I actually read Nehemiah 11 last week, but since it’s just a list of those who lived in and around Jerusalem, I didn’t have much to say about it.
Nehemiah 12:1-26 – A record of the priests and Levites.
Nehemiah 12:27-43 – They rejoiced and celebrated what God had done through them in rebuilding the wall and re-establishing Jerusalem. As he wrote in verse 43 “And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.
Nehemiah 12:44-47 – Restoration of the service at the temple.
Unfortunately, it’s a photoshop, because a van made from 1971 Plymouth Road Runner would be all kinds of awesome. I love the vertical fender flares / bulges.
As seen at Hemmings but they got it from Car Domain who found it at the VW Vortex (scroll down) but it’s made by a member of the Road Runner Nest who goes by the name Capsule. Oh, and he’s done some more.
I love this comment from siscos83camaro on the Car Domain post: “Run run as fast as you can you cant catch me I’m in a Road Runner van.”
In the middle of a post on the future of conservative and progressive Churches of Christ, Jay Guin said this:
Escaping a works-based salvation is not about finding freedom to be selfish. We flee works to find grace — but we’ve not really found grace until grace changes us to become gracious people, that is, people who serve others, especially those others who least deserve it — you know, like us.
It underscores his point – that the future for both groups, and other churches for that matter, lies not in maintaining the traditional path or moving to new ways. It lies in preaching and living the gospel of grace.
Nehemiah 10:1-27 – Quite a few familiar names in this list of people who sealed the covenant: Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah, Daniel, Hezekiah – Are all of these the folks we are familiar with?
Nehemiah 10:28-39 – A re-commitment to the covenant tha God made with Israel, to return to the ways He commanded of them.
It’s no different today than it was then. We too easily forget what we have committed to with our God and fall into the same ways the world operates under. And just like with Israel, it’s not that we don’t know what to do but more that we forget what God has already done. They forgot the rescue from Egypt and the blessings of the promised land, we forget the cross and the grace of Jesus.
When we forget the gospel, we act just like Israel did – blending in with the nations around us.
Dad sings barbershop and has for 42 years or so. I did too for a while and may again at some point. A question that happens every now and then, from folks who aren’t thinking, is “How many are in your quartet?”
Nehemiah 9:1-5 – What started as a simple exercise to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, has come to a full revival and a restoration of the people’s faith and trust in God. I suspect it was never really about the wall for Nehemiah, it was about God and His honor and his people, but I also don’t get the sense that he set out to accomplish this. The people standing, listening to the word for 1/4 of the day and confessing their sins for 1/4 of a day.
So, what happened that they went from building a wall to repentance and restoration of worship? I have to believe that it was Nehemiah’s faith. He relentlessly expressed his belief in God, his passion for His honor, his conviction that God deserved more than a crumbling city and a discouraged people. God was bigger, God was stronger, God was more faithful and Nehemiah wasn’t content to sit and see God get anything less than the best.
And Nehemiah’s faith was contagious, as they worked and watched his determination to honor God, they caught it.
Isn’t this how the Gospel works too? If we set out to get people to be faithful, to push them to a faith that is real and transformative, we will have some success. Some will listen and respond. But, if we simply relentlessly proclaim the gospel of Jesus, never letting up the proclamation of His glory and our inadequacy the people around us will get it. It will affect them, the gospel is contagious.
There surely were plenty of people in Jerusalem with belief in God. Why then did they not do what Nehemiah did? The weight of the world choked their faith, their problems were big and real and they forgot that God was bigger. Nehemiah came and refused to believe that anything was bigger than God and he refused to be deterred from proclaiming His greatness.
So, as I sit in my mediocre life, why, especially in light of the fact that I the love of God made so powerfully real in Jesus, do I act more like the residents of Jeruselem than Nehemiah?
Nehemiah 9:6-25 – As in so many Biblical revivals, it starts with a recounting of God’s goodness to them over the generations, even in spite of their forefather’s unfaithfulness. I wonder as they expressed it and remembered all that He had done, if they felt foolish for drifting away.
Nehemiah 9:32-37 – It comes down not to the ins of their fathers, but to their own sins. They have wandered, they have refused Him, they have forgotten all His faithfulness and they have received the resulting slavery that God had promised.
Nehemiah 9:38 – As a result of seeing their sin in contrast to His goodness, they made a covenant with God (Chapter 10). Isn’t this the gospel message? When we see ourselves honestly – weak, flawed, sinful, ungodly – and God clearly – loving, patient, gracious – we cannot help but fall down and worship.
I never cared about LOL cats before, now I Can’t. Stop. Looking.
Maybe it’s Twitch’s fault.
Nehemiah 8:1-4 – “… and all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.” Nehemiah didn’t set out to restore the people to their worship and following of God, but that is what happened. He simply cared about their fortunes and the city that God’s people had called home.
Nehemiah 8:7-8 – It wasn’t simply read, there were men there to make sense of it for the people.
Nehemiah 8:12 – They rejoiced — why? “because they had understood the words that were declared to them”
Nehemiah 8:13 – The heads of houses meet with Ezra for further training and study.
Nehemiah 8:14-17 – They discovered something in the law that they hadn’t been doing, not in a long time. So, they reasoned and explained that, according to the traditions handed down, things were different now, we just don’t do those things anymore, and there are good reasons.
No, they saw something in the law that they weren’t doing – and they did it!
Nehemiah 7:2 – Qualifications for a leader – “more faithful and God-fearing man than many”
Nehemiah 7:6-65 – A big ol’ list of people. Kinda boring to read, but God told Nehemiah (verse 5) to make this list. These are the ones who put their lives on the line, who’s sweat went into restoring the wall. These are real people with real lives and families who did real work for the sake of God’s people.
Nehemiah 7:21 – Hezekiah get’s a shout out.
Nehemiah 7:70-72 – A record of the gifts to the cause.
Kansas Bob tagged me with this on Facebook. Normally don’t go for most of these memes, but this one I couldn’t resist. Thought I’d do it here instead, but I might post it there too.
Want to play along? Answer for yourself on your blog or Facebook or here in the comments.
- What is your first “vehicular” memory?
That’s hard to pinpoint. I guess it would be riding in Dad’s 1965 Barracuda in a Styrofoam car seat. Mom and Dad were ahead of their time, I had a car seat as a toddler in the early 70’s, but it was just a kiddie chair that they ran the seat belt through.
- What was the first “amazing” vehicle you ever saw?
The first car I remember being awed by was an early 70’s Camaro. It had to be a ’70-’73 because I remember being awestruck by the 4 round tail lights as they went by going the other way on the interstate. I still love Camaros to this day and a ’72 Z-28 RS is high on my favorites list.
- What car did you learn to drive in?
1977 Cutlass Supreme, Mandarin Orange with a Light Buckskin landau top, side moldings and pin striping. 350 Olds (not Chevy) V8 with a 4 bbl.
- In what vehicle did you have your first date?
Probably that same ’77 Olds, maybe Dad’s ’80 Citation 4 door hatch.
- What vehicle do you most remember riding or driving to school?
Well, I drove the Olds many times, then I drove my ’76 Camaro (more on it later), but one of the most memorable was riding with a friend for early driver’s ed classes (he took early bird Chemistry) in his ’68-ish Chevy Nova with 3 on the tree. It barely ran, looked like it had been attacked with a ball bat and was various shades of blue plus black primer. We called it the bruiser.
- What was the first vehicle that was yours alone and where is it now?
I always considered the ’76 Camaro mine, but I think I technically shared it with my sister. I found it in a junk yard a few years later looking for parts for my next car, a ’80 Chevy Monza.
- Have you ever totalled/wrecked a car? Describe.
I had an ’80 Chevy Monza 4 speed hatchback (at right, it started brown and ended up blue. Click the picture for a larger shot.) that had 9 altercations with other vehicles, only 2 of which were my fault. Probably 3 of them should have been considered totaled, but I didn’t have the money so I took the insurance money (except the time I was responsible), went junkyard shopping and put the car back together. It had no less than 3 complete replacement front ends while I owned it.
- Your worst vehicle?
Wow, this one is really hard. I’ve owned some deuseys.
- That ’76 Camaro, lime green metallic with 11 rust holes. Three replacement panels, a full gallon of bondo and a Maaco paint job later it was sort of OK. Saved it from the wrecking yard for a coupleof years anyway.
- The ’80 Monza had door hinge pins that would fall out while you drove. I’d then have to ask my date to get out first so I could climb out the passenger side. Oh, and when my girlfriend was in the car, the heat wouldn’t work. Before picking her up and after dropping her off it was fine (and she still married me!) The clutch cable froze and tore a hole through the firewall and then there was it’s habit of catching on fire, which it did twice. Had to be push started in the end so I always parked at the top of a hill. Sold it to some guy who bought it for his wife, poor woman.
- The ’88 Nissan Pulsar that followed was good looking and fun, but was a real money pit. Spent $5,000 in 3 years just keeping it running. Alternator, couple of timing sensors, a nw ignition coil, three sets of tires, two exhaust systems and it needed both, plus a steering rack, speedo gear and shocks, when I traded it.
- Then there’s the ’88 Grand Caravan SE that Dad gave me that ate a transmission and engine (and AC compressor, radiator, nearly lost a window on the street and the steering column almost fell apart), my current ’99 Honda Odyssey which is on tranny #3 (but has otherwise been great, and Honda paid for both transmission replacements), my current Mazda3 has had some issues and an ’88 Celebrity – ’nuff said.
- What’s your current vehicle, and what’s the most favorite vehicle you’ve had?
Same car, my ’05 Mazda3 5 door. Love the way it looks, love the way it drives and still do at 51,000 miles. I also currently have the aforementioned ’99 Honda Odyssey EX (180,000 miles) and my toy, a 1960 Thunderbird Convertible.
- What is your dream car?
Although a Corvette ZR1 is a very close second, I’ll say the Audi R8 V10 for it’s exotic good looks, supercar performance and Audi design, fit and finish:
Image credit: Autoblog