Faith

The Church Service In Malawi Is Spirit Filled and Long. AMEN!

Posted on August 19, 2010. Filed under: Faith, Glory, God, Grace, Salvation, VISION AFRICA-2010 JULY MISSION TRIP | Tags: , , , , , |

Some of my friends in Malawi; I love this picture.

The Church Service In Malawi Is Spirit Filled and Long.  AMEN!

7-18-2010 (Sunday)

As usual, today I wake up early long before the sunrise.  Every day since we arrived in Malawi I have been waking up long before my 6 AM alarm clock screams it’s nerve-wracking sound; today time is a 4:55 AM.  One of the best parts of my morning is having the opportunity to receive a hot, high-pressure shower.  Unfortunately, most days this is not a reality.  Today I am blessed with the warmest and highest-pressure shower since we arrived here at Children of the Nation (COTN).  I am pumped up that I have a hot shower, since it is cold in the morning and I truly did not want to take a cold shower.  But, as I said, today is going to be a good day, as I am starting off with a nice hot shower.  Yes indeed!

Now it is time to go and hang out at the gazebo for my morning devotional of prayer and reading God’s word.  Today I may be preaching at church, so I am praying for God to use me to speak His words and for His purpose.  As I seek Him this morning, I find myself studying in 2 Timothy.

After breakfast, we go to the office of Somebody Cares.  When we get to the office, we are told we will be going to End Time Pentecostal Church in Mtandire village to join them in their worship experience.  Keta calls me out of the van prior to our leaving and asks me if I could preach this morning, and of course I say yes.  I trust the Spirit of God will put the words in my mouth that He wants me to speak.  When we get to the church, Edward, who will be interpreting for me, takes my backpack and leads me into the church.   The church is packed full, with standing room only in the back and out beyond the walls of the spirit filled room.  I see about 200 people as Edward instructs me to sit in the middle seat of three directly behind a table with flowers and water on the stage.  To my left is Ramsey, the lead elder, and to my right is Edward.  Behind me sit 6 other leaders in the church, anxiously waiting for a morning filled with joyful singing, clapping, dancing and the teaching of God’s word.

The 2 hour and 45 minute service begins with one of the people from the worship team enthusiastically singing praises to the Lord.  At the conclusion of the first song, the rest of the worship team along with the keyboard player begin lifting up the Lord in song, as the rest of the congregation joins in.  In between many of the songs, Ramsey interludes with words of encouragement and introduces the next song.  We continue in musical worship with Ramsey sharing and blessing us with biblical stories.  The congregation is very joyful, holding nothing back in their celebration of the Lord.  As the service continues, I pray multiple times for the Lord’s Spirit to guide me in what I will say.  Since I did not have a significant amount of time to prepare for what I would teach on today, maybe only an hour, I realize I must rely on God to facilitate His will and purpose in what I will say.  I can feel the presence of God using me to speak words of encouragement and truth from His word, as Edward assists me in translation.

It is truly a blessing having the opportunity to preach in their church.   As I speak about how we need to be strong and faithful in the Lord, I am directed to share the need for all of us to persevere in this world for the cause of Christ.  God brings me to 2 Timothy 2:1-13 as the main body of text for my sermon, which we study verse by verse.  I feel God’s Spirit directing every word as I continue for over an hour preaching His good news.  Revealing Jesus as a model of strength, I notate how He persevered in fulfilling the will of the Father, and how we should live our lives in a way that emulates Jesus.  Edward was fantastic, as he translates my words into the Chechewa language.  At the end of the message, I share the gospel of salvation through the blood of Jesus with those who do not know Christ.  I invite those both in and outside the walls of the church to come to the saving grace of Christ, and to pray the sinners pray.  I do not know if anyone accepted Christ, but I do know that hearts were stirred.  I also trust God’s perfect plan of salvation and that His message will be received.

I must say, that the nearly 3-hour service was exciting and spirit filled.  The people of Malawi sure know how to sing praises to God in heaven.  If you haven’t been to a Christian church service in Africa, you haven’t experienced a church; the church service in Malawi is spirit filled and long.  Amen!

Now that church is over, we are going to Teresa’s house for a BBQ.  We have BBQ chicken, some type of sausage or bratwurst, rolls, nsima, spicy beans, and a fruit drink made with fruit cocktail.  In Malawi, it is important to eat everything you put on your plate, including cleaning off every part of the chicken from the bone.  Here is some good counsel; do not take more than you can eat.  If it is on your plate, you eat it, like it or not!  There is no wasting of food in Malawi.  This is a wonderful time of relaxation in the backyard and playing games, but mostly just hanging out and talking.

We come back to the Children of the Nation complex where we are staying around 5:30 and have down time for the evening, or so we think.  After the COTN students ate dinner, all 28 of them, we gather in the big gazebo and begin singing praises to God and dancing.  About 30 minutes into the dancing, the students line up in the middle and put on a performance of song and dance for us.  There is also a drama troupe, which perform a couple of very funny skits.  Next, we are blessed with a few testimonials about their early life and conversion as believers in Jesus.  It was a marvelous night.

I pray that your day is blessed by God and you are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Daryl Dho

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A Day At The Beach-It’s Lake Malawi Day!

Posted on August 10, 2010. Filed under: Faith, God, VISION AFRICA-2010 JULY MISSION TRIP | Tags: , , |

7-17-2010 (Saturday)

View of Lake Malawi from patio restaurant.

Lake Malawi Day

Today is a day of leisure; so I slept in until 6 AM.  I still am able to spend time with the Lord this morning with prayer and Scripture reading, because breakfast is not until 7:45.  Today is A Day At The Beach-It’s Lake Malawi Day!

Oh yes, note to self; I need to remember that our steering wheel locked up on the way back from Mngwangwa on Thursday.  It locked up because our ignition switch was broke and we had to hot wire the van. This caused the other issue with the steering wheel locking up.  The good news is that we did not go all the way off the road when our driver began to lose control.  Out!

It is just part of life here in Malawi for the drivers of cars, trucks, and vans to honk constantly, as they come upon pedestrians and people on bikes along the side of the road.  Normally, when vehicles approach pedestrians and bike riders, they move to the left side of the road, seemingly without hesitation.  This unwritten rule helps them to avoid being hit by the oncoming traffic.  Please understand, they are walking or riding in the same direction as the vehicles, so they do not see the traffic coming; hence the reason honking the horn is so important.  So here we are driving to Lake Malawi, when all of a sudden, Alan, our driver, sees a guy on a bike along the side of the road.  Alan honks at the man, but the man veers to the right instead of the left like normal.  My heart nearly stops as we just about hit the man on the bike.  Maybe it is possible the man just panicked when he heard the horn blasting, and lost his sense of direction.  It should be the law that when you here a horn, you always go to the left.  When a person looks over their right shoulder, they will most likely go right.  I am glad we didn’t hit the guy, because that would have ruined our day.

Finally, we made it to Lake Malawi.  I am changing into my shorts, so I can go in and swim in the lake.  Nobody but me wants to go swimming as they have read there are parasites in the lake.  I am going for it anyway.  So, I run down the beach and launch myself into the lake, which looks and acts like the ocean, as it is the largest lake in Africa.  The waves are crashing down on me as I swim out further into the lake/ocean.  The temperature is warm, even tropical.  Everyone thinks I am joking that the water is warm, but it truly is refreshing.

A day of relaxation at the beach.

After swimming, I go with a few others from our group to walk up and down the beach, taking some pictures.  It is a beautiful day here at the lake, and many people are hanging out on the beach.

Now we are having a wonderfully delicious buffet lunch on the patio next to beach at the Salema Beach Resort of Lake Malawi.  There is more food than we can eat here, including desserts.  I am excited to partake of this feast, as we have not been eating very well during out trip.

I brought my Frisbee along with me to Malawi so we could have some fun and maybe play with some kids.  Robin and Rachel join me on the beach to throw the Frisbee.  After a while, I invite a couple of young kids who are just hanging around on the beach to play Frisbee with us.  They do not know how to throw a Frisbee, so I start teaching them.  The first kid got it after just a couple of minutes, but teaching the other kid to throw the Frisbee straight is taking a while.  I do not give up on him, and after about an hour, he has finally learned how to throw the Frisbee very well.  This pumps me up.

Now, 2 of our drivers, Alan and James decide to go swimming in the lake.  Seeing them in the water is an invitation for me to go in also, so I am running to jump into the waves.  Oh yes, this is great.  Now I am doing a little body surfing on some of the bigger waves; yes, in the lake.  Or, is it an ocean?

On our way back to the Children of the Nation complex, we stop by and shop at 2 roadside vendor areas.  The first place was laid back and mellow, with the vendors not trying to overwhelm us too much.  The second place was a lot bigger and was loaded with people selling many different items.  This place is somewhat crazy, but fun.  I bought a conga drum to bring home with me.  After dinner, the Children of the Nation students come over to sing and dance.  I am giving them my conga drum, as I know they will have a lot more fun with it than I ever will.  They really know how to rock that conga.

Did I mention Mouse on a Stick yet: wild mice caught, boiled and roasted, then put on a shish kabob type stick.  Around here, it is fine dining.  Tyler, Lynn, and Hollie all eat the Mouse on a Stick.  Tyler says it tastes like chicken.  I am not going to find out if that is true or not.

The "Younger Generation" hangin' out!

Well, we just past a truck pulled over on the side of the road with about 25-30 people piled into the back.  There were so many people piled into the back, they were hanging over the side.  We have all decided that Alan drives way too fast.  If I do not make it back from Malawi, it will most likely be because I was killed in a car crash.  At times, it is a little scary on these winding narrow roads, especially when we are going 145 KM per hour (90 MPH) in a loaded van with no seat belts.  For me, I can only deal with this situation through faith in the Lord.  God, please keep us safe, we have a lot of work to do in your kingdom.

Thank you Lord for a relaxing day, A Day At The Beach-It Was Lake Malawi Day!

May God bless you all in your lives.

Daryl Dho

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Up Up and Away

Posted on July 9, 2010. Filed under: Adversity, Children, Faith, God, Justice, Love, Mercy | Tags: , , , , , , |

Okay, so the day has finally arrived where 19 people from the Mesa and Gilbert Arizona area will be traveling around the world to a remote country called Malawi, Africa.  Why are we going to Malawi, is there a fantastic resort there?  I am not sure, but if there is, we are not going to it.  We are going to live and care for those who have not had the easiest life. We are on a mission to give assistance to some in the world who have been ravaged with AIDS/HIV, raped and beaten women, orphaned children, severe poverty and poor living conditions.

God has directed all 19 of us to go and be with the people of Chikuzulire, Africa, and to give support in many different ways.  We are bringing medical supplies, so that the children can be de-wormed, administered antibiotics, and have their hungry bellies fed.  Only God knows exactly what will happen while we are there, so we just pray for His will to be done.

I will be collecting my thoughts in an electronic journal each day we are there, for which I will publish on my blog post in successive days once we get back to an area where we have internet.  So, in the meantime, please pray for our journey, pray for safety, and that God will move in a mighty way for those we will be with for the next 2 weeks.  Pray that we can be the hands and feet for God, and pray for God’s will to be done on this earth and in the place of Malawi.

In Matthew 28:18-20, the Bible tells us this:

“18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Have a blessed day.

Daryl Dho

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Serving People Around The World

Posted on April 19, 2010. Filed under: Adversity, Children, Faith, God, Justice, Love, Mercy | Tags: , , , , , , |

I am excited to be going on the mission trip to Chikuzulire, Malawi from July 9th through July 24th, 2010 in order for our team to provide assistance and counseling to many women and children who struggle with challenges in their lives, such as rape and HIV/AIDS.  This past week, I had the privilege to meet with Mission Community Church’s partner from Somebody Cares, an organization which helps support those who have many physical and spiritual needs; her name is Chief Theresa Malila.

Theresa gave us an extensive overview of the current conditions in Malawi, and what we could expect on our trip.  As she spoke and described life in Malawi, I was overwhelmed by her stories, which both broke my heart and encouraged me simultaneously.  She is an amazing servant of God for the people in Malawi.  Afterwards, I was more convinced of the importance of the trips our team takes to Malawi in order to provide assistance, all while sharing the gospel of Jesus through our lives and our words.  It excites me to envision how God will use us, as we serve and minister to their myriad of needs.  Yes, it is a privilege to be serving people around the world.

I also ask for your continued prayers, as we approach the time to go to Malawi, including preparing our minds and hearts to be focused on serving those individuals who have many needs.  The area is very poverty stricken, has a low life expectancy, and high rates of HIV/AIDS.  Over the last few years, positive change has taken place in the villages around the area of Chikuzulire due to so many people who care for and educate them.  What we do to humbly serve them, in order to bring some hope and the gospel of Jesus Christ is so important.

If you would like to find out how you may participate either financially or prayerfully, please visit my blog dated April 7, 2010.

Also, if you would like to obtain some information about the country of Malawi, please go to this Wikipedia address on the internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malawi

May God bless you,

Daryl Dho

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Please Help Pray For And Finance Africa Mission Trip

Posted on April 7, 2010. Filed under: Children, Faith, Family, Friendship, Glory, God, Justice, Love, Mercy, Sacrifice | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Recently, I was presented with the opportunity to go to Malawi, which is in the southeast portion of Africa.  It borders Tanzania on the East and Mozambique on the West.  My church, Mission Community Church, in partnership with the organization, Somebody Cares, has taken the approach that we truly are the hands and feet of Christ.  I am joining a team on July 9th through July 24th to help where God sees fit to best serve the needs of the people there.  Our destination is the village of Chikudzulire, where previous teams from our church have had the opportunity to assist in the completion of a well for clean drinking water and the construction of a feeding center and community center to provide for more than 900 local children who have been orphaned by the AIDS pandemic.  There are many opportunities our team may assist with while we are there; for which our Trip Focus will include building relationships and to be a support with the people of Chikudzulire and other villages; and to address the issues widows, women and orphans face each day.  Our Trip Purpose will be to organize and conduct rape/crisis counseling conferences; and to teach and train on women’s issues of hygiene, sex education, childcare and other topics as needed; along with additional projects as directed through the staff of Somebody Cares.  Most importantly we’ll get to show the amazing love of Jesus to some of the most hurting and impoverished people on the planet. The trip will personally challenge me to things I’ve never dreamed of and surely will change my life forever.  

Each individual team member will need approximately $3,000 to fully fund this trip.  Any funds that are donated will directly help us to cover airfare, food, lodging and local transportation, as well as supplies for aiding the children in the villages that we will visit.   I have no idea how God will work to provide the funds for me, but I know He has something incredible to teach me while we are there and through the fundraising process.  He surely will provide.  I feel compelled to provide hands-on help to these children in Malawi, and I am thankful that God is opening doors to allow this to happen.   So, do you want to participate with me on an African Mission trip?

This is where you come in.  I am writing to all of you since you are my friends and already supporters of me personally in my life.  I ask that you would consider offering a financial gift, not because I need it; for God doesn’t need any help from you or I. I’m asking you specifically because I want to invite you to participate with me in this step of faith and see what God does with what you can give.  Equally important is prayer support for safety on the trip, the strength of the team, and the hearts of the Malawi people.  May God keep us safe and work through us and in the lives of those we go to serve. As the trip nears, I’ll provide further information where you can prayerfully follow along through an online blog and photo-journal while we are in Malawi.  Thank for your love and support for allowing your resources to dramatically change the lives of people in Africa.  All prayers and any financial support will be a blessing to the ministry.  Even as little as $10 can go a long way.

If you would prefer to donate securely online, please go to http://www.Africa.mission68.org and select the “Give” tab on the far right.  Set up a quick login account if you don’t already have one and follow the simple prompts.  Select the trip which I am participating and input my name, amount of donation and payment info.  If needed, please contact me for additional instructions or details about giving online.

IMPORTANT Please make all checks payable to “ Mission Community Church “ and leave the memo line BLANK, but attach a note indicating my name, Daryl Dho, so my account will be credited.  You can mail your check the following address:

Daryl Dho
10141 E. Kilarea Ave.
Mesa, AZ  85209

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

May God Bless You All,

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 Most Holy God

Posted on February 18, 2010. Filed under: Faith, Forgiveness, Glory, Grace, Righteousness, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , |

A Gift From Our Creator

My most Holy God,
My Creator,
My Savior,
To whom I bow before in faithfulness.

In the dawn of each day,
When I rise to your sunlit morning,
In faith, I give my life to you, O God,
To do the will of the one who created.

Unwavering faith in you I have,
For without it I am nothing.
It is futility to allege I know you, God
Without surrendered faith.

My most Holy God,
My Creator,
My Savior,
To whom I bow before in faithfulness.

You never leave me,
Nor forsake me.
You always guide me,
And direct me.

Your love is so wonderful,
As evidenced in your creation.
I long to be a beacon of your hope and love,
To a world so needing refreshment.

I am nothing without you God,
For you breathed life into me.
Although a failing sinner,
In you, I am a new life.

I am filled with your Holy Spirit,
But only through your grace.
I am nothing without my faith in you,
Through trust, and reverence I seek your face.

My most Holy God,
My Creator,
My Savior,
To whom I bow before in faithfulness.

I trust you in all things,
For you have made a promise.
I do not need to worry,
For you cannot lie, your word is truth.

I pursue only to fulfill your will, O Lord,
As my will only reveals selfishness.
Guide me to your ways, O Lord,
Bring me alongside your righteousness.

This world so desperately needs your love,
For your love is eternal and absolute.
Show me how share this love,
For without it I am nothing.

You only show concern for us,
Through your Son, you stayed the course.
Take away my own interests,
Humble me in my course.

My most Holy God,
My Creator,
My Savior,
To whom I bow before in faithfulness.

Your word is there to direct me,
The truth, you deliver for eternity.
My passion stills not for your unwavering love,
I long to carry it to a dying world.

Mold me, make me, and use me for you plan,
The Great Commission is at hand.
Give me the knowledge of your truth, O Lord,
Impute in me your faithfulness.

As you showed us, in your Son,
Your love never fails.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

I give you my life, my faith, and my love,
Without you I am nothing.
Seeking now to share of you,
The truth I am so grateful.

My most Holy God,
My Creator,
My Savior,
To whom I bow before in faithfulness.

There are no others before you, God,
For you are everlasting.
I beg for your forgiveness, God,
I seek you each moment passing.

Through you faithfulness you give us your love,
There are no conditions.
Love one another, you command,
And through faith I am able.

I long to give all glory to you, most Holy God.
There are no others like you, most Holy God.
None can stand above you, most Holy God.
You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

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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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Everybody’s Got an Invitation to the Celebration, So Don’t Be Late

Posted on December 23, 2009. Filed under: Christmas, Creation, Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , |

Have you ever fallen back asleep after your alarm clock goes off in the morning, then wake up after the time you were suppose to be at work has already passed, it is a frightening feeling.  Today, someone I know was late to open a store for large chain retailer. No, it was not me, but I have awaken later than I wanted before, and I know the feeling of panic, fear, and frustration someone has when the realization of their dilemma sets in.  It is especially disheartening when you are the person who is suppose to open a business, and other people are depending on you to be there so they can work, or shop in your store.

There are other occasions when you want to be on time or at least not past “fashionably late”, such as going to a party or celebration, particularly if you are the guest of honor.  When you are an honored guest, everyone is counting on you, for you are the reason the celebration is happening.  At a wedding, it is critical that the bride and groom show up, as there may have been months of preparation for this one significant event, and without you, the ceremony and celebration will not and can not go on.  Don’t be late for your birth either, or your mother may have to go through some additional pain and suffering due to your not being born on time; of course I realize none of us has any say in this, it just seemed like something to say.

It is only 2 days until Christmas, a day when many people will celebrate the birth of the savior, Jesus Christ.  The Bible tells us in Romans 10:13 (ESV), “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  This invitation to us all comes without condition, without a requirement of our doing anything with the exception of having faith in Jesus to take the burden for our sins, for as Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  What a party this is, as we celebrate the birth of God, coming to earth as a child who grew and became a man, in order to die on the cross for our sins, for as the scriptures say in Romans 3:23-25, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”

This is certainly not a party you want to be late for, since the guest of honor is Jesus, the Son of God. Really there is only one way you can be late to this celebration, that is by completely ignoring the invitation, by not believing you need redemption, by not comprehending the ramifications of a life lived in unrighteousness.  Although, we are late to the party if we just say “no” to God, never accepting the fact we will live forever for eternity; we will live for eternity either in the presence of God, or outside His presence.  Everybody’s got an invitation to the celebration, so don’t be late for the party.

Know one knows the day or the hour when they will pass on from this life to the next, so all of us should be prepared for when that day comes.  We need to take God’s invitation, the one allowing us to spend eternity with Him through the salvation received from His Son Jesus, and go to the party.  We never know when the end of our life comes, so we should ready now, allowing the Angels to sing in heaven as we accept Jesus as Lord.  This is why Jesus was born, why we celebrate on Christmas, so that we can recognize our Lord and savior, putting Him first in our lives.  There is no tomorrow, for tomorrow is today.  We can not expect to calculate the time when we no longer breathe the breath of this life.  Wait no more, you have the invitation, come to Jesus and live the life worth living, a life in which you know you are on the guest list for the greatest party of all time, the party for those saved by the grace of Jesus Christ.  Then, you can go and celebrate with God when the time comes for you to enter into eternity, and enjoy the greatest party of all time.

May God bless you on your journey through life,

Daryl Dho

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