Building: Walls, Boundaries

So, I’ve already said that I believe when Building: Foundations First  is important (or restoring). Walls and boundaries for protection are also very important, and perhaps necessary before the building is complete.

There is always a need for a relatively safe place, especially if rebuilding after a trauma (earthquake, emotional upheaval) or battle (war, personal attack). A rebuilder needs clearly defined boundaries to keep threats at bay or from which to see a potential threat coming and prepare to defend. Clear boundaries also give direction as to where one’s responsibility for building lies and , consequently, what it might be that one will be responsible for.

We each are responsible for building and rebuilding what is our own, but it’s healthy, resourceful, and community-minded to seek out those who can be trusted to assist with establishment and ‘border protection.’ If we are starting from scratch, we’re possibly in unfamiliar territory; there may be others who have built with similar intentions as ours in the past. Making use of successful methods and standards is better than ‘reinventing the wheel.’ If, on the other hand, we are rebuilding after battle or trauma we may be in need of a ‘kindred spirit’ to help define where the boundaries need to be and of the stuff they could/should be made of.

It’d be nice to think that everyone was supportive of our building efforts and goals, and that everyone understood or had the same goals and commitment that we do. But that is rarely, if ever, the case. This is fine, because the world is a much more colourful and beautiful place for its diversity. When looking for someone to help stand guard or instruct us as we build, we want to look for someone who can see into what we’re about or is at least desirous of supporting us in our building goals even if their’s differ. As we begin to build we must also be on guard ourselves, so that when our enlisted scouts give the call we battle/defend together.

Sadly, some will actually attempt to compromise our building, or even prevent its ever beginning, or destroy what has begun. Sometimes this occurs with open defiance, other times with deceit and false offers of assistance. The fruit usually tells what sort of tree you are dealing with. Look for the fruit, it’s not usually difficult to spot and recognise true support amidst covert opposition. ‘Kindred spirits’ are good at helping to recognise the kind of fruit you’re dealing with as well.

A friend recently informed a group of us that ancient Roman shields could be ‘locked’ together during attack so that the group could be better protected beneath the rows of shields. Gather a group of kindred spirits, supporters and experienced builders to ‘lock shields’ with you as you build, especially if you’re re-building! Set your boundaries, understand you goals and values, and start to build.

One day soon you can sit back and look at the beautiful fruit of all your imaginings, creativity, effort, and community – in fact, take moments along the way to recognise the early fruit as you build…rewarding.

Thanks again to Ezra and Nehemiah for re-building guidelines.


Seasons Change

All bronzed and dry with heat

From summer-length of days

Will see the dead seed fall

Wait out the season’s haze


When showers shall begin

Fall on settled dust and grain

Moistened, warm, implanted

The dead will shoot again


Needs be the death of old

Then nourishment anew

For shoots of green afresh

See hope, just pushing through


New life again shall come

From old once dead and dry

When showered and shone upon

Earthbound from the sky


Nourishment raining down

New growth reaching up

The dead will fall, the living rise

That hope might fill my cup






Building: Foundations First

Thinking about building, or re-building, or restoration, or establishment that lasts.

My understanding is that foundations matter. Whether the need is deep into the sea-bed or a broad base; whether a firm concrete floor or well spaced stumps, bearers and joists; whether a corner stone or paver to ensure straight alignment. It wouldn’t matter the quality of the work or materials added, if the foundation is not aligned correctly, broad enough, deep enough, strong enough or of appropriate material.

So, what are my foundations? Are they quality material for building a life on? Are my foundations deep and broad to hold me when storms pass my way? Have I allowed the progression of the establishment of well-spaced/timed stages? Do I have a sure and straight corner stone to measure all other building against? Where do I look to find my foundations? On the soles of my feet, the ground I walk on, the chair where I sit…?

Have I ever considered my inner self? What has formed me to be me, and were those things true and strong for adding on to?

Certainly the parenting I experienced, the school or home education I sat under, the nature of my relationships, things done and said to me, things I did and said to others, world events, local community events, spiritual dimensions of the lives around me, my physical nourishment or lack-there-of. I’m sure if you sit long and quietly enough, you too could discover what your foundations to the life you live now have been.

Do you find a ‘cornerstone’ there? Something of absolute truth, firm and established? Perhaps your only foundations have been ‘hazy’ at best, unstable, not certain? No matter our age, we can look for the thing that is sure, true, straight and of substance worthy of building onto. This is the foundation that will hold all else we build up so that the beauty of our building is seen, and lasts, and weather’s the storms, and glories in the light.

If your foundations were shaky, start again! The memory of the unstable will serve as a guide for what to steer clear of this time; and a message of guidance for others building around you – never wasted, but better replaced with the stable. Have a go, I know you can!!

For those interested, I learned much about re-building from Ezra and Nehemiah.