DayBreaks for 11/19/18 – Of Flowers and Birds

Image result for flowers and birds

DayBreaks for 11/19/18: On Flowers and Birds

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2008:

Perhaps life wasn’t all that different in Jesus’ day.  Of course, I know that then they didn’t have planes, trains and automobiles, nor x-rays or space shuttles or many of the things which are part of the modern world.  But those things aren’t life and they shouldn’t be confused with it.  Life is about getting up and facing each day and doing the best you can – and about all the millions of things that happen each day emotionally, spiritually and physically.  That’s what I mean when I say I don’t think life was that different in Jesus’ day. 

There’s been a world (literally) of worry lately.  Global economic collapse, wars, famines, diseases, natural disasters, fires, people fretting over the future because of the recent election – yep, there’s plenty of worry.  Many of my friends and congregants are retirees who had their retirement funds socked away in stocks and bonds, IRA’s and 401K’s.  Now, the retirement that they’d longed for and hoped for is either gone or mostly gone.  It’s enough to make anyone worry about the future.

It seems that there was plenty of worry to go around in Jesus’ day, too.   And believe it or not, they worried about the same things we do.  Just listen to these words from the sermon on the mount (Mt. 6:25-33, NIV):  Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

You see?  They were worried about life, drink, food, clothing – the stuff of everyday life for all of humanity since the beginning of time.  Jesus’ prescription is simple, but not what you might expect.  He doesn’t say, “You should have put your money in temple bonds and stocks.  Take what you’ve got left and move it into temple securities.”  Instead, he says: “Go spend some time looking at and thinking about birds and flowers.  See what that tells you about God and life.”  He tells us that we don’t need to worry (it’s more like a command, “So do not worry…”) because the pagans run after the “stuff” that daily life demands….and our FATHER knows that we need those things, too.  And being the kind of Father that He is, He won’t fail us.  But there is a requirement: seeking His kingdom and righteousness first – and then all those other things will be given to us.

Are you fearful of a job loss/termination?  Wondering if you’ll ever be able to recover your funds in time to retire as you’d hoped?  Worried if your house will ever be worth more on it again than you currently owe?  Are you worrying about ANYTHING?

If so, stop.  If you can, go outside right now and look at some flowers or birds (if you live in the frozen tundra somewhere, look at the trees instead of flowers!)  Look good, look hard, and look long.  All of those plants and birds are sustained by the Father’s hand.  And you are of much greater worth, and are far more precious to Him, than all the trees of the field.

PRAYER: Teach us how to stop worrying, Lord.  Help us to trust our Father for all things needed for real life and true life, and keep us from confusing “stuff” such as possessions and retirement accounts for life itself.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 5/14/18 – Robbed of Joy

Image result for stolen joy

DayBreaks for 5/14/18: Robbed of Joy

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2008

There was once a man who had lived a long time.  Someone once asked him what it was that had robbed the most joy from his life.  The old man never hesitated, but answered simply, “Things that never happened!”

How much of my life have I spent worrying about things that might happen but which never did?  I can become frozen with fear and not let my children play in the front yard.  I can refuse to leave my house for fear of being in a traffic accident on my way to work.  I can never shake someone’s hand or hug someone or give anyone a kiss for fear of disease.  I can stop drinking water or eating food because it might be poisoned!  We all would tend to say that doing those things would be silly, yet we worry about many things.  Jesus knew someone like that and her name was Martha: “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Lk. 10:41-42).  What had Mary chosen? Jesus!

Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will take care of itself.  We need to be focused on where we are right now in this day that God has made (Matt. 6:34).   The apostle Paul also counsels us to: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7).  Paul doesn’t say that we shouldn’t care about things – just that we not be anxious about them.  How do we do that?  We take everything to God as a request – and then we leave it there, with Him.  The result: His peace will guard and protect our hearts and minds.

Here’s three keys to happiness that you may find helpful in your walk with Him today (and tomorrow!!!):

Fret not – for He loves you, John 15:9: As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love”  He loves you now and forever!

Faint not – for He holds you, Psalm 139:10: …even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.  No one can snatch you from his hand!

Fear not – for He keeps you, Psalm 121:5: The LORD watches over you– the LORD is your shade at your right hand…  He will not slumber nor sleep, but always watch over you!

Don’t let things that you only imagine in your mind rob you of your joy in Christ!  It is that very joy that may draw your neighbors to Him through you!

PRAYER: Fill our minds with the joys of your promises and the certainty of your goodness so we don’t worry about things we shouldn’t. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 5/11/17 – The Wednesday Worry Box

DayBreaks for 5/11/17: The Wednesday Worry Box

Ah, worry. Do I ever worry? I’d like to say that I don’t, but I do. In fact, just yesterday I found myself worrying about whether or not my Medicare Advantage coverage would be in place in time, and also about whether or not my first insurance payment for it would arrive in time. I thought hitting the age when you go on Medicare was supposed to be good because you no longer had those huge insurance payments – but I found myself worrying. Not good.

Sometimes, even I’ve managed to learn that if you will just wait, problems take care of themselves. A man by the name of J. Arthur Rank had a system for doing that. He was an early pioneer of the film industry in Great Britain, and he also happened to be a devout Christian.

Rank found he couldn’t push his worries out of his mind completely; they were always slipping back in. So, he finally made a pact with God to limit his worrying to Wednesday. He even made himself a little Wednesday Worry Box and he placed it on his desk. Whenever a worry cropped up, Rank wrote it out and dropped it into the Wednesday Worry Box.

Would you like to know his amazing discovery? When Wednesday rolled around, he would open that box to find that only a third of the items he had written down were still worth worrying about. The rest had managed to resolve themselves!

If, like me, you find yourself often having a troubled heart, you may want to make yourself your own Wednesday Worry Box. But even more important, lel’s ask God to give us a new perspective. Let’s ask him to give us patience so that you do not jump ahead and worry about a problem that may never come. But most important of all, ask God for more faith. Faith in God is the best remedy for all our problems. Jesus put it plainly, Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.

Do those problems really work themselves out? I don’t think so. I think what really happens is that they are really resolved by my Father who is looking out for me and my best interests – and I never needed to worry about them at all!

PRAYER: Thank you for being willing to work to resolve my worries before they become realities, and for caring so much about me. Help me have increased faith that you are more than up to the task of dealing with all that worries me! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

 

DayBreaks for 8/12/16 – Worry

DayBreaks for 8/12/16 – Worry

From the DayBreaks Archive for August, 2006:

 “The same God that gave us commandments such as “Do not commit adultery, do not murder” said, “Do not worry.”  It’s a violation of our relationship to God to question His authority by worrying.

“Has any good ever come out of any worrying that you’ve ever done?  Worry only compartmentalizes us and makes us unable to do what we set out to do.  If you are worried about a problem, what you need to do is simply trust the Lord and do good.

“The word worry comes from a word that means ‘to divide’.  When you worry, you divide your energy.  Do you worry?  I worry about you if you don’t worry!  All of us worry, but we shouldn’t.  Jesus commands us half a dozen times, “Do not worry.”  When we worry about a situation, the problem gets us instead of us getting it.

“Jesus is not afraid of the things that cause us fear.  He never said, “Don’t bring your fears to me – I’m too busy.”  Instead he said, “I’m not afraid of the things that cause you fear.  Bring your fears to me.” – The Inspirational Study Bible

Galen’s Thoughts:

Worry, worry, worry.  Sometimes it seems like that’s all we do.  I tend to worry about financial things.  How will we pay the bills?  How will our daughter be able to go to college?  What will we do now that the air compressor on the air conditioner went out?  What would we do if the car breaks down – how will we pay for the repairs?  What if the pain in our son’s neck never goes away?  What if the local church body doesn’t grow? 

But you know, I can’t think of a single positive result that has ever come from any of my worrying.  I can control neither future events nor the components in my car by worrying about them.

I may be able to hide them from other people and they may never know that I’m worried.  I’m pretty good about hiding my worries – I’ve had plenty of practice to perfect my technique!  But I can’t hide them from God.  I need to confess my worry as sin before Him, accept my forgiveness and learn to trust Him.  After all, hasn’t He already promised to meet my needs?  Yes.  Ah, but I must be content to live with His definition of my needs and sometimes I don’t want to have to do that – I want to insist on my own definition!  I may decide something is a need and He thinks it’s just a “want”!  Am I willing to sacrifice it to Him?

In the sermon on the mount Jesus reminded us of our Father’s care for us – of our incredible value to him, of our value compared to that of a flower which is clothed beautifully – yet it doesn’t toil, worry or spin.  Why am I so driven to worry?  I’m lacking in trust and so I worry.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve been let down by people, and since God is a Person inasmuch as we are made in His image, I might be tempted to think that He’ll let me down, too.  Not so.  If He is with each dying sparrow as it draws its last breath, I can count on Him being with me.  If He has promised to help me, I need not fear or worry. 

What are you worrying about today?  Will you lay it on the altar of the Lord and sacrifice it to Him right now and decide never to pick it up again?  Find His peace!

PRAYER: Lord, how much better our lives would be if we truly trusted You instead of trying to manage our own lives and destinies.  Help us each day to grow in faith and trust in Your goodness and love for us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

DayBreaks for 10/20/15 – Would It Help?

DayBreaks for 10/20/05: Would It Help?

When Gary Power’s U2 spy plane was shot down in 1960, I was about 2 months shy of being eight years old. But I remember it well as it was perhaps the height of the Cold War and we would practice “duck and cover” in the school classroom in case of nuclear attack. Of course, I was way too young to realize how futile such an action would be…and we lived on the Great Plains in the heart of Iowa – not a prime target for nuclear annihilation anyway. But I was a worrier as a kid (and if I am to be honest with you, I have been most of my adult life, too.) When I went to spend the night with a city cousin, I was awake and crying one night because I believed we’d all be blown up before the next morning. My aunt came in and comforted me. You see, I didn’t want to get blown up, and if it was to happen, I wanted to be with my folks when it happened.

And so it was that when the movie, Bridge of Spies came out this past Friday, I had to go see it. It features Tom Hanks in the lead role, but it is about a man named James Donovan who negotiated for the release of Gary Powers and an American student for a convicted Russian spy (whom Donovan had represented as the lead defense attorney). It is based on a true story and I must say, it is a masterfully done movie – if you like history at all, you’ll find it fascinating.

In the movie, the convicted spy (Rudolf Abel, played to fabulous effect by actor Mark Rylance), seems to never worry about a thing. Over and over again, Tom Hank’s character asks Abel if he is worried…and time after time is met with the simple, honest yet thought-provoking reply, “Would it help?” Rylance’s character seems to never get flustered or worried about anything!

Point well taken, isn’t it? Did my worrying about nuclear annihilation have anything to do with it not happening? No. Do my worries about finances or health or the health and well-being of my loved ones make any of those things one bit more secure or healthy? No.

Isn’t that the point Jesus made in his great sermon on the mountainside? Matthew 6:25-34 (NLT) – That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

I’m trying something new – and you may want to join me. When I’m tempted to worry about something, I’m going to ask myself, “Would it help?”

I already know the answer to that question. So, instead of worry, I’m just going to try to leave it in God’s hands through prayer. I think life will be much more pleasant and praise-filled if I worry less. My guess is yours will be, too.

PRAYER: God, You know what a worrier I have been throughout my life. Help me not to worry, but to remember this teaching of Jesus and be at peace in You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2015 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 7/23/15 – One Thing God Never Does

DayBreaks for 7/23/15: One Thing God Never Does

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2005:

I’ll admit it. I worry about some things.  By the grace of God alone, I don’t worry about nearly as much as I used to.  God’s shown me (for the most part) how silly my worrying is.  But I still worry from time to time when the pile of bills seems to keep getting larger while the bank account keeps getting lower, or about a nagging or persistent pain somewhere in my aging body.  If I really want to wrap myself about the axle with worry, I can do it in a heartbeat when I stop to think of all the can go wrong in my kids lives or in the lives of my grandchildren.  Oh, yeah…I can worry just fine, thank you.  About such things I can worry a LOT!

The great apostle Paul urges us in 2 Cor. 10:5-6 with these words: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  Now that’s a big challenge, isn’t it?  My guess is that we all sin a lot more in our thought lives than we do in our actual deeds or words.  We know that the things we do and say are visible or audible, so we tend to “behave” ourselves when it comes to the things other can see.  But our thought lives are a whole other matter.  You can be sitting in the middle of a worship service and be sinning your heart out with thoughts of anger, bitterness, lust, hatred, jealousy or any of a dozen other sinful thought and attitude patterns. 

Yet Paul says that we are to take EVERY thought captive for the purpose of making our minds and thoughts obedient to Jesus.  If you haven’t had a challenge in your life for a while, try this one on for size!  While writing in God Is Closer Than You Think, John Ortberg observed: “Every thought is either enabling or strengthening you to be able to cope with reality to live a kingdom kind of life, or robbing you of that life.  Every thought is – at least to a small extent – God-breathed or God-avoidant; leading to death or leading toward life.” 

But, he continues: “…there are other thoughts that are not likely to be God-speaking.  For instance, nowhere in the Bible does it say, ‘And then God worried.’  So I can be quite confident that thoughts that move me toward a paralyzed anxiety are not from God.”

Have you thought about that?  God never worries – NEVER!  He doesn’t have to worry.  He has the power to make everything work out.  He has the ability to see all factors, consider all options, and always knows the right answer and how things will work out.  I don’t, but my God does.  Worry is one kind of thought that we need to take captive in obedience to Christ.  If we worry like non-believers, we don’t have much of a witness – or, at the very least, it would be hard for anyone to distinguish us from an unbeliever.  God isn’t worrying about the future.  Neither should we!

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

PRAYER: Let us hear Your voice clearly and resolve to only follow You and those who are true to the Word of Life! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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

 

DayBreaks for 2/03/15 – Sweet Oblivion

From the DayBreaks archive, 2/3/2005:

Last week I wrote a DayBreaks (“Especially in the Wilderness”) about some dear friends who were going through a very hard time.  They didn’t know I was writing that DayBreaks, and they were rather shocked when the recognized themselves in the writing.  One of them awoke that morning and made their way to the computer where they opened the DayBreaks, only to clearly see themselves between the lines.  And God’s timing with that message was perfect, for it had been a very difficult night.  And while the objective of that DayBreaks wasn’t targeted to help encourage them in particular, God worked through His Spirit to do just that. 

When their kids came round, mom shared that DayBreaks with them.  But what touched my heart, and I’m sure theirs, so deeply was the reaction of their son who listened while mom had read the message to them.  He said, “Wow.  That’s pretty sad.  Are they anyone that we know?”

Oh, the sweet oblivion of children!  How precious is their trust and faith in their parents!  This young boy didn’t even recognize the agony that had been going on in mom and dad, didn’t recognize his own family in the word pictures, but was moved by the plight of the “strangers” in the story. 

How I wish, sometimes, for that kind of oblivion to the swirls and eddies of trouble that wash into my life!  All was fine, as far as this young boy was concerned, because he was in his mom and dad’s house – and he knew he was loved and cared for in every way humanly possible.  And so I find myself learning from this young man: I have nothing to fear.  I am in the Father’s house.  I am loved, cared for, welcomed, eagerly watched over by the Father Himself.  I am loved in every way that the ultimate, the only True and Living God, can love anyone and everyone. 

Some day, some precious day, like that precious son of my friend, I’ll wake up and I’ll meet my Father.  And in that twinkling of an eye when I see Him and He looks me in the eye, I’ll be totally oblivious to all but His greatness, to the flood of warmth of love that will engulf me and forever sweep from my memory the pain, the suffering, the sorrow, grief and tears – to the point that I wouldn’t recognize my troubles if they were right before my face. 

Ah, the sweet oblivion when my struggles disappear only to be replaced by His glory and to live in it forever more! 

Jude 1:24-25 (NIV) – To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy–to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Copyright by 2015 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: I’m sorry, Lord.  I know I need to talk with you and listen to you much more than I do.  Let my path be well worn to Your throne of grace and to those who need to hear about You! 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! Your support would be deeply appreciated!