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 great! I started off the day hitting up the gym. I tried battle ropes for the first time. They’re weird, but I like them. I can tell they work out the arms really well, and they involve cardio and the core. So anytime you get all 3 of those going at the same time, you’re hitting a great piece of exercise equipment.
Scott wasn’t there this morning. I should text him and check to make sure everything is all hunky dory tomorrow!
Came back and thought about sleeping, but decided that A.) protein is too important after a workout and B.) There was too much to get to. So I cooked breakfast and then got ready for meeting with Yan.
We got to talk about a lot of cool things. We talked about Ezekiel 18 and how he doesn’t have to live the same life his father lived. He has a lot of baggage handed down to him by his dad, but he doesn’t have to walk that path. We also talked about how Genesis 3:6 and 3:12 to show how some of the problems in his marriage are not unique to him but are the spiritual inheritance of all men.
We, like Adam, so often want to be passive creatures. We let “Eve” be out in front of us and silently observe from behind when we ought to be out in front protecting and cherishing. We also looked at how men have a natural temptation to go “Yeah, but…” Genesis 3:12 shows a pattern that can be found in most men all the world over. Just listen to Donald Trump when he was accused of his sexual scandal tape. “It was locker room talk. It’s not a big deal.” I mean, men are doing this everywhere. Al Franken says, “I don’t remember the events like she does…”
Men just don’t want to own up to our failures, and whenever we do we’re embracing the lineage of sin that comes straight from Adam in the garden when he not only blames the woman, but God for giving him woman. He won’t accept blame. What a sad legacy we’ve inherited. But we don’t have to be that way. We can accept our faults and learn to not be content with them when Christ recreates us into the kind of men who are worthy of the places of authority he’s asked us to be in. The sad truth is that complementarianism would be such a sweeter doctrine for most people if they just saw it lived out well. But most men, and women too, really don’t get what it is supposed to look like in a really healthy way. So a world that would love everything good complementarianism is about thinks it disgusting because we don’t live it out well in most of our families.
After that, I ran over to a client’s office. We ran through some updates to ad campaigns and I hope that those lead to good results. I’m certainly optimistic there still. We’ve made some strides in the right direction, but still not a lot of sales and, ultimately, that’s all that matters. Higher click-through-rates and such are great, but it’s all a vanity metric if nothing is happening afterwards.
I then went and got lunch with Ian Whitlow. It was good to catch up with that brother. He and I spent a lot of time trying to debate “personality.” Kevin DeYoung had an article about enneagrams recently and pointed out how they can be problematic if not understood as a tool properly, which is the problem with all tools. But self-assessment and personality quizzes are especially prone to these problems. They tend to encourage us to just accept all of our quirks as if they’re just fine and we just need to know them and navigate around them.
But I tend to think that in the body of Christ, we who are conformed to the pattern of Christ will become more and more like each other. We’ll all become more loving, more patient, more joyful, more hospitable types of folks because that’s what Christ was like and that’s who we’re becoming like. Now, we do have to make a different distinction between personality and purpose of function. God does make certain people to fill unique roles within church and even raises up instruments for society’s benefit. So while people will all have similar personalities in how people might describe them, the way in which their personality manifests itself will be unique. For example, I and another person might both be described as very patient people. That’s our personality. But she might be noted for patience because she is a great listener and willing to just sit and be with people, whereas I might be a very patient person because people notice my willingness to not get caught up in short-term goals but I am willing to endure for a greater vision in business, church, etc. That’s maybe not a great example. I’m a little tired, but hopefully that gets some of the point across.
Anyway, the basic thrust of my thought is this. Only one person ever gets to claim, “I am” and have it be a morally righteous statement. That’s God in Exodus 3:14. Everyone else who uses “I am” is either a cold-heart stuck in a conceited, arrogant place or someone humbly admitting their own smallness, guilt, or some other acknowledgment of their status before the Lord. So if you ever just say, “Oh, that’s just who I am.” then you ought to tread carefully. You’re on very dangerous ground because you’re actually claiming to be like the Lord. An immutable personality that is grounded in your essence. And considering we’re all fallen, being content with our “I am” state should hardly be desirable. It’s not bad to admit “I am” in a current state kind of way. But if you’re content with it, I think that’s problematic.
Just my two cents on a random topic.
After lunch, I hopped over to a client’s office and did a bit of work on that front as well as started on some other side projects I’m running. Trying to keep everything moving, and it is crazy! Everyone wants me to work for them, which is great! But it’s also a problem in trying to get it all done. I may do some work tomorrow to declutter next week.
The great thing is if I get some of these side projects done, I can put a ton of money towards finishing my student loans. That would be nice to get rid of those and then have the ability to better save for other things that need saved for. I’m tired of being in debt. It’s not that bad of a deal, but I just want to be free of it and saving up for a new(er) car, retirement more aggressively, and other things. Dave Ramsey does have wisdom on the power of not having debt the more I think about it.
I went to meet Brock Daniels at 3:30. He had an interview he needed to conduct for class with someone who had started their own business. I hope I helped him learn something. He seemed to think I had cool things to say, which I’m glad to hear! Anyways, that was a good time. Saw Courtney Osborne, Brenda Stallings, and Erin Wheeler — who was out with her girls, Page and Elizabeth. So that was nice to see some friends around town. I think there may have been a birthday celebration of some sort? Not sure if they were involved in that or not.
After meeting with Brock, I went to help with the Teach Faith at Home Conference. It was a 4 hour event at our church to help parents think through how to make their homes places where they get into regular rhythms and patterns of teaching their kids what it means to follow Christ and, hopefully, come to faith in Christ themselves. If you look at the statistics, it does seem that the Lord works most powerfully in adding Christians to his family by the means of placing people in believing families. That’s not to excuse evangelism. Adding 1st generation Christians is so powerful partly because it means that a new family will most likely trace a lineage of righteousness in it! But the Lord seems to have special care for families that are faithful to raise their children up in an intentional way before the Lord. Parents are not perfect, but if they’re at least intentional about their lives with their children then I think that will go miles. I am proud to say that I have a good lineage I am thankful for. I can look back at my past and probably tell you a dozen ways I’d rather have grown up, but that’s not nearly gracious enough towards what I did have in the home my parents provided. It was a good home and even though I spent so many years as a stupid, immature believer I never once questioned whether or not I should find a church to go to. That’s my parent’s training right there. Turns out that singular fact was enough to help me find UBC where my life has been transformed in so many ways!
Well, I helped take care of the middle schoolers at this conference. Bethany Mueller, Carlie (?) Johnson, Olivia Bond, Silas Dennett, and Elizabeth Wheeler were our children in our care and Ellen Burns and Morgan Montgomery were also taking care of them. I loved it, honestly. I am tired, but I got to just have silly conversations. Middle schoolers are willing to talk about almost anything, if you want to. So it was kind of nice to just decompress by letting my imagination be silly and engage them on a fun, kind-hearted level. I hope they felt loved. I just talked most of the night, which may have been annoying. But they seemed to enjoy it? I don’t know. I enjoyed it and had a good time getting to know some of them. Soon those very kids will be high schoolers and, Lord willing, I’ll be helping them when they get there and the connections I have made with them will help build more trust when I want to pour into their life more meaningfully.
Although, I didn’t do a great job of building trust when I told them my name was Philippe most the night. They figured out it was Jacob by the end, but maybe I should rethink my trust strategies? 😉
Now I’m home and ready to conk out go to sleep. Exodus 39 and 40 are all that are between me and that. So that’s where I’m heading. Ready to sleep in tomorrow.
Good day. Thanks, Lord for helping me be faithful to you today. I love you, Lord. Help me to follow your commands.