DayBreaks for 6/12/19 – The Rock and the Sunlight

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DayBreaks for 6/12/19: The Rock and the Sunlight

I love a quotation and paraphrase of Martin Luther: “Can a rock that has been in the sunlight all day not fail to give off warmth and heat at night?”

Think about it: a rock that has been in the warmth and heat of the sun all day will not fail to give off warmth and heat. In the same way, can a Christian who has lived in the sunlight of God’s love not fail to give off warmth and love? No. That is why it is so important that we have first things first. It’s pointless to others to just say, “Start loving each other. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice.” No, no, no – that will not work. First, we need to live in the sunlight of God’s love. We need to bake in the sunlight of God’s compassion. We need to absorb God’s light into us. And then…we start to give off the love that has warmed our hearts.

This is why all the love songs and peace songs that were ever sung have never resulted in real peace or love. Without the Sonlight of God’s love to thaw out our frozen hearts and fills them with the warmth of God that changes us so we can love others as he has loved us, there will be no lasting change in this world. PRAYER: May your love shine on us, God, so that there will be peace in our family and on the earth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 6/01/17 – Run to the Rock!

Rafting on the American River (above).

DayBreaks for 6/01/17: Run to the Rock!

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2007:

Psalms 61:2 (NIV) – From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

On the 19th of this month, I had a new experience: I went white-water rafting with some other fellows from our church.  We were on the South Fork of the American River, above Sacramento.  It was a LOT of fun!  The water flow was high and rapid and it was a great time of fellowship and fun.

Before we began our white-water adventure, the guides went though a great deal of instruction in order to be sure we’d be as safe as possible.  We received directions about how to get someone back into the boat in case they fell out, about what to do with your feet if you fell out (keep them up, not down as they could catch between rocks and you’d be pulled under!), and what we were to do if the float raft slammed up against a rock. 

Now, it is rather counter-intuitive, but if you see your boat being swept into a large rock, what would your first reaction be?  Most people would instinctively move away from the side of the boat that will be struck by the rock.  They want to get as far away as possible from the edge that will soon be kissing granite!  Makes sense, doesn’t it?  But it’s the wrong thing to do.  Instead, everyone was instructed that if it happened, the thing to remember was this: run to the rock.  With all the weight on the high side of the boat, it won’t flip over, but if everyone went to the side below the rock, it would surely tip and everyone would be overboard. 

It struck us that we should “run to the rock” because it has obvious spiritual parallels.  Jesus, we are told, is the Rock.  He is the one to whom we should run for safety.  It may not be intuitive, in fact, we may be tempted to run to things we can see, taste, hear, smell or touch instead of a God Who is a Spirit.  But in times of trouble, if we want our little boat to stay afloat and not get dumped out into the swirling waters of life, remember: “Run to the Rock!”

PRAYER: Lord, help us to remember that there is no place that is safer than to be as close to You as possible.  Give us the wisdom, and the spiritual insight, to run to the rock!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 3/10/16 – A Fragile Stone

DayBreaks for 3/10/16: A Fragile Stone

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:

A stone.  A rock.  Solid.  Strong.  Cephas.  Peter.  It’s what the name Peter means, after all.  And what a rock he was!  Over and over again, whenever the disciples are with Jesus, it is Peter who is the spokesman – and I don’t think that was all because of his impetuousness.  It was because of the nature of the man.  He was a leader.  He was respected and acknowledged as the leader of the 12.  He had their confidence because he had earned it.  He would stand up in the midst of a hostile crowd that had killed Jesus and would preach words that stung their hearts and cut them to the quick – and they responded en masse to the power of the word that Peter was preaching.

He stood up to the religio-political leaders and refused to obey their dictates, boldly proclaiming, “We must obey God rather than men.”  He was a rock. 

But not even Peter was always a rock.  Consider these insights from Michael Card in his book, A Fragile Stone: Just as Paul is remembered as the one who persecuted the church before his own conversion on the road to Damascus, Peter is remembered forever as the apostle who denied Christ.  The Rock on whom Jesus would build his church proved to be a sand pile.  When he attempted to walk on water, the Rock sank like a stone.

“Peter rebuked Jesus when the Lord spoke of his impending death in Jerusalem, and Jesus called him ‘Satan.’  His various boasts about his unbending loyalty to Jesus proved hollow in the courtyard of the high priest Caiaphas.

We all would like to be like a Rock, wouldn’t we?  But aren’t we all more like the sand pile, or like a rock tossed into the water?  I have a hunch that as many times as Peter may have been called the Rock, that there were an equal, or greater, number of times that he was less than a rock.  But how Jesus loved him!!!!

Jesus loves sand piles and sinking stones just as he loves Rocks – and He loves you and me.  And that gives me comfort as I struggle to be what He wants me to be.   

TODAY’S PRAYER:  If there is one thing we should want to give You, Lord, may it be our faithfulness.  Thank you for dealing with us so gently because of our crumbling, sinking sinful natures.  Let us become people on whom You can count, may we become strong in Him!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 11/01/12 – The Rock Never Moved

DayBreaks for 11/01/12 – The Rock Never Moved

O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! 2 From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, 3 for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. 4 Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings! – Psalm 61:1-4 (NLT)

We have just witnessed perhaps the most destructive storm to ever hit the United States, hurricane Sandy.  While the winds weren’t the strongest that we’ve experienced, the sheer size of the storm, combined with other meteorological phenomena joined forces to create what some called “Frankenstorm.”  Dozens in the US perished, and who knows what the property damage totals will become?

We often find ourselves at the mercy of the forces of nature and the forces of life.  We can’t control the wind, the waves, the heat or cold.  We can’t control gravity or change the laws of physics in order to spare our lives or keep us and our loved ones from danger.  When you stop to really think about it, life could be terrifying.  Who knows if an unknown meteor will smack into the earth in the next week?  Or if the sun will go super-nova well ahead of schedule?  Can anyone guarantee you that tomorrow you will not be injured or killed in an accident, terrorist act, fire or other catastrophe?  No.  No one can give you that guarantee.  Nor can anyone guarantee that you won’t be deeply wounded tomorrow by someone you work with, or by someone you thought was a friend or companion.  It happens all over the place, every day.  It can happen to any of us at any time.

Should we be terrified?  We should if those things that I’ve mentioned were all we know about life and creation and this world.  But we have been given glimpses into the behind-the-scenes working of this world.  Because of that tiniest of glimpses, we can live without paralyzing fear.

There’s a story about a storm that goes like this: “A storm wrecked a ship. The only survivor was a little boy who was swept by the waves onto a rock. There he sat all night long. In the morning he was seen and rescued. One of his rescuers asked him, “Did not you tremble while you were on the rock during the night?” His answer: “I surely did tremble but the rock did not.”

“We are human. We cannot help but tremble, but the Rock on which we stand never does.” – Practical Bible Illustrations From Yesterday and Today.

No one wants the winds to howl in their life or for the rain to fall.  No one wanted hurricane Sandy to wash away their homes and jobs and lives.  It is tragic, sad and lamentable.  It could have been us.  This time it wasn’t.  But we need not fear, for there is a Solid Rock that will sway the future.

PRAYER:  Jesus, for all the times I have complained about my cross, I’m sorry.  I nearly always forget how blessed I am!  Help me to not carry a chip on my shoulder, but rather to shoulder the crosses you send my way.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

Want to help us save children and give them a life?  Donate now through I Am 2 Partners, Inc., where Galen serves as director of operations: http://www.iam2.org/donate   Thanks!

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DayBreaks for 07/04/12 – The Rock Who Became a Sandpile

DayBreaks for 07/04/12 – The Rock Who Became a Sandpile

(NOTE: Galen is back from his trip to India, is recovering from the removal of his gall bladder, so one more week of archived DayBreaks!  New DayBreaks starting again next week!)

Matthew 16:18 – “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

What makes authentic disciples is not visions, ecstasies, biblical mastery of chapter and verse, or spectacular success in the ministry, but a capacity for faithfulness.  Buffeted by the fickle winds of failure, battered by their own unruly emotions, and bruised by rejection and ridicule, authentic disciples have stumbled and frequently fallen, endured lapses and relapses, gotten handcuffed to the fleshpots and wandered into a far county.  Yet, they kept coming back to Jesus.”  Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

We know the stories from the bible of the men and women of God.  Abraham – father of the faithful.  David – the shepherd who became Israel’s greatest king.  Peter – the simple fisherman who became one of the greatest fishers of men.  Yet we need to remember that Abraham was a liar – and a doubter of God.  David was king – but also struggled with his sexual passions that spun out of control and led to murder and punishment on his people.  Peter, for all his greatness, will also be remembered for the three-fold denial in the hour of Jesus’ greatest need.  But Manning’s point is well made – all the men and women who are “great” found themselves often on the shoals of a shipwrecked faith as the result of their failings.  Listen again to Manning:

The portrait of Peter, the rock who proved to be a sand pile, speaks to every ragamuffin across the generations. Lloyd Ogilvie notes: ‘Peter had built his whole relationship with Jesus Christ on his assumed capacity to be adequate.  That’s why he took his denial of the Lord so hard.  His strength, loyalty, and faithfulness were his self-generated assets of discipleship.  The fallacy in Peter’s mind was this: he believed his relationship was dependent on his consistency in producing the qualities he though had earned him the Lord’s approval.

“Many of us face the same problem.  We project into our Lord our own measured standard of acceptance.  Our whole understanding of him is based on a quid pro quo of bartered love.  He will love us if we are good, moral and diligent.  But we have turned the tables; we try to live so that he will love us, RATHER THAN LIVING BECAUSE HE HAS ALREADY LOVED US.”

How many of us have erected our own “systems” which we believed would placate the wrath of God and make us “acceptable” to Him?  Do we really believe we can earn his love by being “good”?  Perhaps for you, it is your dedication to your family which you believe will put you in good stead with God.  Not so.  Maybe it is the years of faithful ministry that you hope will get you through when you stand before Him.  It won’t.  You could bake twelve dozen turkey meals and day and feed the poor, but that won’t do the trick, either.

We try so hard to “live so that he will love us”.  When will we catch on and REALLY start living with the full assurance and boldness that he has already, and does forever, love us?

Matthew 7:24-27 – “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

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

PRAYER: Lord, crush us and grind us down until we are fit for Your use!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda!  If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org.  The budget for this water system is $8300.  Every gift matters…and every gift is appreciated!  They ALL make a difference!

Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home.  You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!!  We still need to raise a bit over $4000 to fulfill our mission.  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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