Walls to Build

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By James Decker

My friend Lee Burton is a ranch manager in Albany. He’s also one of the most thoughtful people that I know, in all facets of his life. He spends as much time thinking about the restoration and renewal of rural communities as I do. Recently, he proposed this analogy and I’ve not been able to shake it from my mind.

I have long been inspired by the character and leadership of Nehemiah in the Old Testament. If you aren’t immediately familiar with the details, Nehemiah was a Jewish exile in Persia. While serving as cupbearer to the Persian king, Nehemiah heard from some travelers that Jerusalem was a wreck. The people who remained there were in trouble. The city wall was broken down, its gates burned by fire. Nehemiah was greatly troubled. After a lengthy period of mourning, fasting, and praying, he asked God for guidance on this situation. After a conversation with the king, Nehemiah departed with a mission to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.

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