DayBreaks for 8/30/18 – An Excellent Question

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DayBreaks for 8/30/18: An Excellent Question

From the DayBreaks archive, August 2008:

I love a good question!  Good questions (and many DayBreaks readers have posed some really good ones to me in the past 11 years!) make one think!  And thinking is good, methinks!

It turns out that Blaise Pascal, a 17th century mathematician, philosopher and theologian, had a pretty good noggin and thought some pretty deep thoughts.  And, he asked some excellent questions. 

I have noticed in my life that no matter how good things are, or how happy I may be, that there always still seems to be something missing.  Even at my most happiest moments, there is an aching inside my heart that tells me that there is an absence that hasn’t been filled.  Why is that? 

That’s one of the things that Pascal wrestled with, too (hey – I’m in good company!), but he came up with an explanation for it that is worth pondering.  In the manner of great thinkers, he posed his answer in the form of a question so that we could wrestle with it on our own.  He said (paraphrasing): Do you miss something you’ve never had?  Here’s an example: have you ever grieved the loss of being able to fly?  No – while you may wish you could fly, it’s not something you’ve ever been able to do, so you can’t grieve the loss of it.  Have you ever grieved losing your third eye, or a third leg or arm?  No.  Why?  Because you’ve never had them to start with. 

But we do grieve a loss that we feel inside, this nameless and relentless longing for something that we no longer have.  And what is it that we are missing?  I think there are probably several things that we did once have, but which we have lost:

FIRST: innocence.  We were born and formed in the womb as innocent beings, but all too soon we lost our innocence and we grieve that loss.  Shame and guilt took the place of that initial innocence – and they stick with us!

SECOND: the full image of God that we were meant to bear was lost when we sinned.  We were meant to be more like Him than we are – surely Adam and Eve knew what this image was like when they walked and talked in the garden with God – being to being, in sinlessness.  We can’t do that in the same way now that they did – at least, not until we depart this world.

THIRD: the awareness of His Presence, heaven and home.  We came from God.  I don’t know where our souls were before we were conceived, or if they were created at that moment, but this I do know: we have a longing for a better place.  Where could that longing have come from if it were not implanted into our awareness by God?  Why would He do such a thing?  As a beacon, it calls us back to our true home and our true Father. 

Ecclesiastes 3:10-11 (NIV) – I have seen the burden God has laid on men.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

PRAYER:  Lord, you have put eternity in our hearts and we don’t comprehend it.  But we have a longing for Home, for our True Father.  May we follow that yearning beacon to Your (and our!) heavenly home!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 8/04/14 – One Way to Become Childlike

DayBreaks for 8/04/14 – One Way to Become Childlike

Galen is traveling through 8/5/14…new DayBreaks will resume after he returns. 

From the DayBreaks archive, 7/31/2004:

Matthew 18:3 (NIV) – And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’

Matthew 19:14 (NLT) – But Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.’

If you’ve spent any time at all in the pages of the New Testament, you know that Jesus loved children.  I’m sure he loved them for a variety of reasons!  There is something about children that is very, very special.  I don’t know of a sweeter sound in the world than the sounds made by laughing, happy, carefree children.  How different from the sounds – heavy sighs, words of despair – that burdened adults make!

Children had (and have!) a special place in Jesus’ heart.  Perhaps one reason is that faith seems to come so easily and naturally to us as children.  We believed what we are told.  It is only later when we start to listen to the evil one that we doubt the good things we’ve heard about and from the Father.  But one of the things that is precious about children is the way they pray.  Their prayers are so unaffected – so natural and heartfelt – whether praying for mommy and daddy or the goldfish or the dog.  Their words pour forth without wondering what they sound like or if they are the “right” words.  And God’s heart must leap!  Consider this prayer from Anita (11 years old): “Dear Jesus, I want to thank you for going up there on the Cross for us every Good Fridays.  You must be real happy when the weekend is over, Thanks, Anita”.  See what I mean?

Sadly, prayer is one of the things that we struggle with as adults.  We wonder if we’re doing it right.  If we should ask for certain things or abstain from asking for those things that seem selfish.  Children talk to God about all kinds of things and don’t worry about it.  Somehow, as adults, we’ve lost that sense of how important prayer is – about everything!

Billy Graham came to Sacramento, California’s capital, a few years ago and held a crusade at Arco Arena.  The night before the crusade was to start, choir rehearsal ran late and one of the members of the choir was driving home through the downtown area when he noticed a man slumped over the steps of the capital building.  It was cold, nearly midnight – and it wasn’t the safest area especially at that time of the night.  Still, the choir member felt that he could not ignore the plight of the poor, homeless man.  He was very nervous as he approached him, not knowing if the man was violent, drunk, high on drugs or if he would be friendly.  The homeless man crouched almost into a cocoon on the steps, and the choir member reached out and gently touched the man’s shoulder.  “Sir, can I help you?” he said.  “Are you okay?”

The man looked up.  It was Billy Graham.  He was praying for the city of Sacramento.  You see, Billy Graham hadn’t forgotten to say his prayers.  And neither should we.

PRAYER: Lord, teach us to pray with the faith and purity of little children!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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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

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