DayBreaks for 7/29/19 – Just Try to Imagine It

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DayBreaks for 07/29/19: Just Try to Imagine It

From the DayBreaks archives, July 2009:

A 2009 movie, New in Town, tells the story of Lucy Hill (Renee Zellweger), a high-powered consultant who loves her Miami lifestyle, who is sent to New Ulm, Minnesota, to oversee a restructuring at a blue-collar manufacturing facility.  Eventually, she’s ordered to shut down the plant, putting the entire community out of work.  At that point, Lucy is forced to reconsider her goals and priorities.  When she arrived in New Ulm, a small, freezing city with one red light and a population of 13,595—a city where people “drag Jesus into regular conversation”—Lucy is met by her new executive assistant, Blanche Gunderson (Siobhan Fallon, who is a real-life Christian).  In this scene Blanche asks Lucy one personal question after another, culminating in a question concerning Jesus.

“Are you a scrapper?” Blanche asks. When Lucy is confused, Blanche clarified: “Do you keep a scrapbook?”

It is soon clear that Blanche is quite the scrap booker. She actually has a “mini” scrapbook in her purse, filled with pictures of Winston Churchill—her now-dead dog who was a “bit of a drooler.”

“Are you married?” Blanche asks. “Do you have children?”

“No,” Lucy answers, though visibly uncomfortable because of Blanche’s line of questioning.

“Not to worry,” Blanche insists. “You’re still young. You still have time—I suppose.” After a brief pause, Blanche continues: “Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?”

Lucy, eyes bulging, replies, “Isn’t that what you’ve been doing?”

Unfazed, Blanche tenderly asks, “Have you found Jesus?”

“Well, I didn’t know he was missing,” Lucy replies with a laugh.

Blanche drops her head. Noticing she has hurt Blanche with her response, Lucy says, “It was just a joke.”

“Normally we don’t joke about Jesus around here,” Blanche replies. “But I can see how you could think that was sort of funny.” Then, with a look of concern, Blanche ponders out loud, “Imagine Jesus gone missing. Imagine.” – New in Town (Lionsgate Pictures, 2009)

Have you ever tried to imagine if Jesus had gone AWOL?  If, on the way from heaven to earth he’d decided to take a detour to somewhere else in order to avoid his mission?  Or, if on his way to Jerusalem for that last fateful visit, he’d headed north and disappeared into Gaul instead?  Or, if his body had gone missing and there were no after-death appearances to prove the resurrection?  Not a pretty picture, is it?

Has Jesus gone missing from your life and conversation with co-workers, family, friends, neighbors?  If so, bring him back today!

PRAYER:  What a wonderful Savior You are, Jesus!  Thank You for being part of our lives.  May we invite You into every relationship and conversation we have!  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 9/02/15 – What Do You Lack?

DayBreaks for 9/02/15: What Do You Lack?

A deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to him, and the people begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man to heal him. – Mark 7:2 (NLT)

In ancient Greece it was customary for peddlers who walked the streets with their wares to cry out, “What do you lack?” The idea, of course, was to let people know they were in the vicinity, and also rouse the curiosity of the people who would come out of their homes to see what it was that this peddler was selling. It might, after all, be something they lacked and needed, or simply something they desired.

It is a good question, don’t you think? “What do you lack?” We may have sight and hearing, but what do we lack? Take a bit of time to conduct an honest inventory of yourself. Have you found contentment? Are you close enough to God to receive his guidance and strength? Have you secured peace of heart and peace of mind, invaluable assets in life?

Deciding what we lack is the first step in securing it. Christ can fulfill our needs — needs that are to some extent physical, but, more so, the deepest needs of heart, mind, and soul.

The man in Mark 7 lacked the physical ability to hear. Let me suggest that many of us spiritual ability (or at least the spiritual discipline) to hear. We suffer a kind of a spiritual deafness. The affliction of not listening to people, or, to put it another way, the affliction of physically listening to people, yet failing to comprehend, to understand, and come to grips with what they are saying, is a plague upon the Church. For, you see, it is possible to listen to a person, yet fail to really hear them.

Perhaps you are spiritually blind to the truth of the Word and how it speaks into the culture around you. Perhaps you don’t think it is relevant to a time 20 centuries removed from the time of Christ. Maybe you read the words on the pages but think they are antiquated and that the truth that is behind the translation is no longer valid for our modern, “enlightened” culture.

I hope today you’ll really spend some time to think about what it is that you lack…and what you need to get from Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord, we all lack many things and it can be rather daunting to contemplate what it is that we truly lack and need. I pray that today You will reveal to us that which we are most in need of and then create a hunger in us that will not die until You satisfy it within us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 03/08/11 – The Missing Finger

DayBreaks for 03/08/11 – The Missing Finger

Even little things are needed...there are no unimportant parts!

From the DayBreaks archive, 3/7/2001:

My cousin, Gene, sent this to me: “My brother is ornery and mischievous.  Always has been.  Even now, in his 50’s, he’s the one looking to give someone grief, and then does he love to laugh!  More of a cackle than a laugh, and infectious.

“One time when he was about 4 years old, his mischievousness got him into real trouble.  He got his hand too close to an electric motor, and ran two fingers through the belt pulley.  It sliced off his ring finger at the big knuckle.

“Maybe today, they would re-attach that finger, but in 1949, they didn’t.  He’s had to go through life with just a stub.  No big deal.  He learned to do all the things on the farm that the rest of us did – handle tools, carry feed buckets, throw hay bales, drive a tractor, even milk cows – without any real handicap from the missing ring finger.  He even learned to use that stub finger as part of his orneriness.  He gets a huge kick, yet today, out of going up to a kid and saying, ‘Bet you can’t do this.’ Before the kid can see that the finger is missing, he’ll put the stub up to his nose, and it looks like he’s sticking his entire finger up his nose!  (Yes, he’s a sick man!)

“Something happened recently that changed my brother’s perspective on the missing finger.  Finally, he and Nancy (his wife) came out of the dark ages and bought a computer.  They’re like kids in a candy store; they are having so much fun doing email with their family, and surfing the net.  But there is a problem.  My brother, a farmer most of his life, never perfected his keyboarding skills.  So now, with the new computer, at 55 years old, he’s struggling to regain the meager typing skills he left behind way back in 7th grade.

“And he’d be doing fine with that, except for that missing finger.  You see, that is the finger that normally hits the “L” key.  And without the “L”, just think of what is missing.  There is no laughter.  No Love.  No Light.  No Lamb.  No Lord.  No Life itself.

“Just in case you are thinking your place in the Lord’s body is just as the ring finger, and of little importance or consequence, think again.”

I can vouch for the truth of this story.  I’ve seen some of my cousin’s typing.  It is hilarious – you have to fill in the “l’s” wherever they are missing (yeah, when I typed back to him, I left the “l’s” out just so he wouldn’t feel badly).  I never would have thought about the effect of missing half of a finger until I’d seen it with my own eyes.  And in 1 Cor. 12:14-25, God told us how necessary we are to one another: “Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.  21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.

You are precious.  You are cherished by God.  And even if you are the smallest piece of His body, you can rejoice for you are needed.

PRAYER: Thank You for giving our lives purpose and meaning!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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