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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.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[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.
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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.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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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.
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Thursday, January 31, 2008
Another Five Minute Post.
As I was teaching Greek to my little ones yesterday morning, I began to correct the translation work of my eldest girl. She has been quite good at learning her vocabulary, and learning how to conjugate regular and irregular verbs, how to decline nouns of the first and second declensions, and a multitude of adjectives and prepositions. I say: she can work on this stuff without much supervision. But when we start to do the actual translation she has a miserable time with it.

She knows how to inflect a noun so that it is, say, in the Dative Plural, but she doesn't know when to use it or why you would ever give it that particular inflection.

Now in part this reflects upon my teaching. I have been focused on making sure we are all done our stuff before I go to work in the morning, and that has caused me on more than one occasion to project a "get this done at all costs now" sort of message, and this has been amplified by my daughters own task oriented focus. She is missing the big picture because she is focused on finishing and perfecting the little picture.

Now, it is good and right - and even critically necessary that she completely grasp the little picture; yet one need not do so at the expense of its application, in fact, to do so at the expense of application is a great misunderstanding of the very reason we are studying Greek. The ability to parse a noun or conjugate a verb is critical to correct translation - but seriously, it is just one piece in the translation puzzle. You must know why and when to use these words if you are going to translate from English to Greek or vice versa.

I take from this a lesson for the church. I see that to a greater or lesser extent, many Christians are more focused on the Sunday service than they are on the point of Sunday service. They come on Sunday, but they don't really know -why- they bother showing up - except because "that is what we do when we are Christians".

For some this is simply a habit, for others they are concerned about what people would think if they didn't show up, and for still others they come because it makes them feel good about themselves (less guilty), and some even come just to be entertained or to visit friends, and no matter how pious we personally happen to be, our old man is tuned in to one or more of these reasons. It is far easier to come to church in the flesh for the Sunday sermon than it is the Wednesday prayer night. On Sunday we can see and be seen, yet remain more or less anonymous, fulfill what is expected of us, and go home. But on Wednesday we are actually expected to participate - and frankly, talking to God is best done without hypocrisy, such that guilt will keep most people at home.

My encouragement this morning - brief as it is because I have to get going here - is to make certain that your religion sees the big picture. We do not congregate with other believers in order to "put in as much time as we feel obligated to surrender" -fostering a "just get it over with" mentality betrays our own ignorance of who we are in Christ. When a believer mistakes the reins for a pull rope, the church becomes a burden that he tries to drag around to satisfy God, but when he sees the reins for what they are, he gets on that pony and rides.

Labels: ,

posted by Daniel @ 6:27 AM  
5 Comments:
  • At 7:03 AM, January 31, 2008, Blogger mark pierson said…

    Very insightful!

     
  • At 10:36 AM, January 31, 2008, Blogger Even So... said…

    Of course if you were never inclined to go there, then...

     
  • At 8:41 PM, January 31, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    Well, of course... ;-)

     
  • At 5:03 PM, February 01, 2008, Blogger Strong Tower said…

    Centurion touches somewhat on this at his place.

    What I want do know, is when you've gone through the first and second declensions for justifying why you show up and can't really find a good reason to, do you not?

     
  • At 6:50 AM, February 02, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    Strong Tower, I had to read your question like eight times until I finally understood what you were talking about. I must be slow this morning.

    When King David's men wanted to stone him after they returned to Ziklag and found the women and children gone and the city plundered - David strengthened himself in the LORD his God. I think of that when I personally come to the place where the flesh is in control (such as when I don't want to go to a prayer meeting for the right reasons) - and like David, I encourage myself in the Lord and am strengthened in the Spirit.

    While my infancy in Christ was marked by profound and many failures, as I mature I find the frequency of victory increasing.

     
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