Observations from the Word by The Barking Fox

Our Own Personal Famine

We tend to pick and choose our food based on our tastes. That's not a problem when our tastes coincide with good nutrition, but too often nutrition has very little to do with our preferences. If that's the case with physical food that we take into our bodies, what about the food that we take into our spirits?

Deuteronomy 31:1-30; Hosea 14:1-9; Micah 7:18-20; Joel 2:15-27; Amos 8:11-12; Matthew 4:4: John 6:26-38

Mad tomato (found art off a tomato box (colorized)). Image by Andrew Huff, October 20, 2005, via Flickr.

Music: "Psalm 23,” Celtic Worship, Morningtide, Integrity Music 2021. See the official video on Youtube at https://youtu.be/GL5VjnO7mB4. Celtic Worship’s music is available at https://celticworship.co.uk/

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: Our Own Personal Famine.pdf

A Heart to Run As One

It's amazing how quickly and completely we can give our hearts to a significant other, or to a worthy cause greater than ourselves. It's equally amazing how quickly our hearts cease to be invested in those same relationships and causes. There is a way to address this problem, but it requires effort we may not be willing to exert.

Deuteronomy 29:10-30:20; Isaiah 61:10-63:9; Ecclesiastes 1:12-15; Matthew 13:1-8; John 17:20-23; Hebrews 11:39-12:3

At age 101, Fauja Singh completes a 10-kilometer race, held as part of the annual Hong Kong Marathon in February 2013. Photo: Prachatai, March 4, 2013, via Flickr.

Music: "Create In Me,” Solomon O. Lopez, The Born At Home Collections, The Hebraism Project 2014. To hear more of Solomon’s music, visit The Hebraism Project on YouTube.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: A Heart to Run As One.pdf

Wandering Toward A Lineage

How do we know who we are if we don't know our own story? If we don't know who we are, then how do we know where we are going in life? That's the importance of lineage - an essential part of our identity, but something that many people lack in our transitory, rootless humanity of the 21st century. But God, of course, has a solution. He has a lineage for every one of us, if we are willing to embrace it.

Deuteronomy 26:1-29:9; Isaiah 60:1-22; Galatians 3:6-14; James 1:1, 2:5-26

My lineage in pictures. Top: My grandparents Howard & Mildred Wood at their wedding in1923 (l), with their seven children in 1940 (c), and at their 50th anniversary in 1973 (r). Bottom: Mildred with my brother and me, 1963 (l), Mildred with my daughters and my brother's sons, 1999 (r).

Music: "Where I Belong,” Solomon O. Lopez, The Born At Home Collections, The Hebraism Project 2014. To hear more of Solomon’s music, visit The Hebraism Project on YouTube.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: Wandering Toward A Lineage.pdf

Cartoon Villains

Do we laugh at caricatures of evil because we don't believe anyone could really be that bad, or because we don't want anyone to see the evil we recognize in ourselves? 

Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19; Isaiah 54:1-10; Matthew 5:17-21, 27-28, 10:24-31; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 18:1-8; 2 Corinthians 3:2-6

Stereotypical caricature of a villain. Image by J.J., July 2003, via Wikimedia Commons.

Music: "Villainous Treachery,” Kevin MacLeod, https://incompetech.com/, 2010. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: Cartoon Villains.pdf

Divine Lapse of Judgment?

On top of all the other hard questions about why things are as they are, how about this: if God knew that it wasn't good for human beings to be alone, but He also knew that getting two or more humans together would inevitably result in conflict, was He setting us up for failure from the beginning? 

Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9; Isaiah 51:12-53:12; Genesis 1:28, 2:18-4:16; Matthew 7:1-5; John 7:24; Acts 3:23-26; Romans 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 6:1-8, 11:17-34

Grimes County Courthouse, Anderson, Texas. Photo by Patrick Feller, March 9 2018, via Flickr.

Music: "Song of Glory,” Exodus Road Band, Heart of the Matter, Exodus Road Records 2016. This song and others by Exodus Road Band are available at https://www.exodusroadband.com/.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: Divine Lapse of Judgment?.pdf

Chili Pepper Protocol

Chili peppers make food interesting. Aficionados of extremely spicy food have developed an ability to tolerate the hottest of peppers because of the enjoyment they bring. Building that tolerance requires time, effort, dedication, and the ability to withstand considerable discomfort and pain - kind of like what we need to get along with other people. 

Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17; Isaiah 54:11-55:5; Matthew 23:23; John 10:1-18; Ephesians 2:8-22; 1 Timothy 1:3-11; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 4:7-8

The dangerous, yet tasty, Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia). Photo by The Barking Fox, August 24, 2022.

Music: "Hallelujah (Acoustic),” Mason Clover, Raw, Abiron Records 2014. Mason Clover’s music is available at https://www.masonclover.com/.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: Chili Pepper Protocol.pdf

Even Without Bread

One question we don't like to ask is, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Maybe we don't like to ask it because we don't want to know the answer. 

Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25; Isaiah 49:14-51:3; Genesis 1:27-28, 2:15; Psalm 122:1-9; Matthew 4:1-4, 6:24-34, 28:18-20; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-9

Photo: Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), Swaziland, June 1, 2007, via Flickr.

Music: "Psalm 36,” Exodus Road Band, Heart of the Matter, Exodus Road Records 2016. This song and others by Exodus Road Band are available at https://www.exodusroadband.com/.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: Even Without Bread.pdf

Because I Said So

The Bible says faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of realities not seen. Does "seen" also mean "understood"? If so, then maybe faith includes trusting that God understands the things that still baffle us. That may be the supreme act of faith, because it means humbly conceding that we don't have all the right answers, yet trusting that He does - especially when His answers are different from ours. 

Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11; Isaiah 40:1-26; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10, 30:5-6; Matthew 5:17-21, 23:13; Mark 12:28-34; Galatians 3:29; Revelation 7:9-10, 22:18-19

Mother and Son. Photo by Oleg Afonin, January 11, 2015, via Flickr.

Music: "Your Prayer," Mason Clover, An Intimate Look, Abiron 2008. Visit https://www.masonclover.com/ to hear more by Mason Clover.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: Because I Said So.pdf

A Corner on the Beach

We all want to reach the Promised Land of the Messianic Age, when all is made right and there really is peace in the world. Or so we say. Since that blessed age is not here yet, we still have room to pretend to yearn for it while we rearrange our own little kingdoms in the ways we find most agreeable. 

Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22; Isaiah 1:1-27; Daniel 9:4-5; Matthew 21:28-32; 2 John 5-6

Done with the beach. Photo: Kevin Dooley, February 11, 2007, via Flickr.

Music: "We Want to Go Home (Feat. Ross),” Mason Clover, The Isaiah 43 Project, Abiron 2011. Visit https://www.masonclover.com/ to hear more by Mason Clover.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: A Corner on the Beach.pdf

Responsible Unfairness

Why do people continue to hold the Bible up as the definitive authority for life if it is rooted in ancient patriarchy and is inherently unfair to women? That's a valid question. The answer is just as valid, although it may not be what we expect, or what we want to hear. 

Numbers 30:2-36:13; Jeremiah 2:4-28, 3:1-16, 31:31-34; Genesis 2:15-16; Isaiah 28:14-18; Hosea 13:12-14; Ephesians 5:21-33; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57

Angry mother and daughter. Photo: verkeorg, February 19, 2016, via Flickr.

Music: "Psalm 25,” Exodus Road Band, Heart of the Matter, Exodus Road Records 2016. This song and others by Exodus Road Band are available at https://www.youtube.com/c/ExodusRoadBand/featured.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: Responsible Unfairness.pdf

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