DayBreaks for 4/21/17 – Listen to the Birds

DayBreaks for 4/21/17: Listen to the Birds

From the DayBreaks archive, April 2007:

Romans chapter 1 (starting with about verse 20) makes it clear that God has revealed His existence to man through the things that can be seen – His creation.  But mankind has decided that God doesn’t exist: Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.  (Rom. 1.28)

Suppose for a second that a student were to write on a physics exam that she didn’t believe in atoms because she couldn’t see them.  No one would blame the professor for failing the student!  The existence of atoms is clearly undeniable on the basis of their recognized effects.  Just ask anyone who lived through Hiroshima or Nagasaki and they’ll tell you that atoms exist – they’ve seen their effect.  Yet man persists in insisting that God doesn’t exist because we can’t see, smell, hear, taste or touch Him.  Silly, isn’t it?!

Job 12:7-9 has this to say: But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.  Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 

In the movie, Doctor Doolittle (I think that was the name of it), the good doctor was supposed to be able to talk with the animals.  Scripture tells us that the animals will tell us about the God who formed them – and we don’t have to learn to speak their language! 

Why is it that “they (mankind) did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God”?  I don’t think it is because most of mankind really doesn’t want to believe there is a God, but rather that they don’t want to believe in the kind of God who would tell them not to practice sinful lifestyles – who would cramp our style!  We want to believe in a God who would tell us that we can do whatever we want and that because He loves us that He’ll just look the other way.  But that isn’t the God of the Bible.  He couldn’t look the other way precisely because He does love us too much. 

1 Pet 1:8-9 puts it this way: Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 

Like the atom, God is unseen.  Like the atom, He is powerful.  Like the atom, He is real.  How tragic that the greatest thing in all of God’s creation and that which He loves the most (mankind) is the one thing in all the universe that denies His existence and which rejects Him.  Let’s all go outside and listen to the birds sing their melody about the greatness of God – and maybe we, too, can learn how to praise Him from the animals that He made!

PRAYER: For the wisdom behind the creation, we thank You and give You praise.  May we hear and sings songs of greatness to Your glory this day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 01/02/14 – The Big Abracadabra

DayBreaks for 01/02/14 – The Big Abracadabra

John 1:1-3 (NLT) In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  He existed in the beginning with God. 3  God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.

Simple question: what does a stage magician say when they are ready to conclude a trick and make something appear?  They say, “Abracadabra!”, right?  It is supposed to be a phrase that makes that which didn’t exist come into appearance.

I recently read something that was rather fascinating and the parallels to the creation story and the text for today from John 1 and also from Colossians 1 are striking.

Abracadabra historically was believed to have healing powers when inscribed on an amulet. The word is thought to have its origin in the Aramaic language, but numerous conflicting folk etymologies are associated with it. While the actual origin of the word is uncertain, there is some evidence that the word “Abracadabra” could derive from a Hebrew phrase meaning “I create (A’bra) what (ca) I speak (dab’ra).” This etymology is rather somewhat questionable, however, as אברא כדברא in Aramaic is more commonly to be translated “I create like the word.”

I have always been fascinated by God’s power to just speak things into existence. How I wish that I could have witnessed His work recorded in Genesis 1! I don’t know how He originally created all matter – perhaps it was with something similar to the Big Bang – but from now on, I think I’ll think of it as the Big Abracadabra!

Magicians can’t really make a rabbit appear out of thin air, no matter how it may seem at the time. God can – and once upon a time He not only made rabbits, but rocks and trees, skies and seas, stars and starfish explode onto the scene.

There is a reason that the ancient Hebrews would encourage one another to remember the creation and the exodus stories as they reminded people of the greatness of the God they followed. We would do well today to remember that as well, especially when we are prone to doubt or are frightened by the things that we see which surround us. His power has not changed. He is as creative as ever!

PRAYER: We rejoice in Your greatness, O Mighty God, who calls things that are not into existence and who sustains all things by Your great power.  When we are tempted to fear and tremble, remind us of how great You are! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2003, 2013 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!

DayBreaks for 10/18/13 – Incredible Wonder

DayBreaks for 10/18/13 – Incredible Wonder

FROM THE DayBreaks Archive:

Psalm 8:3-5 – When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

Good question that David asked God, isn’t it?  What was it that brought on David’s wonderment?  It was contemplating the vastness of the universe of God’s creation.

I am freshly returned from a 3-day trout fishing excursion (a highly successful one, I might add!) into the high Sierras with a couple of friends/brothers.  This is a tradition with us.  We’ve gone almost every year for 25 years.  (There were 1 or 2 years where we didn’t make it, but that’s all.)  But even after all that time, every time I go to see what God has made, I share in David’s wonder.

I stood one evening at the base of a tall Ponderosa pine tree that was right behind the tent we slept in.  It was dark and I lifted my eyes to the top of the tree.  Immediately above the tip of the tree, almost as if it was in perfect alignment, was a star.  I don’t know what the name of the star was, or even if it was a star or a distant galaxy that just looked like a star, but all of a sudden, I felt so tiny.  The tree dwarfed me.  The tip of the tree towered over me and made me feel small.  And then my eyes lifted on up to the star, and I did my best to comprehend the vast distance that one would have to fall from the star to the top of the tree.  Knowing that the star couldn’t have been nearly as far away as many objects in space (otherwise it wouldn’t have even been visible to the naked eye), I felt incredibly miniscule, yet amazed, that God knows me.  He knows all about me.  He knew what I would have for breakfast before I ate it.  He knew my last thought before I thought it.  He has to manage the entire universe – yet He has time for me.

I must confess, that the last part of David’s utterance is a bit harder for me to accept, but David says it is true: we have been crowned with glory and honor.  How?  In what way?  I think there are several ways:

FIRST: we alone, of all creatures, bear God’s image.  Whales don’t, chimpanzees don’t, dolphins don’t.  Only mankind.  That alone should be enough to make use honored and glorious.

SECOND: we alone, of all creatures, are the beneficiaries of Christ’s sacrifice.  He didn’t die for redwood trees, needle-sharp mountains nor for the stars in distant space.  His blood wasn’t needed to take away sin from the rest of his creation, only from us.  Yet it was a price he felt was worth it.  That says something about us being crowned with honor and glory.

The next time that you are tempted to think that you aren’t important or don’t count for much, go out and look at the stars at night – and contemplate that you are far more glorious than anything that sparkles in the sky above! 

PRAYER: Father, we are grateful that for those who believe in You, the account has already been settled and all debts paid.  Help us avoid the deception of Satan that causes us to think our actions no longer matter or that the cost to settle our debt was small!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 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 support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations 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 donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. 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 the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 08/08/13 – What Then About Junk?

DayBreaks for 08/08/13 – What Then About Junk?

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From the DayBreaks archive, dated 08/08/2003:

Genesis 1:31 – “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning–the sixth day.”  (NIV)

It has always been interesting to me that after all the first 5 days of creation when God created plants, animals, rocks, planets, stars and such, that God took time at the end of each day to examine His work.  Scripture says that when He did this, he saw “that it was good”.  There is great satisfaction to be taken in doing a job well – and God does things superlatively!  But there is a slight difference after day six when God creates man.  It says that God saw what He’d done and it was “very good”.  The only difference between the first 5 days and the end of the 6th day was the creation of man – and God proclaims it to be “very good”!

There is a popular saying in some Christian circles: “I’m OK.  God doesn’t make junk!”  And that is very, very true.  One of our former ministers, Dr. James Haddix, commented on this in a message and pointed out how easy it is to believe than when we see it on the little pink t-shirt of a beautiful little girl with flowing tresses.  But, as he went on, what are we to make of it when we take that t-shirt and put it on the kidnapper-rapist-killer who takes that little girl from her home and family, brutalizes her and takes her life?  It makes us begin to wonder if God made a mistake with that person, and it makes us wonder if perhaps sometimes, God does make junk.

He doesn’t.  God is no more responsible for the heinous deeds of the rapist-killer than I am for a star running out of fuel in a galaxy far distant.  The simple fact is that God created us – each and every one of us – as free, moral agents who can determine by our choices what we will become.  As Dr. Gregory Boyd argues in his book, Satan and the Problem of Evil, evil had to exist if good was to exist.  Hatred had to exist if love was to exist.  Love cannot exist without a free choice – otherwise it is not love.  Good cannot exist unless there is an opposite that makes good a choice available to humans.  So the rapist-killer is not “junk” from God’s hand.  He may have become devoid of any apparent redeeming qualities, but if he did, it happened as a result of his own choices and their consequences.

No, God doesn’t make junk.  But I can make myself “junky”.  So can you.  We do it each day in a thousand little decisions – some of which happen without our ever really thinking about it.  I don’t want to be junk and I don’t think you do, either.  Let us seek His wisdom to recognize the right from wrong so we can choose wisely.  As Dr. Haddix put it: “The issue isn’t whether God creates junk, but the fact that He doesn’t desire junk.”  Neither should we.

2 Kings 18:32 – “…until I come and take you to a land like your own, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life and not death!” (NIV)

1 Peter 4:3 – “For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do-living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.” (NIV) 

PRAYER: Lord, we are quick to pass the blame on to You for what exists and what doesn’t exist because we don’t and can’t understand the realities You understand nor the structure of the moral universe in its totality.  Forgive us for daring to sit in judgment of You!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen is working as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org) and is responsible for raising own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Then look for “Galen Dalrymple”.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368. 

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DayBreaks for 12/07/12 – Musings on Adam and Eve

DayBreaks for 12/07/12 – Musings on Adam and Eve

creation-hands1

Romans 5:18-19 (NLT)- Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.

As I was driving yesterday, I pondered the early days of Adam and Eve.  I wondered what a delight it must have been like to live in a perfect world – a world where there wasn’t any death.  A world before the Fall.  It must have been spectacularly glorious.

But then, the rebellion.  I wonder what was the first sign to them that the entire cosmos had suffered as a result of their rebellion?  I wonder what first caught their attention?  Was it a cat pouncing on a mouse and biting it until it died?  Was it a bird falling dead out of a tree?  Did an ill wind literally start to blow that took their breath in a gasp as they realized that something dreadful had happened?

And how did they then feel?  What would it have been like to have been Adam and Eve and know because of what YOU did, the entire cosmos entered into disarray and things started dying and animals (and people) started killing one another?  What would it be like to realize that you were the cause of all that?

I feel badly enough when I fall into sin.  But I’ve never experienced a perfect world.  As a result, I suppose that I don’t feel the weight of my sin as heavily as Adam and Eve felt theirs.  Perhaps I should feel it just as heavily as they did, but my guess is that we don’t begin to approximate the understanding or comprehension of the effect of our sin.

I’m glad I wasn’t Adam.  I wish I wasn’t a sinner.  How grateful I am for the second Adam who will one day restore that perfect world and we will all know what it was like for Adam and Eve in the beginning before sin ruined everything.  I long to see and experience that world.  I’m willing to bet you do, too!

PRAYER:  Lord, we long to see what the perfected heavens and earth will be like, to see Your creation in its perfected splendor.  For what we have done to deface Your creation in our day and age, we repent in dust and ashes!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks from 05/07/12 – Musings From 41,000 Feet

DayBreaks for 05/07/12 – Musings from 41,000 Feet

On Saturday night, 5/05/12, I was flying back southbound to Atlanta at 41,000 feet as the sun was setting on the western horizon.  At the same time, the full moon was rising on the eastern horizon, almost exactly 180 degrees in the opposite direction.  Sun off the right wingtip, moon off the left.

To the west, between us and the sun, was a band of clouds at the horizon level and the sun lit them on fire.  The band was colored with reds, maroons, orange, yellows…and as I looked out the window on that side of the plane, I could imagine myself standing on the surface of Saturn and could believe that this had to be what it was like to look at the bands of Saturn from the surface of that planet.  It was unbelievably beautiful.

The moon to the left was huge.  I’d never seen it this large or this clearly.  It was the night of the Super Moon – when the moon was at its closest approach in its orbit to the earth.  Its disk was just above the edge of the horizon and there was a fluffy blanket of clouds obscuring the ground below.  The huge moon lit up the top surface of the cloud layer in a gossamer layer of white as the clouds raced past, under the wing, thousands of feet below us.  It was unbelievably beautiful.

As I looked back and forth from the Saturn-like bands of color to the west and the glorious moonrise to the east, I was transported into worship by the magnificent beauty of the creation, this spectacular universe in which clouds catch the colors of the rainbow and moons, planets and stars hang upon nothing in the cold, haunting emptiness of space.

I marveled that God should have created such beauty and chosen to share it with us and let us enjoy it.  Of course, He created it for His own enjoyment, but I also believe He did it for ours.  And my mind wandered off to this passage: 1 Corinthians 2:9 (ESV) – But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him…”

As I sat by my window and gazed out at the rising moon as the sky grew darker, I contemplated the wonders that await us in the “new heavens and earth.”  As spectacular as what I was looking at, I know that it is a very poor preview of what is to come, and I was again transported into worship.

I wish you all could have been there with me to see the beauty of the sunset and of the Super Moon as they cast their spell of wonder.  It was unbelievably beautiful…and His gift to us.

PRAYER: Lord, how I long to see what wonders you have in store for us!  Sometimes when I think I can begin to imagine it because of what I can see now, I’m reminded that you tell us we cannot even imagine it, and I am overwhelmed that you have lavished such love on us that you invite us not only into the wonders of your creation, but the wonders of your love and grace as well. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 is now engaged in a project to provide temporary shelter, food, water and adult care to 37 orphans in Migori, Kenya.  We are trying to raise up an army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us provide care for these children until our partner in the project, BrightPoint for Children, can secure sponsorships for these 37 kids.  If you want to contribute, follow this link and scroll down to find the “Donate” button: Help the 37 Migori Orphans

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DayBreaks for 07/14/11 – The Lover of Diversity

DayBreaks for 07/14/11 – The Lover of Diversity

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! – Psalm 139:13-18

Our road trip took us to many diverse places: hot/dry Death Valley at a couple hundred feet below sea level to mountain passes over 12,000 feet high that were cold and damp.  To spectacular lakes, by raging rivers, to ground that was white, green, red, brown and black.  Even the clouds that sailed past overhead were different from place to place.  And all were created by the same hand.

God must love diversity for He created so much of it!  All animals could have looked like warthogs and smelled like skunks, but thankfully – they don’t!  All of the planet could have been flat and arid – but thankfully – it isn’t!

The same God that created every fingerprint to be unique – who decreed that every eye pattern would be different – that God created you and me in all our rich diversity.  What is truly a pity is when we try to change others to be just like ourselves, or to fit our image of what that person should be like or do.  David, in Psalm 139, says that God has a plan for each and every one of us that is so detailed that he knew in advance precisely how many days we would live and exactly what every one of our thoughts would be!  If I attempt to change you to please me, how can that be right?

Even more, if I am praying for God to change YOU to be the way I want you to be, am I not usurping God’s prerogative?  It is His plan for you, not my opinions of what you should be like, that is important.  My attempts to change someone from certain habits or traits may interfere with His work in someone else.  We can point out sin in the lives of others (not judgmentally, but humbly so that they can repent), but we must be careful that it is really sin and not just something that we don’t like about that person.  Part of what made Peter a great apostle was his stubbornness and outspokenness.  Would we have tried to change him?  Yet it was those very characteristics that enabled him to be a great and passionate leader in the early church.  Paul’s zeal may have been misguided in the beginning, but it was part of what drove him to travel the world to tell others about Jesus.  Yet, I’m sure there were those who would have changed Paul: “Calm down, fella!  Chill out!”  What a shame if that would have happened!

We should appreciate the unique person that God has formed each of us to be.  We should pray not that God will change a person in a way we want them to change, but that they will cooperate with His divine plan for them and become what He wants them to be!

PRAYER: For the rich diversity of creation, and of human beings, we thank you.  Help us to want only your will for others, and not try to force them into our own image!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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