DayBreaks for 7/14/17 – A Sight to Behold

Glacier Natl Park 027Mod

Photo of Hidden Lake, Glacier National Park, 2006. Galen C. Dalrymple

DayBreaks for 7/14/17: A Sight to Behold

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2007:

What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?  It’s a tough question, isn’t it?  My first reaction would be to reflect on a high mountain meadow in the Sierra Nevada’s that I saw while hiking with my best friend, Ken.  Or, a sunset on evening as we were out in our little boat returning from a fishing trip in the San Joaquin delta when the water was as smooth as glass but as colorful as an artist’s palette.  Possibly, it would be Hidden Lake at the top of the continental divide in Glacier National Park – a spot you can’t see from the road, but you have to hike back to it over about a mile or two of snow, up past the shoulders of towering granite uprisings. 

I hope that I will never forget the beauty of those things.  I remember at the time, thinking that I wanted to remember them forever.  And I still can, but if I’m to be totally honest about it, the memories do fade a bit over time.  The colors in my imagination aren’t quite as bright as they were in reality.  I guess memory is like color film – it fades over time. 

So, those were my first inclinations in regard to the opening question.  However, as I thought about it more, perhaps the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen is my children, or my grandchildren, as they sleep.  It might seem strange to some to say that the most beautiful thing I’ve seen is people.  People who are near and dear to me.  People that I’d gladly give my life for.

Try to imagine the blind man that Jesus healed.  He’s been blind since birth.  He’s never seen a bird, a flower, a sunrise or sunset.  He’s never seen his mother’s face, he can’t understand the concept of color in the sky or reflected off the water.  He has no point of reference, no sense of visual depth perception.  He’s never seen…anything.  And then one day, along comes Jesus of Nazareth, a man who has been reputed to give sight to the blind and to make the lame walk and the deaf hear.  The man’s mind must have been running at full tilt: could this be the day when he, too, would receive sight?

As it turns out, it was his “lucky” day.  And what to his wondering eyes should appear?  No, it wasn’t a sleigh full of toys and small reindeer.  It was Jesus.  Can you imagine the very first thing you ever see being the face of God?  Would anything ever again live up to that moment, to that sight?  This, truly, is a sight to behold.  It is the sight we all long to behold, if we are His. 

We will have to wait until God decides it is time for you and I to see Him.  Waiting…seeing now only by faith, but not by sight…it can be a long and difficult wait.  But it will be worth it ten thousand times over.  And nothing we will ever see again, not even the streets of gold in heaven itself, will equal the moment when we awaken from our dying moment only to see the Savior’s face. It will make the long, dark years of our “blindness” and waiting worth it.

PRAYER:  Lord of creation, we know You are not the creation itself, but the Maker of all.  Yet in the creation, we see glimpses, tiny flashes, of Your beauty and glory.  Thank you that we will someday see You in all Your risen glory, and that we will behold Your face throughout all of eternity.  How we long to see Your glory!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 12/30/16 – Sightless Eyes

DayBreaks for 12/30/16: Sightless Eyes

From the DayBreaks archive, 1999:

A while back, I received a call from the county sheriff’s office asking if I was available to go with one of their deputies to notify a woman that her husband of many years had died. I went down to the emergency room at the local hospital to meet the officer before going to the home and he took me into the room where the man’s body was. The man had died only minutes earlier, apparently of a heart attack while driving. He was alone in the quiet room, surrounded by medical equipment and signs of the lost battle that had been waged to keep him alive. His eyes, sightless, were open – staring at the ceiling.

I was reminded of the words of God through Jeremiah the prophet in Jer. 5:21-22: “Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear: Should you not fear me?” declares the LORD. “Should you not tremble in my presence?” As I stood gazing at the body of this man, I couldn’t help but wonder what his “eyes” were seeing at that instant. Was he beholding the face of the Redeemer or was he seeing the reality of a horrifying destiny for eternity? It added a sense of urgency to tell others about Christ.

In Matthew 13:13-15, Jesus spoke about sightless eyes and as usual, got to the heart of the problem. The people couldn’t see for the simple reason that they had closed their eyes. They didn’t WANT to see. What they saw (Jesus!) made them uncomfortable because he revealed what man was meant to be and what God demanded – holiness! And the sad part of it is that if we walk in rebellion long enough, we do become blind (Romans 1).

Think about it: what happens to you if you close your eyes? It isn’t long before you start getting hurt. There was a group of Pharisees who were referred to as the “blind and bleeding Pharisees” because when they were walking on a public street and a woman came along, they would close their eyes so they wouldn’t lust – with the inevitable result that they got bloody when they began bumping into buildings and other things in the street! That wasn’t what Jesus meant, but it illustrates the dangers of closing our eyes.

We have a choice. We can close our eyes if we want to – and when we do we run the risk of being hurt – not to mention we can’t see our brother or neighbor in need (remember the Good Samaritan and those who passed by the injured traveler?). But the worst thing we can do is close our eyes when we look into the mirror of the Word of God (James 1:23-25) and refuse to see the truth about ourselves, what we are and what we do, and what we can become through Jesus.

How is your vision? Is it clear and sharp? Are you closing your eyes in rebellion? By closing our eyes to failures and imperfections, we are only blinding ourselves – not God.

PRAYER: Keep us from willful blindness, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 7/22/14 – Blinding Ourselves

DayBreaks for 7/22/14 – Blinding Ourselves

John 7:25-27 (NLT) Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem started to ask each other, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? But here he is, speaking in public, and they say nothing to him. Could our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah? But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.

The power of human tradition and “wisdom” is on display here.  Scripture doesn’t say that no one would know where the Messiah would come from.  In fact, it explicitly predicted his birth in Bethlehem, the city of David.  Yet the people were blinded by what people had told them.

There is tremendous power in human words and human thoughts.  They can blind and deceive us, or they can lead us to greater truth and insight.  We must be careful with them – especially when we speak of eternal matters that can affect eternal destinies.

Jesus never, ever, pulled punches.  He delivered the truth with straight face and direct words.  I, for one, do not like confrontation.  I often will go to great (and sometimes inappropriate) lengths to avoid it.  Or, when it becomes unavoidable, I will dissemble and try to find a circuitous route that is less direct and hopefully less offensive.  That can, at times, be a good thing.  But I suspect that more often than not, especially in our 21st century American culture, we tend to soft-peddle the truth when we believe it will be painful for the recipients to hear.  To those we love who are considering shacking-up with a significant other, we may be tempted to say “It’s okay to live with your boyfriend/girlfriend as long as you truly love one another” rather than speaking the truth of God’s Word in love and helping them see that they have chosen their feelings for the person over obedience to God – a form of idolatry.  Or, we conveniently talk about little white lies and excuse the behavior of others and ourselves in doing so.  We have seemingly thrown out the idea of a call to repentance.  When we water down the truth we water down the response that is needed to get right with God again.  And we need to remember that though we may water it down, God doesn’t.  Never has, never will.

Speak the truth.  But speak it with love.  And lives will be changed by the truth because it is the only thing that will set people free.

PRAYER: Your love and forgiveness are incomprehensible, Lord Jesus.  We are ashamed for the many times we have spit in your face through our actions and words!  Thank you for bearing our shame to the cross.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and putS090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

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DayBreaks for 08/29/13 – RX: Cataract Removal

DayBreaks for 08/29/13 – RX: Cataract Removal

Luke 18:9-13 (NLT) – Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else:  “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector.  The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector!   I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ 13  “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’

When we read this parable, we are quick to think about how brash and proud the Pharisee was and think that we’d never, ever make such bold statements to God!  And we probably wouldn’t (though I’ve heard many people say, “I’m a good wo/man, so I’ll go to heaven” which is only a slightly tamer version of the attitude of the Pharisee in the story!)  I certainly have never heard anyone pray that way.  BUT…how often do we compare ourselves to others and come away feeling proud about our level of righteousness versus theirs?  We may have hearts and minds full of angry thoughts, lustful thoughts, bitterness and prejudices, but because we’re not shooting up or smoking crack, because we are clean and not filthy and smelly, we look down on those who do those things.  Our sins may be invisible while theirs are highly visible.  And somehow, we think that makes us better than them.  We wouldn’t say that to God, but we think it in our hearts.  And that makes us just like the Pharisee in this story from Jesus.

When is the last time you were on your knees, beating your breast over your sinfulness?  Are you even aware of your sinfulness, or have the eyes of your heart become so covered with sin cataracts that you can’t see it in yourself anymore?  It happens to all of us…as the result of continuous sinful practices, one sin at a time, followed by a repetition of those acts.  Blindness is the result.  We need cataract removal!!!!

PRAYER: God, remove the scales from our eyes as you did with Saul of Tarsus, that we may see ourselves clearly in the blazing Light of your holy Presence!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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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.

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DayBreaks for 10/10/11 – The Blind Men at Jericho

DayBreaks for 10/10/11 – The Blind Men at Jericho

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

From the DayBreaks Archive, 10/10/2001

Matthew 20:29-34 – “As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”  32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.  33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”  34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

I like these two men.  What is it that I find fascinating with this story?  I like their courage.  I like their determination to make personal contact with Jesus.  I like their refusal to be deterred from their goal.  I like their honesty – when asked by Jesus what it was that they wanted, they didn’t try to give him an answer that they may have felt he would have wanted to hear.  No, they didn’t ask to be made wise or holy.  They wanted their sight and they didn’t hesitate to ask for it!  And their determination coupled with Jesus’ compassion got results!

On the one hand, it is easy to see this story at just the surface level – two blind men finding mercy and compassion from Christ.  But there is more than just a feel-good story here.  Do you remember who Jesus was?  He was the Word of God, the Word made flesh that dwelt among us.  What this message can teach us, as Origen wrote long ago, is two-fold:

FIRST: it is necessary that our eyes be opened by the Word of God.  In the story, it was literally a word from God that opened their eyes.  But they couldn’t do it themselves.  We, too, will remain in our blindness until His Word opens our eyes and gives us new sight.  And what did these two men probably see when their eyes were opened?  Jesus!  Can you imagine what an incredible thing it would be for your first glimpse of vision to be of the Son of God?

SECOND: it is necessary for us to come out of our own Jericho.  These men had left their comfort zone and the relatively safe confines of the city.  If these men had stayed inside of the city, the wouldn’t have encountered Jesus on the roadside.  But they took the chance (intentionally or unintentionally, it doesn’t really make a difference) and they met the Lord.  When you take chances in trying to make personal contact with Jesus, you will not be disappointed.

Ask Jesus to touch your eyes today and reveal himself to you!

PRAYER: We need the courage that comes from Your Spirit to leave our comfort zones so that you can open our eyes with your Word of healing and hope!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 08/30/11 – Who Gets In First

DayBreaks for 08/30/11 – Who Gets In First

I’m sure that you’ve had experiences like mine where you’ve waiting in a long line or even a bustling mob, waiting until the door to the movie theater, ball park, high-tech store opens and people surge in.  It seems to happen about every Christmas when the latest iPhone or iPad or iTouch or Gameboy or PS3 Playstation is released.  People will line up for up to several days in advance to be certain that they can get that one special present (more often than not for themselves), so they want to be the first ones to get in.

“But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. 30 Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go. 31 “Which of the two obeyed his father?” They replied, “The first.” Then Jesus explained his meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. 32 For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins.” – Matthew 21:28-32

What an enormous propensity we have for self-justification!  What an enormous capacity we have for being shown what is right, and not accepting it!

Jesus stings the religious leaders, saying John showed them what was the right way to live – but they wouldn’t accept it.  They were too smug in their self-certainty and goodness.  It wasn’t John’s failure, it was theirs.

The tax collectors and prostitutes, probably the two most looked-down upon groups in that time, believed John’s word and Jesus says that they are the ones who will be allowed first into the kingdom.  Jesus wasn’t saying that the righteous folks couldn’t get in, but change was needed for them to come to the point of belief.  The difference: one group (the tax collectors and prostitutes) heard words of hope and future possibilities for a new life, while the other group heard it as a personal attack.  I wonder how often I lean to one side or the other?

It is those who think they deserve to be first in line who may be left outside staring through the gates into the heavenly city, watching those who knew they never deserved it as they sing praise to the Lamb.

PRAYER: Humble us, Lord!  Open our ears to not just hear the truth but to let it permeate deep into our hearts and minds.  Let us believe!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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