DayBreaks for 9/14/17 – The Voice on the Battlefield

DayBreaks for 9/14/17: The Voice on the Battlefield

NOTE: Sorry for the missing DayBreaks yesterday. We just got our power back Wednesday morning and the internet Wednesday night!

From the DayBreaks archive, 9/2007:

It isn’t by accident that the Bible often uses terminology relating war to human life.  It’s a battle all the way, no matter who you are or where you live.  For some, each day is literally a battle for life and death – for food, water, running from roving bands armed with machine guns.  For others (and most  Americans), it’s a different kind of battle, but it’s still a battle.  We struggle with boredom, depression, busyness, with too many choices and perhaps too much opportunity.  Living in luxury has it’s own perils.

But by God’s good grace, one thing remains constant: whether we live and die in an African desert or in an American home or hospital, there is someone who is seeking us out:

“A famous military officer used to tell a story of an aged Quaker named Hartmann, whose son had enlisted in the army.  There came the news of a dreadful battle, and this old father, in fear and trembling, started to the scene of conflict that he might learn something concerning his boy.  The officer of the day told him that he had not answered to his name, and that there was every reason to believe that he was dead.  This did not satisfy the father, so, leaving headquarters, he started across the battlefield, looking for the one who was dearer to him than life.  He would stoop down and turn over the face of this one and then the face of another, but without success.  The night came on, and then with a lantern he continued his search, all to no purpose.  Suddenly the wind, which was blowing a gale, extinguished his lantern, and he stood there in the darkness hardly knowing what to do until his father’s ingenuity, strength and affection prompted him to call out his son’s name, and so he stood and shouted, “John Hartmann, your father calls you.”  All about him he would hear the groans of the dying and someone saying: “Oh, if that were only my father.”  He continued his cry with more pathos and power until at last in the distance he heard his boy’s voice crying tremblingly, “Here, father.”  The old man made his way across the field shouting out, “Thank God! Thank God!” Taking him in his arms, he carried him to headquarters, nursed him back to health and strength, and he went on to live a long life.” – J. Wilbur Chapman

We live on a battlefield, and the fallen are all around us.  Some of them may be your own children, your husband or wife, perhaps you yourself have fallen and lay on the battlefield, marred and disfigured – in desperate need of recovery.  Upon the battlefield that is this world, this life, on this day walks Jesus Christ, the Son of God, crying out to all who are wrecked by this awful, twisted world, “Your Father is calling you!”   He listens for the slightest response to his plea, eager to scoop us up in his arms and carry us into heaven.

Perhaps you have never trusted in Christ, but have been thinking of doing so.  Let me ask: what other alternative do you have that could be better?  Answer his call before he moves on.  Perhaps you are a believer, but have fallen by the wayside, disregarding the Word and the claim of God upon your life – choosing to go your own way instead of his.  Answer his call before you bleed to death.  Time is of the essence.

PRAYER:  We praise you that you come to search out our broken lives in the middle of this world, Lord.  Thank you that you have made the journey from heaven to earth to find us.  Give us ears to hear your voice and hearts willing to respond!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 4/17/17 – Now You’ll See

DayBreaks for 4/18/17: Now You’ll See

From the DayBreaks archive, 2007:

I don’t have to tell you that life can get pretty hard.  If you are more than 24 hours old, you’ve probably discovered that fact for yourself (and come to think of it, getting into this world isn’t so easy, either)!  It is difficult, at times, to hold onto hope.  But it is very important that we do so!  Think about this example from Today In the Word, May 1990: A number of years ago researchers performed an experiment to see the effect hope has on those undergoing hardship. Two sets of laboratory rats were placed in separate tubs of water. The researchers left one set in the water and found that within an hour they had all drowned. The other rats were periodically lifted out of the water and then returned. When that happened, the second set of rats swam for over 24 hours. Why? Not because they were given a rest, but because they suddenly had hope!  Those animals somehow hoped that if they could stay afloat just a little longer, someone would reach down and rescue them.

It is sometimes easier to hope than others.  But as G. K. Chesterton put it: Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all…As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.  I think he makes a good point.  If we were the rats in the tank in the experiment and could see a way to get ourselves out of the tank, then what would we be relying on?  Ourselves.  And then it isn’t hope, is it? 

Of course, we aren’t rats in a tank.  We are of much greater value.  We weren’t put here be some crazed scientist for the purposes of experimentation.  God isn’t performing laboratory experiments on us.  We need to remember that it was our sin that put us in the tank – not some all-powerful cosmic scientist to watch creatures struggle to see what they would do!  We alone are responsible for the fact that we are drowning.  God alone is responsible for the fact that there is a way out of the tank.  God has spent thousands of years rescuing us from the cesspool of our sin and shame and He is still about the business of rescuing broken and drowning people today. 

Romans 5:5-6 reminds us: And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  You see, God didn’t just build a ramp out of the tank, He got in the tank with us and lifted us out. 

When you despair of ever seeing or feeling the joy of a sunrise again, look around you.  You will see the Son of God at your side.  He will not fail you.  He will not let you down.  You may have to reach the point where the situation is “hopeless” before you turn to Him so you can learn what hope really is. 

We all need to remember that “hopeless” is a human term – it doesn’t exist in God’s dictionary.

PRAYER:  This day, Lord, let us be filled with hope, for this may be the day of His return!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 5/03/16 – We Have to Go Out

DayBreaks for 5/03/16 – We Have to Go Out

From the DayBreaks archives, May 2006:

A horrible storm was battering the coastline of Oregon.  The rain was falling sideways, the winds were shrieking and the oceans were angry, punishing the shore with every breaker.  Everything was battened down to ride out the storm when the distress call came in to the Coast Guard.  A ship was in trouble – foundering under the onslaught of wind and wave.  

The call stirred up controversy among those at the Coast Guard center.  The decision: send out a cutter to attempt a rescue.  One young Guardsman, concerned about with wisdom of going out to attempt a rescue in such terrible conditions, approached the ship’s commander before they boarded and suggested that it was crazy to go out in such weather – it was just too dangerous.  He suggested the very real possibility that they might not make it back.  

The commander, a veteran of years in the Coast Guard, turned and looked at the young guardsman and said, “We don’t have to come back, but we do have to go out.”

That attitude is sterling, and it is the attitude that we, as believers, should have for the cause and the glory of the cross.  We may not want to, we may feel that it’s too “stormy” outside – but Jesus didn’t ask his disciples to “Wait for excellent conditions before going out to be fishers of men.”  No, he didn’t even hint at that.  In fact, if anything, he tells us over and over again not to be concerned about our earthly lives – they’re nothing more than a mist, a flower that blooms and then is gone, but eternity has much greater significance and meaning and eternal destinies are the things that should occupy our attention – not earthly happenings.

The martyrs are the joyful band of those who “went out” but didn’t come back.  Yet when we see them at the end of time, they are surrounding the very throne of God because they “loved not their lives even to the point of death.”

How long has it been since you’ve “gone out” to rescue someone?

PRAYER:  Lord, give us courage.  Quell our fears of what mankind can do to us.  Fuel the fires of our heart to rescue the perishing and to have the courage to go out, even if we don’t come back.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 4/4/16 – The Father Who Refused to Quit

DayBreaks for 4/04/16 – The Father Who Refused to Quit

At 11:41 in the morning on December 7, 1988, a 6.8 earthquake struck the northern part of Armenia (part of the Soviet Union at the time). This was in the days of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviets, but the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev called President Ronald Reagan and asked for help from the United States in the rescue and humanitarian areas. Many people from the US donated money and many others traveled to the stricken area to assist in whatever way they could. When all was totaled up, somewhere between 25-50,000 people died and between 31-130,000 persons were injured.

Typically in such situations, survivors are recovered within the first 24 hours and that was proven true in this disaster. But there was one man who was desperately seeking his young son. Twenty-four hours passed, then 48. Two days turned into three, then four, then five. The rescue teams pleaded with the man to give up and accept that his son was dead, but the father refused to quit looking. Why? Because he was a father.

And so, the father continued to look and search amongst the debris of what had been the school where his child was buried. Finally, after moving some debris and seeing an open space below, he called down his son’s name. In response, he heard several voices. Among them he heard the weak, wavering voice of his child saying, “Daddy! You’ve come! I thought you’d given up!” The little boy was pulled alive from the wreckage, one of only two dozen from the school of hundreds who survived.

A father’s love (or mother’s) is powerful. It drives parents onward when all around them says to quit, to walk away.

Our lives were in ruins before God came to our rescue. We were buried under massive piles of shame, guilt, despair, hopelessness and sin. For some it has taken years or decades before they heard the Father’s voice calling them back to the land of the living.

In spite of the father’s frequent comments to his son that he’d always be there when he need him, the child had given up hope – he was afraid that his father had given up because it had been so long. But that father didn’t give up. Neither does our Father in heaven.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV) – Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. These are the words of Moses to the Israelites just before his death. Jesus made a similar statement in the New Testament to his followers – that he would never leave nor forsake them.

Sometimes it is hard to hope against the darkness. But we have a Father who will never give up.

TODAY’S PRAYER: Father, I am so very grateful that you have never given up on me – and that you never will! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 8/27/15 – The Power of Together

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DayBreaks for 8/27/15: The Power of Together

From the DayBreaks archive, 8/29/2005:

It hasn’t been that long – you may remember it. A few years back a tremendous human drama played out above and below ground in the Quecreek mine in Pennsylvania.  A group of miners were drilling in a coal mine shaft. Unbeknownst to them, their map was wrong. They believed that they were hundreds of feet away from an old mine shaft that had long ago been flooded.  As their drill bit broke through into the flooded shaft, millions of gallons of water began pouring into the mine where they were working. The water filled the lower section of the shaft and cut off their escape route to the surface. They were trapped in a cold, totally dark mine shaft. 

I probably would have totally freaked out – I am claustrophobic, and one of my worst nightmares is to be trapped somewhere. But these men decided early on that they would live or die as a group. They wouldn’t split up, taking their chances as individuals. Whatever their fate held, they would face it together.  And so days passed while rescue teams drilled a new hole through which the men might be rescued. As they huddled together in the cold, dark wetness of the shaft, when one member became too cold, they would all huddle around that man and hold them until they warmed up, and then they’d take turns warming others. 

Eventually, the rescuers managed to reach the men and they were all rescued from several hundred feet underground. The rescue was shown on television.  It took place at night, as I recall, when the first miners were brought up to the surface, soaked, dirty, but very, very happy to be alive. I was very moved by the images of the men coming up out of that dark pit.

As Christians there are powerful lessons in what happened to these men. 

FIRST: it’s important to have the right map. If they’d not had an incorrect map, they wouldn’t have ever drilled the hole that let the water in. We can easily look for direction in the wrong places. Guidance must come from a reliable source.  If you want truth, you must turn to the Truth.

SECOND: there was power in the men staying together. It’s easy to think that we can go it alone and survive. And in fact, rather than binding together as people who are going through an ordeal (make no doubt about it, we are living in a very serious and deadly situation), we often turn on one another and are more interested in scoring points rather than survival and helping one another live. 

THIRD: waiting must be extremely hard to do when you are in a flooded tunnel with a diminishing air supply in total darkness. Yet these men realized that their best chance for survival was to stick together and wait for rescue to come. They could have untied themselves and tried in vain to swim through the pitch-black tunnels in search of the exit – and they would have drowned, almost certainly. As Christians, we need to tie and bind ourselves together with the love of the Lord, helping one another survive until the Rescuer from above appears.  Scripture is full of admonitions to persevere, to wait upon the Lord and His time and will. 

Romans 8:23-25 – Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

PRAYER: God, help us love one another truly from the heart and be united in love and by the family ties that bind us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 04/26/12 – Snatch Us From Evil

DayBreaks for 04/26/12 – Snatch Us From Evil

Deliver is to gentle of a term for what Jesus does...

 “Deliver us from evil.” – The Lord’s Prayer

It is a very simple request, is it not?  And it is a request that one would expect every single Christian to make.  There are those who don’t believe evil exists.  Those people were never kept in a crowded building in Auschwitz or gassed by a mad dictator who bombed the village with chlorine gas.  They were never locked in a closet under a staircase.  They were not blinded by their parents so that they’d make more convincing beggars as a way for the parents to get hand-outs from passers-by.  But all those things happen.  Evil exists.

But not all evil is that obvious nor blatant.  Most of evil seems relatively tame by comparison, not something that would cause us to quake in our boots because the evil is so palpable.  Perhaps that’s why Jesus put this in his model prayer for us – to help us realize that evil, while there may be degrees of it, is always still evil and insidious and in all forms, deadly and dangerous.

Writing in Leadership Journal’s Spring 2012 edition, John Ortberg made this observation: “Even though what we call “the Lord’s prayer” is familiar to Christians, there are parts of it we rarely dwell on. For instance, what it really means when Jesus says, “Deliver us from the evil one.” New Testament scholar Dale Bruner notes that Jesus uses an almost violent verb translated “deliver.” It means to snatch; it’s what a hand does when it seizes an object in considerable danger. The idea here is that the devil is constantly luring us into pits, snares of moral destruction, and being saved from them is beyond mere human willpower. Only God’s watching and snatching and saving can rescue us. Deliverance indeed.”

A parent would snatch a child from in front of an on-rushing, snarling pit bull or car, or pull them back from a precipice.  It’s an almost violent act, motivated by urgency, and often, fear.  Yet that’s the word Jesus chose to use when He asked the Father to “snatch us from evil.”

You see, we stand at the precipice and are often ready to take the leap and yield to the temptation, not realizing the great danger we are in.  Jesus knows…and that’s why he used such a strong verb.  I have a hunch we may all need to pray “Snatch us from evil” a bit more often than we do!

PRAYER: Father, snatch us back now and always from falling into ruin and disgrace, from bringing shame on Your glorious Name!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 is now engaged in a project to provide temporary shelter, food, water and adult care to 37 orphans in Migori, Kenya.  We are trying to raise up an army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us provide care for these children until our partner in the project, BrightPoint for Children, can secure sponsorships for these 37 kids.  If you want to contribute, follow this link and scroll down to find the “Donate” button: Help the 37 Migori Orphans

Thank you!  Your donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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DayBreaks for 04/04/12 – There is Hope

DayBreaks for 04/04/12 – There Is Hope

There is hope when the Light rises...

 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5

Do you ever struggle to find hope?  Day after day, you get up and go to the same job where you’ve worked for 20 years.  Your finances don’t seem any better, maybe worse, than they were 10 years ago, and your dreams of a retirement vanish into the mist of the future.  Perhaps you’ve suffered a long time with a disease or some physical or mental problem.  Your marriage is disappointing, frustrating and loveless.  And you see no hope for any of the above.

In the early part of World War II, a Navy submarine was stuck on the bottom of the harbor in New York City. It seemed that all was lost. There was no electricity and the oxygen was quickly running out. In one last attempt to rescue the sailors from the steel coffin, the U.S. Navy sent a ship equipped with Navy divers to the spot on the surface, directly above the wounded submarine. A Navy diver went over the side of the ship to the dangerous depths in one last rescue attempt. The trapped sailors heard the metal boots of the diver land on the exterior surface, and they moved to where they thought the rescuer would be. In the darkness they tapped in Morse code, “Is there any hope?” The diver on the outside, recognizing the message, signaled by tapping on the exterior of the sub, “Yes, there is hope.”

If there is a message of Easter that everyone needs to hear it is that there is hope!  At the darkest hour in human existence, the Son of God was killed and stuck into a sealed tomb.  Dreams had been shattered, hopes dashed, life snuffed out.  And the minions of hell were shrieking in delight and laughter, celebrating their victory.

There were NO humans who expected to see Christ alive again.  No one.  Not one of his followers spent that Saturday night in breathless anticipation, unable to sleep because they were so excited to run to the tomb in the morning and see the risen Lord.  No, if they were sleepless, it was because they were destroyed spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally – by the events of Friday.  There was no anticipation.  There was no expectation.  There was no hope.

Then, on Sunday morning, Christ came tapping on their awareness and hearts, presenting himself to them physically and in person…and hope was born again.

How full is your “hope tank”?  This week, be reminded that nothing is impossible with God – NOTHING, not your work, not your marriage, not your finances, not anything.  Hope lives!

PRAYER: God, I thank You for hope that keeps us moving forward, that helps us face each day not with resignation, but with expectation!  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 “I Am 2 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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