ODJ: greater than our shame

God is greater than our shame. Because Saul failed to realise this, his life ended tragically. The Israelites were engaged in a fierce battle and suffered defeat at the hands of the Philistines on Mt. Gilboa. That day the Philistines killed Saul’s three sons and wounded him. Humiliation, torture and death were likely to follow his capture. Unable to endure the shame, Saul committed suicide.

ODJ: runaway garden

Last summer I tried to grow tomatoes (yet again). Ibought heirloom starter vines and a wooden troughplanter. I talked to farmer friends about best practices and even concocted an organic fertiliser mixture that was supposed to make my plants flourish. The growing season ended, however, and I had plucked a grand total of one tomato—a scraggly, little fellow, slightly larger than a golf ball.

ODJ: subversive hymn

We like to sing hymns in our church—the older the better. We often put new music to them, but sometimes we sing the songs as written. The power of the words, the beautiful melodies, the fact that Christians sang these truths long before us, make hymns an important part of our worship.

Colossians 1:15-23 is a poem and was probably an early hymn that Paul used in his letter. These lyri

ODB: Space Music

One of NASA’s observatories has discovered a giant black hole that hums. Located in the Perseus cluster of galaxies about 250 million light years from Earth, the black hole vibrates at the frequency of a B flat. But it is too low a pitch to be picked up by the human ear. Scientific instruments have placed the note at 57 octaves below middle C on a piano.The idea of music and heavenly bodies is n

ODB: A Flying Miracle

Among God’s creatures, the butterfly is one of the most stunningly beautiful! Its gentle flight, colorful wings, and amazing migratory patterns are traits that make the butterfly a masterpiece of the natural world.This flying insect, while supplying us with visual enjoyment, also supplies us with amazing examples of the marvels of God’s creative work.For instance, the majestic monarch butterfl

ODB: Hanging On Nothing

A world map published by the National Geographic Society has this notation: “Earth’s mass is 6.6 sextillion tons.” And what supports all that weight? Nothing. The planet we inhabit spins on its axis at 1,000 miles per hour as it hurtles through space in its orbit around the sun. But it’s easy for that to remain unnoticed in the midst of our daily concerns about health, relationships, and h

ODB: Where Did I Come From?

My 7-year-old African-American friend Tobias asked me a thought-provoking question the other day: “Since Adam and Eve were white, where did black people come from?” When I told him we don’t know what “color” they were and asked him why he thought they were white, he said that’s what he always saw in Bible-story books at church and in the library. My heart sank. I wondered if that might

ODJ: arrogance and ingratitude

Fabiola Gianotti led one of two teams that discovered the Higgs boson, the most exciting feat of modern physics. Her team used a particle accelerator to crash protons into each other at nearly the speed of light. When they sifted through the microscopic debris, they found evidence of an energy field, which apparently permeates the universe. As other forms of energy pass through this “Higgs field

ODJ: mirror, mirror

When it comes to physical appearance, we’re constantly bombarded with advice. And truth be told, the suggestions found on magazine covers, in TV commercials and voiced by shop assistants—among other sources—bother me. They’re all trying to nudge me to pursue that perfect look.

One blogger wrote: “For many young men and women, our physical appearance has become the measuring st