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Great Expectations

Our Daily Bread Cover January 2014

I once asked a counselor what the major issues were that brought people to him. Without hesitation he said, “The root of many problems is broken expectations; if not dealt with, they mature into anger and bitterness.”

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Stranded

Our Daily Bread Cover February 2013

Traveling by bus from Memphis, Tennessee, to St. Louis, Missouri, typically takes about 6 hours—unless the bus driver leaves you stranded at a gas station. This happened to 45 passengers aboard a bus who waited 8 hours overnight for a replacement driver after the original driver abandoned them. They must have felt frustrated by the delay, anxious about the outcome, and impatient for rescue.

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The Lesson

Our Daily Bread Cover February 2013

One summer I was at a gathering of old high school acquaintances when someone behind me tapped me on my shoulder. As my eyes drifted over the woman’s name tag, my mind drifted back in time. I remembered a tightly folded note that had been shoved through the slot on my locker. It had contained cruel words of rejection that had shamed me and crushed my spirit. I remember thinking, Somebody needs to teach you a lesson on how to treat people! Although I felt as if I were reliving my adolescent pain, I mustered up my best fake smile; and insincere words began coming out of my mouth.

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The Good Old Days

Our Daily Bread Cover January 2013

Sometimes our minds run back through the years and yearn for that better time and place—the “good old days.”

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Surprised By God

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If Naomi had dreamed about return- ing to her former home prosperous and successful, entering Bethlehem would have been a nightmare. While living in a foreign land, she had lost her husband and two sons and returned with only her daughter-in-law Ruth and a heart full of sorrow. “Do not call me Naomi [pleasant]; call me Mara [bitter],” she told her former neighbors, “for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me” (Ruth 1:20).

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When God Cleans House

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God did some fall housecleaning this week. He sent a mighty wind through our neighborhood that made the trees tremble and shake loose their dead branches. When it finished, I had a mess to clean up.

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Mouth Guard

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Iwas walking in a subway in Minsk, Belarus, with my friend Yuliya and her daughter Anastasia when I suddenly fell face first onto the dirty concrete floor. I don’t remember the fall, but I do remember suddenly having a mouth filled with sand, gravel, and grit. Ugh! I couldn’t get that stuff out of my mouth quickly enough!

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Resolution

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In May 1884, two young parents disagreed about what middle name to give their newborn son. The mom preferred Solomon; the dad, Shippe—both family names. Because John and Martha couldn’t agree, they compromised on “S.” Thus Harry S. Truman would become the only US president with an initial for a middle name.

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Volcanic Activity

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It erupts. It melts everything in its path. Its blast is as powerful as a nuclear explosion!

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Things Said In Secret

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Some say that anonymity is the last refuge for cowards. Judging from mail and comments I’ve read that have been submitted anonymously, I would agree. People hiding behind the screen of anonymity or a false identity feel the freedom to launch angry, hurtful tirades. Anonymity allows them to be unkind without having to take responsibility for their words.

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