DayBreaks for 7/30/15 – Life Substitutes

DayBreaks for 7/30/15: Life Substitutes

There’s a story found in the Chronicles of Narnia. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the fifth volume of that series, Mary, Edmund, their cousin Eustice, and some of the colorful creatures of Narnia, come upon a crystal clear pool of water with what appears to be a golden statue of a man at the bottom. Only, they discover that it is a magical pool that turns everything into gold that touches the water. It appears that the statue at the bottom of the pool is a man who either didn’t know about the pool’s magic powers, or he was so consumed with accumulating gold that he ignored its dangers. Even though the characters of the story are awed at the magic of the pool, they recognize that such a place is far more dangerous than it is beneficial, and so they swear themselves to secrecy and wipe their memories clean of that place.

You see, when you waste your energies seeking to fulfill the hunger for things that perish, what you’ll find all too often is that you’ll still be dissatisfied, and your dissatisfaction will usually put you deeper into the hole you’re digging for yourself. Whatever piece of the pie that you’re hungering for – whether it’s a bigger slice of acceptance or riches or gratification of your urges – you’re going to find yourself hungry for more and more and more, until you’re so out of control that you can’t back-peddle fast enough. In our consumer-driven world, in which many people literally work themselves to death accumulating a never-fully-satisfying abundance of things, Jesus’ words challenge our society’s misguided substitutes for “life.”

What are you giving in exchange for your life?

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? – Mark 8:36 (NIV)

PRAYER: God, I know I only have so many hours allotted to me.  Please help me spend them in pursuit of real Life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

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DayBreaks for 5/22/15 – Love Not

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DayBreaks for 5/22/15: Love Not

The Bible talks a lot about love – and in fact, the new command that Jesus gave us was to love one another as He has loved us.  So when you read a verse that tells us not to love something, we should take it to heart.

My wife and I live in a 32 foot long Fifth Wheel, in a nice RV Park in Georgia. A few years ago, we were renting a house and realized that with our current jobs, we could live wherever we wanted as long as it wasn’t too far from an airport that could accommodate my somewhat frequent work traveling.  We had often talked about living in an RV after we retired so we could be able to travel across the country to see all of our kids and grand kids. At that point, we realized that we could do just that without waiting to retire. So, we seriously pared down our belongings, bought a truck and Fifth Wheel, and became vagabonds. The idea was to move back and forth every six months or so. However, traveling was more expensive and more uncomfortable than we had anticipated. My wife also discovered that although she liked living in the Fifth Wheel more than she had anticipated, she liked traveling much less than anticipated and discovered the need to “nest”.  So, after several trips across country and changes in some circumstances, we settled in Georgia for the time being.

There are some disadvantages to living in a Fifth Wheel, but a lot of advantages also. It is less expensive than renting, for one. But one of the biggest advantages is that it makes life a lot simpler. There is no yard work and since we have much fewer belongings, it takes much less time and effort to take care of what we do have.  Less stuff creates the possibility of a simpler life.  Oh, we both still have our cravings – I love electronics and gizmos, while my wife loves clothes and jewelry.  But I have come to see more and more of how pursuing material things became an idolatrous pursuit for me – and idolatry is our greatest problem as humans – putting anything of this world ahead of the One who truly deserves our attention and worship.

Also, one of the wonderful things is that you live more closely connected to the nature around you and to weather. You are in closer proximity to the “outside”. It’s nice. One thing we realized from when we lived in a nice rental house a few years ago is that we almost never opened the windows. Living as we do now, we have a refreshing breeze blowing through almost whenever we want it, if the weather allows.

Now, don’t get me wrong – we didn’t do all this out of lofty spiritual motivations so please understand: we acted out of motivations of self-interest to be sure.  But sometimes even the things we do selfishly can teach us valuable and worthwhile lessons.

What did we learn?  Several things, I believe: we learned that if you never take a chance, you may lose forever something that could be great.  How much do we lose by never having an adventure – especially an adventure with God? What does material stuff and our desires for more of it potentially take away from our enjoyment of life? What is really most important? How do we decide how we want to live – and how should we decide how we want to live?  These are not issues of less or greater sin – these are issues of less or greater life.   These are just some questions for you to think about…

1 John 2:15 (ESV) – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life —is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

PRAYER: Lord, I still have so far to go in detaching myself from things in this world.  Will you help me, please, to understand that pursing such things is futility and a chasing after the wind? In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 02/14/13 – The Bread of Lucifer

DayBreaks for 02/14/13 – The Bread of Lucifer

moldy_breadNOTE: Galen is having some surgery today so there’ll be some DayBreaks from the archives for the next few days.  Your prayers are appreciated and welcomed!

From the DayBreaks archive for 2/14/2002:

Matthew 4:1-4 – “1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”  4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

There are several things about this passage that are interesting.  First, “Jesus was led by the Spirit” into the desert for the expressed purpose of being tempted by the devil.  I don’t like that idea.  The concept that the Spirit might lead someone to a particular place or situation for the purpose of being tempted is scary?  I mean, if the Spirit would lead Jesus into the desert to be tempted, why won’t the Spirit do the same to/for me?  We view it in a negative way, of course, and for Jesus, it was part of his becoming able to identify with us in our temptation.  Still…it is an interesting, if not frightening, thought – one that I will have to consider and pray about.

On the surface, the temptation doesn’t seem to be that difficult.  What was Satan really after?  All he asked Jesus to do was to turn the stones into bread.  What’s the harm in that?  Well, as usual with Satan, there is more than meets the eye, and there are hidden motivations and trickery afoot any time he appears on the scene.  I think that Calvin Miller in The Unchained Soul, had an interesting insight that may be right: “Christ rejected the bread of Lucifer.  It was not the bread that he rejected so much as self-gratification.  If he makes bread out of one stone, he may create wine from the next and so on, till his self-denial is literally swallowed up in gluttony.  Christ freed himself from this material bondage to be the role model for our own self-denial.  Materialism does not always consist in what we have, but in what we hunger for.  It is not our concern about bread but our temptation to horde it that sins so against our Lord’s wilderness example.

What if Christ gave in to self-gratification?  He was God, after all.  He could have indulged every whim that crossed his omniscient mind and no one could have stopped him.  But Jesus didn’t give in to that temptation, giving us an example to follow.  Isn’t there a lot of truth in the sentence about materialism not being what we have, but in what we hunger for?  This means that we could be materialistic, even though we may not have the things we desire, but simply because we desire them ourselves and they consume our minds, desires and passions.  We are materialists if we long for things more than we long for Jesus.

Are you longing for the bread of Lucifer or the Bread of Life?

PRAYER:  Keep us from craving the wrong food, Lord.  May we hunger only for more of YOU!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen has started work as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org).  He needs to raise his own support.  DayBreaks has always been free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation to Medical Ambassadors on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made online at http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Go to that link and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section and look for the link for Galen Dalrymple.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his account.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.

Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient in many ways for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 10/03/12 – iPhone Madness

DayBreaks for 10/03/12 – iPhone Madness

I am sure that I don’t need to tell you that Apple recently released a new iPhone…the iPhone 5.  I don’t have an iPhone.  I have an Android.  I am a geek when it comes to things like electronics.  I enjoy technology and playing with it.  So, I get the excitement that comes with new gizmos.  It is probably a good thing that I don’t have enough money to buy new stuff like that all the time.

What amazes me, however, is the desperate lengths that shoppers went to in order to get their iPhone 5’s on the first day they were available.  Here in California, there were people in line up to 96 hours in advance.  My son-in-law works for Apple and my daughter told me about one man who hired another person to get in line early and hold his place.  Then, when the day of the actual delivery of the phones came, he would show up and the person who was holding his place in line could go and do something else.  Do you know how much he paid the guy just to stand in line for him?  $1600!!!!  Do you ever get the sense that you’re in the wrong business?!?!?!

Why do we have such a fascination with “stuff”?  I mean, what’s the big deal?  Sure, the iPhone does things the Android doesn’t, and Android does things the iPhone doesn’t.  Does it really matter?  Aren’t there more important ways to spend our time (and our money) than feeling like we have to have the latest and greatest immediately?

We have lost the virtue of patience.  That’s serious because if there is anything that the Christian life demands, it is patience.  We must wait upon the Lord for guidance. We must wait upon the Lord for healing.  We must wait upon the Lord and His timing for our death and for His return.  Without patience – a patience that may take an entire lifetime – we will be overwhelmed with despair and not finish the course.

Self-denial is important for other reasons, too.  Rather than buying the latest iPhone, Android, iPad, Android-based tablet, the latest camera, golf clubs, shoes or fashion accessories – what if we re-directed even some of that money to caring for orphans or providing water to those dying from water-borne disease?

Isn’t it time we think more deeply about what we will do with the money and time the Lord has given us?

PRAYER: Forgive me, Lord, for thinking that my need for a new phone is greater than the need to help fill a hungry child’s belly!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

If you are looking for a way to help needy, you can give through I Am 2 Partners, Inc. (where Galen works), to provide food, water, shelter and care for 37 orphans at Bright Future Children’s Home in Migori, Kenya: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=RKR8ZNZX4UVPA

OR, to help pay for a purified water system for the only pediatric hospital in Rwanda (the hospital is nearing completion of construction, but can’t open until the water purification system is in place): https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=B7U2JA5QSYCRC

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email.

DayBreaks for 02/23/12 – The Bread of Lucifer

DayBreaks for 02/23/12 – The Bread of Lucifer

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 2/14/2002:

Matthew 4:1-4 – “1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”  4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

There are several things about this passage that are interesting.  First, “Jesus was led by the Spirit” into the desert for the expressed purpose of being tempted by the devil.  I don’t like that idea.  The concept that the Spirit might lead someone to a particular place or situation for the purpose of being tempted is scary?  I mean, if the Spirit would lead Jesus into the desert to be tempted, why won’t the Spirit do the same to/for me?  We view it in a negative way, of course, and for Jesus, it was part of his becoming able to identify with us in our temptation.  Still…it is an interesting, if not frightening, thought – one that I will have to consider and pray about.

On the surface, the temptation doesn’t seem to be that difficult.  What was Satan really after?  All he asked Jesus to do was to turn the stones into bread.  What’s the harm in that?  Well, as usual with Satan, there is more than meets the eye, and there are hidden motivations and trickery afoot any time he appears on the scene.  I think that Calvin Miller in The Unchained Soul, had an interesting insight that may be right: “Christ rejected the bread of Lucifer.  It was not the bread that he rejected so much as self-gratification.  If he makes bread out of one stone, he may create wine from the next and so on, till his self-denial is literally swallowed up in gluttony.  Christ freed himself from this material bondage to be the role model for our own self-denial.  Materialism does not always consist in what we have, but in what we hunger for.  It is not our concern about bread but our temptation to hoard it that sins so against our Lord’s wilderness example.

What if Christ gave in to self-gratification?  He was God, after all.  He could have indulged every whim that crossed his omniscient mind and no one could have stopped him.  But Jesus didn’t give in to that temptation, giving us an example to follow.  Isn’t there a lot of truth in the sentence about materialism not being what we have, but in what we hunger for?  This means that we could be materialistic, even though we may not have the things we desire, but simply because we desire them ourselves and they consume our minds, desires and passions.  We are materialists if we long for things more than we long for Jesus.

PRAYER: Let the longings of our hearts be in alignment with the great command!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “iam2 Partners, Inc.” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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DayBreaks 3/04/11 – How Jesus Didn’t See the World

DayBreaks for 3/04/11 – How Jesus Doesn’t See the World

Matthew 5:16 – Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

 

To see the world as Jesus does...

 

A parable by Henri Nouwen: Once there was a people who surveyed the resources of the world and said to each other: ‘How can we be sure that we will have enough in hard times?  We want to survive whatever happens.  Let us start collecting food, materials, and knowledge so that we are safe and secure when a crisis occurs.’  So they started hoarding, so much and so eagerly that other peoples protested and said, ‘You have much more than you need, while we don’t have enough to survive.  Give us part of your wealth!’  But the fearful hoarders said: ‘No, no, we need to keep this in case things go bad for us, too, in case our lives are threatened.’  But the others said, ‘We are dying now, please give us food and materials and knowledge to survive.  We can’t wait…we need it now!”

Then the fearful hoarders became ever more fearful since they became afraid that the poor and hungry would attack them.  So they said to one another: ‘Let us build walls around our wealth so that no stranger can take it from us.’  They started erecting walls so high that they could not even see anymore whether there were enemies outside the walls or not!  As their fear increased they told each other: “Our enemies have become so numerous that they may be able to tear down our walls.  Our walls are not strong enough to keep them away.  We need to put bombs on top of the walls so that nobody will dare to even come close to us.’  But instead of feeling safe and secure behind their armed walls they found themselves trapped in the prison they had built with their own fear.  They even became afraid of their own bombs, wondering if they might harm themselves more than their enemy.  And gradually they realized their fear of death had brought them closer to it.”

Tom Davis, author of Red Letters, had this to say about our attitudes about our possessions and the needs of so many in the world: “Building walls around our possessions and our lives leads to selfishness and hardened heart.  When we live with a ‘never enough’ mentality , life is so overwhelming we couldn’t possibly help someone else.  Jesus didn’t have a ‘never enough’ mentality.  He lived and breathed a ‘what can I offer?’ mentality…He always took time to help someone in need.”

Our attitudes about what and who comes first in our lives largely shapes our attitudes about possessions.  When our attitude is that we can’t help others because we don’t know what crises may come our way (thereby justifying our hoarding), we are not demonstrating faith that in God to provide if the crisis should come.  Nor are we demonstrating the heart of compassion that Jesus had – a heart that never said “No, this is mine!” to anyone who was in need.  Jesus didn’t see the world that way in his time, and he doesn’t see it that way today.

PRAYER: We have a hard time believing that we don’t have to rely on ourselves in either good times or bad, Lord.  Help us trust you for all that we need and to have hearts of compassion like yours!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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