DayBreaks for 8/7/18 – Words Are Loaded Pistols

Image result for loaded pistol

DayBreaks for 8/07/18: Words Are Loaded Pistols

From the DayBreaks archive, August 2008:

Have you been described as a person of many words?  Most of us are more afflicted with the running-off-at-the-mouth disease than closed-mouth disease.  We like to hear ourselves talk, probably because we think we have something worth saying.  Sometimes that is true, but sometimes, perhaps most often, it’s a delusion. 

Did you know that on October 14, 1912, the life of outspoken and energetic presidential candidate, Theodore Roosevelt was saved by his many words? 

Roosevelt had just completed one term as our nation’s president, and was reapplying with the voters for the job.  As he left his hotel in Milwaukee on that particular day, he stuffed his thick, wordy campaign speech in his breast pocket.  He was soon confronted by a gun-toting bartender who fired at rough-and-tumble Teddy, hoping that Roosevelt would suffer the same fate as his predecessor, President McKinley, who’d been assassinated.  The bullet did crack one of Roosevelt’s ribs, but the thickness of his speech probably saved him from death as the bullet struck the large sheaf of paper that he’d put into his pocket shortly before.

While many words were life-saving in this one incident, generally the more words you spit out, the more trouble you bring on your own head.  Jean Paul Sartre once wisely observed, “Words are loaded pistols.”  Now, just in case you don’t like what Sartre had to say on the topic, your Creator dispensed this sage perspective: When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. (Prov. 10:19, NIV).

“Words are loaded pistols.” Indeed they are. They can protect and defend, but they can also maim and kill.

Words—choose them carefully.  Spend them carefully.  And make sure you err on the side of saying too little rather than too much.  Your life might be at stake.

Matthew 12:36-37 (NIV) – But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.

PRAYER:  Help us Lord, to be people of few words.  May the words we speak be Your Words, not ours!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

DayBreaks for 12/13/17 – When Words Don’t Come

Image result for speechless

DayBreaks for 12/13/17: When Words Don’t Come

From the DayBreaks archive, December 2007:

You’ve heard of writer’s block – when a writer just can’t think of what to write.  Although it would be a long stretch to call myself a writer, I can identify with that syndrome!   Here’s a news flash for you: preachers get it, too, but I call it “preacher’s block.”  It’s what happens when the week is spinning by like an altimeter on a nose-down jet – and you just can’t seem to find the inspiration or words for the message on the coming Sunday.  You start to sweat, you shift uneasily in the chair, you wander a hallway or two as if you’ll find inspiration there.  Sometimes, it even works.  Do you want to know when I have the greatest trouble with “preacher’s block”?  It’s at Christmas.  For me, Christmas sermons are the toughest of all. 

Words and inspiration can come from the strangest of places – after all, if God could speak through a donkey to Balaam, He can certainly bring inspiration from any corner He chooses.  But sometimes we are just plain fearful – fearful that when we’re confronted with a challenge to our faith, that we won’t have the words.  So, we keep our mouths shut. 

How should we react then?  Remember the story of Moses – how he questioned God’s wisdom in choosing him because of his slowness with words?  Paul, the greatest missionary the world has ever seen, was a lot like Moses.  He said he didn’t come to the Corinthians “proclaiming…in lofty words or wisdom”, but rather “in weakness and in fear and in much trembling.  My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.” (1 Cor. 2:1-5)  Where was Paul’s confidence?  Was it in his own words and ability to speak them?  No, it was that God was speaking with him, giving life to the words that Paul did speak.

When you think about it, Moses and Paul were two of the people most responsible for the writing of the Word of God.  Both were weak with words.  God chose them precisely BECAUSE they were weak with words!  That weakness made it so that they might have a greater chance of clinging tightly to God who spoke in union with and to them so that they might speak what the hearers needed to hear in order to be drawn to God.  Paul and Moses seemed to suffer from “apologist’s block” in their own person – not trusting in what they had to say.  As a result, they didn’t trust in themselves, but in God.  And that’s just what God loved about them!

When you are given the opportunity to talk with someone about Jesus, to share your faith, do you take advantage of it?  If you find yourself in that position, it’s because God has chosen YOU to represent Him at that moment in time.  If you find or fear you have “apologist’s block” – good!  Just don’t let it stop you from talking to that person anyway.  Whisper a little prayer inside your head, aim it heavenward, and ask God to electrify what you say with His power. 

PRAYER:  Father, give us Your words to speak.  Thank you for making us weak in our own selves so we will lean on You, for Your words hold the power of life!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 5/12/15 – The Big Mouth

To access the web page version, click:

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.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, click here: DayBreaks-subscribe@vineyardhills.org

To unsubscribe to DayBreaks, click here: DayBreaks-unsubscribe@vineyardhills.org  NOTE: Please make sure you send the email from the email address which is subscribed to DayBreaks, or the list server will not be able to locate your email to delete you as you request.  Or, if you no longer have that email address, email Galen (click below) and tell him your old email address and ask to be unsubscribed. 

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen

For an archive of the past 4 months of DayBreaks, click here:  DayBreaks Archive

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 12/05/13 – In the Garden of Crushing

DayBreaks for 12/05/13 – In the Garden of Crushing

Luke 22:41 (NLT)  He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed…

A number of years ago a couple traveled to the offices of an Adoption Society in England to receive a baby. They had been on the waiting list a long time. They had been interviewed and their lives carefully examined. Now, on this day, at last their dreams were to be fulfilled. But their day of happiness was the day of another’s pain.

Arriving at the offices of the Society they were led up the stairs to a waiting room. After a few minutes they heard someone else climbing the stairs. It was the young student mother whose baby was to be adopted. She was met by the lady responsible for the adoption arrangements and taken into another room. Our friends heard a muffled conversation and a few minutes later footsteps on the stairs as the young mother left. They heard her convulsive sobbing until the front door of the office was closed. Then, there was silence.

The lady in charge then called them next door. In a little crib was a six week old baby boy. On a chair beside it was a brown paper bag containing a change of clothes and two letters. One of these, addressed to the new parents, thanked them for providing a home for her baby and acknowledged that under the terms of the adoption each would never know the other’s identity. Then the young mother added one request. Would they allow her little son to read the other letter on his eighteenth birthday? She assured them that she had not included any information about her identity. The couple entrusted that letter to a lawyer and on his eighteenth birthday the young man will read the message which his mother wrote on the day, when with breaking heart, she parted with him.

I wonder what she wrote? What would I write? If I had to condense all I feel about life and love into a few words what would I say? I would have no time for trivia. I would not be concerned about economics, politics, the weather, the size of house or the type of car. At such a time I would want to dwell on the profundities, on what life was all about and what things were absolutely essential.

I know that Jesus was fully aware of God’s plan because He helped create it.  He was not an unwilling or unwitting participant.  He parted from his Father…and thirty-some years later he would return. I wonder what God said to Jesus when he prayed in the garden, what words did they exchange? I don’t know, but I would suspect that there was more to it than just asking for the cup to be taken away. I suspect that there were words of comfort, encouragement, and deep, deep love passed between them as Jesus knelt in the dust and in his robe of flesh trembled at the specter he faced.

Words are precious because the people they are direct towards are precious.

The woman in the story will never meet her son again. It is a tragic tale, but also was a blessing for the adoptive parents.  Somehow, love always finds a way to win…even through great pain, and even in the garden of crushing.

PRAYER: Jesus, how I wonder what you and the Father spoke of in the garden. Thank you that His and Your pain was turned into blessing for us, by love.  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 10/01/13 – The Trembling Spider Web

DayBreaks for 10/01/13 – The Trembling Spider Web

Psalm 19:14 (ESV)  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

There is, of course, nothing that begins to approach the wisdom and truth of Scripture.  But every now and then one comes across some statement that strikes a chord and one can sense the wisdom in the words.  It seems that many believe that no one who is not a believer can ever speak truth, but that’s obviously not the case when one considers the words of King Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Xerxes and others in Scripture who spoke truth but were pagans.

Frederick Buechner is not an unbeliever…he is a highly respected theologian.  Someone sent me an email that had this tag line in it: “Humanity is like an enormous spider web, so that if you touch it anywhere, you set the whole thing trembling…. The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt.  Our lives are linked together.  No man is an island.” – Frederick Buechner

Think about his words.  Think about witnessing a spider web and how it trembles when the spider moves, or a fly lands on it, or even when the gentlest breeze blows upon the silky strands.  What Buechner is saying is simply this: what we do affects the world for good or ill, in a far wider circle than we can ever imagine.

In the movie, Gladiator, the character played by Russell Crowe makes an observation that echoes this, but also expands on Buechner’s words.  It goes something like this: “What we do in this life, echoes in eternity.”  Wow.  There’s a lot of wisdom and truth in those words, too.  And it reminds us that not only do our actions and words here affect this world, but they affect eternity as well.

We might all be well advised to traverse our daily lives with more care and caution.  It doesn’t mean we need to be stern-faced and somber.  It means we need to be thoughtful and wise with everything for every action has ramifications. What is your life weaving?

May God grant us the wisdom to live in ways that bring good, not evil, to time and eternity. 

PRAYER: We often flit through our days rather thoughtlessly and carelessly, Lord.  May we be more attentive to the implications of our words and actions on those You bring into our lives this day, 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!