Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

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

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

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Opus 2023-296: Dark Thoughts: Chain Reactions

God is still the Prime Mover.  Secular scientists get all choked up with rage when anyone suggests that there is a God and He ever did anything.  It is one of the problems that held up the acceptance of the Big Bang Theory.  It is pushed now in the hopes that people will not look back and see the resistance.  The big problem with the secular view of the origin of the universe is that they have no way to explain the beginning.  What they have come up with corresponds very will with Genesis 1:1.

Why my thoughts in the dark of the morning took me was that the Big Bang was not a one time event.  Each human life is another example of the Big Bang.  Sorry, I could not get around that pun.  Every conception is a totally unique event.  In the case of identical twins the divergence starts almost immediately.  When you consider the wonderful complexity of the human genome it becomes clear that each human is a creation in their own right.

Each person is a unique individual with incredible potential.  We tend to forget that.  It used to be assumed.  With the emergence of the philosophy behind things like Critical Race Theory that uniqueness is overwhelmed by identity politics.  Characteristics chosen by the elect as important become more important than anything original about you.  You are just a cell in your particular woke caricature.  You are a cipher of the state.  You are just a part of the primordial ooze.

We need to get back to celebrating individuals and their contributions.  We need a society that develops that.  America came close.  Socialism wants to destroy it.  The American dream and the liberty outlined in the Bill of Rights are a recipe for each of us being more than just another bump on the road of life.

Believe it and live it.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-295: Tangent to What

What troubles me is not people coming up with weird ideas or borderline heresy.  Most of the time that is a good way to start a conversation.  My mind tends to take tangents and I will defend them to the point of not being fun any more.

I am more disturbed by people who have not had a new thought in years.  These can be Christians or not.  In so many lives mental petrification is a serious problem.  

Personally I find it hard to read through the Bible and not see new ideas or eyebrow raisers.  Maybe they are not new.  Maybe I noticed them thirty years ago and just forgot.  At my age I could have read it last week and forgot.  Sharing my mental tangents and getting those looks of condescension help to sear them into my memory.  

As an example, today in Sunday School the teacher was reading through the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11.  This married couple sold some property, gave part to the church and claimed that they had given all of it.  Though given a chance to confess their lie they stuck to their story and each was struck dead.  I have heard this many times in my life.  Today the question popped into my head, “I wonder if that increased or decreased giving in the church?”  For some reason I never got an answer.

For some reason many people don’t like my tangents.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Opus 2023-294: A Simple Message

Simple songs with a simple message and eternal consequences.

I was listening to Bing Crosby sing, “Do You Hear What I Hear?”  It goes through a progression from seeing, then hearing, knowing and eventually saying.  It never mentions the name of Jesus.  It seems to be expected that you know what the star means, what the song says and who the Child is.  Don’t assume that is true in today’s world.

There is no deep theology in this song.  It is simply a message of sharing.  Sharing the hope.  Sharing the joy.  Jesus put it a bit differently.  He started with,

(Joh 9:5 KJV)  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
He is the light but the implication is that He would be leaving.  So we see His words in Matthew,
(Mat 5:14 KJV)  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
This is the context of also saying we are the salt of the earth.  What it means is we are a presence which cannot be denied.  We are the seasoning in the stew of life.  Like the song, this does not involve deep theology.  It means living a life that reflects the light and holiness of God.  When the Holy Spirit has used your witness and other ingredients, He will lead people to start asking questions and then you can share what you know.

Embrace the hope, joy and peace of the incarnate Savior.  Let it radiate from your face and your actions.  Maybe this can be the year that revival breaks out because of Christmas carols.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-293: Huzza for Honest Evil

I’m thinking we need to give a shout-out to the honest evils in the world.  Most evil hides under a cloak.  Think of abortion mills murdering uncounted children and claiming they are doing it for the benefit of women’s rights.  Think of all the insiders making a couple of fortunes by milking the totally useless green energy fraud.  Think of the members of congress who claim to have gone to Washington to do the will of the people.  I don’t remember the people saying they want members of congress to become rich while they bleed taxpayers dry.  Not those people.

I’m thinking of how certain groups declare with no mystery what their goal is.  The evil proponents of Islamic Jihad are currently at the top of the list.  They proclaim what they plan to do.  They are very clear about it.  They are very open about genocidal murderer of Jews.  That includes all Jews with no regard for age, sex or civilian status.  As a mild mannered Palestinian I once knew proclaimed with a straight face, “You need to kill them all.  The women have more babies and the babies grow up to be soldiers.”  He was a public school teacher twenty years ago and a genuinely nice guy, except for Jews.  

If you go back to the Marxists, the Communist Manifesto was very clear about all the things it wanted to destroy and do away with.  Topping the list in clear English was the family, religion and private property.  It is double clear because when it was published it was put out in many languages with an official translation by the authors.  Don’t believe me?  Download a copy and read it.  It isn’t long but it is specific.

I believe that also Hitler in Mein Kampf was very clear about destroying everything of the west having to do with Christianity.  God was to be replaced by the state and all humans would either be exterminated or brought into submission to the state.  I have not read Hitler’s book so I can’t speak with authority but you get the idea.

The other side of this coin is the total blindness of the general population and their Elite overlords.  You might consider them part of the disguised agents of evil.  How people of good will could rally against Israel when the slaughter was clear and the Hamas method of using children as human shields is well documented.  Maybe the answer is they are not people of good will.

Again I say, pray like it was necessary.  It is.  And while you have any liberty stand up, speak out and make a difference.  You might try voting but I am not sure that is a lost cause at this point.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-292: The Question

We need to ask THE question.

What question, you ask?  “Did they take the vaccine?”

It is difficult when someone has had an unexpected death in their circle of family and friends.  It is doubly difficult when the person you are asking has also taken multiple jabs.  They may even be the one who urged their dead friend to submit to the wisdom and concern of the governing authorities.

It needs to be asked for the preservation of liberty.  Those who control the narrative and deluge us with lies and deception are not really out to fill the hospitals.  Their heart felt goal is to build and implement the work camps like their gurus of 1939 Germany.  They are well on the way.  Note what is happening in Ireland and closer to home in New York.  

So practice your innocent looks.  Work on not screeching.  Act like you really want to know.  Maybe if enough people keep asking the question people will wake up to what is being done to them.

And maybe not, but it won’t be on your head.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Opus 2023-291: In Praise of Snake Oil

Recently I had a friend from long ago die.  I never heard the reason.  He was the same age as I am.  He is gone and I am still cooking.  Was it fair?  No.  He was the kind of guy who was always lean and trim.  In his sixties I would not have been surprised if he hiked the John Muir trail in his underwear, in winter.  I, on the other hand, consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator to the second floor a feat deserving lavish praise.

Have you experience this kind of thing?  Whenever I hear that someone has died out of sync, I want to ask THE question:  Did they take the vaccine?  Recently a guy older than me died.  He had a double lung transplant five years ago.  His kidneys were going bad.  Even there I wanted to ask THE question because it was his heart that failed.

The covid foolishness has destroyed my confidence in the medical profession.  If I as a layman could look at the available data and see that this “super virus” was no more dangerous than the seasonal flu, why didn’t the professionals who know how to read the research know this?  I will give them the benefit of the doubt for the first two months but when the evidence of the two cruise ships quarantined in Tokyo harbor came in, it became obvious that they had abandoned their pledge to first, do no harm.  They administered a vaccine that did little for those sick and caused unmeasured damage to the healthy.  It seems like daily we hear of a tragedy involving infants having heart attacks and prime athletes collapsing.  It is not natural.  It is a genuine conspiracy.  

I think back to the vaccines I took through my childhood.  It was a small number compared to what is being pushed today, but seeing how the pharmaceutical industry has sold out the human race in the quest of obscene profits has made me think again.  I have not had a shot since my new born was exposed to hepatitis.  I have never understood why people flock to get flu shots every year.  Still, I thought there was some reason for all this.  Now I am not so sure.

The more I learn about the people who are in charge of the nations health, the more I am willing to take my snake oil remedies, my daughter makes an elderberry elixir, and the simple hand of Providence.  More and more I simply assume God will take me when He is ready and no doctor can keep alive if He decides my time has come.

I can live with that.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-290: Still Basically Illiterate

Don’t get distracted by the title.

I am listening to a musical rendition of “Go Tell It on the Mountain”.  It forces me to fill in the words, many of which I know but don’t think much about.  Most of us could supply the “Go tell it on the mountain” part and then we start to hum as our attention wanders.

I am suggesting that the next line is what really applies to us.  It would be easy to think about proclaiming something from a mountain top.  There are many great things that need to be said.  Don’t miss two points.

First, it goes on to say, “over the hills and everywhere”.  When you are sharing about Jesus, whether it is simply the meaning of Christmas or the salvation message, it is to be taken everywhere.  It is not limited to mountain top guru wisdom.  It is to be street level.  That is what “everywhere” means.

Second, what are we declaring?  “That Jesus Christ is born”.  That is what the original Christ Mass was commemorating.  The church calendar included all doctrine and truth, or at least that was the intent in a world that was largely illiterate.  Today people can pronounce the simple words, but they are still basically illiterate when it comes to the deeper concepts.

So take Merry Christmas everywhere you go.  Declare the fullness of time.  Share that the “word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

It is time to reclaim Christmas and the music of Christmas is a good place to start.

homo unius libri

Monday, November 27, 2023

Opus 2023-289: Raiders of the Lost Hark


Listen up!  Attention please!  Alert!

I am sure you have sung “Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing:”  Most people who sing it never stop to look at the words closely.  They think there is a comma after “Hark” but it is really an explanation point.  It is not a word to take up a gap in the beat.  It is a declaration that you are supposed to sit up and take notice.

Of course if the sky were full of real angels we would probably harken, unless we had our ear buds on and were beboping down the sidewalk to some tunes.  The shepherds in the field the first Christmas didn’t have that kind of distraction.  They paid attention.

The first three lines of the Christmas carol are happy thoughts.  Anyone can sing them if they don’t think too much but the fourth line is the first message that demands to be canceled.

“God and sinners reconciled”
Why is that a problem?  Well, just who are these sinners they are talking about?  Modern thinkers have established that man is born pure and would be quite satisfactory if it were not for the oppression heaped on them by things like European cultural assumptions.  The man in the street needs to be sheltered from such heinous statements.  How dare Christians imply that someone might be a sinner?

Actually, it isn’t Christians who imply it.  It is God who declares it.
(Rom 3:23 KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Don’t look at me.  Look at God.  And while you are looking you might want to listen.  If there are no sinners then there was no reason for the Angels to be singing because no one needed to be reconciled to God.

But they did and we do.

That is why you hear these songss less and less, even in church.

Merry Christmas.

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Opus 2023-288: Warm Fuzzies and Truth

I continue to listen to Christmas music.  Some of it is so secular I skip it.  Some is basically secular, brings a lot of warm fuzzies and still has some truth mixed in.  Imagine getting any truth out of “Here Comes Santa Claus”.

I was listening for the warm fuzzies but some of the words punched through.  One of the reasons this might be banned by our secular pagans is a line like this,

“He doesn't care if your rich or poor for he loves you just the same.
Santa knows that we're God's children, that makes everything right.”
The last part may be theologically questionable but the idea of equality found in the Christian message is clearly stated.  No Critical Race Theory, no white privilege, no group identity, just the message that we are all equal before God.

Then there is this line,
“Peace on earth will come to all if we just follow the light.”
It might require some explanation of what is meant by “light” but a little investigation would find,
(1Jn 1:5 KJV)  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
So even a song written by Gene Autry might have a message that could change lives.  All it requires is a bit of listening and thinking.

Keep playing the songs of Christmas and praying that the message will get out.

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Opus 2023-287: Dark Thoughts: Apostle or Author

Maybe we have the calling of the Apostle Paul all wrong.

We think of him as the apostle to the Gentiles.  He did too.  And he was.  The Bible is very clear about that and if I could not read I have a friend who cannot have a conversation without telling me again that Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles.  Got it.  The reason my friend has trouble with me is that I am enough of a thinker and student of history to know that many of the churches Paul went to had already been established by others.  I also know that with the coming of Mohammad most of the churches that Paul had anything to do with were turned into mosques.

But what if that was just preparation for his true calling:  Author of Theology.

What if his real calling was to write his letters.

It would require on-the-ground knowledge.  It would require real-world responses to real-world situations.  His missionary journeys gave that to him.  Think about why we have the letters of Paul.  They were almost entirely responses to problems in the church.  Some were moral, some theological.  Paul’s background as a Pharisee and the revelations given him by Jesus put him in a place to write and know of what he spoke.

Most of the churches he was involved with were ground up by Islam.  Similar things can be said of the other NT writers.  What they wrote has survived and continues to bear fruit.

We probably have the wrong idea about the contributions we make, what is important, what will last.  We serve in faith, not in sight.  That might discourage you but I think it should make us optimistic.  It is a reminder of Providence.  God is in charge.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-286: The Eternal Warrantee

A lot cartoon images portray popular misconceptions about eternity, often by people who do not really believe:  playing harps in bathrobes while sitting on clouds, a long line leading to some pearly gates, Saint Peter cracking jokes behind a podium, etc.  It is good fun in memes and the comedy clubs but a problem if you want to get serious about what happens after we die.

A physical resurrection is necessary for the Christian faith.  

(1Co 15:16-17 KJV)  For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:   And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
The clearest statement of this event is in Thessalonians.  Our resurrection is tied to the return of Christ.
(1Th 4:16-17 KJV)  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
There is another reference to resurrection in the book of Revelation but that is more tied in with the final judgement.  

What got me off on this was speculating on how beautiful the sunrise would be in my resurrected body.  I believe we will have a new type of body.  It will be free of any of the handicaps of sin and natural flaws.  That means I will see things I have never enjoyed before.

One reason for the need for a new body is to contain the joy.  Have you ever been so happy you thought you were going to burst?  Picture being in the presence of the source of joy.  We need an overhaul before we can attempt it.  I can’t picture enjoying a million years sitting around saying “Hallelujah!”  In reality it will be so glorious that our present bodies would short circuit from the glory.  I don’t expect to understand it now but I will experience it then.

I hope you join me.  I will be glad to save a seat for you.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 24, 2023

Opus 2023-285: The Music Speaks

I am driving a used car that is new to me.  It came with a cassette deck.  I knew it was old but I am finding that even the thrift stores don’t bother carrying old cassettes.  I finally found a place that provided me with a couple of tapes of Christmas music.  I put it to use this morning as I ran an errand.

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” came up and I tried to figure out who was singing.  At the next red light I looked and found out it was Johnny Cash.  Good deal.  As I listened to the words it hit me how appropriate this old hymn was for today.  

The song starts off on a positive note but that changes in the third verse,

    And in despair I bow’d my head.  “There is no peace on earth,” I said,
    “For hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Does that sound like the world we live in?  The song was written in 1864 according to my hymnal.  All right all you public school graduates out there, what was happening in 1864?  Give up?  Oh, you know.  For the rest of you it was in the second half of the American Civil War.  Bloody battles were a regular news item.  Lists of fatalities were published daily.  Brother was turned against brother.  To many it seemed like there would be no end.

And you think we have it bad.

But Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was not done after the second verse.  He goes on to express the hope that we all should cling to,

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:  “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
    The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Don’t despair.  Don’t give up.  Keep being a source of light and reflect the Light.  

Is it any wonder that our secular, pagan culture is working to remove Christmas and its music from our culture?

Merry Christmas.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-284: Barbers and AI

I got my hair cut the other day and the barber asked me if I thought AI was the Babylon of Revelation.  It is not something I spend a lot of time on.  Some people are deeply worried about artificial intelligence and computers.  I had to explain, or try to explain, that computers are not really smart.  They’re just fast, have better memories and can do repetitious tasks over and over again without taking a coffee break. That got me thinking about the question of AI.  

And then I got to thinking about people.

Many people also are easily programmed. If you watch the mass demonstrations hating on Jews and screaming to kill Jews and destroy Israel, they are programmed to do that. They have not looked at any facts, thought it through and certainly are not using reason. They are just programs.  People know which button to push to get the desired result.  It works on the masses.  I always wonder how I would respond to that manipulation but I would not be in that situation to begin with.

Then I got to thinking about the world I live in, peopled by Christians.  When people genuinely meet Jesus their behavior changes.  I don’t feel the Holy Spirit programs us to do righteousness.  He makes us righteous.  It is what we want.  But even in the Christian world you have those who are so programmed but they don’t think. They become victims of legalism and all of its offshoots. Pastors, You Tube gurus, popular books, they all try to do your thinking for you.  Then I thought of a parallel in the computer world

We have some people who would be the equivalent of your original computer. Mine was a Kaypro 64.  We have other people that might be on the equivalent of a Cray computers. And the difference is they’re willing to think.  It isn’t how many years of school or the certificates on their wall.  It isn’t how much they make.  It is the willingness to think for yourself.

I am not worried about AI.  I am worried about people who have the ability to program computers to destroy everything I hold dear.  It is a totally different problem and the same one that has been around since the beginning of history.  

The battle continues.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Opus 2023-283: On Your Mark...

I hope you have the alarms set.  I am sure you have everything prepared.  As soon as the last morsel of food is eaten you have official permission to start the Christmas music.

Don’t worry about the overlap with Thanksgiving day.  Christmas is about the incarnation.  It is a collage of Bible concepts from “the fullness of time” to “the Word became flesh.”  That is a lot to be thankful for.  Knowing the truth is something to be thankful for.  

Thanksgiving is a year round thing, or it should be.  The day for those of us who know the glory of God is just an introduction to the celebration of Advent.

Begin the rejoicing.  Continue the Thanksgiving.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-282: Obligatory Thanksgiving Muse

We have a Thanksgiving tradition.  I don’t think it originated with us.  As we sit down to celebrate, each person finds two pieces of corn on the plate.  We pass a small basket around twice and each of us share something we are thankful for and drop in a kernel.  It is a good way to focus.

I would say I don’t need to focus.  Every morning is Thanksgiving for me.  It is hard to spend time contemplating the nature and goodness of God without crossing the line to thanks.  This morning my meditation turned to Philippians,

(Php 2:5-8 KJV)  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Then it went to the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us and becoming sin on our behalf.  If I wasn’t worried about waking up the neighbors I might have a shouting spell.  I like a bit of alliteration so I start the categories of my thanks with “G”.  Here it stand for Grace and Gospel.

It is similar to the perpetual Father’s Day I experience.  Often my daughter will take me shopping with her and the kids.  It becomes a celebration of grandchildren as I take over the cart and turn it into a race car or a bumper car.  At the end of the day I thank my daughter for a great Father’s Day.  I am thankful in the morning for the G of genetics, generations or genes.  

I could go on but you are getting too old to spend the time with my celebration.  It is a daily Thanksgiving.

I am going to try to start a new Thanksgiving/Advent tradition this year.  We have our Christmas light up and I want to start the habit of going out before the grandchildren go home and plugging them in to celebrate the start of the season of the incarnation.  There are not a lot of lights.  No one will be driving across town to see our display but it should be enough to impress our youngest if I let them try to plug things in.

Blessings on you as you count your grace gifts and celebrate the greatest gift of all.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-281: Thanks and Trust

I was thinking about God‘s way of providing in my life. When I left the pastoral ministry, one of the pressures was to feed my family. I questioned whether I was right and leaving the pastoral ministry. But even then God provided for us everything we needed, my children turned out great, and life is good in retirement. When I was pastoring on a shoestring, He provided. When I was teaching, God provided. When I retired I looked at the world around me and wonder how we’re going to make it.  Society is coming apart and I am getting too old to do many things that might need doing.  Inflation is growing daily but our income isn’t.

At the same time that the concern emerges it becomes clear that the same pattern will apply. God will provide. It doesn’t matter what the government does. It doesn’t matter about the social climate. God will provide.

That is something to be thankful for.  Trusting is a part of giving thanks.  Happy Trust Day.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Opus 2023-280: One Liners: Shifting Alignments

Dennis Prager, “I didn’t leave the Democrat party.  The Democrat party left me.”

I don’t know if it was original to him but the truth endures.  I know that the perception we have of the Democrat party has gone through a steady evolution.  I don’t know if it actually changed.  It could be it was always what we see now and it was just covered up.  It is not covered up any more.  If there is an act of evil that is destroying our republic and its moral fiber and is being pushed by the media and educator, the Democrats are for it.  

You know this if you are paying attention but considering how many people still wear masks and reject that the election of 2020 was stollen, you know there are not many paying attention.  If you need more evidence ask a few simple questions about geography or history.  I don’t know if you are aware of it but colleges that have any standards left are requiring their students to pass a general skills test before they are allowed to graduate.  It is a simple demonstration of ability to write, simple math and some general knowledge.  Keep in mind that most educators are Democrats.  Connect the dots.

How many of us have experienced something similar.  I can say it about the denomination I was raised in.  I am starting to think it will apply to the Republican party also.  Changing churches is harder than you might expect because so many have gone Progressive and seeker friendly.  Those are clergy-talk for woke.  Finding a new political party has no options.

Keep prayer.  Stand up.  Speak out.  Enjoy the liberty while we still have it.  

homo unius libri

Friday, November 17, 2023

Opus 2023-279: A Lesson in Economics

Capitalism works for two reasons:  People are stupid and people can be smart.

This evolved from my wife complaining about all the “solutions” offered on the internet for her cat’s eating disorder.  The cat is not stupid.  He is a socialist.  If you offer him food, he will take it.  If you respond to his pitiful cries and give him more food, he will take it.  It works for him and you in the short run.  Sure, he dies of obesity but cats are cheap and readily available, just like peasants in Soviet Russia.  Socialism works for both of you.

I digress.

All of the offerings of wisdom, special foods, cat toys and exercise programs (for the cat, not you) get you to buy their products.  If you are the kind of person who runs on low octane fuel then you buy it and they get rich.  Put that under the “people are stupid” category.  It is like the people who watch the weather every night, see that the forecast does not work out and still believe it the next day.

Then you have the people who choose to be smart.  This is a harder road.  It requires thinking and using a bit of logic.  It makes you see uncomfortable truths and take actions that are draining.  You don’t buy your cat all the “miracle diets” made with sustainable cricket legs.  Instead you give him a measured cup of whatever was cheapest and throw him outside.  He will either eat what you give him or go hungry.  If he gets hungry enough he will either eat what you provide or go hunt a snake for lunch.  If he hunts it requires exercise.  It is a win/win.

Because most people are not smart the cat products earn a profit and pay taxes which gets the roads paved and puts books on the library shelve.  Meanwhile you live better with a healthy self-image based on wise decisions.  And they will wonder why you have money to go on vacation.

Capitalism works.  Of course that applies to actual capitalism not the fascist version of crony capitalism we have today.  

Trust me.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Opus 2023-278: Cure for Poverty

On the way to Canyon Lake there is a billboard that says something to the effect of ending poverty forever and it has a picture of a young man looking into your eyes with a wistful look.  I am assuming that the answer they have is an expensive government program with lots of well paid administrators.  

I have another solution, one that has stood the test of time.  My answer to that heart wrenching appeal is not a program but “Get a job”.  There is a simplistic solution for people trying to be successful in life.  It has three steps with some variation depending on who is proclaiming it:  1)  Don’t get arrested, 2)  Graduate from high school, 3)  Don’t have any children until after you are married.

I doubt if anyone will share that with him.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Opus 2023-277: Pick Your Handle

Historically names have a significance that we don’t think of today.  I am reading a book about Sam Houston.  At one point when things went bad for him he went back to live with the Cherokee and took his Indian name which meant “The Raven”.  He started drinking so much that the Indians changed it to “The Big Drunk.  Or take the Roman Emperors.  Ceasar Augustus was a handle.  His birth name would have been Octavian but he was so lofty and revered that they called him Augustus.

Most Biblical names have a meaning.  Even God chose a special one.  When Moses asked whom he should say sent him he was told, Yahweh, which means “I am”.  I know what my parents named me but I wonder if God has a special handle He uses when He tells my guardian angel to make sure he is awake.  

What name would I pick for myself?  I guess it might depend on my mood and I might want to change it on a regular basis.  What a world it would be if we could pick what we wanted to be called.

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Response to Chipmunk

 My own blog won't let me leave a comment.  I guess compared to what is going on in the Middle East that is not much to complain about.  Romans says that the government bears the sword to punish evil.  I think this qualifies, big time.

Grace and peace

Opus 2023-276: Dark Thoughts: Different Endings

As I sit in the dark on the front porch, I talk to God and listen for replies.  So far I have had not verbal response but I do seem to find that my mental tangents and rabbit trails get me thinking about topics I would never have when trying to decide which apples to pick from the bin.

I got off to thinking about eternity.  When you interact with an eternal God who promises us an eternal destiny that topic comes up a lot.  What will come to us after death?  Is it all over when the body fails?  Is there something more?  Most religions have answers to this but they are radically different.  My mind ran to the three major religions that I know anything about and I started comparing.  Keep in mind that I am a Christian and not a Buddhist or Hindu.  My knowledge of those two religions is limited but I am trying to be as objective as I can.  All three religions have answers for what happens after the body dies.  All are radically different.

Christians believe in an afterlife that in the common vernacular is called “heaven”.  Although there are some issues in the misuse of this word it gets the point across.  In heaven we will live eternally and there will be no suffering or pain.  We will be in the presence of God and enjoy Him forever.  The there are two key differences I want to point out that are different from the other two religions I will consider.  First, we are aware and filled with joy.  We never lose our personhood.  Existence and reality are not something that we escape but something that we embrace and explore.  Second, we are not gods.  There is only one God and we are His creature.

A verse that comes to mind about this is,

(1Co 13:12 KJV)  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Buddhism also believes that we go on after death.  Instead of once it is a cycle of deaths that move us up or down.  If we move up then we eventually escape the physical world and achieve what we commonly call Nirvana.  You cease to be aware of your personhood and are absorbed into the cosmic whole, the Force of Star Wars.  Life is miserable and the goal is to escape.

Hinduism seems to believe that you can achieve godhood.  There is also the cycle of reincarnation but the results seem a bit different.  You might become unaware of your personhood.  I don’t understand that part but it is a good type of not knowing.  I found an interesting statement about this in reading one of the books by Vivek Ramaswamy, Nation of Victims.  He made this statement at the end of the second book.  He had made numerous statements about being a Hindu.  One example he gave shared how the Hindu saints would often go out into the wilderness and achieve such enlightenment that they would deliberately starve themselves to death.  I think this is the state that he later calls mahasamadhi,  and explains it thus,
“That’s the state when a yogi experiences their oneness and unity with their true self, or God, since in Hindu theology those are one and the same.” page 241
To my way of thinking this is an enlightened mindlessness but notice that the true self is God.

From my point of view the answers to the big questions they find usually come out of their cultural experience.  The Bible is different in that it takes us beyond what we might experience and gives vistas that are not part of our thinking.  I have been searching for the quote by Hugh Ross about space/time dimensions but have not been able to find it.  I remember reading how he converted to Christianity because in reading the Bible he saw an awareness of many more dimensions than the four that are common knowledge.  

Death comes to all of us.  It is something we need to think about.

Ramaswamy, Vivek.  Nation of Victims.  New York:  Center Street, 2022.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 10, 2023

Opus 2023-275: The Six Nano-Seconds of Creation

Why do some people think that God needed 24 hours to complete His creation work for the day.  Isn’t that limiting God a bit.  After all, it says,

(Gen 1:3 KJV)  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
(Gen 1:4 KJV)  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
(Gen 1:5 KJV)  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
I don’t see any time-lapse photography here.  I see a proclamation and a fulfillment.  I suggest that Moses would have used “nano-second” if he had been familiar with the term.  Don’t be a person of weak faith.

Millions or billions of years would seem more appropriate here, not because God could not do it in an instant but because He probably enjoyed considering the goodness of what He had created.  How long can you look at a beautiful painting or a glorious sunrise?  Isn’t that part of the imagio dei?  Do cats enjoy the Mona Lisa?

Of course it is possible that, since God exists outside of time, He was able to spend what would seem to us to be billions of years enjoying the big bang and it would have appeared instantaneous.

There is so much room for imagination in pursuit of truth.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-274: Measure the Response Carefully

The barbaric behavior of Hamas on unarmed men, women, children and infants has brought an amazing response.  I am not talking about the celebrations in Muslim countries.  We have seen it before.  We will see it again.  That is to be expected.  I am not even talking about the demonstrations in Europe.  Most of those are made up of Muslim immigrants who are part of the demographic jihad of Islam.  The amazing response is in the United States.  College campuses are erupting with support for the brutality of Hamas.  Everywhere you look you see people rejoicing that babies heads were torn off and women were raped and murdered.  These “people” seem to feel that any response by Israel is the evil event.

Amazing, but maybe not if you have been following the script.  Burning down cities has been labeled “peaceful protest”.  At the same time peaceful Trump supporters are in jail for the flagrant insurrection of trespass and people are locked up for simply being in the neighborhood.  With those clear abuses of power, don’t be surprised if the woke students and their gurus act like mindless zombies.  And of course the left hates Jews.  The Jews seem to have an advanced case of Stockholm Syndrome.  

But this hatred may be more of a blessing than a curse.

Perhaps the idea that we are getting more partisan and more divided is a blessing instead of a curse. I think that this division might help us to realize what is right and what is wrong and make us think.  It could be a wake up call.  Perhaps we should be asking for more division and less unity nonsense.  

The division we are looking at now is much more clear than the political sideshows.  The fools that are running around calling for the murder of all Jews are very clear on where they stand.  They are evil.  I don’t care if they are young and naive.  I don’t care if they are elderly and getting sucked into the moment.  Hamas acted in a way that demands no forgiveness.  One reason that it demands no forgiveness is the clear voice they speak with:  Israel must be destroyed.  All Jews must die.  They claim they will keep on until the job is done.  You cannot forgive someone as they slit your throat.

There is nothing to negotiate.

The sides are clear.

The choice is simple.

How will America respond?

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Opus 2023-273: Another Non-Physical is over

I just had my annual physical and I continue to feel positive about the doctor that I have. He has a good bedside manner and he seems to know his stuff. The problem that I might have is that he is a doctor of the 20th and 21st century and he does everything by the numbers.

Not only does he do it by the numbers but he doesn’t do any of the traditional things that I was used to. There’s no checking of the abdomen. There’s no checking of the throat.  He does not look in my ears.  Forget tapping your knee with that little hammer.  Everything has come down to blood tests.

Maybe that is enough.  It does not fill me with confidence.  Medicine has become a business based on long list of side effects to keep from getting sued, countless tests to keep from getting sued and lots of paper work.  When I went in this time I asked why all the forms since I filled them out last year.  They said I needed to sign my consent to be treated.  My response was that if I didn’t want to be treated I would not be in the office.  They were not amused.

I am blessed because I am basically healthy.  I don’t know what I will do if I am ever faced with big decisions.  My prayer is that the Lord will take me fast when the time comes.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-272: Divide and Dilute

In talking to the family geek about why businesses locate in large cities, he talks about how important it is for people to be close to each other so that they can contact other power brokers, meet face to face and interact to discuss things. He also says that because many people live in the area it is easier to get the specific specialists they need.  

As I continue to think about this, Washington comes to mind.  One of the reasons why all of the agencies in Washington are there, is to facilitate them contacting each other, relate with each other, do all the things that they do between the two houses of Congress, multiple departments and three branches of the government.  I’m thinking that maybe that’s not a good idea.  Maybe it would be better if we would take the federal government and divide it up in order to make it hard for them to work together like that.

This is not an original idea.  Others have advocated moving things like the Department of the Interior to Wyoming.  I would suggest the Department of Justice be relocated in northern Nigeria.  Of course, one of the problems with sending federal departments to isolated locations is the potential pollution they would bring with them.  It is a difficult problem.  Do you put all the evil in one quarantine location like we have now or spread it in hopes that it will not have the concentration fo infect.

Hard choices for hard times.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Opus 2023-271: Searching for the Magic Bullet

How useful is antidotal evidence?

The one that stands out to me currently is the Petersons.  Mikhaila and her father, Jordan, both were suffering from major, crippling problems.  They went on a meat-only diet and emerged from the suffering.  It’s their story and they are sticking to it.  I see no reason to doubt it.  That does not mean it will work for you.  Are accounts like this useful?

Much of the answer depends on the motive of the seeker.  If you are looking for truth, antidote can be helpful.  If you are a mercenary researcher looking for verification of your preconceived notions then it can be your bread and butter.  Just collect the stories that advance your agenda.

Based on the current corruption in scientific research I would tend to give antidotes more credit that peer reviewed studies.  I’m looking at you Climate fanatics and Covid priesthood.  In reality the deception we have seen in those two dramas are only the tip of the iceberg today and in the history of science.  Remember such nonsense as the Piltdown Man.  In my youth we had the condemnation of cyclamates with research funded by the sugar industry.  How about the coffee and chocolate yo-yos.  One day they will kill you and the next week they will heal you.  

When you look into research there are times when the results seem to verify the conclusions.  Then you look a little deeper and find that the sample base was all late-middle age, alcoholic, white males.  No women are included.  Few minorites are examined.  To top off the ignorance there is a denial that there might be differences between men and women or people of different ethnic backgrounds.  Hubris.  Arrogance.  Fear of being canceled.

I am at an age when things start to break down.  I expect to have problems.  The big question is, “Do I trust the doctor and the pharmaceutical industry that brought us the Covid vaccines or do I just trust the Lord and tough it out?”  I imagine it will be different in every case.

Keep in mind that what works for me might not work for you.  You might be unique in your response.  Someone may have coughed in the petri dish of the lab technician.  

Have a good day.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-270: Law, Talon or Sword?

When reading in Psalm 21 I came across a message that might be considered by modern Israel.  The first seven verses are general praise toward God but the atmosphere changes starting in verse 8.

(Psa 21:8 KJV)  Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.
Now David starts to focus on his political situation.  David, as God’s anointed king, understands that his enemies tend to be enemies of God.  He then goes on to detail the punishment for people who are enemies of God and enemies of God’s people, Israel.  It seems rather barbaric and violent.
(Psa 21:9 KJV)  Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.
(Psa 21:10 KJV)  Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.
(Psa 21:11 KJV)  For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which
they are not able to perform.
(Psa 21:12 KJV)  Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them.
To us this sounds overly brutal.  That is because we have been sheltered by a culture that is basically Christian in its values and behavior.  We think of the atrocities of the Germans and Japanese during World War II, shudder, and then compare it to how gently we handled them after the war was over.  Sensitive people need to read more and get a flavor of how it was in the past.

Understand the historical context of these remarks.  

Cities unsuccessful in resisting a siege expected certain consequences.  These were not just possible.  They were assured.  A city that was overrun by an enemy assumed three things would happen:  Pillage, rape and murder.  If you managed to survive the carnage then you would be sold into slavery.  Mercy was not on the agenda.  This was standard in the ancient world.  You might ask yourself why cities resisted.  Why not just surrender?  Because there was no guarantee that it would not happen even if you submitted.  The last time we saw this in most people’s minds would be when the Russians entered Berlin.  In the bigger world you might take the Communist takeover of Cambodia into consideration.

Much of the world has moved on.  That is the part of the world that has been influenced by Europeans civilization based on Christianity.  Islam is still living in that past.  The attacks the world witnessed by Hamas were part of that barbaric tradition.

Psalms 21 is in that age.  The targets David mentioned are specifically enemies who have been attacking.  Israel is not building an empire but defending a country.  That would be similar to what is going to happen as Israel responds to Hamas.

Islam has similar statements but with a difference.  Psalms is about defense and response to attack.  The Koran commands are for Muslims against anyone who resists their goal of world domination.  That makes a difference to you and me.

How do we as civilized societies respond?  Usually with the rule of law.  That means a body of rules that have been agreed on and allow people to know how to act.  In the past it has included capital punishment and even slavery.  One of the reasons slavery existed for so long was because the slaves themselves understood their legal position.  They may not like it but they acknowledged it.  If they were the slave owners they would have thought it was fine.

Understand that the rule of law in our nation was not allowed to be ex post facto or have bills of attainder.  The rules were to be clearly stated and punishment was to be evenly meted out.

We are living in a day when the rule of law is being ignored.  What the people ignoring don’t seem to understand is that if they succeed in breaking the system we will go back to the fang and talon rule of the sword.  In that scenario they will be the first to find out how brutal it can be.

Pray that we make it through without everything falling apart.  There are no winners in chaos.

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 5, 2023

 Opus 2023-269:  God Channels Descartes

Most of us are familiar with the trademark statement of Rene Descartes, “I think, therefore I am.”  It is a claim that awareness is grounded in reality.  Not so many are familiar with a statement made by God to Moses:

(Exo 3:13-4 KJV)  And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?   And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
I doubt if Moses had read Descartes.  It is possible that God inspired Descartes.  The God of the Bible is different than the divine essence of other religions because He is aware.  We think of it as the personhood of God.  

In ancient time names had significance in a way that we don’t follow.  Sure, we name people after their grandparents and parents.  In many cultures you did not even receive a permanent name until you had some vision or experience that made you stand out.  It is interesting that in that milieu God chose to emphasize the fact that He existed.

He still does.

homo unius libri

Opus 2023-268: Discernment Watch: The Anti-Litmus

What is the opposite of a litmus test?  I think that certain measures are good for getting a quick view of where people stand on many issues.  People who are pro-abortion tend to be worried about global warming, are still counting the genders and think Hamas is oppressed.  

What is the opposite?  I am thinking maybe a red flag or a canary in a coal mine.

What brings this to mind is a recent article, I can’t remember where I read it.  It was talking about a Republican running against Ilhan Omar.  The challenger was a Muslim also and had gone so far as to go to Israel to proclaim that all Muslims were not like Hamas and that she backed Israel.  If you can swallow that without a big gulp of water then you also believe that EV’s run on unicorn farts.  There are certain truths that just don’t go together.  I would suggest that when someone tells you something you know is not true then you might want to think twice about other things they say.

I have said before that such people are at least one of three things:  Ignorant, stupid or evil.  It is possible to be all three but any one by itself means your opinions are worthless.  

Take this woman running against Omar.  Let’s assume she is not stupid.  To get where she is means that her shoes are on the right feet.  She may be very sincere.  She may actually believe that she can be a good Muslim and stand with Israel.  Let’s say she is not evil.  That means she is ignorant.  She must have never read the Koran.  Or else she has only read the parts in which Mohammad is still playing nice.  

Another experience I had recently was on an interview by Peter Robinson on Uncommon Knowledge.  Most of his guests are generally conservative and so I listened to the one featuring Elizabeth Economy talking about China.  She seemed well informed and spoke well.

All was proceeding smoothly until she shared that her many years of working in Washington had convinced her that most of the people there really wanted to do the right thing.  Full stop.  What?  That simple statement made me doubt everything else she had been saying.  How could someone be so naive?  Does she pay attention?  It is possible that she is just one of those really nice people that does not see evil until she feels the pain.

Then you have icons like Glenn Beck.  I accept that he is a conservative.  I agree with him on almost everything I have heard him say.  Since I don’t listen to him regularly I don’t know how much I might disagree with now.  My problem with Beck goes back to the days I was driving to work early in the morning and would listen to his radio program.  If I did not know better I would have been under the impression that Glenn Beck was an evangelical Christian of the Billy Graham School.  He had the vocabulary.  He knew the theology.  He radiated it.  The problem is, he is a devout Mormon.  He is serious enough that there can be no doubt he knows what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believe.  Mormons may be wonderful people.  They probably make great neighbors.  They are fine citizens.  The one thing they are not is Christian.

Maybe, somewhere along the road, Glenn Beck converted.  I have heard no one say that.  If he hasn’t I am left with the plain fact that he is being deceptive.  That means I will work with him but I will do so with both eyes open and waiting for the betrayal that will come.

Life is full of difficult situations.  We need to keep thinking and knowing what we believe.  We can’t afford to be simple and trusting when there is so much at stake.  Keep thinking.  Pray without ceasing.  Vote like it made a difference.  Speak up and stand tall.

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Opus 2023-267: Time to Get Serious

As I was reading this morning I came across a Bible verse that seemed to talk about guardian angels.       

(Psa 34:7 KJV)  The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
I was caught up in the idea that one angel can camp all around me.  It defies the laws of physics but so do angels.  

Then it hit me:  We need to pray Psalm 34:7 for Mike Johnson.  The man who has been elected to be Speaker of the House is a man of faith.  Someone I know who is himself of impeccable character knows him well and says that Mike Johnson is the real deal.  He is what he seems to be.  My friend was not making any predictions about whether he would be successful but if there was a problem it would not be one of character.

Which places the burden on us.  You have already seen the God-haters as they have begun their attacks.  They will not let up.  The man is not only a believer in traditional America but a believer in Jesus Christ.  The lies and distortions will not only continue, they will get worse.  I think he was elected in response to the prayers of God’s people.  Now is not the time to relax and let him serve.  Now is the time to double down on our prayers for him and the rest of the people in government.

If you are a person of faith make Mike Johnson a target in your prayer life.  Pray that he would be strong and wise.  Pray for his family and friends.  Pray like it makes a difference.  Your country and the welfare of the world could depend on it.

Not that I want to put any pressure on you or anything like that.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Opus 2023-266: The Payoff

Texas just went through an attempt to remove a very popular Attorney General.  It was political skulduggery at its best, or worst.  How was Ken Paxton impeached by a Republican controlled state assembly?  The outrage was heard from panhandle to the gulf but he was still impeached.  Eventually the Senate exonerated him but how does something like this happen?  It is a good question to ask as we have watched the U.S. House of Representatives select a speaker.

Payoffs to Rinos

The Democrats are clear and united in their objectives.  Power and control.  They march together.  In Texas they were a minority in the assembly but they only needed ten votes to pass just about anything they wanted.  If the Republicans had been true to their stated principles the Democrats would have been helpless.  

Enter personal ambition.  Enter the Rinos.  The Rinos wanted money for new programs.  They wanted to be in control but they could not get the rest of the Republicans to go along.  If they came out too strong they would not get reelected.  So they made under the table deals.  They colluded with the Democrats to elect a speaker and the payoff is voting for their programs.  The Democrats picked a Rino that they wanted to have the gavel.  He could not be nominated by the Republican caucus but if his name came up in the actual election and all the Democrats voted for him then all it took was ten Rinos to get him elected.  After that it only took ten Rinos to go after Ken Paxton.

We have seen the same dynamics going on in congress.  It kept Jim Jordan from getting elected as speaker.  All it took was a few Rinos to deny him the position.  The real miracle is that Mike Johnson was able to emerge from the caucus and get all the Republican’s to vote for him.  The fact that he is a good choice is seen by the vitriol that is being slung on the wall to see if any of it will stick.  

There is little we can actually do about what happens behind closed doors in Washington or your state capital.  What we can do is eyeball the primary elections and work to eliminate the Rinos so that what goes on in secret is consistent with our desires.  

Elections matter, even when they cheat.  The primary season is on the way.  Pay attention and pray attentively.  Make a difference.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Resonse to Julia

 Blogger is having issues with me replying as myself so I will try it under Anonymous.  I think the answer to prayer that we are seeing is overlooked by many.  We need to keep praying for miracles and revival.

Grace and peace

(didn't work)


Opus 2023-265: The Morning after the ‘Een

November 1 is All Saints Day, All Hallows in the old tongue.  It is the day of dread for the devil worshipers who came up with the original Halloween festivals.  Just as Halloween paints the pits of Hell as a lot of fun and frolic, All Saints Day reminds us of all those who have gone before us to eternal life.  

It occurred to me that we are at the other end of the year from Easter where we celebrate the resurrection.  Easter moves around because it is on the Lunar calendar but it comes roughly six months after the celebration of death and despair.  Today we start the long assent to celebrating the heart of the Christian faith.  We move to Thanksgiving, Christmas and Passover.  We throw in a few frivolous dates such as New Years and Valentine’s.  Some get distracted by ethnic celebrations but the course is ever upward.

I can’t begin the Christmas music until after dinner on Thanksgiving but I can wish blessings on you as we move into the holiday season.

homo unius libri