DayBreaks for 10/20/17: Temporary

DayBreaks for 10/20/17: Temporary

“It’s just a temporary condition.  You’ll feel better in a few days.”  Those are comforting words when they come from our doctor or dentist, are they not?  Temporary, meaning that it will not last long.  It’s a passing thing. 

“It’s just a temporary setback.  We’ll get back on track soon.”  Those words are often spoken in the business world or even in a military setting when something bad has happened and we want to put on a good face and try to be encouraging to others who may really be upset and disturbed by the goings-on.  In that case, it’s meant to be a comforting word.

But there are things that we don’t want to be temporary: enjoying beauty, enjoying the love of a spouse, children and grandchildren.  We don’t want the mountain-top experiences of life to be temporary things – like fleeting shadows that are here for a moment or two and then gone.  There’s nothing comforting about hearing that someone’s love for you is temporary.  We want it to be permanent – lasting, a forever-thing. 

Isn’t it strange how we spend so much of our life’s energy chasing after temporary things?  Can you imagine how our lives would be if we spent our time, money, energy and spirits on pursing permanent things?  In his books, When the Game is Over It All Goes Back in the Box, John Ortberg described an incident where a speaker stood in front of a large group of people.  He had a roll of stickers in his hand.  Behind him on the platform were all kinds of objects – tables filled with things from our lives – computers, dollhouses, desks, a Matchbox car, pots and pans, etc.  The speaker began to roam around the stage, placing red stickers on everything.  He explained to the crowd what he was doing: although they couldn’t see it from their vantage point, each sticker had the same word on it: TEMPORARY.  He said, “Everything that I’m putting a sticker on is temporary.  It will not last.  It will fade away.  We invest our emotions in them be3cause when we acquire it, it gives us a little thrill.  And we think the thrill will last.  But it does not.  It fades.  And eventually, so will what we acquire. 

“If you are living for what you see up here, then you are living for what is temporary.  Temporary satisfaction, temporary fulfillment, temporary meaning.  It will come to an end – but you never will.  It will leave you with a terrible emptiness.”

Wouldn’t it be easier to make better decisions in life if the things we pursue in this world all had that red sticker on them to remind us that they are temporary?  I have to think we might make different choices – at least some of the time. 

Later, the speaker did one more thing.  First, he said, “There is only one thing in this room that is not temporary.  There is only one item that you will be allowed to take with you from this life into the next.”  With that, he invited a little girl to join him on the stage, and he put a blue sticker on the collar of her dress.  “When you get to the end of your life and take in your last breath, what do you want your life to have been about.  What will make it rich in the eyes of God?”  The answer was obvious: people. 

Are you wise?  Are you building your life around temporary things or permanent, eternal things?  The next time you’re tempted to invest in something (large or small), try to picture the sticker – is it imprinted with “Temporary” or “Eternal”?

PRAYER:  Give us wisdom to see things as temporary, yet to see the people we encounter every day as eternal.  Please remind us of how we should invest our lives, and what we should invest them in.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 4/15/15 – The Invulnerable City

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DayBreaks for 4/15/15: The Invulnerable City

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

Sometimes it is hard to realize that nothing in this world lasts forever.  It extends all the way from nations, to love, to corporations, and even to our pets, whose mortality we don’t like to contemplate.  One of the mightiest nations in the ancient world was ancient Rome.  Their nation survived for nearly 1000 years from the time it was supposedly founded by the brothers Romulus and Remus on the banks of the Tiber, until it fell in 410 A.D.  One young man who had lived and reveled in the streets of Rome throughout his younger years became one of the greatest theologians in church history.  His name was Augustine, and after being told that the city of Rome had been sacked, he said, “All earthly cities are vulnerable.  Men build them and men destroy them.  At the same time there is the City of God which men did not build and cannot destroy and which is everlasting.” 

Catastrophes are, well, catastrophic.  The fall of Rome was not only inconceivable to those who felt secure in the city and nation, but when it happened, it had to be one of the most terrifying experiences they ever lived through.  Their security was gone.  The enemy was not only at the gates, but had burst through.  What would become of the inhabitants?  As the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” but it turned out to be shocking how quickly it could fall.

The kingdom of God – or the City of God as Augustine referred to it – wasn’t built in a day, either.  It is still being built.  It was established and founded by the Lord Jesus Christ who was God with us, who proclaimed “The Kingdom of God is at hand.”  We can forget, if we’re not careful, that we aren’t just Americans, or Canadians, or South Africans.  We are living stones in the kingdom of God that is here, now, living and powerful. 

Every nation that has ever been built up has been torn down.  And that’s the way it will be until the end of time.  At that point, after trampling all enemies and kings and nations under his feet, the Kingdom of God will begin in fullness and glory and timeless perfection.  There will be no generals or politicians who make strategic mistakes that will doom God’s kingdom.  You see, Augustine had it right: men cannot destroy that which God has decreed to be everlasting.  As frightening as this world gets sometimes, as terrified and insecure as we may sometimes feel, we need to be reminded that we aren’t citizens of this world in the ultimate sense, nor of a given nation or race.  We are destined for eternity and for an everlasting, invulnerable city.

Daniel 7:13-14 (NLT) – As my vision continued that night, I saw someone who looked like a man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence.  He was given authority, honor, and royal power over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.

PRAYER: Lord, we look forward to the city not made with hands, in which righteousness dwells forever!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 7/30/14 – Focus on What Lasts

DayBreaks for 7/30/14 – Focus on What Lasts

Galen is traveling through 8/5/14…new DayBreaks will resume after he returns. 

From the DayBreaks archive, 7/29/2004:

Matthew 6:19-20 (NLT) – Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves.

What is it that gives things value?  From a worldly perspective, it is usually something that gives us comfort, makes our lives easier, or which we believe will gain in value, perhaps something that will give us a “hedge” against retirement.  Typically, we perceive something to be of value if it can do something for us.  And that is only one way, and not the best way at that, of determining value.

In Rumors of Another World, Philip Yancey made this observation about value in our modern world: “As I stand before the magazines, I notice that the values on display have something in common.  Net worth, body shape, muscle tone, beauty secrets, possessions: each of these is transitory.  I have attended my share of funerals, and not once have friends and family members eulogized about the deceased’s bank account or physical shape or surround-sound stereo system.  Instead, they speak of qualities like kindness and generosity and love for family – sometimes even stretching the truth – as if conceding that in the end only these qualities endure.”

Jesus wants us to concede, long before “the end”, that there is little value in worldly things.  His point in the sermon on the mount is that they don’t hold up.  They get gobbled up by bugs, rust and get oxidized, and they can be stolen if someone really wants to take them.  Things like faith, hope and love aren’t like that.  They endure.  They can be put into the First Bank of Heaven and they’ll be eternally secure.  Ask yourself: what kind of things bring you the greatest joy?  Isn’t it the love of a spouse, the joy of children and family, the character of your friends and their caring?  Nothing else in the world even comes close to the real deep joy and happiness that love does.

Those are the kind of things we’ll be able to enjoy for eternity.  Those are the kinds of things that precede you into heaven and God puts them in safe storage so that love, joy, peace, faith and sense of blessedness will be there for you to enjoy forever.  No rust, no bugs, no thieves.

What is your focus?  Where are you piling up riches?

PRAYER: Father, we have so many sins to confess! Help us to see you as the One who is eager to hear our confession…and to forgive!  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!

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DayBreaks for 09/19/13 – The Pursuit of Fleeting Things

DayBreaks for 09/19/13 – The Pursuit of Fleeting Things

2 Timothy 2:22 (NIV)  – Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

“British birdwatchers were especially excited by news earlier this year that a rare White-throated Needletail (the world’s fastest flying bird) had been spotted on the UK’s Isles of Harris–only the eighth such sighting in Britain in 170 years–and ornithologists arranged for an expedition that attracted birdwatchers from around the world.  A June report in the Daily Telegraph noted that about 80 people were on the scene when the bird appeared again but then had to watch it fly straight toward the blades of a wind turbine. (As the event might be described by Monty Python, the bird thus joined the choir invisible, left this mortal coil, became an ex-White-throated Needletail.)” – [Daily Telegraph, 6-27-2013, News of the Weird, 8/26/13]

We have a finite amount of time to draw breath and live.  We have a finite amount of heartbeats in our body.  We are confronted with the need to make choices: what will we pursue?  Will we pursue the “evil desires of youth” (maybe I’m still younger than I thought since some of those youthful things still chase me down) or will we choose to pursue the things Paul instructed Timothy to pursue? 

The evil desires of youth/old age can be pursued if that’s our choice.  God gives us that freedom.  But is it wise?  Consider the contrast between those youthful desires and the eternal value of righteousness, faith, love and peace.  The two don’t even begin to compare.  Yet, day by day, moment by moment, we often choose as if we are still youths. 

The pursuit of fleeting things can, and will, prove deadly in the long run.

PRAYER: Father, it seems as if no matter our age, we struggle to pursue the right things.  We need our hearts re-made.  We need our desires re-channeled.  Please do that for us!  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.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 07/19/13 – Of Lawns and Kids

DayBreaks for 07/19/13 – Lawns and Kids

Brother and Sister RunningErma Bombeck, the late author of If Life Is A Bowl Of Cherries, What Am I Doing Here In The Pits, tells of two moments in her husband’s life:

There was a time when the children were growing up that her husband used to go and look at the back yard. Surveying the muddy patches where the lawn should be, he would wonder — Will the grass ever come back?

And then there was the time when the children were grown and gone that her husband went and looked over the beautiful green lawn, immaculate from lack of use and wondered — Will the children ever come back?

These are simple, homey moments that nearly any parent can identify with.  But they point us to deeper truths that are timeless and priceless: some parts of life are temporary and like the grass they shine for a moment and then are gone but they come back the next spring.  Other things, such as our children, are beings with eternal destinies, infinitely more precious and valuable than some patch of grass.  Yet I fear that too many today are spending more time on grass or cars or work or hobbies or sports than investing it in the eternal souls of their children.  Wisdom knows the difference.  Do our actions show that we understand the value of the human souls that fill the homes and buildings and stores around us?  Do we even recognize it in our own children and grand-children?

PRAYER: Oh, Lord, help us see the value of the human soul in the scars of your hands.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen is working as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org) and is responsible for raising 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 and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Then look for “Galen Dalrymple”.  Click his name 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 (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 for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are also members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

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