Forever Loved

Sun Apr 30th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


It’s almost impossible for us to get through a day without being snubbed, ignored, or put down in some way. Sometimes we even do it to ourselves. David’s enemies were talking smack—bullying, threatening, pummeling him with insults. His sense of self-worth and well being had plummeted (Psalm 4:1–2). He asked for relief “from my distress.” Then David remembered, “Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself” (v. 3). Various English versions try to capture the full essence of David’s bold statement by translating “faithful servant” as “godly.” The Hebrew word here, esed, literally refers to God’s…

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When Morning Comes

Sat Apr 29th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


It was very late when we stopped for the night at a country inn outside of Munich. We were delighted to see that our cozy room had a balcony, although an oppressive fog made it impossible to see into the darkness. But when the sun rose a few hours later, the haze began to fade. Then we could see what had been grimly shrouded the night before—a completely idyllic scene—peaceful and lush green meadow, sheep grazing with tiny tinkling bells about their necks, and big white clouds in the sky that looked exactly like more sheep—huge, fluffy sheep! Sometimes life…

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An Alternative to Anger

Fri Apr 28th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


One morning in Perth, Australia, Fionn Mulholland discovered his car was missing. That’s when he realized he had mistakenly parked in a restricted zone and his car had been towed away. After considering the situation—even the $600 towing and parking fine—Mulholland was frustrated, but he decided not to be angry with the person he would work with to retrieve his car. Instead of venting his feelings, Mulholland wrote a humorous poem about the situation and read it to the worker he met at the tow yard. The worker liked the poem, and a possible ugly confrontation never took place. The…

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Learning the Language

Thu Apr 27th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


I stood before the gathering at a small Jamaican church and said in my best local dialect, “Wah Gwan, Jamaica?” The reaction was better than I expected, as smiles and applause greeted me. In reality, all I had said was the standard greeting, “What’s going on?” in Patois [pa-twa], but to their ears I was saying, “I care enough to speak your language.” Of course I did not yet know enough Patois to continue, but a door had been opened. When the apostle Paul stood before the people of Athens, he let them know that he knew their culture. He…

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Someone to Touch

Wed Apr 26th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


Commuters on a Canadian Metro train witnessed a heart-moving conclusion to a tense moment. They watched as a 70-year old woman gently reached out and offered her hand to a young man whose loud voice and disturbing words were scaring other passengers. The lady’s kindness calmed the man who sank to the floor of the train with tears in his eyes. He said, “Thanks, Grandma,” stood up, and walked away. The woman later admitted to being afraid. But she said, “I’m a mother and he needed someone to touch.” While better judgment might have given her reason to keep her…

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Don’t Give Up

Tue Apr 25th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


Bob Foster, my mentor and friend for more than 50 years, never gave up on me. His unchanging friendship and encouragement, even during my darkest times, helped carry me through. We often find ourselves determined to reach out and help someone we know who is in great need. But when we fail to see improvement right away, our resolve can weaken and we may eventually give up. We discover that what we hoped would be an immediate change has become an ongoing process. The apostle Paul urges us to be patient in helping one another through the stumbles and struggles of…

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The Small Things

Tue Apr 25th, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


My friend Gloria called with excitement in her voice. She had not been able to leave her home except for doctors’ appointments. So I understood why she was so happy to tell me, “My son just attached new speakers to my computer, so now I can go to my church!” Now she could hear the live broadcast of her church’s worship service. She raved about God’s goodness and the “best gift my son could have given me!” Gloria teaches me about having a thankful heart. Despite her many limitations, she’s thankful for the smallest of things—sunsets, helpful family and neighbors,…

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The Shrinking Piano

Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


For three consecutive years, my son participated in a piano recital. The last year he played, I watched him mount the steps and set up his music. He played two songs and then sat down next to me and whispered, “Mom, this year the piano was smaller.” I said, “No, it’s the same piano you played last year. You’re bigger! You’ve grown.” Spiritual growth, like physical growth, often happens slowly over time. It is an ongoing process that involves becoming more like Jesus, and it happens as we are transformed through the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2). When the…

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Always Listening

Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


Dad was a man of few words. He had hearing damage due to years of military duty and wore hearing aids. One afternoon when Mom and I were talking a little longer than he thought necessary, he responded playfully, “Whenever I want peace and quiet, all I have to do is this.” Lifting both hands in a single motion, he turned off both hearing aids, folded his hands behind his head and closed his eyes in a serene smile. We laughed. As far as he was concerned, the conversation was over! My father’s actions that day remind me how different…

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The Gift of Giving

Fri Apr 21st, 2017 | Our Daily Bread


A pastor breathed life into the phrase “He’d give you the shirt off his back” when he gave this unsettling challenge to his church: “What would happen if we took the coats off our backs and gave them to the needy?” Then he took his own coat and laid it at the front of the church. Dozens of others followed his example. This was during the winter, so the trip home was surely less comfortable that day. But for dozens of people in need, the season warmed up just a bit that day. When John the Baptist roamed the Judean…

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