DayBreaks for 9/30/14 – The Monster Who Was Sorry

DayBreaks for 9/30/14 – The Monster Who Was Sorry

Ephesians 4:31 (ESV) - Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

I loved this story: “My wife had a second-grader who once drew a picture of a fierce rhinoceros with a disturbing and unvarnished admission as a caption: “I’m as angry as a rhino!” Similarly, in her book, Amazing Grace; A Vocabulary of Faith, Kathleen Norris writes about a little boy who wrote a poem called “The Monster Who Was Sorry.” In the poem the boy explodes about how he hated it when his father yelled at him. In anger he threw his sister down the stairs, wrecked his room, then destroyed an entire town. His poem concludes: “Then I sit in my messy house and say to myself, ‘I shouldn’t have done all that.'”

“Commenting on the boy’s poem, Norris writes, ‘My messy house’ says it all; with more honesty than most adults could have mustered, the boy made a metaphor for himself that admitted the depth of his rage and also gave him a way out. If that boy had been a novice in a fourth century monastic desert, his elders might have told him that he was well on the way toward repentance, not such a monster after all, but only human. If the house is messy, they might have said, why not clean it up, why not make it into a place where God might wish to dwell.’

How’s your house looking?

James 1:19-20 (ESV) – Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20  for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

PRAYER: Forgive our anger that does not work the righteousness of God!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to 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.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 9/29/14 – At Home

DayBreaks for 9/29/14 – At Home

Psalm 23:5 (NKJV) - Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

I have recently seemed to become a road warrior.  No, not like the old Mel Gibson movie, but a frequent traveler.  I’m not done yet.  I won’t be for a few weeks.  But right now, today…I am home.  And it is wonderful!!!  Though I was blessed with my most recent trip, how grateful I am to be home again!

What is home?  It is, to be sure, the walls that surround us to protect us from the elements.  It is the roof overhead that keeps things from falling on us and shields us from the hot sun or cold snow.  It is a warm room, cozy and bright on a cold day, with adequate sustenance in the larder.

But those things aren’t really “home”, are they?  They may be a “house”, but a house is not “home”.  Home is the arms of your loved one(s), the lilt in their voice, the catch-light in their eyes, the upward curl of the corners of their mouth when they see you.  Home is (at least it should be) being surrounded and enveloped in love.

I’ve been to Jerusalem and seen what they believe are the ruins of king David’s palace at the City of David.  It was situated nearly at the point of a hill commanding a spectacular view.  But it wasn’t really the home that David was longing for.  I’m sure there were many times he came home from battle, perhaps even bearing wounds from the fighting, and he was very, very glad to enter his palace again.  But I suspect that in the back of his mind, he always had a better, grander home-coming in mind: the day that he’d walk into the house of the Lord…forever.

In this Psalm David has talked about the goodness of the Shepherd and rightfully so, but for every blessing (not wanting, green pastures, still waters, restored strength and soul, His presence in the dark valley, the feast table set in the presence of the enemies), there is a subtle reminder that these are blessings which are offset by needs: things we need for live, food, water, weariness, mortality and enemies who surround us. 

But, when David walks through that valley (in the Presence of the Shepherd and under his guidance and protection), he will wind up in the house of the Lord.  And never again will David be hungry, thirsty, tired, or have enemies who can threaten.  Never.  Again.  Ever. 

That residence isn’t held out as an option only for kings, queens and princes.  It is held out for the ordinary human, the beggar, even for thieves dying on crosses.  It is there.  It is real.  It is just barely out of my sight now, but growing slightly more clear and closer with each passing year.

At the end of a life, what a delight to know as we take our last breath: “And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord….forever.” 

PRAYER: Jesus, Lord God, Holy Spirit…how delightful it is to contemplate being home in Your house and never, ever having to leave!  We praise You for Your promises and for the words of our brother, David!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to 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.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 9/26/14 – Showing My Enemies

DayBreaks for 9/26/14 – Showing My Enemies

Psalm 23:5 (NKJV) - You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

When I think of enemies right now, my mind is filled with pictures of ISIL/ISIS followers, a bloody knife in one hand and the head of someone they just beheaded in the other.  It’s an ugly picture, but it is a picture that many are facing right now as ISIS forces have surrounded towns and villages, attacking, looting, raping and killing – all in the name of a god they claim to serve.

And if I can be honest here, the images and videos of the beheadings seem to at least have awakened the sleeping sensitivities of the world against such barbarism.  At least for the time being.  And it makes us cry out for retribution, for some way to show the enemy is wrong.

The Psalmist had many enemies – and many times they were seeking to kill him.  As he wrote what we call verse 5 in the 23rd Psalm, I wonder if he had them in mind – and if he penned this verse as a way of claiming vindication.

Who appears to have the power in northern Iraq and portions of Syria?  It’s ISIS, right? People are running, understandably, for their lives.  But the families who have had members raped and killed and beaten want their faithfulness to God to be shown to be worth something.  And so, enter verse 5.

It will be God Himself and no other, who prepares the table, inviting us as His honored guests, to sit at a feast He has set for us.  The enemies will be there, but they are not invited to sit, to partake.  And because it is God and not some helpless villager in the midst of some desert, the enemy will be absolutely, totally and forever powerless.  They will be on the outside.  God is showing our enemies who really is in the right and who is favored.

Here David is showing that he will be vindicated by God.  But that’s not all: “Vengeance is Mine, I SHALL repay..” is the rest of the bargain that God has forged with us.  As surely as God will spread the table with the choicest of fare, He will as surely exact vengeance for every cut of the knife, every woman violated, every home destroyed and every life injured.

God has a plan for us – a wonderful, marvelous plan!  He also has a plan for His enemies.

PRAYER: Lord, keep us from pride or gloating over the fate of Your enemies.  Help us to pray for Your Spirit of the love of Jesus to sweep like a Mighty Wind through the hearts of those who are so evil and violent that they may, by the same sheer grace that will save us, turn from their evil and sit at the table!  Thank You for the table and festive celebration that awaits us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to 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.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 9/25/14 – Walking the Valley

DayBreaks for 9/25/14 – Walking the Valley

Psalm 23:4 (NKJV) - Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Ah, the “valley of the shadow of death.”  Even the phrase tends to create some fear in our hearts, doesn’t it?  It does mine. That’s a valley I’d much rather not have to walk.  But I know that some day I shall, and you shall, too.  It is a valley that every human will some day encounter.

I find it interesting that David calls it “the valley of the SHADOW of death.”  It seems that he has an inkling that it is nothing more than a shadow, and shadows really have no substance.  They carry no weight, they don’t hurt when you collide with them.  They are just a bit darker than other things…that’s all.

So, what’s the big point about death?  We fear we may have to face it alone…and in the ultimate sense, I guess that in a way we do.  Not one of our loved ones is likely to walk it with us.  We don’t know what to expect, or what we will feel.  All we know is it sounds scary…and oh, so…final!

The psalmist shepherd boy knows a secret, though.  He knows that he will not walk it alone. There will be a hand holding his, an arm on his shoulder, a voice whispering in his ear, as that voice did so many times before: “Don’t be afraid.  I will never leave you nor forsake you!”

The One who spoke those words long ago carries a rod and staff with which to defend His companion through the valley.  He has walked it before and come out on the other side.  In fact, he came out on the other side not bedraggled, but in indescribable glory…and that’s where He will lead us!

The shadow can’t hurt you.  Not when you walk the valley with the Light of the world!

Are you walking with the Light?  Are you ready to travel that valley?  If not, what do you need to do to be ready and when will you do it?

PRAYER: Jesus, death doesn’t look like just a shadow to us.  It looks terrifying!  And when you were in Your flesh on the night before the crucifixion, it seemed to terrify you, too.  But only for a moment.  I find comfort in knowing that You know what it is like to fear it….and how foolish it is to be afraid when You will be with us, for nothing, NOTHING can harm us then!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to 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.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 9/24/13 – The Restored Soul

DayBreaks for 9/24/14 – The Restored Soul

Psalm 23:3 (NKJV) - He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Why do we go to sleep every night?  Because our bodies need to be restored from the labors and focus of the day. Our bodies, as amazing as they are, are not just machines (and even machines break down after a while!)  They are amazing creations of God, electro-chemical factories of tremendous complexity, animated by an eternal soul.  And as long as we are in this ragged world, our souls need restoring, too.

There are many things that wear down our souls: doubt, guilt, fear, anguish, sorrow, heartache and lest we forget, sin.  Our souls, you see, were neither meant nor created to carry those burdens.  So our souls, like our backs, are bent under the weight of our heavy, earthly load.  We need constant restoration!

How does it happen?  Through the blood of the Shepherd, more than anything else.  When the flocks that David cared for were terrified by the lions and bears, David spilled blood to kill those beasts, and when he slew the enemy of the sheep, their hearts beat more slowly and they were restored.  The terror left as peace settled in once again.

Our sin, when we are confronted with it, should terrify us.  If it hasn’t, we need a heart check-up.  To stand before the Holy God of the Universe covered in sin would be the most terrifying thing that will ever happen!

But if the Shepherd has spilled His blood for us, and if we have been covered with that blood and follow Him into right paths rather than the paths that have created the fear and terror in the first place, our souls are restored. And they are restored over and over again as we confess to him our sin and fear and begin again to walk in paths of righteousness.

What wears down your soul?  Are you walking in the path of righteousness?

PRAYER: Lord, our souls are heavy and our memories full of guilt, shame and all that goes along with being sinners.  We ask for you to restore us yet again…and we thank you for your willingness to restore us over and over.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to 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.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 9/23/14: Green Pastures, Still Waters

DayBreaks for 9/23/14 – Green Pastures, Still Waters

Psalm 23:2 (NKJV) - He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

I’ve been to Israel and I can tell you, I sure didn’t see many green pastures.  Perhaps it was the wrong time of year – and the green pastures would have been higher up on the mountain ranges or perhaps we were just in the wrong places – but water seemed to be rather scarce, and precious.

The Shepherd of David’s beloved psalm knows where to find the green pastures.  He leads his sheep there…and then, he “makes” them lie down.

How do you make sheep lie down?  You sure don’t do it by yelling at them, smacking them with a staff or chasing them around until they’re so tired that they collapse.  No, those things won’t work with sheep, and chasing them can even lead to their demise.  You see, sheep are very timid and frightened creatures.  And that’s what makes this statement even more wonderful.

The shepherd knows what sheep are like.  The way to get them to lie down is to take them into a peaceful place, to even sing to them, to talk soothingly to calm their fearful little hearts.  That’s how you make sheep lie down!  Jesus makes us lie down in utter peace and stills our racing hearts.

And he doesn’t make us lie down in the middle of the desert, but he has surrounded us with sustenance.  The sheep aren’t worrying about where their next meal will come from because the shepherd has always taken care of them and they trust he will…after all, just look around!

Last night, did you “lie down” in peacefulness?  Or was your heart racing, wondering how you and your family will survive, or how you’ll do this-or-that?  Were you worrying about where the next meal will come from?  The sheep don’t manufacture the grass that surrounds them in verse two.  When talking about the shepherd in this Psalm, it is the shepherd Himself who manufactures the grass, waters it, and provides it in abundance.  All the worrying of all the sheep in the flock can’t produce a single blade of grass.

And the still waters?  Sheep are terrified of flowing water: they can’t swim well at all, especially when their wool is thick.  They need still water: this, too, the Shepherd knows.

Still water, green meadows, laying down to rest – what a wonderful Shepherd we have!

PRAYER: Oh, Jesus, let us rest in your meadow this day and forevermore may we be comforted by your Shepherd song to us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to 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.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 9/19/14 – The Journey

DayBreaks for 9/19/14 – The Journey

NOTE: Galen is traveling.  Here’s a DayBreaks from the archive, dated 9/10/2004:

“Jesus draw me ever nearer

As I labor through the storm.

You have called me to this passing

And I’ll follow though I’m worn.

 

“May this journey bring a blessing

May I rise on wings of faith

And at the end of my hearts testing

With Your likeness let me wake.

 

“Jesus guide me through the tempest

Keep my spirit staid and sure

When the midnight meets the morning

Let me love You even more.

 

“Let the treasures of the trial

Form within me as I go.

And at the end of this long passage

Let me leave them at Your throne.”

(Words by Margaret Becker, copyright Modern M Music, from the album In Christ Alone by Margaret Becker, Maire Brennan, Joanne Hogg)

I am writing this DayBreaks on 9/3 (yes, I often write them in advance!)  I believe today may have been a watershed day in my life.  No, nothing so earth-shattering as being visited by angels (at least not visible ones), or even aliens.  Something even more happened.  Sometimes the most earth-shattering things though, are the things that shatter our hearts and leave us trembling before the throne of the most gracious, almighty God of heaven.

Sometimes God has a very hard time getting through to us, past our self-defenses and rationalizations.  One of the things that I find can penetrate my self-constructed armor is truth that is put to music.  Sometimes my desire for God’s will is not what it should be.  Sometimes I really struggle to want to do what He wants, to live like He wants me to live – and that’s not a good thing for a pastor to say.  But it’s true.  And you know what?  It’s true of your pastor, too.

This song (actually the entire album) says what my spirit can shout “Amen!” to.  From somewhere deep inside me, the Spirit touched me today and renewed my desire to be fully obedient to God, to drop my armor, admit my failings, and then to simply bask in the wonder and glory of His love and forgiveness.

The weariness of this world is a burden that breaks us.  The ever pressing enemy is relentless.  The number of rationalizations we can construct are phenomenal.  But bottom line is the question: what is the truth about my life and God?  Deep within me I discovered that I still want to awake some day with His likeness hiding all of me, after my testing is through.  And I long to rise on wings of faith and stop my staggering steps.  With each morning, I want to love Him more as the sun kisses the earth and the darkness disappears.  I need to see that there are treasures in the trial – treasures that lay up in heaven, not on earth, and that each day, each part of the trial forms those treasures in me.  But I shall not carry them forever – at the end of the passage, I will forever leave them at the pierced feet of the One who sits on the throne.

Rev. 5:13b (NLT)  – Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.

Psalm 113:1-9 (NLT)  – Praise the Lord!  Yes, give praise, O servants of the Lord.  Praise the name of the Lord!  Blessed be the name of the Lord forever and ever.  Everywhere—from east to west—praise the name of the Lord.  For the Lord is high above the nations; his glory is far greater than the heavens.  Who can be compared with the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high?  Far below him are the heavens and the earth.  He stoops to look, and he lifts the poor from the dirt and the needy from the garbage dump.  He sets them among princes, even the princes of his own people!  He gives the barren woman a home, so that she becomes a happy mother.  Praise the Lord!

Copyright by 2004 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Father, thank You for being all-sufficient for the journey and for accompanying us as we travel!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to 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.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!