DayBreaks for 02/18/14 – Disappointment #9 – The Journey, The Relationship

DayBreaks for 2/18/14 – Disappointment #9 – the Journey, the Relationship

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Genesis 12:1 (NLT)  – The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.

Hebrews 11:8 (ESV) – By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

Hebrews 11:13 (ESV) – These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

Don’t you wish that God made it easier to discern His will? Or at least to understand His plan? I don’t know that I’ve ever met a Christian who didn’t struggle with frustration and disappointment with God for not making His plan clearer to us mortals. It is almost as if He delights in keeping us in the dark, as if He were watching us struggle and try to figure out what He’s up to.

I am confident that the great women and men of the Bible also struggled with that. Sometimes the lack of understanding the plan led to disastrous results (witness Judas and others). At other times it led to great acts of faith (like Abram and the other heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11 who acted on God’s say-so simply because He did say so. That doesn’t mean that they were comfortable with it and that they didn’t try to “help out” with the plan (Abraham’s lying about his relationship with Sarah and fathering a child via Hagar – also with disastrous results!)

So Abram went, not knowing any details of God’s plan. We go, too, not knowing and greatly frustrated by not knowing the plan. Abraham set out on a journey that would take him the rest of his earthly life – and as Hebrews 11:13 says, never “received the things promised” by the time he died. If that’s not a recipe for disappointment, I don’t know what is! Decades of waiting, decades of wondering if this will be the year when it happens, decades of frustration and disappointment…and finally death, still without the fulfillment. It would be enough to break a normal human being.

But, what was the point? Was the point for Abram to understand the plan? Or was it just for Abram to take a journey with God and get to know Him? Wasn’t that really the point for Abraham? If it wasn’t that, we’d have to conclude that for him personally it was a great waste of his time on earth.

Isn’t that the point for all of us? The destination isn’t the objective. The objective is to take a life-long journey with God while we get to know Him so that journey just continues right on into eternity without skipping a beat.

When you are tempted to be disappointed because He hasn’t made His plan clear to you, remember and relax: you’re on a journey with the incredible Creator God of all that exists. Enjoy the journey – “Sit back, relax, and leave the driving to Him!”

PRAYER: I’m sorry when I get discouraged and angry at You for Your plan that I can’t see or understand. Help me to enjoy the journey with You so that when this life is done, You will simply take my hand in Yours and invited me into Your home! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 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 Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) 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 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.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 1/24/14 – Encountering Jesus at the Intersection (Disappointment #2)

DayBreaks for 1/24/14 – Encountering Jesus at the Intersection (Disappointment #2) 

Have you ever dreamed of Jesus? If you have, I’d guess that your dreams were of a gentle, tender, friendly, smiling, bearded and somewhat long-haired person who looked a lot like a Francis Hook painting of the Lord. I can’t tell you those things are wrong, but I can tell you that such images are, at best, only partially correct. I don’t say that because I’ve seen him or have any inside knowledge, but because Jesus always surprises us and we tend to think of him in the pleasantest light.

Can we be brutally honest in this series of thoughts on disappointment? Here’s the fact: I don’t know anyone who at some point or another was not disappointed in Jesus. His apostles were. The religious leaders were. I have been. And if you are being honest, I believe you have been disappointed in him too: when he didn’t heal someone, when you didn’t get that job or the A on the test or when the other team won the game.

Disappointment happens when our expectations of someone or something is not met. The expectations may be realistic or may be groundless, but we have them and when they aren’t satisfied, we are disappointed. And what does that have to do with Jesus? Didn’t he say that if we ask anything his name that we would receive it? Has that been your experience? Who among us who became believers when we were young, didn’t try to literally move a mountain or walk on water as a result of that promise (which we took literally and that caused us to muster up as much faith as we could to try such things).

Here is where we meet Jesus – in this unlikely place that is the intersection of expectations and disappointment. The Jesus we meet there is not the Jesus of our dreams. The Jesus we meet at that intersection is the unpredictable Jesus who let his friend Lazarus die, who couldn’t heal in his own home town, the man of sorrows as well as joy. Make no mistake: he is not a Jesus who lacks power to do anything we ask. He may, if I may be so bold, lack the will to do what we ask because we ask amiss. But once we meet the Jesus of disappointment, you won’t forget him, just like you will never forget the Jesus who does miraculous things that totally blow us away.

We live in a world, especially in America, of unreasonable expectations: a shampoo will make us irresistible to the opposite sex and alcohol only leads to laughter and good times with good looking people but never to hangovers, broken homes and regret. We are told that buying the right car is the roadway to happiness and adventure. What are all these things really offering us? Ultimate fulfillment. As media critic Jean Kilbourne said: The problem with advertising isn’t that it creates artificial needs, but that it exploits our very real and human desires. We are not stupid: we know that buying a certain brand of cereal won’t bring us one inch closer to that goal. But we are surrounded by advertising that yokes our needs with products and promises us that things will deliver what in fact they never can. 

In short: our culture has set us up for disappointment, and so has the church. American theology combines humanistic optimism with a work mentality that leads us to believe that good little Christians will have the hard times and cutting edges of life smoothed over because we are good followers of Jesus. It has even been encapsulated into some of our hymns: Not a shadow will rise, not a cloud in the skies, but his smile quickly drives it away…(Trust and Obey).

Is that true of your experience of Jesus and his smile? If so, where does that leave someone like Job who had his pathway blocked by God and said: Job 19:8 (NLT)  “God has blocked my way so I cannot move. He has plunged my path into darkness”? It would also leave out Jeremiah and his belief, expressed aloud, that he’d been deceived and brutalized by God’s purpose (Jer. 20:7).

Tomorrow we’ll explore some of the reason this happens. This is life, folks. This is where the rubber meets the road and where we will either meet the real Jesus at the intersection of Expectation and Disappointment roads and will cling to him, or like many, we will take a detour of our own concoction.

I believe that Jesus still deserves our allegiance in spite of our disappointment. The problem, you see, isn’t with him….but with us.

PRAYER: Jesus, we have at times been disappointed with you when in reality we came with unrealistic dreams and concepts of who you are and what you are about. Teach us to deal with both our expectations and our disappointments and to continue to seek you in spite of whatever frustrations we may have. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 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 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 Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) 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 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.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 04/25/12 – Prayer and the Ceiling

DayBreaks for 04/25/12 – Prayer and the Ceiling

It certainly is a common enough phrase that “Sometimes it just seems my prayers can’t get past the ceiling.”  Why is that the case?  Because it is a common experience of nearly everyone I know who has ever prayed that there are times it seems that God just doesn’t hear – that our prayers never get out of the room in which we find ourselves, or that the ceiling is lead-lined and stops not only x-rays but prayers from passing through.

I’ve said it on more than one occasion.  It is difficult to pray when one feels as if God can’t hear you.  It’s maybe even worse to think that He won’t hear you or because you’ve convinced yourself that you’re such a horrible sinner that He doesn’t even want to hear you anymore.

I liked something I read today that was written by John Ortberg in the Spring 2012 edition of Leadership Magazine in an article called Fighting the Good Fight (I’ll share more from that article in the next few days).  Here was his observation: “People often speak of feeling frustrated that their prayers never make it past the ceiling. Of course, if the Spirit of God is present right here right now, they don’t have to make it past the ceiling—God is already on this side of the ceiling.”

As with most of our perceptions about God, our perception that He doesn’t hear our prayer is flawed.  There is no magical ceiling through which our prayers must pass, no level of holiness me must first reach before He will listen, no sin to great that will cause Him to turn from us when we are turning to Him in repentance.  In fact, He was in the room waiting to hear from you before you even thought about praying.

“God is already on this side of the ceiling.”  I like that.  I hope that if you’re in one of those times right now where it seems He is not hearing, you’ll remember He’s in the room with you…listening!

PRAYER: Forgive us for our weakness that makes us doubt Your desire to hear us, to listen to us, and to respond to our requests and cries, especially in those times which seem to be the darkest to us!  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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DayBreaks for 11/16/11 – If Only

DayBreaks for 11/16/11 – If Only

If only...

No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” – Romans 9:20

Two of the saddest words that can be put together in the English language are these: “If only…”  You know the drill and how it goes: “If only I had reconciled with my father before it was too late,” “If only I had never tried cocaine,” “If only I hadn’t given up my dream…”  Who among us hasn’t said “If only” at one time or another?  I know I have.

True story: there was a thirty-eight-year-old scrubwoman who would go to the movies and sigh, “If only I had her looks.” If she heard a singer she’d moan, “If only I had her voice.”

One day someone gave her a copy of the book, The Magic of Believing. She stopped comparing herself with actresses and singers. She stopped crying about what she didn’t have and started concentrating on what she did have. She took inventory of herself and her abilities and remembered that in high school she had a reputation for being the funniest girl around. She decided that rather than concentrating on her liabilities, she’d turn them into assets.  When she was at the top of her career Phyllis Diller, the former scrubwoman, made over $1 million a year. She wasn’t good-looking and she had a scratchy voice, but she could make people laugh.

The writer of Romans reminds us that God has a purpose for how He made us, and that we are in no position to bemoan how He formed us.

Maybe you’re a bit frustrated or you’ve been looking around at others with envy, thinking about how gifted and talented they are – and comparing yourself to them and getting down on yourself.  Turn your focus to what God HAS given you…He has given us all abilities, talents and skills, and He wants you to use them for His glory!

PRAYER: Your wisdom is beyond our comprehension.  Forgive us for questioning your wisdom in how you formed and made us.  Give us the ability to rejoice in what you have given and done for us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 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, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.