DayBreaks for 12/07/18 – Bones of the Past

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DayBreaks for 12/07/18: Bones of the Past

From the DayBreaks Archive, 12/8/98:

A few years ago, a large group of Vietnam veterans met in New York to commemorate the Vietnam War and its effect on their lives. Many were still suffering emotional wounds from that conflict. A Vietnamese Buddhist monk came to the gathering and told a moving story. During the war, a young Vietnamese woman was killed, leaving behind her husband and young son. The husband, needing to provide for himself and the boy, traveled far and wide looking for odd jobs. Often he left the child with neighbors. After one long trip looking for work, the man returned to find his village demolished and his neighbors gone. Searching through the rubble, he found some small bones scattered around. He was sure that these were the remains of his son. He wrapped the bones in cloth and carried them with him everywhere he went. Many years passed, and one night the old man heard knocking on his door. He called out, “Who’s there?” “It is your son! My kidnappers set me free and I have spent many years trying to find you!” The old man yelled, “You are a fake and a cruel man. My son is dead. Leave me alone!” He would not open the door. The pounding continued for a while, but then it stopped. The young man gave up and left.

A heartbreaking story. Here was a man who obviously loved his son deeply. Yet he was too afraid to give up the bones that he’d carried for years. He never found the happiness that was knocking at his door because he was so determined to hold onto the bones of the past rather than live in the joy of the present.

Are you holding onto the bones of your past so much that you are denying yourself the joy that Jesus intends for you to have today? If so, you need to let the bones go. They are only bones and they are relics from the past that need to be discarded so you can answer the knocking at the door of your heart. Perhaps they were very precious to you – like the bones of his son to this old man in the story. I understand. God understands. But they are from the past and we must not live there or we will miss the blessings and opportunities that God has designed for today. Isaiah 43:18 contains God’s instructions for us in this matter: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”

“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:13-14

God gives us the choice: live with the bones of the past, or live in the here-and-now with the Lord of the past, present and future.

Prayer: Lord, let me find and know your joy today!  Help me forget the former things as I anticipate what is to come!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 8/03/18 – To Live in the Present

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DayBreaks for 8/03/18: To Live in the Present

From the DayBreaks archive, August 2008:

I love to think about heaven – about what it will be like, about what we/I will do there.  I can hardly wait to hear the myriads of angels and the four living creatures singing at the top of their “lungs” to the praise of the One on the throne.  I can hardly wait to talk with Daniel, that great warrior/prophet who faced down kings and the powerful men of the earth.  I want to talk with Moses, I want to ask Abraham about the “sacrifice” of Isaac and what he told Sarah and when and how he felt throughout that experience. 

Likewise, I can find myself being drawn to living in the past.  Sometimes at night I dream about past friendships and experiences.  I love to reminisce and tell stories of our children and family.  I love to think about great times I’ve had with friends camping and backpacking in the high Sierra’s, or to talk about the sights of Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon – or even the sights, sounds and smells of St. Bernard’s Parish in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. 

It is easy to get caught in living either in the future or in the past.  As Walker Percy put it, “To live in the past and future is easy.  To live in the present is like threading a needle.”  I don’t know about you, but at my age and with my vision, threading a needle isn’t the easiest task any more.  It’s a challenge.

Why is living in the present so difficult?  Because we love the escape that living in either the past or future provides.  It’s also why we sit so many hours in front of our television or playing a videogame or attending some form of entertainment.  It seems that we in America can hardly stand to live in the present.  We’re always looking for some manner of escape – either backward, or forward, in time. 

Jesus understood our tendency to worry about today and to try to escape from it.  In Matthew 6:34 (KJV), Jesus said that we should Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Jesus is suggesting to us that we need to stay focused on today – to live in this day, in the present.  One day at a time is all we can handle!

PRAYER:  Jesus, help our minds not to wander from the serious business of living in the present and the challenge of serving You moment by moment.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 4/01/15 – Saints and Sinners

To access the web page version, click:

DayBreaks for 4/01/15: Saints and Sinners

This is from Lenten Reflections, by Fr. Robert Barron:

“Why worry excessively about what came before? Why obsess over your past sins? God is much more interested in your future than in your past. We have a God who “makes all things new.” And in that we find hope.

“It is a sad commentary indeed, but religious people are often tempted to trap others in their past, nail them to the cross of the mistakes they have made, using religion itself to affect this imprisonment. This is as true today as it was in the time of Christ when the mob brought the woman caught in adultery before him.

“In one of the great one-liners of the entire Bible, Jesus disarms them: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Our solidarity in sin ought to awaken in us a greater compassion for one another. At this prompting, they drifted away, one by one until Jesus was left alone with the woman.

“Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.” How rich is that little word, “Go.” Again, what is being emphasized is the future not the past, straining on to what lies ahead, not obsessing with what lies behind.

“Do you feel terribly imprisoned by your past? Perhaps you’ve done something terrible, something awful and shameful and every time you think of it, you cringe. Or perhaps someone has harmed you so severely that you just can’t let go of the hurt and you continue to seethe with resentment. Perhaps you feel that you’ve done something so wrong that not even God can forgive you. You don’t even bother going to confession because you’re just too ashamed, convinced that God wouldn’t forgive you.

“What I want you to know right here and now is that there is a way out, a way forward, a path opening up in the desert.

“You might be miseria (in misery) but standing right in front of you is Misericordia (mercy).”

Galen’s thought: Know this during this Easter week (and always!) – your past does not define you.  What you do with Jesus defines you…and it will define your future.  Easter took care of your past and your future if you accept it!

PRAYER: Thank You for your incredible mercy and for !  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 1/21/15: The Past in the Now and Future

DayBreaks for 01/21/15 – The Past in the Now and Future

 

Believe it or not, it was thirty years ago that the big hit movie, “Back To The Future” was released. It starred Michael J. Fox and in that now classic film, time travel was made possible by a machine called the “flux capacitor.” This machine was “hot-wired” to the hottest car of that time, a stainless steel “DeLorian.” Does you remember the far-distant, fantastic-future-time in which  the traveling lands?

2015. Today. Now. Looking back at the vision the 1985 movie projected, we should feel a bit cheated. Where are the self-lacing sneakers? Where is the floating hover-board skateboard? (Think how easy such a gadget would make it to trim trees or was the top of your car!) Where, most importantly, is my flying car?

The 1985 “Back To The Future” movie was the first of a trilogy. The same storyline continued throughout each movie. The teen hero kept traveling back in time, then forward in time, then back to his present time, then “back to the future,” all in order to keep his life here and now on track. By the time this three-movie series concluded, the “space-time continuum” was a convoluted, mixed-up mess.

The bad news? Well, the 80’s movie-goers got confused. The good news? Living in the past, the present, and the future simultaneously is not just some Hollywood film. Living in the power of the One Who Is, the One Who Was, and the One Who Is To Come is now, has always been, and always will be, the real world experience of the Christian.

Let me invite you to think back for just a moment to see how powerful the past is: how many of you can still taste the sweetness of your grandmother’s home-made cookies? How many of you can still hear the cheers from the crowd in that basketball game you starred in? How many of you can still feel the touch and hear the voice of a parent, sibling, spouse or friend, even though their death occurred decades ago? The past is never “past.” The past is forever present – either empowering or encumbering us as we move into the future. We will not move into that future alone. The past cannot change your future unless you let it. And the present is the time to change!

PRAYER: Provide healing for our past, strength for our present, and hope for our future!  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 05/30/13 – The Here and Now

DayBreaks for 05/30/13 – The Here and Now

_MG_9725NOTE: I am back but weary!  New DayBreaks will resume no later than the first week of June, 2013!  Thanks for your prayers while I was away!!!

Remember the story about Jesus encouraging us to become like little children to be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven?  Here’s a twist on that which I’d not considered before: a little child has no past to speak of, no past with regrets or loaded with guilt.  Little kids seem to have an incredible ability to forget what is in the past, whether it was good or bad, and to be alive for the opportunity of the moment.  As Christians, we need to understand that what we have done in the past is irrelevant to our stance before God right now.

The apostle Paul grasped the full meaning of Jesus’ teaching on becoming like a little child.  Serving as a coat rack during the stoning of Stephen and as a ringleader in the slaughter of Christians, Paul might well have become pathological had he dwelt on his pre-Christian past.  But he writes, ‘All I can say is that I forget the past and strain ahead for what is still to come.’  (Phil. 3:13)

Whatever past achievements might bring us honor, whatever past disgraces might make us blush, all have been crucified with Christ and exist no more except in the deep recesses of eternity, where ‘good is enhanced into glory and evil miraculously established as part of the greater good.’” – The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning

We are faced every moment of our life with a choice: what will I do with God RIGHT NOW?  We can often ignore Him and become wrapped up in our work, play or schooling.  We can decide that we’ll remain hopelessly mired in the past of our failings.  We can live for the future – always thinking and dreaming about how some day it will all be better and our life will finally find meaning and fulfillment.  But if we do that, we will miss the moment and never find fulfillment.  Fulfillment can never be realized in the future – only in the present, and only in the realization that God lives side by side with us in the present moment.

Choose to serve Him at this moment.  Then, if God is gracious to grant you more time, choose to serve and follow Him with each one of the moments with which He blesses you.

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen has started working with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org) and is responsible for raising 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 linke: 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 04/23/13 – Sanctifying the Secular, #2

DayBreaks for 04/23/13 – Sanctifying the Secular, #2

presentNOTE: I am on a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25.  Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence!  Thank you…I cherish your prayers!  You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) until I’ve returned.

#2: Confine Your Interests to the Present Moment

Which of you by worrying about tomorrow…sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  (Matt. 6:27, 34)

From Calvin Miller, The Unchained Soul:

Implicit in the idea of peace is an ability to make peace with the world as it is.  Again the paradox arises.  Aren’t Christians out to change their world?  Doesn’t the world need changing?  Isn’t God’s agenda for the individual or the world an agenda of change?  Yes, yes, yes! But when we become so focused on changing the world that our joy is swallowed up in neurosis…when we focus on how things ought to be, the oughtness can be so consuming it steals our peace…We are uncomfortable with the moment.  We live well for how things ought to be but not so well with how things are. 

“One psychological game that destroys our peace is called: What shall we ever do?  Our unhealthy preoccupation with this question is destructive.  But there is a second question that can prompt an equally desperate game: Why did I ever do what I did?  This game is a game of unrelinquished guilt…Christians are not to work at forgiving their past…we are merely to walk away from it.  We must abandon that past which dogs us with an incriminating sense of failure.  It is futile to try and dredge up what God has dealt with, once and for all, at Calvary.  It is not merely futile, it is sin.  When we are saved, our sins are covered in the deepest part of the sea (Micah 7:19), and God posts a sign that says, ‘No fishing!’  We must forget our past for two reasons:

“First, God has forgiven our past, and we must not hold to what God has forgiven.  Making peace with our past is a simple matter of abandoning what God has already healed.  Opening old wounds, even with the scalpel of Christian psychology, may question the value of Jesus’ scars.

“A second reason: We simply cannot change the past.  The writer of the Rubiyat wrote:

“The Moving Finger writes, and having writ, moves on.  Nor all thy Piety or Wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

“The past is prone to roar against our present peace.  But since we cannot change it, we must dismiss it.  We are to abandon it, leaving its roaring behind us.

Only as we meet and walk with Christ in the present moment can we triumph over the secular and threatening past.  This is true of the future, too.  What we cannot change is best left to our forgetting.  What we have not met we must not seek ahead of time.”

Are you living for the moment – leaving the past abandoned and empty, refusing it to have power over you since Jesus has set you free?  Are you so preoccupied for the future that you aren’t meeting the opportunities and demands of today?  Both are wrong.  We can only work to sanctify the secular world around us by being alert TODAY to every moment and opportunity as they arise.

Carpe diem…in Christ!

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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 has started working with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org) and is responsible for raising 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 linke: 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 03/28/11 – Between What I Was and Will Be

DayBreaks for 03/28/11 – Between What I Was and Will Be

12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

We are being changed...

Do you remember what it was like to be stuck between being a youth and an adult?  You were too old to play with the little kids (and it wouldn’t have been “cool” if you did!)  You were too young to really enjoy the company of the adults who sat around and talked.  You were too old to ride a bike because it made you look like a kid, but you weren’t old enough to drive. Being stuck in the middle can be a tough thing.

The Christian life is like that.  We are “in the world, but not of the world.”  We are living in fleshly bodies that have weaknesses and lusts yet we are “partakers of the divine nature.”  We are dying physically, but we have eternal life even now.  As Emilie Griffin said in her book, Souls In Full Sail: A Christian Spirituality for the Later Years, “I am in between the person I was and the person I have not yet become.”

It is awkward, at best, being stuck between two things.  We long to be rid of the childish things, to “put away” the immature behaviors, yet we are still rebel in childish fashion from time to time.  We have died to the old man – yet we must still put it to death.

When we tend to grow impatient, we need to remember that Christ has “laid hold” of us.  What we reach and grasp for is elusive, but Christ’s grasp is firm and certain.  There is a prize ahead.  Press on towards it!

PRAYER: We grow impatient for what is to come, even while we are tempted by the childish things of our past.  Help us to remain fixed and focused on the prize that calls us onward, and to not lose hope because Christ has laid hold of us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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