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

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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.

DayBreaks for 2/21/18 – An Imitation of the Master

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DayBreaks for 2/21/18: An Imitation of the Master

From the DayBreaks archive, February 2008:

So, how do you plan to spend your day today?  Did you create a “laundry list” of things that you need to get done or should do?  How’s it going so far?  Has the list gotten smaller or bigger as the day progressed?  How much time do you spend planning out your next day? 

It seems that no matter what I do or how meticulously I might try to plan things, it never seems to quite work out like I’d planned.  Perhaps that’s what the writer of Proverbs had in mind when he wrote in Proverbs 19:21 (NLT) – You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.  I think I’ve got my day all figured out, but NOT!  I often look at the things that come along in the course of a day as being unwelcome events…after all, I’ve got a plan and if I can just run it like clockwork, it’s the best thing, right?  Not really.  Why should I think that my well-laid plans are the best thing for me to do each day, or the best way to do them, or even that they’re the most important things to do on any given day? 

We need to learn to welcome interruptions.  Mark Buchanan says that the devil seeks to distract, but God seeks to interrupt, and how quickly we fall prey to Satan’s distractions but how we equally quickly grow oblivious to God’s interruptions.  Satan wants us to become distracted from God and godly things, but God wants to interrupt our schedules and plans with things which are more important.  Who am I to say that the interruption by the person in the next cubicle is not a portion of a God-directed plan for something greater than the accomplishment of my little plans?  Isn’t that perhaps what the writer of the Proverb was saying?

Jesus’ life was dominated by purpose – he came to offer his life as a ransom.  Reading the gospels, especially John, one gets the sense that Jesus entire life was spent moving towards Jerusalem and the cross.  And indeed, it was always his purpose.  But along the way, many things happened to him that we would consider interruptions.  It isn’t clear that Jesus kept anything like a detailed itinerary of his daily schedule.  In fact, his daily life seemed to be lived by interruption: a woman who touches his clothes and is healed, a dead son begin wept over by his mother, a dinner at a taxpayer’s house, a wedding feast in Cana, a leader of Roman soldiers who entreats him for a healing, little children who wanted to be held, storms on the sea, fishing with his buddies, questions from the scribes and Pharisees – and the list goes on virtually endlessly.  He always found time for telling stories, for people along the route to the cross who hadn’t scheduled a moment of his time. 

So what was Jesus’ secret and what dictated Jesus’ schedule?  How did he number his days aright?  Perhaps Jesus came the closest to answering that himself in Mt. 11:1-11, when he said, The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”  Jesus listened and watched the Spirit – and did what the Spirit directed.

Peter, after saying Jesus is the Lord of all, describes how Jesus spent his days: God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and…he went around doing good.  (Acts 10:36, 38) 

There you have it: the sum of Jesus’ earthly vocation is that he wandered and he blessed.  Jesus was a vagabond physician, the original doctor without borders.  His purpose was crystal clear – but his methods appear to be random.  Henri Nouwen observed something like this about his own life: “My whole life I have been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted until I discovered the interruptions were my work.”

PRAYER: May we discern Your interruptions, Lord, and may we go with You to do what You want us to do together.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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