Our Daily Bread Devotional

/Our Daily Bread Devotional/

What Comes Next?

On the night of April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King gave his final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” In it, he hints that he believed he might not live long. He said, “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land...

By |2020-04-03T13:55:46-04:00April 3rd, 2020|

Cheerful Givers

Years ago, my wife received a small rebate from something she’d purchased. It wasn’t something she’d expected, it just showed up in the mail. About the same time, a good friend shared with her the immense needs of women in another country, entrepreneurial-minded women trying to better themselves by way of education and business. As is often the case, however, their first barrier was financial...

By |2020-04-01T16:42:19-04:00April 2nd, 2020|

Praying Like Jesus

Every coin has two sides. The front is called “heads” and, from early Roman times, usually depicts a country’s head of state. The back is called “tails,” a term possibly originating from the British ten pence depicting the raised tail of a heraldic lion. Like a coin, Christ’s prayer in the garden of Gethsemane possesses two sides...

By |2020-03-30T16:20:03-04:00April 1st, 2020|

Inheritance Isn’t Earned

“Thanks for dinner, Dad,” I said as I set my napkin on the restaurant table. I was home on a break from college and, after being gone for a while, it felt strange to have my parents pay for me. “You’re welcome, Julie,” my dad replied, “but you don’t have to thank me for everything all the time. I know you’ve been off on your own, but you’re still my daughter and a part of the family.” I smiled. “Thanks, Dad...”

By |2020-03-30T13:46:41-04:00March 31st, 2020|

Blessed Bread

When our oldest child became a teenager, my wife and I gave her a journal that we’d been writing in since her birth. We’d recorded her likes and dislikes, quirks and memorable one-liners. At some point the entries became more like letters, describing what we see in her and how we see God at work in her. When we gave it to her on her thirteenth birthday, she was mesmerized...

By |2020-03-27T16:48:36-04:00March 30th, 2020|

Fruit Juice

A thrift-store bargain, the lamp seemed perfect for my home office—the right color, size, and price. Back at home, however, when I plugged in the cord, nothing happened. No light. No power. No juice. No problem, my husband assured me. “I can fix that. Easy.” As he took the lamp apart, he saw the trouble immediately. The plug wasn’t connected to anything. Without wiring to a source of power, the “perfect” pretty lamp was useless...

By |2020-03-27T16:28:00-04:00March 29th, 2020|

The Would-Be Woodcutter

One year when I was in college, I cut, stacked, sold, and delivered firewood. It was a hard job, so I have empathy for the hapless logger in the 2 Kings 6 story. Elisha’s school for prophets had prospered, and their meeting place had become too small. Someone suggested they go into the woods, cut logs, and enlarge their facilities. Elisha agreed and accompanied the workers...

By |2020-03-27T16:21:52-04:00March 28th, 2020|

Precious Departure

Sculptor Liz Shepherd’s 2018 exhibition The Wait was described by a Boston Globe correspondent as “evok[ing] the precious, exposed, and transcendent in life.” Inspired by the time Shepherd spent at her dying father’s bedside, the exhibition attempts to convey yearning, the emptiness of loss, and the fragile sense that loved ones are just out of reach...

By |2020-03-26T16:32:20-04:00March 27th, 2020|

Seeing Salvation

At fifty-three, the last thing Sonia expected to do was abandon her business and her country to join a group of asylum seekers journeying to a new land. After gangs murdered her nephew and tried to force her seventeen-year-old son into their ranks, Sonia felt escape was her only option. “I pray to God. . . . I will do whatever is necessary,” Sonia explained...

By |2020-03-25T16:18:41-04:00March 26th, 2020|

It’s Time to Pray . . . Again

I pulled into my driveway, waving at my neighbor Myriam and her little girl Elizabeth. Over the years, Elizabeth had grown accustomed to our spontaneous chats lasting longer than the promised “few minutes” and morphing into prayer meetings. She climbed the tree planted in the center of their front yard, dangled her legs over a branch, and busied herself while her mother and I spoke...

By |2020-03-24T16:14:42-04:00March 25th, 2020|