Please Help Pray For And Finance Africa Mission Trip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God Bless You All,

Daryl Dho

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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

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True Friendships Are Rare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God be your closest and truest friend,

Daryl Dho

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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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Joy to the World-It’s Christmas Caroling Time; A Journey to the Celebration

Posted on December 17, 2009. Filed under: Christmas, Family, Friendship | Tags: , , , |

In 1982, while I was in the Navy, aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Jouett CG-29, we stopped in Busan, South Korea during Christmas for a couple of days of liberty.  The first day we were in port I had duty, which included standing watch on the quarterdeck, (where the gangway is attached from the pier, in order for crew and quests to enter and exit the ship).  While I was standing watch, a local businessman came to visit our ship’s Captain.  As the businessman was leaving the ship, he invited my watch partner and I to go with him the next day for a tour of the city, including the plywood factory he owned, dining, and to experience their culture.  Being sailors without much money as we were, and having an opportunity to see the city with one of its significant business people seemed like a great idea, so we accepted.

The following day, the gentleman came back to the ship, took us out on the town, therefore giving us the tour he promised.  Afterwards, he asked us if we would like to join his family as they went to church for worship at a Christmas Eve service; they were Christians.  At the time, I really did not have any solid religious belief system, although I did believe in God, so we accepted their invitation.  We had a great time at the service, but the evening was not over, as their tradition dictated going Christmas caroling around their neighborhoods.  By the time we began to go caroling, it was already late, now after midnight.  Caroling at this time of night was not an issue, as this course of action was an expected part of their tradition; so we proceeded to walk through the streets of Busan, going house to house, singing Joy to the World and other Christmas carols until about 4 o’clock in the morning.  The temperature was bitter cold, and all I had to keep warm was a sports coat, which was not enough coverage since the temperature was near 30 degrees.  Yet these people were extremely cheerful as they sang Joy to the World, for it was Christmas caroling time in Busan.

It was fantastic being part of their practice of walking from house to house singing Christmas carols all night long, yet this event alone is not what really made this time special for me.  I experienced a genuine level of generosity from my newly found friends, a generosity that I was not used to seeing in people whom I had just met. This family included us as their own, making us feel like we were part of their family.  After coming back from Christmas caroling, with the time now approaching Christmas morning (yes we had been up all night as it was now about 4 o’clock am), it was time to exchange gifts.  Of course, my friend and I did not have any gifts to give, nor were we expecting to receive any.  This family decided to take some presents from their own gifts that were under the tree, and furnish us some to unwrap and enjoy, in order that we would feel like we were part of the family and not awkward in the moment.  Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with how hospitable these people were, as they shared their lives, traditions, food, gifts, and time with my friend and I.  Watching them in this way, helped me understand they were true to their faith and belief in God the creator.  Yes, as we sang Joy to the World to their neighbors, it was special.  Remembering this time makes we wonder if it’s Christmas caroling time again in our neighborhoods?

This week I have been trying to remember a time when I saw people going Christmas caroling door to door, house to house since that occasion in Korea, and I can not recall ever experiencing caroling in this way.  I have watched movies where people Christmas carol, but not live and in person; the only exception being the time in 1982.  If we were to go Christmas caroling, it should not just be for the benefit of those we are caroling for, but also should be beneficial to ourselves as we are spending time worshiping the God of the universe, the creator of all things.  I like how (Psalm 95:1-2) says, “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let us come into his presence with; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!”  When we sing praises of worship to the Lord, we are letting Him know how we appreciate Him, acknowledging His greatness, majesty and holyness.

When we sing Christmas carols for ourselves and others, we should be sure of why we are singing.  Are we singing to worship the Lord, or just to be part of the group?  If a person is not singing for the Lord, then I think that maybe this might be a time to reflect on God, and the meanings behind the songs.  In 1982, I did not have a relationship with God, but this time was a stepping stone in the long process of me coming to know Him.  The generosity of the family that I stayed with will live in my memory forever, as they were instrumental in showing me how people can care for one another, giving of themselves, regardless if they know the people they are sharing with or not.  Yes, this time of year we should be singing Joy to the world because it’s Christmas caroling time again.

What a huge blessing the singing and the unconditional sharing of a families life with another can be.  I am greatful for the time I spent in Korea in 1982, and hope that I too, can be a blessing and a beacon of hope to another in my life, through my generosity, and through my faithfulness to my God, the one who is always faithful to me, giving me purpose for living.  If it is possible, I pray that somehow. through song and our actions, we can bring Joy to the World that so desperately needs God’s love.

May your journey this year be blessed,

Daryl Dho

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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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People Need Encouragement, Not Discouragement

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

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

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

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

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

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

May you encourage and bless many,

Daryl Dho

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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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In A Blink Of An Eye, Life Has Passed Us By

Posted on August 6, 2009. Filed under: Forgiveness, Friendship, Grace, Salvation | Tags: , , , , |

One day you wake up, start crying for seemingly no reason, get a spanking on the rear end for doing nothing wrong, acquire a really big cut in your belly, and are evicted from the nice warm house you have been living in rent free for the last 9 months. Life is tough some times. Then, you do not get any good food to eat, can not go to the bathroom on your own, nor can you change your own clothes. What is going on, life seems to really be difficult for you, because basically you can not do anything for yourself. You, of course, have just been born, and are now wandering through your first days of life. Well, the next thing you know, in a blink of an eye, your life will have seemingly passed you by, and you will have just the memories stored in your brain to take with you for the remainder of your days. You can not blow this opportunity called life, You must be proactive about how we live our lives.

Yes, it is apparent the each day can not be waisted, that each moment counts for something, that each second we interact with someone measures a result in a momentous way. Since each one of these seconds are so precious, we have to consider them as such, and can not look at them in a frivolous way. We must take each moment, measure it with precision, guiding it with purpose in order that we can obtain a lifetime of positive outcomes worth remembering. Now, I am not saying that we sketch or map out our entire life or existence, but rather that we have a positive purpose in our life, one where we can make a difference in peoples lives that we come into contact with. Because when we blink our eyes, nearing the end of our life, and life seems to be passing us by, we want to look at what legacy we are leaving behind. Most of us would say that the relationships that people have with others are probably the most important part of any legacy that we could leave behind. This needs to be the focus of our purpose, and the precision of where we drive our existence.

Let us not wait until our life has passed us by, the time for action is now. If their are wounded relationships in the wake of your life, then get off the couch, bridge the gap, and begin to mend the relationship, so that memories can continue and bitterness can depart. No one wants to take heartache to the grave, nor do they want to carry the anger around with them daily on their belt or on their back, for it is a heavy burden to carry and makes us age quicker. Probably what holds most people back from forgiving other people is pride. If that is the case, I say throw the pride out the door, over the fence, and allow yourself to forgive the person, trying to begin a relationship again. Psalm 130:4 (ESV) says that when God forgives us of our sins, “But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared”, we should do the same for others, and this is the good lesson.

God gives us forgiveness, and expects us to follow His lead. How can we care for others if we consistently have bitter feelings towards them about issues that have gone unresolved. I say, let us forgive and forget. The time to move on is now. Life goes by fast, the time to develop a legacy of love and forgiveness needs to start today, not tomorrow, or the next, but now, today. As we put away our harsh feelings we might have, we can think about what Ephesians 4:31-32 says,”Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave.” God is teaching us that we definitely need to have the attitude of a caring, loving, forgiving person, one who sees others as more important than themselves. Jesus was the perfect example of this as He went to the cross. We can leave this same legacy, laying down our cross for others daily, in our lives, as we have occasions to celebrate, assisting people with their needs, and putting them before ourselves.

What a privilege it is to humble ourselves and serve others, this is how we leave a legacy, making our life worth living, so that in the end, when we gaze back at the memories, they are fond memories of days gone by ministering to the needs of those who will be remembering us. That should be our legacy, and in doing so, our life will not pass us by in a blink of an eye, but rather will continue on as a vision of others, as they remember how you did not pass them by, but took the time to engage them with your time, your talent, and your life.

Amen.

Go now and bless a life with your time,

Daryl

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A True Friend Will Always Be There When You Need Them

Posted on July 22, 2009. Filed under: Assurance, Friendship, Love, Sacrifice | Tags: , , , |

I have been on the earth for going on 49 years now, lived in 23 houses, apartments, and barracks that I can extract from my mind and count, 4 states, 14 cities, and have had way too many friends and acquaintances to be able to remember who they all were at this point in my life. I wish that I would have kept a journal of my life, but you know what they say about hindsight, 20/20. Anyway, over all those years, many of those friends, or acquaintances, if you will, I wanted to call true friends. But the question is this, what is a true friend really? I know one thing for sure, a true will always be there when you need them. I can not say that every person that I have known in my life should be classified as a friend, regardless of what I called them at the time that I knew them.

Most of us, especially as we grow up, have many people that we call, friends. My kids have a lot of people that they know that they call friends, whom they may have just met. I have to question them when they make the statement that they are their friends, even though they just met. There has to be some clarification as to what a friend is, so that we don’t arbitrarily throw the friendship phrase around to everybody we meet. Webster Dictionary defines friend as follows: a person on intimate and affectionate terms with another. Within that definition, it seems as if we would not just take anyone off the street and classify them as our friend. As I have gotten older, I have realized that a true friend will always be there when you need them.

But what does that mean, when we need them? How do we define when we need someone? Is it helping someone move from one house to another? I moved 23 times, maybe I have a lot of friends. Is it taking care of someone when there sick, helping them when they can’t perform their own chores around their house, listening to them when they need an open ear, maybe it is serving them with whatever need they might have that they can’t provide for themselves at that time. Maybe it is just being an open honest person with them, caring for them, unconditionally, without any concern for payment in return, thinking only of the needs of the friend who requires our attention at that time. Putting the needs of the friend in front of the needs of the person providing the comfort, that is all that matters. It seems that these would be qualities of a relationship that might be considered a friendship. A relationship that qualifies to be one of a true friend is willing to always be there when you need them, no matter what the cost is to themselves.

This relationship is exactly the relationship that our Lord Jesus Christ has with us, one of complete sacrifice, He gave up everything for us. He walked the longest walk, He carried the heaviest burden, and made the biggest sacrifice, all because we are the most colossal of sinners in need of redemption. A true friend will always be there when you need them the most, and as the bible tells us in Romans 3:10-11(ESV), “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.” God knew that we needed a friend to bring us salvation, that we needed help, so He sent Jesus, our friend. In Romans 5:8, the Bible tells us, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus made the sacrifice because He is our true friend, who loves us, cares for us, and wants us to be with Him in heaven.

Then again in Romans 12:9-13, we continue with the following verses, “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 we are following these words with people in our lives, and listening to what Jesus said to the disciples about loving one another, and again by following His example of complete unconditional caring for others, then I believe we will be approaching what it meant by a friend. Yes, I believe that a true friend will always be there when you need them, and Jesus is the one true friend that is ALWAYS THERE WHEN YOU NEED HIM! We can always count on Jesus to be there for us, when we may not be able to count on anyone else. In the meantime, for the rest of us, let us strive to be more like Jesus every day.

Have a great and blessed day,

Daryl

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