DayBreaks for 11/22/16 -The Language of Violence

DayBreaks for 11/22/16: The Language of Violence

We in America have just concluded the most rancorous election that those of us who are alive can recall. Though the election was nearly two weeks ago, people are still marching in the streets, calling one another by horrific names, ascribing the worst possible motives to why people voted as they did. People have called for assassinations because things didn’t turn out the way they wanted. It has been, in word, ungodly, to say the least.

Claude Brown, who wrote Manchild in the Promised Land, in an article, said that people under forty in our society have never lived in America where movie language was not liberally laced with obscenities. He said that profanity is rapidly replacing English as the language of the American people. Then he added this. He said, “Most people don’t know it, but profanity is the language of violence.”

People say, words can’t hurt you. We know better, don’t we? They can hurt you. Words can and do dehumanize. That’s why in war the enemy is always described in language that is dehumanizing. You will never hear the military referring to the enemy as “brothers and sisters,” or as “children of God.” They couldn’t kill them if they referred to them that way. You use language that describes the enemy as less than human, designed to make us think of the “enemy” as ungodly in the sense of “not being made in His image.” Somehow, it’s easier to attack, demonize and devalue others if we can find a way to not see them as being made in God’s image – no matter how well or poorly they reflect that image.

That is precisely the language that is being used in our cities today. The language that is used in our society now is the language that has been coined in warfare. There are words that dehumanize. There are words that make life cheap and ugly. There are words that hurt people. There are words that profane what is sacred and holy about human life. You use them and they will affect your life, and the life of those around you. And they will affect how you think of others.

But there are words that heal. There are words that build. There are words that create. There are words that unite. There are words that can redeem. There are words that can reconcile you to someone from whom you are estranged. There are words that lead to peace. Who will be the people in this society who speak the words of peace? Should it not first and foremost those who claim His image?

Jesus gave us an example of the power of healing words when He said to the thief on the cross: “This day you will be with me in paradise.”

You and I have a choice to speak words of peace and healing, or words that dehumanize those we don’t agree with. I hope we choose the path of healing!

PRAYER: Father, there is much frustration in our land and in our hearts and we try to make ourselves feel better by attacking those who don’t think or act in the same way we do. Let us never forget that even our bitterest enemy on this earth was made in Your image and can be redeemed by words that heal. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

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DayBreaks for 6/16/16 – The Answer is in the Heart

DayBreaks for 6/16/16 – The Answer is in the Heart

Columbine. Sandy Hook. Fort Hood. San Bernadino. Aurora. Oklahoma City. Orlando.

Unfortunately, I don’t have to explain to the reference to each of the above locales. They are infamous enough because of events that took place there.

I don’t want to get political about this…that’s not the point. I don’t care what you do or don’t think about things like gun control…that’s entirely up to you. I have my opinions but right now those are beside the point. I only bring that up to make this point: you won’t solve the problem by making guns illegal any more than making drugs illegal has caused them to be eliminated from our culture.

So what is to be done? Why is this happening in our country and in places around the world?

I believe it is because we have lost our bearings because we have totally abandoned the only thing that can really change people: the indwelling Spirit and Word of God.

Most people of my generation grew up going to church. Our parents went to church…and took us with them. But then in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, there was a backlash against any kind of authority, any kind of control. My generation was a part of that, too. When truth became relative and defined by the individual instead of One who truly has Authority, all things became possible.

Parents (including those of my generation) began to turn away from church, from the 10 Commandments, from the teaching of the Word…and we made our own truth.

So, if gun laws and drug laws won’t solve the problem, where is the answer to be found? It is in changed hearts…change from the inside out. If only we could go back to when values like truth, integrity, respect for others regardless of their level of authority, the Golden Rule and morality were taught to our little ones, I believe the future could look different.

But it won’t happen by passing laws. Ask Israel how the Old Law worked for them.  Even Paul says it: laws only provoke sin – they don’t stop it or cure it. He is quite clear: law leads to greater sin and death. Why? Because the heart resents law and defies it with a shouted “I will show you – I will do what I want to do! If you tell me I can’t do something, that is precisely what I WILL do!” The answer is in the heart – a heart overcome by the love of Christ and His Spirit living in us and teaching us how to love others as He has loved us.

Parents: teach your children God’s ways. Parenting isn’t about being a friend to your children – it is hard work, it is meant to be hard work because it is the most serious work you’ll ever do. Grandparents: teach your grandchildren God’s ways. And let’s live God’s way ourselves so the little ones can see that it works and is the best way to live life! Will you rise to the challenge? 

PRAYER: How desperately we need individual and collective transformation of our hearts, Lord! Please, we need you to change us before we destroy one another! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 10/31/13 – What Can, and Can’t, Be Changed

DayBreaks for 10/31/13 – What Can, and Can’t, Be Changed

Luke 1:37 (MSG)  Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.

You hear all sorts of things as a pastor.  Some of them make you laugh inside that someone could actually believe or have done the things they describe.  Some break your heart at the pain their actions have brought home to roost.  Some just frustrate the heck out of you, doggone it!!! 

Here’s a case in point (and I’ve had this said to me on multiple occasions by numerous people): “I can’t change.  I’m too old (or in an alternative explanation, “too set in my ways.”)  Well, if I were given to the use of foul language, there’s a thing or two I’d say about that kind of attitude.  I won’t tell you what the first thing would be, but the second would be something like this: “What!?!? That’s not a Christian attitude at all!  Have you never read the Bible?” It is enough to make a pastor want to punch them in the nose (and that’s a very unpastor-ly thing to say!)

A famous preacher once said, “When people tell me that human nature cannot be changed, I am moved to reply that in light of my experience, human nature may well be the only thing that CAN BE CHANGED!”  

I believe that the preacher nailed it.  We can’t change the courses of the moon or the sun or stars. We cannot change or suspend the laws of physics. We cannot change the ebb and flow of the ocean.  We cannot change where we were born or where and when it is appointed unto us to die. That being true, the pages of the Bible reverberate with testimonies of the lives, purposes, events, and habits which have been changed and which can be changed.  At the top of that list is the human heart and our behavior.

Jesus didn’t come so we could and would stay the same.  He came to transform us, to renew us.  God doesn’t give us a pass when we get older.  He doesn’t give us a pass because we’re too set in our ways to change.  If anything, as we get older, we should be more and more conformed to the image of His Son, not making excuses for our failure in that regard! 

Time to stop making excuses for our bad behavior, because that’s precisely what “I can’t change!” is doing!

PRAYER: With you, all things are possible.  With you, anything situation can be changed!  Change our attitudes from defeatism to a victor’s attitude.  Change our hearts to be completely committed hearts.  We want to be done with excuses for our human weakness!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 09/06/13 – Are We Lying to Jesus?

DayBreaks for 09/06/13 – Are We Lying to Jesus?

1 Corinthians 14:15 (NLT)  Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand.

I’m troubled.  On the day I write this, I spent about an hour with a group of pastors and believers in prayer.  It was great – that wasn’t the problem.  What troubled me is a thought that occurred to me during the meeting.  At one point, someone started leading a song and the words of the song struck me…hard.  And that set me to thinking….

We sing lots of sweet, wonderful-sounding songs that have words which I doubt that we really mean.  For example: “All to Jesus I surrender, all to him I freely give.  I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live.  I surrender all, I surrender all…” 

Now how true is it when we say, “All to Jesus I surrender”?  Note that we’re not saying we want to surrender all to him…we’re saying we have surrendered all to him.  I doubt that’s a statement that any of us can make, and if we do, we need to repent and ask forgiveness for lying or pride, one or the other.  Even as we sing it, if you think about it, have you surrendered that most secret, dark sin that you seem to fall for every time, that part of your heart where you keep it hidden?  You may want to, but have you?  Have I?

I’m sure you can think of the words to many other songs where we make outrageous statements – but I wonder if they’re real: 

“In Christ alone my hope is found…”  Really?  Or do we still hope in our bank account, our government, our looks or intelligence to figure a way out of a dilemma? 

What of singing about how we hope to join in his sufferings and become like him “in your death, my Lord”?  Really? 

Does Jesus care about our words?  Oh, yeah, he does!!!!

I know this is sort of a rant, but I believe based on the passage above that we need to be careful not only in what we say, but what we sing.  Perhaps we’d be better off at times to keep our mouth shut than sing out lies.  Or, alter the words to fit the truth of your life and reality…and in so doing we may find he gives us strength to become what the words of the song describe – a person totally sold out to him.  Until we realize (and admit) that we’re not totally given over to him, we won’t make much progress because we won’t see the need for change.

PRAYER: Father, I fear that I’ve often sung words to you claiming to be things that I am not, claiming to think things that I don’t.  I admit that there is a part of me that’s still all too human that doesn’t want to pay the price to surrender all to you.  Forgive me.  Help me want what you want for me!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 07/19/13 – Of Lawns and Kids

DayBreaks for 07/19/13 – Lawns and Kids

Brother and Sister RunningErma Bombeck, the late author of If Life Is A Bowl Of Cherries, What Am I Doing Here In The Pits, tells of two moments in her husband’s life:

There was a time when the children were growing up that her husband used to go and look at the back yard. Surveying the muddy patches where the lawn should be, he would wonder — Will the grass ever come back?

And then there was the time when the children were grown and gone that her husband went and looked over the beautiful green lawn, immaculate from lack of use and wondered — Will the children ever come back?

These are simple, homey moments that nearly any parent can identify with.  But they point us to deeper truths that are timeless and priceless: some parts of life are temporary and like the grass they shine for a moment and then are gone but they come back the next spring.  Other things, such as our children, are beings with eternal destinies, infinitely more precious and valuable than some patch of grass.  Yet I fear that too many today are spending more time on grass or cars or work or hobbies or sports than investing it in the eternal souls of their children.  Wisdom knows the difference.  Do our actions show that we understand the value of the human souls that fill the homes and buildings and stores around us?  Do we even recognize it in our own children and grand-children?

PRAYER: Oh, Lord, help us see the value of the human soul in the scars of your hands.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is working as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org) and is responsible for raising own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Then look for “Galen Dalrymple”.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368. 

Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are also members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 07/16/13 – Absurd Questions and Worldviews In Conflict

DayBreaks for 07/16/13 – Absurd Questions and Worldviews in Conflict

chap10-2Matthew 22:37 (NLT)  – Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and ALL your mind.’ (emphasis mine, GCD)

I am sure that you, like I, have scratched your head and asked the question over some news story reporting the actions of others: “What in the world were they thinking?”  Sometimes we wonder if they were thinking at all.  We just don’t understand how any rational creature could do such-and-such.  Why is this?

I think that Darrow L. Miller in Discipling Nations illustrated it well with a story: “Malcolm Muggeridge was one of the leading television journalists of his day.  He was also a third-generation Marxist.  One day in Calcutta while he was doing a piece on Mother Teresa for the BBC, Muggeridge asked her, “Why, when there are so many children in the world, do you try to keep these kids alive?”  Her only answer was a quizzical look.  Thinking this a basic question, he tried once more, again to no avail.  So he went on with his interview.  That night in his hotel room, an insight dawned on  him suddenly (he said later that this was his spiritual turning point).  He realized that Mother Teresa saw those children in a totally different way than he did.  While he saw them as consumers, she saw them as image bearers of God.  To ask Mother Teresa, “Aren’t there too many children in the world?” was like saying, “Mother Teresa, aren’t there too many starts in the sky and too many flowers in the field?”  For her it was an absurd question.

The fundamental difference as to how people are so much at odds with one another is that there is a clash of worldviews in our culture.  There are those who were brought up with a traditional Judeo-Christian worldview who hold to certain values including the value of human life because it is made in the image of God.  Others don’t hold that view largely because they have either abandoned the traditional worldview or never held it in the first place (more common in the most recent generation or two).  When people don’t see humans as made in the image of God but simply as smart mammals that evolved out of primordial slime (having no more value, and perhaps less than whales, monkeys, snail-darters, spotted owls and dolphins), it matters little whether one tries to save humans at all.  In such a world, Muggeridge’s initial question was perfectly logical.  What he came to realize is that Mother Teresa held fast to a different worldview.

How well are you preparing your children and grandchildren to think Biblically?  Not just their lives, but those of their children and grandchildren…of generations…is at stake.  Our minds are to be engaged…fully…as believers.  Our minds won’t save us for that is the realm of faith/grace, but if we don’t return to a Biblical worldview (and there are great books on that topic!), we will reap the whirlwind.  The early winds are already upon us. 

PRAYER:  I fear, Lord, that our minds have grown flabby and that we’ve swallowed un-Biblical worldviews and that we are already reaping the results of our laxity.  Clear our vision, renew our hearts and minds for the sake of generations yet unborn!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is working as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org) and is responsible for raising own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Then look for “Galen Dalrymple”.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368. 

Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are also members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 03/22/13 – Life Is Short – Have An Affair?????

DayBreaks for 03/22/13 – Life Is Short – Have an Affair???                  

secretThere are times when I wonder how much longer God will put up with all the nonsense that goes on in this world.  We (culturally) seem to have lost our senses.  We’re out of balance, pursuing all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons.  (Does that sound old “fogey-ish”?)  Read on…

There was a time when marriage was held in high esteem and it was respected.  When people took their vows seriously, to keep themselves only to one another until “death do us part.”  Sure, people still had affairs then – but there was a stigma attached to their actions and there was a near universal sense that it was wrong.  There is no temptation that isn’t common – and sexual temptation is one of the strongest and most common.  Anyone can be overcome by it, I understand that.  But that doesn’t mean it is okay.

How about today?  There are now Internet web sites that actually promote affairs for married people – confidentially of course.  I won’t mention the name or give the link of the one I saw advertised on a billboard in a major US city, but their motto is: “Life is short.  Have an affair.”  They say that they are the world’s leading married dating service for “discreet encounters.”  And lest you think that they are small potatoes, they claim more than 18 million members (oh, check that, anonymous members!)  Kinda makes you wonder why it is so “discreet”, “confidential” and “anonymous”, doesn’t it?  Could it be because deep down inside they still know it’s wrong and no one wants to be found out?  As the gospel of John says, “…they loved darkness more than the light.”  It is as if they are reveling in the evil they are perpetrating.  And their ads have been carried by Business Week, Time, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and others.

So, “Life is short.  Have an affair.”  Do see how twisted this logic is?  It follows along the line of “You only go around once in life – grab for the gusto!” and assumes that this life is all that there is and that this life is all that matters.  Rather than sacrificing short-term frivolities for eternal (or even the blessings of long-term marital faithfulness) blessing and joy, it suggests we forfeit the life-long blessings of faithfulness and fidelity for a quick roll in the sheets – anonymously

Scripture takes a view that is diametrically opposed to that when it says that our days are few and prone to trouble…but that as a result of realizing how short our life is, we should be preparing for an eternal destiny and make the most of the time we do have by living wisely towards God because the days are evil.  The purpose of life is not to live for today but to live wisely and redeem the time we have by being people of integrity – not unfaithful cheaters. 

Integrity has it’s own reward.  Sin has it’s “rewards”, too…but it pays terrible wages: Romans 6:20-23 (MSG) – As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter.  21 But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end.  22 But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! 23 Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.

Ask yourself: is it really worth it to hurt the wife or husband of your youth (and to hurt God’s loving heart) for a few fleeting moments of pleasure that will result in guilt, shame and possibly disease and death?  Is that what you really want for yourself…and your spouse?  Your children?

We were made for more than this!

PRAYER: Help us see through the foolishness of man’s ways and relocate our sense of rightness in a way that is in keeping with Your truth!  Let us be people of integrity!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen has started working with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org) and is responsible for raising own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this linke: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Then look for “Galen Dalrymple”.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368. 

Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are also members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!