PaulMoreland.com

Faith, Family, Friends and Firearms

Meandering Reminisces on Language

Spanish is the alleged language of most Latin American countries, although the greatest number of Latin Americans actually speak a version of Portuguese. Yep, more Brazilians (Latin Americans from the largest country in the category) speaking Portuguese exist than there are members of the rest of the countries together. I say “alleged” due to the fact that “Spanish” as spoken in Latin America is actually comprised of a wide variety of local dialects that differ significantly one from the other.

Just in Colombia there is a wide variety of dialects. If one were to include the diverse dialects of the varying regions of the other countries in the category of Latin America, the variations boggle the mind.  Attempting to portray them in written format is daunting (to the point where I’ve never even attempted to do so).  Listening to them can lead one to assume they are speaking completely different languages. It’s similar to listening to an Indian allegedly speaking the Queens English in a YouTube video, only worse.

Years ago we were moving to the city of Barranquilla.  There they have the quaint custom of having some person with a one burner stove and a roll up mattress live in a house that’s being offered for rent. You see the sign, walk up, knock on the door (or ring the bell if the domicile is so equipped) and engage the person within in conversation in order to gain the pertinent information regarding the required documents and financial outlay necessary to rent the place.

So, I walked up to a likely looking place in a nice part of town and knocked.  The door was opened by a person of short stature and dark complexion who proceeded to vocalize some sort of greeting – I assumed, as it was like nothing I’d ever heard before.  I replied in my best Spantuguese – or was it Portish? (referring to my own dialect at the time that resulted from learning Colombian Spanish from the people around me as I transferred my communication ability from Brazil to Colombia) Neither of us really understood the other. She did allow me to enter and look around and so I could determine that the place was not up to what we were seeking. I thanked her and went on my merry way reflecting on this thing we call language. Although we were allegedly speaking the same language, she was from some interior area of Colombia’s Caribbean coast and I was from another country entirely and had learned my Spanish in the coffee growing interior of Colombia. We really needed an interpreter.

That reminds me of the time I traveled with my uncle and aunt from northern central Brazil to Santiago de Chile. Somewhere down in Minas Gerais or São Paulo we stopped for fuel and to pick up ice for the cooler.  As the vehicle was being topped off I inquired of the person in charge of the pumps as to where we might obtain some ice.  At that point in time my Portuguese was flawless, with only a trace of an accent that no Brazilian could really pin down. Up north they assumed I was from down south and vice versa.  But I came across this station employee who was apparently from the back of beyond and spoke Mineiro (the allegedly Portuguese dialect from the interior of Minas Gerais) and we ended up having to ask a Paulista (from the state of São Paulo) to translate for us.

In today’s connected society with people viewing videos on YouTube as well as movies and television programs produced in diverse places, the multitudinous dialects are shrinking in number of people who use them exclusively. I suspect this is true of about any large language group. It started with radio back in the early 20th Century and as we move deeper into the 21st Century we see it even more.

Thoughts on the current unrest

2020 has been an “interesting year” so far. I don’t recall any of the “prophetic ministries” foretelling the Covid-19 pandemic, the massive shutdown of the economy around the world nor even the unrest blamed on racial injustice in the US of A which has lead to massive rioting, looting and violence in certain areas of the country – and the world, as agitators have hastened to add their log to the fire.

This has lead yours truly to cogitate considerably on the situation and, as is his wont, what should be a disciple of Jesus the Christ’s response to it all. The book of face social platform has become a virtual battleground as many rush to tell everyone else “the RIGHT way” to confront the issue. Vitriol and barely disguised hatred boil to the surface in too many discussions and it’s easy to tell who listens to which “news media” by their attacks on “evil Trump” or support for “Trump, our rescuer”. People tend to flock together with similar thinking folks and to yell shrilly at those with whom they disagree, and it mostly seems to be fueled by different ideologues who rarely (never?) seem to be based on a truly Biblical world view.

Recently an invitation to join an innocuously named “Race and Grace” group on Facebook was sent to my inbox. I was intrigued and as an invitee was granted the ability to scroll through the posts in the group. This supposedly Christian group on Facebook quickly divulged the influence of the far left media on the majority of their members (at least the ones whose posts I briefly scanned). Denigrating those who stand for “justice for ALL” and ad hominem attacks on the current POTUS dominated the posts scanned. No where did I hear the TRULY CHRISTIAN message that

In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all. Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.

Colossians 3:11-15 HCSB

Personally, I will NOT declare that one color group’s lives matter while ignoring the fact that ALL lives matter. When those who echo the anti-Christian message that there IS a difference between people based on the color of their skin, they are ignoring the truly Christian message that WE ARE ALL THE SAME in the eyes of our Creator. He does not value one race/nationality/culture group over another, rather He calls all men everywhere to repentance and redemption by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Yet this message is shouted down by those who prefer to echo what they’ve heard on the mass media. As Christ’s disciples, are we not called to be merciful to all, especially to the innocent?

One of the great problems with current culture is that most people have NO grasp or even fleeting understanding of history. They forget where we come from and seem intent on returning to a point in history where the gains made by those who have patiently preached the Gospel of Reconciliation (of God to man and of man to man) would be lost. When we take a look at the work of Charles Darwin and the huge impact that his writings had on history, we really should be skeptical of those who continue to promote the segregation of humans based on the color of their skin. Reading the writings of Theodore Roosevelt and others who ventured into the wilds of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century world we see the insidious grasp of the theory of mankind’s evolution from “the goo to you via the zoo”. This ideology lead to the destruction of millions of people in the German colonies in Africa during the Great War (1st World War of the 20th Century). After all, ridding the continent of the “inferior, unevolved race” (I’m quoting the attitude of the time and place, not a personal view of this blog) would be a service to humanity as it allowed the destroyers to seed the land with the “far superior and highly evolved race” of the German homeland. (again, note this is not a personally held view – why do I have to say this? because some will assume it’s a stance that’s natural to one of my own ancestry).

While the darwinian doctrine of macro evolution dominated the thoughts of “progressive” thinkers, the Christian doctrine of equality of ALL men in the sight of God took a hit as attacks were made on the Bible and the Christian faith by those who longed to be free from the moral constraints of a Christian worldview. This is understandable when one examines the teachings of some who called themselves “Christian” over the centuries, but flies in the face of the evidence for a Creator and His Plan for the human race that can be found in natural law. As the psalmist wrote: “The heavens declare the glory of God,and the sky proclaims the work of His hands. Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge. There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard.
Their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”
(Psalm 19:1-4 HCSB) and as the apostle wrote: “For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.  For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.” (Romans 1:18-23 HCSB)

One of the great problems that has plagued the Church of Jesus the Christ over the centuries is the fact that adherents of the gospel have too often ignored the clear teaching of Romans 12:1-2: “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” True Christian worship is how we live each day and each moment in our own bodies. This should lead us to think differently from the world around us, but far too often the church has focused on rituals held within four walls of a building and for too long the church has conformed itself to the world’s way of thinking.

And that is why I refuse to echo the “A Certain Color’s Life Matters”! That is NOT a Christian voice. It clearly scribes a line between one group and another while Christ calls us to erase those lines. It also ignores the injustice that is happening in other places where other groups are being targeted even more than the group mentioned above. For an example from history, which lives mattered more in Rwanda? The Hutu, the Tutsi, the Twa? They were all of what in the US is considered “one race”, yet one group rose up and slaughtered the others – even going so far as to slaughter those who were of their own tribal origin because they dared to differ in opinion. And in the middle of it all were many who professed to be “Christian”, but who either slaughtered people whose only crime was to be from another tribe or else refused to give shelter and protection to the same.

And that brings us back to the “current events” unfolding across the land many call simply “America”. Were the lives of Dave Patrick Underwood and David Dorn worth less than the life of George Floyd? If the skin color by which the media identified Floyd matters, why does the skin color of Underwood and Dorn not matter – even though they are identified the same? And that is but one of the many issues I have with the whole movement. Christ died to redeem us and to transform us. We should raise our voices in defense of ALL innocent life, taking no notice of color, nationality or ethnic group.

And no, I did not join the social media group. There are far too many who echo the words of the world and ignore the words of the Bible that call us to love one another as Christ loves us. THESE are the words I’d far rather promote. “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

“Shelter In Place”

Life gets hectic at times and we keep busy with “life as usual” which often doesn’t leave much time for extra curricular activities like updating my blog. Well, today’s the day – I think. It’s been quite a while since I last wrote so we’ll see how this goes.

On March 20, 2020 we’d been looking forward to the three day holiday here in Coffee Country. “Saint Joseph’s Day” is a religious holiday about which most folks have no idea here other than “it’s a holiday, GREAT!”. In the past we’ve used it as a great time to go drive up the Nevado de Ruiz as it’s usually at the peak of snow season up there, the scenery is amazing and one gets to experience a bit of winter just a few hundred miles north of the equator. But that plan hasn’t worked for years, not since the volcano became active again. And this year any such plans became moot as the alcalde declared a three day “simulation” in which all residents of our municipal area were ordered to “shelter in place” and not go out except for very narrowly defined activities.

Just when we were asking “simulation” of what? the president announced a nation wide lockdown to go into effect on Tuesday, March 24 at 12:01 a.m. and to last until April 13 at 12:01 a.m. (If I Recall Correctly – going from memory here) So for the past 11 days we’ve been “sheltering in place” and doing our best to keep on doing the work for which we are here – loving people as Christ loves them and teaching them to become His disciples and to fulfill His commandments as He told His apostles to do.

So the past few days have been “interesting”. Our first “Facebook Live” Sunday “gathering” was on March 22 and we had a very good “turnout” as people tuned in from all over town, as well as other parts of the country and even as far north as Oregon state in the U.S. WOW! As we’ve been learning more about internet “live streaming” and such we’ve been trying to become more proficient and have been using this means to encourage people, helping them to look to the Lord instead of listening to the voices of doom and gloom coming from the godless “media”.

Some of the activities for which we are allowed to leave the house are to take care of household pets by walking them for not more than 20 minutes at a time. So we’re grateful for the blessing of having a couple of canine companions which get a chance to get out and stretch their legs a few times during the day. We often meet some of our neighbors who are out doing the same and always look for positive ways to encourage them during this time of nearly universal panic and doubt.

Another reason for exiting the house is to “take care of pet medical emergencies”. Last week I remembered that it was close to time for their shots – a quick look at their records showed we were a few days past. So we loaded them into the car and off we went (the dogs and I) to the vets’ place. But on our way we stopped at the grocery store, another reason we’re allowed to stray from home, where I parked in the shade, rolled the windows down a bit and went to purchase some groceries for families in need. Several people had transferred funds to my account for such an expenditure so I was able to buy groceries for four families while on the way to the vets’.

Our dogs must be defective as they LOVE to go see the vets. So in we went, greeted each other from a safe distance and soon the girls were examined, found healthy and vaccinated. As this lovely couple are also members of our congregation it was a blessing to get in on “semi-traditional style” visitation in the midst of what is quickly becoming “non-traditional ministry”. After checking on their mental and spiritual health in the midst of the current situation we had a brief time of prayer and then it was off for home, by the “short cut”.

Yes, the short cut. You know that often the “short cut” is both longer in time and distance and takes one by non-direct paths, that’s the one we took home as it allowed me to stop by the church building to empty the pantry of perishable items, then drop by a couple of homes to deliver some of the groceries purchased earlier. What a blessing to be able to bless others during this time of need.

So we’ve been doing nightly “meetings” in which we transmit some songs and give an encouraging bit of God’s word to those who “tune in” on Facebook Live. We praise God for the blessing of having the means to do this non-traditional type ministry as several have shared with us how this time has blessed them.

Until next time…

Thoughts on Celebrating the Nativity of The Christ

It’s that time of year, again. When the world gets rushed and busy and people run from place to place looking for the best price on the perfect gift to make their credit stretch further and allow them to get deeper in debt with the greatest amount of material benefit in exchange therefore. Or at least that’s what it looks like from here. Yesterday we went to town to take care of some needed business, and the parking lots were overflowing and traffic backed up for blocks, reminding us why we hate to go to town this time of year. But it’s still “my favorite time of the year.”

“Why?” you might ask. Well, because it’s the time of the year in which those of us who remember “the reason for the season” celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ. It’s a time in which we are brought to contemplate the majesty of a Creator Who cared enough for His creation to enter into that very same creation in the body of a helpless infant. This event is so momentous that it has split history in twain – a fact acknowledged even by those who attempt to replace “Ano Domini” and “Before Christ” with “Common Era” (CE) and “Before Common Era” (BCE). While shying away from “the religious implications” of the prior dating to avoid recognizing the importance of the event that spawned this division of history – they still use an abbreviation that can be used to restore the initial import of the division of time. After all, B.C.E. and C.E. can be used to represent “Before the Christian Era” and “Christian Era”. 😉 😀

There are many who claim to be followers of Jesus the Christ who decry the celebration of His birth. The common arguments include “No one KNOWS what day He was born on! The Bible certainly doesn’t tell us!” and “Christmas is a PAGAN holiday!” Well, let’s take a look at these two arguments in particular.

First, it is true that the Bible does not tell us what day of the year Jesus Who would come to be known as The Nazarene and The Messiah (the Christ, the Anointed One) was born – but it tells us clearly that He WAS born. Not only was He born, His birth was celebrated in ways unknown before or since. We see a multitude of angels singing in celebration. We see the magi trekking from the East, following a star to where it came to rest over the place where the Child was. This was a birth foretold by prophets hundreds of years prior to the event. And it was a birth that brought to us One Who would impact history like no one before or since. Even those who do not believe in His deity must acknowledge His impact on the world and culture if they are honest analysts of history. Only the most ardent adherents to ignorance claim that He never was a real person or that He taught in such a way as to “turn the world on end”.

Since we know that He WAS born, even though we may not know EXACTLY WHEN He was born, why not celebrate the event? If not on the now traditional date, what date would you propose? On a personal level, this is something of which our family has experience. My wife was a foundling, raised by an unknown woman for the first days/weeks of her life. She was then taken to an orphanage and adopted by those who eventually became my inlaws. A judge arbitrarily decreed that her birth date would be celebrated on a certain day of the year. The fact of the matter is – we have NO idea what day she was born. But we have irrefutable evidence that she WAS born. And this blessing is worth celebrating, so we do. Each year on the day decreed by the judge we celebrate the fact that the tiny child who would become my wife and the mother of our children was born. Why not celebrate the birth of our Redeemer as well? After all, He has blessed many millions more than it would ever be possible for my wife to bless.

My friend, Kirk Durston, wrote an article on the second argument – that Christmas is actually a pagan celebration. I encourage you to read his well thought out and presented article. Here I just want to point out that the date of the Nativity was settled among the followers of Jesus of Nazareth well before the pagan celebration that it was supposedly copied from was established. The traditional Day of Creation was long recognized as what today is the 25th of March. Rabbinic tradition had all the Patriarchs born on the same day, and thus conceived as well on the same day. March 25 plus 9 months gestation gives us December 25 as the date of the birth of the Messiah. Some early Christians held that January 6 was the day of the Nativity, a date still celebrated by the Orthodox Catholic church and recognized by the Roman Catholic church as the day on which the magi arrived.

For yours truly, it all comes back to – let us celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ. Whether you follow Him or not you must till recognize that He taught as none other has done. If people would follow His teaching (rather than the dogmas that have split so many societies) then the world would be a far better place, a fact admitted even by some avowed atheists.

Diana Model 25

There is not much information on the internet about the Diana Model 25 air rifle. It is a youth model, low powered and the originals were made prior to and perhaps during the initial years of World War II. I’m documenting the attempted resurrection of one of these rifles. Perhaps this information will be of use to someone out there.

The rifle came to me with a bent barrel. It’s not the typical upward bend resulting from the barrel being allowed to snap close under the power of the main spring. It is bent heavily to the right, to the point where the owner tells me that a pellet would get stuck in the barrel.

Barrel against the wall, showing decided bend to the right.
Other side of the barrel against the wall, showing the bend.

From the breech end of the barrel, you can see how crooked it is inside.
The breech seal is the old leather type, it appears to be in fairly good shape. We’ll have to hydrate it with silicone oil and see if it leaks when fired after reassembly.
Here are the major components of the rifle. The only thing left to disassemble would be to remove the sights and the piston seal. The sear will be left in the trigger assembly. There was quite a bit of precompression in the spring. The full length of the trigger block was under compression. The spring is 0.110 wire with 30 coils and 0.500 inside diameter. But it appears to be in great condition, no need to replace it at this point.
Left side of the receiver. This picture and the following ones detail the effects of long term neglect in a humid climate. There’s a lot of rust and someone took some coarse sand paper to it some time back. “Rode hard and put away wet” is the way some folks describe this condition.
One can barely make out “Made in Germany” on the left of the receiver.
A lot of corrosion, you can see the scratches from the coarse sand paper. Diana is there, but not easy to make out. The writing is more legible in the pic than it was in person.
It was difficult to remove the piston seal. The screw was held in place by a drift pin. It took nearly 40 inch pounds of force to get it loose – there appears to be a flat on the side of the screw threads that was either filed or merely deformed by the force of seating the pin. Don’t know if I’ll be able to find a replacement or if we’ll appeal to thread locker upon reinstalling. The piston seal is in excellent shape, now soaking in silicone oil to rehydrate and prepare it for reassembly.

A Few Days Later

The compression tube/receiver after being polished to remove most of the rust. There’s still some light pitting and discoloration from the years of neglect. I rubbed it down with some Brownell’s Oxphobluing (I THINK that’s what it’s called) and the resulting finish is splotchy (as expected) but not too horrid – much better than the rust and such.
You can see the “Made In Germany” stamp fairly clearly now.
The piston reassembled. The leather seal sat in silicone oil for a few days to rehydrate after years of being stored. It all went together smoothly.
One thing that “popped out at me” almost literally – the pin that locked the screw in place from the factory got cammed out a bit when I forced the screw loose. Of course, the piston would NOT slide into the tube that way. Used a tool to set the pin back against the screw, it should be good to go now.
The trigger after being sanded to remove the rust.
It blued up nicely.

After a bit of proper lubing of the spring and other parts, the rifle was reassembled. I’d had some doubts about the process, but over on the Gateway To Airguns forum Jon “eeler1” posted a link to a video about a similar rifle. This one is a Winchester 422, and looks like a dead ringer for the Model 25. It’s actually a Diana Model 22, but I don’t know what the differences are between the two models. I’d not checked out the NorthWest Airgun channel in a while. He’s got some other good stuff over there. Worth taking a look if you’re interested in airguns. Anyway, he did three videos on his grandson’s rifle – and that was a big help as when he reassembled he showed me how to do the trigger. I’d been over thinking it and was planning to make a slave pin for the trigger. That would NOT have worked. When I saw him put it together things clicked in my brain and sure enough, it’s not as hard as I thought it was. There was some kind of hangup, but eventually I got it together properly and voilá! The rifle shoots!

I took the first five shots from a free standing position. The light little rifle is easy to cock and shoulder and the trigger isn’t too horrible either. But the sights. Oh, brother! The sights are not very compatible with a tan background, low light and my aging eyes (that were never that good to start with). Still, it seemed like the rifle was shooting to the right still. The center hit on the “bullseye” was a called flier. Pellets are some old RWS pistol wadcutters.
So I ran another 10 shots for a total of 15 and sure enough, it was hitting to the right fairly consistently, and a bit low as well. So out came the precision sight adjuster (tack hammer and brass rod) and the front sight was moved right and the rear sight was moved left and at 7 meters (give or take) the following target resulted.
Five shots at around 7 meters. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Considering that this rifle wouldn’t even let a pellet through the barrel, I’m pretty tickled with results so far.
Aim small, miss small. I broke out a small black bullseye printed target and proceeded to shoot from 10 meters. Not very good. Hmmm. Moved back to 7 meters and the point of impact raised a bit, but it’s still not a target rifle. Still, I’m tickled to have it shooting.
The Diana Model 25
And the other side.

Two Roads

Two roads diverge in a world perturbed.
One is narrow, the other is broad.
One’s full of promise of immediate “pleasure”.
The other leads to eternal treasure.

Jailbait for sure

The hoplophobes on duty at the book of face continue on their path of idiocy. Singling out those who disagree with their world view, they don’t even give an option to contest their arbitrary affirmation that their”community standards” have been violated. I’ve read their drivel and this image and the caption it contains does NOT violate their stated standards.  Their only true apparent “standards” are to harass God-fearing men of european descent. The only result of such persecution is disdain, ridicule and defiance. They can block me from their site, but their idiocy and hypocrisy are evident to all who care to think things through…

Facebook Jail

Well, it was my turn, 24 hour detention in “Facebook Jail”. It should be no surprise to anyone that Facebook and Twitter and many other related “Social Media” sights have a definite twist from what used to be called “normal”, “good” and “right”.  Their fomenting of an agenda that goes against heterosexual, Christian, Anglo Saxon men is nothing new, it’s been going on for a while.  So it was not too much of a surprise when I clicked on an announcement that someone had responded to something I’d posted – only to receive the photo below along with the included message.

Waffenschmieden – Weapons Forge – Why “Gun Control” will never work

This video came up on my radar recently.  An image of a Colt Model P – also known as the Single Action Army, SAA, Peacemaker or M1873 – but labeled “1880 single action Revolver built from scratch (part 1)” caught my eye.  Upon skimming through the video I saw someone making the first parts of the well known “cowboy gun”.  A quick search in Google Translate gave the meaning of the channel’s name (hint – it’s in the title of this piece) and skimming through the series showed a functional sixgun coming out of bits and pieces of steel.  Everything – EVERYTHING – in the build was made from scratch.  Frame, barrel, action parts, springs, grips, screws – EVERYTHING.  At first I wasn’t sure, but the builder is a lady, a very talented lady.  And she’s not a “gunsmith”, just an enthusiastic firearms enthusiast who is also a talented metal working craftswoman. 

When Guns Are Outlawed – from the archives

Here’s a post from my blog, posted originally nearly 11 years ago (19 April, 2007) that was recovered from the Way Back Machine.

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Guns are not completely outlawed here. But they are VERY expensive to obtain legally. They are also available on the black market, but most folks can’t afford them even then. So what to do when you can’t get a gun? What if you want to continue your life of robbing and terrorizing? What if you merely want a means to defend yourself against criminals? What if you want more of a chance against and aggressor than fingernails, teeth and a bad attitude will provide? Then there’s still older technology around. The common knife in various forms. Below are some pictures I took recently of a display the police had put up. The sign at the bottom proclaims “5220 injured people have been prevented this year” . Looking at some of the closeups below make me believe that this is an exaggeration. They have not been prevented, merely postponed. So. What happens when guns are outlawed? Outlaws and others find other means of continuing “business as usual” . Violence, after all, comes not from the availability of weapons but rather from the desire of the aggressor to commit violence.

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