Daily Diary – 2/10/18

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:

Been a good day! Tired again, so going to try and make this quicker.

Got up and read the Bible with my dad, which was fun. We read Leviticus 26 and 27 together and it was a fun chance to do something I don’t normally do and try to build a deeper relationship there. Some things I like is that:

  • God clearly is disposed towards us in a good way. He longs for us to be faithful and follow His lead. He will punish us if we reject His word. But what He really longs is for us to be faithful.
  • God makes us multiply. It’s almost like humans are so weak in our fallenness that God actually has to propel us to fulfill what He commanded us to do in Genesis as we go forth and take dominion over the Earth. We disobeyed Him and it is only through His power that we are restored and able to carry out what He desires us to do.
  • We need to “circumcise our hearts” or something like that. Just another hint from God that the circumcision of the flesh is just meant to be a reflection and visible signal of something that has happened on the inside of mankind.

Anyways, then we hung out about and I helped make some scrambled eggs and we ate breakfast. I was encouraged that we read some Scripture at breakfast and it was fun to see our family have some intentionality. It was my desire to have our family become more intentional and become a family that really becomes more of a spiritual family and not just one tied together by blood. I think that is happening!

We went from there to talking to my sister Emily. She’s got a lot going on and I hope I was able to encourage her. We looked at 2 Peter 1 and I hope that she studies 1 and 2 Peter, as I think she’d find a lot of benefit in it. She has some tough relationship choices ahead of her, and unfortunately she didn’t pick a faith that makes all relationships easy. Some relationships get harder because of our faith. I’m glad she’s processing through these things though and excited to see her wrestling and growing towards Christ!

Did a brief bit of work after that.

Then we went to Runza. My goodness, I consumed a lot of calories but I love Runza. Almost as much as Slim’s. They are both so good. I’m not sure where I’d go more if I had both of them available. It would be a deadly combination for my stomach. We had some good family conversation and some fun dialogue. Good to spend time with everyone.

Then we came back and I took a quick nap.

Then we went to Omaha for some extended family dinner. Had some great conversations with cousins and former church family from Nebraska. It was fun to be able to talk about what the Lord has been doing in my life, and I’m encouraged to see some cousins on my mom’s side growing in maturity in a way that really speaks about the Lord moving in their life.

God is moving in his people, not just my life. Great to see that. In some ways, maybe I see that more starkly than many in my family since I have more distance between me and others. So it’s been years since I’ve seen some of these people and so I notice these things because I don’t have as many preconceived notions of what they’re like built up in my head.

I had a great conversation with Bob Potter. It was fun to tell him about my church family at UBC and he told me that I was the highlight of his night. Glad I could encourage him and hope that he’s able to continue shepherding Hope EFC well as an Elder.

Him and many more I got to catch up with.

I was really, really encouraged that Dad led off our family supper with a little devotional. He presented the Gospel and the joys that can be ours in Christ and did mention that we’re supposed to live a holy and blameless life before the Lord. It was so cool to see him declaring it to his family, who some of them need it. I was very proud of him. He was a great spiritual leader today and I’m humbled that he’s still trying to grow and learn and be faithful to Christ’s call in his life. He’s a faithful servant and today was a great example that there’s really genuine evidences of grace in his life that point out his clear love for the Lord. It pleased me greatly to see him gracefully make it clear that physical food and physical family are not the most important thing, but are a mere shadow that reminds of us a better spiritual family and meal we will partake in someday!

I then got to talk to Dad about baptism and why EFCA practices it the way they do. We had a fun debate and I think respect the way both denominations try to live out their convictions. I understand the thought process towards why they would not require it for membership, even though I have come to see the benefit in why Baptists do practice it myself.

It was really fun when we started talking about suffering and Job. He had some interesting thoughts about how Job, who is so often quoted for his “The Lord gives and the Lord takes, blessed be the name of the Lord.” as being mature really has some levels of immaturity. He obviously grows in his understanding of the book, and it’s important to remember that Job’s quote, while admirable at the beginning, is not a finished product. We’re always being sanctified and God shows up when He needs to make sure we learn what is necessary to have our desires turned towards Him and away from evil.

Then I got home and had a good conversation with Jeff. Was able to tell him that I loved him and hoped that he finds faithfulness in the mundane things of life as something that gives him desire for life. He’s struggling with lots of questions about who he is and who he should be right now. I got to pray with him and encourage him towards, hopefully, reading his Bible to find out who he is and who he will be ultimately.

Then Dad and I watched the Husker basketball game on DVR. The Huskers took it to Rutgers and we had some fun watching that together.

I was looking up Matthew 16, 18, and John 20:23 as well as Acts 3:5 and 9. It seems those passages come back to a lot of the debate around baptism between denominations. Dad seemed most concerned about interpreting the “keys to the kingdom” as binding people to the body of Christ as what Christ was talking about. I think much of the debate hinges there on the differences there between the denominations.

I see it in the context of the passage. Christ asks “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” The disciples give a lot of answers that are incorrect. Christ doesn’t seem to think much of this and so asks “Who do you say that I am?” and they answer “You are the Christ, the son of the Living God.” and Christ is greatly pleased with this answer. He then gives them the keys to the kingdom.

In general, Baptists read this as that we are entrusted with the what and who of the Gospel. In other words, we need to make sure a believer is properly understanding the claims of Christ. If they are then what they have done is make a true confession of Christ and who we bind is the confessor. How do we bind them to the church? Through Christ’s visible oath sign of the covenant — baptism. We sometimes get this wrong. It’s worth pointing out. That’s why there’s an allowance for “loosing” in the language Christ gives. But Baptists take church membership very seriously, and so we move a bit slower than some denominations about bringing people in. It’s not that we can avoid all messes, but we are trying to avoid not unwisely making more messes than necessary. We’re trying to be faithful, at least. I am convinced that the Baptist theology is a practical and wise reading of the Scripture.

I need to do some more thought and research on how the EFCA reads those passages. Not so I can convince anyone of the issue. I don’t think that is the point of this exercise. If I never convince a soul within the EFCA, then so be it. But I do want to understand the nuances of this passage that others might read. It both forces me to evaluate my own understanding of these passages as well as helps equip me to be pastoral in addressing questions or concerns that people might have about how Baptists seek to live out our convictions.

Anyways, that’s enough about that. I just was processing my thoughts via typing. I am off to bed to get some hours of sleep before I rise again.

Lord, thank you for showing yourself faithful in my family. You are moving and I love it! Lead us all to you more and more each day. Help us to drink deeply from that well of water that will never let us go thirsty again. I love you for how you are faithful to show up in the lives of those I love.

Amen.

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