Trials

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ODJ: fires and faith

If I’m hiking and camping out for several days, campfires are vital. And the most important thing I carry with me as I begin each day is a handful of charred sticks from the previous night’s fire. They’re the very best fire starters—no need to find tinder or other sticks. I just spark the charred ends, blow on them, and pile on a few fresh logs. The charred sticks are dir

ODJ: burger king baby

As a newborn, Katheryn Deprill was abandoned in a Burger King restaurant. Katheryn’s mother, just 17, hid the pregnancy and gave birth in her bedroom. After kissing her infant daughter on the forehead, she left the baby where she was sure to be found. Twenty-seven years later, Katheryn Deprill met her birth mother and thanked her for giving her life. Mary also faced difficult circumstances

ODB: The Storms of Life

In the book of Mark we read about a terrible storm. The disciples were with Jesus on a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee. When a “furious squall came up,” the disciples—among them some seasoned fishermen—were afraid for their lives (4:37-38). Did God not care? Weren’t they handpicked by Jesus and closest to Him? Weren’t they obeying Jesus who told them to “

ODB: For This I Have Jesus

There is rarely a problem-free season in our lives, but sometimes the onslaught is terrifying.Rose saw her entire family, except for her two little daughters, slaughtered in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. Now she is a widow among many widows with little money. But she refuses to be defeated. She has adopted two orphans and simply trusts God to provide for the food and school fees for her family of

ODB: The Rugged Road

A fishing buddy of mine told me about an alpine lake located high on the north flank of Jughandle Mountain here in Idaho. Rumor had it that large cutthroat trout lurked up there. My friend got a pencil and scrap of napkin and drew a map for me. Several weeks later I gassed up my truck and set out to follow his directions.His map put me on one of the worst roads I’ve ever driven! It was an ol

ODB: The Song of Our Lives

Everyone touched by a piece of music hears it differently. The composer hears it in the chamber of his imagination. The audience hears it with their senses and emotions. The members of the orchestra hear most clearly the sound of the instruments closest to them.In a sense, we are the members of God’s orchestra. Often we hear only the music closest to us. Because we don’t hear a balance

ODJ: behold the plains

If there be any value in scaling the mountains, it is only that from them one can behold the plains.”Those sentiments resonate. I’ve climbed some mountains during my lifetime—some real and some metaphorical. Pressing on ever higher can be hard and lead to suffering. But at the peak we can catch a view of what’s been hidden, a beauty that’s now made plain. There we c

Look Up!

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I was stuck in a cab in heavy traffic one day when I spotted a billboard sign which said, “Look up, young man.—God”. That day, I was heading to Makati, a city which is 15 miles away from my hometown, to attend an appointment.

ODB: The Upside of Setbacks

American swimmer Dara Torres had a remarkable career, appearing in five different Olympics from 1984 to 2008. Late in her career, Torres broke the US record for the 50-meter freestyle—25 years after she herself set that record. But it wasn’t always medals and records. Torres also encountered obstacles in her athletic career: injuries, surgery, as well as being almost twice the age of m