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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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Monday, February 23, 2009
The Sermon - Three Perspectives (fiction)
From the perspective of the Enemy:
Local Spiritual Principality to Underlings: Pastor John Doe has asked a new comer, Bob Smith, to preach at Dominion Church on Sunday. I want a team on Bob Smith pronto. Who is this guy, and what do we know?

Underling: He's legit. He was saved in district seven, we had a team on a pastor there, and when the pastor lead him to Christ, the whole team followed him home and worked on him till he was sure he wasn't really saved. He dropped off the map for a decade or so, but came back on radar about a dozen years ago. Mostly support roles. His strengths are, lessee... (glancing at clipboard), He knows the word well, and has made friend with more than a few people who continue to intercede on his behalf. Weaknesses: He's exceptionally smart, and is still trusting in his own gifts, um... (flipping through pages), seems we have a history of procrastination....

Local Spiritual Principality: (Interrupting) What kinda porn is he hooked on?

Underling: Let's... see... (flip, flip) last episode,... you're not gonna like this --four years ago, but it ended bad - real repentance, public apologies - restoration - the whole nine yards...

Local Spiritual Principality: Well, ... whatever else we do, try a high intensity run at him again - couldn't hurt. Find out his fetish and get some people on it. You never know. What sort of kingdom work have we got on this guy?

Underling: He's definitely a "builder." He has been given a love for the body, and thrives when he is building it up, but he hasn't done a lot of personal evangelism. ...what're you thinking?

Local Spiritual Principality: I think we might want to focus on his personal feelings of failure this week - and see if we can't make him believe that failure in one area translates into complete and utter failure in all areas. That often works well in the short term.

Underling: Brilliant as always master, ...

Local Spiritual Principality: You said he was a procrastinator? Hammer that. I want this guy on as many bunny trails this weeks as we can manage. Find out where this guy has been wasting time, and make it sweeter.

Underling: Will do. (taking a page from another underling) This just came in... he doesn't entirely trust that God loves Him unless he is doing something he personally thinks is worthy of God.

Local Spiritual Principality: Humph. I love it when they make it easy. Get on that. I want guilt gravy on every potato this guy puts in his mouth; you got that?

Underling: He won't bow his head to pray without a whisper in His ear that God hates him.

Local Spiritual Principality: Alright. We haven't much time - put a crowbar on this guy's faith by Friday or we are going to have a lot more work in the future. Remember boys, daze and confuse!

<the meeting adjourns>


The Lord's Perspective: (Saturday Night).

The Lord in conversation with the Holy Spirit: The time is full, minister grace to Bob now, in my name.


Bob Smith's Perspective: (Saturday Night).

Bob (praying): Lord, my head is still swimming. I still don't know what I am supposed to preach about. I had all week to prepare, but I wasted my time. Though it seemed that everything conspired against my free time this week, I don't count that as a justifiable reason for procrastinating as I have done. I feel myself a hypocrite, because I suspected I would be here at the eleventh hour, and even then I didn't change course. Here I am now, trying to save face by begging you to provide a sermon, and really, I don't even know anymore if it is for your glory or just to save my own reputation.

(meditative silence)

(enter: the touch of grace)

Bob (thinking): This isn't right...

Bob (praying again): Lord! You chose me before the foundation of the world. Lord Jesus I know you! I knew you when you opened my heart that day I received you as Lord, and you have proven your love for me in that you chose me to receive salvation from sin - and though I find myself in the mire this evening, I have just come to my senses, and is this not my Father before me with His arms stretched, ready to dress me anew in grace? My eyes do not see you, but my faith remembers Your word, and through Your word, I have found You. Yes, I have squandered these recent days, I confess my failure, and more - I see that I have been taking you for granted, forgive me, and thank you because I know I am forgiven.

I see now that I have been procrastinating because I am full of pride - both carnal and even spiritual. Haven't you blessed me before? What wicked presumption I find in myself as you open my eyes! And here, doesn't my flesh tell me that you must hate me? As though you were a mere man who was a slave to emotions he could not control - but I know that you who hold creation together, and know the future as clearly as the present - I know that circumstances do not dictate your emotions to you, so that you are like me, and find yourself set upon so that you must answer them - but your emotions answer you - you command them as you command all - and I dishonor you and make less of you when I imagine your love for me is dependant upon me - your love is steadfast because it depends not on me, but on you, my immutable, perfect Savior. Wretch that I am, I know that your throne is a throne of grace, and here I will plead, not in my strength, not in my gifting, not in my walk, my power, or even Your own mercy - but I plead your own blood on me, I remind you that I am yours, though you will never, -can never- forget it, for my name is written on your heart. No, there is nothing left but for my heart to praise and thank you. Thank you that you are sovereign, and that you have put your Spirit into this broken cistern - haven't I demanded that you repair it at once? Yet in your mercy you have shown me that your glory is all the more glorious in that you have given it to the weak, and the fools.

How easy it is Lord, when I remember that I am in your presence always, to know your will. I shall prepare this sermon according to what seems good to me, and trust that my skill or even my choice of sermons will not -nay- cannot hinder Your work, for it is Your work that I enter into - have You not prepared it beforehand? Then settle my heart in your grace, settle my soul in that assurance that comes when I know that the Lord of all the earth will do what is good. Settle my soul in you again. Remind me that You have not left me. I don't ask you to impress me with some kind of message, instead I ask only that whatever comes out of me tonight honors you. You have created me in your image - take pleasure in the work of your hands - keep my heart resting in the pleasure of your grace, so that I bring nothing but faith into the pulpit tomorrow, and whatever this creature pens this evening - let it be drawn from the well of your grace, your love, your mercy, and your own will. I shall be blessed tomorrow to speak in your name, and I commit myself to You who have kept my soul to this day and will keep it. Be glorified now, and in the hour of this sermon, should it please you to see that moment come. I go now to the work prepared before time, and I go with faith, because I know I leave your throne, in Christ.

Amen.

That Sunday:
Some people liked Bob's sermon, some were indifferent, and others didn't care all that much for it. Prior to stepping into the pulpit Bob was no less or more Bob than at any other moment in His life - He was a sinner saved by the grace of His Lord. A broken cistern into whom God had poured a magnificent treasure - and it was this treasure that Bob hoped would flow out of him and into other broken cisterns. At the end of the day, Bob went home, one day closer to glory, a little bit more experienced in grace, but far from perfect. The enemy stepped up the pace and continued to work Bob over, but the Lord remained with Bob, even as He had promised He would.

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