Ready for it
Your 7 Days?
If you’re like me and not a person of color, continually putting in front of your face what you’re learning will be essential. And as we learn, I think it’s important to remember we are only scratching the surface of white privilege’s systemic depth. We keep on learning.
How to move forward?
Sometimes the basics can keep us from getting overwhelmed and give us hope. This is all so do-able. We can be patient with each other and learn. We can certainly pray in Jesus’ powerful name. We can love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We can love our neighbor as ourselves.
“Above the Horse Gate, the priests repaired the wall. Each one repaired the section immediately across from his own house.” Nehemiah 3:28 NLT
Last time we looked at Pediah, the temple servants, and the Tekoites taking their place in the rebuilding effort, remembering how God uses the harsh bondage of this world to show Himself a Redeemer. And we His rescued ones ready to promote His goodness.
Today we see a group of priests each repairing a section of the wall directly across from their own house. Our family is blessed to be in the middle of helping our good friends, two different families, move. One family recently took possession of their new house which is in need of some TLC. Sometimes Tender Loving Care includes demolition, amen?
Sometimes things just need to be broken down so they can be built back up. Other times walls need to come down simply because they’re not needed. Freedom and openness are the goals.
Then some walls we may want to take down but they’re needed. They’re load-bearing, helping to support the weight of the building, keeping it from toppling. Fortunately, the Word only ever points to One able to bear the entire load of this universe. We don’t have to try or pretend to be Him.
But there is a place for us to help each other bear our burdens. There is no way we can be truly loving our neighbor as ourselves if we aren’t willing to help support the load that overwhelms at different points in life. And often that looks like throwing in on rebuilding efforts of a larger scale. We will stand before God and be asked how we obeyed during our time here. May we be faithful seek His face and join with wisdom where He is at work.
Now let’s talk about how each priest – responsible for serving in Temple, interceding for the people, and helping to establish a communal identity among the people – worked directly opposite his own home. This is obviously for practical purposes in the rebuilding effort. There is no way the Temple workers could continue to hold sacrifices and worship each day and work on a section of the wall at the opposite end of the city.
But how about for us? I’d like to suggest if we aren’t focusing on our own home, our own hearts, our rebuilding “out there” will suffer. If you, too, are heartbroken over the gaping wound of racism in our country right now, what kind of work are you doing in your own life? Is there a sense of confusion over how the sin applies to you if you weren’t alive during the beginning? Or can you see your complicity in the present?
What if your eyes have been opened to how you have been part of the problem, but you have bitterness in your heart toward someone for other reasons? Or pride and superiority toward people? Or a sense of entitlement?
Friends, this cannot be. He Himself broke down that wall of hostility on an instrument of torture so we no longer have to torture each other. He took it all. He really did. We can take each other off the hook. We can repent, reconcile. And keep on reconciling.
Believers, we are His Temple now. No walls of hostility needed.
Friend Birthday Party
Date Night at home
Your 7 Days?
I’m positioning myself as a Note-Taker right now. After all, as discussed in this podcast, I want to be an ally to my brothers and sisters of color. And an ally doesn’t show up and take over. They show up and follow the lead of those who already know what they’re doing.
So, in case you want to take a peek at my notes, here are some things I’m pondering after Charlottesville.
Grace is scandalous. Let’s figure out where we are on this walkway, friends. And then let’s not take over. Let’s be like the group of white allies that stands in the front of a people of color’s non-violent protest and says, “You have to get through us to get to them.”
After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh and the temple servants living on Ophel repaired to a point opposite the Water Gate on the east and the projecting tower. After him the Tekoites repaired another section opposite the great projecting tower as far as the wall of Ophel.
Nehemiah 3:25b-27 (ESV)
Last time we saw some builders working on the angle, corner of the wall – remembering He alone is our Cornerstone. Today we see one new builder along with two groups of volunteers. They are working opposite the Water Gate on two separate sections.
What is something you would be beyond grateful to be delivered from by any means? If things are going pretty well, what is something from which you desire another to be ransomed? More pointedly: what would you like to see redeemed in our current world scene?
Friend, whatever you just thought of is likely how He plans to use you. If you are in the fight of your life, what do you think your desire will be as He walks you through it? Usually that area becomes something we can’t stop running our mouths about. When we’re delivered, we want to share about our Deliverer.
If your loved one is broken, you are now part of the club that understands the idea of “if only it could be me instead of them.” It truly can be harder to watch and feel helpless, huh? But if He shows you something, you can believe He wants to include you in how He’s working there. So pray. Pray like the persistent widow. Don’t stop praying. He really does care.
And in our current world scene? There are likely several things that could pop in your mind just from the last week. Poverty, systemic racism, human trafficking, threats of war, brokenness and addiction and loneliness.
Here’s where we should together remember a word from our definition above: release. We will be released from all this one day. And as He draws all people to Himself, He often does it by releasing them from their bondage in this harsh world. Hallelujah.
This man whose name points to a Redeemer had a group of people helping him out: the temple servants living on Ophel. If you glance back at our map you’ll see Ophel labeled near the temple. It was a fortified mound or hill inside the city. The servants living there had easy access to their place of service. And so do we. As we consider the people He has put in our lives and the areas of bondage in our world, we can know opportunities for service are right at our front door.
The second group of volunteers listed are the Tekoites. Tekoa is a city of Judah, best known for being the prophet Amos’ hometown.
These men traveled back to Jerusalem to throw in on the rebuilding effort. Their section was near the great projecting tower. This tower has been listed twice in the previous few verses, but this is the first time the word great was used to describe it.
Great here is gadol – high, prominent from gadal – grow up, advance, magnify, promote. And it is in reference to migdal – tower, podium. Oh could we? Could we grow up into Him Who is the Head in order to use any podium He hands us for His promotion?
It seems to be the way we throw in during our tenure here as He continues to make all things new.
It’s 2nd Saturday time! Grab your canvas bag and shop local.
At Wichita Art Museum enjoy Yoga on the Lawn this Saturday August 12th from 9-10. This is for all levels – come & stretch!
Don’t miss this week’s Market-To-Table Culinary Experience at Old Town Farmer’s Market this Saturday the 12th. Market runs from 7 to noon, but the Kids Eat Right experience begins at 9:00.
Also this Saturday enjoy Customer Appreciation Day at Kansas Grown Farmer’s Market at 21st & Ridge. Tasty samples, drawings & prizes, along with special savings for you, their customer.
Watermark is hosting a couple of authors throughout the next week. Marci Penner will be featured for an author talk on her book Kansas Guidebook 2 for Explorers tonight, August 10th, at 6:00.
And Heather Harpham will be giving an author talk and signing of her memoir Happiness Wednesday, August 16th, at 6:00
Fun! This year’s Avenue Art Days Launch Party is this Tuesday, August 15th from 5:30-8:00. Park at East High and meet under the I-135 underpass near the murals. You can enjoy food, art/artist reveals, tag-line contest, and live music. If you’re wondering if you’re invited, you are.
Next $1 Wingnuts Game is this Monday, August 14th
Our next Candid Conversation on Race is this Monday August 14th at Rockwell. It will be the final installment of Race: The Power of an Illusion, exploring “whiteness” and privilege, and featuring a facilitated discussion following the film viewing.
Ooo...Fall Gardening Classes this Monday from 5:30-7:00 pm at Central. Registration required.
KMUW is hosting another Engage ICT this Saturday August 12th from 2:00-3:30 at Rockwell Branch. They want to hear your thoughts on your neighborhood and any community needs. Come throw in while kids are entertained with an art activity. People are awesome.
Learning Circle Classes are on:
Rise of Superheroes this Monday from 6-7:30 pm at Central.
Plus Resume, Networking and Interview Skills this Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 at Evergreen.
And Make a Website this Wednesday from 4-5:30 at Central.
Let’s learn something new.
Have a great weekend!
Worshiping in the mountains
We made it to Wyoming
And South Dakota
This was our view
Custer State Park
Crazy Horse Monument was incredible
Mt Rushmore, baby
On to KC for Dave & Buster’s
And a Royal’s Game
+ Aunt & Uncle time
Your 7 Days?
Final Friday is on tomorrow (and check out Downtown Wichita’s new web design)
Reverie will be hosting Kenzie Alizabeth’s work + coffee & conversation
And see Josh Johnico at Gallery Alley beginning at 5:30.
For more participating galleries, check out Final Friday’s Facebook page.
Wichita Art Museum is hosting Tai Chi on the Lawn again this Tuesday, August 1st, beginning at 7 pm.
Senior Wednesday at WAM on August 2nd will feature Docent’s Favs. Enjoy checking out what each docent’s favorite works of art are in the museum.
Tonight Wichita Parks & Rec and Downtown Wichita are hosting Naftzger Park Open House from 5:30-7:30. The new redesign will be discussed – come throw in your ideas.
Looks like the last free swim day will be this Saturday, July 29th, at Evergreen from 1-6.
Do you know about Building Bridges Through Books? Very cool.
Are you interested in becoming a Master Gardener? There is an informational meeting on Tuesday, August 1st from 10 – noon.
Robert Rebein Writing Workshop this Tuesday, August 1st, from 4:00-5:30 prior to his author talk and signing of Headlights on the Prairie at 6:00 p.m.
And catch Camp Watermark – Read It! Play It! this Wednesday, August 2nd, from 11-1:30. Registration required.
Last day to pick up prizes for summer reading is tomorrow, Friday July 28th, at the Library. Don’t forget! (I’m talking to myself.)
Tomorrow’s Summer Throwback Movie is The Princess Bride.
Have a wonderful weekend!