DayBreaks for 4/21/20 – The Hallway Through the Sea #19 – A Time to Refrain from Embracing

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DayBreaks for 4/21/20: The Hallway Through the Sea, #19 – A Time to Refrain from Embraching

The following is the latest in a series of daily meditations amid the pandemic. For today’s musical pairing, try the theme from The Mission by Ennio Morricone. All songs for this series have been gathered into a Spotify playlist.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. – Ecclesiastes 3:1–8

Meditation 19. 2,224,426 confirmed cases, 153,177 deaths globally.

Even those among us whose souls breathe in solitude find ourselves pining in this season of pandemic for the simple graces of human connection. We live in “a time to refrain from embracing.” When will it be “a time to embrace” again?

Some of us are sick and quarantined from the rest of the world. The air around us grows heavy with silence, and the door to our room or apartment or home has become the horizon of the world we inhabit. Others of us are enclosed with family or friends but cut off from our communities. It is painful. We ache to be together.

One of the more profound truths of the Christian theological tradition is that community is intrinsic to the God in whose image we are created. The doctrine of the Trinity is not an accommodation to our lesser intelligence. It is essential to the nature of God from all eternity. God in his fullness is irreducibly relational, and we image him together more fully than apart(Click here to read the rest of this meditation.)

PRAYER: Until then, O Lord, may our season of solitude bear fruit in the lives of those we love, even those we cannot be with. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Link to Christianity Today Facebook:

DayBreaks for 1/12/17 – The Power of Team

DayBreaks for 1/12/17: The Power of Team

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (AMP) –And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

On September 12, 2011, Brandon Wright, a 21-year-old Utah State University student, was driving his motorcycle en route to the school’s computer lab when a BMW pulling out of a parking lot collided with him. Both vehicles burst into flames. The BMW driver quickly escaped from the car, but Wright was trapped under the 4,000-pound sedan.

The horrific accident drew an immediate crowd of students and construction workers. One passerby walked around the burning vehicles to survey the situation and saw a motionless body, apparently dead, beneath the BMW. Another individual, testing his strength, attempted to lift the car, but without success. A handful of others joined the effort but could not budge the car. A young woman lay on the ground to peer under the car and saw evidence that the trapped victim was still alive.

The flames were intense at the front of the car, where the motorcycle also lay on the ground burning. Nevertheless, at this point a dozen members of the growing crowd joined shoulder to shoulder at the side of the car, lifted in unison, and tilted it high enough to allow another rescuer to pull Wright to safety. At that point the city’s emergency responders appeared on the scene. They doused the flames and transported Wright to Intermountain Medical Center, where he was treated for two broken legs and a fractured pelvis.

What one person could not accomplish alone, a team of people did. “Every one of those people put their lives in danger,” assistant Logan police chief Jeff Curtis said. “Those people are heroes. You can only speculate what the outcome would have been if they hadn’t lifted that car.”

I have often wondered how Jesus feels about how people from different denominations think about and treat those from other churches or traditions. I cannot imagine how sad it must make him when we spend more time judging on another because of silly trivialities instead of working together to save those who are pinned under the weight of sin, despair, loneliness and shame.

Are you part of a small group or team of some kind? Talk about this with them. Pray about it, and let His Spirit lead you to something you can do together that will bring someone to the Great Physician.

PRAYER: Help us not to worry about getting glory for ourselves, but for rescuing those who are trapped in the clutches of the evil one. Teach us to work together for Your glory and the greater good of Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 4/24/15 – Never Fly Solo

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DayBreaks for 4/24/15: Never Fly Solo

From the DayBreaks archive, April 2005:

John 15:15 (NLT) – I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn’t confide in his servants. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.

I grew up watching TV shows like “Gunsmoke”, “Palladin”, “Cheyenne”, “The Lawman” and other rough-and-tumble shows.  They were mostly all cowboy shows, and every single one of the heroes, with perhaps the exception of Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke, was a loner.  That was especially true of Richard Boone in the show, Palladin.  The theme song even trumpeted one of his virtues as being tough enough that he needed no one and he rode all alone.  No one seemed to know where he came from, where he was going, or anything else about him, except that he was a bounty hunter who tracked down the bad guys.  And Richard Boone made him seem tough!

Those kinds of shows, and commercials about the Marlboro man, who was also a loner, made me want to be like them.  I wanted to be the rock, the island – just like Simon and Garfunkle sang about.  It was, I’m not ashamed to say, kind of an ideal for the American male, and when I was young, I bought into it hook, line and sinker.  I prided myself on not needing anyone.  Jeremiah Johnson was a hero to me…and I actually thought several times about heading off to the high country with nothing but a backpack and high powered rifle to live off the land…alone.

How foolish I was!  How naive!  Men (or women for that matter) aren’t meant to be like a cold iceberg that drifts through life, separated from the rest of humanity.  Isn’t that part of what was wrong with the Pharisee and priest who passed the injured man before the Samaritan stopped to help?  They didn’t need anyone…they didn’t want to be bothered by anyone. 

It is interesting that it was right before Jesus was to die that he made the statement in John 15:15 to his followers.  They were no longer to be servants.  They were to be friends.  Why did he not tell them that long before?  Surely he knew that they would be his friends even before he chose them.  I think it was because he was in need.  In need of friends.  As Harvey Cox, in When Jesus Came to Harvard put it: “He was fully human, and human beings need other human beings, not just as disciples but also as friends, which is what Jesus told his own followers at the Last Supper that he wanted them to be.  The point is clear.  Living a moral life is not a solo flight.”

Have you been trying to be He-man or Super-woman in your spiritual walk?  Trying to do it by yourself?  You can’t.  You need friends.  Jesus did.  And he wants to call you “friend”, too.  I need you.  And you need me.  We all need one another if we will be able to live a moral life.  We need the Spirit, but we also need people to encourage us, to hold us accountable, to lift us up when we fall down.  Are you being that kind of friend?

PRAYER: Jesus, we need You…and we need one another.  Keep us from the temptation to try to fly solo! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 1/26/15: It Doesn’t Take a Genius

DayBreaks for 01/26/15 – It Doesn’t Take a Genius Christopher Langan

Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers tells the strange story of Christopher Langan, a genius with a staggering IQ of between 195 – 210. (For perspective, Einstein’s IQ was 150.) In high school, Langan could ace any foreign language exam by skimming the textbook 2-3 minutes before the test.  He got a perfect score on his SAT, even though he fell asleep at one point.  But Langan failed to use his exceptional gifts and ended up working on a horse farm in rural Missouri.  According to Gladwell, Langan never had a community to help him capitalize on his gifts.  Gladwell summarized the story of Langan in one sentence: He “had to make his way alone, and no one– not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses– ever makes it alone.” (Source:, 2/14/11)

“Remember the old adage in Proverbs 27:17, As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another?  The Lord created us, not only with a God-shaped hole, but an “others-shaped hole” as well.  We need others to stimulate us to become everything God intends for us to be.  Hebrews 10:24 challenges us to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (NIV).  The NLT reads, “encourage one another to outbursts of love…” The Message puts it, “let’s see how inventive we can be…” and the NAS uses the word “stimulate”.  I guess the good old King James is my favorite when it reads, “to provoke” one another (sort of like a spiritual cattle prod).  Any way you unwrap it, we need to intentionally seek out a community of believers who can stimulate, encourage and, yes provoke us, to become all that God desires for us.  And you don’t have to be a “genius” to figure that out!” – Barney Cargile

PRAYER: Thank You for giving us community with one another!  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 01/15/14 – Where Thomas Found Faith

DayBreaks for 01/15/14 – Where Thomas Found Faith

NOTE: I am traveling for work this week so I’ll be recycling some DayBreaks from previous years.  New DayBreaks will resume again on 1/20/2014.  Thanks for your understanding!

From the DayBreaks archive, 1/7/2004:

John 20:26-28 (NLT)  – “Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”  “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.”

I like Thomas.  I have a hunch that if the truth were told and I were in his place, I’d have said the same thing.  “I won’t believe unless I see and touch his hands and feet!”  Think about it.  What would you think if at lunch today a bunch of your friends told you that they saw Princess Diana in the lunchroom?  Wouldn’t your first thoughts be, “Yeah, sure.  If you saw anything, you maybe saw an impersonator or a look-alike, but you didn’t see Princess Diana.  She’s dead and gone.”  Even if I went and saw such a person in the lunchroom with my own eyes, I’d probably not believe it was her, either.

In the case of Jesus, Thomas had a way of telling whether this was an impostor or not.  He had the nail holes in the hands, feet and the spear wound in the side.  But that’s not really the point that I want to make.  Thomas had missed the first “meeting” of Jesus with the other apostles for some reason – we’re not told why he wasn’t there, just that he wasn’t part of that meeting.  In John 20, however, things had changed.  Thomas was gathered with the rest of the apostles, and it is there, in the midst of the fellowship of believers, that he was once again drawn into the fellowship of faith.

Jesus could have chosen to appear to Thomas in his garden, or at the corner fish market or in the synagogue.  But he didn’t.  He waited until Thomas came back to the fellowship that Thomas found faith.

How is your faith?  Is it weak because you’ve not been in the fellowship of believers?  Stop pretending that you don’t need church – that you don’t need others who share a common faith in Christ Jesus around you all the time!  We are told that we should gather together not only so that we can worship God, but so we can encourage one another in our faith.  Don’t even pretend that you don’t need encouragement – it would be the height of hypocrisy!  Everyone needs encouragement in the Christian walk!

Perhaps you’ve been putting off going to church.  Isn’t it time to get started?  Who knows?  Perhaps like Thomas, you’ll once again discover what you once believed in and you, too, will make the same wonderful discovery and confession all over again, “My Lord and my God!”

PRAYER: Lord, it is our pride that makes us think that we are strong enough to not need the fellowship of the saints and communal worship! Free us from the delusions and lies the enemy tells us that we don’t need one another and encouragement! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen serves as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to support Galen in his ministry, you can donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link:  

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 a link 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!