H  O  M  E          
Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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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.
My complete profile...
The Buzz

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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Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Taking a few days off.
The funeral for my grandmother is tomorrow, and I am home with my family for a few days, so I will probably not be blogging as much during that time - though I may pop in. So if it is quiet from my end, don't let that stop you from debating election or perhaps the limit of the atonement.

In fact, since, I won't be around, I might just add that only the elect will be saved, and that the elect didn't choose to follow God all by their lonesome,and God did not "look forward in time" to see what choice we make only to chronologically trump those who chose him, by electing them after the fact of their own choice, but before the fact chronologically. Only the ones God chose before hand will believe.

Also, Christ didn't die on the cross for everyone - he died for the elect and only for the elect - if your sins are not on the cross, Christ didn't die for you - and he wasn't sent for you either. Period.

Discuss. <giggle> - not that I imagine you people have much to say about election or the atonement...
posted by Daniel @ 10:43 AM   6 comment(s)
Monday, August 28, 2006
White Nose Hair.
UPDATE: For those who have found my blog via a Google search on white nose hair:

Welcome to my blog. Sorry I can't offer much in the way of information about nose hair, the truth is I found a white nose hair one day, and blogged about it, and I guess there is a real shortage of information on white nose hair out there, because since that day I seem to get a lot of hits on this particular post...

While I am sure that white nose hair is a captivating topic, I really can't offer much in the way of information myself, other than people get white nose hair from time to time. To be sure, the frequency of white nose hair likely increases with age.

If however, you need more info, or are just plain tired from fruitless hours questing for that elusive "white nose hair" grail, I will endeavor to offer up some more, albeit entirely fictional, help:

Ahem.... White nose hair, while seemingly a harmless cosmetic pigmentation of one's nasal foliage, is in fact one of the first indicators that one has been abducted by aliens. Anyone who has ever watched an episode of X-files can tell you, that after relentlessly probing your orifices, aliens always implant a homing device in the nasal cavity of the abductee. Such devices are bio-synthetic, and will not show up on an x-ray, or even a blood test, but transmit information back to the mother ship via a tachyon radiation, which is itself almost untraceable; however, two side effects of prolonged exposure to tachyon radiation are [1] the bleaching of hair pigmentation, and [2] the resulting sublimation of the bio-synthetic housing creates a powerful "designer" neurotoxin (not unlike a designer drug) which, as it is inhaled, creates a cumulative, but mild psychotic effect: a sudden, and profound interest in white nose hair, and how it got there.

White nose hairKim remarked in the meta of her hubby's Bugblaster's blog (Neil) that posts about trivial, or inconsequential things tend to generate the most comments.

So I thought I should mention this morning that I noticed a white nose hair the other day (yes, in -my own- nose.)
posted by Daniel @ 12:23 PM   13 comment(s)
In September of 2004, nearly two years ago, my father's mother, my "oma" (a Dutch grandma) had a stroke. It was not her first, but this stroke put her into a coma. She has a DNR (do no resuscitate) order, so after a few days the family was called into the hospital to make a decision about how much effort should be spent keeping her alive. She was 83 years old at the time. As they were discussing this in the room, my oma sat up and said, and I am almost quoting, "I feel great - like I had a very good nap." She was hungry, and the family was at once relieved.

It seems however that this was a turning point in my Grandma's life.

As a lad, Oma was not as down to earth as my other Grandma. My mother's mom was a "farm grandma" - and that meant she was working all the time, weathered, and thin. She couldn't care less if you had your elbows on the table while you ate - but heaven help you if you should show disrespect in any way - she was a little woman - but a just woman. She had had twelve children, my mother was her youngest - and she managed a large household in a very tiny house.

My Dad's mom was a "city grandma" - plump and proper. We didn't see her as much as we saw my other Grandma - but we liked going to her house for Christmas the best - because she always gave us presents. Even into my twenties I always got a $50 bill each Christmas from Oma.

Of my two grandmothers, I have to admit, I liked my mom's mom the best. She was so real and approachable, where my father's mom, my Oma, was more of an Ivory tower sort of person.

The worst day I ever had with Oma was when I went to sleep over at her house for a weekend. My whole family, for as long as I could remember, used to go almost every weekend out to the farm to see my other Grandma. But when I was about five or so, I asked if I could spend a weekend with Oma. My parents agreed, and I was sent over to Oma's while they all went to the farm.

On the farm, there were plenty of kids to play with. I had over 30 first cousins who also came out on the weekends - and it was family, family, family. The house was only a two room house - maybe 400 square feet - with a dug out basement, and there would be, routinely 20 or more kids and perhaps three or four couples sleeping in that house each night. It was crowded and cozy because of it.

At Oma's there were more bedrooms than people, and the bathroom was so fancy, I was afraid to use it. If I recall anything from Oma's it was that even though everything was new and tidy - it was also meant to stay that way - there was very little a five year old boy could do there. My Oma was a seamstress, and was quite skilled with embroidery, knitting, crocheting, etc. I remember her asking if I wanted to make something with some of her fancy embroidery string. I did.

We were on the bed in one of the extra bedrooms - the one I would be sleeping in - and she brought in these fancy strings - they were all the colors of the rainbow - and I had never seen anything so cool in all my young life. I wanted them immediately - and one in particular was a brilliant red. She left the room for a moment and I snatched it up and put it in my pocket! I wasn't a very good thief, since my Oma noticed its absence as soon as she returned - and immediately she guessed what I had done - she called me a thief, and greedy, and took all the stuff away, and left me to be alone in that bedroom for a while because of my crime. (I had to return the string too!)

It's funny, but that is one of the saddest memories I have as a child. I was so ashamed of myself for doing that.

After her coma almost two years ago, she had another stroke - one that put her in the hospital for the rest of her life. Something had changed after that stroke, and without hanging my family's dirty laundry out - it is enough to say that her change polarized her three siblings to either support my Opa (Grandpa), or my Oma who separated from Opa shortly after.

There was a possibility that her bizarre, and even hysterical behavior was a result of some of the medication she was receiving - certainly my father and grandfather were hoping this was the case, and that a change in medication might restore Oma to us - but this hope didn't last.

For the past ten or fifteen years my father had been looking after my grandparents in this way - they couldn't drive anymore so my dad would take them out to do groceries once a week. Likewise, they would go out for a meal my parents and my Oma and Opa once a week. But in the last two years my father's arthritis became so severe he couldn't make himself get out of bed three days in seven. If you know my father, you will no that he is no "drama queen" - I don't think he took a sick day all the time I was growing up - the man would drag himself to work no matter how he was - this same person was the one who literally couldn't drag himself out of bed. He had knee braces made for both his legs for those times when he was strong enough to walk without his wheel chair - but his days of taking my grandparents to get groceries were through.

It was around the time that my father's arthritis worsened that Oma started to change - and for that reason my father wasn't consistently available to help - and that put a lot of responsibility on his older brother. Somewhere in all this a rift formed between my father's older brother and the pair of my father and Opa. I really can't speculate too much on what went on - but I am sure it had to do with my uncle having to take on more responsibility than he was willing to take - and my father and grandfathers inability to ease that responsibility - this coupled with my Oma's radical personality change drove a wedge inbetween my uncle and my Opa and dad.

The end result was that for the last couple of years we have not been allowed to visit Oma in the hospital. We were told that she didn't want to see us. I marvel at that because my relationship with Oma as an adult was touching. She told me on more than one occasion that I was her favorite grandchild (in spite of my early life!) - she loved me, she loved my children, and the past couple of years have been harder that way.

I remember, after coming to the Lord, visiting her once and listening to her talk about some of her concerns and worries. I asked her if she didn't have a bible, and she almost spit her disdain for God at me. She didn't believe in all that stuff, and was so angry that many people were. Over the years I have only rarely had the opportunity to broach the subject of the gospel - and always with trepidation. A few years back she had a heart attack, and I visited her in the hospital. I gave her a small new testament to read because I knew that she would be bed ridden for a while and I know that boredom can provide excellent opportunities. I prayed for her, and explained a bit about Jesus, and her heart, while softer than it had been that day she railed against God, yet later when we spoke of it, she said that the print had been to small and she didn't read it.

My grandmother passed away on Saturday, and I can honestly say I don't know if she knew the Lord - I suspect that she didn't. The rift her recent and radical personality change has caused in my father's family has been a source of stress and sorrow in the past, but now it has made her passing more difficult.

I knew her well enough to miss her during her self imposed cloister in the hospital and home, but now I begin to understand that I will never hear her voice again in this lifetime, and never get to share the gospel with her as fully as I wish I had in the past.

The sorrow of her passing is magnified by my own self loathing over having not made the gospel more plain to her when I had so many opportunities. Many times I had been sorely convicted that I ought to make a special gospel trip - and many times my old self won the debate. See now how my old self who refused to sow is reaping the consequences - I miss my Oma, and I have no peace over her soul.
posted by Daniel @ 9:31 AM   1 comment(s)
Friday, August 25, 2006
Friday Cool Stuff...
I had a few things I wanted to post on, but I opted instead to go "light" and put some fun stuff up - in the form of a blogspotting sorta thing.

1. Have this webpage call you. No long distance fees, nothing weird - just type in a text message, a phone number, and skip the license key (which makes you use the demo version) and your phone will ring, and a computerized synthetic voice will turn your text into speech - reciting your text message to whoever answers the phone. NOTE: Use this for good, and not EEE-VVVIIILL.

2. Learn Spanish. This is an audio site that teaches you how to speak Spanish - pretty cool.

3. Become smarter, or alternately become frustrated by a variety of online puzzles and whatnot.

4. Get a laugh - you if don't know about homestarrrunner, find out.

I was going to do a list of ten - but four is good enough.

posted by Daniel @ 12:48 PM   4 comment(s)
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Abide in Love.
Who doesn't love Isaac from the love boat??Recall that after Christ had just fed some 5000 men and their families (a profound sign with thousands of first hand witnesses) that the crowd was so impressed and convinced that Christ was the coming King that they tried to physically take him by force and crown him right then and there.

Christ retreated to the mountain by himself, and his disciples got into a boat and crossed the sea going to Capernaum. Recall that Jesus later on that evening, well after the sun had gone down, crossed the sea by walking on the water. The wind had picked up and the waves were rough by the time Jesus was visible by the men in the boat, who by this time had been rowing for three or four miles trying to make it to the other side of the sea. They were understandably frightened, but after Christ entered the boat they found themselves immediately at shore in or very near Capernaum.

The next day, the same crowd that had been fed noticed that the disciple's boat was gone, and they also crossed the sea to Capernaum. They didn't know where Jesus was, and I expect they reasoned that wherever he was he would eventually come to his disciples - so it made sense for these thousands to cross to Capernaum in boats and what not.

That is quite a picture - the sun is just coming up - a crowd is gathered on the shore where only the day earlier they had found the prophet spoken of by Moses - a prophet who gave them bread to eat just as the Israelites had received manna from heaven in the wilderness. They were convinced that Jesus was the Prophet "like Moses" whom God would send - and if they wanted to make him their king the day before - the thought certainly was still strong in their minds - for as the morning sun broke the horizon, and the dew wet grass glistened there - thousands entered into their boats and a mass crossing of the sea to Capernaum ensued.

Scripture doesn't tell us that it happened at the crack of dawn, and I wouldn't die trying to defend the notion - but we do learn that when the crowd came to the other side they were amazed to find Christ already there - knowing that 1] Christ hadn't gone in the boat with the disciples, and 2] remembering the wind and waves of the previous night - no one would have imagined that Christ would have got into a boat by himself during that sort of weather and tried to cross by himself. This suggests to me that they understood that Christ hadn't crossed by boat at night. And if when the sun came up they saw no boat on the water, they would have reasoned that Christ wasn't traveling before them to get to the other side. Had they lingered on the shore there for half the day, I don't think many would have been amazed to find Christ on the other side - they would have assumed he must have left in the morning when no one was looking.

So when I picture this small fishing boat armada crossing at the break of day, and finding Christ on the other side to their own amazement - it only added to their conviction that Christ was indeed the Prophet - the Messiah.

But Christ set them straight at once - they weren't seeking the Messiah because they wanted to get right with God - they were seeking the Messiah because having eaten the bread without working for it, they reasoned that the Messiah could make their life a whole lot easier. They were seeking the Messiah as a tool to make their life more comfortable - their seeking was selfish, and Christ set them straight:
Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal. - John 6:26-27 [ESV]
Christ saw right through their selfishness straight to their corrupt hearts, yet even though he revealed the true nature of their heart, yet he did not fail to point them in the direction they should be going.

They were right on the one hand to pursue the Messiah - a pursuit that is described here as a labor or work - but they were laboring after the Messiah in order to generate ease for themselves. Christ said, if you are going to labor, labor for something worthwhile - eternal life.

That got their attention I think, because the next thing they ask is what "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" [ESV] Predictably, they were quite interested in attaining eternal life. So much so that they inquired about what they should do to get it. If they were to labor after the food that doesn't perish, they wanted to know what that labor looked like.

Christ's answer, I am certain, confused a great many of them.
This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent - John 6-29 [ESV]
If I were a movie director filming this scene, I would have everyone all chatty until Christ says this, then I would pan around into the resulting silence to catch the perplexed, open jawed stares, the slow stirring of the crowd as they begin to turn one to one another to see if the guy beside them understood.

In John 15 we get another glimpse of the same concept, worded differently. "Abide in my love" - John articulates the connection in 1 John 3:14, and 4:16 where we read, "We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death." [ESV] and again, "So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him" [ESV]

To believe in Christ is to believe in love. Not that romantic, cinematic pabulum that is nothing more than infatuation dressed up for the prom - but that 1 Corinthians 13 sort of love - the kind that expects nothing in return. Believing in Christ is believing that God really does love you, not because you are worthy, but because true love looks like that - and God -is- love.

I am inclined to agree with John, anyone who doesn't abide in God's love, doesn't abide in Christ.

Now, if God loves us like that - unconditionally, and if we are "in Christ" - ought we not to love like that ourselves? Of course we ought, and scripture tells us that it is through God's love that we are able to love. "We love him, because he first loved us."

Truly, I believe that as long as I hold out some little love for myself, I cannot love others fully. As long as squirrel away some part of me to pamper and keep - I cannot give myself utterly for others. So long as I live, Christ cannot live in me.

The equation is quite simple really, if you don't go down into the tomb and die, we are hardly going to walk in newness of life, because the power that raised Christ from the dead did so after He was dead and entombed, and not (as it were) while he was in agony on the cross. He had to die first, and so do we. As long as we hold onto our lives - cherishing and loving them, our death throes serve only to postpone the life of Christ in us.

The message of the cross is that we cannot love others and ourselves at the same time. We cannot live for God while we are trying to secure our own status with God - we have to set aside the mindset that tries to get to God through human effort, through prayer, through bible reading, through ministry, through church activity - and rest in the love of God, that love that is described as being patient, kind, not envious or boastful, not irritated or resentful, a love that bears -all- our failures without rudeness or arrogance - a love that isn't withheld until it receives love in kind - a love that by its very nature cannot be earned. When we begin to abide in this same love of God - to trust that God really does love like that - and that he really loves -us- like that - right now and in every moment - God makes a lot of promises for people who are willing to stop trying to earn his favor, but who are willing to accept it as children accept the love of their own parents.

Abiding in Christ, abiding in love, walking in the light, walking in the Spirit, letting the message of Christ dwell in me richly, being crucified with Christ, reckoning myself dead indeed to sin - all these things are one and the same in my mind. They describe that poverty of spirit that God commands his blessings towards. They describe the Christian experience, and what it is supposed to be.

Today, if you find yourself dry spiritually speaking, let me tell you - the problem is that you are relying on your own strength and ability to cross the Jordan - and it can't be done. You must trust that God has done it, and done it all. You must abide in what God has already done. Simply abide in it. God did it already, all your efforts are useless - because no man can come to God except that God draws him. What must I do to be "drawn by God" - believe in Christ, abide in God's love.

If your mind is set on the reality of that love that God truly has for you - you will find it very difficult to be unloving towards others. That is where it starts.
posted by Daniel @ 9:07 AM   9 comment(s)
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Didn't Saul throw a javelin at David?  What is with the Sword??Not Saul of Tarshish, Saul the son of Kish - the Benjamenite.

I draw your attention to Saul's confession in 1 Samuel 16:20-21,
And Saul said to Samuel, "I have obeyed the voice of the LORD. I have gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal." [ESV]

Recall that God had instructed Saul to "go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." (1 Sam 15:3 [ESV]).

Saul did go and strike the Amalekites. He did. But he didn't wipe them out.

Recall that one of the things that Israel was supposed to do when they took Canaan was wipe out the Amalekites. 400 year later, Saul, as the first king of Israel is given the command to go and repay the Amalekites for their treachery at Rephidim. Saul's place in Jewish history was assured. Saul went out with gusto - and defeated Amalek.

Two things interest me in this account:

First, even though Saul obeyed the voice of God in defeating the Amalekites - yet in verse 19 we read that God (through Samuel) didn't regard Saul's partial obedience as being obedience at all.

And secondly, Saul was only willing to destroy what already seemed worthless in his own eyes.

How, you ask, does that relate to my walk with Christ?

Let me tell you.

The Saul-like Christian is willing to obey God when it comes to ridding their life of "worthless" sins. Consider the Christian who, through their religious association, conquers
- drug or alcohol addiction
- sexual impurity
- bad habits
- abusive behavior, etc.
I could make this list long - but that isn't the point - the point is that some sin is regarded as worthless even to the sinner. Who truly wants to continue in drug abuse? Who truly wants to continue in sexual addictions or impurity? Abusive behavior? Or any number of things that bring absolutely no value to their life. I am not saying that these things don't bring pleasure of comfort to some - I am saying that the Saul-like Christian will work with zeal to discard those sins in his or her life that he or she personally regards as being worthless to them. Likewise, if some victory will give fame or recognition to the believer - the Saul-like believer may overcome that sin for the fame of doing so.

The acid test however is whether or not you are willing to get rid of the things you actually cherish. The foremost is pictured by Agag - Your own rule over sin - you are only willing to give up sin where and when it suits you, because you regard control over this as a prerogative you are unwilling to yield up.

Likewise the unwillingness to completely give up on the world and its delights - you leave the door open... Surely in the future I may desire something - why should I keep myself from it? a little worldliness isn't all that bad...

And finally there is the unwillingness to give up our personal worth, be in the form of possessions, time, future, career, or what have you. The Saul like Christian reserves the right to do with their life whatever pleases them in that moment.

Saul truly was like that - He was willing to obey insofar as it suited him to do so, but when it because something that didn't promote his own fame, or when it was something he felt he could prosper from - he was unwilling to give it up - this unwillingness to go "full bore" - was not considered a sort of "partial obedience" as Samuel demonstrates - it was considered, part and parcel - disobedience.

You might be saying - wow. I think I might be a little like Saul - what should I do?

Well, first of all, praise God, because God has said that he will bless the poor in Spirit, and you are starting to see that you are indeed needy!

Christ sets the prisoner free by faith - and that same faith comes by hearing the message of Christ. If you are truly seeing yourself as Saul like - it is time to turn to Christ, and continue turning to Christ. Make it the single goal of your waking mind. Seek the Lord while He may be found.
posted by Daniel @ 1:52 PM   8 comment(s)
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Worth your time...
You should go here and watch this video. It is a brief interview with Melanie Phillips. I could try and sell you on what she has to say, but really, I think if you give it a listen you will be glad you did. She is able to articulate something quite important regarding the pendulum effect and freedom of speech.

Let me know what you think.
posted by Daniel @ 11:08 AM   3 comment(s)
Monday, August 21, 2006
Marketing the world...
...to the church.

A while back I posted my thoughts on corrupt speech. The point of that post was to identify how some evangelicals have been flirting with the worldly idea that cuss words are not actually vulgar - they are just words for "grown ups" to use.

The main argument brought against my position was that words themselves are not vulgar unless the heart that speaks them intends them to be so. Can you not see the postmodern philosophy in such a thought? It is only wrong if I think it is wrong - I am the author of what is right - truth is subjective, and I am the arbiter thereof.

The message therefore is that if I am sitting with my children in a restaurant and two sailors are cussing up a storm beside us - I shouldn't regard the new and exciting words my children are learning as cuss words or vulgar since the sailors are speaking them in an amiable way with one another. Likewise, my own children should be able to use these colorful words so long as they don't intend to use them in a way that offends.

What is really going on is that the world is being sold to the church. The cussing thing is just a symptom.

I suspect that in the apostle's day, it was much harder to be a false convert. The church was so distinct and different from the world around it that when you entered into the church it showed in everything you did.

What is one of the greatest criticisms leveled against the church today? The church is said to be irrelevant - being no different than the world around it! Every Christian is regarded as either a hypocrite or deluded and often both. Our enemy is a P.R. whiz -he knows how to hinder the church.

What is the best weapon our enemy has in his arsenal? My money is on false converts. Not that tare sowing is new - rather it is just the best way to keep the wheat from flourishing.

It is in our enemy's interest to make the wheats as tare-like as possible. It keeps them weak and useless - and it makes it far more easier to keep tares convinced that they are (in fact) wheat.

I don't like to see Christians giving into the wiles of the enemy, and I am even less thrilled when they go so far as to carry the enemy's banner! The enemy wants to make the church as worldly as possible - we do well to guard against it.
posted by Daniel @ 9:24 AM   10 comment(s)
Sunday, August 20, 2006
The -Power- of God.
Romans 1:16a says:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...
.I was going to put an image of a supercell storm as the eye candy for this post, but the best images are copyrighted, and I couldn't find a free image that captured the awesome sense of wonder and power that some of the images in the link capture.

D.A. Carson, in his book Exegetical Fallacies uses this verse to demonstrate a particular exegetical fallacy under the "word study family" known as a "semantic anachronism." I was going to describe this in my own words, but really, Carson does a great and succinct job when he describes this particular fallacy:
This fallacy occurs when a late use of a word is read back into earlier literature.
He goes on to explain how this plays itself out in biblical exegesis. We understand that some of our English words are etymologically derived from Greek words - one such word is dunamiV (dynamis). The word means "power" - but since we get the English word "dynamite" from this same Greek word - many a preacher has read this latter use of the cognate back into the original context and therefore taught that the gospel's power was something akin to "explosive" - a meaning utterly foreign to what Paul was saying.

Likewise, we often neglect the context of the verse, that is, how Paul is summarizing all of the Christian life in a nutshell - "the just shall live by faith" (c.f. vs. 17).

I don't want to spend too much time making a point this morning - I have to prepare for this morning's service - but I did want to get this thought out:
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him -Colossians 2:6
I think much of Christianity is running amok these days because we not only neglect the simplicity of the gospel message, but we isolate it from everything else - as though the sole purpose of the gospel was to justify the unbeliever - such that the moment a person receives Christ the gospel is no longer for them, except to use as a tool to bring others into a state of justification.

John MacArthur was asked if there was anything wrong with using personal illustrations and stories from one's own life in teaching biblical truths. John's answer was that there was nothing wrong with it, but that he had determined himself not to do so in favor of using the bible to illustrate the bible. I admire that, and wish I could do that in this particular case, but I am going to have to step outside the box for a bit and use some personal history to make the point I want to make today.

I remember the day I gave my life to Christ. I had the crazy idea that I might be able to win back the girlfriend who had just dumped, by acting on her parting suggestion. She suggested that I become a missionary so that I might not only be out of her life, but also be out of the country so as to be as far away from her as possible. I was the poster child for "needy" at the time. In my zeal to impress her, I opened the phone book, and found the first church in my area that said anything about missions in their ad, and called. The pastor who answered invited me to come down for an interview, and I did. When I arrived he asked to hear my testimony, but I had no idea what that was, so he plainly asked me when and how I was born again. I still didn't have a clue what he was talking about, and clumsily asked if he was asking about when I was baptized. I informed him that I didn't become a Christian later in life, but that I was born one (I was a catholic after all), and that I was baptized shortly after my birth. He then asked me how I planned to get to heaven or something like that. I told him, with a growing sense of indignation, that I was basically a good person, and that while I had no assurance that I would be "good enough" - yet I hoped to do well enough in this life to earn heaven. I felt in my heart that to presume further than this was an insult to God. My final answer therefore was that I wasn't really sure that I was going to go to heaven - but my desire was to go there, and that I would do as much in my life as possible to tip the balance in that direction.

The pastor, God bless him, informed me that I needed be confused about where I was going, but that scripture was plain on the matter - and pulling out a bible, in short order the pastor showed me that everyone was a sinner, including me, and that all sinners were condemned to hell, and that no amount of good work is good enough. There was no doubt whatsoever, that should I drop dead in that moment I should find myself in hell pronto. Sin had a price - and that price was the forfeiture of one's eternal life. If God allowed me to escape His punishment it would make Him a liar. NO - I knew I was helbound.

I recall that for the first time in my life I was absolutely certain of something spiritual - I was certain that God's word wasn't wishy-washy on this. I really was hellbound. Until I saw that - I had always held out some faint hope that I as I was dying I would recant or something - you know - "make my peace with God" - and be ushered into heaven clean as new fallen snow. But suddenly that vague hope was silenced, and I knew - I K-N-E-W I was really, really going to hell.

That put me in a different frame of mind I must say. I was somewhat mortified, and quite distressed for my soul. I stammered for a bit under the weight of that truth, then, as I picked up the shattered remains of who I had been up until that moment, and attempted to put them together again in the light of this new revelation - I suddenly began to wonder about how anyone could be saved? If everyone is a sinner, and no one is good enough to get into heaven - how is anyone saved??

My question was as much an accusation as it was a desperate plea. The pastor (no doubt knowing with a background in Catholicism that I didn't need to be convinced that Jesus was the Son of God, or that He had really died on a cross or was raised from the dead three days later) simply explained that God knew that we could never save ourselves, and because He loved us (in spite of our sin), God provided a way to satisfy his own righteousness over our sin, and to save us from His wrath all in one fell swoop: Jesus Christ.

He explained that Christ bore our sins on the cross, and that God punished our sins already in Christ. That this was the heart of the "gospel" - that by our faith we accept these things to be true, putting our trust in what Christ did on the cross for us, and not (as in times past) in our own ability (or power) to please God through whatever placating deeds we might imagine could win God's favor or earn our way into heaven.

When the light of that truth struck me, I suddenly understood that heaven wasn't purchased, it was a gift. I suddenly realized that to follow Christ wasn't something I did in order to earn heaven, but rather something I did because Christ purchased me with his own blood. But having this knowledge wasn't the same as "trusting" this knowledge. I was on a precipice, and I knew it. I now held in my understanding the one and only saving truth - the gospel; and I believed that this was the one and only way by which a man might be saved - but the question in my mind was whether or not I was actually willing to be a Christian.

I felt that Christianity would be quite boring, and I couldn't see myself enjoying it. I didn't want to follow Christ because in my heart I felt that doing so would be like dying to everything that I "loved." To follow Christ was not simply an acknowledgement that the gospel was valid - it was to surrender my life utterly and irrevocably into Christ's dominion. I knew that Christ was -the- King, the question was whether or not I was willing to bow my knee to Him.

This all took place in my heart in the space of a few minutes. I was already in hell, and Christ was reaching down into hell to save me, all I had to do was accept Him for who He was - my God, my King, and my Savior. But my heart didn't want to surrender.

I am often humbled by the faith of my youngest daughter (now three). When you come into my house the living room is off the landing where the door is, and up about five steps. My little one, when I come home, sometimes runs and leapt off the top of those stairs trusting entirely that I will catch her. This is something of the "leap of faith" I made that day in the pastor's office. The struggle ended when I put everything else aside, and committed myself into the hands of my Maker - as a child leaps in faith into her father's arms - so I too put my faith in God and determined to trust in Christ alone for my salvation - I became a Christian.

The moment I did I experienced an absolutely unanticipated cleansing. It was as though I were a screen door, and the holiness of God was Niagara falls - and it was all passing through me and continuing to do so moment by moment. I am not much for experiences - but this lasted for hours. I had never heard of any such thing - and I would have been afraid except that peace and joy unspeakable washed over me such that I didn't have any reason to fear. For the first time in my life, I was not only ready to die - I was looking forward to it. I was not only reconciled to God, but I was also having fellowship with God - and I knew it. I am not describing a metal persuasion in flowery imagery here either - I am saying that I was experiencing something beyond the typical experience, something that I cannot explain. I wanted to be clear on that - but the point is neither here nor there.

My point isn't to talk about what happened when I was saved - it is to bring into focus the relationship between the gospel and faith with respect to our Christian walk.

You see, as I said previously, most of us tend to regulate the gospel to justification. It becomes a mere "tool" used to bring about justification, first in our selves, and then in others. But Paul tells us that in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed from one level of faith to the next, that in this way the just shall live, not by works, but by faith.

The link between the gospel and righteous living is faith.

"Oh," you say, "big deal! Haven't I heard that a billion times - so what?"

No, no. Get this, let it sink into your ears (as it were). In the same way that you received Christ Jesus - you must walk as a Christian in the very same way. I don't know about you, but I suspect that if you were saved in the same way that I was, then you received the Spirit only when you utterly gave yourself over to Christ. Until then you just had knowledge of what must be done - but the moment you gave yourself to God, and abandoned yourself to Christ in faith - then the Spirit came, and then you had fellowship with God. Not that the surrender is what I am getting at - I am getting at the idea that I was utterly convinced that God was able to do what He said.

That is how we are to walk.

Every prayer that we pray that lacks that same certainty that we had when we were saved - such prayers are empty - even beggarly.

The power of God is the gospel - and the gospel is a message of faith in God to do what He said He would do.

If you find your walk with the Lord lacking, oh brother, sister - remember that the Lord - He is God. He is a promise keeper, He kept his promise to you while you were a sinner far from Him. How much more so will He keep His promises now? Do you doubt Christian? Do you doubt??

Oh Christian, you serve God and no other. He is able to do abundantly above all that you ask or think, but you can't start in faith, and finish in the flesh. It has to all be in faith.

Be more than encouraged - be stricken by your own faithlessness, stricken to call on God, as God. Whatever feebleness has entered in - trust that strong tower, He is able, more than able.
posted by Daniel @ 6:58 AM   8 comment(s)
Friday, August 18, 2006
Okay - New Template for a while.
Starting out all over again...You may have noticed a bit of a change on the blog. As I mentioned in my last post, sometime yesterday, I lost my template. I expect it happened as I was fiddling with the banner doo-hickey. I must have saved it at some point just after inadvertantly deleting most of it. I really don't know how that could have happened - but hey!

Being an IT professional, you would think that I would keep an up to date back up?


So this is going to be the template for a while at least. I am not so fond of the overly exotic CSS stuff, but once in a while I like to play a bit.

Let me know what you think. Er, except you Frank.
posted by Daniel @ 3:55 PM   18 comment(s)
Template problems...
I am not sure how it happened - but sometime last night my template disappeared. It may be a few days before (if?) I can find a saved copy...
posted by Daniel @ 8:30 AM   2 comment(s)
Thursday, August 17, 2006
What is it?
Ouch!Unless you have seen this image before, I very much doubt that you can guess what it is. I do, however, leave the door open for guesses. I shall tell all later - and trust me, you won't believe it.
posted by Daniel @ 11:01 AM   21 comment(s)
Monday, August 14, 2006
Morning Thoughts for Monday...
What causes brokeness in the church?As I was studying God's word this morning, in the book of Judges, I twice came upon the line:
everyone did what was right in his own eyes
(c.f. Judges 17:6, 21:25)
It is interesting (critical?) to note that this was exactly what God had told the Israelites not to do in Deuteronomy 12:8...
"You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes,"
Recall, Deuteronomy 12 is where Moses gives instruction on how to worship God (alone) in the promised land.

What struck me about "everyone doing what was right in their own eyes" was not that it was happening in spite of God having specifically commanded Israel not to do that very thing. Nuh-uh - what struck me was that coupled with these two recitations is an explanation given four times in the book of Judges, twice by way of introduction to the thought that everyone did right in their own eyes:
"In those days there was no king in Israel"
(c.f. Judges 17:6, 18:1, 19:1, 21:25)

You may well ask, "So what? What does that have to do with me, or with the church today?"

Good question.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you are probably familiar with scripture, and know already the history of Israel - that time and again, as long as there was someone to rule over them, they obeyed God - beginning with Moses, then Joshua, then the elders under Joshua, Othniel (Caleb's son in law), - and then as these died out, sporadically with the various individual judges, Gideon, Jephtah, Samson, Deborah, etc. The moment the judge died - Israel went astray.

Again, though you patiently read through this reiteration of Jewish history, you may well ask still, "So what?" Well, in this case we want to understand that what Paul said regarding the history of the Jews (Read 1 Corinthians 10) is true - these things became our examples (c.f. vs. 6), that is "they happened (c.f. vs. 11) and were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the ages has come." - 1 Corinthians 10:11 (emphasis added).

Okay, let's say you are still with me, and you agree with the scripture where it teaches that Israel's history was recorded, in part at least, to admonish by way of example Christians in the coming Christian era.

So when we read that the command to keep themselves from doing what seemed right in their own eyes was neglected on account of their being no ruler in the kingdom - we owe it to ourselves to hear that - and we owe it to Christ to be doers and not hearers only.

Consider Judges 17:6 as a passage that explains the why before it explains the what:
  • In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Now most of you are familiar with Paul's prophetic words in Acts 20:29,30:
For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
But I don't imagine when we read that we normally couple it with these verses in Judges - because the verses in Judges talk about men doing what seems right in their own eyes - and Paul is talking about men following other men - but I should like to tie these two thoughts together for you, and may the Spirit judge if they are rightly bound thus or not.

It is significant that the men who will rise up will draw men away from orthodoxy - and if we want to be absolutely particular here (and I do) let's say, away from Christ the King - that is, away from the rule of Christ - away from the Kingdom of God.

There is room for some legalistic misunderstanding here, so I want to be careful: Those who are in the kingdom obey the King - not that they obey as a means of entering into the kingdom - but that they reveal themselves to be the King's subjects by their God given willingness, indeed - by a God given, consuming desire to live in perfect obedience to their King.

That is not to suggest that Christians suddenly become sinless, but rather that maturity and fellowship follow obedience, and that obedience, being a primary characteristic of Christ, is also a primary characteristic of His brethren.

So when one asks, "Why are there so many Christian denominations?" I am inclined to answer, not that men are simply imperfect (which is almost a justified excuse for disunity!), but that men are either doing what is right in their own eyes, or intoxicated by the doctrines of other men who are doing what is right in their own eyes - and the reason they do that is as old as the bible itself - because no one is ruling over them.

If you are still with me, you may well be saying, okay, I'll buy that - I agree, the church is splintered, and the root problem isn't that men are imperfect, but that imperfect men who have been provided a "Way" to live in harmony with God (that is, through the indwelling Spirit whom God gives to those whom obey Him), these same men reject that "Way" in favor of what seems right in their own eyes, or they follow persuasive men who themselves are either following what seems right in their own eyes, or following men whom they admire. You agree that far, but ask, "What does accepting this information give to the church? How does understanding this help me to bring glory to God in my own Christian walk?"

All of the divisions in the church - from the greatest schisms, to the least infractions resulting in strained fellowship - from the darkest heresies, to the least significant "off-white" areas - all of it stems from doing what seems right in our own eyes at a point when we should have submitted ourselves to the rule of Christ in our life.

Therefore, meditate on this if you have the time or the inclination - consider that God is most glorified in the unity of the church, and that your unwillingness to accept Christ's rightful rule in your life at any point, or over any matter no matter how seemingly insignificant it may be to you - that same heart of rebellion is the seed from which every schism and denominational division in the church has sprung up.

Just as our lives ought not to be about what we can get out of God but rather how we can serve Him - so our prayers should reflect that too - that we pray in surrender to God - that we pray to bring about His kingdom in our lives. Pressing into God's Kingdom is synonymous with pressing into obedience. We are not inclined through the flesh to do so, so let our prayers begin each time by searching out in us that root of rebellion, that unwillingness to submit ourselves to God - and let us come to him the only way we can - with holy hands.

I encourage you, all who read this, to seek the Lord with all your heart - refuse to be content with a disobedient spirit - but call on the name of the Lord, and continue to call without quitting until being free is not just an expression you hope for, but the reality you are living.
posted by Daniel @ 9:41 AM   3 comment(s)
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
How to seek the Lord...
Seek and ye shall find...
I have been reading a lot more than I have been posting lately, and if you're one of the handful of my faithful readership, I apologize for that. I don't want to post just any old thing. Usually I blog about things that I think need explaining, and frankly, sometimes I can't think of anything, or the thought is so small that I think it isn't worth blogging about.

This is one of those "little things" that really, it is so small I am tempted not to blog about it at all, but it struck me this morning, so I am inclined to share..
But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and obey his voice. - Deuteronomy 4:29-30
We hear that part in verse 29 spoken as a sort of general encouragement for Christians all the time:
"seek the Lord your God and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul."
But we seldom quote the next verse which gives a very clear indication of what is meant by seeking the Lord:
"...return to the LORD your God and obey his voice"
Seriously, I need to be reminded of this truth every now and again - that seeking the Lord is not a matter of "getting information about God" but a matter of submitting myself to God's rule in my life given the information I already possess.

I have in the past put off obedience, and excused my own lack thereof by claiming that until I understand a thing more fully, I am not inclined to obey the light I have. It sounds cold and ugly when I say it in print like that - and it should, sin is ugly.

I need to be careful to "remember my first love" as it were, that is, to practice obeying the voice of God out of a determined and willing heart - and to guard myself against any habitual activity that can displace or even replace genuine obedience.
posted by Daniel @ 1:26 PM   5 comment(s)
Sunday, August 06, 2006
If God lights a fire...
13"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. 14"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. - Matthew 5:13-16 [ESV]

It stands to reason, if I lit a lamp, that the purpose for my lighting that lamp is that it should shine light into a dark place.

If God lit you... yes, you. It stands to reason that He did so in order for you to take that light into a dark place. He didn't light you so that you could hide away in the basket of your fellowship or under the jar of your little Christian clique - the command is not to "make" your light shine - but to "let" it shine before men.

It is one of those simple commands - you have a light - just don't douse it when you go out - that was the command.

How're you doing? Don't answer me, I ain't the one asking.
posted by Daniel @ 5:17 PM   5 comment(s)
Friday, August 04, 2006
One Book Tag.
Apparently these things come in waves... Fred Butler over at Hip and Thigh has tagged me with the one book tag. I feel honored of course, because Fred is one of those really thoughtful and articulate people in the blogosphere - and I feel like the ugly kid who gets asked to go to the prom with the not ugly kid. Well, you know what I mean.

Anyway, it seems a good start to my weekend...

1. One book that changed your life (other than the Bible):
Apparently you -can- judge a book by its cover...I am going to step out of tradition here. Most people in answering this question are likely to draw upon some wonderful, inspirational work that changed their life for the better. In answering this, I began by saying that frankly, the bible was the only book that ever changed my life - but here again, I was thinking "for the better." As I began to put that thought to text, I realized that one book, well, a group of books actually, had changed my life much earlier, though not necessarily for the better...

These guys really want that gem...The year was 1983. I was almost sixteen years old. Rona Jaffe's "Mazes and Monsters" (starring a young Tom Hanks) was being aired on network television, and my older sister's boyfriend happened to be over watching it with us. The story follows an undiagnosed schizophrenic (Tom Hanks) whose condition begins to manifest itself through his playing a Role Playing Game (RPG) at college. The name of the game is "Mazes and Monsters" - but my sister's boyfriend had played the real game that the movie was portraying, and the real game was called "Dungeons and Dragons."

That big flying thing is supposed to be a dragon...I confess, it seemed to me to be the coolest thing in the world. The movie portrayed it as evil - you know, if you play this you will go crazy and start killing people. But I was already too old to be spoonfed gibberish like that. My sister's boyfriend had the "Dungeon Master's Guide" (First picture), and lent it to me.

I was hooked. A few months later I passed a group young men playing "Advanced" Dungeons and Dragons in the school cafeteria, I sat with them - and for the next fifteen years of my life I was absolutely hooked on Role Playing Games. Every friend that I had was a "roleplayer" - we met several times each week - often every day for weeks on end, to play games for hours at a time - and I don't mean an hour or two - I mean six to twelve hours as the typical venue.

Now, this was a mixed curse and a blessing. Prior to Dungeons and Dragons, my friends were all junkies and thieves. I am not exaggerating either, I was out stealing bikes at night, sneaking out of the house at midnight to party and get stoned and drunk. My life revolved around drugs and crime - and everything else that goes with that. Having a sudden interest in a time consuming hobby saved me from a life of crime and drugs. Notwithstanding, the time consumed playing role playing games was almost entirely wasted - and even when I met and married my wife, role playing still had first place in my heart. One day, the Lord put his foot down, and fifteen years or so of nothingness was thrown in the trash, where it has remained to this day.

So in a real sense, these books changed the course of my life, and helped me to avoid an early, and devastating shipwrecked life. My siblings have not been so fortunate...

2. One book you've read more than once:
I probably read those three AD&D books tens of times. But I have been on about that at length already. One book that I have enjoyed many times has been "The Hobbit" - Tolkein wrote it after he had written the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it it was a great read, and still is.

3. One book you'd want on a Desert Island:
One of those waterproof army survival manuals - hands down. I can imagine the poor sot sitting there with a copy of "Gone with the wind" or something - smacking their foreheads when they realize they could have had a survival manual had they given the thing any thought.

4. One book that made you laugh:
I don't read a lot of Comedy. I guess I am pretty shallow in this way, but the books that typically make me laugh are comic book - Gary Larson's "Far Side" helped in this way. I can't remember where I found the book - I think it was my parents - but I though "Far Side" was my kind of humor. I loved it. I can still recall this one frame where students are practicing breaking boards in a martial arts academy, and out the window you see aliens attacking the city - and they are all shaped like boards - one guy comes running in yelling that "this is what we have been training for" or something like that - that kind of humor kills me, half inside joke, half social commentary - all silly.

5. One book that made you cry (or feel really sad):
How about the first one that made me cry? I was about seven or eight, and I was reading "Planet of the Apes." by Pierre Boulle - one of my first "big" books. There is a scene in the book where one of the younger apes climbs a tree and overhears a conspiratorial conversation by some other apes, big, bad, mean apes - and he is discovered and killed. I couldn't believe it, it was so unjust, so cruel. I wept.

6. One book that you wish had been written:
Pilgrim's Progress. (whoops, that's been done already.. H/T Jim.)
"Duncan Campbell - an autobiography."

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
The Da Vinci Code. Not that it is really bothering me - but that it was written in an age sorely lacking discernment - and no matter how we toil to mop up all that misinformation - you just know you'll never get it all.

8. One Book You're Currently Reading:
I am currently reading:
The Case for A Creator (Lee Strobel) - My brother-in-law gave it to me as a Christmas gift.
Why Revival Tarries (Leonard Ravenhill) - A great man of prayer.
Life in the Father's House: A Member's Guide to the Local Church (Wayne A. Mack, David Swavely) - Haven't gotten too far in this yet, but it looks good.
Systematic Theology (Wayne Grudem) - I like.... I like! This is a slow read though.
The Bondage of the Will (Martin Luther, intro by J.I. Packer) - excellent read - simply excellent. I could have put this one in the "book that made me laugh" category - Luther is caustic, and I find caustic funny.
The Da Vinci Deception (Erwin Lutzer) - shortly after listening to Frank Turk's series on the Da Vinci code, I was offered a free copy of Lutzer's book. It is quite digestable. I could read the whole of it in an afternoon, but I am taking it slowly.
A Christianity That Really Works (Ron Marr) - you can download a copy for free. Amazing stuff.

To be sure, I am doing a couple of daily devotionals - but they don't count. I am presently away from my reading material - and I may have missed a book or two. C'est la vie. Those are the books I am currently reading.

9. One Book you've been meaning to read:
I should like to read a good "biblical" theology. I haven't decided which one yet, but when I decide I will get to it.

10. Now tag five people:
Okay. I gave you guys a break on the last tag - but it seems my tender, lovingkindness has been abused - so rather than paint a bulls-eye on my blog for tags, I am going to tag five people - in no particular order:
Even So
Daniel J. Phillips - Kim tagged him already, so I am just upping the ante - not that Daniel reads my blog...
Frank Martens
Jeremy Weaver

Alright. No more memes for at least a week. ;-)
posted by Daniel @ 7:51 AM   23 comment(s)
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Three Things
Okay, so I am doing one of those meme tags.

As in all Meme Tags, you will note that I start off with a bit of gusto, but as it wears on, and on, and on, and on I start to get a little terse with my answers.

Three things that have genuinely frightened me in the past.
1. Jurrasic Park (the original). Seriously, I wasn't sure how gory it would be, and I was literally shivering in the theatre. Well, the A/C was up way to high - but I was genuinely afraid to watch some scenes. I was thankful that no one can see you close your eyes in the movie theatre.
2. Anxiety Attacks. A wrong diagnosis of "asthma" when I was a younger man (I actually was simply allergic to our cat), caused my doctor to prescribe asthma inhalers (puffers). In order to breath at night, I had to use the rescue puffer a lot - and one of the side effects of this particular corticosteroid is anxiety attacks. Nothing like thinking you are dying to make you a little afraid.
3. Sin. Nuff said.

Three people who make me laugh
1. Bill Cosby. My dad used to have a few Bill Cosby albums when I was growing up and I have always found his "stand up" to be hilarious.
2. Patrick Star. Granted Patrick Star is not a real person, but just a character on SpongeBob - but I find him funny anyway.
3. Bob Hope. I am a sucker for old black and white funnies. Some of the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby movies are hilarious!

Three things I love besides the Lord, and Family
1. Playing Guitar. I used to play for hours a day.
2. Video Games. Perhaps "unhealthy addiction" would be a better description than "love." I truly have to watch myself in this area.
3. Reading. I love to read, and wouldn't mind writing a book some day.

Three things that other people like, that I don't.
1. Watching Sports. I was never a sports fan.
2. Going for group walks. Maybe it is just my wife's family - but it seems whenever they get together they have to go out for a walk around the block. It seems the most inane thing in the world to me. I don't mind going for a walk sometimes - but there better be a good reason - you know, my house is on fire, or perhaps I am on fire? But simply walking as a matter of habit - well, I don't enjoy it.
3. Chicken. I don't care how you dress it up - it's just chicken. Give me a steak and keep the chicken for someone else. I will eat chicken, politely - but I won't enjoy it.

Three things I have forgotten, but wish I hadn't.
1. Calculus. I loved Calculus, but I have forgotten most of it, and a lot of the trigonometry and algebra that went with it.
2. The recipe for my grandmother's scones. She made the most tasty scones! She is gone now, and no one knows how to make her scones.
3. The name of the pastor who led me to Christ. I can almost remember his face, but his name is long since gone from my memory. I wouldn't mind calling him up and letting him know that I still love the Lord, and thanking him for being faithful to share the gospel with me.

Three things I have never understood.
1. Sadism. I don't understand how a person can be deliberately cruel to another - seeing suffering in another makes me physically ill (hence I am no doctor).
2. Lying. Sometimes I catch myself embellishing or exagerating a story so that it is more interesting. I know it is wrong, so I stop - but I don't understand how it is that even knowing better, I still find myself slipping into that from time to time.
3. Someone eating chicken on purpose. Okay, this is sort of another stab at the chicken thing. I know that there are some people who would be quite thankful for a mouthful of foul, er, fowl. I don't doubt for a second that to a starving man even chicken satisifies. I am just saying I don't understand why someone would eat chicken who didn't have to. You know, who chose chicken over say, steak, or even over say dry pasta.

Three most unusual things on my desk at work
1. A squidward figurine. If you don't know who squidward is, you are missing out.
2. A change of clothes. Because I ride my bike to work, and because I don't normally interact with the public - I tend to walk around in riding clothes the whole day long. It can happen however, that I am called to a meeting - and, depending on who is going to be there, it is nice to have a change of clothes handy.
3. A couple of gospel tracts. Before you start thinking I am some red hot evangelist, I have to come clean - proselyting is not well received in a government office. I actually had to sign an agreement after offending someone with my faith once - so these tracts have been sitting there on my desk for a couple of years now. Every now and again someone will ask what they are, and when they do I am allowed to explain it.

Three things I am doing right now (not counting this meme)
1. Um, breathing? Okay, seriously, if I am doing this meme, what else would I be doing?
2. Listening to the sound of typing, and air conditioning systems.
3. Scratching my eye. It was itchy.

Three things I want to do before I die
1. Go to Seminary. I dearly wish I had the facility to go and study theology formally.
2. Write a book called "Approximate Christianity." I would love to write a "how to" guide that teaches immature Christians the difference between seeking the Lord and warming a pew.
3. Travel the world. I haven't seen a mountain or an ocean yet.

Three things I am good at
1. Backhanded Compliments. You sir, are a prince among kings, and regardless of what others say, I think you're brilliant.
2. Playing with my kids. I think this is easy, cause I love them so much.
3. Accents I am quite good at immitating, and understanding accents.

Three ways to describe my personality
1. Generally contented. Wherever I happen to be, that is where I am happiest.
2. Clever. I fancy myself as being clever at least? Maybe I should have said self deceived, or possibly clever?
3. Confident In talking with me, people have often comment that I come across as very confident. I think that is a polite way of saying, arrogantly sure of myself.

Three things I cannot do
1. Skate Backwards. I know, I am a Canadian. The shame, the shame!
2. Whistle loud with my fingers in my mouth. My father could put a couple of fingers in his mouth and pierce your ears with a thunderous WHISTLE. The best I can manage is an audible, but breathy, micro-toot.
3. Eat chicken without complaining Bullfight. Well, I am guessing actually. Perhaps if I had the opportunity I might prove to be a formidable bull fighter, but alas, I think it best to err on the side of caution here, and go with "can't do."

Three things I think you should listen to
1. Anything by John MacArthur. You can download sermons from many places on line - it is well worth your efforts.
2. Hymns. Unlike most of the pop that passes for Christian content these days - many hymns are edifying, and even beautiful theologically.
3. Glad's rendition of "Before the throne of God" Powerful, powerful stuff.

Three things I don't think you should listen to ever
1. The Prosperity Gospel. Nuff said.
2. Vulgarity when you can help it. Garbage in, garbage out.
3. Pyramid Marketing Sales Pitches. No one should have to suffer through this sort of thing, especially at the hands of a friend or aquaintance. Et tu Brutus? Et tu?

My Three Favorite foods
1. a Good Alfredo sauce over a cheese stuffed pasta.
2. Thin crust, onion and Pineapple Pizza. I know it sounds odd, but Yum!
3. A thick, juicy, well marinated, barbequed steak. I shouldn't be doing this before supper...

Three sports I would like to try.
1. Hang gliding. I live on the prairies. Jumping off of a roof to fly to the other side of the street just doesn't cut it.
2. Sky diving. I think it would be quite fun.
3. Scuba diving. Again, not in a swimming pool, or snorkeling, but reef diving somewhere cool would be fun. Surfing too I suppose.

Three beverages I drink most often
1. Diet Seven Up.
2. Diet Pepsi.
3. Milk.
(I love milk!)

Three normal shows I watched as a kid
1. Star Trek (The Original Series). I still think Kirk was cool, not to dis' Jean Luc, but Kirk had that over the top thing going that was always fun.
2. Lost in Space. I want to get the series and watch it again and see if it was actually good, or if I was just young enough not to know better.
3. M*A*S*H. My dad controlled the TV. It wasn't bad.

Three weirdest shows I watched as a kid
1. H.R. Pufnstuf Jimmy's talking flute used to freak me out. Any how come all the characters looked like McDonald's mascots? Oh yeah, McDonalds ripped them off and got sued.
2. Chiller Thriller. Whenever we got a baby sitter, we would lie and say we were always allowed to stay up late and watch scary -B- movies. I still shiver to remember one particular installment - "Don't be afraid of the Dark." - this crazy movie about this house where there are these little demons or something living in the chimney who can't stand the light, and who sneak about in the dark and drag off people and stuff them in the chimney. (shudder) - after watching that I couldn't sleep in the dark for years.
3. Castle Frightenstein - you know with the dancing wearwolf, and that big bald guy Igor? That was always a dumb show, but we didn't have cable television.

Three people I tag to do this meme
I am not going to saddle anyone with this. If you like memes you should do one.
posted by Daniel @ 3:45 PM   7 comment(s)
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