DayBreaks for 2/20/19 – I AM #6: The Door

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DayBreaks for 2/20/2019: I AM #6: The Door

John 10:9 (CSBBible) – I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.

To understand this I AM statement, we need to understand shepherds and sheep. Earlier in chapter 10, Jesus referred to a gatekeeper. Near most villages there was a communal sheepfold that had a gate that could be locked and only the owner of that sheepfold had the key. But that’s not what Jesus is describing here.

Once out on the hillsides, there was no sheepfold like that. Instead, sheep would be herded into an enclosure most likely made of piled up rocks with a gap in the rocks at one place where a “door” was. But the door wasn’t made of wood – it was the shepherd who would lay down across the opening to prevent critters from entering or the sheep from leaving. None could cross without the awareness of the shepherd. Jesus claims that he is that shepherd, stretched out across the opening. He doesn’t rely on some sort of physical barrier to guarantee the safety of the sheep – any movement of the sheep in or out is only done with his knowledge and agreement.

But there’s another thing to note here: he says that the sheep can come in and go out. That would mean something very specific in the Hebrew language. To be able to have the ability to come in and go out indicated a life absolutely safe and at peace. That is the kind of life we have with Jesus as our gatekeeper. He watches over us, guides our steps, and seeks us out if we get lost.

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for the life of peace we can have with you as our gatekeeper! In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 2/06/17 – Venture Out in Faith

DayBreaks for 2/06/17: Venture Out in Faith

Revelation 3:8 (ESV) –I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

“One night at the end of a special Saturday night worship service,” writes Warren Hudson of Ontario, Canada, “a thunderstorm unleashed a bolt of lightning that plunged the church into darkness.” With the congregation seated in total darkness, the pastor felt his way to the kitchen to find some candles. The pastor handed out the candles to everyone present. Persons lit their candles in much the same way as many churches do on Christmas Eve, each person lighting the candle of the person next to them. The worshipers then made their way through the church’s winding hallways to the front door.

“Peering out, we could see the rain coming down in sheets,” Warren remembers. With traffic snarled, people were running for the nearest shelter. Looking around they realized that the entire city was in darkness. “There in the darkness we stood,” Warren writes, “a little band of Christians, each clutching a light, not sure whether to venture out into the storm or stay inside the church in hopes that the storm would soon blow over.”

There in the darkness the light of truth struck him. In this most dramatic way he realized what it means to be the “light of the world.” He writes, “It occurred to me then that this is the temptation I face every day. It is easy to play it safe and be a good Christian in church. It is a lot harder to venture out in faith into the storms of the world.”

It is easy to be a good Christian in church. It is not nearly so easy when we are outside the four walls of a comfortable building – but that is our mission. I suspect that if Jesus were to write a letter to us today he’d tell us that he’d much rather we were good Christians outside of the church building than inside.

Can you choose one thing this week that you will do “out in the storm” for Jesus and for the love of those around you?

PRAYER: Jesus, at the start of this new week, let us not be fearful of the surrounding storm but rather let us be good Christians and servants for you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 4/15/16 – So Much for Locking the Door

DayBreaks for 4/15/16 – So Much for Locking the Door

One of the fastest growing, most profitable investment ventures in today’s economy is . . . . Anything having anything to do with security. You couldn’t have lost money in the last twenty years if you invested in storage or security: national security, personal security, home security, financial security, Internet security. The dangers of this world seem to be breathing hotter and closer down our necks. Any offering that promises to cool that threat down is welcomed with open arms and wallets.

We gladly invest in “LifeLock” and “Life Alert” and “Alert Life”- hoping to safeguard both our fiscal and physical lives. Instead of scripted shows by the Blue Angels at air-shows, we are sending long-range spontaneous shows of strength in the form of stealth bombers over South Korean airspace, which offends North Korea. We have “apps” on our smartphones that enable us to watch our front doors at home and our backdoors at work, to turn on our lights and turn off our heat, to be on-guard and on-point, even when we are off-site. We are desperately trying to contain the chaos of the cosmos.

In John’s gospel, Jesus’ first appearance to his disciples is when he comes to them behind closed, locked doors. Despite the vision of the empty tomb, despite the version of the resurrected Jesus Mary Magdalene had reported to them, the disciples were still shuttered and shuddering – clamped down and closed off from a threatening world. Then Jesus blasts through their ADT security system, blows out their “LifeLock,” and suddenly stands in their midst.

Don’t you love that about Jesus? How he just sometimes busts in on us and breaks through all our defenses to show Himself to us?

If you are looking for security, don’t try to lock Jesus out of your life and your heart. Not only is that exactly the wrong thing to do, but it just may not work anyway!

PRAYER: Jesus, help us find that You are the only true security in a very insecure world! Help us find our peace in Your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 05/24/12 – Meeting Jesus At the Door

DayBreaks for 05/24/12 – Meeting Jesus At the Door

Matthew 7:14 (NIV) – But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

As a pastor, one of the things that one traditionally does is to stand at the doorway and greet members of the congregation as they enter and leave.  It is something that I always loved to do because I loved the people and delighted in seeing them and being with them again each Sunday.  Most of the time the conversation was light and pleasant – but there were moments when it was deep and touched on areas of pain in their lives.  What a privilege to be entrusted with the details of the lives of others!

Of course, part of the welcoming conversation was to encourage people, especially guests, to come back again.  I would welcome them, and after services as they left, I’d ask if they had any questions about what we believed and practiced.  Nothing challenging – that much is for sure.

Episcopal priest and author Barbara Brown Taylor wrote, “If Jesus were in charge of an average congregation I figure there would be about four people left there on Sunday mornings, and chances are those four would be fooling themselves. Jesus would greet newcomers by saying, “Are you absolutely sure you want to follow this way of life? It will take everything you have. It has to come before everything else that matters to you. Plenty of people have launched out on it without counting the cost, and as you can see they are not here anymore. The other thing is, if you succeed, if you really follow me, it will probably get you killed. Why don’t you go home and think it over? I would hate for you to get in over your head.'” – Barbara Brown Taylor, Bread of Angels, p. 47

Many Christians and many churches have “dummed down” the demands of Christ.  Christ never did.  Christ never will.  He will challenge us with his words to live in different ways than the world around us, and to suffer, carrying our cross daily.  I don’t know what that will mean for me (let alone for you), but of one thing I am certain: Christ will issue us a challenge that will blow us away.

PRAYER: Father, forgive me for the times I’ve not put your bold challenges in front of others and for the times I’ve failed to live up to them myself!  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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