DayBreaks for 3/5/19 – Ready Every Day

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DayBreaks for 3/05/19: Ready Every Day

From the DayBreaks archive February 2009:

Robby Robins was an Air Force pilot during the first Iraq war. After his 300th mission, he was surprised to be given permission to immediately pull his crew together and fly his plane home. They flew across the ocean to Massachusetts and then had a long drive to western Pennsylvania. They drove all night, and when his buddies dropped him off at his driveway just after sun-up, there was a big banner across the garage—”Welcome Home Dad!”

How did they know? No one had called, and the crew themselves hadn’t expected to leave so quickly. Robins relates, “When I walked into the house, the kids, about half dressed for school, screamed, ‘Daddy!’ Susan came running down the hall—she looked terrific—hair fixed, make-up on, and a crisp yellow dress. ‘How did you know?’ I asked.

‘I didn’t,’ she answered through tears of joy. ‘Once we knew the war was over, we knew you’d be home one of these days. We knew you’d try to surprise us, so we were ready every day.'”

In Matthew 25 is the parable of the wise and foolish virgins who were invited to the wedding feast.  The wise virgins had enough oil to keep their lamps burning and were ready and waiting when the bridegroom showed up at the feast.  The foolish virgins had not exercised the foresight to prepare themselves so they were not ready when the bridegroom arrived. 

We need to be ready every day for a variety of things:

FIRST: we need to be ready for the arrival of the bridegroom.  It could be today that Jesus gets the word from the Father: “It’s time.  Go back and bring My children home!”  If that day is today, there is absolutely nothing that will stop it from taking place.  No one knows the day, except the Father.  Hence the need to always be ready!

SECOND: we need to be ready to die.  Jesus may or may not come today…and we may or may not live to see tomorrow.  It sounds trite to say it, but it is true.  Just recently in our town, a 19 year old boy from a nearby town came here for the yearly Citrus Fair.  He was hit by a car and killed.  I know he wasn’t expecting it, I can only hope and pray that he was ready.

THIRD: there are opportunities that only come up once in a while and we need to be ready to grasp the opportunities to show the love of Jesus each day even as he demonstrates his love to us daily.  Make it a point, right now, to love someone today in a practical way.  You might not have the chance again tomorrow.

Prayer: Help us to be watchful, Lord, and ready, for Your return, for our own death, and for the chances that come our way to love others in Your name!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

DayBreaks for 12/9/16 – Make Way

DayBreaks for 12/09/16: Make Way

Can you imagine complete silence? It’s hard to in our culture today, isn’t it? We have televisions, radios, cell phones, etc. that are constantly blaring at us, demanding our attention. It used to be that we might listen to an album on a cassette tape or CD, but now you can stream music endlessly with a break! It’s hard to imagine complete silence for even a minute, let alone an hour. But try 400 years?!?!?! 

When John showed up on the scene, a silence of 400 years is broken. Don’t misunderstand me, not everyone was silent during this period. Women and men were talking, boys and girls were talking, animals were making their sounds, but for 400 years there was no prophet speaking the Word of the LORD. No one was truthfully saying, Thus says the LORD…

In reality two silences are broken when John began to preach and Jesus came to him at the Jordan to be baptized. One was the 400 year period without a prophetic Word from God and the other was a gap of approximately 30 years in the life of Jesus. Matthew skips directly from his birth and infancy narrative to an event that occurs approximately 30 years later. Both of those silences, however, were broken by the sound of John’s voice.

John the Baptist could rightly be called the last of the Old Testament Prophets. He is functioning as a Herald by announcing the coming of the King. In the ancient world, a herald was one who went ahead of a king’s chariot to prepare the road. He would command a crew which would smooth out the usually rough roads of that day by filling potholes and removing boulders. The herald would also go before the king shouting, “Make way, the King is coming!”

We now have less than 3 weeks until Christmas. What are the potholes and empty places in your life that need to be filled this year? What boulders are blocking your progress toward God that need to be shoved to the side? Are you ready to dig in and prepare the way for your King to come?

PRAYER: Lord, preparation is not fun – it is hard work. Often we think that we can just let the joy of the season come to us and we forget that the real challenge before us isn’t to be filled with joy per se, but to be ready for your arrival at each moment of each day in our hearts. Help us to fill the potholes and move the boulders out of the way so you can come into our lives and hearts more fully this year. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 11/23/16 – The Necessary Arrangements

DayBreaks for 11/23/16: The Necessary Arrangements

There is an Italian legend about a master and servant.

It seems the servant was not very smart and the master used to get very exasperated with him. Finally, one day, in a fit of temper, the master said: “You really are the stupidest man I know. Here, I want you to carry this staff wherever you go. And if you ever meet a person stupider than yourself, give them this staff.”

So time went by, and often in the marketplace the servant would encounter some pretty stupid people, but he never found someone appropriate for the staff. Years later, he returned to his master’s home. He was shown into his master’s bedroom, for the man was quite sick and in bed. In the course of their conversation the master said: “I’m going on a journey soon.”

“When will you return?”, asked the servant.

“This is a journey from which I will not return.” the master replied.

The servant asked: “Have you made all the necessary arrangements?”

“No, I guess I have not.”

“Well, could you have made all the arrangements?”

“Oh yes, I guess I’ve had time. I’ve had all my life. But I’ve been busy with other things…”

With that, the servant took the staff the master had given him years earlier and placed it beside the bed of the master. “Sir, he said, I have finally found someone more deserving of this staff than I.”

The moral of the story is quite obvious, isn’t it? But what isn’t so obvious to us is the extent to which we are like the master in this story. Perhaps for years you have made fun of those who clung to faith, thinking that they were stupid, foolish, superstitious and ignorant. The other thing which isn’t so obvious to us is how entrapped we have become in the pursuit of other things, those things which kept our hearts and minds from the ultimate question that we will face on our death bed. How tragic it would be to find ourselves in that position and not have made “the arrangements” necessary for the trip into eternity.

How are your preparations coming?

PRAYER: Lord, our enemy tries to keep us blinded and oblivious to the ultimate realities in life. He tries to keep us too busy to think about such things. Wake us up, Jesus, so that we and our loved ones can make the necessary arrangements so that when we are on our deathbed, we will have the confidence that comes from a relationship with You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 6/22/16 – The Appointed Hour

DayBreaks for 6/22/16 – The Appointed Hour

From the DayBreaks archive, June 2006:

A former Navy man told this story:

“Most Friday nights at the Naval Station in Bermuda, we would assemble at the officer’s club after work.  One Friday, Rick, a newly married ensign, insisted he had to leave at 6 p.m.  We all tried to talk him into staying, but he’d promised his bride he’d be home by six.  I offered to call home for Rick.

“When his wife answered the phone, I said, “Rick has been kidnapped.  Put five dollars in small, unmarked bills in a plain brown bag and throw it in the door of the officer’s club.”  I then hung up.

“A short time later, a waiter brought a grocery bag to our table.  In it were Rick’s baseball glove, a tennis racket and a teddy bear.  Attached to the bear was a note: ‘Rick can play kidnapped until 7 p.m.  Then he must come home.’”

I have to admit, I like the ingenuity of Rick’s wife.  She sounds delightful!

I also thought about the story of Hezekiah – who had an appointment with God to “come home.”  But after prayer, God granted him more time.  There was still a “coming home” time that was set and which needed to be followed, but God was gracious.

Whether we like to think about it or not, we all have an appointed rendezvous with God.  When that time comes, like Rick, we “must come home.”  I’m sure that Rick thought about it as the time approached. 

How much are you and I thinking about our going home? 

PRAYER:  Thank you for the very gift of life.  Thank you for the length of our days – however long or short that number may be.  Help us live this day in the light of eternity, and help us to be ready to come home at our appointed hour.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 9/10/15 – Waiting for Our Room

DayBreaks for 9/10/15: Waiting for Our Room

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

“At the walk-in clinic I approached the reception area.  With nobody ahead of me, the medical technician at the front desk listened immediately as I explained I was there to have my purple ankle looked at.  (It had been injured 5 days earlier in a racing incident at the speedway.) After taking my name and my personal information, the lady looked at me and said, ‘As soon as I have a room, I will call you by name.’ 

“As I limped to sit alone in the waiting area, those words echoed in my mind with a reverberation of eternal dimension.  ‘As soon as I have a room, I will call you by name.’  It’s what all of us who are waiting for Jesus to come back have been told.  He said to his disciples, ‘In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.’ (John 14:2&3)  This is the hope of all who have put their trust in Jesus alone.  In the pain of this life and the sorrow of this world we are waiting for Jesus to come back for us.  When our place is ready, He will come for us and (in the twinkling of an eye) finish making us ready for His place.

“But make no mistake!  We are not waiting alone.  Later in John 14, right after telling His disciples that He was leaving, Jesus promised that they (and we) would not be left alone.  In our Saviour’s place, the Holy Spirit would be given to wait along with us.  While we wait (a waiting that is not sitting around doing nothing) God’s Spirit lives in us and teaches us about sin, righteousness, and gives us all what Jesus wants us to have from Him.  Even while we are still broken, God has an incredible and blessed life for us to live.

“In a world that many see void of God, God calls us to live a life full of Him – while we are waiting for our room.”  – Pastor Tim Davis, Copyright 2005

GALEN’S THOUGHTS: I’ve traveled quite a lot with some of my past employment.  I know well the feeling of being bone-weary and bleary-eyed.  Sometimes, when I was really fortunate, I may have arrived a bit early for check-in.  When I would ask if the room was ready yet, there was a part of me that held my breath, hoping against hope, that I could get to the room, kick off my shoes, buy a Dr. Pepper and start downloading my work email.  Sometimes the room was ready – but there were times when it wasn’t, and I had to wait. 

Oh, waiting.  It can be incredibly hard.  Waiting is a pox!  Yet, waiting is also something that produces character in us.  It’s like they said about suffering and tragedy: they don’t really produce character in you, but they reveal the character that is in you.  Waiting does that, too.  It shows what we’re made of.  And the fact that we may long for heaven for the “room” to be finished so we can be invited in may seem grievous, it is also a sign of what kind of character we have and a measure of our faith.  Do you long for your “room” to be finished so you can move in? 

The time is coming when the room will be ready for you.  Will you be ready for it?

PRAYER: Prepare us, Jesus! Help us bide our time here in preparation for eternity! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 5/15/15 – Continuing to Water the Garden

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DayBreaks for 5/15/15: Continuing to Water the Garden

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

I suppose it is human nature to want to know when things we look forward to (or dread) will happen.  For the person on death row, it’s called a death watch – once the dreaded date has been set and the sand runs through the hourglass.  To the expectant mother, the feeling is one of anticipation and excitement.  To the teen, it’s turning 16 and being able to drive a car.  “Anticipation,” Carly Simon sang, “is making me wait.”

The disciples naturally were curious about the timing of things Jesus spoke about.  Especially when it came to apocalyptic types of things.  They wanted to know because, well, inquiring minds want to know!  They may have figured that it might help them be better prepared if they knew.  And therein is the rub, is it not?  What does that imply?  That if they knew, they could put on a last-ditch effort at holiness and preparedness to be as sure as they could that they were ready.

Jesus would have none of it.  He dismissed their questions as foolish speculation, and said that he didn’t know the answer either.  Humanly speaking, I can see where it might be advantageous to know the exact date and time.  I can guarantee that many would try to “clean up” their act the day before.  But God’s wisdom works so much differently than ours.  Jesus tried to redirect his followers interest from the date/time of when it would happen, to the question of readiness.  God seems to say that it’s wise to NOT know – because that should encourage us to be ready at any and all times.

A Hasidic rabbi who was interrupted by one of his followers while he was tending his garden, was asked: “What would you do, rabbi, if you knew the Messiah was coming today?”  Stroking his beard and pursing his lips, the rabbi replied, “Well, I would continue to water my garden.”

God has placed each of us in the middle of a garden of souls, our own included.  Our job is to tend the garden, not worry about when the landowner will return.  Tend to your own soul and your readiness for that day.  Tend to your friends and neighbors and family’s soul.  Help them be ready. 

May we all live in such a way that if we DID know He was returning today, that’d we’d continue on as if nothing special would happen this day. 

Matt 24:3 – As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?

1 John 2:28 – And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

Copyright by 2005 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Jesus, we need you to give us the gift of discerning how we should live and not to entertain ourselves with irrelevant questions! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 10/27/14 – God and Lemonade Stands

DayBreaks for 10/27/14 – God and Lemonade Stands

 

2 Timothy 2:21 (NLT) –  If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.

This was part of our Sunday worship bulletin yesterday and I thought it worth a share.  Sorry, I don’t know the author.

“On Sunday, a month or so ago, we showed a wonderful video about two little girls setting up a lemonade stand and cookie stand to raise money for charity.  What a sweet word picture ad call to be active in ministry it is!

“As I watched it, I reflected on my experiences with lemonade stands. Of course, as a kid I had one.  I assume most kids do, so you may be able to relate to preparing the lemonade, finding cups, making a sign, getting a “table” and figuring out how to make change for a dollar.  Therein lies the issue – money, dollars and bills.  You see, as I watched the video, I recalled the many times in recent years that I have driven past lemonade stands, not because I did not want to support kids making money for themselves or charity.  I drove past simply because I did not have any money with me.  Rarely do I carry cash.  I am like many people, using my debit card or credit card (paying it off at the end of the month), with no cash.

“I figured it out.  Those young entrepreneurs need to get with the times and put up a sign that says, ‘Credit and debit cards are accepted!’  They need one of those portable credit/debit card readers. If they did that, I would stop, and I might even top it up to $5 as the minimum.  Capitalism would be at work again.

“Do you know what the problem with that is?  Capitalism may be at work, but the gospel is not.  I can say all I want, ‘If they would just do x and y and z, then I would do b and d and q!’  The gospel does not work that way.  I need to be prepared when I leave home to bless those I come in contact with.  It is not their fault.  It is my lack of preparedness.  As opposed to driving by every lemonade stand for the next ten years, I can go to the bank get 20 one dollar bills out and keep them in my car.  When I see a lemonade stand, I can stop and bless those who are trying to make a difference, even if they don’t have a card reader.  It’s simple.

God has more for me, more for us here than lemonade.  There are other times in the day I say to myself, ‘If they would just do z, then I would…’  There is no need for that kind of self-talk.  I need to say, ‘How can I be prepared to bless them where they are with what they have?’  That is the language of the gospel.  The gospel is the work of Jesus Christ incarnate, blessing us where we are.  He came to earth, when we did not have a card reader. He came, and He lives a perfect life, died a brutal death and was resurrected from the dead.  This was all at no cost to us and we are called to live as His ambassadors.

“Can we ask you to recall the stand today and think about how the Lord might be asking you to give freely to those around in word, deed, service speech and even money?  Along the way, you’ll enjoy the lemonade!”

PRAYER: Lord, I am quick at times to make excuses for why I cannot help or give.  Help prepare not just my heart, but my hands to be quick to recognize and respond to opportunities to bless generously in whatever way I can.  Jesus, help us live life abundantly in You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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