A New Project

Hello! You may or may not know, but we started a business called “Dualist Gaming” and I need your help. Please don’t delete this as you are a part of my “tribe” and the only means for which we can get the “word” out about what we are doing! But our “business” is about to launch officially where we sell only the best board games that we have vetted personally. Yeah; board games!

This is indeed a side project, but one that we are investing in and I need to lean on my friends to see if you would be willing to help spread the news about our online shop/blog.

Why should you do this? Well, for starters, because Kelly and I are hoping to gain some side income from this, but also because you are our community who has been through so much in life with us. I don’t need to tell you what we all have been through, both through my blogging as well as the countless prayers offered for myself, my son, and all that we have been doing with Samuel’s Trees. We are still doing Samuel’s Trees and I’ll be working extensively on this as well over the course of the next few months. We truly hope to impact even more families this coming holiday season.

Also, so many of you have never tried playing board games before. Just recently our family has enjoyed incredible games; something we never thought we’d do but it has been such a blessing for us to connect, grow in critical thinking for the kids, and problem solve. I want to share this experience with everyone as I know you will be blessed by the choices we have on the website.

That is kind of what separates us from other online stores. We only sell games we would play, and having played them, we only invest in the good ones that we think everyone will enjoy. BUT, I’m NOT asking you to buy them! Instead, I’m asking that you tell others about our store. Our prices beat Amazon’s; sometimes by a large margin.

So would you please, pretty please, consider helping with this project? Would you tell your friends about our website? Would you take a look at it, along with the blogs about the games that I write, and either subscribe or tell others about it? Since we do not have money to advertise, you are our only means of getting the word out. And if you are ever in the market to buy a game or see a game that you want, we will do our best to meet and exceed anything you could find elsewhere.

But why sell board games? Because of what they have done for our family and for other communities we are involved in. They are simply fun and move us away from the television and into the lives of those we care about.

Please, when you have time, check out our site: www.dualistgaming.com. We have a Facebook page of the same name, as well as a twitter page that we have recently started.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for reading this, and considering being involved. Many many blessings to you!

Daniel Parkins
twitter: @dualistgaming

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dualistgaming/

Dry Season

I’ve been through a dry season lately.  I’m not sure why, but I haven’t been able to write.  The truth is, I haven’t been reading much either.  My health is good; I’ve been healthy for a while now.  No real liver news so that’s a great thing.  Turmoil has been happening around me, but nothing is beyond the sovereignty of God and therefore the redemptive plan is not in jeopardy.  I still love the Bride of Christ, the church, and am actively pastoring many.  But I think I am going to remain quiet on this blog for a long time; I can really only update the http://www.danielparkins.com site from time to time.  I’ve written there for the past two weeks, and though I can’t make promises to write, many of you have been encouraging me to write whenever I see you.  So to that I say “thank you”, that all is well, and that my passion for Christ has not grown dim.  If you’d still like to receive updates, then you can read on my other site.  I’ll send a health update soon I promise!  I’ll also let you know about my amazing family, but please know that I thank you and look forward to hearing from you on the other blog!   With love and devotion to Christ,


Nineteen Days ALMOST OUT!

Here the latest news on Samuel’s book!

Daniel Parkins

Photo on 11-18-13 at 1.13 PMI just have to write really quick, that the culmination of many years of going over and through a very intense trial is finally going to print and I am more than excited.  I ordered some of my books today, and tomorrow (supposedly) they go live for everyone to buy as well.  Would you please join me in praying for this venture and asking the Lord to use my book to minister to any and all who chose to read it?  Thank you!  I’ll be “spamming” most of you in hopes to get the word out, so please give me grace as I am more than excited about it.  After all, if I’m not excited, who will be?  Use this for your glory Lord…

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Nineteen Days in Production!

To celebrated the fact that my book, “Nineteen Days,” is closer to being finished (the story of my son, Samuel James Parkins and his battle with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia), I wanted to include an article I wrote for a magazine recently.  It is called “God Wrestling with Us”:

Genesis 32.22-32 gives a strange account of our Patriarch Jacob and his wrestling match with God all through the night.  The thing to note first and foremost in this story is that it is terrifying.  Terrifying in the fact that the Lord became something holy different than anything Jacob had known before.  At this point at least, we can see the Lord was not wrestling with Jacob to have a good time; the Lord was Jacob’s opponent.

Throughout the course of Jacob’s life we see him having multiple enemies; particularly in Laban.  He anticipated an enemy to be his older brother Esau and was completely frightened by him.  But the Lord?  God was no enemy to Jacob; one can make an argument that Jacob viewed God as simply friendly, almost a benign figure whom Jacob could manipulate or turn to his advantage when things got difficult.

I wonder how many of us view God in this same capacity?

The Lord is the great Physician, the great Healer of our souls.  He is the Provider, the Resting Place, our Righteousness and our Victory.  He sent His only Son to die for us, and without a healthy fear of God, we can see that God is more for us than for Himself. But God is more passionate for His glory than for ours; and like Jacob, we oftentimes use God for our own gains in life and our own wants.  Now, in this wrestling with God, Jacob finally realized that God cannot be used for our means.  He discovered quite suddenly that the Lord is to be feared, that like Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia, He is terrible and He is lovely.

Perhaps this incident proved in the life of Jacob a true understanding, for the first time, that God is God, and the he was simply a child of the Most High.  Jacob is seen to have a profound change in his life from this moment on; so much so that his entire name changed as well.  Yet before the match, life’s circumstances had reduced him to helplessness.  He needed God to intervene.  The eleventh hour had arrived and God has still not delivered him.  It was a crisis of faith, and he was at his wits end.

I’m sure many have felt this way before, when all hope seems lost.  Perhaps it comes after a great victory or a terrible event.

Enter God into the mess of our lives.

We find in Genesis 32 that this Man wrestled with Jacob, not the other way around.  We have to realize by this passage that the Lord was the instigator of the wrestling; Jacob no doubt was not in the right frame of mind to wrestle!  James Montgomery Boice states, “It is not that Jacob was seeking God so earnestly that when God, as it were, got close to him, he grappled with him and refused to let him go until he blessed him.  It is true that Jacob later begged for a blessing.  But at the beginning it is not Jacob who seeks God to wrestle with him; rather, it is God, who comes to wrestle with Jacob to bring him to a point of both physical and spiritual submission.”

The Lord is not a God to be manipulated, but a God to be worshiped.

A.W. Pink writes, “Jacob was not wrestling with this Man to obtain a blessing; instead, the Man was wrestling with Jacob to gain some object from him.  As to what this object is the best of the commentators agree—it was to reduce Jacob to a sense of his nothingness, to cause him to see what a poor, helpless and worthless creature he was; it was to teach us through him that all important lesson that in recognized weakness lies our strength.”  That’s one of the main points we see in this wrestling with God.  Weakness is broken into submission, and submission is where there is strength.  Submission to God’s leading and God’s control, realizing that there’s nothing stronger or more determinant that this.

The Lord of the universe, the one in whom we see the majesty of his handiwork in the heavens and starry host, is perfect in every way.  He does no wrong.  Regardless of how we see the circumstances played out, He does no wrong.  Regardless if we are injured deeply, He does no wrong.  He alone is the sovereign Lord and He alone has His will done and accomplished.  God will always win the wrestling match; if we were smart, then the sooner we submit, the better.

My life was put out of joint when my son died two years ago.  I wrestled with God till the very end, even blowing into my dead son’s lungs, praying for healing, wrestling.  God used this situation with my son to bring me to the end of myself and turn me back to Him.  He did it in such a profound way; though He allowed me to wrestle with Him, to complain to Him, to be angry at Him, He nonetheless had His way because His way is always best.  I am not suggesting that the Lord does this in every pain; sometimes He has other purposes.  It is much too beyond us to understand the full breadth of the purposes and sovereignty of God.  But oftentimes He uses the hurt in our lives to bring us back to Him, to put us in our proper place, so that we cling to him in our weakness so that He shines through.

In the upside down Kingdom where to be poor is to be rich, to mourn is to be comforted, we see the profound reality of the gospel in Genesis’ account of a wrestling match.  Having come into contact face to face with the Lord of hosts, with the ever patient and faithful one, we see at long last a broken and contrite Spirit humbled to his core.  We see a man dependent upon God, rather than dependent upon himself.  We see in Jacob a picture of a man renewed by the power of God, now remade in His own image, finally surrendered to the will of God for his life.  We see in no small measure great faith worked out.  It is beautiful to behold indeed; it is something we all must surrender to; to find our lives, we must lose them.

Open Door Slowly

It was a dry day, one in which the skin on your fingers and hands cracked under the slightest of movements.  Washing hands after using the restrooms no longer was appealing since the soap from the dispensers was seen as the greater evil; it was done solely for hygienic reasons and not for comfort.  As the soap and water was washed, you exit the restroom and read a sign above your head, “Open door slowly.”  With the next meeting on your mind and the dry cracking hands, you disregard the warning and open the door.  Wham!  Straight into the janitor’s feet comes the swinging door.  Sheepishly you do your best to apologize and see if there is anything you can do.  No, you have done enough.  Did you learn your lesson?  Probably not, but you do feel bad.  The next time you open the door you might think twice-but only for a little while-and then you go about your week.

Signs are a hindrance sometimes.  I know they bug me.  One of my least favorite signs is “Golf Cart Crossing.”  That means I have to slow down even though I have never seen a golf cart nearby, even at two in the morning.  But some signs serve an incredible purpose for each one of us.  Near my neighborhood, there is a sign on one of the streets that says, “Deaf Children at Play.”  If that doesn’t make me slow down, I don’t know what will.

Other signs may not be written, but they are definitely there.  One sign that is easy to ignore, though we know the vast importance of it, is that we are to “pray without ceasing.”  But that sign is a little confusing as we don’t know what that implies nor means.  The direct manifestation of praying without ceasing seems somewhat elusive, and so we ignore that sign.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s an incredible sign, but like the speed limit, it seems we obey that one only when an officer is around.

Another sign, like the one close to my neighborhood, screams at us each time we read it since more times than naught our lives are in direct conflict.  James 4.10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”  Spiritually it seems, my hands are dry and cracked.  My heart is calloused and weak, and pride continually creeps upon my psyche.  Lies are sung from my lips; the chorus of my life echoes the praises of my own little kingdom, and I search and scratch for significance in the wrong areas.  Humbling myself seems too dry and weary, and the sign I ignore about my day sometimes spells disaster.

But the door of our lives stares bleakly at us each day.  Heed the signs.  Obey the rules.  They are not for condemnation; quite the opposite actually.  Though we love so little, we have been loved dearly, and the signs on our doors echo at us through the ages.  The grace filled statement, “Humble yourself” is beckoning us to start anew each day.

Visiting the bathroom as I inevitably do, an incredible thing happened.  As I opened the door slowly, a little boy no older than five years old was on the other side trying to open it as well.  It seems as though there is a little pre-school that uses this restroom during specific times of the day.  The sign took on an entirely new meaning with so much more significance than it first seemed.  And so the praise goes on each day as the love signs show us, that though we don’t know what is on the other side of the door, they are imperative to obey.  Though our souls at times are cracked and dry, read the sign on the door before you leave.  “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”  And don’t forget to “open door slowly.”