DayBreaks for 6/29/2017 – Looking in the Mirror at 65

20170628_165743

DayBreaks for 6/29/17: Looking in the Mirror at 65

Well, today I celebrate another trip around the sun. I thought that it might make sense to reflect back across my life and share a few things I’ve learned – and haven’t yet learned – as I stare at my reflection in the mirror.

Lessons Learned:

Life is far shorter than you think it will be. It seems like only yesterday that I was 18 years old and thought anyone that was over 40 was really old…really old. And now, I’m 25 years past 40. Where does the time go? What have I done with my life? How much longer do I have left? How will that time be filled? There is no way to recover lost time, but you can make the best of whatever time you have left.

Lessons can be learned in either an easy way or a hard way. It seems that some things I’ve been able to learn just by listening to others. That’s the best way to learn. I’ve also discovered that the most painful lessons are usually the ones that are most important and that I really need to learn.

Purpose becomes more important as you get older. There are many who struggle at a young age with the meaning of their life – and they sometimes don’t find it with drastic consequences as a result. I think that we make life much more complicated than it needs to be – and the same is true with our search for meaning. I think Jesus summed it up perfectly when he gave us the two greatest commandments: to love God with all we’ve got, and to love others as much as we love ourselves. As we get older and things (at least some things) get clearer, those two purposes in live become more and more important. Glory with God is just around the corner when you’re 65 (at least for most of us it’s much closer than when you’re 18) and the number of opportunities when you can hold your loved ones and tell them what they mean to you are like the sand through an hourglass – and you never know how many more chances you’ve got to do that. It might make me sound sentimental, but so be it. I’m resolved to tell people more often how much they mean to me while I can. Purpose also becomes more important because you want to think that your life mattered in some way because there’s not time to make many major adjustments.

People grow more and more precious. I thought when I married my wife at the early age of 18 that I loved her – and I think I did really love her. But not like I do now. Rather than finding that the years have tempered and worn down the love I had for her, I find that I have never loved and appreciated her more than I do now. Why is that? Perhaps it’s because I can look back at my life and see all that she’s had to put up with through the years. Perhaps it’s because I know our time together is limited – unlike when we were young and you think that somehow you’ll live forever. I wish this lesson had been learned far earlier in my life and I would have been a better husband for it. And I’ve learned to love my children more, too, as I’ve watched them raise their own families.

Figure out as early as possible what really matters. It’s not money. It’s not worldly achievement. It’s not a fancy title. It’s certainly not a fancy home or cars. It’s about being a person of compassion, of mercy, of forgiveness, of mirroring as best you can the greatest of all God’s own characteristics: love, mercy, grace, gentleness and stopping to give a hand to those who need your help. I’ve learned that God has never failed me or disappointed me – and that He never will. I am still learning to walk in His oversized steps and trying to be just a bit more like Him tomorrow than I am today.

Lessons I’ve Not Learned:

I’ve not learned how to defeat some of my sin. Oh, I know the answer is through the power of the Spirit, but He hasn’t given me miraculous delivery from the sins that have nagged at me all my life. In a way, though, isn’t the problem in the statement of what I’ve not learned? It is not within ME to defeat the power of sin in my life. I can’t. I’ve proved that, if nothing else, in my 65 years. But it has taught me one very, very important lesson: that the love and grace of God are abundantly more than I need and the power of the blood of Jesus is far more than just adequate to cover every one of my sins. And he has already paid the price for them all! It took me many years to come to understand that nothing more is necessary to take away my future sins. And as hard as it is to believe, I stand before Him justified and forgiven of every…single…sin.

How to be a more generous person. This one bothers me. All my life I’ve struggled with “security” and that has led me to not be as generous as I should have been. When will I learn that my security doesn’t lie in the bank account, but in the God Who holds me, my family, and my future in His hand?

James 1:22-24 (MSG) – Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

Thank you for sharing this walk with me!

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for the six and one-half decades of life which you’ve blessed me with. I am thankful and blessed because of You. Help me now to not just look in the mirror of my life reflected in Your word, but to act on what your Spirit shows me that my remaining time may glorify You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

Advertisements

DayBreaks for 9/16/16 – Glass, Mirrors and the Power of Silver

 

 

DayBreaks for 9/16/16 – Glass, Mirrors and the Power of Silver

An enormously rich man complained to a psychiatrist that despite his great wealth which enabled him to have whatever he wanted, he still felt miserable. The psychiatrist took the man to the window overlooking the street and asked, “What do you see?” The man replied, “I see men, women, and children.”

The psychiatrist then took the man to stand in front of mirror and asked, “Now what do you see?”

The man said, “I see only myself.”

The psychiatrist then said, “In the window there is a glass and in the mirror there is glass, and when you look through the glass of the window, you see others, but when you look into the glass of the mirror you see only yourself. The reason for this, “said the psychiatrist, “is that behind the glass in the mirror is a layer of silver. When silver is added, you cease to see others. You only see yourself.”

Whenever your devotion to money and material things causes you to be self-centered, you in essence deny God’s intention for your life. It is also a denial of the Christ, for Jesus came into the world so that we might be in union with God.

Jesus talked more about money than any other subject in the Scriptures. I always thought it was because it was too easy to make it our idol and to pursue it too strongly. The story of the rich man I relayed above gives me pause to reflect a bit more deeply about it. Perhaps the danger of silver (a metaphor in the story for money) is that it only allows us to see ourselves and not the needs of those around us.

PRAYER: God, I confess to you that all my life I’ve been far too concerned about money.  I confess I’ve not been a good steward.  I confess it is far too easy for me to see only myself and my wants and wishes rather than to see those all around me who could benefit from my generously (and hopefully wisely!) giving what you have already given to me.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 9/02/16 – The Day I Learned Who I Was

Image result for looking into a mirror

DayBreaks for 9/02/16 – The Day I Learned What I Was

John 11:47-48 (ESV) – So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”

I have often found myself shocked and puzzled by the reactions of the Jewish leaders toward Jesus. They certainly are not painted with a sympathetic brush in Scripture. They (for the most part – there are some exceptions) are not figures that we think to ourselves: “I want to be like Caiaphas when I grow up!”

In the verses preceding the passage above, Jesus has raised Lazarus. Afterwards, the crowd that witnessed the miracle dispersed and it says that some ran to tell the Jewish leaders what Jesus had done. Why did they do this Maybe they did so because they were amazed and wanted the leaders to know that Jesus must have been the Messiah so the leaders could accept and welcome him. Maybe, however, some were spies who were in cahoots with the leaders and were sent out to report back all that Jesus did so they leaders could trap him. We see that the leaders had tried to trap him many times. We simply don’t know their motive, but the reaction of the leaders is what is significant.

John gives us at least a clue into their motivations. They couldn’t and didn’t deny the signs…yet in this recorded discussion, it is as if they totally excluded the miracles from their thought processes. Their fears appeared to be centered on four things: 1) that many would believe on Jesus; 2) that the Romans would intervene; 3) that they would lose their places of prestige and honor; 4) that the Romans would obliterate the nation.

I suspect that the greatest of these motivations was the third one. We always seem, no matter our position, to think of ourselves first and the impact something will have on us.  Sometimes the better part of us takes over and we over-ride the concern about impact to us and do something for someone else, even though it may be very costly to us as individuals to do so. Think of someone diving into a raging river to rescue someone else. They have made a conscious decision to disregard their personal safety for the benefit of someone else – perhaps even for a stranger. But, more often than not, when we are asked to sign up to help in the nursery at church, or to give to a cause or to take on some responsibility, don’t we do a mental check that goes something like this: “What will this mean to my time?  How long will it take me?  How long am I committing for? What won’t I be able to do or buy because of this?” This mental calculus doesn’t take us long, but if we are to be honest, don’t those thoughts run through your head when someone makes a request of you?

Perhaps we aren’t that different from the Pharisees at all. I learned something about myself from this passage today – and I didn’t like what I saw when I looked into the mirror of God’s Word.

PRAYER: God, I confess that my first instinct is to count the cost of what something I might do for someone else means to me and my wishes and my goals and my “place”! Help me to know when it is right to count the cost and when it is right to simply say, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 7/27/2015 – God’s Mirror

DayBreaks for 7/27/15: God’s Mirror

I’ve got one and so do you. In fact, just about everyone I know has one. It’s that reflective thing, called a mirror, that hangs over the sink. We take a peek in it every morning (and if truth be told, pretty much every time we walk by one or by a reflective window). Why? Vanity, to be sure, but also because looking in the mirror in the morning helps me see what needs to be done to make myself presentable that day. I usually shave (at least if I’m going out that day) and comb my hair. Strange thing I’ve discovered, though: I don’t like looking in the mirror as much as I did when I was younger. Now it’s more a necessity!

Would it make much sense for me to take that look in the mirror, see my wild, fly-away sleep hair and whiskers that needs tidying up only to do nothing about what I saw?

James essentially put that question to us when he wrote in James 1:22-25: Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

James is telling us that God’s word is a mirror for our souls, showing us the state of our hearts and what needs to be changed. Looking in the bathroom mirror each day show us what needs to be corrected in our outward appearance, and daily Bible reading reveals to us God’s holiness and desires for what we should be like, what we should do, and what needs to be corrected in our inner spiritual lives.

I am fairly certain that you took a look at yourself this morning to make sure things were in order, neat and in place before going out the door to face the day. But, did you look into God’s mirror to see what’s going on in your heart and what you need to do about that?

If it would be foolish for us to go out into the world without making sure our outward appears in cleaned up, isn’t it even more foolish to start out our day without looking into the condition of our heart and soul?

PRAYER: Help us live disciplined lives that look intently into Your mirror and reveal through Your Spirit what needs to be addressed! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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

 

DayBreaks for 09/27/13 – The Silver Effect

DayBreaks for 09/27/13 – The Silver Effect

Maxie Dunham tells this story: “An enormously rich man complained to a psychiatrist that despite his great wealth which enabled him to have whatever he wanted, he still felt miserable. The psychiatrist took the man to the window overlooking the street and asked, “What do you see?” The man replied, “I see men, women, and children.”

“The psychiatrist then took the man to stand in front of mirror and asked, “Now what do you see?”

“The man said, “I see only myself.”

“The psychiatrist then said, “In the window there is a glass and in the mirror there is glass, and when you look through the glass of the window, you see others, but when you look into the glass of the mirror you see only yourself. The reason for this, “said the psychiatrist, “is that behind the glass in the mirror is a layer of silver. When silver is added, you cease to see others. You only see yourself.”

“Whenever your devotion to money and material things causes you to be self-centered, you in essence deny God’s intention for your life. It is also a denial of the Christ, for Jesus came into the world so that we might be in union with God.”

Our silver, gold and wealth can also blind us so that we can’t see others and their need.   What do you see?  Sometimes we don’t want to see their need because we are too focused on our pile of silver!

James 1:23 (NLT)  For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.

PRAYER: Lord, let us trust You for what we need, and not be blinded to the needs of others by our own fondness for this world’s goods!  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 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 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.  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 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. 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 the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!