Overcome My Guilt; The Pain Of Seeking Sobriety

Posted on April 5, 2010. Filed under: Forgiveness, God, Love, Marriage, Salvation, Sobriety | Tags: , , , , , |

How many of us feel lost in our own guilt, shame, or self-doubt? I imagine there are many who feel this way, many who choose a path, which at times leads to a denial of their own feelings. Many people turn to destructive ways, including abusing prescriptions, alcohol, or illicit drugs. This numbing of our mind and body usually results in a lower feeling of self-worth, illness, broken relationships, and failure in life’s ambitions. We become separated from how God intended to live our lives, and in the end, we may suffer an emotion of guilt for how we are living our lives. As we continue on our destructive path, we find it tough to separate ourselves from a mood of guilt, and begin to feel as if we must bear this guilt on our backs forever. When we try to overcome our guilt, we may find there is pain in seeking sobriety.

As a consequence of our guilt and sin, our patterns of life habits may turn into greater abuses of our body, mind, and those around us. Because of this pattern of living, we begin to exclude those whom we care for and love, from our time and life experiences. We unfortunately have fallen into a trap of denial, concerning truth and reality, concerning the certainty that we are spiraling into a self-destructive way, all the way to the bottom. At some point in our relationships with others, we may even lash out in unnecessary anger, neglect them completely by shutting them out of our feelings, or quite possibly injure our relationships, due to mental or physical abuse.

I have been there and done that. I have fallen into the trap of self-abuse through substance abuse, of which the consequence was a strained relationship with my wife, children who were put in danger, and a feeling of guilt beyond measure. I was trapped in my sin of substance abuse, one that had taken me on a 20-year journey, one for which I did not believe there was a way out. I was not a happy man, continuously hiding away and seeking pleasure from substances, which at the end of the day, left me only feeling completely empty, and void of any hope.

When I sought help for my substance abuse, got sober, and began to adjust my life, I still was ridden with guilt, and the question became this; how would I overcome my guilt? My sins were still there, my pattern of life was adjusting, but I still had the guilt of sin. I had not discovered a remedy for how I felt about all of the sins I had committed and all of the sins and wrongs I still was doing in my life. I was still stuck in sin. Or was I?

Even though I had stopped the symptom of my behavior, as I was no longer involved in substance abuse, I still was dealing with the feeling of overwhelming guilt, the shame of how I had lived my life, the disgrace of how I had treated my wife and family. Then I discovered some good news. There is a way out of the feeling I was unnecessarily carrying around, the feeling that I would not be able to overcome my guilt. Romans 8:1-2(ESV) says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Once I became a part of life with Christ, I was set free from the bondage of sin, the guilt and shame I carried on my back was now shouldered by the Lord of the universe, Jesus Christ, who came to the world to redeem us from our sins. For that, I am eternally grateful. I am truly blessed, for now I am free, and no longer in need of a way to overcome my guilt from sin. Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

May you be guilt free and blessed in your life,

Daryl Dho

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

A Good Reason To Smile

Posted on March 9, 2010. Filed under: Forgiveness, Glory, Salvation, Worship | Tags: , , , , |

Every day or night, when each individual on the planet makes that conscious decision to put their bodies and mind into a state of sleep, they do so with hopes and dreams of the possibility that when they wake up tomorrow, the day will bring them a good reason to smile. But, as we all know, some days we wake up not feeling much like smiling.  There can be many reasons for this, such as an illness, trouble at home, work, or school, or a multitude of other explanations for our not wanting to smile, but at the end of the day, I am hoping most of us would rather smile than not.  Maybe we all just need a different approach or outlook in our lives that will give us a good reason to smile.

It all boils down to where our focus is.  Most of us have problems and issues in life, for in this sinful world, there is trouble.  Our perspective concerning all of our daily situations and occurrences will determine whether or not we will choose to smile or not.  Based on the experiences in my life, I have found that when I concentrate my whole perspective upon the things of this world, I will be let down, and in the end, probably not smile.  Some times we just need a good reason to smile.

If we take the focus off ourselves, and change it to one another and their needs, this tends to give us a good reason to smile.  If we look upon our life in a way which gives glory to the creator of the universe, we probably will have a changing perspective concerning smiling.  If we begin each day with thoughts of God, and how we may please Him in our life today, then we most likely will come up with more reasons to smile.  We can always count on what God says in the Bible as being true, for as Numbers 23:19 tells us, “God is not man, that he should lie.”

We can take comfort that God genuinely knows what is on our heart.  Psalm 44:20-21 states, “If we had forgotten the name of our God, or extended our hands to a strange god, would not God find this out?  For He knows the secrets of the heart.”  God knows our aches, our pains, and our joys.  He wants us to remember Him each moment, hour, day, week, month, and year of our life.  If we take the time to personalize our relationship with the God of the universe, we should have a good reason to smile. Meditate upon Him, talk with Him, and ask Him to give you a reason to smile.  If you know him, His Holy Spirit will descend upon you in a way which gives you a good reason to smile. Just take the time to know God, the God of the Bible, the one who knows what is on your heart, the one who wants you to be at peace with whatever situation or circumstance you are in.  Take that time today, talk to Him, reach out to Him, receive the peace of the Holy Spirit and the salvation from Jesus Christ, for when you do, you will have a good reason to smile.

May the God of the universe bless you with a heart full of peace and a good reason to smile,

Daryl Dho

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

My Most Holy God

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

A Gift From Our Creator

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Have You Called Your Mom Today?

Posted on January 17, 2010. Filed under: Communication, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Love | Tags: , , , , , |

For years, a close friend of mine told me he called his Mom every day.  She lived in another state, so he did not have the opportunity to see her very often.  According to my friend, their conversations were not that long, but were meaningful.  If you keep reading this post, you will discover why their conversations were so meaningful.  Unfortunately, his Mom passed away around Christmas, and he passed away last week from a car accident.  My friend would call in the morning, before work, and they would talk for awhile discussing what was going on in their lives.  He loved his Mom, and calling her every day was one way he showed her his love.  Of course, if you don’t call your Mom every day, that does not mean you do not love her, but it can’t hurt!  If you don’t mind, I want to you ask a question; have you called your Mom today? I understand for some of you who have lost your Mom, or do not know your Mom, this may be difficult, and for that I apologize.  But, you have others in your life you care for and love, others who you may need to call today.

I know most of us realize life is short, and the older we get the faster time seems to go by, but what are we doing to capitalize on every moment life has to offer?  Some time ago, I developed a theory as to why life seems to go by faster the older we get.  You see, if you take 1 year of your life when you are 5 years old, that 1 year is 20% of your life.  But, when you are 50 years old, 1 year is only 2% of your life span.  As we get older, a year of our life is a much smaller percentage to our overall years of life on this earth, therefore creating this idea or thought in our head that life is going by faster.  It really is not going by any faster, but seems to be going faster, due to the percentage of time we are measuring being a smaller percentage to our overall age as time goes by.  When we turn 100 years old, which I know is a long shot, then 1 year will be 1% of our total life.  So, a 5 year old does not have many life experiences to measure a year of time with, while a person 75 has 15 times as many years and occurrences in life to measure.  That is my theory.  With those thoughts, we certainly do not want to waste any of our precious and valuable time here on earth, but rather use it wisely, placing value on all of the relationships we have, whereby putting those relationships at the top our list of priorities, or “bucket list”.  Have you called your Mom today?

Since we all should understand time goes by way too fast, therefore desiring not to waste any of it, we need make sure we spend quality time with those we love and care for.  We never know when the minute, hour, or day will come in our lives when we will pass on from this life to the next.  It is imperative then, that we realize life is full of the unknown, including when our physical life will end.  Therefore, without exception, we should treat every moment, every hour and every day as if it may be the last.  Have you called your Mom today?

We should never stay angry with anyone, never go to bed after an argument with a family member or friend, never leave the house in the middle of an argument, until we resolve our dispute.  Holding a grudge or internalizing negative feelings towards others, does not serve any positive purpose.  We need to clear the air, acknowledging what wrong we have done, asking for forgiveness, and then move on.  Harboring hateful or hostile feelings towards others just puts us in an unfavorable place to be, one that can only bring misery and despair to both parties.  It is always best to put aside our pride, be the bigger person, and admitting fault, even if we are not wrong, or believe we are not wrong.  Have you called your Mom today?

Having a dispute with people we care about is not something I believe any of us delight in, but we allow our foolish pride to get in the way, therefore blurring our vision and our ability to make the proper decision about the resolution of the strife that exists between us.  Usually, these quarrels are a disagreement over something with no major importance.  Many times, we can’t even remember how they started in the first place.  Again, we are allowing our pride to take control of our life; whereby we neglect the most important part of the equation, the continuance of our relationship with the person we are in conflict with.  It is not worth existing in an environment which could be considered hostile.  Make the necessary adjustments to rectify what the problem is; then make up with the person and move on.  Life is short.  Have you called your Mom today?

This life goes by in a blink of an eye.  At the end of our lives, nothing we have will go with us, not our money, our cars, our house, our TV, none of it.  Everything we have will stay here on earth, be given to someone else, and eventually will disappear.  What is most important in this life are two things, as Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39 (ESV), “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  We must care more about our relationships in this life than the pursuit of the temporal aspects of this world which seem so enticing.  Caring for others, including our parents, our spouse, our children, and our friends, should be our priority.  Nothing else matters in the end. Have you called your Mom today?

Jesus consistently talked about how we should love one another, as he said in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”  If we care more for others than ourselves, the reward we receive in return far outweighs what we think we are losing by giving.  This attitude of giving for others carries with it a prize of fulfillment, for when we care for one another, we receive a warming spirit in our lives, an intangible gift that is more wonderful than any physical thing the world can provide.  Have you called your Mom today?

Life is short, do not waste any of it.  Work always towards the building of relationships with your family and friends.  If we put our stock in the relationships of our lives, we will leave behind a legacy that can go on forever, generation to generation, as the thoughts and memories of how we cared for others will be carried on.  If we put our stock in the tangible things of this world, we will only be remembered as long as the stuff we leave behind exists.  Beyond that time, our memories will deteriorate as did our wealth.  Spend this life with people.  Have you called your Mom today?

May God bless your life with an abundance of loving relationships,

Daryl Dho

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

True Friendships Are Rare

Posted on January 12, 2010. Filed under: Creation, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Heaven, Love, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

In the relationships of our lives we will most likely accumulate innumerable acquaintances, but at the same time will not acquire many relationships with people I would classify as true friends.  I believe as we navigate through each season of life, we meet and enjoy being around countless individuals, but true friendships are rare.

Sure, we would like to say we have true friendships in our lives, but what does true friendship really mean?  Dictionary.com indicates that a friend is a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard, or a person who gives assistance.  The longer we have been on the earth, the greater number of relationships we will develop with people along the way, giving us the opportunity of having true friends.  Unfortunately, many times life takes a sharp turn, altering our course.  At this junction, we may find the friendship we thought was developing is now a forgotten memory.  Job changes, school, finances, divorce, death, many of life’s unknowns approach us when we least expect them, putting an end to what may have become a true friendship.

In addition to those circumstances that may or may not be in our control, the attitude of so many people in our society is one of self centeredness and selfishness.  Many of us are unwilling to give beyond what is necessary to keep our relationships in a friendly mode, due to the “what’s in it for me” lifestyle we may be engaged in.  It is “status quo” to consider how are relationships are worth having assuming we receive some benefit from it.  This type of perspective towards relationships is a dangerous one, as we soon find we do not have the true friendships we thought we had.  When a time of need approaches in our lives, we find who may or may not be a true friend.  If our “need” will put someone else out in their life, including their time or treasure, then we may discover they can’t fulfill our expectations.

In my life, my family moved all over the country, especially as a child and during my teen years.  Of all the people I met as a child and teen, I can not account for any acquaintances or friendships that have endured from those relationships.  All of the hundreds of people I knew as I grew up are but a distant memory on the path of my life.  As an adult, I have been blessed with a large number of relationships and consider many of these individuals, true friends.

One of my closest friends in life, whom I met in 1988, recently passed away from a tragic automobile accident here in Gilbert, Arizona.  His name is Gary Kudela, and he was a man who cared about others, almost to a fault.  He would do anything he could for those in his sphere of influence.  My family and I loved him dearly, as he was like a brother to me.  We watched each others children be born and grow up to become adults.  We went on family vacations together, laughed together, cried together, got crazy together, and got into trouble together.  He was someone I would do anything for, as he was a man I loved and cared for deeply.

Gary was always there when you needed someone to talk to, hang out with, or lend a hand.  He was the type of man who would give you the shirt off of his back in order to satisfy a need of someone he knew.  He participated in life with many people, enjoying golf, watching sporting events, drinking coffee, eating and drinking a good beer.  He was a true friend in the rarest way, for in all my life he was one of only a few people, other than my family, whom I can say were always there for me, always offering me anything I may need when I was down.

A few years ago, Gary began to question who God was, what the Bible said, and about how he would get to heaven.  He asked me questions about Jesus, about who Jesus was, about what part Jesus played in Gary getting to heaven.  Gary said that he was a good guy, but realized that he was also guilty of many wrongs and faults, as we all are.  He knew that he was not perfect, and was in need of redemption in order to have a way to heaven.  Gary knew it was true what Romans 3:23 (ESV) says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Gary also believed what Jesus said in John 14:1 (ESV), “I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life, Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”  Soon afterwards, Gary made the decision to trust Jesus with his salvation, in turn guaranteeing his path to heaven.

In Gary’s relationship with Jesus, he found a true friendship.  He trusted he would be forgiven for all of his faults.  He knew God would take care of him, even though he was not perfect, for none of us are.  Towards the end of his life, Gary spent time developing the most important relationship, the friendship he had with the creator.  He knew that the importance of having a relationship with God and a true friendship with His son Jesus was a top priority.  I am grateful that I will see Gary when I pass from this life and onto the next with him and Jesus in Heaven.  Jesus has prepared a place for all of us, and it is His desire that we have a strong relationship with Him, while developing that relationship into becoming one considered a true friendshipTrue friendships are rare in life, but in the end, the relationship that matters most when considering whether or not it is a true friendship is the one we may or may not have with the creator of the universe.  We must have a true friendship with our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. If you do not, I suggest you stop what you are doing now, and bring close a relationship with Jesus, asking Him to forgive you for your sins, and ensuring a ticket to eternity with God in heaven. Amen. I will see you again in Heaven, Gary.

May God be your closest and truest friend,

Daryl Dho

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

The Christmas Present; Our Journey to the Celebration is Complete

Posted on December 25, 2009. Filed under: Children, Christmas, Family, Forgiveness, Righteousness, Sacrifice, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , , |

A little boy, 10 years of age and his younger sisters, ages 8 and 5, quietly tiptoed down the hallway of the two story suburban home, whispering to each other, with the oldest girl asking the boy, “are they up yet?”  The boy ignored the question as he lead the two girls down the stairs very slowly, but with purpose, because they wanted to see if Santa Claus had come the night before, bringing them presents.  They were sure there would be presents under the Christmas tree, for most certainly they had been nice this year and were never naughty.  They thought this as they were doing what their parents told them not to do before they went to bed on Christmas Eve night; they were instructed not to go down the stairs before their parents were awake.  But the those instructions did not keep them from the quest of seeing the presents.

As they approached the bottom of the stairs, the youngest girl stumbled, and squeaked out a little shriek.  This action instantly halted the other two children in their tracks.  The boy told the girl to be quiet, then asked her if she was okay.  Of course she was fine as they continued on their journey down the stairs, making a turn and entering the living room, where the Christmas Tree was standing tall and the lights were glowing as it was still dark since it was only about 6 A.M.  When they entered the room, all three children stood there, gazing at all of the presents sitting under the tree, which Santa had carefully set on the floor below the tree.  The lights glistened and reflected off the wrapping paper of the presents, as the three children were now examining to see which ones were theirs. A little chatter was heard amongst the children concerning what they thought might be in the presents, as the oldest girl said to the boy, “let’s go wake up Mom and Dad”.

So, they hurried back up the stairs, down the hallway, opened the door to their parents room, and proceeded to yell and scream, “Santa came, Santa came”, then jumping up and down on the bed.  The Mom and Dad were startled, yet not surprised, as they were expecting this to happen this chilly Christmas morning.  They had finally finished wrapping the presents about 12:15 A.M. the night before, and as it was now 6:05 A.M., they were a little tired, but in the same sense wide awake, as their children were bringing an air of excitement into the room due to their knowledge of what was downstairs underneath the tree. Before we go further, just to clarify, Santa is not real.  I hope I have not just bursted your bubble about the Santa situation, but the parents are Santa.  Yes, every year the parents have to buy, wrap and position the presents underneath the tree.  So that is that, now you know the truth about how the presents get under the tree.  The fun begins.

But what is the greatest, most spectacular and wonderful present you have ever received? Was it a bike, race car set, doll, or something else, like………..? As we conclude this Christmas series about the journey to the celebration, we have to establish what the most perfect present is, the one present that surpasses all other presents as the most memorable present of all time.  As we noted earlier, the presents do not come from Santa, there is not a mystery guy who flies around the earth in one night on a sleigh, bringing all of the children in the world toys.  Yes, the parents put the presents under the tree, and on one night in history, the Father of creation brought us the most perfect present. This present existed before the beginning, before time began as we know it. God sent to earth the baby Jesus, to be born of the virgin Mary in a manger in Bethlehem.  The Christmas present was the son of God, the savior of the world, and we would celebrate His birth forever. Our journey to the celebration is complete, for we have found the perfect present, that of our redeemer.

What a glorious night it was when Jesus was born. As humans in need of a savior, God chose to love and care for us, providing a way we could be with Him for eternity in heaven.  The Bible tells us in Romans 3:10-11 (ESV), “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.”  Then, of course we all have heard what Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”,  We all are in need of a savior, which God provided as the first Christmas present. Jesus, both God and now man, came to the earth to be with us, to walk with us, to die for us on the cross at Calvary. There is not a present, either past, present, or future that will come close to matching the grandeur and splendor of the present that God the Father sent us that one night 2000 years ago. Jesus is The Christmas Present!

I implore all of you who have read my Christmas series to spend time today reflecting about the real reason for Christmas, the real story, the real Christmas present, that of Jesus Christ, who takes away the sins of the world. When we take the time to reflect on Him who saves us from all unrighteousness, then and only then can we truly understand what a perfect gift we have received.  We are not worthy of being in the presence of God on our own accord.  We must have a mediator to pave the way for us, to intercede on our behalf, in order to be cleansed of our sins, becoming children of God, and working towards a righteousness in Christ.  The Christmas present, Jesus, was sent here for you and me to die for our sins, let us not ignore this fact on Christmas 2009.

If you know Jesus as Lord and savior, then reflect on Him now, giving thanks for the present He gave you.  If you do not know Jesus, then I pray and ask that you seek Him out now, that you confess your sins, and be cleansed by the savior of the world.  Jesus is waiting for all who do not know Him to come in repentance, seeking forgiveness and existence for eternity with God.  Jesus is the perfect Christmas present, He is the only present we need this Christmas day.  Seek Him now, He is patiently waiting for you.

May God bless you this day and every day forward.

Your friend and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, Merry Christmas to you all,

Daryl Dho

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God bless you on your journey through life,

Daryl Dho

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

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

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

« Previous Entries

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...