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ODB: Christmas Lights

Each year for several weeks around Christmas, Singapore’s tourist belt, Orchard Road, is transformed into a wonderland of lights and colors. This light-up is designed to attract tourists to spend their money at the many stores along the street during this “golden month of business.” Shoppers come to enjoy the festivities, listen to choirs sing familiar Christmas carols, and watch
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ODB: The Treasure in Tomb 7

In 1932, Mexican archaeologist Alfonso Caso discovered Tomb 7 at Monte Alban, Oaxaca. He found more than four hundred artifacts, including hundreds of pieces of pre-Hispanic jewelry he called “The Treasure of Monte Alban.” It is one of the major finds of Mexican archaeology. One can only imagine Caso’s excitement as he held a jade cup in its purest form.Centuries earlier, th
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ODB: Listeners and Doers

The phone rang in the night for my husband, a minister. One of the prayer warriors in our church, a woman in her seventies who lived alone, was being taken to the hospital. She was so ill that she was no longer eating or drinking, nor could she see or walk. Not knowing if she would live or die, we asked God for His help and mercy, feeling particularly concerned for her welfare. The church spr
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ODB: Quiet Conversations

Do you ever talk to yourself? Sometimes when I’m working on a project—usually under the hood of a car—I find it helpful to think aloud, working through my options on the best way to make the repair. If someone catches me in my “conversation” it can be a little embarrassing—even though talking to ourselves is something most of us do every day.The psalmists often
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ODB: The View from 400 Miles

“My perspective on earth changed dramatically the very first time I went into space,” says Space Shuttle astronaut Charles Frank Bolden Jr. From four hundred miles above the earth, all looked peaceful and beautiful to him. Yet Bolden recalled later that as he passed over the Middle East, he was “shaken into reality” when he considered the ongoing conflict there. During an i
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ODB: What Are You Worth?

There is a story that in 75 bc a young Roman nobleman named Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates and held for ransom. When they demanded 20 talents of silver in ransom (about $600,000 today), Caesar laughed and said they obviously had no idea who he was. He insisted they raise the ransom to 50 talents! Why? Because he believed he was worth far more than 20 talents.What a d
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ODB: I’m Rich!

Perhaps you’ve seen the TV ad in which a person answers the door and finds someone who hands over a check for an enormous amount of money. Then the amazed recipient begins shouting, dancing, jumping, and hugging everyone in sight. “I won! I’m rich! I can’t believe it! My problems are solved!” Striking it rich evokes a great emotional response.In Psalm 119, the longest
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ODB: Beautiful

Picture two teenage girls. The first girl is strong and healthy. The other girl has never known the freedom of getting around on her own. From her wheelchair she faces not only the emotional challenges common to life, but also a stream of physical pains and struggles.But both girls are smiling cheerfully as they enjoy each other’s company. Two beautiful teenagers—each seeing in the oth
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ODB: The Red Hackle

Several years ago I stumbled across a bit of fishing lore in a second-century ad work by the Greek writer Aelian. “Between Boroca and Thessalonica runs a river called the Astracus, and in it there are fish with spotted skins [trout].” He then describes a “snare for the fish, by which they get the better of them. They fastened crimson red wool round a h
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ODB: Unsend

Have you ever sent an email and suddenly realized it went to the wrong person or it contained harmful, harsh words? If only you could press a key and stop it. Well, now you can. Several companies offer a feature that gives you a brief time after sending an email to stop it from leaving your computer. After that, the email is like a spoken word that cannot be unsaid. Rather than being seen as a cur
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ODB: Best Deal Ever!

How much is enough? We might ask this simple question on a day that many developed countries increasingly devote to shopping. I speak of Black Friday, the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday, in which many stores open early and offer cut-price deals; a day that has spread from the States to other nations. Some shoppers have limited resources and are trying to purchase something at a price they c
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ODB: Game of Thanks

Every autumn we throw a scrumptious Thanksgiving feast on campus at Cornerstone University. Our students love it! Last year a group of students played a game at their table. They challenged each other to name something they were thankful for—in three seconds or less—without repeating what someone else had said. Anyone who hesitated was out of the game.There are all kinds of things
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ODB: Fame and Humility

Many of us are obsessed with fame—either with being famous ourselves or with following every detail of famous people’s lives. International book or film tours. Late-night show appearances. Millions of followers on Twitter.In a recent study in the US, researchers ranked the names of famous individuals using a specially developed algorithm that scoured the Internet. Jesus topped the list
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ODB: Longing for Home

My wife walked into the room and found me poking my head inside the cabinet of our grandfather clock. “What are you doing?” she asked. “This clock smells just like my parents’ house,” I answered sheepishly, closing the door. “I guess you could say I was going home for a moment.”The sense of smell can evoke powerful memories. We had moved the clock across t