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.
Got up this morning and ran over to Cracker Barrel to meet Guy Wilcox, Morgan Montgomery, and Daniel Watkins. We were discussing some things that we’re going to be trying to tackle with high school this semester! Super pumped. Sounds like some good lessons. I’ll get some more chances to teach as well as be moving into more discipleship with a few of the high schoolers. That will be fun. Also, Cracker Barrel gives out some insane portions for breakfast, but I loved it!
I took some time after breakfast to study the Word. I was in Ezekiel 41 and had to take some time to dig into the passage to draw things out, but as I let the passage sink in some really cool thoughts came to me that I believe the passage intended us to see:
- One, God is a God of order. This is clear from His first act of creation and is just demonstrated again in the restoration of the Temple. His inspiration of the original in the mind of Solomon was exquisite, and He shows that He wants to do the same copy of it. The Holy of Holies is 20 cubits by 20 cubits. A perfect square. The temple overall is 100 cubits by 100 cubits. 100 being a symbolic number of completion as well as a square as well. Just order everywhere. Even the sets of 3 point to triunity and completion. There are so many things of 3 that are distinct and yet 1 in purpose that it cannot but help but be a bit of a mysterious reveal of what will later be the way God operates in the Trinity.
- Two, God once more demonstrates that as we approach Him, we do not do by a broad road. As you go through the temple, the path towards the presence of the Holy One narrows. Your first entrance into the portico (40:48) is 14 cubits wide. Then the outer court has an entrance of 10 cubits. Finally, as you enter into the Holy of Holies, you get a width of 6 cubits. No person approaches God by a wide path. Narrow is the road that leads to life.
- Also, intriguing that among the things carved on the temple as you come into it are cherubim. As the angelic being that is a guardian placed outside of Eden, I think that this cherubim surely would have brought to mind what was lost to man. Even as you approach, it is a painful reminder of the fallenness of man and that only through grace and mercy do we have hope of being restored to what once was.
- Interesting that Ezekiel does not go into the Inner Court. Ezekiel. One of the great prophets of the Lord cannot go in during a vision! God’s presence demands amazing atonement to be allowed in. Doesn’t this just humble you? We approach the throne of God (hopefully) every single day! And we don’t think twice about it. We should remember what a gift it is that the massive atonement that was required for God’s presence to become something that can be so readily approachable has been paid and we are the recipients of that promise!
After I left there, I went back home to work on one of my main accounts today. This was one of those days where I feel like I got hit over the head with a club at work. They’re down about 75% year over year, and I have no idea why, if I’m honest. I swear we’re doing everything the same as we were a year ago. Which, may be part of the problem? That means that we have to reinvent our thought process to figure out what is different and solve things. A bit stressful since jobs depend on it. Lord, give me wisdom if this is where you want me to stay. Because right now, I’m not 100% sure what the solution looks like for this company, but I am optimistic that with some committed thought and determination we can figure it out.
I have another client who is still recovering from some rough months wanting to pull back on some efforts and worrying we’re too broad. It’s always sensitive dealing with owners who want to protect their babies. I get it. I want to help them. Hopefully I am. But I’m encouraging him to not pull back. We have a plan and a good focus, and I want to get more effective. It’s moments of tension that lead to greater strength in the future. It’s such a natural tendency to want to shrink in, pull back, etc. when things get tough. But that’s just historically a terrible move for businesses that want to really grow. That’s not to see it’s never right. Just that I am pushing back on him to let the campaigns continue to be optimized to performance. That means a bit of discomfort. How often are like this in our own lives? Unwilling to follow Jesus through he storms of the life and so we actually get lost out on the storm much longer than necessary when Jesus meant to lead us powerfully and decisively through it to the sunny shore on the other side. Thankfully, even when we’re weak and unfaithful to endure, the Lord can silence the winds and the waves that we have found ourselves unable to see any way out of.
I left there and went to hit up lunch with Cole at Slim’s for our weekly lunch. He tried to be sly and order a pickup order ahead of time. Didn’t pan out because he ordered to the wrong location! But they refunded him and we enjoyed our meal together. Maybe he even got double points on his app? I’m not sure! He gave me some good advice on my apartment neighbor. I think the Lord wants to work on my heart in this and I need to be open to it more than I am. And perhaps the very fact that this pushes me out of my comfort zone is in and of itself the point. I so often feel confident facing most any situation. But the Lord can throw curveballs, sinkers, knuckleballs, and a ton of other pitches that keep me wholly dependent on Him. Cole’s two best pieces of advice (amongst many) that anyone should take with them:
- Give more than you feel you need to.
- Expect them to be able to handle more than you think they can.
I think those are great principles for trying to approach this friendship. Hopefully I can figure out how to really love this neighbor!
After lunch, I had phone calls for a majority of the afternoon on behalf of the aforementioned client. So, not a lot of extra work getting done at that point. But there were some good things to come out of them. More confirmation that we’re not sure what the problem between 2017 and 2018 is, which isn’t great. But it set the stage to hopefully be able to start tackling the problem over the next couple days. The only option not available to us is to let things lie as they are. So we will carry on and figure it out.
After work, I went over to Terry and Melissa Irwin’s house and visited with them and their son, Athen, and daughter, Ella. They have had an interesting medical past. I’ll let them tell their own story, but to hear much of that is just an incredible thing to hear! To know people who have gone through all those things and still have a heart for God is really encouraging. They’re a cool couple. Quirky in all the right ways and authentic and willing to laugh and dialogue well. I hope to get to spend more time with them soon.
It was cool to see Terry, who just last night had been talking about trying to get up to get deeper time in the Word, actually was able to do that with some accountability from Scott and theat faithfulness showed up! He was teaching me things from Matthew 13 and my own eyes benefitted from his faithfulness. Just a reminder that what we do individually affects the rest of the body. That was from our sermon! Individual business is family business. Let’s take care of ourselves and by so doing take care of others well.
We ate spaghetti and some potato bacon soup, which is Melissa’s favorite apparently? Super good! I appreciate the meal and the hospitality. Terry and I talked for hours and probably could have kept on going. I won’t try to say what all we talked about, but we went from everything on discipling men with sexually immoral urges to what it looks like to be an imperfect and yet confident Elder in the church. Terry’s a great brother and I’m glad he made it.
Athen is hilarious to listen to. He brought down Rogue One at one point and asked if it was a Star Wars movie. Terry said yes, but Athen didn’t believe him. He’s convinced that it’s not a Star Wars movie and his dad is insane. What a hoot! Kids require lots of care, I have no doubt. But there’s something about them that, when approached in the right spirit, makes them super enjoyable to be around.
Well, it was super cold and my car has been not liking starting up all day, but I made it home. I am glad for the Lord’s faithfulness to me through increasing possession of the fruits of the Spirit and through the community He has given me at church. Today is exactly the kind of day that one year ago would have driven me to sexual indulgence and sin because I’d be stressed out over work and tired from probably not enough sleep. But I have hardly felt that tension today, and even though I had a few thoughts about it no part of me has latched on to it. I’m not in the clear — I know that. But it’s nice to have nights where that part of me really just feels… dead. There was a time in my life when that never happened. Lord, continue to break me down and destroy all that is in opposition to you!
Well, it’s off to bed. Reading Total Money Makeover, Ilse Witch (Book 1 of Jerle Shannara), and Genesis 41 & 42.