DayBreaks for 3/5/19 – Ready Every Day

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DayBreaks for 3/05/19: Ready Every Day

From the DayBreaks archive February 2009:

Robby Robins was an Air Force pilot during the first Iraq war. After his 300th mission, he was surprised to be given permission to immediately pull his crew together and fly his plane home. They flew across the ocean to Massachusetts and then had a long drive to western Pennsylvania. They drove all night, and when his buddies dropped him off at his driveway just after sun-up, there was a big banner across the garage—”Welcome Home Dad!”

How did they know? No one had called, and the crew themselves hadn’t expected to leave so quickly. Robins relates, “When I walked into the house, the kids, about half dressed for school, screamed, ‘Daddy!’ Susan came running down the hall—she looked terrific—hair fixed, make-up on, and a crisp yellow dress. ‘How did you know?’ I asked.

‘I didn’t,’ she answered through tears of joy. ‘Once we knew the war was over, we knew you’d be home one of these days. We knew you’d try to surprise us, so we were ready every day.'”

In Matthew 25 is the parable of the wise and foolish virgins who were invited to the wedding feast.  The wise virgins had enough oil to keep their lamps burning and were ready and waiting when the bridegroom showed up at the feast.  The foolish virgins had not exercised the foresight to prepare themselves so they were not ready when the bridegroom arrived. 

We need to be ready every day for a variety of things:

FIRST: we need to be ready for the arrival of the bridegroom.  It could be today that Jesus gets the word from the Father: “It’s time.  Go back and bring My children home!”  If that day is today, there is absolutely nothing that will stop it from taking place.  No one knows the day, except the Father.  Hence the need to always be ready!

SECOND: we need to be ready to die.  Jesus may or may not come today…and we may or may not live to see tomorrow.  It sounds trite to say it, but it is true.  Just recently in our town, a 19 year old boy from a nearby town came here for the yearly Citrus Fair.  He was hit by a car and killed.  I know he wasn’t expecting it, I can only hope and pray that he was ready.

THIRD: there are opportunities that only come up once in a while and we need to be ready to grasp the opportunities to show the love of Jesus each day even as he demonstrates his love to us daily.  Make it a point, right now, to love someone today in a practical way.  You might not have the chance again tomorrow.

Prayer: Help us to be watchful, Lord, and ready, for Your return, for our own death, and for the chances that come our way to love others in Your name!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

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

 

DayBreaks for 6/29/16 – The Birthday Boy Ponders Life

DayBreaks for 6/29/16 – The Birthday Boy Ponders Life

Galen is on vacation. From the DayBreaks archive, June 2006:

Sixty-four years ago today, I emerged into a world that was locked in a Cold War, the Yankees were the dominant force in professional sports, and my parents welcomed me into their growing family (I’m really not sure how my sister felt about me at that exact moment, though.)  They took me home to the little farm house in Greene County, Iowa, that I would know as home for the first 9-10 years of my life.  I didn’t think much about life when I was young.  After all, why should I?  It stretched out like I-80 through Nevada – as far as one could see – with no end in sight, not even a bend in the road. 

But life isn’t really like that, is it?  There are things that make us focus a bit more on life itself as we get older.  A classmate in your senior year who has their life snuffed out one Saturday night by a drunk driver.  A friend whose car is struck crossing a railroad track – with near fatal results.  A move from one state to another with the broken hearts of all involved for friends left behind.  The simple reality is that life is full of nothing but bendy roads, and the road has a very definite end – we just can’t see it very often.

As I contemplate my life today, I think that I’m beginning to see where the road may end.  At least, I know for sure that there will be a DEAD END sign in my future.  And that, is a good thing to know, isn’t it?  I don’t know when I’ll come around a corner and see that sign, but it is good to know that it will show up.  I wouldn’t have always said that, because as a typical younger person, I was too busy living life to contemplate the alternative – and I had no interest or desire to die.  I still enjoy life – I love it, in fact, but the alternative to life in this world for believers is not at all bad.  Not bad at all.  I think, however, that the key to coming to that contentment is found as “the alternative to life in this world…”.  This world just isn’t that pretty of a place anymore.  When you can begin to hear the sounds of the heavenly chorus, and you learn that you can never be good enough, wise enough, righteous enough and as a result you throw yourself totally upon His mercy and love, there is a peace that is inconceivable.  It’s not even a resigned reluctance, but more of an eager anticipation for the journey ahead.

But for today, or this moment at least, I’m here until my Father calls me home.  That means that it’s still His will for me to be here – and for you to be here, too.  He’s got something for us yet to do before we go home.  But if the story of the 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins says anything to us, it should tell us that we need to keep our bags packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Matthew 25:13 (NIV) – Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. 

PRAYER:  God, with each day, help us to have our bags packed a little more fully, a little more completely, so that when You do come for us, we will not only be found ready, but eager, to go with You.  Thank You for the forgiveness that assures us of Your love.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 3/23/16 – Remain and Watch

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Gethsemane, January 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple

DayBreaks for 3/23/16 – Remain and Watch

Mark 14:34 – My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death, remain here and keep watch.

Jesus, of course, spoke those words to his disciples on the night of his betrayal after he’d led them across the Kidron into the garden of Gethsemane.  He was in agony.  I don’t believe it was because of fear of death at all.  Countless men and women have gone heroically, stoically and quietly to their deaths for various causes throughout history.  Why should we believe that Jesus didn’t have the composure to face death?  Certainly, he was not afraid of death for he holds the keys to “death and hades.”  But he was deeply, deeply grieved. 

As I thought about the verse from Mark, I was again reminded of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins.  The five foolish ones had run out of oil and were gone when the bridegroom came to the wedding feast and they were shut out.  They had not kept watch faithfully until the bridegroom showed up.  Scriptures are full of admonitions to be awake, be alert, be on guard, to keep watch.  Why?  Because we have a tendency to be sleepy, to lose our focus, to get distracted by all sorts of other things of lesser value.

As I thought about Mark 14:34, I thought that he could have repeated those words as he ascended, and I also thought about what Jesus would say to us today.  As he sits enthroned at the right hand of God above the circle of the earth and as he looks down at us, I think he would repeat the same thing he said in the garden: “My soul is deeply grieved…remain here and keep watch.”  He is grieved by what he sees – the hatred, the greed, the abuse and immorality.  But he would reiterate to us our mission: “remain here and keep watch.”  We are his representatives here on this planet.  He’s left us here to continue his work and to keep watch for his interests…and for his return.  What are you watching and waiting for?  How are you spending the time he’s given you here?

TODAY’S PRAYER:  There is so much to distract us from terrorist bombings to toothaches and we are so easily distracted, Lord.  Help us to see the things you see, to care about the things you care about, to do the work that you’ve given us to do.  Help us to watch, and wait, faithfully.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple

DayBreaks for 11/26/14 – The Return of the King

DayBreaks for 11/26/14 – The Return of the King

John Phillips, in his book Exploring Revelation, tells a story about the when Richard I, the Lionhearted, returned to England. During the time of the crusades, when Richard was away doing battle in the Mideast, his kingdom fell on really bad times. His brother, Prince John, who was justly vilified in the tales of Robin Hood, usurped the throne and misruled the realm in the king’s absence. The people of England suffered horribly under John’s rule and eagerly longed for the return of the rightful king. They prayed fervently that it might be soon. Then one day it happened – Richard returned! He landed in England and marched straight for his throne. John’s castles fell before Richard, the rightful king, like bowling pins. Richard the Lionhearted laid claim to his throne, and no one dared stand in his path. The people loudly proclaimed their delight, as the bells in England rang out peal after peal of joy. The Lion was back! Long live the king!

John Phillips adds these hopeful words: One day a King greater than Richard will lay claim to a realm greater than England. Those who have abused the earth in His absence, seized His domains, and mismanaged His world will all be swept aside.

The day is coming when the world’s rightful King returns for His throne.  It’s coming, and for the loyal citizens of His Kingdom it will be a grand and glorious day. No one knows when it will happen, or much about the details of that day, but we need to get ready.  What we do know is this: The King is in charge…and He is trustworthy.  And He tells us: “Watch for my coming!”

PRAYER: Lord, I pray that we will take your admonition to heart and start to pay more attention and look to the sky in anticipation of your return! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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DayBreaks for 10/25/11 – Time to Get Up

DayBreaks for 10/25/11 – Time To Get Up

"In case it was God coming..."

Author Isak Dinesen confessed that she liked being awakened with really important news.  One morning Kamante, her house help, woke her with the threat, ‘Msabu, I think you had better get up – I think God is coming.’  Ms. Dinesen wrote: ‘From the door-windows I now saw a strange phenomenon.  There was a big grass-fire going on out in the hills, and the grass burning all the way from the hilltop to the plain…I stood for some time and looked at it, with Kamante watching by my side, then I began to explain the thing to him…for I thought that he had been terribly frightened.  But the explanation did not seem to make much impression… ‘Well, yes,’ he said, ‘it may be so.  But I thought you had better get up in case it was God coming.’”

It is hard to understand how someone could have seen the fire in the distance and have thought it was God coming.  But doesn’t Scripture talk about God being a consuming fire, that He will come with flaming fire taking vengeance on those that don’t know Christ?  Perhaps Kamante had heard those verses from a mission school.  It doesn’t really matter where he heard it, but the key was what he felt his employer needed to do “…IN CASE it was God coming.”

Think about it.  Have you ever awakened in the middle of the night when you heard a sound?  What if it was God coming to your front door, or down the hallway?  Just in case it was He, what would you do?

Some day God is coming again.  And while Kamante seemed to think that Ms. Dinesen might have missed His coming, not a single human being is going to miss His return.

In case God were to come to your home today, what would you need to do?  What would you want to try to put away in some dark old closet so He wouldn’t see it?  What would you do with your spare time?  How would you change your life?

Hosea 10:12 – “12 Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.

1 Peter 4:17 – “17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

PRAYER: Lord, if this is the day that You come, help us to be ready!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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