Further Musings

Beauty smote his heart, he looked up from the forsaken land & hope returned to him

Archive for February 2004

One Sunday Later

with 2 comments

Last week our pastor, Ru, continued through 1 Peter and talked about verses 6-9. I had never put together that the “praise, glory and honor” was something that would come to us. Listening to the sermon provided a bit of new perspective to think that God would one day praise us, give us glory and honor us as our faith is proved genuine through the trials of life.

I usually think about the struggles I have as being because I’m some kind of incompetent, unfocused bumbler. Through the light of the sermon it seems more like a Sam and Frodo kind of tale.

Sam and Frodo struggled and failed but I don’t think people read about them and think “They are incompetent, unfocused bumblers.” It’s interesting to think that one day we might be sitting around and God would tell our stories, praising our performance in the hard parts.

I get a picture of Jesus leaning in around the table and telling the tale of my life with a gracious telling. I used to think about this with the terror of having all my flaws and shame exposed, but what if other contours were lifted out of our story?

What if the hard parts, the preparation and the enormity of what we encounter in our lives are seen for what they are and we’re given praise and honor for moments when all odds were against us and we obeyed ? What if in telling the story he leaned in a little further and said:

“I know. I know. Andy really blew it that most of that week and the world around him was full of brokenness and sin: some of it his doing. But that’s not the part I wanted to tell you about. Do you know what happened next? Andy didn’t despair, instead he believed. And that, for a moment, was a flash of my glory in the world.”

The sermon reminded me that it’s no easy thing to be in this world. It also made me think, yeah, like Sam and Frodo my story is more complicated than I give it credit for.

Written by furthermusings

February 29, 2004 at 10:23 pm

Posted in Reflections

A Glimpse of Me

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Recently a friend showed me how to create a short AVI (video) files using the digital camera I purchased in August. Apparently there are advantages to reading the owner’s manual. I know that I’m supposed to blog about ideas and events and such but I couldn’t pass up the fun of saying hello for a brief second through a different medium.

As I originally filmed this clip my smile took a while to form. But as I took different takes and figured out that all I could say was five seconds worth of introduction and hello I found myself thinking of individual, scattered friends who might view this. For those out there: the smile in the final take is real thanks to you. For those I’ve never met in person: hello!

Fair warning: the file is just over 400k so it may take a minute to arrive.

Download file

Written by furthermusings

February 27, 2004 at 12:19 am

Posted in Pictures

No Man’s Land

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Tonight I showed No Man’s Land in one of the refurbished classrooms on campus on the big screen with surround-sound. The showing was announced in class and emailed out to them as well. Out of 300 students eight showed up. I was pretty pleased! A few public policy students showed up as well. I think it went over well.

It was interesting to watch No Man’s Land post-Bosnia. I could pick out words here and there. The hardest part was watching the real news clips that were spliced in. It was hard to watch Sarajevo burning. I choked up when they mentioned the breadline massacres.

Afterwards I played a game of indoor soccer with the Poli department. More reminders of Bosna.

Written by furthermusings

February 24, 2004 at 11:27 pm

Posted in Political Science

Humanity in Transition

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This afternoon I went to see a photo exhibition in the Ackland Art Museum on campus titled Migrations: Humanity in Transition.

The exhibit began with a collection of thirty large, black-and-white photos from the central African conflicts in and around Rwanda. The photography itself was exquisite. The photos are grainy and shot with streaks of light; framed by lines of fleeing refugees walking by corpses in various degrees of decay all under highlighted clouds of the African sky; mixing the dead, the dying, and the not yet dead.

The Asian section captured another aspect of Humanity in Transition; departing from the depictions of violent conflict but still strewn with stark suffering. The photos presented shots which contrasted the modern glass and steel skyscrapers of the New Asia and the slums which spread out at their feet. From Istanbul to Shanghi with all the variety and contrast in between.

The South American section . . .

The exhibit ends in a small room tucked away in a far corner of the museum. Seven portraits of fine detail are hung upon the wood panelling, each containing a different child, staring out as you look up into their eyes. The room, with its rich browns, is a quiet contrast to the bustle of the main gallery. The individual shots of the children are a quiet contrast to the crowded photographs outside. Their eyes are haunting; both showing their beauty and conveying their sorrows.

Written by furthermusings

February 22, 2004 at 4:59 pm

Posted in Reviews

Okie Noodling

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Tonight I watched a PBS documentary titled Okie Noodling on DVD with two friends from church. It was a fascinating look at the art of catching very large catfish by hand (literally!) in the great state of Oklahoma.

Aside from the sheer spectacle of watch groups of large, shirtless men disappear underwater together and then reappear grappling two-to-four foot fish (which look like they have been left out of the evolutionary chain for a few million years) the culture is something to behold.

I liked it. The movie is a fascinating look at a sub-culture many would sneer at with. At the end of the movie the benign grotesqueness of the catfish lingers on but the authenticity of the noodlers draws even with the spectacle in this strange mix.

I’d love to hear other thoughts if others have seen it.

Written by furthermusings

February 19, 2004 at 11:42 pm

Posted in Reviews

My Inner Redneck

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I wrote an email to my sister E. the other night and thought I should share one of the paragraphs.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I had to smile at myself tonight as I realized that I am dressed to indulge my inner-redneck. I bet you didn’t know I had an inner-redneck did you? I’m currently dressed in blue-jeans, a grey cutoff t-shirt and faded, red flannel shirt over it complete with wool socks. Perhaps the only part that wouldn’t fit the bill would be my boiled-wool slippers, but hey . . . the beer bottle helps make up the difference.

Written by furthermusings

February 17, 2004 at 11:49 pm

Posted in At the House

A Sunday Night Snowfall

with 7 comments

The snow outside is swiftly falling and quietly accumulating on the tree limbs and on the ground. Standing under the awning beside the front door I can hear the muffled splash of cars slowly driving up and down the highway near by. The yellow glow of a streetlight is painting the view in front of the house and by its light I can see the snow falling and falling.

The cold outside isn’t too cold and standing outside is pleasant . . . and peaceful. It makes me wish I could live somewhere where stillness and a view were more common and a feeling of peacefulness came more often. I remembered again tonight that I love that peace; or perhaps I love the stillness of being which is required to enjoy a peaceful moment.

My pastor continued his exposition of 1st Peter tonight. I’m grateful for the promises and timing of his teaching. His challenged us to face the grief of life with hope and confidence. The last two Sundays have helped to steady this fearful soul. And that has helped me enjoy the snow.

Written by furthermusings

February 15, 2004 at 11:59 pm

Posted in Reflections

History of the Kendricks

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Yesterday I received a number of pictures from my Aunt in Chicago. My job was to scan them end and email them to my cousin, Anna, in Saudi Arabia for her school project. The pictures were amazing for their sense of family history. I asked my Aunt who the people in the pictures were. This is her reply:

The old picture at the counter (at the insurance agency) is Joe and Katherine Kendrick with their secretary, around 1925.

The picture by the travel trailer is Sam and Margueritte Nation, with their lovely 6 year old granddaughter, Jo Ann! This is 1962.

The real old picture is a 4 generation picture:

Lillian Margueritte Nation Kendrick b. 8/31/28
Lillian Margueritte Garland Nation b. 4/30/1904 d. 6/1994
Lillian Brooks Brown Garland b. 12/9/1868 d. 1/1959
Indiana Margaret Brooks Brown b.11/18/1846 d. 9/1940

It was a strange feeling to look at these pictures. It’s strange to think of the things that Indiana Brown lived through and experienced. Its strange to think with such concreteness about the people who’s lives I am a result of. I suppose it goes all the way back to the garden and each could be lined up, one beside the other as these women actually are. It makes me think about the breath that our time on this planet is.
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Written by furthermusings

February 13, 2004 at 6:16 pm

Posted in Reflections

O Quickly Come

with 6 comments

Church was tonight like a soaking rain during a hot summer. I know that’s not an appropriate metaphor for the current season, but it’s the right one.

Our pastor baptized two children, Colin (2) and Finn (4), who are dear to my heart. It was awesome to take vows to care for them. It meant a lot to me. Later at the party their Mom tried to explain to Finn that I was a part of their church family and if she or Dad couldn’t weren’t around then I could help him. I means so much to me to really be a part of the families at church with all the dynamics of being a real family; the frustrations and the joys. I am a part of their lives.

The sermon was from 1st Peter 1:3-5. It was a beautiful exposition of praise, of the promises of God, and of an inheritance “which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away.” Along side the joyful presence of eight different children from church my thoughts tonight also rest on old age and the fading of life near its end. This week the realities of the elderly have been presently with me.

In a different way it was also good to be reminded that the things of this world do fade away. This week I’ve contemplated the pursuit of money and what drives those who pursue it baldly with their lives. There is a reason I haven’t lived life like that. As we sang Be Thou My Vision it was a reminder that my hope doesn’t rest in this world but in the promises of God who shields me through his power until the coming of his salvation.

I needed to hear these things tonight, for a variety of reasons. I needed to hear these things and worship.

Tonight, as I give you a tast of what Andy journaling looks like instead of Andy blogging, I’m left thinking of the hymn below. I wish I could remember the new tune so I could fall asleep with it in my head.

God’s grace and mercy is for us. Peace to you my readers.
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Written by furthermusings

February 9, 2004 at 1:02 am

Posted in Reflections

The Duke Game

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On Thursday night Dad and I went to the Duke vs. UNC game. As we approached the Smith Center I said to Dad, “You realize that if college basketball was a religion then we would be going to one of the temples on a holy day! We’re going to see UNC play Duke in the Dean Dome!!”

My landlords graciously sold me their tickets so instead of being in the upper reaches of the top deck (which still would have been amazing) we sat just under the awning of the lower deck. The whole lower deck got free t-shirts in an effort to “turn it blue.”

The game was great. Even though we lost in overtime it was full of ups and downs with emotion and drama. By the end we both left with tired smiles.


Written by furthermusings

February 7, 2004 at 10:52 am

Posted in UNC

Presbyterians Referencing Tolkien

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My sister, Katie, has written an open letter to Presbyterian ministers concerning their over use of Lord of the Ring examples. (February 4th Entry) She laughingly pokes fun at the fad and it’s effect on the church.

This was my response:

What has not been addressed in this open letter is the distressing number of misquotes, misinterpretations, and violations of the text that are routinely made in these sermons.

The letter above asks what harm has quoting The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) done to our understanding of biblical Christianity. A more pressing question may be: what harm have the pastors in question done to the LOTR?

Each time a sermon mangles another character trait or plot point by proclaiming how Gilmy the Elf saved Aragorn of the Rowrim by flying on the Nusgul towards the Ring of Fire a new fan is confused and an informed reader is tempted to publicly rebuke his pastor and leave the church.

A separation of church and the LOTR is necessary for the good of both and a moratorium on sermon references to either the books or the movie must quickly be established for the sake of both.

Written by furthermusings

February 5, 2004 at 8:58 am

Posted in Reviews

Problem Solved

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For those readers who have been experiencing problems commenting on my blog I�m happy to say that these problems have been solved.

I need to say thank you to Bigwig for his help in remedying this problem. Bigwig is one of the upper-echelon IT guys at UNC. He is the man who orginally took the initiative for making Moveable Type work on the UNC servers. Thanks Bigwig!

Written by furthermusings

February 4, 2004 at 6:00 pm

Posted in Blogroll

The Urbanizing World

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I read this tonight and found it interesting. I have lots of questions about urban life and the nature of the city. Tonight I’m wondering particulary about the proportion of Christians in the Western urban centers vs in developing urban centers.

“In this century, not only will a majority of human beings be living in cities but a growing fraction will reside in extremely large places. Beginning in the mid 1920s, the percentage of human beings living in cities of 1 million or more rose sharply. As world urbanization passes the 50 percent mark toward the end of this decade, the number living in large metropolises will surpass 20 percent; and by the year 2025, one quarter of all humanity will live in cities of 1 million or more. Increasingly, most of these large urban agglomerations will be in the Third World. Whereas the five largest cities in 1900 were London, New York, Paris, Berlin and Chicago, in 2015 they will be Tokyo, Bombay, Lagos, Dhaka, and San Paolo, followed by Karachi, Mexico City, New York, Jakarta and Calcutta.”

Douglas Massey writing in the American Sociological Review.

Written by furthermusings

February 3, 2004 at 1:04 am

Posted in Reflections