DayBreaks for 8/11/17 – In Union With Christ

DayBreaks for 8/11/17: In Union With Christ

From the DayBreaks archive, 8/9/2007:

The following excerpts were from an Orthodox priest, Stephen Freeman.  I hope they spur your thinking…

“True Christianity is a life lived in union with Christ and all that we do that has value is what we do in union with Him.

It is in reflecting on this that I ponder many conversations I hear (or overhear).  Many times I hear myself or others expressing dismay or anxiety over a situation, or plotting to achieve one goal or another. The frightening dynamic in many of these conversations – let alone the actions that flow from them – is the dynamic of secularism.  We live as though there were no God, or as if the God Who Exists is not able to act within our world.  Having decided what is in God’s best interest, or the interest of the faith, we design our efforts (perhaps even thinking to please Him).

“But God does not seek to be pleased by actions taken in separation from Him.  It is union with God that saves us (and this alone).  Neither can we undertake any activity that has a saving character except that activity be taken in union with Christ.

“Why should we love our enemies and pray for them?  Because there is little else you can do for them that is in union with Christ.  You cannot seek vengeance in union with Christ.  You cannot even seek to “fix” other people in union with Christ.  The action of Christ is always respectful of our freedom and always acts in love.  Action in union with Christ cannot have some other character.

“Actions such as kindness and mercy, patience and love are easily lived in union with Christ.  But our secular mindset rarely sees such actions as useful.”

I was struck recently as I studied the life of Jacob by Jacob’s methodology in Genesis 32.  This is just before he is scheduled to meet up with his brother, Esau.  The last time they’d been together, Jacob had been running for his life, and he didn’t know how Esau would now respond.  So, Jacob makes his plans and puts them into action.  Then, in verse 9, after he’s put his plans into action, he prays to God for blessing and protection.  It strikes me that the sequence is reversed, or should be.  Shouldn’t we seek God’s will and plan before we put our own into place?  Why don’t we?  Partly, I think, because of what Freeman says in the second paragraph above: “we live as though there were not God, or as if the god Who Exists is not able to act within our world.” 

It is only those who are believers who can be guilty of this shortcoming.  Why are we smitten with this disease of thinking that I Am isn’t able to act in the world today?  Perhaps it’s mostly because we’ve never asked Him to really reveal Himself to us.  Perhaps it’s because we don’t even have the faith to ask Him to act in the first place, or we hedge our bets in our prayers with phrases like, “If it is your will…”.  Mind you, it’s not a bad thing to pray for God’s will to be done.  It’s biblical.  But it’s also just as biblical (in fact, there may be more examples of this than the prior) to boldly ask God for exactly what we want – be it a loaf of bread, a drink of water in the desert, the parting of the waters or the ability to walk on their surface.  But we don’t do this very often – we’re afraid that others will hear us, and if we don’t get what we asked for, will think we’re not very spiritual. 

Freeman’s point is valid: we need to live in union with God, joining ourselves to Him and His purposes and His desires.  And that includes living and acting as if He still exists and will do great things that we can’t imagine.

PRAYER:  Lord, teach us to live in union with you, to not become dismayed or anxious, to not plot our own victories and deliverances, but to wait patiently and always act in union with You.  Don’t let us run ahead of you, or lag behind, but always walk by Your side.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 7/18/16 – RX for a World Torn Apart

DayBreaks for 7/18/16 – RX For a World Torn Apart

From our Sunday worship bulletin (and some of my own input, too):

Whatever comes out of these dates, we’ve got a better chance of survival if we work together. Do you understand? If we stay together, we survive. – Maximus

This quote is from the movie, “Gladiator,” and the context is gladiators coming together to fight a common enemy. I love the quote because it’s a great illustration for the church. If the church works together, if it stays together, then whatever common enemy we face, we can survive. Now, Jesus said He would build His church, and therefore the church at large is not going to disappear. We’re here to stay. Still, the church, in this age, can certainly be threatened. There are enemies which would seek to eliminate it. So, the church is in a definite battle. There is spiritual warfare going on.

Who is the enemy? The apostle John instructs the church to …not love the world or things in the world. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world. (1 John 2:15-16) In this context, we get a glimpse that the enemy is, in some ways, our own sinful desire. The apostle Peter also says, Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) The enemy is the devil, and it’s the world around us, made up of sinful people, including us. My contention is often the enemy (regardless of who or what it is) threatens to pull us apart, isolate us from one another, and bring us to disunity.

This is a huge issue, not just for the church but for our nation. But what’s so scary about it for the church is that it’s often subtle. We can easily testify Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and our lives can be isolated from one another. We are not working together or staying together. We may have gotten to the point, in which we understand we even need to be together.

So, what do I mean “to be together”? Well, we’re in relationship with others in the church, those who know us, including some of our struggles. Yes, that’s scary, and there are a lot of challenges with that. Still, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek it out. Why? Because we need one another. To walk this journey of faith, which is hard enough, I’m convinced we can’t do it on our own. We need the church. We need to be in relationship with God’s people, and that’snot just your name on a roll.

The enemy is at the gates. If we’re to stay together, as a church, as a nation, if we’re to work together, we must first be together. United we stand and survive, divided we fall.

PRAYER: Jesus, in an age characterized by anonymity, isolation and texting instead of face-to-face conversations, it’s easy for us to withdraw, to not be together with others. Let us learn from your example that you didn’t text us from heaven, but you came to BE with us. Create that desire in us to be with others, to risk the relationships, so we can work together in peace and harmony. 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 02/15/13 – Breaking the Heart of God

DayBreaks for 02/15/13 – Breaking the Heart of God

NOTE: Galen just had some surgery so there’ll be some DayBreaks from the archives for the next few days.  Your prayers are appreciated and welcomed!

bridegroom-the-betrayed-bridegroom1-719x1024From the DayBreaks archive for 2/15/2002:

Genesis 6:6 – “The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

It is no surprise that God’s great heart is filled with pain.  The degree of suffering as the result of sin is massive.  The diseases that wrack our bodies and cause such agony won’t be a part of the new heaven and new earth because there will be no pain there.  And, in a sense, God is responsible for it all.  If He had never created the cosmos, there would be no people to have diseases, there would have been on people to make sinful choices.  There would have been no men and women to kill His Son because there would have been no sin to die for.  But perhaps the thing that is most shocking is that God “gives” men and women the ability to hurt Him so by our mere human actions.  He has made Himself very vulnerable, in a way, to us.  And we inflict a universe full of pain.

But there is probably another way in which we break the heart of God.  Consider: “Too often we pray for things rather than union with Christ.  In our prayers, we often ask God for what we want or want done.  It must break the heart of God here and there that we are so busy seeking answers that we almost never seek Him.  We hunger to have what prayer can provide us rather than have Him who could make our prayer effective.  There is too little hunger for unison with Christ in our prayers.” (Calvin Miller, The Unchained Soul)

This is a DayBreaks about prayer.  Ask yourself these questions: how often do you pray?  How long do you pray?  When you consider your prayers, how much of the time do you spend in asking God for things instead of seeking union with Him and listening – literally listening – for His voice in your spirit?  It really doesn’t matter how long you pray – but what you do when you pray has the capability of thrilling or breaking the heart of God.  Consider how you’d feel if all that your children ever spoke to you about was to ask for something, and never to just enjoy your company, to exchange thoughts or to ask advice?  Do you really think God is any different?

PRAYER:  Father, we are sorry for causing Your heart so much pain!  Forgive us when we seem to not want to talk with You, to hear You, to abandon Your Presence and counsel for that of others. Fill us with a holy hunger for union with You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen has started work as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org).  He needs to raise his own support.  DayBreaks has always been free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation to Medical Ambassadors on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made online at http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Go to that link and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section and look for the link for Galen Dalrymple.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his account.  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 (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.

Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient in many ways for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 05/23/12 – The Monkey in the Bed

DayBreaks for 05/23/12 – The Monkey In the Bed

John 8:7 (NIV) – When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Max Lucado tells a story (I think it was a made-up story, but I don’t know for sure) and said that one day his wife brought home a monkey. His daughters were thrilled but he wasn’t; he had all kinds of questions. Where was the monkey going to eat? His wife said that it was going to sit at the table and eat with them, just like the rest of the family. Then he asked her where it was going to sleep? And she told him it was going to sleep in their bed. Then he asked, “But what about the smell?” And she said, “Oh, he’ll get used to you, I did.”

Then Max drew the lesson out of the story as he always does: “Before you comment on the odor of someone else, check your own odor first.” That’s what Jesus meant when He said, “Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Unity must start with us and our own personal relationship with Christ. Before we can live in unity with others, we must first be one with Christ. Our lives have to be knit together with His life through faith.

And as it pertains to judging others, we are well reminded to check our own odor first!

PRAYER: Jesus, let us be one with you in unity and purpose!  And let us not grow to be at peace with the odiferous aspects of our lives, but live humbly and in recognition of our sinfulness at all times!  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 09/07/11 – A Tree That Will Never Thrive

DayBreaks for 09/07/11 – A Tree That Will Never Thrive

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. – 1 Corinthians 1:10

A lot of people don’t like conflict.  They avoid it as if it were ten times deadlier than the plague.  I can understand the emotions that leads them to do that, but when we let our emotions get in the way of how God has said things should be done (in His infinite wisdom about how things work best!) and we don’t deal with issues in godly ways, we subject ourselves and those who may be in conflict with us, to all sorts of problems.

It is inevitable that from time to time there will be conflicts and disagreements within a church.  It comes from several sources, including disagreements about what Scripture says, mis-understandings, pre-conceptions, holding our own opinions in too high of regard and insisting that our opinions have the power of holy writ behind them, and just plain sinfulness.  You may be experiencing conflict or pain in your church right now.  If so, let me encourage you: don’t run away to another church. It’s usually better to stay put and at the very least make every effort, as painful as it may be, to work through it. That’s the advice from two early Christian sources, and from Scripture itself.

An anonymous 4th century Christian leader wrote: If a trial [with other people] comes upon you in the place where you live, do not leave that place when the trial comes. Wherever you go, you will find that what you are running from is ahead of you. So stay until the trial is over, so that if you end up leaving, no offense will be caused, and you will not bring distress to others who live in the same neighborhood.

In the 12th century, Anselm of Canterbury compared a restless believer to a tree that can’t thrive because it’s “frequently transplanted or often disturbed.” Anselm warns: “If he often moves from place to place at his own whim, or remaining in one place is frequently agitated by hatred of it, [he] never achieves stability with roots of love.”

There is wisdom in those words from wise Christians from years long ago.  And of course, Jesus was very clear that we are to make every effort to resolve conflicts and seek reconciliation.  What happens when people fail to even try to seek reconciliation?  Here’s what I think: when brothers and sisters in Christ do things in the ways God has prescribed, it opens the door to the flowing of God’s power to resolve problems and bring about reconciliation, but when we refuse to follow the very clear Biblical teaching (for whatever reason, including our pre-concluding that it won’t work if we try so we just as well spare ourselves the pain – which by the way is a very selfish and self-centered approach) on how to reconcile, we have closed off the door to God’s power.  And we have broken His heart.

PRAYER: Give us the courage to live up to Your ways and enable Your power to flow so that healing and reconciliation may abound!  Teach us to be more concerned about relationship than our own comfort or pain.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 08/15/11 – The Key to Winning the World

DayBreaks for 08/15/11 – The Key to Winning the World

NOTE: I feel as if some of my DayBreaks recently have veered a bit off target by not delving enough into Scripture.  While I’ll still do stories about things in the news, etc., that are instructive, I will do more that are based solely on Scripture and Bible study that I’ve been doing.  Thanks for listening…and reading!!!!  – Galen

Wouldn’t it be great to know the secret to winning the world for Christ?  How many things have been tried by the church throughout the history since the times of Christ?  Churches are great on programs.  It seems to be one of the things that the church does best…”Let’s start another program!”  But programs are not the key to winning the world for Christ.  Programs can be good, but they can also become the reason for existence of a given congregation, rather than to serve and glorify Christ.

I think that Jesus has given us the key to winning the world.  He gave it to his disciples just before his betrayal in the garden.  He gave it to them as part of a prayer to the Father.  Here’s what he had to say:  I pray for these followers, but I am also praying for all those who will believe in me because of their teaching.  Father, I pray that they can be one.  As you are in me and I am in you, I pray that they can also be one in us.  Then the world will believe that you sent me. (Jn. 17:20)

Do you see it?  Unity is the key.  Jesus said that if we are one, as he and the Father are One, then the world will believe that the Father sent Jesus.  In other words, if we are united with each other, then the world would know that Jesus is from the Father.  That doesn’t mean that everyone would become believers, just that people wouldn’t be able to deny His Sonship.  And that’s a great first step to winning the world.

Unity – not agreement, not uniformity of opinion or even doctrine, not negotiation, arbitration…but acceptance of one another with all our foibles and disagreements and diverse opinions, not because everyone is right, but because we have been accepted by the Perfect One even with our imperfections.

Unity finds its basis in grace.  It is only as we understand how much grace God has extended to us that we can extend it to others in our fellowship.  And when we do, the world will believe Christ came from the Father.  Sadly, the converse is also true: to the extent that we don’t have unity, the world will not believe there is anything special about Jesus – in fact, they’ll not be able to see He came from the Father at all.  All they’ll be able to see is a group of squabbling people.

PRAYER: Forgive us, Jesus, for all that we let divide us that causes the world to think you are nothing but a Jewish rabbi – and nothing more!  Help us grasp even a portion of the grace you’ve extended to us by accepting us, so that we can in turn extend it to others.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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