DayBreaks for 7/08/20 – The Christian’s Security

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DayBreaks for 7/08/20: The Christian’s Security

Security is a dancing phantom, much like the shadows of clouds that flit across the landscape. Yet we long for security in an insecure world. We fear for our health. We fear for our financial “security”. We seek secure investments. We lock our doors in an effort to ensure security. We fear hackers and stolen identities, so we pay for security systems to make our digital identities secure. We may arm ourselves to ward off a nightime intruder. We don’t walk alone at night in a dark place. We do all these things because of our fears in an effort to be secure.

Security in Jesus is not something that I was raised with. In many ways, I grew up in a hellfire and brimstone church that had one trembling with fear every time you had an evil thought or did something you shouldn’t. At those moments we were urged to smell the smoke of the pit that was licking at our feet and about to pull us downward forever.

I thank God that I’ve learned a bit more about security as a Christ-believer. Consider these things:

ONE: the Christian is united with Christ, seated with him (Ephesians 2:6);

TWO: we are hidden with him in God (Colossians 3:3);

THREE: we cannot be divided or separated from him by life or death or anything in existence (John 10:29, Romans 8:38-39).

What is the implication of those things? Simply put it is this: the Christian is as secure as Christ himself is secure!!!  And you just don’t get more secure than that. 

I love what Martin Luther said: World, death, devil, hell, away and leave me in peace! You have no hold on me. If you will not let me live, then I will die. But you won’t succeed in that. Chop my head off, and it won’t harm me. I have One who will give me a new one.

It is so much better to smell the rarified air of heaven than the smoke of the pit.

Believer: rest in Christ. You are as secure as he himself is!

PRAYER: We shout with joy for the security we have found in your, Lord God! Thank you for understanding our fears and our need to feel secure and for giving us the security we sought! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 7/3/20 – Just Try Breathing Water

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DayBreaks for 7/03/20: Just Try Breathing Water

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2010:

In his book, The New Absolutes, William Watkins cited several studies and then concluded, “Roughly three out of four Americans claimed they embraced relativism and opposed absolutism.” (p. 26) Only 9% of American, born-again teens believe in absolute truth, and the percentage of American adults that believe it isn’t much higher. 

Isn’t the statement, “there is no absolute truth” even a denial of that assertion?  Isn’t it a statement that purports an absolute truth (“There is no absolute truth”) while denying its existence?

Some truths are not negotiable, they are absolute. It matters whether you breathe water or oxygen. If you breathe water you will drown, it is an absolute truth.

When I go to the doctor, I want him to prescribe me the proper dosage of medication I need. It wouldn’t be right for him or her to say to me, “Take as much as you want.” Too much could kill me, not enough wouldn’t help me; I need the right dosage.

When I get ready to fly somewhere, I want the counter person to tell me the correct flight to board, I don’t want to hear, “It doesn’t matter which plane you get on, they all will take you to the same place.” I want to know the absolute truth.

With all due respect to the majority opinion in our society, there is an absolute truth. Jesus said, “… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) Just because someone makes a claim isn’t proof that it is true…but sometimes it is.  We must each decide if we believe Jesus was right or wrong when he made the claim he did. 

One can make the valid argument that physical things are more easily definable as absolute truths (such as breathing the right kind of air versus water) than in the spiritual realm.  But our experience in the physical realm should give us clues about how the spiritual realm may operate: if there are absolute truths in one area, why not in all?  And therein comes the rub – we can’t prove God’s existence, we can’t prove He is love, we can’t prove there is life after death.  There are those who claim that God doesn’t exist, and those who believe He does.  He can’t both not exist and exist at the same time.  He is either there or He isn’t.  Heaven and hell exist or they don’t – but both cannot possibly be true because they are diametrically opposed – like the on or off of a light switch. 

Anyone who tells you that there is no such thing as absolute truth wants to ignore the facts of experience.  If you were to suggest that they go breath water for 30 minutes if it is not absolutely true that it will kill them, they’d think you’ve lost it, but you’ll have made your point.

Let’s search for Truth.  It matters!!!

PRAYER: Give us wisdom to recognize and know truth!  May we have discernment in a world that denies the very existence of truth in any form!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/30/20 – The Good Land Where Things Die

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DayBreaks for 6/30/20: The Good Land Where Things Die

It seems to be a rule that for there to be new beginnings, new life, that things must die. The NT speaks of this in various ways: Jesus spoke of how a kernel of wheat must fall into the ground and die for a new plant to grow, we are told that if we want to have life we must die to our own life, we are even told to put to death the “old man” so a new man can life and as Jesus told Nicodemus, we must be born again.

As humans, of course, we don’t think of death as being good. Our pets die and we grieve, our dreams die and we are disheartened, our friends and family die and we are crushed by the dark enemy. We are told that flesh and blood (at least as we know it) cannot be part of the world to come – that we will need new bodies fit for an eternal life, not a temporal one.

Perhaps instead of fighting all forms of death, we should look for the benefits of death. It is good that some things die, after all. Fortunately, there is a place – a good land, a very special and holy place – where things die. Where is it? It’s found at the foot of the cross.

At the blood soaked ground at the foot of the cross is where my shame dies for all the things I’ve done that I don’t want anyone to know about. Why?  Because Jesus took my shame. My guilt dies there as the blood drips from Jesus’ hands, feet, back and side. Why? Because Jesus took my guilt on him. My fear of dying dies there because Jesus would prove a mere three days later that death has no choice but to yield to glorious life because of Jesus power. My sense of insignificance dies there when I think of the blood he shed and what he endured because of one thing and on thing only: he loves me and I matter to him. My fear of the future dies at the foot of the cross because by what he accomplished there, there is no longer any condemnation for me.

But along with the death of those things that I take to the foot of the cross, there is new life springing up from the moistened soil. I can now live a new life without shame and guilt plaguing me. I can face the future, as the song says, because he lives and promises me I will live, too (and he’s proved he can pull off that “trick”). And I need never feel insignificant, unimportant, unwanted, uncherished ever again because in the good land where things go to die, any doubt about those things was erased.

PRAYER: What holy ground is this, Lord Jesus, that we are invited to the ground at the foot of your cross where bad things die and good things spring up filled with eternal life! In your magnificent name we pray, Amen!

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/23/20 – Celebration of Light

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The aurora borealis, a dance of light.

DayBreaks for 6/23/20: Celebration of Light

From the DayBreaks archive, June 2010:

I believe it was Ben Franklin who coined the saying, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”  But what you may not know is why that saying came to be.  Partly, at least, it was due to recognition of the fact that the night time is perilous and fraught with danger and the wise will go to bed early rather than be out and about where they are more prone to being attacked and hurt!

In 21st century America, we have artificial light all around us: streetlights, tungsten lights, fluorescent lights, spotlights, stoplights, car lights, flashing lights, strobe lights…it seems that you can’t get away from artificial light.  Artificial light is so pervasive that it is hard to find a place to really view the stars.  We are blessed to live in the country, and when people come out to our home in the evenings, they usually come out as they prepare to go home and are shocked by how many stars they can see.  Those same stars are in the skies over their own home in town, but they just can’t see them because of all the ambient light from artificial sources.  Because light is so prevalent today, it is difficult for us to appreciate the way night was perceived in earlier times. For millennia, people illuminated their dwellings and workplaces with fire. It was not until William Murdock invented the gaslight in 1803, that large areas could be lit up after dark. For centuries before that, people literally walked in darkness if they walked at all at night.

It was true in Bible times.  People living then fully comprehended the meaning and dangers of the darkness.  When a prophet said that the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, they were speaking of something vivid, dramatic and hopeful. When they spoke of Christ as the light of the world, they were making the claim that Jesus had the ability to transform their world from one of darkness, danger and despair to one of hope, safety and joy. It helps us to understand the literal darkness of that ancient world to appreciate the words of the Psalmist: The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? (27:1) Or, the words of St. John: The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. (1:5)

Barrow, Alaska is the northernmost point on the North American continent.  Because of the tilt of the earth on its axis, Barrow is also one of the darkest places in the world. The sun sets in Barrow in November and won’t show up again until sometime in late January.  Getting through over two months of perpetual night cannot be easy – and it isn’t, not even to the natives who live there: in this tiny, seemingly innocuous outpost home to 3,000 hardy hunters, whalers, lawyers and public employees one finds one of the highest attempted suicide rates in Alaska.  Darkness drives people to do dark things.

Light, however, pushes people to do things that are right and decent partly because they don’t want dark deeds to be revealed.  Light also encourages celebration: the good folk of Barrow have parties on the frozen sea/ground when the sun makes its reappearance. 

I look forward to the party when the Son makes His reappearance.  How about you?

PRAYER: We rejoice to know that the night won’t last forever, and that even on the darkest night, Your vision is unimpaired and You see all clearly and can defend us from the dangers that we cannot even see ourselves!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/19/20 – To DO or to BE – That is the Question

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DayBreaks for 6/19/20: To Do or To Be – That is the Question

From the DayBreaks archive, June 2010:

“To be, or not to be, that is the question” is a phrase spoken by Prince Hamlet in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1. Hamlet is contemplating life, death and suicide, overwhelmed by life’s pain while also wondering if death is even worse than life. It is one of the most quoted lines in English literature.

This DayBreaks isn’t about suicide or death or life per se, so I hope you’ll continue reading.

The preacher said something this past Sunday that prompted the title of this DayBreaks.  When you think about it, which is more important as a Christian – doing the right things or being the right thing?  I grew up in a denomination where doing the right things was stressed – you had to do certain things and not do others if you were a “good” Christian. Some would say that’s works-based religion and I suppose they’d be right.

But if we asked Jesus which he’d prefer, I suspect he’d want us to be more than to do. He’d want us to be people of justice, mercy, compassion, to be a disciple, a lover of our fellow man. Sure, there’s a link between the being and doing – but if you are not being who you truly are, the works will die out soon enough.

And what are we to be? Well, someone said that “Sanctification is the process of becoming who we already are in Christ.” You see, in Christ we are already viewed as perfect – because we are IN him and his righteousness covers us fully and completely. But we know in our souls we are not perfect – hence the above saying about sanctification is spot on.

I am to be one who loves God above anything else in heaven or on earth. I am supposed to be honest, fair, loving, a healer of hurts, a righter of wrongs, forgiving, a walking, breathing imitator of Jesus. That’s what Jesus desires from us the most – to be like him. To do, or to be…the answer should be fairly clear to us all. Now, it were only that easy.

PRAYER: Jesus, don’t let us get distracted with busyness doing for you that we neglect who are to be in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/16/20 – The Best Day Ever

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DayBreaks for 6/16/20: The Best Day Ever

From the DayBreaks archive, June 2010:

What is the best memory you have of the best day you ever spent on this earth?  I don’t know if I can identify just one day that was my best, but I can recall some indescribable days: the days when each of our kids arrived, the days when our grandchildren arrived, the day of our wedding, the day I became a disciple of Christ (but since I did that at a fairly young age, it didn’t seem as momentous to me then as it does even today.)  You can probably think of others, but most of us would probably put family-related activities in the list of “best days ever.” 

In a sermon I preached a week ago, I mused briefly about the best day in the life of the apostles.  Of course, we don’t know and they’re not here to allow us to ask them, but don’t you suspect that if you asked any of the 11 (not counting Judas) what was the best, most exciting day they ever spent, that they might reflect back to a Sunday morning in Jerusalem after a very dark, deadly weekend?  Could there have been anything more exciting than His resurrection?  I think not.

But what about for Jesus?  Was His resurrection as exciting to him as it was to the disciples?  I doubt it – he knew it was going to happen, but to them it was a total, mind-blowing shock!  I don’t know what Jesus’ best day may have been.  At best we can only surmise.  But I like what Phillip Yancey had to say: he thinks the best day ever for Jesus was the day of his ascension back to the Father.  When you stop to think about it, doesn’t that make a lot of sense?  He’d set aside the glory he had with God before the foundation of the world to come here.  In his ascension, he was taking that glory back up again.  When he came, he knew he’d get sick, be weak physically, be limited in His power, be beaten, spit on and die in a most ignoble and painful way.  With the ascension, that was all over with.  As Yancey wrote, “He, the Creator, who had descended so far and give up so much, was now heading home.  Like a soldier returning across the ocean from a long and bloody war.  Like an astronaut shedding his spacesuit to gulp in the familiar atmosphere of earth.  Home at last.”

He goes on to reflect on Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper, and suggests it gives us insights into his point of view: “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” 

“Before the world began!  Like an old man reminiscing – no, like an ageless God reminiscing – Jesus, who sat in a stuffy room in Jerusalem, was letting his mind wander back to a time before the Milky way and Andromeda.  On an earthly night dark with fear and menace, Jesus was making preparations to return home, to assume the glory he had set aside.”

I’m so glad He went home and took up His glory again!!!!  I LONG to see Him in that glory!  I can scarce believe He left it behind to find ME – the one lost sheep who had gone astray!  I am dumbfounded by the wonder of it all!

I wonder if when his feet left the ground, if a sigh of relief could be heard…

PRAYER: Oh, Jesus!  No words have ever been invented to describe how thankful we are for what You did for us!  Long live King Jesus!!!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/9/20 – There Ain’t No Stoppin’ Love

Unstoppable Love Easter 2015 – Freedom Hill Community Church

DayBreaks for 6/09/20: There Ain’t No Stoppin’ Love

When I was young, I recall a dilemma that fascinated me and it was primarily related to a physics problem: What would happen if an unstoppable force collided with an immovable object? To this day I don’t know, but I suppose the answer might be something like this: there is no such thing as an unstoppable force or an immovable object. With enough energy applied, anything is stoppable or immovable.

At least in the physical realm. If the Bible teaches us anything about God it is that His plan is unstoppable. It may seem to us mortals that it is being thwarted left and right but we surely can’t see the entire story or recognize all the force at work.

As I was walking the dog the other day, I had Crowder as my walking companion (via my Alexa-enabled headphones) and I was struck by a portion of the lyrics to the song Golgotha Hill (King of Love) that made realize that there is one unstoppable force in the universe and that is the love of God.

When you think about it, what is the intent of God’s plan? It is to be reunited with his very good creation in love and peace.

What if our own love were like that unstoppable love of God? There would be no child, spousal or elder abuse. There would be no divorce. There would be no war, no stealing, raping, racial injustice, no hearts crushed by infidelity and no families destroyed.

I wish it was as simple as saying, “God fill me with your unstoppable love!” I’ve lived long enough to know that nothing is that easy for me. I do believe that the day will come when his love is all that remains and it will fill us, envelop us, and pour out of us. Until that day my prayer will be to know and experience more of his unstoppable love towards me so that I can love others even as he does.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (CSBBible) – Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love — but the greatest of these is love.

Romans 8:37-39 (YLT)but in all these we more than conquer, through him who loved us; for I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor messengers, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things about to be, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of god, that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

PRAYER: Father, I would know and be possessed by your unstoppable love and I would have that love for others! Our world so desperately needs your unstoppable love right now. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/05/20 – Missing a Piece of the Puzzle

Coronavirus puts jigsaw puzzles in high demand

DayBreaks for 6/05/20: Missing a Piece of the Puzzle

From MailOnline, 5/25/10:

“It had cluttered up Jack Harris’s dining table for almost eight years.  Nevertheless, the 86-year-old was determined to finish his five-foot long, 5,000-piece jigsaw.  And when he thought the painstaking process was complete, he stood back to admire his work  –  only to find a dog may have eaten the final piece.

“Mr. Harris has searched his home in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, for the missing piece but his family fears one of their two dogs has swallowed it.  They have even asked the puzzle’s manufacturer if they could provide a spare  –  but Mr. Harris has taken so long to complete the jigsaw that Falcon Games has stopped making it.

“His daughter-in-law Eve Harris, who gave him the jigsaw as a Christmas present in 2002, said she thought it would be a challenge for the retired businessman.   Mr. Harris, whose wife Doris died in 2004, is given a new jigsaw every year, and usually finishes them by spring.  But this puzzle was to prove different.

“He said he started the jigsaw  –  which shows the 19th century oil painting The Return Of The Prodigal Son, by James Tissot  –  as usual. But eight years later he was still struggling to finish it.  Mrs. Harris said: ‘We got him this one as a bit of a joke really, because he always boasted he could get them done so quickly, he’s a bit of a whiz with them. It was marvelous to see it finally completed. But when we saw there was a piece missing from the middle, we just couldn’t believe it.  ‘He was just so disappointed when he found one bit was missing. It’s sad really because now it will never be completed.’

“If Mrs. Harris’s dogs are not to blame, the family thinks the piece may have been thrown away by accident.

“Mr. Harris said: ‘I always said I could get the puzzles done by the end of March so I could get out into the garden, but this one took a bit longer.’”

Many of the most famous people in the world think that they’ve got it all figured out and got it all put together, but when they come to their death bed they are confronted with questions that their money, wisdom, knowledge and experience have not been able to answer.  The result: they are often tormented in their soul, uncertain in the face of eternity where their money or experience or knowledge will be of no avail.  The problem is that they’ve spent their life in pursuit of something – only to find when they reach the end that there is a piece missing.  Augustine spoke of it when he said mankind would always be restless until we come to God so He can fill the God-shaped hole in our heart.

Jesus alone can fill that missing piece when our souls launch out into eternity.  “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father, except through me.”  Jesus is what we need to complete the puzzle that is life.  Don’t wait until the end to find the most important piece is missing!  

PRAYER: Lord, we believe that we can only be complete when You complete us.  As the crowning piece of the puzzle, may Christ be formed in us today!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/02/20 – An Interesting Twist on the Ascension

The Ascension of Jesus Bible Story Study Guide

DayBreaks for 6/02/20: An Interesting Thought on the Ascension

We have just recently come through the time of year where we celebrate the resurrection – and rightly so! – for it is our guarantee that Jesus was who he claimed to be and will raise us up in due time.

Aside from the shocking appearances between his resurrection and Pentecost we find another event in Jesus’ life that we often speed past in our journey to get back to work or to care for the kids. That event is the ascension.

In the sermon this past Sunday, the preacher made an excellent point that I’d neither considered nor heard before. He noted that when Jesus ascended, he took a part of earth to heaven with him. How? Well, it appears from the passage in Revelation that Jesus still bears the scars of the crucifixion on his heavenly body. In taking a bit of earth to heaven it is a reminder to God of us earthly creatures and a foreshadowing of the great in-gathering of other earthly beings that will some day take place.

But with Pentecost being this past Sunday, it is worth noting that what happened on Pentecost was a bit of heaven (the Spirit) being brought to earth – to remind us of the heavenly truths and to remind us that God has not forgotten or abandoned us.

A part of the earthly is permanently in the heavenlies and a part of the heavenlies is permanently here on earth. This is the start of the great reuniting that God has been working toward for millennia. With all that is going on in the world let us pray the words that Jesus taught us: Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…

PRAYER: Almighty God, let your Spirit flood throughout the world until your will is done here, in my heart and in this earthly world, as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 5/27/20 – Putting the Blood on Trial

Nothing But The Blood Video | The Skit Guys

DayBreaks for 5/27/20: Putting the Blood on Trial

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2010:

The following was sent to me by a DayBreaks reader.  I don’t know the author.  (Thanks, Kate, for sending this along to me!):

“One night in a church service a young woman felt the tug of God at her heart.   She responded to God’s call and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. 
“The young woman had a very rough past, involving alcohol, drugs, and prostitution.  But, the change in her was evident. As time went on she became a faithful member of the church.  She eventually became involved in the ministry, teaching young children. 

“It was not very long until this faithful young woman had caught the eye and heart of the pastor’s son.   The relationship grew and they began to make wedding plans.  This is when the problems began. 

“You see, about one half of the church did not think that a woman with a past such as hers was suitable for a pastor’s son.  The church began to argue and fight about the matter…so they decided to have a meeting.  As the people made their arguments and tensions increased, the meeting was getting completely out of hand. 

“The young woman became very upset about all the things being brought up about her past.  As she began to cry the pastor’s son stood to speak.  He could not bear the pain it was causing his wife to be. 

“He began to speak and his statement was this: “My fiancee’s past is not what is on trial here.  What you are questioning is the ability of the blood of Jesus to wash away sin.  Today you have put the blood of Jesus on trial.  So, does it wash away sin or not?” 

“The whole church began to weep as they realized that they had been slandering the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Too often, even as Christians, we bring up the past and use it as a weapon against our brothers and sisters. 

“Forgiveness is a very foundational part of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  If the blood of Jesus does not cleanse the other person completely then it cannot cleanse us completely.  If that is the case, then we are all in a lot of trouble.   What can wash away my sins?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus!  End of case!!!!” 

PRAYER: Hallelujah, Lord Jesus!  Thank YOU for Your blood that never loses its power!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>