DayBreaks for 10/23/13 – The Race We Are In

DayBreaks for 10/23/13 – The Race We Are In

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT) – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3  Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.

Let me tell you a story about someone that I’ve never met and only just read about, but I deeply admire her: one day, at age 42, in beautiful downtown Cleveland, this woman ran a marathon by accident (all 26 miles, 385 yards of it). Her name is Georgene Johnson.  You may have heard her story, how she lined up with the wrong group at the starting line. Not the 10K group, where she belonged. But the 26 mile group, where she didn’t.

It wasn’t until the four mile mark that she realized her mistake. So she just kept going, finishing the race in four hours and four minutes. But it’s what she said later (by way of explanation) that struck a chord within me.  Said Georgene: “This isn’t the race I trained for. This isn’t the race I entered. But, for better or worse, this is the race I’m in.”

Isn’t that how life is?  Think about the single mother, struggling to make ends meet.  Think of the addict with the needle in his/her arm, the prostitute or starving.  None of them ever hope to be such things when they were starting out in life. 

You may find yourself in a similar situation.  You may be doing something for work that you never thought you’d be doing – a step down from your early aspirations.  You may find yourself worn out at day’s end from little children dogging your every step, demanding every ounce of energy and attention you have to offer. You may have thought you’d be living in a comfortable retirement but due to the downturn a few years back, that dream is largely gone up in smoke.

This is the race I’m in.”  No matter what season of life we are in, relatively few of us are exactly where we figured we’d be….doing exactly what we figured we’d be doing. But we are where we are, and (for better or worse) we’re keeping our feet moving.  Why?  Perhaps it is because we have no choice.  Perhaps it is because we are still grasping a thread of hope for better times in front of us.  But the best motivation of all is to understand that where ever we are right now, we are to serve the King.  We are where we are as part of a plan that He’s working out in our lives. We can make a difference right now, right where we are.  I may not have become the neurosurgeon that I dreamed of being, but I’m something better.  I’m a disciple of Jesus.  I’m a child of the King!  The question is what will I do with this day of the race I’m in?  What will you do with yours?

How do we do it?  The answer is in the passage above: “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus…” not on broken hopes or dreams.  We aren’t even to set our eyes on the finish line, but on the person of Jesus, who will carry us over that finish line!  What do you see as you face your day?  Jesus?  Or just another day of living?

PRAYER: Jesus, we can so easily despair about what has become of our hopes and dreams for our lives.  Give us the wisdom to realize that no matter what and where we are now, that You have invited us to join You in Your work – to make the best of this and every day for as long as we draw breath.  Lift our eyes to see you rather than our problems!  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 10/22/13 – The Answer to Injustice

DayBreaks for 10/22/13 – The Answer to Injustice

Isaiah 58:6-8 (MSG) This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. 7  What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. 8  Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The GOD of glory will secure your passage.

The Word is clear: God knows everything about us.  Recently I was talking with a friend and I was sharing that a God that is big enough to have created everything out of nothing is also big enough to know how many hairs are on our heads and the words inside of our heads, too.  It’s therefore true that if you are being bullied in school, God knows about it and God hates it. If you are being harassed in the workplace, for any reason, God hates it. If you are being taken advantage of–or if you are taking unfair advantage of someone else–there will be a day of reckoning. If there is anyone anywhere praying for God to intervene and put an end to their oppression, eventually that prayer will be heard and that which is wrong will be set right. That’s the promise of Scripture.

So, are we to just sit around and wait for that day to arrive? I think not.  Let me tell you a story.

A young black man asked his minister why their people had to suffer so much poverty, hardship, and oppression. “Why doesn’t God do something?” he wailed.

“He has,” said that wise pastor. “He has created you.”

And so Desmond Tutu, now the archbishop of South Africa, became the answer to his own question.

That’s a good lesson for you and me. While we are waiting for God to bring in a perfect and just society, you and I are God’s answer to the injustice in our world right now. That’s what it means to take up a cross and follow Jesus. It’s not a comfortable position to be in. It’s not popular. But it is Christ’s way.

PRAYER: We would rather that you took immediate action to solve all injustice instead of waiting, but until you act, help us to act in your name and with your authority to bring such things to an end as much as possible.  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 10/21/13 – Of Rats and Hope

DayBreaks for 10/21/13 – Of Rats and Hope

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.

I don’t know anyone who loves rats, but even rats can teach us something about hope.  I don’t know who did this experiment nor when it was done, but if you take a rat and put it into a bucket of water, it will swim for 15 minutes before it gives up and drowns.  But, if you lift the rat out so it can catch its breath for even a few moments just before it gives up, it will swim for another 15 minutes.  And then, if you lift it out again for a few moments and put it back, it will swim for another 15 minutes.  And it will do that for 5 days

Why?  It is believed to be motivated by being lifted out….it is given hope, so it will continue on and endure for an extraordinary period of time.  Once it loses hope, however, it dies.  And it can lost that hope after just 15 minutes if it doesn’t believe that there is a chance of its life continuing by getting out of the bucket.

Christian hope is believed by many to be just wishful thinking.  That’s not what Christian hope is about.  It’s not wishful thinking – it is confidence.  We don’t just hope that Jesus will come back some day – Christians are confident of it because Jesus promised us that he would be back.  We don’t just hope that we’ll “make it” into heaven – we’re confident of it because Jesus doesn’t lose even one of those whom God has given him.  We don’t just hope that things will work out – we are confident they will because we have a loving Father who has made us the apple of His eye and He has the power and ability to make good on that promise, too.

Hope.  Without it, we die.  With it, we can persevere, knowing that all shall be well!

PRAYER: Jesus, thank you for the hope that sustains us in even the darkest of hours in this life.  Thank you that YOU are the bedrock of our hope, our sure foundation and the keeper of promises!  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 10/18/13 – Incredible Wonder

DayBreaks for 10/18/13 – Incredible Wonder

FROM THE DayBreaks Archive:

Psalm 8:3-5 – When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

Good question that David asked God, isn’t it?  What was it that brought on David’s wonderment?  It was contemplating the vastness of the universe of God’s creation.

I am freshly returned from a 3-day trout fishing excursion (a highly successful one, I might add!) into the high Sierras with a couple of friends/brothers.  This is a tradition with us.  We’ve gone almost every year for 25 years.  (There were 1 or 2 years where we didn’t make it, but that’s all.)  But even after all that time, every time I go to see what God has made, I share in David’s wonder.

I stood one evening at the base of a tall Ponderosa pine tree that was right behind the tent we slept in.  It was dark and I lifted my eyes to the top of the tree.  Immediately above the tip of the tree, almost as if it was in perfect alignment, was a star.  I don’t know what the name of the star was, or even if it was a star or a distant galaxy that just looked like a star, but all of a sudden, I felt so tiny.  The tree dwarfed me.  The tip of the tree towered over me and made me feel small.  And then my eyes lifted on up to the star, and I did my best to comprehend the vast distance that one would have to fall from the star to the top of the tree.  Knowing that the star couldn’t have been nearly as far away as many objects in space (otherwise it wouldn’t have even been visible to the naked eye), I felt incredibly miniscule, yet amazed, that God knows me.  He knows all about me.  He knew what I would have for breakfast before I ate it.  He knew my last thought before I thought it.  He has to manage the entire universe – yet He has time for me.

I must confess, that the last part of David’s utterance is a bit harder for me to accept, but David says it is true: we have been crowned with glory and honor.  How?  In what way?  I think there are several ways:

FIRST: we alone, of all creatures, bear God’s image.  Whales don’t, chimpanzees don’t, dolphins don’t.  Only mankind.  That alone should be enough to make use honored and glorious.

SECOND: we alone, of all creatures, are the beneficiaries of Christ’s sacrifice.  He didn’t die for redwood trees, needle-sharp mountains nor for the stars in distant space.  His blood wasn’t needed to take away sin from the rest of his creation, only from us.  Yet it was a price he felt was worth it.  That says something about us being crowned with honor and glory.

The next time that you are tempted to think that you aren’t important or don’t count for much, go out and look at the stars at night – and contemplate that you are far more glorious than anything that sparkles in the sky above! 

PRAYER: Father, we are grateful that for those who believe in You, the account has already been settled and all debts paid.  Help us avoid the deception of Satan that causes us to think our actions no longer matter or that the cost to settle our debt was small!  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 10/17/13 – When God Settles Accounts

DayBreaks for 10/17/13 – When God Settles Accounts

Matthew 18:23 (NIV) – Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

I heard a story which illustrates how we easily and often confuse God’s timing with ours. A country newspaper had been running a series of articles on the value of church attendance. One day, a letter to the editor was received in the newspaper office. It read, “Print this if you dare. I have been trying an experiment. I have a field of corn which I plowed on Sunday. I planted it on Sunday. I did all the cultivating on Sunday. I gathered the harvest on Sunday and hauled it to my barn on Sunday. I find that my harvest this October is just as great as any of my neighbors’ who went to church on Sunday. So where was God all this time?” The editor printed the letter, but added his reply at the bottom. “Your mistake was in thinking that God always settles his accounts in October.”

That’s often our mistake as well, isn’t it — thinking that God should act when and how we want him to act, according to our timetable rather than his. The fact that our vision is limited, finite, unable to see the end from the beginning, somehow escapes our mind. So we complain; we get frustrated; we accuse God of being indifferent to us; we do not live by faith.

We often think that we have escaped judgment for what we’ve done because of His long-suffering patience.  We think that we’ve gotten away scott-free with misbehaving and sinful activities.  We presume that because nothing has happened that either 1) He doesn’t care, or 2) He didn’t notice what we’ve done because He’s too busy governing the universe to notice someone as small and insignificant as “me”. 

God will settle His accounts – every single one, either for the good or the bad.  God is not limited by our sense of when He should or shouldn’t take action and for us to think so is the height of human pride. 

PRAYER: Father, we are grateful that for those who believe in You, the account has already been settled and all debts paid.  Help us avoid the deception of Satan that causes us to think our actions no longer matter or that the cost to settle our debt was small!  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 10/16/13 – The Fly and the Moth

DayBreaks for 10/16/13 – The Fly and the Moth

By Witthaya Phonsawat, published on 24 July 2013 Stock Photo - image ID: 100186160 FreeDigitalPhotos.com

By Witthaya Phonsawat, published on 24 July 2013
Stock Photo – image ID: 100186160
FreeDigitalPhotos.com

Revelation 3:8 (NIV)  I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

We all do it all the time. The door of heaven’s House of Bread, the ultimate pastry palace, is standing open. But we keep trying to break in the back door of the local bakery.

A parable by a well-known rabbi tells the story of a moth and a fly. One day a moth and a fly were together near a window. The moth sat comfortably on the side peering out, watching as the fly relentlessly and persistently flew up and around and straight into the window. The stunned fly would fall, then get up and try again. On and on the fly tried to find a way through the window, and each time failed.

Finally, the moth said, “Fly, why are you doing that? Can’t you see by now that it’s not working?  Right over there is another window that’s open. Why don’t you just go over and fly to freedom through the open window?” “No,” said the fly. “If I just try hard enough, I’ll find the way out here.” So on and on the fly persisted, circling the closed window and slamming its body into it.

The moth became more and more certain the fly was out of its mind when the solution was so simple. Soon nighttime came. The fly lay exhausted on the window sill, while the moth just shook its head. Just then, a light came on near the ceiling of the room, illuminating an open door at the other side of the room. Without thinking, the moth flew up straight toward the light, fizzled in the heat and fell dead to the floor.

Why do we try so hard to do the things that thwart and harm us, when God opens doors and windows for us if only we had the faith to enter?  Yet, we persist to our own harm and pain.

Perhaps if you are in pain today or if you are worn out it may be because you’ve been trying to open the door yourself, trying to choose your own way instead of looking for the door He has set before you.  Consider it.  Pray over it – but only if you are willing to walk through the door He has already set in front of you.  That door will be open!

PRAYER: Jesus, we are not, at times, any wiser than the fly or the moth in this story.  We want to open the door that we think will lead us to where WE want to go, instead of the door YOU want us to enter!  Help us come to our senses and stop beating ourselves senseless!  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 10/15/13 – The Bigger and Better Hunt

DayBreaks for 10/15/13 – The Bigger and Better Hunt

From the DayBreaks archive, 10/08/2003:

Matthew 11:28 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 16:26 – …or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 

Have you ever been on a “bigger and better” hunt?  Here’s the idea: you start out with something small and of very little value, like a stick of gum, a pencil, or an old, beat-up book.  You then go on a scavenger hunt, sort of, except when you go to the door of a house, you tell them that you’re on a bigger and better hunt, and that you will exchange what you have for something they have that is better/bigger than what you have to give them.  If you’re lucky, you will get folks to swap up with you. 

In his book, The God You Can Know, Dan DeHaan told of one such bigger and better hunt that his youth group was involved with and they came back with 1) a sofa (that they used in their youth room)!; 2) a charcoal burner/BBQ, and 3) a pendulum clock that worked!

This kind of activity is fun and it really gets the excitement going.  But there’s a tremendous spiritual point to be made about God and man.  In reality, it’s a bit different than the typical “bigger and better” hunt, because God is the one who goes out hunting.  But in His case, when He knocks on the door, he is the one who offers us something bigger and better than whatever it is that we have to give Him.  But there’s a catch: before He gives us what is bigger and better, we first have to give Him whatever poor thing it is that we have to exchange.  And make no mistake about it: whatever we have to give Him is far less than anything we receive in exchange!  

God is always knocking on our door in this cosmic bigger and better hunt.  He’s knocking on your door right now, asking you to give Him something and in return, He’ll give you something bigger and better!  He may be asking you to give Him your worries about your children, He may be asking you to give Him your insecurities, your fears, you weariness, your yesterday, your tomorrow, your sin, your pain.  The list is endless.  And He wants to give you something FAR greater in exchange: His peace, love, mercy, grace, strength, a future, an eternity.

Are you listening for His knock?  Don’t be afraid to open and exchange what you have for something bigger and better!  God is on a continuous journey trying to get us to give Him what we cannot keep for something we cannot lose.  Don’t hesitate…do it today!

PRAYER: Lord, as the song goes, all we have to offer You is brokenness and strife!  Thanks for incredible gifts You give us in exchange!  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!