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jon p. amos, hollie's
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Why "A minor"?
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A minor


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Oh, Bother
Oddly enough, both Tigger and Piglet died this past weekend. Better watch your back, Eeyore.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

More on Coldplay's English Hymnody
In the comments to my previous post, Joel Wilhelm pointed out a Coldplay story in Q that confirmed my suspicions about "A Message." I had to see it for myself, so this morning I went to the magazine section at Books-A-Million and found the story in the current issue of Q. Turns out the song was inspired by the hymn. Lead singer Chris Martin also explains how "someone" - code for his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, according to Q - encouraged him to write a song based on the hymn.

The album was all but done; friends and associates said it was great but lacked "that one song" to complete it. "A Message" ended up being that song. After talking again with "someone" about writing a song based on the hymn, "someone" said maybe it would be that one song the album lacked. It was around 2 a.m., and Martin's first reaction was to lose his temper because he had already poured himself into the album to the point of exhaustion. Then he got up, grabbed a guitar, sat down and wrote the song in minutes, naked. It just happened. That's right, a Coldplay song inspired by one of the most beautiful English hymns and one of the most lovely Hollywood actresses and written by her naked husband in a matter of minutes in the wee hours of the morning. How bizarrely poetic is that?

A Rolling Stone interview confirms the hymn and the naked parts, but Q isn't free online (or in stores...sheesh, the cover price is almost ten dollars), so you'll have to go look it up yourself or trust Joel and me about the "someone" / Gwyneth Paltrow part. Come on, though, the guy was talking to someone at 2 a.m. naked. All I can say in my best Church Lady voice is, "That someone better have been Gwyneth, and of course it was. Unless, could it be . . . Satan?! No, no, we all know it was Gwyneth, and, well, isn't that special."

jon :: link :: comment ::

Monday, June 20, 2005

Curriculum Vitae
I recently updated my CV, which is linked on the side, after catching a typo: I had curriculum vita ("course life" / "life course") - instead of curriculum vitae ("course of life") - in the heading. Pretty embarrassing for someone whose work experience includes two years of teaching Latin.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Friday, June 17, 2005

To Jon
Happy anniversary, honey. Thanks for loving me even though I've got a stomach the size of Texas.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Batman Begins
My verdict: Christopher Nolan did an excellent job, as usual. Christian Bale was superb, as usual. By far, this is the best Batman movie out there. I'd have even paid Tinseltown's $6.75 to see this one (though I'm quite happy with my $2 mall matinée price).

Why are you still reading this? Go see the movie already!

jon :: link :: comment ::

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Celebrating Institutions
Our fifth wedding anniversary is this Friday; I'm off today and tomorrow, though, and Hollie's parents are keeping the boys tonight, so we're celebrating early. We're going to try a local getaway at the Jameson Inn in West Monroe. But if you need us, we'll probably be at Chili's or Cracker Barrel.

We're also planning to go to the Celebration of New Ministry and Institution of the Rev'd Errol L. Montgomery as Rector of St Thomas Episcopal Church tonight. All are invited. Father Riley is the master of ceremonies with Bishop MacPherson officiating, so it should be a good service.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A Sigh of Relief
I just received a call from the lab. Levi's lead levels have dropped again to a safe 5 ½. This seems to confirm our suspicions about our last rental home being the source of the lead poisoning. Now if only that jerk of a landlord would give us back the security deposit he owes us.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Coldplay's English Hymnody?
Hollie picked up Coldplay's X&Y for me this week. I've always liked Coldplay's sound but never owned any of their music. Well, tonight I was listening to X&Y and noticed some familiar lyrics in track eight, "A Message": "my song is love unknown" and "love to the loveless shown." I can't help but think they're alluding to or borrowing from Samuel Crossman's 1664 hymn, "My Song is Love Unknown," at its best in John Ireland's 1918 hymn tune, LOVE UNKNOWN. As Brits and musicians, they've gotta know this great hymn; the shared lyrics can't just be a coincidence.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Friday, June 10, 2005

All Work & No Play
I'm coming off a ten-day work stretch with one day off and then right back for five more days until my next full, two-day "weekend" (which happens to be Wednesday & Thursday for a couple weeks). I recently told a friend that being the assistant manager of a business that's open seven days a week - and where the manager takes weekends off, we're short-handed, all of us having to go to training in New Orleans, cover for coworkers who're gone to training / on vacation, etc - sometimes makes me wish I was a sabbatarian again!

Speaking of work, my big Swedish jerk of a neighbor put in his two-weeks and joined his family on vacation. Be sure to congratulate him, though, on his new job as a part-time FedEx Express driver!

I haven't mowed our lawn in over two weeks - I've either been working or it's been wet. Maybe I'll go buy a string trimmer tomorrow.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

"Sundays in the Country"
Take a few minutes to read the cover article from the previous issue of Touchstone (May 2005). I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did. Here's a quote:

Historically, the church has benefited from the stabilizing influence of two common denominators. The first and most important is a shared faith in Jesus Christ and a submission to Scripture. The second has always been that of geography.
And another:

In fact, being small and located in an isolated rural community can make a church valuable to the wider Church. For one thing, such a church has a history. [...] Most of the people on any given Sunday are related somehow to someone who was in attendance 150 years ago.
I don't think anything the author says is necessarily unique to country or rural churches - his words can be applied to little local churches anywhere. Having grown up in a small city in a neighborhood church that was a close-knit community, I think there's a lot of insight in the author's take on the value of smaller local churches. I long to be part of one again.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, June 5, 2005

Seminary, Grad School, etc
One of my favorite pastimes is researching graduate programs and seminaries. In fact, in many ways I think I've put off graduating for so long because I wanted to know what was next, but I'm sure there have been times when, in truth, I should have just focused on my undergraduate studies rather than researching grad schools. I know, I know, I'm a big nerd.

But lately I've been considering a few programs in particular and a slightly different overall direction in general. I'm thinking that I'll probably stay in Monroe for the next ten years or so, during which time I'll try to do the following (not necessarily in this order):

  • complete an MDiv from Melbourne, Western, or North Park Seminary, combining distance and traditional coursework. MA in ministry from Nashotah, or an MA in biblical studies and/or MDiv from Reformed Theological Seminary; Nashotah speaks for itself, but RTS-Jackson's biblical studies/languages faculty is quite good: Van Pelt, Currid, Ireland, and Barcley. Plus, it has a first-rate counselling program under Hurley, together with the Center for Marriage and Family Therapy - one of the highest volume Christian clinics in the southern United States - under Richardson. There are also four "Common Cause" Anglican parishes in Jackson: Holy Trinity (AMiA), St Stephen's (REC), and Holy Apostles and Christ the Savior (both Kenyan).

  • receive ecclesiastical endorsement (and perhaps ordination as a deacon and/or presbyter) and complete the required four units / 1600 hours of CPE to become a board-certified chaplain.

  • either...
      stay in FedEx Kinko's management until I'm able to go into "full-time ministry" (and preferably, even then, still tentmaking but in a more pastoral field, e.g. hospital chaplaincy). President & CEO Ken May recently announced FedEx's agressive plan to open 3,000 new FedEx Kinko's centers in the next five years. The site surveys for the Jackson area are complete, and the company plans to create around ten new centers in the Greater Jackson area. (Right now, there are only two Kinko's in Mississipi: one in Jackson and one in Hattiesburg.) The Monroe site surveys are coming up soon, and I've been encouraged by my center manager and district manager to take on one of the expected new Monroe-area centers.
    ...or, less likely...
      get certified to teach Latin via ULM's foreign language department and possibly complete a master's in English and/or a second bachelor's in French (which, among other things, would help with any future graduate studies admissions, modern language requirements, etc). There's also a chance that I might be able to help our friend Bryan with the Latin teaching load at ULM. He had something like five sections last spring [2005] (one of which was an initial trial version of an online course). Teaching would be a good vocation if ministry doesn't work out, and it might also be a way to support my family while in seminary and pursuing ordination, further studies, etc, especially if I were to leave FedEx Kinko's.
    ...or, even less likely...
      complete an online MS in library & information science from Drexel University (Philadelphia), specializing in management of digital information. Unfortunately we Protestants don't have priestly societies like the Jesuits to support bivocational clergy such as priest-librarians, so I probably couldn't be a priest and a librarian (for that reason, among others). However, if ministry didn't work out, librarianship would be an ideal vocation for me, perhaps even more so than teaching, and it would be especially worth pursuing if I were to stay with FedEx Kinko's for the next several years, as the company tuition assistance program covers up to $2,500/year toward work-related graduate studies. (I've already been with the company for over seven nine years.) Plus, I've been told that working as a university librarian isn't a bad way to support a family, and it would probably be conducive to seminary studies, working toward ordination, pursuing further graduate studies, assisting in ministry (whether in an established parish, church plant, campus ministry, or city-wide mission), etc.
If in ten or fifteen years I had accomplished some of this "from home," maybe I'd still feel like moving away for a while to pursue further studies in a place like Philadelphia, where:

I'm in no way set on Philadelphia; it's just an example of a good place where I could potentially kill multiple birds with one stone before moving back to Monroe. Other such examples are Houston, where there's Houston Graduate School of Theology, Cranmer House, and Rice's graduate program in religious studies; Jackson, where I could stay in my current FedEx Kinko's district, work with one of the "Common Cause" Anglican churches, continue my education at RTS and/or WBS, and do my Clinical Pastoral Education at Mississippi Baptist Health Center; Seattle, where there's Bakke Graduate University of Ministry, Mars Hill Church and the Acts 29 Network; and Portland, where there are hospital chaplaincy tracks in the MDiv programs at both George Fox and Multnomah, Rex Koivisto, and Mission Portland. All ideas are subject to change, of course, and I'll be doing good to accomplish a fraction of the above. We'll see what happens.

See also the following, more recent posts: "Another Seminary Post," "Melbourne MDiv," North Park Seminary," "Why Hospital Chaplaincy?," "Denver Programs," "Dreams," "Biblical Seminary," and "Perkins Anglican Track."

Updated May 2007

jon :: link :: comment ::

Friday, June 3, 2005

A Letter From My Son

(Thank you, Mommy, for the sun and the lightning.)

v ccv/cvcv/cv;/v;/v/bv/v/c.c.,.,c,.c,dx,sk,slsl

(Thank you for the thunder and the lightning.)


(Thank you, Mommy. You're welcome.)


jon :: link :: comment ::

Back from New Orleans
I had to go do some training for work in New Orleans this week, and the family came along. Yesterday, we spent a few hours at the Audubon Zoo before heading home, and we had a great time. I'm sure Hollie will be posting some pictures from the zoo on the boys' blog, so stay tuned there.

I don't remember ever going to the Audubon Zoo before. I was particularly impressed with the landscaping and architectural design - classical yet distinctively Louisianan overall, with superb exotic themes in all the right places, to accent exhibits, etc. Combined with all the other things that make a good zoo, the level of design creates a beautiful place. Plus, when you can buy beer throughout the zoo, kinda makes ya proud and refreshed, all at the same time.

Turns out we missed both ZOObilation and Iron & Wine by one week. I really wish I could figure out how to get back down there for Iron & Wine. I'm off Friday, but I'd basically need to be off Thursday, too. Probably more trouble than it's worth, but we'll see what happens. I've started to think of it as a test of youth. Have I become more or less of an old man? Survey says...

jon :: link :: comment ::

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