DayBreaks for 9/20/18 – Signing With Your Real Name

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DayBreaks for 9/20/18: Signing With Your Real Name            

From the DayBreaks archive, September 2008:

From Bizarre News, 9/8/08: Iowa City, Iowa – “Police say an Iowa man accused of credit card theft forgot who he was supposed to be and allegedly signed his real name on credit card slips. Kody David Merrival, 21, of Iowa City, Iowa, was arrested after an unidentified man told police that his wallet had been stolen and his credit cards were being used, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported Thursday. Police say Merrival allegedly used the card for his own account at a coffee house in the city and signed his real name on a slip for a carton of cigarettes, the Press-Citizen reported. Police caught up with him when he allegedly tried to make a purchase at a deli. Merrival, who allegedly confessed to using the credit card but denied stealing the wallet, has been charged with an aggravated misdemeanor, the Press- Trust reported.”

OK, no Iowa jokes, OK?  It is my home state where I was born.  But, you have to admit, it appears that not everyone in Iowa is very bright.  Perhaps Mr. Merrival was born in Nebraska(???) 

It’s interesting how so many criminals try to hide their identity.  I’m sure that most of them do it because they don’t want to be caught, but part of me wonders if they perhaps are also ashamed and don’t want anyone to know who they are for that reason as well.  Regardless, in a case of fraudulent use of a credit card, it’s not unusual to use a fake name.  For a while, unless the criminal is really not very smart, they can get away with it.  For a while, they don’t have to be accountable for their actions and cheating.

Judgment day will be a bit of a different story.  On that day, when the great and small alike stand before the Almighty, there won’t be fake credit cards, there won’t be any masks to cover any faces.  We will all have to sign with our real name when the time comes.  The time will have come, as the saying goes, to “pay the piper.”  What a relief it will be for believers to know that the payment has been made and we will have nothing to fear.

PRAYER: Please keep us from being frauds, Lord.  Let us be genuine and honest, providing honest things in the sight of all people and especially You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 12/08/17 – Being the Real Deal

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DayBreaks for 12/08/17: Being the Real Deal

NOTE: Galen is traveling for the next few days.

From the DayBreaks archive, December 2007:

A Georgia woman’s outrageous attempt at fraud has landed her in jail under charges of forgery.  Thirty-five-year-old Alice Pike attempted to pay for $1671.55 worth of merchandise at a Wal-Mart with a one-million dollar bill.

When Pike handed the cashier the bill, the cashier refused to take it, and also declined to hand over the $998,000 change.  She immediately called the manager, who also refused to take the bogus bill.

Pike reportedly offered $2.32 on a gift card, and then tried to cash the big bill again.  At the point the manager called police, who took Pike into custody.  Authorities found two more of the seven-figure bills in her purse. 

Police say Pike claims the bills were a gift from her husband, and she thought they were real.  Chief of Police in Covington, Georgia, Stacey Cotton says, “The bill ‘looks’ real, but of course there’s nothing real about this.”

The U.S. Treasury does not print a one-million-dollar bill, but several varieties of the large bills are available as toys, novelty gifts, or souvenirs.  – http://www.nypost.com, Funny-$$ Gal 1 in a Million, by Amit Srivastava, March 10, 2004.

You’ve heard the saying, “If something looks too good to be true, it probably is”, and yet we still have a tendency to fall for things, don’t we?  Perhaps it’s because we so badly want some things to be true. 

When it comes to money, merchants want the real deal, as do doctors, lawyers, dentists, sanitation engineers and even employees (when payday rolls around!)  No one likes to be defrauded or duped.  We want authenticity.

When it comes to the Christian life, the world deserves to see the real deal.  That means people on an authentic journey, working to change the world a little tiny piece at a time into God’s kingdom on earth.  The world is full of folks who, as Paul put it in his letter to his spiritual offspring, Timothy, where he warns Timothy about those who appear to be as “…having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with them.” (2 Tim. 3:5, NIV)  

The real challenge for us is not to decide who such people are and to judge them, but to examine ourselves to see if we hold not only the form of godliness, but also its power in our lives to resist sin, overcome temptation, to love our enemies, to forgive those who have wronged us.  Don’t be so eager to decide if others really have the power of godliness – look first at yourself.

Prov. 21:27 (NASB) – The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, How much more when he brings it with evil intent!

PRAYER:  We want to be authentic followers of Yours, Jesus.  We want to have the power You have promised us in our lives so we can bring You glory and find the deliverance from the wiles of Satan that You intend for us to experience.  Help us to examine our hearts to determine if the truth be within us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 7/04/17 – Caleb and Courageus Conviction, #2

DayBreaks for 7/04/17: Caleb and Courageous Conviction, #2

There are some key statements in Joshua 14:7-8 (NLT) – Joshua 14:7-8 (NLT) – I was forty years old when Moses, the servant of the LORD, sent me from Kadesh-barnea to explore the land of Canaan. I returned and gave an honest report, but my brothers who went with me frightened the people from entering the Promised Land. For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the LORD my God.

First, there is a contrast: 1) Caleb claims that he gave an honest report on his return – a claim that could seem to be full of braggadocio if not for the fact that history proved his words to be true; 2) the 10 spies gave a contrary report – with the truly deadly result being the frightening of the people that in turn led to them all, save Caleb and Joshua, dying in the desert sands of the Sinai peninsula.

The second thing I want to point out is the effect the two varying reports had. Caleb’s report was dismissed, seemingly out of hand, because it would mean warfare to proceed. The 10 spies report only capitalized on those fears and scared the people. Caleb again declares his devotion to God and trust in Him to accomplish the delivery of the Promised Land to Israel.

Today is the 4th of July here in America – our country’s 241st birthday. Not many countries have lasted that long. Part of the reason it’s survived is because of the courage of the men and women who stood up for their convictions. But it’s becoming increasingly difficult (and dangerous) to do so.

It is always right to give an honest report. It pays dividends – it certainly did for Joshua and Caleb – they lived to set foot in the Promised Land as a result.

Today, stop and think about what kind of report you are giving these days. Do your words spell doom and gloom? Do they strike fear, anxiety and distrust in the hearts and minds of others? Satan is a coward and those that follow him are cowards. It takes strong men and women to take a stand, but just as God rewarded Joshua and Caleb, He will always reward those who give “an honest report”.

What you say and how you say it can make the difference in how others live – and in some cases, even in whether they live or not. Being bold in the truth is important. We need more people to take a stand for truth in our churches, families, schools and various levels of government. Will you be one of them?

PRAYER: Lord, I don’t want to be the reason someone become frightened when confronted with what I say. I want to speak truth lovingly – but without wavering. Help all Your children to be as bold as Caleb and may we see Your blessing as a result. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 5/22/17: He Is My All?

 

DayBreaks for 5/22/17: He Is My All?

There is a Christian song that we sing at church sometimes, in fact, we sang it just yesterday, titled All To Us. At the end of each verse are these words, “We believe, You’re all to us” (verses 1 & 2) and then verses 3 & 4 end with, “Jesus You, are all to us.”

We are told that when we sing we are to sing with both the Spirit and the understanding. I wonder how often we really do that. We know so many of the songs by heart that we can sing them in our sleep – and I fear that perhaps we are often sleeping through the words we are singing in worship as a result. It is a very powerful claim to be making that “Jesus, You’re all to us.” How I hope it is true – and I hope we aren’t singing those things mindlessly because God is listening and knows whether it is true or not. The person standing next to you probably can’t tell if it’s true or not, but God knows. Every. Single. Time.

As one of our worship leaders wrote: “When someone or something is our “ALL” or our “EVERYTHING”, it’s obvious to those around us. There’s no mistaking it. They are the topic of our conversations. They occupy much of our mental real estate. Our decisions hinge greatly upon this person or this thing. There is NO doubt when one is impassioned…driven…consumed.

“Now, fill in the blanks:

“I often find myself weaving ______ into my conversations.”

“Countless times a day I realize I’m lost in thought, thinking of ________.”

“When making a decision, I take _____ into account before deciding.”

“How do you fill in the blank: your family, a spouse, children, your job, your to do list? Was it money, status or climbing the ladder of success? Now, place “Christ” into the blanks. What does that look like?”

How did you do with that simple little test? When you make the claim that Jesus is everything to you, that he is all that matters, it should be obvious to everyone around us. Does putting the word “Christ” in those blanks really sound like the real you? Does it ring with truth, or does it reveal to your heart that perhaps He isn’t your all, your everything? Is it just something you sing or say mindlessly?

I realize that we must grow into loving someone or something as time passes. I have found in my own life that the love I had for my wife or children or grandchildren has only grown with the passage of time. Is the same true for my love of Christ? I hope and pray that it is so and that it will be even more true was each new day passes. Until then, perhaps I should be a bit cautious when bragging how much Jesus means to me until my life reflects it a bit more.

PRAYER: Jesus, for all the boastful things I have said about my love and devotion for you, please forgive me. Let it be true that someday I can honestly say that you are my everything. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

 

DayBreaks for 1/17/17 – The Body of Truth is Bleeding

DayBreaks for 1/17/17 – The Body of Truth is Bleeding

We like to think of the stories of Jesus when he welcomed the little children, where he forgave the woman taken in adultery, where he speaks of the lilies of the field and birds of the air while reminding us that we don’t need to worry, for he is on our side.  Those are not only good stories, but they are true and reveal to us a lot about the nature of God that was fully contained in Jesus.  But those are not the only stories of Jesus in the Scripture.  And some of the other stories are less comforting and far more disturbing.

The cleansing of the temple (John 2:13-22) is an excellent case in point.  We don’t see “Jesus, meek and mild” in that story.  We see an enraged Savior.  He’s not acted impulsively – he took the time to “fashion” a whip – before tearing through the tables and corridors of the temple, tossing around the tables and undoubtedly the “earnings” of those who were selling things in the temple of God for exorbitant prices. 

We don’t like to contemplate that image of Jesus, do we?  How many people have you ever known who said that the cleansing of the temple is their favorite Bible story?  I know of no one who loves that story for its own sake. 

Jesus was a passionate man, and is a passionate God.  He loves goodness – and is passionate about it.  He hates evil and anything associated with it.  Perhaps more than anything else, he loves truth and hates falsehood.  Jesus loved the truth so much that he said, “I am the truth.”  How important does Jesus think the truth is?  It is as important as Jesus himself, for he is truth!

In The Importance of Being Foolish, Brennan Manning wrote: “In our society, where money, power and pleasure are the name of the game, the body of truth is bleeding from a thousand wounds.”  Jesus is bleeding from a thousand wounds, for he has been misrepresented (perhaps unintentionally) by those who would claim to show others what Jesus is like.  They portray only the soft, tender, gentle Jesus, but not the Jesus who is incensed by injustice, by unholy lives, by dilution and twisting of the clear truth of Scripture. 

How do we go about trying to be discerning about truth?  Again, I think Manning had something worth considering: “The first step in the pursuit of truth is not the moral resolution to avoid the habit of petty lying – however unattractive a character disfigurement that may be.   It is not the decision to stop deceiving others.  It is the decision to stop deceiving ourselves.”  We need to have the same passion for truth that Jesus held in his heart.  If we don’t, we are not true disciples and are only deceiving ourselves.

PRAYER:  God, open our eyes to truth and to our own self-deceptions.  Help us to love truth and hate deceitfulness and dishonesty.  Give us the discernment to recognize truth when we read it, see it or hear it – and to recognize falsehood in all its forms as the tool of evil.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  All Rights Reserved.

DayBreaks for 1/4/16: May Integrity and Honesty Protect Me

DayBreaks for 1/4/16: May Integrity and Honesty Protect Me

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

Ps 25:21 (NLT) – May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you.

There are certain words that we just don’t hear too much about any more.  We don’t hear the word “sin” very much – it seems that in many cases, what the Bible calls sin has been redefined as a “disease”, “illness”, or “alternative lifestyle choice.”  Other words have seemingly vanished, too, words like “integrity.”  Maybe it’s more accurate to say that the character trait of integrity seems to be seldom visible in 21st century America.  We see all kinds of examples in the news each day about the lack of integrity.  It is disgusting that so many who have risen to positions of prestige, power and fame have seemingly no integrity.  They are quick to dodge any accountability for their decisions and actions – and even quicker to blame any failures on anyone else. 

Integrity is something that we should cherish and earnestly desire!  While some seem to lose their integrity because they think lying will protect them and their position, the Psalmist says that integrity and honesty will protect us.  How do integrity and honesty protect us?  I think that it could work like this:

FIRST: Jesus is truth and he protects us.  While the truth of any given matter may cause us some embarrassment and pain, its nothing like the pain and shame of being caught in falsehood.  Integrity is doing what is right and not worrying about whether it is popular or will get us ahead.  Even in a world gone badly astray, perhaps especially in such a world, there is something to be said for remaining true to principles.  People see it and admire it – but that’s not the point.  The point is what integrity does for us and within us – we can have a clean conscience.  The last part of the verse tells what enables us to live with integrity and honesty – our hope is in Him for vindication, deliverance and protection.

SECOND: when we speak the truth and live lives of integrity, we don’t have to fear the IRS audit, the internal business review, or the truth about what we do in private.  When we live with integrity, it is one of our very best friends, for there will be nothing wrong that we can be accused of.  It’s much like Jesus’ enemies who could find nothing to condemn in him.

There is not a day goes by but we have the choice to act with integrity – or without it.  Today you will have to decide at work if you will walk with integrity or in deception and deceitfulness.  What will you do today when you are faced with compromise, or a slight bending of the truth – either to get someone’s business, to win their favor or to avoid consequences for your actions and decisions?  If you walk a life of integrity, you can rest knowing that He will be your defender!

TODAY’S PRAYER: Lord, we want to live upright lives of honesty and integrity.  Help us to learn that these things are not our enemies, but rather our friends.  Help us to truly grasp that Your way is the right way, the way of blessing not only for ourselves, but for Your glory.  Help us to be fully committed to being women and men of integrity for as along as we shall live!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.

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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