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ODJ: Awareness & Forgiveness

In 1947, Major and Mrs. Ian Thomas opened Capernwray Hall in England to their first Bible school students. What makes this event extraordinary was the fact that the first students were German. Only 2 years earlier, not only had England and Germany been at war, but Major Thomas had fought in the conflict! His ability to forget the past but also to offer the hand of friendship and the love of Jesus

ODJ: Free to Forgive

p>As a child growing up near the ocean, I did a great deal of boating. Weekends weren’t complete unless we rounded up friends and family and spent at least an afternoon on the water. I vividly remember one occasion when a boat we were boarding wouldn’t start. It took nearly an hour of tinkering before the engine started. When it finally did, the driver was so excited he pulled away and

ODJ: unfailing love

A friend of mine got divorced after her husband left her for another woman. Years later I was talking with her father when the subject of their broken marriage came up. “That’s when [vulgar word] was still around,” he said. “That’s what I like to call him: [vulgar word].” I remember the conversation not only because of the salty vocabulary, but because—de

ODB: Turn Off the Scoreboard

At his son’s wedding reception, my friend Bob offered advice and encouragement to the newlyweds. In his speech he told of a football coach in a nearby town who, when his team lost a game, kept the losing score on the scoreboard all week to remind the team of their failure. While that may be a good football strategy, Bob wisely advised, it’s a terrible strategy in marriage. When your spouse ups

ODB: Diamond Dust

During a bitterly frigid winter in our part of Michigan, there were many mixed emotions about the weather. As the snowy winter season pressed on into March, most people had long before fallen out of love with snow and were bemoaning long-range forecasts of low temperatures.Yet the majestic beauty of the snow continued to amaze me. Even as I threw endless shovelsful of it from my driveway onto the

ODB: Just the Ticket

When a police officer stopped a woman because her young daughter was riding in a car without the required booster seat, he could have written her a ticket for a traffic violation. Instead, he asked the mother and daughter to meet him at a nearby store where he personally paid for the needed car seat. The mother was going through a difficult time and could not afford to buy a seat.Although the woma

ODB: Better Than Waking Up

Have you ever felt that your life was ruined as a result of having done something embarrassing, shameful, or even criminal—only to wake up and realize it was just a dream? But what if it wasn’t just a nightmare? What if the situation was all too real—either for yourself or someone you love?This is the situation confronted in George MacDonald’s 19th-century novel The Cur

ODB: The Valley of Vision

The Puritan prayer “The Valley of Vision” speaks of the distance between a sinful man and his holy God. The man says to God, “Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision . . . ; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.” Aware of his wrongs, the man still has hope. He continues, “Stars can be seen from the deepest wells, and the deeper the

Sorry, My Friends!

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I’ve not been a good friend to some of my closest friends. I’ve betrayed one, angered another, and offended a third (twice). I betrayed the first by cutting him out of my life because of someone else (long story).