ODB: From Bleak To Beautiful

Spring is the time of year when God reminds us that things are not always as they seem. Over the course of a few short weeks, what appears hopelessly dead comes to life. Bleak woodlands are transformed into colorful landscapes. Trees whose naked arms reached to heaven all winter, as if pleading to be clothed, suddenly are adorned with lacy green gowns. Flowers that faded and fell to the ground in

ODB: Cape Tribulation

On June 10, 1770, British navigator James Cook’s ship hit a reef off the northeast coast of Australia. He sailed the ship out into deeper water only to hit the reef again, and this time the collision almost sank the ship. This experience moved Cook to write in the ship’s log: “The north point [was named] Cape Tribulation because here began all our troubles.”Many of us have experienced a tr

ODJ: carried

When my boys were smaller and it was time for bed, they would often ask if they could “be a sack of potatoes”. I would pick them up by their legs, sling them over my shoulder and climb the stairs to their room.

ODJ: content with contention?

With its uncomfortable chairs and tiled floors, the restaurant reflected the chill of the winter air. Having recently made the decision to take in foster children, my family sat waiting to meet a 7 year old girl who needed a home. She was accustomed to transient relationships and began calling my parents “Mum” and “Dad” at that first trial meeting. Filled with great optimism, we believed w

ODJ: true freedom

Many countries annually exercise their freedom to literally change time. I experienced this timely change when I was in America a few years ago. During my visit in the spring, I witnessed Daylight Savings Time—a national law that calls for all clocks to be set back by one hour. It’s designed to save energy, and it also leads to lighter mornings for children who are heading to school. Interesti

ODJ: exercised

On all fours with the grass pressing into my hands and knees, I was already backing out of my goal. I had recently enlisted the help of a friend to improve my muscle strength and endurance. On this particular night, we were at a local park doing athletic and aerobic exercises. While my legs were completing the lifting exercises to strengthen my muscles, my mind desperately looked for a way out of

ODB: Too Heavy

As I started up my car in the dark hours of early morning, I noticed a seatbelt light on the dashboard. I checked my door, opening and pulling it shut again. I tugged on my seatbelt to test it. But the sensor light still beamed. Then, in slow realization, I reached over and lifted my purse a few inches above the passenger seat. The light clicked off.Apparently, a cell phone, three rolls of quarter

ODB: Thoughts On Rain

When torrential downpours beat on the heads of my newly planted petunias, I felt bad for them. I wanted to bring them inside to shelter them from the storm. By the time the rain stopped, their little faces were bowed to the ground from the weight of the water. They looked sad and weak. Within a few hours, however, they perked up and turned their heads skyward. By the next day, they were standing s

ODJ: affected

Rachel, the daughter of fellow ODJ author Jeff Olson, is a young woman I love as if she were my own. Recently she completed an 8 month missions trip. During that time I became concerned when she contracted malaria while serving in a rural part of Kenya. Fortunately her health was restored after taking some strong medication. Rachel’s ministry for Jesus definitely caused her to be affected physic