DayBreaks for 5/29/17: Big Things With Small, Still Voices

DayBreaks for 5/29/17: Big Things With Small, Still Voices

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2007:

Job 38:4-7 (NIV) – Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?  On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone–while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

Psalms 19:1-2 (NIV) – The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

From The Scrivener blog by Doug Dalrymple, 4/20/07:

“Quite literally, as it turns out – the sun is singing: snagging orchestra seats for this solar symphony would be fruitless, however, as the frequency of the sound waves is below the human hearing threshold. While humans can make out sounds between 20 and 20,000 hertz, the solar sound waves are on the order of milli-hertz—a thousandth of a hertz.”

We know that whales sing and birds sing, and well, even some of us humans try to sing with varying degrees of success.  Dogs bark, cats meow, rivers roar and even the heavenly objects, so Scripture says, “sang together and all the angels shouted for joy.” 

When did all this happen?  We might be tempted to think that it happened before the fall of Satan and the realization of evil in the created universe.  After all, wouldn’t it make sense that God’s glorious creation would praise him?  Should we be so arrogant to think that only humans and angels can do so?  It may be true that they sang for joy at the creation and before the fall, for we’re also told through the word that the entire creation now groans and travails in pain, awaiting deliverance that will some day surely come!

But in the meantime, if we’re quiet enough for long enough, you’ll still hear singing.  You’ll hear it with your ears as the animals, wind and sea sing, you’ll hear it with your heart as you look up at the starry canvas on a warm summer night.  And, for those who have ears to hear, we can hear it in the sub-human range of the song of the sun and other stars that sang in the very beginning. 

It’s interesting that something as huge as the sun has such a small voice.  We’d expect it to be huge – a mighty roar as the gasses combust and the flares soar.  But it is a sound too low for us to even hear!  And, as I think about it, perhaps that’s how it really should be anyway.  The voice of God on the mountain was so mighty that people feared Him and fled.  But that’s not his only voice: he also spoke in a whisper to Samuel as a young boy, and in my own personal favorite – he spoke to Elijah in a “still small voice”, that literally translated is something like the sound of falling snow.  As Doug put it: “There’s just something marvelous about big, big things with still, small voices.”

When we were little, our dads were big, but when they pulled us close in their powerful arms and we heard the song, “I love you!” come pouring from their lips, it was marvelous.  And now, with my earthly father gone some 20 years, I’m enthralled when I hear God’s voice, through Jesus, saying, “I love you, son.  I’m so proud of you.  I’ll never let you down!  You’re safe here with Me.”

Big Things with small voices, indeed!

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for the music of the spheres and for the song of love that You sing to us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

 

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DayBreaks for 8/30/16 – Choose Your Song Carefully

Image result for choosing your song

DayBreaks for 8/30/16 – Choose Your Song Carefully

We live in a time where music is readily available everywhere. Couples talk about “our song” that represents their love and life together. Athletes in baseball have “walk-up songs” that plays when they come to bat or go out to pitch. People work out at the gym with earbuds while they listen to workout music. And these songs are chosen because of their appeal to the listener.

In the great classical piece of literature, Homer’s Odyssey, one can find the story of Odysseus, a great hero who was sailing toward his destiny and finds himself confronting a dangerous dilemma. As he is on his way, he must sail through a very narrow passage. It isn’t the passage itself, that is the problem, it is the sirens that are the inhabitants of the place. They were said to be beautiful, mythical creatures – part woman and part bird – that lured sailors with their enchanting music and lovely voices long enough that their ships would strike the rocky cost of the land. Later writers said that they would then eat the shipwrecked sailors who gave in to the siren song that lured them to their death.

Odysseus was warned of this peril, and not wanting to shipwreck himself or his crew, settled on a seemingly shrewd stratagem: he instructed his men to fill their ears with beeswax so that they could not hear the song. He, himself, would not do so – he wanted to hear this strange, beautiful song and so he asked his men to bind him steadfast to the mast of the ship so that he could not steer the ship into danger, but he could hear the sirens because he longed to hear the siren song.

The other character who encounters the sirens in ancient literature is Jason. He, too, must sail past the location of the sirens. But rather than filling his men’s ears with beeswax and being tied to the mast, he is advised to bring Orpheus, the greatest musician, with him aboard ship so that as they pass the island of the sirens, Orpheus could play his music that would be so wonderful and louder than the song of the sirens that Jason and his crew could safely pass – and they do. Orpheus’ music was so overwhelming that they didn’t even hear the siren song that would lure them into death.

What’s the point of these stories? To me, they represent some choices that we must make in life as believers. We say that we belong to Jesus, yet sometimes we want to hear the siren song and are so captivated by it that it can destroy us. We want to hear it – to get as close as we can to the danger without actually giving in. In the case of Jason, he didn’t want to hear the siren song – he believed that something more beautiful and haunting could and would overpower the siren song and drown it out.

We can listen to many different songs: the songs of power, position, passion, money, immorality, infidelity or one of many others – and they can drive us mad. We think we can survive unscathed by “tying” ourselves while letting the songs of these competing things enter our ears and hearts and minds.

Or, we can replace these other songs with the song of Jesus that is far superior to anything the world would use to lure us away from the safety of the Father’s presence.

Which will we choose? What “songs” have you been listening to?

PRAYER: God, I don’t know why it is that we so often try to get as close as possible to giving in to the siren songs of the world when we have You and Your song of love for us. Help us listen constantly to the music that is You and the son of love and grace You sing to us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

DayBreaks for 8/18/14 – A Delightful Concert

DayBreaks for 8/18/14 – A Delightful Concert

NOTE: Galen and Laurel are relocating to Georgia this week, so warmed-over DayBreaks are on the menu.  New DayBreaks will resume again sometime next week!  From 2004: 

The other day I was treated to a delightful concert – perhaps the best I’ve heard in a long, long time.  No, it wasn’t Simon and Garfunkle, nor Michael W. Smith, nor the San Francisco orchestra.  This concert was put on by a friend of mine, and it was, for the most part, a solo performance.  No, it wasn’t on the piano, violin, viola or flute.  This concert was played on a harmonica.  I don’t remember too many of the songs that were played.  It wasn’t the music that you could hear that made the concert special.  It was the music that played inside my friend.  You see, my friend is a student at the senior’s bible study that I lead each week.  Her name is Glenna, and she’s soon to celebrate her 89th birthday.  (Note from 8/14/14: I would imagine that by now Glenna is playing her harmonica along with the heavenly choir.  We lost touch after she moved from the town where we both lived.) 

You’d have to know Glenna to appreciate her.  She can hardly walk (she can’t walk at all without a walker, and even then she walks just far enough to get to her wheelchair.)  She can’t go anywhere without help, but she never misses our Bible study in the senior’s center.  Rain or shine – Glenna will be there.  Her eyes have a hint of sly mischief about them, and that impression is only re-inforced by the smile that seldom, if ever, leaves her face.  

The other morning I got to the seniors center a bit early and I was sitting in the library (where we have our study).  Glenna was in the cafeteria, sitting with her back towards the entrance, so when I heard the harmonica, my first impression was that it was recorded music.  Then someone told me that Glenna was playing.  She was alone in the cafeteria (at least to human eyes), and she played and played and played after I came in – but she never knew I was there.  I didn’t want to disturb her and risk her stopping the music. 

I was awestruck at the joy that fills this child of God.  She is in difficult circumstances, no family to care for her, nearly destitute, possessed of very limited physical capability, but her heart still flies like the eagle and her feet skip like those of a deer on the high places because she loves Jesus.  

In our Bible study that day, we discussed how Jesus touched the lepers.  Someone in the study made the comment that no one touches old people.  That about broke my heart, especially after hearing the music pour out of this elderly lady.  So, after the study was over, I made it a point to go to Glenna, put my hand on her shoulder (as I think Jesus would have), and told her what a precious treasure she is. 

I walked away wondering what kind of concert flows out of my soul.  Is it one that brings delight to those around me – like the music that plays in her heart?  

Psalm 18:33 (NIV)  –  “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.” 

Isaiah 35:6 (NLT)  –  “The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will shout and sing! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the desert.” 

Job 35:10 (NLT)  –  “Yet they don’t ask, ‘Where is God my Creator, the one who gives songs in the night?” 

PRAYER: Thank You for the simple delight of the child and the elderly, and for the music that filled Glenna’s heart and taught me so much!  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 5/01/14 – The Music of Heaven

DayBreaks for 5/01/14 – The Music of Heaven

Psalm 139:13 (NLT) – You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Dr. Kathleen Wermke at the University of Wurzburg in Germany, published her results from a project in which she compared the cries of German newborns with those of French newborns. (Where do people get such ideas?)  What she discovered was shocking: babies cry with an accent.  In short, the intonation pattern of the newborns mimicked the “melody” of the mother, i.e, the speech patterns characteristic of the mother’s native language.  The French tend to have a rise at the end of a sentence while the opposite is true of speakers of German.  The womb-bound baby hears that intonation and copies it at birth.

In effect, the baby has been eavesdropping on its mom for nine months, putting its ears to work, listening to the train of her sorrow and happiness coming for miles.  The child emerges from the mother’s body with her voice ringing in its ears, or as Mark Buchanan put it: “…her music echoing in its own bones.  Like an opera singer’s understudy, the child is formed in the presence of a mighty voice.  Sprawling naked into daylight, its first instinct is to sing its mother’s song.

“This got me wondering.  If earth is heaven’s womb, if time is eternity’s belly, what song do we overhear from heaven that we try to sing on earth?  We may sing it poorly, squalling and squawking, but we sing it instinctually.  It’s in our bones.  So what’s the music of heaven?  What’s the voice of the Father that every human’s heard, at least in muffled form, and every human can copy, at least in mangled form?

“Love.  Love is the music of heaven.  When we love, no matter how awkwardly, we hum an anthem sung perfectly, all day, every day, in heaven.  Our humming might be nearly tuneless.  It might be fragmentary, staccato, uneven.  It might be croaky, jangly, warbly.  It may be hard for others to identify the melody.  It might be hard on the ears.  But there it is, the Father’s voice thinly echoed in our own.”Your Church is Too Safe

I know that far too often I don’t sing the music of heaven very well.  But there it is – buried somewhere in every human heart, the ability to love.  Where does it come from?  Surely, such a thing is not the chance result of electricity and chemistry, the end result of eons of mixing in a chemical cesspool.  No, I suspect that it is in our hearts precisely for the reason that Buchanan suggests: we’ve heard the song from the moment of conception (perhaps even before) – it has been placed into the very warp and woof of our existence, by a Father who sung the song over us as He formed us, hidden in our mother’s womb!

PRAYER: Thank you, Father, for singing Your song over us and placing its music in our very own hearts! 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 09/13/13 – The Music of Your Life

DayBreaks for 09/13/13 – The Music of Your Life

NOTE: Galen is on vacation this week.  DayBreaks this week are from the archives, September 2003:

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (NIV)

Perhaps you have seen the movie, Mister Holland’s Opus.  It has been out for a number of years now, but it still evokes a strong emotional response in me each time I see it.  In the movie, Richard Dreyfus plays a music teacher by the name of Mr. Holland.  He teaches music in a school where funds are drying up and the music program has always played second fiddle to more popular programs such as sports.  He is a good teacher, inspiring his students to achieve things they didn’t think they could achieve.  But deep inside, he longs and dreams to be a composer.  He spends years of his life working on a symphony, but the rigors of teaching capture his time and the symphony makes slow, excruciating progress, but is never played.

Finally, after many years, it is time for Mr. Holland to retire.  He feels that his life has been a failure – he never achieved the great things that he hoped to achieve.  On his last day at the school, he is surprised by a gathering in the school auditorium of the students that he had taught over the years, those whom he had inspired.  The auditorium is full, many of his students sit on the stage with their instruments, and the surprise is total and complete.  He is escorted to the front of the auditorium where he sits down to listen to the state governor, one of his former students, as she addresses the crowd and Mr. Holland.

In her remarks, she acknowledges that she knows Mr. Holland feels his life is incomplete, that perhaps, he even feels it was a failure because of the fact he’d never achieved the status of composer and had the privilege of hearing his American symphony performed.  Then she suggests that such an interpretation would be very, very wrong, and extending her arms toward the gathered crowd, states “We are the notes, the music of your life.”  She encourages Mr. Holland to come forward and direct, for the very first time, the playing of his “American Symphony”.  The orchestra assembled on the stage plays Mr. Holland’s composition and tears fill the eyes of those in the movie – and those watching it.

It is a moving story.  All those years, Mr. Holland had an “American Symphony” inside of him.  Finally, it was out.

The parallel for us is that we have something in us much more beautiful and important than an “American Symphony”.  God has placed within each of His children not an “American Symphony” but an “Eternal Symphony”.  He has given and entrusted to us the ability to change eternity.  What are you doing with the symphony that is within you?  Will you let it change eternity for those you meet?

PRAYER: Lord, we don’t have it within us to make beautiful music with our own lives, but You can make everything beautiful in its time, including our lives.  Let us live in faith that You are doing just that!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 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 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!

DayBreaks for 03/18/11 – The Music of the Spheres

DayBreaks for 03/18/11 – The Music of the Spheres

His music fills the universe...

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? 3 Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? – Job 38:1-7

 

When middle C is struck on the piano the piston of bones in your inner ear vibrates exactly 256 times a second. Each day you think about 50,000 different thoughts. When you flex your hand you are using seventy different muscles. On the surface of your body there are as many bacteria as there are people on the surface of the earth. (I should have skipped that one.) The mystery of your birth, the mystery of the love you feel, the mystery of the deepest part of you are all most improbable. You are an incredible contingency.

Sam Keen wrote, “I suspect that we are all recipients of cosmic love notes. Messages, omens, voices, revelations, and appeals are all part of each day’s events. If only we know how to listen, to read the signs.” Our everyday life isn’t everyday. The surface of what we see and hear isn’t all there is. When you laugh, when you cry, when you feel something happening inside, open yourself to the possibilities. The potential of the life that we have been given is breathtaking. Open your eyes. Listen carefully. Pay attention.

The music of the Presence of God is everywhere…if only we open our ears, we will hear it!

PRAYER: For Your glory and majesty, for the beauty of the works of Your hands, for Your song that fills the universe, we give You our praise!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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