cable television, valor, and whips

Greetings from Pensacola Beach!  We are now in our third temporary rental home during "Operation Relocation."   It is a wonderful place, and allows me to at least somewhat check my "lived at the beach" box.  And it feels like we are on vacation around the clock, which is an undeniably great thing.  We had Chris and Janie Cobb over for dinner last night, to include a lively discussion on how the paint will be handled in our upcoming renovation.  Funny what becomes the topic of discussion.  Three thoughts on this beautiful Sunday morning, as has become customary:

1.  We have been without cable for probably the last two years.  Don't feel sorry for us.  We still watch a lot of movies and occasional shows on Netflix, but no cable.  We've had cable in two of the last temporary rentals over the last couple of months.  I have become unaccustomed to the non-stop barrage of every company known to man telling me what I should want to buy. Life has basically become one long advertisement.  I did find myself engrossed with an airplane repossession show that I'd never seen before, who knew there was such a job!  Stopped from binging too long on Friday night only because the camera work was too bouncy.   The entire family watched Mom's Night Out last night, piled up on the couch. It was a memorable scene.  Overwhelming gratitude watching them all quietly from the kitchen. 

2.  In a short entry I just read from Thomas Merton, he speaks of the merger of early Christian thinking and the "valor" and violence of Europeans.  Can the same phenomenon perhaps be observed in our very homogeneous manifestation of American Christianity today?  Have we turned Christianity into a carefully choreographed sociopolitical and economic platform, from which we measure the legitimacy and polite conformity of others?

3.  "You must like pain, because you keep whipping yourself."  Heard a friend mention that his  spiritual advisor told him this once.  I have been thinking a lot about perfectionism and shame, prompted a great deal by Brene Brown's writing.
My little ones say hello!  I'll leave you with a piece of the Merton entry mentioned above. Have a great week.

Hence the strange paradox that certain spiritual and largely nonviolent ideologies which were in fact quite close to the Gospel were attacked and coerced in the name of Christ by the Christian solider who was often no longer a Christian except in name: for he was violent, greedy, self-complacent, and supremely contemptuous of anything that was not a perfect reflection of himself.


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