DayBreaks for 01/01/13 – God Loves Water!

DayBreaks for 01/01/13 – God Loves Water

raging torrent

Psalm 124:2-5 (NLT) – What if the LORD had not been on our side when people attacked us?  3 They would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger.  4 The waters would have engulfed us; a torrent would have overwhelmed us. 5 Yes, the raging waters of their fury would have overwhelmed our very lives.

The preacher on Sunday spoke on Psalm 124.  Chances are, it’s not one of your favorites, and it certainly isn’t one of the most beloved Psalms.  But it is RICH in content!

One of the points the pastor made was about how troubles are frequently pictured in Scripture as manifestations of water: floods, raging rivers, torrents that would sweep us away.  It’s easy to see why, isn’t it?  When we are in the deep water of trouble, we feel as if we will vanish beneath the waves forever.

He then went on to point out that God isn’t afraid of water.  In fact, He seems to love it!  Consider:

  1. The great flood of Genesis was under His control;
  2. The parting of the Red Sea;
  3. The crossing of the Jordan in a miraculous way;
  4. Elijah and the contest on Mt. Carmel where the offering and altar were soaked in water before God consumed them with fire;
  5. The storm on the sea that Jesus’ calmed by rebuking the waves;
  6. Another storm on the same body of water where Jesus came walking on the top of the liquid stuff.

You see, God isn’t afraid of a little (or lot!) of water, nor is he afraid of our troubles.  In fact, over and over again, God does much of his greatest work either in the midst of the raging waters of life, or in the darkness where it is hard to perceive.

As you look at the coming year, what do you see?  There is plenty of potential darkness: will the ‘fiscal cliff’ be avoided (and should it be?)  What is your work situation – is it gloomy and frightening?  What about your marriage and relationships?  Are you in legal trouble?  Financial difficulties swimming all around you?

The water may look deep, but God can touch the bottom and bring you out of the swirling flood of troubles that you may have.

Of one thing we can be absolutely sure: there will be nothing that happens this year, either in our individual lives as Christians, or our corporate existence as humanity, that will be too big or too hard for God to handle.  You see, God has already seen every single thing that will happen this year and knows precisely how to handle it.

Isn’t it great to belong to such a great God?!?!?!

PRAYER: Lord, I often am very afraid when I’m in deep water and it threatens the things I value and hold dear.  Remind us as we begin this new year that You love water…and love saving Your people from the flood that would overwhelm us if possible.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/28/12 – Join Me

From the DayBreaks Archive, 12/26/12:

reflections on Christ - crucifixionColossians 1:24 – “Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

Christmas was just yesterday.  Perhaps it seems strange to speak of suffering at this time of year.  But is it really all that strange?  While the Christmas story itself is joyful and the angels proclaimed tidings of great joy, the shadow of the cross was always in the background even in the stable.  Christmas was, for God, the beginning of the sacrifice and the beginning of suffering. 

In entering human history God shattered all previous conceptions of who God is and what man is meant to be.  In the New Testament we are presented with a God who suffers crucifixion, a Supreme Being with spit on his face.  What he went through in His passion and death is meant for me too; the invitation he issues is, ‘Don’t weep for Me!  Join Me!  The life I have planned for Christians is a Christian life, much like the life I led.  I wasn’t poor so that you might be rich, I wasn’t mocked so that you might be honored.  I wasn’t laughed at so that you could be lauded.  I was revealing the Christian picture of man and woman, one that is meant to include you, too.’  Paul wrote to the Colossians, ‘We are meant to fill up what is wanting in the suffering of Christ.’”  (Lion and Lamb, Brennan Manning)

This year has seen major changes in our lives, our families, our churches, our nation and our world.  Wouldn’t it be appropriate for Christmas to be a bit different, too?  Instead of being so focused on what you GOT for Christmas, why not seek a way to “fill up what is wanting in the suffering of Christ”?  How?  I’m sure that there are many ways that it could be done, but ask yourself this question: “If He were here today, how would he suffer for the benefit of another?”  Then go do it.

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

Prayer for today: We need your courage, Lord, for if left to our own devices, we will always seek the path of least resistance and comfort.  Let us live not just in imitation of your love and compassion and mercy, but also in imitation of your willingness to suffer for truth and for the sake of those who might even hate and reject us.  In  Jesus’ name, Amen.

DayBreaks for Christmas Day, 12/25/12 – How Silently

DayBreaks for 12/25/12 – How Silently

silently-swinging-jan-pillerMatthew 28:20 (NLT)Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Among the Christmas carols, perhaps none has achieved the favor and popularity of Silent Night.  While I am not too sure how accurate it is historically (I rather doubt that the angelic choir proclaiming the birth were all that quiet when they appeared to the shepherds!) but the sentiment is wonderful.

I was pondering silence earlier today.  I love peace and quiet.  It is one of the reasons that I love to be out in the woods where the only sound may be the sighing of the wind as is stirs the tree-tops and makes them dance in their peculiar way.

I was reminded of the silence of a falling snow when we lived in the woods of Maine.  It was truly magical, and that silence spoke so loudly to my heart and soul that I shall never forget it.

We need more silence – more stillness and quietness in our hearts.  That’s why the angels that surrounded His birth came with the message that we should not be afraid of God breaking into human space and time because He was coming because He loved us.

I contemplated Silent Night and how silence at this time of the year is so appropriate.  It would be very difficult for us to hear His voice if we are raucous and noisy.  After all, little babies don’t really make that much noise, and to hear His message of love we have to listen very closely.  The world can be such a dark place, but He brought light and love to us, whispering between each breath of the Christ-child, “Don’t be afraid.  I love you.  I am with you always, even until the end of the age.”

Though all others may leave you, He never will, nor will His love for you diminish, nor will it become more perfected, for it is already perfect!

Merry CHRISTmas to all the DayBreaks readers!!!

PRAYER: Quieten our souls this day, Lord Jesus, that we may truly hear your message of love on this very special day!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/24/12 – Comfort My People

DayBreaks for 12/24/12 – Comfort My People

MF.-Seeking-Comfort-on-Her-ShouldersIsaiah 40:1-2: “Comfort my people” says our God. “Comfort them! Encourage the people of Jerusalem. Tell them they have suffered long enough and their sins are now forgiven. I have punished them in full for all their sins.”

I used to live where it snowed. One of the strongest and most stirring of my childhood memories is to walk alone in the dark in freshly fallen snow and hear the sound of the footsteps crunching the white wonder stuff under my feet. Then, sometimes, I’d stop and listen. You can’t hear the snowfall. The world was white and quiet – not a sound except my breathing.

In one sense, these words that God spoke were fulfilled with the return of some of the exiles from Babylon about 200 years after He spoke them. But not really and truly. They foresaw the coming of the baby in the manger and the life and death he would live.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the last words of God to Jesus before he shrank down to become a human embryo weren’t along these lines: “Comfort my people! Comfort them!” That’s what this day is all about – how God reached out to His people who were distressed and like sheep had gone astray. How His great heart must have been broken to see so much pain and misery in us! And as Jesus left the courts of heaven, God gave him this one final charge and message: “Comfort my people!”

Today you can choose to reject God’s comfort and to beat yourself senseless over your failures and faults. Goodness knows, we all have enough failings – we don’t have to look very hard or very long to find them, do we? Or, you can accept His comfort.

Listen to the words of God to Jesus: “Comfort my people!” Did you hear that? Listen to His voice. It was first heard as the cry of a baby in a manger that echoed, not just within the walls of the stable, but throughout the universe and inside the heart of the Father. To some, it may have just sounded like another baby crying, but to those who really knew what was going on, they clearly heard the message from the lips of the God in the manger: “I love you! I am with you! Be comforted!”

Let Him comfort you tonight – then do your part to comfort those who need His comfort and as you do, you’ll become a little more like Him.

PRAYER: May we find comfort in Your love and welcome this day!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/21/12 – The Shape of Christmas

DayBreaks for 12/21/12 – The Shape of Christmas


From the DayBreaks archive, dated 12/21/2001:

I was in Costco recently and I was standing in the checkout line when I noticed two young boys (about 8 years old) who were standing in the next line.  Behind them was a man who had a large stuffed tiger in his shopping basket.  The boys were enthralled, and the joy on the man’s face of knowing how his child would love having the stuffed tiger was evident.  For some little child, Christmas this year may come in the shape of that stuffed tiger.

In Lion and Lamb, Brennan Manning wrote: “Jesus does not dominate my life.  Any tree in my path seems to have more power than he, if only because it forces me to walk around it…what would life be like if Christ did rule in me?  If during Advent my primary concern were His Kingdom? …What shape would Advent and Christmas take, if Jesus really RULED in me?

“If He did, that is, if my faith were deep, burning, powerful and passionate, my life would be very different.  My self-esteem would cease to be based upon the worldly values of possessions, prestige, status, and privilege, and upon the group solidarities of family, race, class, religion, and nation.  For to make these my supreme values is to have nothing in common with Jesus.  With burning faith I would speak of Jesus not as some distant being but as a close friend with whom I have a personal relationship.  The invisible world would become more real than the visible, the world of what I see, Christ more real than myself.

“…It stands to reason that if during the Advent season we relegate Jesus and what He stands for to second place on our scale of values, then we have already denied Him and what He stands for.  Either you accept the Kingdom of Jesus understood it or you don’t.  You cannot serve two masters.

Jesus came not only to save you, but to make you different.  To transform your mind (Rom 12:2) – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

To the extent that Jesus rules in us, our lives will take the shape of His not just at Christmas, but all year long.  What shape will your Christmas take this year?

PRAYER: We are prone to think of You more during this season, Lord, and to forget about you for much of the rest of the year.  We invite you to shape our lives to fully conform to Yours!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/20/12 – The Shipwrecked at the Stable

DayBreaks for 12/20/12 – Shipwrecked at the Stable

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 12/20/2001:


Do you think you could contain Niagara Falls in a teacup?”

“Is there anyone in our midst who pretends to understand the awesome love in the heart of the Abba of Jesus that inspired, motivated, and brought about Christmas?  The shipwrecked at the stable kneel in the presence of mystery.”

“God entered into our world not with the crushing impact of unbearable glory, but in the way of weakness, vulnerability, and need.  On a wintry night in an obscure cave, the infant Jesus was a humble, naked, helpless God who allowed us to get close to him.”

“We all know how difficult it is to receive anything from someone who has all the answers, who is completely cool, utterly unafraid, needing nothing, and in control of every situation.  We feel unnecessary, unrelated to this paragon.  So God comes as a newborn baby, giving us a chance to love him, making us feel that we have something to give him.” –
Brennan Manning

It is hard to grasp the magnitude of what happened in Bethlehem.  We like to think that we, like the wise men of old, would come to give him something.  After all, isn’t that appropriate for a king (let alone the God of the universe)?

But in the final analysis, little did the wise men know that it was they who were receiving a much greater gift.  What could they give the King of kings, the creator of all that exists or ever will exist?  What could such a God want or desire from mere humans?  So, while I’m sure that the gifts were stupendous and that Mary and Joseph had probably never seen such richness, it was the baby that was receiving the most precious gift: the worship of his creatures.

What does God want from you this holiday season?  He doesn’t really care for a big financial gift on Christmas Sunday (although if you want to give it, He’ll put it to use to feed the hungry or reach the lost).  He wants your adoration – your worship – and your love.

We need to come to the stable realizing that we are shipwrecked by life and in need of rescue.  Even at the moment of his birth, he needed nothing from us, for he had come to rescue us and give us life.

PRAYER: Here we are, Lord, shattered by life, scarred, disfigured, barely limping along!  We have no gold, frankincense or myrrh to give you.  All we have to give you is our brokenness, which is precisely the gift you long to receive so you can make us whole once again!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/19/12 – God and My Day

DayBreaks for 12/19/12 – God and My Day


Ever have one of those days when ABSOLUTELY nothing goes according to plan and you are frustrated and maybe upset with God (and the rest of the world) because of either what did, or didn’t happen?  I had one of those days today.  How timely that it showed up on Facebook (I don’t know who wrote it), but it was a perfect fit for my situation today, and perhaps for you, too!

Me: God, can I ask You a question?

God: Sure

Me: Promise You won’t get mad

God: I promise

Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?

God: What do u mean?

Me: Well, I woke up late

God: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start

God: Okay

Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait

God: Huummm

Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call

God: All right

Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?

God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one
of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

Me (humbled): OH

GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.

Me (embarrassed):Okay

God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Me (softly): I see God

God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I’m Sorry God

God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust Me…. in All things , the Good & the bad.

Me: I will trust You.

God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Me: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.

God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children…

PRAYER: I am so self-centered, God, thinking that the cosmos revolves around me and what happens to ME on this single day!  Remind me that You are a big, busy God, infinitely wise, knowing the ending from the beginning, and that as far as You are concerned, the cosmos does revolve around me because of Your great love for me and for all Your other children, too!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/18/12 – Silent Night

DayBreaks for 12/18/12 – Silent Night


Luke 2:4-7 (NLT)4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.  5 He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.  6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.  7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

Only by happy coincidence did the names of the true authors of the song “Silent Night” come to light—thirty-six years after they wrote it.

The story begins in 1818 in a church in the little Austrian town of Oberndorf. Shortly before Christmas Eve, a mouse ate a hole in the leather bellows of the church organ, effectively silencing it. The itinerant organ mender was not due in town for months, and music was needed for the Christmas Eve service. In three and one-half hours, Franz Gruber, the organist, composed music for a poem written by Josef Mohr, a priest. It began “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” (“Silent Night, Holy Night”). On Christmas Eve, the two men sang their composition accompanied by a guitar and children’s chorus. They were a great success.

The following May, when the organ mender turned up, Gruber gave him a copy of the song, which the man then circulated in his travels. By 1831, thirteen years later, the Strasser family quartet was billing “Silent Night” one of their numbers, as a Tyrolean folk song by “authors unknown.”

Time went by, and soon the now-popular song was being attributed to several famous composers. In 1854, the leader of the king’s orchestra in Berlin wrote to the choir director of the Benedictine school in Salzburg, asking for a copy of “Silent Night” by Michael Haydn, brother of the more famous composer Franz Joseph Haydn. The choir director asked a student—who just happened to be Felix Gruber, Franz Gruber’s son—to find a copy.

For thirty-six years the composers of this most beloved of Christmas carols received no credit for their work.  It doesn’t seem to have bothered them.  Nor did it bother God when He didn’t receive credit for His work when He was born in a Bethlehem manger.  It wouldn’t be for nearly 33 years that the proof for Who He claimed to be would become known: the resurrection from the dead.

There are still many who don’t believe in Him, who don’t give Him credit for the masterpiece of salvation that He crafted starting on that night in Bethlehem.  Let’s be sure that we’re not among those who don’t recognize and applaud His greatest work!

PRAYER: Author of salvation, how great You are!  Let us sing Your praises aloud for all the world to hear!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/17/12 – When Jesus Became an Ant

DayBreaks for 12/17/12 – When Jesus Became an Ant


Philippians 2:3-8 (NLT)– Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.  You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.  Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.  Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

This is an interesting telling of the Christmas story, one that you probably won’t hear preached about much this Advent season.  But it is perhaps an even more brutally honest telling of the story than the sentimentalized manger scene, animals, shepherds and singing angels.

The pastor on Sunday spoke from this passage.  He talked about how he hates ants and how their house had recent been infested by the rascals.  He considered preaching to them, asking them to repent for their “trespasses”, but realized it would be fruitless.  He thought about telling them how forgiving he could be if they’d just stop.  He thought about telling them about hell if they didn’t stop.  He knew that wouldn’t do any good, either.  They were crawling on his desk and he was smashing them with his thumb when he realized one that he’d smashed seem to have survived the ordeal but was writing in pain.  He faced the choice of letting it suffer or ending the suffering.  He chose the latter.

Then he talked about the spiritual application: God had been trying to speak to us for thousands of years, yet we didn’t stop going our own way.  He tried to show His long-suffering nature, but we continued to give Him plenty of reasons to bear with us.  He told about fearful judgment – but we ignored that, too.

What was God to do?  If He wanted the ants (us) to understand about Him, He would have to become an ant, too.  So that was what happened when Jesus emptied himself of eternal glory…and became an ant.

How would you have felt if you were given the choice of literally becoming an ant so you could communicate with them?  Who among us would do so?

Yet Jesus did more than that.  He became one of us (humans are even lower than ants to an infinite God – the distance in worth is far wider!).  Willingly.  And when he did, we ants abused him.  Then we killed him.

But here’s the real shocker: he became an ant knowing we would do that to him.  And therein lies the wonder of CHRISTmas.

PRAYER: How glorious you are for your self-abasing love for us!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 03/13/12 – Because We Do Not Speak

DayBreaks for 03/13/12 – Because We Do Not Speak

What happens if we stay silent?

Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. – Ephesians 6:19-20

In the context of Ephesians, Paul is in prison for the faith and his refusal to be silent and to stop preaching the word and sharing the mind of God.  Thus, he is led to ask the faithful to pray for him and for the courage to fearlessly speak the word.

Try to put yourself in Paul’s place: if you were already in prison for preaching the gospel, would you be looking for chances to keep on speaking, or would you be silent as you heard people being led to their beheading on a daily basis?  Perhaps Paul even had the struggle going on inside of himself, leading to this prayer, and the use of the word “fearlessly” twice in the two verses quoted above.

There is much frustration and anger in our country today about all sorts of things.  Much of the frustration involves so-called “social issues.”  I find that term interesting, because it is used as a way of saying “This isn’t a moral or ethical issue, it is a social issue.”  I don’t find such distinctions to be Biblical.  To the Jewish mind frame, everything was spiritual.  In the OT, fathers were encouraged to teach their children when they were walking, sitting, sleeping…at all times.  Why?  Because everything in life has spiritual, moral and ethical reality connected to it.  And our culture has made “tolerance” perhaps the highest virtue…again, not a Biblical perspective.

We, as believers, speak a lot about love and somehow, we’ve connected the concept of loving someone with the idea of tolerance…that we won’t speak out when something is wrong.  Why?  Because we’ve become convinced it is the loving thing to do to keep our mouths shut.  Not so.

“Anger is not the opposite of love; often it is love’s clearest expression. How can we love people and stand by while they are wounded and exploited by selfish (people)…One of the most lamentable weaknesses of our generation lies in the lukewarmness of its love–the feebleness of its protests growing out of its lukewarmness. Monstrous evils thrive right under our noses, become entrenched in politics and custom, grow brazenly insolent to every plea for decency and justice because we who are Christians do not speak.” – J. Wallace Hamilton, Ride The Wild Horses!, Westwood: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1952, p. 121.

Do you love the people in your life who surround you at work, at home, in your play?  Then truly love them.  Speak the truth in love.  You can truly love if you don’t love enough to speak the truth.

PRAYER: Fill our hearts with love enough to lovingly speak the truth into a culture that may not care to hear.  And we invite You to speak the truth into our own hearts and minds, Lord.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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