Mayday!

Sat Mar 11th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


The international distress signal “Mayday” is always repeated three times in a row—“mayday-mayday-mayday”—so the situation will be clearly understood as a life-threatening emergency. The word was created in 1923 by Frederick Stanley Mockford, a senior radio officer at London’s Croydon Airport. That now-closed facility once had many flights to and from Le Bourget Airport in Paris. According to The National Maritime Museum, Mockford coined Mayday from the French word m’aidez, which means, “help me.” Throughout King David’s life, he faced life-threatening situations for which there seemed to be no way out. Yet, we read in Psalm 86 that during his…

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Mistakes Were Made

Thu Mar 09th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


“Mistakes were made,” said the CEO as he discussed the illegal activity his company had been involved in. He looked regretful, yet he kept blame at arm’s length and couldn’t admit he had personally done anything wrong. Some “mistakes” are just mistakes: driving in the wrong direction, forgetting to set a timer and burning dinner, miscalculating your checkbook balance. But then there are the deliberate deeds that go far beyond—God calls those sin. When God questioned Adam and Eve about why they had disobeyed Him, they quickly tried to shift the blame to another (Gen. 3:8–13). Aaron took no personal…

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Painting a Portrait

Wed Mar 08th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


The National Portrait Gallery in London, England, houses a treasure of paintings from across the centuries, including 166 images of Winston Churchill, 94 of William Shakespeare, and 20 of George Washington. With the older portraits, we may wonder: Is that what these individuals really looked like? For instance, there are 8 paintings of Scottish patriot William Wallace (c. 1270–1305), but we obviously don’t have photographs to compare them to. How do we know if the artists accurately represented Wallace? Something similar might be happening with the likeness of Jesus. Without realizing it, those who believe in Him are leaving an…

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Ruler of the Waves

Tue Mar 07th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


King Canute was one of the most powerful men on earth in the eleventh century. In a now-famous tale, it is said that he ordered his chair to be placed on the shore as the tide was rising. “You are subject to me,” he said to the sea. “I command you, therefore, not to rise on to my land, nor to wet the clothing or limbs of your master.” But the tide continued to rise, drenching the king’s feet. This story is often told to draw attention to Canute’s pride. Actually, it’s a story about humility. “Let all the world…

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Loving Perfectly

Mon Mar 06th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


Her voice shook as she shared the problems she was having with her daughter. Worried about her teenager’s questionable friends, this concerned mum confiscated her daughter’s mobile phone and chaperoned her everywhere. Their relationship seemed only to go from bad to worse.             When I spoke with the daughter, I discovered that she loves her mum dearly but is suffocating under a smothering love. She longs to break free.             As imperfect beings, we all struggle in our relationships. Whether we are a parent or child, single or married, we grapple with expressing love the right way, saying and doing…

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The Gift of Welcome

Sun Mar 05th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


The dinner where we hosted families from five nations remains a wonderful memory. Somehow the conversation didn’t splinter into twos, but we all contributed to a discussion of life in London from the viewpoints of different parts of the world. At the end of the evening, my husband and I reflected that we had received more than we gave, including the warm feelings we experienced in fostering new friendships and learning about different cultures. The writer of the book of Hebrews concluded his thoughts with some exhortations for community life, including that his readers should continue to welcome strangers. For…

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Of Love and Old Shoes

Sat Mar 04th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


Sometimes my wife and I finish each other’s sentences. In over thirty years of marriage we’ve become increasingly familiar with the way the other thinks and speaks. We may not even have to finish a sentence at all; just a word or a glance is enough to express a thought.             There’s comfort in that—like an old pair of shoes you continue to wear because they fit so well. Sometimes we even refer to each other affectionately as “my old shoe”—a compliment that might be difficult to understand if you didn’t know us well! Through the years our relationship has…

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Two Portraits

Fri Mar 03rd, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


Clutching two framed photographs, the proud grandmother showed them to friends in the church foyer. The first picture was of her daughter back in her homeland of Burundi. The second was of her grandson, born recently to that daughter. But the daughter wasn’t holding her newborn. She had died giving birth to him. A friend approached and looked at the pictures. Reflexively, she reached up and held that dear grandmother’s face in her hands. All she could say through her own tears was, “I know. I know.” And she did know. Two months earlier she had buried a son. There’s…

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One of Us

Thu Mar 02nd, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


At the memorial service for Charles Schulz (1922–2000), creator of the beloved Peanuts comic strip, friend and fellow cartoonist Cathy Guisewite spoke of his humanity and compassion. “He gave everyone in the world characters who knew exactly how all of us felt, who made us feel we were never alone. And then he gave the cartoonist himself, and he made us feel that we were never alone. . . . He encouraged us. He commiserated with us. He made us feel he was exactly like us.” When we feel that no one understands or can help us, we are reminded…

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All of Me

Wed Mar 01st, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


Young Isaac Watts found the music in his church sadly lacking, and his father challenged him to create something better. Isaac did. His hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” has been called the greatest in the English language and has been translated into many other languages. Watts’s worshipful third verse ushers us into the presence of Christ at the crucifixion.             See from His head, His hands, His feet,             Sorrow and love flow mingled down.             Did e’er such love and sorrow meet             Or thorns compose so rich a crown? The crucifixion Watts describes so elegantly stands…

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