DayBreaks for 10/07/19 – From a Distance

Image result for earth from space

DayBreaks for 10/07/19: From a Distance

From the DayBreaks archive, September 2009:

I don’t know who wrote the song titled, From A Distance, but I know that both Bette Middler and Kathy Mattea have recorded it. The words are very poignant, and were probably inspired by some of the beautiful pictures of earth that were taken from space. Essentially, the song describes how from a distance all on the earth looks to be peaceful and serene. From space, you can’t see people hurting each other, killing each other and cheating one another. The song goes on to describe how God sees all this going on from a distance.

I like the song, actually. But I must disagree with the concept that God views us from a distance. The ancient Jews conceived of God as very high and exalted (and rightfully so), but to the extent that they believed that man could never approach God. Well, I guess that up to a point in time, they were right about that, too. Man couldn’t approach God until He first approached us! But with Jesus, all that changed. God was no longer viewing us from a distance, but from behind human eyes. What a different perspective for Him that must have been!

We might be tempted to think that with the ascension, God left the earth and hasn’t been close since. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the NT is clear about anything, it is that God takes up residence in us when we give our lives to Him: And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. (Eph. 2:22) God doesn’t watch you from a distance. In fact, He’s closer to you than your very own skin, because He is inside of your skin!!!

Does it bother you that God sees you from that close instead of far away? It really shouldn’t make any difference. If He truly is God (and He is!) He can see equally well from far away. But it is to our benefit that He lives within us. It is the indwelling Spirit that testifies to us that we are His children (Romans 8:16), that seals us for redemption and guarantees us of our heavenly inheritance (Eph. 1:13b-14).

When we lose contact with the God who dwells within us, we lose much of our ability to resist sin. As you make your way through this day, practice the presence of the God that lives within you. Listen for Him, talk to Him and enjoy Him! He enjoys you – just as you are, up close and personal!

PRAYER: May we find complete and utter rest in knowing that You know us and we are not strangers to You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 11/08/13: The Illusion that Comes From Distance

DayBreaks for 11/08/13 – The Illusion that Comes From Distance

From the DayBreaks Archive, dated 11/12/2003:

Have you ever driven across country?  I’ve done many times!  It is always an interesting experience.  You never know what or who you will encounter along the way, but you know that you’ll see lots of different scenery, much of it very beautiful.

Just this past week I was at a seminar with John Walker from Blessing Ranch in Colorado, a retreat and refreshment center for church leaders.  H shared an interesting story with us that speaks a lot about our human perceptions.  From where Dr. Walker lives, it is 31 miles to a particular mountain range.  From his ranch, he can see two mountain peaks that look like identical twins, the proverbial, “twin peaks”.  The tree line stops at the same elevation, the snow level and coloring look identical.  They are almost identical in height.  But as Dr. Walker noted, as you get closer to the peaks, the differences begin to become apparent.  The coloring isn’t the same after all, the irregularities of each becomes apparent, the vegetation patterns are different.  What looked so much alike from a distance, no longer is apparent – in fact, what becomes obvious is that there is not much similarity at all between the two peaks.

What does this have to do with Christianity?  Simply this: it is easy, from a distance, to think that we’re quite Christ-like.  But the truth is that the closer we get to Him, the more our obvious differences from Christ become.  The closer we get to Christ, the more dissimilarity appears.  The farther away we are, the easier it is to assume the illusion that we are similar.

Perhaps you have become pretty satisfied with your Christian life and the Christ-likeness that we are to wear.  But the closer we draw to God’s Presence, the more we see how far we have to go to have much resemblance to Him at all.  It’s a humbling experience, but it’s also instructive.  We simply aren’t going to ever get very close to his likeness in this life, but that’s not the end of the story.  We have His promise that when He returns for us, that we shall be like him: 1 John 3:2 (NIV)  – Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

We are encouraged to drawn near to Him in full confidence (Heb. 10:22).  As we do, we’ll see where we need to be changed and God will commence the great transformation.   

PRAYER: Lord, let us draw near to You so that we may see ourselves with sharper vision that shows us how far we still have to go.  And then, Father, let your Spirit of encouragement and comfort fall on us to reassure us of not just Your love, but Your goodness and promise to make us like You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 06/13/12 – Lessons in Human Nature #3

DayBreaks for 06/13/12 – Lessons in Human Nature #3

Watching from Afar

Mt. 28:9-10 – 9 And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”

Today’s text describes Jesus meeting Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” in garden after his resurrection.  How I would have loved to be there to witness the scene, to see the tenderness and joy of the dawning realization that Jesus was no longer dead, but alive!

Jesus was in the city (or just outside of it), and the “my brothers” (the apostles-to-be) were in hiding somewhere in the city.  They were terrified for their own skin ever since the crucifixion.  Jesus was eager to meet with them, to let them see him – alive-forever-more, vibrant with eternal life.  So why not just go into Jerusalem and meet them right then?

Certainly it wasn’t because Jesus was afraid of running into the Romans or the priests and religious leaders who had crucified him.  Jesus wasn’t afraid of them to start with, and now, risen in glory and imbued with all power from the Father, he certainly had nothing to fear from them now.

So, why the instruction to go to Galilee?  It was a long, perilous journey on food or donkey.  Perhaps it’s because if we want to see Jesus, we need to make some effort.  We need to go where He can be found rather than waiting for Him to come to us.

Does Jesus come to us?  Yes.  Must we come to Him?  Yes.  We usually want to meet Jesus on our terms, on ground of our choosing, at times of our choosing.  Jesus, not us, is LORD.  He is the one who chooses the times and seasons o matter how much we might want to think otherwise.

Are you ready to follow his instructions, even when it seems there is a simpler, easier way?  It could be that he is just wanting you to know whether your are truly a follower, one who will go great distances, to be with Him.

PRAYER: Jesus, I know that many times I want you to come to me on my terms, in my timing.  I want the simplest way possible, I want to resist the long, arduous and dangerous journey and I’d rather sit in my recliner and wait for you to come to me.  Re-mold my heart to undertake any journey you lay in front of me!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda!  If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org.  The budget for this water system is $8300.  Every gift matters…and every gift is appreciated!  They ALL make a difference!

Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home.  You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!!  We still need to raise a bit over $4000 to fulfill our mission.  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 06/12/12 – Lessons in Human Nature #2

DayBreaks for 06/12/12 – Lessons in Human Nature #2

Mt. 27:55 – 55 And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for him were watching from a distance.

The various descriptions of human behavior around, or at the time of the crucifixion, are fascinating.  Here, we learn that there were many women who were followers of Jesus (after all, they’d followed him all the way from Galilee to Jerusalem) were witnesses to the crucifixion.  This is not surprising, I suppose.  Just as in modern times, it seems that women are often the first to follow Jesus, and a visit to a local church will find more women than men in attendance.  So, first of all, let’s give women their due.  There is a great deal that we men can, and should, learn from them!

But here, we find the women “watching from a distance” – what a description!  Why were they at a distance?  It wasn’t apparently because women weren’t allowed to be close to the actual site, for Mary, Jesus’ mother, was at the foot of the cross.  I suspect it was a combination of fear and revulsion.

The revulsion part comes in to play at any gruesome scene.  Consider cars passing by a fatal accident on the road.  There is a fascination with what is going on, but does anyone really want to stick their head inside the car and witness the carnage if you don’t have to?  No.

The fear part is obvious.  Death and crucifixions were afoot.

The lesson here is this: we want to be involved with Jesus, to see him and his story and hear his words, but only from a distance.  When we get too close to Him, the temperature rises and the water gets hot, just as Peter learned in the courtyard of Pilate.  These women were most likely very interested and concerned about what was happening, but also terrified – Romans didn’t care if they crucified men, women or children – and these women may well have been terrified for their lives so it is hard to blame them.

That makes me ask: what would you and I have done?  Would we have been there at all?

PRAYER: Lord, I know you don’t want followers who follow at arm’s distance, but disciples who are covered in your dust, disciples who have your blood fall on them from the cross, not who stand at a distance.  Forgive us our quaking fears for our own safety over the advance of Your Kingdom.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda!  If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org.  The budget for this water system is $8300.  Every gift matters…and every gift is appreciated!  They ALL make a difference!

Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home.  You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!!  We still need to raise a bit over $4000 to fulfill our mission.  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.

 

DayBreaks for 08/24/11 – Distance and Proximity

DayBreaks for 08/25/11 – Distance and Proximity

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:16

One of the best book titles from years gone by was J. B. Phillip’s, Your God Is Too Small.  It challenges our view of God (and in so-doing, of ourselves) and deserves a read on its own merits.  That being said, sometimes you run across something about God and our human perspective that just screams out to be shared.  Using Phillip’s book title, the article from the link below invites us to jump into the deep end of the pool of the greatness of God, to see ourselves in perspective, and to understand how distance and proximity relate to how we see and think of God.

So, rather than blathering on with my own thoughts today, I want to provide you with this link to a post at patheos.com that REALLY deserves to be read (as many there on the evangelical portal do!)  Here’s the link:

http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Faith-with-a-View-Robert-Crosby-08-16-2011?offset=0&max=1

Please – take the time to go and read it.  You’ll be blessed – and probably challenged in your thinking about your God and what He’s like!

PRAYER: Your people long ago were afraid to get close to You on the mountain, Lord, for fear of Your greatness.  Too often I lose my perspective and think I am great…and that You are small.  Draw me close to You again so my perspective can be corrected!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 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.