Saturday, October 01, 2005

Methodist Blogger Profile: Michael Daniel

Michael Daniel of Exploring the Day
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My wife and I have been married for 24 years. We have three children: Jonathon22, Chelsea 17, and Emily 11. It is easier to say that my wife has always beenthe faithful one for Christ. She prayed me out of my drunken stupor andeffectively raised the children in church. Though they all seem amazed sometimes at my transformation, the "rock" and stability can be more easily discerned in mom. A lesser woman would have thrown me out years ago.

I work full time for a trucking company and serve the UMC as a part-time local pastor and candidate for ordained ministry. It's a long and winding path but what an incredible journey!

Why do you blog?
I have found it to be a good way of expressing myself while also providing a discipline to write often, working to correct myself and the craft of writing.

What has been your best blogging experience?
It’s a tie between my first response from a reader and the first time someone took exception to something I wrote.

What would be your main advice to a novice blogger?
Write for yourself and remember that there are literally thousands of bloggers and wanna-be writers. Writing for an audience that may not be there is a huge let-down. Writing for yourself, however, comes with no expectations.

If you only had time to read three blogs a day, what would they be?
I enjoy so many, it would almost seem an insult to choose only three. “A Preacher’s Journey”, “Locusts and Honey”, and “Gospel According to the ‘Hood”

Who are your spiritual heroes?
Although I cannot say I am a fan of St Paul, he has earned some respect as one having come from a pharisaic tradition and boldly proclaimed the New Covenant. How many of us would step out of our shell like that?

What are you reading at the moment?
“Angel and Demons” by Dan Brown. I’m also attending school at night; I won’t list the school books that take up most of my time.

What is your favorite hymn and why?
“Hymn of Promise” #707 UMH because of the message of hope “unrevealed until its season, something God ALONE can see.”

Can you name a major moral, political, or intellectual issue on which you've changed your mind?
Church attendance. Early in my married life, I tried to convince myself and my wife that going to church was not as important as churches would like us to believe. “All they want is your money”, I reasoned. Now I know that attendance amounts to “charging the spiritual batteries” and is vital to spiritual growth in the covenant community.

What philosophical thesis do you think is most important to combat?
That man is into doing good only because he is expecting something in return. We view too many actions and question ulterior motives when we refuse to realize that man is quite capable of doing good for the sake of goodness itself

If you could affect one major change in the governing of your country, what would it be?
I almost hate to say it but under the current circumstances, I would probably limit the terms of the US Congress. There are too many who are too entrenched and too self-serving. I would then also limit their retirement benefits.

If you could affect one major policy change in the United Methodist Church, what would it be?
I would demand a stand on abortion, one way or the other.

What would be your most important piece of advice about life?
Understand that when the Lord says, “Thou shalt not …”, it is for the very same reason your parents say, “no”; translated – “I LOVE YOU, and I have only your well-being at heart”.

What, if anything, do you worry about?
I worry that my children may become too entrenched in worldly thoughts and ideas.

If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything that you'd do differently?
I would work harder in school and take education more seriously. I’m 47 years old, and I’m still a year away from my undergrad degree!

Where would you most like to live (other than where you do now)?
Albuquerque NM. It’s a very beautiful city, the weather is moderate, and the sunsets are hand-painted daily by the Lord Himself!

What do you like doing in your spare time?
Yard work, golf, tennis, read

What is your most treasured possession?
I guess I would have to say my home because of the shelter it provides my family.

What talent would you most like to have?
To play piano

If you could have any three guests, past or present to dinner, who would they be?
Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Jesus – what a discussion THAT would be!!

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