My Friend Left the Church Because of Me

“I need a break from church and from y’all to think about what happened,” a good friend wrote in a text message to me one day. And with that one message, Jasmine* never returned to my church again.

Game of Thrones: The Enemy Beyond the Wall

It’s winter, and the enemy is coming. The wall will not protect you, because this enemy is powerful. It is not afraid of dying, because it is already dead. It is led by the king of the night, who fears nothing, not even the most powerful weapon in your arsenal.

ODJ: one

Have you ever wanted to take a quick peek at someone else’s mail? Maybe it was an envelope from a doctor’s office that held the results of a family member’s recent medical tests. Or perhaps it was a letter addressed to your parents from an estranged family member. As you held the envelope in your hands, the temptation to open it might have felt overwhelming.
In the country where I live,

ODB: Promoting Unity

The language of Proverbs 6:16-19 is strong. In the citing of seven things the Lord hates, sowing “discord among brethren” makes the list. The reason for naming this sin is that it spoils the unity that Christ desires for His followers (John 17:21-22).Those who sow discord may not initially set out to create divisions. They may be preoccupied instead with their personal needs or the interests o

ODJ: generous unity

April 2013 marked a milestone birthday for me. To celebrate, we took a long trip to my old university. Numerous tollbooths, scenic beach views and city excursions marked our unforgettable holiday. The highlight for my husband and me, though, was a little unexpected: it was that our kids had actually enjoyed being together for an extended period of time.

Friction in any rela

ODJ: how we know

My sons are picking up on the way TV advertisers play games with viewers, twisting statistics and making outrageous claims. I fear it won’t be long before my boys become jaded and are slow to trust. Many of us struggle with this in our faith:How can I believe anything at all? How can I trust what God says?
The apostle Paul spoke directly to this concern, telling the Colossians th

ODJ: released

Eric Smallridge calls Renee Napier “an angel”. He says this because Renee forgave him for killing her daughter Meagan in a drunk-driving accident. Although Renee’s forgiveness took a long time, Eric says he “found his eternal salvation as a result”. What’s more, Renee’s pardon encouraged her family to follow suit. Together they petitioned the courts to have Eric released from prison

ODJ: truth in love

Have you said something to someone that you later regretted? Perhaps you needed to speak hard words and the person needed to hear them, but you feel bad because of the way you communicated your message. So you’re saddened that you failed to “speak the truth in love”. But what does that really mean? Is it about honesty? Is it about sweetening the cold, hard truth to make it more pala

ODJ: the real boss

Seven months later, American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke some words in response to attacks on American diplomatic missions in the Middle East that echoed my son’s convictions.

“When Christians are subject to insults to their faith, and that certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence,” Clinton said. “The same goes for all faiths. . . . Refraining f