Category Archives: Dan’s Posts

Daniel 7 (Part 3)

Jody is in “cryogenic” Saskatchewan helping facilitate a prayer summit for the pastors and leaders of Saskatoon.

Meanwhile, Dan fills in teaching from verses 9-18. Who are these magnificent persons in the throne room? Who is the “rider on the clouds”? And who are these standing around? What are they waiting for?

The Virus of Offense

A couple months ago, the women in the area got together for a prayer summit. One of the big takeaways of the gathering was the issue of ‘offense.’ The ladies came back convicted that carrying around offenses, that is feelings of resentment, anger, disgust and distrust was toxic to their spiritual life.

In the weeks since the summit, many of us have wrestled with the sneaky nature of this thing called “offense.” The fact is, we often feel entitled to it. People or conditions in the world can awaken feelings both subtle and not so subtle that can churn at our insides and pollute our relationships.

Offense is bit like a virus that lies dormant, waiting for our immune system to weaken enough for it to awaken sin. It’s wise, then, to be aware of it and treat the virus before it makes us sin-sick. Moreover, if we’re not careful we can pass it along to others. A negative or cynical comment can infect our friends and family with offense.

Lately, in the midst of this particularly nasty flu season and a largely ineffective flue vaccine, I’ve been intentionally compulsive about washing my hands. I have been trying to be aware of what I touch and of not touching my face. All this so I can avoid getting sick with the flu. If I can stay healthy, I’ll be just one less carrier of the virus. Anyway, who wants to be sick? Not me.

I am thinking of “offense” as a virus. If I can keep from getting offended or, at least from expressing the things that I’ve gotten offended about–biting my tongue, if you please–perhaps my world can be less toxic.

Daniel Chapter 6

You wait all this time for the holidays to be over so you can hear Jody teach through Daniel and what happens? Jody is called out of town to facilitate a prayer summit in Modesto. So, this week’s study of Chapter 6 (the famous story of Daniel in the lion’s den) is taught by Jody’s husband, Dan.

Stop That Penance!

Back in the early part of December, I noticed something about my times of prayer. (I often come out to my office first thing in the morning and spend some quiet time talking and listening to the Lord.) Lately, my prayers had come off sounding more like apology and penance– admissions of failure as a leader, a husband, father and human being.

What’s up with that? (I can’t be sure, but it may have been Jesus asking the question.) The implication was that maybe a different approach was needed. What if I come out to my prayer place in the morning fully accepting that I am loved by my Father, and that He believes in me as much as I sensed my earthly father did? As I believe in my own children. What if I did that?

Brennan Manning suggested that, on judgment day, Jesus will put the question to us: “Did you believe that I loved you? That I desired you. That I waited for you day after day. That I longed to hear the sound of your voice?”

On December 10th, I resolved to daily answer that question, yes. I resolved to stop the penance; stop the shame and accept the truth–hard as it is to believe–that my Father loves me. No penance is required.

Why not join me and do the same? Your heavenly Father believes in you.

 

Let’s Build a Rat Park

As the culture clock ticks toward midnight, we read the following headline: Deaths from booze, drugs, suicide could spike 60 percent to 1.6 million over next decade.  Tragically, that dire warning didn’t  surprise me. I bet you could say the same.

We’ve watched the downward skid for quite awhile. Watched. Fretted. Made peace with impotence.

As this blog series has suggested, there’s not much we can do outside the community of Jesus. People gonna do what people gonna do.

What we can do, though, is build a rat park. I could argue that Jesus has commanded us to build a rat park (John 13:34-35).  Continue reading Let’s Build a Rat Park

Caution: Microcosms of Malice

And so it happens again, this time in a church. People are gathered to worship. Children playing with friends. Adults enjoying conversation. There is music and prayer. A community has come together in the name of the Lord, Jesus.

A man, boiling with hatred enters the sanctuary and begins firing a weapon which has as its sole purpose the taking of human life. It performs flawlessly. Twenty-six brothers and sisters of the Kingdom are dead with another twenty injured. The illusion of safety in this world, if such an illusion persisted, is shattered in a tiny town in Texas.

Another mass shooting. Days before, a worshiper of a demon god (certainly no righteous deity could have inspired such an act) murders eight innocents with a rented truck in New York. Before that, 58 killed in Las Vegas. Elsewhere in the world, acts of cowardly inhumanity are standard fare. Hatred has gone viral. Continue reading Caution: Microcosms of Malice