DayBreaks for 4/17/14 – When the Cheering Stopped

DayBreaks for 4/17/14 – When the Cheering Stopped

Some years ago a book was written by Gene Smith, a noted American historian. The title was “When The Cheering Stopped.” It was the story of President Woodrow Wilson and the events leading up to and following WWI. When that war was over Wilson was an international hero. There was a great spirit of optimism abroad, and people actually believed that the last war had been fought and the world had been made safe for democracy.

On his first visit to Paris after the war Wilson was greeted by cheering mobs. He was actually more popular than their own heroes. The same thing was true in England and Italy. In a Vienna hospital a Red Cross worker had to tell the children that there would be no Christmas presents because of the war and the hard times. The children didn’t believe her. They said that President Wilson was coming and they knew that everything would be all right.

The cheering lasted about a year. Then it gradually began to stop. It turned out that the political leaders in Europe were more concerned with their own agendas than they were a lasting peace. At home, Woodrow Wilson ran into opposition in the United States Senate and his League of Nations was not ratified. Under the strain of it all the President’s health began to break. In the next election his party was defeated. So it was that Woodrow Wilson, a man who barely a year or two earlier had been heralded as the new world Messiah, came to the end of his days a broken and defeated man.

It’s a sad story, but one that is not altogether unfamiliar. The ultimate reward for someone who tries to translate ideals into reality is apt to be frustration and defeat. There are some exceptions, of course, but not too many.

It happened that way to Jesus on this day about 2000 years ago.  The cheering stopped.  The yelling and accusations and curses were flying.  Lies were being told and believed.  Things were looking ominous and foreboding for the carpenter from Nazareth and his band of disciples. 

Little did they know that when they rose from their slumbers on this morning long ago what a long day this would be and what a drastic turn it would take.  Little would they have guessed that Jesus would wash their feet to quell an argument about who was the greatest.  Little did they realize that a betrayer was in their midst whose dastardly plan would be put into motion this very day.  They had no way of knowing that at this Passover feast, a new ordinance would be put into place that also involved the blood of a Lamb.  There was no way that they could have guessed that the quiet of the garden would be invaded by an armed cohort and that they would all melt away into the darkness, possessed and gripped by fear. 

Jesus knew.  But he didn’t tell them – probably because of his compassion for them and the knowledge that they couldn’t yet bear the truth.  He knew he’d be left abandoned by the time the next sun rose.

PRAYER: Jesus, I don’t know how you managed to live through this day so long ago, bearing in your heart the secret knowledge of what would happen!  There is no one like you and I give you my heartfelt gratitude!  Forgive us for the times when we melt away into the darkness because of our fears.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: http://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html. Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 4/16/14 – Living in a Maze

DayBreaks for 4/16/14 – Living in a Maze

This past October, my wife and two of our kids and their families met at the Osso farm between Tracy and Manteca, California, for their October festivities.  One of the highlights of the place is a huge corn field maze.  There are numerous entrances to the maze but the entire maze is so large that it truly is daunting.  At several locations there are elevated platforms so you can climb up the steps and see approximately where you are so you know which direction you need to follow to get out. 

Personally, I’m blessed with a pretty good sense of direction and I don’t panic because I can almost always tell which direction to go in order to get out of a maze. 

Most everyone has worked one of those picture mazes where you follow the right path to find your way out. As you move your pencil through the maze you keep running into dead ends until you find the one path that sets you free.

Life is a lot like living in a maze. We continue to take wrong turns which lead nowhere and often retrace our steps until we can find our way. It can be very frustrating. Sometimes we never do find our way out. Those are the times we are stuck and feel like a prisoner with no escape.  And if the truth is honestly faced, there are times when there truly is nothing we can do to escape.  We cannot escape the fact that we will die.  No matter how hard we exercise, how many vitamins we swallow, how cleanly we live – we will die. Period.  That is the one, incontrovertible fact of existence for all human beings.  If you ever lived, you will certainly die. And that is a maze from which we cannot find our own way out.

Today I want to help set you free. I believe that no matter how difficult the maze you live in may seem, there is always a way out. Not even death can stand in the way of your life’s journey. That is the message of Easter, the truth that boggles the mind, but which this week proclaims.

John 11:25-26 (NLT) - Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26  Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

PRAYER: Jesus, if not for your work this week, we would all be lost forever in death’s maze!  Praise and glory to You for this great deliverance!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: http://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html. Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 4/15/14 – Running the Film in Reverse

DayBreaks for 4/15/14 – Running the Film in Reverse

I have friends who, in the past week, have suffered the loss of a loved one.  I have friends who are facing medical crises.  I have a mother who is 86 and doesn’t know where she is or who her husband was of fifty years, yet she may live to be as old as her own father who died at 102.  I have a daughter whose best friend is only 32 but needs a double lung transplant for no fault of her own.  I have friends facing financial uncertainties.  I find my own self at the stage in life where I wake in the morning and the old jokes about how everything hurts is no longer a joke but reality.  I am keenly aware that my own body, once so healthy and energetic and capable, is winding down and dying.

Don’t you wish you could sometimes play the movie of life in reverse and, knowing how the movie ends if the current path were pursued, change the details enough to alter the outcome?

Fred Anderson wrote: “When I was a child I used to love walking into Miss Hammond’s 4th grade classroom to discover the shades drawn and a 16 mm projector set up facing the pull-down screen. This was more than the joy of knowing I wouldn’t be asked to answer questions, read aloud, or work out problems on the black-board. For when there was time following the movie, rather than rewind the film, Miss Hammond would show the picture in reverse. We laughed hysterically at the antics produced on the screen: things which had disintegrated suddenly were reconstituted, buildings shaken to pieces by earthquakes took previous shape before our eyes, people who had been knocked to the ground suddenly sprang back to life. That is what these lessons are about today — God’s power to run the film in reverse, to reverse the initiatives of infinitude, to overcome the gravity of life, to address a problem in life which you and I cannot solve.”

I cannot run the film of my life in reverse, nor can you.  Yet Easter is all about God’s power to run the film in reverse – to one day bring vibrant life back to dead matter and make it suitable for living for an eternity and beyond.  God can and will take away all the aches and pains, all the struggles.  He proved as much on the first Easter.  He will prove it yet again.

Oh, how I love Easter!

PRAYER: Lord, if I didn’t believe in your power to reverse the decline and death and turn it into a glorious, eternal life, I would be utterly lost in despair.  Thank you in advance for one day reversing the film of my dying, and because you have already altered the plot, will give me eternal life unending!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: http://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html. Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 4/14/14 – The Master’s Week

DayBreaks for 4/14/14 – The Master’s Week

Matthew 21:8-11 (NLT) - Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9  Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD! Praise God in highest heaven!” 10  The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked. 11  And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

As the preacher said this morning, this week is the Masters.  He wasn’t talking about golf, either, for this week is the week that belongs to THE Master, for during this week the most earth-shattering events of all history played out in the city of Jerusalem.

I recently heard this illustration and thought it apt for the start of the Master’s week:

“At a pre-concert lecture, the conductor of a symphony orchestra was telling the audience about the major work that the orchestra would be performing at that evening’s concert. The conductor told the people that if they listened carefully to the music, they would discover that it was both surprising and inevitable. On the one hand, the musical score would take a fair number of rather jarring and unexpected twists. There would be points in the concert when the blare of the trumpet or the sudden rolling of the timpani would seem to come from out of nowhere in a surprising fashion. On the other hand, however, the conductor noted that in the long run, these surprises would themselves become part of a larger coherence. Once listeners heard the entire piece from start to finish, they would find in the music an air of inevitability–how could it ever have been written any differently?

“Surprising and inevitable. Palm Sunday and the events of Holy Week are both surprising and inevitable. The truth is that we are not completely sure what to make of Palm Sunday.”

What do you make of Palm Sunday?  Do you see it as a triumphant moment in the life of Christ?  Do you see it as the “beginning of the end”?  Do you see yourself in the faces lining the streets of the city as the rabbi rode into town on a donkey?  Can you hear your voice shouting praises and singing with delight for the One who has come in the name of the Lord?

Or, would you be hanging back, worried about what others might think of you, perhaps knowing that those who held the religious power couldn’t have been too happy about the goings on, and even if they were ambivalent, the Romans certainly wouldn’t be? 

As strange as the concert illustration was, it would only make sense once the entire concert played out.  To me, as much as I enjoyed the worship today (Sunday), I have to say that Palm Sunday has always been a struggle for me because I think it was a real struggle for Jesus.  He knew the story of that particular week wasn’t going to end with praises but with hammers and nails.  He knew that the ones cheering for him would be jeering at him as he was stripped naked and crucified at week’s end.  He knew that the good feelings would change and be overwhelmed with darkness in the garden and while he hung on the cross. 

Whatever else we might “make” of Palm Sunday, this much is certain: Jesus rode into the city knowing what lay ahead – and he never blinked.  Why?  Love – that’s why.  This was nearly the peak of his ministry – so much lay behind and yet so much lay ahead.  This was his week…he OWNED it!  

It was time to finish that for which he’d come.  Let the week begin…

PRAYER: Jesus, for this week, help us focus on You more clearly than ever before, to have your mind, know your thoughts, feel your love throughout this week!  Let us remember you well! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: http://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html. Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 4/11/14 – Neither Casseroles Nor Condolences for Jesus

DayBreaks for 4/11/14 – Neither Casseroles Nor Condolences for Jesus

John 11:21-26 (NLT) – Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22  But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” 23  Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24  “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.” 25  Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26  Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

Pastor Bishop Kenneth Ulmer from Inglewood, CA, envisions the animating, life-fulfilling power of the Holy Spirit as something like the transformation that comes over the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon figures as they’re inflated. Without any air these huge balloons lay flat on the floor, limp, and featureless figures. But when the wind starts whipping up inside those balloons, they begin to rise, fill out and stand tall. They become individuals, people and creatures that we recognize and love. Once on the parade route, these balloons take on even more life, for they are animated not just by the air within them, but by the winds that buffet and bolster them down the street.

In John 11, Jesus doesn’t appear before Martha and Mary – who are in agony over the death of their brother Lazarus – carrying a casserole and condolences. Jesus doesn’t mutter platitudes or concede that Lazarus’ death is a tragedy that could have been avoided if Jesus had gotten there earlier.

Instead, Jesus bypasses their house and goes straight to his best friend’s tomb and calls out, “Lazarus, come forth!” As experienced by Ezekiel and the psalmist, once again the animating spirit of God moves with power and precision, and brings a dead man walking (or levitating as he’s still bound hand and foot) right out of his tomb!

Instead of condolences, this is what God settles for!!!! Miracle, rebirth, deliverance from the pit, and eternal redemption. God doesn’t define winning as not losing. God doesn’t settle for anything less than joy unbounded, and glory filled dreams fulfilled.

Will we all see our dreams fulfilled in this life on earth? Absolutely not. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t be super-fulfilled in the life we shall one day possess in fullness. Will it be worth waiting for?  I can’t tell you from personal experience one way or the other, but this I can say: if God is as good as His word, it will be far better than we could ever imagine!

PRAYER: Lord, I’m so grateful that you don’t define winning as not losing, but your idea of winning is beyond our wildest dreams! I am so grateful that nothing can deny you your victory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: http://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html. Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 4/10/14 – Looking Toward Jerusalem

DayBreaks for 4/10/14 – Looking Toward Jerusalem

Luke 9:51 (KJV) - And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem…

As a pastor, Easter was always my favorite time of the year to preach. Now that I’m not in the pulpit full-time any longer, I really miss not preaching on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday more than any other time of the year. I still contemplate what THIS week, the week before Holy Week, was like for Jesus. Unlike his followers, he knew perfectly well what would happen the following week. When there is something that I either look forward to or dread, I virtually count down the days…”One week from today I’ll….”, or “Only five more days left to wait before…”  I wonder if Jesus did the same during this week many, many years ago?

In Scott Peck’s book, The Road Less Traveled, his first words are, “Life is difficult.” Then he goes on to say, ‘This is a great truth, but most of us can’t see it. Instead we moan more or less incessantly, noisily, or subtly, about the enormity of our problem. As if life is supposed to be easy for us, and therefore what has happened to us has never happened to anybody else before, at least not in this excruciatingly painful or insoluble way that it has burdened us.’

“Peck says that he wrote that not because as a therapist he hears his patients say that, but because he has been tempted to say that himself. You could call it the “Law of Exceptionalism,” the idea that this has never happened before, at least not to the degree that it has happened to me. “Exceptionalism.”

“I like that cartoon I saw a long time ago showing a huge desk, a huge CEO sitting behind the desk, in a huge leather chair. Standing meekly in front of the desk is a man in work clothes, obviously a lowly employee in that corporation. The worker says to the boss, “If it’s any comfort, it’s lonely at the bottom too.”

“Life is difficult for everyone. Someone explained to me once why they don’t like Lent. They said, “I’m not into suffering.” I like that. Like it’s optional. Like it’s an adopted lifestyle.

Well Jesus was not into suffering either. You remember he prayed, “Let this cup pass from me.” But when the time came for him to go on “The Hero’s Quest,” the text says, “He set his face steadfastly for Jerusalem.”

PRAYER: Lord, I am so thankful for your steadfast march toward Jerusalem! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: http://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html. Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 4/09/14 – Winner or Loser?

DayBreaks for 4/09/14 – Winner or Loser?

1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT)  For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

What does a Christ-like mind look like as we live in the world? We can see it clearly in the great saints and martyrs, such as Mother Teresa or Albert Schweitzer. I’m drawn as well to the idea William Placher suggests in his book Narratives of a Vulnerable God as he uses an illustration from the world of basketball. Professor Placher writes, “In basketball the players who are always asking, ‘How am I doing? Am I getting my share of the shots?’ Those are the ones who never reach their full potential. It is the players who lose themselves who find themselves. And it’s that kind of self-forgetfulness that makes the best players.” And isn’t that the case with all of us in whatever we do?

Joanna Adams wrote: “I read about one of the fastest growing churches in the world, with branches in 32 countries already. It is called the Winners Church, and according to its leaders, it lives by a motto that comes from America’s religious culture. Here’s the motto: “Be happy. Be successful. Join the winners.” People flock to that kind of church, I guess. But it all depends, doesn’t it, on how we define winning? I wonder what kind of church you would have if your motto were “Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant.” Or about this one for a motto, “Those who want to save their lives will lose them and those who lose their lives for my sake, will find them.”

Would you join a church like that? On Palm Sunday, it looked like Jesus was going to be planting the “Winners Church”, didn’t it?  The crowds were adoring, voices raised in raucous celebration of the one that they welcomed to the city!  If anyone looked like a winner that day, it was Jesus!

Five days later he looked nothing like a winner as he stood before the masses, stripped, beaten and bloodied, a crown of thorns on his head, spit (from others) dripping off his face.  Hardly the picture of a winner at all.

Yet, we have Jesus’ promise that the way to win is to lose.  It proved true in his case.  On Sunday morning none of the spit lingered as he rose in glory – the greatest Winner in the history of the universe.  This Winner is eager to share his victory.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing to attend a church that called itself something like this: “Servant of All Church”, or “The Victorious Fellowship of Losers”? 

Remember: what looks like victory to the world is not victory.  Don’t be fooled by false values!

PRAYER: Lord, ! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: http://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html. Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!