DayBreaks for 7/24/14 – Look Up and Be Re-sized!

DayBreaks for 7/24/14 – Look Up and Be Re-sized

From the DayBreaks archive, 7/23/2004:

We live in a culture that appreciates big, powerful things.  It wasn’t enough just to build a memorial at Ground Zero in New York City.  No, they had to come up with a design that resulted in another huge, massive building.  We look admiringly at powerful women and men – whether they are sports figures, actors/actresses, politicians or business folk.  We are captivated by greatness and grandeur.

Psalm 8:3-4 (NLT)  – When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you have set in place—what are mortals that you should think of us, mere humans that you should care for us?

You see, I think that our attraction to greatness is part of what God put in us that was intended to lead us to seek Him.  Sadly, as with all other God-given abilities, even this one can be perverted into something unrecognizable.  But as David, as a young shepherd laying in the fields at night, lifted his eyes to the heavens, he was struck with the incredible greatness of the Creator.  David had no idea how many stars there were, let alone how many galaxies.  He had no concept of the light-year, nor of the incredibly vast distances that had been traveled by the light of the stars that fell on his retina.  But that’s OK – he didn’t need to have that kind of understanding.  Just seeing the night sky was enough, and when David looked up, he was resized.

It may have been the day that David slew the lion that he looked up at the stars and wondered about why God should care for us.  He may have just had the most successful day of his life.  Or he may have had his worst.  Either way, when we look upward toward God, we are inevitably resized into a better perspective of ourselves.  We are not the almighty – only He is Almighty.  We are not even very good, let alone great.  But God! – well now, He’s something else! 

And why should He care for us?  Several reasons I should think:

1. He made us and is therefore responsible for us in a real moralistic sense;

2. He gave us a spirit, an eternal soul, that is unique among His creation (as far as we know), and that makes us special;

3. He made us to “look” like Himself – a huge compliment that was not paid to the stars or moon or sun;

4. He loves us beyond reason and beyond our ability to hope or understand.

But the key point of this DayBreaks isn’t what makes us special – except that God thinks we are special.  That we matter to Him, that He thinks about us and cares for us.

No matter what kind of day you have today, let me encourage you tonight to go outside with a blanket and lay down on the grass and look up at the stars and think about God.  Go ahead – don’t worry about what the neighbors will think!  Get lost in the wonder of His greatness.  You just may sleep better tonight as a result!

PRAYER: Fill our hearts with Your Spirit that we may have not only your mind, but also your heart!  Let glory come to You from what people see flowing forth from our hearts!.  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 7/23/14 – Rivers of Living Water

DayBreaks for 7/23/14 – Rivers of Living Water

John 7:37-38 (NLT) On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38  Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”

Have you ever been caught in the roaring power of a river as it rushes headlong downhill toward the sea?  I recall a whitewater rafting trip I took with some friends a few years back.  The river was relentless, possessed of a fearsome and mighty power as it caromed and raced over, around and past rocks and trees.  It was an irresistible force, inexorable.  It cared for no one else – only to pursue its own desire and destiny.  It would tear and sweep away any obstacle that stood in its path, mindless of the havoc it carried in its flowing.

But not all rivers are like that …

Rivers of living water will flow from his heart…what a beautiful description of Jesus!  The Scripture makes it clear that it is speaking of the Spirit, but it certainly also describes the love, compassion and mercy that flows out of his heart to his creation, and in particular, to humanity!  Jesus was FULL of living water.  That pure water is the result of the Spirit that He had without measure.

How would people describe what flows from my heart?  What do I believe flows from my heart?  We all like to think that we are kind and act lovingly, but in reality we are quite self-serving and many times even when we do something for others we do so with hidden motivations that are seeking something for ourselves.

Wouldn’t it be great if people could say of us that “Rivers of living water flow from her/his heart!”

PRAYER: Fill our hearts with Your Spirit that we may have not only your mind, but also your heart!  Let glory come to You from what people see flowing forth from our hearts!.  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 putS090 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 7/22/14 – Blinding Ourselves

DayBreaks for 7/22/14 – Blinding Ourselves

John 7:25-27 (NLT) Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem started to ask each other, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? But here he is, speaking in public, and they say nothing to him. Could our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah? But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.

The power of human tradition and “wisdom” is on display here.  Scripture doesn’t say that no one would know where the Messiah would come from.  In fact, it explicitly predicted his birth in Bethlehem, the city of David.  Yet the people were blinded by what people had told them.

There is tremendous power in human words and human thoughts.  They can blind and deceive us, or they can lead us to greater truth and insight.  We must be careful with them – especially when we speak of eternal matters that can affect eternal destinies.

Jesus never, ever, pulled punches.  He delivered the truth with straight face and direct words.  I, for one, do not like confrontation.  I often will go to great (and sometimes inappropriate) lengths to avoid it.  Or, when it becomes unavoidable, I will dissemble and try to find a circuitous route that is less direct and hopefully less offensive.  That can, at times, be a good thing.  But I suspect that more often than not, especially in our 21st century American culture, we tend to soft-peddle the truth when we believe it will be painful for the recipients to hear.  To those we love who are considering shacking-up with a significant other, we may be tempted to say “It’s okay to live with your boyfriend/girlfriend as long as you truly love one another” rather than speaking the truth of God’s Word in love and helping them see that they have chosen their feelings for the person over obedience to God – a form of idolatry.  Or, we conveniently talk about little white lies and excuse the behavior of others and ourselves in doing so.  We have seemingly thrown out the idea of a call to repentance.  When we water down the truth we water down the response that is needed to get right with God again.  And we need to remember that though we may water it down, God doesn’t.  Never has, never will.

Speak the truth.  But speak it with love.  And lives will be changed by the truth because it is the only thing that will set people free.

PRAYER: Your love and forgiveness are incomprehensible, Lord Jesus.  We are ashamed for the many times we have spit in your face through our actions and words!  Thank you for bearing our shame to the cross.  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 putS090 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 7/21/14 – The Purpose of Spit

DayBreaks for 7/21/14 – The Purpose of Spit

He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to crucify him. Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire battalion. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They made a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on his head, and they placed a stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery, yelling, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and beat him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.  (Matt.27:26-31 NLT)

Few things seem more degrading or humiliating than someone spitting in your face.  In He Chose the Nails, Max Lucado makes this observation about the spit of the soldiers: “The soldiers assignment was simple: Take the Nazarene to the hill and kill him. But they had another idea. They wanted to have some fun first. Strong, rested, armed soldiers encircled an exhausted, nearly dead, Galilean carpenter and beat up on him. The scourging was commanded. The crucifixion was ordered. But who would draw pleasure out of spitting on a half-dead man?

“Spitting isn’t intended to hurt the body– it can’t. Spitting is intended to degrade the soul, and it does…They felt big by making Christ look small.  Allow the spit of the soldiers to symbolize the filth of our hearts. And then observe what Jesus does with our filth.  He carries it to the cross.  Through the prophet he said, ‘I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting’ (Isa.50:6 NIV). Mingled with his blood and sweat was the essence of our sin…For some reason, the One who chose the nails also chose the saliva. Along with the spear and the sponge of man, he bore the spit of man. The sinless One took on the face of a sinner so that we sinners could take on the face of a saint.”

It wasn’t just the soldier who spit in Jesus’ face.  One way or another, we all have.  And he carried our spit to the cross, too, and forgave it.

PRAYER: Your love and forgiveness are incomprehensible, Lord Jesus.  We are ashamed for the many times we have spit in your face through our actions and words!  Thank you for bearing our shame to the cross.  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 7/18/14 – Always Priceless

DayBreaks for 7/18/14 – Always Priceless

2 Thessalonians 1:11 (NLT) So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.

Feeling unworthy and so badly soiled by life is, sadly, a common experience for many in life.  In some cases it comes about as a result of abuse in their early years.  For others, the impetus may come much later – as an adult for example – when a woman hears from her spouse that she is worthless and unloved and incompetent.  It can come for men from a spouse or a boss who intimidates and abuses verbally.  It can come from within our own hearts and minds, too.  If we play those kinds of “tapes” in our heads long enough, we will come to believe them.  Sadly, some even look at a passage of scripture that talks about our most righteous deeds being like “filthy rags” and other verses that talk about our sinfulness and how we are not worthy and they forget about the rest of Scripture that expounds further on our condition: that’s how we were before Christ…but now we have been dressed in His righteousness and are spotless before the throne!

Still, it’s a spirit-crushing, life-killing scenario when we believe we are unloved, unwanted and unworthy.

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of two hundred, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 bill to one of you but first, let me do this.” He proceeded to crumple the $20 bill up. He then asked, “Who still wants it?” Still the hands were up in the air. “Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. “Now who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.

“My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God’s eyes. To God, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are always priceless.”

Do you struggle with your value, your worth?  Perhaps it would be a good idea for you to wad up a bill and stick it on your desk or tape it to your mirror or put it in your pocket so that every time you see it or touch it, you are reminded that no matter how life has folded, stapled or spindled you, to God, you are ALWAYS priceless!

PRAYER: Lord, can we dare to believe such good and welcome news? How we praise You for justifying us and sanctifying us, calling us Your precious children and declaring us worthy of the ultimate sacrifice!  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 putS090 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 7/17/14 – The Un-askable Question

DayBreaks for 7/17/14 – The Un-askable Question

Matthew 13:36 (NLT) Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.”

For a moment, set aside the above verse and listen to a story about a young anthropologist named Connie who works among aboriginal people in Australia. The community where she lives has a rich tradition of storytelling as do many pre-literate cultures. Everyone gathers at night, a story is told, and then another, and another. It is not only a form of entertainment for them, but also of education, culture and informs them about the unbroken links to their ancestors and the earth.  Connie feels extraordinarily privileged when she is asked to join in this activity.

The first story told one evening was about the animal ancestor of this community and its adventures at the beginning of time. The story overflowed with detail, action, imagery.

At the end of the story, Connie was thoroughly delighted and asked, “May I ask a question? What does it mean?”

All eyes instantly turned to look at her. The elder looks at her gravely and says, “That is the one question you cannot ask.” A long time passed before she was invited to come again to hear stories. She has asked the wrong question.

“What does it mean?” was the wrong question for Connie to ask about the aboriginal myth. It may seem strange that such a question would not be welcome, but must consider, as in today’s text, whether or not it could be the wrong question for us to ask about the story of the sower, or any of the stories told by Jesus. “What does it mean?” is the wrong question if we think that by having an answer, we can somehow get a handle on this story, domesticate it, make it safe. The stories Jesus tells are not subject to our control. He tells these stories so that we can be transformed. He tells these stories, not so that we can ask questions about them, but so that the stories can ask questions of us.

Jesus wants us to learn from him and his teaching. But what one story teaches me may teach you something different.  And one parable may speak a certain lesson to me at one point in my life but in another season of time has much different, and perhaps much greater, meaning.

Instead of wanting spoon-fed answers, we need to be more content to wrestle with the Spirit and let Him instruct us!

PRAYER: How majestic and mysterious is Your Word, how rich beyond our ken! Thank You for Your Spirit that teaches us in marvelous ways! 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 putS090 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 7/16/14 – The Wheat and the Weeds

DayBreaks for 7/16/14 – The Wheat and the Weeds

Matthew 13:24-30 (NLT) Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”

Why is it that we are so judgmental, seemingly so eager to pass judgment and classify people one way or another?  There is perhaps no group of people who are more prone to do this than Christians – and that is tragic.  We seem to often be of the persuasion that it is our job to decipher who is “in” and who is “out”.  We may think it is our duty to protect the rest of the world from evil, to point it out, to call a spade a spade.  We seem to believe that we’ve been given special insight to discern what is wheat and what is a weed – to use the metaphor of the parable.

You know them: people who continually want to cull the field, who feel called upon to make decisions and proclamations about others on the basis of certain beliefs … behaviors … even baptism. A Christian who had a wife that was into tracing family geneaologies traced her family back over 500 years.  In doing so, she learned she had a relative who was burned at the stake in Switzerland. Why? Because he had the wrong understanding of baptism, that’s why. They weeded him out. Then they burned him up.

I must say that I don’t always even know whether I am weed or wheat. Alexander Solzhenitsyn said: “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.

Every human being….that includes my own heart.  Who knows?  Perhaps I am the weed in someone else’s garden – maybe yours. 

If this parable teaches us anything it surely must include that it is not our job to sort the weeds and the wheat.  Jesus will one day sort them out himself and his advice to us to not to try to do that job for him.  Let them grow together, he said, until the harvest.  Then, and only then will the only One who is qualified to separate the weeds and the wheat will do what only He can do.

PRAYER: Forgive us our judgmental spirits, Lord!  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 putS090 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!