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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
 
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Wednesday, July 20, 2005
DVBS!
Our church this year, this week in fact, is (for the first time) hosting a daily vacation bible school. As a member of our church leadership and the chair of the Christian Education Committee - not to mention the father of two of the children who will be attending - it was a forgone conclusion that I would "volunteer" my time to this ministry.

I will say outright, that I do not feel comfortable dealing with unparented children. When I say "unparented" I am referring to that growing percentage of children who are being brought up more by society than by their own natural parents. This is of course a sad reflection upon our times. That Post Modern mindset that seems to have gripped the first world has taught the secular world to tolerate poor parenting. Surely it isn't the parents fault - the parents are "victims" who "have no choice" in the matter. Society has handed them a poor job, or a bad marriage - the excuses that justify allowing television, daycare and public school to rear this generation of children are many, but are they valid?

Of not, one particular family brought their children to the VBS, and in one night the youngest son (five years old) ran away from his group - found a knife in the kitchen, and proceeded to find a lemon in the kitchen, and trying to cut it, ended up cutting his own hand. The lad had no boundaries or understanding of boundaries. He walked away from every single activity, paying attention to none - and towards the end of the evening - after pulling the fire alarm (no less), he continuously tried to run out of the church building. His older sisters were no better. The eldest of the three was perhaps the best behaved - she was only disinterested and difficult, having no real interest in what was going on. The middle child, a girl, shared the same disinterest, but made a point of going into the woman's washroom and making a deliberate (and near impossible) mess there. Later she too left her group to roam about the church - running through the sanctuary and leaping over pews, before trying also to run from the church building.

Now, praise the Lord! These kids need to be there - it is for such as these that we put on the bible school. But I confess, were I obedient to my flesh in this matter, I would be a hundred miles away!

We did well enough, and the next day (yesterday) was much better. (I suspect that it was because there was --much-- prayer that night for this particular family!) The middle girl was "medicated" and the young boy was given one on one attention all night. They were like a different family! Different in the sense that they were not "crazed" seeming. They were not quite as disrespectful as they had been the day before, and perhaps a little less disinterested.

I believe my gifting is primarily a speaking gift - that is, teaching, preaching, and leadership. My "comfort zone" (Oh, how I loathed to use hackneyed psycho-babble of this church age!) does not include working with unparented children (have I mentioned that?).

Anyway, my role in this VBS is sort of the "drama" guy - that is I put on a different topical skit every day. The skits are all scripted out, but frankly, I haven't bothered to memorize them, but have read them through to get the gist of what is supposed to be being taught, and I just go with the group and the moment and see where it takes us. I have had fun with it - and having my own penchant for being a class clown, I love to ham it up. The first night we were doing the scene where the angels come down and speak to the shepherds (who were keeping watch over the flocks by night.) My first line was "Don't be afraid" - the kids were "recruited" to be angels and help me deliver the message. To make it informative, we were to sneak up on the shepherds and listen in to their conversation, and when they ran out of script I was to deliver my line and tell them of the birth of Christ. So I made a big show of preparing the children - "These shepherds have never seen an angel before, and they will likely be terrified, so we have to be very careful not to freak them out too much" etc. Then we led the kids into a darkened Sunday school room where the shepherds were sitting around a pretend fire acting - the kids had flashlights (We called them "angel lights"), and we all snuck in so quietly - once or twice I reminded them that we have to be careful not to "over-scare" the shepherd's. When the time came to deliver my line, I turned the lights on and jumped into the midst of them, and while I towered over them the most imposing posture I could muster, I demanding of them in a suddenly exaggerated and booming voice that they "not be afraid." The effect was quite comical - the guys were not expecting me to jump at them like I did, so I got some genuine reflex cringing from them, and it was comically obvious to all the children that in spite of my apparent concern for the sanity of these shepherds, in reality I was doing everything I could to frighten them to death.

It went over well with the kids - five seconds of uncontrolled laughter, put the kids at ease for their part - delivering the message with me to these shepherds about the child that was born in a manger.

Anyway, the point is as much as I didn't want to enjoy the time - as much as I felt in my flesh that I didn't want to be there, I had a great time - what can I say? I love the Lord, and -any- opportunity to minister ends up being awesome.
posted by Daniel @ 10:19 AM  
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