DayBreaks for 1/10/18 – God Help the Fish

Image result for fish

Image courtesy from iStock photo.

DayBreaks for 1/10/18: God Help the Fish

When you think of it, we all like fairy tale stories in one form or another. We like stories of frogs becoming princes, of ugly ducklings that become beautiful swans and the down-and-out who rise above adversity yet remain kind, compassionate and humble.

Sam Houston was the first president of the Republic of Texas. It’s said he was a rather nasty fellow with a checkered past.  Later in life Houston made a commitment to Christ and was baptized in a river. The preacher said to him, “Sam, your sins are washed away.”  Houston replied, “God help the fish.”

We see similar stories throughout the Bible as ordinary people, often very poor and outcast, who come to a special relationship with God or Jesus. The woman at the well, the woman taken in adultery, Saul of Tarsus, Zacchaeus and others are all examples. We are uplifted by their stories.

Yet, each and every believer in Jesus is like the pauper who becomes a prince or princess. We have to go through a process much like Sam Houston did – of being convicted of our estate (it must become clear to see!) – before God dresses us in the finest of robes, puts shoes on us, gives us his ring and reinstates us to a place in His own house.

How do you see yourself? You may not feel like the prince or princess just yet, but once your sins have been washed away, you are no longer what you previously were. You are a child of the King and you are growing to look more and more like him with each passing day, week, month and year. The day will come when you will stand beside him in glory, look in the mirror and see both his and your reflection, and will be amazed at how alike you are!

Hang tough! Persevere! Trust Him! He will finish the work he has started!

PRAYER: God, I know my own sin is enough to kill all the fish in the sea, yet you promise me you have washed me clean and that I am your child. Help us all to being to grasp that simple, yet profound, truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

DayBreaks for 11/20/17 – In Due Time

Image result for in due time

DayBreaks for 11/20/17: In Due Time

NOTE: Galen is traveling…again.

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2007:

“Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly, somewhere over the rainbow, why then, oh why, can’t I?”  Every heart carries dreams and hopes and ambitions.  I’ve always wanted to be able to fly (without being in an airplane.)  I know other people who have dreamed of sailing the south Pacific or climbing some of the earth’s tallest mountains.  Others dream of being a police officer, astronaut, explorer, singer, dancer or actor.  Hopes and dreams are an essential part of life. 

In Discipleship Journal, Carole Mayhall tells of a woman who went to a diet center to lose weight.  The director took her to a full-length mirror.  On it he outlined a figure and told her, “This is what I want you to be like at the end of the program.”  Days of intense dieting and exercise followed, and every week the woman would stand in front of the mirror, discouraged because her bulging outline didn’t fit the director’s ideal.  But she kept at it, and finally one day she conformed to the longed-for image.  – Daily Bread, August 8, 1990

For a long time, as a child, I wanted to be either a brain surgeon or astronaut.  When I started off to college, I was torn between pursuing a career in medicine or in ministry.  For over 25 years, I did neither, although I took classes that could have led in both directions.  The thrill of holding someone’s physical life in my hands during surgery was intoxicating.  The adventure and wonder of flying through space to the moon caught my imagination. 

What we dream of and long for help to shape what we actually become.  That’s partly why Scripture says “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”  (Phil. 4:8)  We’re also told that we are what we think about in our hearts.  We’re told what our vision should be: to lock our eyes on to Christ and to become like him.  Pretty heady stuff, when you think about that one!

The absence of dreams (a vision and focus for life) can be equally serious: we can wind up just drifting along and one day we bump into shore and we are something that we never wanted to be, stuck somewhere in a place we never wanted to be.  God wants more for us, for you, than that. 

I have been out of high school now for a staggering 47 years (as of 2017).  Even if I’d pursued a career in medicine, I would have been out of college for 35 years or so.  Are there days when I still wish that I was a neurosurgeon or astronaut?  Yeah, there are.  But they’re a lot less frequent now.  Here’s what I want to be when I grow up: I want to be Christ-like.  It is hard to imagine that such a thing is possible, but Peter says it is in 2 Peter 1.  2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV) says: And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Like the woman in front of the mirror who saw the shape of what she wanted to be gradually became the shape she actually was, let us all fix our eyes on the perfect Image, the exact Image, of God.  And in due time, if we don’t grow weary, we will take on that Image to His everlasting glory.

PRAYER:  Jesus, it’s hard to believe that we could come to look like You.  Help us to keep looking at You and to You, our perfect example.  May we regain what we were meant to be that we have lost through sin.  Help us to be patient with ourselves, even as You patiently shape us.   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 6/13/17 – The Amazing Extent of Dirt

DayBreaks for 6/13/17: The Amazing Extent of Dirt

From the DayBreaks archive, 2007:

I don’t know about where you live, but unless you live in one of those “bubbles” or a clean-room environment in a medical or scientific lab, well, there’s just dirt everywhere.  I remember when the first floppy drives came out…they were very large (much larger than the 3-1/4” ones later on) and didn’t hold much data.  The company I was working for was quick to add them to our products for backup purposes (this was before CD’s, etc.), and we struggled with them because even a tiny speck of dust could cause the disk drive heads to crash and ruin data.  The introduction of Winchester disk technology was a real boon to the computer industry, because they used sealed disks that dirt couldn’t get into.

How I wish that my mind was of Winchester technology!  It seems that the “dirt” (not the material kind, but the sinful kind) gets into my mind way too easily.  And, just like the dirt in your kitchen, it’s hard to get out. 

In his book, Hearing God, Dallas Willard contemplates this problem and how the dirt of the world that gets into our mind can hinder our hearing of God.  What, for example, is your first reaction when you hear a siren passing by?  When you have car trouble, how long does it take before you take the matter to God?  Does our mind spontaneously return to God and His things when it’s not intensely occupied with things of work or school?  After all, the needle of a compass returns to true north…and if God is our “true north”, our minds should turn to Him, too.  Our answers to those kind of questions could be an indicator to us of how our mind is so firmly entrenched in false ways.

He notes that we’re still so very much like the world of Isaiah’s days (55:9-10): We wait for light, and lo! There is darkness; and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.  We grope like the blind along a wall, groping like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among the vigorous as though we were dead.

Why is this the case?  Willard suggests: “This is all because our minds – perhaps our very brains – need to have the false thoughts and habits washed out of them.  They so badly need to be washed that we rarely understand what life would be like if they were cleansed, and many of us do not even sense the need for cleansing.”

Remember when your mom talked about washing your mouth out with soap?  Maybe it’s time that we pray fervently that our Father will wash our minds out with the Spirit!

Romans 12:2 (NIV) – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 8:5-6 (NLT) – Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.  If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.

PRAYER: Father, thank You for the washing that leads us to cleansing.  We ask you today to wash our minds, for we give you permission to make them over in whatever way you see fit.  Take the dirt out that so easily contaminates us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 3/09/17 – Because You Have Met Me

DayBreaks for 3/09/17: Because You Have Met Me

From the DayBreaks archive, March 2007:

Exodus 4:4-5 (NIV) – Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.  “This,” said the LORD, “is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob–has appeared to you.

The nerve of some Biblical people amazes me.  Moses, while we’re told that he was the meekest man, was very bold at times with God.  His first known encounter with God in the wilderness at the burning bush shows how stubborn we as humans can be.  All of a sudden, out of the blue, Moses is drawn to the bush and told that God wants to send him on a mission to lead Israel out of 400 years of captivity and slavery in Egypt.  God speaks of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph – and the promises He made to them and how He intends now, in the time of Moses, to fulfill those great promises.  And what does Moses do?  He hems, haws, and otherwise tries to avoid the mission.  He gives God lots of excuses (not reasons) why he’s not the right person.  Moses would learn that it didn’t pay to argue with God.  But he hasn’t learned it yet.  And so he worries that Israel will not believe that God wants to relieve them of their slavery, and he asks God for signs to give to the people that will convince them.

And so, finally God makes the statement to Moses that’s found in Exodus 4:5, after having Moses’ staff turn into a serpent: This is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – has appeared to you.

I’d missed this for nearly 55 years now.  It wasn’t the serpent that would convince people that Moses had been sent by God.  It was really nothing more than God telling Moses that the people will know that He sent Moses because Moses has met God.  (God has appeared to him.) 

Each day as I wander through the streets of town, go into buildings or stores, pull up to the gas pump, buy a Dr. Pepper – I wonder if people can tell that I have met God?  What kind of evidence is there that I’ve met Him – and He has met with me?  And it’s not just that I’ve met Him – He lives within me in a way I don’t know if He did with Moses!  The evidence of having met the Maker is radical and life-changing.  From this encounter onward, for as long as he lived, Moses was a changed man.  He still had moments of weakness and doubt, but the people would follow him because he knew the Lord’s name…another way of saying, he knew God. 

Having met God doesn’t make us perfect, but if it hasn’t changed us – RADICALLY changed us – perhaps we’ve never met him like Moses did in the wilderness.  We don’t have to have a burning bush in our life to meet Him.  Yet, He is all around us, and in us.  We need to learn to do what Moses finally did: stop arguing and fighting with Him and let Him have His way in us, to use us for His glorious purposes (which will, by the way, work to our benefit!) and to let others know we have met God and been sent by Him.

PRAYER: Sometimes, Father, much to our great embarrassment, we hide the fact that we have met You.  We are too fearful, weak-kneed and stubborn to bear witness for you.  May we truly meet You even now, may we be radically changed by that encounter, so that wherever we go, people will know you exist and that by our changed lives, they will know we have met the Living God.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 2/11/16 – What Our Conformance Means

DayBreaks for 2/11/16: What Our Conformance Means

From the DayBreaks archive, February 2006:

Romans 12:2 (NIV) – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will

Fashionable.  “With it.”  Contemporary.  Modern.  We’ve got all kinds of names for being like the rest of the world, don’t we?  And you know what?  They all sound good, don’t they?  I mean, would you rather be called unfashionable, “Out of it,” outdated?  We would generally think that those things are not very positive or flattering.

And we so want to think of ourselves as being “with it”, or if I can use some old fashioned language, “Cool!”  We would be hurt and perhaps even feel insulted of someone said we weren’t fashionable.  That’s really too bad. 

Our society is status-driven, and conformance to what society thinks is good is often in order to gain status or prestige.  Sometimes it is to try to curry favor in such a way that we will gain some advantages in business or school or in a dating relationship.  I can’t think of a single thing in our culture that elevates the things of God over the things of man.  Why?  Because the kingdom of God is at war, at very serious odds, with the kingdom of our culture.  You see, our culture is sick.  It’s twisted, perverted and I believe it stinks in the nostrils of Almighty God. 

And yet…we still go on trying to conform to this world.  But what does that mean?  If we are trying to conform to a sick culture, we are inviting sickness into our very souls, we are choosing sickness instead of the health that God wants to give us. 

What will you choose today?  His healing and health, or will you continue to choose sickness and embrace it to your bosom?

TODAY’S PRAYER:  Father, please change our hearts.  Give us the wisdom to see that there is a way that leads to life, and a way that leads to sickness and death.  By the power of Your Spirit, please give us the wisdom to choose life, even as Joshua challenged Israel to choose life so long ago.  Help us to care much more about how You think about us, not how the world things about us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 3/19/14 – Truly His

DayBreaks for 3/19/14 – The “Impossible” Dream

 

2 Corinthians 6:18 (NLT) – And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.

There are times when we struggle mightily to really believe the “good news”.  We’ve been taught that if something sounds too good to be true then it IS too good to be true.  For the most part, that is correct.  But there are some very noteworthy exceptions.

There are days when we desperately need to be able to look into the mirror and not just see, but fully believe, that the person staring back at us from the reflection is a child of God. If we can’t believe that, some days would be just too difficult to bear.

We can be assisted in believing that by others – real and fictional.  I first read the book, Don Quixote, when I was in high school and I remain fascinated by it to this day. A good example of how such a transformation into becoming something beautiful is found in the story of Dulcinea, one of the principal characters in the popular Broadway musical, Man of la Mancha, based on Cervantes’ classic work, Don Quixote.  During the play, the audience learns that Don Quixote, the main character in the story, lives with many illusions, most especially his idea that he is a knight errant who battles dragons in the form of windmills.

At the end of the play as he lays dying, Don Quixote has at his side a prostitute, Aldonza, whom he has called throughout the play Dulcinea – “Sweet One” – much to the mocking delight of the local townsfolk. But Don Quixote has loved her in a way unlike anything she has ever experienced. When Quixote breathes his last, Aldonza begins to sing the song “The Impossible Dream.” As the last echoes of the song die away, someone shouts to her, “Aldonza!” But she pulls away proudly and responds, “My name is Dulcinea.” The crazy’s knight’s love had transformed her.

It was more than she could have hoped for in a thousand lifetimes.  I would imagine her feelings were much like those of the woman caught in the act of adultery when Jesus tenderly called her, “Daughter.”

Jesus calls us his brothers and sisters…the sons and daughters of the Father.  The next time that someone calls you by a derogatory name, remind yourself of what the Father calls you and be transformed by that knowing!

PRAYER: Father, Abba!!  May Your love be a certainty to us and may we see that we are truly Your children! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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 11/08/13: The Illusion that Comes From Distance

DayBreaks for 11/08/13 – The Illusion that Comes From Distance

From the DayBreaks Archive, dated 11/12/2003:

Have you ever driven across country?  I’ve done many times!  It is always an interesting experience.  You never know what or who you will encounter along the way, but you know that you’ll see lots of different scenery, much of it very beautiful.

Just this past week I was at a seminar with John Walker from Blessing Ranch in Colorado, a retreat and refreshment center for church leaders.  H shared an interesting story with us that speaks a lot about our human perceptions.  From where Dr. Walker lives, it is 31 miles to a particular mountain range.  From his ranch, he can see two mountain peaks that look like identical twins, the proverbial, “twin peaks”.  The tree line stops at the same elevation, the snow level and coloring look identical.  They are almost identical in height.  But as Dr. Walker noted, as you get closer to the peaks, the differences begin to become apparent.  The coloring isn’t the same after all, the irregularities of each becomes apparent, the vegetation patterns are different.  What looked so much alike from a distance, no longer is apparent – in fact, what becomes obvious is that there is not much similarity at all between the two peaks.

What does this have to do with Christianity?  Simply this: it is easy, from a distance, to think that we’re quite Christ-like.  But the truth is that the closer we get to Him, the more our obvious differences from Christ become.  The closer we get to Christ, the more dissimilarity appears.  The farther away we are, the easier it is to assume the illusion that we are similar.

Perhaps you have become pretty satisfied with your Christian life and the Christ-likeness that we are to wear.  But the closer we draw to God’s Presence, the more we see how far we have to go to have much resemblance to Him at all.  It’s a humbling experience, but it’s also instructive.  We simply aren’t going to ever get very close to his likeness in this life, but that’s not the end of the story.  We have His promise that when He returns for us, that we shall be like him: 1 John 3:2 (NIV)  – Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

We are encouraged to drawn near to Him in full confidence (Heb. 10:22).  As we do, we’ll see where we need to be changed and God will commence the great transformation.   

PRAYER: Lord, let us draw near to You so that we may see ourselves with sharper vision that shows us how far we still have to go.  And then, Father, let your Spirit of encouragement and comfort fall on us to reassure us of not just Your love, but Your goodness and promise to make us like You! 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!