Further Up, Further In Weblog

Chronicling the Journey of the Homeyers

Lost: Redemption Through Community May 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — furtherupfurtherin @ 12:44 pm

I wrote the following for Fellowship’s newsletter this week…I thought I would share.

Sunday night was the series finale of the TV series, Lost. I understand that Kelley and I may be the only people in Fellowship that watch Lost (I find this utterly baffling!), but it was such a poignant cultural experience I thought I would share a bit about it today (there is a spiritual application to this, keep reading!).

Lost features a cast of broken characters who find themselves victims of a plane crash (possibly contrived) on a mysterious island in the pacific that seems to possess sentient characteristics.

Each central character is a broken individual.  Jack is a fallen spinal surgeon who inadvertently caused the downward spiral of his spinal surgeon father who quickly drank himself to death.  Kate killed the man who was abusing her mother and is a fugitive.  Sawyer is a self-loathing con-man seeking vengeance on the man who conned his own parents and caused their murder-suicide.  Hurley is a lottery winner whose money and life seem to be cursed.  The list goes on.

Each of them are broken.  Each of them are essentially alone in the world, isolated from community through the breaks of life or self-imposed punishment.

Lost is known for being a very complicated show with intentional multiple levels of meaning in the plot and development of the characters.  One of the great questions surrounding the show is whether the title (Lost) referred to the island or to the souls of the characters themselves.

This question was answered in the finale (in my opinion).  More than the odd qualities of the island, the show was about the lost(ness) and the redemption of the characters.  Broken individuals came together as a group and as they learned the sordid histories of one another, both intentionally and inadvertently, they began to be the instruments of one another’s healing and path to fullness of life.

Some understood this more than others.  There were great discussions of good/evil, science/faith, and other great philosophical issues throughout the course of the show as they struggled with their own brokenness and the possibilities of fullness of life and redemption.

In the end, as the protagonist of the show, Jack Shepherd, sacrifices himself so some of his friends may leave the island and so that the world can continue in existence.  As he lay dying,  he sees in a type of vision his deceased father and many of his friends (who we come to realize are also deceased) and they appear as they might have been were it not for their great character flaws in life.

Jack struggles to understand all of this and his father tells him, “That’s why all of you are here.  Nobody does it alone, Jack.  You needed all of them, and they needed you.”

After viewing this I thought about Sunday morning in worship and Sunday afternoon at the Edwards’ house where 60 or so kids, youth, and families gathered for a day of being together on the lake.  I thought about preaching on the coming of the Holy Spirit to God’s people and how God’s spirit marks us as belonging to God and binds us together as a family of faith, brothers and sisters in Christ.

I thought about the individuals who make up Fellowship.   All broken individuals.  Some with serious scars well-healed over time.   Many with wounds just now beginning to heal.  Many of us with fresh wounds wide open and bleeding that still seriously hurt.  But, all of us broken.

We are not so different from the characters of Lost.  We have been gathered together, in the name of Christ, to walk with one another, provide community for one another, and to help each other walk the path of redemption and fullness of life in the Spirit.

The words of Jack’s dad have echoed in my ears since Sunday night: That’s why all of you are here.  Nobody does it alone.  You need all of them and they need you.

That sentence applies to all of us.  We are the gathered body of Christ brought together to walk with one another, limp with one another, and skip with one another.  Christ has given us each other.  Redemption through community.  Thanks be to God.

Just for the blog, some further good stuff I’ve read about the Lost Finale:

Unanswered Questions


Best Explanation of Events


On the Importance of Mystery



More noteworthy firsts… May 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — furtherupfurtherin @ 10:20 pm

We’ve been busy the past few weekends.  We’re so lucky that Brooks is such an easy-going baby.  We drag him all over the place and he takes it all in stride.  Weekend before last we decided the last minute to head up to Arlington and take Brooks to his first Rangers game.  He loved the ballpark because there was so much for him to see.  He was clapping here because he could hardly contain his excitement!

Of course trips to the ballpark are not complete for us without seeing our good friends the Vittases.  Melissa and I discussed how she and I attended our first game together in 2003 for her 21st birthday.  There have been many more between then and now!  You have never met more serious Rangers fans than Mel and John and we love getting to catch up with them at the games!

Checking the place out with Daddy!

Here is Brooks at breakfast the next morning contemplating how great the ballpark and the Rangers were, maybe thinking about one day when he’ll play there.

Sunday after we got back, I got to celebrate my first official Mother’s Day!  Brooks made me a sweet flower-pot with his hand prints on it while he was at school and then also gave me a white rose-bush to plant in our backyard.  I’m so proud to be his mommy and loved getting to celebrate it on a special day!

This weekend we returned to Waco again to celebrate Matt’s sister, Mallory, who graduated from Truett Seminary.  Mallory completed a dual master’s program and now has her Master’s in Social Work as well as her Master’s in Divinity.  We are so proud of Mallory and all of her accomplishments.  She is one of the most compassionate people you will ever meet and just might pull off world peace one day.  We didn’t get any pictures of the weekend unfortunately, but enjoyed spending time with the family and celebrating all of Mallory’s hard work! 

I’ll leave you with a mischievous little smile caught on camera that makes me laugh and makes me nervous for what this little guy will have up his sleeve the next 18 years!


Tickly Foot Monster May 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — furtherupfurtherin @ 9:12 pm


Brooks has developed a very endearing habit (insert sarcasm – shouldn’t there by a universal sarcasm emoticon? ) of waking up, standing up in his bed, and screaming at various points throughout the night.  We think part of the reason is that he loves to stand up and hasn’t quite come to understand that it is ok to lay down and go to sleep.  Another part of the reason could be that he was diagnosed with a double ear infection. 

After he went to the doctor Kelley had a meeting and I came home and stayed with him for a couple hours.  Somewhere during that time he came to be fascinated by my foot and very stylish grey sock.  He laughed and laughed at it, especially when it came alive and started tickling him. 

I’m not sure if this was good parenting or not (tickling your child with you sock you have worn all day), but I found it terribly cute to hear him laugh and laugh.  I apologize if feet gross you out.  The feet, not to mention the stylish grey socks, are worth enduring to hear this precious sound!  Enjoy!


Fun Firsts May 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — furtherupfurtherin @ 9:21 pm

Last weekend we traveled to Waco, which, if you know us at all, you know is one of our favorite places to go!  While we were there Brooks experienced a lot of fun firsts!  Technically this first one happened in Georgetown at my parents house, but it was just one of our stops on the way to Waco.  Brooks had his first ride on the rocking horse my dad made for me and Amy and Aaron when we were kids.  He brought it down from the attic just so Brooks could check it out!

First time to go to a Baylor Baseball game!  We watched them play UT which is becoming a yearly tradition we do with my parents and Amy and Aaron (though Aaron chose to go to Chicago this year instead 😉 )  This experience also included Brooks’ first time to see his mom enjoy a ballpark hot dog, which again, if you know me you know this will probably be the first of many!

First time to go to the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco!  We spent Friday night with our good friends Graham and Storey to celebrate Graham’s 30th birthday!!  We, along with the Blundells, surprised Graham after the game Friday night and had a big sleepover which led to a Saturday zoo trip for the kiddos, Cambell, Caris and Brooks!  It was a great time hanging out with college buds, but anyway, back to the zoo…

First time being two feet from a monkey!

First time riding on Daddy’s shoulders…he LOVED it up there!


And when we got home, first time crawling underneath his exersaucer and having a grand time!

Once again, we had a great time with good friends and family and are thankful to have our little man to share these experiences with!