I began my Christian Life as a young adult with high hopes.
These high hopes were coupled with a desire to serve God.
My local Church supported me in such aspirations.
I served in that Church, studied Theology theology in the formal setting of a conservative Bible College and Seminary, and was then mandated to start a new local Church with a group of small members of members from that Church that were interested in the project and were willing to follow my leadership. God blessed my ministry, but there were issues in my personal life I did not know how to fix. So after a while I became discouraged, and felt that if the apostle Paul knew of my situation, he would agree I should find a secular job. So I did, considering at the time I was obeying God's Word as I did, even though it was a heart breaking decision for those I ministered to, and the most painful decision I have made in my life, even to this day.
I became a Christian in 1977, graduated from Bible college in 1984, and left the pastoral ministry in 1987. Dates are from memory for now.
As I made that decision to leave my church planting ministry, I asked God to guide me so I could find some ways to earn a living in some ways that allowed me to build on what I had learned in the years past, somehow. I did a one year college training in Information Technology and eventually became Senior Technical Writer for a Canadian multinational with roots in the French Speaking province of Quebec, where I was born and live today.
As the years went by, I became despaired that God would ever do anything by way of the spiritual maturity I had always hoped for.
So much so that in September 2001 when the entire planet was watching the World Trade Center was going down over and over on TV stations, I was getting rid of material I had kept all my life and that could help me writing from a Christian perspective in ways that would help others from my experience.
I had become totally convinced that nothing would ever come out of my life. So I joined a local Toastmasters Club where I could at least make some nice presentations that helped people in general, and that were enriching to me because I was learning Spanish in the process, since the Toastmaster club I chose was operating in Spanish.
But God was there for me all along. And in 2008 I finally came to grips with the Spiritual Maturity of Christ which is the base of all Christian Service. The last sentence is a sort of short hand way to say that I finally did get the point that all depended on Christ's obedience to God behind which I am hidden and protected. This became a real breaktrhough in my way of understanding myself. It changed the way I related to others. It had some very observable implications in all of my relationships.
So, 2008 was also the year where I decided I would start to get back in Scriptures a lot more than I had in recent years. The local church that had been supportive of me throughout those years began to trust me with an occasional preaching ministry. And as I am becoming quite close to retirement from my secular job, I am becoming more involved in places where I can share what God has done in my life through the years.
My hope is that God will use my contributions wherever I get involved to help others rely on His justice for their life and ministry. But I do hope that some of what I write or say will help people serving God in the ministry keep up hope when they are going through crisis in their own lives.
If I were to sum up all of the above and add something very important not mentioned yet, it would be by saying that I am hoping that this forum will be a place where I can be challenged in my understanding of the Faith and where others will likewise accept to be challenged in theirs sometimes.
Daniel Garneau, BTh, BCom, MA
– Knowing and Believing: Torn-apart, yet inseparable allies…