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:
Ephesians 2:14-16 says: “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.”
I was stuck by the idea of the two people being made into one, new humanity. Later as I was watching a video it struck me how this is beautifully depicted in marriages. The Lord says in Genesis that a man shall leave his father and mother and take a wife and the two will become one flesh. Later, the Lord says in Deuteronomy that God is one. The clear implication here is that man and woman are made one as much in their joining to each other as their being joined by God. There is a triune element in marriage that involves God, man, and woman just as in the Trinity God is one between Father, Son, and Spirit.
But when looking at marriage, God takes two different people and creates one humanity out of them. Most notably, this is one of the miraculous symbols of childbirth. God takes the two and creates in the joining of them something new, wonderful, and marvelous. I understand that not all have this beautiful privilege as sin mars this picture and that marring of sin is in and of itself a reminder that we need saving from sin that effects the most natural of cycles found in our world.
But it is amazing to me the more I look at the world how God has given testimony to his truth in the way life is played out and if I have but eyes to see, I find that his word rings true in the playing out of the lives of his people. Praise God that, in Christ, the Jew and Gentile were joined and spawned a life of something new, something I can be part of, something I could be born into!
Favorite meeting of the day:
Had a lot of fun at our Wednesday reading group. It was really funny this morning and I enjoy the time with one another. I always like getting together and having a good laugh and discussing some deeper topics.
Hardest part of my day:
It seems that some of our emails that I’m doing for a company sent out early today. That’s a bummer since I worked a bit to get those all set up and then it just misfired! But it wasn’t all lost. I guess it will be alright. It’s just a reminder that you can toil so much and this life is still full of mistakes and disappointments and life is not nearly as fruitful as you would hope it to be. I can’t wait for Heaven to come where work will be rewarding and fruitful and always a joy!
Favorite moment of the day:
Remembering that I can say no to sin. I had a moment where my mind seemed split apart, which is not untypical, and I saw the two paths before me in my heart and mind. And I said no to sin. I shut it down. I’m not always that strong, but it’s nice when it happens. It’s nice when I remember that the power in Christ that I possess is enough to not be subject and slave to sin any longer. It also is scary that the sinful man still lurks within me. Sometimes the thoughts I have are crazy. I mean, seriously. Sin makes you think odd things and if you catch yourself in the middle of that, you can hardly believe that exists within yourself. But we must believe in it, or else we will dismiss it and be dismantled by that inner enemy — the enemy that is ourselves that exists within our own hearts.
What was the weather like today?:
Real muggy and rainy. Sticky and wet and brought out mosquitoes. Ew.
Most unfaithful moment of my day:
I probably overate dinner at Guy Wilcox’s house with the youth tonight. I don’t need to indulge like that. Now, I did fast most the day. But that hunger made me ravenous and I put a lot of food down before I realized I was quite full. I should eat slower, I think. I also think the idea of moving slower as I digest things — anything, really — is a healthy notion and I could practice being faithful with how I eat. It’s a good thought I need to really put into practice.
What am I currently reading?:
Daily Bible Reading – 2 Chronicles 25-28
Church History by Eusebius – No reading for this today.
Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Ed Welch – He discussed the lies of addictions. If we are addicted to something, we will lie about this.
Some ways I have found this true in my life. I exaggerate how long it has been since last time I sinned. I also almost always start off by saying how things have been good if someone asks me how I’ve been doing.
But sometimes these are lies. Sometimes it has been more recent that I’ve sinned than I want to admit. I think I do a better job with this, but sometimes I shockingly lie without realizing it and only realize it after the fact. Which is one of the parts of his definition of an addiction in Chapter 2. An addiction is something that defends itself from truth. Addictions can’t stand the truth, so they push you to distort it so they can be protected in our hearts.
But the second issue of saying things are good is something I should stop. I think subconsciously we know the hope of the Gospel should make us speak in a way that makes us sound so confident and secure in our position. But sometimes sin should rattle us to our core and we should be disturbed by how not okay we are. So I want to be more honest about what is going on in my heart. I want to tell the truth.
And he says that this is important because it is not only that lying hurts us and those around us, but it doesn’t portray God. God is truth. He is always truthful. When we lie we are in bondage to Satan.
I also think this idea reinforces how “lesser” sins are actually much deeper issues in our lives than we’d like to admit. Something as innocuous as adding a few weeks to the last time I’ve looked at pornography doesn’t seem so bad. But it’s protecting myself and hiding in shadows — even if just a small shadow. I can’t let that ever be the case.
So I resolve to be truthful. This will mean that people will know I am weak. That I am flawed. That I’m in trouble. But it will also reflect on Christ and God, our Savior who is always truthful and honest.
One thing I liked about this chapter is helpful advice when counseling people you know are in addictions. When you ask them a question, feel free to be direct and ask them to think about what they’re about to say before answering. Force them to confront the reality of their words. Because, of course, the greatest victim of our lies is ourselves. For sometimes we don’t realize our deception of others because we are busy being deceived by Satan himself and we must take stock of our true situations lest we be lost forever.
This book is a must read just in understanding the nature of idols, sins, addictions, etc. Very good and very helpful. I’m enjoying it a lot!
On the Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther – No reading for this today.
Holiness by J.C. Ryle – No reading for this today.
What was for dinner?:
Burgers, brats, and some dessert. Good cookout to start the summer with the youth group at the Wilcox’s house!
Song of the day:
You Are My King by Newsboys – In all I do, let me honor you. It is striking to me that we are to honor Christ in all we do. Similar to what I wrote about yesterday, the word all is quite big, but it’s only as big as we make it. What does that really mean? To honor him in all we do? If we feel we’re there, I promise that we’ve engaged in the self-deception we just wrote about. He deserves our willingness to grapple with the idea of all we do honoring him and whether we’re really striving towards that.
Quote of the day:
“Can you exspleen that to me?” — Guy Wilcox
We got caught up discussing some modern medicine this morning. Guy had the most hilarious joke. I honestly can’t set up the right context. But suffice it to say, I was chortling. Yes, chortling. This was gold right here.
Prayer of the day:
Oh Lord, my Savior and my God! How great you are, for you have paid all my sin with your atoning work on the cross. God, in honor of this, you are deserving of all I do to be in the hope of honoring you with my life. Please help me to be serious about this idea and to love you well in how I conduct my life. Lord, help me to start doing this more by being honest, even embarrassingly so about where I am at in my life. Lord, I want to be honest because it is a reflection of you. If you had been false with me, even just for a moment, I would have no hope. I would not know if you had chosen to lie about something crucial or whether you might renege on your word later. But because of your great love for us, you deal fairly and squarely with us. Oh God, my rock and my redeemer, let me be a reflection of the firm foundation that I stand upon that I might be a bold confessor of my situation because I know that the Gospel does not heap shame upon me, but uncovers my shame that it might be covered over by the blood of Christ.