DayBreaks for 5/16/18 – Fuel for the Journey

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DayBreaks for 5/16/18: Fuel for the Journey

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2008

On Tuesday, May 6, we visited Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida.  I was there once before a number of years back, but I didn’t get my fill of it and I wanted to take my wife there ever since (well, OK, maybe I just wanted to go back!). 

My favorite part of the tour is the Apollo/Saturn V center.  I grew up with stars in my eyes, stories of astronauts, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo – and of course, the excitement of living through the first lunar landing and all the subsequent landings.  I have always wanted to go to the moon.  I don’t think that I’ll ever get the chance.  And so, I vicariously experience it through the memories of the Apollo space program. 

Inside the Apollo/Saturn V visitor center is a Saturn V rocket, lying on its side and supported by huge iron support brackets.  It is a beast of a rocket – to this day, the largest ever assembled and the most powerful ever built.  It is 363 feet in length (longer than a football field, including both end zones).  The first stage held 5 huge engines that generated 7.5 million pounds of thrust.  In just the two minutes that the engines on the first stage were burning, they consumed 545,000 gallons of fuel.  Imagine having to pay for that at today’s gas prices (not to mention that it was a special mixture of fuel that would have been even more expensive.)  Why so much fuel, why so much power?  Because the fully loaded rocket weighed in at something like 6.3 million pounds, and it takes a lot of fuel to get something that big and heavy into space. 

It takes a lot to get us to heaven.  It’s not something that we can make, manufacture or buy.  It doesn’t take huge refineries, massive tanks or great, roaring engines.  What it does take is the blood of the Son of God…and as the old song goes, “There’s power in the blood.” 

We also need the fuel provided by the bread of life…the very same Jesus who gave his life for us and called us into his glory. 

One more thing: when the fuel on the Saturn V ran out, it was gone…kaput.  And it did run out.  But the power supplied by the Son is more than sufficient and will never be used up!

Revelation 7:14 (KJV) – And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

PRAYER: Jesus, thank you for the power that is in your blood to cleanse us and the power of your Spirit to keep us, and that your power never changes but is always constant.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 7/05/17 – Caleb and Courageous Conviction, #3

Hill country, Israel. 

DayBreaks for 7/05/17: Caleb and Courageous Conviction, #3

When I was young, I could run and run and run and seemingly never tire. So, for the most part, I ran longer races when I ran track in high school. And I was fairly good at it – though I knew it was not something I’d ever do as a living or career. Then, seemingly almost overnight, I didn’t enjoy the endurance races any longer. I don’t know why, but they just weren’t fun any longer.

Endurance is a hard quality to cultivate. As we get older, our endurance seems to get less and less physically. That is to be expected, I believe, as our bodies start to show the strains of the decades.

Caleb way a man of courageous endurance. When he approaches Joshua with his request to be given the hill country for his inheritance in the Promised Land, he was 85 years old. He was around 40 when he went into the land as a spy, and around 80 when they returned and finally entered the land. Now, at 85 he stands before Joshua and says, in Joshua 14:10-12 (NLT) – Now, as you can see, the LORD has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the LORD promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the LORD is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the LORD said.” That, my friends, is a man of endurance and conviction!

What can we learn from Caleb about this? Several things, I believe:

FIRST: passion for the good needn’t diminish as we get older. While for most of  us our physical strength will decline, our spiritual strength should be growing stronger day by day as we have mounting evidence of the Lord’s faithfulness. Caleb hadn’t forgotten the promise of the Lord concerning the hill country. Now, at 85, he was ready to claim that promise.

SECOND: Caleb recognizes that the victory will be won, but that it won’t be won by his own unabated strength: it will be won if the Lord is with me. I don’t for a second believe that Caleb felt that “if” was up for debate. He knew he’d drive the residents of the hill country out just as the Lord said.

THIRD: though the pathway may be long and arduous, there is a reward at the end of a life for courageous conviction. Caleb trusted in the Word of the Lord. He had seen it come true over and over and over – and had never once seen it fail. In spite of having to endure 40 years of struggle in the desert, Caleb had not forgotten the promise. He had not deserved the desert – he had not been one of the faithless 10 spies. Yet he had to endure it, then he had to survive the battles to take the majority of the promised land. Endurance must have been his middle name.

FOURTH: as time grows shorter for each of us, we need to lay hold of the things that God has promised us. For Caleb, it was the hill country. For you and I, we, too, must press on to take possession of the Promised Land that the Lord has promised us. The promises that the Father has made to us are no different than the promises He made to Moses, Joshua or Caleb. The Father that was faithful and made those promises come true is the same Father who has given you His promise. It may have been many years in the coming, but it will come. Stay strong like Caleb. There are multitudes of blessings for a life of courageous endurance – not the least of which is a place in the Promised Land.

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for men and women like Caleb who show us that we need not grow faint or weary in our journey. Thank you for being faithful to your promises then and now. Let us rise up to take the hill country you have set before us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 1/12/17 – The Power of Team

DayBreaks for 1/12/17: The Power of Team

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (AMP) –And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

On September 12, 2011, Brandon Wright, a 21-year-old Utah State University student, was driving his motorcycle en route to the school’s computer lab when a BMW pulling out of a parking lot collided with him. Both vehicles burst into flames. The BMW driver quickly escaped from the car, but Wright was trapped under the 4,000-pound sedan.

The horrific accident drew an immediate crowd of students and construction workers. One passerby walked around the burning vehicles to survey the situation and saw a motionless body, apparently dead, beneath the BMW. Another individual, testing his strength, attempted to lift the car, but without success. A handful of others joined the effort but could not budge the car. A young woman lay on the ground to peer under the car and saw evidence that the trapped victim was still alive.

The flames were intense at the front of the car, where the motorcycle also lay on the ground burning. Nevertheless, at this point a dozen members of the growing crowd joined shoulder to shoulder at the side of the car, lifted in unison, and tilted it high enough to allow another rescuer to pull Wright to safety. At that point the city’s emergency responders appeared on the scene. They doused the flames and transported Wright to Intermountain Medical Center, where he was treated for two broken legs and a fractured pelvis.

What one person could not accomplish alone, a team of people did. “Every one of those people put their lives in danger,” assistant Logan police chief Jeff Curtis said. “Those people are heroes. You can only speculate what the outcome would have been if they hadn’t lifted that car.”

I have often wondered how Jesus feels about how people from different denominations think about and treat those from other churches or traditions. I cannot imagine how sad it must make him when we spend more time judging on another because of silly trivialities instead of working together to save those who are pinned under the weight of sin, despair, loneliness and shame.

Are you part of a small group or team of some kind? Talk about this with them. Pray about it, and let His Spirit lead you to something you can do together that will bring someone to the Great Physician.

PRAYER: Help us not to worry about getting glory for ourselves, but for rescuing those who are trapped in the clutches of the evil one. Teach us to work together for Your glory and the greater good of Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 1/27/16 – Carry Them Forever

DayBreaks for 1/27/16: Carry Them Forever

From the DayBreaks archive, January 2006:

Scripture: Ps 28:9 – Save your people!  Bless Israel, your special possession!  Lead them like a shepherd, and carry them forever in your arms.

I love the imagery of being carried forever in the arms of someone as loving, kind and strong as the Lord.  It reminds me of when I was very small and my own dad would carry me, or of how I felt when I carried my own little ones in my arms.  No one was going to take them from me against my will – I would fight fiercely for them or die for them if necessary. 

But now that I’m grown up, I internally sustain the notion that I’m not supposed to be carried any more, that I’m supposed to be a “big boy” and walk on my own two feet.  How foolish!  How much better off we’d be if we allowed Jesus to carry us!!!  And that’s the image the Psalmist presents to us. 

I realize that I need to become more humble in all aspects of my life.  I must surrender my human pride that causes me to think that I can wrestle with life’s problems all by myself.  How foolish to think that I have the strength that is necessary!  I must get over the thinking that says I’m smart and intelligent enough to figure out the answers on my own.  And as a man, I must get over the “gender barrier” about being held in the arms of another male – even one was powerful and strong as the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  In many more things I need to ask His guidance and wisdom before making decisions that may seem right to me, for I fear and know that far too many of the decisions I make on my own are wrong and misguided. 

Lord, pick me up!  I’m ready! 

TODAY’S PRAYER:  We thank you, Lord Jesus, for Your leadership.  We thank you that when we get too tired, or too confused, or when we’re hurting too badly to walk on our own, that you take us in Your arms and you carry us to places of rest and safety.  Let us not lean to our own understanding or trust in our own strength, for we shall surely fail if we do so.  Help us instead to run to You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 1/21/16: Holy Land Lessons – The Dangerous Desire for Ease

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Photo from the area of Dan of the worship complex. The metal stand in the center represents the believed location and size of the altar (significantly taller than a man). Photo by Galen Dalrymple, Golan Heights in Israel, January, 2016.

DayBreaks for 1/21/16: Holy Land Lessons: The Dangerous Desire for Ease

When the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, each tribe was assigned a certain “inheritance” in the land where they were to live. The tribe of Dan was assigned a territory along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, land held by the Phoenicians.

As it turns out, the Danites had a very difficult time with the Phoenicians. They proved to be a very touch adversary, and over time, the people of Dan grew tired of the difficulties they encountered in battling the Phoenicians and moved to a different part of the country where life would be easier.

But, there were problems with this. Dan was supposed to take the land they’d been assigned…but they failed. That wasn’t the biggest problem, though. The place that they moved may have been easier in terms of not having to fight to possess the land, but they moved right into the valley that was the heart of Baal worship. The physical struggle was less, but the spiritual battle was more difficult!

We often may complain about how difficult things are in our lives and we may seek relief from the struggles and difficulties. We actively seek out ease thinking that it is better for us and we envision how great life will be when things get easier.

There are many problems that come from a life of ease:

FIRST: when things are easy, we take things for granted and stop giving thanks or praying.

SECOND: ease causes muscles (physical and spiritual) to grow weak and flabby.

THIRD: when things are going our way, we tend to get prideful and give ourselves the credit for how we worked hard to get to that point of success and forget that it is God that gives success.

FOURTH: throughout Scripture, it was the poor who struggle who are more attuned to spiritual things because they realize that their hope lies not in a life of ease in this world, but of blessedness in the world to come.

I like ease. I’d rather sit in my La-Z-Boy than go to the gym. I’d rather not struggle. But I also realize it isn’t necessarily good for my heart – either physically or spiritually. There is growth in the struggle and it drives us to our knees in recognition of our need for God’s intervention. The people of Dan didn’t grasp that apparently. They became reviled among Israel because of their actions.

Don’t seek a life of ease. Be content with the life God has given you and the circumstances in which you find yourself. The struggle will make you stronger if  you let it.

Luke 12:19-21 (KJV) – And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

TODAY’S PRAYER: Help us not to seek a life of ease, but of service and faithfulness! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 11/21/14 – What Evil Can’t Touch

DayBreaks for 11/21/14 – What Evil Can’t Touch

From the DayBreaks archive, 11/15/2004:

1 Cor. 1:25 (NLT)  – This “foolish” plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength.

1 Cor. 1:27 (NLT)  – Instead, God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful.

The mystery of the cross is mind-numbing.  That the life of a single Nazarene carpenter should have affected the world the way it has defies logic.  Yes, some think he was a good man, a great teacher, a wise prophet perhaps, and they put him in the same classification as Buddha, Mohammed or Moses, in an attempt to say, “See, he’s like they were.”  But they’re wrong.  Those folks are still in their tombs.  Jesus isn’t.

But the power of God is a fascinating thing.  There are two kinds of power – right-handed power which is direct and is clearly visible as power, and what Martin Luther referred to as “left-handed power”.  Left-handed power may not even be seen and recognized as power to those who aren’t looking closely.  It was a marvelous mix of both right-handed and left-handed power that was on display in the life of Jesus Christ, but it is largely the left-handed power that puzzles us, but which also truly changed the world in a way that we still struggle to understand.

In his book, Parables of the Kingdom, Robert Farrar Capon wrote about this left-handed power: “Left-handed power, in other words, is precisely paradoxical power: power that looks for all the world like weakness, intervention that seems indistinguishable from nonintervention.  More than that, it is guaranteed to stop no determined evildoers whatsoever.  It might, of course, touch and soften their hearts.  But then again, it might not.  It certainly didn’t for Jesus; and if you decide to use it, you should be quite clear that it probably won’t for you, either.  The only thing it does insure is that you will not  – even after your chin has been bashed in – have made the mistake of closing any interpersonal doors from your side.

“…when you come to think of it, it is power – so much power, in fact, that it is the only thing in the world that evil can’t touch.  God in Christ died forgiving.  With the dead body of Jesus, he wedged open the door between Himself and the world and said, ‘There!  Just try and get me to take that back!’”

Straight-line, or right-handed power, may be exercised by those who attempt to make converts to a religion by the edge of the sword.  And while the numbers of their followers may grow, they’ve not really made converts in the heart.  Therein lies the great mystery of Christ: through his left-handed power that looked for to all the world as total weakness and lunacy, hearts have been changed.  People have been reborn.  Pasts have been washed away.  It is a mystery that takes place in the heart – where for a long time only God can see it growing.  But the martyrs died with songs on their lips and glory in their hearts while their souls were far from the touch of evil.  May we know his left-handed power in all its fullness today!

PRAYER: Lord, if not for your great victory, we are all defeated! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

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DayBreaks for 10/04/13 – Jar Lids and Faith

DayBreaks for 10/04/13 – Jar Lids and Faith

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Mark 11:22-23 (NLT) –Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. 23  I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.

I would imagine that nearly every man has had this happen to them: their wife shows up with a jar in her hands and asks you to open it for her.  Being the manly, macho guys that we imagine ourselves to be, we quickly grab the jar and say, “Sure, honey!”  Then we start to turn the lid – but it won’t budge!  We try to pretend that it is just because our hands are sweaty or the jar is wet, but with each failed attempt we grow a bit more concerned as we see our excuses running out.  Ladies, please understand that this is a little embarrassing when asked by a woman to open a jar but he can’t do it. 

What’s a guy to do?  Well, to solve the immediate problem we can put the jar under some hot water and get the lid to expand, making it easier to open.  But that doesn’t solve the long-term problem: our hands weren’t strong enough to do the job.  We could get a tennis ball and start squeezing it every day to strength our hands in an attempt to not have it happen again – to avoid the embarrassment of not being able to open that silly jar.  We do not want to have it happen again!

Here’s the analogy: God, at times, hands us situations that require strength – oftentimes strength that we don’t have.  Why does God to that?  Is it to cause us shame and embarrassment?  I don’t think so.  God isn’t the kind that goes around shaming people so He can chuckle about it.  He wants us to have to exercise our faith muscles, to grow stronger in our faith and trust in Him.  But here’s the kicker: you can’t get stronger in your faith if you only exercise it once a week or occasionally.  You have to exercise it every day, many times a day, in order for it to grow robust and strong.  As someone said: “Sometimes we say that we have faith in God. We say that we believe that He can do anything, but then we act as if everything depends on us. That isn’t a very strong faith, is it?

Think about what Jesus told his disciples – that if they had as much faith as a tiny mustard seed, they could tell a tree or mountain to move from one place to another and the it would happen.  That, my friends, is a strong faith!  I wish I had as much faith as a mustard seed. Maybe if I keep (start?) exercising it each day, all day, my faith will grow stronger, maybe even strong enough to see the mountain start to tremble and shift on its foundations. 

How strong is your faith? Does it need a little daily exercise?

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the simple things in life we take for granted, like the hands to hold and be held.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if God puts it on your heart to help support Galen in his 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 donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 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.

Thank you!