DayBreaks for 10/01/13 – The Trembling Spider Web

DayBreaks for 10/01/13 – The Trembling Spider Web

Psalm 19:14 (ESV)  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

There is, of course, nothing that begins to approach the wisdom and truth of Scripture.  But every now and then one comes across some statement that strikes a chord and one can sense the wisdom in the words.  It seems that many believe that no one who is not a believer can ever speak truth, but that’s obviously not the case when one considers the words of King Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Xerxes and others in Scripture who spoke truth but were pagans.

Frederick Buechner is not an unbeliever…he is a highly respected theologian.  Someone sent me an email that had this tag line in it: “Humanity is like an enormous spider web, so that if you touch it anywhere, you set the whole thing trembling…. The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt.  Our lives are linked together.  No man is an island.” – Frederick Buechner

Think about his words.  Think about witnessing a spider web and how it trembles when the spider moves, or a fly lands on it, or even when the gentlest breeze blows upon the silky strands.  What Buechner is saying is simply this: what we do affects the world for good or ill, in a far wider circle than we can ever imagine.

In the movie, Gladiator, the character played by Russell Crowe makes an observation that echoes this, but also expands on Buechner’s words.  It goes something like this: “What we do in this life, echoes in eternity.”  Wow.  There’s a lot of wisdom and truth in those words, too.  And it reminds us that not only do our actions and words here affect this world, but they affect eternity as well.

We might all be well advised to traverse our daily lives with more care and caution.  It doesn’t mean we need to be stern-faced and somber.  It means we need to be thoughtful and wise with everything for every action has ramifications. What is your life weaving?

May God grant us the wisdom to live in ways that bring good, not evil, to time and eternity. 

PRAYER: We often flit through our days rather thoughtlessly and carelessly, Lord.  May we be more attentive to the implications of our words and actions on those You bring into our lives this day, In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://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 support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations 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 donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. 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 the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 09/30/13 – Desperate for Joy

DayBreaks for 09/30/13 – Desperate for Joy

Psalm 9:2 (NLT)  I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

“Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a mirror that makes a person appear happy even when not. A built-in camera tracks facial features in real time, then tweaks the image to turn up the corners of the mouth and to create the beginnings of a smile in the eyes. Of what practical use would such a mirror be? Other Japanese researchers, according to a Slate.com report in August, believe that happy-face mirrors in retail stores would improve
shoppers’ dispositions and lead to more sales.” [Slate.com, 8-7-2013]

Have we become so disheartened that we need mirrors to make it appear that we smile when inside we are groaning and filled with pain?  It would appear so.  Ah, the lies we tell ourselves!

Imagine going into a store and trying on a suit or a dress and then you go look at yourself in the mirror to see if you like how you look.  Now imagine that when you see your reflection, you think to yourself, “I look hideous in this!”, but your face in the mirror is smiling at you! 

Pain is real.  Our world is so desperate for joy.  In just this past 10 days, we’ve seen shopping malls invaded by gunmen in Kenya, two men in suicide vests who blew themselves up in a crowded churchyard in northern Pakistan, terrorists in Nigeria who entered dorms of sleeping university students and killed young men and women as they slept, and again, another bombing just today in Pakistan.  I can  understand the temptation to not turn on the TV or look at the news. 

But you know, all that does is keep us living in a fantasy world of our own choosing rather than the real world in which we live.  It doesn’t stop the pain from existing in the world.  It may keep us from knowing about it, but isn’t that a bit like looking into a mirror at a false image? 

Joy.  Where does it come from?  It doesn’t come from burying our heads in the sand.  Jesus didn’t hide himself from the pain of the world – he took it on and worked to bring joy to this broken place.  We are called to do the same.  As today’s verse reminds us – we are to be filled with joy because of Him!

Do you wish you lived in a more joyful world?  Start with where you are.  Be joyful.  And joy will spread out like ripples on a pond!

Neh. 8:10 – “…the joy of the Lord is my strength!

PRAYER: Lord, there is a great witness to the world today when Your people are filled with joy!  May we reflect the joy that only comes from you everywhere we go.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://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 support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations 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 donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. 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 the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 09/27/13 – The Silver Effect

DayBreaks for 09/27/13 – The Silver Effect

Maxie Dunham tells this story: “An enormously rich man complained to a psychiatrist that despite his great wealth which enabled him to have whatever he wanted, he still felt miserable. The psychiatrist took the man to the window overlooking the street and asked, “What do you see?” The man replied, “I see men, women, and children.”

“The psychiatrist then took the man to stand in front of mirror and asked, “Now what do you see?”

“The man said, “I see only myself.”

“The psychiatrist then said, “In the window there is a glass and in the mirror there is glass, and when you look through the glass of the window, you see others, but when you look into the glass of the mirror you see only yourself. The reason for this, “said the psychiatrist, “is that behind the glass in the mirror is a layer of silver. When silver is added, you cease to see others. You only see yourself.”

“Whenever your devotion to money and material things causes you to be self-centered, you in essence deny God’s intention for your life. It is also a denial of the Christ, for Jesus came into the world so that we might be in union with God.”

Our silver, gold and wealth can also blind us so that we can’t see others and their need.   What do you see?  Sometimes we don’t want to see their need because we are too focused on our pile of silver!

James 1:23 (NLT)  For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.

PRAYER: Lord, let us trust You for what we need, and not be blinded to the needs of others by our own fondness for this world’s goods!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://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 support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations 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 donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. 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 the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 09/26/13 – You Can’t Make Any More

DayBreaks for 09/26/13 – You Can’t Make Any More

What God has allowed scientists to discover and learn to do is incredible.  Think of all the advances in just the last 100 years: jet engines, all sorts of improvements in travel, rockets that have taken people to the moon – and back, satellites that have traversed the entire solar system and are well on their way out into deep space (but still telling us about their journey), the power of the atom, electricity, computers, artificial intelligence, artificial limbs, laser surgery, stents, by-passes, organ transplants…what a huge, long list it would be to try to list it all.  And that’s just in the past 100 years.

We’ve figured out how to generate larger harvests of food.  We’ve figured out how to make fresh water from salty water.  We’ve made drones the size of mosquitoes to spy on enemies.  We’ve made ships larger than the ancients could have ever imagined. 

It is amazing.  For some reason, today it really came home to me: there is one thing that you just can’t do: you cannot find a scientist anywhere in the world who can create one more second in a day, one more minute in a week, or one more hour in a lifetime.  Time is finite.  There is only so much of it each day no matter what you do.  Scientists can’t create time.  Politicians, in spite of their promises, can’t create it or legislate it.  Doctors can’t do it.  No one can.

We just don’t appreciate how valuable time is.  Sure, we pay a mechanic $70 an hour or so, a doctor or lawyer a lot more than that, but time itself is priceless. 

James 4:14 (NLT)  How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

People, time is running out.  Your time.  My time.  Everyone’s time is running out.  And you just can’t make any more of it. 

Are you spending your time wisely?  Are you telling those you love about Jesus? 

PRAYER: We are so in denial about the brevity of our lives, Lord!  Awaken us, shake us out of our apathy and foolish denial so we can tend to the things and people in life that are truly important!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://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 support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations 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 donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. 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 the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 09/25/13 – Lazarus at the Gate

DayBreaks for 09/25/13 – Lazarus at the Gate

Luke 16:19-25 (NLT) – Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20  At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21  As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. 22  “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, 23  and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. 24  “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’ 25  “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish.

There is an old story about a botanist who was studying the heather bell plant that is found in the highlands of Scotland.  One day, while looking through his microscope at this beautiful flower, a shepherd approached him and asked what he was looking at.  Rather than trying to explain, the scientist invited the shepherd to look through his microscope and see for himself.  When the shepherd saw the wonder of the flower, he exclaimed, “My God, and I have been tramping on them all my life!”

Is that a word of warning we need?  Wake up!  Pay attention!  Look around you.  You may be tramping on the heart of someone nearby.

Who is the Lazarus at your gate?

PRAYER: Every day we pass by such beauty that is concealed in the people we see – and we miss it!  Help us, Lord, not to trample on people!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://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 support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations 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 donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. 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 the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 09/23/13: The Vision of a Return to the Father

DayBreaks for 09/24/13 – The Vision of a Return to the Father

Rembrandts-The-Return-of-the-Prodigal-Son1Throughout a long, prolific career, Rembrandt often used the Bible as a source of inspiration for his art.  As he did so, he breathed new light into the people and stories from the New Testament, but most particularly the faces and events that were directly connected with the life of Jesus.

His patrons included a wide religious spectrum, but he wasn’t, as far as we know, an active church-goer.  His spirituality is seen in his art. Like many contemporaries, he read the Bible frequently and internalized its lessons as his faith and beliefs were a source of comfort during the hard times of his life.

During the 1640’s one by one each of his three infant children would die within the first few months of life. His fourth child would to everyone’s surprise survive infancy the others could not. The birth and survival of his son Titus was one of the biggest joys of his lifetime. Just when life seemed to be getting better his wife, Saskia, died one year after the birth of the son.

To make matters worse, Rembrandt was forced to declare financial insolvency in 1656 and auction off his extremely valuable art collection and all of his household possessions. In an effort to find solace during these times of grief and darkness, Rembrandt began to paint religious portraits and scenes: the depictions of Christ and the Virgin, the Apostles, namely James, Paul, Bartholomew and Simon, the Evangelists, Monks and Saints. Also one of his most famous pieces is his self-portrait as the Apostle Paul, dated 1657.

His religious art remains some of the most important work of his career. The biblical paintings say something very profound about the artist, his beliefs and his ability to see into and paint the human soul.

Fascinatingly, his last work was “The Return of the Prodigal Son” which he left on the easel at his death in 1669 and was completed by his pupil. It is a highlighted flare of his vision of his approaching death.  He is returning to his forgiving Father: a Father who has grace in His face, arms outstretched and there is so much light on them both: repentance and acceptance.

May we all find the light of repentance and forgiveness as pictured by Rembrandt as we approach each day.

PRAYER: Jesus, I thank you for this wonderful story that has breathed hope into desperate lives for so many years!  Thank you for showing us how our Father feels about us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://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 support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations 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 donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. 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 the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 09/23/13 – Don’t Stop Yelling too Soon!

DayBreaks for 09/23/13 – Don’t Stop Yelling to Soon

Luke 18:35-40a (NLT) –  As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. 36  When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. 37  They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by. 38  So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39  “Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40  When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him…

I wonder how often we fail to really try to get God’s attention.  Here was a blind man who had to ask what all the commotion was about.  He is told and starts yelling for Jesus.  He’s told by all the other people to shut up (we humans are so quick to give advice to others) but it only made him yell louder.  He wasn’t going to give up until he got the attention of the rabbi from Nazareth.

How’s your prayer life?  How quickly do you “give up”?  We may pray without passion.  We may blithely say repetitive words and say that we’ve “prayed” today.  We may pray about something a few times and give up.  We may get advice from others who either 1) mean well, or; 2) have their own selfish interests at heart, and as a result we slink back into our corner or pursue the bad advice (like shutting up once we’ve asked God for something) and the result is we never have that life-changing encounter with Jesus.

When told to “Shut up!”, this man got louder.  He refused to be ignored.  I think God wants us to be the same way, to pray “without ceasing” – not just all the time, but not quitting!

Did Jesus heal every blind person, lame person, leprous-skinned person he met or encountered during his life?  We don’t know, but probably not.  Does our yelling out to God mean we’ll get what we want, too?  No necessarily.  But if we don’t quit yelling, we may have a better chance of it.

PRAYER: May our prayers be real and spring from honest hearts and may we never stop striving to have a closer encounter with you, Jesus!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://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 support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations 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 donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. 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 the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!