DayBreaks for 10/06/16 – The Spirit Cries for a Refill

DayBreaks for 10/06/16 – The Spirit Cries for a Refill           

From the DayBreaks archive, 2006:

From BIZARRE NEWS: “How many times have you been enjoying a beer in your favorite bar or restaurant when you suddenly notice that your glass is empty! What to do? The waitress is nowhere to be seen and the bar is lined two deep with thirsty patrons clamoring for the bartender’s attention. Perspiration beads your brow as the anxiety of going three, four, even five minutes without another beer begins to gnaw on you.  

“What will happen? Will you die of thirst? Will you sober up?  But before speculation runs wild the waitress shows up at your table with a brand new, ice cold, frothy beer. Is she psychic? No. It turns out you have been drinking out of the latest in bar technology. The “Smart Glass.”  

“That’s right, folks. A Japanese electronics company has developed a hi-tech pint glass that tells bar staff when it needs refilling. The intelligent glass is fitted with a radio-frequency coil in its base that emits a signal to a receiver set in the table when it’s empty.  

“The iGlassware system works by coating each glass with a clear, conducting material, enabling it to measure exactly how much liquid has been sipped or guzzled. When empty, the glass sends an electronic cry for more beer from the table to waiters equipped with hand-held computers on frequencies similar to those used by mobile phones.  

“This is a huge advance in the science of drinking. Now patrons don’t even have to go through the inconvenience of ordering drinks. They can devote themselves entirely and single-mindedly to the task of destroying their livers.”

Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that some enterprising soul came up with such a product.  Here’s the good news as I see it: it will work with wonderful drinks like Dr. Pepper, too!  Imagine never having to wait for a Dr. Pepper refill again!  Yahoo!

But this intelligent glass is a poor imitation of the spirit that God has put inside of us that lets us know when we need more of Him (which is always!)  In Psalm 84:1-2, 10, the Psalmist put it this way: How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God…  A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.  

These are among my very favorite verses in Scripture.  There is something deep within us that longs for home, for perfection, for a place where only that which is perfect and whole and wholesome can be found.  I long for the day when I shall see the gates of the city and be ushered into His Presence!  I have a hunch that when it happens, I, like the Psalmist, will shout with a joy I’ve never felt before!  All the joy that we’ve ever felt in this world will be nothing compared to that joy, because here we know that joy is temporary, that just around the next corner lies more heartache and sadness.  Such will not be the case when we “enter the courts of the Lord”.  We will know that the joy we feel then will never diminish, but only grow greater and greater throughout all eternity.  You could take the joys of a thousand days lived on earth and it won’t compare to a single day in the courts of heaven.  Is it any wonder that the writer would be content to be the gatekeeper in God’s house than in a luxurious palace owned by the wicked?  Whatever joy they have will vanish with their last heartbeat, but the joy of the gatekeeper only begins with the last heartbeat. 

But there is a risk: it is difficult to live in the here-and-now as a fully engaged Christian if I think too much about the there-and-then existence in heaven.  The temptation to become escapist is huge.  I must trust that in the due course of time that I will enter those courts…and that it will have been far more than worth the wait.  Until then, my spirit cries out for a refill!

PRAYER: Let my heart long for only you, Lord!  Fill us anew with faith, courage, hope and trust!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 5/11/16 – Spirit Signs

DayBreaks for 5/11/16 – Spirit Signs

As the story goes, a little girl was visiting her grandmother one beautiful spring morning. They walked out into her grandmother’s flower garden. As grandmother was inspecting the progress of her flowers the little girl decided to try to open a rosebud with her own two hands. But no luck! As she would pull the petals open, they would tear or bruise or wilt or break off completely. Finally, in frustration, she said, “Gramma, I just don’t understand it at all. When God opens a flower, it looks so beautiful but when I try, it just comes apart.” “Well, honey,” Grandmother answered, “There’s a good reason for that. God is able to do it because He works from the inside out!”

God works from the inside out. That is the great message of Pentecost Sunday, isn’t it? This is what the disciples finally came to understand at Pentecost. Jesus had ascended into heaven. And He had told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit.

Here is where the story of Pentecost picks up. The disciples are back in the Upper Room waiting and wondering and some of them likely were grumbling impatiently and nervously. “What in the world are we doing here? All this waiting around is driving me up the wall! There’s no use. He’s gone and without Him, we are nothing. It’s over! We’d just as well face it. What is this Holy Spirit business anyway? Maybe we misunderstood Him!”

Maybe just then they heard a sound. The breath of God began to blow on that place like the rush of a mighty wind. Images of fire danced around them. Suddenly, their fear was gone, replaced by peace and confidence, courage and strength and unity and they began to speak and communicate the word of God boldly and amazingly people from all different backgrounds heard and responded and 3,000 people were converted that day.

It’s interesting to note that the three classic symbols for the Holy Spirit in the Bible remind us of how God works through us and how God works from the inside out. Do you remember what they are? The three traditional symbols of the Holy Spirit in the Bible: Breath: the symbol of Life. Fire: the symbol of Power. The descending dove: the symbol of Peace.

Are those three things visible in your life? Do people around you see the Spirit at work within you?

PRAYER: Jesus, may be know the Breath of Life, the Fire of the Spirit, and the Peace that comes from You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

 

DayBreaks for 4/27/16 – He Whispers to Us

DayBreaks for 4/27/16 – He Whispers to Us

Stashed away in a drawer or box in many an attic, nearly forgotten, is a batch of old 33 and 45 rpm records from the ’50s and early ’60s. Worn and scratchy, long since outdated by the flashy digital technology of compact discs and .mpe downloads, these primitive vinyls were once the jewels of a great treasure trove. Elvis’ grinding out “Hound Dog,” Buddy Holly and the Crickets’ hiccuping “Peggy Sue,” Chuck Berry’s joyful hot licks in “Maybellene,” the Coasters’ slapstick tour de force “Charlie Brown,” the mournful “Tears On My Pillow” by Little Anthony and the Imperials, the impenetrable and probably scandalous “Louie, Louie” by the Kingsmen, and the teenaged gropings of the Paris Sisters’ “I Love How You Love Me” — they are all there, and more.

Here and there in this dusty stack, one may find an occasional recording by the great blues master Jimmy Reed. A share-cropper’s son, Reed brought the throbbing harmonica-and-guitar-driven black rhythm-and-blues of the Mississippi Delta into the popular rock-and-roll mainstream. Maybe you and your high school friends, long ago fancying yourselves a budding rock band, would play and replay these recordings — “Big Boss Man,” “Bright Lights, Big City,” “Hush, Hush,” “Baby What You Want Me To Do” — trying to imitate Reed’s hypnotic rhythms on your cheap Silvertone electric guitars, attempted in vain to capture the pain-soaked cries of his mahogany voice in your too-tight, too-white, suburban throats.

However, in placing the phonograph needle again and again in the grooves of Jimmy Reed’s records, one could begin to notice something curious. If one listened very carefully, there could sometimes be heard, ever so faintly in the background, a soft woman’s voice murmuring in advance the next verse of the song. The story that grew up around this — and perhaps it is true — was that Jimmy Reed was so absorbed in the bluesy beat and the throbbing guitar riffs of his music that he simply could not remember the words of his own songs. He needed help with the lyrics, and the woman’s voice was none other than that of his wife, devotedly coaching her husband through the recording session by whispering the upcoming stanzas into his ear as he sang.

Whether or not this story is accurate, Christians will surely recognize a parallel experience. Jesus tells his followers that the role of the Holy Spirit is, in effect, to whisper the lyrics of the gospel song in the ears of the faithful. When Jesus was present, he was the one who instilled in them the right words, coached them through the proper verses, taught them the joyful commandments. But as Jesus approached his death, drawing near to his time of departure, knowing that the disciples would be on their own without him, that task is to be handed over to the Holy Spirit.

We are often afraid that we don’t know what to say, or that we’ll say something wrong…and so we say nothing at all. Listen for His whisper. Speak up what you hear Him say to you!

PRAYER: Help us be still enough to hear the whisperings of Your gentle Spirit and trust that He will give us what we are to say as we sing Your love song to the world! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

DayBreaks for 3/06/15 – A Lesson in Pressure

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DayBreaks for 3/06/15: A Lesson in Pressure    

 

NOTE: This week DayBreaks are from the archive as Galen is out of the country.  He will respond to messages after he returns. 

Sent in by a DayBreaks reader (thanks, Bridget!):  If you were to climb into a submarine you might think that, as long as it held watertight, you could glide on down to the bottom of the ocean. Sadly, if you tried to do this you’d soon discover how mistaken you are. Submarines can only go so deep before the pressure of the water crushes them like an empty soft drink can crumpled by your hand. Indeed, a number of years ago submarine called the Thresher went down too deep. The water pressure rose to the point that the submarines heavy steel bulkheads were crushed.  The sub was torn apart, leaving pieces of debris scattered across the ocean floor for searchers to find.

If you want to go down really deep you need a specially designed research vessel shielded by heavy armor. Now imagine you jumped into one of these heavily clad research vessels and headed down to the ocean depths. Guess what you’d find? Fish. Fish! Fish with skin just millimeters thick.

How is it that fish with just a thin skin covering can survive the pressure of such great depths, where a submarine with thick steel plates cannot? 

The answer is quite simple: fish have equal and opposite pressure inside them. Submarines do not.

When confronting the pressures of sin some Christians try to become like a submarine, shielding themselves from the outside world, strapping themselves into a narrow space where they are safe from external pressures. They make rules which are designed to reinforce them against temptation. But unfortunately, the deeper into life we go the more inadequate this approach will be. The external pressure will just become too great.

This is why we need to be like the fish, to develop positive pressure inside ourselves. Rather than simply resisting the outward pressure of temptation we need to combat it by building up positive spiritual pressure within, replacing the values the world would impose with the Spirit developed character of Christ.  – Adapted from the Internet, Author Unknown

Is your life being properly balanced?  If you seem to be losing the fight to external pressures, fill the inner sanctum of your soul with the presence of the Spirit and the Word He delivered.

Copyright by 2005 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Fill us with Your Spirit so we can withstand the pressures of this world and go deeper with You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/18/14 – What Scandalized Jesus

DayBreaks for 12/18/14 – What Scandalized Jesus

 

From the DayBreaks archive, December 2004:

I’m afraid sometimes that we don’t see human sin and weakness in the same way that Christ did.  Let me say this first and get it out of the way so you won’t be worried by some of what I will say: Christ hates sin.  He hates all of it.  He doesn’t want us to commit sin of any kind.  In fact, he died so that it was possible for it to be forgiven.  So – just to be clear, I’m not condoning sin today, nor going soft on it, OK?

That being said, I’m pretty sure that we may be much more like the Pharisees than we are like Jesus.  Ouch, did that hurt?  (If your reaction was, “Not me!”, then you should pay special attention to what I’m going to say, because that’s a good indicator that you are very close to the heart of the Pharisees!)  Here’s what I mean: in the NT there are many stories that involve 3 classes of people: those who were guilty of “sins of the flesh”, those suffering from “sins of the spirit”, and Jesus.  What is amazing is what happens when these 3 groups are all present at the same time.  Consider the stories of the notorious woman who anointed Jesus feet/the self-righteous host of the feast, the tax collector and Pharisee, the prodigal son and his brother, the religious leaders and the woman taken in adultery as just a few.  In each of the cases, those who were guilty of the “sins of the flesh” (the lady of ill repute, the tax collector, the prodigal son, the adulterous woman) knew that they were in deep, deep trouble.  They knew they were sinners – and bad ones at that.  But in those same stories, it was their antagonists who were guilty of the “sins of the spirit”, they were blind to their own sin, which had made it impossible for them to love those guilty of the sins of the flesh.

Crunch time: What scandalizes you the most – sins of the flesh, or sins of the spirit?  Jesus seems to have been far more scandalized by those guilty of the sins of the spirit – the spiritually blind and haughty.  C.S. Lewis wrote: The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins.  All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronizing…the pleasures of power, hatred.  For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become.  They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self.  The Diabolical self is the worse of the two.  That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be nearer to hell than a prostitute.

What is it that makes the sins of the spirit so insidious?  Simply this: those who are infected with this disease don’t have a clue that they’re sick.  Those with the sins of the flesh have a pretty good idea that they’re really messed up.

We let the sins of the flesh scandalize us.  And they should – they are sins after all.  But the fact that they scandalize us more than the sins of the spirit may be a telling symptom of where our own problems lie – in the spirit of haughtiness that so scandalized Christ.  At least those with sins of the flesh were more prone to confess, repent and be healed of their sin, but those who believe they are without sin have no such motivation.

What scandalizes you?  It is very possible that those who are the farthest from the kingdom are those who appear to be the closest.

Matthew 7:21-23 (NLT) – Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. On judgment day many will tell me, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.’

PRAYER: Teach us to think about sin as You do – and know that no sin is good – but to be especially aware of our own tendency to spiritual sins! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations! Your support would be deeply appreciated!

DayBreaks for 06/17/14 – Shaped by the Wind

DayBreaks for 6/17/14 – Shaped by the Wind

Job 33:4 (ESV) – The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Prior to my present work as a missionary, when I was called to conduct a funeral of someone from the community, the funeral director (whom all pastor’s get to know far too well!) would invariably ask if I’d like to ride with him in the hearse rather than to drive my own car. Typically, I would say yes, for it was more relaxing not to have to worry about driving at such a time.

I must say that I’ve had some interesting and informative drives out to the cemetery. Another pastor shared how one funeral director shared with him about the effect God’s wind has on things that grow. You’ve seen evidence of it yourself: how that, over time, trees that have to 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 eventually be shaped by the force and direction of the wind. As you drive around, look for yourself and you’ll notice that tree after tree has been shaped in this way.  We often pass them and not notice, or not think about it. Once you do begin to notice it, one begins to see them everywhere. All shaped by the Winds of God!

In thinking about this, I’d hope that I, and that we as His people and church show evidence of being shaped by the Winds of God’s Spirit.  What started 2000 years ago on Pentecost, the mighty rush of the Spirit, should continue to be a fresh, yet ever continuing Presence in your life and mine.  If it isn’t there is something wrong that needs to be fixed. 

Is there evidence of the Spirit’s work in your life?  What is that evidence?  Do others see it?  How is the Spirit bending you on a daily, continuing basis?   

PRAYER: Lord, You have already given us, Your children, the Spirit.  We pray that He will bend and shape us and that we will be yielded to His influence upon us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen, a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI), raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html. 

Look down the left side of the page, locate the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section, click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and putS090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible.

Your support would be greatly appreciatd!

DayBreaks for 4/01/14 – A Mighty, Rushing Wind

DayBreaks for 4/01/14 – A Mighty, Rushing Wind

John 3:8 (NIV)  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.

Acts 2:2 (ESV)  And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

Why is it that all my life when I imagined the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost that the sound was not that of a “mighty” wind?  Perhaps it is because I picture it taking place inside a room and while a breeze may flow through a room, a mighty wind doesn’t.  I don’t know.  But Scripture is clear: it was a mighty rushing wind

Of course, the word for Spirit in Scripture is from the Greek pneuma, which can mean wind. That’s why Jesus, in John 3:8 speaks of the wind and likens it to the Spirit. 

While we’ve been living in Georgia these past few months, we’ve had some mighty winds during several of our storms!  Georgia is covered with forest.  Twice in the last week we’d have winds that were strong – gusting 40 miles per hour or so, and whenever it gets like that, I can’t help but wonder if a tall Georgia pine will come crashing down on our dwelling.  It happens frequently here it seems – I’m sure that’s due to the preponderance of trees so close to homes and buildings.  On occasion, one hears of a boat capsizing and people being drown as a result of high winds.

The wind is very powerful. It can snap trees like match sticks (witness the destruction wrought by hurricane Katrina and tsunamis, or tornadoes).  Jesus said that the work of the Spirit is like the power and unpredictability of the wind.  In Hebrew, Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) carries with it the concept of the power and force the wind possesses to change and move things. The Spirit of God is no weakling!

Sometimes, as we sail through life, the wind dies down and we barely move. In Ephesians 5:18, we are told to be filled with the Spirit (or, alternatively, “be filled with the Wind”).  Get the picture: it is time to raise our sails and let the Spirit fill them!  What we have do to is set our sails through prayer, fasting and a willing heart and let the Spirit provide the momentum! 

Spread your sails.  Let the Ruach Elohim push you onward!

PRAYER: Thank you for the power of the mighty Spirit.  Help us learn to set our sails so that we can be propelled by His will and move in His direction! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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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 Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) 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 make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. 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 both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!