DayBreaks for 10/23/18 – So Alike Yet So Different

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DayBreaks for 10/23/18: So Alike Yet So Different

From the DayBreaks archive, October 2008:

On 10/18 my wife and I flew back from Boston where we were visiting our youngest son (middle child) and his family – including our newest granddaughter, Sophia.  She was 3-1/2 weeks old when we got there and the amount she changed during the two weeks we were there is astonishing.  But, rest assured that during the entire time we were there she was the perfect addition to our family, and we now have another blessing from God to love and serve as grandparents.

While I was there, I couldn’t help but be struck by several things:

FIRST: It’s fascinating to see just a tiny bit of myself, my wife, our son and his wife, in the looks of Sophia.  Sure, she’ll change a lot as she grows and gets older, but she’s got her mother’s eyes and hair, our son’s (and grandmother’s) hairline, and arguably she has some aspects of my appearance, too (although most would argue she’s way to beautiful to have anything in common with her Pop-pop [that’s me]!)  As I thought about that, I thought about how in each of us there are glimpses of our Father.  Yes, they can be very hard to see and sometimes we may not be able to perceive them at all, but there is no way that we can avoid some of His characteristics.  They may only be seen when we’re at our very best (which still isn’t very good!), and it may be necessary to look long and deep to identify them, but they are there.  In the most distressed appearance you could imagine, Mother Theresa saw Jesus.  Who do you see?  Do you even try to see Jesus, or some semblance of the Father, in each person He’s created?  If we did, instead of just seeing things we don’t like, we might find this world a much more fascinating and beautiful place.  Some folks just need a bit of help to let those resemblances blossom and flourish.  Maybe we can help them.

SECOND: It’s easy to forget how tiny and small new babies are.  I was amazed at how tiny the little hands, fingers and toes were – how short the little arms are.  Compared to Sophia, I’m a huge monster.  She’s not a little baby – she was eight pounds something when she was born, and she’s been packin’ on the chub ever since – but she’s SO TINY!  And that made me think of how we must appear to God.  With a baby as small as Sophia is at present, it creates a desire inside of me to want to protect her, to hold her, to keep her safe from bumps, bruises and the hurts the world could inflict without even noticing.  As I looked at Sophia, I felt like a giant.  When God looks at us, He must be even more impressed with how tiny and fragile we are.  And yet, He picks us up and holds us ever so gently so as not to break us.  Anyone who can call a universe into existence simply through the power of a spoken word is so far beyond us in power and strength that we can’t begin for one second to wrap our little minds around His greatness and power.  And He’s put that power at our disposal so that when we are walking in harmony with Him, there’s no limit to what He can do through such tiny little babies as us.

THIRD: It’s easy to forget how helpless little babies are.  It’s not that Sophia doesn’t want to be able to feed and clothe herself.  I quite honestly don’t know if she does or not, but when she’s hungry and wants to eat and she can’t feed herself – she lets the world know.  But she just isn’t able to do that yet.  She is still trying to figure out what those things are that show up near her face every once in a while that have five little worm-like things on each one (her fists).  She can’t do a single thing for herself except cry.  Once again, God looks at us and sees people who are totally helpless, who are dependent on the Father for everything – whether they realize it or not.  Does Sophia know that she’s dependent on mom and dad?  No, she just knows when she needs changing or is hungry or when something hurts.  But the concept of dependence, I’m convinced, hasn’t yet developed in her mind.  Hopefully, someday she’ll come to recognize her dependence on the great and perfect Father.  The Father, meanwhile, sees us thrashing wildly around, helpless to do the things that must be done…and so He has undertaken to do those things for us.

Praise be to God, the Father of us all!

PRAYER: Your gentleness is overwhelming with us, Lord.  Thank you for your tender yet powerful hands that pick us up when we fall.  Thank you that you’ve done for us all the things we cannot do, and for remembering our frailty and smallness.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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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.

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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 06/25/13 – An Uncomfortable Truth – No, Not THAT One!

DayBreaks for 06/25/13 – An Uncomfortable Truth – No, Not THAT One!

poor childrenIsaiah 1:11-17 (NLT) – “What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the LORD. “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.   When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?  Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting— they are all sinful and false. I want no more of your pious meetings.  I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!  When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.  Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways.  Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

In his book, The Hole in Our Gospel, Richard Stearns quotes a modern day prophet, perhaps a human being who in our day and age has done more to care for the oppressed, the widows and orphans than anyone else, but the truth is hard to hear:

“Fifteen thousand Africans are dying each day of preventable, treatable diseases – AIDS, malaria, TB – for lack of drugs that we take for granted.

“This statistic alone makes a fool of the idea many of us hold on to very tightly: the idea of equality.  What is happening to Africa mocks our pieties, doubts our concern and questions our commitment to the whole concept.  Because if we’re honest, there’s no way we could conclude that such mass death day after day would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else.  Certainly not North America or Europe, or Japan.  An entire continent bursting into flames?  Deep down, if we really accept that their lives – African lives – are equal to our, we would all be doing more to put the fire out.  It’s an uncomfortable truth.

“We can be the generation that no longer accepts that an accident of latitude determines whether a child lives or dies – but will we be that generation?  Will we in the West realize our potential or will we sleep in the comfort of our affluence with apathy and indifference murmuring softly in our ears?  Fifteen thousand people dying needlessly every day from AIDS, TB, and malaria.  Mothers, fathers, teacher, farmers, nurses, mechanics, children.  This is Africa’s crisis.  That it’s not on the night news, that we do not treat this as an emergency – that’s our crisis.

“Future generation flipping through these pages will know whether we answered the key question.  The evidence will be the world around them.  History will be our judge, but what’s written is up to us.  We can’t say our generation didn’t know how to do it.  We can’t say our generation couldn’t afford it.  And we can’t say our generation didn’t have reason to do it.  It’s up to us.”

You know what haunts me?  The idea that someday I may stand before God and hear Him ask me, “What did you do for those in Africa?” 

Oh, the name of the modern day prophet?  Bono – lead singer for the band, U2. 

PRAYER:  Lord, help us to CARE, to LOVE, to GIVE in ways that help and don’t hurt those we are trying to help!  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) (medicalambassadors.org) and is responsible for raising 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 and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Then look for “Galen Dalrymple”.  Click his name 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 (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.

Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are also members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 11/30/12 – Lessons Learned From the Cheap Seats

DayBreaks for 11/30/12 – Lessons Learned From the Cheap Seats

Luke 5:27-32 (NLT)Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him.  28 So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him.  29 Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor. Many of Levi’s fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them.  30 But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?”   31 Jesus answered them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.  32 I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.”

Levi’s (known better to us as the apostle Matthew) tax collector booth was sitting by the side of the road on the way out of town, sort of like a lemonade stand, but also very different.  It was like a dentist office in many ways – not the kind of place that anyone wants to go to or to visit.

In many ways, Levi (though he was undoubtedly wealthy from cheating people out of their money as was the practice of tax collectors in his time), was like a modern day beggar.  Most people would pass right by him – not wanting to pretend that they saw him – especially if they owed him money.

I confess that there are times when I see a beggar at a stoplight or driveway entering a shopping center and pretend not to see them – I will turn and look the other way.  It’s not because I owe them money, but because I’m too selfish and don’t want to give them money.  I will also often judge them in my heart – thinking that if they weren’t so lazy they’d get a job and not be begging any more.  I’ve been learning that in today’s economy that isn’t necessarily true.  The numbers of homeless and hungry have skyrocketed since the recession.  But still I don’t owe them money in a literal sense.  But there is something I do owe them: love.  Romans 13:8 (ESV) Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.  Flunked that test, didn’t I?

When I ignore them, pretend not to notice or see them, I am no different than those who passed by the man who had been beaten by the thieves and left beside the road.  Several passed him by before the good Samaritan came and helped.  As much as I’d like to think otherwise in my heart, I’m far too much like those who passed him by.

Jesus not only noticed Levi, but he went and talked to him.  What would the reaction be today of those who witnessed a pastor going to talk to a prostitute(s)?  One would like to think that they would think the best – that he was going to try to help them, not for some other darker purpose.

What was the result of Levi being noticed by Jesus?  He hosts a dinner in Jesus’ honor and invites his friends and they got to meet the Son of God. Levi becomes Matthew, the apostle.  The world was changed simply because Jesus noticed….

Jesus’ words to the religious leaders must have stung: “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous…”  Jesus wasn’t saying that they were righteous, in fact, he was saying precisely the opposite.  We are often deluded by our estimation of ourselves.  This passage shows it clearly!!!!

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: How easily we exalt ourselves and how quickly we judge others!  How selfish we can be!  How can You love creatures such as us?  Thank You that You DO love us in spite of all our selfishness, judgementalism and pride!  Forgive us, dear, compassionate Lord!  Have mercy on me, a sinner! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 11/13/12 – Jesus and Freeze-Dried Pets

DayBreaks for 11/13/12 – Jesus and Freeze-Dried Pets

Freeze-drying pets: WWJD?

As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” 59 He said to another person, “Come, follow me.” The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” 60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.” 61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” 62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”  – Luke 9:57-62 (NLT)

I know I’m probably going to get myself into a lot of hot water with pet-loving followers and readers of pets with today’s DayBreaks.  Please: you should know by now how much I love animals, especially my dogs, so be gentle with me, OK?  But here’s a problem that you won’t find in many countries around the world:

America now has about 700 pet “aftercare” facilities, providing funeral services to the nation’s companion animals, according to a September NBC News report. Oakey’s, in Roanoke, Va., performs 800-900 pet cremations annually and provides about 20 customers a year with pet caskets, part of the estimated $53 billion America spends on pets (higher than the Gross National Products of more than 100 countries). The basic charge of Heartland Pet Cremation of St Louis, Mo., is $275 for a private cremation, including a “basic” urn and memorial video slideshow. (For the more upscale, other facilities offer deluxe urns, taxidermy, freeze-drying pets, and creating a synthetic diamond out of pet ashes.) NBC News, 9-17-2012, News of the Weird, 11/12/12

So, what’s the big deal?  Is it a sin to have a beloved animal cremated?  Or stuffed or even (yuck) freeze-dried?  No, not in and of itself.  There is nothing in Scripture that says anything at all about this subject directly.  But I fear that perhaps we use that as an excuse sometimes and thus liberate ourselves from having to think critically about what we do and our actions.

Here’s where I’m coming from: while it isn’t a sin directly, part of living out of our Christian faith has to do with priorities.  That was the reason people came to Jesus and asked about the greatest commandments, or asked him what they needed to do to gain eternal life.  They were trying to get the question of priorities sort out and then to be sure they were lined up with them.

This is where it gets tough…and very personal.  Freeze-drying or cremating a pet isn’t a sin, but what if we do that at the expense of not feeding the hungry?  You might think (properly), “I do give to the hungry…and I’ve got extra, so I can do both.”  I understand, really I do.  But I ask myself this question: “If Jesus had $275, would he use it to freeze-dry his pet, or would he give it away to the poor?”  I think I know the answer to that question without even having to think about it.

Okay.  So, I’ve pretty much settled in my own mind what Jesus would do.  Now I’ve got to wrestle with myself.  I’ve never freeze-dried a pet or even cremated one, but I’ve wasted plenty of money on other things that are of lesser importance than being merciful or compassionate or feeding/sheltering/caring for the poor.

What am I going to do about it?  I’m going to try to start making small changes in my life, one thing at a time, so I can give more to the truly needy throughout the world an in my own country.  I urge you to join me!  If you are so inclined, you can start to do so right now by clicking on the links below to support some of the projects I’m engaged with through my work with I Am 2 Partners, Inc.

PRAYER: God, I have my priorities so messed up most of the time.  I’m sorry…I need to be more loving and generous and compassionate and giving.  Free me, free us, from the prison on our own selfishness!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

Want to help the poor children of the world?  Here’s a couple links to projects at I Am 2 Partners, Inc.:

To help feed and protect the 37 orphans at Bright Future Children’s Home in Migori, Kenya, click here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=RKR8ZNZX4UVPA

To help put in a purified water system for the Good Shepherd Pediatric Hospital in Kigali, Rwanda, click here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=B7U2JA5QSYCRC

Thanks!

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DayBreaks for 03/22/11 – What God Will Never Say

DayBreaks for 03/22/11 – What God Will Never Say

I’ve been very challenged in my thinking and discipleship lately.  God has been revealing blind spots in my life as a Christian – in particular, as an American Christian.  One blind spot in particular that He’s really been working on in my life is my attitude toward the poor.

Americans don’t like to see suffering, especially suffering of little children who have not had adequate food or water and who are dying as a result.  When those images show up on our TV screens, we quickly get up to go to the fridge, or change the channel, or find some other way to divert our eyes from the very harsh and hard realities that exist in this world.  We don’t want to see that kind of suffering.  It makes us uncomfortable – and that’s a very good thing.  We need to be made uncomfortable, especially as Americans who own so much and spend so much of our income on cushy luxuries.  I don’t yet know specifically what it is that God wants me to do with what He’s been showing me.

Israel, long ago, observed feast days, multitudes of tithes of money, crops, wine, etc., they observed temple rituals and cleansings.  They memorized the Torah and recounted the great deeds of YHWH for generation after generation.  They thought that all those things would make them acceptable – even pleasing to God.  After all, God had commanded those observances.  But in the writings of the great prophet Isaiah, God filled them in on the truth about what mattered to Him: Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. – Is.  58:6-8

God cares about the poor, the starving, the naked, the homeless.  He hears their cries.  He wonders if we hear them, and if we will respond to them.

While I don’t know what God wants me to do specifically about this blind spot in my life, I am sure of this as an American Christian: the day won’t ever come when I stand before God and hear Him say to me, “I wish you’d kept more of what I gave you for yourself.”

 

Give...and it shall be given unto you...

PRAYER: God, I confess my blindness and hard-heartedness towards the plight of the poor.  Forgive me for my selfishness, and set me free from the tyranny of possessions and money.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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

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