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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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The Buzz


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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Monday, October 30, 2006
Prayer...
WAIVER: What follows is a dramatization - it didn't really happen. Judging from the meta, I am starting to feel a little like Orson Wells during the radio broadcast of the War of the Worlds! I apologize for the original presentation, as I see now that it may well have come across as a "prayer request" - and although that was never my intention, it may have happened that some of you who have read this understood it that way - and for misleading you in that direction, those who have found offense, I ask your forgiveness.

Not to justify myself, but to offer a word of explanation - I wrote this post in this particular format to intentionally bypass whatever engrained thought process or bias might otherwise be present and therefore unduly and preemptively flavoring the understanding of the reader. I felt that by this means I might bring greater clarity to the point I was making - and in no way imagined or intentioned anything malevolent or deceitful. I leave the post in its original format however - and if you are reading it for the first time, please understand that it is a dramatization and not a prayer request.

Thank you for those in the meta who voiced concern. I truly wouldn't have noticed any offense had not some sober voices expressed concern.

Daniel.


So Alive!They came to the church about three years ago. She was a young, pretty, and outgoing, and he was smart, tall, and a born leader. They both loved the Lord in a way that was so attractive to others - it was as if the Lord poured them like glue into the congregation - for they seemed to bring people together around that love of God that poured out of them.

She played guitar and was quite a breath of fresh air for the ladies study! She loved the kids, and her love of the Lord was so contagious, that she was absolutely admired by young and old alike - she just had a way of making everyone feel welcome no matter where they were. Her smile was always genuine, and always ready - and if her mouth opened to speak, it was to encourage someone else or to say how much she admired this or that about them. She could see God in all of us, such a breath of life is rare.

If it can be said fairly, the two were like the same side of the same coin. He was so alive in his love for the Lord, a love that burned in him with such a fury it ignited everyone around him. When he first came to the church he took such a shining to grumpy old Mr. Jones, we thought he must be a relative who was required to like that old sour puss. It took about two months, and Mr. Jones cracked like an egg. Suddenly Mr. Jones began to smile, and even talk to people. It turns out he was wasn't really bitter, just lonely, afraid to make friends. Who would have thought this old dry stick had some life in him - and that this same life would become precious in our sight? He would still be grumpy Mr. Jones were it not for the love of this young man. I don't know how he drew Mr. Jones out of his shell, but that was the sort of guy he was - always drawing people back into the fold - sharing his light with them in a way that made you want to be there. He was loved by all of us almost immediately - and not lightly - but with a profound and uncommon depth. God was his life, and the congregation God's temple - and this fellow loved to see that temple adorned right.

When after a year this young couple announced their first pregnancy - if it can be said - they became even more precious to us! By now she was the darling of the church, and he was a pillar that others were leaning on. They seemed to have a study or something going every night, more than a few couples groups, if there was a place to minister - they were there and filled with the most contageous joy that I think others began to share in the ministry just to be around them. When the twins finally came the church, as one, rejoiced with them. We had really come to love these two, and they loved their babes with the same fervor they had poured into all our children. It was touching to see that love - so open, so..words can't really paint it - so right...

Perhaps the most touching thing about them was the time we as a church spent in prayer together. I had never heard anyone pray like that. Not the instructional, bible quoting, polished prayers of "front pew saints." Nor the clumsy breaking, albeit earnest prayers of new believers - no, this was simple, earnest prayer. It had a pure and plain quality to it - like everything else that poured out of this couple - their prayer seemed to be a reflection of God's love. They loved the Lord with every word they spoke and every thing they did - and it was so beautiful to us, though at the time I suppose we didn't really understand it. We would have simply said that we liked them as a couple. Yet were you to ask us afterwards, it was during the times that we prayed together that we felt truly close to them - and it was a sweet closeness indeed.

Which is why when they were both killed in a head on collision on their way home from prayer meeting one Wednesday night, the whole congregatation was stupified. WHAT??!?

Apparently a drunk driver had tried to pass them in the ditch, and when he came back into traffic he side-swiped them, which caused them to careen in front of an oncoming semi trailer - they died instantly and without much warning. Remarkably, the twins came through almost unscratched, which is amazing considering what a crumpled mangle of metal and glass they pulled them out of. I am told that they weren't even crying by the time Child and Family Services took them away from the crash site.

In hindsight, perhaps one of the reasons this couple melded so well into our church was because neither of them had any other family. Child and Family Services took the kids into custody that day, and finding no family for them they were placed into foster care almost immediately. The mother was part native, so the children were given to a foster home on an Indian reserve. Up here in Canada, the reserves are not godly places, nor are they particularly good places for secular people to raise children. If there was a worse case scenario - this was it.

That is only to say that if the shock of loss of this couple was painful, seeing their two little boys tossed to the wolves was, if it can be said, worse. The pain of losing such lovely people is felt more deeply when you imagine that the tragedy didn't end with their death, but was made worse because these little babes whom we had all loved by themselves - received a sudden injection of projected love - as we projected the shared love we all held for their parents into the these - their greatest hope. There is no question in anyone's mind that they would have wanted their children to be brought up in a loving congregational family. It seemed to us as though this couple had come and nested in our church - drawing us all close to God so that their children might be born into the nest they helped to prepare. But now these little ones were being taken away - to be raised by "the system."

It shouldn't surprize you to learn that a prayer meeting was called on the Friday night following - and the whole congregation showed up. THAT by itself was enough to make my eyes wet, but when Mr. Jones came from the back - the first to pray he didn't even make it up the aisle, but bent down right there in front of all of us, right there in the aisle - his dignity the least of his concerns, his arthritic hip must have hurt him something as he went down, but all you could hear was his prayer - that pouring out of a soul to God that gives you goosebumps, and makes you feel like as an unclean voyeur witnessing something precious. This man who had been the most cantankerous old stump - so dry and bitter that we all had secretly wished he would dry up and go be sour somewhere else - when that dear old saint knelt down there in the aisle and wept his heart out before the Lord on behalf of those children -- I felt dirty just being in the same room. If a man has ever opened his chest to God and offered his own heart as a beating prayer, this man did - I can't think about it without a knot in my own throat. His prayer was joined by others, none of which were feigned or put on - the church had one voice that evening - one cry to the Lord, and we were united in it - God was God, and we cried out to him for those children with the wholeness of our hearts for four hours solid - and when we were through most of us were reluctant to leave. We had called on God to intercede for those little ones, to protect them, to find a way for them, and we stayed there on our knees as one body until we had spent ourselves...


Can you picture that scene? I hope you can, because, the thing is...

There really was no couple, nor any twins, nor a cranky old Mr. Jones whom our hero's love softened and whose former pugnacious heart was so tenderly melting our own hearts at some fictional prayer meeting. There was no binding together of people in the church through the wonderful outflow of God's love in some fictional couple - nor any accident that robbed us of such a couple - none of it.

I just made that up to show you what -earnest- prayer looks like.

The Lord can use this sort of tragedy to wake up a church, but I think he prefers to be less dramatic. There was no real tragedy in my story - it never happened. But there is something to be learned there I think. How different our prayers would be if we stopped imagining that everything is going to work out fine by default. We sometimes fail to pray for the children in our church, or for their parents, or for our pastors, our bosses, co-workers, and in fact just about everyone we ought to be praying for - it happens that our prayer life is a beggarly thing indeed.

When you pray for your children today, or for your church or whatever you pray - pray as though you mean it.

I have no idea who the couple in the photo are btw. I borrowed the pic from a google image search for "young couple."
posted by Daniel @ 3:28 PM  
17 Comments:
  • At 5:19 PM, October 30, 2006, Blogger Craver VII said…

    No, I WASN'T crying, 'just had something in my eye is all!

     
  • At 6:22 PM, October 30, 2006, Blogger Peter D. Nelson said…

    There is a name for people who go and tug on my heartstrings and then tell me nope fooling you.

     
  • At 7:27 PM, October 30, 2006, Blogger ThirstyDavid said…

    Well, that was a dirty trick. Thanks. You sure know how to paint a vivid picture.

     
  • At 8:13 PM, October 30, 2006, Blogger Even So... said…

    I thought it was a set up, but what I thought was that they were going to be caught, or one of them was going to be caught, in some big sin or something like that....

    How different our prayers would be if we stopped imagining that everything is going to work out fine by default.

    Bullseye. This is the bad fruit of an intellectual only grasp (as opposed to a real understanding) of Calvinism...I am afraid it has gotten hold of far too many...

    That quote is going into the memory banks, friend...

     
  • At 8:28 PM, October 30, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Peter, I hope it is a nice word..

    Craver, I actually cried a little bit while writing it.

    David, Sorry 'bout the old switcheroo, but I couldn't think of a better way to illustrate the gap between heart felt prayer, and the blazé pandering that sometimes comes out of my own mouth. It struck me the other day as I saw my six year old daughter getting just a little more worldly that I haven't been in prayer lately as I ought to be - this post was born out of that desire to pray more earnestly.

    JD - That is just one of the differences between the genuine and what passes for muster these days ;-)

     
  • At 10:09 PM, October 30, 2006, Blogger Sojourner said…

    Dude, you ruined my trust with that. I no longer believe your fish story.

     
  • At 10:50 PM, October 30, 2006, Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said…

    I feel like I've been robbed. Man, what possessed you to write out that deal?

     
  • At 9:20 AM, October 31, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Brad - the fish story is true!

    Jonathan - I think I was possessed of a strong desire to articulate the difference between earnest prayer and fluff.

    Perhaps I have taken too much artistic license? Should I add a waiver?

     
  • At 11:58 AM, October 31, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    That's better Daniel, I too was a bit shocked at the end of this story.

    God bless,
    Jim

     
  • At 1:13 PM, October 31, 2006, Blogger Carla said…

    wow...

    the old man kneeling in the aisle, that messed me up and I knew it was fiction.

    When did you say your book is coming out?

     
  • At 2:25 PM, October 31, 2006, Blogger Frank Martens said…

    Can I say that the picture offends me?

    The guy next to the girl looks like a girl. I'm rather disturbed....

    Ok really I'm kidding. But great post, it does get you thinking.

     
  • At 6:42 AM, November 01, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Carla - I think if I wrote a fictional book it would end up being be a thinly veiled walk through my entire soteriology, Christology, and eccelisology. As in this story, the only reason the characters would exist would be to demonstrate what Christianity is supposed to look like. I do admit a certain romance in the idea of putting that all down in the third person...

     
  • At 6:43 AM, November 01, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    er, ecclesiology...

     
  • At 2:36 PM, November 01, 2006, Blogger Even So... said…

    A romance novel, then, Daniel?

    Romancing God...it has probably already been done...

    ;0)

     
  • At 9:38 PM, November 01, 2006, Blogger Anne H. said…

    Yes, you are a good writer.

    But you'd never guess that I knew of a lovely couple who had two beautiful children; not twins though. And their car was hit by a semi on a very deadly highway not far from where I live and all four lives were instantly lost to us. The road was all ice and there was no warning.

    I hope you never know pain like losing a whole family in the church like this. This is a true story.

    The numbness that follows and the inability to really pray for awhile does not catch our Precious Lord by surprise. Even the groanings of a broken heart are precious to our Lord.

     
  • At 6:26 AM, November 02, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Anne - sorry to hear about your loss though I am thankful that you shared it with us. Welcome to my blog.

     
  • At 9:57 AM, November 04, 2006, Blogger Anne H. said…

    Thank you, Daniel.

    JD (even so...), have you ever heard of The Divine Romance by Gene Edwards (ISBN 0-8423-1092-4)?

     
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