ODJ: correcting blind spots

In The Call to Joy and Pain, Ajith Fernando, a Christian leader from Sri Lanka, wrote: “The church in each culture has its own special challenges—theological blind spots that hinder Christians from growing to full maturity in Christ. . . . I think one of the most serious theological blind spots in [today’s] western church is a defective understanding of suffering. . . . The ‘good life’

ODB: Pack Up Your Sorrows

During the turbulent years of the 1960s, popular music in America was a strange mixture of protest and patriotism. Some songs lashed out against war, greed, and injustice in society, while others affirmed duty to country and traditional values. But “Pack Up Your Sorrows,” written by Richard Farina and Pauline Baez Marden, seemed to fit all of the categories with its focus on the quest for pers

ODJ: origin of the species


A previously unknown monkey species, the Caqueta titi monkey, was discovered deep in the Amazon jungle in August 2009. A month earlier two newly identified species of fish were found in the area affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Taxonomists today are discovering new species of animals, birds and fish all the time—18,516 new species were discovered in 2007 alone. On average 50 new

ODB: Grandpa Snucked Out

My cousin Ken fought a courageous 4-year battle with cancer. In his final days, his wife, three children, and several grandchildren were in and out of his room, spending time with him and sharing special goodbyes. When everyone was out of the room for a moment, he slipped into eternity. After the family realized that he was gone, one young granddaughter sweetly remarked, “Grandpa snucked out.”

ODJ: blind eyes & burning hearts


If you want to humble me, all you need to do is hand me one of those Where’s Wally? images—the ones where you attempt to locate the numerous places where the character Wally blends into the scenery. I can stare at them for hours with little result. When someone finally points out Wally’s location to me, it’s embarrassing to see him—right there in plain view! As theologian Stanley Hauerwa

ODB: Giving Thanks

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A tragedy left a family with a void that nothing could fill. A toddler chasing a cat wandered into the road and was run over by a delivery truck. A 4-year-old watched in shocked silence as her parents cradled the lifeless body of her little sister. For years, the cold emptiness of that moment encased the family in sadness. Feelings were frozen. The only comfort was numbness. Relief was unimaginabl

ODJ: a long way


In trying to sell our house by owner (not using an estate agent), my husband made sure to ask each of our neighbours for permission to place a directional sign at a junction near our home. One particular homeowner seemed surprised that Scott had bothered to ask. As he gave his assent, he admitted that his usual response was to pull up any signs left by others who had not asked his permission. So w

ODB: Always Accepted

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Financial expert Warren Buffet, one of the richest people in the world, was rejected by Harvard’s Business School at age 19. After a failed admissions interview, he recalls a “feeling of dread,” along with concern over his father’s reaction to the news. In retrospect, Buffet says, “[Everything] in my life . . . that I thought was a crushing event at the time has turned out for the better

ODJ: experiencing community


Respondents to a recent survey listed the following as key elements of their church life: connecting with God, experiencing transformation, gaining new insights and feeling cared for. All of those things happen as individual believers come together and use their gifts to bless and edify one another.
So often the idea of a ‘personal relationship with God’ is emphasised in our experience wit