DayBreaks for 3/7/18 – The Horns of Pride

Image result for matador

DayBreaks for 3/07/18: The Horns of Pride

NOTE: Galen is traveling this week.

From the DayBreaks archive,  March 2008:

Pride and self-confidence are very dangerous things.  Witness this story: “Pali, this bull has killed me.”  So said Jose Cubero, one of Spain’s most brilliant matadors, before he lost consciousness and died.  Only 21 years old, he had been enjoying a spectacular career.  However, in this 1958 bullfight, Jose made a tragic mistake.  He thrust his sword a final time into a bleeding, delirious bull, which then collapsed.  Considering the struggle finished, Jose turned to the crowd to acknowledge the applause.  The bull, however, was not dead.  It rose and lunged at the unsuspecting matador, its horn piercing his back and puncturing his heart.

The matador trusted in himself to have killed the bull.  It appeared to be dead.  Jose was only focused on one thing at that time: hearing and acknowledging the applause of the crowd.  His pride did him in – it caused him to become careless and it cost him his life.

Romans 8.13b-14: … but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 

In his contest with the bull, Jose with his own sword and power thought he’d put to death the beast.  There are many parallels and some differences between his struggle and ours:

FIRST: it was possible for him to kill the beast under his own power.  You and I proudly think we can defeat sin on our own, but we cannot.  The Romans passage quoted above says we must “by the Spirit” put to death the sin-beast.  If we trust in ourselves and our strength to do it, it will rise up again;

SECOND: the creature Jose fought was external while ours is internal.  The bull could be watched and probably as it rose to it’s feet while he had his back turned, the crowd went wild trying to get his attention and warn him.  Jose probably thought that they were just cheering even louder, so he took more bows, unaware of the danger behind him.  Our fight is with the pride within us.  Sometimes, no one can see it but us, but that doesn’t mean pride isn’t deadly.  In some ways, because our pride may be invisible to others, it is all the more deadly because it is so insidious.  We, like Jose, may be too busy taking our bows for some great act or service when that which we thought was dead comes back to haunt us;

THIRD: if we are too attuned to the crowd (the world) we will fail to see the danger of our pride.  The world doesn’t care if we are proud – it just wants us to fall.  The world (and Satan) wants us to rely on ourselves and our power and to grow prideful.   

FOURTH: when we attempt to stop sinning it is like thrusting the sword into a bleeding, delirious bull.  Satan will become enraged with our desire to serve God and be done with sin.  He will find any way possible to get back at us, including using pride about our “victory”.

Just when we think we are done with pride and we turn to accept the congratulations of the crowd, pride stabs us in the back.  We should never consider pride dead before we are.

PRAYER: Teach us humility, Lord, and drown out the cheers of the crowd around us so we can hear only Your words of love and warning.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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


DayBreaks for 10/10/17 – Confidence Builders

DayBreaks for 10/10/17: Confidence Builders

From the DayBreaks archive:

Patrick O’Boyle once recalled the late-1940s Hyde Park “Speakers’ Corner” appearances of Frank Sheed, a Catholic author and publisher, with these words:

“Sheed could be devastating with hecklers.  Once, after Sheed had described the extraordinary order and design to be seen in the universe, a persistent challenger retorted by pointing to all the world’s ills, and ended shouting, “I could make a better universe than your God!”

“I won’t ask you to make a universe,” Sheed replied. “But would you make a rabbit—just to establish confidence?”

I suppose much of the human problem stems from the crazy idea that we could do things better than God.  We think we would make a world where there was no evil, no pain, no suffering; a universe where there are no hurricanes or stars that go super-nova – in short, we just think we could do better than God in just about everything. 

Have you ever really stopped to think how stupid such a thought is?  We who are as finite as a speck of sand in the entire universe are so proud and pretentious as to think we actually know better than God.  Hogwash! 

But when it comes to my own life, I’m really prone to think such things.  “God, having me suffer deprivation isn’t good for me.”  “God, there no good reason for what just happened to me!”  “God, I’m a faithful child of Yours, and things like this just aren’t right!” 

Maybe, when we have learned enough from life that we can see the interaction and inner-connectedness of every human thought and every human action on every other human, we would begin to get the tiniest bit of understanding about why things happen.  And, if we could see the eternal salvation that has come to who-knows-how-many-souls through hardship (which is usually God knocking on the top of our skull trying to get our attention!), we might think differently. 

At a Bible study I was teaching this past week, we were discussion Joseph and the period of time that he was left rotting in the prison after the cup-bearer was restored to his duties in the palace of Pharaoh.  It doesn’t seem fair to Joseph.  How could the cup-bearer forget the man who had interpreted his dream?  But, he did.  I’m convinced we should see God’s hand in that rather than just mere human frailty and forgetfulness.  Did Joseph have to learn more patience?  Did he need to learn to trust God more?  (Remember that Joseph had no inkling whatsoever that he would soon be the #2 man in Egypt.)  As I pondered those thoughts, another thought came to me: perhaps Joseph was left in the prison for another year or two (or longer) for the sake of some other human being, nameless and faceless and lost to humanity for about 3000 years now, who was also languishing in the prison? 

God’s ways aren’t our ways – but God can make rabbits, elephants and entire universes in the blink of an eye.  That should be a confidence builder for us to trust Him to know what is best for our individual lives!

PRAYER:  Father, thank you for all the things you’ve done to give us confidence in you.  Help us not to be so wise or smart in our own eyes that we think we can even begin to know better than you what is good for us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 8/4/17 – Taking Credit


DayBreaks for 8/04/17: Taking Credit

From the DayBreaks archive, August 2007:

John Ortberg tells this story: “Not too long ago, there was a CEO of a Fortune 500 company who pulled into a service station to get gas.  He went inside to pay, and when he came out he noticed his wife engaged in a deep discussion with the service station attendant.  It turned out that she knew him.  In fact, back in high school before she met her eventual husband, she used to date this man.

“The CEO got in the car, and the two drove in silence.  He was feeling pretty good about himself when he finally spoke: ‘I bet I know what you were thinking.  I bet you were thinking you’re glad you married me, a Fortune 500 CEO, and not him, a service station attendant.

“No, I was thinking if I’d married him, he’d be a Fortune 500 CEO and you’d be a service station attendant.”

We all want to take credit, don’t we?  It doesn’t matter if it is on the job, at school or in the home.  We want the credit for what goes well.  We want to take credit when someone tells us how well behaved our children are, or how much they’ve achieved.  We want to take credit for our brilliance and skill that has made us successful at our jobs or in our classes.  We like the praise of men and women.

We really have a problem with pride.  Pride, if not satisfied by the praises and recognition of others, will draw things to their attention hoping that we receive praise.  This is different than merely wanting to do a good job – it’s wanting to be recognized and acknowledged.  It’s about someone saying to us, “Wow, you’re good.  You did a terrific job!” 

Our pride demands feeding.  In the case of the CEO and his wife, which one of them gave the man the ability to earn the money and rise to the position he’d achieved?  Certainly neither of them did.  They only took the raw materials that God had poured into this man and worked with it.  God gave the ability. 

Grace is about not getting credit.  It is about recognizing that not only didn’t we do something good, but we did something poorly (obey!) and God still did something good for us.  If we understand grace, we’ll realize we can’t claim the credit for anything good.  All we can do is fall before the cross and praise Him for His love and grace that “saved a wretch like me.”

PRAYER:  Our hearts are full of pride and desire for recognition, Lord.  Purify our hearts of this pride.  Give us this grace this day: to recognize that we have been called your children not by our might or power, but only by Your grace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/05/17 – What To Do With Believers

DayBreaks for 6/05/17: What to Do With Believers

First, let me say that 20 years ago yesterday (6/04/97) marked the first ever DayBreaks. I thought about re-sharing the first DayBreaks I ever sent out, but decided against it. Instead, I just want to say this: I never expected DayBreaks would last so long. There have been times I’ve debated whether or not it was time to stop, but I never sensed a clear direction from the Lord to do that, so for now, we’ll continue on. But even more than that, I’ve come to love many of you who have written over the years, shared parts of your life (good and bad) with me as you wrote and told me your stories. I am humbled and honored at your trust. In addition, some of my best friends have come through DayBreaks – and I shall cherish our friendship and relationship as long as I live. Thank you to all who have shared this journey with me!

From the DayBreaks archive, June 5 ,2007:

An article I recently read by Mark Buchanan made an interesting observation about Jonah chapter 1 and Acts, chapters 27 and 28.  Both of those passages tell the story of a God-worshipper who is on board a ship, surrounded by unbelievers.  In both cases, a violent storm blows up on the sea and the “mighty ship was tossed” (to borrow a line from Gilligan’s Island!)  So severe was the storm in both cases, that the crew reached a conclusion that they would rather have not reached: all the cargo on the ship would need to be thrown overboard.  It wasn’t a case of their profits going up in smoke, but of their profits going down to Davey Jones’ locker.  But, at least in the case of Jonah, he was considered “cargo”.  Somehow, the pagans felt this disaster in the making was due to someone who had offended the gods, and Jonah was singled out. 

Remember: Jonah is on board because he’s fleeing from God.  When confronted by the pagan sailors, he’s boastful about himself and disdainful toward them.  As it turns out, there’s only one way for those pagans to survive the storm: they have to get rid of the God-worshiper – they have to throw him overboard.  And they do just that.

Not so in Acts.  There, the apostle Paul is on board the ship precisely because he has been following God.  He’s a prisoner of Rome, on his way via ship to be tried in front of Caesar, but even more important, he’s a man on a mission sent from heaven, who has been being obedient to that calling.  When the pagan sailors panic, Paul is wise, humble, and helpful – quite the opposite of his predecessor, Jonah.  Paul lets those terrified shipmates know that he cares deeply for them.  It turns out, there’s only one way for those pagans to survive the storm: they have to put the God-worshiper, the one who showed concern for them, in charge.

The point that Buchanan draws is this: the more that we genuinely care for the people in this storm-wracked world—the less we boast and denounce, the more we bless and serve—the more they will let us – and the Jesus we serve – into their lives and lives and souls will be redeemed and saved!

PRAYER: May we be the kind of God worshippers that You are pleased with.  May we answer Your call, may we be meek and humble, may we care and not denounce unnecessarily!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 09/06/11 – No Need to Explain

DayBreaks for 09/06/11 – No Need To Explain

Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind: 2 “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? 3 Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. 4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. 5 Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? 6 What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone 7 as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? – Job 38:1-7

In 1969, in a science lab in New Jersey, Canadian physicist Willard Boyle and his colleagues invented the concept of an electronic eye. Using their knowledge of mathematics and the behavior of light, they developed the science behind digital cameras that you may know as the charged-coupled device or CCD. This technology revolutionized photography, as light could now be captured electronically instead of on film. CCD technology is used on the Hubble telescope, the Mars Lunar probe and every digital camera in the world. It was Boyle’s invention that allowed us to see the surface of Mars for the first time. In 2009 Boyle was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.

A few years after the invention of the technology, Boyle walked into a store to buy a new digital camera based on his invention. During the visit, the salesman tried to explain the intricacies of the digital camera, but stopped, feeling it was too complicated for his customer to understand. According to one long-time friend, Boyle, a humble man, was taken aback by the salesman’s arrogance and disrespect. So Boyle bluntly replied: “No need to explain. I invented it.” When the salesman didn’t believe him, Boyle told the salesman to type “Willard S. Boyle” into his computer and see for himself. A Nikon representative in the store heard the exchange and immediately came over to have his photograph taken with the famous inventor.

You’ve probably had sales persons that seemed impatient with you – especially if they felt you couldn’t grasp the technology they were trying to sell, or if they sensed that you were more interested in a less expensive product.  It’s not a nice feeling, is it?

At times we almost act like that impatient salesman in our relationship with God. We tell God how life works or how we think it should work. But God simply and confidently responds, “No need to explain. I invented life.”  Yet, somehow, we think we’ve got it nailed and God is wrong.  How foolish can we be?

PRAYER: We fall on our face before Your majesty, wisdom and power!  Keep us from the arrogance that would challenge Your wisdom and help us yield to Your truth!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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