The great thing about going to Winchester, Kentucky, is the opportunity to reconnect with good friends like Ken Rank. He asked me last week to record a conversation for United 2 Restore on the topic of “Teshuvah,” a Hebrew term often translated as repentance. It seems our Heavenly Father is calling people from all across the spectrum of His covenant body to enter into a season of prayer, repentance, and even fasting to seek reconciliation with Him and with each other. And why is that? Maybe because we need to do this to find the way through the global crises confronting us.
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. (Proverbs 13:22 TLV)
Let’s set aside that part about sinners and righteous for the moment and focus on the first part – the part about a good man leaving an inheritance for his grandchildren. What is the primary requirement for that to happen? It should be obvious: there can be no inheritance if there is no man, good or bad, to leave it. Of course, this is just as applicable to good women, especially to the courageous single mothers striving to make ends meet while playing the roles of both parents. For them it is immeasurably more difficult than for families where both parents contribute to the welfare of their children and grandchildren.
Suffice it to say that with no parents, or with only one parent, it’s highly unlikely that much of anything will be passed on to the rising generations, except perhaps the pain of rootlessness. It’s bad enough if we are discussing one family, or even a segment of society. For example, in the United States, about 20 million children – one in four – live in a home without a father.The percentage is much higher among African American, Native American, and Hispanic children, even as high as 65% or more.Yet even as tragic as those figures indicate, there is still hope simply because a large part of the society consists of intact families that, at least in theory, can help those in need.
But what if there are no intact families? What if an entire population of adults ceases to exist, leaving their children without care and guidance? Can you imagine it? That would be an entire generation –
of brides who would never be given away in marriage by their fathers.
of young men who would never know the approval of their fathers as they enter professions and begin families of their own.
of children who would never hear the stories of their grandparents.
of young people who would not know their own history – where they came from, who their people were, what special things they created, how they talked and sang and laughed.
Can you imagine such an unspeakable tragedy?
I can. It has happened too often in human history. Ask me about the Pequod nation of Connecticut, or the Aboriginal peoples of Australia, or the mixed African peoples thrown on unfamiliar shores as slaves in the West Indies and North America. But there is a more immediate example.
The Barking Fox blog entered the world on December 31, 2013, with a post entitled “Silent Night in September.” That post presented an opinion about the date of Messiah Yeshua’s birth, which I still believe to be at the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the fall. We may never answer the question of Jesus’ birthday to everyone’s satisfaction, but that post and the 643 others that followed not only served as way markers for my spiritual journey, and to my great joy seem to have helped others along the way. But as with all good (and bad) things, it is time for The Barking Fox to come to an end.
Well, it’s still going to be up on the internet thanks to a very generous deal from WordPress on annual renewal of domain names, but you’re probably not going to see a lot of activity – certainly not nearly as much as during the first four years, when new posts came about twice a week. The reason is not that I have run out of ideas. Our Heavenly Father continues to inspire me daily, but the inspiration is now coming out in other venues.
The Barking Fox began as an vehicle for sharing what I had learned in years of contemplative prayer, Bible study, and life experience. I hoped to connect with people through this blog, but did not expect such splendid results! Now I am blessed to be networked with fellow Christian and Jewish travelers of many streams from every inhabited continent (and maybe even Antarctica if we count my friend Russell, who has deployed there many times!) Those networks run through ministries, organizations, and congregations where I am glad to contribute my own humble gifts to the synergy created by collaboration among lots of dedicated, highly talented people.
This brings up what may be the key lesson of this six-year experiment: we are all best served when working in collaboration with others. My lone voice, for example, reaches only a few dozen people across the planet, but when joined with others, our efforts are multiplied to far greater effect.
That is why The Barking Fox is now a secondary effort. You’ll still see new posts, but not many crafted specifically for this blog. Instead, you’ll see articles, videos, and podcasts created in collaboration with wonderful people from several amazing organizations. Of course, you don’t have to wait for my contributions to be posted on this blog! Why not visit their websites right now? They are –
Each of these ministries and organizations has a specific purpose in the multi-faceted work of redemption our God initiated millennia ago with His call to Abraham and Sarah. I hope you will take a look, and maybe even see if there’s something in one or more of them that resonates with you.
Thank you to everyone who has visited The Barking Fox, and especially to those who have followed along on this journey (even out of sheer curiosity). The journey is not by any means complete!
Here’s what’s coming on Hebrew Nation Radio this Monday, December 24:
One of the most precious moments recorded in the gospels is when children were brought to see Yeshua. His disciples did not think that moment so precious, which is why he had to intervene on behalf of the little ones –
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.(Luke 18:16 KJV)
Yeshua’s command in modern English would be, “Permit the little children to come to me.” The King James, however, gives us an insight into something that we do not often consider: children suffer more than we imagine.
Children have always been the most vulnerable people in any society. All too often, they are left to their own devices, to survive – or not. That is why Yeshua had to intervene to remind his disciples, and through them, all of us, that children are precious in the sight of our Heavenly Father. Since then, his followers have sought to obey him by taking care of little ones. Christian orphanages and hospitals are the most visible examples of efforts to put action behind our Messiah’s words. Yet somewhere between the orphans and the sick are those who seem to fall through the cracks. Who cares for them?
This is where foster families fill the gap. Foster families take in children who for some reason have had to be removed from their homes. Whether it is abuse, unhealthy environment, abandonment, or any of a number of reasons, these children are at the mercy of society. They need healthy families to help them come through the trauma they suffer and help them not only survive, but thrive and become ready to enter society as responsible adults.
But who helps the foster families? Betsy Ruch can answer that question. She is co-director of Fostering the Family, a ministry based in York County, South Carolina, with the mission to, “assist families to be successful in their call to foster and adopt physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.” Betsy will share with us the magnitude of the need, and how big-hearted people from across the Body of Messiah are stepping up to help. What she brings to us will be heart-wrenching, but it will also be full of hope – and of challenge to pray about what difference you can make in the life of a little one.
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.