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.
Godly thought of the day:
2 John 9 says: “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever cotinues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.”
Just a really good reminder to an aspiring pastor that what matters is not how fancy I get with my teaching, but how faithful I am with my teaching. I can work long, hard hours to come up with something creative and I may have missed God entirely. However, if I spend long, hard hours working to know what God has already said, I will never be disappointed. It’s not about discovering new truths, but about rediscovering old truths.
Favorite meeting of the day:
Got to visit with Dale Wright. Andrew Nunn and Kyle Smith went with me. Dale is such a sweet encouragement to witness. I asked him if he was afraid thinking about death at all, and he said “No, not even a bit.” without even hesitating. He has rectal cancer and is not long for this world. He gave some surprising answers to questions today. He said that Jonah was the most important book of the Bible, and Augustine is the person he wants to meet the most in Heaven. We told Dale that he ought to go introduce himself to Augustion of Hippo and tell him that he is Dale of Fayetteville. He liked that idea. Dale will end up being a hero of the faith to me.
Hardest part of my day:
Visiting Dale. Getting to know him is going to make death that much harder. In some ways, I feel like I’ve never really known someone who was dying. I’ve always been so distant from any deaths I’ve witnessed. My grandma Buttermore is by far the closest this has been, but this seems even more intense. To be with Dale, in the hospital room, is a lot to bear. I can already tell that his death will have greater impact than any I’ve ever experienced. It’s a bittersweet thing to walk through this process of someone transtioning from one life to the next.
Favorite moment of the day:
Luke Stanton came over and had dinner with me. He asked me how some things were going with Sarah, and about an hour later I realized I had talked his ear off. I think the more I talk about her, the more I realize that I really am starting to like this girl. Perhaps that last sentence is even an understatement. In fact, I’m almost sure it must be at this point. But that’s such a big thought and I’ve never thought it about anyone that it’s hard to wrap my head around sometimes.
What was the weather like today?:
A gorgeous day outside! Arkansas was kind with its weather today. We will have to see what goes on tomorrow. Every day is an adventure this Spring.
Most unfaithful moment of my day:
I do wish I had spent some time reading the Bible with Luke and praying with him. I have been trying to get into some more regularl patterns of discipleship with him, and I think reading 1 and 2 Peter would be good for him. I need to talk less of myself and spend more time on him next time he comes over.
What am I currently reading?:
Daily Bible Reading – 2 Samuel 4-7
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 – No reading for this today.
On the Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther – No reading for this today.
Princeps Fury by Jim Butcher – No reading for this today.
What was for dinner?:
Kielbasa skillet with maple seasoning. Salad and Olive Garden dressing provided by Luke. The remainders of the tort that Sarah and I made. Luke was quite impressed by that!
Song of the day:
Christ is Risen by Matt Maher – The thought of Dale dying is very sad to me. If it weren’t for the Gospel, it would be overwhelming. “Oh death, where is your sting? Oh Hell, where is your victory? Oh church, come stand in the light. The glory of God has defeated the night.”
This is the hope that I have. I only say goodbye to Dale for a short time whenever it comes. Otherwise, I would drown my sorrows in a bottle, or sex, or some other thing. Let our church not mourn Dale like the world mourns their dead, for the ressurrection of Christ cannot leave such despair in our hearts when we rejoice at the thought of Dale in Heaven and that we know we will join him in time.
Quote of the day:
“Shame on you!” and “There is no hour more segregated than 11AM in America.” — Charlie Dates
Charlie Dates’ talk at the MLK @ 50 conference was something I listened to today. Man, that got me. I’ve never really felt so keenly how the black church feels about the white church. Even the fact that I can say that last sentence and it makes perfect sentence breaks my heart. There is no black and white church. There is only the church. Fayetteville is a very white town. But I am compelled to look into how systemic racism is a problem in this area and demand justice, because God’s justice has been satisfied and only the righteousness of Christ can educate the world on what true justice looks like. We must be just like Christ and demand that segregation is a stench in the nosrils of God that must be stamped out.
Prayer of the day:
Lord, forgive me my ignorance. Forgive me for being a partaker in social systems that are a stench to you. Open my eyes, Lord. Give me ears, Lord. Soften my heart. Make me gentle and sincer. Make me strong and convicted. May the world shake as your church in America shakes off her sleep and rises forth. Oh, Lord! It is time. It is time we divorce ourselves from the world and forsake the comforts of this world. It is time we preach the Gospel once more. How can we stay silent any longer, Lord? May our hearts break every time we let a breath depart our lips without your name, your justice, and your glory pouring forth like a mighty stream. Lord, your church is sluggishly awakeneing. Give her energy. Give her strength. May she cascade over the wounds of these barren landscapes that we call luxury and heal our nation with the only healing power ever found on this planet.