Archive for January, 2010

What’s Faith Got To Do With It?

Posted on January 23, 2010. Filed under: Adversity, Assurance, Creation, Faith, Forgiveness, Glory, Heaven, Sacrifice, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Is there any person, material possession, circumstance, lifestyle quality, or concern in your life you would sacrifice or do anything for, even unto death?  And if there is such a thing, whereby you would sacrifice even unto death, is it a cause, occurrence, or person for which you have total belief and faith in?  Saying we would sacrifice even unto death is a substantial commitment, and is not a statement we should make lightly.  If we make an announcement such as this, it may be due to our having faith in whatever we would sacrifice for.  We may care so much about what we are sacrificing for, that we throw out the rule book, so to speak, when it comes to caring about our own needs.  Or, we may make such a sacrifice due to an occurrence which brings forth action without thought.  Most of us know and understand life is precious and short, hoping to have lives that are full of meaning, energy and vigor.  So, if we say we would sacrifice our lives for something, it makes sense to think we may have a considerable amount of faith in what we would be sacrificing for.

But, do we really need to believe in something prior to going to any lengths in order to sacrifice for it?  And do we need to truly believe in and have faith in what we will sacrifice for?  Certainly we need to understand what a sacrifice is, for many would have differences of opinions about what executing a sacrifice means.  One definition of sacrifice from dictionary.com is the following: “the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.”  I think our lives would qualify as a sacrifice, for as we are willing to give up our life for any cause or occurrence, then I would have to say it is truly a sacrifice.  I do not believe anyone would dispute giving up our lives is the ultimate sacrifice.  But, what’s faith got to do with it?

Unless one has faith in the cause, occurrence, or person, a sacrifice does not seem likely.  Putting someone else’s needs before our own can be a sacrifice.  We see it during times of crisis, when someone has been dealt a hand in life where they are at risk, such as in Haiti, due to the earthquakes.  People are giving money, aid, and even going to Haiti, in order to assist those in need, those who’s lives are in peril, who’s continued existence on this planet requires people to give of themselves sacrificing their own wants, desires, and possessions for others.  The video of Anderson Cooper was an example of heroism, and sacrifice.  As the boy, who had been hit by rubble thrown at him from angry looters, was down on the ground, bloodied and incoherent, Anderson Cooper rescued him, not giving any thought to his own safety, but only that of the young boy.  Caring and sacrificing for others seems to come natural for many, and can be a spur of the moment occurrence during times of tragedy for others.

But, what about when we discuss what a person believes in, their moral code, their ethics, and their character.  This area of life seems to be one that may shift like wind in a storm for many people.  Having a belief and faith in a way of life, one which directs our moral code, our ethics, and our character, is something many allow to be altered and shaken by what current circumstances dictate in their life.  In our, “what’s in it for me” society, we tend to let our moral code, ethics, and character process through a metamorphosis as our needs, or what we envision as our needs, go through this modification.

In general, is seems to me that many do not have a serious conviction about what they truly believe in, or quite possibly many do not know what they believe in when it comes to their moral code, ethics, and character.  Unfortunately, we are all failed humans, filled with sin, capable of hurting others with or without thought.  It takes a conscious effort, many times, to care more about others then ourselves.  It really boils down to whether or not we truly believe in what we say we believe in.  So, what’s faith got to do with it?

When it comes to christianity, many people are not willing to declare their faith, for fear of retribution.  Jesus said in Matthew 10:21-22, “Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”  What’s faith got to do with it? Faith has everything to do with my belief that we all are sinners who fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and my belief that Jesus came to earth, lived as a man, and died on the cross at the hands of his accusers, resurrecting 3 days later in order to bring us new life.

I have to be completely faithful to that belief, for if not, then what I say is inconsequential.  I have to be willing to sacrifice my time, my talents, and my treasures in order to spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to a world which needs this truth.  I can not worry about retribution, about persecution, or about how sacrificing for the truth of Jesus will effect my own life.  Of course, I will fail, at times, in being the type of person Jesus would desire for me to be, because I am human.  Regardless, I certainly need to put forth all of my best in order to spread the word of Christ.  I can not consider if people receive this message positively or negatively, for it only my job to share the message.  If I suffer for this message, so be it.  My desire is to be 100% faithful to my Lord Jesus Christ, who made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross for me and you.

I do not want to waste my life with a minimal faith, but one which is all ahead full, seeking only to fulfill the great commission Jesus gave us in Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  In order to do this, I must have a faith that is unwavering, can not be questioned, and a faith in Jesus that only seeks to carry His message to the world.  In that process, I can not worry, or be concerned about what negative effects this belief and faith will have on my life here on earth, nor be concerned about what the world thinks about me, for I am first a servant of God, and a servant of His kingdom.  So, what’s faith got to do with it? It has everything to do with it, everything to do with my belief in Jesus as Lord and savior, and with how I live my life.  Without a faith which puts Jesus and His message first in my life, and how I make decisions, act, and exist here on earth, then I might as well not even believe in Jesus.  I should never waiver about how I share the news of Jesus, never cower when speaking His name, or professing who He is.

What’s faith got to do with it? Everything if you believe in Jesus, everything if you take seriously the gospel of Christ, everything if you trust the Bible as 100% truth, everything if your desire is to fulfill the great commission of (Matt 28:18-20) and the great commandment from (Mark 12:30-31), which says, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”

If you are a believer in Jesus, please make sure your faith is overwhelming, that your faith is so strong in the belief that Jesus is your Lord, that you trust Him with everything in your life, every aspect of your life, every occurrence in your life, with your total being, both physical and spiritual.  Make sure you are so tenacious in your faith, regardless of either physical or emotional indifference from the world, that you will forge ahead on your quest to spread His good news, for their is no greater prize then the one which awaits us who believe.  The prize of everlasting life with the creator of the universe, the prize of being able to spend eternity with Him who created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27).  Are still wondering what’s faith got to do with it? Faith in Jesus is the whole enchilada, and should encompass our entire being, for we should have no other way of living then giving our all for Christ.  Your reward for this will be in heaven.

May you have a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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Have You Called Your Mom Today?

Posted on January 17, 2010. Filed under: Communication, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Love | Tags: , , , , , |

For years, a close friend of mine told me he called his Mom every day.  She lived in another state, so he did not have the opportunity to see her very often.  According to my friend, their conversations were not that long, but were meaningful.  If you keep reading this post, you will discover why their conversations were so meaningful.  Unfortunately, his Mom passed away around Christmas, and he passed away last week from a car accident.  My friend would call in the morning, before work, and they would talk for awhile discussing what was going on in their lives.  He loved his Mom, and calling her every day was one way he showed her his love.  Of course, if you don’t call your Mom every day, that does not mean you do not love her, but it can’t hurt!  If you don’t mind, I want to you ask a question; have you called your Mom today? I understand for some of you who have lost your Mom, or do not know your Mom, this may be difficult, and for that I apologize.  But, you have others in your life you care for and love, others who you may need to call today.

I know most of us realize life is short, and the older we get the faster time seems to go by, but what are we doing to capitalize on every moment life has to offer?  Some time ago, I developed a theory as to why life seems to go by faster the older we get.  You see, if you take 1 year of your life when you are 5 years old, that 1 year is 20% of your life.  But, when you are 50 years old, 1 year is only 2% of your life span.  As we get older, a year of our life is a much smaller percentage to our overall years of life on this earth, therefore creating this idea or thought in our head that life is going by faster.  It really is not going by any faster, but seems to be going faster, due to the percentage of time we are measuring being a smaller percentage to our overall age as time goes by.  When we turn 100 years old, which I know is a long shot, then 1 year will be 1% of our total life.  So, a 5 year old does not have many life experiences to measure a year of time with, while a person 75 has 15 times as many years and occurrences in life to measure.  That is my theory.  With those thoughts, we certainly do not want to waste any of our precious and valuable time here on earth, but rather use it wisely, placing value on all of the relationships we have, whereby putting those relationships at the top our list of priorities, or “bucket list”.  Have you called your Mom today?

Since we all should understand time goes by way too fast, therefore desiring not to waste any of it, we need make sure we spend quality time with those we love and care for.  We never know when the minute, hour, or day will come in our lives when we will pass on from this life to the next.  It is imperative then, that we realize life is full of the unknown, including when our physical life will end.  Therefore, without exception, we should treat every moment, every hour and every day as if it may be the last.  Have you called your Mom today?

We should never stay angry with anyone, never go to bed after an argument with a family member or friend, never leave the house in the middle of an argument, until we resolve our dispute.  Holding a grudge or internalizing negative feelings towards others, does not serve any positive purpose.  We need to clear the air, acknowledging what wrong we have done, asking for forgiveness, and then move on.  Harboring hateful or hostile feelings towards others just puts us in an unfavorable place to be, one that can only bring misery and despair to both parties.  It is always best to put aside our pride, be the bigger person, and admitting fault, even if we are not wrong, or believe we are not wrong.  Have you called your Mom today?

Having a dispute with people we care about is not something I believe any of us delight in, but we allow our foolish pride to get in the way, therefore blurring our vision and our ability to make the proper decision about the resolution of the strife that exists between us.  Usually, these quarrels are a disagreement over something with no major importance.  Many times, we can’t even remember how they started in the first place.  Again, we are allowing our pride to take control of our life; whereby we neglect the most important part of the equation, the continuance of our relationship with the person we are in conflict with.  It is not worth existing in an environment which could be considered hostile.  Make the necessary adjustments to rectify what the problem is; then make up with the person and move on.  Life is short.  Have you called your Mom today?

This life goes by in a blink of an eye.  At the end of our lives, nothing we have will go with us, not our money, our cars, our house, our TV, none of it.  Everything we have will stay here on earth, be given to someone else, and eventually will disappear.  What is most important in this life are two things, as Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39 (ESV), “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  We must care more about our relationships in this life than the pursuit of the temporal aspects of this world which seem so enticing.  Caring for others, including our parents, our spouse, our children, and our friends, should be our priority.  Nothing else matters in the end. Have you called your Mom today?

Jesus consistently talked about how we should love one another, as he said in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”  If we care more for others than ourselves, the reward we receive in return far outweighs what we think we are losing by giving.  This attitude of giving for others carries with it a prize of fulfillment, for when we care for one another, we receive a warming spirit in our lives, an intangible gift that is more wonderful than any physical thing the world can provide.  Have you called your Mom today?

Life is short, do not waste any of it.  Work always towards the building of relationships with your family and friends.  If we put our stock in the relationships of our lives, we will leave behind a legacy that can go on forever, generation to generation, as the thoughts and memories of how we cared for others will be carried on.  If we put our stock in the tangible things of this world, we will only be remembered as long as the stuff we leave behind exists.  Beyond that time, our memories will deteriorate as did our wealth.  Spend this life with people.  Have you called your Mom today?

May God bless your life with an abundance of loving relationships,

Daryl Dho

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True Friendships Are Rare

Posted on January 12, 2010. Filed under: Creation, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Heaven, Love, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

In the relationships of our lives we will most likely accumulate innumerable acquaintances, but at the same time will not acquire many relationships with people I would classify as true friends.  I believe as we navigate through each season of life, we meet and enjoy being around countless individuals, but true friendships are rare.

Sure, we would like to say we have true friendships in our lives, but what does true friendship really mean?  Dictionary.com indicates that a friend is a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard, or a person who gives assistance.  The longer we have been on the earth, the greater number of relationships we will develop with people along the way, giving us the opportunity of having true friends.  Unfortunately, many times life takes a sharp turn, altering our course.  At this junction, we may find the friendship we thought was developing is now a forgotten memory.  Job changes, school, finances, divorce, death, many of life’s unknowns approach us when we least expect them, putting an end to what may have become a true friendship.

In addition to those circumstances that may or may not be in our control, the attitude of so many people in our society is one of self centeredness and selfishness.  Many of us are unwilling to give beyond what is necessary to keep our relationships in a friendly mode, due to the “what’s in it for me” lifestyle we may be engaged in.  It is “status quo” to consider how are relationships are worth having assuming we receive some benefit from it.  This type of perspective towards relationships is a dangerous one, as we soon find we do not have the true friendships we thought we had.  When a time of need approaches in our lives, we find who may or may not be a true friend.  If our “need” will put someone else out in their life, including their time or treasure, then we may discover they can’t fulfill our expectations.

In my life, my family moved all over the country, especially as a child and during my teen years.  Of all the people I met as a child and teen, I can not account for any acquaintances or friendships that have endured from those relationships.  All of the hundreds of people I knew as I grew up are but a distant memory on the path of my life.  As an adult, I have been blessed with a large number of relationships and consider many of these individuals, true friends.

One of my closest friends in life, whom I met in 1988, recently passed away from a tragic automobile accident here in Gilbert, Arizona.  His name is Gary Kudela, and he was a man who cared about others, almost to a fault.  He would do anything he could for those in his sphere of influence.  My family and I loved him dearly, as he was like a brother to me.  We watched each others children be born and grow up to become adults.  We went on family vacations together, laughed together, cried together, got crazy together, and got into trouble together.  He was someone I would do anything for, as he was a man I loved and cared for deeply.

Gary was always there when you needed someone to talk to, hang out with, or lend a hand.  He was the type of man who would give you the shirt off of his back in order to satisfy a need of someone he knew.  He participated in life with many people, enjoying golf, watching sporting events, drinking coffee, eating and drinking a good beer.  He was a true friend in the rarest way, for in all my life he was one of only a few people, other than my family, whom I can say were always there for me, always offering me anything I may need when I was down.

A few years ago, Gary began to question who God was, what the Bible said, and about how he would get to heaven.  He asked me questions about Jesus, about who Jesus was, about what part Jesus played in Gary getting to heaven.  Gary said that he was a good guy, but realized that he was also guilty of many wrongs and faults, as we all are.  He knew that he was not perfect, and was in need of redemption in order to have a way to heaven.  Gary knew it was true what Romans 3:23 (ESV) says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Gary also believed what Jesus said in John 14:1 (ESV), “I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life, Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”  Soon afterwards, Gary made the decision to trust Jesus with his salvation, in turn guaranteeing his path to heaven.

In Gary’s relationship with Jesus, he found a true friendship.  He trusted he would be forgiven for all of his faults.  He knew God would take care of him, even though he was not perfect, for none of us are.  Towards the end of his life, Gary spent time developing the most important relationship, the friendship he had with the creator.  He knew that the importance of having a relationship with God and a true friendship with His son Jesus was a top priority.  I am grateful that I will see Gary when I pass from this life and onto the next with him and Jesus in Heaven.  Jesus has prepared a place for all of us, and it is His desire that we have a strong relationship with Him, while developing that relationship into becoming one considered a true friendshipTrue friendships are rare in life, but in the end, the relationship that matters most when considering whether or not it is a true friendship is the one we may or may not have with the creator of the universe.  We must have a true friendship with our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. If you do not, I suggest you stop what you are doing now, and bring close a relationship with Jesus, asking Him to forgive you for your sins, and ensuring a ticket to eternity with God in heaven. Amen. I will see you again in Heaven, Gary.

May God be your closest and truest friend,

Daryl Dho

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