DayBreaks for 3/31/20 – The Hallway Through the Sea #8 – Apart is Temporary, Together Is Forever

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DayBreaks for 3/31/20: The Hallway Through the Sea #8 – Apart is Temporary, Together is Forever

From Christianity Today and Tim Dalrymple, 3/30/20:

For today’s musical pairing, listen to “S.T.A.Y.” from Hanz Zimmer’s “Interstellar” soundtrack. Note that all the songs for this series have been gathered into a Spotify playlist here. See video below.

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” – Romans 8:15

“Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” – Revelation 22:20

Day 9. 775,306 confirmed cases, 37,083 deaths globally.

My youngest daughter was born on the other side of the world to a family I never met. Since her heart had not formed properly, she was left in a baby safe-house outside an orphanage and eventually found her way to people who produced the funding needed for life-saving surgery. Americans and Chinese, most of them followers of Jesus, helped her heal and grow.

She was three years old when her picture appeared on our Facebook feed. She needed a home and a “forever family.” My wife and I did not need to make a decision. We simply recognized our daughter.

Adoption is a mysterious thing. It’s not a resolution to form something new. It’s a realization that something beautiful was already formed, and we are only now beginning to realize it. My wife fought like a lioness to bring her home. “My child is stuck in another country,” she said. Our little girl called me Baba (“daddy”) when we spoke across computer screens. Although we started on opposite sides of the planet, separated by oceans and borders and languages and cultures, somehow she was a part of our family from the very beginning.

So we made our way around the world and found a little girl who was 37 inches and 39 pounds of laughter and energy and determined affection. Then we brought her home. We were apart for a little while, and now we are forever family.

You say, O Lord, we are adopted. As we watch the virus reaching swiftly across the face of the Earth, as we see it take root more firmly in our own soil, we take comfort that you have made us your children.

When you look upon us, you do not see strangers. You see your sons and daughters. You loved us before we knew you existed. You see our suffering… (Click this link to read the rest of the meditation.)

Link to Christianity Today’s Facebook page

The Hallway Through the Sea is a series of daily meditations from the president and CEO of Christianity Today, written specifically for those struggling through the coronavirus pandemic. It will address our sense of fear and isolation and also the ways we find beauty and truth and hope—and Christ himself—in the midst of suffering. The title of the column alludes to the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea. We are a people redeemed from our enslavement to sin, yet we find ourselves living between where we were and where we are meant to be. Danger looms on both sides, but our hope and our faith is that God will deliver us through the sea and into the land of promise.

Timothy Dalrymple is president and CEO of Christianity Today. Follow him on Twitter @TimDalrymple_

PREVIOUS THE HALLWAY THROUGH THE SEA COLUMNS:

Out of the Depths

Chosen in the Furnace

The First Word and the Last

More . . .

Link to video with facts, symptoms and prevention tips about coronavirus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AITtaAAAdYc

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

DayBreaks for 1/15/19: His DNA

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DayBreaks for 1/15/20: His DNA

From the DayBreaks Archive, January 2010:

Lee Eclov told this story, shared by permission of the Foote family:

“In August, 2009, we got a rather amazing email from my wife’s youngest brother, Jon. Six or seven years ago, when Jon and his wife, Lori, were working with a youth group in Nebraska, they met Amanda—a teenage girl the same age as their son, Wesley. Amanda came from a terribly abusive home and was eventually taken from her parents by the state. She has been part of Jon and Lori’s family ever since.

“After conferring with their two sons, Jon and Lori legally adopted Amanda. She is 22, and her name is now Amanda Foote. She will even get a new birth certificate! Now Jon and Lori have three legal heirs, and Amanda has two new brothers. She no longer has any legal claim upon her former parents, who disowned her—nor they upon her. The process was relatively simple.

“They had thought of Amanda as their daughter for a long time, but I asked if anything felt different after that day at the courthouse. Jon said, “Absolutely! When it was official there was a huge change in Lori and me—sort of like when you see your newborn for the first time. And for Amanda, there was a change in her, too. Now she knew she belonged. She knew we were her parents.”

“The beauty of it all made me offer a word of thanks to the way-clearing of our Elder Brother Jesus, God’s Beloved Son. God has given us a new name (his), a new legal standing (we are his responsibility and his heirs), and a new family (brothers and sisters in Christ, and God as our true Father). But God went even further. He gave us something that Jon and Lori can’t give Amanda. God gave us his Holy Spirit. In some ways it’s like God gives us his DNA. But even more than that, God implants in us his heart, his mind, his passion, his holiness—and people even look at us and say, “My how you bear a striking resemblance to your Father!”

Today in courts all over the world, DNA is used to prove relationships or identity.  When you think about it, isn’t that what the Holy Spirit is within us?  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. – Ephesians 1:13-14 Our inheritance is assured because of our Paternity, and the Holy Spirit is the guarantee, the identifying method if you will, that shows we are His.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the incomparable gift of your Holy Spirit that You have placed within us.  Teach us to hear His voice and follow His leading!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

DayBreaks for 7/10/18 – The Longing for Belonging

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DayBreaks for 7/10/18: The Longing for Belonging

From the DayBreaks Archive, July 2008:

We all want desperately to belong to something.  It may be a bridge club, a sports team, a lover, a profession – we all want to have a place of belonging, where we are valued for who and what we are, where we find kindred hearts that beat with common interests and shared passions. 

Think about the things you’ve longed to be a part of in your life.  If you go back as far as you can in memory’s hallway,  you may find that you wanted first of all to belong to some club or team.  You wanted to be one of the kids that was liked and invited to the coolest parties or to go out on a date with someone you dared only worship from afar.  Later, you wanted to be admitted to a certain college or university, then to a company or business or organization where your interests could be matched with a need and where you belonged and could contribute.  We all want to be good for something – and wanted because of it. 

Alas, I was never allowed to be a cheerleader or pom-pom girl.  I didn’t have the right qualifications (but then I never wanted to be one either!!!!!!)  Nor was I ever admitted to medical school or the astronaut program.  I wish I had been, for both hold great fascination for me – even to this day.  All of my wishing that I’d belonged in those careers or callings cannot and will not make it so. 

Perhaps the most difficult, and possibly foolish thing, that we might try to do is to create the meaning of our own life instead of simply discovering it.  Here’s what I mean: in his book, Epic, John Eldredge observed: “Something preceded us.  Something good.  We’d much rather be included in something great than to have to create the meaning of our lives.  To know that life, ultimately, doesn’t rest on our shoulders, but invites us up into it.” 
How terrifying would it be to have to create the meaning of your own life?  What if you got it WRONG?  What if you couldn’t construct a satisfactory meaning to your own life? 

Thank God we don’t have to, nor can we, create the meaning for our own lives.  Simply put, God has created the sphere of meaning and purpose – all we have to do is to discover it.  And God has even made that easy, ultimately – His rule and kingdom is the meaning of our lives.  That means more than just saying, “Hosanna!  Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!” or “Praise God, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!”  Both of those are biblical things to say – and both are true.  But for the kingdom of God to come in my heart is the purpose for which I was created and for which you were fashioned.  We cannot and will not be what we can and are meant to be, if we resist that kingdom and block it from our hearts.  If we resist the kingdom, we resist the King as well.  And we don’t even want to go there!  It is to God that I belong – and wonder of wonders, He belongs to me!  I have a place of belonging that nothing in this world can ever take away – no downturn in the economy, no loss of licensure, no failure on my part to rightly discern the mysteries that surround me, no President or law – nothing.  My belonging has nothing to do with those things – but only with His acceptance of me through Christ Jesus.

PRAYER:  Eternal Father, thank You for giving us meaning by giving us Your love and personal attention.  Thank You for giving us a place where we belong that we can always call home!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 02/17/12 – A Place in the Choir

DayBreaks for 02/17/12 – A Place in the Choir

There is room for you in the heavenly choir...

2 “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’ 5 But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. – Matthew 22:2-10

Do you have a good singing voice?  Perhaps your answer depends on what you consider a good singing voice!  Do you sing, for example, better than your next door neighbor, or your spouse?  Can you carry a tune in a bucket at best?  Do you have the voice of Celine Dion or Andrea Bocelli?  (Who does, right?)

Sometimes we don’t even attempt things because we’re embarrassed.  Sometimes we don’t because we’re ashamed.  Sometimes we don’t because we’re afraid of failure.  Sometimes we sit and twiddle our thumbs because we’re either too lazy or too tired to anything else.  Sometimes, we just think we don’t fit, that we’re not worthy.

There’s a great children’s song that’s entitled, “All God’s creatures got a place in the choir.” The chorus says, “All God’s creatures got a place in the choir, some sing low and some sing higher. Some sing out loud on a telephone wire and some just clap their hands or paws or anything they’ve got.”

Instead of that old message, “No Oddballs Allowed,” let’s proclaim the message that Christ demonstrated during his life.  He ate with publicans and sinners, with cheating tax collectors, with lepers, drunkards…and prostitutes.  What was Jesus trying to tell us?  Perhaps simply this: “All God’s creatures got a place in the choir.” There’s room for everyone in God’s Kingdom.  Even me.

PRAYER: Thank you for making a place for us in the choir, Lord, and for saving our seat until we get there!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 06/13/11 – The Belonging Place

DayBreaks for 06/13/11 – The Belonging Place

Galen is on Sabbatical until 7/11.  Until he returns, DayBreaks will be publishing prior devotions (that is, if Galen has access to the Internet!)  Thanks for your understanding!

As a teenager, I was a fan of Neil Diamond.  I always wanted to go to a concert and see him in person, but I never got there.  Such is life.  And while I liked most of his songs, there were some of them that were rather dark in their lyrics.  One of them that struck me the most was the song “I Am” (having nothing to do with the “I AM” of the Old Testament).  The words went something like this:

LA’s fine, the sun shines most the time, and the feelin’ is lay-back.  Palm trees grow and rents are low, but you know I keep thinkin’ ‘bout makin’ my way back.  Well I’m New York City born and raised, but these days I’m tossed between two shores.  LA’s mine but it ain’t home, New York’s home but it ain’t mine no more. 

“I am,” I said, to no one there, and no one heard at all not even the chair.  “I am!” I cried.  “I am!” said I, and I am lost and I can’t even say why.

In my work I have plenty of opportunity to observe people who are lonely, who are seeking in vain for some kind of a sense of value and identity.  Many try to find it in their work by burying themselves in work 24 x 7.  But Solomon tells us that no matter how much we may accomplish through the labor of our hands, it is still empty.  Others that I see try to find some sense of identity in symbols of status – new cars, the fanciest clothes, the most impressive gizmos (OK – this is my weakness – I confess!).  But no matter how often you buy the latest Pocket PC or Palm or iPad or iPod, you can bet that within the next month there will be new and improved models.  Learning, pleasure, wealth – Solomon’s conclusion was the same – they are all empty, meaningless and full of vanity.  The insecurity of chasing after things that can’t give meaning or a sense of being at rest at “home” is like a never-ending treadmill – we can’t stop running for fear of tumbling out of control and we delude ourselves into thinking that the next “thing” we try may be just the one thing that will finally bring us peace, meaning and a sense of belonging.

In his lyrics, Neil Diamond would appear to not have found his meaning, nor his home.  Yet there is a belonging place for us who are children of the Living God: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.   2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.  4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge…” (Ps. 91:1-4)

God is not just a shelter – He is a refuge, but more importantly, a fortress – strong, invincible.  He is also not a temporary place of refuge, but a place wherein we may “dwell” (take up permanent residence).

I can’t help but think how different will be the words of the song we will sing in heaven.  Gone forever will be the “I am, said I, and I can’t even say why.”  We will be at rest in the eternal belonging place of our souls, never to be lost between two shores.

Copyright 2001 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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