Personal Happiness

Sleep Is For Wimps!!!!

Posted on July 10, 2010. Filed under: God, Personal Happiness | Tags: , |

Well, we completed the first leg of our Journey to Malawi, Africa, and are currently waiting in Hethrow Airport in London, England for our next flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.  The plane ride to London was hot, humid, and there was not any seats left on the plane.  So, sleeping was difficult as we were slammed into our seats like sardines. The floor below us was loaded with carry on luggage because the overheads were packed full preventing much moving around in the cabin.  Fortunately, I have always lived by the motto, “sleep is for wimps”. I think sleep can be overrated at times anyway as we tend to lay there in our beds wondering if we need to sleep longer, or go ahead and get up and ready for the day.

So, we stayed awake in the dark, some watching television or movies, a few were reading, a select few actually were blessed with ability to sleep, but the majority were awake for most of the night.  I was one of those who stayed awake, as I ran through the gauntlet of time wasting techniques in an attempt to pass time; I saw the sun go down then up.  I also watched as the heads of those in seats ahead of me were bobbing and weaving, continuously adjusting in an attempt to sleep.  If they only lived by my motto, ” sleep is for wimps”, then maybe all those who struggled to sleep would have just went with the flow and realized its not happening.

The best part of the flight was meeting some cool people.  I sat next to Margaret and Alan, a couple who have been married for 53 years, and had gone to the United States for 17 days in order to celebrate the 75 birthdays, (3 days apart from each other), and to explore areas such as Yellowstone, Brice Canyon, the Grand Canyon, and other beautiful areas of the U.S.

As a traveler, I am always drink a lot of water, which means one thing; what goes in must come out!  Alan remarked to me as I was needing to go past him and Margaret that we were friends, and it was okay if I they had to move for me several times during the flight.  That made me feel good. I told them about our mission to Malawi, and about how we were going there to help people and share our faith in Christ; this seem to give them some joy.

Eventually, Margaret was one of the people who decided to go to sleep, so she asked me if I needed to get up before she slept; of course I did.  She slept like a rock, eventually snuggling and leaning over towards my seat, making it even more challenging for me to sleep.  I was cool with that since both Margaret and Alan had been so friendly and generous of their time during the flight.  Although Margaret did not believe in my motto “sleep is for wimps”, fortunately for me, I do.

Until next time, sleep tight and  don’t let the bed bugs bite!

May God bless your day and your life,

Daryl Dho


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I Think I Will Take The Easy Way Out.

Posted on March 16, 2010. Filed under: Family, God, Love, Marriage, Personal Happiness, Weddings | Tags: , , , , , |

“I think I will take the easy way out!” Okay, I’m sure my statement confuses you, plus you are probably wondering what I am talking about, and where I am going with these thoughts.  Well, it is quite simple really; I am planning on living a long time and getting old together with my wife.  We have already been married over 24 years, which has not always been easy, but it certainly has been an exciting adventure.  Going through life is an adventure no matter how we look at it, so I might as well have a partner I enjoy experiencing the ride with.

If I offend you with what I am going to say next, then I apologize for that, but I am not sorry for speaking what I would consider the truth.  You see, in our culture, we have made it simply too easy to bail out on marriages as soon as we feel that it is not going the way we had planned.  Unfortunately, I do not know anyone, except for God, who knows what is going to happen next in his or her lives.  If we truly believe that our happiness is based on our ability to negotiate a path through life which does not have any left turns, right turns, or 180’s, then we need to have another look around, seek another perspective, and probably embrace the reality that we cannot, under any circumstances, make life go exactly the way we would like it or plan it, there are just too many variables.

The problem is, especially evident in our culture; we believe we can draw up the perfect plan for our lives, one that we can control, as if we were the only person on the planet.  Well, we certainly will not be able to control every outcome in life, considering all of the people in the world making decisions based on emotions, conditions, plans, and hopes, etc. There really is no way we will be able to dial-up every aspect of our lives in a way where the end result will be “exactly according to Hoyle”, as the saying goes.

Of course, this holds true when two people come together in marriage.  Personally, I believe in the commitment I made to my wife when we got married, committed to a life of richer or poorer, health or sickness, happiness or sorrow; I am committed to participating in life’s adventure until we grow old together.  Jesus said in Matthew 19:9 ESV, “And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”  I recognize there are circumstances such as abuse, when a spouse could be in harm’s way if they were to stay with in their marriage.  But, by and large, I am convinced that if couples would work together, putting God first in their lives, they would be able to accomplish what was said in most wedding ceremonies, which is they stay together “till death do us part.”

To me the bottom line is the fact that in our culture too many people do not fulfill their commitment to their marriages.  It is too convenient to dissolve a marriage and move on.  People think when they get a divorce, in order to pursue a different avenue in life, which may include another mate, they are taking the easy way out.  I do not believe they are taking the easy way out when a divorce comes so easy, but rather a road to incomplete fulfillment of a life of happiness with someone they supposedly once loved.  Staying with your spouse, working through any difficulties you may have seems to the best way to have a life full of love and worth.  Yes, I think I will take the easy way out, and stay with my wife until we grow old together.

May you have a committed life with whomever God has put you in a relationship with,

Daryl Dho

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It’s a Wonderful Life; A Journey to the Celebration

Posted on December 22, 2009. Filed under: Christmas, Faith, Family, Heaven, Personal Happiness, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , |

In the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, George Bailey, who was played by Jimmy Stewart seemed to have the perfect life, but as we all remember, he most certainly did not.  There are some in this world who, when the reality that life is not always as easy as they would like, decide they want to check out.  Many times, I believe this comes from where they put their priorities.  If we prioritize money and things we might obtain in our life, equating our happiness to how much we have, then due to the nature of life, we will surely be let down at some point.  We can not predict what will happen next in our lives, and therefore the unexpected happens, resulting in our either being let down, devastated financially, emotionally distraught, or just plain unhappy, all because we put our importance on the temporal things of this world.

So, because of the many variables in life, regardless of how great, capable, and together we might think we are, or how fantastic our life may seem to be going, it is inevitable that we will, at some point, be disappointed.  I think most people, if they truly search their inner thoughts and emotions in an honest way, will discover they know life is not perfect, and someday disasterous things will happen to them.  The problem therefore lies in the fact that most people just do not want to prepare for the impending negative consequence in their lives.  When that awful circumstance appears, many do not know how to handle it, choosing an even worse alternative, such as suicide, or hurting themselves and others.  Most of us have heard the old expression, people don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan.  This expression seems simple enough to understand, but difficult to execute.

Jesus, who’s birthday party and celebration is this Friday, December 25, 2009, had a lot to say about this subject.  He told us in Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV), “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Jesus is telling us that we need to have our priorities straight.  Of course, we have all heard we need to do this, but most of us do not understand this concept the way Jesus describes it.  He is telling us we will be challenged in life if we put our priorities on the treasures of this earthly world, since none of them will last forever.  I believe when are describing our lives to someone, we can truly say with all honesty, “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  But, in order to say that expression honestly, we need to have our priorities on the things of heaven, which are eternal.

I was having a conversation this morning with my dentist, who I have been going to for about 12-13 years now, and the subject of our happiness came up, including if we had any regrets in our lives.  If you have read my Bio, then you know I have not always led what one would call a very wholesome life, including probably doing emotional damage to other people in the process, yet I told him I have no regrets, and I would not change one circumstance in my life.  My life was, excuse the expression, “all jacked up”, for a long time, but I still would not change a thing, because what transpired during my life, was just a part of my journey, part of what made me the Daryl I am today, part of the molding of the character of the man you here in my words today.  I have become a man who is passionate about people and their feelings, about how they will spend not only this life, but the next life through eternity.

Yes, when asked about my life, I would be able to truthfully affirm, “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  Not because I have billions, millions, or even thousands of dollars, not because I drive a fancy car, not because I have a great job, not because I am the smartest guy in the world, not because I am the envy of anyone, for none of those are true, but because of these two things: 1) I have a close relationship with God, the creator of the universe, who’s word in Ephesians 2:8 states, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”, thereby my sins are forgiven, and 2) I am continuously working on developing the relationships with those closest to me, such as my wife, children, and friends.

It is also my desire to do what Jesus commanded us when asked by the scribes which commandment is the most important in Mark 12:30-31, “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.”  What a role model and teacher Jesus was.  He knew that in order for us to have a wonderful life, we needed to be close with our creator.  He also desires that we have wonderful, beautiful relationships with those He created in His image, as described in (Genesis 1:26), therefore continuing our relationship with Him.  Jesus told us in Matthew 25:40, referencing how we should take care of the poor and needy, “as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

As we follow the example of Jesus, walking in His footsteps, we can be assured to have struggles in life, as He did.  But, most importantly, we can be assured of being able to state, in reference to the view of our own lives, “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  I can live with that, can you?  Hopefully the answer is yes, because when you can answer affirmatively, you begin to have the peace that only God can bestow in your heart, you begin to look at life with an entire new perspective, you begin to have that wonderful life which all of us truly desire.

May the journey you are on through life be blessed by God,

Daryl Dho

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Don’t Stress Out, But Relax During This Holiday Season; A Journey to the Celebration Continues

Posted on December 21, 2009. Filed under: Christmas, Family, Personal Happiness | Tags: , , , |

Working in retail like I do, gives me a perspective on how a lot of people are during the holiday season.  This Christmas season, like most, is making a lot of people all stressed out.  I see them every day at the store, as they are in a hurry, worrying about the gift they need to get for the people on the their lists.  Many people are impatient, don’t want to wait in the long lines, are mad when you don’t have the item they want, and are so caught up in the commercialism of Christmas, they are missing out on all of the blessings the holiday season brings to those who open their eyes to it.  My suggestion is this, “Don’t stress out, but relax during this holiday season; and remember that this is a journey to the celebration.”

It is only 4 days until Christmas, and it would be great if everyone was done with their Christmas shopping so they could relax and look at the outdoor lights, get together with families and friends, put their feet up on the lazy boy chair, even read a book if they wanted to, maybe read the Bible, and about the real Christmas story.  My hope is that everyone remembers that this Friday is about celebrating the birthday of Jesus.  We will all gather with family and friends, but let us not forget that we are at a birthday party for the Lord of the universe.

In the meantime, get less of what someone doesn’t really need anyway, one less stocking stuffer, one less gift for someone who would be happier if you just spent time with them.  These last couple of days bring so much stress into many peoples lives because we are creatures who seem to enjoy putting things off until the last minute, then we get stressed out because we don’t have enough time to get the gifts we think our family and friends need.  The retailers love it because people who shop from now until Christmas Eve do not care as much about the price, they just want to find something for the people they are buying for.  This is when people start throwing everything on credit cards, due their panic about having to get presents.

A greater present can be giving of your time.  I know for me, I wish I had more time in my life to give, because those who know and love me would rather have my time than anything I could buy.  If I could buy time, I would, because my time is a far greater gift than any TV, doll, game, or clothes I can find in any retailer to give to someone I care about.  Think about what is most important to you, is it the people you love and care about, or the things you have?  I hope your answer is the people you love and care about, because “stuff” doesn’t last, but our spirit is eternal.  We should spend the time nurturing our relationships, giving of ourselves instead of merchandise that deteriorates and becomes obsolete.

It is time to take our focus away from the material objects of this world, moving it in a direction towards those around us, their feelings and emotions, their needs and wants from a relational standpoint rather than a belief that they only care about us if we give them “stuff”.  It is nice to get presents, everyone wants them, but at the end of the day we would all rather have someone we care for than a present from them.  My father passed away in 1997, and I would much rather have him here with me now than anything the world could show me.  Who really cares about all of the “stuff” we accumulate in our lives.  Let us focus on each other this holiday season, give our love to each other, give a hug to a child, to your friend and to your family.

Several years ago I had the privilege of preparing and serving a meal, with several of my friends, for a group of patients who had Aids and were all dying.  We spent the evening dining with them, sharing our lives together with them, singing Christmas carols with them, and being loved and sharing love with them.  One of the patients said that normally when people come to serve them prepared meals at these functions, the people preparing the meals for this organization just stay out in the hallway while the patients eat.  Eating with them, sharing our lives together was the best part, I would not have wanted to miss out on that time together.  At the end of the night, as we were saying goodbye, one of the patients, whose name eludes me right now, gave me a hug and boldly said, “hugs are free”. That saying has stuck with my, and now I use it all of the time as I am a big hugger.  So, if you are around me, and get a hug while in a situation that may not seem a normal hugging time, I will probably say, “hugs are free” and give you a hug.  We could use more of the spirit the patients at dinner had that night.  They were all dying of Aids, yet happy and grateful they still had life, and were still able to share of their lives with others.

So, I appeal to you one more time, don’t stress out, but relax during this holiday season, remember we are on a journey to the celebration. Take the time to be with your family and friends, realizing most do not have the expectations we think they have about getting “stuff”, and if they do, then they need to readjust their thinking.  With respect to our children, in my opinion, we all have probably spoiled them to a point where we have done an injustice to them, not allowing them to realize everything isn’t free, and our relationships are more important than the “stuff”.  Lastly, the value of your time has no limit, so give some away today!

May God bless you on your journey in life,

Daryl Dho

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12 Days Before Christmas; A Journey to the Celebration.

Posted on December 12, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Family, Glory, Personal Happiness, Salvation | Tags: , , , , |

It’s December 14th in our house, not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.  No, wait a minute, that is another story.  But what really just happened is this; an older couple rang my door bell and as I opened the front door, the lady, carrying a wonderfully scrumptious looking batch of fudge, proceeded to walk into our home.  As she observed me in my pajama bottoms, which I call my “decompressor clothes”, because I wear them when I need to “decompress” from my day, she began to look a little bewildered.  She ask the question, “am I in the right house”?  Naturally, I replied in the only manner I could as I gazed at her fudge, “of course you are, you have the fudge, come on in.”  Then, the actuality of the situation overtook her, as she realized that this was not the house she should be standing in at this very moment.  She was a little embarrassed, for which I did what comes easy to me and made her feel comfortable by telling her about an occurrence of a similar situation that had happened to me some 15 years ago.  Then I explained to the nice couple where the house was that they should be going to, and we said Merry Christmas to each other, as they wandered off down the walkway.  It is 12 days before Christmas; and I want to take you on a journey to the celebration.

Your question might be at this time, what are we going to celebrate?  That is a good question, because at this time of year people celebrate, what we call “The Holidays”, in many different ways.  People of the Christian faith celebrate Christmas, Jewish people celebrate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem with Hanukkah or (The Festival of Lights), Muslims celebrate Muharram, and many African-Americans celebrate Kwanzaa.  There is another holiday that most people probably do not think about, for it is not in December, but the first Sunday of August each year; it is called “Friendship Day”, and it is a day set aside to commemorate what true unconditional friendship is.  I wish we could celebrate “Friendship Day” every week, then maybe people would be a little kinder to each other.  But we don’t and that is okay, for today it is only 12 days before Christmas, and I want to take you on a journey to the celebration.

But, how does everyone celebrate Christmas, and what does it signify for most people?  That is the question of the day, since it seems that we, as a society, have distanced ourselves from what the original meaning or reason for Christmas was.  At its inception, Christmas was a holiday designated by the Catholic Church, sometime in the 4th century AD coinciding with their winter festival, to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  Although the Bible does not say exactly what day Jesus was born, the Catholic Church arbitrarily picked December 25th as the day for the holiday, and we have been using that day ever since.  The first Christmas cards, as we know them, were sent in England in 1843, then began to be used in the United States in 1846.  This may have marked the beginning of what I will call the commercialism of Christmas we see today as people celebrate this religious holiday.

But originally, we were suppose to be celebrating the birth of Jesus, who came to this earth some 2000 years ago, as a child conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18-25).  Somewhere along the line the meaning changed, as people began to become more concerned with the money they could make from this holiday, greed, getting presents, giving presents, Christmas trees, lights, ornaments, family, etc.  Now I enjoy all of the special features about Christmas time mentioned above, except for the greed and the focus on the making of money part, but we should not neglect the authentic message of Christmas; that Christ came to earth as a servant and sacrifice for all of us to be able to have a path to eternal victory and a home with the Father God in heaven.  For me it is 12 days before Christmas, and I desire nothing more than to share the next 12 days with you on a journey to the celebration.

If there was a way that we could eliminate all of the commercialism that this holiday represents, focusing instead on and contemplating how this day symbolizes redemption from our unrighteousness and into a life dedicated to giving glory to the creator of the universe, how much more momentous might this holiday be for all of us as we gather with family and friends for this celebration? We get ourselves into debt from the buying of presents for everyone we know, many times purchasing items that are unnecessary and could even be considered ridiculous, in order that we can say we gave something to them and they can say that they were privileged to receive presents.  Is all this really necessary?  I don’t think so, since our participation in this commercialism puts so many of us into debt and a poor financial position; creating a future that is challenging, stressful, and unworthy of giving glory to God.

How much money is spent on Christmas each year? Well, I read one estimate at $450 billion; that’s BILLION with a “B”. I hate to throw that number around, but think about it for a minute, even in the United States, if the 105 million households only spend an average of $1500 for Christmas, that is $157.5 billion.  What if we only spent half of that on Christmas gifts, we would have an additional $78.75 billion to use elsewhere, like feeding the poor, providing drinkable water facilities in poor countries around the world, etc.  If we did that, we would still have money left over for a rainy day, and maybe we would not have to put our purchases on a credit card at 22.9% interest.  I suggest we should do it, slow down on our buying, give more money to the poor, and have some money remaining in our savings accounts.  How cool would that be?

All right, now that we know that we are spending too much money on gifts for people that do not need anything in the first place, let us focus on what we really should be celebrating here.  Yes, that is correct, we should focus on God, for isn’t this a religious holiday anyway?  Stay tuned tomorrow as we explore the road on the journey to the celebration, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, savior and light to the world.  Don’t go to the mall now, instead, read the Bible, spend some time with your family, or take a walk, all of these will help you save money.

May your journey in life be blessed,

Daryl Dho

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People Need Encouragement, Not Discouragement

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

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

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

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

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

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

May you encourage and bless many,

Daryl Dho

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Draw On Your Faith Today, Tomorrow, And Forever

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

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

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

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

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

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

May your day be blessed,

Daryl Dho

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Hard Work, It’s Good For The Soul

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

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

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

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

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

Go make your day a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Bless,

Daryl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May you all be blessed,

Daryl Dho

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