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ODB: Letter To A Child

Even at the end of his life, C. S. Lewis showed an interest in the spiritual nurture of younger believers. Although in ill health, he took time to respond to the letter of a child named Philip. Complimenting the boy’s fine written expression, Lewis said he was delighted that Philip understood that in the Narnia Chronicles the lion Aslan represented Jesus Christ. The next day, Lewis died at his h

ODB: The Challenge Of Confinement

At the age of 86, Ken Deal concluded more than 3 decades of volunteer jail and prison ministry with a final Sunday sermon. His message to the inmates was about serving the Lord while incarcerated. Many of the examples he used came from prisoners, some serving life sentences. In a place everyone wants to leave, he encouraged them to grow and to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others.After

ODB: Attending To Our Words

A week after C. S. Lewis died in 1963, colleagues and friends gathered in the chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford, England, to pay tribute to the man whose writings had fanned the flames of faith and imagination in children and scholars alike.During the memorial service, Lewis’ close friend Austin Farrer noted that Lewis always sent a handwritten personal reply to every letter he received from re

ODB: Place Of Water

East Africa is one of the driest places on earth, which is what makes “Nairobi” such a significant name for a city in that region. The name comes from a Masai phrase meaning “cold water,” and it literally means “the place of water.”Throughout history, the presence of water has been both life-giving and strategic. Whether a person lives in a dry climate or a rainforest, water is a nonne

ODB: Seeds & Soils

If you like growing pumpkins, you have probably heard of Dill’s Atlantic Giant variety of premium pumpkin seeds. Developed on a family farm in Atlantic Canada, the pumpkins grown from these seeds have set records around the world. In 2011, a pumpkin grown in Quebec set a new world record at 1,818.5 pounds (825 kg). That size of pumpkin could yield almost 1,000 pieces of pie!When news reporters a

ODB: Image Conscious

When going through old family photos, my cousins and I joke about which physical characteristics we’ve inherited. We notice primarily the negative ones: short legs, crooked teeth, unruly cowlicks. All of us can easily identify in our ancestors our own least favorite body part. In addition to physical attributes, we also inherited character traits—some good, some not so good. But we don’t alw

ODB: Taking Root

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A small area of my yard just couldn’t seem to get going. The grass always seemed sparse in that spot, no matter how well I watered it.So one day I stuck a shovel into this troublesome real estate and discovered the problem: Just below the surface was a layer of stones about three inches deep. This led me to replace the stones with rich topsoil in which new seeds could take root.Jesus talked abou

ODB: Where Can Wisdom Be Found?

Wisdom is the beauty of holiness. James says wisdom is reasonable; flexible; forgiving; peaceful; caring; given to friendly visits, small acts of courtesy, and kind words. It is humble, transparent, simple, gentle, and gracious to the core (James 3:17).Where can wisdom be found? It comes from heaven (1:5). “Wisdom,” wrote Charles Spurgeon, “is a beauty of life that can only be produced by Go

ODB: Road Construction

Here in Michigan we joke that we have two seasons: winter and road construction. Harsh winters damage road surfaces, so repair crews begin their work as soon as the ice melts and the ground thaws. Although we call this work “construction,” much of what they do looks like “destruction.” In some cases, simply patching holes is not an option. Workers have to replace the old road with a new on