Showing posts from July, 2011

Sour Grape Faith

Not too long ago our priest used the fable of the Sour Grapes as an illustration of how we tend to minimize those elements of faith that we can't accomplish or find too hard. The story struck home with me in my own life. Upon reflection I could look back over my own life and see churches and individuals trim and cut portions of the faith they found too difficult under the pretense of "getting to the basics" or "finding the core of Christianity."
The story is familiar to most all people, and the phrase "sour grapes" can be found in most languages. One day a fox full of hunger and weariness staggered along a road looking for something to fill his belly. After some time, he came upon a cluster of wild grapes hanging from a roadside tree. Encouraged by their appearance, he wandered off the road toward the tree. Unfortunately, the grapes did not hang low enough for him to reach without some effort. He stretched upward but could not reach the grapes. H…

Eulogy to an American Hero

On June 29, 2011, an American hero died, he was my grandfather.
David M. Redstone was born in Olean, NY in 1918 to a large family. When he was still a young boy his parents packed up their family of 11 children on a 30 day journey from NY to the Atlantic coast of Florida where they would create a new life together.

David spent his childhood playing in the citrus groves and sandy beaches. After high school, he left FL to head back to NY to live with an older brother. While there, he met the woman who would later become my grandmother. Soon they were a family of three with a young infant son, but the peace of a young family would be interrupted by war. Not long after the US entered WWII, David was drafted into the Army.

During his tour of duty in the European theater, he earned multiple purple hearts and a bronze star. David was a big man who stood 6'4", and one day he was called on to fill a role for a communication post. He was instructed to carry a radio to another…

Track 4 - Unexpected Victory

Track 4 of the Biblical Odes is in the tiny book of Habakkuk. I've heard all kinds of pronunciations for this name. Some put the accent on the last, and it sounds like "have-a-Cook", the Greeks transformed it to Avakoum, and my South Ga version sounds like "tobacco" with an "H".

I love these "minor" prophets. Maybe it's the impulse to support the underdog. Habakkuk only has 3 chapters but a big message and he's in a part of the Bible where our pages are still stuck together.
Here's some background on Habakkuk. He was from the tribe of Simeon living 600 years before Christ during the reign of the evil Judean king Manasseh. In this short book, he foretells the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians.
Habakkuk begins by complaining of his own personal trials, which are a legitimate concern because he was a righteous man living in the midst of pagan depravity. In the midst of his own personal pain, God …