Observations from the Word by The Barking Fox

What We Shall Be

We know the Kingdom of Heaven exists for eternity, but we don't know much about it yet. However, that hasn't stopped us from trying to figure out who will be there - or who won't be there. Maybe a better use of our time and energy would be getting to know the Eternal King and living in such a way that others would want to know Him as well.

Ezekiel 11:14-21; Matthew 15:24, 23:13; John 10:11-18; Galatians 3:28-29; Ephesians 2:11-22; 1 John 3:1-3

As the International Space Station orbits the earth (top), crew members Shane Kimbrough (USA) and Thomas Pesquet (France) work to install new roll out solar arrays (bottom). (NASA photo, 2021

Music: "Ice Station Zebra Overture,” Michel Legrand, Movie Themes From The Past, Soundtrack Classics, 2012.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: What We Shall Be.pdf

Respecting The Name

Do we believe the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable? If we do, then we should have no problem believing that promises and blessings He has bestowed from time immemorial are still in effect. But what does that mean in connection with reconciling estranged parts of our Creator's Covenant family?

Exodus 20:7; Numbers 6:22-27; Jeremiah 31:31-37, 46:27-28; Ezekiel 39:25-29; Luke 20:19-20; Galatians 3:29

"The High Priest of Israel,” illustration from The Jewish Tabernacle and Priesthood, George C. Needham, Library of Congress, 1874.) 

Music: "The Blessing Live,” Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes, Graves Into Gardens Live, Elevation Worship 2020. Hear the complete song at Elevation Worship.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: Respecting The Name.pdf

There’s No Place Like Home

If life is a journey, what is the destination? Why is the road so rough, with so many twists and turns? And why are we powerless to overcome the perils along the way? Or are we really powerless to deliver ourselves from the dire circumstances of life? 

Exodus 14:10-18; Deuteronomy 10:16; Ezekiel 36:24-28; Matthew 14:13-20; Luke 22:19-20

Ruby Slippers from the 1939 MGM classic, The Wizard of Oz, on display at Smithsonian American History Museum, Washington, DC. (Photo by RadioFan (talk), October 6, 2009, via Wikimedia Commons.

Music: "The Wizard of Oz (Overture),” The Orchestra of the Film, 50 Original Film Soundtracks, Great Moments & Overtures, Vintage Music 2012.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: There's No Place Like Home.pdf

The Echo of Eternity

Bad things happen even to good people, and good things happen even to bad people. It's futile to try to figure this out, but the struggle of life is hardly futile in the greater context of eternity. 

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18, 3:11-14, 12:1; Isaiah 53:4-6; Hebrews 5:7-10

Eddie Balchowsky in 1937 as a volunteer of the Spanish Republic’s Abraham Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. (Photo via The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives.) 

Music: "He Went to Paris,” Jimmy Buffet, Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads, MCA Records 1992. Listen to the song at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwaqJOsm9Lk.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: The Echo of Eternity.pdf

Learning Through Offenses

Truth is absolute, but our perspective of truth is relative. Once we understand that, we move a long way toward the place where love covers a multitude of offenses. 

Proverbs 10:12; Isaiah 55:1-13; John 6:53-71; 1 Corinthians 13:9-12

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) receives his father's lightsaber from Obi Wan Kenobi (Sir Alec Guinness) in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Image via Stack Exchange SciFi & Fantasy Community

Music: "Binary Sunset (The Force Theme)," John Williams, performed by John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Universal Music Group, 1977.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: Learning Through Offenses.pdf

How To Be Ready

The Bible tells us to watch and pray and be ready, but does it tell us how, and for what?

Deuteronomy 4:9-10; Proverbs 15:22; Matthew 24:42-44, 26:41; 2 Timothy 2:3-4, 3:16-17

"Soldiers Getting the Word," Theodore J. Abraham. This illustration from the Vietnam War applies to all soldiers at any time and any place. (U.S. Army Center of Military History, August 1999.) 

Music: "I'm Ready to Go," The Stanley Brothers, The Collection 1958-1960, Marmot Music 2013.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: How To Be Ready.pdf

The Time Of Our Visitation

It's possible to live through earth-shaking times and miss the really important things. That's why it's good to remember that God's redemptive plan hinges on Israel and Israel's Messiah.

Psalm 121:1-8; Esther 8:13-14; Zechariah 12:3; Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 19:41-44; Romans 11:25-27; 2 Corinthians 1:18-22

Left: Revelers at the “Fantasy Fair” in Mill Valley, California during the Summer of Love (Photo by Elaine Mayes, California Historical Society, “On the Road to the Summer of Love Exhibition," via History.com). Right: Israeli paratroopers sits along the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on June 7, 1967 (Israeli Defense Ministry IDF Archive, via Jewish Virtual Library.) 

Music:"Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” The Beatles, The Beatles, 1967-1970 Disc 1, Capitol Records 1970; "Chorus: He, Watching Over Israel," Felix Mendelssohn, performed by Gabrieli Consort & Players, Paul McCreesh, Mendelssohn: Elijah, 1846, Signum Records 2012.

Click here to watch the video: The Time of Our Visitation

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: The Time of Our Visitation.pdf


Grazing Safely

We know that our Redeemer promises to gather his scattered sheep. What we do not know very well is what those sheep should do once gathered. 

Ezekiel 34:1-24; John 10:1-16

"Stray Lamb," Richard Ansdell, courtesy of The Border Collie Museum, used by permission.
"The Good Shepherd - John 10:1-16," Jesus Mafa, Cameroon, 1973, Vanderbilt Divinity Library.

Music: "Sheep May Safely Graze,” J.S. Bach, U.S. Air Force Concert Band, Legacy: The Music of Chief Master SGT. Lawrence Odom, United States Air Force Band, 2020.

Special thanks to Sarah Kellam for preserving and promoting the artwork of her great-great-grandfather, Richard Ansdell RA, at http://www.richardansdell.co.uk.

Special thanks also to Carole Presburg of the Border Collie Museum (http://www.bordercolliemuseum.org/) for permission to use Richard Ansdell’s painting, “Stray Lamb,” and for inspiring the opening line to this podcast.

Click here to download the transcript this podcast: Grazing Safely.pdf

Climbing Up the Mountain

A crisis of faith happens when situations confront us that demand we follow through with what we say we believe, or back away from it. It's really that simple, until we're in the crisis - and unless we have walked out our faith day by day, it's uncomfortably possible that we might not come through with our faith intact. 

2 Kings 4:8-37; Mark 9:14-29; John 11:17-27

Rappelling at Yonah Mountain, Georgia, with Florida State University Reserve Officer Training Corps. (Albert J. McCarn, May 4, 1980.)

Music: "Climbing Up the Mountain,” Morris Brown Quartet, Tell the World, Suncoast Music, 2015 (originally recorded 1939).

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: Climbing Up the Mountain.pdf

One More River to Cross

There is some comfort in knowing that our Creator expects us to fail. It's part of the lengthy training process He has overseen for millennia to prepare a redeemed people for His eternal purposes. 

Exodus 4:22; Leviticus 25:1-27:34; John 10:29; Galatians 3;26-29; 1 Peter 2:9

Woodrow Wilson Bridge, looking northwest over the Potomac River toward Alexandria, Virginia. Traffic flows freely in this photo taken in December 2008, but several months earlier, the final stages of construction on the new bridge severely constricted traffic in both direction. (Virginia Department of Transportation, December 14, 2008, via Flickr,com).

Music: "One More River to Cross," The Hinsons, The Lighthouse, Calvary Records 1971.

Click here to download a transcript of this podcast: One More River To Cross.pdf

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