Creation

Dancing in the Street

Posted on August 6, 2010. Filed under: Children, Creation, God, Salvation, VISION AFRICA-2010 JULY MISSION TRIP | Tags: , , , , |

This is Dancing With the Stars in Malawi

I know it has been several days since I wrote, but I had some other responsibilities to attend to.  But don’t worry, here is the next segment of my journey from Malawi.
7-16-2010 (Friday)

Chatimba

We are having a little different experience this morning at the office of Somebody Cares for our devotional time.  Keta decided it was time for us to play some games as a team-building event.  We are playing 30 Seconds and Pictionary before leaving out on our trip to the village.  I am having a lot of fun, but it is obvious Keta plays all of the time, as she is the best and is crushing the rest of us.

Our journey to Chatimba is quite long today.  We get to village and receive an awesome welcome from the people of the village and even Chief Chatimba, as everyone is Dancing in the Street. Other than Somebody Cares vehicles, only cow powered carts and bikes will be coming through, so it’s cool to be Dancing in the Street.  Most of us are dancing with the women who were having a great time.  Unfortunately, the men do not normally dance with the women, which is a bit of a bummer.  But today, Chief Chatimba decided to dance with us, so I am dancing with him too; it is a blast.  He is very excited to participate with everyone in this celebration of life.  Dancing with the Malawian people is such a joy, as they truly get into it with all their heart.  None of the other men danced; oh well.

Afterwards, half of the group went to the village gardens.  One of the gardens they went to see was the widow’s garden, which apparently was in its beginning stages.  They told me it was beautiful, and that Chief Chatimba was excited to show our group all they had accomplished in the growing of their garden.  They are growing tomatoes, herbs, and mustard greens, which are a main part of their diet here.  Many people in our group love the mustard greens, but I do not.  I have been eating them, but let me say it this way; I do not want to have them after we go home.  Chief Chatimba also showed the group a tree that every part of it is used, wasting nothing.  They use parts of the tree for relish and others to enhance the flavor of nsima.   We see banana trees all around us throughout this region, which is nice to see.  Also, there have a pond with fish in it they eat.

I am going with several in our group to the school, where about 500 kids learn English and many other things.  As we arrive, several of the children show us what they have learned, including sharing how they can speak English.

Joe, a local volunteer intern with Somebody Cares, and I are taking about 200 of the older kids outside to play some games and to teach them about God.  I teach them the story of creation and the fall, and of how Jesus was in God’s plans for our salvation.  Joe translates for me, as I do not speak their language yet.  After the lesson, I invite those who do not know Jesus to come to a saving faith in the Lord. I pray for those who do not know him to come to Christ.  After we pray, Joe asks them to raise their hand if they accepted Jesus as their savior.  Praise God, about 100 raise their hands, sharing they have accepted Jesus as their savior.  Alleluia.

It’s time for lunch with Chief Chatimba and Theresa in the chief’s house.  What a treat, as he even provided soda for us.  Now I know why I brought my bottle top remover.  He has the nicest house I have seen in any village we have been in, as he even has some furniture.

After lunch, Trinity, Sidney, Tyler and I decide to play soccer with some of the teens until it is time to go. Just like many of the World Cup games the score ended up 0-0.  Wow, I feel like a pro.  LOL.

Before we leave Chatimba, we have time for one last dance.  Wow, the people of Malawi like to sing, dance, and clap their hands a lot.  The chief grabs my hand and into the circle we go with all the women.  I am having a great time with all of these beautiful people.

On the way back to the office of Somebody Cares, Tyler, Chelsea, and Lynn decide to stop and buy some Mouse on a Stick from one of the roadside vendors, and then they took the plunge and ate some; oh wow bud!

To conclude a great day we are having a rolling blackout.  This seems to be a daily occurrence, and provides us with the lack of electrical resources so that we can have a candlelight dinner.  How cool is that!

Have a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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Children Are A Blessing

Posted on July 31, 2010. Filed under: Children, Creation, God, VISION AFRICA-2010 JULY MISSION TRIP | Tags: , , , |

Children having fun today on jungle gym and swings.7-13-2010 (Tuesday)

Last night, we moved to where we will be living for the next 12 days.  We are staying at the Children of the Nation facility, which is outside Lilongwe.  Children of the Nations assists disadvantaged teenage children and young adults, giving them an education and an opportunity to better their situation in life.  The most important aspect of their teaching is to raise these young people as believers in Jesus Christ.

I woke up around 4:30 this morning.  It is cold here compared to the 115-degree days back in Phoenix, as it is probably around 40 degrees here.  I don’t want to wake up Tyler, my roommate, so I am using the flashlight App on my iPhone.  As I depart the room to go and brush my teeth in the bathroom, I attempt to shut off the flashlight App on my phone.  In doing so, I am looking down, not forward, and walk directly into a tree with my forehead.  To my defense, the tree was directly in the middle of the sidewalk, so I am not completely at fault.

Today was a fantastic day in the village of Chikudzulire.  Started the day at the Somebody Cares office this morning at 7:30 for God calisthenics, which included prayer, singing, prayer, and more singing.  I believe the Holy Spirit of God enjoys dwelling at the offices of Somebody Cares, for the level of faith of the staff and attending missionaries is high.

It’s time to leave, so we need to go and get into the vans.  One of my fellow team members just asked me what happened to my head.  They said I have a large bump on my head and it is bleeding.  So, I looked into the mirror, oops they are correct.  I guess this is my first battle wound in Africa.  Hopefully nobody will laugh at me today, as it is a little embarrassing.

The medical team (Robin, Stephanie, Lynn and Rachel) is going to Ngona to provide checkups and administer medicine to sick people in the village.  As they arrive in Ngona and set up for the clinic, they are overwhelmed by the people lining up to see the doctors.  By the end of the afternoon, they have given medical assistance to 40 people.  The doctors also took the time to listen to the devastating personal life stories of some of the adults they had treated.  I believe these doctors will never forget many of those whom they gave aid too today.  The experience has given them a sense of accomplishment and a sense of despair, as there are too many sick people for them to care for.  Now we are blessed by the doctors’ return, as the entire medical team shares with us some of the stories of the day.

I am still amazed at the number of people who ride their bikes everywhere.  They ride them not just to get themselves around, but also to carry goods and supplies for sale to other villages and the market place.  Some of the riders have attached wood sticks to their bikes in order to stack up large quantities of wood, sugar cane, and other goods to sell at the market place.  I am amazed as I just saw a guy with a stack of wood on a bike that looks to be 6 or 7 feet high.  I question how they even balance themselves while driving down the road.  Vehicles fly by the bicyclists so fast and within inches of the rider’s; I am amazed at how they don’t even flinch.  Apparently, this is just a normal occurrence in their lives, so, no big deal!  A staff member told me that when a car hits a bicyclist or pedestrian along the roadside, the person driving the car is responsible for the medical bills of the injured person.  I hope we don’t hit anyone, because our driver is flying down the road.  I am not even sure if the wheels are on the ground.

This is so cool, we are in a remote area, and the little children are so excited to see us driving by.  Apparently they do not see people driving by very often, especially “azungus” (white people).  They are coming out running, waving, and screaming things out loud as we speed through their neighborhood.  The children seem to be amused by anything they would not normally see or experience in their lives.  This is one of my favorite things I have seen so far.  I love these kids.  Most of these children have so little; I guess any little change or something new or different can have a huge impact on their lives.

We are now arriving at the Somebody Cares Community Center in Chikudzulire.  Children come to the Center from many of the surrounding 46 villages that make up the Chikudzulire zone.  They gather for instruction, fun, porridge, and hope.  Basically, the community center is a daycare for the parents to send the children.  Most importantly, the Community Center provides one meal for the children Monday through Friday, so they at least receive one meal everyday.  About 50 children are in a classroom now, and are reciting the Alphabet Song.  It is joyful to watch these children, who are probably between the ages of 2-6, learning the alphabet among their peers.  As a means of encouragement, when one of the students completes the Alphabet Song, the others clap for their fellow classmate.

Outside children are running around the complex, and playing on the swings and monkey bars.  Up until a year ago, when the playground was built, the children had never seen a swing or monkey bar.  But, now a year later, many of the children have become quite proficient at using the playground apparatus, but not all.  I am going to teach some of the children that don’t know how to swing to use their legs, and how to swing back and forth, so they too can have some fun.  There are many of these children helping other children to play and learn.  I am surprised how the children share; how the older children help the younger ones enjoy playing, and how they want others to enjoy what they are enjoying.  Seeing this makes me feel good.

It is now the end of the afternoon.  I have played with the kids for hours, and I am worn out.  I am not sure if playing with them on the swings and monkey bars was the most fun, or teaching them stories about God with Joe as my interpreter.  I know this for sure; these kids have touched my heart today.  What a joy it is to see their beautiful smiles beaming for all to see.  These innocent children just need an opportunity, an opportunity to live life, an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to have food and water, and an opportunity to know true joy from our creator.  I am beginning to understand how the ministry of Somebody Cares is giving them an opportunity to live longer and with hope.  What a HUGE BLESSING today was for me.  Thank you God!!

See you tomorrow as I continue in my journal of our mission trip to Malawi.

Amen

Look for an opportunity to share your life with someone else today.

Daryl Dho

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Happy Mother’s Day-A Husband’s Perspective

Posted on May 9, 2010. Filed under: Creation, Family, Marriage, Mothers, Sacrifice | Tags: , , , , |

We all have mothers.  But, I am sure many of you have different opinions concerning who your mom is, and what your mom represents in your life.  Some of you never knew your birth mom, some have an adopted mom, some of your mom’s left you of mom and say-

“Happy Mother’s Day”- from a husband’s perspective!

You may be asking yourself, why is he telling us about mom’s from a husband’s perspective?  The answer is quite simple, really.  You see, after getting married, it is like I have two moms now.  I say that because while I grew up at home with my parents, my mom filled that necessary roll in my life.  This next statement may throw some for a loop, but shouldn’t if you really look into your heart.  Most men are just big kids, so our wives take on this role of being like a mom to us.

My mom and my wife are everything you can imagine a mom would be.  Here is a list of things representing what a mom is to me.

1. She is your house for 9 months.
2. She eats for two, as her body grows at a pace she had never thought possible, and now, the clothes she use to wear that made her feel “hot” do not fit anymore.
3. In willing to suffer great pain and agony while giving birth, many times screaming and crying very loud during the process, she is blessed with a calming in her spirit as her newborn enters this world, and she is told-It’s a boy or It’s a girl for the first time.  All the pain goes away, becoming tears of joy as she holds her newborn.
4. She nurses and feeds the baby, getting up in the middle of the night when it cries.
5. Does the dishes.
6. Cooks the meal.
7. Does the laundry.
8. Pays the bills.
9. Cleans the house.
10. Takes care of the yard.
11. Is a nurse to everyone in the house.
12. Is the one person in the house everyone leans on or snuggles up to, because she is a greater comforter.
13. She reads to the children.
14. Helps them with their homework.
15. Gets excited when the kids tell her about their schoolwork or project.
16. Always goes to the kid’s events, such as sports, music, dance, or other performances.
17. Keeps peace in the house.
18. Always seems to know the right thing to say, at a time you need to hear it.
19. Tucks you in at night, making you feel cozy.
20. Can talk to you on phone as long as you need to.
21. Is understanding when you make a mistake; you just don’t want to get Mom mad.

22. She prays for everyone.

23. She is the greatest nurturer of all time.

24. Does all these things and gets paid NOTHING!

25. All these things, and works 40 hours at another job.

26. And a million other thankless duties……………..

Here is the bottom line, mom’s do everything there is to do in a household, without complaining, without thoughts of her own well being, without thoughts of “what’s in it for me”, by putting the needs of others before herself, always willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the family.  The original mom, Eve, was giving by God to Adam to be his helper. In the Bible, in Genesis (Gen 2:18; 21-22), we read, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”  So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

I am grateful God gave me my mom and my wife, who both do all of those things listed above, and a whole lot more.  If I wrote everything a mom does in this article, I would be writing forever.  The most important aspect of what a mom does is love.  Mom’s truly care for and have unconditional love for those God has put in their lives.  Moms live a life of sacrifice, full of love and compassion, nurturing their families as long as they physically can on this earth.

In a sense, I have two moms.  My mom, who gave birth to me, still cares for, loves, guides and directs me in my life, always wanted to nurture me, it’s in her nature.  My wife fills the role of caring for my children, plus caring for me, the big kid, because of her unconditional love for us, and her nurturing way.

God made moms special, and for that there are not enough thanks to go around.  Make sure you tell those who fill this role in your life that you love them today.

Happy Mother’s Day

May God bless your day,

Daryl Dho

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The Glory Of God; He Is Gracious And Merciful

Posted on March 29, 2010. Filed under: Creation, Glory, God, Grace, Mercy, Righteousness | Tags: , , , , , |

Glory

It is Monday, the dawn of a new week, and time for another installment of my discoveries of how I see God.  As I continue to seek God’s character in the Psalms, I am blessed from the time spent in my reading, reflection, and prayer.  My hope, is that all of you will take the time to engage in your own reading through the Psalms, in turn, enjoying the beauty of God’s word as it speaks to you in a personal way.

We should abundantly give our Heavenly Father honor and reverence for His splendor in creation, as His reputation stands tall; He truly should receive all glory for His greatness.  As our eyes marvel upon the sky, we note that the heavens declare the glory of God (Ps 19:1), which are above all the earth (Ps 57:5; 57:11; 108:5), and this is because He is above all nations and the heavens (Ps 113:4).  Therefore, we should affirm His righteousness, so that all the people see His glory (Ps 97:6).  We see so much evidence of God’s glory visible to us in His creation, almost as if to authenticate His creation, by giving us a signature for identification of His majesty.  It is no wonder why the Psalmist tells us of how the kings of the earth shall give thanks, for great is the glory of the Lord (Ps 138:5).  Waking each morning, allowing the day to sink in, I steer towards the understanding of my Heavenly Father’s glory.  The glory of God is evident everywhere, I just need to open the lens of my eye and take a wondrous gaze.  As I reflect on being in the presence of God, I realize I love participating in life with my Heavenly Father and visualizing all of His glorious power, might, wonderment, and love shared for His creation.

Gracious and Merciful

My Heavenly Father is full of grace and mercy, is slow to anger and abounding in unwavering love (Ps 86:15; 103:8), showing love and compassion to a continually rebellious world.  He has tenderheartedness towards us, desiring to show us grace and mercy.  He has caused His wonders to be remembered, and for those who follow His ordinances, He lights the way in the darkness (Ps 111:4; 112:4).  As God is good to all, showing His mercy in so many ways (Ps 145:9), I have become more humble in my life.  I appreciate His grace and mercy, and have gratitude for my salvation, provision, and forgiveness.  Each and every day, I am so grateful how my Heavenly Father, who consistently shares peace in my heart through the Holy Spirit, instills joy into my life.   I acknowledge God continues to show His grace and mercy to me daily, as I struggle with sin and fall short in my quest to live in a Christ like manner, including failing to love one another, as Jesus instructed.

Have a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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Who’s The Boss?

Posted on March 25, 2010. Filed under: Creation, Faith, Glory, God, Heaven, Holiness, Love, Righteousness | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Who’s the boss? Are we the boss, or is our spouse, our employer, the government, or someone or something else the boss?  Or, is God, the creator of the universe as we know it, the boss?  If God is the boss, then who is He, who is God really?  This blog is the second installment of my search of how to describe God, based on what I read in the Psalms.

Is The Bible, or God’s Word, True?

A beautiful and integral part of getting to know my Heavenly Father better is to take comfort in the fact that God’s word, in the original manuscripts are inerrant.  We gain assurance of this in (Ps 119:160), which eternally blesses us with, “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever,” as well as (Num 23:19), for which we are told, “God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change his mind.  Has He said, and will He not do it?  Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?”  In (2 Tim 3:16-17), we read, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”  As I explore the Psalms, in order to gain access to who my Heavenly Father is, knowing I can trust God’s word without question is imperative.

Holiness

My Heavenly Father is Holy in His ways; He is perfect in goodness and righteousness, He is divine and sacred, inspiring us to be in awe of His very being and worthy of our revering Him in our most humble posture.  He is Holy, sitting enthroned on the praises of Israel, the Lord our God is holy.  We can trust in His holy and awesome name, giving thanks, for in His holy name is glory.  All of God’s ways are holy.  As we are in awe of how the Lord our God is great, we are motivated to exalt Him and to worship at His footstool; yes He is holy.  In His holiness, God speaks to His people with trustworthiness; His character is pure, unwavering and dependable.  God’s holiness is consecrated in His sacredness, which is deserving of our devoted and affectionate worship.  What a wonderful and holy God we have.

Lovingkindness/Steadfast love

One of the beautiful aspects of God is His lovingkindness or steadfast love. Psalm 25:10 tells us all the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness, which gives us so much insight into His character, as this reveals his kindness, mercy, faithfulness, and goodness.  His lovingkindness endures all the day, is precious to us, and we are reminded of how His steadfast love extends to the heavens.  When we walk in faithfulness with the Lord, we can take solace in God’s steadfast love, which is before our eyes, as life’s struggles attempts to knock us down.  Because we know God knows our endeavors, we can rejoice and be glad in His lovingkindness.  In His lovingkindness and truth, we can persevere through life, knowing He is righteous, and abundant in mercy.

If we were ever to doubt whether or not our Heavenly Father’s love will cease, we can review the approximately 30 verses in the Psalms, which tell us of how His steadfast love endures forever (Ps 118:1-4; 136:1-26).  In these verses, there is a magnificence in knowing God is the Lord of lords, does great wonders, made the heavens, spread out the earth, made the great lights, told the sun to rule over the day and the moon and stars to rule over the night, lead the Israelites out of Egypt, struck down kings, gave their land as a heritage, rescues, and provides food to all flesh, all because his steadfast love endures forever.  Reflecting on how His lovingkindness is everlasting, we should render thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness and His wondrous works.  How truly blessed we are due to His steadfast love for us.

Tune in next time for a continuation of my search to describe who my Heavenly Father is.

May God bless your day,

Daryl Dho

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My Heavenly Father Is…?

Posted on March 23, 2010. Filed under: Creation, Father, Glory, God, Heaven, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , |

Who is our Heavenly Father? This question is one worth asking, one for which the answer appears simple, yet nearly unfathomable, due to the complexity of God and His attributes.  So, I have set out on a journey to explore the Psalms and discover what God’s word, The Bible, has to say about who He is.  Over the next several days, I will blog about what I observe from the Psalms, and how reading them has effected my perception of whom my Heavenly Father is.  Additionally, during this process, it was also my desire to become more acquainted with our God, for which I will share my results. So, here we go, my Heavenly Father is…

God inspired the writers of His word to eloquently describe Him in a way which enlightens us as to who exactly He is, what His characteristics and attributes are, and what His plans are for our salvation and for all existence in eternity.  Our discernment of how God chose to illustrate His characteristics in His word to us, should give us soothing thoughts, as we can better comprehend His grandeur and sovereignty.

Our natural instinct to appreciate and become acquainted with our creator is in our hearts, “for his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse (Rom 1:20 ESV).” Unfortunately, human beings have neglected the physical confirmation of God’s existence through His creation, instead failing to recognize the truth of God and participating in unrighteous living.  This Blog will serve as a declaration of what characteristics of God are evident to me through my study of the Psalms, giving a testimony of my thoughts, feelings, and assertions of how I would describe whom my Heavenly Father is to another person.  I will also identify which aspect of God’s character I discover personally means the most to me and which characteristics are experientially not a part of my relationship with Him.

My Heavenly Father encompasses so many characteristics in His being, it is at times, challenging for me to comprehend the vastness and complexity of who He truly is.  As I dive into to describe whom my Heavenly Father is, I must commence with the comprehension of the sovereignty of God, as (Psalm 103:19 NAS) states, “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens; and His sovereignty rules over all.” Within the perspective of a human being, I can understand boundaries given to me.  Considering God as the sovereign authority over all creation, of the heavens and ruler over all, gives me unquestioned satisfaction as I determine who is at the helm of this world.

If I compare God, as a ruler, to a governmental authority, parent, or employer, I should be able to grasp the importance of having a leader who can be trusted, understood, is consistent in power dictated, and one which shows compassion for those under it’s dominion.  Without God exercising His sovereignty over His created world, we would not have any hope of a future, there would not be any reason to consider our existence beyond what we can visualize in front of us. We would only regard as being parts of our life and worthy of concern, those things that we could consume, digest, and live for in our present state, therefore not giving any thought to what, if any, eternity might bring us. Our grasping, as truth, God’s attribute of sovereignty, should give us a positive perception of the complexity of His creation, as He is the only one who could rule what He has so masterfully shaped.  Until tomorrow, when we continue to evaluate who my Heavenly Father is…

Have a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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Life’s Little Bundles Of Joy

Posted on March 18, 2010. Filed under: Children, Creation, Family, God, Love | Tags: , , , , |

Today was a fun day, as I took a leisurely drive with my Mom and Wife on a picturesque two-lane mountain road outside of Payson, Arizona to a little town called Pine.  Yes, to answer your question, there are some pine trees in Pine, Arizona.  We looked around at some of the antique shops, which to me seemed like overgrown garage sales.  I sense maybe some of the people who own these antiques shops go to many garage sales, seeking the next “hot item” for their stores.  But, all in all, it was a fun time just walking around, as we ventured through several stores, prior to completing our visit to the quaint little town by having a late lunch in one of the restaurants, which was an antique itself, and at some point, converted from an old house.

Next stop on our journey was to my nephew’s house in Payson.  My nephew and his wife have 3 children, ages 7, 2, and 5 months.  Of course, all three children have extremely distinctive personalities, not only because God has made each and every one of us uniquely special, but also due to their age differences.

As I watched the children play, run around, act shy, and say whatever came into their inquisitive little minds, I experienced a diversity of emotions.  My three children, who are now 22, 19, and 16 years of age, were, as babies, yesterday’s life’s little bundles of joy. Seeing my nephew’s children, remembering my own children growing up, as well as recalling when my nephew was born, really gave me a sense of joy.  Yes, we had 4 generations in the house at the same time, which amazed me as I negotiated through the passing years of life in my mind.  At some point in our lives, we were all life’s little bundles of joy, for those who brought us into this world.

How incredible our life cycle is.  One day we are but a thought in someone’s mind, and the next we are crawling, walking, and talking, until the day comes when we continue the cycle of life with our own multiplication into the next generation.  God told Adam to be fruitful and multiply in Genesis.  Year after year, generation after generation, this has continued as the world’s population of families continues to grow.  How beautiful our world is when we gaze upon life’s little bundles of joy, which are smiling, giggling, and developing their own distinct personalities.

The next time you see a baby, take a moment to reminisce about when you were a baby yourself, how your parents were babies before you knew them, and if you have been blessed to have had your own children, then take satisfaction in the joy of their lives, their growing up to become adults, and the day where they will fulfill what God says in Genesis 1:28 ESV, “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Yes, babies are life’s little bundles of joy, so when you see one, take the time to enjoy them, take the time to think about how intricate their little bodies are, and how God has created each and every one of them in His image.  Then, love them, and love them, and love them until the day you depart this earth.

May God bless your days with life’s little bundles of joy,

Daryl Dho

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Close Your Eyes, And Look At Creation

Posted on March 16, 2010. Filed under: Creation, God, Heaven, Love, Sacrifice, Salvation |

After you read this blog, I am going to ask you to take a moment, close your eyes, and look at creation. I know, you are thinking to yourself, how can I close my eyes, and look at creation? Well, this is where you will have to allow the images you have seen in your life to come alive in your mind and in your heart.  You will have to allow your vision to go beyond what you actually see in front of you, maybe exceeding what you have even experienced in your own life.  Trusting what you have previously seen in the world and in the heavens, trusting to see creation without seeing, believing in all things created from nothingness.  That is how you will see creation, as an understanding of all things created from nothing both in your mind and all around you.

Of course, you will not actually create yourself, but will understand the existence of creation, the very nature of starting with nothing and ending up with everything.  You will have to contemplate what creation means to you, maybe from a previous experience, a place you have seen, a place you have visited, or possibly even a book you read, picture you have observed, or even a description of some place or thing that someone else has described to you.  I want you to envision all of the possible aspects of creation in your mind and in your heart, because I want you to discover the vast availability of God’s creation which is in your midst, for in every aspect of your life is God’s creation.  Allow your mind to connect to all that is near you, all that is around you, and all that available for you to capture in your mind and heart.

For me, it is a beautiful Monday morning in Wickenburg Arizona, the sun is shining, and the desert floor is green, as the recent abnormally large amounts of rain have allowed vegetation to grow in a way we have not seen in quite a while.  There are birds singing in the trees and in the air, as they spread their musical songs of spring into the Arizona desert morning.  I see a 4 month old baby tortoise, whose parents are now hibernating, due to the still chilly nights in this climate.  Each animal, bird, plant and other creature stands alone in this barren and dangerous habitat.  Of course, all of these creations has its own specific survival methods, its own ability to endure the elements in which they reside, even when the odds seem to go against them.

God took the time to create, even before time existed.  In the first chapter of Genesis, we read the narrative of how God created the heavens and the earth, and all of its creatures, including man in his image.  What a magnificent depiction of creation for us to understand that God, who is sovereign over all, decided to create everything, to create in such a way which was so detailed, that man would desire to spend lifetimes attempting to establish how parts of creation such as the human body function.  In Hebrews 11:3 ESV, the Bible tells us, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”

God created everything in the universe by His word, from nothing.  As you consider how creation happened, you should be blown away by it, overwhelmed by the very thought of how God created, stunned when you attempt to understand creation, and come to the realization that creation is nearly past our ability to comprehend and clearly grasp.  This is where faith steps in.  So, now I ask, if you don’t mind, close your eyes, and look at creation. Stay there for awhile, and enjoy meeting with God.  During the visit into your look at creation, my hope is that you come to know God if you don’t already, for He is the creator of all, the one who loves us, sacrificing even His own Son for us, in order to create a path to salvation and to eternity with Him in heaven.  Enjoy the adventure of life, and all of God’s creation.

May you be blessed daily by God’s creation,

Daryl Dho

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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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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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