Archive for July, 2009

Vehicles May Be Closer Than They Appear Right Before The Crash

Posted on July 30, 2009. Filed under: Faith | Tags: , |

Most of us have had it happen, we are driving down the road, minding our own business, when all of a sudden we look into our rearview mirror and see that the vehicle in it may be closer that it appears right before we experience the impact of the crash. It is not pleasant, we brace for shock right before the impact of the accident, looking into the mirror with what I am sure is a look of panic on our face, during what may seem as an endless amount of time until finally the vehicle behind us exits the scope of our mirror and crashes into the rear end of our car.

We sit there, waiting for a moment, collecting our thoughts, examining ourselves to see if we are hurt, or are we alive, then we wonder how all of this could have happened; is the other driver hurt, is my car totally destroyed, etc.? Other questions are running through our head, while we start to panic about how we may have to get to work if the car will not operate, or who was at fault; all of these things are running through our head during the first few minutes after the impact of a collision. All of this happened because someone was traveling too close, and in the end, we looked into our rearview mirror and noticed that the vehicle behind us was closer than it appeared right before the impact of the crash.

This is a little like our life in general, we seem to put ourselves on edge a lot. We make it so that most everything is closer than it appears in the mirror of life, that when it really impacts us, we are not ready to react to it. We just do not give ourselves enough time or space to make adjustments when things go wrong, or do not go as planned, which seems to happen quite often to most of us. We do not leave ourselves room for a contingency plan, so that when we are thrust into something out of the ordinary in our day, we do not have time to reciprocate an action that will remedy the situation in a positive way, therefore putting us in an unfavorable position.

God wants us to live our lives in a way that we do not struggle from day to day with all of the issues that we have, without planning for the contingencies. He gives us plenty of guidance for every sequence of events imaginable in His word, the Bible, all we need to do is get and read it on a regular basis. He is waiting for us, exciting about the prospect of our coming to Him in prayer, meditation, and time to study His word so that we can get the guidance necessary to have the answers to todays tough questions. Living in todays society is difficult, that is a given, so we should not try to do it alone, and God wants us to go to Him for leadership and instruction. He does not want us to wait for the crash in life, before we go to Him for answers, He wants us to go to Him on a daily regular basis in prayer, seeking Him in His word as He is the creator and Father that we need for advice.

God is clear in His word that He will teach us what we need to know, and that He is there to guide us with His word as Psalm 119:105 (ESV) says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Then in Psalm 119:160, God tells us that His word is truth, and we can have faith and confidence in knowing that His word is timeless, “The sum of your word is truth,and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” To me, this is exciting. Yes, thinking about God’s word that endures forever, is all truth, gives me the assurance that I need to have faith in so that I can always go to when I need to receive the instruction for lifes daily issues. For you know that they come up, each and every day, for all of us.

As we are all looking into the mirror of life, every day, waiting to see when the next object that is approaching starts appearing a lot bigger that it did a moment ago, this is usually right before the impact of the crash. What we need to do is prepare ourselves so that maybe we will not have an impact in life; we need to pray a little more, meditate in God’s word more, seek Him out in our daily lives, so that before life appears in our mirror, we already have adjusted into the next lane, and now that car will not impact us, and we are safe, because we have listened to our creator, our God. Yes, that is what we can do, open our ears and listen to the words of God speak to us in our minds, our heart, and our spirit, causing us to have less negative impacts in our lives and more positive blessings.

Have an awesome and blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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We Can See The Breath Of God Rustling In The Trees

Posted on July 29, 2009. Filed under: Creation, Faith, Glory | Tags: , , |

There is something special about watching the wind blow through the trees, whipping them back and forth, bending the branches towards the ground, then retracting up again flipping them up into the sky. As the wind whispers through the trees, it is almost as if we can see the breath of God rustling in the trees, making them maneuver the way they do. It is exciting to see the trees move in the wind, because you can not see the wind, yet you know that it exists. Knowing that the invisibility is there for us to enjoy through the movements of the trees gives me a sense of wonder and joy because I can have faith in the winds abilities to continue to be there when God wants them to be. God gives the power to the wind to proceed through the trees as they do, giving us a glimpse of Him each and every time they collide with the branches.

Of course we have to use our imagination a little to examine the trees in this way and say that we can see the breath of God rustling in the trees, but if we put limits on our faith in God, and on how we might be able to experience His wonders and majesty, then I tend to believe that we will be missing out on a lot of His blessings. God gives us so many opportunities to see His glory of creation, we just need to take a look around and enjoy it. Another beautiful part of God’s creation are flocks of birds, which seem to move as one unit, regardless of which way they move, even when they turn, all in unison as one. I marvel at the flocks of birds as they go by in their flight pattern, almost as if they are attached to each other, but knowing that they are still flying separately. Again, this is another of God’s wonders that I consider amazing to watch, as I gaze and am trilled by. Maybe I am just a simple guy, but I believe that we need to take the time to be astonished by the uncomplicated elements of God’s kingdom, so we can appreciate what He has done for us.

When we take the time to imagine how incredible God’s creation is, we then can begin to understand His glory, His majesty, and that He is the supreme creator of the heavens and earth, having power that is limitless, as Isaiah 40:28 (ESV) says, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” God, the creator of all, has all the power, and on His works we should focus and meditate on as Psalm 145:5 says, “On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.”

God gives us so much to appreciate every day, which can be a great distraction in our lives when we are having difficulties or trials. His stunning creation can also allow us to increase our faith, as we gaze in awe at all that He presents. We should be stunned by His creation, even what may seem as the simplest of things like the wind should amaze us. To me, I want to believe that we can see the breath of God rustling in the trees; and that truly blows my mind when I watch it happen. The wind is invisible, God is invisible, He created everything from nothing, as Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” I do not need anymore evidence of God, He is everywhere, He is like the wind.

May God bless you all,

Daryl

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We Can Take Any Punch The World Can Throw At Us!

Posted on July 28, 2009. Filed under: Adversity, Faith, Heaven, Salvation | Tags: , , , |

It is a tough world out there; that no one can deny. But, that fact of the matter is that we have to come to the realization that there are forces waging a war against us all of the time. The world is an enormous place with nearly 7 billion people constantly interfacing with their own ideas and sins all at the same time. Naturally this creates issues within itself, as some people are going to do things that may be wrong or sinful, while still others are accepting the sinful action of the first. The key is knowing that we can take any punch the world can throw at us!

Then there is the spiritual warfare going on against those who are attempting to do Gods work, to be faithful to the call, steadfast in their lives for the kingdom of heaven, all to the chagrin of the evil one. So the evil one plots and plans against us, in order to further his plan and to bring us down, leading us into sin or negative actions. People try their best to lead lives that are good, but as we know, we are all sinners, and the evil one uses his plans to further make us feel as though we are not worthy for the kingdom of heaven. The evil one is wrong, we are all worthy, and we will not let him bring us down, because we can take any punch that the evil one and the world can throw at us!

The Lord Jesus does not want this for us, as He has other plans. 1 John 5:1 (ESV) states, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.” This passage is a reminder of to us that if we believe than we have faith, and faith is a key element in our ability to overcoming the world. In 1 John 5:4-5 we are taught the following, “everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

How wonderful it is when we think that when we have faith in the Son of God, Jesus that we can overcome the world. Nothing that the world can throw at us will knock us down, and if it does, it is only temporary. We can get all worked up about what is going on in our lives here on earth, but these things do not count but for a blink of an eye in eternity. Our jobs, the clothes we are wearing, cars, who really cares, because does it really matter? What counts is our relationship with our heavenly Father, and those around us that we need to guide and direct in a way so that they may come to know of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 1:3). The good news is that God gave us a blessing in His son, as 1 John 5:11-12 says, “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

We can know this; there is nothing that we can’t overcome in the world as long as we stay steadfast in our faith in our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. We can overcome the world through Him. We can take any punch that this world throws at us, because we have the Lord at our side. That is the message today, we need to have faith in Him, Jesus is our guide to overcoming adversity and sin in this life.

Have an awesome and blessed day,

Daryl

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Text Wars, Who’s Winning The Battle?

Posted on July 26, 2009. Filed under: Communication, Faith, Glory | Tags: , , , |

I remember when there were not any Cell Phones, before texting, Email, Tweeting, My Space and Facebook, when people could actually have a conversation with each other without having to push a button. We did have phones at home, and pay phones, then the first computer came out in the 80’s and we tried to go online in the 90’s with dial up, but that was a horrible waist of time. We would wait for ever to get dialed up, then downloading a page took forever. I can recall AOL giving 30 or 60 minutes free, and I told them that it is not free if I spend my entire time waiting for a page to dial up, so I canceled. Then came the cell phone generation and now what we see everywhere, the text wars, and the question is who’s winning the battle?

You are probably wondering what I am going off on today with this text wars deal. Well, it is simply this, everywhere I go, people are texting, Tweeting, Facebook, or going online right on their phone, me included. I do it all over the place, it is like an addiction. It started on our home computers, then migrated to the phones, and now with the iPhone and phones like it, we don’t even need a computer to do our Tweets, Facebook, Emails, or go online to find information, because it is at the tip of our fingers on our phone. I like the accessibility, don’t get me wrong, but my concern is this, are we communicating so much through our phones, that we have forgotten how to do it in person? In this era there is a text war going on, and I want to know who’s winning the Battle?

Even in our own homes, we choose to call or text each other, rather than go to the next room and talk to the person. I am really getting a little concerned with this situation. We should not lose sight of the importance of human interaction in all of our relationships, and I do not mean that we can include our emails, texts, etc. as a way of communicating. Yes, there is a place for all of them, and I do think that they have value and merit, but let us not exclude the way God gave us to communicate in the first place, our voices. Can we really communicate feelings, concerns, caring, and love through our texting and email? Of course we can not, so we better make sure that we don’t get so wrapped up in the text wars, that we lose the battle.

I know that even when people are arguing they use texting to try an avoid having the real conversation with the other person. This is not bringing us together, but separating us as a society. I believe that texting, emailing, Tweeting, and Facebook as a means of articulating our thoughts to another person are fun and a good way to do massive amounts of networking, but, let us not completely exclude our normal everyday conversations with loved ones and friends. We need to have time to talk, discuss, and get counsel on certain things in our lives, we can not do this through a text. Remember, there is a text war out there, so who’s winning the battle?

I have had discussions with individuals who tell me that the younger generation prefer to talk through text. I know that is the case, but if we realize that maybe that is not the way God wants us to be, that He would want us to share our time more up close and in person, rather than through the text, then maybe we can change things a little. I am not saying that we should stop all of the networking that we do through Twitter, Facebook, Email, etc., I am just saying that let us slow down enough to have some one on one interaction too. How’s that sound, fair enough?

God wants us to have special relationships with each other, and with Him. I think that in order to accomplish this, we need to have time together, interacting, talking, and sharing our lives together. Starting with our families, and then others that may be close to us, I know that we can spend a little less time on a text, and maybe a few minutes on the phone talking or in person. That would be a good thing for all involved.

God wants us to have this special relationship with Him. The Bible says in Exodus 33:12-13 (ESV), “Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.” Moses wanted to find favor in Gods sight, doing what He told him to do, and as we explore further into Exodus 33:17-18, “And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” God wants us to have this special relationship with Him, how could we do that if we were going to send Him a text message, or Him send us a text message. If that was the case, we would certainly lose the text war battle!

We seek God out in prayer, Philippians 4:6-7 says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” There is nothing in God’s word that says we should send God some kind of a message in order to communicate with Him. All we need to do is talk directly with our creator, He is waiting there for us to connect with Him. In the text war, if you are wondering who will win the battle, I believe that God will win the battle, because I trust God to triumph over all, including the text wars. So, I will pray about it a bit, and allow God to intervene in peoples lives where He sees fit, after all, He is the boss.

May you all be blessed by my next text (LOL),

Daryl Dho

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Beat The Odds, Bet On The Long Shot!

Posted on July 25, 2009. Filed under: Marriage, Salvation | Tags: , |

When my wife met me 24 years and 3 months ago, I was an alcoholic and a drug addict. I went 110 miles per hour all of the time, thinking that I was the master of the universe. I thought that I could conquer anything, including the alcohol and drugs that I was consuming every day. Of course, I was erroneous in my calculation of this, because over time, I began to wear down, eventually not able to maintain the mental capacity of being the master of the universe while under the massive influence of the alcohol and drugs. Certainly, when my then future wife decided to say yes to marrying me, she was going to have to beat the odds, and was going to bet on the long shot!

Maybe for her, see saw something in me that was redeeming enough to think that maybe I shouldn’t be a long shot, therefore, in her mind, the odds were actually lowered. We were young, in love, and got married. 10 years later, 20 years into my addiction, I decided that I had reach the pinnacle of my bottom in life, I could not handle being the way I was anymore, deciding to cease the use of alcohol and drugs. It was at that point that I was going to beat the odds, and I was going to bet on a long shot, me!

But, you see, it was the love that my wife and share for each other that seemed to bridge all of the gaps in our marriage, in order to fill any discrepancy that we had. We were not perfect, either one of us, but that did not seem to matter, because when we looked at each other we saw a life partner, someone that we had made a commitment to for life. This is important, since when we made the commitment, we did not know everything there was to know about each other, you know, the little things; in fact, after 24 plus years we still do not know everything there is to know about each other. I can guarantee you that she does not like every little thing that I do, nor do I her, but that does not matter, did I really expect to when we got married? When people get married they should understand that they are not going to approve of everything that the other person does.

I made a comment the other day that I enjoyed hanging out with my wife, I always have, and I always will. A friend of mine responded back to me by saying that is one of the reasons you are still married and are beating the odds. I got to thinking after that about how much my wife means to me, and me to her. We both are not perfect, both are sinners, for we all are sinners, the Bible clearly points that out, (Romans 3:23, 5:8); yet within this imperfect scenario lies a perfect opportunity for a lifelong marriage. The reason I am saying that it is a perfect opportunity for a lifelong marriage is that we still have to continue to love each other, sacrifice for each other, care for each other, and overlook all of those things that we do not like about each other.

We are imperfect humans, flawed by nature, from the beginning, there is no way that we can expect anything but imperfection from a human. Many of us try to disillusion ourselves with this fallacy that we will have this splendid marriage where everything is rosy and wonderful all of the time, and when it is not, then we want to bail out. What about the commitment? My wife did not bail out on me when I was using alcohol and drugs every day the first 10 years of our marriage. Yes, sometimes I do wonder why she stuck it out, but she beat the odds, and won in the end because she bet on the long shot.

God did not bail out on us either, he sticks it out each and every day. Think about it, almost daily, we can all say that we have bad thoughts or actions in our lives, we are born sinners. But God does not say, “that’s it for you Daryl, I have had it with you, you have sinned too many times, I am done with you.” Of course not, Jesus died for all of our sins, past, present, and future. He paid a hefty price tag, and loves us forever, as Romans 8:38-39 (ESV) says, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” You see, we all have choices in life every day that we have to make, one of them is where we will spend eternity, but it is easy to beat the odds of our sinning nature, we can put it all on the sure thing, Jesus, it is a guaranteed win. We can be assured that God has given us an opportunity for salvation as evidenced in Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.”

Following God is the sure thing, we will beat the odds in life if we do. As we follow God, read the Bible, allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we will find ways to get past all of life’s issues that come up and seem to burden us, distracting us from what we might think is our chosen path, then knocking us down at times. But, I say that we need to forge ahead, look at the big picture, the long shot of life, because we are all long shots, and God did not give up on us, He just keeps loving us. So, keep loving yourself, each other, your spouse, children, neighbors, and friends, even when they do something that you do not like, because that is what God does every time.

Have an awesome and blessed day,

Daryl

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We Are Nothing Without Our God, Seeking Him First Is Everything

Posted on July 23, 2009. Filed under: Children, Faith, Family | Tags: , , , , |

As I sit here thinking about what my life would be like without God, it is easy to calculate, it would not be worth much. You see God gives me everything. My entire existence is because of God, therefore, I can honestly say that we are nothing without our God, and that seeking Him first is everything. If we don’t put Him first, then we will fail at what is important in our life. The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:33 that God desires for us to seek His kingdom and righteousness first. God wants us to pray to Him as the psalmist says in 66:19-20, “But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!” God never fails us when we pray, He hears our prayers, anxiously waiting for us to submit our petitions to Him. We need to always be going to Him in prayer, regardless of the situation, God is there, ready for us to talk to Him, we just have to be willing to take the initiative and start the conversation.

Jesus constantly was in prayer with the Father, understanding the importance of seeking Him out in order to know His will in all things. Jesus knew that it was through this communication with the Father that He would be able to establish what the Father wanted Him to do in all circumstances. We too, can do the same, as we seek God’s wisdom for what occurs in our life. God also is pleased to be involved in our lives, as He was with Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 25:21, “And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.” We can never give up on the Lord, after all He is the creator of everything, the heavens, the earth, us; there should be no doubt that He can do anything. We just need to have faith.

Faith in our ability to have a relationship with the Creator of the universe, the God of all. He is the one who can and does desire to have that relationship with us. He wants us to seek Him out for our needs, even though He already knows what it is that we desire, it is all about the communication, trust, and the relationship. Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” This is my hope for all of us, that we focus on our prayer life more, gain a closer relationship with our God in the process, trusting Him for all our needs. It is with this hope that I copy a Blog from the Worship Pastor at our church, CJ Bergman, who needs prayer and other assistance at this time. As you read through CJ’s Blog, it is obvious that he knows too that we are nothing without our God, and that he is seeking him first in everything, including the adoption of a baby. The Blog speaks for itself, and I will close with it.

God Bless You All,

Daryl

…KEANE!!!…

Posted by CJBergmen on July 23rd, 2009 under Uncategorized2 Comments

Friends, Keane is coming home! The family that the mom had chosen to take her child, for their own reasons, could not do so, and that child is OUR CHILD, OUR KEANE!!! We are rejoicing, and praising God for His Faithfulness. The mom is scheduled to deliver by C-section on Monday, as in, this Monday the 27th!

We have to:

1. Make travel arrangements to fly to Utah on Sunday evening.
2. Pay the $16,000.00 Agency fee on Tuesday, the day after he is born.
3. Pay the $8,000.00 Hospital bill on Wednesday.
4. Pay $1,000.00 is legal fees to get the courts approval.

We are at your mercy, and at the mercy of the Lord. We trust Him, and believe wholeheartedly that He would not have finances keep us from moving forward with much excitement, and much anticipation of how He will provide.

Would you:

1. Pray. We are commanded to ask, and He longs to hear us make our requests to Him.
2. Tell everyone you feel led to about what is happening, and we will see what God does. If you feel led, you can put it on your facebook, your twitter, your blog. We will be sending out an email, feel free to forward it to anyone you would like. This is God’s thing, and we are excited to watch Him move in His way. We are confident in Him!

Lots to do, we love you, and will keep you posted!!!

CRK

*If you didn’t get the email
As I sit to write this I cannot but help being reminded of the last time I had to write this kind of email, and the deep gratitude it gives me to be able to send an email to everyone we know, that is so full of joy! I am amazed at the gravity and polarization that comes from the weight of both deep sorrow and tragedy, and great joy and redemption. I cannot help but pause, and silently kneel to the ground, put my face in the dirt, and offer praise to my Holy and Sovereign God. He counts my steps, He directs my path, and He leads me according to His purpose.

We just got the call, Renee’ and I are adopting our son Keane Malachi Bergmen no later than this Monday, July 27th. He is being delivered by C-section, which will serve as the ultimate antithesis of the sorrow and pain of losing Titus in a C-section delivery room. A room that was full of silence, will be filled with crying. He will cry because it is cold and he is hungry and has just been pulled from his environment, where he felt safe and secure, we will weep for joy because we are cold and hungry and are being pulled from our environment where we have felt unsafe, and insecure. God will remind us that He is our only hope and our salvation, and we will point every ounce of it to the glory of His great name. I cannot wait to lift Keane in the same way I did Titus and offer him back to the Lord, to serve Him all the days of his life.

The love and support we have felt from those of you who are insiders in our lives, we will never in any song or any blog be able to articulate, and I long for a day where we will stand in heaven and rejoice together over such a love, that is only possible through Jesus.

Renee’ and I have had our share of fears about the idea of adopting. We are not looking for a way to ‘medicate’ or ‘fix’ the loss of Titus, or to hide it in something that sounds really good like ‘adoption’. When people experience loss on the level that we have, you will pretty much do anything you can think of to feel even a little bit better. Because of the amazing network we have around us, a top level trauma and loss counselor, several intimate friendships with people who are in full time ministry, and countless of our own experiences with people who have suffered, we are not ignorant or naive to this fact.

I can only describe this season of sheer pain, weariness, and much misery, by saying that there is a sense deep in our beings that there is no solution to this problem that is inside our control. There is nothing by our own will, our own power, that will make things right. I can definitely see how people will at least give this a shot when they are in turmoil. Often times you think, ‘well I can’t fix anything, but I can certainly try to forget it’. Alcohol, drugs, and other addictions seem pretty appealing when all you want to do is crawl inside a hole and never return. But for us, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we cannot make this thing different, alone. Choosing to become addicted to some fantasy about how everything will be okay once we have a baby in our arms is just as dangerous and detrimental as any of those other drugs.

It is important to me that the people in our lives, and the people that are reading this blog know that we are not living in any kind of fantasy. We are very aware that bringing home another child, will not make us feel better about not having Titus. Not having Titus is horrible, and will continue that way for the rest of our time here. Jesus, on the other hand, does have a great deal of control. Actually He has all of it. And it has been incredible to experience what it is like to literally see Him walking beside us, carrying us, pulling us out of dark places, leading us into seemingly dark places where only His light can be seen. Some of you have apologetically admitted that you are jealous of the kind of work that is being done in our lives, though it came at such a great price. I can’t really blame you. There is something beautiful about the way Jesus extends His mercy where it is most needed. We have experienced more love and support in our lives as a result of all of this than most people will experience in their lifetime. So we hold in one hand the joy that comes from that and in the other, the complete desire to have it be any other way.

Adoption was a topic that came up when Renee’ and I were dating. She has always said, ’someday I believe we are going to adopt overseas’. Early in our marriage I was still working through that and not nearly as open to it as she was. For those of you who do not know the full story with us, we had our first miscarriage in our first year of marriage in 2003. We then had 2 more miscarriages in the few years following. After 3 miscarriages, we knew there was something that wasn’t right with Renee’s body. There was a time when we didn’t know for sure if carrying our own kids was going to be an option. This was a difficult time for us, but in it we began talking more about adoption. We both have felt strongly called to being parents from the beginning, but never knew that it would be such an intense journey for us. Renee’ had a pretty rare surgery done to give us the chance to carry, and a few months later we got pregnant with Titus. Titus is such a story in himself of God’s redemption and provision. He was an amazing blessing and gift to us, and is the answer to many months of wondering and pleading with God over being able to bear children. Our plan was to give birth to 2, and then pray about adopting 1 or 2 more, and potentially doing so overseas. Renee’ specifically had always pictured adopting from Africa.

All of that to say, the idea of adoption has been in our hearts for quite some time. At this point in our journey, it is very up in the air as to whether Renee’ will ever be able to carry a child again. We beg and plead and pray that this might be able to happen, as it is the desire of our hearts. But the reality is, her uterus is extremely damaged, and we have to go through another extremely rare, extremely difficult surgery, with a year long recovery time. So the reality is, 6 months from now she could have surgery, then wait a year, then wait to get pregnant, and while pregnant, worry the entire time about fluid leaking from the uterus and causing us to lose another child. Pretty scary. At the moment, we both are feeling led that God would ask us to trust in Him in that and actually try it, even though it sounds a little crazy. We are getting multiple professional opinions on all of that, and will make a wise and informed decision when the time comes.

In the meantime, adoption is all we got baby. Interesting how God makes Himself clear. It’s basically as simple as this. We feel led to be parents. Some people give their children up for adoption. The reality is that adopting today or a year from now is pretty much the same thing, emotionally and Spiritually. Again, it doesn’t subtract pain, and we don’t need to subtract pain, Jesus rarely takes our pain away, He just changes it to bring Him glory, which in turn brings about our good. So we see adoption as the ‘addition’ of a joy, not the ’subtraction’ of the pain of loss. There are all kinds of additions that continue to be added unto us as we walk humbly forward, but this one is the most exciting, and most redemptive. So whether we adopt now or 5 years from now, there are all kinds of things we have to address and work through, and I am very grateful that we have the people, the body of Christ, to walk that journey with us. It will take tremendous faith, it will be difficult, and we will make mistakes, and need to grow in and through the entire thing. Having another child will bring up all kinds of emotions that are in us about losing Titus. We will have to deal with and address the realities of Titus being our first born and this one being our second born, but is kind of a first born as well. Attachment issues, difference in race, etc…

When we started the adoption process we discovered very quickly how great the need is right here in the U.S. to adopt African American children, specifically males. This became heavy on our hearts, and we also hope it will be a smoother and easier process to adopt our first in the states. In the future, we are very open to wherever God might lead us to adopt.

So, up until this past week, all of our adoption paperwork has been in process with the state. We just got the final approval, so we are certified to adopt at this point. Just before we got the final approval, our consulting company (Christian) called us because there was a situation that they felt like God brought our names to their mind about. It was through an agency that they have never worked with in the past. That situation quickly became clear that it was not what God had for us, but that same agency called us back later that day to tell us about another situation. That one is still a possibility, but a third has just come to us yesterday from another agency. This situation seems like it could be an amazing possibility, and the reason I write is that it is coming up very quickly. Like, super quick. We are just waiting on the Lord in all of this, but in any case, God is certainly moving, and we are feeling led to start preparing ourselves for what this will look like if it is in fact coming right now.

We don’t want to be specific about where the adoption is located, and exactly when the baby is due, but, essentially, we are being presented to the birth mother tomorrow (Monday), and if she accepts us, we are going to need to put together the finances for this within this week. Crazy, crazy, crazy. We are SO pumped! God is so good, and we are so grateful that we are even getting this opportunity, and that it has come so soon.

The costs are as follows.

$16,000.00 in adoption fees.
$8,000.00 in medical fees.
$1,000.00 in legal fees.
approximately $2,000.00 in travel (flight, hotel, food, car for between 10 and 14 days)

So, around $27,000.00 to bring our son home. We have $3,500.00 right now, all what is left over after paying for our consulting and home study from what people gave when we lost Titus. We have a long way to go, in a short time, but God is faithful, and we are waiting on Him in this.

We need your prayers, and we need money =]. We trust that God will make this happen if it is what He wants.

If you feel led to give, you may do so by mailing a check to:

C.J. and Renee’ Bergmen
1616 W. Germann Rd. #2116
Chandler, AZ 85286

or by clicking this donate link, which goes into our paypal account.

We hope this is our son, if not, our son is out there, and we anxiously await his home coming. We believe he will be home soon. If this situation does not come about, the other one is still on the table, and that one is not too far from now either.

Our new son’s name will be

Keane Malachi Bergmen.
Keane is Irish, and means “fighter”, that’s right sucka, and
Malachi means “messenger of God”, and is also the name of a 12th century Irish Saint.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

C,R and K

……

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A True Friend Will Always Be There When You Need Them

Posted on July 22, 2009. Filed under: Assurance, Friendship, Love, Sacrifice | Tags: , , , |

I have been on the earth for going on 49 years now, lived in 23 houses, apartments, and barracks that I can extract from my mind and count, 4 states, 14 cities, and have had way too many friends and acquaintances to be able to remember who they all were at this point in my life. I wish that I would have kept a journal of my life, but you know what they say about hindsight, 20/20. Anyway, over all those years, many of those friends, or acquaintances, if you will, I wanted to call true friends. But the question is this, what is a true friend really? I know one thing for sure, a true will always be there when you need them. I can not say that every person that I have known in my life should be classified as a friend, regardless of what I called them at the time that I knew them.

Most of us, especially as we grow up, have many people that we call, friends. My kids have a lot of people that they know that they call friends, whom they may have just met. I have to question them when they make the statement that they are their friends, even though they just met. There has to be some clarification as to what a friend is, so that we don’t arbitrarily throw the friendship phrase around to everybody we meet. Webster Dictionary defines friend as follows: a person on intimate and affectionate terms with another. Within that definition, it seems as if we would not just take anyone off the street and classify them as our friend. As I have gotten older, I have realized that a true friend will always be there when you need them.

But what does that mean, when we need them? How do we define when we need someone? Is it helping someone move from one house to another? I moved 23 times, maybe I have a lot of friends. Is it taking care of someone when there sick, helping them when they can’t perform their own chores around their house, listening to them when they need an open ear, maybe it is serving them with whatever need they might have that they can’t provide for themselves at that time. Maybe it is just being an open honest person with them, caring for them, unconditionally, without any concern for payment in return, thinking only of the needs of the friend who requires our attention at that time. Putting the needs of the friend in front of the needs of the person providing the comfort, that is all that matters. It seems that these would be qualities of a relationship that might be considered a friendship. A relationship that qualifies to be one of a true friend is willing to always be there when you need them, no matter what the cost is to themselves.

This relationship is exactly the relationship that our Lord Jesus Christ has with us, one of complete sacrifice, He gave up everything for us. He walked the longest walk, He carried the heaviest burden, and made the biggest sacrifice, all because we are the most colossal of sinners in need of redemption. A true friend will always be there when you need them the most, and as the bible tells us in Romans 3:10-11(ESV), “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.” God knew that we needed a friend to bring us salvation, that we needed help, so He sent Jesus, our friend. In Romans 5:8, the Bible tells us, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus made the sacrifice because He is our true friend, who loves us, cares for us, and wants us to be with Him in heaven.

Then again in Romans 12:9-13, we continue with the following verses, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” If we are following these words with people in our lives, and listening to what Jesus said to the disciples about loving one another, and again by following His example of complete unconditional caring for others, then I believe we will be approaching what it meant by a friend. Yes, I believe that a true friend will always be there when you need them, and Jesus is the one true friend that is ALWAYS THERE WHEN YOU NEED HIM! We can always count on Jesus to be there for us, when we may not be able to count on anyone else. In the meantime, for the rest of us, let us strive to be more like Jesus every day.

Have a great and blessed day,

Daryl

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What Is This Monsoon All About?

Posted on July 21, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Glory | Tags: , |

Summers in Arizona are outrageous. By the time you get into July and August, the “Monsoon Season” starts to roll in, bringing all kinds of mayhem to an otherwise civilized area. But, what you probably should be asking is “what is this monsoon all about” anyway? I thought it was suppose to bring us a lot of rain for months. What got me thinking of this was how for the last several days, many of my friends on Facebook have been remarking how they were enjoying the nightly thunder and lightning storms that we have been experiencing here in Arizona for about the last week.

Of course, frequently these storms are accompanied by the ominous dust storm, which if you have not acquainted yourself with one yet because you have never been to Arizona, then you should pack your bags and come here right now, because it is awesome and well worth the price of admission. When you see the dust in the distance rolling through the desert, hundreds, maybe thousands of feet in the air, proceding across the valley towards you, it is quite a sight to see and very exciting.

But wait a minute, what is the monsoon all about? I thought that monsoons were suppose to bring rain? So, we get a lot of thunder and lightning, and we like to listen to it and watch it because it is a exciting show, but we need rain. I know that everybody around the country gets all pumped up about the firework shows on the 4th of July, but we have the best natural displays all summer long here in our Arizona sky with the lightning flashing all night long, it is quite spectacular! Plus you have the rolling dust storms; but we rarely see rain, which when I was reading about monsoons, was suppose to be a main component.

In Arizona, when it finally does rain, we are overwhelmed with joy, because those times are so infrequent. But when it does, it is just as beautiful as the thunder, lightning, and the dust storm. All of these ingredients are the makeup of an Arizona desert summer and are just how God planned them. They all come together in harmony to create a wonderful summer of excitement that in one minute can be 110 degrees and sunny, and the next can be 78, windy and raining. It is pure splendor.

You see, God’s creation is full of majesty and wonder and a true joy to enjoy when we have the opportunity. We just need to take the time to do it more often. God created all things for His glory and by His will, as proclaimed in Revelation 4:11 (ESV),”Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” We can enjoy and admired and give honor to His creation each and every time we see them. His creations are everywhere too, which is awesome, we just need to be willing to go out and enjoy what He has put on display for us in His kingdom.

When I saw all the Facebook messages from people, that is what they were doing, appreciating and giving glory to God the creator for what He had given them, a glimpse into the majestic storms of the night sky in Arizona. Yes, on some of those nights we may have not had rain, but today, we did, because God decided that today He would send rain our way. That was His plan, just like He wanted it to be, a perfectly made plan. He is our sovereign God. So, if you are still wondering what this monsoon is all about, it is simple, it is about fulfilling God’s plan for His creation. God has it under control, the thunder, lightning, wind, rain, all of it. We don’t have to be concerned about it, His creations are His creations, wonderful, majestic, and beautiful to gaze at. We just need faith in our God and that He is our creator, as Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

I pray you all will be blessed by His creations,

Daryl

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God Created Families To Stay Together

Posted on July 19, 2009. Filed under: Children, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Marriage | Tags: , , , , , |

Regardless of how harmonious we think that our family seem, every family has some issues with getting along at times. Given enough time, there will be instances when there are disagreements, arguments, and fallout’s in every family. The key to longevity in any family is to learn how to get past those issues and learn to forgive the harming party. But sometimes the person initiating the damaging action doesn’t want to be forgiven, or doesn’t believe that they even wrong. This can cause a lot of stress on the entire family, because the members getting harmed do not know how to interact with those who are doing the actions. But still, I know that God created families to stay together!

At times, it is difficult to bridge the gap, making the family unit work, because there maybe trust issues. Trust is a major component for a family to operate effectively. In order for the family unit to function as such, trust must be held closely by all parties, enacting a equal set of rules between all people involved so that there is no question what the rules are. But when one person doesn’t want to follow those rules, and doesn’t accept responsibility for their actions, then it is difficult to get them to understand what they need to do in order to participate in the family. They may have alienated themselves from the rest of the family, causing additional stress. In this instance, it can be a very delicate scenario on how to get them to interact with the rest of the family. But still, I know that God created families to stay together!

Of course, God makes us all different, some of us are outgoing, others are not. We need to remember that every person that God made, he made for a purpose, and with love for His kingdom. We can find a way to make our families work, sometimes, we just have to work harder and smarter. We have to pray harder, talk to the right people for help, and get the right answers, so that we make the connections and get our families back on track. But ultimately, God wants our families to be operating in a loving and caring way that supports His ways of truth and justice, because I know that God created families to stay together!

God wanted us to have a family with children, to stay together, to love each other, to take care of each other, until we pass into the next life. In Genesis 2:18, the Bible tells us, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Further in Genesis 2:24 the Bible tells says this, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” And Paul writes in Ephesians 6:1-4, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” It is because of this, that I know that God created families to stay together!

God wants us to build a family, developing our relationships respectfully in the Lord, raising our children to honor their parents and each other as they would the Lord. This can be accomplished, we just need to continue to place our focus on God, and if we do drift away, then we need to get back on track and on the right path to the Lord. All of us fail at times in this, with our families. But when we do, we just need to readjust and get dialed back into God, praying for His guidance. God wants our families to thrive, not be decimated by self seeking or “I give up” attitudes that seem to be prevalent in our society, and it is for this reason that I know God created families to stay together!

We just need to put our trust in the God of the universe, the one who created us, and allow him to take over. Pray a lot more, and rely a lot less on our own strength. I know that I personally need to do this myself. God wants to here our prayers, Psalm 66:19-20 says, “But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!” God listens to our prayers, and wants to answer, we just have to enter into a time of prayer with Him. Also, Ephesians 6:18 says, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance”, showing that we need to be continuously in prayer for all things. Let’s don’t give up on our families America, GOD CREATED FAMILIES TO STAY TOGETHER! We should not let God down, let’s make a turn for the better in our country, and bring family back. Pray for the families in America to come together and be united again, for God loves it that way, remember, He wants us together. United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

My prayer is that you are truly blessed each and every day,

Daryl Dho

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They Are Not Just My Children, They Are My Friends

Posted on July 17, 2009. Filed under: Friendship, Love | Tags: , , |

The other day, I was talking to my son, and I realized how much I appreciated his friendship, so I told him so. I believe it was the first time that I said that to him, because I have always thought of him as my son, not as my friend, even though we get along great, and are friends, I just never really thought about our relationship in that manner. You see, life just keeps going on, day by day, until one day we wake up, and years have gone by. In my case, I got married almost 24 years ago, had 3 children, which are now 21, 19 in a couple of weeks, and 15 years of age. My wife and I have spent an entire generation, my children’s generation, raising them to become responsible young adults, striving to forge ahead in a difficult economy, attending college for higher education, while diligently working in jobs that they have obtained through their own resources. Although my youngest is still in high school, she is growing up to be a similarly fine young woman.

It was fun having them grow up as babies, toddlers, little kids, and yes, dare I say, even teenagers. Remember, I still have one that is in High School, and one that is just turning 19, so I still have two teenagers. Oh yes, it was tremendous being the father to my children for their growing years, changing diapers, teaching them about God, coaching them in sports, etc., it was fantastic. But the best part of watching them grow up is realizing that they are not just my children, they are my friends too.

There seems to be this point in the growing up and parenting process, where we transition into a friend also. I know when they are little, you have to be the Father or Mother, the authority figure, but as they get older, and become adults, they are more your equal, they talk about the same things, have similar goals, have to pay bills, drive, go to work, fall in love, worry about the world, just like their parents. For me, the realization of this did not come until after my children were becoming adults. It is not like there is an exact day, but rather a period of time, where they seem to learn to look me a little differently, and I at them. They look at me not only as a Father, but also as a friend. When I look at my son, as he slowly matured into a man, I began to not only observe as him as a son, but as a great friend, someone who I could talk to about things in my life, that I could trust with my thoughts. As my daughters begin to grow in their maturity, I sense the same opportunity for the Fatherhood and friendship that I have with my oldest child. The great thing is that I believe that the feeling is mutual, and that my now adult child considers me a friend that they can hopefully talk to about anything.

This is similar to how our heavenly Father wants us to be, comfortable with our relationship, so that we can go to Him, at any time, with any concern, about anything in life. He wants us to talk to Him, discussing what is going on in our day. He loves us just like I do my children, but even more, because He is the God of the universe, the creator of everything. Our Heavenly Father, wants to be our friend, there when we need Him, we just need to be willing to go to Him. When we search in scripture, we find a few times where God directly spoke to man as a friend. One awesome example is Exodus 33:11, which says, “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” How incredible that must have been for Moses. Also in John 15:14-15, we find Jesus saying this to the disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

It is a pleasure to think that the God of the universe wants to have a relationship of friendship with us. I can just imagine that God is saying they are not just my children, they are my friends. He made us to have a relationship with him, and the relationship is not one that is just for him to just sit and watch, it is an interactive one. We should need and desire to increase our friendship with God the Father. All we need to do is talk with Him, He is waiting for us. So let’s go and hang out with our friend, God!

And by the way, if there is anyone who has a strained relationship with a child or adult, then please try to mend the relationship somehow, in order that you can remedy the issues that has come between you. Start with prayer, and seek counsel from someone you trust or professionally if necessary. Life is short, and we do not want to leave relationships broken if we can repair them through the guidance of God.

As always, may your lives all be truly blessed by God,

Daryl Dho



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