DayBreaks for 03/20/12 – When the Mist Lifts

DayBreaks for 03/30/12 – When the Mist Lifts

Wait until the mist is gone...

 12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. – 1 Corinthians 13:12

There’s a very interesting story about how the news of the Battle of Waterloo finally got to England.  Back then there were no telephones, telegraphs or the like.  Any news about a battle fought in another country would take days to get back “home”.  In this specific case, the news was first sent by sailing ship to the southern coast of England and then was relayed by signal flags to the city of London.  When the report reached Winchester, the flags on the cathedral began to spell out the message, “Wellington defeated.”  However, before the message could be completed, a heavy fog rolled in making it impossible to see the flags, and the hearts of the people were filled with sadness and foreboding about the defeat.  But then, as the mist began to lift and visibility was re-gained, it became evident that the signals of the Winchester Cathedral had really spelled out this triumphant message. “Wellington defeated the enemy!”

I fear that far too often we let the future to be colored and obscured by what little we understand at the moment and it paralyzes us, casting us into gloom and despair.  We need to first of all realize that we only “get” part of the message, and we understand even less of it than we think we do.  Thank goodness, we don’t need to get all of it or have perfect understanding!

We also often find it very hard to trust God in the midst of transition, change and conflict. We need to throw ourselves with abandon into His hands, letting the change come, knowing that His plan for our life is absolutely perfect!  We may not see it because of the fog of the present, but the message of victory is clear…and certain.

PRAYER: Help us to face the future with great courage, courage born of knowing Who owns and directs the future in light of His character!  Don’t let us fall to the swirling mists of confusion that would rob us of our joy and confidence in Christ!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 03/29/12 – Five Seconds Is All

DayBreaks for 03/29/12 – Five Seconds Is All

Five seconds can change everything...

From a sermon by Leonard Sweet: “A few years ago, just before Thanksgiving, Tom Lind, a salesman from Montana, was making his rounds, traveling his regular route along the southern Oregon coast. As usual he was in his older model pickup, piggybacked with his small camper. Looking to continue his route south and east, Lind made a fateful spur-of-the-moment decision. He opted to take the scenic route. Only a few miles on this blue highway, however, the elevation rose rapidly and good ol’ Oregon drizzle transformed into swirling snowflakes. Tom was in his big pickup, so he kept going. But the snow kept coming. Soon Tom found himself in the middle of a blizzard whiteout.

“Forced to pull over, Tom stopped for the rest of the day. By nightfall his pickup was a slightly discernible lump of white in a vast landscape of snow. Still Tom wasn’t terribly worried. He was in his big pickup Soon the road-clearing crews would be along and would help him escape the cold clutches that held him and his truck captive.

“What Tom didn’t realize was that the scenic route he had chosen was closed after the first winter snowfalls. The Forest Service didn’t maintain that road in any way. They would not be coming up that way until spring thaw.

“But Tom didn’t know that. Convinced that someone would be along as soon as there was a break in the weather, Tom determined to do the smart thing: stay in his big truck. Avoid the risks of exposure or getting hopelessly lost in a snow drift by hunkering down in his big truck.

“As soon as he failed to arrive at his next sales appointment, family and friends, state and local police forces began searching for Tom. No one thought to venture up the little used, completely snow-blocked back track Tom had chosen. When the weather cleared and blue skies and sun shone down on Tom’s trapped vehicle, the salesman opted to continue being smart and safe: he stayed with his big truck.

“It seems impossible to understand now, but Tom stayed with that big truck for over eight weeks. He kept a journal of his thoughts, his hopes, his fears, his considered options. But still he sat in that big truck. Eventually he grew too weak to have any real options anymore. By Christmas he couldn’t have walked out if he had wanted.

“At the end of January a group of back-country skiers inadvertently came across Tom and his safe haven big pickup truck. Tom’s journal revealed he had finally died sometime around January 15. His emaciated, dehydrated body was still in his truck. In trying to minimize his risks, Tom thought he was opting to stay safe. It turned out Tom was opting out of life.

“Like Tom and his big pickup truck, we may believe that seat belts, FDA regulations, security alerts, and smoke detectors can keep us safe. But the truth is we’re fragile, fallible, fractured creatures whose lives are always hanging in the balance. Every one of us is only one breath away from eternity. Five seconds is all that separates us from forever.”

PRAYER: Our fears often paralyze us, Lord, into inactivity.  Remind us that You have not called us to sit back and see what will happen, but to walk where You lead us and to do what You have given us to do!  Give us the wisdom to know when to wait on You, and to hears to hear Your voice when You call us to move!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 03/28/12 – Love Was the Difference

DayBreaks for 03/28/12 – Love Was the Difference

Love makes the difference.

3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. – Romans 8:3

Walter Wangerin, Jr. tells a wonderfully illustrative story called “Matthew, Seven, Eight, and Nine” about how he tried to stop his son Matthew from stealing comic books. He tried all sorts of things, including various uses of the law over a period of several years but no matter what he tried, his son kept stealing comics.  Finally, after his exasperation reached its limit, he resorted to spanking his son, Matthew. The spanking was administered coldly and seemingly without emotion or compassion.  When he was done, though, he was so upset that he left the room and wept. After getting his composure back, he went into Matthew’s room, pulled him close and gave him a hug.  Years later after Matthew had grown up, he and his mom were reminiscing, and Matthew brought up the topic of how he’d stolen the comics.  He asked his mother, “And you know why I finally stopped?” “Sure,” she said, “Because Dad finally spanked you.” “No!” replied Matthew, “No, because Dad cried.” Wangerin concludes his story with these words:

“Hereafter, let every accuser of my son reckon with the mercy of God, and fall into a heap, and fail. For love accomplished what the law could not, and tears more powerful than Sinai. Even the Prince of Accusers shall bring no charge against my son that the Final Judge shall not dismiss. Satan, you are defeated! My God has loved my Matthew.” (The story can be found in Walter Wangerin, Jr., The Manger Is Empty, pp. 116-132).

What the law could never do, love could.  What rule keeping could never accomplish, relationship could.  Let us also love, not just in word, but in truth and in deed.

PRAYER: We have been hurt by love many times, Lord.  Don’t let us run from your love, but welcome it and accept it!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 03/27/12 – The First Ten Feet

DayBreaks for 03/27/12 – The First Ten Feet

The first ten feet must be traveled.

“When I am lifted up,” Jesus goes on to say, “I will draw all people to myself.” – John 12:32

Lest we are tempted to think that Jesus was talking about seeing his name on the marquee as the star of the show, that he was talking about his fame and popularity rising and soaring to the stratosphere, the apostle John throws in a bit of commentary in verse 33 to set the record straight and remove any mystery from what Jesus meant.  What Jesus had in mind wasn’t being raised up on a star stage, but being lifted up on the cross.  Not long hence, Jesus would get lifted up during the ascension into heaven, but the first ten feet of the ascension back to heaven came by way of a cross. Jesus’ upward journey started when the Roman soldiers hoisted him up skyward at the Place of the Skull.

All Christians look forward to the time when we fly off into glory with Jesus, don’t we?  It is something that we long for, we anticipate.  Scripture even suggests it is a motive for perseverance!  As Scott Hoezee, in Comments and Observations wrote: “So if you want to fly off into glory with Jesus, you’ve got to be part of the first ten feet of the trip as well. You can’t prop up a stepladder on the side of the cross, climb it, and then meet Jesus at the top for the balance of the journey to glory. You’ve got to be crucified with him. You have to be the kernel who gets buried into death with him. “Where I am, my servant will also be.” But as a servant, it is not up to you to pick and choose the times and places you want to be with Jesus. You are with him always and everywhere or you are with him never and nowhere.”

I sometimes fear that we’re so eager to take wings and fly with Jesus that we’re not willing to crawl up on our cross and be lifted up with him first.

PRAYER: In our hurry to get to the day when we “fly away”, don’t let us neglect the first 10 feet of the journey!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 03/26/12 – A Reason to Die, a Reason to Live

DayBreaks for 03/26/12 – A Reason to Die, A Reason to Live

Sometimes something to die for gives us a reason to live.

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? – Matthew 16:26

If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. – Luke 17:33

We cling to life, don’t we?  Just today in the news, it was revealed that Dick Cheney, at over 70 years of age, had a heart transplant.  He had been surviving with a LVAD (left-ventricular assist device) that is essentially a mechanical device that causes the left ventricle of the heart to contract and pump blood.  Without that happening, one dies.

Some medical ethicists are questioning whether Mr. Cheney should have been allowed, at his age and with his other health conditions, to have the transplanted organ or whether it should have been given to a younger person.  I have my own thoughts about that, but the point I want to make is that Mr. Cheney is clinging to this mortal life.  I don’t judge him for that one way or another, for if it is hard to know what we’d do if we’d been in his place.

But cling to life we do.  Why did Cheney do it?  The rest of his life (assuming he recovers from this surgery) will be complicated by the need for tens of thousands of dollars each year for medications.  There is pain and suffering with the surgery.  There is weakness and misery.  Yet we clutch life with both hands, choking every last moment out of it.

Christ challenges us to find something worth dying for in our faith. We’d rather not think about dying or what we’d be willing to die for.  As someone wrote: “The world today prefers to be inoffensively neutral. It does not like having to decide. Dorothy L. Sayers observed, ‘In the world it is called tolerance, but in hell it is called despair… the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.’”

One should pause here long enough to ask: if you don’t have something for which you are willing to die, do you have much to live for?

PRAYER: Help us find the true meaning for living by finding what is worth dying for!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 03/23/12 – In the Darkest Night

DayBreaks for 03/21/12 – In the Darkest Night

33 “No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. Luke 11:33

Have you ever sat in a lighted room at night, reading or talking, and suddenly the lights go out? What’s the first thing you say? Usually everyone says, “Who turned out the light?”

In this age of electricity, light is something we take for granted. Few of us ever experience total darkness. In the city, we have street lights which come on automatically as soon as it begins to get dark. In the country, most farms have a mercury vapor light that stays on all night for security reasons. Consequently, most of us never get a good look at the stars as we used to when all the lights went out at night.

Some of the soldiers who came back from the first Persian Gulf War told about the absolute darkness they experienced in the desert. One soldier said, “The darkness on nights with no moon or star light was so total you could have been standing right next to someone and not known it.”

This text from John’s gospel is about darkness and light: “And this is the judgment,” John says, “that the light has come into the world and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.”

When I read about the experience of the troops with literal night-time darkness in the Persian Gulf War, being unable to see someone standing next to you, I was forced to consider how often someone has stood or sit or walked right next to me and never knew I had light because I had put it under a bowl so no light shone out of my life.  I didn’t like the answer I heard inside my head.  I want to be a brighter light for Jesus.  I hope you do, too!

PRAYER: Break whatever devices we use to hide the Light so that never again will someone walk beside us and not see the Light!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.

DayBreaks for 03/21/12 – Avoiding Rescue

DayBreaks for 03/20/12 – Avoiding Rescue

20 Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. Psalm 25:20

In 1981, a Minnesota radio station reported a story about a stolen car in California. Police were staging an intense search for the vehicle and the driver, even to the point of placing announcements on local radio stations to contact the thief. On the front seat of the stolen car sat a box of crackers that, unknown to the thief, were laced with poison. The car owner had intended to use the crackers as rat bait. Now the police and the owner of the VW Bug were more interested in apprehending the thief to save his life than to recover the car. So often when we run from God, we feel it is to escape his punishment. But what we are actually doing is eluding his rescue.

Jesus, “the hound of heaven”, pursues us relentlessly.  There are many who feel that if Jesus ever caught up with them that he’d restrict them with iron bands and rob their lives of joy and peace.  They feel being a disciple of Jesus is like volunteering to go into a prison.  They don’t understand that it is the Truth that sets us free.  And the Truth’s name is Jesus!

PRAYER: Capture us with Your unfailing love!  May we all find that your are chasing us not to imprison, but to set us free!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.