Many needs presented themselves while working with young people, so I started Bible College, majoring in counseling. When I finished God opened the door to Chaplaincy at Pearson International Airport. Jesus' quotation from Isaiah 61 became my calling to preach the good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted and to comfort all who mourn, providing a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness!
He also made possible my return to seminary where I received further training in counseling while finishing my MTS. During this time I taught various courses in area churches: grieving, abuse, parenting. We also facilitated a recovery support group for women who had suffered sexual abuse.
Overlapping this period of time was my first overseas missions work, training pastors, doctors, nurses and lay people in Biblical counseling. We developed a five-year training program and were able to include Bible College students from Ontario in teaching under supervision.
For the next 15 years I worked with the mission M.A.T.E. (Mission for Advancing Theological Education) teaching young people about sexual purity and the dangers of HIV/AIDS , through an affiliation with ISCF in Trinidad and Guyana. We trained women to support one another during times of crisis, making the church an institution of healing emotionally, socially and spiritually. I became the coordinator of medical missions under M.A.T.E. At clinics we were able to stress the importance of holistic medicine, dealing with social and spiritual issues as well as physical health and well-being.
God bonded us together with wonderful teams of people, and sent us to Africa to begin the ministry there! It was thrilling to see His hand at work among poverty stricken people who eagerly longed for the Word of God! Both men and women wanted to know Biblical answers to the relational problems they face, so I began to write a collection of thoughts used over the years in teaching Biblical Counseling. Jesus said "Feed My Sheep," meaning nurture them in the things of God. Designed for relationship with Himself and our fellow-man, God intends us to work together to present a viable illustration of His love.
Although officially retired, I still continue to prepare Bible Studies to send to pastors and lay-leaders overseas, who need training in order to be grounded in their own faith and in what they teach others.
Golden Rule Award for work done for others...
August 2014 Update
August 2014 Update
When is one so free to do what God says one day at a time? When do the cares of employment become pure pleasure? Why have we resisted soliloquizing in solitude? This is when getting up in the morning is pure joy, rather than a duty! Our choices define who we are, rather than our job. We have time to see beauty, to reflect on greatness, to pursue goodness, to hear the truth and to worship God as He deserves to be worshiped! Peace and joy become our soul mates.
Now we really can dream dreams. We might make our world a better place through love and laughter because we have time! Those commodities that eluded us throughout pre-retirement are now available! We worked all our lives to amass fortunes of money and possessions, but now our fortunes look very different as we see the riches God has given to us of family, friends, ministries, hobbies and opportunity. Things are not so charming, as contentment earns its modest reward! Praise God for "retirement".
So what have I been doing for 2 years? After a natural period of grieving for loss of energy and mobility, I am thankful for the wonderful contacts God keeps bringing across my path! In today's lingo - I am a communications engineer!
Communications! My dear little grandmother never saw her family again after leaving England as a young Mom. Letters took weeks to go and come. Today news is fresh. "How are you" has a very present meaning in our computer era! Family! What a precious concept invented in the heart of God! What joy to have time to spend with my adult kids and their children! Thrilling to sense their hearts beat with God's!
During retirement I have been encouraged by the presence of friends, both old and new. How rich we are to have deep, meaningful relationships that have lasted a life-time. I am learning from the questions new believers ask, as well as from the wisdom of life-experiences which make friends both enduring and endearing! I have been blessed by an abundance of love from friends around the world!
Even more importantly, I am quietly conscious of God in a much deeper way as He directs my path. Communication taking place in the heavenlies prepares me for relationships here on earth. Here I am called to be an ambassador by just letting the Spirit of God take over my attitudes, my responses, my plans, my thoughts, my heart and my vision. Now there is time to listen to the voice of Jesus coaching us to love as He loved, and to God's people when they hurt.
Retiring by definition means withdrawal. It is true - I have withdrawn from the frenetic busy-ness which so characterizes our society today, drawn into the tender arms of God where there is shelter and peace and awareness of the great heart-beat of God! Here I see more clearly what direction my prayers should take, humbled by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit who leads me in a ministry of prayer.
Retirement is not to be feared. Rather it should be encouraged! Many deep thinkers have coined phrases about the battles we win on our knees. Striding forward into battle on foot doesn't present the same picture as the surrendered posture of a prayer warrior bowed upon his/her knees.
There are seasons in life which give room for both pictures. Thank God for the grace He bestows in retirement!
August 2015 Interview
Since publishing her book, Feed My Sheep,
in 2013, Marilyn Daniels has continued to help those that work in the
missions field locally (using her book train women to work with women in
crisis) and abroad.
Feed My Sheep has traveled all over the world, training pastors and lay-leaders to be grounded in their own faith and in what they teach others.
Says Marilyn, "[It's amazing that] God can use your humble efforts in this regard."
Currently, Marilyn keeps busy writing an account of her missions trips over the last twenty years, and in her spare time knits scarves which she sells locally.
When and why did you begin writing?
I had the privilege of teaching basic counseling in churches across Guyana, Zambia and Kenya as well as here at home in Canada, to give women the skills to help those who were hurting. When I retired from active mission service I felt the Lord wanted me to put these concepts into a book.
Tell us about what inspired you to write this book.
In North America we have so many resources to help those who are hurting from physical, emotional and social abuses. Though there is often something on paper in many developing countries, they do not have the staff to support the help they would like to make available. I see the church as an institution of healing because to other aids, we add the crucial dimension of spiritual healing.
How did you come up with the title Feed My Sheep?
Actually it was with the help of Essence Publishing that we arrived at this title.
What challenges did you encounter in the writing process?
This is not a comprehensive work by any means because I wanted to keep it simple enough to benefit people who lacked the advantages of advanced education. What to include became a very real challenge.
What kind of research was involved before/during your writing process?
I had studied counseling at Seminary many years before and continued reading as I practised and taught. Basically this is a compilation of notes used on the field, along with the experiences of men and women I encountered in my practise.
What did you learn (e.g. about yourself, your faith, the world, etc.) while writing this book?
I remembered wonderful opportunities we had to minister the love of Christ to people who felt hopeless. I remembered the deep faith of others who were suffering, that impacted my own faith. My heart will be forever blessed by the people I met, some of whom still remain in contact. I have seen miraculous answers to prayer - to my prayers and the prayers of others! Praise God! My life was enriched by mission experiences, always. Though I went to teach, I came away having learned so much. I recalled how it was hard to come home to a world in which so much blessing is taken for granted without due gratitude to God. Through it all, I have learned the importance of encouragement.
Is there an overall message in your book that you want readers to come away with?
"Jesus is the answer for the world today" is a song I heard nurses singing at an interfaith rally in Trinidad. We know that in Him we have an eternal hope that contravenes every earthly circumstance!
What is the most difficult kind of scenario for you to write?
Writing about the pain of people who are dear to me
Truman Capote would only write while lying down. Vladimir Nabokov insisted on writing his works on index cards. What would you say is your most interesting writing habit?
I scribble notes on anything, anywhere.
What are you currently working on? Do you have plans for future books?
God has given me a series of daily devotions which might become another book.
Who is your favourite author, and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Although a secular author I like the honesty with which Dickens describes the foibles of human nature. I enjoy many authors for a variety of reasons.
Which writers do you consider to be your mentors?
Oswald Chambers, Amy Carmichael, Charles Stanley.
Which new authors have grasped your interest?
I Am Manala griped my heart as this young Muslim girl portrayed her experience of being shot by the Taliban. She exhibits a spirit of honesty, forgiveness and a faith from which we as Christians might learn.
What books have influenced your life most?
Beyond a shadow of doubt, the Bible. Biographies challenge me to stretch. Larry Crabb impacted my earliest counseling experiences.
Describe the book you are currently reading.
I am reading the biography of a man whose journey took him from rags to riches, which he voluntarily laid down to help street children in is own country of Kenya. It is the faith journey of a man who risks everything to bring Christ to those who are helpless.
What has the reaction been like to your book(s)?
Much as I suspected...it is more of a text-book, received with joy by those whose resources are few. I have been surprised at the impact it has had here in Canada within a couple of churches where the ladies want to reach out into their communities to help women here who are abused.
Do you have any advice on how to deal with negative reviews?
We can learn from negative comments, often more than from positive comments. We need to appreciate the spirit in which they are given.
What is your best marketing tip?
Get an agent.
Tell us about your experience working with Essence Publishing.
The staff were very helpful. I appreciated their experience and expertise. It was a relief to have them edit my book because I knew it was done professionally.
Visit Marilyn's website: www.marilyndaniels.net
Purchase Feed My Sheep from the Essence Bookstore: http://bit.ly/1hOZ6UE