Daily Diary – 1/2/18

Why I Write These:

This is an initiative I started in 2018 to begin documenting my life better. It’s meant to be a snapshot of a day both for public disclosure of what is going on, both good and hard things in my life. It also serves as a record that I hope to be able to look back on in future years. This concept was inspired by my grandfather, Leon Milton Buttermore, who has a memory that I am envious of, and I hope that by doing this I am able to be the kind of man who starts to treasure the things given him.

Daily Highlights:

I started off the day a bit slow getting up after reading a bit later than I perhaps should have. But got rolled out of bed around 7:45 to study Scripture. I found myself in Ezekiel 37 as I near the end of that study. It was the passage about the dry bones. What strikes me is that Ezekiel is told to prophesy (essentially preach) to the bones and then see the true words of the Lord come true.

How cool is that concept! As someone intrigued by ministry options laying before me, it was extremely encouraging to think about how powerful it is when we open our mouths and, instead of propelling our own faulty thoughts, we seek to proclaim the words the Lord has left for us. It made me think of two separate passages.

One, I enjoyed the continuity that the Old Testament has and the New Testament has in the Parable of the Growing Seed (Mark 4:26-29) which states that a Farmer sows seed (the Gospel) and then after that, it doesn’t matter if he eats or sleeps – the seed grows by itself. What a fun continuity to see that even in the Old Testament God is showing us that the power lies in His word proclaimed and not in any other means. It also just brough me back to Ephesians 6:19-20 where Paul prays that evertime he opens his mouth, he hopes that he will proclaim the mystery of the Gospel for which he is an ambassador in chains. Every. Time. I have some work to do on that front, I have no doubt. People need to hear the Good News and I need to trust the seed to grow sometimes even in the unlikeliest of soils. Lord give me faith to see your Word preached.

After I studied the Word a bit, I spent the morning reviewing a client’s account. This client had a slower Q4 than normal and we’re trying to make sure the ship gets righted and Q1 gets off to a great start! We had a meeting about it, and I think there is solid directed and alignment after diagnosing some issues. So I’ll be excited to see where that heads! But it does mean Q1 will stay active. Trying to always learn that I work for the Lord and that I do this to please Him and He’s honored by intense labor, and I don’t do this for financial gain. I hope I’m able to, through my work, demonstrate how the Gospel produces, or at least ought to produce, a little bit different type of employee.

I did take a break from working with this client to get lunch at Slim’s with Cole Penick. There’s a great guy. We get lunch every week and he’s become a dear friend, so I imagine he’ll pop up frequently in these blog posts. It’s just fun to have someone who you can switch between hearty laughter and weighty conversations and they don’t miss a beat either way. It’s always a good time. Cole was pretty cold, and I have to say he had good reason to be so! It was chilly out there, folks. Seems like it was under 10 degrees for most of the day. We did see Stephen Martin, our Community Pastor, out at lunch with his kids. Cooper is a high schooler I have the pleasure of serving in Youth Group. Stephen took the week off of work this week since he was supposed to preach last week, but since church got cancelled he’s on the docket for this week. He said it was a bit of a “double-edged sword” to have that happen. I’m praying he balances the week off well with still maybe spending some time on the sermon. I haven’t done nearly as much preaching, but I know how tempting it is to keep going back to your sermon to try to make it as excellent as possible. Hopefully he’s able to rest easy in the Spirit’s power and trust what the insight He’s been given. I’d bet he does a good job, for what it’s worth.

Well, I’m back home and I finished Furies of Calderon for a bit of a stress-release from work. That was an intriguing read. It wasn’t a surprising book in terms of developing plot. I foresaw a lot of the twists and turns before they happened, and it lost a lot of emotional punch by using its magic system to a bit too much Deus Ex Machina. It is a 6-book series, so I understand not wanting to kill off your main characters too quickly, but you really can’t play with your readers that much before it becomes cheap when they finally do die. So I hope they’re careful with that. I also hope that some of the romantic elements do not get any more intense in future books. Some of these Fantasy series start off with fairly light tones of the romantic encounters between characters, but many of them get heavier as the series goes on. If that’s the case with this one, I may have to put it down but it wasn’t bad this book so I’ll continue on.

I actually think that just reflects the human heart and sexuality apart from God when authors do this. It’s hard to look careless sexuality in the face when unanchored and not feel your resolve weaken until the point where you find that you want more and more of it. You don’t even notice the escalation as your heart hardens and, sometimes, you are given over to depravity as you deny God’s design (Romans 1). Authors should beware their instincts to keep pushing boundaries. Books don’t need deeply sexual encounters in them to provide a thrill, but I think that, unfortunately, so many of these books and their authors secretly find the concept of sex so much more thrilling than anything else that it starts bleeding into books the more they go along. Eventually they cheapen it so much that it just becomes gross. Beware cheap sexuality lightly exchanged. Even the most precious of diamonds can lose its luster if not cared for well. There’s a reason the Royal Jewels in London sit in display cases most the time rather than, say, being worn about by the maid. We’d do well to think more about the things we give up too easily now that we’ll wish we still had years down the road. I hope I am not ignorant of the things in my life to which this should pertain to me.

I believe I’ll sign off now. Relatively uneventful day. But a good day. Work, lunch with a brother in Christ, and some fun reading. I’ll end by reading Genesis 3-6 to keep on my pace to read the Bible by the end of the year, and then read a bit of Bobby Jamieson’s Going Public as I keep trying to wrestle with the doctrine of Baptism.

Tomorrow I plan to wake up around 6AM and try to go to Fitness One, my new gym. Excited to start having it right across the street and get back into lifting a bit more intensely!

Until tomorrow, may everyone have a safe night. Remember that every time we close our eyes and wake up and draw breath, it is a gift from Christ. Whether you acknowledge it or not, some day He’ll split open the sky and ride out with a host at his back (Revelation 19:11-16) and I hope that when you bow the knee to Him, it’s as an inheritor in the Christ’ glory, not as an enemy kneeling for the headman’s axe. If you don’t know what that means, call me and we’ll open up a Bible and I’d love to tell you about this Savior of the world and what He’s done.

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