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ODB: The Ease of Ingratitude

Thwip, thwap. Thwip, thwap.The windshield wipers slamming back and forth trying to keep up with the pelting rain only added to my irritation as I adjusted to driving the used car I had just purchased—an old station wagon with 80,000+ miles and no side-impact airbag protection for the kids.To get this station wagon, and some badly needed cash for groceries, I had sold the last “treasur

ODB: When Questions Remain

On October 31, 2014, an experimental spacecraft broke apart during a test flight and crashed into the Mojave Desert. The copilot died while the pilot miraculously survived. Investigators soon determined what had happened, but not why. The title of a newspaper article about the crash began with the words “Questions remain.”Throughout life we may experience sorrows for which there are no

ODB: Welcome Home!

When we were going through a particularly challenging time with our son, a friend pulled me aside after a church meeting. “I want you to know that I pray for you and your son every day,” he said. Then he added: “I feel so guilty.”“Why?” I asked. “Because I’ve never had to deal with prodigal children,” he said. “My kids pretty much played

ODB: You Have Value

After my mother-in-law died, my wife and I discovered a cache of US Indian Head pennies in a dresser drawer in her apartment. She wasn’t a coin collector, as such, but she lived in the era when these pennies were in circulation and she had accumulated a few.Some of these coins are in excellent condition; others are not. They are so worn and tarnished you can hardly see the imprint. All bear

ODB: Who We Are

In her autobiography, Corrie ten Boom described her and her sister Betsie’s horrific time in a Nazi concentration camp in the early 1940s. On one occasion they were forced to take off their clothes during an inspection. Corrie stood in line feeling defiled and forsaken. Suddenly, she remembered that Jesus had hung naked on the cross. Struck with wonder and worship, Corrie whispered to her si

ODB: Our Jealous God

In 2014 a University of California researcher used a stuffed dog to show that animals are capable of jealousy. Professor Christine Harris asked dog owners to show affection for a stuffed animal in the presence of their pet. She found that three-fourths of the dogs responded with apparent envy. Some tried to get attention with touch or a gentle nudge. Others tried to push between their owner and th

ODB: Don’t Touch the Fence!

As a young girl I went with my parents to visit my great-grandmother, who lived near a farm. Her yard was enclosed by an electric fence, which prevented cows from grazing on her grass. When I asked my parents if I could play outside, they consented, but explained that touching the fence would result in an electric shock.Unfortunately I ignored their warning, put a finger to the barbed wire, and wa

ODB: Love Comes First

One evening my friend showed me one of the three decorative plaques that would be part of a wall arrangement in her living room. “See, I’ve already got Love,” she said, holding up the plaque with the word written on it. “Faith and Hope are on order.”So Love comes first, I thought. Faith and Hope soon follow! Love did c

ODB: First Steps

A friend stopped me the other day with some exciting news and then spent 10 minutes describing for me the first steps of her 1-year-old nephew. He could walk! Later I realized how bizarre we might have sounded to an eavesdropper. Most people can walk. What was the big deal?It struck me that childhood provides a quality of specialness that nearly vanishes for the rest of life. Thi