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.

Friday, June 30, 2023

Opus 2023-180: Ode to Old: Badges of Age

Yes, I dribble.  Your eyes are not playing tricks on you.  That is spilled breakfast on my shirt.  Today it was oatmeal with cinnamon.  Tomorrow will be the same but spots might be bigger.  Or I might have a good day and you would not guess how fallible I am.  

It isn’t senility.  I am not wandering around mumbling to myself.  If I do I try to keep the conversation silent.  I am aware the spots are there.  I even tried to brush them off, but no luck.  Maybe if I switched to donuts.  

It could just be Old Age Ornery Syndrome:  I don’t care because I am a slob.  That has possibilities.  Although I try to keep things clean I am not obsessed with neat or stylish.

It could be laziness.

It could be many things.

I still dribble.  Deal with it.

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Opus 2023-179: Gold Ring Still Offered

For some reason I was thinking of the dentist and oral hygiene.  Maybe I was grateful for my last report from the dentist.  Maybe it was the new Oral B electric toothbrush.  Maybe I had a popcorn hull stuck under my gum.  Who knows.

It struck me that there are two major factors involving tooth decay:  Natural processes and personal discipline, things you can’t control and things you can.  At one end you have genetics and the capricious chance that determines how healthy your teeth are.  At the other end there is your discipline at brushing and flossing along with regular trips to the dentist.

There is nothing you can do about one but you can encourage it or discourage.  The other is totally in your lap.  If you live on sweets and never brush you can expect certain results down the road.

How like life.  When I have these kind of thoughts I always look at the pattern and see it duplicated in every day experience.  There is absolutely nothing I could do about my birth:  Parents, location, timing and conditions around me were concepts I could not even comprehend, let alone influence.  Down through life there have been many similar situations.  There have also been many choices I have made that have consequences.  

There was a prayer I have mentioned before about things we can and cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference.  It occurs to me that the clever statement never grows old.  I am past my 70th birthday and I still find that my future depends on the same two factors.  I cannot just give up and say, “What will be, will be.”  I must continue to engage my world and act like it makes a difference.  All of us in the upper years need to realize that the choices we make will influence not just us but our children and grandchildren.  If you have no family, consider your neighbors.

Stay in the race.  Go for the gold ring.  This may be your day.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Opus 2023-178: Should-a-Beens: Sorry, Girls

My heart goes out to all those poor women who did not marry me.  I hope their plans to marry Prince Charming worked out.  They might have been happier if they had taken Old Faithful.

In college as we sat around commiserating that we did not have a date for the week-end, or any other part of the week, we created two badges of achievement.  One was the NGB medal and the other was the Brown Helmet award.

The NGB stood for Nice Guy, But....  If you are a prince charming you never had a chance for this one.  It is what would eventually come out when we were talking to a young lady we considered a prospect.  My opinion is that nice guys made better soul mates, but what do I know.

As for the Brown Helmet, that was often awarded to the guy who thought he was making progress our would not settle for the NGB competition.  I will leave it to your imagination to decipher the imagery.  

For those of you who missed your chance, all I can say is, “Sorry girls, I am already taken.”  After 48 years if anything should change I want you to know that I do bear a grudge.

I am not sure my wife would agree with this.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-177: Bubble Dance

We have been living in a bubble, a bubble of history.  I was born in the midst of that bubble.  I did not realize it was a bubble until I was surrounded by people that were trying to pop it.  Welcome to the world of the loony liberals, a.k.a., Proregressives*.

My grandchildren are at the age where they love blowing bubbles.  It might be more accurate to say that they enjoy someone else blowing bubbles while they chase them.  Most burst almost immediately.  Others make it out into the sunlight.  Every once in awhile you get one that defies everything and soars off into the trees across the driveway.  It bobs and weaves like a politician being asked a simple question.  You hold your breath and root for the bubble, knowing it will pop at any moment.  If it had a brain it would probably think it was normal.

Long lasting bubbles are not normal in history or the yard.

There have been blips in history where life is good.  I am sure there have been individual families that have done well for a time.  Perhaps tribal groupings existed a few generations without being overwhelmed.  Small communities might have stayed off the radar of the barbarians.  It was well expressed in the movie Fiddler on the Roof where the rabbi expressed the blessing, “May the Lord bless and keep the far away from us as possible.”

We have lived in one of those long dancing bubbles.  Historically we are an anomaly.  In some ways we have danced for a few centuries.  Now we have the Marxist menace that has oozed into the heart of our culture while we were warm and comfortable.  They are working hard to pull a quiet leveling of Bagdad so they can pile up our skulls.

It will come to an end.  That is the way history works.  Is that now?  Can we do anything about it?

Pray.  Vote.  Speak up.  Take a stand while you can.

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

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Opus 2023-176: New Terms: Gestalt Theology

I am advocating an approach to the Bible that I call “Gestalt Theology”.  I did a search on the term and all the references that came up were about gestalt psychology.  So maybe the term is mine.

According to Google the Oxford dictionary defines gestalt as “an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts.”  I like that.  I think it is the best way to look at the Bible if you are looking for truth.  I know people who like to ignore anything in the Bible that they don’t like or doesn’t fit into their system of belief.  Many commonly accepted foundations of faith are based on an isolated verse and what Jesus would have called the “traditions of the elders.”

Gestalt Theology starts with a belief that the entire Bible is the inspired word of God.  That means that not only is it true, it is one continuous statement that must work together.  That means if you find something that conflicts, you cannot reject one and teach the other but must come to an understanding that includes both.  We have done that with the doctrine of the trinity.  We have a clear statement,

(Deu 6:4 KJV)  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
And yet we have references to the Son and the Spirit that also attribute divinity.  The church came up with a complex explanation of three in one because that is what the gestalt of the Bible requires.  

One that is often overlooked is the universally accepted statement,
(Eph 2:8 KJV)  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Christians agree this is true and proceed to get out the scissors to remove much of the Bible because you find calls to obedience and upright living on just about every page.  The problem emerged when enthusiastic theologians add a word to grace, the word “alone”.  I have heard it expressed, “If it is grace plus anything then it is not grace.”  While their friends agree with that I am not sure God does, and it does not stand the test of gestalt.

Yes, we are saved by Grace.  It is a gift.  We cannot earn it.  We don’t earn it but unless you want to have a totally arbitrary God who sends most of mankind to hell with not even a first chance, let alone a second, you need to ask yourself, “What standard does God use to decide when He extends His grace.”  Since you can read you simply say, “The standard of faith.”  Then you have to decide what that means, what you are having faith in and so forth.

The good news for me is that God is the one who will make the decisions and we know that Jesus came to save sinners not to see how many He could cast into Hell.

If you took psychology classes somewhere in your life and heard about gestalt psychology don’t lay that on my theology.  The mental approach focuses on feelings and emotions.  The spiritual root is in the Bible.

homo unius libri

Monday, June 26, 2023

Opus 2023-175: Headlines: Adams Family at Work

Did you see this one?  I came across it while cruising the click bait on The Daily Wire.  It seems that the Democrat Mayor of Democrat cesspool New York City has shipped some of the illegal aliens he received from Texas to other locations.  I have two reactions:  Hypocrisy and Genius.

The hypocrisy is doing the same thing that Abbot and DeSantis have done after attacking them for doing it.  Don’t they have any awareness.  I am always trying to see how the Democrats are even smart enough to steal elections.  You would think if these people are smart enough the Republicans could do it too.  Maybe that says something about Republicans.

The genius comes in the part where he seems to have shipped some of them out of the country.  The headline said the destinations included China.  What an idea.  Maybe Texas and Florida can follow suit since it must be okay if the Democrats can do it.  I already had the idea of finding an old freighter and loading the illegals on with a few MRE’s and grounding the ship on the coast of Venezuela.  No one liked it when I thought of it.  I guess I was just channeling my inner Democrat.

Life can be entertaining if we just pay attention and connect the dots.

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Opus 2023-174: Changing of the Guard

I am watching Eric Metaxas interview Michael Medved on Socrates in the City.  All the discussion is interesting but what struck me was that Medved looked old.  How can this be?  Then I realized how many of our cultural fixtures are getting up there.

Think of the list of geezers who are on borrowed time.  Start with Thomas Sowell.  Then you have Victor Davis Hanson.  Clarence Tomas and Samuel Alito have been solid fixtures.  We already lost Rush.  I would go on but my memory is not what it used to be.  I guess that puts many of us on the list too.

Do we have another generation coming up to fill these shoes?  The guys that took Rush’s slot have been a big disappointment.  Every once in awhile you hear about people who come out of the big name schools with their minds and morals intact but they are few and far between.

Of course there may be a rich vein of intellectual gold still buried out there.  Keep browsing and looking.  Check out books from the library but don’t feel committed to finishing unless they are worth it.  If you find an author that is consistent then begin to invest by actually buying what they put out.  They will be impressed.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-173: Headlines: One More Left Hanging

At least one Republican tried to bring accountability to members of congress according to the Daily Wire.  Anna Paulina Luna tried to get the House of Representatives to censure Adam Schiff for his lies and abuse of power when he was leading the charge to destroy Donald Trump.
As we have come to expect, the measure failed even though the Republicans control the House.  How did it fail?  One word:  Uniparty.  A solid group of Republicans have no interest in the law or justice.  All they want is political power, so instead of using the law to bring about justice they voted with the Democrats to kill the bill.

With leadership like this we might ask ourselves where we can find people to bring this country back to greatness.

Vote like it makes a difference, there is always a chance.  Think carefully before you vote for any incumbent at any level.  The only thing that will wake most of them up is being afraid of losing their cushy jobs and perks.

Pray.  Vote.  Speak up.  

homo unius libri

Friday, June 23, 2023

Opus 2023-172: What is the Past Tense for Republic?

One of the genuises of the American system is that when a leader stepped down he did not need to fear retribution.  Actually there were two and the first was that a leader would step down.  That in itself is unusual but today I want to focus on the other abnormality of the American system.

In the American system the deposed looser is expected to leave, gather his allies and either run again in the next election or help someone else try for the gold ring.  The key element was that you did step down.  In ancient cultures, and modern banana republics, the new guy with the shiny uniform would target the loser with all the lethal force at his disposal.  After a revolution it was traditional to kill all the children and extended family of the deposed leader.  This kept them from coming after you when you were asleep.

Deposed heads of state could look forward to some type of persecution.  It ranged from exile to execution.  It was the norm.

The United States was different, at least until now.  

We had some extreme changes in leadership.  Think of the replacement of John Adams with Thomas Jefferson.  There were times in their lives when they managed to be civil but on the whole they were philosophically at opposite poles.  Yet when Adams left office he went quietly and wished his successor the best of luck.

More recently we have the example of Carter to Reagan.  I doubt if they agreed on anything from American foreign policy to who had the cutest kids.  Carter is in the running for worst president in history.  He still left office quietly and with dignity.

Until now....

Going back to 2016 we have Clinton, Obama and Biden recruiting traitors in the organizations that were supposed to be keeping America safe.  They have dissipated the rule of law and made our justice system a joke.  The intelligence agencies have been used as personal private eyes.  The media have become their personal PR systems.  At this point the destruction of the American system is in full view and full speed as they continue the bogus indictments of Trump.

The Republic is in the wings and ready to be escorted out the back door.  Everyone knows it but those in Washington that could be doing something about it have forgotten to read their history.  They figure that this time the Marxist forces will not make the elitests lap dogs their first examples of party purity.

They will deserve it but I would rather have my republic back.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-171: No He’s or Him’s

I am on the homeward leg of a week away from home.  As I found in my previous trip to Kansas City, America at the roots is still functioning and has not lost it’s mind.  While I will concede that I have seen a few people wearing masks they are the decided oddballs.  There are so few I am almost willing to believe that they have a real reason for wearing them.

In all of the steps of the journey I have heard no one state a pronoun or ask about a pronoun.  It is almost as if there is a small group of elite brainwashers that are trying to convince the country that we have lost our minds.  At this point I would say that most of the country is ignoring them.

Let’s hope it continues.

homo unius libri

Monday, June 19, 2023

Opus 2023-170: Miranda Marriage

Sometimes I feel like I am in a Miranda Marriage.  That is where anything you say can, and will, be used against you.

Guys, how many times has the woman of your life brought up something from 20 or 30 years ago?  Am I the only one who has this experience?  Sometimes I don’t remember it at all.  Sometimes I remember it but not the way I am hearing it.  Sometimes I know it is not a true memory because I would never talk the way I was supposed to have talked.

Perhaps with every marriage license we should issue two body cams that will record every conversation we have and give all our actions in living color.

No.  Even then we would not win.  Best to plead the fifth and hope you get out in time for Thanksgiving.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Opus 2023-169: Either/Or

Sin has two broad categories.  One is the condition we are born in as humans.  It has different names such as original sin, sinful nature, carnal nature, etc.  The other is usually plural, sins, because it refers to actions on our part where we come short of the glory of God.  This second category is my focus.  Again we have two broad categories.

We have sins of omission vs sins of commission.  One type refers to the things we are supposed to do and don’t.  The other refers to the things we are not supposed to do but commit anyway.

The Decalogue gives us examples of both shall and shall nots.  For instance, you shall honor your father and your mother.  You shall not murder.

When Jesus was asked to identify the Greatest Commandment He summarized the ten in all shall’s.  

(Luk 10:27 KJV)  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
While we all are guilty of both kinds I think that in certain circumstances we trend one way or the other.  I tend to not do things that I should in life as a whole and it bleeds over into my spiritual life.  My wife tends to be the opposite.  It leads to a lot of stimulating conflict.

The blessing in it all is that God is willing to forgive.
(1Jn 1:9 KJV)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
That is a promise I can cling to.

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Opus 2023-168: Send a Signal

Maybe it is time to bring back the sumptuary laws.  If you are unfamiliar with the term it was a common part of life in previous centuries and many cultures.  People were expected to dress in such a way that you knew exactly where they fit into the social stairway.  You may remember that only the Roman Emperors were allowed to wear purple garments.  In more recent times the law said what kinds of material you could use, the colors allowed to you and even the cut of your cloak if you could wear one.  In Victorian England the traditions got so strong that you could only wear certain clothes in certain rooms of your house and even at specific times of the day.

One of the topics of discussion in our modern American culture is the issue of date rape and the question of consent.  I am thinking that one way we could cut down on misunderstandings that lead to date rape is for people to dress the part they want to play.  It used to be that you knew a whore by the way she dressed.  I imagine the same applied to the gigolo.  We could bring that back.  An extreme example might be that if a woman was wearing a nun’s habit it signaled she was not interested.  If she was braless in a speedo it would send a different message.  We could pass a law stating what clothing said, “Available” and what said, “Hands off.”  My understanding in some cultures you send the message by which ear you wear your flower.

Men might be required to wear a special hat if they were on the prowl.  Any sexual activity by a hatless male would be subject to legal action.  You would need to make exceptions for Amish men and certain types of Jews.  Perhaps we could have specific colors for yamakas and turbans.

This kind of thing might even come in handy in marriages.

Until then we could just make up little signs to hang around our necks signaling our availability.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-167: Class Warfare: Untouchable Deplorables

I don’t believe I ever watched a complete broadcast of Tucker Carlson when he was on Fox.  Most of what I saw was from clips on other blogs and what I heard came from people who did watch.  I think that may be changing now that Fox tried to cancel him.  So far I am three for three on his Twitter posts.

As I watched the Tuesday presentation he used a phrase that I think puts the Marxists behind the current nonsense in a nutshell.

“It’s a caste system, and you’re the untouchable in this hierarchy.”
From Tucker on Twitter, #3
Americans do not by nature understand this too well.  We had better learn.  I understand that India is trying to change, at least officially, but historically the untouchables were so low on the scale that I am not sure they were considered human.  That is what you are in the eyes of people like Joe Biden, George Soros and the moguls of social media with the exception of Elon Musk.

So, what are you going to do about it?

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Opus 2023-166: Headlines: They ARE Coming for Your Children

There are lonely heros out there that are speaking truth at the risk of their own lives and security.  One of them is presented at The Stream.  California State Senator Scott Wilk had some advice for parents as a result of AB 957, a bit of legislation that will declare parents guilty of child abuse if they don’t “affirm” their child’s confusion over their gender.

He advised parents to leave California.  We left years ago for less serious reasons but also because we could see the Marxist writing on the wall.

In case you are one of those people who think I am seeing a Communist in ever closet and under every bed let me share with you, in the words of Karl Marx, the attitude of The Communist Manifesto toward families.  And before you try to say it is a mistranslation, the Communist Party issued it in a number of languages, including English.  These are their exact words.

“Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists.”  Kindle location 295-296.
“Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty.”  Kindle location 300-301
It is time to leave before they set up check points on the major highways and make it impossible to rescue your children.  There is a reason I often call it The People’s Republik of Kalifornia.

Marx, Karl.  The Communist Manifesto, 1848, Project Gutenberg download

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Opus 2023-165: Ode to Old: Wheels Needed

As I move through old age I find that my outlook has reverted back to that of the teen-ager in some ways.  I am once again looking at life as a motorcycle ride not a U-Haul move.  The large moving van is a vital part of life in the years of forming a family and raising children.  If that seems a strange thought to you think about all the items you needed to take with you when traveling with an infant and a toddler.  You need to be prepared for leaky buns.  That can be as simple as changing a wet diaper to the gross clean up from a major dump.  Picture the wet wipes, extra clothes and sacks for trash and dirty wardrobe.  It might even involve a change of clothes for you and hosing out the car.  This is not the stuff of which motorcycle rides are made.  You might need a trailer on the back of the truck.

Mountain roads can be a joy or a battle.  Freeways can be a horror, double when you go through construction zones.  Stopping to eat can be a simple, “Where” to a question of “Can I get out again if I go in.”

One hauls all the baggage of life.  The other is a tool for excitement.

Our situation varies.  Life is an adventure.  Whether we are destroyed or made stronger often depends on our attitude.  So much does.

homo unius libri

Monday, June 12, 2023

Opus 2023-164: Imperial Coffee

I am wondering if Coffee Snobs are examples of the Emperor’s New Clothes.

A lot of claims are made.  On occasion I will watch a video by someone who has a channel on coffee.  I have seen these gurus prepare two brews with slightly different technique, taste them and comment on the subtle differences.  I have listened while they explained the chemistry of the “bloom” of coffee.  It is interesting but they tend to conflict with each other.  How long do you let a French press brew before pouring out the result?  There are many opinions.

I can tell differences but they occur between different brews of the same coffee as much as between different varieties of coffee.  I am aware that I lack discernment in my taste buds as well as my fashion sense.  I can tell the difference between a really good cup of coffee and a really bad cup but not much distinctiveness in between.  

I am ready to ask, “Why is the coffee naked?”  I am ready to question if there is really that much difference.  In the mean time I will just keep enjoying it however it comes out.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-163: Book Review: Strangers

I just finished a third book by Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers.  I find him an entertaining writer who seems to carefully filter the data that helps him tell his stories.  It does not make him unreadable but it does make his conclusions a bit questionable.  This is true even when I agree with what he is saying.  Let me give you an example from my latest read.

The very first paragraph in the first chapter starts off with the story of a young woman that he will keep coming back to as he builds his case.

“In July 2015, a young African American woman named Sandra Bland drove from her hometown of Chicago to a little town an hour west of Houston, Texas.  She was interviewing for a job at Prairie View A&M University, the school she’d graduated from a few years before.  She was tall and striking, with a personality to match.  She belong to the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority in college and played in the marching band.  She volunteered with a seniors group.  She regularly posted short, inspirational videos on YouTube under the handle ‘Sandy Speaks,’  that often began, “Good morning, my beautiful Kings and Queens.’”
        “‘I am up today just praising God, thanking His name....’”, p. 1
He then proceeds to relate a tragic encounter with a policeman which ends up with her in jail and committing suicide three days later.  As far as I can see he gives no false information but I want you to compare this from the end of the book,
“Who is Sandra Bland?  She is also mismatched.  She looks to Encinia’s eye like a criminal.  But she’s not.  She’s just upset.  In the aftermath of her death, it was revealed that she had had ten previous encounters with police over the course of her adult life, including five traffic stops, which had left her with almost $8,000 in outstanding fines.  She had tried to commit suicide the year before, after the loss of a baby.  She had numerous cut marks running up and down on of her arms.” p. 330
The tragedy remains but this paragraph gives you a completely different feel for the person he focuses on.  Which young woman was sitting in that car?  The attractive woman on her way to a new job and a new life or a beaten down failure running away from her past?  Probably both, but the point I make is that you only got half the story at the beginning.

The cop?  He was out of line, unprofessional and lost his control.  He was fired for his efforts yet Gladwell points out that he was simply behaving in the way he had been trained.  Another bit of unanswered dissonance is why she was in jail for three days.  I doubt the cop had that kind of power.  Her past probably caught up with her when they went to the computers and checked out her previous contacts with the law.

This pattern is common in his writing.  You also pick up a lot of boilerplate liberal ideas such as sending social workers to deal with domestic violence.

It was an interesting book but read with your mind in gear.

Gladwell, Malcolm.  Talking to Strangers.  New York:  Back Bay Books, 2019.

homo unius libri

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Opus 2023-162: Election 2024: Right Click

The Daily Wire is a right wing publication.  Their recent headline tends to reinforce my opinion that they are also anti-Trump.  The click bait begins,

“Trump Vows To Stay In Race Even If Convicted Of Crimes: ‘I’ll Never Leave’”
If you read the first paragraph of the article is says “criminal charges” instead of “crimes”.  It seems such a small difference but it gives a completely different message.  To be fair, the quotation marks in the click bait are not around the crimes part but the impression is still there that Trump in admitting there are crimes.

This is the kind of reporting we need less of.  Leave it to the left to bait and switch.  Get over your Mean-Tweet-Syndrom.  

I am a total Trump supporter.  At the present time I also like Ron DeSantis and Tim Scott who have declared and I can think of other potentially great candidates.  I am still a Trump supporter.  He may offend suburban millennial housewives but he is a man who loves America and has shown that he can get things done.  I am willing to forgive his spending and overlook his fast-tracking of the vaccinations.  Everyone makes mistakes but few people get so much right.

Pray.  Vote.  Stand up and speak out.

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Opus 2023-161: Dark Thoughts: And God Said, “Squirrel!”

I wonder if my writing can be an expression of prayer.

I think it can be an expression of worship.  Praise and Thanksgiving come easily from the pen.

I ask this question because it seems like my mind comes up with the greatest questions when I am in the midst of worship.  Are they squirrels or are they inspirations?  At present I am pausing to write the skeleton down and then get back to focusing on the glory of God and His creation.

Part of this is the constant push to not fall into empty ritual.  It is easy to get used to doing things a certain way and they begin to lose their power to mold us and refine our being.  I think we need to be concerned about making God just a stopping point to be checked off.


homo unius libri

Opus 2023-160: Hone Your Mind

Have you ever been bored because you are around someone who keeps repeating the same story?  Have you ever realized that you are one of those people?


Everyone does it at times.  As we get older it becomes more frequent.  One reason is that our memory isn’t what it once was.  Another reason is they are good stories.  A third is that often our lives get so routine that we have nothing new to talk about.

I want to suggest a couple of solutions to the situation.

First, work at growing.  This would involve reading and listening to things that are new to you.  The library is full of books just crying out to be read.  I will admit that most of them are a waste of time but with a little care you can find volumes that inform, inspire and stimulate.  Keep in mind that you don’t have to finish a book just because you started.  When the author goes off the reservation, return the book to the library.  As you read or listen be on the alert for authors and books that others are reading.  When I listen to Socrates in the City, Uncommon Knowledge or any of a number of informative interview programs I pay attention to the books being shilled.  Sometimes they are worth reading.  Another avenue to explore is the classics that you either didn’t read and should have, or that you read and don’t remember much about.  How long has it been since you read Screwtape’s Letters?

Second, make it a habit to not repeat anything more than a week old.  This will force you to either be quiet or start reading.  Actually, it is a good idea to practice listening.  Others have stories to tell.  If you can’t keep quiet then current experiences will at least make it more likely you are worth listening to.

If you have made a new friend or joined a new group you have a few days to go hog wild and share anything that comes to mind.  The new contacts have not heard your fantasies but begin to look for those eyes that are clouding over.  It is an indication that you need to shift back into the other mode.

This is a two edged sword.  Not only will it help keep your mind sharp but it will save a lot of other people from falling asleep on you.

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Opus 2023-159: Beware of Dog

We need to beware of the media mongrels.  Watch out for the attack dogs of the internet.

Recognize the pattern.  This is where memory and an awareness of history can come in handy.  I am constantly amazed at the people who will list all of the great things Trump accomplished and in the next breath say they will never vote for him because of his mean tweets.  You would think they could endure a few mean tweets, which may have actually never happened, in return for affordable food, gasoline, peace in the Middle East, rising employment for everyone and a world that respects the United States a little bit.  But no, we get excited about the latest hit piece.

Have you noticed the attacks on Ron DeSantis?  The more he emerges as a possible future leader, the more he will be attacked.  If they can bring down Trump, make DeSantis the frontrunner and start gunning for him, well and good.  That will give Nicky Haily a chance.  Most of the people praising DeSantis are really just trying to destroy Trump.  Personally, I still like DeSantis but I like him as a governor for six more years.

That is a win/win for them and a lose/lose for the country.  We refuse to learn our lesson.  We don’t pay attention.  We think that this time Lucy will hold the football in place.  I hate to break it to you but you can’t believe much of what you see on any news platform, right or left.

So concentrate on the local issues.  Work on your city counsel and school board.  Talk to your county sheriff.  Invest your energy where it can make some difference.  If the FBI comes for you remember that your best defense may be your local, elected lawman.

Keep praying.  Keep voting.  Make phone calls.  Speak up.  It isn’t over yet.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Opus 2023-158: Full Circle

I came across a speech by Peter Thiel in The New Criterion.  I recently read his book Zero to One with interest so I thought I would read the article.  I found his explanation of where the term “politically correct” originated very informative.

“The idea I always come back to, one that strikes me as very suggestive, is the etymology of the term “political correctness” itself.

“By the 1980s, political correctness was something conservatives used as an epithet to describe deranged dittoheads on the left. If you go back to the 1970s, it was actually used by very progressive people as a term of self-congratulation. But if you go back to the 1950s, and strip away all the connotations that accrued over time—if you were a “politically correct” person in 1950, it meant that you followed directions from Moscow as a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. The totalitarian impulse, with its extraordinary demands on the individual conscience, is baked into the very notion of political correctness. We should think about that. Striving for diversity, especially diversity of thought, can be good. But anyone who prizes liberty—conservatives, libertarians, classical liberals, and the rest—must never lose sight of the cosmic battle against atheist communism.”

It is sometimes amazing how terms keep evolving in our American English.  Part of that change is because of the philosophy of Deconstructionalism but a lot of it is just the nature of our culture.  It is why I don’t generally rely on the King James Version of the Bible.  When simple words like “conversation” in that translation really means life style it makes me wonder what else I am misunderstanding.  

I am used to modern slang constantly bringing new words into the daily excuse for conversation.  About the only word that has not changed is “cool”.  That will probably start to change now that I said that.

It would seem that politically correct has gone full circle.  We now have a group of Marxists in control who once again are punishing anyone for stepping out of the circle the party has drawn.  Either be correct or get cancelled.

Karl would have been proud.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Opus 2023-157: Long Live the King

We glibly toss off the statement that pure democracy does not work.  In reality we don’t know because pure democracy is like Utopia, it has never existed and probably never could exist.

When we say it does not work we are referring to the ancient attempts of Greece.  Keep in mind that those democracies were slave cultures with a heavy dose of class awareness thrown in.  Large percentages of the population were not considered citizens.  Add, or more accurately, subtract women from the mix and you end up with a small percentage having the franchise.  Yet they were proud to call themselves “democracies”.

Our original system was a federal republic, not a democracy.  It was designed knowing that people would try to use the vote to corrupt the system and gain power for themselves.  Many have tried and some have had some success but we have now come to a time when it seems that people wanting to do the right thing are a small minority.  Powerful people routinely ignore the rule of law when it is convenient and then throw the book at anyone who disagrees with them.  We see Trump supporters being given multiple year sentences for what amounts to first offense trespass at the worst.  At the same time violent anarchists who are literally burning down cities get released with a slap on the wrist, if that.  I think they might get released with an apology and a voucher for dinner.

I think I am becoming a monarchist.  History is full of kings and emperors.  Some did well.  Some did poorly.  There are no guarantees.  If the deep state folks keep pushing the odds are there will eventually be a violent reaction and I would say the probable result will be some kind of one man rule.

Maybe anarchy has its place.  We live in a day when modern firearms make it possible for almost anyone to defend themselves.  No longer do the biggest muscles win.  It would be a constant battle between people who want to be left alone and people who want to mess.  My guess is that we might run out of messers after a time.

Keep praying.  Keep voting.  Keep speaking up.

homo unius libri

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Opus 2023-156: Dark Thoughts: Heaven Scent, Sight and Sound

Heaven* generates a lot of squirrel tracks.

I was sitting there on the porch, drinking coffee and thinking about how God went to all the trouble of arranging things like taste.  Things like coffee have a whole profile of terms to describe how it is the ambrosia of life.  Read the label some time.  If you have little discernment like me it makes for good fiction.  At the same time I have to admit that different coffees are different.  My favorite is Moka Java.

From there I went to colors and sounds.  This is not idle speculation for me.  I am slightly color blind, have a constant ringing in my ears and my wife claims I am going deaf because I don’t hear everything she says.  The fact that I am at the other end of the house, in the shower with the exhaust fan on is not excuse.  I look forward to my first sunrise in the resurrection.  I can’t wait to be able to hear the rocks cry out, “Glory and honor!”

From there I ponder individual preferences like beauty and delicious.  I can’t believe that you don’t understand my grandchildren are the most beautiful children in the world.  I can’t understand why you don’t think broccoli is delicious.  When I shared that I grilled a steak to perfection in 30 minutes I don’t understand the horror on people’s faces.  Maybe in heaven.

God designed and arranged it all, seemingly for our enjoyment.  I don’t think it was for our cat.  She drinks out of the toilet and licks her paws, not to mention other parts of her body.  I don’t think she really gets the glory of creation.

What if God also enjoys them and created them for that reason, then created us in His image.  Remember how Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man?  Maybe it is the other way around with our perception of our world.

How will these things be more glorious in eternity?  Will it be that the colors will be transformed and augmented or will it just be that our glorified bodies can see them better?

Either way works for me.

*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

Friday, June 2, 2023

Opus 2023-155: On the Street: Do You Belong?

I sometimes wonder if I have missed something.  I had stopped to do some shopping in a mini-mall and I noticed that in front of each parking space was the statement, “Customers Only”.  I looked around and saw nothing within shouting distance that was not a business served by the parking lot.  What was I missing?

Maybe there is an epidemic of people parking in mini-malls and waking the 20 miles to the airport.  Maybe a local hotel had a shuttle service for guests.  Maybe the mall manager read on page 72 that all slots should be labelled.

Maybe it is just another example of human genius.  As the commedian said, “Half of the population is below normal.”

homo unius libri

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Opus 2023-154: I Couldn’t Help Myself

Free will.

To my thinking, one of the abilities given to human beings when they were created in the image of God was free will.  It is one of the abilities that separates us from the animals.  Remember the tale of the scorpion and the frog.  When asked why he doomed them both the scorpion answered, “It is in my nature.”  A human can resist what is in his nature.  We don’t like to admit it, but it is true.

God is love and He wants humans to love Him.  That is impossible, or shall we say meaningless, if there is no free will.  Is it possible to love if it is impossible not to love?  Does your dog really love you?  Have you noticed that he loves everyone?  If he is the right breed he does not have a choice.

Is free will real if none of the choices are hard?  I could walk through a jewelry store all day and not even think of buying anything.  I can “do” most malls in 15 minutes.  I am not tempted by a sushi bar but don’t put a bag of chips and a bowl of guacamole in the same room with me.  I could resist, or so I tell myself.  I might even ignore the promised joy, but I would not count on it.  It is a matter of how I respond though, not something forced on me.

Is “vanilla vs chocolate” really an example of free will?

Most of the problems we have in the world are a result of the sins committed because we have free will.  Could God have created a world where sin did not exist and sin was impossible?  I would say yes and it would have been as satisfying as four college seniors playing Candy Land.  There is a price to pay for freedom.

May you make wise choices.

homo unius libri