Archive for the ‘Vocabulary’ category


October 15, 2018


(A chatty post for those who like to read — and meander a little)

YOLO:  It took me a moment to remember what this meant.  It was spoken in response to a dangerous, seemingly impossible  “situation”  that the characters of a book had gotten themselves into.   It means:  “Oh, well;  forward!”

(The actual letters stand for You Only Live Once.)


News Rock 1

Recording the history of a past Age

I have been defiantly unproductive today.

Apparently my body thinks it’s at the end of its rope;  you know,  too many things going on;  too many “issues” all at once, as I wrote to a friend.    I’m pretty darn resilient, and I’m pretty (almost)  healthy,  but I guess my body has limits.  I’m not physically tired, not too much, though I should be.

What I am is mentally tired.  I guess that’s why I’m always walking around with my eyes stinging and burning, wanting to close down to repair themselves in a long,  deep sleep,  no matter how well I’ve slept the night before.  I just want – enough – sleep.

News rock 2

The whole Newspaper Rock,  Utah,  made by people long ago who Only Lived Once.

So I had an errand today, and then I decided to return a library book I’ve just finished:  a second errand on a day when I didn’t want even the first one.  But I would not take home any  more books from the library for a while because . . .  then I’d just have to return them some day, and it would probably be on another day when I didn’t want to return them.

I came out of the library with four new books.

I think one of them will aid my unproductivity.

The plot involves one of those minor, minor interests you have, so minor that you don’t even think about it until you come across it again and remember,  “Oh yes,  that was kind of interesting,”  and you spend a few moments on it again.

new mt cl in grand canyon

Exploring in the Grand Canyon


Well, here’s a whole little minor-interesting book that’s giving me an excuse to “take care of my body,”  wrapped in a warm quilt, next to a steaming hot pot of tea-and-honey and my go-to comfort food from childhood:  soda crackers and slices of Cracker Barrel cheese.     Hot tea,   crackers and cheese, and the promise of a few chocolate chips after a while.

(It’s relatively cold out there in this Far North October.    A sudden abrupt drop in temperature;  high temperatures in the mid-40s.     Quilt and hot tea weather.)

new party of six

Searching for signs of ancient cultures

Apart from the slightly intriguing theme of the book,  it has the added bonus of being written by probably a Millennial with a warped, hip sense of humor — the kind I like:    flippantly irreverent.   Or is that irreverently flippant?     And slightly hyperbolic.   Perfect for a light read.


In addition to the flippant humor,  there is the creative use of familiar words and phrases.  Just one example for your enjoyment:     The small group of about a half dozen men and women,  none of whom are rock climbers,  are climbing up the almost sheer wall of the Grand Canyon.

There are many very desperate physical trials,   Indiana Jones style,   but they have to be faced and they do so  courageously.       If you die trying, you die.     YOLO.

One woman  climbing  above the main character-narrator,  slips and falls, sliding down into him.  He breaks her fall, just barely.  Not much to be said.    (She’s a tough,  hard-mouthed “modern”  independent woman.)    She wipes off the blood and climbs again.

new cave gr canyon

Later, when they’re resting at the cave opening where they intended to go,  she thanks him for saving her.     He tells her  it was more like “collateral salvation;  he was just busy hanging on tightly to save himself.

Collateral  Salvation.

Silly made-up phrase.  But, see?    It has a ring of deeper significance to it.   I’ll die soon, some day.   At least “dying”  is in my future.    And I desperately want to  please my Creator so that I can be with Him forever.     I want to know the right thing and to do the right thing so that I can be with my Creator forever.  And ever.  My soul depends on it.    I want to please my Savior and live with Him forever.   Simple.

Perhaps my quest, my journey, my choices will have the effect of “Collateral Salvation”  upon some of you.

new patagonians

Portion of an engraving recording the 16th century  meeting of European explorers with the Patagonian giants, leftovers of a previous Age

This little book I read today winds its narrative around the premature triggering of the next Age.     Fun to think about,  but  we were given this present world Age to live in.      To learn.  To find our way back to God and to choose Him.

It’s a matter of Life and Death.  YOLO.   You get only one try.

Risk all to attain it.

It’s a worthy fight.



August 19, 2018

Nuts #1 –     The English language is not only funny, but it’s versatile . . .  uh,  “flexible.”  The meanings are  elastic,  and they change a lot over short amounts of time.


Remember   General Patton’s one-word answer (by telegram) to a demand from his German counterpart during WWII?     The one word was “Nuts!”     The Germans were not quite sure what he meant by that,  but they were pretty sure it was both negative and insulting.

Given General Patton’s salty language,    there was probably a whole lot of negative, obscene, and scatological words wrapped up in that one-word reply.

Just one word with a literal meaning can mean so many other things.

Nuts #2


That would be my kitchen floor a little while ago.    And, yes, those are literally nuts all over the floor.     It’s what happens when you pick up an open bag of shelled pistachios upside down . . .  And, yep,  I said it:  “Oh, nuts!!!!”

(Of course I ate them,  if you’re wondering.   Shelled pistachios are too expensive to waste!   You can eat off my kitchen floor.    Anytime you want.     Just don’t put the word “clean”  in that thought.)

Last week, as I had written here,  was  a bad week.  This week is starting off  . . .  better.  At least the problems like this seem more manageable.

Nuts #3

But most of the world’s problems are not – not manageable, that is.   I think I’ll go back to posting “world problems” this week, take a break from telling you about my own troubles.     You will begin to see that there not only is no easy solution, it looks like there is NO solution to a majority of these problems, because the will to solve the problems correctly and permanently is just not there.

The will to “rock the boat”  and solve serious problems is not there in our leaders, and it’s not there in the vast majority of the population who could have motivated our leaders.  Many of these serious problems are the result of the success of the culture war against  Western civilization waged by those “Sixty-Eighters,”   the ones who think 1968 was their defining moment.

culture war

Certain values, principles, and practices built up Western Civilization and it was these very values, principles, and practices  that were systematically torn down in the last five decades, ever since the Sixty-Eighters got old enough to attain positions of power and decision-making and dominance over all forms of communication.

Since it’s Sunday today,  here is one example of the final results of this cultural revolution that affected Christian churches and eventually eliminated any use of reason and any appeal to common sense or to history.

So this is the example — know what these are?


These are the  sacred vestments  costumes  designed for the “priests” who will be attending the so-called World Meeting of Families this month in Ireland.   Probably officiating at liturgical celebrations too.

The Meeting is sponsored by the catholic church that began in the 1960s.   They were moved along by the cultural revolution.   Dignity,    solemnity,  the sense of the sacred,  moral authority,   maturity,   steadiness,  reliability,  reality,  truth,   history,  tradition,   common sense —  all overthrown in that cultural revolution, and instead of dignified priests in traditionally meaningful vestments, we have these pastel beauties for the men to wear.

That’s okay, though;  the featured and most talked-about speaker is James Martin, a priest ordained by this new church who preaches and promotes the practice of homosexuality.    He’ll be speaking to “families.”    According to their Website,  the main book  (booklet)  will be a “catechesis”  called “The Joy of Love.”


As I said, one word can mean a lot of things.       Love . . . .

And to all this new thinking promulgated in the modernized church and especially to those pastel costumes above,  I say  “Nuts!”

That’s the #3 use of Nuts!  — and it covers a whole lot of thoughts of mine!


February 21, 2018

(At last,  I’ll explain a word I’ve been using lately.)


“How you kowtow”  –   


It is to show deep obeisance to another.   No,   more . . .    it is to show abject  submission to your betters.    You have nothing to say,  your silence,  your body language,  your cowed expression shows that you have  betters and they are there, right before you.

Throughout ancient human history, in many parts of the world,  one lowers oneself as far to the ground as possible in the presence of one who is superior.      We associate it usually with ancient oriental potentates,  (holders of power),  in the Middle East and in  the Far East.

When West came to East in the mid-19th century,  “West”  demanded that the Chinese kowtow to them,  transferring their submission to colonial masters.

(To keep the record straight, two hundred years earlier,  when Catholic West came to the Far East,  there was none of this submission . . .   the “universal”  Church arrived to preach the Gospel to all,  equally.  As St. Paul has said,  In Christ there is no slave or free, rich or poor,  male or females, etc. etc.   St Francis Xavier, et al. did not demand that the Japanese kowtow to them.   He did not demand subservience from any of the Asians he met.)

xavier in japan


Some lessons in kowtowing for the average American:

Nevertheless, in the 19th century, it was  Protestants in China, and that’s the way the word kowtow came into the English language.     It then became used in the presence of attempted superiority or  inequality,  objecting to someone who tries to act superior.      “I’m not going to kowtow to you!       “I don’t have to do what you tell me to do!”      I don’t have to agree with you!”

Or often the word is used to express mocking  disgust with someone who  “gave in” too easily;  we say they’re kowtowing to  so-and-so.

In this day of Political Correctness,  which is an effective form of social censorship,  we find it terribly easy to kowtow to whomever has the loudest mike or the most aggressive stance.   We give up too easily.    We don’t make an argument in defense of our own beliefs.

“Just go with the flow.”   “Put up and shut up.”    “You don’t know enough about the subject anyway – let the experts do what they want.”     “You don’t have experience,  only those with actual experience have a right to speak.”

Get it?

“All that’s needed for evil to prevail is for  good men to  do nothing  kowtow.”

(With my apologies to Lord Acton who is credited with that phrase,  I’m sure you can all think of issues that you dare not speak out about,  lest you upset someone,  or annoy someone, or provoke an angry, aggressive response  —  a Radical Leftist tactic, by the way, to shout you down, shotgun style,  when you say something they don’t like to hear.)


What kowtowing is not:

I don’t want you to think that kowtowing is the same as bowing.    You can certainly kowtow to the culture around you without bowing!     On the other hand,   you can show respect,  even profound respect,  to another person by bowing – depending upon your culture.

Here is  Yuzuru  Hanyu.   He took my breath away at the Olympics when I saw him skate.


Somehow he combined grace and elegance with   strength and masculinity.    I kept thinking:  I didn’t know ice skating could be like this!      He so well deserved the Gold!  And after his performance?   He went up to his coaches to wait for his score.

And he bowed to each one,  in respect.       Yes, I know it’s their “custom,”  but  not everyone holds to it,  and his bow seemed to carry with it a genuine respectful acknowledgement of the role they played in training him,  not merely that they were his elders

Even to the children he showed respect:

Hanyu bow

He’s bowing to a child!    But not because she’s a child,  because she is performing her role too with honor.

I’m not saying Americans should suddenly start “bowing” to each other.   It’s not necessarily a superior sign of respect.     I’m  just affirming that we can all show respect for each other, genuinely, deeply, interiorly,  even when they are talking political nonsense,  and even when walking away from someone who is becoming hysterical over what you say and you must show that you are not giving in.

We can honor each other – without  kowtowing to them – and spread the truth by our example that we are all made with equal dignity.

Xavier Beloved

Beloved teacher-saint,  dying.     The last words of this Great Man were recorded:

“Jesu,  fili David, miserere mei!”        (“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”)





April 9, 2017


Sorry I couldn’t get back here right away after the storm.  I’ve been “perturbed.”

But we’re still here:

2nd Tree and moon

That tall tree that twisted and turned so menacingly in our big storm is still standing.  The sky the next day was gloriously blue.  Innocently blue:  “What?  What storm?”   The pond level remains high but the raging torrent has returned to a normally high spring-level creek no longer uprooting trees and gouging out the creek bank.

Nature is calmer,  but this week becomes one of “perturbations”  and turmoil in the spiritual world,  during which Christians try to enter into the experience of Holy Week,  Jesus’ last week of life on this earth.   Try to enter into;  try to figure it out;  spend time  uniting in the experience, the story, the details.

The time approaches.

2nd Tree and Fist


Next to the photo of the top of the tree is a moon becoming full.  Not just any full moon;  the Paschal Moon,  for it is always full on Passover, and therefore on the Thursday of this particular week.    I put up my fist to measure the height of the moon.   One fist = 10 degrees.  The moon was about 50 degrees high in the sky.   As Thursday evening comes, it will be about that high,   but it will be just about at its highest point later in Gethsemane,  where Jesus had his  unspeakable agony,   sorrow beyond our understanding.


2nd Waves

So, the storm that Mother Nature gave our area is past, but the wind still blows little waves and ripples across the pond to accompany our unsettled feelings during our Holy Week meditations.

And now there is the storm our politicians are giving us in international affairs.    “Russia threatens war,”  the new headlines say.     Well,  yes.   We attacked a sovereign nation.   One which Russia was working with to defeat ISIS.   They would be “perturbed.”

And   “Perturbations in Egypt.”     Palm Sunday today, and 43 Christians were killed in their churches by Islamic bombs.    “Innocent children and women  should not be killed in that manner”   . .  .  to use the words of the American president commenting on events in Syria.    I hope he is not so perturbed that he takes advice to retaliate against Egypt.   And if not,  why not?

(Maybe an unnamed “chemical gas”  is supposed to perturb us more than a more familiar bomb-attack.)

“Perturbations” as Islam advances apace in the Western world.

This week, after a few months of listening to a lecturer from Yale present Late Ancient and Medieval history,   he suddenly began giving lectures falsifying  (and sanitizing)  the history of Islam —  I could have thrown fifty books at him that tell a very different  history,   and consistently different throughout the centuries of experience with Islam,  some of these books written long before this man was born.   I suppose he has to agree to say these things or else lose his tenure.

But, gee — if you can’t trust a history professor from Yale,  who can you trust?   (That’s a joke, my friends.)

But again, “Islam advances apace.”     Look up that word “apace.”


March 25, 2017

Period.  Not a question mark in that title.  We owe the invention of the question mark to Charlemagne and his renaissance of Christian learning which helped to create the European civilization we’ve inherited  (and perhaps squandered).   Charlemagne notwithstanding,   I choose a period after “LOVE”) 


On this day,  a  Saturday,  Christendom keeps in mind that one Saturday long ago when Love Itself was defeated.     It was mocked, ridiculed,  demonized, crucified,   done away with – finally! –  then shut away in a tomb – boom! –  out of sight forever!  It seemed that Love had been conquered.


Friday evening,  Saturday, into the wee hours of Sunday morning,  three calendar days;   it certainly seemed like a defeat for the Gospel.    A dark time for the followers of Jesus  in which all that “religion talk” from God’s chosen people  ended.

That Man,  that Son of Man,  had talked of  love between God and man,  God’s love to man through man,   and an eternity of Love, loving and being loved.

Humans  have always been  capable of the motivating factors  which we’ve called “love”:      parental love,  filial love,  friendship love,   spouse love  —  the love we have for a certain kind of pizza!!        Apart from God, the source of Love,    we can get quite distracted with loves of various kinds.

Should I give the four  Greek categories?     Storge,  Eros,  Phileo  . . . 

freud long (Beware:  the “modern” lists of “Greek”  love using six words from popular culture or seven words from  psychologists who seem to be trapped in the perspective of 20th century agendas.    They elevate minor subcategories into unwarranted importance and are certainly not time-tested throughout human experience.)

. . .    And the fourth:     Agape,     which human beings do not seem to be capable of – on their own,  on their own strength,   on their own willpower.

We need no instruction in the first three categories.    dad and sonBiological forces,  affections fondnesses,   familiarities make these first three loves common and natural to us.

They can be  very powerful,  of course,  overwhelming us sometimes.

I’ve just finished another book by Michael D . O’Brien, the last in his series which speculates whether our current events and personalities might indicate the formation of the last one-world governance with the antichrist at its head.   It’s a deeply thoughtful book – I’m going to have to read it again and take notes this time! –  but I was struck by his definition of that Agape love:

     Dr. Abbas  (the blind Christian Arab)   paused to clear his throat.  He then resumed his story:   What is love,   . . . ?   Do we not love most what is best in another but lacking in ourselves?  to see in someone else what we should be?     That is a part of it.

Another part  is to have one’s eyes opened to the gift that each person is. Subtract him from existence and the world is poorer.   When he is present, the world is richer – and full of wonder, really, if we can sustain that vision.    I’ve had glimpses of it . . .    (from Elijah in Jerusalem)


Yes,  this thought from Dr. Abbas is only a glimpse.    He  knows he’s seen only a glimpse of Love.    Love from the Christian definition is to desire the best and highest good for another – and to be always ready to act on it.

It is a deep-seated self-sacrificing commitment to that other person.     “No greater love has a man than to lay down his life for another.”

(“It is a far, far better thing . .  .  than I  have ever done.”)  —

tale of two


And:  “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church.”   How did Christ love the church?    He died for it.

To step up and die for the good of another?     Yikes!    Occasional heroic acts of self-sacrifice to save the life of another occurs,  of course,  but it is especially Christian to  die for the good of the other person’s eternal soul.

Or to live for the good of the other person’s eternal soul.   Most of us are not required to prove our love by our deaths;  but we’re required to live with that kind of love.       This kind of original Christianity is not for half-hearted sissies, but it is rather the defining characteristic of a true follower of Christ.

not afraid to love

Nor are we capable of it without  that gift of Love being first given to us.   The Bible puts it simply:  “God is love.”      God created out of Love.  God loves His creation.   Dr. Abbas had a glimpse of this:  “. . .   to have one’s eyes opened to the gift that each one is.”   God opens our eyes;  he gives, we receive.

Perhaps the Bible, Charles Dickens,  and Dr. Abbas can say it better than I can,  but I do try to frequently explain it to my classes this way:    God is.   God is love.  Before the universe was created,  He thought you up.   He liked the idea of you!   And then, after He created the universe,  he created you and put you down into the best and most optimal time and place so that you’d be able to find your way back to Him, and to His love.


Hold Him.    Hold Him in your heart.

You love God back,  and you love all the human beings that He loves, and hold each one  in your heart so that you can act,  with sacrificial love,  for their  welfare, here and now.
















March 22, 2017

Wednesday.   Time to look again at the “hump”  we have to get over.

As of Wednesday night,  we still don’t know the identity of the man who killed the four people in London today, seriously injuring more than a dozen more. But we often read that a terrorist  attacker had become a “devout Moslem.”

Devout means . . .  well,  here’s the dictionary definition:

devout  (adjective) :  loyal to something : devoted to a particular belief, organization, person,religion, etc;       : serious and sincere

We tend to want to know Who, What, Where, and When in a news article.   We’re a little blurry about the Why.

What happened.  Where did it happen.   Who did it.   When did it happen.    That’s all we have time for.

“Why”  kind of taxes our time and our mental energy.   Motivation and all that.

“loyal to something”  —   To what?     Who cares;  I can kind of figure it out.

pray 1

All those people;  “serious and sincere,” the definition says:

pray 2

“devoted to a particular belief” 

pray 3

“devoted to a particular religion” 

pray 4


” . .  .  a particular   organization,  person,  religion . . .

Yes,  they sure are.

“Devoted”  is only an adjective.  We need to know the noun it refers to.   We in the Western World better find out the details about their particular  organization, person,  religion, or belief,  or we’re going to get blindsided by their devotion.


I think it takes interest, though;  and energy;   and effort to learn;  and time to study and think about it.


And it requires us to be  equally devoted to a different organization,  Person,  religion,  and belief.   I’m afraid this “hump”  that lies before us will be surmounted only  by the side who is the most certain, the most faithful, the most devoted to their cause.

And the most aware of what’s going on.






February 15, 2017

(Just in case any of you  like science   or technology or . . .   freedom.)

Remember the picture in the last post showing what all the space junk in orbit around our earth would look like?


That “space junk”  is doing things, we know.

Well,  there’s a follow-up in the news today,  kind of an “addition.”    The headlines for the article from Wired . com   reads:  “88 New Satellites Will Watch Earth All The Time  All The Places.”   

The 88 new satellites from the company called “Planet”  (and they’re buying more)  will be “imaging”   the earth and everything on it.   The article concludes by saying that every day the entire land mass of the planet will be photographed and databased.     Every day.  The whole planet.

And there is a long list of people, entities,  corporations, and government offices who are buying this information.

Word for the day:      Luddite  –   Not liking all this technology.   

I’m  not a Luddite, probably, but I just can’t think of one technological  “advance”   that has a net positive effect on human society.      (That is,  add up both columns,  positive and negative,  compare,  and the negative columns will be greater,  slightly greater or massively greater.)

Don’t tell me the medical industry is a positive.    We should have done it all differently,  focusing on  the health of the person ,  not on  the disease.    Health officials take care of the disease,  not the person.   How much do you think medical “advances” are worth?

How much of a price would you put on these cute little twins?


Healthy little twins.    Just beginning to smile and get social.    How much do you think they were worth to their parents and family?

The world was recently  relieved of the presence of these little ones.

The medical industry declared that they were Sexually Active.     

They were vaccinated to death.    Routine vaccines.   Routinely too many at once.   Including the vaccine for a disease you catch  after  doing the “marital act”  with multiple partners – people  like lotharios,   prostitutes, and nymphomaniacs.

The medical industry thought these infants were a pair of immoral sluts.

Net positive effect?     Not if they were my babies.   America has the highest infant mortality rate of the industrialized  (technological)  world.



.*    (It can be found here, but take out the spaces:      https://www . wired . com/2017/ 02 /88-tiny-satellites-will-watch-time-everywhere/

(Take out five spaces, I think.   Copy and paste and then take out the spaces if you want to read the whole article.)


December 5, 2016

(Integrity  –  the quality of being complete or whole, without any missing parts ):


Yeah.  Sometimes you think you can make an improvement by jettisoning the “old things.”      “Let’s do it a new way.”       “Let’s free ourselves from the restrictions of the past.”  

Whoever gave us “whiskers”  didn’t understand the new, improved, modern ways of doing things.

I’m speaking, of course,  of our recent presidential election.

Politics, or “how to get your man elected.”

I frequently hear our  “new and improved, modern-minded”  Progressives talk about our “democracy.”     Democracy this, democracy that.   The Barack Hussein person recently went out visiting other countries in imitation of a final Victory Tour, and everywhere he went he talked about  the American “democracy,”  and what happens in our “democracy.”

Problem is,  the United States of America is NOT a democracy.   Our Founding Fathers were too smart for that.      They knew that any “democracy”  quickly becomes  a “tyranny of the majority,”   so we don’t elect our president by counting  a majority of “democratic votes.”

So they devised the Electoral College.  

It’s as important to us Americans as  —   as whiskers!



December 3, 2016

“Meat”  has always been kind of a  loose word in the English language.  It can mean not only the “flesh” or the “muscle-flesh” of animals  that we eat and gives us strength  (like my Highland beef cattle in the last post),   but also, it can mean food in general:  “Meat and drink at the end of a long trip.”

And it can even mean  “that which sustains you and gives you the strength to go on.” When asked if he had food enough to eat,  Jesus once answered: “My meat is to do the will of Him who sent Me . . .”       Meaning, of course  that doing the will of God gives a person motivation and the reason and the spiritual strength to go on.

“The meat which sustains me” on Fridays   is fish;   cod, specifically,  on this Friday.


Baked cod.     The flesh of the cod was particularly rich and pink today.    I like to bake it  in half and half, which has fewer carbs than milk,  and it makes the cod very smooth and  creamy.

And then the onions:


I cut up two onions for that pound of cod.      But I wanted a little more flavor –


I went out to my deck and picked some rather pathetic-looking  chives.  We’ve already had some very frosty nights, and I don’t usually bring my herbs in for the winter so my   chives are rather limp now,  but they still smelled real good.     Many of the herbs will come up just fine in the Spring.

The herbs are given to us for our “medicine.”     Each one has a different function in our bodies.     The Creator’s design is that all these good  health-giving herbs enhance the flavor of our food and make us want to use them in our cooking.  If I hadn’t thought of the taste that the chives would add,  I wouldn’t have thought of them at all.

“Herbs.”   From the Garden of Eden . . .   to us!

So,  all the ingredients,  all  together —


Ready for the oven:


There is another “flavor-enhancer.”    It’s said that  Hunger is the best condiment!  I was very hungry.  I hadn’t had anything to eat yet, but I had rushed off to my morning class and then  I didn’t get home until well after “lunch time”  so it was going to be a long 25-minute wait while my lunch was baking.

But, at last —


Baked cod and buttery boiled potatoes.

That’s the only meal I’ll have today.   The leftovers will be breakfast tomorrow and maybe a light supper on Sunday evening.      Funny how you don’t really have to eat much as you grow older.

And funny how “abstaining”  from meat is not really a  difficult penance for Friday.















June 29, 2016

I came across an interesting word study today,  while preparing for this Fall’s class topic in Bible History:  Joshua.

I think this is one of the most misunderstood books in the Bible.  The book of Joshua sets forth a pretty straightforward narrative, full of drama and excitement and lessons for us,  but enemies of the Faith have taken portions of the events, without context and without meaning,  and flung them up  into the face of God,  arrogantly presuming that they have discovered a “dirty, dark secret”  in the Bible.


Well,  it’s this Joshua:

Joshua leading

After 400 years of servitude and slavery in a foreign land and after 40 years of traveling through the harsh desert,   someone had to lead the Israelites home, into their Promise Land,  and the man,  Joshua, was chosen for the task.

This is the Joshua that we sing about:  “Joshua fit the battle of Jericho –  Jericho – Jericho-o-o-o-o . . .   Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, and the WALLS came tumbling down!”

Now, truth and wisdom and knowledge come to us by means of language, and these Israelites spoke an ancient form of Hebrew,  one close to the Hebrew spoken today.  Hebrew developed from a “proto-Hebrew” which scholars are still trying to understand more thoroughly.

Some speculate that this was the earliest language spoken in this part of the world.   Some speculate that this proto-Hebrew and its later written form resemble three-dimensional forms of communication “from the Hand of God.”


Both the written and spoken Hebrew contains mysteries and layers of meanings waiting to be discovered and to be understood  (when the student is ready).

Whatever really happened to this language,  we can be sure that God-Most-High, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob revealed Himself to humans,  spoke to certain ones,  and passed down His will and wisdom through certain people and events.

Joshua, speaking early Hebrew,  said to an inhabitant of Jericho:  “We will deal kindly and truly with thee. . . “     (Joshua 2:14)    The story is interesting,  but the word “truly”  as well as “true”  and “truth” is even more important for us to ponder.


Joshua had sent a message on ahead to the woman Rachab who promises to help them conquer the city and so the Israelite army will repay Rachab with kindness and truth.

The Hebrew word for truth, ‘emet’ (אמת), contains a deep lesson.

From Rabbi Benjamin Blech’s “The Secrets of Hebrew Words”   —     The word is comprised of three letters  (אמת)   and “requires for its essence the first letter   א/Alef,    the “One” standing for the Almighty.   Remove the initial letter Alef and all that remains is מת(mayt), meaning death. Without God there can be no truth.    In its place only death and destruction remain.”

God is the source of what is true.

Heaven smaller

He is the source of wisdom about what is true and real.  Delete Him from the equation,   any “equation,”   and you descend into uncertainty,  perplexity, confusion,  and all the nasty things that follow:   distrust, disunity,  struggles for power and dominance,  strife, wars, and death.

This isn’t just a lesson from “ancient days.”     Delete Christianity from out of a civilization and you have a Power-State that is founded upon deception and domination over its own citizens.    Lies prevail and the voters choose to be hoaxed by those they vote into office because they are desperate to believe in something.

But there is nothing one can count on, and the citizenry becomes cynical and discomfited.

Add back in The One,  the   א/Alef,     and you move  from  “death” and are ready to approach Life.

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

Jesus said, as He was about to leave us, “Behold, in my Father’s house are many mansions;  I go to prepare a place for you.   If it were not so, I would have told you.”  In other words,  I speak the truth –  I am leaving soon now in order to prepare a home for you, forever. 

Count on it.



March 29, 2016

Looks like Easter Tuesday gives us:  fun with types!


Banner Easter Tuesday

The Octave of Easter gives us Time to work out and enjoy some of the meanings of Easter.  In lessons for today we are given  many thoughts about the Types that were fulfilled by the death and resurrection of Jesus.

A Type?  There are several definitions of the word,  but the most  wonderful,  the most useful to us is this: a type is a person, thing, or event that really exists (or existed)  that prefigures a future person, thing, or event of greater significance. . . .

Well, let’s just say a Type is like a beautiful door:


At first, when you’re new at this,  you realize that words can have two meanings:  one is the plain meaning the word signifies  (and all the things it calls to mind, in context and experience and definition).

There are Easter Words like  Passover   and Passage and Egypt and  slavery  and Israel and lamb and sacrifice and blood  and freedom. . . .words that tell the historical story.

Words that are openings (like a door)  to rich and  beautiful meanings.   And then —  you’re invited — you can ENTER through the door,  and you look all around —


You are welcomed in to a beautiful beginning, and you can look all around,  get a feel for the place, and get a clue that there is splendor and glory that is waiting for you.

You will find that those original words of that historical story have a deeper significance that can be matched to the real things they signify:   Pascal  Time  (Passover and Passage out of Egypt);   and the World we live in (signified by “Egypt”);   and  Mankind (signified by “Israel”);  Pharaoh, who points to the reality of Satan;  and  the lambs which are fulfilled in The Lamb of God;  and sacrifice, the willing Self-Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross;  and  the blood from the lambs, the Blood of Christ whose death really does save us . . . .

So much to think about!!!   We can’t just stay in the foyer!!!   Deeper understandings await!


The interior of this beautiful home made for you is huge!   There are rooms and rooms and corridors to explore off the main hallway.

Choose a word from the story of the Israelite in Egypt, or their eventual and inevitable slavery and their cries of discontent and hopelessness; or the story of God sending Moses and preparing him in his childhood and manhood and his finally saying yes, he is willing; the Pharaoh with the ever-hardening heart;   the mastery of the God over His creation manifested by the Plagues;  release;  the night of the Passover  —

And this points to all the elements of the Gospel story:  the Son of God was sent to “seek and to save them that were lost”  and to die for them,  to Redeem the people of earth — and the motivation was the Love of God for us – and that never goes away . . . .

On and on –  you will never exhaust the details or tire of the story.  Again, the words used in telling the story are Types of the Gospel Story of Christ’s First Coming.   You won’t run out of rooms to visit!


Many place during this Easter Week to sit and rest and contemplate –satisfying,  welcoming,  comforting,  the whole Gospel story belonging to you . . .

Just  give yourself some time,   just choose a door, a word to begin with:

door door

Easter Week is only one Octave of days!




WORD: Amnesty

March 13, 2016

A special alert to the people of Ohio this week:

Today,  Amnesty means:  “You’ve broken our laws and you require us to pay for your upkeep while you’re in our country – but we will let you get away with it,  even though it harms our own people,  harms our own laborers,  harms our children by spreading diseases to them that we never had before,  harms our schools and our hospitals,  harms our ability to protect ourselves, and increases the amount of violent crimes.”

“But we’ll forgive you anyway, and let you get away with it — after a bit of  bureaucratic double-speak and  rigamarole;  and then you can live here and we will pretend you are Americans.”

“And the world will love us.”

“And I, your Super Double Good Politician will get many many many new votes.”

The latest politician to make this statement  is someone named (Gov.) Kasich, who promises to the voters in Ohio that he will – within his first 100 days in office * – begin the process to grant amnesty which he calls A Path To Legalization.    People who have entered the country illegally will now become “legal”  under the new laws he will promote.

So, what have Americans known before this point?  How have they acted previously?  What have they learned?          I thank the Canadians ** for reminding us of the words of the great Rabbi Hillel who says: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?” (in Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14)

If I am not for standing up for my own countrymen,  my own fellow laborers,  the institutions of my nation,  the safety of American men, women, and children,  including even standing on a pier in San Francisco and feeling safe from   foreigner who have committed criminal deeds more than once and have been released from jail  more than once  — and hundreds of other deadly incidents — if I am not for my own countrymen,  then who will be?

As to the second part of Rabbi Hillel’s teaching,  I need not repeat to you that America lets in more legal immigrants than any other nation in the world.   We share, we give, we help, we reach out to each other and to the world.    Founded on Judeo-Christian values,  this is a nation that writes generosity into its  public and private practices.

Toss out our Christian motivations?    Eliminate our Christian principles in the public realm?     Suppress the expression of Christianity in our nation?

Then we too will descend into a state of illogical actions and deceptive slogans  and unrealistic dreams and  struggles for power and position — because without Christianity,  Might Makes Right.

. * . You can Search or YouTube Search for Kasich – 100 days

. **.  The Canadian publication Canada Free Press, which usually looks pretty accurately at developments in this country.


WORD: Blame

March 11, 2016

Interesting current events right now, and the operative word seems to be “blame.”

Blame is asserting that someone is responsible for something, without reference to accuracy.    It’s one-sided,  no other opinions allowed.    Blame intends merely to defeat the target person with inflammatory words in order to  get other people to agree that your target is culpable.    Blame increases emotional intensity.

“Teacher!  Teacher!  Do you know what Johnny did?”     As a teacher of little children I’ve learned to recognize  when blaming happens.   I’ve dealt with it frequently.   The blamer is never really satisfied until their target is harmed in some way.

Sometimes blame is more than tattling.    It takes the shape of shouts, aggressive words,  pushing and shoving,  slogans,  and playing to the cameras.  Blame divides.   Blame has no interest in drawing people together.

So,  tonight in Chicago:

One group of people schedule a “party”  — a “celebration.”

There is going to be an invited guest.

A second group noisily crashes the party,  entering the place of celebration.  

The Chicago police advise the guest to not come, and to close down the party.

The second group rejoice that they shut down the rally!

The second group is still not satisfied and angrily continues to confront anyone they can.

The news media and many others BLAME  the party,  BLAME the guest,  BLAME the party-goers  –  and no one has yet blamed the angry,  violent-prone protesters,  nor will they own up to any responsibility.

Blame simply wants to win, without reference to accurate discourse,  without the goal of understanding.

So what do we have?

Democracy or Democracy?

Is it Democracy to hold a rally and let people express their points of view?

Or is it Democracy to shut down the rally so people cannot speak out their viewpoint?

Two groups:  (1)  Rally-goers and ( 2)  shut-down-the-rally goers.

Blame is not analysis.   Blame is the lowest form of arousal used in legitimate protest and does nothing but cause harm.   “Sticks and stones”  do break bones.

The Spruce Tunnel has not made a decision for where to cast its votes in November — but it will certainly vote against the protesters.



WORD: Contradiction

March 9, 2016

As I wrote about in the last posting,  sometimes a contradiction occurs when there are two opposing facts which eventually forces us into a new realm of thought.

That poor Centurian Clavius, of that last post,  saw the Man dead on His cross – and also saw the Man later, alive and joyful and full of power.     Eventually,  the force of the contradiction caused Clavius’s thinking to “explode”  out into a new understanding of the joyous reality of everlasting life.

Think of the process as a tube of toothpaste:


Sort of like that.   It’s being squeezed from the right and squeezed from the left, until finally the lid pops off and the contents explode out into  a whole new  understanding of existence more wonderful and free!

But there is a different kind of “contradiction.”      It’s one that makes no sense,  never makes any sense,  and never results in a new understanding.   You are given one set of “facts”  and then you are given another set of “facts”  that are contradictory.

You have a mind, and you have the faculty of understanding and discernment.    Eventually you reject one set of “facts”  and come to a deeper understanding of the other set of facts.

Today,  we Americans have a couple of people who want the office of the presidency.  To get votes they are  promising free just-about-everything.   Now, we know that whatever a government pays for,  it gets more of.   When the government pays for certain activities, it get more of that activity — and less of the hard work that is required to get that payment.

But the government doesn’t “make”  any money in the sense that it adds value to the economy by its labors.  Instead it takes money – from people who do the labor.    It takes money from some people to give to the people it has promised free (or “affordable”)  things to.

It says “by the very fact that you exist,  you deserve”   whatever it is that is desired — and therefore you will be given what other people have.

Great?   So vote for ME!

Commonsense facts will tell you that more and more people will become takers and fewer and fewer people will be givers.

But vote for me and I will  keep on giving!

But there will be less and less money to give you.

Works for a while.

But it is a self-contradictory form of economy – and it has to be upheld by more and more taxes and more and more oppressive rules to sustain it, including increasing surveillance to make sure we’re following the rules.

Free college?  Sure,  but we’re going to have to tell you what you can study.  (Note the experiences of the old Soviet Socialist republics.)

Free health care?   Sure, but we’ll tell you what services are available;  what doctors you can use;   what care we can afford to give you;   and when you’re just out of luck.

Affordable, subsidized food and shelter?   Sure,  but we cannot afford to give you very much. . . .

Fact 1 – An American society built on freedom,  personal choices,  hard work,  earning our rewards, the right to pursue as much happiness and well-being as is possible;

Fact 2 –  Or an American society which receives stuff from a   government which promises it all, as long as you accept its  rules and enforcement,  limited choices, and the right of the government to withhold the necessities of life – eventually.

We can’t have both choices because they contradict each other.   This is the contradiction which forces us to choose, between one or the other.     It doesn’t lead us to a higher reality;  it is reality.


So . . .  this 2016 election — don’t worry.  Everywhere the system of taking people’s money to give it to other people has been tried,  it has failed and eventually ruined and weakened the country.

We’re too smart for that choice.    Right?


WORD: Bewilderment

March 8, 2016

Bewilderment.  It happens to all  of us, sooner or later, more often than not.   But the ultimate “bewilderment”  comes to people who are being honest with themselves,  when facts seem  to be pitted against facts.

Bewilderment can be a good starting point.

The thought came to me in a movie theater tonight:


My goodness!   When did theater seats get so comfortable???     Just a  $5 movie ticket,  and I nearly sank into these soft seats, enfolded in soft leather-like cushions that held me in a gently reclining position.     More for sleeping than movie watching.

Seems like I’ve been recommending a lot of movies lately.  The Revenant – chock full of Catholic-Christian values.     The Thirteenth Warrior – chock full of manly virtues of courage, honor, intelligence,  bravery, strength,  defense of one’s tribe,  protection of family, refinement . . . .

And now:  Risen.    An excellent portrayal of honest bewilderment.     Or the necessary bewilderment of an honest man.

The movie begins  right  directly after the death of Jesus.  That very day.

Fact:  The Centurian Clavius saw the  Man dead on the cross.   Then,  dead and buried.

Fact:   After this, Clavius saw the Man Jesus alive again.

It was interesting to see the power of the Romans among these native people of provincial Palestine.   That, too, was historically accurate and well-portrayed.    One gets out of the way of a Roman!   They had the power of life and death over people, and they carried out the death of Jesus.

And this Roman  Clavius  was tasked with the job of finding the dead body of Jesus after it became undeniably missing.

Then,   Clavius,  with power and intelligence and authority and common sense,  saw Jesus alive with his own eyes, after His death.    And he was justifiably bewildered  with an honest,  necessary bewilderment.

As the movie progressed, I saw Clavius cast off his  power, his authority,  his knowledge of the way things ought to be,  his manly pride,  and the strength of his own will.

As that happened,  his bewilderment became irrelevant.

He became even stronger and more sure. . . .

It’s the way it has to be for all of us.   Jesus didn’t come for the intelligent classes,  the well-educated,  the powerful,  those with authority,  those satisfied with themselves,  those sure they’re right,  the winners.

He just came for . . .    us.

Again,  fact –   He really walked among us – then was crucified.


Fact:    –  He really lives again –

Heaven smaller

No one needs to remain in a state of bewilderment.


WORD: Absum

March 8, 2016

This is going to be Fun With Words week.     Words which add to our understanding.

Here’s a short introductory sample:

Absum.   Oh,  you want English?    Then:  Absent.  Far away.  Missing.   To take no part in something.

As in:





He’s not . . .  going to be here.

America is going to bury a very remarkable First Lady this week.    She and her husband lived by Christian values.    She is going to have a Christian burial.   It will be a Christian service.

The Barack Hussein person has announced that he will be absent for this Christian ceremony  honoring our former First Lady  – just as he made himself absent from the Christian funeral of a Supreme Court Justice a little while ago.     Missing.    Absent.



January 8, 2016

This will be about fur — in a minute.

But first . . .      Remember Zero, in Beetle Bailey’s unit?

Zero's smart

So . . . ?

Is he not correct?    Zero can read the same words as the rest of us and come to a conclusion that makes sense to him.    How long would it take for his friends to explain . . .   oh, never mind.

It would take lots of effort!  And a lot of words!

And words can be a problem too!



I suspect every language has its funny moments.    And sometimes we enjoy the fun:


(This is a common American children’s game.  The children sit in a circle while another child,   let’s say it’s you,   walks around the outside of the circle, patting each child on the head, while saying “Duck.”        “Duck, duck, duck, duck duck …”  until you decide  to pat someone on the head,  saying “GOOSE!”  and that someone has to get up a chase you around the circle and you LOSE unless you get back to that recently vacated space in the circle…..      My children in class  used to love this game!)

But  had had had had duck duck goose are words in our language and words are just about all we have to communicate with each other.

And even, in Zero’s case,  when we hear the same words,  we may not be seeing the whole picture  — or the complete story.

Words fail us.  Words escape us.  Last Sunday a friend of mine absolutely ruined the first quarter of the Bears game for me.

I had worn this scarf to church:


I wore it with a black coat,  but she saw it and liked it — and then asked the “fatal”  question:  “What kind of fur is that?”

Uh. . . .  I know what store I bought it from.   I liked the feel of it.   It felt very warm.   It was pretty.   It was affordable.    It seems uncharacteristic of me,  but all those little details were enough for me at the time.   I bought it!    I still enjoy it.

I stumbled around for an answer for my friend, and all I could come up with is:   It’s not  … rabbit.    It’s not …ocelot.   Its . .   It’s ….   It’s like that fur trim around the robe of Ol’ King Cole ….   That mystified her.    She probably didn’t even have the same storybook that I had had as a child!     I told her I’d find out.

an ermine weasel

Half way home in the car I blurted out to myself:  “It’s ermine!”

So when I got home and right on through some of the Game,  I was at the Internet trying to find out what kind of fur this was.   The only thing I found out is that it’s unlikely it’s ermine.


Rabbit?    Wrong feel to it.   Snow Leopard?   Well, I bought it from a Scandinavian store, and as far as I know,  there are no snow leopards in Scandinavia.

Well, I know it’s faux fur, of course.  All the good furs come from endangered species.    I just can’t get the right “word.”

So maybe,   like Zero in the cartoon,  I can make up a story that makes sense to me.

bar dissolve er

There’s a serious point to all this mildly humorous stuff.

Zero liked his own answer, and his friends would have had to work hard to give him a whole new understanding, a whole new paradigm of his world.  And I could explain to myself that since my scarf really is only fake fur,   they could make it look like anything they wanted to and even if it had been sold at a genuine Scandinavian store,  that doesn’t mean it has to be from a genuine Scandinavian animal.   Scandinavian fake animal.    But I don’t want to think that.

I read a serious essay today about Liberalism.   It’s hard for me to figure out why all their good words and good intentions lead to such disastrous results for human beings.     Freedom?    Inclusiveness?   Tolerance?   Ecumenism?  Equality?   Sustainability?   Affordable?   Fair?   Unity?    Mercy?    Safety?   Collegiality?   Democracy?

All those good words that are used as cudgels against us.     Why do they always turn out to mean the opposite of the plain meaning of those words?

The essay I read explained.    “The Girondins always prepare the way for the Jacobins.”   (Has the knowledge of history been withheld from you in government schools?)    Try this, then:   “And the Mensheviks prepare the way for the Bolsheviks.”       (Same thing, but much closer to our experience.)

If you don’t know what these words reference,  then you stand a near 100% chance of being victimized in the near future . . .   and because you are victimized,  so I will be too, even though I know our history.

The Jacobins and the Bolsheviks and the Progressives and the Gramschi-ites and the Liberals and the Socialists and the Democrats (so-called in America)  all have one method in common:     They all use words and slogans  that mean one thing to us but quite another thing to them.    And they ALL have to violate the meaning of their words by doing the opposite of their stated values,  because that’s the only way they can make events work for them.

And “them”  –  they — are now our Rulers.

If we don’t know our history and we are not wise,  then we are no smarter than Zero.   If we know our history and understand but we do nothing,  we are no more effective than Zero’s good friends.

We can tell ourselves whatever story makes sense to us — while the robbers go on and do their work.

Races have to be treated unequally in the name of equality.    Affordable healthcare is highly unaffordable to  everyone who needs a doctor.   People are taught to  be intolerant in the name of tolerance.   Our Rulers have to force us  to do things or not do things   to produce their version of freedom.

And now we must hide Truth and Danger in the name of “mercy.”

And we must destroy ourselves to be fair to others . . .

Sustainable sustains nothing and nobody.

Et cetera.



December 8, 2015

Short one today:

After reading headlines today from various news sources,  I began to think that perhaps the word “dhimmitude”  is not really understood.

One headline:  

 DHS Secretary to Hold Press Conference at Mosque Tied to Muslim Brotherhood:       Jeh Johnson to hold brief with imam tied to organizations with links to Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas


question mark . . .  does this man, this “secretary,” not understand the word dhimmitude * and how it operates?


Another headline:

Democrats to Attend Prayer Service at Radical Mosque
Former home of terrorist spiritual leader Anwar al-Awlaki, who reportedly mentored two of the 9/11 hijackers.


question mark  . . .  do they think they are serving “multiculturalism and diversity”  by ignoring their dhimmitude?   Do they know what that word means?


Then I moved over to a religious news service and found this headline:

          Dalai Lama: “We Must Dialogue With ISIS”

Okay.    He is a grown man and has chosen his religion.    It’s a religion that says (later in the article)  that  “each of us is responsible for universal harmony.”    

(Attention New York Post:    Here is an article full of empty “platitudes” if you’re still looking for some.)

These headlines:  “we must dialogue . . .”   Does he observe what “dialogue” means today?  Does he know what politically correct “dialogue”  is?

Let me illustrate:

two bull moose


Close up.   Head to head.  Eye to eye.  Unintelligible grunts and groans and meaningless platitudes.

How do you think their dialogue will end?

(Funny how the first “vocabulary word”  will ultimately lead to the next — providing we continue to excite ourselves with meaningless platitudes and slogans.   “Dialogue” leads to “dhimmitude”   which  dictates “dialogue”  which confirms the “dhimmitude” . . . . )