DayBreaks for 7/26/16 – Laughing All the Way Home

DayBreaks for 7/26/16 – Laughing All the Way Home

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2006:

You probably remember as I do the story of the Five Little Pigs.  Yep that’s right, not the Three Little Pigs, but the game that you played with your children’s toes when they were just wee things.  Do you remember?  “This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had none, but this little piggy, THIS little piggy went “Whee-whee-whee” all the say home!”

I don’t think I’ll ever forget how much my little girl enjoyed that every night at bedtime.  Of course, as I went through the story, I’d grab one of her teensy-weensy little toes between my fingers and begin to recite the tale.  And when I got to the last one, well, I’d shake her foot and talk in funny voices, and be very, very happy and she’d crack up laughing.  Such memories!!! 

The last little piggy had it made.  It wasn’t worried about shopping, it wasn’t agoraphobic, it didn’t worry about whether or not to eat beef, it wasn’t in want – in fact, it celebrated!  “Whee!  Whee!  Whee!”  What’s not to envy?

At a recent conference, Tony Campolo asked a very penetrating question that reminded me a bit of this old game.  It goes like this: “When you were born, you were the only one who cried and everybody else laughed with joy.  But that’s not important.  What’s important is when you die – will you be the only one that’s happy and everyone else crying?”

I suppose that the best alternative of all is that when I die, I’ll be laughing and going “Whee!  Whee!  Whee!” all the way home, just like that little piggy.  And I hope that I will have lived in such a way that those who knew me, and especially my family and dearest friends, will not be crying, but that they, too, will be happy for me.  

The key of course, when we die, is whether we will be happy with the destination towards which we go, or whether we will be crying still – even as we did when we entered into this world.  It seems strange that we celebrate a birth and mourn a death of those who are born again.  I plan to rejoice (by God’s grace and mercy alone!) when I leave this place behind.  I hope and pray that you will leave this world crying “Whee!  Whee!  Whee!  All the way home!”

PRAYER:  What power You have, God, that allows us to laugh in the clenches of death!  The resurrection of Your Son was the laughter that echoed through the vaults of heaven and which escorted Him back to Your right hand – at home.  Help us to live so that not only we, but our loved ones, may rejoice when we go home!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 3/05/15 – No Difference

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DayBreaks for 3/05/15: No Difference    

 

NOTE: This week DayBreaks are from the archive as Galen is out of the country.  He will respond to messages after he returns. 

DALLAS – “Some people love their pets so much that one is just not enough. That’s why one woman from North Texas spent $50,000 dollars to have her kitty cloned. Julie stored Nicky the cat’s tissue in the California based Genetic Savings & Clone until the firm offered clients the chance to reproduce their pets. This month, she became the first owner of a commercially cloned feline. Dubbed Little Nicky, the cloned cat was presented to Julie earlier this month, and the proud owner couldn’t be happier. ‘I see absolutely no differences between Little Nicky and Nicky,’ Julie told the company.”

Regardless of your position on the emerging technology of cloning, this is an interesting story.  As much as we love our pets, spending that kind of money to have another version of a pet cloned is, well, ridiculous.  I don’t know if Julie has enough experience at this point in time to really know if her cat is just like Nicky or not.  At least at the time the report was printed, she felt they were identical.  And theoretically, they should be – provided everything worked perfectly.  But as we all know, things don’t work perfectly.  My guess is that as time passes, she’ll begin to discover differences between Nicky and Little Nicky. 

I have to wonder, though, how God feels about us.  The “old” us, the “old man” or “nature” as Scripture puts it, must die.  And, a new person is to be born.  But it is not supposed to be the same person as before – a cloned image.  No, we are to be much more like the caterpillar and butterfly, not a cloned cat.  What a tragedy if God, and those who know us, look at us and compare our lives before we were Christians with what we are now and said, “I see absolutely no differences between pre-Christian Galen and post-Christian Galen.”  Why would that be such a tragedy?  Several reasons:

  1. The amount that God invested to transform us was heavenly-high, and it would be a great shame if we waste such a great ransom;
  2. What we were before really isn’t very attractive or lovely – at least not it God’s eyes. Our old friends and associates may think that our former lifestyle was desirable and great and that our new lifestyle is dull and boring. But they miss the truth: the old life was not satisfying, it held no lasting joy, and it is filled with emptiness, guilt and shame. 
  3. If all we are is a clone of what we were before, it means we will die again. But when we are “reborn” through the power of the Spirit by the blood of Jesus, we “have eternal life” as John instructs us. We are not a clone – we are a brand new original, destined to live for eternity. 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a clone of what I was before.  How about you?

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

PRAYER: I’m tired of the old me, Lord.  May the new me be fully born and alive through Your Spirit!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 01/23/12 – Where’s the Difference?

DayBreaks for 01/23/12 – Where’s the Difference?

“Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” 4 Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— 5 the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. 6 And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.’”-  Matthew 11:3-6

This is one of the most perplexing passages in Scripture.  Jesus will go on just a bit later in the discussion to say that no man ever born of woman was greater than John, yet here is John in prison, sending his disciples to Jesus to ask him if he’s really the Messiah.  This is the same John who had seen the dove descend on Jesus at his baptism and heard the voice of God proclaim Jesus was His Son.  This is the same John who said of Jesus, “He must increase, I must decrease” and “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the world’s sin!”  It is comforting to know that even the greatest man born of woman had questions and doubts at times.  But that’s not the point I want to consider today.

Jesus didn’t directly answer the question, but pointed the questioners to what they’d seen: the miracle, the blind who could now see, the lame who could now walk, lepers healed, hearing restored – and even the dead raised to life.  Had those present seen the dead who Jesus had raised?  I don’t know.  Jesus seems to imply that they had.  But then I got to thinking, perhaps Jesus was referring not to the physically raised, perhaps he was referring to the people who had been spiritually dead who had found new life – such as the immoral woman who washed Jesus feet, even those who were part of the crowd who had been dead, but found in Jesus new life.

I started to ponder my life.  As Christians, we have been born again.  Our old man is dead, the new life has come.  But if questioners were to look at me, would they see someone who is truly alive, vibrantly alive?  Is not the Christian experience supposed to be life from the dead?  “We were dead in our trespasses and sins” Paul wrote.  But we’re now alive in Christ Jesus!

Has anybody noticed it in you?

PRAYER: Let your life be brilliantly visible in me, may I give witness to the new life I have in Your Son, and may people wonder at how the dead can live again!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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