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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, April 04, 2007
The Best Thing I Have Ever Done.
Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives...A few days ago, as I was in prayer before the Lord and found myself battling with a sense of despondancy.

I am not talking about a momentary struggle against some common temptation - but rather a deeper temptation against a more primary pillar. My whole Christian endeavor seemed to me to a slender tower that was suddenly taking a beating on its foundation; whole volleys of doubt pounded the foundation like so many weighty stones hurled by unseen engines of war - and as each pounded against my faith, the weight of their fall shook the whole of me; which is to say, I was feeling quite troubled before my God, inadequate, and desiring that God would pity me for all my failure.

Yes, yes, it is pathetic. But let's move on.

So as I was crying out to Christ specifically to beg him to turn even this to His glory, as I am well aware that God uses all things for good to those who love Him, so I called out and begged my Lord to allow as much to come as would give Him the greatest glory. That may sound noble, but if were acted out, the actor wouldn't be standing up nobly and proclaiming it with a firm chin and an erect and confident mein - rather, it would be a beggarly, shaking little voice, squeaked out of some snivelling wreck - almost a whimper, and no louder than a whisper.

So there I was in prayer - a breath away from defeat really - when a thought came into my mind: "What is the best thing that has ever happened to you in your whole entire life?" Now it wasn't some mystical voice I heard, it was just my own thought, but it seemed so out of touch with what I was doing at the moment I had to stop and go, "Huh?" The thought was still there, like the ringing echo after you speak in an empty room. What was the best day of my life? What does that have to do with anything? But just as a planted seed begins to grow with light and water, so too, as I stopped to think why I was having this thought in the first place - I began to run the tape of my whole life in my mind.

What was the best thing I ever did? Was it getting married? Having children? Some grand accomplishment that won me respect? Hmmm. The question wasn't really about the happiest day of my life, it was direct - Daniel, you there, what is the best thing you personally have ever done? I looked over my brief history of charity - and there were some nice things there - but could I say that anyone one act was the penultimate act? Something that could be put on my tombstone - "Daniel did such and such" - and the reader would be left to think, "man, that is really a good thing Daniel has done."

As I pondered it, I began to see that there really wasn't a long list of "good" things I had done ever, and frankly, nothing stood out as being the best thing I ever did - until it hit me sideways. As I hesitated there, in the midst of feelings of spiritual impotence and uselessness - I understood with absolute certainty and clarity what ought to have been obvious. The best thing I have ever done in my life, the greatest moment of my whole life, was the moment I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. Nothing compares to it - absolutely nothing.

Then came the "two" of the "one-two" punch. I remembered that I would never have come to Christ on my own - that He called me, and I answered His call. That just as Paul was minding his own business on the Damascus Road when WHAM! Jesus was suddenly real, and suddenly God - so too, I could take no credit for what God had wrought in me.

The greatest thing that I have ever done was in fact something that God did in me. It knocked the wind out of the sails of my despondancy in an instant.

So that night, at the supper table I asked the question of my family. My fullest expectation was that they would consider it, put forth some ideas, and slowly come to the same realization I had. I was actually looking forward to seeing them struggle as I had through all the possibilities, and then watch their faces brighten up one by one as the truth came to them, or perhaps as I, with paternal grace, informed them of the greatest thing I had ever done, and then they would all marvel at the depth of that truth, and perhaps a little part of them would respect me even more...

Except that the question was barely out of my mouth when my eldest son, almost lazily replied, "Oh, that would be the day that Christ saved me, coming to Christ was the best thing I ever did!"

I was struck dumb. Honestly - I had agonized over that question that same morning, and when I came to the answer, it was like someone turned the lights on for me - I was actually looking forward to asking my family the question, hearing their answers, then letting them in on what I found out that morning.

So when my son shot off *the* answer without even a single moments hesitation - I was almost put off. I mean, sure, being nine he didn't have a lot of life to go sifting through, but I hardly expected him to even come to the right answer, let alone do so off the cuff like that.

Anyway, it taught me that [1] God loves me enough to remind me that I love Him because He first loved me, [2] I can get pretty full of myself sometimes, and because my God is a good God, He reminds me that I have nothing good that hasn't been given to me.
posted by Daniel @ 12:47 PM  
7 Comments:
  • At 3:07 PM, April 04, 2007, Blogger Sojourner said…

    Man, I hope that Jesus saves my son too.

     
  • At 3:27 PM, April 04, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    I hope he saves my other children too.

     
  • At 11:56 PM, April 04, 2007, Blogger Bryan said…

    Like me and Jonny have talked about; your son will be quite interesting when he grows up.

     
  • At 5:28 AM, April 05, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    Bryan,

    He hopes that he will be a basketball playing, comic book writing, computer game programming pastor/astronaut when he grows up.

    One thing I have found both humbling and cool at the same time is when he gets an insight into scripture that I haven't had yet - It teaches me that the Holy Spirit can work in any believer, and reminds me that our little ones who have turned to Christ are as much a part of the church as the adults - they have gifts that edify the whole church, and not merely other children.

    The main thing I hope my boy has as he grows up is an unshakable joy in the Lord. I will guage my success as a parent, not by how well adapted he is to this world (job, influence, success), but rather by whether his relationship with the Lord brings him joy and comfort daily. If I have enabled my son to live a genuinely Spirit filled life, I have done well as a parent. On my death bed I am not going to feel comforted by whatever worldly accolades my son manages to achieve, but I will take great comfort if I know he knows the Lord - not merely because I desire his company for all eternity, but also because as a father I wish "the best" for my son here and now - and I know that living in Christ is the best. ;-)

     
  • At 11:43 AM, April 05, 2007, Blogger Even So... said…

    Amen to all that and comments too...

    If it was good, He did it...
    If it was bad, we did it...

     
  • At 1:05 PM, April 05, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    JD - I have almost commented on your reply to DJP about three times now. ;-) If I can say what I want with some brevity I may comment there yet!

     
  • At 8:26 AM, April 07, 2007, Blogger Gayla said…

    Amen to all of it! :)

    Blessings to you and your family this Easter weekend, Daniel.

    (P.S. -look for for my upcoming Monday's post at my blog)

     
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