DayBreaks for 3/21/17 – On Failing

DayBreaks for 3/21/17: On Failing

NOTE: Galen is traveling this week. This week’s DayBreaks will be from the May 2007 archives.

Someone recently sent me this and I thought it was worth sharing!!!  – Galen

ON FAILING, By Dr. Michael A. Halleen

They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. – (John 21:3)

Jesus’ disciples knew how to fish. They did it well and expected to be successful. But that night “they caught *nothing*.” They failed. We fishermen know the feeling, but I know the rest of you know it, too. Behind all of us lie some disappointments, and we can be sure there will be still more days ahead when our achievements fall short of our dreams and aspirations. But FAILING does not make one a FAILURE. That happens only when we give up.

Winston Churchill failed sixth grade, but he was no failure as a leader of his nation. Thomas Edison failed all his classes in school and was sent home to work on his widowed mother’s farm, but he was no failure as an inventor and creator of progress. David Livingstone fled from the pulpit of his first church in Scotland, a failure because he could not remember the text he was to preach on. From there he went to Africa and brought the Christian faith within reach of millions. Failing, in itself, is not the issue. It is what we do next that matters.

Some suggestions on what to do when failure comes:

~ Look for the presence of God. You have not been forsaken. God is at work in disappointment and failure as well as in success.

~ Learn all you can from it. Erma Bombeck was invited to a dinner for “highly successful people.” Appalled at the idea, she nevertheless decided to go because she wanted to hear what successful people talked about. Later she wrote, “Every one of those people, every single one of those highly successful people, could only talk about their failures – and how they learned from them.”

~ Get on with what’s next. The Apostle Paul said, “Forgetting what is behind…I press on.” The mark of the neurotic person is a perfect memory of every failing, while healthy people learn from it, let it go and move ahead.

~ Challenge your idea of what is important. God has not called us to be successful, but to be faithful. God is not in the business of helping us to succeed, but of refining the soul, developing character, energizing the spirit. Success is only incidental to those ends.

The disciples got into the boat, worked all night and caught…NOTHING. Then came the voice of a Stranger on the shore, telling them to keep going, keep putting the net into the water. The story was not finished yet. They found that, while they failed, God did a marvelous work – in the sea, yes, but even more in their troubled hearts.

Isaiah 51:6 (NIV) Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.

PRAYER: Thank you, Father, that though we fail often, You never fail to fulfill your purposes, and You will not fail to fulfill Your promises to us, either.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 6/08/15 – Going to Sanctify U

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DayBreaks for 6/08/15: Going to Sanctify U

It is the time of the year when graduations and celebrations are all around us.  You can’t look on Facebook without seeing people posting pictures of their kids or grand kids, whether they are graduating from pre-school or medical school.  Learning is a great thing and achievements are won by much hard effort and God’s blessing.

When you go to college, you must take many courses which seem irrelevant to your desired career because the universities strive to create “well-rounded” people. These courses are seldom ones that you enjoy – in fact, you may really hate some of them (I did!).  But, they are a part of the graduation requirement.

God has a university, too.  It’s called Sanctify U, and he has a core curriculum for Christians.  It is listed in these verses from Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…  These “spiritual gifts” are akin to “majors” in college, if you will. There is a variety of majors in a university and “../there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit, and there are varieties of service…to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:4-7)  Different people get different gifts, but all Christians are expected to possess and display the fruit of the Spirit by virtue of his living and working in us.  Those fruits of the Spirit are to make us more effective and to make the gospel more appealing to non-Christians.

But…though the Spirit is working to develop those fruits in us, in order for them to develop, the Spirit has to “test us” in each area.  To develop patience, we must be put in situations that test our patience.  It’s easy to be patience when all is going our way, but we need to learn to endure frustrations without losing our temper or getting overly upset.  The Spirit may need to teach us what true love is by putting us in relationships with exasperating people, or he may help us develop a peaceful spirit by causing us to pass through stressful circumstance.  These “tests” – like the tests in a university in a core curriculum course – force us to cling to Him, because without Him, we’d fail the exam.

When we resist or flunk the tests, we have to re-take our Christian core curriculum courses.  We must come to understand that the Spirit is trying to develop Christ-like character in us, or we’ll lose heart when we encounter repeated tests and we’ll eventually want to surrender and give up.  But, if we persist, we will ultimately reap a great harvest for the King and Kingdom (Galatians 6.9).

The core curriculum may not be flashy like walking on water, but God never asked us all to walk on water – simply to be filled by the Spirit and to be individuals rounded into the likeness of His Son.  And never forget – the day we matriculate we will know it was all worth it!

PRAYER: I am so appreciative of Your patience with me. Help us not to despise the basic lessons we must learn, but to welcome them gladly and to persevere through the testing as You sanctify us in Your way!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 11/23/12 – Two Types of Tests

DayBreaks for 11/23/12 – Two Kinds of Tests

From the DayBreaks Archive, dated 11/22/02:

Mark 10:24 – “The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

James 5:1 “Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.

Generally speaking, there are 2 kinds of tests in life: adversity and prosperity.  Of the two, the latter’s the more difficult.  When adversity strikes, things get simple: survival is the goal.  It is a test on maintaining the basics of food, clothing and shelter.  But when prosperity comes, watch out!  Things get complicated.  All kinds of subtle temptations arrive, pleading for satisfaction.  It is then that integrity is put to the test.”  – Chuck Swindoll

I think Swindoll makes an excellent point.  I’m not about to say that adversity is easier to endure than prosperity, but I don’t think that’s what Swindoll is saying.  I think he’s saying that adversity gives you a very clear perspective on the things that are really necessary, which are critically important.  It’s easy to understand the simple statements of Jesus: “You are either with me or against me.”  There are fewer distractions to pull our attention away from fundamental things when adversity is our lot.  Prosperity makes distractions multiply!

With prosperity, everything demands a bit of our attention.  Not only do you think about food (‘Should I have steak or lobster tonight?”), and shelter (“Do you think we need a bigger house?”), but you can worry about stocks, bonds, but retirement (a thought that probably never occurs to those who are truly needy), whether or not the knocking sound in your car is a sign of trouble, etc.  See what I mean?  The things in life that have true value and which deserve our attention have to compete with a myriad of other things.  Not only do “subtle temptations” come to us, but they cloud our sense of values.

Those people I know who have traveled abroad and met Christians in very poor countries have been impressed with the dedication and commitment of those who have virtually nothing.  I suppose there are several reasons for that, not the least of which is they have nothing else in which to put their trust and hope.  And those brothers and sisters feel blessed – and they pray for those of us in the United States with all that we have – because they feel we are the ones at a greater risk for not having focus on the things of Jesus.

Have your possessions and prosperity gotten the best of you?  Do they get too much of your attention to acquire them and then maintain them?  Divest!  Get rid of some of your “stuff” and center of Jesus!

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

PRAYER: Lord, just yesterday we feasted on plenty and gave You thanks for Your blessings!  Guard our hearts from the diseases that affluence offers and keep us of single mind and heart!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 05/04/11 – Slow to Learn

DayBreaks for 05/04/11 – Slow to Learn

Don't be a slow learner...heed the warnings!

Reverence for the LORD is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the LORD are true; each one is fair. 10 They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. 11 They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them. – Psalm 19:9-11

Everywhere you look you see warning signs: they warn us of merging traffic, of road work just ahead, of slippery roads, unsafe curves, of the hazards of smoking, of expiration dates on food, about dangerous dogs.  As a general rule, we take notice of such warnings and act accordingly.  After all, who wants to get bit by a mad dog?

If you had a heart attack, would you eat fewer unhealthy meals at fast food restaurants? Surprisingly, a new study reveals that over half of recent heart attack victims continue eating fast food “frequently,” which the study defined as at least once a week. Nutritional counseling after being released from the hospital rarely helped decrease the number of fast food meals. However, having a coronary bypass, which the authors claimed was a “second kind of shock following a heart attack,” finally provided the needed wake-up call. You have to wonder: how many wake-up calls does it take before we get the point?

We aren’t as good at listening to and heeding spiritual warnings from our Creator.  Why?  Because we tend to think that “It won’t happen to me.”  We also don’t believe our situation isn’t that serious.  How many times have we sinned and “gotten away with it”?  Every time we sin – and “get away with it” – it makes the next time seem less important, less serious…until we eventually start feeling not just comfortable with our sin, but safe doing it.  That way lies foolishness.

God has warned us.  Are we listening?

PRAYER: Father, help us listen carefully to the warnings in Your Word and take them to heart while we can.  Give us the Spirit to empower us to change and be spiritually healthy!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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