DayBreaks for 8/17/18 – The Hummingbird and the Vulture

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DayBreaks for 8/17/18: The Hummingbird and the Vulture

There are two birds that fly over our nation’s deserts: one is the hummingbird and the other is the vulture. The vultures find the rotting meat of the desert, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants. The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. They fill themselves with freshness and life. Each bird finds what it is looking for. We all do.

That is the essence of Paul’s teaching: In life, there are two birds. The one bird looks for foolishness and stupidity, the other looks for wisdom. The vultures seek to fill themselves with the rotting flesh of drunkenness and debauchery, the hummingbird sobriety, freshness, and the Spirit. In the desert of this world you have your scavengers who are angry and ungrateful, but you also have those who hum a grateful hymn of thanksgiving. The irony is that you find what you are looking for.

In the fifth chapter of Ephesians Paul outlines proper behavior for good living. In this short passage he admonishes his readers to be careful how they live. He is brief and to the point. Three things we must do: be wise, be sober, and be thankful. It’s a short list but if we can orient our daily lives around these three-be wise, be sober, be thankful-we will transform not only our lives but also the lives of our family, friends, church, and neighbors.

PRAYER: Father, help us choose the things that are beautiful to you and that lead to life! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 07/31/13 – On Hummingbirds and Freedom

DayBreaks for 07/31/13 – On Hummingbirds and Freedom        

_MG_2361Luke 12:13 (NLT)  Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.” 

The background to today’s verse was a younger brother who was upset about the distribution of his father’s estate.  As the younger brother, he’d get only half of what the elder brother received.  This didn’t sit well with this young man.  Such disputes have torn families apart for millennia – tragically!

I read recently about a family that put up a hummingbird feeder with four feeding stations.  In a matter of a few minutes it became immensely popular with the hummingbirds that lived in the area. Two, three, or even four birds would feed at one time. The feeder would be refilled at least once a day.

Then, seemingly without warning, the usage decreased nearly overnight to almost nothing. The family found it necessary to fill the feeder only about once a week. The reason for the change soon became apparent: a male hummingbird had taken over the feeder as his property. He was now the only hummingbird who used it. He would feed to his heart’s content and then sit in a nearby tree, rising to attack any bird that even approached his feeder. Guard duty occupied his every waking hour. He was an effective guard. The only time another bird got to use the feeder was when the self-appointed owner was momentarily gone to chase away an intruder.

That hummingbird can teach us a very valuable and much needed lesson. By choosing to assume ownership of the feeder, he surrendered his freedom. He was no longer free to come and go as he wished. He was tied to the work of guarding his feeder, his STUFF, constantly lest some other bird should get some of it and he’d have less. He was possessed by his possession.

The simple truth is that the more we have, the less freedom we have.  I don’t think any human ever lived who knew more freedom than Jesus…and he had a cloak and sandals and that was it. 

Our hearts need changing because we’ve believed Satan when he whispers to us that we’ll be happier if we only get this-or-that.  Satan has erected those things as idols in our lives…and he’s really good at building idols that cause us to bow the knee.

Jesus wants to set us free not just from dead, but from idol worship.  He wants to change our wants.  He wishes to change our wishes.  He desires to change our desires.

PRAYER: Lord, I confess that I am still too much in love with “things” that possess my heart, and I love the “things” I have too much.  Gently, change my heart to want that relationship with you more than anything else in this world.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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