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The Honolulu Advertiser

By Bob Dunham

Posted on: Saturday, February 13, 2010

Faith can carry us through dark days

 • Churches going pup-friendly


What are your thoughts on faith? Share your ideas and stories with Advertiser readers as an Expressions of Faith guest columnist. For additional information, contact Maureen O'Connell at 535-2475 or moconnell@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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No one can have a fulfilling life in this world without faith.

With faith comes hope, joy, laughter and peace. With faith, you are blessed with "His grace."

With faith your prayers are answered.

You may feel that all of the weight of the world is on your shoulders, yet you have peace knowing that your faith is so strong that nothing will weigh you down. Knowing this, you can smile every day regardless of what you may face.

Living one day at a time is ultimately living in "Him."

When I was a churchgoing child, I did not understand what the word faith meant. It wasn't until decades later, after a long stretch of troubles and homelessness, that I began to understand.

I come from a family of 12 children, and my father was an alcoholic. As much as I hated to see the pain that caused my mother and siblings, I ended up just like him.

The only difference between my father and myself was that I lost everything in my life and ended up homeless for 13 years.

Before that, I served as a Marine in the Vietnam War at a time when the drugs where heavy and peace was nowhere to be found. When I came home, I couldn't deal with reality, nor did I wish to. Booze and drugs became my best friends.

What little love I had for family or other relationships went out the window as quickly as a draft from an open door.

What was faith? At the age of 45 I began to find out. That's when I asked God to help me help others who were dealing with the same problems that I was going through. My prayer was answered and ever since then I have been helping those in need of encouragement.

Because of my faith, I began working with shelters for the homeless. I now have a wife, a wonderful job, a nice townhouse and a nonprofit company that helps many people, including the homeless and veterans.

It took 15 years of faith and patience to get to where I am today. The grace of God and my personal relationship with Jesus Christ spared me from a future as a homeless alcoholic.

I would like to wrap up my thoughts here as I end all of the mini-stories that are in my book, "I Love You, But ..." (self-published, 2006). The book is a sort of biography in the form of open letters that read like sermonettes. Each entry is signed with the line that gives the book its title: "I love you, but I can never love you as much as He does."