Our Daily Bread

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ODB: Perfect Like Christ

Perfectionism is one of the scariest words I know,” Kathleen Norris writes, thoughtfully contrasting modern-day perfectionism with the “perfection” described in the book of Matthew. Modern-day perfectionism she describes as “a serious psychological affliction that makes people too timid to take necessary risks.” But the word translated “perfect&r

ODB: In God We Put Our Trust

The baby wasn’t due for another six weeks, but the doctor had just diagnosed Whitney with cholestasis, a liver condition common in pregnancy. In a whirlwind of emotions, Whitney was taken to the hospital where she received treatment and was told her baby would be induced in twenty-four hours! In another part of the hospital, ventilators and other equipment needed for the onslaught of COVID-1

ODB: Not Holding Grudges

During a promotional event in 2011, two seventy-three-year-old former Canadian Football League players got into a fistfight on stage. They had a “beef” (a grudge or feud) dating back to a controversial championship football game in 1963. After one man knocked the other off the stage, the crowd called out to him to “let it go!” They were telling him to “squash the beef

ODB: True Happiness

In the tenth century, Abd al-Rahman III was the ruler of Cordoba, Spain. After fifty years of successful reign (“beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies”), al-Rahman took a deeper look at his life. “Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call,” he said of his privileges. But when he counted how many days of genuine happine

ODB: Loving God

The professor ended his online class in one of two ways each time. He’d say, “See you next time” or “Have a good weekend.” Some students would respond with “Thank you. You too!” But one day a student responded, “I love you.” Surprised, he replied, “I love you too!” That evening the classmates agreed to create an “I love you ch

ODB: The Potter’s Wheel

In 1952, in an effort to prevent clumsy or careless people from breaking items in a shop, a Miami Beach storeowner posted a sign that read: “You break it, you buy it.” The catchy phrase served as a warning to shoppers. This type of sign can now be seen in many boutiques.Ironically, a different sign might be placed in a real potter’s shop. It would say: “If you break it, we&

ODB: This Is Grace

Les Misérables begins with paroled convict Jean Valjean stealing a priest’s silver. He’s caught, and he expects to be returned to the mines. But the priest shocks everyone when he claims he’d given the silver to Valjean. After the police leave, he turns to the thief, “You belong no longer to evil, but to good.”Such extravagant love points to the l

ODB: Hiding from God

I squeezed my eyes shut and started counting aloud. My fellow third-grade classmates tore out of the room to find a place to hide. After scouring every cabinet, trunk, and closet for what felt like hours, I still couldn’t find one of my friends. I felt ridiculous when she finally jumped out from behind a lacey, potted fern hanging from the ceiling. Only her head had been eclipsed by the

ODB: Give While You Live

A successful businessman spent the last few decades of his life doing all he could to give away his fortune. A multibillionaire, he donated cash to a variety of causes such as bringing peace to Northern Ireland and modernizing Vietnam’s health care system; and not long before he died, he spent $350 million to turn New York City’s Roosevelt Island into a technology hub. The man said, &l