DayBreaks for 1/07/19 – I Created YOU

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DayBreaks for 01/07/2019: I Created You

From the DayBreaks Archive, 01/05/09:

This past Christmas was not an easy one for many people for a variety of reasons.  Many have recently lost jobs, others fear a pink slip in the near future.  Some have had diagnoses that take one’s breath away and leave them trembling and numb with fear.  Some spent the holidays for the first time in decades without a beloved spouse, parent, child or sibling.  There are many causes of pain and hurt in this world.  And we often get angry at God and wonder, “Why don’t You do something about all this, God?”

In his book, Holy Wild, Mark Buchanan relates a story in a letter that he got from a missionary couple he knew in Brazil.  When I read this the first time, I wept: “Driving through the Christmas traffic, fighting the drizzling rain, I chanced on a four-year-old little girl.  She was wet and cold and shaking.  Her clothes were ragged, her hair was matted, and her nose was running.  She walked between the cars at the stoplight, washing headlights because she was too short to was windshields.  A few gave her coins, others honked at her to get away from their vehicles.

“As I drove away only some fifty cents poorer, I raged at God for the injustice in the world that allowed the situation.  ‘God, how could you stand by, helpless?’  Later that evening, God came to me softly with that still small voice and responded not in kind to my rage, but with tenderness, ‘I have done something.  I created you.

We will all likely face a world of hurt and pain this year.  It has been so from the beginning – with some periods of time being more painful than others.  I’m not a prophet like Isaiah, but I think this year will be a very painful year for humanity.  Rather than rage at God in bitterness and anger, let’s remember that He created us for a purpose – for good works in Christ.  May we be about our Father’s business in the midst of a sea of hurt.

1 John 3:11-14 (NIV) – This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. Qe know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

Prayer:  Father, we are fearful as we enter this new year.  We are fearful for the pain our loved ones may face, for the pain that we may face personally.  It is so easy for us to become paralyzed by our fear and pain and to be so afraid that if we give something away to those who are needy, that we may have a shortage ourselves later.  Help us to remember that we were created not to be selfish, but to love one another – not just in heart, but in deed as well.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 2/21/18 – An Imitation of the Master

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DayBreaks for 2/21/18: An Imitation of the Master

From the DayBreaks archive, February 2008:

So, how do you plan to spend your day today?  Did you create a “laundry list” of things that you need to get done or should do?  How’s it going so far?  Has the list gotten smaller or bigger as the day progressed?  How much time do you spend planning out your next day? 

It seems that no matter what I do or how meticulously I might try to plan things, it never seems to quite work out like I’d planned.  Perhaps that’s what the writer of Proverbs had in mind when he wrote in Proverbs 19:21 (NLT) – You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.  I think I’ve got my day all figured out, but NOT!  I often look at the things that come along in the course of a day as being unwelcome events…after all, I’ve got a plan and if I can just run it like clockwork, it’s the best thing, right?  Not really.  Why should I think that my well-laid plans are the best thing for me to do each day, or the best way to do them, or even that they’re the most important things to do on any given day? 

We need to learn to welcome interruptions.  Mark Buchanan says that the devil seeks to distract, but God seeks to interrupt, and how quickly we fall prey to Satan’s distractions but how we equally quickly grow oblivious to God’s interruptions.  Satan wants us to become distracted from God and godly things, but God wants to interrupt our schedules and plans with things which are more important.  Who am I to say that the interruption by the person in the next cubicle is not a portion of a God-directed plan for something greater than the accomplishment of my little plans?  Isn’t that perhaps what the writer of the Proverb was saying?

Jesus’ life was dominated by purpose – he came to offer his life as a ransom.  Reading the gospels, especially John, one gets the sense that Jesus entire life was spent moving towards Jerusalem and the cross.  And indeed, it was always his purpose.  But along the way, many things happened to him that we would consider interruptions.  It isn’t clear that Jesus kept anything like a detailed itinerary of his daily schedule.  In fact, his daily life seemed to be lived by interruption: a woman who touches his clothes and is healed, a dead son begin wept over by his mother, a dinner at a taxpayer’s house, a wedding feast in Cana, a leader of Roman soldiers who entreats him for a healing, little children who wanted to be held, storms on the sea, fishing with his buddies, questions from the scribes and Pharisees – and the list goes on virtually endlessly.  He always found time for telling stories, for people along the route to the cross who hadn’t scheduled a moment of his time. 

So what was Jesus’ secret and what dictated Jesus’ schedule?  How did he number his days aright?  Perhaps Jesus came the closest to answering that himself in Mt. 11:1-11, when he said, The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”  Jesus listened and watched the Spirit – and did what the Spirit directed.

Peter, after saying Jesus is the Lord of all, describes how Jesus spent his days: God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and…he went around doing good.  (Acts 10:36, 38) 

There you have it: the sum of Jesus’ earthly vocation is that he wandered and he blessed.  Jesus was a vagabond physician, the original doctor without borders.  His purpose was crystal clear – but his methods appear to be random.  Henri Nouwen observed something like this about his own life: “My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted until I discovered the interruptions were my work.”

PRAYER: May we discern Your interruptions, Lord, and may we go with You to do what You want us to do together.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 9/26/17 – Living Within a Yard of Hell

DayBreaks for 9/26/17: Living Within a Yard of Hell

From the DayBreaks archive, 9/2007:

I feel that I’ve been very fortunate in my life in many, many ways.  One of them is that I’ve lived in quite a few different places.  I was born in Iowa and raised as a farm boy for about the first 9 years, then moved to Florida, then southern California, then northern California.  After graduating from high school, I went back to Florida for college, then back to California, then to North Carolina, then back to northern California.  We lived in several cities in northern California before moving to Maine in 2003, and now we find ourselves back in northern California once again…but in a different place. 

I have enjoyed living in all those places – different scenery, different customs, different accents, different weather, different friends and I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed living in every place I have ever lived.  I believe that of all the places we’ve lived, that Maine takes the cake for beauty – but other places have better weather.  For example, I’ve never slipped on the ice in the shopping center in Cloverdale, CA, which is more than I can say for living in Maine!  The leaves in Maine are like nowhere else on earth when they turn color, but Cloverdale is ringed with vineyards that turn colors, too, after the grapes are harvested. 

If you could live anywhere that you wanted to live, where would it be?  I found an interesting quote that I’d like to share with you.  It’s from C. T. Studd, and here’s what they had to say: “Some wish to live within the sound of a church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of Hell.”

Wow.  That draws me up short and really makes me think about how selfish I can be (and am!)  It also forces me to take stock of what matters the most to me.  Sure, who wouldn’t love to live close to the church and be constantly surrounded by other believers who are committed to loving one another and loving God?  But, such a scenario can have its drawbacks: it’s possible to love each other and God so much, but not love the world of unbelievers around us and therefore not make an effort to reach them because of their differences from us. 

What really makes me ashamed is to ask the question: “Where would Jesus have lived?”  Think about it.  If ever anyone was living in the sound of church bells (or choirs), Jesus had that luxury in heaven for all eternity.  He could have just stayed sitting on the throne of heaven and reveling in the music and praises of the angels.  But, instead, he chose to live within a yard of Hell by coming here and living with us. 

Does this mean that you have to feel guilty and move to a slum or inner city or jungle in order to fulfill your Christianity?  No, not at all.  Hopefully, you are where you are because God has called you to that place.  Besides, everywhere in this world is within a yard of Hell – just look around and you’ll see people queuing up to pass through its gates.  And, we may be the last chance any of them get at hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

PRAYER:  Lord, we thank you for where you have placed us.  Help us to never grow complacent or become too introverted as your family, the church, that we forget the mission we are called to!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 5/03/16 – We Have to Go Out

DayBreaks for 5/03/16 – We Have to Go Out

From the DayBreaks archives, May 2006:

A horrible storm was battering the coastline of Oregon.  The rain was falling sideways, the winds were shrieking and the oceans were angry, punishing the shore with every breaker.  Everything was battened down to ride out the storm when the distress call came in to the Coast Guard.  A ship was in trouble – foundering under the onslaught of wind and wave.  

The call stirred up controversy among those at the Coast Guard center.  The decision: send out a cutter to attempt a rescue.  One young Guardsman, concerned about with wisdom of going out to attempt a rescue in such terrible conditions, approached the ship’s commander before they boarded and suggested that it was crazy to go out in such weather – it was just too dangerous.  He suggested the very real possibility that they might not make it back.  

The commander, a veteran of years in the Coast Guard, turned and looked at the young guardsman and said, “We don’t have to come back, but we do have to go out.”

That attitude is sterling, and it is the attitude that we, as believers, should have for the cause and the glory of the cross.  We may not want to, we may feel that it’s too “stormy” outside – but Jesus didn’t ask his disciples to “Wait for excellent conditions before going out to be fishers of men.”  No, he didn’t even hint at that.  In fact, if anything, he tells us over and over again not to be concerned about our earthly lives – they’re nothing more than a mist, a flower that blooms and then is gone, but eternity has much greater significance and meaning and eternal destinies are the things that should occupy our attention – not earthly happenings.

The martyrs are the joyful band of those who “went out” but didn’t come back.  Yet when we see them at the end of time, they are surrounding the very throne of God because they “loved not their lives even to the point of death.”

How long has it been since you’ve “gone out” to rescue someone?

PRAYER:  Lord, give us courage.  Quell our fears of what mankind can do to us.  Fuel the fires of our heart to rescue the perishing and to have the courage to go out, even if we don’t come back.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 12/17/14 – Where Two Worlds Meet

DayBreaks for 12/17/14 – Where Two Worlds Meet

From the DayBreaks archive, 12/16/2004:

In the person of Jesus Christ, two worlds met.  One was the visible world populated by men and women, boys and girls, animals and minerals.  It was an old and tired world – worn down from millennia of suffering and pain.  It was a world that was in desperate need of hope, or a hand to lift it up once again.  It seemed, to those who were looking, as if it were the older of the two worlds, but it wasn’t.  The other world was populated by God and Satan, angels and demons, principalities and powers.  And contrary to popular opinion, it was by far the older of the two worlds.  Yet it, too, had been waiting.  It, too, had been agonizing over the fallenness of the visible world of humans.

But at the manger, the two worlds met in the Person of Jesus.  All the promises of the Old Testament, beginning in the garden of Eden, found their “Yes” and “Amen!” in the New Testament and the Incarnation.  And after so long of a wait, as Michael Card put it in Immanuel – Reflections on the Life of Christ – “It was good news to finally be able to embrace the Promised One.  But far and away the best news of all is that He embraces us.  That was the reason for His coming.  Most of us describe our coming to faith by saying, ‘I’ve asked Jesus into my life.’  We should really say He has invited us into His life.

“That was the reason for Simeon’s song.  Deep inside his tired old heart, he knew that the infant he held in his arms was in truth the One who had been holding him all his life long.”

As you run head-long into this holiday season, how is your world intersecting with Christianity?  Do their paths cross in visible ways, or are you trying to keep your faith hidden from sight?  The two worlds meet in each of us who are disciples.  Which one will you show to the world this Christmas?

Luke 5:32 (NLT) – I have come to call sinners to turn from their sins, not to spend my time with those who think they are already good enough.

PRAYER: Thank you, God, for caring about us!  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 6/19/14 – Your Mission, Should You Decide to Accept It

DayBreaks for 6/19/14 – Your Mission, Should You Decide to Accept It

Matthew 4:19 (NIV)  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

One year during high school (when I wasn’t involved with the football team) I played in the high school marching band.  There was no flag corps, rifle drill team or dance routines.  There was “just” the band for half-time entertainment (pretty dull, eh? – but remember, Moses was just a kid when I was in high school!) Everything depended on the band and its abilities and talents in playing and marching. Every week we had to learn a new set of songs, to go with new marching formations to be performed at half time of the football games. We received our instructions early in the week and then practiced them until we got them right. They were not always easy: count time, play the music, step out on the appropriate measure and move exactly eight steps every five yards. As long as everyone followed their set of instructions, the maneuvers on the field were correct and the trombones did not spear into the clarinets and the trumpet players didn’t wind up with their heads embedded in the drums! Of course, if you missed a beat, or turned the wrong way, you could end up at one end of the field (all alone!) while the rest of the band was at the other. It’s not easy trying to convince everyone that you were right and the other 64 were wrong!

As disciples of Christ, we are all called to march, to move out with a special mission in the world. Matthew heard those moving words as addressed not only to him but to all who would join the movement in the years to come. There is about them an echo of the old television program “Mission: Impossible!” I can hear the words coming through: “Your mission, Matthew, should you decide to accept it….”

Here’s the scoop: if you are a Christian, you don’t have a choice on whether or not to accept this mission.  It is the same mission that Jesus gave to every disciple: to go and make more disciples. The Great Commission wasn’t given to just pastors, seminary professors or writers of religious works. It’s for all of us! If you’re a Christian – it is already your mission.

And there’s an extra bonus that Jesus throws in: when we do, we won’t ever wind up marching alone.  He’ll be with us!  Is that great, or what?!?!?!

Will we march with Him, or will we go our own way?

PRAYER: Lord, for those of us who don’t have the gift of evangelism, this is one tough command!  We are afraid we’ll “blow” it and say the wrong things and wind up embarrassing ourselves.  Remind us that your Spirit lives and speaks through us and that our job is to “go” and make disciples…and leave the rest to You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen, a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI), raises 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: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html. 

Look down the left side of the page, locate the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section, 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 putS090 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.

Your support would be greatly appreciatd!