DayBreaks for 11/21/18 – An Other-worldly King

Image result for king's crown

DayBreaks for 11/21/18: An Other-worldly King

Perhaps you have heard this story. It’s a great story: Many years ago, when Hitler’s forces occupied Denmark, the order came that all Jews in Denmark were to identify themselves by wearing armbands with yellow stars of David. The Danes had seen the extermination of Jews in other countries and guessed that this was the first step in that process in their countries. The King did not defy the orders. He had every Jew wear the star and he himself wore the Star of David. He told his people that he expected every loyal Dane to do the same. The King said, “We are all Danes. One Danish person is the same as the next.” He wore his yellow star when going into Copenhagen every day in order to encourage his people. The King of Denmark identified with his people, even to the point of putting his own life on the line.

It’s a wonderful story with a powerful point. The only problem is it isn’t true. It’s an urban legend. It’s been around for a long time and told thousands of times over. And now with the internet we are getting a lot of these legendary stories retold. Too bad! What an image for a king, identifying with his people.

“Are you the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked. “Is that your idea,” Jesus said to him, “or did others talk to you about me?” That’s how these legends get started. Other people talking about what other people have said. Jesus was essentially crucified on gossip and rumor. An urban legend had developed around his ministry that he was going to lead a revolt against Rome.

In his conversation with Pilate, Jesus finally does imply that he is a king. “My kingdom,” he explains, “is not of this world.” Not of this world. That’s what it takes. That’s what it takes to find a King who identifies with his people. A King of heaven, a King of kings from some place other than this world.

Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for being a King who can identify with the common man and with our common struggles. Let that thought bring us comfort this day!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 6/13/16 – To Stand Beside the King

DayBreaks for 6/13/16 – To Stand Beside the King

There is an old story about the Greek Marathon. Muscular, conditioned runners paced nervously near the starting line for the long-distance race. The time was near. They “shook out” their muscles, inhaled deeply, and put on their “game faces.” In the midst of it all, a young stranger took his place at the starting line. His physique was awesome. Taking no notice of the other contestants, he stared straight ahead. Two prizes would be awarded the winner of the Marathon: a magnificent bouquet of flowers and the honor of standing beside the king until the conclusion of other contests. There seemed to be no question among the runners about who would win the prize. It is alleged that the stranger was offered money not to run. Someone else attempted to bribe him with property. Refusing the offers, he toed the mark and awaited the signal to run. When the signal was given, he was the first away. At the finish line, he was the first to cross, well ahead of the rest. When it was all done, someone asked the young man if he thought the flowers were worth as much as the money and property he had refused. He replied, “I did not enter the race for the flowers. I ran so that I could stand beside my king!”

Again, the woman who “intruded” into the Pharisee’s house apparently had one thing on her mind. She wanted to stand beside her king.

We might do things for a wide variety of motivations, some good, some bad. Some confess faith in Christ because it is expected of them. Some may do it more as a social engagement. Those who do so will not last in the race to the finish. We need a motivation that will stand the tests of life. Can you imagine what it would be like some day to stand beside Jesus?

Run the race so you can stand beside your King!

PRAYER: Jesus, we long to finish the race and stand beside our King. Help us to persevere, run well and may we one day stand in your presence! 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 2/27/14 – All the Kings and Queens of History

DayBreaks for 2/27/14 – All the Kings and Queens of History

Micah 2:13 (MSG)  Then I, GOD, will burst all confinements and lead them out into the open. They’ll follow their King. I will be out in front leading them.

Statistics can be hard to come by for some things. It’s easy to get fairly accurate numbers these days for lots of things because of computer modeling, satellite imagery, electronic records, etc., but all those (especially computer modeling) is built on certain sets of assumptions. When we try to delve back into history, we encounter huge difficulties in trying to figure out how many people have ever lived on the earth or even the world population at any point in time.

Today I was asking Google this question: how many people have died in the history of the world as a result of warfare? Not surprising, the best I could get were estimations. But the numbers are pretty staggering, as is the range. It seems that somewhere between 200-700 million have died. Some of the discrepancy is due to no records or wild guesses about populations or wars fought long ago. Another factor is whether to include just those that died as direct effects of war, or whether to include those who died from disease or starvation as a result of war. Any way you look at it, the number is staggering!!!!

Why did it happen?  Because some king or queen wanted something more. Those 200-700 million persons died because a king or queen (president, prime minister or whatever) ordered them to go and possibly die for their king or queen and country.

I ran across a very interesting quote by the late Chuck Colson that I want to share with you.  Here it is: All the kings and queens I have known in history sent their people out to die for them.  I only know one King who decided to die for his people. – Chuck Colson

What a wonderful King we have!  And while martyrs have died for love of that King and his cause (which is love for His creation), they have gained a great reward….and the King first died for them!

Psalm 149:2-5 (NIV) Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. 3  Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp. 4  For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. 5  Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.

PRAYER: Oh, Jesus, how humbled we are by what You have done for us!  Glory to our King forever! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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Thank you!

DayBreaks for 01/10/12 – The Horse, the King, the Child of God, Trust #14

King William

From November 2001:

Cuthbert, having just received a beautiful horse from the king because the former is limp and aging, rides down the road, sees a ragged beggar, and gives him the horse.  Word reaches the king.  He is angry.  At their next meeting, the king says to Cuthbert, ‘I gave you a magnificent horse and you squandered it on a worthless beggar.  I should have given you a sorry old mare.’

“Ah, my beloved king,” says Cuthbert, “you value the son of a thoroughbred more than you value a son of God.”  (Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning)

We tend to exalt the things we value, don’t we?  The king valued the horse – Cuthbert valued the beggar because he saw him as part of the special creation of God.  In Matthew, Jesus told us: “I tell you solemnly, insofar as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” (25:40)

Our minister is not only our minister – he also works on a volunteer basis as a chaplain to the police department in our town.  He’s had extensive training in dealing with crisis situations and often accompanies the police to do death notifications or to assist in times of crisis.  His training has led him to develop the skills necessary to assist in situations of major disasters, and it was that training that led him to receive a phone call a while back asking him to come to New York City to work with and minister to the recovery workers at the remains of the World Trade Center.   Now as it turns out, there was the potential of serious events happening in our church family at the same time as he was called to be gone.  There were some in the congregation who were very upset – even angry – that he would leave for two weeks at a time when so much could go on in our church family.  They felt he should have been here “in case” something happened.

I think that is very sad, but even more, I think it shows a lack of trust.  Do you see it?  These people who had these feelings believed that they knew better than God where the minister should be during those two weeks.  And that is a lack of trust in God to know what is best and right and perfect in each and every situation.  If we trust God – and not our ministers – we would know that it just doesn’t matter where our minister is at any given moment in time.  By not wanting him gone, they may have been thwarting the direct and perfect will of God for him during the weeks of October 21 through November 4.  They aren’t trusting that God may have brought him to New York City because there was one soul – one potential “son of God” or “daughter of God” – that he was uniquely created to reach for Jesus.

Our lack of trust in God causes us to make judgments and pronouncements that, if we look behind the surface to the reality behind them, show that we trust our wisdom more than the wisdom of the Ancient of Days, the only One who knows and sees the end from the beginning.  We have our own opinions about how things should go.  We have to let go of them.  We have to take to heart the words of Romans 14:4 – “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Trusting God means not only trusting Him and His actions in our own lives, but also in the lives of those around us.  How dare we presume to be wiser than God!

But trusting Him frees us – it frees us from our own preconceptions about life and how it SHOULD work – because only He truly knows what the future holds and how it will all work together for our good.  It frees us from the responsibility of making our lives work out okay – because that’s His job.  It frees us from judging situations as I described above – because if we trust that God knows what He is doing, then we don’t have to be too noble or wise and have to try to think it all through and reason it all out.

Ah, trust.  What a blessed relief to not have to pretend any longer to be God – to be able to surrender all that life brings to our table to Him!  What a blessing to be able to go to sleep at night knowing that whether we awake to a new day or die in our beds, that we don’t have to worry about a thing because He’s already got it all covered and under control!

So, you may ask: “Did those serious things happen in your church while your minister was gone?”  I’m not going to tell.  Why?  Because it doesn’t matter if they did or not.  If they did – it is because God willed it to be so – not because someone was gone ministering to hurting men and women on the other side of the country.  If they didn’t happen during that time – it is also because God willed it to be so – not because someone felt it was wrong for the minister to be gone.  Do you see how trust frees us?

Don’t you want to be free from the responsibility for controlling your life?  James 4:14-16 counsels us: “14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”  Here is the key to the Christian’s peace – trusting in the Lord’s will for our lives, and not our own self-made plans.

PRAYER: We are so foolish, Lord, and have things in very wrong priority in our lives!  We think we are wiser than You, that surely our will is wiser and better than yours.  Have mercy on us, sinners, Lord!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/23/11 – What King Herod’s Know in Their Soul

DayBreaks for 12/23/11 – What Herod’s Know In Their Soul    

King Herod the Great

Every year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, there is displayed, beneath the great Christmas tree, a beautiful eighteenth century Neapolitan nativity scene. In many ways it is a very familiar scene. The usual characters are all there: shepherds roused from sleep by the voices of angels; the exotic wise men from the East seeking, as Auden once put it, “how to be human now”; Joseph; Mary; the babe — all are there, each figure an artistic marvel of wood, clay, and paint. There is, however, something surprising about this scene, something unexpected here, easily missed by the causal observer. What is strange here is that the stable, and the shepherds, and the cradle are set, not in the expected small town of Bethlehem, but among the ruins of mighty Roman columns. The fragile manger is surrounded by broken and decaying columns. The artists knew the meaning of this event: The gospel, the birth of God’s new age, was also the death of the old world.

Herods know in their souls what we perhaps have passed over too lightly: God’s presence in the world means finally the end of their own power. They seek not to preserve the birth of God’s new age, but to crush it. For Herod, the gospel is news too bad to be endured, for Mary, Joseph, and all the other characters it is news too good to miss. – Adapted from Thomas G. Long, Something Is About To Happen

I don’t know about you, but I’m not just skeptical, but a bit fearful of politicians and power-brokers who talk about the “new world” that they are vowing to bring to us.  I’m hugely skeptical.  To me, it sounds like someone trying to convince me that I will like the things they want to do, so sit down, open your mouth, and take your medicine!

Sometimes, however, the old must pass away so a better new can come.  Herod knew it – and he knew it meant the end of him and his despotic rule.  There was a new King coming to town and Herod wanted nothing to do with it, or with Him.  So he tried to introduce his own new world – one of killed babies and crying mothers, a voice of weeping and wailing.

In the midst of all that, there was another baby wailing.  He would have sounded to human ears like any other human infant who was hungry or dirty or who simply wanted to be held.  But to God it was a voice unlike any other, for a new world, a new age, had dawned with the birth of the little one in the stable.

Maybe this year you’ve held off on giving all you are to Jesus.  Maybe you’ve held back because you were skeptical of his claims to give you life and life more abundant.  Maybe you simply thought it all sounded too good to be true.  Maybe you’re wrong about all those things…and you may be like Herod, trying to squash the Baby Jesus before he can make any demands of you.  Herod lost.  Herod was wrong.  This year, don’t be wrong about your decision of what to do with Jesus.  Decide now that He will be as welcome in your heart as he is in the courts of heaven above.  Welcome the baby Jesus and the grown Christ, risen in glory!

Merry CHRISTmas, everyone!

PRAYER: Be born in us anew this day and may our hearts be glad to welcome you in!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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