DayBreaks for 4/26/16 – King and Country

DayBreaks for 4/26/16 – King and Country

I confess that I am baffled by the current crop of national candidates for the highest office in our land. I realize that politics is an incendiary topic and I seldom write about it. Don’t worry – I’m not really writing about it today, either, so it is safe to read on!

I find myself dismayed at the choices before us. Where have the great leaders gone to? Why and how did we get to this point in our history where we seem to have such a shortage of genuine, true leaders? I can’t know the realities in their hearts regarding their faith, but I do see signs that I find deeply disturbing about nearly every single one of our presidential candidates and I am struggling with the question of “Who will I vote for?” if so and so are the nominees.

On Sunday, one of the teachers at our church spoke on this issue as so many are wrestling with the same things I’m feeling. His message was: King and Country and focused on may passages that talk about what God has to say about living as a citizen in this world.

The preacher didn’t tell us who to vote for, but he did try to help put things into a well-informed, Biblical perspective for us. Here are some of the things he had to say:

  1. Our frustrations have grown to a fever pitch because we have placed our hope in government, not God. If we are counting on government and human leaders to deliver us, we will be disappointed 100% of the time. What we are longing for is the Garden – the way things were created to be originally;
  2. Jeremiah 29:7 describes the Israelites in Babylonian captivity and they wondered how they should live there. God’s answer, through His prophet Jeremiah, was that our role in exile should bless the place where we live and pray for it – be in it, but not part of it;
  3. He illustrated it by having two boxes on stage. One was a large box that represented the Kingdom of God, the smaller box represented America. He reminded us that it is the Kingdom of God that is the greater of the two and that our lives as Americans is not the pre-eminent thing, it is our life as Christians that encloses our life as Americans, not the other way around;
  4. The Kingdom of God demands our highest level of allegiance and all that we are to carry out our responsibilities as citizens of any earthly kingdom in light of His kingdom;
  5. The Kingdom of Jesus is not only our ultimate security, but our ONLY security.

I don’t know who will be the president-elect after November 4, 2016. Thank goodness I don’t have to know. Our fate as a nation is dependent on God and His plan, not some puny president. America is not God’s “chosen people”. That title once belonged to Israel. Now it belongs to all believers of any nation. And that’s the nation we should, and must be most concerned about!

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord for the reminder of priorities and of where our hope should rightfully rest! Let us find peace in our hearts even in the midst of this tumultuous time in our country, and help us as Your people to humble ourselves and pray so that You may heal our nation! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

Advertisements

DayBreaks for 4/25/16 – Insecure?

DayBreaks for 4/25/16 – Insecure?

If you are an honest human, you’ve probably awakened from time to time with a heart full of insecurity. If may have been about something you needed to do but didn’t feel competent enough to do. It have to do with not feeling safe. You know what you hope the outcome of things will be, but you fear that you won’t get that outcome. So, if you are like me, you can wallow in those feelings for a while: insecurity and fear.

Psalm 16 is great medicine for those times:

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in y our presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasure forevermore.

Now, isn’t that better than wallowing in insecurity? We have so much to be thankful for: 1) the Lord holds our lot; 2) we have a beautiful inheritance; 3) in His presence there is fullness of joy.

That’s all GREAT news! No, it doesn’t change our circumstances. The outcome may indeed not be what we are hoping for in the short run, but in the long run we have pleasures forevermore.

As we travel through tough times we do have a choice. We can give in to despair and let fear run rampant, or we can say to our soul, “I will not be shaken!” When we do, by the Spirit’s power, we can move forward.

Are you struggling today? I am not making light of your struggles or suggesting a trite, formulaic remedy. The struggle is HARD. Hurts are REAL. Don’t think I’m not aware of how real those are and how deep your pain may be right now. I’m simply trying to share something with you today that may be helpful while you are in your pain.

Security isn’t found in ignoring reality. It is found in holding on to the greatest Reality in existence – Jesus – and knowing He holds us!

PRAYER: Lord, I suspect that today we will all face some insecurities – some relatively minor while others may be truly, deeply struggling. Help us to remember that our lot is not dependent on the roll of the dice, but that YOU hold our lot in Your Almighty hand. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 4/15/16 – So Much for Locking the Door

DayBreaks for 4/15/16 – So Much for Locking the Door

One of the fastest growing, most profitable investment ventures in today’s economy is . . . . Anything having anything to do with security. You couldn’t have lost money in the last twenty years if you invested in storage or security: national security, personal security, home security, financial security, Internet security. The dangers of this world seem to be breathing hotter and closer down our necks. Any offering that promises to cool that threat down is welcomed with open arms and wallets.

We gladly invest in “LifeLock” and “Life Alert” and “Alert Life”- hoping to safeguard both our fiscal and physical lives. Instead of scripted shows by the Blue Angels at air-shows, we are sending long-range spontaneous shows of strength in the form of stealth bombers over South Korean airspace, which offends North Korea. We have “apps” on our smartphones that enable us to watch our front doors at home and our backdoors at work, to turn on our lights and turn off our heat, to be on-guard and on-point, even when we are off-site. We are desperately trying to contain the chaos of the cosmos.

In John’s gospel, Jesus’ first appearance to his disciples is when he comes to them behind closed, locked doors. Despite the vision of the empty tomb, despite the version of the resurrected Jesus Mary Magdalene had reported to them, the disciples were still shuttered and shuddering – clamped down and closed off from a threatening world. Then Jesus blasts through their ADT security system, blows out their “LifeLock,” and suddenly stands in their midst.

Don’t you love that about Jesus? How he just sometimes busts in on us and breaks through all our defenses to show Himself to us?

If you are looking for security, don’t try to lock Jesus out of your life and your heart. Not only is that exactly the wrong thing to do, but it just may not work anyway!

PRAYER: Jesus, help us find that You are the only true security in a very insecure world! Help us find our peace in Your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 12/12/13 – In the Hands of Christ

DayBreaks for 12/12/13 – In the Hands of Christ

NOTE: Galen will be traveling the week of 12/8.  New DayBreaks will resume the following week.

From the DayBreaks Archive, 2003:

John 10:28-29 (NIV)  – “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

There have been times in your life, I am sure, when you felt that there will be no mansion for you in heaven.  You just can’t picture God being able to be merciful enough, and gracious enough, or forgiving enough to overcome all of your sins and failings.  I understand.  I’ve been there, too.  When I do, I go back and revisit this verse.

What do I like about the picture this verse paints?  Several things:

FIRST: it is Jesus who gives me eternal life.  Not some angel, not some intermediary, but it is the very Son of God who has given me such a gift!  Somehow, I just don’t think that he makes mistakes!

SECOND: the picture is that we are held within the hand of Christ Himself, as if he has taken our lives, put them in the palm of his hand and closed his fingers tightly, yet gently, around us to prevent anyone prying us loose.

THIRD: Jesus gave me eternal life, but God is the one who has given us to Christ.  Do you think that Christ will not be careful with a gift that the Father has given to him?  I rather think he’ll treat it as the most precious thing he has!!!!

FOURTH: not only are we in Jesus’ hands, but the Father has His almighty hand wrapped around the hand of Jesus as a double-guarantee of our safety as we journey toward our eternal destination!

John R. Moreland wrote this:

“The hands of Christ

Seem very frail

For they were broken

By a nail.

 

But only they

Reach heaven at last

Whom these frail,

Broken hands hold fast.”

Rest in his hands today!

Copyright by 2003 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: We bless you, Jesus, for your broken hands that hold us fast!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make either a one-time or recurring (monthly) donation for his support.  If you have any questions, call 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 03/29/12 – Five Seconds Is All

DayBreaks for 03/29/12 – Five Seconds Is All

Five seconds can change everything...

From a sermon by Leonard Sweet: “A few years ago, just before Thanksgiving, Tom Lind, a salesman from Montana, was making his rounds, traveling his regular route along the southern Oregon coast. As usual he was in his older model pickup, piggybacked with his small camper. Looking to continue his route south and east, Lind made a fateful spur-of-the-moment decision. He opted to take the scenic route. Only a few miles on this blue highway, however, the elevation rose rapidly and good ol’ Oregon drizzle transformed into swirling snowflakes. Tom was in his big pickup, so he kept going. But the snow kept coming. Soon Tom found himself in the middle of a blizzard whiteout.

“Forced to pull over, Tom stopped for the rest of the day. By nightfall his pickup was a slightly discernible lump of white in a vast landscape of snow. Still Tom wasn’t terribly worried. He was in his big pickup Soon the road-clearing crews would be along and would help him escape the cold clutches that held him and his truck captive.

“What Tom didn’t realize was that the scenic route he had chosen was closed after the first winter snowfalls. The Forest Service didn’t maintain that road in any way. They would not be coming up that way until spring thaw.

“But Tom didn’t know that. Convinced that someone would be along as soon as there was a break in the weather, Tom determined to do the smart thing: stay in his big truck. Avoid the risks of exposure or getting hopelessly lost in a snow drift by hunkering down in his big truck.

“As soon as he failed to arrive at his next sales appointment, family and friends, state and local police forces began searching for Tom. No one thought to venture up the little used, completely snow-blocked back track Tom had chosen. When the weather cleared and blue skies and sun shone down on Tom’s trapped vehicle, the salesman opted to continue being smart and safe: he stayed with his big truck.

“It seems impossible to understand now, but Tom stayed with that big truck for over eight weeks. He kept a journal of his thoughts, his hopes, his fears, his considered options. But still he sat in that big truck. Eventually he grew too weak to have any real options anymore. By Christmas he couldn’t have walked out if he had wanted.

“At the end of January a group of back-country skiers inadvertently came across Tom and his safe haven big pickup truck. Tom’s journal revealed he had finally died sometime around January 15. His emaciated, dehydrated body was still in his truck. In trying to minimize his risks, Tom thought he was opting to stay safe. It turned out Tom was opting out of life.

“Like Tom and his big pickup truck, we may believe that seat belts, FDA regulations, security alerts, and smoke detectors can keep us safe. But the truth is we’re fragile, fallible, fractured creatures whose lives are always hanging in the balance. Every one of us is only one breath away from eternity. Five seconds is all that separates us from forever.”

PRAYER: Our fears often paralyze us, Lord, into inactivity.  Remind us that You have not called us to sit back and see what will happen, but to walk where You lead us and to do what You have given us to do!  Give us the wisdom to know when to wait on You, and to hears to hear Your voice when You call us to move!  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!

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, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.

 

DayBreaks for 07/07/11 – Uncontrolled Risk

DayBreaks for 07/07/11 – Uncontrolled Risk

NOTE: Galen is on Sabbatical until 7/11.  Until he returns, DayBreaks will be publishing prior devotions (that is, if Galen has access to the Internet!)  Thanks for your understanding!

Uncontrolled risk...

Risk analysis and management is an important part of business.  In any project (whether home, work or school), some level of risk analysis takes place.  Can you build that new cabinet yourself?  What if you blow it big time and it looks more like a broken down saw horse?  Can you complete your course of study and get the degree/job that you want?  If you can’t, what is your risk?  (Money, time, prestige, loss of respect – all these could be part of the cost of failure.)  One of the things that I used to teach in some of our management training sessions was risk management.  We always look for ways to mitigate/minimize risk and the potentially costly result of failure.

So, we become a risk-averse culture.  We buy insurance for our vehicles and homes, insure our health, and even place a “wager” with the insurance company that we’ll die eventually, but not before they think we will.  We do our best to stash away a “stash” of money, stocks and bonds to minimize the risk we face in our later years if we should be so lucky as to be able to retire.  See what I mean?

Well, here’s a news flash for you: We can’t control anything.  Not one thing.  I’d challenge any of those who read this message to tell me one thing that you can control.  You can’t control what you will eat.  You can’t control how long you will live.  You can’t control where you live.  You can’t control your job.  You can’t control your children.  You can’t control your eternal destiny.  You can’t control your retirement.  You can’t control your spouse.  Why do I say all these things?  Because I believe it is true.  You might be stricken dead the very next second by a heart attack, electrical shock, or a piece of Mir falling from the sky and crashing into your house.  Your parents, spouse or children have a mind of their own (if you have teenagers, you know what I’m saying!)  No matter how good you are at your profession, you can’t control the economy and once solid companies with millions (or billions) of dollars of financing go down the tubes and you can’t change it.  Recently, our company president encouraged an employee meeting by saying “We all control our own lives.  Take control of your own life.”  While I know what he was trying to do, I couldn’t help but shake my head and in my heart disagree with him.  I can take certain actions, but I control nothing in the ultimate.  If God decided to take all the air way the next moment, none of us would ever again draw a breath.  If Jesus were to come back now and the “heavens and earth” melt with a great heat – who of us believes we could control our life or anything else at that moment?

So, where is our security to be found?  Only in Him.  Our security is found in His ability to control everything, and His promise that He will do just that so that things work out “OK” for us.  You see, we can’t take the risk out of things, but Jesus can.  Let Him by your risk manager.  He’ll never fail you!

Copyright 2001 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.