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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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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Marriage is a Roller Coaster Ride, So Stay Committed to the Adventure

Posted on December 30, 2009. Filed under: Adversity, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Love, Marriage, Weddings | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Life is similar to riding on a roller coaster, and marriage, being the union of two individuals, is no different.  When two people come together as one, they choose to play a role in each others story together, engaged in the ups and downs of the roller coaster ride we call life.  Since life is jam packed with the unknown, at times bearing its ugly side upon us when we are not looking, all of us should be prepared for what lurks next in our day, week, month, or year.

Most of us would like to write our own story of what will happen in life, they are called dreams.  As a child, we begin to dream about how we will spend our lives in our vocations, who we will be married to, or where we will travel.  We want to pattern our life with the things which we believe are valuable, so we attempt to plan ahead exactly how our lives will progress, and how we will take each step of our journey.  When we finally meet “Mr. or Mrs. Right”, we put together a big vision of how our lives will proceed from that point on, including all of the fairy tale aspects we have dreamed of and how perfect all of the facets of our story will be savored.  It is during this dreaming where many of us fail to realize life, including marriage, is a roller coaster ride, and we need to stay committed to the adventure.

On the 28th of December, 2009, my wife and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary.  As I reflect on the last 24 years of our lives together, with all its joys, triumphs, struggles, and mishaps, I grasp an important truth.  My life, or should I state, our lives, has not proceeded, “according to hoyle”, as the saying goes.  When I began my life as an adult, in time getting married, I had many different plans I desired to be fulfilled, many dreams of how the story of our lives would be written.  Then we began making choices, which at the time we believed were in accordance with our plans, to bring us into our reality of how we could accomplish our dreams.  Many of our plans resulted in failure, or were abandoned.  But there is one aspect of my life that is a huge blessing to me and continues to be successful; my marriage.  It is still vital and wonderful, as my wife and I believe in the commitment of marriage; “til death do us part”, as the wedding vows stated.  I acknowledged many years ago the fact that marriage is a roller coaster ride, so I decided to stay committed to the adventure.

There are no guarantees in life, and we are not promised wealth, fame, or love.  When we are fortunate to have accomplished any of our dreams, we may begin to think we have “made it”.  But, we certainly can all attest to the fact that on the roller coaster ride we call life, what goes up, at some point, must come down.  It’s how we deal with life when we have these struggles that I believe makes a difference in our happiness.  Most people can cope with life when things are going their way, but how do we manage the inevitable difficulties and obstacles we are faced with at some point during our adventure?  How we choose to engage in these activities, which can be very challenging and difficult, is critical to our happiness.  Marriage, being a part of many peoples lives, is a roller coaster ride, so stay committed to the adventure.

Unfortunately, when many married couples find themselves in a situation that doesn’t go along with what they believe is their dream life, then they want to bail out.  At times, all of us have troubles, but many do not want to acknowledge this, because it doesn’t fit into our dreams and plan of life.  So, for many married couples, divorce happens.  During the last 24 years of my adventure with my wife, we have had many ups and downs, joys and sorrows, accomplished dreams and had failure.  But, at the end of the day, I still have her by my side, because we are committed to each other, to our marriage, and to the love we share in our family.  When I married my wife 24 years ago, I married my best friend, not someone who is disposable.  She stands by me, and I by her during every day of our lives, without condition.  I trust, and give trust, I forgive and am forgiven, I love, and am loved, and this is how we make it through every day of our adventure.

In the Bible, Genesis 2:24 (ESV) states, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”  This sacred union is one that should not be taken lightly, but I feel many do.  It becomes convenient for many in our society to throw their marriage into “the muck” when dealt an unfavorable hand, for they have lost the ideal of the commitment made on their wedding day.  Many choose to forget the vows they made, neglecting to continue the lifelong commitment.  Matthew 19:6 talks about our marriage commitment as it says, “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”  If we do not seriously acknowledge that commitment, as well as the fact that marriage is suppose to be a sacred union designated by God, then I believe we will struggle when an obstacle comes in our path.

I enjoy my life and my wife, as she has given me a lifelong commitment of caring, forgiveness, love, and togetherness.  I believe that is what we all want, someone to share life with.  No one wants to be alone, for life is easier when we have a partner.  It is all the more better when that person is our best friend, the one who will do anything for us, even to the death.  My encouragement to those who may be struggling with your marriage is this; remember what you were thinking about when you first got married, and go back there.  Instill in your marriage trust, forgiveness, and love, in order that you will once again recognize the commitment to each other you made in the beginning.  Life and marriage is a roller coaster ride, so stay committed to the adventure.

May your journey through the adventure of life be blessed,

Daryl Dho

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Never Give Up, and Quitting Is Not An Option!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May you all have a blessed day,

Daryl Dho

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Facebook, The Silent Prayer Warrior

Posted on September 1, 2009. Filed under: Adversity | Tags: , |

Recently, as I was traveling through the most recent status updates of my friends on Facebook, I came across one where a person had been facing some personal health challenges. It brought tears to my eyes as I read it, and I was instantly compelled to pray for this person. They did not ask to be prayed for, nor did they seek any consoling at all actually, they were just letting everyone know in their network what was going on in their life. In the process, they probably felt some comfort by letting people know about their situation, but did not ask for assistance. I just took it upon myself to seek God out for some prayer assistance, because in this case Facebook had become the silent prayer warrior.

There are many times though, that I find others who are using Facebook as a tool to network for prayer. More frequently, people are using their Facebook rather than email or phone calls in order to let others know about prayer needs or crisis situations. One of the things that I think is great about Facebook is how you have the feeling as if you are really with the person when they are writing their update, while everyone else is a part of it also. When it comes to prayer requests, anybody in the network who sees the update can become involved in the prayer request, rather than just those who may be thought of to be called or emailed. You see, Facebook is the silent prayer warrior.

When a request goes out, all in the network see it, then silently the masses are at work praying for God to take care of the need that relevant to that person. In the case of the person who did not ask to be prayed for, but still had a need, they were prayed for because of the network and a friend on the network who cares. But of course God does hear our prayers, even though the other person does not know they were prayed for, and my prayer is that they will get better and have a healthier life soon. All of this because Facebook is the silent prayer warrior.

The only way that people would know of prayer requests in the past, would be if the prayer warrior team at church got on the phone or email and started calling everyone on the list. Then the team would probably have to leave some messages, maybe get in touch with some, and pray (ironic) that they got the emails or messages in order to pray for the person that needed the prayer. Wow, that was a mouthful. That can and still is being done, but through Facebook, I am seeing people get the word out a lot more efficiently and quicker, therefore talking to God about the situation at hand in a far more expeditious way than the old fashion ways of the past, which is only like 6 months ago now! Soon to be a greater part of this networking prayer solution is Twitter. Yes, as everyone is switching over to these networking sights, it is the way of the future. We might as well join in. So, when you got a prayer request, use the quickest way to network to you prayer team. It sure seems as if Facebook is the silent prayer warrior to me.

The good news is that we want to be praying for each other more anyway, and with the accessibility of these sites, maybe we can get more people involved in prayer. God wants us to pray all the time. Ephesian 6:18 (ESV) instructs in this way, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” and we should be sure to listen to this verse making it part of our lives. Praying for others, seeking God out in all circumstances, is something that we all need to do. I know that I do not pray enough, and need to continue to petition to God for my needs and the needs of others more often. I need to take the time to hang out with God, talk with Him, one on one, letting Him know more of what is going on in my life and the lives of others around me.

When we pray, it needs to come from the heart, not just a quick passing thing that we are doing, just to get by. We need to earnestly seek God out, letting Him know what our needs and the needs of others are. We can not hold back, we should let it all out, God awaits a true and honest relationship, one from which we are broken, where we can be brought back up, for He is there to carry us if need be. In Hebrews 5:7, we read about how Jesus prayed, about how honest He was in His prayers, “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” Jesus held nothing back when He prayed, and He is God. As the supreme example of how to pray, let us follow Him, let us earnestly seek God’s attention when we pray, let us let God know what is on our hearts, so that He can give us the assistance and comfort that we need.

So, let us rally the troops on Facebook, Twitter, email, the phone, or whatever else we need to do, and get more people praying for our needs. The Master did it so well, leading by example of how to process our prayers, all we need to do is go and talk to God. Gather your friends, go ahead use Facebook, the silent prayer warrior.

May your day be blessed,

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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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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My Heart Aches For Those In Pain

Posted on August 1, 2009. Filed under: Adversity, Love | Tags: , , , |

As a little boy, I had this sense of caring for others inside of me, stirring my heart, but just could not seem to get out. I do not think that I ever even told anyone about some of the things that I thought back then. I remember how it impacted my heart when people would share their negative prejudice views publicly, and how my insides would hurt for the people that were prejudiced against. I am deeply affected when I think about what some will do and say to other people just because of their race, creed, or other aspect of the person that they have a prejudice against. My heart aches for those in pain, and whom suffer in this world.

These prejudices are just the beginning, there are people all over the world taking advantage of others, exploiting them for their own personal gain. It is horrible to imagine many of the injustices that go on in the world today, and that so many people take pleasure in hurting others for their own advancement or benefit. When I deliberate about these injustices, I have to wonder if the scoundrels perpetrating them feel anything inside, do they acknowledge or feel any remorse while they are causing damage or pain to others, such as sex traffickers, child abuse, spousal abuse, prejudicing people because of their race, or any of the multitudes of wrongs against people going on in the world today? As my mind is stirred by the thoughts of those receiving these infringements to their happiness and on their lives, my heart begins to ache in a big way for those in pain, and quite honestly, at times, it makes me cry.

How can someone want to purposely hurt another human being, that I can not understand. I know that at times we all have anger inside, certainly saying and doing things that we regret the moment we do them; but how does someone premeditate some of the outrageously detestable crimes against another persons life and soul? When I say or do something that hurts someone else, I usually feel bad the second I do it, and almost immediately want to apologize; but we are discussing an entirely different level here, with complete hate in thought and provocation in order to perform many of the injustices that these people do. We have to pray that they stop, interact with those we can, trying to make attempts to alleviate problems when possible, and if we see prejudices or injustices happening and they are preventable, we should not just allow them to continue, but speak out against them, putting an end to the heart ache of the individual receiving the pain.

As a child, I did not speak out against the prejudices I saw going on around me, and there were a lot, as I grew up in the 1960’s and 70’s. I used to just keep quiet to myself, not understanding why people had to feel that way about others of another race, and it really bothered me. I saw it happening both ways, as there were times when I was prejudiced against because of my race. We would go to games in high school, and get things thrown at our bus, and I always felt bad for all of us, on both sides, because this was not how God had intended things to be. God loves us all the same. God aches for all of us in pain also, as Jesus did while dying on the cross, He stretched His arms out wide, taking on the sins of the world, and in that last gasp of breath absorbed the pain and suffering of all our sins, past, present and future. His heart must ache for those in pain, for why would He have done what He did, if not because of His love for us.

Yes, God loves us in a way that maybe we do not understand at times, but we should try, His love is everlasting and one that can overcome all of the pain that is in the world. Psalm 86:15 (ESV) tells us, “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” This should give us some comfort when thinking about some of the hate that goes on in the world today. We need to spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus to as many people as we can, loving and caring for people, in hopes that what is going on will some day stop.

If my heart aches for those in pain, and yours does too, then together with others, we can begin to make a difference in a world that needs to know that there is people who care, and love them. When we meet people in need, we should help them, for they may never have experienced anyone who was generous before, we do not know. God does not share prejudice at all, he loves all equally, wanting us to have the same attitude and value towards others as Romans 12:9-13 says, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”

If more of us are following what this passage speaks of, then we should be able to slowly overcome many of the tragedies that are occurring in the world today. As we seek out injustice, let us make a difference in any way we can, take a stand against evil, stamping it out in our generation. As my heart aches for those in pain, my prayer is that yours will too, as we can pray together for, joining in where we can, in an attempt to aid those in need. Everywhere we can see people in need, we should try to be there for them, it may be in your work place, at home, abroad, whatever God puts on your heart. Pray that God will direct you in a way that you can be a positive influence in another persons life, whether it be tangible, spiritual, or relational, just pray for the opportunities, and He will show you where He wants your influence. If your heart aches like mine for others, pray and make a difference today.

Be blessed,

Daryl Dho

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We Can Take Any Punch The World Can Throw At Us!

Posted on July 28, 2009. Filed under: Adversity, Faith, Heaven, Salvation | Tags: , , , |

It is a tough world out there; that no one can deny. But, that fact of the matter is that we have to come to the realization that there are forces waging a war against us all of the time. The world is an enormous place with nearly 7 billion people constantly interfacing with their own ideas and sins all at the same time. Naturally this creates issues within itself, as some people are going to do things that may be wrong or sinful, while still others are accepting the sinful action of the first. The key is knowing that we can take any punch the world can throw at us!

Then there is the spiritual warfare going on against those who are attempting to do Gods work, to be faithful to the call, steadfast in their lives for the kingdom of heaven, all to the chagrin of the evil one. So the evil one plots and plans against us, in order to further his plan and to bring us down, leading us into sin or negative actions. People try their best to lead lives that are good, but as we know, we are all sinners, and the evil one uses his plans to further make us feel as though we are not worthy for the kingdom of heaven. The evil one is wrong, we are all worthy, and we will not let him bring us down, because we can take any punch that the evil one and the world can throw at us!

The Lord Jesus does not want this for us, as He has other plans. 1 John 5:1 (ESV) states, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.” This passage is a reminder of to us that if we believe than we have faith, and faith is a key element in our ability to overcoming the world. In 1 John 5:4-5 we are taught the following, “everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

How wonderful it is when we think that when we have faith in the Son of God, Jesus that we can overcome the world. Nothing that the world can throw at us will knock us down, and if it does, it is only temporary. We can get all worked up about what is going on in our lives here on earth, but these things do not count but for a blink of an eye in eternity. Our jobs, the clothes we are wearing, cars, who really cares, because does it really matter? What counts is our relationship with our heavenly Father, and those around us that we need to guide and direct in a way so that they may come to know of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 1:3). The good news is that God gave us a blessing in His son, as 1 John 5:11-12 says, “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

We can know this; there is nothing that we can’t overcome in the world as long as we stay steadfast in our faith in our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. We can overcome the world through Him. We can take any punch that this world throws at us, because we have the Lord at our side. That is the message today, we need to have faith in Him, Jesus is our guide to overcoming adversity and sin in this life.

Have an awesome and blessed day,

Daryl

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