Daily Diary – 4/1/18

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:

Acts 8:27-28 says: “So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian enunch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way hom wwas sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiaha the prophet.

This is such a cool, cool moment in history as we reflected on it in our ABF lesson this morning. First of all, what was an Ethiopian eunuch doing in Jerusalem to worship God?

Well, we know that the Queen of Sheba was the queen of both Egypt and Ethiopia at the time she met King Solomon. The Psalms speak of relations continuing between these two nations and you can almost feel a tradition of sending diplomats to worship God and visit with the Israelites that is continuing to this day.

But also, how cool is it that he has a scroll of Isaiah the prophet? Who gave it to him? This is a random thing to have procured? But someone, whether a new Christian or a Jewish leader, gave it to him to read.

And here is Philip walking along on a dusty road 50 miles south of his thriving ministry in Samaria. What a picture of how God takes the Gospel forward! This is great, great stuff.

The Bible is so cool because here we have a moment being orchestrated for centuries by God so that at this moment Christianity can make its way to Ethiopia! Man, that is just super cool! Our God is so, so big. And look at Ethiopia’s history. It is distinctly Christian. Something happened here. And I think the Bible has an answer that is centuries in the making. I may not know the full relevancy of my own ministry. In fact, I can promise that I won’t know the impact of my ministry. And yet, I also have confidence that God’s kingdom is going forth. What a God!

Favorite meeting of the day:

Man, we had an Easter potluck lunch today after church and so, so many people came to it! What a picture of the Lord’s people coming together and not just worshipping for a few hours, but living together in community. I am overwhelmed as I think of the beauty of that picture. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a “non-church” gathering on an Easter that has been that large. And it was really fun to realize that we don’t go back to our separate homes to eat a big meal, but rather we live in community together and we love each other. I am thankful for all these people.

Hardest part of my day:

I genuinely don’t know that I had a hardest moment of my day. Honestly, today was so, so good. I don’t want to make it sound like life is peachy or anything, but it kind of was a really, really good day. I’m smiling just writing this and know the truth that God is well disposed towards his people and longs to give them good things. He may lead us through wildernesses as well, but these moments of his goodness are teaching me that he loves us, and I pray will prepare me to be one who receives the wildernesses well when they come.

Favorite moment of the day:

I was doing dishes at the potluck and Sarah came up and helped dry them. I have to admit that me realizing her heart for God’s people, which is so, so obvious in how she acts was one of the things that made me realize that I was feeling attraction there.

So to do a simple act of service together was a fun reminder that what I thought I was observing is real, and I admit that I can actually see some future where we serve God’s kingdom together. I can’t see that when I think about a lot of women in our church. Well, frankly, none right now that I can think of other than her. Otherwise, I’d probably have asked some of them on dates.

I should tell Sarah that I felt that. I want to get better at saying things in person. I think I want to not seem overbearing as we’re still fairly new into things. But at the same time, why leave things unsaid? I imagine that, if things are to continue advancing, that this will get to be much less of a tension.

What was the weather like today?:

Miserable. Rainy and cold. Satan tried to dampen our spirits, but he forgot that when God’s people sing out My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less or Nothing But The Blood that no rain can take away from the glorious truth we live in every single day that Christ is risen!

The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike, but God’s word marches on.

Most unfaithful moment of my day:

Um… I shot some people playing N64 Goldeneye just for a quick fun activity for bedtime. Does that count as unfaithful?

Oh, actually I have one thing! I forgot that it was Chaz Miller’s birthday today! I should have said something. I totally wanted to, but just forgot. I am poor sometimes with details, but I ought not to be. That’s a simple thing I can do that would be good to do.

What am I currently reading?:

Daily Bible Reading – 1 Samuel 12-14

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

Church History by Eusebius – No reading for this today.

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

No Place for Truth: Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? by David F. Wells – He had some interesting points. He really gets into the fact that thought is not to be separated from practice, and practice not separated from thought. Or in another sense, good theology leads us to confession of truth, which leads us to reflect on this truth, and this reflection cultivates virtues in our life. So there is confession, consideration, and cultivation in our lives if you want a good way to remember it.

I like that he hits on the fact that what made the early church so potent was that they absolutely believed the truth of what they preached. And they did so amongst a society that was a religiously pluralistic as the society we live in today. Which, had the fun side effect that he brought up of pointing out how we are specious when we claim that Jesus and the apostles did not have these modern dilemmas we know. In fact, our modern society with its pluralism is the closest thing to the early church the western world has known in quite some time.

Also interesting was his highlighting the fact that the Reformation was not primarily an issue of whether there was truth or not, but who was rightly interpreting the truth. In this, the Reformation became less of a theological debate — in some senses — and more of a historical debate. Which is an intriguing but, I think, accurate way to look at it. Tradition thus has a very important place in the Christian tradition. We need to not confuse Tradition with Traditionalism. Brad, in a sermon on Mark 7, had a helpful quote that said, “Tradition is the living faith of the dead, while Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.” This is good and reminds us that Tradition is not our hope, but it is something to be looked at because what we, essentially, do in the Christian faith is to succeed the apostles not in an apostolic office sense, but we succeed them in carrying forth the truths that Christ taught while he dwelt amongst us. Which, I also really liked how this makes Christianity different than other religions. Because while so many other things that would claim “tradition” would use it to overpower and claim authority over younger generations. But the whole point of Christianity is for older generations to see younger generations succeed them in taking up the tradition. This means that, as we age, one of the harder parts of humanity is that we must move aside and encourage those coming behind us to carry on the mantle. That’s not to say we retire or anything, but we cede the power and mantle we have willingly so that the truth of Christ’s Gospel goes forth past us in all authority and power. What a cool thought and how counterinituitive to the rest of the world! I almost want to write a blog post on this, although I think maybe this diary has become a mini blog post on that fact. Lol. 🙂

I also appreciated the fact that because we have lost the sight of truth in our theology and because our definition of theology has merely become synonymous with our idea of private convictions, we (speaking generally of American/Western churches) preach sermons that primarily contextualize Scripture for a person’s life rather than contextualizing someone’s life to conform to Scripture. He would say we’ve “psychologized” our sermons, and I think that’s a very fair critique.

On the Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther – No reading for this today.

What was for dinner?:

A few Hawaiian rolls that came home with me. I didn’t eat much after lunch, which was a big meal. Although, I didn’t find it too heavy. I didn’t frequent the dessert table too much!

Song of the day:

Nothing But the Blood – Amazing song. I could sing this every day and it would probably soften my heart. I’m disappointed that I can’t find a good edition of this song on Spotify. There’s a few decent ones, but I’m woefully taken aback by the dearth of versions of this song. Everyone is singing the new one, which is alright but doesn’t carry the same punch of the older hymn for me.

I mostly wish there was a version that started off a bit slower and built over the song rather than the way so many do it which are peppy from the get go and never stop. I get the excitement of singing the song, but a bit of emotional dynamic to the song seems appropriate.

I wish we had recorded a version we played about a month back at UBC. I thought we did a great job with it. It seemed simple, but had a really good sound and feel to it. Oh well, I’ll keep looking for a version I like.

Quote of the day:

“Sin is not merely incidental, but fundamental to your character.” — Brad Wheeler

A good reminder that those shackles of sin. That self-aggrandizing, self-absorbed nature to yourself. That angry, vicious side that lashes out sometimes. That isolated, unhelpful lout that lives within me, that’s not an aberration. That’s who I was and part of me yet wants to be.

Prayer of the day:

Lord, you are amazing. Thank you that Ephesians 1 tells us all that you have already done in the past tense, but then Lord, amazingly, you tell us that we “have” our redemption in the current sense. What a gift, Lord! I pray that I would be one who never separates my thoughts from practice nor my practice from my thoughts but would be faithful to you in word and deed. Lord, help me to look to the wisdom of those who came before me and to confess the truth confidently to a world that questions you. Lord, help me then to age well and cherish those coming up behind me. Not as usurpers of my throne, but as inheritors of your grace so that they might be raised up as powerful warriors for your kingdom. Above all, Lord, may I praise you constantly for sending One who died, was buried, and then was resurrected all to the Glory of God’s name, and that through this one’s blood you have claimed a people unto yourself who have been redeemed. Let me praise you for the lavished riches of your grace, oh God!       

Amen.

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