Archive for August, 2009

Everyone Has Faith In Something, What Do You Have Faith In?

Posted on August 26, 2009. Filed under: Faith | Tags: |

It’s almost September, which means it is time for the NFL and NCAA football seasons to begin, so our Saturday and Sunday afternoons will be filled with football mania for the next 5 months. In addition to that, many will additionally participate with their own teams in the form of Fantasy Football. I know people who have done this for decades, each year picking players, studying, planning, going to gatherings with other Fantasy Football fans, in order to prepare for the new season. It is a huge deal for them, as they place a lot of emphasis in their life on this time of year; which is quite fun, apparently. I don’t get it, but, then again I never have tried it; so maybe if I did try it, I would like it.

They have to pick players they like, putting faith in the ones that they believe will perform the best. And that is the key, they have to put their faith in some of the players that they believe in. You see, everyone has faith in something, even if it is only in their Fantasy Football players, they still have faith in something. You might have faith in yourself, your spouse, your parent, a sports figure, money, power, in your ability to do something better than others, whatever it may be, we all faith in something. One of the definitions for faith at dictionary.com is the following: confidence or trust in a person or thing. But is this faith that you have put forth worthy, have you really given thought to what you have put your faith in? This can be a challenging question.

We can get really caught up in putting our faith in the tangible objects that attract us in this world. The media forces us to be distracted from where we really should be looking towards to put our faith. As we are bombarded by advertisements on every type of media possible from Twitter and Facebook to TV, Billboards, Internet, Magazines, Radio, and everywhere else you look; it is no wonder we have difficulty keeping our focus away from the material things of the world. With the barrage of media advertisements that we are attacked with continuously, one really has to make a conscious effort not to focus on putting their faith in the material aspects of the world. But, because everyone has faith in something, the question is what do you have your faith in?

Sure all of the football fantasy stuff is fun, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, down to the brass tax, down to the real deal, you got to be thinking of something other than a quarterback or wide receiver to put your faith in, because that is just for fun of it, it is just a game. We have to be going for the end zone of life, we need the touchdown that is going to win the real Super Bowl, the Grand Daddy of all the Bowl Games, we are talking the Super Bowl Of Eternal Life. As the Bible teaches us in Romans 1:16-17 (ESV) we should live by faith, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” And it was by God’s grace that we were saved, Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”

In this we should be grateful and give thanks each and every day. How do we do that, how do we continuously give thanks to the Lord for the gift that He gave us. One way is that we can show our faith is by professing His name to those around us, doing what Jesus told us to do in Matthew 28:18-20, following His great commission, teaching and preaching the Gospel of the good news. We should be excited to share with others our faith, as one would want to share about when their fantasy football team is doing well. You see, everyone has faith in something, you just need to tell others what you have your faith in, especially if you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, you should spread the word. God expects you to go out and tell people about Him, faithfully. That is what is exciting about the Gospel, that we have the opportunity to share with others about the saving grace of Jesus, until the Holy Spirit reacts within their soul, and they too experience the miracle and wonder of the moment that they believe and have faith in the creator of the universe.

At that moment, when you can strip away all of the blame of your transgressions, as they are tossed aside, there is not a greater moment, no greater triumph will you ever experience. And there will be no greater moment that you will experience in your life, nor be humbled as that moment by God’s Holy Spirit. Yes, when you realize that all of your hurts and fears are forever erased and washed away, no more blame to take, no more care to worry about, nor more hurt about your past, what a more paramount point in time could there be not. This is when you have your faith, your ultimate faith in the creator for the forgiveness of your sins, for sins committed against Him, who created you, unforgivable sins forgiven, only by grace through faith. Yes, everyone has faith in something, what do you have faith in?

I hope you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ for your salvation, if you have not, please ask Him now to forgive your sins, and cleanse your soul for eternity. AMEN.

MAY GOD BLESS YOUR DAY,

Daryl Dho

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When All Else Fails, You Have Hope

Posted on August 22, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Salvation | Tags: , |

When all else fails, you have hope for a brighter future, and if it was not particularly a good day, hope for a better day than the one you just had. What more can you do, there is no sense in looking back in the past, wishing you would have done something different in order to create an alternate set of circumstances in your lives which would have benefited you. You can not change the past, so why look back! Conversely, you do not know what the future will bring your way, so why try to predict what tomorrow will slide onto your plate, let us just enjoy the ride. But beyond it all, after weighing all your options, when all else fails, you have hope!

Yes, you do, you have hope if you want to have hope. It is a choice to take on the hope for a brighter day or not. A lot of people choose to not look at the bright side, instead seeing life through an hour glass clouded by hatred, negativity, and the world is out to get me attitude. Still others only want to think about themselves, today, and could not even care about anyone else or their future. But I believe that you have an option, and when all else fails, you have hope.

And the hope that I put my trust in, is in God. Sure, I know that some people say that God doesn’t exist, and that how can you believe in something that you can’t see. I can’t see the wind either, but I believe in it! There are volume’s of books about the archeological findings as evidence of the Bible as being true and accurate. And as far as proving the existence of Jesus as God, who came to save the world from it’s sins, yes there is evidence for Him too. Do the research. Pray. Allow God to work in your life, and touch your heart the way He did my heart 13 years ago. Yes, you have to have faith in Jesus, and that the Bible is the word of God. But my hope will be that you will find as I did, and discover that it is true, realizing that what Psalm 119:160 (ESV) says accurately, “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” You will also be thankful to know that God tells the truth, as Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.” This is my hope, that you will come to faith, as I did, becoming aware of God’s greatness and gift of salvation for our sins through His son Jesus Christ (Romans 5:8-10). All of this is because I know that life is difficult, and sometimes it is challenging to understand who God is, but when all else fails, with faith you still have hope!

This is the key, faith, we must have the faith in order to have the hope of the redemption. Yes, God is invisible to us, but if God was visible to us, would we be as awestruck thinking about Him. Would we wonder as much about how He created the universe and us in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27). If God was just sitting on the couch next to us, there would be no mystic, no curiosity, He might just seem like an ordinary guy, but He is not, He is God. He is the creator of the universe, the one who made everything from things not visible (Hebrews 11:3). It is our faith, in Him that gives us the hope for the brighter future when things are not going so well, or when we need assistance, because throughout His word, He promises to care for us. We need to trust in His provision, and His overall will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. After all, He is God, He can handle it. Hebrews 11:1 says the following very well, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

That seems to sum it all up. Except for one more thing, why I write these blogs all of the time. I do because God wants me to, and because I want to share with others of the hope I have in Christ, as 1 Peter 3:15 says, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”   Remember, when all else fails, you have hope in Jesus. Amen

Have a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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Penny For Your Thoughts? No Thanks, Keep The Change!

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

All of the time I see these young teenagers in my store buying drinks and snacks before and after school, about 10o-150 per day. Many of them put their money on the counter, I try to give them back their change, and they say, “no thanks, keep the change”. Now, I am not talking about a penny or two, I am talking about 50 cents, 75 cents, or even 90 cents, THAT MAKES NO SENSE TO ME! When I say them, wait this is a lot of money, they say, oh I have plenty of money. I don’t understand that kind of thinking in our society, where many of us are struggling to try to pay our bills, and we have others just throwing money around. What I really want to do is take a moment and say, “Penny for your thoughts”, but if I do, the response would probably be, “No thanks, keep the change”.

We must change this throw away mentality we have in our culture today. Not everything is disposable. Many want to take everything for granted, including the money they have today for food, clothing, and shelter. What they do not realize is that it may be here today, and gone tomorrow. We have to save for the future, we can not spend every last penny that we have today, just because we have it today to spend. Certainly we should not just leave them on a store counter top for no reason, other than I am too lazy to carry it in my pocket or backpack. What happens, is a day comes when we need those pennies, because change happens, and the world is ever moving. There are constant actions causing other actions, which in turn creates a time and point where we do not have the same substance that we once had, therefore it becomes necessary for us to dive into those piles of pennies that we have stashed. But, if we threw them by the side of the road all our life, then we have none to use, we are now left penniless.

God wants us set aside provision for the future too, just as He used Joseph with the Pharaoh in Genesis 41, as he interpreted the dreams of the Pharaoh, telling him that there would be 7 good years and then 7 years of famine. In 41:25 (ESV), the Bible says, “God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.” God gave instructions on how to save provisions for when the famine came. If the Egyptians would have continued to live as if they would have always been having good years, using up all of their resources as they accumulated them, then when the famine hit, they would not have had any left to support life with. God knows that we will have ups and downs in our life, it is what happens. So, he wants us to make provision for this as we are in prosperous times by saving some, so that when we have the difficult times, we can whether the storm, so to speak.

It is great to know that God is watching out for us, but we just have to pay attention, head the warning signs, and listen to His words that are there to guide us. We can’t spend every last penny that we receive, lest we be penniless at some point. It is a good feeling to know that when you have a little change back from your purchase, you can take that change and put it away for the future time when you will need it most. So, if I see you on the street and ask you, “penny for your thoughts”, hopefully you can say, “sure, I could use the change”. Of course, all of this comes from being faithful to our God, in whom we must have faith and assurance that He can and will provide at all times.

Have a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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People Need Encouragement, Not Discouragement

Posted on August 19, 2009. Filed under: Friendship, Personal Happiness | Tags: , , |

There are a lot of problems in the world today, as people have the ability to do what they want, when they want, and to who they want, without any thought as to what the consequences might be. Our culture is centered around a “what’s in it for me” mentality. If there is not anything “in it for me”, then most people wonder why they would want to be involved with the majority of things in the first place. They feel that if I can not benefit from the situation, why would they want to be involved. This is an unfortunate truth, because we should not have to always gain in order to produce a positive result for someone else. Sometimes, we need to be there for others just because people need encouragement, not the discouragement that they receive so many times in their lives.

But the fact of the matter is that not everyone feels that way. Many people want to get a promise of something in return prior to presenting their gift or charity, as if they expect to always receive when they give. This is not the way we should be living our lives; you know that old saying, “it is better to give than to receive”, it really is true. We must consider others first, before we look at our own selves. So, let us reach out and spend a little bit of time administering some encouragement to those in need, for there are plenty of people out in the world who are discouraged and in need of encouragement.

We can walk down Anystreet USA today and find someone who is in need of a friendly face and a smile. How many times do you find yourself looking away when walking toward an approaching stranger. Why not look at them in the eyes, share a big smile, and a friendly hello as they draw near to you? They probably won’t expect it, and will be presently surprised as contribute a little joy to their life. Now you may not get the same response back, but that is not the measure of success. If you continue to make this part of your pattern, what you do on a normal day, you will enlighten other people’s lives in the process, and in turn at times you will find some who will have had a discouraging day; whereby you were the one person who came by at the right time shedding a little light of encouragement on them when they needed to see through their dark hour. Yes, people need encouragement, not discouragement.

Certainly the Bible teaches us to be humble and participate in looking out for others first before ourselves. It is not always easy, but it is something that we need to be cognizant of and persistent in our effort towards being more Christ like in our lives. Paul, in Philipians 2:1-4 (ESV), wrote, “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Paul is telling us to love one another, give encouragement, care for each other, putting others before ourselves. This central them of the Bible is consistently played out, and if we can present it more in our society, we most assuredly would have greater peace and comfort among people.

I am encouraged by scripture as a whole, which Romans 15:4 states, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” The beauty of this passage is that we can acknowledge through Paul in Romans that the entire Old Testament is their for our encouragement. We can go back to review the scriptures anytime we need to, God’s word is waiting for us, and we can be encouraged by it. How wonderful that is. As we take the time to encourage each other, God encourages us with His word too, so there should not be any reason for us to be down, we just need to seek out the Lord God and His word for strength, counsel, and encouragement. Remember within all of this, people need to encourage people, not discourage people; for we are to lift each other up, loving one another as Christ loves us.

May you encourage and bless many,

Daryl Dho

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Draw On Your Faith Today, Tomorrow, And Forever

Posted on August 17, 2009. Filed under: Adversity, Faith, Personal Happiness | Tags: , , , , , |

Cruising through life can be challenging at times, you know with all of the hurdles we have to jump over. Sometimes you might say that it is like running a marathon mixed with a steeplechase, as we have to spring over every obstacle in our path. But we do it, although sometimes reluctantly because we are unsure of whether or not we can handle the outcome. As we are bombarded with all of the issues in life that seem to attack us without notice, such as finances, relational, medical, etc., we somehow never are prepared for what comes next. So, how do we get up every morning, knowing that we probably will get hit today with something else that will challenge us, making us question our ability to deal with all of life’s stresses? More and more, we really have to draw on our faith today, tomorrow, and forever, in order to maintain a sense of order in our lives.

Now the question is this, what are we putting our faith in? Are we putting our faith in each other for comfort? Or are we putting our faith in the government, a substance to abuse, material things that might gratify us; what and/or where are we putting our faith in to get comfort? This is a serious question, because many people put their faith in a lot of different things, such as cults, alcohol, their work, sex, seclusion, there are so many things that people put their faith into without even giving any thought as to what the negative long term effects might be for them. Certainly, when we talk about having to draw on our faith to cope with life’s troubles, we want to talk about drawing on our faith today, tomorrow, and forever in a way that would be positive.

The reason I want to talk about drawing on our faith, is that I see so many people putting faith in devices or concepts that do not have any substance, only to find that later on they are left empty and void. Obviously none of those will work, and I believe that we have to put our faith in God, who can truly guide, direct, and protect us through our life. For we know that we can trust in God, and in His word to be true, as the Bible tells us in Proverbs 30:5 (ESV), “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” I know that when I contemplate about God’s word, trusting that it is 100 percent true, and inerrant, that I can take comfort in knowing that when I need an answer to one of life’s tough questions or a challenging scenario, I can go to His word for backup and truth. There is no other substance or place in the world that can take the place of God, who gives me peace in knowing that He is in control, and He is where I find safety, so I am putting my faith in Him today, tomorrow, and I will forever.

Of course, we need to have a conversation with God, which is prayer, pleading our case, letting Him know what our needs are. He wants us to have fellowship with Him, we just need to take the step, as He is anxiously awaiting us. Jesus tells us in Matthew 21:22, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Let us not hold back any longer, the Lord wants us to come to Him with our sufferings, we just have to believe, trusting in Him, having the true and honest faith that He will hear our cry. Do not wait any longer, go to the Lord now with your petition, for He wants to comfort you. All He asks is that you put all of your faith in Him today, tomorrow, and forever, and in return, He will respond. We must trust in the Lord, as Isaiah 26:4 so wonderfully and boldly speaks out to us, “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” What a fantastic opportunity it is when you can relinquish yourself and your control to that of the Lord God of the universe, creator of everything. He is the one who can quench your thirst, and satisfy your hunger, only He can prevent you from worrying about what you need not worry about. So give all you have to God, and He will give all comfort and joy to you in return.

Take the peace that God gives when we have faith in His ability to comfort us, and enjoy it. Most people neglect the opportunity to have the happiness that comes from the Lord when they are truly faithful. People forget that He created everything, why shouldn’t He be able to do anything; remember that He created everything from nothing. Think about how awesome that is for a minute, it is amazing! God can do anything! So, don’t worry, put your faith in Him, who can do all things. Yes, that’s right, put your faith in God to handle your situations in life today, tomorrow, and forever. AMEN.

May your day be blessed,

Daryl Dho

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Forgive and Forget

Posted on August 15, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Forgiveness | Tags: , |

How many times in your life have you said something and then later regretted saying it, because it was mean and you were wrong for saying it? Or have you ever done an action that you regretted afterward due to the fact that your stomach was aching from the guilt or remorse you felt? We have all brought about situations that we wish would have never happened, but the unfortunate truth is that they did, and once the past has become a fact, then we have no alternative but to acknowledge that it occurred. But, you know that there is this old saying, forgive and forget, which may be appropriate to think about.

When we do make a mistake by hurting someone else, causing harm either physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially or in some other way, then we need to make amends. We need to ask for forgiveness. But, when we do ask for forgiveness, the other party needs to go through the process to forgive and forget. I wanted to discuss this because many times people do not remember to dismiss the charge that was against the person that did the harming offense. When the guilty party asks for forgiveness, and we give them that amnesty, then rightfully so they deserve the same and we should not indulge them with a continued resurgence of what they were guilty of, making them feel as if they never were really pardoned for their offense. If we are true and honest in our evaluation to give them forgiveness of the offense, then rightfully so, they should expect absolution from all guilt, not having to relive any more of the infraction from that point forward. They should feel free to progress in their day without a thought of this incident, as if it did not occur, because after all, we forgive and forget!

Many of us unfortunately do not do this. When we are harmed, we want to make the guilty party pay dearly for their offense over and over again, reliving the incident, like Bill Murray in the movie, “Ground Hog Day”. But we should not make the guilty party have to repay over and over for their guilt. When they admit their guilt, ask for forgiveness, we should be willing to forgive, forget, and move on. When we do that, then everyone wins, because we will all have peace with the situation as it will have resolved itself at that point. On the other hand, if we do not, then the sorrow lives on, and that’s not good for anyone.

Just think what it would be like if God did not forgive us forever? We would have to repay our sins. But God does not expect us to repay for our sins, because He sent Jesus as our savior, fully prepaid and complete. But, God expects us to forgive others, as in Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV), “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” It is a two way street, we need to forgive others, and God will forgive us also. And when God forgives us, he just doesn’t forgive for today, then tomorrow stop forgiving us for that sin, He forgives us forever. The good news is that we do not have to fear for our redemption, or whether or not our trespasses will be forgotten as they are forgiven, for we have a God who loves us and secured us a place in His kingdom, Colossians 1:13-14,”He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” So, the next time someone does something wrong to you, remember, forgive and forget, because that is what God does for us, and what He expects us to do too!

Have a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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Hard Work, It’s Good For The Soul

Posted on August 14, 2009. Filed under: Glory, Personal Happiness | Tags: , , |

Recently, I ran into a guy who looked like he had been ran over by a truck, literally. He obviously had overexerted himself as he was completely drenched with sweat from head to toe, while his clothes, arms, face, and hands were all muddied with grease. He was buying some water, due to his total dehydration, when I asked him, “how is your day going”? He replied, “not very good”. So, being the always curious guy that I am and wanting to know what in the world he had been doing to get the condition he was in, I had to ask him “why not”? He told me that he was trying to install an alternator in his car in front of the Auto Zone next door, but hadn’t even gotten the old one out yet, and was really struggling. He did not seem like he was having any fun, but I tried to encourage him with some kind words and attempted to pump him up as he left the store to continue on with his quest. He may not of thought about it at the time, because what he was doing seemed like a monumental task, but he was working with his hands, toiling for himself, completing the mission put in front of him, which is a good thing. As he worked in this way, he was molding his mind, body and soul into one, as they work together as one unit to keep him focused in order that he completes his task, of which I am sure he did. For you see hard work, it’s good for the soul!

I personally have always enjoyed working hard myself, and believed that it is good for us, as it keeps us mentally, physically, and spiritually in good health. As a CVS store manager, I work hard, I throw cases of merchandise around, and there are days that I come home and literally pass out from exhaustion. Yesterday, was one of those days. But, when I toil through the day, sweating, lifting, doing the things that I do, I feel go about it, because know matter what I am doing in my life, I am doing it for the glory of God. Regardless of what it is, cleaning toilets, stocking shelves, price changes, or helping customers, everything that I do should be done in such a way that I give glory to God.

The Bible is clear about how we should give God glory in all we do, as in 1Corinthians 10:31 (ESV), “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Also, in 1Peter 4:11, we continue to learn that we should give God the glory, “whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.” It is exciting to see how God has revealed in His word that He wants us to give Him glory in all we do, for we are blessed to have this relationship with our creator. What a privilege and joy we have in knowing that we can share this those around us.

Now, how do we give God glory with our work? By being involved in our work, by toiling, by not being lazy. 1Thesalonians 3:7-10 says that we should work for our bread, and not take a “free lunch”, so to speak, “For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” God does not want us to loaf around doing nothing while others produce, that does not give Him any glory. He wants us to earn our keep, participate in the community, have relationships, and work together with the people in order to have full fellowship. He wants us to work hard, because it’s good for the soul.

Go make your day a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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Take A Look In The Mirror, What Do You See?

Posted on August 12, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Personal Happiness | Tags: , , |

Since most of us are creatures of habits, we probably have one that we all use every morning when we get up out of bed. There is a certain way or order we prefer to use to accomplish our preparation of the sequence of events in our morning. There are times that our morning routine may go out of order causing a minor or major disruption, such as our curling iron is missing, one of the kids are sick, we are sick, the phone rings, no hair gel, NO COFFEE, there are many reasons, but we have the same end result, we are now out of sequence and running behind schedule!  At this point, we all need to stop and take a look in the mirror, what do you see?  Is it a pretty picture?

I asked that last question because what are we all doing in the morning when we get up, is getting our appearance prepared for everyone else to look at, right? Of course, we want to feel good about ourselves too, but ultimately we want to look good because we care about how others judge or perceive us. So we spend a lot of time each day preparing ourselves, going through what for some of us might seem like a ceremony to get ourselves ready for the day, so that society will like what they see. After all the shaving, gels, curling irons, straighteners, makeup, dry cleaned clothes, colognes, and lotions are on, do we really feel any better about ourselves? Or do we just hope that everyone else appreciates us more? I know that there are certain hygienic procedures that we do daily in order to stay healthy, but beyond those, are we really dressing ourselves for us, or for the world to love us more? We need to think about it for a minute and then take a look in the mirror, what do you see?

Our outward appearance is important, but, even more important is the inward appearance. I am talking about the condition of our hearts here, not our physical hearts, but our spiritual hearts. I know that it is important for us to have our act together and look good when we get up in the morning.  I know we have to shave, curl our hair, straighten it, put on makeup, all of the things we do to prepare for the day. Then we go out into the world to join in with a culture that has a deep need for others who care for them beyond what their appearance is, what they are wearing, or if their hair is nicely done or not. There are so many hurting people in the world today in desperate need for someone to come alongside of them to give them a kind, loving, caring heart, one that selflessly says they understand their needs.

But before we can do that, we have to prepare our own hearts, our hearts need to be right with God. Daily, when we go through our routine, we should be having a conversation with God, our creator, about our lives, what is going on, and about what His plans are for us. We need to suit up with God as we get ourselves ready in the morning. Psalm 51:10-12 (ESV) are wonderful verses that tell us about us having our hearts right with God, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” As we embark in our journey of life each day, what a joy it is when we know that we have started off by getting ourselves dusted off on the inside. If we are to be effective witnesses to the world, then we need to take a look in the mirror, and ask ourselves what do we see, are we ready to go out yet? If not, then we need to get right with God, it is more important for us to get right with him before we leave for the day, then to a leave with a mess inside.  If we start practicing spending time with God daily, as part of our routine, our inward appearance will change, and so will our outward appearance, for the better.

Think of it this way, we would not leave the house without any pants on, so let us not leave the house without first putting on are full armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-11, tells us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” So be ready to go out in the day, do not go empty handed, have your heart ready, talk to God, read His word, just get up a little earlier, even if it is only 15 minutes. You will be a lot happier if you do. Start doing it for 21 days and it will be part of your morning routine, which if someone took it away, you would be upset. Then, when you look in the mirror next time, you will see past your physical self and into your inner self, to your spiritual being, that is what you will see, a changed heart. If you spend more time with God, you can not help but be changed, because that is what He does.  I truly believe that if a person spends the time with the Lord in prayer and in His word, that they will become a changed person, for the better, and will effect other people in a positive way as God directs them.  Take a look in the mirror, what do you see?

God Bless,

Daryl

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From The Depths Of Despair, I Found Life One Day At A Time

Posted on August 9, 2009. Filed under: Adversity, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Marriage, Personal Happiness, Sacrifice, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

15 years ago today, I reached a point in my life, where I really did not want to go on. I hated the way I was, a drunken, drug using misfit of a man, who thought he could control every situation, yet my life was in a complete tailspin. I masked over who I truly was by acting like I was someone other than the person I was inside, an alcohol and a drug addict, but I just could not concede to it. For the prior few years I had abhorred my condition, but was so deep into my addiction, that it seemed as if their was no way out. I dwelled in sorrow each and every day, as I poured alcohol down my throat, coupling it with prescription drugs, or any other that I could get my hands on, in order to numb my internal mental anguish.

The misery I felt was from a lifetime of attempting to be someone I was not, aspiring to measure up to every one else’s standards of who they thought I should be. I started drinking and using drugs when I was 13 years old, and by the time I was 33 years old, it was not fun anymore, it was just a way to dull my own self image to a point where I would no longer care what others perceive about me. In doing so, I became invincible, or so I thought, but really I became invisible to myself, not wanting to even be near the shell of a man I had become. I was disgusted with myself, but could not get out. I could not relinquish the torment, nor could I end the daily pattern of substance abuse, I was totally, physically addicted. Where, and how would it end? There had to be something better than the life that I was living!

Wanting to stop for the previous few years of my abuse had crossed my mind, but the thoughts were only fleeting. Not having the ability to block out the suffering I felt inside of being inferior and unable to deal with life’s challenges continued, which meant that drinking seemed to be the only way I knew how to deal with life. In my mind I could still function while dealing with the pain using alcohol and drugs, because I would not drink during work, although there were times that I used drugs during work; so some how in my warped mindset that was suitable. To me, as long as I could go to work, even though I may be still drunk with a hangover, I was all right. I did this day after day, year after year, black out after black out, not remembering half the time what I did the night before, but would somehow get up out of bed and go to work every morning, so to me that meant that I was fit as a man and a human being, no problem here. But if I were to admit the truth to you, I knew that I was in the depths of despair, where would I turn to next. There had to be a solution to the way that I was feeling, lost in this delusion that I had everything under control.

You may guess at this point, that my wife and I had some discussions about me possibly having a problem. Of course, I was in denial, my addiction had complete control over me. I did not like the way I was living my life, as I did not take satisfaction in the way I felt inside, which was a feeling of loneliness, of not being accepted, and worthlessness. I was still struggling with pride, of being a strong man, of failure, and not wanting to admit I had a problem; the bottom line was that I was utterly and completely in denial about my ability to cope with my substance abuse problem and how to deal with life head on as it happens.

People around me did not know that I had these feelings about myself, since after all, I kept them to myself. To those in my sphere of influence, they knew me as Daryl the party guy, Mr. Happy Go Lucky, the guy who can drink every one under the table. Unfortunately, many of them saw that my substance use had become substance abuse, which I found out later on, and that is the sad part, for no one had mentioned it earlier. But my wife, she stood by me during all of this, and may God continue to bless her until she goes to heaven for what I put her through, for she never wavered in her faith in our marriage. She still tells me to this day, when I ask her why she stayed with me, that she knew that inside there was a good man that needed to be released. I guess she was correct. There is hope and forgiveness for all of us.

So there I was, after a long night of serious alcohol and drug use 15 years ago today, I found myself in a pickle jar. I was at the junction in my life, I completely despised every aspect of my life, except my wife, kids, parents, and a couple friends. At this point, there was almost nothing worth living for, except them, and I wasn’t sure if I could stop the substance abuse. I had already been through one treatment facility while I was in the US Navy 10 years before, what made me think that I could do it on my own now? I was at THE BOTTOM OF MY LIFE. I could go no lower, I loathed the way that I felt, the way that I looked, the way that I felt people perceived me, everything about me; I had to change, I was in the depths of despair. There must be a way to get help!

So I got a pamphlet of Alcoholic Anonymous meetings from a psychologist that I went to, and he told me, “if you genuinely want to get sober, then go to one of these meetings.” Well, I knew that I was at the bottom of the well in my life, and that if I did not do something soon, I would die sooner than I should. There were many times that I thought about killing myself, but I couldn’t do it, something always prevented me from it; the same way I was always safeguarded from getting hurt or killed during my alcoholic and drug years. I believe now, that for those 20 years of abuse, God, whom I did not know, watched over and protected me, for His desire was for me to get to this day and beyond, to tell His story of the Gospel to world.

So, I picked out a meeting from the book, went to it, parked out front, and waited for the meeting to start. I could not go in at first, I had to wait, I did not want to talk to anyone, as I was nervous and intimidated. It seems like only yesterday, yet it was 15 years ago, but I was so afraid to go in, because I knew that I was going to have to admit that I had a problem with alcohol to others, and I did not want to. Finally, after I knew the meeting was starting, I went in, and they all made me feel welcome, that was the beginning of my recovery and from the depths of despair, I found life one day at a time. It was August 10, 1994, the day that I began to live my new life, a life free from alcohol and drugs, a life free from having to be troubled by the fears of what others might think of me and what expectations they have. It was the first day of the rest of my life, yet it was only the beginning of the adventure.

I went to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) everyday for a year, and the next year a little less, until at about my 2 year mark of sobriety, when I wanted to know who God was. It was on the first Sunday of September in 1996 when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I believe God brought me to AA, keeping me safe for all those years, and now requires me to serve Him as a voice of His good news. For I honesty believe that all the years of my life God had been watching over me, protecting me, as He had plans of His own that I need to complete. God is the protector of us all, He loves all of us the same, for we are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory (John 3:23). He wants us to know and love Him as He loves us as 1 John 4:8 and 4:16 says, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”

We can receive comfort from the Lord as we contemplate about 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 which says, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” It is words like these that give me a satisfying feeling about myself, not having to worry about who I am, or how others perceive me. The burden of sin that I carried was washed away by Jesus, as He hung on the cross, even though I did not deserve the forgiveness. 1 Timothy 1:15-16 says it plainly, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” From the depths of despair, I found life one day at a time, and a Lord and Savior for eternity.

You see, without God, I was still carrying the burden of the sin on my shoulders, but He took the burden and carries it for me, forever. No more, do I have to suffer the anguish of feeling worthless inside, for I know that I have a God who loves me just the way I am, a wretched sinner trying his best each and every day to serve in His kingdom. I attempt to teach my family and those around me about how God, our wonderful God is there to comfort us in our time of need, both good and bad, we do not need to seek refuge anywhere else except in Him. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33), and God will take care of us, bless us, watch over us, keeping us from peril. We are His children, and like parents do with their children, He watches over to protect us. I was way down into the depths of despair 15 years ago, then I found life one day at a time and Jesus, my Lord and Savior for eternity, will you join me in my quest to share the Gospel with others. Amen

If there is someone you know that is having difficulty in their life with substance abuse, please try to get them help, show them this Blog, encourage them to talk to someone, go to an AA meeting, go to a recovery group at your local church, there are many options, but please try to help them. If you are the person who is in the middle of the substance abuse, and you have not yet come to the point where you can admit to yourself there is a problem, then I say that you just please be honest with yourself, because we are talking about your life, get help now before it is too late.

May you all be blessed,

Daryl Dho

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Even God Took A Day Off To Rest, So Go Rest Man, Just Rest!

Posted on August 8, 2009. Filed under: Creation, Faith, Forgiveness, Heaven, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , |

I am a prime example of taking everything to the max. I push myself as far as I can go, believing that I can go harder, farther, and faster than anyone, but you know what, even God took a day off to rest, so go rest man, just rest! To me, in my mind, I am confident that I can keep going at light speed to accomplish all of the tasks that are on my plate. But, the fact of the matter is, I should realize that even I can not complete all of the missions that I have given myself. So I need to temper down what I feel is necessary to complete, managing my time a little differently, in order that I may find the amount of time essential for my mind, body, and soul to refresh itself.

There are many people in the world today, just like me. I am just an example of a culture that puts so much pressure on itself to complete 25 hours worth of “stuff” in a 24 hour day. Several people have asked me recently, how or why I try to accomplish as much as I do sometimes. They asked me this question because I work full time as a CVS store manager, go to Phoenix Seminary, write this Blog 4-5 times a week, serve in the children’s ministry at my church, and try to spend quality time with my wife and adult kids; which to them appears to be a ridiculous and almost burdensome amount of responsibilities to complete. I answer them in this way, I do all of those tasks because God has called me to serve Him and His people as best I can in this culture, today and in the future. That is why I go to school, to learn more about God’s word, why I write this Blog, as a ministry to others, and why I serve in the church, for the needs of the children. But still, even God took a day off to rest, so go rest man, just rest. We all need to remember that, we need to take the time to rest, recuperate, relax, and enjoy a significant amount of downtime. If not, at some point we will potentially crash.

A true leader, leads by example, and God is no exception. In Genesis 2:2 (ESV), the Bible tells us the following, “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” God too, realized that it is important for us to “rest”, and leading by example has shown how. He has given this great creation to inhabit, wanting us to work hard, but also to enjoy our freedom, while we rest. We do not always have to be on the go, go, go, as it is suitable for us to have fun time for ourselves. Remember even God took a day off to rest, so go rest man, just rest.

God’s desire for us is that we take a day of sabbath, a day where we do not work, He wants us to have time to be with Him in fellowship, worship, prayer, and fasting. This is a time we gather as our family, sharing each others company, caring for one another, and worshiping the Lord together. In Exodus 20:10, God’s word tells how we should set aside the sabbath day, “but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.” We need to give time to God, time to our families, and time to ourselves.

Jesus reveals that when it comes to our souls, we can take rest in Him, knowing that He will comfort us, forgiving our sins, as He states in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” This is a very important verse to contemplate about, for you see, we can not, nor should we want to worry about where we will spend eternity. Jesus is giving us assurance that He will take on our sins as we follow Him, and He leads to eternity with Him, cleansed of our sins. While meditating on that for a moment, we can take comfort in knowing that the yoke of our life is guarded and attached to His eternal wagon.

If you are not riding in the wagon with Jesus, then take the time now to ask Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, and to be your Lord and savior. For with Jesus, the comfort in knowing that we can go through eternity with the captain of the ship, freely, is there for the asking. In John 14:6, Jesus makes this profound statement, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He is the way, and gives us rest from the burden of worrying over our soul. As I conclude, I am on my 6th day, close to my day of rest. I will be taking tomorrow off, for even God took a day off to rest, so go rest man, just rest. Yes, I think I will, for ME, because if I don’t then I won’t be fit for God’s service, which would not be good for His kingdom!

Have an awesome and blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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