DayBreaks for 5/12/15 – The Big Mouth

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DayBreaks for 5/12/15: The Big Mouth

Ecclesiastes 5:1 (NIV) – Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.  Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.  God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.  As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.

What is it about us that makes us so like the sound of our own voice?  We prattle about this and that, pontificate and pronounce our opinions on everything as if we were something special.

How smart is that, really?  Or, let me ask the question a bit differently: how often has your mouth and your words gotten you into trouble because you said something that either was true or was deceitful, hurtful, boastful, derogatory or just plain malicious?  Or, how many times have you stuck your foot in your mouth and said something really “stupid”? 

It isn’t unique to unbelievers…we Christians are often just as bad because we think we’ve got all the truth locked down so tightly that we just couldn’t possibly be wrong about our opinion on this or that.  And, it’s not wise.

There are times when I think I don’t say enough, but you know what I’ve found?  I have found that I learn immensely more when my mouth is shut and my ears are open than the other way around. 

The writer of Ecclesiastes cautions us to not be quick with our mouths or to utter anything before God.  He wasn’t talking about just when we go into worship, but at all times because we are never out of God’s Presence.

I suspect there would be a lot less hurt and pain in the world if we kept our words to ourselves and listened more to others.

PRAYER: Teach us to be good listeners but people of few words! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 3/18/14 – The Perfect Comeback

DayBreaks for 3/18/14 – The Perfect Comeback

One more from my minister friend, Barney Cargile: It was one of the great political rivalries of past days: Winston Churchill vs. Lady Astor.  On one occasion Lady Astor chided Winston with this insult: “If you were my husband, I would poison your tea.”  To which Churchill responded, “If you were my wife, I would drink it!”

Face it, there’s a part of us that enjoys such a sharp insulting comeback.  You’re watching a movie where an arrogant know-it-all who insults others throughout the film, gets humbled by a perfect comeback.  You practically want to stand up and cheer.  But in real life?  If you’re like me, more often than not, you suffer from “delayed intelligence”.  You know what I mean.  Someone insults you, or even worse, they insult God or his word.  You feel compelled to defend your honor, or God’s honor (hmm); and you come up with the perfect “comeback”, the quintessential witty response that will forever put the insulter in his place.  The only problem is…you come up with it two days later!  Oh, if we could only find the cure for “delayed intelligence!”

But when it comes to following Jesus, well…perhaps “the perfect comeback” might not help advance God’s kingdom.  Maybe the reason we experience “delayed intelligence” is God’s way of preventing us from responding in the flesh.  Even when it comes to “defending God” (BTW, I’m still searching for the scripture that tells us to do that), the “perfect comeback” usually lands us right in the middle of a religious argument, which I’m guessing you’ve discovered, as I have, turns out to be utterly fruitless.

Perhaps we need to search in a different direction for “the perfect comeback”.  What if “the perfect comeback” turned out to be a display of humility, or an apology, or an act of love?  Instead of putting an insulter in his place, perhaps we need to show him the love of Jesus and”turn the other cheek”  (Matt.5:39).  It’s not as much fun, but which is more Christ-honoring?  Romans 12:19-21 tells us, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord…If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head…overcome evil with good.”  Instead of mourning over delayed intelligence, thank God that he didn’t provide you with what you considered “the perfect comeback”.  Instead, His Spirit prompted you to humbly respond in love…and in the end, that really did turn out to be “the perfect comeback”.

Galen: Chances are good that you’ll have the opportunity to throw out a few zingers today. How about throwing out some compliments or words of blessing and appreciation instead!

PRAYER: Let us hold our tongues and speak in a way that honors You today! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal 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.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 01/03/14 – Duck Dynasty and the Tail of the Heart

DayBreaks for 01/03/14 – Duck Dynasty and the Tail of the Heart

1 Corinthians 13:1 (NLT)  If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

“There is nothing more explosive than words.

“Words are nitroglycerin. Words can literally ignite a heart, detonate like a global bomb — or explode in your face.

“You heard of that wiry man from backwater Louisiana who was asked what he thought by a man with a recorder?

“He said what he thought — but he and his family confess now that he expressed those thoughts coarsely —- unfiltered.

“Listen, kids, listen like your life depends on it, because it does:

“You can mean something — but if you say it mean, no one can hear your meaning.

“Have convictions — but if you don’t have compassion, you will have trials.

“Please, say what you believe — but please, always be love.

“Or you’re an annoying, clanging cymbal who a whole lot of people will be desperate to make silent.

“…Words leave your mouth, your keyboard, but words don’t every expire quietly in a void — they always explode in hearts.

“Every verb you utter causes a corresponding action, a movement, in every listener.

“Measure your words — they determine the distance of your relationships.

“The tongue is the tail of the heart. The heart is known by how the tongue wags.” – Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience blog

PRAYER: Grant us the courage to always speak not our truth, but Yours, and the grace to do so n love! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 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 is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal 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.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 11/20/13 – Words of Peace

DayBreaks for 11/20/13 – Words of Peace

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Colossians 4:6 (NIV)  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

I’ve got to tell you that I find the use of words in America today far beyond rude and offensive.  I am old enough that I can recall a time when men had the common decency to not swear or use bad language in the presence of women and children.  I don’t know where all those men have gone to, but they’re not around any longer!

Mark Trotter wrote: “Claude Brown, who wrote Manchild in the Promised Land, in an article, said that people under forty in our society have never lived in America where movie language was not liberally laced with obscenities. He said that profanity is rapidly replacing English as the language of the American people. Then he added this. He said, “Most people don’t know it, but profanity is the language of violence.”

“People say, words can’t hurt you. They can hurt you. Words can dehumanize. That’s why in war the enemy is always described in language that is dehumanizing. You will never hear the military referring to the enemy as “brothers and sisters,” or as “children of God.” They couldn’t kill them if they referred to them that way. You use language that describes the enemy as less than human.

“That is precisely the language that is being used in our cities today. The language that is used in our society today is the language that has been coined in warfare. There are words that dehumanize. There are words that make life cheap and ugly. There are words that hurt people. There are words that profane what is sacred and holy about human life. You use them and they will affect your life, and the life of those around you.

“But there are words that heal. There are words that build. There are words that create. There are words that unite. There are words that can redeem. There are words that can reconcile you to someone from whom you are estranged. There are words that lead to peace. Who will be the people in this society who speak the words of peace? “This day you will be with me in paradise.”

Will you be one who speaks words of peace for Jesus?

PRAYER: Loving Father, teach our tongues to speak words of grace and healing that peace can live in our land!!  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 is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make either a one-time or recurring (monthly) donation for his support.  If you have any questions, call 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 10/09/13 – Shutdowns, Politics and Saints

DayBreaks for 10/09/13 – Shutdowns, Politics and Saints

Matthew 5:47 (NLT)  If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.

I hate politics with a passion.  I very seldom write about such things because of my intense distaste of such matters.  But here’s the real truth: it’s not the topics so much that bother me, but the way people act and speak about those on the other side of the fence. And that gets to the heart of the matter for us Christians, for I fear we may be responding inappropriately to such things.

From a link I received: “During the government shutdown this October, there was only one major point both Democrats and Republicans could completely agree on. Both parties proudly and loudly declared “It was not our fault.” Not so much “taking a stand” as taking a “stand off.” 

“There are always two front lines going on during any conflict. There is the horrible physical conflict, the confrontation between persons and countries that results in blood and doom. The losses logged on that physical front line are devastating and deadly.

“But there is also a second “front line” – a front line of no-fault words and diplomatic pledges. A front line of absolute principles and unswerving passions. That second front line has no clear-cut battlefront or set battlefield.

“A front line of true faithfulness has no geographical latitude or ideological longitude that pushes it “over the line.” In keeping with Jesus’ “what-do-you-more-than-others” (Mt.5:47) directive to his disciples, there is a wholly different set of “rules of engagement” that dictate how those who follow the gospel of Jesus Christ stand up for truth. Christians follow different “rules of engagement” than warriors or politicians.”

Here’s the point: as much as we may hate political stands and think those on the “other side” are wrong, we must never be kind only to our friends.  We are to be kind, gentle, and even loving towards all.  Why?  Because we are supposed to be different.  Where other vilify we should bless; where other hit we should comfort; when other speak ill of us we should speak well of them or be silent; where others seek to kill either physically or socially we should distribute Living Water.

 When Jesus threw this challenge at his followers back in the day, he wasn’t just throwing it at them.  It is intended for us in the 21st century, too.  No matter how much we dislike someone’s stand, let us love the person who takes the stand and speak well of them.  Otherwise, as Jesus said, we are not different than pagans.

PRAYER: Forgive me for the ill I may have spoken of others, Lord, and change my heart to be like Yours!  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 is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  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. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 11/27/12 – Be Careful Little Mouth

DayBreaks for 11/27/12 – Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

James 3:10-12 (NLT)- And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11 Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water?  12 Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.

IRS agents, investigating tax-fraud suspect Rashia Wilson, 26, turned up “thousands” of identification numbers in a September home search in Tampa. Wilson had already laid down a challenge in May, when she wrote on Facebook: “I’m Rashia, the queen of IRS tax fraud. [I’m] a millionaire for the record. So if you think that indicting me will be easy, it won’t. I promise you. I won’t do no time, dumb [expletive unpublished].” The search also turned up a handgun, and since Wilson is a convicted felon (with 40 arrests), she was jailed, and denied bail in part because of the Facebook post.  [Tampa Bay Times, 9-22-2012]

If you are like me, you grew up going to Sunday school and learning Sunday school songs.  I remember one (vaguely) that featured various of the senses and other activities intended to encourage us to proper behavior as to how we use those senses.  It went something like this: “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.  Oh be careful little eyes, what you see!  For the Father up above, is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see!”  It then proceeded to move through other activities: hearing, touch, speech, etc.

It seems that Rashia Wilson never learned the part about being careful what you say.  I think she also had a problem in that she seems to have a very high opinion of herself and how “smart” she is.

James chapter 3 is full of wise counsel for us on how we use our tongue/speech.  He describes it as an unruly evil.  Just listen to the speech around you today and during the last election cycle.

James says the tongue is like a bridle in a horse’s mouth, or the rudder on a great ship.  Just a little bit of pressure one way or another and an entire trajectory changes – for good or evil.

He also says it’s like a spark that can ignite an entire forest.  Fires destroy.   Fires kill.  There’s a strong warning here in this illustration.

Speech probably gets more people into trouble than just about anything.  Don’t let your tongue get out of control today.  Put a throttle on it.  When tempted to say something angry in response, something snide and insulting, or something rude – stop.  Take a breath.  Think of the firestorm you may ignite.  And then use the tongue to bless, not curse.

Oh, and one more thought.  James says that no one can tame the tongue.  So don’t think that this message doesn’t apply to all of us – including you!

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Spirit, reveal to us the one thing that You want us to know right now about who we are, what we do, what we need to change…and give us the passion to want that for ourselves as much as You want it for us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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