DayBreaks for 7/17/17 – Getting Close Enough

DayBreaks for 7/17/17: Getting Close Enough

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2007:

Preachers face some interesting dilemmas.  It isn’t uncommon for us to visit the sick in the hospital.  And as you know, hospitals are rife with all sorts of disease and infections.  In some ways, it’s amazing that anyone comes out of a hospital alive.  Recent stories about drug-resistant staph infections are scary, aren’t they?  Yet, when someone is sick, you go, hoping and trusting that you won’t get infected.  After all, you may have to get up in the pulpit the next day and preach!!!  And, what if you’re too sick to be there?  I know things would always work out.  But it’s one of the crazy things that go through a minister’s head from time to time. 

Of course, the closer you get to someone who is sick, the greater the chance of infection and the spread of disease.  As I write this, my wife is winging her way to India where she’ll work at an orphanage for two weeks.  She’s got anti-malaria pills to take every day while she’s there, other things to fight dengue fever, special spray to put on her clothes in advance (that will survive 6 washings!!) to hold the mosquitoes in abeyance, and other stuff to protect her from diseases.  We Americans don’t have good immunity to numerous other diseases that are common in other parts of the world.  Proximity to Indian mosquitoes, for example, certainly increases your risk of getting those diseases. 

Proximity to other humans increases our chance of getting diseases they may have.  Sneezing, coughing, vomiting.  The tiny aerosols that spew from our mouths when we sneeze spread disease.  Other diseases are spread though bodily fluids, including sweat from a fever.  Getting close is dangerous.

How close should we get to others?  In Luke chapter 5, Jesus heals a leper.  Sometimes when Jesus healed people of disease or illness, he just spoke the word and the healing was accomplished!  He could heal at a distance – we know that from the healing of the Roman centurion’s son.  But in this case, Jesus specifically chose not to heal at a distance.  He touched the leper.

John Ortberg put it well when he noted that “…only when you get close enough to catch their hurt will they be close enough to catch your love.”  Jesus got plenty close to catch our hurt.  He felt it in his own flesh.  He experienced it in his own heart.  And he got close enough to catch our disease.  Instead, he healed our disease, discounting the risk, so we could catch his love. 

Will we get close enough to others so we can feel and catch their hurt so we can give them His love?

PRAYER:  Thank you, Jesus, for not being afraid to touch us.  Thank you for being willing to feel our hurt.  Thank you for the love you’ve given us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 3/16/16 – Peter’s Strange Request

 

 

DayBreaks for 3/16/16: Peter’s Strange Request

NOTE: Galen will be traveling for the next 10 days or so. You will be receiving messages from the DayBreaks archive during that time!  From the DayBreaks archive, 2006:

Luke 5:1-11 (NLT) – One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper and let down your nets, and you will catch many fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, we’ll try again.” And this time their nets were so full they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” For he was awestruck by the size of their catch, as were the others with him.

Put yourself in the place of Peter.  He’d been a fisherman nearly all his life – probably from his childhood.  He and his brother, Andrew, appeared to have a successful fishing business.  Catching fish was how he made his living – no fish, no money.  As with everyone else, Peter had good days and bad days at work.  He usually worked the “graveyard” shift because that’s when the fish could be caught.  And he’d had a very bad night’s work on this night.

As daylight comes, Jesus is preaching and the boats have returned.  Jesus invites his disciples to go fishing again.  They do.  They fill their nets.  You’d think Peter would have been overjoyed – that he would have invited Jesus to join his fishing business, or to at least go fishing with him each day.  But no.  Peter responds in a way we would not have anticipated.  In his book, A Fragile Stone, Michael Card wrote: In response to the miraculous catch, Peter asks for what he really does not want – he asks for Jesus to leave.  He has become the frightened fish, thrashing in the net, wanting only to get away, or at least for Jesus to get away from him.  Peter has come face to face with the frightening possibility of complete success.  Failure, like their earlier empty nets, seems so much safer and predicable.

There is something about the power and glory of the Lord that produced this response in Peter.  While we may be tempted to criticize Peter for his request, perhaps we should ask ourselves if we’ve ever come close enough to Jesus to be so in awe of him ourselves?  We have probably managed to keep our distance from him so that we don’t have to come face to face with his greatness.  If you’d asked Peter if it was worth it to get close enough to Jesus to really see his power and glory, he would have said “Yes!”  May we get close enough to Jesus to be able to share that sentiment!

TODAY’S PRAYER:  Jesus, we are afraid of closeness.  When we’ve gotten close to others, we’ve always been hurt and disappointed sooner or later, and so we have built barriers to keep others at bay.  Jesus, help us to drop our barriers and to get close enough to see your glory and power and be transformed by your Presence.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 10/07/14 – Shrek, the Sheep

DayBreaks for 10/07/14 – Shrek, the Sheep

A friend of mine posted this story on Facebook Monday morning and I thought it was an excellent illustration and lesson (unfortunately, I didn’t find the name of the author):

“This is Shrek the sheep. He became famous several years ago when he was found after hiding out in caves for six years. Of course, during this time his fleece grew without anyone there to shorn (shave) it. When he was finally found and shaved, his fleece weighed an amazing sixty pounds. Most sheep have a fleece weighing just under ten pounds, with the exception usually reaching fifteen pounds, maximum. For six years, Shrek carried six times the regular weight of his fleece. Simply because he was away from his shepherd.

“This reminds me of John 10 when Jesus compares Himself to a shepherd, and His followers are His sheep. Maybe it’s a stretch, but I think Shrek is much like a person who knows Jesus Christ but has wandered. If we avoid Christ’s constant refining of our character, we’re going to accumulate extra weight in this world—a weight we don’t have to bear.

“When Shrek was found, a professional sheep shearer took care of Shrek’s fleece in twenty-eight minutes. Shrek’s sixty pound fleece was finally removed. All it took was coming home to his shepherd.

“I believe Christ can lift the burdens we carry, if only we stop hiding. He can shave off our ‘fleece’—that is, our self-imposed burdens brought about by wandering from our Good Shepherd.

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28-30

PRAYER: Thank you for the rest and relief you give us as we struggle here in this world!  Give us the good sense to stay close to our Shepherd!  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 put S090 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!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 8/06/14: I Just Want to be Close to You

DayBreaks for 8/06/14 – I Just Want to be Close to You

Rather SEVERELY jet-lagged today!  New DayBreaks will resume soon!!!!

From the DayBreaks archives:

A four year old girl was overheard whispering into her newborn baby brother’s ear: “Baby,” she whispers, “tell me what God sounds like.  I’m starting to forget.”

In another story, a little girl was drawing a picture in Sunday school, when her teacher drew near and asked her what she was drawing.  “I’m drawing a picture of God,” the little girl replied.  “That’s great,” the teacher said, “but no one knows what God looks like.”  “They will when I’m finished,” the girl replied.

In his book, Dangerous Wonder, the late Mike Yaconelli retold the story that John Claypool, author of Stories Jesus Still Tells, first told about his daughter, Laura, who eventually died of leukemia.  “When she was four, John was attempting to put her to bed one night, but she was like most four-year-olds.  To avoid going to bed, Laura took three trips to the bathroom, asked for a drink of water, wanted another story told, needed Dad to put the light on, heard a sound, and so on.  John finally took care of his daughter’s needs and went upstairs to write.  He was deep into his writing when (if you have children, you know this experience) he could tell Laura was standing at the door of his study, staring at him.  He hadn’t seen her or heard anything, he just knew.

“Frustrated, he turned around and said, with a bit of anger in his voice, ‘What do you want me to do, Laura?”  Laura sauntered up beside her father, grabbed his arm, and said, ‘Nothing, Daddy, I just want to be close to you.’”

When was the last time you remembered what God sounded like?  What was the last time you could picture Him?  When was the last time you just longed to be near your Father? 

He longs to see you at the doorway.

Copyright by 2014 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Let our desire to be near You be like that of a child who longs to be held close by a parent!  Teach us that we have nothing to fear from the love You have for Your children!  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 put S090 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!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 07/09/12 – Dangerous Affinities

DayBreaks for 07/09/12 – Dangerous Affinities

It is relatively easy to be caught up in rumors on the Internet.  It has happened to me more than once.  It is interesting that there are even sites that exist (Snopes, Urban Legends, etc.) that debunk false rumors that go around.  Sadly, I find that many Christians are the quickest to be caught up in such things, especially when it concerns something that is strongly connected to our faith and practice (i.e., taking preaching off the airwaves, etc.)  We can fall in love with bad news and jump at the chance to spread it around without checking to see if it is true.

Ever hear about the dihydrogen monoxide hoax? It’s been around, but back in 1997 it got a lot of media when a 14-year-old student named Nathan Zohner circulated a petition to ban the substance as part of a high school science fair. According to Zohner, dihydrogen monoxide “may cause severe burns, accelerates the corrosion and rusting of many metals, and has been found in the excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.” Despite these risks, he further noted, the nefarious chemical is often used “as an industrial solvent and coolant, in the production of Styrofoam, and as a fire retardant.”

By now some of you have figured out that dihydrogen monoxide is the technical name for H2O, also known as water.

While this is rather humorous, it reveals an important truth: as humans, we can develop and strongly hold to a lot of misconceptions – some of which may be very dangerous because they are about familiar things that seem harmless.

Tragically, one of the “familiar things” that seem harmless to us is our own favorite besetting sin.  We are so familiar with it (because of our frequent engagement with it) that it seems harmless.  Other things might be selected from our culture – things that the culture sees as harmless (or even good!) which the Word clearly disapproves of.

We need to carefully watch our attitudes towards familiar things to be certain that we’ve not fallen in love with something harmful and hurtful.

PRAYER: Lord, we are so easily deceived, even self-deceived!  We are like sheep who so easily go astray and wander down the wrong pathways!  Keep us close to you, teach us your word that we might know your mind, the truth, and be set free from dangerous affinities we might be tempted to develop!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 08/24/11 – Distance and Proximity

DayBreaks for 08/25/11 – Distance and Proximity

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:16

One of the best book titles from years gone by was J. B. Phillip’s, Your God Is Too Small.  It challenges our view of God (and in so-doing, of ourselves) and deserves a read on its own merits.  That being said, sometimes you run across something about God and our human perspective that just screams out to be shared.  Using Phillip’s book title, the article from the link below invites us to jump into the deep end of the pool of the greatness of God, to see ourselves in perspective, and to understand how distance and proximity relate to how we see and think of God.

So, rather than blathering on with my own thoughts today, I want to provide you with this link to a post at patheos.com that REALLY deserves to be read (as many there on the evangelical portal do!)  Here’s the link:

http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Faith-with-a-View-Robert-Crosby-08-16-2011?offset=0&max=1

Please – take the time to go and read it.  You’ll be blessed – and probably challenged in your thinking about your God and what He’s like!

PRAYER: Your people long ago were afraid to get close to You on the mountain, Lord, for fear of Your greatness.  Too often I lose my perspective and think I am great…and that You are small.  Draw me close to You again so my perspective can be corrected!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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