DayBreaks for 10/23/20 – Out of the Depths

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Image from the movie, The 33.

You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. – Psalm 71:20

 He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. – Psalm 95:4

This past week we were privileged to witness one of the most amazing rescues I can recall.  Thirty-three miners escaped from the depths of the earth (the story is told in the movie, The 33).  I don’t know for sure, but someone said that when they came to the surface, they were wearing shirts that had Psalm 95:4 stenciled on their back.  These 33 men endured great anguish and fear yet came through their ordeal with a perspective that is amazing. 

There are so many rich lessons for us to grasp in this event:

As Psalm 139 says, there is nowhere either above or below the earth that He cannot be found.  And one of the miners said that God was in that time and place, as was the devil, but God won.  He always does – and always will!

I thought about being “re-born” to a new and living hope.  Surely these men can now read those words with renewed appreciation. 

I thought about how God has translated us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His Son…and how the miners had been in the mines for so long that they had to wear sunglasses even at night when they came up out of the mine into the light. 

The joy that they and their loves ones experienced is certainly understandable!  These men, as good as dead, were alive and could live “normal” lives.  The joy that swept the world at their survival – even the joy that filled my own heart at their rescue – was powerful and strong.  But there is an even greater miracle, an even greater reason for joy that we have as Christians: we have been saved by the grace of God!!!  Did those miners deserve being rescued, being saved?  I don’t know if “deserved” is the right word – but because they were humans, the efforts were made.  God made a far greater effort and had to span a distance far greater than 2050 feet in order to rescue us from a death that was every bit as certain (even more certain, as it turns out!) than the miners faced in the dark bowels of the earth.  Why should our joy be any less?  Why don’t we react to our salvation with the same wild abandon as those miners?

It is a question worth pondering.  Perhaps it’s because we don’t really believe we are bad enough to deserve eternal punishment.  Perhaps it’s because we have never considered ourselves as good as dead.  Maybe it’s because we haven’t begun to grasp the life that God has given us.  Maybe it’s all of the above and other reasons, too.  I’m ready to begin celebrating my salvation more than I have in the past, and I hope you will, too.

PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for seeing fit to spare the lives of the Chilean miners!  We rejoice in the new lease on life that they have been granted.  Help us to come to a far greater appreciation of what YOU have done for us than we have ever experienced before!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 10/15/20 – The Street Orphan and God

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In No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, Max Lucado tells the story of a time when he was a missionary in Brazil. It was very common for young children – some no doubt orphans – to beg for something to eat. One day, while on his way to teach a class, a small boy tapped Max on the hand and asked, “Pao, Senhor?” (Bread, sir?)

Max had grown familiar with this sort of request and always tried to help when he could. He told the young boy to come with him and they went into a shop where Max always bought his coffee. He told the young boy to go and choose a pastry and the little fellow excitedly ran to the counter to make his selection.

Max took his coffee to the end of the counter where people would sit to drink their coffee, but the boy was not in sight. Looking around, he saw the boy outside, face pressed against the window, looking into the café.

When the boy saw Max, he scampered in to Max and looking up at him from about belt-buckle level, said “Obrigato.” He paused for a second and said, “Muito obrigato!”, or “Thank you very much!”

Max’s response was wonderful. He said that those two words in Portuguese stirred his heart to the point that he wanted to buy the entire stock of pastries for the young boy because of the gratitude that he’d shown for such a simple gift!

In reflecting on the encounter, Max made such a simple, yet profound observation: if he was so moved by those two words from the little boy expressing such gratitude for a piece of pastry, how must God feel when we take the time to thank him, really, really thank him, for saving our souls?

When is the last time you did that?

PRAYER: Thank you, God, thank you!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 8/31/20 – If I Only Had One More Chance

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We aren’t told what the disciples did after Jesus’ death and burial. We know they didn’t show up at the trial or the crucifixion – except for John, that is. We can surmise (I suspect correctly) that they ran and hid. It’s likely I might have done the same.

How did they spend the time from Friday until their meeting again in the upper room? The Bible is silent. Perhaps they began to come together, led by their shame and seeking consolation from their fellow disciples in their misery. Maybe they just pulled a hood up over their face and hid in a dark room or walked the back streets of Jerusalem kicking themselves for their cowardice.

But they did come back together sometime on Sunday. Was it simply misery loves company or might it have been that they heard muffled whispers that Jesus had risen. Something drew them back to the upper room where they’d had their Passover meal and where Jesus had washed their feet. Maybe they were just hoping against hope that there was some truth to the resurrection rumors. Gather they did.

Then, with the room closed, as they share their shame with one another, Jesus walks through the wall into their midst. Not one word of condemnation or recrimination is spoken. And the darkened hearts of the disciples are filled with the brilliance of the Light of the World.

What are we to learn? It’s not a secret. As they sat there saying something like, “If I only had one more chance, I’d tell Jesus I’m sorry and I’d not fail him again”, he appears and just as the father of the prodigal son didn’t let him ask forgiveness, Jesus extends forgiveness before they can ask.

Jesus knew their hearts and thoughts. He knew how they felt and how badly they’d failed him. Yet a joyous celebration is on tap and the tears of joy overflow.

All Jesus requires of any of us who have “done it again”, who have failed to follow him and stand by him is a heart that knows its own brokenness and we are welcomed.

You may be in hiding right now because of your brokenness. Meet him in the upper room. He’ll find you there with arms open wide!

PRAYER: Lord God, how gracious you are! Thank you for the story of your disciples and their failures. Thank you for showing us the magnitude of your forgiveness and love even in our darkest, most shameful moments! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 8/24/20 – Chosen

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One of the most fun things to do with a family of children is to go to choose a puppy. We did that numerous times as a family when our children were little and I’ll never forget their excitement when they beheld the litter of romping, playing, happy puppies that they could choose from!  And it seemed to me that the puppies were every bit as happy to be chosen as the children were to be the choosers!

It is a wonderful thing to be chosen. It conveys a sense of being wanted! To not be chose is a rejection of sorts – just think back to your days in high school and PE class when teams were being chosen. I always felt badly for those who were poor at sports and were chosen last – there simply wasn’t any one else left to choose. It had to be crushing.

As Christians we have a great blessing. We know we are among the chosen – and we were picked from before the start of the world itself were chosen, long before we could prove our “worth” or capabilities! Ephesians 1:3-5 puts it this way (ESV) – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will

Perhaps you were one who was not chosen in gym class. Or you were not chosen to attend the college of your choice. Maybe you didn’t make it into med school or law school. Maybe you were not chosen to be someone’s spouse. It’s painful and it’s hard, but if you are a Christian, you were chosen not by an admissions board, a team captain or a young man or woman, but by the Creator of all that is!  And you weren’t just brought into the house as a play thing like a puppy – you were brought into His house as a son or daughter.

Rejoice that you were beloved before you were born, you are beloved now and will be forever his chosen beloved one!

PRAYER: Father, help us grasp the meaning you give to your lives by your choosing of us in Christ and let us accept and rejoice in the knowledge we have been wanted and chosen! In Jesus’ name, Amen.Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 8/18/20 – Take Me Home

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From Max Lucado’s No Wonder They Call Him the Savior:

Luke 23:46: Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

Were it a war – this would be the aftermath.

Were it a symphony – this would be the second between the final note and the first applause.

Were it a journey – this would be the sight of home.

Were it a storm – this would be the sun, piercing the clouds.

But it wasn’t. It was a Messiah. And this was a sigh of joy.

“Father!” (the voice is hoarse.)

The voice that called forth the dead,

The voice that taught the willing,

The voice that screamed at God,

Now says, “Father!” “Father!”

The two are again one.

The abandoned is now found.

The schism is now bridged.

“Father.” He smiles weakly. “It’s over.”

Satan’s vultures have been scattered.

Hell’s demons have been jailed.

Death has been damned.

The sun is out,

The Son is out.

It’s over.

An angel signs. A star wipes away a tear.

“Take me home.”

Yes, take him home

Take this prince to his king.
Take this son to his father.

Take this pilgrim to his home.

(He deserves a rest.)

“Take me home.”

Come ten thousand angels! Come and take this wounded troubadour to

The cradle of his Father’s arms!

Farewell manger’s infant.

Bless You holy ambassador.
Go Home death slayer.

Rest well sweet soldier.

The battle is over.

PRAYER: Father, thank you for taking Jesus home and for preparing a home for us to join you there throughout eternity. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 7/17/20 – He Should Know

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DayBreaks for 7/17/20: He Should Know

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2010:

Revelation 21:5: The One who was sitting on the throne said, ‘Look!  I am making everything new!’  Then He said, ‘Write this, because these words are true and can be trusted.’

I’m wrote this on the 4th of July.  We just got back from visiting my wife’s father.  He lives about two hours away from us.  I’ve always liked him – he has an infectious laugh and a twinkle in his eye and he is a lot of fun to be around.  But he is getting older in years and age is catching up with him, just like with all of us.  He doesn’t hear as well as he used to, and he is getting more forgetful.  He has to stop and think a bit before putting all the words of a sentence together. 

As Max Lucado put it in The Applause of Heaven: “It’s hard to see things grow old.  The town in which I grew up is growing old.  I was there recently.  Some of the buildings are boarded up.  Some of the houses are torn down.  Some of my teachers are retired, some are buried.  The old movie house where I took my dates has “For Sale” on the marquee, long since outdated by the newer theaters that give you eight choices.  The only visitors to the drive-in theater are tumbleweeds and rodents.  Memories of first dates and senior proms are weather-worn by the endless rain of years.  High school sweethearts are divorced.  A cheerleader died of an aneurysm.  Our fastest halfback is buried only a few plots from my own father.

“I wish I could make it all new again.  I wish I could blow the dust off the streets.  I wish I could walk through the familiar neighborhood, and wave at the familiar faces, and pet the familiar dogs and hit one more home run in the Little League park.  I wish I could walk down Main Street and call out to the merchants that have rented and open the doors that have been boarded up.  I wish I could make everything new…but I can’t, I can’t.  But God can.  ‘He restores my soul’, wrote the shepherd.  He doesn’t’ reform – he restores.  He doesn’t camouflage the old, he restores the new.  The Master Builder will pull out the original plan and restore it.  He will restore the vigor.  He will restore the energy.  He will restore the hope.  He will restore the soul.

“What would you give in exchange for a home like that?  Would you really rather have a few possessions on earth than eternal possessions in heaven?  Would you really choose a life of slavery to passion over a life of freedom?  Would you honestly give up all your heavenly mansions for a second-rate sleazy motel on earth?

“‘Great,’ Jesus said, ‘is your reward in heaven.’  He must have smiled when he said that line.  His eyes must have danced, and his hand must have pointed skyward.  For he should know.  It was his idea.  It was his home.”

Sometimes it is tempting, isn’t it – to get caught up in what we have right here and now?  After all – remember the saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”?  And what we have here and now is concrete, wood and steel and we can see it, touch it, and we think it is good.  It isn’t.  It is nothing compared to what Jesus’ home is like.  Age won’t weather the boards of your mansion in heaven.  The storms of life won’t beat against it or blow snow under the door.  It won’t make boards and bones brittle.  Jesus knows – it was his home – and he came so it could be our home, too. 

I don’t think that Jesus was joking – or exaggerating – when he said, “Great is your reward in heaven.”  Greater by far than you can even imagine or hope for.  It’ll take our breath totally away.  I truly hope to see you there!

PRAYER: Thank You, Jesus, for giving us this hint about our heavenly reward – and thank You for preparing it for us so it will be ready when we get there!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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 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 5/20/22 – Lessons Learned in Crucibles, #1

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DayBreaks for 5/20/20: Lessons Learned in Crucibles #1

Nearly all of us have had unplanned time for reflection during this COVID-19 lockdown. I suppose that like me, you’ve had many thoughts about it and that your thinking and emotions may have changed day by day – maybe hour by hour.

In my quiet time, I’ve been working my way through Ecclesiastes. It’s a strange, interesting and bewildering book. On the one hand, it’s doom and gloom, on the other it encourages us to enjoy our lot in life. In particular, yesterday I was reflecting on this: Ecclesiastes 6:1-7 (CSBBible) – Here is a tragedy I have observed under the sun, and it weighs heavily on humanity: God gives a person riches, wealth, and honor so that he lacks nothing of all he desires for himself, but God does not allow him to enjoy them. Instead, a stranger will enjoy them. This is futile and a sickening tragedy. A man may father a hundred children and live many years. No matter how long he lives, if he is not satisfied by good things and does not even have a proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. For he comes in futility and he goes in darkness, and his name is shrouded in darkness. Though a stillborn child does not see the sun and is not conscious, it has more rest than he. And if a person lives a thousand years twice, but does not experience happiness, do not both go to the same place? All of a person’s labor is for his stomach, yet the appetite is never satisfied.

Pretty gloomy, eh? But think about it for a moment. As we sit in this COVID-19 world, we can learn something from this passage. It does seem strange and unfair that all we acquire or accomplish of a worldly nature in this life is stripped from us upon death, or even upon a strange turn of events in this life. A market downturn, a pandemic, a health issue – those things can strip us of our deluded security and even the option of enjoying the things we work for. All this tells me that if we find our purpose, meaning and enjoyment in things that can be so suddenly taken from us, aren’t we a bit on the crazy side?

I hope to spend more time during the lockdown – however long that may be – to readjust what gives me purpose, meaning and enjoyment and to refocus on that which can never be taken from me in this world or the next – Jesus.

PRAYER: Jesus, so much has been taken from so many during this pandemic and we long for a return of normalcy. I pray that we will use this time wisely to refocus on those things which nothing can ever take from us and find our greatest joy – the joy you designed us for – in drawing closer to you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 5/11/20 – The Blessedness of the Persecuted

In This Current Situation, Consider the Persecuted Church

DayBreaks for 5/11/20: The Blessedness of the Persecuted

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2010:

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness… – Jesus

Does persecution sound like something you look forward to?  Even the very word sounds painful.  I don’t know of anyone who would walk around and say, “You are fortunate when you are persecuted for doing good”…no one, that is, except Jesus.  Do I want to be persecuted?  No!  But Jesus says that if I am persecuted, I am fortunate/happy/blessed!

How can it possibly be true?  A brother at our congregation found the following and shared it with me.  I think that when you read it and contemplate it, you’ll see and agree that those who are persecuted for righteousness truly are the blessed:

When persecution comes into our lives then, according to Jesus, we must conclude the following:
That we have put our complete faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
That we can truly call ourselves Christians.
That we belong to the kingdom of God.
That we are righteous.
That we have been chosen by the Father and the Son.
That ours is the kingdom of God now and in the future.
That Jesus is truly our Lord and that is why we are being persecuted.
That our salvation is sure and certain.
That we are not false prophets.
That we are not worldly for the people of the world are not persecuted.
That we are in the very good company with many other saved Christians.
That we can know that we are truly born again.
That eternal life is ours.

Can there be any greater blessings than knowing these things?  Now the question is: will we live lives that will cause us to be persecuted for righteousness, or will we hide and remain invisible?

PRAYER: Jesus, we need the kind of courage you demonstrated in your lifetime, to bear persecution for the sake of your kingdom.  Give us spirits that don’t quail and quake in fear when we are confronted with the choice of living and acting in the cause of righteousness!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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