DayBreaks for 1/26/21 – Where’s the Difference?

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From the DayBreaks archive, January 2012:

Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.’”-  Matthew 11:3-6

This is one of the most perplexing passages in Scripture.  Jesus will go on just a bit later in the discussion to say that no man ever born of woman was greater than John, yet here is John in prison, sending his disciples to Jesus to ask him if he’s really the Messiah.  This is the same John who had seen the dove descend on Jesus at his baptism and heard the voice of God proclaim Jesus was His Son.  This is the same John who said of Jesus, “He must increase, I must decrease” and “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the world’s sin!”  It is comforting to know that even the greatest man born of woman had questions and doubts at times.  But that’s not the point I want to consider today. 

Jesus didn’t directly answer the question, but pointed the questioners to what they’d seen: the miracle, the blind who could now see, the lame who could now walk, lepers healed, hearing restored – and even the dead raised to life.  Had those present seen the dead who Jesus had raised?  I don’t know.  Jesus seems to imply that they had.  But then I got to thinking, perhaps Jesus was referring not to the physically raised, perhaps he was referring to the people who had been spiritually dead who had found new life – such as the immoral woman who washed Jesus feet, even those who were part of the crowd who had been dead, but found in Jesus new life.

I started to ponder my life.  As Christians, we have been born again.  Our old man is dead, the new life has come.  But if questioners were to look at me, would they see someone who is truly alive, vibrantly alive?  Is not the Christian experience supposed to be life from the dead?  We were dead in our trespasses and sins, Paul wrote.  But we’re now alive in Christ Jesus!

Has anybody noticed it in you?

PRAYER: Let your life be brilliantly visible in me, may I give witness to the new life I have in Your Son, and may people wonder at how the dead can live again!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2021, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 1/25/21 – Who Lives Where?

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From the DayBreaks archive, January 2012:

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -Galatians 2:20

Here’s a question for you: does Christ live in us, or do we live in Him?  I suspect that the answer is “Yes” to both.  On the one hand, Paul said it is “no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”  That’s relatively clear, isn’t it?  But then we have the parable of the vine and the branches…and we are part of the vine…the vine isn’t part of the branches. 

The mystery of the indwelling of the Spirit is purely that…a mystery.  If we could explain it, it would no longer be a mystery.  How does it work?

I liked the analogy that Randy Pope gave this past Sunday.  Think about eating food.  You take a piece of meat or a vegetable or whatever, and you eat it.  Before you eat it, it was something that was separate and distinct – it existed in its own right.  It was not part of you…you were separate and distinct, too.  But, once you eat that bit of foodstuffs, it becomes a part of you.  It is absorbed, it is no longer separate from you or your body.  It becomes a part, potentially, of every cell in your body and it is indistinguishable from “you”.  You, and “it” cannot be separated because you are now one in substance.  You were strengthened by what you took in.

So it is to be with the Spirit who lives within us.  He is separate and distinct, as we were, before He took up residence in us.  But when we belong to Christ, we become more Christlike, and as Paul said, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”  The Spirit is to be so tightly interwoven into the very fabric of our being that we are no longer distinguishable…He is to permeate our cells/hearts/minds, in fact, our body at that moment has become His temple – in a way it is no longer our body, but His temple where He is to be worshipped.

Does Christ live in us via the Spirit?  Yes.  We can only live as we remain connected to Him.  Christ doesn’t so much want us to live our lives with Him – He wants to live HIS life through us.

PRAYER: How great, Lord, is the mystery of the Incarnation, and of the indwelling of Your Spirit within us!  Take control over every aspect of our lives so that we can echo Paul’s words that it is not any longer we who live, but You who live in us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2021, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 1/18/21 – The Secret Worth Knowing – and Telling

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In Princeton, New Jersey, there is a legendary tale about the eminent scientist Albert Einstein walking in front of a local inn and being mistaken for a bell boy by a dowager who had just arrived in a luxury sedan. She orders him to carry her luggage into the hotel, and, according to the story, Einstein does so, receives a small tip, and then continues on to his office to ponder the mysteries of the universe. True or not, the story is delightful, precisely because we savor from the beginning a secret the dowager does not know: the strange-looking, ruffled little man is the most celebrated intellect of our time. Some stories gain their power from our knowing the story’s secret from the start.

The Gospel of Mark is just such a story. The secret of Mark’s Gospel is the identity of Jesus Christ. In the very first sentence of the Gospel story, Mark lifts the veil and lets us know the secret when he says that this is “the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus is the Son of God, that’s the secret, and lest we miss it, this hidden truth is confirmed in the story’s opening episode, when Jesus, coming up out of the waters of baptism, sees the Holy Spirit descending upon him like a dove from the heavens, which have been torn open like a piece of cloth, and hears the very voice of God telling the secret: “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). Only Jesus sees the Spirit; only Jesus hears the voice. This is, in the words of one commentator, “a secret epiphany.”

The great tragedy is that as we walk the streets or work in our cubicles or on the loading docks, we carry a secret that shouldn’t be a secret. We carry the presence of the Spirit of the Lord within us. Why is it a secret? Because to many around us we keep that Spirit bottled up inside us and don’t let our identity as believers be revealed.

We are to let the Light shine – that the secret of Jesus Christ is proclaimed to the whole world! This is one secret that we’re not supposed to hide!

PRAYER: Lord, we’ve recently seen images of those carrying flags about your Son during riots at the capitol building and other locations. It may make us reticent to let the Light shine out from within us for fear of being mocked or shamed. Give us discerning spirits and courage to share the best secret ever with those around us in a way that brings glory to Jesus!  In His name we pray, Amen.Copyright 2021, Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 12/31/20 – Power for 2021

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National Ignition Facility, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Livermore, CA

Partially from the DayBreaks archive, 2010:

Here we are on the cusp of a new year. This past one has been challenging and for many, we shrank back from the challenges it presented. The church has had to learn new ways of being the church, many have struggled with work and relationships due to COVID-19. But I believe there is reason for great hope for all believers! Why? Because of where the power in the universe is and the Source it comes from!

I am fascinated by power – not political power, but energy. I’ve never been to Niagara Falls, but I’ve been told by those who’ve been there that the power of the water rushing over the falls is awesome. Hoover Dam houses 17 generators that are over 70 feet tall weighing over 2000 tons each. It takes about 3 years to fully assemble each and every one of those generators.  The moving part of each generator weighs over 800 tons and spins 180 times a minute. Together, they generate over 2000 megawatts of energy (unless my math is wrong, that’s 2 billion watts). Pretty heady stuff. But it’s nothing compared to what’s been built just over the hill from us at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It’s called the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and will be by far the most powerful laser in the world. Actually, it will be composed of 192 lasers when completed. Get this: the NIF will be able to generate 500 TRILLION watts of energy, a figure that is 100 times the total US generating capacity as of today. But there’s a tiny catch…that level of power will only be sustainable for 4 billionths of a second.  (Note: that laser has since been surpassed by even more powerful ones!)

Here’s a story about another kind of power: “Christian Herter was the governor of Massachusetts, running for a second term in office. After a busy morning kissing babies and chasing votes, he arrived at a church BBQ in his honor. Late in the afternoon, he was famished. Moving down the serving line, he held out his plat to the woman serving chicken. She put a piece on his plate and turned to the next person. “Excuse me,” Governor Herter said, “do you mind if I have another piece of chicken?” “Sorry,” the woman told him. “I’m supposed to give one piece of chicken to each person.” “But I’m starved,” the governor said. “Sorry,” the woman said again. “Only one per customer.” Governor Herter, a modest/unassuming man, decide that this time he’d throw his weight around a little. “Do you know who I am?” he said. “I’m the governor of this state.” “Do you know who I am?” the woman said. “I’m the lady in charge of the chicken. Move along, mister.”

This lady had power and authority because she knew who she was and what she was supposed to do. Have you ever thought about what the world would be like if we Christians ever really understood WHO and WHAT we are in Christ?! If we ever grasp the truth of our sonship/daughtership – look out world! In Titus 2:15 Paul encourages Titus to teach, encourage and rebuke with all authority and not to let anyone despise us. We need to be courageous and take a stand and refuse to be despised! Then, 2 Tim. 1:7 says God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love and self-control. Do you believe it? Do you live like you believe it?

What would it be like if we all lived 2021 in the power of the Spirit? When Satan comes through life’s serving line and wants things from us – let’s agree to tell him to “move along, mister!” We don’t have to take (or give) anything to him! Let’s take 2021 head on in His power, for His glory!

PRAYER: As we enter this new year, Lord, let us live as people who believe in the power of Your Word and the indwelling Spirit.  Let us not be timid and fearful this year, but stand up for the Lord of Hosts and His Kingdom!  In Jesus’ name, Amen. Copyright 2020, 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 8/12/19 – The Power at Work Within You

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DayBreaks for 08/12/19: The Power at Work Within You

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2019:

I have recently been reading a fascinating book titled, A Short History of Nearly Everything, by author Bill Bryson.  It is not a Christian book…but it is nonetheless an incredible read about the history of things like astronomy, physics, chemistry, geophysics, well…in short, nearly everything.  The anecdotes about great women and men of science and history and the exceedingly rich information about some of the sciences and discoveries truly intriguing. 

One of the chapters is titled, “Einstein’s Universe” and it describes as you might imagine, the universe as Einstein understood it – and the physics behind it.  (I’m not a physicist at all, but I can’t put this book down!!!!)  We all know that there is tremendous energy stored in the atom.  We know this from the power of nuclear weapons.  It doesn’t take a lot of fissile material to make a really big bang.  But you may have never thought of that in terms of what makes up your own body – which, as you know, is also made up of atoms. 

Did you realize that, if you are an average sized adult, inside of your body you carry no less than 7 x 1018 joules of potential energy.  Now before you scurry off to find out what a joule is, just know that it’s a measurement of a unit of electrical energy equal to the work done when a current of one ampere is passed through a resistance of one ohm for one second, or: a unit of energy equal to the work done when a force of one newton acts through a distance of one meter.

That clears it up, right?  Good!  Well, don’t worry about it because you don’t have to understand it to get the point of this stuff about joules.  Here’s why: the potential energy stored up in the atoms of your body is enough to explode with the force of 30 very large hydrogen bombs (if only we knew how to liberate it).  Sort of gives new meaning to the saying about someone “blowing up”! 

The truth is that everything that exists has that kind of power stored up in it.  We just aren’t any good at releasing that kind of energy.  Even the uranium bomb – the most energetic thing that mankind has yet produced – releases less than 1 percent of the energy it could release if only we were smarter at how to release it.  But that 1% is incredibly powerful. 

As amazing as all of that is, it’s nothing.  Not really.  Consider this passage from Ephesians 3:20 (NLT): Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

What would happen if we yielded completely and totally to the power of the Spirit that works inside of us?  What percentage of spiritual energy do you think you currently release and tap in to?  Is it less than 1% as in the case of the uranium bomb?  My guess is that as regular old ordinary humans, we tap into far less than 1/1000th of 1% of the power of the Spirit.  Think of what a different world it would be if we figured out how to really let the Spirit loose to work in and through us!!!! 

PRAYER:  How effectively we quench Your Holy Spirit, Lord!  We long to live more powerful spiritual lives, to have more victory and less failure.  Teach us how to turn Your Spirit loose inside of us for the sake of the kingdom and the lost!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/07/19 – Shaped by the Winds of God

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DayBreaks for 6/07/19: Shaped by the Winds of God

John 3:8 (CSBBible) – The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

Often, when I’ve been called to conduct a funeral, I’m asked by the funeral director if I’d like to ride with them rather than to drive my own car. And most times, I take them up on the offer. It’s much more relaxing during that stressful event to not to have to worry about driving. On one such trip, one funeral director told another pastor about the effect God’s Wind has on things that grow. Over time, trees that stand out in the open become shaped in the direction the wind is blowing. Unless there are other trees around to block it from happening, a tree will inevitably be shaped by the force and direction of the wind.

The proof of this is visible everywhere but I’ve noticed it especially along the northern California coast. Tree after tree after tree are all bent in surrender to the wind.

I leave you with this question. Like those trees, do you and I as individuals, and as the body of Christ, show any evidence of being shaped by the Winds of God’s Spirit? If not, we need to ask ourselves why.

Prayer: Use your Spirit to bend us in accordance with your will for your purposes, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 01/01/2019: Live the Power

Image result for Hoover dam generators

Generators inside Hoover Dam. See the tiny human to the lower right. 

DayBreaks for 01/01/2019: Live the Power

From the DayBreaks archive, December 2008:

I am fascinated by power – not political or positional power, but energy. I’ve never been to Niagara Falls but only seen it from flying overhead. I’ve been told by those who’ve been there that the power of the water rushing over the falls is awesome. Hoover Dam houses 17 generators that are over 70 feet tall weighing over 2000 tons each. It takes about three years to assemble each generator. The moving part of each generator weighs over 800 tons and spins 3 times per second (180 times a minute!) Together, they generate over 2000 megawatts of energy (unless my math is wrong, that’s 2 billion watts). Pretty heady stuff. But it’s nothing compared to what’s being built just over the hill from us at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It’s call the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and will be by far the most powerful laser in the world. Actually, it will be composed of 192 lasers when completed. Get this: the NIF will be able to generate 500 TRILLION watts of energy, a figure that is 100 times the total US generating capacity as of today. But there’s a tiny catch…that level of power will only be sustainable for 4 billionths of a second.

Here’s a story about another kind of power: “Christian Herter was the governor of Massachusetts, running for a second term in office. After a busy morning kissing babies and chasing votes, he arrived at a church BBQ in his honor. Late in the afternoon, he was famished. Moving down the serving line, he held out his plate to the woman serving chicken. She put a piece on his plate and turned to the next person. “Excuse me,” Governor Herter said, “do you mind if I have another piece of chicken?” “Sorry,” the woman told him. “I’m supposed to give one piece of chicken to each person.” “But I’m starved,” the governor said. “Sorry,” the woman said again. “Only one per customer.” Governor Herter, a modest/unassuming man, decide that this time he’d throw his weight around a little. “Do you know who I am?” he said. “I’m the governor of this state.” “Do you know who I am?” the woman said. “I’m the lady in charge of the chicken. Move along, mister.”

This lady had power and authority because she knew who she was and what she was supposed to do. Have you ever thought about what the world would be like if we Christians ever really understood WHO and WHAT we are in Christ?! If we ever grasp the truth of our sonship/daughtership – look out world! In Titus 2:15 Paul encourages Titus to teach, encourage and rebuke with all authority and not to let anyone despise us. We need to be courageous and take a stand and refuse to be despised! Then, 2 Tim. 1:7 says God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love and self-control. Do you live like you believe that?

When Satan comes through life’s serving line and wants things from us – let’s agree to tell him to “move along, mister!” We don’t have to take (or give) anything to him! Live in the power of the Spirit in 2019!

PRAYER: Father, may we come to appreciate and realize who we are, and what we are becoming, in Christ!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 12/20/18 – The Priest’s Sacrifice, #3

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DayBreaks for 12/20/18: The Priest’s Sacrifice, #3

Continuing with the theme of Sacrifice for this week preceding Christmas, I’m sharing some thoughts from the message at church this past Sunday. Though this is often a time when we receive gifts, it is also a time for sacrifices.

The third sacrifice that we are called upon as Christian priests and priestesses is this: Hebrews 13:16 (ESV) – Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

It may be stretching a bit, but I think that this refers not only to the stuff we have (like money, clothes, etc.), but also to the exercise of our spiritual gifts. You have at least one gift given to you from the Spirit. Whatever your gifts are, they are a privilege given only to believers. It’s not for your enjoyment (though usually people do find joy when exercising their gift), but for kingdom work. You may have multiple spiritual gifts. The point is this: we are expected to use them all for those in need. It pleases God.

Why is it a sacrifice? Because your fleshly inclination will be not to exercise it for others – or maybe not at all. Again, as with any sacrifice, surrender is required.

Our responsibility, then, is to discover, exercise and develop your spiritual gift and then to use it to do good.

Questions: what are your spiritual gifts and how can you use your giftedness this holiday season to be a blessing? What are some good things you can do to share what you have, be it money, clothes, food, time or words?

PRAYER: Jesus, let us not neglect to do good during this season because we’re too wrapped up in tinsel, wrappings and boxes, or even by friends and family. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 7/26/18 – What a Mystery!

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DayBreaks for 7/26/18: What a Mystery!

NOTE: Galen is on vacation this week and may be unable to respond to email.

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2008:

Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) – Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

Immanuel = God with us.

John 14:16 (KJV) – And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever…

In Revelation 4:8, we have a description of the worship of the angels: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come.

In his excellent little book, God in the Flesh, Don Everts has focused on the “black” letters of the gospel story – not the red letters that were the words of Jesus, but the black letters that form the screenplay and commentary that captures the details that took place around Jesus, and the things that others said about him.  At one point, in a chapter on worship and how people reacted to Jesus (those of clean hearts universally worshiped him!), Everts asks a very serious and probing question: “Is it really Yahweh who lives inside me?  I mean, really.  The Spirit of Jesus that has made a home within me – is it the real presence of fiery, jealous, powerful, divine Yahweh?  Or is it a cute, lesser, diminished part of the Trinity?”

At one level, theologically and intellectually we have a very quick answer to that question: yes, it is Yahweh who lives within us.  And yet…and yet…have we really grasped that the One who is worshipped by untold myriads of angels and the four living creatures day and night, who sing without ceasing to the worship and glory and praise of Yahweh – have we grasped that this is the One who lives in me?  In you?  How can it possibly be????  “That’s a mystery,” wrote Everts.

What difference would there be in how we live if we were able to really grasp Who it is that lives inside us?  What if we really did die to ourselves so that Jesus could live HIS life through us?

PRAYER:  We can scarcely believe your promises to us, to never leave us, to abide in us.  These are great promises and we feel and act weak and defeated at the first hint of temptation.  May we become possessed by the knowledge of your life within us, empowering us, leading and directing us, and giving us victory over sin.  May we get ourselves out of the way by dying to ourselves so that You may live Your perfect life through us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.