DayBreaks for 11/28/17 – I Have Returned Alive

Image result for shoichi yokoi

DayBreaks for 11/28/17: I Have Returned Alive

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2007:

Shoichi Yokoi was a soldier, conscripted into the Imperial Japanese Army in 1941 and sent to Guam shortly thereafter.  In 1944, as American forces reconquered the island, Yokoi went into hiding.
On January 24, 1972, Yokoi was discovered in a remote section of Guam by two of the island’s inhabitants.  For 28 years he had been hiding in an underground jungle cave, fearing to come out of hiding even after finding leaflets declaring that World War II had ended.  “It is with much embarrassment that I have returned alive,” he said upon his return to Japan, carrying his rusted rifle at his side.

There is no question that the Japanese soldiers during WW2 were incredibly loyal and committed to their cause.  Much of the fiercest fighting of the war took place in the Pacific theater.  One of the things that the Japanese had drilled into them through their culture for centuries is that you never surrender.  To surrender was the greatest possible insult and shame that a soldier could face.  If you were a Japanese soldier, there were only 2 ways that you could return home honorably: either as a victor at the war’s end or as a corpse.  Hence, Mr. Yokio’s comment: “It is with much embarrassment that I have returned alive.”  The poor man had stayed at his post, alone and in hiding on Guam, for nearly 30 years.

Many thoughts run through my mind as I read this story:

I’m impressed with such dedication to a cause, such loyalty.  It makes me wonder about my commitment to the cause of the cross. 

I’m intrigued by the mindset that coming home alive is a shame.  Then, I stop to think about our Lord’s instructions that we must lose our lives if we hope to find life.  We must die to who we are in our sinful human natures.  And to come home, to stand before God’s judgment bar in heaven without having fully died, would be a great shame.  I think that I must redouble my prayers and efforts to “put to death” the old man so that a new One can live inside of me.

In spite of the shame of not truly dying to myself as I should in this life, Jesus will see to it that I do come home alive.  And when I do, it will be to a welcome, not to shame.

PRAYER:  Help me to die, Lord, that I may live.  And let that life be in the glory of Your Presence, that we may not be ashamed!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

Advertisements

DayBreaks for 9/22/16 – Only If We Despair

Image result for despair

DayBreaks for 9/22/16 – Only If We Despair      

From the DayBreaks archive, 9/19/2006:

Copyright © 2006 Christianity Today. September 2006, Vol. 50, No. 9, Page 118

“But it is important for Christians not to confuse the existence of bad news with our reaction to the bad news—and here it is useful to look at The Screwtape Letters.

“C. S. Lewis’s famous novel was conceived and written during World War II, when so much looked bad. One of the most striking moments in the story arrives when the inexperienced junior devil, Wormwood, chortles over the horrors of war. Screwtape sternly admonishes his nephew not “to forget the main point in your immediate enjoyment of human suffering.” In war, says the senior devil, people die. But hell gains nothing from mere human misery and death, he warns. It is the state in which people die that matters.

“Lewis is not suggesting that we celebrate our suffering or that we stand blind to the suffering of others. His point, rather, is that Christians should not mistakenly think that bad news here on earth means Satan is winning. Men have done terrible things to each other ever since Eden. The horrors of war—like the other pains and scars of life—pose a challenge to faith. Lewis suggests that what truly matters is how we meet that challenge: the battle, that is, in the spiritual realm.

“As the writer of Hebrews said to discouraged believers, “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the Cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Heb. 12:1-3).

“Lewis’s vision of Satan is far more useful and scary than Hollywood’s. The film industry loves making movies about hell. In these high-budget visions of the underworld, demons usually emerge to do bad things to people, causing death and destruction here on earth. The hero either slays them or works some mystic incantation that sends them back, after which life on earth returns to what it was before. The demons are just like other Hollywood bad guys: terrorists, serial killers, the ruthless rich out to rule the world. In these visions, the bad thing about Satan is that he wants to do bad things to us here and now.

“C. S. Lewis’s marvelous imagination, by contrast, should remind us that this vision is dangerously wrong. The terrible tragedies that befall the world work to Satan’s benefit only if we despair. Suffering, as Screwtape reminds his nephew, often strengthens faith. Better to keep people alive, he says, long enough for faith to be worn away. The death of a believer is the last thing the Devil wants.”

Galen’s Thoughts: Sometimes I’m tempted to think that Satan loves misery and death.  I’m not sure that’s right.  After all, I rather doubt that Satan licks his chops when he contemplates his own fate in eternal hell.  So Lewis’ point is a good one: he only relishes death of humans when they die without Christ.  He’d much rather that we as believers stay alive long enough to give him more time to beat us up, to wear down our resolve and surrender to the suffering of this world, blaming it on God with the result being that we reject Him.  I don’t know about you, but I, for one, don’t want to give Satan that satisfaction.  How much better that we spend our time, not in thinking that the suffering is what matters, but that the souls of men and women are what truly is important.

PRAYER:  We are a depressed and discouraged society.  The enemy even attacks us from within the sheepfold, Lord!  But help us stay focused on the ultimate realities with which we are faced.  Help us to realize that our despair plays into Satan’s hands.  May we find comfort and assurance and sustenance beside You in green pastures beside the still waters.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

DayBreaks for 5/25/15 – They Watched Them Die

To access the web page version, click:

DayBreaks for 5/25/15: They Watched Them Die

“Many have been there.  Your grandfather, parents, perhaps aunts, uncles, cousins, sons and daughters – they were there.  They saw friends killed by the enemy.  It changed them. To see people die is a horrific thing.

“Nothing can erase that from your mind.  No one can understand it fully unless you have been there.  I have not been there, but I have heard the stories.

“They knew that it was inevitable that some would die.  In every war, some have died.  One a day like today, we honor those who have died standing up for others.  Perhaps you know people who know people who died in wars.  Maybe you know people who died.  We grieve with you as you grieve with us.  Wars are horrific.  In every war, some have died.

“Think today about the current wars and the next ones.

“There will be more of this: more killing and more people we know who know people who will give their lives as an ultimate sacrifice.  It will not end for a long time.  We don’t know how long, and we don’t know how many more will die.  It is heartbreaking and depressing.

“What is our hope?  In every war, some have died, except in one war.  In that war, only One died.  His Father watched him die.  He died, so that those who believe would have life, the life that is eternal.  All who believe have life, even after death.

“He is our only hope for ending all wars.  How will he do it and when?  We don’t know.  In the meantime, we have to live as followers of Him and think deep thoughts about overt and hidden wars, weapons of mass destruction, nuclear arms and conflict.

“Today, on this Memorial Day weekend, we remember and honor those who have died in all the wars to protect us, and we remember the One who have His life to end all wars.

“To those of you who watched them die, I want to say we are thankful that you are still here.  Don’t let us forget your friends.” – Author Unknown

Remember well this day those who no longer walk among us.

PRAYER: Thank you, Prince of Peace, for those who also stand watch over us and protect us.  Thank you for their courage and their sacrifice, and we pray you comfort all who have loved them and lost them.  Thank you for ultimately winning the war against war and we long to see that become reality. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, click here: DayBreaks-subscribe@vineyardhills.org

To unsubscribe to DayBreaks, click here: DayBreaks-unsubscribe@vineyardhills.org  NOTE: Please make sure you send the email from the email address which is subscribed to DayBreaks, or the list server will not be able to locate your email to delete you as you request.  Or, if you no longer have that email address, email Galen (click below) and tell him your old email address and ask to be unsubscribed. 

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen

For an archive of the past 4 months of DayBreaks, click here:  DayBreaks Archive

DayBreaks for 7/14/14 – The Deadliest War

DayBreaks for 7/14/14 – The Deadliest War

2 Corinthians 10:4 (ESV) For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

News flash: there is war in the Middle East.  There is fighting going on in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Israeli’s and Hamas are killing one another – Hamas launching rockets against Israel and Israel retaliating with bombs and tanks.  These things are nothing new to us.  We’re grown, sadly, rather accustomed to fighting in those places among the protagonists located there.  There is war and butchery taking place in numerous places in Africa and elsewhere in the world as Boko Haram and other organizations detonate bombs in their terrorist campaigns.  In the Ukraine, people are killing one another.  Sadly, tragically, there is a long list.

This is a world at war.  Almost on any given day the lead story on the evening news or the Internet feed is about fighting and killing.  And we think it is deadly for the simple reason that it is.  War, as someone once said, is hell.  (Though Biblically speaking, hell is much worse for hell is forever!)

What is the deadliest war ever fought?  I don’t honestly know.  Some think it was WW2 with as many as 72 million persons killed.  Others suggest that the Taiping Rebellion in China in the 1800’s may have yielded as many as 100 million slain.  Staggering numbers, to be sure.

But is those really the deadliest war ever fought?  In his new book, gods at war, Kyle Idleman wrote: The deadliest war is the one most of us never realize is being fought.  His point, in context, is about the idols we have in our spiritual warfare.  His 8-year old daughter was reviewing the Ten Commandments one night and took great comfort in the fact that she’d never made an idol.  As he pondered her statement later, he thought: What if it’s not about statues?  What if the gods of here and now are not cosmic deities with strange names?  What if they take identities that are so ordinary that we don’t recognize them as gods at all?  What if we do our ‘kneeling’ and ‘bowing’ with our imaginations, our checkbooks, our search engines, our calendars?

What if I told you that every sin you are struggling with, every discouragement you are dealing with, even the lack of purpose you’re living with are because of idolatry?

You see, as Eugene Peterson put Paul’s point in The Message: Ephesians 6:12 This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

In a way Paul was right: we don’t fight against flesh and blood, but against powers in the spiritual realm.  But in another way, we are fighting against flesh and blood – our own – for what will have ultimate rule over our life and will.  We are fighting against the idols that would lure us away from running whole-heartedly toward God.

Why is this the deadliest battle ever fought?  For at least two reasons: first, though not everyone fought in WW2 or the Taiping Rebellion, everyone is engaged in this warfare; and second, the consequences of losing the fight are not just temporal, but eternal.

“The deadliest war is the one most of us never realize is being fought.”  That’s why it’s so deadly.  We can lose this war and never even know we were in it.  “Let Him who has ears to hear, hear!”

PRAYER: Lord, set off alarm bells in our heads to alert us to the war that not only rages around us, but within us, and help us see the severity and deadly nature of this conflict!  Then, search our hearts and reveal our own idols to us!  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 putS090 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!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 07/20/12 – It Makes a Difference

DayBreaks for 07/20/12 – It Makes a Difference

It makes a difference…

Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) – For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

There is a story that is told about a U.S. Army officer regarding his pupils during two different eras of teaching at the artillery training school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma (Home of the Field Artillery). In 1958-60 the attitude was so lax that the instructors had a problem getting the men to stay awake to hear the lectures. During the 1965-67 classes, however, the men, hearing the same basic lectures, were alert and took copious notes. What made the difference in the class of 65? They knew that in less than six weeks they would be facing the enemy in Vietnam.

If we were to apply this to the Christian, it would go something like this: If you really believed that tomorrow you would be wrestling with the Devil himself, how would you spend today?   How would your worship be different?  How would your devotional life be different?  How about your prayer life?

How did you worship this past Sunday?  This week have you kept your quiet time with Him daily because you knew that every day when you woke that you would be facing all the wiles of the evil one?

Maybe our problem is simple: we don’t really believe we are in a battle.  We may think it’s a nice little analogy that is meant to manipulate us into awareness and action, but we don’t really believe there is an enemy that is just waiting to tear us to shreds like an angry grizzly mother defending her cubs.  Satan is that real, and more.

How will we prepare for the battle today?  If we believe Ephesian 6:12, we’ll be deadly serious and pay attention to the Manual and the Teacher!

PRAYER: Create in us the sense of seriousness that is appropriate for the real battle in which we are engaged!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 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” link at the bottom of the email.

DayBreaks for 05/30/12 – The Uprising

DayBreaks for 05/30/12 – The Uprising 

We live in a world at war.  Yes, there are wars where bullets, bombs and guns are used and, I suppose, there always will be until the end.  They are terrible.  We have just “celebrated” Memorial Day in honor of the men and women who have fought and served…and those who gave their lives in the “last full measure of devotion.”  That is one kind of war…and all war is deadly and to be hated.  Some soldiers live after their war is over and others don’t.

We are also locked in a great war that has gone on since the garden…the war between good and evil, right and wrong, life and death.  This war is a war that we are all engaged in by virtue of our birth.  If you are a human being, there is no way out of this war except death.  We make choices in this war daily.

There are times when we feel that this war is being lost.  The forces of the enemy would seem to grow stronger each day.  They seem to advance in uncountable hordes, attacking on the left, right, from every direction.  And, it does often seem that the victories they are racking up will inevitably lead to a victory.

Be not deceived.  You see, the outcome of the war, the end of the war, was written two thousand years ago on a cross and in an empty tomb outside Jerusalem.  Yes, there are still skirmishes, but the outcome of the war has been sealed for nearly 2000 years.  We can take hope and comfort in that truth.

That doesn’t mean, however, that we are to just sit back and wait for the final outcome.  We are still on the battlefield.  What can we do that will have any impact?  We can live lives that imitate our Commander in Chief and that honor Him.  We can wage war against evil, death, hatred, injustice whenever we confront it.  But the greatest weapon at our disposal is one that perhaps we don’t employ nearly enough.  Karl Barth described that weapon: “To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”

Isn’t it time that we all take up this great weapon of our warfare and wield it with great power and might and passion?  Let us renew ourselves in our determination and dedication to pray for daily victories…and for the hastening of the dawning of the day of ultimate victory’s realization!

1 Timothy 6:12 (NLT) – Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.

PRAYER: Jesus, as we await the great victory celebration, hear our prayers that each day we will see the cross advance, that we will engage in prayer and in battle with the enemy who shall fall before your great and mighty power!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

Would you like to help by supporting Galen’s non-profit, charity work with I Am 2?  Click HERE to donate!  You can donate one-time or on a recurring basis through PayPal at that link.

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.

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.