Spontaneous trip to Carriage Crossing (licking pie whipped cream)
Science with Teacher Dad
Kids’ Camp Cooking Fun
Your 7 Days?
Spontaneous trip to Carriage Crossing (licking pie whipped cream)
Science with Teacher Dad
Kids’ Camp Cooking Fun
Your 7 Days?
“Next to him, Ezer son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section, from a point facing the ascent to the armory as far as the angle. Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the angle to the entrance of the house of Eliashib the high priest.”
Last time we watched the two halves of Keilah lend a hand to their fellow countrymen. Today we see two men working on specific, assigned sections of the wall. Let’s take a quick look at our map:
See “Kidron Valley” in black letters near the bottom left? That’s near the section of the wall we are looking at in our verses. The number 5 labels the ascent to the armory (where Ezer worked) and 6 labels the House of Eliashib (what Baruch worked up to).
First we should talk about Ezer. His is a proper masculine name that means help, from the Hebrew azar – ally, helper, support, furthered. Because wonderful people pray for our family, sweet youngest asked in the car this week, “Is God a boy or a girl?” I went on a bit about how God is One in Three Persons Who said, “let us make man in our image”… male and female He created them. So men and women both have attributes of this glorious God.
Youngest interrupted and said, “Oh, I know. So God is boy and girl.” Huh.
That’s what I think about with these words ezer and azar. In the more detailed version of creation in Genesis 2, God talks about making a suitable helper for Adam: woman, ezer. But here it is used as a masculine name. And there are plenty of uses for God the Father being this role of helper.
Of course. He is the One from Whom our help comes.
I’ve been thinking about the role of Counselor. This title the Holy Spirit is given as Jesus would no longer walk bodily with His disciples, but would send a helper – an Advocate, Comforter.
Oh, how tender this God of ours. What a counselor, an intercessor, an ally for His children.
But that’s not all. The next sentence introduces Baruch who zealously (charah – burned, kindled with anger) chazaq (strengthened) the next section of the wall, up to the opening of Eliashib, the high priest’s house.
And these attributes also accurately represent our God, don’t they? He really is a consuming fire. He desires all of us, every motive and sin pattern and hidden place in our heart that is out of fellowship with Him and other image bearers. He wants to consume it all, burn away the junk, and make us more like His Son, like the Advocate inside us if we are born again of Him.
Why? Because just like Baruch, He isn’t zealous randomly or without cause. He’s zealous to strengthen, repair. His creation, His children, His Church.
Oh, and friends, not even that is random with our purposeful God. He isn’t just wanting us to be more like His Son because it seems like a good thing to do. I was reminded of this this week watching the final scene in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, as Aslan crowns the Sons of Adam and the Daughters of Eve Kings and Queens of Narnia.
He is making us more like His Son here because it matters for our ability to rule there. Because in the Kingdom Come – the one that is already present here on earth but not quite fully – we will be given that dominion again: to reign over all creation with Him. Only this time the right way.
And let’s not leave out the mention of our high priest, Eliashib. His name means “God Restores.”
We all need an Advocate. One to plead our case before a holy and just and perfect God.
Thank the good goodness we have Yeshua.
If you’re wondering how to celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, look no further. Carolyn at Wichita on the Cheap has a full list of deals and freebies for dad and the whole family.
Do you have a struggling reader in your life? (Or just want to hang with cute doggies?) Register for the Humane Society’s Read with Rover program this Saturday beginning at 10:00 am. These sweet registered therapy dogs are a great audience.
How about a little Sunset Yoga? Come this Tuesday the 20th beginning at 7 pm at the Wichita Art Museum to stretch and strengthen in the evening light.
Tonight, Thursday the 15th, enjoy Chris Standring for the Bradley Fair Summer Concert Series from 7:30-9:30 pm.
This Friday you can hear The Crowson’s play their “front porch music” at Watermark from 6-8 pm.
Another round of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is beginning July 13th. If you or someone you know is at risk, consider signing up. If you aren’t sure if you’re at risk, make use of their free online self-assessment.
Tree Top Nursery is holding a Father’s Day Sale this weekend, including 30% off one tree, shrub, or perennial.
Don’t miss the Great Plains Nature Center’s Bio Blitz this Saturday the 17th, and help them record all the plants and animals in Chisholm Creek Park.
This looks great: Old Town Farmer’s Market is offering tickets for a Market-to-Table Culinary Experience each week. This Saturday will feature Krista Sanderson from the Wichita-based company Eat Real America, along with Kid Power with Kid Power Programs. Great one for the kiddos to learn from. Purchase tickets here.
Need a unique, local gift for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life? What about a gift card from from Elderslie Farms? Delightful.
Join the Donuts with Dad fun this Saturday the 17th at City Arts from 10-11:30. Enjoy breakfast and creating pinwheels and cross-stitch ties with Dad.
Come to Night at the Fountains on Wichita WaterWalk this Friday night, June 16th, from 5-8 pm. Enjoy local music, food & retail trucks, and an opportunity to give to a local charity.
Check out the Augusta City-Wide Garage Sale this weekend, June 16 & 17.
Enjoy free admission to Orchard Park’s Pool this Saturday the 17th from 1-6.
Our next chance to maintain a posture of learning in our Race Conversation is this Friday July 16th at an after-hours discussion of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This book is “a heartfelt look at America and its history through the lens of a black man raised in a nation that has systematically devalued people of color.” Register here for this discussion at the Angelou Branch.
If you are in Grades 6-12, join the Build a Better Locker event at Angelou Branch from 2:30-3:30 tomorrow, June 16th. Make emoji magnets, create a one-of-a kind pencil & pen container, and custom design a cell-phone holder.
Stop by this Saturday the 17th at the Comotara Branch any time from 10-6 for a Birdhouse Take Home Craft.
And a heads up for teens: This Monday from 4-5 join the Teen Writing Group at Alford Branch, a chance to practice your creative writing skills and meet other teens interested in writing.
Have a great weekend!
I am basing this on a few tweets, but have been thinking and praying about the #SBC17 decision to not denounce alt-right/white supremacy. And I think I understand the reticence. Hear me out:
I didn’t grow up SBC which I think may give me a different perspective than someone immersed in the culture all their life. But beginning in college up until now, I have had nothing but positive, supportive experiences with local, regional, national & international entities of the Southern Baptist Convention. I have met people who love Jesus and love His Word and desire to reach others with the gospel. I have had families and groups support mission trips and local service. I learned how to read the Bible and understand it in a Southern Baptist Church.
That’s why it’s so hard to denounce something about it. Perhaps it’s the same with those not wanting to denounce alt-right. Perhaps they’ve had nothing but positive experiences with this group. Perhaps they agree on many things and have supported each other in different endeavors.
But, and I say this with empathy, what if that is because everyone involved was white?
There is a reason God is opening His Bride’s eyes to racial tension and evil injustice and past and current hatred toward our brothers and sisters who are not of European descent. It is a stronghold from the pit of hell that must be denounced and resisted if we are going to move forward with Him in our generation.
This morning I happened to be ready to read Proverbs 8:13a: “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.”
I think there are two reasons this is so. The more you come to know Yahweh and His character, the more you begin to love what He loves and hate what He hates. His Spirit inside us begins to align our spirit and soul with His character.
But I think there’s another, almost scary, reason this is true: When you fear Yahweh, you understand that when He decides to move, you want to be as far away as possible from being on the side of oppressor. Because He will take up for the oppressed in a heartbeat. He will move in such a way as to make it obvious He is on the side of justice. Simply put, it’s a great reason to hate evil.
I don’t know what will come of today’s meeting. I don’t even really care if the decision is changed simply because of fear of bad press. Personally, I think that’s one positive of social media: we are less likely to get away with sin in a public way. Or if we do, it’s because we’re choosing a hefty dose of denial.
But I will pray this situation will open individual and groups’ eyes to racism and injustice in our hearts. We are often unaware until suddenly we are. May God move in an organization I know He longs to continue to use for His glory.
Free pie & free smiles
Too big for our taste
Your 7 Days?
Next to him, repairs were made by a group of Levites working under the supervision of Rehum son of Bani. Then came Hashabiah, the leader of half the district of Keilah, who supervised the building of the wall on behalf of his own district. Next down the line were his countrymen led by Binnui son of Henadad, the leader of the other half of the district of Keilah.
Nehemiah 3:17-18 NLT
Last time we looked at the Hebrew used to describe rebuilding the Fountain Gate and a section of the wall. The words referred to descending, like our Savior did – and climbing to the heights. Today we see no gates mentioned, just groups of people throwing in to rebuild the wall and secure the City of God.
Both leaders of the city of Keilah are mentioned in this passage: Hashabiah and Binnui. Each oversees half the city, which is most likely modern-day Kila, about 12 miles south of Jerusalem. They are listed separate but are men of the same district.
The word used is ach meaning brother or countryman. In fact, the single Hebrew word used for the phrase “next down the line” is yad – hand. We have seen it used for Yahweh’s powerful sustaining alongside His people. Here we see it describe the helping hand, allegiance, and assistance these fellow citizens offered each other and the rebuilding effort.
Yes, yes. Citizens lending a helping hand to one another. Thinking of others’ interests rather than only their own. Sounds a lot like what our nation could use a hefty dose of. But especially what we citizens of another Kingdom are empowered to do.
Friends, this is the time to offer a helping hand to others. Especially if there seems to be a difference among us. Because, in this nation, we are all countrymen. We belong to one another. And how much more is this true among we who trust in Jesus alone for our righteousness?
Our differences can challenge us to run to Him, but may they never be an excuse to not serve each other. Especially in the public square, with the eyes of those looking for some hope watching our interactions. Only His Kingdom is unshakable.
Let’s be part of the reason others are drawn to be a citizen.
It’s 2nd Saturday time! If you haven’t looked at participating stores lately, there are new ones. Douglas Design District, Downtown, Old Town, and Delano all are in on the savings.
2nd Saturday also means The Workroom’s Artisan Market. Enjoy local art, live music, and food trucks from 10-2.
And one more thing it means: Yoga on the Lawn at Wichita Art Museum. Come this Saturday at 9 and bring cash to savor some Twisted Java coffee after.
Catch Art Start: Sculptures and the Senses also at the Art Museum beginning next week, Tuesday June 13th from 1:30-3. Art Start is for kiddos ages 3-5 and their adults, with sessions only $5 for children and free for parents. Spend the summer enjoying art!
Mark your calendar for one of the Plan to Laugh events. First up is at Linwood at 2:30 and at Westlink at 6:30 today, June 8th. Then tomorrow, June 9th, at Rockwell at 10:30 and at Central at 2:30. Juggling, stories, and belly laughs!
Next up for our Candid Conversation: Race the Difference Between Us will be Monday June 12th from 6-7:30 pm at the Rockwell Branch.
Also check out Teen Game Day: On Tuesday the 13th from 2:30-3:30 at Central enjoy board games and refreshments with friends.
There’s so much going on. Check out all upcoming events here and say no to summer boredom.
This is so great: Farmers Market Food Assistance for low-income Seniors
You should catch this: Ballet in the Park’s free performances of Wizard of Oz. Tonight’s event is at Main Street Park in Mulvane. But stay tuned all weekend for performances in El Dorado, Augusta, Udall, Haysville, and Clearwater. Picturesque, yes?
Naturalist Todd will be at Riverside Park every Tuesday from 12-1 this summer. Come hear about a featured animal at these come-and-go presentations.
Upcoming Area Garage Sales (via Wichita on the Cheap):
A friend alerted me to the lower price admission to Derby’s Rock River Rapids water park: only $5 after 5 pm.
Check out the Rabbit Show at the Sedgwick County Extension Center this Saturday June 10th from 8-5.
And enjoy the Summer Brain Quest Kick-Off Event this Saturday the 10th from 10:30-11:00 at Watermark Books. Because we gotsta use our brains even in summertime.
And the next Monday night $1 Wingnuts game is June 12th. Everyone gets in for a buck!
Have a wonderful weekend with your people!
The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallum son of Col-hozeh, the leader of the Mizpah district. He rebuilt it, roofed it, set up its doors, and installed its bolts and bars. Then he repaired the wall of the pool of Siloam near the king’s garden, and he rebuilt the wall as far as the stairs that descend from the City of David. Next to him was Nehemiah son of Azbuk, the leader of half the district of Beth-zur. He rebuilt the wall from a place across from the tombs of David’s family as far as the water reservoir and the House of the Warriors.
Nehemiah 3:15-16 NLT
Last time we talked about the leader who built the Dung Gate, leaving power and beauty to serve – just like our Savior. Now we move on to the rebuilding of the Fountain Gate and a large section of the wall:
You can see the Fountain Gate on the left side of our map. The other three landmarks from today’s verses (Tombs of David, Artificial Pool, and the House of Mighty Men) are noted with numbers 2, 3 & 4 in the red circles.
The first thing Shallum did was set the Gate. Then, almost in reverse order, he takes care of the Pool of Siloam (called Shelah on our map) and the King’s Garden. These are off to the right of our Dung Gate, and are surrounded by their own segment of wall. Then Shallum returns to where he began and builds the section of wall between the Dung Gate and Fountain Gate, right up to the Stairs of David – seen coming out of the Fountain Gate on our map.
I appreciate the Hebrew in the mentioning of these stairs. The word is ma’alah meaning stairs, a high degree, climactic progression. In other words, this same Hebrew term could be used in a piece of literature that builds to a high degree. It made me think of the Psalms of Ascent. These songs (Psalms 120-134) were sung by the Israelites as they traveled back to Jerusalem for three important Feasts each year. Many believe it also refers to songs the Levites sang as they ascended the steps of Temple to minister. Either way, the significance is in the journey – a progression toward the heights.
That’s a journey we’re all on. This world is not all there is. Depending on the news each day, that can come as such a relief. We can all find areas to disagree on how to make this planet better, but if we’re honest, we all know it isn’t as it was meant to be. Those of us who believe Jesus both understand why and know we’re headed Home.
There’s more beauty in Hebrew. In explaining the stairs, he says “the steps that descend from the City of David.” That word descend is yarad – to go down, bring down. Then in verse 16 we see a different Nehemiah building the wall from… as far as…the House of the Warriors. That word warrior in Hebrew is gibbor – champion, mighty, strong, valiant warrior.
Oh friends, only One Mighty Warrior descended from the heights – higher than even our known universe – and made the ultimate heroic sacrifice. Strong enough not to fight, valiant enough to take it on the chin for all humanity. For us.
Every time we remember there is an enemy and it’s not each other, we look like our Warrior Savior. When we serve and pray more than shame, blame and scapegoat, we’re being just as valiant as Him. When we own up to our sins and rest in the way He completely justified us on the cross, we’re trusting our Father the way He does.
Let’s bow each day and trust the Spirit to bring such heights to our lives.
Woo hoo! It’s Riverfest time. You can look through all the happenings on their website.
Make sure to check out the Wichita Symphony Orchestra’s Riverfest Twilight Pops Concert tomorrow night, June 2nd, at 8:30 in the Century II Plaza off Douglas. Free with your Riverfest button.
Got to see the Bike Share ICT station on Douglas. Super cheap way to get around downtown – plus exercise.
Wichita Art Museum is hosting Tai Chi on the Lawn this Tuesday June 6th from 7-8 pm. Do not stress if you’ve never done Tai Chi. You can learn and the practice is great for mind and body.
Yasss. This Saturday the 3rd is Opening Day for Elderslie’s Bramble Cafe. Local, fresh, beautiful.
Don’t forget: tonight, June 1st, see Joseph Vincelli for the first installment of Bradley Fair’s Summer Jazz Concert Series. Bring lawn chairs and your people.
Here are upcoming Citywide and Neighborhood Garage Sales:
Wichita Public Swimming Pools are open. And, Carolyn has a list of the different days you can swim free at various pools around the city. This Sunday the 4th, enjoy free admittance at Harvest Public Pool from 1-6 pm.
Aside from 4 Water Parks included in your membership, here’s one more reason to join the YMCA this summer: Fun Fit. It’s a two-hour, free program for kids aged 6 to 12. They can play games, make new friends, and keep moving while you workout or catch up with your people. Check your closest branch for times and participation.
Tomorrow, June 2nd, enjoy a Throwback Summer Movie: Back to the Future at Central beginning at 2:30. Bring snacks!
I’m still new to these Breakout EDU things, but they’re so great. Enjoy Mr. Lemoncello’s Library next Tuesday, June 6th, at 2:30. See if you can use your wits and teamwork to escape!
Check out all upcoming events here. There are so many to choose from now that it’s June.
Have a wonderful weekend!