DayBreaks for 1/25/19 – A Slave’s Integrity

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DayBreaks for 01/25/2019: A Slave’s Integrity

From Booker T. Washington’s writings, Up From Slavery:

“I found that this man made a contract with his master, two or three years previous to the Emancipation Proclamation, to the effect that the slave was to be permitted to buy himself, by paying so much per year for his body; and while he was paying for himself, he was to be permitted to labour where and for whom he pleased.

“Finding that he could secure better wages in Ohio, he went there.  When freedom came, he was still in debt to his master some three hundred dollars.  Notwithstanding that the Emancipation Proclamation freed him from any obligation to his master, this black man walked the greater portion of the distance back to where his old master lived in Virginia, and placed the last dollar, with interest, in his hands.

“In talking to me about this, the man told me that he knew that he did not have to pay his debt, but that he had given his word to his master, and his word he had never broken.  He felt that he could not enjoy his freedom till he had fulfilled his promise.”

Freedom and promises must go hand in hand.  How can anyone enjoy freedom if they’re bound by promises they’ve not kept?  No one can be truly free in spirit under such conditions. 

When we accepted Christ as our Lord, we made a promise: that we were accepting Him as the Lord of our life.  Through Jesus’ actions, He set us free, but have we kept our promises to him?  If not, is it because we just take our freedom for granted, that perhaps we think we don’t owe Jesus anything for the freedom He’s given us?  If that’s how we feel, perhaps, instead of walking to Virginia, we should walk to a hillside in Israel called Calvary…and make amends.

Prayer: We have so much to thank You for!  Though we can’t be worthy of the freedom you’ve given us, let us keep our promises to you nonetheless.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 5/04/18 – Good for Generations

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DayBreaks for 5/04/18: Good for Generations

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2008:     

There’s a bank here in California that is advertising free checking for the next 1000 years.  As they put it, “After that – you’re on your own!”.  If a generation is 25 years (which is the number I believe they typically use), then there would be 40 generations in 1000 years.  Not bad.  Free checking for 40 generations.  That could save $72,000 (assuming $6 per month for 1000 years).  Would you like to be able to give something to your kids and their kids and their kids after them that would last for much more than 40 generations?  It is possible (and no, you don’t have to have to spend a penny for it)!

Deuteronomy 5:9-10 says: You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.  In fact, a statement similar to this is made numerous times in the Old Testament. 

So, what is it that you can give your children that will outlast the next millennium?  Check out Jeremiah 32:38-39: They will be my people, and I will be their God.  I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me FOR THEIR OWN GOOD and the GOOD OF THEIR CHILDREN after them. (emphasis mine, GCD)

Right there it is: give your children the fear of God.  Why?  Well, if you believe God (and I do!), He says that it is for our own good and the good of our children after us to fear Him!  It isn’t popular to talk about fearing God.  We like to quote to the verse: “Perfect love casts out fear.”  We know we can come before Him boldly and with confidence.  But we are commanded to fear God: 1 Pet 2:17 and Rev. 14:7.  It is only natural that as humans we hold someone in awe who can do things far greater than we can do.  He is the Judge of the whole earth – the living and the dead, He is the Holy One, the Ancient of Days, and it is only because of His love that we are not all consumed (Lam. 3.22), He holds our lives and destinies in His hand.  And God Himself told Israel that they should fear Him for their own sake and the sake of their children.  I don’t think you can separate the faithfulness of God and His blessings to our children from the job we have as parents to fear Him and teach our children to fear Him.

I know that I’ll never leave my children an inheritance like Bill Gates could leave his kids.  But you know, I really wouldn’t want to.  Why should I?  I can give them something much better, something that will last for 1000 generations – through teaching them to fear God, to love Him and to keep His commandments.  Bill Gates’ kids should be so lucky as to have an inheritance like that!

What are you leaving your kids?  How long will it last?

PRAYER: Father, let us leave something behind to our children that is of eternal value, no matter how long this earth may stand. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 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 5/18/15 – What’s Your Tennis Ball?

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DayBreaks for 5/18/15: What’s Your Tennis Ball?

My friend, Barney Cargile (Barney’s Bullets) has a really good insight into living a meaningful life:

“It’s graduation time.  Across our land, commencement speeches present platitudes and promises, with a dose of wisdom mixed in as well.  In 2013, Drew Houston, founder of Dropbox, in addressing the grads of MIT uttered these words concerning happy and successful people: ‘They’re obsessed with solving an important problem, something that matters to them.  They remind me of a dog chasing a tennis ball: Their eyes go a little crazy, the leash snaps and they go bounding off, plowing through whatever gets in the way…So it’s not about pushing yourself; it’s about finding your tennis ball, the thing that pulls you.’ 

So, what’s your ‘tennis ball’? What lights your fire; what gets you out of bed in the morning?  You’ll always work harder for a cause you believe in than merely a paycheck.  Life’s too short to endure the drudgery of a job you hate.  But what if you’re stuck in a job you hate, and opportunity isn’t exactly beating your door down?  Try this: Don’t work for your employer; work for Jesus.  He’s invited you to partner with him in his work of redeeming a world trapped in darkness.  Paul told first century slaves ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men’ (Col.3:23). Even in a job you hate (I think ‘slavery’ would qualify), don’t see yourself as a ‘just a slave’ but as part of God’s ‘larger story’.  Seeing your small story as part of God’s larger story, transforms work from drudgery to excitement, because you’re joining God in the most meaningful cause in history.”

I especially like the idea of seeing your small story as part of God’s larger story. Did Rahab the prostitute see herself as contributing to the gene pool of the incarnate God? Did Ruth? I doubt it. They did what God put in front of them to do and then left the results up to him. I think that when the epic of our existence is played out, we will be surprised to find out what meaning some of our seemingly insignificant actions really had.

PRAYER: Jesus, how desperately we need single-minded focus to recall that in the final analysis, we work for no one but You!  Help us find meaning in all we do as we learn to do it for Your glory!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 10/25/13 – What Price Integrity?

DayBreaks for 10/25/13 – What Price Integrity?

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

“It is well known that hospitals charge for medical supplies far in excess of what the products would cost at drug stores, but an August New York Times investigation of “saline drips” vividly demonstrated the disconnect. Though Medicare reimburses $1.07 for a 1-liter plastic bag of salt water (supplied by a subsidiary of Morton Salt), White Plains (N.Y.) Hospital charged patients’ insurance companies like Aetna and United Healthcare $91 per bag.  Other hospitals decline to charge per-bag, listing only “IV therapy” of, for example, $393.50 for hooking up the drip.” [New York Times, 8-27-2013 and News of the Weird]

I worked in the high tech business world for a long time.  I understand that businesses need to make a profit in order to survive and provide living wages to employees so they can feed their families.  And I also understand that unless someone has seen the inner workings of a business from the financial standpoint, that most people don’t realize all the hidden costs that companies must cover, and as a result, many people think that companies are ripping people off by what they charge.

And some are, as is fairly clear to me from the quote above.  An expose in Time magazine about the costs in the medical field this year was a real eye opener! 

What’s is this about?  It’s not about castigating medical companies or businesses, churches or non-profits.  God will judge each and every one some day.  It is about us personally.  At what price are we willing to sell our integrity?

People have been asked questions such as: “How much money would it take for you to mis-lead someone about your product?”, or “How much money would it take for you to be unfaithful to  your spouse?”, or something along those lines.  And as it turns out, rather shockingly, people seem to be willing to compromise their integrity for a lot less than one might expect. 

What has happened to us?  What has happened to me?  When did our integrity get put on the market for money?  Sometimes it isn’t even money – just a bit of undeserved recognition because we’ve not been fully honest, a bit of praise or fame.  Even just a bit of attention! 

Integrity ought not to have a price tag.  What we give up to gain a few dollars isn’t worth it.  Don’t give up your integrity in order to sign that deal, to make a few extra bucks, or to create a false image of yourself.  Let your integrity be inviolable.  If you lose your integrity by shady dealing, it will come home to roost and you will be left in shame. 

PRAYER: Jesus, You never compromised in the slightest in order to gain some advantage.  Help us to believe that maintaining our integrity is always the best pathway to choose, no matter what we are offered in exchange! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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Thank you!

DayBreaks for 06/28/12 – The King’s Good Servant

DayBreaks for 06/28/12 – The King’s Good Servant

Sir Thomas More – the King’s Good Servant

 (NOTE: Galen is back from his trip to India, but will be publishing ‘re-cycled’ DayBreaks from the archive this week as he gets back on the ground, running!)

Thomas More was the Chancellor of England, but found himself imprisoned in the Tower of London for refusing to obey the crown over a matter of conscience.  His daughter, Meg, visited him and begged him to change his mind and save his life.  All he would need to do was take an oath of allegiance to King Henry VIII.  More refused to do so, saying that if he did, he would betray his conscience and Jesus.

As portrayed in the film, A Man for All Seasons, Meg argued that it was not Thomas’ fault that the state was mostly bad, and if he chose to suffer for it, he would be making himself a hero.  More replies: “Meg, if we lived in a state where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us good, and greed would make us saintly.  And we’d live animals or angels in the happy land that needs no heroes.  But since in fact we see that avarice, anger, envy, pride, sloth, lust and stupidity commonly profit far beyond humility, chastity, fortitude, justice and thought, and have to choose to be human at all, why then perhaps we must stand fast a little, even at the risk of being heroes.

As Brennan Manning wrote in The Ragamuffin Gospel: “In 1535 More went to the scaffold cheerfully in the royal freedom of a Christian man.  He prayed briefly for God’s mercy, embraced the executioner – who begged his forgiveness – confessed his Christian faith, and called on all present to pray for the king, saying that he died ‘the King’s good servant, but God’s first.’  His last words were a joke about his beard, which he arranged on the block so that it should not be cut, since his beard at least had committed no treason.

“Thomas More, a man of the world in secular dress living in a secular city and surrounded by family, possessions, and the duties of public life, was faithful.  Not because he was without faults and sins; he had them, like every one of us, and confessed them often before his death.  But with all his weaknesses and flaws he made a radical choice to be true to himself and his Christ in the supreme test of martyrdom.

“In 1929 G. K. Chesterton predicted: ‘Sir Thomas More is more important at this moment than at any moment since his death, even perhaps the greatest moment of dying; but he is not quite so important as he will in a hundred years time.’  His life is a timeless statement – it is possible to live in this world soberly, honestly, unfanatically, unpietistically, seriously and at the same time joyfully: faithful.  What is the message of this man’s life?  Make a radical choice in faith, despite all your sinfulness, and sustain it through ordinary daily life for Christ the Lord and His kingdom.

Chesterton was right in what he said about Thomas More being more important now than at the moment of his death.  I doubt that the world has ever been in greater need of men and women who go against the grain of popular culture, who refuse to slide mindlessly into compromise and the easy way through life.  Thomas More is an example of faithfulness – uncompromising faithfulness.  How about your life?  Stop for just a few moments and search your heart – when is the last time you compromised your principles, your ethics, what you believe to be true – just so your life could be a bit easier and less troubled?

God saw.  But He also sees every time that you do stand strong.

It is time for men and women who wear His name to stand up and be counted.  Can God count on YOU?

Matthew 25:21 – “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Our age demands great courage and faithfulness.  Let us live up to the challenge set before us and may we be people upon whom You may count as Your faithful witnesses!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda!  If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org.  The budget for this water system is $8300.  Every gift matters…and every gift is appreciated!  They ALL make a difference!

Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home.  You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!!  We still need to raise a bit over $4000 to fulfill our mission.  Donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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DayBreaks for 06/23/11 – Character

DayBreaks for 06/23/11 – Character

NOTE: Galen is on Sabbatical until 7/11.  Until he returns, DayBreaks will be publishing prior devotions (that is, if Galen has access to the Internet!)  Thanks for your understanding!

Character and Integrity

Character.  A simple three syllable word.  Easy to say, but hard to come by.  Character is so very important and so very hard to find these days.  I know some men and women who are characters (and let’s face it – most of them are Christians – after all, who should be more filled with the joy and exuberance of life than those who are saved?!?!).  Sadly, I know more characters than people with character.  Character is supposed to be one of the hallmarks of the Christian (Romans 5:3-4 – “3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.”)

Character and reputation are not the same.  Abraham Lincoln described it this way: “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow.  The shadows is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”  Character is the real.  It isn’t a shadow, but rather it has substance.  You can’t touch a shadow, but you can touch the tree.  Character is solidity that comes from knowing what is true, what is real and remaining loyal to the right in spite of whatever else may be going on.  A man or woman who possesses character is like “a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.”  (Psalm 1:3)

Integrity and character are closely linked.  You cannot be a person of character without possessing integrity.  I had heard part of a quote before from Chuck Swindoll’s about character that went something like this: “Character is what you are when no one is looking.”  Well, I found the exact words, and while that part of the quote was a great one, the exact quote is even better: “True integrity implies you do what is right when no one is looking or when everyone is compromising.

What do you do when no one is looking at you?  When no one sees or can see?  Does your integrity hold up?  As difficult as living that definition of integrity out in daily life is, it is the last part of the phrase that is perhaps even more challenging: doing what is right when everyone all around you is compromising.  You see, when you are alone, it is only you, Satan and Jesus doing warfare.  But when you are surrounded by those who are compromising, not only are you wrestling with Satan, but you are wrestling with peer pressure to compromise, too.

Character and integrity don’t care which way the wind is blowing.  They care about what is right.  The man or woman of character clings to right like a plant growing in the rocky crevasse – tenacious and unyielding.  Are you the real thing?  Sink your roots deep into God’s soil.  Resolve now to be a person of character from this day forward.

Copyright 2001 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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