DayBreaks for 8/30/19 – When the Good Falls Apart

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DayBreaks for 08/30/19: When the Good Falls Apart

NOTE: Galen is on vacation for the next couple weeks and may not respond to any comments until he returns on 9/9/19.

From the DayBreaks archive, August 2009:

The other day in a Bible study that I was teaching, I was marveling about Enoch.  Yep, Enoch…the fellow who gets approximately 3 verses in Scripture.  You know him as one of the two men who never “died” – God took him without his death because, as Genesis puts it, “Enoch walked with God.”  What struck me about Enoch is that God didn’t choose to tell us stories about how Enoch lived out his faith.  There are no great deeds of recorded faith in action such as we see over and over with the patriarchs, or with Isaiah, Daniel or David.  I’m not sure what we should make of that, but if you look at the names of those who were contemporary with Enoch, it’s pretty easy to see that he lived in very wicked times…leading up to the great flood.  And we know that the world was getting more filled with evil as the flood approached.  Still, Enoch managed to live with God.  And maybe the reason we’re not told of great exploits of faith is because he just lived a faithful life, persevering in the midst of a rising tide of evil, walking with God in the midst of a wicked and evil generation.

As we talked about Enoch, some in the class started reflecting on how wicked the world is that we live in – and the talk almost became despairing.  (It seems to do that often with older folks – and this was a class for seniors.  Perhaps it is easier as we age to look back at a time in our lives many years ago and think that it was better when in fact it may not have really been all that different, I don’t know.)  Some said that they thought it took greater faith to do things similar to Abraham (leaving the only home you’ve known for a far, unknown and strange land, being willing to sacrifice a son, etc.) than to walk faithfully every day.  I tend to think that they are wrong about that.  It seems that as humans, we have an uncanny knack to be able to rise to heights when the situation calls for it (not always, of course!).  It may take greater faith in the long run to walk faithfully day after day…for 365 years in Enoch’s case…than to put one great display of faith together for a passing moment. 

Regardless, Psalm 11:3-4 says, When all that is good falls apart, what can good people do?  The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD sits on His throne in heaven.  David asks the question that so many of us have asked at some time or another in our lives: when all that is good and decent and holy seems to be falling apart, what are we to do?  You’ll notice that David didn’t then launch into a list of “Do A, B and C to turn things around.”  Instead, he answers the question with a declarative statement: God is in His temple, enthroned on high.  What does that have to do with his question?  Simply this: God’s rule isn’t affected by the storms of our lives and our problems don’t perplex Him in the slightest.  That’s not to say He doesn’t care about them, but He knows perfectly well what to do when the good falls apart.  He is still on the throne, issuing decrees to His servants and angels.  While this world and all that is in it may go down the tubes, God’s rule won’t.  Human wreckage doesn’t discourage Him.  In fact, a quick look at the life of someone like Joseph shows us that God specialized in turning disaster into triumph. 

If you are considering how bad the world is, let me try to re-direct your thinking and your vision upward – to the throne room of God, where He still, and always will, sit in Majesty!

PRAYER: We get fearful as we see the tidal waves of evil beating upon our culture, upon the church, upon our own lives, Lord.  Help us to redirect our vision when times are tough and to remember that you remain on the throne now and forever!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 8/14/15 – Building Good Out of Evil

DayBreaks for 8/14/15: Building Good Out of Evil 

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

Genesis 50:20 –  As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people.

If you were going to be the architect and builders of the structures that will replace the fallen World Trade Towers, what kind of materials would you put in the foundation?  I don’t mean whether you’d put cement and steel, but what kind of quality would you look for to put into the foundation?  What goes into the foundation is absolutely vital.  The foundation holds up the entire weight of the building and the stability of the structure rests on it.  If you were smart, you’d get the best stuff that money could buy to pour into the foundation.

The same would seemingly be true for our lives.  The weight of our life and the stability depend on the foundation we have in life.  What you put into the foundation will determine how you weather storms, attacks and the process of wear and tear through aging.  But there’s one problem: the raw material we have to work with (our humanness) isn’t very promising foundation material.  In fact, we need to throw our humanness out so it can be replaced by Godliness and holiness and righteousness. 

But still, in a sense, we must work with what we have.  Paul Tournier wrote: “The most wonderful thing in this world is not the good that we accomplish, but the fact that good can come out of the evil that we do.  I have been struck, for example, by the numbers of people who have been brought back to God under the influence of a person to whom they had some imperfect attachment…Our vocation is, I believe, to build good out of evil.  For if we try to build good out of good, we are in danger of running out of raw material.”

Anyone can take what is already good and build something good around it.  It takes a miracle of God to build something good out of evil.  Pray for His miracles in your life that you will become a home fit for the King!

PRAYER: We are very flawed material, Father, but how amazing that You can build good out of evil creatures! Help us to also see what good potential lies in everyone around us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 01/09/13 – A Brave New World

DayBreaks for 01/09/13 – A Brave New World

I am out of the office for a couple days.  This is from the DayBreaks archive:

bravenewworld-headsGrowing up, there were two key books that it seems every teenager had to read as part of their high school years.  Those books were Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.  I’m happy to say that the year 1984 has come and gone, and while there are some things about it that have come true, most has not.  The same, however, could not be said for Brave New World.  Huxley looks more like a prophet each passing year:  “We’re all familiar with the statistics on violent crime, rape, child abuse, drugs, and similar American leisure activities.  We know that half of all marriages commit suicide, i.e., divorce.  We can read headlines well enough to be largely cynical about financiers and politicians.  Surveys tell us this is the first generation in American history whose children are less well educated than their parents.  They tell us that if teenagers don’t have sex, they must be ugly, isolated, or Fundamentalists.  Half of all urban teenagers get pregnant, and half of them have abortions.  One out of every three babies conceived is killed.  A brave new world indeed.”  – Peter Kreeft, C.S. Lewis for the Third Millennium

It is not a pretty picture that Mr. Kreeft paints, but nonetheless, I believe it is an accurate one.  The problem is that we’ve all tended to bury our heads in the sand like ostriches so that we can pretend we can’t see the ugliness in our culture.  But it is there.  Sadly, when we pull our heads out of the sand, our first reaction is to stick them back down the hole again and pretend we didn’t seen any of it.  It allows us to stay “guilt-free” if we think we have deniability.

1 Cor. 6:9-11 – “9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Jude 18-21 – “18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.  19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.  20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Don’t be deceived.  What was wrong from the beginning is still wrong.  What is right is still right.  The world hasn’t changed.  It’s stayed as sinful and ugly as ever.  Neither has our job changed – to be change agents in a world of darkness.  It’s about time we get busy with our job.

Copyright 2003 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER:  Jesus, don’t let us ever lose sight of truth and the need to stand for truth and what is right! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 05/30/12 – The Uprising

DayBreaks for 05/30/12 – The Uprising 

We live in a world at war.  Yes, there are wars where bullets, bombs and guns are used and, I suppose, there always will be until the end.  They are terrible.  We have just “celebrated” Memorial Day in honor of the men and women who have fought and served…and those who gave their lives in the “last full measure of devotion.”  That is one kind of war…and all war is deadly and to be hated.  Some soldiers live after their war is over and others don’t.

We are also locked in a great war that has gone on since the garden…the war between good and evil, right and wrong, life and death.  This war is a war that we are all engaged in by virtue of our birth.  If you are a human being, there is no way out of this war except death.  We make choices in this war daily.

There are times when we feel that this war is being lost.  The forces of the enemy would seem to grow stronger each day.  They seem to advance in uncountable hordes, attacking on the left, right, from every direction.  And, it does often seem that the victories they are racking up will inevitably lead to a victory.

Be not deceived.  You see, the outcome of the war, the end of the war, was written two thousand years ago on a cross and in an empty tomb outside Jerusalem.  Yes, there are still skirmishes, but the outcome of the war has been sealed for nearly 2000 years.  We can take hope and comfort in that truth.

That doesn’t mean, however, that we are to just sit back and wait for the final outcome.  We are still on the battlefield.  What can we do that will have any impact?  We can live lives that imitate our Commander in Chief and that honor Him.  We can wage war against evil, death, hatred, injustice whenever we confront it.  But the greatest weapon at our disposal is one that perhaps we don’t employ nearly enough.  Karl Barth described that weapon: “To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”

Isn’t it time that we all take up this great weapon of our warfare and wield it with great power and might and passion?  Let us renew ourselves in our determination and dedication to pray for daily victories…and for the hastening of the dawning of the day of ultimate victory’s realization!

1 Timothy 6:12 (NLT) – Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.

PRAYER: Jesus, as we await the great victory celebration, hear our prayers that each day we will see the cross advance, that we will engage in prayer and in battle with the enemy who shall fall before your great and mighty power!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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