Daily Diary – 2/5/18

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:

I woke up today. I’ve felt a bit sick all day, so I opted to sleep an extra hour. As much as I like getting up early and getting to the gym or attending to things with clients. I had an opportunity to go to an optional client event today, but just decided that rest is rare enough that it was most beneficial this morning.

I did study Amos 9:11-15 and it was so good. It’s like someone had been waterboarding me for the whole book, and then let me up for a breath. Such a fantastic ending. I can see why our sermon this week is entitled “God’s Judgment Is Not The Final Word.” I won’t be there for this sermon — I’ll be back in Nebraska. But I can’t wait to listen to it! I’ll miss being there with everyone as the series ends. Honestly, what I loved about today was just realizing that God says these words:

“…and all the nations that bear my name.”

Not Israel. Not my people. Not the house of Jacob. But “all the nations.” What a gift! Here we have a promise that when God restores Israel, He’s not just coming for them but for everyone and His name will go into all nations. It wasn’t directly referenced and I’m not sure how I saw it other than providence of the Spirit, but as I was looking at a cross-reference to Isaiah 49:8, my eyes fell to Isaiah 49:6 and saw this verse:

“he says: ‘It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of th earth.'”

Wow! How cool is Christ (the servant mentioned here)?! It’s like God looked out from ages past and saw His people who needed redemption and knew there was only man for the job! But that guy who was qualified was actually sooooo qualified that God decided the job of restoring Israel was too small. So to make His sacrifice worthy of the one who would pay it, He restored all peoples unto Himself.

What an amazing truth. Jesus Christ is the real deal folks. He’s so powerful that the Gentiles had to get lumped in with the Israelites because of the majesty of the one who paid the price of death we owed as he faced the wrath that should have been ours to bear for eternity!

Man, I just can’t but help being in awe of God as I read this passage. It’s breathtaking. Simply breathtaking. Lord, you are scandalous. You craft plans in Heaven that are so amazing. I don’t know how to describe it with this feeble tongue. Keep my heart alive until a glorified tongue and pure heart can praise you as you deserve to be praised.

And if you’re ever confused who does the work, just read Amos 9:11-15 and see how many times God says “I” or says he is the one who “will do these things.” God is the operator here, and if you don’t like it then that’s too bad. Because He’s doesn’t leave an option where you get to think anybody else is working for the good of both God and men.

After that, I got to work. I mostly did a few checkup things for my smaller clients today. Felt like I was being productive this morning and fairly proactive. So got through all that, and then started working on Living Sacrifices material. I typically wrap up the handout on Monday and review the content one more time to check for any weird phrasings or theological errors in it that absolutely need corrected. I’m pretty stoked for tomorrow’s lesson! It’s on Romans 14:23, and I think it will be good for my heart if no one else’s.

After heading to church to get everything printed, I ran over to coffee. Oh, Gloria Mills passed away and Bill Mills seems in a bad place. Her funeral is on Friday. I normally would gather with the body during a funeral to praise God for her life as she has passed, but being in Nebraska I hope the rest of the body is encouraged and edified by it. Bill has some Alzheimer’s and shock like this can often result in one like him passing. So I’m praying for him today that the Lord will either ease his passing and bring them home together, or that he’ll strengthen Bill to be the light he’s meant to still be.

I didn’t go for any lunch today. I just parked up at Mama Carmen’s and worked there from 11:30-5PM. I spent some good time on two client accounts and made some really, really good promise. It seems that one client has more work for me in the future, which may be a very good thing!

Luke Stanton came and worked with me. I think that he and I may work together often on Mondays. He and I had some good conversation as always, but seemed comfortable in silence at times as we worked. It was a good balance.

As I left, I really wanted Wendy’s to eat. But I admit that was just because I was feeling quite a bit on my shoulders recently. There’s a lot to get done, and I want Wendy’s because it is lazy and self-indulgent. I had chicken thawing out and knew I was going to make fajitas all day. Honestly, the most faithful thing I’ve done all day is not go to Wendy’s. I really wanted to just allow myself that comfort.

But it’s odd how those minute things are where growing seeds of sin plant themselves. I’m healthier and more faithful for doing out what I had set out to do. Sometimes we don’t have huge mountains in our days. Sometimes the Lord just asks us to climb small hills so that we’re prepared to endure a mountain later on. If I won’t climb the hill, what makes me think I’ll actually climb the mountain? I won’t have the training, the stamina, or the steadfastness to do it!

Lord, help me to be like you tell us in Luke 16:10. You tell us that one who is faithful with little will be faithful with much. Let me be faithful with my small battles so that when my large battles come, they don’t seem so large, Lord. I think it is odd what we count as suffering and we don’t. What is suffering?

I think we undervalue what it is. I think being the kind of people who say no to Wendy’s because it is unfaithful is a form of loss. Most people wouldn’t consider how it impacted much more than their belly or their wallet or both. But I think suffering is about the quality not the quantity of the suffering. In other words, it is the why of suffering not the what of suffering that matters.

So did I suffer not eating Wendy’s? Yes, I think to a very, very small degree I did. But that all adds up because Romans 5:3-5 tells us that suffering leads to endurance, endurance to character/perseverance, and character/perseverance to hope. Hope does not disappoint us. So maybe if I took up my daily, small crosses I’d gain a lot more endurance a lot quicker than if I only tried to take up my “big” crosses. It seems to make sense to me, and I want to be one who has hope in the Lord. So I’m working on suffering in the small things more confident that it will produce these things in me.

Perhaps I have that all backwards. Maybe I’ll change my mind tomorrow. But today I know I didn’t have Wendy’s and that makes Jacob a sad boy.

Well, I’ve been shaking a lot today. I can’t tell if I’m getting sick or if it was just the cold day. It was quite chilly and I didn’t wear a coat today and sat next to a chilly wall while I worked. Probably not a smart idea. But I guess I’ll (hopefully) live and learn. Anyways, I also didn’t eat much today so I’m hoping that the chills are just a culmination of many things.

I’m also a bit stressed about tomorrow. I got some late night emails from one client who is really concerned about where we’re at. I project manage for this client and tend to not be checking in on everything I have my hands in every day. Things didn’t go so well. This client is a larger part of my paycheck, and I really hope to keep the relationship going.

But, Lord, not my will be done but yours. I feel like I could always do a better job on things, but I also honestly feel like I’ve been trying really hard with this client. You can’t tell them that. Marketing isn’t perfect science sometimes. And when it’s a larger client and there’s lots of things to watch and you have 16 hours a week, you don’t get to everything you’d like to.

I’m meeting with him tomorrow and, Lord willing, he will have a soft heart and we can turn this around. I understand his need to make changes here and will do whatever I can as long as he retains me. I’d be lying if I wasn’t a bit nervous about it, though.

But it seems that the larger my business gets, the more nervous I get about all my clients. It’s hard to watch all of them. I also need to figure out a 3rd-party vendor who assists me with the services that I help manage. I thought they were watching things more on a day to day basis, but it seems that maybe that isn’t happening and this is not the first time it has happened where this client has been the first one to catch a concerning trend — not him or I. That’s not good. So I need to adjust my mindframe and buckle down and get to work tomorrow.

But first, I’m going to ground myself in what will really preserve me into eternity and past this fleeting trouble. I’m reading Leviticus 8-10 tonight and maybe some Chosen by God and then going to sleep so I can wake early for Living Sacrifices tomorrow.

Lord, I don’t know what will happen tomorrow and I know not to worry about it because today has enough of its own troubles. Lord, this I know. You will be glorified tomorrow. Let my responses show the fruits of the Spirit come what may.

Amen.

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