Getting in the veggies
Garden fresh from friends
Your 7 Days?
Getting in the veggies
Garden fresh from friends
Your 7 Days?
“Beyond them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs in front of their house; and next to them, Azariah son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs beside his house.”
Last time we looked in on the priests from the surrounding region throwing in and rebuilding. Today we see the next repairs being made and the names of the men are spectacular.
Just the name Benjamin can be a word for us. The Holy Scriptures often refer to the right hand – of kings and the God of Angel Armies alike. We even say someone is “his right-hand man.” A person who does things in accordance to the will of the one giving orders.
And of course our Savior is seated at the right hand of God Almighty.
Could we be so immersed in Him and His Word and His people and His purposes in our generation that we would be sons or daughters of His right hand? That we would go and choose rightly? Be followers of Him to the degree we do things in accordance to His will – even if it contradicts our own?
I think we must. Our times demand it. Perhaps in previous days we could get away with being unaware or half-hearted. But during our days here we must be immersed in our First Love. Which always means being immersed in the Word He breathed, the communion of saints He loves, and the fingerprints of His Spirit on this terrestrial ball.
Make sure daily in your heart you’ve crowned Him LORD of all.
Our next rebuilder’s name is Chashshub whose name comes from the Hebrew word chashab – to consider, compose, design, purpose, weave. You know, all those action words have something in common: they take time. Meditating and ruminating; purposefully weaving together all aspects of a situation.
Oh friends, how are we doing with that? Do we slow down enough in our lives and hearts to ponder? Do we put down our electronic devises enough to consider? Could we purposefully compose and design a loving, thoughtful statement about the world in which we live? If any of that is not true of you, take a deep breath. We can choose today to slow down. We can put down the news and pick up the Word, which always points us to His heart and washes our minds with perspective like a crisp, cool stream. We can stop worrying about how we did yesterday and just be faithful today.
The final rebuilder listed in this verse is Azariah, whose name means “Yah has helped.” Which makes me smile because the above paragraph is all true. But unless Yahweh helps us, our actions will be nothing more than actions. We are desperate for His help. Fortunately He has sent us a Helper – One closer to us now than when Jesus walked bodily beside His disciples on earth. His very job is to help. He intercedes, guides, opens hearts, tears down the veil. And, yes, He convicts the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement.
Of course there’s a way to trust this foundation and not repel everyone around us. It is one thing to trust Him and His words and be arrogant about it. It’s another to trust Him and His words and lay down our lives for those who may not or who are searching or are wounded and hurting and can’t even hear His words until they’ve first experienced love and understanding from His people. Let’s be those who love well as we trust well. Only His Spirit can help us do that.
The final names listed in today’s verse are not rebuilders themselves, but rather Azaraiah’s father and grandfather. His father’s name is Maaseiah – from maaseh (work, accomplishments) and Yah. Or more specifically, “the work is a product of Yahweh.” Yes.
And Maaseiah’s father is Ananiah – from anan and Yah meaning “Yah has covered” or “Yahweh has manifested Himself.” This word anan is so interesting and can mean anything from sorcery to observing. Because it is in reference to the One of perfect character, we know we can scratch sorcery for our purposes today. The Creator of all has no need for magic tricks.
But I’m delighted both by “Yah has covered” and “Yah has manifested Himself.” I suppose the work of the Spirit can look a lot like soothsaying and magic to those who simply want to profit from Him. But as we pray for eyes to see, He shows us the way He manifests Himself is as Sovereign King of the Universe. He sees and knows all and He genuinely has our times covered.
Now to we humans, what this can look like is being an observer of our times. Not in anxious speculation but in faithful trust. The burden isn’t on us to be perfect observers, but to pay attention – then remember the work is of Yah.
There is rebuilding to be done, friends. Sometimes in front of our own houses. Pray with me to faithfully do and prayerfully trust. To slowly observe and genuinely love.
The work is of Yah.
Last time we looked in as the high priest’s home and a section of the wall were rebuilt together, reminding us the Spirit inside gives us strength to look outside our own interests and love beyond ourselves.
Today we see the next section being rebuilt by kohen – chief ministers of the region. Although Elisashib was the designated high priest, his colleagues would live and work in the same general area near Temple (source). I love they are working together to rebuild the area in which they will minister.
Remember, the responsibility of the high priest was to intercede for the people and help establish community. And according to scholars, when the exiles returned to Jerusalem, the other priests were no longer designated the teaching role (a charge given to the Levites as in Nehemiah 8:7). They were, however, in charge of ceremonial matters in Temple – things such as offering sacrifices & collecting tithes.
How does that sit with you? Does part of you sigh in relief thinking how others will take on the role of teaching as the People of God remember how to worship? Or do you feel like these ministers got jipped having to do menial tasks while others take over equipping the people? The way you answer likely depends on how He has made you, but it has me thinking. How are we working together? All of us here now in our one shot at this? These men lived all over the Jordan Valley (kikkar). They may or may not have been excited about their role in this renewed City of God. But they were throwing in.
Friends, what God is doing in our day matters. We have never seen, heard or imagined what He’s prepared. It’s bigger than all of us, but it includes us. We get to be swept up in the beautiful chaos of joining the work and letting Him lead the way. None of us will be perfectly prepared. Perhaps we’ve never held a trowel or offered a sacrifice. Maybe what He’s doing doesn’t even seem to directly affect us – after all, we’re from the surrounding region; this isn’t our home. But we get to love and serve and reconcile and resist and rebuild anyway. Because it’s the only way to be free.
We know He has made us to be part of a worldwide priesthood, set apart to declare the praises of Him Who brought us out of darkness and into His wonderful Light. Let’s declare.
It’s already 2nd Saturday time again. Shop small, shop local.
Which means time for The Workroom’s 2nd Saturday Artisan Market. Enjoy local vendors, food trucks & music.
Ooo…and Saturday Shuffle by Zen Fitness in College Hill Park every 2nd Saturday.
The Sedgwick County Extension Office is offering a Medicare Options event next Wednesday, July 12th from 11:30-1:00. Come learn more about the world of Medicare.
Nancy McCabe will be at Watermark tonight, Thursday July 6th, at 6:00 for an author talk and signing of her book Following Disasters.
Also see Siobhan Fallon on Wednesday July 12th at 6:00 pm for a signing of The Confusion of Languages.
And the next installment for Camp Watermark is Camp Half Blood on Wednesday, July 12th from 11-1:30.
And you know about Lincoln Heights Farmers Market, yes? Every Wednesday morning from 7-11.
Don’t miss GreenAcres Market’s Free Ice Cream Social next week on Tuesday and Thursday.
Don’t miss the upcoming Mad Science events at various Library Branches.
Our next Candid Conversation on Race will be Monday, July 10th from 6-7:30 pm at Rockwell Branch. We’ll be viewing the 2nd part of Race: The Power of an Illusion to help understand the history of systemic racism in America – with a discussion to follow.
Another Breakout Box is offered this Tuesday, July 11th from 2:30-3:30 at Westlink Branch. Can you figure out the clues to unlock the box? Ages 6-10.
And enjoy the monthly Adult Coloring event at Westlink on Wednesday, July 12th at Westlink from 6-7:30 pm.
See all upcoming events here.
Have a great weekend!
It is that time again: Free Tea Day at McAlister’s! Head to any of their Wichita locations to get the best tea in town.
Do you want to help support the lovely girls at Carpenter Place and get a t-shirt while you’re at it? Head here to see how you can get a 2017 commemorative Tee from their Restoration Ride Car Show.
And are you ready for July 4th next Tuesday? Wichita Moms Blog has an extensive list of fireworks displays, parades, and more for Wichita & the surrounding area.
Beginning next Wednesday, July 5th, enjoy Camp Watermark: Spy Camp. This youth day camp for ages 7-11 will be held each Wednesday through August 2nd and includes hands-on activities based on books. Register for one or all 5 to save some moolah.
Beginning today, June 29th, to Saturday, July 1st, head to the Sedgwick County Zoo for the American Red Cross Blood Drive from 8-3 each day. Donors receive a ticket for free admission, family discount tickets, tickets for a Wingnuts game, a t-shirt (woo hoo!) and goodies like donuts and pizza. Head over and donate.
Tonight, June 29th, is the final Free Summer Concert at Bradley Fair, Celebrate America with Vincent Ingala beginning at 7:30. And be sure to stay for the beautiful fireworks display!
So we did the $1 Wingnuts Game this past week and it was a hit. (Pun intended.) Next one is this coming Monday, July 3rd. You can enjoy Pizza slices, hot dogs, 12 oz drinks, and ice cream sandwiches for a buck each as well!
Tomorrow, July 30th, come to Central for Friday Throwback Film Space Jam.
Then this afternoon, June 29th, from 3-4:30 contribute to KMUW’s Engage ICT: Raise Your Voice at Westlink. Share what issues your area of town faces and how to contribute to our Wichita community – all while kids are entertained with art activities.
See all upcoming events at the Library here.
Also please note: All Library locations will be closed Sunday, July 2nd and Tuesday, July 4th.
Have a great weekend!
Last time we looked in on Ezer and Baruch as they rebuilt their sections – and learned more about our Helper God. How this Spirit inside is zealous to strengthen us for good. Today we see a man named Meremoth being diligent to build his large, assigned section.
On our trusty map we are still at number 6, the House of Eliashib. I learned from this source that the high priest’s residence was located on the city wall above the Kidron Valley. Interesting to have a house actually on the wall. Here’s a picture to give you an idea:
See how the home seems to be built right into a larger structure? This is likely how Eliashib’s house connected to the wall. Repairing his home and repairing the City Wall was one and the same.
It strikes me as poignant given the day in which we live. We are a much more independent culture, normally thinking through only our own group’s needs. And, indeed, the Hebrew word for the end of (Eliashib’s house) is taklith – boundary, end, limit. There is only so much we can steward well, and care about deeply in our hearts. Just as there is a limit to how far the high priest’s home reaches on the city wall, God gives us specific stewardships He will ask us about one day.
But there is another, Spirit-required part of this life in Him. To live beyond ourselves and our human resources and capacities. To trust that – by His strength inside us – He will help us live outside our four walls, our like-minded people group, our culture, our country. To take care of one another and steward Shalom anywhere He asks of us.
Mind you, I’m writing this to myself. I regularly struggle with trusting He will provide the emotional, mental, spiritual strength to love beyond what is comfortable. To trust Him through me rather than my own paltry resources.
But every time I trust Him He comes through. Of course. Jesus did everything necessary to give us all we need for life and godliness. Oh to be sure, healthy boundaries will prevent burn out and resentment and fractured relationships. He indeed leads us beside green pastures and quiet waters.
But this Good Shepherd also calls us to a life that requires risk. Most often to our comfort zones. Otherwise we might never rely on Him. Let’s walk in faith, love outside ourselves, and watch Him show up. I’m coming with you.
And He’s right there waiting.
If you need a quick resource for all the Summer Programs at the Great Plains Nature Center, they’ve provided us a handout.
This weekend is the Bel Aire City-Wide Garage Sale. Maybe that item on your list can be procured second-hand.
You can Swim for Free today, June 22nd, at Linwood Pool from 1-6.
At Mead’s Corner: Summer Concert and Pop-Up Shop this Friday the 23rd from 7-9 pm. Enjoy live music by local Christian artists Roy Nelson Move III and Austin Renfroe. Plus shop Faith First Gear on location.
Celebrate Reverie’s 4th Anniversary with a Latte Art Throwdown this Friday the 23rd. Come celebrate all day 10-9 pm, but catch the competition beginning at 7 pm.
At Wichita Art Museum: Tunes + Tallgrass this Friday, June 23rd beginning at 6:30.
Also this Saturday the 24th catch Family ArtVenture: Sculpture-atopia from 11-3. Enjoy a family-friendly sculpture tour + make your own wacky sculpture.
This looks incredible! The City of Wichita is offering a wonderful opportunity for kids to hear “yes!” this summer. Including free bus rides, library loan forgiveness to encourage summer reading, free swimming and golf. Check out all the details here and rejoice that all our city’s kids can enjoy summer.
Today from 6-8 pm catch Barry the Bison’s Recreation Station at Buffalo Park.
Then on Saturday the 24th, see Cars in the Park at Naftzger Park from 10-12. Enjoy vintage cars, music, and Barry’s Rec Station for the whole family.
Tonight, the 22nd, from 6-8 come to Laser Cutting Basics at MakeICT. This class will teach participants how to use the 80 watt CO2 laser cutter.
Catch This Is Not a Box! with Storyteller Jo Ho today, June 22nd from 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM
Register here for this course on Fake News on Saturday the 24th from 1-5.
Join the Juneteenth Celebration for an outdoor after-dark showing of Dawn of Day: The Underground Railroad in Kansas this Friday, June 23rd from 8:30-10:00 pm.
See every upcoming event at all Library Locations here.
Have a great weekend!