DayBreaks for 11/21/17 – A Muddy Foam

Image result for muddy water

DayBreaks for 11/21/17: A Muddy Foam

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2007:

I like to maintain an even keel.  I think most of us do.  Sure, there are those who are into the extremes: folks who put on a kite-type suit and jump out of an airplane and ride the wind currents coming up off the face of a mountain.  And there’s the other extreme, too: folks who, for whatever reason, are so afraid to even set foot outside of their home that they live as prisoners of their own fears.  But most of us operate “normally” – we try not to get too carried away with anything, thinking that a good balance is what life is all about.  There’s something to be said for that, but I’m not really convinced that it’s all good.

Consider: how would your wife or husband feel about it if you just had neutral or luke-warm emotions towards them?  How would your children feel if you made it a goal in life not to go overboard in truly loving them?  How would your employer feel if you thought your job was okay, but didn’t make every effort to work hard for them?  Chances are you wouldn’t be employed for very long.

How does God want us to live our lives, especially our emotional lives? 

There are many passages of Scripture that relate to this: we are to live sober-mindedly, we are to live peaceful lives characterized by the joy of Christ.  We are to be wary and alert, to test the spirits to see if they’re from God or not.  Sounds rather balanced and reserved, doesn’t it? 

But, I think that there’s an area or two where God wants us to truly go overboard, to cast our caution aside and jump into the deep end of the pool, so to speak.  The first one is in the way that we love God Himself.  We are to love Him more than our very lives if it should come to that.  We are to love Him, not with part of our heart, soul and mind, but with ALL of our heart, soul and mind.  In other words, hold nothing back from this love.  There is no other love like it and there’s nothing better to reserve our love for than for loving Him.  The second one, you can probably guess: we are to love what God loves – goodness, righteousness, holiness…and yes, other people, even our enemies.  It’s far easier to say than to do. 

I like this quote, which I find expresses the feeling I have down deep in my heart about my own poor emotional condition: “I am spellbound by the intensity of Jesus’ emotions: not a twinge of pity, but heartbroken compassion; not a passing irritation, but terrifying anger; not a silent tear, but groans of anguish; not a weak smile, but ecstatic celebration.  Jesus’ emotions are like a mountain river cascading with clear water. My emotions are more like a muddy foam or a feeble trickle.”  – G. Walter Hansenin, Christianity Today

How can we have the emotional passion of Jesus for others and for the Father?  I think that there are probably many possible things that can help us, including praying that God will give us Jesus’ heart for the world, for the lost, for the hurting – to make us compassionate and also capable of true rejoicing.  We also need to learn to see through the surface appearances into the deep realities of eternal destiny and of the human heart so that we can see in others and in situations what Jesus sees in them.  It’s hard to be moved with compassion toward someone who is engaging in blatant and offensive sin, but if we could see them in an eternity without Christ, I have a hunch that we’d all be moved to be more loving and compassionate.  After all, isn’t that how Jesus saw us before we were saved? 

PRAYER:  Father, help us to have the heart that beats with the passion of Christ.  Help us to have the eyes to see past the hurts others may cause us, the offenses we may suffer at their hands, to see them as marred images of what You intended them to be, and to see the reality of their destination if they continue to live without Jesus.  Then, give us the strength to act like Christ towards them.   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 8/03/17 – Lessons From a Little Child

Charlie

DayBreaks for 8/03/17: Lessons From a Little Child

From the DayBreaks archive, August 2007:

My oldest son, Doug, recently wrote this in his blog:

“My four-year-old son and I went for a swim at our neighborhood pool on Saturday in the early evening. Though it was still quite warm out, we had the place to ourselves. After our swim we pulled up a couple chairs to sit and dry, facing toward the declining sun. It was a lovely scene: the still, shadowed water of the pool surrounded by an ivied fence; the tall eucalypti and willows stirring languidly in the breeze; the hummingbirds darting through the flowered margins of the grounds; the playful cries of a pair of hawks dashing through the treetops.
We sit silent a moment or two and then my son folds his hands on his lap and says, “Let’s have a conversation.”
“All right,” I say. “What should we talk about?”
“You decide, Papa.”
“Okay. So tell me,” I say, recalling a conversation we had that morning, “do you really think you’d like to be a fireman on a train when you grow up?”
“Yes, a fireman, who shovels the coal and fires it up to keep the train moving.”
“That sounds like a good job.”
“Yes, but I won’t have any little boys or girls or a wife when I’m a fireman.”
“You won’t?”
“No… Can a fireman be married and have little boys and girls?”
“Well, yes, he can.”
“But how can he if he’s always working on the train?”
“He comes home sometimes, you know.”
“Oh… Can all workers have wives and little boys and girls?”
“Yes, I think so.”
“I didn’t know that.”
I stretch my legs out in front of me while my 4-year old son digests this new revelation. He pulls his chair closer and rests his hand on my arm. We sit quietly for half a minute. I take a deep breath and sigh.
“You know,” I say, “I think it’s wonderfully relaxing just to sit here and listen to the wind and the songs of the birds, don’t you?”
“You know what I like better, Papa?”
“What?”
“To sit in a very uncomfortable rocking chair outside and listen to the sounds of forklifts!”
“Really?” I ask, astonished. “An uncomfortable chair? Forklifts?”
“Yes,” he answers. “But what can a forklift lift, and what can a forklift not lift? You tell me.”
“Well,” I say, “a forklift can lift a pallet stacked with heavy boxes and things, but a whole house would be too heavy for it.”
“Yes, but I bet a house wouldn’t be too heavy for an elephant-sized forklift.”
“You mean a forklift so big it could only be operated by elephants? That kind of a forklift?”
“Yes, by elephants. That kind.

“I suppose you’re right, son.”

Galen’s Thoughts:

FIRST: I am struck by my grandson’s commitment to his passion.  Even though he labored under the illusion that a fireman on a train couldn’t have children or a wife, he has a passion in his heart to be such a fireman regardless of the cost.  The apostle Paul describes people who came to Christ, but who then turned back because they loved the things of this world more than they loved Jesus.  They weren’t willing to give up the things of this world to follow the Lord.  Charlie was ready to give up all future hope of a family to fulfill a passion.  Where is my passion, where is yours?  What is it worth to you?  What will you give up to follow Him if He calls you?

SECOND: I don’t think my grandson really believes, at 4 years of age, that elephants can run forklifts.  But he thinks big.  Age has a way of making us think small – and smaller as time goes by.  We limit not only ourselves, but more importantly, the actions of God because we have concluded in advance that a situation is impossible – so we never step out in faith to watch God do HUGE things.

THIRD: it is a good thing to have conversations with your dad.  The day comes when you can’t.  It’s even better to talk with God while we have the chance.  We’ll learn amazing things if we listen to His voice – and we will be delighted with the conversation, just as my son delighted in this conversation with his own boy.

FINALLY: maybe you’ve had a tough week.  I hope this story brought a smile to your face and will remind you that not everything in the world is a deadly serious as we sometimes make it out to be.  Enjoy your weekend!

PRAYER:  Oh, Lord!  Fire the passion in our hearts, give us hearts ready and eager to give up everything to follow You when you call.  Help us to believe – and to expect great things from You through Your great power.  Delight us with Your voice and Presence, and let us laugh and rejoice more than we do.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 3/25/14 – Passion and the Fire

DayBreaks for 3/25/14 – Passion and the Fire

John 2:17 (NLT) – Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”

I’ve written recently about some of the spiritual struggles I’ve been wrestling with – about a desire to come closer to God, to really, really connect with Him, to come to trust Him without reservation. Much of my life has been spent, I now realize, trying to keep this frightful God at arm’s length for fear of being asked to do something or sacrifice something that I am unwilling to do or give. Is it that I want to be that way?  No, not really.  It is just the truth about me in my human weakness and fear.

Yesterday, in my quiet time, I was in looking at today’s text while I was trying to learn something more about the Jesus who is my Lord. I tried to picture the scene in my mind…and then to contrast it with my own “passion” for the Lord’s house.  I didn’t like what the passage revealed to me about myself!

Many times throughout my years, going to church has felt like a duty, an obligation, something one had to do in order to make God happy with us (and I was a pastor for 12 of those years!) I think nothing could be further from the truth.  While God invites us and wants us to come to His house, I don’t think God wants us going there begrudging Him the time.  He wants us there because we delight in worshiping Him, in fellowship and communion with the Trinity and other someday-to-be-glorified saints.

Oh, that we had such passion as Jesus did for the Lord’s house! Where do we get it?  Where does it come from?  It can’t come from a rocking worship band (though I love powerful worship!), from some spell-binding preacher, lest it be a manufactured thing, and God never manufactures passion for us.  It can only come from within, from a strong bond with the Spirit of the Living God Himself, that stirs us to love and adoration, gratitude and humility, inspires us with awe and wonder. The Spirit longs to be with the Father and Son, and They all long to be with One Another!

We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit when we become followers of Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says we are not to quench that Spirit.  In context, that passage comes in the midst of many exhortations to love, to encourage, help, be patient, rejoice, pray, do good always, giving thanks…  Those are combustible things that fuel passion for the Spirit.   A fire is quenched by putting non-combustible things on it…dirt, water, etc.  When we put worldly and non-spiritual things into our lives and hearts instead of the combustible things of God, we will quench the Spirit. 

As I have struggled to draw closer to God, I have looked for the “silver bullet” of how to actually do it. I don’t claim to have found all the answers. But this illustration of combustible and non-combustible spoke to me. I have the Spirit that Jesus has given me. If I am lacking in passion for God, it is not the fault of the Spirit – it is because I have quenched the Spirit by feeding myself non-Holy Spirit combustible things. If we are lacking in passion for the Lord’s house, it may well be because we are filling our lives with non-combustible things rather than what fuels the fire of the Spirit!

PRAYER: Jesus, I need your passion for the Father’s house! Ignite those things in my life that need to be consumed and destroyed so that I may be ignited by the Spirit! 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 01/24/13 – Discovering Fire

DayBreaks for 01/24/13 – Discovering Fire

HEART-OF-FIRE-love-30476808-1920-1080From the DayBreaks archive, 1/24/2003:

I am fascinated by science and scientific discoveries.  It seems like we are on the verge of many great discoveries.  Every day man’s knowledge explodes with new discoveries being made in molecular biology, genetics, astronomy, physics, medicine and just about any other branch of science that you can think of.  Throughout history there have been discoveries that have changed life forever after: the discover of how to make use of fire, the wheel, iron, the internal combustion engine, semiconductors, even nuclear energy.  There are so many key discoveries throughout history that entire books could be dedicated to listing them and debating what were the greatest discoveries of all time.

Teilhard de Chardin put it all in perspective, however: “Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love.  Then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.

I suspect that de Chardin may be humanist in his thinking, but wouldn’t it be great if sometime, even for a few moments, we could all live in love with God and our fellowman?

Bottom line: the greatest discovery of the human race still remains – how to love others even as He has loved us.  How would the world be changed if we loved one another with the love pictured in Song of Solomon 8:6-7 – “6 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.  It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.  7 Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.  If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

Once we really learn how to love like Jesus, we and the world will be forever changed.

Copyright 2003 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Lord, I know that I don’t love like you do!  I seem to have too much self-interest to love as unselfishly as you have loved us.  Break our selfishness, fill our hearts to overflowing with the love that only comes from the One who is love!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen has started work with a new ministry, Medical Ambassadors International (medicalambassadors.org).  He needs to raise his own support.  DayBreaks has always been free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with Medical Ambassadors, you can make a one-time donation at http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Go to that link and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section and look for the link for Galen Dalrymple.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his account.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient in many ways for 32 years.  Check them out!

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