Daily Diary – 1/7/18

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:

Today was  a great day! Sundays tend to be amazing as they’re a day set aside for intentionality with the Lord. That’s always a rewarding experience.

Started off the day with getting to church and attending ABF. We discussed the doctrine of Glorification. Some great talking points from people. We talked about how Jesus being raised from the dead was a reward from the Father for His perfect sacrifice. What an amazing picture! The Trinity is restored and the world is saved in Christ’s sacrifice being accepted. Thank the Lord! We also looked at how Matthew moves from a ‘Come and see’ picture to a ‘Go and tell’ action. How much should this great love and perfect sacrifice that is honored in the glorification of Christ, which we are inheritors in (Romans 8), move us to ‘Go and tell.’ Our God is not dead. He’s alive. He’s alive! Let’s tell people.

Then I moved to the main service. Saw good people. Sam and Polly Fisher were both at church. Good to see Sam moving after his rotator cuff surgery. I need to visit them. Saw Chris Ball and need to try to spend some time with him. He needs love from his church body, and I live in his apartment complex. Seems like an opportune time if I’m willing to sacrifice a bit to love someone. It’s a chance to glorify God in diversity as Chris and I likely would never spend time if Christ were not a common denominator in our lives.

I went into the service and we sang two of my favorite songs today, Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor and Behold Our God. What fantastic imagery and hope to dwell on. I highly recommend listening to them. Guy Wilcox managed to lead us through even a broken string on his acoustic guitar.

Stephen Martin then preached on Revelation 19:11-16. He had some fantastic points and was very encouraging. Some notable sermon highlights and thoughts:

  • God keeps his promises. He came once in the incarnation of Jesus and was a Suffering Servant. But what the Jews were expecting, a conqueror, is promised and will be fulfilled. He had to first be a Suffering Servant to become a Sovereign Savior, but He’s done it and He will return!
  • The body of Christ should look for ways to put on more and more of those fine linens, the righteous acts of the saints, that have been given to her through the grace of God.
  • I ought to pray “Come quickly, Lord” more often. So often my hesitancy to pray that is because I don’t really want it to happen yet. That’s a mind that is too focused on my life now and not one convinced of what I have in eternity that I should long for. Not to say we stop caring about our lives, but, Lord, let my heart soften to that prayer.
  • We tied the passage into Hebrews 1:3, but what stuck out to me wasn’t exactly the part that was referenced. Instead, I latched onto the idea that in Hebrews 1:3 everything is sustained by the Word of God. Jesus sustains us. But in Revelations, the nations are devastated by a sword that comes out of the mouth of our Lord. In those final days of judgment, the Lord will righteously and justly stop sustaining those who oppose Him. Every breath, even for those who do not believe, is a gift of sustenance. That will be stripped away if you are not part of the Heavenly host that follows him.
  • Our part in the final battles is the same as it is on Earth: witnesses. We do not have some magnificent part in the battle. We are arrayed in splendor, yes. We ride out as fellow conquerors, but we may as well ride out on recliners with lemonade in cup holders because we sit back and watch the ascended star of our King finally be recognized by all, for better or for worse. How fitting is it that God, who achieved for us our salvation without any of our assistance, is once more the only key player who brings about His great plan. We are recipients of good gifts and nothing more. Remember He sustains you and without Him you are lost and helpless. Fun sermon!

After the sermon, I ended up heading to the Taco Bell Cantina on Dickson St. with some people. Brock Daniels, Nathan and Mary Grace Harris, Chase Chapman, and Wyatt (?) were all there. We had a good time. Brock was asking about whether polygamy would be a sin (he asked this as more of an intellectual exercise than a real conviction question, if you’re wondering about him) and how do we reconcile that with things like the Kinsman Redeemer theology, the story of Reuben and his daughter-in-law (?) who seduces him, and all the kings who have concubines and many wives. The Lord doesn’t necessarily speak directly against these passages, but I haven’t studied them in a while. It’s good to get challenging questions and make sure our theology is settled and based on Scriptural authority. I’ll need to look at that sometime!

Lunch turned very interesting at that point as Richard Douglas McCarver came in. He is a homeless man. He was unabashedly an alcoholic and homeless man looking for money. It was actually a very fun experience seeing different strengths of people help guide the conversation to try to care for this man in a meaningful way. I saw wisdom displayed by Chase and Brock in different ways, and together the three of us were able to have some good conversation with him. I tried to invite him to UBC for our evening service, but he didn’t seem overly interested in that. But he was willing to listen to Scripture and we sowed what seed we could to ensure that he was saved. He said he knows God, but also seemed confused on the divinity of Jesus and is not attached to a local body, so it is always hard to know with confidence that he, who is also an alcoholic, really is saved with statements like that.

He also had a sad story that his sister lives in Farmington, but didn’t seem to want to go to her even though he was despondent about the rain and being out in it. Most homeless people are not homeless due to losing jobs, houses, etc, but by losing social support structures. This seemed to be an example of a man who knew people, but had burned the very bridges that would care for him. I was thankful to the Lord that I know for a fact that both my family I was born into and the spiritual family I share at UBC would not allow me to go homeless, even if catastrophe would strike upon me. What a wonderful peace of mind that is!

Anyways, I pray for Richard. He’s obviously homeless in seemingly a few ways (physically and spiritually homeless). We gave him some Taco Bell, Chase gave him a ride somewhere, and we were able to quote Scripture to Him. Holy Spirit, we did what we could. Please do the rest to convict him and help him get his life turned around.

I did really, really enjoy doing evangelism and spiritual good with members of the body. How fun to see different members of the body working together to take care of one of God’s creation! I hope we get more opportunities to do more of that.

After lunch, I went home and crashed. Ended up sleeping for about 2 hours before heading to the Sunday evening service to help run sound. I’m kind of the backup person who helps out there. Always happy to help serve the body when and where I can!

Ray Lippig brought the word from Psalm 62:5. He had 3 main points that in times of trial we ought to:

  1. Talk to our soul and instruct it in truth, rather than listen to the wayward tendencies our soul might take us down if left untended.
  2. Have a laser focus on God in those times of trial as our rock.
  3. See God as a God of hope, and place our expectant joy in His promises, even if they seem distant at the time.

Ray did a great job! He was well-paced and had a smooth voice. Didn’t seem flustered and was able to present his points with some good clarity and I especially liked his first point as it was good application to remember to not let my soul do the talking, but to talk to it with the very words of Scripture and make sure it is heading in the right direction!

After that, Michael Gaddy and I talked to Norma Eastburn about attending our Life Group. I volunteered to give her a ride and she said she might take me up on it! Lord, what a marvelous response! Let her do so, and I will heartily give her a ride to our Life Group. She is someone we’ve wanted to “recruit” into our group. We’d like more age diversity and a chance to love more people in our body. What a wonderful gift it would be if she’d come!

Then Brock and I had some good conversations about what does it look like to, some day, open up your home to the homeless (thinking of Richard here). It’s not a one-size-fits all answer, but thinking through what your principles might be will help you be guided and convicted by the Holy Spirit when the moment comes. We also had some good talk about dating and what that looks like. He’s a much wiser man than I was at his age. I wish I would have had half the sense he does. Thank the Lord that younger men are learning meaningful engagements with their sisters in Christ. I was such a fool, jerk, and reckless young man. I hurt people I wish I hadn’t. I’m glad Brock seems to be intent on not doing that.

His parents don’t understand his goals much, but I pray that he’ll be able to not feel pressured into anything that he wouldn’t find honoring to God.

Then I went to the Wilcox’s for a game of Settlers of Catan. Guy and Carolyn Wilcox were there along with Abbey Allen, Courtney Osborne, and Mario Moore. Guy and Carolyn have two daughters, Eta and Pearl, and we ate some food before playing. I grabbed a Wendy’s 4 for $4 meal on the way – a solid meal for the price! Then we laughed and enjoyed one another’s company.

I got trounced in Settlers of Catan, but enjoyed learning how to play a bit. It’s not such a bad game as I remember about half a dozen years ago. I got bored last time I played, but was also way more impatient. Regardless of getting beat, I had a great time. I think my biggest strategy mistake was that I role played too much. I had a strategy that was basically the story of The Hobbit. I started off in a port city (my Lake-Town) and next to a mountain (Lonely Mountain) where I declared that I would build a mountain hall. And my next city was placed in the forest (Mirkwood) and I foolishly thought I could build a trading road between them. Nope. Not even close. But my dwarfish people, despite losing were a content bunch with a nice city and a decent mountain hall to live in. 1 Timothy 6 says that if we have food and clothing, we ought to be content. My Dwarves have that, so I hope they’re staying content.

Mario was happy that he got longest road and declared that a victory, even though Guy really won by playing a Development Card with a Victory Point at the end. Carolyn disputed his ability to play it, but the rules were on his side. Family drama!

That’s my day! It was a fantastic day. Rainy and little chilly, but not overly terrible. The Lord was kind to me today. He is kind every day. Every day is full of his mercies, even to those who are apart from him. He gives breath and a new opportunity to turn to him. Do we realize how much each breath is a gift? A sustaining, divine act of intervention to keep us alive? I doubt I really do a good job of that. Lord, help me draw each breath with the knowledge of your divine upholding. You certainly didn’t die for me to just be happy. You died so that your name might be finally be glorified, and you’ve graciously decided to allow it to be glorified by some creatures from the dirt you have raised up as princes and princesses.

OH! Emily texted me today. She was asking for prayer that she’d want to get to church more. She went and I’m thankful that her guest pastor spoke on Daniel and seemed to give her what she needed. Lord, bless that man for proclaiming your word and feeding my sister what she needed to be upheld. It breaks my heart in joy to see her wanting to grow into membership there and I hope that people, almost awkwardly, reach out and cling to her there. Each church that preaches the Gospel and lives it out is a miracle. Lead my sister into deeper knowledge of how great that miracle of your body being left on Earth in the form of the church is. I was able to share some Scripture with her, which she was encouraged by! Thanks for phones where I can share you Word and encourage someone states away.

Lord, why are you so good? Who is man that you notice him? Soften my heart to love you more because you first loved me. I know I’m not perfect, but Lord I want you to take all I have. You deserve it.

Going to bed. It’s late so I’m just going to read Genesis 20-22 to keep up with my annual reading plan and go to bed. Come quickly, Lord. Amen.

 

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