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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YES, YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO!

Posted on November 20, 2009. Filed under: Assurance, Faith, Forgiveness, Glory, Grace, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , |

I think Bonnie is trying to smash the cake into my face.

I take pleasure in allowing my taste buds to be massaged by a delicious piece of cake, especially chocolate with whipped butter frosting. As my wife and I prepare to celebrate our 24 wedding anniversary next month, I am excited and energized about the prospect of having a piece of scrumptious cake as we celebrate our union together.  I know that may seem a little silly, making a big deal out of having a piece of cake, but our society says that we can’t have our cake and eat it too.  I got to tell you that this is not true, because I am convinced that in life YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO!

When we got married almost 24 years ago, it was during the Christmas season, and we had a beautifully decorated medium size wedding that was attended by family and friends.  We were blessed with catered food that I suppose was fantastic. although I would not know since I only gazed at and smelled the aroma of the wonderful display, not able to eat any due to all of the attendees wanting to congratulate us prior to being escorted away in a limousine for our honeymoon. Our wedding included this incredible cake too, complete with multiple levels and a top all of its own that nobody ate from; you know, the type with the plastic bride and groom on top.

We fed a small amount of the cake to each other, believe it or not without smashing it into our faces, then saved the top level for a future anniversary, at which time we would eat the rest of our cake. We had a predicament though, we never wanted to really eat the cake because we didn’t want to see our wedding day memory disappear. So, we kept it in the freezer thinking that maybe we could have our cake and eat it too. The problem with this plan is most people would say that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. But we saved the cake for almost 24 years now, that is until today.  You see, we noticed that our freezer shrunk and we now needed the room. No, we didn’t eat it, can you imagine eating a 24 year old cake?  What we did was, believe it or not, throw it in the trash!  Yes, all those memories, now gone!  Bummer.

At first, I really did not want to throw it in the trash, as it felt like I was throwing a part of my life away. As we took pictures of ourselves gazing at the cake, memories of those blissful 24 years of our life and the day we got married passed through my head. At this point I said to my wife that although the cake would fade away, my love for her would last forever. I know that may be a little mushy, non unlike the frosting on the cake, but its the truth, and we both realize how fortunate we are. Although we would not be able to look at our broken down box filled with stale, freezer burned cake anymore, the marriage that we have built over a lifetime extends itself due to a loving and caring relationship. We realize that as material things in our life disappear and dissipate with time, our love is eternal. You see I believe that YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO!

A great many people believe that our time on earth is all there is to life, that when we die there is nothing else.  But who we are, humans made in the image of God, does not cease to exist at the end of this physical life.  God created us so that we could be with Him forever, but unfortunately, as sinners, we are unable to coexist with a Holy God.  We need to be redeemed in order to be with God, who is perfect in His being and love for us.  After all, while we were still sinners, God sent His only begotten son to save us from ourselves (Rom 5:8), from our sin, from our unrighteousness.

If you look at this life as a piece of cake, thinking that the cake is finite and will someday disappear, then you will have the view that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  You will think this way because you believe that when the day comes for you to die, that so will all of your existence.  But, on the other hand, if you understand and believe that God created us in His image (Gen 1:26) for the purpose of giving all the glory to Him in everything we do (1 Cor 10:31), then you should take comfort in knowing that you can have your cake and eat it too.

God desires for us to be with Him eternally, so that we can glorify His name in paradise.  But we are sinners by nature, imperfect and unworthy of being in His presence, due to our polluting of the image that God made as in.  Being born into sin since the fall of Adam, we are like a piece of cake that has gotten freezer burned and disintegrates.  But you ask how can we have our cake and eat it too, how can we, as sinners, exist with a Holy God forever?  It’s not too difficult to obtain this eternal existence with God, since He does not want us to suffer the anguish and torment of being eternally separated from him, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt 13:41-42).  God wants us to have a relationship with Him whereby we can seek out forgiveness and salvation by His grace and through our faith (Eph 2:8).

The beauty of God’s plan is how we can be sinners by nature and at some point conforming to the world, yet through our acceptance of Jesus as Lord and savior be transformed by the renewing of our minds, discerning what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).  This my friends, is how WE CAN HAVE Our Cake and EAT IT TOO! You see, although we are unworthy to be in the presence of God due to our sinful and unrighteous nature and behavior, we are loved by God in a way that He provides a way out, a way to His kingdom, a way to change who we are.  Romans 8:10 (ESV) tells us, “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”  Although we are dead in our sins, we are redeemed into righteousness because of Christ.  This is the parallel between the cake and our lives.  We still can live eternally with God, through our acceptance by faith of Christ as our savior, even though we are still sinners.  This is where YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO! You can be unworthy, yet worthy of eternity with God, you can have it both ways.

All you need is the right recipe, and that recipe is Jesus Christ, who came into the world to show us how to love one another and for the redemption of sins. YES, YOU CAN HAVE Your Cake and EAT IT TOO! Just grab a piece of the cake of salvation from Jesus, and enjoy it for eternity.

May you all be blessed in life with the eternal cake of salvation.  Go ahead, grab a slice, you will LOVE IT.

Daryl Dho

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