DayBreaks for 1/15/19 – In the Presence of Resurrection

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DayBreaks for 01/15/2019: The Presence of Resurrection

I love the story of the disciples on the way to Emmaus.  The pathos in the story is nearly palpable as they recount to Jesus the events that he seemed (to their way of thinking) ignorant of: the happenings in Jerusalem in the past 5 days or so.  That they’d had their hopes dashed is clear from their words: We had hoped He was the one…we had thought He was the Messiah come to save Israel. (Luke 24:21) The despair is virtually dripping from their hearts and lips.

How long they walked we don’t know, but the distance from Jerusalem to Emmaus was about 7 miles and at a normal walking pace on a flat road (which the road wasn’t) it would take about 2 hours to cover that distance.  What would you have given to walk with Jesus for two hours?  Yet, Jesus was not recognized by them because God, it says, had concealed his identity from them.  (That makes me wonder, too – why would God ever choose to conceal his identity?)  And so they walked and talked for some hours…and all the time they were in the presence not just of a risen one, but of resurrection itself. 

Are you a Christian?  If so, you are walking in the Presence of Resurrection, too.  Yet I go through my day often totally unaware of my constant Companion.  How did the story end for the Emmaus disciples?  The last word in verse 26 is “glory”.  The story ends in glory!  What began in despair and bewilderment finds culmination in glory!  That is the story of our life, is it not?  Much of life is a journey from the bliss of infant unawareness to the burden of adulthood and the increasing burden of advancing age.  All through life, the Resurrection walks beside us.  And our story will end in glory!

John 11:23-26 (NIV) – Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Prayer:  As you turned the hearts of the Emmaus disciples from bewilderment to glory, we open our hearts to you today, Lord, that you may do the same for us this day!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 12/13/18 – The Great Anonymous

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DayBreaks for 12/13/18: The Great Anonymous

From the DayBreaks Archive, 12/9/98:

Sometimes it is hard to be anonymous, isn’t it? I mean, you work hard at your job and do something with great excellence – and someone up the line of responsibility from you gets the credit for it. Kind of gets your goat, doesn’t it? I mean, it isn’t like you are even asking to be given all the credit – just to be recognized. Or, if you are a housewife, haven’t you ever done something really well and it went unnoticed and unappreciated? It is no fun! If you’ve ever found yourself feeling left out, unacknowledged or unimportant, 1 Cor. 12 verses 22 and 24 were put in the Bible just for you: On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable…while our presentable parts need no special treatment, but God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it….

Paul realized that even in his day, sometimes people feel unappreciated in the church. You may be feeling that way right now. You’ve labored behind the scenes for years cleaning the building, running the sound equipment, preparing the communion, changing diapers in the nursery, or printing the bulletin each week. Not everyone is or can be an “up-front” and public figure. But the church can’t function without EVERY piece of the body doing its job.

Sometimes we get things confused. Just because you may not be the person filling the pulpit doesn’t mean that you aren’t important. If there is anything that the passage from 1 Corinthians should teach us it is this: Don’t ever mistake being anonymous with being unnecessary or unimportant. Rather Paul calls the weaker parts of the body indispensable, and God gives greater honor to the parts of the body that lack honor. After all, if you are going to be honored, wouldn’t you rather it was God that honors you instead of your fellow men?

God remembers you and will reward you, Psalm 136:28: …to the One who remembered us in our low estate – His love endures forever. Recognition will come in due time to everyone who, rather than picking and choosing ministry opportunities based on talents, interest or recognition, obeys the command to “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord.”

Prayer: Lord, may we seek Your approval…and Your approval ONLY!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 3/25/15 – Positions of Honor

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DayBreaks for 3/25/15: Positions of Honor

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 3/22/2005:

It is a tragic scenario: very shortly before the death of Jesus, his disciples are quarreling about who will get to sit at his right hand and at his left hand, positions of honor at a feast.  It is inconceivable that they should be arguing about such things even in the looming shadow of the cross, until we remember that they didn’t really understand that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem to die.  To the disciples, however, to be at either side of Jesus was glory: folks would talk about how important and worthy and righteous they must be to have found such favor in Jesus’ eyes.  Jesus, however, tells them plainly that they don’t have a clue what they are asking – and he leaves it at that.

Now, days later, Jesus is on the cross.  But he’s not alone.  There is someone on his right and someone on his left – the place that the disciples believed was a place of honor.  But they were no where to be found.  They found out that to be on the right or left hand of Jesus wasn’t all it appeared to be.  In fact, those who were on the right and left hand of Jesus were criminals…vile sinners.  And they weren’t getting praise from anyone…instead they were getting nails and broken legs.

When James and John asked Jesus for the places of honor next to him in his kingdom, he told them they didn’t know what they were asking (Mark 10:35-39). Jesus was trying to tell his position-conscious disciples that a person who wants to be close to Jesus must be prepared to suffer and die. The way to the kingdom is the way of the cross.

But, there was truth to part of the disciples’ belief.  For one of the thieves, he found the position next to Jesus to be one not only of honor, but of salvation.  The other, sadly, did not.  One discovered that just being close to Jesus in proximity wasn’t enough.  We have to be united to him in death, alive in him with faith and hope, and in so doing, we will walk the streets of paradise with him in the kingdom.

Do you desire a place of honor and recognition?  Have you come to the cross yourself?  Have you taken up your place on the cross next to Jesus?  Have you died so that you might live?  To die with Jesus is a great thing – once you’ve accepted him through faith.  But dying next to him without faith is the utmost futility.  And if as faithful ones we die with Jesus, how much more glorious is it to live for and with him?

Copyright by 2005 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: It is hard to understand the requests of the disciples until we put ourselves in their place, Lord, and realize that we would have likely done the same thing.  Help us not to seek our glory, but yours!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 4/30/14 – The Moment of Recognition

DayBreaks for 4/30/14 – The Moment of Recognition

In the Greek myth The Odyssey we read the epic of Odysseus. Odysseus was the mighty warrior who fought in the Trojan War, but according to legend, his journey home after that war was interrupted for many years as the gods had decided to test his true mettle through a series of trials. His journeys carried him far and wide as he encountered mythic beasts and lands, many of which have passed into common parlance: the Cyclops, the Procrustean bed, Scylla and Charybdis, the sirens’ voices.

Meanwhile, back at his home, Odysseus’ wife and family presume he must have died en route back from Troy. Finally, however, the gods released Odysseus and he arrives home. Instead of simply walking through the front door and crying out the Greek equivalent of, “Honey, I’m home!” Odysseus decides he wants to determine if anything has changed during his absence. Did his wife still love him? Had she been faithful? In order to find out, Odysseus disguises himself so he looks like a stranger needing temporary lodging.

The housekeeper, Euryclea, welcomes the apparent traveler and performs for him the then-standard practice of foot-washing. As she does so, Euryclea regales the stranger with stories about her long-lost master, Odysseus, whom she had also served as a nurse when he was young. She tells the traveler about how long her master has been gone and she noted that by then Odysseus would be about the same age and build as the man whose feet she was washing. When Odysseus had been a young boy, he was once gored by a wild boar, leaving a nasty scar on his leg. As Euryclea went about washing his feet, suddenly her hand brushed against that old scar and instantly her eyes were opened and she recognized, with great joy, her beloved friend and master!

Recognition scenes like that have long exercised a strong effect on our hearts. Sometimes it is used for comedic effect, as in many episodes of the old I Love Lucy show when Lucy would disguise herself so as to worm her way into one of her husband, Rickie’s, shows. Jesus seems to have engaged in a similar recognition scene when he walked the road to Emmaus and met Mary in the garden after the resurrection. 

The moment of recognition is sheer delight. We shall be seen by Him, and we shall know Him – and He will know us!  The anticipation is almost too much to bear as we await that moment.

PRAYER: Thank you, Jesus, for knowing us and claiming us as your very own! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/18/12 – Silent Night

DayBreaks for 12/18/12 – Silent Night

Silent-Night

Luke 2:4-7 (NLT)4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.  5 He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.  6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.  7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

Only by happy coincidence did the names of the true authors of the song “Silent Night” come to light—thirty-six years after they wrote it.

The story begins in 1818 in a church in the little Austrian town of Oberndorf. Shortly before Christmas Eve, a mouse ate a hole in the leather bellows of the church organ, effectively silencing it. The itinerant organ mender was not due in town for months, and music was needed for the Christmas Eve service. In three and one-half hours, Franz Gruber, the organist, composed music for a poem written by Josef Mohr, a priest. It began “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” (“Silent Night, Holy Night”). On Christmas Eve, the two men sang their composition accompanied by a guitar and children’s chorus. They were a great success.

The following May, when the organ mender turned up, Gruber gave him a copy of the song, which the man then circulated in his travels. By 1831, thirteen years later, the Strasser family quartet was billing “Silent Night” one of their numbers, as a Tyrolean folk song by “authors unknown.”

Time went by, and soon the now-popular song was being attributed to several famous composers. In 1854, the leader of the king’s orchestra in Berlin wrote to the choir director of the Benedictine school in Salzburg, asking for a copy of “Silent Night” by Michael Haydn, brother of the more famous composer Franz Joseph Haydn. The choir director asked a student—who just happened to be Felix Gruber, Franz Gruber’s son—to find a copy.

For thirty-six years the composers of this most beloved of Christmas carols received no credit for their work.  It doesn’t seem to have bothered them.  Nor did it bother God when He didn’t receive credit for His work when He was born in a Bethlehem manger.  It wouldn’t be for nearly 33 years that the proof for Who He claimed to be would become known: the resurrection from the dead.

There are still many who don’t believe in Him, who don’t give Him credit for the masterpiece of salvation that He crafted starting on that night in Bethlehem.  Let’s be sure that we’re not among those who don’t recognize and applaud His greatest work!

PRAYER: Author of salvation, how great You are!  Let us sing Your praises aloud for all the world to hear!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 09/19/12 – In Due Time

DayBreaks for 09/19/12 – In Due Time

NOTE: sorry about no post on Tuesday.  Our Internet was down most of Monday and part of Tuesday, but it’s obviously fixed now!!!

I Peter 5:6 – So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you.

On a plaque marking Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace near Hodgenville, KY, is recorded this scrap of conversation:

“Any new down ‘t the village, Ezry?”  “Well, Squire McLain’s gone t’ Washington t’ see Madison swore in, and ol’ Spellman tells me this Bonaparte fella has captured most o’ Spain.”

“What’s new out here,  neighbor?”  “Nuthin’, nuthin’ a’tall, ‘cept fer a new baby born t’ Tom Lincoln’s.  Nothin’ ever happens out here.”

Sometimes, it seems as if no one ever notices the good things you try to do – let alone the effort that went into doing those things.  You may not ever receive even a “Thank you!” for your troubles.  Certainly no one sees it when you bite your tongue and keep from saying hurtful things or harsh words.  At such moments, we may be tempted to wonder if anyone will ever notice.  You have done “the right thing” but not even God seems to be all that excited about it because one trouble after another comes down on your shoulders.  It doesn’t seem fair (and it isn’t fair).  It doesn’t seem right, either.

The simple truth is that some events and even the daily decisions we make to do what Christ would have us to do, may not seem to amount to much.  It could be a birthday (as in Hodgenville, KY or in the ancient city of Bethlehem), it may be a spiritual rebirth…these things may not make much of an earthly splash at all.  They seem insignificant even now, let alone in the light of eternity.  But those things have lasting importance…and God Himself will see to it that you will be honored for it!

PRAYER: Our frustrations sometimes boil over, Lord, and we get discouraged and down-spirited by trying to do what is right…but it seemingly passes unnoticed.  Help us to rest in the calm assurance that anything done for you will not escape your attention.  But at the same time, help us not to do things just to receive honor from you, but rather to bring honor TO you!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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