Trials

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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

ODB: Stranded

Traveling by bus from Memphis, Tennessee, to St. Louis, Missouri, typically takes about 6 hours—unless the bus driver leaves you stranded at a gas station. This happened to 45 passengers aboard a bus who waited 8 hours overnight for a replacement driver after the original driver abandoned them. They must have felt frustrated by the delay, anxious about the outcome, and impatient for rescue.Josep

ODJ: opening up


Recently my wife and I had the privilege of speaking on Loving One Another at a marriage retreat. Attendees included couples of all ages—those who had been married just a year to a ‘golden’ duo who had spent 50 years together. That couple, Joe and Arlene, blessed the younger couples as they transparently revealed some of the struggles they had experienced in their marriage. They candidly ack

ODJ: let go


I spent the summer of 1992 tumbling, somersaulting and crashing over the waters of a nearby lake. To avoid a grand impression, I was simply trying to learn how to water-ski. The painful endeavor revealed the deep level of determination I carry within me. One of my greatest errors lay in my refusal to let go of the rope and admit defeat when I had fallen. It was not a pretty sight.
 Twenty years

ODB: Red Tape

The expression “red tape” describes the annoying way that bureaucracy prevents things from getting done. Originally, the phrase referred to the common practice of binding official documents with red ribbon. In the early 1800s, the term was popularized by the writings of Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle, who was protesting governmental foot-dragging. Following the American Civil War, the probl

ODB: Trouble

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I was glad to see the final days of the year draw to a close. It had held so much sorrow, sickness, and sadness. I was ready to welcome January with its very own brass band!But as the first month of the new year arrived, so did one bit of sad news after another. Several friends lost their parents. My dad’s brother slipped away in his sleep. Friends discovered they had cancer. A colleague’s bro

ODJ: clean conscience 


According to a 2008 character survey of nearly 30,000 secondary school students, 64 percent of them said they had cheated on a test in the past year, 30 percent had stolen from a shop, 42 percent said they would lie to save money and 83 percent said they had lied to their parents about something significant. One of the more interesting findings of the survey was that 93 percent of the students sur