DayBreaks for 1/6/17 – We’ve Done Everything Else

DayBreaks for 1/06/17: We’ve Done Everything Else

There was a time when the people didn’t venture out onto the seas. There was a time when the idea of a person flying through the air like a bird was grounds for commitment to an insane asylum. And don’t even mention the notion of man escaping the bounds of earthly gravity to walk on the surface of another celestial body. Yet, all those things have come to pass.

There was even a time in Scripture when mankind decided to build a tower to reach heaven itself. And, apparently, they were making some pretty good progress because God stepped in and convoluted their language and plans to prevent it from happening.

It seems, doesn’t it, that there is no limit to what mankind can accomplish? Well, I’m sure there are limits, but that’s not the point here. I recently ran across this quote from William Sloan Coffin and it struck me to the heart:

We have learned to soar through the air like birds, to swim through the seas like fish, to soar through space like comets. Now it is high time we learned to walk the earth as the children of our God.

Let this be the year when we make that our highest objective and greatest resolution!

PRAYER: God, a year from now, I pray that we can all look back and see that we have walked this earth more like your children than we ever have before! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016 by Galen Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 5/17/16 – The Speed God Walks

DayBreaks for 5/17/16 – The Speed God Walks

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

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2006:

On Wednesday mornings, I teach a bible study at a senior apartment complex.  It’s a small group that gathers, but they’re tremendously faithful and very serious students of the Word.  This bible study group is truly one of the highlights of my week every week!  There is one lady that I get to help from her apartment to where we meet in the fireside room.  She’s 92 years young, sharp as a tack, even if she’s a bit hard to understand because her voice is very gravelly.  She moves very slowly – she uses a walker to get around in her apartment and I get her wheelchair ready for her and push her down to the meeting.  I make sure and get there in plenty of time in order to allow for how slowly she moves.

I sometimes am a little impatient – although I don’t think I let it show.  I try to imagine how it must be to be 92 years of age, with bones and muscles that creak and groan.  I hope, that if I do live that long, that there will be someone who is loving and patient with me.

Theologian Kosuke Koyama described God in a wonderful way.  As he reflected on his days spent in the peaceful rice fields of Thailand, he was moved to write these word: “God walks ‘slowly’ because he is love.  If he is not love he would have gone much faster.  Love has its speed.  It is an inner speed.  It is a spiritual speed.  It is a different kind of speed from the technological speed to which we are accustomed…It goes on in the depth of our life, whether we notice or not, whether we are currently hit by storm or not, at three miles an hour.  It is the speed we walk and therefore it is the speed the love of God walks.”

There’s a lot to contemplate in that paragraph: 

FIRST: love moves slowly, and because God is love, He moves slowly.  Why did God take 400 years before He led Israel out of Egypt?  Why did He take thousands of years before sending Christ?  Why has He waited so long to complete His plan for us and make all wrongs right?  If I read scripture correctly, the answer is love: it is his love that leads to his patience, not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance.  (2 Peter 3:9)

SECOND: Love has to move slowly in order to notice that which is beloved.  When you’re moving at warp speed, you can’t notice the curl at the corner of the mouth that signifies happiness, the smell of someone’s hair, the wonder of their mind and thoughts.  Love must give and receive – and those things both take time to give and receive wisely.

THIRD: Humans walk about 3 miles per hour – give or take a bit, depending on circumstances.  How interesting that he says that love walks at 3 miles per hour.  He’s suggesting that where we go, love goes…at 3 miles per hour.  At least, this is to be the case for all believers – if God is within us then he moves with us…at 3 miles per hour. 

He’s not in any rush to make His way through this day.  Let’s not be trying to move at a greater speed than love demands.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 (NLT) – Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer in large, clear letters on a tablet, so that a runner can read it and tell everyone else.  But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.”

PRAYER:  How wonderful it is to know that You love us so unreservedly and so intimately!  Thank you for taking the time to always be slow enough to notice us – our joys, our pains, our fears and our delights.  Thank you for making the petals of each flower to delight us.  Thank you for making people so vastly different and complex.  Help us to take the time to walk slowly this day and see, and be, love wherever we go.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

DayBreaks for 3/14/16 – We Walked Together

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DayBreaks for 3/14/16: We Walked Together

NOTE: Galen will be traveling for the next 10 days or so. You will be receiving messages from the DayBreaks archive during that time!  From the DayBreaks archive, 2006:

Psalm 55:1-14 (NLT) – Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles. My enemies shout at me, making loud and wicked threats. They bring trouble on me, hunting me down in their anger. My heart is in anguish. The terror of death overpowers me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me. I can’t stop shaking. Oh, how I wish I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest. I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. How quickly I would escape— far away from this wild storm of hatred. Destroy them, Lord, and confuse their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city. Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders, but the real danger is wickedness within the city. Murder and robbery are everywhere there; threats and cheating are rampant in the streets. It is not an enemy who taunts me— I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me— I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.

Many see reference in verses 12-14 of the betrayal of Christ by Judas, and perhaps it is rightly so.  However, verse 13 makes that seem difficult – certainly Judas was not an equal to Christ, even if he did sit in the place of the intimate friend at the last supper.  Perhaps that’s just my own hang-up: we are joint heirs with Christ and will inherit all things with Him, He is our elder brother – we are related by blood – His blood – and we bear His image (as defaced as it may be in us from time to time.)  He calls us “friend”, not “slave” or “servant.”  Those things, as incredible as it may sound, speak of equality – an equality that is not based on inherent worth, but worth imputed to us by a gracious Father through the blood of the Lamb.

While it may be that we should see Judas in verse 13 and the bitterness of the betrayal, I think I again more properly see here Messianic language: verses 4-5 seems to speak of the agony of the Garden where the terror of death and what was about to come to pass was becoming a crushing weight on Jesus’ spirit.  Verse 6 reminds me of Revelation, where the woman who gives birth to the child flees to the wilderness, a place of quiet and safety, prepared beforehand by God for her.  The Israelites fled to the wilderness in their exodus – and because God was there with them, it was a place of relative safety for them, in spite of their many rebellions.  As Christ hung on the cross, did he see the city of Jerusalem (vs. 9) that had become full of violence that had led to the slaughter of the Lamb of God?  (I must admit that I struggle with how the first part of verse 9 fits!)  The city was walled…and history showed that it would not fall to the Romans until 70 AD, but the fall had already started and was sure to happen because of the wickedness inside.  Murder (the killing of the innocent Lamb), the religious leaders robbing God of His due (both worship and the blood money that was paid to Judas belonged to God and they’d stolen both from Him), all were visible to His tear-filled eyes.  Yet, Jesus knew it was not his enemy who was afflicting him (vs. 12), but rather that He was smitten by God for our sins and offenses!  How he must have longed to walk in equality again to the house of God, side by side with the Father, freed from the humiliation of the fleshly nature that he bore to the cross!

The range of emotions that must have flowed through Christ on the cross is incomprehensible.  Perhaps it is best that we are spared the knowledge of most of what went through his mind – except for the few utterances that passed his lips.  Yet, lest we make him too human and not enough God, we shouldn’t speculate too far.  He died very quickly – as far as crucifixion goes.  Indeed, as verse 8 hints, he did escape quickly by dismissing his Spirit into the hands of the Father.  Certainly, this world is enveloped in a raging storm of hatred and Christ experienced it more than anyone else ever has.  This is such a humbling passage – it cuts to my heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER:  Jesus, how I wonder about all the thoughts that went through your mind as you hung suspended between heaven and earth.  Did you think about me?  What did you think of when my name flashed through your mind?  What do you think of me today, Lord?  Are you pleased with me?  Reveal to us your thoughts and direction for our lives.  How we long to walk together with you into the House of God!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 10/13/14 – Faith Walking, #1

DayBreaks for 10/13/14 – Faith Walking #1

What does it mean to walk by faith?  What does it take?

Our minister is speaking on the topic of faith walking and we are all being challenged to consider our own walk with god and to learn to walk more and more by faith.  What does it mean?  It means listening to the guidance of the Word and Spirit, with a willing heart to do whatever He directs, believing that God has already made the way and then resting in supreme peace as we wait for Him to act.

The question was posed: if you could give one thing to God, just one, what would it be?  Would it be some huge, heroic and incredible act of faith, such as Moses demonstrated at the Red Sea, or Elijah on Mount Carmel, the Zarepath widow, or the widow who gave her last two mites to God?

We all would love to be able to rise to such a pinnacle of faith, wouldn’t we?  But the greater gift to God might very well be an entire lifetime of faith, well lived.  The problem is that those humongous acts of faith may well be disguised as a tiny thing: surely such was the case with the widow and the two mites.  I doubt that she saw it as such a great thing – she probably felt it was a small, simple act of obedience.  And Jesus was mightily impressed!

The truth is that unless our faith encounters challenges and obstacles that are truly difficult for us to deal with, we quickly tend to slide backwards from walking by faith into walking by sight.  And that is just not something that God is asking for.

As we walk through this sermon series, I’ll share more of the concepts of a faith walk with you.  I’m being challenged by it…and perhaps it will challenge you, too.

But let’s just start with these two questions:

  1. If you could give God just one gift, what would it be?
  2. How much of your life are you spending walking by sight instead of by faith? 

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) – And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. 

PRAYER: Jesus, we tend to believe in what we can see and touch.  Help us to trust in you when we can’t see you or touch you and to walk in faith and not by sight!  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!

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