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ODJ: Stinging Words

Many years ago, a relative repeatedly attacked my faith in Jesus. His words and criticism—bathed in cynicism—deeply hurt me. Although he passed away more than a decade ago, and I’ve forgiven him, there are still times I feel as if this relative is standing next to me— belittling me for following Jesus.Indeed, one of the most difficult challenges I’ve faced in life is
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ODJ: Everyone Has a Story

The speaker at our conference asked us to gather in groups of three with people we had never met. He told us to each take one minute to tell the others about ourselves and share the story of one person we wanted God to bless. One man said he wanted God to bless his wife who was battling cancer while she cared for her invalid mother. Another praised God for healing his wife’s cancer but said
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ODJ: Gateway of Hope

“You have to stick with that movie, even when it gets rough.” My friend pulled The Shawshank Redemption from the DVD player as he spoke. “The rough stuff is what makes the ending so hopeful.”In a similar way, the stoning of Achan and his family has always been a troubling story for me—part of the ‘rough stuff’ of the Bible. During the destruction
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ODJ: Philip Flunked

In college, I had the, ahem, joy of taking a class about the history of the English language. The professor would ramble on and on about his life and all kinds of odd facts during his lectures. We listened intently, however, because his tests were famously difficult. He didn’t simply ask us to recall facts, he required us to think differently. The questions were designed to
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ODJ: Source of All Life

Talking plants? Recent studies have shown that plants can communicate through airborne chemicals and underground networks of fungi. They can even warn neighbouring plants about dangers in their environment. And we’ve gone millennia without knowing this!One thing we have known is that plants need the sun to grow. Through photosynthesis, they use sunlight to create energy. But the cre
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ODJ: Trapped in Sin

A police officer rescued a deer whose head had become lodged within a discarded light globe. The officer’s first attempt to pull the plastic object off the frightened animal’s head failed, although it came free during a second try. Officials estimate that the animal had been caught with the globe on its head for at least one full day!Similar to the deer’s helpless predicament, Pa