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ODB: Words To Live By

For many years I’ve maintained a file folder labeled “Speaking.” It has become thick with articles, quotations, and illustrations that might be useful. Recently I went through it to discard things that are out of date. I found it difficult to throw away many of the items, not because I haven’t used them in a talk but because I haven’t put them into practice. I closed the folder thinking,

ODJ: heart decisions

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A young woman wrote: “I’ve fallen in love with an unbeliever, but I know it’s wrong. What should I do?” One of our authors posted her question and his answer on the ODJ website.


Three months later, the young woman made a comment in the same post. She said that even though unbelieving family and friends condemned her for not marrying the young man, she chose t

ODJ: keep your guard up

A young man and several friends drove to a ski resort, went through a gate that contained warning signs about the dangerous condition of the slopes and started snowboarding. On the second trip down the mountain, someone shouted, “Avalanche!” but the young man couldn’t escape and perished in the cascading snow. Some in the media severely criticised him for being a novice, but he was actual

ODJ: unaffected

Not all influence is the same. A piece of coal and a diamond vastly differ in their make-up and value, though both contain carbon. Coal’s stubborn, black residue marks anything it touches. A diamond, though stronger and more costly, doesn’t transfer its brilliance. Carry a bag of coal or a bag of diamonds and the lesson is visible—only one influences by proximity.

Sin and holin

ODJ: tale of two sons

A mother asks her two sons to clean their room. The first yells, “Don’t be such a nag, Mum!” and locks himself in his room. Later he feels bad and decides to clean his room. The second says, “Yeah, Mum, anything for you,” but continues to play his video games. 

A boss tells two employees to submit their report before they clock off from work. One replies, “That’s impossib

ODB: Thumbs Up

Pandora is one of the musical marvels of the Internet age. It helps you create your own personal radio station by allowing you to “customize” your music. It plays a song and you then click a thumbs up or thumbs down sign to indicate whether or not you like it. You end up with a grouping of only songs that you like.Unfortunately, sometimes we do that with the Bible too. People may choose some S

ODJ: shouting to silence

Last year, during a well publicised political debate, one man repeatedly shouted his responses, talked over the other candidate’s responses and laughed as his opponent stated his case. Why did he do it? He was striving to silence the other candidate with his noise.
Stephen could relate. As the fledgling New Testament church was just taking flight, the “man full of God’s grace and power

ODJ: made new

She embodies beauty, both inside and out. But she also carries the burden of deep shame due to the actions of a selfish man. Far from harmless, his hands not only touched her, but they robbed her of security and honour. Perhaps he saw it as a game—simply sacrificing her innocence on the altar of a sex-saturated culture. But to her, it resulted in a painful, lifelong wound of the heart and min

ODJ: true fulfilment

How many times have you, as I have, delved into sin—addiction, sexual impropriety, gossip, pride, unbridled anger, slothfulness and more—in an attempt to mask the pain of life? It’s so easy to respond to emptiness, disappointment or hurt by turning away from God’s commands.
We find, however, that sin never leads to the peace or lasting fulfilment we crave. Instead, as we take thing