Daily Diary – 1/4/18

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:

Got up today and started the day by making some scrambled eggs with a fiber bar and chocolate milk. I love chocolate milk. It’s my coffee. Put a bit too much onion powder into the eggs. Note to self: less onion powder.

After getting some physical sustenance, I got some spiritual sustenance as I opened up my Bible. I studied Ezekiel 38 today. Some days, I feel like little details impress me in the Bible, and other days the narrative of the entirety of Scripture takes my breath away. Today was the latter of those. The context was a prophecy against Gog, a chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. It speaks of a day when the Lord will cause the people to come against an unwalled Israelites in a land of flourishing and peace, and they will be destroyed. Couple cool things stood out.

One, Gog is referenced in Revelations 20. So I want to do some work on when this prophecy may have occurred, but it seems that it may be very eschatological in its fullest purpose. Loved the fact that unwalled cities stand secure in the presence of the Lord, which is talked about in Zechariah 2 as well. We don’t need walls. We just need the Lord.

Secondly, how divine is God? He’s so divine that he uses language like “On that day, evil thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme.” What beautiful language of theology! Not only do we have the Lord speaking of His divine foreknowledge “On that day…” showing that the Lord has a day in mind, he also says “You will devise…” to refer to the real actions of men who devise their evil plans. You may argue about Calvinism vs. Arminianism, but this passage and others just speak clearly to the fact that people are truly and utterly culpable for their actions, and the Lord is also sovereignly divine. He’s not merely a good gambler. He’s divine. Sovereign. Omnipotent. You can’t surprise Him. But He’s ordained you to make real decisions in your day. So I hope that today, you’re willing to bend a knee to Him and make yourself pliable to His divine will, which you can either be an enemy of or a friend of.

But finally, speaking of real, let’s talk about the nations listed in this passage. Some of them have names like Gomer, Meshech, Tubal, and Togarmah. Speaking of God’s providence, I had snuck a peek at Genesis 10, which I’m reading tonight (but I’m getting ahead of myself!) and it’s a genealogy. Yaaaawwwwn, right? WRONG! Wrong, wrong, wrong. Who are Gomer, Meshech, Tubal? They’re sons of Japheth, son of Noah. Who is Togarmah? Son of Gomer! What’s the point, Jacob? Wait a second, and I’ll tell you! The point is that Ezekiel references nations who are descendants of people who Ezekiel assumes are real sons of Japheth? Why does this matter? Well, because most people think Genesis is some kind of poetic prose (this is technically true) that doesn’t have historic bearing on the rest of the Bible and our world today. But Ezekiel unabashedly thinks that these are real sons of Japheth. Why does that matter? You’re seeing the point by now. That means Ezekiel thinks Japheth is real. That means he thinks Noah is real. Maybe this doesn’t surprise you, but many out there try to pretend Noah isn’t a literal figure (even though Jesus seems to think he’s real… cf. Matthew 24:37).

But what should blow your mind is how everything in the Bible is a stage. Even genealogies! This genealogy in Genesis 10 has implications for Ezekiel 38, which has implications for Revelation 20. Whoa.

Mind. Blown.

Seriously, God is epic. I just couldn’t help but think how cool He is as He’s revealed through this masterfully woven book. If you think Noah’s flood and the Tower of Babel and creation aren’t historical fact as presented in the Bible, then part of it may be that you don’t understand a God who can so casually get one person (Moses) to record a seemingly unimportant genealogy that screams God’s glory as His plan unfolds in revealed Scripture.

Fall on your face and worship Him. He’s certainly worthy!

But anyways, that’s the main point of what blew my mind this morning. After reading that, I went to work with a client for the whole day. Work has been tough recently. Lots to do. Seems like a lot of clients just haven’t been where they quite need to be and I’m trying to uncover the reasons why we can’t get to where we want. This is tiring and time-consuming and staying on top of it has been difficult. On top of that, I’m about at peak capacity for my own ability to work. So there’s not a lot of room for dilly dallying at it.

Now, I actually think this is a blessing from God. I’ve got enough struggles with my sexuality in the past that idleness isn’t good for me. I certainly don’t learn as much as I do being involved with these companies. And I get way better at my job during seasons like this. So that’s worthwhile. And there’s a certain joy to the struggle, and I’m competitive. So I enjoy the attempt to make these things happen.

But it’s hard keeping everything together. I feel a bit frantic and on the edge with these things, but I’m praying the Lord that He’ll give me wisdom where I need it and if He wants me to stay in these companies that He’ll provide for me and I will glorify His name in doing so. It’ will be interesting to look back on this season in a few months. It may be a bit of exaggeration to say it’s… pivotal to my company. But it feels significant as a season of life.

I did let myself get a little distracted by a fun texting conversation with Michael Engelkemier, who is my partner in crime when it comes to reading Fantasy books. Just when I think I’m catching him, he unloads a wealth of books I haven’t read. He’s expecting a baby in late July. I’m very hopeful for he and Lisa’s marriage and pray that as they start thinking about being parents the Lord draws them even nearer to themselves.

I got lunch with Seth. We ate at Slim’s. Of course we did. I got my first rewards from their app $4. I texted Cole Penick. Of course I did. He put it well by saying that it’s “Better something than nothing for something I was already doing for nothing.” Basically, I was gonna eat at Slims no matter what, so at least this way I get a free meal maybe every quarter or so!

Seth and I spent some time catching up on the holidays. You can be praying for them as they deal with some complications with a pregnancy. I’ll say no more, but if you want to follow along with their story, you can do it here. They’re impressive. They’re not shy about saying it’s hard, but they really are seeking to be faithful witness to Christ in the midst of a storm. Count me as impressed.

Seth is also helping me out with an account. I learned a better way to communicate about project needs as I didn’t equip him very well the first time we met and this time we made big strides in terms of what I needed from him. I’m paying him for it, which I’m not very used to doing! But it’s fun to get a friend involved and work with him a bit. Maybe that’s in our future, eh? Could be a fun future to consider, although I don’t know it’s very serious right now.

After that lunch, went back to work and just put my head down later into the night. I had to cancel my normal Thursday evening with Chaz Miller. I hated doing that, but needed to stay focused on work.

Now watching the Warriors play Rockets on NBA. Kevin Durant is out for Warriors and James Harden out for the Rockets, so a little less exciting than might be otherwise. But a good game. Had a more topical blog post come to mind, so trying to figure that out. But also need to get to lessons started coming out for our Tuesday mornings coming starting on January 23rd. That’s for lessons I lead on sexual idolatry for anyone to come to, but most notably people at my church. We are breaking cultures of silence on sins like pornography, same-sex attraction, and other similar things. You may think these things are widely discussed and, on an academic and societal level, sure they are. But on personal, intimate levels we’re strangely silent. That’s a problem as confession of sins it he only way to find healing from those sins and the stranglehold they have over us (James 5:16, Proverbs 28:13). We want to love each other, and love means holding each other to account sometimes. Praise God for a church willing to support and love in that way.

After I finish writing some tonight, I’m reading Genesis 10-12 tonight and a chapter of The Hobbit. 

That’s all world. Close your eyes tonight. Remember that the world keeps spinning when you sleep, and that’s because there’s a God who is in control and He has a plan that is in motion. It’s both humbling and awe-inspiring to realize you’re not the biggest thing out there, but to realize that God has spoken to you and wants to spend eternity with you.

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