DayBreaks for 1/11/18 – Everything Counts All the Time

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DayBreaks for 1/11/18: Everything Counts All the Time

From the DayBreaks archives, January 2008:

Life is chock-full of seemingly innocent little moments of decision.  You’ll make so many decisions today and do so many things that really aren’t very important.  For example: you’ll decide which shirt or dress to wear today – and all things being equal, it really doesn’t matter what you choose.  You’ll decide what to eat (although if you have health problems, that can be important!)  You’ll decide which bank teller to go to, which check-out line at the grocery store.  While we may agonize over which pair of sunglasses make us look the most cool, it’s really nothing more than a trivial decision.  Much of life revolves around trivial things.

But, there are things in life that aren’t trivial at all.  Consider this from the California Southern Baptist (3/2/2000):

“Recently, Dieter Zander, the pastor of the first GenX church in America, spoke at an Evangelism Conference about reaching people in the age of relativism.  He cited a Barna study that asked people to use single words to describe Jesus.  They responded, “wise, accepting, compassionate, gracious, humble.”  Then he asked them to use single words to describe Christians, they said, “critical, exclusive, self-righteous, narrow and repressive.”

“There is a difference between knowing the good news and being the good news, Zander said.  “We are the evidence!  Everything counts—all the time.”

“With previous generations, a strong preacher could give a good message, even if the church was hypocritical and critical and people would still get saved,” Zander continued, “but not anymore.  I’m seeing a change in what seekers are looking for.  Not something they can relate to.  They are looking for a transcendent God.  They don’t want to be entertained they want to be transformed.”

I think Zander had it spot on: “There is a difference between knowing the good news and BEING (emphasis mine, GCD) the good news.”  I realize that in a very real sense, we cannot be the good news.  Jesus came from heaven to give us the good news and be the good news for us!  But, how we act, what we say, even how we think – in a way we can be the good news or the bad news.  Why does the world think of Jesus in such high terms but Christians in such negative ways?  Could it be because we are not being the good news?  Because as the world looks at us, they don’t see Jesus in us at all, but our old sinful, carping and complaining natures? 

Every encounter we have with another human being is loaded with implications for eternity.  Yes – every single one.  What you say, how you act, what we do and even how we think about them matters.  GenX is still seeking a transcendent God, but for them, the proof of His existence is transformed followers of God, people in whom the love of Jesus is perfected by their treatment of others.  It is, after all, what Jesus said would be the one sign of true belief and discipleship.

When you have that casual conversation by the water cooler today – realize it isn’t as casual as it appears.  When you greet the clerk at the grocery store, be the good news personified.  When you come in the door at home at the end of your long and trying day, remember that God expects you to be the good news at home, too.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16 KJV)

PRAYER: Father, thank You for sending Jesus, the best news the world has ever known.  Help us to not only know him, but to live like him so the good news may be alive and strong within us.  Help us to realize that as Your children and ambassadors in this world, that everything we do makes a difference all the time.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

PRAYER: God, I know my own sin is enough to kill all the fish in the sea, yet you promise me you have washed me clean and that I am your child. Help us all to being to grasp that simple, yet profound, truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.


DayBreaks for 10/20/17: Temporary

DayBreaks for 10/20/17: Temporary

“It’s just a temporary condition.  You’ll feel better in a few days.”  Those are comforting words when they come from our doctor or dentist, are they not?  Temporary, meaning that it will not last long.  It’s a passing thing. 

“It’s just a temporary setback.  We’ll get back on track soon.”  Those words are often spoken in the business world or even in a military setting when something bad has happened and we want to put on a good face and try to be encouraging to others who may really be upset and disturbed by the goings-on.  In that case, it’s meant to be a comforting word.

But there are things that we don’t want to be temporary: enjoying beauty, enjoying the love of a spouse, children and grandchildren.  We don’t want the mountain-top experiences of life to be temporary things – like fleeting shadows that are here for a moment or two and then gone.  There’s nothing comforting about hearing that someone’s love for you is temporary.  We want it to be permanent – lasting, a forever-thing. 

Isn’t it strange how we spend so much of our life’s energy chasing after temporary things?  Can you imagine how our lives would be if we spent our time, money, energy and spirits on pursing permanent things?  In his books, When the Game is Over It All Goes Back in the Box, John Ortberg described an incident where a speaker stood in front of a large group of people.  He had a roll of stickers in his hand.  Behind him on the platform were all kinds of objects – tables filled with things from our lives – computers, dollhouses, desks, a Matchbox car, pots and pans, etc.  The speaker began to roam around the stage, placing red stickers on everything.  He explained to the crowd what he was doing: although they couldn’t see it from their vantage point, each sticker had the same word on it: TEMPORARY.  He said, “Everything that I’m putting a sticker on is temporary.  It will not last.  It will fade away.  We invest our emotions in them be3cause when we acquire it, it gives us a little thrill.  And we think the thrill will last.  But it does not.  It fades.  And eventually, so will what we acquire. 

“If you are living for what you see up here, then you are living for what is temporary.  Temporary satisfaction, temporary fulfillment, temporary meaning.  It will come to an end – but you never will.  It will leave you with a terrible emptiness.”

Wouldn’t it be easier to make better decisions in life if the things we pursue in this world all had that red sticker on them to remind us that they are temporary?  I have to think we might make different choices – at least some of the time. 

Later, the speaker did one more thing.  First, he said, “There is only one thing in this room that is not temporary.  There is only one item that you will be allowed to take with you from this life into the next.”  With that, he invited a little girl to join him on the stage, and he put a blue sticker on the collar of her dress.  “When you get to the end of your life and take in your last breath, what do you want your life to have been about.  What will make it rich in the eyes of God?”  The answer was obvious: people. 

Are you wise?  Are you building your life around temporary things or permanent, eternal things?  The next time you’re tempted to invest in something (large or small), try to picture the sticker – is it imprinted with “Temporary” or “Eternal”?

PRAYER:  Give us wisdom to see things as temporary, yet to see the people we encounter every day as eternal.  Please remind us of how we should invest our lives, and what we should invest them in.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 1/14/15: Dining Al-Desko

DayBreaks for 01/14/15 – Dining Al-DeskoOn average, most Americans gained six pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. That, my friends, is the “average.” Some of gained a lot more. Have you noticed how since the holidays ended that nearly every other commercial on TV or banner-ad online is about some kind of weight loss program? We are a nation collectively cringing about our six weeks of binging  and feasting.

But, behold! I bring you good tidings of great joy: don’t feel guilty about it (at least not too much!) Here’s an “indulgence” that may make you feel better for all your indulging. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s we have more face to face meals with families, co-workers, community members, and even strangers, than we do at any other time of the year. We eat together. We join together. We share food and ourselves, together. We party together. We bake together. If that costs us a few extra calories, it is not a bad thing. As J. R. R. Tolkien put it in The Hobbit, “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

You may not have heard of it yet, but one of the newest words in this year’s lexicon is “al-desko.” That term is used for describing a busy office worker who is forced to eat their lunch and/or dinner at their desk. (Yes, I have been dining al-desko for decades!) When we cannot find the time to break away and have a meal with family or friends, we dine “al-desko.” Dining “al-desko” is quite probably a far worse problem than any holiday weight gain. The fact that dining “al-desko” is now an actual definition, reveals a new epidemic, one even worse than the flu.

In Corinthians, when Paul launches into his teaching about rules for what can and can’t be eaten and why, we cringe and shy away from his message because to our ears it sounds like a long lecture on moralism. Paul starts out talking about food rules. Then he shifts over to issues of sexual morality. Here are two things we surely do not want to hear about. But really what Paul is emphasizing to the Corinthians, and to every future generation of Christians, is that what we do with our physical body matters. Matter matters…and even taking time to be with people instead of eating at your desk matters. It may matter far more than you could ever guess because someone’s eternity may depend on the relationship! Let’s not make getting more work done more important than taking the time to build relationships.

PRAYER: Lord, I confess that I have been guilty of this so many times because of an overly developed sense of priority, thinking that getting more work done is more important and building relationship! Forgive me for my insensitivity! 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 09/25/13 – Lazarus at the Gate

DayBreaks for 09/25/13 – Lazarus at the Gate

Luke 16:19-25 (NLT) – Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20  At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21  As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. 22  “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, 23  and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. 24  “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’ 25  “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish.

There is an old story about a botanist who was studying the heather bell plant that is found in the highlands of Scotland.  One day, while looking through his microscope at this beautiful flower, a shepherd approached him and asked what he was looking at.  Rather than trying to explain, the scientist invited the shepherd to look through his microscope and see for himself.  When the shepherd saw the wonder of the flower, he exclaimed, “My God, and I have been tramping on them all my life!”

Is that a word of warning we need?  Wake up!  Pay attention!  Look around you.  You may be tramping on the heart of someone nearby.

Who is the Lazarus at your gate?

PRAYER: Every day we pass by such beauty that is concealed in the people we see – and we miss it!  Help us, Lord, not to trample on people!  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:  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 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!