DayBreaks for 6/4/18 – Fifty-Two Miles

Image result for moon

DayBreaks for 6/04/18: Fifty-Two Miles

It was 1970. Exciting times for a high school senior. Many wonderful and amazing things were going on in the world at that time that still are very, very clear in my memory.  One of them has even been immortalized in a movie, Apollo 13

On April 11, 1970, a crew of three men, James Lovell (who at the time had spent more time than any other American in space), Jimmy Swigert, and Fred Haise, were hurtled into space on a moon landing mission – the third landing mission in the Apollo series of moon shots.  James Lovell had been to the moon before on an earlier Apollo shot, but during that mission they just circled and tested equipment and procedures that would be used for the actual moon landings that were part of the Apollo program.  But this time it was different: Lovell and Haise were to walk on the moon while Swigert, the command module pilot, orbited overhead. 

You know the story.  One problem after another happened in rapid fire sequence, and through an incredible sequence of heroic events (and God’s intervention, I believe), the three men made it back to the earth safely and were returned to their loved ones.  But they didn’t get to land on the moon because of the problems.  

The movie, Apollo 13, movie was made about it and you’ve probably seen it.  At one point, as they whip around the moon and use its gravity to help sling-shot the nearly powerless ship back towards earth, they are poignantly looking out the window and see the moon’s surface a scant 52 miles below them, identifying features on the surface and even seeing their planned landing site as it moved past them.  In terms of the percentage of distance travelled, those 52 miles represented just over 2 ten-thousandths of the distance travelled.  In other words, they’d gotten 99.999702 percent of the way there. 

As I watched the movie again just last week, I was struck by how melancholy that moment was.  This was to be Lovell’s last mission – and he had a burning desire to walk on the moon.  Now, it was over – “we’ve just lost the moon” as Lovell put it to his shipmates.  I got to thinking about how difficult that moment must have been: to have travelled a quarter of a million miles, only to come up 52 miles short. 

And, as I pondered that, I wondered what Lovell will think when he lies on his death bed, knowing he’d come within 52 miles of walking on the moon, only to have been denied the actuality of doing it.  And that turned my mind to spiritual parallels.  I don’t know if James Lovell is a Christian or not (I hope he is for I’d love to talk with him in eternity!), but I certainly hope that when he has crossed over into eternity that he won’t be faced with the thought: “I was so close to heaven…but came up short.” 

How close can we come to heaven and miss out?  Well, one thing is sure: we won’t get there by our goodness or good deeds.  There’s only one thing that can get us there and that’s accepting Christ’s sacrifice for us through faith. But that’s still one decision that must be made – one option that cannot be missed – if we are to land safely on heaven’s shore.  We could spend all of our life getting 99.99802% of it right, but miss that one all-important decision…and regret it for all eternity.

Don’t let it happen to you.  To so close, only to be turned back, would be heartbreaking.  Do everything you can not to let it happen to someone you love, either.

PRAYER:  Father, thank You for Your assurance that those who have accepted Christ will make it safely to the destination.  For those who waver on the brink of making a decision for Christ, we pray Your mercy and the influence of Your Spirit to cause them to make that vital decision.  May we not awaken in eternity with the realization that we were so close, only to be turned away.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks from 05/07/12 – Musings From 41,000 Feet

DayBreaks for 05/07/12 – Musings from 41,000 Feet

On Saturday night, 5/05/12, I was flying back southbound to Atlanta at 41,000 feet as the sun was setting on the western horizon.  At the same time, the full moon was rising on the eastern horizon, almost exactly 180 degrees in the opposite direction.  Sun off the right wingtip, moon off the left.

To the west, between us and the sun, was a band of clouds at the horizon level and the sun lit them on fire.  The band was colored with reds, maroons, orange, yellows…and as I looked out the window on that side of the plane, I could imagine myself standing on the surface of Saturn and could believe that this had to be what it was like to look at the bands of Saturn from the surface of that planet.  It was unbelievably beautiful.

The moon to the left was huge.  I’d never seen it this large or this clearly.  It was the night of the Super Moon – when the moon was at its closest approach in its orbit to the earth.  Its disk was just above the edge of the horizon and there was a fluffy blanket of clouds obscuring the ground below.  The huge moon lit up the top surface of the cloud layer in a gossamer layer of white as the clouds raced past, under the wing, thousands of feet below us.  It was unbelievably beautiful.

As I looked back and forth from the Saturn-like bands of color to the west and the glorious moonrise to the east, I was transported into worship by the magnificent beauty of the creation, this spectacular universe in which clouds catch the colors of the rainbow and moons, planets and stars hang upon nothing in the cold, haunting emptiness of space.

I marveled that God should have created such beauty and chosen to share it with us and let us enjoy it.  Of course, He created it for His own enjoyment, but I also believe He did it for ours.  And my mind wandered off to this passage: 1 Corinthians 2:9 (ESV) – But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him…”

As I sat by my window and gazed out at the rising moon as the sky grew darker, I contemplated the wonders that await us in the “new heavens and earth.”  As spectacular as what I was looking at, I know that it is a very poor preview of what is to come, and I was again transported into worship.

I wish you all could have been there with me to see the beauty of the sunset and of the Super Moon as they cast their spell of wonder.  It was unbelievably beautiful…and His gift to us.

PRAYER: Lord, how I long to see what wonders you have in store for us!  Sometimes when I think I can begin to imagine it because of what I can see now, I’m reminded that you tell us we cannot even imagine it, and I am overwhelmed that you have lavished such love on us that you invite us not only into the wonders of your creation, but the wonders of your love and grace as well. 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 08/04/11 – Just One Command

DayBreaks for 08/04/11 – Just One Command

Max Lucado (In the Grip of Grace), invites us to take a trip of the imagination with him.  He posed this idea: wouldn’t it be great if God had given us just one command that, if we obeyed it, would guarantee our salvation?  We could forget about all those really tough things that Christ said: loving your enemies and blessing them instead of cursing them, we wouldn’t have to carry a cross ever – let alone daily, we wouldn’t have to love him more than anything or anyone else (which is somewhat hard to love someone you’ve never seen), we wouldn’t have to give to the church or any other cause, we wouldn’t have to deny ourselves anything – as long as we obeyed that one command which would guarantee one’s salvation.  Sound good?  Well, here’s the command: Thou shalt jump so high that you touch the surface of the moon.

Uh-oh.  There’s a bit of a problem.  How high can you jump?  If you’re like most people, you can jump a foot or two.  An Olympic high jumper can manage about 7-1/2 feet.  But that’s it.  Do you know how many feet it is to the moon?  1,191,284,160 feet (at its closest to earth)!  No one can jump that high…not even close.  Even if one can jump 8 feet high, that leaves 1,191,284,152 feet to go.

Aren’t you glad that God didn’t give us that command in order to be saved?  He just has well have, when we look at Jesus words from Matthew 5:48: But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.- Matthew 5:48  It would be easier, would it not, to jump and touch the surface of the moon?

This is why we have no right to judge: no matter how good we may look compared to others – even if we jump 8 times higher than they can jump, we come nowhere near to the perfection of God.  We can, actually, come closer to touching the surface of the moon.  We are all lousy jumpers.  There is NO ONE according to Paul (Romans) who does ANYTHING that is good.

So, is it hopeless?  No!  We can be perfect, even as the Father is perfect – but only through the blood of the Lamb of God…and the incredible grace of God!

PRAYER: Thank you, Almighty Father, for priceless grace, and the righteousness of Jesus!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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