DayBreaks for 5/20/16 – In the Coffin of Your Selfishness

DayBreaks for 5/20/16 – In the Coffin of Your Selfishness

NOTE: Galen will be out of the office and traveling next week. 

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2006:

I’m a rather risk-averse person.  I don’t climb sheer rock walls (with or without cables!), I don’t jump out of airplanes that are perfectly functioning, I don’t wrestle alligators or dive with sharks.  I suppose some folks (maybe most) would think that my life is pretty dull and boring because I don’t knowingly take life-risking chances.  So be it.  I can live with that!

But it’s another matter when it comes to spiritual things.  We are all given only one life to spend – and spend it we shall, one way or another.  We’ll live our life based on certain sets of assumptions about reality, meaning, purpose, the existence or non-existence of God and life beyond the grave.  The conclusions we reach about such things are based on what kind of risk we are willing to take.  If you don’t believe there is a God, chances are you’ll live much differently in this world than if you do believe in Him.  I know that if I didn’t believe He exists and has revealed Himself to us, I’d live much differently than I do.  Different things would rise to the top of my priority list than currently reside there.

We do, however, all need to take some risk.  I know people who have lost their spouse several years ago but they cannot seem to break free from their cave of grief and they isolate themselves from the people and events of the world.  They decide not to risk ever being hurt again.  C. S. Lewis, in The Four Loves, wrote: “Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.

Lewis is right.  When we withdraw and seek to avoid the entanglements that being a fully-functional human requires, we may be able to avoid pain – but only because our hearts turn to stone.  And perhaps, that is a pain that we carry inside and never admit to ourselves. 

I don’t want a heart that doesn’t beat, that doesn’t pulse with life and send it coursing through my being, nourishing not just me, but those I can interact with.  If you’ve withdrawn because of the pain you’ve experienced because you gave your heart away once upon a time, take the risk to rise up out of the “coffin of selfishness” and live again.  Jesus gave himself over and over, in love, to anyone he met who needed love – even those who were the most unlovely.  And he was the perfect human – knowing pain, but also knowing the greatest joy any human has ever experienced.  Our withdrawal from life puts us at the center of our own little universe, and that’s a place that only God should hold.

PRAYER:  Father, create in us a new, clean heart, one that is willing to risk living the life abundant.  For those pains we carry we seek your healing, for the fears that keep us locked in our own selfish coffins – alone and dejected – we ask you for courage to begin to live the life that Jesus died to give us, loving others as he did.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

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

 

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DayBreaks for 01/31/13 – One’s Real Life

DayBreaks for 01/31/13 – One’s Real Life

dndLuke 6:17-19 (NLT) – When they came down from the mountain, the disciples stood with Jesus on a large, level area, surrounded by many of his followers and by the crowds. There were people from all over Judea and from Jerusalem and from as far north as the seacoasts of Tyre and Sidon. 18 They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and Jesus also cast out many evil spirits. 19 Everyone tried to touch him, because healing power went out from him, and he healed everyone.

I don’t know about you, but interruptions can really bug me at times.  If I’m doing something that I am really into, that I dearly love, or if I’m concentrating really hard in thought, I don’t like interruptions.  Perhaps that’s because I’m getting old enough now that I can easily forget what I was doing or thinking when the interruption came barreling down on me!

For a couple of years now, I’ve been spending my quiet time in what I can “The Jesus Exploration”.  I’ve been working my way through all four gospels, a tiny bit at a time, expressly for the purpose of trying to get to know Jesus and his heartbeat better.  You know one thing that has consistently jumped out at me over and over again?  Here it is: it’s the way he always had time for people – for interruptions.  It might have been little children gamboling around his feet; a rich young man who came to learn what he needed to do to inherit eternal life; a Pharisee named Nicodemus who was full of questions; a large crowd of sick and broken people; a Roman centurion who had a sick servant; a funeral procession along the road out of Nain; or even religious leaders who Jesus knew were plotting his demise.  It didn’t matter who they were – or even what they wanted – He spent time with them.

I think about how often I give short-shrift to the clamoring of those round about me.  I pretend not to hear sometimes.  I pretend not to see.  I don’t want the interruption.

But is that really the problem?  Is it really that I don’t want the interruption or that I don’t want to have to get involved with other people – especially if they seem to have a problem and I won’t want to get sucked in to it?  I fear that it is far more often that I don’t want to get involved.  I want to live my own life in my own way – choosing the interruptions I want to honor and those I want to ignore.

Jesus didn’t give himself that luxury, apparently.  Should we give it to ourselves?  What we often think of as interruptions may in fact be the very reason for us being in a given place at a given time.  Consider this bit of wisdom from C. S. Lewis: “The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own’, or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination.” – C.S. Lewis, from a letter to Arthur Greeves, 20 December 1943

Perhaps we have been mis-lead about what constitutes our “real life”.

PRAYER: Lord, help us to see interruptions as possible Divine interventions to shake us out of our self-life into the life You intend us to live!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen has started work as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org).  He needs to raise his own support.  DayBreaks has always been free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation to Medical Ambassadors on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made online at http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Go to that link and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section and look for the link for Galen Dalrymple.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his account.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.

Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient in many ways for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

If God has blessed you through some of the DayBreaks messages and you want to help support Galen, your help will be greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 11/13/12 – Jesus and Freeze-Dried Pets

DayBreaks for 11/13/12 – Jesus and Freeze-Dried Pets

Freeze-drying pets: WWJD?

As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” 59 He said to another person, “Come, follow me.” The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” 60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.” 61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” 62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”  – Luke 9:57-62 (NLT)

I know I’m probably going to get myself into a lot of hot water with pet-loving followers and readers of pets with today’s DayBreaks.  Please: you should know by now how much I love animals, especially my dogs, so be gentle with me, OK?  But here’s a problem that you won’t find in many countries around the world:

America now has about 700 pet “aftercare” facilities, providing funeral services to the nation’s companion animals, according to a September NBC News report. Oakey’s, in Roanoke, Va., performs 800-900 pet cremations annually and provides about 20 customers a year with pet caskets, part of the estimated $53 billion America spends on pets (higher than the Gross National Products of more than 100 countries). The basic charge of Heartland Pet Cremation of St Louis, Mo., is $275 for a private cremation, including a “basic” urn and memorial video slideshow. (For the more upscale, other facilities offer deluxe urns, taxidermy, freeze-drying pets, and creating a synthetic diamond out of pet ashes.) NBC News, 9-17-2012, News of the Weird, 11/12/12

So, what’s the big deal?  Is it a sin to have a beloved animal cremated?  Or stuffed or even (yuck) freeze-dried?  No, not in and of itself.  There is nothing in Scripture that says anything at all about this subject directly.  But I fear that perhaps we use that as an excuse sometimes and thus liberate ourselves from having to think critically about what we do and our actions.

Here’s where I’m coming from: while it isn’t a sin directly, part of living out of our Christian faith has to do with priorities.  That was the reason people came to Jesus and asked about the greatest commandments, or asked him what they needed to do to gain eternal life.  They were trying to get the question of priorities sort out and then to be sure they were lined up with them.

This is where it gets tough…and very personal.  Freeze-drying or cremating a pet isn’t a sin, but what if we do that at the expense of not feeding the hungry?  You might think (properly), “I do give to the hungry…and I’ve got extra, so I can do both.”  I understand, really I do.  But I ask myself this question: “If Jesus had $275, would he use it to freeze-dry his pet, or would he give it away to the poor?”  I think I know the answer to that question without even having to think about it.

Okay.  So, I’ve pretty much settled in my own mind what Jesus would do.  Now I’ve got to wrestle with myself.  I’ve never freeze-dried a pet or even cremated one, but I’ve wasted plenty of money on other things that are of lesser importance than being merciful or compassionate or feeding/sheltering/caring for the poor.

What am I going to do about it?  I’m going to try to start making small changes in my life, one thing at a time, so I can give more to the truly needy throughout the world an in my own country.  I urge you to join me!  If you are so inclined, you can start to do so right now by clicking on the links below to support some of the projects I’m engaged with through my work with I Am 2 Partners, Inc.

PRAYER: God, I have my priorities so messed up most of the time.  I’m sorry…I need to be more loving and generous and compassionate and giving.  Free me, free us, from the prison on our own selfishness!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

Want to help the poor children of the world?  Here’s a couple links to projects at I Am 2 Partners, Inc.:

To help feed and protect the 37 orphans at Bright Future Children’s Home in Migori, Kenya, click here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=RKR8ZNZX4UVPA

To help put in a purified water system for the Good Shepherd Pediatric Hospital in Kigali, Rwanda, click here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=B7U2JA5QSYCRC

Thanks!

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DayBreaks for 03/22/11 – What God Will Never Say

DayBreaks for 03/22/11 – What God Will Never Say

I’ve been very challenged in my thinking and discipleship lately.  God has been revealing blind spots in my life as a Christian – in particular, as an American Christian.  One blind spot in particular that He’s really been working on in my life is my attitude toward the poor.

Americans don’t like to see suffering, especially suffering of little children who have not had adequate food or water and who are dying as a result.  When those images show up on our TV screens, we quickly get up to go to the fridge, or change the channel, or find some other way to divert our eyes from the very harsh and hard realities that exist in this world.  We don’t want to see that kind of suffering.  It makes us uncomfortable – and that’s a very good thing.  We need to be made uncomfortable, especially as Americans who own so much and spend so much of our income on cushy luxuries.  I don’t yet know specifically what it is that God wants me to do with what He’s been showing me.

Israel, long ago, observed feast days, multitudes of tithes of money, crops, wine, etc., they observed temple rituals and cleansings.  They memorized the Torah and recounted the great deeds of YHWH for generation after generation.  They thought that all those things would make them acceptable – even pleasing to God.  After all, God had commanded those observances.  But in the writings of the great prophet Isaiah, God filled them in on the truth about what mattered to Him: Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. – Is.  58:6-8

God cares about the poor, the starving, the naked, the homeless.  He hears their cries.  He wonders if we hear them, and if we will respond to them.

While I don’t know what God wants me to do specifically about this blind spot in my life, I am sure of this as an American Christian: the day won’t ever come when I stand before God and hear Him say to me, “I wish you’d kept more of what I gave you for yourself.”

 

Give...and it shall be given unto you...

PRAYER: God, I confess my blindness and hard-heartedness towards the plight of the poor.  Forgive me for my selfishness, and set me free from the tyranny of possessions and money.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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

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