DayBreaks for 5/10/19 – We Just Don’t Get It

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DayBreaks for 5/10/19: We Just Don’t Get It

From the DayBreaks archive: May 2009

In 2004, Daniel Meyer wrote: “Years ago I traveled to Ecuador and spent a couple of weeks traveling in the mountains. The Quechua Indian people I met there lived amidst the most mind-numbing squalor. The disease and disfigured bodies were heartbreaking. The bugs and stench were everywhere. People were living in a hole in the ground and calling it a house. They were feeding on rotten food and prizing garbage as possessions. But they didn’t know it. Why? Because everyone lived that way. They had never been given a picture of what it means to be a genuinely healthy human being. They did not know what an abundant life truly looked like.

“That is our problem, too. It’s the reason we think of ourselves as largely innocent people—people who have little to do with bringing about the Cross of Christ. We don’t get how sick and undeveloped we are spiritually. In Psalm 14, David says that the one fully-healthy Being in the universe views the human race as we might view those Quechua villagers—only the gap between his life and that of our village is so much larger. The Lord looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. But all have turned aside. They have together become corrupt. There is no one who does good, not even one. (Ps. 14) In other words, we are condemned, and we don’t even know it.”

I think Mr. Meyer is correct: we are just as ignorant of what a truly abundant life looks like as the Quechua Indians are about what life in America might look like.  There is absolutely no way that they can imagine or picture freeways, cars, grocery stores stocked with food, doctor’s offices and hospitals that can assist in God’s healing.  They cannot imagine what lurks in the water they drink because they’ve never seen a microscope and know nothing of bacteria and viruses. 

We, perhaps, do a have bit better idea of what an abundant life looks like, because we can look at the life of Jesus and get an idea.  Jesus certainly lived an abundant life – and we’ll note that it had nothing to do with cars, stocked shelves of foodstuffs or even physical well-being.  Abundant life, from the Biblical standpoint, springs from the heart that is in tune with God and His will. 

Part of the problem may also be that we seldom to take time to consider our life and compare it to what an abundant life might look like.  Again, mind you, I’m not talking about physical possessions.  Jesus put it this way: Then turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or clothes to wear. For life consists of far more than food and clothing.  Luke 12:22-23 (NLT)

Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field. He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.” Ecclesiastes 5:9-10 (KJV)

Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’  “Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. ‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”‘  “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:15-21 (NASB)

Prayer: Jesus, lead us into true abundant life that we may be rich towards You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 7/6/18 – Failure to Thrive

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DayBreaks for 7/06/18: Failure to Thrive

From the DayBreaks Archive, July 2008:

FTT.  Do you know that that means?  If you’re a nurse or doctor, you probably do.  It is shorthand for “Failed to Thrive” and it is used when a baby or child does not gain weight or grow.  I didn’t know that until I read an illustration from John Ortberg just this past week that enlightened me:

“FTT—my wife first introduced me to those initials. Nancy was a nurse when I first met her. There were many parts of nursing for which she did not care. But she loved diagnosis. To this day there cannot be too many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy or ER for her.  She is constantly telling me her private diagnoses of people—even total strangers—based on their skin color. She can tell you how long you have to live if she gets a long look at your face and the light is good.

“But of all the diagnoses I ever heard her discuss, FTT is the one that sticks in my mind. Those initials would go on the chart of an infant who, often for unknown reasons, was unable to gain weight or grow.

“Failure to thrive.

“Sometimes, they guess, it happens when a parent or care-giver is depressed, and the depression seems to get passed down. Sometimes something seems to be off in an infant’s metabolism for reasons no one can understand, so FTT is one of those mysterious phrases that sounds like an explanation but explains nothing.

“Failure to thrive.

“I didn’t know why it struck me as so unspeakably sad until I read Dallas Willard’s The Spirit of the Disciplines, a book that has affected me more than any book other than the Bible, from which Dallas actually gets his best ideas.

“Dallas writes that although we have tended to think of the word salvation as the forgiveness of sins or the escape from punishment, it actually has a much more robust meaning for the writers of Scripture: “the simple and wholly adequate word for salvation in the New Testament is ‘life.’ ‘I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.‘ ‘He that hath the Son hath life.‘ ‘Even when we were dead through our trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ.‘ “

“This is the human condition.  FTT.

“Thrive is a life word; a word full of shalom. Thriving is what life was intended to do, like a flower stubbornly pushing through a crack in the sidewalk. It is why we pause in wonder at a human being’s first step, or first word; and why we ought to wonder at every step, and every word. Thriving is what God saw when he made life and saw that it was good. “Thrive” was the first command: be fruitful, and multiply.”

Galen’s Thoughts: how sad it must be for a nurse to see what appears to be a perfectly healthy baby or child, who for some unknown reason, fails to thrive…and dies.  Can it be any less painful for God to see what He created suffering from the same illness spiritually?  Even some Christians seem to suffer this syndrome.  If we are “alive together” with Christ (can anything be more ALIVE than Christ?!?!?!?), why do we look and act so dead?

PRAYER:  You are the Source of Life and of life abundant, Lord.  Don’t let us FTT, but awaken us through Your very Spirit of LIfe!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 11/03/16 – Many Ways to Lose Your Life

DayBreaks for 11/03/16 – Many Ways to Lose Your Life

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2006:

I try to get into the gym 5 times a week to exercise.  I must confess that many days I really don’t want to go in there and exercise.  But I do – primarily because if I don’t, my cardiologist will read me the riot act.  And it helps create the illusion, too, that by exercising, I will live healthy and well forever.  I know that’s an illusion, but it’s one that I like to hold close to my heart!

Part of my routine is riding the exercise bike.  B-O-R-I-N-G.  Sure, there are TV’s to watch if you’re so inclined, but I find my time is much better spent if I read something.  Sometimes, it’s a sports or outdoors magazine, sometimes it’s a book that I’m interested in.  Just recently, I was reading Outdoor magazine and they had an article about world-class mountain climbers.  They were recalling some of their harrowing moments on the side of mountains like McKinley, Everest, K2, etc.  One comment that was made by the wife of a climber who had died on Everest really struck me.  She said, “There are many ways to lose your life besides dying.”  In her case, she meant that her husband would have “died” if he’d not been able to climb mountains – to do the thing he so loved.

We live in fear of dying.  We decorate caskets with favorite sports team logos, line them with satin as if they were a jewelry box for holding diamonds.  Our fears can cause us to never take any more risk than is absolutely necessary: we can stay inside, never drive, never ride in a vehicle, never fly, never eat any food that we’d not grown organically ourselves, etc.  But that wouldn’t be much of a life, would it? 

Jesus said that he’d come to give us “life – an abundant life” – one that overflows.  We often think that Jesus came to bring us salvation – and that is true.  He did come for that.  But he also came so we could have abundant life.  He doesn’t just save us from eternal torment in hell, but he also saves us from living wasted lives.  What if you worked hard your entire life and when you get to the end you discover, as you lay in your room gazing at the things that surround you, that you’re not very happy with what you have and did with your life?  Jesus doesn’t want that to happen to us.  When we get to the end of this life, he wants us to be of the mindset that we’re grateful for the life we’ve had to live, a life we can look back on and see was well-lived, but mostly to have the attitude of: “It’s been a great ride so far, Jesus.  Now, let the REAL adventure begin!”

If you feel that you’re living a wasted life – one devoid of meaning – I don’t think you’re living the Jesus-life.  All you have to do is read the New Testament and you’ll see that his life and the lives of his disciples were anything but wasted, dull, boring and meaningless.  It was in serving God, and people, that they found joy, and that’s where we’ll find it, too.  There are many ways to lose your life, but only one way to find it!

PRAYER:  God, we long for the fully abundant life you have offered to us.  Help us put everything else aside that slows us down or distracts us from running full-speed into the adventure of eternity with You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 10/24/14 – To Discover I Had Not Lived

DayBreaks for 10/24/14 – To Discover I Had Not Lived

From the DayBreaks Archive, 10/28/2004:

There are days when my wife asks me a simple question to which the answer often is difficult and troubling.  That question is an innocent one, and it’s simply this: What did you do today?  When she asks me that, I face a moment of panic when I have to evaluate and admit one of two things: 1) that I had a very exciting, filled day that was challenging and thrilling, or; 2) that I can hardly remember what I did all day long.  It’s easy to answer her question in the first situation, but much more difficult to talk about the day when I realize that I’ve been on autopilot all day and have to really think about what it was that I accomplished.  I don’t like that feeling.

The same thing happens sometimes when we drive.  I’ve driven for hours sometimes and when I stop, I realize that I’ve pretty much been oblivious to what I’ve been doing, where I’ve been and what I’ve seen.  Can you identify with me?  It’s scary.

Henry David Thoreau (who is not especially someone to look up to and admire for a variety of reasons), was explaining why he lived the way he did and he said something worth thinking about: I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately…and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

I think that God would applaud that sentiment.  I believe that God wants us to live deliberately – and by that I mean consciously, aware of God, the world around us, the Spirit within us.  And I do believe with all my heart that He does want us to really live!  How sad it would be for a Christian to lie on their deathbed and be overwhelmed with a sense that they’d not lived life the way God wanted them to – to embrace life fully, the victories and failures, the good and bad, the joy and the pain – and to have digested those things and savored each one for the blessing that they are.

I believe that this is nothing more or less than the abundant life that Christ came to give us.  Are you living it?  Go out – and live!

PRAYER: Jesus, help us live life abundantly in You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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