DayBreaks for 7/13/18 – If There Were No Tomorrow’s

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DayBreaks for 7/13/18: If There Were No Tomorrows

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2008:

I’ve already got plans for tomorrow…and for numerous days after that.  I am sure that you do, too.  It is a normal and very human thing to do.  As far as I know, humans are the only thing on the earth that formulates plans.  My dog may decide he’s hungry, so he gets up and walks over to bury his face in the food bowl, but that’s not planning.  I don’t think that he has ever had a thought like this: “Tomorrow I’ll get up, look out the window, bark at some birds, wander outside and chase lizards for 15 minutes to get exercise, take a nice, long cool drink, and then come in and slobber all over Galen.”  If he had thought such things, that would have been planning. 

My plans for tomorrow are varied.  Some will be just pure enjoyment, others are having to do with duties, and still others may or may not happen depending on how everything else works out and what might come up unexpectedly.  It isn’t necessarily bad to have plans: we’re told in the Proverbs that we should look at the ant and learn to prepare for the storms of life that may head our way – and that requires some planning.  We’re also told not to trust in our own plans, for they are flawed and our ways are not God’s ways.  If our plans for our lives and His conflict, guess whose plan will lose?

So, in planning, we need to always be aware that our plans are subject to Divine review and change.  There are some things, however, that I don’t think God would ever remove from our plans.  Obedience to the first and greatest commandment and to the second greatest commandment are two examples of such things.  Those things are always good – and delight God’s heart. 

Maybe that’s what makes it so sad (and vitally important) to contemplate the question: what if there were no tomorrows?  What relationships in my life would I want to improve?  What disobedience would I seek forgiveness for?  What repentance is needed?  Who would I talk to that I’ve been avoiding because of some silly disagreement or upset in the past?  Who would I want to see one more time?  Who would I want to tell about Jesus before my tomorrows ran out? 

The problem, of course, isn’t really in answering those questions I just posed, but in believing that some day our tomorrows will run out – and we just never know when that day will be upon us, like a lion on a wildebeest.  But, that day will come.  It’ll come for me, and it’ll come for you.  Like the children’s game of hide or seek, that time will come with the words, “Ready or not, here I come!”  And then we’ll be in its clutches. 

Since we don’t know when that day will come, doesn’t it make sense today – this VERY DAY – to begin taking care of some of those questions listed above, to fixing some of the broken things in your life?  What is ONE THING you will do today to start working toward the point that when the times comes that there are no more tomorrows for you, that you won’t leave this world behind with regrets?  You can’t fix it all in one day, but you can fix it one day at a time…as long as you have even just one tomorrow left. 

PRAYER:  Give us wisdom to know where to being to work with Your Spirit to fix up the brokenness we might leave behind if we have no more tomorrows.  Give us the courage to live each moment, let alone each day, as if it were our last.  Put the people on our heart that You have prepared to hear about Jesus, and let us speak His name to them while we still breathe.   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 9/04/17 – As We Forgive Others

DayBreaks for 9/04/17: As We Forgive Others

From the DayBreaks archive, 9/2007:

From The Scrivener, blog by Doug Dalrymple:

I know that all the Hutus who killed so calmly cannot be sincere when they beg pardon, even of the Lord. But me, I am ready to forgive. It is not a denial of the harm they did, not a betrayal of the Tutsis, not an easy way out. It is so that I will not suffer my whole life asking myself why they tried to cut me. I do not want to live in remorse and fear from being Tutsi. If I do not forgive them, it is I alone who suffers and frets and cannot sleep… I yearn for peace in my body. I really must find tranquility. I have to sweep fear far away from me, even if I do not believe their soothing words.”  The quote is from a Rwandan school teacher named Edith. She is interviewed in Jean Hatzfeld’s book, Une Saison de Machettes, reviewed here by Theodore Dalrymple.
“Edith’s sentiments are telling, I think. When we withhold forgiveness from someone who has wronged us, we often do so because we feel that to forgive that person would be to give him something beautiful, a gift he manifestly does not deserve.  I think this is an accurate instinct; forgiveness truly is a gift.  Forgiveness may, in measure, relieve the perpetrator from the burden of his crime, or the spiritual consequences of it – provided the perpetrator is, in fact, conscious of that burden or those consequences.
“But not all are conscious of their crimes or culpability.  Speaking from my own experience as a sinner, it is easy enough for a man to remain ignorant (willfully or otherwise) of the hells he’s unleashed in the lives of others.  In his novel, Silence, Shusaku Endo writes that sin “is not to steal and tell lies. Sin is for one man to walk brutally over the life of another and to be quite oblivious of the wounds he has left behind.”  But even in such cases, when we withhold forgiveness we only make ourselves victims twice over.  The perpetrator may never appreciate the gift of forgiveness, but the walls we build in our hearts against our neighbor serve also to separate us from God.  We cannot at once be separated from our neighbor and united to God.  Without forgiveness, there is no peace. As Edith says, “If I do not forgive them, it is I alone who suffers and frets and cannot sleep… I yearn for peace in my body.”

Isn’t it interesting how we want to make everyone pay for the things they’ve done to hurt us?  And how little we want to pay for the hurts we’ve inflicted on others – we usually explain them away with a toss of the hand or head or some remark about how they deserved what they got because of something they’d done.  But I think Doug’s point is valid: “We cannot at once be separated from our neighbor and united to God.”  Isn’t that what it means when we’re told that if we don’t love our neighbor, we can’t love God?  1 John 4:20 (NLT) – If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we have not seen?

PRAYER: Jesus, your love alone is fully holy and righteous, and we have so much need to learn to love as you do!  Help us to start by learning to forgive from the heart, not just for the sake of others, but for our own sake as well.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 8/07/15 – Forgiveness or Atrocity?

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DayBreaks for 8/07/15: Forgiveness or Atrocity?

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

As with most things in life, we have choices to make.  We can choose friends, choose careers, choose a spouse, choose what to eat and where to live.  But it’s interesting that when it comes to handling our emotions and how we react to things, we seem to find it very hard to make the right choices some times.  We seem to find it nearly impossible to love our enemies or to fight certain temptations.  And perhaps the most common complaint about emotional sin is the one that says, “I just can’t forgive So-and-so for what they did.”

And so, unforgiveness reigns in the heart of much of the world.  It’s why the Palestinians and Israelis continue to hate and spiral downward in ever-increasing violence and anger.  It’s why the Sunnis and Shiites can’t get along.  It’s why the Pakistanis and Indians don’t like one another, or the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland.  The essayist Lance Morrow, in observing this human tendency, hit it on the head when he noted that when unforgiveness reigns, a Newtonian-like law comes into play: “For every atrocity there must be an equal and opposite atrocity.”  Theologian Romano Guardini offered this as a diagnosis of the problem of revenge: “As long as you are tangled in the wrong and revenge, blow and counterblow, aggression and defense, you will be constantly drawn into fresh wrong…Only forgiveness frees us from the injustices of others.”  And perhaps no one better described the outcome of unforgiveness and revenge better than Gandhi, who observed that if everyone followed the “eye for an eye” rule, eventually the whole world would go blind.

Someone needs to stop the cycle of viciousness that lives in the hearts of humanity.  Perhaps we are right when we say that we can’t forgive someone.  Perhaps it takes the Spirit living in us for us to be able to forgive those who have mistreated or hurt us or those we love.  Whatever it takes, we need to find the strength to stop the bitterness that keeps pouring gasoline on the fire of unforgiveness and which demands an ever greater sacrifice to satisfy our desire for revenge.

Revenge is a hungry monster that is never sated.  That’s why it must be killed.  How much room are you giving revenge in your heart?  Who do you need to forgive so that you can be like your Father in heaven?

PRAYER: Keep us from deluding ourselves into thinking we have forgiven when perhaps all we have done is avoided the truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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

DayBreaks for 9/12/14 – Forgiving the Inexcusable

DayBreaks for 9/12/14 – Forgiving the Inexcusable

“God, I can never forgive what he did to me.  What he did is inexcusable!  There is no possible justification other than just pure evil and meanness!”

My guess is that if we haven’t all thought those specific words, we’ve thought things close to them.  Right now, my guess is that the families of the American journalists who were beheaded by ISIS/ISIL have felt those things.  What possible justification is there for what happened to their sons?  What makes any human think that sawing the head off of another human being can be excused for any reason?

How easy it is for us to fall into the trap of thinking that our own wrong-doings are excusable: “Lord, you made me the way I am”, or “Lord, you can’t blame me because my spouse just pushed me too far this time!”  We are all geniuses when it comes to creating excuses for our own actions and thoughts.  And we all have a hard time understanding the motives of others – and an even harder time excusing them and forgiving them.

But, as he often does, C.S. Lewis put it in just one sentence that challenges us in our thinking and attitudes: To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.

God truly has forgiven the inexcusable in each of us.  Will we do likewise for others?

Ephesians 4:32 (NLT) – Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

PRAYER: Thank you for forgiving us when we have no excuse for what we’d done!  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 05/31/13 – Missing Memory

DayBreaks for 05/31/13 – Missing Memory

NOTE: New DayBreaks will resume next week!

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I used to be very proud of my memory.  I could remember statistics (mostly meaningless), facts, trivia, numbers, names and faces.  My memory was so sharp.  No I can’t even remember what I’ve forgotten, or where I’ve left my memory.   Sometimes it really frustrates me.  I just KNOW I should be able to remember that key fact that I read in the paper or magazine.  I should be able to remember who a quote came from.  But alas…should doesn’t make it so.   Most of the time, my “missing memory” is a curse.

At other times, however, missing memory is a blessing.  When I look back at my hospitalization and surgery in late November, I really remember very little of it.  I hardly remember any pain, and of the week-plus that I spent in the hospital, I’d be very hard pressed to account for 90% of it.  And that’s good.

So, sometimes forgetfulness is good.  Consider this story, shared by Brennan Manning in his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, about a Catholic woman who was claiming to have visions of Jesus.  Word if it reached the archbishop who was skeptical and who decided to check out her story to separate fact from fiction.  The story of their encounter goes as follows:

Is it true, ma’am, that you have visions of Jesus?’ asked the cleric.

“Yes,” the woman replied simply.

“Well, the next time you have a vision, I want you to ask Jesus to tell you the sins that I confessed in my last confession.”

The woman was stunned.  “Did I hear you right, bishop?  You actually want me to ask Jesus to tell me the sins of your past?”

“Exactly.  Please call me if anything happens.”

Ten days later, the woman notified her spiritual leader of a recent apparition.  “Please come,” she said.

Within the hour the archbishop arrived.  He trusted eye-to-eye contact.  “You just told me on the telephone that you actually had a vision of Jesus.  Did you do what I asked?”

“Yes, bishop, I asked Jesus to tell me the sins you confessed in your last confession.”

The bishop leaned forward with anticipation.  His eyes narrowed.  “What did Jesus say?”

She took his hand and gazed deep into his eyes.  “Bishop,” she said, “these are his exact words: ‘I can’t remember.’”

Isaiah 43:25 – “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

How can it be possible that the blotting out of our sins is “for My own sake” (meaning God)?  Perhaps it is as simple as this: because He loves us, if He couldn’t forgive our sins (and forget them), He would have no choice but to destroy all that He has created – and that would break the heart of the Father.

I praise God that through the blood of the Lamb, when he is asked my sins on judgment day, His answer will be “I can’t remember.”

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen has started working 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 linke: 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).  Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 02/25/12 – The Ministry of Reconciliation

DayBreaks for 02/25/13 – The Ministry of Reconciliation                       

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Romans 5:11 – “Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Reconciliation is a big topic in scripture.  In fact, it’s what the entire story of God’s interaction with mankind is all about.  Reconciliation is about the restoration of relationship.  We like the idea of reconciliation, whether it is with God or with our human acquaintances.  But perhaps we take reconciliation too lightly – we cheapen the cost of reconciliation.

Consider these words from a pastor by the name of Allan Boesak: “True reconciliation cannot take place without confrontation.  Reconciliation is not feeling good; it s coming to grips with evil.  In order to reconcile, Christ had to die.  We must not deceive ourselves.  Reconciliation does not mean holding hands and singing ‘black and white together.’  It means, rather, death and suffering, giving up one’s life for the sake of the other.  If white and black Christians fail to understand this, we shall not be truly reconciled.

“So it is with peace.  One is not at peace with God and one’s neighbor because one has succeeded in closing one’s eyes to the realities of evil.  Neither is peace a situation where terrorism of the defenseless is acceptable because it is being done under the guise of the law…Peace is not simply the absence of war or an uneasy quiet in the townships.  Peace is the active presence of justice.  It is shalom, the well-being of all.”

Reconciliation to God was extremely costly.  We hope for an easy and cheap reconciliation in our relationships.  Chances are if it is easy, it isn’t truly a reconciliation.   God has given us the ministry of reconciliation.  Just like our Lord, we may have to bleed for it.

2 Cor. 5:18-20 – “18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

Copyright 2003 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Father, thank You for the gift of your reconciliation!  Please search our hearts and show us those to whom we need to be reconciled here on earth!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

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 09/12/11 – Forgive Everyone for Everything

DayBreaks for 09/12/11 – Forgive Everyone for Everything

Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook or press down his tongue with a cord? 2 Can you put a rope in his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? 3 Will he make many pleas to you? Will he speak to you soft words? 4 Will he make a covenant with you to take him for your servant forever? 5 Will you play with him as with a bird, or will you put him on a leash for your girls? 6 Will traders bargain over him? Will they divide him up among the merchants? 7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? 8 Lay your hands on him; remember the battle—you will not do it again! – Job 41:1-8

In the text of today’s passage, God talks about trying to capture and tame the beast, Leviathan.  God makes His point well: it just can’t be done!

One the one hand, that has absolutely nothing to do with today’s DayBreaks except…let me explain.  I couldn’t begin to count how many people have said to me, “I just can’t forgive So-and-So for what they did!”  It seems that when it comes to the subject of forgiveness, we may as well be trying to capture Leviathan with a fish-hook, because forgiveness is a very, very tough beast to tame!  Some argue that Mr. or Ms. So-and-So don’t deserve forgiveness.  They’ve not asked for it, nor do they seem to want it.  They are too obstinate, proud, arrogant or whatever.  There are those who say you can’t forgive until someone asks you to forgive them.  While I’m understanding of the emotion behind such statements (it is usually made by those who are refusing to forgive someone), I don’t agree with it.  In South Africa forgiveness was often not just given in word, but through incredible deeds, long before those who had killed someone’s family members ever dreamt of asking for it.  It can happen.  And when it does, it sets people free.

My wife recently found a blog post that made some excellent observations on the subject of forgiveness, and I share them here with you: “As difficult as it may sound, the reality described by Dostoevsky can be summed up very simply: forgive everyone for everything. Stated in such a blunt fashion, such a goal is overwhelming. How can I forgive everyone for everything? This life of forgiveness, which is nothing other than the life of Christ within us, is our inheritance in the faith. The life of blame, recrimination, bitterness, anger, revenge and the like are not the life of Christ, but simply the ragings of our own egos, the false self which we exalt over our true life which is “hid with Christ in God.”

“The rightness of a cause, or the correctness of our judgment do not justify nor change the nature of our ragings. For none of us can stand before God and be justified – except as we give ourselves to the life of Christ, who is our only righteousness. (emphasis mine, GCD)

“The question of forgiveness is not a moral issue. We do not forgive because it is the “correct” thing to do. We forgive because it is the true nature of the life in Christ.” – Glory To God For All Things blog, by fatherstephen, 9/03/11

Our forgiveness (or lack thereof) is an indication of the true nature of our life and whether we have embraced the life that is found in Christ, or whether we’re holding on to our own old self.

PRAYER: We need your help, Lord, to forgive, but even more, we need your help that your true nature is formed within!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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