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.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Opus 2023-264: Headlines: Conservative Bad

The Gateway Pundit had a provocative bit of click bait.  It talked about the beginning of the hate attacks by the left on Mike Johnson, the new speaker of the House.  There was nothing surprising in that.  I have been predicting an onslaught of attacks in my conversations over the last few days.  It is their pattern.  It puts him in good company with people like Clarence Thomas and president Trump himself.  Expect it to get worse before it gets better.

I did not read the entire article but one of the things I noticed was that everything that the elites Progressives have to say could be answered by, “Sounds good.  What else can you tell me.”  I am also interested in finding out about all the mysterious affairs he has had, billions he has embezzled and library books he has overdue.  They may also accuse him of white privilege.  It is possible that he has a mean tweet somewhere.  Maybe he likes the KJV.  I can forgive him for that.

The key point for us is to realize this is what the left does.  Consider the source.  Don’t believe a thing you read.  Whether or not he does a good job, he is a man of integrity.  Of course that may be the thing that keeps him from being effective.

Pray for him like it makes a difference.  Realize that your prayers are the reason he has the gavel.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 27, 2023

Opus 2023-263: The Danger of Dull Eyes

Let me share an old story that you may have heard but is still funny.  A little boy asked his father where he came from.  The father gulped, took the bull by the horns and went into a detailed explanation of why there are babies.  The boy listened attentively and when his father was finished he said, “That is very interesting, Dad.  Johnny next door said he came from Chicago.  Where did I come from?”

Often in life people ask us questions and we answer in great detail but miss the whole point.

It can happen in politics.

It can happen in Bible study.

We need to work at answering the questions that need to be answered on the appropriate level.  A good answer will inform.  It will also bring up more questions but those tend to show what the listener needs to know rather than the expertise that you want to demonstrate.  Watch for the dull look in the eyes.  Less glory but more value.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Opus 2023-262: The Ultimate Eye Roll

Human beings are special.  We are created in the image of God.  The Bible tells us so.  Some humans are more special than others.  Abraham was one of those picked out by God.  In spite of that I think that Abraham tested God’s patience a bit.  I was reading about one of his moments in Genesis 18:22-33.  The Lord was on His way to Sodom to give His final judgement on them as a city.  He intended to destroy them.  Abraham starts to argue with Him about His decision.  If you don’t know the story, I will put it at the end of the post.

I don’t know about you but if God stopped by my tent on the way to destroy a city I am not sure that I would feel like that was the time to argue with Him.  Like I said, Abraham was more special than most.  He preceded to continually up the ante, or down the ante, until he moved God from needing 50 righteous to only needing ten.  As I read this it seemed to me that I could almost see God rolling His eyes as Abraham made his pitch.  After all, God knew where this was going.  I think there are time when He finds us amusing.  

Another irreverent thought I had was that maybe we do eye rolls because God did them.  Maybe things like that are part of the image of God.  I will put that on my list of questions I plan to ask during eternity.

Related Scripture

(Gen 18:22 KJV)  And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.
(Gen 18:23 KJV)  And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
(Gen 18:24 KJV)  Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
(Gen 18:25 KJV)  That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
(Gen 18:26 KJV)  And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
(Gen 18:27 KJV)  And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
(Gen 18:28 KJV)  Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
(Gen 18:29 KJV)  And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty's sake.
(Gen 18:30 KJV)  And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
(Gen 18:31 KJV)  And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty's sake.
(Gen 18:32 KJV)  And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake.
(Gen 18:33 KJV)  And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Opus 2023-261: New Term: Prophetic Satire

This word emerged in my writing.  I was looking for an expression that fit what the Babylon Bee does so often and so well.  They call what they do Christian Satire.  Then they bill themselves as a trusted name in news.  Have you noticed how often they come out reporting before the actual event.

One explanation is that the Biden handlers and legacy media have infiltrated the Bee and base their plans on what the Bee predicts.  After all, if you are incapable of coming up with original ideas why not borrow from the best.

The other is that the Bee staff is full of people with the gift of prophecy.  My pastor would deny that because he does not think the gift of prophecy is given any more.  I would say he is wrong.  How else can you come up with so much pre-truth?

Long live the Bee.

homo unius libri

Monday, October 23, 2023

Opus 2023-260: It’s for Your Own Good

Safety equipment comes in many shapes and sizes.  Some is optional and others are required.  Take your average combination of driver and automobile.

The first level of protection is an example of both optional and universal.  It is called providence.  Whether you admit it or not, God has His eye on you as you drive down the road.  For a while I kept a list of the times that a few seconds or a few inches would have caused serious injury or death.  Then I realized I had no idea how many times I had really been shielded from a malicious virus or a drunk driver.  The best protection is the kind you don’t know about.  In a sense there is little you can do to influence providence, or as some would call it, luck.

The second level is how you drive.  This is a big factor.  We have all seen people on motorcycles that seem to be hurrying to their next accident.  Our actions in life are a major influence on what happens on the other levels.  In the recent panic over the Chinese virus it was no surprise how often the people who died “from” covid already had their left foot in the grave because of obesity,  a liver eaten up by alcohol, a mind dulled by recreational drugs and lungs ruined by smoking.  In addition they often were balanced on the edge with severe diabetes and if you looked further you might find they were people who had not been taking their medication as directed.  Behavior produces results.

Only then does your seat belt come into play.  Usually seat belts save lives, with one caveat:  You have to wear them for them to work.  We live in a society that keeps trying to build in safeguards to take the thrill out of life.  I remember going Christmas caroling with the back of my dad’s dump truck full of my church friends.  We could never get away with that today.  Would we be safer?  Yes.  Would we build as many memories?  No way.

You make your choices and you live with the results.  Enjoy what liberty you have left.  Live dangerous, don’t wash your fruit or boil your water.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Opus 2023-259: One Liners: How’s It Going?

One of the standard mantras of our culture is, “Hi, how are you?”  We invariably answer, “Fine.”  I have been trying to get away from that.  I will use something like, “Marvelous!”  At the same time I am open to the masters of the one line.

I don’t know if this will develop into a series but if it does I want to start with Dave Ramsey.  I do not listen to him on my own.  My wife will have the radio on in the car and I will pick up part of his broadcast on occasion.  I will see clips of him embedded in things I read.  In spite of that little exposure he has introduced me to a great one liner.

When asked how he is doing Dave Ramsey will answer, “Better than I deserve.”

That is an attitude I am working on.  I think it would be great if we all recognized it.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-258: Contrails Anyone?

This morning, October 21, 2023, as I sat in the fading dark of the morning I noticed the track left by a jet far above.  It was high enough that the laggard sun illuminated it against a dark sky.  I thought about how I have seen these kinds of things most of my life.  There was some kind of arrangement of physics that made it happen, accidentally, or so I thought.

I started thinking that way this morning and continued with that frame of mind when I came inside.  The mosquitoes were waking up and I don’t find them good company.  It is hard to praise God with a buzzing around your ears.

Later I tried a new experience.  I decided to eat my oatmeal on the front porch.  Morning was well on its way to maturity.  The sun was up.  The world was bright.  As I looked up I noticed that the jet trail was still there and had not spread much, but I also noticed another one behind it, running parallel, that had expanded enough to be a ribbon instead of a line.  Odd, I thought.  I started looking around and saw a significant number of trails in various levels of dissipation.  My mind was stirred by one of the conspiracy theories I have heard:  Contrails.

This is a conspiracy that hides in plain sight.  It goes back to rain dances and rain makers that toured the country claiming that they could make it rain.  Evidently there is some factual basis for this.  If you want an up-front view check out the site called Weather Modification.  

That is not the conspiracy.  The conspiracy theory is that there is a nefarious plot being worked out by the forces of darkness to control the weather.  I think it is part of the WEF plan to starve us and get rid of the scourge of human infestation.  I generally don’t pay much attention to this theory but this morning, looking at the sky, I had to wonder.  There were a lot more than I saw as a kid and they seemed to be in a pattern.  

Keep looking up.  Keep in mind that conspiracy theorists are running close to 100% true.

homo unius libri

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Opus 2023-257: Election 2024: Tiger of Paper

In thinking about the election coming up I peruse the candidates to remind myself why I like some and dislike others.  When I do this I always shake my head in regret when I pass over Mike Pence.  

Mike Pence, on paper in 2016, had all the boxes checked to make a good president.  You can’t forecast “great” but I think you can see the potential for “good”.  He had a solid record behind him.  He was vocal about his Christian faith.  He weathered the storm of hysteria that the media dished out when he said he did not go to dinner alone with women other than his wife.  When Trump picked him for VP that also seemed like a solid choice.  As far as I know he did a good job up until the electoral college.

When he refused to bend to the pressure to reject certain delegates I could see his point.  I am not sure I agreed with his actions but I could understand why he did it, or I thought I could.  On the surface it seemed like the actions of man of principle.

Since then every time he opens his mouth he has gone down in my estimation.  It seems like he is now on a crusade to stab Trump in the back.  I don’t know if he has changed or if he always was a snake in the grass but he is not even on my long list for president.  

Donald Trump did not check many boxes, yet we saw how much he got done, and I don’t refer to his incessant tweets.  He endured the lawless onslaught organized against him and still managed to bring peace to the Middle East, employment to all demographics, progress on the border, a strong economy, gas in my tank, etc.  And during the entire ordeal he always followed the rule of law and the principles of the Constitution.

We need a real tiger, not a paper Tigger.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 20, 2023

Opus 2023-256: Different Endings

I tend to be patronizing at the popular images of heaven*.  That is the reason for the asterisk and the following note:

*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.
Common culture concepts of heaven tend to describe how the elites live:  Mansions, servants, lavish dining and lots of gold and velvet.  Think of how the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Soros, Gates and members of the WEF live.  It seems to be a natural desire to idealize what your heart yearns for.

Consider different ideas of this afterlife.

I don’t know if it is genuine or an European caricature but the American Indians supposedly had the idea of the Happy Hunting Ground.  The reason that sticks in my mind is a meme before memes with an Indian saying that it reflects his idea of happiness just as Europeans think of streets of gold and such.

Islam has a number of places in the Koran that describe the afterlife.  It tends to resemble the ideal oasis populated by servants both male and female.  Surah 47, Muhammad has part of this:
“15.  A picture of the Paradise which is promised to the God-fearing! Therein are rivers of water, which corrupt not: rivers of milk, whose taste changeth not: and rivers of wine, delicious to those who quaff it; And rivers of honey clarified: and therein are all kinds of fruit for them from their Lord! Is this like the lot of those who must dwell for ever in the fire? and shall have draughts of boiling water forced on them which will rend their bowels asunder?”  Surah 47, Muhammad
I find it interesting that in the afterlife Muslims will be able to drink wine.  

Surah 56 starts with a description of what Christians would call the end times.  The beginning deals with earthquakes and the division of people into three categories.  Then it goes on to describe the delights of the top group.  It is in poetic form in my version of the Koran.
verses 12-25. “In gardens of delight;
A crowd of the former
And few of the latter generations;
On inwrought couches
Reclining on them face to face:
Aye-blooming youths go round about to them
With goblets and ewers and a cup of flowing wine;
Their brows ache not from it, nor fails the sense:
And with such fruits as shall please them best,
And with flesh of such birds, as they shall long for:
And theirs shall be the Houris, with large dark eyes, like pearls  hidden in
their shells,
In recompense of their labours past.
No vain discourse shall they hear therein, nor charge of sin,”
Again we have wine plus the promise of no hangovers.  I don’t know if there is a mention of 72 virgins in the Koran itself but here you have the “Houris” which I would assume will be furnishing further favors beyond filling your wine goblet.  It is the ideal of a desert barbarian who had never been to the big city.  

Pagan polytheists tend to describe a boring underworld that must have reflected what it was like to be a peasant in an aristocracy.  Some would go through special torments such as Sisyphus who was doomed to forever rolling a huge bolder up a hill and having it roll down again.  The concept of the River Styx comes from this theology.  

The Bible has several different pictures and words.  In the OT you have Scheol.  In the NT, starting in Luke 16:19, you have a description of Hades and Abraham’s Bosom.  In John 14 we have Jesus saying He will prepare a place for us.  The KJV says “mansions” but that is more the wishes of the translators.  The more comprehensive vision is a host surrounding God’s throne and rejoicing in worship at the joy of being in His presence.  Like many things in the Bible you need to assemble them all in an orderly manner.

The key point for me is that there will be a glorious eternity ahead when my time here is over.

Hope to see you there.

All Koran quotes are from the translation by Rev. J.M. Rodwell, M.A. provided by the Gutenberg Project.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Opus 2023-255: The Misfit that Wasn’t

Something I was reading mentioned a book called The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez in a positive way.  One of the ways I find things to read is by following the suggestions of others that I find stimulating.  I could not find the book in print in any of the local libraries but I did find one that had it available on line.  

The library had a brief summary of the book.  Here it is for you enlightenment.

“The real Malo loves rock music, skateboarding, zines, and Soyrizo (hold the cilantro, please). And when she assembles a group of like-minded misfits at school and starts a band, Malo finally begins to feel at home. She'll do anything to preserve this, which includes standing up to an anti-punk school administration to fight for her right to express herself!’
After reading that I decided it was not something that could hold my interest.  There were too many stereotypes in the blurb.  This Malo has friends who are called “like-minded misfits”.  I am not sure what schools this author has ever been in but the description of the things this Malo likes are pretty mainline.  I had to look up Soyrizo.  It is a sausage made with soy instead of meat.  That is the only thing in the description which would not fit in any school I went to.

I am afraid that the story would be a bit too woke for me.  I can tell you without trying that the group she puts together is made up of a rainbow flag of victim categories.  It is a trend that makes it almost impossible to find a book worth reading any more.

I will keep looking.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 18, 2023


 Dear Anonymous,

Good old blogger will not let me leave comments or response on my own blog.  It has happened before and I have been able to find work-arounds.  Not this time, so thanks for your kind words.

Grace and peace

Opus 2023-254: Dark Thoughts: The Devil Made Me Do It

One of the questions that keeps coming to my mind is whether I, as a member of the human race, have free will.  I am asking from a theological perspective but it is also an issue in philosophy, psychology and the hard sciences.  It is one of the big questions of life.

In its quest for understanding one of the questions of philosophy has to do with the meaning of life.  In that dialogue between different scholars one of the famous quotes comes from Rene Descartes, “I think, therefore, I am.”  This is based on a self-awareness that generates ideas that are not programed but generated by the individual.

In psychology you have the behaviorists.  The name I associate with that is B.F. Skinner.  They teach that you have no free will.  Everything is a result of heredity or environment.  In their thinking, if you had enough information and a big enough computer, every action you take could be predicted ahead of time.

In science we have the physicists delving into the inner workings of matter.  For a long time the prevailing theory was that everything could be determined by set laws.  Then came quantum mechanics.  They are discovering that evidence that everything can’t be predicted.  Even on the molecular level there is a sort of free will.

In the dark of a Texas morning I was meditating on free will and how that is effected by the Imago Dei.

(Gen 1:27 KJV)  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
God made us in His image.  What does that mean?  Since He said it about nothing else He made it must mean that man is different than any of the animals or plants.  

Free will is an attribute of God.  The more theological term is Free Agency.  It means being aware of personhood and making choices that are not the result of coercion or robotic action.  It means not being a tool of heredity and environment.

We make choices and deal with the results, good or bad.  We are really good at blaming others for our failures and problems.  It often seems to me that much of the work of psychology and sociology is identifying the forces that force us to make the wrong choices.  The current woke default of victimhood is a result of this.  The comedian Flip Wilson could have answered all of that with his line, “The devil made me do it.”  One of the reason that modern thinking rejects man as created in the image of God is that it would force them to accept they are moral creatures responsible for their actions.

It is much more fun playing the victim.

So make you choice.  God gave you a chance to do that.  At least that is my understanding.  Of course I could just be programed to say that.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Opus 2023-253: The Whole Package

My wife will pick out certain traits in other husbands and say, “Why can’t you be like Saint Hubby?”  My usual response is to pick out some unmentioned habit of Hubby and ask if she wants me to be that way too.  Actually, I am smart enough not to ask that.

With people, like so much of life, you have to take the whole package.  I came to this while thinking about how abrasive my wife can be.  Yet she also is really good at getting close to people.  Go figure.  Everyone has good and bad traits.  Your only good one may be that you are kind to puppies, but it is still there.  For Christians we need to think in terms of the gifts of the Spirit.  I believe the Bible teaches that each person has at least one gift.  

(1Co 12:7 KJV)  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
That package deal is a twofer.  It works both ways.  We need to keep in mind that we have both sides of the coin just like the other person.  I have observed that many people criticize others for the shortcomings they have themselves.  And, if it helps you, keep in mind that somewhere there is probably a spouse who is telling their significant other that they wish they were like you.

And maybe not.  

homo unius libri

Monday, October 16, 2023

Opus 2023-252: Links

In doing some research on the word “abomination” (8441) I came across a statement on one of the 19th century resources that claimed the ancient Egyptians considered the cow to be the “most sacred animal” and they would not eat it.

In modern times we have the Hindus of India that have a very similar belief.  It is the source of our expression “sacred cow.”  This made me wonder if there is some ancient connection between Egypt and India.  The origins of Hinduism are lost in time.  Could it be that at least part of their belief system came to them from Egypt?

There are other possibilities.  It could be that cows are sacred and we in the Christian tradition don’t know it.  It could also be that the people seeing these “parallels” are the same types of scholars, desperate to be published, who come up with all kinds of ridiculous links.  You hear them in regard to the laws of Israel.  You hear them comparing Mithra with Jesus.  

Any way you look at it there will be a lot of people surprised the moment after they die.  Of course, I don’t believe it will be me.

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Opus 2023-251: Soon a Reichstag Fire?

In reading My Battle Against Hitler by Dietrich von Hildebrand I kept coming across moments in history that made me feel like I was living in the past.  He was a contemporary of Adolph Hitler and a German.  He was also an enemy of National Socialism.  At the beginning of the book I came across this statement,

“On February 27 the Reichstag building, the seat of the German parliament, was destroyed in a fire.  Hitler quickly exploited the resulting unrest to secure emergency powers and suspend basic rights.  Terror ensured and thousands of political opponents were arrested.”  p. 1
People who enjoy history are familiar to reference to the Reichstag Fire.  From a distance we ask ourselves how a simple fire could cause such a fuss.  What is ironical is that we ask this after the country was brought to its knees over a minor virus.  It does not take much for people to call out for security and be willing to surrender their rights to insure it.  

What will be our Reichstag fire?

We are currently going through another time of growing fear as we watch what has been happening in Israel.  If you connect the dots and realize how many military aged men Biden has allowed into the country you start to get a picture.  When you realize that they have largely disappeared and no one knows where they are the picture becomes more clear.

What will be our Reichstag fire?

What will it take for the Biden handlers to get him to sign a paper declaring a national emergency and martial law?  How many governors will refuse to go along?  How many generals will see a promotion in the works if they obey?

What will be our Reichstag fire?

I don’t know but I have a feeling it is coming.  If you hear rumors of some big emergency then you might want to not answer the door in the middle of the night.  History has a lot of lessons.

Von Hildebrand, Dietrich.  My Battle Against Hitler.  New York:  Image, 2014.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-250: Uncertainly Certain

At my church there are certain times you know people will ask about prayer needs.  It is a time that helps us focus our petitions to God and our concern for each other.  It also raises questions like, “Why does God allow that to happen?”  Another is, “Why are they afflicted and I am not?”  Or you can reverse that last questions.

When listening to the self-styled intellectuals of the media and entertainment industry I am always amazed that they think they are the only ones that ask these questions.  Every pagan question I have heard I have also heard from believers.  To one it leads to rejection; the other, faith.  It makes a difference why you ask a question and the attitude behind it.

We are facing uncertain times.  That is nothing new.  If you wanted to make a list of AntiChrist de jour it would be very long.  Of course you would have Attila and Adolph.  Did you know that FDR was nominated and so was Kissinger.  Don’t forget Nero and assorted popes.  The only thing certain is uncertainty.  

The most certain danger most of us will face is making stupid choices.  An example of a stupid choice in my life would be when I eat something I should not have and then say something to the effect, “Oh, well.  I have blown it already.  I might as well have another.  And another.”  The stupid decision was not the first bit of overeating but throwing wisdom and discernment out the window at the second helping.  We can do things like this financially, morally and at our jobs.

There is a verse in Proverbs that I sometimes find puzzling.  Other times it makes perfect sense.

(Pro 4:7 NAS77) "The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
The point is that at any point we can start making wise decisions.  Might I suggest that now is a good time.  Don’t wait until after you do that one more stupid thing you really want to do.  Now.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Opus 2023-249: Today Is the Day

I was looking at the headlines on Real Clear Politics and saw one that stopped me for a second, “What We Can Learn From the Great and Flawed Columbus”.  I glanced through the article.  It seemed legit.  At the same time I thought the click bait stated the obvious:  Columbus had flaws.

I am not sure if you need a degree in literature or journalism to make such an observation.  We are all flawed.  Sometimes those who make the most impact are the most flawed.  

Columbus’ is not great because he discovered the new world.  He is great because he went against the common wisdom and sailed into the unknown.  Think of him as the original Star Trek, going where no man had gone before.  Someone was going to open up the western hemisphere for European exploration.  It just so happened that it was Christopher Columbus.

Happy Columbus Day

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-248: Foiling Jackals

I am reading more and more articles urging people to make sure that they are prepared for the possible violence coming our way a la Gaza.  I think that is good advice.  It isn’t a matter of thinking you are Rambo and will take on an entire wing of the Biden Invasion Force.  It is a matter of security and one of the first rules of security is not being the weakest target.  Remember the joke about being chased by the bear?  You don’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than at least one other person in your group.  In parking lots at night remember that any thug looking for some action is looking for the weak and the lame, not the alert and ready.  The human animals like Hamas are like the jackals surrounding a herd of zebra.  They won’t even look at the strong but will harass the weak until they fall.

Don’t be the weak link.

There are times when citizens need to pull a gun and shoot in order to defend themselves and what is dear to them.  Many more times all it takes is the visible presence of a firearm and the criminal will decide that there will be easier meat down the road.

The best way to avoid the barbarians of the world is to be armed and ready.  It may not be good news for your neighbor but it will keep your name out of the news.  If worse comes to worst, sell you life at the highest cost you can.  It may save someone else who is totally unprepared.

Blessings and stay out of dark alleys.  

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Opus 2023-247: The Benefits of Bee Stings

One of the beneficial side effects of the Babylon Bee is that it is forcing us to reconsider everything we watch, listen to or read.  The humorless left is experiencing this because they don’t understand good satire.  They actually have fact checked the Bee.  That in itself is good for a belly based guffaw.  

Add to effective satire the old technologies of air brush or photoshop and the new potential of AI.  It is getting so that you don’t know what to believe any more.  I already know what not to believe:  Anything put out by the legacy media.  They lost contact with truth and reality long ago and are just polishing their evil minds as they campaign to destroy America.  I am learning to also have great caution when I read things from the self-proclaimed right.  They seem to feel since they are on the side of the angels that honesty is flexible.  

Sometimes we need to bump our heads multiple times in order to learn to duck.  We need to fall down a few stairs to accept that the hand rail is there for a reason.  There comes a day when the things that we used to eat with impunity begin to tell us we are merely human.  In the same way the Babylon Bee does  a yeoman’s job of keeping us on our toes.


homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Opus 2023-246: Another Bit of Litmus

Over the years I have realized that there is a place for a litmus test.  The topics range from abortion to Trump.  People who fail one test invariably fail all the others.  They try to sound reasonable with all kinds of verbal smoke and mirrors but the person who is okay with aborting babies tends to feel that homosexual marriage is acceptable and Trumps mean tweets are a reason to allow Joe Biden to ruin the country.  

Now we have the atrocities of the Muslims.  Don’t tell me it is just a few extreme Islamists.  From what I can see, Muslims are dancing in the streets all around the world.  They did the same on September 11.  Are there reasonable Muslims who would make good neighbors?  Probably but since their religion allows them to lie about even being Muslim, it is a risky bet.  Does it mean we go out and treat every Muslim like Hamas is treating civilians in Israel.  Please don’t be ridiculous.  

Never forget two things.  First, we are not like them.  We cannot allow ourselves to be like them.  If  we do then we might as well surrender and convert right now and save a lot of struggle.  Second, they are like them.  They are not like us.  Our idea of peace is non-violence and allowing everyone to live a life of liberty and follow their dreams.  Their idea of the peace is the peace of the grave or the slave collar.  

This is not a question of the best coffee.  It not a matter of immersion or sprinkling.  We are not talking about which way you roll the toilet paper.  We are talking about life and death.  Israel is being attacked in a totally barbaric and evil way.  The civilized world has been working hard on defining the laws of war.  Iran and her proxies are doing everything they can to take us back to the days in which a defeated city was ravaged.  Anyone who managed to survive was sold into slavery.  Any object of value was carted off.  Everything else was destroyed.  If you cannot come out without qualification and condemn the actions of the Muslim group Hamas then I am afraid you have failed the litmus test.  

We need to work at remembering where people stand on key issues.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-245: Ignorance Is a Choice

In a recent discussion the pastor of a local church was praised for his preaching style.  The view was that he made things very clear, used a power-point presentation with charts, graphs and maps.  That is all good.  I have no problem with those things.  They are tools.  As long as the truth is being presented, they are useful.  This is not a comment about him.

This is about the current pendulum swing that seems to put all the responsibility on the teacher for a student to learn.  I was a public school teacher and there were a lot of guilt trips about how students were failing because of some inadequacy in the teacher.  Of course this was presented after the powers had made sure that the classes were so mixed in ability levels that no one approach would reach them all.  Teachers were supposed to be master technicians who could present the lesson in ten different ways at the same time and give individual reinforcement in a class of 36 students.  Keep in mind that half of them could not read or do simple math.  Observe the generous leaven of students who needed to be in special ed classes or had major behavior problems.  

Certain teachers were held up as masters of the craft.  Usually that meant one of two scenarios.  The first is that they were not getting the results that were claimed.  When a math teacher teaches using the x and y axis of a graph as an art project instead of showing actual data he was honored as a presenter in a faculty meeting.  No one seemed to catch on that the attractive boards being hailed did not show any data, just colors and designs.  The second scenario is that the class was much more homogenous than you were led to believe.  We had a history teacher who was praised for his innovative approach and the way he could get results from students.  What was not included in the report was that the class of eighth graders being held up as a model were all also enrolled in the advanced geometry class, putting them a couple of years ahead of the curve.

I will concede that some teachers seem to have a magic but it is a magic that is not available to the rest of us.  When I first started playing golf I used to read articles by Tiger Woods.  I could define every word he used.  I could not duplicate his results.  Usually the great stories about teaching involve one student in a class who connected or a group of students who were driven to learn.  These are the kind of students who could be taught to read, released to the library and would emerge educated.  

Teachers can be good or bad.  The student committed to learning can make progress under either type.  Learning is really up to the learner.  I have waxed large on schools but the same thing applies to you if you are attending a worship service.  The pastor didn’t speak to you?  Did you bring your Bible?  Did you open it?  Did you read over the text he selected?  Did you ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you and were you listening?

No pastor or teacher can do those things for you.

homo unius libri

Monday, October 9, 2023

Opus 2023-244: On the Street: Context Is Everything

Okay, maybe not everything, but it comes close.  I had this thought as I was out walking and I saw a bug making its way across the roadway.  I was deliberate.  I went out of my way to make sure that I did not step on that bug.  I was a visitor in his world.  It would have been rude to step on him when he was just going to dinner.

If I had seen that same bug in my kitchen or bedroom it would be stomping time.  I would not gently lift him and escort him outside.  His time on earth was over.  He had violated the rule of context.

So many things that we face can be either good or bad depending on context.  Driving 80 miles an hour is a different proposition when you are on a narrow, winding mountain road as opposed to IH94 going across North Dakota.  Putting white granules in your coffee has totally different results depending if the container it came from was sugar or salt.  Killing someone who is trying to murder your wife is different than shooting someone because their dog is pooping on your lawn.  It seems like the decision to prosecute a law breaker depends on whether they are a Democrat or a Republican.

Context matters.  So do the basic standards of right and wrong.  In a sane society the two work together for a strong culture.  In ours today they both seem to be open to interpretation.

Might I beg you to go to the sources of judging behavior and apply them on a regular basis.  For us today that would be the Bible, Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-243: Prophet’s Hat: A Window into the Future

The world is watching Israel.  Some are looking on with horror.  Some are dancing in the streets.  I am going to recommend that we all clean our guns and keep them handy.  This attack on Israel could simply be a dry run on what we can expect in the United States.

Can you say illegal aliens?  Can you say predominately young men?  Can you say where are they?  I don’t know what details to believe but there seems to be a consensus that our southern border is being flooded with large numbers of invaders.  In the past it was assumed that they came looking for economic windfalls.  We don’t see them at work.  They must be somewhere.  

One speculation is that they are being brought in to swell the ranks of Democratic voters.  You may have seen the Babylon Bee piece that said the National Guard was being sent to the border to register people to vote.  Being the Babylon Bee, it was prophetic satire based on knowledge of how things work, not of facts.

A more sinister explanation is that they are the army Biden’s handlers are bringing in to start an insurrection.  Since the deplorables have not risen to the bait the Democrat overlords probably figure they are going to need to prime the pump, so you import a ready made army.  Can you picture what would happen if we suddenly had pickup loads of Socialist soldiers riding around firing fully automatic weapons at anything that moved.  You get an early look by watching what is happening in Israel.  Of course the picture you would see in NYC would be totally different than in Dallas.

I thought the citizens of Israel were well armed.  Why is no one shooting back?  If they bring it home to America will we be better armed and prepared or run screaming to General Milley to save us?

homo unius libri

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Opus 2023-242: Nomination for Gun Salesman of the Year


If people are paying attention this may cause a greater increase in sales than the actions of Barak Obama, a previous winner.

I thought the citizens of Israel were well armed but it looks like an illusion.  I did not watch many of the camera shots but in the one I did watch someone was on a balcony recording a pickup load of terrorists in their ninja wannabe outfits shooting all over the place.  No one seemed to be returning fire.  In true millennial fashion they were risking their lives to be it to post to the internet.

I wonder if the murdering thugs had done a study to figure out where the gun free zones might be.  I didn’t think Israel had such place but it looks like I was wrong.

It may be time for you to consider how to shoot back if all you have is an I-Phone.

homo unius libri

Friday, October 6, 2023

Opus 2023-241: Lots of Answers

I am hearing a chorus of discussions about how things are going poorly and what should we do about it.  It can involve almost any area of life from the quality of your oatmeal to who is running America.

The suggestions are legion to solve the problems.  Everyone seems to have a plan.  Books are written.  TED talks are given.  Podcasts are recorded.

The suggestions have at least three things in common:

First, they are the same ideas that got us into this mess.  Maybe not the specific ideas.  You only have to change one detail to claim your idea is new.  What does not seem to be changing is the philosophy behind the ideas.  Let me give you an example with presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.  I have heard him speak in several different venues.  I like most of what he has to say.  He has a lot of the buzz words and catch phrases down pat.  I am not going to waver from my support for Trump but I felt Vivek was worth consideration for the future.

So I read the two books that he has out at this point.  In regard to what I am writing about, he is concerned about the programs like DEI and CRT.  That is good.  His answer was a program he called “critical diversity theory”.  Then we get to the smoke screen.  It came complete with an acronym, CDT, and a way to implement it.  You can find the longer discussion on page 267 of his book, Woke, Inc.  The problem which he does not seem to see is that he has the same elite vision that the Progressives have.  His answer was another government program with intense supervision and standards designed by someone who was wise enough to believe they could make decisions for us.  His philosophy was still based on big government and the need to have someone in charge to take care of us.

Second, every idea expects someone else to do something.  For instance, we cry out that the government needs to cut spending.  We are all for it.  When they come for our perks we suddenly feel like that is going to far.  I am on a teachers pension and a reduced social security payment.  I have medicare.  Those are programs that will need to be reduced as part of the effort.  We have government guaranteed bank accounts.  We have government insured mortgages.  We have food stamps by whatever name they are going by this week.  We subsidize farmers and of course there is the investment in green energy.  Someone needs to do something as long as that someone is not me.

Third, the ideas tend to leave out God.  I was going to say they leave out the spiritual aspect but they throw that in too.  Understand that just because someone uses the term “spiritual” it does not mean they are referring to God.  They define it their way, which leaves out God and substitutes gods.  The list of gods usually includes the “spiritual one”.  It amazes me how often Christians leave prayer as a last resort.  They try everything they can think of.  When nothing works they will say, “I guess all we have left is prayer.”  We need to start with prayer but not stop there.  Then we do all the things we can think of and we base our thinking on the standards of the Bible and the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

We will never dig out using a pitchfork or a plastic shovel or digging in the wrong place.

Ramaswamy, Vivek.  Woke, Inc.  New York:  Center Street, 2021.

homo unius libri

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Opus 2023-240: Game Time

I am developing a new game.  I generally throw out advertisements that come in the mail.  I am not looking for a ranch in hill country and don’t need my house appraised.  I don’t need new windows and I already have a tree guy.  Today a piece of artwork came for some kind of financial service and I decided it was time to get started.

I wanted to know if they really wanted my business.  Remember how we used to hear that various minorities felt left out because they did not see themselves in the movies, TV programs or advertising.  I have decided that is a two way street so I looked at this mailer.  Do I see myself?

One side had mainly hands.  The one cheek showing was up for grabs about the affirmative actions boxes it checked.  The hands seemed to represent a full spectrum.  Are hands enough to make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, included and loved?

The other side made me feel like a lost child.  There was nothing that could be called male.  There were women and more hands.  One picture had a black woman and one that was a Latina.  All I can guess is that they don’t want my business.

Seems logical to me.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-239: Root Causes

As I was praying for the country my mind went to the question of “What do I want to happen?”

Historically there are numerous examples of God getting up close and personal with kings.  He had Nebuchadnezzar out eating grass.  He showed Belshazzar the writing on the wall just before the Persians invaded the city and ended his feast.  David lost a child for his dalliance.  Pharaoh found out it is hard to swim in armor.  In more recent times it is hard to tell when God is dealing with leaders since we don’t have a Biblical account to inform us.

God does move in the halls of power.  We need to keep praying for our “leaders”.

At the same time we need to remember that old caution, “Be careful what you pray for, you might get it.”  I would guess that when God moves against political leaders it is not done gently nor does the general population get off with a night at Chucky Cheese.  It generally results in disruption and chaos in the streets.  

My feeling is that God only takes the extreme measures when He is forced to do so.  He is not forced by someone putting a gun to His head.  He is forced because the people who are called by His name have refused to step up to the plate as salt and light.  Is the country going down hill?  Is the rule of law being perverted into a totalitarian joke?  Are morals in the gutter?  Is the nation in the handbasket and happy about it?  I trust you know rhetorical questions when you see them.

The reason the country is charging toward joining the failures of the past is because it has abandoned its Christian roots.  The degeneration did not start in Washington or any state capital.  It started in the seminaries and pastoral studies across the country.  It started when those who were given the responsibility to be spiritual leaders surrendered to the siren of popular culture and took the wide gate.  Sure enough, it is leading to destruction.

It started in the leadership but it continued in the people sitting in the pews.  They did not call the diluters to account.  They did not take the spiritual routes of prayer, reprove and correction.  They didn’t even vote with their feet.  

If we are going to turn the country around we need to start at the bottom.  That means you and me.  We need to answer the call to repentance so that those in power can be dealt with.  At this point we also need to accept the fact that the correction is going to be painful for everyone involved.

Shoot for the narrow gate.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Opus 2023-238: The Peasant Pallette

I was meditating on the benefits of having a peasant pallette.

The women in my life are very sensitive to things like taste, smell, sound, texture.  This has been demonstrated repeatedly over the years and predates any claims made about Covid.  It is the way I am made.

I don’t need as much variety as other people.  Generally if I like something I can eat it often.  When I have dinner with my son once a week I am quite content going to the same restaurant and ordering the same items.  Variety is nice but I don’t require a cacophony of cuisines.  He does, but he humors me.  In return I am willing to try just about anything.  I figure I could even find something to eat at a sushi place.

Eternity is going to be a real education for me.  I may find out why people like their steak prepared in what is called “rare”.  I hesitate to say “cooked” because I don’t consider that to be an accurate description.  Of course it may be that they will discover the joys of a really well-done piece of meat.  I revel in the knowledge that God banned the eating of blood and fat.  To me that refers to a rare, expensive piece of meat.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Opus 2023-237: It Was the Cat

Have you ever had things get moved or broken and no one in the house will own up to being responsible?  You end up blaming the cat.  The object was moved.  The heirloom is broken.  It happened.  I ran into a version of this the other day when my wife was having a hard time getting the car between the lines.  I came up with the idea that the restaurant had a crew of gremlins who would sneak out and move the lines when you were not looking.  That theory did not receive a favorable rating.  Neither did the cat theory.

It is time to extend that a little and put together some headlines.  I was reading some comments by Sarah Hoyt about the new poisons they are masquerading as vaccines.  It seems that people who are in a position to know about these things are reporting that there is now DNA in the solution.  The point was that unlike mRNA, which is theoretically temporary, the DNA will work itself into your cells in such a way that it is passed on to future generations.  It also causes increased cancer and such.  The doctor reporting this expressed the opinion that this could have only been done intentionally since the principles are well known and alternatives exist.

Who would be so evil to do such a thing?  Of course we have the Davos crowd who have expressed that there are too many humans on the planet.  The only reason I would question that is the fear they might have of being caught.  My suggestion is to combine this with another bit of hysteria making the click bait:  Aliens.  

Why would the aliens risk the cost of an invasion when they could simply get the simple humans running our governments to poison their own people.  Simple.  Safe.  Inexpensive.  What is not to like, if you are an alien?

Don’t close your mind.  It fits.  Or it could be that when you get elected to congress you are taken into a back room and switched for a double.  I can take it either way.  Of course there are some people who think that cats are aliens.

homo unius libri

Monday, October 2, 2023

Opus 2023-236: Dark Thoughts: A Time for Hope

I was out on the porch, enjoying creation, by about 4:15.  It is amazing how quiet it can get in the hill country of Texas.  An occasional car would pass by on the nearby road but there were long stretches when I could hear nothing man produced.  It was about 75̊ and the atmosphere was still shedding heat so it would be going down to about 72 before the sun came up and started the heat cycle again.

A thin crescent moon had risen above the horizon and was beginning to disappear into the low clouds as it ran from the sun around the corner.  One of my eyes was caught by a star piercing the oak canopy.  I played around looking for it with my other eye and I was reminded of how few stars I tended to see, even in the darkness of the country.  It is amazing how the light pollution can overwhelm the display I know is up there.  I can see the glow of a town twenty miles away but very little of the twinkle, twinkle little star.

I could not see the glory of creation because of the evidence of civilization.  What a testimony to our times.

It is possible that scientists locked in their labs and English teachers surrounded by their shelves of books are missing an important ingredient for understanding the music of the spheres.  Ancient man could look up and see the splendor of the heavens.  It would cause him to think about what was beyond him.  It would humble him.  I can remember being in the Sierra Nevada mountains, far from civilization and looking at the sky.  It was awe inspiring.  Stars seemed to be multiplying as I watched.  I could even trace the Milky Way.  Add to that an awareness of the trees densely populating the surrounding miles and it is possible to get a more accurate picture of the universe than you could ever get through a microscope.

Modern technology has done a lot to improve our health and security.  I don’t want to go back to the days before air conditioning and dental anesthesia.  I don’t go out and sit on the porch on those morning when it is still 80̊ outside.  It has also deadened our perception of the bigger realities.  In many cases it has totally isolated people from the glory around them.  They are so impressed with the works of man that they are shielded from being inspired by the works of God.  It always amazes me the things that impress people on You Tube clips.  They  need to get out more.

It is probably a testimony to why so many in our times are turning away from God and what He has to say.  I would suggest that when they get desperate and depressed it would be more fruitful to look to what He has to say about meaning and truth.  Meanwhile, if you are one of those who marvels at the imagination of the Creator, keep on enjoying and rejoicing.  When someone asks you how it’s going, don’t just say, “Fine.”  Say something like, “Did you see the sunrise God designed this morning?  This are glorious.”

Share the hope that is in you.

homo unius libri