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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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Monday, November 07, 2005
Induction of Tom
In Selkirk Manitoba (population approx. ~10,000) there is a pleasant Baptist church wherein I have had the pleasure of preaching a few times. This church is presently without a pastor, and has been so for around 18 months.

I met the former pastor at "shepherd's college," - a shepherd's ministry wherein men are mentored into the ministry in anticipation of, and preparation for, Christian ministry - geared more specifically towards the pulpit.

The former pastor was one of those very rare Christians - the kind for which Christ would surely have said - "behold a believer in whom is no guile!" From all accounts - my own included - their former pastor was an exceedingly bright and shining light for our Lord, and I wonder if one reason they are still without a pastor is that the former has set the bar so high that no one seems to fit the bill. That may seem like very high praise - and I suppose it it - I liked the guy - everyone who knows him does.

I am not privy to the ins and outs of their decline into strife, nor am I particularly interested in finding out - but it is enough to say that the church began to experience a decline in unity, and during the Sutera meetings the leaders met together to determine the most "Christian" way to split up the church.

As we all know - there -is- no Christian way to split a church. Those who are not behaving like Christians are to be disciplined and if they remain unrepentant, they are to be cast out of the church until such time as they learn repentance. And those who are behaving like Christ, would never seek to split a church - except in the case where growth demands a newer church be started to accommodate it.

So without getting into the details, it is enough to say that where there is contention there is pride - and pride never leads to unity. The players who met that day came into the meeting so worn down by contention in their disunity that they were willing to abandon one another in order to be out from under that yoke. The enemy was already celebrating his victory when something of the miraculous happened.

Now, I am not saying miraculous as in fish and bread multiplying - though that would be cool. I am talking about something deeper - hardened hearts of stone suddenly turning to flesh again! Somewhere in that meeting the hearts of these men melted, and in their love for one Christ the scales fell from their eyes, and once again they could love one another. It was a mighty work of God, and yesterday I had the pleasure to see that it continues still.

Tom was one of the leaders, and yesterday we attended the induction ceremony - they made him an elder.

There are times of rejoicing - and last night was one of them. That congregation has been on my heart since I first preached there - and I am not alone. Many people have been praying for them, and last night was an answer to prayer for all who love the Lord and His church.

One of the leaders in the church - Jim - and I spoke a bit. I met Jim a few years back, when the former pastor was still present at the church. I brought my college and career group out one Sunday to their prayer meeting so that we could pray with them. When the meeting began we broke off into threes, and Jim was in my group.

The best prayers are the ones where you hear a son or daughter talking to their father oblivious to those around them. Praying with such a prayer is easy and natural. I notice that during some prayers I get distracted - my mind wanders. The person praying will fall into the "blah blah blahs" - that is, their prayer no longer has any urgency to it, no sense of direction. Their prayer starts to meander all over the sky looking for a runway to land on - and when this happens I can get distracted. I can get distracted for other reasons too; the prayer can be so far removed from my understanding that I can't follow it, or sometimes it can be so slow paced that I start to day dream in the gaps - I suppose I am the worst prayer partner you could hope to have.

My point is that while I don't remember what we were praying about, I do remember enjoying the prayer time - which meant that I felt that "genuiness" that marks men who truly love the Lord - and Jim was such a person.

I saw Jim and his wife at the Sutera meetings (see previous posts) and while I chatted with Jim about his church, my wife and and Jim's wife chatted elsewhere, unbeknownst to us. Our wives exchanged email addresses (both our families homeschool, and finding support for homeschooling is a wonderful thing) and have been emailing one another ever since.

I mention that because it was funny that Jim should find my blog accidently, as it were, while searching for information on the Sutera twins - and recognizing me, would bother to keep reading it! Small world.

Hi Jim!

Anyway, I spoke with Jim last night after the ceremony. It is wonderful to see what the Lord is doing in that church. There are some serious Christians there, and while the pastor who eventually is called there is going to have big shoes to fill - he is also going to have a good core group of leaders to minister with. I do believe that God is going to use that church to impact that community. In Tom's testimony last night he spoke about what it was that turned things around in the leadership - humility. He didn't use that word, but that is what it was. Stepping away from our own agendas and allowing Christ to be in charge. Making sure that all relationships in your life are right with God - and most importantly - this bright gem of understanding - God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all - if we say that we have fellowship with God and walk in darkness we lie and do not practice the truth. Tom had seen why the ministry of the church was so impotent - cleanliness before God had taken a back seat to methodology - as though God could have fellowship with a church if they just followed the right procedure.

What a joy when we come out from under that blanket of darkness. Christ builds the church, and not us. But unless Christ is running the show, the church isn't going to grow. That means being right with everyone - going to our brothers and sisters and making things right. Weeding out every bitter root, and dealing with it. Keeping ourselves clean for the sake of Christ's church. Then the church can grow, because instead of seeing a bunch of carnal believers working hard at human programs, the world sees the love of Christ. I can go to the YMCA if I want to join a social club that meets regularly and plans activities, but if I want to see something different than the world has to offer, I need to see a Christ filled church.

So it was a great encouragement last night to see that the spark that began in September is still burning. Pray for this church if you remember to. They love the Lord, and are hated by our enemy.
posted by Daniel @ 6:16 AM  
  • At 11:00 PM, November 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Daniel, I am honored by your words of commendation. Just to clarify, I am not actually a leader in the church, but desire to be involved where I can to help our brothers and sisters grow in Christ. I agree with you that what we witnessed Sunday night was truly precious! There is always the blessing upon unity in Spirit. In fact, the Lord commands the blessing where brethren dwell together in unity. I would also agree that genuine humility is one of the sweetest frangrances a believer can express as a testimony of God's grace in their lives. Thanks for your pointed observations, keep up the great posts!

    In Christ,

  • At 7:25 AM, November 08, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    I am not actually a leader in the church

    Says you!

    I could be wrong, but I had heard that you have preached in the pulpit? Beyond that I have seen you lead the congregation in congregational singing many times.

    Preaching is certainly a leadership role - even if it isn't associated with a formal title.

    Selecting the songs that the congregation will sing, and leading them in singing is also a leadership role. Consider the mayhem if you were selecting songs that were doctrinal fluff, or even full of error?

    No sir, in my estimation you are a leader in the church. I should love to hear you preach one day. :)

  • At 7:30 PM, November 08, 2005, Blogger Wayne Hatcher said…

    Daniel, in your post you say, "Surely that is a recipe for an eisegetical approach to scripture."
    I would say that it could be if you approach it without fear and trembling and much prayer. The best thing to do is after you find the passage you are thinking of, see what a number of commentators have to say on the passage. Taking the larger context of the passage also helps. As long as you are being honest and prayerful you shouldn't fall into this sin. I love my computer and the resources that it provides, especially my Bible software. It is really no different from pulling down hard copies of a commentary, youngs concordance, and Nave's Topical to make an honest attempt at getting at the meaning of a passage. I think I know what you mean, though. It is as if this technology makes us look at our abilities different. We must be allways turning our faces to God for grace and light.

    In another light, you are responsible for all this! If you hadn't been fiddling around the other day with a new blog, and animated gifs, and such, I wouldn't have wasted all of last week doing the same. Just kidding. Separating my podcast from my commenting was a necessary thing, and you were the catalyst. Go over there; I'm already embroiled in a "controversy."BTW, why haven't you made the transition to the other site? I thought you were going to. Also what is the news about the two churches needing a pastor? Was the one you posted about here one of those? It was a good post. Encoouraging to see visible signs of victory over the kingdom of the devil. As your friend said just above, "Keep up the great posts."

    post script: I'm sorry but in writing and previewing, I realize I am commenting across two posts: Induction of Tom, and Sunday School. . . I hope you can gather these ramblings and sort them out to their proper antecedents.

  • At 9:01 AM, November 09, 2005, Blogger Daniel said…

    Great looking blog PW!

    I don't mind the cross post ramblings either ;)

    Reading my post over again, I ought to have wrote, "makes provision for" rather than "recipe for." "Recipe" sounds like I am saying that such a thing is not only possible, but even likely - which puts more force into what I was saying that I actually meant to say.

    I will visit your site directly.

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