Witnessing A Random Act of Kindness; A Journey to the Celebration Continues

Posted on December 13, 2009. Filed under: Children, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Heaven, Sacrifice, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Well, did you do it, did you go to the mall instead of saving some money?  Hopefully not, but if you did, and you were trying to control the urge to spend, then maybe you spent a little less than you could have.  Today is only 11 days before Christmas, and the  journey to the celebration continues; thanks for coming aboard. I was deliberating about an attempt to find someone doing a random act of kindness prior to my blogging today.  Yes, I spent the last 24 hours of my life observing what was going on around me, and as I wandered through my day, I had high hopes of seeing someone doing a random act of kindness.  I could have completed some random act myself, that would be easy, but I wanted to discover someone else doing it, without them knowing I was watching them.

Maybe you are wondering what someone completing a random act of kindness would consist of?  We might consider someone who is sacrificing something of their own, like their time, treasure, or a talent in order to assist someone, either on a whim or without any initial thoughts of being randomly kind.  We should also consider it a blessing to another person when we take a course of action whereby that other person receives the benefit from our unwarranted or what society might say is an unnecessary act.  It is all about caring more about others than ourselves, putting their needs first before our own.

I love this next part, and believe me, it is huge. I was totally amazed and astounded about what I witnessed and heard at church today, when I discovered 2 ways people had rendered what I consider random acts of kindness.  First, there is a chief of a somewhat prosperous village in Africa who has taught the villagers how to grow crops and take care of themselves in a far better way than they were used to.  Another village, about 20 miles away, is in desperate need of the same knowledge that this particular chief has acquired.  Every day, for quite some time now he has traveled by bicycle to teach the people of the other village how to perform the same tasks that his village is doing.  The 5th & 6th graders at our church heard about this story, how the chief traveled by bicycle 20 miles each day, and decided that they wanted to raise money in order to buy him a motorcycle to travel with, rather than his bicycle.  The 5th & 6th grade Director took the week to think about some ways that his students could raise money for the Chief’s motorcycle.  When he went back to church this past week, the 5th & 6th grade students gave the Director a pile of money they had raised through selfless acts such as selling some of their personal belongings and other practical ideas, all without the aid of any formal plans.  It was not necessary for him to be involved more than use the money to obtain the motorcycle and support the chief.  The children did not need to be told what to do, they saw a need, and used their hearts, minds, and resources to raise the money necessary to accomplish their goal.  What an awesome random act of kindness for someone they have never met.  The journey to the celebration continues.

The other random act of kindness that I found today at church came from twin sisters here in Mesa that were having their 16th birthday party.  I have known these 2 girls for about 5 years, and what they did for others does not surprise me, as I have always found them to be the types of individuals that care for people.  Normally, when 15-16 year old girls have a birthday party, their desire is to have clothes, music, makeup, and other similar personal items as birthday presents, but not these 2 girls.  They are already involved in raising money for water wells to be dug and built in Africa, and now they have taken it to the next level.  They asked all of the girls who were in attendance to bring money rather than gifts, but not so they could go and buy themselves presents.  These 2 twin 16 year olds chose to be selfless, as they decided to give whatever money their friends gave them as a gift to an organization which is digging and building water wells for poor people in Africa.  Their act was random, incredible, and awe-inspiring.  In case you are interested, here is the web address for the charity that provides for these wells: http://www.charitywater.org/. Yes, I am thrilled that I heard about these 2 random acts of kindness, now let us continue our journey to the celebration.

You know, although it was not random, considering that it was planned from the beginning, one of the most courageous and wonderful acts of kindness known to man was that of a man named Jesus.  Jesus left His seat in heaven so that He could come to earth as a man, allowing Himself to be beaten, tortured, and hung on a cross to die.  He was ridiculed, made fun of, spit on, and said to be a criminal and a blasphemer, although He was in fact God.  Most of us have read or heard what John 3:16 says, but here it is anyway, along with verse 17; “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”  God’s desire is that all humans could be with Him in heaven for eternity, so He sent His son, Jesus, to do that act of kindness through His sacrifice on the cross.  As an atonement for our sins, Jesus took the punishment, without hesitation, for He loved us so much.  All we must do is ask for forgiveness, He did the rest, including being born as a human.

I am grateful when I think about the fact that Jesus, the second person of the trinity of God, temporarily gave up His throne in heaven to do the will of the Father God, so that you and I could be with Him in heaven for eternity.  His desire was to come to earth, as a man, and take the punishment for our sins.  He absorbed the punishment for all of our sins, past, present, and future, so that we could live in harmony with Him forever.  At the moment He died, taking on the weight of our sins, it is believed that he was separated from His fellowship with God.  This act of kindness towards all of us undeserving humans was selfless, yet necessary as an atonement for our sins.  Because Jesus, who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and followed the will of God the Father as He states in (Matt 26:39), “not as I will, but as you will”, we are sanctified through His death, and through His blood.  We are fortunate to have a loving God, willing to come to earth in human form, taking on the sins of the world.  This Christmas season is about celebrating the birth of Jesus, God who came as a man to earth for all of us.

Jesus gave us the most significant act of kindness known to man when He came to be born as a human, then sacrificing His life on the cross.  Tomorrow, the journey to the celebration continues. Please think of ways to provide acts of kindness to those you may come in contact with, so that our world can be a better place for all.  See you tomorrow.

May your journey in life be blessed,

Daryl Dho

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The “Thanks” from the “Giving”

Posted on November 26, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Family, Grace, Heaven, Sacrifice, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , |

I get all charged up this time of year, you know, for the “Holidays” as we call them in our culture.  You have Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, all within about 5 weeks of each other, all occasions when family and friends gather together to celebrate their beliefs and traditions.  As I pondered about Thanksgiving this week, I began to think about what the holiday symbolizes and how people choose to commemorate it.  Most of us take this time each year to give thanks for our family, friends, and what we have been blessed with, or possibly working in a shelter or food kitchen, wanting to share their time with those who are less fortunate.  And of course, many would say that Thanksgiving can’t go on without enjoying the football games.

As I thought about it, I began to ease into wonderment concerning why we spend so much of our time during this holiday giving thanks.  Naturally, I believe we should be grateful for all that we have been given, but maybe there is another perspective that we can view this holiday from.  Possibly, some of our thoughts about this entire holiday tradition should not be about ourselves and how grateful we are, but increasingly ab0ut living our lives so that others will exercise a bestowing of thanks for what they have received from us and the way we share and sacrifice for one another not just on a holiday, but every day.

Maybe we can make this holiday not just a once a year celebration for what we are grateful for, but rather a time when we participate in recognizing how we need to be engaged in serving one another each day and all year long.  In a society that shows itself to care mostly about personal gratification and the fulfillment of our own wants and desires, I believe that we should assemble to share in each others lives in a way that we become more involved giving to others before we visualize and take a grasp of our own considerations.

As we view history, do we look up to our heroes for greatness in what they have done for themselves, or for how the distinction of their heroism merits applause due to it’s effect on someone other than themselves or society as a whole?  I am guessing if I took a poll, the populous would convey they admire their heroes for what they have done for others, for society, or for the sacrifice they may have made to be recognized as a hero, not by what they have achieved for themselves.  As a culture, we need to change our outlook on life, we should not be continuously burdened with our own wants, desires, and needs, instead seeking to be a hero for those around us by giving and sacrificing of our own time, treasure, and talents.  If we do more of this in our everyday lives, 365 days a year, then maybe, just maybe, we will find people expressing “Thanks” from the “Giving”.

Those on the receiving end of the adjustment in lifestyle from self to one that presents an outward expression of caring will in turn render thanks from our giving. When we sacrifice and give of ourselves, this gives us an opportunity to be grateful and thankful, because we will have a greater sense of accomplishment and distinct appreciativeness from our giving.  Our thankfulness will come from giving not receiving.  Think about how a reciprocal action like this could benefit everyone and how we could have a greater cooperation among people.  I realize I am being idealistic, but I truly feel compassion for others and desire to see change in our society; a change that promotes community not individualism.

If we were to participate in a quest to give of ourselves, our time, our treasure and our talents in our daily walk on this marvelous God created earth that we live on, putting the needs of the many before our own, then quite possibly we may begin to see a change worldwide for the good of all.  But wait, we have already experienced this in action; this type of life was lived out in the person of Jesus Christ.  Yes, Jesus was the ideal example of living a life that emulates perfection and how we should love and care for others, unconditionally and sacrificially.

In Mark 12:28 (ESV), the Bible says, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus then answered 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.”  Loving your neighbor as yourself, well that does not always come easy, but we need to recognize that if the God of the universe establishes the criteria for us to live by, then we should follow His instructions.  It sounds easy, but takes work and a sincere appetite of caring and a passion for people.  This has to come from the heart, from our inner being, since fulfilling this commandment takes us away from our own fleshly requirements and urgencies.  But, if we seek a personal interest in the well being of others, giving of ourselves first, then we will become the recipients of the thanks from the giving!

Jesus took on the most significant sacrifice for others, He came to earth as a man, suffered and died while being nailed to a cross, absorbing the responsibility for all the sins of those who ask and receive His path of forgiveness.  Through His unconditional sacrifice for all of us, He showed how we should live our lives, caring and loving one another, as He commanded us in John 15:12.  Then verse 13 further explains to what level we should care for others when He states, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”  There is not greater reward we can receive then the gratitude from someone we have benefitted through our generosity.  If God can come to this world, suffer as He did, in order that you and I can live eternally in heaven with that same creator, then we certainly can pay it forward to those in whom we come in contact with.  We can seek others needs before our own, as Jesus did for us.

Many people around the world give thanks to Jesus for giving of Himself for their sins and are grateful for the eternal opportunity they now have to be with the creator, in turn rendering thanks from His giving. I must believe that the joy Jesus receives each and every time someone knocks on His door, whereby receiving eternal salvation from His grace, certainly outweighs the sacrifice He made for our atonement.  He has joy in His sacrifice for us!  We all can receive similar joy from our sacrifices for those in our lives that we can love as ourselves.  I say take the plunge, put others before yourself, giving and sacrificing for those around you, then be prepared to receive the bounty of blessing you will receive from those same people when you are granted the “Thanks” for the “Giving”!

This is my Happy Thanksgiving proclamation to you all.  So, go out, spread your caring, concern and love to others in the world and receive the “Thanks for the “Giving”. Amen

May you all be eternally blessed,

Daryl Dho

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