DayBreaks for 4/01/15 – Saints and Sinners

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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.

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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!

DayBreaks for 4/08/14 – His Hand On the Rose

DayBreaks for 4/08/14 – His Hand on the Rose

“A new young pastor was walking with an older, more seasoned pastor in the garden one day. Feeling a bit insecure about what God had for him to do, he was asking the older pastor for some advice.

“The older pastor walked up to a rosebush and handed the young preacher a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals.

“The young preacher looked in disbelief at the older pastor and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the will of God for his life and ministry.

“But because of his great respect for the older pastor, he proceeded to try to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact.

“It wasn’t long before he realized how impossible this was to do.

“Noticing the younger preacher’s inability to unfold the rosebud without tearing it, the older pastor began to recite the following poem…

“It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of God’s design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.”

“The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
GOD opens this flower so easily,
But in my hands they die.”

“If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of God’s design,
Then how can I have the wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?”

“So I’ll trust in God for leading
Each moment of my day.
I will look to God for guidance
In each step of the way.”

“The path that lies before me,
Only my Lord knows.
I’ll trust God to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.” – Author Unknown

We struggle to let God’s plan for our life unfold and in our efforts to unfold it ourselves, we can cause pain and loss.  God knows we are not wise enough to direct the pathway to the future and He only asks that we trust Him to show us the pathway at the right time…and then have the wisdom to choose the right path.

Psalm 59:9 (KJV)  Because of His strength will I wait upon Thee: for God is my defense.

PRAYER: I thank you for your gentle hand in opening the rose and in directing the future for my life!  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!

DayBreaks for 07/15/13 – Learning a New Prayer

DayBreaks for 07/15/13 – Learning a New Prayer

beatitudes-1Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. 21  God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh. 22  What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23  When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way. – Luke 6:20-13 (NLT)

For me, this is one of the hardest passages in Scripture – “beatitudes” make me nervous.  From my work with I Am 2 and now with MAI, it is clear to me that from a human perspective there are few blessings to being poor or oppressed.  What might they be?  Clarity, for one thing.  When life is stripped of all its extravagances and accoutrements, when it comes down to walking for hours every day just to get water to drink (let alone cook, bathe, wash, etc.) or to digging under the searing sun all day to try to find a root you can mash up and feed to your 6 hungry children, there is clarity – what is important comes more clearly into view than for the busy business man/woman with their social clubs, gym memberships, golf/bridge dates – all while their children are home without them.

Second thing: I’m hard pressed to think of one.

Jesus’ blessing isn’t pronounced in such a way as to make one think it will be received here on earth.  Out of the blessings, the only one which is in the present tense is that the Kingdom of God is theirs.  The rest are “will” – future events, and clearly the last is the heavenly reward, only received after this life is over. 

Is the promise of that able to make people satisfied and laugh in the here and now?  I don’t know from personal experience.  To the American mind it is incomprehensible and unimaginable.  But I’ve seen it in Haiti and India.  At least glimpses of it.  That means it is possible, but it calls for a re-alignment of an entire way of life and worldview that I’m not sure American Christians are capable of on our own.  We need to add something to our prayers, I believe: “God, break my idol of happiness that thinks it is found in what we possess, instead of Who possesses us.  Let us be satisfied with the promises that await and press forward to that day and hour when we truly take hold of happiness and can laugh for all eternity.”

PRAYER:  Lord, we want to receive your blessings – whatever they may be that you intend for us – both in the here and now and in the future!  Hold us firmly, help us persevere in the hard times so we can experience them in their fullness!  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).

Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 05/30/13 – The Here and Now

DayBreaks for 05/30/13 – The Here and Now

_MG_9725NOTE: I am back but weary!  New DayBreaks will resume no later than the first week of June, 2013!  Thanks for your prayers while I was away!!!

Remember the story about Jesus encouraging us to become like little children to be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven?  Here’s a twist on that which I’d not considered before: a little child has no past to speak of, no past with regrets or loaded with guilt.  Little kids seem to have an incredible ability to forget what is in the past, whether it was good or bad, and to be alive for the opportunity of the moment.  As Christians, we need to understand that what we have done in the past is irrelevant to our stance before God right now.

The apostle Paul grasped the full meaning of Jesus’ teaching on becoming like a little child.  Serving as a coat rack during the stoning of Stephen and as a ringleader in the slaughter of Christians, Paul might well have become pathological had he dwelt on his pre-Christian past.  But he writes, ‘All I can say is that I forget the past and strain ahead for what is still to come.’  (Phil. 3:13)

Whatever past achievements might bring us honor, whatever past disgraces might make us blush, all have been crucified with Christ and exist no more except in the deep recesses of eternity, where ‘good is enhanced into glory and evil miraculously established as part of the greater good.’” – The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning

We are faced every moment of our life with a choice: what will I do with God RIGHT NOW?  We can often ignore Him and become wrapped up in our work, play or schooling.  We can decide that we’ll remain hopelessly mired in the past of our failings.  We can live for the future – always thinking and dreaming about how some day it will all be better and our life will finally find meaning and fulfillment.  But if we do that, we will miss the moment and never find fulfillment.  Fulfillment can never be realized in the future – only in the present, and only in the realization that God lives side by side with us in the present moment.

Choose to serve Him at this moment.  Then, if God is gracious to grant you more time, choose to serve and follow Him with each one of the moments with which He blesses you.

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 03/20/12 – When the Mist Lifts

DayBreaks for 03/30/12 – When the Mist Lifts

Wait until the mist is gone...

 12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. – 1 Corinthians 13:12

There’s a very interesting story about how the news of the Battle of Waterloo finally got to England.  Back then there were no telephones, telegraphs or the like.  Any news about a battle fought in another country would take days to get back “home”.  In this specific case, the news was first sent by sailing ship to the southern coast of England and then was relayed by signal flags to the city of London.  When the report reached Winchester, the flags on the cathedral began to spell out the message, “Wellington defeated.”  However, before the message could be completed, a heavy fog rolled in making it impossible to see the flags, and the hearts of the people were filled with sadness and foreboding about the defeat.  But then, as the mist began to lift and visibility was re-gained, it became evident that the signals of the Winchester Cathedral had really spelled out this triumphant message. “Wellington defeated the enemy!”

I fear that far too often we let the future to be colored and obscured by what little we understand at the moment and it paralyzes us, casting us into gloom and despair.  We need to first of all realize that we only “get” part of the message, and we understand even less of it than we think we do.  Thank goodness, we don’t need to get all of it or have perfect understanding!

We also often find it very hard to trust God in the midst of transition, change and conflict. We need to throw ourselves with abandon into His hands, letting the change come, knowing that His plan for our life is absolutely perfect!  We may not see it because of the fog of the present, but the message of victory is clear…and certain.

PRAYER: Help us to face the future with great courage, courage born of knowing Who owns and directs the future in light of His character!  Don’t let us fall to the swirling mists of confusion that would rob us of our joy and confidence in Christ!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 01/10/12 – The Horse, the King, the Child of God, Trust #14

King William

From November 2001:

Cuthbert, having just received a beautiful horse from the king because the former is limp and aging, rides down the road, sees a ragged beggar, and gives him the horse.  Word reaches the king.  He is angry.  At their next meeting, the king says to Cuthbert, ‘I gave you a magnificent horse and you squandered it on a worthless beggar.  I should have given you a sorry old mare.’

“Ah, my beloved king,” says Cuthbert, “you value the son of a thoroughbred more than you value a son of God.”  (Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning)

We tend to exalt the things we value, don’t we?  The king valued the horse – Cuthbert valued the beggar because he saw him as part of the special creation of God.  In Matthew, Jesus told us: “I tell you solemnly, insofar as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” (25:40)

Our minister is not only our minister – he also works on a volunteer basis as a chaplain to the police department in our town.  He’s had extensive training in dealing with crisis situations and often accompanies the police to do death notifications or to assist in times of crisis.  His training has led him to develop the skills necessary to assist in situations of major disasters, and it was that training that led him to receive a phone call a while back asking him to come to New York City to work with and minister to the recovery workers at the remains of the World Trade Center.   Now as it turns out, there was the potential of serious events happening in our church family at the same time as he was called to be gone.  There were some in the congregation who were very upset – even angry – that he would leave for two weeks at a time when so much could go on in our church family.  They felt he should have been here “in case” something happened.

I think that is very sad, but even more, I think it shows a lack of trust.  Do you see it?  These people who had these feelings believed that they knew better than God where the minister should be during those two weeks.  And that is a lack of trust in God to know what is best and right and perfect in each and every situation.  If we trust God – and not our ministers – we would know that it just doesn’t matter where our minister is at any given moment in time.  By not wanting him gone, they may have been thwarting the direct and perfect will of God for him during the weeks of October 21 through November 4.  They aren’t trusting that God may have brought him to New York City because there was one soul – one potential “son of God” or “daughter of God” – that he was uniquely created to reach for Jesus.

Our lack of trust in God causes us to make judgments and pronouncements that, if we look behind the surface to the reality behind them, show that we trust our wisdom more than the wisdom of the Ancient of Days, the only One who knows and sees the end from the beginning.  We have our own opinions about how things should go.  We have to let go of them.  We have to take to heart the words of Romans 14:4 – “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Trusting God means not only trusting Him and His actions in our own lives, but also in the lives of those around us.  How dare we presume to be wiser than God!

But trusting Him frees us – it frees us from our own preconceptions about life and how it SHOULD work – because only He truly knows what the future holds and how it will all work together for our good.  It frees us from the responsibility of making our lives work out okay – because that’s His job.  It frees us from judging situations as I described above – because if we trust that God knows what He is doing, then we don’t have to be too noble or wise and have to try to think it all through and reason it all out.

Ah, trust.  What a blessed relief to not have to pretend any longer to be God – to be able to surrender all that life brings to our table to Him!  What a blessing to be able to go to sleep at night knowing that whether we awake to a new day or die in our beds, that we don’t have to worry about a thing because He’s already got it all covered and under control!

So, you may ask: “Did those serious things happen in your church while your minister was gone?”  I’m not going to tell.  Why?  Because it doesn’t matter if they did or not.  If they did – it is because God willed it to be so – not because someone was gone ministering to hurting men and women on the other side of the country.  If they didn’t happen during that time – it is also because God willed it to be so – not because someone felt it was wrong for the minister to be gone.  Do you see how trust frees us?

Don’t you want to be free from the responsibility for controlling your life?  James 4:14-16 counsels us: “14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”  Here is the key to the Christian’s peace – trusting in the Lord’s will for our lives, and not our own self-made plans.

PRAYER: We are so foolish, Lord, and have things in very wrong priority in our lives!  We think we are wiser than You, that surely our will is wiser and better than yours.  Have mercy on us, sinners, Lord!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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