Perhaps suffering is what makes the sound of the bells so sweet. They are a reminder of joy to come, rounding the next curve.
- Daily Devotional, December 26, 2011 "Good Call"12/25/2011 - Early in 2011, a US baseball coach made the best call of his career. Tom Walter, the coach of the Wake Forest University baseball team, chose to give up one of his kidneys so that one of his players could live.
- Daily Devotional, December 23, 2011 "No Brown M&M's"12/22/2011 - When rock band Van Halen was riding the wave of popularity, they insisted that a bowl of M&M’s be provided for them backstage at their concert venues. Yet every brown M&M had to be removed from the bowl.
- Daily Devotional, December 22, 2011 "Human Race"12/21/2011 - The alarm clock goes off way too early. At least, that’s how it feels. But a long day awaits you. First, you need to drop the kids off at school. Then there’s a breakfast meeting to attend, followed by a whole series of urgent matters to deal with.
- Daily Devotional, December 21, 2011 "Cradle, Cross, and Crown"12/20/2011 - What do you consider to be a good representation of Christmas? The potbellied Santa Claus? The nativity scene complete with baby, hay-filled manger, and donkeys? The iconic Christmas tree? For Luke, Christmas was best represented by a cradle, a cross, and a crown.
- Daily Devotional, December 20, 2011 "Duplicity"12/19/2011 - It took more than a year for a leading Christian human rights organization in Washington, DC, to confirm that one of their own—their then vice-president of constituent relations (fund-raising)—was leading a double life.
- Daily Devotional, December 19, 2011 "Plan B"12/19/2011 - As a fisherman on Lake Michigan (one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes), I’ve had to change my plans on many occasions. Stormy weather or high waves have forced me to resort to a Plan B: either canceling the trip or limiting my fishing to the safer waters of a harbor or smaller inland lake. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s not ideal.
- Daily Devotional, December 16, 2011 "Sacred Things"12/15/2011 - Canadian logger Ron Fahey took the heat for removing some logs he intended to use as firewood. The de-branched specimens had been lying in a woodpile on the campus of Mount Alison University. Fahey had been given permission to snatch logs found on the grounds. But this particular stack of wood was actually a “sculpture” named Deadwood Sleep.
- Daily Devotional, December 15, 2011 "Christmas Quiet"12/15/2011 - Having read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in her class, my daughter decided to re-enact Jesus’ birth. Casting herself as an angel—complete with wings, dress, and sparkling shoes—she made her brother, her lone recruit, a shepherd. Firstborn to the core, she gave Micah his directions and began reciting her lines with passion.
- Daily Devotional, December 14, 2011 "Love & Magic"12/13/2011 - When an atheist online reader of ODJ submitted a comment that called religion “anti-science” and Christianity “magic,” a fascinating online dialog ensued. I thought of the books authored by brilliant minds—articulating a reasoned and logical case for belief in God. I pondered the complexity of the human eye, the intricate design of a giraffe’s neck, and the oddity of the duckbilled platypus.
- Daily Devotional, December 13, 2011 "The Dead Man"12/12/2011 - Thomas Lynch is an acclaimed poet and nonfiction writer who has won the American Book Award. He’s also an undertaker. In The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade, Lynch shares stories from his decades of helping families say goodbye to their loved ones.
- Daily Devotional, December 8, 2011 Featuring Marie Miller - Make The Most of Me12/7/2011 - Driving home with my dad on one of the nine hour treks from Nashville, Tennessee to Shenandoah Valley Virginia, I started questioning him about the highs and lows of parenting. It didn’t take long for me to realize how tough parenting must be sometimes.
- Daily Devotional, December 12, 2011 "What To Do?"12/6/2011 - I used to struggle big-time with making decisions. When confronted with options I seldom experienced confidence that I would make the right decision. One winter, I flew to Colorado to visit some dear friends who owned a ski resort. Rather than take advantage of free skiing, however, I opted to spend my days by the fireplace in their cozy home, tackling my decision-making problem.
- Daily Devotional, December 9, 2011 "Clear Conscience"12/6/2011 - A man consulted a doctor, “I’ve been misbehaving, Doc, and my conscience is troubling me,” he complained. “And you want something that will strengthen your willpower?” asked the doctor. “Well, no,” said the fellow. “I was thinking of something that would weaken my conscience.”
- Daily Devotional, December 7, 2011 "Signature "12/6/2011 - Some people develop “catch phrases” that crystallize what matters to them. A news anchor ends every telecast with “And that’s the way it was” to remind viewers that he delivers the important facts of each day. A financial counselor on the radio answers a listener’s question of “How are you?” with “Better than I deserve”—focusing attention on the unmerited grace of God.
- Daily Devotional, December 6, 2011 "The Frugalista"12/5/2011 - What could make a woman pass on a pedicure, refuse hair appointments, and choose at-home eating over dining out? For Natalie P. McNeal, the answer was $20,000 of debt. She became “The Frugalista” when she declared a personal “no-buy month,” and saved hundreds of dollars, which she applied to her balance due.
- Daily Devotional, December 5, 2011 "To A Child, Love is spelled T-I-M-E "12/4/2011 - It's as simple as this: Love is one investment that will never fail you. And to a child, that investment is spelled T-I-M-E. In the faint light of the attic, an old man, tall and stooped, bent his great frame and made his way to a stack of boxes that sat near one of the little half-windows.
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