One of my favorite books in the OT is the book of Nehemiah. It's about #3 in terms of the historical books. Ruth is #1 and Esther is #2--I just have to give some props to my girls! :) But in terms of how we should act as leaders in God's church & Kingdom (whether we hold official leadership positions or not), I don't think there is a better example, other than Christ. Nehemiah had a heart, not only for God, but also for God's people.
I've listened to several sermon series on it as well and it just moves me. The reason I mention this is because yesterday at our new church here in TT, they announced several weeks of diving into Nehemiah--with the topic called "rebuilding." They picked this at a time when the pastor just left and the church is in search of a new leader. It also comes at a very personal time where I feel like the season of transition is coming to a close and our real priorities and focus become more clear, as a family and for me specifically on what work The Lord has for me now.
I have felt convicted for quite awhile about my drinking. It's not to alcoholic levels by any stretch but it certainly hinders me from being all I can be for The Lord. Ephesians 5:17-19 says "Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,"
Needless to say, I've felt very foolish and have felt apart from The Lord, because of my own doing, through my alcohol consumption. So, yesterday I decided to fast from alcohol for 40 days as I want to be filled with The Spirit and I want to see what The Lord has in store for me/us, especially because I felt alcohol was dulling my sense to it.
This may not seem like a big deal, but given the culture I'm now in and my lifestyle, it means a lot to me. It is also the first step in rebuilding my spiritual life in a way that is meaningful. It's the first brick laid so to speak. I also found a study on Nehemiah and plan to study it throughout the next 40 days as well.
Please be in pray for myself and my family during this time. That we will be strengthened and our opens will be open to God's will for us. Also, please pray for our protection, from the snares and flaming arrows of the evil one, who is I'm sure not at all happy about my decision to step away from his distractions back into the light of The Lord.
More to come as I dive into Nehemiah!