DayBreaks for 11/12/18: Paying Too Much for Too Little

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DayBreaks for 11/12/18: Paying Too Much for Too Little

From the DayBreaks archive, 10/20/98:

From “The Necklace” by Guy Demaupassant: “A couple of moderate means was invited to a lavish company party. The wife, Mathilde, so wanted to impress the guests that she borrowed what she supposed to be a very expensive necklace. They had a great time, and she was proud of the necklace, but the evening was ruined when she arrived home and discovered the necklace had been lost without notice.

“In order to pay for the lost necklace, the couple moved into a cheap, run-down apartment, and both worked at whatever jobs were available. It took them 10 long years to repay the debt. Old and worn down, the wife saw her friend from who she had borrowed the necklace. Unrecognized, Mathilde told her friend the truth about what had happened. Great was her shock when her friend Jeannie told Mathilde the necklace was only cheap glass – an imitation, worth only a few dollars.”

Galen’s thoughts: There are sharply contrasting lessons for us here:

FIRST – the couple reminds me of humanity. I respect their integrity to replace the necklace. But they spent far too much for something that had little value. They shelled out 10 years of their life for an imitation of the real thing. But haven’t we all been there? Investing time in the wrong places and things – thinking that things had great value only to discover too late that they were cheap imitations? We pay a great price for things of no value, but are we truly willing to spend our entire life for the true pearl of great price (Matt. 13:45-46) – knowing God and being known by Him?

SECOND: before buying anything, we consider the price/value relationship – at least at some level. Is it well made? Will it last? Will it do what I want? How badly do I want it compared to what must I spend to get it? Consider for a moment the price God paid for humanity. If you are like me, you’re tempted to say, “He paid too much for too little” – we don’t do what He wants and we are prone to great failures. But God has a different perspective on it than we do. What loving father wouldn’t give his own life to save his child? God knows better than we how great the cost was – and we weren’t cheap.

Let’s make sure that what we are living (and dying) for is worth what we’re paying for it. And let’s also make sure that the life we’re living is worthy of His investment!

PRAYER: Help us recognize the genuine article and discern that which is fake and useless! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 10/4/18 – The Problem Wasn’t Him

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DayBreaks for 10/04/18: The Problem Wasn’t Him

From the DayBreaks archive, October 2008:

Get the scene: Jesus has been crucified and buried and has raised from the dead.  He’d met with his 11 remaining disciples in the upper room and they’d seen him, and at least Thomas had also touched him.  He’d met them on the shore of the lake and fixed a fish breakfast – and restored Peter.  And now, the time has come for him to return to the Father. 

Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV) – Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

You’d think that after all the time they’d spent with Jesus and all that they’d witnessed, they’d have it down by this time, but as verse 17 says, “some doubted.”  (Mercifully, the names of those “some” are not revealed to us, or we’d probably criticize them severely.)  There were still some who doubted and wondered and were fearful.  And so, Jesus has a message for them, a message about God having given him ALL authority in heaven and on earth. 

What was it that Jesus wanted them to understand?  That they needn’t fear even one single thing (or any thing) for one simple reason: He has all authority – and control.  He has healed the sick, given sight to the blind, strengthened feeble legs so that they could walk, filled the ears of the deaf with the song of birds and laughter, brought the dead to life and even rose from the dead himself.  And yet, they still doubted – they still feared.  You see, their doubting problem wasn’t caused by some failure in Jesus and how he’d prepared them – it was humanity’s problem of believing what they’d seen and heard him do and not accepting that all authority resides in him.  There is no need to fear anybody on earth or in heaven.  Why?  Because He has all authority!

Are you a doubter?  Are you fearful?  The problem isn’t his – it’s yours – and mine – for not remembering His authority! 

PRAYER: Lord, quell our fears and doubts, and help us to believe in the full authority of Your Son!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 10/01/18 – Sitting in the Wrong Seat

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DayBreaks for 10/01/18Sitting in the Wrong Seat           

From the DayBreaks archive, September 2008:

In her book Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit, author and speaker Beth Moore recalls a particularly insightful moment in her life:

“I will never forget watching an evening talk show featuring the story of the parents and killer of a young college student. The killer was his best friend. The weapon was high alcohol content inside a speeding automobile. …

“What made this particular feature prime-time viewing? The parents had forgiven the young driver… And if that was not enough, they had taken him in as their own. This young man sat at the table in the chair which was once occupied by their only son. He slept in the son’s bed. He worked with the victim’s father, teaching seminars on safety. He shared their fortune and supported their causes. He spoke about the one he had slain in ways only someone who knew him intimately could have. …

“Why did these parents do such a thing? Because it gave them peace. The interviewer was amazed; I was amazed. I kept trying to put myself in the parents’ position—but I could not. Then, as the tears streamed down my cheeks, I heard the Spirit of God whisper to my heart and say: “No wonder you cannot relate. You have put yourself in the wrong position. You, my child, are the driver.” God was the parent who not only forgave, but also invited me to sit at His table in the space my Savior left for me. As a result, I have peace.”

May His peace fill your heart today as you sit at His table!

PRAYER: Give us perspective to realize that we are the killer, not the one who has lost a loved one, but that we are the person who ran roughshod over Your heart of love through lives and deeds of sin!  Thank You for taking us in after what we have done to Your beloved Son!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 7/27/18 – Our Deadly Commonsense

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DayBreaks for 7/27/18: Our Deadly Commonsense

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

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2008:

From Don Everts’ God In the Flesh: “We call you, Lord, Lord’ and do not do what you tell us because you tell us to do such strange things.

“Consider a few of his teachings there in Luke 6: the poor are lucky.  The rich are unfortunate.  Congratulations to those who mourn today.  Give to everyone who begs from you.  Bless those who curse you.  Do for others what you would want them to do for you…And that’s just a sampling.

“Why do we not do what Jesus tells us?  Because (when we’re perfectly honest) our common sense makes more sense to us than the words of Jesus.  His teachings may be well intentioned and inspirational, but it doesn’t seem like they would really hold in everyday life. 

“Blessed are you who are poor” sounds sort of nice and spiritual, but when it comes right down to it, it’s really the rich whom we think are lucky.  ‘Give to everyone who begs from you’ is inspirational talk, but it’s overly simplistic and doesn’t really work on the streets of our broken cities.  ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you’ is admirable sounding, but when I’m really honest about what I want done to me (lots of gifts, surprise parties, regular encouragement, care about my needs, a ready ear to listen to me), I realize what an impossibly high standard of love this is.

“Why do we call you ‘Lord, Lord’ but not do what you tell us to do?  Because when we’re really honest, we have to admit that you sound genuine, but what you tells us to do is just undoable.  It will destroy our lives.  It’s not good advice, Jesus.”

Galen’s Thoughts: We must ultimately decide whether we will put more trust in our own common sense, or in the words of Jesus.  Why is it that we think we’re smarter and know better than He does?  How long will we call him, “Lord, Lord” and not do what He says?

PRAYER:  In our pride, Lord, we trust our own common sense and not Your words.  Help us to understand that we can’t call you Lord, and not do what you say.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 7/11/18 – The Thing We Need to KNOW

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DayBreaks for 7/11/18: The Thing We Need to Know

From the DayBreaks Archive, July 2008:

What do you need to know?  It depends on what you’re talking about, doesn’t it?  There are many things that are important for us to know.  It’s important that you know what is expected of you at work.  It’s important to know the speed limit and the laws in order not to wind up in prison.  It’s important that you know right from wrong.  It’s important that you know your anniversary or spouse’s or kid’s birthdays (some of those, by the way, are more important than others – take it from me!)  If you’re talking about playing a game, you need to know how the game is to be played and what the objective is. 

We can’t know it all.  That’s why we hire realtors to help us wade through the miasma of property laws and real estate complexities.  We hire doctors to know how to deal with our bodies, and lawyers to tell us how to protect our assets via trusts and such.  There are experts in everything from astrophysics to microbiology to literature to law to medicine to….well, you get the idea. 

While it’s important to know things, there are some things that are so important that we just can’t afford to not “get them”.  John Eldredge, again in Epic, noted a discovery he had made in his career in counseling.  Here’s what he had to say: “It came as a great surprise to me as a counselor when I first discovered that children would much rather know that their parents loved each other than that they loved them.  But, of course, we need to know that love is real, that it endures, that a world of love is planned for us and waits for us, and that we can count on it.  As Jesus said, ‘Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory You have given me because You loved me before the creation of the world.’ 

“We need to know that love lasts.  The reason divorce is so devastating to children (not to mention grown-ups) is because it ends the story.  Just like that.  The past is lost.  The future is uncertain.  The pictures come down off the walls.  Certain names are never mentioned again.  The love story is over.  You can’t count on anything.”
We need to know that the love story is not over.  We need to know that love lasts.  We need to know that we can count on something, and deep down inside our most private thoughts and the tenderest places in our hearts, we hope that the one thing we can always count on is love remaining. 

That, my friends, is what makes the gospel good news!  Love does last!  God’s love never fails!  Of the three greatest things – faith, hope and love – what is the one thing that is the greatest?  LOVE!  “God is love,” wrote John the apostle.  God tells us over and over and over again (because that’s what one has to do with little children) that His love is an “unfailing love.”  With God there is no divorce.  With God your picture remains forever on His wall and in His wallet.  With God not only is the future certain but the past is redeemed and healed – all because God’s love story is never over. 

He loves you with an unfailing love.  And that’s the one thing we all need to know.

PRAYER:  Endless love, oh how we rejoice in those reassuring words about your love, “unfailing love”, Lord!  Praises to you for redeeming our past and making our future of love certain throughout all eternity!   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 5/28/18 – Pondering First Thought

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DayBreaks for 5/28/18: Pondering the First Thought

Have you been to the Grand Canyon?  I was unprepared for it the first time I’d been there.  I wasn’t very excited about seeing it.  After all, who needs to see a big ditch?  But I must confess, when I caught the first glimpse of it, I was hooked.  Mesmerized.  Spellbound.  It far exceeded anything I’d expected or imagined.  My first thought was simply, “Wow!”

When my wife materialized at the end of aisle and I saw her for the first time on our wedding day, I was struck with how fortunate I was to be marrying the most beautiful woman in the world. 

When I first saw my children, I think my heart may have stopped for several seconds as I was lost in contemplating the wonder of a newborn that was flesh of my flesh, someone who you instantly knew you’d die for even though you’d just beheld them for the first time.

First thoughts are sometimes hard to recall, but not when it’s about something important.  I’ve wondered about what Jesus’ first thoughts were when he came to earth.  I wonder if at times he was despairing about what he saw in the hearts of men, or if he held great hope even when he saw us stagger and fall. 

First thoughts and last thoughts say a lot about us.  What is my first thought when I see someone who is homeless?  What is my first thought when someone approaches the church asking for money?  What is my first thought when I see scenes of the devastation in Myanmar or China?  What will I think in the morning when I see that person at work that always causes problems?

The first thought of God about man that’s recorded in Scripture is “It’s very good!”  My opinion of mankind isn’t often as high as God’s.  That says more about me than about Him, and about how much I need to have the mind of Christ formed in me.

PRAYER:  Father, give me as much of Your mind and heart as I can bear so that I can think about humanity as You do!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 5/11/18 – My Apologies

Hi, everyone. I am so sorry for the lack of DayBreaks this week. I’m on the road and have been as sick as a dog (still am). I hope to resume DayBreaks posts next week. 

Thank you for your patience with me and for your understanding. 

Blessings and peace…and if you are so inclined, I am supposed to fly home from Phoenix, AZ to Atlanta, GA on Saturday morning, arriving late Saturday afternoon, so I’d really appreciate your prayers for physical endurance for the journey home!

God is good…always.