Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, 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

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Opus 2023-036: Box Rebellion

I don’t want to think outside the box.  It is like wanting to play outside the airplane or lifeboat.

Think about the “boxes” that make life possible.  Every cell in your body has a cell membrane.  It is what keeps you from becoming a bag of goo.  While we are on that, you skin is a box that keeps you from bleeding to death, turning into a bit of human jerky or eaten by every bug that happens by.  The non-conductive covering for electrical wires keeps you alive to enjoy the electricity that passes down them.  That is a box.  

I may need to make the box bigger or change its shape but I need to stay inside.

The limits to my box are established by the Bible.  
    I can see through to the outside.  I have a good idea what is outside the box.
    I see insanity and evil.
    I can ponder it, but only from the inside.
    Clear thinking can only be done inside the box.

So, thanks, but no thanks.  I will stay inside the box and explore the wonders of the universe from there.

homo unius libri

Friday, January 27, 2023

Opus 2023-035: Headlines: Fund Raiser

Not the Bee had an interesting headline about Antifa burning down Atlanta.  The article was just a list of tweets, I think.  I am not sure since I don’t use Twitter.  

That was okay.  I didn’t want to read it anyway.  What I was looking for was a place to send a donation to Antifa.  Destroying a major Blue Blot is something I could get behind in theory.

Maybe when they get to Austin.

homo unius libri

Monday, January 23, 2023

 Opus 2023-034: Headlines: Get a Grip

I sometimes wonder if researchers or journalists every look at the big picture.  The article I looked at in Jewish World Review was perfect click bait.  It had to do with aging and grip strength.  I am getting old.  I am having a hard time picking up my granddaughter.  Of course, she is getting bigger but that can’t be the problem.

As I started looking through the article I came across this gem.

“A wealth of research already tells us that strength is good for us. People who lift weights are substantially less likely to develop heart disease, high blood pressure and many other chronic illnesses than those who skip resistance exercise.”
I do not have the data and I am a bit too lazy to try to generate it so I will pretend that I am a reporter for CNN and ask a question:  How many athletes in top shape have dropped dead or had serious physical issues this year?  What is the ratio of serious physical problems to athletes as compared to the general population?  I am guessing it is much higher.

I am also guessing that the factor that correlates best with lack of dying has to do with lack of vaccines rather than exercise.  I would also bet that the combination of lack of vaccines and presence of exercise would lead to fewer deaths.  I wonder what the determining variable would be.  I wonder if that article will ever be published.

I wonder if I will win a Nobel prize for literature.

homo unius libri

Sunday, January 22, 2023

 Opus 2023-033: New Term: Lookening

Prayer.  I still struggle with the question of “Why?”  I stumbled across an article at Jewish World Review with one of those titles that are designed to be click bait, “Jews do not pray”.  Of course they do.  The point he was making was along the lines of my thinking.  

“If the Divine is all knowing then why am I telling Him my problems? He already knows them. If the Divine is all-good then why am I asking for Him to change my situation?”
His answer involved some sophistry and word games.  I did not concentrate on all of his reasoning.  It was enough that someone else was asking the question.

I pray.  I pray daily.  I doubt if I live up to the admonition of Paul in I Thessalonians 5:17 to pray without ceasing, but I talk to God a fair bit.  I even have lists of people and situations I cover.

One of the popular mantras I keep hearing is “Prayer changes things.”  I accept the thought but I am not sure I accept it the way it is usually intended.  One reason it raises my left eyebrow is that I can’t find that phrase in the Bible, as encouraging as it might be.

My current thinking is that prayer is primarily an activity that benefits us as we pray.  I rejected the shopping list type of prayer long ago.  I look at it more as a way of communicating which involves listening and pondering more than giving God a piece of my mind.  I find that as I offer up praise and thanksgiving it changes my perspective and calls to mind all the times I have had my trust in Him vindicated.  It reminds me of who He is.  

So I pray.  It is not a lecture series.  It is more along the line of Bible reading.  When I read the Bible I am not looking for proof texts, at least not usually.  I am looking while listening.  Maybe I can coin a word “lookening”.  God speaks to us and the most available way is through His written word.

Keep praying.  Keep reading.  Keep listening.  I hope to be there before you.

homo unius libri

Saturday, January 21, 2023

 Opus 2023-032: Legos and Lutherans

Why do we have so many different denominations in Christianity?  Let me give you two divergent thoughts.

The first cause could simply be ego.  People want to consider themselves better than others.  They want to be in charge.  They want it done their way.  So if the pastor won’t listen to your wisdom you start talking to your friends, pull out and start your own church.  Recycle as needed.  God can use even this nonsense but I don’t think it is His preferred way to change the world.

I think that we would have these divisions even if ego were not a problem.  The God of the Bible is a real, living God.  He is not a caricature that fits into any mold or pattern.  He created us in His image which means we also tend to break the mold.  That means He has to deal with us in a dynamic, ever versatile way.  This creates different understandings of the same basic truths.  We see truth through our personality and experience.  That does not change the truth but does influence the way we understand it and apply it.

Picture the different ways to drive a car.  You know there are different ways because you have probably followed my wife, or someone like her, driving to the same church.  You start out on the same two lane road with a lot of curves.  You will both get there but not the same way either in style or route.  

Or picture trying to explain how a car engine works to two different people, one with a mechanical inclination and one into feelings.  It would require two entirely different sets of lesson plans and the final understanding will vary.  

Think of it as a case of Lego liberty.  The building blocks are the same.  The results may be very different.  Some things cannot be done.  They are all kind of Platonic attempts to express the ideal.

homo unius libri

Friday, January 20, 2023

 Opus 2023-031: 491

It is awesome to be alive when a major milestone is reached in history.  I say this based on two verses from the Bible.

First we have the words of Jesus,

(Mat 5:39 KJV)  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Christians in America have been doing a lot of this.  Even non-believers who are traditional live like they believe it.  We have been the Mr. Nice Guy that every punk and thug wants the world to be full of.

Turn forward a few chapters.  Jesus is having a conversation with Peter, who asks,
(Mat 18:21 KJV)  Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
I am sure that Peter thought he was being generous but Jesus had news for him,
(Mat 18:22 KJV)  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Now I have an announcement to make.  I think we have reached 491.  If my math is good, that is one more than seven times seventy.  The thugs, punks and Progressives* (but I repeat myself) of the country have been giggling all the way to the club house.  They love to share the stories and plan new adventures.  The time has arrived.

We need to start stomping on camel noses and maybe turning a few into camel burgers.  It is time to stop being Mr. Nice Guy.  I would say we would still be good Boy Scouts but the Scouts have gone the way of the woke.  Let’s just say that we will still be all those qualities mentioned in the oath.  At the same time we need to hire lawyers and sue the sox off them.  We need to stop drawing lines in the sand and taking a step back.  We need to drive a stake into the concrete and tie ourselves to it.

Be nice.  Be courteous.  Leave your guns in the safe.  Stop backing down.  Today you defend your right to free speech.  If we don’t stand up it will be the character of our children.

*(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

Thursday, January 19, 2023

 Opus 2023-030: Litmus Tests: Intro/Extro

I am starting to learn to evaluate people by whether they are introverts or extroverts.  There are so many times we hear “there are two types of people in the world”.  For this post the two types will be introverts and extroverts.  As is usual the case, don’t make two much of the division or expect it to answer questions about everything.  Like most divisions the two types are not always pure.  Often the two types are mixed in unusual ways.

References to these personality types confused me for a long time because I could function in either depending on the situation.  I can sit silent and listen for long periods of time and dread the need to open my mouth.  I can also stand up in front of a crowd and preach without any fear at all.  Part of my confusions was trying to define the conditions in a way that didn’t work.

I finally heard someone define them in a way that made sense.  Introverts lose energy by being with other people.  Extroverts gain energy.  That may not resonate with you but it works for me.  I tended to think of myself as shy or antisocial.  In a crowd I would avoid making eye contact.  I would ignore invitations to parties.  In reality I just didn’t want to invest the energy to be with other people.

This motivated me to develop what I think of as my intro/extro switch.  I mentally switch modes depending on the situation.  After a period of time it defaults to intro.  When I was teaching I would be intro all the way to the parking lot.  When I got out of the car I would flip the switch and become me outgoing.  At the end of the day I didn’t need to switch back.  It happened automatically on the way to the car.

Many people that we think are hostile are really just introverts.  This has been a big breakthrough for me.  Have you ever been sitting in a group and the person next to you seems to want to be somewhere else?  That is because he wants to be somewhere else.  It isn’t you.  It is just the way he is.  If you push a little he may open up and you can have a pleasant conversation.  Try it.

This train of thought is helping me to understand myself better and I hope will help me to relate better to those around me.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

 Opus 2023-029: Dark Thoughts: Unanswered Questions

The culturally accepted standard for science has picked different approaches about the big mysteries that confront them, the ones that they really have no answers to.  The first is the beginning of the universe.  How did something happen when there was no action to cause the reaction?  What made the Big go Bang?  How did something infinitely small become something almost infinitely big and in micro-seconds?  They have come to accept that the universe exploded out of the sinularity in the twinkling of a very quick eye.  They just can’t find any explanation for how or why.

The second problem is the existence of life, let alone complex life that thinks it is intelligent.  For this they have set aside billions of years and it still isn’t enough to make the magic happen.  I could give you some spiffy quotes from a scientist, Stephen Meyer and talk about proteins and amino acids and give you numbers like 20300 but let me go to fiction.  Michael Crichton was a well known author.  You may have seen the movie “The Lost World”.  It was based on a book by the same title.  I didn’t see the movie.  I read the book.  Crichton, a true believer in evolution has one of his characters say this,

“First of all, there’s a time problem.  A single bacterium - the earliest form of life - has two thousand enzymes.  Scientists have estimated how long it would take to randomly assemble those enzymes from a primordial soup.  Estimates run from forty billion years to one hundred billion years.  But the earth is only four billion years old.  So, chance alone seems too slow.” pages 226-7
Then he has this dialogue,
“‘Maybe.  Or maybe there’s something else going on that we don’t understand.’
    “‘Like what?’
    “‘Like other rules that influence the outcome.’
    “Thorne said, ‘Are you saying evolution is directed?’”    “‘No,’ Malcolm said.  ‘That’s Creationism and it’s wrong.  Just plain wrong.  But I am saying that natural selection acting on genes is probably not the whole story.  It’s too simple.  Other forces are also at work.’”  p. 228
Which brings us to That Which Must Not Be Mentioned.  Both Meyer and Crichton describe things that sound like God did it.  I have not finished Meyer yet.  I think he will come to that point but Crichton never did.

It was “something”.  Their answers include crystals.  That one I don’t get.  Then they have aliens that came to earth and seeded it with life.  Okay, where did the aliens come from.  If there is not time for human life to evolve how did the aliens get there with even less time?

The Theory of Evolution is a great story.  It made sense to me in 7th grade.  Now I see it is like proclaiming that a billion monkeys typing for a billion years would come up with the theory of evolution.  That I could believe because what they produced would not make any sense.

We keep learning only as long as we keep paying attention and thinking.

Crichton, Michael.  The Lost World.  New York:  Ballantine Books, 1995.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

 Opus 2023-028: Thanks Thoughts: Hone Your Blades

I was pondering how things like TV have been so destructive to so many.  It has also offered a window into a world of wonder and learning.  The problem was not so much the TV as the couch potato.

It occurred to me that I should thank God for all the things in my life that I can misuse.  Of course, that include just about everything.  The point is that God blesses us in so many ways and often we take that gift and trash it.

The computer has been a life changer for me.  I rejoice in the ability to cut and paste as I do Bible study.  I rejoice in the vision expanding Bible study software.  I rejoice in an internet connection that allows me to access the wisdom of the ages for free.  Unfortunately I have also wasted a lot of time on computer games and surfing the net.

I am still thankful.

God’s blessings are all around us.  Some we recognize but don’t thank Him often enough for.  Others we have ignored and need to spend some time thinking about.  I wonder how many people pull a dull knife out of the wooden stand and struggle to cut things when just a few strokes on the honing steel would bring it to a new level.  Others may have been removed and given to someone else.  I have a feeling there are more in store.  

Start being thankful and keep your eyes open and your heart receptive.

homo unius libri

 Opus 2023-27: A Non-Magi Epiphany

I had a great moment of epiphany recently when I was being criticized.  

We were on our way to pick up our grandson for a birthday outing.  My wife was chattering on as she is want to do.  I was listening with one side of my brain and trying to decipher what was being said with the other.  That involves collecting the incomplete sentences and subject changes in the middle of a sentence and trying to piece them together in a coherent whole.  Does, “Can I buy a noun” ring any bells?

Suddenly I realized that she had just said something about someone who refused to admit he was wrong.  Whenever I hear that I know who the “someone” is.  I started to try to figure out what my recent sin was.  It involved insisting that the map was wrong and we could not be where we were.  I eventually figured out the red letter event and, as I said, it brought an epiphany of joy.

The moment she was using to illustrate my arrogance took place before my son was old enough to drive.  He is in his 40's now so I estimate it was around 35 years ago.  At first I started building up my blood pressure over old skeletons being resurrected, then something occurred to me:  She had to go back 35 years to find a mistake.  She did not start with this morning and then move to yesterday evening and work her way backwards.  She jumped 35 years.

I don’t know that I am noted for my humility but I found myself being impressed that she had to go back that far to find something I was wrong about.

I can live with that.  I may not be perfect but my own wife had embarked on a three decade hunt for her buried treasure.

homo unius libri

Monday, January 16, 2023

 Opus 2023-026: Painful Solution

We live in a day of experts and specialists.  We go to them for answers.  Fie on us.  While they have, or should have, a depth of knowledge on their own field, what they lack is a breadth of knowledge and how the world works together.  

We see this in the medical field.  I always get a kick out of a doctor telling me that I need to cut out all alchohol.  I never cut in alcohol.  I probably had more alcohol in Robitussin when it was still leaded than I have in all the beverages I have ever consumed.  I also like it when they bring up salt.  If salt was bad for me I would have never survived elementary school.  It makes you wonder what you can believe.  Then you add in how the medical profession has thrown us under the bus over a virus.

G.K. Chesterton made an intersting comment.  I need to point out that he was talking about experts in history and related fields rather than medicine, but the observation still applies.

“I, who am not one of the learned, cannot pretend for a moment to decide where such doctors disagree. But I can use my own common sense, and I sometimes fancy that theirs is a little rusty from want of use.”  p. 75
Common sense was a term that used to mean you look at the facts, think about what you see and come to a logical conclusion.  If your conclusion sounds ridiculous, you think about it again.  Since the advent of experts we have thrown our ability to think out the window.  We need to remember that for a surgeon everything involves a knife.  For a mechanic you always need to replace something expensive.  For a psychologist you need to share your feelings.  For the government you need to be told what to do and pay more taxes.

Get in the habit of thinking.  It can be painful but might keep you alive.

Chesterton, G. K. The Everlasting Man.  New York:  Image Books, 1955, originally 1925.

homo unius libri

 Opus 2023-025: Where Is Sherlock When You Need Him?

People are following the results of a nationwide program to force untested “vaccines” on everyone in the country.  The people fall into various categories.

You have the true believers.  These are the ones who refuse to see obvious correlations, deny facts and go for another stab.  If it were not sad it would be amusing to watch the list of people who have proclaimed the foolishness of people rejecting the vaccine and dropping dead the next day.  

At the other extreme are those who see a real problem.  They understand that there are reasons not to rush an unvetted inoculation into use.  They remember tragedies of the past.  They are also capable of looking at numbers and seeing that the danger was vastly overblown.  They see the political manipulation and continue to resist the jab.  

In the middle you have the majority who stumble along and either don’t pay attention to the news or only watch the legacy media.  They get the injections and wonder why they feel so bad afterward.  They forget the lies told to them yesterday by the government and media.  

In this light I came across this quotation in the book Bowling Alone:

“When seeking to solve a serial crime (or, for that matter, to understand a public health epidemic) investigators typically look for common features among the victims - were they all blondes, or seafood aficionados, or left-handed?”  p. 184
I might point out that “public health” and “epidemic” were mentioned by him in 2000, not by me.  At the same time you notice that the responsible parties are doing no looking for “common features among the victims.”  You can read in vain to find out if young athletes dropping dead were vaccinated or not.  I don’t think what they had in common was being blond, eating shrimp or being left-handed.

But what do I know?

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

homo unius libri

Sunday, January 15, 2023

 Opus 2023-024: Calvin: A Pleasant Surprise

As I get older I am constantly reminded of how lacking my education has been.  I am reading a lot of things I should have read years ago.  I am not sure it would have done me any good.  I don’t know that I was mature enough.  If I am not mature enough now I never will be because there isn’t much time for me to hone my intellect.

Why bother?  One of the concepts that was pointed out to me by my reading, I think it was C.S. Lewis, is that I am not preparing for this life.  I am preparing for eternity.  A small variation does not make a lot of difference over a short period but over a few million years the distance from the target is astronomical.

I have begun reading the Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin.  I have been criticizing Calvin for years.  I figure it might be time to read what he has to say.  I don’t know how far I will get but I am off.

Book 1, Chapter 1 was well translated and easy to read.  I came across several statements that made me think or at least nod my head.  Here is on from paragraph 2,

“ For, since we are all naturally prone to hypocrisy, any empty semblance of righteousness is quite enough to satisfy us instead of righteousness itself. And since nothing appears within us or around us that is not tainted with very great impurity, so long as we keep our mind within the confines of human pollution, anything which is in some small degree less defiled delights us as if it were most pure just as an eye, to which nothing but black had been previously presented, deems an object of a whitish, or even of a brownish hue, to be perfectly white.” 1/1/2
He is talking about the sinful nature in man.  Not only do we not know what righteousness is, we don’t want to know.  Good enough is good enough and the measure of good enough is ourselves.  Our flawed perception is why we need straightedges, levels, thermometers and so many other measuring devices.

I hate to admit it but Calvin might be interesting.

homo unius libri

Saturday, January 14, 2023

 Opus 2023-023: Nice Guy, But...

I wonder if substance will ever win over style in our modern culture.

I ask this question after watching an interview on Uncommon Knowledge.  Peter Robinson was interviewing Bill Barr.  I had watched an interview by Ted Cruz on Verdict a while back and my initial reaction to both was that Bill Barr is a stand up, ethical kind of guy.

Then my brain kicks in.  I take things in, they percolate a while.  Discrepancies emerge.  My take away after some thought is that Bill Barr is one of those nice guys who has some principles but at the end of the day he wants to fit in rather than make a difference.

He laid the groundwork well.  He had a lot of good things to say about Donald Trump.  In fact, if my memory serves me well, he came close to saying he was a great president.  He and Robinson went down the long list of major accomplishments that Trump had and they acknowledged that it was all achieved in the face of unprecedented attacks by the left wing megaphones from Pelosi to the Times.  You would have thought he was a Trump fan.  He even said he would support him if he is the nominee of the party in 2024.  

So why did I have a problem?  Because he damned him with style issues.  “He has a chip on his shoulder.”  He is very charming when he wants something from you.  He did everything but make the issue mean tweets although his criticisms were on that level.  On substance, Trump was awesome, but Orange Man bad.  

All that was bad enough but when they turned to the stolen election and January 6 he fell into elite mode.  He said there was no evidence the election was stolen.  All of the “evidence” of fraud and illegal activity was false.  Then he really started getting slick.  He acknowledged that the Democrats changed the rules and totally ignored that they did so after the fact and often just plain ignored the rules when convenient.  He said the Republicans could have countered but didn’t.  He then hedged his bets with some weasel talk, I paraphrase, none of the cheating was enough to sway the election.  In other words, there was cheating but not enough to count.  Of course not if you won’t start counting.

He then went into full Establishment Mode.  He decried the extreme partisanship and said that we need to reach out to include the middle.  We need to stop being so extreme.  Those are true words but it seems that the establishment takes a page from the Progressives* in always wanting the tranditional Americans to be the ones to give up half the loaf.  Then the want half of what is left.  When we are outvoted we are supposed to let them have their way.  When we have the votes we are still supposed to let them have their way.  I will believe these people when they start saying things like, “Okay.  We will put McCarthy aside and try to find someone who is agreeable to both of us.”  It didn’t happen.  I doubt if it will happen.  Why?  Because Uniparty.

I guess because Rinos have thick skin, big feet and poor eyesight they think that makes them elephants.

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

homo unius libri

 Opus 2023-022: Headlines: Well of Course They Did

The saga of socialism continues in Brazil.  Like all leftist takeovers the headlines keep getting worse.  This one is from days ago when the defeated candidate fled to the United States to try to keep from being thrown into jail for losing.  Can you say Shah?

At the end of the article it talked about how Big Brother Tech stepped up to clean up any evidence on the internet that people were unhappy.  Sound familiar?  I would ask if they will ever learn but it is really us than needs to pay attention.

Say what you want about the so-called robber barons of the 19th century, they never tried to pull a fraudulent election and kill all the opposition.  They also provided lots of jobs and lowered the cost of what they produced.  We could use a few real capitalists instead of the crony types we have today.

homo unius libri

Friday, January 13, 2023

 Opus 2023-021: Dreams Fulfilled

I listened to an interview of Jason Riley on Uncommon Knowledge about his book False Black Power.  He was interesting enough that I went looking for his books.  The one I found was Please Stop Helping Us.  I would recommend the book as well as interviews on Uncommon Knowledge.

In the first few pages he made a comment that caught my attention.

“Have popular government policies and programs that are aimed at helping blacks worked as intended?”  p. 3
His answer, being a gentleman, was no, they have not.  He spent the book looking at the programs and the results.  I found nothing to surprise me there but I would have a different view that he did.  I do not have to be a gentleman.  My answer to his question would be “Yes”.  They have worked exactly as intended, but I am a skeptic about the motivations of liberals.

The popular programs that he was talking about were all designed to get the government involved in running the lives of Americans.  The ultimate goal was to destroy personal initiative and responsibility so that people would learn to love Big Brother.  The first target was black Americans but they have been expanding their reach and scope ever since.

Two of the data points that were not new to me involved the total reversal in the black family and the unemployment rates.  If you are not familiar with those let me paraphrase because the numbers are slightly different depending on whom is being quoted.  In 1960 before Lyndon Johnson introduced the War of Poverty, 80% of black children were born into homes with a married father and mother.  Today 80% are in single parent household, mainly single mothers and mainly born out of wedlock.  Unemployment was lower before Johnson decided to help and has gotten worse every time the government tried to help more.  

There was a lot more but my basic point is that these people knew exactly what they were doing.  They still do and are on a roll.  I hope we wake up or run out of money soon.

Riley, Jason.  Please Stop Helping Us.  New York:  Encounter Books, 2014.

homo unius libri

Thursday, January 12, 2023

 Opus 2023-020: Ode to Old: The Blessings of Free Will

There are times when I could do with a little less free will.

Theologically speaking I believe that part of being created in the image of God is that we have free will.  The Fall, sin and a broken world are the results of that.  Such is the price of not being a robot.  As I age I am experiencing more frequent bouts of that fallen world.

Skin cancer is becoming an annual rite.  It is mainly an irritation at this point but I am getting the scars to show that irritation.  

Pimples are coming back.

Joint aches are an every morning event.  Some days they will hit me in the middle of a nap.  Why?  So far they generally go away after a time but if you see me walking at the right time you will want to laugh.

One of the positive spins on all this is that the cancer has been benign, the pimples fade and the aches go into hiding.  For that I am grateful.  That is a choice I make which is a part of that free will I was talking about.

Make the right choices in attitude as well as cuisine.  It will bring blessings.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

 Opus 2023-019: Hindsight is not always 20/20

I remember watching Alisa Childers interviewing a black apologist.  I was on board with the discussion until it got off into history.  The black scholar was under the impression that because North Africa was in Africa that the historical persons who lived there were black.  I began to pick up that this man who seemed to have his head on straight was still overwhelmed by his blackness.

Today it occurred to me that this kind of thinking is not just present in Americans who trace their ancestry back to Sub-Sahara Africa.  I think you could find a similar type of myopia in many Irish, Polish, Italians and so forth.  It is possible that they don’t push it so far but it is still there.  The pride in their heritage is still strong.  What is the difference?

I think part of the difference is that most of us don’t use our history as an excuse for everything in life. We are proud of the good stuff and either ignore or joke about the bad.  My father in law was a convicted felon.  I am aware of that but I don’t trot it out to explain why a cop pulled me over.  I don’t even bring it up when my wife is acting like the daughter of a felon.

We need to look to the future and build on what we contribute.  We can learn from the past but we can’t live there.  This is part of the hope of the Christian life if it is properly lived.  Here is a long list of the things that can keep you away from God,

(1Co 6:9-10 KJV)  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Do you find your past on that list?  Now for the good news,
(1Co 6:11 KJV)  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
The guilt and condemnation for the past is gone.  

Now lets build for the future.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

 Opus 2023-018: Eternal Pot Luck

When I get to heaven* I may want to take up cooking.

Yes, I know there are questions about whether we will be eating in eternity but two things make me think it is a possibility.  One is the marriage supper of the Lamb in Revelation 19.  The second is the resurrected body of Jesus.  When He made one appearance He deliberately asked for something to eat.  Another time He was broiling the fish for dinner.  If there is no eating then I am sure that things will be so glorious I won’t notice.

I have had brief experiences with cooking.  They usually took place when my wife was out of town for extended times.  That would eliminate the criticism and give me plenty of time to clean up.  I make a mean chili, a few others that are just honery and something my family calls hamburger soup.  At the current time about all I can do is jerky.  I keep seeing the click bait offered up by You Tube.  Some of them look really good.

It is possible that eternity will be a good time to start experimenting.  All those cooks from the church pot lucks will be forced to give their honest recipes including all the ingredients.  Maybe we will develop an understanding of a pinch and a smidgen.  I am sure some great chefs will make it.  There is the possibility of an infinite number of ingredients.  There is the reality that my taste buds will be whole.  

And it is possible that we will be able to clean up the way Mary Poppins did the children’s room.  She was a witch, you say?  Maybe there will be a bacteria that does the job.

Bon appetit

*Heaven - I know that “heaven” is technically not the right word for eternal life but it is the word most people use.  In this case I will bend to common practice.

homo unius libri

 Opus 2023-017: Headlines: Like an Out of Body Experience

Should the elites take Brazil as a warning?  As usual with our carefully orchestrated new media it is hard to tell what is going on.  The Daily Wire had at least two different reports.  Here is one.

It seems like there are a large group of citizens who are not happy with the way the Communists have “won” the election.  There are many claims that it was stolen.  We have some experience with that.  We need to watch carefully because if our dear leaders keep pushing the way they have there may be people here who lose control also.  I am afraid we will see what happens when a modern country takes the route of civil war.

Pray for Brazil.

Pray for the United States of America.

homo unius libri

Monday, January 9, 2023

 Opus 2023-016 Death Wish

I think Blogger has a death wish.  They keep taking a perfectly useful platform and “improving” it or making adjustments for other reasons.  There are things I used to do with one click that now take three.  There are features I like that are gone.  Eventually there comes a time when people have had enough.  Some give up.  Others move to another platform.

I am hoping that another one has not bitten the dust.  One of the first blogs I got onto was Gorges’ Grouse.  He has gone through a lot since I started communicated with him.  Now it looks like he is ready to give up.  It looks like he has removed all of his posts and folded up shop.  I hope he is still active on Facebook.

I will continue to pray for him.

homo unius libri

 Opus 2023-015: Undiscussed Methane Source

As I was walking the hall I heard the cat making weird noises.  She does that when she is asleep.  It got me to thinking of cow farts and cow farts got me to thinking about vegans.  That made me wonder if vegans excrete more methane than steak eaters.

Think with me.  No one ever complains about the amount of methane that lions and wolves pass into the atmosphere.  They are carnivores.  They do complain about the grass eaters.  Vegans for all intents and purposes are grass eaters.  By some twisted channel of logic it would seem that the world needs less vegans so we would have less methane, thus we can control global warming.

Maybe we need a federal agency or a phone ap that will regulate a minimum amount of meat each person has to eat and limit the amount of greens.  I know it would be an imposition on our liberty but it would be for Gaia.

You do care about Gaia, don’t you.

homo unius libri

Sunday, January 8, 2023

 Opus 2023-014: Three Visions

I see at least three divergent visions trying to mold the future of America.

The Progressive* drive for a police state with them in the driver’s seat.  This is what we are watching out our windows.  We don’t see much of it in the news or on the screen because the people responsible for those mediums are part of the problem.  It is all about concentrating power in the central government with just a few elites in charge.  What works to advance the agenda is good.  What hampers the takeover must be destroyed.  It is pretty simple even if most people don’t want to see it.

The Conservative dream for America based on what I would call real justice based on a Biblical view of law and morals.  “With liberty and justice for all”.  As long as we don’t cross over into someone else’s lane we would be free to pursue our dreams.  Laws would be few and enforced fairly.  Fairly would be defined as the same for everyone regardless of the group you identify with.  Government would be limited.  Our uniqueness as individuals would be recognized.

The third vision is a combination of blinders and rose colored glasses.  It is The Sheep Position that says they don’t even know what vision is.  As long as the grass is green where they are then they ignore the shearing and slaughter house.  

The problem really isn’t that we have tyrants in training.  The problem is we have too many sheep.  Wake up.  Stand up.  Speak up.  Do it while we still have a chance.  If it is too late, save me a top bunk in camp.

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

homo unius libri

 Opus 2022-013: Order in Chaos

Contemplating the nature of God.

The term “chaos theory” comes to mind.  I am not sure what it means but I come across it in my reading once in awhile.  The books I saw it in have gone back to the library and I can’t find anything in my personal library.  I am afraid I have resorted to the internet which took me to Britannica.  It seems to resolve to the unpredictability in areas where we think we know the rules and should be able to predict.  You may be familiar with the statement that a moving subatomic particle can be located or its speed can be determined, but not both.  In the first paragraph Britannica shares the term “deterministic chaos”.  If you know anything about the English language you recognize that as an oxymoron.

As I scanned the article I noticed that there is a belief that the chaos can eventually be understood if enough study is done and enough data gathered.  Time will tell if this is true.  

Which brings me to the nature of God.

God brings order out of what seems to be chaos.  He holds it together because we are created to need order.  He can predict and allow free will at the same time.  Predestination and free will is another oxymoron.  Both are in the Bible.  What appears to us as chaos is well organized.  The free will part is based on God being just.  I don’t pretend to know how God is going to work things out.  I question my place in the eternal fabric of the universe.  I am secure in the midst of chaos because of God.

Maybe part of eternity will involve us being perfected so that we can deal with chaos.  

Maybe our worship of God will involve all the alternatives we could not handle now.

One thing I am reasonably sure of is that I could not handle the Eternal in my present physical form.  I get car sick on a mountain road.  Imagine being in the presence of the Creator.  It is going to take some powerful divine Dramamine, that is for sure.  

homo unius libri

Saturday, January 7, 2023

 Opus 2023-012: What You Don’t Know...

I had a decision to make.  I could either go to dinner with a group of fellow seniors or I could go to dinner with my grandchildren.  It was pretty simple.  I decided on tickles, giggles and hugs as opposed to “What’s the word?”, “What did he say?”  and “What was his name?”

Enter the squirrel or, if you prefer, the tangent.  I realized that if I had never had grandchildren I would not know what I was missing.  I have some friends like that.  They know they are missing something and would have liked to find out wha,t but their children did not cooperate.  I think it may be one of the ways that God protects us and keeps us within reaching distance of sanity.

Squirrel.  What about ice cream?  I am guessing that there are people somewhere in the world who have never tasted ice cream.  They might not have even heard about it.  Ice cream is not like sushi or coffee.  I have never met anyone who does not like ice cream.  One taste and you are hooked.  Most of us with weight issues would have been better off if we had never tasted this frozen elixir.  Perhaps in the interests of promoting world wide wellness we should make ice cream illegal in the third world.

Semi-squirrel.  Not a genuine squirrel because I am on a roll.  Air Conditioning.  How did we ever get along without it?  I did not have it as a kid.  I can remember being hot but not thinking that much of it.  A/C in the car?  Are you crazy?  What do you think windows are for?  I even had a 54 Chevy that did not even come with a heater as standard equipment.  We have become a nation of whoosies.

I sometimes wonder what else I am missing out on.

homo unius libri

Friday, January 6, 2023

 Opus 2023-011: Election 2024: Choices

I hope he is never my only choice for president.

The thought occurred to me as I was reading another political opinion by John Hinderaker of the Power Line site.  He has been staying away from Trump bashing so I had started reading some of his posts again.  Today he was on another tangent about how the conservatives in congress who were refusing to vote for McCarthy for speaker were refusing to be responsible and having temper tantrums.  They should go along with the Rino leadership.  After all, the public might laugh at them, etc.  Never once did he mention that the Rinos are Lucy holding the football, promising to stand up for conservative principles and trying to get the Charlie Browns to fall on their faces.

I hope he is never my only choice for president.

That made me think of all the others who would fit that bill.

Then there are the ones I could vote for with a good feeling.

Then there are the ones I think I could vote for but might just be ignorant of the skeletons.

There are the ones who might convince me that they are worse than the Democrat.  At this point I don’t know who they would be but intellectually I understand the concept.

There are even a few that might drive me to vote for Beto.  No, not really.

homo unius libri

 Opus 2023-010: Easy to Say

I recently heard the story of what I will call “undercover missionaries” reporting from their work in the world of Islam.  The first part of the narrative was encouraging.  They reported that they were making a lot of converts to Jesus in the world of Mohammad.

The second part is where I start to be concerned.  The word was that the new converts continued to live as Muslims because they knew they faced persecution at best if their new faith became known.  A more likely outcome would be death.

My concern is voiced from the security of a home in the hill country of Texas.  That means that I am safe and secure and it is easy to talk.  I confess that.  I still think of a couple of scriptures.

From the Sermon on the Mount,  

(Mat 5:11 KJV)  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
And other words of Jesus,
(Mar 8:38 KJV)  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
I have not read Foxes Book of Martyrs but I did read Eusebius since I have been to Texas.  He gives examples of the kinds of persecution Christians faced in the early days of the church.  I have quoted him before in other places.  Here is another passage that shows the price being paid by two young men.
“Maturus, however, and Sanctus, again passed through all the tortures in the amphitheatre, just as if they had suffered nothing at all before, or rather as those who in many trials before had defeated the adversary, and now contending for the crown itself, again as they passed, bore the strokes of the scourge usually inflicted there, the draggings and lacerations from the beasts, and all that the madness of the people, one here and anther there, cried for and demanded; and last of all the iron chair, upon which their bodies were roasted, whilst the fumes of their own flesh ascended to annoy them.  The tormentors did not cease even then, but continued to rage so much the more, intending if possible to conquer their perseverance.  They could not, however, elicit or hear anything from Sanctus, besides that confession which he had uttered from the beginning.”  pp. 175-6
As I said, I write from a safe zone.  I am also aware that the safe zone is being whittled away by American Progressives*.  I expect to see the day when I am going to be forced into the same choices that face my brothers in the world of Islam.  I hope not, but that is not the same thing I mean when I speak about my hope in Christ.  The first is a desire; the second, and assurance.

My desire would be that they would be free to worship and that I would not lose that freedom.

But as my parents kept telling me, I don’t always get what I wish for.

Eusebius.  Ecclesiastical History.  Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, Reprinted 1989.

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

homo unius libri

 Opus 2023-009: Steps to Complacency

We finally shot off some of the fireworks we bought last year.  It is amazing what you can get in Texas.  The last one was as good as any I have seen at the professional presentations.  I made the comment, “That must have cost at least $50.00.”  The person who bought them just laughed at me in sympathy.  

Fast forward to the next day.  It occurred to me that this type of thing could be part of the plan by the Proregressives.  They have tried to pass laws banning fireworks.  If you kill the fun you can discourage people from thinking about what they are celebrating, right?  It suddenly popped into my mind that one reason it is important for the America haters to ruin the economy is so we can no longer afford fireworks.

New Years is not the goal.  The 4th of July is.  

If we can bring Americans to the point where they have to chose between rice and Roman candles then the current shadow government will have arrived.  They think Americans are soft and will go for rice.

They may be right.

2024 is coming.  Start taking names and making lists.  We are running out of time.

homo unius libri

Thursday, January 5, 2023

 Opus 2022-008: Eroding Rights, part 2 of 2

Paul Craig Roberts, a well know Libertarian sees this as a total betrayal of what he calls the “Rights of Englishmen”.  By that he means all the guarantees found in our Bill of Rights.

“But all agree that Englishmen have inherited a system of law that is predicated on respect for the individual and in which human dignity and freedom have flourished.”, Roberts, page 9
The Civil Rights Act was just one step in the ongoing attempt by the elites to destroy the common people and as usual we have gone along with it.  The camel gets its nose under the tent with what many consider a legitimate need.  

We accepted the Federal Government coming in to overpower local corruption.  I remember as a kid watching a program called “The Untouchables”.  It had the Feds, who were above local power struggles and incorruptible, coming into town to fight the mob.  It was all very noble as the virtuous warriors from D.C. attacked the organized crime that the locals could not resist.  That set a precedent that began to indoctrinate my generation into loving Big Brother.  As the power was passed to Washington the corruption followed, if it wasn’t already there.

Now we have federal corruption coming in to destroy law and due process.  We see American citizens in a party mood invited into the capitol building as the capitol police unlock the doors and wave them in.  The only violence was a policeman shooting an unarmed woman through a window.  Now they sit in jail with no due process, political poisoners to a government full of itself.  We see FBI SWAT teams with guns drawn breaking into a home to arrest a man who had done nothing but defend his children.  We see repeated abuses.  It is the result of the philosophical idea change that says group identity trumps the rule of law.

Ideas have consequences because actions are based on ideas.  

Is it better to have local issues that can be dealt with because we are a free people or lose our freedom for federal mandates?

Do you recall the statment by Benjamin Franklin about liberty and security,
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
Maybe we should take that a little more seriously.

Roberts, Paul Craig and Stratton, Lawrence M.  The Tyranny of Good Intentions.  Roseville, California: Forum, 2000.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

 Opus 2022-007: Eroding Rights, part 1 of 2

We live in troubling times.  We face a nation that is wilting under all the Marxist attacks.  Liberties and security that we once assumed are being stripped away.  The Biden Administration has been doing everything it can to destroy the economy through inflation, promote scarcity in food, limit our mobility and destroy the first and second amendment rights that are ours.  In spite of all this, if I had to pick out one extreme danger it would be philosophical more than physical.  

I think the biggest threat we face is identity politics.  Charles Murray gives a definition.

“At the heart of identity politics is the truth that ‘who we are’ as individuals is importantly shaped by our race and sex.” Murray, page 4
He starts his background by repeating what I had read before about the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  There was a lot of concern that it would lead to quotas and reverse discrimination.  The idea was that two wrongs would not make a right.
“But in the floor debates and in the press, these provisions were described as one-time exceptions justified by the unique injustice done to African Americans.  It’s not as if the act would seriously infringe on traditional American freedoms.” Murray, page 3
It took less than a year for the behemoth of discrimination to emerge from the corner it was hiding in and begin to undermine the rule of law and the American system of individual rights.  Affirmative action went from making it illegal to discriminate to demanding that we discriminate.  The only change was the blind arrogance of the proposals and the change of victims.  

The deep sliver of destruction was on the philosophical level.  
“...a philosophical wedge had been driven between those who wanted strict adherence to the ideal of treating people as individuals, equal before the law, and those who advocated group-based policies as a way to achieve social justice.”  Murray, pages 3-4
We were being forced to think differently about the law, justice and human rights.  No longer were you held responsible for your actions but for the actions of a group.  No longer were you given a reward for your earned individual accomplishments but now you were gifted because of a physical characteristic.  Law was being pushed aside for fiat.  

To be concluded...

Murray, Charles.  Facing Reality.  New York:  Encounter Books, 2021.

homo unius libri

 Opus 2023-006: Exercising Privilege

I exercised my white privilege yesterday.

Monday night we shot off fireworks.  When the kids were losing focus, we picked up the big stuff, collected the chairs and said our goodbys.  This morning is was obvious that there was a lot of not-big stuff.  Strangely enough it was all in the middle of the street where everything was lit.  I got a broom, rake and dust pan and started to work.  I am sure that if you have seen the racist poster that was published and later removed by the Smithsonian you would know about the evils of White privilege.  In addition to things like cleaning up after yourself would be such horrible traits as being on time, working hard, telling the truth and being responsible.

As I worked and thought about my privilege I also had a lot of pictures going through my mind of people from many ethnic and cultural backgrounds doing what I was doing:  Cleaning up the public square.  In my case I made the mess.  In much of what I have seen they were either cleaning up the mess of others or just the mess that accumulates on a busy street.  I am sure that the urge to be clean and tidy would be labeled as part of my European mind warp but I have the feeling it is part of many cultures.

So maybe I was just exercising my human privilege.  At least that is the way I look at it.

What a mixed up world we live in.  And the elites just keep stirring.  

homo unius libri

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

 Opus 2023-005: Something’s Got to Give

Growing up I always assumed that elections were honest and that honest elections are a good thing.  Color me simple.  It never occurred to me that people would cheat in something like that.  That naive attitude about election sanctity stayed with me until 2016.  I was becoming more aware of dishonesty around us.  I knew about some of the classics of the past like Boss Tweed and Mayor Daley.  I assumed that the elections in Communist countries were a joke either because of fraud or only having one candidate.  It just never occurred to me that the Communists would get control of my government.

Am I naive or just stupid?

It brings up a real question:  Is it more important to have honest elections or to win?  

When I was younger I would have thought it was a question that only had one answer.  Not so much any more.  I am also still paying my taxes but having great sympathy for people who manage to live by barter and cash.  Maybe I should say “cheering them on.”

We seriously need revival.  I came across an interesting statement from a book, Bowling Alone, written in the year 2000.

“Many of the most important episodes of social capital formation in American history have been rooted in religious revivals, and we may be on the cusp of another such period.”  p. 77
I have heard people claiming that revival was taking place.  I have not seen it.  Of course you need to understand that I can’t find the mustard in the refrigerator.  The problem with living in history is the story hasn’t been written yet.  What makes this quote stand out is that it is written by someone that so far has expressed no personal faith at all.  It was written 22 years ago but that does not mean that it is not in process.

Let’s hope so.

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

homo unius libri

 Opus 2023-004: Litmus Tests: Fireworks

Come the Great Divide I think I have found a litmus test to decide which parts of the country will live in freedom and which under the yoke of the Proregressives*:  The status of fireworks.

We got around to shooting off fireworks last night.  One of the lessons is that two years olds get bored with fireworks on short order.  Another is that five year olds would rather chase each other than watch explosions.  It is amazing what you can buy in Texas.

I was also amazed to find out that there were so many freedom haters.  Evidently the city of New Braunfels has made it illegal to sell, own or fire off any kind of fireworks.  There was at least one HOA represented at our launch which also banned them.  I thought this was Texas!  It just goes to show that a socialist camel nose will fit almost anywhere.

My proposal is that any civil entity that has banned fireworks be marked blue and placed in the Democratic Republic of Amerika column.  Places where it is still legal can be part of the Confederacy of Potential Utopias.  Places like New Braunfels can become city states in the old Greek model.  The right to secede will be easy.  All you need to do is pass an ordinance doing away with fireworks.  

We don’t need issues like guns, abortion or recycling trash cans.  All we need is enough love of freedom to shoot off fireworks.  I am not sure what the first step was, maybe requiring dog licences but the progression of liberty-sucking regulations is steady.

And while we are at it, we need a home-grown fireworks industry.

*(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

Monday, January 2, 2023

 Opus 2023-003: Freaking or Faithing

We need to stop living by freak and start living by faith.

Assume the impossible, the same thing happens to two different people.  Let’s take something simple and low key in the scheme of things:  You, a father of three, lose your job.  What is the next step?  How do you respond?

One person lives by freak.  They get depressed.  They might start drinking.  They get angry and violent.  Or they might sit on the porch and stare at nothing.  They freak out.

The other lives by faith.  They assess that this is serious.  They might go through a time of self doubt and fear but they know they trust God.  Within a short time they commit things to prayer, share with others and begin looking for something new.

The responses are different.  The results are different.  Think of the tree of influence that spreads out from that one event.  How much damage can be done to family and friends when you freak out?  When the word spreads, what will that do for your future chances of finding more work?  Your response could close doors that might have been opened.  If God is trying to teach you something then there may be more persecution ahead.

If you are living by faith that gives God a chance to work some miracles.  Most of them will be small.  Think of the widow of Zarephath.  Doesn’t ring any bells?  The story starts in I Kings 17:8.   I am sure you have heard it.  Elijah was sent to Zarephath and told to stay with a widow who was destitute.  While he was there God supplied just enough flour and oil to feed them for the day.  God gave a promise.

(1Ki 17:14 NAS77) "For thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth.'"
To be honest, this is the kind of promise I think God gives us more than the ones of overflowing bounty.  Why?  I think God reveals that in a prayer found in Proverbs.
(Pro 30:7-9 KJV)  Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:  Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:  Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
Do yourself a favor.  Give God a chance to make the difference in your life.  He will provide on His timeline and in His way.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-002: Ode to Old: Sorry I Didn't Notice

As we get older our senses get diminish, except for our sense of self worth.  We still have feelings and a desire to be appreciated.

One of the blessings from putting these together is that we can’t hear the insults and put downs as well as we used to.  We might not even notice that great comment you aimed in our direction.  It isn’t that we don’t care about your low opinion of us, it is only that we didn’t know you had such a lack of discernment to fell that way and so little class that you shared it.

It is also a great thing that people don’t argue with you so much about taking naps.

homo unius libri

Sunday, January 1, 2023

 Opus 2023-001: Candyland to the Closet

Life is not a game.  New Years Day reminds us of that.  It does it by the number of people who talk about New Year’s resolutions and setting new goals.  It does it by coming once a year.

One of the criticisms of modern video games was that you lose your ten lives, hit a button and start over again.  That is not how life works.  Another feature that many are not aware of are “cheat codes”.  These enabled you to go into the game’s guts and change anything you wanted.  My son liked to build a board on which he started with a geography that made it impossible for him to lose.  That is not how life works.

Life does give chances to start fresh but not to change the past.  When we resolve to stop eating Twinkies on January 1, we can genuinely start a new life of no Twinkies.  It does not do away with the spare tire you have equired in the last 30 years of eating Twinkies but it makes it possible to begin to dig out.

Often the baggage is still there.  What gives hope is the chance to begin unpacking the suitcases and doing the laundry from the trip.

Life is not a game.  The other side of that is that a game is not life.  In the game world you can always put it away and get back to reality.  In life you only have one go-round.

Today might be a good day to move from Candyland to Legos.  It is going to be an interesting year.  I hope to see you at the other end.

homo unius libri