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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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Thursday, November 12, 2009
Not So Well Seasoned
I was going to use the metaphor of rose coloured glasses, but in truth, rose coloured glass acts as a filter so that you are not seeing the whole picture, but only the part of the picture that is allowed through the filter - such that everything seems rosy because you are filtering out the light that isn't rosy.

But that didn't capture the flavour I was going for. In fact, flavour itself makes a better metaphor because, while seasoning can enhance flavour, seasoning can also mask flavour, even so far as to (effectively) change it.

God gives clear testimony to His character in His word. The bible doesn't provide us with as exhaustive a description of God as most of us would like - but the description the bible gives is consistent and clear. We do not have to wonder what God's character is like, for we know enough of God from His word to understand how God relates to His children. That God describes our relationship to Him as paternal is itself descriptive of God's character.

But, I find that even after years of study, and what I hope has been a very sincere walk with the Lord - yet I still anticipate that God will deal with me not according to the personality I find in scripture, but rather in accord with that personality as flavoured by my own fears and failures.

I think being a father is a profound responsibility. I think that because my understanding of God's love, mercy, and grace looks to earthly examples of the same for some foundation. That is, until someone points to a colour and says, "this one is orange" we don't really know what "orange" is. Likewise, if your childhood lacked perfect love, mercy, and grace, you will find yourself having no tangible point of reference for God's love, mercy and grace. That means that on some level each one of us will have some gaps to fill between what we have experienced in this life of love, mercy and grace, and the perfect image of these as found in the character of God.

For myself, I find that unless I make a careful choice to do otherwise, I tend to fill in these gaps with the sort of stuff that fear and ignorance can generate. That is, though I know the character of God in scripture, yet in practice I often season the character of God with the spice of my most frightened expectations.

It is this sort of "carnal seasoning" that keeps us from fully trusting God.

It isn't that God is untrustworthy, it is that we presume that God is going to abandon or fail us because we so often fail Him. The image we have of God has been seasoned by our carnal experiences. We cannot fathom His faithfulness because we have no experience with that kind of steadfastness.

I know this will describe some of us quite well, and others only marginally so, but it is something that I believe we are all in danger of falling into. I catch myself from time to time being afraid that God is going to not answer some prayer, or not be there for me because I fail Him daily - and I must catch myself because I know that is not only a horrible slander against God Almighty, but on a more personal level, it is the very opposite of faith - it is unbelief. It is me saying believing that God is different than He describes Himself as being, and I do that because I refuse to believe that God can remain charitable to such a sinning failure as myself.

But God is not as my fears paint Him to be. He is not a treacherous reed that if you lean on Him He splinters in your hands, rather He is a Strong Tower, and the righteous run into Him. How weak I am in faith and prayer when I take my eyes of the true character of God.

My encouragement then, to you dear reader, is to remember that no matter where you find yourself as you read this, know that God has set in place a throne of grace by which you may come to Him for help in time of need. He will not leave you, nor forsake you, but answers all who call on His name. His response is not based on your character, or your faithfulness, but upon His own. He is not like a man who withholds Himself or His blessing until He is certain that He will receive something good in return - but instead He is perfect in humility, in selflessness, in love.

Lean on God today, and not on your own understanding.

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posted by Daniel @ 7:07 AM  
4 Comments:
  • At 11:32 AM, November 12, 2009, Blogger Daniel said…

    I had to change the last line from "lean of God" to "lean on God"

    Don't know if anyone noticed...

     
  • At 2:51 PM, November 12, 2009, Blogger donsands said…

    Your excellent thoughts made me think of this Scripture passage:

    "For a brief moment I deserted you,
    but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing anger for a moment
    I hid my face from you,
    but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
    says the Lord, your Redeemer.

    “This is like the days of Noah to me:
    as I swore that the waters of Noah
    should no more go over the earth,
    so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you,
    and will not rebuke you.
    For the mountains may depart
    and the hills be removed,
    but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
    and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:7-10

    His covenant of peace is no doubt the Cross of our Savior and Friend. Jesus took God's anger and drank it. And The Father chose us before the foundation of the world, because He forknew us, and loved us, and Jesus obeyed the Father, and gave His life for the elect of God, who are also His elect children as well.

    Keep up the good posts Daniel.

     
  • At 3:16 PM, November 12, 2009, Blogger Jim said…

    Awesome thoughts, I was reminded again this week of this reality.

     
  • At 2:32 PM, November 17, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have found reading Martin Luther very helpful when I have difficulty believing God. Luther describes prayer (in one sense) as reminding God of His promises. At first this sounded like I was telling God what to do, ("Hey, God, remember you said you'd such-and-such, so get on with it!"). But, that's not the point. The point is that God cannot break His promises and He has promised us so much. I often forget to ask for wisdom when I am uncertain. He promised to give it freely. I forget to ask for grace and mercy. He has promised to give it new every day. I forget to ask for guidance. He has sent His Spirit to show me His ways.
    When I don't pray, I forget all the promises. When I do go through Scripture, I am reminded of how much He has done and continues to do for us and I am prompted to bring those promises to Him. It's not arrogance, it is the act of acknowledging my utter and complete dependence on Him.

    Jen

     
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