DayBreaks for 6/05/15 – Lessons Birds Taught My Wife, #2

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DayBreaks for 6/05/15: Lessons Birds Taught My Wife, #2

Zechariah 2:10 (ESV) – Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the LORD.

“Sing loud, sing often, and reply when others sing to you”.  Birdsong is glorious, especially where we live in the South. The weather is temperate and there are lots of trees and forested areas which make great bird habitats.  Bird songs are a constant background to our home life and she is trying to learn to identify the birds by their sounds.

Birds must be very social, in general. It’s obvious, when you listen, that different species repeat back their calls when they are in hearing distance of each other. They also call to each other. In case you think I’m being anthropomorphic, this subject been studied. It seems like birds must sing because they are joyful, but that’s not always the case. Birds also call out warnings to other birds when predators are near. There is a documented “early warning system”, in which calls were passed from birds to other birds in a forest at more than 100 miles per hour. These calls “ripple ahead of a predator minutes before it flew overhead, giving prey time to hide.” The other thing that is interesting is that while raptors can hear well at low frequencies, smaller birds call to each other at higher frequencies, which must make their warnings hard for the predator birds to hear. I find this amazing; the intricate way that God helps littler creatures protect themselves from those who would harm them.

Do we “sing” to each other enough? Do we spread our joy around for all to hear and rejoice in? Do we spread our warnings around also? Or do we keep ourselves to ourselves and not communicate?

On another note (no pun intended!), when birds hear the early warning system, they are smart enough to seek safety. When the Spirit gives us warnings either though the Word or inner promptings, are we smart enough to trust what we’re hearing? When God’s Spirit warns us against certain types of behavior – but we ignore it – what does that say about us?  Those warnings are put into the Word not because God is a cosmic kill-joy, but because He knows better than we what is good and what/who is out to kill us. We would do well to pay attention!

URL of the bird song article in the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/19/science/decoding-the-cacophony-of-birds-warning-calls.html?_r=0

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for all we can look forward to at the end of life, and the end of time!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/06/12 – One Day

DayBreaks for 12/06/12 – One Day

Heaven_and_earth“And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing your praise unending
10,000 years and then forever more!
Bless the lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship his holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name.”  10,000 Reasons – Matt Redman

These are the words to the last verse and chorus of Matt Redman’s song, 10,000 Reasons.  I don’t know if there has been a song in my entire lifetime that has touched me as deeply and as often as this song has over the past two years.

My wife and I have been through a difficult past year.  It hasn’t been easy.  There were plenty of times when the darkness seemed to be settled in forever and it seemed that things were not going to work out.  But, as always seems to be the case, they did and have.

But as I listened to this song again twice today, I was moved by the image of the moment of death and of waking up singing an unending song of praise for “…ten thousand years and then forever more.”

Perhaps you already start each of your days with praise (I have this song on my cell phone as my wake-up alarm, by the way!)  Praise is a great way to start the day, isn’t it?  But you know, you just know before your first foot hits the floor that it won’t be long until the first issue of the day arises.  Until the first complaint leaves your mouth.  Until the first bad attitude creeps in.  Before the first unkind word is spoken.  Before the cares, worries and problems of your day start to take control and the praise fades into a muffled background at best.

Now, for even just a few moments, I want you to think about something else.  I want you to picture what it will be like some day to wake up and not have a single issue with which to contend.  To not have a single complaint leave your lips – or even any reason to complain.  To spend an unending day and never have or experience from others a bad attitude.  To never hear an unkind word.  To never have a relationship problem.  To never fail,  To never again have a self-image issue.

We think of the great promises of The Revelation: that death and dying will be no more, nor will there be any more tears.  But how often do we think about all the myriad hundreds and thousands of little things that niggle and nag at us as we pass from our unconscious sleep until we fall into unconscious sleep again?  Not only no death, but not a single ache.  Not only no death, but no fear of death or cancer or heart disease or Alzheimer’s.  Never to have a problem….period.  Never to have a want that is unsatisfied.  Never to long for something newer or better – for there will be no such thing as “better” than what we’ll have on that eternal day.  We will live in an eternal “best”.  One day.

It’s coming.

PRAYER:  How I long for that “one day”, Lord!  For that day of unending songs of praise, for that day that will last 10,000 years and then…forevermore!  Thank you for the hope, the assurance, of that one day!  Maranatha, Lord Jesus!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 11/07/12 – Let the Chorus Rise

DayBreaks for 11/07/12 – Let the Chorus Rise

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…
Luke 1:46-47 (NIV)

It is a song of rejoicing, this torrent of words that flows from the heart and lips of Mary after she arrives at the home of her cousin, Elizabeth.

At first glance, one might wonder why Mary would rejoice at all.  She was a pregnant, unwed Jewish girl in a time and place where such a condition brought the type of shame that our culture can’t even imagine.  She had come to stay with Elizabeth for three months during the middle of her pregnancy.  Why?  I don’t really know, but I would imagine that it might have had something to do with being away from her own village where people knew her and would castigate her visually and verbally for being “with child” but unmarried.  At least in Elizabeth’s home, she had walls to protect her from anyone’s prying eyes.  As a stranger, she would probably pass unnoticed by most, or they would assume she was married and just staying with a relative for a while before the birth of the baby.

I know if I’d been in her shoes (or sandals), I would have sought out a place where I could have hidden for a while.  Sure, eventually she would have to return home to the stares and recriminations again, but at least she found some measure of peace for three months.

But what is amazing is the words that escape from her overflowing heart.  Note the reasons she gives for this outpouring of praise:

God has taken notice of her (and not in the way her human neighbors had);

He is holy (and yet He has shown her, a sinful mortal, favor);

He shows mercy (when all around her were judging and throwing thunderbolts in her direction);

He is strong and has done great deeds (though she is weak and unable to defend herself);

He exalts the lowly and humbles the mighty (it was not to Caesar’s wife that the Messiah was entrusted);

He gives the poor good things (what greater gift than to bear the Savior of the world?);

He has helped His people and is merciful toward them (unlike those who turned their backs on Mary);He has made great promises and will keep them (unlike those who should love but turn away when embarrassed by our failures).

As I write this, it is impossible to know the outcomes of the elections.  It is impossible for me to know the trajectory of the next four years.  But this much is clear and in this I find great comfort and peace: all the things for which Mary praised God are still true today and will be true tomorrow and the day after…ad infinitum.

My heart today can sing the same song: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”  Join the chorus, too, will you?

PRAYER: You are our Lord, our God, our Savior, Redeemer and Friend!  There is nothing for us to fear or dread!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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