North America

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A collage of Kelly and Volcano

The Year I Survived a Volcanic Eruption

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I work as a teacher in a Christian school on the island of Tonga, where people are used to natural disasters. But nothing prepared us for what happened on January 15, 2022.
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Reading Scripture, Missing God

Some years ago, I had a sobering epiphany regarding my faith. After a decade of ministry, I realized that I didn’t really know God very well. Yes, I knew there was a God and that He was good and holy.

ODB: Sustainer of Blessings

On January 15, 1919, a huge molasses tank burst in Boston. A fifteen-foot wave of more than two million gallons of molasses careened through the street at over 30 mph, sweeping away railcars, buildings, people, and animals. Molasses might seem harmless enough, but that day it was deadly: 21 people lost their lives with more than 150 injured.Sometimes even good things—like molasses&mdash
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Enjoying Times With God

Day 7. The alarm clock buzzes; it is morning again. I roll over and hit the snooze bar, not ready to get out of bed yet. My spirit cries out for nourishment; my body appeals for more sleep. I’m still struggling to have regular quiet time with God.

ODB: Running on Empty

“I just don’t think I can do this anymore,” my friend said through her tears as she discussed the overwhelming sense of hopelessness she faced as a nurse in a global health crisis. “I know that God has called me to nursing, but I’m overwhelmed and emotionally drained,” she confessed. Seeing that a cloud of exhaustion had come over her, I responded, “I know

ODB: Seven Minutes of Terror

When the Mars rover Perseverance landed on that red planet on February 18, 2021, those monitoring its arrival endured “seven minutes of terror.” As the spacecraft ended its 292-million-mile journey, it went through a complex landing procedure it had to do on its own. Signals from Mars to Earth take several minutes, so NASA couldn’t hear from Perseverance during

ODB: The Pink Coat

Brenda was walking toward the mall exit when a flush of pink from a display window caught her eye. She turned and stood spellbound before a “cotton-candy-colored coat.” Oh, how Holly would love it! Finances had been tight for her coworker friend who was a single mother, and while Brenda knew Holly needed a warm coat, she was also confident that her friend would never lay down cash on s
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The Same God

People sometimes ask me, “How come the God of the Old Testament seems so cruel and harsh compared to the God of the New Testament?” To answer that question, I start by assuring them that He doesn’t have multiple personalities—the God of the Old and New Testaments is the same God.

ODB: Mercy for You and Me

One of consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic was the docking of cruise ships and the quarantining of passengers. The Wall Street Journal featured an article that included interviews of some of the tourists. Commenting about how being quarantined provided more opportunities for conversations, one passenger joked how his spouse—who possessed an excellent memory—was able to bring