DayBreaks for 06/29/12 – Second Mortgages in the House of Fear

DayBreaks for 06/29/12 – Second Mortgages in the House of Fear

(NOTE: Galen is back from his trip to India, but will be publishing ‘re-cycled’ DayBreaks from the archive this week as he gets back on the ground, running!)

While we profess our faith in God’s unconditional love, many of us still live in fear.  Nouwen remarks: ‘Look at the many IF questions we raise: What am I going to do if I do not find a spouse, a house, a job, a friend, a benefactor?  What am I going to do if they fire me, if I get sick, if an accident happens, if I lose my friends, if my marriage does not work out, if a war breaks out?  What if tomorrow the weather is bad, the buses are on strike, or an earthquake happens?  What if someone steals my money, breaks into my house, rapes my daughter or kills me?

“Once these questions guide our lives, we take out a second mortgage in the house of fear.  Jesus says simply, ‘Make your home in me, as I make mine in you’ (John 15:4).  Home is not a heavenly mansion in the afterlife but a safe place in the midst of our anxious world.  ‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him’ (John 14:23).

“The author of Hebrews describes Jesus as the one who has ‘set free all those who had been held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death’ (Heb. 2:15).  The gospel of freedom proclaims that death is an illusion, a phantom, the bogeyman of little children; death is simply a transition into the one experience worthy of the name life.’   (Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel)

Fear is a great crippler.  It robs life of the joy that God means for us to have.  I remember well as a little child how I could become afraid of the dark.  I recall even waking up at night when we lived on the farm and seeing a “lump” underneath the blanket by the foot of the mattress.  I was convinced it was a skunk that had gotten into the house somehow and had crawled under the covers.  I spent several hours sitting up in bed, afraid of the lump (in reality just a pocket of air under the blanket) until my mom awoke and came in to check on us kids.

But you know what: I don’t remember ever being afraid when I knew my dad was in the house, or more correctly, when I was in his presence.  I remember being afraid when I might wander down into the basement (dark, dank basement!) if my dad was upstairs, but I was never afraid in the basement if my dad was down there with me.

Isn’t that the point of John 15:4 quoted above?  How can we possibly be afraid when His home is in us?  If God is with us at all times, why should we ever have cause for fear?  The key, as with everything else in the Christian life, is living in a constant communion and fellowship with God.

Jesus died to set us free from fear.  Don’t allow yourself to be fear’s slave – you are a bondservant of Jesus.  Don’t let fear sit on His throne!

“When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free.  Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”  (Gal. 5:1)

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Father, let us live in awareness of Your ever-present Presence.  Let us live in You so that we know no fear!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda!  If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org.  The budget for this water system is $8300.  Every gift matters…and every gift is appreciated!  They ALL make a difference!

Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home.  You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!!  We still need to raise a bit over $4000 to fulfill our mission.  Donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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 06/28/12 – The King’s Good Servant

DayBreaks for 06/28/12 – The King’s Good Servant

Sir Thomas More – the King’s Good Servant

 (NOTE: Galen is back from his trip to India, but will be publishing ‘re-cycled’ DayBreaks from the archive this week as he gets back on the ground, running!)

Thomas More was the Chancellor of England, but found himself imprisoned in the Tower of London for refusing to obey the crown over a matter of conscience.  His daughter, Meg, visited him and begged him to change his mind and save his life.  All he would need to do was take an oath of allegiance to King Henry VIII.  More refused to do so, saying that if he did, he would betray his conscience and Jesus.

As portrayed in the film, A Man for All Seasons, Meg argued that it was not Thomas’ fault that the state was mostly bad, and if he chose to suffer for it, he would be making himself a hero.  More replies: “Meg, if we lived in a state where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us good, and greed would make us saintly.  And we’d live animals or angels in the happy land that needs no heroes.  But since in fact we see that avarice, anger, envy, pride, sloth, lust and stupidity commonly profit far beyond humility, chastity, fortitude, justice and thought, and have to choose to be human at all, why then perhaps we must stand fast a little, even at the risk of being heroes.

As Brennan Manning wrote in The Ragamuffin Gospel: “In 1535 More went to the scaffold cheerfully in the royal freedom of a Christian man.  He prayed briefly for God’s mercy, embraced the executioner – who begged his forgiveness – confessed his Christian faith, and called on all present to pray for the king, saying that he died ‘the King’s good servant, but God’s first.’  His last words were a joke about his beard, which he arranged on the block so that it should not be cut, since his beard at least had committed no treason.

“Thomas More, a man of the world in secular dress living in a secular city and surrounded by family, possessions, and the duties of public life, was faithful.  Not because he was without faults and sins; he had them, like every one of us, and confessed them often before his death.  But with all his weaknesses and flaws he made a radical choice to be true to himself and his Christ in the supreme test of martyrdom.

“In 1929 G. K. Chesterton predicted: ‘Sir Thomas More is more important at this moment than at any moment since his death, even perhaps the greatest moment of dying; but he is not quite so important as he will in a hundred years time.’  His life is a timeless statement – it is possible to live in this world soberly, honestly, unfanatically, unpietistically, seriously and at the same time joyfully: faithful.  What is the message of this man’s life?  Make a radical choice in faith, despite all your sinfulness, and sustain it through ordinary daily life for Christ the Lord and His kingdom.

Chesterton was right in what he said about Thomas More being more important now than at the moment of his death.  I doubt that the world has ever been in greater need of men and women who go against the grain of popular culture, who refuse to slide mindlessly into compromise and the easy way through life.  Thomas More is an example of faithfulness – uncompromising faithfulness.  How about your life?  Stop for just a few moments and search your heart – when is the last time you compromised your principles, your ethics, what you believe to be true – just so your life could be a bit easier and less troubled?

God saw.  But He also sees every time that you do stand strong.

It is time for men and women who wear His name to stand up and be counted.  Can God count on YOU?

Matthew 25:21 – “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Our age demands great courage and faithfulness.  Let us live up to the challenge set before us and may we be people upon whom You may count as Your faithful witnesses!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda!  If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org.  The budget for this water system is $8300.  Every gift matters…and every gift is appreciated!  They ALL make a difference!

Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home.  You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!!  We still need to raise a bit over $4000 to fulfill our mission.  Donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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 06/27/12 – The God of Huge Dimensions

DayBreaks for 06/27/12 – The God of Huge Dimensions

(NOTE: Galen is back from his trip to India, but will be publishing ‘re-cycled’ DayBreaks from the archive this week as he gets back on the ground, running!)

How can we measure the infinite?

As humans we like to measure things.  We measure baseball statistics, we measure distances in miles and kilometers, we have scales in our bathrooms to measure our weight, we give or get grades in school to measure our learning and progress.  We have polls that determine what our politicians will do – all based on measuring opinions of the voting public.  There is something about measuring things that seems to give us a sense of control in some way or fashion.  But when it comes to God, we run into a real problem.

Lift up your eyes and look.  Who made these stars if not he who drills them like an army, calling each one by name?  So mighty is His power, so great His strength, that not one fails to answer.” (Isa. 40:26)

The sun is one of these stars that Isaiah wrote about.  Did you know that a single square yard of the sun produces 130,000 horsepower (oops – there’s a measurement again!) of energy constantly?  The sun is one of the 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy – and that’s just one of the billions of galaxies in the entire universe.  The nine major planets in the solar system vary in range from 36 million miles to 3.6665 billion miles – yet each moves in exact precision in it’s orbit around the sun.  Did you know that if you took a single dime and held it out at arm’s length on a starry night, that the area of the sky that is obscured from your vision by the dime contains 15 million stars (your eye just can’t see them all)?!?!

What’s the point?  We measure things about God’s creation and we are amazed.  We are amazed with His greatness, His immense “largeness” as evidenced by the immensity of His creation.  We are dazzled, mesmerized and astounded – and we should be.  But when it comes to other things about God, we seem to have a really hard time in believing He is so large.  What do I mean?  Simply this, as Brennan Manning wrote: “We tremble before God’s majesty…and yet we grow squeamish and skittish before God’s love.”  For some reason, we have a hard time getting our minds around the concept that the God who has demonstrated His greatness and power in the creation can love ME.  And so, because we can’t believe that His love could possibly be as big (or bigger!) than His universe, that He could possibly love ‘a worm like me”, we diminish God’s love by believing it is dependent on our Christian lives of ordered perfection.  Perhaps it is because we ourselves love so little and so poorly that we begin to assume that God is like us.  He isn’t.

Yahweh, our Lord, how great is your name throughout the earth.  Above the heavens is your majesty chanted, by the mouths of children, babes in arms.  I look up at the heavens made by your fingers, at the moon and the stars you set in place – ah, what is man that you should spare a thought for him, the son of man that you should care for him?”  (Ps. 8)  As hard as it may be to believe that God cares (and loves!) you with a love that is wider than the universe (literally), if there is one truth of the bible – one amazingly nearly unbelievable truth – it is this one: that God loves you (and me) endlessly.

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Comfort us with an understanding of your greatness, and of how great is your love for me!! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda!  If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org.  The budget for this water system is $8300.  Every gift matters…and every gift is appreciated!  They ALL make a difference!

Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home.  You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!!  We still need to raise a bit over $4000 to fulfill our mission.  Donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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 06/26/12 – A Myth of Incalculable Harm

DayBreaks for 06/26/12 – A Myth of Incalculable Harm

(NOTE: Galen is back from his trip to India, but will be publishing ‘re-cycled’ DayBreaks from the archive this week as he gets back on the ground, running!)

There is a myth flourishing in the church today that has caused incalculable harm – once converted, fully converted.  In other words, once I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, an irreversible, sinless future beckons.  Discipleship will be an untarnished success story, life will be an unbroken upward spiral toward holiness.  Tell that to poor Peter who, after three times professing his love for Jesus on the beach and after receiving the fullness of the Spirit at Pentecost, was still jealous of Paul’s apostolic success.

We want ever-sharp spirituality (push-pull, click-click – one saint that quick) and attempt to cultivate a particular virtue at a given point in time.  Prudence in January, humility in February, fortitude in March, temperance in April.  Score cards are provided for toting up gains and losses.  The losses should diminish if you expect to meet charity in May.  Sometimes May never comes.  For many Christians, life is a long January.

“Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (Rev. 7:9), I shall see…the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions…the deathbed convert who for decades had his cake and ate it, broke every law of God and man…

“But how?” we ask.  Then the voice says, “They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

“There they are.  There WE are – the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to the faith.

“My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.”  – Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

Have you known someone who has bought into this destructive myth?  It may have been toward themselves – they become a Christian but immediately get discouraged as they find that their old temptations, like old friends, are waiting for them as they walk out the church building door.  Or, it may be evident in the attitude of a so-called “mature” Christian and their lack of mercy and patience with other Christians – be they new believers or old.  They might be tempted to say: “You should be farther along in your Christian walk by now.  What’s wrong with you?”

Revelation 7:9 – “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

May God keep us all from judgmental attitudes and a lack of patience with one another.  God will complete His work with us in HIS time and on HIS timetable.

PRAYER: We want perfection, and we expect it in ourselves, sometimes, Lord.  When we don’t see it in ourselves, we get discouraged.  When we don’t see it in others, we get judgmental.  Please forgive us all our transgressions, even the ones that seem to be driven by holy motives! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda!  If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org.  The budget for this water system is $8300.  Every gift matters…and every gift is appreciated!  They ALL make a difference!

Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home.  You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!!  We still need to raise a bit over $4000 to fulfill our mission.  Donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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 06/15/12 – How Quickly We Forget

DayBreaks for 06/15/12 – How Quickly We Forget

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow…

Psalm 103:1-5 (ESV) – Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

How are things going for you right now?  Is life all you wish it could be?  How’s your health?  How’s your employment situation?  How’s your marriage and your relationships with your family members and friends, co-workers and fellow students?  Are your finances solid and do you feel secure?  How do you feel about our country and the direction it is headed morally?

What kinds of things do your mind tend to entertain?  Does your mind flow to the things that are wrong and troubling you, or to the things that are good, holy, pure and full of faith?

This passage in Psalm 103 is a great reminder for us, especially in verse 2: “O my soul, forget not all his benefits.”  When we are distressed, when we are sick or troubled, we do precisely what the Psalmist says we shouldn’t do: we forget all his blessings.

When is the last time you really recounted to the Lord (and to yourself!), all the benefits you have received from His hand?

On Sunday we had a lesson on thankfulness.  Remember the healing of the 10 lepers – where only one came back to thank Jesus?  I suspect that the other 9 were thankful, but they never took the time to tell Jesus how they felt for what He’d done for them.  Let’s not be like that.  He deserves far more from us than just hearts that might say to themselves, “He knows my heart.  I don’t need to tell Him how thankful I am.”  Wrong.  Take some time right now to start the practice and discipline of thankfulness!

PRAYER: Jesus, how many and great are the benefits you give to us!  Let us demonstrate our thankfulness to you like the leper did, no matter what our circumstances, no matter what the cost. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda!  If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org.  The budget for this water system is $8300.  Every gift matters…and every gift is appreciated!  They ALL make a difference!

Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home.  You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!!  We still need to raise a bit over $4000 to fulfill our mission.  Donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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 06/14/12 – Strange Events in the Graveyard

DayBreaks for 06/14/12 – Strange Events in the Graveyard

Strange things happen in graveyards…

Mt. 27:50-53 – Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.

What a fascinating passage this is!  I’ve known about this section of Scripture for years and I had formed a picture in my mind that was erroneous.  I thought that after Jesus died and these people rose, that they went straightway into the city.  I was wrong.  Read it again, carefully.  They rose when he died on FRIDAY, and they remained in the cemetery until Sunday after Jesus’ own resurrection, and only then, on SUNDAY, did they go into the city of Jerusalem.

Why?  I must confess, I don’t know, and I’ve not heard a good explanation for it from anyone. If you have ideas or thoughts about this passage, I’d love to hear them!  I think I understand the reason for the rising of these people: they were to bear witness and bring glory to Christ.  They were able to bring a testimony that would be hard to refute!

But why did they remain among the tombs for so long?  Some thoughts come to mind:

FIRST: Jesus is to be the first-fruits from the dead, not these men and women.  They didn’t raise themselves, Jesus raised himself.  They would die again, Jesus wouldn’t.  They should not receive any of the glory that was only to be his.

SECOND: until Jesus rose on Sunday, there was not really new life for anyone.  With his resurrection comes the promise of resurrection – and new life that goes along with it – for everyone who believes.

I don’t know what became of those who were raised on Friday.  Did they simply at some point after appearing as proof of the resurrection return to their tombs, lay down again in the dirt, and return to their eternal reward?  Or did they go through all the process of dying again some number of years down the road?

It doesn’t really matter.  The story is not about them – nor us – it is always about Jesus!

PRAYER: Lord, your Word is so rich and holds so many mysteries that we don’t comprehend.  I pray, however, that we will never lose sight of the fact that the story is about You, and not anyone else. Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda!  If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org.  The budget for this water system is $8300.  Every gift matters…and every gift is appreciated!  They ALL make a difference!

Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home.  You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!!  We still need to raise a bit over $4000 to fulfill our mission.  Donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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.