ODJ: forgive and forget?


Sergei said to his pastor, “It’s been 2 years since Danica cheated on me, and I still can’t get past the hurt. Some days I think I’ve moved on, but the pain is always lurking beneath the surface, ready to explode in the most unexpected moments. We can be having dinner in a restaurant, and sorrow and anger washes over me and I feel that I despise her. How can I forgive if I can’t forget?

ODB: Crying Out To God

After all these years, I still don’t fully understand prayer. It’s something of a mystery to me. But one thing I know: When we’re in desperate need, prayer springs naturally from our lips and from the deepest level of our hearts.When we’re frightened out of our wits, when we’re pushed beyond our limits, when we’re pulled out of our comfort zones, when our well-being is challenged and e

ODJ: a prize awaits


How do I decide what to write in my ODJ article? Each month I move down the list of 66 books in the Bible, and pick a passage from three books to write on. But sometimes I’ll write on the passage that I’m currently studying. Interestingly I’ve noticed that quite a number of my articles are on Christian service. So I wondered: How many ODJ readers are actively serving God? 
Today’s passag

ODB: Second Best?

Leah must have laid awake all night thinking of the moment when her new husband would awaken. She knew that it was not her face he expected to see, but Rachel’s. Jacob had been a victim of deception, and when he realized that a “bait and switch” had occurred, he quickly made a new deal with Laban to claim the woman he had been promised (Gen. 29:25-27).Have you ever felt insignificant or seco

ODJ: pearls to pigs


I have always been perplexed by today’s reading in Matthew 7. What are these “pearls” being spoken of and who are the “pigs” we’re not to throw them to? 
One suggestion is that the pearl is the kingdom of God (see 13:45), and so a common explanation of this verse goes like this: There’s a beastly group of people for whom the gospel is not to be shared. They will only trample on our

ODB: A Small Sacrifice

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As we anticipate the coming celebration of Easter, I begin thinking about the sacrifice Jesus made so that I could be reconciled to God. To help me focus on all that He gave up for me, I make a small sacrifice of my own. When I fast from something I normally enjoy, every craving for that food or drink or pastime reminds me of how much more Jesus gave up for me.Because I want to be successful, I te

ODJ: marked


Ash Wednesday is commemorated by many believers in Jesus 40 days before Good Friday. The officiating minister marks the forehead of each person with ashes in the sign of the cross. Putting ashes on oneself signifies repentance and remorse for sins (Job 42:6; Luke 10:13). The minister applying the ashes says, “You were made from dust, and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19), or “Repent of

ODB: The Best Life

A few months ago, I had to travel to Florida and back on business. On my flight home, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a seat with lots of leg room. It felt so good not to be scrunched into a small area. Plus, I had an empty seat beside me! The makings of a good nap.Then I remembered those around me in their not-as-comfortable seats. I invited several others I knew to join me in a bet

ODJ: recalculating relationships


A comedian once mused that he wished someone would make a Sat Nav for husbands. He said something like this: Sat Nav: “Compliment your wife’s appearance.” Comedian: “Hey, honey, you look really good.” Sat Nav: “Ask her about her day.” Comedian: “How was your day, sweetheart?” Sat Nav: “Pretend to be listening.” Comedian: “Oh . . . Really . . .” Sat Nav: “Flatter your wi