DayBreaks for 2/18/16 – The Real Story

DayBreaks for 2/18/16: The Real Story

From the DayBreaks archive, February 2006:

I love a good story!  I love stories of high adventure stories, historical stories, amusing anecdotes and just about any other kind of story you can think of.  We grew up on stories: Snow White, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Little Engine that Could, and of course a myriad of Aesop’s fables and other tall tales.  One of my favorite stories to read to my grand kids (and my children before them) was Dr. Seuss’ Fox in Socks.  Stories capture our imagination and we can visualize the action and feelings of those involved in the story. 

We also love to tell stories.  I love to tell stories about my family – about the adventures of our kids, their achievements, the things we did together and places we went to visit.  And, let’s be honest: we even love to tell stories about our surgeries and our experiences in that regard!  Stories help us learn and can help others avoid some of the same mistakes we’ve made in our own lives.

The first one of the world’s great books that I read was Miguel Cervantes’ Don Quixote.  I read it when I was in high school, and I was totally entranced.  I tried to picture myself as Don Quixote – who although he may have been more than a bit addled – had great dreams and visions and ambitions – and I found myself dreaming, with him, the Impossible Dream – and thinking I could make it come true. 

As Andree Seu writes in World Magazine, There is nothing more tragic than to walk around all your life in the wrong story – thinking yourself a knight-errant and mistaking windmills for giants, skinny stable horses for noble Rosinante, and unexceptional peasant girls for Dulcinea.

Some of the stories that we invest ourselves in aren’t worth our time.  Rather than getting caught up in stories about ourselves and our achievements.  Ms. Seu continued: Reminding yourself of the real story is good for what ails you.  If you’ve gotten too high and mighty, it reminds you that you are ‘dust.’  If you’re feeling like dust, it reminds you of your glorious destiny.

I hope and pray that we will become participants in the Great Story, the Unending Story that will be told, retold and sung about throughout eternal ages without end.  That story, you see, isn’t about me.  It’s not about my kids.  It’s not about you.  It’s about the Lamb that was slain, but Who lives forevermore.  That’s the real story that we need to be a part of.  

Each day our lives write another chapter in the story of humanity and more particularly, of our own lives.  What will your chapter look like at the end of the day today?

TODAY’S PRAYER:  How deceived we are, Father, when we think that the story of our life is about us!  Help us to engage in the Real Story, to live it, to tell it, and to enjoy it forever in the halls of Your heaven.  Let us tell THAT story every chance we get.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 7/24/15 – Where to Start Your Biography

DayBreaks for 7/24/15: Viewing Your Biography

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2005:

Have you ever thought about writing your life story?  Maybe some of you have done it.  I’ve started, but I’ve not written anything on it for years.  (Maybe I keep hoping that something exciting will happen that would seem a bit more interesting than the life story of a country farm-boy from the corn fields of Iowa!)  I think that the real reason that I’ve not made more headway on my life story for my children and grandchildren is that I don’t feel it’s ready to be written yet.  There’s still too much that I think God wants me to do before I get my seat on a non-stop flight of Heavenly Air!  My father wrote his life story – or at least stories about his life and his early years.  I can’t begin to tell you how precious those writings are to me now!  Someday, my kids may get to read my autobiography.

Joseph Wittig said, “A man’s biography ought really to begin not with his birth but with his death; it can only be written from the point of view of its end, because only from there can the whole of his life in its fulfillment be seen.”  Wittig makes a good point.  We’ve got lots of sayings that remind us not to get too far ahead of ourselves: “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched,” “the proof of the pudding is in the eating,” “all’s well that end’s well,” etc.  King Solomon started out great in life, but towards the end, he sadly appears to have gone a bit off the deep end, forgetting about the God of his younger years. 

What will my biography look like if written from the perspective of starting with my death?  It would have to cover not just how and where I was born, but how and where I died, how I lived, what mattered to me (not because I said it was important, but because it found expression in my life right up until the very end).  It would cover lots of things that I can’t foresee from this vantage point in time.  It is only when a life can be viewed from the end that we can really appraise it properly. 

It is no different when we come to Jesus.  To tell the story of Jesus, we must begin with his death.  That’s why all the gospel preaching that’s recorded in Scripture focuses on Christ and him crucified.  It is only in his death that his life, and indeed his birth, make sense and find their meaning. 

How’s your biography coming along?

Copyright by 2005 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Father, we want to live our lives so that when we die, our story will be one that glorifies you and gives testimony to a life well lived! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

 

DayBreaks for 05/21/12 – How the Story Doesn’t End

DayBreaks for 05/21/12 – How the Story Doesn’t End

A heap of ashes…

“Behold, I make all things new!” – Jesus

An old man packs up his wife and belongings and moves to a far distant land way from friends and relatives, and never again owned a piece of land except a burial plot.

A young boy has visions of greatness that put him at odds with his brothers and he winds up a slave who spends time in prison.

A gifted young man leaves the palace to be a shepherd and wanders the earth for the next 80 years, never reaching the land he so longed to see.

A youth of noble birth is carried away by foreigners where he is taught their language and customs and forbidden to worship the God of his childhood.

A carpenter who learned his trade from his step-father winds up being nailed to a cross by those who know nothing of his trade or his identity.

The Bible is rife with stories such as these.  Men, women, children…it doesn’t matter.  They all believed in a God they couldn’t see and trusted in Him, yet they all experienced great losses and times of despair.

The old man became the ancestor of all believers, descendants like the sand of the sea or stars of the heavens.  The young boy who dreamed dreams lived to see them come true after he got out of prison and even saw his family again and saved them and God’s people from certain starvation.  The gifted young man who fled the wrath of pharaoh delivered his people from enslavement by God’s power.  The young man of noble birth wound up in a lion’s den but found great favor with God and died highly favored by the God he served.  And of course, the carpenter didn’t stay in the tomb, but rose and ascended, proving his claim to be the Son of God.

Their early lives would not have given testimony to such happy endings.  Life many not turn our way, or the way we hope it will turn.  We may never, like Abraham, own another piece of land and we may be wanderers and outcasts.  So how will our story end?

It was Elisabeth Elliot, no stranger to loss and grief (twice widowed, once after 3 years and the second time after 4 years), put it this way: “Of one thing I am completely sure: God’s story never ends in ashes.”  I hope I never forget that bit of wisdom!

PRAYER: God of rebirth, God of renewal, God of infinite power and glory, thank you that our lives, like those of the great men and women of the Bible, will never end in ashes!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 is now engaged in a project to provide temporary shelter, food, water and adult care to 37 orphans in Migori, Kenya.  We are trying to raise up an army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us provide care for these children until our partner in the project, BrightPoint for Children, can secure sponsorships for these 37 kids.  If you want to contribute, follow this link and scroll down to find the “Donate” button: Help the 37 Migori Orphans

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