No Loss
Our Daily Bread Podcast | Our Daily Bread
by rbc@rbc.org
1w ago
My friend Ruel attended a high school reunion held in a former classmate’s home. The waterfront mansion near Manila Bay could accommodate 200 attendees, and it made Ruel feel small.  “I’ve had many happy years of pastoring remote rural churches,” Ruel told me, “and even though I know I shouldn’t, I couldn’t help but feel envious of my classmate’s material wealth. My thoughts strayed to how different life might be if I’d used my degree to become a businessman instead.” “But I later reminded myself there’s nothing to feel envious about,” Ruel continued with a smile. “I invested my life in s ..read more
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Lost, Found, Joy
Our Daily Bread Podcast | Our Daily Bread
by rbc@rbc.org
1w ago
“They call me ‘the ringmaster.’ So far this year I’ve found 167 lost rings.” During a walk on the beach with my wife, Cari, we struck up a conversation with an older man who was using a metal detector to scan an area just below the surf line. “Sometimes rings have names on them,” he explained, “and I love seeing their owners’ faces when I return them. I post online and check to see if anyone contacted lost and found. I’ve found rings missing for years.” When we mentioned that I enjoy metal detecting as well but didn’t do it frequently, his parting words were, “You never know unless you go!”&nb ..read more
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Reaching Out
Our Daily Bread Podcast | Our Daily Bread
by rbc@rbc.org
1w ago
In a recent post, blogger Bonnie Gray recounted the moment when overwhelming sadness began to creep into her heart. “Out of the blue,” she stated, “during the happiest chapter in my life, . . . I suddenly started experiencing panic attacks and depression.” Gray tried to find different ways to address her pain, but she soon realized that she wasn’t strong enough to handle it alone. “I hadn’t wanted anyone to question my faith, so I kept quiet and prayed that my depression would go away. But God wants to heal us, not shame us or make us hide from our pain.” Gray found healing in the solace of Hi ..read more
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Coffee Breath
Our Daily Bread Podcast | Our Daily Bread
by rbc@rbc.org
1w ago
I was sitting in my chair one morning years ago when my youngest came downstairs. She made a beeline for me, jumping up onto my lap. I gave her a fatherly squeeze and a gentle kiss on the head, and she squealed with delight. But then she furrowed her brow, crinkled her nose, and shot an accusatory glance at my coffee mug. “Daddy,” she announced solemnly. “I love you, and I like you, but I don’t like your smell.” My daughter couldn’t have known it, but she spoke with grace and truth: she didn’t want to hurt my feelings, but she felt compelled to tell me something. And sometimes we need to do th ..read more
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But I’m Telling You
Our Daily Bread Podcast | Our Daily Bread
by rbc@rbc.org
1w ago
“I know what they’re saying. But I’m telling you . . .” As a boy, I heard my mother give that speech a thousand times. The context was always peer pressure. She was trying to teach me not to follow the herd. I’m not a boy any longer, but herd mentality’s still alive and kicking. A current example is this phrase: “Only surround yourself with positive people.” Now while that phrase may be commonly heard, the question we must ask is: “Is that Christlike?”     “But I’m telling you . . .” Jesus uses that lead-in a number of times in Matthew 5. He knows full well what the world is con ..read more
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Heart Problem
Our Daily Bread Podcast | Our Daily Bread
by rbc@rbc.org
1w ago
“Do you see it, brother Tim?” My friend, a Ghanaian pastor, flashed his torchlight on a carved object leaning against a mud hut. Quietly he said, “That is the village idol.” Each Tuesday evening, Pastor Sam traveled into the bush to share the Bible in this remote village. In the book of Ezekiel, we see how idolatry plagued the people of Judah. When Jerusalem’s leaders came to see the prophet Ezekiel, God told him, “These men have set up idols in their hearts” (14:3). God wasn’t merely warning them against idols carved of wood and stone. He was showing them that idolatry is a problem of the hea ..read more
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Never Late
Our Daily Bread Podcast | Our Daily Bread
by rbc@rbc.org
2w ago
As a visitor to a small West African town, my American pastor made sure to arrive on time for a 10 a.m. Sunday service. Inside the humble sanctuary, however, he found the room empty. So he waited. One hour. Two hours. Finally, about 12:30 p.m., when the local pastor arrived after his long walk there—followed by some choir members and a gathering of friendly town people—the service began “in the fullness of time,” as my pastor said. “The Spirit welcomed us, and God wasn’t late.” My pastor understood the culture was different here for its own good reasons. Time seems relative, but God’s perfect ..read more
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Be Filled
Our Daily Bread Podcast | Our Daily Bread
by rbc@rbc.org
2w ago
The horrific assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr happened at the height of the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. But just four days later, his widow Coretta Scott King courageously took her husband’s place in leading a peaceful protest march. Coretta had a deep passion for justice and was a fierce champion of many causes, eventually becoming an internationally recognized civil rights advocate. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6). We know that someday God will come to deliver justice and right every wr ..read more
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From Lament to Praise
Our Daily Bread Podcast | Our Daily Bread
by rbc@rbc.org
2w ago
Monica prayed feverishly for her son to return to God. She wept over his wayward ways and even tracked him down in the various cities where he chose to live. The situation seemed hopeless. Then one day it happened: her son had a radical encounter with God. He became one of the greatest theologians of the church. We know him as Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. “How long, Lord?” (Habakkuk 1:2). The prophet Habakkuk lamented God’s inaction regarding the people in power who perverted justice (v. 4). Think of the times we’ve turned to God in desperation—expressing our laments due to injustice, a seeming ..read more
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A New Beginning
Our Daily Bread Podcast | Our Daily Bread
by rbc@rbc.org
2w ago
Christian consciousness begins in the painful realization that what we had assumed was the truth is in fact a lie,” Eugene Peterson wrote in his powerful reflections on Psalm 120. Psalm 120 is the first of the “psalms of ascent” (Psalms 120–134) sung by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. And as Peterson explored in A Long Obedience in the Same Direction (InterVarsity Press, 2000)[1] , these psalms also offer us a picture of the spiritual journey toward God. That journey can only begin with profound awareness of our need for something different. As Peterson puts it, “A pers ..read more
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