DayBreaks for 8/31/17 – The Sinner’s Feast

DayBreaks for 8/31/17: The Sinner’s Feast

From the DayBreaks archive, 8/2007:

One of my favorite pictures of Scripture is the feast scene that gets brief mention in Revelation, and in a few other books of the NT.  Let’s face it: we love to eat, don’t we?  And we love to have a great time, right?  What can be more exciting and fun than a festive dinner with all the trimmings, all your best friends gathered round, laughter, music…and you don’t have to either pay for it or clean up the mess afterwards?  In about 2 months, our daughter will be getting married – and I look forward to the dinner after the wedding.  What a joy it will be!!!

We might think of the feasts described in heaven as the Christian’s feast…a feast that will be designed, catered (and served, according to Scripture!) by Christ Himself.  I am sure that there never has been, nor will there ever be, any celebration greater than that of the marriage supper of the Lamb of God with His bride, the church.  By God’s grace, I look forward to being there to enjoy it!  No, it wouldn’t be wrong to think of that home-coming/marriage feast as the Christian’s feast.  But there’s another feast that perhaps more properly is the Christian feast – in his sermon “The Sinner’s Feast,” Lee Eclov describes what should be the celebrative side of Communion in the context of worship:

“This table is different. This table of the Lord isn’t where sinners find Christ but where sinners celebrate being found …

“Maybe some morning, instead of solemnly passing these trays, we should dance for joy.  Maybe we should sing every born-again song we know.  Maybe we should tell our “homecoming” stories and laugh like people who no longer fear death.  Maybe we should ask if anyone wants seconds and hold our little cups high to toast lost sisters found and dead brothers alive.”

Have you ever laughed like you didn’t fear death?  I don’t know that I have.  But I should.  Every Sunday at the Lord’s table, I should.  After all, I’m one of those dead brothers who have been found alive.

PRAYER: Hallelujah, Lord God!  What kind of God are You that can take dead men and women and bring us to life again?  May we laugh in Your very Presence as those who no longer fear death because of what Jesus has done!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 8/13/15 – Wonder of Wonders

DayBreaks for 8/13/15: Wonder of Wonders 

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

Having just returned from vacation this past Sunday evening, I’ve been getting back into the “swing” of things.  One thing that I did while on vacation was to try to make it a point to have an on-going, continual chat with God.  No, I don’t mean praying in the traditional sense or formal sense, I mean just plain old talking to Him inside my head.  I’ve got to tell you, it was great.  (Some of you may be thinking, “Okay…Galen has finally lost it and gone off the deep end.”  Let me assure you that I never felt saner in my entire life!)  It was one of the best ongoing experiences of God’s Presence and Indwelling that I’ve had.  (It almost seems heretical to think about the fact that the Spirit really does indwell someone with all my faults, but it’s biblical!)  The responses that I received back from God through my conversations with Him were stunning.  How do I know it was His voice, and not mine that I was listening to?  Well, for one, the responses I heard (in my head – there was no externally audible voice) were in keeping with God’s character as described in the Bible, in agreement with the teaching of the Word, and many of the “answers” He gave me were not even on my radar screen – I’d not even thought about such things, and they often were things I wouldn’t have made up to tell myself in a million-jillion years.  It was a wonderful few days of encountering Him!

But, now I’m back.  Here’s the disappointing thing: life is once again busy with things to be done, people to talk with, classes and sermons to be prepared – and I find my time with Him getting squeezed.  I’m not surprised by it, I just long to have that kind of intimacy with Him back again.  I know also, that it isn’t His fault, but mine.  The good news is that He’s there all the time, and I don’t have to go sit in a quiet little closet to be able to talk with Him about things.  I just have to do it.

One day while we were on vacation, we planned to drive up to the area of Lake Tahoe that is called Emerald Bay and Inspiration Point.  If you’ve seen it, you know why it’s called Inspiration Point.  God was inspired when He made that place.  I knew when I woke up that I’d seem some beautiful scenery that day, thinking about mountains and the sky and the lake (all pretty big things) and so I asked God what He wanted to show me that day, what it was that He wanted me to see.  I was surprised by the answer: “I want you to see Me today in small things.”  Now that would have never occurred to me, and I was stunned.  So, as my wife and I set out to explore, I looked for signs of God in the small things.  Things like baby pine cones nestled in a protective pocket of pine needles on a branch.  Small flowers.  A single grasshopper that was sitting on the ground but who seemed to have no fear of us at all (I couldn’t help but wonder if God was wanting me to see just that one grasshopper that day so He made it sit still!).  At one point, we stopped by a stream to eat lunch and a wild blue jay joined us.  I started wondering about the odds of that particular blue jay being there at that very moment so that we’d see him, and I thought that it was perhaps the work of God again.  And then, contemplating the odds of that bird being at that exact spot at the exact time we were there, I felt overwhelmed by this chance meeting. 

But soon my mind was led to another thought, even more amazing than being there with that particular bird: in all the universe, God brought me to meet His Son in such a way that I could respond to His love and salvation.  The encounter of the Son of God with a mere human in all the vastness of creation is certainly against the odds, but that’s how God chooses to do His work.  He calls us – we can’t find Him without Him leaving us “bread crumb trails” and an invitation.  Whatever the odds, I’m so very thankful for a God who walked one day through the universe and found me – one of the smallest of all things – and decided to make His home with me.  Blessed be His name!

Ps. 39:5 – You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you.  Each man’s life is but a breath.

PRAYER: Thank You for meeting with us in the big and the small, in the ordinary and the extraordinary. Increase our longing for communion with You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 6/30/15 – God and the Kitchen Guy

DayBreaks for 6/30/15: God and the Kitchen Guy

Today’s DayBreaks is from the 2005 DayBreaks archive:

From John Ortberg’s God Is Closer Than You Think: “…a man named Nicholas Herman in the food service industry had had stints in the military and in transportation, and now he was a short-order cook and bottle-washer.  But he became deeply dissatisfied with his life; he worried chronically about himself, even whether or not he was saved.

“One day Nick was looking at a tree, and the same truth struck him that struck the psalmist so long ago: the secret of the life of a tree is that it remains rooted in something other and deeper than itself.  He decided to make his life an experiment in what he called a ‘habitual, silent, secret conversation of the soul with God.’

“He is known today by the new name given to him by his friends: brother Lawrence.  He remained obscure throughout his life.  He never got voted pope.  He never got close to becoming the CEO of his organization.  He stayed in the kitchen.  But the people around him found that rivers of living water flowed out of him that made them want to know God the way he did.  ‘The good brother found God everywhere,’ one of them wrote, ‘as much while he was repairing shoes as while he was praying with the community.’  After Lawrence died, his friends put together a book of his letters and conversations.  It is called Practicing the Presence of God and is thought, apart from the Bible, to be the most widely read book of the last four centuries.  This monastic short-order cook has probably out-sold novelists John Grisham and Tom Clancy and J.K. Rowling put together.”

How great is our hunger and longing for God?  How often do you find yourself being aware of His Presence?  You can find Him wherever you are today – in the kitchen, in the workplace, in the classroom, in the nursery and on the highway.  Know this: wherever you are, He will find you.  Will you find Him?  Do you want to?

Copyright by 2005 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 1/16/15 – Drinking With Jesus

DayBreaks for 01/16/15 – Drinking With Jesus

 

I have a friend of many years now.  Her name is Kim.  We actually met through DayBreaks, and much to my shock and surprise, she still reads them from time to time.  Our families became friends, and I even was blessed to officiate at her wedding!  For many years we lived on opposite sides of the country and didn’t see each other for years at a time, though we would communicate through emails.  As life goes, though, so goes relationships.  We get very busy with what is happening in our own world and tend to lose touch a bit.  Every now and then Kim would email and say, “Wouldn’t it be great to sit down over a Dr. Pepper (she liked Pepsi One) and visit?”  My reply was always “Sure would!”

Lots of people get together “over drinks”.  I’m not into alcohol, but I understand the motivation to spend time with a friend or two.  There I something that is a bit more personal about sharing a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or a meal with someone you love/like.

When we do, we usually catch up on life.  We lose track of one another and what has been  happening in the life of our friends.  Life can be sweet or bitter, warm or cold…but being able to share it with a friend makes it all more enjoyable and palatable.

I wonder: what would it be like to sit down across the table from Jesus with a Dr. Pepper in hand?  What would he ask me?  What would I ask him?  What would our conversation focus on?

Life, as I said, can be good or bad.  Regardless, we need to respond properly.  I saw this quotation today and thought it was brilliant: “If the Lord fills your cup with sweetness, drink it with grace, If He fills it with bitterness, drink it in communion with Jesus.”

Maybe you need to sit down right now and have a drink with Jesus.  Isn’t it good to know that the Lord drinks in communion with us, even in our darkest hours?

PRAYER: Thank you for being an ever present friend who will sit, listen and commune with us in our joys and in our sorrows! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a part-time missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support for that endeavor.  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 08/26/13 – The Lesson of the Ceiling Tile

DayBreaks for 08/26/13 – The Lesson of the Ceiling Tile

1 John 1:8-10 (NLT)  If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9  But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10  If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

On Sunday, a man by the name of Kurt Filter was giving a communion devotion that really spoke to me.  He described how one time at church during prayer time, he looked up at the ceiling and saw the ceiling tiles (you know, those kind that have the holes in them and they are made out of sheet-rock like stuff, only not as thick and sturdy).  He got distracted, noticing how some were water-damaged, others had various stains on them, some had places where they’d crumbled a bit.  They obviously were in need of repair and work.

Later on after some time had passed, he looked up at them again and noticed that the maintenance crew had been at work trying to make them look better.  They’d painted over the surface of the tiles so that they looked clean and white.  But upon closer inspection he noticed that it was the same old tiles.  He knew that on the inside, the damage was still there from the water and whatever else had weakened them and made them crumbly and stained.

As we prepared to share in the communion/eucharist together, he suggested that we are a great deal like those tiles: we may do all we can to make ourselves pretty on the outside, painting  ourselves to make ourselves look good and “together”, but inside we are stained and that the outside is just covering up what’s inside.

We need to admit what’s inside, what causes us to crumble, what has stained us (sin) and let God fix us from the inside out.  We need to be painted by the blood of Jesus that penetrates to our hearts and gives us new ones in exchange for the old, ugly, stained ones we’ve carried for year after year. 

I’d never thought about ceiling tiles being an analogy for our human lives before, but it fit so well…we need to confess our sin and not just paint over it, for when we do confess it, God takes the stain away – and we are free!

PRAYER: Lord, we can consume ourselves with our thoughts of failure, guilt and shame!  Remind us when we do that You have lifted that off us past, present and future because you are our closest friend! In Your 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.

Thank you!