ODB: God's Lighthouse

The Mission Point Lighthouse was built in 1870 on a peninsula in Northern Michigan to warn ships of sand bars and rocky shores along Lake Michigan. That lighthouse got its name from another kind of lighthouse, a mission church, which was built 31 years earlier.In 1839, Rev. Peter Dougherty answered the call to become pastor of a church in Old Mission that was made up of Native Americans who lived

ODJ: the world and I


I didn’t realise how far I was removed from reality until I read The Hunger Games. It jolted me into doing some research. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates for 2010, there are about 925 million hungry people in the world. That means 13.6 percent of the world population, or almost 1 in 7 people regularly experience hunger.
With so many modern comforts w

ODB: No Simple Recipe

For our grandson’s birthday, my wife baked and decorated a gigantic chocolate chip cookie to serve at his party. She got out her cookbook, gathered the ingredients, and began to follow the simple steps involved in making cookies. She followed a simple recipe and everything turned out well.Wouldn’t it be nice if life was like that? Just follow a few easy steps and then enjoy a happy life.But li

ODJ: suffering with God


Pain. We take pills to ease it, hold prayer meetings to heal it, develop strategies to avoid it and think up philosophies to explain it. We rarely, however, consider suffering as part of God’s plan for our lives.
Classic spiritual authors take a different approach to suffering. Take the 17th century monk Brother Lawrence, for example. Lame in one leg and acquainted with illness, in The Practi

ODB: Crowned With Glory

The Voyager 1 spacecraft, which was launched in 1977, is on the outer edge of our solar system more than 10 billion miles away. In February 1990, when Voyager 1 was almost 4 billion miles from us, scientists turned its camera toward Earth and took some pictures that revealed our planet as an almost imperceptible blue dot on a vast sea of empty space.In the immense reaches of our

ODJ: counting the cost


Jesus’ good friend Lazarus had died (John 11:14,17). And so He performed an amazing miracle by raising Lazarus from the dead (vv.43-44)—leading many who came to the funeral to believe in Him (v.45). But the Pharisees and priests responded differently. From that time on, they began to plot Jesus’ death (v.53). 
News of the spectacular miracle spread throughout the thousands of Jewish pilgri

ODB: Jars of Clay

/
When you buy a nice piece of jewelry, it is often tucked into a setting of black- or dark-colored velvet. I think it’s designed that way so that your attention is immediately drawn to the beauty of the jewelry. If the packaging were highly decorated, it would compete with the beauty of the treasure.It reminds me of Paul’s comments about the ministry of Jesus through us, when he said, “We hav

ODJ: lawn libraries


Nancy Johnson went for a walk and discovered a little library in a neighbour’s garden. It’s estimated that there are now between 300 to 400 small libraries lodged in people’s lawns around the world. Each has a take a book/leave a book policy. Nancy commented, “What a nifty idea . . . I like the sense of community.”
Many of us are looking for a way to connect with people who share our i

ODB: Rerouting . . . Rerouting

Don’t worry. I know right where I’m going,” I said to my passengers. Then an almost-human voice ratted me out: “Rerouting . . . rerouting.” Now everyone knew I was lost!These days, millions of drivers recognize those words, or others like them, as a sign they’ve gone off track or missed a turn. The GPS device not only recognizes when a driver is off course, but immediately begins plott