DayBreaks for 4/19/14 – Sounds of Silence

DayBreaks for 4/19/14 – The Sound of Silence

This is the forgotten day of the Easter story.  It is easy to skip from Friday to Sunday.  But this day was as real as those two days and perhaps it was the darkest of them all.

Inside the tomb there is no light – it has been blocked by the massive stone at the entrance.  It is silent.  There is no sound.  There is no movement of the air.  There is only a dead body lying still, growing ever colder and more stiff with each passing hour.  It is the body of the man called Jesus. 

The body is wrapped, but due to the lateness of the hour, the final actions were not able to be completed before the Sabbath.  Even in death it seems that time had run out. 

During the long day, the disciples must have hidden themselves from prying eyes, stunned into silence themselves by the events of the previous 24 hours.  Slowly, surely, the reality set in: Jesus, the One they had thought could be the Messiah, the one that had called them from their fishing boats and tax collection booths, was encased in a stone tomb, wrapped in darkness and silence.

How could life go on?  What were they to do now? 

As the sun sank in the sky and darkness grew deeper on this night, it was not just the body of Jesus that was a mess…the disciples were a mess, too, as they had to wrestle with their own cowardice and betrayal.  They needed time to come to grips with all that had happened.

And all the while on this day, inside the tomb it was like every other tomb in ancient Jerusalem: dead, black, silent, filled with the scent of decaying flesh.  A God-forsaken place bereft of hope.

And the world waited….for nothing.

PRAYER: Jesus, it should not have happened to you!  It should have happened to me instead! 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 4/18/14 – The Greatest Sermon Ever?

DayBreaks for 4/18/14 – The Greatest Sermon Ever?

John 20:1 (NIV)  Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

Tony Campolo tells the story of a black Baptist preacher in the inner city of Philadelphia who preached a sermon Tony says he’ll never forget. Tony preached first. He was “hot,” so “hot” he says, that he even stopped and listened to himself. He sat down and said to his pastor: “Now see if you can top that one!”

“Son,” said the black pastor, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” For an hour and a half the pastor repeated these words over and over again: “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a comin’.”

“I’ve never heard anything like it,” Tony said. “He just kept saying it. The congregation was spellbound by the power of it.”

“It’s Friday. Mary, Jesus’ mother is crying her eyes out. That’s her son up there on the cross. He’s dying the agonizing death of crucifixion as a criminal. But it’s only Friday,” the preacher said. “Sunday’s a comin’.

“The apostles were really down and out. Jesus, their leader, was being killed by evil men. But it was only Friday. Sunday is a comin’.

“The Devil thought he had won. ‘You thought you could outwit me,’ he said, ‘but I’ve got you now.’ But it was only Friday. Sunday is a comin’.”

“He went on like that for 30 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour. Each time he said, ‘It’s Friday,’ the crowd began to respond, ‘but Sunday’s comin’. An hour and 15 minutes.

“It’s Friday and evil has triumphed over good. Jesus is dying up there on the cross. The world is turned upside down. This shouldn’t happen. But it’s only Friday. Sunday’s a comin’.

“It’s Friday. But Sunday is comin’. Mary Magdalene was out of her mind with grief. Her Lord was being killed. Jesus had turned her life from sin to grace. Now he was dead. But it’s only Friday. Sunday is a comin’.”

The place was rocking. For an hour and a half. “Friday! But Sunday is a comin’. Friday. But Sunday is a comin’.

“The sisters and the brothers are suffering. It just isn’t fair…all they have to go through, but it’s only Friday. Sunday is comin’.”

“I was exhausted,” Tony said. “It was the best sermon I’ve ever heard. The old preacher was saying it and the people were with him. ‘It’s Friday, but Sunday is a comin’. It was powerful,” Tony said. “It was personal.”

No matter what is happening in your life right now, the greatest truth ever is such a simple one: “It’s Friday, but Sunday is a comin’!”

Have a glorious Easter, everyone!

PRAYER: Hallelujah, Lord!  Thank you for Friday!  Thank you that Sunday’s a comin’ as sure as the sun rose today! 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 4/17/14 – 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!