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Unbelievable Grace

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What do you expect from life? For Naomi and Ruth, they probably couldn’t expect much. We read their story in the book of Ruth.

ODJ: a choice

One evening my family and I were watching an episode of a TV show called Brain Games. It had a segment in which they tested the ability of people to make choices. One group went to an ice cream parlour that featured 50 to 60 different flavours of the delicious dessert. The other group went to a shop that had only three flavours. The group who had to choose from many flavours experienced m

ODB: All We Need To Know

In a Fernando Ortega rendition of “Just As I Am,” Billy Graham’s voice can be heard faintly in the background. Dr. Graham is reminiscing about an illness during which he believed he was dying. As he mused on his past, he realized what a great sinner he was and how much he continues to need God’s daily forgiveness.Billy Graham was putting an end to the notion that apart from God we’re oka

ODB: Graceland

The Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, is one of the most visited homes in the US. It was built in the 1930s and named after the original owner’s great aunt, Grace. It later became famous as the home of Elvis Presley.I love the name Graceland because it describes the amazing territory into which God placed me when He forgave me of my sin and made me His own. He took me out of the

ODB: "No Grace"

I have nicknamed our car “No Grace.” Sunday mornings are the worst. I load the car with all the stuff I need for church, get myself in my seat, close the door, and Jay starts backing out of the garage. While I am still getting settled, the seat belt warning starts buzzing. “Please,” I say to it, “all I need is another minute.” The answer, apparently, is no, because it continues buzzing

ODJ: extending grace

When I was growing up, my family often became frustrated because I would take whatever I wanted into my possession. If anything went missing, the invariable response was to “look in Gina’s room”, for I was sure to have nabbed it. In a just vindication of their frustrations, my hairbrush now shows up in my daughter’s room, my scissors can be found in my son’s art case and my phone charger

ODB: As White As Snow

Iwas driving my son home from school one day when snow began to fall. The cottony fluff came down steadily and quickly. Eventually, we slowed to a stop, boxed in by traffic. From inside our vehicle, we watched a transformation take place. Dark patches of soil turned white. Snow softened the sharp outlines of buildings; it coated the cars around us, and accumulated on every tree in sight.That snowf

ODB: More Than We Deserve

Sometimes when people ask how I’m doing, I reply, “Better than I deserve.” I remember a well-meaning person responding, “Oh no, Joe, you deserve a lot,” to which I replied, “Not really.” I was thinking about what I truly deserve—God’s judgment.We easily forget how sinful we are at the core of our being. Thinking of ourselves more highly than we should diminishes our sense of deep

ODB: My Kind Of People

Years ago in a worship service, pastor Ray Stedman stepped to the pulpit and read the text for the day: “Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you w