Archive | Torah RSS for this section

Climbing the Buttonwood Tree

Here’s what’s coming on Hebrew Nation Radio this Monday, October 15:

Will Spires is back! He’s got a new album, a new book, and a new season of joy.

It’s taken a bit longer than expected, but Will’s first novel is soon to be available through Key of David Publishing. T.S. 44: The Button Tree Prophet, is about ready to go to print! This “coming of age” tale set in Columbia, South Carolina during World War II presents the story of a boy growing up with more than his fair share of hardship. The stories Will’s father told of his childhood serve as the foundation of a spiritual journey involving a button, a bus, an old sycamore tree, and a boy with a vivid imagination. What’s so special about a sycamore? Well, aside from the fact that it’s also called the buttonwood tree, it’s the place where Will’s characters tend to get revelations that help them understand who they and what they have been created to do! What kind of revelations are those? Join us on The Remnant Road and find out!

The Remnant Road, with co-hosts Al McCarn, Mike Clayton, Barry Phillips, and Hanoch Young is the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  You can listen live at 11:00–1:00 EST, 8:00-10:00 PST at http://hebrewnationonline.com/, and on podcast at any time.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2018.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Advertisements

Finding Fun in Torah

Here’s what’s coming on Hebrew Nation Radio this Monday, October 8:

It’s a good thing life is not always serious. Our Creator built variety into His universe to reflect the infinite variety in His own nature. That’s why King Solomon included contrasting aspects in his poetic description of the cycle of life. There is a time for everything, including –

A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:4 NASB)

Stan Randall knows about the importance of laughter and fun. They are a big component of his work with Torah Puppets. As he explains,

Torah Puppets is a God honoring ensemble of characters teaching your family the Word of God in a fun and funny way. Torah Puppets teaches the love of Messiah through obedience to His Torah. Torah Puppets is a program created specifically for you, the beloved child of the King!

In this first live show of the new season, we welcome Stan, along with Grampa Gus, a patriarch among the Torah Puppets. There may be a few shenanigans involved, but it’s all part of their way of helping us understand the importance of presenting God’s word in ways children of all ages can enjoy and appreciate!

Check out the Torah Puppets web site at http://www.torahpuppets.com/.

The Remnant Road, with co-hosts Al McCarn, Mike Clayton, Barry Phillips, and Hanoch Young is the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  You can listen live at 11:00–1:00 EST, 8:00-10:00 PST at http://hebrewnationonline.com/, and on podcast at any time.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2018.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Best Decision I Ever Made: Delighting in the Wife of My Youth

Charlayne and me on our wedding day, August 15, 1987.

The last thing I thought I needed in the fall of 1986 was a girlfriend. When the Army had assigned me to Germany three years earlier, I half expected that I might find the woman of my dreams there. A few fun-but-fruitless relationships later, I realized that this process was more complicated that I thought, and far more difficult. And so, when I made my way to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, at the beginning of November for the next phase of my military career, I determined that it would be better to get a dog than find a girlfriend. Oddly enough (seeing that God has quite the sense of humor), it was nearly thirty more years before I would get a dog, but the woman of my dreams was only days away from walking into my life.

It happened on Sunday, November 9, 1986, at the First Baptist Church of Sierra Vista, Arizona. Charlayne was among the single young adults in the Sunday School class that morning, but her presence didn’t register with me until that evening, when I joined the church at the evening worship service. That’s when this vision of loveliness came bounding down the aisle to give me a hug and welcome me into the congregation. She also invited me to go out with all the singles to the Village Inn for pie. It was an unexpected, but very agreeable, invitation. What was more unexpected, and even more agreeable, was how quickly we became good friends. Within days we were dating, and within six weeks we were engaged.

I tell people that we were engaged by decree of my mother-in-law, and it’s true. Both of us had plans for our lives that a serious relationship would disrupt. As we grew closer and closer, the thought of those disruptions caused us no end of distress, until one Sunday afternoon they brought us to the brink of panic. We asked her parents to come over and talk with us. They sat in her apartment listening to us talk things out for about an hour and a half, and then her mother said the last thing I expected: “Well, it seems to me you kids need to get married.”

Many times in my life, a sense of peace has settled over me, indicating that God’s answer in the present predicament had been revealed. That moment in Charlayne’s apartment was one of the first, and is still one of the most profound, of those occasions. When her mother said the one thing we had dared not consider, we knew it was right, and it was holy. We were married some months later, and after 31 years we remain true to the covenant that established our household when we were young.

I do not recall whether any woman other than Char has ever captured my attention in any way that might cause her to be a rival to the wife of my youth. I have had many female friends and coworkers, some of whom have been quite attractive, but in all those years, I cannot remember a time when any of them attracted me in any inappropriate way. Perhaps I am peculiar in that regard; I have known many situations when such attractions severely damaged and even ended the marriages of people I knew. In our culture, we do not look favorably on unfaithfulness to the marriage covenant. For reasons grounded in Scripture, we in the West have, since time immemorial, taken seriously and literally the words of Moses and Yeshua (Jesus) that a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife as one flesh. Even King Henry VIII of England could not get around those words. When his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, could not produce a male heir, he annulled the marriage and took Anne Boleyn. When she produced no male heir, he found a reason to have her executed (one can do that if one is a king), and replaced her with Jane Seymour. She became mother to his only son, but died only days later. Henry’s next wife, Anne of Cleves, was so young and innocent that he chose to annul the marriage rather than consummate it. In her place, he married Catherine Howard, a young-but-not-so-innocent woman whose flirtatious behavior eventually cost her her head. That left Catherine Parr, the wife who outlived the old king.

I learned the tale of Henry VIII as a boy, thanks to a classic BBC miniseries about his life. It struck me as odd that Martin Luther himself had stated his preference that the king commit bigamy and marry Anne Boleyn rather than divorce the first Catherine. Henry did not adopt Luther’s prescription as far as I can tell, but chose annulment instead. It helped that Catherine was Spanish and Catholic; in one stroke, he ended a cumbersome political entanglement and its attendant religious fetters. When the Roman Church refused to grant the annulment (perhaps because the reigning pope was at that time a prisoner of Catherine’s nephew, Emperor Charles V), Henry simply declared England separate from Rome and established the Anglican Church.

It is the stuff of soap operas, but it is our history. So also are the tales of the patriarchs and many great men of the Bible. Abraham, Jacob, Elkanah, David, Solomon, and the kings of Judah and Israel seemed to have no trouble taking multiple wives. After all, there is no Scriptural prohibition against polygamy. The closest thing to a prohibition that appears in the Bible is Paul’s advice to Titus and Timothy that congregational elders should have but one wife. I surmise that Paul’s wise counsel came not merely from his extensive knowledge of the Torah and the traditions of the elders, but his experience in guiding the many congregations forming in the Mediterranean world of his day. Perhaps that experience is what motivated him to write what I believe is the best word on this matter:

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12 NASB)

Lawful, but not profitable. Is that not the lesson of the Patriarchs? King Henry VIII may have been thinking about the woeful consequences in the households of those men – consequences that included incest, murder, extreme sibling rivalry, jealousy, and all manner of dysfunction. I saw the same phenomenon when I studied the Ottoman Empire. No prince who attained the sultanate was safe as long as his half brothers from his father’s other wives were still alive. King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia understood this quite well, which is why he arranged for his sons from his many wives to rule sequentially so that none of them would be the father of a new dynasty. The last of those sons is on the throne in Riyadh today, sixty-five years after his father’s death.

I do not know much about the wives of these polygamous kings, whether of ancient Israel, Ottoman Turkey, or modern Saudi Arabia. The best commentary I heard came from a Saudi amir whose hospitality I enjoyed in 1990, while I served with the army deployed there to defend his country from Iraqi aggression. Over the course of our conversation, the question of Muslim views on marriage came up. Multiple wives entered into the religious culture of Islam because it was already a cultural institution in Arabia. Muhammad seems to have endeavored to regulate the practice, which is why the custom is to limit a man to four wives. What the life of those wives is like, I do not know, but I have heard some terrible things. What I do know is that this kindly amir who had invited us into his home told us that, for some reason which he confessed he did not understand, his sons wanted to depart from the precedent of his household. They believed, he said, that it would be better to marry only one wife, and that only for love.

This is an interesting perspective when compared with something I heard from an American friend of mine. He lives in close proximity to polygamous families of the Mormon faith. They are nice people, he says, but the practice of polygamy has served only to oppress the women and disrupt the families. Is that a consistent result of multiple wives in one family? Or is it the result of imposing such a model on a culture that is accustomed to one man marrying one woman for life? This I cannot say.

What I can say is that many cultures do have marriage practices that differ from my own. This came to my attention in an unusual way in 2009 upon the election of former president Jacob Zuma of South Africa. Another friend of mine, founder of an influential prayer ministry, sent out a notice asking prayer for Mr. Zuma and his wives (four at the time). She did not issue that notice in a judgmental way, but rather in the same way as she had done when asking prayer for other heads of state. It just so happened that this one was polygamous. It was merely a statement of fact: this particular president of this particular country needed prayer for himself in his new role, and for his family, which happened to include several wives and children by them.

I think my friend did well in asking for such prayer in the usual way. Another friend of mine tells me that we will encounter many followers of Yeshua in Africa and other places who genuinely love God and love their many wives. It is their culture. He, himself, comes from a native culture in America that is matrilineal, and whose marriage norms are different from those of my Scottish, Irish, and English ancestors. I do not understand such a culture, nor do I desire to adopt it, nor is there a need to do so. At the same time, there is no need to impose my culture on his. Such a thing would be unhealthy at best, and genocidal at worst (another sad fact I cannot ignore from our history).

Where, then, does this leave me? It leaves me with the wife of my youth. Charlayne has satisfied me in every way. Why would I seek another to take her place, or to share me with her? It is not my culture. It is not right to her, to our children, and to the many people whom we have enriched through our example as man and wife. Neither is it consistent with the vows we both took to establish our marriage covenant. When I married her, my father said to me, “We McCarns marry for keeps.” Now, over 30 years later, I know the great wisdom of his words.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2018.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Matter of Perspective

Here’s what’s coming on Hebrew Nation Radio this Monday, September 3:

A nagging question at the heart of humanity is whether God is good. If He is good, why do bad things happen? More importantly, why do bad things happen to good people, or to innocent people, like children?

It seems that God anticipated such questions long, long ago. That is one of the points He makes in this word to the prophet Ezekiel:

“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? (Ezekiel 18:25 NKJV)

This brings up a very uncomfortable train of thought: is it possible we interpret many things that happen as bad because our perspective is limited? Maybe there’s more to the eternal meaning of life than what we can understand from the limitations of our present physical mortality. Paul apparently thought so when he wrote:

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. (1 Corinthians 13:11-12 NKJV)

Mike Neville has a similar train of thought. About 25 years ago, this engineer from Oklahoma lost his father, a man he loved greatly. Mike asked the Lord to tell him if his father was in heaven. The answer was a visit to the heavenly realms, where Mike found something he didn’t expect: a change in perspective. He describes his new perspective like this:

I look at our time on the earth as a time of temporary testing. When you look at the time of infinity, verses our time here on the earth, is so small it cannot even be measured. However since this is all we know, it is of great importance to us, (looking at it on our level).

We asked Mike to join us on The Remnant Road to explain what he can about this experience with the Creator that has shaped his life for the last quarter century. What lessons can we learn? Maybe a new understanding of what the Lord Himself said in that conversation with Ezekiel a long time ago:

Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!” (Ezekiel 18:31-32 NKJV)

The Remnant Road, with co-hosts Al McCarn, Mike Clayton, Barry Phillips, and Hanoch Young is the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  You can listen live at 11:00–1:00 EST, 8:00-10:00 PST at http://hebrewnationonline.com/, and on podcast at any time.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2018.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Miracle of Purity

Here’s what’s coming on Hebrew Nation Radio this Monday, August 27:
Yeshua began the Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes – a list of characteristics one would expect to see in the people of God, as well as the promised reward for cultivating such characteristics (Matthew 5:1-12). The rewards are all appealing, including such things as comfort, satisfaction, mercy, inclusion in the family of God, inheriting the earth, and receiving the kingdom of heaven. However, the reward of seeing the Living God is promised only to those who are pure in heart. Why is that? Because in this, as in everything else he said, Yeshua was drawing from and explaining what the Word of God had said from the beginning. In this case, he was referring to something his ancestor David had written:

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation. (Psalm 24:3-5 NASB)

So what does it mean to be pure in heart? How does one live a life of purity? What are the trials of such a life, and the rewards? These are questions Dr. Jocelin Whitaker can answer simply by telling her life story!

Jocelin is a Doctor of Traditional Naturopathy, and a lifelong disciple of Messiah Yeshua. As a young woman, she determined to live a life of purity before her God, knowing it would be difficult, and not knowing how her choice would be rewarded. What she will tell us, though, is that the choice was worth it! She has endured many trials, but has also received considerable blessing, not the least of which are her husband, Marc, and her miracle baby, Yalissa.

Jocelin has sought to be an instrument of total wellness, which is why she embarked on the path of natural medicine and has studied Biblical methods of promoting and maintaining health. These natural and Biblical principles are the foundation of Whitaker’s Farm Market, the store she and Marc operate as a service to their community. These are the things Jocelin will share with us on this edition of The Remnant Road.

For more information on Dr. Jocelin, her family, and their business, visit:

http://www.whitakersfarmmarket.com/

The Remnant Road, with co-hosts Al McCarn, Mike Clayton, Barry Phillips, and Hanoch Young is the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  You can listen live at 11:00–1:00 EST, 8:00-10:00 PST at http://hebrewnationonline.com/, and on podcast at any time.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2018.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

There Is Hope

Here’s what’s coming on Hebrew Nation Radio this Monday, August 20:
What would happen if businesses existed not to make money, but to enrich the lives of their customers and workers? Is that even possible? That sounds nice, but surely no one would think of doing such a thing.
Well, think again! Mike and CJ Cannon have taken that very step of faith with their business, Cannon Keepsakes (http://cannonkeepsakes.com/). They explain this in a short video:

We met Mike earlier this year when we invited him to share the story of Cannon Keepsakes and tell us about his family’s experience trying to honor to principles of Torah in their personal lives and business endeavors. Mike comes back to tell us what has happened since then, which includes a t-shirt giveaway program called “There is Hope” that is at the heart of their new business model.
What has motivated Mike and CJ to embark on this radical walk of faith? How long can they keep it up? What blessings have they seen, and what challenges have they faced? The answers may surprise you!
Don’t forget to visit Cannon Keepsakes to order your free “There Is Hope” t-shirt at http://cannonkeepsakes.com/there-is-hope/

 

The Remnant Road, with co-hosts Al McCarn, Mike Clayton, Barry Phillips, and Hanoch Young is the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  You can listen live at 11:00–1:00 EST, 8:00-10:00 PST at http://hebrewnationonline.com/, and on podcast at any time.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2018.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

An In-Snyder Report

Here’s what’s coming on Hebrew Nation Radio this Monday, May 21:

It’s not often that Mike, Barry, and Al find one another in the same place, but that’s exactly what will happen at the Rak Chazak Amats Conference in Snyder, Texas! Rak Chazak Amats (Strong and Courageous) is all about worship of the Almighty. The theme for this year, “Protocol of the Tabernacle,” emphasizes the ways our King has established to enter into His Presence. Mike and Barry, as well as Rico Cortes and Cole Davis, will be sharing their learning, and Will Spires and Exodus Road Band will lead worship. 

What do we expect to happen? That’s why we’re going to Snyder to find out! This show brings you our report on the conference, and our thoughts on what it might mean in the larger context of Messiah’s Kingdom!

To learn more about Rak Chazak Amats, visit the website at:

http://rakchazakamats.com/

The Remnant Road, with co-hosts Al McCarn, Mike Clayton, Barry Phillips, and Hanoch Young is the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  You can listen live at 11:00–1:00 EST, 8:00-10:00 PST at http://hebrewnationonline.com/, and on podcast at any time.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2018.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What Did the Fox Say?

Here’s what’s coming on Hebrew Nation Radio this Monday, July 30:

The Barking Fox is an odd name for a blog – especially one that has so much spiritual content. Why would anyone pick such a name? We have the answer on this edition of The Remnant Road!

Yes, our guest this week is our very own Al McCarn. You have heard him as host of the show for the last three years. Now you have an opportunity to hear his story. He’s talked about growing up Southern Baptist in Alabama, about his military career, and about his dog, Blue, but how did he get from there to writing and speaking about Torah? And why is he motivated to help others understand their Hebraic identity? What are his hopes and expectations about the prophesied restoration of all Israel under the reign of Messiah, Son of David? What is he doing about it, and what can you do to help?

Join us as Mike and Barry ask Al some penetrating questions. You might laugh at his answers, and you might cry, but you won’t be bored!

The Remnant Road, with co-hosts Al McCarn, Mike Clayton, Barry Phillips, and Hanoch Young is the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  You can listen live at 11:00–1:00 EST, 8:00-10:00 PST at http://hebrewnationonline.com/, and on podcast at any time.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2018.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Celebrating His Great Love

Here’s what’s coming on Hebrew Nation Radio this Monday, July 23:

As Messiah Yeshua explained, the first and greatest commandment in the Torah is –

Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:5 NASB; see also Mark 12:28-34)

Why do we love God? Paul gives us a very good reason:

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8 NASB)

Although this is at the heart of Christian and Messianic thought, only experience will transform it from intellectual commentary to living truth. Yeshua explained this in a parable he told to Simon, a man who had invited him to dinner:

“A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” (Luke 7:41-43 NASB)

Yeshua went on to emphasize the point, saying of the woman who had washed His feet with perfume while he reclined at Simon’s table:

“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:47 NASB)

Melanee Lisa Davidson knows exactly what this means. She is living proof that forgiveness, healing, and restoration are available to all who humble themselves before the Lord and earnestly seek Him. It does not happen overnight, but it does happen.

Melanee is our very special guest on this edition of The Remnant Road. Some may know her as Mike Clayton’s cousin. After this interview, you will know her as a beautiful child of the Living God, made whole not only from years of gender confusion, but also from the root causes that brought her to such a lifestyle.

Do you think you’re beyond the Father’s reach? Listen to Melanee’s story. You just might find that hope you have needed for a long time.

Check out Melanee’s story on her website at – 

https://hisgreatlove1.org/

The Remnant Road, with co-hosts Al McCarn, Mike Clayton, Barry Phillips, and Hanoch Young is the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  You can listen live at 11:00–1:00 EST, 8:00-10:00 PST at http://hebrewnationonline.com/, and on podcast at any time.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2018.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
%d bloggers like this: