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.
I’m having trouble getting to bed when I want to. So, I’m going to experiment with this to try and condense it somewhat. Not that I want to shortchange the idea of reflection, but perhaps I can write a bit less and still get value out of it. So here is a new format I want to play with where I basically have “categories” and try and just capture a solid snapshot of the day rather than perhaps the entire day. So without further ado.
Godly thought of the day:
I saw someone I know in a group thread made a sexual joke when they saw an image. It is just amazing to me how sexually depraved the mind is apart from God. That’s Romans 1.
But this person did spark a realization that in Ephesians 5:3-5, Paul spends verse 3 talking about the fact that no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed must be amongst us. Then in verse 5 he says that those who are in one of those 3 categories will not inherit the kingdom of Christ and of God.
But what’s in verse 4? He starts talking about how we talk. Nor should there be obscenities, foolish talk, or coarse joking. Why this, Paul? Well today it made sense to me. I used to talk like this and what that should reveal to anyone is that those who joke like that think like that. And if they think like that, their mind is likely not very transformed on the subject and they are probably captive to sexual impurity in some capacity. I don’t think Paul links the tongue to the condition of the heart by accident.
So I think that what Paul is getting at — I may be wrong — is a practical, diagnostic tool that Christians can use to evaluate both themselves and others in this category. So I can look in the mirror and go, “Hey, is my speech full of obscenities, foolish talk, and coarse joking? If so, then I need to soberly evaluate myself.” It also allows us to be aware of both the believers and the non-believers around us and, when we hear those who are joking coarsely ask them, “Why do you joke like that? Have you ever wondered if there is a more dignified way to be sexual creatures? Do you know that the kingdom of Christ may very well be at stake in your sexuality?”
Now, I won’t pretend this is foolproof. Sometimes a Godly Christian may slip or just revert to an old mindframe that is not normative for them. Have some grace in others lives. Don’t leap on them. But if you’re hearing something repeatedly, then maybe that’s a signal they need the Gospel either preached into their life or repeated for them.
Just my two cents. That sexual comment by this acquaintance made me realize the significance of verse 4 in Ephesians 5, which is kind of oddly included when I think about it. It seems to get in the way of verse 3 being connected to verse 5, so I think Paul meant us to see something there.
Favorite meeting of the day:
Met with Seth at Slim’s. He’s doing well and it was very cool to hear how his church has rallied around him and Hannah. I say “his” church because the way they have lavished love upon them, if they don’t join that church I will personally hunt them down and force them to sign a covenantal document to live in community with that church. I am that impressed by Fellowship Bible Church in Springdale. Always encouraging to hear your dear sister churches doing God’s work. May we all be a light into our cities so that together we look like a blazing torch for the Lord.
Seth and I talked about what it feels like to be “breathing for the first time.” I don’t know how else we can describe it except that our repeated exposure to God’s word every single has radically transformed our minds in the past year or two. I’m serious. I think differently about things now. If I’m honest, I’m not sure I’m the same person I was two years ago. You’d have to ask those who have known me a long time if I am or not, but I have a feeling that the past few years God has slowly been killing many aspects of Jacob and raising up something… new in the place of him. Truth be told, I don’t want Him to stop.
Favorite moment of the day (sometimes will be the same as above):
Walking out to my car to go to UBC and print off Living Sacrifices handouts. There was a nip in the air. The sky was blue with wispy white clouds in the sky and I just thought, “God it is so beautiful. You’re so beautiful, God.” Sometimes I grin like a giddy fool about the simplest things. That’s the dangerous part of the Gospel. It makes you feel things and see God everywhere. If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself being consumed by Him.
Hardest part of my day:
Not feeling productive with work. It wasn’t that I didn’t try to work. But with lots of interruptions and meetings and church work, I just felt like it was difficult to get much done. I did get a decent amount done, but not nearly what I would have liked.
What was the weather like today?:
A bit chilly, but not overly chilly. Honestly, it was a gorgeous day. A bit cold, but the kind of cold that just has enough of a nip to make you feel alive. I did wear a coat, but it was the nice kind of weather where you have a coat on and look full of swag, but you don’t really need a coat that bad.
Most unfaithful moment of my day:
Sleeping past my alarm for the gym, I think. I may have been more unfaithful somewhere else, but that’s what popped out to me. I was tired yesterday. I just didn’t get up. I didn’t see anything from Scott, so perhaps he didn’t get up either. But I need to be a man of discipline. If I’m going to go do something, I need to get it done. I went to the gym tonight, but that’s not the point. It’s not about getting to the gym sometime during the day. It’s about ordering my life. It’s important to be one who has discipline and integrity before the Lord.
What am I currently reading?:
Daily Bible Reading – Leviticus 24 &25
The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn – Already don’t like it much, but I’m reading it for my financial review process. He exegeted a passage incorrectly in the first chapter and also said that “God expects you to live in enlightened self-interest” again in the same chapter. I’m also leary that he is going to tie Matthew 6 so directly to our money habits. While Matthew 6 certainly would include our money habits, I think it is going to be a narrow focus of that parable. Has he read the Bible? God expects you to live in enlightened self-disinterest. I’m going to finish it for the sake of my review, but I’m not sure I’m going to like it. I think it may be like Dave Ramsey’s book — one I agree with the principles they laid forth, but not how they got there. I hope I’m wrong, but if I’m not then I must ask; has anyone written a good, Biblically faithful book on money?
Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp. I think this is going to be a good book. Not far enough into it to comment. But I’m excited for it. This is part of my pastoral reading program. We’ll discuss Chosen by God tonight and then move on to this.
Church History by Eusebius. This is going to be a slow reading project, I imagine. But I want to finish it by the end of the year. So far he has not actually talked much about history, but talked about Christ and how He is the servant of the Lord promised to us. I suppose sometimes a good history must set the context that the history takes place in and Christ most definitely is the context. Also, he is the first to undertake something like this in church history so much graciousness and thanks should be extended that he recorded anything at the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
What was for dinner?:
Kielbasa skillet. I actually forgot mom sent me leftovers, so I made this and then realized that. But I have lots of leftovers in my fridge, and that’s a great problem to have!
If you like reading this, drop me a comment on things in a day that I’m missing that seem obvious. I think this new format will be a help to being more efficient with my time. I’m not sure if I will or not.