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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, June 29, 2009
Another Week Begins...
My family was out camping this week, but I remained behind. They were only gone for four days, but boy oh boy did I miss them. It didn't help that I was organizing photos for much of my free time too - reliving all the happiest moments of our lives together... sigh.

Well, they came home yesterday, but they are off again on Wednesday. My wife's parents have a camper and each summer they go all over the place with the kids and my wife, and occasionally with me. I probably could line up my vacation days with theirs, but I tend to take my vacation days throughout the year, here and there, rather than as a seasonal thing. Truly, I was spoiled by summer holidays as a child - unless I can get two months off in the summer, it doesn't feel like a "proper" vacation. Since I won't be getting eight weeks vacation any time soon, that isn't going to happen; and really, if I had eight weeks, I wouldn't spend it that way anyway. I actually like having the freedom to plan a week ahead to take a long weekend etc. I like to have vacation days left over at the end of the year so that I never have to feel like I am at work "because I have to be" - that is, I like to be there by choice.

I suppose that is part of my rebellious spirit. I don't like having anyone or anything rule over me, and this is one way in which I "control" what happens to my life.

I think there isn't any aspect of my life that when scrutinized wouldn't reveal some ulterior, carnal motive.

I was considering the remnant of Israel that returned from Babylon. Recall that they were required to make the same daily sacrifice that the once great nation of Israel used to make. That was certainly a greater drain on them than it would have been had they been a greater multitude. Yet as the nation flourished again under the blessings of God, that difficult requirement became easier. Not because the requirement changed, but because the Lord's provision grew as He blessed them with offspring, crops, and cattle.

As I grow in the Lord I see a parallel - the requirements haven't changed but as I cling to God and look to His provision, whether consciously or by unconscious default, I am given more with which to answer God's expectations. It helps to remember that these people weren't producing cattle by their own effort, they weren't causing the crops to grow - God was. Yes, they had to tend to all that God gave them for this to happen, but when it did happen it happened because God blessed their efforts.

Here is a word of encouragement then, if God blesses effort, then trust that your efforts are being blessed. If things seem hard now, trust that as God blesses, what once was hard will be less of a burden in the wake of increasing blessings, so long as our effort doesn't lag behind God's provision.

If you notice, as I do, with greater clarity the depth of depravity that saturates your carnal being, rest in this knowledge: you do not walk in the flesh (or at least you are not supposed to), but in the spirit. When God shows us more clearly the reality of the flesh, it is because He wants us to know what He is saving you from. Let's be bold and blunt here: you're not really going to want to escape the flesh if you think it is not really that bad. You may for the sake of religion or for the sake of your reputation in Christian circles, do what seems right (pray, read your bible, minister, etc.) but you won't be able to throw your whole heart into it. Why not? Because there is a part of you that is holding out for "self". You do that because deep down, you don't think that there is anything all that wrong with mixing two types of fabric. That is, you walk through your Christian faith allowing God to augment your own strength, rather then abandoning your own strengths all together, and you do this because you haven't seen what you are clearly enough - at least not enough to loathe the idea of mixing that with God's provision.

Even as I missed my family this week I learned that I am selfish and cold. Shouldn't I be praying for them with the same fervency when they are with me as when they are away? The Lord is always teaching - always! - showing us through every life experience how sick we are, how sinful. Who wants to take up their cross daily? Those who do more than pay lip service to God's condemnation of sin - those who see themselves as vile, and see God's judgment as just, and see that they are incapable in themselves of generating anything but more corruption in the world. When a person begins to see the utter depravity of self, he or she can never be wholly inclined to rely on self to please God.

The path in all my experiences has always been this way. Here I see a thing, and I see the shadow it casts, and I learn from it my depravity, and in that I learn the necessity of Christ so that I am encouraged to set the one aside and embrace with my whole being the other.

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posted by Daniel @ 7:11 AM  
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