Sometime in the early 1980's, I discovered Garrison Keillor. By then he had hosted A Prairie Home Companion on National Public Radio for about ten years. At that time I was convinced that NPR was only for former beatniks and Birkenstock wearing leftists, but there was something about that live musical-variety show from Minnesota that spoke to my soul. I appreciated the eclectic musical guests, from Willie Nelson to Mark Knopfler to Heather Mosley. I laughed at the fictitious
We have a banana tree growing near the Maintenance Building. Its close proximity to the building protected it from last winter's freezing temperature, so it currently has about 25 bananas. While it might be wrong to steal them, we may harvest them. When Joseph Heller wrote his classic novel Catch-22, it was supposed to be "Catch 18". However Leon Uris' novel Mila 18 had just been published. Heller's editor Robert Gotleib instead came up with Catch-22, saying the 22 was a "fun
Preface to this 3rd and final part of Theology From Prison. I have an inmate editor here at Bastrop Federal Satellite camp who refers to himself as Ben Bradley. Bradley, for all you millennials, was the respected editor of the Washington Post during Watergate. He wondered, after reading "Theology of Prison, Part 2: The False Self" if I had an out of body experience in the midst of writing it. His comment after reading this post was that he feared I had outkicked my coverage.
I've tried to use my time here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp to read, and one of my favorite authors has been Thomas Merton, the Cistercian monk. I've written about him and his book No Man Is An Island before on this blog post. Merton wrote about what he called the True Self and the False Self. He did this to try to explain Jesus' teaching that we must die to ourselves, or "lose ourselves to find ourselves" (Mark 8:35). Others might call the True Self the divine within us
In western culture and religion, we play a mind game. We like to pick winners and losers, saints and sinners, good and bad, in and out, up and down, right and wrong. We divide the world to fit our picks, often based on preconceived notions, and then ask God to bless our division. Invariably our race, country, or religion is good, right, and should always win. Have you noticed how that works? The inherent lack of self awareness in this mindset is so embedded in our culture and
Visitation is held at Bastrop Federal Camp every Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm. Our TV room is converted on those days into the visitation room. Several card tables are brought in, and the plastic chairs are rearranged to make conversations easier. There's even a small play area for children. Outside, there are picnic tables and benches under a covered patio and in the yard shaded by pine trees. It's typical to see children playing in that area. The
Have you ever thought the world was going to hell in a hand basket? Many people do. A recent article entitled "The State of the World" in The Economist magazine had some interesting data on that very subject. Much of the article was based on a book by Johan Norberg called Progress: The Reason To Look Forward To The Future. So why are we so pessimistic? Norberg writes that one of the reasons is that we are just predisposed to think things are worse than they are. We overestima