ODJ: backslap back?

When I lived in China I had an American friend who was radically committed to bringing the gospel to that nation. He mastered the Chinese language until even the Chinese thought he spoke exactly like them, with no foreign accent; and he aggressively shared Jesus at every opportunity. Once he was attacked by thugs, and rather than use his larger size to fight back he obeyed Jesus’ command to turn

ODJ: not leaving

I am just 3 months into my elected role as youth deaconess in the local church that I attend, and I’ve already received three requests from people who want to step down from serving. A few have simply gone MIA (missing in action). So I feel like a general who’s trying to rally his army to fight a battle even as he’s losing his soldiers.

I was discouraged until I studied Amos 7:10-

ODJ: that name

Back in 2001 Mark Cuban, owner of an American basketball team called the Dallas Mavericks, offered radio sports show host David Kaplan more money than he would make in a year to change his name legally to “Dallas Maverick”. When Kaplan politely declined, Cuban sweetened the offer. Cuban would pay Kaplan double his original offer and also donate the same amount to Kaplan’s favourite charity i

ODJ: amenities

Amenities. Surprisingly I heard someone use that word in describing a church they had chosen to attend. I understood that the individual was referring to the different ministries the church had to offer, but I was also reminded of the big difference between a fishing boat and a cruise liner.

In His last words to His followers, Jesus commanded them to “go and make disciples of all t

ODB: We Can Trust Him

I know very little about persecution. My physical well-being has never been threatened because of what I believe or what I say. What little I “know” about the subject comes from what I hear and read. But that is not true for many of our brothers and sisters around the world. Some of them live in danger every day simply because they love Jesus and want others to know Him too.There is another fo

ODB: Strengthened Through Suffering

Church services often end with a benediction. A common one is taken from Peter’s concluding remarks in his first epistle: “May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Peter 5:10). Sometimes omitted in the benediction is the phrase “after you have suffered a while.” Why?

ODJ: transforming grace

At the start of the 1998 film Les Miserables, recently released convict Jean Valjean staggers into a small village. Cold, starving and out of options, Valjean receives a meal and lodging from a local bishop. During the night, however, Valjean repays the bishop’s kindness by running off with his host’s expensive silverware. He’s caught the next morning, but the bishop graciously saves him fro

ODJ: dangerous concessions

In 1857 a few white members of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) in South Africa asked permission to celebrate the Lord’s Supper separately from their black brothers and sisters. The General Assembly believed their request was wrong, but acquiesced “due to the weakness of some”. This concession soon became the norm. And this racism prompted the unwanted black Christians to leave and start thei

ODB: Living Testament

Watchman Nee was arrested for his faith in Christ in 1952, and he spent the rest of his life in prison. He died in his jail cell on May 30, 1972. When his niece came to collect his few possessions, she was given a scrap of paper that a guard had found by his bed. On it was written his life’s testimony:“Christ is the Son of God who died for the redemption of sinners and was resurrected after th