Daily Diary – 1/19/18

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 weak start. Not because I intended it to be, but because I needed it to be. I have just been feeling really, really tired these past few weeks. I’m going to try to go to bed earlier starting this weekend, if possible.

I woke up feeling pretty miserable and so ended up refraining from going to the gym and even opted out of going to my normal Friday discipleship meeting. I rescheduled that and decided to sleep a bit more as well as get a better start on the day for work whereas normally I’ve been getting a slower start recently.

I hate skipping those things. That’s not a long-term solution. I need to get better sleep patterns going. 11PM is my (hopeful) bedtime moving forward. So that way this is not a pattern where I am so drained that I cannot perform what I need to be doing regularly. But it was how I started to do today.

I did start my day off by reading the Word. I was in Ezekiel 42. I’ll be honest that I wasn’t at all sure what I was supposed to be getting out of this text. The common refrain just seemed to be the fact that the priest’s garments were not meant to be worn out into public and the walls separated the holy from the common. The two main takeaways I took from this were:

  1. Thank God we do not need mediators between us and God anymore. That we do not rely on priests to go before God, but instead our a royal priesthood in Christ and through Christ that can boldly approach the throne because Christ lives in us and provides us with the right to direct access to the throne. What a gift!
  2. It matters to God that his holy ones do not become stained by the “common” of the world. We are to be set off. That doesn’t mean we can’t go out into the common, but we need to make sure that the common things of this world never taint our holiness. God did not save us to mix these things together. We are a breed apart from the ordinary nature of this fallen world if we have Christ. Let’s not forget that.

Other than that, there was nothing new I have not noted. I was struck once more by how much God is a God of order. It strikes me that just based on the knowledge of God that I am aware of, evolution is such a counter idea to the nature of God. The chaotic, violent, tumultuous nature of it as a process has no semblance to the Lord I know. I’m not saying He couldn’t have created the world in such a way, but I just doubt that He would have. He’s not chaotic. He’s a driving, organizing being.

After studying I went to the U of A Global Campus in Rogers. I was working with Erin Morgan to get my paperwork done for them so I could instruct a class in February. Erin’s dad is a history major like mine, and her father was from Omaha. So we had some bonding time talking about the great plains of the Midwest as well as some of our favorite parts of Omaha. Perhaps that relationship can develop into deeper conversations in the future.

I started heading towards lunch after that and was listening to a podcast by 9Marks on Leadership and Eldership. They were discussing qualifications and the topic of pornography came up. The men on the podcast were very serious about it, even to the point that they felt that a man looking at it once might be disqualified. Part of me feels that there’s got to be some grace, but I also don’t think their thought process is undue. It is a sin that targets our sexuality and marriage. Since marriage is a picture of how God loves the church, it has serious meaning. I’ve never really thought about it that way since I’ve never attached it quite so fiercely to marriage. Trust me, I think of it very seriously but that was helpful to think of it in a new way. It was also a warning shot past my bow that myself, desiring to potentially help lead a church some day, must take very, very seriously my own qualifications and what that will look in the interview process some day. Lord, give me endurance that produces character that is above reproach that I might most effectively serve your bride. Your will be done, not mine.

I then went and met Luke Stanton for lunch at McAlister’s. It was fairly warm so I left my coat in the car. We talked about many things about what it looks like for someone to pursue ministry and about how even training people up for ministry within the church rather than sending them off to seminary too quickly can help transform cultures in the church. We have a job to do in the church, and helping people realize that is one of my greatest passions I can think of. Luke has helped out many ways in our church in the past and has taken some steps back to get some perspective on what his next steps should be with our body. I think he is looking to try and become more involved again, which is great!

While I was at lunch, I did get a text from one of our elders to do the Prayer of Praise at church this Sunday. I’ll admit that normally I would be extremely excited to do this. But this has been one area of our church I’ve been a bit confused about how we do things and I wasn’t sure if I should accept it or not. I ultimately decided that if I really trust our elders to help guide and lead us (and I do) then to say no was the opposite of that belief. So as a token of trust that, despite my own current lack of understanding, I trust them enough to help serve and lead even as we think about this element of our worship.

I also got a text shortly after that asking me to play drums. Man, it is kind of the worst when you have one thing you’ve already committed to and really want to do something else but they are mutually exclusive. I suppose I could kind of manage to pray and play drums, but it wouldn’t be very logistically conducive and so I had to decline. If I had known that was an option, I’d have loved to play drums. It is one of my favorite ways to serve, even if I don’t think it is one of the best ways I serve, and so I enjoy it when I get to do it every so often.

Luke and I then went to work at Mama Carmen’s for the afternoon. I ended up getting distracted when Karen Trumbo came by and we’re organizing some time of prayer on Sunday morning for our Indian friend, Sherly, who is returning home because her academic project in the United States has not gone well. She’s had a lot of struggles with this program and a critical machine broke down on them, which is unfortunate and they don’t have the funds to fix it. Crazy! Anyways, we’re going to pray for her and see her into the car as she heads to the airport. We’ll miss her.

I’m also working on a spreadsheet for how to help track attendance in our ABF. As one of many helping to lead that group, I think it is imperative we start doing a great job of shepherding our group. So making sure we have good communication lists, tracking who has and hasn’t been at certain things, and being observant is a great way to make sure you can serve those you want to help guide well. I think this will be a very beneficial thing for our group if we can start doing a better job of attending the details in 2018.

Work, I hope is on the uptick. I really want things to work out there. It’s one of those seasons to trust the Lord in. I have realized that these next few months will be some of my highest grossing revenue months ever. So it is odd on one hand to feel like the money is as good as it has ever been, but on the other hand feel as if things are tenuous. Lord, give me peace of mind that I possess dignity not because I have certain clients, but because I am made in your image. And help me remember that if I have food and clothing, that will be enough for me. May you grant me wisdom in my work so that, whether I keep clients or not, you are glorified through my conduct.

Luke and I worked until it was time to go to a popcorn and movie night at Ellen Burns’ house at 6:30PM! This was for our ABF and others who wanted to come. I went to the store and picked up some chocolate chips to melt so we could drizzle it on our popcorn. We had a lot of other fancy popcorn toppings. Powders, seasonings, M&Ms, pretzels, and so many other fun things were present. Daniel Watkins and a lady he is dating (Leann?), Melinda Kisor, Maddie Knecht, Lydia Sietsema, Ellen Burns, Mario Moore, Luke Stanton, Brad Gilliland, and Haley Wheelis were all present for this. For our movie we watched The Princess Bride. A classic and favorite, it was a good movie for everyone to watch! I hope that everyone enjoyed it, at least.

We then sat around and talked after watching it and brainstormed different sitcoms you could make out of Bible stories and narratives. I have to say, there are some entertaining options that got floated out there. If Hollywood had picked up on them, they’d have been greenlighting them already! =D

Well, it’s time to start heading to bed. Going to read a bit of Morgawr and then read Genesis 48-50 before I go to bed. It was a very fun day! Lots of friends and faces to delight in. God has given me an extremely great crew of brothers and sisters to enjoy life with. I’m so thankful. Lord, you have chosen to make your love made complete in how we love one another. May your Word sustain me, uplift me, and prompt me to love and good deeds towards those around me.

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