The Christmas Song-Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire; A Journey to the Celebration

Posted on December 19, 2009. Filed under: Children, Family, Salvation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

“The Christmas Song”, a song written in 1944 by Mel Torme and Bob Wells is an old Christmas standby that is more commonly known as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”.  I guessing that most of you reading this blog has heard this song at some point in their life, probably know the words, and are most familiar with the full orchestra rendition recorded in 1961 by Nat King Cole, although he originally recorded the song in 1946.  The song is a traditional part of many peoples Christmas, and whether you are one or 92, I can not imagine anyone not liking it, as it just seems to capture your heart through the lyrics and the melody of the this classic chorus.  Yes, “The Christmas Song” is one of those traditions that makes you feel like searching for some “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”, then bundle up while you watch the snow falling out your living room window, and drink hot chocolate with your loved ones or friends. In case you have forgotten the lyrics to the song, here they are for your enjoyment.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping on your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know that Santa’s on his way;
He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.
And every mother’s child is going to spy,
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.

And so I’m offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although its been said many times, many ways,
A very Merry Christmas to you

Traditions play a big role in our lives during this Christmas holiday season.  As we grow up, our parents instill in us traditions, many times the same practices they learned as children.  Those traditions that we acquired as children are then passed on to our children, although maybe with some modifications.  But, people usually will live and celebrate similarly to how they did when they were children, that is how traditions continue on from generation to generation.  The season of the year from Thanksgiving to New Years is full of traditions in most families as a result of their upbringing, but over time these traditions may change as life itself may dictate change.  I believe it can be a blessing to learn how other people, or even other cultures celebrate and live out the traditions in their lives.  Even if you have never heard “The Christmas Song”, or you have never eaten “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”, my hope is that curiosity for something new in your life will spawn an inspiration for trying new things, not being so stuck in your old traditions that you might miss something new and wonderful happening.

Curiosity strikes me as to how many readers today have ever experienced and eaten actual chestnuts roasting on an open fire? If you have please, comment in this blog so that others can participate, in what many have not, an age old tradition of chestnuts roasting on an open fire.  My mother once told me that while she was growing up in New York City, you could buy them from street vendors.  For me, I had only heard about getting chestnuts roasted on an open fire to eat from street vendors, until this one moment in my life, when I was pleasantly surprised to find and experience the taste of chestnuts.  It was in February 1983, I was in Yokosuka, Japan when I came across a vendor selling chestnuts roasting on an open fire.  Well, of course I had to try them, since I had only heard about them in the song.  They were very tasty, as we included something warm to drink while we ate the chestnuts.  Another aspect of the memory was the bitter cold on this February night in Yokosuka, so we warmed ourselves next to the fire pit the man was using to cook the chestnuts, thus adding to our experience.

But, this blog is not just about chestnuts roasting on an open fire, but rather a discussion to better understand we all live by and enjoy our traditions, although they may change during our life.  One tradition that changed for me was the tradition of understanding why I should be celebrating during the Christmas season.  When I was younger, I did not realize that we were actually having a birthday party, a birthday party for the creator of the universe.  I always thought it was a holiday to gather together with family and friends to eat, exchange gifts and watch football, which I totally enjoy.  Just like most of you, gathering with people we care for and love, sharing gifts with each other when possible, and sharing a meal together is something I always have and always will cherish.  But as I got older, having children of my own, I enjoyed watching their eyes light up when they opened their presents.  In my mid 30’s, my outlook on Christmas changed as I realized that we were having a birthday party for Jesus.

If celebrating Christmas as a birthday party for the Lord Jesus Christ is not part of your tradition, due to your belief system or understanding of what Christmas is to you, then I encourage you to get a Bible and read through the accounts of Jesus’ life in one of the Gospels, either Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.  Make the decision for yourself if this is a tradition you should change, but I encourage you to think seriously about what the Bible says to us concerning our need for a savior in order to be redeemed and to spend eternity with God the Father when we leave this earth.  But, so you can read about it now, I am including the text from Matthew 1:18-21 (ESV);

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

I know that at times in our life, especially when we get older, it is difficult to change our traditions, because they are what we know, we are comfortable with them, and most of us do not like change.  You may even believe in Jesus, but do not think about Him much, even during Christmas.  My recommendation is for you to evaluate what you believe, and begin to look at things from an eternal and heavenly perspective.  Jesus came to this world 2000 plus years ago to save us, now let us celebrate His birthday in style.  Spend time between now and Christmas day thinking about why you celebrate Christmas, who is this day really for, and go enjoy “The Christmas Song” too.  If you know I can find chestnuts roasting on an open fire here in the Phoenix area, please email me and let me know where, I want to start “a new tradition”.

May God bless you and may you enjoy your traditions this holiday season,

Daryl Dho

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Here For You

Posted on May 29, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Personal Happiness | Tags: , , |

A man comes in today to the store and asks me why the pharmacy is in the back corner of the store? He further states that when people are sick, they don’t want to have to walk all that way to have to get their medicine. Well, being the way I am, usually positive, and always looking for a favorable spin on things, I tell him that the company wants the customer to have the opportunity to find other merchandise to buy, but they also have me at the front of the store to help people feel a little better. Because I have a way of talking to people and taking their minds off of the negative and steering them to the good, they can quickly go from feeling pessimistic about their situation to having optimism or feeling like they are cared for. So I tell him that the good news is that the customers get the pleasure of seeing me and hanging out with me and in turn I will do my best to help them feel better.

God put us on this earth to care for each other, and we need to do more of that. I try to do practice on a daily basis where I work and in my personal life. I fail at times, but if I think about it and practice it, while trying to focus on God, and others first, before myself, then it is only natural that I will put others before myself more often. In doing so, I receive blessings beyond measure. We can not count the gain we will receive from helping others who are in need. Sometimes it is just a kind word to someone who has not heard one in a while.

I try to make a calculated effort in my steps and all of my daily dealings, while attempting to be the type of person who shows kindness to others and being a good role model for my family, work associates, and friends. This takes bold courage at times, while living in a world that thinks we should not care about others, and only look out for number one. But it is worth the sacrifice of your pride and in the end we win.

Helping someone smile is fun and exciting. Changing a frown to a smile is glorious. There is no greater joy than watching someone who is down and out give thanks for being genuinely, unconditionally cared for. We need more of that in our world, then it will be a better place.

God bless.

Daryl

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It’s Hot Out, And I Need Some Ice

Posted on May 28, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Personal Happiness | Tags: , , , |

For some reason, many people think that the world should cave to their every desire and need. They think that everything should go their way all of the time and in every situation. People think that things should just line up in some perfect order for them, so that they can run through life and cherry pick whatever they want out of life for their own use. Well, guess what, it’s not happening, not for anyone. Bernie Madoff tried it, a lot of people try it, but it still does not matter, we still have to answer to someone somewhere who is the boss. And if we think that we get to bring the stuff we gather on earth with us into eternity, well, then think again.

And at the end of the day, we are not going to take any of the stuff that we gather during our life with us anyway to the next phase of existence past this mortal one, so why get so worked up over this temporal state that we are in. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:19-20, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

I spent time talking to some young boys today about stealing and why they should not steal, and what other better things they could be doing with their lives other than stealing. I hope it sinks in. I also had a man scream at me because he was mad that our price of ice was higher than a competitors. He really went off, way out of bounds on the ice situation, to the level where it effected other people around him.

It is sad to me that we allow a little thing like the price of ice to dictate our happiness. If we do not like the price, then we do not have to buy it, but we should not scream and yell and cashiers because of the price and cause a scene and alter others lives just because of it. Life is too short to be effected by something like this. We need to spend more time helping others, and caring for others, maybe coaching and teaching youth not to steal would be something worth doing. Let’s all try to be good examples in our daily lives of how Jesus wants us to be and think about our eternal future not just the short term temporal things here on earth.
May God Bless All of You,

Daryl

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The Waiting Room

Posted on May 26, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Personal Happiness, Salvation | Tags: , , , , |

Life seems sometimes like it is one big waiting room. We are born, then we are always waiting for something. We can’t wait until we get out of Elementary School, Junior High School, and finally High School, when we think that we are entering into the “real world”. But, then it is college, and we have to finish that time of our life too. We continue to be anxious about it, wondering if we are making the right move, correct in our decision about “what we want to be for the rest of our life”. Our entire life is filled with segments of time where we are waiting for some time or something to be completed so that we can go on to the next time or thing in our day or agenda, that will supposedly, “make us happy, or complete, etc.”

Yesterday, as I was hanging out with my family enjoying our Memorial Day weekend, my day was interrupted by a health issue that involved me going to the emergency at a nearby hospital. I was treated with medication, with care, given prescription to continue treatment and remedy my condition, then released. But, while I was there, I saw many others who had conditions that were disturbing to me, people who I saw in the “waiting room”, and people I heard in the adjacent rooms to me while I was “waiting to be treated”.

An old women and a young man, who probably was between 20-25 years old came in shortly after we did. The woman seemed distraught, while the young man, who was approximately 5′ 8″ and maybe only 100 Lbs., staggered in behind her, barely able to stay on his feet. It was obvious that he was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. The woman, who was complaining about stomach pains, said that she wanted to check herself in, and that the young man wanted to check himself into detox. A few minutes later, the young man started yelling and screaming obscenities at the old women, stating that he didn’t want to check himself in, and that he was going to leave. The woman, then called someone on the phone to come back and pick her up because the young man wasn’t going to stay, so neither was she.

It was sad to see how this young man was dictating how the woman was not able to get treatment because of his addiction, she was completely co-dependent. What is she “waiting for”, I thought, why is she letting this guy dictate how she lives her life? I seemed, due to his failing looking health, that he was on a path to nowhere, and would probably not live long, and this was horrible. The woman pleaded with him to stop doing drugs as he was leaving the hospital waiting room, but to me, it only seemed as if he is just waiting out his existence in order to let it slip away in an oblivious array of drugs and alcohol.

There were other people who had different situations at the hospital yesterday, but all had one thing in common, every one of them was searching for something missing in their life. Too many people are trying to fill the void of the “waiting room”. Too many of us are trying to fill the voids in our lives with the things of this world, with empty pleasures, and all we come up with is brokenness. Our only true fulfillment will come from our Lord Jesus Christ, for “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation”, 2Cor 5:17 ESV.

Sometimes, God gives us opportunities to talk to people in the “waiting rooms”, while other times, he maybe just teaches us to be aware of our surroundings so that we are not caught up in the worldly scene, and keep in perspective all that God has and keep focused on His kingdom and glory. While we are in the “Big Waiting Room” of life, we can reflect on what Jesus told us in (Matt: 28:19-20 ESV), “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”, then we shouldn’t be frustrated with any part of life, and take what life has to offer, because God has a plan for us, as we are to do His will.

May God Bless you all,

Daryl

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Honoring Our Soldiers

Posted on May 24, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Family, Salvation | Tags: , , , |

Family gathering together, sharing meals, playing, and having a good time, that is what we are focusing on today. We are fortunate when we can join in with others that we care about to participate in events other than the mundane things that take us from sunrise to sunset each other day of the week, such as work, school, or other normal activities. When we can take an escape from our daily routine, seeking to see some of life’s many alternative joys, then we need to jump at that opportunity. Too many times we are caught up in our own designed described ideal of what life should be.

Today, I am happy to see some of God’s glory, some of His majesty that He has created in the mountains or northern Arizona in a town called Heber. On our travels we saw hail the size of nickels, and lightning strikes that were really lighting up the sky. We went from 90 degrees to 45 degrees in a couple of hours. We laughed, screamed, talked, ate, and had a spectacular time. All things that a family should be doing, because we love and care for each other, just like God has intended us to do.

Jesus told the disciples to love each other as He had loved them in John 15:12, and this is what was happening today with my family and on most days. We need to take note of this, because Jesus makes this commandment that we love each other as He loved us, with much importance. If we can place the same level of importance on love that Jesus does for us than our pride falls away, our own selfish desires falls away, and we become the type of person that the Lord would want us to be, one who cares about others first, like He did. Jesus cared for others before He cared for Himself, He was the perfect role model of this, the perfect example of how we can love each other while giving of ourselves first and not being concerned for our own needs.

Lets take the lead in this as we continue on this memorial weekend, and give honor to Jesus, who, like our fallen soldiers sacrificing for our country, sacrificed His life for our eternal lives.

Have a great one,

Daryl

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Sacrificing For Others-Memorial Day Weekend 2009

Posted on May 23, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Family | Tags: , , , |

Memorial Day, 2009 weekend starts today and goes through Monday. It is always the last Monday in May each year, and we celebrate it in many different ways. But, most of us hopefully spend a little bit of time thinking about and honoring our fallen or wounded soldiers, our men and women in arms who have bravely served our country for our right to have the freedoms that we are blessed to have today.

I for one, am extremely grateful for them, and for the sacrifices that they have made for all of us. As a veteran myself, although I was not in a war, I know that there was a sense of pride that came with the uniform, and courage that goes along with wearing it. When one wears an armed forces uniform, the call to duty can come at any moment, and without hesitation, the armed service personnel must act without hesitation or thought of their own concern, but only for the good of the unit, and country.

So, as you celebrate this weekend, think about honoring a man or women that you may know that is in the armed services now, or who was in the past. Take the time to pray for them, and if you can maybe give them a call, write a letter to them, or an email. Any way that you can show honor to them would give back a little appreciation for the sacrifices that they have are still making for our freedoms.

Have a safe and fun weekend.

Thanks for listening,

Daryl

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It Will Only Take 30 Seconds

Posted on May 21, 2009. Filed under: Children, Faith, Family, Personal Happiness, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , |

30 seconds, that is not a very long time, but it is the amount of time that people so frequently state to each other in our society that they don’t have time for to share with each other. “It will only take 30 seconds“, says one person to another, comes the common response, “I don’t have the time”. Are we really that busy that we can’t take 30 seconds out of our day for someone else. Does our life matter so much, that a request from someone else for a small 30 second segment of our time gets dismissed with a “get away, your bothering me” type attitude. Because this is what I see happen all the time in our culture.

It may be a simple thing as putting your trash in the trash container, instead dropping on the ground 17 feet away from it. Of course, that only took 8 seconds for the round trip ticket. But think about the smile it put on the person who doesn’t have to pick up the trash now. Stop, look, and gaze at things around you, what do you see. Yes, there are many wonders to marvel at everywhere we go. If you are a photographer, take photos. With digital, you can take hundreds and delete them if you don’t like them, who cares, it only takes about 30 seconds.

Push your shopping cart back into your local store, see what reaction you get from the people that work at the store; you just made their day, and it only took 30 seconds. Many of us get so stressed out to get things done in our busy lives, that we don’t take the time to see life. In the Bible, Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” The bottom line is that if we learn to trust God, He will provide and protect us, and if we allow Him to do that, we can have our 30 second segments back.

Most Americans claim that they don’t have enough time in there days to do what they want. I say and believe that we just foolishly allocate too much time to wasteful things that don’t matter, and we just don’t sacrifice any of “our time” for things that matter. Take some of “your time”, just 30 seconds here and there, throughout the day, stop and do something different with it than you would normally do in your day, experience life as you currently do not.

Spend time talking to someone in crisis mode who is reaching out, pay for a persons food at a fast food restaurant that you do not know, memorize a Bible verse, pull weeds in your neighbors yard when they are not home, smile and be cheerful to people who look like they are having a horrible day, hug and kiss your kids and spouse while you express how much you love them (you better already do this), and of course spend at least 30 seconds (better be more) with God in prayer and conversation, He enjoys the fellowship and wants to be part of our lives. The list could go on and on, you figure it out. Just take the time to do it. Don’t blow it off, go out and enjoy the people around you, the things around you, the beauty of the earth that God created, and when do, remember to thank God for it all. In a nutshell, life has a lot to offer, if you do not grab some of it, then it will pass you buy,30 seconds at a time…..

Daryl

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Conversation With God

Posted on May 19, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Personal Happiness, Salvation | Tags: , , , |

Communication is vital to any relationships survival, and is something that seems to elude many. How we deal with communicating with others is a character that becomes part of us in our early childhood. We may be the type of person who likes to communicate a lot or the type of person who keeps everything to themselves. If they do keep it all to themselves and do not share with others, then those around them who love them miss out on who they are and what goes on in their lives. It is like they are robbed of being part of the persons life they love.

When people shut others out, saying that this is just how they deal with things, they do not realize how much they hurt the people that they shut out. Having the conversation with people so that words can be passed back and forth, and knowledge can be passed so that an understanding of ones life can be shared is worthy to note. People who care for others want to be part of their lives, they want to pray for them, help them, care for them, and be part of their life, not just be on the sideline watching the game go by.

The bottom line is this: God put us on this earth to have a relationship with Him. Then God made man and woman, and commanded them to be fruitful and multiply. God expects us to get along. He didn’t think that when all these people were born that they would just hang out and not talk with each other, keeping everything inside. Think about it, who doesn’t think it a wonderful thing when an old couple is walking down the street holding their hands together. That is communication. I can assure you that they do a lot of other communicating also. As a society, we can not afford to just keep to ourselves, we must express our feelings to each other, let our loved ones and friends know what is going on in our lives, and pray together as family and friends.

In order to build stronger relationships in our families we must start by communicating with each other. If everyone can begin by reaching out to someone that they may have neglected to speak with as much as they should, then that is a start. The first step is the first step to a better life of more fruitful communication and better dialogue with those around you that you care about and who care about you.

Thanks for listening.

Daryl

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Who Or What Do You Love, God Or Money?

Posted on May 17, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Personal Happiness | Tags: , , , |

The important things in life, such as family, friends, our health, respect for ourself and others, are often ignored in our fast paced society that we live in. We wrongly focus on materialistic gains that the world maintains as important, all the while losing ourselves into this deeper insignificance because all we consider essential to our character and stature in the community and the world as a whole are those same levels of money, fame and glory. We spend a life time concentrating all of our energies on how much wealth we can accumulate, that we forget about our inner self, our soul, our ability to love, feel, and care for others.

Certainly, we have to have money in our society to exchange for goods and services. But, when money is the origin of all our thoughts, and the alpha and omega of every detail of every function in our day, then we forget to have the relationships of which true happiness will result from. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.” The Bible gives us this wisdom for a reason, God knows that we need to not make money our love. As we learn to spend more time with our families, friends, and neighbors, maybe we can become a society that is not so distant from each other, and grow more together.

My quest is this, that as a culture, we re-engage to a time where we spent more time with each other, around the kitchen table, at backyard BBQ’s, picnics, and maybe even open the front door learning who lives across the street from us. Get back to church, to God, and teaching our children the meaning of family. Let us keep our household’s together in this generation and into the next, before we fall into the pit of world imagery that has left us separated from each other and growing closer to the our mundane possessions.

At the end of the day, let us honestly ask ourselves this question: what is more important, our families, friends and neighbors, or our jobs, money, fame and fortune? I just ask that we please keep the perspective on it that God has given us in His word, people should be first, not money.

Thanks for reading.

Daryl Dho

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Happy Mother’s Day

Posted on May 10, 2009. Filed under: Family, Marriage | Tags: , , |

Happy Mother’s Day to all those Mother’s out there. God’s goodness is evident in a mother as she nurtures her children continuously and tirelessly day after day without any thought for her own agenda or needs. Her entire existence revolves around maintaining her family and raising her children, caring, loving and giving them what they need. This comes natural for them, as God had intended. It is a beautiful thing.

God knew that man couldn’t do this whole earth thing alone, so he provide us with a companion, a woman, who becomes the Mother of our children. Gen. 2:24 says “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and he joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.NASB” God intended man and woman to be together, as one family, to raise our children, and for the man to be the father, and the woman to be the mother. I PRAISE GOD for the MOTHERS.

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