OWAAT August 5: Dog Days of Summer

Alan Padgett gives an overview of Ezekiel the prophet:

Daily Bible readings:

August 5 – Ezekiel 21
August 6 – Ezekiel 22
August 7 – Ezekiel 23
August 8 – Ezekiel 24
August 9 – Ezekiel 25
August 10 – Ezekiel 26
August 11 – Ezekiel 27


One of the reasons why The New Interpreter’s Bible / The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary is one of my favorite commentaries is because it helps talk me down from the ledges when I feel like the Bible and I aren’t getting along so well – often in that when biblical scholars converse with biblical texts with which I have struggled to little avail, they shed very helpful light on the world and people behind the text.


I did not know until this very moment that there is an assuredly blessed 40 Day Journey Series – all with impressive theologians and/or spiritual guides. While we won’t read them all in a row (though the temptation is great), we will begin with 40-Day Journey With Howard Thurman, because we all need to know not only who Howard Thurman is, but also consider the ways by which he approached life, theology, and especially the civil rights struggle.

About the series:

Imagine spending forty days with a great spiritual guide who has both the wisdom and the experience to help you along the path of your own spiritual journey. Imagine being able to listen to and question spiritual guides from the past and the present. Imagine being, as it were, mentored by women and men who have made their own spiritual journey and have recorded the landmarks, detours, bumps in the road, potholes, and wayside rests that they encountered along the way – all to help others (like you) who must make their own journey. (p. viii)

I would greatly enjoy seeing this series expanded so that we may explore these themes with a broader variety of wise people, particularly with more women of color.

About Howard Thurman, editor Donna Schaper notes,

In a time when mysticism and social action are enjoying a noisy divorce, Thurman is a model of the marriage of mysticism and social action worth noting. In a time when ‘moral values’ have once again been reduced to ‘private sexual behavior,’ Thurman’s vigorous and Christian defense and support of the ‘people whose backs are against the wall’ is a fine example of the marriage of religion and politics. Finally, in a time when many announce with pride that they are not ‘religious but instead spiritual,’ Thurman’s own early development of a contagious ecumenical spirituality puts him in the founder’s seat. (p. xi)

This week we will read pages viii – xxi of 40-Day Journey With Howard Thurman. What do you hope to get out of this journey?


Some books come along at just the right time (not all, though, but I am certainly grateful when books do come along in timely fashion!). The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way is one of those for me. Having been a part of the FBCO Gamaliel affiliate organization MCU now for a couple of years, and having done a good amount of reading and thinking about FBCO, I have come to a place where I am truly ready to live a more thoughtful experience as an activist – one that gives me more of what I need from this work. Of course this work isn’t and shouldn’t be entirely about me and the others who give of our time to activist and organizing work – and yet as I learned at Gamaliel week-long national leadership training, discovering and focusing on one’s self-interest in the midst of this work is a key to its sustainability.

And it is sustainability in which I am interested. While some of us burn brightly on projects for a short while, then let them fall away, I am interested in doing this for the long haul, in doing as complete work as I can for as long as I can. I think that in order to not get burned-out on this work it is important to have strategies for sustainability and continuity in our work. (This is something that FBCO networks and affiliate organizations can do some good work on!)

As Hillary Rettig (author of The Lifelong Activist) notes in the Introduction, “My goals is to empower you to live a happy life that includes an effective and sustainable activist career, and in particular to help you avoid the burnout that afflicts so many activists.” (p. xii) As she puts it, the knowledge she brings to this book is that “the secret to success as an activist, as well as in life itself, is to live a life that is as much as possible an expression of your core values.” (p. xiii)

What are you doing right now to make your work sustainable and continuous over the long haul? What would you like to do?

Check the Think! Pray! Act! calendar for ideas and things to do.

Check out the Find Your FBCO Map to find your local faith-based community organizing affiliate and connect with the people who are working together to live out their dreams of a more just world!

What’s going on in your living of the Gospel? Let us know in the comments, in our e-mail discussion group, or on social media.

“Family Separations: A Word to the Church.” Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), n.d. https://disciples.org/resources/justice/immigration/family-separations/.

“Reclaiming Jesus.” 17 January 2017. http://reclaimingjesus.org/home.

Almada, Samuel E. “Ezekiel 1-39.” Pages 273–84 in Global Bible Commentary. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2004.

Broockman, David, and Joshua Kalla. “Durably Reducing Transphobia: A Field Experiment on Door-to-Door Canvassing.” Science 352.6282 (2016): 220–24. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/352/6282/220.

Calhoun, Adele Ahlberg. Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2015.

Digital Theological Library. “Open Access Digital Theological Library | a Virtual Library for Theology, Religious Studies, and Related Disciplines.” Open Access Digital Theological Library, n.d. http://oadtl.org/.

Luther Seminary. “Enter the Bible,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/.

Murphy-Shigematsu, Stephen. “How to Sustain Your Activism.” Greater Good, 13 March 2017. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_sustain_your_activism.

Padgett, Alan. “Old Testament: Ezekiel.” Enter the Bible, n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/oldtestament.aspx?rid=46.

Schaper, Donna, ed. 40-Day Journey with Howard Thurman. 40-Day Journey. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Books, 2009. https://openlibrary.org/books/OL23575518M/40-day_journey_with_Howard_Thurman.

Society of Biblical Literature. “Bible Odyssey,” n.d. http://www.bibleodyssey.com/.

Tea, Kristen. “To My Friends Who Are Sick Of Politics.” MotherWise, 15 August 2017. https://motherwiselife.org/to-my-friends-who-are-sick-of-politics/