DayBreaks for 11/08/18 – The Stone Elephant

Image result for stone elephant

DayBreaks for 11/08/18: The Stone Elephant

There is a story about a man who had a huge boulder in his front yard. He grew weary of this big, unattractive stone in the center of his lawn, so he decided to take advantage of it and turn it into an object of art. He went to work on it with hammer and chisel, and chipped away at the huge boulder until it became a beautiful stone elephant. When he finished, it was gorgeous, breath-taking.

A neighbor asked, “How did you ever carve such a marvelous likeness of an elephant?”

The man answered, “I just chipped away everything that didn’t look like an elephant!”

We have just come through another bitter election cycle in which everyone was slinging mud, patience was pushed to the breaking point, words were said that hurt and wounded. There is a lot of bitterness and anger in our country right now, no matter who your candidate was. It’s heartbreaking.

If you have anything in your life right now that doesn’t look like love, then, with the help of God, chip it away! If you have anything in your life that doesn’t look like compassion or mercy or empathy, then, with the help of God, chip it away! If you have hatred or prejudice or vengeance or envy in your heart, for God’s sake (literally!). for the other person’s sake, and for your sake, get rid of it! Let God chip everything out of your life that doesn’t look like tenderheartedness.

PRAYER: Create hearts in us that are so filled with love that we let go of grudges and the pain and frustration that we may feel – especially toward others with whom we disagree. Remind us that no matter the outcome of the election or anything else, you are still on the throne and in charge of it all. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 4/16/15 – Why, Lord?

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DayBreaks for 4/16/15: Why, Lord?

I hate Satan.  I hate what he entices people to do in this world with is lies and deceit.  I cannot wait until he is crushed forever beneath the heel of the glorified Lord.  It cannot happen soon enough.

Last week I learned that a good friend and co-worker in Africa was deeply affected by the recent massacre that took place at the college in Kenya.  This person had worked with those students on many occasions.  So, when I heard that 22 of those this person had worked with were shot and killed in that terrorist event, I was stunned.   Then, more recently, I heard from another co-worker and friend that their niece was in the attack and was “missing”…and they feared the worst.  This morning I received an email that said their worst fears had been confirmed: her remains had been identified by fingerprint.  You see, the terrorists had shot her (and others) in such a way that their faces were destroyed.   I cannot imagine the grief and pain.  I cannot imagine the anger and the desire for revenge.  And while I know that God hates what happened, I also know that Jesus said:

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers…Mt. 5:11 (NLT)

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! [45] In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  Mt. 5:44 (NLT)

How are we to do that, Lord?  How is that humanly possible?  Perhaps it isn’t.  Perhaps it is only the indwelling Spirit that can enable humans to live up to Jesus’ statements.

I know that I should pray for the conversion of those who have done this.  But, right now, I can’t.  All I want to think of right now is that God also said: Vengeance is Mine, I shall repay…  And I find comfort in that, even as I know that I deserve nothing more from God than do these brutal murderers…apart from His grace.

Will you pray for my friends?  And for Christ’s return?  Thank you.

PRAYER: Father, be with my friends and give them the comfort that only comes from You, and protect them, I pray, In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 9/26/14 – Showing My Enemies

DayBreaks for 9/26/14 – Showing My Enemies

Psalm 23:5 (NKJV) – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

When I think of enemies right now, my mind is filled with pictures of ISIL/ISIS followers, a bloody knife in one hand and the head of someone they just beheaded in the other.  It’s an ugly picture, but it is a picture that many are facing right now as ISIS forces have surrounded towns and villages, attacking, looting, raping and killing – all in the name of a god they claim to serve.

And if I can be honest here, the images and videos of the beheadings seem to at least have awakened the sleeping sensitivities of the world against such barbarism.  At least for the time being.  And it makes us cry out for retribution, for some way to show the enemy is wrong.

The Psalmist had many enemies – and many times they were seeking to kill him.  As he wrote what we call verse 5 in the 23rd Psalm, I wonder if he had them in mind – and if he penned this verse as a way of claiming vindication.

Who appears to have the power in northern Iraq and portions of Syria?  It’s ISIS, right? People are running, understandably, for their lives.  But the families who have had members raped and killed and beaten want their faithfulness to God to be shown to be worth something.  And so, enter verse 5.

It will be God Himself and no other, who prepares the table, inviting us as His honored guests, to sit at a feast He has set for us.  The enemies will be there, but they are not invited to sit, to partake.  And because it is God and not some helpless villager in the midst of some desert, the enemy will be absolutely, totally and forever powerless.  They will be on the outside.  God is showing our enemies who really is in the right and who is favored.

Here David is showing that he will be vindicated by God.  But that’s not all: “Vengeance is Mine, I SHALL repay..” is the rest of the bargain that God has forged with us.  As surely as God will spread the table with the choicest of fare, He will as surely exact vengeance for every cut of the knife, every woman violated, every home destroyed and every life injured.

God has a plan for us – a wonderful, marvelous plan!  He also has a plan for His enemies.

PRAYER: Lord, keep us from pride or gloating over the fate of Your enemies.  Help us to pray for Your Spirit of the love of Jesus to sweep like a Mighty Wind through the hearts of those who are so evil and violent that they may, by the same sheer grace that will save us, turn from their evil and sit at the table!  Thank You for the table and festive celebration that awaits us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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