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.
Today was a good day in many ways. Started off the day with time in the Word. It’s hard to think that there was a time where that didn’t shape my day. You can’t pretend to be alive if you’re not breathing. How could one think their spirit is breathing when it is not being given air to stay alive until Christ can take us home? Today was studying 3 John to complete my time moving through those 3 books. Some takeaways:
- Interesting that John says “the truth” often. Now, on one hand you could say that this is synonymous with saying “Jesus” since Jesus is the truth (John 14:6). But this is more significant, because John is conveying that Jesus was not merely a feeling. I think so many people want him to be a feel-good story these days, but He’s more than that. He didn’t say, “Pray to me and feel good about yourself again.” He said “Come and follow me.” That’s why saying “the truth” instead of just “Jesus” is significant. It’s a reminder that we follow Jesus when we follow the truth He set down for us.
- Hospitality is such a critical part of the Gospel witness we demonstrate. Both with who we do and don’t (namely, false teachers) share it with. It’s a reminder that we need to be opening up our homes, lives, and resources to care for each other. Whether you’re great at spontaneously doing this or you carve out time intentionally, or you do both — this needs to be a spiritual priority in our churches. One of my thoughts that I hope to grow into more is to start becoming the most awkward person in the room. I think the Gospel pushes us to be the person who is weirdly different, and we should be cool with that.
- Diotrephes is an example of apparently an elder-ruled church that has gone seriously astray and points to the dangers of churches where elders do not merely lead but rule. The Gospel should supersede this kind of leader who is dictatorial, and so I hope that all of our churches will be looking for them so that we may not have the Gospel witness take shame because the people in our churches have given up their work as the ministers of the Gospel and allowed their jobs to be taken from them by Elders.
- John saying that he might be swinging by is unnerving. But it made me realize how much more unnerving ought it to be if we really consider the Lord is close to returning. These are the last hours. If someone like John would be intimidating to have visit, then maybe we should check our hearts and make sure that if someone like him — or Jesus himself — came upon this very hour that we’d be prepared. He will come on us like a thief in the night. The point is that if you’re not worried about, you’ll be caught with your trousers down. Let’s not do that. Let’s live like He’s actually about to come back.
After that, I rolled out to do work from my largest client. Had a lot of meetings and maybe uncovered some problems that I hope we get resolved and that we can use to push us forward. I got an email from that CEO that invited me to a party they’re having. They only invited me as a contractor, and I enjoyed that. I really am pretty invested in this client, and I hope to make things work. I don’t pretend that my situation is perfectly secured there, but I want to do good work for them. Lord, help me to be a light to them both in word and deed.
I got lunch with Seth today and we talked about a number of things, but we did talk about Andy Savage in Memphis. We couldn’t believe that church applauded him. As we talked, our hearts were broken. And I don’t even feel like his testimony really let the weight sink in. We talked a lot about how King David let the full guilt of his sin settle on his shoulders and how he felt everything. He didn’t sugarcoat it. He didn’t bring Bathsheba into his sin and try to share blame. He just felt the shame he had before God. And nobody was applauding it. His whole house and country was feeling the effects of it.
It breaks my heart that so many of those who are taking Christ’s name are letting it down so bitterly. I mean, I don’t expect us to be perfect. That’s not the Gospel message. But, church, is this seriously the best we can do? Is this all we can hope for an aspire for? The verse “To whom much is given, much will be required” comes to mind. If you have a growing church, some influence in your city or nation, and bear God’s name publicly then so help me God, we better start caring about it.
I don’t know if it just my desire to get into ministry that makes me this way, but I feel that as I look at what the future holds. 1 Timothy 4:16 comes to mind where it says, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” Our lives matter. Sigh. Let’s start living like that again, o church. Myself included. I’ve not been perfect in many categories of life, including sexually. But I commit myself to the Lord right now that I will commit my life to not causing the name of my Lord because I become embroiled in scandal. I mean that. If you read this, hold me to it. Help me watch my life. Please, I beg it. Watch me. Don’t let me stray. Holy Spirit, hold me fast and help me persevere in my endurance in the faith. I trust wholly on you to keep this commitment.
After leaving Seth, I went back to work until about 4PM and then met up with Tim Howington, a guy who works at Freedom 5:one. He’s helping me review my finances and get together a spending plan. This meeting was much less helpful than the first one except for that it gave me someone to hold me to account in terms of tracking my money outputs and making sure I’m keeping going. I honestly think that I could stop going and have the plan now, but I will give them the full 12 months and see how future meetings go. If nothing else, it will give me something to measure myself against for a year. And a relatively low cost to do so.
I came home and forgot to text Chaz for discipleship — our normal Thursday routine. But I also didn’t hear from him. I’ll try to check in with him tomorrow. Hope all is well with him. I ended up eating a few granola bars for supper. I need to eat less anyways, so it was good to not eat a full meal.
I read quite a bit tonight in lieu of not having much else to do. Most notably, I read quite a bit of R.C. Sproul’s Chosen by God. I was a bit shocked by some of the things that he was willing to shrug off as not having an answer to, although couldn’t come up with easy answers myself. But I feel like there were some Biblical texts that we could have explored to try to answer how God makes sense with a world in which sin exists, how mankind has free will, and why God does not save all people. I don’t know if we can answer these questions perfectly, but I felt like he could have possibly attempted more than he did.
On the other hand, part of me admires his humility to be willing to admit something where God is big enough that we simply can’t explain the fullness and entirety of His plan. We simply have to believe in the character of who He is and trust He will take us home because He’s chosen some of us to be objects of His mercy. It’s a topic worth wrestling through. I’m more comfortable with God’s sovereignty than I was 5-6 years ago when I wrote a paper that was essentially a glorification of mankind’s free will and the loftiness of it and how it would be against God to deny it. I no longer hold so fast to that, but that does not mean I’m not still wrestling with some of it. In some ways, I probably need to continually swallow the pill that God is bigger than me and His will holds power over everything. Sometimes this is a great, comforting thought and other times it feels intrusive. But in some ways, I’m still understanding exactly how it plays out that man has agency and the ability to be responsible for our sin while all residing underneath the sovereignty of God. I can explain it and I believe it, but sometimes I don’t always live it well. But I do find that the better I let go of myself and my own desire to feel big, the bigger I feel as I live in the mighty power of God’s will guiding my life along.
Well, I’m finishing watching a Warriors vs. Timberwolves basketball game as I type this. I have Exodus 16-18 to read tonight. May throw a load of laundry in. Going to Kansas City tomorrow and will need to be ready for that!
Lord, help me to feel the weight of sin. Help me not to run from it, but confront it. Help me to walk and live in the truth and so be a joy to my brothers and sisters as well as a pleasure to you in this life.