DayBreaks for 4/03/17 – They Still Know His Name

DayBreaks for 4/3/17: They Still Know His Name

When things seem to get out of control, I often try to take control and “fix” things. I suppose it is a natural enough human trait, but that in and of itself should be enough of a warning to me that it’s neither smart nor good. After all, if the Bible knows what it is talking about, our natural human traits are nothing to be bragging about. My efforts to fix things more often than not land me in deep water.

One of the songs I have come to deeply love is It is Well, by Kristine DeMarco. The first part of the song goes like this:

Grander earth has quaked before

Moved by the sound of his voice

Seas that are shaken and stirred

Can be calmed and broken

For my regard.

 

Through it all my eyes are on you

Through it all, through it all

It is well.

Through it all my eyes are on you

It is well with me.

 

Far be it from me to not believe

Even when my eyes can’t see.

And this mountain that’s in front of me

Will be thrown into the midst of the sea.

 

Through it all my eyes are on you

Through it all, through it all

It is well.

Through it all my eyes are on you

It is well with me.

 

So let go my soul and trust in Him

The waves and wind still know His Name…”

These are wise words – words I need to hear – often. I’m sure you need to hear them, too. Long ago, the winds and waves immediately responded to his voice because they knew his name. He had created the elements that made the wind and the water and those things had not forgotten His power. And when confronted by a legion of demons (who begged mercy from the singular Galilean carpenter) they obeyed his voice.

The demons and storms in my life, will, too, if I let go and trust in Him.

Your child may lie in a hospital bed this very moment. Your beloved parent or spouse may be in hospice care and the hours seem to fly too rapidly and the breaths to come too slowly. Your job may have vaporized. Your hopes for the future may have been dashed. And it may seem impossible that the storms in your life will ever stop lashing you. Don’t forget one thing: the waves and winds still know his name, and whatever is troubling you must yield to His power. There is no storm he cannot calm.

Mark 4:38-39 (ESV) – But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm
.

 

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, our Delivered, we cry to you in the midst of our battle, we rage against the storm that assails us and in the middle of that struggle we forget the power of your Name to still the raging. Let us trust in you to still the storm and give us great calm, too. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

 

DayBreaks for 1/10/17 – The Word Does The Work

DayBreaks for 1/10/17: The Word Does the Work

This was so good that I just had to share it. It’s from a blog by Mike Livingstone (mikelivingstone.com):

“The great heresy of the church today is that we think we’re in the entertainment business. A.W. Tozer believed this to be true back in the 1950s and 60s. Church members “want to be entertained while they are edified.” He said that in 1962. Tozer grieved, even then, that it was “scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction was God.”*

“More recently, David Platt has asked: “What if we take away the cool music and the cushioned chairs? What if the screens are gone and the stage is no longer decorated? What if the air conditioning is off and the comforts are removed? Would His Word still be enough for his people to come together?” (Radical)

“Would it be enough?

“Tozer got it right: “Heresy of method may be as deadly as heresy of message.”

 “Like Tozer, we should be concerned that so many people in our churches want to be entertained while they worship. We should be concerned when we no longer recognize the difference between the two. And we should be concerned by the growing belief that adding more entertainment value to worship is necessary for the church to accomplish its mission.

“I may stand alone, but it grieves me when I see worship services characterized more by props, performances, and pep rally atmospheres than by any sense of divine sacredness; and hallowedness giving way to shallowness.

“This is not about worship styles. The issue is not traditional versus contemporary versus blended worship. It’s not about organ versus worship band. That discussion misses the point completely. This is about the heart and focus and intent of worship. The real issues, for me, are these:

“1. Who or what is the spotlight really on? If the figurative spotlight in our church services is on anyone other than God, it is not worship. If the spotlight shines brighter on human performance than on the gospel of Christ, it is not worship. If anyone other than Jesus is receiving our adulation and applause, it is not God we worship.

“2. What message are we communicating? The message of the church—the message the world needs to hear from us—is not, “Come and have a good time,” “Come and be entertained,” or “Come and find your best life now.”

Tozer said: “Christ calls men to carry a cross; we call them to have fun in His name.” The message of the church is the message of the cross. Lest we forget, Jesus’ cross was a source of entertainment only for those who mocked Him as He hung on it.

“3. How are lives changed? “But our methods are attracting and winning people!” some will say. Tozer addressed that sentiment: “Winning them to what? To true discipleship? To cross-carrying? To self-denial? To separation from the world? To crucifixion of the flesh? To holy living? To nobility of character? To a despising of the world’s treasures? To hard self-discipline? To love for God? To total committal to Christ?”

“David Platt and the church he pastored, The Church at Brook Hills, decided to try to answer the question, “Is His Word still enough for His people to come together?” They stripped away the entertainment value and invited people to come simply to study God’s Word. They called it Secret Church. They set a date—on a Friday night—when they would gather from 6:00 in the evening until midnight, and for six hours they would do nothing but study God’s Word and pray. People came. A thousand people came the first time and it grew from that. Soon, they had to start taking reservations because the church was packed full. Secret Church now draws tens of thousands of people via simulcast in over 50 countries around the world—with no entertainment, no bells and whistles or smoke machines.

“Why do they come? Platt explained in an interview: “People are hungry for the Word. There’s really nothing special or creative about it. It’s just the study of the Word …. The Word itself does the work!”

“People are hungry. They are hungry for a diet of substance, not candy. More of the Word. Deeper into the Word. Less of what Tozer called ‘religious toys and trifles.’”

PRAYER: Lord, let our love of “worship” never supersede our love for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 11/25/16 – The Games People Play

DayBreaks for 11/25/16: The Games People Play

The 1960’s pop singer Joe South wrote a song that had these words:

Oh the games people play now

Every night and every day now

Never meaning what they say now

Never saying what they mean

And they wile away the hours

In their ivory towers

Till they’re covered up with flowers

In the back of a black limousine

Games…we love to play games. Board games, sports games, mind games, video games, computer games, word games, mathematical…the list goes on and on. As human beings we are fascinated by our games. Games are good-for games can and do provide physical exercise and mental stimulation as well as develop coping skills, management skills-not to mention providing a respite from the pressures of everyday life. Yes, we all love games-some of us too much. It has been said of Americans that we “play at our work and work at our play.” Yes, there are times when even the best of us take our games too seriously.

There are also games we play that we should not play. These are the games that we use to avoid life, to avoid dealing with the harsh realities that life can bring us. Back in the sixties Eric Berne wrote Games People Play–an analysis of the ways in which people relate to each other and why we do so. His basic thesis is that “games are substitutes for the real living of real life.” We play games because we do not want to get down to the real human business of honest to God interaction. We would rather live at a superficial level of societal games than to talk about who we are and what we feel.

What games are you playing that may be detrimental to your family, your work, your friends, your health? What games are you playing that weaken your walk with Christ? Don’t you think it may be time to stop playing some of those games and get real?

PRAYER: Father, may we take time to play – but give us the wisdom to know when to play and when to be serious! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple.  All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 8/30/16 – Choose Your Song Carefully

Image result for choosing your song

DayBreaks for 8/30/16 – Choose Your Song Carefully

We live in a time where music is readily available everywhere. Couples talk about “our song” that represents their love and life together. Athletes in baseball have “walk-up songs” that plays when they come to bat or go out to pitch. People work out at the gym with earbuds while they listen to workout music. And these songs are chosen because of their appeal to the listener.

In the great classical piece of literature, Homer’s Odyssey, one can find the story of Odysseus, a great hero who was sailing toward his destiny and finds himself confronting a dangerous dilemma. As he is on his way, he must sail through a very narrow passage. It isn’t the passage itself, that is the problem, it is the sirens that are the inhabitants of the place. They were said to be beautiful, mythical creatures – part woman and part bird – that lured sailors with their enchanting music and lovely voices long enough that their ships would strike the rocky cost of the land. Later writers said that they would then eat the shipwrecked sailors who gave in to the siren song that lured them to their death.

Odysseus was warned of this peril, and not wanting to shipwreck himself or his crew, settled on a seemingly shrewd stratagem: he instructed his men to fill their ears with beeswax so that they could not hear the song. He, himself, would not do so – he wanted to hear this strange, beautiful song and so he asked his men to bind him steadfast to the mast of the ship so that he could not steer the ship into danger, but he could hear the sirens because he longed to hear the siren song.

The other character who encounters the sirens in ancient literature is Jason. He, too, must sail past the location of the sirens. But rather than filling his men’s ears with beeswax and being tied to the mast, he is advised to bring Orpheus, the greatest musician, with him aboard ship so that as they pass the island of the sirens, Orpheus could play his music that would be so wonderful and louder than the song of the sirens that Jason and his crew could safely pass – and they do. Orpheus’ music was so overwhelming that they didn’t even hear the siren song that would lure them into death.

What’s the point of these stories? To me, they represent some choices that we must make in life as believers. We say that we belong to Jesus, yet sometimes we want to hear the siren song and are so captivated by it that it can destroy us. We want to hear it – to get as close as we can to the danger without actually giving in. In the case of Jason, he didn’t want to hear the siren song – he believed that something more beautiful and haunting could and would overpower the siren song and drown it out.

We can listen to many different songs: the songs of power, position, passion, money, immorality, infidelity or one of many others – and they can drive us mad. We think we can survive unscathed by “tying” ourselves while letting the songs of these competing things enter our ears and hearts and minds.

Or, we can replace these other songs with the song of Jesus that is far superior to anything the world would use to lure us away from the safety of the Father’s presence.

Which will we choose? What “songs” have you been listening to?

PRAYER: God, I don’t know why it is that we so often try to get as close as possible to giving in to the siren songs of the world when we have You and Your song of love for us. Help us listen constantly to the music that is You and the son of love and grace You sing to us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 5/09/16 – More Like Love

DayBreaks for 5/09/16 – More Like Love

This past Wednesday night I heard the song, More Like Love, for the very first time.  The lyrics express the desire of my heart as I grow older. I could identify with the verses that talk about all the things that I have wanted and hoped for in my younger days…and found that to whatever extent I gained such things, that they were all smoke and mirrors, at best dancing illusions intended to captivate and entrap us, yet never yielding the longed for satisfaction.

Consider the words of the song (by Ben Rector), and then listen to it – be blessed and challenged.

I used to think I wanted to be famous
I’d be recognized out in a crowd
But the funny thing is anytime I’ve gotten what I want
It lets me down.

 But now I just wanna look more like love
I just wanna look more like love.
This whole world is spinning crazy
And I can’t quite keep up
It’s the one thing around here
That we don’t have quite enough of
So I just wanna look a little more
Like love.

 I used to think I needed all the answers
I used to need to know I was right
I used to be afraid of things I couldn’t cover up
In black and white.

But I just want look more like love
I just wanna look more like love

This whole world is spinning crazy
And I can’t quite keep up
It’s the one thing around here
That we don’t have quite enough of
So I just wanna look a little more
Like love.

 I find the farther that I climb
There’s always another line
Of mountain tops
It’s never going to stop
And the more of anything I do
The thing that always ends up true
Is getting what I want
Will never be enough.

 So I just wanna look more like love
I just wanna look more like love.
This whole world is spinning crazy
I can’t quite keep up.
It’s the one thing around here
That we don’t have quite enough of
So I just wanna look a little more
Like love.

Like love.

 I want to look more like love…and less like myself. I want to look more like love. I want to look more like Jesus.

 Listen to the Youtube of More Like Love

 PRAYER: Jesus, I want to look less like myself and more like You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 4/7/16 – Take it and Play It

DayBreaks for 4/07/16 – Take It and Play It

You may not know the name, but Fritz Kreisler was one of the world’s greatest violinists. His first violin was made from a board, strings and a cigar box. When he was four, he was given a child’s violin and he proceeded to stun those around him by playing the Austrian national anthem in perfect pitch and rhythm. His talent was a God-given gift – he rarely practiced after the age of twelve.

Kreisler was, by all accounts, a very generous man, and though he made a very good living, he gave a lot of money away to worthy causes, leaving himself with a much less comfortable living than he could have had.

Being a maestro on the violin, he knew a good instrument when he saw one. One day he was with a dealer of fine instruments when he was shown a truly extraordinary violin that Kreisler desperately wanted. Not having the funds with him, he went home and in some period of time managed to put together the funds necessary to buy the instrument.

He hurried back to the dealer with great anticipation and excitement, but when he arrived, he was dismayed to learn the violin had already been sold to a collector. Not willing to let the violin go, Kreisler got the name of the collector from the dealer and went to visit him in an attempt to convince him to sell Kreisler the instrument.

Much to his dismay, the collector refused, saying it was the prize possession of his collection. After multiple attempts to talk the collector into selling, Kreisler saw the resolve in the man and said that if the man wouldn’t sell the violin, would he be willing to let Kreisler play it once before he left. The collector agreed and Kreisler took the violin and began to play.

The music that flowed from the instrument and the musician was unlike anything the collector had ever heard before, and deeply touched, he said to Kreisler, “I have no right to keep it to myself – you take it and play it for the world.”

Do you see how this relates to our life as believers? Jesus has something that is precious to him…so precious that he died for it…and he has put it in our hands and said, “You have no right to keep this to yourself.  Go, give it to the world.” What is it that he has given us? It is the most beautiful music the world will ever hear – it is the love song of the Creator who became flesh, died for us and rose for us – so that anyone who believes can have eternal life.

It is a love song too good and too beautiful to keep to ourselves. Will we play the love song for the world?

TODAY’S PRAYER: Jesus, let us carry the love song you died to write to the world! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 4/6/16 – So the World Could Hear

 

DayBreaks for 4/06/16 – So the World Could Hear

It was January 21, 1930, and King George V of England was giving the opening speech at the London Arms Conference. His speech was being broadcast by radio over much of the face of the planet. It was to be a truly momentous occasion.

Very shortly before the King was to begin his speech, a CBS staffer tripped over an electrical wire that was laying on the floor and broke it in two. The result: the entire American audience was cut off from hearing what the King had to say. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Harold Vidian, the chief control operator for CBS grabbed one end of the bare wire in one hand and the other in his other hand, making his body the conduit for the electricity so that the audience back in the United States could hear the King’s words. Though the electricity that surged through his body was excruciating, Vidian held on until the King finish speaking.

There is an old Christian hymn wherein we ask the Lord to make us a channel of blessing. There are modern hymns where we pledge through our words to lay down our lives so he can live through us. It is easy to sing those words but far harder to really mean them.

We as believers are called to let the power of the Almighty God flow through us to the world. How can we do that? We can do it by living in such a way that our words take a back seat to His words. We do it by acting as He would in any given situation (as best we can ascertain what He would do). We do it by getting ourselves out of the way, grabbing hold of the “live wire” of the Spirit and grabbing hold of those in the world with the other and letting the energy and power flow through us.

It may hurt at times. There may be times we are tempted to let go, but it is our mission. It is our calling.

Grab hold…and don’t let go until the end. Someone needs to hear His words and to hear them through you and through me.

TODAY’S PRAYER: Jesus, when I’m afraid that my words aren’t good enough or that I’ll say the wrong thing, remind me that when I am in tune with Your Spirit that it is You at work through me with power to reach the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.