DayBreaks for 10/23/19 – The Message of the Oil of Anointing, #3

Image result for anointing sheep's head with oil

DayBreaks for 10/23/19: The Message of the Oil of Anointing, #3

From the DayBreaks archive, October 2009:

Sheep tend to be very docile creatures.  Most of the time, they are very content to just eat grass, sleep, drink clean water and lay down to rest.  There is a reason that people don’t hook sheep up to wagons to pull them, nor to a plow to create furrows for farming.  Sheep don’t run and jump over hurdles like a horse.  No one keeps sheep as “guard sheep” – the very idea is laughable.  Sheep aren’t very good for much except for wool, living lawn mowers, or if you are so inclined, lamb chops. 

There is an exception to the docile nature of sheep, however.  That is the when mating season rolls around and the rams get rambunctious as they compete for the attention and affections of some of the ewes.  Almost inevitably, if there is more than one ram in the vicinity, the rams will square off and with a sharp crack that fills the air, plunge head-long into one another, smashing their horns together until one or the other gives us and relinquishes his interest in the ewe in question. 

As you might imagine, it is relatively easy for the rams to become injured in those contests of masculinity.  It is possible for a ram to suffer a very severe injury or to even die.  In rare cases, sometimes the rams horns will become locked, and if the sheep are out in a pasture where they are not tended, the rams can die of starvation before they can get unhooked from one another.

This is another use for the oil of anointing – the shepherd uses the oil to try to prevent injuries to the rams.  He coats their heads and massive horns with slippery oil so that when the rams butt heads, their horns slip off their opponent harmlessly.  The result: the rams live to try again.

It’s easy for us to butt heads with others over silly things.  Very seldom do our disputes with other people come about because of big, significant things, but they typically start out from smaller confrontations or slights: we weren’t invited to someone’s home while others were, we weren’t recognized for some small thing we did.  Women may be hurt that their spouses didn’t recognize and comment positively on a new hair style or dress.  Men get hurt that their work isn’t noticed by the boss or because they’re not thanked for taking out the garbage at home.  We have a choice then: we can butt heads, or we can let the smaller and less significant things just slide off before we, or an “opponent,” get hurt.

How do you respond when you suffer what you perceive to be a slight of some kind?  Do you attack?  Do you let the Shepherd’s oil keep you from injury?

PRAYER: Keep us from hurting others or ourselves because of slights and minor hurts!  Give us the grace to be gracious!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 10/22/19 – The Message of the Anointing Oil, #2

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DayBreaks for 10/22/19: The Message of the Oil of Anointing, #2

From the DayBreaks archive, October 2009:

Oil has always been used in medicinal ways, and when David spoke of the Good Shepherd anointing his head with oil, he had several images in mind.  In fact, in Psalm 23, he combined these images into one comprehensive picture.  Here’s the second lesson we can learn about oil, anointing and the Shepherd of our souls:

Part of the job of the shepherd was to prepare the pasture in the high country for the arrival of the sheep during the season of the year when the grass in the lower country was parched and dry.  Preparing that pasture included clearing it of harmful rocks, brush and thorns.  It involved clearing enough of an area so that any predators could be seen before they got too close to the flock.  It meant making sure there was enough water (still waters – sheep won’t drink readily from rapidly flowing water) and grass (green pastures).  The pasture was generally a relatively flat area – a table land (preparing the table).  It also meant another thing: looking for the holes of poisonous asps that lived in the high country. 

The asp lived in a hole in the ground.  They would attack the sheep by popping up out of their hole in the ground and biting them on the nose.  If the snake was a poisonous one, death could obviously result.  If it was non-poisonous, the bite could get infected and lead to serious, if not fatal, conditions in the sheep that was bitten.  In order to help prevent the asps from claiming the lives of sheep, the shepherd would take oil and pour it around the hole of the asp…and then to anoint the sheep’s head and especially their nose with the slippery oil so that if the asp was still able to get out of their hole in the ground, their attempted bite would strike the oil-slicked nose or head of the sheep and glance off. 

In such a way, the shepherd protected the flock from enemies…and he had prepared the table land in the presence of those very enemies.  God has done the same for us through Christ.  Certainly, we can hear echoes of the communion table that the Lord has prepared – and as Max Lucado noted, it was at the Passover feast where Christ had prepared the table that he also sent the enemy (Judas) out without letting him participate in the prepared table. 

God protects us in ways we will never know or understand.  The sheep don’t understand the anointing with oil – they don’t understand how its viscosity and slipperiness works.  They don’t have degrees in chemistry.  All they can do is lower their heads before the Shepherd and let him anoint them and trust that he knows what he’s doing.  We need to do the same!

PRAYER: We are so grateful that you have prepared a table for us in the midst of our enemies, and that you have given the Spirit to anoint and fill us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 10/21/19 – Understanding the Oil of Anointing, #1

Image result for sheep with nose flies

DayBreaks for 10/21/19: Understanding of the Oil of Anointing, #1

From the DayBreaks archive, October 2009:

I don’t care for mosquitoes, but they don’t bother me as much as many others because mosquitoes don’t seem to like me too much.  Black flies in the woods of Maine were another story – they seemed to love my blood and they bit me a lot!!!!  It’s not fun to be hounded and buzzed by insects all the time.

In Israel there is an insect called the nose fly.  These flies have a fondness for nostrils (hence the name) and especially the nostrils of sheep.  The poor, gentle animals in a pasture can be driven nearly crazy, and according to some shepherds, the sheep can even kill themselves trying to get rid of a nose fly.  The nose flies lay their eggs in the warm, moist nasal passages of the sheep.  In not too long of a time, the eggs hatch into larvae that crawl around in the nasal passages of the sheep.  The sheep toss their heads, rub their faces, noses and heads against rocks, trees, posts – anything they can find, in an attempt to allay the incessant itching caused by the larvae.  Sometimes the sheep will run so hard that they will kill themselves, or wound themselves with the result being an infection that might also kill them.

Now that you know this, perhaps it sheds more light for you on the latter part of Psalm 23:5: You anoint my head with oil.  If you don’t see the connection, let me share it with you.  Part of the job of the shepherd in Israel to was help protect his flock from nose flies.  In order to do that, he would apply an oil-based liquid to the nose and head of the sheep.  This liquid had a smell to it that served as a deterrent or repellant to the nose fly, preventing the nose fly from wanting to lay its eggs in the nasal passages of any sheep who had been fortunate enough to have had its head anointed with oil. 

David used this image to help us understand that God cares for us.  He helps to prevent us from being infested by harmful, hurtful and evil things.  Of course, the sheep does have a role to play in this entire scenario: the sheep must lower its head so the shepherd could tend to it.  We must humble ourselves before the Great Shepherd and let him have his work with us.  We must trust that his medicine for us is good and will benefit us. 

Maybe you have some “nose flies” inside your head right now.  Let the shepherd tend to you in ways that will bring you back to “sanity” and wellness!

PRAYER: We need you to tend to us, Lord, and to anoint us with your healing oil and the preventative power of your Spirit!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 7/23/19 – In Green Pastures

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DayBreaks for 07/23/19: In Green Pastures

From the DayBreaks archives, July 2009:

Psalm 23:2 – He makes me lie down in green pastures.

Such a simple statement.  So hard to do.  And there is much behind this simple statement from the quill of King David, who knew exactly what he was saying because of his own shepherding experiences.

In the area where David lived and tended sheep, green pastures don’t just appear normally or naturally.  It is a hot, dry, desert area.  The only way that green pastures exist in such a place is because the shepherd has labored to create a green pasture.  The shepherd would tear out the rocks that might harm the sheep, he would clear away the brush and burn it.  He would dig deep into the earth to create a well and would use the water to irrigate the plot of ground where he planted grass seed.  Finally, when a pasture had been created, he would bring the sheep there to find rest. 

Here’s what David could have said, “He makes me to lie down in His finished work.”  In Christ, that takes on an entirely new meaning.  He is the Great Shepherd who leads all of God’s flock into His finished work.  It is a special place where we find rest from our sin, guilt, shame, fear.  It is made possible only by His completed work on the cross.

Are you finding your rest in the finished work of the Shepherd, or are you still struggling to do the work yourself?

PRAYER: We can never repay You, our Shepherd, for all that You have done for us!  May we rest completely in what Jesus has accomplished and provided for us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 2/20/19 – I AM #6: The Door

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DayBreaks for 2/20/2019: I AM #6: The Door

John 10:9 (CSBBible) – I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.

To understand this I AM statement, we need to understand shepherds and sheep. Earlier in chapter 10, Jesus referred to a gatekeeper. Near most villages there was a communal sheepfold that had a gate that could be locked and only the owner of that sheepfold had the key. But that’s not what Jesus is describing here.

Once out on the hillsides, there was no sheepfold like that. Instead, sheep would be herded into an enclosure most likely made of piled up rocks with a gap in the rocks at one place where a “door” was. But the door wasn’t made of wood – it was the shepherd who would lay down across the opening to prevent critters from entering or the sheep from leaving. None could cross without the awareness of the shepherd. Jesus claims that he is that shepherd, stretched out across the opening. He doesn’t rely on some sort of physical barrier to guarantee the safety of the sheep – any movement of the sheep in or out is only done with his knowledge and agreement.

But there’s another thing to note here: he says that the sheep can come in and go out. That would mean something very specific in the Hebrew language. To be able to have the ability to come in and go out indicated a life absolutely safe and at peace. That is the kind of life we have with Jesus as our gatekeeper. He watches over us, guides our steps, and seeks us out if we get lost.

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for the life of peace we can have with you as our gatekeeper! In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

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

DayBreaks for 11/03/14 – The Plea of a Broken Hearted King

DayBreaks for 11/03/14 – The Plea of A Broken-Hearted King

2 Samuel 24:15-17 (NLT) So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel that morning, and it lasted for three days. A total of 70,000 people died throughout the nation, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south. But as the angel was preparing to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD relented and said to the death angel, “Stop! That is enough!” At that moment the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. When David saw the angel, he said to the LORD, “I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep—what have they done? Let your anger fall against me and my family.”

David was at the end of his reign and life when he rashly counted the children of Israel.  While we don’t know his motive for doing so, one could assume that it was because he was proud of the size of his army and it caused him to be confident in the strength and numbers of his soldiers, not in the favor of God.

God had explicitly said that the kings should not number the people.  God was not pleased with David and gave him the choice through the prophet Gad, as to the punishment that would be meted out: three years’ famine, three months of being pursued by enemies or three days of plague.  David chose to trust in the mercy of the Lord rather than the other options so he chose the three days of plague.

The price of David’s sin was great: seventy thousand died in the plague.  David was shattered, and makes the plea: I am the one who has sinned and done wrong!  But these people are as innocent as sheep – what have they done?  Let your anger fall against me and my family.  These are the words of a broken heart, a man deeply repentant.  But here’s the thing that is easy to miss: David sees the people of Israel as innocent sheep…and he begs for their shepherd (himself, the king) to be the one who is stricken in their place.

David, of course, had no way of knowing how prophetic his words would be.  In Matthew 26:31, Jesus applied this to himself, telling his followers that on that very night the Shepherd (Jesus) would be stricken rather than the sheep (the people) being slaughtered.

Jesus asked God to let him be smitten rather than Him striking you and I.  He was willing to accept the punishment himself rather than the “sheep” having to bear it.

I wonder if I would have had the faith and courage of David if I had been in his place.

PRAYER: Thank You, Jesus, for being willing to be stricken so the “sheep” could be spared. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

DayBreaks for 10/07/14 – Shrek, the Sheep

DayBreaks for 10/07/14 – Shrek, the Sheep

A friend of mine posted this story on Facebook Monday morning and I thought it was an excellent illustration and lesson (unfortunately, I didn’t find the name of the author):

“This is Shrek the sheep. He became famous several years ago when he was found after hiding out in caves for six years. Of course, during this time his fleece grew without anyone there to shorn (shave) it. When he was finally found and shaved, his fleece weighed an amazing sixty pounds. Most sheep have a fleece weighing just under ten pounds, with the exception usually reaching fifteen pounds, maximum. For six years, Shrek carried six times the regular weight of his fleece. Simply because he was away from his shepherd.

“This reminds me of John 10 when Jesus compares Himself to a shepherd, and His followers are His sheep. Maybe it’s a stretch, but I think Shrek is much like a person who knows Jesus Christ but has wandered. If we avoid Christ’s constant refining of our character, we’re going to accumulate extra weight in this world—a weight we don’t have to bear.

“When Shrek was found, a professional sheep shearer took care of Shrek’s fleece in twenty-eight minutes. Shrek’s sixty pound fleece was finally removed. All it took was coming home to his shepherd.

“I believe Christ can lift the burdens we carry, if only we stop hiding. He can shave off our ‘fleece’—that is, our self-imposed burdens brought about by wandering from our Good Shepherd.

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28-30

PRAYER: Thank you for the rest and relief you give us as we struggle here in this world!  Give us the good sense to stay close to our Shepherd!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 9/23/14: Green Pastures, Still Waters

DayBreaks for 9/23/14 – Green Pastures, Still Waters

Psalm 23:2 (NKJV) – He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

I’ve been to Israel and I can tell you, I sure didn’t see many green pastures.  Perhaps it was the wrong time of year – and the green pastures would have been higher up on the mountain ranges or perhaps we were just in the wrong places – but water seemed to be rather scarce, and precious.

The Shepherd of David’s beloved psalm knows where to find the green pastures.  He leads his sheep there…and then, he “makes” them lie down.

How do you make sheep lie down?  You sure don’t do it by yelling at them, smacking them with a staff or chasing them around until they’re so tired that they collapse.  No, those things won’t work with sheep, and chasing them can even lead to their demise.  You see, sheep are very timid and frightened creatures.  And that’s what makes this statement even more wonderful.

The shepherd knows what sheep are like.  The way to get them to lie down is to take them into a peaceful place, to even sing to them, to talk soothingly to calm their fearful little hearts.  That’s how you make sheep lie down!  Jesus makes us lie down in utter peace and stills our racing hearts.

And he doesn’t make us lie down in the middle of the desert, but he has surrounded us with sustenance.  The sheep aren’t worrying about where their next meal will come from because the shepherd has always taken care of them and they trust he will…after all, just look around!

Last night, did you “lie down” in peacefulness?  Or was your heart racing, wondering how you and your family will survive, or how you’ll do this-or-that?  Were you worrying about where the next meal will come from?  The sheep don’t manufacture the grass that surrounds them in verse two.  When talking about the shepherd in this Psalm, it is the shepherd Himself who manufactures the grass, waters it, and provides it in abundance.  All the worrying of all the sheep in the flock can’t produce a single blade of grass.

And the still waters?  Sheep are terrified of flowing water: they can’t swim well at all, especially when their wool is thick.  They need still water: this, too, the Shepherd knows.

Still water, green meadows, laying down to rest – what a wonderful Shepherd we have!

PRAYER: Oh, Jesus, let us rest in your meadow this day and forevermore may we be comforted by your Shepherd song to us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 01/29/13 – Sent by Jesus #2 – If We Turn Into Wolves

DayBreaks for 01/29/13 – Sent by Jesus, #2 – If We Turn Into Wolves

wolf_in_sheeps_clothingJohn 17:14-18 (NLT) – I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.  16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do.  17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.

Please!  Read this slowly and carefully, and meditate on this:

“As long as we are sheep, we overcome and, though surrounded by countless wolves, we emerge victorious; but if we turn into wolves, we are overcome, for we love the shepherd’s help. He, after all, feeds the sheep not wolves, and will abandon you if you do not let him show his power in you.

“What he says is this: ‘Do not be upset that, as I send you out among the wolves, I bid you be as sheep and doves. I could have managed things quite differently and sent you, not to suffer evil nor to yield like sheep to the wolves, but to be fiercer than lions. But the way I have chosen is right. It will bring you greater praise and at the same time manifest my power”. – St. John Chrysostom

We evangelicals can learn a lot from this, I believe.  I see many Christians in their fervor and enthusiasm turning into wolves when it comes to people both inside and outside the church.  May God have mercy on us!  Jesus didn’t send us out as wolves or lions, but as sheep among carnivores.  Our job is not to rip and tear, castigate and intimidate – sheep can’t do such things.  We are, simply, by the power of what we are becoming in Christ Jesus, to win the world with lovely winsomeness.

All that is within us tells us that we need to act more like wolves in the world in order to survive.  Since when is survival to be our main goal?  Is it not to be sheep – and let the world do with us as it wills?  Isn’t that how our Master did it?  Are we not to walk in His steps?

“As long as we are sheep, we overcome…but if we turn into wolves, we are overcome.  He will feed His sheep, but not the wolves!

PRAYER: Let us be sheep that you feed, precious Lord!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen has started work with a new ministry, 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 one-time donation 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.  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!  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.

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

DayBreaks for 07/31/12 – God the Shepherd

DayBreaks for 07/3112 – God the Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd…” (Ps. 23:1a)

I have often thought about the metaphors that scripture uses to describe God.  There are many!  God is simply too large to be contained in one single metaphor or analogy.  In Traveling Light, Max Lucado takes a look at the 23rd Psalm and he (as usual) had some interesting insights.

When I have thought about the concept of the shepherd, my mind (as is humanly selfish) is often drawn to what that analogy means about ME.  I spent my first 8 years or so on a farm with sheep and other animals, and I can tell you that being described as a sheep is not flattering.  Sheep are stubborn.  Sheep are stupid.  Sheep are fearful.  Sheep are prone to wander off.  Sheep, to put it delicately…stink.  And their wool doesn’t lend itself to cleanliness.  Sheep aren’t much good for anything except eating, shearing, being eaten or sleeping.  Sheep need someone to lead them.  Not a bad description of us as humans, right?

But Max turned the concept around and instead of focusing on what the sheep metaphor means about us he probed on what it means about the Shepherd.  Listen to his thoughts about this analogy: “Couldn’t David have thought of a better metaphor?  Surely he could have.  After all, he outran Saul and outgunned Goliath.  Why didn’t he choose something other than sheep?

“How about: ‘The Lord is my commander-in-chief, and I am his warrior.’  There.  We like that better.  A warrior gets a uniform and a weapon, maybe even a medal.

“Or, ‘The Lord is my inspiration, and I am his singer.’  We are in God’s choir; what a flattering assignment.

“Or, ‘The Lord is my king, and I am his ambassador.’  Who wouldn’t like to be a spokesman for God?

“Everyone stops when the ambassador speaks.  Everyone listens when God’s minstrel sings.  Everyone applauds when God’s warrior passes.

“But who notices when God’s sheep show up?  Who notices when the sheep sing or speak or act?  Only one person notices.   The Shepherd.  And that is precisely David’s point.”

I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to make too much of scripture focus on ME (the sheep) when I should be focusing on what it is saying about GOD (the Shepherd).  God, the Shepherd, is the one who notices.  No one else does.  But He is enough!!!

PRAYER: Let us be content to be Your sheep and to keep the focus on You, our Shepherd.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email.