Further Musings

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

Archive for February 2004

One Sunday Later

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Last week our pastor, Ru, continued through 1 Peter and talked about verses 6-9. I had never put together that the ďpraise, glory and honorĒ 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 Iím 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 donít think people read about them and think ďThey are incompetent, unfocused bumblers.Ē Itís 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 thatís 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.

Iíd 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 didnít know I had an inner-redneck did you? Iím 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 wouldnít 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

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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 isnít 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