DayBreaks for 6/24/19 – Under His Wings

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DayBreaks for 06/24/09: Under His Wings

From the DayBreaks archives, June 2009:

He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge. – (Ps. 91:4)

You may have seen this, but the story is worth repeating. National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God’s wings by describing a forest fire in Yellowstone. After the fire, rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their mother’s wings.

The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had herded her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, perhaps instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her little ones. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother remained steadfast.

The obvious lesson from this story is how the mother was willing to give her life to protect her precious little ones. As long as they stayed under the refuge of her wings, close to her beating heart, they were safe. But if they had ventured out, death would have been certain. As long as we stay close to God (under His protection), we are safe. But the moment we leave His loving embrace, we are fair game for all the terror that is in the world.

I couldn’t help but think of Luke 13:34 when I read this story: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Jesus probably spoke these words from the road through Gethsemane as he approached Jerusalem for the crucial event in his life: the crucifixion.

His words are poignant for several reasons:

FIRST: God’s heart is on display. We must never forget the pain that God feels over humanity gone wrong and how it touches and evokes His love. Rather than shrug His shoulders and turn away, God’s reaction is to reach out to save us!

SECOND: Jesus described Jerusalem as the place where prophets were killed. He wasn’t crying out about the righteous in the city and inviting them to run to him for shelter. He was seeking the losers, the killers, the murderers of prophets and even those who were to soon scourge, beat, spit upon and crucify himself. In his love, he wanted to save even them.

What is your response to this one who offers you the safety of His protection? If you understand what He has done for you, it MUST make a difference in your life. Has it?

Prayer: For Your protection this day, we plead.  Hold us close to Your sheltering wings in safety and peace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

DayBreaks for 5/31/18 – God’s Dike

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DayBreaks for 5/31/18: God’s Dike

Much of Holland was once part of the ocean; but the industrious Dutch built great dikes far out in the shallow sea, and so reclaimed the land. As their dikes hold the ocean back, on the landward side the people occupy their homes, farmers till their land, and the wheels of commerce turn.

Many of the rural lowlanders have a quaint way of referring to Sunday, the Christian sabbath. They speak of it as God’s dike. Why? one might ask. Because what God’s people do on this day each week serves society in the same way a dike serves the land. As the dike holds back the sea, so does Sunday and the worship experience help to hold back the flood of evil which is forever threatening to overflow the people.

God interposes the instruction and inspiration of Christian worship as a bulwark against wrong. The Christian sabbath is civilization’s strongest social buttress against the overwhelming flood of evil and fear and despair which are forever pressing hard upon us. By means of it, the forces of righteousness are made stronger against all the powers that would undo us.

What we do in worship every Sunday is to strengthen our dikes, to help keep them in good repair. When we go to worship, we are not merely doing something for ourselves – we are also doing something for the world. We are taking part in an unceasing effort which involves many millions of people and stretches over many centuries of time. Let’s be aware of the vast enterprise we’re involved in, and let’s be glad we’re in it.

PRAYER: Lord, protect us through our worship, and change the world because of it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 3/14/16 – We Walked Together

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DayBreaks for 3/14/16: We Walked Together

NOTE: Galen will be traveling for the next 10 days or so. You will be receiving messages from the DayBreaks archive during that time!  From the DayBreaks archive, 2006:

Psalm 55:1-14 (NLT) – Listen to my prayer, O God. Do not ignore my cry for help! Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles. My enemies shout at me, making loud and wicked threats. They bring trouble on me, hunting me down in their anger. My heart is in anguish. The terror of death overpowers me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me. I can’t stop shaking. Oh, how I wish I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest. I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness. How quickly I would escape— far away from this wild storm of hatred. Destroy them, Lord, and confuse their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city. Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders, but the real danger is wickedness within the city. Murder and robbery are everywhere there; threats and cheating are rampant in the streets. It is not an enemy who taunts me— I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me— I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God.

Many see reference in verses 12-14 of the betrayal of Christ by Judas, and perhaps it is rightly so.  However, verse 13 makes that seem difficult – certainly Judas was not an equal to Christ, even if he did sit in the place of the intimate friend at the last supper.  Perhaps that’s just my own hang-up: we are joint heirs with Christ and will inherit all things with Him, He is our elder brother – we are related by blood – His blood – and we bear His image (as defaced as it may be in us from time to time.)  He calls us “friend”, not “slave” or “servant.”  Those things, as incredible as it may sound, speak of equality – an equality that is not based on inherent worth, but worth imputed to us by a gracious Father through the blood of the Lamb.

While it may be that we should see Judas in verse 13 and the bitterness of the betrayal, I think I again more properly see here Messianic language: verses 4-5 seems to speak of the agony of the Garden where the terror of death and what was about to come to pass was becoming a crushing weight on Jesus’ spirit.  Verse 6 reminds me of Revelation, where the woman who gives birth to the child flees to the wilderness, a place of quiet and safety, prepared beforehand by God for her.  The Israelites fled to the wilderness in their exodus – and because God was there with them, it was a place of relative safety for them, in spite of their many rebellions.  As Christ hung on the cross, did he see the city of Jerusalem (vs. 9) that had become full of violence that had led to the slaughter of the Lamb of God?  (I must admit that I struggle with how the first part of verse 9 fits!)  The city was walled…and history showed that it would not fall to the Romans until 70 AD, but the fall had already started and was sure to happen because of the wickedness inside.  Murder (the killing of the innocent Lamb), the religious leaders robbing God of His due (both worship and the blood money that was paid to Judas belonged to God and they’d stolen both from Him), all were visible to His tear-filled eyes.  Yet, Jesus knew it was not his enemy who was afflicting him (vs. 12), but rather that He was smitten by God for our sins and offenses!  How he must have longed to walk in equality again to the house of God, side by side with the Father, freed from the humiliation of the fleshly nature that he bore to the cross!

The range of emotions that must have flowed through Christ on the cross is incomprehensible.  Perhaps it is best that we are spared the knowledge of most of what went through his mind – except for the few utterances that passed his lips.  Yet, lest we make him too human and not enough God, we shouldn’t speculate too far.  He died very quickly – as far as crucifixion goes.  Indeed, as verse 8 hints, he did escape quickly by dismissing his Spirit into the hands of the Father.  Certainly, this world is enveloped in a raging storm of hatred and Christ experienced it more than anyone else ever has.  This is such a humbling passage – it cuts to my heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER:  Jesus, how I wonder about all the thoughts that went through your mind as you hung suspended between heaven and earth.  Did you think about me?  What did you think of when my name flashed through your mind?  What do you think of me today, Lord?  Are you pleased with me?  Reveal to us your thoughts and direction for our lives.  How we long to walk together with you into the House of God!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple.  All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 12/19/12 – God and My Day

DayBreaks for 12/19/12 – God and My Day

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Ever have one of those days when ABSOLUTELY nothing goes according to plan and you are frustrated and maybe upset with God (and the rest of the world) because of either what did, or didn’t happen?  I had one of those days today.  How timely that it showed up on Facebook (I don’t know who wrote it), but it was a perfect fit for my situation today, and perhaps for you, too!

Me: God, can I ask You a question?

God: Sure

Me: Promise You won’t get mad

God: I promise

Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?

God: What do u mean?

Me: Well, I woke up late

God: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start

God: Okay

Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait

God: Huummm

Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call

God: All right

Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?

God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one
of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

Me (humbled): OH

GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.

Me (embarrassed):Okay

God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Me (softly): I see God

God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I’m Sorry God

God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust Me…. in All things , the Good & the bad.

Me: I will trust You.

God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Me: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.

God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children…

PRAYER: I am so self-centered, God, thinking that the cosmos revolves around me and what happens to ME on this single day!  Remind me that You are a big, busy God, infinitely wise, knowing the ending from the beginning, and that as far as You are concerned, the cosmos does revolve around me because of Your great love for me and for all Your other children, too!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 11/14/12 – The Life Preserved

DayBreaks for 11/14/12 – The Life Preserved

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 11/14/02:

Psalm 121:7-8 – “The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.   8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.

This is such a precious passage of scripture, so full of comfort and encouragement.  It offers us the hope – and promise – of being preserved from not just some evil – but ALL evil.  He promises to protect our “going out and your coming in” – an old-fashioned way to say all that you do day by day.  Isn’t it great to know that God has that kind of interest in your protection and preservation?

But there is something else in this verse that isn’t really clear based on our English translations.  The little phrase, “He shall preserve your soul” is special.  As David Jeremiah wrote in The Bend in the Road, “As our pilgrim narrator reassures us that God will keep our souls from all harm, he uses a particular word for soul.  Hebrew writings usually reach for this word when the meaning is life.  In other words, God is going to keep your life.  It doesn’t end when you breathe your last breath.  There is much more to the idea of life than the womb-to-tomb understanding to which we limit ourselves.

The promise that David recorded in Psalm 121 wasn’t good only to ancient Israel.  It is true for you and me today.  It is true for your children and it will be true for your children’s children.  You may have lost a believing son or daughter to death…and God’s promise is good for them – “He will keep your life”.    Your spouse may have died, but if they are His, know this: “He will keep your life.”  Perhaps you, yourself, are facing your last weeks or days due to a diagnosed illness.  I would encourage you to memorize this passage and know that “He will keep your life.”

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for being our life preserver!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

Want to help the poor children of the world?  Here’s a couple links to projects at I Am 2 Partners, Inc.:

To help feed and protect the 37 orphans at Bright Future Children’s Home in Migori, Kenya, click here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=RKR8ZNZX4UVPA

To help put in a purified water system for the Good Shepherd Pediatric Hospital in Kigali, Rwanda, click here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=B7U2JA5QSYCRC

Thanks!

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DayBreaks for 08/09/11 – Living in an Un-Walled City

DayBreaks for 08/09/11 – Living In An Un-walled City

An unwalled city awaits...

The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles. 17 Then he measured the walls and found them to be 216 feet thick (according to the human standard used by the angel). – Revelation 21:15-17

In ancient times, the primary means that a city used to protect and defend itself was a massive wall built around the entire town.  Perhaps no ancient city was more famous for its walls than ancient Babylon.  Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, wrote:  In addition to its size, Babylon surpasses in splendor any city in the known world.  He claimed the outer walls were 56 miles in length, 80 feet thick and 320 feet high. The walls were reportedly wide enough that two four-horse chariots could pass on another on top of the walls, and it is said that they staged chariot races on them.  The city also had inner walls which were “not so thick as the first, but hardly less strong.” While some historians question the accuracy of the height of the walls, there is not much debate about their thickness or overall massive size.  Walls, with strong gates, were crucial in the ancient world and contributed to the sense of safety and security of the inhabitants.

It was another Greek, Epicurus, who made another observation about life and “walls”, when he said, Against all other things it is possible to obtain security, but when it comes to death we human beings live in an un-walled city. In short, what Epicurus was saying is we are defenseless as death approaches.

In the book of Revelation, the heavenly city is described.  There are walls around the city, but there are several curiosities about them that should be noted: first, the city itself is described as being cube-shaped, approximately 1400-1500 miles high, wide and deep.  Try to picture that for a moment – a city 1500 miles high!  It boggles the imagination.  But the walls are interesting, to say the least. They are 144 cubits thick (about 210 feet).  Now, stop and picture that.  The city is 9,720,000 feet high, but the walls are only 210 feet thick.  This suggests that the walls couldn’t be very high.  Even if they were 210 feet high, they are only the tiniest fraction of a percent as high as the city itself!  And the second interesting thing we’re told is that there are gates in the city, but that the gates will never be closed.

The reason the walls are so small and the gates will never be closed are the same: there is nothing that will ever approach, not even death, that we will need to be protected from.  Just as the Lamb is the Light (so there is no need of sun by day or moon by night), He is our fortress and strong defender who can never be overthrown!

PRAYER: We long for the shelter of your great city where walls of any and every kind will no longer be necessary as we rest in your protection!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 7/25/11 – Knowing Where It Is Safe

DayBreaks for 07/25/11 – Knowing Where It Is Safe

Palmer Chinchen, in True Religion, tells the following story:

My brothers and I had traveled to the western edge of Zimbabwe to raft the Zambezi River. We boarded our raft at the base of the Victoria Falls. Massive amounts of water spilled over the top of the giant falls and dropped almost a thousand feet; the roar was deafening. The falls are the largest in the world, more than a mile wide and three hundred feet high. Mist from the spray that fills the air like fog can be seen for fifty miles; the locals call it “Smoke That Thunders.” The water from the falls rushes down the gorge in torrents, creating the world’s largest rapids. In the United States, the highest-class rapid you are allowed to raft is a Class 5. The Zambezi’s whitewater rapids can top 7 and 8 ….

As I sat on the edge of the eight-person raft, all suited up in a tight, overstuffed jacket and a thick crash helmet, I felt like an over cautious tourist about to mount an overpowered moped in Honolulu or rent roller-blades on Huntington Beach. The Zambezi can’t be that dangerous, can it?

But then our guide [said], “When the raft flips …” There was no “If the raft flips” or “Or on the off-chance we get flipped.” But “When the raft flips.” He went on, “… stay in the rough water. You will be tempted to swim toward the stagnate water at the edge of the banks. Don’t do it. Because it is in the stagnate water that the crocs wait for you. They are large and hungry. Even when the raft flips, stay in the rough water.”

Several thoughts spring to mind from this story:

FIRST: we think we know where to go to be safe, we even have a natural instinct that smooth, quiet water is safer than raging whitewater…but our instincts are wrong and we must fight against them many times if we are to safely survive.  There are hidden dangers we can’t see when we run to self-help guru’s, secular advisors and counselors, etc., rather than the Spirit and the Word.

SECOND: it is in the calm waters from the story that people will face death.  The crocodiles won’t venture into the churning whitewater.  Stagnancy, complacency, a desire to just “go with the flow” will kill the spirit.  It is in the rough water that we pour our lives into others as Christians, because unbelievers are in life-threatening waves and they need the Life Preserver that Christ offers!

THIRD: when there is no spiritual “adventure” to our lives, we are in danger of drifting in our faith: So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. – Hebrews 2:1  The rafters had to listen carefully to the truth of the lesson of white water versus smooth water – to not do so would have been deadly.

PRAYER: We fear white waters, Lord, but help us remember that we are never there alone, you are with us in the boat and we need not fear!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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