DayBreaks for 8/03/18 – To Live in the Present

Image result for past present future

DayBreaks for 8/03/18: To Live in the Present

From the DayBreaks archive, August 2008:

I love to think about heaven – about what it will be like, about what we/I will do there.  I can hardly wait to hear the myriads of angels and the four living creatures singing at the top of their “lungs” to the praise of the One on the throne.  I can hardly wait to talk with Daniel, that great warrior/prophet who faced down kings and the powerful men of the earth.  I want to talk with Moses, I want to ask Abraham about the “sacrifice” of Isaac and what he told Sarah and when and how he felt throughout that experience. 

Likewise, I can find myself being drawn to living in the past.  Sometimes at night I dream about past friendships and experiences.  I love to reminisce and tell stories of our children and family.  I love to think about great times I’ve had with friends camping and backpacking in the high Sierra’s, or to talk about the sights of Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon – or even the sights, sounds and smells of St. Bernard’s Parish in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. 

It is easy to get caught in living either in the future or in the past.  As Walker Percy put it, “To live in the past and future is easy.  To live in the present is like threading a needle.”  I don’t know about you, but at my age and with my vision, threading a needle isn’t the easiest task any more.  It’s a challenge.

Why is living in the present so difficult?  Because we love the escape that living in either the past or future provides.  It’s also why we sit so many hours in front of our television or playing a videogame or attending some form of entertainment.  It seems that we in America can hardly stand to live in the present.  We’re always looking for some manner of escape – either backward, or forward, in time. 

Jesus understood our tendency to worry about today and to try to escape from it.  In Matthew 6:34 (KJV), Jesus said that we should Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Jesus is suggesting to us that we need to stay focused on today – to live in this day, in the present.  One day at a time is all we can handle!

PRAYER:  Jesus, help our minds not to wander from the serious business of living in the present and the challenge of serving You moment by moment.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

Advertisements

DayBreaks for 1/05/18 – What We Put In Affects the Future

Image result for ear worms

DayBreaks for 1/05/18: What We Put in Affects the Future

From the DayBreaks archive, 2008:

A psychiatrist in England made an interesting revelation at a conference in Wales.  Dr. Nick Warner revealed that a hymn penned in the mid-1800’s is the most common theme heard in what he termed “musical hallucinations.”  We all have a tune that gets stuck in our heads (also called an “ear worm”) but in a musical hallucination, the song is heard as if it were really being played.  About one in 10,000 people over 65 years of age report musical hallucinations.  They are most common in people suffering from hearing problems.

Dr. Warner and a colleague studied 30 elderly people who experienced musical hallucinations.  The tunes they heard ranged from “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina,” to “Yes, We Have No Bananas.”  Over half of the people heard some sort of religious music, either hymns or Christmas carols.  Six of the thirty heard the same song, “Abide With Me.”  That is a statistically significant number considering the people did not have the opportunity to speak to one another about what they heard.

Dr. Warner believes the reason many people hear this song is that it brings sense of comfort and hope.  He said, “The words of ‘Abide With Me’ are tremendously uplifting, hopeful words about heaven and God not abandoning us when we are dying.”  Warner says, since we are becoming increasing secular, as the population ages, more people may start hearing the Beatles, or the Rolling Stones, because musical hallucinations tend to be songs people have heard many times. – —Reuters, ‘Abide With Me’ is Top Musical Hallucination, March 8, 2004

I’m sure that you’ve had songs that get “stuck” in your head that keep on playing over and over until you’re about to go nuts.  And if you’ve not experienced that, maybe I’ve had your share of music playing in my head. 

The human mind, created in all its wonder by God Almighty, is an amazing thing.  It can perform more complex calculations in a fraction of a second than any computer ever built – and by a large margin.  It constantly monitors our body’s chemistry and adjusts our blood pressure, heart beat, breathing, fluid balances, hormones and it does all those things without you ever giving it a thought.  The mind of man is truly a wonder. 

What we put into our mind is important.  We need to be careful what we put into our minds today, because it may return in unexpected ways tomorrow or 10 years or 30 years in the future.  It makes Paul’s passage from Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV) come to life: Finally, brothers whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praise worthy —think about such things. Whatever you have received or learned from me, or seen in me— put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

PRAYER:  Help us to fill our hearts and minds with thoughts of your goodness and songs of praise, so that in times of need, it is You that comes to mind and nothing else.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 11/27/17 – An Unpredictable Future?

Image result for predictability

DayBreaks for 11/27/17: An Unpredictable Future?

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2007:

How would you describe the future?  You might describe certain things that you want or hope to have happen in the future, but my guess is that at some point you’d couch your description in terms like, “If I could, I would…”.  I am always amazed at how many of the supermarket tabloids have covers that relate to some prediction of the future by people like Nostradamus, or some modern-day “psychic”.  There is something in us that would like (we think) to be able to predict or know what the future holds.  I think that we’re actually far better off not knowing myself.

When I speak of an unpredictable future, I am not talking about one that is unstable…just one that can’t be very well predicted by human experience.  As humans, we just don’t have the requisite knowledge or skill to be able to predict with any degree of certainty what will take place.  And that’s especially true because to some extent, our “possible” futures are based on our past and present experiences.  But what happens when something totally out of the realm of human experience intervenes?

In his book, Theology of Hope, Jurgen Moltmann mused on the topic of the future and what God’s promises mean related to the future: “A promise is a declaration which announces the coming of a reality that does not yet exist.  Thus promise sets man’s heart on a future history in which the fulfilling of the promise is to be expected.  If it is a case of a divine promise, then that indicates that the expected future does not have to develop within the framework of the possibilities inherent in the present, but arises from that which is possible to the God of the promise.  This can also be something which by the standard of present experience appears impossible.”

The future towards which we move cannot be predicted by any human, no matter how wise he or she may be.  It takes One who is not only all-wise, but all-powerful, to control the events so that the future finds it’s fulfillment for which it was planned.  Certainly, in Genesis when God makes his initial promises to humanity, he was declaring a reality that, at least in time, did not yet exist.  The future is not dependent on the experiences of your life, or of all our lives put together.  It is dependent only on the God who made and formed the promise and who shapes the future to His liking. 

What does the future hold?  I can’t predict it…but that doesn’t mean it isn’t predictable.  With God, all things are possible.  We think of Him interacting with the world as we know and experience it, but that is at least limited, if not false, theology. 

You don’t need to consult actuarial tables to know what the future holds.  They can’t tell you.  God can.  And He does tell us another thing about the future: we don’t have to worry about it because it’s in His perfectly capable hands!

PRAYER:  Thank you, Lord God Almighty, that you hold not only the future of the universe and the world but of each and every one of us who have put our trust in Christ, in your hands.  May we sleep well tonight knowing You are in control!   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 11/13/17 – The Risk of Mortality

DayBreaks for 11/13/17: The Risk of Mortality

NOTE: Galen is traveling.

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2007:

I’ve got to admit, I’m a bit of a news lover.  I am constantly checking to find out what’s going on in the world.  I find it fascinating.  More often than not, what I find fascinating is the way in which the news is reported, or even the idiocies that are claimed in the news story itself. 

For many of us, on 11/07/07, some great news came out from the Associated Press (imagine that!)  It seems that some medical studies have been done recently that suggest that being overweight isn’t really as bad for you as we’d all been led to believe.  Here’s part of the article:

“This is a very puzzling disconnect,” said Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “That is a conundrum.”

“It was the second study by the same government scientists who two years ago first suggested that deaths from being too fat were overstated. The new report further analyzed the same data, this time looking at specific causes of death along with new mortality figures from 2004 for 2.3 million U.S. adults.

“Excess weight does not uniformly increase the risk of mortality from any and every cause, but only from certain causes,” said the study’s lead author Katherine Flegal, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Galen’s Thoughts: I’ll bet many of you feel better after reading this, don’t you? 

What a fantasy world we live in!  Did you catch the bit of fantasy as you read through this portion of the report?  Here it is: “Excess weight does not uniformly increase the risk of mortality from any and every cause…”  Hum.  Now isn’t that interesting?  When you stop to think about it, what is the risk of mortality that we all face?  Isn’t it 100%?  I seriously doubt that, fatness or thinness aside, anyone’s risk or dying (sooner or later) will go above 100%, or below 100%.  I think that our risk of mortality is pretty doggone fixed right there at 100%, period.

It was just last night that I lay in bed thinking about mortality.  I’m a 55-year-old male, non-smoker.  I watch what I eat and try to not consume too much cholesterol or saturated fats.  I force myself to eat salads when I’d much rather be snacking down on some juicy steak.  Bluch…  Why?  To reduce my “risk of mortality”.  I’ve already had one quadruple bypass.  What are the odds of my reducing my risk of mortality to 98%, or 70%?  Z-E-R-O. 

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take care of our bodies – they are the gift of God and the temple of the Holy Spirit according to Scripture.  I’m just pointing out, once again, that our risk of mortality is 100% and we’d better get used to that idea instead of trying to pretend that it won’t happen. 

When I was young, I couldn’t really conceive of dying.  If it would ever happen, it would be someday way off in the future, decades away – in fact, so far away that it might as well have been something that would only happen in Never-Never Land.  Now, given my family history, I might be lucky to make it another 15 years before mortality overtakes me.  How ready am I?  Good question.  How ready are you?

PRAYER: May we live this day as if it is our last, may we live tomorrow, if we are granted it, in gratefulness and thanksgiving.  May our lives be fully swallowed up in the Risen One!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 12/11/15 – To Him Belong Outcomes

DayBreaks for 12/11/15: To Him Belong Outcomes

From the DayBreaks archive, December 2005:

Deut. 29:29 – There are secret things that belong to the LORD our God, but the revealed things belong to us and our descendants forever, so that we may obey these words of the law. (NLT)

In the December 3rd issue of World magazine, Andree Seu wrote an article titled “The Next Thing” in which she talked about a woman who had learned to deal with the uncertainty and haphazardness of a busy life.  The woman has 5 children – and if you’ve got children, you know what a challenge one of them could be – let alone 5!  Yet, all indications to the contrary, this woman lived a very calm and peaceful life.  Ms. Seu found that this woman, named Laurie, had learned to separate the events of life into two categories: the things she can and must do something about, and the things that she cannot and must not do anything about, because they are the things that belong to God, not to humans.

As we draw closer to the time of Christmas, things are likely to get hectic for all of us.  This is one of the very busiest times of the year for ministers.  It will test us all to the max if we let it.  Here’s Ms. Seu’s thoughts on the matter: “Am I too busy these days?  Discouraged over duties left undone?  I will preach to myself that there is only one priority – the glory of God – and under that the several duties.  When these things come flying fast and thick, I will do triage and decide what should come “next.”  It’s God’s problem, not mine, to orchestrate the universe and make it all pan out. 

“Am I fearful?  Fear is a focus on phantoms of the theoretical future.  But the future is God’s, not mine; mine is only the present moment.  I am fearful because I’m thinking I have to live the rest of my life.  But I don’t.  I only have to live the next five minutes.  To me belongs obedience, to Him belongs outcomes.

If we could only focus on that last sentence – if we could only learn to leave to God the things, secret and otherwise, that belong to the Lord our God and not try to make them “ours,” we’d be much better off.  We’d have fewer fears, our discouragement would tend toward undetectable levels and we’d know that God is firmly on the throne. 

TODAY’S PRAYER: Lord, we are so prone to trying to take over the things that we have no business trying to control.  We try to take Your place and we forget that it is Your role to determine and decree outcomes – and that our job is to obey.  Give us obedient hearts, Lord, not hearts that challenge Your domain and responsibility.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2015 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 4/01/15 – Saints and Sinners

To access the web page version, click:

DayBreaks for 4/01/15: Saints and Sinners

This is from Lenten Reflections, by Fr. Robert Barron:

“Why worry excessively about what came before? Why obsess over your past sins? God is much more interested in your future than in your past. We have a God who “makes all things new.” And in that we find hope.

“It is a sad commentary indeed, but religious people are often tempted to trap others in their past, nail them to the cross of the mistakes they have made, using religion itself to affect this imprisonment. This is as true today as it was in the time of Christ when the mob brought the woman caught in adultery before him.

“In one of the great one-liners of the entire Bible, Jesus disarms them: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Our solidarity in sin ought to awaken in us a greater compassion for one another. At this prompting, they drifted away, one by one until Jesus was left alone with the woman.

“Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.” How rich is that little word, “Go.” Again, what is being emphasized is the future not the past, straining on to what lies ahead, not obsessing with what lies behind.

“Do you feel terribly imprisoned by your past? Perhaps you’ve done something terrible, something awful and shameful and every time you think of it, you cringe. Or perhaps someone has harmed you so severely that you just can’t let go of the hurt and you continue to seethe with resentment. Perhaps you feel that you’ve done something so wrong that not even God can forgive you. You don’t even bother going to confession because you’re just too ashamed, convinced that God wouldn’t forgive you.

“What I want you to know right here and now is that there is a way out, a way forward, a path opening up in the desert.

“You might be miseria (in misery) but standing right in front of you is Misericordia (mercy).”

Galen’s thought: Know this during this Easter week (and always!) – your past does not define you.  What you do with Jesus defines you…and it will define your future.  Easter took care of your past and your future if you accept it!

PRAYER: Thank You for your incredible mercy and for !  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, click here: DayBreaks-subscribe@vineyardhills.org

To unsubscribe to DayBreaks, click here: DayBreaks-unsubscribe@vineyardhills.org  NOTE: Please make sure you send the email from the email address which is subscribed to DayBreaks, or the list server will not be able to locate your email to delete you as you request.  Or, if you no longer have that email address, email Galen (click below) and tell him your old email address and ask to be unsubscribed. 

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen

For an archive of the past 4 months of DayBreaks, click here:  DayBreaks Archive

DayBreaks for 1/21/15: The Past in the Now and Future

DayBreaks for 01/21/15 – The Past in the Now and Future

 

Believe it or not, it was thirty years ago that the big hit movie, “Back To The Future” was released. It starred Michael J. Fox and in that now classic film, time travel was made possible by a machine called the “flux capacitor.” This machine was “hot-wired” to the hottest car of that time, a stainless steel “DeLorian.” Does you remember the far-distant, fantastic-future-time in which  the traveling lands?

2015. Today. Now. Looking back at the vision the 1985 movie projected, we should feel a bit cheated. Where are the self-lacing sneakers? Where is the floating hover-board skateboard? (Think how easy such a gadget would make it to trim trees or was the top of your car!) Where, most importantly, is my flying car?

The 1985 “Back To The Future” movie was the first of a trilogy. The same storyline continued throughout each movie. The teen hero kept traveling back in time, then forward in time, then back to his present time, then “back to the future,” all in order to keep his life here and now on track. By the time this three-movie series concluded, the “space-time continuum” was a convoluted, mixed-up mess.

The bad news? Well, the 80’s movie-goers got confused. The good news? Living in the past, the present, and the future simultaneously is not just some Hollywood film. Living in the power of the One Who Is, the One Who Was, and the One Who Is To Come is now, has always been, and always will be, the real world experience of the Christian.

Let me invite you to think back for just a moment to see how powerful the past is: how many of you can still taste the sweetness of your grandmother’s home-made cookies? How many of you can still hear the cheers from the crowd in that basketball game you starred in? How many of you can still feel the touch and hear the voice of a parent, sibling, spouse or friend, even though their death occurred decades ago? The past is never “past.” The past is forever present – either empowering or encumbering us as we move into the future. We will not move into that future alone. The past cannot change your future unless you let it. And the present is the time to change!

PRAYER: Provide healing for our past, strength for our present, and hope for our future!  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!