Posts

ODJ: had to go there

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Author Elizabeth Berg once wrote, “You know thephrase ‘It’s always in the little things’? In writing,it is always the little things—it’s the details . . . that make a character and a story come alive.”

The gospel authors knew the importance of details. For example the apostle John wrote that Jesus “had to go through Samaria” as He was travelling from Judea to Galilee (

ODJ: not leaving

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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: friends in the fray

Tim Kreider wrote about modern day busyness in a newspaper column. His piece titled “The ‘Busy’ Trap” included a personal experience in which he contacted a friend about getting together. The friend replied that he was busy but might be persuaded to “ditch work for a few hours” if “something was going on”. Kreider didn’t press for a rendezvous. He described his friend’s busynes

ODJ: five words

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A 2012 survey of people aged 18 to 24 uncovered an interesting trend. The study, led by the PublicReligion Research Institute, revealed that one in four young adults chose “unaffiliated” for their religious commitment. But 55 percent of that group had “identified with a religious group” when they were younger. They had simply walked away from the faith they once embraced.

Sadly,

ODJ: not broken


As someone who has spent a lot of time in the coastal waters of Florida, America, I’ve always enjoyed seeing bottlenose dolphins up close in the wild. That’s one reason I was particularly drawn to the film Dolphin Tale.


Based on a true story, the film is about a fatherless and disheartened boy named Sawyer who finds great joy and meaning in the rehabilitation of an injured bottle

ODJ: good religion


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As a pastor, I get interesting responses from people when they discover my vocation. Some will immediately apologise for the language they’ve used. Some offer a forced smile and then come up with an excuse to change the subject. One line I hear often is: “Well, I like Jesus, but I don’t like religion.”


I understand the sentiment. People are suspicious of the church and religi

ODJ: the body of Christ


Two nights before I moved to Africa 5 years ago, I panicked. As much as I believed the Lord was calling me to Uganda, I feared that by going there I would forfeit my friends back home. I thought they would forget me and that we’d quickly share nothing in common after I journeyed to a new continent, culture and life.


To take my step of faith I had to cling once again to Romans 15:13

ODJ: obvious passion


There’s a lady down the street who’s crazy about flowers. At the first sign of spring she crowds her porch with clay pots containing seedlings. Blooms fill her garden in a rainbow procession all summer long. Daffodils and tulips perform like dancers in a chorus line. Sweet-scented peonies bob in the breeze. Later in the season towering hollyhocks and cheerful daisies take their turn in the spo

ODJ: 65 gifts


Doug Eaton wanted to celebrate his 65th birthdayin an uncommon fashion. When he asked hisfriends how he should celebrate the big day, one suggested that he perform 65 random acts of kindness. And that is exactly what he did. At a busy junction, he handed out cash notes for 65 minutes. According to Eaton, giving to others was the best gift he could have asked for. “It’s been fantastic,” Eaton