Daily Diary – 3/20/18

Why I Write These:

These are written in honor of 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:

Godly thought of the day:

Judges 1:6-7 says: “Adoni-Bezek fled, but they chased him and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and big toes. Then Adoni-Bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off have picked up scraps under my table. Now God has paid me back for what I did to them.” They brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.

This is a tough passage. I can see how God is punishing sin of Adoni-Bezek. Adoni-Bezek himself saw this as a kind of karma coming back around and that all men eventually fall, and they tend to fall to the very things that they have lorded over others.

But at the same time, it is hard to read about bodily mutilation being done by the Israelites and trying to discern how much of that is God demonstrating his vicious detesting of sin, and how much of that is the Israelites already showing moral decay and acting in victory like the kings of the Canaanites. Judges is, in many ways, a book of the Israelites becoming more and more like the Canaanites, so the fact that they punish this king as he himself has punished them.

So either way, this is hard. Whether this is God’s demonstrating how he feels about sin and how ruthless God is towards carving it out of those unrepentant in their sin. Or whether it shows how those who fear God can give in to culture. Or whether it is a fine mix of both those truths that show up in the passage, this is just a tough read. It makes me sad to think that sin has real consequences for lost people, and it makes me sad that we Christians can so often go astray and start acting in ways that are not commanded by God.

Favorite meeting of the day:

I’ll give it to Living Sacrifices. As I prepped for this last night and this morning, I keep getting hammered by the image of Jesus up on a cross, separated from the father, and being murdered by those he came to save.

He came to die for a group of people and they slaughtered him as the Father poured out wrath on Him. It just blows my mind that I have never known loneliness like that. Thankfully, I never will know that full, complete loneliness. I have been emphasizing how the cross is the epitome of a man enduring all the worst sorts of agonies on our behalf. He endured anger, shame, and loneliness all on the cross. All so that God’s name would be glorified, God’s wrath appeased, and our salvation assured through the mighty name of Jesus Christ. This image just really solidifies that to act like I am alone is to be selfish in the highest degree because it denies the work of the cross on my behalf.

Hardest part of my day:

I don’t know what it was, but I just felt like I was having trouble stay awake sometime around lunch. I vividly remember a moment at lunch where my eyes almost felt like they wanted to close. I couldn’t quite understand what happened, but it was like my brain shut off at that moment. I had trouble thinking the rest of the day until I got a short nap after work.

Favorite moment of the day:

A lot of good work projects going on! I met with someone who has another side project for me! That’s exciting. My largest client is doing really, really well after a rough start to the year and we’re getting things figured out there.

One of my smaller clients is even having a great month. I know God is good even when things are rough, and I would like to think I acted, mostly, in honor towards Him while things were hectic. And I enjoyed a moment of His faithfulness to me today as my work brought joy and seemed to bear fruit today. I pray that I stay diligent as I move forward in these things.

What was the weather like today?:

Really, really windy. It looked like it might not be wind, but the wind blustered and blew and was not very pleasant to be in.

Most unfaithful moment of my day:

I probably overate a bit today. Specifically, I indulged and bought myself a latte at a tea shop when I told myself I was going to only drink black tea these days. It was very tasty, but I didn’t need it. Simple indulgences, while not always wrong, can lead to me indulging in other categories of my life that I shouldn’t. So I need to watch that.

What am I currently reading?:

Daily Bible Reading – Judges 1-3

Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp – No reading for this tonight.

Church History by Eusebius – No reading for this today.

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Ed Welch – No reading for this tonight.

On the Incarnation by Athanasius – I like how Athanasius talks about why God took 3 days before rising and why he died in such a public display. If he was raised too quickly, then it would not have been thought that he actually died but somehow had cheated a system and faked it. But if he had taken too long, it may have been thought that God had merely taken another body and the world would doubt even more God’s power over death. And I appreciate Athanasisus explaining that God must have been murdered. Rather than just voluntarily dying, this body of Jesus’ would not have decayed naturally but needed to be taken from him and it must have been done publicly so that the whole world would attest to the fact that this was the Christ being murdered. In fact, even the sun going dark, the dead rising, and more even demonstrated that nature itself was responding to the death of its creator. I had never thought about how much those acts speak to the creator being murdered, and also how irrelevant they’d all be if we didn’t have public, demonstrable execution of Jesus Christ to look at.

No Place for Truth: Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? by David F. Wells – I think this book is picking up a bit and I’m reading it better today. His argument that pluralism is pushing us further and further out from a moral center is ruining our society makes sense. Also, his point that our pluralism is of a global nature. Capitalism and modernity belong to no particular time and place or people. So it very much destabilizes any notion that anything has lasting value, and so people are left to search their own experiences for meaning. Thus they find that they can find no meaning inside of themselves, and we take up transient identities that have no permanence and feel restless. The only thing to do in the wake of this lack of identity is to give ourselves over to the drumbeat of progress hoping desperately that progres will eventually give mankind a kind of dominance over death, nature, and other forces that will finally answer why we exist. That’s my stab at understanding it. I write this because if I don’t, I fear I’ll not remember or be able to divulge any of it when someone asks me about it. I don’t want to read something I don’t understand!

What was for dinner?:

Two leftover slices of pizza from Tiny Tim’s pizza from Sunday afternoon lunch.

Song of the day:

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher – “Lord I come, I confess. Bowing here, I find my rest. Without you, I fall apart. You’re the one who guides my heart.” I find this line poignant today. Tuesdays are long days, and they force me to realize that I have no answer to my own sustenance needs. Fortunately, one lives who does have that answer and I can throw myself on His mercy seat on a daily basis to receive what I need.

Quote of the day:

“It’s because there is something in our flesh that when we start fearing that we are start moving towards irrelevance, or we start fearing that maybe we’re moving towards powerlessness, or we start fearing that we don’t know what the future is there’s a sense of desperation there. And when that doesn’t show up, a kind of simmering bitterness does. Where you see so many people needing their ministries angry at the next generation. Why? Because they do not understand the way that God works is by making you irrelevant for the glory of God to establish a future where the Gospel then goes forward without you. Because you’re not the Omega point. ” — Russell Moore

Really great preaching on 1 Kings 19 by Russ today. I really appreciated how he talked about how God reveals himself to those who feel lonely, insecure, and irrelevant. And how God shows us that, though we may not even see it, there is always a future because God continues on.    

Prayer of the day:

God, give me grace to worship you. Give me grace to not find my identity in this madness of modernity, pluralism, or secularism racing around me. Help my thoughts, my identities, my needs to all be rooted and traced back to you. Help me to give thanks to you, Oh Lord, the one who died on a cross in ultimate loneliness. The very same one who died lonely so that He could send the Holy Spirit to me so that I might never be truly lonely. I thank you for turning the tide of this war that plagues my soul and making me one with the Father through your perfect work. You’re my one defense, my righteousness. Oh God, how I need you.   

Amen.

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