DayBreaks for 7/11/16 – What Courage Is

DayBreaks for 7/11/16 – What Courage Is

Galen is on vacation. From the DayBreaks archive, June 2006:

Sometimes wisdom comes from the strangest places.  Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that some of the greatest insights about courage have come from those who have served in the military.  I’m sure that sometimes we over-romanticize the courage of the men and women who serve, but by and large, I think they deserve our deepest and most profound respect for their courage and willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice, if necessary, to protect those at home. 

There are web sites where you can go to read stories about the brave soldiers, men and women alike, who have won the nation’s highest honor for valor, the Congressional Medal of Honor.  The stories all amaze me.  I don’t know how people do the kinds of things that these people have done.  It is beyond my comprehension. 

We’ve all hear that courage isn’t the absence of fears.  Courage is perhaps the overcoming of our fears to do what needs to be done, but it isn’t the absence of fear.  So how does the strength to overcome our fears come to us?  How does it happen?  Perhaps the great World War II general, George Patton, put it best when he describes courage this way: “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” 

Ah, there must be the key.  The soul that is at peace with God, even in times of great personal distress brought on by an enemy who is literally trying to take your life, is the soul that is empowered to do the most remarkable and selfless things.  It is a reminder of Jesus’ words to us about how we need not fear the person that can take our mortal life, but the One who can take not only our mortal life, but our eternal existence.  But once we have made peace with God and no longer are worried about what man can do to us, our courage can take wings.  It surely was the secret of the martyrs – there’s no other explanation for what they did.

I don’t know about you, but I could use more courage in my life to take advantage of all the opportunities to share Christ that are presented to me.  My guess is that you could use more courage to do that, too. 

Maybe it’s time we all go and say our prayers.

PRAYER:  God, forgive us for our cowardice when it comes to telling others about the Lord Jesus.  Give us the courage of the martyrs, and help us to full trust in You so that we need not fear any human ever again.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 11/12/14 – Living in the Shadow of Death

DayBreaks for 11/12/14 – Living in the Shadow of Death

From the DayBreaks archive, 2004:

Luke 1:76-79 (NIV) – And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.

For who knows how long now, every man, woman and child who has lived has done so in the shadow of death.  And every man, woman and child has also died there, with two notable exceptions: Enoch and Elijah.  But it is our destiny to be covered someday with the shadow of death, only it won’t be just a shadow then for it will have substance.  An uninvited guest will have come to take us.

It is hard to believe, as I sit here in the Alexander Valley of northern California and look out on the vineyards below, that I’m living in the shadow of death.  The sun is shining brightly, birds are practicing their aerial acrobatics and the leaves are doing their shimmying dance on the trees.  Life appears to be good.  All appears to be well – as if it would continue that way forever.  It is good that we are reminded that we live in the shadow of death.  Just last week a man in our valley was run off the road and killed.  As I drive into town, the failure of any number of mechanical components could cause me to go careening to my demise.  Perhaps in the internal workings of my body, a monster is growing unseen from human eye.  Perhaps the next food I eat will be tainted with some undetectable poison and I will eat it, only to succumb to the reality of death.  Some guests knock – death walks right in.  We are living in the shadow of death, whether we like to think about it or not.

But best news, however, is that even though we live in the shadow of death, we also live in the circle of Light that the Son brings into the lives of those who love and trust Him.  And as the verse notes, when that happens, our feet, even though we live in the shadow of death, are guided into a path of peace.  This is a blessing only known and experienced by the redeemed.  Others may hope – even long – for it.  Some may dream of it, and some may expect it.  But far too many will never experience it.

And that is the other benefit of being aware that we live in the shadow of death: a sense of urgency.  A sense that “TODAY is the day of salvation” – tomorrow will not do, for tomorrow your uninvited guest may arrive.  And if the guest doesn’t come for you tomorrow, it may for your friend, your neighbor, your spouse, your child, your parents or grandparents.  How will you help those you know be ready?  The same way John did: “to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God…”.

When the light shines, the shadow goes away.

Copyright by 2004 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Let us boldly be on the gentle offensive, filled with the certain knowledge that neither Satan nor all his demons will have the victory! 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!

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DayBreaks for 10/29/13 – Your Opportunity

DayBreaks for 10/29/13 – Your Opportunity

Luke 21:8-13 (NLT) He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. 9  And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10  Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11  There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven. 12  “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. 13  But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.

Whenever an earthquake hits and lives and property are destroyed, people wish for an early warning system that might spare their lives.  It might, in fact, do that – but it will not prevent the earthquake from coming.  We want signs, we want warnings.  Just read the labels on practically any product you purchase and the warnings are everywhere!

The time of great tribulation will not come without warning.  I believe that we are seeing signs everywhere as nations rage against one another, strange weather abounds, famines, disasters, plagues, insurrections, earthquakes…could it be any clearer?  These things are just as Jesus described to his followers. 

Starting with verse 12, Jesus tells his followers in no uncertain terms: you will not be immune from the rage against Godly things.  Christians will be taken to stand before the authorities and we may stand there in fear, wondering why such a thing should happen to us.  Jesus himself tells us the why in verse 13: it is so that we will be able to tell them about Jesus.  That’s the purpose of it.  Not to suffer needlessly for no worthy or valid reason.  But it is about Jesus…it is always and forever about Him and not us. 

Does that just mean we are pawns in this great game of God?  Some would say so.  That would be the case if He just manipulated us from square to square to do what He wants done, but He has done something great for us first: He has forgiven our sin and granted eternal life to all who believe in His name.  That makes it so that it is not manipulation.  We are not moved from square to square without thought or care, and we have a choice, motivated by gratitude. 

But will we choose to be moved to stand before the authorities when the time comes?  It is not IF, it is when.  It may be nearly upon us.   

PRAYER: Lord, even reading these words frightens us.  We don’t like the prospect of this kind of terror coming upon us.  In America we have lived charmed lives while brothers and sisters around the world die by the thousands and millions for refusing to recant their faith.  We have grown to believe we live in a favored land that will be somehow immune from such persecution, but our faith in that delusion is being strongly challenged these days.  We never thought we would see the things we are seeing happen in our lifetimes in our country.  We beg your forgiveness for not being the salt and light we should have been as your people.  We ask for Your strength to stand strong and take advantage of the opportunity when the time comes to tell others about You!  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 12/28/11 – When Angel’s Wings Tremble

DayBreaks for 12/28/11 – When Angel’s Wings Tremble

20 Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! – Psalm 103:20

Angel simply means “messenger.”  They are, of course, messengers of God, dispatched with words from the Almighty.  When you stop to think of the messages that “angels” have delivered to mankind, some are joyous, some were words of doom, some of encouragement, and others that surely brought terror and dismay.

Have you ever been asked to deliver a message for someone that you’d rather not deliver at all?  I recall times when I’ve had to tell people that they no longer had a job, or that their son had been killed in a hunting accident.  Such messages I would rather not have to deliver ever again.  I don’t like to have to tell such things to people.  And I would suspect that there were times the angels didn’t want to have to deliver a message from God…but who were they to refuse?  (I am on thin ice there theologically – for all I know, the angels always delight in delivering God’s messages…but who knows?  They see to have emotions much like we do – so I suspect that they had thoughts and feelings about the words they were to deliver.)

Frederick Buechner reflected on one such message when he wrote these words: “She struck the angel Gabriel as hardly old enough to have a child at all, let alone this child, but he’d been entrusted with a message to give her, and he gave it. He told her what the child was to be named, and who he was to be, and something about the mystery that was to come upon her. “You mustn’t be afraid, Mary,” he said. And as he said it, he only hoped she wouldn’t notice that beneath the great, golden wings he himself was trembling with fear to think that the whole future of creation hung now on the answer of a girl.”

God has certainly given us humans tremendous opportunity and responsibility, hasn’t He?  To the human girl, Mary, He gave this message.  As a human, I’d wonder if God really knew what He was doing if God had entrusted that message to me to deliver to a virgin teen in Palestine…but Gabriel, I feel certain, understood that God knew perfectly well what He was doing.  Later, Jesus would give an even greater challenge to all His followers when He said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel…baptizing….teaching….”  I wonder, were there angels in heaven that wondered at the wisdom of a plan to reach the entire world with the message of grace and salvation through Jesus by placing that message in the mouth of humans?  Did they wonder if God had some “backup” plan in case we humans failed (as we are so prone to do and as the angels had repeatedly observed on countless occasions)?

God has wrought great things countless times through the weak and unlikely.  He wants to do it with you, too.  And He can, if you will only say “Yes!”

PRAYER: God, when we need hope, let us remember the words of the Alpha and the Omega, who makes EVERYTHING new and stirs hope in our hearts!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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