DayBreaks for 8/25/17 – Where Are My Keys?

DayBreaks for 8/25/17: Where Are My Keys?

Do you struggle to remember where you put your keys? Or glasses? Wallet or purse? Have you drive away from home and you just can’t remember if you locked the door, turned off the stove or shut the garage door? I have.

We struggle to remember things, don’t we? How long has it been since you brought to mind this past Easter and the power of that week for believers? I bet you’ve not given in much thought since it happened, have you? I haven’t. The busyness of life makes it hard to recall such things.

So, how can we remember “the week that was” and other such things? Wouldn’t it be great if we could live the power of that week all year long?

Maybe we can. Recall that on Palm Sunday Jesus came to town as King. He will do that again, you know. On Thursday, we recall the table and encourages us to love others as he has loved us. Friday is the day that we were freed from our debt. Sunday death was conquered and our own resurrection guaranteed. Now aren’t those things worth remembering all year, all life long?

So, how can we do that when we can’t even remember our keys?!!! It may be easier than you think. How about this: you have a phone with a calendar that has appointment and reminder capabilities. It’s great to use it to remember business meetings, calls, kid’s activities, etc., but we can put it to much greater use. The phone calendar wasn’t created just for the mundane. It is a gift from God to help us mark our days!

How about trying this:

THURSDAY: set a weekly recurring reminder for 10 minutes to ask yourself and the Spirit to reveal to you how well you’ve been doing in loving others and washing their feet?

FRIDAY: set a weekly recurring reminder for a 5 minute prayer time to celebrate your freedom from the debt of sin and the price that was paid so you could be free…forever.

SATURDAY: set a weekly recurring reminder for a 5-minute prayer time to pray for his return because you long for his kingdom to rule on earth even as it is in heaven.

SUNDAY: besides going to church (which should be a given), set an appointment for 30 minutes to recall his resurrection and coming return so you can recalibrate your soul for the coming week. It’ll help you remember what’s truly important.

You see, we can remember the “week that was” if we want to. We can make it part of our life’s rhythm. Let’s take the calendar on our phones captive and use them to look back, look ahead, and look within.

PRAYER: How quickly we forget about what really matters, Lord. Help us remember that all things were created by and for you (Col. 1:16), even calendars on phones. Help us put such seemingly mundane things to uses that are worthy of your name! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 6/08/17 – Non-remembrance of Things Suffered

DayBreaks for 6/08/17: Non-Remembrance of Things Suffered

From the DayBreaks archives, June 2007:

We wrestle with various problems related to forgiveness.  The willingness to forgive is the first one.  Sure, we know what Scripture says about forgiveness: that we must forgive because we’ve been forgiven, that our forgiveness is to be “70 x 7” (meaning without number).  Yet we hold our hurts close to our hearts, cooing over them, turning them first one way and then another to dissect the wound from every possible direction – while all the time letting the pain build and fester like a pus-filled wound.  We actually nurture our hurts when we do this.

But inevitably, when you get right down to it, we all know we are supposed to forgive.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve had Christians say to me, “I know I have to forgive them,” (strange how that’s always still in the future tense, isn’t it?) “but that doesn’t mean I have to forget about it!”  I think they’re wrong.  Seriously wrong. 

I understand that as humans, God didn’t seem to give us the ability to literally block out a part of our brain and the memories it contains.  (Although, I’m not sure about that – repressed memory seems to be possible, indicating that it is a capability that does exists at least to some extent in the human brain.)  Scripture says that when God forgives, He forgets and will not hold those things against us any more, than He throws our sin into the deepest sea.  To the Jewish mind, that meant that they literally became invisible, for in that day and age, no one could travel to the bottom of the sea to see what lay there. 

Miroslav Volf, a brilliant Christian philosopher and theologian, was driven from his former home in Croatia (the former Yugoslavia) some time back after being arrested for being a Christian under the hostile regime that was there at the time.  He witnessed and suffered horrible things.  He is now the director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.  He is a man who knows a lot about wrongs suffered and how to deal with them.  Here’s what he wrote in his book, The End of Memory: “But that is exactly what forgiveness does! For herein lies the essence of Christian forgiveness: On account of his divinity, Christ could and did shoulder the consequences of human sin; so the penalty for wrongdoing can be detached from wrongdoers. And since on account of his humanity Christ could and did die on behalf of sinners, they, in effect, died when he died; so guilt can be detached from wrongdoers. When we forgive those who have wronged us, we make our own God’s miracle of forgiveness. Echoing God’s unfathomable graciousness, we decouple the deed from the doer, the offense from the offender. We blot out the offense so it no longer mars the offender. That is why the non-remembrance of wrongs suffered appropriately crowns forgiveness.”

He continues with this line of thinking: “When can we forget the wrongs committed against us?  In a sense, forgetting is given to us as the gift of a healed relationship.  It’s a gift of the new world, which God gives us.  Then we can not remember.  And then our experience is like a person who is sitting in a concert hall and listening to a wonderful piece of music.  Even though just two hours ago she was experiencing hell at her job, she’s taken up into that music.  It’s not that she tried to forget so that she could be in the music; it’s that the music took her out of the remembrance of the past.  God gives us the gift of a healed self, healed relationships, and a reconstituted world, and then we can not remember.”

I pray that we will learn to let the music of the concert of God’s love and forgiveness create that new world in our hearts so that we can no longer remember that which we’ve forgiven and endured.

PRAYER: Father, cleanse our hearts from the hurts we harbor, the forgiveness we fail to extend, the pain we refuse to release.  Instead, fill them with the music of Divinity on high that echoes the very forgiveness and forgetting that characterizes Your own heart.    In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 10/06/14 – What to Remember When We’ve Blown It (Again!)

DayBreaks for 10/06/14 – What to Remember When We’ve Blown It (Again!)

1 John 1:9 (NLT)  But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Do you ever get so frustrated with you sinfulness that you are tempted to just give up, to think that there is no reason for you to continue to even try to be obedience and faithful any longer because yours has become a useless case? That you are a sinner beyond the reach of any hope?

Everyone I know who has ever tried to live the Christian life has felt that way at some point or another in their Christian walk.  I know that I have.  I’m willing to bet you have, too.

It is not a pleasant place to find oneself.  We believe in a forgiving God, but we put limits on Him, based on our experience with other humans (who all have limits).  We forget that God is not like us.

This Sunday morning during worship, I heard something that I think may be of profound benefit to us all when we are tempted to think that either we have finally done something to great that we cannot be forgiven, or that we have done something so many times that we have finally crossed the line in the sand of God’s forgiveness.

May I suggest that this is nothing more than a sense of idolatry?  When we feel that way, we are making our weakness and sinfulness greater than God, as if we’ve finally done something bigger than God’s ability to deal with.

Here’s what I heard and I want to share with you today: When we are struggling with our sinfulness we need to be reminded Who He Is and not what we are.  Our acceptance doesn’t depend on us pleasing Him, but on the fact that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross pleased Him.

Next time that you are feeling hopeless because of your sin, stopping thinking so much about your sin and how vast it may be….and remind yourself of who He is.  And your sin, though serious, will be so small in comparison that you may find comfort for your soul.

Isaiah 1:18 (NLT)  “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

PRAYER: Eternal praises to the One who is greater than all our sinfulness and whose love and forgiveness are beyond measure!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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DayBreaks for 07/10/12 – A Kindness Returned

DayBreaks for 07/10/12 – A Kindness Returned

1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NLT) – See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.

Shortly after the tragedy of 9/11, a wonderful story of giving was reported by Page Ivey of The Associated Press. It emerged from a school-house in Columbia, South Carolina.

First you have to have some historical perspective. Two years after the Civil War, with much of Columbia still in ruins, some of the bitterness over the North-South conflict was put aside by a single gesture: New York firefighters set out to collect pennies to buy Columbia a fire truck.

On February 17, 1865, a devastating blaze…had devoured over 36 blocks, or about one-third of the city. Columbia had lost most of its firefighting equipment during the Civil War and desperately used bucket brigades in their attempt to douse flames.

Not long after, New York City firemen, many of them former Union soldiers, raised $5,000—mostly in pennies—and put a hose-reel wagon on a steamship bound for Columbia, South Carolina. It was March of 1867. On the way, the ship sank, but instead of giving up, they took up another collection and sent a second hose-reel wagon in June of that same year.

So overwhelmed was former Confederate Colonel Samuel Melton that he made a promise on behalf of South Carolina’s capital city to return the kindness “should misfortune ever befall the Empire City.”

After 9/11, White Knoll principal Nancy Turner and her teachers were trying to find some tangible way their students could respond to the attacks. The children were too young to give blood, and no one liked the idea of simply sending money to an impersonal national fund. Eventually the decision was made to collect money to buy a fire truck.

Then Turner stumbled on records of New York’s long-ago gift while researching the cost and what type of truck to buy. It was easy to get city leaders and the state governor, Jim Hodges, to join in. Columbia’s fire chief was a New York native. The effort was renamed “South Carolina Remembers.” After 134 years, the day to remember came and the children of Columbia took it on themselves to honor that pledge.

They collected pennies at football games, held bake sales, and sold T-shirts in a drive to raise the $350,000 needed to replace one of the dozens of New York City firetrucks destroyed in the 9/11 attacks.

The idea began from a lesson in giving. Donations poured in. One donor wrote: “When I was growing up in Columbia, Mama always said you need to return a kindness. I know she’d be as glad as I am to be part of this wonderful thank-you gesture.”

In notes to the students, donors told personal stories connecting them with loved ones who died on 9/11, to firefighters, and in one case, to Confederate soldiers.

In her article, Page Ivey tells about one of the most unforgettable donations, coming from Russell Siller of Rockville Centre, New York. Siller’s brother, Stephen, was part of the elite firefighter force Squad 1. He died that terrible day. Siller wrote: “At a time like this, when the whole nation is still mourning its loss, what a powerful and poetic message your efforts send to all of us. I am proud that New York’s bravest sent you a fire truck in your city’s time of need. … To think that you would honor a pledge made so many years ago! The new fire truck will become a symbol for your love for your country, and for New York’s bravest.”  –  “A Kindness Returned-134 Years Later,” Building Adult Ministries (3-31-08); taken from an Associated Press story by Page Ivey

What a wonderful story!  Now let’s get personal: do you repay evil for evil, or seek to do something good for all people, including those who may have hurt you directly?  It’s a tough challenge, but it is in the imitation of Christ, and we are commanded to live that way!

PRAYER: Jesus, we need your heart and mind in this matter!  We are far to prone to strike back at those who have caused us injury or pain rather than seeking to bless them with something good.  Change our natures, change our hearts and minds, until we see, and act, as you would!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 03/31/11 – I Have Forgotten

DayBreaks for 03/31/11 – I Have Forgotten

I have forgotten...

“A few years ago, rumors spread that a certain Catholic woman was having visions of Jesus. The archbishop decided to check her out.

 

‘Is it true, m’am, that you have visions of Jesus?’ asked the cleric.

‘Yes,’ the woman replied.

‘Well, the next time you have a vision, I want you to ask Jesus to tell you the sins that I confessed in my last confession. Please call me if anything happens.’

“Ten days later the woman notified her spiritual leader of a recent apparition.

“Within the hour the archbishop arrived. ‘What did Jesus say?’ he asked.

“She took his hand and gazed deep into his eyes. ‘Bishop,’ she said, ‘these are his exact words: I CAN’T REMEMBER.’” – Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. – Jeremiah 31:34

PRAYER: Hallelujah, that You remember our sins NO MORE!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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