Faith, Family, Friends and Firearms

Category: Culture Page 2 of 4

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)

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.

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.

Calibers I’d love to try

In the post just prior to this one, I wrote up a list of calibers I’ve fired over the course of my life so far.  It’s a rather eclectic collection, containing from the mundane to some of the more esoteric calibers.  This is due to the variety of friends with unconventional tastes who by their generosity have allowed me to fire their guns and ammo.  This list is a bit different, it’s one that shows some of the gaping holes in my shooting experience, holes that I hope someday to fill. Note that these are just some that come to mind. When visiting friends and family and the chance comes up to “burn powder”, usually I’ll give just about anything a try – once.

A variety of calibers

Over the years it has been my pleasure to shoot just about anything that comes along, my motto being “Almost anything once” when it comes to the delightful sport of shooting.  Something sparked my memory and I put up a partial list of calibers I’ve fired over the years.  Well, that lead to more cogitation and so here’s a list of calibers I’ve fired at one time or another.  When comparing this list to “Cartridges Of The World” (ANY edition thereof) it’s a very  small and puny list.  But compared to the fact that most folks can’t name more than a half dozen calibers, it ain’t too shabby – especially considering that most of my life has been spent where the shooting sports are not exactly encouraged.  The generosity of friends and family during our brief times of sojourning up North has allowed me to rack up an interesting (to ME anyway)  list. It’s organized as follows – Calibers fired in pistols/handguns, Calibers fired in rifles, Shotgun gauges fired, Muzzle Loaders/cap and ball revolvers. If memory coughs up something more I’ll update the list. Note that the caliber designation does not necessarily indicate the type of firearm from which it was fired. A good example is the 50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) which was actually fired from a Barrett semi-automatic rifle that belonged to a friend.

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