DayBreaks for 4/24/14 – Pandora and Hope

DayBreaks for 4/24/14 – Pandora and Hope

Some days it is easier to have hope than others, isn’t it? 

Recently, the story of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 has captured vast amounts of time on the airwaves, in print and in the hearts and minds of people throughout the world.  I have found it very compelling myself, reading nearly everything I can get my hands on about it…even when those things are contradictory or proven to be flat out incorrect.  But you know what touched me perhaps more than anything?  It was that the family members and loved ones of those who were on the missing flight keep holding out hope that perhaps, somewhere in the Indian Ocean, there is a life boat with their relative on it awaiting rescue.  Alexander Pope famously put it this way: “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.” 

It seems that no matter how bad the circumstances, we always hope for the best – thinking that better things will come down the road. We want to believe, and cling to the hope that, no matter how bad things have been, they can always get better.

The reality is that, if we figure to survive in this world, we had better have hope. The ancients knew that. Do you remember Pandora? Mythology has her as a lady endowed with every charm…the gift of all the gods. She was sent to earth with a little box which she had been forbidden to open, but curiosity finally got the better of her…she lifted the lid and out from that box escaped every conceivable kind of terror. Pandora made haste to close the box up again, but it was too late. There was only one thing left…HOPE. That was the ancients’ way of saying how important hope is. Even when all else is lost, there is still hope.

It was hope that had sustained the Israelite faithful from generation to generation. This was what energized the crowd along Jesus’ parade route on Palm Sunday…the hope that this was the long awaited Messiah.  And it is hope that has sustained believers in Christ ever since his resurrection and ascension.  We DO believe that the best is to come….we hope for it, we long for it.  We watch for His return and for the full and complete exercise of His unlimited power.

There is a difference between wishful thinking and hope.  Wishful thinking is for those who have no Lord and Master who can speak the cosmos into existence.  Hope is for those who know His words are true!

Romans 5:5 (NIV)  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.     

PRAYER: Thank you for the hope you have put into our hearts by your Spirit and the love that assures us of our ultimate deliverance and delight! 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 4/23/14 – The Offensive Jesus

DayBreaks for 4/23/14 – The Offensive Jesus

Matthew 13:55-57 (KJV) – Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56  And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? 57  And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

In his book, The Freedom Revolution and the Churches, Robert Spike recalls an incident from the early years of the turbulent civil rights movement. Flying out of Jackson, Mississippi, Spike overheard the conversation of a Catholic sister, sitting across the aisle from him, with her seat companion. The sister was lamenting all the unrest in Mississippi, and she complained about the “outside agitators,” the students and church leaders who had come to her state in support of civil rights, certain that their presence was provoking violence on the part of white racists. “I do not question their dedication, nor even the rightness of their position,” said the sister. “But surely it is a bad thing to create turmoil by stirring up people who feel differently.” As the sister talks, all the while she is nervously fingering a cross hanging around her neck.

There’s a tragic irony in the sister’s words and actions, not unlike that of the very first Holy Week. For the one whose cross the sister holds most dear, Jesus, would never have taken the risk of going to Jerusalem and proclaiming a new way of living, would never have confronted comfortable patterns and ultimately endured the cross, had he followed the sister’s philosophy.

Jesus created turmoil.  Sometimes turmoil is the fertile soil in which positive change and truth can take root.  It seems that his true followers create turmoil, too…not in blatantly offensive ways, but just by the proclamation of the Truth that called himself a “stumbling block”.

When you stop to think about it, who did Jesus not offend during his life?  He offended the religious.  He offended his mother and brothers when he refused to see them.  He offended kings and procurators.  About the only people who weren’t offended by him were those who were broken…and knew they were broken.  Sinners found him incredibly appealing because in him they found love and mercy and forgiveness.  He loves the broken hearted, but offends nearly everyone else.

Sometimes I think that we are too eager to please everyone and afraid of “offending” anyone.  Truth often hurts…especially when it is truth about ourselves. 

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, if I need to be offended by the truth you have to show me, please proceed!  Help me to be more concerned about those in danger of eternal damnation so that I may boldly speak truth in your name, in love! 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 4/22/14 – Promising, But Alas…

DayBreaks for 4/22/14 – Promising, but Alas…

Do you recall this NT story of Jesus and the disciples? The disciples come upon a fig tree which was flourishing with a burst of leaves. Jesus went to the tree and looked among the leaves, but found no figs. It is the nature of the fig tree to get its fruit before the leaves, so Jesus had an expectation of finding fruit!

This is an illustration of the age-old story of promise without fulfillment. Charles Lamb shared an anecdote about a certain man in whose life, he said, there were three stages. When he was young, people said of him, “He will do something.” As he grew older and did nothing, they said of him, “He could do something if he tried.” Towards the end of his life they said of him, “He might have done something, if he had tried.”

That could be the epitaph of too many Christians…and too many churches.  What will your epitaph say?  What will God say of what you did with the potential that He created and placed inside of you?

PRAYER: Father, teach us to eagerly pursue living up to all the amazing potential you have placed in each and every one of us, and help us to encourage others to live up to the potential that you created in them, too! 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 4/21/14 – When You Think it’s Over, It’s Just Begun

DayBreaks for 4/21/14 – When You Think it is All Over, It’s Just Begun

Holy Week has now come and gone.  The palm fronds are gone, the Easter lilies are starting to droop, the colored eggs and crowds at church as all put away for another year.  And it would appear that for many, life goes back to normal, doesn’t it? There are those who feel they have fulfilled their annual “duty” to their spouse because they attended Easter services and it will now be another year before they once more have to darken the doorway of a church.

In just a matter of days Holy Week has taken us from festive palms to the mountain of Golgatha’s despair, to the stone-cold tomb and the glorious Son-rise.  Maybe that’s why so many fight it so hard! I mean, do we really need the emotional rollercoaster of Holy Week? What’s so wrong with just jumping from one parade to the next and skipping all the sacrifice and death stuff? What’s wrong with simply moving on to the joy of Easter, with its white bonnets, Easter eggs, family, friends, big ham dinner, and of course the empty tomb.

Well, I think that deep inside we all know the answer to that, don’t we? For starters, an empty tomb, at face value, is a lot easier to deal with than a dying, bleeding Savior on a cross. Add to that all the pain and suffering that comes with Holy Week, is it any wonder that the human tendency is to try and ignore the events of the week and simply move on to the Easter celebration? But as much as we’d like to skip Holy Week we know that the only way to Easter is through the cross. We know where the parade of Palm Sunday leads and we also know that we’re part of that parade. That is to say, we know this intellectually. Our hearts are another story. Our hearts may be more in sync with the disciples and the fear and disbelief that led them to run away. It would seem that 2000 years later Jesus’ disciples are still running away.

Because of Holy Week, how will you live differently this year?  Isn’t it time to stop running away and to take a stand?

PRAYER: Lord, there seems a sort of emotional let-down now that the pinnacle of the Christian faith has passed for another year.  Let us not forget the scenes of Holy Week, the emotions that beat hard within our chests, the awareness that if it were not for your work of this past week, we would be utterly and totally lost and without any hope…not hope AT ALL. Let us remember how your followers ran, and let us never run again to leave you standing alone! 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 4/20/14 – Rising

DayBreaks for 4/20/14 – Rising

Matthew 28:1-6 (NLT) - Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. 2  Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. 3  His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4  The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. 5  Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6  He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.

It was still dark outside the tomb and the coolness of the morning must have provided some sense of comfort to the women as they made their way to the garden where Jesus’ tomb was to be found.  I would imagine that they walked in silence – to bereaved to speak many words, fearful of the sights and smells that would await them when they got to the tomb.

The naiveté of the women only emphasizes the depth of their loss and grief.  How did they think they would get inside of the tomb?  The stone was very great and they were just a handful of women.  And, did they not remember that strong, intimidating guards had been posted and the tomb sealed with the official insignia to prevent any attempt to tamper with the body inside? Yet they walked on, driven by love for the deceased to complete their grisly task.

Inside the tomb it had been quiet and still, so dark that it could be cut with a knife, so quiet that one could hear tiniest movement.  No human eye was permitted to witness the coming events for they certainly were too glorious for a human to behold…and still live!

And then there was a sound…the sound of the burial cloths as that which had been dead began to breathe and then move.  There was perhaps the sound of angel wings rustling as they descended to move the stone (did they move it from the inside? – and if so, just imagine the terror of the guards!)  The body, so battered and bruised and torn, sat up and the angels fell to their feet in awe and worshipped as the God they had seen die, the God who had created them, smiled.

The body still bore the marks of the beatings, the scourging, the nails and spear…it would not have been a pleasant sight except for the message it sent thundering through the hallways and corners of eternity and the grave: death is broken!  It is death that has been defeated, not God!  It is Satan who has been shown to be the weakling, not Jesus! 

And the Light steps out of the tomb and into light…and the birds are singing their praise and the air is alive – drawn into lungs that moments before had been decaying.  The feet that had been pierced walked…I wonder if they hurt as a reminder to the Savior of what He had accomplished and the price He had paid for the souls of any who would believe – even those who had put him onto the cross and who had vainly guarded his tomb. 

And then, they see him and he sees them.  And they know the truth that is almost too wonderfully good to believe…Jesus has risen from the dead!

PRAYER: Jesus, how my eyes long to see you in your risen glory, to fall at your feet and thank you! 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 4/19/14 – 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!