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.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Opus 2023-085: Well, What Do You Know?

We only know what we know.

That is my profound thought for the day.  What do we know?  What can we know?  In some areas we only know what we are taught.  We can’t research everything.  If you are taking a class on ancient China you pretty much are forced to assume the author of the text and the professor know something.  One comforting thought is that it won’t make much difference except on the test.  In the case of some topics like calculus, microbiology or cooking we might not have the aptitude.  Some people are no good at numbers.  I don’t understand it but I accept it.  Some people have no taste buds and could not measure a cup of flour if their souffle depended on it.  We tend to learn easiest in areas we are good and and/or enjoy.

In other areas our ignorance is on us, such as Bible and cooking.  Yes, I know I said cooking before but cooking is within the reach of most people who are interested.  The myth that men don’t know their way around the kitchen is Fake News.  If you can read, you can cook.  If you can watch You Tube, you can cook.  And you have the same comfort that you had in the previous paragraph.  It probably won’t matter.  The world does not care if your angel food cake falls in the oven or your eggs come out hard instead of over easy.

Something like the Bible might make a big difference.  I will accept that there might be some people out their who can’t read the Bible and get anything out of it but I have a suspicion that those people also need a diagram to figure out which shoe goes on which foot.  Or they might be like the guy who was sent after headlight oil and actually went.  The Bible is a book that can be understood on just about any level.  An elementary school student can read it and gain something.  So can a guy with a Ph.D. in Archeology.  The key factor is looking in the sense of wanting to see.  

Strangely enough the Bible itself expresses that thought.

(Pro 4:7 NAS77) "The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
A few days ago I went to the grocery store.  I had my shopping list.  I got everything on my list.  When I got home my wife asked me if I got milk.  No, it was not on my list.  I was even right across the aisle from where the milk was but I was not looking for milk.  We are more likely to find something if we are looking for it.

To paraphrase, “Got wisdom?”

homo unius libri

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Opus 2023-084: Solution to Overcrowding in Southern California Emerges

Have you been reading about the latest brainchild of Gavin Newsom?  Actually I should say “supposed” brainchild.  In the reports I saw he is planning on phasing out diesel powered trucks and replacing them with unicorns or leprechauns.  Actually he wants to use electric powered trucks but I think he would have more luck with the unicorns.  

About the “supposed”, so far as I looked for anything solid it seems that everything is based on sources who refuse to let their identity be known.  I am surprised that this did not break in the New York Times.  Maybe it did.  Who reads it?  

Also the idea is so retarded that it could be true.  Not only would it be impossible to get the trucks, the range suggested of 100-300 miles, but it also means that what used to cross the country in a few days would possibly take weeks.  That would not matter if we were just talking about new I-phones but we are talking about food and other necessities.  It is an invitation to destroy the industry that moves most of the freight.  It is a guarantee of starvation in the multi-million people in Southern California.

The one advantage for the rest of us is that it will probably make it impossible for more blue brains to move out of California and infect the rest of the country.

I have heard the line about, “Just when you think they can’t get any stupider...” many times but it keeps becoming the lead line for the news.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Opus 2023-083: Forgive Me

Every once in awhile I say something that is so good that I know I must have heard it somewhere else.  Such was the case when I observed that it is often harder to forgive ourselves than it is to accept God’s forgiveness.  If I stole it from you I apologize.  You have some real wisdom.

I would say it is also easier to forgive others who have wronged us than to forgive ourselves when we are guilty.  Part of the problem is that we see forgiving others as a virtue but when it comes to ourselves it seems a bit selfish and self seeking.

We live under the false impression that we can do away with the harm we did if we work hard enough.  It doesn’t work that way theologically or socially.  I would guess that often in the attempt to do enough good to counter the bad we end up cutting corners and cause more harm in other areas of life.

Forgiveness often depends on a willingness to change.  If someone got mad and punched you in the nose you might forgive them with no problem, the first time.  If they smash you again the next time they see you and ask for forgiveness I am guessing it won’t come as quickly.  Forgiveness in the human sense, or at least for me, would require the person who wronged me to man-up and admit they were out of line.  It would also involve that other aspect of repentance that we don’t like, a change of direction.

We might have trouble forgiving ourselves for two reasons.  The first is we might not think we were out of line in what we did.  We often have hidden beliefs that they deserved what happened.  The second is that we are not willing to change our attitudes, priorities or values.

Whether we are successful or not, forgiveness is an important part of civilized culture.  Refusing to forgive on an individual basis can cause uncomfortable relationships.  As it multiplies and spreads though a larger scope it can break down a lot of the common decencies that make life pleasant and safe.  Theologically it can make salvation out of reach.

Learn to forgive, even if you don’t feel like it.

homo unius libri

Monday, March 20, 2023

Opus 2023-082: Wildflower Watch: Spring Stroll

Sunday I decided to take a stroll.  Not a walk, a stroll.  Walking is done for exercise and a stroll is recreation.  I am not Jewish so I don’t observe Saturday as a Sabbath but as a Christian I recognize that God was not just blowing smoke when He said to take a day of rest.  So I try to make Sunday, The Lord’s Day, into a day of rest.  Thus I could not take a walk, I had to stroll.  It is a different experience.  When I stroll I stop and examine the wild flowers along the way.  I pause and examine the sky to see if I missed the trumpet call of the Rapture.  

As I strolled I noticed the first Indian Paint Brush of the year.  It is just around the corner on the side road in front of a parked trailer.  You can see it about eight feet in front of the trailer.  You can’t miss it.  It stands tall.  On the way back, on the other side of the road I saw a yard with a good spread.  I wasn’t aware at the time but it was the first day of spring.  The flowers knew.

Today I noticed a group of pincushion daisies.  They were already forming red balls and some had tiny yellow blossoms sprouting.  It was also cloudy enough that the evening primroses were still standing tall.

Spring is here in the Texas Hill Country.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-081: Dark Thoughts: Comprehending the Uncomprehensible

As I sit in the dark thinking about God my mind rebels at the concept of eternity.  I cannot comprehend it, but that is the nature of a temporal creature trying to grasp the eternal.  It brings to mind concepts like infinity, holiness and all the omni words.

God is eternal, He is outside of time.  I don’t think we are designed to understand what that would be like.  Is that part of what we lost when Adam and Eve rebelled against God?  Will we ever enter that mode or will time be kept for our benefit?  How deep will our understanding be of what God is like?  Will learning be part of the adventure?  There are so many questions I don’t have answers to.

My understanding of eastern religions is that existence is an eternal wheel, thus the Buddhist idea of the Wheel of Life.  It is eternal because you go through eternal cycles.  One example would be the idea of reincarnation.  The ultimate goal is a mindless state in Nirvana.  The human mind can grasp those concepts.  That is one indication that those religions do not have a clue to the eternal.

The Christian understanding is that existence is linear and eternal, or spacial in the sense that it would extend in all directions.  It does not rinse and repeat.  That is a concept that is a bit harder to grasp.  In fact, I am of the mind that it cannot be grasped, at least in our current perishable existence.  Perhaps that is why Paul said this,

(1Co 15:53 KJV)  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
In the resurrection Christians believe we enter into a new level of existence.  There will be enough of the old that our individual beings do not cease to exist.  When Jesus came back they were able to recognize who He was and He ate food to demonstrate He was real.  At the same time he walked through walls.  

Or a little earlier in his discussion of the meaning of love he writes this,
(1Co 13:12 KJV)  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
I cannot wrap my mind the God of the Bible.  I can, however, wrap my arms around Him as I have learned through knowing Jesus.  I am looking forward to the adventure of eternity and all of the colors, smells, concepts and depths of reality that will be revealed to explore.

I hope to see you there.

homo unius libri

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Opus 2023-080: Plow and Crown: Let Them Eat Digits

There is a lot of talk about the globalists in control of the U.S. government wanting to go to a digital currency.  I have no doubt they want to do it and am confident their goals are nefarious.

I think we worry too much.  There are a lot of details to work out that seem a bit unsurmountable.  One question that comes to mind is, “What happens to the uncounted trillions of American dollars that are under the mattress in so many dictator mansions around the world?”

Another question, “What happens to the dollars in places like Swiss bank accounts?”

Then of course we come to the question of all the politicians explaining all that secret money they have hidden away.  And how do they add to their stash if all is digital?

So what about my first question about the vast number of dollars being held by people around the world for security.  They have their money outside the country to protect it from the vacuum cleaner of the IRS.  I don’t think they are going to be excited about bringing it to an American embassy to have it converted into digital currency.  I halfway think that the crisis might force the U.S. to declare bankruptcy, but that might be the intent to start with.  It would also undermine the dollars as a security blanket for the world, but again, that might be the ultimate goal.

Under pure Communism the measure of value is the labor of a worker.  The New American Elites might just declare that, since it is all computerized anyway, each subject of the new order would get a set number of credits per pay period.  Or take it another step.  Each worker is awarded a set measure of dried beans and a time when they can expect the electricity to be turned on in their homes.  Since it is all controlled by the central Digital Czar then no one will know how much the elites think their “labor” is worth.  I somehow think it will work out as a bit more than beans and an hour of electricity.

If you have doubts on how it will work, reread 1984 and you will get an insight.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-079: Small Rebellions

Changing the clocks has become an unnatural change of body rhythm.  I must be getting old because I don’t remember having this much trouble adjusting in the past.

We need to rebel.  If we can’t get the government to fix something this easy they we need to conform only as far as necessary.  Obviously this kind of thing will be easier for us retired folks.  That is why I weaseled out with “as far as necessary.”  That would be different for everyone.

We need to retain the same schedule for all non-government functions.  I used to target going to bed around 8 and getting up at 5.  Now I would just start getting up when the clock said 6 and going down when it said 9.  Whom would be effected except me?  There might need to be some planning and a few will arrive after the doors are locked but we would adjust with time.

Adjust business hours and all free community activities the same way.  If you are involved in planning let it be known what you expect.

Sure you might have to show up for a government appointment at a specific time but that does not happen often for most of us.  Drive so you don’t get a ticket and need to show up in court as a specific time.  In time local city halls might adjust their hours because no one was coming for the first hour.

Just a thought on a minor inconvenience.  I am not going to do anything stupid to advance the idea.

homo unius libri

Friday, March 17, 2023

Opus 2023-078: Reasons to Celebrate

As I checked the “What’s Happening in the World” sites this morning I realized that another ethnic/cultural day had snuck up on me.  Yawn.  It is just another of many that I don’t pay much attention to.  Let’s see,
    Saint Patrick’s Day
    Cinco de Mayo
    Guy Fawke’s Day
    May Day
    Earth Day

Then there are the ones I would avoid if I could get away with it,
    Valentine’s Day
    Birthdays in general
    Mother’s and Father’s Day

Some are worth celebrating because they are important to remember
    Independence Day

I am sure this is just a partial list.  When you consider there are such things as National Donut Day you can see how easy it would be to be overwhelmed.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-077: God and the Million Monkeys

We have all heard about the million monkeys typing on a million typewriters eventually coming up with the works of Shakespeare or the Encyclopedia Britannica.  It is one of the talking points of people who favor evolution by chance.  They figure if there is enough time anything can happen.  Maybe so but the time limitations now being put on the process make it unlikely.  But that is not my point.

In my worship of praise time I was thinking about the mind of God.  If God is infinite and all knowing as the Bible declares it occurred to me that the monkey typing analogy might be a good way to understand the scope of God’s mind.

He would be aware of every stroke and all the possible variations.  That is so far beyond the human ability that I can’t even grasp how silly it would be for me to visualize it.  Computers have been taught to play chess.  I think the process is that they can visualize all the possibilities for, say, 100 moves and chose the most likely.  Expand the board and add to the pieces and you would get the computer putting out smoke and squeaks.  God would have no problem

Existing outside time would mean He is aware of them constantly.  Since the possibilities are finite, even if vast, He would be able to handle them with one divine hand tied behind His back.  If our mind had fuses, it would blow them.

What is truly awesome is that this same God seems to care about us as individuals.

Beyond comprehension except that it is a glorious thought.

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Opus 2023-076: Plow and Crown: Back to Kosher

We need to keep in mind that it is for our own good.

Uncle Klaus and his WEF Wizards have proclaimed the future.  In addition to the assurance that we will own nothing and be happy we are told that we will be eating bugs instead of steak.  Think of it at New Age Manna from the Post Modern Heaven.  No more trips to the grocery store.  Just vacuum your garage and you will have dinner.  These people really know how to run a PR campaign.

Eating bugs can be kosher.  Well, not all bugs.  The Bible limits it to a few.

(Lev 11:21-2 NAS77) 'Yet these you may eat among all the winged insects which walk on all fours: those which have above their feet jointed legs with which to jump on the earth.  'These of them you may eat: the locust in its kinds, and the devastating locust in its kinds, and the cricket in its kinds, and the grasshopper in its kinds.
I guess if it is good enough for God it should be good enough for us.  One observation though, also on the approved list are lamb chops, steak, veggies, eggs, honey and dairy products.

If it is good enough for the real God then it should be good enough for us in spite of what the self appointed gods think.

Honk if you agree.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Opus 2023-075: Shock Treatments

Every once in awhile I come across something in the Bible that I swear was added since the last time I read it.  This is one of the benefits of reading straight through repeatedly with no minimum or maximum to be read each day.  I am learning to just take my time and see what stands out to me.

I don’t know if you would call it Biblical minutia or fodder for a Trivial Pursuit card but one of the questions about the Bible is “Who wrote the book of Hebrews?”  If you have an old edition of the King James Bible you might wonder why the question because, if my memory serves me correctly, it used to say “The Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews”.  That is actually not in the text so it has been changed to just say “Hebrews”.  

The authorship is one that I have discussed in the last two years.  My opinion was that I had no idea.  Scholars have many suggestions but, again, no one knows because it doesn’t say.

Which brings me to my current eye opening moment.

I was in the last chapter and reading along when I came upon this,

(Heb 13:19 KJV)  But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
Who in the Bible would write this way?  The apostle Paul.  He spent a good deal of time in prison, ending up under house arrest in Rome.  

A few verses later I came across this,
(Heb 13:23 KJV)  Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.
This again points to Paul.  He mentions Timothy other places and wrote two letters to him that we have in the Bible.

And the next verse,
(Heb 13:24 KJV)  Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.
This fits in very well with Paul being in a Roman prison.  Does this prove anything?  No.  It still does not say that Paul was the author.  Paul’s pattern was to identify himself at the beginning of the letter and we don’t have that here.  Adam Clarke shares an observation,
“I have sometimes thought that a part of the beginning might have been lost, as it not only begins without a name, but begins very abruptly.”
I swear I have never noticed this before.  Since the Bible I am reading was copyrighted in 1977 and I have had it for years, I can’t take refuge in my opening shock.  It was not added since I read last time.  I just didn’t pay attention.

I wonder what will shock me next.  I look forward to the revelation.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-074: Circle Shoot

I was thinking of giving you a list of all the people I disagree with on politics and theology.  It would have two sections.  The first would be those I lump in the “Liberal” camp.  To be honest it would be hard to find anything I agree with them on.  I am not sure they even understand that you should not eat yellow snow.  It used to be you could assume about patriotism, child pornography, general integrity and things like that, but those have all been thrown out the window.

The second list would be those in the more traditional camp.  The problem here is that everyone who is left would be on the list because I have yet to find anyone that I don’t have disagreements with.  So sue me.  I personally think that is healthy.  I like to do my own thinking.  I think that courteous and respectful knock-down dragged out arguments are scintillating.  It also reminds me that we need to stop standing in a circle and shooting.  We need to stop attacking our own.  The enemy is not the guy who has a well known website and a lot of opinions.  The enemy is the guy who wants to destroy America.

It would help is we remembered that.

Maybe I should read this again to myself, out loud.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Opus 2023-073: Social Evolution

Progressive revelation is the idea that God revealed eternal truth a bit at a time.  Noah was not filled in on the Law.  The Sermon on the Mount was not delivered by Jeremiah.  The trinity was cloaked in mysterious ways even though Genesis 1 uses a plural name for God and mentions the Spirit.  Even now the prophecies about the end times are open to many interpretations (with apologies to those who think they have it figured out).


Probably for the same reason you don’t explain where babies come from in great detail to a four year old.  You start kids with T-ball not 100 mph fast balls on a full sized diamond.  My daughter started her culinary adventure with Kraft Macaroni and Cheese not some of the exotic stuff she comes up with now.  

Just as we are not ready, humanity was not ready.

He could have delivered it in one lump sum but most of us have a hard time reading the entire sermon on the mount at one time.  Admit it.  How often do your eyes glaze over when the pastor insists on reading an entire chapter of Romans at the beginning of a sermon?  Since I hate to be read to I tune out early.  My world is full of squirrels and rabbit trails.  Every time I make chili or jerky I need the detailed recipe in front of me.

So God had mercy on us as individuals.

It takes time for our cultures to adapt to new truth and it must be a natural adaptation for it not to be just better robots.  Take the issue of the place of women in God’s plan.  We tend to gather on one of two extremes.  Either we mimic the Muslims and treat woman like inferior creatures or we go woke and portray them as superior in all ways at all times.  Will we ever get to the Biblical balance?  I am willing to hold my breath but not until it happens.

Society evolves slowly.  That should be obvious since we resist learning as individuals.  Hang on.  Do your part.  Live as an example.  Leave the pace up to God.

homo unius libri

Monday, March 13, 2023

Opus 2023-072: Give the Law Some Credit

The apostle Paul is the apostle of grace.  He tends to always be warning about the law and how the law cannot save you.  His point is that we cannot in our arrogance save ourselves by our efforts or become worthy through our following the rules.  Such obedience will never be enough to cancel out the sin in our lives.

In spite of that he understood that the law had a place.  In one verse he said,

(1Ti 1:8 KJV)  But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
I personally think that the law gets a bad rap.  It was a vital step in God’s plan for the salvation of mankind.

It occurred to me that God’s law is really given for our benefit, not God’s.  We tend to look at the breaking of the law and how that is sin and sin must be punished.  Think with me from the other end.  A life built on keeping the law is a big step toward a life of success and peace.  A society built on the law is what the cultures of the West adopted and it gave us historic prosperity.  Where would we be if there was no problem with murder, theft or promiscuity.  The Ten Commandments as a unit are an awesome force for the good of everyone.

Think of the times that Israel went through great suffering.  What were they constantly being judged for?  Why were they eventually hauled off into captivity?  Not for plowing with a mixed team.  They were condemned for violating the first Commandment.  Putting God first and honoring Him are the foundations for a good life now as well as eternity.

Just as many of the sins that plague us are the misuse of blessings God has bestowed, so the law was a tool to help us stay on the high road.

My speculation goes even further.  There are a number of laws that make me scratch my head.  Some give me the itch because I don’t see how they could ever apply to me.  I don’t see myself ever planting a tree in the courtyard of the temple.  On another note, I wonder if the instruction not to boil a calf in its mother’s milk will someday be found to have some solid health reasons, maybe an issue of common DNA.

Meanwhile I will continue to assume that God knew what He was doing and has a better understanding than I ever will.

homo unius libri

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Opus 2023-071: Lawyers Will Be Lawyers

One of my daily fly-bys is Powerline Blog.  I find myself reading complete article less frequently than I used to but I still get a feel for things from the titles and sometimes the opening paragraph.

Recently I read an entire post by Scott Johnson.  He was basically doing what he could to tell us Tucker Carlson did a terrible job of reviewing the J-6 tapes.  Powerline missed the whole issue with the conviction of Jacob Chansley.  

I believe the writers on Powerline are all lawyers.  In the past I have often benefited from their insight but this post reinforced a feeling I have that success is getting to them.  They obviously run with, if not the big dogs, the medium dogs.  As such I think they are becoming lawyers for whom the law is a legal game rather than a tool to achieve justice.

Johnson spent a lot of time analyzing the tapes shown by Tucker.  He made a big deal that Tucker never said Chansley pleaded guilty or what the charge was.  He didn’t need to.  I had already read about those.  Tucker was not rehashing old news but trying to give Americans an idea of what had been covered up.  The talking point was the Q man but that was just an illustration.

The lawyers on Powerline are getting too used to running with the elites.  They missed the whole point that concerned Americans:  Four years in jail for a charge of trespassing.  The honest world screams at the political coercion of a wannabe police state.  The Lawyers at Powerline look at the legalism and ignore justice.  When we see the abuse of the system where minor issues are given years in jail and violent offenders are given a gentle slap on the wrist, Americans lose their respect for the government, the courts and worst of all the rule of law.

Maybe they should focus on that instead of trying to show the elites how scholarly they are.

homo unius libri

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Opus 2023-070: Election 2024: A No Brainer

As you are aware tomorrow we change our clocks again.  What an irritation.  I am sure that there are people out there who embrace this ritual and maybe sacrifice virgins as celebration.  If there are I don’t remember meeting them.  Of course, that could just be my memory.

Might I suggest that the Republicans prepare a plank for the 2024 elections pledging to work to do away with this nonsense.  I think it is a winner.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-069: Communicating

I have been noticing that a lot of people seem to be having trouble with Blogger and it having a mind of its own, or maybe we should say a lack of a mind.  It makes me wonder about a few things.

I have left comments and often see one of two results.  Sometimes the comments show up with no response.  Other times the comments never show up.  It could be that the blogger is too busy but it also could be that Blogger is messing with them.  Either way we need to make sure that we don’t take it personally.

I have noticed that because of the security my son has on my computer that there are times when I am blocked from leaving replies on my own blog from inside the blog.  It is necessary for me to turn off the security, leave a response (or comment on another blog) and then turn the security back on.  As far as I know I have responded to every comment left on my blogs.  So if there are issues I think we need to give each other the benefit of the doubt, stay positive and keep on posting.

Of course it could just be that we are all anti-social.

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-068: Don’t Join, Be the Resistance

How do we resist the anti-American pressures.  They are so omnipresent.

The Communist Manifesto has suggestions.  Marx laid out his framework for destroying liberty in the world.  This can be a tremendous help for us today.  It works the same way I found the recommendations of the California Teachers’ Association every election.  I would consider what they recommended and vote the opposite.  So take the things that Marx felt needed to be destroyed and work on making them strong.  

I would suggest again that you read the Communist Manifesto.  You can download it free from The Gutenberg Project.  Unlike Das Kapital which is awkward, plodding and not worth the effort, the Manifesto is well written and easy to understand.

Marx points out things that the Communists want to destroy.  One of the big ones is the family.  

Private property is terrible.  

I don’t know how you do any of this if you are not a person of faith.  What do you believe in if you don’t believe there is something outside.  I guess you could believe in the Party or the State as it warns about in 1984.  But that means being a believer in destroying yourself.  Believing in something above you, might I suggest God Almighty, and conceding your minority status is the best way to preserve your liberty.

The Paradox of America is that by being for individual rights we benefit the whole.  If you believe in the concept of individual rights it comes with the baggage of others also having individual rights.  In order to verify yours you must acknowledge theirs.  Under Communism there is only the rights of the state and what it decides you need.  What you need changes with the wind.  It comes down to who has the biggest muscles and the quickest sword, just like it was in the world of Conan the Barbarian.

We need to become the resistance with a two edged approach.  First, demand your rights starting with being treated as a human being with a certain dignity.  If anyone starts throwing the current woke salad at you, reject their position and tell them they are wrong.  Second, be willing to allow others the same freedom you expect.

In reality I think most of us are already doing the second so what we need to practice on is standing up for ourselves.  Remember it isn’t just you on the line but your children and grandchildren.  A good place to say, “Do it for the children.”

homo unius libri

Friday, March 10, 2023

Opus 2022-067: Synonyms

Synonyms are wonderful and useful tools.  In case you don’t remember, a synonym is a word that means almost the same as another word.  An example would be red and scarlet.  Another might be cold and icy.  A third would be brain dead and Democrat.  That was unkind, true, but unkind.

Synonyms can be used negatively.  You can pick a little known word to confuse people too lazy to get out the dictionary.  You might say someone had a froward outlook on life and some might think it a compliment.  You also have some writers who like to string out eight or ten synonyms in a row.  They are either getting paid by the word or have an essay due with a certain number of words.

There are times you use synonyms to help communicate.  You can pick them for emphasis.  You also can use them for nuance.  Repetition stresses a point.  Nuance points out differences and qualities.  A good writer knows when to be brief and when to go for the long bomb.

Happy reading and writing.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-066: Plow and Crown: Progress Destroys

Perhaps both the crown and the plow are necessary.  As Americans we tend to believe in a general attitude of equality.  We believe that you can know success through a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck.  We don’t want anyone telling us what to do.

How is that working out recently?  We keep hearing the forces of Marxism talking about democracy as if it is a magic elixir that brings Utopia.  They are working, by rigging the voting and lying to the public, to take over our country by democracy.  They are counting on the masses who seem to be un-American in the sense that they want someone to take care of them and are willing to give up their liberty for bread and circuses.  

There is a reason that democracy is not found in the Bible and was rejected by the Founding Fathers.  The only election that is talked about in scripture means the opposite of what we mean by an election.  The elect in the Bible are those chosen by God, not voted into the position.  The Bible makes it clear that all humans are born in sin which means they tend to take the selfish road if given a chance.  Democracy would simply give them a chance to force their wish list on other people.  

The Biblical form seems to be a strong man with selected leaders under him with the responsibility to oversee smaller groups.  The strong man can be a king such as David, a priest such as Samuel, a Judge like Deborah or an apostle like Paul.  They are chosen by God and marked in such a way that the population accepts them in that role.

You need a strong man but there is a catch.  For the system to work, he must be godly.  Bad kings brought judgement.  Good kings brought blessings.  Eli was a weak vessel and there were problems.  Samuel was godly and oversaw good times.  

You need the common man to do the work.  Face it.  Someone needs to dig the ditches while the engineer designs the building.  Every great chef requires a team of waiters and busboys.  Your top used car salesman can’t sell cars if he has to clean the restrooms.  We just don’t like to be the one stuck with the toilet brush.  

What is ahead for us as a nation?  Will the republic recover?  I would say “survive” but it looks like it is already too late for that.  There are going to be changes.  Often, if not always, the old must be destroyed to make room for the new.  We have different examples of how that has worked.

We have change brought about without destruction of society.  The Glorious Revolution is an example of relatively bloodless revolution.  Things like the Wesley Revival and the Great Awakening break down old patterns

Then you have things like the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution.  Massive bloodshed and terror.  One led to the Napoleonic Wars and the reshaping of Europe.  The other led to millions murdered and generations of tyranny.      

We know change is in the wind.  Maybe we should celebrate Davos and the promise of owning nothing and being happy.  It may take that to eventually force the cows to decide they don’t want to go to the slaughter house and break down the fences.

There may be time to pull it out.  Keep praying.  Stand up.  Speak out.  Be counted.

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Opus 2023-065: Caricature 54 Where Are You?

I am thinking about all the stereotypes I am bombarded with and how few of them I actually experience.  The click-bait and memes are full of entertainment that is designed to get attention.  The memes are especially enjoyable because they contain genuine humor, but it occurred to me this morning that I don’t experience much of this in real life.  

Granted, I live in Texas hill country.  My neighborhood is mostly 2 acre lots with plenty of breathing room.  It is not a groomed Beverly Hills 2 acres.  It is mainly rocks, shallow soil, cedar, mesquite and twisted oaks.  When I walk I can go my entire route without seeing anyone or I might talk to three different people and wave at half a dozen cars.  I am also a homebody.  I don’t go out and hit the bars and definitely don’t hang out at Starbucks.  But when I do stop at a local taco place I don’t see the ranting crazies that are featured in the features.  

When I go to the grocery store the customers I pass fit into just about every demographic.  They seem to be polite and have no hatred in their eyes.  Sure, a few wear masks but they are tolerated by the rest.  The steak place I prefer, Montana Mike’s, has a different mix of customers and staff every time I go in.  I have yet to see any anger or hostility based on race or economic class.

How much of the obnoxious bloviation is common and how much is a media framing?  Keep in mind that the people who control information and the narrative have a vested interest in keeping us at each others throats.  I am not sure they are being successful on the streets so they must keep pushing their version of reality on the screen.

I accept that these people exist but I am thinking that they are magnified out of proportion by the divisive elites.  I will continue treating people with dignity and courtesy.  What have I got to lose?  Everything, if the Proregressives* have their way.

*(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

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Opus 2023-064: The Big Jump

Hypothesis > Theory > Conclusion tested> Hypothesis

Science was born under the above process,  It is a never ending cycle because there will always be another question down the road, or there will if it is real science.  Real science is never settled.  It keeps asking questions.

If you have been thinking while you watch the world turn, you will be in a place where you doubt much of what you hear science reporting.  That is because post-modern science has taken a big step backwards.  They are now leaving out the middle portion which involves testing and repetition before conclusion.  In real science the idea was that you learned something even if you experimented and your hypothesis turned out to be wrong.  That meant you knew how to be more focused with the next series.  There are two reasons why we have had the change.

One is economic and political.  Science is not longer the genuine seeking after knowledge.  I would say that at least for the big science you hear about, the goal of the process is to come up with solutions and evidence that the bank rolling organization is paying to hear.  Much of the “science” done today is done with computer models instead of physical trials.  Often the pseudo-scientists will work backwards from desired conclusion to the beginning of the computer run.  They will adjust the variable and equations until they get the results they want.  It can be global warming or pandemics.  You can fake the whole process and proclaim a breakthrough.

Another reason for the loss of credibility is a change in philosophy.  Modern scientists are so anxious to remove the divine from the equation that they are forced to abandon the procedures and assumptions that were at the foundation of the development of modern science.  They have been forced to go back to the Greek method of only logic.  Up to a point logic can help you make decisions, but only up to a point.  There comes a time where logic must be guided by reality.  Logic by its nature is a human skill and being human it is very fallible.  The example I find that resonates best with us laymen is the temperature of water boiling on a fire.  Most people accept that water boils at 212 F or 100 C.  If you ask them how hot it will get if you keep the fire on, logic will come up with something that says it just keeps getting hotter.  That is logical.  It is also false.  If you do an experiment you will find that it doesn’t get hotter unless you put a lid on it and then it can explode.  

The process of experimenting depends on a philosophical, or if you will theological, assumption.  The assumption is that there are laws of science that do not change on a whim.  You can count on those laws being the same tomorrow as they are today.  In the pagan world of the Greeks, Indians and Chinese you have a belief system populated by capricious gods who might be in a bad mood and suspend the First Law of Thermodynamics.  The God of the Bible does not do that.  Yes, there were miracles but they were one time events that were clearly labeled.  Even non-Christians can agree that the development of the science that transformed the world was based on the Judeo-Christian view of God.  In a universe created by the God of the Bible you have truth and falsehoods.  In the post-modern, pagan, Marxists world truth is whatever fits the current political narrative.  That is as true in their science as their philosophy.

We need to discern which method was used before we buy into the conclusions.  If it is acceptable to lie to achieve a political goal then you can’t believe anything you are told.  If truth is a requirement than you might be able to build an airplane that will stay in the sky.  

What you believe makes a difference.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Opus 2023-063: Beware Best Sellers

Beware of popular writers.  You need to think of them as sample trays of goodies rather than the final meal of knowledge.

On the positive side they simplify.  Face it, we don’t need to know all the details.  A good writer will do the homework for us and summarize in a form we have time to digest.  Do you remember how to divide with fractions?  You inverse and multiply.  I was in an experimental math class and we worked through the steps to prove that before they would let us use it.  Did I really need all the theory?  Only to pass the test.  All I really needed to know was to inverse and multiply and I am not sure I ever used that either.

I remember the class that nailed down my desire to teach history instead of science.  It was an adult ed chemistry class that was designed for people in the nursing program who did not want to take a college level class.  I am not sure they could have passed it if they had.  It was dumbed down to the basics but it still went too far into the weeds for me.  I did not need the exciting moment when my litmus paper changed colors.  I did not need to learn to calculate how many molecules there were in a certain volume.  I need to know that I should not mix bleach and ammonia.  I needed to know not to light a match around concentrations of oxygen.  Simple is good.  Most of that I already knew.

On the negative side they simplify.  Yes, I know I just said that was positive but it can also be a negative too.

Sometimes the simplification is publishing deadlines.  They need to get something out.  No one will know the difference.  So go with it.  As a result a lot of nonsense gets perpetuated.  The sailors with Columbus were not afraid they would sail off the edge of the earth.  The American Indians were not one with nature.  Only about 6,000 German Jews were hauled to death camps.  That is a lot of people but most of the 6,000,000 were from places like Poland.  Paul Revere did not yell, “The British are coming.”  Republicans are not the party of the rich and Democrats are not the party of the poor.  I recently read in a book on nuclear disaster that one of the big myths is that all life on earth would be destroyed by a nuclear war.  The list goes on.

Recently I read something interesting,  It was buried in Plutarch’s Lives and was in the Chapter about Numa.

“Numa is said to have built the Temple of Vesta, which was to contain the sacred fire, in a circular form, imitating thereby not the shape of the earth, but that of the entire universe, in the midst of which the Pythagoreans place the element of fire, which they call Vesta and the Unit. The earth they say is not motionless, and not in the centre of its orbit, but revolves round the central fire, occupying by no means the first or the most honourable place in the system of the universe. These ideas are said to have been entertained by Plato also in his old age; for he too thought that the earth was in a subordinate position, and that the centre of the universe was occupied by some nobler body.” Kindle Location 2163-2167, page 83 in hardback.
Plutarch was born in the middle of the first century.  At that time he is talking about the earth orbiting around the sun.  It was 1500 years before Copernicus got in trouble for this, yet most writers never bring that up.  It is amazing what we can learn if we read and keep our brains in gear.

Today’s popular writers tend to erect straw men or feed our already existing ignorance.  If you give them too much credit then you are their victim.

Don’t be a victim.  Read.  Think.  Question.  Be a healthy skeptic.  It will make the world a better place.

homo unius libri

Monday, March 6, 2023

Opus 2023-062: Tax Dollars at Work: Libraries

Libraries are underused resources.  It always amazes me how many people ignore them.  Library cards are free if you live within a certain zone and some will even issues free cards to anyone with ID.  I currently have 5 cards.  The biggest library system in our area would charge me $200 a year for a card but with the schizophrenia of government you can get a coupon from any library you are part of that you can take to get a limited card for free.  So far I have found more than enough to read in the free sources.

You are paying for them in your taxes so you might as well make use of them.  I will grant that the librarians, being generally woke, do not buy a lot that I think is worth reading but enough sneak through the cracks to keep me busy.

One of the libraries I use has an interesting search function.  After I make a search it allows me to search multiple libraries in the area.  That saves a lot of time.  There are other avenues that I have not tried yet.  You can request books and sometimes they will purchase them.  You can also use the interlibrary loan system that will bring you books from other libraries.  

Turn off your electronics.  Check out a book.  Read.  

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-061: The Fun and Futility of Digging

I came across the discussion of the fine tuning of the universe ten or fifteen years ago listening to a William Lane Craig podcast.  Craig demonstrates a grasp of theology, philosophy and, to my surprise, science.  He explained the many laws of physics and universal constants that are at work in time and space as we know it.  One of the most startling statements he made was to the effect that earth was most likely the only place advanced life existed because all the fine tuning was necessary for life on Earth and did not allow for the same conditions anywhere else.  Craig is generally reliable so I took it, but my eyebrows were raised for a long time.

Then that idea was repeated by Eric Metaxas in his book Is Atheism Dead?  I would recommend his book because it explains things as simply as it can be explained.  Check your local library.

At the other end of the spectrum is the increasingly complex structure of the cell that is being discovered as the instruments of research keep improving.  When science can look deeper they don’t find the final answer.  What they seem to find is another level.  Since they still don’t understand much of what they already know exists this must really be frustrating.

Most of this research is being done by people who have a vested interest in proving God does not exist.  Stephen Meyer investigates from a believer’s standpoint.  He is one of those nerds with a Ph.D. that qualifies him to comment.  He has written several books.  The one I am reading is Darwin’s Doubt.  One of the points he keeps making is that the researchers keep running into a wall with their religious convictions in evolution.  It doesn’t work.  It doesn’t fit the facts.  It doesn’t meet the demands of real science.  If they were honest scientists they would come up with a new hypothesis and go a different way.  They might even find a way to include the possibility of God without compromising their inquiry.  Instead they come up with theories that depend totally on a creative imagination and have no data to back them up.

I must confess that much of the actual science is above my head but there is enough detail that you can see how things fit and don’t fit.  I continue to maintain that people who believe in God have nothing to fear from good science and people who pursue honest research have nothing to fear from God, at least in their science.

In his discussion of the codes built into the DNA the numbers are beyond the imagination.  The possibilities of combinations are staggering.  They gradually are uncovering what certain parts of the code, arranged a specific way do.  For instance I think they can tell you what part of the gene controls hair color.  As I ponder that awesome discovery I speculate.  I wonder if the day ever comes when science unravels the DNA code completely will they discover that every single code on DNA has some significance.  When you consider how many possible combinations there are that should give you an idea of how far away they are from the mystery of life.

Keep digging boys and girls.  

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

Meyer, Stephen C.  Darwin’s Doubt.  New York:  Harper One, 2013.

homo unius libri

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Opus 2023-060: Character Flaws

Why did Jesus blind Paul?

If you are not familiar with the story you will find it in Acts 9.  You might note, if you have seen aritst renditions, that there is no mention of being knocked off a horse, just bright light, falling and hearing voices.

It was probably the only way He could get him to sit down, shut up and listen.

Those few days may have been the only time in his life when he was not charging full speed ahead on his latest crusade.  Paul was a classic Type A.  Before Jesus put him to the mat his entire focus in life was destroying those heretics who followed Jesus.  Jail cells and execution were the formula for the day.  Nothing could be allowed to stand in his way.  God found a way.

I think it is worth noting that in many ways Paul was not changed.  He was still hard charging and focused but now it was to proclaim Jesus instead of destroying His followers.  

God usually uses us as we are.  If you are mechanical He will probably find a use that applies your gifts.  Are you a scholar, prepare to study.  Are you a party animal?  You might be in charge of pot lucks.  

Being unworthy is a feature, not a bug.  All of us are unworthy until He gets hold of us and then that changes.  There will be changes but they may not be the changes other people think you need to make.  You may find that what used to be an irritating character trait is strangely transformed into a glorious asset.

Trust me.  Better yet, trust Him.

homo unius libri

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Opus 2023-059: Vegan Amoeba

I assume vegans insist on organic veggies.  Does that mean they use natural fertilizers?  Don’t those come from animals?  I guess there are things like rotating crops and permaculture that try to deal with depleting the soil but I don’t know if that is a requirement.

Also, I think that microscopic forms of life such as bacteria and protozoa are part of the animal kingdom.  How do they get all of those off their veggies?  I was watching a documentary about a religious group that wore masks over their faces to keep from accidently ingesting an insect.  Maybe since a virus is not necessary alive they are good with those.

The world is full of so much variety in regards to humans.  I have noticed that everyone except for myself seems to have some major blind spots in how they view life.  Maybe you have noticed the same thing.

Until we get the telegram from God about all our controversies I guess we will just need to make allowances and get along.  I am good with you being a vegan as long as you are good with me being an omnivore.  I would even sit beside you on an airplane.

Vive la difference

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Opus 2023-058: Wildflower Watch: It Starts

The blue bonnets are beginning to show themselves.  It is too early to tell if they are signs of a strong season or just the few hardy ones that made it through the winter.

Take the beauty where you can find it.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-057: Critical Mass: Ignoring the Obvious

The average American has a hard time understanding the existence of real evil.  We have gotten so used to routine unrighteousness that the depravity being initiated around us goes unnoticed.  It is like being inside a well insulated house when it begins to rain.  The storm builds and sometimes it isn’t until a bolt of lighting takes out the electricity that they look out and say, “My, it is raining hard.”

What kind of evil is going on?  Abortion is obvious.  You don’t need to dig too deep to see how medical doctors reach into a womb with metal instruments and begin to tear the baby inside limb from limb.  Trafficking in children for all kinds of insidious uses is going on under our noses.  It is ignored.  The surgeries being done on children too young to even know what gender is all about are an abomination.  The killing of thousands from hidden side effects on a chemical injection called a vaccination is lied about and covered up.  The catch and release program of the legal system which is often don’t even catch.  

How do these things start?  Often slowly and step by step.  I was accosted by a young man bun in the parking lot.  He was very dramatic.  He wanted a donation for some anti-bullying program.  How can you say “no” to such a noble cause?  Having been a public school teacher and seen what the last lessons in the program were, it was not hard.  They are smoke screens for advancing the homosexual agenda.  After I retired they started bringing in the pronoun of choice nonsense and that proceeded to identifying as and finally to destructive surgery.  Yes it is a slippery slope.  And they will be coming for your children if you don’t stay off the radar.

Evil exists.  It is all around us.  It feeds on our naivety.  The only antidote in most of the world through most of history has been the sword.  In cultures that have been saturated with righteousness then people serving the Light, God, are a natural protection from the deeds of darkness.  The problem is that too many people have abandoned the light and think that they can get away with it.  It does not work that way.  

There is a critical mass necessary for civil society.  We have crossed the line and continue to move into the world of the satanic.  Society will not recover unless we as individuals take the steps to recover.  I think God is going to let us decline until enough people feel enough pain to repent.

(2Ch 7:13-4 KJV)  If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
This was written to Israel but I believe the principle applies to any nation where enough people call upon the Lord.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Opus 2023-056: Touched

I am getting touched a lot lately.  Keep in mind I am not a touchy person.  I don’t touch others and reserve my hugs for close family.  I don’t refuse hugs but I never seek them out.  I wonder if that makes me more aware of the touches.

It happens at church and that is as it should be.  The casual squeeze of the shoulder, the two handed shake, the pat on the back, these are great ways to make people feel like part of the family of God.  It is a part of reveling in acceptance.

But what is with these waitresses?  I have noticed that in the last year I am suddenly becoming a good luck symbol or something.  There is nothing sexual or inappropriate in it but they will pat me on the shoulder repeatedly during dinner and often accompany it with the “honey” that you associate with Flo at the diner.  

Years ago I bought a souvenir statue in Hawaii made of black lava rock.  It looked like a Polynesian version of the Buddha statues you see around.  I think the idea was that you would rub the tummy for luck.  I have become an Hawaiian god.

It could be that I am old enough that even the young waitresses look at me as a relic to venerate.  It could also be that after all the lockdowns people are needing physical contact.  It could be that I talk to them like real human beings instead of servants to get me my grub.

Any way you look at it I am touched.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Opus 2023-055: Cleared to Go

I had the opportunity to preach last Sunday and it was an interesting application of God’s grace.

When I accepted the invitation I had a month to prepare.  That gives a lot of time to study, pray, mediate, write, repeat.  I had just come off of a long coughing spell and felt like I was going to be in good condition.  It went well until it didn’t.  I came down with an even worse case of congestion and confusion.  Last week I chose Monday to be the day I would press ahead or call to cancel.

I had two criteria.  First, my mind needed to be clear, or as clear as could be expected.  On that I was good to go.  I no longer was sitting staring at the wall.  I was able to do some writing and could focus for periods of time.  Second, I needed to be past the infectious stage and able to talk without constant coughing.  Doctor Google told me I was past giving the gift of mucus and I was going longer without coughing so I decided to go with it.

Saturday night I went the entire night without coughing and though I was home free but eventually my lungs started clearing out.  It was seldom enough that I felt I would make it.  When I got to church I sat through Sunday School without a rumble.  When the first song came up I started coughing but a cough drop calmed it down and I was fine.  Then came the moment when I had to get up and speak.

There is an amazing process that I go through when I have to preach.  I come to the point where I have been faithful in my preparation and done all I can.  After that it is the Lord’s problem.  I can feel an almost instant peace that comes over me when I open my outline and Bible.  It is like God pats me on the head and says, “I’ve got this boy.”  I made it through the entire sermon without a cough.  I greeted people afterward with no issues.  Then when I was walking to my car the urge to purge came upon me and I stepped to the grass and started clearing out.  I would have to say it was providential.

Mind you, I am not saying the sermon was anything special.  One of the things that I think serious preachers learn early is that preaching is an exercise in arrogance and hubris.  Even the Bible calls it “the foolishness of preaching.”  And yet we are called to do it.  I think it is a good example of what it means to live by faith.

We live day by day doing the best we can to be faithful.  In times like this we wonder if it will be enough.  Living by faith means trusting the Lord to work out the details His way.  

homo unius libri

Monday, February 27, 2023

Opus 2023-054: The Principle Problem

One of the ideas that has helped us to flourish as a culture is that the Constitution gives us foundational principles on which we base everything else.

We are finding that there is a problem with foundational principles.  Even the best principles can be victims of the unprincipled.

The American Founders would have emphasized the “foundational” part of the phrase.  A foundation, properly built, gives us an unchanging starting point for everything else.

The current Progressives* focus on the “principles” part.  Principles are somewhat flexible because they need to apply to circumstances that we are not aware of yet.  Take one founding principle that is getting a lot of attention today:  Freedom of Speech.  Even with that title the courts have found some limitations.  The original intent had to do with political speech and statements that were not apporved by the authorities.  Libel and slander have always been exceptions.  The Progressives* have taken the inch of wiggle room and vibrated it into a joke.  Now the specific reason the right was proclaimed is the reason it is being handcuffed. You have heard about how now Free Speech is against Free Speech?

The really big question that keeps hitting me could be paraphrased here as, How do you deal with clever people manipulating the principles to take advantage of people who are really principled?  When my son cheated at Monopoly it was simply a matter of walking away and not playing any more.  With these tyrant wannabes it won’t be that simple.

My hope is that they will wake up to the potential of violence they are playing with.  Most of the ones on the front lines think there will be no retaliation.  The ones behind them, controlling the narrative are the true believers who accept the fact they may die but are quite willing to do so if they can drag down of liberty loving clowns in the process.  They are even more willing to sacrifice the naive sign holders.

*(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

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Opus 2023-053: Dark Thoughts: Two Roads in the Woods...

Why do so many scientists refuse to believe in God?  It is nothing new.  You find the same issue coming up in the Garden of Eden.  Satan throws the oldest excuse around, because it was the first,

(Gen 3:5 KJV)  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
The temptation to be a god is a big one.  Modern scientists have swallowed the poison.  It is a two edged sword found in evolution.  First, they think they are the smartest product evolution has produced.  They are the acme of natural selection.  They are awesome.  In spite of the awesome factor, they can’t figure out how evolution could work.  Now for the other edge of the sword.  God could not have created the universe since they are smarter than God and they can’t figure it out.

I am probably being unfair but truth is often that way.

The reason Christians and other scientist believe in God is because of the increasing complexity and integration of everything they investigate.  They keep digging deeper and finding even more.  They know they can’t comprehend it and it is too awesome to be accidental so there must be a God.

Both paths have the same information and come to different conclusions.  We will either find out who is right or we won’t.  If God exists then we will find out on Judgement Day.  If God does not exist we will be snuffed out into the same nothingness that existed before the Big Bang.  That is sad for the God deniers because they will never even find out that we were wrong.  They won’t be able to say, “I told you so.”


homo unius libri

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Opus 2023-052: Dark Thoughts: Whom Does God Quote?

It struck me this morning that God does not need to quote anybody.

As I was in worship it occurred to me how much I had enjoyed my study time because I was able to find an extended passage on creation in a set of books on my shelf.  I then remembered why I had tried, and failed, to read through the same set of books in the last year.  They are of a style where the author feels the need to give long quotes from authorities.  It is like they are afraid to say things their own way because I won’t believe them unless they have support from an “authority.”  Since I felt the author was a reliable authority I did not need his quotes so I quickly lost interest.

Then came my question about God quoting.  I don’t think God needed one of the series of books like The Quotable Lewis or the long list that came up with similar titles.  If God ordered something from IKEA I don’t think He would need to read the directions.  As a chef He would not get out Betty Crocker.  He is God.  He is the Source.

It occurred to me there is a reason beside insecurity that people do this.  I recently stopped reading a book because I started counting the number of authors mentioned on each page.  I realized that being mentioned in a book might get you to buy the book.  You could probably make the best seller list just by mentioning enough people with an ego.  

It might do for us to be more focused on quoting the Source, who has no ego or financial issues, than a contemporary authority.

homo unius libri

Monday, February 20, 2023

Opus 2023-051: An Oppressor in Every Pot

The act of oppression is almost universal.  It isn’t even usually a desire to oppress.  It is a desire to win, to be in control, to show what great ideas you have.  It is an expression of your ego.  Oppression is just part of the chips from all the hammering.

I think of my grandchildren.  The older is always trying to tell the younger what to do.  If she is clever then everyone is happy and she is in charge.  If she gets too cocky or he is having a bad day then she will up the ante until an adult gets involved.  

We never grow out of that tendency.  

What brought this to mind was a conversation between Os Guinness and Eric Metaxas on a program called Socrates in the City.  They were talking about the difference between the French Revolution and the American Revolution and relating the French format to the Marxists trying to take over our country.  The Proregressives* have been at it for generations.  One of the forces keeping them at bay has been the nature of the American church.  The First Amendment makes a state church illegal and so religion has thrived with hundreds of independent churches.  None of them were able to get the government to empower them.  The founders recognized that a religious foundation was important and it could only thrive in freedom.

In Europe it was different.  Consider the corruption of the European state churches and how they colluded with the kings in oppressing the people.  Guinness said the reformation set us on the path to individual religious freedom.  Not really.  Luther wanted control as much as the pope did.  The Lutheran church became a state church.  The cycle continued.  Non-state churches were persecuted to the point of death.  Only in the American colonies and later in the Constitution did the idea of religious freedom emerge.  It has paid big dividends.

New Churches start up because the rebels want liberty.  So far so good.  Church splits can cause an increase in spiritual liberty.  After each split the cycle starts again.  One of the first things new churches do is force people to conform to their vision.  Maybe that is necessary and a good thing.  It seems to be inevitable.

We are entering a new era, or else we are firmly entrenched.  For a long time the oppressed could leave home and come to America.  Then they could leave home and move west.  At the present we leave home and move to Texas.  The problem is that the oppressors also don’t like the world they create and move to Texas with us.  And of course they know what is best for us and start working to establish what they ran away from.

There is no place left to run.  We need to take a stand and insist on liberty.  It needs to start on the local leve with city councils or maybe even more local with your HMO.  Get elected to the local board.  Go to meetings.  Start nipping the oppressors in the bud.  It will make them happy because they can feel sorry for themselves and make you happy because they are thwarted.

Get out and run.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-050: I Join the Huddled Masses

It has been one of these weeks.  My wife had hip surgery scheduled and that took a lot of time and energy.  About the same time I came down with some major chest congestion.  It has been a real struggle.

I think I was sicker than I can remember because something happened that I have heard about but never experienced.  I lost my appetite.  I used to adust the saying, “Stuff a fever, starve a cold” to give me an excuse for whatever I had.  I could not understand having no interest in food but that stage went on for three days.

And my mind.  I think I know what dementia will be like.  I could sit and stare out the window.  Drift off to sleep.  Wake up and keep staring.  I could hold a conversation but didn’t really care.  My balance was off.  On the lowest night I went to the kitchen to heat up a cup of tea I had left for that possibility.  While I was waiting I became aware that I was not so aware.  I ended up crawling back to my room and taking two naps on the way.  

I remember being aware there was a blog that needed minding.  I couldn’t generate any care.

In the midst of that I was supposed to be available in case my wife fell.  Fortunately she has done much better than the first hip.

I am hoping I am back in the swing of things.  One good note is that never felt a need to put myself in the hands of the medical establishment and have a Covid Tag hung on my toe.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Opus 2023-049: Go Natural

More dead, young athletes in the news every day.  That is only part of the tragedy of Thalidomide, the Sequel.  The chemicals injected were not adequately tested and the side effects were covered up.  I accept that.  I think there was plenty of warning for people who were paying attention.  The good news is that the vaccines only kill and cripple a small percentage of those who take them, just like the virus itself.  Your chances are good for survival.

I think the lockdown will have a greater long term effect and it will all be off the radar.  I am not talking about how the kids lost a year of education.  (cue the violins)  Since they would not have learned much, what they would have learned was wrong and their parents could teach them more at home, that is not a big issue for me.

I believe the lockdown did more damage to our immune systems than our education.  One of the often bemoaned results of large numbers of children confined to a small common space is the sharing of germs.  If we could color code day care centers it would be a virtual spectrum of pathogens.  I do not say that as if it were a bad thing.  It is part of the process of growing strong bodies 12 ways without the benefits of Wonder Bread.  Exposure to attacking viruses and bacteria forces your immune system to get off the couch and start working out.  With each match the white blood cells and their allies get stronger and more finessed.  

I came to this thinking about why my granddaughter might be more healthy than the adults in the family even though she is home schooled:  Awanas, Sunday School and the neighbor kids.  They are all a wealth of infecting agents and they cause the family immune systems to be golden.

I think there is a better way to educate than schools as we have them established.  I am not a big fan of public education even though I taught middle school almost 30 years.  One invaluable contribution they make is the constant exposure to bugs.  Historically there were sources for that.  In rural America you got exposure by rolling in the dirt, trying to ride the pig and going to church pot lucks.  In urban America you live in such sterile surroundings that school assumes the role.
Contact with Europeans was devastating to the American Indians.  Compare them with the masses of Europe when it comes to disease.  Europe had paid the price of building immunity over the centuries.  The Americas had to do it all at once.  As the commercial said, “Pay me now or pay me later.”

So if you get sick get a lot of rest, drink plenty of liquids and I recommend my secret family elixir:  Lipton Noodle Soup.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Opus 2023-048: Plow and Crown: Got a Light, Buddy?

One of the characteristics of premodern housing for the masses was a lack of windows.  It may be that our overlords want to drive us back to that level.

I have always thought historically it was because there was a lack of glass and when glass became available it was too expensive.  That is part of it.

A more important reason was the difficulty of heating a home with large glass windows.  It would be labor prohibitive, chopping wood is work, and it would be cost ineffective.  Cheap energy transformed our lives.  It makes it possible to live in a world of light and hope.  The Greens want to take that away and drive us back to caves.  I remember reading that one of the great steps forward in American culture came when Rockefeller brought down the price of kerosene so that common people could afford to stay up after the sun went down.  They could now read and discuss what they read after dark.  A simple thing that may be reversed by our modern Lord and Masters.  Kerosene will pollute and electricity will be expensive.  Back to your caves, peasants.

It is more than gas stoves and meat.  It is about the masses having the free time to pursue a quality of life that the Marxist masters don’t want us to have.

It is not about greenhouse gases, it is about political control.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-047: Turning Back the Clock

I was reading along, minding my own business.  In Psalm 69 David is bemoaning his situation.  His general feeling is that everyone is out to get him and nothing is going right.  It is good to read the open confessions of the man who is described as a “man after God’s own heart”.  He is down in the dumps.  If you are with him keep in mind that you are in good company.

Then I read a verse that I thought must have come out of a current press release.

(Psa 69:4 NAS77) Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; Those who would destroy me are powerful, being wrongfully my enemies, What I did not steal, I then have to restore.
Does this not describe where so many of us are today if we are believers in Jesus Christ and the values of truth and morality that go with that belief?  We are hated and the powers that be are out to destroy us.

Then comes the reparations.  Yes, reparations.  Read that last sentence again and then think about the analysis that is coming out of the recent debates in California:  A state that has never had slavery is demanding that people who never owned slaves pay a lot of money to people who were never slaves.  Go a little deeper.  Your ancestors may have died fighting to end slavery.  On the other side your ancestors may have emigrated after slavery was illegal.  The big bucks are still supposed to be transferred.  

Shades of ancient Israel.

Maybe the next step with be the scapegoat route.  When someone of the right ethnic combination is convicted of a crime maybe we need a law that says someone totally innocent of the crime but from the wrong ethnic combination should do the jail time.  

Do I hear an “Amen”?

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Opus 2023-046: Humor Dumb

I have never found Barny Fife funny.  I went through my time of watching The Andy Griffith Show like the rest of you.  Barny was like Lucy or the Three Stooges to me.  He was so sad I could not get into his humor.  

I think I identify with him too much.  He replaced his insecurity with a false macho strut.  He never learned from his mistakes.  He was gullible at the wrong times.  He was totally self centered.  He never noticed that he was being patted on the head.

I wonder if that makes me a liberal.  Liberals don’t seem to have much of a sense of humor.

I hope not.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-045: Stay out of Paris

I am wondering what it was like living in France during the French Revolution if you did not live in Paris.  Was blood flowing in the streets everywhere or just where the French Socialists were at a certain flash point or critical mass.  I have heard that the modern French seem to hold their collective noses when they talk about Paris.  It would seem that even the French have some issues with the French.

Back to the revolution.  If you lived in a village on the Swiss border did life go on as usual.  Our modern excuse for media loves to hype things up and push us into panic mode.  I don’t know how many times my wife has been ready to rewrite her will just because the weather man told us we were all going to die.  I remember reading about the violence in Portland and other Antifa vacation destinations and wondering why anyone would be driving through areas like that.  I wonder how much violence could be avoided with a little bit of common sense.

Modern communication puts everything right in our face.  We can sometimes be right on the scene as the ambulances are arriving.  It gives us the illusion that we are in danger.  Riots in Atlanta?  Go look out the window.  Are you in Atlanta?  Get out a map and calculate how far Atlanta is from your house.  Do you have a field of fire and something to do the firing with?  Maybe it isn’t something that will effect you.

How does that apply if the United States goes critical?  If things start to fall apart, will it come to your front door?  If there is some kind of event, an EMP or a massive earthquake that takes out the infrastructure of Los Angeles, will it cause any ripples in Wichita?  If a nuke went off over D.C. when Congress was in session, would it mean your electricity would go off?  Would we even notice?

Probably not.  That may mean I don’t vacation in San Francisco or hit the beach in Hawaii.  That may crater their economy but it won’t do much to fly over country.

Prepare.  Pray.  Use common sense.  Help your neighbors.  Most of us will come through whatever is down the road.

homo unius libri

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Opus 2023-044: Woe! And Again I Say, Woe!

Woe is me.

Or at least woe used to be me.  In the midst of my attitude of thanksgiving I was reminded that I have not always been this way.  It is embarrassing to say that as I look back over the blessings of my life I see large patches of ignoring those blessings.  What I have to say is in the spirit of memoir rather than judgement.

I have had times of wallowing in my woe.  I think that a psychologist would say I was struggling with depression and he would be half right.  I was depressed but I was wallowing rather than struggling.  For me there was a certain self-satisfaction in feeling sorry for myself.  Do you remember when you went through the stage of losing your baby teeth?  One of the things I remember was that sensation when a tooth would be ready to come out.  It would be loose but not loose enough.  I found that if I wiggled it with my tongue there was a sensation that I would classify as “pain” but it was a pleasant pain.  So I would wiggle it again.  Eventually my mother would catch on and find a way to encourage it exiting from my mouth.  The one tooth she did not find out about came out so late that the replacement grew out crooked.

My depression was like that.  It hurt.  I enjoyed it.  I was able to blame everyone else while feeling self-righteous.  Fortunately I managed to get out of it.  How?  With the worship of praise and thanksgiving.  It is hard to feel sorry for yourself when you are focused on the glory of God.  It is hard to miss your blessings when He expands your vision.

I still toy with the fun of wallowing but not for long.  Each morning when I say, “Good morning, Lord” I find Him waiting for me.  If I have been wallowing I can see Him shaking His head.  Then He reminds me of my grandchildren or the people who worked to bring my morning coffee or, well, the list goes on.  Enjoying my blessings is much better than tales of woe.

So I rejoice in a world that had someone decide that a recliner was great for sitting and multiple translations of the Bible were windows to the joy of eternity.

I hope you can join me.

homo unius libri

Friday, February 3, 2023

Opus 2023-043: Bone Picking

I have a tendency to pick apart just about anything I hear or read.   I can’t help myself.  I have read more than average and I listen a lot when people talk.  Much I forget.  Some I retain.  What seems to always cause the problem is the gestalt encyclopedia buried deep in my psyche.  When something does not add up it starts turning pages and my baloney meter starts to quiver.  

Let me give you a non-threatening example.  My wife has been reading a commentary on the Old Testament written by Dennis Prager.  She shared with me that Prager, who is quite a scholar, said that according to Jewish tradition the milk and honey mentioned often in the Bible was not what Americans thought it was.  He said the milk was goats milk and the honey was really a very sweet substance obtained from the date palms of the area.  That is what she said as near as I can remember.  Don’t hold Prager to task for her version.  I had no problem with the goats milk.  I read Proverbs regularly and goats milk fits in just fine.  My issue was with the date honey.  I had to check my Bible but it seemed to me that Sampson found a bee hive with honey in the carcase of a lion he had killed.  

(Jdg 14:8 KJV)  And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.
A quick search shows that the references to “mild and honey” in the Old Testament are all the same Hebrew word.  No big deal.  We are not talking earthshaking, just giving you an example.

I get criticized for that.

I think it is a good thing.  Too often the big lie is introduced by a credibility that is established by the little lies.  I get irritated by lemon drops labeled as a “fat free” food.  The statement is true but the impression of being healthy is deceptive.  They are primarily sugar, which I have no quarrel with but is not noted as being good for you.  When you take the lies of the media and Marxism and the way they are repeated you get the idea.  Who has not heard the line that “real socialism” has never been tried.

I remember the days of my youth and the constant challenge to keep my junker car running.  Let’s have a show of hands.  How many can remember setting the points?  A little bit of fudge can go a long way toward walking home.  Nuance and nit picking is the difference between a high performance engine and an assembly of metal parts.

So indulge me.  While you are at it try to keep your facts straight.  I would hate to have a bone to pick with you.

homo unius libri

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Opus 2023-042: Boggled Minds

There are certain concepts that we can express and even work with but never really understand.  I am not sure what they are called in science but in theology are often called mysteries.  Some of the concepts are common to both.

For instance take the scientific theory the Big Bang.  The moment, if you can use such a term before time began, before the explosion was made up of nothing.  There is a lot of sloppy thinking about this “nothing”.  It does not mean the vacuum of space.  Even in the expanse between stars there are atoms and molecules floating around.  The “empty” areas are full of energies and waves that are not well understood but exist.  It is not the nothing that the scientists are talking about.  They mean truly nothing.

In the same way theologians talk about God creating the heavens and the earth out of nothing.  It has a Latin phrase, creato ex nihilo.  God is outside this material universe and called it into being with His word.  Just as we have a hard time understanding the time before the Big Bang we can’t grasp what was before “in the beginning.”

I don’t know if it is considered a math or science concept but infinity is another idea that we cannot grasp in our mind.  There is no final number.  You can always add one, or even another infinity.  Yet it is useful in formulas and theories.

Christians talk about eternity and the attributes of God such as omnipresent.  This comes home to me when I think about what it will be like existing forever.  Add the that the idea that it will be just as glorious after a million years as it was the first.  That is far beyond my imagination but I can work with it.

How about the square root of minus one?  I know I have mentioned it before.  The square root of a number is a number you multiply by itself to get the first.  For example, the square root of 4 is 2.  2 times 2 equals 4, except in 1984.  The square root of 9 is 3.  Another rule of mathematics is that when you multiply a negative number by a positive number you get a negative number, thus 1 x -1=-1.  When you multiply a negative times a negative you get a positive, -1x-1=1.  A little thinking will tell you that you can’t get a square root of -1 and yet it is used in math formulas.  I have not figured out how this would apply to theology unless it has something to do with the incarnation or the trinity.

Keep in mind that the answer, “I don’t know” is nothing to fear or be ashamed of.  If you don’t know what you don’t know you will have a hard time learning new things.

Let us keep thinking.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Opus 2023-041: Headlines: Sun Rises in the East

Actually the headline said that they found no classified documents in President Biden’s beach house.  Are you surprised?  Are you shocked?  Keep in mind the search was done by the FBI which serves under an appointee of President Biden.  Yes, the same FBI that can’t find the list of people who went to Epstein’s island and didn’t know where the lap top was.

It is a sad day when you have absolutely no trust in the government agency responsible for the law or the media that reports on it.

Welcome to 21st Century America.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-040: Starting Time

“Don’t trust anyone over thirty.”  That used to be a common sentiment.  Today I would find myself saying, “Don’t trust anyone under thirty.”  This of course speaks to the different ways that generations view things.  One of the books I read recently was Bowling Alone.  It had a lot of interesting information and a lot of boring nonsense.  One of the points the book made was that there has been a lot of parallel changes in many areas of our culture from voting to church attendance.  On the subject of voting it says,

“Very little of the net decline in voting is attributable to individual change, and virtually all of it is generational.” p. 34
There is a lot of discrimination that goes on across generations.  Some of it is warranted, some is not.  In many career paths older workers have a hard time getting a job that pays well even if they have the abilities and experience.  

I have reached the golden years of retirement.  If the government does not totally ruin our society and I don’t do something incredibly stupid, I will have enough to live on.  My health is good.  My family is awesome.  I am enjoying the time I have.  But I sometimes wonder if I should be doing more.  This hit me when I saw the following verse,
(Gen 12:4 KJV)  So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
Abram was 75 when he started out on his adventure of obedience and faith.  I can’t picture that.  I am ready to rest on my laurels, Abram was starting the nation of Israel.  

Maybe I should set my goals a bit higher.  Maybe not.

Putnam, Robert D.  Bowling Alone.  New York:  Simon and Schuster, 2000.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Opus 2023-39: Foggy Days

I noticed that I was having a hard time praying.  It was not depression.  It was a lack of focus.  My mind would wander.  I would stare at the walls.  I could not think of anything to write about.  I finally realized it was happening and it was because I was sick, physically, not mentally.

It is amazing how our bodies and minds are connected.  We will do better if we put them together.  I really did need more naps and foggy mind time.  

Christian theologians debate the ways in which the mind and body work together.  Actually they have a third and fourth element, depending on what verse you are quoting.  I go with four based on,

(Mar 12:30 KJV)  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
The debate is not so much on how many but on whether they are a unity or separate.  I go with unity.  I don’t think you can really separate them even though they have different roles.  I think that is consistent with the resurrection we will have into some type of physical body.

So I am recovering a bit.  I look forward to the day when death and the grave get put in their places and we emerge with our incorruptible bodies.

See you there.

homo unius libri

Monday, January 30, 2023

Opus 2023-038: Ode to Old: Goals

One of the data points I have seen repeated recently is that there has been a decline in life expectancy in the United States.  If my memory serves me, it is most pronounced in white men.  Since there are many factors involved in how long you live, it is not a statistic that worries me too much.  It could simply be a case of the hippie generation reaching the age when their early experiments with drugs and alcohol can no longer be denied.  It could be a genetic factor related to recent surges in immigration.  It could be a fluke.

Like many statistical announcements we need to keep in mind that the average over a large population has no real relevance to you as an individual.  If I live in a community of alcoholics and hear that the incidence of liver disease is skyrocketing I don’t worry for myself if I don’t drink.  I might put more into trying to influence my friends but the numbers are meaningless because of my life choices.

So how long should we expect to live?  One of the expressions that has been around for a long time is three-score and ten, or seventy years.  I don’t know if it is in other cultures but it is found in the Bible.  I have already achieved three-score and ten.  That seems to be the basic promise given for life span.  As one old gentleman said, “I am now living on borrowed time.”

The next is four-score.  It is found in the same verse as the 70.

(Psa 90:10 KJV)  The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
I am not sure what is involved in this strength but I am already half way between 70 and 80.  If I make it to that we will go for 120.
(Gen 6:3 KJV)  And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
This last one was given during the time when people had been living hundreds of years.  I am not trying to announce promises or establish a doctrine of age but it is interesting.

My hope is that I will go the same way my dad went, in the middle of the night with no signs of stress.  And I am ready.  Any time, Lord.

homo unius libri

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Opus 2023-037: Can Electricity Do Gourmet?

I live in an all electric home.  One of my idle dreams is to have a gas stove like the one I was raised with.  It has always been an idle dream.  Now the Proregressives* are determined to turn it into the Impossible Dream.  Their hatred for us common folks is beyond comprehension.  They are like the self centered brats, the wannabes, that I had to deal with in middle school.  It wasn’t enough for them to write in a text book.  They always tried to find the newest and cleanest, one that would be worthy of their nihilism.  Like the traveling salesman who takes advantage of the farmer’s daughter, once sullied the victim is cast aside.

So what our wannabe overlords do is ask themselves, “What do the plebes enjoy?  What puts a smile on their face?  Someone said, “Ah.  Pumice wants a gas stove.  Let’s ban them.”

It is actually a more insidious attack than is understood at first glance.  I don’t have a gas stove.  I do have a gas grill out back.  What do I cook on that gas grill?  Tofu?  Bean sprouts?  Kale?  No.  I cook meat.  I will admit that if they took away my gas grill I could go to charcoal but are you foolish enough to think that won’t show up in the fine print in one of the 1,000 page bills passed by congress?

Silly Savage.

I guess the good part of this is that all the sheep that have worn masks because they government cared about them, think guns are a problem, believe all cultures are equal, can’t define a woman, etc., may finally wake up when they make them get a license for their gourmet Wolfgang Puck range.  Maybe there will be a revolt led by the You Tube Chefs.

One can only hope that their gas is more important to them than the First Ammendment.

*(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