Assurance

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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Love Shows Mercy; A Journey to the Celebration Takes an Emergency Detour

Posted on December 17, 2009. Filed under: Assurance, Children, Christmas, Faith, Family, Righteousness, Sacrifice, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Last night, at 9:39 p.m., I got a frantic call from my wife concerning our youngest daughter.  My daughter, a very disciplined and highly driven young lady, is a high school varsity cheerleader, enjoys performing, and diligently practices nearly every day.  Last nigh she was at a tumbling class when she missed a double round off back flip and landed on the back side of her neck and head.  According to my daughter and her tumbling coach, she instantly was in terrible pain while beginning to cry.  Her fellow team mates and coach came to her to evaluate how she was, realizing right away that she was hurt and needed medical attention.  So my wife received the call from the coach about her condition, as he instructed my wife that one of the other parents would be bringing her home.  I was at work when my wife called me with tears in her eyes as she was concerned about our baby girl, who by the way, isn’t really a baby anymore, since she now drives.

Rushing home to be there for my daughter, seeing my wife in tears when I walked in the door made me a little sad, but I kept my emotions in control.  We would be taking my daughter to the emergency room upon her arrival.  One of our sons friends came to our house about 1 minute after I did to pick up some cookies that my wife had made for him, and he stayed to see how my daughter’s condition was.  He has known her for about 14 years, and was concerned for her status, and through his love, he showed mercy. Then the parent driving my daughter home pulled up in front of the house, assisting us in getting her out of the vehicle.  One of her friends, who was showing a lot of care, got out and aided her while showing that she too was hurting for my daughter.  Both the parent and his daughter were showing a lot of compassion due to their love showing mercy.

The next part of her adventure took us to Gilbert Hospital, where I have gone before with my mother in law and another friend to their emergency facility.  I have always found that the personnel at this hospital exhibit a lot of care, concern, love, and mercy for the patients, family, and friends.  I realize that someone in this profession is somewhat required to show compassion for those they are treating, but it is not always the case in every hospital or medical facility that I have been in throughout my life.  We are still talking about individuals who either have compassion or do not when it comes to caring for patients.  I can understand that at times it may be difficult for someone in this profession to deal with all of the patients they do, some of them undoubtedly not very coorperative.  But, it is evident that every person in this hospital has the gift of mercy in their heart.  They are truly agents of love showing mercy to the patients, family, and friends that come to their facility on a daily basis. They made my daughter comfortable, relaxed, and gave her confidence in the treatment she was receiving.  For my daughter, this was her first experience in a hospital, other than when she was born.  She even remarked how the medical staff that works at this hospital certainly care a lot for their patients, and that they are love showing mercy.

During this Christmas season, as we celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, it is apparent to me now how we must also reflect on how Jesus was love incarnate, showing mercy to a world so desperately needing it.  Jesus healed the lame, the diseased, and brought the dead back to life, for He proved that love shows mercy. In Matthew 4:23 (ESV), the Bible tells us the following, “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.”  Jesus, whom is God incarnate, was teaching, proclaiming the truth about God and His kingdom, and healing the people because He truly loves us and it is His desire to show mercy to us.

This is the Christmas story, Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth to reveal God’s love and mercy to us in a way we find difficult to comprehend.  Jesus came to save us from ourselves, from the evil that lurks in our soul, from our tendencies to do wrong when we know right, from our unrighteous thoughts that we keep hidden from all in our midst, from our pride, from all of our actions that prove we are, as the Bible says in (Romans 3:23), sinful, falling short of the glory of God.  Yes, Jesus is love showing mercy to all who accept Him as their redeemer.  He willingly came to serve the needs of all mankind, somewhat like the hospital staff who so willingly accepts the task of being a beacon of hope for those who are sick and injured.  You see, we are all injured when it comes to our ability to do good all the time.  Due to our sinful nature, we can’t help but to do what is evil in God’s eyes, therefore requiring medical attention for our eternal soul.  Jesus is the great physician, willingly serving those of us who know Him, have faith in Him, and trust that He can and will redeem us for our unrighteousness.  Jesus, came from heaven, was born as a human, walked the earth, died a physical death, then rose again three days later victoriously in order to defeat sin for all of us.  Jesus was love showing mercy.  Amen.

May your journey in life be blessed by our almighty God,

Daryl Dho

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YES, YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO!

Posted on November 20, 2009. Filed under: Assurance, Faith, Forgiveness, Glory, Grace, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , |

I think Bonnie is trying to smash the cake into my face.

I take pleasure in allowing my taste buds to be massaged by a delicious piece of cake, especially chocolate with whipped butter frosting. As my wife and I prepare to celebrate our 24 wedding anniversary next month, I am excited and energized about the prospect of having a piece of scrumptious cake as we celebrate our union together.  I know that may seem a little silly, making a big deal out of having a piece of cake, but our society says that we can’t have our cake and eat it too.  I got to tell you that this is not true, because I am convinced that in life YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO!

When we got married almost 24 years ago, it was during the Christmas season, and we had a beautifully decorated medium size wedding that was attended by family and friends.  We were blessed with catered food that I suppose was fantastic. although I would not know since I only gazed at and smelled the aroma of the wonderful display, not able to eat any due to all of the attendees wanting to congratulate us prior to being escorted away in a limousine for our honeymoon. Our wedding included this incredible cake too, complete with multiple levels and a top all of its own that nobody ate from; you know, the type with the plastic bride and groom on top.

We fed a small amount of the cake to each other, believe it or not without smashing it into our faces, then saved the top level for a future anniversary, at which time we would eat the rest of our cake. We had a predicament though, we never wanted to really eat the cake because we didn’t want to see our wedding day memory disappear. So, we kept it in the freezer thinking that maybe we could have our cake and eat it too. The problem with this plan is most people would say that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. But we saved the cake for almost 24 years now, that is until today.  You see, we noticed that our freezer shrunk and we now needed the room. No, we didn’t eat it, can you imagine eating a 24 year old cake?  What we did was, believe it or not, throw it in the trash!  Yes, all those memories, now gone!  Bummer.

At first, I really did not want to throw it in the trash, as it felt like I was throwing a part of my life away. As we took pictures of ourselves gazing at the cake, memories of those blissful 24 years of our life and the day we got married passed through my head. At this point I said to my wife that although the cake would fade away, my love for her would last forever. I know that may be a little mushy, non unlike the frosting on the cake, but its the truth, and we both realize how fortunate we are. Although we would not be able to look at our broken down box filled with stale, freezer burned cake anymore, the marriage that we have built over a lifetime extends itself due to a loving and caring relationship. We realize that as material things in our life disappear and dissipate with time, our love is eternal. You see I believe that YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO!

A great many people believe that our time on earth is all there is to life, that when we die there is nothing else.  But who we are, humans made in the image of God, does not cease to exist at the end of this physical life.  God created us so that we could be with Him forever, but unfortunately, as sinners, we are unable to coexist with a Holy God.  We need to be redeemed in order to be with God, who is perfect in His being and love for us.  After all, while we were still sinners, God sent His only begotten son to save us from ourselves (Rom 5:8), from our sin, from our unrighteousness.

If you look at this life as a piece of cake, thinking that the cake is finite and will someday disappear, then you will have the view that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  You will think this way because you believe that when the day comes for you to die, that so will all of your existence.  But, on the other hand, if you understand and believe that God created us in His image (Gen 1:26) for the purpose of giving all the glory to Him in everything we do (1 Cor 10:31), then you should take comfort in knowing that you can have your cake and eat it too.

God desires for us to be with Him eternally, so that we can glorify His name in paradise.  But we are sinners by nature, imperfect and unworthy of being in His presence, due to our polluting of the image that God made as in.  Being born into sin since the fall of Adam, we are like a piece of cake that has gotten freezer burned and disintegrates.  But you ask how can we have our cake and eat it too, how can we, as sinners, exist with a Holy God forever?  It’s not too difficult to obtain this eternal existence with God, since He does not want us to suffer the anguish and torment of being eternally separated from him, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt 13:41-42).  God wants us to have a relationship with Him whereby we can seek out forgiveness and salvation by His grace and through our faith (Eph 2:8).

The beauty of God’s plan is how we can be sinners by nature and at some point conforming to the world, yet through our acceptance of Jesus as Lord and savior be transformed by the renewing of our minds, discerning what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).  This my friends, is how WE CAN HAVE Our Cake and EAT IT TOO! You see, although we are unworthy to be in the presence of God due to our sinful and unrighteous nature and behavior, we are loved by God in a way that He provides a way out, a way to His kingdom, a way to change who we are.  Romans 8:10 (ESV) tells us, “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”  Although we are dead in our sins, we are redeemed into righteousness because of Christ.  This is the parallel between the cake and our lives.  We still can live eternally with God, through our acceptance by faith of Christ as our savior, even though we are still sinners.  This is where YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO! You can be unworthy, yet worthy of eternity with God, you can have it both ways.

All you need is the right recipe, and that recipe is Jesus Christ, who came into the world to show us how to love one another and for the redemption of sins. YES, YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO! Just grab a piece of the cake of salvation from Jesus, and enjoy it for eternity.

May you all be blessed in life with the eternal cake of salvation.  Go ahead, grab a slice, you will LOVE IT.

Daryl Dho

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Never Give Up, and Quitting Is Not An Option!

Posted on November 5, 2009. Filed under: Adversity, Assurance, Faith, Heaven, Sacrifice, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , , |

I was watching part of the Phoenix Suns game tonight, while taking a break from reading and doing homework, when the announcers talked about how Wayman Tisdale had died earlier this year. I remembered when Wayman played for the Suns just a few short years ago, so I decided to google him to find out how he died, as I had not heard the news. I discovered that he died from cancer, as I read some articles and watched some videos. There was a 9 minute video that particularly intrigued me about how he had first ascertained that he had the disease after a fall he took in his house, breaking his leg, followed by his ensuing recovery. While I watched the video, I was overtaken by how strong he seemed, and how his smile never eluded his persona. Remembering when he played, I recollected how he always engaged in the game with such a zest for life, including his abilities as an award winning jazz musician, which I remember he included in his bio. Near the end of the video, as Wayman described how he was persevering during adversity (he had to have his right leg amputated), he said something that I will take with me, “Never give up, and quitting is not an option”.

That phrase really struck me, because how many of us give up on so many things in life? Big-small, tangible-intangible, work-play, friends-foes, husband-wife, parents-children, healthy-unhealthy, all of these contrasts here are events, people or seasons in our lives that we must confront at one time or another. Because life is full of questions about the unknown, we have to make a determination about how we will deal with each and every event, whether to accept our circumstances as they are, make an effort to change them, or dwell on how the situation we are in is not the way it should be. Which way we choose to decide will usually determine our level of peace and happiness in the situation. Wayman chose option 2, and made his best effort to persevere when things got tough, all the while smiling, because you see, he believed that we should “Never give up, and quitting is not an option”.

Each and every one of us has predicaments that come up in our lives that we would rather not go through, up and including when we die, but the facts are that we will all have trouble in our lives. From what I read and viewed, Wayman was a faithful man of God, which I believe is one reason he was so positive during his adversity. He obviously struggled as a man, but knew that giving up would not help him or his families situation. He was dealing with it head on! As I contemplate about this occurrence in the life of Wayman Tisdale, I am reminded of another man named Jesus, who had to endure great suffering. I can only imagine what would have happened if Jesus would have decided not to go through with what God the Father willed Him to do. After all, Jesus is God, he could have done a great many things to prevent Himself from being brutally battered, whipped, and nailed to the cross that He carried up the hill, all bloodied and weakened from the torture that was brought upon Him during His mock trial. As Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane, He knew what time it was, and that these terrible occurrences were inevitably going to happen. But, during His darkest hour, I believe that He had to be thinking something similar to what Wayman said in his video, Jesus must have realized that He could “Never give up, and quitting is not an option.”

Wayman loved his wife and 4 children, caring for them until the end. Jesus, God in the flesh, loved all of us on that fateful day 2000 years ago, caring for us until His final hour, enduring all of the pain and suffering, while preparing to encounter the weight of all the sins that He would bear upon His death. But, even in His darkest hour he cared for others, as He told one of the thieves hanging next to him in Luke 23:43 (ESV), “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” God doesn’t give up on us, He loves us for eternity, and took on the ultimate penalty of death on the cross for all of us. As we come to know Jesus through our acceptance of His forgiveness by grace, we should be reminded of what He said in John 14:26-27, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. The Holy Spirit, God in spirit, is here to help us through our troubled times, we just need to reach out to Him. We are not alone, and we need to remember that Jesus served as an example; for He “Never gave up, and quitting is not an option.”

Jesus never quit on us, He never gave up on the responsibility that God the Father gave Him. After all, before the beginning of time, He was our redeemer. Upon His death, while receiving the penalty for our sins, temporarily separating Himself from the Father, He felt the pain of the millions of sins upon Him, yet never waned in His loving, caring, sacrificial attitude. When the time came to conclude His life as a man on this earth, while fulfilling the scriptures, He said in John 19:30, ““It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. We are blessed that Jesus believed in this philosophy, “Never give up, and quitting is not an option.” For that we can all be eternally grateful.

If you want to view the video of Wayman’s story, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ4DaBVn4Uk

May you all have a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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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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