DayBreaks for 1/04/18 – Spiders, Flies and the Crowd

Image result for spider web and fly

DayBreaks for 1/04/18: Spiders, Flies and the Crowd

From the DayBreaks archive, 2008:

Ephesians 5:5-6 (NIV) For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

Job 15:31 (NIV) – Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless, for he will get nothing in return.

We are easily deceived.  There are probably many reasons for it, but I think the main reason we are deceived is because we want to believe something strongly enough that we allow ourselves to be convinced it is true.  And as Job points out, we don’t necessarily have to be deceived by others – we’re plenty good at deceiving ourselves.  We deceive ourselves into thinking that we’re better than we really are, that we are smarter, more holy, more righteous than someone else and therefore God must like us better.  We deceive ourselves into thinking that we’ve accomplished whatever we’ve managed to accomplish by our own wisdom, smarts and talent – forgetting the Source of the talent.

But what really bothers me these days is how easily the people of God get deceived by the world and the smooth-talking salesmen of perversity.  Evil is made to sound good, and good to sound evil and even hateful.  The world has gotten very good at telling its story – I fear it is much more skilled at telling its story than we are at telling the story of what God has done. 

Once a spider built a beautiful web in an old house.  He kept it clean and shiny so that flies would patronize it.  The minute he got a “customer” he could clean up on it so the other flies would not get suspicious.  Then one day this fairly intelligent fly came buzzing by the clean spider web.  Old man spider called out, “Come in and sit.”  But the fairly intelligent fly said, “No, sir.  I don’t see other flies in your house, and I am not going in alone!”  But presently he saw on the floor below a large crowd of flies dancing around on a piece of brown paper.  He was delighted!  He was not afraid if lots of flies were doing it.  So he came in for a landing.  Just before he landed, a bee zoomed by, saying, “Don’t land there, stupid!  That’s flypaper!”  But the fairly intelligent fly shouted back, “Don’t’ be silly.  Those flies are dancing.  There’s a big crowd there.  Everybody’s doing it.  That many flies can’t be wrong!”

Well, you know what happened.  He died on the spot.  Some of us want to be with the crowd so badly that we end up in a mess.  What does it profit a fly (or a person) if he escapes the web only to end up in the glue?

May you be wise to the ways of the world because you are wiser to the ways of God!


PRAYER:  Give us discerning hearts and minds, O Lord, so that we are not led astray by the voice of the masses or by false appearances.  May we heed the warnings that You have given us in Your Word and through Your Spirit.  Preserve and protect us, we pray!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.


DayBreaks for 5/24/16 – The Truth…and Dihydrogen Monoxide

DayBreaks for 5/24/16 – The Truth…and Dihydrogen Monoxide

Do you remember how eager you were as a school kid for summer break to finally get here? Summer’s here (or nearly so), and the kids have been counting down the days and weeks for a couple months now. All summer and nothing but swimming, riding bikes, sandlot baseball every day, endlessly playing video games, and vacations. How I loved summer as a kid! 

While our kids live in that world this summer we adults will be living in another. There is the economy and the struggle to keep Wall Street and Shady Lane happy and accountable at the same time. There are conflicts within our nation, not to mention the conflicts between nations. If there is one thing I have learned in life it’s that everybody has their own version of the truth.
And we have to try and find the truth among all the truths that present themselves to us. It is very hard these days to know who to believe. Everyone is trying to lead us to their version of truth. In 1997, Nathan Zohner, a 14-year-old student at Eagle Rock Junior High School in Idaho Falls won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair by showing how conditioned we have become to alarmists spreading fear of everything in our environment through junk science. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical “Dihydrogen monoxide” because:
1. It can cause excessive sweating and vomiting.
2. It is a major component in acid rain.
3. It can cause severe burns in its gaseous state.
4. Accidental inhalation can kill you.
5. It contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape..
6. It decreases the effectiveness of automobile brakes.
7. It is found in tumors of terminal cancer patients.
He asked 50 people if they support a ban.  43 said yes, 6 were undecided and only one knew what dihydrogen monoxide is….water.
Truth. Pontius Pilate asked his wife: What is Truth? It’s a question that plagues everyone who tries to do the right thing. Pilate was on to something, but he ultimately asked the wrong question. Instead of “What is truth?”, he would have done better to ask “Who is truth?”, even as the Truth stood in front of him. 

Want to know what Truth is? Read about Jesus. Read what he said, learn how he felt about things. But then LIVE the truth…the world desperately needs Christians to do that one thing.

PRAYER:  Jesus, our nation and world desperately need to know truth and the One Who is Truth. Help us not to be deceived by our own interpretations, but to find the ultimate Truth in You, Your Word, and Your Spirit.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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


DayBreaks for 8/31/15 – The Hidden Deception of Sin

DayBreaks for 8/31/15: The Hidden Deception of Sin

Daniel 5 is a fascinating chapter. Belshazzar, the titular king of Babylon and grandson to the great Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, was one of those who never learned from history. His grandfather’s pride led to his being punished with the disease of boanthropy – believing and acting like a cow – until he repented and came to his senses and was restored to his grandeur.

Belshazzar surely would have heard the story. Had he learned? No. He was filled with pride. Daniel 5 says as much, but it is evident in what was happening in the capital even as the enemy was at the gate.

Nabonidus, Belshazzar’s father and the actual king, was gone waging war against the Medes and Persians, and Belshazzar was left in the citadel of Babylon to rule in his absence. The Medes and Persians were outside the walls, threatening the city. So what does Belshazzar do? He hosts a wild party.

What was Belshazzar thinking? We can only surmise, but he had invited all the nobles to a great feast that night. It seems as if Belshazzar was mocking the enemy, or trying to convince his nobles (and perhaps himself!) that they had nothing to fear for he was, after all, the king of Babylon!

If there is a sin that has plagued creation since the time of the beginning, it would seem to be pride: pride in thinking we know better than the Creator what is good and best for us, pride that causes us to think we created our own successes and are alone responsible for our achievements. It is pride that makes us seek more and more possessions, more and more power, more and more fame and glory for ourselves. And Belshazzar had it in spades, this sin called pride.

Pride blinded Belshazzar to what befell his grandfather. Sin blinded him to the realities of the situation with which he was confronted. And that is what sin does best: it makes us unaware of the danger involved. Especially when sin is coupled with God’s long-suffering nature.

Because we have all sinned and seem to have “gotten away with it” (which is really just God’s incredible patience to have not stricken us dead on the spot, for “the soul that sins shall surely die”), we are blinded to the danger of our sin. It is like playing with a king cobra and not being bit. It leads us to a false sense of well-being and we conclude that “all must be well” when in reality, as Belshazzar found out, it was not well at all. That very night, in Daniel 5, Belshazzar was overthrown and killed.

We have recently seen how this happens with the entire Ashley Madison hack. Those who thought they were “safe” in their secret sins one night, awoke the next morning to find they had been deceived into thinking they were safe and their infidelities were secret and hidden.

Sin’s deception is hideous. It makes us unaware of the danger. And that is perhaps the greatest danger of all.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. – Galatians 6:7 (ESV)

PRAYER: Keep us from deception and from convincing ourselves that all is well when we sin! Reveal to us the danger in the things we do – yet seem to get away with. Make us wise to Truth! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 7/22/14 – Blinding Ourselves

DayBreaks for 7/22/14 – Blinding Ourselves

John 7:25-27 (NLT) Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem started to ask each other, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? But here he is, speaking in public, and they say nothing to him. Could our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah? But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.

The power of human tradition and “wisdom” is on display here.  Scripture doesn’t say that no one would know where the Messiah would come from.  In fact, it explicitly predicted his birth in Bethlehem, the city of David.  Yet the people were blinded by what people had told them.

There is tremendous power in human words and human thoughts.  They can blind and deceive us, or they can lead us to greater truth and insight.  We must be careful with them – especially when we speak of eternal matters that can affect eternal destinies.

Jesus never, ever, pulled punches.  He delivered the truth with straight face and direct words.  I, for one, do not like confrontation.  I often will go to great (and sometimes inappropriate) lengths to avoid it.  Or, when it becomes unavoidable, I will dissemble and try to find a circuitous route that is less direct and hopefully less offensive.  That can, at times, be a good thing.  But I suspect that more often than not, especially in our 21st century American culture, we tend to soft-peddle the truth when we believe it will be painful for the recipients to hear.  To those we love who are considering shacking-up with a significant other, we may be tempted to say “It’s okay to live with your boyfriend/girlfriend as long as you truly love one another” rather than speaking the truth of God’s Word in love and helping them see that they have chosen their feelings for the person over obedience to God – a form of idolatry.  Or, we conveniently talk about little white lies and excuse the behavior of others and ourselves in doing so.  We have seemingly thrown out the idea of a call to repentance.  When we water down the truth we water down the response that is needed to get right with God again.  And we need to remember that though we may water it down, God doesn’t.  Never has, never will.

Speak the truth.  But speak it with love.  And lives will be changed by the truth because it is the only thing that will set people free.

PRAYER: Your love and forgiveness are incomprehensible, Lord Jesus.  We are ashamed for the many times we have spit in your face through our actions and words!  Thank you for bearing our shame to the cross.  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 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 and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

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DayBreaks for 6/13/14 – The Dangerous Deception

DayBreaks for 6/13/14 – The Dangerous Deception

NOTE: This week’s DayBreaks are from the archives of June, 2004.

Romans 12:17 (NLT)  – Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.

“For two years, 38-year-old Jian Feng had the luxury of a beautiful woman at his side.  Everything was going perfectly fine until the couple decided to have a baby.  Apparently, his wife gave birth to a baby girl so ugly that Feng was ‘horrified’ at the sight of her.  Feng immediately assumed that his trophy wife had been cheating on him with any ugly fellow.  Quick to defend her daughter, his wife admitted to having $127,000 worth of plastic surgery in South Korea before they had met.  She then produced a picture of how she used to took and let him have a look.  Well, this set Feng over the edge and not only did he waste no time filing for divorce, but he also sued her for deceit.  He managed to get $99,700 out of the whole deal.”  – Bizarre News

Ah, what an example of the concept of “appearances are deceiving”.  It seems like a strange coincidence that I got this news article the day after listening to a talk show where they were describing this very thing.  This may be the most extreme example I’ve heard of, but in this day and age of liposuction and plastic surgery, numerous folks have thought they were marrying someone beautiful (at least on the outside), and when they find out that genetically they weren’t “beautiful” to start with – they’ve filed suits and even divorced.

It’s sad – the emphasis on what is seen.  It has caused trouble from the garden of Eden onward.  The fruit was “pleasing to the eye”.  And we’ve been after good looking things ever since.

Some thoughts:

FIRST: the desire to be beautiful seems to be largely limited to externals.  There seems to be virtually no limit to how much some people will spend to make themselves physically beautiful.  It makes me wonder why people complain so much about spending some of their hard earned money on counseling, marriage seminars, or other things intended to make us better people from the inside out.

SECOND: ultimately, you can’t spend enough money to become a beautiful person, because you can’t buy godliness and holiness.  The worthy woman of Proverbs wasn’t admired for her beauty, but because of her character.  Husbands – what is it that drives you?  Your wife’s looks, or her holiness/Christlike demeanor?  Perhaps we Christian husbands have put too much emphasis on the physical, too.

THIRD: we are so easily deceived.  A little plastic surgery fooled Jian Feng, but it takes only a word or two from Satan or one of his servants to lead us down the rabbit-trail towards sin.  And then, when we learn the truth – that what we thought we desired above all else didn’t really make us happy and instead of being beautiful it was ugly and sordid – we react bitterly and angrily.

FINALLY: it seems to me that Mr. Feng needed plastic surgery of the soul.  But then again, don’t we all?  Mrs. Feng had tried to hide what happened to make her “beautiful”.  If she’d told her husband up front, this tragedy might have been avoided.  How much are you and I hiding what the Spirit has and is doing in us?  Why do we hide it?  We should provide things honest in the sight of all men – including what we have been, and who we now are and who we are becoming, through the work of the indwelling Spirit.  Honesty really is the best policy.

PRAYER: Father, help us seek, and find, the beauty that delights Your soul. In Your 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: 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 8/23/11 – Of Fig Trees and Pharisees

DayBreaks for 08/23/11 – Of Fig Trees and Pharisees

The fig tree and appearances...and reality.

In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, 19 and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up. 20 The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” 21 Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. 22 You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” – Matthew 21:18-22

I know that Jesus used this to teach a lesson to his disciples.  The lesson Jesus draws is about faith and doubt.  It is hard to miss that part of the story because Jesus makes it so explicit.  Perhaps we should just leave it at that in the interest of pure exegesis.

But I think that there’s also another lesson that isn’t usually associated with this passage.  Jesus looks at the tree and curses it because the tree was all show – and no substance.  It was much like the Pharisees – with whom he’d had a confrontation the day before – beautiful on the outside, but there was no substance.  They looked good, but weren’t good.  It is so easy to get down on the Pharisees because Jesus allows us to see them as He saw them.  Lest we get too carried away, however, I need to remember that it is probably easier to be like the Pharisees than different from them.

I try (who doesn’t?) to look good on the outside – physically, socially, intellectually and spiritually.  When it comes to spiritual matters, I can say my “Praise the Lord!” when someone experiences something good, so that I sound like I’m always thinking about the Lord and how good He is (and He is!)  Another case in point: I can pray in public when I go out with other Christians to eat at a restaurant, making a show of bowing my head so it’s obvious what I’m doing, even suggesting we pray if others don’t bring it up first…but what if in my heart of hearts it is all a show?  I mean, if I don’t normally give thanks for each meal when I’m at home by myself or with my family, one must ask themselves the question: why am I doing this in public?  What’s my motivation?  Is it truly thankfulness, or am I just putting on a show because I think my Christian co-diners expect it, or because I want them to think I’m spiritual?  And what about watching my language when I’m around other Christians, but not when I’m with foul-mouthed co-workers?  Aren’t those things nothing more than pretending to be fruitful, to present a look of a fruitful Christian but not the reality in my heart?

Pharisees are a dime a dozen.  Real followers, real disciples, are rare treasures.  Which am I?  Which are you?

PRAYER: Lord, we can be such hypocrites – and never even really think about how hypocritical we are!  Open our eyes to our own attempts to appear holier than we are and humble us before your cross.  Grow us into being real followers and not just show-boats.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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