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How We Can All Experience Some Good from Conflict

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Her demeanor was the first signal. The way she averted her eyes when I looked in her direction. Then, as we walked past her on our way out of church and my husband bid a friendly goodbye, her silence confirmed it—she was upset.

ODJ: The Presence of Jesus

The small car shook as Frank pushed down hard on the accelerator while fixing his eyes on the headlights coming towards him. Having Christ-like parents who ran a counselling organisation, you would think that Frank would have had the skills to navigate his way through the trials and temptations of life. But his sinful choices, including the abuse of alcohol, had taken their toll, and he resolved t

ODJ: Shaming Shame

I wet the bed until I was 12 years old. words the agony of those moments when I would wake up in the middle of the night and find my clothes and sheets It’s hard to put into were soaked. Ashamed, I would scurry about, trying to quietly change the sheets and my clothes—doing my best to hide the evidence. But it was found out each time, and I felt a deep sense of worthlessness,

ODJ: untouchable

Leprosy was one of the most feared diseases in Jesus’ day. It sentenced a person who was afflicted with it to an isolated and lonely existence. Jewish ceremonial laws forbade people from having physical contact with lepers. It required those with the disease to live “outside the camp”, isolated from their family and neighbours (Leviticus 14:2-3). If lepers were to venture out i

ODJ: a shameful example

Although Dubai has some of the most lenient social codes in the Persian Gulf, authorities occasionally make examples of those who blatantly flout the law. During our 2 year stay in the metropolis, there were reports of Westerners who’d been sentenced to jail for kissing in public or exchanging steamy text messages.
King Xerxes, who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to the upper

ODJ: not less in your mess

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God’s royal family in Genesis was a bit seamy. Consider Abraham’s family. He slept with his female slave and later consented to his wife’s desire to banish the woman and his son by sending her into the wilderness (Genesis 21:14). What family could be worse than that?

Isaac’s family. They were divided down the middle as each parent picked a favourite son. Then one son plotted to

ODJ: shame and inheritance

In 2013 the Catholic Church in Venezuela reported that it was running out of wine to celebrate Mass because of a nationwide shortage. This reminds me of another shortage of wine that took place in the village of Cana where Jesus was attending a wedding.

The wine supply ran out during the festivities and Jesus’ mother told the servants to do whatever He commanded (John 2:5). Jesus