in the Movie of Life.

I would imagine that there is a bit of the Big Dream in all of our lives.  When we watch a movie or read a book we identify with the protagonist.  We put ourselves in the leading role.  It is escape from the mundane lives we live.  I know in my childhood I had many roles.  I became Robin Hood and The Lone Ranger.  I was Zorro.  I never wanted to be Friar Tuck, Tonto or Sergeant Garcia.

Life is not a game we play in the back yard or a dream we have during a nap.  Life has a way of bringing us down.  I remember someone pointing out that we will never be the leading man but we will be one of the spear carriers that fill up the rest of the screen.  Someone has to wear the red shirts.

Many of us are not even spear carriers, we are just nails on the set.  When you think about it, how many nails are there for each board?  How many boards for each extra?  How many extras for each star?  We have support roles at different levels.

I don’t think we should be discouraged by that.  Where would your house be if all the nails decided they wanted to be lawn mowers and left the scene?  Or think of the lug nuts on a car.  They don’t get a lot of thought unless you have the fancy wheels that need locks.  One of my idle fantasies is to get back at someone who has really wronged me by sneaking in some night and removing all their lug nuts.  If I was careful enough the car would look good until they started to drive away.

So be a good nail.  Do your part.  Step back, figuratively of course, and take a good look at the whole structure.  They could not exist without you.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Opus 2022-160: Truth Seekers

One of the frustrations I have is seeing so many people who should know better living the lie of Progressivism.  It is like they have disengaged their brain or can’t find the switch to their baloney-meter.  I believe I have stated it before but these people have to be one of three things:  Ignorant, stupid or evil.  

Having said that I also know that such a condition does not have to be life long.  I am seeing more people who seem to fit into a category that I am calling Truth Seekers.  They are ignorant because they have been trained and brainwashed by others who live in one of the three spheres I mentioned.  Since they are not stupid and don’t want to be evil they have their intellectual radar on and are trying to find their way out of their caves.

The first one that made me start thinking this way was Jordan Peterson.  I had heard his name but never paid much attention until I saw a video clip that was labeled something to the effect of the Video that Made Jordan Peterson Famous.  From their I watched a few of his longer lectures and could sense that there seemed to be a desire for truth and a courage to express that search.  I watched some presentations recently made at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, whatever that is, and still feel he is making real progress.  He will always speak as a psychologist and revere his gurus but he uses it to find truth.

I added Joe Rogan to my list.  Yes, that Joe Rogan.  I did so after I watched him interview Jordan Peterson.  One clue that gave me a heads-up was when he mentioned his ten year old daughter.  It could be that he takes parenthood seriously enough to be willing to acknowledge truth when he sees it.  

Recently there has been a string of memes involving Elon Musk talking about going Republican.  I had already added him to my list of truth seekers based on his interview with the staff of Babylon Bee.  I am under no illusions that he has left the left but I do sense there is a genuineness about him that makes it possible his eyes may be gradually opened.  

I am hoping to find others with a thirst for truth.  I believe there are others out there.  Those who have an understanding of truth need to be courteous and willing to dialogue.  Yes, I know it is a bit arrogant to assume I have a sense of truth but as I pointed out to someone years ago, being right is often confused with arrogance by those who have an ax to grind.

You may have seen the snip of Bill Maher questioning transgenderism.  It was interesting, even funny at times, but I am a long way from adding him to my list.  I think in his case it is more a change that comes in order to attract attention rather than a real quest for truth.  I hope I am wrong.

homo unius libri

Friday, May 27, 2022

Opus 2022-159: Boring into Eternity

I sometimes think of heaven as sounding boring.

Not that I am interested in the specter of hell.

The idea of sitting around singing “Hosanna” does not sound too exciting.  Perhaps it is time to make a short note that our final destination will not be heaven but we will spend eternity on the new Earth with a centerpiece of the New Jerusalem.  It will be the focal point of our resurrection.  I don’t see evidence that we will be floating around on clouds in robes, playing harps.  That is part of the “boring” I spoke of.  In spite of that I will use the term “heaven” to describe where we will really be.  It is more convenient.

It is a matter of maturity and perspective.  Right now we are not ready for eternity.  I imagine that will be part of the incorruption that we will experience in our new bodies.  Our minds will put together reality in an exciting new way but there will always be a sense of rightness to give us comfort.

I can remember sitting for long periods of time looking across a tree carpeted valley in the High Sierras.  I don’t remember getting bored.  I remember noticing new stimulants constantly.  The new focus could be a smell, color, a sound or even just a thought.  It would be infinite renewal.  That is a preview of heaven.  If you are more into beaches or sunset then make the appropriate substitutions.

Or try to picture what your first bite of ice cream was like.  I would hope you can’t remember in reality but use your imagination.  Try to picture the delight that overwhelmed you.  You wanted more.  Heave will be different because there will be no satiation.  Although it is hard to believe, it is possible to get bored with ice cream.  Heaven will be so beyond our conscious ability to embrace that it will be constantly a new bite.  

I am also sure that I don’t have any idea of how glorious it will be.  I can live with that, for now.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Opus 2022-158: Family Times

We know that the Democrats are pro-family because they tell us they are.  Also they keep doing things to make it financially impossible for the children to move out on their own.  With home prices inflating there is every reason to believe that they will still be with you when you die so they won’t need to move again.  Think of it as New Age family time.

One of the advantages is that you don’t take the dog to a kennel.  Your millennial offspring can take care of them when you want to get out of town.  Of course, that assumes your children are responsible enough to feed the dog.  You might want to have one of your older neighbors stop by just to check.

There is always the chance that having your womb rats around will give you someone who can help you with your technology.  After they are done you might want to look into changing your passwords.  

If they don’t get out much there will always be someone home in case you lock yourself out.  As we get older that seems to happen more often. You will also have people moving around so the burglars will hit the neighbors instead of you.  To increase the odds of the kids move around make sure that the food is upstairs in the kitchen.

So celebrate family while you have a chance.  It is possible that there will never be any grandchildren to babysit.

homo unius libri

Monday, May 23, 2022

Opus 2022-157: Critical Mass: When?

What does it take to begin the violence?

For a small minority only the belief that no one is looking.  I have not met many people like this but they exist.  I had a friend with a very short fuse.  There were times when a questionable look could set him off.  I think he grew out of it, sort of.  These people are on both sides of the aisle but get nasty for different reasons.  Those on the right simply have a short fuse and know they are wrong.  Those on the left plan the violence and justify it for political reasons.  

For most people it is the point where they realize that there is no other way to deal with the elites that have control.  There is a quote I have heard in different ways that is attributed to Alexander Solzhenitsyn.  

“You only have power over people as long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power—he's free again.”
I don’t think the elites believe this.  They look at history and see the Jews rounded up and put in boxcars.  They forget the little dispute in Warsaw.  They look at the peasants of the Ukraine and today the Uhghurs in China.  They think that Joe Sixpack can be put in the same category.  They may be right.  They intend to keep pushing until they find out.

Like any explosion there is some kind of critical mass necessary.  The term comes from nuclear reactions but the idea can be applied to almost anything that destroys.  If you have ever been trying to renew a campfire and see the sudden emergence of the flame from glowing coals you have seen it reach critical mass in temperature.  I guess you could even say that pop corn releases its energy when that point is reached.  

What will it take in our society?  Who can tell.  Will our country survive?  History does not give a lot of hope but we should remember that our first revolution also defied the odds.

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-156: Monday Pulpit: Refocus on Prayer

The quote is from Sunday’s sermon.  I don’t remember if it was original with the pastor himself or a quote from someone else.

“Don’t believe in prayer but the God we are praying to.”
That thought has come back to me several times already.  One of the questions I have in life is, why pray?  If God knows all and is all powerful then what possible purpose could prayer have?  I still pray but I am not known for blind obedience.

Perhaps this quote gives a clue to what prayer should be.  I have never followed the shopping list method of prayer.  Rarely do I ask for anything for myself.  Part of that is because of an awareness of how blessed I am and part is a rejection of the idea that God is a vending machine.  I actually look at prayer as more of a time of conversation with a lot of listening involved.  With that in mind the quote resonates.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Opus 2022-155: It’s Only Just Begun

When do the cutbacks get serous?

Being a fairly typical human being with my senses locked into my body, I ask this question starting with my awareness.  When will things start to get so tight that I get serious about changing my habits?  I use an artificial butter spray on my popcorn, which I buy in six pound bags.  A bottle has gone from slightly over $3 to slightly under $5.  That does not break my bank.  If I drop my bank from 1/4 inch it doesn’t break either but every 1/4 inch makes the breakage more likely.

The prices we are paying are going up, up, up.  I am sure you have noticed.  If you haven’t it is because your wife does all the shopping and you don’t listen to her complain.  I have the feeling this is just the beginning.  I would say I am not alone.

We can make small adjustments.  Since I am cheap by nature I have been making those adjustments all my life.  I price shop.  I check unit prices.  I check out store brands.  I scrape the last spoonful out of the container.  I buy bulk when I can.  I watch the sales.  For non-food items I shop at thrift stores.  A lot of the things that some are beginning to do are already second nature to me.  I find myself more aware of my gas consumption and try to plan my trips more carefully to use less gas.  

When are we going to be forced to make major changes?  Perhaps you are already there.  I buy less meat.  I don’t consciously avoid it but there may be meatless days or multiple days.  For some it may mean lots of pasta and rice.  You may go back to the old time way of blowing your nose.  It was called a handkerchief.  It can be reused and recycled.  I don’t know about reducing.  Think of the throw away items you have become accustomed to dumping.  Will you be turning off the air conditioning or taking cold showers.  It was before my time but there was a time when the entire family would take a bath in one tub of water.  I hate to admit it but I can remember when as a kid, Saturday night was the time we took our bath.

Life is going to get interesting.  Perhaps you are already there.

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Opus 2022-154: Suffering Friendship

I have a theory:  Friendships are built by suffering together.

You could substitute a synonym of some kind for “suffering” but it would have to imply that you went through some kind of difficulty.  Trials show us character.  People see us when we let the masks slip and the comments slip out.  They get to know us as we are and that either draws them closer or drives them away.  It works both ways.

Common experiences give us a bond.  We have memories to share and jokes that others don’t get.  Obviously this can also go for pleasant experiences.  When a child or grandchild comes on the scene it can be a cement that makes life glorious.  It does not always work that way but the potential is real.  When I see friends with their offspring the glow is not just because the kids are so cute.  It is amplified by memories of the times that didn’t seem to wonderful at the time.  My granddaughter has already forgotten the midnight barf festival she put us through.  She may not remember but the bonding of warmth and support are deep in the crevasses of her soul.  When I look at my son it isn’t just the moments of pride that bring a smile to my face but the games we played changing diapers.  

Some people don’t understand that your own kids poop doesn’t stink as much as other kids.

It does not need to be dramatic, just real.

Enjoy the next stumble in your life.  It may begin a wonderful friendship.

homo unius libri

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Opus 2022-153: A Question for the Ages

Does God have free will?

There is a debate on whether humans have free will or whether everything is preconditioned.  In psychology you have the behaviorists.  In theology you have the Five Point Calvinists.  It is a good question.

How does that apply to God, assuming you believe in God.  Can God really do anything He wants or is He locked in.  When you think that the God of the Bible exists outside time and does not move through it like we do, you wonder how much choice He has.  He sees the entire span of existence.  He knows what was, was is and what will be.  Can He change anything or is He trapped in the unfolding?

This would be a consideration in the discussion of miracles as well as salvation.  

Sorry.  My mind goes off on strange tangents at times.  I feel like God pats me on the head and says, “There, there, you will be fine after a nice nap.”

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Opus 2022-152: A Losing Formula

I am happy to say that a shortage of baby formula will not, nor would not, effect my immediate family.  I understand that it has become the norm but understand that “baby formula” did not exist before the advent of women going to work to subsidize the dream of affluence.

To my knowledge my children never tasted any kind of baby formula.  As far as I know my grandchildren are the same.  Of course that meant that we bought used cars and often shopped in thrift stores but those were trade-off we were willing to accept.

I remember reading or hearing the theory that the American Indians were defeated the day they accepted their first steel knife.  They gave up their independence and eventually came to depend on modern technology that they could not duplicate.  Maybe we can say the same for the mothers of America, and the world.

I have not done a search but there might be some place on the web where they will tell you the ingredients for making you own baby formula.  I assume that most families depending on commercial substitutes are past the time where nursing is an option.

One of the tangents my mind takes is how modern Proregressives* are all for killing babies in the womb and this is just a back up plan.  No, I don’t actually think they are that clever.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Opus 2022-151: Buddy, Got a Light?

What will be the match that lights the dynamite?

We watched as the sitting president of the United States was banned from the public square.  We remained calm.  We moved from blue to red.

We watched thugs destroying our cities and being turned loose without even a slap on the hand.  We remained calm.  We stopped shopping downtown.

We saw a befuddled old man who never left his basement become the most popular president in history.  We remained calm.  We checked our boxes of projectiles.

We saw citizens being incarcerated for a year for the crime of misdemeanor trespass on January 6.  We remained calm.  We cleaned our personal protection devices.

Some day we will not remain calm.  What will it take?

Will it be the storm troopers showing up in your neighborhood to enforce the fascist speech codes proclaimed by the Ministry of Truth?  Or perhaps when they nail shut the doors of your church because the pastor mentioned the Bible’s position on something like homosexuality?

Will it be the Famine Prevention Police who come to search your house to see if you are hoarding food?

Will it go south when you return home and find out that the local police have raided your home and confiscated all your firearms and ammunition for the common safety?

What will it take to light the match?  I have two hopes.  I hope I never find out.  I hope that if it comes I will be more than a political couch potato.

Speak up while you can.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Opus 2022-150: Weight Loss Suggestions

Do you have a family member who is struggling with their weight?  I have some suggestions on how you can help based on my experiences of the last few days.

Don’t make pizza at home.  If you do, don’t ask if they want some.  This is a double-whammy.  On one side it is hard to say “no” to the smell and appearance.  Strong will power is not a part of the personality of overweight people.  On the other side you don’t want to hurt the cook’s feelings by rejecting their effort and offering.  Rationalization never runs out of kinks.

Don’t make lemon-blueberry layer cake and text, with a picture, that you are bring some by the next day.

Don’t buy bags of chips and such and leave them around, open, on the counter.

Who knows?  Perhaps if you are a little more careful in removing temptation from the dieter you might find yourself losing a few inches too.  Not that you need to, I’m just saying.

homo unius libri

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Opus 2022-149: Pick Your Thorn

The Apostle Paul talked about his thorn in the flesh.  You may have heard the term and not know where it came from.  Here it is if you have not read it recently.

(2Co 12:7-9 KJV)  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
I would suggest that each of us has one.  It is probable that some have more than one.  

We cannot pick what it will be.  That might be nice but it isn’t going to happen.  It might help if we could identify and admit what our thorn is.  Take a minute to think about what yours is, or could be.  Paul was not clear what his was.  I tend to think it was physical.  Some speculate epilepsy or stammering.  We don’t know.  Yours could be physical.  It could be a family member or a business associate.  It could be debt or lack of education.  Whatever you might think it is you need to understand that you can’t get rid of it.

But you can get stronger because of it.  That is the point God is making.  Our thorn gives God an opportunity to work through us and accomplish things we could never do it we didn’t have the handicap.  

You don’t think it is fair that you have to deal with ______?  If you knew you had to have a thorn, what would you pick if you could?  Would you trade with someone else?  Would that be any better?  

Be like Paul.  Face your limitations but don’t let them limit you.  Let God help you change your attitude and how you overcome.  He is waiting.

homo unius libri

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Opus 2022-148: Headlines: The Sweep Begins

Leak from the Supreme Court:  Is it a new level of corrupting the rule of law or is it conservatives beginning to play by the new rules.  Or is it both since that fits the leftist playbook perfectly?

I think it is obvious that the Proregressives* are playing for keeps.  This is like playing the game of Risk and deciding you are going to sweep the board, except this is not a game.  When they are finished destroying the rule of law and the protections our Constitution was supposed to give us there will be nothing left to celebrate.  They are the kind of people who want to win and if they can’t win then they will do everything in their power to make sure that you don’t win either.

They ideas behind the leftist elites are the same that have destroyed governments and civilizations down through history.  They are looters and barbarians who are quite willing to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs as long as they get a drumstick and the eggs already laid.  They love revolution because revolutions have a habit of leaving everyone starving to death except the well armed elites and they are then forced to go look for some more hard working peasants to raid and leave starving.  

They will not be happy until the peace loving Americans who happen to be armed raise in protest.  They think they have their ducks in a row to knock us down and grind us into the dust.  It could be they are right.  If responsible Americans in positions of influence don’t start standing up then it will be all over.  They have been working on this a long time.  We are going to be living in what the theoretically Chinese curse calls interesting times.

We have elections coming.  Don’t vote for Democrats.  If you still have a primary or run-off don’t vote for any Rhino on the ballet.  You may not love Trump but I think you can count on his endorsement being for people who want to make us America again.

While you are waiting to vote keep speaking up.  Speak up in church, the grocery store lines, the bank, the doctor’s office.  Speak up anywhere there is another human being.

Speak up while you still have a chance.

*(Liberals, educators, the media, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, BLM, MSM, Deep State, etc.  Synonym for swamp dwellers)

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-147: Wildflower Watch: After the Rain

It is kind of like Genesis 1, and God said, “Let there be rain lilies.”  And there was.  They seemed to pop up from nothing and are covering not only our hill but the side of the road.  Nice.

They are called rain lilies because they show up after a rain.  We have them in our yard and all over the hill.

The prickly pear cactus are also starting to bloom.

homo unius libri

Friday, May 6, 2022

Opus 2022-146: Common Common

As I scanned the offerings on my I-pad from You Tube I saw a clip with a discussion between Joe Rogan and Bill Maher.  It was only about ten minutes and the topic was “common sense” so I took a chance.  I didn’t have much confidence that Maher had any idea what it means but maybe Rogan would.  

What was fascinating to me is that both of them think of themselves as centrist types of guys.  Maher didn’t say anything that made me think he was anything more than a left winger who is not the cutting edge of liberalism any more.  He seemed to be channeling Dennis Prager because he repeated something Prager has been saying for years, “I didn’t leave the Democratic party.  It left me.”  Rogan’s comments made me think he has less potential than I had hoped.  

Common sense is one of those things that many people talk about but each means something different.  My common sense is not your common sense.  What seems obvious to me is nonsense to you.  It is obvious to me that if you pass a law against carrying a firearm the only ones who will pay attention to the law are those who could be trusted to carry.  It is clear that making murder a hate crime is meaningless as a method of reducing crime.  On a more mundane level, if you eat a few chips out of a bag then you should seal it up to keep the remainder crisp.  Is this brain surgery?

I actually think that there is a common common sense.  The problem is in the definition of the golden rule.  Traditionally the golden rule was along the line that Jesus shared,

(Mat 7:12 KJV)  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Different cultures and religions express it is different ways but it is understood.

Modern thinking has changed the golden rule to things like,
He who owns the gold makes the rules.

Do unto others, then cut out.
People tend to quote Jesus and live according to the wag version.  It is not a lack of knowledge but a lack of willingness.  We could transform the country and the world if people would simply start living by what they know to be right.

homo unius libri

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Opus 2022-145: Problems with Growing Up

I have enjoyed science fiction since I discovered it in 7th grade at the school library.  It made my reading come alive.  From their I eventually launched out into other genres but science fiction replaced Dr. Seuss in my life.  I would like to say I never looked back but that is no longer true.

The glow began to dim when the science based fiction began to be replaced by fantasy based.  Some was well done but much became a case of deus ex machina solutions presented by the freedom to make up your own magic spells.  Then, as more women began to be published the macho space opera started to be touchy-feely emotional dramas.  Eventually I went back to reading some of the stuff I started on and was frustrated because I was reading with a mature mind rather than someone emerging out of childhood.  I found that there was a lot more occult assumptions and sexual innuendo than I saw first time through.  I became grateful that I had not seen it the first time or I would have turned out a different person.  Whether you think that is good or bad doesn’t matter.

I am now being force into ever greater suspension of belief in order to read modern science fiction.  It started with what I called the “Star Wars Effect.”  I could overlook the X-Wing fighters doing WWI bi-plane rolls in a vacuum because I liked the special effects and enjoyed the story.  I had a hard time reading the books because The Force became the old deus ex machina routine that was totally inconsistent and just pushing Eastern religion down our throats.  

I am now facing another disenchantment.  When I first heard about the fine tuning of the universe I was able to go on with my enjoyment of aliens from outer space and establishing colonies in other solar systems.  I was able to deal with the cognitive dissonance because I enjoyed the stories.  That tension is getting harder to maintain.  I ran into it reading a book by Eric Flint and coming across this statement,

“That much was true, he had to concede.  Out of all the extrasolar planets found to harbor significant life, one-half had a biosphere that was, astonishingly, compatible with Earthly...lifeforms.”  pp. 32-33.
This book was written in 2015.  At that point there was already a growing pool of scientific knowledge that made such things nonsense.  In his book Is Atheism Dead?, Eric Mataxas recalls how Carl Sagan used to say there were only two requirements for life on other planets.  I can remember hearing Sagan saying “billions and billions” with that accent of his.  The problem is that by 2015 science was discovering hundreds of requirements in order for life to exist.

Metaxas then says,
“Eventually, the conditions science reckoned necessary for life had risen so high that the idea that life existed anywhere at all - as it obviously did on our planet - seemed more and more miraculous, and then even outlandish.  It didn’t make sense that we existed.” p. 40
I won’t say my life has been shattered.  I will say that the writing has to be better for me to be able to get into the story.  I can still suspend belief enough to enjoy Honor Harrington or Prince Roger but that is because of the author’s skill.  We just both agree to ignore the impossible.  A similar thing used to happen every week when my family would watch Perry Mason.  Each week he would get the guilty party to break down and confess.  We went to bed happy.  Now I know that the confession would have not been admissible in court.  The same can be said about a lot of modern cop shows.

Flint, Eric and Spoor, Ryk E.  Castaway Planet.  New York:  Baen, 2015.

Metaxas, Eric.  Is Atheism Dead?.  Washington, D.C.:  Salem Books, 2021.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Opus 2022-144: Election 2022: Share the Vision

I am wondering if I could find anyone in Texas who would admit to voting for Joe Biden.  Where did that question come from?  It seems to me that everyone I talk to agrees with the basic positions that Trump took.  They may be a bit turned off by the “mean tweets”, whatever that means, but they always say he did what he promised.

So where are these people?  I know Texas went for Trump but according to the reports there were millions of us that checked the Biden Box.  Or did they?  If they did they have done a good job of making themselves invisible.

We are now moving toward our runoffs.  In November we have the mid-term elections.  We need to swamp the mindless and parasites with such a strong turn out that they can’t even cheat and win.

Pray that the God who drowned Pharaoh and his army will bring out the righteous.  Talk about what you believe in restaurants, church, doctor’s offices, grocery stores and any other place you might run into someone who is briefly out from under their rock.  Share your vision for America.

Elections matter.

homo unius libri

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Opus 2022-143: Says Who

On a recent Zoom meeting we were discussing what we can do about the things going wrong all around us.  The consensus seemed to be, very little.  Who is going to listen to a bunch of old men?

But there was a note of hope and it was based in our hope.  We talk to many people as we go through out day.  If nothing else, us old people talk to a lot of medical professionals from the receptionist to the specialist.  We tend to waste that time talking about nonsense or carping about politics.  Maybe we should target using that time to share why we are not depressed:  We have a hope.  One verse I like that relates to this is,

(1Pe 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;
This assumes that we have an outlook on life that is rooted in the hope of Jesus as Lord.  It demands that we cultivate attitudes that radiate that hope.  It means that we can share why we are not panicked over what is coming like gangbusters.  We may be preppers, in fact we should be but we are preppers with a hope.  We buy extra food in case we need it, not because our hope is in a can.  It is so we can be in a position to extend the love of Jesus in an emergency not to guarantee that we will be untouchable.

The man who shared this had just spent months in the hospital with extensive work being done on his heart and kidneys.  He is still looking at kidneys that don’t want to function correctly.  The doctor said he would be that way until he dies.  He is rejoicing and expecting and sharing about the hope he has no matter how long his kidneys last.  His obvious security and positive outlook caused a dissonance that caused people to ask him to give an account of the hope that is in him.

We can do the same.

homo unius libri