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:
Judges 18:23-24 says: “As they shouted after them, the Danites turned and said to Micah, “What’s the matter with you that you called out your men to fight?” He replied, “You took the gods I made, and my priest, and went away. What else do I have? How can you ask, ‘What’s the matter with you?’”
Anyone who has come face to face with their idols and known them well understands this is the heart of what idol worship does to you. At some point that sweet lover will abandon you. You’ll find it possessed by someone else or leaving you when it’s used you. And you’ll look in despair and wonder what else there is to live for.
This therefore is a great barometer for trying to find idols in our lives. What can we not imagine life without? If we can’t imagine life without something, then we really ought to ask why that is. If it’s basic, daily bread just to keep living, that’s one thing. But if something that you’ve completely and freely chosen to go after scares you to live without, then you should beware that very thing. Because it is likely to be taken from you and, when it goes, you will be left feeling empty. The God of the Bible will be no consolation to you in that day.
Favorite meeting of the day:
Went to a funeral for Shiley Lasse. Man, how cool was it that she had so many multiethnic people there! I’m not sure my funeral would look like that. Not that there’s something automatically wrong with the fact that most of the people at mine would be white. But how cool it was that Shirley lived a life that brought people from all tribes, tongues, and nations together to remember her in fond memory.
Also, everyone I asked about her said she knew Scripture and could apply the right Scripture to the right situation basically all the time. That’s amazing and everyone said she inspired them to want to do the same. I hope to leave legacies like Shirley did.
Hardest part of my day:
Went to see Dale at the rehab center. He was sleeping, so we didn’t wake him. But he looked really, really awful. 😦 He’s so thin. He was having trouble breathing. He’s not much longer for this world. He must have fallen asleep to the Bible app reading him Scripture or a sermon or something like that, because he had something from 2 Corinthians going while he slept. When that man dies, it will be with Scripture in his ears. I will weep on that day.
Favorite moment of the day:
Luke Stanton and I had a fun evening! We both said we liked Danny Kaye. I asked him to name his favorite movie and, of course, he named the Court Jester off! What a guy! So, of course, we went and watched it this evening. What an absolutely hilarious movie!
What was the weather like today?:
It was pretty good. It kept getting better and better as the day went on. It was beautiful this evening. A faint, crisp cool that was not overwhelming made the stars and moon stand out as I left Luke’s house. What a beautiful world we’ve been given.
Most unfaithful moment of my day:
I was slow getting to bed last night. So I didn’t get up early and go to the gym today. I should have probably tried to do that. Need to be disciplined with bedtime routines. That was the first time I’ve really dilly dallyed getting to bed. Need to not let that slip into habit.
What am I currently reading?:
Daily Bible Reading – 1 Kings 10 & 11
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 – Luther was outlining Erasmus position and was basically effacing the fact that Erasmus felt that he needed to submit to the will of the church, even though he did not really agree with the church on the matter of will. Basically, Erasmus said that church unity is more important than asserting the truth. This sounds noble on the front, but Luther gets adamant that we are a people who are built upon confessions and assertions from Scripture. Not all things are necessary to the faith and some things should be set aside for unity’s sake. But we must not just say all things are to be set aside for unity’s sake, which Erasmus basically does. Therefore, Erasmus says that submission to the church is important, even though one does not need to live like the church. In effect, Erasmus both says that no one has authority, or at least that no one ought to, question the church and their proclamations are to be left alone. He also seems to suggest that submission is not the same thing as obedience. But to be disobediently submissive is to be in rebellion against an acknowledged governing authority, which sounds a lot like sin.
I honestly can’t help but hear the calls that most churches might put out. “Don’t talk about racial tensions in America. That’s political, not Gospel issues. Don’t disrupt unity in the church for that issue.” They’re making the same plea. That’s not important. Don’t cause unity. Yes, it’s serious. But not serious enough to take a stand and work things out for the sake of God’s name. Church unity is great, but at some point we must be willing to take a stand for things we find important. Do I think Presbyterians are wrong on baptism? Yes, I do. I think Baptists have very good baptismal theology. But do I respect and love that Presbyterians have a solid stance on their baptismal theology? Absolutely, because at least they are confident and convicted in their assertation of Scripture. Better that than a wishy washy skeptic who sees no authority to bind the person and conscious of both man and church to the will of God.
What was for dinner?:
Jason’s Deli with Luke Stanton. Had a Papa Joe’s sandwich (very tasty) and a big ole salad with lots of (hopefully) good nutrients on it! Some ice cream to top things off.
Song of the day:
Be Still by Newsboys – Death is coming for me. I see it so regularly at UBC. I can’t get away. I can run for so many things. I can run for the pastorate. I can run for a relationship with Sarah. I can run for a larger paycheck at work. I can run for friendships. I can run for… you get the idea. But I may die tomorrow. I really might. I’ve learned so much in the last 3-4 months that my days are numbered and I don’t know the number. So rather than run aimlessly, I will sit purposely and dwell at the feet of the cross and look for opportunities to be faithful. If, in my stillness, I see opportunities to rise, go forth, and proclaim God’s name, then that I will also do in my still Spirit. I will wait on the Lord.
Quote of the day:
“Today, UBC lost a mighty oak tree, and the landscape will never look the same.” — John Mueller
I was struck by this work by John to open up the funeral service. What a striking idea. Landscapes shift and change, and they carry with them real loss. Thank goodness the word of God never changes and raises up new oaks in new places as testimonies to the steadfast endurance and goodness of God’s word.
Prayer of the day:
Rest well, Shirley. I know so little about you, but I know you are delighting in your rest. I will strive to honor your memory by making God’s word a thing imprinted on my heart and mind. I will teach it to all who will listen to me. I will inconvenience myself in hospitality for the sake of the Gospel and I won’t grumble and complain that I am doing so. Shirley, I never even really knew you and yet you have touched my life. Lord, thank you for your older saints who have gone before me. They pave the way for me to see what faithfulness looks like. Praise you, oh Lord, that death is not an ending but that it is merely the end of the introduction. A foreword. It is but the opening paragraph to the rest of life that exists past those pearly gates on the shores of splendor. Lord, let these testimonies I have heard carry me to you and let me fall down with a still spirit at your feet and learn from what you have spoken to me so that, in your time, you may produce from my heart a mighty oak tree that all who come and see will marvel at the stream that feeds it.