Hello 2009

07 Jan

So I am saying hello to 2009.
I noticed that I only made one blog post in December and now we are a week into 2009 and I have yet to blog.

I am still listening to Johnny Cash. My one and only post from December ’08 was on Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” I received a three CD collection of the Essential Johnny Cash for Christmas and the more I listen, the more I am digging Cash’s smooth baritone rockabilly sound. He has a deep spirituality that comes through in a number of songs like “Were You There” and “Daddy Sang Bass.” And he sings the songs of the outlaw in “Folsom Prison Blues” (perhaps Cash at his best), “Man in Black,” and “A Boy Named Sue” (Cash as the story teller). He also does a great cover of Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe” a duet he sang with June Carter.

Speaking of duets, Cash and Dylan sang “Girl from the North Country” on Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline (1969), which I also received on Christmas morning. I love Dylan as the country crooner and the duet with Cash has sky-rocked to the top of my list of favorite Dylan’s songs. (This takes my Dylan album total to 20. I am waiting for John Wesley Harding, which is coming this week. Then the album total will be 21!) The Dylan journey continues.

I have been enjoying an unseasonably warm winter here in South Georgia. I do miss building fires in the fire place, but at least I am not buried under the snow like my Canadian friends. (Yeah Santosh, I am talking about you!)

I am currently reading Anne Rice’s spiritual biography, Called Out of Darkness. I am sure I will hammer out a review of Anne’s latest book. I love hearing (or reading) peoples’ stories of faith. I am still in the first half of the book where Anne is describing her childhood. She writes about her mother who read poetry to her, including “Song at Dusk” by Nancy Byrd Turner. Anne includes the following lines from the poem:

The flowers nod, the shadows creep,
A star comes over the hill;
The youngest lamb has gone to sleep,
The smallest bird is still.
The world is full of drowsy things,
And sweet with candlelight;
The nests are full of folded wings—
Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight

“The world is full of drowsy things” is a great line. Drowsy things. Drowsy truth. Drowsy knowledge. Drowsy politics (including fuzzy math). Drowsy boundaries. Drowsy morals.

I am also reading a good deal on Amos in preparation for a new teaching series on Sunday morning through the Old Testament book of Amos. I prefer to stay in the New Testament where things are safe, but I am venturing into the Old Testament where things are dangerous.

The Vreelands are expecting a great 2009 as we continue to follow the King in this journey of faith.


Posted by on January 7, 2009 in Life


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6 responses to “Hello 2009

  1. Santosh

    January 12, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Snow is starting to melt – FINALLY!!! What I wouldn’t give to be somewhere sunny, right now! There’s an excellent interview with Anne Rice on a CBC radio show called Tapestry – look it up on itunes.

  2. faithworshiplife

    January 13, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Happy 2009! I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to see you on Christmas Eve. Rebekah talked about how much that service really ministered to her spirit! Thanks for helping to make it what it was.

    I’ve been reading the prophets in conjunction with a close reading of the New Testament. In a word … fascinating! You’ll want to read the whole of the Sermon on the Mount in conjuction with the whole of Amos … F-A-S-C-I-N-A-T-I-N-G! You might also want to pick up a copy of Abraham Heschel’s exposition/devotional on the prophets … V-E-R-Y F-A-S-C-I-N-A-T-I-N-G-!


  3. Derek Vreeland

    January 13, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Heschel is on my radar. I have taken a short break from Anne Rice’s book to read Brueggemann’s Prophetic Imagination as a backdrop to OT prophets like Amos. Bruggemann is the mann! He is helping revive my interested in the prophets by giving me a fresh perspective on their ministry.

    I will look at the sermon on the mount in light of Amos and see what I come up with.


  4. faithworshiplife

    January 14, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    In 2007 both volumes of Rabbi Heschel's work on the Prophets were published in one volume. The link is below:

  5. Derek Vreeland

    January 14, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Thanks, I added the book to my Amazon wish list.

    Brueggemann has been really helpful. I just read this from Prophetic Imagination. Brueggemann is describing Jeremiah as an example of prophetic criticism with the language of grief:

    We need not press the language of Jeremiah to expect it to be too concrete and specific. The prophet is engaged in a battle for language, in an effort to create a different epistemology out of which another community might emerge. The prophet is not addressing behavioral problems. He is not even pressing for repentance. He has only the hope that the ache of God could penetrate the numbness of history. He engages not in scare or threat but only in a yearning that grows with and out of pain.

    The “ache of God” and the “numbness of history” are powerful metaphors.


  6. faithworshiplife

    January 15, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Those are very beautiful metaphors. I see why your boy appeals to you. Here’s a quote my my homeboy in his book, “God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism.”

    “To be able to encounter the spirit within the words (of Scripture), we must learn to crave for an affinity with the pathos of God” (p. 252).

    Quite a similar writing vein, don’t you think? I don’t know about you, but my jaunt into the “root” of our Christian faith has had the unfortunate effect of creating a level of distaste for so many “light” devotional works our people love and can’t seem to move past. It also has had the unfortunate effect rendering quite silly in my perception of so many “important” Seminary debates. What good is it wax eloquently the exact economy of God’s salvation (predestination, free will, eternal security, the actually possibly for apostasy, etc.) if we wax so poorly on “attaching” our inner heart to the inner heart-pathos of God?


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