DayBreaks for 3/13/17 – Looking at Dead Hearts

DayBreaks for 3/13/17: Looking at Dead Hearts

Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV) – I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Some of you are old enough to remember when the first heart transplant took place. It was an amazing feat. The first transplant was performed in 1967 in Cape Town, South Africa by Dr. Christiaan Barnard. The recipient was Louis Washkansky, a fifty three year old grocer with a debilitating heart condition. Unfortunately Mr. Washkansky survived only 18 days after the operation, but I remember when the story broke about the heart transplant. The entire world seemed captivated by this seemingly impossible accomplishment.

The first successful transplant was performed on Dr. Barnard’s third patient, a Jewish dentist named Dr. Philip Blaiberg. He survived for nearly two years.

After his surgery, Dr. Barnard carried Dr. Blaiberg’s old heart in a plastic box and showed it to him. The two men sat on the hospital bed examining the scars and thickening of the dead useless heart.

Dr. Barnard said, “Dr. Blaiberg, do you realize you are the first man in the history of humankind to sit and look at your own dead heart?”

What an amazing story! Of course, today, thanks to modern anti-rejection drugs, people are living much longer after heart transplants than in those early days.

We’re thankful for physicians like Dr. Barnard, but we’re even more thankful that we worship a God who is the only surgeon who can put an entirely new heart in an individual. That is the only heart transplant that really matters. It is when God replaces a heart filled with malice, anger, hatred, envy, guilt and a host of other negative, destructive emotions with a heart filled with love, joy, peace and wholeness.

Do you perhaps need a heart transplant? To you need a new beginning in life? That’s what God offers us – each one of us – every day. Perhaps we all need to sit still for a moment and let God show us our dead heart and cause us to marvel at the new heart that beats within us!

PRAYER: God, the truth is that we all need a heart transplant and so we ask You today to create in us a clean heart that loves the things You love, that hatest the things You hate and that longs to do Your will! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 10/12/16 – He Had Heart Problems

DayBreaks for 10/12/16 – He Had Heart Problems

From the DayBreaks archive, 2006:

From the blog by my oldest son, Doug Dalrymple:

“He had problems of the heart.” 

That’s how one acquaintance described him.  (Ed. Note: that was an Amish woman describing the man who killed the children in the local Amish school.)
Tormented by the memory of past sins and tortured by loss, he gunned down the little ones, the daughters of the Amish. As if multiplying his pain and placing it on the shoulders of others would lighten the burden he bore. It never does. But we must bear each other’s crosses and not deny our own, and never work to fashion new ones for our neighbors.
Christ teaches us that love of God is most perfectly expressed by love of man who bears God’s image. The killer in this case knew intuitively that the opposite is also true: hatred of God is most perfectly expressed in hatred of man, especially the most helpless and innocent among us.
“We must not think evil of this man,” a grandfather tells his grandsons as they stand by their sister’s coffin.
Lord have mercy on the souls of these lost daughters. Lord have mercy on the soul of their killer.

Galen’s Thoughts: we were all sickened by the news out of the sleepy, peaceful Pennsylvania countryside.  “How could it be?” we asked with perplexed hearts.  And this wasn’t the first time that kids were gunned down in school by someone.  I fear that it won’t be the last, either.  As horrific as it has been, even the national news has commented on the forgiveness and “towering faith” of the Amish.  They are different than most of us in many ways, but their faith stands as if it were a granite sentinel for all to see.  They have visited the home of the shooter, to express their condolences and love and forgiveness and to care for the widow and her children.  Isn’t that a perfect example of “Love your enemies”? 

Perhaps the stunning grace of forgiveness is the one thing that sets Christianity apart from every other religion.  While radical elements within Islam burn cities where a cartoon of their “prophet” was publicized, Christians whose children have been murdered are offering forgiveness.  Even in this dark hour, the Light of the World is shining brightly.

Yes, the killer certainly had problems of the heart.  So do I.  You do, too.  That is the source of all our problems – a sickness in our hearts, and there’s only one cure for that illness, and its name is Jesus.

Matthew 15:18-20 (NIV) – But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.  These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’

Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Psalms 51:10 (NLT) – Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.

PRAYER: Father, forgive us, for we know not what we are doing.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 6/16/16 – The Answer is in the Heart

DayBreaks for 6/16/16 – The Answer is in the Heart

Columbine. Sandy Hook. Fort Hood. San Bernadino. Aurora. Oklahoma City. Orlando.

Unfortunately, I don’t have to explain to the reference to each of the above locales. They are infamous enough because of events that took place there.

I don’t want to get political about this…that’s not the point. I don’t care what you do or don’t think about things like gun control…that’s entirely up to you. I have my opinions but right now those are beside the point. I only bring that up to make this point: you won’t solve the problem by making guns illegal any more than making drugs illegal has caused them to be eliminated from our culture.

So what is to be done? Why is this happening in our country and in places around the world?

I believe it is because we have lost our bearings because we have totally abandoned the only thing that can really change people: the indwelling Spirit and Word of God.

Most people of my generation grew up going to church. Our parents went to church…and took us with them. But then in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, there was a backlash against any kind of authority, any kind of control. My generation was a part of that, too. When truth became relative and defined by the individual instead of One who truly has Authority, all things became possible.

Parents (including those of my generation) began to turn away from church, from the 10 Commandments, from the teaching of the Word…and we made our own truth.

So, if gun laws and drug laws won’t solve the problem, where is the answer to be found? It is in changed hearts…change from the inside out. If only we could go back to when values like truth, integrity, respect for others regardless of their level of authority, the Golden Rule and morality were taught to our little ones, I believe the future could look different.

But it won’t happen by passing laws. Ask Israel how the Old Law worked for them.  Even Paul says it: laws only provoke sin – they don’t stop it or cure it. He is quite clear: law leads to greater sin and death. Why? Because the heart resents law and defies it with a shouted “I will show you – I will do what I want to do! If you tell me I can’t do something, that is precisely what I WILL do!” The answer is in the heart – a heart overcome by the love of Christ and His Spirit living in us and teaching us how to love others as He has loved us.

Parents: teach your children God’s ways. Parenting isn’t about being a friend to your children – it is hard work, it is meant to be hard work because it is the most serious work you’ll ever do. Grandparents: teach your grandchildren God’s ways. And let’s live God’s way ourselves so the little ones can see that it works and is the best way to live life! Will you rise to the challenge? 

PRAYER: How desperately we need individual and collective transformation of our hearts, Lord! Please, we need you to change us before we destroy one another! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 1/8/16 – Weighing the Heart

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DayBreaks for 1/8/16: Weighing the Heart

Galen is out of the country. While he is gone, you will be receiving DayBreaks from the DayBreaks archive from January, 2006.

Prov. 21:2 – All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart.

If you watch any of the “CSI” shows, you know that part of just about every episode is the autopsy, where the cause of death – as mysterious as it may be – is determined.  Part of the process of the autopsy is the removal of the internal organs, measuring, describing and weighing them.  I must confess, I’m not sure why they do all that every time, but I’m sure that there’s a good reason.

Scripture speaks about the LORD weighing the heart of man.  To us, that may be a mysterious reference.  The first thing to come to mind is probably a set of scales with the heart placed on one side and something else on the other until the scales balance.  The ancient world was largely dominated by Egypt, Babylon and the Persians.  Much of what Israel’s writers referred to came from their experiences with the Egyptians. 

The Egyptian religion taught that the dead had to face a final judgment before the gods – very similar to the concept we find in Hebrews, where we’re told “It is appointed unto men to die once, and after that to face judgment.”  One of their gods, Thoth, recorded the responses of those examined, while the dead person’s heart was weighted in a scale against a feather that symbolized truth.  If the answers of the deceased to the questions they were being asked were correct, the heart did not overbalance the feather and the soul could enter the afterlife and live forever.  Failure, or having a heart that was too heavy because it wasn’t full of the lightness that truth carried, would be devoured by a demon-like god, Sebek, who looked like a crocodile. 

It is true that falsehood and deception make for a heavy heart.  As God weighs the hearts of us all, and especially as He weighs your heart, what will He find?  Is your heart light – filled with truth and goodness?  Or has your heart become heavy as a result of your sin and deception?  God WILL weigh your heart.  What will He find?

TODAY’S PRAYER: Father, You are the righteous Judge over all the earth.  You alone have the right to weigh our hearts and to proclaim judgment or vindication over us.  May we live our lives in constant awareness that we shall stand in Your Presence and be weighed on Your scales.  May our hearts be found pure and without dross that would weigh us down.  Thank you for the blood of Jesus that cleans our hearts and souls of sin!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 9/11/14 – The Danger Lurks Within

DayBreaks for 9/11/14 – The Danger Within

Romans 7:20 (MSG) My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

The famous French author, Victor Hugo, has a short story titled, “93.” In the midst of this tale a ship at sea is caught in a terrific storm. Buffeted by the waves, the boat rocks to and fro, when suddenly the crew hears an awesome crashing sound below deck. They know what it is. A cannon they are carrying has broken loose and is smashing into the ship’s sides with every list of the ship. Two brave sailors, at the risk of their lives, manage to go below and fasten it again, for they know that the heavy cannon on the inside of their ship is more dangerous to them than the storm on the outside.

So it is with you and I. In spite of all the external problems we may have in our lives or in the world around us, the problems within are often much more destructive to us than the problems without.

PRAYER: Lord, how desperately we need You to change us from the inside out, to remake our hearts and minds into things which bring you glory!  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 9/08/14 – Prisons of the Heart

DayBreaks for 9/08/14 – Prisons of the Heart

 

John 8:36 (NLT) – So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

“In England, police questioned a man about the assault of an 86-year-old woman; then he disappeared the next day. They never gave up their search for him, periodically popping into his home.  On one of those visits, eight years later, they caught him.  It seems he’d been hiding in a six foot by two foot hole under the floorboards of his living room. He hid so well, that even his children didn’t know he was there, out of fear they might mention it to friends.  For the first two years of his self-imposed imprisonment he never saw the light of day; then he began coming out occasionally. 

“How much easier would it have been, had he only surrendered at the beginning?  What a miserable existence for eight years; so close to what you love, but unable to enjoy it. That reminds me of so many folks who live in prisons of their own making: slaves to addictions, in bondage to sin, imprisoned by choices. It’s certainly not how God wants us to live!  In contrast, I think of visiting a young man in jail a few years ago.  He was facing life in prison, with all the stress and fear that would bring to anyone.  Then he shared this, “In jail, I found a freedom I’ve never known.  I’m actually more free now– in jail– than I was on the outside…because now I have Jesus.” – Barney Cargile, Barney’s Bullets, 9/4/14

We are constantly constructing prisons for ourselves through our actions.  As in the case of the man in the story, we often build them to “protect” ourselves from criticism, shame, fear of being caught or of being found out.

Some prisons have steel or iron bars on the outside to keep people in.  Surely, such prisons are difficult, but they are not as difficult as the ones we may carry inside as we go about our day by day activities.  It is easy to see a physical prison and know why someone cannot respond to an invitation, but it is impossible to see the spiritual and emotional prisons that people carry inside.  Because we can’t see them, we often judge people as being self-centered, disinterested, stuck-up or aloof….when in reality, they may be locked in a prison.

Jesus and God want us to live in freedom.  After all, Christ died to purchase that freedom for us!  Let him free you from the prison bars of your own heart!

PRAYER: Whatever prisons we carry with us that lock in our hearts and spirits, Lord, we invite you to tear through those bars and let us walk as free women and men in Your Kingdom!  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 3/24/14: Home

DayBreaks for 3/24/14 – Home

There’s no place like home!” Those famous words written by L. Frank Baum in his work, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, were spoken by Dorothy in the 1939 film when she gets back home to Kansas.

It is true for most people: there is no place like home.  But what exactly constitutes home?

“Home is where the heart is.”  Really?  Unfortunately, many marriages have been broken up because someone’s heart was not at home, but somewhere where it didn’t belong.

There are times when I’m coming back from a trip for work (or pleasure, for that matter), and I say that I can’t wait to “get home”, meaning of course, the place where we live and sleep and where our “stuff” is. It isn’t as easy being on the road (nor as glamorous!) as many might think. I know…I’ve done a lot of traveling in my work life over the years.  So, when I say I can’t wait to get home, I am thinking about being able to relax, to kick back in my easy chair and put my feet up, to sleep in my own bed with my own pillows.

In Psalm 90:1, Moses wrote these words: Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!

What a fascinating statement!  What on earth did he mean?  This was the Moses who was born into the “home” of a Hebrew slave. Shortly after that, he moved into the palace of the pharaoh’s daughter (and likely with the pharaoh himself). Forty years later, he found himself in a new home – one of sand and blazing heat, where he lived among the sheep with his father-in-law’s family. After spending forty years in that home, he went back to Egypt, only to spend the next 40 years of his life homeless, wandering in the desert with the stubborn Israelites that he’d lead out of slavery.

It was perhaps during those 40 years that Moses looked back at the different homes of his life and wrote this passage. Those years of wandering had taught Moses a lot about being “home” and what “home” meant. He’d come to realize that home had more to do with relationships than places, and comes right out and declares that God is our home…not some place.  A Person is our home.

To the more romantically inclined among us, we say that we feel we are “at home” when we are in the arms of our husband or wife (or as children, our parents.)  I think that Moses was getting at something like that in Psalm 90:1. He’d discovered that “home” wasn’t a desert nor a pharaoh’s palace…those places didn’t meet the need for peace and relaxation that “being home” can give. But when we find ourselves in God’s arms, embraced and welcomed, then we truly have “come home”.

The day will come when I will no longer be able to hold my wife or she won’t be able to hold me, for one of us will have left this world behind. But such will never be the case with our God! We will be at home with Him, at home in Him, and His embrace for all eternity.

His arms are big enough to embrace all who wish to come to Him, “through all the generations”!

PRAYER: Home, Lord, home!  May we find the rest and peace we seek eternally in Your presence! In Jesus’ 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: 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!