ODJ: stop trying

Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as “AA,” is a worldwide movement that attempts to helpalcoholics break free from their addiction to drinking. One of the first things AA leaders tell those who “can’t lay off the sauce” is that they have to come to the end of themselves. In order to break free from their addiction, they have to admit that they are powerless to stop—no matter how hard th

ODJ: walls

Walls are designed to keep people safe. But walls also divide, keeping people apart. The 96 mile (155 km) Berlin Wall kept the East Germans in. The Great Wall of China, which was believed to be 5,500 miles long (8,850 km) and is now estimated to be 13,170 miles long(21,196 km), kept enemies out.

In 586 bc the Babylonians tore down Jerusalem’s walls and destroyed the city. Nehemiah exp

ODJ: place for the unfit

Downsize Fitness is a health club with a uniqueniche. It caters only to people who want to lose at least 3 stone. Tara Lawton, a member of Downsize Fitness, quit her health club because she sensed she didn’t fit in. She said that people always seemed to be silently judging her. Then she found Downsize Fitness and loves it. Downsize is attractive to people like Lawton because it welcomes overweig

ODJ: if . . . then

With our house on the market, my husband and I regularly spend time looking at online real-estate sites. Planting a church 35 miles away, we eagerly anticipate the day when we will be able to live in the community where we will be ministering. As we wait, we could easily fall prey to the temptation of“if . . . then”. If You promise us success, we will go; if You promise us a great house, we wi

ODJ: remind me

I’ve always needed to be reminded of things, but latelythe problem has reached critical mass. A cycling accident left me with a temporary black eye andnot-so-temporary short-term memory loss.

Recently my daughter found a hot iron plugged in long after I had left the house. On another occasion the sink overflowed when I forgot I was doing the dishes. I constantly forget where I park my

ODJ: five words

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.


ODJ: make the time

Are you busy? We can easily become overwhelmed with all the responsibilities that loom over us on any given day. We have calendar apps, appointment reminders and handy lists to keep us organised. I enjoy finding new ways to use my time wisely and stay on task, but I have to be careful not to put my trust in my plans over the One who holds the plan. More importantly, I need to understand that while

ODJ: relative peace

A 60 year old man, atop a tractor, charged at his 69 year old brother in law who was harvesting hay astride his own tractor. The collision resulted in a damaged tyre and the tractor-crasher’s arrest. One law enforcement official commented, “We’ve responded on prior occasions to calls because of differences between the families.” While it’s a bit unclear what the man hoped to accomplish b

ODJ: knowing our place

I recently read of a man who started a church and saw it grow and flourish over the years. But unlike some pastors whose fingers have to be pried from the pulpit, this man began grooming a younger man to take over his church. Why? Because he felt God was calling him to do so. And, at just 51 years old, this healthy, dynamic pastor humbly moved on as his 30 year old protégé took his place.