Daily Diary – 1/24/18

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 I decided to sleep in since Scott wasn’t making the gym. I’ll have enough early mornings without pushing myself too hard. Part of me wishes I had gone, but another part loved the extra hour I got.

After rising, I went to the Word. No other way to start the day. I was in Amos 4 and some great things really stuck out to me:

  • How can you not laugh a bit when God calls rich, drunk women “cows“?Don’t ever let anyone say God doesn’t have a sense of humor.
  • It is just staggering to see how much the Lord detests hypocritical worship of Him. Do not profane His name. He takes it super seriously. Just read Isaiah 1:13 as well, for further evidence of this.
  • Considering this is a God who is slow to anger, some critics would say this is a petulant God who is lashing out. But here we clearly see God demonstrating how He has sent warning signals into our lives to let us know that things aren’t where they ought to be. But the people have not returned to Him. It makes me wonder, what are some ways I may not be watching for His warning signals in my own life? I will have to contemplate some of the vibrations coming my way and see if I think there is a lesson to be learned. God does not orchestrate these things for no purpose and we should always seek to find Him in them. There’s always something to learn about Christ in life, even if that isn’t directly tied to some patterned sin.
  • How sad to see Bethel and Gilgal — epic places of worship — come to become altars for sin in this world. It’s a reminder that a people left to themselves and not checking their hearts can stop becoming a sanctuary and a place where God is worshipped, and become a breeding ground of evil. How much should our churches remember this? We do not automatically inherit the spiritual inheritance left to us, even if it is glorious. If we’re not careful to preserve what has been handed down to us, we may take a Bethel and desecrate it. Let’s not sit smugly in our “lineage”, if you will. Let’s strive for our own faithfulness to the Lord and please Him.
  • Is there anything scarier than verse 12? “Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.” sent reverberations down my spine. Oh, Lord, make sure my feeble heart is prepared for that day when I meet you face to face. I dare not meet you as someone to dread, for if you reveal yourself to people in our depravity it is a terrifying thing to endure and I will surely perish!

After that, I spent the day working from home. Just doing random odd accounts. Had things spring up like shopping campaigns on one account go down randomly. Still trying to get that all rectified, and am frustrated by the fact that something totally outside of my control broke. Work has just been hard lately. Lord, give me patience and endurance, and through those things increased character and hope.

After my work was up, I went to youth group. Morgan Montgomery was sick and didn’t make it, so he had asked either Daniel Watkins to read the Amos 3-6 for tonight, so I read that although Daniel ended up handling it. The only things I’ll add to my thoughts from above is:

  • I cannot help but see elements of the plagues on Egypt being intoned here. I think it is notable that Egypt is one of the nations that is called to witness Israel’s fall in chapter 3. Then there are locusts, there is a God who deals with dawn and darkness, and in chapter 5 verse 17 He says He will “Pass through (or among)” them. That just reeks of the Passover. Your heart breaks that the people who the Lord covenanted with and have had special favor with by His good grace are now finally having those horrors visited on them. Their covenanted favor is being shown towards an expiration date as they endure the same things God’s enemies have endured in the past while they have prospered.
  • When he says a prudent man will keep his mouth silent rather than go to court, I cannot help but think that we should never make it difficult for a group of people to get justice. I think wisdom is needed with anything like the #metoo movement as it can become like a witch hunt, but I also think that if we live in a culture where women are preyed upon and staying silent seems like a better option that seeking justice, then we have an issue. Let’s protect our women in the church and in the world like Christ loved His bride. They deserve the dignity, respect, and protection that the Lord gives them. I’m tired of seeing sexual scandal in our churches. Stop it! Seriously. It’s tiring. We drag our Lord through the muck. Let’s stop being porn addicts and sex-craved maniacs. We have something better to cling to. If the world can’t find it in the church, can we really blame them for going their own way?

At youth group we’re talking over how to use technology. The kids were really scatter-brained tonight and not focused at all. I at one point saw Guy waiting for them to be quiet and told them to be quiet and said “shut up” to them. I didn’t treat them like adults, and that is regrettable to me. I should try and apologize to them at one point. Maybe even try to both apologize as well as make a point where they can realize that now is their time to become adults and God’s warriors in His kingdom. They’re in this awkward neutral space where they’re treated like both, and I think we should give our high schoolers hard tasks and show them that they’re able to meet those challenges if Christ is in them.

I came home and talked to Mom! That was nice. She’s got some fun, but maybe challenging prospects ahead of her. Hopefully she can figure out what will be faithful to the Lord and go and do that in confidence.

I did read a chapter of It Is Well and just was struck by the fact that Jesus became a curse for us. A curse. We set all these arbitrary standards for ourselves and yet we fail even ourselves and constantly redo where those standards are so we’re always confident in ourselves. What we hate is the sense that we’ve gained anything without doing anything to earn it. He gave a good example that we don’t hate people who get rich on their own ideas or work, but we hate trust-fund babies. We think they’re entitled and undeserving. Well, that’s the offensive nature of the Gospel. We are undeserving and we just need to accept it.

He hung on a tree for you, and there’s no merit in us that earned us that spot.

I started reading some of The Core again tonight, but, man, there was a scene where explicit sexual acts were being committed and I just threw the book down in disgust. I can’t read that. I have no illusions the rest of the book will be like that. Peter Brett’s mind seems extraordinarily depraved as he has gone back to that repeatedly very early in the book. I don’t have time to put that kind of thing in my mind. It was starting to plant images and suggestions in my own head, and there’s no way a book like that leads me to faithfulness. I am sad I won’t see the resolution of the main character who hasn’t even made it in to the book in the first 100 pages which is also horrible!

This is in stark juxtaposition to where books used to be. Terry Brooks Jerle Shannara series had a romantic relationship where a sexual nature is clearly implied, but that’s just it. It is implied. It’s not an ideal worldview stance, but he knew that to start being explicit about it was crass and rude. Our culture is becoming desensitized and it showed up in a big way in this book. Good riddance.

Well, it’s off to read Exodus 13-15 and then bed. I think that these words from Phil Wickham’s song Messiah / You’re Beautiful have been really meaningful to me:

When we all arrive at eternity’s shores, when death is just a memory and tears are no more. We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring, your bride will come together and we’ll sing you’re beautiful.

I love that imagery. Chills every time I hear that part. Eternity. Heaven. The bride assembled. I love it. I want to be part of it. Lord, let me be preparing myself and helping prepare your body, your bride to be the perfect, unblemished present you give to yourself upon the day of the Lord. Amen.

 

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