The Ride: Eight Seconds, No Bull

P1030533Ausgust is time for the annual Bulls and Barrels Rodeo in our area.  This year several of the bull riders made full rides of 8 seconds to be ranked in the competition.  Go along for the ride.  I’m staying behind the rail. Continue reading

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LTTE: Is It Reasonable?

Letter to the Editor

A variety of commentaries in recent issues of the Moorefield Examiner have given us readers plenty to ponder: cows in streams, septic systems, fossil fuels and renewable energy sources, health care, privacy, and eating habits. What has caught my attention in these articles and editorials was the opinion that most people do not consider many of these issue as important, and an a lack of trust toward authorities proposing some action regardless of the content of that proposal. Continue reading

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From the Bookshelf: Born Bad, by James Boyce

P1030207My Christian upbringing did not take long to get to the point: All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). But, what is this concept of Original Sin? While reading The Righteous Mind, we happened to hear an NPR interview with James Boyce, the author of Born Bad, Original Sin and the Making of the Western World. This seemed to be a good follow-up read after a tome on moral decision-making. Are not moral decisions attempts to overcome our corrupt nature, or at least rationalize our actions as thus? Continue reading

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From the Bookshelf: The Righteous Mind, by Jonathan Haidt

P1030204Let’s say my neighbor is planning to have a yard sale on Saturday. Friday evening, I notice that she has set up some tables and furniture, over which she has placed tarps. I see an office chair under one of the tarps. Saturday, I stop by the sale, with plans to only spend $30. I easily find this, that, and the other thing totaling $30, but bypass that office chair priced for $10. I hand my neighbor two twenty dollar bills, get my change and return home with my box of stuff. Monday, I notice that she has put a pile of boxes out for the trash collectors. These are full of the stuff that no one purchased. I fill my truck up with the boxes, some furniture and the office chair, grumbling about my neighbor’s waste, as I head to to local charity shop to donate the truck-load of stuff. I drop off the pile, and drive home with the office chair in my possession. When did I make a moral decision in this situation? This is the question that Jonathan Haidt asks in The Righteous MindContinue reading

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Building a Roman Church: Domus Ecclesiae

P1010945In my last post on Building a Roman Church, I outlined the development of the Roman basilica to the Christian church structure. However, even the earliest existing churches, built in or more likely over a basilica were started in the 4th to 6th centuries. Peter could not exactly write to Emperor Nero to be granted permission for his Jewish cult to use empty basilicas on Sabbath. Rather, congregations in the 1st and 2nd centuries usually met in someone’s home. Peter did write in Romans 16: 3-5 “Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, to my fellow workers in Christ,… and to the church that meets in their house…”  Domus Ecclesiae.  Continue reading

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Theatre Review: Into The Woods

P1030208We live in the woods. Thirty plus acres of Appalachian oak-hickory forest surround our cabin, garden, and pocket fields for the goats. Beyond that are thousands of acres of other parcels, some with cabins, some with farms. Ribbons of roads, paved and gravel or less, tie the woods together and connect us with civilization. As I wrote recently, in “Murder in the Barnyard”, while many people view country life as a peaceful Garden of Eden, living in the woods can be harsh with periods of toil. Continue reading

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Exponential Influence

Let me see if I recall middle school math: 2 x 2 = 4, 2 x 2 x 2 = 8, 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 16, etc. These were called “powers of” or “exponents”, which if I understood computers better I could probably figure out how to type (e.g. 2 with a little 2, 3, or 4 to the right). This presidential election round, one party (really does not matter which for this blog) seems to be using exponential math to fills its line-up of primary candidates. Continue reading

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