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 10/05/15 – Don’t Get Too Comfortable

DayBreaks for 10/05/15 – Don’t Get Too Comfortable

From the DayBreaks archive, 2015:

A year ago for my birthday, my wife and kids got me a hammock.  We live on the side of a hill that overlooks the world famous Alexander Valley – famous for the vineyards and wine that comes from the area.  I’ve got to tell you the truth – in the afternoon when there’s a nice breeze coming up from the valley, it’s VERY comfortable to lay out there in the hammock with the Bible or a good book and read.  In fact, it can be too comfortable – it’s too easy to fall asleep. 

I guess we were designed to like comfort and to be comfortable.  Given our druthers, most of us would rather be comfortable than uncomfortable.  (There are a few who would rather climb a 2000 foot vertical rock face instead of lay around in a hammock, but I’ve concluded that those people are probably crazy!)  One of the things that makes us comfortable is predictability.  When we know what to expect, we can relax because we aren’t worried about things that take us by surprise or that go bump in the night.   

While we may seek comfort (a relaxed, casual, non-alarmed state) I seriously doubt that God wants us to be that way.  Over and over again we’re cautioned to stay alert, be awake, be watchful, to keep our lamps trimmed and bright.  Why?  Because God is not the God of the comfortable.  We may even quote the verse about God being “the same yesterday, today and tomorrow” and we’d be right.  But there’s a big difference between what God is (His unchangeable nature) and the things that God may do.  A rather casual glance at Scripture shows us a God who is chock-full of surprises: He inhabits pillars of fire and cloud, sends an earthquake to shake up the complacent, sends windstorms so strong that they rend the very rocks, hails fire down from the sky, makes an animal talk to an abusive master, piles up the Red Sea like curtains and then surprised everyone by appearing as a baby in a manger who later on will die as a criminal on a cross.  If there’s one thing about God that’s certain, it’s this: you can’t really follow Him for very long and remain comfortable.  He’ll do something the stir you out of your lethargy.

Maybe you’ve been getting a little too comfortable.  You can do it by pulling back from any and all ministries, by not using your giftedness for the benefit of the Kingdom.  It’s easy to do – we all love an easy chair!  Just don’t get too comfortable.

PRAYER: Keep us from the mistake of thinking we know what You will do or when you will do it. Don’t let us grow fat and complacent with our relationship and walk with you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2015 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 10/01/15 – Sleepy Devotion

DayBreaks for 10/01/15 – Sleepy Devotion

When are you most likely to get sleepy?  I know that when I’m driving on a long trip, the worst time for me to drive is the first couple of hours after lunch.  My belly is full (too full, most of the time!), the warm sunshine is pouring through the window, I am starting to get tired and I’ve already heard the news on the radio about 10 times, and I can’t find much to talk about (I’m a man of few words – except, as the congregation would tell you, when I’m preaching!) 

I also can get tired and sleepy in meetings.  Especially a meeting which is poorly run and seems to have no direction or real purpose.  Or, if it’s about something I really don’t care about.  In my previous career in the computer/data field, I have to confess that I sat through more meetings than a skunk has stink!  And, I often found myself nodding, not in approval, but with drowsiness!  I would shift in my chair from one side to the other, uncross my legs and cross them again, lean forward or back, force myself to take notes and all sorts of other ingenious activities to keep from falling on the floor in a loud snore.  Not good, I know.  But honest. 

Our devotion to God can get pretty sleepy, too.  If we think we’ve got it figured out already, or if we think “I’ve already heard from God.  What else is there that He could possibly tell me?”  Well…plenty.  The more willing I am to listen to God, the more He tells me!  And I’m afraid that I’m an unending project for God – the rest of you may “get it” as soon as the gates of heaven swing open for you, but I’m convinced that God’ll still be working on me 732 trillion years after I get there!!!!!

Frank Laubach said, “If you are weary of some sleepy form of devotion, probably God is as weary of it as you are.”  Good point.  If your Christianity is dull, boring and as interesting as an aimless, wandering, unimportant meeting, then you aren’t experiencing a God-centered relationship, or you’re cherishing sin in your heart.  Ask Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John, Peter, Paul, Mary, Deborah, Esther, Ruth, Job, Mary Magdalene, Dorcas or anyone else in Scripture if their life was sleepy because of the relationship they had with God.  I’m sure they, like us, had ups and downs where their devotion waxed and waned, but it would be hard to characterize the life of any one of those people as boring, unexciting, dull or sleepy!

When you stop to think about it, how could a life that is sold out to God be a boring life?  God never gets tired – and He’s a creative, energy-filled God who has plenty for us to do!  But the best part isn’t even the doing – it’s being with Him, becoming like the Lion of Judah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Alpha and the Omega – that’s exciting!

Don’t settle for a dull, boring journey through this life as a Christian.  Live it on the edge with God, and you’ll never get sleepy again!

PRAYER: Lord, lead us on in a great adventure with You, and renew us with the excitement of constantly being in Your Presence and walking with You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.