DayBreaks for 8/29/14 – Of Dead Ducks and Hurting Christians

DayBreaks for 8/29/14 – Of Dead Ducks and Hurting Believers

Bob Hodges, a Presbyterian minister in Rogersville, Tennessee, tells about duck hunting with a friend of his on Cherokee Lake in East Tennessee. His friend, Riley, who had just recently become a believer, started asking some serious questions about his Christian experience. Riley’s old friends were making it very difficult for him to remain consistent in his obedience and commitment to Christ. They seemed to delight in trying to get him to fall back into the old patterns of life. They ridiculed him for spending so much time with “the preacher.” Riley asked, “Why is it that I’m having more trouble since I became a Christian than I ever did when I was lost? Everything seems to go wrong. I’m having such a struggle!”

Bob Hodges spoke up, “I’ll tell you why, Riley. A couple of ducks fly over and you shoot. You kill one and injure the other. They both fall into the lake. What do you do? You have to get out of the boat and go pick up the ducks, but which one do you go after first?”

“Well,” Riley drawled, “that’s easy. I go after the injured one first. The dead one ain’t goin’ nowhere!”

Hodges said, “And that’s the way it is with the devil. He goes after injured Christians. He’s not going to bother with the man dead in his sin. But the minute you give your life to Christ, you’d better get ready; the devil is going to come after you. He is going to chase you; he’s going to make it hard on you.”

If you find your Christian walk to be very difficult, if Satan isn’t giving you a moment’s worth of peace, perhaps this is why.  Satan is not a fool.  He won’t go after “dead” believers, but he recognizes wounded ones easily and goes after them with a vengeance.

How different from the ways of the Lord!   Isaiah 42:1-3 (NLT) Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, who pleases me. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.

Knowing how he operates won’t necessarily make it easier, but it may help you understand the reason the journey is so difficult.

PRAYER: We need strength, Lord, for all the times that Satan attacks us!  We are weak and we pray that in the times of our great weakness that Your Spirit will come speedily to our aid!  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 03/01/13 – Unless I Believed

DayBreaks for 03/01/13 – Unless I Believed                      

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Ps.27:13-14 – I would have despaired unless I believed I would see the goodness of The Lord in the land of the living. Wait for The Lord, Be strong and let your heart take courage Yes, wait for The Lord.

It has been a very hectic week…and it’s not over yet.  Maybe your week has been that way, too.  I’ve had two appointments with doctors this week, but that’s not what’s made it so hectic. 

My 85-year old mother has had dementia for some time.  About 10 days ago, she went into the hospital for relatively routine surgery to repair a hernia.  The surgery went fine – but something seems to have snapped in her mind.  She’s been incredibly delusional, paranoid, out of touch with reality – and even combative.  She, of course, doesn’t realize she’s doing those things or being that way.  We are told that with each passing day that the chances of her snapping back to the pre-surgery mental capacity dwindles.  This may be the new normal.  As I carry my mother’s power of attorney for medical care, my last few days have been swamped with phone calls from the hospital (that wants desperately and urgently to discharge her) and trying to arrange a suitable discharge plan in a place that can meet her physical and mental needs.  It’s become something akin to a marathon…but we’re being pushed at a sprinter’s pace by the hospital.  Just moments ago the latest plan fell apart.

Someone asked me today if I thought we’d ever get out of having so many crises.  My honest answer: probably, at least I hope so.  I could certainly echo the words of the Psalmist. 

It isn’t just when there are crises, though.  It’s ordinary life.  How many times would I/could I have despaired if I didn’t believe – if I didn’t truly think that before this life is over that we’ll once again see and experience the goodness of the Lord.  I know we’ll see and experience it in the “land of the dead” – that is the great Christian hope!  But it’s harder at times to believe we’ll see and experience it again in the land of the living.  All the travails of the past year, my two surgeries, a new ministry, raising support for that ministry – and now my mother’s failing health situation.  It sometimes just seems to pile up on us, doesn’t it?

And yet…we must confess that we will see His goodness even today – no matter what happens to us, we’ll see it if we slow down enough to think about it and look for it.  We’ll see it in the crispness of a new day He made, of the song of the birds (which I so much enjoyed today!), the sighing of the breeze, the wag of a dog’s tail, the gentle touch of my wife’s hand on mine, the voice of a friend.  Life – and joy – can get away from us unless we take the time to look for “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”.  It’s all around us.  Let’s not forget that!

PRAYER: Jesus, I wonder how you made it through your 30+ years here on earth after living all of eternity past in heaven’s delight.  It must have been very trying.  I am comforted by knowing you understand and that even this day we can see your goodness and that we will also see it in the world to come!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen has started work as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org).  He needs to raise his own support.  DayBreaks has always been free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation to Medical Ambassadors on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made online at http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Go to that link and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section and look for the link for Galen Dalrymple.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his account.  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 (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368. 

Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient in many ways for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 10/29/12 – When You Thought the Worst Was Over

DayBreaks for 10/29/12 – When You Thought the Worst Was Over

From the DayBreaks Archive: October 29, 2002

When you’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death

When you thought the worst was over

And the worst is what was left

Some things he can’t explain now,

But by and by he will.

Look up through the pain now, and you will find him

Deeper still.

Deeper still you will find him, deeper still than before

Deeper still goes the anchor, deeper still the ocean floor.

Deeper still he has taught you, deeper still there is to go

Deeper still is the Savior, deeper still than we know.”  – from Deeper Still: For Those Who Grieve, copyright 1997 IBS Publishing

There is something inside of us that leads us to hope that our troubles are about at an end.  But what happens when you discover that what you thought the worst was only the beginning, or only a mid-point in the trouble?  I wish I had a silver-bullet answer that worked in every situation for everyone.  But the following I do know:

FIRST: God is still in His heaven and is still on His throne.

SECOND: God still loves you – regardless of the cause of the difficulty (and sometimes it is brought about as a result of our sinful, selfish decisions).

THIRD: God still sees you (Psalm 10:14): “But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.  The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.

FINALLY: Whether your mind and heart can grasp it or not, you will still win – because your Father God will have His way when all is said and done.

PRAYER: Father, it is tough not knowing if we have seen the worst and things will get better or not.  We try, Lord, to hold on to your certainties, but it is not easy.  Give us the courage and the strength for each day to face whatever it brings, and help us to know that you truly are in it with us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

Want to help us save children and give them a life?  Donate now through I Am 2 Partners, Inc., where Galen serves as director of operations: http://www.iam2.org/donate   Thanks!

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DayBreaks for 09/20/12 – The Few, the Brave, the Courageous

DayBreaks for 09/19/12 – The Few, the Brave, the Courageous

Joshua 1:9 – I command you — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Let’s face it: life isn’t for the weak of heart.  Life is a challenge – far more difficult and hard than we could ever imagine.

We start out as children and life is like a game.  Then, we get a bit older and we find out that we can’t win every game, and that along with the game, come certain expectations and responsibilities.

We become young adults and find someone to love and marry – and for a while, we enjoy this thing called a “honeymoon” period of our relationship where all is peachy, but then we start to discover aspects of this person we married that we don’t care for very much.  And as the pressures of job, children and money mount, we become more disillusioned with this thing called life.

As young and middle-aged adults, we have probably settled into a relatively calm routine…and then we awaken one day to find that the routine is really a rut – a rut we don’t feel we can get out of and the walls start closing in and we feel desperately trapped.  The result: mid-life crises.

As age begins to descend upon us and our health starts to fail, we can get discouraged as we look back at our lives and wonder, “What if?”  We may often ask ourselves the very disturbing question: “Did I misunderstand what God wanted me to do?”  And we realize we don’t have time left to go back and undo what we may have misunderstood, to undertake what we might have been able to do when we were younger.

Life isn’t for the weak of heart.  It takes courage.

“Whatever you do, you need courage.  Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.  There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.  To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs.  Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You will face choices today that will take courage because life is like that.  Let the strength of the Lord be your strength, let his courage fill your spirit and may you make the right choices.

PRAYER: Life frightens us at nearly every corner, Lord.  We can’t see past the shadows and often, even though we know what we should do, we lack the courage it takes to win the victory.  Give us your courage today!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 05/17/12 – Making Life Work

DayBreaks for 05/17/12 – Making Life Work

John 14:6 (NLT) – Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Let’s face it.  Life is T-O-U-G-H.  And let me say something to the younger readers out there: I don’t find it getting any easier as I tack on the years!  Sure, in some ways it gets easier, but in others it becomes harder, less comfortable and more difficult than ever.  I don’t say that to discourage you, but I must be honest about it.  But there is a consolation that comes with age: knowing that we are closer to the goal and our home-going!

Have you heard the story about the man who ordered a tree house over the internet for his children? When the box arrived, on the top were words that have become every parent’s nightmare: “Some assembly required.”

The man began to assemble the tree house but as he laid out all the parts on the floor and began reading, he realized that the instructions were indeed for a tree house…but the parts were for a sail boat!!

The next day, he sent an angry e-mail message to the company complaining about the mix-up. Back came the reply:

“We are truly sorry for the error and the mix-up and the inconvenience. However, it might make you feel better to consider the fascinating possibility that somewhere today there is a man out on a lake trying to sail your tree house.”

The point is clear: To put something together, you must have the right parts and the right instructions. This is where faith comes in. The only way you can put your life together is through faith. Faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. That’s what makes it work.

We often quote John 14:6 and focus on Him being the Way, on Him being the Truth…but He is also the Life.  It just doesn’t work without Him!

PRAYER: Increase our trust in the truth, the way, and in the reality that life only works when we do it Your way!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 is now engaged in a project to provide temporary shelter, food, water and adult care to 37 orphans in Migori, Kenya.  We are trying to raise up an army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us provide care for these children until our partner in the project, BrightPoint for Children, can secure sponsorships for these 37 kids.  If you want to contribute, follow this link and scroll down to find the “Donate” button: Help the 37 Migori Orphans

Thank you!  Your donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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