August 26, 2017

The rock group Chicago asked the title question in a song on their second album in 1970. Their answer was simply "does anybody really care?" But today I'm thinking about time, and I care, as I have A LOT of it.

With respect to time, Augustine found its description elusive when he wrote "If no one asks me, I know; if I wish to explain to whoever asks, I know not." He thought only the present existed. On the other hand Albert Einstein, whose theories proved that time is relative and could be altered by external factors like speed and gravity, said "For us believing physicists, the divide between past, present and future has only the significance of an illusion, albeit a stubborn one." Augustine might not have been satisfied with that. So, is time crucial, continuous, consistent? Is our perception of it impacted by our age or by outside influences?

Another inmate here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp recently asked my age. Without thinking, I replied that I was 62. Minutes later I realized...

August 21, 2017

Almost daily here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp, I draw strength from past experiences. Some of the best memories are with my children, particularly coaching their sports teams. Today's remembrance is again from my illustrious basketball coaching career at the Woodway Family Center. There was a rule in the younger leagues that we could not keep score. As my teams were usually pretty good, I complained about the rule being 'wimpy' and 'Un-American'. I never called it pure grace, which one season it truly was.

On a particular brutal Saturday, a parent approached me at half to make sure I was aware we were down by 8, which of course I knew. Trailing by 8 points at half when the players are 8-year-old boys is like losing by 40 at halftime in college. The situation was painfully obvious and the remark unnecessary and unappreciated. The second half was slightly worse.

On our way home after the game, I was not particularly pleased. As my son Walton had not taken a single shot the entire gam...

August 17, 2017

There are many perks to fatherhood; none better than coaching my children from age 6-11 in basketball. Most of my Hall of Fame coaching career took place within the friendly confines of the Woodway Family Center. As with most life experiences, the teacher became the student. I learned some meaningful lessons that are helpful as I experience life now within the not so friendly confines of Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp

At the beginning of each season, all the players and coaches would gather for a meaningless tryout which consisted of each child attempting to dribble a ball the length of the court and shoot a layup. Immediately thereafter, the coaches would convene for the all-important draft night. Dynasties were built and rebuilt within this room, as each coach strategically picked 8 players using his/her limited allocation of draft points. A coach could use all the points on one player and just fill the roster with "outcasts" like the Los Angeles Lakers later adopted with Kobe, or alt...

August 11, 2017

Every Friday evening here at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp is Bad Christian Movie Night. I had no clue until I came here that there were so many films in this presumably well intentioned, but miserable, genre. Thankfully, we recently broke that mold by showing The Shack. The movie was so good, it was shown two more times to full chapel audiences. The movie follows closely the book by the same name written by William Paul Young. I read it when it was first published and was inspired to study, think, and learn more about the Trinity, which is a major theme of the book. 'Inspired' may be too strong a word, because I never participated in any of those worthwhile endeavors as I soon forgot all about the book. I won't be a spoiler about the book or the movie, but if you have ever wondered about God, Jesus and/or the Holy Spirit, the themes expressed in The Shack can't be ignored.

The German theologian Karl Rahner made a perceptive statement about the Trinity when he wrote that Christians "mu...

August 6, 2017

Being an inmate at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp is ultimately the realization that I am powerless. There is an arbitrary, semi-literate, external power that controls almost every aspect of my life. However, in the midst of powerlessness, there is the potential for authentic power that has little to do with external power. 

Gary Zukov writes in his book The Seat of the Soul, "Creating authentic power requires experiencing within us the difference between fear and love and choosing love no matter what is going on inside us--such as anger, jealousy or resentment--or what is going on outside us--such as another 9/11 attack, an illness, or the death of a child. This is the challenging part."

That is indeed challenging, and it doesn't just happen. Most of us view life through our five senses, and we make decisions using these same senses. Have you ever known anyone who enhanced those five senses with intuition, purpose, meaning, insight, and clarity because he/she had an awareness of a non p...

August 1, 2017

While many worse places exist, there's still much not to like about Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp. There's the constant "fake truth" of the staff who simply lie for no reason. Examples are so rampant, I hardly know where to start. A recent one is the fabricated story about a small, female, one-eyed, stray dog who showed up here and found heaven. One of the staff took her to the "vet" who found a "chip" in her ear and contacted her "owner." I was born at night, but not last night; and there's no chance that dog had anything but a tick in her ear. Why not at least think of a better lie? Then there's one of our recent camp arrivals from a low security facility whom I get to listen to. I set the timer on my watch and counted him use the N word 14 times in 30 seconds. How's that possible?

Sometimes I feel like I'm on my last nerve. Even though I know suffering is just part of life and often self inflicted, I still don't handle it well. Sometimes I project my anger and attack the cause of my...

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© 2016 by Charles D. Jones