Quail Jerky and the Illusion of Abundance

BFB220618 Desert Quail
Desert Quail (Gambel’s Quail), illustration from The Birds of California, William Leon Dawson, (Los Angeles: South Moulton Company, 1923). Biodiversity Heritage Library, via Flickr..

How much do we trust God? We say we trust in Him, but how much trust do we really have when adversity comes? Maybe a better question would be, do we trust Him more than we trust in ourselves to provide the things we want when we want them? That leads to a more uncomfortable question: if God doesn’t provide in the way we expect, is He still the God we want to follow?

Numbers 8:1-12:16; Zechariah 2:10-4:7; Daniel 3:12-18; Philippians 4:12-13 

Click here to listen to the podcast: Quail Jerky and the Illusion of Abundance

Click here to download the transcript: Quail Jerky and the Illusion of Abundance.pdf

Music: “I Know Whom I Have Believed,” Hymn Collective, Gospel Light, Infinity Records 2010.

Weekly Bible Reading for June 12-18: Beha’alotcha (In Your Going Up)

This coming week, June 12-18 (13-19 Sivan 5782), the Bible reading plan covers the portion Beha’alotcha (In Your Going Up).

12 Jun Numbers 8:1-14 Isaiah 58:1-59:21 Romans 7:14-8:17 Proverbs 27:22-27
13 Jun Numbers 8:15-26 Isaiah 60:1-62:12 Romans 8:18-39 Psalm 95:1-11
14 Jun Numbers 9:1-14 Isaiah 63:1-65:16 Romans 9:1-29 Proverbs 28:1-6
15 Jun Numbers 9:15-10:10 Isaiah 65:17-66:24 Romans 9:30-10:21 Proverbs 28:7-12
16 Jun Numbers 10:11-34 Jeremiah 1:1-2:37 Romans 11:1-18 Proverbs 28:13-18
17 Jun Numbers 10:35-11:29 Jeremiah 3:1-4:31 Romans 11:19-36 Proverbs 28:19-23
18 Jun Numbers 11:30-12:16 Zechariah 2:10-4:7 Romans 12:1-21 Proverbs 28:24-28

The complete annual Bible reading plan for 2021-22 (Hebrew year 5782) is available at this link:

Weekly Bible Reading for May 23-29: Beha’alotcha (In Your Going Up)

This coming week, May 23-29 2021 (12-18 Sivan), the Bible reading plan covers the following portions.

Beha’alotcha (In Your Going Up)

23 May Numbers 8:1-14 Isaiah 39:1-40:31 Acts 27:9-26 Psalm 94:1-23
24 May Numbers 8:15-26 Isaiah 41:1-42:25 Acts 27:27-44 Psalm 95:1-11
25 May Numbers 9:1-14 Isaiah 43:1-44:28 Acts 28:1-31 Proverbs 27:1-7
26 May Numbers 9:15-10:10 Isaiah 45:1-47:15 Romans 1:1-32 Proverbs 27:8-14
27 May Numbers 10:11-34 Isaiah 48:1-49:26 Romans 2:1-29 Proverbs 27:15-21
28 May Numbers 10:35-11:29 Isaiah 50:1-52:15 Romans 3:1-31 Proverbs 27:22-27
29 May Numbers 11:30-12:16 Zechariah 2:10-4:7 Romans 4:1-25 Psalm 96:1-13

The complete annual Bible reading plan for 2020-21 (Hebrew year 5781) is available at this link:

Fox Byte 5775 #36: Beha’alotcha (In Your Going Up)

בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ

Stephen R. Donaldson (Photo by  Danacea on Flickr.com via via Wikimedia Commons)
Stephen R. Donaldson (Photo by Danacea on Flickr.com via Wikimedia Commons)

In a response to a reader’s question about his works, author Stephen R. Donaldson provided this enlightening comment about the motivation behind his writing:

I’m a storyteller, not a polemicist.  As such, my only mission is to help my readers understand my characters and appreciate what those poor sods are going through.  (Stephen R. Donaldson Official Website, February 23, 2004)

Donaldson’s best known writings might be categorized as postmodern American science fiction and fantasy literature.  The worlds he creates are not the pristine, archetypical fantasy worlds of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, but darker realms that mirror our present ambiguous reality.  Donaldson explores human nature in a secular, relativistic world detached from the moral underpinnings of Christian civilization.  Good and evil manifest in the worlds he creates, but they are often uncomfortably intertwined so as to be nearly indistinguishable.  Such is the case with his most famous protagonist, the anti-hero Thomas Covenant.  In ten novels published over the span of 36 years, Donaldson follows Covenant through three epic quests in The Land, the world of his creation where magic and Earthpower shape the lives of mortals.  Covenant is one of the most unlikely heroes in the history of literature:  a leper living in present-day America who is magically transported to The Land to save it from destruction by Lord Foul the Despiser.  He wears a wedding band of white gold, the source of Wild Magic, which is the greatest power ever known in The Land.  He does not know how to wield this power, nor does he desire to do so, yet the dire circumstances of The Land compel him to find a way.  Each victory comes at a cost.  Ultimately it is Covenant himself who pays the greatest price, and thus he earns not only sympathy, but redemption.

We learn much about power in White Gold Wielder, the last novel of The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.  The Elohim, supernatural beings who keep watch over the Earth, “silence” Covenant, placing him in a catatonic state so he will not use his ring unwisely and risk destruction of the world.  After Covenant is revived by his companion Linden Avery, Findail of the Elohim explains their actions to her:

The ring-wielder we silenced, not to harm him, but to spare the Earth the ill of power without sight . . . Thus the choice would have fallen to you in the end.  His ring you might have taken unto yourself, thereby healing the breach between sight and power.  Or perhaps you might have ceded the ring to me, empowering the Elohim to save the Earth after their fashion.  Then would we have had no need to fear ourselves, for a power given is altogether different than one wrested away.

Findail’s declaration, “a power given is altogether different than one wrested away,” is a restatement of something taught long ago by One Who understood power:

But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.  It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  (Matthew 20:25-28 NASB)

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