DayBreaks for 04/15/11 – Titanic and the Cross

DayBreaks for 04/15/11 – Titanic and the Cross

From the DayBreaks archive, 4/9/1998:

1522 people dead, frozen in frigid waters.  Not even 11 Academy Awards can make up for even one of the souls of those who were lost.  Yet the Titanic was the biggest and brassiest vessel to sail the sea.  Over 100,000 watched the launch from the shore.  She represented the new age of scientific optimism and to many was the symbol that Utopia was about to be found in the relatively new century.  The people responsible for the Titanic boasted that “even God Himself could not sink this ship.”

God doesn’t react well to such displays of human arrogance.  He didn’t in the days of Nimrod when men decided to build a tower and invade God’s sovereign territory, He didn’t react well to it in 1912, and He doesn’t today.  He is not about to share His sovereignty with the tinker-toy towers and the pathetic boats that men build.  Many in her day saw different symbols in the giant ship.   Some, indeed, claimed that she was the modern incarnation of the tower of Babel.  They saw God’s unwillingness to allow an invincible machine as a lesson to not seek salvation through technology.  Many saw the boasts of the builders and promoters as a direct challenge to the Creator of heaven and earth.

Yet, as is the case always, where human sinfulness and pride was at its greatest, God’s grace was even greater.  The examples of courage during the sinking comforted and inspired many.  With only a very few exceptions, the men aboard the Titanic willing gave up space on lifeboats so women and children could be saved, putting into practice Jesus’ own words: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  (John 15:13)  As a result, one of Titanic’s greatest ironies is that she became a symbol of duty and faith.  The policy of ‘women and children first’ led to a 9-to-1 death ratio of men to women.

In 1996 another boat sank off the shores of Indonesia.  Like Titanic, hundreds died.  Like Titanic, there weren’t enough life boats.  But unlike Titanic, in this sinking, men were given precedence over women and children and women and children died as men saved themselves.

God’s principle is this: the groom dies for the bride, the strong suffer for the weak, and the highest expression of love is to give your life for another.  This ‘dying for another’ may be literal – or it may be dying to your own will and desire for rest and comfort to spend your life to serve someone.

Who will you die for today?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, glory to you for your grace towards us and the fact that the King died for the peasants!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 4/14/11 – Deflector Beanies and Mind Control

DayBreaks for 04/14/11 – Deflector Beanies and Mind Control

“All of the victims of cranium invasion can finally put their minds at ease.  A non-commercial Internet site has devotes its time and effort to developing a beanie that can stop a person from having his or her brain invaded.  The product is an Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie (AFDB), which reportedly is a type of head-wear that can shield your brain from most electro-magnetic psychotronic mind-control carriers.  The site provides plans and photographs on how to make a beanie, entirely from foil, that wards off mind-control signals.”

The battle for the mind...

I don’t know anyone who has been abducted by aliens, do you?  Well, there are some folks that I wonder about because they’re really strange, but I really don’t think that even they were abducted or controlled by aliens.  And while someone on the Internet has found yet another way to trick the unsuspecting and encourage the loonies, there is a certain sadness in this story about mind control.

 

I don’t for a minute believe that aliens from outer space can control our minds.  The really sad part is that we have such a hard time controlling our own minds.  Perhaps there is no other part of our life that is as hard to submit to God as our thought life.  While outward actions such as stealing and murder are obvious, the sins of the mind are invisible to everyone except ourselves and God.   We can all be filled with hateful, lustful, angry thoughts and as long as we control our outward actions, our sin is secret – but it is still sin.

In a way, though, our minds can be controlled be a Source that is from outside of this world.  No, not by space aliens who beam electro-magnetic waves at us, but by a Spirit that lives within us and controls us from within: Romans 8:5-8 – “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”

God intends for the Spirit to be our “deflector” – to shield our minds from harmful influences.  But perhaps you have something that is creating interference and keeping the Spirit from controlling your mind.  What is controlling you?  Stop and think about it – are your desires things that are related to this physical, natural world?  Or is your mind filled with thoughts of life and peace and what the Spirit desires (closeness to God)?

PRAYER: Control our hearts and minds by Your Spirit that our desires are the same as Yours!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 04/13/11 – Mountains He Has Moved

DayBreaks for 04/13/11 – Mountains He Has Moved

Matthew 17:20 – “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

 

There is no such thing as a "mountain" that God can't move.

I remember as a child that I took this verse literally.  I tried to picture believing enough that I could literally move a mountain.  I even wandered out into the Iowa barnyard and would look at a distant slope and tell it to move.  It never did.  Now that I’m older, I realize that it wasn’t a literal mountain that Jesus had in mind when he made this statement (of course, Jesus could literally move mountains or enable us to do so if he chose to do so!)  To put the verse in context, the disciples had just failed to cast a demon out of a boy.  The problem was a spiritual problem – it was a spiritual mountain that needed to be moved – not a literal mountain.  And the spiritual problem in this particular case was disbelief, or more accurately, a lack of belief.

 

In his book, The Gift for All People, Max Lucado described some of the mountains that God has moved for all of those who are His children: “God wants you to be free of yesterday’s guilt.  He wants you free of today’s fears.  He wants you free of tomorrow’s grave.  Sin, fear and death.  These are the mountains he has moved by the power of the cross.  These are the prayers he will answer through the gift of his love.”

Many times we talk about people walking around as if they “had the weight of the world on their shoulders”.  Mountains are heavy – guilt can be a crushing burden.  Fear can immobilize us beneath its weight.  And the fear of dying can cause us to never really live.  The cross forever abolished all three of those mountains by removing our guilt, overcoming our fear and ensuring us of life unending.

God is waiting today to remove these mountains from you.  Are you weighed down?  Let Him fill your life with the lightness of His being, the joy of being His child and the confident assurance of life everlasting!

PRAYER: Father, we look at our problems and see them as mountains.  Teach us to look at You and we will see how small our “mountains” really are when compared to Your power and greatness!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 04/12/11 – Selling the Soul

DayBreaks for 04/12/11 – Selling the Soul

What will a person give in exchange for their soul?

From the Seattle Times, 2/9/01, by Mark Rahner: Woodinville man sells soul for $400

“Adam Burtle of Woodinville gained not the world but $400 in an auction on the Internet site that ended at 4:36 p.m. yesterday.  Bidding for the item, listed as ‘20 yr-old Seattle boy’s SOUL, hardly used,’ began at 5 cents on February 1.  A bidding war for Burtle’s soul broke out in the auction’s final hour, shooting its selling price from $56 up to $400.

“I was happy to be past $7.50,’ said Burtle, an atheist, nothing that an ex-girlfriend had bid $6.66 – the number of the beast – for his soul.  In the eBay description for his soul, Burtle wrote: ‘Please realize, I make no warranties as to the conditions of the soul.  As of now, it is near mint condition, with only minor scratches.”

You probably remember the famous story about Daniel Webster and the devil and the man who sold his soul to the devil.  It was an interesting story, and one that captivated me as a child, so when my son sent me this news article, I was fascinated.  But as I read the story, it became heartbreaking to me for several reasons:

FIRST: how tragic is it that a boy has reached the age of 20 and can say of his soul that it is ‘hardly used’?  We ignore our spiritual side in favor of the physical – especially when we are young.  We exercise the body by playing sports when we are young, but what of the soul?  If you are young, let me encourage you to exercise your soul as well as your mind and body.  What a shame to be 20 years of age and have to say that your soul has been hardly used!  But if there is a silver lining here, it is that as long as we have breath, we can begin to exercise our soul!

SECOND: Adam Burtle’s comment about “I make no warranties as to the conditions of the soul…” is disturbing.  Even though he was probably just being flippant with the entire episode, it is sad that he felt he had no warranty.  Warranties are given by the manufacturer.  This young man didn’t even seem to recognize or realize he had a “Manufacturer”, nor did he perceive any kind of impending “recall” where he would have to given an answer to the Manufacturer for how he’d lived his life.

THIRD: Satan is no fool.  He is the master of deception, and he had deceived this young man into thinking that his soul (if he had one) was in near mint condition.  If the Word teaches us anything, it’s that our souls are not in mint condition.  Our souls don’t have “only minor scratches”.  We are bankrupt, our souls are scarred and disfigured by sin.  We needed to be “re-manufacturered”, renewed, renovated from the inside out – starting with the soul.

FINALLY: the devaluation of the soul is one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century.  The very idea that a soul would be worth only $400 is insulting to the God of heaven, who gave His Son to buy the soul at the price of His own blood.

How much value do you put on your soul?  Are you selling your soul in some way that demeans the price Christ paid for you?  Your soul is eternal – and priceless.  Act like it!

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  Mark 8:36

PRAYER: Let us value Your image that is planted deep in our souls, Lord, and honor You by how we live our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 04/11/11 – Becoming A Fool

DayBreaks for 04/11/11 – Becoming A Fool

I’ll bet that when you were a kid, when someone asked you “What do you want to be when you grow up?” that you never said “I want to be a fool!”  The idea of being a fool isn’t something that we aspire to.  But there is a passage of scripture that encourages us to become “fools” so we can become wise: 1 Corinthians 3:18-20 – “18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness’; 20 and again, ‘The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.’”

Frederick Beuchner wrote: “Inspection stickers used to have printed on the back ‘Drive carefully – the life you save may be your own.’  That is the wisdom of men in a nutshell.  What God says, on the other hand, is ‘The life you save is the life you lose.’  In other words, the life you clutch, hoard, guard and play safe with is in the end a life worth little to anybody, including yourself; and only a life given away for love’s sake is a life worth living.  To bring his point home, God shows us a man who gave his life away to the extent of dying a national disgrace without a penny in the bank or a friend to his name.  In terms of men’s wisdom, he was a perfect fool, and anybody who thinks he can follow him without making something like the same kind of fool of himself is laboring under not a cross but a delusion.

The world’s wisdom will tell us that it is a fool who doesn’t strive to pile up a large sum of money for retirement, not to mention a large inheritance for your descendants.  The world says a fool is more concerned about ethics and righteousness than his stock and investment portfolio.  God says it is just the other way around.  Instead of piling up possessions and recognition in this life, God says the way to become rich is to give it all away for something that will never be lost.  True riches have never been counted by pieces of silver or green bills, but by the peace in the soul of the man or woman who knows their place in God’s universe is secured by His promise.

Find God’s wisdom for your life…and you will find true wealth.

PRAYER: God, let us be fools to the world, but wise in Your eyes! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 04/07/11 – God of the Abandonment, Part 1

DayBreaks for 04/07/11 – God of the Abandonment, Part 1

 

Abandoned...

 

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 4/05/2001:

Sadly, it isn’t uncommon at all to hear about children who have been abandoned.  Babies are left at the door of hospitals or adoption agencies.  Children are abandoned by a father or a mother.  A wife is abandoned by the husband that promised to stay until “death do us part”.  It happens far too often.  And it doesn’t only happen to unbelievers.  It doesn’t only happen to Christians.  It even happened to Christ: (Mark 15:34) “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”-which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

The idea of being abandoned by those we trusted is disturbing.  How are we to cope with it?  Let’s look at the crucifixion to learn how to deal with abandonment, for if anyone ever truly was abandoned, if anyone ever felt the utter depth of abandonment, it was Christ.  Can there be a cry of abandonment more haunting than that of Jesus on the cross?  Consider that Jesus and God had been together “in the beginning” (John 1:1-2).  There had never been a moment in time (or outside of time) where they had not been together.  Never had they failed each other.  Never had they been separated or apart – not even when Jesus came to earth as a human baby.

During his days on earth, Jesus understood abandonment.  The crowds turned from him after he’d fed them and challenged them with the statement that they would have to eat his flesh and drink his blood.  In a spirit of sadness, he was moved to ask his disciples if they, too, would leave and abandon him.  How did he deal with it?  Matthew and Mark tell us that after Jesus’ cry of abandonment, that he cried out one more time.  Luke tells us what those words were: Luke 23:46 – “Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Do you see what Jesus did when he felt abandoned by God?  He, in turn, abandoned himself to God.  “Into your hands, I commit my spirit…”.  He didn’t give up on God.  He didn’t search for some other solution or a substitute, but he trusted Him who He had always trusted before.

What should we do when we feel abandoned?  The same thing that Jesus did.  It doesn’t matter who or what has abandoned you – your response should be the same.  Don’t become angry and bitter.  Abandon yourself totally to God!

PRAYER: Lord, how comforting it is to know that you understand how it feels to be alone and abandoned.  Remind us often that you will never leave us or abandon us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 04/06/11 – Some Things Never Change

DayBreaks for 04/06/11 – Some Things Never Change

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 4/26/2001:

 

Who are you blaming?

Genesis 3:8-12 – “8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”  10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”  11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”  12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.

 

Have you noticed how we live in a day and age when no one is responsible for anything anymore?  Consider what has happened in America in the last 20 years:

If a woman burns her legs on the hot coffee she was holding in her lap while driving, she blames the restaurant.

If your teenage son kills himself, we blame the rock and roll musician he liked.

If you smoke three packs a day for 40 years and die of lung cancer your family blames the tobacco company.

If your daughter gets pregnant by the football captain you blame the school for poor sex education.

If your neighbor crashes into a tree while driving home drunk, he blames the bartender.

If your cousin gets AIDS because the needle he used to shoot heroin was dirty, you blame the government for not providing clean ones.

If your grandchildren are brats without manners, you blame television.

And, if your friend is shot by a deranged madman, you blame the gun manufacturer.

And, if a crazed person breaks into the cockpit and tries to kill the pilots at 35,000 feet, and the passengers kill him instead, the mother of the deceased blames the airline.

It started that way in the garden of Eden and it hasn’t changed since.  Adam wasn’t man enough to own up to his own failure – he blamed it on someone else.   Note how his answer brazenly accused both God and Eve for his problem – “The woman YOU put here with me – SHE gave me some of the fruit…”  It is always someone else’s fault, and to avoid living up to our own responsibilities, we’ll even blame God for putting us in the situation.  We live as if there are no consequences to our own choices.  And in our American legal system, perhaps we can actually avoid having to take those consequences and get away “scott free”.

In God’s plan, however, we won’t have that luxury.  God didn’t accept Adam’s excuse in the garden, nor the woman’s excuse.  They both had to pay the price and bear the consequences.  We will be no different:  2 Cor. 5:10 – “10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  On that day, we will be face to face with the ultimate reality that we were responsible for our choices – good or bad – and that God won’t buy our lame excuses as to who was really to blame for our problems or our sin.

PRAYER: Teach us to own up to our failures and not try to blame our lack of obedience on anyone or anything else besides the sin that is in our hearts.  Give us strength through Your Spirit to resist temptation!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 04/05/11 – What Trusting God Means

DayBreaks for 04/05/11 – What Trusting God Means

 

Do we trust him with our futures, or do we try to guide our future ourselves?

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 4/25/2001:

 

Not too long ago, a young DayBreaks reader who will be heading off to college this next fall, wrote in response to a DayBreaks that talked about trusting God.  She wrote: “…how do you learn to set aside yourself and trust God completely?  How do you stop trying to control everything and stop doing your own thing?  I know I trust God – that He has my future all planned out already – but I still find myself trying to direct my path to what I think is right or what I want.  If you ever get the chance, could you address this in a one of your DayBreaks?

She asked good questions, didn’t she?  The more, however, I read her response, the more I saw clues into the human condition we ALL share.  First of all, she said that, “I know I trust God…but I still find myself trying to direct my path to what I think is right or what I want.”  I see here a contradiction.  This, by definition, ISN’T trusting God.  That’s the fundamental core of our problem – we don’t really trust God.  We think we trust him – at least we want to believe that we trust him – but we don’t or won’t stop trying to direct our own path.  Why?  Because we don’t really trust him to direct it for us or we wouldn’t still be trying to do it ourselves.

As far as having the future all planned out – yes, in the ultimate sense he has our future in eternity planned for us.  But for the meantime, we must live in the here and now and the future that awaits us doesn’t remove from us the obligations of the present.

So, how do you stop trying to do it yourself and let God direct your path?  The same way that we learn to walk and talk – in small steps and small words – and over time we can migrate from simply standing to walking to running, from “momma” and “poppa” to forming complex sentences.  We begin with trusting him with little things and over time move on to bigger ones.  Abram took many smaller steps before the real test with Isaac.  It takes a conscious effort for us to surrender even the small things to God and entrust them to Him.  Luke 16:10-11 records these words of Jesus: “10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.  11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

Faithfulness doesn’t start with the huge tests in life, but in the minutely small details of daily living.  God won’t give us the “true riches” until we have proven faithful in the small things.  So, to the young lady who wrote, in fact to all of us, I think that is God’s advice.  Be faithful right now, with the small things God has entrusted to you.  Don’t push for the “great” tests.  They will come in God’s timing – when He knows you are ready for them.

PRAYER: God, free us from the tyranny of asking if we’d stand the ultimate test of our faith in martyrdom and to examine how we handle the small challenges we face each day !  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 04/04/11 – All You Get is Truth

NOTE: we were moving toward the tail end of last week, hence no DayBreaks were delivered.  As of today, they should resume on a normal Monday – Friday schedule.  Thanks for your understanding!

DayBreaks for 04/04/11 – All You Get Is Truth

 

The truth shall set you free...

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. –  John 14:6

 

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. – John 17:17

You’ve heard these phrases, or some variation of them, before.  And because you’ve heard them, you have become a skeptic.  Think about these:  “Open wide now, this isn’t going to hurt a bit.” “It is easy to assemble. Just follow the directions.” “Please, daddy, I’ll walk him. I’ll feed him. I’ll do everything.” “Hi. I’m from the IRS and I’m here to help you.” “Mother is only staying for two weeks. You’ll hardly know she is in the house.” “This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you.”  “It’s free!”  “It’s easy!”  “No muss, no fuss!”

Perhaps it’s because we’ve heard so many things like this from the people in our lives – even people that we love and respect – we are skeptical when it comes to things that Jesus says, too.  Things like: “I have come to give you abundant life,” “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” “I am with you always,”, “Whatever you give up for me will be returned to you many times over.”  Some things we desperately want to believe – but we’ve learned that when something sounds too good to be true, that it usually is not true.

People can come to Jesus and face the same kind of skepticism we experience with the statements of other humans.  After all, only a fool falls for something more than once or twice, right?

I think that skepticism can be a very healthy thing – as long as we’re really willing to listen and consider who is doing the speaking.  Sooner or later, as long as we listen and ponder on what is being said, people realize that when Jesus opens His mouth, the only thing that comes out is the truth.

I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right. – Isaiah 45:19

PRAYER: Thank you for words of truth that set us free!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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