DayBreaks for 11/08/18 – The Stone Elephant

Image result for stone elephant

DayBreaks for 11/08/18: The Stone Elephant

There is a story about a man who had a huge boulder in his front yard. He grew weary of this big, unattractive stone in the center of his lawn, so he decided to take advantage of it and turn it into an object of art. He went to work on it with hammer and chisel, and chipped away at the huge boulder until it became a beautiful stone elephant. When he finished, it was gorgeous, breath-taking.

A neighbor asked, “How did you ever carve such a marvelous likeness of an elephant?”

The man answered, “I just chipped away everything that didn’t look like an elephant!”

We have just come through another bitter election cycle in which everyone was slinging mud, patience was pushed to the breaking point, words were said that hurt and wounded. There is a lot of bitterness and anger in our country right now, no matter who your candidate was. It’s heartbreaking.

If you have anything in your life right now that doesn’t look like love, then, with the help of God, chip it away! If you have anything in your life that doesn’t look like compassion or mercy or empathy, then, with the help of God, chip it away! If you have hatred or prejudice or vengeance or envy in your heart, for God’s sake (literally!). for the other person’s sake, and for your sake, get rid of it! Let God chip everything out of your life that doesn’t look like tenderheartedness.

PRAYER: Create hearts in us that are so filled with love that we let go of grudges and the pain and frustration that we may feel – especially toward others with whom we disagree. Remind us that no matter the outcome of the election or anything else, you are still on the throne and in charge of it all. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 11/9/16 – God Is Well Today

DayBreaks for 11/09/06: God Is Well Today

Do you have days when you just don’t feel quite right? Maybe you woke up this morning and looked at the election results and felt sick to your stomach. Sometimes, you may not feel good because you didn’t sleep well during the night, or you’ve got a low-grade fever and are slightly discombobulated, maybe a bit on the dizzy side.  If I don’t eat on a fairly regular schedule, I can get feeling weak rather quickly.  And while I know (intellectually at least) that I am not God and that God is not one of us, there have been times when I was at least tempted to think that perhaps God just wasn’t quite with it, either.  After all, if I’m made in His image, and I can have bad days, why can’t He?

Well, there’s a good reason why He can’t have a bad day.  It’s just simply not possible for God to have a bad day.  Let me quote again from Louie Giglio’s book, I Am Not But I Know I Am: “God is doing well today, thank you.  He has no dilemmas.  No quandaries.  No counselors.  No shortages.  No rivals.  No fears.  No cracks.  No worries.  He is self-existent, self-contained, self-perpetuated, self-powered, and self-aware.  In other words, He’s God and He knows it. 

“After an eternity of being God, he shows no signs of wear and tear.  He has no needs.  His accounts are in the black.  He’s the owner, not to mention Creator, of all the world’s wealth and treasure…He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and all the hills the cows are standing on…God does whatever He wants.  His purposes are a sure thing.  There’s no stopping Him.  No containing Him.  No refuting Him.  No cutting Him off at the pass.  No short-circuiting His agenda.”

When I get up in the morning, I always plan to have a good day.  But 64 years of experience tells me that somewhere on the trajectory of my day’s activities, I will have dilemmas.  I will have fears about whether or not I’m doing the right thing, or making the right decisions.  I will worry about it each time I have to spend money – especially for unexpected, unbudgeted things. 

And after a hard week that may have been filled with special challenges, I do show signs of wear and tear.  Let there be no doubt of that.  I have needs.  I own nothing, although I delude myself into thinking that certain things belong to me.  There will be things that can throw my best plans right down the tubes.  But none of that ever, EVER happens to God.  He’s so far above those things that are all related to human weaknesses. 

But here’s the good news: He understands human weaknesses for two very important reasons:

FIRST: He created us.  Just like the engineer who designed a portion of a nuclear submarine knows what that component’s purpose is and what it’s made of with all it’s limitations, God knows ME.  He knows humanity.  So He knows and understands our human weaknesses.

SECOND: He lived on this tiny ball in the middle of space as one of us so He’d understand perfectly – so that we’d KNOW He understands.  He just asks us to trust that He has none of our limitations and so won’t be derailed in the slightest, and to trust that in all things, He works to our advantage!

If you looked at the election results and thought God goofed up, know this – He didn’t. He knows perfectly well what He’s doing, and even moreso, why He’s doing it. He’s not obligated to share that information with us. We are obligated to trust that His eye is still on the ball and He hits grand slams with every swing. He never strikes out. The election turned out the way He planned it to. He rules over the affairs of men and always will. History is in His hand, not in the hand of an earthly ruler.

So, take comfort. God is doing just great today, thank you very much! He never has an “off” day!

Psalm 66:7 (NLT) – For by his great power he rules forever. He watches every movement of the nations; let no rebel rise in defiance.  

PRAYER: Lord, no matter how we are feeling today, help us to remember that You are alive and well, flourishing and as strong as You were on the very first day of eternity.  Thank you that You’ve given us such wonderful proofs of Your understanding of us.  May we be comforted this day in knowing YOU are well and doing everything perfectly!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 11/08/16 – The Most Important Vote You Will Ever Cast

DayBreaks for 11/08/06: The Most Important Vote You’ll Ever Cast

Well, the day that many have dreaded has arrived. This quite likely has been the most vitriolic and ugly election cycle for the highest office in our land that has ever taken place. People on both sides are sick and tired of it, ready for it to be over. Friendships have been strained, words have been spoken that should have been left unsaid. But it is election day and we will soon know the outcome.

Many have stressed greatly over and have great fears about what will become of our nation regardless of who wins this election. I understand that…I have my own concerns in that regard, too. But I need to take a step back and remember some pretty important things:

  1. No matter who wins today, God is still in control;
  2. No matter who wins today, Jesus is still seated on the throne and he’s not even breaking a sweat to stay there;
  3. No matter who wins today, my salvation is not affected and I’ll still be called to be a witness tomorrow even as I am today;
  4. No matter who wins today, I need to remember that Jesus promised us that the gates of hell will NOT prevail against His church – Jesus will defend and protect His bride (which is different from our nation!);
  5. No matter who wins today, my hope is to be placed in Christ, not in any human ruler;
  6. No matter who wins today, my greatest allegiance it to the King of Kings and I need to be wise enough to recognize when His interests are at stake and to take a stand for righteousness.

You’ve heard it many times during this election cycle: people of every persuasion are saying that this is the most important vote you will ever cast. Let me tell you the truth: they are wrong. It is not even close to the most important vote you will ever cast. The most important vote you will cast is your vote either for Jesus or against Him. Your eternity hangs on that vote. All the people running for office in this election will die and meet their Maker and answer for what they have done and in whom they have believed and with whom they have cast their lot – with themselves or with Jesus.

Cast your vote wisely!

PRAYER: God, we do pray for our nation today. We pray for the men and women of Your choosing to be elected. We pray for wisdom as people all over this country try to make sense out of all the claims and counterclaims, promises kept and broken, of those who would be our leaders. We cannot see hearts as You can. But more than anything else, Lord, let us vote for Jesus to be our King and Master and find our rest and hope in Him and Him alone! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 4/26/16 – King and Country

DayBreaks for 4/26/16 – King and Country

I confess that I am baffled by the current crop of national candidates for the highest office in our land. I realize that politics is an incendiary topic and I seldom write about it. Don’t worry – I’m not really writing about it today, either, so it is safe to read on!

I find myself dismayed at the choices before us. Where have the great leaders gone to? Why and how did we get to this point in our history where we seem to have such a shortage of genuine, true leaders? I can’t know the realities in their hearts regarding their faith, but I do see signs that I find deeply disturbing about nearly every single one of our presidential candidates and I am struggling with the question of “Who will I vote for?” if so and so are the nominees.

On Sunday, one of the teachers at our church spoke on this issue as so many are wrestling with the same things I’m feeling. His message was: King and Country and focused on may passages that talk about what God has to say about living as a citizen in this world.

The preacher didn’t tell us who to vote for, but he did try to help put things into a well-informed, Biblical perspective for us. Here are some of the things he had to say:

  1. Our frustrations have grown to a fever pitch because we have placed our hope in government, not God. If we are counting on government and human leaders to deliver us, we will be disappointed 100% of the time. What we are longing for is the Garden – the way things were created to be originally;
  2. Jeremiah 29:7 describes the Israelites in Babylonian captivity and they wondered how they should live there. God’s answer, through His prophet Jeremiah, was that our role in exile should bless the place where we live and pray for it – be in it, but not part of it;
  3. He illustrated it by having two boxes on stage. One was a large box that represented the Kingdom of God, the smaller box represented America. He reminded us that it is the Kingdom of God that is the greater of the two and that our lives as Americans is not the pre-eminent thing, it is our life as Christians that encloses our life as Americans, not the other way around;
  4. The Kingdom of God demands our highest level of allegiance and all that we are to carry out our responsibilities as citizens of any earthly kingdom in light of His kingdom;
  5. The Kingdom of Jesus is not only our ultimate security, but our ONLY security.

I don’t know who will be the president-elect after November 4, 2016. Thank goodness I don’t have to know. Our fate as a nation is dependent on God and His plan, not some puny president. America is not God’s “chosen people”. That title once belonged to Israel. Now it belongs to all believers of any nation. And that’s the nation we should, and must be most concerned about!

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord for the reminder of priorities and of where our hope should rightfully rest! Let us find peace in our hearts even in the midst of this tumultuous time in our country, and help us as Your people to humble ourselves and pray so that You may heal our nation! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 11/08/12 – Waiting Patiently

DayBreaks for 11/08/12 – Waiting Patiently

Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. 8 Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm. 9 For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land. – Psalm 37:7-9 (NLT)

Ah, yes.  Today was a day when many gloated and many wept.  Psalm 37 is wonderful medicine for both.

Regardless of how things are going in our personal or national life, we need to be still in His Presence.  We don’t like that, do we?  We want to pour out our indignation, spew our rage, vent our fears and cry our tears.  I think God would ask us why we do such things.  “Why not be still in My Presence?” He would ask us.

God acted yesterday.  He didn’t take the day off.  He never does.  The electoral college or popular vote didn’t run amuck when he went out for a coffee break.  He doesn’t take coffee breaks.  What is God doing?  Why is this happening, even after so many prayed so hard for a change, for something better?  I don’t pretend to know.  It could be that He is maneuvering chess pieces (nations and rulers) in order to bring about the End.  It could be that He is giving the American people what they wanted/voted for – in order to teach us a lesson as He did with Israel when they wanted a king – and He let them have one and it became a bitter lesson for centuries.  It could be that He is going to change the President’s heart and there will be a reversal.

I suspect, however, that more than anything, what happened is due to the church – or rather our failure to be the church, to go back to the Word and see what it teaches about rights, freedom, morality, marriage, family, protecting the innocent/unborn, treating everyone fairly and with respect as beings made in the image of God, of caring for the weak and helpless and starving in ways that leave their dignity intact and don’t make them hand-out dependent.  We lost our voice over the past several decades, turning a blind eye to what was happening (or even worse, afraid of what was happening) and wrapping ourselves tightly in a fraying cloak of religious freedom that was being unraveled one thread at a time so as to escape our notice.

What is the church to do?  Heed the advice of Psalm 37, for one thing.  But even before that, we need to do what God counseled Israel long ago: confess our sins and pray that God will heal us, and our nation.  Then, and only after we are right with Him again as individuals, we can be the salt and light without the rage He forbids in Psalm 37.

One more thing: while we are being salt and light, remember that He doesn’t say that the world will like us nor does He put the responsibility for the result upon our shoulders.  That’s His business.  It’s His world to direct and shape and bring to its conclusion.  And He was working towards that purpose on Election Day.

PRAYER: Jesus, we confess our failure to be the church – for whatever reason we may have failed to be it!  We confess our part in the decline of our nation and ask for your forgiveness.  Then, let us be CHRIST-LIKE representatives for good.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

Want to help us save children and give them a life?  Donate now through I Am 2 Partners, Inc., where Galen serves as director of operations: http://www.iam2.org/donate   Thanks!

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DayBreaks for 11/05/12 – ‘Twas the Day Before Election

DayBreaks for 11/05/12 – ‘Twas the Day Before Election

 

Well, folks.  This is about it.  I know that lots of people will be going to the polls tomorrow to vote.  I hope you go.  It is a privilege and blessing that not many in the world have.  We shouldn’t take it for granted.

Will you candidate win?  Will mine?  Only God knows – and that’s how it should be, because if anything is clear it is this: God rules in the affairs of men.  He raises up leaders and takes them down.  He raises up nations for His purposes and when they forget Him, He takes them down.  He even used more wicked nations to (Babylon, but especially Assyria) to punish Israel for their rejection of Him.

I read a couple of things lately that help me find a bit of peace of mind in this madness of American politics and elections.  First was this: that we shouldn’t be praying for a particular person to win this election because we may be praying against God’s purpose.  Undoubtedly there were many in ancient Israel praying for the destruction of Assyria even as God was raising them up to be an instrument in His hand.  God has not lost control or power.  No well oiled political machine will prevail against His will nor will it upset His plans.  Remember this: before the creation of this world God already had planned who would win this election.  The result was ancient history to Him before any of the candidates were born.  So, let us pray that God’s will be done – and trust that the outcome, whatever it is, is part of His good and holy plan, whether we understand it or not.

I also read something that has been going around on Facebook that goes something like this: “No matter who wins this election, Jesus will still be the King of Kings.”  What comfort that is!  No matter who wins this election or what they do in the next four years, they will not take Jesus’ place.  They will be, for the large part, unwitting vassals in his hand, like a chess piece doing the chess master’s will to bring about His ultimate purpose.

I certainly know who I hope wins.  You probably have strong feelings, too.  Let us not panic regardless of the outcome.  Let us not forget that our job as Christians and our calling as salt and light, will be unchanged on Wednesday morning.  Our mission hasn’t changed since Jesus gave it nearly 2000 years ago.  Of that much we can be certain.

PRAYER: Lord, there have been so many strong and powerful emotions this election season.  We have probably all said and done things that we should not have said, and almost certainly we have thought things we should not.  Forgive us for thinking we know best and for trying to shape Your will in this election to match our own wants and wishes.  Help us remember You know and see far more than we do, and that You have a perfect plan and will execute it perfectly.  May we trust in You, not the winner of this election!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

Want to help us save children and give them a life?  Donate now through I Am 2 Partners, Inc., where Galen serves as director of operations: http://www.iam2.org/donate   Thanks!

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.