Posts

ODJ: java gods


Recently, coffee drinkers in Helsinki, Finland, could visit a café called Kauko for a free cup of coffee. Sipping java at the Kauko coffee shop meant, however, that they were at the mercy of Internet users who controlled the shop’s environment. These ‘java gods’ could adjust the lighting, music and furniture for a total of one minute, and webcams allowed Internet users to watch people react

ODJ: sheltered


The red and white “For Sale” sign in our garden boldly proclaims that our lives are in transition. Stepping out by faith, my husband and I are selling our home and leaving his current position of ministry to move to a community about 30 miles away. Confident that God is able, I still find myself trying to get my bearings as we wait on the unknown. I daily live between two places: at peace with

ODJ: disney's gospel


As my family was leaving the park after a fun day at Disney, the loudspeakers were playing a happy song with the chorus, “In everything you do, celebrate you!” The song reminded me of the earlier parade that encouraged us to celebrate our dreams, “whatever they are”. My 12 year old son, the apparent cynic in the family, proclaimed that his dream was to take over the world. Should that be c

ODJ: Christian avoidance


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In many parts of the world it’s an amazing time to be a Christian. Most of us can walk down the street and find a church to join. If none interests us we can go online and download our favourite preacher’s sermons in minutes. Hours and hours of biblical teaching for free.And Scripture! Most of us can read the Bible in our own language and in many different versions. We can buy it in softcover,

ODJ: yet to come


My sister might take a year off from work to study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I told her, “Well, be ready to check out the hills so that you know where to run to during the great tribulation.

ODJ: money or mobility?


I hardly ever encounter beggars on the streets. But in some countries you can find them begging at the markets and shopping centres. Once, when visiting a neighbouring country, my hosts told me that for my own sake I had to ignore the beggars. If I showed the slightest interest in one, he would pursue and pester me until I gave him some money. And the moment I gave to one I would be very quickly

ODJ: a Psalm for the Struggle

It was the kind of take-away restaurant where you stand in line, place your order and then step aside to wait for your food to appear. After I did just that, a young man took my place at the front of the queue. He ordered his food by using gestures and broken words. Paying was difficult for him because one of his wrists was turned so that his fingers pointed back to his body. And walking to a tabl

ODJ: suffering with God


Pain. We take pills to ease it, hold prayer meetings to heal it, develop strategies to avoid it and think up philosophies to explain it. We rarely, however, consider suffering as part of God’s plan for our lives.
Classic spiritual authors take a different approach to suffering. Take the 17th century monk Brother Lawrence, for example. Lame in one leg and acquainted with illness, in The Practi

ODJ: counting the cost


Jesus’ good friend Lazarus had died (John 11:14,17). And so He performed an amazing miracle by raising Lazarus from the dead (vv.43-44)—leading many who came to the funeral to believe in Him (v.45). But the Pharisees and priests responded differently. From that time on, they began to plot Jesus’ death (v.53). 
News of the spectacular miracle spread throughout the thousands of Jewish pilgri